Episode Narrative Guide - Arc Caelum

Chapter 1: Caelum, Who Lived

Caelum creeps the crystal caverns, bow on his back, and stress on his forehead. Born under a rare alignment of moons, Caelum's celestial body glows in a way that is entirely counter to his goal of concealment, but adventageous in that he can navigate such a would-be midnight cavern as if he were in possession of seven arms, each with a fresh torch.

His focus on the mission is questionable, his mind clouded with fragmented memories, glimpses of starlit skies, and whispers of a destiny yet to be uncovered Or is he just talking to himself? Whose voice is that anyway?

With silver-white hair that flows like the milky way and eyes deep blue with flecks of silver, he stands tall and slender, but hunched as he walks, as if a good hunch is the missing ingredient in his recipe for success.

Despite his effort, the crystal spiders find him. Five of them. Caelum readies Starlight, his trusted magical bow, and lets out a volley. One spider less, but the survivors strike undeterred.

A cut, a bruise, a miss. Another shot, and another miss. What has changed? A moment ago the tide was with him. Another cut, this time more severe, and Caelum the recipient. This isn't going well.

Each arrow loosed by Caelum dances with cosmic energy, casting radiant light through the shadowy expanse of the caverns, unmasking his otherwise hidden adversaries. After several more attempts, he takes down a second spider. A moment later, Caelum is flanked. He observes something new about his opponent, the ones he read about and prepared to face but only now has he felt them. "The feet of these crystal spiders are like daggers, aren't they?" The second downed spider rises again, missing a leg, but apparently still capable of continuing.

In the midst of imminent defeat, Caelum's inner voice emerges. "Is this it then? My arrows, my only allies in this dance of light and shadow, yet even they falter against such odds. Each shot, a desperate plea against the darkness. How swift the end approaches! My limbs grow heavy, my vision blurs. The whispers of the stars, once so clear, now fade into silence. Is this the destiny that awaited me? To fall, not with a blaze of glory, but a mere flicker in the endless night? No... it cannot end here, not like this. There must be more, a purpose unfulfilled, a path unseen. Moon above, lend me your strength, for I am not ready to be extinguished."

Despite his plea, he is plagued with doubt. The moon can't be seen from this place. Is it even night? It is certainly night of a kind. In a fleeting moment of stillness, as consciousness slips away and memories cascade through his mind – a vivid reel of his past and glimpses of a destiny still veiled in mystery – he hovers at death's threshold. Miraculously, as if guided by an unseen force, a spark of energy rekindles within him. Returning to consciousness from the precipice of the afterlife, he manages to strike another spider.

A pop of adrenline hits, sending some kind of minor shockwave around him, enough to harm the spider that flanked him. He doubles down on the previously injured spider. He hits. It doesn't come back up. The tide is returning to him. He finishes the spider shaken off by aura, and slowly finishes off the rest.

In the aftermath, Caelum takes a moment to rest, leaning against a glowing crystal, the light casting eerie shadows across his face. The brief respite allows him to gather his strength, though his thoughts linger on the uncertain path ahead. He doesn't have the energy to harvest the large crystals from the wall, but he collects some of the crystal fragments from the fallen spiders and recoups some of his lost arrows.