The Will of the Moon


«A Power in Slumber

071201.png70The CallMainquest1 Icon.png The Call»

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Cirina is quite right. Before we seek permission to use these pillars, we should determine if they are suitable for our purposes.
It seems the time is come to put my skills to use. Pray lead the way to the House of the Crooked Coin.
Quest Accepted
Well...it certainly looks powerful. But powerful enough? That, you'll have to ask the expert.
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Such an abundance of aether!
Are we in luck?

We are. This is an Allagan artifact, most likely built to regulate the flow of aether.


I strongly suspect the ancients used it to stem the flow from here to the Burn. That would explain how they were able to untether what became Azys Lla from its surroundings.


But were we to throw open the floodgates, the resultant deluge would surely be sufficient to raise our wall. And in restoring the flow, we may also restore life to the wasteland.


Hm...?
What is it?

While the device itself harbors a surfeit of aether, the opposite is true of the surrounding area...


An effect of regulation, perhaps? A similar phenomenon seemed to be occurring in Doma...


Whatever the explanation, the answer will not reveal itself here. We have seen what we needed to see. Let us return to Mol Iloh.
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That such an abundant source of aether should lie undisturbed for millennia... 'Tis a miracle made possible by the Steppe's long history of isolation.
Well, it looks like I was right about the pillars. Now all we need is permission to use them.
You found that which you seek, then? Great indeed is the Dusk Mother's power. If naught less will suffice to protect our lands, the blessing of the other tribes must now be sought.
Of course. But to which tribes should we appeal?
There are many who worship Nhaama, but none are so fervent in their faith as the Dotharl. Their consent shall be the key.
The Dotharl. Lyse spoke of them. A warlike tribe possessed of unique customs and beliefs. I sense their cooperation will not be easily won.
Nay, but it will be well worth the effort. The Dotharl fear nothing─death least of all─and our alliance would be greatly strengthened by their presence. Let us go to Dotharl Khaa and treat with their khatun, Sadu.
While you meet with the Dotharl, I shall send messengers to the other tribes. If Sadu can be swayed, I am certain more will follow.
The Dusk Mother embodies love, but so too does she embody war. I pray that your meeting with Sadu will not end in blood.
Despite her fondness for battle, Sadu is an astute leader. If we plead our case in earnest, I am certain she can be persuaded.
Great faith gives rise to great strength─for better or for worse. Whatever it is the Dotharl hold sacred, we would do well to accord it all respect.
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You again? Other matters demand our time, khagan. Unless it is battle you seek?
Alas not. Quite the opposite, in fact...

Talking, always talking... You say the pillars hold great power? Of course they do. They are the source of Nhaama's strength.


To the Dotharl, no place is more sacred, and we will make ash of any who would defile it. Though I see this is not your wish.
You see the wisdom of our proposition, then? You will join hands with us?
I said nothing of joining hands. You wish to wield Nhaama's power to defend these lands, and this I will allow. But for leaving the Steppe to fight the men in iron I would have something in return.
...Namely?

Namely battle. With you, khagan!


The Naadam ended ere it began. I would face you again, alone, without distractions.


Defeat me─prove yourself the stronger─and you shall have the Dotharl as your allies. Surely, these are agreeable terms?
Well, this is a...not wholly unexpected turn of events─though I had assumed I would be the one required to fight. Alas, the khatun has made her choice.
What will you say?

1) Shall we dance?
2) I'd rather not.

Ha! It shall be a battle the Steppe shall not soon forget!

So you say. But the fire in your eyes tells another tale. You want this as much as I do!

Ahhh, already my soul burns brighter! Prepare yourself, khagan, and await me outside the khaa. I will gather my witnesses and join you anon.
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Why are you still here? Go. Wait for me outside the khaa. I will join you soon enough.
Try as I might, I fail to see the logic in this arrangement. I can but conclude there is none.
When I was little, I would stride up to Gosetsu, wooden sword in hand, and challenge him. To his great credit, he never held back, and I had many a bump and bruise to show for it. <sigh>
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Yes, this spot shall serve as well as any. I shall enjoy this, khagan!
Is this truly necessary? Have you no peaceable way of making decisions?
Speak not of peace. You stand before proud warriors of the Dotharl. In the heat of battle do our souls burn brightest!

We lay low the strong that we may rise higher!


That is our way─the way of might! There is no other!
...Well, they do not want for conviction.
Indeed. It's what makes them such dangerous enemies...and such useful allies.
Enough talk! It is time to fight!
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Duty Commenced
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Come, khagan! Let us dance!

You are strong indeed... A worthy champion of the Steppe...


But you are mistaken if you think I will fall so easily!


Ahhh, fighting you is pure bliss!


Such sweet pleasure, I will not suffer to end so soon!


...Well? Do not tell me that is all you have?


My soul demands more, khagan! Give me more!


<grunt> My arms...grow heavy... My eyes dim...


But so long as my lifeblood flows...I will fight on!


Yaaaaaarrrgh!


Come! Let us begin anew!


This is the reckoning, khagan! One must fall!
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Yes! YES! Not since the Naadam has my soul burned so!
Come! We have only just begun!
Enough. You were not granted leave to set the Steppe ablaze.
Well, well! The sun has come out to play!
Begone, moonstruck Oronir! I am busy.
Fool of a Dotharl. Have you forgotten the face of your master already? The Sun will never set! From his seat on high, he reigns over all, now and forever!

Yet what should he find here but a battle to determine the fate of the Steppe─a battle waged without his blessing! This will not stand!


You, Doman. You who come to petition the warriors of this land forget that all Nhaama's children are wards of the Oronir. As first among my brothers, your petition is mine alone to judge.
These words are as wind from a horse's backside. Plentiful. But your axe sings more sweetly. Let her speak for you.
Insolent child. You will learn your place.
Forgive me, Brother Magnai, but we have an arrangement with the Dotharl. We will not abide any interruptions.
So be it. The Sun will pass judgment on all. Daidukul─join me.
The Sun is in good company. We may dance alone.
Beg not for mercy, for you will have none. Bear witness to the power and the glory of Azim!
Constantly at each other's throats, like rabid...dogs. Gods, I'm turning into her.
Ahem. I have not the patience for this. But if we must fight, let us at least be brief. Come!
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In the coming battle, you will fight as Y'shtola

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Come! Plead your case unto the Sun!
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Oh, we shall endeavor to be most convincing!
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When we have claimed victory, I claim Hien for the Buduga!
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<sigh> Do as you will...
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Focus on Magnai─leave Daidukul to me.
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You, too, must learn your place.
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Let's move this right along!
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You have left yourself open, Doman!
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Ugh, this bodes ill... Y'shtola─some healing would be welcome!
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My fist swells with the passion of the Buduga!
Every last drop, I give to you, Hien!
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So you still stand. But soon you will kneel.

Know the folly of opposing the will of Azim!


These axes will not break! You have nowhere to hide!
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Very well, then... Y'shtola─to me!
I shall take care of this!
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Hmph, predictable!
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What!?
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Every step you will take, every move you will make─the Sun sees all!
Now, fall!
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Time to finish this!

Aether! To me!


Have at you!
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Ungh... What strength─what grace is this?
Duty Complete
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Ahhh, never have I felt such bliss in defeat!

'Twas a battle to burn soul and flesh to ash. We Dotharl will lend you our strength as promised. Nhaama's power is yours to wield.


What does the Sun say to that?
Hmph. The Sun is not driven by base motives such as yours. But aye, they have been judged...and found worthy.
It is the way of the Oronir to accord recognition and respect to the strong. You have made sufficient proof of your strength. The Sun shall answer your call.
You have our thanks. We are glad to call you allies.
You. By what are you called?
Y'shtola. Why?
Are you...?
Are you my Nhaama?
I beg your pardon?
In battle, you shone with all the majesty of the full moon's light, your healing touch the embodiment of the Dusk Mother's love.

Long had I wondered if my Nhaama might not be a woman of the Steppe. Beholding you, I am all but certain!


Now, look into my eyes. Could it be...? Could you be...?
I am...not interested, little sun. Try again when you have become a man.
Little...?
Little sun! Little sun!
Does it pain you, little sun? Crave you salve to soothe the ache? Fire to sear the wound in your heart?
We have wasted enough time here. Cirina waits for word of our success.
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The Sun was quick to fade. After a few half-hearted swings, he shouldered his axe and sauntered off. But no matter. I was satisfied with our dance, khagan.
What more do you want? Leave this place, and take that woman with you.
After eluding our brothers sent to Doma, Hien comes to the Steppe of his own free will...only to elude us yet again. Damn it all...
Magnai's unannounced appearance had me worried for a moment, but it was not his day to shine. Still...I cannot fault the man's bravery.
...Offended? Not in the least. I am no stranger to clumsy propositions, and that, believe it or not, was far from the worst I have heard.
On the matter of Nhaama's power and the alliance, the gods have remained silent. That is their way of telling us to choose with our hearts.

...You had not only to contend with Sadu, but Magnai too!? Such a fierce battle that must have been. Yet here you stand, triumphant. Having passed such a test, they could not well deny you their allegiance.


The Mol will make no such demands. Weak though we are, we will gladly stand with you. The Steppe is our home, and we will defend it with all our being.
You have my heartfelt thanks! Of all the tribes of the Steppe, there is none I would rather have at my side!
Gods willing, many more will rally to our cause. I shall send you word when we have answers from all the tribes.
I cannot thank you enough, Cirina. None of this would have been possible without you.
Quest Complete