Story: Awaken, Queensguard

Neomuna, Neptune

The Guardian speaks with Nimbus and receives a message from Mara Sov.

Nimbus: ... Oh, wait. This came for you, I think? Don't ask me. It showed up alongside that clunky piece of technology over there. Those things just popped out of a swirling purple portal — and that's not even close to the weirdest thing that's happened here recently.

The Guardian approaches the Vanguard holoprojector.

Mara Sov: May this transmission reach you... wherever you find yourself. The Scepter will rest true in the hands of its wielder, but a message comes with no such guarantee. In the aftermath of the Witness's attack, the Vanguard called for aid. On behalf of the Awoken people, I answered. We now face a war on two fronts: one on the far reaches of the system, and the other at your home, Earth. Continue your fight against the Voice in the Darkness. I will assist as best I can in your absence. But even my powers have their limits. Return when you are able. Your people need their heroes.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian heads to the Farm to aid with the ongoing rescue efforts.

Devrim Kay: Hello, Guardian. Good to see you again. Wish it were under better circumstances.

Devrim turns to Mithrax and offers his hand.

Devrim Kay: I don't believe we've met. Devrim Kay. Velask.

Mithrax performs an ireliis bow.

Mithrax: Velask. I am Misraaks, Kell of the House of Light.

Devrim Kay: I'd heard the Vanguard had Eliksni allies in the City. Good to have you here.

Mithrax: Yes, many have come to the Vanguard's aid. Marakel is using her Light to protect us.

Mara Sov: "Kell"? There is no need for honorifics... and my power is not of the Light.

Devrim Kay: Afraid we must cut the pleasantries short. In the aftermath of the attack on the Traveler, the Shadow Legion has begun taking captives to the Pyramids.

Mithrax: Amanda Holliday is... we cannot reach her on any frequency.

Devrim Kay: Holliday is out there. Of that, I'm certain. I'll continue scanning the comms. Knowing her, she's up to something. The only question is what, precisely. Give me a moment to prepare the LZ, and I'll brief you. Until then!

Devrim departs.

Mithrax: Together, we will save the captives, AND Amanda. The Light provides.

Mithrax departs.

Mara Sov: You will need more than the Light to stand against the Witness... but I can provide. Now go, and I will focus on the battles to come.

The Farm, Earth

The Guardian approaches the Vanguard holoprojector.

Devrim Kay: All right, Guardian. I'll keep it brief. The Witness took a swing at the Traveler, and when we tried to intervene, our pilots went down... Amanda Holliday among them. The survivors — what there were of them — went to ground near Trostland and Old Russia. Now the damned Shadow Legion is picking through the wreckage and capturing prisoners. We're running rescue ops in the EDZ now.

Crow has gone ahead to scout the defenses. He's reporting the Pyramid outpost is utterly impenetrable. Fortunately, the queen is on our side. Mara is imbuing you with otherworldly power... Awoken magics and all that. I'm not sure how it works myself, but if she believes you can make it through, I'm not about to disagree. I'm glad you're here, Guardian. I'll see you in the field.

Defiant Battleground: EDZ, Earth

Amanda Holliday debriefs the Guardians traveling to Earth.

Holliday: Repeat emergency transmission. This is Amanda Holliday. My ship was disabled during combat, and I was forced down in the EDZ. While I was waiting for evac, I saw a Shadow Legion patrol leading a group of captives to a Pyramid. I'm sneaking into the facility with the prisoners. I'll bring my comms along as a beacon. Whoever hears this, tell the Guardian to gear up and follow my signal. I'll be waitin'. Repeat emergency transmission.

The Guardians touch down in the EDZ and scout the perimeter.

Holliday: This is Amanda Holliday — does anyone read me?

Devrim: There she is! I'm so glad to hear your voice.

Holliday: Hey, Devrim! Good to hear you too. I was starting to worry I'd snuck in here for nothing.

Devrim: Quite clever of you! A bit risky, though. Can't say I condone it.

Holliday: Risky?! Ain't you the fella who once ran a Cabal blockade just for fresh eggs?

Devrim: Guilty as charged. Just hold tight, my dear. Reinforcements are on their way.

The Guardians hit a roadblock.

Devrim: Where in the facility are you, Amanda?

Holliday: I'm in the cell block with the prisoners. The Guardian can follow my comms signal right to us.

Devrim: They've hit a bit of a roadblock at the moment, but fear not. They're en route.

The Guardians break through the lines of the Shadow Legion led by Bracus Viguln.

Mara Sov: We will breach the Pyramid not through its walls, but through the very fabric of reality. Harness my power, and enter the Ascendant Plane.

The Guardians enter the Ascendant Plane.

Devrim: I must admit, I had several good ideas for this jailbreak... but traversing an alternate reality was not among them.

Holliday: Guardian's doing what now? I swear, the longer I know y'all, the stranger things get.

Devrim: Stranger still now that the Witness has arrived.

The Guardians come across a Taken light.

Mara Sov: Eliminate the Taken blight, and summon a Balefire in its place. It will consecrate this place and drive the Darkness out before it.

The Guardians defeat the Servile Wizard protecting the blight and summon a Balefire to push back the Darkness. They enter the Pyramid to find the captives.

Holliday: Whatever you did out there must have worked, Guardian. You got base security chasing their tails! Looks like they're deploying some heavy firepower to stop you, though.

The Crow: There's something up ahead. It's... bringing back a memory, or... Uldren's memory, I guess. A familiar voice. Be careful, Guardian.

The Guardians encounter Exomida, Taken of the Witness.

Mara Sov: Banish these Taken defilers. They are but empty shells, filled with the desires of a greater will. Trust in your Light, and they cannot stop you.

The Guardians defeat Exomida and break through the walls of the Pyramid to locate the captives.

The Crow: I tested the perimeter of that Pyramid for hours but couldn't find any entry points. And now the Guardian just walks in?

Mara Sov: It depends on one's point of view. The walls of the prison may be impenetrable, but the walls between worlds are not.

War Table, The H.E.L.M.

The Guardian approaches the War Table to receive a message from Mara Sov.

Mara Sov: I sensed your triumph through the choke of the Pyramid's suppression. With the Scepter in hand, you were able to move through the depths of the Ascendant Plane. It is as I hoped. Your Light sings with the incantations I send forth, strengthening you in ways not seen since the seven Paladins. Since the Queensguard.

Powerful as I am, I cannot be everywhere at once. But the Guardians can. So, I entrust you with my favor. Take it. Breach the Ascendant Plane, walk the Ley Lines within, and banish those who would oppose you. I do not ask for fealty in return. I would not kneel in your place, as favor with condition remains a shackle. No. Claim with power freely, as your strength serves my kingdom and your own. Let it flow through you, Queensguard... and I shall knight you myself.

The Crow: You never did have much respect for boundaries, did you?

The Guardians approach the prison cells.

Holliday: I see you on my radar, Guardian! The prison cells should be just ahead. The head guard's a real piece of work, though, so watch yourself.

The Guardians push Warden Vincu'us back.

Mara Sov: Target powerful Taken, seize their Essences, and consecrate them in your Balefires. Once sanctified, the Essences will become weapons to lower your enemies' defenses.

The Guardians defeat Warden Vincu'us and rescue Amanda and the other prisoners.

Devrim: Extraction confirmed. The hostages are on their way back to the Farm. Good work, everyone.

Holliday: Guardian? My ship's nearby, but she took a beating. I could use your help getting her outta here.