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The Ruins of Nhou Wat is a temple in Dragon Quest XI. Located in a valley roughly northeast of the city of Phnom Nonh, this ancient structure houses the great mural for which the city became famous.

Story

Little is known about the civilisation that flourished here. At a point in the distant past, a great mural was painted of a woman with a key around her neck, seated on a throne. For many years, the people would pray to it, believing that it would bring them good luck. Soon after they prayed, however, they would disappear, and the mural would change to reflect those who had prayed. In truth, a young girl named Dora was taking visitors there on the premise that she was separated from her parents. Not one person visiting has ever returned.

This would continue for tens and perhaps hundreds of years before one victim realised what was going on. He or she was able to inscribe a message in stone. The mural was in fact a gateway to a warped alternate dimension. There, the dark mage Mordegon sent a demon maiden with power over plant life to steal the souls of men who approached the mural. The thorny vines she controlled would draw men into herself, where she would absorb their colour, and with it, their lives. Dora-in-Grey, as she became known, continued to feed by projecting different personae toward her victims.

The Luminary and his party happened upon these ruins one fateful day, with Sylvando leading an effort to find Dora. They could only stand and watch as tourists hoping for good fortune prayed before the mural. Several hours later, all the tourists have vanished. Not long after, they find themselves on The Other Side, the twisted dimension created on the reverse of the canvas. As the tourists are being led to their doom, Dora taunts the heroes. They find a gash in the fabric left by a previous victim, and are able to escape. From there, our heroes attempt to explain what has been happening to the people of the city. It falls on deaf ears.

Returning to the ruins, the party notices that the tourists are now part of the fresco. As they venture back inside, Dora cuts off the escape route. As they wend their way through the convoluted maze, the party eventually reaches Dora, and confronts her.

In her death throes, Dora gives the party cryptic clues as to Mordegon's purpose. The magic key falls into the party’s hands, and a second tear in the dimensional fabric is revealed. Through this, everyone is able to escape and return to the real world.

With their previous livelihood destroyed, Phnom Nonh turns the blank mural into a scary tourist attraction.

Etymology

The temple’s name is a play on the question “now what?”

Trivia

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