The Eye of Dynara had gained a new owner in Li-varili, the Lady of the Lagoons. And yet the Goddess’s ability to wield the most powerful Divine artifact in all of Creation was thwarted by Her many years of captivity and suffering.
The Basin of Life watched with bated breath to see how the tempestuous Elder would react to Her limitations, fearing the worst. When Li-varili entreated Lantra as the last waking member of the Hamadhi to mend Her wounds, Lantra replied that Li-varili had a choice: Restoration, or Power. Submit the Eye of Dynara into Lantra’s care, and the Hamadhi would take Her to the healing mounds of Ethereal. Sneering, Li-varili denied the conditional offering, saying She would solve Her troubles on Her own terms.
Months passed, peaceful and still, until the Lady of the Lagoons arose once more. She took to the Rhizoda Mangrove and gifted the Basin of Life with a strange and beautiful mangrove tree, flourishing with exotic bromeliad flowers. She offered it as a way of being understood, after so many of Her Cousins had maligned Her and called Her fickle. Those who took the flowers received visions of the Elder’s history, some joyful and others instilled with deep pain.
And others, still, received something entirely different. When they inhaled the scent of the bromeliads, they received missives spoken from the lips of Li-varili, beseeching Her chosen to aid Her in gaining power. The Goddess was tired of asking Elders for Their aid. Now, She would do as Her Cousins did: take eager mortals to serve as instruments of Her Divine Will.
Those mortals that had shown Li-varili kindness in Her brief time returned to the Basin of Life were tasked to complete a series of missives in Her name: Calfuray of Serenwilde, Lorina of Hallifax, and Uzriel and Ashnezharr of Magnagora. The nereids Oinone and Iaira, as well as the pirates Captain Teyitha Contelli and Luki Bowtail, each guided the chosen few in their tasks. The Lady of the Lagoons demanded that they enchant the salt lagoon to help bring forth the blood tide, and empower the she’nasim nereids born from its waves. So too did She ask them to weave chains of kelp around each of the known seas, and to help the trident coral reef grow and flourish.
Li-varili’s select chosen took to their task with zeal and secrecy in equal measure, swiftly enacting the missives of their patroness. As their work bore fruit, the rest of the Basin of Life reacted with confusion and trepidation regarding the odd behaviours of the seas of Lusternia, and the unusual life that now lurked within them.
A group of Serens sought the help of their resident biologist, Druid Mapee Thislefur, to investigate the unusual life. From their investigations, they learned that the crimson seaweed that began to grow about the First World’s seas seemed to comprise many species, seemed to hunger, seemed to almost be aware. And they learned a startling truth about the varied composition of the kelp that worried them. But one in their midst misdirected them again and again.
Having completed their work, Li-varili’s chosen mortals were rewarded for their service, and She bid them wait. And wait they did, until at last, the Lady of the Lagoons emerged once more with a final task, the Awakening of the Great Sea Spirit. The Elder Goddess summoned them to join the Bloodtide Coven, linking their essence with Hers as She wielded the Eye of Dynara at last to complete the unfinished Awakening She had begun thousands of years ago alongside Her fallen crechemate, Keltari. Now, the Sea Spirit would be Her daughter alone.
Blooredi’s beasts that infested the Namiraa Trench were unleashed at Li-varili’s command, set upon the meddling mortals that would dare to stop Her in Her sacred ritual. Those mortals that sought to oppose Her were slain on sight and put to the mercy of those ravenous creatures, even as several attempted to convince the members of the Bloodtide Coven to cease in their support of the enraged Goddess. None of the Coven heeded such cries and pleas, instead devoting themselves entirely to the relentless work that the Lady of the Lagoons asked of them. The Goddess gifted them with the powers of sirensong and riptides, allowing them to transport and move their foes at will to protect the ritual from being broken.
Finally, to the shock of all present, the Great Sea Spirit began to awaken once more, by the might of the Eye of Dynara, the Lady Li-varili, and the combined power of Her Bloodtide Coven.
Yet there was a peculiarity to this Awakening, for in the past, it had been a matter of hundreds and thousands of Elders awakening a single latent spirit. Awakened in this manner, the Sea Spirit was red as the blood tides, and deeply sick with the sudden influx of power. Horrific storms broke out about the Basin of Life as she stirred into waking existence, flooding the roads, Balach Swamp, Toronada Tidal Flats, and elsewhere. The raging storm even dared to reach the high city of Hallifax, which was defended by the aeromantic security protocols long put in place by the aerial city. The communes, meanwhile, were tended to by their Divine patrons: Maylea arose to banish the rains from Serenwilde, while Nocht kept all harm from the Glomdoring by shrouding it in shadow. Drocilla likewise defended Magnagora with Her song, Mysrai and Crumkane warded Gaudiguch with Their combined power, and the Goddesses Carakhan, Terentia and Lantra protected Celest by supporting a massive barrier of water and light.
Many of the Divine voiced Their concerns to Li-varili of the danger of Her path in continuing to awaken the Sea Spirit in this manner, but She denied Them all at every turn. With no other recourse, Nocht bid the Elders do as They had done thousands of years before in putting the Sun Spirit back to sleep in the time of the Elder Wars. The Sea Spirit, He argued, was likewise in need of calming and slumber. All save for Drocilla heeded His call, the Enchantress sneering that She had no desire to prevent Li-varili from completing Her task. If the Lady Li-varili wanted to attempt this foolishness, then Drocilla would not stop Her so that all Elders may see what She had once protected Them from.
The others all fell into an ancient Awakening Formation behind Nocht, each lending the power of Their immanidivinus etherea to the Silent Lord as He created a net of power to bind Li-varili and the struggling Sea Spirit in place. As the Elders strained before the exhaustive power of the Eye of Dynara in Li-varili’s hands, Carakhan beseeched mortals to aid Them in Their work by feeding the vortices of the seas of Lusternia with the watery amoebas that had spawned during the awakening of the Sea Spirit. Doing so would bring forth anemones that could be placed within the coral near the Lady of the Lagoons, weakening Her and Her Bloodtide Coven. The Sculptor of Waves guided those intrepid mortals that sought to assist the Elders in Their formation, shouting commands even as She focused upon Her support of Nocht.
Undaunted, the Bloodtide Coven invited others to assist them in their work, lending more and more of their essence to Li-varili as She exhausted Herself in the tending of Her frightened child. She swore that Her bond with the Sea Spirit would be stronger than any Awakener’s had ever been, and that Her daughter’s power would be unquestioned. Even amidst the wrath of nature that surrounded Her, Li-varili would not be dissuaded, and neither would those who served Her. In Her rage, She summoned the great worm, Uskashyth, from the Namiraa Trench to feast upon the mortals that would hinder Her progress.
In time, however, the efforts of the opposing Divine and the mortals that served Them bore results. The vortices within the Undersea of Keph, the Inner Sea, and the Sea of Despair all were closed and the anemone discovered from them fed to the coral that weakened Li-varili. Slowly but surely, the Basin of Life pushed against Li-varili, until at last She threw Her final efforts into wielding the Eye of Dynara in a desperate bid for power and salvation.
In that moment, the Eye of Dynara shattered into thousands of pieces, the impact rendering Li-varili unconscious and deeply injured. The shattering sent a ripple effect across all of the Basin of Life, killing instantly all those in contact with the Eye’s aftermath. In the ensuing chaos, the Sea Spirit was startled away, and none saw where she fled.
Despite Her earlier indifference, seeing Li-varili fall elicited an uncharacteristically emotional response from the Enchantress but She did not rush to Her aid. Instead, the voice of Lantra, the Empyreal called softly out across the firmament as She descended beside the Lady of the Lagoons, cradling the fallen Elder in Her arms. Lady Li-varili was barely alive, but not destroyed by the devastation that had occurred. The Hamadhi announced that She would take Li-varili to Her old healing mound in Daeiv ma’Mornhai and tend to Her injuries. Incredulous, Maylea asked if that would be wise after all that the Lady of the Lagoons had done. “She is no threat to Us in Her current state,” Lantra replied. “And there are few enough Elders left as it is. Yes, Maylea, I will heal Her.” Mysrai joined the Bloom of Serenity in following Lantra to the healing mound, where the unconscious Li-varili was placed in a cocoon of healing light. Whatever actions Li-varili had taken would have to await judgment, until the Goddess awakened once more.
The full nature of the Great Sea Spirit’s awakening remains to be seen, though its impact still ravages Lusternia with storms, squalls, and floods. Carakhan, with the help of several other Elders, has devoted Herself to the search of the young, frightened Sea Spirit, now lost and adrift in the wake of the Eye’s shattering. Blooredi’s beasts still roam the waterlogged roads of the Basin of Life. The ultimate fate of Li-varili remains unknown as She rests upon Her healing mound — finally, for a brief moment, at peace.