OyunIntroduction1 — if player is a Duelist
It is the path of blood and glory that leads you to our gate. We Maraketh understand this path, yet we fight for our tribe, our
akhara. You fight only for yourself, care only for yourself. That is your strength. Love breeds fear. You have no such weakness, and that is why you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Duelist. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction2 — if player is a Shadow
You walk to us upon the backs of the murdered. Though we are both forged upon the battlefield, we Maraketh are not like you.
We fight for survival. You fight for ambition, and that is why you will understand the Beast within the mountain better than we do. That is why you will kill it. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Shadow. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction3 — if player is a Templar
Whether it is our gods or your god who have brought you to Highgate, the consequence is the same.
You believe blindly in the divine, and a blind man is never lost in the darkness. You will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Templar. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction4 — if player is a Witch
You come to us, a woman like us, and yet nothing like us.
While we cloak ourselves in tradition and war, you cloak yourself in thaumaturgy and fear, and that is why you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Witch. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction5 — if player is a Marauder
There was a time when Maraketh and Karui fought side by side against the forces of corruption.
It would appear that the time has come to finish what we started together. With our help, you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Marauder. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction6 — if player is a Ranger
Although we two were born lands and cultures apart, I recognise a woman in kind. A woman who fights not only for her own survival, but for the survival of the wilderness she calls home.
Yet, you are not bound like us, to the thoughts and habits of tradition. That is why you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Ranger. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
OyunIntroduction7 — if player is a Scion
I see a woman before me, a woman strong of body and mind. You have the bearing of a
sekhema, the poise of a warrior, yet... when I look into your eyes, I see nothing that I know. That is good. It takes the unknown to destroy the unknowable. That is why you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this. She has much faith in you, Scion. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?
The Red Banner
Sekhema Deshret sealed the Mines, trapped the Nightmare within its black den.
The Beast should never have been imprisoned. The Beast should have been destroyed, yet, for all her ferocity, it seemed that Deshret lacked the courage to do so. And now, after two centuries guarding this hole in the ground, this akhara lacks the strength. But you are not Deshret, and you are not one of us. You will succeed where we have failed. Deshret's Banner will break the Seal and open the Mines. It was taken from her when she fell to Voll, the Brittle Emperor. Take the stairs to the south-west, descend to the Dried Lake. You shall have no trouble finding the Brittle Emperor. You'll smell him before you see him. Bring Deshret's Banner home, and you will be free to pass into the darkness as you wish.
The wind carries the welcome aroma of shattered bones. It is good to see that you know how to fell even the monarchs of Nightmare.
Once you mount Deshret's Banner upon the Mines' entrance, Deshret's seal will be broken, and the darkness will become your hunting ground.
The gate is open, and the darkness calls. Good hunting, Curse-breaker.
The Maraketh once stood united under Deshret's Banner. That was before the plagues, the tempests... the corruption.
Deshret rode here with this akhara, the Kiyato, to put an end to the Beast's curse. And upon the very threshold of the darkness she faltered. Perhaps she saw that King Kaom had gone there before her and not returned. Or perhaps the nightmare simply overcame Deshret's seemingly indomitable courage. Either way, she chose not to ride into the mountain, to slay the Beast. She closed and sealed the Mines and committed this akhara to Highgate's guardianship. The tempests, the plagues... they passed. Of their own accord, or because of Deshret's seal, we do not know. But what I do know is this. When Deshret vowed to watch over these Mines, she simply traded one curse for another.
Yes, Tasuni has informed me of Deshret's existence within the Mines, but has been unable to tell me how she comes to be there. Another troubling hole in our knowledge of Nightmare.
Regardless of her origins, I will not risk my dekhara in an attempt to free her. Even were she still flesh and blood, I would decide the same. She is our Sekhema no longer, and we have fulfilled our duty to her memory many times over. Kira will not agree, yet her revolt will rise only as words. I am her Sekhema and she will not cross me. So, free Deshret if the opportunity arises. It is only right that she be allowed to return to the dust of the Vastiri, but it would be wrong if any should follow her there.
Thank you for doing Deshret so great an honour. Your generosity shall be remembered.
Voll and his 'unmen' have dipped their fleshless claws into the lifeblood of the Maraketh since the day this
akhara tethered its rhoa here. Such is the way with men of war. Remove their tongues, yet still they thirst for blood. Remove their bellies, yet still they hunger for battle. Remove their manhood, yet still they lust for conquest.
We read the land, learn its stories. Kaom and his warriors entered those Mines some twenty years before Deshret sealed the Mines and bound our
akhara to this mountain. Neither soil nor stone speak of Kaom's return. Perhaps he is dead, or perhaps he merely wishes he was. After Voll, anything seems possible.
We read the land, learn its stories. Kaom and his warriors entered those Mines some twenty years before Deshret sealed them and bound our
akhara to this mountain. Neither soil nor stone speak of Kaom's return. Now we know why. He became a monarch of Nightmare, like Voll before him. It seems the Beast has uses for those with a talent for conquest.
I am told that you have put King Kaom down to his final rest.
Curse-breaker, and now the Murderer of Legends. Great names hatch upon you like ticks on a rhoa.
I was right to have faith in you, Curse-breaker.
You have succeeded where we have failed. You have slain a creature that was thought to live forever in the minds of those who came before you. Voll, Daresso, Kaom, Deshret... the greatest champions Wraeclast has seen in the last three hundred years. You stood where they fell. Now you are the champion of champions, and Wraeclast should bow at your feet in gratitude. You certainly have my gratitude, and that of my akhara. We have been exiled from our land by fear and misguided duty. Now we may return, to ride where we will, live how we wish. Curse-breaker, Giver of Freedom... we thank you.
Petarus and Vanja
I will make allies of whomever I deem useful. We have observed the actions of both blackguard and exile, and it is Petarus and Vanja who give meaning to those actions.
This akhara has not mixed with other than its own for over two hundred years. The outside world has now discovered us, so it is time that we discovered it.
Kira has the blood of Deshret in her veins and the bonds of Deshret in her mind.
Her loyalty to her akhara is admirable. Her loyalty to the past is not.
Tasuni has been corrupted since the day he was born.
Maraketh tradition would have it that such a warped child be left upon the moonlit plain for the gods to adopt. Tasuni was not taken by the gods that night. Such a thing has never happened before in our akhara. Now we know why. Tasuni is a man caught between two worlds. Our world of light, and the Beast's world of darkness. He is our scout in the black, and without him, Nightmare would remain beyond our understanding. And an enemy you cannot know is an enemy you cannot fight.
Dialla wishes the Beast dead. But why? Why would a nightmare wish to kill a nightmare?
A question of great interest, yet little importance. It does not matter why the sun rises and sets, as long as it continues to do so.
Dialla said but one thing to me before descending into the Mines: "My love awaits."
I know not why, but those three words frightened me more than any I have heard in my lifetime.
Dialla's hopes may be crushed, but ours still thrive... in you, Curse-breaker.
From what Tasuni tells me, the Beast's innards are now yours to penetrate. Dialla has served her purpose. Now comes the time for you to serve yours. Find this Malachai that Dialla mutters about so incessantly. If my understanding is true, then he is the mind of the Beast. Kill him, and the body of Nightmare will die with him.
Daresso? Yes, Petarus has spoken of him. The disturbing question is this:
How does a man who, by all accounts, has been dead for over a hundred years end up as a Nightmare monarch in the bowels of Highgate? Unlike Kaom, there is utterly no trace of his passing, and we have scouted every footstep of this mountain and its surrounds. There is no other entrance. No physical entrance. Deshret, and now this... Daresso. Yes, most disturbing.