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The Mages Guild is investigating a strange Ayleid ruin, which has recently become much more act I've than in years past. Laranalda, a Mages Guild scholar studying the texts in, asked for my help with her current predicament.
Nondor: A fellow seeker of knowledge! I can tell by the glint in your eye. The Reliquary of Stars is a marvelous find, is it not?
Hero: What's interesting about the ruin?
Nondor: Why, it recently came alive! Though perhaps "awake" is the more appropriate word. One of my fellow Mages Guild scholars leads the excavation, if you care to learn more. Come to think of it, I haven't seen Laranalda or her assistants in quite some time.
Hero: Should that concern you?
Nondor: Suppose it's a bit troubling. Say, would you happen to be headed into the ruins? I have this report to finish, but if you could check on Laranalda, it'd set my mind at ease.
Hero: I'll look for Laranalda.
Nondor: i'd love to chat more, but I really must finish this report. My fellows in the Elden Root Mages Guild are chomping at the bit to learn more of our findings!
Hero: Have you heard of something called the Heart of Anumaril?
Nondor: Yes, of course. Every dabbler in proto-Ayleid literature knows. Many believe it's a metaphorical contrivance, but Laranalda thinks it's located in the walls of this ruin. Ha! If she wants to end such a promising career, more funding for the rest of us.
Hero: What do you mean?
Nondor: I'm sure she can explain her ridiculous theories better than I.
Laranalda: If you're trying to sneak up on me, you have some competition. These flying books can be maddeningly silent, when they want to be.
Hero: The flying books sneak up on you?
Laranalda: Sometimes in pairs. They slam shut on your ear tips, then flutter off. It seems half the library has tormented us since we tripped the wards. I've been trying to settle things down, but it's slow going without my assistants.
Hero: Where are your assistants?
Laranalda: Tedryni headed to explore the Flesh Gardens. Once the wards broke, I sent Behelir to fetch him. Neither returned. Mages Guild protocol says I should remain in place until aid arrives. I'm hoping that's you.
Hero: I'll find your assistants.
Laranalda: Do be careful out there. These books are harmless enough, but they aren't the only things flitting about in the dark.
Hero: What do you mean?
Laranalda: Everything was quiet when we arrived, but bones and other refuse littered the halls. With the wards broken, it wouldn't surprise me if more than books are moving about.
Hero: Why did the Mages Guild come to the Reliquary of Stars?
Laranalda: The secrets in the Reliquary of Stars were long ago uncovered, save one. Incredible amounts of magicka coursed through its walls, even when the ruins remained dormant. Until recently, this was thought to be a peculiarity of its construction.
Hero: What changed?
Laranalda: It all goes back to Anumaril, one of the greatest Ayleid architects of the First Era. He built the great seal of Belarata and the Orrery at Elden Root. Then recently, we uncovered proof that he constructed the archives in the Reliquary of Stars.
Hero: What's so interesting about that?
Laranalda: Anumaril put his heart into his work—literally, if the stories have the right of it. It powered the Orrery at Elden Root until it was lost. That's the source of power here, you see? It's what we hope to recover. Think of the potential applications!
Hero: I'm looking for the Heart of Anumaril.
Laranalda: Are you, then? The Mages Guild petitioned the court of King Camoran Aeradan for months before we were allowed to excavate, and now you hope to waltz through and collect the Heart of Anumaril for yourself? Why would you possibly need it?
Hero: Queen Ayrenn needs it for her ratification ceremony.
Laranalda: Oh. I suppose that's a good enough reason. We've scoured the ruins from top to bottom and haven't seen so much as a glimmer. But if we do find it, the Mages Guild would be more than happy to aid Queen Ayrenn.
Ukaezai: So many fleshlings running through the halls. Such obstreperous creatures! You seem a fine specimen. I don't think I have one of your kind in my garden.
Hero: I'm looking forTedryni.
Ukaezai: Oh, and it speaks! I just finished a Tedryni. Some of my finest work, between you and me. Though you couldn't possibly appreciate the detail.
Hero: How do I get him out of your garden?
Ukaezai: Why, you need to entertain me. There are a variety of chests throughout the gardens. I placed your friend's soul in one of them. See if you find it before my posing retinue tears you to pieces!
Hero: Who are you?
Ukaezai: The caretaker. I preserve everything against the ravages of time. Scrolls and books are easy, but the Ayleids themselves .... They resisted at first. But they saw things my way, in time. Have a look around you!
Hero: These statues are Ayleids?
Ukaezai: They used to be. Turning a body to stone is easy. The trick is keeping the mind intact. If they hadn't settled into place so many years ago, I'd introduce you to my former masters. Pity.
Hero: You look like a ghost.
Ukaezai: Hardly. My masters found there were certain ... difficulties in allowing me to roam this place unfettered. So they split me from my body. In this form I can go where I please, but I can't touch anything directly. It's quite upsetting.
Behelir: Hello. You aren't an illusion, are you?
Hero: No, Laranalda sent me to find you.
Behelir: Thank the stars! You have to get me out of here! Ahem. It seems I set off an ancient trap. But I think I've determined how those strange lights channel their energy, and how to turn it against them.
Hero: How do you expect to do that?
Behelir: Once trapped, strange creatures covered in eyes and tentacles descended from above. They reinforced the sconces with foul magic from their largest eyes. Those eyes are key. Extract one and use it to refocus the lights! It should break the binding.
Hero: What sort of creatures are they?
Behelir: I don't know. Daedra, I expect? The horrors of Oblivion aren't my specialty. You'll know those floating beasts if you see them. They have many tentacles and seem quite nimble. Like netches, but covered in eyeballs.
Behelir: Ah, my arms! I thought they were going to fall off. I'm glad the eyeball was worth it. So good when a theory works in practice, you know?
Hero: You weren't certain it would work?
Behelir: I was certain it was a good theory. All part of the scholarly process, my friend! But never mind that, I should thank you for your timely rescue! I'll head back to our camp. I cannot wait to tell Laranalda what happened here.
Hero: What about Tedryni?
Behelir: I spent the first half of my day suspended in an elaborate Ayleid light trap that you disabled with a slimy Daedra eyeball. I'd prefer to avoid any further excitement.
Tedryni: This statue of a male Elf is significantly less worn than the others.
Hero: Press the gem containing Tedryni's soul to its forehead.
Tedryni: ... you perfidious slime! You'll rue the ... what? You're not... and I'm ... what happened?
Hero: Ukaezai turned you into a statue.
Tedryni: Ukaezai. Why does that name sound familiar? Perhaps ... no, I've lost it. Wait! Where is Laranalda?
Hero: She's at your camp. She sent me to find you.
Tedryni: I... good. That's good. Then it hasn't been too long. I really should head back, get my bearings. Don't worry about me! I know the way back.
Laranalda: Ah, good! Everyone back in one place. I was beginning to worry!
Hero: I rescued your assistants.
Laranalda: And not a moment too soon. I managed to subdue one of the tomes. It's proven most enlightening.
Hero: Complete Quest.
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