The Mad King's Trove
※The Drowned City of Skalla can be accessed via the Duty Finder.
...Well? Out with it! What's this theory of yours?
...Actually, mayhap it would be better if we first adjourned to a more suitable location.
...In case a rival treasure hunter overhears our plans, you mean? Good thinking!
That...was not exactly the reason, but 'tis certainly a valid concern. Let us reconvene on the southern edge of Loch Seld.
Come now, Alphinaud, don't leave us in suspense! Let's hear this theory of yours!
Forgive me. 'Twas not my intention to draw out proceedings. I simply wished to have the loch in sight while I explained things.
Prior to the great flood of the Sixth Umbral Calamity, the salt lakes you see before you were yet dry ravines. And this, believe it or not, was the site of the ancient city of Skalla, which rose and fell during the Fifth Astral Era.
From what we know of the period, the city was already deserted by the time the waters began to rise, having been all but destroyed by war. Yet its ruins remain to this day at the bottom of Loch Seld.
It is my belief that the “darkness beneath the palace” mentioned by Theodoric's former scribe was not a reference to the prison, but to a place still further below: the ruins of Skalla.
I further surmise that the mad king's unfortunate kinsmen were cast down there not simply out of a desire to punish them, but to discourage exploration. Theodoric wanted to keep the ruins secure...
Wait...you're saying...they were meant to guard the mad king's trove!
Precisely. And since we know the court thaumaturge was involved, we can safely assume that any entrance into the old city will have been magically concealed.
...Which would explain how a legion of imperial soldiers and the gods know how many Ala Mhigans never found a trace of the trove.
We, however, have certain advantages which they did not enjoy. Forename─would you be so good as to swim down to the bottom of the loch and search for an underwater route into the ruins? While you do that, Arenvald and I will seek out an ensorcelled portal within the palace.
Forename─it's Alphinaud. We have searched the prison beneath the palace, and found a door concealed by enchantments. Have you aught to report?
...And you believe it leads into the ruins? Excellent. Then I propose we proceed from our respective entry points and look to meet somewhere in the middle.
Oh, come on, lads─we might as well make it a race! Victory goes to the first adventurer to find the treasure! Godsspeed!
Our path was dark, treacherous, and fair crawling with abominations... Long story short, it was a proper adventure!
Arenvald and I forged ahead at the fastest pace we could manage, but I was not surprised to find you waiting for us. I suppose it serves us right for challenging the Warrior of Light. Next time, we should agree on some manner of handicap...
Ah, we may have lost, Alphinaud─but think of what we found!
Quite. I am still reeling at the sight of that mountain of riches...
What, like how you reeled at the sight of that floating specter, you mean? You should have heard him scream, Forename!
M-Must we dwell on such momentary lapses!? We found the mad king's trove, and that is all that matters!