Monday, April 24, 2017

Souldancer: Chapters 31-34

Kerioth unloads supplies for Damus before he leads the four souldancers to the Guild vault. Astlin discerns that they are looking for a fifth souldancer - and Damus's lost daughter.

On the bridge of the Exarch, Xander joins Tefler and Cook as they try to seize the ship from Thurif. Xander takes control of the Wheel, and Thurif flees.

Sulaiman tags along as Damus leads his expedition through a canyon. All watch as Thurif falls like lightning from the Exarch.

Xander lands the ship near the expedition. He confronts Damus to kill him, but Astlin convinces him to stay his hand. Sulaiman tries to convince Xander to let him come with, for he knows which souldancer is imprisoned: a god smith. With it, Sulaiman can kill Thera. But before Xander can decide, Hazeroth returns, and the souldancers run into the vault.

As the fight outside rages nearer, the four souldancers channel their elements into a lock. But the device needs six elements, not four, so Tefler, as the priest of both Thera and Shaiel, channels prana and void into it. The door opens, revealing a Regulator, an armored metal giant tasked to destroy intruders. Xander, Tefler, and Cook run inside while the souldancers distract the giant. To beat it, Astlin telepathically links to her fellow souldancers and shares a plan. Using coordination and their powers, the quartet defeats the Regulator

Inside the vault, Xander, Tefler, and Cook find a pranaphage in restraints. While Xander attempts to remember how he beat the first one, the souldancers rush in. Swept up by emotion, Xander proposes to Astlin despite Irallel's mocking. Hazeroth interrupts, and offers his friendship to whoever kills Xader and Astlin. Irallel tries to kill Astlin. Xander kills Irallel. Hazeroth attacks Xander in turn.


This was a quick set of chapters, covering the first half of the Guild vault fight. The teamwork used by the souldancers came straight from 80s and 90s anime series like Ronin Warriors and Sailor Moon, although the skill shown has the finesse of Avatar: the Last Airbender. Most anime team attacks charge up the mighty glass cannon, while in Avatar, and Souldancer, the team instead uses their attacks for synergistic effect. There's even a nod to the RPG roots of Souldancer, as Astlin, Zan, and Irallel inflicted status effects on the Regulator before Megido landed the killing blow.

I hate to see Irallel leave so soon. I've always enjoyed whenever the female protagonist must content with a sharp-tongued foil, and Irallel made her displeasure apparent with every word. But such a foil is best suited towards romantic comedy. There's no room in Astlin and Xander's relationship for a rival to exploit, not that Irallel showed any interest in anyone but herself. So the consequences for her sudden yet inevitable betrayal could be lethal However, in the Soul Cycle, death is not the final destination, but the beginning of an even stranger journey, so it would not surprise me if this ice queen showed up again in the series.

So, six elements and six souldancers. We've seen the souldancers of fire, air, water, earth, and void. So who is the souldancer of prana, what realms are the other three souldancers from, and which one is trapped inside the vault?

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