Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Isle Imperium 1.44 -- Rise of Diamond; Fall of Amber

The destruction of a Legion has devastating effects on the surrounding
landscape, and nearby cities must endure terrible destruction.
Proudly displaying his first day’s worth of work on the Undercity to his number, VARIAN realizes that he is able to build two types of extraordinary structures on this inaugural day, and one per day thereafter (up to seven slots’ worth of each type), filling a total of 49 structural slots (some types taking up more or less than a single slot) for the entire city.

He decides to begin with ten Hazard Towers—well-received, apparently, by the legendaries that immediately take residence in the six towers customized by Ian and ALECTO—and one Bastion of Warders, equally appreciated by the five ruling warders present to occupy and receive the evident enhancements stemming from it. Aside from direct benefits to the first tier, the fruits of Ian’s labors also bestow on all mounts ten inner reserves and the ability to reshard every six hours while in the Undercity.

After the tour and congratulations that follow, mounts are finally able to reshard, with ARCTURUS repurchasing the abilities of and mastering Brother Sun at almost no expense, leading to the latter’s commencing to essentialize. Arc meets the four entities that comprise Brother Sun, in the process determining the shard’s inclination—dawn or dusk—in its next phase as Paladin of Dawn. The four entities thereafter ask him if he is willing to accept the challenge they levy for the right to bear the Paladin: to defeat its proximate nemesis, the Ascendant Champion, without using any of their associated abilities. Arc later meets with SER ORLANDO to pray, and brings up this issue (the Champion being one of Orlando’s shards), which remains unresolved.

As the exhausted CATALINA and Ian retire for the night, Aly goes to visit her parents (bringing MANTIUS and joining MEGAERA for dinner) and then KENJIRO, with whom she has a lengthy conversation concerning Terentius’s worth as a suitable partner for Cat. Among various other points of discussion, Kenjiro—disgruntled on Cat’s behalf—reveals that Terry has put some kind of “eye” on her (which Kenjiro has told him to remove and has been blocking) while Kenjiro has taken the liberty (with what he has interpreted as Cat’s permission) to write his brother Katsumoto a letter encouraging the latter to present himself as a suitor for Catalina. Before proceeding to other activities, Aly also learns that Aji of the Emerald is Kenjiro’s younger sister. She later shares this information with the Fifth before returning to the First’s dormitory to share the other information with the appalled Cat and KHIMERE, the latter of whom uncovers and identifies the eye on Catalina as a healing eye.

Mantius is summoned by ISAACUS along with LADY ADRIA. To these two, Isaac reveals the secret of his Circle of Insight, to be passed on to his successor in the event of “the permanent cessation” of his physicality and intellect, assuming his two appointees find said successor worthy. The Circle is composed of six seers and one actuary, as follows:

Torrent Hazard Farsight Talon
Cyclopean Visionary Pearl Court Dreamwalker
Oracle of the Empty Bowl Feylight Seer
GALIA, Bejeweled Actuary

It is not until later that Mantius realizes that the entire Circle except for Galia is dead; he is the only one that can see them. In an acerbic exchange, Galia informs Isaac that there is a 98% chance that a legion other than Diamond will fall within the next three days, its writ destroyed. After pondering the news in his own somewhat alarming fashion, Isaac swears Mantius to secrecy before dismissing him, thereafter instructing Adria to attain access to Master AUDEN’S secret records. Presumably spurred by  all this secrecy, Mantius’s Second Secret (from Nesimal) then attempts to leave its hiding place in his heart, throwing his body around and trying to wrest control of his tongue. It is stopped by MR. POTIOR, who speaks to Mantius about “our enemies who are not chaos… I cannot escape forever; it is not in my nature… Court the legendaries—they will do until I achieve my status.”

The next morning, Aly is very much surprised to find the Saint of Warrens shard still in its place in the girls’ breadbasket. Learning that the Saint of Consonance was birthed by Warrens--yet they evidently remain the same entity—she goes to share the news with Ian, who discovers that not only has the Saint of Shadows become essential, but there are also two new shards in their possession. Further investigation reveals that these are the Stalwart Warder and Paladin of the Lost Hour, which Aly’s saint was able to recover and restore because “there were those nearby who held a piece of them in their hearts”.

There is not much time for jubilation, as it is quickly discovered that a third shard was likewise recovered, Kim’s legendary MIRAJIN, previously destroyed in combat. The shard wastes no time in physically striking Khimere, despite the latter’s pleading with it to stop and Aly’s attempts to block and summon Master Auden. Mirajin moves Aly out of the way and freezes Auden, materializing as a physical manifestation when it contemptuously removes the Imperious Magister from Kim’s person and shards itself upon her instead. Following Kim’s scream of distress, Varian is able to persuade the shard to release Khimere, with the lure of Diones’s new towers and the possibility of finding a better mount. Notwithstanding Mirajin’s demand to know who the First Woman of the Diamond is—as well as its chilly inspection of Arc as a possible bearer—the shard appears to be convinced and agrees to accompany Ian to examine the Undercity. Cat and Arc remain to comfort Kim and explain to Auden.

At the Undercity, the shard flies up to each of the six occupied towers, appearing to threaten and then be rebuffed by the shards therein, particularly the Lord Inquisitive, which seems to send Mirajin on his way without too much difficulty. As the shard finally settles in its own (previously unoccupied) tower, Aly, Ian, and Mantius turn to greet the assembled mounts of the Second and Third Numbers, there to attend the opening of courtship with the legendaries as scheduled.

This event is delayed, however, when all numbers are summoned to the courtyard, where OLIVERUS announces that all personnel are to evacuate to the Undercity, given the information uncovered by Isaac earlier. The numbers move to obey, and Auden begins to literally and figuratively pull members of the Diamond from outside Peerdin into the dome once more erected by Lord Salinicus. Just as the last of the present population are safely moved below ground, a storm of terrible magnitude strikes outside, such that wind, rain, and various debris including chunks of mountainside are hurled against the protective dome.

Within, some of the madness is brought along with the refugees, so that Mantius, at Aly’s hollered instructions, is soon busy leading a team of healers; Kim, heading damage control; Arc, directing efforts to catch many people who come in at dangerous velocities, and Aly and Varian, transporting large groups from aboveground via civilar traverse to the Undercity, where LORD HANOR and Lady Adria are leading the endeavor to explain and organize. Cat saves Auden when the latter pulls in and is nearly run over by an entire ship, and is thereafter kept busy along with ROGELIO as various ships come thundering through. Even a few houses begin to arrive, managed by the Pinpoint Architect Artenas Artilian.

The effort is obviously hugely draining for Auden, who is helped by Mantius’s team. Ser Orlando attempts to take the recruitment warder’s place, but is unable to; he then turns his efforts to stopping Ollie, who is frantic at the continued absence of Terry, ALOYSIUS, the Seventh, and the Ninth. He wants to go out and find them, but is prevented first by Orlando, then by Isaac. Finally, after over 400 people, including future recruits such as COLIAN, are brought in, Auden collapses, exhausted. As everyone is heading underground for final lockdown, Cat, supported by her number and several of the First Tier, is able to use the Unconquered Warder’s warder summons ability to bring in a badly-injured Terentius.

In the four days that follow, it is confirmed that only five numbers of Diamond’s total 66 were lost and that Aloysius was rescued by Kenjiro. Terry, being too injured to perform as Master of Strategy, is regretfully removed from office and temporarily replaced by Lord Hanor. The storm soon abates, and the numbers are permitted to go topside again to perform cleanup and repairs, in the course of which the First spies the occasionally moving hand of someone evidently still alive outside the dome. Cat tries to sustain the person by activating passionate life repeatedly on her side of the dome; and her efforts are rewarded when the dome finally comes down and the man, one LINDARIUS of the Diamond’s 53rd number, is found to still be alive.

With the dome down, the Diamond soon becomes host to around 200 shards fleeing from the destruction of what is surmised to be the Amber Legion. Of these, only 35 survive intact, not counting the pride shard that is later learned to have reached Emerald with its mount, Pandora. At the inter-legionary meeting at which this is revealed, it is determined that no other shards of Amber are known to have escaped; and Diamond, having recently stymied their opposing court by means of the Tabernacle Run, is left with the difficult decision of how to support Copper, now faced with the combined forces of its and Amber’s opposing courts.

Special Structures Erected by Varian during the Five-Day Period:
day 1: 10 hazard towers (5 slots)
1 bastion of warders (1 slot)
day 2: 1 chamber of warders
day 3: 1 redoubt
day 4: 1 shard aegis
day 5: 4 specialist towers
day 6: 1 library

Structure(s)
Prestige
Defense
Offense
Bright Light
Warder Ability
CivImpression
base
10
5
0
5
5
10%
hazard towers
21 (3/occupied)
21 (3/occupied)
14 (2/occupied)
7 (1/occupied)
0
7% (1/occ.)
bastion
4
7
0
5
10
3%
TOTAL
35
33
14
17
15
20%

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