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Chronicles - The River of Souls

Paul Crilley Posted:
Columns Chronicles of One Telaran 0

Hello people. How are you? All back at work? Recovering from the holidays? Good, good. Guess what? Only about 346 days left till Christmas. Excited? I know I am. Anyway, today we are looking at the final Chronicle raid that is currently available. The River of Souls. What is the River of Souls? Well I'm glad you asked.

When they die, every person in Telara is drawn up into “the comforting embrace of the Soulstream”. Ah, that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. As far as I can make out, the Soulstream is sort of like a never-ending bus queue, a long river of intermingling souls drifting through the aether on the border of the Plane of Death. What's comforting about that? And what are they waiting for? What about Heaven? The Afterlife?

The souls drifting in this non-stop carousel of death probably don’t know either. They’re like “Oh, no, we’re dead!” Then they’re all, “Oh, hang on, this isn’t so bad. Feels quite peaceful. All sort of glowy and blue. Oh look, there’s old Bob. I saw his head flying through the air right before I got stabbed. Hello Bob!” Then they’re all, “This is getting a bit boring. Shouldn’t we be knocking on some pearly gates or something by now? How long is this going to go on? Wish something interesting would happen…”

This isn't the soulstream. There doesn't seem to be a pic of that. But this is from the River of Souls.

Unwise words, if ever there were any.

Because you see, up until now, although Regulos corrupted the Plane of Death to serve his whims, he has never been able to actually influence the Soulstream.

But that seems to have changed. Recently, priests and clerics have been wracked with visions of souls howling in agony, torn out of this this celestial river. Scholars are having deep conversations around lots of booze, arguing – sorry, discussing – what this all means. It can’t happen, says one faction. Utterly impossible. And what about Asha Catari, say the other side. He was plucked from the Soulstream, wasn’t he? Tempted by Regulos, then tortured by the dragon god. Could it be that the Devourer of Worlds has access to the River of Souls itself? No. Yes. No. Yes.

The two factions, who by this time will have drunk their body weight in sherry (the chosen drink of philosophers), will usually start to fight right about now.

But what is happening to the Soulstream? Alsbeth the Discordant is what's happening. From her super secret laboratory on the edge of the Plane of Death, Alsbeth has control of a device that grants her access to the Soulstream. She can use this device to draw forth any soul she likes, returning the poor bugger to Telara as a Deathtouched minion of Regulos.

Bad news, right? If the Endless Court ups their soul kidnapping output and manages to actually take complete control of the Soulstream, they’ll have a never-ending supply of soldiers. It also means the Defiant and the Guardians won’t be able to create any more of the Ascended.

Not only that, but Alsbeth is searching for on soul in particular. One soul she thinks can win the fight on Telara.

She is searching for the soul of Prince Aedraxis Mathos himself.

So it’s your job – nay, your duty! – to head into the valley where Alsbeth is drawing these souls from the soulstream and put a stop to her.

Regulos, chilling in his crib.

To do that, you must enter the River of Souls, climb the metaphorical banks and fight your way through a decaying army of undead warriors. These warriors are souls Alsbeth has already plucked from the stream, waiting for their chance to overwhelm Telara. (Apparently, Alsbeth has spared no expense when outfitting these decaying fighters. If you have a search around there’s a good chance you’ll find some rare equipment to pimp yourself out with.)

But don’t think you’re finished when you make it through these undead hordes. These guys are just pawns, the foot soldiers, the frontline, so to speak. Once you get through them you have to face off against a couple pretty mean opponents whose only job it is to serve as Alsbeth's bodyguards, keeping people like you from bugging her when she’s trying to work. These opponents are the Warmaster and Plutonous the Immortal, (a rather large chap who looks like he can step on you and squish you like a bug.)

But wait – there’s more! Once you get past these guys you have to face off against the big bad wolf – well, dragon.

You see, Regulos has sent his Herald, Gaurath, to protect Alsbeth as well. Gaurath is a skeletal dragon, a huge, undead wyrm that really doesn’t like intruders.

I've lost some weight recently.

Assuming you make it through these guys you then have to take down one of the most powerful necromancers in the history of Telara. And she won’t be easy to defeat. All of her past deeds have been leading to this point, so she’s not going to give up easily.

You have been warned.


Paul Crilley