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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Morganthe's Memories: Fact or Fiction? Pt. 1


I have chosen six angles from which I'll be attacking the Khrysalis Part 2 storyline. There's a lot going on, and our journey here begins at the Radiant Alcazar, formally known as the Alcazar of Radiant Judgement, but known by most as Radiance Reborn. You reach this location upon completion of Crescent Beach and the Starfall Sea dungeon. If you've passed this point, you're safe to view spoilers here!

Note: Due to the importance of seeing the plot in an objective sense for theorycrafting, developer quotes and in-game sources are often used and linked to. For this reason, I've also included the dialogue from the memory exactly. This leads to a very large post, and as such, the Morganthe's Memories topic has been divided into three posts, though the topic itself is only one of my six.

Shaped by Time and Prejudice

There are three Chambers of the Mind. Before entering, the NPC there, Amelia Stardust, warns you that these are memories as Morganthe remembers them. They are "shaped by time and prejudice," "colored by how she remembers them." She also notes that these, like all true visions, can hurt you.

Sir Malory's Influence

The first memory is of Morganthe's life in Avalon, long before she'd traveled elsewhere or truly been introduced to darkness. "Once she was a promising student of Merle Ambrose’s back in Avalon, and she followed Ambrose to be his first student in Ravenwood. However, she was never content to learn at the slow pace he dictated. She knew she was smart enough and clever enough to handle the most dangerous types of magic, despite Merle Ambrose’s warnings and restrictions." [Source]

We are now at the point in time during which the Knights of the Silver Rose are still active and Artorius and Gwendolyn rule over Avalon. Malory is jealous and intends to take things into his own hands with help from his sister, Morganthe.


This is where we get our first plot twist. Morganthe (who we are playing as) seems to imply that she does desire the same thing as Malory - to see Artorius go - but that she wants to do things in a peaceful way. Upon on journey into Avalon, this appears to be true, as Sir Malory is within the Tomb of the Nameless Knight, his name having been erased entirely for his crimes that "caused the King's death." [Source] Interestingly enough, we also learn that the Divining Treasure that Sir Malory gazed into in this flashback is one he stole from the Three Color Serpent.

Unyielding Fate

Upon retrieving this source of power, Malory gives us what would end up being a big hint about Khrysalis. He says "I've not seen the Divining Treasure in a lifetime. It showed me a vision once, but in the end I could not avoid my fate." Apparently, Malory's vision showed his own death, which he hoped to avoid by killing Artorius, but ends up engineering his own fate. [Source] The memory continues...


Morganthe has attempted to make a deal with the Spriggans, but Malory believes them to be "dishonorable savages." As a touch of irony, he assists you in defeating Gisela the Spriggan in a battle, breaking the agreement you (Morganthe) made. Sir Malory, however, agrees that taking the Horned Crown and using it as a back-up is a good idea.

Crown of Thorns

The Horned Crown is described as being "potent magic of darkness and Shadow." Shadow being capitalized, this must be the same shadow that is the Shadow magic we know. The question now is whether the Spriggans gold a hold of it somewhere or if they themselves have some capabilities with Shadow magic. Though, we must keep in mind that "the Spiral worlds were all one a long, long, long time ago, and beyond that, Wizards are not the only beings who can move throughout the Spiral ... they could have developed similar magic separately." [Source]


I don't recall a description of the Horned Crown so directly before this. And if there was one, it would have simply seemed to be some foreign magic to us, as many types of magic are. This opens the door for other potential Shadow magic references. One of the obvious ones is Mirror Lake, which Morganthe drains to retrieve her Deck of Shadows, which we now know allows her to use dangerous forms of Shadow magic.

The crown is described as twisting and turning by itself. "Shadow forms and bends reality, doncha know." [Source] The rest is outlined very clearly in the tapestry story. View it HERE. "Jealous of what King Artorius and Queen Gwendolyn had built, Sir Malory of Dun Dara worked to undo their good work in Avalon. Sir Malory found dark allies in the ink-black depths of the Weirwood. He led the Froudlings against King Artorius.King Artorius vanquished the Froudlings and killed Sir Malory, but not before the false knight mortally wounded the great king."

Back to the Future: Avalon Begins

Directly after this, at least in a story sense, the Ghost Avalon (referred to as the Other Side) instance picks up. Malory is bending the King's armor before their duel, and Gamma (you) discover him and warn the king. You end up defeating Sir Malory at within Ghost Avalon at the Shrine to Justice.


Morganthe's Wicked Ways

Clearly Morganthe is not entirely innocent in this situation. In fact, in Ghost Avalon, we catch her in the library: "Once I copy these pages, you [Ambrose] won't be able to keep me from learning this so-called "Forbidden Knowledge." I'll master the Horned Crown and use it to wrap the King around my little finger." [Source A, Source B] Her intentions are no different than Malory's, but she did intend to do things without hurting a number of people... or so it seemed. Malory intended to kill Artorius altogether, until we thwarted his plan.

His backlash was to raise an army from the Wyrd, Wild, and Dun Dara, and duel Artorius. Artorius killed the knight and wiped his name from history, leaving him in the Tomb of the Nameless Knight, thought Artorius himself was fatally wounded. "King Artorius prepared to cross to the Other Side, knowing Avalon was left in good hands. Unbeknownst to the good people of Avalon, a shadow crept into the Doleorous Tower to fall over King Artorius. Morganthe, dark sister to Sir Malory, offered Artorius a way to stave off the cold mist of the Other Side. Artorius took up her offer, not realizing the gift was trapped. He accepted the Horned Crown, a sinister artifact from the Wyrd. Artorius shed his skin and his virtues and rose as the dread Pendragon. The evil Pendragon led the Wild Hunt out of the Weirwood, at the head of the Froudling army. They burned and conquered all." [Source]

This is where we step in and complete the world of Avalon. We meet Malory, who wishes to make his wrongdoings right. He most certainly had a hand in the plot, but not to the extent that Morganthe did. Her untamed curiosity had terrible consequences.

Confusion or Conclusion?

So what do you think - was Malory really to blame for the beginning of Morganthe's evils? If not for him needing a way to take over Avalon, Morganthe would never have made the bargain for the horned crown, and never have looked into its magic. How did the Spriggans get a hold of it? Let me know what you think, and stay tuned for parts two and three in the coming days! Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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