I wanted to record this event before I forgot any of the details, or gods forbid, something should happen to me. The adventures I have had, and the people I have met, ever since arriving on Luclin, have been extraordinary, but this one stands out above all others. I can’t help but suspect it is merely the beginning …
Perhaps recalling the events, like this, will also help reveal what I must do next?
While exploring the Akheva ruins, I located what had obviously been a sacrificial pit, long ago. That is when I saw the shimmering presence.
Its voice invaded my mind, drawing images of past, present, and future together, into a perverse harmony. Some images I recognised as my own, but the others seem to be coming from the spirit’s own memories.
My mind was filled with visions of a great swirl of clouds and lightning. I swear I could feel the wind of the storm cutting through my armour. It looked as if the storm was rolling across the surface of Luclin. Then the vision showed me several Akheva standing at the entrance of a great temple. The storm was bearing down on them.
Suddenly, my view shifted. I was still looking at the storm, but it appeared to be moving toward me now. I stood now amongst the group of Akheva. The one next to me was obviously the leader of the group, as he was wearing beautiful ornate robes, and held a sceptre.
My vision turned to follow the robed Akheva up the stairs, into the temple. The figure raised his sceptre toward the storm and began to recite unfamiliar words. A crackle of magical energy blazed across the sky, seemingly in defiance of the raging storm. The energy quickly dissipated however, and the storm continued to bear down on the temple. The figure cried out in pain as the sceptre in his hand shattered. The softly glowing gem from the sceptre head rolled silently down the steps and disappeared.
Suddenly, I was released from the visions. The shimmering presence remained before me, as if in waiting.
That’s when I realised the gem I had just watched roll down the temple steps in the vision was similar to a wisp stone I had obtained earlier. I dug it out of my satchel, and presented it to the shimmering presence.
It began to quiver and shake then appeared to grow and shrink, in complete disregard to natural laws. The light in the temple around me dimmed until I was surrounded by an impenetrable cloak of shadows. Fear gripped my heart as my vision slowly adapted to accommodate the low light. When I was finally able to make out the figure before me, I found myself silently praying for the darkness to return.
The formless presence had been replaced by an imposing spirit of an Akheva high priestess! Her hollow eyes locked with mine. I had the distinct impression that she could see right into the darkest shadows of my soul. She opened her mouth to speak, but the sounds I heard came from inside my mind.
“Greetings mortal, thank you for releasing me from my tormented prison. I am Akelha’Ra, once high priestess of Luclin and leader of the Akheva. This form before you now is a fading remnant of my former existence. The storm was the cause of my imprisonment in the world of undying spirits.”
I was confused, and intrigued. I wondered what she had meant by that. As if in response to my unasked question she continued, “We Akheva are immortal entitites placed in this plane by the mistress of shadow. We are her most perfect creation. Death has no meaning to us, as even in death we find rebirth through the power of the mistress. My imprisonment was caused by my separation from the power of the mistress by Aten Ha Ra. It was she who sent the storm to destroy me and all who followed me.”
My next question had barely formed in my mind, when Akelha’Ra answered it.
Aten Ha Ra is a reflection of myself. An entity created from my own consciousness, a reflection of a shadow. She now holds the seat of grand power in Vex Thal, and I have not the power to gain entry to the city, let alone face her. You must find my sceptre that was lost in the storm to gain entry to Vex Thal. The sceptre has likely lost much of its power from being shattered. Once it is reassembled you will need to merge a Orb of Luclinite with a source of celestial power inside the sceptre. The spirits whisper that the Shissar Emperor holds the power to manipulate such energy. Be wary of him, he is heralded as the slayer of gods, the defiler of realities.”
“Vex Thal is the sacred home of the Akheva. The place where our goddess’ power directly touches this world … ungh … I cannot summon the frame of my sceptre in my current weakened state. I need a soul to regain my pow…”
It was clear to me that she was slowly fading out of existence, before my eyes. She seemed entirely unable to speak to me now, and could only muster the strength to gesture. She pointed at the ground at my feet. Where there had been nothing, just a moment ago, was now a small emerald. I reached down to pick it up, but it disappeared silently into the shadows.
I must think upon all of this and what it may mean or require of me now.
Source: EQ2 Book