New Hero: Yorja, the Tale KeeperNovember 19, 2019
If you wish to understand Xulta and its history, seek the Tale Keeper. She can tell you more of the dragons.
The dragons hate Xulta, Gnash thought, standing at the edge of a dense, green forest. He had seen that much when confronting the beast the cultists had summoned. They’re more than just predators, too. There is a darkness to them, an unsettling aura…
It was midday by the time he halted in a small jungle clearing. Hanging his machete from a branch, he pulled a simple meal of meat and fruit from his pack. The canteen he drank from was worn and dented; one of the few pieces of gear that had survived his journey through the Shadowlands to Xulta. Around him, frogs croaked, gryffyns called overhead, and brightly colored insects buzzed and crawled through the trees.
Sol loomed above it all, burning with a dull anger that the Xultans believed would one day consume everything. Gnash looked down at the bandages on his arm. Maybe they were right.
It was nearly dark when Gnash realized that he was being followed. The jungle had come alive as night fell, and as he cut his way through the undergrowth, he felt a pressure on the back of his neck. But when he turned around, all he saw was deepening shadow.
I wonder… Gnash was mid-thought when the trap sprung. A branch snapped underfoot, and something tightened around his ankle. Stumbling forward, Gnash felt something start to pull him off his feet. His machete was already in-hand, and he swung it through the underbrush around his leg. He got lucky and severed the taut vine, but his injured arm gave out as he landed, and he hit the ground hard.
Something rustled overhead, and Gnash struggled to stand, rolling to one side as a figure dove at him from a mossy tree branch. The elf moved with a leopard’s grace and recovered quickly, before she leapt at him with a long knife. Gnash raised his machete to deflect, and met the gaze of a second elf in the trees above. She wore a dark cloak, and did not look away as she reached for a slim quiver.
Gnash stumbled backward as arrows hissed past his head. The hunter with the knife pressed her advantage, and he hissed in pain as a deep cut opened across his knuckles.
“Dammit,” he cursed in Myrian. Both hunters’ eyes widened, and paused ever so briefly. Before the closest could recover, Gnash grabbed her hood and pulled her forward, slamming his forehead into the bridge of her nose. He felt something crack, and the hunter slumped. As she fell, Gnash turned, blade at the ready, and found the other hunter standing just outside his reach, arrow aimed at his throat.
“What are you doing in my jungle?” She hissed in Xultan.
“Your jungle?” He asked in the same tongue. The elf blinked.
“You speak Xultan… and well.” she said, surprised. “Your kind rarely try to learn.” Slowly, she lowered her bow, though Gnash noted that the arrow stayed nocked and ready.
“I’ve been competing in the arena for months,” he said, keeping a grip on his weapon.
“A gladiator? But you bear no gems.”
Gnash clenched his jaw. “Working on that,” he growled. That got a reluctant smile from the hunter, who knelt down to assist her friend. Shaking his head, Gnash continued, “I’m searching for a temple of Linrei. To learn more about Xulta and the dragons.”
“Why do you wish to learn?”
He shrugged. “I want to help kill them.”
The hunter bared her teeth. “Good. I long for the day when Makkar’s fangs tear out that wyrm’s throat.” Looking Gnash over, she added. “I could guide you to the temple.”
He frowned. “No. I can handle myself.”
The hunter glanced down at her friend. The other elf’s face was still bloody, and her nose had started to swell. “I can see that.”
“Then why would you help?” Gnash asked.
Crossing her arms, she said, “The dragons and their pack must be stopped. The Listeners tell us to avoid bloodshed, and I trust them to guide Xulta, but…” Her mouth quirked again in a small smile, “I am a hunter. If my blades are clean at the end of the day, people suffer.”
Even following a hunter of Makkar—who introduced herself as Nevar—the journey took many days. The other elf, Nevar’s companion, had declined to join them, glaring at Gnash over her broken nose. They kept to small game trails, walking from dawn until long after dusk. Nevar was able to supply fresh meat most nights, and Gnash’s instinct for finding clean water proved accurate, even in the jungle.
The second night, they skirted the edge of a festering wetland. As dusk fell, the pair were forced to hide beneath a fallen log as dragons flew low overhead, the dark light that emanated from them casting twisted shadows over the jungle. Finally, after the last dragon had passed, Gnash pulled himself from their hiding place. As he stood, a sound made him turn, just as a masked figure rounded a small rise and saw him. The cultist’s eyes went wide in surprise. As the other man opened his mouth to shout, Gnash watched an arrow sprout from his throat. With a muted gurgle, the cultist collapsed.
Nevar stood next to the log, holding a finger to her lips. Gnash held his breath. No other footsteps came, and no ragged wings beat overhead. “We are lucky he was alone,” the hunter muttered. The pair travelled the next day in silence.
The following morning, as they trekked along a misty, vine-covered cliffside, they were confronted by a colony of spear-wielding rock creatures that Nevar called ‘Tota.’ They did not respond to her curt commands, and her arrows bounced off their thick heads. After some arguing, Gnash was able to scare them off by imitating the roar of a desert lion.
“I’m impressed,” Nevar admitted once they were back on the jungle floor. “But be careful how loud you are. Some of the flowers might take it as a challenge.”
A day after that, Gnash found himself standing at the edge of a large jungle clearing. On the far side, a waterfall thundered down from a high cliff face, shrouding the area in a cool mist. The ground was lush with greenery and dotted with many pools of clear water. A small building of pale marble stood in the center of the clearing. At each corner of the temple, tall stone spire rose above the trees. As Gnash approached, he saw that the spires were carved with row upon row of minute Xultan script.
…Shen-Ra spoke, and her voice cracked the earth…
…cloaked in thunder, the mage stood atop the dragon…
… the spear flew true, and pierced Sol’s burning side…
Stories, Gnash realized, the tower is covered in stories.
“This looks like the place,” he said to Nevar. “I’m going in. Are you with me?”
Nevar looked at the temple and shook her head. “I have been away from my family long enough,” she murmured. “Makkar guide the rest of your hunt.”
Gnash nodded. “Thank you.”
With a shallow bow, Nevar turned and slipped back into the jungle.
The marble floor of the temple was slick as Gnash stepped inside. As the sounds of the waterfall faded, he looked around. The inside of the temple bore the same script, wrapping around pillars and up the walls. Gnash moved carefully, one hand on the hilt of his machete.
As he passed the first pillar, a voice echoed through the room: “You have traveled far.”
Near the back of the temple, a section of the floor was covered in fine sand. In the center, a small fire pit there held sticks of burning incense. An elderly Xultan woman rose from a seat by the pit, and stepped through the wispy smoke. Her robes were ornate, and ice-blue diamonds studded her head, arms, and dress. Despite her thin frame and many wrinkles, her eyes were sharp, and Gnash felt her gaze cut through him.
“You are not from Xulta,” she said. “And you carry no firearm. Why?”
Gnash raised an eyebrow. “You always greet folks like this?”
“Yes,” the woman replied simply.
“This some sort of test?”
“Should it be?” She shot back, a smile dancing behind her stern expression.
“Hot-headed, but honest,” the woman observed. “Very well, I will answer your questions.”
“And you are?”
“The Tale Keeper, naturally. But you can call me Yorja. My duty is to remember.”
“Remember what?” Gnash asked.
“All of it, boy.” Yorja said sharply, hobbling back to her seat and gesturing for Gnash to follow. “The Listeners may wish me to recall some legends and forget others, but the Linrei’s waters are deep, and cannot be dammed. What I hold is too dear to be cast out.”
As she spoke, smoke billowed from the incense, swirling around them both. At first Gnash thought it was a breeze, but as the smoke thickened, he began to see shapes. A gryffyn swooping through the air, a warrior in gleaming, gem-studded armor, and a towering, crashing wave.
“I… I need to know how to stop the dragons. How to kill them,” he said.
“Are you sure?” Yorja asked, watching Gnash carefully.
Gnash started to growl, but swallowed the angry response. Exhaling, he tried to ignore his frustration. For a long moment, the only noise was the quiet rumble of the waterfall outside the stone walls. Then Gnash broke the silence.
“In all your tales and histories. Has… has anything like this happened before? Has Xulta stopped something like this?”
Yorja did not hide her smile as she replied. “Xulta has endured for generations. By the will of the Ancestors, our heroes have overcome many threats.” She raised an eyebrow at Gnash, “Some of them were even smart enough to learn from those who came before.”
Gnash nodded. Cautiously, he asked,
“What can the legends of Xulta teach me?”
Yorja, the Tale Keeper Promo Quest
- The Yorja, the Tale Keeper promo quest begins today and will run until Monday, 11/25.
- During the quest period, your first PvP win of the day will reward you with a copy of Yorja.
- Once the promo period is over, you’ll be able to craft Yorja using Shiftstone as normal.
- The Yorja, the Tale Keeper premium Avatar will be available in the store for 300 Gems for a limited time.
- A Yorja, the Tale Keeper theme deck will also be available in the Store for 500 Gems for a limited time. It includes the avatar and 4 premium copies of Yorja!
Read more Eternal lore here!
Promo Theme Decks
In addition to the quest for the promo card and the premium avatar in the Store, we are introducing the Promo Theme Deck Bundle!
These will include the premium promo avatar and a theme deck with 4 premium copies of the promo card, available in the Store for 500 gems during the month of the promo’s release.
- 1 x Good Idea at the Time
- 2 x Ornamental Daggers
- 2 x Permafrost
- 4 x Seek Power
- 2 x Snowstorm Druid
- 4 x Substitute
- 3 x Changeestik
- 2 x Edict of Linrei
- 2 x Parry
- 1 x Sodi's Spellshaper
- 2 x Talir's Favored
- 2 x Trail Maker
- 2 x Wanderlust Qirin
- 4 x Yorja, The Tale Keeper
- 1 x Cobalt Acolyte
- 2 x Makeshift Barrier
- 4 x Polymorph
- 1 x Shapeshifter's Mask
- 2 x Swaying Sea Qirin
- 1 x Death from Above
- 1 x Regression
- 1 x Greenstretch Empath
- 2 x Vinepetal Creeper
- 2 x Majestic Mandrake
- 5 x Time Sigil
- 2 x Amber Coin
- 8 x Primal Sigil
- 2 x Cobalt Coin
- 4 x Elysian Insignia
- 4 x Seat of Wisdom
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