In issue #12 of Traversing Telara, Valnyr clashes with the Golden Maw, the dragon cult of Laethys. Meanwhile, Anmar meets the brilliant (if lovestuck) Sylver Valis.
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 #12: Laethys and Sylver Valis!
This week sees Valnyr traveling back to Sanctum to take part in the War of the Wanton Maw, a world event that sees the followers of Laethys and Maelforge join forces to attack the Ascended. Guardian and Defiant alike have been forced to put aside their differences in order to battle this planar menace before it's too late.
There is a makeshift army camp outside of Sanctum, and Valnyr speaks to Captain Envris. The Captain wants Valnyr to travel out into Silverwood and close Earth and Fire rifts, cutting off reinforcements to the two Dragon Cults, the Golden Maw and the Wanton. While Valnyr is doing that, Envris hopes to move his army from the old battlefronts to face this new surprise attack.
Fire Rifts are opening up all over the place. Not just Fire Rifts, but Fire Goblin footholds as well. The closest happens to be right outside of Sanctum so Valnyr quickly joins a large public group and we battle to stop the foothold from spreading.
After defeating the various stages of the Fire Rift, we turn our attention to the goblin foothold. This turns out tougher than the Fire Rift because the goblins are supported by dragon cult members who use magic against us. But we triumph in the end, then set off through Silverwood searching for more rifts. This isn't very difficult as they are springing up pretty much everywhere.
I'm still waiting for the Earth Rifts to appear, but since I've already talked about Maelforge in an earlier article, I thought I'd cover the basics on Laethys, the dragon goddess from the Plane of Earth. She is the Queen of Avarice, with scales of gold and eyes of diamond. Everything must belong to her. Everyone must worship her. And even then it would not be enough. She craves jewels and attention. She feeds on feelings of worship from her followers and she inspires lust and passion in her followers.
The Golden Maw is the Dragon Cult of Laethys, and it follows that they like possessions almost as much as she does. They worship money. They aspire to greed, to ownership. It doesn't matter what they own, as long as it's theirs. It could be jewels, gold, or silver. If someone else owns something, they must have it. The membership of the Golden Maw ranges from merchants, to corrupt politicians, to the lowliest stall holder, to the most successful businessman in the town. Anyone can join the Golden Maw, as long as they share Laethys' beliefs. Anyone who craves, anyone who wants what is not theirs is welcome in the cult.
The Wanton is the second dragon cult involved in the War of the Wanton Maw. They don't really have much of a long term plan beyond setting fire to things. They delight in watching flames feast and consume. The goblins and kobolds of the Wanton are the opposite of those in the Golden Maw. They don't want to conquer or steal. They just want to see everything destroyed by flames. There is no hierarchy among the Wanton. All they have are individual war bands that wander around Telara setting fire to things; which makes it all the more worrying that someone has managed to get them organized to launch such a full scale attack.
Anmar has traveled back to Meridian today, searching for a Beastmaster trainer to level up his pet. There has been a small downward-pointing arrow next to my beast for a while now and I can't seem to find a trainer to help level him up. I did find a rogue trainer though, and I certainly needed to visit him. I haven't been learning my new abilities as I level, so there was a backlog of 13 new skills for me to learn or upgrade. Happier, but somewhat lighter of purse, I then head into the city to see if I can pick up any new quests.
The first I picked up was the quest related to War of the Wanton Maw. I'm to try and close down Earth and Fire Rifts to stop the followers of Maelforge and Laethys taking over Telara. I won't go into that again here, as I already covered that in my Guardian section. Instead, I'll talk a bit about a little quest I got from Sylver Valis.
Sylver Valis is something of a legend among the Defiant. Or at least, he will be in the future, as he is the one who perfected the process by which the Defiant created Ascended warriors.
What makes Valis so different from the others of his race - and what drove him to the pursuit of learning - is that he is nalthema. What this means is that unlike nearly all other Kelari, he cannot make pacts with the Telaran Spirits.
Valis lived in a small village with his mother, a priestess. She spent all her time at the temple. But because the spirits would not talk to Sylver he did not attend. He was a lonely child, bullied by others his own age that spent most of his time reading. He channeled this loneliness into study, reading everything he could get his hands on, and eventually becoming one of the most skillful Eldritch Machinists the Defiant have. He was constantly taking things apart, trying to see how they worked, and putting them back together again. But he is reckless, caring nothing for field tests. He looks upon prototypes with disdain. He would rather build something and judge its worth by whether it actually works. And to protect himself from those experiments that don't work, he wears something called a personal field disruptor that shields him from any blasts.
But because of this sheltered childhood, he is somewhat naïve, as evidenced by the task he asked me to do. He has created a special rose (when perhaps he should have been working on more important things) and wants me to present it to Asha Catari, the leader of the war effort against the Dragon Cults. Anmar takes the rose to where Asha is currently dealing with the many Earth and Fire Rifts that are popping up everywhere, and hands it to her.
She responds pretty much as you would assume, saying now is not the time for such things, but asking me to let Valis down gently.
I return to him and he doesn't take it too well. "Of course," he says. "Who could imagine you'd ever get over a King; especially when he's a 'big hero' like Zareph. Oh, didn't you know? She and we-can't-stop-talking-about-him-even-though-he's-probably-dead-guy were all sorts of hearts and stars for each other. She doesn't talk about it, but everyone knows. If he's still alive somewhere, he hasn't come back for her. You know what I think? I think it's just an excuse not to have to feel anything. Anyway, I am putting my nose back in my experiments where it belongs."
Probably for the best, to be honest. Valis still has a lot of work to do to perfect the Ascension process. And if Asha had reciprocated his feelings? Who knows? Valis might have become distracted from his research altogether and never built the machines we use in the future to come back from the dead.