Saturday, April 09, 2016

Ascended Soul Preview: Shadeborn

Darkness holds many dangers, and the Shadeborn is one of them. We are offering it as part of the new Ascended Soul Pack, coming to Telara with Update 3.6; celebration of the Ascended. Explore the night with us, and get your first look at the Shadeborn through the pen of Captain Cursor.

The Shadeborn is a DPS soul that excels in taking out one or two targets. They deal impressive Death damage to the primary target and due to the sheer power of darkness, may hit a marked secondary target as well.

This deadly soul makes extensive use of “Bond of Night,” a mark that, when placed on a target, causes a portion of damage they deal to also be dealt this target. The core of their burst damage emerges from the talent “Consuming Depths,” which deals impressive damage over 3 seconds. Masterful use of Bond of Night and target swapping will increase their damage potential.

Visually, the Shadeborn’s trademark effect causes spikes of shadow to drive into the target, commanding forces that claw and tear.

The Shadeborn soul makes an excellent match with Nightblade, building on each other’s substantial Death damage. Many Shadeborn tools compliment the cleaving nature of Nightblade.

To Kill Aedraxis

Xavar closed his eyes and focused for a moment, calming his beating heart. He had been taught well by the learned sages of Caer Mathos. All things in this world are connected. A thread runs through us all; men, beasts, demons, monsters. Each one possessed a shared gift. The gift of death.

Xavar opened his eyes and assessed the smaller of the two mountain trolls, brothers that had been terrorizing this hill country. While the traitors in Zareph’s rebellion took up arms against King Aedraxis, the rest of the Mathosian Empire suffered. The lord of Granite Falls would normally deal with an incursion of these foul creatures, deal with them with a chest of gold. They would get no such mercies from Xavar. He stared deep into the being of the second troll and shared his Bond of Night with the monster.

With a leap into the shadows, Xavar made a sudden appearance in front of the larger of the giant trolls, and lashed his swords deep into the monster’s flesh. A great bellow issued forth from the pair of misshapen humanoids, as the wounds inflicted upon the larger brother were also visited upon his sibling. Xavar couldn’t help but smile, and repeat his mantra, “We are all connected by the great gift.”

The return to Caer Mathos was uneventful. The stable boy ran up to Xavar to tend to his horse when a string of large, cracked tusks tied to a cord was tossed at him. “I know you collect ears, boy, but the trolls didn’t have any.”

Xavar smiled at the young squire’s excitement with the gift, then frowned at the empty courtyard. “Where is everyone? Where are the armies of the king?”

“His Majesty has marched on the rebel stronghold near Ardenburgh, sir,” the squire replied, breathlessly, “His magician has finished the great machine – our king is about to become our god!”

Xavar wheeled about suddenly, almost knocking the squire over, and spurred his horse to fill it with the dark urgency he so keenly felt. The reins rubbed the brand on his hand roughly, and it ached more than usual. “We should have just killed that Eth sorcerer,” he thought, fiercely. But his contact within the Order of the Fallen Star had forbidden it. “You have not the power to kill that one.” he was told, “You would only reveal our presence.”

As he raced into the king’s camp, he saw that the ritual had already begun. Aedraxis stood in full regalia upon the platform, and that Ethian snake, Orphiel, was ready at the lever of his forsaken contraption. Xavar begged the gods and the destroyer to forgive him, placed his Bond of Night upon his liege lord Aedraxis and then began a dreadful slaughter of his countrymen. Aedraxis staggered back from the sudden and repeated assaults upon his lifeline, but it was not enough to knock him off the platform. With no assailant visible on the dias, Orphiel did not notice that this attack was even directed upon the king. The lever was pulled and the soul of a dragon was released upon Telara.

The world broke. Armies died. A mortal man ascended to godhood, briefly.

“What about this one?” asked the acolyte of the Endless Court, reaching out to touch the battle scarred bones of the old skeleton that guarded the chamber door. The necromancer frowned and glanced up from her tome of spells.

“Careful girl. I didn’t animate that one. Regulos himself raised it personally on the day the rifts came.”

The acolyte gasped. “Shadeborn-” and withdrew her hand.

“It was the last mortal to betray Aedraxis. Be wary or it will leave its mark.” The necromancer warned, returning to the ancient tome as she idly rubbed the painful brand on her palm.


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