The Let's Play Archive


by PurpleXVI

Part 9: Enlightenment

Part 009: Enlightenment

That hardly sounds ominous at all!
What's with the sarcasm? Frill's helped us before.

We've just been spirited away by an "enlightened" conspiracy hiding from the world. There's no way this isn't shady.
I can't believe Frill would be plotting anything.

You're usually in my corner, Siobhan, back me up here.
Well I'm seeing two things. First, these guys are loaded. Second, they're showing us how rich they are.
Oh, you don't mean...

What? What doesn't she mean?
They're not going to off us-
-they're going to recruit us! I always wanted to work for the Illuminati.

Oh, you're the familiar face Frill talked about.
Indeed, we have a lot to tell you, please, step inside.

-Irkith, scholar of sagas-
A pleasure to meet you.
-Birrh, our healer-
At your disposal!
-and Harriet, our youngest member.
As the prophecies ordained! The chosen one and his companions!
Don't mind Harriett, she got into some of the forbidden tomes and hasn't quite recovered yet.
Alright, now let's cut to the chase. Tell us what this meeting is about.
Very well, as Frill has no doubt told you, we are the Enlightened Ones. Our members are both human and Iskai, and our mission is one of responsibility to this world. We safeguard knowledge and, when we identify those who have reached an exceptional level similar to our own, we invite them to join us. Of course, knowing more of this world than any others, it is also our mission to act on threats towards it. Frill alerted us to your arrival on Albion and since then we've been keeping an eye on you and making inquiries.
Son of a bitch., I don't think Nemos is threatening us, Siobhan, I think what he's saying is that he's found the Toronto.
Indeed, it concerns us. Your great ship is the embodiment of why Cantos lead his people to Albion from Animenkna thousands of years ago, fleeing the persecution of the Helromier.
Lots of namedropping and proper nouns, I guess we know what to ask people about after this.
Up until now, you've proven to be trustworthy-
I thought you said you'd been keeping an eye on him.
-I was trying to be diplomatic. You've proven yourselves to be capable and we figure our best chance of getting you off our world again is to ask you to establish contact between your people and ours. We want to know what their plans are for Albion.
Rest assured no one else aboard the ship is anything like Tom, they've probably converted the factory to a research station by now and are eagerly trying to learn more about your world.
Yeah, since you know where the ship has landed, this should be an easy mission aside from the perpetually murderous wildlife. We're in.
Thank you, Tom Driscoll. We'll be sending Harriet with you, to help you in your mission, she's capable of wielding powerful magic and frankly it would do her good to get away from here.
I look forward to making this interesting trip with you, Tom Driscoll.
Alright, I know you all probably want to rush off, but can we stay for a bit and ask some questions? I really need to know what's going on here.
Yeah, we can case the place.

So before we proceed to interrogate the locals, let's talk a bit about Harriet. As a human she starts out reasonably durable, but her purpose in life isn't to hurt things, it's to heal things. She can heal all conditions, move allies and enemies around the battlefield, just plain restore HP, let you rest without spending food(and thus also heal other casters' MP, very useful) and once she hits level 22 she wins us the game. Her main weakness is that she has a permanent quest item stuck in her "neck" slot and most of the boosting items you can equip are amulets. I believe there's all of one beneficial ring and zero beneficial boots(aside from their very mild armor bonus).

Before going anywhere, though, I'm going to interrogate the heck out of everyone presented at the Isle of the Enlightened Ones, because they have a lot of lore to tell us, some of which is relevant, some of which is not, but which, I feel, contributes to the sense of some level of untapped potential that this game had.

First up, is Birrh, the local healer.

Go ahead, Rainer. The rest of us are going to loiter around and enjoying the local luxuries while you interrogate the nerd crew.
What's an Ens?
Ens is that which makes you alive. Ens is your I. Ens is that which differentiates you from the dead, as well as from all other things which exist.
So a soul.
No. The soul is a classification of Animenkna. According to Bathrig, only humans have a soul. He says that animals do not have a soul. Do Iskai have a soul in this sense? Hard to say. In any case the soul is nothing more than the attempt of Animenkna to classify and categorize the Ens for himself. If you wanted to summarize the Ens with your words, then you would have to say that it is soul plus conscience. But of course the Ens is inseparable. And if I were to say your soul is the body of your Ens and your conscience is its actions., then I believe that this is the best explanation that can be understood by your way of thinking. But always remember that a body cannot be separated from its actions.
...that didn't make a whole lot of sense. So who's Bathrig?
Bathrig... I cannot deny that there is something fascinating about this being. No one turned Animebona against herself more cleverly. His words sounded like freedom and Animebona, and what he said was Animenkna.
And Animenkna...?
Animenkna is the younger brother of Animebona. He is the ruler of your world, for he is the order, the consistent, the logical. We call it the bridle. He created everything together with his sister. Only in the case of men, Animebona wanted to create her own people - the Celts. And Animenkna was jealous of the people she created, and so he created his own people, the Helromier.
You know what I'm going to ask next.
Animebona means flow of souls. She is the daughter of the Unknown God. We Enlightened Ones also call her Entity, she is our creator and ur-mother. Together with her younger brother Animenkna - that means bridle of souls - she created the heaven and the earth, the animals and the plants. Up to now we thought she created Albion by herself, without her brother. And now you have come here, so Animenkna must have also participated in the creation of Albion. That is very frightening to us. For where should we turn when Animenkna's spirit has crushed Albion as well?
Right, and now what we've been referred to as before, Helromier?
There is no doubt that they are very clever people. Some of them even succeeded with their causal logic to recognize that Animenkna is not the only son of the Unknown God. They had great singers and thinkers: Homer and Aristotle. But their flaws allowed them to get stronger than us. They developed writing, as did we. But their writing soon began to no longer just mean what it said. For them, the writing WAS what it said and their words WERE what they meant. The flow of the language froze and they began to stack individual concepts one onto the other like stones. Their language lost its spirit. They were still very clever, but without spirit. They built the tower of their words higher and higher and converted everything magical, which they feared, into dead material, and filled it with new, spiritless life. But they completely control this undead material.

So at this point it should be somewhat obvious what they're going for, kind of a classic 90's "science kills the wonder of the world"-thing, they insist that "Animebona cannot exist without Animenkna," but quite clearly disparage everything Animenkna quite aggressively. The Helromier are the ones we'd kind of consider to be the "ancestors" of modern thinking: the Greeks and the Romans, with their sciences. We can get a list of Celtic grievances with the "Helromier" out of Birrh(or any of the others):

The cunning Ulysses. A very interesting figure, even if we don't have much sympathy for him. His cleverness consisted of clinging to the magic of Animebona and then betraying it for his own purposes. As such, he was a great example for Bathrig. Consider the one-eyed giant Polyphemus. Ulysses saved himself by changing his name, thus using it as a tool for his purposes. He only imitated the magic which creates a name: for his name was no longer the expression of magic, but the expression of the purpose which he sought to accomplish. And this is probably one of the main differences between the Celts and the Helromier.

He built the tower of words. Where Ulysses laid the foundation, Aristotle devised the means to build the tower to great heights. He was a great thinker, there is no doubt about that. But he only used the goals of Animenkna. The Helromier value him as the founder of logic and, for them, that is the highest thing. But even through their logic, the Helromier have still not been able to understand the essence of magic. They may be stronger than the Celts, but they are still far from being everything!

They also reference being defeated by "Saethar"(very subtle) and his son Bathrig(though I've found no way to connect that name or any weird transliteration of it to any child of Caesar's).

Irkith also has some additional, specific, complaints about Ulysses:

Homer's songs are an accurate image of the war between the two poles Animebona and Animenkna. Especially the second part, which deals with the wanderings of Ulysses, is very instructive. For Ulysses incorporates the principle of Animenkna like no one else before his time. For him, adjusting to the flow of events is no longer important: he no longer feels himself to be a part of the flow of Animebona, which man had always felt up to then. For him adjusting to the flow is only superficial. He is like the boat which conquers the river because it superficially matches its movement, but he uses its abilities to conquer it for his own purposes. Purposes which belong to an entirely different world than the purpose of the flowing river. In this way, Ulysses hopes to escape the threat of the river."

Just look at how he meets the dangers he is exposed to. He defeats the giant Polyphemus by calling himself 'No one'. In this way, he imitates his Ens, which chooses its name freely from its being. But the name Ulysses invents has nothing to do with his Ens, but with the purpose which it serves. He calls himself 'No one' and after 'No one' has served its purpose, he will remove it like a piece of clothing. He deceives the Sirens when he listens to their songs without falling victim to them. He does this by wrapping himself in chains. Chains, which are the principle of Animenkna, for Animebona lets everything flow freely. In this way, Ulysses can set himself above his companions, who have to row with their ears plugged. This is also new: a leader can gain knowledge which he MUST deny his followers so that all will survive. Force and order everywhere! The principle of Animenkna. And the climax is reached when Ulysses comes home.

When Ulysses comes home no one recognizes him, except for his dog and his nurse. The dog recognizes him by his Ens, the nurse recognizes him because she knew him in a former life, a life when Ulysses still swam with the flow and was bound by the principle of Animebona, where he received a scarred wound in battle with a wild boar. The new Ulysses would outsmart the boar and not get wounded. He outsmarts his wife's suitor by concealing his true identity and turning himself into a beggar. Bathrig later used this same self-denigration, and he always said that whoever denigrates himself will be raised at the end. In any case, Ulysses' untrustworthy wife recognizes him only when he pulls the bow which can be pulled by no one but Ulysses. And here, for the first time, Ulysses consciously returns to his own Ens and subjects himself to it for his own purpose - the purpose of protecting his family and retaining his lordship. He succeeds in doing this so convincingly that, before long, everyone is emulating his image. They did not even notice that they lost their freedom. In the end they all became the 'No one' who conquered the giant.

Part of the issue here is, I feel, that when you get right down to it, the locals of Albion aren't all that different from the humans of Earth. They still have societies with castes or social classes, they clearly still keep secrets. Like, for all this to work they would need to have been part of a much more alien society, possibly something explicitly communist or socialist so you could more clearly differentiate between the capitalists of Earth and the socialists of Albion.

Well, it's been... very enlightening, Birrh.

So, what did you learn?
They're afraid of the Toronto because they've been nursing a millennia-long grudge against us, the "Helromier." Apparently we defeated the Celts and chased them here a long, long time ago.
They also seem to have a very strange perspective on us. Still, we need their help to get back to the Toronto. What have you guys been up to?
Well, we checked the place out...

...and these guys seriously know how to live. We also got to know Harriet a bit better.
Tell 'em about the Great Bloodletting again, Harriet.
It is said that a dark soul shall come to Albion, gathering many companions about him and carving a bloody swathe across the world as he seeks his home. I feel privileged to have met him!
Seems pretty spot on.

I didn't expect this place to have a gift store.
The Enlightened Ones are a bit unworldly at times, so I try to manage out finances by selling spell scrolls.
Selling spell scrolls.
To who? This place doesn't exactly have casual visitors.
Maybe before we antagonize the lady, we should check out what she's selling.

You need scrolls of Lifebringer and Goddess' Wrath for Harriet, the only two spells she doesn't immediately know(and coming back here to learn them would be a hassle), and you should also grab a scroll of Thunderstorm for Khunag since it'll be a while before he'll actually encounter a trainer or other place actively selling his type of scrolls. I'm also amused that the Enlightened Ones literally have a store selling weapons of mass destruction to visitors.

The Enlightened Ones don't have a whole lot of unique dialogue between them, and aside from them and the shopkeeper, the only other NPC is a former slave of the Kenget Kamulos who escaped them.

Outside, if you're hungry for min/maxing your crew, you can increase one stat from one character by 3 per (in-game) hour spent on one of the flowers, though after that they'll need an unspecified amount of time to "recharge." Considering how easy this game is to casually break, you shouldn't need this.

Alright, we've gotten a replacement wizard, we've found that there are no easily-burglarized treasures and we've bought the magical equivalent of a nuclear weapon for when Harriet knows how to use it. Let's roll out on this quest.

I... I just don't know what to do, Rainer.
I didn't realize you cared so much for having me ar-
Now who are we going to bully?
Har har very funny. Try not to die out there.

Rainer's leaving is very sudden, but by this point he's kind of served his story purpose of being surprised, mildly disbelieving and very curious about the more unusual things we come across, and to explain them to Tom who isn't quite as scholarly. Like Sira and Mellthas, upon leaving, he gives us all his stuff back, but not the time invested in levelling him. New recruits always start at a fixed level, which is kind of an additional "fuck you" for picking up Siobhan and Khunag as opposed to going back and grabbing Sira and Mellthas again.

At the very back of the Enlightened Ones island is a small area, literally just one room, that's for no good reason in the same pseudo-3D used for most dungeons, containing only this one portal.

Now we finally sort of have a fast travel system, though now that we've gotten it, the only real purpose is to go back to Maini and pick up whatever party members we were missing before heading on to Umajo and looking for the Toronto.

Huh, I thought Umajo would be hotter and sandier.
Tom, why did we go to Maini? This isn't where the prophecies have fated you to travel.
Patience, Harriet, we've got some business to attend to.

It's slightly rephrased but yes, Harriet will in fact hassle you every time you use the fast travel system to stray slightly from the next story objective.

Straight back to Beloveno and straight to the prostitute's house. I should've known.
No, I'm not here for Kariah.

She will, of course, have zero new dialogue to reflect that you resolved a potential inter-species war peacefully.

We're here for this guy.
If that's what rocks your boat.
Not like that, we're here to recruit him, every second person in Beloveno last time we were here mentioned that he's a wizard, and without Sira and Mellthas we need some magical artillery.
I am indeed a magician of the Kenget Kamulos.
Sweet, how do you feel about coming with us to check out a cool spaceship and blowing up a lot of things on the way?
Seems like an interesting quest, I will join you for now.
Cool. Introduce yourself to the rest of these guys.
Because of my capabilities as a magician, it is hard to deny that I was once a member of the Kenget Kamulos. My path has separated from my former brothers, and you don't need to know anything more about it. I was born to fight, but am trapped in a weak body. My magic serves the exclusive purpose of obtaining honor in battle. To feel currents of energy flowing through my spirit is a wonderful feeling.
Damn, this guy may be a beardy old dude, but I like his spirit.
I sense that he will bring many bloody sacrifices to the prophet.
How about you, Drirr? You're being quiet.
...he feels a bit shady, Tom. In fact, it feels like this entire team has gone down a dark route.
I know what'll perk you up, Drirr, a team-building exercise!

We're going treasure-hunting!
I sense artifacts of sinister power within these innocuous caves.
I sense target practice.

So technically you can do this cave at any time on Maini, and in fact if you were sticking with Sira and Mellthas it would make perfect sense to do it first off before engaging with any of the local plot nonsense. Instead, I saved it so I could get Harriet and Khunag some extra experience before continuing the plot, since I strongly suspected someone would want to see Khunag in action.

Speaking of Khunag...

Stats-wise he isn't a slouch and can in fact equip just about every type of human weaponry and armor, including the big Danu's Light sword that Siobhan also has, entirely for the sake of giving him more of a speed boost. His magic is also pretty unsubtle, being mostly ten different kinds of exploding things. Sadly a lot of his spells are purposeless, since the game has no real "elemental" damage, all of his fire spells are just less powerful versions of his lightning spells(hit one target, hit a line, hit the entire battlefield) and since most fights quickly degenerate into a big scrum in the middle of the field, his various "trap" spells also serve little purpose. Similarly his ability to drain life and magic from enemies are also somewhat undermined by the fact that chugging potions is instantaneous, that I can at this point afford near-infinite amounts of them, and that Harriet will soon make most damage that isn't "instant kill" irrelevant.

Long story short: You just want Khunag to blow up the battlefield with lightning. No reason to be subtle.

Also as an aside while doing this LP I learned that there's actually a threadbare Albion wiki, of all things, which is still seeing edits and has an active Discord. Strange times. It helped me with some maps for the cave so I could show off what it's like.

Now, this fucking cave.

It is, of course, pitch black, filled with stalagmites that impede movement and it's a multi-level maze that only allows you to see the map of the level you're currently on.

This is the kind of thing you're looking at on each level and I believe there are about seven levels. Each of those arrow-pointing-at-hole markers is an either ascent or descent option, though at least in-game on your map you can differentiate the two since the ascent options are white X's instead.

You also regularly get swarmed by Kritahs, though thankfully by a fixed amount of them. Their only real trick is that when they get sufficiently injured they try to flee combat to deny Khunag and Harriet valuable XP, but they do at least allow me to practice Khunagh's lightning line spell up to its maximum proficiency before the cave is done(sadly by then he doesn't have enough XP yet for the full-map lightning attack).

On the bright side, the cave is littered with chests and junk piles containing some worthwhile and less worthwhile stuff.

For some reason they contain an oddly large amount of food, probably enough that I might not even need to buy any more before the game is over. Hope the crew enjoys living off of half-rotten hardtack fished out of a box at the bottom of a cave!

The few locations of interest include:

This cave full of herb-bearing plants, the herbs have no clear effect when used but they "purify the mind and soul," so I presume cure all conditions. Of course, with Harriet along, this is no longer really relevant unless she's the one who gets hit by a condition.

A path leading to this exit with the waist-high gate that the team was unwilling to open from the front but perfectly happy to open from the other side. With the caves being non-linear, this exit is of course far away from any things you'd want to reach, so it likely won't really save you any time in terms of getting out after getting the good loot from the cave. You could also potentially miss all of the good loot if you didn't know what was worth finding in there and just assume it held some spare change and food and nothing else.

A random chest containing the best helmet in the game, the most protective as well as a huge luck boost for averting status effects, the only particularly scary thing that enemies can still do to us.

A cave containing "COUNTLESS FABULOUS CRYSTALS" which in practice means "four gems of relatively low value, you'll earn more gold just emptying every chest in the dungeon."

And this chest, THIS chest is the jackpot of this cave.

This is the source of the sinister aura I felt at the entrance!
Oh boy, is that a legendary magic sword?
It sure is, champ. If I let you have this one, will you stop complaining about us being morally gray?
Hm, on the one hand it conflicts with my internal code of ethics but on the other hand I finally get to be cool and have a magic sword like you and Siobhan! Deal!

The Shadowblade is the second-most-powerful weapon in the game, in terms of pure damage, with the advantage of being one-handed and wieldable by everyone. It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

So funny thing, while it may be cursed, the damage is still there(most other cursed items swap over to a negative damage modifier when you learn they're cursed), and it doesn't curse you in any way that prevents you from hitting things real hard. It drops Drirr's max HP by 50 and bottoms out his "Stamina" stat, but as far as I can tell the Stamina stat doesn't actually do anything observable anyway and Drirr is already pretty beefy.

If it hurts my enemies half as much as it hurts me, this is a really great sword! Ow!

So after finally finding the Shadowblade, which required me to actually consult a FAQ, and dropping by Jirinaar to stock up on magic potions, I decided to at long last, go to Umajo, since there was nothing else left to do other than grind up stats at the Isle of the Enlightened Ones.

Alright gang, new city, you know what we do first.
Solve crimes?
Rob someone?
Smite our foes with magic?
No, we go harass the locals until they tell us what crimes there are to solve, who we can rob and who we can blow up without the local guards getting angry.

One thing that sucks about the Umajo desert is that it's literally the one place in the game with random encounters. Because all the local wildlife is hostile and burrowing, you can't see it until it hits. I don't know if the wildlife still "exists" like the normal angry animals do, but are just invisible, or whether it's dice rolls.

Everything in Umajo is, unsurprisingly, tan-coloured or sand-coloured. It's also kind of the least interesting of the cities because by now there's really nothing there, except for maybe one thing, that we'd ever want to buy. There's no armor we couldn't get in Beloveno or on Jirinaar, no "weird objects"-dealer like Rifrako that might have a few enchanted items and the only superior weapons are an upgrade to bows, but by now you could easily have every ranged character wielding crystal axes instead and the only backline character that woldn't be better off just casting spells was Rainer, and he's not with us any longer. In general the game is done handing out any kind of upgrades except for one defensive item and the highest-damage melee weapon in the game lurking ahead.

The local decor is a combination of the Celtic interiors we saw on Gratogel and Maini, but with more metal objects around.

Is this normal?
What do you mean?
Does he often lead you into random people's homes? else are we supposed to learn anything? Also sometimes people don't pay attention to their property and it's valuable.

Rainer, you handle the exposition while we loot the premises.
We left Rainer behind, boss.
Khunag, you're probably the smartest here, besides me, you're promoted to new Rainer. Handle the interrogation.
With pleasure. Local, explain this place to us or face the consequences.
I'm just a housewife and have enough to do without dealing with you: Cooking, making beds, cleaning, washing, buying, and then preparing the daily food for the prisoners.
This sounds crime-related!
The prisoners?
These people have been expelled from our society. All evil-doers from the area are kept there. Most of them are fairly aggressive and have to be watched very carefully. The prison is to the north and a guard goes there every day to relieve the shift and bring food and drink. My job is to cook for the prisoners.

So the prison, oh man the prison. This NPC has a couple pages of text about guard shifts and how the prison is full of evil people and what guard you have to follow to find it at the ass end of the desert and then the prison has zero content. No one to talk to, nothing to fight, not even anything to pick up. More or less every Albion FAQ has a side-note going: "What the heck's up with the prison????" But as far as I can tell it's literally just cut content.

Khunag. Cliff's Notes.
You dragged us into a random woman's house and she's spent the last half hour telling me about her husband's job.
Also, nothing worth stealing.
Maybe next time you should bring us somewhere useful.
Alright, alright, how about...

A rich local guild!

There are really only two important buildings in Umajo. The Equipment Makers' Guild and the Miners' Guild, as mentioned the shops are at this point irrelevant(the owners don't have any interesting dialogue either), though the local bar does have a couple of very chatty NPC's, one of which will help you keep track of where you need to go.

This NPC comment makes me feel like the game originally had more elaborate lockpicking mechanics planned. All characters have a lock-picking stat, but as far as I can tell it's never called and can never be trained. Nor are any locks ever trapped.

And as another indication of the Umajo control of metal, even their bathtubs are made of it.

Nice guild you got here. Guy in the foyer was just telling us about how you make locks, what'd you say the most valuable item is you've used those locks to protect?
We don't just use locks for valuables, our most important and recent inventions are developed in our underground workshop, and as it is locked, visitors like you cannot access it.
Inventions, you say? Like engines of war?
More like security devices, traps and locks.
How about we help you test those? You could pass us the key.
I'm not crazy and I'm giving you my key!? Hopefully, Zebenno will not give you his as well. But he is a nice fellow. Just visit him and say hello to him for me. Usually, you'll find him with the miners. He always complains about ore prices when he has nothing better to do. You'd better not ask Zebenno about the key. It would be a tragedy if Zebenno gave you his key. I feel pity for you if you had Zebenno's key. You'd have to be real careful if you got his k-
Yeah, yeah, we get it. Go to Zebenno, he'll give us the key, then we can raid your workshop.
It'll be a while before we see this "spaceship," won't it?
Just as soon as he runs out of distracting dungeons, we'll get to it.

Merdger also sells "Porenoil." You get hurt if you wander around in the desert for too long without it, but since there's nothing in the desert except for the prison, which serves no purpose... I grab a bit in case I decide to go show off the prison, it'll probably last me the rest of the game easy. The equipment makers' workshop is also the optional dungeon for the Umajo continent.

But first let's make sure we've tapped the locals for rumours by going to the only bar in town.

You'd think the bartender would have something interesting to say, but he doesn't.

Instead you want to get a hold of Konny here, a couple of bar patrons will point you towards her and I wonder if she was originally planned as a recruitable party member, since she A) seems interested in your quest and B) there's an unused "Umajo" ethnicity for characters in the game files that no player characters ever use.

I'm surprised anyone's heard of us already, but yes, that's us, we're super cool.
I'm very interested in adventures. I have many adventure books at home, and I find it very exciting when I have the opportunity to meet people who go on great journeys. And now I've met you! Naturally, I would understand if you don't want to tell me anything or if you can't reveal certain information. Not everything is secret, is it? Oh please, tell me something about the exciting places and the people you have met.
Well, since you're asking me to brag...
Tell her about the assassin in Jirinaar!
Don't forget the evil wizard we killed.

The stage directions indicate that the party tells Konny everything she wants to know until she's had her fill of adventures.

You've really had some very exciting adventures. I would like to join you, but I'm embarrassed to say that I might not be courageous enough. Moreover, I'm needed here. In any case, I'm eager to find out how you're going to continue and where you're going next. There are several different options for traveling from Umajo-Kenta. First, there is the northern part of the desert. There is a prison there, but that is pretty far, way up in the north. You have to be pretty strong and you must be prepared for the heat. And then, naturally, there is the southern part. But that isn't so easy to get to, because you have to go through the boulder belt. Also it seems something strange happened there a while ago. They say that the area is haunted now. But don't let that scare you away. Many people say a giant monster came down from the sky, but I've never seen anything like that.
Yes, about that... how do we get into the southern half of the desert? It looks like a big field of huge boulders is blocking the way and for some reason none of us can think to climb over them.
You can't get through the boulders. They are much too large and impassable. Also, you can easily get lost there. What do you want in the southern part? If you absolutely want to go there, I have heard of a possibility: There is a passage which goes under the boulder belt. The most difficult thing about it is to find the entrance. Unfortunately, I'm not able to show it to you. But I do know someone who knows. Perhaps you could hire him as a guide?
Something tells me we're not going to get anywhere unless I say yes.
I hope I can trust you. Well, the man is named Ohl. Not many people in the city know him, because he is very withdrawn and almost never lets himself be seen. Therefore, it is quite difficult to meet him. He is very shy and he doesn't like long conversations. Nevertheless, he is nice and ready to help, even strangers. I'm sure that he will help you if you tell him that I have sent you. He is a fanatic diamond collector, so he knows our family quite well. You can probably convince him to come for a couple of jewels. Ohl is at the ore mine every day at precisely twelve o'clock so he can see if the miners have brought out any interesting pieces. But he is never there very long. You have to be punctual, otherwise, you'll never even see him. Ohl will certainly show you the way. In any case, I wish you all the best for your continued journey!
Well, it's too late in the day to catch Ohl at the miners' guild. We'll have to resume this adventure tomorrow.

Next up: Raiding a basement! Finally getting to the Toronto!