The Forfeiter of the Throne is Nigh!
The release of the new Jericho deck is imminent, and with it comes a new glimpse into life on Argaia. When we first announced Ashes Reborn, we included this little morsel:
“In my dream I saw a great war; one long-fought over many years, and in the end there was but a single victor. A true Phoenix, she was like a second sun, and I wept at the sight of her. But the dream ended, as all are wont to do. What portent was revealed by this nocturnal whimsy? I feel that something has happened, as if the world itself was changed but no one was ever informed. My world is identical to the world of my dream, save for one detail. The victor. Why is she and she alone unique between these worlds? What has she done?”
— The Final Pythia
No one remembers the violent mercenary who called herself Jericho Kill. Indeed, it is as if she never existed. in the place of that ruthless killer is a new Jericho, one who knows mercy, self control, and who can tap into a previously unknown source of power. What has happened? For the common folk of Argaia, guessing at the motives of the Phoenixborn is an old and popular sport…
Two Things to Worry About
The wise have oft said that the world would never change if it were perfect. I know this to be true, yet it is impossible for this old woman not to witness change and feel at least some trepidation. There are two events in particular that have troubled me of late.
Word has reached me at Gorrenrock that the Vermillion Council has expelled Darius, naming him the Terminal Amurai. The title comes as a surprise to no one — the Council ceased training amurai decades ago. But to expel such a well-respected individual, and one who is arguably the Council’s best claim to relevance, is a curious move. More curiously, travelers claim the Council is shuttering the entirety of their offices, schools, and hospitals abroad. It would seem only the walled city-university of Sunhold is being preserved and its gates are now closed to all travelers not employed by the Council. I wonder if the closures have also impacted the secret citadel the Vermillion Council built near the ruins of Old Gobi? There is no one I can ask as I am not supposed to know of that little unadvertised location, and I have grown too frail to travel. Ah, but it lies so temptingly close! In any case, the Council’s actions are puzzling ones for an organization whose words are, “Peace, Prosperity, and Protection!”
The other item that has left me sleepless this past week, are the most recent words of the Final Pythia. The mystic of Delphi has been issuing cryptic statements regarding Jericho Whitepetal, the usually isolated Phoenixborn of Abylon. No one has ever accused a Pythia of clarity, but her words seem lacking in their usual calm. Sudden warnings about Whitepetal, all void of specificity, are curious given that Jericho, more than most of her divine siblings, shows great reluctance to engage in battle. Indeed, she recently passed through Gorrenrock without incident, and last I heard she had spent a few days with the people of New Gobi. These wanderings are unusual for her — Whitepetal has rarely left her home since the Great Cleansing. The Pythia’s words are frustratingly vague as if she fears Jericho but more greatly fears the rest of the world understanding why.
The Vermillion Council craves isolation, and Jericho Whitepetal has ended hers. I do not understand what is happening, or what these tidings portend. But I have made a successful career out of being a political weathervane, and I can sense the coming storm. Oh, how I wish I could return home to my beloved Goldwater before my curtain finally drops.
— From the journal of Elga Trilling, founder and former editor of The Weekly Highriver.