The Will of the Woods [Quest]

Faction: Daggerfall Covenant
Province: Hammerfell
Location: Bangkorai
Required Level: 37
Reward:

Text of the Quest:

The Will of the Woods The princess of Evermore is being cared for in the Viridian Woods, but her future is uncertain. One of the Wyrd on the outskirts of the Viridian Woods said someone called the Viridian Sentinel is looking for aid to save the princess of Evermores life.

Tasks

Find the Viridian Sentinels Altar


Wyress Demara: The woods welcome you. Know that the creatures here are neither enemies nor friends. There are hunters ... and prey.
Hero: Are these woods not safe to travel through?
Wyress Demara: For you? Perhaps. The Viridian Sentinel once kept the wild at bay for the folk of Bangkorai, but his power wanes. Soon he may regret saving the princess of Evermore. Her mother already mourns her death, so why interrupt the natural course?
Hero: Evermore's princess is here?
Wyress Demara: Gravely wounded, but yes, Princess Elara is here. The Sentinel tends to her, and it takes all his power to draw her away from death. He would welcome aid, if you wish to give it. We Wyrd have fulfilled our part of the bargain, and shall offer no more.
Hero: I'll go find him then.
Wyress Demara: He'll be at the standing stones by Viridian Lake. His power is strongest there. Look for the broken statue. It overlooks the altar where he works.
Hero: Who is the Viridian Sentinel?
Wyress Demara: The Sentinel is part of an ancient pact, made long before living memory. A guardian of the woods, of sorts, who anoints his or her successor without needing our approval. Not all Wyrd believe we should continue to honor the pact.
Hero: Why wouldn't you honor it?
Wyress Demara: The Glenmoril Wyrd were not a party to the original pact. It's only our connection to the forest which binds us to it. The Sentinel is no true ally to the wyresses of the Viridian Wood. His sway over the natural order is anything but natural.
Hero: What is a wyress?
Wyress Demara: If I had a seed for every man, woman, and child who asked me that, I'd cover the land in ivy in a fortnight. We are of the forest, and the forest is of us. That is all an outsider needs to know.


Stenwick Gurles: As the Sentinel, I must warn you that these woods aren't safe. But as Old Gurles, I'm glad to see a friendly face. I remember when that child wasn't more than a knee's height, and now she's laid out like a corpse.
Hero: Will she survive?
Stenwick Gurles: She was attacked and left for dead by the wayside, like a beast. Well, she won't die on my watch, not if you can help me. Around the lake, you'll find rings of mushrooms. Fairy rings, but fairies aren't what I need.
Hero: What do you need?
Stenwick Gurles: Take my amulet. Get down in the center of the rings and feel the earth. I need the energy from there to keep Elara alive. I need to take the child back to my hut. It's just up the hill a bit. Can't miss it.
Hero: You're the one called the Sentinel?
Stenwick Gurles: The Wyrd won't call me anything different. Most people who live around here call me Old Gurles, or just Stenwick. 'The Viridian Sentinel" is a bit of a mouthful, don't you think? Makes me sound more important than I really am!
Hero: What exactly is the Viridian Sentinel?
Stenwick Gurles: These woods have a life and mind of their own. Well, what I do is make sure it doesn't get out of hand. There are some good folk who live near these lands, and without a firm hand, why, the wild would grow right over them!
Hero: How did you become the Sentinel?
Stenwick Gurles: Me? I'd left Evermore and decided to live my life in the woods. And I met a man here, the previous Sentinel. He needed help, and I stayed with him. When he grew too weary, he blessed me with the title.
Hero: How long ago was that?
Stenwick Gurles: A long, long time ago. Once, I even worked as a royal gardener in Evermore. But, well, I'm more comfortable in the woods. It's where I belong.


Stenwick Gurles: If I was younger, I could instantly purge the poison running through this young lady's veins. Now it takes all my strength just to keep her breathing, the poor dear.
Hero: Here's your amulet back.
Stenwick Gurles: Just in time! I've made a salve for Elara that'll help her wake. I'll channel what energy I have left into her. The amulet should be able to sustain me afterwards. At least, I hope it will.


Princess Elara: I was ... asleep? What am I doing in this hovel? And who are you? No, I remember. Stenwick brought me here. I was ... sick. Apologies, but I still don't remember who you are.
Hero: I'm helping Stenwick. How are you feeling?
Princess Elara: Then you have my gratitude. I feel weak, but not unwell. It seems my outer wounds have all been healed. Tell me, stranger - how fares Evermore? Is my mother well? My father?
Hero: Your father is dead, but Queen Arzhela lives.
Princess Elara: I... see. My mother must be in mourning, then. I will send word that I am well, if Stenwick is willing. Ah, we have company, it seems. Who's coming in?


Stenwick Gurles: The Wyrd and I have always had a tenuous relationship. But saving Elara was something I needed to do, regardless of their objections. It will make this process harder than it needs to be, but I still have some spirit in me yet!
Hero: Why does she object to you saving the princess?
Stenwick Gurles: Ah, it's quite complicated. Suffice to say, they don't think I should use the forest's power for such things. Of course, they'd much rather I didn't exist at all! But it changes nothing. There's work to be done, and I'm not getting any younger.
Hero: Elara seems to be cured. What more is left to do?
Stenwick Gurles: My salve was but a reprieve, I fear. In order to safeguard Elara, I need to do something drastic. And I'll need the Wyrd's help. You've seen the spriggans of the forest, I'll bet. There's one that's much older, and much wiser, than the rest of them.
Hero: What's important about this spriggan?
Stenwick Gurles: Some call her the Voice of the Forest. In a way, she is. I need a bud from one of her branches, one freely given. It can harness the full power of these woods to safeguard Elara's life. May I ask your aid once again?
Hero: I'd like to know why the Wyrd don't want to help you first.
Stenwick Gurles: They are guardians of nature in the truest sense. And I am a guardian of the people. Our interests don't always coincide. They see my role as Sentinel as unnatural, though the Sentinel has existed for generations.
Hero: Elara seems to be cured. What more is left to do?
Stenwick Gurles: My salve was but a reprieve, I fear. In order to safeguard Elara, I need to do something drastic. And I'll need the Wyrd's help. You've seen the spriggans of the forest, I'll bet. There's one that's much older, and much wiser, than the rest of them.
Hero: What's important about this spriggan?
Stenwick Gurles: Some call her the Voice of the Forest. In a way, she is. I need a bud from one of her branches, one freely given. It can harness the full power of these woods to safeguard Elara's life. May I ask your aid once again?
Hero: Of course. What do you need?
Stenwick Gurles: Find the Voice of the Forest. It shouldn't be difficult to find. But, if you must.... Many spriggans carry a spore that returns to the Voice of the Forest when the spriggan dies. You could kill them and follow it to the Voice, but that certainly won't make it very happy.
Hero: I'll get the bud from the Voice of the Forest.
Stenwick Gurles: Take my amulet. Its power is spent, but the Voice of the Forest will recognize it and grant you an audience. Wyress Demara may not welcome you when you take the bud to her, but persevere. She knows what the Wyrd must do.


Princess Elara: We have to find the Voice of the Forest. If Stenwick needs a spriggan bud, then I'll do anything to get it for him.
Hero: It's probably best if you stay here and rest.
Princess Elara: I suppose you're right. I'll stay here, with Stenwick. But this forest voice ... if it's like a spriggan, it will react to their deaths. I'd bet you could kill some spriggans to draw it out.
Hero: That might anger it.
Princess Elara: Probably. But they're animals. I don't see any other way to reason with them. Stenwick needs the bud, and we don't have time to coddle the spriggans. We need their cooperation, whether they intend to give it or not.
Hero: Stenwick said we should just search for it.
Princess Elara: And if we never find it? No, kill the spriggans. It's the best chance to do this quickly.


Voice of the Forest: This creature disturbs the woods with the Sentinel's binding as a token! Has the forest not bent to the whims of the Sentinel already? What more can we give?
Hero: The Sentinel sent me to get a bud from your branches.
Voice of the Forest: So he may pass our yoke to another? A stranger to the woods? Your demand is empty, voice of the Sentinel. I refuse.
Hero: We need it to save Princess Elara.
Voice of the Forest: Why should we care for a mortal?
Hero: [Persuade] Would you doom this girl to die for a grudge against the Sentinel? The Sentinel demands your cooperation.
Voice of the Forest: We only seek to grow as our nature intends. Your Sentinel is the one who prevents this! But you care nothing for our plight. It is a waste to speak of this further.
Hero: Then let me have what I seek.
Voice of the Forest: Take the bud and begone. But know this. There shall be no peace in these woods.


Wyress Demara: A familiar scent surrounds you. Did the Sentinel send you? What do you hold?
Hero: The Sentinel said you'd know what this bud means.
Wyress Demara: How dare the Sentinel pick his successor out of pity! But she didn't bring us the bud, you did. Why should we give our blessing to one who needs another to carry her burdens?
Hero: What do you mean, his successor?
Wyress Demara: He didn't even trust you enough to tell you, did he? Let the Sentinel explain it to you when you next see him. I'll do my part and no more. Where is this princess who is greater than the needs of nature?
Hero: If you want to speak to Elara, she's waiting at the Sentinel's hut.
Wyress Demara: Too weak to even follow you? No, the forest does not need such a creature! The Sentinel oversteps his bounds, and the Wyrd will not allow it!


Princess Elara: I don't know what Stenwick is planning, but if it'll save my life, I trust him. I don't understand why these Wyrd people can't see that!
Hero: Why do they seem to dislike you so much?
Princess Elara: Sounds like jealousy to me. It won't stand in my way. I won't give up a second chance at life for the whims of some forest folk. Stenwick is a kind man. Why won't they see that he means no harm?
Hero: I should talk to Wyress Demara as well.
Princess Elara: Why? She pretends to be in charge of everything, and we've already received the bud from the Voice of the Forest. That's good enough for me, and it ought to be enough for the likes of her.


Wyress Demara: Once, the Viridian Sentinel stood for something more than a wetnurse to spoiled children. Now, he expects us to train and rear this daughter of the city as our own? No. The Sentinel asks too much.
Hero: Why do you dislike the Sentinel so much?
Wyress Demara: His time wanes. He will make this girl the new Sentinel, untrained and unfit! He holds no respect for the forest, and no respect for the Wyrd. What does it matter to us if one child withers to allow the forest to grow free, I ask you?
Hero: The Sentinel said you'd know what to do.
Wyress Demara: Hm. We've heard nothing from the Sentinel these past days but demands. Still, we will do what must be done. Perhaps we can trust you to make the correct decision when the time comes.
Hero: Does that have something to do with this bud?
Wyress Demara: Althene will help you prepare it. For the Sentinel's ritual, he needs a spriggan bud, freely given. You have obtained that, but the bud will not bloom without nurturing. I hope you aren't squeamish about blood.


Princess Elara: The Wyrd have stalled long enough. Stenwick isn't healthy, and we must do what he asked before it's too late. Go to him, tell him what we've done. I'm short of breath and must save my strength.
Hero: Will you be safe here?
Princess Elara: I have a feeling they don't dare harm me as long as I'm under Stenwick's protection. We'll see if I guessed correctly.
Hero: He'll want to see you again.
Princess Elara: Of course, and this bud may heal Stenwick, the way he healed me. We'll need to use it if we're to save him. Take him to that altar in the lake. I'll meet you there.


Stenwick Gurles: Ah, I was hoping you'd return before ... I couldn't speak to you one last time. It's good Elara's not with you. I'd hate for her to see me in such a state.
Hero: What happened?
Stenwick Gurles: Time, my friend. I gave my everything to heal Elara, and still it won't be enough. That's why I sent you to get the spriggan bud. The only way she'll live past a fortnight is if she becomes the Sentinel. Luckily, there'll be a vacancy shortly.
Hero: How will being the Sentinel help her?
Stenwick Gurles: In a sense, the power of the Sentinel is immortal. I'm old, but Elara is young. The Sentinel's power will take root and flourish in her. The Wyrd fear what she will become, but you can't let that stop you. Take my essence, when I'm gone. Save Elara.
Hero: What should I tell Elara?
Stenwick Gurles: Tell her she must tame the will of the woods. The bud will summon, and the amulet will bind. The Wyrd certainly won't help, considering they'd much rather see this power go to waste. Don't let the Sentinel's power fade. It must live on in Elara.


Princess Elara: I thought he'd be here by now ... where is Stenwick?
Hero: He died just after I returned to him.
Princess Elara: He gave everything to keep me alive. Even his life. I don't even know what to do now. Does that mean I'm doomed to die as well?
Hero: He said you must become the new Sentinel in order to live.
Princess Elara: That was his plan all along, wasn't it? And I never got to thank him. If this is what he wanted, then I must see it through. You still have his amulet? Take it to the altar. We'll say a few words for him.


Voice of the Forest: We meet again, ally of the Viridian Sentinel. Now you seek to subjugate these woods once again. We will see if you can succeed.
Hero: And how do we do that?
Voice of the Forest: How I long to watch you stumble and fail, but an ancient pact compels me to explain the rite. One simply has to gather the motes about the lake. But beware! We are not without our own defenses.
Hero: What happens if we fail?
Voice of the Forest: Then there will be no Viridian Sentinel. The yoke about our necks for centuries would be freed. Of course, there is one way to ensure the princess does not become the Sentinel. Destroy the spriggan bud I gave you, and she will fail.
Hero: Doesn't that mean Elara will die?
Voice of the Forest: It is true. But we have endured a slow death for much longer. Man was not meant to rule over nature. No matter their intentions, they cannot know the will of the woods. The Viridian Sentinel is a mockery of nature's true cycle.
Hero: How would I destroy the bud?
Voice of the Forest: The torches on either side would suffice. Their flames and your intention are more than enough. You are the one with the power to change this, mortal.


Princess Elara: I didn't think we'd be able to pull through at the end. But we did. We did! You can't imagine how this feels. I had no idea Stenwick had this kind of... power!
Hero: What do you mean?
Princess Elara: I can feel the earth. I can taste the wind. It's like every piece of this forest is a part of me. I will remain here, a part of these woods forever! Could I even command the beasts? It seems that it would be a trivial matter!
Hero: So your injuries—they're cured?
Princess Elara: More than that! The rocks themselves give me strength! I feel immortal! Ah, apologies my friend. This power, it's heady. Like a deep, cold pool. Refreshing, but so easy to fall into! I have much to learn, it seems!
Hero: Complete Quest.

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