Ages have passed since the peaceable Melem learned to harness the Fathom Orb, imbuing themselves with a trace of its baleful energy to enable “ghostwalk”—a momentary phase-shift into another dimension. Even when they were sieged by hulking, chitinous marauders, the ghostwalk saved them as it had many times before. Then, the unthinkable: One of the attackers returned and breached the Orb. With no alternative, the Melem broke their inviolable law and sent their most skilled assassin to the Fathom Orb, not knowing whether she would survive, let alone how she might return.
With no alternative, the Melem broke their inviolable law and sent their most skilled assassin to the Fathom Orb, not knowing whether she would survive, let alone how she might return.
Lore Scrolls #
“Mission Log, designate 1301, open A: Why in the name of all the heavens am I being called up again so damn soon? I just got back from an off-world intel run a week ago! Whatever’s come up, surely one of the others in Wraith Unit can handle it. Gods damn it all. No surprise the summons is coded “urgent.” Everything Wraith Unit does is urgent. I’m more puzzled by the “Greiss” code-prefix. We drove them off years ago. An error, maybe? I swear, if I report all the way back to the Conclave over a comm glitch.…”
“1301-A Mission Log, cont.: I can’t believe it. I’ve been excused for a recess, and I’m just as happy to be out of there. Gives me time to wrap my head around it. The Orb. One of the Greiss marauders has somehow breached the Fathom Orb. That’s not supposed to be possible. The power of the Orb itself is supposed to make it impossible, to say nothing of the shrine’s own security. By all that’s holy, if the Greiss interfere with the Ghostwalk—or worse, claim the power for their own? We’re dead. It’s the only defense we have.”
“1301-A Mission Log, cont.: They’re still debating. Even after summoning me, knowing what’s at stake, half of those political cowards don’t want to send me in. Old laws, holy doctrine, blah, blah, blah. It’s a heap of mog-shit! Unless they want a Ghostwalking enemy bent on conquest. I’m sure their “highest laws” will bring them great comfort while we’re all being slaughtered. Done with this. I’m going back in to tell the Priors I am heading for the Orb. They’re welcome to stop me. Of course, if they could try to stop me, they wouldn’t need me.”
“Mission Log, designate 1301, open F: I had never seen the Fathom Shrine in person before. It’s magnificent—or would be if it weren’t for the weapon damage and blood spatter. No idea what could have taken down the defenses so readily; whatever it was didn’t leave a trace. Some of the automated sensors have particle-beam scoring. None were hit straight on. Somehow, the Greiss knew their locations and approached from outside their angles of detection. Other sensors look almost to have been … crushed. It’s no weapon signature I’m familiar with. Maybe more evidence further in.”
“1301-F Mission Log, cont.: This makes no sense. There’s more than enough ruin, soot, and particulate to track the intruder. And that’s the problem. I’m finding evidence of only one intruder. One set of prints. One energy signature. There is no way a single Greiss could penetrate the shrine’s defenses, and yet… If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder if they had already somehow accessed the Ghostwalk. That peculiar crush damage, though—it doesn’t seem to come from the invader’s path. That alone suggests other agencies. Wishing I hadn’t been too rushed to wait for more Wraith Unit backup.”
“1301-F Mission Log, personal addendum: Reached the inner chambers. The carvings … most are abstract, but the figures stepping out of blocks and columns are clearly Ghostwalkers. Probably the first. But there’s this recurring image: a sphere with wriggly emanations. I think it’s the Fathom Orb, but I can’t tell if it’s emitting energy or tendrils. And the Ghostwalkers? They’re … facing it. As though they’re not guarding it but guarding against it. I understand now why the Priors blindfolded us for the Ghostwalk initiation. I thought it was just pomp, but no. They couldn’t let us see this.”
“1301-F Mission Log, cont.: Holy Ibramel, it’s beautiful. The refraction, every color and none. Ghostpetals growing all over; I’ve never seen a real one before. And it sings to me.… I wonder if this is a defense, too. How many people meant to breach the Orb, and just got trapped here? Don’t really know how to do this. It has to be a Ghostwalk, but I know it’s not that easy. Have to hit just the right resonance. Still want to know how the damned Greiss did it. Really hope getting it wrong a few times doesn’t kill me.”
“Mission Log, designate 1301, open G: Through. Don’t know how long; lost track. I’ll try to recapture what I.… So much pain, like squeezing through broken glass. Images all around me, twisted, reflections in a shattered mirror. Reaching tendrils, gaping eyes, limbs and organs we don’t have names for. Voices—Melem voices—begging for secrets, begging to know. Answers, not voices at all, but still answers, offering knowledge and power that turn the mind into more broken glass. And the cost, the cost.… They live between, where we Ghostwalk. And every time we do, we open the door wider.”
“1301-G, Mission Log, cont.: I don’t know where I am. Maybe the Greiss caused it to lead here. It’s like a butcher’s nightmare. Doesn’t matter. I have to find him, stop him from gaining whatever he came for. And then I have to get back. I have to tell the Conclave what we bargained with, what the first Ghostwalkers guarded us against. That we’re being watched through the Fathom Orb. That these horrors are getting closer to our reality. They won’t believe me. They may even kill me. But I have to try. Gods help us all.”
Voice Over Lines #
- In the shadows I will lie.
- You won’t even see me coming.
- Keep driving them back!
- You know why I am winning? Because I planned it that way.
- Try to keep up!
- Face it, you’re all washed up.
- I could ghost you scum all day long!
- If you’re looking for a fight, you got one now!
- I’ve been fighting trash like you for years.
- I didn’t start this, but you can be sure I’ll end it.
- You came to the wrong fight!
- Don’t worry about it, you were never going to win.
- That’s another one down.
- Bet you didn’t see that coming.
- We’ll drive you back, each and every time.
- Get out and stay out.
- Time for you to head home.
- This is what I trained for.
- I’m here for the win.
- There’s no place here for trash like you.
- Someone starts trouble with me, they’ll get trouble.
- You’ll want to spend some more time training.
- This fight is going to end with you in tears.
- I thought this was going to be a challenge.
- I expected to win, I didn’t expect it to be a total slaughter.
- Do yourself a favor and put the gun down before you shoot yourself.
- What’s the matter, lose something?
- Gotta find me before you can shoot me.
- You think you own me? You’re in for a surprise.
- It’s a little bright out here for my tastes.
- I’ve had to live in worse places than this.
- I am the ghost in the machine.
- Look to the shadows, that’s where I’ll be.
- You came here like animals. I’ll put you down like animals.
- You’re hardly the most dangerous thing I’ve had to face.
- My fight is just.
- I’ll show what happens to people who pick a fight with me.
- Never give your enemies an inch. They’ll see it as a sign of weakness.
- Okay guys, be ready.
- They keep coming, so keep driving them back.
- Bring ‘em down.
- Take out the targets.
- Let’s show them they aren’t welcome here.
- Drive them back to the hole they crawled out of.
- You’ll regret that!
- The battle could be going better.
- Don’t think this changes anything.
- You scum!
- Fight me!
- Clearly I should have trained more.
- You don’t know what honorable means.
- Not many can get the drop on me.
- We need to pick it up!
- We’re getting murdered out here.
- Give me a gun, damn it!
- Need a weapon!
- You only fuel our revenge.
- The shadows hide me.
- Now you see me! Now you don’t!
- Phase shift!
- Where am I?
- Help please!
- Nyx, requesting backup!
- Anyone able to lend a hand over here?
- I’m hit!
- I need to rest up.
- Someone buy me a minute.
- What is this?
- I thought this was a gun fight.
- Don’t worry you’ll get much more than you give.