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Occurs during chapters 44 46
6-7th Day, 7th Moon - Feldian Affairs
Felde Gathering & Plans for a New Era
As The District War rages, Snadhya'rune spreads discreet invitations among the clans to a gathering in Felde. Kiel is among those who elect to attend, accompanied by Kharla'ggen, Chrys'tel, Nau, and others. They are shortly joined by Sara and An'jin, and later still encounter a Jaal'daryan delegation likewise attending the meeting. Unbeknownst to Kiel, Chrys'tel makes a bargain with Nyo'ka to allow the Sharen passage through the Vloz'ress district while the group is away in Felde.
Upon arriving, it is clear the gathering is an open secret, with massive numbers of delegates representing nearly every clan and faction in the Underworld. Many are attending in earnest, yet others have their own agendas. Once such example is Ran'diirk, who makes a desperate attempt on the life of Snadhya'rune in attempt to avenge his kin and queen. Unfortunately, he is easily dispatched by Snadhya'rune, who merely uses the scene as a segue into a speech to the delegates.
In this speech, Snadhya'rune discusses her three-fold plan for conquest:
- Firstly, she reveals a poison developed from the spores of a flower that renders those afflicted insane. Demonstrating her confidence in her own cure by ingesting a sample, Snadhya'rune informs all those present that the toxin will be spread amongst all the clans of Chel, with the cure dispersed only to those clans that bend their knee to her rule.
- Secondly, she unveils the weapon she will use to conquer the surface colonies: A great airship and relic of the old ages, stolen from Nuqrah'shareh. Arriving with the ship is Kalki, who brings forth Jiaan, captured during the attempt to prevent the vessel's theft. The broken man is quickly bent to her service as a demonstration of her mercy to those that give her their allegiance.
- Finally, using Jiaan, Snadhya’rune demonstrates perhaps her most insidious tool... a means to control one’s taint. Through unknown processes, both drow and seed are forcibly bonded together, resulting in a distinct being that lacks the usual dangers and drawbacks of tainting. Though unconfirmed, this process appears to leave the subject highly malleable to Snadhya’rune’s suggestions.
Sarghress Incursion & Shinae's Corruption
During this time, a Sarghress squad under the command of Erelice infiltrates the meeting, acting on intelligence from Wafay Val'Jaal'darya regarding the Nidraa’chal conspiracy and the development of the flower poison. While able to assassinate Femi and secure a sample of the toxin’s cure, the group is unable to escape from the compound and is captured; though Sabryne is able to pass the cure off to Sara before being apprehended.
With Femi's death, and the loss of the cure, Snadhya'rune and Wi'am task Aman'ita with it’s recreation. Incensed at this interference, and Erelice's refusal to provide information, Snadhya'rune elects to demonstrate the airship’s weaponry upon the soldiers under Erelice's command. The first salvo is off-target, though Sabryne and Briz'dra are slain instantly. As the airship prepares for another shot, a freed Filf'rae shields Vayas'arn at the cost of her own life.
Satisfied with the demonstration, and convinced Erelice can be made to yield at a later time, Snadhya'rune re-imprisons the surviving Sarghress and returns her attention to the meeting. Though those present witness how the Snadhya'rune's method of controlling the taint affected Jiaan, many are still desperate enough to risk the process. Among these is Shinae, who undergoes the procedure and emerges distinctly altered in outlook and loyalties. Though Chrys'tel is greatly alarmed, Shinae insists she remains devoted to her sister, if not to the clan.
Ariel’s Arrival & Dinner with Family
Meanwhile, Ariel and her companions finally arrive, at the invitation of Kyo’nne. Once there, the group is given comfortable accommodations and Kyo’nne leads Ariel and Faen to a dinner at Snadhya’rune’s table. Reuniting with her mother, Ariel is immediately on-guard and wary; matters not helped by Kalki’s disruptive demeanor.
Snadhya’rune attempts to influence Ariel and set the stage for further negotiations with the young heir, but Ariel demonstrates a keen mistrust and is soon offended by the insinuations of the Sharen matriarch. As Ariel makes her stance clear and bluntly refuses Snadhya’rune’s advances, Kalki’s patience runs out and she pins Ariel’s hand to the table with a knife.
Though Snadhya’rune quickly rebukes her daughter, this only serves to further enrage the crazed Nidraa’chal agent. In a fit of further jealousy, and before Ariel can recover, she steals Lulianne’s sword and cuts Ariel’s arm off at the shoulder. Immediately, the scene is plunged into chaos, with Zhor attempting to protect his daughter while Faen attempts to aid Ariel. Snadhya’rune acts promptly to throw Kalki out with powerful summons, darkly warning her daughter not to further test her patience.
Ariel is, with great effort, able to close the wound with her sorcery, but the arm remains lost. Attempting to salvage the negotiations, Snadhya’rune has Riz’riia brought forth to forcibly “donate” her arm to Ariel, that she might absorb it be made whole again. Under Snadhya’rune’s urging, Ariel seemingly begins the process, but quickly forces herself away and rejects the plan as standing against Sarghress ideals. Snadhya’rune is disappointed, but promises to have Ariel fitted with a golem-limb from the Jaal’darya.
Unbeknownst to the others, Kalki's jealousy at Ariel's treatment drives her over the edge. Disregarding her mother's warning, she moves with Sasi'rael and Ynda to eliminate Ariel’s entourage. However, the group is forwarned of the danger through one of Chiri’s visions. They begin their escape, but are unable to elude Kalki’s pursuit, and a battle begins atop one of the palace’s elevators.
Elsewhere, Sil'lice and Nishi'kanta lead an expedition to Mimaneid to secure Kavahini support. Upon arriving, they are greeted by Mikilu'ligr, who leads them to the Illharess of the Kavahini, Ulvakhi. Though the group discuss attacking Zala'ess' forces as they return the Chel, they ultimately elect to strike preemptively at Snadhya'rune in Felde. As fate would have it, the Kavahini forces reach the palace and airship just as Kalki's group begins overpowering Ariel's companions.
Ariel and Faen enter the fray as they save both Chiri and Shan, who had run afoul of Yuh'le. Unfortunately, their party has been split apart during the chaos, leaving Shala, Kau, and Sar'nel to face Kalki's group alone. Unintentionally stumbling into Snadhya'rune's tainting room, they are quickly overwhelmed. Ariel arrives and attempts to use Ynda as a hostage, but Kalki laughs off the attempt and slits Shala’s throat in response. The fight resumes, and while Ariel is able to briefly surprise Kalki with her sorcery, the veteran Nidraa’chal fighter quickly gains the upper hand, gleefully taunting her downed opponents.
It is this very hubris that proves her downfall. Sar’nel, having defeated Sasi’rael in combat, arrives to challenge Kalki. Enraged, Kalki leaves herself open to an attack from behind, as Ariel recovers long enough to use her greater stature to her advantage in a grapple. Pinned, Kalki is unable to do anything but scream in pain and fury as Ariel absorbs the left arm of the very person who took the original. Knocking Kalki out with a final punishing kick to the face, the group continues to flee, joining Kiel's own party as they escape. While Ariel’s decision to attend the meeting had unintended benefits, including Sara’s retrieval of the cure, the losses are just as great. Notably, Shala succumbs to blood loss, and dies peacefully in the arms of her brother and Sar'nel.
The Mimaneid Assault
Meanwhile, the bulk of the Mimaneid force launches an assault upon the airship itself, fighting through the defenders to reach critical systems. While the Kavahini succeed in disabling the craft, they are unable to hold their prize, as Snadhya'rune sends her most powerful empaths to retake the vessel. The bulk of the surviving Kavahini fall back to the World Tree as their force is routed.
However, not all of the Kavahini had participated in the main assault. A force comprising Chakri, Myridil, and Mikilu delve further into the fortress. The trio reach Snadhya'rune and manage to briefly overpower her escort, but are unable to get past Snadhya'rune's defenses. Tauntingly, Snadhya’rune orders Lulianne to finish off Mikilu, but the proud Dutan’vir is able to overcome Khaless’ hold on her long enough to turn her own blade against herself.
At the same moment Erelice, released by Kiel in the chaos, uses the distraction to stab the Sharen matriarch from behind. Having been grievously wounded by the sneak-attack, Snadhya'rune enters a blind fury. Though Chakri and Mikilu manage to escape, Myridil is crushed to death by Snadhya'rune's powerful summons.
The defeat of the Kavahini would prove disastrous for Sil’lice. With her own forces arriving at the scene of the battle with the Kavahini already in rout, moons of preperation are wasted and she is forced to return to the Sarghress both empty-handed and cut off from her Dutan’vir liason, Mikilu. On the other side of the battle, Kalki ends up paying the ultimate price for her disruption of her mother’s plans. While she attempts to wrest control of the airship to pursue Ariel’s group, Snadhya’rune arrives to make good on her earlier threat. Her patience shattered by the assassination attempt, and having decided her child to be a liability rather than asset, the Motherkiller becomes Daughterkiller as she calmly tears Kalki apart with summons.
This article reflects events up to Chapter 50.