Universe Update - New Champion Aphelios, Karma & Sylas Stories

Posted on at 8:16 AM by Aznbeat
The Universe has been updated, including a new champion page for Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful, a new Karma color story, and a short story featuring Sylas!
Continue reading for a first look at the new champion, stories, and more!

Table of Contents


Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful

A champion page is up for our newest champion, Aphelios, the Weapon of the Faithful! He is noted as a Marksman from Targon!

Champion Page: Aphelios

"Emerging from moonlight’s shadow with weapons drawn, Aphelios kills the enemies of his faith in brooding silence—speaking only through the certainty of his aim, and the firing of each gun. Though fueled by a poison that renders him mute, he is guided by his sister Alune in her distant temple sanctuary from where she pushes an arsenal of moonstone weapons into his hands. For as long as the moon shines overhead, Aphelios will never be alone."

Biography

"The moon looms over the towering slopes of Mount Targon, distant, yet impossibly close. 
Born during a rare lunar convergence, when the physical moon was eclipsed by its reflection in the spirit realm, Aphelios and his twin sister, Alune, were celebrated as children of destiny by those of Targon’s Lunari faith. 
Mirroring the celestial event that heralded their birth, the two children knew they had been marked by fate—Aphelios physically gifted like the moon of stone, and Alune magically like its spiritual reflection. Zealously devout, they grew up within a faith of mystery, reflection, and discovery, and embraced darkness not just out of belief, but as the only thing that could keep them safe. 
The Solari who ruled Targon considered the Lunari heretics, driving them into hiding until most forgot the Lunari even existed. The Lunari were left to the shadows, dwelling in temples and caves far from the Solaris’ sight. 
The pressure to be exemplary weighed heavily upon Aphelios. He practiced tirelessly with mystical moonstone blades, spilling his own blood in training so he could spill that of others to protect the faith. Intense and vulnerable, he bonded deeply with his sister in lieu of any other friendships. 
While Aphelios was sent on increasingly dangerous missions to protect the Lunari, Alune trained separately as a seer, using her luminous magic to reveal hidden pathways and truths by the moon’s light. In time, her tasks required her to leave the temple where they were raised. 
Without Alune, Aphelios’ faith wavered. 
Desperate for purpose, he undertook a ceremonial journey into darkness where Lunari were said to discover their paths—their orbits. He followed the moon’s light to a pool where rare noctum flowers bloomed beneath the water’s surface. Though poisonous, the flowers could be distilled into a liquid that opened him to the night’s power. 
Drinking the noctum’s essence, Aphelios felt so much pain that it numbed him to everything else. 
Soon after, an ancient temple, the Marus Omegnum, began to come into phase from the spirit realm for the first time in centuries. Lunari from across the mountain gathered, emerging from hiding to witness the balance of power shift as celestial cycles in the heavens turned. 
The fortress accepted only one occupant, gifted in magic, each time it appeared. This time it would be Alune, her orbit guiding her to the temple. Aphelios, usually asking for nothing, requested to attend the event. 
But as the fortress passed through the veil in a luminous display of magic, a harsher radiance filled the night. Somehow, the Lunari had been discovered even as the celestial cycles turned in their favor. 
An army of Solari descended upon them.All seemed lost, the Solari purging the Lunari heresy with fire and steel. Even Aphelios was beaten, his moonstone blades shattered on the ground, blood spilling from his lips as he reached for the noctum… 
But as the battle raged, Alune traveled deeper into the temple—and when she reached its heart, her full potential unlocked. Through the noctum, Aphelios could feel Alune’s power embrace him… and he could hear her voice. With a whisper, she pushed magic into his hands—a replacement for his blades solidifying into moonstone. 
Like the moon of stone and its spiritual reflection, Aphelios’s skill and Alune’s magic converged. 
Those Solari would not live to see the sun again. 
As her power flared, Alune pushed the temple, and herself within, back into the spirit realm where it would remain safe from the Solari. From inside, amplified by the temple’s focusing power, Alune was able to project her magic anywhere, so long as it found a focus—like the poison coursing through Aphelios’ veins. 
Only now did they understand their destiny. Aphelios would hollow himself out with pain, but would become a conduit for the moon’s power. Alune would live alone, isolated in her fortress, but she would guide her brother, able to see through his eyes. 
Together, they would be the weapon the Lunari needed, bound by pain and sacrifice. Only apart could they be together—their souls brushing across the veil, distant, yet impossibly close, converging into something they could not understand. 
To protect the survivors of the attack who retreated back into the shadows of the mountain, Aphelios’ training as an assassin has been given reach by Alune’s magic—his blades now an arsenal of mystical weapons, perfected by Alune over the course of many missions together. 
Now that the power balance of Targon is shifting, and the Solari know the Lunari still endure, Aphelios and Alune are needed more than ever."

Aphelios was teased in the Champion Roadmap in October 2019! Here's what Reav3 had to say:
"And the Faithful Shall Be Rewarded 
What will you sacrifice for your faith? Only the devout will master the next champion we have prepared for you. A new marksman, raised since birth with only one purpose: to protect the faith from those who stand in the sun. Constantly training, mastering diverse weapons of faith, swapping through them like cycles of the moon with nothing but that one lone voice, pushing, comforting… loving? If you are up to the challenge, you too must train hard and achieve zen-like focus in order to reap the rewards. 
So I ask again: What will you sacrifice for your faith?"

Karma Story: Remember Me

A new Karma story is now on the Universe - Remember Me:
"Watai twisted the jade ring on her finger anxiously as she stared up at the monastery carved into the mountainside. The Lasting Altar, home to Karma. She hadn’t expected to find herself back here after all this time. The trip had been painful in many ways, not least because her knees had been giving her trouble. Taking a deep breath, she walked up the path, toward a small shrine that marked the entrance to Karma’s private meditation room. 
Her knee buckled as she reached the entrance, and Watai fell hard onto the ground. This damned place. She learned to hate the Lasting Altar when she had visited with Jakgri some sixty years ago, after the monks had summoned him. The memories brought her as much pain as her fall. She struggled to stand. 
“Are you all right?”"

[Full story on the Universe!] 


Short Story: The Shackles of Belief

A new short story featuring Sylas and the Freljord is now on the Universe - The Shackles of Belief:
"Thorva, Sister of Frost, hauled on her reins, dragging her hulking drüvask to a halt alongside Scarmother Vrynna of the Winter’s Claw. The shaggy-furred beast snorted in protest, hot breath steaming the air. 
“Hush, Ice-Tooth,” Thorva said. The bone charms and totems wrapped around her wrist rattled as she patted her ill-tempered mount. 
A bone-chilling wind whipped across the desolate landscape, yet alone among the raiding party, Thorva did not wear heavy furs and leathers. Her arms, tattooed with swirling indigo ink, were bare to the elements, but she gave no indication of discomfort, for the cold had long relinquished its claim on her."

[Full story on the Universe!] 


Look for more on Aphelios when the 9.24 PBE cycle starts soon!

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