Trials of the Gifted: Test of Knowledge

From Istaria Lexica

Trials of the Gifted: Test of Knowledge
Type: Errand
Imperial Assessor of Knowledge 
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Previous Quest: Trials of the Gifted 
Next Quest: Trials of the Gifted: Test of Swiftness 
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A test to determine the Gifted's ability to absorb Knowledge.

Quest text[edit]

There is a small island just off the coast of Kion still within the city limits, just west and a bit north of Lady Kendra's home. There scholars have convened to discuss the history of Istaria. Seek out first the Scholar of the Age of Dragons.

Greetings, Gifted one. I have been charged with the task of assessing your knowledge - in truth, however, this is less of an "assessment" and more an education, in case you are not well-informed. We must start at the beginning, as all tales do. It was called the Age of Gods, the era dating back before history was recorded on the page. It occurred more than 6,000 years ago, from most estimates, and was what we believe to be the time when the deities walked upon the Prime within avatars and took a hand in the events of the day.

Much of what we believe happened during this time could be called folklore and legend, but there are some events that most agree did in fact occur. The building of the first Dragon, Dryad and Satyr cities... the founding of Draak.

Most of what we know of this Age comes from scattered collections of tales, passed down from generation to generation until finally written down. Due to the heavy localization and embellishment that tends to color oral histories, though, they are normally inaccurate and biased. History is often defined by the victors, after all, and these tales are no exception, I imagine. Should you wish to learn more and continue this task, you should seek out the scholars who have been studying this time in history.

There are four scholars who have spent most of their lives studying the history of Istaria. They have recently convened on an small island west and slightly north of here. Seek them out to continue your quest for knowledge.

Ah, this is such a beautiful place to discuss the brightest time of Istaria. I speak, of course, about the Age of the Dragon, the time when my people were at the pinnacle of our civilization. The deities had gone at the end of their Age, you see - there was a great struggle that encompassed the world. We, the Dragons, filled the void they left. We were worshiped as they had been. The other races served us, and our world was bright and beautiful. The Humans, though, were another matter.

Some Humans served us well, but there were those who worked against us at every opportunity. We ignored them at first, as they could surely pose no threat to us... but their civilization grew, and they began building homes as opposed to roaming. Our people became worried, for their numbers grew to troublesome amounts. It was this dilemma that brought about the Great Schism.

The Dragons were divided in how to deal with the Humans. One faction, led by the Dragon scholar Helian, declared that the Dragons should seize the opportunity to lead the peoples of Istaria into the future, as Dragons were the most enlightened and powerful of races. The other group, headed by the military leader Malganival Lunus, saw the other races as a threat to the Draconic people, and that the world must be rightfully claimed by force of arms. The quarrel lasted centuries, and during that time, the Humans were not idle.

While the two factions debated their rightful course of action, Human society grew too large for us to control. We kept to our arguments and a rift was formed among our people that continues to this day: the Helian and Lunus factions. The Humans developed their own strong society -- speak with the next Scholar, the Scholar of the Age of Warrior Kings, and he'll explain to you what became of that development.

Next you should speak to the Scholar of the Age of Warrior Kings.

So you've been lectured on the Age of the Dragon, I take it? Excellent. The events there segue nicely into what became known as the Age of the Warrior-Kings, and the rise of Ashlander Vandus. It was Vandus, the Good King, who brought the quarreling and scattered Humans under one banner, through his natural charisma and judicious use of force. The Humans truly flourished under his reign.

Though not technically crowned king, Vandus was indeed the brilliant monarch of the time. It was through his skill in governing and economics that Dalimond became the capital of Human civilization. In his negotiations with other races, he used his knowledge of their cultures to everyone's benefit - so much so that conflict between Dragon and Human was kept to a minimum. While there were some battles during this time, Vandus handled them with the same sharp mind he used in diplomacy.

Vandus counseled the Humans to act independently, but encouraged others to cooperate with the other races of Istaria. This philosophy, in turn, made written record all the more important; it was in the Age of the Warrior-Kings that we saw true effort to write down what occurred, in order to achieve better understanding of the world and the people in it in times to come. It was in this Age, also, that we saw serious advancements in magic.

In the time after Vandus passed away, scholars began dedicating themselves to magical studies. Though all Living Races dabbled in the practice, Humans were at the time the forefront in new and potent discoveries. Magic was found to have strong ties with the land, and methods were formed to extract such energies from the natural world and put them to use. To continue this subject, however, I think you should speak with my fellow scholar, the Scholar of the Age of Sorcery. He'll educate you further.

To continue learning, speak to the Scholar of the Age of the Sorcerer.

Magic is such a wondrous thing, and never has Istaria seen such advances as were made in the Age of the Sorcerer, some 300 years past. I am sure you've already learned of the Age of the Dragon - ah, that the Humans could have but learned from Draconic society during that time, perhaps what happened in this era would not have occurred. You see, the Human civilization was making advancements in leaps and bounds... at the head of the class, so to speak, in every way of life, including magic. It was only a matter of time before history repeated itself.

Much like the Great Schism seen in Dragon society, Humans became divided on the subject of magical practice. There was a group of mages who wished to unlock every secret in their field of study, to tap into power no man had reached. They turned to necromancy and mental domination to achieve these ends. Other mages opposed them, disgusted at their brethren's decision to use such abhorrent methods to gain their power. Tempers rode high, and after serious strife in Human society, those who had pursued the forbidden practices were ostracized.

They fled the Human lands, outnumbered, and chose to dedicate themselves to a new deity, one Niatha Moraven by name. She is the goddess of Vengeance, and these embittered individuals worshiped her fervently. In turn, she marked her followers with blue skin, tails, and horns - and as their actions were, to the Humans, "fiendish", they became known as the Fiends. They vowed to teach the Humans a lesson on the "virtues of revenge", but this conflict never came to pass due to the events surrounding a certain Human called Torrin Macalir.

Despite the events centered around magic during this time, it is after Torrin Macalir that this age is named. In the vacuum created by the Fiends leaving Human society, a young and ambitious mage named Torrin rose to power. Macalir was unscrupulous and eventually the Humans cast him out of their society. It was then that this frighteningly powerful mage began to tap into the Realm of Blight and form what became known as the Withered Aegis. Go and speak with my comrade, the Scholar of the Age of Lamentations - he will explain more.

To complete your learning of the history of Istaria speak to the Scholar of the Age of Lamentations.

I will speak to you now of an Age very near to the hearts of the Living Races, for many of us saw its events with our own eyes. It is the Age of Lamentations of which I speak, the time when the Withered Aegis rose up against the races of Istaria and all hope was nearly lost. Creatures from the Realm of Blight surged westward over the frontier, and outlying cities were lost.

Rachival, the Gnomian city, and Feladan, citadel of Elves, fell under the horrific onslaught of the undead hordes. The few survivors fell back behind the stout wall near Aughundell, and while the city barely withstood the war, the Withered Aegis marched onto Tazoon, where the Great Battle played out before the anxious eyes of the Living Races.

It has been many years now since the Great Battle occurred outside of the walls of Tazoon. The undead outnumbered the Tazoon army five to one. At first it was thought to be a last desperate stand against the tide, but the Fiends and Lunus Dragons came to our aid; they reasoned that, while they were enemies, the Humans were most assuredly the lesser of two evils. While the undead still were far more powerful, our forces had another boon: the Gifted.

The Ritual of Everlasting Life had been performed shortly after the fall of Feladan, and during the Great Battle we finally started to understand its effects on those Living Races who were Gifted. While we weren't entirely sure of the cause for the dead returning to fight by our side, alive and whole once more, it was an advantage we fully appreciated. Between all of this, one of the Protectorate, Ryson Stormbringer, made his move.

He worked himself deep into the Withered Aegis' formations until he was close to Torrin Macalir. From there, he used an Artifact -- no one is entirely certain what -- and with its power destroyed Macalir and many of his minions. The blast was as bright as the sun, destroying the bulk of the undead army, but also inflicting terrible casualties on the armies of the Living Races as well. The blast happened at the crater you can find west of Tazoon. Thus the Withered Aegis were pushed back, defeated for the time being, and a new age began.

We are now in the Age of the Empire, where Gifted individuals like yourself roam the land and rebuild civilization. The Withered Aegis is still a threat, looming to the east, west, south and north -- we must not forget all that has gone before. Take this knowledge and token with you, my friend, and may you help usher in the most glorious age our world has yet seen. You must now seek out the Assessor of Swiftness. I believe he is usually discussing new healing methods with the Healer Trainer these days.

Game Feedback: The Scholar hands you an Imperial Token of Knowledge.

Speak to the Assessor of Swiftness. He is in the city, usually inside the building with the Spiritist Trainer.

Feeling fleet of foot, are you? Well take a moment to bind your soul to the shrine over yonder before you begin my test. When you have done so, speak to me again and we will begin.