The fourth offering of the upcoming Ascended Soul Pack is the Runeshaper, a ranged, single-target damage dealing cleric soul that also provides area of control effects through greater runes. This Soul pack will be available when Update 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended launches. Learn a little more about this complex soul and enjoy another tale by Captain Cursor.
The Runeshaper calls forth powerful damage spells from maximum range. These spells have several unique interactions with each other. for instance, the deadly Seal of Impending Doom has damage that is amplified for each Runestrike that lands on the target while the Seal is in place. These layering abilities make this a very interesting soul to explore. Additionally, the Runeshaper can help to control the battlefield through arcana such as the Greater Rune of Mobility, which speeds allies and slows enemies that pass through its effect.
The power of channeled runes is reflected in the visual elements of this soul, through mystic symbols embodying the Runeshaper’s faith and power.
Runeshapers work best while dealing high damage at range, but they are not suited for close combat. For this reason, they pair well with healers or support souls.
Mortality is the Problem
“Mortality is the Problem.”
Ardaj focused upon this meditation, this enigma written upon the divine tapestry in runes of fire that all priests of Aia strove to understand. She once again marveled at the intricate and multilayered plan that was laid before her mind, so beautiful and complex that she could only understand one thread at a time. And one tangle. No, there couldn’t be a tangle, that would mean-
The door to the chamber was abruptly flung open, jolting her out of her meditation. A visibly excited young man strode in, beaming and bedecked in the armor of the King’s Guard, with a chagrined acolyte following close on his heels, futilely stammering at him to stop.
Ardaj recognized him. “You’re that statue cleaner,” she muttered, as she turned to face him, stunned by his audacity.
“Not anymore!” He declared, “Your fortune changed my life.”
She shook her head, “Impossible. I read your fate. You are destined to be a statue cleaner. It was thus cast by Aia and woven into the grand tapestry. You can’t just change it!” Ardaj found herself quite agitated. She worked to smooth her expression once more as she tried to work out the damage that this action had wrought to the divine plan.
“It was simply too depressing. I decided I didn’t want to resign myself to a life unfulfilled,” replied the young knight, flinging his arms wide as if to display his new status, “So I underwent a heroic struggle to remake my fate. All thanks to you.”
“No, no, no – You’re ruining everything!” Ardaj sank into a nearby chair and desperately tried to recall the grand tapestry of Fate once more by chanting her mantra. “The problem is mortality. The problem is mortality.” She found she was unable to focus, distracted by noise that suddenly arose outside of the chamber.
Struggling to maintain her internal vision, she saw that it had all unraveled. “No!” she cried out as a ear splitting explosion shook the temple building. “It’s all ruined!”
Plaster, paint chips, and a few stones from the vaulted ceiling came crashing down as she wheeled on the alarmed young man, his smile gone, “A glorious and beautiful plan for Telara is laid out by an omniscient goddess, and you… you decided to wreck it all because you thought your job was boring?”
Filled with inner rage at his arrogance, Ardaj strode to the outer doors of the temple to discover the source of the growing cacophony of discord without. The scene that revealed itself was the stuff of nightmares. Multiple nightmares of unraveled fate.
The streets were filled with shambling forms of the risen dead. A gleaming army of metal soldiers were flying toward them on iron drakes. The ships in the harbor were being crushed into splinters by giant tentacles. Instead of fleeing as sane citizens would, the people of the city rioted in the streets, looting and destroying as they went. Dogs gathered in packs and howled as they transformed to monstrous, dire proportions. And high above it all soared a great red dragon, roaring and wantonly burning everything in its path.
The cleric stood with her mouth agape, gasping in the smoke-filled stench of the ruination. None of her serene meditations had prepared her for this chaos. It was beyond understanding, and yet… she suddenly caught her breath.
“Ah!” cried Ardaj, her eyes gleaming with the divine revelation that she had sought her entire life. She turned to the mass of parishioners and acolytes that huddled in the temple for safety. “I understand it now. The problem, is mortality.” And she smiled at them with the joyful smile of the righteous, as she raised her hands and laid down a Greater Rune of Agony to set them all on fire.
Ardaj walked out into the roiling, arcane mayhem of the streets, singing a joyful song of Aia’s plan, smiling serenely, hurling flaming runes at whomever and whatever she came across. She was happy and at peace for the first time in years as she set the world around her ablaze.
That horrible statue cleaner was off to the side, desperately rallying the city’s defense forces, but she inscribed his fate with a Rune of Travail, then sealed it with Agony. The selfish boy collapsed screaming as she beamed, “Praise Aia and her glorious plan!”
A gigantic Brevanic Sentinel lumbered into view and began to shoot bolts of magical force at the massive red dragon. Ardaj scolded it playfully. “We can’t have that Mr. Construct. Aia has plans for you as well!” She placed a Seal of Impending Doom on the Sentinel before beginning her Runelord’s Inscription. Fiery runes surrounded her, only to be hurled at the Sentinel with a speed that defied belief. They struck the automaton a moment before the seal expired violently, melting the protector of the empire into a heap of slag.
The great, crimson, multi-eyed dragon noticed this little scuffle. Curious, and it descended upon the buildings on either side of the street, crushing them like paper beneath its weight. It regarded the manic priestess with a hint of amusement, as she fearlessly shouted up to it, as if the two were partners in this endeavor.
“Yes! Yes! Burn it all down! Aia has made this one final destiny for all the troublesome races of this world. We will start over! She will remake the world!” She was screaming now, her voice competing with the din of destruction all around them, “This time it will be perfect! No one will defy the grand tapestry! No one will undo her great work!”
“The problem has always been mortality! KILL THEM ALL!”
The mighty dragon that survivors would come to know as Maelforge inhaled deeply, and then opened his great maw and with one flaming breath, let Ardaj find her destiny.
Within the smoldering ruins of the Brevanic city, there was a flash of light, as bright as a star. As it faded, a child stood alone among the mass of charred wreckage. “Too late,” he lamented, “I was too late.” The child bent down and picked up the charred remnants of Ardaj’s skull. “The path to the Ascended has been set, all I can do is delay it.”