This is following u/justathetan "Lore compilation update for 3.17"
  • The Templars
  • The Fellshrine is a shadow of what was once good in Wraeclast.

    That sigil etched into its stones? It's a Descry, from when the Templar truly stood for something. To the ancestors of Oriath, the Descry was a flickering torch in the night. A source of inspiration and comfort.

    Sad thing about torches... they go out.

    Eramir, "Fellshrine Ruins"

  • They believed themselves the utmost faithful, but that conviction became oppression.

  • You forget that your Templar leaders wear masks, too, Elreon. Perhaps for the same reason?

    Riker Maloney, on being betrayed by Elreon

  • A secret few among the Templars grant absolution by bearing the guilt of others.

  • "The history of the order of Sin Eaters is shrouded in secrecy and shame.
    Nevertheless, history demands truth, even if it takes centuries to be revealed."

  • Innocence & the First High Templar
  • The Sign of Purity, yes... a descry staff that Piety sent me to study at one point. Apparently it was a gift from Innocence to the first High Templar, Maxarius. Dominus couldn't even bear to touch the thing so he had it locked up in the Ossuary. Quite reactive behaviour for a man of such formidable intellect, yet now it's making a little more sense.

    The staff was certainly able to conduct and store energy, yet remained inert when I applied corruption to it. It must only respond to divine energy, and with corruption and divinity being diametrically opposed, it's no wonder that my experiments failed to excite the thing!

    Meaning, if the Sign of Purity is a repository for the power of Innocence, Dominus could never have wielded it, being steeped as he was in the opposing power of the Beast.

    You though... you're a different matter entirely.

    Vilenta, "The Sign of Purity"

  • Deep in the Templar's Ossuary, in the company of the dead, there lies the Sign of Purity.

    Innocence bled himself for the creation of that cruel and desperate weapon. Tempered in his own ruby ichor, it was forged to be a transcendent tool of punishment and purification. The Sign is a living agent of righteousness, or at least, the dubious kind of righteousness that my brother subscribes to.

    Innocence found, in the first High Templar, a most faithful servant and gifted the Sign to him, so that it might be used in times of great need. The great need of Innocence believers, that is. Humanity's general well-being has never been of particular concern to my brother.

    Sin, "The Sign of Purity"

  • The Sign of Purity? Let's see... a staff, bathed in innocent blood. No, sorry, bathed in the blood of Innocence. Yes, Innocence gave a part of his divine self to the thing and gifted it to the Templar.

    Now that I recall, I read a tome about it when I was a cadet. Bloody long time ago. I skipped most of the boring pages, so only remember the bit where High Templar Maxarius 'smote with flame the army of the faithless with one ray of its hallowing light'. The book's words, not mine.

    Outside of my humble flesh, the Sign of Purity's about all that's left of Innocence.

    Bannon, "The Sign of Purity"

  • "In the early days of his religion, Innocence told his followers to drink of his blood and
    enjoy eternal life. If that power holds in his ancient ichor, I hope that it can resurrect as well."

  • The Karui Slave Trade (CA. 1320 IC)
  • Seems Tukohama's raised up a host out of whatever afterlife the Karui believe in. I feel for those poor bastards, if I'm to be honest. The Karui haven't had an easy history. Colonised, enslaved, used as pawns in many a war, and now abused in death by their own bloody god.

    This is why I don't follow any deity. They're all as bad as each other.

    Tarkleigh, "Karui Revenants"

  • Take a deep breath. Inhale the twin stink of exploitation and oppression. Yes, these pens and cells have been our home away from home since the first Karui were brought here by Marceus Lioneye. Their great 'Hero of the Empire', one of the best slavers they ever had.

    Not that he was the only one. Captain Sigmund Fairgraves funded many an expedition off the whipped backs of Karui children. High Templar Dominus was only the latest in a long line of men to grow rich by trading in misery.

    Oriathan wealth was built on Karui poverty. Oriathan gold will forever be stained red by Karui blood.

    Utula, "Slave Pens"

  • Founded by Marceus Lioneye as a supply station for his campaigns against the Karui. In its day, Lioneye's Watch could be defended by just a small garrison of well-armed legionnaires.

    What have I got? A handful of starving criminals with driftwood clubs and rusted hatchets.

    Tarkleigh, "Lioneye's Watch"

  • The Karui remember you, Fairgraves. Your death will be much celebrated.


  • On the fall of the Empire, the historians are deathly silent. After the Purity Rebellion, the Kingdom of Kaom blockaded Oriath, preventing any trade or correspondence with the mainland. It's said that Kaom planned to invade.

    Only when the Karui retreated did Oriath get any news from Wraeclast, but by that time there wasn't really anyone left to tell the tale.

    Clarissa, "Cataclysm"

  • The Cataclysm (1336 IC)
  • This could've been Oriath, yet The Cataclysm didn't reach across the sea. Why not?

    Scion, on the Slums

  • Daresso & Merveil (CA. 1450 IC)
  • At age thirteen, carving knife in hand, I killed beasts for the amusement of the filthy. At fifteen, they thought me worthy to fight a fellow man.

    A butcher he was, twice as big and twice as stupid as I. I butchered the butcher and many like him, earned my way, kill by kill, out of the offal pit and into the Grand Arena.

    I thought I would find wealth and glory in the arena. I was wrong. I found something far more precious. My Lady Merveil.

    Plaque, "Read"

  • With one motion, I cleave a man in twain. A kick sends another flying, and the roar of the crowd swells. I am their idol!

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I was always meant to be at the top of the pile. Nobody else can compare. And this tiny man, this new challenger, Daresso, will fall like the rest to the might of Barkhul.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Welcome to the Grand Arena of Theopolis. It is here that I first laid eyes upon my true purpose, my lady Merveil. It is our inspiration that defines us. What do you fight for, Gladiator? Hundreds of warriors tried to lay claim to the same title as I, but I defeated them all. Victory goes not to the able, but to the ambitious.

    Daresso, on The Grand Arena

  • I knelt in the sand of the Grand Arena, awaiting the killing blow. I raised my eyes to look upon my death.

    Instead, I saw her. Merveil. Her beautiful eyes met mine, and I knew that she saw me too. I turned my opponent's strike and killed the man with his own dagger.

    Fighting had always been about survival. The primal instinct to kill or be killed. Now the fight became about something else. Love.

    Plaque, "Read"

  • "To know for what you fight. To get up again when you've been struck down. To outmanoeuvre someone faster, trick someone smarter, crush someone stronger. That's what it takes to claim the crown."
    - Daresso, the King of Swords

  • The previous King of Swords was a giant of a man, both faster and stronger than I. Yet I needed only look up at my Lady Merveil to know that I had no choice. I could not die this day.

    I made him shiver under every parry, striking with all my might, so that my arms felt they might snap with every impact. All the while, I studied his face, watching for that moment when he began to doubt. It took an hour, but finally it was there.

    Burning with pain, empty with exhaustion, I stepped inside his faltering swing and I slit the giant's throat.

    I did not take my victory bow. I knelt in the sand, looked to Merveil, and cried out for my Lady's hand in marriage.

    From that day forth, I wore the Crown of Swords upon my head and a ring of eternal love upon my finger.

    Plaque, "Read"

  • "I offer to you an eternal oath
    that binds your heart to mine;
    a bond that not even death will break.
    Will you accept?"
    - Daresso, to his beloved

  • Look, as a rule I don't ask for help. I don't need someone getting involved in my business and messing everything up. Unfortunately, I must now break that rule. I need... I-... Ugh. Why is this so hard? Ineedyourhelp. There. I said it.

    Before I was exiled, I was romantically involved with a man from a very good family. We kept it secret while he tested the waters with his mother and father -- it's not exactly ideal for the nobility to be fraternising with the 'uncouth', as they say. Less than a week before I was heaved overboard and my exile began in earnest, he proposed.

    I know it's crazy, and I know it's almost certainly impossible, but I want so desperately to marry that man. Just taking his name would wash clean my past, and I know I could find happiness.

    So I need a dress. When Merveil and Daresso wed, they held a most elaborate ceremony. Merveil was said to be the most beautiful visage ever to walk down the Basilica aisle. It took six people to carry the train on her dress. I want that dress. I need that dress. My beloved deserves to see me in that dress. So you're going to help me get it, got it?

    Tullina, the Catburglar, "The Wedding Dress"

  • Standing behind iron bars,
    Daresso thought of his adoring fans cheering his name,
    his wife's warm embrace waiting for him,
    and of the celebrations that would soon be thrown in his name.
    But when the arena gate lifted, he thought only of the fight.

  • If the history books are to be believed, Daresso the Daring presented the necklace to Merveil on bended knee. And from the moment he placed that little chunk of Wraeclast at her throat, Merveil began to sing. It's told her sweet voice grew to fill even the largest concert halls of Oriath, and brought warmth to even the coldest of hearts.

    But then she began to change. Her mind and body twisted, as did her songs. The sweetness remained while the sanity fled. Knowing what little I do about the powers that lie dormant here in Wraeclast, I'd surmise that if you have Merveil's necklace, you have the Siren's voice.

    Captain Fairgraves, "Merveil's Necklace"

  • Daresso gave me the gem, kissed me, promised that he would be by my side forever. I sang for him. I sang for Oriath with his gem at my throat. Kalisa's gem. Kalisa's voice.

    I sang in her echo, performing arias that had once made the Empire weep. I listened to Kalisa's lullabies in my dreams. I gave myself to her music. Mind... and body.

    Daresso left me, for Sarn, with a promise to free me from Kalisa. I begged him not to go. Tried to show him the wonder of my transformation, the beautiful daughters he would soon meet. He couldn't see. None of them could see. I fled from their hatred.

    When Daresso returns I will cast his cure away. I will teach him what true love is.

    Damp Diary, "Read"

  • It's him! He sails back to me, my Daresso! I shall sing for him. I shall show him the way. Come, my love. Come to me. We shall be together at last.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • No, turn away! Don't listen to my singing, you'll die upon the rocks! Turn away...! Turn away... Turn away...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • If you have to quench your curiosity about Merveil, go look at the corsairs that haunt the grave of ships. Like any mother, Merveil's got hungry mouths to feed.

    Tarkleigh, "Merveil"

  • It's a bit of an embarrassing affair, truth be told.

    Thought I could return to the golden days, you know? Be a terror of the high seas like in me youth. Problem was, they'd all forgotten me. Those young blighters sailing about, they had no clue who I even were! Figured if I could complete another great feat, like slaying that sea-bitch Merveil, maybe that'd earn me my respect back.

    Arr, suppose I don't need to tell you; that girlie's stronger than she looks. All it took were one slip of the old hands and next I knew, the Black Crest were wrecked against the coast and I'm getting meself eaten alive by that hag.

    Peeled each separate muscle from my bones, she did. I'll tell you, it weren't pretty.

    Weylam Roth, "Merveil"

  • Welcome, husband. We knew in our hearts that you would find us. Come, Daresso, Ambrosia and Amarissa must meet their father. Come, my love. Return to your family.

    Sailor's Skin, "Read"

  • 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.

    Oyun, "Daresso"

  • Petarus: Daresso? He's down there, inside the mountain?

    Vanja: Are we talking about the Daresso? The Sword King?

    Petarus: Seems like it. But... how did he get in there? He left Oriath about a century and a half ago, hoping to find a cure for his lady, Merveil. He would have had to fight his way through the Maraketh, but... Oyun's never mentioned anything of the sort.

    Vanja: Maybe he didn't go in alive.

    Petarus: What do you mean?

    Vanja: We live in a land where the dead walk and things like Dialla live for centuries.

    Petarus: You think he died somewhere else and then the Beast got hold of him?

    Vanja: Could be.

    Petarus: Well, if the Beast can do that, then... what bloody good was Deshret's Seal?

    Vanja: Exactly.

    Petarus and Vanja, "Daresso"

  • The Beast eats the souls of its prey, devouring their very life force. Those consumed become a part of the creature, existing forevermore as a thrall of twisted nightmare. This fate befell many of Wraeclast's most legendary figures.
    Daresso the Sword King - A peerless gladiator, the best the world has ever seen. Daresso ascended from humble orphaned slave beginnings to the pinnacle of gladiatorial glory. Driven by a mad hope to purify his lost love Merveil, he abandoned reason and caution. Daresso's living nightmare chronicles the arc of his pitiable legacy, a story of loss, desire and reckless ambition.


  • You know, Not-a-Cockroach, had I accepted my place, my rapturous role, the Beast would be no more, no less, no anything at all. My selfishness tickled the Beast's fancy and it laughed the world I knew away.

    Yet I have had much time to think on my lonesome. Much time to wonder. Wonder if the Rapture really needs to eat a Gemling Queen.

    Maybe, something else will get its catastrophic juices slavering. Something like... eyeball soup!

    The Eye of Fury. The Eye of Desire. Pretty gems for our pretty designs. But where could they be? Don't fret now. I have my suspicions.

    Kaom, the Sovereign of Slaughter. He remains, and suffers his delusions right here in the halls of nightmare. Fury is all he knows, so Fury Kaom will have.

    Daresso, King of Swords. Damned by Desire. Oh, aren't we all? He's down here too, and Desire's curse remains his to bear.

    Go on, Not-a-Cockroach. Bring me the crown jewels so that we might wake the Rapture and finally put an end to this pestering Beast!

    Lady Dialla, "The Rapture"

  • High Templar Venarius
  • The winters of my youth were cold and harsh.
    We had nothing, yet to my mother's credit, I wanted for so little.

  • I was a happy child, before the cruel truth was revealed to me.
    I fight so that the children may remain ignorant.

  • A man in uniform visits. He is from the Courts. He says the Templar have alms for widows like my mother, but she must collect it in person. We go to the church together, and I wait outside in the gardens. The sun is setting. I don't know how long I've been sitting here.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Mother comes from around the rear. She looks pale. Her eyes are red, and her clothes are torn. She doesn't look at me but she grabs my hand. We walk home in silence. I lay awake in bed. I hear her crying. The man comes over often after that, with toys and food, but I don't like him...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • People stream down the street towards Oriath Square. I hear their shouts and cheers, and when my mother isn't looking, sneak out to join the merry crowd. Just outside the pens, a Karui boy, no older than I, stands atop the gallows.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I see by the sign around his neck he has been caught stealing. I swear I will not look away, but fear overtakes me. I hear the rope snap taut and the crowd cheer, but I fight back the tears...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • The stench convenes around me thicker than the press of the vagabonds themselves. Though starving, their strength while holding on to one another is surprising. I am trapped in a knot of ragged bodies, and the men of the Church clap me in irons despite my cries.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I am not one of them! Can't you hear me? I'm not Maraketh, nor homeless, and I have committed no sins. That ship is not for me! Why won't you listen?!

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I sacrificed a life of love for one of responsibility, so that she,
    and others like her, might be kept safe.

  • I'm certain now that I was a Templar. Yes, I remember watching their mighty parades through Oriath Square as a child, and I can still feel that sense of satisfaction the day I truly donned the mantle. All of the pain and sacrifice was worth it, to do good, to protect mankind... to protect the children...

    Cavas, Forgotten Spirit, "Cavas' Past"

  • It was in my oath that I found peace.
    In echoing marble halls I found my voice.
    Before the congregation I found purpose.

  • The Courts are burning. Accusations fly. Sinner! Heretic! I am but an initiate, and my patron urges silence. We will keep our heads down while one High Templar supplants another. It's all about power, my patron whispers, and we have none.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Should an accusation fall our way, we shall be doomed to die with the other accused. Be unseen and unheard, he whispers. This is what happens when men who seek power refuse to wait. I learned a valuable lesson that day: Trust without leverage is vulnerability.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Exile! That was the moment Venarius decided to seize life and vie for power. That was the moment doom for men like my father was assured.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "__reaction__"

  • The judge determines worthiness by comparison to the paragon: himself.

  • I condemned an innocent man to the pyres, but to admit this mistake is to condemn myself.
    My only choice is to strive harder.

  • Without our strict rule, man's destructive side would take hold.
    Our beautiful public spaces, our services for the ill and the needy,
    all of it would crumble.

  • What had seemed sacred and infallible
    so quickly became flawed out of necessity.
    Created from compromises. Vulnerable to mortal whims.

  • My subordinates circled me eternally, attuned to the slightest weakness,
    ready to tear me apart for their own gains.

  • I was a Templar, yes, but now I remember that I secretly despised them. I understood that they were a diseased organization prone to brutal oppression. Friend, was I exiled as well? I cannot imagine my resentment would have gone over well with my superiors. Maybe I kept my thoughts to myself and lived a life of quiet desperation, but I feel like I was the kind of man to act.

    So what did I do?

    Cavas, Forgotten Spirit, "Cavas' Past"

  • Out of sight, out of mind. No one speaks of the cursed land anymore. That has made it quite simple to send our smugglers out in search of powerful Eternal artefacts.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • We knew of the gems, but we did not know of what Malachai called his 'muse.' The smugglers have returned with rubbings of the device they found. They call it 'miraculous.' I know a thing or two about miracles, so I will be the judge of that.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • What is it? You know I am not to be disturbed during my communion with God-- it's here? Well get it to the lab immediately, and do not disturb me again, lest I take your head!

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I feel a rush of excitement as I review the contents of the crate. The pieces, aged as they are, still hum with energy. I can feel its potential, and it fills me with hope and terror. I cannot assemble it, but I know who can. I need only apply a little pressure...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • The Elder and its Dreamlands
  • Before Kitava tore this city apart, the Templar kept many artefacts hidden deep beneath the city streets. The only surviving remnants of the Templar theocracy are what they hoped to hide forever.

    I think it's time to pull back the veil. There's an entrance to the Templar Laboratory not far from here. My father used to sneak me inside as a child. He never could stand the long work days apart...

    Come, there's something there I think you need to see.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "Introduction"

  • I am Valdo Caeserius, chief Arkhon of the Oriath academy in Theopolis. Servant of the High Templar Venarius.

    I begin these writings as a record of events transpired, in hopes that the penning of such horrors will help bring sense to the matters at present. Some time ago, I was commissioned in the repairing of a strange device delivered into my hands. A golden machine found broken in the ruins of Wraeclast. Believing it to contain some dark infernal secret, the High Templar asked that I restore it and weaponize whatever powers it might contain.

    Though I saw it as mostly inconsequential at the time, it is worth noting, my daughter, a quiet young thing of five, suffered nightmares and tantrums unlike any I'd seen, during those former weeks I spent working on the device. I'd assumed that she missed her mother and was going through a rough patch grieving. Now, however, I can't help but wonder if perhaps it was a sign.

    I'd considered refusing Venarius, though not in any serious nature. Though my personal politics remain my own, I've often struggled to follow his instructions and rule – filled with such malice and hunger. Regretfully, I accepted his orders, for I know of many families who have refused the High Templar before. They have all vanished now.

    Book of Memories, "Page 1"

  • It's all a blur... My father was the chief Arkhon for High Templar Venarius - a cruel and pernicious ruler. Venarius wished to hold the world ransom with his occult relics from the rubble of Wraeclast, he believed they could venerate him even higher in his status.

    My father was forced to experiment on the map device for him, in hopes that he would uncover some kind of weapon. I don't need to tell you that my father found something worthy of attention. And instead of handing it over, he made sure its power could not be misused, a surety that cost him his freedom and me... my childhood.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "Introduction"

  • The device lay on my work table, shattered and in pieces. I'm ashamed to admit now that not once did I ask of what design it belonged to. Rather, I busied myself on all the little pieces, ignoring the sum of its parts. I pondered on how it had been structured for days on end, until at last, a creeping dread submerged me.

    I was unable to rebuild this relic – whatever it was. Though it seemed to be mostly functioning, something... important appeared to be missing. Worse still, it seemed as if the part required, well... it didn't exist. Not in our reality anyhow. The thing that made it tick, the thing that was mysteriously vacant, I could only conceive of in the half-baked imaginings of my own mind.

    My thoughts felt like a fleeting dream during the first few minutes of waking. I worked tirelessly in search of answers, exhausting myself beyond what I'd ever done before, until finally, at the base of that cruel device, I fell into a deep, deep sleep.

    Book of Memories, "Page 2"

  • I awoke in the most beautiful of places. The skies were blue, unlike the greyness of Oriath. Birds fluttered through the air, singing pleasantly. Around me, a warm wind brushed my face, and tall grass tickled playfully against my skin. I couldn't know where I was, though even then I suspected the place was somehow connected to the infernal mechanism lying dormant on my workbench.

    As I wandered this strange new land, I felt a growing sense of realization that I was not alone. Exploring the fields of tall grass, I sought a peace within the brush. It was in that moment that I met a fellow wanderer. It was a Shade - a whisper of embodied smoke, barely heard or seen amongst the vegetation. It rose and spoke to me not through language, but through thoughts and pictures, colours and emotions, bursting into my mind like water, billowing up through cracks in the earth.

    The Shade welcomed me to its land and asked how it was that I arrived. Eager for answers, I found myself enthusiastically volunteering information in detail of Oriath, of my daughter and of course, the strange and mysterious device I suspected had lead me to this place.

    Book of Memories, "Page 3"

  • Another fragment! So, like a temptress, the dreamlands seduced him... Oh, yes - forgive me. For you, Exile.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "Introduction"

  • With the patience of a prowling lion,
    the Shade watched the Scholar.

  • The Shade nodded thoughtfully. It knew of the device. The machine was a doorway between my world and the dreamlands, I was told. The device had been lost. Broken and torn apart by villains and thieves. The Shade was overjoyed to hear it found, and offered to help me rebuild that final missing part.

    It seemed too good to be true. We would open the gateway between worlds, and then, all the goodness of these lands would flow out into Oriath leading us into a new age of prosperity. I agreed wholeheartedly – for I feared, and I still do fear, what will become of my daughter under High Templar Venarius' reign. All that the Shade asked of me was to return the favour, when the time came.

    And as I lay down in the cool grass bathing myself in the soothing sun, I found that sleep once more took my body, only this time, when I closed my eyes there, I also opened them in the cold, empty darkness of my study...

    Book of Memories, "Page 4"

  • Weeks passed. The sun set and the moon rose countless times. And every night, I found myself asleep at the foot of the strange device, awoken to the reality of another world inside my own. I would transition into the dreamlands.

    In my sleep, I would apprentice myself to the Shade, allowing it to teach me the ways of this strange place. I learnt how to shape and build things from my imagination, forming them in thin air as if by some great, thaumaturgical marvel. It was through this tempering of the mind that I, under its instructions began rebuilding the missing component of the device. And most exciting of all, how to transport such phantasmagorical treasures back into the world of man.

    When High Templar Venarius visited during Oriath hours, I'd lie to him and make excuses. Arrogantly, I didn't want him to know of the power I'd uncovered. I wanted these dreamlands to be my secret, to belong to me and me alone. Not even my daughter could know...

    Book of Memories, "Page 5"

  • The day came when the missing part of the great device had finally been formed. A bizarre segment meant to hold mystical images of ancient maps. It was on this day that the Shade requested its one favour.

    I was shown suddenly images of the past, of the Shade's once proud rule as King of all the dreamlands. I saw his good and noble kingdom, and the shadow that fell upon his domain. A sect of hateful men and women – The Watchers of Decay rose up to destroy the Shade. Questing to control the land, these terrorists fashioned a powerful blade meant to divorce the King's spirit from his body and curse it to wander his former kingdom while his body blistered in stone.

    I was mortified! How could people do such cruel things to this humble creature? And where were these villains now? Had they been the same ones whom had made off with the device? Had they been the ones who severed the connection between worlds and ruined its function?

    The Shade led me deep into a dark forest and revealed to me in the depths of a forgotten cave, a statue, cast from black marble, pierced by what I assumed to be the very same sword from my visions. The effigy was frightening. Utterly terrifying to behold. The creature it depicted – a violent and abhorrent thing, stood amidst an altar of ancient wood and bone. I felt a chill go up my spine as in that moment, the Shade closed in behind...

    Book of Memories, "Page 6"

  • "Pull the blade from my chest." the Shade imposed upon my mind in both image and thought, "remove the sword. Free me." But as I found myself reaching out to do as asked, a great horror came upon me and for the first time, doubt entered my mind. I wondered if this creature was who it had told me. I resolved to hold off for a moment, to ask more questions and discover a greater understanding of the Shade, and so in trepidation, I refused.

    At merely the suggestion of rebellion, the Shade flew into a fury! It flamed red, full of rage! And though it could not speak, it made its intentions very clear. I felt my mind torn asunder as images of murder and mutilation were forced upon me. I was... doing things. Terrible things to the ones I loved... to my daughter.

    I fled in a panic, running from the cave, through the dark forest, cursing myself for ever trusting such a strange creature so blindly. At last, in desperation, I found a small, abandoned fox-hole and burrowed inside. The Shade passed by, still flaming in anger, searching desperately for me. It was in that dark damp hole that I trembled with revulsion and terror, weeping in silence until at last I fell into sleep returning once more to my laboratory.

    Once back, I fled into the streets, arriving home in the dead of night. Bursting through my daughter's bedroom, I woke her and hugged her tight, shaking and crying as I did so. Promising that I would never, ever, let her go again.

    Book of Memories, "Page 7"

  • Months have now passed since my horrifying descent into that fox-hole, since the Shade revealed its true nature. Every day, the slimed and poisoned tendrils of fear grip ever tighter into my flesh, and each morning, I lock myself inside my study, delving into the darkest tomes one can find, searching for some infernal, occult knowledge that might save us from the thing I fled.

    I'd almost given up hope, so little did I really know about the Shade and its "dreamlands". That is, until this morning when a shipment arrived for me from Eramir, a scholar whom I greatly admire. Sifting through the countless fragments of parchments and books he has sent me, I have found at last, some information which could be of some use.

    These Watchers of Decay did indeed exist at one time in our world's distant past, and now, I've some of their work! The truth of their history... it's... it is so unutterable that I hesitate even now, to write it down, to put the words to my own journal. Yet I am an Arkhon and us Arkhons record all...

    Book of Memories, "Page 8"

  • They called it the Elder. A creature of malignant madness, born of that oblivion from before time itself began. Once only an abstract expression, the Elder was given physical form. It entered our realm. It fashioned for itself a bauble of chaos and secret worlds to use as a kind of... hunting ground. This "bauble" is undoubtedly the dreamlands I've uncovered.

    The Elder came here out of hunger. Preferring victims of a younger flesh, it became the bogeyman, dragging our children off into the night, casting them into its realm of shadow and feasting upon their nightmares undisturbed, for it was imagination that truly satiated it.

    With such sustenance, the Elder deigned to cultivate something. To... sustain and birth forth its true goal. Its true self. The Oblivion from outside time and space. The Decay.

    By the gods... Even now as I write this, I feel my hand trembling, and I struggle to keep my mind on the task ahead... The Elder. It cannot be killed. The Watchers, they built the device, so as to travel to and lock tight its kingdom of torment, bringing with them the blade I saw – Starforge – it was called. A weapon capable of divorcing agency from form, to give the Elder a kind of eternal rest... There in its den, amongst the gibbering nightmares of child victims, the Elder became trapped. Starved. Unable to hunt. Held in ungodly chains.

    The Elder's form may be trapped in stone. But its agency roams free. I have met it. What if someone else were to enter the dreamlands and encounter the Shade? What if Venarius...? My meeting with the Elder, must have invigorated and refreshed its fervour. I must find a way to put a stop to it, before it finds a path to freedom. If not for my own sake, then for that of my daughter...

    Book of Memories, "Page 9"

  • They hoped that, trapped in its prison,
    the creature would age and perish.
    But time would not touch the fiend.

  • Though its body was locked in stone,
    its essence wandered the infinite,
    learning, and preparing.

  • It appears my Father encountered this "Elder" sometime before his entrapment in its lair. Many of his most recent diaries make reference to the creature and his learnings around it. There wasn't much, just second-hand myths from the research journals of the Watchers of Decay.

    One concept however, came up time and time again. This Elder is not a lord unto itself. It serves a greater master, or... a greater purpose... I'm unsure. It's confusing; both my father and the Watchers refer to the Elder as "coming from the nothing" while also being "a carrier for the nothing." There are also mentions of an unholy desire to spoil and decay... perhaps it all relates somehow to those fungal growths we've seen in the maps...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "Introduction"

  • Time has passed since my last entry, of that I am aware. I've spent every waking hour since, trying to find a way to end this unholy Elder, though nothing has, yet, fit.

    Within my secret study, I've begun work on a device of my own. Whereas the Watcher's map device was designed to enter and lock tight the Elder's pocket dimension, my machine is of a different nature, though not entirely dissimilar.

    Day and night, I have toiled away, tinkering and shaping this invention. When I'm finished, this Elder will never bother our world again. The creature cannot be killed, and divorcing its spirit from its body has not kept it silent, but maybe... just maybe... It can be exiled...

    Book of Memories, "Page 10"

  • How could I have been so stupid? So caught up in this whole nightmare that I forgot my work as an Arkhon! My "supposed" lack of progress on the Map Device has given the High Templar cause for suspicion.

    At noon, as I neared the completion of my work, he and his guards interrupted my tinkering with a furious rage! Tossing my machine to the ground, he destroyed much of my research, demanding to know why I no longer focused on the task given to me. Clapped in irons I was led off to the Theopolis prisons for my insubordination.

    I write this now, due only to the kindness of a friend in the Templar guard, he knows of my partiality to journaling and so as soon as he heard of my capture, managed to sneak in a diary for me scribble upon.

    I don't know what Venarius plans to do with me. I've heard whispers of public shaming and lashes, but none of that is certain. What is certain, is that the Elder is coming for us. It's coming for us all. No matter whether you are High Templar or the lowest of the Karui slaves, the Elder knocks at the threshold. Bringing Decay... I must find my way from these chains at all costs. Only I can save us from this blasphemy that has fallen upon Oriath...

    Book of Memories, "Page 11"

  • My daughter... My darling daughter... By the gods. So much has transpired since last I wrote. So much horror... I've not a moment to lose, but I need to... I have to... I must write down what has occurred. It's the only way I shall keep my sanity. I believe I'm safe for the moment, so I shall rest and reflect, in the hope that it will give me new insight on how to proceed in this current disaster.

    Venarius, that bastard... Enraged by my lack of progress on his occult weaponry, he marched me through the streets. "This man has betrayed me!" he shouted as his men stripped me of my robes and beat me with sticks. When I was but an inch from death, he took me aside once more, demanding to know why I'd failed him. In my... in my foolishness, I... I told him everything.

    I'd hoped to appeal to his better nature, to his higher self, that he might rally the Templar army behind me. Together we could defeat the Elder once and for all! But you should never appeal to a man's better nature. He may not have one. Venarius... he... he took Zana! Held her at knife point. Demanded... demanded that I take all of us through, into the dreamlands - to meet with the Elder!

    Please, whoever you are, reading this – do not think wrong of me. If it were your daughter's life at risk, would you have done this any differently? I... I did as I was asked. Using the Map Device, we stepped through a gateway and I found myself once more setting foot in this atlas of worlds...

    Book of Memories, "Page 12"

  • The land was as beautiful as it'd been when last I'd visited. The breeze rippled across the meadows and the sun beat affectionately down on our necks. The High Templar and his men marvelled at such wonders. My daughter cried in fear. I felt sick to my bones.

    As we trampled through the wilderness, it wasn't long before we were met by the overwhelming presence of the Shade itself. The very essence of the Elder stood silently before us. I felt its eyes bore deep into my skin. Demanding of me in visions to tell it why I had returned. But before I could answer, Venarius stepped forward and greeted the phantom, offering his words up into the air:

    "He tells me you are King of this land," he said, "My poor, poor scholar says that you are imprisoned, that you need a key."

    As he spoke, the shade stayed quiet, listening and smouldering smugly.

    "I can be that key for you." The High Templar announced.

    For a moment more, the Shade did not respond. A perverse, pensive, pregnant pause lay heavily upon us all. Then finally, casting an image at once upon all of our minds, we felt it ask of Venarius:

    "What dost thou want?"

    The High Templar smiled. "Why, power, of course." He replied.

    Book of Memories, "Page 13"

  • The shade spluttered into a great shimmering blaze, moving rapidly forward into trees up ahead. The High Templar gave chase, his soldiers dragging my daughter and I along behind. I recognized where we were headed. The forest was as dark as I remembered, and the cave, just as terrible. Before we knew it, we stood at the base of that blasphemous effigy seated atop its crude pagan altar.

    "Pull the sword from my chest."

    The Elder imposed and the man, in all his vanity, didn't hesitate for a second. He took the sword and yanked it forward. A great earthquake shook the land! It was as if the very ground itself was cowering in the face of the Elder's reunion with its frigid body.

    Bursting forth from cold stone, the Elder approached us all. The blade dropped from Venarius' quivering hand and clattered to the ground, a white light in the hilt flickered and shrank until it at last was put out by the great darkness of a tentacular void.

    Realizing what it meant to look upon its face, I turned and shielded my daughter's eyes, and as the true scope of the Elder befell the High Templar and his men. I could hear screaming and mad gibbering! The Elder did not speak. Visions no longer left its mind. It was free. It had no need to communicate with mankind any longer.

    As the richness of life fled from the quickly shrivelling bodies of the High Templar and his men, I readied myself and my daughter to flee. While the Elder began to feed, starved from millennium upon millennium of constraint, I took up the Map Device Venarius had dropped and together, we ran...

    Book of Memories, "Page 14"

  • I fear this to be the end. Not just the end for me, but the end of all things. The Elder has been freed. Soon it will feast on me and then, my daughter. Once it has finished with us, it will turn its sights on the rest of the world.

    Times will become as they were in the days of old, when the Watchers of Decay were formed. Children will go missing from their beds. Parents will mourn, darkness will descend, and then birthed from that carnage, the Decay will arrive, finding its physical form in our dimension – for that is the Elder's true master! The fungal monstrosity will manifest and spread forth its mighty tendrils. The mould from before time and space began, will seek out the destruction of all things...

    As we fled through the forest, I focused my resolve. It was too late for me. I knew of the shaping powers. Only I could have a hope at defeating the Elder. Preoccupied with its feast, the eldritch abomination had somehow forgotten us, and as we made our way back, retracing our steps, I found myself standing once more before the portal home. Not even stopping to look behind, I dove through the shimmering window, and together, we collapsed into Oriath.

    With not a minute to waste, I took a nearby tool and jammed it into the infernal device, where it hummed, ominously entrenched in my laboratory floor. The Elder had to be stopped, and so... I left her there, bidding her to hide in a closet or beneath a work table. Then, with the portal flickering and shrinking steadily, I turned back and stepped forward into the dreamlands, one final time.

    Book of Memories, "Page 15"

  • My last waking moments looked very much like this place... I miss it. I miss her.

  • The Fate of Venarius
  • My father was dragged into the Atlas by the High Templar Venarius. Surely you remember just how cruel and conniving he was before he "disappeared". Well, I discovered he didn't simply disappear... He was trapped and slain in the Atlas, and now his soul haunts the fragmented memories that are scattered across the Atlas. See for yourself, but... be careful.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "_extra_mission_info"

  • An Exile...? Please, you must help me.

    I-... I don't know where I am or how I got here. I don't remember my name... I don't-... I don't remember anything. I suppose for now you can call me... Cavas...

    Cavas, Forgotten Spirit, "Introduction"

  • Though my life is gone, my purpose is not.
    My will remains, emboldened and empowered
    by the righteousness of my cause.

  • I feel the moral weight of what I must do to protect Wraeclast.
    I accept my guilt without shame. It is my gift to humanity.

  • High Templar Dominus (CA. 1582-1600 IC)
  • The last three weeks feel like they've passed in an instant. The atmosphere here since the High Templar's disappearance has been so relaxed, but, while enjoying the sun on my roof this morning, I saw the black smoke billowing from the Chamber of Innocence turn red.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • The Seneschals have at last elected a new High Templar. Rumour has it they've sought young blood. Someone who can revitalise the Templar. Someone who can bring them into the modern age. Whoever it is, he can't be worse than the last one. Bastard set us back fifty years!

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Rumour has it this was built by order of a previous High Templar, the name of Venarius. If the impossible components we need are anywhere in our mortal realm, they would be in the Vault of Venarius in the Reliquary.

    We're going to need to find the key to that Vault. Dominus was the next High Templar, and thus the one who declared his predecessor's pursuits heretical and had them sealed as blasphemous. A load of manure to secure the secrets for himself, no doubt. A man like him would have kept the key close. My gut tells me it's likely in his old office in the Templar Courts. Let's head there.

  • Hey good lookin'. Huh. Most people recognise me. I'm Gianna. Worked a spell in the Chitus Theatre, back when you could leave your house without being followed by Templar secret police. I was Shavronne in An Axiom Tragedy. I played Dialla, the Gemling Queen, in Purity Tales, and the fair lady Merveil in Daresso and Merveil, for which I was very nearly nominated to receive a 'Tario.

    No? Not a fan of the theatre, I suppose? That's-... That's fine. That act of my story has drawn to a close anyway, but I'm always looking for the next great role. Nothing's quite so thrilling as immersing oneself among the people, and seeing if you can, in fact, pass for the real deal.

    Gianna, the Master of Disguise, "Introduction"

  • Granting Patronage to Piety
  • Halfway across the world and yet the tie between Vinia and I endures. That was Piety's real name back in Theopolis, before her rise to greatness.

    Vinia sold her thaumaturgy in the day, her body at night. Sought after, she was. Enough so to become one of my best buyers.

    But money never meant much to Vinia. No, she was striving for something better... nobler. Used to tell me that "Life needn't be this hard. It's time you all realised that."

    I bet she fed Tolman the same bloody line.

    Clarissa, "Piety"

  • Vinia was arrested for 'Consorting with the Unholy' and condemned to the pyre. This was before the banishments.

    Dominus shared a last supper with her, heard her confession. Most think Vinia earned Dominus' patronage on her back. I don't. Vinia gave Dominus her 'better life' and got a new name in return.

    You can count on one thing: Piety's grand future won't include the likes of you, me, or Tolman.

    Clarissa, "Vinia"

  • You can change your name, but you cannot change your history.

  • Studying the Thaumaturgical
  • Piety & Vilenta
  • "We shall peer at these cosmic wonderments as they
    wake and writhe within that deep and nameless dark."
    - Vilenta, 'Miasmeter: A Thesis'

  • Piety and I have devoted ourselves to the betterment of the human condition. As for our methods, Piety had a saying that summed it up nicely. "Would you consider the feelings of the stones when constructing a glorious cathedral in the name of God?"

    Casticus supplied us with slaves, mostly Karui, and I put them to good use. In fact, I believe their participation in my experiments elevated them from squalor to splendor. Our subjects were able to give their otherwise meaningless lives to something greater than themselves.

    Isn't that what we all want in the end?

    Vilenta, "Research"

  • To be perfectly honest with you, I don't trust her. Yeah, I've got my reasons. Piety kept her work pretty quiet but her results were brutally clear. The people she took, the people she... changed. Slaves mostly, and a few 'enemies of God'. Enemies of bloody Dominus more like it. I don't go in for black and white definitions of good and evil, but with Piety and her ilk, I make an exception.

    Whatever's lurking inside Vilenta, it ain't 'good', not by a long shot.

    Bannon, "Vilenta"

  • The Sign of Purity, yes... a descry staff that Piety sent me to study at one point. Apparently it was a gift from Innocence to the first High Templar, Maxarius. Dominus couldn't even bear to touch the thing so he had it locked up in the Ossuary. Quite reactive behaviour for a man of such formidable intellect, yet now it's making a little more sense.

    The staff was certainly able to conduct and store energy, yet remained inert when I applied corruption to it. It must only respond to divine energy, and with corruption and divinity being diametrically opposed, it's no wonder that my experiments failed to excite the thing!

    Meaning, if the Sign of Purity is a repository for the power of Innocence, Dominus could never have wielded it, being steeped as he was in the opposing power of the Beast.

    You though... you're a different matter entirely.

    Vilenta, "The Sign of Purity"

  • Dominus
  • Dominus adopted Chitus Cathedral as his personal laboratory. He decked it out with everything his miraculous mind could conceive of. His great work in Sarn, that which you destroyed, it all began there.

    Vilenta, "Chitus Cathedral"

  • I embraced the patronage that High Templar Dominus offered my struggling museum. I took his favour and conducted his research into the thaumaturgical arts practiced within the Eternal Empire.

    I wish I'd known then what I know now. That I was pandering to the warped dreams of a madman.

    Eramir, "Dominus"

  • The Chamber of Sins? Apparently the late Archbishop Geofri of Phrecia gave it that title. It was built by Emperor Chitus for one Inquisitor Maligaro.

    How do I know this? To my shame, I did Dominus' dirty work in the selfish hopes of scholarly advancement. I scoured fragments of documents brought back by Fairgraves - and Daresso, before his disgrace. I unearthed all I could on the Eternal Empire's masters and mistresses of thaumaturgy, a subject of keen interest to our supposedly devout High Templar.

    If I were you, I'd avoid Maligaro's old laboratory. A place of illness infected by a diseased mind.

    Eramir, "The Chamber of Sins"

  • I used to pride myself on taking care of these tomes, but the ancient treatises concerning the Vaal... should be burned. He's making me research for him, and the things I'm reading about concern the destruction of all mankind.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I would think my fears of the end of the world ridiculous... except... it's happened before. I must run... I must flee... and take my secrets with me.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • I thought Dominus was a leader of vision, of purpose. The man who would resurrect the Eternal Empire. In truth, Dominus is only after power... the black, thaumaturgical power locked within the Virtue Gems. He wishes to create a new empire, one in his own image. I drank every night to try and wipe that image from my mind. It's still there.

    Helena, "Dominus"

  • Davaro and the Artifacts of the Vaal
  • The artefacts which High Templar Dominus returned to our city have finally offered up to me one of their secrets. Though, I am certain there is much to be found within the relics, I'm exhilarated and brought to awe by what I have discovered as of yesterday's studies. I have uncovered a hidden frequency of corruption within the relics - oh, how they now sing to me! They are as mirrors, dimly reflecting shadows and echoings of the past.

    I have seen signs of blood and ancient sacrifice in the ghostings of our precious city! Such as what the Vaal would commit in their homelands. Could it be that these echoes point to Vaal culture having extended all the way to the shores of Oriath? Perhaps we are not the first empire to pull itself up from the mire of this land?

    I must listen to the relics further, I need to understand, but the singing, it pains me to listen for very long. My work must progress slowly, but it shall progress. Much is at stake here. I can feel it!

    - Templar Davaro of Theopolis

    Research Journal, "Read"

  • I am Templar Thaumaturgist Davaro, the ecstatic, the knower of hidden things, the key to ancient wonder!

    In such a short time, everything has changed. The singing of the relics to me no longer pains my ears, in fact, I hear music in them, songs revealing great truths to me. My theory that the Vaal once dwelt in this land has proven fruitful, one of their ancient sites lies not far from here. There is great power dormant in the ruins, one that I am yet to tap fully, but it will come soon enough.

    Through my thaumaturgy, I was granted special sight, I saw the ancient Vaal city that once stood in this place. All around me were signs of the legendary Queen Atziri ruling from afar. I saw, as I stood at the base of a great pyramid, the sacrifice of new harvest unfold. The steps ran red with a river of blood, a crimson tide, cascading towards me and washing over my skin. In it, I felt my being shake, as if lightning was reverberating through my body. I felt the strength of that blood ritual, and then returning to my senses, I found myself once more standing in ancient ruins. I thought it to be all a dream, only, when I reached up to touch my face, I found it both horrifyingly and marvelously, pelted with that same salted vermillion.

    - Templar Davaro of Theopolis, Key to Ancient Wonder

    Research Journal, "Read"

  • I have been plagued by a sickness as of late. A kind of blood marking. This curse stalks me in both waking life and the world of dream. The relics no longer sing to me of power, they scream to me of hunger and the ruins call out like needy children for blood, oh, so much more blood! Now that I am aware of their ancient existence, they will not remain silent!

    What was - at first - revitalising, is now a torment. I can't, no matter how hard I try, clean the blood from my face and hands. Nobody ever sees the red, but for me, yet this does not mean it doesn't exist!

    I purchased three Karui slaves from the marketplace the other morning. Strapping young lads of seventeen. At the blood site in the ancient ruins, they pleaded with me. Something about the place, the corruption engrained in the stonework... it spoke to them, and they knew. The powers demand blood, so I gave it to them. I opened the throats of those Karui lads and poured out their essence onto Atziri's altar. As the sanguine liquid was sucked up by the stone, my mind frayed and I saw the Queen herself, naked and aroused, bathing in a pool of blood while her hand reached between her thighs.

    I... I can't shake her image from my mind, even now as I lay on my bed, I shiver with fear and anticipation. I have never felt lust for a woman in this magnitude. I fear the Queen shall be the death of me. When I close my eyes I see her, reaching out to embrace me.

    - Templar Davaro

    Research Journal, "Read"

  • My beautiful Queen is all I see. She dwells in another world, I know this now. Our worlds are separate realities, but not entirely ones without doors and bridges to offer transport. In our dreams we make love amidst the coagulation of our victims' blood. The red is our passion and the gore has become our wedding bed.

    Soon, I will be with my love, she will be closer to me than my own flesh. I have learnt a spell. Blood Thaumaturgy - forbidden by the Templars, but they have no idea as to the power they have ignored...

    In the streets outside, Theopolis is in a panic. Two children belonging to noble families have gone missing in the night. As I look out my window, I see the guards questioning beggars and citizens alike. They will not find the boy or the girl. Such precious beings, they were. The young girl passed from consciousness before I took her. The boy, so brave, never screamed once, not even as my blade cut into the soft of his belly.

    They are both silent now. Unmoving. And shortly I will join them, and together we shall unite with my queen - a happy family. Husband, Wife, Daughter, Son. My knife still drips beside me. I leave this final account in hopes that those who may find us will yearn for the same pleasures I have found, and join us in eternity.

    - Templar Thaumaturgist, Davaro

    Research Journal, "Read"

  • Dominus' Exiles
  • Some say that Dominus exiled the dregs of Oriath to the shores of Wraeclast. No, he exiled anyone who was going to give him trouble, who was going to cause ripples in his progressive theocracy.


  • Hillock of Slaugh

    You have transgressed against your God and your fellow Man. You have been a willing vessel for the following Sins.

    Mortal Wrath

    Six counts of Common Homicide

    One count of Infanticide

    Two counts of Homicide with post-mortem Desecration

    Unlawful Avarice

    Twelve counts of Extortion through Threat of Mortal Harm

    Seven counts of Armed Larceny

    Two counts of Armed Larceny resulting in Mortal Harm

    Unsolicited Lust

    Four counts of Rape

    Two counts of Attempted Rape

    Mortal Wrath

    One count of Rape resulting in Mortality

    God has charged me with your redemption. You are hereby Exiled to Wraeclast where, it is hoped, you shall come to repent your Sins, and make your peace with your beloved Father.

    - High Templar Dominus

    Letters of Exile, "Read"

  • The storm is bad now. The ship rocks to and fro. The other exiles exchange glances as a guard struggles to regain his footing. Then, we hit the rocks.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • When I come to, I'm alone on a tiny island. Little more than a rock, really. I can't see any other land. Even Wraeclast would've been better than this.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Expeditions to Wraeclast
  • Captain Tevarus,

    Altitude is imperative to forging a stable connection with the Prime Resonator in Theopolis. Power source is equally vital. Locate a fissure in the mountainside and lower a conductive cable into it, the deeper the better. It will take an immense amount of thaumaturgical energy to execute the successful disintegration and transmission of objects, both inanimate and animate, between Highgate and Theopolis. For that kind of power, we must tap the origin.

    I needn't remind you of the consequences should either of those elements prove deficient. That is why I would like you, Tevarus, to be the first to test the Resonator once it is operational.

    Accountability is the perfect counterweight to ambition.

    High Templar Dominus

    Resonator Instructions, "Read"

  • I gave Piety everything, devoted my life to her work. What did that thankless bitch do for me in return? Left me here to polish her beakers while she pursued glory in Wraeclast.

    Oh. You killed her, did you? Likely as not, you'd have killed me too had I been there. In that case, perhaps we both got exactly what we deserved.

    Vilenta, "Piety"

  • My loyal Declan,
    Give our Lady Piety your absolute support and watch her with absolute scrutiny. There is much to learn from the likes of the Inquisitor, the Umbra and the Soulless One. I would hate for Piety to feel that she need shoulder such perilous wisdom alone.
    - Dominus

    Order of Protection, "Read"

  • Studying the Works of Shavronne
  • Our expedition made camp in the western forest while Piety took a few men through the pass to Axiom Prison. She was after the research notes of one Shavronne of Umbra, a witch who devoted herself to the study of transfiguration during the latter days of the Eternal Empire.

    Piety returned alone and disturbingly happy with her findings. I've learned that when Piety is happy, misery is soon to follow for everyone else.

    Helena, "Prisoner's Gate"

  • I can think of only one reason why Piety would be here. She's interested in the sickness that pervades this place, the corruption that raises the dead and twists the wildlife into aberrations.

    Nessa, "Piety"

  • Piety has become a true mistress of thaumaturgy. I wonder what else she has learned in her time here.

    Scion, on Piety at Prisoner's Gate

  • Studying the Works of Maligaro
  • Arteri, my beautiful captain.

    I wish it were not you, but I cannot bring myself to trust any other with this most vital of tasks.

    This is the only pass between the inner and outer Empire. No further exiles are to enter the inner Empire. We have material enough for our work.

    Ensure that the barricade remains in place, and if any exile should somehow pass through, kill them.

    I will send for you when my work is complete in Sarn.

    Until we share our next night together,


    Arteri's Letter, "Read"

  • The High Templar's Blackguards? They're here, rubbing shoulders with us mere exiles? A mystery indeed, and so near the Chamber of Sins. Whatever they want with that foul place, it won't be for the betterment of humanity.

    Eramir, "Blackguards"

  • Piety led us into that wretched place in the hopes of finding a device named simply 'The Spike'. Fashioned by Inquisitor Maligaro, it was said to enable the injection of 'Calibric Extantia' into living flesh. Calibric Extantia being the corrupt energies locked within virtue gems.

    We couldn't find the Spike, yet we met its most successful application.

    Helena, "Maligaro's Spike"

  • Piety was after a creation of Maligaro's called the 'Baleful Gem'. It's nearby, and it's something that heartless bitch must never get her hands on.

    Please, find it and meet me at that Azmeri village by the river. My days with the Ebony Legion are done!

    Helena, "Rescued"

  • Piety would've concurred with Eramir's theory about that north-western ruin. The Vaal were a powerful civilization predating even the Eternal Empire and Piety very much wanted to see what toys the Vaal might have left for her to play with behind those stone doors. Yet we couldn't budge them, not with that giant of a tree holding them fast in her roots.

    You now carry a cure to that problem, or rather, a useful illness. Use the Spike to inject the Baleful Gem's calibric extantia into the roots. One day soon, Piety will find her way into that ruin. You need to get there first.

    Helena, "Lorrata"

  • Studying the Works of Malachai
  • Dominus and his Ebony Legion arrived some time ago. Now the Blackguards scour Sarn like hungry maggots on a carcass. What're they looking for? Only that which is best left unfound.

    Maramoa, "The Ebony Legion"

  • You find a high enough spot and you can see the Lunaris Temple over the river, at the western edge of the city.

    Since the Blackguards arrived, the clouds above that temple have been stained with the blackest of smoke. You can see it sometimes, when the westerly blows. It stinks worse than death.

    Clarissa, "The Lunaris Temple"

  • I don't know much longer I can do this. Every day, we cart in the poor folk the General has rounded up for the Witch's experiments. I used to count, but I stopped at two thousand.

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • This is not the career the Blackguards promised me. We're worse than monsters. Look at this place! Rivers of blood! Piles of corpses! We were just following orders...

    Zana, Master Cartographer, "View Memory Map"

  • Gravicius is the mailed and bloodied right hand of Dominus. And I thought the Templar were meant to be spiritual men of deepest humanity. You noticed the sarcasm in my tone, right?

    Had to smuggle a fellow out of Theopolis once. Got a bit too friendly with Gravicius' wife, he did. Every Blackguard was out on the streets looking for him, so I had to think lateral-like. We took to the drains and didn't pop our heads above the pavement until we sniffed the sea. A grubby bloody job it was, but worth it for the coin he paid.

    Trust me. The Sewers is the only way you'll sneak up on General Iron-arse. And you'll need a key to get in there. Have a chat to Clarissa about that.

    Hargan, "General Gravicius"

  • The cockroaches will come again. They want the Twist. That cockroach emperor... the other bugs shout his name. Gravicius. Cross the river, squash the emperor cockroach in his nest.

    The bridge? It is barricaded? That spawns a tricky question. Questions, questions... I asked too many questions. Chitus told me so. I asked where it all went. Our... feculence. He made them show me. Under the river, the sewers from this side to that. Filthy, fetid tunnels, like a rhoa's cloaca.

    A black place, crawling with the Undying. Once beautiful and arrogant Gemlings, now the foul waste of the Empire. Fitting, isn't it? Apt, apt, apt.

    Lady Dialla, "The Sewers"

  • I tried to penetrate the Solaris Temple in the north-east. Almost got myself killed by the bloody Ribbons that guard the place. Bizarre floating tapestries they are, creatures of cloth and thaumaturgy. Fortunately, a few legionnaires got in the way. While the Ribbons eviscerated them, I ran... straight into Gravicius.

    He dragged me over the bridge, to the Lunaris Temple in the west, and put me in Piety's "tender care". Didn't say a single word to me the whole time. I was nothing but a spoil of war to him.

    Grigor, "General Gravicius"

  • I no longer dream when I sleep. I have a nightmare, the same nightmare, over and over. The Mirror. It's never my reflection looking back.

    The first time that mirror appeared to me, it was Kole I saw. A rapist from Oriath I had the displeasure of sharing a pen with in Gravicius' stockade. Piety took him for her experiments and that night, I saw her handiwork while I slept.

    This time, it was Tolman. Flesh dried to leather. Organs shrunk to husks. Blood trickling through his skeleton like red dust in an hourglass. It's Piety's gift to me, that mirror.

    At least I won't be seeing Clarissa the next time I look into it. Make sure it's not you I see, either.

    Grigor, "Tolman"

  • Piety's a genius sculpting mere human clay into "divine" Gemlings. At least, that's what she told me when she opened me up and buried a Virtue Gem in my entrails.

    Malachai did the same in the name of the Emperor, centuries ago. Chitus' Gemlings still rule Sarn. We call them the Undying now.

    Grigor, "Gemlings"

  • When Piety was... experimenting on me, my consciousness was mercifully fleeting. In those moments of numbing darkness, I met a presence.

    Intelligence, power, immensity beyond the limits of my pitiable mortal senses. To this creature, I was but a rain drop falling into the sea.

    I heard Piety speak to her lackeys of 'The Beast'. It is the source of her thaumaturgy, and the object of her ambitions. I believe Piety's 'Beast' and that dark entity are one and the same.

    Wherever it is, whatever it is, The Beast is the cause of my malformation. It would not be a stretch of reason to consider The Beast the source of all malformation in Wraeclast.

    Grigor, "The Beast"

  • Vanja: I'd heard of the Beast before coming here. Piety talked about it. I suppose she saw no point in keeping secrets from the people she was planning to murder.

    Petarus: I'm so sorry, Vanja.

    Vanja: God, it's not your fault, Petarus! Piety used to say that the Beast was the source of her power, how she managed to turn poor men and women into those... things. She kept using a phrase... what was it?

    Petarus: Universal transmogrification. I heard her assistants talk about it, too.

    Vanja: The power to change the world into anything you like.

    Petarus: Bloody scary power in the hands of someone like Piety.

    Vanja: Bloody scary power, full stop!

    Petarus and Vanja, "The Beast"

  • Captain Vincenti,

    The Highgate holds the secret to the true origin of the gems. Cleanse the mountain of those Maraketh parasites and secure the entrance to those Mines.

    Do not disappoint me, Vincenti. As you well know, my displeasure can change a man.


    Note, "Read"

  • Piety dies amongst her abominations, her warped dream taunting her, maddeningly out of reach. As a poet, I'm fond of that creed of justice.

    Here, the executioner needs recompense.

    Grigor, "Piety"

  • Dominus is dead, but the source of his fearsome power remains.


  • Piety's Resurrection
  • It was Malachai who reached out to me, who wrapped me in Nightmare... made me his slave.

    He has shown me greatness beyond imagining, so much that I thought my mind would shatter under its weight. And although my mind remains intact, my dreams were not so fortunate.

    Malachai is in the Beast's black core right now, harnessing all that the Beast is, and will be. He will destroy this world and forge it anew in the divine image of Nightmare.

    Yet as powerful as Malachai has become, he's neither unreachable nor invulnerable. He sacrificed much to become the Beast's prime servant, both in spirit and in flesh, yet three vital organs remain.

    His heart, lungs and entrails, keepsakes of humanity lost. They will be our tickets into Malachai's private, little show.

    Venture deeper, deep into nightmare's abattoir. I'll follow when I'm able. You find me those organs and I'll get us into the Black Core.

    Piety, "Malachai"

  • You work fast!

    You know, it is no mere 'freak of nightmare' that fashioned that monstrous version of myself, the one you so kindly despatched.

    The Godless Three took great pains in getting me looking... 'just so'. They were none too gentle about it either.

    So no need to play softly with the remaining two. Treat kindness with kindness.

    Piety, "Malachai's Organs"

  • Good! Two down, one to go.

    You know, prior to meeting Maligaro, Shavronne and Doedre, I rather admired them. Their work, their accomplishments... sheer genius! As it turns out, genius is something better appreciated from afar.

    So let's remove this one, last genius from the vicinity, shall we?

    Piety, "Malachai's Organs"

  • Before we walk this path together, it's important that you understand one thing about me.

    I don't regret a single thing that I've done. I set out to raise humanity up from the cloying mud of its fleshly ignorance. My mistake was not in the aspiration, but in the execution.

    Now I intend to correct that mistake.

    Really, I'm not helping you, exile. You're helping me.

    So, have you found those juicy organs for me yet?

    Piety, "Malachai's Organs"

  • High Templar Avarius
  • With Dominus away in Wraeclast, someone had to keep the wheels of oppression turning. Avarius was only too happy to take the job. He'd had plenty of practice already, of course.

    It was Avarius who led some of the largest and most crippling raids upon the Ngamakanui and the Ngakuramakoi. It was on his orders that men, women and children were shackled and shipped like cattle to Theopolis.

    And it was Avarius who spent five thousand Karui lives building his Templar Courts and his Chamber of Innocence. Who had wives and daughters scrub their husbands' and fathers' blood from the stones so as to preserve their 'purity'.

    When you meet Avarius, feel free to exact a little extra vengeance in the name of Karui suffering.

    Utula, "High Templar Avarius"

  • Avarius, Innocence... I'm not sure there's a great deal of difference. Around the time I heard the Beast's mortal scream, the newly appointed High Templar Avarius went through something of a... revelation.

    The manner in which he speaks and acts now would indicate that he believes, without doubt, that he is some earthly embodiment of God. That's Faith for you. It'll reduce grown men to the madness of infancy.

    Vilenta, "High Templar Avarius"

The Templars Topic /3 ⍟
The TemplarsTheir hypocrisy knows no bounds. I will see their destruction. All I must do is outlive them... Just like I'll outlive the adventurers who roam these halls.
Sign of the Sin EaterA secret few among the Templars grant absolution by bearing the guilt of others.
Sanctum Archives ResearchThese Archives were among the first constructed by the Templars.
There are more books here than I could read in a lifetime...
The Templars Text Audio /1 ⍟
Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. I will see their destruction. All I must do is outlive them... Just like I'll outlive the adventurers who roam these halls.
The Templars

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