ESO: Balac Thurm Main Quest

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This is an old, incomplete version of a main quest for Elder Scrolls Online. While the same characters are there, the quest itself is radically different, focused on finding and recharging the Balac Thurm (“Staff of Towers” first mentioned in The Real Barenziah) in order to stop the Planemeld. It’s rooted far more in metaphysics than the shipped version, heavily featuring the Marukhati Selectives and Towers. It’s hard to tell if the Amulet of Kings replaced the Balac at some point or if both were involved in the quest.

Rescuing the Moth Priests

“A signet ring the Prophet has carried with him since his days in the Moth Priest’s library.”

“Greetings, <<1>>. <<2>> told me you’re a friend of the Moth Priests. I know you saved him from the cultists in <<3>> and recovered the <<4>> from them. Your arrival is a blessing. The people of Aldcroft are in more trouble than they know.”

“First you: then I, then our Titanborn. The Moth Priests shall follow us too. Each and every existence depends upon this moment. This here. This now. Now go!”

“I need to find a Moth priest in Shornhelm and offer my help against the Worm Cult.”

“I learned that during the night of the kidnapping, a wagon parked outside the Moth Priests’ chapterhouse drove off towards Shornhelm’s west gate. I should visit the gate and ask if the wagon was seen there.”

“The trail of the wagon led me to a hidden cave tucked away in the mountains west of <<1>>. If the Moth Priests are in here somewhere, I have to rescue them.”

“I’ve found the captive Moth Priests, who were kidnapped by members of the Black Worm Cult. Fortunately one of the priests had a recall stone on him. I can use it to teleport all of us out of the cave to the Ancestor Moth sanctuary, Gudrun’s Retreat.”

“A mighty Daedra lord is attempting to steal the Amulet of Kings! Sai Sahan and I must stop him before he can break the warding.”

“The Daedra lord is defeated. The Amulet of Kings is secure, but it appears drained from the warding spell that it created. I should take it and escape.”

“I’ve escaped the Worm Cultists’ cave with the Moth Priests in tow. I should exit the room I’m in and see who else is here at Gudrun’s Retreat.”

“Welcome to Gudrun’s Retreat, <<1>>.Now, I’m curious – why in Shor’s name did you bring a Dremora Kynval here?”

“The Kynval was disguised as a Moth Priest. I rescued the priests from a group of Worm Cultists.”

What the Balac is and how to fix it

“I should listen to the Prophet. He has seen a vision in the scrolls regarding how I can repair the Staff of Towers.”

“It’s a magic staff, wrought by some High Elf ages ago. They say the Balac’s bound to the very bones of the world, with power enough to breach the walls of Oblivion. It was taken in battle by the sons of Men, long ago, and hidden. But I know where.”

“Can you not sense it, <<1>>? The staff – it is broken, incomplete! The Maruhkites, their Dragonbreak… the Balac that was is no more.”

“Very good. Now listen well.\n\nThe Balac was formed from the energies of this world – and from these energies we may draw again, to restore the Balac’s power.”

“The Codex supposedly contains one of the most dangerous secrets in Tamriel – the location of the Balac. It is the Balac that will allow us to free <<1>> from Molag Bal’s cold prison.”

“The Balac? By what right do you ask of such things? Only the most exalted brethren even know of its existence. And here you, an intruder, come seeking it for yourself. I think not.”

“Well enough, Lyris. Well enough. We have the location of the Balac, do we not? And our foretold friend has arrived! The wheel revolves. We cannot ask for more.”

“To restore the Balac, to repair its broken parts, you must undertake a greater journey still. Across Tamriel you will travel, into darkened depths and upon luminous heights. Are you for the task, <<1>>? Are you willing?”

“The Prophet’s portal stone will get you to the ruins. From there, you must locate the Balac on your own. Go with caution, <<1>>. Gods only know what else you’ll find in there.”

“The Mages Guild will get you to the Canulus Refuge, have no doubt. From there you must find the Balac on your own. Now hurry – the Planemeld hastens even as we speak!”

“Back from the Canulus Refuge! And that must be the Balac!\n\nWell go on, I don’t know what’s to be done with it. Give it to the old man.”

“Strangeness surrounds us! It is the Balac you bear, but I expected something… different. Here, give it to me. I must examine the staff.”

“The Balac? It is ancient, it is might. It is the work of Gods and mer. It is the staff that beats the Doom Drum! I can say little else. What it does, or from whence it came – such questions are obscured to me.”

“I know little enough myself…. It is clear the staff was forged through the land, of Nirn itself – channeled magics wrought material.The Balac is ancient, perhaps beyond time. It has seen and done more than you or I can imagine.”

Charging the Balac at each of the Towers

“There are many objects of Divine origin scattered throughout Tamriel with which one might recharge something as powerful as the Amulet of Kings. The difficulty is determining which is the safest and most logical to utilize.”

“<<1>> believes the energies of the Crystal Tower can be tapped by the Balac, and will partially return the staff to its former power. The anchor of the Crystal Tower is called Crystal-like-Law; its energies tie the tower to Nirn.”

“Charge the Balac within the Adamantine Tower”
“Charge the Balac within the Crystal Tower”
“Charge the Balac within Red Mountain”
“Charge the Balac to the Zero Stone”
“Charge the Balac to Crystal-like-Law”

“You say you are willing. Then let your journey begin. The towers await, their stones laid within. The Balac will be drawn to them, as the light is drawn to the dawn.”

“The power to restore the Balac lies within the Anchor Towers of Tamriel. Each tower is laid upon a singular stone,  its essence and foundation, the connection to Nirn. Find the stones, one to each tower, and bolster the Balac upon their energies.”

“Do not travel by land to the towers! It is out of the question. The Balac is too precious, and there are many dangers out in the world.Seek the Mages Guild I say, for they are allies still, and know much of the magics of teleportation.”

“I am inside the Adamantine Tower. Now I must find a way to the Zero Stone and imbue the Balac with its power.”

“The Anchor Towers await – Adamantine, Crystal, Red Mountain. Through they alone can the Balac be restored. Ask now of each tower, and I will tell what I may know.”

“Find first the Zero Stone, at the heart of Adamantine Tower. In the halls above and dungeons below Clan Direnni rules. They will despise your intrusion, and guard the Zero Stone ferociously. But you must find it, tap its power, tap its power.

“The Zero Stone will restore the staff. It was laid by the gods themselves, back before the dawn.It’s so simple! And yet… I fear the journey will be anything but.”

“Your friends in the Daggerfall Covenant would gladly send you to Balfiera Island. They always need more reinforcements for their war. Just ask for a battlemaster in one of your alliance cities.”

“In the light of the scrolls, through the veil of permeation, I saw three steps to the end.”

“First there is an island of war: the place called Balfiera. You must go there to begin.”

“Second: the tower, the one called Adamantine. You must get inside. Through depths and darkness you go, downwards, never up.”

“And last, the Zero Stone, the core and foundation. Place the staff upon the stone. Its eternal surface connects to Nirn, to recharge and renew.”

Canulus Refuge

“The Alessians took the Balac at Glenumbra Moor. What they did with it none can say. Their last refuge at Lake Canulus fell long ago, but the vaults beneath were never plundered. If the Balac isn’t there, some word of where it’s hidden will be.”

“I found a note indicating that the Balac is being kept in a place called the Archives. I will need to find the Archives if I am to recover the staff.”

“<<1>> has sent me in search of a book called the <<2>>.
He believes it is somewhere inside a ruined monastery in Cyrodiil, a place called the Canulus Refuge. I can use Seagrave’s portal stone to travel there instantly.”

“I appear to be trapped in some sort of dungeon within the Canulus Refuge. I need to find a way out if I am going to recover the <<1>>.”

“I have solved the Maruhkite’s riddle, and the barrier is down. <<1>> must be located somewhere beyond it.”

“I ventured into the depths of the Canulus Refuge and secured the magical staff known as the Balac. I then returned to Lyris Titanborn’s hideout and handed the staff over to the Prophet.”

“Not by any road, that’s for certain. I’ve a portal stone a wizard enchanted for me: it will send you all the way to Cyrodiil. Take this ring: it will bring you right back after you’re finished.”

“Aye, and so we’ll begin. It’s time we recover the Balac. Thanks to you, we know where the Balac was last kept. But we needed a fast, safe way into the Canulus Refuge. The old man here has solved that problem for us, thanks to his portal stone.”

“Ah! Of course! Now listen well: The Balac sits in another’s hands, suspended from life, out of place, out of time. Hidden, protected, this defender waits, surrounded by death in the depths of his home – a place once called the Canulus Refuge.”

“The Spell of Sheathing. It protected this room, isolating me from the world while my brother Maruhkites were slaughtered by heretics. Now you have broken the Sheath. You must die, and then I shall begin the Order’s rebirth.”

Puzzles and books in Canulus Refuge

“<This statue bears an inscription.>”I am the champion against tyranny, the liberator of slaves, the destroyer of elves. Who am I?\” <Below, three names glow with the same energy that surrounds the Balac.>”

“<This statue bears an inscription.>”I am the true god of time, free from elven aspect, resplendent fruition of the Dragon Break. Who am I?\”<Below, three names glow with the same energy that surrounds the Balac.>”

“<This statue bears an inscription.>”I am the true prophet, beholder of visions, proclaimer of the faith. Who am I?\” <Below, three names glow with the same energy that surrounds the Balac.>”

“<You read the title page of this venerable tome.> “The Maruhkati Sermons” “Words and Teachings from the Visionary Maruhk, the Indelible Prophet, the Leader of the Faith” <The rest of the text has rotted away and is completely illegible.>”

“<You read the title page of this resplendent tome.>”The Supreme Spirit “A Treatise on the Splendor of Akatosh, Dragon God of Time, the One, the Only””

“<You read from the Trials of St. Alessia.>”Akatosh made a covenant with Alessia in those days. He gathered the tangled skeins of Oblivion and knit them fast with the bloody sinews of his Heart. He gave them to Alessia, saying, ‘This shall be….'”

“<You read the title page of this poetic tome.>”The Song of Pelinal, Volume Three: On His Enemy””

“<You read the title page of this exhaustive tome.>”The First Empress: An Accounting of the Rise of the Slave-Queen Alessia and the Subsequent Defeat of the Ayleids of Cyrod”Authored by Brenton Mannerly, humble servant of the Alessian Order””

“<You read the title page of this ponderous tome.>”The Staff of Towers”An Examination of the Fabled Artifact, Its Origins, and a History of Its Activity\””

“<You read the title page of this enigmatic tome.> The Lost Maruhkites: Stories of the Forgotten Sect”

“<You read the title page of this journal-like book.> “Sanctuary and the Staff “Final Confessions of a Maruhkite\””

The Marukhati Selectives

“Fanatics! Devotees, they would say, of the Alessian Order. Supposedly they were wiped out during the War of Righteousness.Ha! Their secrets didn’t die so easily.”

“Antonius, The fires of righteousness burn around us; the faithless scour the land. But our sacrifice will preserve our legacy — an Akatosh free from the loathsome aspects of merfolk. In your hands the Balac will be protected. Yours in Faith,\nGalla”

“Galla, The Balac is the map and the path, left for us by the Selective. The Dragon cannot be unbroken. We must realign the Archives to keep it safe — out of place, out of time. -Antonius”

“Antonius, The way to the Balac is sealed, and only Alessia’s faithful shall pass. Pray we slip loose of Arkay’s bonds to serve eternally. I taste the lies of the heretics on the wind, like bitter ash. They draw near. Yours in Faith,Galla”

“Daybook of Scorian Antissus, Catechumen of Maruhk – Twelfth of Rain’s Hand: Peppered mutton again. No surprise: our cook is a Breton. At least there were grilled leeks to go with it. After dinner, practice for two bells with the Blessed Expungers….”

“‘And so it was ordained, by the glorious spirit of Queen Alessia herself. Let the Elven lie be purged from the Empire, through the doom of its progenitors, the Ayleids, slavers, the original enemy of man.'”

“I have seen your success. It is written in the scrolls. With the Balac in hand you shall triumph, our enemies vanquished, the Planemeld extinguished! Do you understand? The Balac is the key, and you shall find it. Are you willing? Are you ready?”

“We abide in the “Gray Maybe.” What can any of us speak but riddles? If our enemies have their way, there will be no more riddles… only the dead and deadly certainty.”

The final battle at Adamantine Tower

“The what reveals the where. It is Balfiera Island a rock upon the Iliac Bay. The bickering factions of Tamrial vie for its control. An endless arena of war. The battlemasters of the Daggerfall Covenant will readily send you there to die.”

“To Balfiera, the island of war – to Adamantine, the tower’s depths – to the foundation the Zero Stone! Upon that timeless stone the staff must be charged.”

“There is but one tower on that island – the one named Adamantine. Enter the tower,but go down, not up. In those ancient depths, in the dungeons far below, you will find the foundation – the Zero Stone. It alone can restore the Staff of Towers.”

“The Prophet has opened a portal to Balfiera Isle and the Adamantine Tower. I will be bringing the Amulet of Kings with me.”

“I must descend into the depths below the tower and locate the Zero Stone, a massive source of Divine power from the Dawn Era.”

Abnur Tharn is here, speaking to his Legion soldiers through a magical projection. I should have words with him.

There is a path leading down not far from here. Abnur Tharn’s soldiers and Worm Cult agents stand between me and the Zero Stone.

“I’ve entered into some kind of ancient Ayleid observatory built up around the tower spire. I need to find my way through.

I’ve reached the Seal of the Stars. I must determine the configuration of constellations that will allow me through.

The way is open. The Zero Stone awaits.

The last of Abnur Tharn’s minions stand in my way, hoping to delay me while the Imperial gorges himself on the energy of the Zero Stone.

Abnur Tharn has turned Lyris Titanborn into an undying servant and has set her against me. I must defeat them both to get to the Zero Stone.

Lyris Titanborn is dead, and Abnur Tharn’s own demise is little penance for his crime. It is time to empower the Amulet of Kings and find my way, unerringly, to my soul.

I am in some kind of vision. The Amulet is attuning itself to my soul’s location.

I will now be able to find my way to wherever my soul is kept, no matter who possesses it. The Prophet has appeared in the flesh through one of his portals. I should speak with him.

The Prophet has asked me to set and light Lyris’s funeral pyre.

Lyris has been laid to rest, and her spirit will find its way to the Nord afterlife in Sovngarde. I should finish my business with the Prophet so we can return to the Harborage and prepare for our final task.

“I have entered a twisting descent into the world’s heart. The only way forward is down.”

“And last1 the Zero Stone1 the core and foundation. Place the staff upon the stone. Its eternal surface connects to Nirn, to recharge and renew.”

“I hear it! The Zero Stone echoes from within the staff. You have succeeded. We are one step closer to life, one step further from annihilation.”

“I’ve safely returned to Gudrun’s Retreat. I should speak to the Prophet and tell him what transpired beneath the Adamantine Tower.”

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