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You'll receive this quest at the end of the quest Visions and Whispers, when the dead animancer Caldara de Berranzi encourages you to meet a Watcher named Maerwald at
is located east of
. When you get there, you'll discover that the place is in ruins, and that it's been overrun by spirits and spiders. You'll also meet a few souls that you can commune with to learn about the Broken Stone War and the War of the Black Trees. Inside the Great Hall, you'll also meet the keep's steward, a woman whose soul was infused into an adra throne. She'll tell you that Maerwald has retreated from the world, and that he can be found somewhere deeper in the keep.
You'll find Maerwald in the
Endless Paths of Od Nua, Level 1
, which you can reach by going through the Dungeons beneath the Great Hall. However, when you meet Maerwald, he'll seem half crazy, talking to you with different voices and personalities, and sometimes barely registering your presence. Eventually you'll realize that Maerwald's soul Awoke at some point in the past, which means that he started seeing its previous lives, and they started seeing him, and that combined with being a Watcher, he slowly stopped being able to function. You'll find this disturbing, since you're on the same path.
Near the end of the conversation, you'll be able to ask Maerwald about the vision you had at
, and Maerwald will identify the robed figures as belonging to the Leaden Key. He'll also mention that you should search for them in "the city of defiance, never far from the queen." So you'll next need to head to Defiance Bay.
At the end of the conversation, one of Maerwald's more aggressive lives will take over, and he'll attack you. After the battle, you'll be able to interact with Maerwald's soul, and you'll have to make a choice about what to do with it:
- You can bind the soul to the keep. This will give
Caed Nua +2 defense.
- You can allow the soul to pass on. This will give
Caed Nua +2 prestige.
- You can siphon knowledge from the soul. This will reveal a secret door in the
Endless Paths of Od Nua, Level 13, beyond which you'll find the unique sabre
The Flames of Fair Rhian. You won't be able to detect the secret door without this information.