The Dead End: A Study in Scarlet

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The Dead End: A Study in Scarlet

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Objectives[edit]

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Discover Scarlet's Endgame

Dialogue[edit]

Introduction[edit]

Speaking to Priory Explorer
Please be careful. The Priory went to a lot of trouble to acquire these artifacts. If anything gets broken or goes missing, Gixx will personally put my head on the chopping block.
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Who are you?
I'm here to make sure everyone remembers these objects are Priory property. They're on loan to Ms. Delaqua, but when her investigation is done, they're coming back with me.
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How did Marjory convince the Priory to lend her the objects?
We also have an interest in investigating Scarlet's activities. Plus, Ms. Delaqua is a member in good standing who's given the Priory years of service. We were glad to do her this favor.
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Marjory's a member of the Durmand Priory?
Yes. She's been inactive for some time now, but she's still on the roster. In her current line of work, she and the Priory both benefit from this occasional sharing of information.
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Thanks. I'll make sure everyone's careful with the artifacts.
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I'm going to start the investigation. Don't worry; we'll be very careful.
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I'm going to start the investigation. Don't worry; we'll be very careful.
Upon entering
Marjory Delaqua: My friends at the Priory delivered everything they had on Scarlet.
Marjory Delaqua: I also called in Vorpp, the Arcane Council's point person. He's collaborating with us remotely.
Kasmeer Meade: We need your help sifting through the evidence.
Kasmeer Meade: We have our own theories, but we could use another opinion.
Vorpp (as a hologram): These recordings were found near Scarlet's lab in Lornar's Pass. You should listen to them first.
Vorpp: These other items are all pieces of the puzzle. Examine each one, and let us know how you think it fits.
Speaking to Vorpp's hologram
Miss Delaqua is certainly very convincing. The council doesn't let me holoconference lightly. It takes a great deal of energy.
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This was worth the expense.
Speaking to Marjory Delaqua
My scroll pile on Scarlet Briar is three hands high. We'll get to the bottom of this, or my name isn't Marjory Delaqua.
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Agreed. Or my name isn't <character name>.
Speaking to Kasmeer Meade
The more I understand about how that maniac thinks, the more scared I get. (hiccup)
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We have to learn everything we can.

Holo-recordings[edit]

Activating the first recording
Scarlet Briar: You've seen me through my awakening, Mender Serimon. Thank you. But I'm awake now, so you can leave me alone.
Scarlet Briar: Synergetics is endlessly fascinating. It seeks to define the Eternal Alchemy. The other colleges work within that definition.
Scarlet Briar: The potential of golems interests me. Combining Dynamics design with Statics versatility makes just about anything possible.
Scarlet Briar: I like Teyo. More importantly, I need to advance my theories quickly. And nobody's better at quick results than the Inquest.
Scarlet Briar: Today will be monumental. With Omadd's support, I shall finally see past this world and into the Eternal Alchemy.
Activating the second recording
Scarlet Briar: The moles get magic, Flame gets gear, and I get weaponry I need. Everybody wins...especially me.
Scarlet Briar: Lion's Arch needs softening up first, so we infiltrate its halls of power and neuter its defenses from the inside.
Scarlet Briar: The theme is "humanity can withstand any test." It's like they're begging me to prove them wrong. It's laughable! (laugh) See?
Scarlet Briar: Air superiority wins wars. So build me a comparable fleet, or I'll kill you all and replace you with holos.
Scarlet Briar: Once more, my esteemed snaky friend: you're doing this for obelisk shards. You want direct access to your prophets, right? Then do as I say.
Kasmeer Meade: Scarlet deceived each of her allies into thinking they'd gain something from working for her. Hmm. She'd make a great minister.
Activating the third recording
Scarlet Briar: Ever since I came out of Omadd's machine, you've been taking credit for my ideas. They are mine! Not yours.
Scarlet Briar: Let me be clear. I'm not doing this for you; I'm doing it for me. Nobody tells me what to do. Not ever.
Scarlet Briar: It's not true. None of it. I don't have to listen to you. Get out of my head!
Marjory Delaqua: I wonder if the voices in her head are real? What if what she saw in Omadd's machine grabbed hold of her?
Marjory Delaqua: Scarlet rejected the Pale Tree because she wanted independence. What if Omadd's machine cost her that?
Marjory Delaqua: Ironic that she rejected the Pale Tree to exert her independence, only to lose it to something else.

Evidence[edit]

Interacting with Component of Omadd's Isolation Module
Vorpp: This is Synergetics Headmaster Omadd's isolation module. A sylvari named Ceara went in; Scarlet came out.
Vorpp: I reverse-engineered an image of Ceara's aura patterns before and after. The schism is pronounced and dramatic.
(Component of Omadd's Isolation Module:) Yesss. I remember Professor Omadd. He outsmarted me in several Pollymock[sic] tournaments. I'm sure he cheated...but that's beside the point. He never should have put Ceara in that cube.
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What can you tell me about the cube?
(Vorpp:) His notes say its purpose was to shut down the mind's security system and open it—like opening a door—to welcome in the truths of the Eternal Alchemy. But our minds are protected for a reason.
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Omadd must have faked the vision, and Scarlet believed it.
Vorpp: How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion? Try again.
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The cube made her insane. Her vision was nothing more than her mind breaking.
Vorpp: How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion? Try again.
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When Scarlet looked across the open threshold, she saw things. And something looked back.
Vorpp: Ceara encountered something that literally broke her mind, but the only things in there were things she brought.
Vorpp: I surmise she was directly exposed to a part of her own psyche that had been carefully walled off. Perhaps for her own protection?
Vorpp: We'd need to do far more extensive study of the sylvari Dream before I could draw any more-detailed conclusions.
Vorpp: What I can conclude now is that she's preparing to strike. Mark my words: Scarlet's next attack is planned and ready.
Interacting with Molten Alliance Drill
Kasmeer Meade: It's been almost a year since the Molten Alliance attacked the Shiverpeaks. Dredge and Flame Legion together. Who'd have imagined it?
Marjory Delaqua: Look closely at how they combined dredge mechanical knowledge with the Flame Legion's fire magic.
(Marjory Delaqua speaks to you)
I wish I'd seen the Molten Alliance facility in the Shiverpeaks. Dredge and Flame Legion are terrifying by themselves. As allies, they're brutal. Scarlet chose well when she put them together.
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She knew they'd give her what she wanted.
Exactly. Sonic weaponry combined with flame magic. They repurposed dredge mining suits for use as charr battle armor.
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I think she was developing a sonic magical device other than weapons.
Marjory Delaqua: So dredge sonic technology can be used for probing underground...
Kasmeer Meade: And Scarlet's been looking for ley lines with those probes...
Marjory Delaqua (simultaneously): She's after the ley lines underneath Lion's Arch!
Kasmeer Meade (simultaneously): She's after the ley lines underneath Lion's Arch!
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She obviously wanted a battlesuit to keep her safe. All the pieces fit.
Kasmeer Meade: Your deductions aren't adding up here.
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The dredge were fodder, nothing more. She was after Flame Legion magic.
Marjory Delaqua: That's a bit of a leap. Take another look.
Interacting with Kiel's Report on Dragon Bash Attack
Kasmeer Meade: (sigh) Dragon Bash was supposed to be festive, until Scarlet killed people with her flying pirates.
Marjory Delaqua: Kiel did an excellent job documenting the assassination of Councilor Theo Ashford during Dragon Bash.
Kasmeer Meade: You really should return this case file before she notices you purloined it.
(Kasmeer Meade speaks to you)
I still can't believe Mai Trin thought she could get a seat on the Captain's Council. I'm glad we met you that day. She had to be stopped.
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Mai Trin's Aetherblade friends just freed her from Lionguard custody.
That's bad news. Mai's ruthless, and now she's free to get back to during Scarlet's dirty work again.
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Mai used Scarlet for her own political ambitions.
Kasmeer Meade: I'm not sure I follow your reasoning.
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Scarlet wanted a pawn on the Captain's Council.
Kasmeer Meade: Hmm. Scarlet plotted to kill someone on the Captain's Council to make room for her puppet.
Marjory Delaqua: With Trin in place on the council, she could have weakened the city's defenses from the inside. That plan backfired, but Trin escaped to the Mists to prepare for something.
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Theo Ashford was involved with Scarlet, and she betrayed him.
Kasmeer Meade: What? Oh, I don't think that's correct.
Interacting with Aetherblade Weapon
Kasmeer Meade: Scarlet converted part of a Nightmare Court arbor into her own personal airship factory. She also tormented the sylvari Firstborn, Caithe.
Kasmeer Meade: She formed this alliance in part to develop hybrid weapons with maximum destructive potential.
(Marjory Delaqua speaks to you)
I heard a rumor that Scarlet has a secret on Caithe, something she's holding over Caithe's head. Have you heard of this?
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Something happened between them at Twilight Arbor. What was Scarlet up to there, anyway?
Scarlet lured Caithe to Twilight Arbor and set a trap with Aetherblades. She was building an airship there. What do you think is happening between those two?
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They know each other, but you're wrong. It wasn't a trap. Caithe raided the airship factory.
Kasmeer Meade: Now she has an arsenal of advanced weapons and an air fleet to deliver them. No city is prepared to defend against an aerial attack. Not even Lion's Arch.
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Caithe and Scarlet both admir the Nightmare Court. That must be it.
?
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Scarlet just wanted to meet the famous Caithe of Destiny's Edge.
Kasmeer Meade: I don't see where you're coming from.
Interacting with Watchwork Fragments
Kasmeer Meade: It's so like Scarlet to ruin someone's big day. Poor Queen Jennah, celebrating ten years of rule only to have it marred by killer automatons.
Kasmeer Meade: Is that Watchknight piece safe, Marjory? I hate having any of Scarlet's machines in the bar.
Marjory Delaqua: Don't fret, angel. Ever since Queen's Jubilee, it's been quiet as a corpse.
(Marjory Delaqua speaks to you)
When Scarlet attacked Divinity's Reach—my home—civilian casualties were many. The Seraph responded well, but they thought it was a random act of violence. Little did they know...
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It was all part of her plan.
So it seems. We now know she'd been moving behind the scenes for some time, but she chose that moment to show herself. Why?
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Jealousy. She has a grudge against Queen Jennah and wanted her to suffer.
Marjory Delaqua: I'd take another shot at that deduction, sunshine.
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To get the watchknights. Controlling them required her personal touch.
Kasmeer Meade: I think our friend is on to something.
Marjory Delaqua: Huh. Not bad. The clockwork horrors from the Jubilee must have been Scarlet's second draft.
Marjory Delaqua: Scarlet got crafty. Instead of pairing up two splinter factions, she stole an entire fighting force. And then she upped the ante with that giant marionette.
Kasmeer Meade: You don't need that kind of firepower unless...you're going to attack something really big.
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I agree with the Seraph. She chose Divinity's Reach at random.
Marjory Delaqua: That's a bit of a leap. Take another look.
Interacting with Steam Creature Wreckage
Marjory Delaqua: If you examine the steam creature closely, you can identify similarities to Scarlet's clockwork machines in its design.
Kasmeer Meade: It's like she modified the Watchknights with the same engineering.
(Vorpp speaks to you)
These steam creatures have been around for a while, and we've pondered their origins with no success. Now, it seems we have our first clue. They share many of the qualities of Scarlet's designs.
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Scarlet was able to seize control of Queen Jennah's watchknights and twist them into similarly threatening minions.
Are you suggesting that the human queen... What exactly are you suggesting?
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That the queen hired Scarlet to make her watchknights, obviously.
Vorpp: That doesn't make sense.
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That the queen modeled her watchknights on the steam creatures.
Vorpp: The Watchknights and the steam creatures use common parts. That would explain how Scarlet gained control of the Watchknights.
Vorpp: Their obedience makes them perfect infantry units for assaulting a fortified location.
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That Scarlet was attracted to the quality of the watchknight design.
Vorpp: The evidence doesn't support that hypothesis.
Interacting with Toxin Sample
Marjory Delaqua: I'll never forget how close we came to disaster. When I think about those spores spreading their toxins across Tyria, it boils my blood.
Kasmeer Meade: The Nightmare Court and krait do make a volatile combination. Scarlet popped some horrifying alchemy there.
(Kasmeer Meade speaks to you)
I still have nightmares about that tower. I doubt I'm the only one.
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At least Jory was able to find the antitoxin. Can we test it on this sample?
Scarlet would have spread her toxins all over Tyria if we'd let her. It's a good thing we found the antidote. She allied with krait and Nightmare Cortiers to do so. Why would she do such a thing?
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It was a cover to grow that fake krait prophet. Why else?
Kasmeer Meade: What? Oh, I don't think that's correct.
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The courtiers grew the plant, and the krait made it toxic. The combination was a poison so powerful...
Marjory Delaqua: This sample is resistant to the antitoxin we used against the Nightmare Tower poison.
Kasmeer Meade: Jory, we didn't stop her plan. We just showed her how to make a stronger poison that could wipe out an entire city.
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She wanted to learn Nightmare Court secrets, I'd say.
Marjory Delaqua: That's a bit of a leap. Take another look.
Interacting with Cooling Rod
Marjory Delaqua: Priory teams recovered this cooling rod from the Thaumanova Reactor disaster. It's steeped in dragon magic.
(Marjory Delaqua speaks to you)
The Thaumanova Reactor accident was the worst asuran disaster in recent memory. Ellen Kiel investigated it and discovered that Scarlet was involved—as a special consultant to the Inquest.
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What are Kiel's conclusions?
She believes Scarlet blew the place up to sow terror. One sleuth to another, that's too easy. If we theorize that all Scarlet's moves have been connected, she must have been after something.
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I agree. But why? What else has Scarlet said?
Mostly crazed prattle— Hmm. Now that's interesting. Kiel's report says Scarlet called the energy flowing into the reactor "dragon" energy. She also talked about the ley lines that crisscross Tyria.
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It all tracks back to the ley lines. We know she's been actively researching them.
Marjory Delaqua: Scarlet and the Inquest turned a risky research experiment into a time bomb so they could study how it ticked.
Marjory Delaqua: They also discovered new info about ley lines. If Scarlet is using that info to plan her next major attack, it's coming soon.
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I'm inclined to agree with Kiel. Scarlet's crazy. She doesn't need a reason to blow people up.
Marjory Delaqua: Your deductions aren't adding up here.
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I'm suspicious of the Inquest connection. I bet they're behind all this.
Marjory Delaqua: I'd take another shot at that deduction, sunshine.
Interacting with Scarlet's Journal
Kasmeer Meade: I almost feel sorry for Scarlet after reading her journal. If only she didn't use Omadd's machine, she might be a sane flower.
Marjory Delaqua: Those are ramblings of a crazy murderer. Make no mistake, honey. She enjoys killing. She needs to be found and put down.
(Scarlet's Journal:) I wake from nightmares—screaming, confused, and scared. It's getting wOrse. I've decided to talk to a mender. I've probably just been working too hard. Dated Season of the Colossus, 1321.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) Every night, the same terrors. It never changes. The mender was unable to help Me, and I feel like I'm losing control of myself. Dated Season of the Zephyr, 1322.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) When the nightmare starts, an entity calls to me. I run—run into a seA of darkness. But no matter how hard I try to escape, it keeps calling me. Dated Season of the Phoenix, 1322.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) I'm trying not to sleep—too scareD to even close my eyes... So scared. Whispers come from the forest all night long, calling me, taunting me, possessing me. Dated Season of the Scion, 1322.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) Tonight, I saw it. I started into the abyss, anD it stared back at me. So much power. I don't know what's real and what isn't anymore. Dated Season of the Colossus, 1322.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) Control of my world—of myself—is slipping through my hands. And yet, I'm no longer scared. Dated Season of the Zephyr, 1323.
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Read on.
(Scarlet's Journal:) It communicated with me through images of death, destruction, and destiny. I must know more. I must confront it and put an end to this madness. Dated Season of the Scion, 1323.
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Kasmeer, we've never seen this side of Scarlet.
(Kasmeer Meade:) She's made our lives miserable for months now. Still, if this journal is true, then I almost feel a little sorry for her. What do you supposed it all means?
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It's a ploy. She left this journal where we'd find it to get us to sympathize with her.
Kasmeer Meade: I don't see where you're coming from.
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Voices. Visions. Violence. It's clear she's just plain crazy.
Kasmeer Meade: What? Oh, I don't think that's correct.
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Something is driving her—something she was afraid of but has since embraced.
Marjory Delaqua: Scared? What could possibly frighten someone like Scarlet?
Kasmeer Meade: She saw something while hooked up to Omadd's machine. Something that broke her. She's hearing voices in her head. But what are they telling her to do?
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Close the journal.
Interacting with Energy Probe
Vorpp: That's a piece of one of Scarlet's probes. We theorize that this agitated the jungle wurms.
(Vorpp speaks to you)
That is a piece from one of Scarlet's probes. Best we can deduce, they're searching for something. Of course, they also woke a three-headed wurm and drove it to surface.
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You think a probe caused that?
Unequivocally. My colleagues believe it was the magisonic dissonance the probes emit that disturbed the wurm. You have a theory for what she was looking for with that probe?
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Sure. I'm betting it's an artifact, probably a sylvari-related one.
Vorpp: The evidence doesn't support that hypothesis.
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The probes are just bombs she put out to scare us.
Vorpp: How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion? Try again.
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The probes are magical and spread out. She's closing in on a magical location.
Vorpp: That's a puzzler.
After examining all the evidence
Marjory Delaqua: Let's review the evidence.
Marjory Delaqua: Ceara entered Omadd's device, saw something terrifying, and emerged as Scarlet Briar.
Marjory Delaqua: She came out insane, but there's a method to her madness.
Marjory Delaqua: We know from Thaumanova that she's researching magical energy and ley lines.
Marjory Delaqua: She's used Molten Alliance magitech to locate ley lines. We know that there are ley lines in Lion's Arch, among other places.
Marjory Delaqua: She's built her own personal army. Krait and Nightmare Court, pirates and Inquest, dredge and Flame Legion, and most of all, her clockwork horrors.
Marjory Delaqua: She tricked her subordinates into doing her bidding with promises of power, resources, or other gains.
Marjory Delaqua: She modified her posion to be resistant to our antitoxin. She could use it against an army. Or a city.
Marjory Delaqua: Mai Trin is preparing the Aetherblades in the Mists for a big attack. There's a Mists portal in Lion's Arch.
Kasmeer Meade: Jory, Lion's Arch is her target. We have to warn Ellen.
Marjory Delaqua: I'll warn her. I'll let you know when I hear back. Make your preparations.
Marjory Delaqua: Everything has been building toward a single, devastating attack. May the gods show us mercy.
Speaking to Vorpp's Hologram
Well, that's that. I'll inform the Arcane Council of your findings. Something tells me they'll take the "see what happens" approach.
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Better warn Lion's Arch too.
Speaking to Marjory
The evidence is in. The verdict inescapable. What are you thinking?
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I'm thinking we'd better get ready.
I can tell by the look on your face that you think this is serious. So do I. Where? That's the question. Where will she hit next?
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Lion's Arch. I'm convinced that will be her next target.
Speaking to Kasmeer
Oh dear. You've got it all figured out, don't you? And, it's going to be bad. Isn't it? Do I want to know what Scarlet's truly capable of?
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It's bad. She's coming after Lion's Arch.
Why? What do you think is going to happen?
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She's gathered a powerful army. She'll attack someplace well defended.
I see. What are we going to do?
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We're going to stop her.

Trivia[edit]