Temple: Andothren quests


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Hlaalu-flavored questline for the Andothren Temple. Master dealing with impiety and soft heresy.

1- the picture of Health
%Priest asks that you be able to cure diseases, then sends you to cure two of the richest/noble inhabitants of Andothren (without explanation; evasive if a knowledgeable player brings up the topic again). Both say they're fine if asked or cast on, with some outrage from them and among their company. %Priest will explain that their disease is something they are blind to: their love of fortune-- so illustrating that certain ills are not for the Temple's arts to address.
(beyond the dismissive use of an outlander for petty jabs, this is also a way to suggest onwards --without outright stating that the Temple must compromise-- that sometimes the Hlaalu/profane have to be met on their own ground)

2- the thoughtlessness that counts
%oldRich is one of the previous two characters or from their families. In their frequent talks with %Priest, %oldRich as a way to protest their piety always pride themselves on the opulent offerings brought every month to their ancestors. %Priest sends you to keep watch near the ancestral tomb. It turns out the offerings are brought by a %lackey. %Priest is not surprised and comments on sincerity and how little worth such offerings represent.
If you took it upon yourself to address the lackey and tempt them into
- making away with the offerings (impossible);
- keeping some to themselves (harder; "they never visit, do they? how would they ever find out?");
- or offered to trade in gold so they don't get caught pawning them off (easier),
%Priest will be pleased at the opportunity to sermon %oldRich, and %lackey unless warned will later be found dead in an alleyway.

3- each to their own
Talk of the town, Andothren folks are amused, is a certain %orc who has declared himself a follower of Vivec (or Saint Vivec if post-reformation) and decided to strongly affirm his worship. This he does by smearing himself half blue with bugjuices and standing around the outskirts of the city spouting abstruse platitudes and pseudo-mystical nonsense at passersby. It's the wrong half, too. %Priest wants this to end immediately, without having to involve or wait for the Order of the Inquisition.
- Murdering the orc is acceptable, but so is
- finding out why he is recanting his former faith (wounded pride? abandonment and misunderstanding?) and driving him far enough into doubt.
Without being explicit, %Priest indeed much prefers him worshipping the orcs' devil-king, Malacath of the House of Troubles, than disgracing the Tribunal/saint under the benevolent eye of local Hlaalu authority. Back to the natural order and all that, even if it mean restoring %orc to enemy ranks.

4- tear off the silver tongue
%Thinker, come fresh from the Narsis School of Rhetorics, likes to gather listeners and wax sophistical in the streets of the more provincial Andothren. %Thinker is even so enthused with himself he has now taken to proclaiming that any one thing can signify any other thing. %Priest isn't blind to the unfortunate heretical implications.
- Murdering him is fine by %Priest, though they won't be especially impressed;
- Successfully Intimidating him twice is also another fallback if you fail the following dialogue option:
- %Thinker when challenged offers to demonstrate his point with any two statements of your choice, and will indeed argue as far-fetched as he needs to (more or less unconvincing but enough to divide opinions and keep him satisfied with himself) unless for the first choice you restate his own thesis ("pah, neophyte's trick"), and for the second, something to the effect that one spits on the Temple and deserves death. %Thinker knows better than to argue that he is a heretic and admits that no, it was not possible for him to have meant that. Of course this is still basically intimidation, but beating the Hlaalu at their own game glorifies the local Temple and yields the best reward.

5- out of heart
- If you have dealt with the previous duties without killing any fool, %Priest will entrust you with a sensitive matter: appeasing %PainInTheAss, once a favorite of Vivec, perhaps a buoyant. %PainInTheAss is bitter with old age and neglect, speaks too freely, and cannot be dealt with in the usual manner. This is not major enough or too delicate to bring up to the isolated god's attention, the Temple can't risk displeasing him, is walking on eggshells, etc... If you've spoken past a certain point with Vivec, you might be able to hint at some explanations to ease %PainInTheAss's pain. Or ... ... somebody help, I'm stuck here. Trick them into going to die somewhere on Red Mountain for the god's attention...
- If you HAVE been killing your way through the previous quests, %Priest will send you to kill some powerful heretic, or recover some keepsake to offer to %PainInTheAss, or something.



Really nice quests. I do feel

Gnomey's picture

Really nice quests. I do feel as though it would be good if, for the Orc, there were the alternate option of preaching to the Orc to remove his misconceptions, though perhaps that would undermine the point of that quest. I think the Dunmer reactions might be interesting, as even aside from his misunderstandings of Temple canon I'd assume they wouldn't be entirely comfortable with an Orc believer.

As a general note, I don't think that Hlaalu should tend to have an impudent attitude towards the Temple, though they wouldn't necessarily act very reverent either. I think their issue with the Temple would be with the Indoril influences, so figures and trends within the Temple. Hlaalu are, however, at the base of it as devout as the next Dunmer, they just don't display it. The above quests still work, though; %Thinker seems like a bit of a blowhard anyway.

Right, the suggestion isn't

Rot's picture

Right, the suggestion isn't that Hlaalu as a rule lack piety towards the Tribunal (though the institution around them is something else, and they'd be the most likely to tolerate bumbling freethinkers), going more for how the setting influences the priest.

Getting the Orc to calm down and sending him to a choice of temples in the region makes for an interesting fail-state: one that the player might go with not because it offers alternate rewards, but just because they'd want to do it (or be amused by the idea of dropping him on the very same priest)

I would like to add a quest

Templar Tribe's picture

I would like to add a quest idea:

The Lamenting Maiden

A more high-level quest for the Temple in Andothren, once the player has confirmed themselves as trustworthy, they will be asked to help in a more 'sensetive matter', and be asked to meet the priest after 10 PM in one of the taverns. When the player meets them in the tavern:

Sensetive Matter: Yes, %pcname, there is something important I would like to ask of you. This doesn't come as direct instructions from the Temple, but this comes from me personally. I have always been a devout Temple faithful, and I have bathed in the Thousand-And-One Lights in the ministry of the Orethan to prove it. Yet my faith has been tested over the years by whispers and rumors from the Corners of Misrule about a Maiden of Lament.

Maiden of Lament: I came to Andothren as a priest specifically because I have heard of the legend of a maiden who was trapped within the shrine of Almalexia here. The legend of the maiden goes that she was to be married to an Indoril spearman here in Andothren long ago, before the Hlaalu took the town over. The two were deeply in love, and both were stout followers of Temple faith. One day, the maidens fiancee was hired as a caravan guard, headed to Almalexia the Brazen City. While on the outskirts of the city, the caravan was attacked and the maiden's betrothed showed true prowess over the opposition. The legend says that his skill was such that Almalexia herself came to where the caravan was stopped after the battle was over and commended him for his techinque. They say he became enamored with Her Greatness and put his life into forefit to serve by her side.

He then sent a letter back to Andothren telling his wife-to-be that he was going to stay in Almalexia in the service of Her Greatness, and that he had seen what true love was, and as such, could no longer be with her. As her heart was filled with sorrow and lament, she bean to sing a soft song that could toxify the earth around her that heard it. She went to the shrine here in town and waded in the water, her hands against the stone, and sang until her voice was absorbed into the motiff itself. I have sat beside the waters of the shrine for many nights and into the waning of many daybreaks, meditating and musing. I have heard the sorrowful song, as faint as it may be, coming from within the shrine.

Coming from within the shrine: Yes, I am certain I have heard the song. I worry that the maiden may one day release all of the toxic vibrations that the shrine has been building up all these years and harm everyone in the city. Perhaps even kill them. %pcname, do you find yourself courageous enough to find a way into the shrine and release the spirit of the maiden for me? I may know of a way inside.

Know of a way inside: Yes, in the tale it is said the maiden put her hands upon the shrine of Almalexia and sang until her voice was absorbed into the stone, but I have heard another, more obscure part of the legend that states she left behind an amulet that sank to the bottom of the waters at the foot of the shrine. This amulet supposedly retained a fragment of the maiden's lament inside of it, and it is said to be able to reveal a door or a portal of some kind that leads into the shrine. The amulet has been burried for ages, but I have recorded some of the lyrics I have heard emitting from the shrine in my time meditating near it. I believe that if these words were to be said again, it could awaken the amulet and agitate it out of hiding as it may be in search of its owner. Would you take upon you this weight of ancient legend, and see if the stories are true?

Yes: Oh, may the Triune bless this day! I have longed for a pilgrim such as you for countless years; so I may finally know the truth and help ease the burden of the Maiden of Lament. Meet me back at the temple in the morning. I have a scroll on which I have written the litanies I have been able to muster from the shrine over the years. If you unleash the scroll at the shrine, it may just bring the amulet out from deep within the ground, and then you could find your way in. Once inside, however, I am not sure what you would find. Though death may be the only remedy to the plight the maiden has encountered.

No, I don't have time for old wive's tales: Ah, I can understand. I had hoped...no, nevermind, then. It is just a legend, afterall. Well, I won't keep you any longer. I can hope to see you around the temple's halls sometime.

The premise is that once the player equips the scroll and uses it on the shrine, an amulet would appear on the floor of the pond the shrine is situated on. Once the amulet was equipped, it would cause a script to trigger that makes a black void appear at the base of the shrine, and once activated it would lead inisde the shrine, which is just a large cavern with some crystals all over it. The Maiden of Lament would be a female Dunmer who uses highly lethal poison spells and once killed the player would be warped out of the shrine, the amulet replaced with a normal one, and the preist would give the player an enchanted robe that was said to belong to the maiden's fiancee that has a constant fortify spear by 10 points effect.

What do you think?

Hmmm. Well, I'm unsure if

Kevaar's picture

Hmmm. Well,

I'm unsure if cell-change activators can be hidden/revealed like this, though I suppose we could do it like Holamayon where the rocks move/disappear to reveal a door if not.

The dialogue is too wordy; people just don't talk that way, and it would turn into a brick of text in the ingame dialogue window. I could see it having merit if that's cleaned up. Similarly, I understand it's based heavily around the Andothren shrine thing ingame, but it doesn't seem to fit the character of the town, which I understand is to be a veritable den of Camonna Tong and other vicious seedy elements. The dialogue would need to address this in some way, why a city so intent on killing and stealing and carrying on would be concerned about a love story.

And actually, to go along with that theme, I would make this Lamenting Maiden into more than just a tale of unrequited love. Have her actually try to take revenge on her lover by turning to Mephala's sex/death/murder, and the Tribunal goes "ehm no" and locks her away. In which case the player's fighting her spirit would be less an exorcism and more of a pilgrimmage: Dunmer so loving their spiritual challenges to sharpen their edges and all. This has since bled a little into the character of Andothren--the murder, the intrigue, the poisoning--and ties the shrine that much more firmly into the town's background, rather than based off some quirk of the ext. designer. (Why IS that shrine there? One of our older devs know?)