Friday, December 16, 2016

[Off Topic] Fae Yule 2016!

So, Fae Yule is back for another round! I am pretty excited for the holiday after seeing all the awesome new things introduced in the holiday livestream, but also because I really enjoy this holiday in particular. All the in game snow, the cheer, the fun quests, I dunno, I can't explain it but there's just something I really enjoy about Fae Yule in particular. This year, I was definitely more active in the Fae Yule activities. I spent so many hours doing the sledding quest so I could get Snowflakes, and also quite a few days were spent tracking down all the dozens of holiday artifacts so I could add them to my collection. I really like artifacts. Mostly because when you complete them, there's always the chance of getting a really interesting lore book to read that will tell you something new about an aspect of the story of Rift, but also because I'm a collector and there's just something innately satisfying about seeing the little green checkmark and the "complete" that shows up in the corner of your artifact window when you've completed all the artifacts for a given set. So I went around to various zones and collected as many of the holiday artifacts as I could and I even managed to complete one whole achievement for some. There are a lot of artifact sets listed in the Fae Yule achievement column actually, and I am quite proud that I was able to complete so many before the event ended. Anyway, on to the actual details!

Links to previous years of Fae Yule blog posts:
Fae Yule 2012 
Fae Yule 2013 
Fae Yule 2015

     Fae Yule 2016 Tips:
  • You can earn currency on your alts, buy the item you want, and mail it to your "main" or the character you want the items/achievements on. All Fae Yule items except the holiday minks are BoA (Bind on Account) and can be mailed to a different character!
  • Do not spend any of the Dark Icicles until the 3rd phase when you've gathered all of the Icicles you can. This allows you to plan out how best to spend your currency, since you only ever get 30 Icicles per character, unless your exceptionally lucky to gain 1 or 2 from Minion missions.
  • If you are a Patron, or are willing to buy a Patron Pass, you can use the Currency Token item gained from Patron boxes to increase the amount of snowflakes you gain from quests.
  • The easiest and fastest way to gain snowflakes is to do the Sledding repeatable quests, since you can do as many as you want every day, and you gain at the least 10 snowflakes per slide down the hill and at the most 25 (With Patron status token as well as going through each of the portals at the top of the last ramp!)
  • There's a Fae Yule Store located in Iron Pine Peaks that has items for sale that IS NOT found on the Rift Store! Go check it out!
  • When doing Stocking Stuffers Achiev, move between shards, even the pvp one, to gain an extra chance at finding an item! Have patience with this one, it will take a while.
  • Don't try doing all of the achievements/events on the same day. You will get desperately frustrated and bored fast.
  • If you plan on collecting the Fae Yule Artifacts, use Opie if you have him, Artifact Tracker if you have that Patron ability, or purchase something along those lines. It will save you so much time! Keep an eye out for the Artifact zone events, and ask guildies/friends to swap or give you duplicate artifacts so you can have a better chance of completing the sets.
  • Log into as many alts as you need/want in order to do the Dark Icicles quest so you are able to purchase all the items you want from the store. 
  • Try to do at least a few Fae Yule IA's each day to ensure better odds at gaining some of the items needed to finish the achievements.
  • The PvP portion of Fae Yule is impossible to complete unless you have a character that can get into the end game brackets of warfronts, since low lvl pvp is dead and gone. Also, Whitefall was removed from Rift and only added back with the holiday event later in the Fae Yule event, so if you don't see it on the Warfront list, that's why.   

     Details on quests and event activities have already been mentioned in those links above, so I don't feel the need to go into that. There are a few new things, or additional things I'll add here that were removed/changed, or added to the Fae Yule holiday event in 2016. For one thing, I've got more of a handle on how the Minion cards work, and as such, I was able to start the Fae Yule minion quest chain and complete it! It took some time, and I had to buy the starter Minion with store credits in order to get the others, but I got a few rewards along the way to help with my efforts. Here's the list, in the order that I received them:   **The quest chain starts with the minion card "Grish" that you need to purchase from the s tore for 250 snowflakes and 3 Icicles, or 450 Credits**
  1. Fae Yule Is Here! Grish Has Come To Bring The Hate
    1. Spread some Fae Yule cheer to stop Grish
    2. Duration: 1 minute
  2. Locate Clues to Grish's Whereabouts
    1. Duration: 4 hours
  3. Prove Your Might and Gain the Help of Sundereth
    1. Duration: 8 hours
    2. Rewards Minion Card: Sundereth
  4. Deliver Alcoholic Beverages to Atrophinus
    1. Duration: 8 hours
    2. Rewards Minion Card: Atrophinius the Festive
  5. Show Everyone the Festive Festivities with Atrophinius the Festive
    1. Duration: 8 hours
  6. Xharlion Joining Grish? Convince him to join you instead!
    1. Duration: 8 hours
    2. Reward Minion Card: Xharlion
  7. Seoras Must be Stopped!
    1. Duration: 8 hours
    2. Rewards Minion Card: Seoras
  8. Gather Food and Set a Trap for Grish
  9. We've Located a Village that Needs Cheering Up
  10. Grish is Near, Hunt him Down!
  11. Use Fire to melt the Ice Blocking the Way to Grish
    1. Duration: 15 minutes
  12. Gather Food for the Poor Villagers
    1. Duration: 5 minutes
  13. Subdue the Grendelkhan
    1. Duration: 8 hours
    2. Rewards Minion Card: Grendelkhan
  14. Someone Get Atrophinius a drink
  15. Return Stolen Gifts
    1. Duration: 4 hours
    2. Requires Adventurine or Credits to launch
  16. Build up Siege Camps
    1. Duration: 4 hours
    2. Requires Adventurine or Credits to launch
     Another change this Fae Yule is the fact that last year's holiday currency carried over to this Fae Yule! So all the hard earned snowflakes and Icicles I had last year that I never had time to spend, or never found anything I wanted, added up this year, and combined with the currency I got this year. This helped quite a lot for buying all the companion pets I needed for the "For Whom The Jingle Bell Tolls" achievement. Even then, it took quite some farming to be able to buy all those pets!

     Since I took more of an active interest in this Fae Yule and participated in a lot of the achievements, I also have a list for a different achievement, named "Stocking Stuffers" This one took a while too, since it doesn't even really explain what it means. What you have to do is click on little dimension like items that will pop up over the Mathosian content. You need 50 of them in all, so you need to find 50 of these items, and they can be anywhere in the old world. The easiest places to find them of course, are in the 2 capital cities, Sanctum and Meridian. Another handy thing to note about this particular achievement, is that if you happen to find one of these items, you can shard hop to a different server and with luck, find the same item in the same place, and still get a point towards the achievement. It's definitely worth noting the places you found these items and come back to them every few hours to check to see if they have respawned yet. Here's a list of where I've found them, but I'm sure there's tons more, it's hard to predict where they will pop up, and they are sometimes in out of the way locations, hidden in discrete spots. Very tricksy Trion, very tricksy!
Stocking Stuffers Locations:
  1. 7553, 3000-Candy Cane-Sanctum
  2. 7585, 3032-Candy Cane-Sanctum
  3. 6677, 7028- Candy Cane-Fortune's Shore (Shimmersand)
  4. 6643, 7047-Gift Box-Fortune's Shore (Shimmersand)
  5. 6629, 7032-Candy Cane-Fortune's Shore (Shimmersand)
  6. 6188, 5179-Candy Cane-Fortune's Shore (Shimmersand)
  7. 6123, 5217-Wreath-Fortune's Shore (Shimmersand)
  8. 5974, 5157-Gift Box-Meridian
  9. 4552, 1489-Candle-Chancel of Labors (Iron Pine Peaks)
  10. 3727, 1737-Gift Box-Whitefall (IPP)
  11. 3703, 1766-Candy Cane-Whitefall (IPP)
  12. 3602, 3796-Grove Keeper's House (Scarwood Reach)
     Another change to this year's Fae Yule was one that annoyed me a lot. The achievement that rewards you the black Vaiyuu mount, "Nightmare before Fae Yule", had a few of the requirements removed, so now there's only 3 achievments you need to complete in order to get the mount. These 3 achievements are such a pain in the butt, it's not even funny. And the frustrating thing is, they all rely on luck of the draw to complete! It requires you have completed the Snowmancer achievement-collecting all 4 of the clickable snowmen you can set on the ground, the 25k Lights-collecting all the little glowing ball companion pets, and lastly, the Puppet Master achievmenet- collecting all the puppet pets. I've gotta say, I worked on the Fae Yule activities for a long time this holiday, logging in just about every day to try and complete just a little bit more, and I never once saw any of the puppets, lights, or snowmen that I needed to complete the achievement. I'm not sure if that was because they were super rare, or because of some lame glitch that prevented me from finishing it up. I was pretty depressed by it though.
      I put all that effort in specifically because I was hoping to get that black Vaiyuu, but no dice. Sad panda!

     While we're on the subject of frustrating Fae Yule activities, I'd like to point out another that really irritated me. The PvP one! Because pvp is like dead in Rift, it is literally impossible for me, as a low lvl character (lvl 40 at the time I started the Fae Yule) to complete the Santa Claws pvp Fae Yule achievements and get my little festive werewolfy pet! I was pretty sad, not going to lie! I even debated spending the Credits/money on getting a boost to lvl 60 JUST So I could participate in the pvp activities. Although it turns out, that didn't even matter because Trion, for silly reasons that did not help the pvp situation AT ALL, removed most of the warfronts, Whitefall included. Since Whitefall Steppes was the warfront needed to complete the pvp achievements, all of us Fae Yule achievers were screwed over. Finally, after a lot of forum talk and such like from players, we were able to get info saying that the warfront would be added in the ....was it second or last phase? of Fae Yule. This was rather frustrating.

     There were a few cool new additions to this year that sort of made up for it though. One of those was the Fae Yule Costume Bundle, which was a really neat long winter coat, a fur hoodie, and warm gloves and boots. It was the perfect set for when my character starts doing the Iron Pine Peaks story arch, since I can dye it an appropriate color and say it's her cold weather gear! There was also a really pretty mount that was like the Levitation mount, but it lifted you in the air with a spinning ring of brightly colored gifts. So cool! I want one so badly, but unfortunately, you have to spend real money to get one since they are in the lock boxes. And I have horrid luck with the lock boxes, so I guess I won't be getting one of those! :( There were also 2 new pets, "Tags"-a floating gift box, and "Chibs"-a little Greenscale looking dragon with large eyes and tiny wings. There was also another new set of wings added to the Rift store, which I NEEDED to have since I absolutely love wings. Like seriously, I love wings! I can't remember what they were called in game, but I call them turkey wings because that's what they look like. They dye really nicely, but sadly, it's a completely solid color, with no way to dye say the secondary or tertiary feathers a different color or shade. We also got a hat costume item that gave us beards, even the female characters. This was an item put in game because of one of the Trion peeps, who really wants her female dwarf to have a beard lol.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

plane of air lore

Plane of Air

Air lizard

Air Rifts: winds from beyond

Like the onset of madness in a sane man, Telara may be scourged at any moment by evil from its very air. The sky could split above an open plain, or crack over the highest peaks. Crisp, serene air twists into a hateful storm, winds whipping and swirling with such fury they tear boulders from the earth, whirling them about like a mad juggler’s toys.

The fortunate who stumble into the radius of an Air Rift are crushed by these boulders. Others have their flesh scoured away by debris born on the razor winds, or are snatched up by the storm, cooked by the lightning, and rent limb from limb by the monsters flying through the shimmering rift.

Plane of Air: the merciless sky

The Plane of Air is made up almost entirely of its primary element: an endless, turbulent sky. Cloudscapes replace landscapes, roiling and writhing, crashing together like continents. Air elementals and djinali ride the lightning that arcs between thunderheads, while rocs cruise the twisting wind, feasting on winged serpents.

Chunks of the thunderbirds’ prey can fall eternally, or splatter upon the floating islands that spin through the sky. The Plane of Air’s few land-bound creatures make their homes here, isolated for eons until the winds push two islands together and the denizens fall to xenophobic warfare.

Of wise Won Odego, the first Paragon, the Bahmi tell this tale.

Won Odego had a pupil, his sister’s daughter, strong and swift. She fought with the unpredictable grace of a hurricane, and her mind likewise was fetterless and wild. So the master bade his student make tea every morning, at just the same moment, just the same brew, just the same heat in summer or snow.

“Why?” asked the pupil. But Won Odego only smiled.

The student made the tea right, but without care – for a mistress of the sword, how trivial a task to brew the same tea every morning?

Then one morning, Won Odego sat down to tea that scalded his lip. He crossed his swords behind his neck, catching his student’s blow, then spun and met her onslaught. For days, blades sang on blades. This white-eyed puppet had the pupil’s strength and skill, but none of her inventiveness. Eventually she lay still, Odego’s slash across her throat.

“She who revels in the storm must keep one toe on the ground,” said Won Odego, and the wind brushed the tears from his eyes.

Airtouched: riders on the storm

Like the pitiless sky, creatures from the Air Rifts are uncaring, arrogant, entirely heartless. They are the wind that twirls a falling man end over end like a shiny bauble, letting him crash against the rocks without ever raising him aloft.

Griffons, rocs, and harpies fly Telara’s skies, lifting cattle back to their mountain nests—and only cattle, if the cowherds are lucky. Brutish gargoyles crouch on the parapets of abandoned castles, while cockatrices nest in towers, the filthy scavengers ready to swarm the unwary with plague-ridden claws. Vespids—wasps the size of horses—venture from their barrow-hives, hunting for mortal bellies in which to lay their eggs. And yetis barrel down from the mountain peaks, shrieking like the wind, hungry as a yawning crevasse.

Dragon of Air: the Broodmother

When the dragons first arrived on Telara, Crucia united entire armies under a great hive mind that spread like the wind in one coordinated assault. Were it not for the brave deeds of Telara’s heroes, every mortal being would be thrall to the white dragon.

But the Ward cracked, and with it, Crucia’s prison. Still trapped, the Broodmother plots within her icy tomb, manipulating anyone anywhere she can, but happy to strike like a thunderbolt force when necessary. Her Storm Legion has allied with and betrayed all the other dragon cults at one time or another, for such is her way: through manipulation, coercion, or direct mind-control, she will bend every will in tune with her own, till all creation sings in perfect, matching monotone.

Cult of Crucia: the Storm Legion

Once, Crucia possessed a vast empire, unflinching armies, and the most sophisticated spy network in Telara’s history. Now, the Storm Queen can merely invade and overthrow the minds of mortals who lack the monumental will to resist her.

A lifelong friend suddenly changes expression and becomes a deadly assassin. Children turn against their parents, and kings are killed by their consorts, who the night before swore love eternal. Crucia cannot fully control everyone in her cult, but once touched, the thrall remains something of a blank slate, easy pickings for further control. Crucia has worn their minds smooth, as the wind scours the mountainside.

Monday, December 12, 2016

thontic lore

Thontic God of the Sea

On a ship at sea, a sailor plots his course, a merchant dreams of distant shores, and a scholar charts the stars. Each in their way prays to Thontic, God of the Sea, of trade, and of mystery. When the gods formed Telara from sourcestone at the dawn of days, it was Thontic who shaped the clouds, filled deep places with water, and sparked the thirst for knowledge in mortal minds.

The faceless Abyssal say that Thontic merely imitates Akylios’s genius, but this is a filthy lie. Akylios represents the profane darkness of the crushing deeps, where sanity flees even the design of nature and hideous secrets wait, hidden from the light. Thontic is the deity who guides travelers to safe harbor, who hides teeming life and fantastic revelations beneath the briny tide. While the Abyssal are misers of knowledge, hoarding secrets until their minds burst, Thontic’s priests are patrons of wisdom, answering life’s great questions and revealing their discoveries for the benefit of all.

Abbott of Thontic

In mysterious ways

Of all gods of the Vigil, Thontic is the most inscrutable. They say he moves across the land wearing the night as a cloak, his voice just barely softer than the lapping of the waves and the clinking of coins. His ways are not always kind—at his whim one merchant opens new cities for trade, while another is swallowed by the tide. Yet exploration is hollow without risk, and Clerics say those who die at sea have a place at Thontic's side.

The Guardians pray to Thontic when they embark on long journeys, solve crimes, or study the ways of magic and nature. And in Sanctum, most commerce takes place in Thontic Square, where every exchange pleases the god of the seas.

The Vigil's cunning

Thontic provides the Vigil with his wisdom, his craft, and a necessary ruthlessness that righteous Thedeor or gentle Mariel-Taun simply could not imagine. Like the trader who must outbid his competitors or the storm that rises without warning, Thontic knows that some events are unavoidable and had best be wisely managed. It is thanks to him that Rogues prowl the night to strike at hidden evils and Cabalists bring their forbidden rites to bear upon the Guardians’ enemies.

Without Thontic, the Guardians would truly be the guileless crusaders of Defiant propaganda. Guided by his canny insight, they are a subtler and more adaptable force than their enemies imagine. Like their god, their methods are a tightly-woven secret for the clever to unravel.

"From the fiery halls of Maelforge, we come. We come to fight, we come to break, we come to burn. Maelforge has given us the fire to fight you. Maelforge has given us the cunning to defeat you. Maelforge will return, and this world will be cinder."

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

elemental planes lore

  Scholars have studied the planes that intersect with Telara for centuries. Most information gained on the Planes, as well as how to travel to them, was lost however, during the Age of Dragons. According to one Ethain Melankis, the Planar Realms were no always corrupt and full of evil beings bent on our destruction. They were visited quite freely and often. Many pathways existed through the elements, blessed by the god Thontic. One of the last few of these remaining pathways is the Planar Porticum, which is used now by both Guardian and Defiant factions to instantly travel from one point in Telara to another. The chaos that the Blood Storm wrought upon the world was mostly a time of survival and despair, and nothing was kept of Telara's history before that. After the Eth Empire was later established, many of the Ethian scientists and explorers sought out knowledge and experiments on the Planes in an effort to further their innovations in magitech and gain back the knowledge that had been lost. What is known so far is that there are 6 Planes (that we know of) that intersect and interact with Telara in a significant way. These Planes each represent one of the primal crucial elements to survival. They are Life, Death, Air, Water, Fire, Earth. The planes are powerful, unstable, and unpredictable regions that have only recently come back in contact with Telara, unfortunately brining with them all manner of corrupt and powerful beings bent on causing trouble in Telara.

     Some say that the Planes are other, parallel universes, running alongside our own, but in different dimensions. The only access to and from the Planes up until recently has been the Rifts, tears of reality from which sections of the planes are able to intrude upon Telara, allowing its enemies access to it on the material plane. No Telaran has entered a Rift and traveled to that plane. Or at least, done so and lived to return to tell the tale. The Bahmi are a race of hybrid-alien beings descended from the Shalastiri, who came from the Plane of Air during the Age of Dragons and seem to be the only race willing to interact with and ally with Telara against the other planar invaders.

     Each of the Planes is its own world. It's own ecosystem and inner workings that is completely different and alien to the others. Each is unique, beautiful and deadly in its own right. During the Age of Legends, before the Blood Storm, Rifts rent the sky in half, bringing chaos and death and exotic beings from many numerous places inside the planes. All of Telara was covered with the rifts and the strange beings who traveled through them. From what has so far been gathered on Telara's history, this didn't seem to have any adverse effect on Telara. The gods equally didn't seem concerned by the rifts at that time. Because all the planes intersected with Telara at once, it was an evenly matched shift in energy and the world was in relative balance and peace. The lands were more wild and chaotic and unpredictable of course, but the Elves were always there to sort any real trouble, as their Covenant dictated. It wasn't until the trouble of the Blood Storm came and corrupted the planes that the gods knew they had to isolate Telara. The corruption of the Planes was destroying Telara just as much as the dragons themselves. So they formed the Vigil and erected the Ward to prevent Telara from being consumed by the chaos and corruption of the planes.

     Another interesting fact is that each of the Blood Storm dragons corresponds to a unique plane. They are considered the ruler or overlord of their respective plane of existence, but what if they are not? What if they are nothing more than the vanguard of an arm so dreadful and so powerful that even the stars shiver in the sky and that is what the gods were truly trying to protect us from? As we Ascended grow ever more powerful and advanced in our abilities, it stands to reason that our enemies are aware of our potential threat and themselves grow deadlier.

     It is said that Telara is unique of all the worlds in existence, as it was formed at the exact center of a nexus(convergence) of the planes. Like the center of a spider web, with the planes forming the strands that spiral outward. This means that Telara gained bounty and wealth and unique beauty from the dimensions around it, and it formed a world so vastly different even in the same region. Each of the planes has left their mark on Telara from the Age of Legends, like a system of checks and balances, with each new plane leaving a new layer of wonder over a region. Now though, with the Ward broken and the Blood Storm loose again in the world, the sudden influx of rifts and corrupted planar energy just brings danger and chaos and madness to a Telara that was not prepared for planar intersection. When the Vigil gods came and shaped Telara into the perfect world for their designs, they watched over a young planet, walking on its surface and preventing the planes from causing too much instability. They also dispatched their sacred protectors, the Elves, to safeguard the wilds of Telara from the other newer races that sprang into being among the rifts. It was only after the Blood Storm was finally defeated all those years ago that the gods knew they had to take drastic measure to prevent disaster from overtaking their beloved world again. So they placed a barrier around Telara to protect it from the influence of the planes and prevent the Blood Storm-trapped in prisons in separate locations on Telara-from accessing their planar power base. It is theorized by the faithful followers of the gods that the Ward was so strong that it also prevented the Vigil from being able to communicate with the people of Telara as well, although why they don't contact Telara now after the Ward has broken remains a mystery

    It is unknown if the Elemental Planes are able to be traversed by native Telarans**, as no one as gone there. The air itself could be toxic and non-breathable. The creatures that come from the Planes are alien, exotic. They do not look "human" in any way. Many creatures sport tails, claws, hooves, horns, fins and gills. Every single creature has a single-minded determination to destroy and kill. Whether this is a result of the energy on that Plane or from the overwhelming power of the dragon god that governs that plane is unknown. Can each of the dragon gods reach out to their Plane, even from their prison? I've no idea. They must hold some sway or influence over the creatures of their chosen plane at least, to instill in them the single-minded desire to take over Telara. It's also interesting to note that the creatures from each Elemental Plane seem to hate creatures from other planes. They will attack and kill those from other planes just as easily as they attack and kill native Telarans.

**Planar Update August 2016**: As of the 3rd Rift expansion-Nightmare Tide- we can now travel to the Plane of Water, so travel between Telara and the planes is confirmed as possible. God Engines created by the people of Pelladane, were incredibly powerful magitech artifacts with grand designs on changing Telara's fate. One of these was the Infinity Gate, which allowed travel between the planes, and potentially, among the cosmos. Unfortunately, Crucia became aware of this powerful artifact and seized it for herself, although the keys were lost out of her reach. Eventually, after a massive battle for the Gate, the Ascended gained access to it and used the Infinity Gate to travel to the Plane of Water to deal with a deadly threat, where we learned that the planes are far more complex than we ever imagined, containing not just physical, planar threats, but threats to our minds and dreams.

**Update November 2016**: The 4th expansion, titled Starfall Prophecy, introduced us to the concept of vast technological constructs with unlimited potential for power who have sentience that rival our own and are capable of traversing through the planes as one takes a walk through different parks! This being, the Comet of Ahnket, is the new threat and basis of new expansion content introduced and gives us knowledge into a different kind of Ascended being hinted at in Nightmare Tide, the Tenebreans.

References: The information for this section on the Planes used to be available on the Rift website but with the modifications, you can't find such extensive pages on lore anymore. Which makes me really sad. Thank the gods I wrote most things down in my journal. I've used my interactions with NPC's and rifts in the game to expand on the lore, and am trying to keep it as up to date as possible, which is hard since Rift lore is often hard to find and keep straight. All info and all content belong to Trion! I had no hand in this, just keeping the lore in a nice, tidy place for anyone to read up on if they wish! The more I delve into Rift lore, the more complicated and confusing it gets lol! If you have further info or questions, feel free to leave a comment!