|Bride of the Embalmer|
The Bride of the Embalmer is a Duskwood quest chain that sends players on missions collecting various items for Abercrombie, the hermit who lives outside of the Raven Hill cemetary. In doing so, the dark truth of a children's tale come to light...
Bride of the Embalmer
Madame Eva, a resident of Darkshire, has begun to worry about an old man who used to come to town to buy supplies, but has not shown up lately. She's worried and asks you to check on him, pointing you in the direction of Raven Hill.
A shack overlooking the cemetary is the humble abode of Abercrombie, the hermit. He's old and is having a hard time getting out these days. He asks you to back to Madame Eva and get some Ghost Hair Thread, to which you happily oblige.
Journeying to Blind Mary, she begins to happily comb her hair, but remembers what a hideous being she is. She throws the comb back at you and begins to sob. Looking down at the comb, you see the strands of hair caught in the comb. Returning it to Madame Eva, she weaves it into what Abercrombie needs.
Madame Eva tells you the many uses of Ghost Hair as she weaves. It can ward off evil spirits, like the ones that inhabit Raven Hill, or some dark arcanists even use it to give life to inanimate objects! Journeying back to Abercrombie, he laughs at your uneasiness and assures you that he's going to hang it over his door to keep the ghouls away.
Abercrombie has another request though. The tavern in town has a drink called Zombie Juice. It's strong stuff, and will put some real fire in his veins on cold nights. Back in Darkshire, Tavernkeep Smitts tells you its pretty strong stuff, and that its not exactly in high demand. As such, he doesn't have it in stock, but he knows how to brew it.
The only ingredient Smitts is missing is some Rot Blossoms. The only place they grow however, is in the skulls of undead skeletons. Not the prettiest of thoughts, but thinking of the cold old man, you gather them. Smitts brews the Juice, and tells you that he'll remember to mention you to the Night Watch.
Smitts hands over the drink, jokingly telling you that it's strong enough to raise the dead. On the way back to Abercrombie's shack, you begin to feel uneasy again. Raise the dead? Doesn't Ghost Hair do that too? It...no, the old man has been quite kind. Besides the grave to his wife indicates that he's pretty strong of will. Drinking may be the only way he makes it through these days. A slip of Abercrombie's tongue about your foolish...er...kindness doesn't help to reassure you.
Apparently, undead rather dislike scarecrows, Abercrombie's latest plan. He sends you into the cemetary to get some Ghoul Ribs, conjuring bad memories of getting the rot blossoms. Upon bringing him the ribs, he tells you he has one last thing.
While picking herbs a ways away from his house, some ogres ambushed him and he lost his crate. Upon retrieving it, you realize the crate smells like undeath, whatever that smells like. Returning it to him, he gives you a letter to take to the mayor of Darkshire.
According to Abercrombie, he and Ello Ebonlocke, the mayor, know each other well, and have been good friends for a long time. However, Ebonlocke knows no man by the name of Abercrombie. He opens the letter, only to find it in an ancient language that he can't read.
Luckily for the mayor and you, Sirra Von'Indi, a man who loves languages and knows many of them, is out in the entrance of the town hall. You deliver the letter, and Sirra looks ecstatic to put his skills to work.
Sirra begins to translate the note, and his face becomes more and more worried as he translates the note. As he hands it to you to take it back to the mayor, he urges you to hurry. The horrors unleashed by Abercrombie are probably already on their way...
As Ello reads the letter, he begins to shake. He tells you that even though you were helping Abercrombie out of kindness, Darkshire may be doomed. Abercrombie is known as "The Embalmer," a tale told to children to scare them into being good. The Embalmer was a kind old alchemist, beloved by all, and he loved his wife more than anything in the world. However, when she died, he could not bear the pain, and used dark magic to cut out his heart and place it in her chest. It kept her alive, but gave her a hunger for human flesh, forcing him to keep her buried. Ello tells you that there is only one solution: find his wife and take the Embalmer's heart, the source of his power!
As you run from the town hall, a monster roars out! It could only be Stitches, the monster you helped create. He lumbers toward Darkshire, but is killed with a little help from the Night Watch. Behind Abercrombie's shack, you approach Eliza's grave. As you dig her up, she realizes you aren't Abercrombie, and proceeds to try and eat you. You prevail, carving open her chest and pulling out Abercrombie's still-beating heart. Upon taking it back to Mayor Ebonlocke, you are lauded as a great hero, and will go down in Darkshire's history!