Vala

Epilogue

Mercy

After dealing the killing blow to the Tarrasque, harming the First itself and ending the incursion crisis, Mercy vanished from the world to embark upon her final quest and assume her place in the Shadowfell.

Mercy’s final quest was to bring about the destruction of the Ilithid skull crown, a task which she completed with the help of Silk and his unique talent for special thefts. In order to destroy the crown, the two had to first pull off the greatest heist in mortal history. After much research and planning in the Apocrypha they travelled to the mountain of the world where Silk stole a fragment of the First’s power. This fragment of power was enough to allow for the destruction of the crown, upon which Mercy could retire to tend her domain in the Shadowfell. During this quest, Mercy slowly became less substantial, more easily overlooked even when she chose to be visible, and even more distant and disconnected from the world and events occurring around her.

The Raven Queen was very pleased with the number of souls Mercy sent to the Shadowfell over the course of her career as an assassin and during the incursion crisis, and amply rewarded her newest Raven Knight. Mercy’s reward included lands and thousands of souls to govern in the Shadowfell, many of whom she had funneled into the Shadowfell from the Jar of Orpheus. Upon speaking with these freed souls, Mercy learned that they were overwhelmingly the souls of ancient elves, and had been imprisoned in the jar for over 800 years. As an immortal servant of the Raven Queen, Mercy continued to serve her goddess as a governor of souls and used her power to protect the interests of the goddess when called upon.

The Raven Queen is not an enemy of Avandra or an ally, so Mercy’s position in myth as the Hero’s Shadow is not a problem for her and she permits Catullus and Aegon to cultivate the story. As her final quest neared completion she became less attached to events in the natural world and eventually didn’t really care about her place in the myths of mortals. Neither her birth name (Xiao-niao) nor her assassin name (Mercy) is recorded in the pages of mortal history. As she faded from the natural world so did the connection her friends had to their memories of her. The details of her life, her face, her voice, everything unique about her faded from their memory like a dream lost in shadow, but the legend remained.

‘The Hero’s Shadow’ and the many legends of its deeds had a core place in the new religion built around Byron, the Hero of Byblos. Specific religious myths about the Shadow’s place beside the Hero sprung up, some based on real events and others greatly exaggerated. The stories tell of the awesome powers the Shadow could wield and also of the great creatures it had slain; the Lich, the Dracolich, an Elder Dragon, and the Tarrasque. The Shadow became a source of inspiration for both heroes and assassins, and the reincarnated assassin’s guild, the League of Shadows, kept the Hero’s Shadow as a patron saint.

Silk

After the events of the incursion crisis, Silk withdrew from adventuring life to continue working toward his own goals, which included destroying the Ilithid skull crown with Mercy and preventing the Ilithids from interfering with the mortal realm. Silk became the watcher of the mortal realm, carefully monitoring not only the hive mind of the Ilithids but also the human empire and the actions of the immensely powerful Emperor Catullus. To further extend his reach and watch all those he felt needed monitoring, Silk started a secret network of spies.

Silk met his goal of destroying the soul harvester during the events of the incursion crisis and successfully stopped the horrors he had permitted by selling the technology so many years ago. He continued to search for and destroy all the records, blueprints, and notes on the soul harvesting technology that he could find within the human empire. After research in the Apocrypha, Silk learned that soul harvesting technology had been developed by the dwarves of Arx Capitoline. He chose not to completely wipe out the technology, as that would require destroying the entire dwarven city. Silk elected to merely watch and wait, until such a time as the dwarves might misuse their power or another might receive the technology.

Over the course of his adventures, Silk managed to keep his own soul from being influenced by any divine or demonic powers. Because no entity, worldly or supernatural, could use their power to influence or control him, Silk’s choices and actions were all his own. He had become master of his own destiny.

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