Outburst: Chapter XIII

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Wed, 2017-08-30 15:36
Korakhos
Korakhos's picture


Magic: the Gathering (C) Wizards of the Coast, Outburst logo made with es.cooltext.com


Set Name: Outburst

Set Number: 2 of 2 of the Lahessi block

Number of Cards: 187

Development codename: "Learn"

Expansion Code: OTB

Design and Development: Korakhos

Prerrelease/Release: TBA

Set File: TBR


Things to expect wrote:
Just like last set, here's things to expect, but this time there's two fake ones! Why? Because I can!
1- Rise of the Dark Realms, but green
2- A card named Wind's Bane that has no interaction with fliers whatsoever
3- Legendary Creature - Squirrel Wizard
4- An instant wincon in token decks
5- A card inspired by one of Hearthstone's most op designs
6- A non-planeswalker emblem generating card
7- A 17/17 with double strike
8- An 8 mana 0/0 mythic

The End Begins wrote:
Ankryss’ last letter, left unread

Dear Orriana,

I finally understand all. The Lahessi serve a purpose, I’ve just been too afraid of it to realize it at first. I still believe it’s outdated, but I am not the one that can change things. The only one who can defeat the Lahessi once and for all is you.

There is not much left for me to do, so I’ll gladly accept my fate. My life was long and plentiful, and I’m fine in departing right now, especially if it is in my own terms. Whether you choose to follow my path is entirely up to you.

I trust you will make the right choice for Medranos and I hope you succeed in your task. I’m not sure you’ll read this letter, but if you do make it to the Ancestral Caverns you’ll probably find out the truth by your own means.

I’m really glad we got to know each other, and I’d like you to know our years of friendship are one of the things I treasure the most. I wish you the best for the future, Orriana.

May the grace of Medranos always be with you,

Ankryss.

Wed, 2017-08-30 16:26
fluffyDeathbringer
Moderator
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Quote:
An instant wincon in token decks

*zooms in*

Looking forward to seeing the end and what it all really means! Cherish has my attention -- I do love a good action keyword.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Wed, 2017-08-30 19:46
Neottolemo
Neottolemo's picture

RIP Ankryss A sad 'frowny'
Seems like my guesses about the Lahessi could be close to the truth.
If 2 is what I think it is (Jace's Defeat but not) then awesome. Also 7's got to be false
This seems like it might be a graveyard set.

Wed, 2017-08-30 20:56
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
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I'm super curious about 2. It's one of Arina's cards, probably? or it's just super untouchable, but I figure that name'd be far too meta

8 is definitely a card like Naya Soulbeast.

Tue, 2017-09-05 18:42
Korakhos
Korakhos's picture

Well, I'm still a bit delayed on the trailer so I don't want to start the story without it.

Q: Why did you announce the set if there was no trailer yet?
A: Because I'm anxious af!

Instead, let's take a twist on my usual spoiling routine and begin with the mechanics! (*cheers* *vuvuzelas sound in the background*)

The Mechanics of Outburst

Evolution of the Lahessi contained a grand total of six mechanics, four of which will be returning in this set:

Outburst brings to the mix three brand-new mechanics, which are... (*drumroll*)

SYMBIOSIS

As impossible as defeating the Lahessi seems, some Medranians will not give up in their intent to get rid of them. Luckily for them, they have something their enemies don't: a deep connection to Medranos itself! By joining forces through the Lifepulse and using their own energy to empower others, Medranians hope to finally overcome the Lahessi. Symbiosis is an ability word that gives you bonuses for casting spells that share a color with your cards:

CHERISH

With the world coming to an end, many of the druids who've devoted their lives to studying the smaller creatures of Medranos are now determined to save them. By strengthening those that are more defenseless, they trust they'll eventually become strong enough to defeat the Lahessi. Cherish is an action word that puts +1/+1 counters on your tokens:

CARRION

Finally, we have Carrion. Medranian creatures are dying by the hundreds, and that leaves piles and piles of corpses. The fresh flesh is attracting predators of all shapes and sizes, making them prone to show up more frequently in the places where there's been a recent kill. Carrion is a keyword that lets you cast your spells for a reduced cost if a creature you control died this turn (and it works wonders with Devour! Whould've thunk?)

That's it for the mechanics, hopefully spoilers will be starting later this week.

Tue, 2017-09-05 19:01
Ziolang
Ziolang's picture

If Lahessi Broodkeeper is supposed to trigger off itself, it should probably clarify that as "Whenever you cast ~ or another spell for its..." cause as is it leaves an air of uncertainty. If it isn't, I recommend using "another" for clarity's sake.


Avatar by vanevil.deviantart.com; commissioned for me

Wed, 2017-09-06 09:46
thehuw
thehuw's picture

Seven mechanics in one small set?!

Red mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlack mana symbol
Set Huwb
They/them pronouns, please.
Praise Vectron.

Thu, 2017-09-07 14:57
jacqui-pup
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
jacqui-pup's picture

Quote:
Seven mechanics in one small set?!

Consider me interrobanging this as well

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Mon, 2017-09-11 21:28
Korakhos
Korakhos's picture

@huw and jacqui: true, it seems like a lot, but first of all, one of the mechanics is changeling, which can be used alongside the others to ensure the set doesn't feel so saturated. Second of all, just like how Awakening and Landfall made an appearance in only two cards each from Oath of the Gatewatch, proliferate will not appear in many cards in Outburst, so it is really the remaining five mechanics that get the spotlight.

@everyone: The trailer for Outburst is finally finished and, with it, the story moments and spoilers can finally begin!

PART III: OUTBURST
CHAPTER XII: NO MORE HOPE

Have I gone deaf? thought Orriana when she opened her eyes.

She was in a strange environment, it was a beautiful forest, but it was not the Eternal Fronds (she knew she was capable of recognizing every single corner of the Fronds), and the silence that surrounded her made the Lahessi seem like a mere nightmare. But she knew what she’d felt, the pain, the fear, they’d been all too real.

She stood up and looked around, and her questions were immediately answered: the Lahessi were a few meters away, but they were incapable of reaching her due to the protective barrier that surrounded this grove. That explained the silence and the calmness.

The wisps that had greeted them had gone to find Gondros and, after she had her discussion with Garruk, she’d decided to sleep for a few minutes. As the rest of her party woke up around her she realized they’d all followed her steps.

“How long have I been sleeping?” she asked a nearby elemental realizing she felt much more alive than she’d felt in the past few days.

“Ten hours” replied the creature simply.

“What?! Why did nobody wake me up?!”

She couldn’t believe what she’d heard. Medranos was dying and she’d taken the liberty of sleeping for ten hours straight?

“Gondros considered you needed to rest.”

“Indeed, I don’t believe you’ll be able to complete your mission if you keep pushing yourselves beyond your limits” spoke a deep voice echoing from the woods.

As the group turned to the origin of the voice, they saw a massive sea of fire slithering through the woods. The fire converged to a spot immediately in front of them and manifested into the figure of a majestic elk: for the first time in their lives they were meeting Gondros, one of Medranos’ most ancient and wisest creatures.

“Gondros…” whispered Orriana in awe “It is an honor.”

She felt the urge to fall to her knees in a small gesture of reverence to the beautiful elemental. Some of her companions imitated her.

“Rise, Orriana, for it is I who is honored of meeting you. I’m honored of meeting all of you! You are here for the most noble of purposes, and for that I am grateful. I do not know the magic that forbids the Lahessi from entering this grove, but I believe it will be able to resist them for at least one or two more days.

“I’ve taken the liberty of casting a similar spell at the entrance of the Ancestral Caverns, and for as long as I live no Lahessi shall be able to enter them. That should give you enough time to find the answer you seek.”

“Why do you not come with us, then?” asked Arina in full use of her pragmatic mind “If they cannot enter for as long as you are alive, then you being in there will ensure they can never access the Caverns.”

“Ah, Arina, ever since you’ve been baptized I’ve been intrigued with your essence. You’re an intriguing person: smart, beautiful, cunning, resourceful, and yet there’s a weight in your past that you seem to carry too close to your chest. Unfortunately, the very nature of my existence forbids me from entering the Caverns with my physical form, meaning I can still be killed. I’m afraid I must stay here and fight the Lahessi in order to buy you as much time as I can.”

“This is it, then? We just met you and we already have to bid you farewell forever?” asked Orriana disappointed.

“I’m afraid so. Orriana, when I look into your eyes I see something that constantly holds you back: you’re brave, but in a careless way. You feel underappreciated, but your fear of letting go holds you from rising to your true potential. Just learn to accept your talents, understand that things happen for a reason, and maybe then will you become a person worthy of being the Warden of Medranos.

“But I digress… I will guide you to the Caverns. Once in there you’ll be on your own. Just follow your instinct and the path will be revealed to you, remember that all of Medranos’ history is within the Caverns, so you’ll need to focus if you want to find what you’re looking for. I wish you the best, O heroes!”

The Ancestral Caverns were well hidden within the forest, and every member of the party was sure that, had the way not been shown to them, they would’ve never been able to find them even if they spent an eternity looking for them.

“Farewell, Gondros, it was an honor meeting you, even if for the briefest of moments” said Endelya solemnly. The elemental replied with a faint nod.

The group turned to the Caverns’ entrance, looked at each other, and stepped inside.

* * * * *

The first thing Orriana had thought was to divide the group and have each explore a sector, but the second they’d entered the Caverns and she saw the countless paths unwinding before her she realized that, should they be separated even for a few minutes, they’d never be able to find each other again.

So the group advanced through the Caverns as one, following Orriana who, in turn, was following her instinct as per Gondros’ instructions, even though she was not sure that would actually work.

Even though the Caverns were almost pitch black, for some weird reason everybody realized they could follow the path as though it were in broad daylight, and the runes carved in the wall with the different moments of Medranos’ history seemed to glow by their own accord.

They kept going for what felt like hours, but without the sun to guide them it was pretty hard to really know how much time had gone by. It was the Unfathomable who first stopped to study runes close to her.

“Look at this” she exclaimed with an unexpected surge of emotion that seemed to go against her usual solemn tone.

“Look” was a euphemism for the gorgon, since she hadn’t opened her eyes since they’d met her, but they’d learnt to stop questioning how she could “see”, so they gathered where she’d pointed out.

It was some sort of stain that obscured the ruins around it, something that was a part of Medranos’ history but not a part of the world itself. As they studied the words surrounding it they realized why it had caught the Unfathomable’s attention.

“Malextros” spoke Endelya “We’ve reached the very moment of your creation, Unfathomable.”

She took a brief moment to explain the Gorgon War to the three strangers: years ago a demon planeswalker by the name of Malextros had arrived at Medranos, and he had created the gorgons in order to conquer the world. Thanks to the united Medranian forces, the gorgons were defeated and the Unfathomable was forced into seclusion in Gyradros. Malextros was defeated when Elegos stabbed him in his chest, which earned him the title of Warden.

“I cannot read this rune, though” said Endelya “It’s weird, these are written in a language that I do not recognize, yet I can understand them perfectly, but this particular one is still hidden…”

“That rune is my name” said the Unfathomable softly “Only I can read what it says, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never decipher it!”

It made sense, next to that rune were the names of Vurriana and Chrysta, Malextros’ other two daughters, who had been killed in the Gorgon War. So that was how the Caverns worked, an unknown language that could be read by anyone belonging to Medranos and runes that had an appeal to people who were looking for that particular moment in history. It was like an inorganic version of the Alluring Ancient, only you didn’t need to harmonize with it…

The group was going to continue when they realized Orriana had not joined them during the chat, and had instead been frozen solid for the past few minutes staring at the wall in front of her. When they followed her line of sight they realized the motive of her fixation: the word Lahessi was engraved in that particular spot.

As if suddenly possessed by a burst of inspiration, the woman began running down the Caverns, and the group followed her unquestioningly, watching her turn left and right with dexterity as though she knew the place by heart and could tell exactly where she was going.

When she finally stopped, the group halted behind her and saw the fragment of the wall that contained what they’d been looking for.

“Here it is” whispered Orriana in amusement “The answer we’ve been looking for is right here. Two-thousand years ago the Lahessi…”

“Two-thousand?” asked Garruk perplexed “I thought you told me the only recorded appearance had been a thousand years ago…”

“I did, but that wasn’t the only appearance, look!”

She pointed at the wall, where a strange timeline seemed to appear, indicating every single Lahessi outburst: a thousand years ago, two-thousand years ago, three-thousand, four-thousand… The list went on. Medranos was almost fifteen-thousand years old! How could nobody know that? Were the Lahessi a part of it?

“I think I finally understand” said Orriana as she began reading what the runes said:

Two-thousand years ago the Lahessi made their scheduled appearance. It took them almost a month to finish their purpose. Once finished, the new Alluring Ancient was sprouted within the week and thus the new Medranos began forming.

“A new Medranos?” asked Orriana perplexed, she then continued:

One-thousand years ago the Lahessi made their scheduled appearance. It took them two months to finish their purpose, since Medranos had sparked two planeswalkers in the last thousand year period: a Krallynan merfolk and a nantuko. Together they ravaged a great amount of the swarm, forcing Medranos to spawn them in higher quantity.

Once the planeswalkers had been dealt with, the Lahessi had no trouble in finishing their job. Adding two planeswalkers to the death count made for a stronger Ancient, which sprouted in less than a week and created a new Medranos in just a few days.

“So the Lahessi are Medranian?” asked Endelya “And that ‘new Medranos’, that is this one, it’s our home!”

“What I read earlier in the Caverns gave me the hint. It said that the Lahessi were meant to awaken a few days ago, but a planeswalker arrived, and he wielded so much power they were tricked into spawning earlier. He didn’t stay for long, and nobody ever knew his name, so we don’t know who to blame, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter…

“It’s clear now, isn’t it? We are expendable. Our lives don’t matter at all! All Medranos wants is to see us dead! We cannot stop the Lahessi, we might as well face our destiny!” said Orriana bitterly.

She started walking away from them when she felt Garruk firmly grab her wrist.

“Remember what you told me the night of the celebration? You explained to me how you and the other hunters helped keep Medranos from over-evolving. You explained how you kept growth at bay by hunting down some of its creatures. The Lahessi must be just the same, only at a grander scale. You are a Medranian, and a proud one! You believe that death allows for new life to begin, you told me that yourself!” he spoke.

“But why should it end like this?” she retorted “Why can’t the world keep going? We’ve evolved a lot since the origins. Medranos’ growth is under much more control thanks to Ankryss and the Earthenlore, this method seems obsolete, barbaric! Why should future generations suffer the same thing we’re suffering now without even knowing…? That’s it!

“That’s what we inherited: the fear of the Lahessi. We’ve always known about them, we’ve known they’d been stopped, but we always knew they had to be feared. It was all a farce. Medranos is taunting us, it gives us fear of the nonexistent, then makes it appear and it gives us hope that we can stop them, when in reality they stop themselves. The second they consume the entire world they die and sprout a new Alluring Ancient, which means…”

She suddenly stared at all of them in shock. She contemplated each and every one of their faces in detail, save for the other three walkers. She began breathing heavily as a feeling of euphoric nostalgia drowned her heart. The solution was simple, but it wouldn’t be easy…

“I know how to stop the Lahessi once and for all!” she exclaimed with a mixture of determination and solace.

Mon, 2017-09-11 20:03
fluffyDeathbringer
Moderator
fluffyDeathbringer's picture

Quote:
“I know how to stop the Lahessi once and for all!”

The plot thickens...

Also, I like how the voice actress in the trailer has a distinct accent. It lends some character to the trailer.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Mon, 2017-09-11 21:17
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
WindyDelcarlo's picture

Same comment as always about Arina speech patterns.

I feel like there's some Sultai deck to be made built around Lahessi's True Purpose. Maybe only in EDH, but still. Ancestral Caverns pretending to be Aether Hub is pretty interesting, and I like Gondros. Good old mono-red.

Mon, 2017-09-11 21:33
Korakhos
Korakhos's picture

@Windy: I don't know what you're talking about, there's no contractions whatsoever in her speech (if you ignore the date discrepancy Winking smiley ). As for Ancestral Caverna, I've gone more meta, since I actualmente went for Tendo Ice Bridge, but yeah, I balanced it with Aether Hub in that it's a recurrable effect but not as parasitic.

Sun, 2017-09-17 21:41
Korakhos
Korakhos's picture

CHAPTER XIII: NO WAY OUT

“Suvia” said Orriana sprinting toward him “I need you to tell me something, before you encountered the gorgons did you come face to face with a Lahessi?”

“I... I believe it was one, yes. It must've been.”

“And did it attack you?”

Suvia thought back. The strange empty creature, devoid of the radiation of pain that other beings emit, did indeed ignore him.

“No... It was as if I didn't even exist to it. It felt like it didn't exist to me, either, if that makes any sense...”

“Of course!” said Orriana “How could we be so stupid? The Lahessi hunt for Medranians! Do you understand what I mean? Garruk, you became a part of this world by winning the Great Hunt, but you, Suvia and Arina, we made you a part of Medranos! We baptized you thinking that by doing so we’d strengthen you as allies, but in reality we just put a giant target on your backs!”

“So you are telling me that had you not welcomed us as a part of you we would be immune to the Lahessi?” asked Arina perplexed, that was a sick turn of events for her. In trying to help others she’d actually become a prey to something she could’ve otherwise avoided? “What they say is true, then, no good deed goes unpunished…”

It took Suvia a few moments to come down from his grievous shock. He thought he'd finally found it, his own home... and he'd never fit in that home to begin with. It was all he could do not to scream, or cry – he wouldn't break down. He wasn't allowed to.

“B-but...” he stuttered, the selfish words coming out before he could stop them.“But I was supposed to...”

“And what about your plan to save Medranos?” asked the Unfathomable impatiently “What does any of this have to do with it?”

“I never said I could save Medranos, I only said I could stop the Lahessi” she stared at the non-walkers while her eyes began swelling with tears “Arina, Suvia, Garruk and I are planeswalkers, we can leave whenever we please… remember what the Caverns said about the previous two walkers? More Lahessi were needed to ensure their defeat. The Lahessi’s only purpose is to wipe Medranos clean, all of it! But what if they couldn’t? What if a Medranian were to hide where they could never find her?”

Everyone stood still for a second. She could feel them judge her, she could feel their stares, their implicit hatred. She was sure they were all thinking the same thing: Coward.

“So what you’re saying is that you want to abandon us to our luck and have us die just so you can escape and be safe from the Lahessi” said the Unfathomable, proving her words to be as murderous as her glare “I never took you for a backstabber, Orriana.”

“Listen, I didn’t ask to be a planeswalker, I just am. I may have a way to destroy the greatest enemies of Medranos, and trust me that if I could take all of your with me I would, but I can’t.”

“And if you were given the chance to die in our stead, would you do it?” asked the gorgon mercilessly.

Orriana hesitated for the briefest of moments. Why was she doing this? She’d been so helpful throughout the journey… True, she’d mostly kept to herself and she wasn’t particularly sympathetic to anyone, but she’d fought valiantly alongside them and got them out of quite a few difficult fights, so why this sudden recidivism?

“I didn’t think so” said the Unfathomable triumphantly “Do you know why I joined you in this journey? Do you know why I didn’t just kill you in Gyradros? I’m the last living daughter of Malextros, so I’m the only creature left in this world that can spawn new gorgons. My survival and that of my race are connected, so I decided to join with my enemies in order to eradicate the greater evil. I’m not embarrassed to admit that had I found you useless at any point in our journey I would’ve murdered you with no regrets, for my purpose is clear and I will stop at nothing to achieve it. But that´s where our intentions diverge, for even in my egotism I’m doing this for my kin, and I’m more than transparent about what I’m really after. But what about you, Orriana? You’re just using us as your scapegoats. We’re nothing but pawns you can sacrifice just to ensure your survival. You’re weak, Orriana, you’re a coward. No wonder you were not chosen to be the Warden…”

Orriana snapped. It was too much to take at once and she unsheathed a dagger she kept on her belt as she jumped at the Unfathomable and pressed her against the wall, her weapon ready to slit her throat. But before she could follow through, something strange happened to her. For some reason she could not bring herself to ending the gorgon, even though she knew every fiber in her being wanted to. Something was sucking the hatred straight out of her, or rather… someone. The Unfathomable laughed sadistically.

“You’ve forgotten I control Suvia, right? I can feed him so he doesn’t need to drain the negative emotions out of any of you, but if I wish it then I can cut my link and he’ll be forced to feed on you. You cannot hurt me as long as he’s around, Orriana… So I suggest you cut this out and let me go.”

Despite everything, the planeswalker did as told. Suvia was unsurprised; he'd realized something strange, a source of grief and pain that wasn't around him, but only now did he have the words to confirm what was happening. He couldn't look Orriana in the eye, having been wielded against one who'd stayed at his side... but he couldn't bring himself to hate the Unfathomable, either.

“Now, if you please, be a darling and explain to me what else there is to your plan.”

“If you’d only let me finish, I would’ve explained how I planned to also save your legacy. I cannot bring any of you with me, but I can bring something into the eternities provided I take good care of it: I can take a piece of the Alluring Ancient.”

Everybody immediately understood, and whatever poisonous thoughts the Unfathomable had planted on them were immediately quelled.

“The Ancient contains everything there is and was in Medranos in the last thousand years. If I can get a hold of even the smallest piece of it, then I can leave with it and tend it, then return after the Lahessi die of starvation and replant it. That way, I believe, I can destroy the Lahessi while ensuring this version of Medranos subsists forever…”

“You do realize you are mostly working with theories, right?” asked Arina.

“Besides, in order to obtain a piece of the Ancient, you’d need to harmonize with it, and no Coeros has ever done it…” replied the unfathomable.

“I believe in her” said one of the nantuko to everyone’s surprise “I’ve been a disciple to Ankryss for years and the one thing I’ve learned from him is that he always sees much more than what’s in front of him. He’s always had blind faith in Orriana, and he always told me how he believed that if any Coeros was capable of harmonizing with the Alluring Ancient, it was her. So how about we stop our prejudices and follow what she has to say? It may not be a perfect plan, but it’s the best one we’ve got, and it’s good enough for me!”

Everybody stared at the insect in awe. No argument could be given against this speech. Even the Unfathomable nodded at this.

“I will trust you then, I guess. Ensure that the gorgons can exist in the new Medranos and I’ll ensure you get to the Alluring Ancient alive” she said “But betray us and I’ll find a way to make sure you regret it, understood?”

Orriana nodded, a faint tear trickling down her cheek. Finally. Finally she had the recognition she’d always desired. People trusted her, she could help them, she could save them. At the end of the day, this was what she’d always fantasized when she desired to be the Warden.

But her happiness was short-lived. Something that nobody expected to happen at least for a few more hours did. The ground began to shake, and a cackling, skittering noise began echoing through the Caverns. An aura of unease followed it, and everyone knew what that meant: the Lahessi had finally made it into the Ancestral caverns. Gondros and his kin were dead.

“Run!” screamed the nantuko “I’ll stay back and stop them for as long as I can!”

“Are you kidding?” asked Orriana “You won’t stand a chance against them!”

“Then I’ll join him!” said the remaining Derrivan, immediately followed by one of the Krallynans “Orriana, Suvia, Arina, Garruk, you’re our only hope. You are our priority and we must keep you alive!”

With no time to say goodbye, the reduced group ran along the Caverns, but where should they go? They’d been guided by some sort of implicit force to where the truth behind the Lahessi hid, but now they didn’t know of any exit. The best they could hope for was wandering the Caverns endlessly before the Lahessi caught up to them and killed them.

“I know where to go!” screamed Endelya as her eyes shown blue “I don’t know how, but I just had an epiphany. There’s an exit a few hours from here that leads straight to Lateria!”

It was all the information the group needed. Without even considering questioning their friend they followed her along the maze’s hallways, always alert.

Throughout the way they got to see some interesting stories of the previous Medranos, but they couldn’t stop to read them, for that would be surrendering to their deaths.

“How far away are we?” asked Orriana after a while as her lungs burned from the effort.

“It shouldn’t be that far away now, just-“

Her sentence was interrupted by the crumbling sound of the roof collapsing behind them, followed by a horrific high-pitched screech. The Lahessi started pouring from the crack and they were forced into battle mode.

Arina took the lead, raising her staff and slamming it against the floor, releasing a frost nova that enveloped the creatures, freezing them in place. But the Lahessi that were unaffected simply shattered their brethren and kept advancing relentlessly. She asked for backup, and the rest immediately responded, striking down as many Lahessi as they could. The swarm thinned, and some began retreating. The group would've considered themselves victorious, but experience had taught them otherwise. The roof above them collapsed and a gigantic creature emerged from it. It smashed the ground below it, causing it to tremble and leading for the group to fall to the ground. It advanced at them with uncanny speed, and Arina decided to use one of her strongest weapons.

She focused, pouring all her mental effort into this one spell. She’d done it before, but not on such a gigantic creature. As her hands began shaking, some distortion waves began emanating from them, passing right through the Lahessi and appearing to have no effect whatsoever, but when the monster jumped at her face ready to tear it apart, it simply froze in midair.

“What was that?” asked Orriana with a mixture of perplexity and fear.

“Nothing so grave as it seems” replied Arina breathing heavily “I have simply removed it from our current time flow. It is no longer in the same level of reality as we are. It can see and hear us, but it cannot hurt us, it is frozen in place with time itself locked around it. This effect is temporary though, so let us continue moving before it reverts.”

They did as told, especially after noticing she seemed exhausted from the effort. If a spell of that caliber took such a toll on her then it would be wise to save it for the direst of situations, and they’d rather have her well rested when that happened.

“The exit is just around the corner!” said Endelya, her voice full of hope.

But that hope faded as fast as it came. Even though they couldn’t afford to stop, they all did instinctively when they heard an ominous sound as the walls, the floor and the roof surrounding them shook with the might of an earthquake.

As they turned around, they could see a swarm unlike they’d ever seen: none of them could understand infinity, yet when they saw the number of creatures advancing at them, they supposed that was as close as they’d get to it. Nobody would have the strength to stop them, not even Garruk in his feral form, and Arina was still weak from her last invocation.

Was this it? Was Medranos doomed to relive Lahessi massacres every one thousand years? The answer was no. There was somebody else in the group who had a way to stop that horde.

With her usual solemnity and poise, the Unfathomable took a few steps towards the swarm. She turned around and spoke directly to Orriana.

“Remember our deal. Despite what happens next I’ll find a way of making sure you suffer if you stop my children from populating Medranos once more” she said pointing a menacing finger. She then added, this time to everyone “Now run, and make sure you hear nothing I say from now on!”

The rest of the group was baffled, but they decided to obey, not because they wanted to leave the Unfathomable behind but because they were actually afraid of ignoring her orders. She smiled impishly at the power she’d mustered through the years, then she turned to the Lahessi once more and opened her eyes.

“Ah, the pleasures of seeing normally once more…” she whispered as she ran towards her foes “Today is the day I die, but I’m not the only one who’ll do so. Hear me, Lahessi, hear the name of the creature you’re killing today. Hear my name and die, for my name is A…!”

A few meters away, the group found themselves unable to hear the rest of that sentence, for whatever was spoken afterwards was suddenly muffled. When they could listen normally again, they heard the sound of thousands of stones dropping down, an avalanche that seemed to be after them, and then silence.

Sun, 2017-09-17 23:03
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
WindyDelcarlo's picture

I clearly missed where Arina picked up a staff Also, good job! Arina has no speech mess-ups to my knowledge.

I was under the impression the Unfathomable was a guy. I don't know why. However, speaking her name seems more likely to kill you than anything else because you wipe away your only way to outrace it save for a game winning combo.