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Ardent Trove

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  1. Chapter 34: Toxic Waste Dakro continues trekking through the barren, desert wasteland toward a building on the distant horizon. All too soon he is in the most dead, diseased area he has seen anywhere on Sucia Island. There is nothing alive here. Nothing. The ground is covered with a fine dust, which is stirred up by the slightest breeze. It makes his eyes water and his skin burn. Even a little time here fills him with nausea. He can travel through, but only with difficulty. It is almost completely silent. Almost, but not quite. Sometimes, he thinks he hears
  2. Chapter 33: Trash Dakro takes his first steps into the desert wastelands, remembering the warnings of the Sholai and Vikkari’s serviles. The former residents of former Vikkari were weak of mind and body, and it should be amusing to see what struck such fear into such trash. A few vlish wander the desert. Nothing special. They try a few of their mind tricks, but Dakro easily shrugs it off, and his glaahk use their own, more refined mental control. Soon, he has a small patrol of vlish leading their way through the desert. Vlish were not meant to be front line soldiers and
  3. Chapter 32: Strength “I’m weak,” says Dakro despondently as he writes in his journal. “Can’t enter the Research Core. Can’t enter the Repair Workshop. Can’t even subdue Kazg. And worst of all, I can’t let go of this ‘teddy bear.’” Dakro looks down at the singing rapier strapped to his bare flesh. Each time he lets it go, he feels the rage in his mind seeking to reassert control. Closing the journal, he continues practicing with the unwieldy Guardian Claymore. The practice is not made easier by the weight of the rapier throwing him off-balance. He wishes he had someone t
  4. Chapter 31: Understanding Dakro treks away from Kantre’s Realm, his three glaahks and other creations straining under their loads. It was unfortunate that he could not find the warm clothing he needed, but he can still turn to the serviles of Pentil. It is slow-going, but he arrives to much cheering. Cheering that is doubled when he lets them know he has brought them scavenged goods from across the island. Merchants immediately swarm his creations, unloading supplies. In all the shoving, a servile steps on Michelle’s toes. She lashes out, paralyzing the
  5. Chapter 30: Cold Dakro awakes to pretty singing. A pessimist would instantly realize it is not the soul-touching singing of before. An optimist would note that at least he didn’t completely break the rapier. Dakro, being self-centered, thinks only about himself, not the signing. He is exhausted and achy. He should not have fought his way up through a small army so soon after receiving a traumatic brain injury. He performs his morning ablutions and is in the middle of eating breakfast before even the hint of a thought about others enters his mind. He suddenly
  6. Chapter 29: Singing Dakro awakes in pain to the sound of melodious, soul-touching singing. His entire body aches, with various areas of agonizing pain sprinkled in. He tries taking his mind off the pain, suffusing his consciousness in the singing. Comforting visions of his family fill his mind. Feeling the warm sun as he gardens with his mother. Laughing with his dad as they stocked goods. The visions fade as he once again loses consciousness. When he reawakes to the unabated singing, he is parched, famished, and aching. Judging by how thirsty
  7. Chapter 28: Power Core A faint, weak voice intrudes on Dakro’s thoughts. He turns to look, and then realizes it is inside his head. A servant mind calls. The destruction of part of its facility has caught its attention, waking it from its years of slumber. The servant mind (at last noticing the rogues) reawakens the power station’s defenses. Long-dormant pylons activate and begin discharging deadly electricity. Howls of agony reverberates through the hallways as the fyoras fry. Dakro makes his way through the halls unmolested, the scent of ozone and cooked f
  8. Does the "Char using abil not present." bug require a reload? Or is there some way to not lose progress?
  9. Chapter 27: Priorities Thoughts of wasting time dealing with Yu-La vanish from Dakro’s mind. He must find these tablets. The distance is great and filled with hazards, both natural and non, but he fears nothing. A day later, he ascends into a narrow, rocky mountain valley. His hair is starting to stand on end. Sparks occasionally fly from his clothes and sword. There must be a power station nearby. In a power station, energy, magical and otherwise, is channeled into crystals. The crystals are then taken to fuel Shaper operations and research. After all th
  10. Chapter 26: Prism Dakro and his cockatrices carve a bloody path across the landscape. An outsider has Shaper secrets. She must be dealt with. A band of vlish lies ahead. They try to take control of the shaper and his cockatrices, but end up fighting each other for control. Disorganized, they are quickly reduced to carcasses rotting in the desert sun. For any successful society, there must be those who lead and those who follow. All else leads to chaos and death. A cockatrice picks through the vlish nest and finds a gold goblet. It’s radiant feathers reflect
  11. Chapter 25: Unbridled Power Dakro is pouring over maps in the command room when Clakkit is brought to him. He immediately tears himself away to address the messenger. “Clakkit. You are neutral. You may not actually be liked by any of the factions, but they all tolerate you and welcome the knowledge you bring. You can go anywhere.” Clakkit nods. “Talk you more. Me talk. Me know.” “Go to Ellhrah’s Keep as fast as you can. Tell them the Shapers have returned to protect the serviles. Tell them (to put it in a manner they can understand) we offer a trade. We will
  12. Chapter 24: Ward Dakro stands before what was once the Refuge. Half the buildings are in shambles, and the bandits are busy destroying the rest. A member of the Refuge runs up to Dakro. “It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? Who would have thought we would be working together with the bandit inutiles?” Beyond confused, Dakro does a double take. Now he can see that the bandits aren’t so much destroying the building as dismantling them. Looking farther on, he can see the citizens of the Refuge are busy turning the supplies into wagons and siege equipment.
  13. Chapter 23: Ascended Dakro wakes to the smell of cooking eggs. He quickly dresses and joins Mixer Valyra for breakfast. As he savors the exotic eggs and meat, he wonders if he’s ever had such a good home cooked meal. Valyra is a superb chef. Pentil has no idea who they banished. He meant to quickly see the Ascended today and get on with his plans, but the meal is so delicious that he enjoys seconds. And thirds. Stuffed at last, he loosens his belt, says he will be back for lunch, and follows the tracks east. He enters the exhibition hall, where Shapers came
  14. Chapter 22: Life As Dakro crosses the river to the east, he sees several inutiles playing in the water. Here they have created a dam of what appears to be bags of sand, forming an artificial swimming hole. It stands in stark contrast to the violence and politics that has become his life. The inutiles see him staring and he quickly moves on. The village leader is waiting for him to solve the bandit problem. More politics. More violence. Following the river north, he soon finds the bandit village. When the serviles ahead see him, they shout an alarm. Soon, the
  15. Chapter 21: Politics Dakro would love to tell Thrackerzod and Arixy where they can shove their plans, but knows they could be useful in helping him get back in the Shaper’s good graces. Worst case, he should take at least one of them with him to serve as the scapegoat required by hated politics. “I will seek this Lu-La, but if my experiences at Kazg are any indication, this inutile stronghold may prove a problem. Will you teach me to create Ghlaaks?” Kevin laughs. “That would take months, if not years.” Learning how to shape a creation with hundreds of mile
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