Book of Lore -> To War! / The Reckoning,
Location: Falconreach (Book 3) -> Up -> Left -> Uaanta -> The Maleurous -> Notha Ly'Ehr -> The Reckoning,
Location: Reckoning -> To the War! -> Iconclasm
None Completion of Reclamation
Release Date: August 14th, 2021
Objective: Everyone has a story.
Objective completed: Will you fight for your ideals?
Experience rewarded: 0
Gold rewarded: 0
*At a research station in Lhe'Shyiac, a young Notha tries to get her mother's attention by touching her, to no avail as she is busy.*
Mother: Not now, Notha. I am busy.
Notha: But, mother...
Mother: Perhaps your father can entertain you. I have much work to do.
*Scene shifts to a library, where Notha tries to capture the attention of her father.*
Notha: There was something I wanted to...
Father: Your studies are going well? You are living up to the family name?
Notha: ...Yes, father.
Father: Good. Good.
*Notha's father gives her a bag of gold.*
Father: That should be sufficient, for whatever it is you wanted, yes?
Father: Don't forget to thank the Makers for your blessings.
Father: And Notha...
Father: Close the door on your way out, please. I'll have no more interruptions this evening.
*Notha pauses before obeying her father.*
Notha: ...Yes, father.
*Scene shifts to a dark shrine, where Notha prays to the Makers.*
Notha: Mother and father are busy again, doing your holy work, Makers.
Notha: I come, yet again, to ask for your blessings.
Notha: Please, I've done all I've been asked. I've studied hard, I've prayed, just like mother and father tell me to.
Notha: I just...
*As Notha prays to the Makers, she cries as if she is losing hope.*
Notha: I want a friend. A real one.
Notha: I've tried! But I just can't stand it. It's all fake. It's all just a mask I put on.
Notha: I don't care for them. Any of them.
Notha: But I try! I know their birthdays, their favorite foods, their favorite toys...
Notha: ...but their joy, their sadness... It doesn't make any sense.
Notha: I feel nothing. And what I offer them... is false.
Notha: Please... Makers. I don't understand.
Notha: I just want to be normal.
*Scene shifts to a forest, where Notha sits back to back with a girl with a green dress, separated by no more than a tree; the girl talks with Notha about their dreams after the academy.*
Girl: So, Notha, have you thought about what you'll do after the academy?
Notha: I'll be a researcher. Like my mother and father.
Girl: Well, I'm going to be a priestess, in service of the Makers!
Girl: You know, I hear there's going to be a party after the next festival.
Notha: Isn't there always?
Girl: Well, yes...
Notha: What makes this one so special?
Girl: They're always special! There will be food, and dancing, and music, all in praise of the Makers, of course. It'll be a good time!
Girl: You should come!
Notha: Why should I bother?
Girl: Notha! Celebrating is a form of service to the Makers, you know!
Notha: Everything we do is in their service. My studies will suffice.
Girl: Look, Notha, I'm sorry I'm a little boring for your... sensibilities, but you...
Notha: I know mother and father pay your parents to have you accompany me.
Notha: It's not your fault. You should...
Notha: You should go. Have friends who actually care about you.
Girl: Notha... I...
Notha: I said go!
*The girl leaves.*
Notha: Why... Why am I like this?
Notha: Why did the Makers make me like this?
Notha: Why do I still feel... nothing...
*Scene shifts to a research station; Notha, now a young adult, researches many Exalted artifacts before another researcher enters.*
Notha: And that's the last shipment from the excavation site?
Man: Yes, Lady Notha. For now, at least.
Notha: Thank you.
Man: Er... my lady, forgive me if this is out of place, but...
Man: The winter festival is fast approaching, and I was wondering if you would...
Notha: Is it winter already?
Man: I know you're far above the station as one such as I, Lady Notha, but I think it would be good for you to get some fresh air, maybe... er...
*Notha pauses researching the artifact before she declines.*
Notha: I am sorry. I am not interested.
Man: Haha, of course. Of course. My apologies, my lady.
Notha: It is of no concern. You... You've done a good job. I'll make sure to add a bonus to your wages at the end of the month.
Man: Generous as ever, Lady Notha.
Man: May the Makers bless your work.
*The researcher leaves.*
Notha: I've followed them this far. I shall have my answers.
*Scene shifts to the same research station at a later point in time; Notha has gathered more Exalted artifacts, allowing her to make a dark realization about the Makers.*
Notha: This isn't... We... The... the Makers...
Notha: It's... lies... it's all lies!
Notha: And there I was. Blaming them for all my problems, lost and confused.
Notha: I... I accepted it. It was all part of the Makers' plan.
Notha: But... no.
Notha: They are no Makers.
Notha: And WHY?
Notha: Why pretend? Why have us suffer in the dark?
Notha: Such... wonders...
Notha: Hidden from us. Buried.
Notha: All these years... All these years I've worn the mask I was told to wear. Expected to wear.
Notha: Waiting, and waiting, and hoping for the revelation. For the Makers to come down from their Firmament and grant me normalcy.
Notha: And it was all for nothing! Those fervent prayers, those wishes of a young girl...
Notha: They mean nothing to the Makers!
Notha: They would have us stagnate and our genius extinguished so that they may bathe in our worship and praise.
Notha: Well, "Makers". I have seen the truth. And I will tear you down.
Notha: I can wear the mask a while longer.
Notha: I'm used to it.
*A Maleurous mask spins as the scene transitions to the present day; in Remthalas' realm of dreams, you and Uaanta confront Notha and Remthalas about Notha's story.*
Uaanta: What, that's it? This is all the tantrum of a spoiled brat who couldn't accept what the Makers provided?
Notha: The Makers didn't provide anything!
Notha: I spent my childhood alone, unable to connect, unable to make friends, to... be normal!
Notha: And what was I told? What did I believe? 'It's all part of the Makers' plans.'
Notha: From my mother. From my father. From anyone who cared to listen to the plight of a... a freak of a Lhe'Shyian child!
Notha: And I believed it. I believed my misery, my loneliness, was because of them! That it served a purpose!
Notha: I dedicated my life to finding out what that purpose was! To what purpose my Makers had in store for me!
Notha: But there was none. There was no reason.
Notha: The Avatars are liars and usurpers, terrified of our potential.
Notha: This "balance" they claim to uphold? Arrogant stagnation.
Notha: Fear of the unknown.
Uaanta: There has to be order in the world or it will devolve into chaos!
Notha: The order we make for ourselves, dear Uaanta.
Notha: Not the laws and decrees of pretenders who can barely function!
Notha: I've seen the remnants of what came before, you know.
Notha: The Exalted.
Notha: I've seen their technology, their cities, their magic, their stories!
Notha: I've seen what our false gods fear, and it is wondrous.
Notha: I've seen the freedom that the Avatars want us to forget.
Uaanta: And what about you, Remthalas? Is this the freedom you desired? Serving at the whim of this heretic?
Remthalas: You claim to choose whether or not to serve the Avatars, yet all I see is blind devotion.
Remthalas: Do not bring your righteous anger down on us who bring the truth.
Remthalas: It is better directed at those whose hands covered your eyes all along.
Notha: I think we've taken enough of your time.
Notha: Rest well, you'll need it.
*With the sound of someone clicking its fingers, Remthalas releases you and Uaanta from his realm.*
Remthalas: That was your plan? I could have shown them anything, and you chose some lonely scenes from your childhood?
Notha: I think we're getting through.
Notha: At the very least, if they wish to oppose us still, it should be of their own choice.
Remthalas: A shame. But at least they will be free.
*In the Firmament, you, your dragon, and Uaanta have once again been summoned by the Avatars in the wake of earlier events.*
Kyanos: So that is her motivation.
Temblor: It matters not.
Temblor: The threat she poses threatens to disrupt the careful balance–
Uaanta: ...Is it true?
*Uaanta contemplates Notha's story.*
Uaanta: Is all of Lhe'Shyiac... The culture... our faith... Is it all a lie?
Haeos: It is the means by which we brought balance, order, to the land.
Fiamme: The faith is real. The works of your people, guided by our hands, are real.
Uaanta: But what of you? Are you truly our Makers?
Voidstar: What we do, we do for the sake of Lore. Of keeping it in balance.
Neso: For keeping it from descending into endless chaos and destruction.
Celeritas: You and your people have done well to maintain it so. The religion was an effective way of–
Lock: Uaanta and her people are not a tool to be used.
Key: Remember our lessons.
Celeritas: Yes.... yes.
Celeritas: Our apologies, Uaanta.
Khazri: We felt, at the time, that the deception was necessary.
Uaanta: And yet, I still trust you, Makers. To guide our path.
<Character>: Wow, look at you, Avatars. Apologizing to a mortal!
Neso: And we must apologize to you as well, <Character>.
Temblor: We have wreaked havoc in your lands in our haphazard attempts to maintain balance.
<Character>: I think there's a lot of people who need apologizing to, really.
Kyanos: Is this what we do now? Let it seep in? Let it color our every word and action?
Fiamme: Kyanos! Control yourself!
Lock: You are your own.
Key: You control yourself.
Kyanos: Yes. You are right.
Kyanos: I am... sorry.
Voidstar: We are still coming to terms with our re-discovered nature.
Khazri: Lock and Key have taught us much. We cannot fight who we have become.
Neso: Thus was the source of our inconsistency and fury. Our rage and confusion.
Celeritas: We have come to a decision. Aided by Lock and Key, we will–
*Everyone in the Firmament looks above as the barrier surrounding it breaks, revealing Myalos, the Dragonoid, who breached it under Notha's orders.*
Myalos: We meet again, heroes.
Notha: Well done, Myalos! I knew you could do it!
<Character>: Myalos? But... is that... Notha's voice?
Uaanta: What sorcery is this?
Notha: Hi, <Character>! That's right, it's me!
Kyanos: What... What have you done? What is this?
Temblor: How is this possible?
Notha: Oh, I just had to keep digging. And digging. And digging!
Notha: I've seen secrets even you Avatars couldn't imagine.
Notha: Together, Myalos and I, we've sorted this whole thing out! Well, a lot of it. I think.
Notha: Enough, at least!
Neso: You delve into that which you do not understand!
Notha: Not all of it, but I know you don't either!
Fiamme: You dare trespass by force?
Notha: I dare!
Uaanta: Begone, Notha!
<Character>: I don't know if that's going to convince her.
Notha: Oh, hello, Uaanta. Did you sleep well last night?
Notha: You know what Myalos and I are here for. And it's not you. It's them.
Notha: I'd rather you not get in our way but...
Voidstar: Champions! To our aid!
Lock: You do not understand what you do.
Key: There is still a chance for a peaceable solution.
Myalos: Lock and Key. My saviors.
Myalos: A peaceable solution, though viable, is inefficient.
*Temblor attacks Myalos' construct.*
Notha: You see? Do you see? The Avatars will not suffer our presence.
Notha: Myalos, let our "hero" friends play with some of our new toys.
Notha: And let us deal with these oppressors!
After first completion, Book of Lore and Falconreach (Book 3) access points no longer direct you to this quest, but Reckoning instead.
< Message edited by Jay -- 10/14/2021 19:13:37 >