Divinity Lore Event I (Bilgewater)

Marai Nami Teaser.jpg

Muranar

by CupcakeTrap and ShadowKnight1224

This lore event follows the May 28–29 Featured Matches. Bilgewater beat Icathia 3–0, which means this is an intensely “bright” and triumphant lore event.


Preface—Zomo and Korzari

This lore preceded the Featured Matches. In it, a Marai priest and an Icathian monk came to blows in the immediate aftermath of the discovery of the new nexus. They each faced international criminal charges, and their respective factions fought to keep them out of jail, while pinning the blame on the other.

They are a study in outlandish contrasts—and strange, subtle similarities. Zomo, Seer of the Coral Temple, is a distinguished old Marai priest who renounced his high-born family to pursue his divine vocation. Korzari is a young Icathian cultist, born in Piltover as Jane Bluefield, whose love for mathematics abruptly shifted from “talking about math” to “math talking to her” and brought her to Kor, the Sky-Spire, and a sect of Icathian monks. Zomo has become an itinerant explorer, returning to his temple periodically to expound on his latest enlightenment in the solitude of the depths. Korzari, meanwhile, lives mostly in a cramped monastic cell, where she covers the walls in overlapping layers of multicolored symbols which she nonetheless will describe in a disconcertingly calm and rational tone. The stately old priest who lives a wild life of itinerant mysticism, and the wild-haired, fire-eyed young monk who periodically (it is said) publishes well-formatted academic papers in Piltover under various pseudonyms.

About a week ago, Zomo entered a deep meditative trance at the edge of an oceanic abyss, surrounded by schools of multicolored fish that swirled about him seemingly in tune with his thoughts. And at about the same time as Zomo closed his eyes and began chanting a hymn to the spirits of the Deep Dark, Korzari wandered out of her cell, absentmindedly breaking a pencil and then magically mending it over and over again, and asked the abbot for a traveling allowance and access to some old aquatic enchantments from the archives. And Zomo’s serene mindscape began to warp around the frightening figure of a black-purple-yellow demon brandishing a broken staff passed around ten octopus-like tentacles.

When the nexus emerged, Zomo awoke from his trance and proclaimed thanks to the spirits of his great ancestors for banishing the demon. He saw a radiant host rising up from the abyss, bearing ghostly apparitions of ancient Moonstones that went dark centuries ago, now restored. He was so taken by the sight that at first he did not see Korzari, face wrapped in something that looked rather like a flattened squid, and a third eye painted on her forehead. (Many cultures paint such things. But this being Icathian magic, there was a crucial distinction: this painted third-eye sometimes blinked.) And her presence was corrupting the spirits, warping his cherished, honored ancestors into monstrous caricatures.

Korzari herself saw a mana-vortex spiraling down into the abyss, where a Void-mouth drank it up with burbling sounds whose melodies contained deep secrets of the cosmos. Or so it seemed—but this Marai was erasing the sound with his bleak temple-aura, keeping the secrets from her.

It was not long before they came to blows. Each called upon their supernatural patrons for aid—and to their mutual surprise, those patrons answered quite loudly.

Zomo chanted an invocation of Reshu the Conqueror, ancient king of the Marai, which gave strength against evil when spoken by the pure of heart. Zomo had seen this chant empower Marai to perform wondrous and valiant deeds. But he had never seen  Reshu actually appear, his trident in hand, haft scored with the bite marks of great sea-beasts, and demand that his enemies come before him to face their destiny.

And Korzari answered with a prayer to Agh’Nin, the Bringer of Obliterating Joy, a jubilant shout that a delicious soul was here to be feasted upon. It was, in practice, a curse, which bled away a powerful enemy’s thaumic field and consumed it. An effective spell. A potent spell. A dangerous spell. And a somewhat unpredictable spell that sometimes left the caster much the worse for the effort. But outside of the ancient legends, Korzari had never heard any claim that one who chanted this might suddenly hear a voice cry out in Old Icathian WHAT A DELIGHT YOU BRING US, FAVORED DAUGHTER! and then see an enormous toothy grin stretched out in ribbons of quivering jellyfish-flesh descending from the stars down through the churning waves.

When Zomo and Korzari awoke, they remembered nothing further. They were at the Institute, badly wounded.  And they learned that the abyss where they had fought had warped into a thaumic singularity hundreds of meters across, utterly impenetrable and quite possibly unstable. Even the League marshal who came to charge them with crimes against Runeterra’s peace and admonish them that they were to answer before a League tribunal sounded distantly impressed. Summoners could speculate as to how this disaster might have occurred, but their most viable theories involved magnitudes of magic beyond the reach of all but the most skilled Institute-trained Summoners.

Icathia and Bilgewater quickly took an interest in these two, and intervened in the pending prosecutions. The way that the governing law is structured, fault will fall primarily on one or the other. A tribunal of arms upon the Fields of Justice will decide which way it tips. The victorious faction will have sidelined a valuable enemy asset, and acquired one of their own.

Decision—Bringing the Battle to Them

During Nyroth, Bilgewater forged new Moonstones to drive back the monsters that threatened to destroy the Marai. And now, Zomo the Coral Seer says, it is time to bring the battle to them. He has revealed the origins of the monsters as gods and spirits warped by the Rune Wars, and vows that they will be redeemed or destroyed. The first battle will be for Muranar, the first great Marai city to be lost to the monsters. Which Champion will Bilgewater send to complete this quest?

No sooner had Summoner 501st Big Mike declared Bilgewater’s victory on the Fields than the League marshals guarding Korzari placed her in bonds and brought her to the Bilgewater-appointed magistrate, who sentenced her to confinement at the Institute for the remainder of the present dispute. Within the hour, she was led to her cell.

“This sounds like a joke, but I mean it,” one guard said to the other, eyeing the Icathian in her cell. “It’s actually creeping me out that she isn’t laughing like a maniac or prophesying Valoran’s destruction.”

He frowned, and groped for the words to describe the full outrageousness of the situation. “She’s doing math.”

“They’re not all as mouthy as Malzahar,” said his comrade, pushing a gamepiece across the board. The Institute’s cells were one place where guards could get away with playing games on duty. Without a game to play, most people defaulted to looking over at the prisoners. And that might mean eye contact, even conversation, with beings who could all too easily creep inside your mind.

“She’s only been in for an hour. She might start ranting yet,” he said, with stubborn hope.

The other guard smiled, and took his pegasus with her red squire. “Well, that would put us at ease, wouldn’t it.” She nodded toward the Images deck. “And it’s your draw.”

He sighed, then grinned a little at the absurdity of it all as he reached down to draw a card.


Zomo stood with his arms out, his coral staff clasped in one, the other holding a moonsilver scepter toward the wall of distorted shadow and light. Around him, Summoners carved spell-circles and enchantments into the sediment of the sea floor. Even the most delicate lines were not erased or smudged by the shifting of the currents; the magic coursing through the enchantment held them fast.

He recalled to his mind visions of what he had seen when he and the Icathian monk Korzari did battle here. The great ancestors of the Marai in a wondrous procession, their forms radiant. And yet he also saw the gleeful light in the Icathian’s eyes. She saw something, and he doubted very much that it was the spirits of ancient Marai that gave her such glee. He had seen only a glimpse himself, when her incantation conjured…a great toothy maw, a voice from beyond…

The moonsilver scepter glowed. His wandering thoughts found focus. He thrust the scepter toward the distortion and commanded it to reveal itself to him.

The thaumic singularity, as the Summoners called it, split apart and pulled him in. He found monsters beyond his nightmares waiting for him. Yet rising alongside him, as he knew they would be, were his exalted ancestors, an army of the blessed. And with them he vanquished the darkness.

The dark chasm beneath them took on the aspect of pearl in sunlight. Its walls illuminated a deep valley, thronging with the forms of Marai. And they called him by name, and spoke to him of what he must do.

For too long, the Marai had cowered in their cities, struggling merely to survive against the onslaught of the beasts of the abyss. Now, they would bring the battle to their foes, and drive these monsters back. He was destined to show them the way.

But first, they would tell him how it began.


Nami listened to Zomo talk. Every so often, she would pry her vision away from his insistent face to look at Illaoi. Was she buying this?

Illaoi, understanding the question written across Nami’s furrowed brow, answered with a firm nod, and returned her attention to the priest.

“So they’re not from the Void,” she said, slowly.

Zomo stopped, frowned, and shaking his head in dismay reached out for one of the books floating beside him. He found the page he was looking for, and turned it around to show her.

Nami looked at the illustrations. The book was very old, she could tell, yet most of the figures depicted were not Marai, or even Atlantean. Some seemed human; others, something stranger. Their names were written in symbols that reminded her of old temples.

“The Summoners have told you of the days before the Rune Wars. Runeterra was ruled by gods, by celestial spirits. And mana was so pure that from it came beings forged of the elements themselves.”

“And the Rune Wars killed them, or drove them off.” Nami hesitated, and looked at Illaoi. “…mostly.”

Illaoi didn’t seem to particularly appreciate the remark, and Nami’s bashful grin did nothing to help.

Zomo didn’t seem to notice. “Some, yes. Perhaps. But our ancestors have shown me what they saw. Fallen gods who became demons. Elementals twisted into monsters. They fled to the sea, where the waves protected the leylines from the landwalker Summoners. Those who made it to the ocean held on when the others had vanished or been destroyed. But they were already too sick. And the Rune Wars would not end. Corruption flowed from the land into our ocean, and into them. It was only a matter of time.”

Illaoi looked off into the distance. “Even for the Great Serpent.”

Zomo nodded, and closed the book. “We must retake Muranar.”

Nami’s blood ran cold. She had been a little girl when Muranar fell to the monsters. It was the first time she heard that the Moonstone was fading. It was the first city to be lost. She later learned the details that grown-ups hid from little children. That no one had expected a great city of the Marai to fall. That hardly anyone had made it out. That the scouts who voyaged out saw the monsters still feasting two days later.

“There’s nobody left to save,” she said. Almost as though defending herself from an accusation.

“There is a city to save, for this generation and those to come!” Zomo pleaded. “I have seen the faces of our ancestors. Our great ancestors. We must earn our place beside them! We must destroy these beasts, and that battle begins at Muranar!”

“It’s two leagues beyond the Moonstone’s shadow,” Nami retorted. She was starting to think this priest was mad after all.

“We were not meant to hide behind the Moonstones forever, Tidecaller!” the old man cried.

Illaoi looked at Nami, and spoke more steadily. “Can you do it? Tidecaller?” She grinned just a little.

Nami bristled. She could hear the unspoken question. Are you a fake? They say you killed the kraken, but maybe they just needed a hero, and you looked the part.

“I’m going. You coming with me? You can bring your god for company.” Nami was fuming, but she didn’t let it show.

“One must stand against many,” Zomo said, as though reading something from a scroll. “Even a Champion will have no chance without this scepter in hand. One is all that is required. One with faith.”

And suddenly, Illaoi laughed. A big, booming laugh. She’d just seen the joke.

“I can think of someone else who might want to have a word with the dark things lurking deep below the waves,” she said, with jovial theatricality. She produced a sheet of enchanted League parchment, the kind used by messengers at the Institute, and unfolded it.

Be it known that NAUTILUS, THE TITAN OF THE DEPTHS, shall be admitted on behalf of THE MARITIME CONFEDERATION OF BILGEWATER to the present dispute in the Guardian’s Sea…

Nami frowned. “I guess he might,” she agreed.


Summoners—whom will you send to the lost city of Muranar to reclaim it from the abyssal beasts? We will draw a tarot card to inform the resolution, and write it accordingly. Please note that we are not using any kind of “MIA” mechanic here—your choice will not influence this Champion’s availability in matches.

Talon Kat Vote Here

Discussion thread here.

Voting will close no earlier than Sunday, June 5, at 5 p.m. Pacific.


Resolution

by Jondor Horoku

Nami glanced at the assembled crew, a feeling of dread and anticipation rising in her stomach like so much spoiled kelp. All told, about thirty individuals—a mix of Humans, Atlanteans, and Marai—created her assembled crew. Most were Summoners, a few were natives, and a small group of very bored pirates sat like driftwood on the fringes of the group. Featured among the crowd was the crew of The Dredger, a bright-eyed Summoner—Rook Perceval, who Summoned under the name Aravaen, and a slight priestess, a native of the Serpent Isles, named Tepéde.

Nami stuck thrust herself above the assembled crowd, “Attention!” Her soft voice barely reached the front few lines of the raucous crowd. “Attention, please!” she called a bit louder but to no avail.

“SHADDUP YOU MISBEGOTTEN MISCREANTS, OR I’LL HOLD  YA DOWN FOR THE SEA DEMONS AND LAUGH AS THEY FEAST ON YOUR ENTRAILS!”

The harsh crack of Kera Bloëdkur’s voice rattled out of the black yordle’s impressive frame. The assembled crowd hushed as half those assembled knew the voice by reputation, and the other half by experience. She grinned a set of pointed teeth at Nami, “All yer’s m’lady.”

“Yes, thank you Kera,” the, now unsettled, Marai replied. “Thank you all for coming so promptly, I assure those of you who wish adventure will find it. Those who seek battle will have it waged heartily and those of us who seek our heritage, will be repaid in full. HOWEVER!” She began to find her voice, “This conquest, for it is a conquest, will not be won without hardship! Untold horrors seethe in these depths: Nahar’s brood, Krakens, and other unspeakable terrors dwell in the depths of these oceans.

“I have been charged by the Institute and the peoples of Bilgewater and the Marai to lead this expedition. If you are dissatisfied with their choice, if you are afraid, or if the strength of Nagakabouros isn’t in you, you may leave. But if you seek glory, adventure, and battle…” she paused briefly, “…ONWARD TO THE DEEP!” she shouted, raising her staff. The practiced seamen carried the call as an echo:

“ONWARD TO THE DEEP!”


Rook grinned in excitement: they had arrived. He pulled off his shirt and boots and slipped on a special pair of shoes. He strapped his sword across his bare back, wincing slightly as the cold leather brushed his skin.

He saw other summoners in various states of preparedness, some were casting a transmutation spell on their pirate cohorts. Nami and the other Marai sat on the railing of the ships, waiting for their human compatriots to prepare.

“Are we ready?” Nami asked the assembled crews.

“AYE!” Rook raised his voice in a hearty shout.

Nami smiled, and shouted “ARE WE READY!”

“ONWARD TO THE DEEP!” the throng shouted as one, and Nami led the charge. They dove en-mass over the sides of the various ships, sinking quickly as their armor and weapons weighed them down.

As they descended through the murk, Rook felt a light tap on his mind. “I will be your in-dive communications this fine afternoon,” the deep voice echoed, “please keep all extraneous thoughts to yourselves, to keep the psychic communications lines clear.”

“LOOK OUT!”

Almost immediately after the link was established, everyone’s attention was directed to the right of the group. A massive shark—at least twenty feet long—was charging through the water. A sharp blast from the trident of a marai chunked a small hole in its side. The beast fled.

“That is but a minnow on our quest,” Nami called through the link, “Keep alert. The monsters get bigger as the waters get deeper.”

Rook drew his sword, glancing into the blackened water. He saw distant shapes swimming, and strange formations on the seabed. “Would a light be helpful?” he asked.

“If you would, Summoner,” Nami replied. Rook nodded slightly and raised his sword towards the surface. After a moment, a blinding flash cut through the water, then a small orb detached itself from his sword and swam to the center of the group. It spawned four smaller balls that hovered around the edges of the group, directing light outwards.

It was as if they crested a hill just as the sun was rising behind them. The view was magnificent. The ancient Marai city of Muranar stood in front of them. It towered majestic, triumphant even. Its ancient glory overshone the decrepit, crumbling facades and walls overcome with kelp and seaweed. Brilliantly crafted domes and arches framed frescoes and mosaics. Coral gardens had overrun their beds and the brilliant colors covered the city.

The light revealed more. Monsters of various hideous descriptions. “Form up!” Nami called, gesturing for a ‘V’ formation, with her at the point. “Onward!”

“INTO THE DEEP!” came the mental shout. Shouting into the salt water, the group charged headlong into the main archway of the city, scattering schools of fish and cutting through smaller sharks and barracuda before alighting on the seabed.

“SCYLLA!” one of the marai shouted. Rook leveled his sword and released a blast, smirking as the magic cut into the tentacle. A shriek cut through the water and the tentacle retracted. There was a brief pause of horrifying silence, then twenty more of the sinuous limbs snapped out and began grabbing for the assembled crew. Rook roared into the sea and dove towards the beast, blasting the tentacled monstrosity as he charged.


“SCYLLA!” Nami glanced at the creature, larger than two flagships, hunched beneath the crumbling towers of a mansion. She began to turn but was beset by two Rusalka Eels. They gnawed on her arm, drawing blood. She shook them off and blasted them with her staff. The slow ebb of red was more dangerous than any single beast: it was like a homing beacon for every creature in the city. She felt the water rumble as the Scylla screeched again, the summoners had cut another tentacle off. She spun and barely bashed a third Eel in the head. She gaped in horror, a mass of at least a dozen of the demons was approaching her, she readied her trident but was knocked back as the lot of them were dashed away by the sudden rush of an unnatural current. She glanced to her left.

Nami barely had time to thank the Marai who saved her, when a Hydra broke through the crumbling walls of a nearby amphitheater. The nine heads hissed in synchrony as it lunged toward the two Marai. They dove toward the beast head-on, rolling as they flung spells at the monstrous creature.

The water trembled as the Scylla was shot through the eye with a harpoon, its green-grey blood floating toward the surface. Rook poured spell after spell down the shaft of the weapon, blasting the flat, tentacled beast repeatedly. Another summoner sliced an oncoming tentacle as Rook released a massive spell, one that almost rivaled Lux’s Final Spark. The blast carved through the creature’s skull. It released a final moan and then fell limp, its few remaining tentacles falling heavily on the surrounding buildings.

The Hydra roared again, reaching for Nami and Shira with its webbed claws. A immense ethereal tentacle reached up and grabbed the hydra around one of its necks. The priestess smiled as her tattoos glowed, she gestured downward, and the tentacle bashed the head into the ocean floor, destroying an ancient monument. The Hydra turned two of its heads toward the priestess, then screamed its fury. Out of its gaping maw, a jet of boiling water caught Tep, blasting her into a wall and knocking her unconscious.

With the Scylla dead, the group turned on the Hydra in force. A large pirate with a massive cutlass charged at the beast, “Don’t!” Nami warned, but it was too late. The pirate lopped off one of the heads at the base of the neck. The decapitated stalk wriggled like a dead snake for a few seconds before becoming still. However, the place where the single head had been was fusing and bubbling. In a gross defiance of nature the nub split in two, spawning two new heads. The ten-headed monstrosity screamed its fury into the sea and crushed the pirate in its coils.

The less experienced monster hunters backed away in awe and horror, but the bravest—and most fool hardy—dove straight at the belly of the beast.

Nami began directing the battle. “Go for its heart! If you don’t have a spear or harpoon stand back and fend off the Eels,” she gestured toward another school of the snake-like creatures, swarming towards the battle with the Hydra. Dozens were already gnawing on the recently deceased carcass of the Scylla. She glanced at the marai next to her, gesturing to the priestess “Go check on Tepéde, take her topside.”

The Marai nodded and grabbed the native, dragging her to the surface.

She shook her head sadly when she returned. The seascape below was chaos. The Hydra had thirteen heads now, and the Rusalka Eels seemed to number in the hundreds. The party was besieged on every side, flashes of light and rumbles of surging water crashed against the bleak murk of the deep sea. The Hydra screamed as blow after blow bounced off its hardened gut.

“FALL BACK!” Nami cried, as a Marai warrior was crushed against a building. They dragged his broken body through the water and cowered under the gate of the temple as the Hydra chased away the Rusalka and screamed its victory while gorging on the Scylla.

They nursed their wounds and prepared to forge back into the sea, but something was wrong. A massive black shadow blocked what little light crept down from the surface, and the Hydra clicked in fear as it began to flee. Then, a monstrous Kraken, close to two hundred feet long, plowed through the gate to the city. The dying screams of the Scylla and the battle cries of the Hydra had brought it seeking worthy food. Its grasping tentacles reached for the Hydra, effortlessly breaking the smaller creature in two then unceremoniously shoving the pieces whole into its cavernous maw.

The crew sat stunned in the water at the sudden arrival of the legendary creature. They sat huddled in the corner of the Temple, watching the Kraken loom over Muranar. It smugly swallowed a few dozen Rusalka Eels before they fled in horror. The Kraken had gorged itself on the Scylla and Hydra, its armored carapace seemed slightly swollen. It floated ominously, its eyes studying the city with the intensity of Vel’koz. Rook swam up to the edge of the courtyard, studying the hideous beast.

It was massive, larger than some Demacian state buildings. It had a thick, spiked armored shell covering its body, with a wide club-like tail that waved slowly as it propelled itself forward. Its hideous face was covered in teeth or horns, it had two grey eyes underlit with the evil glow of bloodlust. Its upper body had a dozen or more tentacles it used to absentmindedly catch fleeing sharks or whales and shove them unceremoniously into its insatiable maw. The mouth was the most horrifying single aspect of the creature. Surrounded by spines, the circular orifice was filled with row upon row of backwards facing needle-like teeth. Anything that went into the Kraken’s mouth would never come out again.

He coughed, and realized his enchantment was wearing off again. He recast the spell, giving him a few more hours of air. He wasn’t sure how many more times he could cast the spell. As he glanced around he saw many of his allies had to take two or three attempts to complete the incantation. They were exhausted from the fight with the Hydra and the Scylla, and the constant assault from the demon-eels had taken its toll as well.

“There’s no way we can fight that behemoth.” he thought to himself, forgetting the mindlink for a moment.

“He’s right!” Another voice echoed in his head, “Dozens of ships together couldn’t kill a Kraken that size, Nahar’s teeth, that could probably kill Olaf!”

“But we’re stuck here, the beast can see everything!”

“It’s going to find us eventually!”

“We’re done for.”

Rook clapped his hands over his ears as the thoughts of three dozen crew members echoed in his head. He hadn’t meant to inspire fear or cowardice, he’d rather die for Demacia than drown cowering from an oversized lobster… fish… squid… thing.

“ENOUGH!” Nami barked. “We are few and tired, that I grant you. The monster above is beyond our strength. Telesto save us all, we will not die here like this! We are the sea! Pirates, Marai, Serpent Islanders! We have laid claim to this city, and we shall have it!” mutterings of fear interrupted her speech, “And what of the Kraken?” She continued, “The beast is a simple mutation of the darkness in the oceans. We’ve fought a Scylla and a Hydra today, and it’s not even supper time!”

Nami growled and gestured for the rest to wait. “I’m going to see if there’s something we can use in here.” She darted off into the courtyard, staying low and near cover, avoiding the piercing gaze of the Kraken. She started when Rook touched her shoulder. “I’m with you.”  he said, eyes bright and determined. She nodded and they plunged forward weaving through the coils of a sea-snake carved into the floor.

They stared at the head of the sea-snake, resting on a giant orb in the center of the courtyard. “I don’t think—” Nami started, then Rook braced his feet against the basin holding the orb, and the head of the serpent and began to push. The creature’s eyes snapped open and he glared at the two tiny beings. Nami and Rook felt their minds crack as the creature cut off their mindlink and invaded consciousness.

“I am Leviathan, first of that name,” the creature was ancient, older than the city it rested in, “Who disturbs my vigil.”

Nami bowed, and gestured to Rook to do the same. “I am Nami, the Tidecaller of the Marai, and this is Rook, a Summoner of the Institute.”

Leviathan looked them over, obviously unimpressed as he appraised their value. “Summoner… I know not this title. The Institute is unfamiliar as well. The inventions of children.” He paused, with a change of tone, “The Marai were a proud race, they built this city,”  he paused, eyes roaming around the courtyard, “Many tides have passed since then.”

“If you please, what are you?” Nami asked.

Leviathan raised its head slightly, “I am The First Leviathan! I sired all who followed. I am a Lord of the Seas, I hold the flow of the tides and the heft of the chasms. I command Krakens and Hydras, I destroy monsters and men, none are so fierce that dare stir me up. Everything under the wash of the surface answers to me.” He laid his head down sadly, “At least, they used to. Now I just rest, protecting the tombs of the Tidecallers from the monsters above. My age has passed with the Rune War.”

“Can you, erm, command that particular Kraken?” Rook gestured heavenward toward the beast.

“He has been corrupted. He will no more obey me than a sparrow would.”

“Surely—”

“Listen to me, small ones: the Age of the Gods is over. I am but a relic of times past. Leave me to rot as all relics must.”

“The Age of the Gods is come again,” Nami asserted swimming closer to the behemoth’s head, “You can rule anew. Why die in ignominy? Rise up in glory! Reclaim your power and command the seas once more.”

The beast snapped at Nami, “Silence, little creature,” it growled, shaking the temple, chunks of masonry crumbling from the walls. “The corruption is stronger now than ever. The Blackness and the Void encroach on my reefs, as do stranger, deadlier things. The fish barely quiver as they peck at the barnacles on my hide. The seas rule themselves now, and that is as the ocean desires.”

“The ocean needs its Leviathan.” Nami dashed forward through the water, releasing a clicking noise. The Kraken turned. Rook could’ve sworn it grinned as it bore down on the Marai.

“NAMI!” Rook shouted into the water.

Nami glanced at him and smiled, “Have hope. The Star rises.”

Leviathan broke free from centuries of rubble, casting of shells of rock and masonry. It roared at the Kraken, which stopped. The two beasts sat hovering in the water glaring at each other. The Kraken was slightly larger than Leviathan, nearly twice as wide but only three quarters the length. The giant sea-serpent bared its teeth at the Kraken and hissed into the water, “Remove yourself, abomination, or I will feast.”

The Kraken screeched and launched itself at Leviathan, tentacles extended. Leviathan moved faster than Rook thought possible, darting around the hulking monstrosity and ripping a chunk out of the Kraken’s tail. As the Kraken turned, Leviathan ripped several tentacles from the side of the creature, then slammed his tail into it and flung it into a cliff. The Kraken’s shell cracked at the force and it whimpered pitifully for a moment. It turned, its pupils dilated and its eyes filled with blood. It screamed its fury into the sea and charged at Leviathan a final time. Leviathan floated still and opened his mouth releasing a jet of water at the Kraken’s face, blinding it momentarily. He dove forward and bit the head of the creature off, spitting the Kraken’s head out as if it were contaminated.

Rook and Nami sat in shock, the battle had been brief, mere seconds in fact. The sheer power of Leviathan was apparent as he slowly swam back towards the temple.

“We are in your debt, Leviathan.”

“I will not forget it, Tidecaller, Summoner. The seas, however, seem to be reclaimable. For that revelation, I thank you.”

 


Nami led three more days of forays into the lost city of Muranar, none so amazing as the first. Leviathan circled the outskirts, killing Krakens and Hydras, while the party eradicated nests of Cetus, fought hundreds of Rusalka Eels, and slaughtered sharks and other small monsters by the dozens. As they began the long process of reclaiming the buildings for the Marai, Nami and several of the high level Marai approached Leviathan.

“The city needs a patron,” they explained, “and you’ve lived here long. We have no desire to uproot you from your home. Would you—”

Leviathan stopped them with a stare. “The seas need to be tamed again. But I will return here often. If ever the Marai need a god, call and I will answer.”

The Marai bowed low as Leviathan swam majestically into the blackness of the surrounding seas. Like Bilgewater, The Lord of the Seas, the First Leviathan, forged into the unknown to reclaim his vast kingdom once more.

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