Friday, April 01, 2016

Ascended Soul Preview: The Frostkeeper







Ice is powerful. It carves mountains, makes the best steel brittle, but also becomes a remarkable protective and healing tool, in the right hands. The Frostkeeper is one of the new souls in the Ascended Soul pack, available with the launch of Update 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended. Read on to discover a few things about this ice-cold class, accompanied by an illustrative tale by Captain Cursor.


A healing soul focused on keeping tanks alive, the Frostkeeper merges magical elements of water and earth. the water in this case becomes ice, a keen tool when shaped by skilled hands and mind. The Frostkeeper has three different Barriers that may be formed around an ally to protect them from harm. In dire situations, this soul can also channel Eternal Preservation to save a friend from lethal damage.

This is a Mage soul, and mastery of Ice provides a distinctive frosted touch to the appearance of all abilities, including the targeted area of effect (AOE) ability Frozen Ground, which buffs allies while it slows enemies.

Frostkeeper can be placed alongside Cholomancer for a very potent healing combination. It also suits the Warlock soul well, allowing for easier charge management.



The Piracy of Ateos

Semeru, the new Prince of Shipwrecks, shivered on his Solace barge as the northern waves rocked his craft. They approached the secret Moonshade cove that contained the icebound Shi-Ming junk with some difficulty. Neither the barge nor Semeru was suited to this weather, and both found themselves creaking and groaning. He should have heeded his Uncle’s advice: “Kill a dwarf, take his coat.”

Five Kelari awaited him on the iceberg that trapped the ship. As he drew close, he noted that they were far better prepared, wrapped in brine lasher skin coats, with barr hoods fringed in rime. These were from a tribe that prowled the Sea of Ice far to the north of their tropical brethren and knew well how to survive in the frozen wastes.

Semeru disembarked with his servant, approached the group and extended both a smile and a hand in greeting, but the Kelari just looked at him blankly. The oldest one stood in the back, a tall, rail thin elf with icy dark eyes which narrowed as they looked over Semeru, judging him, and then spoke up. “Yah no is done mahn we be gunna meet,” he intoned. This must be Ateos the Frostkeeper, Semeru realized. His Uncle had described the mage well. “He says he doesn’t know you, master,” his servant mumbled in translation, huddled against the cold.

“True enough. But Uncle Hekeru has died of… an overindulgence, and I have taken control.” Semeru smiled even harder, and glanced around to see if his words would be translated back. The northern pirates seemed to understand him well enough, as they whispered to each other and then nodded.

Semeru took that as consent. “If you don’t mind, Ateos, please tell me how you are able to net so formidable a prize. The Shi-Ming do not part willingly with their ships. Where is the rest of your crew?”

The old Kelari began a tale of their attack upon the Empire’s ship while Semeru’s servant translated the pidgin into something resembling a coherent story:
Ateos shouted out orders as he placed barriers of earth, frost, and crystal on his warriors after they had scaled the side of the merchant junk. He then wrapped the archer Kaler in a frigid embrace of ice and wind that coated her arrows with ice, empowering her attacks.

The sailors were quick to raise the alarm and pressed back on their attackers, but Ateos coated his allies with ice, crystal and earth, binding their wounds and building up barriers that deflected the onslaught of the Shi-Ming. The five Kelari steadily killed off the crew of the junk, drawing blood with each slash of the blade, and each arrow that leapt icily from their tight formation. The defending crew fought on bravely, unable to comprehend how this small group of pirates was able to whittle them down. More often than not their weapons drew shards of ice and stone from the magically shielded combatants, and what blood was drawn was quickly healed by the spells of the Frostkeeper.

The ship’s sorcerer, desperate to defeat the attack, called forth a fire demon to attack the pirates…

Semeru didn’t think that was entirely accurate, sure that even a mage with Ateos’s reputation would have problems with such an opponent. he interrupted, “A fire demon! How did you survive a monstrosity so powerful?” he asked.

“Ain no tang kin kill a Kelari when I keist mah whammy. Dey will live, or succumb tah Eternal Preservation in dah ice.” The old mage smiled grimly and tapped the fire ogre’s ears that he had tied to a leather strap to his parka, and then to demonstrate, he froze them solid in a ball of ice.

“Well, I thoroughly enjoyed your tale of adventure on the high seas. I have your payment here, and wish to provide you a bonus, in thanks. Though I must admit that I expected there would be more in your band… no matter.” Semeru smiled his most ingratiating smile as he gestured at the additional crates piled near him, “This ship is a fine prize indeed – I am well satisfied with the transaction!”

The Kelari loaded them up quickly and silently, and paddled away to the horizon with the chest of platinum, and the bonus crates. it was hard to gauge their emotion, but to Semeru’s eye, they looked pleased as they left.

As they reached perhaps a hundred meters distance, Semeru gripped a golden dragon charm his Uncle had given him he dropped his pretense. The gold felt cool against the star brand on his palm as he breathed, “You had your master, Uncle. I have mine.”

The small Kelari craft was obliterated in a massive explosion. Semeru scanned the horizon with his spyglass. As the smoke and debris cleared, he spotted a lone iceberg rising from the water with a single form trapped within. “Eternal Preservation…” Semeru muttered to himself. His smile was rueful, calculating and genuine.

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