The Face Changer (Etain Desert)ARNING: This quest costs 100,000 gold and will remove you from whatever society you are a member of.
From far off, you can see a fire burning, just as the rumors said you would. The day is coming to a close, and you wrap your cloak tighter around you to keep out the chill. Although you are not far from the castle, the air here is colder, and you pay close attention to the land around you. The desert is home to many dangerous creatures.
You focus on the fire in the distance, unable to see if there is anyone by it. Still, it is a clear beacon, and with dusk fast approaching, you move forward quickly, eager to see if the stories are true.
When you finally reach the meeting spot, you see that you are no longer alone. A cloaked figure is sitting by the blaze, turned away and seeming not to notice your presence. You clear your throat to catch the person's attention, and they slowly turn towards you. Their heavy cloak masks their face, but as the person turns, light from the fire shows them to be an old man.
"What brings you to such a place?" he says, beckoning you to sit. The sand still holds some of the warmth of the day, but the fire's heat is welcoming. "I was told your services were very good," you say. As the stranger shifts, their face slips into shadow once again. When you can see their face again, it appears to be much younger. Though it is a disconcerting sight, it assures you that you've come to the right place.
"And what services are those?" he asks, his voice sounding much deeper. "I wish to be able to join other secret groups," you say bluntly. "I no longer wish to be a member of the one I currently belong to. I heard you could make this possible." The man nods his head, and when he speaks again, his voice is much higher. "I can do this for you. For a price." You nod, your hand reaching for gold. "And what is that price?" The person chuckles, and you swear it sounds like an old woman's cackle. You catch another glimpse of the stranger's face and realize with some alarm that they are suddenly no longer male. "It is not an easy thing you ask for," she muses. A hand snakes out of the cloak and traces patterns in the sand. "One hundred thousand gold. I do not barter."
Unable to pay the price of one hundred thousand gold, you stand to leave. "I will return when I have it," you say curtly, disappearing into the night.
"I hope your skills are as good as I have heard," you say, dropping a pouch at her side. She turns to you, and her face is abruptly that of a gorgeous young woman. "I assure you it is," she says. Reaching into a pack next to her, she reveals a beautiful, emerald-green bottle. "Three sips of this and no one will recognize you. You will be free to do what you wish." You take the bottle from her and hold it to your lips, drinking deeply. The first sip is sour, and you grimace. The second sip is almost spicy, but the third sip is sweet and refreshing. You take out a small mirror from your pocket, and you hold it up to see what transformations you have undergone. "I look the same!" you cry out angrily, but she just smiles at you and replies: "No one will know you. Go now." You tuck the mirror away and turn to leave, casting one more look behind you. There is nothing there; no fire, no stranger. A sense of foreboding fills you and you hurry back to the castle without another look back.