Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Ascended Soul Preview: Maelstrom

Swirling from the mists of arcana, the Maelstrom offers single-minded, powerful damage to the Primalist. It is part of the new Ascended Soul Pack, coming with Update 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended. Continue with us as we take a first look at this soul, including a story from the library of Captain Cursor.

The Maelstrom is a single-target ranged DPS soul for the Primalist, focusing on burst damage and reactive gameplay. Using the elements of Fire and Water, the Maelstrom brings together opposing forces to vaporize and consume foes.

Let’s review some of the key powers of this new soul. Vaporize is a combined attack of Fire and Water that blasts the target for extremely high damage. Excoriate is a fire-based damage over time (DoT) that increases in power with every tick that it clings to the target. Blast Wave creates a pulsing area of effect (AoE) around the Primalist which knocks back enemies every second for a period of time.

The Molten Thresher is the Maelstrom’s spirit animal – what better way to represent the scalding power of steam and flame? We think you’ll really enjoy the sheer visual power of the attacks of this class.

The Maelstrom pairs well with the Vulcanist soul – double the fire from a safe distance. This soul also has synergies with Berserker and Dervish as well, due to its DoT skills.

A Maelstrom at Ovog

“Nothing?” Nertei the Maelstrom made a fist, cracking all her knuckles.

“I have nothing to give. There is so little water. My crops have failed, my livestock wasted away. I am dying of thirst.” The Bahmi was dressed in rags, his lips parched and cracked, and he was covered in a fine layer of dust. He smelled rank, and Nertei could see the trail his filth left as he crawled up the stairs of Ovog to beg some water from her cistern. “Please divine Maelstrom. You must help.”

“You dare to tell me what I must do?” Her beacon rose up from the ground, the opposed elements of fire and water spinning angrily around each other in a fury. “Who are you to tell me anything? Did you study at the gnarled and filthy feet of the great mystic Zam Nuuts? Did you endure his fetid breath and inane parables about Primalism? Did you have the genius to see beyond his visions and create a new path?”

The supplicant scrambled back from the imposing form of Nertei, as she continued to berate him, “No! You just come here and expect to take what is mine! My water! My power! And you tell me you have nothing to offer in return?” Her hands began to glow as steam was heated to impossible termperatures. “But you are wrong! You can give me your life! You can offer up your radiance!” Nertei conjured a bolt of searing plasma, reducing the poor man to a pile of ash, leaving only a glowing miasma floating on the still air, which healed and refreshed her.
As Nertei absorbed the radiant karma, she was overcome with the calming harmony that constantly tried to oppose her primal power. She heard her mentor Zam in her mind. “Calm down Nertei, fury is a tool, not a state of being.”

She briefly recalled the harmony she felt the day she was enshrined as the Keeper, when all of the Wilds came to Ovog to celebrate her. “Well they are not here anymore.” She thought, looking out at the courtyard where only a few wretched souls cringed. Too terrified to approach, too desperate to go anywhere else, even having witnessed her actions. She leaned back in the summer’s heat to rest, watching them through narrowed eyes.

Suddenly, the rabble began to scream and flee, jolting Nierti out of her reverie. “Why are they running? I didn’t do anything to them yet!” Then she heard the thudding footsteps and felt the ground shake Ovog, as a flame haired giant crawled over the wall.

Nertei smiled and drew herself upright, “Finally. No more beggars.”

“Nertei the Maelstrom, Keeper of the Wilds, you know what I have come for.” bellowed the giant.

“Yes. You are Teth. One of the demon’s many forms. And you want the radiance of the Wilds that I have taken. But you won’t kill me, I am far too powerful.” Nertei called her beacon to her side. She had been waiting for this.

“I don’t have to kill you.” the giant rumbled, “We could strike a pact. In exchange for the radiance, I could make them love you again.” The giant gestured at the fleeing people. His other selves had been watching her for some time. He knew what it was she wanted, or so he thought.
“Love? Fool!” Nertei called forth the water from Ovog’s mystic cistern, and began to drown the giant with it, shutting off further words. “I have no desire for their love!” Her spirit animal burst forth, a fiery thresher, all teeth and fury. Nertei launched devastating bolts of fire and scalding steam at the giant as it struggled to break free of its watery debilitation.

The giant struggled, lurching forward against the watery bonds. Just as it reached her, raising its massive fists to smash her to pieces, she detonated waves of explosions that knocked the Tenebrean back, leaving her far beyond its reach. She blasted the giant with a stream of fire and moved with the speed of flame to stand clear of the now panicking creature. “I want the same thing you do,” she hissed, “The Radiance of the Wilds. All of it! And you have all I need!”

Her fury was palpable, and every attack further fueled her primal magic. By the time the giant could get close again she had vaporized a few appendages, and excoriated much of its carapace. “No! You can’t! Such a waste!” The giant bellowed as it fell at the feet of the Maelstrom. It was not yet dead, but broken and powerless, in a huge, crumpled heap.

“Waste? I know the secret! Zam revealed it to me when he made me Keeper. But that old fool was too cowardly to even try himself!” The fire thresher had left her, and her fury was falling from her without the pain of her primal power to drive it. She struggled to regain her composure, and she trembled slightly. She just needed to take his essence and then a quick trip to Rhaza’de and she would be a god.

“It’s the secret to the Ascension Machine, why the Baac failed, but why you can operate it. It’s the radiance.” Nertei enjoyed her last look at the unnatural terror on the giant’s face before she ended its existence with a final bolt of plasma. She drank deep of the power that it returned.
Nertei tingled all over. She had been collecting radiance for years now, ever since her mentor Zam granted her the Radiance of the Wilds with his passing, but it had never felt so powerful, so present, so otherworldly. She felt… ethereal. The world swam before her eyes and she was utterly drained after her superhuman ordeal.

She felt herself collapsing, only to be caught by a pair of powerful arms belonging to her favorite initiate, the only one that never looked at her with fear. “Ah it’s you,” she mumbled dreamily. “I think I’m ready. Ready to ascend.”

“I know you are, Divine Maelstrom. We are prepared.” He handed her a water skin. “Drink this.” Nertei reached for the skin and gulped it down gratefully.
“Tastes strange…” Something was wrong. She tried to regain her feet, struggled to call forth her beacon, but the world was spinning, and she couldn’t focus. “I’m going to ascend…” Nertei sang out as her eyes went dark and empty.

“No.” Said the acolyte, dropping her to the ground. He held up his hands, revealing a brand of a fallen star in one, and blade known as the Raz’dara, the right edge of destiny, in the other. “No one who seeks to ascend will survive. Not you, not the demon. We will destroy all who attempt it.”

The ragged crowd had begun to refill the square, still traumatized by the day’s events, not knowing if her fall meant hope or more suffering. The sun set without an answer, but the cistern, now unguarded, was slowly refilling.


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