Before the Mirror of Distorted Visions

In the wake of Kibirio’s death, Captain Teyitha Contelli was understandably devastated. She mourned, she raged, she drank. Eventually, her drunken cries rang through the Basin of Life, attracting many concerned people to Triple Junction Inn. They watched with alarm as the taurian pirate downed drink after drink, crying out about Li-varili’s inevitable betrayal — for the Goddess had been given the compass of Ilaedron the Fair for one reason, and one reason only, to help Teyitha find her son. As others pressed for details, vines of bromeliads snaked out from the shadows, ensnaring themselves about the taurian and strangling her so that she could not speak further.

To the surprise of all present, it was Terentia the Even Bladed who appeared and freed Captain Teyitha Contelli from her predicament, pushing back against the Lady of the Lagoons and bringing the taurian under Her protection. It was then that Teyitha spoke a chilling truth: that Li-varili sought to bring about a curse on the Basin of Life. Terentia, knowing many mortals of the Basin held sympathy for the Lady of the Lagoons, immediately took Teyitha into Her confidence, summoning the other Elders to speak with Her in a place where They could not be overheard.

And thus a counterattack was planned, to ensure that Li-varili would not catch Them unawares.

A clandestine meeting was called, where mortals gathered in the abandoned Fulcrux of Ayridion, the White Flame to overhear the garbled voices of the Elder Gods determine Their next plan of action. To weaken and break Li-varili’s curse, They too would require ingredients in preparation to defeat Her nefarious plans. As those unaligned with the Lady of the Lagoons spoke with the Elder Gods about the task at hand, one of them–one who had previously been gifted a bromeliad from Li-varili–was tasked to find the very first of these ingredients: a mirror of distorted visions. And so, Lorina, a former member of Li-varili’s Bloodtide coven sank into the vaults of the Elder Goddess, procuring and snatching a mirror that lied there and took it to the Fulcrux of Carakhan, its eerie surface reflecting what items were needed to overturn the Awakener’s power.

From there, the other ingredients included silvery dust of memories, which were gathered in the Fulcrux of Mysrai within a globe; mortals brought forth memories of hope, protection, and love to empower the ritual.

An impenetrable buckler was next, which Terentia Herself brought by melting one of the Thax’s spears of zingavium in a forge, asking for mortals to keep it lit by feeding the forge.

Within Maylea’s Fulcrux, a flower of blossoming faith could be procured, imbued with the essence of the Elder patrons of the Basin of Life and empowered by pilgrims as they tended to the realms of their patron deities.

Shears to cut the threads of magic were placed in the Fulcrux of Nocht, requiring essence to reach their greatest threshold of power.

And instead of a child of the sea, this counter curse required a mother’s sacrifice: something Captain Teyitha Contelli was willing to give, in order to see her son Kibirio again, even if only in death. Before she offered herself up, the Elder Gods bid those who have been assisting Them to bring drink in honour of the Captain. Giving the taurian pirate one last hurrah, one last toast; despite her and her crew having crossed the cities and communes in the past, most were willing to forgive the captain of her trespasses, although a few still harboured uncertain thoughts.

With determination and fortitude, mortals fought to defeat the impending curse by providing these ingredients one by one to the mirror within Carakhan’s Fulcrux, assured that they would be able to prevent Li-varili’s villainy from taking place.

As they laboured, so did the Bloodtide Coven, but not always on Li-varili’s behalf. The distraught Soriali, her voice barely working, fled to the Rhizoda Mangrove where one of Clio’s daughters, Calliope, consoled her. Having learnt of what had befallen Soriali, Calliope swam to Magnagora and sung to the followers of the Enchantress, summoning them to the docks. Sapphira answered the call, but neither she nor the nereid was sure they could trust the other, for whose allegiance did the other truly hold? That of the Lady of the Lagoons, or the Enchantress?

When the truth of the matter was revealed, Sapphira and Uzriel quickly deciphered who was at fault and rushed to Drocilla’s Fulcrux with the news. Could Li-varili trap Drocilla into the Morokeshe Seat with Soriali’s song? Though they have been repeatedly assured by the Enchantress that She will be safe even in the face of betrayal, and to aid Li-varili should they wish to, this revelation disturbed them. As the Enchantress was engaged with Li-varili, they sought Her priestess’, Melissai’s, aid and together with Kailanna created a crystal of dissonance. They snuck it into the cauldron in Li-varili’s vault to neutralise the song-imbued conch and quickly withdrew, going about their tasks for the Bloodtide Coven as if nothing had happened.

And so the two sides waged an invisible war, full of betrayals and unspeakable sacrifices, as they neared the inevitable conclusion of festering lies and distrust.