Quest:Instance: Vóin's Tale

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Epilogue: Vóin's Tale
Level 128
Type Solo
Starts with Gandalf
Starts at Grimbeorn's Lodge
Start Region Grimbeorn's House
Map Ref [13.4N, 53.3W]
Ends with Gandalf
Ends at Grimbeorn's Lodge
Quest Chain The Black Book of Mordor: Epilogue
Quest Text

Background

Gandalf believes he can reveal the rest of Vóin's tale using the shard of glass you discovered in the locked box inside Khil's home.

Objective 1

  • Talk to Gandalf in the Halls of Memory

Gandalf: 'I believe this will be our last delve into the words of our distant friend Vóin, <name>. Yes, I say friend, for though the tome he left us comes from Mordor and bears the sigil of Sauron upon its cover, I have detected little malice on the part of the Zhelruka who wrote it. He has expanded our knowledge of the past, and for that I call him friend!

'The shard of glass revealas hidden writing that speaks of Mordor. That is where Vóin picks up the tale, and that is where we should follow in these Halls of Memory.'

Objective 2

  • Delve deeper into the Halls of Memory

Hidden within the secret runes, Vóin speaks of his journey to Mordor.

Gandalf says, 'What further secrets might we uncover here?'
Gandalf says, It seems our dwarf went to Mordor in search of Eärnur.

'To Mordor I went then, seeking word of my vanished friend,' Gandalf reads aloud

'My mind wandered on the hard journey. I remembered our adventures together, and they brought a smile to my face even in that dark land. But there were other memories, too, and regrets, and those were less welcome.'

'He had just become king of Gondor, and the crown was an ill fit. The taunts of the Witch-king at Fornost ate away at him. "If my horse had not bolted..." he often began, but one of us was always there to keep him from dwelling upon it. If Magoldir had lived, his words might have kept Earmur from going to Minus Morgul, but Magoldir was dead, and would never return from Durthang.'

'Could I have stopped him? This is the thought that comes back to me again and again, as I write these passages in the dim light of the accursed beacon. He had just become king, and I trusted that his knights would keep him safe. Gondor was no land for Zhelruka,, and I had deeds of my own to perform. I remember his words to me before I returned to the northern mountains. "Go find your city, Vóin. Go find Thafar-gathol!" I embraced him then, and bid him farewell. "I will" I told him.'

'"Good!" he responded. "Perhaps then you will stop talking about it morning and evening!"

Objective 3

  • Delve deeper into the Halls of Memory

Vóin says, I will find you, my friend!
'After many months,' Gandalf reads, 'at last I found him.'

'It was in the city of Minas Morgul that I cam to live, hiding in plain sight among the other wicked dwarves that served the Orcs and their foul masters. It was unpleasant work and cruel, but every disagreeable task elevated my position in the city and brought me nearer to my goal. Other dwarves claim the Zhelruka have no patience? I proved them all wrong, and was rewarded. In time the bossses gave me a new post: steward of the chambers within the tower atop the city.'

'It was there I at least found Earmur, and the few of his knights who yet survived.'

Objective 4

  • Listen to Vóin's tale as recorded in the secret runes

Vóin says, Is this what passes for comfort in the lands of the south?
Vóin says, I should think you could do better than this, Eärnur!
Vóin says, I see you still have your sword, which makes you more guest than prisoner.
Vóin says, You should have asked for better accommodations, I think.
Eärnur says, It is good to see you again, Vóin.
Eärnur says, But you should not have come here.
Vóin says, That goes double for you! You never did have much sense.
Eärnur says, No, I suppose not.
Vóin says, Well, take one last look around to remember the place, and then we'll be away.
Vóin says, Why do you not follow?
Eärnur says, I cannot leave. He has barred the way with cruel enchantments.
Eärnur says, There is only one means of escape... and I would not take it.
Vóin says, But I spent five years in search of you! I will not leave alone.
Eärnur says, The Lord of the Nazgûl will know if I pass beyond the threshold.
Eärnur says, He will reclaim me, and slay you... or worse.
Eärnur says, I will not bring either of those fates upon you.
Vóin says, You were always the most stubborn of my friends, Eärnur.
Vóin says, So what is this escape he claims to allow?
Eärnur says, Using dark arts, he drained the humanity from several of my knights.
Eärnur says, They were transformed into the Cargûl, wraiths of evil that exist only to serve him.
Vóin says, That is a sad fate. Death would be better.
Eärnur says, So thought Calatúr, but he did not have the chance.
Eärnur says, He was the first to be changed. Our other friends remain in the dungeons.
Vóin says, Poor Calatúr! I will see what I can find out, or if the others might be freed.
Vóin says, Is that the fate the Nazgûl Lord plans for you, then?
Eärnur says, No.
Eärnur says, He allows me to keep my sword, for it figures in his plan.
Eärnur says, He wants me to despair, to abandon all hope of a free life.
Eärnur says, In that last moment, he wishes for me to fall upon my own blade.
Eärnur says, Only when Orthadel drinks my blood will he allow me to die, and escape him.
Vóin says, Hmmm. It sounds like a trick to me.
Vóin says, I am no scholar, but he must have woven some enchantment aro
und the blade.

Vóin says, Letting it taste your blood will likely bind you to him in some unpleasant fashion.
Eärnur says, I have resisted for these many years, but it becomes more difficult with every passing day.
Eärnur says, He is patient. This is the only victory that will satisfy him.
Eärnur says, He is willing to wait.

'Time was no friend of ours,' Gandalf reads aloud

'We will think of something. There is still time.'

'The Witch-king's pride will be his downfall. He think to rob you of the spark that drives you, Eärnur, the fire that so infuriates him. As long as that passion to resist him burns within you, he will not know victory over you.'

'I have stayed here too long. I will be back tomorrow, my friend.'

Objective 5

  • Listen to Vóin's tale as recorded in the secret runes

'Think, Eärnur, think! There is still time, but... there is less now than there was. I have devised a hundred plans, each of them less likely to succeed than the previous one. But that does not mean escape is impossible. Never think that!'

'I do not want to worry you, but... you should know, Silmahtar is... no more. The Houses of Lamentation claim another of our friends.'

'No, we should not weep for him. Let his fate inspire us to escape, and we can mourn him when we are both free of the Black Land! Not just he, but Simmahtar and Calatur both. Think!'

Objective 6

  • Listen to Vóin's tale as recorded in the secret runes

'Like a grinding wheel, time moved ever onward,' Gandalf reads
'But the grinding wheel showed no mercy. Time moved onward,' reads Gandalf

'I am beginning to worry, my friend. There must be some means of escape, some way to free you from the Nazgûl's grasp. I have searched this tower high and low, and delved into every corner of the vale, but... there is nothing.'

'What is that? What did you say? You have thought of something? At last, Eärnur! Speak! Tell me what you have devised, and I will carry it out!'

'What? Thafar-gathol? Why do you speak its name, here in the darkness of Morgul That is of no use to us now, friend. We must think only of escape!'

Objective 7

  • Hear the words of Eärnur

'For all the time I have known you, Vóin, you have dreamed of finding your lost city. I do not want you to waste your years here in this tower seeking to prevent something I know to be unpreventable.'

'Yes, I know my doom. Here in the heart of his power, I cannot hope to resist the Lord of the Nazgûl for much longer. He knows this. But he seeks not only a thrall. He wants something else: he wants to destroy my spirit, the fire inside me that so infuriates him. He wants me to despair, to fall upon my own sword, to say with word and deed "you have the victory, and I am bested." You were right, Vóin. That would be no escape, and would bind me to his will.'

'Know you of Egalmoth? He was lord of this city when it fell, but he did not wait in the tower for the Nazgûl to slay him. He rode out, defying the armies of Orc and wraith, and though he came in the end to death, I tihnk his Onslaught will be long-remembered. I cannot do as he did, and I cannot keep the Lord of the Nazgûl from dominating my mind. But I can hinder the scheme he has devised for me, and cheat him of the total victory he seeks.'

'None will know of this save you, Vóin. My own Onslaught will not become song or tale or legend. But will will be the deed of Eärnur, who resisted evil to the last.'

Objective 8

  • Listen to Eärnur's plan as recorded by Vóin in the secret runes

Eärnur says, I cannot leave the tower without alerting the Lord of the Nazgûl...
Eärnur says, ...but the same cannot be said for Orthadel.
Eärnur says, I would send this sword away, as far away as can be managed.
Eärnur says, Let this be my last act of defiance.
Vóin says, Yes. Yes! But how can it be done?
Eärnur says, Orolang and Macilnis live still within the dungeons.
Eärnur says, Give one of them the sword and a path to escape.
Vóin says, I will.
Eärnur says, Vóin...
Vóin says, What is it?
Eärnur says, Without a distraction, no one will be able to leave Imlad Morgul.
Vóin says, I understand, Eärnur.

Objective 9

  • Delve deeper into the Halls of Memory

'There must be further hidden runes elsewhere,' Gandalf insists
Gandalf turns more pages, peering through the glass at each one
'Ah, here we are,' Gandalf says with satisfaction
'Every step I took in those dungeons was the heaviest of my life,' reads Gandalf

Orolang: 'Vóin! What news of Eärnur? Tell me he still resists the torments of the Nazgûl?'
'What? Escape? What has changed? I will not leave without Eärnur! You say he is already fled? Happy news! If you will open my cell, I will follow him to freedom! Dear, sweet Vóin!'
'What of Macilnis? You go to free her now? Then I will away, and let us meet again when we are safely outside the Black Land! Farewell, Vóin, bearer of happy tidings and welcome escape!'

Objective 10

  • Listen to Vóin's tale as recorded in the secret runes

Orolang says, Farewell, my friend! Good luck to you!
Vóin says, Goodbye, Orolang. I am sorry.
Vóin says, Guard!
Dungeon Guard says, What do you want, dwarf?
Vóin says, A prisoner is escaping! Eastward he went, toward the bounds!
Dungeon Guard says, After him, boys!

'This is hard reading,' Gandalf says, looking up from the pages of the Black Book

'Only one of Eärnur's knights could escape, but even that would require the guardians in the Vale to be occupied with some distracting mission. Something was needed to draw their attention away from the bearer of the sword.'

'I knew Macilnis was more fleet of foot than Orolang, and would have the greatest chance of escaping the valley, so I gave to her the sword Orthadel and set her free. Only after she was fled did I go to release Orolang but there was little time to waste: I sent the tower's guardians after him almost immediately, and he let them on a desperate chase... away from Macilnus. Alas, my friend! I had no choice! Anyone could see that.'

Objective 11

  • Listen to the conclusion of Vóin's sad tale

Vóin says, The sword, at least, never came back to Imlad Morgul.
Vóin says, It was not so with poor Orolang.

Objective 12

  • Talk to Gandalf on the slopes of Mordor, as depicted by the Halls of Memory

'And so ends the hidden runes Vóin left within the Black Book of Mordor, <name>. If the knight Macilnis escaped Imlad Morgul and came to free lands again, Vóin does not tell. And yet... I think we have learned enough from the Black Book for me to suggest some possibilities.'

'I believe Macilnis escaped the bounds of Mordor will in possession of Orthadel, the Rising Star, but not without injury. FOr how long did she journey, and to where did she go? We cannot know for certain, but it seems she did not make for Minas Tirith or word of her would appear once again, and it does not. I think she turned northward in an attempt to put as much distance between herself and the Witch-king as she was able. Did she survive the journey, and live out her days in peace? Did she succumb to wounds freshly-inflicted during her escape, or those she endured during the years of her toment in the dungeons? Was she recaptured by hunting parties sent by the Witch-king? Vóin never learned which of these came to pass, and I cannot say.'

'But of this I am quite certain. Whatever may have been the fate of this knight of Gondor, the blade she carried out of Morgul Vale survived. Orthadel was of Elf-make, wielded first by Magoldir the Elf during the Siege of Barad-dur and later by King Eärnur of Gondor, but in time its history was forgotten, and its name was lost. It became just a sword, handed down from bearer to bearer for many years. Somehow it found its way into the hands of a Dunadan, and became an heirloom of his house.

'That is how it came to the Ranger Golodir, <name>. Yes, though it endured much over the years, I think the sword that would be remade int he forges of Rivendell and renamed Dunachar was once known as Orthadel. And so the Rising Star became the Avenger of the West.'

'Yes, it is conjecture only... but I believe it is true.'

Completed: Instance: Vóin's Tale