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WATCHERS

Spread throughout the Obsidian Grove, tucked away in their secret lairs, are entities known as Watchers. Nobody knows why they are here, where they came from, or what they want. They are unlike anything else in the Grove, incomparable to even the enigmatic Guardians. However, they have still managed to work their way into the collective imagination of the denizens of the Grove by becoming characters in their folktales, monsters in their nightmares, and gods to worship and seek counsel from.

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TRAITS

Though all watchers are unique, there are certain traits that apply to the majority of watchers and define the type of experience one has with them:

Secretive

Unpredictable

Alien

Conceited

Solitary

Cryptic

Insightful

Observant

Apathetic

Cerebral

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CHARACTERS

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Rak'Xil, the Witness

 

While nearly all Watchers prefer a solitary life sequestered away in their private lairs, there is one that defies this trend. The denizens of the Obsidian Grove know him as Rak'Xil, the Witness - a lone, statuesque figure that seems to do nothing but roam, uncaring of whose territory he passes through or what troublesome terrain he must traverse. The only hint of sentience are two bright eyes that move independently between eye sockets on each of his four masks, though nobody is certain of what he's looking at or why. Even the most curious of onlookers find it difficult to observe him for long. Rak'Xil's uncanny form instills a great sense of unease, and his stilted stride never ceases for a moment as he continues alone in his endless march.

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Zis'Thulas, the Manipulator

 

Under the dark blanket of night, the true believers gather. They circle around the sacred fire, dancing and chanting, their shadows writhing to mimic the tentacled visage of their god. Then one of them speaks, his eyes darkly vacant, and all moan in ecstasy to hear the words of their saviour coming from the lips of the devoted servant. He asks if his demands were met, and they scramble to prove they have obeyed his every command. They do not dare question his strange requests, as all know what happens to dissenters. They have watched in awe and horror as the bodies of the unfaithful turn black and their free will is stripped, forced to mindlessly march towards the Black Forest and never return. But to those who are obedient, Zis'Thulas rewards. For his web of influence extends to all corners of the Obsidian Grove, and he knows just what threads to tie together for the benefit of his most devoted acolytes.

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Eil'Luna, the Oracle

 

When the soul is lost and the mind can offer no solutions, there is still a glimmer of hope for those brave enough to journey to the center of the Obsidian Grove and seek the council of Eil'Luna, the Oracle. Hidden atop the snowy Yenith Peaks, she will grant an audience to whoever is able to overcome the treacherous pilgrimage; for the mountains are unforgiving, and few are able to withstand the blinding blizzards and biting winds. On occasion, Eil'Luna is said to show mercy in the form of dancing flames to light the way and fend off the cold for those she deems pure of intent. However, even those fortunate enough to reach this elusive watcher are rarely given the advice they were expecting. Her guidance is vague, and her words take the form of riddles, but those with the patience and insight to untangle their meaning will find her wisdom more valuable than any material treasure.

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Vel'Shaar, the Resplendent

 

Anyone not native to the town of Gliston believes the residents are either crazy or under the influence of a collective spell. What else would compel them to throw their riches into the beautiful, aquamarine waters of Lake Muura in the hopes of appeasing a god they've never seen? It is often joked that there is more treasure at the bottom of this lake than in the Silverroot Mines, but folktales suggest there is a very good reason for this strange custom. Long ago, the importance of the tradition faded from the memory of the younger generations, and they ceased their offerings. The residents of Gliston watched in horror as the lake turned grey, the waters flooded their town, and countless fish floated to the surface, dead. Fervently they repented, and once again gave nearly all they had to please the lake god known as Vel'Shaar, the Resplendent.

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Naar'Zul, the Arbiter

 

Deep underground, below the Yenith Peaks, a secret society thrives unnoticed by those on the surface. Flocking to the hidden city of Darkbloom, creatures of all shapes and sizes mingle under the perpetual glow of bioluminescent mushrooms and find shelter in ancient structures built by architects of a lost age. Though the city's strength lies in its incredible diversity, this also proves to be its greatest liability - there is never a shortage of competing interests to cause friction between the subterranean dwellers. But despite their differences, they still share a singular, collective goal to preserve their hidden world and not allow conflict to escalate past the point of no return. If a peaceful resolution cannot be achieved by their own means, the dispute is brought before an impartial judge - a Watcher known as Naar'Zul, the Arbiter. Hidden deep within a labyrinthian stone temple, his judgement is treated as law. Nobody knows how long he has held this position, and nobody cares to question it, as it is clear that without someone to maintain order in their burgeoning and chaotic civilization, Darkbloom would once again fall to ruin.

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