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Paul Crilley Posted:
Columns Chronicles of One Telaran 0

Hey there guys and gals. Caedryn is taking a backseat today so we can discuss something new and pretty cool that is coming to Rift. No, I’m not talking about the ability to put Avatar faces over your enemies before killing them. The ground would be littered with Kardashian bodies if that were so. I’m talking about Conquest, three-shard PvP battles. Open World conflict. Manic, intense fighting. Much panicking and swearing at the computer screen.

In Trion’s own words.

Engage in massive, cross-shard battles capturing the excitement of Open World PvP at its best!

Align with one of three new factions, the biggest difference is their philosophy. (You will be able to change factions.)

Earn rewards and bonuses for your team – or supercharge yourself with bonuses that can be used outside of Conquest!

Everyone can contribute – crafters play a vital role in every Conquest battle.

But it’s not just open-ended battles, frantic running around while people fire things at you. No there is some cool lore here as well, which is what I'll be talking about, seeing as all the other articles will be covering the mechanics of it.

You ready? Okay, so we know that the Blooodstorm’s constant attacks against Telara has weakened the Ward. So much so that a millennia-old battle from another reality has crossed over into our own.

That’s right. Another reality. Trion has already touched upon alternate Telara’s with Slivers, but Conquest takes that to the next level. On the other side of the Ward, existing in sort of metaphysical no-man’s land, there are infinite versions of Telara, all of them different. An alternate decision here, where Borrin perhaps turned up late for the Shade War because he was busy quaffing ale, a different choice there, where Shyla never left the side of Prince Hylas and the High Elves are still happy and prancy in Silverwood. The point is, there are infinite variations of the world out there, and one of them is about to spill into our Telara.

In this new reality, there are three factions of Ascended, not just two. And their conflict is not against the Vigil, or against magictech, or about who can defeat the Dragon Gods. No, their battles are based around three questions:  Is the role of the Ascended to rule, to protect, or to continue to ascend?

And here we have the three paths available for you to play.

Dominion – The Ram

The Dominion see themselves as the parents of the world, and everyone else the children who don’t know what is best for them. Babies who can’t protect themselves from the big, bad monsters. In their minds, the Blood Storm wins its battles because the people are weak. Townspeople bicker and fight and can’t make up their minds about how best to defend themselves, thus making them easy prey to the Dragon Cults. According to the Dominion, only the mighty Ascended have the power to protect us pathetic sheep… er citizens.

The Dominion envision a time in the near future when the Ascended rule over a mighty empire, protecting everyone else from the horrors beyond the Ward. (And of course, everyone will bow down in respect to these mighty Ascended warriors who saved us all.)

Needless to say, the Dominion don't like the other two factions. They think the Oathsworn are out of control anarchists who don’t know what they're doing, idiots who focus on the small picture at the expense of the larger scheme. And best not to get the Dominion started on the Nightfall. They see these guys as lunatics, cowards and sorcerers who focus on their own selfish needs first.

The sigil of the Dominion is the Ram, apparently because the Ram “leads and defends his flock, guarding them from a savage world.”

Oathsworn – The Lion

Next up is the Oathsworn.  Since the Age of Dragons, Telara has relied upon heroes. First it was the mortal heroes who fought and imprisoned the dragons and constructed the Ward that safeguards the world. And today, it is the Ascended, those who work non-stop, with nary a tea break, to destroy the Blood Storm and prevent them from devouring Telara. This is how the Oathsworn see themselves: Chosen warriors, protectors of all that is good and just in the world.

The way the Oathsworn see it, they have been handed a responsibility and a gift. You’ve all heard the phrase. “With great power comes great responsibility”. That applies to these guys. I’m not saying they want to be Spiderman, but they do believe that the Ascended should guard Telara from danger. And that danger includes the other weird Ascended cults. They view the Dominion as power hungry egomaniacs and the Nightfall as traitors who would abandon the world they were tasked to protect.

The Oathsworn identify with the Lion: the steadfast soldier and selfless protector.

Nightfall – The Raven

Finally, we have the Nightfall. What is the purpose of Ascension? they ask. Are we brought back to simply watch over petty mortals? No! Returning from the dead with the power of the Ascended is surely a sign that they must go farther, upward and upward until they become gods themselves!

Nightfall believes that the Ascended are destined for something so much more than babysitting one little world. They think they are destined to depart this realm of existence for somewhere greater, to move into the cosmic mists before the battling of Ascended factions destroys the world they are supposed to protect. They see their return from the dead as the next level in their long journey of evolution. Where will it end? Well, they don’t really know, but it is their duty to find out. And if any of the other Ascended refuse to depart this reality and join them, they will send them to the River of Souls instead. Better that than the destruction of Telara.

They see the Oathsworn as irresponsible idiots. Simpletons with power and no intelligence to wield it. The Oathsworn may think their vigilance helps Telara, but with every battle, every release of magical power, they endanger the world. And the Dominion… Don’t get them started on the Dominion. No better than the Dragon cults, imposing Ascended rule as if they were the Emperors of old. And like the Dragon Cults, they must be destroyed.

Nightfall’s symbol is the Raven, a wise bird of secrets and powerful truths.

So there you go. And I know you're all dying to know. Who would Caedryn side with? That's a tricky one, but he would probably go with the Oathsworn.

When Conquest launches Caedryn will be there, giving a first-hand report from the battle lines for TNN (Telaran News Network).

Until then, you stay class, planet Telara.


Paul Crilley