Part 57: So it turns out that the big computer issue for THIS particular thread is a failing power supply that I managed to replace before it did anything beyond give me lots of annoying reboots.
Chapter 43 - So it turns out that the big computer issue for THIS particular thread is a failing power supply that I managed to replace before it did anything beyond give me lots of annoying reboots.
So, trials in my pocket plane.
Look on me and know that I despise you and resent the ease in which you lived. I would have given much for a home and a father such as Gorion. I shall not allow you to exist. Stop me... if you can.
Uhh.. I went down pretty easily. That just sounds weird.
So after I, uhh, killed myself, I discovered a new Bhaal power.
Anyhow, after about that point, it was time to head to Amkethran.
That's right. Is Melissan -- ?
Any questions you have you can direct to Balthazar, himself. Gather any of your friends... Balthazar comes.
Yes, I am he.
I am Balthazar, head of the monastic order here in Amkethran and its rulr, as well, although that is not an official position. Melissan preceded you and told me of your coming. Melissan has already left the village, and did not say where she was going. She has left with me directions for you to reach these... enclaves... she mentioned. Is this what you expected?
No. She said she would meet me here.
I do not know where Melissan may have gone, nor do I care. As for you, Melissan has vouched for you... I'll tolerate your presence, for now, and give you what you need. Here are the maps to the enclaves Melissan mentioned. Neither of them are very far from here, as you can see... add them to your own map, if you wish. Do with them as you wish, Asim. Amkethran is available for your supplies and rest... do not disturb my own activities and we'll not come to grief, is that understood?
Fair enough... it's your town, after all.
Thank you. Do not enter my fortress, Asim... you will be denied entry. Everywhere else is open to you. Good day and good luck.
Well, with that taken care of, I set about exploring Amkethran.
Thieving wench! Begging won't save you now!
We will make a harsh example of you, and maybe others will think twice before they steal from us!
Please, my daughter meant no harm. Her motives were pure, even if her actions were wrong.
Pure? How do you justify your daughter's theft of our hard-earned gold, Mayor Haraad?
People are starving, food is scarce. Asana needed your money to buy bread from the black market to feed the poor!
The problems of your town are not our problems, Mayor. Your excuses cannot justify your daughter's crimes!
Stay clear, Mayor; you can do nothing here. Make peace with your god, Asana... your life is forfeit.
Please, will no one help my daughter? Will no one stand against these brutes who have invaded our town?
Hush, father... the townsfolk are scared, they will not intervene. I must accept the consequences of my actions.
No, this is not right! Asana has done nothing wrong! You there... stranger! You are surely not afraid of these mercenaries. Can you not help my daughter?
Are you talking to me?
Yes, you. The townsfolk cower in terror, they let these mercenaries do whatever they please. But you... you are obviously powerful enough to stand up to these savages!
I will not permit this barbaric act of mob justice to continue! Yes, yes that is suitably dramatic.
Thank you! I fear those mercenaries will execute Asana right in the street if someone does not speak to them on her behalf. Please hurry!
I'll make my own decisions about what does or does not concern me!
Are you looking for a fight, human? Because you might get more than you bargained for.
What, you mean I might break a sweat?
Oh, that's it. I'm not about to let you talk about me like that.
You talk big, but can you back it up with a blade?
Good! I was worried our fighting skills were getting a mite rusty!
My words exactly.
A very short time later!
He gave us a cloak that didn't have a clasp so it was useless.
Or should we just call you Saemon? We know all about your shady reputation, Saemon Havarian!
Now let's not do anything hasty, gentlemen. As you know, I could not have been involved as I have only recently returned to Amkethran...
Save it, you weasel. We know you run the smugglers here in Amkethran, so you're the one to blame.
We've been waiting for you... hand over our stuff, Saemon, or we'll slit your lying, cheating throat.
Well, of course I... uh... by my sea salt stinging eyes! Look who's coming this way - a familiar face from my past.
I see your cheating ways have finally caught up with you.
Your arrival is a happy coincidence, given the situation. You can actually solve my dispute with these rather upset gentlemen.
You a friend of this double-crossing rat?
I wouldn't say friend, exactly.
This doesn't concern you. This is between us and Saemon. Just keep walking.
But I can solve this little dispute quite easily, now. Asim... please return that equipment I sold you yesterday to these fine men.
Oh god DAMN it.
You? You bought our stuff?
Of course not! Saemon's lying! How the hell can you not see that?
Don't be difficult, Asim. We can all plainly see you are carrying equipment that does not rightfully belong to you.
Hey, yeah... those weapons look mighty familiar to me.
Yes, because they're the stuff of legend because we are far more powerful than you could hope to be.
And those boots look just like the ones I'm missing! You've got our stuff!
Saemon's playing you guys for fools!
I guess Asim isn't going to cooperate. I'm afraid this can only end in violence.
Saemon, I hate you SO. MUCH.
So you're looking for a fight? Well, you've got one!
We'll teach you to steal our stuff!
Sorry, Asim, but I'm afraid you're on your own here.
SO. MUCH. HAAAAAAAAAAATE.
Balthazar is concerned with greater matters, old man.
BAH! He is gathering mercenaries and wizards for an army - how is this more important than bringing in food for the starving children?
You have no idea of the events that the Monastery has set in motion. Go back to your prayers and leave me alone.
No! This is too important - in the name of Waukeen I demand a meeting with Balthazar! He must be made to see the insanity of his callous actions.
You make no demands of me or the Monastery! Balthazar cares nothing about this pathetic town - go beg your dead god to feed these people!
Blasphemer! I will stand for your Monastery's tyranny no longer!
You dare attack me, old man? Your death shall be quick and painful!
Cue my intervention...
He was attacking an old man - I had to step in!
Balthazar cannot be bothered with such petty matters as these, so I will let you off with a warning. In the future, do not involve yourself in the business of Balthazar or his monks!
I wish there was more I could have done to help.
I was wrong to let my temper get the better of me. But I cannot just sit idly by while people starve!
Why can't you just buy the food for them yourself?
The church has spent all of its coin to buy food for the poor. We have nothing now.
Please accept this donation of 1,000 gold to help feed the starving people.
Thank you, kind sir! You are most generous... I will tell everyone of your kindness! I must use this money to buy food for the poor right away!
And he gave us a ring that never did get useful, but whatever.
Then, to the inn because stuff happens in inns.
Yes, yes of course you are. Anyone can see that you are an extraordinary man, please forgive me. It is very fortunate that such a powerful person such as yourself has come to this remote town. I thought Amkethran would be remote enough so that no-one would find me here, but I was wrong! I would not bother you, stranger, but I am in terrible peril! I need your aid! I beg you for a boon, my lord, or I and my daughter both shall surely perish!
What kind of peril are you talking about?
I... cannot speak more of this, here. Please come to my home on top of the cliff, my lord, I beg you! We can speak freely there!
Very well. Where is this home of yours?
It is atop the east cliff, my lord. It is a simple dwelling but... safe, for the moment. My name is Marlowe... please meet me there and I shall explain everything, I swear.
So, up to Marlowe's dwelling. Which, incidentally, seemed to involve barging right through some random family's home. Talk about poor urban planning.
As I said before, my name is Marlowe... I hail from Calimshan to the south, where I was a merchant. A successful one. I... suppose that is where I first came into contact with Vongoethe.
Vongoeth? Who is that?
A lich, my lord. A powerful one. In Calimshan, there are many strange wonders of magic, and Vongoethe is not out of place. It is he who has chased us here, hunting us mercilessly.
Why would a lich be hunting you?
Vongoethe desired my poor Malla, my daughter. She is the young woman here on the bed. A... a good girl, a virgin and pure of heart. He desired her soul, he said, so I fled Calimshan with her. But he caught up to us, nevertheless. And somehow he has taken her soul despite my efforts! She... she lies near death, and there is nothing the local priestess can do to help her. I know Vongoethe is in the cavern that serves as a graveyard in this place. I told the monks about him... but they sealed off the cavern rather than somehow getting my daughter's soul back, as I had hoped. Malla is the world to me, my lord! And I do not know how much longer Vongoethe will remain trapped in that cavern... he could already be loose! He will kill me and keep Malla's soul, I am sure of it! I beg you, my lord... please help us!
How do you propose I get inside the graveyard if it's sealed?
I... paid the guard, there, what little money I have left. I had thought to... try and get Malla's soul, myself. But the guard will let in whoever I ask him to. I beg you, my lord... please help us!
Very well, I will do what I can.
Thank you, my lord! Thank you! I will tell the guard immediately to let you into the cavern! Please... help Malla as quickly as you can!
Well, this is refreshingly simple.
But I have a quarrel with you! I have come for Malla's soul!
I see, I see. Let me guess... that lying little merchant, Marlowe, has somehow convinced you to come and end my existence? Is that it?
I have come only for Malla's soul. I would avoid a fight, if I could.
I could care less about the girl's soul. It is Marlowe's soul I want, as we agreed! He could avoid all of this uncomfortable detente if he would simply live up to his side of the bargain!
Wait... what are you talking about? What bargain?
So it is as I thought. Marlowe lied to the godling to save his own skin, did he? Ha ha haaa... did he tell you nothing of our deal, then?
No. What deal is this?
Heh. Twenty years of fortune and success, he asked me for... in exchange for the voluntary surrender of his soul. Well, he had his success! Wealth and power both! But the human became arrogant, and when his time came due he refused to surrender his soul as payment! Refused! So I took the soul of his wife. I told him she would die without it. And still he refused me! He fled the city with his daughter and left his wife to die! He evaded me for years until I found him here! I have his daughter's soul, now, and he will live up to his promise or she shall suffer the consequences!! He had his desire... now I want mine.
Why not simply steal his soul, then? Why steal his wife's and daughter's?
For my purposes, I need a soul freely given and not stolen. And Marlowe knew this. The girl's soul is stolen and useless to me... she need not perish, should Marlowe do as he promised! He may throw others in the way of his fate, but I will hound him until I have what is rightfully mine!
Will you restore his daughter, then, if I bring him here?
I would give the soul of the girl to you, godling, were Marlowe brought before me. Restore her with it or keep it for yourself... it is a valuable thing for many, a soul, yes?
Very well. I shall return with Marlowe, then.
Then I shall wait here for your return, godling, with great anticipation. In addition, I must say that you have taken this turn of events quite well.
Forgoing a plan in favor of making shit up as you go along tends to help with that.
Wait, do you mean my intricate plans were overthrown by a man who did it because it seemed a good idea at the time?
Makes you feel a strange mix of humbled and infuriated, doesn't it?
You have no idea.
Yes. I killed the lich and I, ah... need you to come with me to the cavern.
You need me to come to the cavern? What for? Do you not have Malla's soul?
No, I don't. I need your help to find it there.
Oh. That's... marvelous news, then! Of course I shall go with you! Let us go now, my lord... Malla's life hangs in the balance!
You just lied to the man.
You lie to me, I lie to you.
Then... wait... how much is true? Unless that was a lie. Oh my, this is a puzzler, it is.
Wh-what?! You... you're alive?! My lord... you tricked me?
No less than you tricked him, fool. Or I. Now... your debt is far past due, Marlowe, and the time for running is done.
Y-yes. Yes, I suppose it is. I have lost everything you gave me, now... I... do not wish my daughter to pay for my mistake, as well. I could not live with that. She will be restored, then?
I shall give the vessel with her soul to the godling, fool. What he does with it is his business.
My lord...? You... you will restore Malla, will you not? I beg you, do not let her die because of me! I have earned my fate, and more. She has not.
Yes, I will restore her.
Thank you, my lord. I... I am ready, Vongoethe.
Most excellent. As I live up to my bargains, here is the mortal girl's soul, godling. Take it and begone. Now, for what is long overdue, Marlowe...
Just get this over with quickly.
Only that it is time for you to die, now, lich.
Ah, yes. That was not part of our bargain, was it? I should have suspected as much. So be it, godling... but you shall not find me a simple target!! I... That's a Mace of Disruption with illithium ore on it, isn't it.
Oh my yes!
Damn it all.
He did have minions, actually, but it wasn't much of a fight. It never is... Took a ring from him in the end, apart from the obvious gem with Malla's soul in it.
Also in that little tomb were some tables.
Turning them yielded ice golems...
And fission slimes, which I had to burn to death or they, well, split into two.
In a different cavern!
This is ridiculous! The Monastery has never objected to our actions in the past.
Tell us where Esamon is, Carras, and we will let you go.
Esamon isn't here - I haven't seen him in weeks.
Then I will arrest you instead. For your sake, I hope Esamon shows up before we find it necessary to interrogate you.
No, you can't do this... this is an outrage! When did the Monastery become a puppet slave to the whims of a bunch of foreign mercenaries?
Silence, Carras! Wait... what is this? It seems we have a would be customer in our midst. The infamous child of Bhaal, if the descriptions of Balthazar are at all accurate.
Recognized by strangers in the street - the ravens must already sing poems of your exploits, my friend. Soon you will be the most famous human in the Realms... if you survive, of course.
I could arrest you for being an accessory, Bhaalspawn. However I am in a generous mood. I suggest you leave now, and don't interfere in our business here.
We all know this is going to end in violence - let's just cut right to the good stuff. Except by "good" I mean "boring".
To arms, my brothers! We are attacked!
But he's not here, is he? Lucky for him.
Ahem... yes, well... be that as it may, I still think some type of reward is in order for helping us in this matter. With our erstwhile leader gone, the best I can do is offer you a discount on goods. The scope of my authority is somewhat limited in his absence, you understand.
You mean every time I come back here I'll get a discount?
Of course you must realize that we cannot stay here in Amkethran, now that we have been involved in the death of several of Balthazar's envoys. I suggest you use your discount soon. If you return tomorrow, our little "store" will be long gone. We cannot stay and suffer the wrath of Balthazar's vengeance.
Very well, let me see your services.
Peruse our wares, but do not tarry. Time is money, and we can afford to waste neither now.
Ended up buying Enkidu's Full Plate, a Rod of Reversal, a pair of Gargoyle Boots, and K'logarath.
After that, we returned to Malla to restore her.
[Use the soul stone to restore her.]
With both my mother and my father dead, I do not know what I will do. I am in a strange land, with nothing...
Here. Take this 5,000 gp. Leave Amkethran and get started elsewhere. It is what your father would have wanted.
You... you are very generous. I wish there was some way I could repay you. If... if you are ever in Calimshan, my lord, I would be pleased to offer you lodgings. Sune's blessing upon you.
I noticed this thing on the cliffs.
This is of note because I somehow managed to only just notice it this playthrough.
Aaaand this guy.
Taunted him, killed him, took the Darkfire Bow from his corpse and ignored the corpses of his men.