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Niko, Master of the Depths
The area will contain three caches of Voltaxic Sulphite to be collected. The Sulphite is used to power the Crawler to progress in delves.
Unlike other masters, Niko's Favour increases based on the lowest level you have completed in the Azurite Mine.
To level up Niko, Delve deeper in the Azurite Mine:
Reach depth 10 for level 2.
Reach depth 20 for level 3.
Reach depth 50 for level 4.
Reach depth 90 for level 5.
Reach depth 140 for level 6.
Reach depth 200 for level 7.
Most of Niko's dialogue options will cycle occasionally.
Hey, mate, what's going on? Came all the way here to see what's what in this famous mine, but there's a bloody big glowing wall blocking it. Can't squeeze through!
Seems like the rain's brought out a few worms! Don't think I'm an easy mark, exile. I've spent more than enough time around exiles to know which way the dagger's pointing, and I'll happily give it a shove in your direction if you try anything... wormy.
I'm conducting a little dig... The sort of enterprise that could make someone with your particular 'skill set' a very handsome living. Don't worry, you'll not be moving much dirt. No, no... Why smash rocks when you could smash skulls, eh?
Quite liked it here, you know, right up until the bloody mountainside started bloody...well...bleedin'. Thought for sure I was hallucinating, 'til the others started screaming and scrambling. Always nice to get a little reassurance about your sanity, eh?
Well, this nice little outpost here's been, shall we say, marred. Don't get me wrong, I love a splash of colour, I just don't love that colour splashing on me and my friends here. Why do I get the feeling you were involved...?
Blood everywhere around here... Startin' to remind me of my time in that little room back in Oriath. All that digging really made a mess of me hands. The mitts ain't just for protecting me against the sulphite you know.
How can there be this much blood, exile? Where's it coming from? Where's it going? Know what I think? I think it's going back into the mountain. One big loop, exile. One bloody big loop, and someone's down there pumpin it.
This is a bad omen, exile. A real baaaad sign. What if all the water's turning to blood, eh? They say the Cataclysm did all sorts of strange things. This seems pretty strange to me! Been having a lot of dreams where I drink all that blood up. My body swells up like a big grape. Can't hold it in. BANG! I'm gone. What do you think that means, eh? Maybe I'm the only one who can stop it... Maybe I'm the reason it's here in the first place.
The Azurite Mine
Not the prettiest spot in Wraeclast, but relatively dry and safe as long as you stay in the light. Never cared about a good view anyway. Much prefer a cozy spot indoors. Not many of those on Wraeclast that aren't filled with bloody flesheaters though, eh?
Huh... Thought I heard you in there earlier. Went to check because I didn't see you, and sure enough, you weren't there. Could've sworn I heard something down there in the shafts though.
I think they're back, exile. The voices. I can hear them talking to me down there. Just whispers, here and there. Whispers, and scratching. Like they're buried somewhere deep. Can't make out any words, but I can feel their emotions. They're not happy. Not happy at all.
Layers on layers on layers. That's how we build. Sarn built over the ruins of the Vaal. The Vaal built over an abyss of bones. What's below the bones, exile?
I can still hear them down there, rattling around, pawing at the rocks. They want out. Want what we have. Want to take our lives over. Want to take our minds over.
Got to keep digging, exile. Got to keep digging! Need to let them out. Need to stop the chatter. They're too loud, exile. And they're all angry. Shouting at us. Can't understand a word. Probably get more done if they would be quiet for just one moment.
How do you stand the noise, exile? Can't even think with the bloody racket they're making. Wish someone would make 'em... disappear.
The darkness within those walls is unnatural. It does not fade in the presence of light... It retreats. Like a living beast. I'd not wander too far from the lamps if I were you.
The deeper we go, the more the darkness scares me. I've seen nothing like it before, and I hope to see nothing like it again. Stay in the light, exile, unless you wish to die.
It's out there, exile. Watching us. It's all around us. Can you feel it? The darkness wants our flesh. Wants to devour us like all that came before. Something is fuelling it. Something... Or someone.
Can you hear them, exile? They're locked away down there. The darkness has them imprisoned... Bait, trying to coax us out of the light. But we're not so dumb, are we, exile? No no no... We'll not be lured into the darkness so easily.
They're calling us... They're calling us again, exile. And we have to answer. Need to get to them. Free them. They need us, exile. You need to hurry. The darkness is crowding around us, exile. It's so hungry. It licks at our minds, tasting our fear. Lick lick lick! Only a taste though, exile. Only a taste for now.
Been working on this machine on and off for years. Hard to really test it without the raw materials from the mine. You're here now, though, so maybe that'll change.
This beauty can take the azurite you find in there and turn it into flares and dynamite. Enough azurite, and I can make this thing more efficient than it already is. Able to hold a lot more sulphite, and able to make better flares and dynamite.
Impressive ain't she? It's where Crawler gets its power, and what keeps the lights down there lit.
Find some Azurite down there, you can toss it in this, and out comes something a little more deadly. Or bright, if that's your style.
With the right materials, you can make some very nice things with my machine. Put a lot of work into making it do what it does.
Honestly... Think someone's been tampering with it. Might be trying to steal my designs.
Over my dead and rotting body, eh?
Tell me, what do you think is worth more: this machine, or the power and light it can create? Suppose you know the answer already. Wouldn't be stupid enough to try and take it from me, would they?
Couldn't use it even if they did. Needs azurite ores, and they're deep in the darkness. Even they'd not be stupid enough to wander in there... Ha! Love to see them try.
Machine's worth more than my life. Or yours, should it come to that, exile. No man or woman alive today could replicate it. They'll try, though. Oh, they'll try. They'll crack her open like an egg. Let her goo run across the ground and back into the mines. Back into the darkness. Gobbled up.
Won't let that happen. Would kill anyone who tries to take her in a heartbeat. Even you, exile. Even you.
Grew up in Oriath. Used to love the city... Spent my youth combing the woods around it for Sulphite. No one else knew how to handle the stuff, but the Templar had a voracious appetite for it. Needed it to power whatever god-forsaken machines they were building. Made a very healthy living for myself until...
Well, let's just say, for a while I thought I was a... a prophet. The Templar don't take so kindly to people calling themselves prophets. Locked me up in a madhouse, but I dug my way out. The Templar like escapees even less than they like false prophets, so here I am, digging around in Eternal rubble.
If you knew how to handle Voltaxic Sulphite without blowing your arms off, you could make a lot of money in Oriath. As you can see, I still have my arms. Sold piles of Sulphite to the Templar. Knew better than to ask what they needed it for. But when people who weren't really there started talking to me, I didn't know better than to ask the Templar for help.
Ever break out of a Templar-run mental-asylum? Easier than ya think. Easier than hiding from the Templar when they go looking for ya. They shipped me off to Wraeclast as soon as they found me. Easier to forget I exist than to help me get rid of the voices, eh?
Probably heard about all the weird experiments the Templar were doin' back in Oriath, eh? Probably seen some of the results around here. Need a lot of power to do something like that, I imagine... It just so happens I used to be the supplier of that power. Knew no one else who could handle Voltaxic Sulphite in Oriath. Made a lot of money selling the stuff to the Templar.
When I started hearing things... people... I went to the Templar for help. Thought they'd do a favour for their favourite miner. Locked me up instead! Me! In a bloody mental asylum! Should've bought them off, but I dug out instead. Should've bought them off when they caught up to me and tried to ship me off to Wraeclast, but my head wasn't right. Still might not be.
Made myself very rich selling Voltaxic Sulphite to the Templar. Didn't know what they were doing with it, but it wasn't hard to guess. Was a couple years ago that I started hearing... them. The voices. Talking to me. Telling me things about the people around me. Things I shouldn't know. Secrets. Wonderful, violent secrets.
Went to the Templar and told 'em what I knew. What I was getting told. Who was telling it. Templar didn't bloody believe me. Locked me up in a... in a prison! But my little messenger told me how to escape. Told me to dig. Dig, dig, dig. Dug my way to freedom. Templar didn't like that, no no. Sent an army after me. Tossed me on a slaver's ship and sent me to Wraeclast to rot. But I'm not rotting, am I, exile? I'm healthier than I've ever been, heheheh.
Heheheh, they thought they could put ol' Niko to rest. Thought I'd die out here. Thought I'd keep the Templar's dirty little secret to myself! But I'm still breathin'. Still digging their beautiful rocks out of the ground, just like I was back in Oriath. But they ain't getting a single. Bloody. One.
They thought they'd lock me away from the angry voices in that dark room, but I got out. Ran through the square in my bloody prison garb. Hands bleeding everywhere. Must've tracked my blood to find me. Couldn't kill me though, could they. Had to send me to the cursed continent to die. Think they're still trying to get me, exile? Sending their ugly little spies my way?
Maybe we'll feed them to the darkness.
Whole Eternal Empire was built on the ruins of the Vaal, so it ain't surprising that we'd run up against Vaal ruins down there. Seen some other traces, though. People who weren't Eternals or Vaal. Thought I'd just hit an old Vaal burial ground, 'til I realised just how many bones there were... and that they were used to build. Ain't a historian, but never heard of the Vaal using human bones to make buildings.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by Vaal ruins when you get deep enough. Whole Eternal Empire was built on their ruins. Might even see some of their cursed dead wandering the halls. But if you see... other ruins... best watch yourself. Nothin' collects that many bones peacefully.
You'll run across plenty of ruins down there. Eternal, Vaal, and... others. You'd know if you'd seen them. Bones everywhere. Walls of bones. Pillars. Piles and piles and piles. All different sizes. Child sized bones. The Vaal were bloody and merciless, but they were better than what came before. Went no deeper once I saw that. Wish I'd not gone that deep in the first place.
Can you hear 'em walking around down there? The Vaal, holed up in their ruins, still scrabbling at the walls and floors. Empire's been dead for thousands of years, but they ain't. Not dead enough for me, anyway. They're below us, but what's below them? I know... Can you hear them rattling their bones, exile? Beckoning us deeper and deeper, into their pit of bones? What's below the bones, exile? What's below the bones?
Eternal relics on Vaal ruins. Vaal ruins on a living graveyard. Down and down and down. Layers and layers. Years and years. Never stopped building up so we never stop digging down, eh? Only a matter of time until we're buried too, exile. What secrets will be buried with us? What secrets remain to be dug up? heeheehee... I know a secret, exile. Do you?
Piles of gold, eh? Ain't a goldmine, so sounds like you stumbled across an old shrine to Prospero. Any miner worth his rocksalt knows Prospero. Might've even tried to make a deal with him for riches or life. Prospero's followers think the two are more or less interchangeable. If you believe in that stuff, I've got a flying rhoa to sell you.
Thought most of the old cults died with the Eternal Empire, but it sounds like you found a shrine to Prospero. He was supposedly in charge of all things that came out of the earth. Miners left him tributes. Guess they were hoping Prospero would protect them from a cave-in. Or an explosion. Or toxic gases.
Have I mentioned how dangerous this job is?
A dirty deal made deep in the dirt. That's what the gold piles down there mean. A bargain with the God of Wealth and the Underworld, Prospero. That it remains there is proof that Prospero is no more. Or... maybe the offering was recent. Hope you left it undisturbed. Wouldn't want to tempt a god's wrath, would you? Eh?
Tried to make a trade with Prospero, they did. That's why you saw gold down there. Someone wanted to avoid a dark fate. Gave away all their wealth. But it's still there, so... the God of Wealth must be full-up. Or the god never existed. Bunch of myths and stories to scare children and sap money from the mad and stupid. I'm not stupid though, am I? No... Not stupid.
What good is gold to the dead? Can't spend if you can't move or breath. Can't line the pockets of your betters, can you? Prospero, God of the Shining Rocks! He'll keep you alive down there... for a price. That's what they say, anyway. That's what they keep saying. Keep telling me to give more. Give away my beauties. But what do I get for it? Can't prove I didn't die already, can they? Can't prove we're not all already dead! Until I'm dead, the rocks are mine.
Prospero can come and get them if he wants them so badly... Heheheheheh... Wonder what the blood of a god tastes like.
Einhar... Bloody Einhar won't leave me alone! "We are best friends yes? We will survive the bloody first ones yes?" No, Einhar, none of that is true and you're bloody crazy. And wash yourself once in a bloody while, will ya!
That Einhar keeps lugging skins and organs over to me, like they're bloody gifts. What am I supposed to do with half a hellion kidney, Einhar? Eh? I don't want it. No one wants it. No one wants you. Just stay in your little zoo!
You know, me and him have spent a little time together now, and I must say... I really don't like him. He smells and he talks too much. I told him to piss off and he laughed and slapped me on the back! I wasn't bloody joking.
Einhar's a bloody lunatic. But you know what? He's growing on me. I don't want to actively hit him in the face with a rock, so that's something. Weird thing is, when he's not around, I still hear his laugh. Or someone's laugh... Might be my laugh.
My beasty mate. What a guy. Heck of a shot. Loves a laugh. Rips animals apart and brings me all sorts of odd giblets. Can't believe I used to hate him! Dunno what changed if I'm honest, but since we're all stuck together, I ain't complaining.
I'm plenty familiar with her type. Sniffin' around for treasure but doing anything they can to make sure it's not their own nose that gets dirty. No thank you.
I know 'er, sure. Don't much care for her. She's the type of person that gets others to do the hard work. Rather just do my own work, thank you.
Seen her sniffin' around my mine... Reckon she was looking for some unguarded goods. Lucky for me I own nothing of value!
Oh yes... The time traveller. Says she can go back in time. Must mean she's from the future, eh? Yet when I asked her what I was gonna do next, she couldn't tell me. Very suspicious.
That girl... She's been eyeing my machine. I know she's after it. Greedy little--... She can't have it. Can't even touch it. She tries, and I'll bury her alive.
Somethin' about masks just put me on the defensive. Probably has something to do with my less-than-pleasant run-ins with the Templar. But she seems like an alright sort. Not exactly one to mess with, what with those bloody big blades of hers.
She's hiding her face, but her eyes tell you everything you need to know, don't they. Curious. A thinker. The type of person who looks you in the eye but sees every other movement too. Dangerous.
The thing about her is... she's so... normal. It's like she's trying to blend in so hard that she sticks out. Suspicious if you ask me... very, very suspicious. Not that I'd tell her that. I've seen what she can do with a knife.
Ooooh, she's up to something. Nobody with those darty little eyes and massive blades is completely innocent. Dunno what she's hidin', but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.
Nice girl, she is. Very nice indeed. Too nice. Whatever it is she's hiding with that little performance, its big, exile. Big and heavy. A boulder-sized secret that threatens to sink our nice little ship.
Zana's bright. Brighter than anyone else I can think of, actually, and since I live surrounded by literal darkness, I know a thing or two about bright. When I hit a wall with my own machinery, she's the one I talk to.
There aren't many people worthy of praise left in this world, but Zana is one of them. She outwitted the Templar, built a magnificent device, and hasn't tried to kill anyone in front of me yet. A rare gem indeed.
Clever and ambitious, that Zana. And with a kind heart! That's a particularly rare find in this day and age. Still... I can't shake the feeling there's something she's not telling me. Something... important.
Zana's hiding something. She's very clever, so it's not obvious, but I've seen her...fidgeting. And fretting. What is there to fret about? Something she hasn't told us, that's what. She's lucky I like her...
Shh. Don't want her hearing. I think she's found something she doesn't want the rest of us to know about. Know what I think it is?... That's right, exile... another mine. A secret load of Azurite. And she's keeping it all for herself. But her secret's safe with me! ...err... Us, I guess.
She's smart enough to know that the blackguards are bad news... Though she did join 'em in the first place. Well, we've all made bad decisions, eh? Couldn't have been easy deciding to leave 'em neither. They're not exactly the most forgiving lot.
Helena's a good egg. Her moral compass was a little bent, but Oriath'll do that to ya, as we both know all too well. Got a pretty good brain in her too. Not quite as knowledgeable as me about rocks, but who is, eh?
Been thinkin' that maybe I oughta keep an eye on that girl. She seems pretty desperate to stay hidden. Gotta ask yourself why... She says she's worried about blackguards, but who knows how true that really is, eh?
She says she's still on the run from the blackguards, but... how do we really know where her loyalties lie? Wish we could crack her head open and see what her brain's doing. She looks like a fighter though. Not really much of a fighter, myself. Just gonna keep an eye on her for now.
Helena... Clever, kind, polite... seems too good to be true, if you ask me. You ask me, I think it IS too good to be true. Reckon she's got some sinister plans... Oh, she hasn't done anything...untoward...yet, but why would she blow her cover like that, eh? No, she's biding her time. Well I'm biding mine too. Let's see who lasts longer. Let's just wait and see, eh?
Dunno how I feel about Navali. Seems to me like the power to see the future could make someone very prosperous, but she's keeping tight-lipped about anything that could help me! Seems pretty selfish, if you ask me.
I want to like Navali. I really do. But... did you know she's bloody undead?! I've seen what the undead can do, exile, and let me tell you, it's hard to trust someone who might eat your face at any moment.
Sometimes Navali looks over at me and just... frowns. Not an angry frown, more like... pity? I know she's seeing my future... Doesn't exactly fill me with hope. If my future's looking grim, I'd quite frankly rather not know.
How can Navali sit there, knowing what's going to happen to all of us, keeping those lips tightly sealed, eh? She knows exactly where and when each of us is going to die. That's creepy. And she won't bloody tell us? That's... evil.
She knows too much, exile. Too much! And there's nothing we can do about it! Can't kill her, since she's already bloody dead. Can't make her tell us what she knows, because even if we know, we can't bloody do a thing to change it. What's the point? What's the point in anything!?