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The Initiation On his deathbed, the chief of the Ashabah says he has foreseen that I must join the tribe and defeat the Withered Hand. I must participate in an initiation ritual to become an Ashabah. I must speak to Tali to get the potion for the ritual.
Talk to Talia
Marimah: My daughter is ... not happy right now. She is as stubborn as her mother was, but... death will not be stayed. Be assured though, initiate ... after you complete the trial, she will help you fight the Hand if you wish.
Hero: I'm ready to face the trial.
Marimah: That is good. I believe she has finished ... mixing the potion for your initiation. Speak to her when you are ready to begin the trial. MayTu'whacca guide your path, initiate ... always.
Hero: Thank you. I will speak with Talia.
Talia at-Marimah: A great man lies dying over there, and he has put all his faith in you. I hope it is not misplaced. I have finished mixing the potion for your initiation. Whenever you are ready, we can begin the trial.
Hero: I'm ready.
Talia at-Marimah: Very well. Then here it is. Go to the makhadda in the back of the tent and drink. Be prepared, initiate. The potion will bring on a vision of the past. When the vision is over, you will know what it means to be Ash'abah.
Hero: I understand.
Prince Haqmir: Sameer, my brother! Finally you stir! Did you drink too deeply from the starry well last night? This is unlike you. Quickly, pull yourself together. We can afford no idle time today.
Hero: I'm awake. What is going on?
Prince Haqmir: Morhwa's mercy! Maybe you took a head-bump, too! Did you forget about the battle? The Ra Gada will drive these evil Elves from our lands for good. I am to fight at your side today, brother. Tell me you still feel up to it!
Hero: Of course. I'm always ready for a fight.
Prince Haqmir: Now there is the Sameer I know. Sometime you will have to tell me what has befallen on this last night. A story of wildness, I am sure. Come now though. Our father prepares to address the Ra Gada. He is expecting us.
Hero: I'm still a little foggy. I have some questions first.
Prince Haqmir: Sameer, I am really starting to worry. Have you been ensorcelled? The year is eight hundred and fifty-three. Our father is King Xakhwan, come from old Yokuda to settle here in the Alik'r desert. I hope this is starting to sound familiar....
Hero: Shouldn't a prince be afforded a little more respect?
Prince Haqmir: Blade's edge! I'm sorry. You are the crown prince, but I am your brother and I was worried. Please. Tell me you're all right. I have been looking forward to this battle for weeks, but father will not let me fight unless you lead the way.
Hero: Why must we fight the Elves?
Prince Haqmir: Because they do not want us here. Our people came across the sea from old Yokuda to settle here, but these Elves—the Corelanya Clan—they would drive us from these shores. We are making our stand today, letting them know we are here to stay.
Hero: I had a dream. Something about a tribe called the Ash'abah?
Prince Haqmir: The Ash'abah? These people I do not know. Are they also Elves? If we must, we will kill them too. I need you to focus though, Sameer. Focus on the battle today. We should hurry to hear father's speech.
Hero: All right. I am ready to go.
Prince Haqmir: Praise the gods! It would not be proper if we were not present when father makes his speech. He is very likely starting to worry about us himself.
Hero: Then let us keep him waiting no longer.
King Xakhwan: You look strong, Sameer. My heart is proud. I believe this will be a day of destiny for you and your brother. If we wish to remain here, we must cleanse the land of these Elves' taint.
Hero: I'm sure we will be victorious.
King Xakhwan: Yes, and much of the glory for this victory will go to you and your brother. I send you forth as my champions, to slice through the Elves' ranks and find their leader. You will cut off the snake's head and then the body will wither and die.
Hero: You want us to go ahead of the soldiers?
King Xakhwan: Yes. It is a great honor, and a great responsibility. But you have proven your valor time and again, Sameer. I know you will succeed and clear the way for our people's future. Go now, and go with the gods, my son. You have my blessing.
Hero: I will go and fight today in your honor, father.
Vizier Yeqdah: You are too late, Sameer. Your father is dead ... even worse. Some Elven necromancer... he turned your father into an abomination!
Hero: What do you mean?
Vizier Yeqdah: The necromancer slew your father and then reanimated his corpse. It is the most terrible thing I have ever seen. He is lost. There is nothing to be done for it.
Hero: I can't just abandon him. I have to do something.
Vizier Yeqdah: Sameer... you must not go in there! You would have to strike down your own father! As darkly as these events have transpired, our laws remain sacred. Your father is honored dead. Harm his remains and you dishonor yourself!
Hero: So you would just have us flee?
Vizier Yeqdah: Yes. There is no other choice to be made. I know your father would not want us to abandon our new home here, but he could not have foreseen this. He would not have us break the sacred law. You must not even consider such a thing.
Hero: I'll have to think about it.
Prince Haqmir: Fate has dealt us a cruel hand, my brother. I agree with you. Father would not want us to flee our home, but do we dishonor ourselves? To kill him would mean exile, but... I am willing to do this if you command.
Hero: Why would I command you to do this?
Prince Haqmir: Because it is clear that one of us must make this sacrifice. You are in line to become king now. If you strike our father, you would be throwing all of this away. For me, there is not as much at stake. Just speak the command and I will go, brother.
Hero: No. I'll strike him down. It's my duty.
Prince Haqmir: No! No, please! I beseech you to reconsider this decision, Sameer. I cannot bear to see you exiled. What will I do? I am not sewn from the same cloth as you and father. I am not meant to be king!
Hero: I've made up my mind. Don't worry, you'll make a fine king.
Prince Haqmir: It is done, then? I would not have such courage. In my mind, you are a hero for what you have done.
Hero: I was just doing what was right.
Prince Haqmir: No. You deserve to be honored for your actions, but the vizier says that by law, you must be exiled instead. 1-1 don't know what to do ....
Hero: It is all right, brother. I accept my sentence.
Prince Haqmir: Your courage ... your humility ....You should be king, not I! I'm sorry. I suppose I must stop acting like a child and accept my responsibility. Whatever happens, though, your sacrifice will never be forgotten. I love you, my brother.
Hero: I love you too, Haqmir, and it's all right. True honor need not be named. Goodbye.
Vizier Yeqdah: Why, Sameer? Why? You have broken the most sacred tradition of the kingdom! Nothing can justify such sacrilege. The law is clear, Sameer. Exile. You must leave here now and never return.
Hero: I accept my sentence.
Vizier Yeqdah: Good. Then there is nothing more for us to discuss. Let us hope your brother learns to listen to my counsel and to make better decisions than you have.
Hero: He will make a fine king. Counsel him well.
Talia at-Marimah: Welcome back. You were gone for longer than I expected. I trust you walked in the steps of Prince Sameer of Yath and experienced the events that led to his exile?
Hero: Yes. He was the first Ash'abah?
Talia at-Marimah: He was. Sameer went on to start a family and a tribe in exile. They wandered the desert as nomads and became known as the Ash'abah. Haqmir became king and ruled peacefully until years later, when he again faced the threat of necromancers and undead.
Hero: What happened?
Talia at-Marimah: The colony from Yath would have fallen, but Sameer led his tribe against the necromancers and their army of risen dead. The Ash'abah accepted the dishonor of fighting the dead to save the kingdom. So it has been ever since.
Hero: I understand.
Talia at-Marimah: You have now witnessed the first sacrifice, and you know that true honor need not be named. You are one of us. You are Ash'abah. We will recognize you as our brother and together, we will uphold the sacred duty of our tribe.
Hero: Then my initiation is complete?
Talia at-Marimah: Yes. The words have been spoken. Normally my father would conduct a small ceremony and speak the words ... but his spirit moved on while you were unconscious. His last request was that you and I would destroy the Withered Hand.
Hero: Complete Quest.
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