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Chapter 7 - Stand On Your Own

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Stand On Your Own
Moonless Age chapter
Postcard Chapter 7 - Stand On Your Own.png
Main characters


Related factions

Hoping for answers regarding Faen's departure, Chapter 7 chronicles Ariel's efforts to confront Faen's former classmates.

Summary

Ariel's Depression

Still devastated by the loss of Faen, Ariel continues to spiral into an even greater depression. Her knowledge of the drow language increasing her understanding of the situation, Vaelia watches with worry as Ariel begins to lose not just interest in her well-being, but weight as well. Not helping matters is the strict training regimen Ariel is subjected to under the Fallen Legion. Efforts by Vaelia to help are stifled by Jiv'kyn, Myo'na, and Ant'alya, who barely tolerate Vaelia's presence in Ariel's midst, much less any physical contact. Vaelia's frustration grows as she considers the Fallen Legion to be protecting her with the callous nature of a jailor, while she is forced to watch her charge slowly wither and die.

Ariel herself notes the change among the three legionnaires during training. While friendly otherwise, in the presence of their commander, they become cold and distant. Idly, Ariel supposes this was how she herself reacted while in the presence of Quain'tana, which brought out a much more formal demeanor than that she had shared with Faen. Seeking to make Ariel happy once more, Vaelia encourages Ariel to travel to the surface and find Faen. As Ariel protests that she has never been to the surface nor even knew what had truly happened during Faen's incident, she thinks on Chrys'tel's involvement. Latching onto the idea that she knew the truth and had perhaps even framed Faen for her own crimes, Ariel becomes determined to confront the Sharen girl.

Confronting Chrys'tel

The next day, Ariel travels to Orthorbbae as the students leave for their most recent breaks from classes, accompanied by Vaelia, Myo'na, and Jiv'kyn. Jiv'kyn is able to locate Faen's former classmates at Raveran street, and signals his companions several rooftops away. Aware that her quarry would reach Klar'bol by the time she made it down to the lower levels and insisting it was a matter she must do herself, Ariel decides to take a shorter route. Using her shapeshifting, she forms a pair of wings that would allow her to glide to the streets below quickly. Though hesitating as she remembers her near fatal falls, Ariel focuses her resolve and, with the aid of her air sorcery, takes "flight". Though her initial landing is less than graceful, she quickly adapts and arrives in an alley near her targets in short order. Taking out a mirror, Ariel then prepares for the next step in her plan.

Having taken an appearance very similar to Faen, Ariel allows herself to be seen from within a nearby alley, luring Chrys'tel into following. Stopping a short distance away, Chrys'tel immediately asks her why she returned, only for "Faen" to bluntly demand to know who killed their teacher. Frustrated and not yet realizing the deception, Chrys'tel approachs Ariel and grabs her by the shoulders. Angrily, she berates "Faen" her for her actions that resulted in the injuries, and for coming back while well aware Chrys'tel would have no choice but to bring her before the Sharen for punishment.

Having heard enough, Ariel abruptly draws a hidden knife and impales Chrys'tel by the forearm. To Ariel's shock, Chrys'tel repels a following barrage of mana and begins removing the knife without uttering a single sound. Now realizing that her attacker was not Faen, Chrys'tel attempts to defend herself with her own blood-fueled high sorcery, burning through Ariel's dress and threatening to cause injury to the flesh below. In response, Ariel savagely twists the blade to further aggravate the injury, causing Chrys'tel to momentarily collapse from the pain. Though Chryst'tel stubbornly tries to rise to her feet once more, she is finally subdued by a brutal kick to her face.

Chrys'tel intervenes in the confrontation between Ariel and Chrys'tel's companions.[1]

Chirinide Intervenes

Following their companion at last, Chrys'tel's friends arrive and Ariel resumes her true form. Their reactions vary between condescending and enraged, but all with hostile intent. As Ariel refuses to surrender herself or her quarry without answers, a further confrontation seems imminent and Ariel readies another blast of mana. However, before further fighting occurs, Chirinide arrives on the scene in the company of two adult templars. She orders the pair two capture all of the tainted presence, as well as Kyo'nne, whom she refers to as a "corrupted one". As the girls flee, Ariel stands confused by the sudden aid, marveling at her first sight of a drowussu.

Introducing herself as one of Holy Mother Shimi'lande's daughters, Chiri informs Ariel of her orders to protect her as a "daughter of the Holy Eye". Utterly baffled as Chiri insists on her importance to a coming war, Ariel can only muster a sheepish look as as Chiri berates the young heir for leaving her guardians behind. As Ariel's protectors arrive on the scene, Jiv'kyn is wary of the timing of the Kyorl'solenurn arrival, to which Chirinide irritably comments she had not forseen clearly.

Sternly, Ariel agrees with Jiv'kyn and demands Chiri explain herself. As Chirinide explains that the Nidraa'chal are slowly winning the war they began, a rousing Chrys'tel rebukes her, insisting the Nidraa'chal were defeated long ago save only a few scattered survivors. Calmly, Chiri draws attention to Chrys'tel's tainting, lecturing Ariel on both the nature of the taint and its rapid spread throughout the underworld. As Chrys'tel's protests fall on deaf ears, Ariel recalls Syphile as Chiri suggests she kill any with the red eyes of the tainted in order to "free" them of their corruption.

Answers at Last

Characters

Main Characters

Portrait Ariel Val'Sarghress arc1.png
Ariel is a young girl that is coping with the sudden departure of her best friend, Faen Val'Sullisin'rune.
Portrait Vaelia.png
Vaelia is an Emberi soldier of theVal'Sarghress clan and an important friend of Ariel.



Ariel's Guardians

Portrait Ant'alya Sarghress.png
Ant'alya is a friendly member of the Fallen Legion that invited Tir'ade to join the Val'Sarghress during his exile.
Portrait Jiv'kyn Sarghress.png
Jiv'kyn is a member of the Fallen Legion. He and Myo'na were tasked with protecting Ariel Val'Sarghress until she came of age.
Portrait Mablevi Sarghress.png
Mablevi is the commander of the Fallen Legion, a stealth-based division of the Val'Sarghress military.
Portrait Myo'na Sarghress.png
Myo'na is a member of the Fallen Legion. She and Jiv'kyn were tasked with protecting Ariel Val'Sarghress until she came of age.



Faen's Classmates

Portrait Chrys'tel Vel'Sharen arc1.png
Chrys'tel was one of Faen's former classmates and her roommate at Orthorbbae.
Portrait Kiel'ndia Vel'Vloz'ress arc1.png
Kiel'ndia was one of Faen's former classmates and a close friend of Naal'suul.
Portrait Kyo'nne Val'Illhar'dro arc1.png
Kyo'nne was one of Faen's former classmates.
(Naal'suul Val'Beldrobbaen_arc1.png not found, click to upload)
Naal'suul was one of Faen's former classmates and a close friend of Kiel'ndia.
Portrait Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen.png
Nihi'liir was one of Faen's former classmates, who triggered Faen's disastrous empathic breakdown with her harsh treatment.
Portrait Shinae Vel'Sharen arc1.png
Was one of Faen's former classmates, and Chrys'tel's protector twin.



Orthorbbae Faculty

Portrait Kel'noz Val'Sarghress.png
Kel'noz is the son of Quain'tana Val'Sarghress and a trusted Sarghress diplomat. He also serves as a headmaster at Orthorbbae.
Portrait Sate'ja Vel'Sharen.png
Sate'ja was the teacher Faen effectively killed by destroying her mind, as the former tried to intervene during Faen's breakdown.
Portrait Tralyn the Clanless.png
Tralyn is a wizened Orthorbbae Master, responsible for teaching history to the students of Davya tower.


Other Characters

Portrait Chirinide Val'Kyorl'solenurn Arc I.png
A young Val'Kyorl'solenurn warden that lives to serve in the name of Sharess and the clan, but is often caught between the conflict of upbringing and the truth.
Portrait Syphile Val'Sarghress.png
Ariel recalls her older sister as Chiri informs her of the nature of those bearing red eyes.


Sources:

  1. Chapter 7, page 20