Tongues of Stone [Quest]

Faction: Daggerfall Covenant
Province: Hammerfell
Location: Bangkorai
Required Level: 41

Text of the Quest:

Tongues of Stone Lady Laurent, a traveling archeologist, has lost her assistant, Stibbons. She is trying to recover him from her research site. I should talk to Lady Laurent and find out what shes doing here.


Talk to Lady Laurent

Adifa Dunestrider: That lunatic woman ... Sep himself wouldn't step in her shadow! I'd stay off this path, lest she demand some humiliating task from you.
Hero: Who are you talking about?
Adifa Dunestrider: A madwoman named Lady Laurent. She hired me in the Alik'r to guide her through the desert, but this is as far as I go for her. She's already lost one of her traveling companions. I won't be the victim of her next "accident."
Hero: What happened?
Adifa Dunestrider: Ask her! I didn't stick around to hear her explanations. Though "excuses" would be a better word. Everything is somebody else's fault. Hmph!
Hero: I'd better go see for myself.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: My expedition is ruined! One catastrophe after another! Oh, we meet again! You wouldn't happen to be interested in performing a few light duties, would you? I'm in need of a temporary assistant.
Hero: Perhaps. What are you doing out here?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I'm conducting research into ancient Yokudan ruins to see what light they cast on modern Redguard society. Fascinating, but not without peril—an alchemical experiment led to my assistant becoming, er, incapacitated. But I hope to recover him.
Hero: Recover? So he's still alive?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Oh, quite. Stibbons should recover, once I reverse the process. All my supplies are at my new camp, through these ruins. We'll need to get some things here, then go to my first camp at the dig site. Which, unfortunately, has been overrun by Goblins.
Hero: Goblins? Is that what you're researching?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Goblins? Certainly not! I've been studying the local gargoyles—I believe they're the key to certain Yokudan myths and legends. It's my own theory. Now, I'll need you to retrieve my supplies, and then perform Stibbons' duties in his absence.
Hero: Very well. Where can I find these supplies?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: My alchemical gear is at the new camp, through these ruins. You'll have to find where Stibbons set it up. Be careful with it, it's delicate.
Hero: Once you've collected that, we'll move on to the old camp.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Let's get on with it, shall we? Stibbons isn't going to revive himself!
Hero: Here's your alchemical equipment.
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Yes, most satisfactory. Stibbons would have dusted them off as well, but one mustn't be choosy, must one? Now, off to our first camp at the dig site, where we'll find my man Stibbons. Shall we?
Hero: Let's go.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Please, pay me no mind. I didn't expect to react so strongly to seeing poor Stibbons in this state. Now, where did he put those notes?
Hero: Notes?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I suppose you should know the truth. Ancient inscriptions here described some unique alchemical processes, which I tried to duplicate. I fear I succeeded all too well, and Stibbons' unfortunate condition is the result.
Hero: You turned him to stone?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Yes, but I'm certain I can restore him if we find his, er, my notes. Stibbons put them in a safe place somewhere in this camp. I'm sure you can find them—you're ever so handy at that sort of thing.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Julianos' little teapot! Where could they be?
Hero: I found them.
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Praise the Divines! You're a lifesaver, Stibbons. Er, I mean ... whatever your name is. At any rate, give me a moment to read these over, and I'll know what I need next.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Stendarr smite them, the Goblins took my reagents! It would serve them right if they ate them, the wretches! Hmm, that gives me an idea.
Hero: What's that?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I need to develop an antidote for the Yokudan stoneflesh potion. And to be safe. I'll need to test it on other research subjects before applying it to Stibbons. So I need the original reagents back so I can make more of the stoneflesh potion.
Hero: What good would that do?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: So we can use it on the Goblins, of course! Once they're petrified, they'll be the test subjects for my antidote. Let's go recover my reagents from those beasts. Then I must check my notes against the Yokudan inscriptions. If I can find them again.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: You're rather useful, in your own way. Meritorious work! Now according to my notes, I just need to combine these reagents, and shake the vial....
Hero: And the potion is ready?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: indeed it is. It's up to you to administer it, of course. You should probably pour it into whatever noisome slumgullion they're brewing up in those cookpots. While you're attending to that, I'll consult with our hireling guide.
Hero: You have a guide?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Oh, yes—his name's Mareh. He's rather a crazy old hermit, but he certainly knows his way around these old Yokudan ruins. He lives in a nearby cave overlooking the ruins. Hermit's Climb, they call it.
Hero: Why didn't you ask him to help rescue Stibbons?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I tried, but he refused to go near the Goblins. Besides, he's quite mad—he's become entirely preoccupied with some ancient Yokudan riddle. You'll see when you meet him. Perhaps you'll be able to talk some sense into him.

Mareh the Hermit: Still as the stone that walks. Yes. They remember, you know! They carry their histories, etched in their flesh!
Hero: Walking stone? Is that poetic or literal?
Mareh the Hermit: Hearken, wayfarer! They were here before the walls rose, and they are here after! And yet some mock these lowly creatures for worshiping them. What folly! The flying stones hold the secret you seek. In their unyielding flesh that is not flesh.
Hero: Are you as crazy as you pretend to be?
Mareh the Hermit: There are no dunes without wind, yet when the wind is gone, the dune remains. Eh? Tongues of stone, young seeker. Tongues of stone.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: You see? Quite maddening! And all I have to go on are these similarly arcane inscriptions from the ruins.
Hero: What do you need from him?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: The Yokudan inscriptions are mysterious. Frankly, I'm baffled by them. But Mareh has dropped hints that he knows what they mean. I'm sure he could tell me what I want to know, if I could only figure out how to give him what he wants.
Hero: So what does he want?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: He wants the answer to the riddle of the inscriptions. He'll tell me my answer if I'll give him his answer. Or something like that. It's maddening! Stibbons would know what to do, I'm sure. He was always good at seeing what's right in front of me!
Hero: But what do you need the inscriptions for?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: They contain the key to the antidote for my stoneflesh potion. Somehow, the gargoyles inspired the early Redguards to experiment with their own flesh and bone. If I could only understand their cryptic inscriptions, I could master their alchemy.

Mareh the Hermit: You have answers? Answers are more to me than water! Answers! Answers!
Hero: So, you're looking for an answer to a riddle?
Mareh the Hermit: A riddle? No! The riddle. The one these ruins whisper every night! The one that hums through the walls when the sun beats upon them! You know whereof I speak. You've read the three inscriptions. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?

Mareh the Hermit: You have answers? Answers are more to me than water! Answers! Answers!
Hero: So, you're looking for an answer to a riddle?
Mareh the Hermit: A riddle? No! The riddle. The one these ruins whisper every night! The one that hums through the walls when the sun beats upon them! You know whereof I speak. You've read the three inscriptions. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
Hero: I think the answer you're looking for is "air."
Mareh the Hermit: Air ... yes, that's it! The breeze, the breath of Tava! Ah, devious Sep, you wind a fateful path in this desert! Here, then, is your answer: within the maw and between the teeth! The gargoyle cannot hide its mortality forever!

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Arkay's beard! Could anything be more disgusting than this gargoyle's tongue? One must make the best of it, I suppose. Now, how to prepare the antidote?
Hero: You don't know?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: That's why I had you dose the Goblins' stew! Do pay attention. Several of them must have been petrified by now. I've prepared several versions of the antidote. I'll need you to apply it to the petrified Goblins and record the results.
Hero: What will you be doing?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I shall have to somehow drag Stibbons back to the other camp. It's a bother, but there's no help for it. Once you've observed the results of your trials, meet me back there with your report. That data should enable me to concoct the final antidote.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: Did you use all of them? I do hope you paid close attention to their effects.
Hero: I did. The petrified Goblins either melted or exploded.
Lady Clarisse Laurent: That's ... just what I was counting on! Right, now I know howto adjust the concoction to make a working antidote. Soon Stibbons will be right as rain, thanks to my brains and your brawn!
Hero: Are you sure?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Now see here. Your lack of confidence in me is quite unjustified. I know exactly what I'm doing. All right, stand back! I've no doubt these results will be spectacular!

Stibbons: By Zenithar, I have an acute throbbing in my cranium. Could this be what a hangover is like?
Hero: Are you all in one piece?
Stibbons: Possibly, though I'd like to take time for a more detailed inspection. How long was I asleep? Is Lady Laurent all right?
Hero: You don't remember being a statue?
Stibbons: A statue? Are you jesting? No, I can see you're serious. I recall nothing. I seem to be intact, although perhaps a trifle stiff in the joints. I could certainly use a strong ... that is, I believe I have a bottle of medicine that will help me.

Lady Clarisse Laurent: There! See, I told you it would work!
Hero: Yes, I suppose you're right.
Lady Clarisse Laurent: Indeed I am! I know you may not have much experience taking risks like this, but sometimes you just have to follow your instincts! Regardless, I owe you my thanks. Why, if Stibbons were stuck as a statue forever, I don't know what I'd do!
Hero: Are you going to continue your research?
Lady Clarisse Laurent: I think I, er, we have accomplished quite a bit in this short time! With Stibbons rescued, and our notes gathered, I think it's time we returned to civilization and compiled our conclusions. It will be a scholarly sensation!
Hero: Complete Quest.

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