Part 26: MOONSHADE - Ripping Off Erstam's Jaw
Ripping Off Erstam's Jaw
Today's a special day. In addition to finding one of the most important items in the game, the party will finally be gaining its permanent fifth member! Yeah, everybody's real excited about that I'm sure. Surprisingly enough though, this one is actually good.
Before we take off for Erstam's island, we'd best drop by and chat up Mortegro, one of the nicer Adepts in Moonshade. He's working with Gustacio a lot (so he's not often home until late at night), who is also an okay guy, just hard to approach.
Mortegro is, well, a necromancer. In the literal sense of the term. He speaks to the spirits of the dead. And nothing else. You could make a joke about this, of course, but Mortegro is such a nice and unassuming guy for a pasty goth that it's kind of hard to imply horrible things about him.
He's also the most time-sensitive Moonshade NPC. Past a certain point in the main storyline, Mortegro will vanish from Moonshade, and it will be some time before we can find him again. Since some of the spells he sells are awesome, we have to be sure to see him several times before he disappears. The rule of thumb I'd offer is that once you get a new spellbook, immediately go buy all of Mortegro's spells in the seventh to ninth circles. Most of the others can be bought off other mages or found on scrolls, but you do not want to miss his top-tier stuff.
Mortegro's apparently a pretty heavy sleeper.
So yeah, Mortegro's house is kind of creepy. But only kind of. I mean sure he's got skeletons sitting around, but it isn't like they're moving or anything. And unlike most mages, he doesn't dismiss us right away just because we aren't mages ourselves.
"Heyyyyyy, nice place you got here, buddy."
"Hello, there! I am Mortegro, the Necromage of Moonshade."
"Wait, you're not mad that we're busting into your house and rooting through your coffins and whatnot?"
"It's not like I have much of value."
"Fair enough. What's a necromage?"
"A special sort of mage who specializes in magics that deal with dead things, as well as with the spirits of the dead themselves. Actually, it is rather unpleasant work. A bit discourteous to talk about it in mixed company, if thou dost know what I mean."
"So you could, say, talk to a dead person?"
"Yes, as a Necromage I can commune with the spirits of the dead. I learn the secrets of the dead as well as the occasional portent of the future. But these seances are unpredictable in their results. I must first prepare the proper materials. Thou shouldst come to my manor after midnight, and we shall then conjure spectres."
"Are you... coming on to me?"
"No. Should I be?"
"Very well then."
That's about all we can pump out of him before the plot moves along, but it's pretty good considering none of the other mages will speak to us at all. Now, let's head back after midnight for a seance.
"Isn't it technically always 'after midnight?'"
"I was mostly stalling."
"So what, do we hold hands here or something?"
"It is time for the seance to begin. I have already prepared all of the elaborate reagents and incantations necessary to open my mind, as a portal through which the spirits of the dead may speak. What thou shalt see are not dreams or hallucinations, but actual ghosts who will join with us in communion. Do not be afraid."
"Why would we be afraid?"
"Well, we have killed an awful lot of people, most of whom are now ghosts."
"I summon you, ghosts! Come join us here and speak with us. Share with us thy visions of this world and the next."
"I have heard thy call, Mortegro! In life I was Christopher, blacksmith of Trinsic. My time here is short and I wish to have words with the one who is called the Avatar."
"Avatar, I thank thee for protecting my son and for breaking The Fellowship's evil grip over Britannia. But I also bring thee a warning. Many are the spirits in this realm who await thee, and there is but one thing on their mind -- to have their revenge against thee! There is one thing... that thou must... always... remember..."
"Oh! I have lost contact with the spirit! Forgive me, but with a contact that intense, the length of time that I can maintain is always shorter."
"Are you sure you didn't just do that on purpose to ensure I get killed by angry ghosts?"
"Do I look like the sort who would do that?"
"I figured someone might have put you up to it."
"It's too bad we couldn't bring Spark with us to the Serpent Isle, but this is no place for a child his age."
"I sure hope he's doing okay after everything we taught him."
"Ah! Behold, another spirit comes!"
"My darling husband, Iolo, although I am dead I must tell thee that my love for thee shall never die. Always remember me. Farewell."
"I have lost the contact -- there are strange forces connected with this spirit!"
"Ahah. Ahahahah. AHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH."
"Oh that is real mature."
"Yeah, that... disrespects the dead. It does, right?"
"No! It cannot be true! She cannot be dead! I refuse to believe it! Come back to me!"
"Spirits do not lie."
"Oh man this is worth whatever it costs."
So from this we learn that Gwenno is apparently dead. But something isn't quite right; Mortegro mentioned "strange forces" at work on her spirit. Is it possible that something else has happened?
"You know, after such a great laugh, I feel like doing something for somebody. There's a kid named Kane who is looking for his brother."
"I have heard of that! Many times already have I called out for his ghost. Once again I call out to the spirit of Edrin, brother of Kane. If thou canst hear me, Edrin, please contact us. Thy brother Kane dost need to know if thou hast perished. Thou hast been missing for so long that even thy brother dost think that he shall never see thee again. If thou canst hear my words, please contact us."
"There seems to be no reply."
"This is a favorable sign for Kane. It may well mean that his brother is not in the realm of ghosts."
And that's our second clue. Kane's brother Edrin isn't dead (actually, if we'd gone to the Swamp of Gorlab, we might already know this, as he appears in a dream there, but I'm waiting on doing Gorlab until it can actually be completed). So the question is, what did the teleport storms do to him?
Mortegro is so low-key I never thought there was a way to piss him off, but you can get him mad by accusing him during the kidnapping sequence:
"So! Thou dost suspect me of kidnapping thy friend! Mine interest lies with dead beings, not with living persons. I do not have thy friend, nor do I know who doth have him. Thine impudence is beyond belief! Always, 'tis the superstitious and the jealous who persecute the Necromancer... Shazzam!"
"Where did he go?"
"Well, that's several days' worth of Iolo-related tragedy down, I should be able to sustain myself a bit longer."
"God, what is wrong with you sometimes."
"I don't know, there's just something about you. Your face, your beard, your fat dead wife-"
"Alright that's enough!"
Anyway, we need to get to Erstam's place, and to do that we must reach the secret dock at the NW corner of the Moonshade island. So we need to be here, next to Rotoluncia's house, and follow the coast all the way up north and hook west. You'll notice the Mountains of Freedom block any other approach. Fortunately it doesn't take all that long, considering.
Midway up the coast is a rogue ranger and a mage. They don't have a lot of treasure, but they are suicidally aggressive.
I tried to get a shot of this thing before we stomped it into paste, but you can still kind of pick it out. It's a winged snake. These appear fairly often in the colder parts of Serpent Isle, so you can expect them to be the vermin of the north. I guess they appear up here to signal that you're moving north and to show off how remote Erstam's little hideaway is.
After a while, you'll reach this dock. There's a signal tower thing in the south house with a bellows that lights up the "chimney." This is a cool effect and I'm not sure why it's here or what purpose it serves. If I had to guess, maybe you were originally supposed to light a signal fire or something. But instead, we ring the bell.
"I Re-Ten Bentas Juxark I! Praetimde Mir-Wis Re-Por I. I swear to God if that means something hilarious I'm going to go back and noogie Pothos."
"Our chariot arrives!"
"Oh boy, a giant turtle."
"I don't see how this can possibly be any worse than a ship given our last two experiences with them."
And indeed it is not that unpleasant at all. Pothos's warning holds true though: Don't drop anything on the turtle. But why would you? To spite him? Take that, Pothos, I'm dropping one of my dozen Magic Axes on the turtle. What are you gonna do about it?
"Is that an arm?"
"I'm sure it's just intriguing arm-shaped lawn sculpture."
"Well duh, it's art."
"I'm sure this Erstam guy is perfectly normal. Lots of people have bottomless pits for front yards."
"Okay so apparently I was wrong."
Welcome to the lab of the Mad Mage. It's... well it's something, what with the severed limbs and food lying around and the live chickens and whatnot. There are three residents here, though amazingly none of them appeared in this initial shot.
The mage in red is Erstam. The man on the cot is Vasel, his current assistant. And the third character is... well, you'll see.
"Might we speak?"
"No! Begone from my sight! Thy meddling in my business is unwelcome, stranger! Thou dost have the distinct bearing of a Britannian about thee! No doubt thou art some fiend in league with that evil Beast British!"
"Gosh, we try not to be."
"Why, I ought to cast a spell on thee! I could tear thee limb from limb but still leave thee alive! In fact I may do it yet! Now, out with it! Why hast thou come to disturb me here?! Bah! In truth I care not! Begone!"
"The password! Avatar, tell him the password!"
"What is this I hear?"
"A mutual friend told me to mention Iskatradeeth to thee."
"Iskatradeeth! The password? Then I shall not feed thee to the whales... I shall speak with thee... for the moment."
"Well okay then. I'm Steve the Avatar and-"
"I do not care to know thy name! As for myself, my fame hath grown with each passing century. I am Erstam, he whom some dare call the Mad Mage!"
"So you're the Mad Mage."
"I said that some call me the Mad Mage! I did not give permission for thee to call me that! That is a name by which I have been called since the days when I took the dissenters of the reign of Beast British away to live here at this place."
"So, uh, we're disturbing you?"
"I am a master sorcerer, and as such I am dedicated to my life's work -- mine experiments! I am searching for the secret of immortality and to find it I must be able to answer the riddle of life and death. These experiments are most dangerous! If thou art faint of heart I would advise thee to stay away! As thou canst see if thou dost look around thee, these experiments are a threat to both life... and limb! The terrible science that I pursue hath taken its toll in the lives of countless assistants. But if it leads me to the secret of eternal life, the price shall be well worth it."
"You want to be immortal, then? Sometimes I wonder what it's like to live forever."
"Immortality represents the ultimate defeat of death. 'Tis essential that I obtain this as soon as possible... No doubt thou hast heard of or perhaps even witnessed the teleportation storms. It seems that I recall a strange dagger appearing in the Manor about the same time as a teleportation storm. Perhaps that dagger is still around somewhere..."
It's under the stairs to the southwest. But it's just a dagger, so even though it is your dagger, it's kind of pointless taking it back. Sorry, I was ranting. I should let Erstam do that.
"Unchained for all time from death and the fear of death, there would be nothing that mankind would not be capable of accomplishing! HA, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"What do you think is causing these teleport storms?"
"The power of teleportation is most certainly an awesome one. These storms have been wreaking havoc on us for some time. I fear that their increasing frequency and intensity most certainly signals an end of the world."
"Yeah, but do you understand anything about how they work?"
"Hrmpph... I know nothing of this foolish, dangerous power they call teleportation, dost thou hear me? Nothing! Do not ask me of this again! And do not harry my servant about it either, I warn thee!"
"But Master, thou dost know something of teleportation! What about the...?"
"Silence thine imbecilic rantings, Vasel! Not another word from thee! Pay my silly servant no mind. He is daft in the head. I know nothing about this teleportation business. I have no secrets to share with thee!"
"So I have given away thy secret? Do not beat me! Please Master! Do not beat me!"
"So these storms mean... the world is going to end?"
"Of course! Now someone must survive the end of the world. That person may as well be me. In order to obtain the secret of achieving immortality, I must first uncover the answer to the secret of life and death. In the past when people have searched for the answer, they have only brooded over the nature of death itself. What a foolish thing to do! If there is an answer to the riddle of life and death, it can only be in the creation of life! Lately mine experiments have been halted for there is one necessary ingredient that I lack. Bah! Thou canst tell me nothing about the creation of life that would help me advance mine experiments! There is no point in speaking to thee of the subject!"
Erstam seemed about to say something about teleportation, but stopped himself. Vasel's interjection suggests the Mad Mage may know more about the subject than he's willing to cop to. So, naturally, we'll try to get the secret out of Vasel.
"A moment, good fellow."
"Do not hit me... I beg thee!"
"I don't think we were planning on it."
"What dost thou want, if thou dost not want to beat me?"
"Is your name Vasel?"
"I am an orphan. I have no name. My parents were so poor they could not afford to give me one! My parents served an evil sorceress who stole me away and had them banished. She raised me as her own dog -- er, I mean son. But she was eventually caught and hanged for all her heinous crimes. I still miss my stepmother, terribly."
"Yes well, is that what you're called?"
"As a child, I was called a freak because I collected bugs! But when I went to dispose of my collection, I was called grotesque! I was so upset I could barely finish eating! But now I am called by an honorable gentleman's name, given to me by the Master."
"Avatar, talking to this little fellow doth turn my stomach."
"Merely because I had a brief career with one sideshow, everyone hath marked me for life! Still, it taught me things that have helped me in my work here. It gave me a strong stomach."
"I can see why they'd think you grotesque."
"They called me that when I was young. But looking back on it, I think they meant it in a complimentary way."
"Then your Master is..."
"'Tis my master who calls me Vasel. Thou mayest address me by that name as well."
"They shall be carving that name on thy tombstone if thou dost not return to work!"
"Yes but who is your master?"
"I serve Erstam. He is the master of this Manor."
"Why serve him?"
"There is something about him that reminds me of my stepmother! Call it crazy if thou wilt! He is the one who is called the Mad Mage!"
"Thou dost dare to speak that name in my presence, thou cretin?! I said I do not want to hear that name come from thy lips ever again!"
"Never again! Never again! I promise! Do not beat me, Master!"
"But I have to wonder: why do they call him that?"
"You mean aside from the fact that he's completely crazy?"
"I dunno, he seems alright to me."
"The Master hath not been himself since he lost his one true love, the enchantress Drogeni. Many years ago she left on what she said was a secret errand for a wealthy patron, and she hath never returned."
"So what is it you do here?"
"I am the custodian of the Manor. I assist the Master in his experiments. I am also called upon to do the housekeeping. The Master's house is very old, and constantly in need of repair."
"That is correct, Vasel! Thou shouldst be returning to thine appointed chores!"
"The Master's experiments are of an extremely secret nature. They are also quite dangerous. Like any mage, the Master's work involves rare artifacts and arcane spells. Thou canst look as much as thou dost want for them. But thou shalt never be able to find them! Ha! Ha!"
"Vasel, thou art a fool! I will not tolerate thee giving away my precious secrets! Stop it at once!"
"Yes, Master... I am sorry... Please do not beat me...!"
"Sounds like hard work."
"I am not the first to have worked as the Master's assistant. Nor, I fear, shall I be the last. There have been many of us. I do not know the name of the Master's first assistant. His partial remains are around here somewhere. I do not know where. They are not where I last left them."
"Hmph! A lazy lout he was, as well. We shall not miss him!"
"How about the one right before you?"
"The last assistant to the Master -- before myself, that is -- was named Boydon. In fact, thou canst say he is still the head assistant. Heh-heh-heh-heh..."
"He was another one who was dead from the neck up!"
"Dost thou not actually mean dead from the neck down?"
"Yes, very well, Vasel. I shall concede that point."
Can you guess who the third NPC is?
"What of the other assistants?"
"Oh, little by little and bit by bit, they pop up now and again. I was never very good with names or faces... or arms or legs, or any of those other parts."
"Enough with this maudlin waste of time! Back to work with thee, Vasel!"
"This place becomes quite... unkempt, and requires constant cleaning. 'Tis a dreadful thing to do! I hate the cleanings! I hate them!"
"Stop thy whining, Vasel! Back to work with thee!"
"Why do you hate to clean?"
"Because I have to... to touch... all those things! I have to pick them up, with all their little squeaky noises... and squirming!"
"Things?! Squirming things?! What sort of squirming things?! Not snakes!"
"Snakes would be pleasant compared to what thou canst find here..."
"Your master stopped you from mentioning something about teleportation. Does he know something more than he's letting on?"
"There is a way to travel quickly from one place to another, and its magic is very powerful. The Jawbone of the Serpent enables one to walk through the great Void. But it belongs to the Master."
"Thou dost mean one must actually touch such a hideous thing?! I simply cannot abide snakes!"
"'Tis not so hideous. Sometimes I amuse myself, taking the Teeth out and putting them back into the Jawbone..."
Now we're getting somewhere. This is spoiled somewhat if you read the manual, where Erstam describes finding it, but the Mad Mage is in possession of an ancient serpent jawbone which, when the jawbone is filled with certain teeth, enables the holder to teleport around the Serpent Isle. Now Erstam is too wrapped up in his experiments to care, and most of the teeth he has were stolen by his apprentices years ago as a prank. Based on what we've seen so far, they don't know what they're actually for.
But Batlin does. Remember how he stole a jawbone from Ensorcio? And how he was trying to buy serpent teeth? Somehow, Batlin has divined the powers of teleportation, and if he's got that, it's going to be even harder to catch up with him. Unless we had a jawbone of our own. Maybe we can get Erstam to lend us his?
But first, let's talk to the "head" assistant, Boydon.
"Now I see thee. Greetings! I am Boydon, the Living Head."
"The severed head speaks!"
"Yes, I do. Strange, is it not?"
"What are you doing?"
"I am hardly capable of performing my duties now, I'm sorry to say. I was the assistant to Erstam, the one they call the Mad Mage -- dost thou know him? Wonderful fellow. Well, one night he woke me to help him with one of his experiments."
"This should be good."
"Of course Erstam, having mastered the art of teleportation, hath turned his sights to the creation of life. On this particular night that I am remembering we went down to his lab. He pulled an abundance of levers and things... my memory begins to fade a bit after that. The next thing I remember is awakening in this condition."
"Sounds like you got blown up and... didn't die."
"Is that not amazing? It doth go far beyond my comprehension of life and death. The mind fairly boggles at the ramifications of it. I found working for Erstam extremely interesting and most educational. Why, for example, my knowledge of anatomy hath improved so much. He is not exactly a friendly fellow, the Master, but there is never a dull moment."
"So are you... okay?"
"It is not so bad. I am never hungry because I do not have a stomach. I do not need to breathe because I do not have any lungs. I do sleep occasionally. Sometimes my nose itches. Nothing bothers me. Most people tend to find a talking severed head a bit unsettling. Right now I am enjoying talking to someone."
Yeaaaaah. We'll get back to him on this one.
"The jig is up, Erstam! Gimme your jaw. And not in a quaint Darth Malak sense."
"So! That little knave Vasel hath been telling thee of my magical serpent jawbone! Thou wilt not obtain it under pain of death, torture or for any price. All that concerns me is mine efforts in creating life. And there is nothing that thou canst do to aid me in that endeavor. Hmmm, or perhaps there is..."
"You're actually going to help him with this?"
"For a magic jawbone I can use to scare you and teleport hell fucking yes I'm going to do whatever he asks."
"There is something thou canst do for me! On the northern island there is a phoenix. Retrieve for me its egg, which is the missing ingredient that I need. I would go myself, but I am getting much too old for that sort of thing. There are terrible beasts along the way. And I do detest beasts, especially terrible ones."
"So what do we do...?"
"Thou wilt have to discover the way back by thyself. Thou canst not expect me to tell thee everything!"
"Yes, but how d-"
"Thou must surely be familiar with the legend of the phoenix! It dies in flames, only to rise again in rebirth from the flame. There, I thought I saw a look of recognition in thine eyes! Then it is settled. Bring to me the egg of the phoenix and in return I shall give thee the serpent jawbone. Dost thou agree to help me?"
"Excellent! Then go and bring to me my phoenix egg. I shall send thee there immediately."
One thing before we go: Erstam happens to know where our blue egg is from.
"If thou dost wish to know the mystery of that object, the answer is simple. Glance into my telescope, and its magical view shall penetrate the universe for thee!"
So up to the roof and into Erstam's telescope we go.
Isn't that adorable. The Magebane is in a penguin nest.
Anyway, once we've agreed to help, Erstam wastes no time in warping us.
Into a cave. Hooray. The cave is just a series of weak monsters and the occasional outdoor area. This is a pretty short sequence.
"Remind me again why we're doing any of this?"
"Obviously, to get the jawbone so that we can teleport to Monk Isle and get me a spellbook."
"But there's no way you would have known that Erstam had any such thing, or that it could get you there. You just arbitrarily decided we'd go look for the Mad Mage!"
"Hey. Avatar. Trust me on this."
At the end of the tunnel we find the Phoenix. Too bad it's dead.
Oh wait right, Phoenix. Fire. That'll work.
"By the Virtues!"
"Greetings to thee!"
"Uh, hi. Who are you?"
"Oh, my, what a formality! First thou hast saved my life and then thou dost ask my name! Thou art a curiosity! No one hath asked me my real name in several hundred years! I have always been called simply Phoenix."
"It is a sound thou wouldst find most unpronounceable. My name is a word in the language of my kind that roughly translates as 'Skyrise'. It is a popular name among my kind. But enough of that! I wish to thank thee for thy deed... this is a phoenix egg. It is obviously quite rare, and it possesses magical qualities that go beyond explanation. That is the greatest gift that I can give to thee. Use it wisely."
"Thanks, I guess. So is Skyrise like the Steve of phoenix names?"
"I was named after a famous Phoenix queen. She was so beautiful that a dragon came to court her! Canst thou imagine? After many rejections, she at last agreed to go away with him. And then she flew away with the dragon, into the sky!"
"Funny story about my name, you see-"
"You really are a phoenix, then!"
"Thou hast never met such a creature before...? If thou dost wish it I shall tell thee my tale."
"-which, understandably, wasn't what my mother intended, so-"
"The phoenix are creatures of fate. We are naturally drawn to places where the balance between Order and Chaos hath been upset. Fate is a force that is eternal. This is why those of my kind can never truly die. Although we may lose our lives, we are reborn from the ashes of our own funeral pyres."
"What do you mean by the balance of a place?"
"As the course of destiny calls us to many places and many worlds throughout the universe, mine ancestors grew wings to travel far. I flew between the Serpent Pillars to reach this place. I suspect that is how thou didst come here thyself. Now that there is a living phoenix in this world, the balance between Order and Chaos can be restored. A happy thought, no?"
"-and that's why everyone calls me that. So what were we talking about?"
"The flames of the pyres are a rebirth. They represent change. If the balance between Order and Chaos is misaligned, 'tis thee who must change it."
"Yeah, it's usually me who has to do everything."
"I wish thee luck in all thine endeavors! Dost thou wish to spend more time in my domain?"
"If thou dost wish to leave, thou canst return to the place from whence thou camest through a mystical means of unknown origin. The means lies beyond my lair. I wish thee good fortune, and once again I thank thee for restoring me."
"Wait, one last thing. You can't die, right?"
"Well, it isn't quite that I can't-URK!"
"Nice shot, Shamino."
"Okay now, watch this."
"Please stop doing that."
"I just thought I might try outsmarting the game. I failed, surprisingly."
Just past a cyclops is the teleporter.
Which goes right back to Erstam's place! Well, that wasn't so bad.
"We got the egg."
"Then bring it to me! Fool!"
"Now I have what I need to create life! Thou canst help me complete mine experiments! We canst begin by gathering all the various body parts scattered throughout the Manor. That includes a torso, arms, legs, and oh, yes, make extra certain that thou dost not forget the head. Place them one by one on top of the assimilation machine. Once thou hast put all the parts and phoenix egg into the machine, Boydon shall at last become complete. Don't forget the torso!"
And so, we first toss the phoenix egg in to get the machine rolling.
Then a bunch of limbs, a torso (found in the crate near Boydon), and finally Boydon himself.
The machine begins to rumble, then...
"At last, the labor of a lifetime hath come to consummation! I think Boydon hath been created rather well. Thou hast done an excellent job in assisting me in his creation. For thine excellent work I shall reward thee. Here is the key to my storeroom. There thou wilt find the secret of teleportation. It is an old serpent jawbone. Also, please take this serpent tooth as a token of mine appreciation. Once thou hast found the jawbone, return to me -- for I have something else to give thee as well."
"I assume this means things are going well, then."
"Now that mine initial experiment of Boydon hath been completed, my true work hath only begun. I shall not rest until I have learned all of the secrets of the universe. What? Thou art still here! I have no time to speak with thee! I have work to do!"
Shall we see how Boydon is holding up now that he's got a body?
"I have a body! I have a body!"
"Big deal, so do the rest of us. So what are you gonna do now?"
"Actually, I do believe my job now is to be observed by a careful eye in order to judge the success of Erstam's experiment. Although now I am most certainly capable of many jobs."
"My first job would be to take a long hot bath. I swear some of those body parts must have been lying about Erstam's Manor for some time!"
"So someone has to observe your condition, you mean."
"Certainly someone should keep an eye on me. To make sure my new body will not start to fall apart. Not to worry, I feel strange, but very well indeed."
"Thou dost not need to observe. Not when the smell reaches one first! Phew!"
"I feel I am capable of doing most anything in my present condition. In fact, I was wondering if thou couldst use someone like me to accompany thee in thy travels and adventures."
"Oh. My. God. We get fucking Frankenstein to join us? Yes. Absolutely yes. We are so doing this right now."
"I am delighted to hear thee say that. But first thou shouldst ask Erstam if I may go. After all, I am his creation. He is the one who made me what I am today."
"Art thou certain about this, Avatar? Boydon seems game enough, but he is also extremely gamey. I am surprised thou hast not noticed this for thyself."
"Far be it from me to question thy judgment, Avatar. But are thy senses so dulled that thou dost not notice the potent aroma emanating from this fellow?"
But of course, Erstam would never allow Boydon to join us.
"Certainly he may join you. It will serve my creation well to see the world. Good journey to thee. But take care. My creation may be very durable and powerful, but if his new body should be destroyed there is no force in the universe that can remake him."
Oh. Nevermind then. Boydon's comin' with!
Boydon is actually a pretty fantastic character. He starts out with problems hitting, but since he doesn't need intellect and comes with maxed-out strength, all you need to do is pump his dexterity and combat to turn him into a formidable opponent. And even if you don't want to use him to fight, his 30 strength makes him a great pack mule.
The only downside, as Erstam warns, is that Boydon can't die, or he'll explode into a shower of body parts and become just a head once more. There are a couple of points to watch out for where he can die instantly, but other than that he shouldn't have too much trouble staying alive, what with his 30 hit points and all.
The great thing about Boydon is that he'll never leave. Ever. Not from this point, not from any point. Unless we are forcibly separated from him, or he is forcibly separated from himself, he will always be a reliable party member. This makes him a good choice for holding valuable stuff, although with that much carry capacity he's good for holding any stuff, really.
At any rate, it's time at last to break into Erstam's garden shed and jack that jawbone. If you can't figure out which object in this picture is a jawbone, you might have trouble finishing the game.
"Well, we got the jawbone I guess."
"Yes, I see that thou hast found thy way into my storeroom and back. Here is a serpent's tooth. This will allow thee to travel back from whence thou didst come. As to the method of how it works -- Thou hast proven thyself intelligent. Discern it for thyself. Here is another tooth. It will allow thee to travel back to this island. Although, I trust that it shall not be necessary to do so."
Erstam gave us one tooth for helping him, and two more for getting the jawbone. Combined with the one found in Rotoluncia's house we now have four teeth in our jawbone, which can be called up with the convenient little "j" hotkey. One tooth will take us back here to Erstam's island, although we really have no reason to come back. One takes us to Moonshade. One goes to Monk Isle. The last one takes us to a place we shouldn't be in yet (and can't really do much in besides), but there's a good reason to make a quick trip.
First, though, we'll need to discern how the jawbone actually works. That of course is a matter for another day.