A wind called Serafina
- Story Arc
- Visit Ouroborus to Flashback to this story
- Issue 7
- Scirocco (Grandville)
- A genie's veil
- 40 - 45
Do not mistake me, I am gratified that you have decided to join my particular branch of our organization. It's just that I am being kept very busy at the moment working on an important project, so I may have to ask you to do certain tasks for me that I cannot otherwise get done. I know well enough that I can trust you to complete any mission I may have for you, and I will have to rely on this trust in some very important matters. Your power is great, and I will need it brought to bear against all manner of foes.
But let us start with something that should prove little problem for you. There is a base where I was storing some items that has stopped responding and sealed themselves off. I want you to find out what's happened there. Vanquish any foes you have to, but most importantly find the base's logs to find out what happened and see what's become of the item I had there.
I had charged this base to look after a trinket I had acquired. Some mystical bauble, nothing more. While you're looking for the cause of their silence, I would be well pleased if you could look for that as well.
There's a strange feeling of peace and contentment in the air here. It's really kind of creepy.
Mission Complete: You found images of the intruder, and that Scirocco's item was missing.
The base all under the spell of some strange woman, you say? I'll have to review the footage you found, but I do have a suspicion. But it could not be. She wouldn't be here, not now, not yet. But who else could have known?
Ah, but you must forgive me, my loyal ally. I apologize most humbly, it is rude of me to get so lost in thought in front of you. I will review what you found, and determine the proper course of action.
Speak with Arbiter Daos
Dread Tomax, I have reviewed the scenes that you recovered, and I have a strong suspicion about what was happening, but I must have confimation lest I act rashly. Thus, I would charge you to speak with Arbiter Daos to see if there have been any similar incidents at other Arachnos bases. As I am suer you are aware, Daos is a very powerful man. As one of the highest ranking arbiters, he has the ear of our Lord Recluse himself. If Arbiter Daos suggests you do something, place yourself at his disposal and attend to it. I can wait to hear about it when you are done.
Remember that though Daos lacks the might of one such as you and I, his power within Arachnos is vast, and more than enough to make his requests worth heed.
Dread Tomax, yes, I've been briefed on why you're here. The incident you ran into isn't the first such case, and it hasn't been the last, either. We've had several bases fall under the influence of this mystery woman, and thus far we have found no defense against her power. The contamination appears to be magical and non-infectious, but is also permanent or nearly so, and strong enough to even overcome Bane-Spider indoctrination. We have also found evidence of a correlation between the locations this mystery woman has struck and bases where Scirocco has secured some of his mystic items in the past as part of his ongoing research. I suspect that this may be a casual relationship, and you may tell Scirocco that. However, first I have been charged to cleanse the site of the latest attack by this mystery woman by my Lord Recluse himself, who is growing annoyed with these events. My Lord Recluse wants them stopped, and if I am correct about the casual link, then I will have to ask for the authority to sever the casual link any way I see fit. However, I prefer it if the great powers among Arachnos stay in balance, and if they can clean up their own messes, all the better. So, I will hold off on my conclusions if you can lighten my workload. Cleanse the latest base to fall to this mystery woman, and I will give you and your patron more time to fix this problem yourselves.
That same weird feeling of peace is everywhere here.
Mission Complete: You cleansed the base.
After you rescued him from his erstwhile comrades, Operative Hughart told you:
'Thanks for the help. I just got back to base and everyone was acting crazy. They keep talking about some woman named Serafina. I realized it might be some kind of psy-op, so rather than blow my cover, I suited up and acted like everything was normal so I could try to figure out what was going on. It looks like this woman just teleported right into the base and started taking over minds, then set everyone looking for something. I checked it out, and the base commander opened the vault for her. She took some mystic thing that we were storing for Scirocco, but before I could find out more, the rest of the guys realized I wasn't one of them.
Look, since I helped you out, can I ask you to put a good word in with Scirocco for me? I heard you're working for Scirocco right now, and after a blunder like this, well, it's good for a guy to know people who can put in a good word for him.
It is as I feared. It is Serafina. It has to be. She once granted me the mantle of these powers, but now I am certain she has come to take them back. No doubt she thinks she has found a worthier successor to the mantle of the Four Winds. Well, that is unfortunate for her, for I feel no desire to relinquish my artifacts, and she does not know about you, my powerful new ally.
Help Scirocco stop Serafina
Serafina is no mere magician, Dread Tomax, and we must act carefully to counter the threat she poses. She is not a mere user of magic, like a wizard, but a being of magic itself. Serafina is djinn, or a 'Genie' as they are commonly called. Traditionally, entities like her are confined through clever trickery and ancient charms to being innocuous, helpful, or only mildly devastating. Serafina was charged to assist the transfer of one of the mantles of the four winds. When the previous holder of the mantle died in the Rikti war, I became one of the candidates. But Serafina had supposedly lost much of her power in the battle, and I took the mantle for my own. Now, after regaining some small measure of her former power, she seeks to take back what was once hers to give. I cannot allow this, for she will surely choose some righteous would-be hero for the role again. And you, Dread Tomax, will be the secret weapon I shall use to stop her.
Be careful. You'll most likely need to beat some sense into the people I will send you to meet, and they are quite powerful. I suggest you bring allies.
Excellent. Serafina will have defenses against me, and will watch me for any alliances I may try to make. But both you and I can call on the powers of all of Arachnos now. Our first step will be for you to carry proposals of alliance to some of the others. We'll start with Black Scorpion. He is a mercenary, and I have worked with mercenaries in the past. Also, his robotic and cybernetic soldiers might be less susceptible to the genie's powers. Speak with his Lieutenant, Silver Mantis. I believe that she's currently working out her unseemly aggressions on the Nemesis Army. I will warn you, though. Silver Mantis is... 'Excitable'. You will most likely have to defeat her before she will even begin to listen.
If we can forge an alliance with Black Scorpion, then we should have all that we need.
Apparently, some of Scorpion's machines spotted Nemesis troops using this place as a front, and Mantis went in to clean it out.
Objective: You think Mantis listened to what you had to say after you defeated her.
|Silver Mantis [Arch-Villain]|
Tamura Shirai is fascinated with the smooth, sleek feel of metal. Funding the augmentation of her body to pure metal was an expensive proposition, however, so she turned to crime. During one of her robberies she encountered Black Scorpian, on a job for Lord Recluse. Tamara realized an opportunity when she saw it, and rather then fighting with Arachnos over the ill-goten loot, formed an alliance that has lasted to this day.
Mission Complete: You were able to contact Silver Mantis.
You did well, Dread Tomax, but I've talked to Black Scorpion. He is unwilling to put himself or his troops on the line. It seems you made quite the impression on Silver Mantis, though. She was willing to help, but Scorpion holds her reins tightly. I fear he's planning some move of his own, and wouldn't mind seeing me fall from power. Still, all it not lost yet. If I cannot form an alliance with the mercenary, perhaps it was time I sought aid from the monster?
Defeat Barracuda to get Mako's attention
Mako and I are rarely on the same side of anything. His bestial and violent nature do little but gain my enmity. However, the same ruthless murderousness that makes him a monster also makes him somewhat predictable as an ally. If he sees advantage in a course of action, he will follow it. Perhaps now is a time to open a line of communication. Seek out Barracuda, his lieutenant. I believe that she's in the middle of wiping out a Longbow spy vessel. I doubt they'll be happy to see you, but Mako would need proof of your strength before listening to any message you carry. Barracuda's defeat should provide that. Be wary, however, she's quite tough. I would suggest you bring allies.
Barracuda is an... interesting woman. I don't know if you've met her before, but she is truly a fighter. I believe that she was modified by the Coralax against her will. Her tolerance for the depths, conflicted nature, and violent impulses make her a natural ally for Mako. It is a shame, I think. She could be more, but... Well, for now she must be an obstacle in your path that you must overcome.
Several of these Longbow spy-ships have been spotted recently. Mako's marines have been kept busy dealing with them.
A former treasure hunter, Kelli Forston was infected by mysterious creatures known as the Coralax. What she found in the briny deep remains a mystery, but it turned her heart as dark and cold as the depths. In combat, she is almost as quick and savage as her bloodthirsty mentor, Captain Mako.
Mission Complete: With Barracuda defeated, hopefully Mako will be willing to listen.
Mako was willing to listen after he heard how you defeated Barracuda. Unforunately, he is still unwilling to act. The sea-going savage can sense that I may be placed in a difficult position, and no doubt is waiting to see what happens. That honorless animal is a simple predator, he's only ready to fight when there's no risk. It was foolish to even think he might be a worthy ally. This leaves me with little recourse. If neither the Mercenary nor the Monster can be trusted, then I must look to the Maiden.
Rescue Wretch from the Malta Group
Serafina raids my storehouses time and again, and weathers away my protections like a sandstorm. It will not be long before she comes after me directly. Time is short, and we must seek out an alliance to stop her. This leaves me little choice. I must ask you to help gain favor with the Ghost Widow. There is a direct method for doing so. I have it on good information that the supposed Longbow base she is about to send her Henchman Wretch to eliminate has been taken over by a group called 'Malta', who plan to ambush the brute there and capture him. If you can rescue Wretch from this trap, the Ghost Widow is certain to pay greater heed to my request.
Even if Wretch should fall, the attempt should be enough for the Widow. In honest truth, I probably should have gone to her first, but I always find it difficult to speak to her. She is at the center of such tragedy, and yet her curse of un-life prevents her from turly feeling it. I do not know if that is a small measure of mercy she has been granted, or the greatest part of her curse.
Oh, but I have nearly forgotten. Arbiter Daos wanted to speak with you. No doubt to take a statement in his report about this Serafina situation. See him, but try to keep it quick. There is a bit of time before this 'Malta' group springs their trap, but not much.
I'm glad you came, Dread Tomax. This conversation will not be about the Serafina issue. I know that Scirocco has had you meeting with the Lieutenants of the others to help build an alliance to fight her, and I'm certain you'll be able to find something. No, my concern is about something else. I've been going over the records of what Scirocco has lost to this Serafina, and it's an interesting list of items. Even more interesting is that he's deliberately been keeping the nature of certain items secret, even from those guarding them. I've checked with some reputable sources in mystic matters, and I believe that Scirocco may be up to something that could compromise the integrity of Arachnos itself.
He's always been a troublemaker. Scirocco is a believer in honor, the sort of person who called himself a freedom fighter instead of a terrorist. Normally, this honor helps to keep him loyal, but I am beginning to become concerned that he may be growing... discontent with his role in Arachnos. And my job is to watch for exactly this sort of discontentment.
All I have now are suspicions, but if Scirocco does anything suspicious, and in particular, should he attempt to acquire certain key items for magical rituals such as the book Malleus Mundi, the Scroll of Tielekku, or the Red Dust Tome, I would like you to report it to me. And of course, if you were to fail to mention something like that to me and I were to discover it through other channels, then I fear the punishments placed on you would be extraordinary.
That is all. Please, do go save Wretch. I'd rather do it now than have to explain to Lord Recluse why we need to send troops to a hidden Siberian base to fetch Ghost Widow's favorite bodyguard and pet.
You've heard rumors about the Malta group. They're supposed to be all about controlling meta-humans and accruing power. Setting a trap for villains is just their style.
Mission Complete: You escorted Wretch to safety.
Your success could not have come at a better time. Your actions have helped convince Ghost Widow of my worthiness as an ally, and she has pledged her support in this Serafina situation. With the foresight of her Fortunatas combined with the power of the Mu Mystics under my command, not even a djinn will be able to stand against me.
You have proven yourself a worthy ally.
Defeat the genie Serafina
Ghost Widow's assistance has already born sweet fruit. Her Forunata Seeresses have pinpointed the next location where Serafina will strike, and though there is little time to prepare, I think that this time it may be possible to defeat her. I would be powerless against her, as would Ice Mistral, and Wretch is still recovering. Therefore, it must fall to you to defeat the genie Serafina. This will be difficult. I will try to have some loyal troops on the scene to help you, but she will most likely control most of the soldiers in the base within moments. I would strongly suggest you locate some more allies to assist you.
Serafina's thefts will end here. I think that she must be after the copy of the Scroll of Tielekku I acquired for my research, and was storing at this base. No matter. Once you have brought this djinn to her defeat, all will be secure and I will be able to continue my work.
That creepy calm pervades this base, too. It's time to put a stop to it.
Serafina is a Genie who assisted the last hero to take up the mantle of Scirocco, helping him until his death in the Rikti War. With his dying breath he asked Serafina to help the heroes of Paragon City, which she does to this day. But now that a villain has stolen the mantle of Scirocco from the true successor, Serafina is determined to see the powers of the wind return.
Mission Complete: You put an end to Serafina's raids.
Awarded for completing the last mission of the Story Arc
Though Serafina vexed me greatly, in a way I am glad now for her interference. She has proven an excellent test of your mettle, and has brought me an ally in Ghost Widow. And now that I know the stuff of your character, I am ready to ask your help in my next great project. This, my friend, will be something that will truly change the face of the world forever.
Souvenir: A genie's veil
After her defeat, you found this piece of gauzy, yet nearly indestructible fabric on the sight of the battle. It smells of a warm desert wind laden with perfume and spices, and you can almost hear the mocking laughter of the djinn you defeated on an invisible wind'
A wind called Serafina
Scirocco welcomed you to his camp among the fractious upper echelons of Arachnos, and immediately assigned you a task. Some unknown force had attacked a base where Scirocco had stored a minor mystic artifact, and he wanted you to investigate. You arrived to find the base in shambles, Scirocco's items stolen, and the Arachnos personnel at the base blathering about how much they loved the unknown female thief, and how she's warned them you were coming. The only clue was security camera footage of a woman in a genie-costume searching the base at her whim and using some kind of mind-control on the troops. Scirocco seemed to have an idea of what was going on, but wanted to keep it to himself for the moment.
To confirm his suspicions, Scirocco sent you to ask Arbiter Daos if there had been any similar incidents at other Arachnos bases. He also warned you not to make an enemy of Daos, because of his great power among Arachnos' arbiter corps. Arbiter Daos confirmed that there had been similar attacks by the mystery woman, and that they had all occurred at bases where Scirocco had stored mystic items in the past. In exchange for this information, Daos sent you to cleanse one base that had recently been put under the mystery thief's control. There you learned from the last uncontrolled Arachnos soldier in the base that the mystery woman had a name, and that name was Serafina. Scirocco was expecting that, but not pleased. It seems that this Serafina had been the one to grant him his powers, and now she most likely wanted them back.
Scirocco explained that this Serafina was no mere magician, but djinn, or Genie; a creature made of magic itself. Serafina had been charged with transferring a mantle of power, one of the legendary mantles of the four winds, but after the last heroic to bear the mantle had perished in the Rikti War, he had taken it from the weakened genie. Now some of her power must have returned, and she'd want it all back to give to some hero. To stop her, you'd need allies, and Scirocco sent you to find them. First, he sent you to speak with Black Scorpion's lieutenant, Silver Mantis. Mantis was spoiling for a fight when you found her, and you had to give it to her before she's listen to your message. Unforunately, Black Scorpion wasn't interested, and preferred to stay on the sidelines.
Next you sought out Barracuda, Mako's sidekick. The Vicious mutant would only be willing to side with someone who could demonstrate their power, so it was up to you to beat a surprised Barracuda to show her boss the strength already assembled on Scirocco's side. However, Mako wouldn't bit, preferring to wait and attack whoever came out weaker.
The only one left was Ghost Widow. Scirocco had learned that her bodyguard, the Wretch, was being targeted by the mysterious Malta group. But before you could leave to free Wretch and strengthen Scirocco's proposal to the Widow, Arbiter Daos wanted to speak with you. Daos' words were cautious. He told you that he'd run some of the items Scirocco had stored by his own mystic sources, and had come up with some unsettling results. While Daos wasn't willing to level any accusations, he strongly implied that you should keep an eye on your patron. After that strange meeting you dove into the fray, and this time, finally, it worked. Ghost Widow entered into an alliance with Scirocco, and soon you knew the genie would fall.
The alliance bore fruit almost instantly as Ghost Widow's Forunata's predicted the next place Serafina would attack. Acting on that information, you counter-attacked and caught the djinn off-guard. With most of her power spent controlling the minds of the Arachnos troops in the base, she was weakened enough to attack and defeat.
With that obstacle gone and a new alliance in place, Scirocco confided that he was ready to finally begin the great plan he had been working towards, and he would need your help than as never before.