The First Land Herald/436-06-34

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Article Number: 46
Dateline: 436-06-34

Diplomat Kolanem recently paid a visit to the Stone Rotunda within the unstable ripplegate, where Arbiter Ceryaen stood with the Merelew faction leaders in need of -- and willing to accept -- our help. Although Kolanem assured us that King Galpelus of Andreshlew was happy and most factions were drunk with success, appreciative of our aid, he came with a dire warning: The Gillborn were not pleased. Mainlander involvement in Merelew affairs had only increased their ire.

Kolanem informed us that an Inverted Crucible engineer, a machinist, had gone missing, her home burgled. He feared this incident was part of a Gillborn plot to be carried out soon, and the faction was likely to blame others, jeopardizing the amicable relations developed between our races.

Kolanem was right, and the Gillborn attacked Crossing shortly after that conversation. They planted bombs around the Crossing, while undersea minions distracted us with an invasion. I cleared out the Empath Guild of these creatures with Dantia and moved out onto the streets to help, where I fell in combat. While I was recovering, I was notified by friends that most bombs had been discovered and disarmed.

Kolanem arrived at the Empath’s Guild courtyard, followed by a pair of burly Merelew who carried in a large buffet table. The men placed the table on the ground, bowed and made their exit. Indifferent to the barrage of questions from those who did not trust him, such as Lasika, Kolanem said, "Please, be eating, enjoy food! We are fortunate to have succeeded."

A soft *snap* was heard from the buffet table, accompanied by the rapid whirr of gears and springs. Kolanem gasped, recoiled from the sound, and began to shout! Kolanem exclaimed, "Yait kal asaran... Run, now!" For a moment, people didn’t seem to hear him or the ominous noise that emanated from the table. A series of accelerated *clicks* built to a dull whine, and terminated in the loud *ping* as a striker broke a glass vial. Kolanem shouted, "FLEE!"

It was too late. A bolus of electricity erupted from underneath the buffet table, the volcanic glass shattered into a cloud of molten shrapnel. Lightning wildly arced in all directions, struck several people, and raked along the ground and surroundings. A deafening roar of thunderclaps reverberated over the area. Many who had not fled the area perished, and Kolanem hurried off to report back to the King.

A few days later, the Crossing was recovered from the brutal attacks and the festivities on Andreshlew ended on a high note. The Trickling Sun faction performed a ritual to cleanse the ocean, and the island of Andreshlew sank back to the depths from which it came. From the zemmunhu, the flying leviathan, the sight was breathtaking.

We watched in wonder. In the distance, dozens of rings pulsated with blue-green luminescence and surged outward from the coast. The rings extended for miles, faded, and pulsed again as the island started to shake. Around it, five points of sickly purple light began to glow. When each consecutive pulse of the luminescence passed through the purple points, it became brighter and brighter, until faint, almost ghostly impressions of the waters were visible.

The island rumbled as a flock of sea birds exploded upward and scattered in a cloud of confused calls. The five points flared with brilliance, an ephemeral purple overlay highlighting a fang, chelicerae, eye, plating, and spinneret. More pulses from the island bathed the spider pieces, and a thin, tenuous, wavering line formed, connecting them together.

An almost overwhelming sensation of connectivity surged over me for the support and efforts towards the Trickling Sun. I felt a fleeting spark flicker within me, becoming keenly aware of all the living creatures around me, and I felt the whispered emotions of my fellow adventurers.

The ancient and almost alien mind of the flying zemmunhu sang, and it mixed with the confusion and jubilation of the flock of birds that soared over the ocean. Deeper, much deeper, I felt the predatory calculations of hungry sea creatures and those that hide from inescapable teeth and claws. The five pieces of corruption-infused tomiek could be sensed as a vibrant purple wrongness.

The ring pulsed and reached a crescendo, and the purple glow of the spider pieces jittered, pulled away from their physical tomiek forms. The hexagon wavered and flexed, then burst outward and expanded wildly. As the outlines left the tomiek, they dispersed, buffeted by the rings. Moments later the outlines and rings were gone, the ocean dimmed and quieted, but the island shook harder than ever.

The leviathan rumbled, hooted, and clicked, and Andreshlew began to sink! Massive waves hammered the beaches and spread further and further inland, flooding the city! As the waters covered the streets, coral gardens and puckered anemones erupted with color, and extended hungry tentacles in search of food. Crystal globules flared with light as they descended, and the mirrored panes of the palace shone with light as the last towers sank beneath the waters.

The leviathan shook gently and emitted a long, mournful call. Kolanem smiled and nodded before he informed us that the dive of a zemmunhu would not be safe for us, or even the Merelew. Many of us left for safety, heeding his warning, but not everyone made it off in time. Bodies poured through ripplegates as they collapsed and some washed up near the Marina dock in Crossing. I do not know what it was like to be on the island as it sank, but Kaedan described diving with the zemmunhu as a race to the depths that caused the air to erupt from his body even as he was crushed by the abyss.

In the aftermath of these extraordinary events, I hope that everyone who visited the Merelew island enjoyed their time on Andreshlew, and that we are all now safe from the Gillborn. I also pray that the ritual performed by the Trickling Sun holds, and our allies on Andreshlew enjoy peaceful and healthy waters once more.


Shaylynne Kendiahle
Reporter of the First Land Herald

Real Date: Unknown Date




Gillborn Loyalists

Inverted Crucible



Trickling Sun