Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Anime Let's Play Drakensang: the River of Time

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by abnaxus, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
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    Part 8: Cold Stone

    Show Spoiler

    Fayris comes with a brilliant suggestion: breaking up the team.

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    As soon as Fayris and Jaakon are gone the trap closes. Incendiary arrows come flying out of nowhere.

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    [​IMG] You should have thought more about the price you’ll pay for your actions ...

    Luckily for Angela flame bro stayed behind so the ambush is quickly repelled.

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    Two of the thugs drop incendiary arrows which will be useful later.

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    Angela now needs to choose whether to follow after Fayris or Jaakon… she chooses Fayris.

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    Inside the warehouse will be another ambush.

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    [​IMG] I know! Hold on, I’m at your side!

    After killing the first group of thugs another group will show up including a mage. Somehow Angela got poisoned here; one of the thugs must’ve been using a weapon balm.

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    In any case after defeating the ambush it is time to look for Jaakon.

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    [​IMG] Agreed. Which way?

    [​IMG] Through the back gate! Then out to the harbor. If we go to the other warehouse from there, we'll cut off their escape route to the river.

    In the next area it is easiest to sneak past the thugs. There’s only a patrolling mage to look out for.

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    Entering the other warehouse, a cutscene plays. There’s only one sinister looking mage inside the warehouse, however Jaakon comes storming in like a retart and attacks the mage.

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    The mage is pro, defending against Ignifaxus with Guardianum and oneshotting Jaakon with Culminatio. Of course, in the actual game all these spells take 3-4 combat rounds to cast.

    Not to mention Cuminatio damage is 1d20+5, p. sure Jaakon’s HP was >30. But anyway.

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    Seeing Jaakon die before her eyes, Fayris takes leave off her senses. Womyn gnna womyn.

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    Dude’s got a point, tbh.

    In any case, the mage leaves and drops a magical orb that constructs a golem out of the junk lying around. A boss fight looms.

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    To beat the “junk golem” Fayris summons a wolf to keep it busy and fires incendiary arrows. Angela throws stars and only attacks it directly when it’s at very low health.

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    Angela frees Gerlin while Fayris stands sobbing over Jaakon’s still warm corpse.

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    [​IMG] You shouldn't talk like that. It wasn't you who killed Jaakon, it was that heartless criminal.

    [​IMG] Even though I may not have known Jaakon very well, I deeply regret that we weren't able to save him.

    [​IMG] It is truly a hard loss to bear - he was still so young. No one should have to die like that. But we mustn't give up hope... especially not now!

    [​IMG] Is 'Coldstone' the name of the man whom we have to thank for all this? What part does he play in this matter?

    [​IMG] That's the big question I don't have an answer for... not right now, anyway. I don't know much about him. But I will remember his face... and his name. We’ve clashed before, during my youth.

    [​IMG] Clashed?

    [​IMG] Yes, it was a trivial matter during my service, an... irregularity. I can't even remember exactly what it was about. But I'll get to the bottom of it, even if I have to examine every document from my service days.

    [​IMG] How were you captured?

    [​IMG] Well... the actual reason I ended up being taken prisoner was a conversation behind a courtyard wall - and I was able to overhear by accident while on the way to our meeting point.

    [​IMG] What I heard was, "That fat swine is getting greedier by the day. He wants a bigger piece of the pie. He's almost worse than the Baron! Now the chest is supposed to go back to the stronghold. Seems it was brought here by mistake."

    [​IMG] When they stopped talking, I climbed over the wall to see what was in the chest. I was so eager to catch a glimpse of it that I didn't notice I wasn't alone on the other side of that wall. I felt a blow on the head and... woke up here.

    [​IMG] And? What was in the chest?

    [​IMG] I didn't get to that, more's the pity. But we still have the following clues: The initials SB were carved on the chest. I suspect that SB could be the Commandant of the Tollgate, Stitus Bloomfold.

    [​IMG] Stitus Bloomfold, interesting. What's the plan this time?

    [​IMG] Fayris. I want you to accompany our new lady friend here. If you see that she trusts someone, you trust that person too.

    [​IMG] Ah, speaking of which: I'm traveling with three well-heeled merchants who are also in search of the pirates. Something extremely precious has apparently been stolen from them.

    [​IMG] Yes, I know these gentlemen. You can tell them everything. You must go to the Tollgate and find out what the connection is between Commandant Bloomfold, the smugglers and the pirates.

    [​IMG] Agreed. Together we'll get to the bottom of this.

    [​IMG] Yes, we shall - It should be a laughably easy task for us to find out what that Toll Commandant is up to.

    [​IMG] Excellent! I'll journey to Ferdok to report on the night's events and what we've found out so far. And I will do everything in my power to find out all I can about Coldstone. May Phex be with you until we meet again!

    [​IMG] I hope you'll find some answers. Take care of yourself, Gerlin.

    Next, we’re back at the Nadoret marketplace. The new main task is to report to Ardo at the Leaping Stag.

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  2. IncendiaryDevicegender: ⚧ Arcane The Real Fanboy

    IncendiaryDevice
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    I remember choosing to save jaakon and the lady died. I don't think it matters too much either way as I never chose jaakon once all the other party options were available. It's an odd choice though, and quite unique, making one of your first really interesting quests end in a companion trade-off. It's a lot more impactful than that forced one in NWN2, that's for sure.
     
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  3. Make America Great Again ERYFKRADgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yeah at that point it's one or the other, though both are roughly interchangeable in terms of ability.
     
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  4. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
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    Part 9: Flowers and Bees

    Show Spoiler

    Next morning Angela and Fayris are back on the marketplace with a new main quest.

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    Let’s first chat with Fayris a bit though.

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    [​IMG] What do you think about the lay of the land?

    [​IMG] My opinion? Well, we should get to the bottom of the matter about the corrupt tollkeepers, while Gerlin tries to find something out about this Coldstone. I ... I miss Jaakon’s advice.

    [​IMG] Why don’t you tell me something about yourself.

    [​IMG] I come from a town called Thunderbrook. Elves and humans live together in complete harmony there. That’s why it was also completely normal for me to move among both populations. I learned archery and hunting from my father early.

    Thunderbrook is called Donnerbach in German and is located just north of Middenrealm south of the Salamander Stones mountains.

    [​IMG] Then I had an incisive experience. My father kept getting older, but I didn’t age because of my Elven blood. When he died, I became interested in exploring foreign lands.

    [​IMG] Yet beyond my native environment the people were full of suspicion and prejudices about my Elven orgins. They thought I would bewitch them with my magic.

    [​IMG] So I settled in a small woodland near the Kosh and earned my living with tracking game and as a guide over the mountain passes.

    [​IMG] That’s where I met Gerlin. After I accompanied him on a dangerous mission, he hired me often. I think he values my discretion.

    [​IMG] Can you tell me more about Gerlin?

    [​IMG] Please don’t be angry, but I can’t tell you any more about Gerlin than you already know. He’s sure to tell you everything himself at the right time. You know, everyone involved in this adventure has a secret or two.

    [​IMG] Is it something special to be a Halfelf?

    [​IMG] I have the virtues of both races in me. My mother’s magic and my father’s hardiness. Yet many humans and even Elves are full of prejudices.

    [​IMG] Are you an agent from the Imperial Garethian Intelligence Agency?

    [​IMG] The IGIA? What a strange question. If that were true, then I certainly wouldn’t be able to tell you. But believe me, I work for Gerlin and nothing more than that.

    [​IMG] What was the nature of your relationship with Jaakon?

    [​IMG] Jaakon and I were very close friends. He was a man of deeds and not of empty words. Always ready to do the right thing without hesitation. I miss him sorely.

    Angela also buys Fayris some fitting ranger pants because her bare legs are… distracting.

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    After last mission Angela has enough leveling points to learn a new melee skill. The melee trainer is Nimralph the guard captain located at the local barracks.

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    Nimralph has some useful information too.

    [​IMG] What can you tell me about the Town Guard?

    [​IMG] The Nadoret Town Guard is responsible for keeping the peace in and around Nadoret. They answer directly to the Baron Dajin and are commanded by a Captain... namely myself.

    [​IMG] Please tell me more, Captain.

    [​IMG] Well... it's no secret that Baron Dajin keeps the Town Guard on a very tight rein... so we only keep an eye on the gates and the toll house. And there is a night watch of course.

    [​IMG] But that isn't enough to handle all the problems in this town, of course... there is always some kind of trouble - but my hands are tied.

    [​IMG] What is there to tell about Baron Dajin of Nadoret?

    [​IMG] The Nadorets have been old Kosh nobility for generations. He was supposed to have received the title of Count of Ferdok five years ago from the Emperor himself... but some... unpleasantness happened before the ceremony could take place.

    [​IMG] Tell me more. What sort of unpleasantness?

    [​IMG] At that time, Dajin's sister Cella was the victim of a cowardly poisoner. He tracked down the culprits and executed them. After that, he saw betrayal everywhere. So, instead of giving Dajin the title...

    [​IMG] he made Growin - the young Dwarf fighter - the Count. The Baron never got over that. Now he's trying to make Nadoret grander and more powerful than Ferdok - and he disagrees with Growin wherever and whenever he can.

    [​IMG] I would say that the best way to find out what he's like is to go to the statue at the harbor and read the inscription on its base. Or you could follow him on one of his walks through the town.

    [​IMG] What do you know about the river pirates?

    [​IMG] Riffraff, cutthroats. They left the land for a life of piracy on the river. That's all!

    [​IMG] Interesting! Tell me more!

    [​IMG] The river guard and the crew of the Thûrstone Tollgate are responsible for fighting the pirates. And they report to Commandant Bloomfold. An insufferable man with no manners and no integrity!

    [​IMG] What can you tell me about the harbormaster?

    [​IMG] Oh, the harbormaster. I hope the gods...grrr... That man is corrupt and a real... But I shouldn't get so upset about it.

    [​IMG] Let is all out, Nimralph.

    [​IMG] 'Old Orbert', they call him. There's no villainy over the last few years that the walls of his quays haven’t borne witness to ... but he has a special relationship with Baron Dajin. For whatever reason...

    [​IMG] ... Corruption and protection! These are the evils by which a town can perish! And Orbert stands for both. Forgive me... I just can't stay calm when I think of that thug!

    At any rate, Angela came to Nimralph for training… she learns offensive combat and defensive combat.

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    There is also a little quest available here.

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    [​IMG] This lunatic has bred fireflies again, which are threatening the populace!

    [​IMG] Oh ... um ... that’s the beekeeper, isn’t it?

    [​IMG] Oh, no. Did you have to remind me? I had just forgotten about it, but now all the memories are flooding back! My poor, sweet little bees! Who are you bringing your honey to now, I wonder?

    [​IMG] Your 'sweet little bees' are mature fireflies.

    [​IMG] Nonsense! Everyone loves their nectar, but when they go on a quick trip to town, suddenly they're bloodthirsty fireflies. Sweet little bees is what they are ... only want to play. Buzz, buzz ...

    [​IMG] Play?! They’re dangerous monsters that could attack our farm animals or even our children at a moment’s notice!

    [​IMG] I can take care of the firefly plague!

    [​IMG] Do you really want to do that? That is excellent! You have to find the nests with the queens in them and slay them. Otherwise they'll multiply and we won't ever be able to get them back under control again.

    [​IMG] How many nests are we talking about here?

    [​IMG] If I paid close enough attention to his prattling, then there should be ten queens. They primarily nest in trees. If you bring me all ten stingers, there’ll be a reward waiting for you!

    [​IMG] I’ll buzz off then.

    Angela needs to go across the entire map; this is a good time for Fayris to bring her ranger skills to good use.

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    Btw Pagol is at the barracks too, but the dumbfuck doesn’t even recognize Angela.

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    Also around this time I discovered the trick behind successfully pickpocketing and bagged one of the emblems of the four winds.

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    I also discovered Olbin the huckster at the harbour had more delivery quests.

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    The miller is on the path of the firefly nests so might as well do it. Not to mention the bailiff at the south gate has one of the emblems.

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    Now out in the field, due to Fayris’ Survival skill there will be green dots everywhere. These correspond with plants. Different plants need different survival value to be located… iirc either 11 or 13 survival is necessary to locate every single plant in the game.

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    Conchinis, for instance, requires 8 survival to appear on the map.

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    Of course, to harvest the plant Plant lore is needed… there’s a wide range in difficulty to harvest different plants. At this point we’ll want to harvest as much Oneberry as possible to make Oneberry juice.

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    Similarly harvesting animal parts makes use of Animal lore.

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    To make the firefly queens appear, the nest must be destroyed first. Fayris’ double arrow skill is p. much the end of them immediately.

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    Note that small enemies like fireflies add a penalty to the ranged combat check, similarly to the ranged combat check to hit an opponent with a shield.

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    Killing this first firefly queen Fayris reaches exactly 1,000 adventure points making her level 3. She’ll now be able to summon a boar – the best summon until the brown bear.

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    Along the way Angela passes the miller to make the delivery for Olbin.

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    Interestingly, to the east of the mill is a bridge guarded by trolls… who won’t let the team pass.

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    [​IMG] But the road continues behind your tree.

    [​IMG] Yeah. Uhh ... hm....Road go on, yes... But... uhh ...

    [​IMG] ... road only for Troll! Is Troll road!

    [​IMG] Right! And you midget man, and midget man not Troll. So go you elsewhere.

    [​IMG] Hmm. Oh well, it looks as though I'll have to find another way. No harm done.

    Angela will have to find a way past them later I guess.

    To the east of the troll bridge is a big tree where an Elven trainer lives. He has some useful stuff to teach Fayris.

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    [​IMG] Who are you?

    [​IMG] Only one who wanders between the worlds of humans and Elves. I will be happy to instruct you in the arts of nature and archery.

    For Fayris we get here the spells Thunderbolt and Move as the Lightning. Move as the Lightning is not as OP as it is in Blackguards but still p. good if it is cast with a decent SP*.

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    Following the path of nests to the north interestingly Fayris comes across a mandrake. It might be useful to remember this plant’s location as it is a powerful alchemical ingredient.

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    Passing the mage tower, heading inside there is a familiar face…

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    [​IMG] What do you wish?

    [​IMG] Hang on a moment, I know you! Didn’t we go hunting for that Blood Wolf in the forest together?

    [​IMG] Of course, I remember. But I assume you’re not here because of that, am I right?

    [​IMG] I would love to know what you did with the wolf’s blood.

    [​IMG] I’m sorry, but I really can’t disclose that to you. But believe me: you wouldn’t be able to use that knowledge, anyway.

    [​IMG] Oh well, if you really don’t want to tell me ...

    [​IMG] Can I ask you a personal question?

    [​IMG] Yes, go right ahead. I have no objection.

    [​IMG] What exactly do you do as the Master’s apprentice?

    [​IMG] Don’t misunderstand me, but that is going a bit too far. I support Master Brookbeard in his research. That will have to do.

    [​IMG] Is Master Brookbeard always so busy? I wonder what he is actually studying.

    [​IMG] A lot of people wonder about that. I can only caution you against believing Deont Timron’s or the anxious villagers’ horror stories.

    [​IMG] Who inhabited this tower originally?

    [​IMG] I wouldn’t know what business it is of yours, but very well. Another magician used to live here at one time. He perished in the great flood of 284 before Hal.

    Brookbeard himself is in the upper floor of the tower, where interestingly there is also a telescope of sorts.

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    [​IMG] Oh, a visitor! I have very little time... what do you want?

    [​IMG] Did you come to get some advice from me?

    [​IMG] Yes, I'd like to be instructed in the art of magic.

    [​IMG] Hmm? Oh, yes! Fine. Only I am very busy at the moment, unfortunately. Actually, I'm always busy... but you can use the spellbook in my study. It contains everything you need to learn.

    Consulting the Codex Fayris can learn some new spells.

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    Fayris learns all Attributo spells and the debuff Plumbumbarm. The spells See True and Pure and Psychic Focus are not that useful for her.

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    South of the mage tower the final firefly queen is killed and Angela finally reaches level 3. Phex’s Favor miracle will now be upgraded.

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    The reward for the firefly quest is a rather paltry sum of money. But at least some new herbs and spells were garnered along the way.

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  5. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
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    Part 10: A new beginning

    Show Spoiler

    Obtaining the last two emblems, Angela returns to Odila in the Thieves’ Guild.

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    [​IMG] Impressive! You won the game. Nice work.

    [​IMG] Dilga will want to know about it. Go and show her the emblems, then you’ll get your reward.

    Odila will now also sell the finger blade, a useful item for pickpocketing.

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    Dilga will reward finishing the emblems quest with a new Phex miracle. This is also the last Phex miracle Angela can learn.

    The Better Offer is highly situational but powerful.

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    Now with all this wrapped up Angela returns to Ardo & C° to report recent events.

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    [​IMG] More than useful. A certain 'Gerlin' approached me. He's on a secret mission to track down the river pirates.

    [​IMG] Gerlin, you say? Never heard of him. What does he have to do with this? And who is this with you?

    [​IMG] My name is Fayris Lynxeye. I am with Gerlin - and in his name I would like to help you in your search for the pirates.

    [​IMG] Fayris Lynxeye. Hmm. That's all very well ...

    [​IMG] I think we can trust Gerlin. He suspected that a band of smugglers were taking goods from the pirate attacks from here further inland.

    [​IMG] That's right. Your lady friend helped me and my partner Jaakon Zagor explore the docks one night to try and find out about this contraband.

    [​IMG] Well, well. So we're supposed to trust these people ... hmm. Did you find anything suspicious? Were smugglers there?

    [​IMG] Were there! We were instantly ambushed several times. We had to rescue Gerlin, as he was being held by the smugglers and a magician called 'Coldstone'. Unfortunately one of Gerlin's men was killed in the attempt, whereas Coldstone was able to use his magic to escape.

    [​IMG] Hmm. What have we gained if he escaped? We still don't know where these pirates have their hideout. If this keeps up, we'll never... get the stolen merchandise back.

    [​IMG] Well. It's not at all certain whether the smugglers and this Coldstone have anything to do with the pirate attacks. Gerlin was, however, able to overhear a conversation that linked the commandant of the local Tollgate with the smugglers.

    [​IMG] The commandant of the Tollgate, you say? Hmm... Perhaps we should pay the gentleman a visit, what do you think, Ardo?

    [​IMG] Aye... I think we should see what's what there. What about you? Are you going with us?

    [​IMG] Of course I am! What did you think? Fayris, are you coming too?

    [​IMG] Gerlin wanted me to help you with your investigations, anyway, so I'll help you with this, too. I'm happy to go with you.

    [​IMG] Right, then it's settled. We'll meet at the docks.

    Joining Ardo’s company updates the new main quest.

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    Leaving the inn a cutscene starts showing the p. shitlordy ship Angela is going to travel in.

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    Delbrack immedialy has a task for Angela.

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    [​IMG] Greetings to you, Captain. When is the ship to set sail?

    [​IMG] That’s exactly where we have a problem: Captain Delbrack doesn’t have a crew at the moment. But it’s best to let him give you the details.

    [​IMG] Well, then, what should I say? There was ... well ... a little misunderstanding with my boys. Then the pack of them up and left in a huff, leaving me sitting here high and dry. We’re stuck here without a crew.

    [​IMG] And in no case can the situation stay that way. We need the Captain’s people back on board as soon as possible. I thought of you in that context. Can you attend to this matter?

    [​IMG] The crew is as good as back on board. I’ll get started on them right away.

    [​IMG] It's a deal! Then Captain Delbrack can explain the remaining details to you.

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    With her social skills, Angela should be able to keep most of this money.

    [​IMG] That's all well and good. But I don’t know where to start looking. Do you have any idea where the men could be now?

    [​IMG] Let me think ... well, if I know Yallik, you’ll probably find him making bets at an illegal prize fight. I guess it has to do with the fact that he used to be a bare-knuckle fighter himself.

    [​IMG] Four-Finger Salm takes care of all the metal and woodworking tasks on board the ship. I'll eat my hat if he isn’t at the blacksmith's, keeping the man from his work with his shop talk.

    [​IMG] Our Dumb Dan, well ... presumably he's at the local watering hole hoisting a brew. At least that’s what he usually does when he’s on shore. I still don’t understand why he went along with the mutiny, too – he always did his work without complaining.

    [​IMG] Many thanks. That will help me to find your men. I’ll come back when I find out something.

    [​IMG] Just a minute, there’s one more thing. Take advantage of your time in town and prepare for the journey. Who knows when we’ll have another opportunity to do that.

    [​IMG] I’ll go get ready, I already have a couple of merchants in mind. See you later.

    Around this time Angela also discovered that Olbin the huckster has more delivery quests. Might as well do these too.

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    At Marcusi’s Angela also buys the leather gloves which will help Fayris’ bowyery.

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    For herself Angela buys the alchemist gloves from Auralia.

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    Anyway, Dumb Dan is at the Leaping Stag doing dumb things.

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    [​IMG] I’m not here to cause trouble. On the contrary, I’m here to help you. Captain Delbrack sent me.

    [​IMG] Delbrack?! That cut-throat is the reason I’m having all this trouble!

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    [​IMG] Alright then. Why were they calling you a bill-dodger?

    [​IMG] Because the people are resentful liars! Delbrack already owes me several weeks' pay and still hasn't paid! I wanted to put it on my tab, nothing more! I always pay my debts!

    Angela can use Haggle here but unfortunately cannot keep all the ducats.

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    [​IMG] Fine. Here are 2 ducats. Pay your tab and then report to the ship. The Captain awaits you with the rest of your pay.

    [​IMG] Hhm. Thank you. I’ll be there.

    Leaving the inn, Greyhair will pop up.

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    [​IMG] I’m busy at the moment. Out of the way ...

    [​IMG] Psst! Gerlin sent me, I have a message for you!

    [​IMG] Aha! A message. From Gerlin. How can I tell it’s really from him?

    [​IMG] Because I can confirm it. Old Greyhair is Gerlin’s contact here in Nadoret. We had strict instructions to keep it secret - unless he contacted us. We can trust him.

    [​IMG] Psst… exactly.

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    Next of Delbrack’s missing crew, Silvertooth Yallik, is near the arena in Nadoret’s undercroft.

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    [​IMG] Today has been more exciting than it's been in a long time!

    [​IMG] You are so right. It’s quite a spectacle!

    [​IMG] Heh heh! I should say so!

    [​IMG] You should know that I used to fight myself. That’s how I got my nickname.

    [​IMG] Let me guess: Silvertooth?

    [​IMG] By all the Twelfgods, you know my name?! I guess you must have seen a fight or two of mine in the past?

    [​IMG] Actually, no. Captain Delbrack told me your nickname. He sent me to find you.

    [​IMG] Delbrack?! Oh, spare me the guy who sugarcoats everything! He kept stalling, stringing me along, and now what? He still owes me my full wages.

    [​IMG] If my run of luck stays with me, then I'll never have to slave away on an old tub again. I’m just not sure who I should bet on next.

    [​IMG] Maybe you have an idea. Who should I bet on: the Wild Boar or Stonenoggin? They both seem to be pretty good.

    This betting bullcrap is of no interest to Angela. Just use social skills.


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    [​IMG] Then I have some good news for you. A rich merchant has commissioned the ship to transport his wares. Gold shouldn’t be a problem this time.

    [​IMG] And what’s with the wages? Will he cough the money up after all?

    Again Angela can keep half the money with a successful Haggle check.

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    [​IMG] Here is your money. Now off to the ship! The Captain will be waiting!

    [​IMG] I’ll be off right away.

    The third and last of Delbrack’s crew is bothering the local smith near the south gate of Nadoret.

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    [​IMG] All I see is a shameless know-it-all who is keeping me from my work and putting off my customers.

    [​IMG] Stuff and nonsense! You can only put off the people if you don’t work properly. If I held the hammer like you, then the work would only take longer.

    [​IMG] What are you doing? You can’t hold a hammer like that!

    [​IMG] I don’t know enough about these things to give you a qualified answer.

    [​IMG] And I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so yet. Captain Delbrack sent me. He has asked me to find his crewmen. You are one of them, aren’t you?

    [​IMG] Was one of them. Has that scoundrel finally noticed that his tub doesn’t stay ship-shape by itself? But ... I’m not going to lift a finger for him anymore!

    It’s easiest to use Seduce on the know-it-all.

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    [​IMG] I hope you understand that a craftsman of my stature still can't do without wages in spite of everything. Perhaps you could put in a good word for me to the captain.

    A Haggle check later and Delbrack’s crew is complete again.

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    [​IMG] Here. Your ducat. Now off to the ship! Captain Delbrack is waiting for you.

    [​IMG] I’m already on my way!

    [​IMG] It’s about time! I can finally work in peace again.

    [​IMG] Heh heh. If you call that work…

    [​IMG] Make yourself scarce, Salm! Otherwise I may lose it in the end, after all.

    Whilst we’re at the smith’s, might as well buy some recipes for future use.

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    Angela first finishes the rest of Olbin’s deliveries before returning to Delbrack. She’s sent all across the map again but at least there’s fast travel. At the end she receives a tidy sum.

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    The very last of Olbin’s deliveries takes Angela to the hamlet north of Nadoret where there are some cute animals around…

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    The final reward for some simple legwork is a decent sum of money.

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    It is now time to return to the ship and finally set off.

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    [​IMG] But ... just between you and me: How did you get those guys to come back to me?

    [​IMG] Well now, you’d really like to know that, wouldn’t you? But it’s going to remain my secret.

    [​IMG] I get it, you want to keep your tricks to yourself. Hey, I can’t hold it against you. I probably would never have managed it.

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    [​IMG] No trouble at all. The main thing is that we’ll finally reach the Tollgate and can get to the bottom of this matter at last.

    [​IMG] Well said! We should land there as soon as possible. Just give Captain Delbrack the word as soon as you’re ready.

    Stepping on board Angela just needs to notify the captain. However there’s the matter of Brother Emmeran…

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    [​IMG] I’m ready. We can leave now.

    [​IMG] Are you sure? I don’t think we’ll come back to Nadoret again any time soon.

    [​IMG] I’m sure, Captain. I have everything I need.

    [​IMG] Very well. Alright lads, clear the decks to shove off!

    [​IMG] Captain, do you actually know the Isle of Forgetting? A man called Brother Emmeran invited me to go visit him there.

    [​IMG] Wait a minute: The Voice of the Riverfather invited you to his island? How did that come about?

    [​IMG] He approached me when I arrived in Nadoret and called me ‘Protector of Hope and Power' and 'Center of the Fabric of Life'.

    [​IMG] Really? Well, if that’s how it is, we should set off for the island immediately.

    [​IMG] Upon my soul, now the fuss about the Riverfather is starting up again, Salm, instead of coughing up our silver.

    [​IMG] Uh ... with all due respect ... we want to get to the Tollgate urgently.

    [​IMG] My Thalaria hasn’t been spared pirate attacks without a reason. To put the Riverfather’s blessing at risk now would be more than foolish.

    [​IMG] Hm, if going to this island doesn’t involve a long detour, then it’s fine with me, Captain.

    [​IMG] According to my map we’ll be sailing past there in any case.

    [​IMG] Good. Maybe this Emmeran can even be helpful ... in regard to our search for the pirates. Let’s be off, Captain.

    [​IMG] Hoist the sails and cast off, men! We’re heading downriver.

    So first stop: the Isle of Forgetting.

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  6. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 11: Isle of Forgetting

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Emmeran welcomes the Thalaria upon arrival.

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    [​IMG] You have come, just as I asked. I am pleased to see you again.

    [​IMG] Greetings. I am also pleased to see you again.

    [​IMG] And as I see, you are not alone.

    [​IMG] Yes, this is Ardo with his companions Forgrimm and Cano. I'm sure you already know Captain Delbrack and his crew.

    [​IMG] It is an honor to meet you, Brother Emmeran. After hearing of you, we all wished to meet you ourselves.

    [​IMG] Then I'm glad to answer that wish. Please, come down from your ship. I would like to tell you a little about this place.

    [​IMG] Forgrimm, Cano, you stay on board and watch the ship. I don't want you causing any trouble here.

    [​IMG] But Ardo, I…

    [​IMG] No arguments!

    All there is to do here for Angela is follow Emmeran on his little tour and listen to his story.

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    The tour ends in front of the temple. Now Angela can have a personal conversation with Emmeran.

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    [​IMG] You mentioned my destiny when we met in Nadoret... Is that why you wanted me to find you?

    [​IMG] Yes, the Riverfather revealed your face to me in a vision... You will play a role in the fate of the river, that is certain. Give me your hand...

    [​IMG] Yes... the image is becoming clearer. A dark cave filled with putrid water... Tentacles that search for you in the dark... beware the death that lurks beneath your feet...

    [​IMG] What are you talking about? What do you mean?

    [​IMG] Forgive me, I can tell you no more. In the end it is your deeds that will determine your fate. I will follow your progress and speak with the Riverfather.

    [​IMG] But heed my warning: Take care at the Tollgate. This fortress is a place of suffering and fear. Do not be deceived by appearances to the contrary.

    [​IMG] Wait, what makes you think we want to go there?

    [​IMG] It is your destiny. You may set your own course on the waters of the Great River, Ardo. But the river of time has a will of its own. When you have found it, bring it to me...

    [​IMG] It? What do you mean?

    [​IMG] You will know when the time comes. But enough of that, my friends. Your tasks are preordained. Only you can decide how you face them.

    [​IMG] Well... so be it. Since you mention our tasks... I had best return to the ship. We must prepare to continue our journey.

    [​IMG] Join us when you are finished here. We will cast off soon.

    [​IMG] It was an honor to meet you, Brother Emmeran.

    [​IMG] I thank you. It was good to have guests again. Visit me again whenever you wish. Until then, go with the blessing of the Riverfather.

    Emmeran is also a merchant, selling some interesting equipment. For now Angela just buys carapace shoulder plates.

    After this short stop Angela can continue traveling to the Tollgate without interruptions.

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    [​IMG] What do you know about Brother Emmeran?

    [​IMG] Well, he has been known among the river boatmen for a long time. They pay their respects to him and give him gifts out of reverence for the Riverfather ... but many ask themselves if he really is the Voice of the Riverfather.

    [​IMG] Who does your ship owe its name to?

    [​IMG] My father had it built. Because of his love of stories and his reverence for the Riverfather he named his ship after the sprite Thalaria, who lived in the meadows along the Great River.

    [​IMG] She enchanted the Riverfather himself with her golden hair. My father was wise to give the ship her countenance, and for this the Thalaria has always been spared the wrath of the Riverfather.

    [​IMG] How did you get your crew?

    [​IMG] Haha! Let me just say this much, that I pulled Salm out of the river, Yallik out of a hole and Dumb Dan out of a nest.

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    [​IMG] But now we should take a closer look at this Tollgate. Or is there something else keeping us here?

    [​IMG] We can set sail right away, as far as I’m concerned.

    [​IMG] That’s how I see it, too, Captain. Take us to the Tollgate!

    [​IMG] Get ready to cast off! Set course for Elvenhus! We’ll make a stop at Thûrstone.

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  7. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 12: Tollgate

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Arriving at the Tollgate, chains are pulled up immediately. This doesn’t seem regular.

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    Two rude tollkeepers show up who look more like thugs than anything else.

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    While Ardo keeps the tollkeepers busy Forgrimm and Cano head off on their own.

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    Angela and Fayris are left on their own.

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    [​IMG] You're right, let's go together and see what we can find out.

    [​IMG] Agreed. Before we look around the fortress, maybe we should try to find out more about what's going on here. I have a bad feeling about this place...

    Ardo keeps the tollkeepers busy as long as necessary.

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    Aside from the Thalaria there’s another impounded merchant ship around.

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    [​IMG] Who are you?

    [​IMG] My name is Sarastro Castellani, a merchant from Kuslik. Forgive my anger. But this stupid tollkeeper here is driving me crazy!

    [​IMG] Weell, I'm sure I won't get away from this place too quickly. Can I do anything else for you?

    [​IMG] What kind of problems do you have with the tollkeepers?

    [​IMG] They won't let me leave! I had to give them my entire goods list and stay until they checked it. Something about this place isn't quite right!

    [​IMG] Something isn't quite right? What do you mean?

    [​IMG] It used to be much better here! A chat and a little gift for the guards was enough and I could pass. Now they look through the lists like a Praiot studies his prayer book!

    [​IMG] Do you have anything for sale?

    [​IMG] All kinds, I promise you! But I can't trade here without trouble from the Head Tollkeeper. An extremely unpleasant man. I'm sorry.

    Near the inn is a rather conspicuously shady looking man.

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    [​IMG] I am traveling on the Thalaria.

    [​IMG] Ah yes, the Thalaria ... that's the ship of Captain ... what's his name again?

    [​IMG] Why do you want to know?

    [​IMG] Oh, is it a secret? But it's probably that old Delbrack you're traveling with, right? Everyone along this river knows him.

    [​IMG] But you're not from round here, are you? What brings you here? You trading?

    [​IMG] You're rather curious, aren't you? Why don't you tell me something about yourself?

    [​IMG] Oh, there's not much to tell. But if you like, what can I do for you?

    [​IMG] Do you know anything about the pirates?

    [​IMG] Yes, I hear there've been a few attacks recently. But that always happens from time to time. I'm sure they'll soon have the situation under control again.

    [​IMG] Have a cure. I’m sure that man knows more than he’s letting on.

    The local innkeeper offers a sidequest.

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    [​IMG] What’s that funny chest behind you?

    [​IMG] It belonged to Gero, my husband. I'm just clearing all his stuff out of my house.

    [​IMG] What happened with Gero?

    [​IMG] He left, the good-for-nothing. There was some Thorwalian hussy in the bar. He couldn't take his eyes off her. I wasn't paying attention because a bunch of guards had just come in, but suddenly they were both gone.

    [​IMG] She was huge. Arms like tree stumps. She's probably already broken him like a twig... he was such an idiot!

    [​IMG] What’s in the chest?

    [​IMG] Just Gero’s stuff. No idea.

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] Come on, I'm sure you know a bit more than that. He was your husband, after all.

    [​IMG] Yes, but it won't be anything important. Gero was a good-for-nothing! Although he watched it like a hawk... except when he was looking at other women!

    [​IMG] Makes no difference now. I can't get the stupid thing open, anyway.

    [​IMG] Is there a key for the chest?

    [​IMG] Key? Ha! Not Gero! He was always so secretive with his things, that poser. He used to be a smuggler, you know...

    [​IMG] That's when he got his wooden leg. And he used it to lock the chest! So ridiculous! And now he's gone with his leg, and the chest is here. He probably just did it to annoy me...

    [​IMG] We could try to find Gero for you.

    [​IMG] Oh yes, if you do find something out, let me know. Just keep an eye out for a good-for-nothing with a wooden leg.

    [​IMG] What can you tell me about the Thûrstone Tollgate?

    [​IMG] It used to be such a quiet little place. That's why me and my husband settled here. But then this Bloomfold became commandant. If one of the guards has his eye on you, you'd better watch out.

    On the way to the gate of the fortress is another womyn in need of assistance.

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    [​IMG] What's wrong? Why are you crying?

    [​IMG] They arrested my betrothed and took him to the fortress, for no reason at all! The guards won't let me in and no one will tell me where he is. Please, help me!

    [​IMG] Maybe I can help you. I'll keep an eye out for him when I'm in the fortress.

    [​IMG] Really? May Travia bless you! My betrothed is called Felian. Please bring me news of him.

    [​IMG] Don't worry. If he's in the fortress, I'll find him!

    [​IMG] Oh, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please come back quickly! Oh ... and be careful.

    For now, let's see what Forgrimm and Cano are up to.
     
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  8. Raghargender: ⚧ Arcane

    Raghar
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Parrots:
    9,176
    Is it THAT part? Well, you have a choice.
     
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  9. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 13: Brian over brawn

    Show Spoiler

    In front of the fortress gate Cano and Forgrimm will be quarreling again. The game autosaves because there is an important choice ahead.

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    [​IMG] Save your sneaking around for your thieving jobs! I'm doing this my way! The honest way! You just make sure you stay out of my way!

    [​IMG] Why are you arguing? Ardo wants us to work together.

    [​IMG] Shorty here wants to just knock on the main gate. If I know him, we'll soon have the whole garrison on our backs. I'm sure, there must be a less conspicuous way.

    [​IMG] Shorty?! One more word, and I'll make sure you can never sneak again! I'm doing this the honorable way! If they don't play along, that's their hard luck!

    [​IMG] Tell me again, exactly what you intend to do, Forgrimm.

    [​IMG] Right! I'll go in and ask these scoundrels a few questions. If they refuse to answer, I'll give them a few solid reasons to start talking. It's a tried and tested method and it saves time.

    [​IMG] Lord of the Night preserve me! That's more Dwarven wisdom than I ever wanted to hear! I'm sure you're very impressed by such a cunning plan.

    Obv. for Angela the Phex way is the best.

    [​IMG] You're right, Cano. It is cleverer to be careful.

    [​IMG] Ah, both beauty and intelligence. I am honored by your trust. Just stay behind me and do as I say.

    [​IMG] Pah! Go and creep through the weeds together then! I have work to do!

    Forgrimm enters the castle directly and causes a huge ruckus. Cano heads down the ditch and finds a way in.

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    [​IMG] Phew, urgh... I must admit, it smells pretty bad... well, er... sometimes you have to take unusual choices to maintain discretion. Please, after you!

    [​IMG] You and Forgrimm don't seem to get on. Why are you traveling together?

    [​IMG] Oh, well Forgrimm and I... sorry, but I don't think this is the time to talk about that. Maybe later.

    [​IMG] Alright, let’s go.

    Inside is basically a huge stinking sewer.

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    [​IMG] Not a bad start, though. Let's keep going.

    [​IMG] I agree. Right, let us boldly... by Phex, it stinks even worse than I thought in here!

    [​IMG] Let's just get this behind us. The sooner we're out of here, the better.

    [​IMG] Yes, I'd rather this place smelled like wild flowers too. But at least this stench means we're less likely to bump into anybody else down here.

    [​IMG] Is that how you think, thief? You follow the stink to hide yourself? A really dirty business, your profession.

    [​IMG] As long as we're safe from the guards, I'm happy. What should we do next, Cano?

    [​IMG] We should move as quietly as possible. Even in a place like this, you can never be sure that you're alone. But I'm sure you already know that, since you follow the way of the Fox yourself.

    Now Cano becomes a party member, he’s a Phex deont with corresponding miracles just as Angela, but he’s a thief rather than a rogue meaning his stat and skill distribution is a bit different.

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    He has his own épée and starts with the Precision strike skill which is useful since it causes wounds.

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    In any case, moving further ahead in the sewer a cutscene starts. Stitus Bloomfold himself appears.

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    [​IMG] That fat man there must have been Stitus Bloomfold, the fortress commandant. He matches Gerlin's description precisely. Except that 'fat slug' sounds a little too harmless...

    [​IMG] Unfortunately, they're expecting us. People even seem to know why we're here. It seems someone was a little clumsy with their 'secret inquiries'...

    [​IMG] Anyway, we should definitely avoid running into that Ontho. Maybe we can distract him and his dog somehow.

    [​IMG] If we can get them both out of the room with the stairs, then we should be able to get into the fortress unseen. We just need to find some way of attracting their attention...

    [​IMG] Makes sense. Let’s take a look around here.

    Sneaking past Ontho isn’t too easy but doable. The trick is to disarm his rat traps and while he’s occupied fixing them the group can sneak past (provided their Sneak skill is high enough).

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    Of course Ontho’s dog is still around… the trick to get rid of the dog is to break a barrier that will let rats in. When Ontho calls his dog the road to the exit is clear.

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    By now Forgrimm will have entered the castle and begun wrecking shit. This provides some more distraction that Angela’s group can make good use of.

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    [​IMG] Then let's take the opportunity while the guards are distracted. What do you think?

    [​IMG] I completely agree. It looks like we'll have to cross the room behind this door. Unfortunately one of those fellows is still in there.

    [​IMG] Well, it shouldn't be too much of a problem to deal with him...

    [​IMG] And what if he raises the alarm first? Believe me, a soft step and a bit of skill are always better than violence. And it's not exactly heroic to murder a cook, is it?

    [​IMG] And if he does see us, perhaps we can persuade him one way or another to keep quiet, at least for a while. What do you think?

    [​IMG] Good, let's not waste time. Let's go!

    [​IMG] Good, Phex be with us. Remember: Quiet and carefully does it...

    The task is to sneak up to the cook and pickpocket the key… the sneaking is easy but pickpocketing can be tricky.

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    Next to the cook is a locked and trapped chest that contains a great item: spectacles of perception.

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    After looting the rest of the room (all the while sneaking) Angela uses the pickpocketed key to get out.

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    In the next area, Forgrimm will now be running around the courtyard like a retart while a ballista and six archers are continuously shooting him… and missing all the time. Quite humorous.

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    [​IMG] The guards were helpful enough to leave the ballista right under the portcullis. If they don't notice us we can give them a little surprise.

    [​IMG] Good. But we will have to take out the archers on the way there. Forgrimm won't be able to dodge arrows forever.

    [​IMG] Well, I'm almost inclined to let him deal with the fruits of his stupidity alone, but you're right. Let's try to creep up on those fellows and put them to sleep one by one.

    [​IMG] Right, let’s get them.

    [​IMG] Soon all they'll see is stars. But we need to hit them while they're distracted.

    It’s easy enough to sneak behind the archers and take them out. But some care needs to be taken since they’ll run out of arrows and turn around to restock.

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    When all archers are down Cano brings down the portcullis, destroying the ballista and saving Forgrimm’s ass. Cano now also reveals some information about what had happened before they met Angela.

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    [​IMG] Well, if he hadn't distracted the guards, things would have been a lot more difficult for us. Why do you have such a problem with him?

    [​IMG] Sure, he's hard as nails. But he's also just as stubborn. He doesn't have too much respect for the ways of the Fox God. Also, our first acquaintance was... er... rather unfortunate.

    [​IMG] He and Ardo surprised me as I was performing a Phex-pleasing task. To smooth things out, I promised to help them look for a thief named Mora.

    [​IMG] Thanks be to the Cunning One, in Ferdok I managed to discover that she's with the pirates. That's why we're looking for them. But enough of that. We need to keep moving.

    Angela’s group now reunited with Forgrimm… and confronts Tashman, the head tollkeeper.

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    [​IMG] You better worry about me, lackey! I want some answers from you, quickly! Speak! My ax is impatient!

    [​IMG] I strongly suggest you cooperate, Head Tollkeeper. Things rarely end well when he starts talking about his weapon.

    [​IMG] Alright, alright... stay calm! ... Maybe we can cut you in. The pirates can be very generous, if...

    [​IMG] The pirates? You're working with the pirates?

    [​IMG] So the smuggled goods must be from the pirates. This conspiracy is bigger than we thought.

    [​IMG] You... you didn't know? By all the Gods and Demons! You come here, kill nearly all my men... and you didn't know about the pirates?

    [​IMG] We had a vague suspicion. But we were obviously on the right track.

    [​IMG] Now I understand... you're not in another gang... you don't want to make a deal... this is about something else...

    There’s now an option to have Tashman’s men run off so that he alone remains.

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    [​IMG] What do you think? There's no going back now! It's us or them! Attack!

    [​IMG] You seem a little slow on the uptake, Human! All of you drop your weapons, or I'll crush you flatter than that little toy beneath the gate!

    [​IMG] Never! Men, finish them!

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] Lay down your arms and go home, men! Leave this madman to his fate.

    [​IMG] Do you really want to make the Commandant angry? I said: Attack !

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    [​IMG] You'll regret this! You know what happens to deserters here!

    [​IMG] Now... now everything's ruined! Why did you have to poke your noses in? Arrrgh!

    Tashman goes berserk but on his own he does not pose any threat.

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    [​IMG] What a pointless death! He must have feared somebody more than us.

    [​IMG] Ah, finally you skulkers turn up? I thought I'd have to do everything here.

    [​IMG] Sounds like you were enjoying all that ducking and diving, Shorty! So sorry if we're interrupting.

    [​IMG] Pah! I could have dealt with that ridiculous plaything myself. You just made things a little quicker.

    [​IMG] We're bound to have better chances if we work together, don't you think?

    [​IMG] I must admit it can sometimes be quite useful to have a skulker watching your back. As long as you don't get in my way, I think we can work together.

    [​IMG] That was almost praise wasn't it, Forgrimm? And don't worry: If you still want to get your head caved in, I won't stop you.

    [​IMG] Alright, let’s go.

    Forgrimm is now a party member; he’s a powerful little guy with a p. cool axe. Aside from Blacksmith, Willpower and Dwarfnose he needs no other skills.

    Dwarfnose is a skill unique to Dwarfs that can reveal hidden rooms and passageways.

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    Forgrimm comes with the Knockdown and Mighty Blow skills. Following up a Knockdown with Mighty Blow is a powerful combo. Eventually we’ll want him to learn the Hammer Strike which is a Knockdown and Mighty Blow in one move.

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    On Tashman’s corpse is a cargo manifest that interestingly mentions both the Star of Ferdok and the Thalaria.

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    With key in hand, Angela can now enter the main tower of the fortress.

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  10. drexciyagender: ⚧ Augur

    drexciya
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    174
    Location:
    Netherlands
    The other option; going with Forgrim, is quite amusing. They really fleshed out the different options well.
     
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  11. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 14: Dark Tentacles

    Show Spoiler

    Inside the tower there’ll be more quarreling but this time at least there are no more separations.

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    Again Angela chooses the cautious route here.

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    [​IMG] Bah, I'll follow along just to keep an eye on you. Let's go!

    The stairs down from the entrance hall lead to the jail. The jailer first sets his hounds on the group then locks himself up.

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    [​IMG] Ha! You won't get me so easily! Not me!

    [​IMG] Count on it, scoundrel! You won't get away from us!

    [​IMG] What are you going to do then, huh? I'm locked up safe and sound in here! And that's how I'm staying!

    [​IMG] Well in that case, we've got you too. Maybe we should calm down and talk about this.

    [​IMG] Pah! You'll learn nothing from me!

    [​IMG] Why did you run from us?

    [​IMG] Are you joking? I know what you did in the courtyard! You're not doing the same to me!

    [​IMG] How do I open the door that leads to the top of the fortress?

    [​IMG] Haha, not at all! You need the dungeon key for that!

    [​IMG] And where can I find that?

    [​IMG] Well, the Commandant has one... and I have one! And you can bet I'm not giving it to you!

    [​IMG] Give me the key!

    [​IMG] Ha! Yeah right! The key opens all the cell doors! I think I'll hold on to it!

    The jailer must be coerced into giving up the key; conveniently his cell is surrounded by cells containing boars, wolves and bears. However, the bear is asleep.

    The trick is to let the boars and wolves into the jailer’s cell. They will fight which will wake up and anger the bear.

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    After the jailer’s out he will give up the key.

    [​IMG] What's... what are you doing?! The bear's angry! Help! Let me out of here! I'll give you the key!

    [​IMG] Phew, thank Tsa! I thought I was bound for Boron's halls! Oh... here's the key.

    [​IMG] Err... you're not going to hurt me, are you?

    [​IMG] Tell me what happened to the prisoners.

    [​IMG] They... they're all dead! Bloomfold! He had them all killed.

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] That's not the whole story, is it? How did the prisoners die?

    [​IMG] I... I've already said too much. Please, I've done nothing to you! Let me go!

    [​IMG] Why are all these animals in the dungeon?

    [​IMG] The Fortress Commandant... he has a penchant for... all kinds of animals. And the larger animals need food...

    Interestingly enough there’s an attribute check here.

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    [​IMG] You're right. Why don't we lock this good fellow into one of the empty cells? He looks like he needs some peace and quiet.

    [​IMG] Good idea. Let’s lock him up.

    [​IMG] What? There’s no need for that.

    [​IMG] What's wrong, Xomasho? A moment ago you were so happy to be in a cell, haha!

    [​IMG] You'll just have to wait and see. See you later... maybe.

    In any case the group can now move on to the upper levels.

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    Only two more guards now stand behind Angela and Bloomfold.

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    [​IMG] Stay calm. There's no need for more bloodshed. We just want to talk to your commandant.

    [​IMG] Hear that, Metzel? They just want to talk! Very impressive, don't you think?

    [​IMG] ……………………………..

    [​IMG] Listen, we would rather avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Just let us pass.

    [​IMG] Hard to believe Tashman's people couldn't handle you. But they were just fodder. Now you'll get a real fight!

    Despite the braggadocio the body guards last about ten seconds.

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    Now finally fatass Commander can be confronted.

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    [​IMG] Spare us the pleasantries, you villain! We know what you're up to! You're in league with the pirates!

    [​IMG] Oh, so you discovered that already. Truly impressive. Did Tashman talk before you did away with him?

    [​IMG] You seem to find the death of your underlings amusing. Are you really so unscrupulous?

    [​IMG] Pah! I'm a practical man, I don't cry over spilt milk. But if you care so much, perhaps you shouldn't have killed them, hmm?

    [​IMG] Tashman said you had been warned about us. Who told you about us?

    [​IMG] Oh, wouldn't you like to know? Did you really think your snooping would go unnoticed? How simple-minded of you! It's incredible, you got this far...

    [​IMG] Let's get to the point! What kind of deal do you have with the pirates?

    [​IMG] A lucrative arrangement. We give them information, and they always drop off a little package here or there. They'll be raiding an Elf village soon. I wonder what they'll bring me?

    [​IMG] They say the most peculiar things about female Elves... maybe I'll find out the truth for myself soon, hehehe.

    Shitlord Bloomfold actually manages in triggering Fayris.

    [​IMG] I'll show you how an Elven woman behaves, Feygra! That'll answer your questions forever!

    [​IMG] Well, I think our little discussion is drawing to a close. I'm a very busy man, and you're beginning to bore me...

    [​IMG] Well I have more than enough time. First tell us where we can find that Elf village!

    [​IMG] Oh it makes no difference... there are plenty of others who will get the treasures there for me... and now, I'm afraid your questions really have become far too dull.

    [​IMG] Fine, since you're so impatient to be clapped in irons. Just tell us where the pirates are.

    [​IMG] Yes, where are those scoundrels hiding? I'm getting sick of trawling up and down this river looking for them!

    [​IMG] And what about Mora? Is she also with the pirates?

    [​IMG] Mora? Hm, interesting that you ask that... my river pirate friends have mentioned that name a few times. They sounded quite agitated...

    [​IMG] If she's so important, then maybe she's still alive. That would be important to you, wouldn't it? Such a pity you'll never find out.

    [​IMG] You are defeated, fool. Surrender and we will be merciful.

    [​IMG] That's right! One more arrogant remark and I'll smash every tooth in his face!

    [​IMG] Hahaha! You don't seem to understand your position. Right now Coldstone's man is dealing with your friends on the ship. And I have a very special surprise for you.

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    Bloomfold surprised everyone by triggering a trapdoor.

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    Down below there’s a bossfight with :mhd:

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    The head of the kraken cannot be damaged but the tentacles can. Forgrimm and Fayris’ animal attack the tentacles directly while the rest uses ranged attacks.

    The tentacles can poison and knockdown.

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    The kraken can spit ink which works like a Blitz Dich Find spell.

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    After taking down the tentacles the kraken will disappear for a while and summon morfu, huge snails that can shoot poison barbs.

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    After another round of morfu and two more rounds of tentacles the kraken will die. In its death throes it takes down the ceiling, swallowing up Bloomfold in the process.

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    Killing the kraken gifts two quest items: a strange artifact and a wooden leg.

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    [​IMG] Phex be thanked, that was close! Much longer and we'd be in that creature's stomach too. A rather tasteless death.

    [​IMG] The stench in this cave is so bad I can barely think. If you don't mind, I'd like to get out of here as quickly as possible.

    [​IMG] Wait, maybe we can find something useful down here. Forgive me, my dear, but as a follower of the Fox, it would be unforgiveable not to check.

    [​IMG] Do you mean this wooden leg, thief? ... Wait, this looks unusual... like a fragment of something... We should keep this.

    On the dead kraken’s carcass are some useful items Forgrimm can make use of.

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    By the way, morfu barbs can be used as crossbow ammo… the poison is quite powerful.

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    A skeleton in the room has another quest related item.

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  12. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 15: Aftermath

    Show Spoiler

    The Kraken cave exits not far from the harbour.

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    Returning to the Thalaria, it turns out shit happened to Ardo.

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    [​IMG] What? You know this man? And you and that Mora worked with him?! By the Forge of Angrosh, what does this mean, thief?

    [​IMG] Well... Mora and I are... old rivals. We've been in competition for a long time for the title of 'King of Thieves'. This man spoke to us in a tavern in Havena.

    [​IMG] 'King of the Thieves'? What are you talking about?

    [​IMG] It may not mean much to you. But we children of the Fox know what it means.

    [​IMG] Mora is my only serious rival. There are no better thieves than us in all Havena. This man knew that.

    [​IMG] We were arguing about how we were going to outdo each other. He joined us and did what he could to stir things up even more.

    [​IMG] Finally, he made a proposition. By the Lord of the Night, a truly foolhardy idea!

    [​IMG] Mora must have taken him at his word, because she went to ground soon after. I decided I had to beat her to it. By Phex, it was a real masterpiece, I don't mind telling you!

    [​IMG] What did you steal, Cano?

    [​IMG] Oh... err, nothing. Unfortunately, Ardo and Forgrimm caught me.

    [​IMG] Haha, now I understand! Caught by your own tricks, Cano! And all because of a woman!

    [​IMG] I... I was careless for just a moment. To my horror, I realized that Mora had already...

    [​IMG] Silence, rogue! Must I remind you of your oath!

    [​IMG] What oath? What are you talking about?

    [​IMG] I can't talk about it. We swore an oath of silence.

    [​IMG] Exactly! And only Ardo can release us from it! Ardo!! By Angrosh, we must get him quickly to a healer!

    [​IMG] Yes, we should get him on board and think about where to look for help.

    The Tollgate part of main quest is now over and switches to find healing for Ardo.

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    [​IMG] What are we waiting for? Raise the sails! Oh Ardo, shame on my beard! Why did I leave you alone!

    [​IMG] Where should we go, Forgrimm? That blade must have had an evil poison. I've never seen anything like it. I don't know if a normal healer can help us.

    [​IMG] What about Brother Emmeran? He seems to know about all kinds of mysteries. At least some of his predictions seem to have come true.

    [​IMG] That's a possibility. I don't think he's the fool so many people believe him to be. But I wouldn't like to guess what he's really up to.

    [​IMG] Yes, the Voice of the Riverfather! Erm, I know the deonts of the city don't think much of him, but his advice never did me any harm. Or maybe you have some other ideas?

    [​IMG] Brother Emmeran seems to be the best place to start looking for a cure for Ardo. What do you think?

    [​IMG] Let's be on our way. To Brother Emmeran's island!

    [​IMG] We carefully consider our next steps. Ardo's life doesn't seem to be in immediate danger, he just won't wake up. Let's equip ourselves in Nadoret first.

    [​IMG] Equip ourselves? You want to go shopping and plan your next dishonest deeds while Ardo lies here close to death! To Emmeran's island, I say!

    [​IMG] This is pointless! Somebody must lead our group until Master Ardo has been healed. Would you do it? After all, you did make it through the Tollgate with these two squabblers.

    [​IMG] I will gladly repay my debt to Ardo. But I don't know if I am experienced enough to be the leader.

    [​IMG] Let's have no false modesty here! You've already proven that you've got a good head on your shoulders. And if Shorty won't take my advice, maybe he'll listen to you.

    [​IMG] At least I'll know I'm not taking a lousy thief's advice! I don't mind if you take command for now. As long as we can finally help Ardo.

    [​IMG] Very well. I am ready to lead.

    [​IMG] Then we are agreed. Men: this expedition now has a new leader.

    [​IMG]: Yes, Captain!

    [​IMG] Kangrosha! Then let's set sail, with Angrosh's blessing! We must help Ardo!

    Note: Angrosh is what the Dwarves call Ingerimm.

    [​IMG] Yes, the wisdom and blessing of Phex be with you. You are taking on a heavy responsibility.

    [​IMG] I know Ardo is a good man, just as Jaakon was. Therefore, I feel I must continue to help you and him. And then Coldstone will pay for his deeds...

    [​IMG] Hm, I think I've worked out that you're no ordinary merchants. Don't worry, I'll keep quiet if that's what you want. Let me know when you have orders.

    Before leaving Tollgate, however, we must finish some sidequests. Lucia is already waiting just beyond the Thalaria’s boarding plank.

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    [​IMG] I found this gold ring. Could it be his? [Give object]

    [​IMG] That ... that's Felian's ring! Where did you find it? What happened to Felian?

    [​IMG] The Commandant murdered him. I'm sorry.

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    [​IMG] If... if I could just get to Ferdok and tell people what happened here... That's the only thing I can do for Felian now.

    [​IMG] By Efferd's Beard, I wish I could take you there. But our leader urgently needs help and Ferdok is too far upriver.

    Luckily the Horasian merchant appears to help.

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    [​IMG] When you get there, don't go to the guard. Ask for a man named Gerlin instead. He will be able to help you. Tell him Fayris sent you.

    [​IMG] Clever advice! We don't know how far Coldstone's intrigues reach.

    [​IMG] Coldstone? I don't know who that is, but I'll take your advice. Thank you. And you too, good merchant. May Travia bless you.

    [​IMG] Let's be on our way immediately. Please follow me, young lady.

    Next, there’s the matter with the wooden leg.

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    [​IMG] Don't worry, Commandant Bloomfold has been... removed. I'm sure there'll soon be a new commandant bringing some law and order to the place.

    [​IMG] Well, let's hope so! Until then, I'm not setting another foot in that fortress! And all this business down at the docks! There are three dead bodies in my inn! No, no, no...

    [​IMG] I found this wooden leg…

    [​IMG] By Travia's Hearth! It's Gero's leg! Wh... where did you get it?

    [​IMG] In the... in the fortress! He was murdered.

    [​IMG] Murdered! Oh, my poor, silly Gero! I'm sorry I thought ill of you... I told him to take care around that Tashman...

    [​IMG] Erm... could you give me that leg? To remember him by, I mean?

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] A souvenir? Is that really the only reason you want it?

    [​IMG] Alright, by Travia, you're right. I can use it to open Gero's chest.

    [​IMG] I tell you what, give me the leg and I'll let you take one thing from Gero's chest. And apart from that – if you want to trade, I'll give you a good price.

    [​IMG] Agreed. Here, take the leg. [Give object]

    [​IMG] Thank you. Let's see what's in there...

    [​IMG] There's a bag full of coins a battered old map and a rusty key. Choose something!

    [​IMG] I’ll take the map.

    [​IMG] You want the map? You don't really think it leads anywhere, do you? Well, a promise is a promise.

    [​IMG] Fine, I'll pack the rest away before someone steals it. Can I do anything else for you?

    The map leads to a treasure chest not far behind the castle.

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    The chest does contain some valuable treasure.

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    Back at the ship, our companions will now have some new things to say. We haven’t properly talked to either Forgrimm or Cano anyway.

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    [​IMG] The Elves will certainly find a way of healing Ardo’s ailment. He’s a good man, and we want to support his mission ... whatever it may be, exactly.

    [​IMG] What do you think of Ardo?

    [​IMG] Ardo is a fine fellow, he is very natural, that’s what I like about him. Yet I also sense that he’s troubled by a heavy burden. Let’s hope that we learn about it soon enough to be able to help him.

    [​IMG] How do you get along with Forgrimm?

    [​IMG] To be honest ... it’s not always easy with him. He’s simply too hotheaded. Always running his head against the wall. A true Dwarf.

    [​IMG] What do you think of Cano?

    [​IMG] Hmm ... he seems to enjoy what he’s doing, completely in conformity of this god he so reveres. What I also like about him is that he consistently rejects using brute force and tries alternative paths.

    [​IMG] Even when it can get pretty strenuous at times. Only the constant quarreling with Forgrimm bothers me somewhat.

    Btw, Cano’s voice over is one of the best in the German version but in the English version… arguably the worst.

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    [​IMG] Maybe I should hold back a bit more, so that Forgrimm doesn’t hack me to pieces. Without Ardo ... well, just between us, maybe it is my fault that things went so far after all. In any case I am blaming myself ...

    [​IMG] What was it like to grow up in Havena?

    Note: Havena is the capital of Albernia, the westernmost kingdom of Middenrealm bordering the ocean.

    [​IMG] Well, naturally as a Bennadin all doors were open to me. I was supposed to follow in my ... uh ... father’s footsteps and assume his position. A big responsibility!

    Not sure what Cano is alluding to, but the similar sounding Cano ui Bennain was King of Albernia at the time.

    [​IMG] What do you think about Ardo now?

    [​IMG] If it weren’t for him, I’d have lost my head long ago. Please don’t think I had anything personal against him when I wanted to steal from him. It was purely business.

    [​IMG] Let’s get back to Forgrimm now…

    [​IMG] Doesn’t he at some point have to realize which opportunities he passes up by waging battle? Well, I suspect he is only so enraged because he’s worried about his friend.

    [​IMG] What’s your opinion of Fayris?

    [​IMG] I’m telling you, Fayris is dependable and believe me, I know women!

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    [​IMG] We have to get Ardo back to health ... I don’t care how. The main thing is that my friend can hold on to a tankard again!

    [​IMG] Tell me something about yourself.

    [​IMG] I am Forgrimm, son of Ferolax. In former times – when I was still with my clan – I cleared the tunnels of all kinds of animals ... and other things. Then I joined Ardo. And now I look out for Ardo. Heh heh ... and I keep an eye on Scallywag. Hm ... yes.

    [​IMG] Ardo means a lot to you, doesn’t he?

    [​IMG] Of course! Ardo is my best friend ... and if we don’t manage to get him well again ... then ... then ... who would I drink a Pale Ale... or have escapades with?

    [​IMG] Back on the subject of Cano…

    [​IMG] It’s only because of him and that ... that Mora that we are even in this mess. Otherwise I would be happily downing a tankard of Pale Ale with Ardo right now. Well ... at least he’s helping us.

    [​IMG] Your opinion of Fayris?

    [​IMG] Hm, well I don’t really have any particular opinion about her. Too occupied with Scallywag for that.

    In any case, back at the Isle of Forgetting Emmeran won’t be able to help directly but will mark a new location on the world map.

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    [​IMG] You were right about the Tollgate, Brother Emmeran.

    [​IMG] Yes, the signs were all too clear, unfortunately. But tell me what happened.

    [​IMG] The tollkeepers were in league with the pirates! They tried to kill us! Our leader Ardo was ambushed and poisoned. He has been in this state ever since.

    [​IMG] Oh, great Riverfather, what mischief prospers on your shores! Quick, let me see his wounds!

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    Note: the Great Mother Emmeran refers to is Sumu.

    [​IMG] The Tollgate commandant mentioned that the pirates were planning to attack an Elf village. Maybe the Elves can help Ardo.

    [​IMG] Hmm, the Elves are truly powerful healers. I know where to find their village. They asked me to keep it secret, but in this case I hope they will forgive me. I shall show you on your map.

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    There’s also the matter of the artifact the Kraken dropped.

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    [​IMG] Let me see... Oh Holy Great Mother, so that's it! Oh, great Riverfather, why draw me into your dispute with the Fathomless One? How can we mortals withstand his fury?

    [​IMG] I don't understand... What are you talking about, Brother Emmeran?

    [​IMG] I... forgive me, my feelings overcame me... Only now do I understand the consequences of your actions. This artifact opens the doors to the temple.

    [​IMG] Since this place was destroyed in a feud between the two gods, Efferd's fury has seethed in its depths. The Old God has never forgotten the humiliation visited upon him by the Riverfather

    [​IMG] The anger of the Ocean God is like a relentless maelstrom. It swallows everything, even the brightest light, and spits it out again as darkness.

    [​IMG] This darkness climbs from the depths of the temple and poisons the river. It lures foul monsters that mock the power of the Riverfather in his own realm...

    [​IMG] Creatures like the Kraken Newt?

    [​IMG] Yes, like the Kraken Newt. I know that Humans had started to use it for their own dark purposes, but in the end they were also just tools of Efferd's vengeful fury.

    [​IMG] I don't know if I understand all this... Do you think there's a reason I found this thing?

    [​IMG] The first time I saw you in Nadoret, I knew your actions were linked to the will of the Gods. I just did not know what role you would play.

    [​IMG] I will use the fragment to open the temple. But you must go alone. As the Voice of the Riverfather, I am forbidden from intervening directly, forgive me.

    [​IMG] If you think it is important that I enter the temple, then I will gladly do so. But what exactly do you want me to do in there?

    [​IMG] You must find your way into the deep and confront that which awaits you. I can tell you no more, I'm sorry. I can only thank you for your valor. And now, follow me.

    Brother Emmeran opens the temple but we will not enter just yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

    VentilatorOfDoom
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Parrots:
    7,527
    Location:
    Deutschland
    What a coincidence, I also play this game currently. What a great char system, a pity the dev went belly up, really, I don't see why these games should be less successful than NWN or Divinity tbh.
     
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  14. RatTowergender: ⚧ Learned

    RatTower
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Parrots:
    71
    Played this game when it first released.
    Pretty cool. Ardo was my favorite party member.
    Too bad the "sequel" was a hack & slash browser game.

    I remember the story had some loose ends too, so they were probably planning a proper third part.
     
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  15. drexciyagender: ⚧ Augur

    drexciya
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    174
    Location:
    Netherlands
    As far as I know, they got bought by another company, because of poor financial situation, so they weren't able to create a proper third part.
    Agreed on the character system and the games in general.
     
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  16. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 16: Magic Mishap

    Show Spoiler

    Returning to Nadoret there will be a purple glow north of town. Worth checking out.

    [​IMG]

    Greyhair now has a new letter from Gerlin for Angela.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Occasionally there will be a fishmonger at the docks; she does not sell anything interesting but is worth pickpocketing.

    [​IMG]

    She carries a magical dagger; it is a powerful weapon but more importantly now can be sold for >50 ducats.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Merchant Castellani we know from the Tollgate will also occasionally make stops in Nadoret; he carries exotic clothing and weaponry.

    [​IMG]

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    For Fayris we buy the Storm sentinel plume (part of Elven armour set) and a turban since it fits well on her.

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    Townspeople will be now be talking about the purple anomaly; this is Angela’s first priority.

    [​IMG]

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    Retart Pagol is also recruiting here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Well? Are you interested in helping our town?

    [​IMG] That depends entirely on what it involves.

    [​IMG] Mild... uh, no .., I mean service in the militia. We are looking for brave souls to help us shed some light on the nocturnal events here.

    [​IMG] If you are interested, report to Captain Nimralph in the barracks.

    [​IMG] I’ll do that. See you soon.

    At the Nadoret marketplace Marcusi has some information on a pickpocketing target.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] You're right. Naturally, such valuable information can't be turned over for free. I’ll tell you something very interesting for 5 ducats. You'll be able to more than double those ducats with it.

    [​IMG] Fine, here are 5 ducats.

    [​IMG] Wonderful. Be on the lookout for a very aristocratic lady. You'll recognize her for sure. It's guaranteed that robbing her would be very worthwhile.

    [​IMG] That sounds like easy prey. Thanks for the tip.

    Angela finds this aristocratic lady around the harbour. She does carry a good sum.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Marcusi will now also sell some new equipment.

    We buy Storm sentinel breeches for Fayris and the IGIA shirt for Angela.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also Angela get a better looking hat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point not far from the harbour a dude has appeared offering a sidequest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] You’re hiding something, otherwise you would have called on the Town Guard to help you.

    [​IMG] What? I ... but you’ve got it all wrong! I was trying to convince the guards of the looming danger, but they only mocked me. If something isn’t done soon, then it will be too late!

    [​IMG] [Seduce] You don’t have to keep any secrets from me. After all ... I’m on your side.

    [​IMG] [Success] Yes ... You’re right. Very well: You should know that these Wolf Rats didn’t just turn up by chance. To be more exact, I ... well .. I have been ... uh ... breeding them.

    [​IMG] What?! Breeding them? You can’t be serious!

    [​IMG] I beg you, no one must find out about this! The disgrace would be unbearable! I’m just a poor wretch and only got the idea because rat tails are worth decent gold due to their value as a cooking ingredient.

    [​IMG] Giant Wolf Rats. Hhm. I’ll see what I can do.

    [​IMG] I’ll never forget this favor! But you should know that these specimens are unbelievably large and strong, because they’ve ... well ... eaten something magical..

    [​IMG] A young breeding female rat has already escaped. It's unthinkable what would happen if the dominant male rat got out, too. He is incredibly wild and strong, a terrible beast!

    [​IMG] I had already hired some mercenaries, but they were unsuccessful! I gave them the last money I had. They still have it on them, that and their armor will be your reward!

    [​IMG] But be warned. I can’t take any risks, that’s why I’m going to lock the door behind you and only open it when the dominant male rat has been killed!

    [​IMG] You must be really well-prepared! Let me know when you're ready, then I'll bring you to the infested cellar.

    Guess we’ll deal with this later.

    Kosten dropped a hint about rat tails being used as a cooking ingredient… and indeed Angela picked up a lot of these in the Tollgate sewers. The cook in the Leaping Stag buys all kinds of weird ingredients for a good bit of gold.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I hope that it’s something important!

    [​IMG] Well, I guess it’s not that important. I had better go.

    [​IMG] Wait, wait! Not so fast. Maybe I was a little snappy. You look as if you get around a lot.

    [​IMG] That’s true. Why do you ask?

    [​IMG] Well, I like to try out new ideas for recipes. To do that I look for a wide variety of ingredients that can’t simply be bought from a merchant.

    [​IMG] What sort of ingredients?

    [​IMG] Well, we shouldn’t discuss it too loudly. I need rat tails, I've run out of those. And, yes, lice eyes and frog legs are supposed to be delicious.

    [​IMG] Ugghhh! Eww, rat tails, lice eyes. And I have eaten here?

    [​IMG] Well, you always enjoyed it, Master Dwarf!

    [​IMG] But not anymore. Ugghhh, that makes my beard hair stand on end!

    [​IMG] Well, the things you cook sound absolutely extraordinary!

    [​IMG] But it tastes delicious! Believe me, some things taste better than they look!!

    [​IMG] That may be. At least I have to respect your daring and experimental approach.

    [​IMG] Nothing ventured, nothing gained! If you happen to come across rat tails, frog legs or lice eyes during your travels, then bring them to me. I pay well. Oh, by the way, I also accept old rolls.

    With a successful haggle this can become p. lucrative.

    [​IMG]

    Back at the Thieves Guild Dilga will already be aware of the nightly terror, i.e. a werewolf.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Yes, the beast struck again last night. I heard that Captain Nimralph wants to add new recruits to his militia.

    [​IMG] Yes, that idiot bailiff Pagol is busy trying to recruit people.

    [​IMG] If you wish, you can help Captain Nimralph. The town's safety means a lot to me. Apart from that, I don't want our people to run into that wolf beast while they are on their nightly excursions.

    [​IMG] Thank you, Dilga. I’ll consider it.

    While at Dilga’s, Angela learns some new skills: Precision strike and Dodge I.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After learning Aimed Throw Cano can already learn Rain of Iron at this point, a powerful skill with some p. steep requirements (14 DEX, 14 AGI). It’ll take a while before Angela can learn this.

    [​IMG]

    Cano is also supplied with some throwing stars; this kind of ammo tends to be depleted extremely quickly and is most effective against unarmoured or lightly armoured opponents.

    [​IMG]

    Next remaining part members are supplied with better armour and armour pieces.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For Forgrimm the dwarven coat will be a significant upgrade.

    [​IMG]

    At the smith’s we buy a blacksmith’s hammer for Forgrimm and have him craft himself a better shield.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At the bowyer’s Fayris buys a wood-carving knife and crafts a leather armour for Cano. This will offer some protection at the cost of some encumbrance.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fayris also crafts some special arrows for what lies ahead.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After these preparations it’s time to check the hubbub at the mage tower.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Might I inquire who issued these orders?

    [​IMG] Captain Nimralph has ordered the access to the magician’s tower to be closed off until we find out what happened here!

    [​IMG] Waiting around won’t solve anything. If you’ll let me pass, I can take care of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] You heard them, Bailiff. The people are on my side.

    [​IMG]

    It is not too hard to convince the guards to let us pass.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] You heard them – the people are scared. Let me help. I might be able to prevent worse things from happening.

    [​IMG] Do you really mean to tempt fate and just let things take their course? I beg you, let me try to fix this.

    [​IMG] No, of course not. But orders are orders.

    [​IMG] Oh, what the heck! You can go through. Maybe Phex is well-disposed towards us and it will turn out to be harmless.

    [​IMG] Thank you. We should know more soon.

    The entire tower is surrounded by the purple glow Angela espied arriving at the harbour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Behind the tower is a hidden chest but with some stuff that will be useful for what’s ahead.

    [​IMG]

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    Inside the tower there’s now access to downstairs. Angela finds Hesindiane right at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] What’s happened here?! Speak!

    [​IMG] I ... I found him like that. He must have jumped out of the room with a powerful leap. Whatever shall we do ... he is ... but ... if he had only allowed ... I ...

    [​IMG] Calm down. What was your Master working on? Please tell me.

    [​IMG] Master Brookbeard was working in his lab ... on a conjuring formula.

    [​IMG] Hhm. A 'conjuring formula', that’s quite vague. Do you have any idea what happened?

    [​IMG] I was collecting herbs outside when a bright flash of light accompanied by tremendous thunderclap came down on the tower. The ground shook and I was knocked down.

    [​IMG] And then ... it was only then I saw it: A rift in the fabric of the spheres – directly above the tower! When I had collected myself again, I hurried to the laboratory immediately and ... yes ... discovered this here.

    [​IMG] We have to help your Master somehow and I don’t know how long the bailiffs can give us. If a pack of superstitious farmers comes bumbling in here, things could get much worse.

    [​IMG] I don’t know ... the Master, without him ... I ...

    [​IMG] Think! There must be a way of undoing this.

    [​IMG] I, yes ... we ... we could try to open the door to the laboratory. The cause of the rift in the sphere must be in there. We can open it with the object the master is holding in his hand.

    [​IMG] Good! I’ll take care of whatever is in the laboratory and you try to free your Master.

    [​IMG] Agreed. But caution is imperative! A spell on the door seals it when there is impending danger. Only Fuldigor knows what is behind it.

    Note: Fuldigor is one of the six Ancient Dragons. “Only Fuldigor knows” is a common Aventurian saying.

    With Brookbeard’s key in hand there is a small rotating puzzle to solve to open the laboratory door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Inside the laboratory is a yuge flame inside a globe that apparently must be entered to continue.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Inside the globe a battle starts against some elementals; since their touch causes burning status the previously picked up burn salves are very useful.

    In the end it comes down to killing them all before the salves run out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When all fire elementals are dead a Greater Fire Spirit will show up… but it’s four on one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When the Greater Fire Spirit is defeated all turns back to normal again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I hardly dared to hope. I had already expected the worst after all this time.

    [​IMG] Why were you worried? I was gone for no more than a tenth of an hour.

    [​IMG] By the chains of Satinav! You... uhhh... I ... No, several hours have elapsed during your absence.

    Note: according to Twelfgods religion Satinav is a Gigant who was chained to the Ship of Time.

    [​IMG] What?! You're pulling my leg!

    [​IMG] Not at all. It would appear that my Limbus shield also touched the sphere of time. When you found me at the door, it looked as if I were frozen in ice, just like the encased Fire Spirit.

    Note: Limbus refers to the space between spheres. Travelling between spheres goes through the Limbus.

    [​IMG] While the river of time was flowing much more slowly inside the shield, where you were defeating the Fire Spirit, on the outside it was flowing at a normal rate. There can't be another explanation for this phenomenon.

    [​IMG] Perhaps. The fire creature has been dispatched, at any rate. Has the commotion in front of the tower also died down?

    [​IMG] I was able to clear up the matter calmly and quietly. And that’s not all!

    [​IMG] After Hesindiana freed me from my stasis, I tried to seal the rift in the spheres... Yet I also had to maintain the second shield, after all, you were still in there.

    [​IMG] The Elemental could have escaped, but having observed many hours of your masterly combat techniques - although it all seemed to be in slow motion to us - we were sure that you would be victorious.

    [​IMG] That's all very well. And I'm very thankful to you, but ...

    [​IMG] You will want a reward, of course... and rightfully so!

    [​IMG] You have performed an invaluable service on behalf of science and ...uh ... me of course, and the mortal world. That’s the reason I feel compelled to reward you as follows:

    [​IMG] Here, this magician's hat is your reward! I hope it will prove to be useful to you.

    The magician’s hat offers decent protection but looks silly and shall not be used.

    [​IMG]

    The true reward is the Ring of Life that the fire spirit dropped. It shall go to Forgrimm.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Furthermore, the Codex upstairs in the tower will have some new spells for Fayris to learn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    However, Fayris will not be able to cast the following spells because they are Human-only:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, Angela will hunt a werewolf.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  17. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,664
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    :kfc:
     
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  18. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 17: No truce with the furries

    Show Spoiler

    When Angela arrives at the barracks Nimralph will be quarreling with the Parios deont.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I wanted to join the militia.

    [​IMG] Oh, the militia, eh? Well, you've come to the right place.

    [​IMG] Don't involve any more innocent people in this, Nimralph. Leave it to the Inquisition. I already sent for them!

    [​IMG] Yes, you said that already, Deont Irian. But how many must die before Grand Inquisitor Dexter Nemrod gets here? Until he does, I will take this in hand!

    [​IMG] I tried to warn you... but if you don't listen, I can't help you! The Grand Inquisitor will not be pleased to hear of your actions. I am leaving...

    [​IMG] And now to you... the Town Guard needs as much help as it can get right now. Above all, we need people with combat experience!

    [​IMG] Tell me more!

    [​IMG] Last night the night watch heard someone screaming horribly near the harbor. When they went to investigate, they found the corpse of a man who had been terribly mutilated.

    [​IMG] We asked the inhabitants. Witnesses said they saw a huge animal with a silver mane... walking upright! If that makes the rounds, the whole town will soon be in uproar.

    [​IMG] An animal walking upright?

    [​IMG] I fear we have a werewolf in town. That's what Laurelin the Elf said when I told him about the creature.

    [​IMG] The Praios priest thinks we should wait until the Inquisition arrives... but I don't want to wait and have even more citizens killed by this beast.

    [​IMG] Do you have a plan?

    [​IMG] We'll organize a hunt for it with as many armed men as we can find. If the gods smile on us, we'll corner the beast and kill it.

    [​IMG] I want to have this problem solved by the time the sun comes up tomorrow. I am a man of action, not of words!

    [​IMG] You can rest in quarters at the barracks until the hunt starts tonight. What do you say? Can I count on you?

    [​IMG] All right. I’m in.

    [​IMG] By Rondra, I won't forget this! Come, I'll show you your quarters...

    However it’s prudent to take some training first.

    Fayris also crafts the longbow in preparation.

    [​IMG]

    Forgrimm learns Crossbow related talents.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cano learns Endurance I.

    [​IMG]

    So then next night, the werewolf hunt begins.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Of course. Er ... what are you doing with that goat over there?

    [​IMG] Very simple, it's bait for the wolf. We'll find a suitable place for it and hide in ambush. Then when the wolf appears, maybe we can surprise it.

    Fayris will now start with some annoying hippie crap.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] There must be another way to trap the wolf... without us having to spill innocent blood.

    [​IMG] Now you listen to me! I would slaughter a dozen goats if it meant saving only one of my men! Is that clear enough?

    [​IMG] Why do you assume that you have the right to do this?

    [​IMG] I have the right to do it because I am responsible for the safety of my men and the citizens of this town! And I would sacrifice much more to do that! Enough of this humbug!

    [​IMG] If we attack the werewolf, it may try to escape. So we've put up barricades all over town... That way we can corner it.

    [​IMG] The town gates are also closed, so it won't be able to escape!

    [​IMG] Let the hunt begin.

    [​IMG] May the Goddess of Victory smile on us this night! Forward, men!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I'll tie up the goat here. When the wolf leaps onto the bait, maybe we can surround it before it notices us...

    [​IMG] Aye, the end justifies the means! How humane...

    [​IMG] You better hide with the others.

    Nimralph’s plan works; with an entire group against one wolf it shouldn’t long to defeat it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hilariously, the werewolf zooms in right on Fayris. Guess she would’ve made a much better bait than the goat.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the werewolf escapes and needs to be chased across town.

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    There’s another fight with the werewolf but eventually he escapes to the main marketplace.

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    The werewolf knocks everyone down jumping down from the Praios temple. Though his wolves will not immediately attack themselves.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    The main werewolf is easy to drive off, the battle becomes more tricky when all other wolves attack. In the end, though, I managed without using any potion.

    Not to mention, Nimralph is unkillable here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I'm pretty badly injured! You'll have to finish it off without me...

    [​IMG] That creature was already severely wounded when it fled... follow it into the Temple and kill it! ... I'll be there as soon as I can...

    [​IMG] Don't worry! Put your trust in me!

    [​IMG]

    There is no more fighting however; the group is just in time to witness the werewolf’s final moments.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So in the end, it’s just another case of religious hypocrisy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Right… it was the Praios deont.

    [​IMG] Well, that could explain why we haven't heard from the Inquisition. I'll attend to this matter in due course.

    [​IMG] It is unfortunate that we had to kill him. But we had no choice.

    [​IMG] Yes, I agree. But the main thing is that it's over.

    [​IMG] Phew, that was a long night. Let's get back to the barracks. Tomorrow is another day of plenty of work for me and the rest of my men. And you have good reason to celebrate at least a bit.

    Back at the barracks Angela receives her reward.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Thank you, those few hours' sleep did me good. You look completely exhausted, though.

    [​IMG] Yes, we spent the last few hours repairing the damage in town... and recovering the bodies of many a good man.

    [​IMG] Yes, the victory over the werewolf must be tinged with sadness for you ...

    [​IMG] At least my people didn't die in vain. And I have you to thank for that! Here... take this Andergastian sword as a token of my gratitude for fighting well at my side!

    [​IMG] Thank you, I will cherish it! All the best, Captain!

    The Andergast blade is p. gud and worth holding on to.

    [​IMG]

    Since Angela just took down a pack of werewolves, might as well go after the big rat now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What makes the fight tricky is that the big rat will gain increasing levels of “Berserk” as he is losing health, making him defensively weaker but offensively stronger.

    Not to mention, he summons packs of increasingly tougher minion rats (final wave has poisonous bite).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    However, as long as Fayris keeps the big rat poisoned/on fire with her arrows it will eventually buckle down.

    The smaller rats can be easily killed with Cano’s Rain of Iron. The Phexian AoA buff/debuff is very useful too.

    [​IMG]

    After the fight Forgrimm finally reaches level 5.

    [​IMG]

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    The rat drops a Ring of Endurance that will be used by Fayris.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 18: Hunting Preserve

    Show Spoiler

    At this point a weirdo nobleman shows up at the harbour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I’m not a sailor, but maybe I can help you just the same. What do you want to know?

    [​IMG] Very well. I’m looking for a means of travel. The ship I was originally scheduled to sail on has apparently been delayed.

    Yallik pops into the conversation.

    [​IMG] What’s going on here? Is this guy causing trouble?

    [​IMG] No, no, Yallik. This nobleman here is merely requesting passage on our lovely ship.

    [​IMG] By your leave, my name is Enno of Vardock. I was on the way to Falconhurst hunting estate to take up my duties as Lord Protector there. Unfortunately.

    [​IMG] I see! If you would excuse us for just a teeny tiny moment, please? Yes? Good!

    [​IMG] Yallik, what’s the matter with you? Is something wrong?

    [​IMG] Heh heh, not at all! Just the opposite: I know that estate. Belongs to some filthy rich nobleman. If he is the administrator, then he’s anything but poor. For sure we can get a pretty penny out of him for a journey.

    [​IMG] You don’t say! A pretty penny? Then you had better let me do the haggling.

    [​IMG] Are there any problems? I knew there would be problems, there are always problems. Oh, how I hate these administrative tasks.

    With some haggling this can become worth our while.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [Success] Listen. No matter what ... oh, no problems? I’m surprised. Well then, I have to get there urgently, so I’ll offer you 10 ducats.

    [​IMG] Very generous of you. You have your passage!

    [​IMG] But…

    [​IMG] Would you be kind enough to load my belongings onto the ship? It’s only these few chests behind me.

    [​IMG] Of course, Master Vardock. Sailor Yallik will be happy to do it.

    [​IMG] But…

    [​IMG] Very good. Then that’s settled, too. Don’t make any effort to be careful. The wagon driver was so rough when he unloaded my things that everything is broken by now, in any case.

    There is now a new location marked on the world map: the Hunting Preserve. It is an entirely optional area where some significant experience can be gained.

    [​IMG]

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    Arriving at the estate, Enno will have some tasks for Angela.

    [​IMG] Aves be praised, I have finally got here. Now I can dedicate myself to my boring duties and pretend as if they were significant deeds.

    Note: Aves is a demigod, the son of Rahja and Phex. Patron of travelers and adventurers.

    [​IMG] As you think fit. Nevertheless I hope that you were able to enjoy the journey somewhat.

    [​IMG] If you want to call the constant wet conditions, the intolerable back and forth rolling of a boat journey and worries about the cargo a pleasure, then I suppose I enjoyed it.

    [​IMG] You have reached your destination. What about the payment we agreed on?

    10 easy ducats for a simple transport is not too bad.

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    [​IMG] If you so desire, you may hunt on the manor grounds. You have my permission as Lord Protector. It would be best to speak with the Master of the Hunt, should you need assistance.

    [​IMG] And don‘t hesitate to look me up later. Surely I’ll come across enough unforeseeable situations in the administration of a manor that I can use your help with. ‘Til then!

    At the hunting lodge in this big area will be some hunting tasks available.

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    [​IMG] Many thanks. Is there anything in particular to watch out for during the hunt?

    [​IMG] You have a hunting permit. So you may start stalking as and when you wish. However, there is something that you could do for the Lord Protector, a small matter …

    [​IMG] A favor? Tell me more.

    [​IMG] Yessir. There are some giant stag beetles plaguing us at the moment. Someone has to stop them, or they will soon have devoured all the bark from our trees.

    [​IMG] So, you want me to find the giant stag beetles and slay them?

    [​IMG] This suggestion appeals to me very much. Be so kind as to free us from this plague. You will receive a reward for every, ahem, poison gland you find...or whatever these things have.

    [​IMG] You heard the Lord Protector agree ... you will probably find the giant stag beetles on the south bank - but do not be overly disappointed if you cannot find any poison glands.

    The hunt master sells a furrier’s knife that will help Fayris with animal lore.

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    The beetles are directly south of the hunting lodge and will attack on their own.

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    In the hunting preserve are a lot of the more rarer plants used for more advanced potions, like belmart and toadstools.

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    Further to the west the group is suddenly attacked by Orks. Dark Eye Orks are not green and commonly called Blackpelts (while Goblins are Redpelts).

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    Even more to the west is a forest area sealed off by two traps. In this area are many more Orks.

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    In the western part of the forest area the group encounters its first Ogre… Ogres are strong but have not too great AT value… however they do have several special skills that cannot be parried and can only be dodged including an AoA Sweep attack.

    However Ogres are very susceptible to debuffing spells; it’s easiest to kill them by wounding them 5 times.

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    On the bridge in the area is another large group of Orks and an Ogre.

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    The Ogre is slow so by the time it reaches Angela all Orks are dead and gone.

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    However as soon as the first Ogre is down it turns out there’s a second one.

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    For now the bridge is blocked and going further west is impossible. Time to return to Enno.

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    Getting rid of the Orks on the Hunting Preserve is another of Enno’s tasks here.

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    [​IMG] What is it?

    [​IMG] The Master of the Hunt has detected some unwelcome guests ... a band of Orks is camped out on my hunting preserve and blocked the area at the rear with a huge barrier. Can you take care of that for me?

    [​IMG] I’ve already encountered the Orks and killed them all.

    [​IMG] That is not really good news. Because it means that I have to tell the servants to remove the felled tree. Can you tell them for me? Then their moans will grate on your ears and not on mine.

    [​IMG] By the way, I’ve killed the giant stag beetles.

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    Actually, Enno has some more information that could be useful.

    [​IMG] Who is the actual owner of this estate?

    [​IMG] This modest hunting preserve is used by Count Orsino of Falconhurst to relieve him of the stress of his ... let us say, "government business" … although a surprising number of young ladies also seem to have an important role to play here as well …

    [​IMG] Can you tell me more about Orsino of Falconhurst?

    [​IMG] The Count of Angbar Lake also possesses the title of the Baron of Longlake. One title is not enough for the gentleman - and I am sure that still more titles will come his way.

    Note: Angbar is the capital of the Principality of Kosh.

    [​IMG] His gallant ways and his band of acquaintances of all types have gained him much favor at the Emperor's Court … I can't say the same for myself.

    [​IMG] What exactly is your task here?

    [​IMG] At this moment I am preparing for the arrival of a select hunting party. Baron Answin of Ravensmound has been invited. When a member of the Emperor's family is involved, there will be even more opportunities for me to put my large foot in it.

    [​IMG] There is yet much to do to prepare for this event. Unwelcome guests must be removed from the hunting preserve. And then I must tend to the hunting lodge... ahhh, the drudgery of it all!

    [​IMG] Can you tell me something about nobility and politics?

    [​IMG] One of the most boring topics imaginable, but if you must ...

    [​IMG] What do you know about Count Growin of Ferdok?

    [​IMG] Growin, Son of Gorbosh was a young Dwarf warrior. Five years ago His Most Holy Magnificence Emperor Hal made him the Count of Ferdok. That still causes certain peoples' teeth to gnash...

    Note: many Dwarves live in the Kosh so having non-humans in a high political position is not that uncommon.

    [​IMG] What do you think of Baron Dajin of Nadoret?

    [​IMG] He is the most powerful Baron in the County of Ferdok and belongs to the old nobility. But between you and me: after the alleged murder of his sister, certain persons believe that he is not quite right in the head.

    [​IMG] Tell me about this Answin of Ravensmound.

    [​IMG] He also started as a squire - but the squire of Emperor Reto. He then became Imperial Chancellor and the head of the Imperial Garethian Information Agency, the IGIA... until he fell afoul of Nemrod the Chief Inquisitor.

    [​IMG] His good name was really dragged through the mud when he was accused of attempting to murder Crown Prince Brin. But apparently there are still certain persons who believe that he is a worthy man of Praios.

    At any rate, until the workers remove the felled tree on the bridge is nothing left to do here for now.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 19: Evil Book

    Show Spoiler

    The Thalaria returns to Tollgate to see what’s changed with Bloomfold removed from premises.

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    Tollgate is now under Ferdok management.

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    [​IMG] Our ship is the ‘Thalaria’.

    [​IMG] The… the Thalaria? Then… then you’re…

    [​IMG] Then we’re… ?

    [​IMG] Then you're very welcome! Commandant van Haring wishes to speak with you as soon as you have finished docking. You will find him in the outer ward.

    Next to the Thalaria a familiar looking ship is docked… it’s the Star of Ferdok.

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    [​IMG] Greetings, Captain Albass. It is good to see you.

    [​IMG] I'm sure you've finished your training, right? Congratulations! But you're probably busy with other matters by now.

    [​IMG] So what can I do for you? I just got back from Elvenhus and have a few goods here. Since we need to wait for the tollkeepers anyway, why not take a look?

    [​IMG] What are people saying at the different ports?

    [​IMG] Oh, all kinds of crazy things. Just ask Janah. Great Fuldigor alone knows how much truth there is to them. Or maybe you do?

    We buy the ironwooder here for Forgrimm, a very fast crossbow.

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    Janah will spin her own version of what happens during the main quest every time we return here.

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    [​IMG] Did you hear the news? A horde of insane Dwarves have placed all the tollkeepers under a magical slumber. Then they summoned a water elemental who ate the corrupt commandant!

    [​IMG] But I'm sure you've seen even more exciting things! Oh, I really should stop talking, otherwise Piet will get mad again.

    Piet, well, is still Piet.

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    [​IMG] Actually, it was a river pirate who hit me, not the Riverfather.

    [​IMG] You still doubt my words? You're even more stubborn than little Janah! Hmpf!

    At the tavern there will now be a new NPC, an annoying twit spinning tall tales.

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    [​IMG] Greetings! You seem to be in a good mood!

    [​IMG] And why shouldn't I be in a good mood? I have returned from a successful quest and I had a good beer - what more could I want?

    [​IMG] What was your quest?

    [​IMG] Barely worth mentioning. I rescued a magical unicorn from a couple of Orks.

    [​IMG] How so?

    [​IMG] I was strolling along when my carefully trained ears heard a suspicious sound. I turned around and... Bang... there it was! I saw a unicorn surrounded by six hungry Orks. Their horrid bellies rumbled like thunder and they wielded clubs the size of trees.

    [​IMG] How could they even lift them?

    [​IMG] They were unusually strong, all 10 of them.

    [​IMG] Strong Orks indeed…

    [​IMG] They approached, swinging their clubs…

    [​IMG] And? What did you do?

    [​IMG] I surrounded them.

    [​IMG] On your own?

    [​IMG] Heroes like me are so fast that they can surround enemies on their own.

    [​IMG] Impressive…

    [​IMG] I drew the circle ever tighter until all twenty Orks started to fight among themselves and killed each other. Meanwhile, the unicorn escaped to the famous magic circle.

    [​IMG] What stone circle?

    [​IMG] The famous stone circle in the East. Occasionally very precious magical items appear there. The two-handed sword Cyx was discovered there. It slays a giant in a single stroke.

    [​IMG] Strange. Is that where you got your winged helm?

    [​IMG] Of course my winged helm comes from there. It makes my enemies tremble and fair ladies blush. When I caught up with the unicorn, I found a delicate ankle chain with a stone in the form of a drop of blood. The leg of he who wears the chain is rendered invulnerable.

    [​IMG] Show me! I don’t believe a word of it!

    [​IMG] Why, I left it there, of course. It would have been disrespectful to the unicorn to plunder the stones.

    [​IMG] A very nice story, to be sure…

    [​IMG] Story? Pah, if you don't believe me, then go to the stone circle and see for yourself!

    The stone circle sounds worth checking out, but first Angela goes to see the new commander.

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    [​IMG] They told me down at the quay that you wanted to speak with the crew of the Thalaria?

    [​IMG] Ah, so you cleaned up the Tollgate. As an officer I find your methods suspect, but Duke Growin thanks you. May I make a suggestion?

    [​IMG] What is it?

    [​IMG] It's about the river pirates. They must be stopped. I am authorized to pay a bounty for every pirate. You would be perfect for this job.

    This bounty hunt quest is the only quest in the game that never finishes.

    [​IMG] And how are we to go about it? Do you want me to clap the river pirates in irons and bring them to you?

    [​IMG] That would be desirable. But due to the services you have already rendered, I'm prepared to trust your good name. Just bring me the pirates' emblems.

    [​IMG] You'll get five silver thalers for every silver emblem. They say the pirate leaders wear solid gold emblems. I can give you a special reward for those.

    Van Haring also has a small sidequest for Angela.

    [​IMG] Just a moment, I have a... erm ... special request for you.

    [​IMG] What is it?

    [​IMG] This must remain confidential. A certain Lucia told me how helpful you were. She also mentioned your... erm... tact. You seem perfect for this... err... delicate matter.

    [​IMG] My nephew Hubert, the useless brat, is shirking his duties as a soldier! He thinks the rules don't apply to him! He just spends the whole time reading a book!

    [​IMG] Unfortunately his parents are from a noble family, so I can't discipline him like a normal soldier. I need you to bring me the book to put an end to this nonsense! You'll find a way!

    [​IMG] He's usually somewhere near the river, dreaming his days away.

    [​IMG] Hm, I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to take the book without the boy noticing. But I don't feel good about it. His dislike of military drill indicates a fair amount of common sense, if you ask me.

    [​IMG] Hmpf, it can't hurt the boy to remind him of his duties. We wouldn't want him ending up as a cutpurse like you.

    Hubert is located next to a small tower to the east of the tavern.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Why? Are you going to read your book?

    [​IMG] You know about it? I bet my uncle sent you to take it away from me! Tell him I'm not interested in his miserable guard duty!

    [​IMG] That boring beadle! All he talks about is duty and order! But he's just trying to suck up to my parents! He knows nothing about the things that are really important!

    [​IMG] Yes, your uncle sent me. But I want to hear your point of view too.

    [​IMG] My point of view? I want him to leave me alone! This book talks about things a hundred times more important than the everyday stupidity around here!

    There are various ways to coax Hubert into giving up his book. Obv. Angela goes for the Phex way.

    [​IMG] You find it boring here, hmm? Maybe I can help you find the excitement you're looking for...

    [​IMG] Really? What do you mean?

    [​IMG] [Streetwise] I can tell you about certain... establishments... that ought to interest a young fellow like you...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Yet another corrupted nobleman! Do you think you just made the world a better place?

    The leather book contains some very interesting information, namely the troll bridge in Nadoret, trolls bribed with sweets and a small island to the south of the troll bridge.

    [​IMG]

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    To the east of Hubert’s tower is indeed the stone circle Prancelot was talking about… but no magic items spawn there. There’s only a hidden chest with a p. useful ring for Fayris.

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    Returning to Van Haring, he lets Angela keep the ‘evil’ book. And also pays a lousy ducat.

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    After these distractions, the Thalaria can move on to the Elven woods.

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  21. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 20: Elven woods

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Arriving in the Elven woods, a cutscene plays.

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    A group of pirates is driven off by a lone Elf.

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    The Elf addresses Angela after the pirates are gone.

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    [​IMG] Greetings! I am Angela Merkel. This is Cano, Forgrimm and Jaakon. We seek healing for our friend Ardo.

    [​IMG] We will help, if we can. But like your friend, we also struggle with a dark threat that drains our strength.

    [​IMG] It seems our warning about the pirates is too late.

    [​IMG] They were not unexpected. But we could not lessen their fury without the song of peace. Every note led to discord with all the horror.

    [​IMG] You seem beset by another worry.

    [​IMG] Form replaces light, and shadows grow. What must be, must be.

    [​IMG] I understand. But... as for the pirates – we could at least help you there.

    [​IMG] Act prudently! I shall send a fey to care for your friend. We shall meet again at the say'dhaba, the great tree.

    [​IMG] I thank you in Ardo's name. See you soon!

    Back at the ship, our companions will now suggest three ways to deal with the pirate problem.

    [​IMG] I sense that Isaliel bears a heavy burden. It would please me to help her tribe resist the pirates.

    [​IMG] Yes. The pirates... I'm telling you, they're in league with that Coldstone. They're to blame for everything! Well now it's time to repay them... with my ax!

    [​IMG] Take it easy, Shorty! We don't know the whole story yet. We don't even know what they want here.

    [​IMG] Take it easy? While Ardo is dying? I'll get the whole story out of them with my fists!

    [​IMG] With your fist-in-the-face method, we'll never find out what the pirates did with Mora. You ought to stay here with Ardo while I deal with this.

    [​IMG] How dare you tell me what to do, rogue! It wasn't my idea to call on the tree huggers. Why don't you stay, while I...

    [​IMG] Stop your arguing! We agreed that I would lead us on our mission.

    [​IMG] Enough talking now! Let actions speak! ... Where's the whetstone?

    [​IMG] You should know that the Elves dislike bloodshed as much as I do. Let's try to arrange a peaceful negotiation where both sides get something out of it.

    [​IMG] Why help the pirates for nothing, when we can use their goals to achieve our own? Phex is bound to look kindly on a profitable deception!

    [​IMG] Cano, what is your cunning plan?

    [​IMG] We offer the pirates our help and find out a bit of this and that. They'll leave if we play them off against each other just right, and the Elves are bound to thank us.

    [​IMG] Forgrimm, do you really want to fight?

    [​IMG] By Angrosh, enough talk! Those river pirates don't have a chance against us... they're just a bunch of cowards!

    [​IMG] Fayris, what do you mean, negotiate?

    [​IMG] The pirates don't want trouble, just loot. Material things are unimportant to Elves, so I'm sure we can negotiate an agreement.

    [​IMG]

    For now, we’ll just explore the southern part of the Elven woods a bit.

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    It is a swampy area crawling with bizarre mutated creatures called mire beasts. Upon death, they transform into normal creatures.

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    There are also troll toads in the area, whose legs can be sold to the Nadoret cook but are also used as an alchemical ingredient.

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    There are a lot of ruined buildings around where old coins can be found that can be sold for a pretty penny. They are remnants of the Bosparanian Empire.

    [​IMG]

    The Bosparanian Empire ruled nearly all of Aventuria from ca. 1,500 before BF to 0 BF. BF= Bosparan’s Fall. Bosparan was the old capital of the Empire – culture wise it was kind of a mix between the Roman Empire and Ancient Egypt.

    The founder and first Emperor of Middenrealm Raul the Great rebelled against the Bosparanian Empire and defeated them at the battle of Brig-Lo.

    The cause of the rebellion was over a religious matter: the last Empress of Bosparan Hela-Horas announced herself to be a Goddess.

    The Bosparan Empire lost majority of their territory but remained as the Horasrealm. Blackguards takes place in the Horasrealm for half the game.


    The cause of the mire beast plague is revealed soon: a thorny plant with a dangerous prick.

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    Upon discovery of the morning thorn a druid will appear out of nowhere: Archon Megalon, a famous figure in Dark Eye lore.

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    [​IMG] I am not afraid. More interested…

    [​IMG] A most remarkable scientific phenomenon: Those pricked by the morning thorn bush undergo an immediate transformation into a mire beast.

    I suppose because of her decent Arcane Lore skill, Angela can talk back.

    [​IMG] The transformation usually takes seven days. This must be a very unusual specimen.

    [​IMG] You also seem to be an unusual specimen. More learned than most. But don't think that you can teach me anything.

    [​IMG] The already magical properties of the plant have clearly been manipulated to accelerate the magic. This is the result of careful magical research.

    [​IMG] I find the plant's properties more alarming than interesting.

    [​IMG] You are afraid although you know the danger? Interesting. Tell me more.

    [​IMG] This plant has created a lot of very aggressive mire beasts. Who knows what they once were...

    [​IMG] I do. And you might, sooner or later. But I must deal with more important matters.

    Megalon teleports away. We haven’t seen the last of him.

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    Up the big tree next to the morning thorn is a large but peaceful mire beast. This triggers another quest.

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    There are two big heads lying around the area, under their chin is seemingly buried a quest related item.

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    The other head has the useful Amulet of Rondra.

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    After the exploration we can turn our attention to the pirates, who made their base in an old Bosparanian theatre.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 21: Phexcapade

    Show Spoiler

    Entrance to the pirate camp is guarded by buffoon Matt Bravethorn. An easy person to manipulate.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [Cano whispers into your ear] He looks like a hot-headed type - should be perfect for our purposes. If we want to stir up trouble, Mate Bravethorn is our man.

    [​IMG] Hey! I'm talking to you! What do you want?

    Obv. Angela will choose the wily route here.

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    [​IMG] I dunno what I think about talking to someone like you.

    [​IMG] That's a shame. My tactical experience would have been very valuable in getting you the Elf treasures.

    [​IMG] Experience, you say? Of what? And who are you?

    [​IMG] Err... well the only important thing is that we could help each other.

    [​IMG] Hmph... maybe. What are you suggesting? And what's in it for you, huh?

    [​IMG] I'll speak with your people and work out a plan using their skills... for a share of the Elf treasure.

    [​IMG] Hmm, alright. But if I don't like your idea... then it's not my problem, okay?

    [​IMG] We’ll see. I’ll get to work.

    Inside the camp Angela can immediately get into the captain’s good graces using Etiquette.

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    [​IMG] What a surprising visit. By the Twelfgods, greetings! To whom do I owe the honor?

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    [​IMG] Your conduct speaks for you. Under these circumstances, it is a pleasant surprise to parley with you.

    [​IMG] Allow me to ask why you are here.

    [​IMG] [Fayris whispers in your ear] This one isn't as violent as the other pirates, I can feel it. I'm sure he would be open to negotiations.

    [​IMG] [Cano whispers in your ear] Make it clear that you want to negotiate so we can act freely here. Then we'll have something up our sleeve if we can't carry out my plan.

    [​IMG] I saw your encounter with the Elves and I wanted to make a suggestion.

    [​IMG] Interesting. I’m listening.

    [​IMG] I could act as a negotiator.

    [​IMG] It could work. But tell me, what are your motives?

    [​IMG] Quite simple. I want something from the Elves too.

    [​IMG] I appreciate your honesty. A rare thing nowadays.

    [​IMG] So we're agreed? But your people need to stay peaceful. I'll tell them myself, if necessary.

    [​IMG] Hold your horses, there! Theoretically speaking... what's to stop you from telling the authorities our current location?

    [​IMG] Well, you, of course. My ship is right here, unprotected. I wouldn't have the chance to get away.

    [​IMG] I see we understand one another. Speak with the crew, if you like. I can do without more trouble than these Elves are giving me already.

    We now still have the opportunity to go to the Elves and go down the Negotiation path for a while before returning to sowing discontent, gaining more experience. But Angela doesn’t feel like walking.

    The first thing to do is talk to a fellow called Yaarrunner.

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    [​IMG] I was just thinking about your problem with the Elves. Do you think you could help me?

    [​IMG] You could help by telling me what's going on here.

    [​IMG] Hmm? Absolutely nothing is going on.

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] You're a terrible liar. There's something you're not telling me!

    [​IMG] You're a smart one, eh? Occasionally something happens here, but I don't reckon any of it would interest you.

    [​IMG] Any information could be helpful for my plan against the Elves.

    [​IMG] Hmm, I don’t really know…

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] Oh go on. It would be nice to talk to someone else instead of always the same people. Everybody needs a bit of variety!

    [​IMG] [Success] Alright, a little chat can't really hurt. The crew never gets enough of the loot, but that's not all!

    [​IMG] Yes? What else?

    [​IMG] If you're thinking up a plan against the Elves, you should leave Black Alma out of it. She can't be trusted! Shadowfox says she even steals from her shipmates!

    [​IMG] Thank you, that was very informative!

    This information will be helpful to stir up trouble later.

    From Spinning Jenny Angela pickpockets a quest item key.

    Spinning Jenny herself doesn’t have a lot of information but directs Angela to Crow.

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    [​IMG] You don't know me, but we share a certain Elf problem.

    [​IMG] Then I wish you luck in solving it so we can cast off from here soon.

    [​IMG] Maybe you can help me with a few details.

    [​IMG] Maybe I could, if I knew anything. Go ask Crow. She's true to her name - always crowing the latest news all over Ethra.

    From a pirate called Shadowfox Angela pickpockets a quest item dagger.

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    [​IMG] What are you doing in this godsforsaken place?

    [​IMG] We're sinking inch by inch into the swamp, what else? What's with the stupid question?

    [​IMG] I was just asking…

    [​IMG] To be precise, we're waiting here until the captain has finally decided what to do next. But I think if Efferd doesn't send him a plan, we'll set sail again soon.

    [​IMG] That would be less dangerous than walking into a hail of Elf arrows.

    Elsewhere is Needlewhetter with some useful information.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG] [Seduce] Because women like to be entertained.

    [​IMG] [Success] Oh, really? Alright then...

    [​IMG] I’m all ears.

    [​IMG] You see the boy over there? Haha, he's had it up to here. If Crow picks on him again, things'll get interesting... hoho!

    [​IMG] I'm already taking bets on who slaps the boy first the next time he talks back to them. Hoho! Grinning Hank already has that tick at the corner of his mouth... hahaha!

    [​IMG] Haha. Ha. Funny! But I really must go now.

    The gossip Crow likes shooting her mouth off but we can’t talk to her for long for Hookensang will interrupt her again and again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Let’s chat about something…

    [​IMG] Yes, lets spin a few sailors' yarns...

    [​IMG] The cabin boy over there keeps giving you dirty looks...

    [​IMG] Ach, I gave him a good walloping and now he's sitting there and scowling at me. But if you don't stick up for yourself, you stay the cabin boy. That's the way of the world.

    [​IMG] Crow, what's that I hear? Stop talking about internal matters right now, do I need to make myself any clearer?

    [​IMG] What about the first mate, Bravethorn?

    [​IMG] Him? He's the exact opposite of the captain. Thinking and long-term planning aren't exactly his strong points, but he's good in a fight! Then again, he hasn't gotten us out of this mess either.

    [​IMG] Crow, what's that I hear? Stop talking about internal matters right now, do I need to make myself any clearer?

    In any case, Angela learnt some useful information from Crow. Now to talk to Grinning Hank.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] You can wipe that leer off your face.

    [​IMG] Hehehe ... no nonsense with you, eh? I bet you're like that with all the boys, aren't you?

    [​IMG] I have a question of my own! You want to take out the Elves, right?

    [​IMG] We're just waiting for now until Hookensang or some other smartass comes up with some ideas, you know?

    [​IMG] Spirits must be really high in your camp.

    [​IMG] Do you take me for a fool? You must think you're blessed by Hesinde. Like this lout here, you know?

    [​IMG] Not at all. You mean the cabin boy? I thought he was your special friend.

    [​IMG] What friend? No, the lad thinks he's Rohal himself, but he's nothing, you know?

    Note: Rohal is Borbarad’s brother.

    [​IMG] Aren’t you overdoing it a bit?

    [​IMG] Listen, he thinks he's too good to scrub the decks and all that, you know?

    [​IMG] Have you tried to convince him with violence?

    [​IMG] There's a problem, you know? Heheh, Hookensang wouldn't like it, you know?

    [​IMG] He's busy thinking up clever ideas. He won't notice.

    [​IMG] Hehe. Then the boy's out of luck, you know? If he has a name, he won't remember it soon, you know?

    It’s a bit mean, but tricking Hank into slapping the boy is the first step towards discord. Obv. the boy will be out for payback after getting slapped.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] That looked pretty bad. Does that happen a lot?

    [​IMG] That's the third time this month. And I get the smallest share of the loot. It's all soooo unfair!

    [​IMG] The others aren't very nice to you, are they?

    [​IMG] They all think just because I'm young that I'm stupid too. That stupid Grinning Hank always gives me the worst work to do and Crow is always really mean to me.

    [​IMG] You shouldn't put up with it. How about a funny prank?

    [​IMG] But…

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] No buts! You must stay decisive!

    [​IMG] [Success] They'll treat me like a man if I'm decisive.

    [​IMG] Get your own back on Crow! She'll be more careful how she treats you in the future.

    [​IMG] Yes, she's got such a dirty mouth! ... I know! I'll put dirt in her food, hehehe.

    The boy’s prank on Crow will further lower the mood.

    And then there’s still Shadow Fox’s dagger… combined with the rumour that Black Alma is a thief.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Sorry, I just wanted to show you this dagger...

    [​IMG] Oh, very nice! The way it fits in the hand and these fine decorations. Shadowfox is always boasting about his amazing Tulamid dagger. I could probably outdo him with this one, hehehe.

    [​IMG] [Haggle] Quite so! And for a mere two ducats, this unique masterpiece could be yours.

    [​IMG] [Success] You want to sell it!? Hmm... two ducats isn't cheap. But worth it to outdo Shadowfox, heehee. Alright, I'll take it.

    [​IMG] Thank you. Shadowfox will be green with envy.

    Setting up Black Alma with Shadowfox’s dagger should cause quite an uproar.

    Talking to Black Alma some more we can coax some useful information from here that gossip Crow ill be interested in…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] The only things that like it here are mire beasts and tadpoles.

    [​IMG] Maybe. One more thing…

    [​IMG] What?

    [​IMG] Well, the other crew members were talking about you...

    [​IMG] Oh really! There's nothing to say about me, nothing at all...

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] But this nothing is making your crewmates suspicious of you.

    [​IMG] [Success] Yes, I've noticed that. But what can I do? Telling everybody would just make everything worse.

    [​IMG] Trust me and whisper it in my ear.

    [​IMG] Oh, but you can't help me either. I need a healer.

    [​IMG] A healer? Are you sick? The way you keep your distance from the others... It's not just some harmless disease, is it?

    [​IMG] If only I knew! But I'm worried it might be contagious! That's why I keep my distance and don't talk with the others. If they knew, they'd leave me in this swamp!

    [​IMG] I will be as silent as the grave.

    Relaying the information about Black Alma to Crow should cause further upset.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Really? And what would that be? I love gossip!

    [​IMG] Black Alma just confided in me.

    [​IMG] I don't believe it! I've been trying to get something out of her for days. Please, I'll die if you don't tell me everything!

    [​IMG] Then I'll tell you. She has a rather contagious health problem.

    [​IMG] What? Then I think I can guess what it is. Haha, I like that!

    [​IMG] It's nice that your crewmate's misfortune makes you so happy.

    Finally, Angela just needs to rile Bravethorn up a bit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] You again? What do you want?

    [​IMG] The Elves can sense the faintheartedness of your captain. They will only yield if you show strength.

    [​IMG] Ha! Those pointy-ears and their hocus pocus don't scare me! But our fancy captain is scared for his life.

    [​IMG] [Seduce] I think the captain should be the bravest person in his crew. But it seems you are.

    [​IMG] [Success] Ha! That's right. I was a bare-knuckle champion, you know?

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] Let's be honest. You won't help any of us if you don't act. It's time you took control!

    [​IMG] [Success] No risk, no loot, that's what I always say. It's worth a try!

    [​IMG] It's obvious you should be the captain, not that weakling!

    [​IMG] By Phex, you’re right! Fortune favors those who act!

    [​IMG] As the new captain, you'll lead us to victory. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks thatl

    [​IMG] Well, most of the crew is dissatisfied. What are you waiting for?

    [​IMG] You mean the crew is ready to move against the tree-hoppers with me?

    [​IMG] Nearly. You need to prepare the ground for your takeover.

    [​IMG] What do you mean?

    [​IMG] A decent drop of booze should help the last few doubters forget their scruples.

    [​IMG] Yes, that's good! ... Wait! No, that's not good...

    [​IMG] Why not?

    [​IMG] Hookensang has the good stuff locked away and he gave Spinning Jenny the key. She won't give it up.

    Of course, Angela has already pickpocketed this key.

    [​IMG] The key to your success. Here it is!

    [​IMG] Thank Phex! I could use a smart lass like you when I'm captain. You helped me out, now let me help you.

    [​IMG] Pff, I already have a ship at my disposal.

    [​IMG]

    The booze will set off the already disgruntled pirates against each other completely. Hookensang gets pissed and orders to leave.

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    [​IMG] Fun? I nearly died of boredom while you gossiped with those... let's face it... bored pirates. I'd rather have let my ax do the talking!

    [​IMG] You should practice a little patience, Forgrimm. It always pays off.

    [​IMG] Forget it, it’s pointless. You might as well talk to a rock.

    IAter dealing with the pirates Angela has gained a good bit of leveling points. At this point it is a good idea to start raising attributed.

    With 12 CN/ST Angela will be learn Endurance I/Armor Use I.


    [​IMG]
     
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  23. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 22: Tree huggers

    Show Spoiler

    It is time to see the Elves in their big tree.

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    Isaliel marks the location of the pirate hideout on the world map.

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    [​IMG] I didn't need to do very much at all. They were already as united as the Northmarchers, if you know what I mean.

    [​IMG] I understand! The lack of unity among Humans is a constant puzzle... nevertheless, I thank you.

    [​IMG] How is Ardo? Have you managed to find out what is wrong with him?

    [​IMG] Your friend is under the influence of what we call zertaubra. Destructive magic, impelled by the power of the mind. We too, are suffering from such magic, although the source is different.

    [​IMG] Have you been able to combat it?

    [​IMG] Our fates are intertwined. Two streams converge to become a mighty river. If you bring Ardo to us, you will learn everything else from Alari.

    [​IMG] To help Ardo, I must ask you something else: Do you know where the pirates came from?

    [​IMG] My eyes see far. Open your mind and I will show you the way.

    [​IMG] Ohh... a thousand times thank you! I will take Ardo to Alari.

    Alari is another level up on the tree.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] His spirit is trapped by a powerful magic that prevents him from waking and constantly saps his vitality. Like us, he is unable to recover his strength through sleep.

    [​IMG] Isaliel spoke of evil magic that is weakening you. Is there nothing more you can do about it?

    [​IMG] Disturbing dreams are draining our mandra. We can no longer sing our magic songs to soothe the pain. Where songs and laughter once filled the air, desolation and torpor now reign.

    [​IMG] Do you know where these nightmares come from?

    [​IMG] They come from the fallen stones northwest of here. The thing that resides there is not of this world. We have guarded this place for centuries.

    [​IMG] But now the guards are torn from life and the magical barrier that protects us from fear and weakness is breached. But that also means that you can now go there to help Ardo.

    [​IMG] How can I help him by going to some ruins?

    [​IMG] The zertaubra is strong in that place and even older than Isaliel. But I also hear other music there. Next to a fury that can never be tamed, I also sense a powerful source of healing.

    [​IMG] I will find the remedy and try to end your agony.

    It seems the next main task is some dungeon crawling.

    [​IMG]

    Alari Springborn also sells some useful items, including another piece of Storm Sentinel set.

    [​IMG]

    While the Silvan gloves will help Fayris a lot with her spellcasting.

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    Angela buys here also new pants.

    [​IMG]

    By the way, Alari also sells some new spells.

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    Elfenword Silken Speech is an interesting Elf-only spell but only really useful for an Elven main character.

    [​IMG]

    Calm Body, Calm Spirit is interesting to cast during combat to regenerate since it will immediately make enemies disengage.

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    Meek you be is a useful spell when up against packs of animals that no longer give experience upon killing them.

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    Somnigravis is the best spell for crowd control after Paralysis.

    From the Elves around the tree one can learn a lot about Elven history and culture. Dark Eye Elves are p. similar to Silmarillion Elves.

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    This Elf is trapped in a nightmare about Borbarad. He had a demon crown with seven bone blades.

    [​IMG] Wake up! It’s just a dream!

    [​IMG] [She awakes] Oh... when will this horror end? It feeds on my energy. There is nothing I can do.

    [​IMG] I will do something.

    Ilcoron Sparkweaver has some information about Elven craftsmanship.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I'm interested in how you make things.

    [​IMG] I would be pleased to tell you about my work.

    [​IMG] How is your craft different to that of other peoples?

    [​IMG] We Elves love all things that are naturally beautiful. This is why we only make beautiful things. Nothing merely fulfils a purpose, everything must be in harmony with its environment.

    [​IMG] When I make a spear to catch fish, I make it so that it reflects the song of the river. Then the waters will welcome me as I stand on the riverbank as still as an oak, waiting for the fish.

    [​IMG] I heard you singing. Are you making an instrument?

    [​IMG] No, I always sing while I work my craft. Everything around us has a song, and I find my work easier when my hands follow the music.

    [​IMG] I enjoy making instruments. You will have already noticed that music is an important part of our life. We often play together, it is like exchanging thoughts.

    Past these two Elves is the gateway to the upper level of the tree, but it is not yet accessible.

    [​IMG]

    Back on Isaliel’s level is Linwen Owlwing, a trainer who also sells some p. good stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Fayris finally learns here Marksman skill.

    [​IMG]

    Forgrimm might as well learn it too.

    [​IMG]

    Linwen also sells the Elf-only spell Ice Cold Warrior, an interesting spell to cast during combat.

    [​IMG]

    We buy here the ranger’s tunic for Fayris, fitting Elven boots for Angela and puff boots for Cano.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Linwen also sells a recipe for the best arrows in the game, but it’s rather complex to craft.

    [​IMG]

    There are some other Elves to chat with too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I would like to ask you something.

    [​IMG] I would be pleased to tell you anything that can improve understanding between you and our tribe.

    [​IMG] How do you deal with the death of your tribal brethren?

    [​IMG] We only mourn the lost fey if the death is caused by violence before it is their time. If the Elf led a fulfilled life, then death has no horror for him and his relatives.

    [​IMG] Some of us believe that we return to our origin in the world of light. Others think that they are reborn in a new Elven body or in the form of a soul creature.

    [​IMG] Does Isaliel enforce law and order here?

    [​IMG] No. Humans rule and are ruled. They are so restricted by their rules that they forget to experience the world and its creatures with their own senses.

    [​IMG] In our shared ritual, the salasandra, we learn eo. This means that we feel whether our actions harm another. Those who deliberately violate eo must leave the tribe.

    [​IMG] You often seem lost in a dream. Why?

    [​IMG] Dreams are often more meaningful than reality. They tell you something about your own being. Reality, on the other hand, can distract you from yourself.

    [​IMG] We sing of Mandaya, the first and last of the Light Elves. She sacrificed herself by renouncing her reality. Now she dreams eternally so we can find our way back to the light.

    [​IMG] Thank you for your explanation.

    Next to Shanaha stands Elbrenell Mistcaller.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Will you tell me something about Isaliel?

    [​IMG] You would have to spend a hundred years with her to understand her! She is not as hard-hearted as she appears. Everything she does is in order to protect us.

    [​IMG] What you know only from the tales of your ancestors, she experienced herself hundreds of years ago. The Demon battle between the varra dioy, who called himself Borbarad and his brother Rohal. Then the Mage Wars...

    Note: this battle between Borbarad and Rohal happened in the Gorian desert – see the adventure game Memoria by Daedalic Entertainment.

    The Mage Wars is an interesting chapter in Middenrealm history; they were about the succession to demigod Rohal the Wise who laid down his rule over Middenrealm after 123 years. Before Rohal the Praios Church ruled over Middenrealm for about 200 years after the old House of Gareth died out.

    [​IMG] She has obviously had many negative experiences with Human magic.

    [​IMG] But instead of fleeing from these horrors, she tries to spare others the suffering that she has experienced. Her magic was powerful enough to contain the zertaubra in the ruins and prevent it from harming us.

    [​IMG] Why is Linwen always telling me to listen?

    [​IMG] It is his way. He wishes to impart his knowledge to others, be they Elf, Human or Dwarf. He sings the legends to conserve the knowledge.

    [​IMG] He always says that 'to be a good teacher, you must be a good pupil.' This is why he observes very carefully that which he is shown in order to be able to emulate it himself. He can teach you much.

    [​IMG] Why are you always looking up?

    [​IMG] We watch the cloud pictures, as they tell us what to expect. The song of the animals and the way the wind blows through the grass tells us much about the wellbeing of this place.

    [​IMG] Some people would call that superstition.

    [​IMG] You mean Humans who prefer to kneel before beings who do not even live in this world? Hahaha! Some Elves also believe that Dwarves create wood underground so that they can burn it one day.

    Elsewhere is a dude who can tell us about soul creatures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Can you explain the inner animal beings of the Elves?

    [​IMG] You must mean the soul creatures. What exactly don't you understand?

    Note: like Malazan Soletaken, Elves can transform into the soul creatures.

    [​IMG] How do you know what your soul creature is?

    [​IMG] The day comes when we find it and it finds us. Just as we find our task in life, so we also find our true disposition through our soul creature.

    [​IMG] Each tribe member has their task within the tribe, just as every creature has its place within nature, contributing to iamanda, the Song of Everything.

    [​IMG] Do the Elves of your tribe all have soul creatures of similar species?

    [​IMG] Nearly all Storm Sentinels have birds as soul creatures. One Elf left the tribe because she felt drawn to the wildcat. There is one other sad exception...

    [​IMG] Why is it sad?

    [​IMG] His soul is forever bound to that of an Elf here. He will never leave her or this tree. But he will never be able to play in the wind with her, high over the Great River as it sparkles in the sun.

    There is also someone around who may be familiar to these who played the first Drakensang.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I just exploited their anger and their inner discontent.

    [​IMG] Yes, Humans are so. But not everybody understands how to use those weaknesses.

    [​IMG] Your deeds tell me that you have a long and enlightened path ahead of you. Can I be of help to you in some way?

    [​IMG] I heard there's a Water Dragon somewhere along the river...

    [​IMG] Yes, I also heard such rumors during my travels. A malicious creature that damages the balance of the river with its greed. But I do not know exactly where it lurks.

    [​IMG] You mentioned the High Elves. Who were they?

    [​IMG] Many generations ago, the High Elves were the most powerful people of Aventuria. Pyrdacor, the Golden Ancient Dragon appeared to us and gave us power over the elements.

    [​IMG] Like the Lizards, we started to worship Pyrdacor. The corrupt Elf Pardona seduced many of our people. We recognized the error of our ways too late, when the Gods unleashed a dragon war and our cities fell to the Nameless One.

    Note: Gwendala is talking about an era 30,000 years before Bosparan’s Fall. Pardona, btw, is still alive in current state of Dark Eye setting (1040 BF).

    [​IMG] Recent events cause us to remember our folly once more. Brave adventurers found the old Elf king Fenvarien in the ruins of Tie'Shianna. After three times a thousand years, he was released from the dungeons of the God-who-destroys-existence.

    Note: this is a reference to a P&P campaign.

    [​IMG] So what do you seek? Maybe I can help.

    [​IMG] I am sorry, but I am not allowed to speak of it. I can only say that it involves a High Elven artifact.

    [​IMG] [Fast Talk] But if I happen to find it, I won't recognize it and I won't be able to give it to you.

    [​IMG] [Success] In which case my quest would be fruitless! Very well: I am searching for a High Elven weapon. My tribe wants to keep it safe in order to protect other Elves from its harmful effects.

    [​IMG] I’ll keep my eyes open.

    In a basket near the bowyer are three new recipes we can pick up for free.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bowyer himself is an annoying autist.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Your brethren speak with me.

    [​IMG] What is it then?

    [​IMG] Can you tell me about this tree?

    [​IMG] Yes.

    [​IMG] It didn't just happen to grow like this, did it?

    [​IMG] No.

    [​IMG] [Say nothing and wait]

    [​IMG] I am responsible for forming it. I must also find an Elf to whom I can pass on this knowledge... that is all there is to say.

    [​IMG] What if you die before you have a successor?

    [​IMG] That will not happen. We Elves do not die before we have achieved our life's purpose. Unless... [he shudders] ... I don't want to think about that! Go away!

    After all this talking it is time to move to the ruins Alari talked about. Gateway to the ruins is past Alari’s chamber.

    [​IMG]

    On the way to the ruins is an old corpse carrying a book with some background information.

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    To the north of the corpse is an ogre lair; there’s another piece of the Storm Sentinel set here for Fayris.

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    The ogre dropped his club too, but it’s not really practical for anyone but ogres to use.

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    In front of the stairs to the ruins the group comes across the two corpses of the Elf guards; apparently Elves don’t bury their dead.

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    There are some beetles guarding the stairs; Angela reaches level 7 here.

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    The direct route to the ruins entrance is blocked; going around there’s another yuge head with something buried underneath the chin.

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    At the entrance, Archon Megalon is waiting.

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    [​IMG] I'm not here for some experiment, I'm here to find a remedy for my friend.

    [​IMG] Two things that are not necessarily mutually exclusive if you consider the horrors you must face in order to achieve your goal.

    [​IMG] What horror do you speak of?

    [​IMG] A demon. Summoned by the ancient Bosparanians, bound by their power, animated by their knowledge... and controlled by their logic.

    [​IMG] [Arcane Lore] A demon summoned and bound so long ago? I very much doubt that the magical bonds are still in place.

    [​IMG] You clearly already have some superficial knowledge of the subject. In that case, you will soon learn that many years ago, great minds dared to carry out experiments beyond your imagination.

    [​IMG] Does that thought alarm you?

    [​IMG] Not in the slightest.

    [​IMG] Denial of fear... a widespread phenomenon among those experiencing weakness and wishing to appear strong. You can prove your claim in my experiment.

    [​IMG] You will descend to the depths and face your fear. Look for the seal stones that manipulate the manifestation of the demon in the third sphere.

    [​IMG] [Human Nature] You are trying to manipulate me. What do you want?

    [​IMG] The intelligent test subject recognizes that it is not the focus of the experiment and that value is placed only on the result. Let's proceed to the intended objective of the experiment...

    [​IMG] Why do you want the seal stones?

    [​IMG] I am conducting a series of experiments. I am currently dealing with the competing relationship between fear and greed, taking into account mental deconstruction due to irrational influences.

    [​IMG] For each seal stone you bring me, I will reward you with an appropriate number of ducats or other items that may be of value to you. But remember, your life may depend on how you expend the seals.

    [​IMG] You can use the seals to reduce the demon's powers. But once you have used a seal, you cannot recover it. It is your decision.

    [​IMG] One shouldn't count one's chickens before they're hatched.

    Angela pickpockets a book off Megalon. The man is totally obsessed by the concept of fear.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  24. drexciyagender: ⚧ Augur

    drexciya
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    174
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Interesting, I hadn't thought of pickpocketing Archon. The demon, mentioned by Archon, can be defeated, even when not using any seal, but that's very time consuming and requires lots of arrows and potions.
     
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  25. abnaxusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Parrots:
    15,485
    Location:
    Carcosa
    Part 23: Evil Womyn

    Show Spoiler

    Once inside the ruins, however, turns out there are already some other visitors.

    [​IMG]

    It seems somehow Megalon tricked some man-hating sloots into becoming his test subjects.

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    Some background info on Dark Amazons: the main Amazon fortress in Aventuria is Kurkum located in the East of Middenrealm. Between 998 and 1003 BF the mage Xeraan (who later would become a Heptarch) entered Kurkum and seduced a lot of Amazons into worship of a ‘Dark Goddess’.

    These Dark Amazons were driven from Kurkum eventually. Later after Borbarad’s return they joined the Borbarad hordes and became worshipers of the Archdemon Belhalhar. Kurkum was sacked and only reconquered by the true Amazons in 1038 BF.


    Looking through the game files I found the following lore piece on Amazons:

    Seems this was supposed to be included in a book that never made it into the game.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I'm guessing you've already done that. Did the man in black robes tell you to kill the Elf guards?

    [​IMG] How do you know that? Just a moment! Do you seek the Dark Goddess too... and dream of a dreadful skull?

    [​IMG] Don't be stupid, Nivin, and hold your tongue in front of strangers. Come, let our swords speak for us!

    There’s no reasoning with them and they must be killed. Even though they are Amazons, they are not especially difficult to deal with.

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    Each group of Dark Amazons killed drops a piece of Kurkumian armour, if the main character were an Amazon this would be THE armour to have.

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    The Dark Amazons were talking about solving a puzzle to open the gate – three more stones are needed in order to solve it.

    A bookstand next to the gate reveals a clue about the order of stones.

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    Inside the ruins, past traps and skeletons, Forgrimm’s Dwarfnose skill shows a hidden room.

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    A unique sword is obtained.

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    In another chest Angela finds a mysterious recipe… triggering another sidequest.

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    At the other side of the hidden room, there’s a puzzle room where another group of Dark Amazons already obtained another turnkey for the main gate. We take the turnkey off their corpses.

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    The leader of this group drops an Amazon saber; something else an Amazon main character would want to have.

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    Heading towards another part of the ruins, there are two more ambushes by Dark Amazon groups.

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    Strangely, there’s a Dark Amazon around who is not aggressive and can be interacted with.

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    [​IMG] Your sisters didn't talk, they just attacked straight away.

    [​IMG] They do not speak with those who serve the Gods. Give me a reason not to call my sisters to slay you!

    [​IMG] How can you serve a Goddess with a skull for a face?

    [​IMG] Skull?

    [​IMG] One of your sisters has already seen the face of your Goddess in her nightmares.

    [​IMG] Nightmares? I... I don't know what you're talking about. The Goddess is both mother and savior to us.

    [​IMG] You have nightmares, don’t you?

    [​IMG] I... yes. Her face was dreadful...

    [​IMG] Then turn back! Perhaps your soul can still be saved!

    [​IMG] Do you mean the Goddess will take me back?

    [​IMG] Rondra embodies battle. If you fight, you earn respect.

    [​IMG] Then... then maybe there is a way.

    [​IMG] A Priestess of Rondra met her death within these walls. Her soul still wanders here. My sisters have tried to banish it. But they cannot approach the holy aura of her soul.

    [​IMG] If you help her to find Rondra, maybe she would absolve my soul. Would you do that?

    [​IMG] Of course! Anything for the Gods.

    Upstairs past Larys Angela finds this priestess’ whereabouts.

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    [​IMG] Ah, a priestess of Rondra. Who are you?

    [​IMG] In life, I was Leondril Liontongue of Thunderbrook. I served Lady Rondra. And who are you?

    [​IMG] My name is Angela Merkel. Have you met someone named Thargazz?

    [​IMG] I have certainly met him - he is my murderer. A Dark Covenanter who serves Boron's dark adversary. Did he lure you down here?

    [​IMG] No, I have never met him.

    [​IMG] Thargazz is a follower of the dark Borbarad, whom he served faithfully during the Mage Wars. He is extremely powerful and unscrupulous.

    [​IMG] Borbarad? Is that not the enemy of Rohal the Wise? And weren't the Mage Wars over five hundred years ago?

    Note: Rohal the Wise

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    [​IMG] Five hundred years? Can it really be so long? By Rondra! Is the Dark Covenanter really still alive? If he is dead, nobody will be able to free my soul!

    [​IMG] He bound your soul here?

    [​IMG] My soul is trapped here, damned to an eternity wandering this unholy place.

    [​IMG] How terrible! Can your soul be freed?

    [​IMG] He took my bones, my holy sword and my Rondra amulet and buried them so they would never be found again.

    Well, it seems at this point we already have three of those four items.

    [​IMG] Did he say where he buried them?

    [​IMG] No, he wasn't that stupid, unfortunately. He just laughed scornfully and said they were buried in four different places.

    [​IMG] So I must find your bones. Will that release you?

    [​IMG] Almost. If you find my bones, the sword and the amulet and place them in this sarcophagus next to me in Rondra's name, then my soul will be free to find Boron's Halls. Dare you help me?

    [​IMG] I shall do it.

    [​IMG] I thank you in the name of the Goddess! But you should not delay any further. Something has been pulling at my soul ever since I have been here. I cannot fight it much longer.

    [​IMG] Something wishes to consume your soul?

    [​IMG] The call of the Dark Goddess is strong. I feel it in every fiber of my immortal soul. She wants to drag me down to the Lower Hells. But I still resist!

    [​IMG] Call? What call?

    [​IMG] Something dwells within these walls. It must be a manifestation of an arch-demoness. It calls for my soul. I fight it, but I don't have much more strength. Soon it will consume me.

    [​IMG] How soon?

    [​IMG] I will hold out for as long as I can. But my strength will fail me eventually.

    [​IMG] What can we do about it?

    [​IMG] A manifestation of an arch-demoness must dwell somewhere within these vaults. That is the center of her power. Destroy it and the unholy call will fall silent. But be careful... she will guard it well.

    [​IMG] I think I know what to do.

    Further on is another puzzle room.

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    The puzzle here is to find the right balance with iron and lead weights.

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    If Angela takes too long here, Archon Megalan actually appears and suggest to solve the puzzle for her… but it is not hard.

    Solving the puzzle makes a chest appear containing another turnstone.

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    Deeper in the ruins past some skeletons Angela finds another chest with a part of the recipe.

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    A bit further an enemy appears that Blackguards players may be very intimate with – the crypt lice. Their eyes can actually be sold to the Nadoret cook for profit.

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    Further past the crypt lice is another puzzle area – and the final head where the priestess’ Rondracomb is buried.

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    The Rondracomb is actually not a bad weapon either.

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    Upstairs the puzzle area past more beetles is another chest with a recipe part.

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    The puzzle to get the keystone is all about symmetry, safely leading the skeleton to its goal.

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    Solving the puzzle another chest spawns with the final turnkey.

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    Returning to the entrance, the Dark Amazon Leader will show up.

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    [​IMG] Dark Goddess? I am here for another reason.

    [​IMG] Do not waste our time! Or do you wish to feel my anger? Explain yourself!

    [​IMG] A man I met at the ruins made me take part in his experiment.

    [​IMG] You can trust a man no more than you can trust a snake. And I trust you even less. Sisters, attack!

    I suppose it’s understandable they’re butthurt about Megalon having tricked them.

    In any case it’s amusing using Better Offer on the Dark Amazon leader.

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    The Dark Amazon leader drops the last pieces of Kurkum armour (though I missed the helmet somewhere) and a shield that Forgrimm at least can use.

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    Solving the entrance gate puzzle is easy – but Angela still needs to save the priestess’ soul.

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    As soon as Angela steps foot in the priestess’ chamber, Larys arrives and reveals the terrible truth.

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    [​IMG] I did. They lay beneath the stone heads.

    [​IMG] Then the time has come to tell you the truth.

    [​IMG] I tricked you! I was just using you to get to the priestesses' bones. Thanks to you we can sacrifice her soul to the Dark Goddess!

    Well, not really very surprising.

    [​IMG] By the Lower Hells! Die, traitor!

    [​IMG] Sisters! Kill her!

    This is the very last group of Dark Amazons to kill; again, it is amusing to use Better Offer on the traitor Larys.

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    Larys wielded the saber of the Lioness which is the best weapon for an Amazon main character to have; now, we’ll just sell it.

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    At any rate, with Larys gone the priestess’soul can be saved.

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    [​IMG] Yes, I will.

    [​IMG] Then place my bones, the sword and the amulet here in the sarcophagus.

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    [​IMG] I was pleased to do so.

    [​IMG] Your reward shall be my holy sword and the amulet. The blade is named 'Lion Tongue'. Use it in Rondra's name and it will protect you on many a perilous path.

    [​IMG] The amulet will fill your heart with valor in the face of the enemy. Go with the blessing of the Goddess!

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    Before heading deeper in the ruins it is a good idea to return to the Elven tree, sell off excess loot and get some training. Angela gained a good chunk of leveling points by now.

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    Also interestingly, Isaliel knows about Thargazz.

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    [​IMG] The name has a troubling discord. But it is not known to me. Why do you ask?

    [​IMG] His skeleton lay on the path to the ruins, next to a couple of old pillars.

    [​IMG] There are many old pillars there.

    [​IMG] It is the first pair of pillars next to the river.

    [​IMG] Oh yes, I know of whom you speak. That was the Human who went down to the evil thing. Centuries ago, he broke through our defenses and brought zertaubra to that place. We slew him eventually.

    [​IMG] How did he break through?

    [​IMG] With powerful zertaubra. We had to restore the spell in salasandra afterwards.

    Back at the ruins, we can now proceed to the lower parts.

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