Story ArcThe Cult of the Shaper

Summary

Mission Index

  1. Get Coral for Maros (Freakshow,Slag Golems)
  2. Strike Freakshow Cultists (Freakshow)
  3. Defeat Metal Shift (Freakshow)
  4. Force info from Legacy Chain (Legacy Chain)
  5. Destroy Shaper Cult (Arachnos,Freakshow)
  6. Stop Calystix (Freakshow,Coralax)

Notable Foes


Get Coral for Maros' plans

Diviner Maros

The Red Coral, shards of strange crimson crystals. On this island, their bloody light is more valuable than gold and far more dangerous. They glow from the depths of the mines, they glow from the chests of the golems, and they bring bloody red visions into the minds of those who hunt them. From his fortress in the governor's mansion, Captain Mako dreams about their ruddy light.

I have need of this red coral crystal. I need a great deal of it. And I know where to get it. Get it, bring it to me, and I will reward you well in Oranbegan gold, and information you may use to prevent your imminent horrible death.

The Freakshow are gathering coral from the hearts of the Slag Golems. They've found a spot where the creatures congregate down in the mines, and there seek the crystals. Take them, gather them, and return the red coral to me.

I'm sorry, did I mention your imminent death? I shouldn't have. There's still much time yet, and I don't want to distract you. oh, and it was not a trheat. you're already beyond the repurcussion of any threat I should make.

Part 1: Get Coral for Maros (Get Coral Shards, Get Coral Heart)
Cavern @ Sharkhead Isle (Freakshow,Slag Golems)

All the sound seems baffled in here, save for the distant ringing of metal striking stone.

Objective: You found a cache of collected coral.

ClueCoral Crystals

These strange red crystals were dug from the remains of Slag Golems.

Objective: You retrieved the coral heart from a Slag Golem deep deneath the ground.

ClueCoral Heart

This enormous shard of red coral served as the heart of a Slag Golem you destroyed. When you hold it, you feel alien thoughts brush against your mind, calling to the sea.

Mission Complete: You got the Coral Maros wanted.

Diviner Maros

Did you hold the Coral Heart you recovered? The feel of it, the weight of it...

Did you hear it call to you, did y0u haer it call to be sea? I suppose it doens't matter. The future will proceed either way. I guess it might change whether you will understand it.

The next phase is ready. I am now supposed to wonder why the Freakshow would want the Coral. The next thing to do will be for you to find out.


Make a pre-emptive strike against the Freakshow Cultists

Diviner Maros

I've realized that you probably don't know how this all ends yet. I'm sorry about that. I forget these things. Ever since the tower fell, I have been at all places between two points. I forget that it's all linear to most people. Effects follow causes and causes precede effects. And I still live all those moments.

I'm sorry, Dread Tomax. I was rambling. The Freakshow in the cult are going to try to kill you now, but since you don't yet know where to go to take the fight to them, they have the advantage. However, we can edit out all of the tedius searching for hideouts and interrogation. I will tell you where to go. There, you'll find out about the cult that's overtaken the Freakshow on the Island. It will bring you a step closer to escaping the horror at the end.

They call themselves the cult of...

Oh, I'm sorry. Causes, then effects. Go to the abandoned place I've shown you. Defeat the leader, find his journals, and you'll find out.

Part 2: Strike Freakshow Cultists (3 cult clues, Get Coral Shards)
Abandoned warehouse @ Sharkhead Isle (Freakshow)

Shouting in voices at the edge of human echoes through the halls.

Objective: You found a cache of collected coral.

ClueCoral Crystals

These strange red crystals were dug from the remains of Slag Golems.

Objective: After you beat him, the Freak cultist wouldn't shut up.

ClueThe Gatherer's babblings

The mad Tank Freak called the Gatherer wouldn't stop talking, even after he was defeated:

'The forms of old, the ancient ratios, they will come soon. All is ration, there is no shape. We will become a blend, we shall change to new forms, Metal Shift has told us. He is the disciple. Metal Shift is the head on the body ever-changing, ever-growing. There will be no end, no future, all will be as one! We are the cult of the Shaper! We are without form! We are immortality!'

Objective: You found something.

ClueOrders from on high

The Gatherer's half-mad ravigns are scrawled over many pages of notes, but among them you find a recentmessage sent to him from someone called 'Metal Shift':

'Our enemies on the mainland, the poor deluded souls who still follow Dreck and Bile and Clamor and even upstart, they have found a way to tap our communication. We cannot let them know of the Holy One's plan. And there has been a change to that plan: The Holy One tells me that there is one in particular we must find. A villain, but one who is being watched even now by Lord Recluse and his spies. This may be the same interloper who freed the Heretic hmtown. The Holy One has gien us a description of the Heretic. Destroy the unclean one without delay. Fates have bound us together, and the Holy One has foreseen this as well.'

You know before you even start reading the description that it macthes you perfectly.

Mission Complete: You struck back and learned about the 'Cult of the Shaper'.

ClueThe Cultists

After you rescued him from the Freakshow cultists, Ohmntown told you what he'd learned:

'Yo money, wassup? You know it, I been on a mission from my main man, Dreck. he asks me to check out what's goin' down on Sharkhead Isle, right? So I get jumped by these Freaks who's talkin' crazy, an I mean crazier than normal, know what I'm sayin'? You got me out of that, so we cool.'

'So I kept up investigatin', and I found out that these crazy freaks, they a cult now. They still kinda small, but a lot of freaks are gettin' sucked in. If it's this bad, I'm gonna have to get some face-breakahs out here to handle it.'

Diviner Maros

I can now tell you Metal Shift's name. You've learned it. You've learned that they will hunt you. You've learned that they are fanatics. You've learned that they are outcast even from the Freakshow. And you've learned that they are desperate to fulfill their master's wishes. We learn nothing, but through revelation.


Take the fight to 'Metal Shift'

Diviner Maros

The Red Coral, shards of strange crimson crystals. On this island, their bloody light is more valubale than gold and far more dangerous. They glow from the depths of the mines, they glow from the chests of...

No, wait, that isn't right. We've already done that by this point. I have the coral I need. So this isn't now, this is then. No, this is the now. Yes. I now know when I am.

You've just learned about 'Metal Shift', the one who sends his misions to kill you. I can tell you where he is. I can tell you what to look for. And I can tell yo that this will not be the end.

Metal shift is the leader, from him you will learn the name of their Holy One. From that you will learn The Holy One's true name and true nature. Then, you will be close. Close either to horrific dissolution, or the next point, the second point I have waited for for so long.

Part 3: Defeat Metal Shift (Defeat Metal Shift)
Abandoned warehouse @ Sharkhead Isle (Freakshow)

Looks like the Freaks have been here long enough to modify it some.

Objective: You got some information from Metal Shift about his master.

ClueMetal Shift's master

You extracted some information from the Freakshow leader called Metal Shift after you defeated him:

'This isn't a victory, heretic! The Holy One, the Shaper Lord, he sees all. He has been, and is to come. He tells us to change ourselves, and we change. He tells us to gather Coral, and we gather it. Calystix the Shaper will re-create us all, and we shall change anew, forever! but you! You will fall into maw of the sleeper below, and be consumed for all time!'

Amid all the babbling, the name "Calystix the Shaper' stands out. It might be worth incestigating.

Metal ShiftMetal Shift [Boss]
Metal Shift is a Freakshow but is also a priest of the Cult of the Shaper on Sharkhead Isle. The cult espouses a philosophy involving transformation of self - this easily fits into the Freakshow paradigm of self-modification.

Mission Complete: You learned the name of the Cult of the Shaper's leader: Calystix

ClueThe Sea Huntress

Barracuda is the lieutenant of Cap'n Mako, who is one of Lord Recluse's inner circle. you're a little surprised to meet her, but she doens't seem hostile at the moment. She even told you some of what she was doing here:

'i'm not here to fight you. I think we're both looking for some information. I heard that the Freakshow had been gathering Coral Shards. Cap'n Mako demands first bid on all Coral Shards recovered on sharkhead Island, so I thought I'd investigate. Turns out most Freaks don't know anything about it, but this group, they're swimming in them. What I couldn't figure out was why weren't they selling them?'

'So I kept digging and I heard about this wierd cult. Something tells me that there's more to this than the normal wierdness the Freakshow get into. Look, I have a feeling that this is going to be kind of personal for me, so do yourself a favour and don't get in my way. There are some things about this cult I need to know,and so long as you don't interfere, we'll be okay.'

Diviner Maros

Calystix the Shaper. How long have I waited to hear you speak that name? It all collapses now. it all converges to the second point. From a blossom of futures into the arrow of time. It's almost over.

So close to the end, I find I feel sad, in a way. I was there, I was part of it all when we first tried to build a tower to the heavens. When it happens again, what will become of me afterwards? Free, either way, I suppose. But that doesn't matter to you. You have your own horrific demise to avert.

Incidentally, how did you like meeting Barracuda? It's unfortunate that you'll have to fight her next time you meet.


Force information on Calystix from the Legacy Chain

Diviner Maros

You know the name 'Calystix', but you know noting else. I will correct that. The Legacy Chain's mystics have a great deal of information. Force one of their researchers to reveal all that they know about this Calystix to you. once you are amred with understanding, we will proceed.

The funny thing is, most of what I know about calystix I remember from what you're about to tell me.

Part 4: Force info from Legacy Chain (Kidnap researcher)
Office @ Sharkhead Isle (Legacy Chain)

Your trained eye can see the details that mark the innocuous office as different. A sigil here, a few strange carvings there. Powerful protective magics, but from your presence, obviously not powerful enough.

Objective: Haversham gives you the information you want.

ClueOf Calystix and Sacrifice

In a shaking voice, the researcher reads from an ancient tome:

'Calystix the Shaper, also called Calystix the Zealot. The first records of a priest called Calystix date from ancient Rome, where a Legion discovered an ancient temple to a Cult of the Shaper. this cult was led by a high priest called Calystix, who ordered the townspeople to slay the Legion. The soldiers were nearly overcome, but they won and put the temple and the town to the torch for their abhorent practices. later records of a Cult of the Shaper led by Calystix re-occur in the middle ages, and again during the Enlightenment. The last known occurance was in a small Massachusetts fishing village in the 1920s, though it is unknown if it was lead by a priest called Calystix, as the Cult was destroyed by the American Navy for crimes of piracy and cannibalism.'

'perhaps most disturbing is that recently discovered records of the ancient civilization of the Mu also speak of a 'Calystix the Shaper'. These records from 14'000 years ago tell of another race who lived on the island of Mu before it was raised from the sea, and talk of a priest of these sea-people called Calystix, who sought to unleash a great levathon to devour the Mu. The legends say that the Leviathan was entombed beneath the Island by the mu Goddess Hequat, but that Calystix escaped into the sea.'

'It should be noted that in each attempt, it was said that the cult sought to sacrifice the life of a particularly wicked and important individual to show their god or goddess that humans deserved to be destroyed. We of the Legacy Chain know that this new Cult of the Shaper have been watching you. Perhaps they've already chosen their sacrifice?'

Mission Complete: You got the information you needed from the Legacy Chain.

Diviner Maros

Old records owned by the Circle corroborate much of what you've told me. I'd go and read them, but knowing that you'd tell this to me, I already have. This Calystix must be attempting to restast his cult. But this time, he may be able to complete this aim. Particularly if he sacrifices you. And yes, that is one of the horrible fates I mentioned. And though it's not the only one, it would probably be a good idea for you to stop this from happening. For both our sakes.


Find the location of Calystix

Diviner Maros

We're almost done. All the branches are narrowing. Events have fewer nodes to other events. We're approaching the second rise of the tower, the second attempt. We're close now to determining which, if any, horrific fate will befall you. You still have a chance. But you still have to mold the reality that-could-be from the greater skein of what-can-be. All that could lead to the second singularity collapses in on itself.

I apologise, I'm rambling again, and there's not much time. Which is funny, from my point of view.

I'm sorry, I must concentrate. You must find Calystix. Metal Shift has returned. Ohmtown has brought re-inforcements. And Barracuda seeks the secret of her own history. Your part is to find Metal Shift once more. Find him, learn from him where his Holy One has gone. Then we'll see which horrid fate will be yours.

You're going to have a lot to do. Ohmtown needs to take control of his Freaks. id' suggets getting him out of trouble. that should curtail further growth of the Cult and curtail retaliation against you.

Barracuda is desperate for information, but should she come too close to Calystix, he would control her with ease. She must be stopped before se can get any further towards the truth of her own creation.

And Metal Shift needs to be disposed of. His last boasts will tell you where to find his master.

And that will nearly be the end.

Part 5: Destroy Shaper Cult (Defeat Barracuda, Metal Shift)
Abandoned Warehouse @ Sharkhead Isle (Arachnos,Freakshow)

One way or another, the mad Cult of the Shaper will meet their end today.

Objective: Metal Shift kept talking even after defeat.

ClueMetal Shift's Lament

Metal Shift continued to ramble even after you defeated him:

'I've failed you, Holy One. I did the best I could. I only hope that you'll remember me as you devour the sacrifice and the world.'

As his power faded, you could make out a few important points in his rambling. in particular, you think you may be able to figure out where Calystix is from certain details.

Objective: Barracuda says a few words before she lapses into unconsiousness.

ClueWhat am I supposed to be now?

Before Arachnos's medical system recalled her to safety, Barracuda stuttered a few angry words at you:

'All you had to do was not interfere. I just want to know what happened to me. What made me like this. And I remembered that name: 'Calystix'. I have to know. I was just a diver. I just wanted to be in the ocean. I never wanted to be like this. I never wanted to be a monster like...'

Like...

Like all of you!

I used to be normal. What am I supposed to be now?

BarracudaBarracuda [Arch-Villain]
A former treasure hunter, Kelli Forston was infected by mysterious creatures known as the Coralax. What she found in the briny deep remains a mystery, but it turned her heart as dark and cold as the depths. In combat, she is almost as quick and savage as her bloodthirsty mentor, Captain Mako.
Metal ShiftMetal Shift [Elite Boss]
Metal Shift is a Freakshow but is also a priest of the Cult of the Shaper on Sharkhead Isle. The cult espouses a philosophy involving transformation of self - this easily fits into the Freakshow paradigm of self-modification.

Mission Complete: You have broken the back of the Shaper Cult.

ClueCult's over, yo

When you got him out of a jam, Ohntown told you what the situation was with the Cult of the Shaper and the Freakshow:

'Thanks for the hand, man. Those cult suckas cut me off from my crew. Who have all been told you a friend in here, so we cool. meantime, I tol' Dreck what's up, and he got it taken care of. Cult's over, yo. Nothin left but clean up the Freaks who won't give it up.'

Diviner Maros

All things are converging and everything falls into place. If what you are about to tell me is correct, you were able to find where Calystix has gone. The Shaper will try to unleash the Leviathan. He wants to send it to consume you so that the sacrifice of your wicked life will allow him to command it. And if you de now, it will all fall apart. A horrible fate awaits you. Now it is time to confront it.


Defeat Calystix the Shaper

Diviner Maros

I've done everything I can to spare you the fate Calystix has planned, but you must take the final step. I will tell you that what you think may be Calystix's location is correct. The Shaper has retreated under the guard of his last few Freaks, and will soon attempt to rouse the Leviathan. Now is the time. Gather your forces for the battle ahead will be difficult, but you must prevail. Calystix the Shaper must be destroyed.

I can already feel the Leviathan stirring, it's hunger calling out along the mystic plane. if only I had enough of the red Coral Crystal, I could interfere from here and give you time to stop it.

Wait a moment...

It's fortunate that I had you gather red Coral Crystal for me. I can use that to interfere with the Shaper's ceremony and give you time to stop it. You must defeat Calystix himself before he can awaken the creature. That will end this for the moment, and move you towards the point I've been waiting for.

Part 6: Stop Calystix (Defeat Calystix)
Cavern of the Leviathan @ Sharkhead Isle (Freakshow,Coralax)

Something feels terribly wrong. It's too warm and humd, and the breeze changes in a slow rhythm, like the fetid breath of some massive sleeping thing.

Calystix the ShaperCalystix the Shaper [Arch-Villain]
Calystix the Shaper is the high priestess of an ancient cult to the sea-goddess Merulena. She has formed a 'Cult of the Shaper' on Sharkhead in order to free an ancient terror which is trapped beneath the island.
Diviner Maros

The Shaper falls, and the way is clear. The Freaks will return to their normal ways, and Calytsix will not summon the Leviathan this time.

You have averted one of the fates that could overcome you, but it is not the only on ethat awaits you. There's little more I can tell you without making events fly too far off course. You need to not know certain things, but I will tell you this: When the time comes, when you must face the goddess in your preparations to make Recluse's Victory become true, you must remember that Recluse's Victory may not be your own.

Now I've talked too much of fates and endings. i've said too much of what hasn't occurred and what may never happen. Let us be done with talk of destiny, and prophecy, and the rest.

At least, for a while.


Souvenir: A Fragment of red coral crystal

This piece of strange crystalized coral is all that remains of the wierd cult that once tried to sacrifice you to awaken a strange and ancient horror in the escapade you remember as:

The Cult of the Shaper

You knew that working with Maros was strange, but it soon got stranger than you'd imagined. out of nowhere, Maros began to talk about the red crystalized coral that could be found around Sharkhead Isle. Apparently he needed a great deal of crystal for some arcane purpose, and asked you to get it for him. He talked about several strange things, including some horrible demise he saw in your future, but you couldn't get him to make more sense. When you went to harvest coral from the Slag Golems, you found that there were Freakshow in the area already doing the same thing. You prevailed over them, and delivered the crystals to Maros.

Maros next warned you that the Freakshow would want you killed, but since he knew where you could go to find some answers, sent you right there. Once there, you met the Freakshow lieutenant named Ohmtown again, who was about to be taken out by some of his fellow Freaks. After you helped him, he told you that he'd been sent out the the Rogue Isles by Dreck, the Leader of the Freakshow. Apparently there were rumours that a strange cult has sprung up among some of the Freaks on the island. You also defeated a Tank Freak called the Gatherer, who put a name on the new mania spreading among the Freaks: The Cult of the Shaper. He also spoke of a leader called Metal Shift. Maros seemed to confirm this, in his own roundabout way.

Maros continued to be his own special kind of helpful, this time directing you directly to Metal Shift, the head of the Freaks in the Cult of the Shaper. As you infiltrated the place, you happened upon Barracuda herself, Cap'n Mako's lieutenant who was surrounded by Freakshow cultists. You helped her with the Freaks she was fighting. She helped you out, and told you that she was investigating the Cult of the Shaper for her own reasons. you confronted Metal Shift, and after defeating him learned that the true head of the Cult was someone called Calystix the Shaper. Maros was pleased that you had learned this. He also warned you that the next time you met Barracuda, you'd have to fight her.

Maros told you that you could find more information about Calystix the Shaper in the Legacy Chain, he only knew because he remembered you telling him. Regardless, his information was correct. The Legacy Chain's records told about the re-appearance of teh Cult of the Shaper throughout history, always headed by a strange priest of an unknown race that tried to destroy them with a great Levaithan. Accordng to the anncient records, the Leviathan was sealed, but Calystix escaped into the sea. The Legacy Chain researcher also told you that th Cult of the Shaper always attempted to sacrifice a powerful and wicked individual to re-awaken the Leviathan, and seems to have chosen you. Maros confirmed all of this based on old Oranbegan records the Circle owned.

It was time to bring an end to the Cult of the Shaper and find Calystix. As Maros babbled nearly into near incoherency, he directed you into a vicious battle. You found Ohmtown again, this time he'd brought along more Freakshow from the mainland. The Cult was over by Dreck's order, and he was there to see to it. Barracuda was also present, and as Maros had said, this time she wasn't interesting in talking. You defeated her, and before she fell into unconsciousness she explained that she was just trying to figure out how she had been changed into her current form. Maros had warned that if she got too close to Calystix he would take control of her, though, so there was no way you were going to let her find out. Finally, there was Metal Shift. After you defeated him for the last time, his final words gave the hints you needed to find Calystix the Shaper.

Maros was able to interfere with the Leviathan's awakening through the Red Coral Crystal you had gathered for him in the beginning, and Calystix was stopped before the Leviathan could be awakened. Deep beneath Sharkhead Isle, the beast sleeps again, hopefully forever. The Cult of the Shaper is over for good, and it looks like no ancient inhuman priests to strange sea-goddesses are planning to sacrifice you any time soon. Over all, a win.

Maros told you little more about his motivations for helping you in all of this, but did deliver a strange warning. he said that it would be agood for you to remember that Recluse's victory may not be your own. Whatever that meant, he refused to speak of it further.


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