Saturday, January 25, 2014

[Special Feature] VI: Scotty Malm

    Scotty is actually a really interesting little character! As a player of Rift, you first meet him in Silverwood at Quicksilver College when quests lead you there. At first, you don't really know much about him. He's just some random dwarf enrolled in classes at the college that you have to help out because a student in a higher class is picking on him for some reason. If you pay closer attention, you learn a few things about Scotty Malm! The story of Scotty and his journey to become a hero is actually really neat! If you pay really close attention to the story of Rift as you go through the zones, you can find little snippets of lore on Scotty and how he came to be this way. Poor kid had a tough life, after all. I think, despite him being an ugly little dwarf kid, he's rather cool. He's so brave and determined, and he goes through so much, just to prove himself and to find out who his family is. Before I explain the broad story of Scotty, here's some info on him that I found on the old Rift site, before it was taken down. I don't know where this lore is now on the interwebs, but I have it stored in my binder.

"A student of merit-An incident report regarding student Scotty Malm
 By Jerome Drift, First Achemy Chair at Quicksilver College
I cannot say Mr. Malm and I were fast friends. Appraising his first potion, I said, “Alchemy can be an art, but we must first learn the science. Don’t be so creative with the recipe, Mister Malm, and your healing potion won’t be so green and fuzzy next time.”
“Just Scotty,” he said. “It’s just Scotty, if you please, Professor. Dwarves from Moonshade can’t use our family names since what happened at Hammerknell.”
“I see. Well, given that I won’t call you ‘Scotty’ like some drinking companion, what would you suggest? Because ‘Mister That One Dwarf’ strikes me as pretentious.”
His peers laughed rather too pointedly, and thereafter, began calling him “Mister That One Dwarf,” much to my chagrin. I had meant to chastise a student, not be party to bullying.
So I was not his favorite professor even before I seemed intent on killing him and his classmates.
I was taking tea in my office when my assistant walked in, took one look at me, and nearly fainted dead away. “Forgive me, Professor Drift, didn’t expect you back so soon,” she said.
“Back? Where exactly have I gone?” I asked, amused.
“Why, into the woods. I saw you leading your first-term Alchemy class to go and work directly with a shipment of sourcestone,” she said.
No longer amused, I ran to the dormitories, amazed that anyone would believe I would do such a thing. Firstly, I abhor field trips. Secondly, I would never let a first-year even draw a picture of sourcestone. Thirdly, and most obviously, if I took students off campus, I myself would probably be aware of it.
Under the bed of Fiona Lechtum, I found a crude summoning circle done in vine pigment, strong enough to summon a shape-shifting Faerie. Miss Lechtum is ringleader of a clique whose primary diversion is making Malm’s life a misery, and they would never include him in an escapade without some humiliation in mind. Obviously, they’d ordered the summoned Faerie to wear my guise to convince Malm to come along. But from the shoddily drawn circle and the lingering aura of magic in the room, I knew the pranksters had summoned more than they had bargained for.
I followed the trail of magic to Hedgerow Court, close to the Realm of the Fae itself. Magical lights flitted above the hedges, a sure sign of some powerful magician chasing prey through the maze. I discovered a low-hanging mass of thorny vines, which bore, instead of fruit, the kicking legs of a dozen of my students.
“What is the meaning of this?” I said, blasting the vines away, not much caring that they scored the pranksters’ skin as they flew.
Simpering as only an Elf of good breeding can, Fiona explained that they had meant to call a changeling in a plan to get Scotty thrown out of school. But through no fault of her own, they instead summoned a powerful Fae who led them to Hedgerow and turned hostile. He chased the students into these vines, but Scotty ducked under the tangle and ran off, promising to distract the Fae with his Dwarvish knack for traversing passageways.
Just then, a fluffy sheep ran by, bleating in terror before turning back into a Dwarf. Hot on his heels (or hooves) came Makirn—lieutenant to Lord Twyl himself—who cackled madly, casting spell after spell.
Well. I will not be impersonated by some flittering Faerie. I unleashed a barrage so ferocious it scorched Makirn-shaped holes into the hedges. I am sure he escaped to plague Silverwood another day, but he may think twice before answering another botched summons into Quicksilver College.
When we found Scotty cowering as a squirrel under a shrubbery, Fiona and her minions had the gall to laugh. I am not one to give righteous sermons, nor could I afford to have them all expelled; Telara needs all the mages it can field in this crisis. A shame that so many had to fail Alchemy this term. The investigation I had to sit through was tiresome. Thank the Vigil for tenure, eh?
For a week, Scotty kept shifting between his natural form and that of some random animal. Once he could communicate in something other than chitters and bleats, I recommended his removal from my class. Not due to lack of aptitude (though this persisted) but because of what I’d seen when he confronted Makirn. No one, not even a Dwarf, should have been able to fugue in and out of a polymorph cast by a powerful Faerie. Yet every time Scotty returned to normal, I felt the power of Bahralt surge through the area, and my colleagues at the seminary say that supernatural stability is a mark of the god’s favor. Thus, Scotty has begun study in the seminary. Though Fiona’s clutch still torments him, I understand his marks have improved."

     Scotty is the youngest of three dwarf brothers who were orphans because of the coming of the Shade (an earlier lore piece). When the Shade came, it decimated Moonshade Highlands and the dwarven Delve there, Hammerknell Fortress, fell as a result. The three dwaves, Scotty, Murbo and Kelnin, were too young to remember what happened or even who their parents were, and were taken to Silverwood to be raised by their uncle, who lived at Argent Glade. As they came of age, the brothers were enrolled in Quicksilver College to learn the arts of magic and alchemy. As he grew, Scotty lived for the stories his uncle told him about his father, of how he was a great hero to the dwarves.
     In his first year at the College, Scotty ran into a ton of trouble in the shape of a High Elf named Fiona Lechturn. She was bossy and sassy and had no trouble hazing Scotty because of his age and lack of experience with anything. Eventually an Ascended comes along to help the poor guy out and give him some advice on how to survive his school years.
     Later that same year, Fiona herself comes up to the visiting Ascended and warns that she may have taken things a bit too far in her latest attempt to get Scotty kicked out of school by tricking him into venturing off alone to try some experiment with nature. After Scotty is rescued in the nick of time from disaster, he enacts his own scheme to get revenge on Fiona, finally standing up for himself and learning what it is to defend his own honor. After this, Scotty moves on with his studies quite quickly, learning as fast as he can. He has a goal in mind to become a great hero like his father. He sends a letter to the Ascended with a thank you for the aid in school and admits that he will be furthering his lessons in the field while he visits Gloamwood. This is further evidenced by the things the citizens of Gloamwood say:
      In Tearfall Run in Gloamwood, Waykeeper Istan is known to say "Have you seen a dwarf student around here? I think his name was Scotty. He ran off with my spare torch." So it's obvious Scotty is still up to his usual antics. Another mention of Scotty in Gloamwood is at location 5910, 3808, where Waykeeper Bernard says "Scotty can't seriously believe the spiders of Silkweb Pass make good pets."
     Scotty can also be found in Scarlet Gorge. In a place called Riverfell, he is seen practicing with someone named Sir Treylan Haur on the bridge just inside the gorge's borders. Dame Chloe Hisler nearby says "I wonder how that new trainee is doing. I think his name was Scotty." So it's rather obvious that Scotty's determination to become a great hero like his dad and to help his people in Moonshade is paying off.
     In Scarwood Reach at Kain's Command, Scotty is also mentioned, but only in passing. Ralyn Laurel says "If Quicksilver College suspends our grant, I don't know what we'll do. Even Scotty will have cause to laugh at us." Apparently people don't think much of Scotty's skill and experience, despite his determination.

     Lastly, the most important lore information on Scotty can be found in Moonshade Highlands, where he eventually goes in order to help the dwarves of Hammerknell. In the Three Springs, the Ascended need to talk to four specific residents to find out what is going on at Hammerknell as part of a different mission. During this interregation, the Ascended comes across their old friend Scotty, who claims that he's come to save Moonshade and find what he can about his family since he was too young to remember anything. He doesn't have a clue where to start though. Later on, Scotty can again be found killing Azure Blade Pillagers to "stay in practice". At Reclaimer's Hold, there are some citizens talking about Scotty. Lieutenant Rutgar says "Who is Scotty anyway? He seems to be a very determined dwarf. He's a bit strange, if you ask me." And at Molinar Crossing, the  ghost of General Stanig of the Runeguard asks you to help him destroy three family heirlooms so they are no longer at the mercy of the corruption of Hammerknell. When the Ascended attempts to destroy one of the heirlooms, a toy anvil, Scotty runs over and exclaims that he remembers this particular toy from his childhood! Thus, you learn that Scotty is related to the ghost, General Stanig, and is from Molinar Crossing himself. Later, at Bahralt's Ascent, Scotty comes to help aid the Ascended in freeing Bahralt's Messenger. After they are successful, a Messenger of the Vigil appears with a message for Scotty. The divine being tells Scotty that his father is General Stanig Malm of the Runeguard. The Messenger also states that if Scotty stays true to his path and does not lose faith, he will see his father again. And so Scotty finally learns his heritage and becomes a hero himself at this point.
     When the Ascended returns to Captain Haghen of the Runeguard with this news, it seems that Scotty has already been there and explained himself. Haghen expresses his doubts about's Scotty's capability.
     When the Ascended travels to Hammerknell to free the third corrupted Warden and confront the creature behind all the trouble, Scotty shows up as well, determined to come along. The ghost of General Stanig also appears. He speaks to Scotty, telling him to go back to Reclaimer's Hold and continue his training. Scotty is so happy to see his father and exclaims "Dad, is that really you?" To which Stanig replies, "Yes Scotty, I finally remember who I am as well." He then addresses the Ascended saying, "Come Ascended, it is time to finish this." Maybe he assumes that Scotty will listen and go back to training, leaving the serious dangerous stuff to them. After General Stanig disappears, Scotty says, "No, I'm not running away this time. I'm going to help defeat this monster and save my homeland!"
     After defeating the bad guy (spoilers so I'm just skimming this part lol! I think it makes a fantastic play through and I don't want to ruin it!), the Ascended tells Captain Haghen, who finally admits that Scotty has earned a place among the Runeguard. He instructs the Ascended to retrieve two memorable and important items that belonged to General Stanig so that Scotty can have them in his Runeguard Induction Ceremony, an official ceremony and party celebrating someone joining the order.
     Finally, they all return to Sanctum for the ceremony, presided over by Borrin Gammult, the unofficial leader of the dwarven people. Scotty's father shows up one last time and tells him this heartwarming message:
     "I'm so proud of you, Scotty. My time has passed, but yours has just begun. May happiness surround you always. Farewell my beloved son." And thus, Scotty becomes a member of the famed Runeguard, like he'd always dreamed to. After doing this entire questline, the player is rewarded with several achievements and a few toys to play with as well in game.

References: All of this information except the letter from Jerome Drift is literally taken from the game's quests. As you play through the Quicksilver College and Argent Glade story, you learn about Scotty and his troubles with hazing, and you get some achievs to go with it. When you get to Moonshade Highlands, you can learn about Scotty in snippets as you quest through the zone! It's actually a really cool, but kinda sad story. Poor Scotty! He's actually a really neat character and I really like him! Good job Trion there! All this information belongs to Trion Worlds, who own Rift, NOT me!!!! The part about Jerome Drift is taken directly from Rift's old website, when they used to have lore pages up in their Rift world info. It was such a cool little addon to the game. I really miss their old site!!!


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