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Arabella

Arabella
ArabellaInGame-1.jpg
Location: Isle of Storms
First Seen: Episode 1

The mysterious Arabella seems to be your guide to introduce you to New Britannia for Shroud of the Avatar. Who she is, what her goals are, and why she has been sent are not currently know.[1]

Lore[edit]

The following snippets of her speech are all we currently have available:

"Few know the tales of the dark times, much less what happened before them. Since the great Cataclysm 400 years ago the world has slowly recovered but much was lost.[2] Now the Dire Prophecies are beginning to come true as the world is flooded with Otherworlders.[3]"
– Arabella


"Greetings, traveller. I am Arabella, and I have been sent to find you. There are those who believe you are the one of whom the prophecies speak. A great burden, and a great destiny, if in fact you are the one foreseen...
"In this appointed hour, we have been taught to expect one from another world, one distant from ours in both time and space… the world of Earth, of Lord British. Yes, he remains with us, and if all goes well, he hopes to meet you on your travels...
"Yet, there are paths that you must walk, as the prophecies foretold. There are many who would challenge your place here, in the lands of New Britannia. There are many who have forsaken the virtues, and embraced a world out of balance. This, too, was forseen.
"However, what you must always remember, traveller, is that prophecy is but a guide. Your destination may become clear, but what you make of it, and how you shape the world in your wake, is up to you. I beseech you, always remember this… and let it guide you. Always remain true to yourself, and to the virtues. For the sake of New Britannia, you must.
"Where shall you begin then, traveller?
"Among the seekers of truth, the elvenfolk of legend, lost in the mists of their own illusions? Can you find your way, the way of Truth, among so many who have lost their own?
"Or what of the shields of courage, the brave lords of the northwestern lands who act as bulwarks, fighting in the endless war against the kobolds who shape technology and magic to challenge the dominance of man? Will you have the Courage to understand why they still fight, and will they?
"Perhaps your path will begin where the dead rise again in torment, the undead armies of Spite, who have stolen compassion itself in a cold fury aimed at everyone yet alive? Can you find Love in a land so stricken with hatred?
"The map lies open before you, traveller. It is only for you to choose the path of your destiny. For at your path’s end, as the prophecies have forseen, you must face the hidden ruler of this world, and then you will need all the wisdom our world can teach you...
"And at that time, only fate can know what time holds in store for you. For us all.
"It is time to choose, traveller...
– Arabella[4]


"Welcome again, traveller. I am Arabella, and I have been sent to guide you..."
"Earlier, I described to you the choice you face initially; which path to take in your journey into the lands of New Britannia. Now, I will endeavor to shine some light on those choices, and the impact upon you and those you will meet. The first, your possible pathways among the seekers of Truth."
"Among the truths you will learn is that much of our knowledge of the land of New Britannia is lost to the ages. The survivors of the Cataclysm four centuries past have settled in the land we call "Novia", a large island which, while bearing the scars of that time, still harbors enough life to support our people. And others, as well… many of which you will meet on your travels. The Vertas people that live in the Forsaken Vale, for example, a new race borne of the Cataclysm which we have grown to call "elves"; Lord British has told me this may be reference to a long-distant legend that the people of Novia have since forgotten. The Vertas elves for their part are like men, but different... different enough. They struggle to live alongside the rest of us, but where a man might burn with emotional fire, an elf will be cold, distant. They worship history, knowledge and truth, and those who wish to learn the wisdom they hold would do well to discover the ways of these people. It is certain you will encounter them on your way."
"The elves are not the only new race you may encounter, traveller. The lands of the southwest are rich and full of life, and that is rare in Novia. Men and mythical creatures mix throughout, and that brings conflict, as it always does. As our numbers recover from the Cataclysm, the settlements of various races meet, and begin to argue about land and water and right and wrong and truth and lies. Peace lies on a fine edge; it is an edge you may have to walk along. And always the Fomorians, remnants from the Dark Armies of wars past threaten; from their strongholds in Blackblade Pass they often strike looking for prey."
"You will see many wonders on your path, traveler; the fauns of Midmaer and the barrens of Quel, the sailors who brave the Bay of Storms (whose name is well earned) seeking to take travellers to the legendary lands of Elysium, where lies the halls of Artifice. There, your destiny will take you, traveller, though it will challenge you in ways you do not yet expect.
"This, then, will be one of the challenges facing you as prophesied – the journey of Truth. Will it be the Truth you wish to find? Or will it be the Truth that you wish would be? Or, will you see the Truth as it truly is? The choice will be yours..."
– Arabella[5]


"Welcome again traveler, to the choices you face in your future..."
"When last we spoke, I talked to you of the seekers of Truth and your journey among them. Now let us turn east, to the lands of the Perennial Coast."
"The Perennial Coast is a land split by ties of history, family, love, and malice. Ardoris lie split by a bay and by far more. In their twin citadels to the east and west of the bay, the King of the Loving Earth and the Queen of the Compassionate Winds remain cleaved in twain, literally and figuratively. The void between the two was once bridged by the spirit of Love, which has been missing from the land. In its absence, the people grow fearful and distant; many have tried to bridge that gap but without empathy and compassion, how can those who grow apart come to any agreement?"
"Yet the land faces more challenges than these. The dead, never truly at peace since the Cataclysm, have risen in numbers far larger than ever before. From the Grunvald clear to the Drachvald, entire legions of the walking dead march, implacable and unforgiving. They are led by a dread lord who, furious over a defeat centuries old, is bent on restoring a long dead empire on the bones of those who dare to live. From the dead halls of Necropolis they march, unfeeling, uncaring, and unstoppable. The Perennial Coast is wounded in so many ways and perhaps this is the final expression of a land whose heart has been turned to ashen dust. For the land to be saved, you must stop the army of the dead; yet you cannot kill all that are dead, traveler. The prophecy demands a hero and the land demands wisdom. You must bridge the void of compassion and restore the ability to feel, even if only sorrow, to hearts burnt ashen cold. To do that, you will have to walk among the dead themselves, into the very heart of the pits of Malice, and into the long forgotten empires of the dead. You must become a light among the cold and desolate, where the only warmth is the fires of centuries of vengeance."
"Traveler, you must bring the warmth of compassion to a people who have forgotten, else they be consumed by death itself. The choices you make will be hard and you will have only your heart to guide you. Yet, if you fail, the people of this land will fall, consumed by death itself..."
– (Assumed to be Arabella)[6]


"Welcome again, traveler, to the choices that will shape your future..."
"We have spoken of Truth and Love; there is one virtue left that will guide your travels in the lands of Novia. That virtue being the virtue of Courage."
"There are many paths of courage. Some courage is quite easy to come by – after all, if you live in a land where daily survival is a struggle, standing against your foes becomes a habit almost reassuring. Such are the defenders of the Norguard, the knights of Valhold who have made a valiant stand for generations now, defending the lands to their south from terrors below the earth. When you are expected to man the battlements no matter what wizard-spawned abomination appears below, knowing that the survival of your family and your people depend on your will, courage becomes quite easy to find. Such were the Formorian wars, and the survival of the North."
"Of all the creatures that were discovered in the Formorian era, none are more challenging, more fascinating and more terrible than the Kobold. Named, like the elves to the south, after a legend long forgotten, the Norguard at first thought them oafish and weak. They were not huge of stature, nor were they particularly savage in their first combats. Yet, the kobolds, like the men they fight, are far more than an initial glance would suggest. They are far from stupid; in fact they may be among the cleverest of mankind’s foes. They form armies, fight with tactics learned from hundreds of battles, and use unique weapons forged with their own knowledge of metal and steel. In fact, the few who have survived the kobold warrens report a level of industry in many ways beyond that of man."
"The kobolds are not stupid, traveller, oh no. They know that the first, instinctive reaction of men to their appearance is that of scorn and laughter at their diminutive size. It has, in fact, shaped much of their culture – and yes, the kobolds have their own culture, tales and loves. They have a sense of honor, in many ways more than those men they fight – and this irony, they too are well aware of. They know we men scorn them, and it drives them into an even more furious hatred of us. They call us weak, traveller, and honorless, and craven and corrupt, and worse yet. And from their viewpoint, they are not wrong. You will discover that, too, traveller, if you have the courage to see."
"They consider it their duty, their own courage, to cast down the defenders of Valhold from their base in the Thrones of Skrekk. The few prisoners that have been taken have one, only one message, full of scorn and hatred returned for the race of man. That message is simple: they will never stop."
"There is so much we could learn from kobolds, traveller, if we had the courage to. But courage can be very difficult to find, especially in the midst of a war of generations, a struggle of peoples. King Granus, from his throne in Valhold, has the courage of armies, and of warriors, and of a guard never lifted, a shield grown heavy from being borne so very long. It remains for you to deliver the courage of wisdom, and to see if that message can still be heard."
"For if you cannot, it may be that man is no longer the master of Novia..."
– (Assumed to be Arabella)[7]


"Welcome again, traveler, to the journey that you will soon take..."
"We have talked earlier of the pathways that you are destined to walk, mirroring the virtues that our land has forsaken... truth, love, and courage... yet once you unwind those threads, all the strands of your destiny will lead you inexorably to the city of Brittany."
"Brittany, the City State of the Oracle, is the crown jewel of Novia, its largest city by far. While much of Novia still struggles to survive each day, Brittany is a land of majesty, truly a city apart. Surrounded by farms sufficient to feed its large number of inhabitants, with water flowing easily through a wondrous array of aqueducts, canals and reservoirs. The Dam of Regalis, one of the wonders of this world, can be found here as well, harnessing the elemental power of the dammed up river into etheric energy, used by the city for so much. The people of Brittany walk at night under lights man-made, brighter than the moon. A large central energy tower is here as well, using an immense etheric surge to protect the people of Brittany invisibly from the forces ravaging much of Novia."
"At the center of Brittany, its keystone; the Great Hall of the Oracle. What lies within its gates and barriers, few know. The Eyes patrol the perimeter, and they do not speak, only watch. Yet here you must go, traveller; the prophecies have foreseen the path and its destination. The Oracle herself no one has spoken to directly, outside the Affirmation Chambers, yet she is the one you must meet. No one has entered the Oracle’s domain in many generations, yet you must. And what lies beyond that meeting, the prophecy is silent on, save that the world will be forever changed."
"Lord British is known to the people of Brittany, though his influence has not been felt outside its gates for many an age. Though of late he is more often to be found in the lands beyond Novia, elsewhere in this sundered world in lands still suffering from the Cataclysm’s fall, still his words and advice ring true to many. Though the virtues may be foreign to many, they do know of the traveller beyond this world, and you may find, paradoxically, an easier passage here than elsewhere because of it. Yet the virtues he espouse... those, I fear, have been forsaken of late."
"You may ask what relationship Lord British has with the Oracle. It is one many ask, and this is one question I cannot answer for you. Surely it is no coincidence that the rule of the Oracle, indirect as it may be, has brought peace, of a sort, to much of Novia. Yet, Novia’s peace is fraying at the edges, and soon the chaos may envelop even fair Brittany. And if Brittany’s light goes out, there is little hope for anyone here in Novia."
"As for me, my name is Arabella, and if you come to Brittany, you may see me again. But for now, I must prepare you for your first destination..."[8]


"Greetings, traveller, and thank you for listening to my tales..."
"Before you depart, I would like to talk about a land you are likely to encounter on your way to Novia."
"The Hidden Vale has been a land apart from Novia for generations now. The Oracle still seems to be aware of events there, as much as anyone can tell, but the people there hold no love for her. Most have migrated to the lands of the Vale because of their status outside the Oracle’s dominion over the years, and the affirmation chambers, so much a part of Brittany’s landscape, are absent here, though you still might be able to find a ruined one from the last time the Oracle’s servants attempted to build such. The people of the Vale believe themselves to be free, and they are quietly proud of this."
"Until recently, trade ships from Brittany and Port Graff sailed the route to the Vale’s town of Kingsport regularly, if fairly infrequently. But within the past year, they have stopped completely, and no one can say why. Was it the Oracle, asserting control over her wayward flock once again? Or does it have to do with the prophecies, drawing ever closer to their appointed hour? It is the time of portents, after all, and this portent specifically bears ill for the people of the Vale. As little as they would care to admit, they became dependent on the goods from the trading ships, and Kingsport especially has fallen upon hard times. Bandits can be found in dark alleys plotting the disposition of what little wealth remains, and good people have fled."
"Most of those refugees eventually find themselves in the bustling town of Owl’s Head. Owl’s Head has no King or Baron; the people have not nearly the patience for that. If anyone could be said to rule Owl’s Head, it is the captain of the local guard, Lord Delbart Enmar (the Lord in this case being more of an honorific, and a signifier that Enmar’s family has been guard-commanders for generations). Enmar has many concerns of late; the chaos beginning to consume Kingsport not least among them. But outside the walls of Owl’s Head there lie many dangers. Wolves prowl the farmlands in packs, threatening what little of the economy remains, and to the south past Kingsport the walking dead have just within the past few weeks emerged from a hidden fortress, to what end no one can say. And some even say a dragon is loose in the hills."
"The Vale values its freedom, traveller, but its challenges are many, and its survival is uncertain. And your imminent arrival is not unknown to forces that mean you harm, traveller. For they know the prophecy as well as I, and your place in it. And they are not as concerned with your welfare as I..."[9]

Trivia[edit]

  • Arabella may have penned the Epistles during the era depicted in Blade of the Avatar. If so, this makes her age considerable, and may indicate that she is either an Avatar or that whatever transformative magic was used on her increased her lifespan.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Update of the Avatar #232 - 2017.06.16: The Making of Arabella NPC
  2. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 10/10/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-10-10.
  3. Portalarium. "About". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-10-10.
  4. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 10/18/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-10-18.
  5. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 10/25/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-10-25.
  6. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 11/01/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-11-01.
  7. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 11/08/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-11-08.
  8. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 11/15/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-11-15.
  9. Portalarium. "Update of the Avatar – 11/22/13". Shroud of the Avatar. 2013-11-22.

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