Hmmm I'm having mixed feelings
Yeah, I'm starting to become just a wee bit concerned about Project Casca the more I hear how certain the remnats of the Shapeless are that it will help them reclaim their empire given that how decimated the Mageistirum is at the moment and how many citizens seem to be aware of it although I'm positive the version of the plan they been told has to be extremely watered down. Granted, the confidence in this plan is likely motivated by desperation more than anything but given the fact that its a plan that's apparently going to be one for the history books and its one that seemignly is going to require a lot of mana if the denial of our golden hand division's Ignominious request and the outpost's search for those with latent magical gifts was any indication. Add those details to the fact that the last time the Mageistirium made a huge leap in historic undertaking for their own end they had secured the mana core piece and eventually started creating the Ignominious and I'd say this project could easily lead to trouble. The only reason I'm not writing it off completely as net negative for us is because Ostromir seems to truly believe in it, and I'm positive he wouldn't be on board with it if it involved doing something monstrous at least not at this point in his development although his initial skepticism that they would even initiate the project a few quests back is still giving me some level of pause. I suppose
Moreover, this talk of the Shapeless making an established colony is more worrying than anything to be honest. I don't particularly care much for that one Magester framing it as the "shapeless spreading" since all I hear from that is the Mageistirum usual crap having a chance to leak into the Land of Dragons which I'm straight up not a fan of. The Mageistirium has made it abundantly clear that it sees the inhabitants of Greenguard as a collection of unenlightened savages and if this Project Casca does help them restore their little empire...I would be concerned at any attempt of expansion given their technological prowess even without the mana core piece. It's amusing tbh when the Proclamation started to run wild and their were Magesters that seemed concerned that the damage of the rifts could spread outside the land I thought that was another neat sign that not all of them simply were fine with Greenguard being completely destroyed and while I'm sure that is still the case, along with the clear fact they would been more concerned about the chaos of the Rifts leading back home, I feel like this moment could be recontexualize as certain Magesters being worried at the potential loss of territory the Shapeless could eventually expand their reach into.
On a slightly more positive note it is once again nice to note that Sepulchure does trust the Hero to watch over Lynn in the event he bites the bullet on this mission.
Additionally, it's nice that's there is now a quest that gives a guaranteed chance for defender medals that'll be outside wars and some of the Prcolamation related rift battles. Might make it even easier for NDAs, and DAs too to some extent, to grind towards defender gear if of course they choose to go for this method instead of waiting for when the next war drops. So kudos for to the devs again for this one
So it's true then, the Shapeless (the actual creature) was freed when Roirr consumed the Mana Core Piece and is wrecking havoc in Nieboheim and probably elsewhere in Tkaanie. Their own false god became their destruction. How bitterly ironic...
I pondered whether Project Casca could be the extraction of another piece of the Mana Core, but the way the Magisters and citizens talk about it makes me think it could also involve creating a new Shapeless. A monster to kill a monster. Whatever the case, it's clear that the Magisters involved are suffering due to exposure to the Fissure.
What a strange mixture of feelings. On the one hand, given what we know about the Shapeless Empire and it's authoritarian oligarchy, its good to see it dismantled so thoroughly and the thought of it being reestablished is concerning. But on the other... There has been a tremendous human cost. The Shapeless Empire may discriminate, but the Shapeless itself does not. These people have lost their home, and hope to see the restoration of the thing that has indoctrinated them... Including Ostromir. Honestly reading his dialogue only makes me feel worse for him
Ooof frankly one more reason I don't want them to succeed in resecuring the empire if it just ends with them propping up another false god to manipulate and burn out their populace once more, but I have to agree that there is the clear tragedy of the citizens that have lost all they have known and long for the return to form so that their lives can return to some normalcy. Still, I don't think I could abide by them just going the Shapeless route again if that is what's going to be the cost to them returning to full strength again.
Think of it. Wonder how the Shapeless Empire could be reshaped. Scattered magesters are getting to know the Land of Dragons. They, isolated once, may be forced to positively deal with foreigners when pride then wouldn’t allow. Plus, the Golden Hand had experiences abroad. Their views will perhaps contrast with former authoritarianism, creating a change. Minds can open upon seeing what continental countries truly are. Like the Japanese adopted democratic principles post seclusion, so can they mirror Greenguard’s freer policies.
Certainly a more positive take than my own about the Magestirium potentially making an established colony on this side of the world. Can't say I trust that the bulk of the Magesters making the big decisions at the moment can be trusted to be so open as to not warrant concerns but I suppose more interaction with the "savages" could do them some good.
I have a bad feeling we are going to be used to create a new "protector" of sorts. One they can control. They remind me of the Tevinter Mage-ocracy from Dragon Age
The last thing I want is to unwittingly give the Magesters a new Shapeless emperor. As for the Tevinter Dragon Age bit that should make sense given they and their government were introduced for the first time to us in the very same quest that directly referenced Dragon Age.