New Promo: Garden of OmensAugust 16, 2019
“Why is the truth always hidden in such dangerous places?” Tamarys cursed. Around her, the blizzard howled and tore at her hair. The air was so thin and cold, her lungs burned as she stopped to try catch a meager breath.
The seat is one of blinding light, and when the Throne speaks, worlds quake, worlds die.
The words were fresh in her memory. She had to know more. If the stories of a local Jotun could be believed, the ruins of an ancient complex sat on top of this desolate peak. Ruins built from the same pale sandstone she had found in the Amaran.
Boots crunching on the frozen ground, Tamarys set off.
Hours later, she ducked into the remains of a small, ice-encrusted guardhouse, thankful to be out of the storm. More buildings lay ahead, just where the giant had promised. His warning echoed in her ears as she reached for her canteen with numb hands, cold through-and-through despite her gloves.
Nobody go up there. But yeti hear noises on the wind. Something mad. Something want out.
Tamarys had passed the crumbling remains of old fortifications as she climbed, their mechanisms long-since rusted away. Why would a place as remote as this need defenses? Frowning, she looked across the plateau at the structures ahead. In their center, the remains of a large tower stood, defying the blizzard. Smaller buildings clustered around it, almost like…
“This was an observatory,” she said, gasping. “I wonder why it wa—”
Tamarys jumped to her feet at the sudden shriek of tortured metal. The stone wall above her exploded as a large metal arm burst through it, swiping at the ground where she had sat. Stumbling backward, the mage watched a towering sentinel reduce the wall to rubble as it crashed towards her.
The defenses are still functional! Shock ran through Tamarys as she hit the far wall. The sentinel advanced, its ice-covered joints screeching in protest. Tamarys’ panicked breath hung in the air in front of her. She looked down at the canteen she still held. Perhaps…
Twisting the cap off, she flung the canteen at the sentinel’s outstretched arm. The water spilled and froze, coating its shoulder in ice. With a shout, Tamarys conjured a lance of earth and ice and hurled it at the arm. The sentinel’s arm shattered, sending it reeling backwards. As it did, Tamarys tore stone from the roof above until it collapsed. Stone and snow thundered down, engulfing the sentinel.
Ears ringing, Tamarys scrambled over the rubble. Once she was at a safe distance, she risked a glance back at the ruined guardhouse. The metal form beneath the snow did not move.
There is something here worth protecting, Tamarys thought, looking toward the central tower.
She crept through the remaining ruins without incident. The crumbled buildings were high enough to shelter her from the winds, which gave way to a foreboding silence. It feels like something is… waiting. Tamarys glanced around. The ice-crusted head of another sentinel loomed over a guard post on the far side of the compound. It faced inward, toward the tower, but there was no light or life in its metal features.
The door to the observatory was covered in a thin layer of ice. Grunting with the effort, Tamarys kicked it open, and nearly fell to her death. There was no floor in the tower, only a gaping, rock-lined abyss. A frozen canyon that dropped into the depths of the mountain below. Heart pounding, Tamarys scrambled away from the edge.
“Okay,” she panted, pulling herself to her feet. I should turn around, leave, Tamarys thought. But you can’t learn from a past that is buried. Just like the caldera. I can do this…
The geomancer reached out, and a series of runes flared to life between her hands. The heart of the mountain was deep and cold, and her head began to pound with the effort of moving its stone. Down there… Tamarys thought, fighting a creeping chill. As she tried to focus, laughter, dry and mocking, echoed up from the darkness. Something at the bottom of that pit is… is alive? Curiosity lent her strength, and slowly, chunks of the observatory floor rose from the chasm.
The mosaics here must have been gorgeous… Tamarys noted, looking at the icy remnants hanging on the walls. As she did, the center of the floor reemerged. But there was no orrery or telescope. Instead, a large, black iron cage sat in the center of the tower. The cage was tall, with heavy, barbed bars.
“This was no observatory,” Tamarys whispered, thinking back to the rusted sentinels. “This was a prison…”
“How very clever,” a voice said, dripping with scorn. The figure in the cell stood, and stepped forward. The dark radiant was taller than Tamarys. Gold ornaments hung in the air around him, and his eyes burned with an unnatural light. “You seek knowledge, yes? You have that look about you.”
Tamarys nodded. “Very good,” the umbren purred. “The previous occupants of this place were similar. They bartered for many answers… Release me, and I will tell you whatever you wish to know.”
Tamarys frowned, looking down at the tower floor. Some ragged gaps remained, opening on to the darkness beneath. The old defenses, the sentinel guards… they weren’t just to keep people away, they were to keep this thing in. She shook her head, “Answers first, then I will open your cell.”
The radiant hissed, its eyes flaring. “I do not have much choice, it seems. I have your word?”
It’s a start. Tamarys nodded. “Yes, deal. What can you tell me of the Throne in Argenport? How old is it? What can it do?
The umbren sneered. “It is the Eternal Throne, girl. It was not made by hands as young or as feeble as your own. As for what it can do…” the shadows in the room grew darker as the radiant answered. “Its power is that of pure potential. It can create, and it can destroy. But power like that cannot be controlled, only activated. Few survive it.
“Who… who can wield it? Could I?” Tamarys stammered.
“You tire me with questions to which you already know the answers. You have met one such already,” the umbren said. “You saw power in him, yes?” His lip curled. “Some earn the strength to command the Throne. Others inherit it. Through blood and bond. They will be the death of us all. Let us be done now, and release me.”
Tamarys nodded, her heart pounding. One more… Looking around, she settled on something that had been bothering her: “What happened to the people here?”
The umbren grinned. “Consumed by their own curiosity. They were supposed to read the stars, to foresee dangers yet to come. But their minds wandered, and sought mysteries they did not understand. I’m sure you know the type. They were able to summon and bind me here, but my answers only sharpened their appetite. Some began to hoard secrets, which lead to jealousy and…” his smiled gleamed, “they killed each other, one by one, until the last succumbed to the cold.”
Tamarys grimaced, fighting back nausea. The radiant cackled. “Yes, it was most entertaining. The centuries that followed have been… dull. But,” he leaned forward, leering at the geomancer, “I have answered your questions, witch. Free me. Now.” His command echoed through the hollow tower, taking hold of her.
“I… I don’t think so.” Tamarys said, staggering backward and shaking her head. “You would do to me what you did to them. I think you should stay wh—”
Snarling, the umbren raised a glowing hand, and Tamarys felt the flesh of her lips knit together. “If you will not free me by choice, then I will assist you,” the radiant bellowed. Over the winter winds, she heard a familiar shriek of metal from outside the tower. “I will make that rusted wreck of a sentinel squeeze the life from you until you obey.”
The edges of Tamarys’ vision began to darken. Her jaw burned and she could barely breathe. Panicked, she tried to hurl another bolt of ice, but the spell dissolved into sand before it struck the umbren, who laughed. “You are not as clever as you think, mage.” His eyes flashed with hatred. “You will perish here, and all your learning with you.”
Lungs burning, Tamarys felt the ground shake beneath her. The sentinel was almost here. No…! She glared at the radiant through frozen tears, and looked down at the pit beneath
The pit! Her eyes widened. They imprisoned him in the mountain, all those years ago. Chest and throat aching, Tamarys turned for the door. If I can get clear…
“Oh, so eager to meet your fate?” the umbren mocked as she ran.
Vision narrowing, Tamarys slipped on a patch of ice, and felt something snap in her wrist when she caught herself. She focused on that pain, letting it drown out the searing pain of her lungs, and made it to the doorway. Turning around, she met the umbren’s gleeful gaze as she raised her hand and shattered the remnants of the floor that she had raised.
The heavy cage plummeted into the darkness, and the rest of the floor followed. The umbren’s furious roar was drowned out by the tumult of rock and ice. As the sounds faded, Tamarys felt her lips part. She gasped, breathing in the thin mountain air.
She sank to her knees, catching ragged breaths as she stared into the darkness. It was a long time before she heard the cage impact the bottom.
Body aching, she stood, raised her hood and turned to leave.
Garden of Omens Promo Quest
- The Garden of Omens promo quest begins today and will run until Thursday, August 22.
- During the quest period, your first PvP win of the day will reward you with a copy of the Garden.
- Once the promo period is over, you’ll be able to craft Garden of Omens using Shiftstone as normal.
- The Tamarys (Ice Bolt) premium Avatar will be available in the store for 300 Gems for a limited time.
Read more Eternal lore here!