Part 15: The Graveyard Raid: Psycho Dwarves, Vampires, Undead Slaughter, and Miserable Failure in Screencapping!
Chapter 10 - The Graveyard Raid: Psycho Dwarves, Vampires, Undead Slaughter, and Miserable Failure in Screencapping!
Well, after we sold all of our Planar-aquired loot, we had really quite a bit of gold. Over 50,000, actually. I suppose that if I'd spent all that money right then with the Shadow Thieves, maybe things would have turned out differently than they did. Maybe they'd have turned out for the better, but perhaps, and more likely, I would have been slaughtered.
We had a fair amount of useful treasures, too. There was a pair of Gauntlets of Weapon Skill, some Boots of Speed, a suit of Melodic Chain, a Staff of Air, and a Harp of Discord. Pretty handy stuff in the end.
Back in the Copper Coronet, we encountered one Korgan Bloodaxe.
We'll listen to your tale.
Belly up, comrades, and let Korgan flail the bladder for a spell. A fortnight past, me fellows and I were in the midst of obtaining an ancient tome fer our patron when a skirmish visited our midst. Vile words, alas, became a lake of bloodshed. So it goes the sacred grimoire ne'er made it to our benefactor's hand. And now he awaits its arrival with zeal reserved for a grog-blossom in an alekeg. The scuttlebutt is the pay is handsome and worthy of note-sacks of loot and odd magics. The volume sits not far from 'ere and the biblomaniac he paces the floor in the meantime.
Who is this book collector? Why his interest in this particular timeworn manual?
Pimlico collects books just fer the pleasure of collecting. Arcane, bizzare, peculiar; it matters not. Upon hearin' of a curious map, chart or book 'e's traveled countless leagues to obtain it, fearful of entrusting his commission to anyone else. This were his first outside hire. As fer the book itself, it nay matters to me what lays 'twixt its skins. I'll not risk knowing I've bled for Elminster's memoirs or a Drizzt loblolly recipe. 'Tis called the Book of Kaza.
Where is the book then, Korgan?
In some hobnail's tomb over in the lower crypts of the Grave District. It's nay abandoned but rumors and half-truths only scare the young and infirm. Keeps the curious away, me guess.
Is there something we should know about this tomb?
Well... it'll take far more than a few shambling bags of skin and stitches to deter Korgan Bloodaxe from a king's ransom! A foolhardy jaunt into a hive of undead? How could ye resist?
Very well. I need to gather a large amount of gold to rescue a friend, so I'll join you.
Drink Hail! Then let us posthaste to the crypt and riches beyond ken!
One thing first... I should tell you that I intend to rescue an old friend of mine named Imoen, and this takes precedence over anything else.
Harumph. So long as we be headin' to the tomb, I have nay a care what ye does afterwards to find yer girlie. Mmm... what does the lass need rescuing from, if ye be tellin'?
She's being held prisoner by the Cowled Wizards, and I'm not about to leave her there.
Har! I've nay a liking fer base dabblers in the blacker arts. Mayhap I might be joinin' ye to slaughter a few of the bastards, eh? But yon book comes first! Ah, but there be no room for me in yon group of yours. Mayhap someone'll have to go, eh?
Minsc. I need you to leave for a bit.
No, I think you should go.
Boo does not like goodbyes, but I know we will meet again. Until then, I will seek the small and fuzzy to console Boo. Where do you want to meet up again?
Wait right here. We'll come back later, once we've found Korgan's book and obtained the reward.
And with that, we were off to the graveyard district!
All is vanity.
...You sound like a goth, Saerileth.
Or perhaps now "Saerigoth" is more appropriate?
That just sounds like a tribe of Germanic peoples. Visigoth, Ostrogoth, Saerigoth...
How about we just move on and stop this conversation before Anomen tries to talk?
Hah! How d'ye like that, boy? They don't respect ye! Fat lot o' good yer precious Order does ye, eh?
I shall not dignify that with a response.
But ye did!
Well, it was night, and the Graveyard district. We unintentionally met with Valen's mistress. Funny coincidence, that.
Yes, yes, but why must I come all the way out here. It isn't safe.
You may be concerned about why we must meet here. There are a number of reasons, only a few of which you need to worry about. First, I shall introduce myself. I am Bodhi.
Be wary, my friend. This creature is one of darkness... if you intend to deal with her, do so cautiously. I will prepare to call on Helm should signs of treachery arise.
I have asked you here because we are unlikely to be overheard, and so you can see the benefits of working with me. Follow, please, and stay exactly in my step. You would... regret doing other.
Well, it's about bloody time! I were almost near ready to begin swingin' me axe just to get things moving along, here.
Wherefore dost thou revel in the shedding of blood, Korgan? Well dost thou deserve thine appellation 'Bloodaxe'.
Thank ye! What else is there ta revel in, me girl? Nothin' like showerin' in yer enemy's gore!
There is much to rejoice in. Justice--
--Aye! There is much: gold!
Hast thou no other joy than gore and gold?
Nay! Cut the throat o' some sorry sack o' flesh who ain't got the right ta live, pillage his home, then scamper off with the loot! Then I get back to me place and wallow like a pig in the stolen coin!
Thou sayest so only to tempt me to action.
[Korgan eyes Saerileth critically.] Is it workin'? I'd love ta go a few rounds with ye!
Not yet, Korgan.
I fergot! Ale!
I doubt not that when next we replenish our supplies that Asim can find thee some.
No, ye twittering, tippy-toed, fancy-pantsy pile o' metal! Gore! Gold! And grog!
Ah, the three delights of thy life.
Exactly. And ye wouldn't be such a sourpuss if ye had a drink now and again. Live a little! Yer young and powerful! Make people respect ye!
I have no desire to partake of thy joys.
Yer loss, fool! Go save a brat from a runaway cart or somethin'!
Yes, yes, moving on. You are... employed of course, and do errands occasionally. No doubt you have questioned the intent of your employer on occasion? If you haven't, then you should. You work for the Shadow Thieves, on the pretense they will help you locate your missing companion, Imoen. Yes, they are Shadow Thieves, and yes, they are as nefarious as you have probably heard. I would offer an alternative. I would help you find your friend for... oh... 15,000 gold? It is a sizeable amount less than the Shadow Thieves have asked and, coindidentally, is what you have now.
This woman is foul within, Asim. Her evil is strong. I shall not follow thee into her service.
A strange deal... and yet it would save us much effort, no? It has, however, the feel of a deal with the devil. It would be good, however, to turn the table on those vile thieves.
Anomen, what exactly IS it that you believe, anyway? Where do you get it into your head that Helm would appreciate a traitor who allies themselves with vampires?
Hah! An excellent deal, to save so much gold! Seize the opportunity, Asim, lest the fickle woman change her mind!
Enough. It is obvious you have questions. Ask them and appease your curiosity, if not your conscience.
It sounds like you've been spying on me. Why should I trust you?
If you question me, why do you trust your current employers? Are you certain they are more deserving? Regardless, I still offer more advantages than they. You will be unable to turn down my offer, even if I demand a few... gestures to prove your loyalty. There is a monopoly in this town, and I intend to break it. I will ask you to weaken the 'resources' of the Shadow Thieves. I am not so vain as to think them easily destroyed, but many of their members will join me. I make no illusions about what will be required of you. I will wish you to kill, and I will wish you to terrorize. You must determine if you have the stomach for it. 15,000 is a lot, but I will compensate you well for it. You will ultimately have Imoen, and a few magical trinkets too. And rest assured, I will help you find Imoen, I will help you find Irenicus, but not just for your reasons. I have an interest in Irenicus myself. Support me and you will revel in the destruction of the largest criminal organization south of Waterdeep, though the big bad thieves have been rather soft as of late.
*You* want me to find Irenicus? What are you talking about? Are you in league with him?
You must bear this as one of the additional conditions. I offer much, and expect much in return. Imoen and Irenicus will be your joint goal in time. The details are mine to keep. If you wish more, you must join me. As I said, your duties will be morally suspect, and you may face more enemies than you wish. Now is the time for deciding. I cannot wait too long and I tire of talking. Choose your allegiance. The masters you serve or the Mistress that will destroy them.
You are a deceitful creature, in leage with my enemy. I refuse your offer.
That is... unfortunate. Very well, you may go.
I vow that I will drive the stake into your blackened heart by my own hand, vampire. Remember my words. You are a weak and doomed creature.
You have made an enemy here today, and I will face you on my own terms when the inevitable time comes.
So be it, wench. Whatever ye be, ye'll die quick enough just like any other, I'd wager.
Well then! Let's get to exploring these tombs in search of the Book of Kaza.
Aye, well said!
Hm. This does appear to be the wrong tomb, doesn't it.
Most likely, yes. However, now is the time for action! We fight for the end!
Hah! What kind of reason to fight is that? I fight to kill!
And kill the beast we did.
Hmm, no book. Onward!
Hmm. To the digging!
Who are you? And how did you end up being buried alive?
I... I was buried by the men who kidnapped me! [cough!] They held me ransom from my family, and after my family had paid they knocked me out. I... I remember being carried here, and thrown into that grave next to another body! And then they buried me alive! [cough!] I am sure.. I am sure I would have died if you had not arrived so soon! [shudder!] What a horrid death these evil men had in store for me! Ohhh...
You should report this to the garrison at once!
Oh, no, I couldn't! These men are still out there... and they will surely come after me and my family if they knew I said anything! They said they had done this before! Kidnapped people and buried them here for money! They will surely exact revenge if I go to the garrison! Please... you must... you must stop them! I beg of you!
Perhaps you are right. What can you tell me about these men?
I... don't know their names. There were three of them. The youngest carried me here. He dressed all in red... strange and bright as you please. I woke up with this in my hand... I think I must have torn it off his shirt when he threw me in the grave. Here... perhaps it will help you find him.
Is there anything else you can think of?
Only that... there was someone who spoke to this man. Perhaps the gravekeeper. You should talk to him, at least... he must have seen something!
Thank you... I shall do my best to locate these men and bring them to justice.
Bless you, my Lord! I wish you well. I must return to my family, now, and let them know I am still alive! Th-thank you, Helm, for watching over me!
Are there not more important adventures we could be undertaking? This manner of... of aid seems quite tedious. This is a task for the garrison, Asim.
Anomen, not all that is just doth bring glory, yet it must be done all the same.
What manner of spirit are you? Why are you not at rest?
Spirit? I... my name is Wellyn. I just want... I just want my stuffed bear back...
Your stuffed bear?
It's my favorite bear, Littleman... the bad man who came into our house... he, he hurt me and he took Littleman with everything else... [sob!] I can never go to sleep without Littleman!
A thief killed you and took your stuffed bear along with the rest of his loot? If I found this bear for you, would you be at peace?
Oh, yes! I could go to sleep if only I had him! Would you get him for me? Would you, please please please?
This poor child! To be murdered by a burglar! Asim, we must aid the child and bring the murderer to justice!
I just want Littleman! Can you please help me?
Very well. Do you know where your bear is?
Yes... [sniff!] The bad man has it at that inn in the slums. The Copper something. [sniff!] He's in one of those bedrooms in the back! I think his name is "Llynis"... I've... I've just got to get him... [sob!] ...I've tried to tell him that I just want my bear, please, but he just gets too frightened of me. [sob!] Oh, please get it from him!
This is the most thing in the game, in my opinion. I also sort of suspect it to be a pop culture reference, since "Llynis" could be pronounced the same way as "Linus" and it involves a child's security object. Moving on!
We searched a few more tombs with no real results. We eventually found one very large cavern, which eventually turned out to be the right one. Full of spiders and ettercaps, though. Damn spiders and ettercaps.
Please, Jan, my name is Haer'Dalis.
You see, Haerry, Angus the Giant Beaver is ousted from house and home by the Bullywug bullies to embark on an epic quest that takes him to the next pond.
Yes, epic. Go on.
No, no, no, this is only the beginning. Along the way, he encounters Gurgen the Hormonal Moose and a friendship quickly develops between the too, seeing them through times of great trial and tribulation, though the friendship also caused a great deal of trial and tribulation, as you can well imagine.
What, if I may ask, is a moose?
Too late, I'm already onto great trials and tribulations-- Think of it, Haerry, such broad and vital themes. Anyhow, the moose catches a curious and ultimately fatal disease and Angus, as a final testament to their friendship, enshrines him within a wooden tomb in the middle of the lake, before throwing himself in the lake to drown.
Jan, beavers can't drown. They spend half of their life underwater.
There's no point in arguing, Haerry. It's a true tale and if you have any doubt, you can ask my great-aunt Apo Pettiwick, who never married. It all happened in her back yard when she ran the farmer's market that sold turnips up in Thundertree, just upstream of Neverwinter.
Pray I never go there, Jan. Pray I never go there.
Yes, yes. But first, to the north! I sense much awesomeness to the north.
Saerileth, why did you just move to the north of Asim?
I knows not of what thou speak, Haer'Dalis.
...Sure you don't...
Stop your feeding, my spiders! New victims await! Protect your home!
Jan? Wand of Fireballs. Now.
My precious spiders! I'LL KILL YOU IN THE NAME OF THE SPIDER QUEEN!
She had an interesting Black Spider Figurine.
(The tomb was full of traps and undead. Lots of both.)
Jan, don't be a foo-
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! I'a! I'a! Cthulhu fhtagn!
Die, thou foul perversion!
Foul perversion? Why, that's doubly unforgivable!
Didst I speak wrongly?
Wow, you didn't get all red or cry when I said something stupid. That's new!
[Hides tears and attempts to hide furious shamed blushing.]
Oh, wait, here it is. Dammit.
Why did I put the above screenshot in the list of things to use for the update? Eh, not like I'm one to pass up easyness, not with a calculus midterm tomorrow.
We got outside the dungeon, and as we breathed the fresh air, I happened to glance at Saerileth. Or maybe she moved where I was looking. She does that. She's really quite sneaky that way.
Saerileth, why do you smile?
How could it be that I do not smile? I am by thy side.
Are you saying that all you need to be happy is me? Because this feeds my ego, and I approve of this.
[Saerileth, her cobalt eyes full on your face, draws near you and speaks softly.] Is't so strange to thee? Canst thou not comprehend how much I love thee?
And I love you, Saerileth.
It literally killed me a little inside to have to use that dialogue option. Ah, trainwrecky hilarity, the sacrifices I must make in your name. Also, as a point of why I find every damn one of these dialogues hilarious, for the update after this one, I'll be sure to make a video of one of the love talks, with me doing full voice-over of the protagonist's lines in Asim voice. It will be most gloriously stupid, and everyone will get the joke.
Asim, thow knowest not how my heart hath hungered to hear thee speak these words.
Aww, I was wrong. The option to randomly turn to her and break her heart at any one point is now gone. Sorry, guys. Looks like we'll just have to settle for breaking her heart during love talks only. vv Also, dear sweet christ why did anyone think these were good things to say? IT'S FUCKING CREEPY AAAAUGH
Well, after that, it was off to the Temple district to check up on Pimlico. However, we were... delayed.
Kill them all for you know that we must leave no witnesses!
Ye're welcome to try, fool. Ye'll fail an I'll mutilate yer corpse, but ye're welcome to try.
This man was poisoned, and needed to get to his friends in the Docks. To the Docks we went!
What the fuck keeps happening to my goddamn dialogue reference screenshots? Suffice it to say, Asim agrees to do it, Saerileth says something about it's horrible and he must be helped, and Anomen is a cynical bastard who thinks we should leave him to die.
He has been poisoned, somehow... but he said magic was not able to cure it. He seemed desperate to fin dyou.
Poisoned? By the gods! Thank you... I must bring him inside immediately! Here is some coin, for your trouble. I thank you again, friend.
As we headed back off, MORE GODDAMN INTERRUPTIONS. This time from Xzar. Who should have been dead.
Xzar? Aren't you dead?
I may have been. It happens when you are forced to deal with buffoons. If Monty were here, he would be able to tell for certain. Bah! It matters not! I saw you dealing with those Harpers... but it is obvious you are not a Harper yourself. You would be willing, then, to render me a service regarding them.
What Harpers? What are you talking about?
The Harpers you delivered the poisoned man to. Or were you too idiotic to know they were Harpers? I require your inadequate services for a job.
This mans evil radiates from him like a pestilence!
Shut up, infant! I wasn't addressing you!
What IS it with evil mages and addressing you as "infant", Saerileth? It's really weird. It's like a conspiracy or something. Anyway, I have no interest in doing anything for you, Xzar.
Bah! To deal with gutless, whining whelps is excruciating! When you gather enough courage to take up my offer, I shall be here.
In more regards to weird happenings with my dialogue reference screenshots, WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE THREE SETS OF THAT ONE? This is just plain weird.
Anyway, as I'd been screwed up by a vampire...
Yes, actually, I do feel a sense of vitality and renewal here.
Thy senses are keen, Asim, and thy heart is sensitive to the ministrations of the Morninglord. This pleaseth me.
She actually has a special thing to say about each of the three temples. You saw the one for Talos in the Shadow Thief update, this one now, and we'll see the Helm one when I go actually get the Unseeing Eye quest.
Greater Restoration is a very nice thing to buy when you are sorely injured.
Be wary of intruders... there may be a few of the lowlifes lingerin' about inside, stinkin' up the place.
We'd be wise to pay a visit to the Copper Coronet, as I've a strong suspicion that the motly crew'd ain't even out of town just yet. They'll be living the good life 'bout now. In fact, I'll wager me clan's name that the predictable sods are on the roof o' the Copper Coronet as we speak. Best we hurry to catch their thieving red hands!
Okay, seriously, Jan. Haer'Dalis. WHY ARE YOU ROBBING THE DEAD MAN.
Hmm? Why, I'm method acting.
And you're hallucinating!
And so, to the Copper Coronet we went!
Speak of the undersized broadarse and what should waddle in? I was just remarkin' ta Crazyface and Scrooloose that shame it all no dwarf tossin' till next moonsday. Shame it is.
Ye know, there's nothin' that ails ye that I can't fix with me fists, Shagbag.
Yer likes frighten me not, midget. Bugger off. I've some highlife to live with me and the boys!
I'll nay allow that. I don't like being a bastard but ye leave me nay choice.
Allow? Perhaps yer new gang of bowelhives would like t'know that rockrunt here took it upon himself, whiles we were out and about, ta up and dirtnap three of the crew. No reason. None. Seems he were slighted or some other, and up and kills Stitch, Hogbelly and Cutter. Allow? Rich coming outta you, runt.
Bespawl all that! Nonsense! Steel was drawn with cold intent, Shagbag, and ye're well aware of the trespass!
This time, speck, ye're knee-deep in it.
Pray if ye've a god, cur.
The death was made. How they managed to get through that tomb is beyond me. Maybe the undead all happened after they got out, who knows. More likely, they didn't have a berserker dwarf with them.
Ye can go ahead an' search Shagbag's corpse... the blasted fool. Th' bleedin' book might still be worth something if it's intact.
Yeah, the Book of Kaza was in fine condition. I think.
Anyway, it was off to rest with us after that. I use the term "rest" rather lightly, though...
It will not end, you know, until you acknowledge what you are. You walk as a mortal, taking no advantage from your heritage, from your talents within. So many things of flesh are greater than you. Walk among them, these beasts that are less than you are. See their strength; see how easily you fall to their muscle and skill.
Do you even realize the power you might hold? When the world of flesh is beneath you, even creatures mysterious and magical will fall.
Follow, if only to protect the weak that fell because of you.
[waking up, sweating]No! I don't want to serve your hellish will! [looking around] And I seem to have set the bed on fire while I slept. Ow. Hot. Hot. HOT!!! [stamps it out and falls back asleep]
It was really a fairly good thing I was alone in that room, all in all. Anyway, our loot haul included Kundane, Namarra, Halcyon, an Arrow of Detonation (BOOOOM hehehe), and Adjatha.
We also got Minsc back!
Stand your course, armored louts, and state your business in this place! Wait, I know you! Oh happy day! You have come to collect Minsc and Boo and together we shall put our collective boots to our enemies!
We would love to have you in our party, Minsc.
Minsc and Boo and you! There can be no greater team in all the Realms!
No, I think we should go our separate ways for now.
Ah, I'd like some time to put up me feet anyway. Find me when yer through wandering and want to do some serious travel. I'll be at the Copper Coronet until then, unless someone's given me a good payin job, heh. Afore, we split, I've been a-wonderin' somethin', Saerileth. What's a wee lassie like you doing out adventuring fer gold?
I do not adventure for gold as thou dost, Korgan. I am a servant of Tyr, and I am in this world to do his will only.
Well, if yer too much of a pain the arse, I can always kill ye! And I will.
I have no fear of thee.
Maybe ye should.
I know that thou might'st kill me, but for all that, I fear thee not.
Yer a great fool, Saerileth.
Why sayest thou this?
Because yer not afraid to die!
Nor dost thou seem to be. Callest thou thyself a fool?
I choose me fights. I know what I can do. And when my time comes, I've set aside enough money to have myself raised.
I, too, know what I can do, but my life is in the hand of Tyr to do with as he list. Thus, my death is also by Tyr's will.
And yer a fool to give yer life away!
Isn't there any other reason to strike your enemies?
What meanest thou by this?
You always cry, 'In Tyr's name I strike thee!'
'Tis fitting that I speak thus. Tyr--
Bah! Piss on Tyr. I've heard enough about that bastard!
Beast! Foul-mouthed, blasphemous fiend! Thy life is forfeit!
At which point, they fell to fighting and Saerileth slew Korgan.
Korgan hath received his just deserts. Wouldst thou still have me at thy side?
Of course, Saerileth. I am glad you have avenged yourself.
Actually, this didn't happen while I was playing. It can, though, so I worked it in to show it. Actually, neither of the banters she has in this update with Korgan actually occurred, but they can. And I only wish I could have invented that Jan/Haer'Dalis banter. Lastly, I apologize once again for how horribly I sucked at screencapping this time. What the hell was wrong with me?
Edit - oh my god I was just going through this and switching the table of contents to direct post links and JUST NOW NOTICED that I switched Saerileth and Korgan's portraits here. Despite it having been pointed out. I am laughing so hard I am crying.