City of the Ancients

«Waiting in the Depths
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...Ah, Forename. Have you learned aught of note?
Fascinating...and precisely the sort of information I was hoping to hear.
In fact, if you have a moment, I'd like to borrow your eyes to confirm a theory I've been working on. Come.
Now, there are two tasks I would have you perform.
The first requires you to inspect the buildings which surround the Ondo settlement, and note their most distinctive characteristics.
For the second, I wish you to use this knife to take scrapings from one of the remnant walls.
Pray be as thorough as you can. I shall be waiting here for the results of your investigations.
'Tis strange to be here, under the ocean. It seems a lifetime ago that we stood amidst the trees of Rak'tika...
And what have you discovered?
Yes, I would agree that the windows are most distinctive. 'Twould seem the structures appear the same to both your sight and mine...
And you say you could not so much as scratch the wall? Even with all your might behind the blade?
Forename, everywhere I turn in this place, my gaze is drawn by peculiar materials for which I do not have a name.
The buildings I had you investigate are prime examples. They may appear to be constructed of ordinary stone, but I assure you it is nothing of the sort...
If pressed, I would describe the substance as a composite of several mineral properties, blended to create a material of unparalleled durability.
Even the Ronkan Empire, once the greatest power in Norvrandt, produced nothing which compares to this level of perfection.
But if not the Ronka, then who? Who were these ancients the Ondo claim as the architects of their sanctuary?
I suspect our answer lies with the reason Emet-Selch withdrew here to the Tempest.
He may simply have wished to retreat somewhere mere mortals would struggle to reach...but there are many such remote locations. Why here, specifically?
Emet-Selch is devoted to his role, and thus we might assume his choice of stronghold somehow serves the Ascian agenda.
Or mayhap...'tis a place more dear to him than any other.
What will you say?
Answer 1
!Are you saying this was built by ancient Ascians...?
!Could this place provide power to Emet-Selch?
!I couldn't say either way...
That is my theory, that these structures are remnants of a time before history─of a star that was yet whole and unbroken.
That was my first thought as well. Yet no matter how superior the materials, a ruin is just a ruin. 'Tis naught that would decide a battle's outcome.
Which brings us to my second theory: that he has some other, more personal connection to this site. What if these structures are remnants of a time before history─of a star that was yet whole and unbroken?
It is my theory that these structures are remnants of a time before history─of a star that was yet whole and unbroken.
Such traces in the Source would have been obliterated by the succession of Umbral Calamities, but here in the First they might have remained untouched for millennia...
...A copy of the mural in the Qitana Ravel. Almet presented it to me during my visit to Fanow, after our victory in Kholusia.
Here, in the first scene... By Emet-Selch's own words, it depicts a city of eons past and the disaster which befell it.
The design is much simplified, of course, but do you see the similarities between its towers and those you have just inspected?
We are close to the truth, I feel. Let us search the surrounds for another tower─one which matches the picture near enough to remove all doubt.
From what I have seen, naught more than sand and more sand lies to the east, and the south held no such structures. I suggest we try our luck further to the northwest.
Aye... This is the mural writ large...
Though I cannot guess at its purpose, it must have been an imposing sight. How much of the tower's height lies hidden beneath the ground, I wonder...
Centuries of our history have settled upon such ruins. Countless layers of dust and sediment...
...An entire civilization, its existence forgotten by all except a handful of Ascians.
And yet it did exist. They lived here, in this city...
But let us focus on what we've learned thus far. The Ondo chieftain spoke of mysteries stirring─of a land illuminated.
Judging by his words, he believes this phenomenon related to the ancients' return.
Thus can we surmise that what the Ondo saw shining in the abyss was, in all likelihood, yet another remnant of this age-old civilization.
And who else would “light the lanterns” as Ryne put it, than Emet-Selch himself? 'Tis almost certain he is there!
But if we are to find this stronghold in a timely manner, it seems gaining the Ondo's trust remains our swiftest path forward.
I only hope our deeds are enough to win them over...