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- Investigate the egg-tenders' quarters.
- Investigate the uxith.
- Go to the dragonthorn pavilion.
- Find where the aberration came from.
- Look for the surviving hatchlings.
- Stop Ree-Nakal.
- Return to Bright-Throat Village and decide the tribe's fate.
Starting the Quest
There are three ways to start this quest. Firstly, you can speak with Aliskeeh can be found sitting outside the village gates.
- "Come for the bonding ritual? Not to partake, obviously. You're early either way. You might want to make yourself scarce until it's actually time for the ceremony."
- Why is that?
- "The bonding ritual is very important to the tribe. Everyone is under a lot of pressure to make sure everything is perfect.
There's some commotion in the village right now. Raised voices, tempers high. Not the best time for visitors."
- Maybe I could help?
- "I'll just stay out here until things settle down. If anyone asks, I'm hard at work, gathering plants for the ceremony."
After hearing these words, you can enter the village to see what Aliskeeh meant.
The second way to begin is to find Tseedasi west of the village or in the Glade of Chimes, where she will ask you to reassure the Tree-Minder with news of her return, as she has been gathering supplies for the upcoming Bonding Ceremony.
The third way to begin is when approach the center of the village, you may bear witness to an argument. There is what appears to be a malformed Argonian corpse laying on the ground in front of the Tree-Minder's lodge, and several Bright-Throat inhabitants are gathered around it. You can speak with Kasa-Jas to find out what is going on.
Enter Tree-Minder Pavu's hut to speak with her. Inside, she'll be speaking with Iskenaaz, the Argonian from earlier who was fiercely objected to the corpse outside.
- Iskenaaz: "We should leave it to the bog. Surely you agree- oh! Tree-Minder! The ojel! Just as you said!"
- Tree-Minder Pavu: "Greetings. I am Tree-Minder Pavu of the Bright-Throat tribe."
You can then introduce yourself to the tree-minder and ask her what is happening. She will reveal that in recent weeks she has been getting odd signs from their Hist and she is worried that she misinterpreted their meaning.
- "The chimes spoke of a visitor's approach. Our Hist welcomes you within its boughs, and so do we.
I regret that you arrive for what should be a joyous occasion to find only worries and troubles."
- What do you mean?
- "We are amidst the preparations for our tribe's most vital ceremony. Now a warped and withered stranger has died at our roots. An ill omen for the arrival of our guests.
I am troubled, ojel, because I do not hear what the Hist is trying to tell me."
- You think some misfortune is about to befall the ceremony?
- "These past weeks the Hist has been agitated. It has given me signs that I believed were warnings for the bonding to come, but now I feel that I've misinterpreted.
It is this clutch that is in peril … and it is you who can save it."
- I'd like to help. What is it you need?
- "The chimes speak of pain. Our children are suffering, but they are not hatched. The egg-tenders have brought me no concerns about the clutch's well-being, but the Hist always speaks truth.
Go with Iskenaaz. See what I am blind to."
The Egg-Tender's Quarters
Iskenaaz will then be made your companion, and will escort you to the egg-tender's quarters to begin the investigation. Talk to the egg-tenders and poke around the hut for clues. You can speak with both egg-tenders as well as search the place for physical evidence. Keenem is closest to the door, so you can talk to him first, if you prefer. He wishes you'd leave him alone, and voices his frustrations about how everyone is crowding him as the bonding ritual approaches. He tells you that all this activity doesn't bother the eggs as much as it bothers him.
Speak to Mimme and see if she has anything to say, she is more forthcoming than Keenem. She says that the egg-tenders care for the eggs while the Hist guides their development. She notes that not all eggs are destined to hatch, and those that aren't return to the Hist.
Now that you've spoken with the egg-tenders, start poking around a bit. Something particularly interesting that you might want to look at is the basket of fruit on the floor, which appears to have some sort of herb in it. Take the Wilting Dragonthorn and show it to egg-tenders for their thoughts. Mimme is the closest. She tells you that it's dragonthorn, and that it's nothing to be concerned about. She explains that her tribe's ancestors used it to aid in fruitful bonding, but such practices aren't commonplace nowadays. Her tribe has been trading it to the Dead-Water to help with their population issues, but aside from several "unsavory" purposes Mimme knows nothing about, it shouldn't be of concern. Keenem fails to identify the dragonthorn, but he isn't phased by its presence.
With the visit to the egg-tender's quarters finished, you should speak to Iskenaaz and tell him of your findings. He panics once you tell him you found some herbs, but immediately recognizes it as dragonthorn once you show it to him. He suggests you move on towards the uxith to continue the investigation. It's located west of the egg-tender's quarters, away from the huts.
Investigation at the Uxith
As Iskenaaz shows you around, a grumpy egg-tender makes herself known. Speak with Egg-Tender Meena and see if she can tell you anything relevant. She says that it's a bit early for a tour, and tells you to get to the point and tell her why you're hear. She tells you there's been nothing out of the ordinary with the eggs. Now you should speak with Haxara, the other egg-tender. She looks upset, and confirms that her mood is due to the incident with the corpse from earlier. When questioned, she seems nervous at the notion of something strange happening around the uxith. When told the tree-minder believes the eggs are suffering, Haxara abruptly breaks from the conversation and runs off into the swamp.
- Haxara: "I'm sorry—I'm sorry! Excuse me!"
- Egg-Tender Meena: "Haxara …! Kaoc! That's the second time today."
You can try speaking to Meena after the outburst, if you think she'll have anything helpful to say. She's a bit peeved that you made her run off, as now Meena has more work to do. She tells you that Haxara is very kind, and treats the eggs as if they were her own. Furthermore, she's never been chosen for the bonding ritual. After learning that interesting bit of information, you can investigate the empty nest-beds, you'll find some Mashed Dragonthorn Leaves. Once you have completed your investigation of the Uxith, talk to Iskenaaz. When told about the dragonthorn that came from the empty nest, he exclaims that those eggs had returned to the Hist. He speculates about the eggs or the Hist being poisoned, and notes that the sample you found is fresh. He then tells you to meet him near the dragonthorn glade. The Dragonthorn glade is just north of the uxith. Head there while Iskenaaz informs the tree-minder of your findings.
The Dragonthorn Glade
Investigate the drying hut. Inside the hut, you will find the body of an Argonian with sickly-pale scales and milky eyes. You'll also find two interesting pieced of writing, an Egg-Tender's Journal and a set of Orders. Reading the journal will reveal Haxara's private misery over her want for children, and her developing kinship with someone named Ree-Nakal. This friendship eventually became a scheme of taking the unfit eggs to see if they could be saved. However when you read the orders, it will reveal that this Ree-Nakal was prepared to have her killed, which puts their "friendship" in a different context.
Once you have read the orders, Iskenaaz will call out to you, noting that the dead Argonian looks to be one of the Veeskhleel. Talk to Iskenaaz and show him your findings so you can further assess the situation. He's confused as to why anyone would want to hurt Haxara, then comes to the realization that Haxara may have actually killed this man. This too makes little sense to Iskenaaz, as Haxara is squeamish and doesn't like to see anything get hurt. He's devastated to learn that Haxara has been giving the tribe's stillborn eggs to the Veeskhleel. Suddenly, an Aberration lurches forth, frightening Iskenaaz, before it falls over and dies.
Examine the body and take some of the Malformed Scales it has shed, then speak with Iskenaaz again. Iskenaaz believes that this malformed Argonian and the corpse from earlier are the work of the Veeskhleel, who purportedly steal the dead. Your new task is to follow the trail of sloughed off scales to wherever the shambling creature came from. Follow the scale trail until you reach the Blight Bog Sump, which lies to the west. Enter the cave.
Blight Bog Sump
Once you enter the cavern, you'll see Haxara weeping over another malformed aberration. Speak to Haxara to see what she has to say for herself. She is convinced that these sickly Argonians are the hatchlings from the eggs that were taken. Haxara tells you that she and Ree-Nakal were going to save the eggs and care for them when they hatched. Now she believes they were poisoned by her former "partner". Talk to Iskenaaz, then start to investigate the room. There's a lot of laboratory equipment in the chamber. Many aberrations lay dead or dying on the floor. There are a couple of clues you can find within the room, and Iskenaaz will comment on them once they are found.
- Iskenaaz : "Xuth! More of these creatures among broken eggs. Piled up like refuse."
The green Xochipalli Extract
- Iskenaaz : "Ugh—don't breathe it! My nose burns from here."
Some orange Xochipalli Extract:
- Iskenaaz : "Pee-yew. A terrible odor. It sticks in my throat."
Ree-Nakal's Writings can also be found. These are records of the experiments Ree-Nakal performed on the eggs. Additionally there are other writings which provide further insight into what Ree-Nakal has been doing, and her intentions in doing so. Once you have found the various clues you can speak with Iskenaaz. He is disturbed at the thought that the malformed creatures on the ground could have come from Bright-Throat Eggs. He suggests that you investigate further while he warns the tree-minder of the situaion. Iskenaaz will then leave to find Tree-Minder Pavu.
Once he's gone, you can talk to Haxara and show her the records of the experiments. She's upset that Ree-Nakal has been harming the creatures spawned from the unfit eggs. Tell her about the matured hatchlings mentioned in the notes who have been sequestered deeper within the ruins. This will convince her to find the surviving hatchlings with your help. She insists that she accompanies you, and tells you that if her children are tainted by the poisons you found in this room, you may be able to find them by literally sniffing them out. The still air down in the caves causes fumes to linger for long periods of time. If any fumes remain, you'll be able to use them to track the living hatchlings.
Finding the Hatchlings
From this point on, Haxara will accompany you into the Bog Blight Sump. There are two lingering fumes you can follow, green and orange through the ruins. Beware of the various Veeskhleel tribe members that will attack you. Following the green trail will lead you to the Worship Chamber, where you will find Ojei, a vibrant green-scaled hatchling, along with some Veeskhleel Alchemists. Haxara will attempt to connect with him.
However, this will not work and Ojei attacks. He has the ability to produce toxins from his scales. While you fight Ojei, the alchemists will also be throwing vile substances at you. If you are poisoned, Haxara will be able to help you by curing you of the poisons effects. Stand in her healing light if you're afflicted. Kill Ojei and return to the main tunnel. Once you have left the chamber, you can speak with Haxara, who is upset that it had to end this way.
The orange fumes will lead you to the Xuat-Matun Council Chamber. Within the chamber, you'll find Xul-Mot. He has bright orange scales and is found gnawing on broken egg shells, surrounded by the bodies of Veeskhleel Alchemists that he's killed. He too has the ability to shed toxins from his scales. He will also spit poison at you, which Haxara can help you with. This fight is similar to the battle against Ojei. Speak with Haxara outside the Council Chamber. Ree-Nakal's notes mentioned another experiment. Haxara promises to help you in the coming fight, and she's determined to stop Ree-Nakal from doing more harm.
Once you enter the Audience Chamber, Ree-Nakal will be out of reach on a higher platform. She will proceed to mock Haxara.
- Ree-Nakal: "Haxara. You wanted to be here when they hatched so badly. Now's your chance."
- Ree-Nakal: "I'm so close! Can't you see that? You can have your children!"
- Haxara: "These were supposed to be our children!"
- Haxara: "I don't deserve them!"
- Ree-Nakal: "You never did. Kill them!"
Ree-Nakal is accompanied by the last of her experiments, Krona. He has many abilities involving fire and poison, much like in the other fights, Haxara will heal and cure you when needed. Once they are both defeated, Haxara will run off into the next room. Follow her through the exit.
When you enter the next chamber, you will be greeted by the sight of what looks to be another aberration. This one, however, doesn't seem quite as dead as the others. In fact, she looks far from it. Haxara will plea with you to stay your hand.
- Haxara: "Wait! Wait! She's not like the others!"
- Haxara: "See? She's no danger to anyone. She doesn't have to be like the others."
Speak with Haxara to see what she wants to do.
- "Isn't she beautiful? My little girl."
- What's the matter with her?
- "Nothing's wrong with her! She's just a child, that's all. She needs someone to care for her. She needs her mother."
- She's not really a child, is she?
- "I know she looks grown up, but that was Ree-Nakal's doing! She made her grow, but she never cared for her. She never raised her. That's why she's like this. I can fix that."
- We can't just leave her here, that much is true.
- "I'll take her home. I can care for her there. Being part of the tribe will help her."
- You think they'll accept her?
- "She's a Bright-Throat. She belongs with our Hist."
- It might not be that simple.
- "They can punish me. I don't care. I deserve it, but this one has suffered enough. Pavu will understand. She will."
- I'll escort you back to the village.
- "No. She isn't ready yet. Can't you see she's scared? When I've calmed her down I'll bring her home.
- You go back to Pavu. Tell them it's over now … I want some time with my little girl."
Return to Tree-Minder Pavu in Bright-Throat Village.
The Tree Minder's Judgement
Upon returning to the Tree-Minder's home, you will be greeted by the sound of yelling.
- Iskenaaz: "Tree-Minder, if you saw what I saw, there would be no question."
- Haxara: "If you hadn't run, you might understand!"
- Tree-Minder Pavu: "Peace. Here is the one I must hear from."
As you told Haxara previously, simply returning to the village with Tlaiuhticah in tow is not that simple. Some like Iskenaaz see Tlaiuhticah's strange nature as a threat to the Hist. Tree-Minder Pavu for her part wants your input before making a judgement, speak with her.
- "Beek-ojel, I have heard much of the tragedy of our loss, and the part you played in ending it. The Hist chose wisely to entrust our troubles to you.
- We owe you much already, but I have one last request for you, if you would hear it."
- What is it you need?
- "Haxara betrayed us in ways beyond my imagining. Iskenaaz is right to be wary, but when I look upon her and her daughter I feel only pity.
You know the truth of this tragedy better that I ever could. It should be you that decides Haxara's fate."
- What does the Hist tell you?
- "I can sense its relief, the calm of knowing that its children no longer suffer. What that means for Haxara's daughter is unclear.
Our Hist does not answer me about Haxara. I feel its faith in us, so I put my trust in you."
- I need to think about this.
Tree-Minder Pavu will ask you to speak with both Iskenaaz and Haxara before making a decision.
- Tree-Minder Pavu: "Speak to the others. Return when you have decided."
Iskenaaz will insist that both mother and child leave the village.
- "Please, you have seen the horrors that Ree-Nakal wrought. She soaked that corruption into the very essence of her creations. We cannot allow her poisons to seep into our roots. I beg you."
- You really think she's that much of a danger to your tribe?
- "You think me cruel to believe so? I swear to you, it gives me no joy. One day I might even forgive Haxara for what she's done, but if there is even the smallest chance that showing her pity will harm the tribe, I will close my heart a thousand times."
- What do you propose we do with them?
- "They should go. Far away from our tribe and our Hist—from any Hist—never to trouble us again."
- What if I decide she should stay?
- "If the Hist believes you are right, then you are right. I will have to hope we did not misjudge its intentions."
You can now speak with Haxara to hear her side, she say that the Hist can help her daughter though she does not fear exile if she has Tlaiuhticah with her.
- "You know it's not true, what Iskenaaz is saying about her. You know it. He's a coward.
- She needs the Hist. It can help her."
- What if your daughter really is a threat to the Hist? You've caused a lot of harm already.
- "She can't be! She just can't ….
- If they won't accept us, I'll take her somewhere else. We'll have each other. That's all we need."
- Even if you stay, there's no guarantee that your daughter will change for the better.
- "That doesn't matter. I'll love her however she is. If I have to care for her until my dying day, I will."
Once you have spoken with the pair of them, return to Tree-Minder Pavu and make your decision.
- "This is not a simple matter, nor a matter to be rushed. Take all the time you need.
Haxara and Iskenaaz will both want to plead their case to you, but I will understand if you do not wish your judgement to be swayed."
- How would you punish Haxara for what she's done?
- "I can think of no tribe that has had to weigh such a crime. There are many who would put her to death for far less, but that is not the Bright-Throat way.
If we cannot find it in ourselves to forgive, then we will forget. Exile is my answer."
- And if I asked for your mercy?
- "It is often easier to clip a withered branch for the sake of the whole tree, but with thought and care a troubled limb can regain its strength.
Haxara and her daughter are broken boughs, but they may yet be mended if we make the effort to heal them."
- What did you mean when you said you didn't know what the Hist's relief meant for Haxara's daughter?
- "There are many interpretations. Charitably, it may mean that she is not ailing as the other hatchlings were, but it is easy to see that she is not whole.
I must consider the alternatives."
- What are the alternatives?
- "That our Hist does not feel her pain because she is not of our Tree. When I look at her, I do not see a Bright-Throat, or even a Veeskhleel. She is unmarked, tribeless, and her eyes are as blank as her scales.
She may be of no Tree at all."
- Meaning what?
- "We are born of the Hist, shaped by the Hist, and when we die we return to the Hist to be born and shaped anew. Can the same be said of this one?
Ree-Nakal gave her life, but can one born beyond the Hists' roots possess a soul? I have no answer."
- I'm ready to make my decision.
- "Then I will hear you, as I hear our chimes. What is our stream's course?"
You now have a choice to make.
- They pose too great a risk to the tribe.
- "Then I will lean on your strength and do what no Tree-Minder ever wishes to do. Haxara will be cut off from Tree and tribe.
I hope she can find the peace she seeks in the wider world."
- As do I.
- "This is a sad day for our tribe, but we will endure thanks to you. You are always welcome among the Bright-Throats for the aid and discretion you offered us today.
Please, put aside our troubles and your own. You've earned rest."
- Tree-Minder Pavu: "Haxara, you have done the unthinkable. Whether you intended to or not, you have harmed our Hist and our tribe. For your crimes, I banish you from our land. Go in peace, but never return."
- Haxara: "Come, my love. We aren't home yet... but we will be soon."
- You should accept them back to the tribe.
- "I feared I was being sentimental, but I am relieved to hear you offer them compassion.
The Bright-Throats have always navigated treacherous waters by linking arms and unifying our strength. Today shall be no different."
- I wish you the best.
- "There will always be a place among our tribe for these two, and for you, beeko. I would be honored to call you root-kin for what you've done for our tribe.
Make yourself at home here. You have earned a rest."
If you decided they should stay, the following will happen after speaking with Pavu:
- Tree-Minder Pavu: "Come, Haxara, we have ignored your pain for too long. Now it is our pain, and we will overcome it together."
- Haxara: "Come, my love. Let's go home."