Hugues: Have I been down here so long? Is the madness so great that I see the faces of the damned before me? Or--or is it really you? It is! By the Tome. Come closer. Let me look at you. It has been an eternity since I've seen a trusted face.
This is very true. Even finding me here must have been difficult. The Sons of Laz are vile things, but luckily not hard to outwit. Wait. Do you hear that? Someone is coming!
Man: Down you go.
Hugues: The last we spoke, it was the Tuatha that reduced my lab to cinders. Now it's assassins. Everywhere I go, destruction follows! I have grown so weary of it, my friend. All I ever wanted was to unlock death's secrets, to shed light on the shadows. I never wanted this! Thank you. For more than just your protection, for being the one good thing to come of this disaster. I have few friends, but I gladly count you among them.
I trust him with my life, which is why I've been trying to contact him since I fled Allestar, but to no avail. Where is he now that I need him most? Wait. Of course. He is the one I trust most, and the one who would benefit most from my death. I am a fool! Octienne is behind the assassins. And now that you and I are together, he will try to kill us both. Why did I not see this before? If he could repair the Well of Souls in Allestar, then he has no need of me. Not if he has Ventrinio.
Ventrinio Descilini. We used to work together, in this lab, on projects sponsored by Templar Octienne. But when we were tasked with creating the Well, Ventrinio sought to use any means at our disposal, regardless of the implications or consequences. Eventually, he was taken away, and I was sent to work at Allestar. But it seems he continued his work here. Long enough to create those monsters.
They are the animated dead. Early experiments in the field of immortality. They will forever haunt these cursed caverns. Ventrinio named them after a mythical figure who rose from the dead. he looked on them and saw potential. I see only abominations.
Not if you mean to enter Alabastra. Ventrinio's old research notes suggest that he knew a way in. I wonder, perhaps--it is possible that you have met Ventrinio already. Before you died. That would explain it. You were attuned to his Well, but raised from mine. You will need to confront Templar Octienne. He is the patron. If anyone knows Ventrinio's whereabouts, it will be him.
Octienne is a powerful sorcerer with tremendous influence. If you attacked him outright, you would lose all credibility. We must play his game. The only one capable of dealing with Octienne in Adessa will be another Templar. Luckily, we have one. Her name is Templar Jorielle, and she is reputed for her wisdom and strength of character. She and Octienne rarely see eye to eye on matters of policy.
Trust me. You will. If Octienne is brought to just, then he loses all protection. We would gain access to his information, including the whereabouts of Ventrinio. It is the only way to gain access to Alabastra and uncover what mysteries await you there. You will find Templar Jorielle in Adessa. We don't have much evidence, but if she detests Octienne as much as they say, she will be eager to help.
Oh, don't call it that. You're just having a talk with Octienne in the Library. In return for your discretion, he'll give us what we want. I know it's, unpleasant, but when you work with the Templars, you just start thinking this way. It helps you stay alive.