Ancient Archway

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Ancient Archway
Region Frost Marches
Level range 1+
Accessible from Old Forest
Neutral Hub Yes

Sigrune, under oath to Prince Philander, guards the path towards the Ancient Archway and will not allow the Champion passage. The Champion may elect to force their way past her in combat, or if they have resolved the Princess' Dilemma questline in Tychris, order her to step aside in the en Tychris name (this is not implemented yet).

If the Champion had managed to convince Sigrune one way or the other to allow them access to what lies beyond the stones, they will find a flat plateau with a circle of crumbling stone pillars being the only adornment and the only sign of a civilization long gone.

Among the shattered husks and moss-covered debris are tattered remnants of cookware and tents which the Champion may patch together to set up a serviceable camp of their own. Should the Champion set up camp and sleep in it, this will start the events of the Convocation of Mirrors.

Description

You stand in the ruins of what might once have been a tall, proud structure; perhaps a temple, or a forum, given the great stone pillars still jutting up from the ground. Most are nothing but shattered husks, broken off in various places to strew their top ends about as so much moss-covered debris.

It seems that, long ago, there was a campsite here. You see tattered remnants of cookware and tents. It's a simple matter to patch them together into a serviceable camp of your own.

History

Contains Spoilers for the Convocation of Mirrors event

During the opening stages of the Godswar, Prince Philander along with his half-sister Princess Phyria held a Convocation of Mirrors for like-minded mages to learn the ways of mirror magic. While the attendants would enter a dream-like state to learn and partake in the Convocation, the servants of the House of Tychris attended to the bodily needs of the dreamers and Sigrune guarded the entrance to prevent any unwanted visitors from disturbing the event. The Convocation was set to last for several days; however, the event was disrupted when wraiths attacked and killed everyone (excluding Sigrune, who was posted far enough from events that she was largely ignored). The large concentration of wizards had drawn the ravening creatures to feed upon their bodies and souls; word of the disaster at Estelore had yet to reach this part of the Marches, and the royal guard Phyria had brought with her had no means with which to combat the creatures.

The strongest and greediest of the wraiths had half-consumed the souls of the royal siblings when it realised, to its shock, that it had suddenly developed emotions and a conscience. Feeling regret for what it had done, the once-mindless, soulless entity turned upon its own; too sated from their gluttony to put up any resistance, the other wraiths were soon subsumed by their prime specimen. Faced with the destruction it had caused in the aftermath of the Convocation, the final remaining wraith spirited the half-devoured souls of the royal siblings to an alternate reality known only as her Dream, in which they believed the Convocation to be still ongoing for all of eternity.

Because the royal twins' spirits were the impetus for shaping the new deity's personality, and Nareva was the patron deity of Tychris and all it stood for, the wraith decided to adopt the persona of such, drawing from the memories and experiences of all it had devoured to fill in the expectations of the role she had taken upon herself. Returning to Tychris with news of the siblings' death, Nareva galvanised the principality into making what preparations it could for the wave of darkness that was spreading outward from Estelore.

While Tychris survived, the loss of Philander and Phyria quashed any hopes the city-state had of recovering from the damage dealt to it. Marriages of necessity, coupled by multiple generations of weak births -- perhaps owing to the line being wraith-touched -- led to the royal blood being watered down; while still impressive, the royal line today is nothing like the roughly eight-foot specimens the royal siblings were. Despite remaining the grandest and biggest population center in all the Marches, would Tychris ever again be the industrial and artisanal powerhouse it once was, and continues to slide into slow decline to this day despite Nareva's best efforts to revitalise the city and its ruling family.