Montague Castanella (Praetorian)
Leader of the Midnight Squad
|Coordinates||(1688, -577, -2038)|
|Introduced By||Mistress Maria|
Talons of Vengeance
Montague Castanella is a hero, villain, and Praetorian contact in Night Ward at coordinates (1688, -577, -2038). His level range is 25-39. He is standing in the lower lobby of the Praetorian version of the Midnighter Club mansion.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Introductions
- 3 Story Arc
- 3.1 Where Even Death May Die
- 3.1.1 Souvenir
- 3.1.2 Part One: Death: A Novel Idea
- 3.1.3 Part Two: Take A Number
- 3.1.4 Finale: Back From The Dead
- 3.1 Where Even Death May Die
Contact Introduced By
Ward is the Overspell of binding that once unified all of the Midnight Mansion's glyphs, wards, and defensive magics. But now that it and the other spells have become Animus Arcana, Ward is having difficulty adequately defending the mansion. It would be most helpful to consult with Ward and discover what can be done to shore up the Midnight Mansion's defenses.
Ward has asked for help in locating its children, the Animus Arcana. Ward has asked for you specifically.
When he was alive, Montague Castanella had inherited the role of the leader of the Midnight Squad, a role that he accepted grudgingly if only because circumstances forced him into it. Under his leadership the Midnighters survived Cole's witch hunts and stole themselves away into the shadowy psuedo-dimension between the worlds of the living and the dead. Here they had taken the Midnight Mansion, an arcane fortress that was beyond the reach of Emperor Cole. But it was from within their own ranks that the Midnighters would ultimately fall. Killed by their former friend and ally, Percy Winkley, the Midnighters became, for a time, the Midnight Masters, undead servants of Percy Winkley as he adopted the new monicker, Master Midnight. But with Percy's demise his spell over the Midnighters has faded and their will is once more their own. Now these poor souls are trapped between worlds and linger between life and death, unable to find true peace. Luckily, for a wizard, an eternity spent in study is not a punishment, and Montague Castanella is looking forward to delving ever deeper into the realm of the arcane.
Prior to Introduction
The Midnight Mansion's doors are open to any who need protection. Now tell me, who are you again?
, I'm looking forward to working together.
- Splendid as always.
- You've returned. It is good to see you.
- There's no teacher like experience.
Missing Too Busy Dialogue
No More Missions
My efforts are now focused on keeping the Midnight Mansion secure against the forces arrayed against us. I am certain there are others in Night Ward that need your talents.
Too Low Level
The Night Ward is a dangerous place, but I can tell you have great potential. Come back once you are cleared for, say, Level 30 security clearance.
Too High Level
I must focus,, please come back later.
Where Even Death May Die
A Glimpse into Eternity
When it is very late, and the air has grown still and silent, your thoughts drift to a glimpse of what eternity has in store for us all during your visit to the timeless place called Night Ward;
Where Even Death May Die
It all began when you agreed to help the undying souls of the Midnighters understand what had happened to them after Percy Winkley betrayed them. But in order to do that, first you needed to understand how and why the magic of the mansion had become the Animus Arcana. According to Montague's theory; the realm of Night Ward, in conjunction with Percy's death, was to blame for the malign magic. Delving into the magical vault hidden within the Midnight Mansion, you were sent to secure an ancient manuscript known as Tremaine's Manual of the Dead.
The Manual promised to reveal a great deal of information, but Montague needed time to scour its ancient pages. In the meantime, he urged you to use whatever means necessary to locate the soul of Percy Winkley before the Drudges had processed him and sent him to the appropriate afterlife. The Drudges, unwilling to speak to you on account of being an outsider, put up a mean fight, but ultimately you forced one of their Taskmasters to give you access to Percy's records.
Discovering that Percy, along with thousands of other souls, were stuck waiting for transit to the next world, you hatched a plan to break him out of the cycle of life and death which was rapidly grinding to a halt as Night Ward pulled the Netherworld further and further into the world of the living. The Drudges did not take kindly to this disorder and did all they could but it just wasn't enough to stop you from completing your rescue mission. Ultimately, you struck a bargain with a Drudge Taskmaster by the name of Carlyle. In exchange for fixing Night Ward, Carlyle gave you Percy's soul.
With Percy's soul free of the influence of the Drudges now all he needed was to be rejoined with his physical remains. You journeyed back to the ritual place where Percy sacrificed himself to save Diabolique in order to recover those remains. What you found, however, were the Talons of Vengeance, and working along side them were the reanimated armor and remains of Percy, and they had no intention of returning to the way things were! You forced the armor to submit and brought Percy's remains back to the Midnight Mansion so a ritual could be completed in order for Percy to rejoin the Midnighters who he had once betrayed. When Percy's soul and body were reunited, however, the stain of evil on his soul wanted nothing more than to enslave the Midnighters once more. A combat ensued and in the end, you came out the winner. Together, with the rest of the Midnighters, it was decided that the next step would be to restore the Midnight Mansion's protective wards. Tremaine's Manual of the Dead revealed that the Night Ward is a dimensional abomination that threatened not only to destroy the boundaries between the living and the dead, but also to create a realm where the living cannot live, and a place where even death may die.
Part One: Death: A Novel Idea
As with any problem, we need to first identify exactly what we are dealing with before we can proceed with any confidence. There is a tome that may contain the answer to that question. It is called Tremaine's Manual of the Dead.
While the manual lies within the hidden vault of this very mansion it is also protected by many and varied magical wards which are now, as you can imagine, Animus Arcana and quite uncontrollable.
- I know this drill. I retrieve the manual, you read it.
Retrieving the Manual will not be so simple. Tremaine's Manual is itself warded and protected by many spells. Even if you can find it you will need to circumvent these mystical protections before the book can be safely recovered.
Find the Manual of the Dead so we can learn what ill has befallen the spirit world.
You become keenly aware that the magical defenses of the Midnight Mansion's mystical vault are aware of you, and they want to kill you.
- Recover the Manual of the Dead
- Retrieve Tremaine's Manual of the Dead
- Defeat the Guardian Spells
You've recovered Tremaine's Manual of the Dead!
"The spells placed upon the book appear to be missing..."
- Snatch up the Manual
- "You snatch up Tremaine's Manual of the Dead only to discover that the guardian spells were simply hiding from you and they attack!"
- Defend yourself!
- Proceed with Caution
- "You look over the book and realize that the magical spells in place to defend it are hiding, waiting for you to try and pick up the book!"
- Pick up the Manual and prepare for battle
- "You pick up Tremaine's Manual of the Dead and ready yourself for battle. As you expected the guardian spells emerge from between the pages and attack!"
"You have defeated the guardians and can now claim Tremaine's Manual of the Dead."
- Take the Manual
"You have claimed the Manual of the Dead."
You've recovered the Manual!?
Within its pages we can determine what wickedness is at hand here. I'll have some answers for you in a few hours, and more than likely, need of your help once again.
In the meantime, I've discovered something of interest that I think might solve our problems with these Animus Arcana...
We're making great progress, but we cannot let up now. I knew this would be a wildly successful venture together, and I am grateful to be a part of it.
Part Two: Take A Number
I've been studying the magical wards around the Midnight Mansion, specifically the points where the magic shattered and gave intelligence to the Animus Arcana, and what I found was interesting.
There is a definite pattern at work here. Every point where the spells broke free and gained a spark of life was a spell lain down by Percy Winkley. From what I gather, when he died the spells he wove into the Mansion's main Ward reacted in a way I don't fully understand. Ultimately, Percy's death gave them life.
If we could return Percy Winkley to life, then perhaps the Animus Arcana would revert back to their previous state, or at the very least, perhaps Percy could instruct us in how to get them under control.
- And how are we supposed to do that?
When Percy died, like any other living being, his soul journeyed to the Netherworld. Whispering Coyote will know how to track him down. If we are to return Percy to even a semblance of life, we cannot do it without his soul.
Talk to Whispering Coyote
Whispering Coyote is mentioned in the Manual of the Dead as a wise and tricky spirit guide, but also an expert on the spirits of the dead. Perhaps he can shed some light on how to locate Percy's soul.
- Talk to Whispering Coyote
There is good news and bad news, I'm afraid. The good news is that Percy Winkley's soul is not lost. With the spirit realm merging with the realm of the living, the spirits of the recently dead cannot go to the next world. However, the bad news is that he is most certainly under the watchful eye of the Drudges.
The Drudges are creatures native to the Netherworld that are tasked with making sure the realm of the dead serves its function.
With all the recent deaths in the world of the living, the Drudges have started to move away from the spirituality of their duty and have instead adopted a rigid new system. It is terribly efficient, ensuring that souls get to where they are going much more quickly. The trouble is, the journey to the afterlife with a Spirit Guide was the whole point.
Instead, the Spirit Guides who used to escort an individual soul on its spiritual journey to the afterlife, now work tirelessly gathering up souls and bringing them to processing centers at the behest of the Taskmaster's Office. In return for delivering souls, the Taskmaster's Office is paid in wax. Wax keeps a Drudge's spiritual flame burning. Without the spirits of the dead, the Drudges get no wax, and without wax, the Drudges fade away.
With Night Ward apparently cut off from the rest of the Netherworld, the Drudges are a bit... concerned. The Taskmaster's Office has set up a temporary central office to deal with the back up of souls they've been receiving. If Percy's soul is still in Night Ward, we can find out where they're keeping him there. I'll show you where it is.
|Whispering Coyote told you of a location where the Drudges keep death records for the spirits of the dead, you can find Percy's whereabouts there.|
Determine Percy Winkley's Whereabouts
So the Drudges most likely have Percy's soul? That is both fortunate, and unfortunate. If they have it, we know where to find it, but you'll also have to deal with the Drudges, and they loathe outsiders.
The Drudges are definitely in here; the place smells like ten thousand birthday candles
- Determine Percy Winkley's Whereabouts
- Find Percy's records
You found Percy's Record!
You open the records and find it filled with wooden tubes studded with holes. As you pick one up it emits a verbal record of the individual it is about.
|Percy Winkley's Death Record|
|You found this small wooden recorder in the Drudge office. Blowing into it you hear an audio recording regarding the soul of Percy Winkley and his fate. He was sent to the transit center to await travel orders to the afterlife.|
Find Percy's Soul
These records indicate that Percy's soul is awaiting processing and transit to the next world at the Drudge processing center in Lamplighter Junction.
The souls of the dead are countless, how are you going to find Percy Winkley in this haunted haystack?
- Find Percy's Soul
- Confront the Taskmaster in charge here
- Get Percy Winkley's Soul
- Escort Percy's Soul Out
You rescued Percy Winkley's soul
- Taskmaster Carlyle (Enemy, Drudge Taskmaster Boss)
- Soul of Percy Winkley (Hostage)
Grrr... Outsiders! Always double dealing. Guess I haven't much choice with how you're knockin' wax left and right here. What is it you want? Maybe we can come to a mutually beneficial deal here.
- Percy Winkley, I need his soul.
I should have guessed. Such a fume to that one. What do you have to exchange? He's worth quite a bit to me.
- Give me Percy and he can help you get back on schedule.
- Back on schedule? Then, you know what has happened? Well... One soul is a small price to pay to ship off the lot of these to their destination.
- Why, I'm losing wax every minute this station remains inoperative.
- Alright... I'll give you Percy... But after that you hold up your end of the bargain and fix things, no more, no less.
- It's a deal!
- How about I don't destroy you? Fair trade?
- You... Arrogant...
- Kill him / her!
- I'll be seeing you soon...
|Soul of Percy Winkley|
|The bumbling and confused soul of Percy Winkley accompanies you now, taken from the Drudges before he could be shipped off to the afterlife.|
You found Percy's Soul...
I must admit, I was not sure how I would react upon seeing him once more, but despite all the evil he unleashed upon us that fateful day... and since, I choose to believe that there is still some good left in him.
Montague's decrepit face twists into one of deep thought.
If Percy was able to find the courage to sacrifice himself for another, then I too can find it in my heart to forgive his evil. Besides, there is a lot of work yet to be done and we need his help.
If ever you are in need, I will be there,.
Finale: Back From The Dead
Unfortunately, Percy is going to be difficult to work with. Without a familiar material form to possess his attention appears fleeting and his memory scattered. I did, however, plan for this contingency.
Tremaine's Manual of the Dead has a number of sections pertaining to returning life to the dead. Zombies, for example, are simply corpses occupied by magic or a soul that didn't originate in that vessel. The Manual only touches vaguely on anything more elaborate, so I got to thinking: Whatever Percy did to the rest of the Midnighters and I must have been based on Tremaine's incomplete studies.
So I went through Percy's notes and discovered the ritual he used on us, but there's a catch. We'll need to recover his physical remains.
- There was nothing left of him.
Perhaps not of him, but from what I recall of our brief duel, his armor was nigh well invulnerable. It almost certainly survived the ritual that killed Percy, though it is probably no longer in one piece. I found Percy's helmet here in the Mansion. Take it and use it as a focus while traveling through the stable portal just outside the Mansion's grounds. It will translocate you to where Percy fell.
Find whatever parts of his armor and body that you can and bring them back to us. The ritual will recombine them and fill in the blank spaces with magic. He won't be whole, but he'll be better than dead.
Percy's remains should still be in the caverns beneath First Ward's Forbidden Crags where he died interrupting Serene's magical ceremony... assuming nobody moved them.
You step through the portal and into some familiar caverns. The walls shudder and echo as the spirit world presses in on all sides.
- Recover Percy's Physical Remains
- Recover Percy's Remains
- Defeat Percy's Animated Remains
You successfully recovered Percy Winkley's remains, but learned of a dangerous new plot of the Talons of Vengeance.
- Animated Midnight (boss)
|Percy Winkley's Physical Remains|
|Percy Winkley's corpse and armor certainly put up a fight. Now that you have them in your possession you can return to the Midnight Mansion and begin the ritual to restore him to a semblance of life.|
|From what you overheard, Master Midnight's animated armor had created a technique by which the Talons of Vengeance can use Apparitions and the souls of the dead to create creatures called Banshees. Considering the number of dead souls trapped in the Night Ward, the Talons may have found all the recruits they could ever need.|
Bring Percy Winkley's remains back to Montague in the Midnight Mansion
You have Percy's remains? Excellent, bring them back to the Midnight Mansion so we can reconstitute him physically and spiritually.
- Bring Percy Winkley's remains back to Montague in the Midnight Mansion
Excellent work in recovering Percy's armor, and what remains of his body. I am, however, concerned about the magical rituals that the Talons of Vengeance were up to, and the fact that Percy's Armor was animated and helping them. It is disturbing. It's almost as if Percy's armor became sentient, like the wards that were placed around the Midnight Mansion which transformed into the Animus Arcana.
With the ritual the Talons were conducting it seems that there is a distinct connection between the Talons and the events drawing First Ward and the Netherworld together into the Night Ward.
There is certainly a link there, as each of the Animus Arcana broke free from the Overspell at points where Percy's magic had woven them together, but I need Percy's ability to help me put it all together. Let's conduct the ritual of reconstitution now, there is no sense in waiting.
If that happens, be ready to stop him., I have no idea how Percy is going to react once he and his armor are reconstituted. For all we know he may turn on us, or try to re-establish dominance over myself and the other Midnighters.
Reconstitute Percy's body
I need your help in conducting the ritual. If Percy turns on us again I'll need you to stop him.
The Midnighters have gathered to return Percy Winkley's soul to a physical form, this could very easily go badly for them.
- Reconstitute Percy's Body
- Talk to Montague
- Participate in the ritual
- Return Percy's soul to his body
- Save Percy's Soul
You completed the ritual and restored life to Percy Winkley!
- Percy Winkley (Boss)
The ritual will reunite Percy with his body, making him whole... In a manner of speaking. This should enable him to once more function as the talented wizard I now know him to be.
- Alright, what do you need me to do?
Whatever evil lurking within Percy's armor will try with all its might to regain control of his soul. I want you to stop that from happening.
- And if that happens...?
Then Percy will likely regain control over us through whatever wicked magic he used to enslave our spirits in the first place. Only he knows the full extent of what villainy we commited according to his whims. I shudder to think on it...
- (Heroic) Don't worry, you can count on me.
- Splendid! Now, we can begin when you are ready.
- Let's get started.
- (Villainous) Interesting... Oh, you can count on me.
- Splendid! Now, we can begin when you are ready.
- Yeah... Let's get started.
|Percy Winkley is restored (Heroic)|
|Percy Winkley has been restored to a semblance of his former glory and the evil has been driven from his soul. Thanks to your efforts an evil man has been redeemed and put back on the path of righteousness!|
|Percy Winkley is restored (Villainous)|
|Percy Winkley has been restored to a semblance of his former glory, and the Midnighters are once more under his command. But now it is you who can claim the title of Master Midnight, for now Percy Winkley serves your iron will!|
Talk to Montague about reactivating the Mansion's wards
Montague is lost in thought.
Montague seems lost in thought.
This is all just the beginning. The Night Ward is only beginning to pull realities together, but soon... Very soon, the pace will quicken and chaos will rain down upon worlds.
That the Talons of Vengeance have their claws in this is only further proof of the grave situation we face. Until now, Ward was the only protection we needed, but now, we aren't so sure.