Once, the Shrine of Ancient Tears was a hallowed meeting ground between the Ancients and their sea-kin... The ones you know as ‘merfolk’. At the heart of this Shrine is a large pool, around which they would stand. The earrings the Ancients wore allowed them to understand their song. That was long ago, when the Shrine still stood proudly above the waves. Now, its hallways are infested with those loyal to the Sea Queen.
The way ahead is perilous but to begin, light the torches that surround this place and the way to the four paths shall be revealed. The graceful butterfly and the patient turtle... These two pathways must be travelled to light the flames and find what you seek. On each path, bring light to dark places. Seek the switches and false flagstones, then work them with haste. Press onwards until the turtle's treasure is within your grasp.
1. Shrine of Ancient TearsSunken Journal from Umbra, a Mystery of the Shrine of Ancient Tears. I've explored many bizarre and interesting places in my time, but this has to be my favourite! Beautiful waterfalls, areas hidden away until you drain water from them, ancient doorways that open when you light torches, I love it! But this place has left me with so many questions. Who collected the skulls? Why is this ancient building deep beneath the waves? And most importantly of all, where is the key for that triangular lock — and what's inside?
2. Strange TalesSunken Journal from Umbra, a Mystery of the Shrine of Ancient Tears. I thought I knew all there was to know about the merfolk, but after visiting the Shrine I felt like I was missing something. A part of their story that might explain this strange place. So I asked around. That's when tales of ships being dragged below by creatures that looked like merfolk started to surface. I couldn't believe my ears, the merfolk wouldn't act this way. What on the seas could be happening? I spoke to every pirate who knew anything and they all told the same tale: a terrible scratching on their hulls and the sound of a sad voice on the wind.
3. Return of the Silver BladeSunken Journal from Umbra, a Mystery of the Shrine of Ancient Tears. There was one story that really interested me though, tales of the Silver Blade being seen on the Sea of Thieves once more, with a new Captain. There were rumours that this Captain, a man by the name of Dimitri, discovered a long-forgotten Ancient Vault that contained a chest. A chest that wept. One pirate named it the Chest of Everlasting Sorrow, which seems fitting, as those that come in contact with it seem to have nothing but sorrow. Dimitri, his whole crew and the Silver Blade have not been seen for months. I wonder what happened to them.
4. Fate of the Silver BladeSunken Journal from Umbra, a Mystery of the Shrine of Ancient Tears. It took some time, a lot of persuasion and following threads to loose ends but I finally got the answers I was seeking. Since I last wrote, I have discovered this new type of merfolk called Sirens and that they have a dark and complicated past. The chest that Dimitri found contains the soul of their King, which must mean the Silver Blade was dragged below. I can only hope some of the crew survived. The sirens have been sleeping, for how long I cannot tell, but something has awoken them — and their Queen still rages for her lost love, who is forever just out of her reach within this chest.
5. The Chest of Everlasting SorrowSunken Journal from Umbra, a Mystery of the Shrine of Ancient Tears. Despite all her powerful magic and minions, the Sea Queen has been unable to free her King from the Chest of Everlasting Sorrow. The combined power of the Ancients and the merfolk who locked him away has proven too much for her. Driven mad by the constant cries of her love, she has locked the chest away. I finally know the fate of the Silver Blade and my hopes for the crew have been dashed. The Queen has turned it into a shrine for The Chest of Everlasting Sorrow, deep within her Sunken Kingdom. She will never forgive humans for what they did to her. All who sail the Sea of Thieves will feel her wrath.
Eyes of the Ancients, Tablet IEyes of the Ancients, Tablet I, by the Ancient Priest. I do not know when the first meeting with our sea-kin took place. Perhaps none remain among our number who do. Perhaps it no longer matters. How strange it must have been to look down from one’s boat, expecting to see your own face in the water — and staring into the eyes of another. We constructed meeting places where the land met the sea, and used them to commune as best we could. Over time, a bond between our peoples began to form. Legend tells us it was a young Prince, barely two summers old, who became the first to topple from his perch, only to be carried safely to shore by our sea-kin. It seems that sightings of the ‘mer’, as Belle calls them, became common in distant waters once we had departed. I wonder... Might they have been searching for us?
Eyes of the Ancients, Tablet IIEyes of the Ancients, Tablet II, by the Ancient Priest. The song of our sea-kin is vast, replete with harmonies and refrains. For a single mind to hold it all would be to invite madness. No matter how many times our leaders travelled to the meeting places and communed with them, there was much that they never came to understand. Spotting a silvered figure while hunting would often lead to speculation. Where did our sea-kin come from? Had they travelled to these waters from afar, just as we had? There were some among our number who believed that the sea-kin were once as we were, and that some demon or trickster was responsible for their current shape. One among us, who at that time held the title of Warrior, went further, and consorted with the Sea Queen. By so joining our two worlds, he nearly destroyed both.
Eyes of the Ancients, Tablet IIIEyes of the Ancients, Tablet III, by the Ancient Priest. Years passed, and the Warrior who had forsaken his duty for a life below the waves slipped from our minds. Perhaps we noticed fewer sea-kin on the waves. Perhaps not. We had no way of knowing that, far below, a sickness was spreading. It robbed many, the Sea Queen among them, of their voice — and of their song. With no harmonious words to give them purpose, the afflicted become isolated, resentful and cruel. They saw us as if for the first time; we were strangers once more. Who struck first? I cannot say. I know only that from the time of my childhood, to travel into deep water, while often necessary, invited great peril from below. Their new song was one of hatred. They clawed our boats apart and dragged us down in a baleful embrace. Without a word spoken, our two worlds were now at war.
Eyes of the Ancients, Tablet IVEyes of the Ancients, Tablet IV, by the Ancient Priest. How it must have pleased the Sea Queen to trespass into the King's reliquary and lay claim to the Great Warrior's remains, all those years ago. Our legends do not speak the whole truth. The Great Warrior's spirit was not delivered to the heavens by the King. That was not his fate. The Great Warrior had taken an oath to serve the Royal Family, even beyond death. His spirit was not permitted to rest. The Warrior's soul remained bound to his body, ready to be summoned again should he be needed. A royal secret handed down from father to son, mother to daughter. When my Queen learned the truth, she bade me recover the Warrior's body, to end his servitude at last. I set forth at once, not knowing I was already too late.
Eyes of the Ancients, Tablet VEyes of the Ancients, Tablet V, by the Ancient Priest. I did all that I could to obey my Queen's command, but to search the entire ocean? One might as well seek to count all the stars in the sky. When the time came to depart these waters, I felt great shame. I had failed to find the Great Warrior, and his spirit would remain trapped here. Then the stranger, Belle, came to us. She had news of the places we had left behind. Of ones who now sailed as we once did, and the danger they faced. I, of course, saw a second chance to complete my task – but experience has gifted me with a cautious nature. I chose first to observe and be sure her intentions were sincere. Once I was convinced, I summoned my most loyal acolytes, and bade farewell to paradise.
War Below the WavesDive below the waves to uncover an ancient secret of the deep — the legend of the Sunken Kingdom.