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The Roots of Madness

Author: 
Xan

Haskill

Ah, you're back. You may have noticed that we have a... bit of a problem.

Liann

What problem?

Haskill

You're having a bit of fun with me. Very good. My Lord of course noticed the Font when you arrived in the Palace. The Font of Madness, in the middle of the throne room. The Font which is unaccountably covered with crystals.

Liann

What's wrong with the Font?

Haskill

Order. The taint appeared only a short time ago, but it has spread quickly. I fear that soon we will all be serving a new master.

Liann

You mean Jyggalag...

Haskill

Yes. His agents must have found a way to poison the Font with Order. Once the source of Madness becomes the Font of Order, Jyggalag has won.

Liann

But we've beaten him at every turn!

Haskill

This is true. Very little surprises me, but your successes against the advance of Order have left me astonished. Speechless. Indeed, it is your very success that must have led Jyggalag to this unexpected avenue of attack. His usual approach is much less imaginative.

Liann

How do we stop him?

Haskill

Somehow the forces of Order have poisoned the Pools of Mania and Dementia that feed the Tree. I suspect the traitor Syl. Jyggalag has never had an original thought in his existence. Be that as it may. You will have to enter the Fountainhead beneath the Tree and find the source of the poison.

Liann

Font of Madness

Haskill

The Font flows with the sap of the Tree of Madness, which it draws up from deep beneath the palace. The Fountainhead leads down to the Pools of Dementia and Mania, where the insanity of the Realm's inhabitants settles. Jyggalag's minions must have introduced Order into the very wellspring of Madness. You must cleanse the Pools, or Order has won the war.

Liann

The Fountainhead

Haskill

Sheogorath's private sanctuary, where he would often meditate amidst the tame Gnarls that tend the roots. Normally the Fountainhead is a peaceful sanctuary. But there's no telling what changes the taint of Order may have wrought. Now, I fear that the Gnarls themselves may be accelerating the spread of Order throughout the Tree's roots. Be careful.

Liann's Journal

The Font of Madness has been poisoned by Order! If it becomes fully Ordered, the realm is lost and Jyggalag has won. Haskill suspects that Order has somehow gained access to the Pools of Madness that nourish the Font. I need to enter the Fountainhead beneath the Tree and find the source of the poison before it is too late.

Liann

(Enter the Fountainhead, and trace the taint of Order. Slay all the Priests of Order and their knights)

Liann's Journal

I've witnessed a gnarl removing the Order crystals that were poisoning a door here in the Fountainhead. It seems that the tame gnarls here can halt the spread of Order throughout the dungeon. I may be able to use their help as I work my way to the Pools of Mania and Dementia.

(Cleanse the Pools of Mania and then Dementia manually and by the help of gnarls. In the Pool of Dementia, Syl is working to taint the pool, and she faces and taunts Liann)

Syl

So, the bloody-handed Duchess comes to claim another victim! You may find me rather harder to kill than poor, innocent Thadon. To think that I trusted you. You! Sheogorath's pet. That used to be me, so blinded by my suspicions that I could not see the truth of my own situation. But no more. No more! If only I had seen it sooner. Thadon might stand here next to me, to help usher in the rule of Order to this benighted realm! Instead, he is dead, at your hand. And Sheogorath's command! What harm had he ever done to you? The means justify the ends, is that it? Then you will appreciate my new master's methods. Jyggalag is coming. He cannot be stopped. He will rule this land, and all our delusions will be stripped away. None too soon. We have lived too long as the playthings of the Madgod. Now, taste the power of the true Lord of this realm!

(She attacks. Defeat her and cleanse the Pool of Dementia. The Pool of Madness is restored. Immerse the Staff of Sheogorath and now the staff creation is finished. Now, go back to the throne room and talk to Haskill)

Liann's Journal

I've killed the Priests of Order who had cursed the Pool of Dementia. The traitor, Syl, was among them. Now that I've cleansed both Pools that feed the Font of Madness, I should be able to imbue the Staff of Sheogorath with power.

Haskill

You've done well. Already I can feel the Fountainhead renewing itself, flushing the taint of Order from its veins.

Liann

The Fountainhead

Haskill

With the Pools cleansed, the Font of Madness will soon be restored. There's no time like the present to finish your journey towards godhood.