Chapter 30: The Five Fanblades

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The Chakri Avatars welcomed the Khaleem Sisters of Akram, impressed by their innate kindness and their deep drive to help others. The sisters, in turn, were struck by the contemplative peace of the Monastery, and by the incorruptible goodness of the Avatars, who were already aiding large numbers of the Songhai. Together, they improved the lives of vast numbers of the war-weary.

The sisters fell in love with the Monastery. After long days helping the needy, they would pore over rare books and priceless manuscripts, drinking in knowledge. But even though Cassyva could see the difference they were making in many people’s lives, she was all too aware of the vast suffering that remained. Soon, the sisters once again felt they should be doing more. Cassyva spoke to the Avatars and asked what more they could be doing to help alleviate the continued suffering caused by Draug’s savage predations. After much discussion, the Avatars invited the sisters to join them, to become Chakri Avatars themselves.

Cassyva and her sisters were honored, flattered and tempted, but they had already begun to consider a much different approach. While the Avatars had been contemplating, reports began to come in detailing Consular Draug’s newest conquests, and even greater atrocities committed in more and more lands. They learned of Draug’s discovery of a new source of crystals in a place called Ixus, how, empowered and emboldened by a vast supply of mana-rich crystals, he was planning on expanding his aggression even further. Led by Cassyva, the sisters had come to a much different conclusion about what they must do next. The most humanitarian thing to be done was to stop Draug — in whatever way they could. And the only way the sisters felt they could stop Draug would not be very compassionate at all. But, ultimately, they agreed. They incorporated many of the Chakri Avatars’ teachings and became something wholly new, the Keshrai Fanblades.

For the sake of the entire world, Consular Draug had to die.