The Stewards of Note
※Please note that the difficulty of this quest has been synced to your current level. Furthermore, you may not proceed with a class or job that is different from when you accepted this quest.
Oh, hello there. You're the sweet young man staying with Master Matoya, are you not? I've been meaning to thank you for looking after my boy that one time. His name's Valan. You remember him, don't you?
He's always running around with his friend Quinfort. You know, the one who so much enjoys hearing the sound of his own voice. Why, just moments ago, he rushed in here, then went dashing off, shouting about how he'd made a discovery “of staggering import” over in Fanow.
Valan, bless his heart, went running after him. I know these parts aren't as dangerous as they once were—and Quinfort apparently has made some friends among the Viis—but still...I can't help but worry.
Would you be so kind as to follow after them, and make sure Valan doesn't get into anything over his head? You can tell him his mother sent you.
The sin eaters do not plague the land like they once did. And yet, the Greatwood is vast, and there are any number of nasty critters lurking in the shadows. If anything became of my boy, I don't know what I'd do...
How many times must I tell you, Valan!? When the will of the wood summons me, I must heed its call!
For the last time, Quinfort! Would it kill you to actually explain yourself before you go dashing around the forest like a madman!?
What nonsense do you speak, Valan? The Keeper of Whispers would never be so insolent as to keep the gods waiting when They would share with me Their wisdom! Why, the mere notion is preposterous! Blasphemous, even!
Forename!? Whatever are you doing here?
My mother sent you? Dear heavens, I'm sorry for dragging you into this. As you might suspect, Quinfort's ranting and raving about the “will of the wood” again.
When he ran off shouting about prophecies, I simply had to follow along to make sure he didn't get himself into any trouble. The Viis said we were welcome at any time, of course, but would it kill the man to be a bit more circumspect?
Oh, that reminds me. Whatever happened to that squirmy little fellow that Quinfort—for whatever ungodly reason—believes to be the “Great Serpent of Ronka”? Does it still travel with you, or did it get squished somewhere along the way?
What ignorance is this, Valan!? The divine protector has returned to slumber in its nest deep in the heart of Rak'tika, from which it speaks to me in my dreams even now!
O, great one! Is it truly you, returned to grace your loyal servant with your presence in this time of need!? Truly, the wood has answered my pleas!
If the “great serpent” has been with you all this time, Forename, I can only imagine what sort of dreams he's been having...
And yet...as skeptical as I am, the Viis seem to put stock in his visions. If there's even a hint of truth to them, who knows what we're in for...
Muahahaha! I know, my good friend, for I have seen it a thousand thousand times in my visions! This venerable forest is on the verge of entering a new age of harmony! For the great serpent shall let out a mighty cry, and so doing summon forth they who did serve great Ronka in times of eld!
Verily, the arrival of the heirs to wisdom ancient and true is nigh at hand! Now is the time! We must follow where the great serpent leads, and in doing so lay claim to a great future!
Quinfort! Not again...
I'm sorry to impose, Forename, but would you mind helping me go after him? There's only one path forward through the forest, so he shouldn't be too hard to find.
He must be around here somewhere...
Look, over in that flower bed! Someone's there!
A rat who speaks? Who are you, and why do you trespass in our sacred forest!? Answer me, or we will be dining on rat stew this night!
Ye gads! Oh, do have mercy! I assure you—yes, most assuredly—that we come in peace!
Put down your arms! If my visions speak true—and I have never known them to speak otherwise—this mousy fellow and his diminutive companion are none other than the descendants of a proud Ronkan tribe of old!
You... You are from Slitherbough, yes? One of the so-called Night's Blessed?
There you are! I swear, Quinfort, do you take pleasure in driving me mad?
Forgive my friend here. He simply cannot control himself sometimes. I promise you I'll give him a stern talking-to when we get home. Now, Quinfort...
Hm? Friends of the ally of Ronka, are you? You are quite bold—or quite foolish—to rush forward before the spearpoint of a Viis as you did.
And who—or what—is this one? I have not seen him nor any of his ilk before. And yet you say he is a descendant from a proud tribe of Ronka?
Most assuredly so! For I did foresee his coming in a vision granted to me by none other than the great serpent itself!
Look, Father! There's two of them!
|Qiqirn...? Here!?||Another serpent!?|
A most auspicious encounter this is! For a friend of the great serpent is a friend of ours, yes? Pray, my good sir, do enlighten us as to the name of your most ancient and venerable tribe.
...Ahem. We are the Qitari. You call us an ancient and venerable tribe, and...I cannot deny that we are very much that.
The Qitari? That is a name I have heard from my elders. And yet, I was told that the last Qitari vanished a hundred years ago.
Those of us born after the Flood never paid the stories much heed, but... You say that we truly stand before a Qitari in the flesh?
However it may be, it is clear that the ally of Ronka and his friends mean us no harm. Let us put down our arms.
Father and I have come in search of a great arfi-tact of our past! Great stones buried deep in a cave by his father's father's father's—how many fathers were there again, Father?
Chaqurl! Have you forgotten your manners? It would be untoward not to introduce ourselves to our honored new friends.
I am Qitarl Natl of the Qitari, and this is my foolish child, Chaqurl Qhotl. Do forgive us for our impropriety.
Yes, do forgive us for our impo-priety!
For nigh on a century, our tribe has made its home in the shadow of the Light—deep in the forests on the far side of Qitana Ravel, by the rushing waters of Rak'tika Falls.
We did not always hide in the darkness—this place we now stand was once our home. Then came that fateful day when the skies were flooded with Light. Facing certain doom, our forebears fled the forests—but not before a band of the bravest gave their lives to store away our greatest treasures for safekeeping, with the hope that one day their children's children might unearth them anew.
These are the artifacts of which my son spoke—the Qitari stelae, mighty stone monoliths engraved with the accumulated knowledge of our people in its entirety.
Of course! It is precisely as I saw it in the visions the great serpent bestowed upon me! A proud and ancient tribe of scribes and scholars! The stewards of knowledge of ancient Ronka!
...Oho. You are most insightful, my friend. Indeed, we were once known as the Stewards of Note—a title that fittingly describes both our duties as keepers of written knowledge, and the surpassing aptitude with which we pursued the task. Our ancestors served proudly as scribes and scriveners for many a generation of Ronkan emperors.
It is a role that came quite naturally to our people. For you see, we are not blessed with the longer lifespans of your kind. Thus, from our earliest days, we have been most meticulous about recording the happenings and learnings of our lives in precise and painstaking detail.
The Qitari stelae—or, more specifically, the carvings and etchings that grace their surfaces—represent the summation of all the knowledge and wisdom we have acquired over the years. They represent, one might say, the collective memory of our people, passed down through the ages from generation to generation.
Long have we dreamed of returning here to search for the stones, and reclaiming our legacy. And yet! Nasty, nasty sin eaters and worse stood in our path, making the journey far too pair-lious to even attempt!
Then, one day, the skies turned dark! I trembled in terror, but next thing I knew, the great serpent was hopping and squirming beside me! He told me that a path through the Ravel had been cleared, and we were free to go home at last!
Precisely. And so it was that my boy and I received the blessings of our fellow Qitari, and became the first of our kind in generations to return to this part of the Greatwood. Unfortunately, we were immediately set upon by all sorts of nasty creatures, forcing us to retreat and ponder our course of action.
...Where we came upon you, and threatened you at spearpoint. Pray forgive us, allies of Ronka. We knew not who you were, nor all you had suffered to arrive here.
You intend to remain here in the Greatwood to search for these...stelae of yours, was it? Worry not. We shall tell all in Fanow of you—that you are friends, and not to be harmed. And with that, we must be on our way. Go in peace.
Dear me, but that was a close one, wasn't it? I was all but certain Chaqurl and I were going to end up skewered. Were it up to me, I would have left the boy behind for his safety. But he is ever a curious one, and would hear nothing of it.
I'm not a child anymore, Father! I'm all of three summers!
Three!? Why, when I was three, I could barely walk straight!
Oho! I do not doubt that is so, good sir. But for our people—the oldest of whom would be lucky to see twenty summers—Chaqurl here is almost a Qitari grown.
...But enough about us. If I might change the subject, you know your way around the Greatwood, yes? I have reason to believe that our forefathers buried the stelae in a cavern that extends deep into the mountains near the Ox'Dalan Gap. Perhaps you might be willing to—
Come, Father! We must follow him!
But of course! It all makes sense now! It is the great serpent who guided you here to us, and now—together—we must heed its clarion call! Say no more, great stewards of Ronka! It would be our honor to assist you in your noble cause!
That is most kind of you, good sir. In that case, pray allow me to oblige. Let us follow where the great one leads.
The mere sight of the divine protector, humbling itself so as to crawl on the ground, that its loyal servants may rediscover and reclaim their proud past! Why, it nigh brings a tear to my eye!
Wonderful...his vision actually proved true. Now I'll never hear the end of it.
And so we finally return to this place after one hundred years. But what awaits us here? The mere prospect stirs my heart and makes me tremble in anticipation...
Father! Could this be the place?
Let us see, now... The mark on the cave's entrance appears to be an ancient Ronkan ward. This is promising, and yet...problematic.
Do allow me to explain. We Qitari worship Ox'Dalan, god of the dead and the world below. Our forebears no doubt believed that if they sealed away the stelae deep within the bowels of the land, Dalan Himself would watch over them and keep them safe until the day their descendants returned.
Most fascinating! Your knowledge of Ronkan tradition is impressive, indeed! However do you manage to know so much, despite your chronicles of history being lost to you for so long?
Many ruins can be found near Rak'tika Falls, within the wood we have called home since the Flood. We have made an effort to explore and excavate them as best we could, that our Ronkan roots would not be entirely forgotten.
A most admirable goal—and one near and dear to my own heart, as well! For you see, I am one of the Night's Blessed, who traveled to these parts after the Flood. I, too, have a deep personal interest in the beliefs and traditions of the ancient civilization that once flourished here!
In fact, I have done extensive research looking into my own ancestors, and was pleased to discover that I can trace my lineage back to the none other than the great sage Dwatl himself!
And Forename here is a true ally of Ronka. Why, as the Viis tell it, his coming was foretold by the last emperor himself!
The descendants of Ronka and their allies reunited across the years? Oh, joyous day! This meeting must truly be a gift from the great serpent!
I can vouch for Forename here—he is the very man who drove the Lightwarden from these lands. As for the descendant of the great sage what's-his-name, I'd suggest you let at least half of his ramblings go in one ear and out the other.
Could it truly be...? But yes, our hero stands before us! We watched your battle in the Ravel from the shadows. The moment you struck down that beast of Light, we knew that a new age was nigh. Oh, never have I seen such gallantry and valor!
I saw the battle, too! Never have I seen such vallantry and galor!
At any rate, my good sirs... I am keen to begin the excavation, but I fear it won't be so simple. The warding seal here bars our entrance, and we will have to find a way to break it if we hope to proceed.
If what I have gleaned from my research is correct, this will require an object of immense arcane power. A relic that will speak to the seal, and convey that the Qitari have returned to claim what is ours. An object imbued with the mystical energies of the forest itself...
Yes, an object with the glow of the Greatwood—as you always say, Father! I shall find it for you!
Your enthusiasm is admirable, Chaqurl. But let us not get ahead of ourselves. This is a perilous place, and I have no intention of seeing you get snatched up by some terrible beast.
And so I turn to the hero of the Ravel and the son of Dwatl. My good sirs, might you know of someone who could aid us in our search?
|You can trust me. I'm a Miner.||I know the Greatwood like the back of my hand.|
Oh, lucky day! Clearly, you are not merely a hero on the battlefield, but a man of many talents indeed. We would be ever so indebted to you if we could impose upon you just this once.
Yes, we would be most in-tedd-ed, my good madam! Or was it sir? Father, I can never tell which is which!
Enough prattling, Chaqurl. We must find a way to open this portal at once, that we might summon our fellow Stewards here and begin searching for the stelae in earnest.
O, ally of Ronka. Qitarl Natl of the Qitari bows down and beseeches you. Will you lend us your aid and help my people reclaim our long-lost legacy? I promise you the debt will not go unpaid.
I realize I ask much of you, and so soon after we met. Needless to say, pray take as much time as you require to consider our offer. Should you be inclined to offer your strength and wisdom to us, just say the word.
The descendants of the proud Qitari, emerged from the shadows to reclaim their legacy after a century! Mighty stone monoliths inscribed with the wisdom of the ages! Why, I can just feel the wondrous secrets of ancient Ronka stirring me to the depths of my soul!
Is there anything you can't do? No wonder Master Matoya is so happy to have you around.!
After the battle, when the skies went dark, I could hardly believe my eyes! After all, I'd never seen the...er...what's the opposite of day again?!
I am happy to greet you again, my good sir. What say you? Have you given any thought to my entreaty?
|The ally of Ronka stands with you.||The ally of Ronka has more important things to do.|
We are truly in your debt, ally of Ronka. I entrust the vital task of finding an object with the glow of the Greatwood to you. As for where to begin your search...
Leave that to me, my long-snouted friend! Did you mayhap notice that the serpent your dear Chaqurl brought along has a rather distinctive pattern of scales on its most exquisite body? I have reason to believe that this pattern will indeed lead us to that which we seek!
Hark unto the serpent's cry! And know that the points of light that glow amidst the stripes represent those precise spots where the aether that flows through the Greatwood is most densely concentrated!
Behold! Here, in the northwestern reaches of the Blind Forest of Yx'Maja—conveniently marked by this slimy little scar—we can see what is doubtless a convergence of sorts. If anywhere, it is there we will find a specimen of sufficient power to breach the seal!
Behold! Here, in the western reaches of Mjrl's Regret—conveniently marked by this slimy little scar—we can see what is doubtless a convergence of sorts. If anywhere, it is there we will find a denizen of the deep whose scales are imbued with sufficient power to breach the seal!
I might add that—if my encyclopedic knowledge of forest fauna serves me well—these creatures are known to have a particular fondness for fruit worms.
Oho! If the son of Dwatl says it is so, then surely it would behoove us to pay heed.
When you return with the relic, pray let Chaqurl see it once. I would have my boy gain firsthand knowledge of the wisdom of his forefathers.
Have you had any luck in finding the relic we seek, good sir? I do not mean to hurry you, but I would very much like to get on with the excavation before I die of old age.
Father says that with you on our side, we're sure to open the door and begin the ex-vacation any time now!
I don't put much stock in Quinfort's ramblings, but even a madman can stumble upon a fragment of truth from time to time. As for whether whatever you find will serve our purposes, I guess we'll just have to see, won't we?
The great serpent has spoken! Yes, it is as clear to me as a clarion call from the heavens! Ancient aetheric energy will be summoned forth, and the door shall open, revealing a pathway to great secrets of the past!
You have returned! And what's this? Do I see something glowing on your person?
Why, it's beautiful! Oh, thank you, sirmadam—or was it madamsir? Now, Father says I need simply point it at the door, and...
My word... It opens! Oh, splendid! Splendiferous!
Splen-fid-erous indeed! Look, Father! The seal is broken!
It has, Chaqurl...it has. And with this, after a hundred years...we stand on the verge of reclaiming our legacy.
But our task has only begun. There will be digging—yes, much digging—and delving. We must relay the triumphant tidings to our tribesmen, and summon them here to assist in the excavation. Yes, from this day, the Stewards will not rest until a new page in the annals of Qitari history has been writ.
Do not worry, Father! I will work as hard as any Steward to reclaim our less-agy! Oh, Sirmadam Forename—you will help us in our quest, yes?
Good Forename! You must meet my mother! Mother will be running the camp and seeing that everything is order. Isn't that right, Mother? Yes?
My son speaks true. Reclaiming our history is about more than grand discoveries of ancient artifacts. There is much that must be done to ensure we can go about our daily lives in this place. And so I would call upon you for aid from time to time, if you would not be disinclined to help us.
I am pleased to report that we have begun a preliminary investigation of the first level of the tunnels below. I am optimistic that we shall find signs of the first stela before long.
I simply cannot wait to see what will be found in the caves next. Truth be told, I can barely contain my excitement!
I'm pleased to say that our excavating operations have commenced. While my husband and son spearhead the search for the stone tablets, I shall see to it they have all the support they require here at the Stopple.
It's always a pleasure to trade with those willing to aid our cause! We are fortunate indeed to have your cooperation.
We have taken to calling this place "Hopl's Stopple," after the legendary Qitari elder who led the effort to seal away the stelae a hundred years ago.