| Reasons to Fight
Location: The Awakened Depths - Rose Faction / Golden Hand Faction / Vind Faction -> Quests! -> Reasons to Fight
Level/Quest/Items required: Completion of The Great One
Release Date: November 13th, 2021
Objective: With the support of The Great One secured, will the DragonLords honor their promise for aid?
Objective completed: What remains of Dragesvard awaits.
Experience rewarded: 0
Gold rewarded: 0
G. M. Hansa
*Jaania is in her study in Swordhaven's Ivory Tower; she has moved her desk into a corner and stands opposite a contained phylactery on a plinth; Jaania casts an intensive spell on it, removing the soul within; soul threads appear to be attempting to intertwine between Jaania's hand and the soul; just as they are about to connect, the magic spell is too severe and the soul disintegrates; Jaania appears exhausted and confused.*
Jaania: No... No!
Jaania: Not again!
Jaania: Not... not again...
Jaania: These souls are so...
*Someone knocks on Jaania's door.*
Jaania: So... fragile...
*Someone knocks on Jaania's door again.*
Jaania: ...What is it?!
Akanthus: Lady Jaania! Is there something amiss?
Jaania: No... no... just a... rather strenuous spell.
*Jaania pauses before permitting Akanthus to enter.*
Jaania: Enter, Akanthus.
Jaania: I could use your insight.
*Akanthus stands before Jaania.*
Akanthus: ...And how is your investigation into souls progressing?
Jaania: Not at all.
Akanthus: I see you still refuse to attempt to summon a Soulally.
Akanthus: The school in Edelia sees much success in their teachings, you know.
*Jaania considers Akanthus' suggestion.*
Jaania: ...These "Soulallies"... these Elemental "spirits"...
Jaania: They have wills of their own, do they not?
Jaania: They can rebel, or refuse to act in a critical moment.
Jaania: For this to work, I need obedience. I need a tool.
Akanthus: And you've been testing your theories on these souls?
Jaania: When I try to draw power from them... I get flashes of memories. Emotions.
Jaania: I... I'm sacrificing these people for the greater good.
Jaania: I can't let it be in vain. I can't.
Akanthus: If there were some way to use souls as you describe, I imagine the Shapeless Empire would have discovered and forbidden it already.
Jaania: They are not me. They are not...
*Jaania does not want to mimic the methods of the Magesterium.*
Jaania: These Soulallies... these... Elemental Spirits...
Jaania: They are... aligned to specific elements... are they not?
Akanthus: ...I believe so.
Jaania: And they are, from what I have read, the souls of deceased weavers?
Jaania: And yet, these souls, as they are, are not aligned as such.
Jaania: Perhaps instead of... attempting to bind them whole...
Jaania: What if I were to... pull at a single aspect...
Akanthus: I would caution against straining yourself in such a way, Lady Jaania.
Akanthus: Your barrier over Swordhaven took much out of you. Are you sure you're completely recovered?
Jaania: I will be fine.
Akanthus: If your experiments are to continue, and your plan to come to fruition, these souls may not be the only sacrifices you end up making.
Akanthus: Completely cutting off the Mana Core would likely be less of–
Jaania: That is not an option!
Jaania: Such a scenario would cause too much suffering across all of Lore. Too much...
Jaania: No, I am fully prepared to sacrifice all that is necessary to see the world at peace, without first plunging it into chaos.
*Jaania pauses to deliberate her next move.*
Jaania: Leave me. I must pursue this new avenue of research.
Akanthus: As you command, my Lady.
*Alone with her thoughts once again, Jaania still appears to have "the greater good" in mind.*
Jaania: The pain must end.
Jaania: I will protect Lore.
*Elsewhere, in Dragonsgrasp, after returning from your journey to The Great One, you converse with the representative(s) from your chosen Faction.*
If you joined the Rose Faction:
G. M. Hansa: Hold on, <Character>. Before we head in, I have a question I would like to ask you.
G. M. Hansa: What... drives you?
G. M. Hansa: What compels you to try to save the world, over and over again, against impossible odds?
<Character>: Um. Well, I...
G. M. Hansa: No, I'm sorry, perhaps that is too personal of a question. I apologize, <Character>.
<Character>: Is there something on your mind?
G. M. Hansa: Many... many things. In particular, something The Great One spoke to me about.
G. M. Hansa: In my head. While you and <Dragon> were in the Gauntlet.
<Character>: Do you... want to talk about it?
G. M. Hansa: The Rose... we've done a lot of good for Greenguard.
G. M. Hansa: Yet to deny that there has also been irreparable harm done would make me truly blind.
G. M. Hansa: But... until recently, I would have denied such truths with immense fervor.
G. M. Hansa: I chose to ignore the rumors. I chose to dismiss the evidence.
G. M. Hansa: I was chasing a dream through a tunnel. A dream... that I still yearn for.
G. M. Hansa: And yet, am I doomed to follow in the footsteps of my betters? To trust that their dreams are mine?
<Character>: You're referring to Jaania?
G. M. Hansa: Lady Jaania, yes, but in truth, you, as well.
G. M. Hansa: You may not see yourself as such, or, perhaps you do, but you attract those who are hungry for power.
G. M. Hansa: You, like Jaania, are a beacon for those who want their own dreams fulfilled.
G. M. Hansa: I asked you, just now, what compels you to keep going.
G. M. Hansa: Whatever that may be, don't forget that it is not the only thing that matters.
<Character>: Thank you for your... advice, Grand Magus.
G. M. Hansa: Ah, I apologize. Thank you for listening. I have much for myself to figure out as well.
G. M. Hansa: But that can wait. Let us not keep the rest of the Alliance waiting.
If you joined the Golden Hand Faction:
Ostromir: One moment. Vseslava, should we not disclose what... happened earlier?
Vseslava: I do not think it is relevant, Ostromir.
<Character>: What happened?
Vseslava: Fine. That... Great One. That dragon. They spoke to us in our heads while you were traversing the Gauntlet.
<Character>: What did they say to you?
*Ostromir and Vseslava pause before continuing.*
Ostromir: <Character>, you are aware that as Magesters of The Golden Hand, Vseslava and I are - were - members of the Magesterium?
<Character>: You've mentioned as much, yes.
Ostromir: The Great One knew things about us. About what... what we have done.
Ostromir: There is much the Magesterium has done to advance the Shapeless Empire.
Ostromir: As magesters of The Golden Hand, we were often on the forefront of such... activities.
Ostromir: Do you not remember The Great One's words? What if we perish in the struggles to come?
Ostromir: No one would remember. Well, besides a gigantic dragon. No offense, <Dragon>.
*Your dragon glares menacingly at Ostromir.*
Ostromir: As you may have surmised, <Character>, there is a reason why we have knowledge of the rifts, and the Wastes beyond.
Ostromir: We have been there before. There have been quite a number of expeditions to the Wastes in the history of the Magesterium.
Ostromir: Underneath the Seym, Nieboheim's central tower, there are laboratories where Magesters are free to conduct research.
Ostromir: It is there that a rift is maintained. Was maintained. Actually, I am not sure of its fate now that–
Vseslava: The Magesterium conducted experiments in the Wastes.
Vseslava: Of these... were many that those of morals would not consider palatable.
Ostromir: When I close my eyes, the cries of the... the children...
Ostromir: They still haunt me, even now.
Vseslava: ...We were all complicit.
Ostromir: The Great One asked why we continued to assist the Alliance.
Ostromir: There was more than enough reason, they said, for us to abandon our duty and return home.
Ostromir: ...The Empire has likely fallen by now, our people, in disarray.
<Character>: ...It can't have been an easy decision to remain.
Vseslava: It was not. But...
Vseslava: Ostromir regrets his past actions.
Vseslava: He sees this... saving Lore business as a form of redemption.
Ostromir: Vseslava has tried to, how do you say it, block off, that which she does not wish to remember.
Ostromir: But she too is fully committed to this cause.
Ostromir: I cannot help those I left behind, but I can still do some good.
Ostromir: We have nothing else left for us, after all.
Vseslava: You don't know that, Ostromir.
<Character>: I knew the Magesterium did... questionable things. The Harvest was a brutal reminder of that... but...
Ostromir: Think what you will of us, <Character>. It does not change our course.
Vseslava: I hope despite everything... well, your company has been welcome in these distant lands.
Ostromir: Perhaps you were right, Vseslava. Maybe I should not have said anything.
Vseslava: ...Come, the others of the Alliance must surely be wondering why we are late.
If you joined the Vind Faction:
Kara SuLema: <Character>, before we go in, do you have a moment to talk?
<Character>: Of course, Kara. What's on your mind?
Kara SuLema: While you were going through the Gauntlet, The Great One spoke to me. In my mind.
Kara SuLema: They... wanted to know what I was doing here.
<Character>: Well, we're all here to save Lore, right?
Kara SuLema: Yes... but...
Kara SuLema: All the refugees in Sulen'Eska, the resistance... I'm their leader. I'm responsible for them.
Kara SuLema: The Great One asked me if I felt as though I were abandoning the Vind to um... as they put it, "traipse around Lore".
Kara SuLema: I've struggled as a leader. I've made many decisions, both right and wrong, in hindsight.
Kara SuLema: ...
Kara SuLema: I'd be lying if there wasn't part of me that just wanted to join the great Hero of Falconreach on an adventure to save the world.
Kara SuLema: And I'd also be lying if I said I didn't have any doubts that this is the right thing for me to be doing.
Kara SuLema: But with the fate of Lore in the balance, with the Greenguard Alliance, I think I'd have more regrets if I didn't help.
Kara SuLema: ...If I had stayed behind... and something went wrong.
Mritha: Kara, the Vind trusts you and your judgement. There are plenty of lieutenants to manage things while you're away.
Kara SuLema: I... I know that. I truly do. The Great One just... certainly had a way of prodding at my insecurities.
Kara SuLema: I just wanted to let you know, <Character>. That I know why I'm here. And I'll do all in my power to help you save Lore.
Kara SuLema: We should get going. Everyone's probably waiting for us!
*After learning about the experience(s) of your Faction representative(s) while you were in The Great One's Gauntlet, the entire Alliance heads to Dragonsgrasp's Eastern Intersection with Galanoth to inform the DragonLords of The Great One's approval of the Alliance's request for aid.*
Galanoth: And so, The Great One has spoken to me.
Galanoth: The DragonLords are to lend their aid in reclaiming Dragesvard!
*The DragonLords take a moment to process this confirmation, however some accept The Great One's command more readily than others.*
Sir Baumbard: Well, there you have it. I shall prepare the dragon flights, by your leave, Captain.
Captain Lestrad: Hold on. Hold on!
Captain Lestrad: Speaker...you're a former companion of <Character>, are you not?
Inspector Doyle: Lestrad, really!?
Captain Lestrad: A Speaker is not infallible, as you may well remember from years prior.
Inspector Doyle: Vilmor was cleared of–
Captain Lestrad: Well, Speaker? Do you have any proof that this is not a fabrication of convenience?
Mritha: Lestrad, you promised to listen to the Speaker, and here he is. Or are you as dishonorable as you are cowardly?
Captain Lestrad: I promised to listen to the words of The Great One. And I have yet to hear them.
Galanoth: It is my duty to reveal the words of The Great One.
Galanoth: If you do not believe me, then perhaps your issue is with The Great One.
Galanoth: You are welcome to face them, should you wish.
Captain Lestrad: I do not–
*Dragonsgrasp shakes as The Great One speaks directly to the DragonLords due to Captain Lestrad's stubbornness.*
Geno: The Speaker speaks with our authority.
Kratos: You will all obey.
*Silence falls after The Great One's words can be felt by all.*
Inspector Doyle: And there you have it.
Captain Lestrad: ...
*Captain Lestrad stays quiet.*
<Character>: Well, Captain Lestrad? Is that enough for you?
*Captain Lestrad reluctantly hangs his head, knowing he must follow The Great One's command.*
Captain Lestrad: If The Great One commands it to be so, it shall be so.
Mritha: About time!
Captain Lestrad: We shall assist you, members of the Greenguard Alliance.
Captain Lestrad: Sir Baumbard, organize the flights.
Sir Baumbard: It will be done.
Captain Lestrad: The DragonLords fly for Dragesvard!
*Meanwhile, back in Swordhaven, Circe has a proposition for Eirn in one of Swordhaven's alleys.*
Circe: Got you.
Eirn: I... I don't have anything you want!
Circe: Oh, but you do. That airship is of Gnomish make. And I heard a certain gnome snuck into the city around the time the airship arrived.
Circe: And certain very important people have questions for certain gnomes such as yourself.
Eirn: And if I resist? I'll not fall into the hands of The Rose!
Yix: Eirn, you fool, she's clearly not working for them!
*Circe appears understandably perplexed by Eirn's talking potato.*
*Scene shifts to Yix's potato form.*
Circe: Your... potato is correct.
Circe: The Rose has control of this city. They would have sent more than just me.
Circe: And they'd probably be... uniformed.
Yix: You made it this far following my advice. I don't think she's... The Rose type.
Yix: And we are here to share information to the right ears, aren't we?
Eirn: If you say so, Yix.
Eirn: Fine. But I'm mashing you if we end up imprisoned, or experimented on, or...
Circe: ...If we're all in agreement then?
*Scene fades to black.*
< Message edited by Jay -- 12/11/2021 16:50:32 >