Shooting stars flew over the Basin of Life as a meteor shower manifested above Avechna’s Peak. The strange event captured the imagination of the bards of Lusternia, as well as the generosity of scholars and the curiosity of the pilgrims, who gathered the meteors from where they fell about the mountainside. Several mortals across all nations persuaded these wanderes to share the starry meteors they had gathered, but one star burned brighter than all the others as it descended from the skies above to land in Mornhai Sanctuary.
It was Misericorde Coldwater of New Celest who discovered the massive meteor first, and more importantly, the angel who had landed with it. He was Veshkal, Bearer of the Holy Blade, a squire to the Lady Terentia, the Even Bladed. Celestians and their allies gathered at Misericorde’s call to hear the angel’s pleas that they help two Goddesses return to Lusternia: the Lady Terentia, and another Elder that had been found in the Void.
Veshkal explained that he had accompanied the Lady Terentia as She hunted in the Void, where She had encountered a strange trail of constellations. These were the work of the Lord Darvellan, the Navigator, who had built the starry trail to lead back to Lusternia from the deepest depths of the Void. Instead of going homeward, She followed the stars further into the darkness and discovered the Navigator Himself, who had been seeking an Elder that had sent Him a distress signal.
It would later come to light that this Elder was none other than the Lady Lantra of the Third Circle and a Hamadhi, whom Darvellan knew as His sister and crechemate. When They found Her, however, She had been cornered by a minor Soulless god by the name of Nohaji, the Face-Thief. Yet this Soulless was more dangerous than most, for he did not appear as a Soulless at all. Rather, the Soulless could feign the form of any Star God that he had devoured, using it to lure unsuspecting Elders in the Void to him. He had taken for his guise the form of Carsini, a lost Elder of the First Circle.
Lantra realized that Carsini’s essence had been twisted and warped, and warned both Terentia and Darvellan that he was no Elder, but a Soulless. Darvellan, recognizing His sister, nodded at Terentia to take action. A great battle was held in the Void, led by the Even Bladed as the Navigator and the Empyreal assisted Her in weakening the Soulless. However, the journey had wearied all three of Them, and there was no end to the fighting was in sight. Finally Terentia struck the Soulless hard enough that it recoiled, allowing a brief enough time to hatch a daring plan.
Darvellan would lead the Soulless deeper into the Void, using His stars to distract them away from Lusternia. Terentia and Lantra were to follow His other constellation – called the Argo Navis – back to Lusternia. Most importantly, as They departed, the Goddesses were to destroy the Argo Navis, tearing the constellation from the sky one star at a time. Darvellan stressed that He would be able to return on His own, even without the path to guide Him, though such a journey would be long and arduous even for the Navigator.
To ensure the Goddesses returned swiftly to Lusternia, Veshkal urged those gathered to use the meteors that had fallen – and were, indeed, partially imbued with Darvellan’s essence – to created a bright light to help the Elders complete Their mission home. With this plea, the angel vanished into motes of light and was no more.
Some mortals were skeptical of this action, fearing such a beacon might draw another Soulless to Lusternia. Others decided to act on the angel’s parting words. It was Yinuish who thought to speak with Edathic zi’Prouep, an astrologer that had served New Celest for many years. The lucidian proposed a way to build the beacon, and Queen Aknarin of New Celest urged all of the Basin to donate their meteors for the cause. Many did so, including Alexandria and Nelras of Hallifax, while others still harbored doubts that such an action might be wise.
The constellations of the beacon required careful calibration on all four sides, and the efforts of several – including, surprisingly, Ixion of Magnagora – allowed for the completed beacon to erupt in light, heralding the return of the Lady Terentia and the Lady Lantra to Lusternia. Immediately upon Their arrival on Avechna’s Peak, Terentia destroyed the antennae that had lit Their path as the last stars of Argo Navis winked about around Them, ensuring no Soulless would follow.
The two Elders were greeted enthusiastically by many, perhaps by none moreso than the people of New Celest, who were overjoyed to see the return of the Even Bladed and to welcome the sister of the Navigator to the Basin of Life. Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves met with Them both and assisted Lantra in acclimating to all that had changed in the Basin of Life since the Elder Wars, with many mortals staying to answer the Empyreal’s questions and welcome Her to Lusternia. In time, the Lady Empyreal found Her home in New Celest as well, choosing to patron where Eventru and Darvellan had both presided.
Only time will tell what the Goddesses’ arrival means for Lusternia, and what will be the fate of the Navigator and the Soulless who pursues Him…