Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Completed Qasir al-Wasat: A Night in-Between

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Yaar Podshipnik, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Qasir al-Wasat
    A Night in-Between​


    Qasir al-Wasat is a stealth puzzle game with a bit of action thrown in. Part of its charm is not knowing what exactly is going on, and discovering the motives of main characters.

    There are no complicated controls, no super-smart AI, no dialog choices. There is some C&C in the form of dead/normal/best ending.

    All my comments will look like this. If you think they are stupid and detract from the LP quit whining go make your own.

    This is my first LP, I hope you'll enjoy it.

    Index
    Part 00: The pact
    Part 01: First Steps In the Palace
    Part 02: The East Wind
    Part 03: A cornucopia of secrets
    Part 04: Secret passages & The Broken Scimitar
    Part 05: The Third Guardian & The Outer Castle
    Part 06: The arrival
    Part 07: The Prison
    Part 08: Following in the footsteps of those who came before
    Part 09: The last pool
    Part 10: The grand finale

    Part 00: The pact
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    My world and the human one ar inherently different. As different as our spirits can be.

    [​IMG]

    There was a time when the worlds were young, and transit between them was frequent; before they began to move apart and the gates between them to close.

    Since then, humans have grown in awareness, discovering the way to open the gates and summon us in.

    Nevertheless they lack the ambition to make real use of this skill.

    Calls are getting rarer and the knowledge of them is vanishing.

    I can hear a call, the distant magic chanting whispering the many names I received through time.

    It's offering me, as a reward for my services, three masterworks of blacksmithing.

    I take no interest in weapons...

    But within their hilts are hidden powerful poisons, and in these I can see use.

    Experience warns me there is something dangerous about this proposal.

    But depending on these scarece human rituals to visit other worlds is a delicate situation, and I've bben looking for a way to open the gates myself.

    And if there is a place where I can learn how this is done...

    ...this place will be near a powerful summoner

    We find our protagonist in a strange winter forest. Take a good look at the guy, we won't be seeing much of him during this LP.

    [​IMG]

    A whispering guide.
    Finding the way to the human world now is only a question of following the call to its source.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And by crossing the gate between worlds I bind you to my rules...

    The little bugger we're controlling is invisible in our world. This is its greatest strength. The summoner is dressed in fabulously!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You are the One that Cannot Be Seen under the lights of our world.
    Your work is precise, and your name is Subtle.

    A contract must be signed. I don't know if any of the symbols have any meaning outside of the game, so if anyone knows, please share.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My attention is yours.
    [​IMG]
    Know my name is Farid ibn Abihi al-Saahir.
    In the heart of this desert rests a wondrous palace of which I am the owner.
    And therein live three humans of wicked nature, who for too long have defied my authority.
    [​IMG]
    It is always a killing.

    You will recognize your targets by the weapons they bear.
    The Persian Spear, The Broken Scimitar and the Silver Sword.
    As a reward for your services I will gift you these weapons.
    All three have hidden in their hilts powerful poisons I know can be of use to you.

    Interesting. Does he know I can metabolize poisons?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If I receive a mortal injury in this world, I will disincorporate and return alive to my own land.
    And any injury for me would be mortal, as I don't have the constitution my fellows praise themselves for.

    So, Subtle is weak. Like a zebra.

    Yet you must complete your mission this very night, as it is not favourable to open another door so soon.
    In case you do fail, you will be forced back to this world.
    I demand you then become my servant, without ever causing me harm or holding back your abilities.
    [​IMG]

    To become a slave to a human would be, wihtout doubt, the most humiliating of ends.
    The prestige I took so long to build up in my world would be irrevocably lost.
    But the chance of exploring this palace would be worth the risk.
    I'll have to step carefully.

    AND CARRY A BIG GUN!

    When you kill the third of your targets, you will be freed from all responsibilities that bond us.
    I will then send you back to your world.
    These are my terms.

    I hear and understand.

    Then it is settled.

    [​IMG]
    Come inside.
    [​IMG]

    After our host disappears in a puff of purple smoke we are left alone. There's nothing to do other than entering the castle. From now on, Subtle is invisible. The screen is centered on him though.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The castle looks like a ruin...
    [​IMG]
    And it is this foolishness that leads them to ignore the occult that resides here.
    [​IMG]
    The only place one could be safe from men, wars and spirits.
    A true fortress.

    This is, undoubtedly, a unique opportunity.
    Perhaps the one I have been waiting for.
    This palace has been guarded from the rest of the world for many years and must hide secrets that in any other condition would have disappeared.
    And a sourcerer that hold these abilities must have manuscripts that interest me.
    For all one knows, the information I am looking for could be anywhere in here.

    [​IMG]
    Taking or not the life of a human is but a strategic decision. Both have their time and use.

    That said, I will now return to more pressing matters.
    You are dismissed.

    [​IMG]
    If I want to find anything among the corridors of this palace I will have to do so before fulfilling the contract.

    Now we are free to roam the castle. Let's check the first room...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It must lead to somewhere important.


    Seems we have no choice, we have to take the left door. Fucking railroading :decline:
    You'll have to wait for the next update to see what's behind it though. The plot will thicken, so stay tuned!

     
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  2. CaptainAwesomegender: ⚧ Prophet

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  3. Corporate_Jew_Mastergender: ⚧ Arcane

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    They are very, very real you know.
     
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  4. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    I can say for sure that Subtle is not a Djinn. Next update should provide some initial info on the guy.
     
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  5. lightbanegender: ⚧ Arcane

    lightbane
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    Never heard of this game until now. Seems cool though. Moar!
     
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  6. Gondolingender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Same here.
     
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  7. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
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    Before we go off to explore further, a couple of words about the game mechanics.

    You control Subtle, a demon working on a contract for a powerful wizard called Farid ibn Abihi al-Saahir. At the same time you want to find out a way to open gateways between your world and human world without the need for a human summoner.

    Subtle can be moved using arrow keys, there's a key for action (killing, eating, opening doors, getting items), key for stealth mode, and key for hearing Subtle's thoughts. A NES controller would do fine for this game.

    Our hero can stealth kill guards (who mostly do not respawn) as long as he has poison in his system, and is in stealth mode. Stealth kills leave no traces on the demon. If it doesn't have any poison, it can still kill guards with its claws. That will leave some blood on Subtle, which means he will be easier to spot. And that is a bad thing, since he can be killed by a single hit.

    Even though it's implied in the fluff in-game there's no actual time limit.

    I'll explain more along the way.

    Before the next part, let's take a look at the menus in this game (they look quite nice).
    UI (open)

    The pause menu:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, there are indicators for your visibility levels (in-game you just see stuff on Subtle), how much poison do you have (in-game only visible when in stealth mode), a key indicator, targets killed indicator, item indicator, and some misc symbols that look cool.

    The map:
    [​IMG]
    Each room Subtle visits will be automatically added to the map. The one it's in is highlighted in blue.

    The remarks:
    [​IMG]
    In this section we can re-read every note our demon has found. There's some nice art there so I'll be showing it off during this LP. On the picture above you can see, what I assume is, the symbol for Subtle.
    [​IMG]
    There's also symbol for contract, along with Subtle's musings on it:

    I've been summoned by a sorcerer that goes by the name of Farid ibn Abihi al-Saahir. He demands I kill three of his servants, but he keeps his reasons to himself.

    I am under Protection of Lige, meaning a strike that would normally cause my death will only banish me back to my world. However, as I will not be able to return to this world, my mission will have failed. The sorcerer demands I then become his loyal servant, a humiliating prospect.

    The contract binds me to his terms, and consequently I must find these three men. But my overriding motivation is to search for information the sorcerer might have, manuscripts that will tell me how the connection between our worlds is made, and how humans are able to create these portals.



    Part 01: First steps in the palace
    Show Spoiler

    We proceed to take the west door, and barge in on a conversation of two guards...

    [​IMG]
    Al-Saahir is always making experiments with them, and you can't ever know if they will poison you or turn you into a snail.
    [​IMG]

    The guards mostly move on a fixed route, so they are easy to evade, it just requires some patience. They will react to the sound of Subtle's footsteps (and the floor type does modify the volume), or to dirt/blood/pigment on it. If they suspect something a "!?" will show up above their heads and they may come investigate.
    [​IMG]

    There's not much to do in the first room so we continue inwards.
    [​IMG]
    Just another corridor, let's take the south door first.

    And we barge in on another conversation...
    [​IMG]
    I saw al-Saahir going through a wall, just now!
    [​IMG]
    Haven't I told you not to question these things?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A hidden door sounds interesting. Goind into stealth mode increases our perception stat far enough to be able to notice stuff like hidden doors.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The first secret room holds a chest with a simple lock.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Properly rotating the disks yields a symbol of a snake created from something that looks like arabic calligraphy, which then transforms to something less abstract.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Letter in Latin

    "My respected friend Farid ibn Abihi,

    Considering the development of our previous correspondence everything points to one solid option. I do know of a creature that fits your new requirements, though at first I didn't consider It an option. It might hold a special interest in acquiring rare kinds of poisons, so if you can find a curious one you might be able to attract it to earth.

    Subtilia, as we call It in the Kingdom of Sicily, is believed to produce a mercuric toxing. The first recorded apparition I have on It dates from at least a millennium ago, originally from the old empire of Chine. Then It was called Wu Xing, meaning invisible, though at this moment this was only praise for Its work.

    However, in later manuscripts It is described as being, indeed, invisible in form. I believe this is an acquired ability, as many of these spirits tend to accumulate powers with the passing of centuries. This also makes sense considering It is under the aegis of a goetian king, Balaam, which can grant invisibility to his subjects.

    The thing is, It is incredibly smart, so allow me to advise extreme caution, especially considering what you plan on doing. Though unfortunate, you have been very lucky in your other epxerience. One cannot be too careful when dealing with the spirits of goetia.

    Your's sincerely,

    S."


    [​IMG]

    The sorcerer has something in mind and I am to play a part in it.
    But by the way they talk about it, it doesn't seem to be just the killing of those three humans.
    The oldest information they have is from after I've joined Balaam's legion.
    Everything before that, when I was a nameless pariah or even before I was banned by Marbas, simply disappeared with time.


    Seems fishy. Nothing more to do here, so we go back to the previous room, and enter the west door.
    [​IMG]
    There aren't that many of the water pools in the castle, so it's better if we don't get any stuff on Subtilia. The gate to the north is closed, so we have to check the west room.

    [​IMG]

    No one is going to come here.
    Nothing ever happens.
    I can't wait to end this and get some sleep.
    I'm so sleepy I wouldn't even know if the lever was on or off anyway.

    [​IMG]
    I've killed the guy just to show how it looks. Since Subtle had poison, the guard is dead without spilling any blood and our visibility isn't affected. Most of the time it's now worth killing anyone.
    We flip the lever and go back to previous room and through the north gate, now open.

    We enter a big courtyard, with some more eavesdropping opportunities.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And when I opened my eyese I was here!
    How could this happen?

    [​IMG]
    We were all abducted from our lives to this palace, all from different cities.
    Don't worry, you'll soon be assigned an occupation and get used to it.
    Life isn't that bad here.

    Perhaps you are right.
    At least I get to live in a palace.
    Thank you for your kind words.


    [​IMG]
    But still, it is a rather unusual magical ability.

    [​IMG]
    The east door is guarded, I won't risk entering it, let's try the north one.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We enter a small room, that makes our spidey senses tingling...
    [​IMG]
    If I am patient enough I can probably get through them without problems.

    Triggering a trap makes it puff out some purple smoke that colorizes Subtle's fur, making him visible. However, after a couple of seconds, the trap stops and won't reactivate until the trigger is depressed and then pressed again. That makes them easy to avoid, as long as you move slowly.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yet the poison was replaced with pigment.
    I don't think it is a good sign.


    [​IMG]
    Another guard room, we quietly evade the guards, and proceed to the east.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Oh well, I'll go back for it later.
    [​IMG]
    I shouldn't have killed the guy, but I couldn't resist showing off how blood looks on Subtilia. After the guard is dead, we proceed to the only open door (besides the one we came from), the SW one.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Those three old guardians... I believe they are my targets.
    Are they being protected from me?
    But why would they be under the protection of the same man that orders their deaths?


    We are a bit bloodied, so the guards will easily spot us. Some quick button mashing, and they are dead. Two guards at a time is pretty much the maximum you can deal with in violent way.

    From the map it is clear that SW door will lead to the courtyard, the very same door that was guarded by two men. Going there while visible is not the best idea so we'll proceed to SE.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Mhm... I'm sure we encounter more strange rooms as we explore further... Nothing to do here really, so we take the E door.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In this room we have some purple dates and a key. Dates are a way of recharging your poison, keys are used to open some special doors. Subtle can only hold one key at a time.
    [​IMG]
    Someone has injected a solution made of mercury into them, some kind of biological experiment.
    I believe I can eat them and metabolize their content to produce a shot of poison.

    [​IMG]

    We take the key, flip the lever, and go back N to the door the dead guard forgot the key for.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    That small water pool will allow Subtle to clean itself up and become invisible again.

    [​IMG]
    Strange. If I noted the position of that first door correctly, one could say these are two sides of the same door.
    But if al-Saahir was so careful to protect it, then they must lead to somewhere else.



    That's the end of Part 01. Stay tuned for more.
     
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  8. Lindblumgender: ⚧ Scholar

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  9. Gondolingender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Moar.
     
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  10. Borisgender: ⚧ Educated Queued

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    offbeat enough to be worthy to follow
     
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    Will do.
     
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  12. CappenVarragender: ⚧ Phantasmist

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Now just add spoiler tags around updates for easier navigation, and get Agassi to comment on the demonic lore :)
     
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  13. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Thanks for suggestions CappenVarra. I'll add an index in the original post on the next update (hopefully this week). As for lore, I didn't know Agassi was the expert, I thought of paging Black Cat. There will be some middle-eastern stuff so Andahira may be needed :P
     
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  14. lightbanegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Agassi mentioned at some point that Black Cat was his Persona alt. Either way, moar!!

    How long is this game btw?
     
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  15. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Really short, could be speed run in maybe 2hrs. 100% completion (which I wasn't able to do, 1 thing missing) would probably take max 10hrs. However, it's well worth the money. The graphics are nice, the setting is rather unique and I really liked sound design. If you are interested you can buy it from official site or Desura.
     
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  16. Cool namegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    You do really need to learn Korean.



    I do not know if I will follow the Let's Play as the game does seem to be just the kind of thing I would like to play myself but I can provide a bit of background lore on what they did mention so far.

    Show Spoiler

    Marbas did use to be one of my brother's favorite infernal lord. It is similar to Belphegor. While many demons are 'guilty' of some kind of invention and discovery the main offices of both Belphegor and Marbas are all about invention and the way in which it does both serve and corrupt humanity. Marbas' sigil is the small one south of the central one in the menu.

    [​IMG]

    Besides invention and mechanics he does also know of things secret and hidden. This is however a very common ability among infernal lords and miscelaneous demons so I do believe his defining characteristic to be all that relates to mechanical devices and invention. This is a rare office among demons as well as a unique one among those of the Ars Goetia. As a president he does have Mercury both as planet and metal. The symbol of both the planet and the 'metal' in alchemy can be seen in the northern point of the summoning circle in which the main character is summoned.

    If you do subscribe to the idea of the lesser arcana and the goetic demons being related to one another he is represented by the six of pentacles, the so called 'Lord of success' in Thelemic circles. In the qabalistic tree of life he would be... God I am rusty. Gevurah on Asiyah? Maybe. If my calculations are right he is a simple demon to understand: He is all about having knowledge and wealth and power to use to satisfy the needs of others so that they depend on you and adore you. So let us say he is the infernal patron of Technical Support. He is a very easy to relate demon, as demons related to 'earth' and Asiyah usually are.

    He could also be considered a demon of 'pride.' At least I do think so. None of the other 'sins' do really fit him, except maybe 'greed.'

    Balaam on the other hand is a King, and he is of fire. He is a nocturnal lord as well. The 'darker' counterpart to Abigor, the 'lord of valour' and defiance in accordance to the qabalistic and tarot-ish correspondences. He is said to have the power to know both the future and the past, which is about the most common office a demon may have. He also does have two other and more unique offices: To become invisible and to become smart. Or should I say 'witty' instead? You know, a more devious and backstabby kind of smart. His sigil is the one north of the central one in the menu.

    [​IMG]

    I did actually need to check that one. I'm really out of practice.

    Balaam is a much harder demon to read. The nocturnal lords do tend to be so. As I did imply before he would be... Uhm... Netzach in Atziluth, which does make him even harder to read as the lords of Atziluth do tend to be the more abstract ones, and thus be represented by the inversed, as it does befit a nocturnal lord, seven of wands. I can't tell for certain but I do believe this does make him a demon that's both wildly defiant and aggresive yet subtle about it. He is not as Eligor is, openly defiant and 'come at me bro.' He is more... 'Of course good sir.' and then he does fuck your shit over without you even understanding what did go down. Which does fit with his office of prediction, invisibility, and wit.

    Not the kind of guy you do want to summon (which does apply to most other nocturnal lords as well). The wizard guy did ask for it when he did call one of his demons. Marchosias' own and Andras' own, just to name two of my favorites, and others do make murder easier than a demon who is going to do stuffies behind your back and play your own desires and pride against you. Which is, I do asume, exactly what will happen to wizard guy.

    Other than that I do not know much about Balaam. All that conspiracy stuff does not fit me at all.


    And for the record Wu Xing does not actually mean 'invisible.' It does mean 'without form or shape.' It can be interpreted as 'invisible' but it can also be interpreted as a whole lot of other things.

    And I am grateful you did bring this game to my attention. Do have a little huggie as a reward.

    :love: Infernalish huggies!
     
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  17. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Agassi, thanks for the awesome info! Do play this game, it was really fun.

    As for the wizard guy, both his background and his eventual fate are pretty interesting.

    Anyways, I'm off to UK to spend couple of days with my better half, so this will continue next week (Tuesday or Wednesday). Sorry to keep you waiting :P
     
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  18. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    After a bit of a pause we continue to explore The Castle In Between.

    Part 02: The East Wing
    Show Spoiler

    We left off in a long corridor with a pool of water. We have explored what we could of the west wing... Wait, there's a terrible, ugly hole in our map, that looks like it could have a room!
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    We backtrack and enter the previously missed (nevermore!) door.
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    Going stealthy increases our senses, and voila, here is the lever.
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    It opens a gate that leads us to...
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    ...a pantry and a startled peasant. It does provide a way around that other long corridor though, so I guess this is kind of tutorial room. After pulling the lever in the SE corner, the gate opens and we can come back to the long room with pool. No ugly holes in our map anymore.
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    We can't go north, as the way there is barred. The NE doorway is also gated, so we have no choice but to explore the east wing through SE door.
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    A boring corridor, with a bored guard. Devs missed oportunity for Dopefish reference.
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    There are 3 guards in that courtyard. There's also a lot of water, making sneaking hard. I think I'll flip out, and then wash myself, instead.
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    Let's check the doors, though it is visible from the map that only NW one can be opened at the moment, so we'll enter it right after.
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    We enter a nice room, and barge into a conversation worthy of Andhaira...
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    Then my uncle had no choice but to visit that man who had met a djinn.
    My uncle says this man's eyes were those of a ghul. He couldn't sleep anymore.
    A fire was consuming him, from the inside out, and all that pain was slowly killing him.


    What a terrible way to end one's life...
    Those creatures are abominable.
    My people say you should never go too far into a desert, or the djinns will find you, and eat you alive.


    Not all djinns are monstrous. After all they are also the creation of Allah.
    That was not the case in this story.


    And was your uncle able to help?


    Unfortunately no. There is no cure for this cast of terror.
    But I have to go.
    Now that I have the key for that northeastern room, I'm going there to check on something. I'll see you later.

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    While the guy with key goes to open the cobalt door, Subtle provides some interesting info...
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    I've heard about them before.
    They are nomad spirits, wandering between different worlds, always looking for a place where they can be left to live their lives in peace.
    I thought they had already left Earth, as so many creatures have done.

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    Off to the cobalt room.
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    That north wall looks suspicious, stealth mode on.
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    Northwards to the secret room.
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    A recepie you say? Let's look around the room some more.
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    Not a recepie but still good.

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    The Emissary's Letter

    "Most respected al-Saahir,

    Your gold was well invested, as I have found the articles you needed as well as valuable information.

    The Persian Spear, the Broken Scimitar and the Silver Sword are all masterpieces of blacksmithing and legendary weapons. Their stories are as impressive as their forms, and fit the description of your demand.

    The Persian Spear was originally a hunting weapon, with an ebony shaft hand-carved to tell the tales of the many conflicts it attended. Despite its name, no one actually know the conditions of its creation. The only clues are the images of the oldest carvings, telling us about a quarrel between two brothers. The iron of the blade was taken from a stone said to have fallen from the sky. Some go as far as to say it never misses its target.

    The Damascus Scimitar, now known as the Broken Scimitar was first presented to the world as a trophy in a fighting tournament. The dents in this beautiful blade are emblems of amazing stories, as a blade like this is not easily broken. Once, its first bearer offended Allah, being struck by lightining and thus finding his death. In this the sword lost half its length. Two dents were created in a fight with a mystical animal, a giant and ferocious monster that inhabits the river Nile. As for the last one, it appeared during enigmatic circumstances during the conquest of Sicily.

    The Silver Sword is a very ancient artefact, recovered from a shipwreck in the Red Sea. A ship from the Gupta Empire in trade with Rome was carrying contraband of several sacred objects, and was sunk by the wrath of ocean spirits. The Sword lay on the ocean floor for centuries before being recovered, and from the on was part of several clairvoyance cults befor finding its way to Cairo.

    A most interesting fact is that all three weapons, at some point, belonged to the Ahangar of Isfahan. As a master swordsmith, he made adjustments to all three, concealing in them a strange sort of poison. Some of the later owners were said to use small portions of it on the blades for multiple purposes. Yet it is believed the three should be combined to create a new formula, with a different effect.

    The trader is delighted with the price I am offering for the weapons and his silence. If this pleases you I will continue the negotiations and have the treasures reach you as soon as possible.

    Your faithful servant,
    M."

    I thought Ahangar of Isfahan sounded interesting so I've tried to find more about. There's a short note about him on Wikipedia
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    The sorcerer was looking for something special when he acquired them, and then... gave them as presents to my targets?
    Was he trying to buy their affection?
    Then when I eliminate these humans I will have three pieces of a chemical puzzle.
    Whatever their effects are this sounds very interesting.


    Let's get back to looking for that recepie...
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    With that, we can go back to the alchemical aparatus. The alchemy is a kind of puzzle where we have to combine ingredients from several jars, in particular order, using pipes and filters.

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    Done! Let's grab it and go back to that wall with sulphur chalk drawing.
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    Now we can go through the west door.

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    But... is this one of the targets whose life I must take?
    A drunk man, unable to even to defend himself?

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    Pathethic. I'll hold on killing him for a bit, the fat drunk isn't going anywhere. Let's see what's in the west room.

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    Remember Farid al-Saahir has alerted us to the presence of an invisible creature in the palace...
    ...and it is our task to find it and stop it.

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    That arrogant sorcerer... I would enjoy teaching him not to play with us like this, but our deal was well crafted.
    I can't hurt him in any way, being bound to complete the task he gave me.
    But I mustn't let this small-time scheming obuscate my judgement.
    I must stay focused in order to achieve my own objectives.


    That's right, we'll thing about revenge after our job is done.
    Looking at the map it seems we are really cluse to going back to that long pool, so I guess flipping out again is not out of the question...


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    I've checked Google Maps for those locations, the mountian being easiest to find. The map doesn't match well the current geography, but it is to be expected. It is, after all, a 12th century map made before GPS.


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    The way out is blocked by Silver door. Most likely it is opened by the key held by the first target. Time to kill that drunk
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    We take the key and open the Silver door.
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    A riddle....
    It must be the reason why someone drew the constellation of Pisces on the floor.
    I would say the reward must have been the unlocking of that opposite door.


    Opposite door you say? Let's investigate.
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    Hmm... nothing to do here, but water and oryx seem somehow important and connected. Anyway, back to the previous room to pull both levers. One of them opens the small gate back to the long pool room, the other one...
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    We go back to the long pool room, wash Subtle and prepare to enter the room to the north, which was previously barred by a havy gate.
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    We'll go through these doors in a next update.
    On a final note, here's how The Persian Speare looks as our trophy:

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    Come back in a couple of days!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
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  19. Trashgender: ⚧ Pointing and laughing.

    Trash
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Parrots:
    29,586
    Location:
    About 8 meters beneath sea level.
    Game really intrigues me. Nice LP!
     
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  20. CappenVarragender: ⚧ Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Parrots:
    2,010
    Location:
    dead but dreaming
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Classy
     
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  21. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Parrots:
    1,808
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Guys, if you like this LP, and think the game is worth it, you can vote for it on Steam Greenlight.
     
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  22. Yaar Podshipnikgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Parrots:
    1,808
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Part 03: A cornucopia of secrets

    Show Spoiler

    We left off in the room with a long water pool, ready to pass through the northern door. Let's see what awaits us on the other side...
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    This is the central room of the castle. It is terribly symmetrical, with four Oryx statues facing each cardinal direction and a door, and a deep, yet mostly empty, pool of water in the middle. The northern statue also has a weird star-shaped stone (same shape as the central pool) in front of it. The stone next to the southern statue provides a pretty obvious hint about what we have to do. There will be some more details about this room, oryx statues a bit later.

    Since we had so much fun exploring the SE part of the castle, I've decided to go and explore east more. Another long, narrow room with a pool awaits us, this one is empty though.
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    Seems we won't be getting anywhere via this room for now. Subtle does have some thoughts that he wants to share though...
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    Fragile in spirit, they are easily overcome by emotions...
    ...and waste too much energy with foolishness, self-pity and condolence.
    And yet, they always surprise.
    How can they be capable of creating objects or raising monuments like this one, with fascinating natures I can't fully comprehend?


    Since there is nothing to do here, we'll go back to the central patio and take the west door. It seems that we're barging in on a conversation
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    Do you want to try it yourself?
    In any case I think you are out of your mind.
    These rooms are too dangerous to go through.
    Only the guards go there.


    But I need the key that is in there.
    The other passageway to the Northeast area is blocked by this strange fire that al-Saahir created.


    It's not worth it.
    Just stay calm and everything will be allright.
    Let's go to another place.


    On that note, our chatty civilians go south, and we can explore another long room with an empty pool. Can you see the pattern?
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    This door is marked with the alchemical symbol for Tin.
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    Take a good look at the map of the room we're in. Notice it has three doors: two on the northern wall, one of them is Tin, other is normal; and one normal on the souther door. Yet, when we approach the east wall...
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    A non-hidden door that is not on the map! The only doors that ware both visible and absent from the map was the one locked by the contract in the room we started the game and on the south side of the long room with filled pool. You may be sure that this is one important door.
    Subtle has some more thoughts to share with us:

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    He must be orchestrating something, as summoners are not renowned for their humility.
    There is probably more to this castle than one would, at first, assume.


    Since the two peasants went south, we'll follow them. They might be up to some hijinks that may prove useful to us.
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    It must be the safest place in the palace except, perhaps, for al-Saahir's own rooms...
    Wait a second, I think I know where that door's key is.

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    Where are you going?
    With that, our duo separates. We'll follow the more active one.

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    But those guards will never let me in...
    Hmph, I don't want to stay here and die!

    So this room has a whiner, some guards, a water pool, and some floor tiles that look special so we'll be extra careful. Not with guards though, those bearded dudes are as good as dead.

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    The tiles next to the door spray pigment. However, we can trigger them with a tip of our lower demonic limb, and just wait for it to disperse. We won't get dirty and visible that way.
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    Most passageways are being tightly guarded.
    Others al-Saahir is personally closing by magical means.
    We are covering all possible ways to capture the invisible intruder al-Saahir has predicted.

    It seems al-Saahir really does anything he can for us to fail our task and become his slave. He'll need to pay. Right now, we'll have to take solace in slaying those two, pulling the lever and continuing through the eastern, eerily glowing in purple, door.
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    The stubborn dude has finally got the key. We'll let them go with it so he can open the Tin door, while we explore the room.
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    Another sealed casket. The seals get more complicated with each casket. If anyone of you knows a good algorithm for solving such puzzles please let me know, as I'm pretty much just frobbing it.

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    Rooms that WERE a fundamental part of the palace? Djinns and angels? The mystery goes deeper and deeper...
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    I know the Northerners are obsessed with humanity, in an almost childish way, seeking their admiration, and calling themselves angels.
    But their ways are usually subtle...
    What could this mean?


    We'll now follow our favorite key-holder back to the Tin door.
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    Drat, I've missed a secret door! The door-opener must wait, for there are more secrets to uncover!

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    Wow, that would be a terrible thing to miss, since we've just learned the name of the previous owner of the palace: Alahamna G'am Yundel. With a name like this he can only be one of Andhaira's alts.

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    We finally catch up with the freedom-wanting peon, just in time to see his fat ass passing through the Tin door. We'll leave him alone for a bit though, and go through the door next to it. We get in on another conversation...
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    Listen to me, my son.
    Know that I've been living in these rooms for many, many decades, and soon my life will leave my body.
    But I am grateful, for the lives of many men begin and end without seeing things as astounding as those I saw.
    And I could see the extension of the power of Allah...
    Our previous master, the one I served before al-Saahir... he wasn't human like us.
    Believe me when I say he was a very powerful Djinn of this desert.
    And the treasures of this palace were rightly his, for the Angels themselves had given it to him.
    But then the sorcerer came.
    The Djinn vanished as if he had never existed, and the human occupied his place, forcing us to give up our loyalty.
    Since then I've never been able to find peace again...
    My dear friend, I am so thankful you are here with me.
    You were like my own son during all these long years.

    [​IMG]
    The awesome old dude dies right in front of us, of natural causes, and the guard who just happened to wander in goes to investigate. Better stay still.
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    Where the Northerners here before me?

    We kill the guard, go back to the western pool room, wash up in the wading pool, and go back to the small room on the west side.
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    Sorry for not transcribing the notes below, you'll have to do with reading it from the pictures.
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    Then only a non-human can go somewhere al-Saahir desperately wants to reach.
    I think I've just discovered the real reason why I was summoned.


    Now back to the dead old guy room and through the northern door.
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    It's a magical barrier that can burn for eternity, as it doesn't use any fuel.
    I might be able to put it out with a Neutralizing Powder, though I would have to produce one.
    Or I can try to find another way around this room.


    Since we don't have any Neutralizing Powder, nor a recepie for one, I guess we'll have to go through the Tin door, hopefully uncovering what new mischief our favorite bearded castle explorer is up to. So back to the western pool room and through the tin door.

    Tune in in a couple of days to find out the ultimate fate of the hairy non-conformist who we've been following this entire update!



    As a bonus info I'll let you know that this, and the all the previous, update represent around 30-45 minutes of gameplay. Some of that time is due to me being terrible gamer and dying. Writing the update, preparing all the screenshots, etc. takes 1.5h. Just some info in case you want to start your own LP ;)
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
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  23. Mrowakgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Parrots:
    3,938
    Project: Eternity
    I am stuck now with my old craptop, so I decided to install demo of this game. I am quite impressed so far - some neat gameplay and great atmosphere. It proves you don't need tonnes of complex mechanics, stats or whatnot in order to make an amazing game. I am definitely going to purchase it once it hits Steam.
     
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  24. CappenVarragender: ⚧ Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Parrots:
    2,010
    Location:
    dead but dreaming
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Curiouser and curiouser...
     
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  25. Cowboy Momentgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Cowboy Moment
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Parrots:
    4,338
    Wow, I guess that if you have a coherent vision and don't aim at retards as your audience, you can actually make a good game! Deeply shocked.
     
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