The Hardened Heart

Featurequest1 Icon.png Lv. 78   The Hardened Heart
Quest
100867.png
Rewardsicon.png Rewards
XP Gil
Expicon.png780,000 Gil Icon.png2,416
Guaranteed Rewards
Paella
Informationicon.png Description
Objectivesicon.png Objectives
  • Relive Brandon and Ardbert's battle against Tadric!
Issuing NPC: Sul Oul: Il Mheg - Voeburtenburg - Pla Enni (x:22.7, y:4)
Type: Role Quests
Unlocks: To Have Loved and LostSidequest1 Icon.png
Requirements
Class: Tank Icon 1.png Tank
Quest: Sidequest1 Icon.pngThe Princess and Her Knight
Lore & Dialogue
Loremonger:The Hardened Heart
NPCs Involved: Granson
Mobs Involved: Tadric the VaingloriousMagicked MonstrosityTransmutated Traitor

Sul Oul in Il Mheg - Voeburtenburg - Pla Enni (x:22.7, y:4)
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Granson in Il Mheg - Voeburtenburg - Pla Enni (x:22.7, y:4)
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Sul Oul in Il Mheg - Longmirror Lake (x:20.1, y:16.5)
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Granson in Il Mheg - Longmirror Lake (x:20.1, y:16.4)
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Sidequest4 Icon.png 
Sul Oul in Il Mheg - Voeburtenburg - Pla Enni (x:22.7, y:4)
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  • Sul Oul seems rather more pleased to entertain you than Granson.
  • Having finally completed your respective tasks, you and Granson bid Sul Oul to tell you what they know of Branden, the former Warrior of Light. However, the Nu Mou's fond words for the fallen knight spur Granson to lash out in anger, as he is unwilling to think of the man as anything but the eater he has become. The Nu Mou regards him quietly for a moment before inviting the two of you to accompany them to Lyhe Ghiah to hear a story...
  • In the ruins of the ancient castle of Lyhe Ghiah, Sul Oul regales you with the tale of Branden and the lady Sauldia. The young knight served as the princess's bodyguard for a time, until he failed in his duty to protect her during one of her many “investigations.” Though she would make a full recovery, Branden was nevertheless stripped of his knighthood and cast out...only to return one day, a grizzled adventurer in the company of fledgling heroes. Together they sought to identify the culprit behind the mysterious transformations which had continued unabated in Branden's absence. And so their search would lead them to the viper in their midst...
  • Tadric, court mage and loyal servant of the royal family, was the architect of Voeburt's misery. Consumed by pride and jealousy, he had orchestrated the transformations in an effort to throw the kingdom into chaos that he might claim Voeburt's throne for himself. Though the Warriors of Light succeeded in putting an end to his ambitions, their victory was marred by tragedy when Tadric, in a final act of spite before he breathed his last, cursed Sauldia like he had so many others, condemning her to a fate worse than death. Through the power of the Echo, you bear witness to the court mage's final moments...as well as hers, as Branden carries out her final order, and releases her from her torment...
  • Good and evil, right and wrong. There is a comfort in simplicity. Granson had convinced himself that Branden was the villain of his personal story─that his tragedy could have meaning and purpose so long as he saw it through to the proper conclusion. But life is not a faerie tale, and Branden was a man like any other, full of hopes and dreams and regrets...including one which mirrored the hunter's own. Unsure how to reconcile this truth, Granson asks for a moment to think on his path. For indeed, if we are not who we believe ourselves to be...then who are we?
※The next role quest will be available from Sul Oul upon reaching level 80 in any tank class.

Oh, you've returned. They made me go and gather a bunch of strange mushrooms, so hopefully we can finally get some answers...
Player7 Icon.png Cutscene start.
Exemplary timing, Forename. 'Twas not more than a moment ago that Granson returned, having at last obliged my humble request.
Humble request my arse. This one's no better than a Eulmoran aristocrat, so accustomed to making others do their bidding. I tell you, there's something off-putting about taking orders from a dog─
Ere you continue and give me cause to reconsider aiding your hunt, perhaps you should ask your questions.
Fine. Forename said he saw a vision of you and Branden looking thick as thieves. You were friends, eh? Know what he's up to now?
Branden is dead. He died a century ago, together with his comrades in an attempt to halt the Flood that they themselves set in motion. I presume you speak of the eater that took possession of his corpse.
Dikaiosyne, aye. But unlike most eaters, he's been doing more than roam about aimlessly. For some reason he's been hunting down royal treasures of old Voeburt...
...And he's been killing anyone who got in his way.
Is he now? Heh, what irony. Even in death he remains a slave to duty. A knight brave and true─
He's a murderer, and I'll not hear it said otherwise. He ruined my life─killed my beloved right before my very eyes! Every night I go to bed dreaming of the day I'll take my revenge.
...Oh. I see. Truly, you have suffered a terrible loss...but while your thirst for vengeance is quite natural and understandable, it is ultimately misguided.
Unusual behavior notwithstanding, Dikaiosyne is nevertheless no more than an eater. To hate him is to hate the sea that claims the ship─the disease that steals the child, the tremor that topples the home. The mindless force of nature that begets destruction, driven by fragmented memory─
Don't you dare make excuses for him! You think I wanted any of this!? I grew up on a farm. I could barely wield a sword! And now I've got to kill one of the bloody Cardinal Virtues!

Hate and anger and vengeance are all I've got now! My every waking moment is dedicated to plotting his death. It has to be! It has to be!


So just tell us where the godsdamned ring is and we'll be on our way!
This is how it has to be, hmm? Who you have to be?
Nay, I think not. You ask too much─demand far, far too much─and in exchange for what? This I cannot abide.
Are you trying to barter with me!? You little shite─tell me what I want to know or I'll beat it out of you!
Back off, Forename! I won't let anyone or anything stand between me and Milinda's murderer!
...Branden was a dear friend. To know that an eater disgraces his flesh and his memory pains me more than I can well express.

It would bring me great comfort if you were to grant him peace.


I should like to share with you a story. If you would be so kind as to join me in Lyhe Ghiah...
This had better have a point...
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Why are we here again?
Player7 Icon.png Cutscene start.
'Tis beautiful, even now. A palace of forgotten dreams. But before it was Lyhe Ghiah, in the time of Voeburt, it was Gruenes Licht.

The memory of mine in which you walked was of a troubled time, when the people of our kingdom were preyed upon by an ambitious fool...


Branden, then a young knight who had only just won his spurs, had caught the eye of Princess Sauldia, who chose him as her personal guardian. However, he was far too inexperienced, and was unable to keep her safe when she ventured outside these walls on one of her “investigations.”


For his failure, he was stripped of his knighthood, and shortly thereafter he quit Voeburt. I thought I would never see him again...


But then, one day, he returned─one of several wandering adventurers led by a man named Ardbert, who had accepted our invitation to look into the mysterious transformations, which had continued unabated in Branden's absence.


Lady Sauldia was overjoyed, and for a time it was like nothing had changed. They spoke often and grew even closer...


And then came the day when we learned the truth─


When we learned that the architect of our kingdom's suffering was none other than the court mage, Tadric...
ECHO START
It's him, Branden. I'm sorry.
...So am I. Come─let's have done with it.
It was you, Tadric─do not deny it! Tormenting our people, twisting and transforming them into monsters...and for what!?
Branden, Branden, Branden. And after I took such pains to be rid of you...
You may strip me of my titles but not my oaths. I shall serve Lady Sauldia till my dying breath!
As you like. Once I have killed you and your friends, there will be no one left to stop me from claiming the throne!
Hear me, my children! The hour of reckoning is at hand! Rejoice, for in noble sacrifice shall you find everlasting glory!
Youthful Court Mage
Lord Tadric, it...it hurts...
Soon you shall know no more pain.
I was going to make it quick. For old times' sake. But now...now I think I ought to take my time...

Battle Dialogue[edit]

Tadric the Vainglorious
Come, my children! Render up your lives for your master!
For all your crimes and more, you will pay!
The direct approach isn't working...
Tadric the Vainglorious
Your feeble tricks are no match for my magicks!
He's drawing upon the aether of his thralls. Kill them!
Poor bastards. That's what you get for trusting a court mage...
Branden! Bring them all in close!
Such an incredible display of strength! The stuff of legends!
There's no escape, Tadric! Surrender!
Tadric the Vainglorious
While I still have so many lives at my disposal? I think not.
Tadric the Vainglorious
Come, children! In death shall your meaningless lives gain glorious purpose!
I'll defend Lamitt! Branden, go to Nyelbert!
Tadric the Vainglorious
Now... Burn bright for me, and die, die, die!
How many more must die for your vanity!?
Branden─don't let him cast that spell! Do whatever it takes!
Tadric the Vainglorious
You are most tenacious, but everyone has their limits...
That attack's too much for any one person to take! We have to stand together! Understood!?
Understood!
Tadric the Vainglorious
Your end is nigh!
Tadric the Vainglorious
No sacrifice is too great to claim what is by rights mine!
Tadric the Vainglorious
Rise, my children! Rise and defend me!
TAAADRIIIC!!!
Surely no one can harness such a massive torrent of aether...
Tadric the Vainglorious
Such obedient children, to offer up their lives in sacrifice!
Unrepentant to the last... This madness dies with you.
Tadric the Vainglorious
Hahaha! What is life but a medium for my magicks!?
Tadric the Vainglorious
How much longer can you hold the line, I wonder?
The bastard's keen to drag this out...
We can't keep this up forever!
Everyone! Now's our chance to turn the tide!
I've still got a few arrows in my quiver!
Branden, bring them all into the center like before!
See that, Tadric!? You're next!
Tadric the Vainglorious
Time to thin the herd...starting with that dwarf perhaps?
Don't you touch her, you bastard!
Branden─we have to defend Lamitt at all costs!
Whew, thank you both!
Tadric the Vainglorious
I tire of these theatrics. Let us end this farce here and now!
Tadric the Vainglorious
This castle will be your tomb!
He's channeling a vast quantity of aether! Whatever he's preparing, we cannot let him finish!
You heard Lamitt! We have to stop him!
Don't ask for mercy, Tadric. You won't get it!
Meddlesome wretch! This kingdom is by rights mine!
Branden? What is the meaning of this!?
Tadric, you... But why, after serving us faithfully for so many years─
I am no servant! No servant! Not of your mother or father...or you!
My lady!
Godsdamn you!
Lady Sauldia! Speak to me!
Branden. My dear, brave Branden... Am I...your princess still? Would you honor your vows, even now?
Now and ever after, my lady. My sword is yours to command.
That...that is well. Would that I had the strength to wield it myself...
Steel your heart, brave Branden, and for the good of Voeburt...and her people...
No...no, no! I cannot! I will not!
Honor your vows. To your kingdom... To your princess...
To...to your friend... Who never doubted you. Who knew...knew that you...would return...and see justice...justice...
...No. It should be me.
Branden...my sword...now and...ever after...
We've rounded up the rest of Tadric's co-conspirators and tossed them in the gaol. The ones who hadn't been corrupted by his magicks, that is...
I'll not hesitate again. No matter the cost─no matter the sacrifice...
ECHO END
Well? You saw what happened?
Wicked white. She begged him to do it. Like Milinda...
Come. Let us quit this place and return to Pla Enni.
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...
Player7 Icon.png Cutscene start.
Do you know why I entered into the royal family's service many long years ago?

Because when I was attacked by a wild beast which nearly tore me to shreds, it was Lady Sauldia who came to my rescue.


She saved me─and that is a debt that can never be repaid, for there is naught in this world which holds greater value than life itself.


Not even her death absolves me of it, and so I must always first consider her wishes, her desires─what she would want for me and her kingdom. For Branden, and yes, even for you, Granson...
For me...?
To define oneself in opposition to the other─an other bereft of complexity of nuance, wholly devoid of redeeming qualities. A villain. Indeed, there is comfort and certainty in hatred...

But it is a false and fleeting comfort. Bought with lies we tell ourselves about who we are, what we must be, what we must do. And never you mind the cost─if anything, the more we offer up in sacrifice, the better!


Do you not see? Branden was right to hesitate. To doubt. The unwavering blade cares not whom it serves nor who it cuts.
I...I think I need a moment...
Perhaps you do as well. Leave us for now, Forename.
Player7 Icon.png Cutscene end.
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