If you wish to do more than feed the shambling dead, you will need to grow strong. I have seen what you are capable of. You show promise, but you are a sapling, not yet shaped by the savage winds that break most.
If you wish to stand where others fall, ensure you've collected all the seeds and follow me. I have something to show you.
This is the Sacred Grove. I am its warden, and you are its guest. Within its soils lay great secrets. Powerful secrets. You have seen the animating forces of Wraeclast, yes? The dead do not stay dead. The living are shaped and twisted by unseen forces. Here, in this garden, we may peer into the patterns of life. We may separate the monster from its creator, and, if the garden allows, we may wield its creative energies.
Do you see what grows near here? Something sleeps within, and it grows restless. Wake it. Kill it. This is what the garden asks of you.
Separated from its creator, that creature will not rise again. The collector that draws upon the bloom siphons a power that normally runs undetected through all living things on Wraeclast. The Lifeforce. It is this which brings the dead back, hungry and fearless. It is this which twists and breaks the living, because we do not know how to wield it. But that is changing.
Take the seeds you found outside and plant them in the sacred soils around the collector. We shall draw out the Lifeforce once more.
The garden is large, but the net we use to capture the Lifeforce is small. This we can change. Take these collectors and place them where you wish to grow more seeds. Without a collector, the seed may grow but the Lifeforce will go free. What we do not have we cannot use.
Good. We have our own creative force within us. The convergence of human invention and natural creation can give birth to great and terrible things. It is our responsibility to guide it, for nature has no concept of justice.
Some seeds must be coaxed before they will take root. Sometimes, a small sacrifice must be made to bring about great change. To draw out the animating force from such seeds, we must use the animating force.
A disperser can direct the flow of stored energies to where they are needed. Plant your greater seed near a disperser. Then, connect the disperser to the storage with the use of conduits. The Lifeforce we use now will be repaid many times over later.
Strange... you have seeds unlike any we have seen before. Though filled with the same Lifeforce, it is as though the energies dance to a different tune. We should establish a separate structure for these seeds. Take these collectors and arrange them to best bring these new seeds to harvest.
The land continues to surprise us. The Lifeforce that swirls within these seeds is in some way different once again to that which we've seen before. We will use a third set of collectors. Ensure you do your utmost to honour the Grove's intent.
I do not recall seeing the seeds in my childhood. They are new to me. New to Wraeclast. They are unlike any seed I've ever seen. They do not need the fruit or the flower. No, they are born of the land itself. Outpourings of this land's very lifeforce. A gift for us, if we can peer behind the veil.
It is beautiful, yes? I believe it to be older than the Eternal Empire. Older than the Vaal? I am not so sure. But it does not look like their work. I like to believe it is a work of my ancestral Azmeri. Carved from the land to serve the land, equal parts monument and penance.
I was once blessed with a deep connection to the land. It would speak to me, and nourish me. But that connection was severed. And in turn, my tribe severed their connection to me. I was alone. Lost. The land spoke no more... until I found this place.
The garden restored my connection. Strengthened it. I do not hear whispers, but singing.
I wish to honour this place by utilising it to its fullest. And I want you to join me in this.
It is the name I have given to the invisible force that breathes life back into the dead, that twists and shapes beast and bush. The soils of this sacred place release this energy from the seeds that grow here. The collectors and conduits allow us to collect it, and redirect it to more... useful endeavours.
I had not heard of Corruption or Malachai before. Azmeri do not speak of the Eternals if they can avoid it. It strikes me that Malachai's pursuits were not so different from our own. He simply handled them as only an iron-fisted Eternal could.
The Corruption's similarities to the Lifeforce do not escape me. But you slew the source of the Corruption, and yet the Lifeforce continues to dance through all life, as if this land has been deeply imbued with its essence.
Perhaps they are the same, perhaps they are different. Perhaps they are two sides of the same leaf. As long as the Lifeforce continues to radiate from all things in Wraeclast both living and dead, it does not matter. We will learn from Malachai's errors and adapt. That is what the Grove teaches us.
The rise and fall of the gods, the ebb and flow of Corruption... The Lifeforce... These things are all interconnected, roots woven beneath all of life. Be it divine, dark or natural energies, it seems those who seek to use such power to dominate others are destined to be humbled.
We should not seek to use this power to change those around us, no... This power is a means for us to change ourselves. To be reborn as Wraeclast intends us to be.
The great tree has stood in this grove far longer than I have lived. I believe it to be older than the grove itself, though I have no proof. I believe the tree is the reason for the grove's extraordinary fertility. That it is the tree which draws lifeforce from across Wraeclast into these soils. And I believe the tree's destiny is tied to that of mine, yours, and all of Wraeclast's.
Something within this Grove has changed. Something about your actions here... The Grove has taken notice. It beckons me.
The Lifeforce reshapes that which it touches. Adapts. Improves them. We have seen it. Wielded it. Now I must experience it for myself. I must feel the Lifeforce flow over and through me.
The Grove wills that I act as the next seed, Exile. I am to be the ultimate expression of what life can and should be. To be born anew, in Wraeclast's image. The first of my kind. And when I am complete, Exile, you shall be the second.
Even the simplest little worms struggle and fight to survive in the face of a threat. The Lifeforce is the desire for survival in its purest form, so of course its struggle is more... visceral. It does not want to be wielded by us, so it creates monsters with which to defend itself. And I have you to defend me. That, and your wonderful social presence.
Those who drove me from my home have been driven from theirs. Sometimes nature is cruel, and sometimes nature is fair. I think this is an example of both.
I suppose Yeena still claims to be the chosen oracle for this "Spirit." Let us refuse to speak of them, the way they refuse to speak of me - and any others they have banished. That is how they remain pure, you see. It is no miracle. They merely banish any who they deem tainted. I imagine they never told you that, did they?
They could not hear the whispers. The Azmeri were deaf to the land, but for me. They did not understand why I took the child, why I offered her to the earth. I felt the land demand a sacrifice. And when they stopped it, that is when the land withdrew. They did not believe that it was necessary. The child's blood would feed countless others with the blessing of fertility.
The Azmeri exiled me. My name to be spoken no more. And with that, I was alone. No tribe, no whispers.
A divine man is still a man. Those who envision themselves as golden gods soaring above mankind can never return to the humility of a pauper. He will go to the south, and he will serve his penance, but I do not doubt he will return newly absolved by his own heart. He will seek to 'help' those he considers inferior. We both understand that no good end comes of this.
The Thief of Virtue aided you greatly, but I doubt his path ends here. From what you have told me, it appears he retains a true conscience. For that, his suffering will be the subject of legends, and he will walk with pain in his attempts to help humanity. Futile attempts, of that I am certain.
The Lifeforce is at its most malleable as soon as it is released. Take the time to use it as best you can. Though it is not without its uses when we store it, it is far harder to wield for the transformative purposes we seek.
The Eternals found ways to squeeze the land dry of all life with their inventions. You need only look to the land that surrounds Mount Veruso to see the consequences of their ingenuity. Even so, you may find relics among the ruins of their empire that are suitable for use in the Grove. I will not begrudge you for using them.