Rift: Travels Through Telara Part 7 - Orphiel Farwind

Join Guardian scribe, Padraic, and his trusty, yet slow-witted lackey Bran, as they travel the length and breadth of Telara documenting the people, places, history, and folklore of the world. Before it’s all gone.

The Story So Far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 |Part 6 |Part 7 |Part 8

Travels Through Telara

By Padraic

The power of stories. Tales of a bygone era told by a tutor to his ward.

That is what is responsible for the tragedy that befell Telara.

Allow me to explain. In keeping with my goal to recount and record all the stories of Telara, today I will be talking about someone who’s very name causes Guardians the world over to seethe with anger. I am talking about Orphiel Farwind, the leader of the Defiant


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Orphiel Farwind


You will find no harsh condemnation from me, however. I am of the rather controversial opinion that Orphiel is actually a grossly misunderstood man. I may be wrong, but while researching this entry it seems there is a lot more to Orphiel that the Guardians would have us believe. (Of course, the Guardians would say how evil and destructive he is, that it was his fault Port Scion fell, his fault that Aedraxis managed to pierce the Ward and let the Shade through. But what I see is a man obsessed with progress. Not evil, just very misguided. On its own, this trait might not have led to the mess we now find ourselves in, but coupled with the influence of Prince Aedraxis... well, you only need to look around to see the result.)

Orphiel was a tutor for princes Aedraxis and Zeraph. He watched them grow up, told them stories, taught them most of what they know. He looked on himself as a surrogate father to these two boys. Even then he was obsessed with knowledge, with seeking the truth no matter the cost. Truth is pure, he once said. Not evil, not good. Just pure. It is those who take this truth, who bend it to their will, that are to blame for what happens afterwards.

His favorite stories were about the ancient Eth. Those mysterious figures, now a mixture of myth and fact, who tamed half the world through knowledge and magic. He yearned for this legendary golden age, when philosophers and magicians conversed in sun-dappled courtyards about the weighty issues of the day.  Was he naïve? Most certainly. But naivety isn’t a crime. He saw in Ehtian machinery some kind of panacea for all of the worlds’ ills. At the beginning of all this, his intentions were pure.

Prince Aedraxis played on this naivety. He had grown up with stories of what this long-lost Ethian machinery could accomplish, and he saw in Orphiel a means to gain this technology to increase his own power. He was subtle, inquiring first about how the Ethians fought off the dragons. Orphiel enthusiastically recounted tales of the sourcestone-fueled wonders they used against the beasts. But Orphiel would always steer such conversations around to what he saw as the Ethians’ true success. The peace-time engines that were developed from these original machines of death.

So you see, Orphiel was an idealist. Someone for whom knowledge was pure. War may have been the motivator for these inventions, but in peace time they were perfected, adapted to help the world.


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At work in the lab

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Aedraxis did not care about this. He spun a tale of enemies plotting to take down the royal family, of plotters who would plunge Mathosia into a bloody civil war. He wished he could have such engines to stop the bloodshed before it started.

Orphiel, of course, leaped at the chance. Did he truly believe his old ward, or did he simply use Aedraxis as a reason to pursue his dreams? Only Orphiel can know the truth of that. But after securing a promise from Aedraxis that the machines would be adapted for peace time uses afterwards, he agreed to research and rebuild the ancient Eth war machines.

We all know what happened next. Aedraxis used them to break the Ward and allow the Shade through into Telara. Orphiel was utterly horrified. His Prince had lied to him. He, Orphiel had built these machines, was responsible for the death and destruction he saw around him.

His dreams of a renaissance of that mystical Golden Age crumbled to rust before his eyes.

Seeking to make amends, Orphiel rallied the Eth and the Bahmi and marched to Port Scion to support Prince Zareph in his bid to save Telara. But then Port Scion itself fell, another victim to Orphiel’s Ethian technology, and Prince Zareph was lost with it. This time Orphiel refused to take the blame. After all, it was a Guardian who had used the technology to open the rift inside Port Scion. In a way, I think he saw this as vindication for his beliefs. Thought, knowledge, was pure. It is those who wielded it who were to blame.

After this latest tragedy, the Guardians banned all technology. Orphiel refused to abide by this new law. Along with Asha Catari, he vowed that knowledge and ingenuity would be the tools to save Telara, not faith in the gods. He left with his followers and formed a new order, the Defiant, to protect Telara.

Orphiel led the Defiant to Meridian where they continued their studies into Sourcestone-created weapons. They have vowed to seal the Wards and banish destroy Regulos.

But they will do it their way.

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The Story So Far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |Part 5 |Part 6 |Part 7 |Part 8



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