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Location: Guildhall Compound. Office of the Charter Sponsor Summary: Hestia and Gorge of the Guildhall Historical Society and Mistress Cora discuss about the resurgence of the Cult of Shivakas, the return of the Shivakan antediluvian, Atos the Eternal, and the reveal that the Cult of Shivakas has access to crystal rods. During the discussion, Mistress Cora reveals that one crystal rod may have been recovered by the Guildsmen of Evermore during the October event. Dramatization

The candlelight in the modest office flickered against the white walls of the room, the curtains closed and the door shut to keep the conversation contained in the room and away from visitors traveling in the halls. The light was bright enough to provide light for three people to be seen; a Lundellan woman dressed in plum, draping robes, a Prenian man with muddy boots and thin glasses, and a High Elf woman in simple clothing.

The Lundellan woman, Hestia of the Guildhall Historical Society, was nodding along as she spoke. “To say that I am not surprised about the resurgence of the Cult of Shivakas is an understatement. They have been a thorn in the history of the realm for Ages. I’m glad we happened upon them in the Wyld Woods - if we weren’t doing digs, we would have never realized!”

“Yes.. fortunate indeed.” Mistress Cora murmured. Her gaze drifted off to the side to a corner of the room. “It had been years. I am shocked by their numbers and the skills they possessed. I suppose time was on their side and they have taken to more complex planning over the last few decades. With all the troubles over the years, arcane commoners or tradesmen going missing went unnoticed.” Gorge of the Thunderhoof Tribe shifted in his seat and leaned in. “You were with them for a few hours, Cora. Anything you would be able to tell us we can put into the report would be helpful. I know Ser Elazul is helping with the interrogation of Adelaide, the Wyld Woods hermit. He was the Warlord both times Atos has been seen so I know he’s being as thorough as possible with his questioning. We know that the leader known as Death escaped during the battle. But what about this Atos, an Antediluvian? I thought he was Obliterated.”

“No, the reports from Evermore say they did a cleansing node ceremony given to them by that Shivakan Herald Phage. Atos radiates Profane energies and corrupts nodes and flows so the tradesmen neutralized the energies in his body. He was taken down by Phage with a Basilisk and then weakened further with the purification. Sometime after he eventually chose to spirit himself and then discorporated after a while when the tradesmen were distracted,” Hestia said. “Oh - sorry, Cora.” Mistress Cora waved her hand. “No, it’s fine. It is fascinating on an academic level. Yes, Hestia is correct. It’s fuzzy, but I do clearly remember the hermit Adelaide speaking with Atos about their plans to infuse his newly constructed body with massive amounts of profane energy. They saturated the area where the spirit quest was to be performed for months. I believe they had at least 2 Crystal Rods… the Cult may have more than that.. However the one used disintegrated once they completed redirecting flows and enhancing the existing node - I assume. I know it will keep redirecting until turned off. Philosopher Po spoke that there was a way to stop them once they were turned on without blowing up an area. They must have done that. With his age, I’m sure the Antediluvian knew enough of using them even if he wasn’t a Fivesworn during their original construction.”

“Two rods? There was another rod? You saw it?” Gorge pressed. The High Elf turned to him. “Uh - yes. I believe so. I remember one being set down, unused, before the spirit quest began. When Adelaide was preaching to the masses before the ritual.”

Gorge turned to Hestia. “Did you see the rod?” Hestia hesitated and looked thoughtful. “Maybe? I know several Guildsmen were investigating the area before the Ascertain was performed. I think I remember seeing it, but I don’t know who took it. When Mycena began the Ascertain, my focus was on that and no longer on the people around me.”

“Then a Guildsman in Evermore must have it. I know the priestess and Atos didn’t take anything with them. I didn’t see the unused rod when I went back to Evermoore after being rescued but it was quite late in the evening.” Mistress Cora let out a sigh. “I can bring it up as a topic for the agenda in November. But.. I think with everything that has happened - I believe it is time for me to step aside to recover after Mayor elections. I haven’t been feeling my best since my heart - well.. Was taken very dramatically.”

Hestia nodded. “Completely understandable! I get it. We can always bring it up to the new charter sponsor.” Gorge stood up and brushed off his pants. “Right. Yes. Speaking of that, I still have teams in the woods digging for the Birk relic. I’m going to assist them with additional protection detail - I believe we may have narrowed down its location, but the Wyld Woods are teeming with energies that are messing with the crews and stirring up the lesser beings. Excuse me.”

The Prenian left the room and Hestia stood up as well. “Thank you Cora. Please, take some time to rest. And.. maybe you should have a few people remove that dreadful statue out of your office?” Cora turned to the corner where a petrified Shivakan figure was looming with a dagger in hand. The candlelight flickering across its face and the shadows caused by the light made it look all the more menacing.

“No. I want to look at it for a while longer.”


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