Author Archives: Dennis

Arcane

Ever since I fell in love with The Dragon Prince, fantasy genre cartoon with a cast of incredible characters, great representation and solid world building. It became immediately clear that the vibe they tried to hit was one of wholesomeness and inclusion. Of course I was hooked.

Recently, Netflix has released another cartoon, based on the League of Legends universe, which I’m not super-familiar with. It’s called Arcane, and it’s incredible. Not only are the story, characters and world building en pointe, the graphics are phenomenal, but the character development throughout the story is spectacular.

The world building blends steam- and manapunk together in a way that is seamless, evocative and with all the verisimilitude necessary to make it believable. The story, while not uncommon and reliant on a couple of common tropes, is engaging and get me incredibly invested in the outcome. And the characters are all well-rounded and diverse, each getting enough screen time for every viewer to get invested in someone.

Besides the far superior graphics, this cartoon deals with very mature subject matter (oppression, corruption, e.g.) and, unlike The Dragon Prince, is definitely for mature audiences.

It stands out to me as the best content that Netflix has produced so far, and I recommend this 9 episode first season of Arcane to anyone who enjoys getting caught up in a great cartoon.

Defeating the Sanctum Guardian

Previously, the heroes had made their way into Dr. Arkenward’s sanctum by way of a hidden portal in the study of his home in the Old Town ward of Kingsport. There they had engaged and defeated a stone golem which was keeping watch over a stone door that lead deeper into the sanctum

Ninth Day, Third Ride, Autumn Red, 1262

(Silvermoon is waxing. Bloodmoon is waxing. Darkmoon is waxing.)

After the heroes had defeated the golem, slowly they noticed a green glow coming from the defeated golem’s crystal which had been embedded in its chest. The same glow could be seen coming from the other golem, which had been destroyed before the heroes arrived in Arkenward’s sanctum. Within moments, the magic radiating outward from the crystal reconstituted both golems until they were completely mended.

Emrys and Luca both took their positions on each side of the room, atop the platform, in front of the orbs and both simultaneously placed their hands on the wings on each side of the orb. They felt a resistance as they attempted to take control of the orbs, and both were able to overcome that resistance. When they opened their eyes, it felt as if they had moved in the room. Looking down, they noticed a crystal embedded in the chest and they recognised that they had taken control of a golem.

James and Quentin looked on as the golems started to move, but this time without the intent of pulverising them. Instead, the golems moved to the door, whose crystals had been shifting between red and blue. When the right crystal had turned blue, one of the two golems charged its crystal with a magical blue light and discharged a lightning bolt at the crystal on the door. The crystal turned clear and went dull. Luca, who had been directing the golem was quite happy to see that it worked and he stood aside, waiting for Emrys to attempt to take care of the other crystal on the door.

When the other crystal on the door turned red, it was Emrys’ turn and he directed his golem to charge the crystal in his chest with red energy, and a blast wave erupted from the golem. It hit the crystal on the door, and the crystal turned clear and dull. Immediately a satisfying sound of a mechanism hidden in the walls could be heard and the door raised up into the wall above, opening the doorway into a short passage, which in turn opened into a large room beyond.

Unfortunately, the blast wave also hit Quentin and Luca, who had been too close to Emrys’ golem. The force of the blast was so powerful that Luca lost consciousness and could no longer control the golem and it once again retained control of its faculties and immediately recognised the heroes as intruders.

Between James’ archery, Quentin’s sword-work and the golem that Emrys still controlled, the heroes managed to defeat the hostile golem. Emrys moved his golem as far away from the door as possible while Quentin and James carried Luca through the door and into the room beyond. Emrys then relinquished control of the golem and it immediately ran for the heroes. Emrys found a mechanism with a lever on the other side of the door, and before the golem could reach the heroes the door closed again.

Quentin took Luca aside and channelled his grim determination, born from his nobility, heritage, bloodline, and his renewed purpose in life, into Luca’s bruised body and to everyone’s surprise he opened his eyes. Luca was still weak, but in turn Luca called upon the radiant splendour of his devotion to Aurion in order to heal his wounds even further. This brought about a conversation about Luca’s changed demeanour, but it had to wait until a better time to continue it.

The room the heroes found themselves in looked an awful lot like a throne room. It was surrounded by a large balcony and at the far end there was a throne. It was raised on a wooden base which was of a slightly different, darker wood than what the throne was made of, and inspecting the setup the heroes found that there some inscription on the back of it in a script that they could not read but guessed to be one of the northern languages. In a last ditch attempt to divine whether there was something important about the throne, the heroes decided to allow Luca to take his time to perform a ritual to check whether the throne was magic, which it turned out it wasn’t. It was at that time that the heroes missed Astrid’s company as they had to leave the throne behind.

Before the heroes continued, they took a moment to rest up. James had already investigated the balcony above while Luca performed his divination ritual and had found that there was a doorway at the rear of the balcony, behind which there was another large room, filled with large barrels, like those used to store wine or beer. When the heroes had rested up they went up to that room and took a look. They saw another doorway in the far end of the room, as well as a large bonfire with two bedrolls near it and some personal items around; it seemed that the people who entered Arkenward’s sanctum before them, had taken some time to rest before venturing onward, and the heroes were on their heels.

The Entrance of Arkenward’s Sanctum

Previously, the heroes had found their way to Dr. Arkenward’s house in the Old Town ward of Kingsport and spoke to Vydia, his wife. She revealed that she had met her husband while they were studying. She was a talent diviner, specialising in oracular precognition and revealed that she was born into the same tribe of elves as Emrys, the aen adhar, and was in fact the daughter of Voriel, the mentor that Emrys had vanished. Vydia had also been assaulted by intruders, who had disappeared into a secret, extra-dimensional space accessible only through Arkenward’s study. The heroes quickly followed into the portal, which promptly collapsed when Emrys jumped through it.

Ninth Day, Third Ride, Autumn Red, 1262

(Silvermoon is waxing. Bloodmoon is waxing. Darkmoon is waxing.)

On the other side of the portal the heroes found a corridor that sloped upward and resulting a doorway to a room which was lit up. All of them needed to gather their senses somewhat, especially Emrys, who was upset at Vydia for revealing that her father was his former mentor just as he entered through the portal. Luca tried to engage Emrys on the subject by asking him what he thought it meant that in Vydia’s vision her father was screaming Emrys’ name. Emrys could not explain that.

James started to explore the corridor and found it to be made of the same kind of masonry that he’d seen in the ancient waterways underneath Kingsport. As he crept close to the exit of the corridor, he could see more of the room beyond; a high ceilinged room with chandeliers along the top which lit the room. Two platforms stood on either side of the room, each with a strange statue with an orb embedded in it; one orb was red, another was blue. On the far side wall, directly opposite to the doorway he was standing in, James noticed a large stone gate. On each side of the gate were alcoves all along the wall, each with a statue of a winged warrior in it.

Just off the centre of the room stood a large statue made entirely of stone, in the shape of a humanoid, with a strange clear crystal embedded in its chest. Another statue had collapsed into a pile of rubble close by. The two statues reminded James of the guardian he had seen in the Crimson Tower and he decided that the two arcanists in the group were better suited to determine the next course of action. Luca moved into the room and up one of the platforms to get a better look at the pillar and the orb on top of it.

In the meantime, Quentin carefully moved into the room, inspected the stone statue as he passed it and he got a distinct sense of anxiety at the thought of the enormous statue coming to life. Quentin noticed a body, behind the statue, at the base of the platform that Luca was standing on. He called everyone attention to it, and quickly it was determined that this was the man who had threatened Vydia. Searching his body, the heroes found that possessed thieves’ tools as well as the tools of a forger.

Emrys anticipated that something was going to happen and he used his arcane abilities to allow himself to fly. As the rush of magic coursed through his body he felt it well up and he could scarcely control it. In a flash, Emrys appeared to be flanked by two radiant figures; one was clearly Lauriel Skycaller, also known as Moonwhisper; the other was a pale and slender elven woman, with long, white hair, alabaster skin, wearing a deep midnight blue robes. Her eyes were like deep pools. Neither of them spoke, but they hovered on either side of Emrys. When the initial shock of their appearance wore off Luca used Blackstar to detect souls, but could not find any besides the ones of his companions.

Quentin investigates the statues in the alcoves on the far wall and saw that they were celestial warriors, each with a set of feathery wings that reminded him of some of the magical armour he recently found. When he went to inspect what Luca was doing he noticed that the statuettes that were holding the orbs were also winged and it was James he noticed that there were designated places on the wings where one could place their hands.

Luca had performed a ritual that allowed him to sense magical auras and based on his analysis he decided to place his hands on the wings of the orb. Immediately the statue came alive and threatened the heroes. Luca felt a contest of willpower emanating from the orb and let go of it to engaged the golem. A the same time on the closed gate one of two crystals started to glow with a red glow. Like the guardian at the top of the Crimson Tower, the golem possessed a ferocious power and the crystal embedded on its chest occasionally flashed an angry red or blue before erupting in a flash of force or electricity damage. The golem was seemingly also capable of charging itself with green light and using the magic inside of it to repair itself. Regardless, the four heroes were able to damage the golem enough to break and become dormant once again.

The heroes were still stuck in the room, now with two damaged and powered down golems and a dead body, and none the wiser on how to open the gate and continue on to find the tablet.