The Sea Spirit had been rescued from the illithoids’ lair, and returned to Carakhan’s waiting arms. Like a startled child, the spirit began to calm as the Goddess sang to Her with the soft, rolling music of lapping waves: the melody one that She had once sung with Keltari, thousands of years ago. The storms of the Basin of Life seemed to shift in response to Sister Sea’s drowsiness, the clouds thinning and the rains beginning to shift to drowsy mist.
Soon the young being began to rest her tired eyes in the Sculptor’s care, and the Goddess cried out for Nocht to begin the Awakening while the spirit was calmed and at peace, for it would be the kindest time to put her to slumber.
Once more, all Elders save for the Enchantress arose and heeded the Silent Lord’s call to complete the Awakening formation to put the Sea Spirit to sleep again, for only then would all the storms and floods that plagued the Basin of Life at last go still. Drocilla watched on and taunted the Elders, echoing the beliefs of those siding with the Lady of the Lagoons that the Sea Spirit ought to be brought to Her instead and Her slumber ended.
As Nocht was wreathed in the energies of all the other Divine present, He summoned forth a shadowy mantle imbued with the raw immanidivinus etherea of the Elders gathered, which swaddled the Sea Spirit within Carakhan’s arms in the warmth of its glow. Unlike before, the Elders did not seek to contain Sister Sea; this time, the formation was merely a lulling of a tired being to sleep, not a siege upon a raging storm.
Then the Silent Lord paused — like a conductor aware of a single discordant note in a vast symphony of sound — and turned to Lantra, whose power flickered weakly among all those gathered. For indeed, the Empyreal’s power was still divided between Her task in putting the Sea Spirit to slumber, and overseeing the healing mound at Daeiv ma’Mornhai.
“Lantra, You must give Your full attention to this task, else it shall falter,” Nocht rebuked the Hamadhi. “Relinquish all else that distracts You. We are few, Sister, and Our power must be at its peak. Or have You forgotten why the Sea Spirit failed to awaken, the first time?” And so with no other choice, Lantra released Her power from the cocoon of healing light bearing Li-varili, turning Her attentions fully on the slumber of the Sea Spirit.
With all thus focused upon the Sea Spirit, the formation completed its intended task, and Sister Sea fell to slumber anew in Carakhan’s arms. The entire world went silent as if in mourning as the young being became droplets of water that returned to the waters of Lusternia, raining one last time from the heavens.
It was in this moment of weakness that the Enchantress struck.
Unbeknownst to those outside of Her Order, the nereids Iaira and Oinone had been beckoned by the Enchantress during the search for the Sea Spirit, during which the Lady Drocilla had whispered to them a song powerful enough to lift the last of the Empyreal’s power from Daeiv ma’Mornhai. With this Divine song, they would be able to waken Li-varili while the Hamadhi’s attention was focused on calming the Sea Spirit and putting her to sleep, while meanwhile rendering the healing mound safe from any who might interfere.
So the instant that Lantra’s power receded from Daeiv ma’Mornhai, the nereids reunited before the healing mound with the Bloodtide Coven, linking arms and proclaiming their desire to free the Lady of the Lagoons from Her rest. As they sang, the misty wisps of healing light lost their final shreds of protection from the absent Hamadhi, allowing for all who wished to slaughter them and offer their essence to sate the slumbering Li-varili and aid Her in Her waking. Horrified onlookers watched, unable to stop this macabre ceremony, until at last all the magnolias bled red and the Awakener arose at last from Her repose.
The Lady of the Lagoons no longer bore Her visible scars from the Morokeche Seat and the Eye of Dynara’s shattering, but Her rage was undiminished as She ascended to the Havens. “Are You so eager to injure Yourself anew, that You will not allow Yourself the respite necessary for Your healing?” Lantra called out to Li-varili; but the awakened Goddess ignored Her, screaming instead for an explanation on what had happened to the Sea Spirit. Carakhan replied that They had only done what Li-varili was too selfish to, and put the unhappy child back to slumber and allowed the Basin of Life a reprieve from the storms. This only incensed Li-varili further as She raged towards the other Elders, only to be held back by Terentia and Nocht in Her fury.
The beautiful voice of the Enchantress once more echoed throughout the Basin of Life as the Elders seemed at a stalemate, the haunting refrain weaving around Li-varili as Drocilla replied that not all the Elders had worked against Her in Her task. Drocilla said that She had finally made good on the promise She had given Li-varili all those years ago, for had the Enchantress not freed Her from the binds of the Empyreal Goddess, indeed?
“Come, Li,” the Enchantress crooned, extending a hand. “I am not the cruel foe You think Me. Allow Me to finally prove it to You.” And while Li-varili coolly walked past the Goddess, She nonetheless turned to Her and said, “I am not an easy Elder to impress, Drocilla. But You have managed to intrigue Me, once again. Let Us hope it is not the path to My undoing once more for ALL know at Whose side I am walking now. There will be no hiding Your deeds this time.”
An uneasy alliance was struck between the previous captor and captive, evoking instead an ancient friendship that had for thousands of years languished in the rot of betrayal. Whether this reunion was genuine, or if the two Goddesses merely wished to manipulate one another in a bid for power, only time and the Fates could yet say.