Part 21: Zandalor
Chapter 17 - Zandalor
Music - "A Perilous Path"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
About the Game posted:
This again? Am I dead?
You are dying. You are not dead yet.
I can hear you better... are you getting stronger... whatever you are?
No, you are now very weak and can hear me better.
If I'm dying, why does this matter?
While a spark of life remains, so does hope.
What does this have to do with me? Why are you showing it to me?
You will see.
Who are you?
Here I am.
That spell trapped you. Those people, the... what was it - The Black Ring - they were going to kill you.
How did he miss?
Because I was no longer in the same place.
That light! It's-
That is correct.
I'm getting tired...
Jeremiah. ... aid is near. Hold on to life. I have little strength left, but I will spare you all I can.
I felt energy seep into my body. It was not anywhere close to being enough to prevent my death, only enough for only a few more minutes of life. I became aware of the world again.
Video - Meet Zandalor (Voice Acting) - [IMPORTANT]
Stay your hand, villain!
You know, this morning I thought this was going to be a dull day. Now here's the famous Zandalor! Greetings you old goat, I can honestly say that it's a pleasure to meet you.
Be silent, servant of darkness! Get back! Leave and you might yet survive to see another day!
John the lizard-jockey seemed to weigh Zandalor's words for a moment.
Oh, I think not old man. My mistress will have my guts if I turn-tail. So, you see, my only hope of survival is to bring her YOUR head!
In that case, your mistress will have to exercise some patience. The next time she sees you will be in Hell!
That's powerful magic... not that it matters...anymore...
The wizard rushed over and cast a healing spell, just as the world was fading again for the final time.
Life, blood and my internal organs returned to their proper places inside my body.
The magical storm dissipated, and the sun shone down once again. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
The aged wizard carefully looked me over with a very worried expression on his face.
"It seems I've found you just in time. Let me have a look at you.
He took my arm and peeled off the bandages covering my tattoo. "Yes...yes..." I instinctively flinched at the thought of someone seeing the mark, but the wizard held my arm in a firm grip.
The tattoo was still there, but the glow was almost completely gone. The tattoo appeared to be almost black. "yes... yes..." he mumbled to himself. As I watched, the glow returned, although it was still dimmer than the brightness it was when I first noticed it.
Yes yes yes! Well, that's a relief. Everything seems like it should be.
He retied the bandages, and then seemed to remember some manners.
Greetings, Marked One! My name is Zandalor, and you don't know how glad I am to see you.
Marked One? And why does the name Zandalor sound familiar?
"It's a pleasure to meet you, sir. My name is Jeremiah Liro. That was damn close. Who was this... creature?" I asked, gasping.
That, my friend, was a dragon rider. Haven't seen one of them in a long time. Nasty specimen, too. His presence here is proof that my suspicions were right, the Black Ring is aware of your existence.
I don't like the sound of that at all.
It also means that they intend to put an end to you as soon as possible.
What? Who is this 'Black Ring' and why do they want me dead?
They want you dead because you're one of the Marked Ones - quite possibly the only living beings who have it in them to thwart their foul plans.
Is it possible for you to be any vaguer?
*sigh* As to who they are, that's a long story. Know for now that they are a dark cult of evil sorcerers and witches.
Just what I need, a demented fan club stalking me. Now could you tell me why everyone is calling me 'Marked One'?
"Isn't that obvious?" Zandalor asked, indicating the tattoo under my bandages. "Because you are a Marked One of course!"
Gods, I'd forgotten how Wizards talked. It's a miracle I made it through my courses.
Zandalor saw the confused and exasperated expression on my face. "Wait a moment... you mean... you don't know?"
"Know what?" I said testily.
"Oh my... well, I'm afraid that explaining it to you will take quite some time," Zandalor said. He looked up and the sky to check the position of the sun and sighed.
Look, first I have to go and find the third marked one. If the Black Ring know about your existence, they might also know about him too. I'm not happy about leaving you behind here, especially since you seem ignorant of your own condition, but I think you should be safe enough for a while.
I don't find that comforting at all.
What I suggest is that you go to the Dwarven Bread Inn, and wait for me there. When I've found the third Marked One, we'll all meet at that place.
You're going to leave me alone? What if I meet another one of those lizard-jockeys?
For starters, you probably shouldn't call them that again.
No, no... I doubt that the Black Ring sent out more than one. They couldn't have known that I would interfere, so you should be relatively safe, for a while at any rate. But don't delay; get yourself to the Dwarven Bread Inn as soon as may be.
Hold on, slow down. There are other Marked ones? And where is the Dwarven Bread Inn?
Yes. There should be three of you.
The other beams of light...
I have found the first, a man called Wouter. He's already awaiting us at the Dwarven Bread Inn. Follow the road south after you've crossed the bridge, and then after a few leagues, make your way east. I mustn't tarry, I still have to find the third before the Black Ring gets to him.
"Fine, you go off and save him," I said sarcastically. "I'll just stay here all alone, helpless and confused. No problem."
Oh, I'd almost forgotten. I have something for you, which could be very useful.
I love very useful things.
You might, in your wanderings, have seen strange platforms, surrounded by three pillars and with cryptic symbols on them.
I think I saw one near Aleroth, yes.
These platforms are teleporting devices. They were used in the past to travel around Rivellon, but now, because of the mistrust between the races, they have been allowed to fall into disuse. It's very sad.
I have heard of it in tales, but if we have such a wonder at our disposal, why was it deactivated?
Wondorous indeed, but also very dangerous. With these devices, criminals could smuggle any illegal goods or. Perhaps, an army could be sent behind your frontline, or even-
Yes, yes, I get the point... So how could they become reactivated for us?
The teleporters can be reawakened if you know how. You will need an activation scroll to do the trick.
Yes. Unfortunately, every race has its own teleporters, and their own activation scrolls and they guard them well. I can only give you the scroll for the teleporters of the mages. Still, if you activate them, you'll be able to travel instantaneously over long distances. Here, take these.
Zandalor handed me a scroll and a book.
If I'm being hunted, I'll need a lot more tricks than I've got now, that's clear.
Aye, I know how to read these runes. But how can I find the teleporters?
Here, I'll give you a map. It'll show you the approximate positions of the teleporters.
Thank you, Zandalor. Any idea where I can find the activation scrolls of the other races?
Good question. For the elven scroll, you should speak with Elredor, the Elven Lord. He visits the Archer's Guild now and then. If you tell him that Zandalor speaks in your favour, he will know that you're telling the truth. Then he should help you.
I'll keep that in mind.
As for the location of the rest of the teleport scrolls, I do not know exactly. Such knowledge might be found in the ruined abbey near here. Many records were kept there in yester-years. But be careful if you decide to investigate that place. I have heard that it has long been a place of danger, haunted by insane ghosts.
Danger? You mentioned something about that earlier, right? As in, something I should be avoiding? Look I have - Sheloi! Curse me with a thousand deaths, how could I have forgotten about Jenna?!
Zandalor looked at the sky and sighed again.
I really must go now, Marked One. Be very careful on your journey. The land needs you.
My sister, Jenna Liro! I came to this land looking for her, Zandalor. I fear she is missing and in grave danger.
That is most unfortunate, but I'm afraid your path lies on a different course. Please, wait at the inn until I return.
A differ-?! I will not promise you that! She matters to me more than my own life!
Zandalor looked horrified. "You mustn't say that! Don't even think it! You are very important for the future of the world. Keep that in mind!"
I didn't understand what he was talking about, but decided to play along anyway.
"I will, Zandalor," I said, although I was only telling a half-truth. "If you keep in mind that my purpose is to find my sister. If you see Jenna in your travels, please have her meet me at the inn. She's 28 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, weighs I would guess about 10 stone or so, and has long blonde hair. I do not ask you to delay your own quest, but if you happen to find her, I beg that you bring her to safety."
Zandalor thought on this for a moment, and eventually nodded his assent
If possible, I will try to aid you, Jeremiah.
Thank you, O great mage. The last I knew, she was at Stormfist castle.
If I see her, I'll see what I can do. Now I'm sorry, I absolutely must go! Good luck in your search!
He teleported away before I could say another word.
I found a glowing golden orb by the corpse of the liza-dragon rider. It seemed familiar.
I think it's something used in enchanting things like jewellery and clothing.
"About the Game" posted:
The Dragon Rider can drop some of the best random loot in the game. Here, he's dropped a Gold Charm, the highest quality. This one gives +100 directly to Mana. Since Restoration potions always restore 50% of your mana, after I insert it into an equipped item, I get an extra 50 mana when I take a white potion - that's 25 more Meteorstrikes, or 8 Lightning strikes, or 2 Elemental Hails. But this is a rare Charm, and once you enchant an item, you can't remove the charm, so I'll want to save this until I have a piece of equipment I'll wear from that point until the end of the game.
Looking closer, I saw the corner of a piece of paper sticking out from under the vile being's corpse. I lifted the stinking beast up a bit and carefully tugged the letter out.
The paper looked a bit old. Worse still, the writing was small, faded and splattered with the dragon-rider's blood and assorted internal fluids. I cleaned it off the best I could before putting it in my pack to read later.
I sighed. Surely I was almost out of these woods. I didn't really want to turn back now. But I had an unpleasant feeling that my life was going to be a whole lot more complicated from now on, and possibly a great deal shorter than I hoped. It would be better to be safe. The symbol on the Mage's scroll matched the one on the Aleroth teleporter.
I turned around and headed back up the path toward Aleroth, and reached the teleporter platform without incident. Perhaps with their chief dead, the orcs had finally scattered.
I opened up the book Zandalor had given me. It was about the teleporter platforms.
After I spoke the runes, the platform lit up, and a light appeared on the magic map from Zandalor. I couldn't seem to use the teleporter to go anywhere. It seemed I would need to activate another platform.
About the Game posted:
These teleporter platforms work like Waypoints in Diablo 2, with a complication that you need a specific scroll in your inventory to activate a specific race's teleporter platforms. You need to reach one on foot before you can activate it, and once you have done that, you click on the teleporter, then onto any of the lit spots on the map.
Each of the six races (and wizards) has at least one teleporter scroll somewhere in the game. You can tell which teleporter goes with which race by mousing over a teleporter on the map. I could post maps of where the various races teleporters are.
If you have any more questions on the teleporter system, just ask.
Once again, I started heading south away from Aleroth. It was still quiet, so I retrieved the stained letter and started to read.
The first line read:
rom the pen of Zenfar Blutsporn, Chief Archivist of the Black Circle and last living member of the Legion of the Damned.
"This has the feeling of destiny," I said to myself, then spat disgustedly on the ground. "I hate destiny."
Next Time: Farmlands
Behind the scenes
This is the end of "Act 1". "Act 2" starts next update, and the world opens up for exploration.
No map because we didn't go anywhere new. But here's our updated quest log:
And here's our orc kill count from the Aleroth forest:
I considered using an image from the intro movie of the mystery entity for the second portrait, but there wasn't really a good one, the glowing kinda washed it out.
This is only one of two times all game when there are storm weather effects. They seem to work properly, but they only are used here and one other place. The rest of the time there is no sign of any weather.
Yes, I used the same map earlier as the "Faded" map, but why fix what ain't broke? Any questions about the teleporter platforms?
I hope no one minds story 4 updates on this page. The next one is very image-light, though.
The next story update is the start of "Act 2". It's also going to be special in a new way. The game came with a big .PDF containing a detailed back story, and now that the main plot has started, it's relevant information. So I will be posting stuff not written by me at three specific points.
The backstory PDF is broken into three distinct sections. I'm posting the shortest one first.
What's fake in this update?
- The first screenshot, and the exchange between Jeremiah and the mystery entity.
- The Black rider doesn't drop a letter, which you may have spotted underneath the corpse.
- Zandalor doesn't talk as much as I claim he does, but like Joram, it's necessary exposition because I'm doing a narrative.
- Zandalor doesn't give you the teleporter book. I decided not to reveal that book until after we met Zandalor because it suggests that Mardaneus can give us the Wizards teleporter scroll. He doesn't, so revealing the book before meeting Zandalor and getting the scroll would lead to the question, "Why not ask Mardaneus for the Aleroth teleporter scroll?".