Neera (EE)
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You'll first meet Neera in the Bridge District, where she'll be protecting a fellow wild mage named Mereth from the Red Wizard Lanneth. Neera and Mereth will escape, and when you leave the district, you'll run into to Neera. She'll tell you that she's set up a Hidden Refuge for wild mages in the Wild Forest, and she'll invite you to meet her there.

When you arrive at the Wild Forest, you'll encounter Neera right away -- and she'll reveal that the wild mages have done such a good job of setting up traps and illusions to protect the Hidden Refuge that she can't actually enter it. So she'll ask you to help her out. It's at this point that you'll be able to add Neera to your party.

The Wild Forest is a small area filled with traps, illusions, and easy battles. More notable, though, is that magic will be random while you're there, and so you might, for example, cast Heal and end up silencing your entire party. So you're probably better off not casting anything at all. If you include Neera in your party, then she'll act as your tour guide, and you'll learn that she hates snakes.

In the northeastern part of the forest, you'll discover a destroyed bridge. If Neera is with you, then she'll inform you that the bridge's decrepit state is really an illusion, and that it can be crossed. Without Neera, you'll need to grab a Pile of Gravel from the nearby gravel pit and toss it onto the bridge to reveal the same thing. Dispelling the illusion on the bridge will earn every character in your party 20,000 xp and unlock the Hidden Refuge on your world map.

At the entrance to the Hidden Refuge, you'll meet Hayes and Telana, the other two wild mages in charge. Between them and Neera, you'll learn that it's a group of Red Wizards called the Order of Eight Staves who have been kidnapping and studying wild mages, and that Lanneth is one of their leaders.

Inside the refuge, when you talk to Telana, she'll ask you to convince a wild mage named Daxus Taralom to join them. However, before rushing off to complete this quest, you should talk to the other wild mages in the refuge and complete quests for them first. If you don't, then most of them will later die or disappear.

You'll find Daxus on the bottom level of Delosar's Inn in the Bridge District, where he'll be entertaining the other patrons by being "the famous Blue Elf from Athkatla." When you talk to Daxus, a Red Wizard and four mercenaries will show up, and they'll attempt to capture him. You'll have two ways to proceed:
  • If you give Daxus a Talisman of the Hearthfire (from Knocktor in the Hidden Refuge), then he'll teleport away, and each character in your party will earn 4000 xp. You'll then have to fight the Red Wizard party, which will earn you 18,000 xp.

  • If you don't give Daxus a talisman, then he'll stay with you, and you'll have to fight two Red Wizard battles -- the one inside the inn, plus another one when you leave the inn. Between the two, you'll earn 36,000 xp. Afterwards, Hayes will show up, and he'll escort Daxus to the refuge. But be warned: Daxus will die if you follow this path.
When you return to the Hidden Refuge, you'll discover that the Red Wizards attacked there as well. The refuge will be a smoking ruin, and it's possible that only Telana will be there. When you talk to Telana, she'll tell you how she was captured by the Red Wizards and taken to their enclave in Waukeen's Promenade, but then managed to escape. If you completed the quests for Mereth and Kirik in the refuge, then they'll be around as well, but everybody else will be gone.

Inside the Red Wizard Enclave in Waukeen's Promenade, you'll have to fight numerous Red Wizards, including Lanneth, but you'll be able to rescue all of the refuge's wild mages, assuming (for most of them) that you completed their side quest first. You'll also learn that it was Hayes who sold out the wild mages to the Red Wizards (for a measly 500 gp), and that the head of the Order of Eight Staves is someone named autharch Vicross.

When you return to the Hidden Refuge, each character in your party will earn 10,000 xp, and many of the surviving wild mages will give you a gift: Neera will give you a Mechanical Bird (which you'll be able to sell later in Amkethran), Telana will give you the Robe of Goodman Hayes, Reginald will give you The Brick +2, and King Gramm will name you his heir.

If you so choose, then you can also track down Hayes in Trademeet. You'll find him in Vyatri's Pub, drinking himself into oblivion. You can either let him live in misery, or you can kill him for 7000 xp. Hayes will drop the Bloodied Tunic of Hayes when he dies, but if you deliver it to Telana in the Hidden Refuge, she won't thank you for it. So you won't really get a reward either way.

Throne of Bhaal

Coming soon!