Pantheon Online

C.228 Shrouded Moon Festival (Part 1)Oct 12, 2023

228 Shrouded Moon Festival (Part 1)

Exile frowned as he stood on the wall next to Clay, listening to the buzzing sound. There was no sign of any enemies, and the messenger had interrupted his talk with Ania at the worst possible moment. The player appeared just after he had explained the frozen womb curse.

He knew Ania was bound to be devastated by the news. However, the information that Valheim could be experiencing an attack forced him to leave her alone with that news. Exile frowned as he studied the forest. The noise was not the same as the one he heard when he fought the flying Deep Stalkers. This was caused by something else entirely.

A great swarm of insects rose from the forest into the sky, causing everyone to become worried. They were unsure as to what was going on, but they figured it could not be anything good. Exile noticed the bright sky turning dark, and a dull moon appearing from nowhere. 'What the hell are the developers throwing at us now?'

Exile cursed as they were plunged into darkness with only the slightest bit of light to see. He realised many players were beginning to panic as that phenomenon unfolded. However, the notification sound drew his attention to his log.

[Welcome to the Shrouded Moon Festival!]

[For the next 24 hours, the veil between the Mortal Realm and the Spirit Realm will be thinner. Good, and Evil spirits now roam the Mortal Realms. Give your divine protection to your followers and defend them from these spirits. Close down the gateways to end their assault on the living. Collect Spirit Tokens to purchase rewards in the last hour of the event. Good Luck!]

As the players of Skardia cursed their luck, a glowing orange dome appeared as it covered Valheim. The players stared at it in wonder, while trying to decide who of their Pantheon to leave behind to defend against the Deep Stalkers. Exile studied the dark orange runes on parts of the dome with a grin.

"Clay, gather everyone and have them descend. We can ignore Valheim for now. This dome prevents anything from getting in or out." Exile chuckled.

"Do we all gather in Eraldsfen?" Clay asked with a curious expression.

"No, let them cover the areas where their own Oracles are. If we have time after dealing with our own areas, we'll move on and help any members who are struggling." Exile said as he conjured his levitation rune and flew to the temple to return to Himinbj?rg.

Meanwhile, Ania felt a shiver run down her spine as the sun disappeared behind the darkening sky. A full moon shrouded by dark clouds appeared as people began to scream on the streets. Warriors rushed back and forth, carrying weapons and arrows to the walls.

'It's the Shrouded Moon!' Ania gasped as she recognised the event from Bjorn's stories. The last Shrouded Moon had occurred before she was born. So this was her first time dealing with it.

"The spirits are rising! To arms!" Inga, the captain of the Fenrir, yelled.

Ania rushed to the fortress to prepare herself as the first sounds of battle reached her ears. She cursed as the figure of a man rose from the ground. His body was made of black smoke, while two red orbs glowed where his eyes should be.

Ania yelped as she jumped back to avoid the clawed hand that slashed at her. She spun to the side and launched a kick, but her foot passed through the spirit harmlessly!

Ania cursed again as she backed up to avoid the next blow. 'We can't hurt them!' She frowned as she pointed her finger toward it and discharged a lightning bolt.

The smoke dispersed under the lightning and fled back into the ground. Ania stooped down to pick up the silver coin the spirit left behind. On one side, it had the image of a skull, while on the other there was a wisp.

'I don't remember this part in Bjorn's stories.' Ania hummed to herself as a lightning bolt carrying a familiar aura landed on the ground next to her.

Exile glanced around as he listened to the yells. His eyes fell on Ania staring at him while holding a silver coin. Exile's eyes narrowed as he held out his hand toward her.

"I'll take that, Ania," Exile said as she gently placed it into his palm. "You should have everyone collect these and offer them to me at the temple."

"But, Lord Exile, this one only appeared when I defeated a spirit. Physical attacks don't work on them. I had to use your power to destroy it." Ania hurriedly said as the spirits flooded Eraldsfen.

"Hm, let me take care of that." Exile closed his eyes as he used his Miracle spell. He scanned his options and chose to use the Hallowed Souls Miracle.

Golden orbs erupted from Exile's body and rushed off to fuse with every follower of Ragnarok in Eraldsfen. When they did, the people received some divine protection from the spirits' attacks, and the spirits were no longer invulnerable to their weapons!

"Get yourself ready and meet me at the walls. I'll do what I can to further help the people." Exile said with a solemn expression as he walked away from Ania.

'This is a mess.' Exile thought as he conjured a lightning miracle to attack several spirits cornering some children. 'These things can appear anywhere.'

He sighed as he considered his options. At that moment, Skovi leapt from between two buildings to catch a spirit between his jaws. The spirit shattered as the great wolf applied some pressure to its body.

Exile rushed forward to collect the token Skovi spat out as he rubbed the wolf behind his ears. 'It's going to be a long twenty-four hours.' He frowned as he glanced toward the fortress. His eyes narrowed as an idea formulated in his mind. 'That should do.'

"Skovi, have everyone fall back to the fortress. I'll set up some defences around it." Exile said before pausing for a moment. "Once you've guided everyone there, I want you to scout the surrounding area. Look for anything that could be a gateway allowing these spirits to cross."

"Right away, master," Skovi growled before releasing a long howl into the night.

Exile's eyes widened as he heard other wolves returning the call. "You've built a new pack?"

The great wolf smiled mischievously before taking off into the darkness. Exile chuckled to himself before returning to the fortress. Lightning bolts periodically struck Eraldsfen as he unleashed miracles on the unexpecting spirits. 'Skovi should definitely be able to find what I'm looking for. Now, the question is whether my Miracles and Runestones will be enough to protect the fortress.'

Ania came rushing out of the gate as Exile approached. She looked spectacular in her armour. However, a confused expression appeared on her face when she saw Exile toying with several smooth stones in the palm of his hand.

"What are they?" Ania asked as she drew close.

"These are runestones." Exile smiled gently as he held one up to show her the rune carved on it.

"What language is that?" Ania asked with a curious expression as she recognised some similarities with the Skardian runes, but it was not wholly the same.

"This is the language of us gods," Exile replied with a grin as Ania's eyes sparkled. "They hold the true meaning of what's inscribed on them. I'm going to set them up around the fortress to protect the people. You should warn the warriors to be prepared to fight if the spirits break through. But hopefully, it will buy us enough time to end their attack."

"Oh, and bring the members of Fenrir back with you. We're going to need them." Exile said as Ania turned to deliver his commands.

Exile sighed as he glanced at the runestones in his hand. 'I hope these work.' He had some doubts since they were divine items. Only his Miracles worked on the spirits, but he hoped the runestones would work since the spirits were not mortal.

Exile quickly cast another Miracle, called Hallowed Ground. The description hinted that it would erect a barrier over an area that the spirits would be unable to cross. However, while Hallowed Souls would last until the end of the event, Hallowed Ground had a time limit of two hours. 𝑏𝑒𝑑𝑛𝘰𝑣𝑒𝘭.𝑐𝑜𝑚

If the runestones failed, the people would need to rely on the warriors to protect them. Exile watched as a circle formed around the perimeter of the fortress, shining with divine light. He nodded his head in satisfaction as he tossed several runes to the ground between himself, and a group of spirits charging toward the Eraldsen home.

'Crap!' Exile cursed as the runes failed to detonate when the spirits crossed over them. He used his domain technique to activate them, but the spells they unleashed held no effect against the enemies.

Exile stroked his beard as the spirits floated past him to slam on an invisible dome. 'At least that should hold them for a while.' Exile sighed in disappointment as he analysed the situation. 'It seems I'll have to pass the knowledge of runecraft on to Ania or Bjorn for them to use them in this realm.'

He momentarily considered teaching Harik as well. However, he was now High King and likely would not have the time to put it to use. 'I can't teach Thovok either until I confirm Bargrux's intentions.' Exile's eyes narrowed as a stream of civilians raced up the road in his direction, closely followed by a swarm of spirits.

Thunder crashed in the sky as Exile unleashed another Miracle. He summoned a lightning storm over Eraldsfen to protect the people fleeing to safety! 'We have to put an end to this unnatural invasion as soon as possible.'

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