Esther Bright is an NPC found in the Ark next to the Monolith Gate. She was the former Grand Protector before Leda Portia, who died during Earth's destruction. After retiring as Grand Protector, she followed her research of the Ruin and the Cultivator. Throughout the game, she is hinted to have connections to Asra Nox, the leader of the cultists. She has the ability to send messages through the Ancient Gate and acts as the main quest-giver of the game.
Relationship to Asra Nox
Esther found a little girl named Asra Nox, the sole survivor following the pillaging of a settlement by a group of raiders composed of Floran, Apex, and Avians. Knowing that Asra had nothing left, Esther decided to take her under her wing. Despite flourishing under Esther's care, what happened to her home never left Asra, leaving in her a deep hatred for alien races. After some time, Esther took Asra away from the Protectorate, presumably passing the torch of Grand Protector to Leda Portia, in order to pursue her research on the Ancients. Eventually, Esther's research took them to a remote star away from civilization, where she discovered ancient writings about "an archaic force of unspeakable might" bent on destroying all life - the Ruin. She decided to share this knowledge with Asra, in hopes of channeling her brilliance towards stopping the Ruin. Instead, the knowledge sparked Asra's deep-seated hatred for aliens, leading her to believe that the Ruin was a 'cleansing force' that would destroy all 'inferior life' in the universe, leaving only humans. Esther's attempts to rectify this misunderstanding only angered Asra, leading to Asra's departure from Esther and the creation of the Occasus Cult, a human-supremacist group hell-bent on the release of the Ruin and the primary antagonists of the main story.