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Treating with Megaera

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  • Treating with Megaera

    Sixteenth Day, Seventh Moon,
    Twenty-First Year of Recent Awakenings

    In accordance with the will of Her Majesty and in upholding the duties charged to me as Royal Chronicler of the Court, I hereby submit the account of
    Treating with Megaera.

    In an attempt to treat with the Air Prime, the Royal Sorceress lead a group of Earth-aligned and Sorcerers to meet with the High Fae on Tuis the seventh day of the seventh moon. The aim was to negotiate a treaty. The party passed through the mists in the Theatre lobby unmarked. However, the sorcerers did experience the chilling consequences of the icy fog. Climbing to the top of the Watchtower, the highest point in the castle, Megaera the Wrathful soon descended from the skies and seated herself on a frosted stone throne.

    The High Fae greeted them with the ominous words, "If you sought to die today, there are much easier ways than climbing Our tower on your human legs." All showed great respect to the Wrathful One, kneeling and bowing and Mistress Blodwen flattered her, "Yes, but none nearly as worthwhile as doing so to be in your presence. If I had the choice to die fighting a human or die by the will of a Goddess, I would choose a Goddess every time." With the Royal Sorceress were Mistresses Calamity and Heulyn, seras Taite and Kaori, Master Ibar, and sers Leodegrance and Ammanas. All were Earth-aligned or sorcerers and thus immune to Air-marking. Mistress Blodwen explained that the group was there to learn more about Megaera and her purpose in coming to Mount Ardan. Before responding, the harpy drew the cold air from the sorcerers, so that they felt less frigid.

    The Wrathful One related that she was Summoned to represent Air. "There are many Primes, but few are like Megaera and her sisters. We saw the Beginning. We fought the First War, few of Our kind remain who witnessed saw such a time." Referring to Haylee of the Triangle, she continued, "The Alchemist thinks she is clever, contracting herself to all four Primes, but she is not. Megaera does not kneel, and she does not share."

    The High Fae explained that Haylee had already broking the Rules of Summonings. "Four Alchemists, one whose spirit is bound to each element, shall come together and perform the Summoning. Four Primes shall then come forth from the Vortex, one from each element, to do Trial by Combat - a battle to decide the winner of our elemental wars, before the Stone is created and the board is reset. And that Prime who wins the Summoning shall present the Stone to the Alchemist who summoned them." Haylee had actually used four clockwork avatars of herself to summon the four Primes and so had perverted the rules of magic because "The Rules specify "four Alchemists", not "four Humans."

    Seeming insulted the Air Prime continued, "Now she [Haylee] believes her Charnus with Amurru's help will destroy Us, if you do not first. She is mistaken on both counts." The sacred Rules can not be rewritten, but Megaera said she had found a way around them, to correct the errors made.

    The Rules forbid a Prime from killing its contracted Master. The one who Summoned Megaera was a construct, and so the Wrathful One was able to destroy it. By summoning the harpy in the manner that Haylee did, the Alchemist provided an opportunity for the Air Prime to do something else. She reiterated that the Primes would fight until only one remains - they cannot return to the Vortex until then. Megaera would not explain further about the way around the Sacred Rules. She said only, "At the end, you will see. So many pieces must be moved, and the Alchemist plays this game well."

    The Exalted One then told those gathered The Tale of the Dread Lord and Kulshedra, reproduced here for posterity.

    Eons before the first Humans walked the world, we of the Elements carved and nourished the lands your kind now calls home. Over millennia we shaped great mountains and valleys of earth, filled oceans and rivers with water, warmed it with fire and nourished it with the air that breathes life into your frail, fleshy lungs.

    Few elementals remain today who lived in that time, but Megaera was - We were of the first generation, the first children left behind by the Creators. We soared the skies with Our sisters, admiring the beauty of the world We had sculpted, and the Wind followed Us wherever We went, creating the currents that bring the warm air and the cold alike. When at last our great project was complete, we stood abreast our kin; Water, Fire, and even Earth, and together gazed upon the World's beauty and took in its splendor. We loved it as one would a child, this paradise of elements in harmony, this magnificence we had brought into existence. But it was not Ours to keep. Our command was that of a surrogate - to give birth to the world, only to pass it off to another. And like such obedient servants, we did so.

    To obey was Our purpose. We returned to the World of Elements as bade - now faded and bleakened. The sun was cold on Our skin, the air still beneath Our feathers, the grasses gray and colorless, and the water stagnant and lifeless. The creation of your world had come at the expense of Ours, its brilliant energies taken to fuel yours. We elementals had served Our purpose, and the World of Elements, along with we who inhabited it, crumbled to nothingness - just as Our creators had always intended.

    In the Final Days Megaera flew as high as We could, struggling to stay aloft upon winds that no longer blew beneath Our wings. We perched upon the highest mountain that had not yet crumbled in Our world, and We watched the horizon as it faded away before Us.

    And yet, unbeknowst to Us, something... unexpected had happened. As we stood silently in wait for Finality - a war had erupted in the Nexus - the World of Man, a war between the Elves who were to inherit that World, and the Dragons who, since our return to the Elemental Plane, had begun to hatch from their impervious shells of skymetal, hidden beneath the surface of the Earth, unbeknownst even to the Primes.

    The First War, it was called. And so we returned to the World of Man, if only temporarily. We aided the Elves, of course -- for it was the Will of the Creators that they inherit the World We had created, and the Dragons stood anathema to this.

    We did not know of violence before, We were created to build, to mend, to nourish, not to destroy. But We learned of it during the First War, and We learned it well. We learned that the same fire that warms can also burn, that the same water that heals can drown -- that the same air that gives breath can also grind mountains to a pulp. We fought alongside our cousins from the World of Fae, witnessed their terrific magics and added our own - together, we pushed back the Dragons.

    And then... there was Kulshedra. The great Dragon of Elements, whose mastery over nature exceeded even Our own. She who could spit fire or lightning, whose roar conjured storms, whose scales were harder than the earth's sturdiest diamonds and who could summon great floods and earthquakes at a thought. A goddess before children. Her strength and beauty was an ache to Megaera's heart, so magnificent. We admired her, as one does the sunset.

    Kulshedra changed everything. But not because of her strength, not because of her violence. It was her kinship, that brought the World to pause. Kulshedra who came before the elementals, having demonstrated her power over many victories, and said to us, "I am Kulshedra, Master of the Elements, Master of Balance... and I can save your world."

    A trick, we thought. Who was this foreigner from another world who would defy the will of the Creators, who would seek the claim the world meant for the Elves, who would seek to preserve the World the Creators had discarded.

    And yet... some amongst us listened, and Megaera was one such, for We who had built so many monuments, created such beauty, suffered so many battles, and lost so many brothers and sisters, did not wish all of this merely to return to the Vortex and fade into nothing.

    In return for our allegiance, Kulshedra insisted, she could restore the World of Elements... *if* we agreed to protect her children. Powerful as she was, the High Elves possessed the divine strength of the Primordials, and in time, even the Dragon of Elements was bound to fall. Her doom was inevitable, and yet her brood, the countless eggs she had seeded throughout the World - future generations of Dragons, would need protectors after she was gone.

    The Elementals were in conflict - we had long exceeded our purpose, we had no direction. The Idea of 'choice' was something that had never been presented to us before, and the Creators were long gone, unable to command Us. Now we were forced to choose. And so we debated, we argued, we questioned, and as we did so, Kulshedra stepped forth and said thus, "Behold balance." And with that, the Great Dragon was sundered, Her mighty form dispersed into a torrent of power that flooded throughout the Elemental Plane. As Her essence washed over our world, it brought with it... life. Colour returned to the grasses and mountains, water flowed and sparkled under the light of a sun that shed warmth once again, and the winds of the Vortex blew through Megaera's feathers once more. Those energies that had been taken from the World of Elements... had been replaced with Kulshedra's own life force, and we had hope again.

    The debate was over. The Dragon Goddess had saved the Elemental Plane, and we, the elementals answered Her in kind. We turned on our fae cousins, fought alongside the dragonkind, and with our combined strength, forced the "inheritors of the world" back into the Fae Realm. And with that, We returned to the Elemental Plane, to live Our life by our Own will for the first time.

    You will not hear such a tale in any Human history book -- Our time is long past, our stories forgotten, Our names discarded. But Megaera remembers. We remember for those who cannot.
    Many of those listening were moved to tears by the tale. Mistress Blodwen overcame her emotions to ask why the stone had to be 'reborn' over and over, and whether Megaera was here to protect the dragons. The response was only, "We have not forgotten Our promise."

    The Wrathful One then said she was tired of talking and dismissed the party with a menacing tone, "You have respected Us, We will not destroy you this day. But do not mistake Us for your benefactor - We will teach you yet, what We learned during the First War. … go. Run. Before Megaera changes her mind."

    At that, the party quickly departed and returned safely from the mission.

    This chronicle will be subject to changes and corrections. I humbly ask all readers to please indicate to me discreetly, any falsehoods I may have mistakenly communicated. It is by means of the conservation of the Past that we continue to serve Her Majesty and give substance to those that follow.

    In service to Her Majesty Queen Vivienne, The Office of the Chronicler, and the Denizenry of Her Majesty's Realm.

    Mistress Tine
    Royal Chronicler of the Court

    Mistress Tine
    Royal Chronicler of the Court
    Squire to Sir Edstave
    Junior Equerry to Lord Dolph Li'astri
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