Part 11: Incel DeathcultPart 011: Incel Deathcult
Updates were delayed since it looked like SA was going to end up a blighted wasteland, but now that we've gotten over that little hurdle, I'm going to get through the end of this game. Last we left off, we were tasked with collecting some magic literature so we could blow up a spaceship with wizardry. Let's get on that.
Let's go wrangle the metal-magic knowledge out of the Umajons first, we already dealt with the only dungeon in the place. What else could be left?
There's a single house in the Umajo Kenta that you can enter, but where a guard will always tell you to fuck off as soon as you get a few steps in. It's relatively poorly indicated, but this is where we need to go now.
The guards still don't want to let you in, but...
Just telling him you have a real good reason for wanting in does the job.
You can give us your most valuable magic so we can use it to save the world. Cough it up. If you don't help us, a spaceship controlled by an evil robot is going to eat your planet and there's no way to put him in jail for that kind of crime. Also we can't just shoot him.
Well, I've never heard such a story before. However, since I've already heard a lot about you, and since the most important points in your description match with my information - by the way, I've seen the space ship land, even if I didn't know it at the time - and you don't seem to be a bunch of lunatics, I believe you. You can count on my full support. So now you want to know how metal can be destroyed with magic. Unfortunately, I must confess that I do not have this knowledge, but there are people here who are familiar with it.
Sidequest senses, tingling...
Alright, who do we have to go rough up to get our hands on it?
The people I am talking about are hard to reach. Under normal circumstances, they would never give you the knowledge, because for us knowledge is an asset we don't normally hand over to strangers. But, in this case, the situation is quite different. We are very happy you're ready to help us, and the matter is so important to us that we will give you the knowledge you need. <br> <br> The person who can help you is named Kossotto. Can you remember the name?
Son of a bitch.
I'll take that as a yes. Kossotto is an Equipment Maker, but he is almost never in the guild. He would never teach you this magic if I wouldn't force him to. Fortunately, he respects me and he will do what I tell him to, even if he doesn't like it. Kossotto has to see an advantage for himself in everything he does, otherwise he won't do it. However, he is not stupid and certainly will understand that this is of great use to everyone here. Immediately after this discussion, I will send someone to inform Kossotto. You must go to him since I do not know in what form he will give you this knowledge. Do you know where he stays?
We have an idea, and the scars to prove it.
He doesn't like to be disturbed, so you'll find him in the most remote corner. Visit him and he will help you. I would like to thank you in the name of all citizens in Umajo-Kenta. Although you are not entirely innocent - after all, some of you did come here with that hostile space ship - I consider you to be friends, since you understand that you were wrong. Now go and find Kossotto.
To return to one of the things I do enjoy about Albion's writing, a surprisingly large number of NPC's are understanding of the situation and willing to help. You don't have to wrap things in mystical hoodoo for the locals to understand a spaceship, they don't distrust you(though they may find your claims absurd), and except for the king of the Celts on Gratogel they don't send you on busywork quests before they'll lend a hand.
You can also talk to one of the kids in the building.
The kids are alright.
At least we already killed the monsters down here.
Ugh, at least if there was something to kill, this walk wouldn't be such a slog.
It's like 5 real-time minutes to get from the entrance to where Kosotto is. It super sucks.
Unfortunately Kosotto is a petty dickhead so he considers getting an economic leg up on a rival guild more important than saving the planet. What an absolute ass.
I was once a member of an assassin death cult and even I think this is stupid.
Having gained a few levels since the last visit, and needing to level up Harriett some more for... reasons. I decide to take a poke at the optional deeper reaches of the dungeon, since there are a few goodies down there I recall. But I end up deciding not to bother with it, since the fights aren't exactly hard, they're just busywork.
Every time you open a new corridor on the second level you have to go drop down to the first, walk all the way back, open another corridor, drop down, walk all the way back... I end up wasting like half an hour before I bail.
Back to the miners' guild.
For the game's obligatory stealth section!
It's of the classic "fail and you have to reset"-kind, but it's mercifully brief, really only consisting of a single corridor where you have to duck into niches at the right times to not get spoted.
After the third time getting caught the game bugs out and upon resetting Tom blurts out that he's learned the secret word! Not wanting to have to make the trip back to Kosotto a third time if I can avoid it, I retry once more and then get it right.
It also again, feels to me to be undermining the whole "magic is special and not industrial/scientific"-point when magic rituals are literally something that can be reproduced effortlessly and jacked via industrial espionage.
If Kosotto sends us off to yet another person, I'm going to flay him and wear his skin as a coat.
It's "Umajo Danu," you people could probably have guessed that.
After this, dealing with the assassin death cult is going to seem relaxing.
So it's back to the portal cave and from there off to the northern portal on Maini. You can actually walk to this location, but it's reasonably well hidden and there's literally no reason to, as all you can do before this point is collect a few Triifalai seeds and kill some wildlife.
We're here to pay you a large amount of gold to do some very easy work.
I hope for your sake that your business is important and honorable. Now follow me into Khamulon. I will introduce you to Rhain, the companion of the Cuain, our leader.
Very nice villainous ruin chic.
The burning skull pillars are definitely a nice touch, really tells visitors who's in charge.
We're here to pay you a bunch of gold to learn your innermost secrets of wizardry, specifically related to tossing lots of energy around. Or we would be, except someone happens to know we'll never be paying you that money, so it all got spent on potions and prescription medicine.
What?! Give you the HIGH KNOWLEDGE? You've got a lot of nerve asking for that.
Chill, buddy, you were the one who asked me to be direct. We need it for an important reason.
True, I did ask for that. Usually we don't give a damn about our customers' motives, but I'm going to have to escalate this to the Cuain, my manager, before I just toss you out on your ass. While we plot how to deal with you, you're free to explore most of our dark fortress, including the novices and slaves' quarters.
You realize they're absolutely planning to kill us and just take the money, yes?
It seems pretty obvious, so here's the game plan: we're going to wander around like idiot tourists, chatting up the locals and stealing any small, valuable objects that aren't being watched until we see a chance to abscond with the High Knowledge and leave these idiots in the dust.
This seems like the sort of plan that's likely to end with us butchering dozens of guards when Drirr screws it up or Harriett starts ranting about her dark gods.
The Dark Ones need only a modicum more human blood before their prisons are cracked open.
I'd like to see you come up with a better plan.
I didn't say I didn't like it, I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page vis a vis slicing the guards to ribbons.
Khamulon is pretty fancy, but most of it's rather similar corridors, so the first order of business is to harass the locals for more information about their sinister organization.
He's partially obscured by a text box, but this is like, a 10-year-old. Real smart decision teaching kids battlemagic.
Alright, champ, give us the canned speech for the tour groups.
My name is Branagh. I am a warrior, servant of Kamulos, the god of war! The god of the courageous!
Ha ha yeah okay tell us about courage buddy.
It is not a matter of having no fear: we must learn to overcome it. Only the spiritless have no fear at all. Therefore, only the clever can have courage and only the courageous will die honorably, with or without weapons. The coward will die as a slave. Whoever is courageous has honor. It is the greatest honor to die in a battle one has chosen for himself. I hope I will have this luck so that I may sit at Kamulos' table, where the glorious Kenget proudly wait for the Last Battle.
It quickly becomes obvious that the Kamulos are kind of Norse in their outlook, with Kamulos as a stand-in for Odin and the Last Battle as a stand-in for Ragnarok. Some things, like their stance on fear, that it's not about not being afraid, but about acting despite it, even sound relatively enlightened and inspirational.
Let's stay quiet and see how long he keeps going.
The last test. The Last Battle for eternal honor. The battle between courage and cowardice, men and weaklings. Hopefully, I will stand on the right side: with the Kenget. Death in battle is the highest goal in my life! To die in battle against Khunag, that would be like a dream come true. But the master of ceremonies knows much more about that.
Khunag! The name of the cowardly murderer of our last Cuain. He killed the Cuain while Kamulos slept, in the middle of our shrine, in the inner region.
Let's slip away while he keeps ranting.
At least a child with the Kenget Kamulos can't have been too brainwashed yet. Where are your parents, little one?
I rejected my parents when I became a Kenget, for they are only of the second stage.
I feel like I'm going to regret this, but the "second stage"?
Women are second-stage beings. Dealing with them is as shameful as dealing with animals, Iskai, and men. The husband is second stage because he deals with the wife and is not a Kenget. Therefore, to reach the first stage of becoming a Kenget, he must avoid dealing with women. And you fight more courageously when you are on your friend and brother's side.
The only thing worse than a second-stage being, is a third-stage being. These are prisoners who are left alive so they can perform activities which would otherwise shame a Kenget. Therefore, they do everything that has to do in any way with the household. Their children, however, may rise to become a Kenget if they show talent. Every man who shows courage in battle may become Kenget and even Cuain. Just because the parents have timidly let themselves be captured, does not mean that the child is a coward. Especially if he is raised here, if he gives up his kin and becomes a part of our family.
So what about us, kid? Are we second-stage beings? And how about plants, are they fourth-stage beings to be killed on sight?
We have nothing against plants. Why? Neither they nor the animals will be there at the Last Battle. To be honest, I don't know what you're getting at with this question. Everyone who is not a Kenget is impure. However, since there may be a Kenget hiding unknowingly within every man, a man may become pure by his honorable death. For a man it is hard to figure out who is pure, since purity is expressed by deep understanding of the eternal laws of Kamulos at the time of death. But Kamulos knows, and he gathers the pure dead around his table.
The little voice of advice in my head tells me to get the hell out of here before this kid brings up biotruths.
So uh, yeah, hence the post title. The Kenget start out as kind of "oh they're weird honourable viking assassins" and then they bust out with "WOMEN ARE IMPURE AND TOUCHING THEM MEANS YOU WON'T GO TO HEAVEN" and whoops they're actually a weirdo racist incel death cult.
Most of the Kamulos have the same things to say, but there are a couple of unique topics and also some of the NPC's are slightly more verbose about certain things.
So we've been hearing about this real evil horrible Khunag guy. What did he do?
You could earn yourself a great reward if you were to find out his whereabouts. That would be an excellent job for one of our assassins. It would be sufficient for you to know of our new year's feast. At the end of the year, Kamulos is tired from fighting a year's worth of battles, and he rests for a day so that he can begin the new year strengthened by the Blood of Honor. The order rests on this day as the Cuain falls into the Great Sleep as Kamulos, out of which the Blood of Honor will awaken him. That is our most important ritual. During this sleep, Khunag assassinated the Cuain.
Wait a second, Khunag killed a god?
About the only talkative NPC who has distinctly different dialogue than the rest is the chief slave, down in the kitchens...
On the way there's a dramatic statue of Kamulos. Check out those pauldrons on that bad boy.
Must suck to be a slave for a weirdo cult, you guys want us to bust you out?
Naturally, the word has a bad connotation, but being a slave of the Kenget isn't all that bad. I can't complain: if you are industrious and don't exhibit any exaggerated pretensions, then you can actually achieve something around here!
It is my job to discipline the slaves. Many of them are incredible numskulls who don't understand how good they have it here. Plenty of free food, a roof over their heads, and - something which is often underestimated -safety! Only an idiot would risk attacking the Kenget! But as I said, that doesn't seem to be enough for some of them. So, sometimes I have to whip a little gratitude into them. Don't misunderstand me: I don't like doing it! But, unfortunately, it is necessary now and then!
So you don't... mind... the Kenget?
I've think they're great guys, actually. Sure, you could argue as to whether or not it makes sense to honor the war god Kamulos. But it's not as if that's such an easy thing to do. It's really quite dangerous, you know. And you have to give them one thing: they really fight fair - no dirty tricks or anything like that. The Druids are the warriors who fight only with magic. They don't use swords or anything like that. Some of them are really intelligent and nice people. I even call one or two of them friends. Naturally they wouldn't officially admit that.
Hmm, you look a bit better fed than the rest of these poor folks.
Traditionally, the cook is the chief of the slaves. It's a real honor for me. And it's not that difficult either. I mean, of course I take a lot of care in preparing the meals but, and please don't tell anyone what I'm saying to you now, they don't have very sophisticated palates, if you see what I mean. The Druids expect the finest meals, but I can present anything to the warriors and they'll eat it without complaint. They have absolutely no idea how good they have it with me.
Hm, yes, but you seem to know how good you have it with them.
Well, I do all right. I can go unsupervised to the market to buy food, I can prepare my own food, and I even get paid. I won't get rich, but I don't have many expenses either. And the rest of the slaves get nothing. Except no one here does anything to them, because they are all impure. Exactly what impure is, I don't know. Perhaps my son can tell you that. He has now been accepted here as a novice. So you see, there really are opportunities here - even as a slave! Offer me freedom, and I would turn it down just like that. I have everything I need here.
...and you're totally okay with your son joining these assholes?
Ruainaigh! My pride and joy! Such a clever lad. I wouldn't be surprised if he even became high priest. He has the makings for it, you mark my words! Unfortunately, I see him less and less now because he has so much to learn. Tell him hello for me if you see him. And tell him he ought to drop in on his old man again. His mother still keeps worrying about him as if he were still a little child. But, you know women, that's the way they are: soft, naive, but still you can't do without them, right? Hahaha!
Hahaha! Yes, very soft and naive, in fact we better get this one away before she gets overcome by the vapours. You know how they are.
Jonathar is a huge asshole, like holy shit. He's clearly more privileged than the other slaves and is all "SOMETIMES I HAVE TO TORTURE THEM FOR THEIR OWN GOOD." I'm sad this isn't a Todd Howard game, I might have clipped through the floor 5000 times, but at least I'd have been able to stab Jonathar in the head.
Really, you "just remembered" this?
Or perhaps I realized that I'd better tell you about it before Siobhan cuts someone's arms and legs off for referring to her as a "second-stage being."
Good point, we don't want the killing to start until after we have the High Knowledge safely secured.
You have to wait until this guy gets off his butt and leaves the room, then you can activate the secret switch in the brazier and reveal a secret passage.
Maybe we'll get through this without having to hurt anyone after all!
Called it! VIOLENCE TIME!
So this is probably the game's best grinding location. Firstly, these groups of Kenget Kamulos will keep showing up and fighting you until you surrender. And the Level 3 Kledos in each team drop bolt-throwers that are worth hundreds of gold each but only weigh 1 or 2 kilos. The plan was to grind Harriet up to level 21 or 22 here but...
You can only revive people out of combat, there's no break between the fights, and the first thing one of the Kledo 3's does on the first round of the first fight is nailing Harriet in the back row with a critical hit. So I just kill the first group and then surrender.
Hmmmm, yes, that secret passage sure saved us a lot of trouble!
They didn't guard that corridor back in my time! Still, it's not the only thing I remember, I also remember where the secret switch to open this cell is.
Since the Kenget Kamulos are idiots who don't take away our gear, we're now free to rampage through their quarters, murdering dozens of them while cackling.
In many cases they even show up on their own, and in any case the Kledo, the fighter types, are chump bait unless they score critical hits.
The mages aren't much more threatening, but at least know to step out of melee range and sling spells from the back row, which limits how fast I can kill them for now.
There isn't a whole lot to say about it, and it's mostly a test on how smart you've been at stocking up on mana potions. If you had Sira and Mellthas along, it would be even more trivial. After this, though, we're dropped into multiple levels of dark dungeon.
Aside from enemies, primarily more Kenget, but also quite a few demons and some wild animals, the most noteworthy part of the dungeon is tons of fire-related puzzles. Fire pillars that must be led over correctly-coloured plates, fireballs that must be dodged or used to hit targets, etc. these guys are all about the fire.
The layout is, at least, not too labyrinthine or complicated, nor does it require much backtracking unless you go down side paths for extra loot.
It's the first case where the game ever hides buttons behind objects intentionally in the 3D levels, though, so this can get you a bit stuck if you're not observant.
We bungle into a bunch of Kenget taking their exams.
What was that?
The walls of their prison weaken! The awakening is at hand!
And just before we meet those Kenget, Harriett has reached the necessary level to learn this spell. Her final and most demanding spell, which will solve all our problems as long as we keep her stocked up on ADHD meds. For now it does literally nothing, but soon she's had a chance to practice it a bit, increasing her proficiency with it:
Where the hell did he go?
To feed the dark masters. With sufficient sacrifice, the cracks in reality will widen, and they will be released!
You know what? As long as it gets rid of these clowns, it's good with me. Pass the lady another potion.
At first it can bounce off high-MR targets and only targets one, randomly. But once she maxes it out, it's an irresistable battlefield clear spell. It requires full mana to not eat into her HP, sure, but she's almost always the first to act and she can wipe out an entire battlefield full of Animal 3's or the like in one cast. The only downside is that, since enemies are chewed up and spat into the void, you can't loot their corpses, so you can softlock yourself if you use it on an enemy with a required quest item. So just don't use it on named enemies and you'll be fine.
I only get stuck at one point, and that's here. Because there's a button I can't find. It's one of those little "yellow smudge on the walls"-button, hidden on the far right side of the map, along the walls of an otherwise-normal corridor.
Further obscured by being between two of these arches so you won't find it unless you intentionally check each gap. Goddamn.
And there's no note or bit of flavour text or even a comment from Khunag indicating where it is. Not that he's very helpful, mostly he points out that there's a lot of fire in the dungeon.
No shit, buddy.
Eventually the party drops through multiple damaged floors in rapid succession, dropping them very close to where they need to go.
On the bright side, there can't be too many Kenget between us and the inner sanctum, considering how many we've killed.
I lost count after the first fifty assassins and demons.
Of course, there are plenty of Kenget left, but only Kenget from here on out, no demons or wild animals.
This is the worst dungeon.
I know what you mean, all those tunnels and traps, those demons that could kill us in one blow...
Oh, no, not that. It's all the killing. It's gotten boring. None of these guys are a challenge to us, even before Harriet started tossing them into the void!
Blessed be the dark ones and their power.
Your Helromier friends aboard the Toronto had better be more of a challenge than this, otherwise I'm gonna retire once this adventure is over. Maybe become a farmer.
Fools! No impure one may enter this room and leave alive!
Chill, Rhain, don't let these second-stage beings get you angry, that's uncool. However... you five better have a good reason for being here.
We got given the runaround when we tried to get in, and since we have some important business, we decided to speed things up. Also we killed like a couple hundred of your guys.
You seem to be looking to get killed. Who are you?
I'm Tom Driscoll, and me and my team of weirdos are here to prevent a spaceship from destroying Albion. We need your magic to do that.
Fool! Though you're sincere, hate accompanies you here! You will not get the High Knowledge, we look forward to the Last Battle and will not shy away from it!
Not gonna lie, watching these guys fight robots would be pretty cool.
I have no idea what you mean about the hate thing, but I've listened to enough religious trivia from your goons that I know even Impure Ones like us may be on the right side when the Last Battle comes. We're not your enemies!
Let's assume you're right, Helromier. The Last Battle is upon us, and we must stand shoulder to shoulder with Impure men, women and even Iskai. I'd do this in a heartbeat and surrender the High Knowledge to you... but I know that some will never be on the right side of the Last Battle... like the traitor Khunag! Yes, I recognize him! He may have changed his face, but I still recognize his eyes! Why do you come here, Khunag, to your death?
What the hell, guy? You could have told us this a while ago!
Your lies are of no consequence, Khunag, but your cowardice is. You enjoy seeing your foes suffer, and you never fight your battles yourself, like now, when you bring these auxiliaries to die for you. You are right, though, when I have killed you, I won't spare these others.
This dumb bullshit has nothing to do with us!
You know what, Driscoll? He might even do it, if you fight for him and win. But if I were you, I'd bet nothing on his honor. And now the time for talk has passed! PREPARE TO FACE KAMULOS!
So Kamulos is... an extremely underwhelming god to fight. He casts spells like a level 3 Oqulo Kamulos, which means he has some hit-everyone and hit-a-row casts, all stuff you can heal your way out of. His main danger is that like Animal 3's and level 3 Kledo Kamulos, he can one-shot party members with crits. He's also immune to a lot of stunning effects, and obviously since we need the High Knowledge off his buff corpse, we can't hit him with Wrath of the Goddess.
Thankfully he only drops one person with a crit, Tom, before going down to a barrage of lightning and Drirr and Siobhan stabbing him repeatedly with sharp pokey things. He does look pretty rad, though.
By Kamulos! You killed, uh, Kamulos. Holy shit.
Impure dogs! For this you will die the three-year death!
Arthor, hold it. First, you've seen what they've done. They've butchered their way through our fortress and killed Kamulos. If you summoned all the brethren, we might win... and secondly, imagine when they see the Cuain, dead, defeated by the impure.
...damn, you're right.
Impure Ones, if you never talk about what happened here, you're free to leave with the High Knowledge.
Anything to get out of the Incel Murder Basement.
So, first things first. I wasn't sure we were going to survive down there, good job everyone. Secondly, Khunag, what the hell, man? If you hadn't been along, maybe they would have just turned over the High Knowledge and we wouldn't have had this fight. You could have gotten us killed!
I won't apologize for what happened-
You literally did, that sorry up there was straight out of the canon dialogue.
-the old Cuain, Arghagh, was the only human I ever loved. Cairnain drove us apart with intrigues and lies, and then commanded me to kill the Cuain. He ended the only happiness in my life. I swear there are no more lies between us now, and if you will have me, I'll serve you until I find a new purposes.
What's so hard to understand about two guys loving each other? Perfectly natural.
This is 1990, Siobhan, we can't say these things out loud yet.
Ah, right. What a magnificent and platonic brotherly bond between warriors?
Exactly. Now let's haul this literature back to the Dji Cantos so they can stop jerking off and make us a superweapon.
The only noteworthy equipment haul from the dungeon was another Shadowsword, which goes to Tom. It just about doubles his offensive output at the mild cost of cursing him eternally. The single better weapon in the game, outside of the end-game guns, is the Gaze of Kamulos, a sword somewhere in the later stages of the Kenget stronghold. Unfortunately if, like me, you enter the wrong room first, it's an un-signalled one-way corridor and you can't go back to find it.
We risked our lives...
...for a goddamn bean?
Just wait! No seed is as impressive as the tree which grows from it!
I hate that you have a point. Anyway, I figure the door Joe and I used to escape will serve as an ingress once we return to Umajo Kenta.
I finished up the documentary, let's hope it convinces enough people on board to give you a clear shot at the reactor. Also, while I can't fight or cast spells, I think you might find me useful on the team. I might be able to bypass some of the security measures.
Welcome aboard, Joe. Alright, team, we've been through a lot. We've killed a hell of a lot of people. And demons. And monsters. We've stolen an incredible amount of property, and I'm glad you're all here with me. Siobhan and Drirr, I have no idea what I'd have done without you two to kill things and give me moral support.
I have no idea what's going on, Tom, but I'm sure we're doing the right thing!
I've killed one god and I'm hoping for a second before this is over.
Khunag, you're a weird goony sinister assassin wizard, but you're our weird goony sinister assassin wizard. You've been invaluable.
For the record, I think you five are almost worthy of being first-stage beings.
Harriet, you're incredibly unsettling and I'm afraid what feeding your dark masters will do in the long run, but we need your ability to trivialize even the most awful battle. Are you still in?
The great bloodletting must never slow!
I'll take that as a yes. Now, let's move out!
Next: The final update!