The Hag Strikes Back
Hello everyone. We're back to Caedryn this week. (You lucky people.) Now, although he thought the werewolf problem was taken care of, it turns out there is still a few loose ends to tie up regarding the lycanthropical lurgy lurking in the woods. (Say that ten times fast.) The first stage of trying to get rid of the problem once and for all comes from Brother Jebiah. “To focus the power of the Vigil upon the werewolves,” he says, “Marshal Oakheart will need a canine integrant. The buried Wolf Furs from Greybriar Hollow will work, though you'll need help breaking through the cave floor to get them.”
So I am to travel to Greybriar Hollow and use his ring to summon someone called Azeek. I don’t know if he’s a werewolf sniffer or what, but it seems only he can help me collect the wolf furs from inside the cave.
I head over to the Hollow. Unfortunately there is a bit of a Fire Rift situation going on directly outside the entrance to the cave, so I have to deal with that first, moving up to level 27 as I do so. (And for any of you complaining that Caedryn is leveling up too slowly, that’s your opinion. It’s a role-playing game and I’ll play it as a role playing game, uncovering as much lore as I can along the way. ‘Cause that’s how I roll. Reaching level 50 is not something I really care about except that it will open up more quests for Caedryn.)
So I put down a few of these fire rift beasties then head into the cave and summon Azeek. Turns out he’s got a bit of a zombie vibe going on, and I almost cut him in two before I realized he wasn’t going to try and eat my brains. He digs up the fur from conspicuously marked dirt piles, (like Caedryn couldn’t do that!) and I leave him to do whatever it is he is going to do, (Although I don't advise him to hang around. All those bones and things he's made from? Yeah, wolves and dogs kinda like to eat that stuff), and head off to visit my old friend Oakheart. “You've brought the Wolf Furs just in time,” he says. “Darkness besieges Gloamwood Pines and the curse of lycanthropy threatens to run wild. The final battle with this blight is upon us."
The beginning of this end-game starts out with some… what was the phrase they used to use? Social engineering? Culling? Purifying the bloodline? Whatever it is, Caedryn is told that the Hag’s Diary detailed three families that carried her curse of the wolf in their blood. If I murder… er, kill, er, do away with them... er… kindly dispose of them, then anyone they have infected will become cured. Looks like an example of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few.
To do this I have to travel around Gloamwood, and wherever I find blue glyphs glowing on the ground I am to use the Cleansing Fire I was given. This calls forth any werewolves in the area, and all I have to do is follow the glowing blue bread crumbs to where they materialize and kill them.
Once done, I return to Brother Jebiah. “Slaying those cursed by the Hag was not an easy choice, but killing those werewolves has freed their victims of the disease. With Gloamwood Pines cleansed, there is but one more source of taint within these woods. The Hag has her full attention on you now. By destroying her curse on the people of Gloamwood, you have set her plans back by years. She will desire to take her vengeance on you above all else. Confront her before she comes for you. You know what you must do!”
Yeah, we all know what that means, don’t we? Kill the hag. I’m to return to Deepwood Cottage and confront her once and for all. Caedryn makes his merry away through the forest, wiping out any werewolves that get in his way. There seems to be quite a lot of them, especially patrolling around the cottage itself, but it is not a problem for Caedryn, as he slices and dices with his mighty sword and finally uncovers the hag cooking lunch or something inside the cottage.
I confront her as the quest demands. And her response? She curses me. A real, old-school curse as well.
“Greetings, young one. And welcome to my humble home. Allow me to commend you for all tour efforts here in the wood, but now it’s time for you to end. Oh, don’t fret, dear: I have something special planned for you, something that will make those pathetic worms in Gloamwood Pines thankful that the curses they bear are not yours.
“Your tongue will blacken, your eyes will rot, and your skin shall wither. Your stench will repulse, and your belly shall remain empty. Death will not come f or you but instead, you shall remain in torment, writhing like a maggot doe to pity and detest. My word is final, my power complete, and forever more you shall be known as they cursed.”
Nice one. Some good, old-fashioned cursing there. Actually, the Hag reminds me a bit of that fortune teller who used to hang around outside Sanctum during the Carnival of the Ascended. She was pretty handy with the old cursing as well.
But before I can kill her or retort to her curse in the time-honored tradition of, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, now DIE!” I am transported to a spot just outside of Tearfall Ruin. I have fallen under the influence of the Hag’s Curse. I head off to speak to Laria, hoping she will be able to help, but she’s all like, “Sorry, dude. Can’t help. Although I am usually all powerful, in this case there’s nothing I can do. But on the plus side, now you’re cursed, the Hag isn’t bothered about you anymore. Together with the Endless Court, she plans to awaken a darkness in Shadefallen Keep that not only threatens our wood, but all of nature. There is but one chance to put an end to her. Fail, and Telara will fall.”
There is one way to get rid of the curse. She says that Gwyddon Duskenleaf in Gloamwood Pines has the potency to cleanse you. So off I go to Gloamwood and Gwyddon’s all like, “You poor, poor fellow. Here let me help you. Abracadabra! There. All gone.”
And just like that the curse if lifted. I mean, what the heck? Laria couldn’t do that? Seems she’s not as powerful as she likes to think she is.
Next week, investigating these goings on at Shadefallen Keep.