An Absence of Shadows
Investigate the disappearance of Shadowcatcher
I have a very important matter that needs investigation, Xamot Der, and I would like to ask you to attend to this grave mission. Recently, one of our fellow Warshades called Shadowcatcher has disappeared while investigating a routine kidnapping by the Outcasts. He has not been seen in any of the city hospitals, and none of the Freedom Phalanx I have spoken with have seen him during the course of their duties. It is as if he has disappeared from the city. I worry that something terrible has befallen him, and so would like to ask you to find our missing comrade, and bring him back safely through whatever troubles have come of him.
I thank you, Xamot Der. You do us great credit by your bravery. You should begin your investigation by completing the mission Shadowcatcher was on. The Outcasts have kidnapped a local businessman named Henry Meyers. Defeat all of the kidnappers, rescue Mr. Meyeres, and see if he knows what may have become of Shadowcatcher.
Abandoned office @ Atlas Park (Outcasts)
The Outcasts don't like to be associated with run-down old offices like this, but it makes a good place to stash a kidnap victim.
Mission Complete: You rescued Henry Meyers, and learned that Shadowcatcher has been ambushed.
After you rescued Henry Meyers, he told you:
'Yeah, I saw your friend Shadowcatcher. He was just about to reach me, when they attacked from nowhere! There were all these bright beams of light, and I heard Shadowcatcher fall. When my sight came back, Shadowcatcher was gone. By then, the Outcasts had recovered and I was trapped again.'
An ambush? Shadowcatcher cut down by blinding flashes of light? I can think of only one explanation, but it is impossible. Sustorm gave his word. He promised me that this would not occur. He promised that our truce would hold. We will have to see if he is keeping his assurance that we would not be attacked by Peacebringers, despite our Nictus histories. This is not over, Xamot Der. This has barely begun.
Confront Sunstorm with what you've learned.
If there is any truth to Henry Meyer's story, then the Peacebringers are the ones responsible for Shadowcatcher's disappearance. When the Peacebringers arrived, I had feared that they would see no difference between us and the Nictus, eradicating us despite the fact that we have turned away from the spiral of destruction. But Sunstorm, their leader, was willing to believe in us. He promised that he would control the more zealous of the Peacebringers. Now, we must know if he was telling the truth. You must confront Sunstorm, and tell him what you've learned.
I am not entirely certain which would be worse. if Sunstorm has gone back on his word, or if he can not control the more zealotus Peacebringers in his command. We will soon know if we are faced with an open war or a hidden assassin. I council you to be careful, Xamot Der. Be careful, and hope that we are wrong.
This is a grave accusation, and I would like to thank you for bringing it to me. before we came to Earth, it would have been a likely scenario. When I was just the Kheldian Perihelion, I sought the destruction of all Nictus without reservation or regret. Thinking back, I probably slew some who were trying to change their path like you Warshades have. But I am both perihelion and Officer Benjamin Carter now, and because of that, I regret my earlier lack of forgiveness.
There are still zealots in our ranks, but I know them, and I can control them. I can assure you that no Peacebringer was involved in the disappearance of Shadowcatcher. However, I may still be able to help you. Benjamin Carter still has friends on the police force, and they've heard that an Outcast boss called Broken Storm ordered that kidnapping, but that he was doing it for someone else.
I never met Shadowcatcher, but I have heard good things about him. I hope you find him alive.
Sunstorm's information allowed you to find Broken Storm with ease. Now, you just have to catch him.
This becomes stranger. Who could be paying the Outcasts? Why would they want to target us? And what makes poor Henry Meyer so important? We are left with many questions, and the only answers will come by walking into the Outcasts' trap.
Spring the Outcasts' trap and attempt to rescue Henry Meyers again
Through your diligent efforts, we are now closer to learning what has become of Shadowcatcher, and who is employing the Outcasts. Unfortunately, th eonly way to find out is to spring the Outcasts' trap, and attempt to rescue Henry Meyers again.
it is certain that the Outcasts or whoever are employing them are preparing some vicious surprise to use against you, so I advise you to take care. I do not want you to disappear like Shadowcatcher has.
Abandoned warehouse @ Atlas Park (Outcasts)
You know that this old warehouse is a trap, but th eonly way to find Shadowcatcher is to spring it.
Objective: You defeated 'Henry Meyers', who was actually an acolyte of the Circle of Thorns!
Mission Complete: You discovered that Henry Meyers was actually an acolyte of the Circle of Thorns, and defeated him.
It is unbeleivable, but now that we know the truth it makes sense. We assumed that Henry Meyers was a credible innocent caught up in this plan, when in fact he was part of it. he lied to you when you rescued him to put you on the wrong track and help to distance us from the Peacebringers. Through your brave eforts, Mr. Meyers' deception has failed, but this is far from over.
Go to the caverns where the Circle awaits, and battle them for what information you can find
The scroll you found on the Circle sorcerer who called himself 'Henry Meyers' tells us where the Circle are waiting to pay off the Outcasts for their assistance. it seems too much to hop that we might fidn Shadowcatcher there, but there may be answers, or a clue to his location. It is also the only lead we have. Therefore, you must go to the caverns where the Circle awaits, and battle them for what information you can find.
You must search for information, but you must also make certain to defeat all of the Circle's mystics and creatures lucking in those caverns. If there is any information about Shadowcatcher's location or the motives for his abduction, we must not let the Circle know that we know, lest they obscure his location any more.
Cavern @ Galaxy City (Circle of Thorns)
The cool darkness of these caves harbours a forbidding sense of dread.
Objective: You find some kind of artifacts
These large, barbed thorns look like they were cut from some gigantic demonic rose. Each is wrapped in silk and covered in strange magical writing, and feels warm to the touch. They are almost certainly of magical origin.
These must be what the Circle was planning to pay the Outcasts with. They'd be sure to fetch a good price with the artifact-trading Warriors of Talos Island, and help cement their alliance with the Outcasts.
Mission Complete: You defeated the Circle of Thorns, and discovered that they were studying how Kheldians merge with or possess people.
These notes appear to be part of a larger work in progress, titled 'On the attributes of Kheldian possession techniques'. it describes several theories about ow the merger bewteen Peacebringers, Warshades, Nictus, and humans all work. the aim of the work seems to be comparing them to other techniques of possession known to the Circle of Thorns in order to imorve their own abilities.
Of the three Kheldian groups, the Circle has decided to target the Warshades. They cite the fact that Warshades have neither the support structure nor the allies of the Peacebringers and the Nictus, making them easier targets.
These notes you discovered are more vile than words can say! The Circle of Thorns wants to study us to improve their own techinques of possession? That alone is abhorrent, but that they seek to study we Warshades, the very ones who have turned our backs on the vile forced possessions of the Nictus compounds this horror. I weep to think of what Shadowcatcher has already been exposed to.
However, there is not much more we can do yet. We are out of leads now, and the Circle is unlikely to give us the clues we need. There must be a way, but I cannot see it yet.
Speak with Sunstorm
Sunstorm, the leader of the Peacebringers, has asked to speak with you. I don't knwo why, but it will likely be to demand an apology from both you and I for the accusations brought against him and his Peacebringers.
If that is his request, it is a fair one. Do not let it give rise to anger. As the Circle rightly realised, we Warshades have few allies, and we cannot afford to make new foes.
I thank you for coming to see me, Xamot Der. I knbow that relationbs between Peacebringers and Warshades are not always east, but I am glad that we can speak.
I have a number of friends within the Paragon Police who give me information. One of them recently spotted several suspected Circle of Thorns acolytes escorting a man to a private section of seaside parkland. The person they were escorting matches the description of Lars Mendelson, the human half of your missing Warshade Shadowcatcher. I'll give you all that I know. It may lead to help find your missing man.
And you can tell Shadowstar that I wouldn't ask her for an apology. Before we were Sunstorm, Benjamin Carter was a cop, remember? It was a logical accusation to make. I can't blame you for that.
Instanced Outdoor [Island Forest] @ Cartago Nature Preserve (Circle of Thorns)
The salt sea air carries the sounds of ominous chanting from somewhere in the preserve.
Objective: You have disrupted one of the rituals
Mission Complete: You rescued Lars Mandelson and disrupted the Circle's rituals. But Lars had terrible news to tell.
Lars Mendelson, the human part of the Warshade Shadowcatcher told you a harrowing tale after you rescued him from the Circle of Thorns:
'They caught me and took me to some city underground. They used their magic, and they pulled us apart. They pulled Altered Umbra out of Lars Medelson, and trapped it in a crystal. The Kheldian is gone, and so is part of me. I can still feel Altered Umbra, my Kheldian half, out there somewhere. The rituals they're doing here will sever that connection forever. You've got to stop them! And you've got to rescue Altered Umbra! I know where he is. I wish I could help you, but I'm... I'm not Shadowcatcher anymore. I'm not sure I'm even lars Mendelson.'
When Shadowcatcher went missing, I never imagined it would lead us to something like this. Lars will receive expert care. What has happened to him is horrible, but it can still be mended. if we can reunite him with Altered Umbra, then human and Kheldian can merge again, and heal as Shadowcatcher. From the description of the Circle's intentions, the only even that is possible is your determined work [ed - hmm, no idea what the writer intended that line to mean].
I must send my thanks to Sunstorm, and my apologies as well for having so little faith in him.
Rescue Altered Umbra, the other half of Shadowcatcher
Lars Mendelson thinks he knows where the Circle is holding the crystal with Altered Umbra in it. He's recovered enough that he's been able to provide enough detail to mount a rescue. Unfortunately, it is within the depths of a ruined sunken city, a place called Oranbega where the Circle of Thorns are strong. You have rescued half of Shadowcatcher. Now the time has come to finish this and save Altered Umbra as well.
You must rescue Altered Umbra, but Lars also told us about the Circle researcher called Aeoch who was leading their project. You must defeat him as well to prevent the Circle from learning any more about our people to use in their own sick schemes.
Oranbega @ Galaxy City (Circle of Thorns)
A vast and ruined metropolis sprawls out before you.
Objective: You found a crystal that calls out to you when you touch it.
This inscribed crystal has a single point of light deep within it's perfectly carved surface. When you touch it, you feel the presence of the Kheldian Altered Umbra trapped within, full of nervousness and anxiety. You summon to mind the knowledge that Lars is safe and that the two will be re-united soon, and feel Altered Umbra calm down.
Mission Complete: You rescued Altered Umbra from the Circle of Thorns, and defeated the Circle Sorcerer in charge of their research.
You have performed admirably, Xamot Der. I have spoken with MAGI, and they believe that they can free Altered Umbra from the crystal. Soon he and Lard Mendelson will re-unite and be reformed as Shadowcatcher. The Circle's plans have been defeated, and I have organised some extra raids against the Outcasts to dissuade them from participating in this sort of mercenary work again.
We Warshades have already risked much, and have made many enemies. however, I do not despair at that thought. For when I see new Warshades like you rising among us, I know that any challenge will be faced and overcome.
Souvenir: An inscribed crystal
This strangely inscribed crystal was once used by the Circle of Thorns to hold the Kheldian half of a Warshade they had abducted in the case called:
An Absence of Shadows
At the behets of Shadowstar. you set out to search for a fellow Warshade named Shadowcatcher who had gone missing while trying to foil a kidnapping by the Outcasts. You rescued the kidnapping victim. a man called Henry Meyers. who told you that Shadowcatcher had been struck down with bright beams of light from unknown attackers. This testimony seemed to implicated the Peacebringers.
With this information. you confronted Sunstorm. the leader of the Peacebringers. He denied any Peacebringer involvement. and told you that the Outcasts had kidnapped henry Meyers on behalf of someone else. you defeated the Outcast boss Broken Claw. who told you that the Outcasts had been hired to kidnap Henry Meyers again to set up another Warshade for capture.
You walked into the old warehouse knowing that it was a trap. and discovered the truth: Henry Meyers was actually an acolyte of the Circle of Thorns! You defeated him. and found the location where more Circle acolytes waited to trade the Outcasts mystic artifacts for a captured Warshade.
You found many things in the caverns where the Circle of Thorns waited with the Outcasts' payment for helping to capture Warshades. but the most important was that the Circle's plan was to study captive Kheldians to improve their own possession techniques. They had picked the Warshades figuring that no one would miss them. The one thing you didn't find was a clue to Shadowcatcher's location. Things looked grim.
Sunstorm asked to speak with you again. you assumed to demand an apology now that the real abductors had been found. In fact. one of Sunstorms contacts had seen the Circle with someone who looked like Shadowcatcher. You checked it out. and managed to rescue Lars Mendelson. the human part of Shadowcatcher. The Circle had seperated him from Altered Umbra. the Kheldian half of Shadowcatcher. and now held it in the lost city of Oranbega.
You stormed the ruins of the Circle's lost city. defeating the researcher in charge of their Kheldian project and rescuing Altered Umbra. the Kheldian half of Shadowcatcher.