Voices of Nerat
Voices of Nerat
Voices of Nerat is the Archon of Secrets. It is the self-styled conductor of the massive Scarlet Chorus horde. Though stories abound of his arcane might and cruel sense of humor, there is little settled word on the Voices' true nature. It is known that he is able to 'collect' the memories (and possibly whole minds of others) - giving him a disturbingly expansive knowledge base.
Background[edit | edit source]
Voices of Nerat is no longer a man in the usual sense of the word, but as with most true monsters, it started its life as a human. He was a noble heir from a swampy fiefdom called Waterlog Marsh that was slated for Kyros' conquest in the earliest years of her reign, when the Northern Empire was still safe from the Overlord's armies. Naturally, House Nerat took up arms to defend their lands. That was their intention at least. But their youngest scion sold out his family - tortured them in his family's town square, flaying his father, mother, sisters, aunts. Between the screams and pleas of mercy, he gained intel and then gave the troop movements to servants of the Archon of Misery.
In return, he took it upon himself to be Nerat's instructor. He taught the murderer of his own family the beauty of agony - how to slide the knife just so, how to divide flesh with no mortal wound, and how to inflict waking nightmares upon foes. No more clumsy, blood-soaked efforts for spectacle. The Archon of Misery taught that true torture is a sensory performance, staged for an audience of one. He made Nerat into an artist and a monster. Nerat was proficient at his work and his name spread beyond the boundaries of the child Empire as people whispered it in private, or shrieked it in fear. Whole galleries were allegedly erected to display his accomplishments, which were studied and interpreted by head-scratching scholars. Eventually, his talent with the blade, rope and saw grew so renowned that Kyros' faithful and unfaithful alike believed Nerat could steal truths from their minds with little more than a stare.
In time, through power of belief life imitated art. As the Royal Interrogator, Nerat became the perfect spymaster and torturer. Over hundreds of years of service to the Overlord, its blood-soaked hands have crushed rebellions and condemned countless traitors. The Voices serves Kyros with a fanatic’s devotion. Even the slightest hint of treason is enough to draw his wrath. Many believe this is the reason that the Voices despises Graven Ashe with such intensity; he refuses to forgive even though the Overlord accepted Ashe’s surrender. Most importantly, through powers unknown to all but the Archon, the Voices of Nerat steals the minds and knowledge of his victims. What he gains from this ability - beyond his apparent madness - is the complete mind of the victim, adding to the Chorus of voices swirling within .
Nerat is keen to expand its power and knowledge. To that end, it absorbed at least two Archons in Kyros' name, when Bleden Mark was unavailable. Though their personality passed to it, their powers did not. A pity, though Nerat didn't dwell on it. It continued to challenge and toy with other Archons, such as when it challenged the Archon of Wind to a race and won it by planting a lackey wearing a replica of its mask at the finish line. The Archon of Wind got the dubious honor of becoming the Archon of Gullibility for a decade in Nerat's mind.
The Voices of Nerat commands his own army under Kyros rule. When he forsakes the whispers of his spies and the sanguine gloom of his torture chambers, the Archon of Secrets marches to war as leader of the Scarlet Chorus. Less an army than a howling mob, the Chorus is like a swarm of bladed locusts that ravages the land – and people – they march over. The only rein on their wildness is their Archon’s brutal nature. However, despite their apparent savagery, Nerat does far more to preserve Kyros' conquests than Graven Ashe: Passes laws to protect children, enshrines Fatebinder authority, and most importantly, gives all defeated enemies the opportunity to swear fealty to the Chorus and serve them, whereas the Disfavored usually just kill all who defy them or the Overlord.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The Voices of Nerat's armor is a suit of threadbare rags mended from a hundred different sources. How these once-fine clothes survived the constant inferno of the Archon's irregular form is unknown, but they must have absorbed enough of his power to forestall being totally consumed. A nearly-indecipherable patch on the shoulder identifies the garment as the uniform of a Royal Interrogator. Closer inspection reveals that the patch is made of human skin, and the seal is a faded tattoo. The tunic even has an old hood, with old patches and sigils that indicate this was once part of an official uniform. The interior is much damaged from exposure to open flames.
His threadbare gloves are still warm with the Archon's lingering heat, which makes for an unsettling sensation while slipping them on, while the boots are caked in dust and spattered with old bloodstains. Fiery runes glow along the heel and toe, where the most evident wear tells of a long history spent kicking others from an elevated position.
Interactions[edit | edit source]
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.||
The Conqueror's Will|
Dissonance of War
A Broken Chord
The Forge Master's Prize
Silence of Secrets
Strike at the Hearth
Call to Arms
Against All Odds
The Final Hunt
Quests[edit | edit source]
- Act I
- The Conqueror's Will: Voices is encountered in the Disfavored camp, arguing with Graven Ashe over the prosecution of the campaign. By remaining silent, you can learn a great deal of the struggle between the two Archons and their influence. Nerat will speak to the Fatebinder with his powers. Following his lead (coughing to signify attention) is a good way to start gaining reputation with the Archon of Secrets.
- Assault on the Citadel: Following the completion of the side objectives and march on the Citadel, Ashe will demand that you choose who assaults the Citadel. No compromise is possible and either has to be chosen. Choosing the Disfavored will anger Voices of Nerat who will openly engage Ashe and the Disfavored, and teleport away. Choosing the Chorus will piss off Ashe and Nerat will teleport away, while Fifth Eye drags you to safety outside the camp.
- Act II
- Dissonance of War: The meeting with Nerat sees you enlisted to aid the Chorus' campaign to seize the Blade Grave and the Forge-Bound master at Lethian's Crossing for the Chorus.
- Finding a Madman: Nerat debriefs you, after consuming Zdenya.
- Making a Stand: Nerat debriefs you at the end of the quest, after consuming Mattias and Amelia. You can question it on their fates, learning that Mattias fought back harder than Nerat anticipated.
- Silence of Secrets: Nerat sends you to the Library to recover the Censor (Silent Archive is not really its goal). Later it questions you on the Edict.
- Act III
- Call to Arms, The Final Hunt, Against All Odds: Nerat is confronted at the end of the camp, sitting on his throne, proudly. In combat, Nerat will teleport across the arena, periodically summoning fragments of the people it consumed, trying to keep itself away from combat. Keep it dazed and use everything in your arsenal to focus fire. If you can, ignore whatever fragment's attacking you and keep hammering.
- Strike at the Hearth: Nerat sends you to kill Ashe, before promising a favor. After the deed's done, it is jubilant at Ashe's death - and thoroughly unhinged, more than usual. Your choice is to fight it directly... Or you can choose another route. By offering to swear fealty to Nerat, you can peacefully overcome the Archon - after sacrificing a companion. Nerat's unhinged nature allows you to seize control over the Archon if you let it consume one whose loyalty is 4 or higher:
- Voices of Barik reforms the Scarlet Chorus into a powerful army, combining his Northern heritage with the size and ruthlessness of the Chorus.
- Voices of Verse makes the Chorus ever bigger and more powerful.
- Voices of Lantry turns the Chorus into a gigantic university and Sage guild, busy transferring the knowledge Nerat accumulated over the centuries.
- Voices of Eb has two possible endings, after she liberates the Tiersmen pressed into service. If you destroyed the Tidecasters during the Conquest, she dismantles the Chorus and disappears into the Northern Empire, becoming a boogeyman. If you let them be consumed by Nerat, the Chorus is transformed into a new guild of the Tidecasters, as Eb combined with the memories of her former mentors restores it to its former glory and then surpasses it.
- Voices of Kills-in-Shadow turns the Chorus into the Scarlet Hunters, making them one of the biggest and deadliest armies on Terratus, prosecuting war against the Northern Empire.
- Voices of Sirin turns the Chorus into a demented freak show, eventually caving in on itself.
Reputation[edit | edit source]
- Likes violent, subversive behavior and deference to it.
- Ask about Nerat's history, then clarify that you only want to learn from its brilliance.
- Ask about Nerat's history, its flame-like nature, then compliment it that it's "art."
- In general, ask it about its history and react with compliments (genuine or not) or admiration.
- Dislikes criticism. No, really.
- Dislikes arrogant behavior.
- Absolutely hates when it's skipped over for the assault on the Vendrien's Well Citadel.
Inventory[edit | edit source]
Gallery of victims[edit | edit source]
The once proud leader of the Stonestalkers tribe lays upon the ground, reduced to nothing more than a decorative animal. You see some familiar, but distinctive, footprints facing away from Hundred-Blood’s body, giving you the distinct impression that Nerat may be using her as an improvised seat.
Mattias “Brown Bottom” continues to live up to his name, having soiled himself horribly during his final moments of life. The Unbroken leader’s head is tilted upward, giving him a somehow prideful affectation despite the flies buzzing about his rear.
Pelox has been spiked through his rear, a degrading display meant to demoralize any surviving Vendrien Guard that may catch word of his fate. Thick, dried lines of mucus run down his armor, a gift continually delivered by Horde soldiers with bitter memories of the Apex campaign.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Voices of Nerat
- Voices of Nerat
- Official biography
- Official biography