Two weeks after you complete the final Quel'ule quest for Researcher Tahar (you remember him - he tried to get you killed with that kaborite combine!), you will receive an item in the mail from him. He's actually entrusting a relic to you, though it needs a bit of repair.
Note: While some folks call this the "Epic 2.0" for crafters, that implies an upgrade to the reward from the quest series that we've been calling the "Crafter Epic", for quite a long time. Others argue pretty violently that it is not an epic, but just a crafter signature quest line. Since they're very different critters, and this is a single signature quest with multiple steps (as opposed to multiple quests, some of which vary by class), I'm going to just call it the signature quest and be done with it. Call it what you will, of course, but I'll stick with my chosen naming. :) ~Mum
Completion of this quest will give you a level 85, crafting class specific weapon. In weapon form, it gives you a 1% tradeskill xp gain effect, and a non-combat evac (20 minutes reuse). You can examine the item to turn it into a house item with 500 status rent reduction and a Favor of the Artisan effect. Pictures of each of the crafter-specific rewards can be found here.
We now turn this quest narrative over to Mysteran of Antonia Bayle. Take it away, Myst!
As I was going about my day, making poisons and potions and what not, I was informed of a strange package in my mail. Curious, I rushed to the mailbox to see what sort of gift I was sent. Unfortunately, it was not cookies. No one ever sends me cookies...
What I found was a strange piece of an old relic with a note attached:
I never expected another letter from Tahar out in the ruins of Quel'ule. Always the curious one, I started looking over the strange piece of relic sent to me. I could easily tell it was crafted by a highly skilled mastercraftsman, but it was very badly damaged and only a piece of what it once was.
After a further look I could see what may be a maker's mark on it. A Dwarven rune of some sort... I knew just the ones to ask so I rushed off to the Butcherblock Mountains to speak to my friends in Fort Irontoe.
Asking around a bit led me to speak to a Dwarven historian named Dror Ironstein that could possibly help. With an amazing stroke of luck as only Bristlebane could bless me with, not only did Dror recognize the mark but it was of his own clan!
Dror told me that there were stories in his family of such amazingly wonderful crafted armor passed down for generations from his ancestor, none other than the famous Ethernaut Kaltuk. Unfortunately, most of those pieces were lost or destroyed.
After thanking the excited Dwarf, and almost having to pry the fragile piece of relic from his hands, I strolled off wondering where to go next. As I walked I started examining the piece again, deep in thought. After a bit it occurred to me. The damage seemed far greater than any other relics I had seen on Norrath, and I have seen plenty. Maybe it was due to the stresses of the void? At this point it couldn't hurt to look into it.
My next stop was to visit the Palace of the Ancient One. It's a bit dangerous, but I heard they were in need of skilled crafters and perhaps I could offer my expertise in exchange for some more information.
Once I arrived there were bodies all over the place, apparently a group of adventurers came in to attempt to defeat the void beasts that dwell there. Needless to say, they weren't fairing well. A strange gnome there was looking for some help to try to recover the expedition. Being the only one still standing, I figured I would ask him about the relic. (Mum commentary: yes, you have to wait until the Emergency Portal Repairs mission is offered as the Mara daily tradeskill mission before you can do this step. Pick up the quest, hail the NPC at the Overlook, choose the bottom option for the tradeskill mission and get flown in. Once you've finished your chats, you can port out and delete the mission if you are so inclined.)
Tomkin was quick to try to get me to start scrounging up supplies for the expedition, but I was able to derail him into asking him about the stresses the void could do to metals. He seemed to think it was a very obvious question, something about that being the reason they are having trouble repairing the portal or some such. When I showed him the relic he immediately recognized the damage as the effects of the void, but it must have been for a very long period of time.
He seemed too distracted to give any more information as others were arriving and gathering about to receive their tasks. I took this opportunity to slip away from the group. Just before I left I noticed what I thought was just another poor adventurer having met his fate in the void. He was beckoning me to speak to him. He seemed a bit out of sorts and possibly a bit confused. He claimed to have seen the Ethernauts!
According to him they have been caught in the timeless void and were still fighting to stop the rifts. He saw them go after Anashti Sul herself! Before they could do anything, they were swept up in the void again not to be found. Eager to speak to the Ethernauts, about more topics than just this relic, he suggested I find a mystic that could help me speak to lost spirits.
Grateful for all his help, I asked if there were anything I could do to help the poor fellow out, I never even got his name. He told me not to worry about him. His Clerics would get them back on their feet and go after that Anashti Sul again.
The adventurer's suggestion of a mystic to speak to spirits made me think immediately of a very nice Kerran mystic I helped recently, a certain Natasha out in their village in the Sundered Frontier. I made my way there as quickly as possible.
When I explained the situation to Natasha she was eager to help. Using the relic as a focus, she was able to put me into a trance where I may possibly be able to communicate with the Ethernauts.
Communicate indeed! I actually spoke to Kaltuk Ironstein himself. When I showed him the piece of relic he immediately recognized the mark and even the item itself. It was part of a pair of tongs he had made, the best he ever used he said. He was concerned with the damage it had taken though and how I had gotten it.
When I explained the story to him and the fact that he had been missing for over one-thousand years he became distraught, worried for his family. I assured him his descendents were doing well and that he was remembered among his people. When I asked him about the battle with Anashti he had no memory, claiming that perhaps in the strange way the void warps time, he had perhaps not gone to the battle yet.
In hopes of moving to a happier subject, I asked him more about his crafting skills. He said that, in fact, almost all the Ethernauts were excellent craftsmen. Unfortunately he couldn't give me the details of their crafts. All the notes, along with a number of their excellent equipment, were stolen by the traitor Roadyle after he knocked out Eylee.
I could feel my spirit being called back to my body so I had to wish Kaltuk luck in his battles before being pulled back to the real world. Natasha did not seem surprised that I was able to contact Kaltuk, confident as she was. After many thanks to the Kerran I made my way to the ruins of Quel'ule. Tahar would be eager to hear the news.
The journey was quick, thanks to the amazing transportation system the Erudites had devised. Once the story was explained to Tahar he had already heard the story of Roadyle's betrayal. In fact, he knew Roadyle himself as the great mage Miragul. Very well known in Paineel. It turns out he would contact Paineel whenever he needed something from them. In fact, Miragul was interested in the Nexus they attempted to construct and the catastrophe that resulted. I needed to find a way to try speaking to Miragul to ask him about the notes and Tahar had my ticket. He had some preliminary findings to deliver to Miragul and offered me the chance to be the delivery boy. Works out well if I do say so myself.
Tahar's directions had me going to Miragul's Planar Shard in Everfrost. I hope he doesn't remember my previous visits there destroying and looting... We'll find out. When I entered the shard I was met immediately by some burly squid head on legs. Not quite the friendly sort or patient sort. I quickly explained I was delivering the notes and showed him the letter of introduction Tahar gave me. Thankfully he didn't decide to throw me out there... But I was not free to roam or speak to Miragul either. I was only allowed to go to the Library, and then I only had a few minutes before he would call the guards on me. (Mum commentary: yep, you're on a short timer once you hail squidface, however, as he says, you're to head to the left and go directly there. Once the lady in the library gripes at you, head to the table in the center and you'll find what you're looking for underneath several other books)
Maybe I would have a few minutes to look around in the Library. I rushed there as quickly as I could, avoiding the looks of the guards as I passed. As soon as I entered I was confronted yet again! This time it was an Erudite. Not exactly friendly, but friendlier than the squid at least! She instructed me to leave the notes on the table and not to touch anything else. She was watching me.
Forlorn, I went to set the notes on the table. As I was setting them down I noticed a dusty notebook partly covered by some books on the table. My hopes were renewed. Even if these were not the notes I was looking for, they may prove valuable. It's times like this I am glad my other profession is... let's say a little clandestine. A little feign and "accidentally" knocking over a stack of books on the table gave me the chance to snatch the notepad and secret it away.
Looking harried, the guard rushed over to put things straight, cursing me the whole time. That was the perfect chance to make my escape, so I rushed all the way out of the shard.
Safely back in the chilly caves of Everfrost I raced back to Qeynos to take time to study the notepad I had found. It was just what I was looking for, with notes not only on the tongs but many other amazing crafts the Ethernauts had created. Since I had the pieces for the tongs I tried my hand at the forge to put them back together. I won't say it was the prettiest thing when done, and the void taint seemed to want to make things even tougher. I feared one small mistake and I wouldn't be around much longer to have a second chance. With more of Bristlebane's luck I was able to piece it together. (Mum commentary: Yes, it does say VERY CAREFULLY. Remember the killer kaborite combine from Tahar? Yep, same thing. Don't mess up. If you do mess up, hit cancel quickly ... or die. :P)
I was excited to show Tahar my work, so I headed back to Quel'ule without delay. I explained to him what happened and his interest in the relic seemed to disappear. Apparently he doesn't think you should go stealing from powerful mages that can destroy your entire continent with a thought. Guess I can't blame him... He snatched the notebook up, already making plans to return the notebook without Miragul noticing it was gone.
At least it wasn't all a loss. I managed to copy a page or two out of the book on my way to Quel'ule and now I have an amazing Alchemy Flask of Illisia's design. A good day's work if you ask me. Now back to making those poisons...
Again, for those looking for the rest of the classes, pictures of each of the crafter-specific rewards can be found here. Also note that the weapons were changed from dual-wield to 1-handed weapons with the March 9 hotfix.