The Summer Heroes
Session 21 Preview
The Summer Heroes finally understand the true purpose of the mythical Miqra’Chen, and the nature of the conflict that threatens to engulf the world. Possessing one of four pieces, they must race to find the remaining ones before Glaysa, or anyone else, finds them. They must also come to terms with the lies behind their world’s very history and foundation, and must decide where they stand if the coming Godswar cannot be stopped.
Glaysa also seems to be behind much of the destabilization in Penwith and elsewhere: supporting orcish war bands preparing for invasion, manipulating events in the North to keep the largest standing army occupied, backing murderous pirates and misguided leaders in Brightwater, making deals with dragons to attack the Elvish lands to the South, distracting the Dragon Watch from their sacred duties, stirring forces deep within the earth that are disturbing elementals everywhere, and distributing magical statues used not only for eliminating Curators but also causing ever growing corruption in the surrounding areas. Her aim is the complete destruction of life on earth, removing the worshippers of what she calls the false gods, to bring back those to whom she is devoted…or so it seems, anyway.
The Summer Heroes are on the run. Brightwater, their home and safe haven, is abandoned and awash in conflict amidst a power struggle between the Curators Mellitus and Iro. Additional forces, both foreign and domestic, have their own goals and reasons to fight in the sparkling city, leaving a confusing mess of twisting loyalties, revolution, and death. The heroes are pursued by hostile forces and the ghosts of their own failures, and the haunting predictions of what tragedies will come to pass if they fail, and what horrors might come to pass if they succeed. The sanctuary of Sweetwater Monastery can only last so long before they must seek out another direction. But where? To solve the problems they’ve left in their wake, or continue on their quest whose importance grows with each new detail.
With the fate of the world on their shoulders, the Summer Heroes each have their own problems to manage as well.
Erlindar seeks a means to remove the amulet fused into his chest, uncomfortable with the nature of its powers. He is even more troubled by the growing similarities between himself and the visions of his possible future. His engagement to Corinthia is not helping matters. But he fears he may not be able to remove the amulet, or worse, that he may find himself unwilling to do so.
Thalion is marked as a pariah by his own order, for violating his oaths and sharing his order’s most precious secrets. Now his former allies have sworn to hunt him down, and the rest of the Summer Heroes, for the secrets they both know and carry with them. Already party to intrigue, betrayal, and coups in Brightwater, the Dragon Watch has pulled its advisors and heroes back to seek the traitor and bring him to answer for his perceived crimes. Without their careful eye on the great powers, what disasters will befall the world?
Mina finally understands her heritage and what the Dragon Watch sword is: the fabled Sword of Kalora (or one of them, anyway). Her long lost mother has resurfaced, bearing the second of her ancestor’s mythical blades, and is intent on destroying the Curators and preserving the new gods. Someone has been masquerading as Mina in Brightwater, employing a ring of spies for as yet unknown purposes. And her dreams trouble her.
Pirro struggles with his past failures and his need to protect those around him, but has found new purpose and meaning in Sweetwater. Possessing the power of one of the Guardians, he must decide to serve their cause, or find some means of peace between the old and new gods. In all of this, he is determined to keep Darion safe at all costs.
Talerion is the sole Summer Hero to stay behind in Brightwater to manage the crisis. His family endangered, his city rioting and in flames, himself gravely injured, he must face decisions about how far he is willing to go to follow his family’s ambitions. And who he is willing to crush to get there. And whether his scheming sister will take their ambitions too far, and what consequences that might bring.
Darion finally knows the purpose and truth of his impossible prophecies, but rejects the notion that he must serve the old or new gods. Choosing to side with mortals in the conflict, he must find a means to do so without staying outside of the conflict completely. The Miqra’Chen may be the key to ending the conflict before it erupts in outright war, but the growing chaos enveloping the world cannot be ignored either. And Brightwater, always Brightwater, remains a focal point. Can the city be prepared for its role in time to be saved? Or will it burn, like his visions portend?
And Abajeet, separated from Mina and her friends except in brief moments where she can offer them refuge, is struggling to understand her new powers, growing personal army, obligations, secrets, and how her actions may have started the war that could destroy creation.
Juru’s Other Lantern was nothing but flaming wreckage. The only crew remaining were too badly burnt to be functional as zombies, so the necromancer had left them. There was no sign of Juru, or her troll storm mage.
“Slay a Guardian, and you gain their power. One Guardian is doing exactly that to consolidate her own power.”
“We will meet our end of the bargain. Hassuna will be distracted with internal turmoil and their search overseas; the Dragon Watch will have similar problems. They will be ripe for destruction, and you will rule everything between the Alia Kara’Vesh and Darrova. Whatever you wish, so long as you keep them occupied for the duration of our plans. And you will have what you want”
He eyed Glaysa with distrust. “And you can do as you claim?”
“You know I can. Burn Hassuna, and we will free your kin from their torment.”
“You realize what this means, Thalion? Your brothers and sisters that you have forsaken will hunt you down and bring you to justice. Both of you.” Sueldor sneered as he leaned in closer. “And I’m going to be the one to bring you in.”
The young elf stopped and gaped in amazement at Mina and Thalion, and their Dragon Watch Swords that so closely resembled his own. Shaking away his surprise, he quickly darted down a side hallway back to the main area of the monastery, his path obviously changed by this encounter.
“We’re having problems. Anaxathraxis is eating our goats.”
“Anaxathraxis is a Cloud Dragon,” Erlindar offered. “He travels where his whim takes him, but he hasn’t been back to Sweetwater since his mate was killed in Hassuna by the Dragon Watch.”
“Well that is settled. I will track down the Regulator who poses a threat and make him…see reason.” Corinthia smiled in a manner that is not at all comforting, though she no doubt intended it to be. “And I will give him to you as a wedding present.”
“Methia encoded in one single book a powerful magic, one that would allow the reader to gain all knowledge about a discipline, any discipline.”
Mina’s magical talents were small, and may not manifest in an explosive ball of fire or a prophetic vision, but they were still hers.
Mina struggled against her bonds. She knew it was no use; she’d been trying the chains link by link for days and hadn’t found any weaknesses. She was unsure exactly how long she’d been tethered to the wall of the ship’s hold.
Most distressingly, they had taken her Dragon Watch sword. The pain she felt at being separated from her birthright was more than emotional; it felt as if she had lost a part of her body itself.
Mina felt helpless. She hated feeling helpless. The ship rocked gently beneath her as she cried herself to sleep.
Mina awoke with a start. Steam drifted lazily around her, obscuring the far corners of the bathhouse. She inhaled deeply; the air smelled of sweet herbs. She wiped her eyes with pruny fingers, wondering how long she’d been dreaming. She recalled darkness, and sadness. She’d been having a lot of troubling dreams lately.
“’Albion’s youngest son would bring about the end of Brightwater as we know it.’ That is what my vision foretold. I will not rest until I stop you, Darion. I will not let you destroy my city.”
Mina gaped in disbelief. “She said WHAT?”
Erlindar shifted uncomfortably on his stool. “Um.” Glancing around the crowded bar to make sure no one was eavesdropping, he repeated Althea’s message. “‘Now we can kill the Curators. All of them.’” The wizard cleared his throat. “I know this must be hard for you, but you need to tell me what’s going on. Is your mom planning to kill Darion?”
“Sorry,” Mina muttered. “I don’t know what she’s planning. I just want my family back together.”
She didn’t doubt that Althea was capable of murdering the entire order of Curators single-handedly. Mina wished she could see her mother just once without somebody getting murdered. What could she possibly do to dissuade her?
Mina and Thalion rounded the corner, only to see the would-be assassin disappearing in a flash of purple. They may have prevented Darion’s vision from coming to pass, but it still wasn’t clear who the target was. Or who the assassin was. Or who had set it up.