Tuesday, December 30, 2014

[Lore] XXXI: The March Wardens

  The March Wardens are an ancient order of protectors that defend Freemarch from tyrants, invaders, riftspawn and cultists. They were created after the fall of the Warlord Jakub, who had ruled the March with a cruel and unjust hand when the Ethian Empire collapsed. Jakub was a wandering marauder who found promise in the peace loving and beautiful land, fertile and ripe for the picking. Eventually, the people of the march grew restless and rebellious under his tyrannical rule and rose up against the Iron Tyrant, bravely fighting off his many followers and knights in a desperate bid to overthrow him. Eventually, Jakub was slain at his keep, the Iron Fortress, by a brave and righteous man named Eliam. After the battle, Freemarch refused to bend to anyone's rule again. Instead, they elected Eliam as their protector and guardian. And thus the March Wardens were created. Eliam, the first March Warden, became a legendary hero for decades to come. To honor him, and future leaders of the Wardens, a tome was carved out of the side of the mountains, a sacred burial site for the protectors of the march.

     The March Wardens protected and cared for Freemarch down through the ages, surviving the rise and fall of the Mathosian Empire as well as the coming of the Shade. It wasn't until Alsbeth, under Regulos's orders, came to Freemarch to wreak havoc and perform profane deeds that the March Wardens reached out for aid. Alsbeth's undead army was swift and brutal, cutting off the Wardens from each other and their base. On top of Alsbeth and her Endless Court, the Abyssal Cult also became more active in the march, stirring up nightmarish trouble to the south by the docks. They were assaulted from all sides and the Guardians were far too busy with drastic matters of their own to lend reinforcements to the suffering Freemarch, so when the Defiants reached out to the March Wardens for an alliance, Warden Denegar, the 43rd elected March Warden of Freemarch, reluctantly allowed the heretics into their borders. The Defiants, in return for a base of operations and a city to perform their magitech, offered all the aid the Wardens required to beat back the cultists and riftspawn. Of course, not everyone was happy with this decision and many citizens of the march criticized, complained, and outright raged against the new Defiant occupation. Even now, years after the Defiant came to Freemarch and ousted the Abyssal from Meridian, the march inhabitants still mutter about them. The March Wardens still maintain independent rule of Freemarch, but now the Defiants have a say in military action, and have their own people stationed at all the March Warden outposts along the march's borders.

March Warden Denegar (follow the link for more info on him!)

March Wardens Rep Vender Items:
  • Quartermaster Fry-located in King's Retreat (6270, 4544)
  • Items:
    • Warden's Justice-lvl 19 2H Sword-Req. Honored Rep- 47 gold
    • Warden's Backsword-lvl 19 1H Sword- Req. Honored Rep- 47 gold
    • Warden's Crozier-lvl 19 Staff-Req. Honored Rep- 32 gold
    • Warden's Skean-lvl 19 Dagger-Req. Honored Rep- 32 gold
    • Freemarch Warden's Badge-Trinket-Req. Friendly Rep-65 gold, 90 silver
    • Freemarch Runes-lvl 16 usable items on Belts-Req. Honored Rep-20 gold
      • Brawler's Rune: +3 strength
      • Acrobat's Rune: +3 Dexterity
      • Vizier's Rune: +3 Intellect
      • Abbot's Rune: +3 Wisdom
  • Recipes:
    • Warden's Dagger-Weaponsmith 60-Req. Honored Rep- 67 gold
    • Quicksilver Bow- Weaponsmith 50-Req. Honored Rep- 60 gold
    • Keys to the Armory- Artificer 50-Necklace item-Req. Honored Rep-60 gold
    • Buckler of the Scholar- Armorsmith 60- Shield-Req. Honored Rep-60 gold

Friday, December 26, 2014

[Karazhan's Story] 2.17: Unholy Alliance

      "I'm taking the fight to Jakub and he will be vanquished once and for all!"

     There was a momentary stunned silence after my declaration, where everyone in the command tent stared at me in varying degrees of amazement. I fidgeted slightly for a few moments.

     "Well..." began March Warden Denegar after an appraising look at me. "If anyone can defeat this undead abomination that Jakub has become, it would be you, Ascended. If Jakub has again seized the Iron Fortress, then he must have corrupted the altars we had set up in the four points of the towers to cleanse the evil from the place. If he was able to tap into the power behind the altars, it would grant Jakub strength beyond our ability to defeat him ourselves. One of my spies reported to me that the reason the flames in Smith's Haven burn so persistently is because they come from a magical object that an Endless Court mage carried. My informant followed this mage to a watch tower up the hill but he wasn't able to retrieve the box safely. To destroy Jakub, you need to destroy those altars first, and if the box contains a magically burning fire that reduces anything it touches to cinders, that might be the key to destroying the altars! Besides, it's probably not a good idea to let the cultists have it." He quirked a smile as he said the last part and I grinned back.

    "Yes, that's true. I would hate for what has befallen Smith's Haven to happen elsewhere." I said, sobering. "Okay, head up the hill to the Iron Fortress, steal a box of magic fire, destroy altars, and kick Jakub's undead tail. Just a day in the life of being me!" The others laughed in a subdued manner. Denegar cocked his head and gave me an admiring glance.
     "You are definitely not like anyone else I've ever met, Karazhan." He admitted, and he looked pleased. "It was an honor to get to meet you. When your exploits and deeds become known throughout Telara, don't forget us March Wardens back home eh?" He reached out a hand and I shook it warmly, then bowed in the custom of the Kelari. "May we meet again." I said seriously, and left the command tent.

     I gazed up the trail that led to the dark and foreboding Iron Fortress. Was I nervous? Yes, I actually felt acutely aware of how alone I was, out here going to face the most infamous despot Freemarch had ever known. I was reasonably confident in my ability as a machineborn Ascended, but I was more acutely aware of what was at stake should I fail. I had been told repeatedly by Sylver and others that my soul was immortal. They hadn't gone into the specifics of it, but in essence, if I was slain, my soul would not be completely severed from my body as in the case of any other Telaran. Instead, I'd have a tether back to my body and to the material plane. The specifics of how I should re enter my body again after that were never really mentioned so I'd have to hope I could figure it out. But if I was indeed slain by Jakub, I had no idea how long it would take for my "resurrection", and in that time frame, who knows what horror that monster could unleash on Freemarch in retaliation for my attack. That's what really worried me. I couldn't mess this up, for the sake of all the innocent people living here in the march. Responsibility was a heavy weight, I was finding. I took a deep breath and headed for the overgrown highway that wound it's way up the mountain. The closer I came to the branching off point leading up, the more I was aware of eyes on my back, following my movement. I wonder what they all thought of me heading up here. That I was crazy? Suicidal? Brave? Probably a combination of all three.

     Despite the somber situation this was, I couldn't help but admire the ancient flagstones under my feet, and the even older stone walls and watch towers that rose up along the path. This was an actual piece of history. My favorite part of my lessons was history, and here I was actually living it. It felt so...I couldn't even describe the emotion I was feeling. The other souls inside gave the impression of warm agreement, and I huddled that feeling close. I wasn't as alone as I'd thought, I guess. There were definite good points to basically being a living container for the souls of others. Every so often, I'd turn and stare at the towering walls that surrounded the top of the mountain, behind which the Iron Fortress itself waited like a sinister black carrion bird. The fortress was in good condition for being so old, and I idly wondered what kind of stone it was, and how they'd built it. No doubt magic was involved, and I'd heard somewhere that the stone had been carried out of mines in Stonefield, the rocky plains up north of Meridian. I would definitely be interested in visiting those mines at some point, just to witness another famous part of history.

     The hill was eerily still, but not silent. What was a gentle breeze down below at the camp became a strong, cold wind up here, whistling between cracks in the mortar and rustling along the knee-length dry grasses that grew between the cracks in the flagstones. If I was more artistic, I'd be tempted to paint a canvas of a scene from the hill overlooking the towers and the town of Smith's Haven. Of course, preferably without depicting the town in flames...

     Now where was that troublesome mage and their magic box? Mages I could definitely handle in battle. A magic user always knows how to handle other magic users in combat. Which reminded me of my extra Ascended senses. I stopped beside a low wall that crumbled slightly when I leaned against it, and closed my eyes. I slowed my breathing and reached deep inside to my inner magic, dipping into the seemingly bottomless well of my magical abilities, augmented by my new unique status. With a firm mental hand, I pushed out my magic, blanketing the area around me with a net, trying to sense any signs of life, or unlife nearby. I found a distressingly large number of signs behind the high walls of the Iron Fortress, but I knew that Jakub would have his army camped out there so I ignored that, moving instead to specific corner towers. Nothing seemed to stand out to indicate another magic user. I moved down the hill more, toward my own position, and got a ping in a small squat tower not far from my own position. Huh, the mage was closer then I had thought. Of course I knew that he or she would sense my magical probe and would probably know I was coming for them, but from what I've seen so far of the rabid followers of the Blood Storm, they were hardly a threat; half trained, mindless, fanatical lordlings and farmers who were tricked or tortured into believing that the dragon god they worshiped was the only way of existence.
     I gathered my magic back up and blinked open my eyes, taking a few moments to clear up the dizziness of using magic in such a specific focal way. The more fine and exact the magic, the harder it is on the mage. Anyone can throw out an explosion of raw magic with the right spells and guidance, but accurate, specific types of magic in specific locations takes a lot more work and effort. Years of study and research has to go into that. Even I still had years left in my training when my mortal death had occurred.

     I unslung my staff from my back and clenched it in a tight fist as I made my way toward the tower that I'd felt the mage in. Of course it was just as easy to fake a magic signature or plant one to trick someone, but I was fairly confident that this mage didn't have the ability. After all, they had to use an artifact to set fire to Smith's Haven instead of their own pyrotechnic abilities.

     As soon as I entered the tower, magic assaulted my senses. It wasn't active magic, but a residue of a strong casting that had taken place here not long ago at all. It was so strong, even now, that instantly alarm bells went off in my mind. A very powerful spell had been cast here. Too powerful for even one such as I to pull off solo. So a coven of mages had done...something...here. And I had to assume that the mage with the twisted fire artifact was one of them. What on Telara had they done? The magic tasted evil, wrong on so many levels. And rotten. Instantly I was on the alert for anything out of the ordinary. The watch tower was actually quite small, as it was designed specifically with practicality in mind, as a look out for scouts to report if there was any enemies coming at the fortress from the one road that led up to it, thus giving the fortress time to scramble a defense. It was a popular form of architecture in the time that this fortress was built. The bottom floor was round like the tower's shape, and contained nothing much of interest. A thick layer of dust coated the entire room and the air was cold and heavy. A few tables were shoved up against the wall, with some dusty scrolls decaying on top. Just from the layer of dust I could tell there wouldn't be anything of important in the scrolls. From the entrance to the winding stone steps that led to the second floor, I could easily see where the dust had been disturbed by many feet coming and going. So whatever had been cast here, it was done up above. Feeling vulnerable, every sense on high alert, I slowly ascended the steps. I wasn't able to contain a shiver as a spiderweb brushed my arm.

     As I came around the final corner, I stuck my staff up high in front of me, in case there was a magical trap or the mage was laying in wait for me. Nothing happened, so I cautiously stepped up into the second floor room. It was round like the first, and empty as well, although there was significant disturbance in the dust on this layer and the taint of rotten magic was much stronger. It was almost like a physical presence assaulting my senses, and I had to actually dampen my own magic senses in order to tolerate it.

     There was a small porcelain altar on this level, but no dust anywhere on it, and a scroll rested on top, completely unfurled and weighted down on the corners. Immediately I knew that whatever spell had been cast, this was where it was written, so I cautiously walked over and peered down at the words, which to my horror were written in blood. Filthy cultists. After reading the entire document, I realized it was a discourse on planar entities and described, in disturbing detail, a ritual to summon a greater demon from the plane of fire. It even mentioned the demon's name-Legul. It didn't take any great leap of the imagination to guess from there that Jakub was planning on either using or allying with this demonic creature to gain more power in Freemarch. If he had a greater demon at his side, especially one from the fire plane, he could cause even greater disaster. Since I had no idea where this demon could have gotten to after being summoned to the material plane-and I have no doubt they'd succeeded in summoning it-I grabbed up the scroll, rolled it back up, and stuffed it in my belt pouch to take back to the Unseen agency in Meridian so they could have one of their agents hunt the creature down and banish it. I had to stay focused on my goal.

     Since the mage was nowhere on this level, I had to assume he or she was up on the roof. So I continued my way up the stone steps, climbing ever higher and acutely aware that I was wasting time hunting down this accursed mage, which gave Jakub more time to put his nightmarish plans into action.

     Again I stuck my staff up first before exiting the hatch onto the roof, not wanting to get my head blown off by some spell, and it was almost torn out of my grasp by a flame blast for my efforts. I jerked the staff back down and eyed it's smoking ends. Thankfully I'd chosen very well for my weapon and it wasn't damaged. The varnish was singed and the crystal embedded in the top to help focus my magic was dulled slightly from the magical attack, but as a lightning rod for my abilities, it was still functioning perfectly.

     I cast a shield of water around myself, taking a brief moment to enjoy the soft rippling feel of the magic as it settled around my form, before stepping up onto the roof. A low parapet lined the round tower roof and several crates of old weaponry stood against the wall. The spellcaster who'd so readily attacked my staff was standing off to one side, glaring aggressively at me. It was a woman, with long lank hair and the crazed empty eyes I'd come to associate with the more fanatical of the cultists. Honestly, it was hard to tell if she was living or undead from the way she looked, and her snarl of fury at seeing me didn't help matters. Her teeth were yellow and crooked and just by looking at her I could tell her magic, though strong, was unfocused and untrained. Likely she hadn't known she had the innate ability to touch and manipulate the natural energies of magic and had been recruited or tricked into the cultist ranks for just that reason. I almost felt sorry for her, lost as she was to the mindless empty promises of power the Endless Court had lured her with. Of course, this didn't prevent me from defending myself when she again shouted words and threw a blast wave of fire at me. I braced my feet and let the fire roll off my water shield, confident it would hold against her magic. It did, but I could feel the protection weaken significantly around the edges. Since she seemed to be only attacking with fire based attacks, I struck with a lethal icicle bolt. Opposite elements always seemed to be more effective against enemies, and I was stronger in weather magic than other forms anyway.
     The icicle sheered off at the last moment and I was impressed that she had the foresight to shield herself. I hadn't even sensed that. I struck out with forks of lightning, intending to wear down her own shield, all the while dodging the flames that she assaulted me with. At one point she nearly got me. I could feel the heat of the spell against my face and smelled burning hair, cursing myself for not moving fast enough away from the path of the fire. Magical fire was far more dangerous than your average, naturally created fire, and I had to waste precious seconds casting a small heal spell to relieve most of the damage. While yes I'd prefer not to have a scar on my face, I did it because the sting of air against the raw burn was incredibly distracting so close to my eye. Thank the spirits I had moved enough to avoid damaging my sight.

     One of my well placed hail bolts slammed into the woman's shoulder and she fell with a cry of fury, throwing another bolt of fire at me as she flailed at the air. I held my breath, horrified, as she tripped over a crate of weapons and toppled over the low parapets surrounding the roof. Even though I'd had every intention of slaying her to get the box, I wouldn't wish her to fall to her death. I dashed over to the parapets myself, thinking maybe I could reach her in time, even though I knew it was a foolish hope and being the enemy, she'd probably refuse my aid anyway. I swallowed bile as I saw her broken body lying at a crooked angle on the side of the hill. I averted my eyes and wished her soul a speedy journey to the Soulstream, though I doubted her afterlife would be peaceful, considering how she'd led her mortal life. I was really hoping she hadn't kept the box on her person since I had no desire to go down there and riffle through her remains, so I was exceedingly grateful when I spotted a small, ornate black box with magical runes carved into the lid sitting on one of the stone crenellations. I strode over and reached for the box, then pulled my hand back and warily cast my magical senses over the box, looking for any traps or hidden springs. Finding none, I scooped the box up and opened it, not knowing what to expect.
     Inside, a tiny red stone was nestled among dark purple silk. The stone seemed to roil and shimmer to the eye, as if something was alive inside, and I shivered at the sheer unnatural evil of the thing. As soon as I used it to destroy the altars and could lock it up, the better.

     I glanced up and to the right. From the top of the watch tower, I could see the Iron Fortress more clearly and made out shambling sentries of undead patrolling the ramparts. The central towers and spire stood out stark and sinister against the ironic blue sky, as if spiting gods and men by standing.

     "I'm coming for you Jakub." I swore in a whisper. "You'll pay for all the lives you've taken, now and in the past. I'll make sure you stay dead for good this time." Even though I knew no one could hear me, least of all Jakub the Tyrant himself, I felt infinitely better just saying the words. Pride in myself and in the Defiants surged through me and I was glad that I had the power and ability to make a difference in Telara.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

[Off Topic]: Nightmare Tide Expansion!



RIFT remains completely free-to-play with the Nightmare Tide expansion, offering you all of the new levels, zones, class features, and so much more...for free!


Not only are there 5 more levels of adventure, but Nightmare Tide also introduces a new way to advance your class. From levels 61-65, you can choose Mastery Abilities for each Role slot, allowing you to customize your Soul to even greater heights of power!

Three brand new zones await you in the Plane of Water! Plunge through walls of water in Goboro Reef to save the Atragarians from the rampant flames of the Bloodfire Army. Battle the rise of nightmares in the dream city Draumheim. Climb the frozen cliffs of Tarken Glacier, across crevasses to the edge of the cosmos, and confront the Plane of Water's most dangerous avatar: Martrodraum.

Speak with any porticulum master to begin your journey. The minimum level requirement is 58.

New dungeon experiences are live! We've added Gyel Fortress, Citadel of Insanity, and Glacial Maw. These dungeons are sure to provide challenging experiences for characters leveling their way up to 65. And once they're there, each of these dungeons will have an expert mode to tackle, too!

We've updated some classic dungeons, too: try out the new Return to Iron Tomb and Return to Empyrean Core! They're available as expert dungeons once an Ascended reaches level 65.

And, finally, the terrifying Nightmare Coast isn't done with the Ascended yet. First added in 2.8: Madness Wakes, this dungeon now has a level 65 expert mode!

Once an Ascended hits level 65, new challenges awaits them; including the new solo Chronicle, Shadow From the Beyond! Expose the beginnings of a mysterious plot devised by a shadowy force from the unknown. Gain insight on the Tenebreans, a mysterious and powerful race from beyond the stars in this story driven chronicle.

In this sliver realm, the prophesy that Finric turns down a path of evil and enslaves the Plane of Water has come to pass. The Ascended must destroy this version of reality to keep it from affecting their own.

From Silverwood and Freemarch to Tarken Glacier, Nightmare Rifts are tearing across Telara, offering progressive challenges that make these rifts fearsome indeed. But with more danger come greater rewards—and Nightmare Rifts are a source of the most epic of planar essences.

Competition for these rifts will be fierce, and a Nightmare Leaderboard tracks the most powerful of Ascended as they do battle against the latest threats to Telara.

The Architects of the Plane of Earth are once again building weapons of planar destruction. The Ascended are called upon to thwart this latest technological threat. Take them out in the Plane Crawler Program!

Magical forces are summoning beings directly into Goboro Reef from a distant and dangerous place; The Sea of Ladon! Without intervention, these monsters will cause destruction across the settled seas.

Contact with Ghar Station Eyn was lost centuries ago. Now, battle to be the first to uncover the secret of its dire numerological research into the fringes of mathematics. In your hands, the Manugo number the researchers discovered could be the key to the cosmological constant. However, if possessed by your enemies, it could rain destruction upon the entire plane of water.

Capture Deadly Numbers and hold them to gain points. Those in control of Deadly Numbers may also further make the number go up by activating Manugo Stations. Beware, however, as the Deadly Numbers will destroy your very soul.

You've gone on so many adventures for Telarans, it's about time they did some adventuring for you. Minions is a resource-gathering minigame within RIFT. It's themed as a card game: collect minion cards, then pick adventure cards for your minions. The more adventures your minions complete, the better they get at finding loot.

How to Start
Head to the nearest Fanatic of the Ascended and take the quest they have for you. They're located at the following locations:

* Meridian: On the south side of the front ramp of the city
* Sanctum: In Mariel-Taun's Village near the Marriage Coordinator
* Tempest Bay: In the Canals near dimension item vendors
* Atragarian Well: Inside the well, at the end of a short corridor with the crafting NPCs

If you need any help finding them, feel free to talk to any guard in those four locations.

Talk with Stofie (the Minion Card Vendor near the Fanatic) to learn more, or just press V to open the Minions interface. Want to know even more about minions? Check out our introduction article here!

* If the Minion window is too large for you, make it smaller by going to Settings > Interface > Display. There's a UI Scale slider!
* If you'd rather have some peace and quiet, you can mute your Minions by going to Settings > Audio > and uncheck "Accolades Enabled"!


You can now mentor up to play with your high-level friends by sidekicking! To do so, join a party with a higher level player, right click your portrait, and select Sidekicking: Enable. You will then be mentored up to the max level allowed in your current zone.

Mentoring has also received a balancing pass:
* Buffs now cancel when mentoring down. Recast them to get proper mentored values.
* Item procs no longer trigger while mentored down.
* Stat bonuses from Planar Attunement no longer benefit players who mentor below level 50.

You can now reach skill level 450 in all crafting and harvesting professions! Here are the main ways in which it's different:
* There is no wood for crafting in the Plane of Water. Instead, Foragers process the plants they find into a lumber-like material.
* Instead of directly crafting most high-level gear, crafters make Amenders that anyone can use to upgrade their gear. Different types of gear require different Amenders.
* Runecrafters use their own special set of Amenders to upgrade runes.
* Amenders require Attainium Crystal, which you can get from Minions adventures.
* Amenders require Risarian Minim. Once you reach maximum skill in a harvesting profession, you start having a chance to harvest Risarian Minim from the nodes (or NPCs) associated with that profession.
* To level Fishing faster, remember to fish from Schools of Clever Fish, and move on to Tarken Glacier water to reach skill 450.

* Due to the extensive nature of this rework, please scroll down to the final post, which has nothing but Reaver details!

Fall is soon upon us, and the Autumn Harvest will return once more! Plus, Mount Sharax looms on the horizon, opening soon...

  HEALTH POOL UPDATE * The goal of these changes is to reduce the disparity between the health pools of tanks and non-tanks.
* Tanks should not lose any health from this change, and may in fact gain a relatively small amount.
*All other builds will notice a very large gain in their health pools.
* All buffs and effects that increase Endurance by a percentage now modify Base Health instead.
- Base Health is the amount of health your character has without any gear and or spent soul points.
* The amount of health gained at every level has been increased.
* A number of stats have been converted for this new system:
- All Parry is now Guard.
- All Deflect is now Block.
- All toughness is now Hit.
* Additionally, Planar Attunement PVP nodes have also been updated:
- All Valor nodes are now Endurance nodes.
- All Vengeance nodes are now Attack Power/Spell Power nodes.

* When teleporting to an Instant Adventure, you should now be facing a reasonable direction, instead of off a big cliff or something.
* Fixed a visual issue when changing faces in the character creator.
* /Chatinfo will now list channel owners last (for ease of reading with well populated channels).
* It is now possible to move forward or backward while swimming up or diving.
* Players now need to be out of combat for at least 5 seconds before making changes to their soul tree.
* Gaining Planar Attunement points will no longer display a Level Up animation. It will instead show a message of how many points you gained in the chat console.
* Notoriety boosts and modifiers are now added together before being applied.
* Fixed an issue with Planar Attunement points resetting too often after changing faction multiple times.

* Big changes to shadowing! We've replaced the old Environmental Only/Full Shadows dropdown with Low, Medium, High, and Ultra settings.
* The old "full shadows" setting is the new "low quality" setting, and it goes up from there.
* We've also introduced another series of optimizations to make shadows much faster than they used to be, so check your video settings and see if you can turn it up! Please report any visual artifacts or issues that you encounter.
* Implemented a fix for shadows on NVidia SLI computers.
* Shadows now update properly when the sun moves quickly.

* A new patron benefit! Patrons receive an experience boost to their minions.

* To make room for the new bag slot, we have adjusted the look and layout of the bag bar.
* Minimap location icons related to quests and NPCs will now show a depth arrow. An up arrow will display if the location is above you, and a down arrow will display if the location is below you.
* Removed the gradient from the chat window, so players that want 100% opaque background can now have that. To change this setting, right-click any of your chat tabs and select Settings then change the Background Opacity slider. You will need to repeat this for each of your chat tabs.
* Currency tooltips will display how much more you can earn for the week for currencies that have a weekly earnings limit.
* Fix issue where VFX could stop playing properly after a short loading screen.
* Fixed a bug which caused the tutorial quest sticky's check mark to be off the screen.
* Equipped planar essence in your character sheet will now show their item rarity color border.

* Quests now have earrings as rewards in some pre-3.0 zones!

* A second porticulum has been added! Find it in the Canals area.


* All abilities are now 1 rank.
* Anti-Planar Augmentation, Holy Champion, and Fury of the Ascended now scale based on the number of surrounding invasions and colossi.
- This will reduce initial damage increase against small numbers of invasion creatures, but bring you to roughly the same damage increase when fighting 20 or more invasion creatures.
- These abilities are also now 1 hr duration buffs that cost 3 planar charges and persist through death.
* War Planar Advancement Tree: Guard is now called Defend.

* Cleric PVP PA: Retribution is now instant cast.

* Echoing Concord: Stacks now appear in their own UI element.
* Bewilder: Increased the duration to 4s.
* Excommunicate: No longer affected by the global cooldown and now also snares the affected enemy by 30% for up to 10s.
* Fanaticism: Reduced the cooldown to 30s.
* Harsh Discipline: Now deals increased damage, and returns 15% of the caster's Maximum Health over its duration. Cooldown is now 60s.
* Life and Death Concord: Stacks now reduce the cast time of Bolt of Depravity by 0.2/0.4/0.6s per stack. Maximum stack size is now 4. Adiditonally, will be triggered by damaging Ethereal abilities.
* Perseverance: No longer affected by the global cooldown. Reduced the cooldown and duration to 60s.
* Radical Coalescence:
- No longer increases damage for 15s, and instead allows Inquisitor channeled abilities to be cast while moving for 10s.
- Now only resets the cooldown of damaging Inquisitor abilities.
- Now also grants Fanaticism when cast.
* Spiritual Scrutiny:
- The armor and resist penetration portion of this ability now correctly affects the secondary damage proc of Sanction Heretic and other similar effects.
- The global cooldown reduction now affects all Cleric abilities.
- Now prevents Bolt of Judgment from consuming stacks of Echoing Concord (from Unified Theory).
* Trepidation: Now only breaks on damage after the enemy has received damage equal to 5% of the caster's maximum health.
* Unified Theory:
- Now triggers at 4 stacks of Life and Death Concord.
- Increased the stack size of Echoing Concord to 10.
* Aggressive Renewal: Has been removed.
* New ability: Aggressive Inquisition:
- Casts Bolt of Depravity every 0.5s. Does not occur on initial application.
- 2s channel. 60s cooldown.
- 44 point root ability.
* Mental Resilience: Now also causes single target channeled abilities to apply a buff to the caster, increasing damage by 2/4/6% for 30s.
* Symbol of Corruption:
- Now deals its damage over 3s, unless the target already has the caster's Symbol of Corruption, in which case it deals full damage instantly.
- Now causes Bolt of Depravity to deal 10/20/30% of its damage over 3s. Down from 15/30/45%.
* Approbation: Now also causes damaging single target channels to reduce the cooldown active cooldown of all damaging single target channels by 1.5/3s.
* Righteous Indignation: Now increases Spell Power contribution to Bolt of Judgment, Bolt of Depravity and Bolt of Retribution by 4/8/12%. Down from 5/10/15%.

* Thorvin's Wrath: Wrath generated by this ability is now 400% of Endurance, up from 100%.

* Flame of Life: Now heals for 150% of the caster's maximum health. Down from 300%.

* Wrathful Exuberance: Resetting soul tree points now removes the buff from any target the Cleric has it on.

* Deep Freeze: No longer modifies the damage of Corroded Defense.

* Ripple: Increased radius to 20m, up from 15m.
* Distant Shores: Now correctly increases the radius of Ripple and Monsoon.
* Alluvion: Now also increases the number of targets hit by Healing Flood by 5/10.
* Under Pressure: Now also reduces the mana cost of Geyser, Healing Cataract, Healing Flood and Soothing Stream by 8/16/24%.
* Soothing Stream: Healing no longer decays over its duration, and will now heal a consistent amount each tick.
* Dangers of the Deep:
- Stacks now appear in their own UI element for Wardens, and no longer appear in the buff bar.
- Stacks now also reduce the cast time of Warden abilities by 0.03/0.06/0.1s per stack. While out of combat, Dangers of the Deep applies 1 stack of its buff every 4s.
- Now applies a stack of the buff every 4s while the Warden is out of combat.


* Arcane Ward: Now enables Block, and derives Block from the Mage's Intelligence. Now also reduce the GCD of Ethereal abilities.
* Frosted Ward: Now also reduce the GCD of Ethereal abilities.
* Empowered Wards: Now a tier 8 talent, up from tier 7.
* Arcane Shielding: Now a tier 7 talent, down from tier 8.
* Arcane Protection: Now increases Block by 1/2/3/4/5%.
* Protection of Wind: Now increases the damage reduction when Blocking an attack by 2/4/6%.
* Mockery: Now returns 3% of Max Mana when Blocking an attack.
* Threatening Visage: Threat generated by this ability is now 400% of Endurance, up from 100%.
* Avalanche: Reduced damage.

* Lifebound Veil: Healing now affects pets if the Mage has cast Synthesis on the pet.
* Blight: Updated icon.
* Natural power: Fixed an issue where the bonus from was not persisting through death, even though Lifegiving Veil or Lifebound Veil would.

* Furious Assault: Now also reduces the GCD of Ethereal abilities.
* Piercing Beam: The ability description no longer references Ice Shear.
* Luminous Weapon: Corrected a tooptip error, where it would state that the ability would do much more damage than it actually does. This does not affect the actual damage of the ability.

* Soul Bond: Reduced the damage intercept to 15%.

* Fire Storm: Fixed an issue where base damage was not being increased as the Mage levelled.
* Consuming Flame: Consumables will no longer consume stacks of Internalize Charge, proc instant Cinder Bursts (with Pyromancer's Blessing), or generate stacks of Pyromancer's Fury when used.
* Accelerant: Now falls off when the target dies. No longer increases the damage of procs from the caster.
* Pyromancer's Armor: Removing this ability now removes the Spell Power bonus from the synergy crystal 4 piece bonus.
* Pyromania: Now increases the effect of Spell Power on Fire abilities by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Incinerating Flames: No longer allows Heat Wave to remove Crowd Control effects.
* Fusillade: Can no longer be channeled while moving.
* Spark: Now also reduces the GCD of Ethereal abilities.

* Sacrifice Life: Damage now increases Death damage by 20%, and all other damage by 10%.


* Poisons now have a base 50% chance to proc, up from 30%. Since these occur more frequently, the damage and associated effects such as healing have been reduced to compensate.
* Poison Mastery: Now adds 2% Weapon, Attack Power, and Damage to poisons per point spent, down from 6%. Each point increases the proc chance by 10%, up from 6%.
* Debiliating Poison: Has been removed.
* New Ability: Debilitating Dart: Debuffs the target and causes attacks made by the rogue on the target to deal extra water damage, snare them, and sap mana/energy from them for the next 10s. 30s cooldown. 20m range, off the GCD, and does not break stealth.
* Debiliating Dart and Enfeebling Poison have been swapped.
* Heartseeker: Now 3% damage to Assassin abilities and 3% Weapon Damage and Attack Power per point spent.
* Poison Malice: Now increases damage of poison attacks by 125% instead of 100%.

* Verse of Fascination: Has been removed.
* New Ability: Verse of Purity: Removes a Curse, Poison, or Disease every 3s for 3s on up to 10 party/raid members. 10s cooldown.

Dual Mastery: Now increases damage of all Bladedancer abilities, instead of just off-hand attacks.

* Death from the Shadows:
- No longer requires stealth.
- Adds 2 combo points instead of 3.
- Now has a 30s cooldown.

* Wilderness Training: Now increases Weapon Damage and Attack Power by 2% per point invested.

* Guardian Phase: Now enables block instead of deflect, as well as guard.
* On Guard: Increases your Block chance by 1/2/3/4/5% and reduces the damage you take when blocking by 1/2/3/4/5%.

* Presets: Updated Righteous Defender and Pactbreaker presets to not use Reaver as the sub-soul. Added new Plague Lord preset for use with the revamped Reaver soul.

* Dichotomy of Pain: Now a single target healing finisher.

* Shield of the Hero: Now enables guard.
* A Good Defense has swapped places with Vengeful Wrath.
* A Good Defense: Increases damage and healing by abilities that generate attack points by 2/4/6/9/10%.

Tier 2:
(Repurposed) Vengeful Wrath: Increases weapon damage and attack power by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Interfere: No longer generates an Attack Point
Reverent Protection: Renamed to Vengefu Decree. 20m range, 30s cooldown. Deals Life damage based on Attack Points to up to 5 enemies.

* Shifting Blades: Now 10/20/30% of initial attack. For each point above 28 spent in Paragon, damage percentage is increased by 0.36% per combo point used.
* Shifting Blades has been swapped places with Sweeping Blades.

* Arc: Now 10/20/30% of initial attack. For each point above 28 spent in Arc, damage percentage is increased by 0.36% per combo point used.

* Accords are no longer augmented by number of pacts. They grant flat value bonuses. Actual amounts.
* Accord of Resilience has swapped places with Void Propulsion.
* Accord of Resilience: Enables Guard. Increases Armor by 3%, and Resistances by 9%. Does not stack with Shield of the Hero.
* Devouring Shield: No longer a finisher. Absorbs a flat amount. Off GCD. 2m cooldown. Stacks with Rift Shield and Fusion of Flesh.
* Fusion of Flesh: Absorbs damage equal to 75% of the Warrior’s max HP. Lasts 20s.
* Devouring Shield has swapped places with Rift Summon.
* Destructive Forces and Empowered Armor have been swapped in the talent tree.
* Destructive Forces: Now grants 0.5/1.0/1.5%. Fixed a data error where the ability only improved .1% per talent point, and is now actually the correct value.
* Efficient Conversion: Also now increases duration of pacts by 5/10/15s, to make up for Energy Retention going away.
* Empowered Armor: Now Increases Armor by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Energy Retention: Increases weapon damage and attack power by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Spark: No longer generates an Attack Point.
* Ragestorm: Changed to Air damage from Physical. Cooldown lowered to global. Consumes up to 3 pacts on use.

* Battlefield Medic and Brothers in Arms have swapped positions.
* Battle Surge: No longer has a 10% damage taken penalty.
* Decisive Strike: No longer refreshes cooldown on Piercing Thrust or Wave of Steel. Now 9s cooldown and awards 2 attack points.
Piercing Thrust & Wave of Steel: No longer off global cooldown, no longer have a cooldown. Deal significantly more damage if used following a finisher.
* New Passive Ability: Warlord’s Focus: Unlocked when Piercing Thrust is acquired. Triggered after using a finisher, lasts 6s. Greatly increases the damage of the next Piercing Thrust or Wave of Steel.

* Many Storm Legion daily and weekly quests that awarded XP now award Planar Attunement XP instead.

* Bolstering has been updated for level 65!
- When bolstering is active, your bolstered armor now gains the benefits of all your Runes, Temporary Enchants and Dream Orbs!
- Bolstering now works in both directions: In addition to boosting up your gear that is too low for PVP, it now also replaces any gear that is more powerful than what's currently available in PVP.
* Warfronts can now attempt to balance dedicated healers, damagers, or people on losing streaks on each team.
* The warfront summary screen now includes healing values from indirect heal spells, like Justicar's Salvation.
* Player corpses no longer need to be looted to receive rewards. Coin will be automatically looted, and any other rewards will show up in the Rift reward container.
* Conquest Points and Conquest Perks have been removed from Conquest Mode.
* PVP Rifts have been retired, and can no longer be opened.

* Fixed invisible dimension object indicators for people using the low-quality renderer.
* Dimensions that don't change Time of Day now say so on mouseover.

* High-level items from Storm Legion will salvage into Plane of Water materials. Enjoy your head-start!

* Nightmare Tide Essences are Bind to Account until upgraded. At that point, they become Bind on Pickup.
* Healing potions, tonics and philters will no longer be affected by abilities and effects that modify healing.

* Fixed an issue with the Empyreal Walker's sound effects. Spell effects now reappear on the player after dismounting from the Empyreal Walker.

 == REAVER ==
Reaver's Soul Gift: Each point spent in Reaver increases damage by 1%.


0 points:
* Ravaging Strike: Melee: Deals Weapon damage plus Death damage. Awards 1 Attack Point.
* Soul Sickness: Ranged: 15s cooldown: 20m: Deals Death damage over 15s. Awards 1 Attack Point.

2 Points:
* Dire Blow: Melee Finisher: Deals Death Damage based on Attack Points.

4 Points:
* Binding of Affliction: Self Buff: Increases Damage of non-Physical attacks by 5%. Lasts 1h.

10 Points:
* Dire Corruption: Targeted Aura: Ranged: 20m: 30s cooldown: Applies Dire Corruption on target enemy, dealing Death damage every 2s for 30s to the target and up to 10 enemies within 10m. Awards 1 Attack Point.

16 Points:
* Necrotic Wounds: Ranged: 6s cooldown: Deals Death damage over 15s. Awards 1 Attack Point.

24 Points:
* Infestation: Ranged: 20m: 30s cooldown: After 8s, detonates and deals Death damage per Reaver non-finisher damage over time effect on the target. Awards 1 Attack Point.

32 Points:
* Crest of Entropy: Self Buff: 60s cooldown: Off Global Cooldown: Absorbs damage. Lasts for 15s.

38 Points:
* Stumbling Morass: GTAoE: 20m: 30s cooldown: Applies Stumbling Morass to the ground. Enemies caught in the morass are snared. Lasts for 30s.

44 Points:
* Cloak of Death: Self Buff: Off Global Cooldown: 90s cooldown: Envelops the Reaver into the shadows that conceals them from being seen. Removes all movement debuffs. Lasts for 6s. Does not break on damage taken. Movement speed is reduced by 30% while cloaked.

48 Points:
* Plague Bringer: Toggle: Off Global Cooldown: Causes the Reaver's damage over time abilities to affect up to 4 additional enemies. Damage done to the additional targets is reduced by 70%.

51 Points:
* Flesh Rot: Ranged: 20m: Deals Death damage over 15s. Awards 1 Attack Point.

54 Points:
* Pestilence: Passive: Increases the damage of Reaver damage over time effects by 25%.

58 Points:
* Explosive Infestation: Ranged: 20m: 30s cooldown: Effects up to 5 enemies. After 8s, deals Death damage, increased by 45% per Reaver damage over time effect on the enemy, maximum of 4. Awards 1 Attack Point.

61 Points:
* Viral Stream: Ranged: 30m: 30s cooldown: Channels Death damage each second over 3s to the target. Damage is increased 30% for each Reaver damage over time effect on the target. Can move while channeling. Awards 1 Attack Point per second channeled.


Tier 1:
* Planar Attunement: 5 points: Increases damage over time abilities by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Entropic Embrace: 5 points: Increases non-Physical damage by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 2:
* Rancid Cleave: 1 point: Ability: Melee: AoE: Deals Weapon plus Death damage to 5 targets. Awards 1 Attack Point. (This replaced Blood Fever.)
* Shadow Strength: 5 points: Increases Strength by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Deadly Reach: Augments your Binding of Affliction to increase the range of your ranged Reaver abilities by 3/6/10m.
* Soul Feast: 1 Point- Soul Sickness, Necrotic Wounds, and Flesh Rot heal you for 8% of the damage done.

Tier 3:
* Reaping Touch: 2 points: Dire Blow does 10/20% more damage against targets below 30% health.
* Plagued Grip: 5 Points: Increases Weapon damage and Attack Power by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Spasm: 1 Point: Ability: 20m: 8s cooldown: Interrupts an enemy.

Tier 4:
* Power Leech: 3 Points: Those affected by your Dire Corruption deal 1/2/3% less damage.
* Septic Wounds: 1 point: Those affected by your Necrotic Wounds also have healing received reduced by 15%.
* Shadow Mastery: 3 points: Increases critical hit chance of non-Physical abilities by 2/4/6%.

Tier 5:
* Fester : 5 points: Enemies affected by Infestation and Explosive Infestation get a debuff that causes them to take increased Death damage from the Reaver by 3/6/9/12/15%.
* Shadow Warp: 1 point: Ability: 20m range: 15s cooldown: Teleports the Reaver behind their target.
* Mind Break: 1 Point: Required: Spasm: Spasm now stuns the target for 3s. The target cannot be affected by Mind Spasm again for 30s.

Tier 6:
* From the Shadows: 5 points: Increases damage done by Dire Blow and Ravaging Strike by 2/4/6/8/10% when striking from behind.
* Dire Step: 1 Point: Required: Shadow Warp: Increase movement speed by 15% for 3s after Shadow Warping. Removes all damage over time effects on the Warrior.
* Lingering Shadows: 2 points: Infestation has 50/100% chance to grant an additional Attack Point.

Tier 7:
* Decaying Defenses: 1 point: Increases the damage of Dire Corruption by 10%. Those affected by Flesh Rot have their armor and resists reduced by 5%.
* Rapid Infestation: 3 points: Reduces the countdown to detonation on Infestation by 2/4/6s and increases damage done by 5/10/15%.
* Sinister Intent: 1 point: Increases the initial damage of Soul Sickness, Necrotic Wounds and Flesh Rot by 30%.

Tier 8:
* Walks with Death: 3 points: Reduces the cooldown of Infestation, and Explosive Infestation by 3/6/9s.
* Vile Affinity: 1 points: Reduces the cooldown on Dire corruption by 20s.
* Shadow Strike: 1 point: Dire Blow and Ravaging Strike now deal 25% additional Death damage for each Reaver damage over time effect on the target.

Tier 9:
* Shadow of Dread: 1 point: Ability: 20m range: 60s cooldown: Applies all known Reaver damage over time abilities to the target. Awards 1 Attack Point.   

Sunday, September 21, 2014

[Chapter Summary]: Gloamwood

     And here we come to the close of the Gloamwood story arc! I'm so excited to be finished this section and move on to another one. Although also, here is where I've come to an impasse. I'm moving out of straight Guardian territory and into contested zones, where the Guardian and Defiant share zones. Since I don't have to just repeat the same thing with both Kara and Rae, I'll have to decide how I'm going to do this next chapter. I think I'll alternate zones. That way they both still get stories to tell as they continue on their journey, and I'm still telling the story of Telara. As always, only story and lore posts that relate to Rae's side are being listed here. Any stories of lore posts that are relevant to Kara and the Defiant will be listed on Kara's summary. Any off topic discussions that fall after Rae's chapters will also be posted here, while any off topic discussions that fall after Kara's chapters will be posted on her summary. I hope that isn't too confusing. Just to be sure, all the links for all the summaries will be posted in the "prologue" page, which I'll link to at the bottom of this page don't worry!
     I had a lot of fun exploring Gloamwood and learning about the sub story being played out here. The mystery and intrigue surrounding the Hag and her werewolf curse was really neat, and uncovering each layer of the plot felt like not just reading a mystery novel, but living it, and doing it for myself! A very cool and fun story, although the dark surroundings felt depressing and confusing at times.
     I like how each zone has it's own plot, but also has the overall plot to connect it to the greater story of the Ascended. Also, Rae received yet another wardrobe update in this zone! I feel that as she grows stronger in her abilities and her faith, her wardrobe would reflect that. So here, she's wearing darker browns and golds, as well as two long bronze daggers and some fancy shoulder pads. She's also sporting an elaborate cloak. I've yet to find a proper helmet or head cover that looks assassiny like though, so she'll keep her eyes unobstructed for now! Also, Rae has become a little more.....cocky in this chapter. She's learning to appreciate her own self and she's not blindly following orders as much. She is willing to stand up for herself, and she's not at all impressed with the people of Gloamwood and how they are treating her like she has the plague, especially at the beginning. She's become quite sarcastic, but I like her this way. She's still loyal to the Guardians and to the Vigil of course, but she's also started to question things and to think for herself instead of blindly rushing off. Where will Rae go next and what will she encounter? Well, I haven't figured that out, but here's the results of her foray into Gloamwood!

Chapter Three Archives:                                                            Chapter Three Story List:
Archive I: Borrin Gamult                                                         3.0: Welcome to Gloamwood
Archive II: Riftwalker Soul                                                     3.1: Of Wings and Fangs
Archive III: Artifacts of Gloamwood                                        3.2: Ghost Story
Archive IV: Zone Events                                                         3.3: Skittering in the Dark
Archive V: Thedeor                                                                 3.4: Broodmother's Lair
Archive VI: Scotty Malm                                                        3.5: Your Solemn Outlook
Archive VII: Roleplay 101                                                      3.6: The Light in the Gloom
Archive VIII: Nightblade Soul                                                3.7: Beast of Greybriar Hollow
Archive IX: The Mathosians                                                   3.8: Death's Defense
Archive X: Dimensions                                                           3.9: Secrets in the Pines
Archive XI: Kitchen Introduction                                           3.10: Family Matters
Archive XII: Gloamwood                                                       3.11: She's Lived Long Enough

Extra Posts:                                                                                Side Stories:
Patch 2.5: Song of Dreams                                                      1.0: Down Where It's Dark
BlizzCon 2013                                                                         Guide: Darkening Deeps

The Story Thus Far:
     Raeslyn entered Gloamwood with the intent of easily discovering the reason behind the goblin intrusion into Silverwood, reporting the incident back to Sanctum, and possibly eradicating the vermin before the problem escalates. Instead, she is shocked to find all manner of troublesome happenings in the dark wood of Gloamwood. For one thing, the citizens are far from welcoming to a famous Ascended, chosen of the gods to protect the people of Telara. In fact, they tell her in no uncertain terms that she is not welcome here, and she should leave as soon as possible. The longer Rae investigates the mysterious problems in Gloamwood, the more frustrated she grows. The wood is dark and twisted, full of evil creatures and dark curses, and the people of Gloamwood Pines, the lone town in the heart of the forest, seem strange and shifty, sticking to their houses and flinching away from any aid she would offer. There are military present, the Sanctuary Guard sent to deal with the pesky goblin hordes, but they too have been rebuffed by the townsfolk, relegated to setting up camp outside the town and being stalled at every turn. The town mayor, Furtho Dragomir, seems to hide a dark secret of his own. It soon becomes apparent that there is a darkness brewing in Deepwood Cottage, which was once the home of the legendary Druid sisters Delilah and Laria, who proudly protected the wood in days gone by. Rae learns that Laria, the light and brave sister, had fallen in combat against the rifts and in her grief, Delilah blamed the people of Gloamwood for not coming to their aid. She placed several powerful curses on the prominent noble families of Gloamwood, afflicting them with lycanthropy, vampirism, and undeath.
     Rae wastes several days trying to gain information on what beast is stalking unwary travelers and townsfolk alike, only to find that the mayor himself knew the secret and had kept it from her. The wood is crawling with werewolves. And these werewolves are the townsfolk themselves, cursed by the Hag in her bitter hatred of them. She finds to her horror that the Hag wishes to rule Gloamwood for herself and turn the entire forest into her personal death touched domain, ruling over it in the name of Regulos the Destroyer, her new dark master. She had fallen so far into corruption that Alsbeth, the leader of the Endless Court, was able to twist the Hag to her own dark purposes. On top of all this, Rae has to deal with the growing goblin problem by venturing deep into the underground city of the Gedlo goblin priests to kill their leaders and find out what sinister plots they are hatching in the name of Maelforge. Finally, she is successful in defeating both the goblins and the Hag. Raeslyn puts a stop to the Hag's plot to turn Gloamwood into a new death plane. Laria, the Hag's devoted sister, finally finds peace and is able to begin her journey to the afterlife. Raeslyn discovers that the mayors own brother was a werewolf and he had wanted to keep it secret until he find hope of a cure. Alas, his brother was too far gone and had to be slain, along with many other of the noble houses. Raeslyn is able to break the dark curses that choked Gloamwood and is hailed a hero by the people of Gloamwood Pines, who finally recognize her as someone who wishes to aid them. The Waykeepers of Gloamwood give her the title of "Wolfbane" for her heroic efforts.

Quests with a **(star) at the end are CARNAGE quests!

Zone Details:
  • Mob Types:
    • Beast
    • Demi-human
    • Humanoid
    • Undead
  • Critters:
    • Coyote
    • Snake
    • Rat
  • Total Time Spent in Zone:
    • 3 days approximately. Although I did spend an extra few days off and on running around collecting all the artifact sets.
  • Level Upon Leaving Zone:
    • 32-This includes doing all the zone events, as well as several other tasks I completed in between leveling. Also noted, I used an "Experience Suppression" potion the entire time.
  • List of Quests (In questing order):
    • Gloamwood Beasts- Ralph Bonser in Argent Glade
    • An Age of Darkness- Brougan Grote in Argent Glade
    • Bleeding Green**
    • No Ghost Story- Sherriff Thalia Cosmin-Daily rift quest
    • Blood on the Roots**
    • Reclaim Silkwood Pass**
    • Kill for a Cure- Gwyddon Duskenleaf
    • Field Tested, Goblin Approved- Laenaya Niro
    • Volunteer Duty- Captain Rotherdan- Daily rift quest
    • Grove Walker**
    • Fire and Venom-Waykeeper Sharla
    • Riches of Sanctum-Silk Webbed Crate-clickable item (5476, 3284)
    • Into the Nest-Caleb Matson
    • Creeping Paralysis-Wrapped Cocoon-clickable item (5762, 3496)
    • Good Luck Charms-John Tintan
    • Marching Onward-Sherriff Thalia Cosmin
    • The Seed of History-Gwyddon Duskenleaf
    • Green-Eyed Monster-Marshal Oakheart
    • Janina's Revenge-Janina Solemn
    • May It Serve You Better-Nigel Solemn
    • Answers of the Dead-Alistair Solemn
    • Goin Gobbo Huntin-Waykeeper Ienja-Daily
    • A Dangerous Harvest-Laria<Spirit of the Wood>
    • Shade of the Family-Laria
    • Heirlooms of the Dead-Recent Corpse-clickable item (5102, 2342)
    • A Prized Necklace-Goblin Necklace-drop item (Fungustoe) (4992, 2402)
    • Venom-Stained Key-drop item (Nizak Gedlo) (5007, 2413)
    • Out of Harm's Way-Captured Civilian-Escort quest
    • Blood Flows Downhill**
    • The Goblin Bane-Furtho Dragomir
    • In Recognition of Valor-Furtho Dragomir
    • Planting Hope-Gwyddon Duskenleaf
    • Beast of Greybriar Hollow-Drusk Nightclaw
    • A Dangerous Bite-Drop item-Venomous Fang (drops off spiders, not sure which!)
    • Where the Moon Blossoms-Moon Blossom-clickable item
    • Ol' Ness**
    • Deep Winter-Laria
    • Finishing Touches**
    • Trouble in the Wood-Marshal Oakheart
    • It Knows No Depths-Fiona Leone
    • Mill Infestation-Brother Jebiah
    • Mathosian Manifestations**
    • Slim Pickings-Drop item-Fractured Rib-from Shademarked Soulweaver
    • Bloody Jack**-top of mill (4360, 2584)
    • Millrush Reclaimation**
    • Black Sap Ancient**-elite mob- (4222, 2723)-(4153, 2730)
    • Looting the Mist-Drop item-Translucent Aether-from Tormented Spirits
    • Death's Defense-Fiona Leone
    • Bite Marks-Brother Jebiah
    • A Burgher With Lies-Doctor Oswell
    • Secret of the Pines-Gwyddon Duskenleaf
    • Camping By the Creek-Ral Teralas
    • Final Rest-Ral Teralas
    • A Family Heirloom-Ral Teralas
    • The Light of Jebiah-Brother Jebiah
    • She's Lived Long Enough-Laria
    • Infectious Hosts**
    • Kill Nuha the Wolf**-Cave under the cottage
    • A Woman Scorned-Laria
    • Purification Ritual-Fiona Leone
    • Taking the Shadows**
    • Slaying the Shadebent**
    • Flickering Shadows**
    • And End to the Court**
    • Etail Corpsekiller**
    • The Iron Pine Butcher**
    • Spreading the Word-Fiona Leone
    • Aiding the Waykeeers-Marshal Oakheart
    • Scavenger Hunt-Daily-Waykeeper Valin (5675, 3425)
    • Cleansing Fire-Marshal Oakheart
    • Savior of Gloamwood-Furtho Dragomir
    • Stemming the Darkness-Brother Jebiah
    • Ending A Legend**-Elite lvl 24 Treant
    • Making the Dead Stay Dead-Daily
    • Goremouth** (4803, 2553)
    • The Source of Spiders-This quest starts with a woman named Noreen Adler in Silverwood by Silver Landing, and asks you to venture up the Gloamwood Trail to speak to Varian Lofte.
  • Extra Bits and Locations:
    • Haligan the Pyretouched (4412, 2542)-Undead mob-drops a green quality staff
    • Morticus the Unholy (Around the Mill somewhere)-Undead mob-drops Air wand
    • Gedlo Venom Samples-drops from Goblins-Gives 50 Waykeepers Rep
    • Skull Biter<Barkeeper Goblins> (5244, 2524)
    • Drix Marrow <Nightrock Goblins> (5064, 2679)
    • The Waykeepers in Gloamwood Pines are all named after types of beer! Go look! (This information is compliments of Raelsky) I've found Kors, Boosh, Ginnis, etc!
    • Also found 2 Waykeepers at Silkweb Pass named Siaruh and Nivadda. (Sierra Nevada)
    • The Waykeepers Rep Vendor in the Inn sells werewolf pets! Go get yours. (5135, 3122)
    • Goblin Victim-Woman being terrorized by 2 goblins. If you kill them, you can talk to her for a brief description of what the goblins are doing in Gloamwood. She will also reward you with "Token of Gratitude" a sack of items. (5358, 2642)
  • Rare Creatures List:
    • Stalker of Tears-Werewolf (4678, 1107)
    • Xaksha-Insect (4658, 2627)
    • Scald-Dragon (4933, 2249)
    • Dozer-Mech (4426, 2641)
    • Lunar Shadestalker-Werewolf (4707, 2527)
    • Scarbite-Beast (4218, 2615)
    • Gnarl Nighthunter
    • Ugly Horn
    • Tweedle Dip
    • Stalker of the Grove (5364, 2634)
    • Zatzak Browncap
    • Millrush Moonstalker
  • Caves List (Achievement):
    • Broodmother's Lair (5809, 3588)
    • Darkrock Caverns (5130, 2660)
    • Deeproot Fissure (5096, 3012)
    • Darkrock Spider Cave (5215, 2720)
    • Deepwood Cottage (4235, 2915)
    • Greybriar Hollow (4730, 2900)
    • Millrush Troll Cave (4491, 2830)
    • Millrush Pond (4330, 2770)
    • Shadefallen Keep (4557, 2504)
    • Tearfall Catacombs (4762, 2560)
    • Tearfall Creek (4735, 2730)
    • Cave of the Shrine (4269, 2409)
  • Achievement List:
    • Are You Nuts- Jump from the top of the big tree (5270, 3083)
    • Family Matters-Complete Ral Teralas's Quests (4849, 2750)
    • Trophy Hunter- Collect Trophies for Wrangler Dein (drop items off beasts)
    • Grizzly Business-Kill 7 Rare creatures
    • Silent Vigil- Pray at the Shrine of the Vigil (4221, 2423)
    • In Dark Places- Explore all of Gloamwood's Caves
    • Wanton Destruction- Kill 200 Goblins (It was easiest for me to do it by the standing stones in Grove of the Ancients)
    • Keeper of the Ways- Explore all of Gloamwood
    • Lifting the Gloam Curse- Defeat the Hag (Just do Gloamwood's main quests)
    • Gloamwood Samaritan-Complete 57 Quests
    • The Curse of Gloamwood- Collect the 6 Gloamwood Artifact Sets
    • The Glory of Gloamwood- Complete all Achievements-Title reward: Wolfbane. Item Reward: Form of the Howler (turns you into a werewolf)
  • Gloamwood Puzzle:
    • Shield Wall Puzzle (4539, 2382)-Click the Plaque on the wall, it will take you to the top of the tower. Go down the stairs and face the wall, you will see an example of what the finished product should look like. Go down one more level and you are at the puzzle. I drew a diagram of how to complete it. Follow the sequence of numbers, by clicking the knob that I numbered #1, and continue until you finish with #6, and you should succeed! Sometimes the puzzle is arranged different then the answers I give, so just go to a different Shard and try again until you get it! Good luck.

  • Gloamwood Cairn:
    • Located in the mountains between Gloamwood and Silverwood. There are several places to climb up onto the top of the ridge and run along the mountain spine until you come across the Cairn of Nylaan Starhearth (an ancestor of Shyla)
    • Co-ordinates are approx. 5607, 3205)
    • Link to my discovery video: Gloamwood Cairn
  • List of Profession Materials:
    • Razorbrush
    • Ashwood Log
    • Cotton Cloth
    • Tin Node
    • Iron Vein
    • Krakenweed
    • Oak Log
    • Golden Nettle
    • Duskglory
    • Copper Vein
  • Map of the Zone:

My Opinion of the Zone:
     I wasn't really as much a fan of Gloamwood as I was of Silverwood. The air was darker and more gloomy, which of course it was supposed to be, considering it's a dark cursed wood full of werewolves and vampires. But it was still depressing and my poor little Ascended didn't care much for the wood or its people. She did her duty like a good Guardian, and I'm happy I got to experience the story as well as complete the achievements, but it was definitely not a zone I'd enjoy doing multiple times. It was quite the journey, this one, since I also had to balance "real life" issues and I ended up getting behind. I also skipped several quests out of Rae's story since I didn't think they actually added anything meaningful to her story. The story itself also bugs me slightly. There are a few things I found were inconsistent. For instance, the two sisters Laria and Delilah. It says that they protected and looked after Gloamwood for years until troubles hit Gloamwood and then Laria died and Delilah turned into the Hag. Did this happen when the Shade hit, or did it happen during the Age of Dragons, or maybe it happened sometime in between? I guess its open to interpretation, but I hate it when lore is ambiguous like that! Oh well, I'm finished with the zone, time to find another one! All in all, I'd give this one a 5/10. It was ok, and it was fun to be a werewolf for a time, and to learn a bit more about the Sanctuary Guards and Kain in that brief little clip they showed between Kain and Oakheart. Just hang around by the Porticulum and you'll see it eventually.
Chapter Four Summary

Sunday, August 31, 2014

[Special Feature] VIII: Alsbeth Rothmann

     After doing some research into the notorious villain Alsbeth, I realized that she didn't exactly have the best childhood ever. But does that justify her treachery and betrayal of Telara and all living beings on it? I hardly think so!

     Alsbeth Rothmann was born to a fairly minor nobles' family and lived in the countryside of the Mathosian Kingdom. Her ancient ancestor, Phynnious Rothmann, was the first pyromancer mage and helped bring down the Age of Dragons. The family line went steadily downhill since that glorious time, ending in shame and dishonor when Alsbeth's father murdered her mother in front of her for adultery. Her father was then executed for murder and young Alsbeth, little more than a child, was left without a home or family when her uncle inherited the estate and promptly kicked her out of the household.
     When Queen Lenia Mathos, husband of Jostir Mathos, learned of the girl's fate, she took Alsbeth in out of pity, ensuring she was cared for and received the best education at court as a state ward. Alsbeth was quiet at court, pale-skinned, dark haired, and shy. She spent her time reading books of magic and enchantment in the library or walking through the castle gardens. After the queen died of an incurable disease, Alsbeth lost her only advocate in court and fell into the shadows, since the king hardly had time for a homeless orphan.

     When she was old enough, Alsbeth and the other children at court were sent to the esteemed Quicksilver College in Silverwood, home of the Elves. There, she quickly won popularity with the professors and other students with her skill at magic and her ability to learn anything put to her. Her accomplishments at school earned her as much a place in everyone's eyes as Asha's behavior, albeit for different reasons. Alsbeth grew slightly resentful of Asha, who never took her studies seriously despite her intelligence and quick mind. Asha rebelled against the rules constantly. Once Asha was expelled, Alsbeth took full reign over the school, rising to the top of the ranks as best student. She returned to the court of Mathos a powerful and skillful mage.
    After conflict arose between Jostir's two sons over the throne, Alsbeth found herself having to choose a side. Everyone was certain she would side with King Aedraxis since Asha immediately sided with her secret crush, Zareph, but Zareph appeared to have won her over and she rode to Thedeor Field in his honor guard. Alsbeth fought bravely and valiantly in Zareph's army and her name, along with Shyla, Borrin, Carwin and Cyril, became songs and legend among the rebel forces. When the rifts swallowed the battlefield, Alsbeth died with everyone else. None were surprised when the Messengers of the Vigil raised her as Ascended with the rest of the heroes of Thedeor Field. Along with other Ascended, Alsbeth helped Zareph lead refugees to Port Scion for safety. There she spent years as a seemingly loyal and steadfast friend and advocate of Zareph's rule, and a defender of the city.

     So it came as the greatest shock when she betrayed them all to Regulos. The stories of Alsbeth Rothmann as the greatest and bravest mage of this age stopped. Instead, she gained the reputation and title of Alsbeth the Discordant. She tricked both the Guardians and the Defiant, setting up such a masterful turn of events that the city fell in but one day. To this day, her treacherous taking of the city is one of the most horrendous deeds done by a Telaran. If not for the heroic sacrifice of Zareph Mathos, the taint of the largest death rift seen yet would have consumed the entirety Silverwood and Freemarch both in a matter of days. After the city fell, the Guardians blamed the Defiants' magitech abominations for the loss of their beloved prince and the Defiant blamed the Guardians for ignorantly or perhaps even purposely harboring such a treacherous snake as Alsbeth. What use were the gods to them if they couldn't even tell the difference between a loyal follower and a hidden cultist? If not for Alsbeth's horrendous betrayal, the two factions could have found common ground and launched an effective joint assault on the planar threat.

     Now Alsbeth is a formidable necromancer of untold power, allied with Regulos and leading his forces on Telara. She is still Ascended and manipulates events from the shadows, making multiple attempts across Mathosia to disrupt the Defiant and Guardian forces and bring her dark master back to the material plane.
     Alsbeth is seen multiple times throughout the Ascended's journey to protect Telara, unleashing death rifts, horrifying hoards of undead and planar monster monsters, as well as powerful and sinister demons from the Plane of Death.

     Alsbeth was finally dealt with by the Ascended when Regulos tasked her with creating a device that would locate and take souls with untold power out of the Soulstream to serve him on Telara. Specifically, he was looking for strong, powerful souls to head his army of undead invaders. After his physical form was shattered, he lost the ability to do it himself and so enlisted Alsbeth's aid, although it's implied by him that her near success at this task surprised even Regulos. Working with Plutonus, the architect of the device, Alsbeth was able to summon a powerful being called Gaurath. Seeking petty revenge against her nemesis Asha, she also summoned Zareph Mathos's soul, binding his will to her. To her surprise though, Zareph's love and loyalty allowed him to fight off her control. Alsbeth then begged her master to grant her the power to destroy the Ascended that had journeyed to the River of Souls themselves to stop her, but he denied her, having grown tired of her failures on Telara and empty promises. After her ultimate defeat at the hands of the Ascended and Zareph, Regulos snatched up her soul before it could enter the Soulstream, promising eternal torment as her "reward".

     Why did she suddenly betray the Guardians in the first place, you wonder? Alsbeth is ambitious, selfish, and narcissistic. She thinks only of herself and her own benefit, believing she deserves what she can get her hands on because of her incredible magical abilities. She enjoys causing trouble for others and winning competitions and it drove her mad that Asha was more skilled and advanced at college although Asha didn't even need to apply herself to study-her abilities came naturally to her. Anytime the two of them teamed up in college, Alsbeth would set the blame for any wrongdoing on Asha. It frustrated her no end that Asha didn't even seem to mind. When it had become known that Asha had been plucked from the Soulstream by their old court tutor Orphiel Farwind, the hatred grew uncontrollable. Seeking plans to topple Asha's new perch, Alsbeth unknowingly opened herself up to the lure of power that Regulos offered and embraced him wholeheartedly. Later, she saw her chance to strike and toppled two birds with the price of one stone, forever causing a rift between the two factions and denying Asha her love of Zareph as the summoning of the rift in Port Scion ended with his death.

References: So, Alsbeth is a rather interesting character, and while it's hard to pin down her true motives, I'm pretty confident I've got her pegged. I was able to gain clues of her early history by reading the books in game on both her and Asha, as well as completing quests in the early zones and by doing a run through of the River of Souls Chronicle. In a way, I kind of feel bad for her. She had a rough life, and it made her into a sour and bitter person. It didn't help that Asha seemed so perfect and yet blew off every effort to actually learn anything. I can't help but wonder what would be different if Alsbeth had actually had a real friend while in court and later in college, instead of just underlings who she impressed with her magical ability. Maybe if she had someone to talk to...? Oh well I guess it's too late now. I think at some point I'd like to write a fanfiction story about that what if though. Could be fun!
     Anyway, you can find information on Alsbeth by reading the Alsbeth book and Asha Catari book, as well as talking to NPC's relevant to her storyline, and of course the raid and the chronicle River of Souls.