Story Journal/Living World Season 3
Visiting Hoelbrak for Eir's memorial proved just how beloved she was. So many were there—so many had been touched by her bravery. She will never be forgotten.
Taimi has made some interesting—and somewhat frightening—discoveries while in Rata Novus. Her experiments with the chak organ and blighted goo appear risky, but she's confident they'll produce results. Almorra Soulkeeper was here looking for Rytlock. He wasn't too happy about being summoned to the Black Citadel and blatantly ignored it.
The devastation caused by the bloodstone exploding was horrific. I did my best to gather information to piece together what happened, but the mystery is deep.
Caithe and I investigated the depths of Bloodstone Maw and determined that something—or someone—had consumed the power of the Bloodstone. Unfortunately, whoever or whatever it was left the area, so there are still many questions unanswered.
I cornered Caudecus, and he revealed himself to be the leader of the White Mantle. That wasn't the only surprise we had. Lazarus, the fabled last of the mursaat, showed up. He expelled Caudecus—no surprise there. But then he expressed a disinterest in the Krytan throne! The White Mantle fractured. Some of the fools remain loyal to Caudecus. Others swore renewed allegiance to Lazarus. It's been quite a day.
Rata Novus is still humming with activity. Taimi has made big changes to her lab, including adding a simulation device that promises to be very useful.
The combat simulation was an interesting exercise, and I smashed it. Learned a lot about Destroyers and how they fight. This will be very useful.
I could have stayed longer with Taimi, but the seriousness of the situation pressed me to move on. There's something happening in the Fire Islands. I'm headed there to check in with Taimi's accomplices.
The asuran researchers on Fire Island were not prepared for all the Destroyers. I helped them get their recording devices restarted and took the opportunity to collect a sample of Destroyer flesh for Taimi. The more time I spend here, the more I realize the island is unstable.
What a strange group of skritt I found on Fire Island. They were worshiping a stone dwarf—its head, to be specific—which much to my surprise was still alive. The dwarf, named Rhoban, sent me on a mission to activate four dwarven devices that keep the volcano from erupting. I've successfully activated one of them. Three more to go.
The last thing I expected to find on Fire Island was a traveling circus of castaways. I helped them with their troubles, and in return, they showed me where the second dwarven machine was. I managed to activate it. Two down, two to go.
I ran into Scientist Quickk while looking for the third machine. He'd found it first, but it was damaged—it's parts scattered all around. It didn't take long for me to find them all and then activate the machine. Only one left to find, and then I can get off this forsaken island.
During my search for the final dwarven machine, I discovered the ruins of a mursaat fortress. It was fascinating to see this piece of history, but even better when I activated the final machine. For the moment, the volcano is calming, and I bought us all some time.
It's a historic day! The egg hatched, and we have a bouncing baby dragon. The Exalted needed me to defend the hatchling while they reestablished their wards, but then Lazarus arrived and—much as I hate to admit it—saved the day. I still don't trust him, but I'm grateful that the hatchling is safe again. Her name is Aurene.
Aurene is old enough to begin her training. I'm sure Glint would be pleased. The Exalted set up several challenges for her and I to conquer together. I taught the little dragon compassion, courage, and teamwork. Our final challenge put our bond to the test, and we overcame it. The creature we defeated never had a chance.
The elders at Hoelbrak received me hospitably and had good information about the sighting of a strange icebrood creature in the far north. They'd also seen Braham and knew Rox had gone to join him with Garm. Apparently, those two are headed in the same direction I am.
There's a pass through the mountains between Frostgorge Sound and the Bitterfrost Frontier, but it's guarded by a kodan. I convinced her that my mission was important enough that I be allowed entrance, and she gave me a magical torch that brought down the icy barrier and let me through.
Bitterfrost Frontier is one of the most naturally inhospitable places I've ever visited. It's inconceivable that anyone but Svanir choose to live here. I spoke with the kodan and quaggan leaders at Sorrow's Eclipse, and they advised me to speak with the quaggan shaman. The shaman warned me of the extreme cold at my destination, suggesting I speak with the Svanir who have some magical means to survive it. I have a plan to find out how they do it.
The Svanir were a challenge, but nothing I couldn't handle. Once I'd acquired some of their armor, it was a small thing to fashion a disguise that would get me in. I played dumb, and they gave me what I needed: a recipe for a thaw elixir. I got out with my skin intact. I call that a success. Now, off to find the ingredients.
My quest to collect the ingredients for the thaw elixir brought many adventures my way. I found the winterberries, griffon eggshells, and frostbitten suet, and I also managed to coax a firestone from the grawl by honoring their goddess Chokocooka—an old norn statue that was reclaimed from the ice.
The hot springs were a welcome respite from the cold, but even they're overrun with Svanir and icebrood. I met a quaggan farmer there named Simooba who showed me the hottest spring of all. Its waters flow up from near the heart of Tyria, and they were just what I needed to cook my thaw elixir. I have it now, so I'm ready to breach Jormag's bitter cold.
All reports proved true. The creature I was hunting showed characteristics of Jormag, Mordremoth, and Zhaitan. Unlike the poor quaggans and kodan I found there, I survived my encounter with it and got out without being corrupted or frozen to death. I have Taimi's sample, and now I'm headed back. I'll stop in Sorrow's Eclipse on the way to let them know I found their herd mates. What a tragedy.
I trekked after Rox and Braham once Deep Water and Varonos Flubburt told me where to start. I found them deep in an ice cavern looking for a magical scroll for Braham to use on his mother's bow. When I caught up, they were in trouble, but with my added brains and brawn, we made it to the scroll and slayed the icebrood goliath. I learned that Braham is having more trouble with Eir's death than I'd realized. He's bent on independence and on going after Jormag himself, convinced that it's his duty. I was unable to convince him to join Dragon's Watch so we could pursue a plan together. We parted on less-than-good terms, and Rox stayed to watch over him.
At Queen Jennah's behest, I joined her in the Upper City for a gathering of the Ministry. Her Majesty delivered a stirring speech before she was suddenly interrupted by a surprise attack by the White Mantle, prompting many of the ministers to reveal their traitorous intentions. Our attention now turns to Lake Doric, presently under siege by the White Mantle.
Logan Thackeray, joined by a charr legionnaire, gave me an initial situation report on the White Mantle's siege on Divinity's Reach, directing me to areas around the Lake Doric region he'd like me to scout for a Seraph. I've been tasked with gathering as much information on these locations as I can. I also spoke with a Shining Blade Exemplar named Caulden, who informed me about a new sigil they've researched that could imbue me with power previously held only by the mursaat.
I inspected areas in Lake Doric that were deemed to be of interest to the Seraph. I should report back to Logan in Doric's Landing.
I presented my reconnaissance report to Logan. While I was surveying the area, the Seraph learned that the White Mantle have seized control of Fort Evennia, to the east of Doric's Landing. Logan said that a Shining Blade agent was stationed in the area, and asked me to seek out his assistance in dealing with the Mantle forces occupying the fort.
At Logan's request, I met with a Shining Blade agent stationed outside Fort Evennia, which had been taken over by White Mantle operatives. With the agent's help, I was able to infiltrate the fort and sabotage the Mantle's operations.
After checking in with Logan, it's clear that the Seraph are almost ready to mount a significant counterattack on Caudecus's manor. However, before they are able to do that, the Seraph need as much help as they can to drive the White Mantle out of Lake Doric.
With the help of the Seraph and many others around the region, we've dealt a number of heavy blows to the White Mantle's siege of Lake Doric. Now that we can confidently leave the siege in the capable hands of the Seraph, I should return to Logan so we can plan our next move.
After helping drive back the White Mantle, I returned to Doric's Landing and spoke with Logan. He said that the Seraph are finalizing their plans for a last push against the Mantle, and that the queen has summoned us to her throne room. I'm to meet Logan there.
Countess Anise revealed her plan to take a strike team to infiltrate the manor at Beetletun and deal with the traitor once and for all. Queen Jennah appointed Demmi Beetlestone, a Whispers agent and Caudecus's own daughter, to guide the team inside. Anise was skeptical, but she bowed to the queen's wishes. As we left the throne room, Logan declined to join Dragon's Watch—not to stay by Jennah's side, but instead to accept General Soulkeeper's offer to make him the new Pact Marshal.
The siege of Lake Doric well in hand, we turned our attention to Caudecus, hiding out in his manor. With the help of Anise and Caudecus's daughter Demmi, we found and killed the Confessor—but not before he mortally wounded his own daughter. Evidence scattered around the manor confirmed our suspicions that the being we know as Lazarus is an imposter...but who is he?
Taimi completed yet another magical device, so a trip to Rata Novus was in my cards. Marjory joined Kasmeer, Taimi, and me; and she brought a warning that Lazarus was on his way. Our plan to reveal his true identity involves the mirrors around the lab, so when he showed up with his new goons, we were ready. We were successful. My mind is reeling! Balthazar!
Taimi, with her ever-growing influence, arranged for a Vigil submarine to take me to the Fire Islands in pursuit of Balthazar. Of course, she sent some of her own team along as well.
We disembarked in an underground cavern that was less than hospitable and began initial explorations. The Vigil sent scouts out to form a perimeter, but we've already lost crew members to hostile vegetation and creatures—including Taimi's scientist Viraddi, who had the tracker on him! I have to find him. This is not going to be easy.
Even the bushes are suspicious in this strange landscape. Thank goodness I was able to rescue most of the endangered scouts and Viraddi. Unfortunately, Taimi's tracking device was damaged beyond repair. Looks like I'll be relying on my own abilities from now on. I met a barely friendly nature spirit who informed me that Balthazar is at the top of this cavern. I must hurry.
Blast that Balthazar! He dove into the volcano's throat where I can't follow. If I'm going to catch up to him, I'll have to find a way to withstand the heat. That same—I think—spirit was waiting for me there. It told me of four ancient spirits of its kind who have been trapped and who can ward me against fire. I have to find and free them, and then I'll be able to go in after Balthazar.
Four elder druids, four successes. I found and freed them all. During the process, I learned that the Inquest have a base here. They're excavating Zinn's second site: Rata Arcanum. I even encountered M.O.X., an antique golem created by Zinn. Amazing! Now I'm ready to enter the volcano's throat at the heart of the cavern. Balthazar, here I come!
I entered the caldera and didn't go up in smoke, so I'd call that a success. Taimi met me, her own protective shields holding as well. With her help, I made my way down to the lava chamber at the heart of the volcano. Balthazar was there! He planned to acquire all the magic from both Primordus and Jormag, and he didn't give a hoot whether Tyria was destroyed in the process. He sicced his hounds, Temar and Tegon, on us, but they failed to vanquish us. It quickly became clear that our only hope was to overload Taimi's machine, despite the potential danger to ourselves. When it blew, we lost track of Balthazar and a bolt of Jormag energy struck Primordus, wounding the Elder Dragon and causing it to sink deeper into the lava. Taimi confirmed that Jormag had likely suffered the same fate.
Taimi has no idea where Balthazar is, so it's up to me to find the trail, starting with the head priest of Balthazar in the palace temple. He couldn't help me, though it's obvious the return of Balthazar has affected his and his followers' attitudes. Countess Anise was already there, cautioning him about brawling in the city, and so I had a chance to speak with her. Turns out, Kasmeer told her of my goal, and she suggested one way I might achieve it: the Eye of Janthir. One of her exemplars is out there now, tracking it, and it's likely to lead me to Balthazar; thus, I'm off to find this Shining Blade exemplar.
I started off in the direction Anise had suggested, and before I knew it, I was following a trail of White Mantle corpses. I found the exemplar in a trap, so it's a good thing I came along when I did. I rescued her, and we proceeded together from there, despite her attempts to get rid of me.
The Mantle hideout turned into a labyrinth of traps and warded doors, but we made it to the aspect, finally. No Balthazar, but we killed a Mantle justiciar, so it was productive. The exemplar refuses to tell me what she plans to do with the aspects, though. Hopefully Anise will. We're heading to Divinity's Reach next. The exemplar is going to take me to Shining Blade headquarters.
Exemplar Kerida—I now know her name—took me into the secret base of the Shining Blade. Neither she nor Anise would tell me what they intend to do with the aspects, so I agreed to take the Shining Blade Oath of Confidence. It makes me an honorary member of the Blade, and I am now privileged to hear the deeper secrets of the Shining Blade. The oath bound me to silence on those matters with any outsiders—on penalty of a magically activated death, but I got what I wanted. Kerida plans to use the aspects to resurrect Lazarus just so she can put him down for good. It's a crazy plan!
It's wonderful to see so many working so hard to reclaim [Ruins of Orr