In issue #8 of Traversing Telara, Valnyr and Anmar get familiar with the forces of the insane dragon god of the water plane: Akylios.
Traversing Telara is an exclusive series of articles from Trion Worlds that explores Rift's lore and gameplay mechanics through the eyes of one intrepid adventurer. It's a great read and a fantastic introduction to the world of Telara. Even if you're a veteran of Rift, you might enjoy hearing about the game from another perspective! Read on for Issue #8: Akylios!
Last week I stopped off briefly at Sanctum to check out the capital city, but this week I'm back on the road again. There is still much to explore in Silverwood and I've barely ventured off the main road yet.
I take up my quests once again, and this time they focus on ridding the forest of the goblins. They are massing in Sterling Hills and are a serious threat to Quicksilver College, the Guardian home of learning and lore. The college cannot fall. It is too important for that. My quest is to slay all the Goblin Scouts in Sterling Hills before they get a chance to "exploit our western flank", as Colten Feddel says, and burn the college to the ground.
Once this is accomplished I head back over the hills, only to stumble upon a massive Water Rift. Water Rifts come from the Plane of Water, home of the dragon god Akylios. These Rifts spill water out over the landscape in a self-contained flood, allowing all kinds of gibbering sea monsters to enter Telara. Huge, writhing tentacles tipped with snapping teeth hang from tears in the sky.
The Plane of Water itself is a place of madness and nightmares. It speaks to the primordial part of our brains, where irrational fears and superstitions lurk, waiting only to be noticed before leaping out and taking control of our minds.
Bizarre, angular reefs grow in the water, and slimy, insane creatures build cities and homes in the freezing deeps, cities where they drag the unwary so they can torture and play with their minds. Fish-headed creatures stalk the ocean floor, with black, rotting tentacles for legs. Deep ones lurk in caves. Dragon turtles stalk their prey.
And no matter how different these creatures are, they all have one thing in common; they are utterly, utterly insane, touched by the whispers and nightmares of their god, Aky-lios.
I'm lucky enough to be joined by two other players as I stumble into the Water Rift, and we spend the next ten minutes defeating stage after stage before finally closing the rift altogether. I'm rewarded with the "A Rift No More" achievement. To get this I had to fully seal a rift by defeating the final unstable stage while earning at least 10000 contribu-tion points. Cool.
Anmar is heading closer to Meridian this week, but he's in no rush. The Carnival parades are still moving slowly along the roads, but I don't have time to enjoy the spectacle. Othar Hareldo is worried about two of his scouts. They were supposed to check out Fortune's End, but they still haven't come back. Othar wants me to go and see if I can find them.
I head over to the coast and find them hiding behind some palm trees watching the beach. I speak to Drogo Sunderland and he tells me that they came to check out reports of Abyssals on the shore. He says they are trying to gain a foothold for Akylios on the coast before moving inland with an invasion force to take back Meridian. He wants me to kill the Abyssal Commanders (plus a few other Abyssal creatures scampering around the sand).
I kill all the Abyssals, (plus some huge crocodiles), and head back to Drogo. He is grateful, but still worried. He think there will be another incursion, that the Abyssal would not send just one wave, but rather come at Meridian from two sides. I'll have to keep my eyes open for any more attempts. The Abyssal cultists are insane, and they will stop at nothing to bring their chittering god into the world. Like their god, they have no rhyme or reason to what they want to do. They do what they are told, because Akylios wills it, even though no one really knows what Akylios wants.
You see, Akylios is the God of secrets and magic. But he is utterly insane. When he and the Blood Storm traveled through the universe before coming to Telara, he opened his mind and learned every spell, every nightmare, every secret out there. He holds the fears and knowledge of existence in his mind. As a result he is quite simply insane beyond all comprehension. He is the most inscrutable of all the gods, because no one understands him. The other Gods have some reasoning behind their desires, but not Akylios. The people of Telara interest him only because he likes the sound of their shrieks of pain, likes the taste of their fear. So if he can be said to crave anything, that is probably it. He wants to inflict as much pain as he can so he can hear the screams.
So it's probably a good thing that I stopped his cult from attacking Meridian. I will certainly keep my eyes open for more of them as I go about my business.
Speaking of which, I happened to pick up some Defiant Resolve Core from the road after the Carnival parade passed. The Defiant Core is a red glowing crystal and by clicking on it I received a quest to take the core to Icatian outside Meridian.
And off we go again, heading for the capital city.
Written by Paul Crilley