|Home City||Bright-Throat Village|
Bond-Guru Topeth is an Argonian of the Bright-Throat Tribe located in the Glade of Chimes, north of the main Bright-Throat Village. He is responsible for this year's bonding ceremony but he is having numerous difficulties with the suitors.
- Unsuitable Suitors: Investigate the hold up of the bonding ritual at Bright-Throat Village.
When you approach him for the first time, you'll hear him call out:
- Bond-Guru Topeth : "Your betrothed await you, dear suitors! No need to be shy!"
- Bond-Guru Topeth: "Everyone gets the jitters, but this is ridiculous."
He can be then be asked about what is happening.
- "This is what I'm talking about. How hard is it to boldly strut up to a stranger and express some interest? You get it. If we had more suitors as stiff-spined as you, the ceremony would be well underway!"
- I beg your pardon?
- "The bonding ritual? Are you not here to witness our most sacred tradition? It's a beautiful, lively affair …! Usually.
Our guests have not seen fit to join us for the ceremony."
- Why not?
- "Hist knows, we have been gracious hosts to the suitors of our neighboring tribes—plying them with feasts and phlegmwine—but now that it's time to renew vows of kinship, they're limp as wilting lilies when they should be rising to the occasion!"
- I'll see if I can find out what the hold up is.
- "Normally the Black-Tongue tribe are eager to participate—many a Bright-Throat can call the Black-Tongues their root-kin—but the only thing Waku-Mat has been quick to provide today are excuses. I hope he'll be more forthcoming with you."
- Who is Waku-Mat? The Black-Tongue suitor? / You mentioned Waku-Mat. Is he the Black-Tongue suitor?
- "Oh, no, he is a bearer of Ruxol the Infirm. Ruxol is a frequent visitor and suitor. Beloved sire to many a Black-Tongue and Bright-Throat since before my egg-mother was in her shell. Normally he would be first in line for the bonding."
- Ruxol the Infirm?
- "It's true, Ruxol must be carried about by his bearers for most everything, but before the bonding, he is like a Saxhleel possessed. His vigor is legend. Last season's bonding ended with his bungalow stilts driven flush to the ground."
- Do all the Murkmire tribes participate in your bonding ritual?/Do any other Murkmire tribes participate in your bonding ritual?
- "Never the Ghost People or Stone-Pile People, certainly. We used to see more of the Miredancers and Copper-Eyes, but we haven't seen much of them since they were taken to Mazzatun, and, sadly, the Dead-Water remain distant and reserved as always."
- Which tribes have sent suitors this year?
- "Our long-time allies—the Black-Tongues, the Moss-Skins, and the Root-House People. They aren't normally so apprehensive."
- Who are the Black-Tongues? / What can you tell me about the Black-Tongues? / Fair enough. Now, who are the Black-Tongues?
- "The Black-Tongues dwell in the shadow-places, giving praise and offerings to Sithis. They take great pains to ensure as many of their clutches are born under the sign of Shadow as possible. Perhaps too much, but I would not question their methods."
- Do they frighten you?
- "Only when I'm reminded that they know every root and flower's killing secret. All the more reason to welcome them as friends, yes?
You'll find no more attentive parents outside the Bright-Throats, and they are great alchemists and gardeners also."
- Tell me about the Root-House People. / Interesting. Now what can you tell me about the Root-House People? / What can you tell me about the Root-House People?
- "We welcome them with open arms, of course, but only after our valuables are carefully tucked away. They take what they want by quiet theft or intimidation. Failing that, they take it by force. Better to give what you can afford to lose."
- They sound like thugs. Why invite them?
- "They are brutes, yes. But useful brutes when war-winds blow. Their strength rivals that of the Dead-Water tribe. They just lack the Naga's wisdom.
In the end, they are still our neighbors. Better to welcome them as friends than face them as enemies."
- I want to know more about the Moss-Skins. / Can you tell me about the Moss-Skins? / I'd like to know more about the Moss-Skins.
- "The Moss-Skins value peace above all else, and peace without requires peace within. They go where the river takes them, no matter the circumstances. Of all the tribes, they are the most serene.
Death, war, lean years, nothing ruffles their frills."
- So they're pacifists?
- "Hmm. More indifferent.
All the world's horrors—the quiet fears that keep Men and Mer awake at night—all of it rolls off their backs. People think we Bright-Throats take things in stride. The Moss-Skins make us look like fretful ducklings."
- Can we discuss something else? (Option appears once one of the tribes has been asked about.)
- "Of course—though I hope it will not take much longer. The Bright-Throat betrothed have waited long enough already, I think. If we are to set the mood right, best to do so soon."
- What's so important about this bonding ritual? / What is this bonding ritual, exactly? A wedding?
- "It's the future of our tribe! The bonds we create today ensure the peace and prosperity of future generations by tying our tribes together as one. The bonding ritual ensures every generation of Bright-Throats calls their neighbors egg-kin."
- So these suitors are marrying into your tribe?
- "Marrying? It is a joyous time, yes. Usually.
Most tribes have festivities surrounding bondings, but none compare to that of the Bright-Throats. Travelers come from far and wide to join the celebration and witness the joining of so many tribes."
Sorting out the Suitors
Once the Black-Tongues have been assisted, Topeth is spoken to he will instead say:
- "It seems the Black-Tongues are finally prepared for the ceremony. I can smell the musk-reek from here. It seems, fresher somehow. Perhaps a new brew?
If that is your doing, I will wish you similar success with the Root-House suitor." (Note: The dialogue questions are the same as above.)
After the Root-House People are helped:
- "Beehuna of the Root-House smiles shiftily. She has no doubt taken something of worth, but she has stopped pouting, so I will not complain.
All that is left is the suitor of the Moss-Skins. They are never difficult. I don't know why he delays." (Note: The dialogue questions are the same as above.)
When you have helped the suitors of all three tribes, you can return to Bond-Guru Topeth with the good news.
- "Everyone is assembled, except for the suitors. What is the word, beek-ojel? Must I call off the bonding ritual and bring shame upon our tribe?"
- I've convinced all the suitors to join the bonding ritual.
- "You are a gift from the Hist, like the sweetest of saps on my lips. Come, join us for this momentous occasion. It is only fitting."
- Very well.
The Bonding Ceremony
Before you blow the whistle he will say "Take the place of honor, and ring the Bonding-Chime to begin the ceremony." Once the whistle is blown, the suitors will gather and Bond-Guru Topeth will begin the ceremony.
- Bond-Guru Topeth: "We are gathered here, under the boughs of our tender Hist. To honor the life it gives us."
- Bond-Guru Topeth: "Just as their roots reach out and intertwine in the mud, so too will we become entangled. Bound together to weave a strong foundation."
- Bond-Guru Topeth: "Join me in erecting the spine of procreation! Sow the sap and seed of a new generation!"
He can then be spoken with for your reward.
- "At last, all is right with the tribe. The winds carry the lovely scents of Hist blossoms and musk-reek upon the air, and soon the chimes of nuptial huts will rattle the night away.
It's enough to make anyone let out their frills."
- What happens now?
- "The happy couples will retire to their nuptial huts to begin the process of bonding and the next generation of Bright-Throats will be born.
But for us, the work is done. Let us drink! Eat! Dance!"
If you speak to him again, he will say "The phlegmwine is still bubbling, have some before the bog gasses run dry!"