In issue #10 of Traversing Telara, Guest Writer Paul Crilley examines the storied pasts of Prince Hylas and Orphiel
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 Traversing Telara #10: Hylas and Orphiel!
This week Valnyr has ventured deeper into Silverwood. I'm almost halfway back to Sanctum now, but have stopped off at a place called Marsh House where I'm given some quests to complete in Sunken Marsh, an area of the forest filled with small creatures called boglings, stagnant lakes, and flying fae creatures.
First off, Furias Talwin wants me to kill many boglings in the area because he doesn't like the smell. But while I'm in Sunken Marsh I have to find Nora Glen's stolen lab equip-ment from inside the bogling huts. Nora Glen is researching the boglings, and she can't very well do that without her equipment. However, Thomas Penchon feels a bit different to Furias. He thinks we need to understand the boglings, and perhaps convert them to worship of the Vigil. He wants me to finds some artifacts and idols of the boglings so he can study them and perhaps better understand the creatures.
I complete all these quests, and they are actually more challenging that I anticipated. The boglings, and the water creatures that lurk beneath the lakes, move around quite a lot, so while you may think you are fighting one opponent, a couple of his friends might wander past and attack. I died three times while completing the quests. When I finished I was close to leveling up, but not quite. Another couple of battles should do the trick.
After I had returned to Marsh House, I spotted an Aelfwar scout hanging around, watching the road. I thought about taking her on in an attempt to gain a level, but she was much too powerful. Actually, there are quite a lot of Aelfwar around here. A bit of nosing around soon tells me why. I'm close to Overwatch Keep, the new home of Prince Hylas, the one-time leader of the High Elves.
The lore of Prince Hylas is actually quite important to this section of the game. So what was it that turned him to seemingly side with the bad guys? Given that the High Elves have always been about protecting the forests of Telara?
It all started when he met Shyla Starheath, a priestess of the nature god, Tavril. Shyla was well respected among the elves. She devoted her life to guiding her people, to keeping them on the path of true faith to protect the forests of the world. Shyla and Hylas fell in love, but when the Mathosian civil war broke out, they could not agree on the best course of action for the elves. Shyla wanted to side with Prince Zareph, but Hylas wanted to stay out of the war completely, saying it was nothing to do with them.
Shyla disagreed. She led her followers to fight by the side of Zeraph, leaving Prince Hylas behind. Shyla died during the Shade battle and was resurrected as an Ascended, where she stopped Regulos breaking through into Telara. When she returned to the elves, wanting them to join up with the Guardians, Hylas would not even speak to her. He refused to join the fight against the Blood Storm and took his entire royal clan, House Aelfwar, and closed himself up in their ancestral castle, locked away from the world of Telara.
No one has seen him since, but it's a safe bet he's in there somewhere, protected by his scouts and warriors.
Before heading out of Meridian again, to complete the quests attached to the resurrection of Jakub the warlord, Valnyr has a walk through the library, using the mini-teleporters to progress up through each floor. At the very top, I encounter Orphiel Farwind himself, the leader of the Defiant.
Orphiel Farwind was once a tutor for princes Aedraxis and Zeraph. More than that, he looked on himself as a surrogate father to these two boys.
He was always obsessed with knowledge, with seeking the truth no matter what pain it might cause. He used to tell the princes stories about the ancient Eth; those mysterious figures who tried to tame the world through knowledge and magic.
When Prince Aedraxis was older, he played on Orphiel's naivety. He saw in Orphiel a means to use this ancient Eth technology to increase his own power. He was subtle, inquiring first about how the Ethians fought off the dragons. But no matter how much Orphiel enthusiastically recounted tales of the sourcestone-fueled wonders, Orphiel always talked of what he saw as the Ethians' true success; the peace-time engines that were developed from these original machines of death.
Aedraxis did not care about this. He manipulated Oprhiel, telling lies about enemies plotting to take down the royal family, of how Mathosia would fall into a bloody civil war if something was not done. He said he needed Orphiel's help, his expertise. Orphiel was flattered. But more than that, he saw the possibilities of his dreams coming true. After securing a promise from Aedraxis that the machines would be adapted for peace time uses afterwards, he agreed to research and rebuild the ancient Eth war machines.
Of course, Aedraxis lied. He used the machines to break the Ward and allow the Shade through into Telara.
Seeking to make amends, Orphiel rallied the Eth and the Bahmi and marched to Port Scion to support Prince Zareph. But when Port Scion itself fell, another victim to Orphiel's Ethian magitech, the Guardians banned the technology, outlawing its use. Orphiel refused to abide by this new law. Along with Asha Catari, he vowed to use his knowledge and tools to save Telara from the Blood Storm. He left with his followers and formed the Defiant, settling in Meridian where he works to protect Telara.
After talking to Orphiel I head back outside to complete my quests. Egan wants me to use something called a Chronolink at the monument of the first March Warden, Eliam, and Jakub's grave. The Chronolink will enable me to look into the past to see what is going on and why Jakub has risen from the dead. I head on over to Eliam's monument first. The place is swarming with undead, which is handy, because another of my quests is to kill as many of them as I can. When I activate the Chronolink, it shows the final confrontation between Eliam and Jakub.
Once done, I head over to Jakub's grave. And here we see something different, something Egan hasn't seen before. It shows Alsebeth the Discordant raising Jakub from the dead. When I return to Egan and give him the news, he is rather angry. They had always known that Alsbeth was responsible for the Dragon Cults invading Freemarch, but now they know she is responsible for the undead rising as well.
Written by Paul Crilley