Part 73: Epilogue
Conclusion to Our Tale: The World That Survived Kerghan
Because I delivered the secret ingredient to Jongle Dunne, he perfected his alchemical process and eventually found a way to make gold from common lead. Needless to say, he became the richest man in all of Arcanum. I tried visiting that stingy bastard once, asking for my cut of the profits, but he insisted that 70 gold had been fair payment for services rendered. I lost my temper and was escorted out by his half ogre guards.
Ristezze, that foppish bastard, had much better luck than I did. He claimed that his old friend Jongle owed him many favors, but I don't buy it for a second. Whatever the truth may be, he used the money he was given to buy out the old, abandoned Emporium of Wonders, previously owned by the late H.T. Parnell, and he opened it back up for business. His prized Boot of Bessie Toone has been featured there ever since.
The defeat of Lukan and his henchmen, coupled with my freeing of the ghost of Bessie Toone, enabled Shrouded Hills to grow and become a thriving community once again. A new silver vein was discovered in the old Bessie Toone mine. Workers poured into town by the dozens and, within a few years, Shrouded Hills was a bustling boom town. Such towns often have problems keeping the peace. Shrouded Hills has no such trouble, mainly due to the efforts of their new sheriff, Doc Roberts.
The sister city to Shrouded Hills, Stillwater, did not change much with time, and its residents were quite happy for that fact. I heard a rumor once that a strange, oversized beast showed up in town one day, reeking of sulfur and sweat. Those few who saw it could only glean from its strangled grunts and hoarse whispers that it was apparently looking for a ruby of some kind. Unable to find it, the twisted beast left the town and was never seen nor heard from again.
Donn Throgg, because of the advice that I gave him, became a leading political activist in the fight for orcish rights. In time, he legalized orcish labor unions, secured the vote for all citizens regardless of race or gender, and became the champion of equal rights and justice in Tarant. Before long, he was begrudgingly voted into the Industrial Council and, in a few years, he sat at its head. I never did get the chance to straighten out each and every gnome on the Council, but putting a half orc solidly at the top of it was surely the next best thing.
As a well known master of negotiation, I visited Mr. Throgg frequently. During one such visit to Tarant, I made a brief stop at the library, and I was quite surprised to find my old half ogre friend, Ogdin, reading a book inside. He wouldn't tell me how he escaped from the Isle of Despair, but he assured me that he owed me thanks. After that, I visited him every time I found myself back in Tarant, and he was always happily reading away in the corner. In time, the owner hired him to organize and catalogue every last book in the library. Whenever I visited thereafter, he was busily working away.
Following the deaths of Pollock and Darian Maug, the Boil was demolished and then built anew. The Bentley was renovated and became the most elegant hotel in Tarant. The owner, the honorable Mister Caleb Malloy, is often seen mixing drinks for his guests in the hotel bar. I still stop in to see him on occasion, especially since, for me, the whiskey is on the house.
Thanks in part to my recommendation, Sebastian found work at the Bentley as a bouncer. He felt the work was too easy, but leapt at the chance to live out a relatively quiet life with free food, lodging, and all the liquor he could stand to drink. The Bentley enforces a strict no-pets rule, but for Terry they make an exception.
Maximillian was returned to Dernholm and all of Cumbria rejoiced at the return of their rightful king. Under the new rule of Maximillian, Cumbria quickly grew into a powerful nation, embracing both magick and technology. And, once again, the proud banner of the Dragon Knights flew from the ramparts of Dernholm Castle, set there by their new captain, Lianna Pel-Dar.
Along with Cumbria's new acceptance of technology came a whirlwind of knowledge and tolerance. Now able to study in the comfort of her own home, Jayna quickly became the most skilled herbologist in the kingdom. Her medicines have saved countless lives both at home and in the small skirmishes Cumbria occasionally finds itself in.
Because of my outstanding efforts in negotiating the terms for Caladon's membership into the Unified Kingdom, as well as the wise governing policies of Donn Throgg, Caladon and Tarant became equally prosperous. There was peace for many years in Arcanum.
Much like Ashbury before it, I eventually caught a rumor that Caladon was having difficulties with the dead rising up in its graveyard. I wasted no time in tracking down the bastard responsible, and it was none other than Geoffrey Tarellond-Ashe, abusing the powers of the Gem of Malachi Rench that I'd retrieved for him. I put the fear of death into him something proper, and he promised to never, ever set foot in the Caladon graveyard again. To placate my wrath, he even used the gem to give me a clue on Nathaniel's whereabouts. If it had been anybody else, I probably would've smashed the gem outright, but Geoffrey was too damned afraid of me to go back on his word. I've not heard of a single problem in Caladon's graveyard ever since.
Because I convinced the mayor of Black Root to rejoin Cumbria, there was a small struggle between Maximillian and the Industrial Council concerning ownership of the town. Maximillian was determined to defend his own, and he was successful in doing so. Under the protection of their new king, Black Root grew into one of the most important port cities in all of Arcanum.
Captain Edward Teach, grateful for my donation of a sturdy and seaworthy vessel, set off to explore the distant seas at the behest of the renowned adventurer, Franklin Payne. Their adventures, along with our own, were eventually published in a book written by Franklin Payne himself. When not waist-deep in the most horrible trouble they can find, the two of them can occasionally be found at the Sour Barnacle, sharing stories over frothy mugs of ale.
Under the continued leadership of Loghaire Thunder Stone, the Wheel Clan came out of seclusion and rejoined the world. Songs have been composed about Loghaire's bravery and courage, and are still sung today among all of dwarvenkind.
At my insistence, Magnus Shale Fist sought out Erick Obsidian of the Wheel Clan to inquire about dwarven history, in hopes of finding some information regarding his lost clan. Last I heard, he was happily assisting Erick in his study of the Durin Stone and the Iron Clan caverns.
Kan Kerai and the Bedokaan made a lasting peace with the elves of Qintarra, and together they rid the Glimmering Forest and the Dark Fens of poachers and of the spoilers of the land. In time, the Bedokaan became a more civilized people, sharing in the wonders of the new age. Still lingering in Qintarra, unsure of where to go next, Jormund, the dwarf mage, found in the Bedokaan a like-minded people. He trained and researched with them, eventually making significant strides in the college of Nature magick. His name will be remembered for many years to come.
The dark elves were never seen nor heard from again. To this day I still don't know if it was the ogres or the Hand that got them in the end, but the thought of Vollinger shooting down M'in Gorad by Gideon's side brings a smile to my face. If it was truly him, I know he did it out of duty, but likely took some measure of personal satisfaction in it as well.
Upon returning to Arcanum, Arronax buried his father on the Isle of Thanatos. Later, he traveled to the Vendigroth Wastes, and there used his powers and single-handedly raised the city from the ruins it had become. Vendigroth again became a place of awe, and wonder.
I have since visited there and conferred with their scientists to create a modification on the Vendigroth device. As one of a very small number of people who witnessed the original device's operation, I was uniquely qualified to assist them in developing a separate device that would sever the souls of the undead from their mortal shells, sending them to the great, peaceful beyond.
Using the money I earned on my journey, along with the countless artifacts I uncovered, I founded a museum of history in Caladon. The Frederick Colburn Memorial Museum still stands today as a monument to my undying love for my late husband. I will return to him one day, of that I am sure, but if I've learned anything from my encounter with Kerghan it's that I shouldn't be so hasty to leap to my own death.
Meanwhile, I still roam in search of Nathaniel's spirit, carrying with me the device that will send him back to Frederick's side. Virgil happily continues to accompany me wherever my journey should take me, never once complaining. Although we don't talk much about the future, I suspect our adventures are far from over. There's a bit of Franklin Payne in the both of us, it seems, and we're both content to share in each other's company while traveling Arcanum for the rest of our days.
-Samantha Colburn, April 2nd, 1897
Bonus ContentFollowing this update I have a whole mess of stuff to share, but I'll start with no less than three videos. The first is a video of Kerghan's speech in the middle of the last update. Watch that here: Video
Second is a video of the epilogue sequence (and also the operation of the Vendigroth Device / Dwarf Portal). Naturally, it's actually a bit different from the epilogue I presented through the very same screenshots. For one, Samantha isn't the narrator. I also added a whole bunch of stuff that's not normally covered. Still, if anybody needs the proof that I really did get such an amazingly saccharine ending, here it is: Video
Third, and last, is a video of the final fight. "But, seorin, you talked Kerghan into his own death, there was no final fight." Ah, Arcanum, how we do love thee despite the bugs. You can't avoid the final fight, and there is actually zero benefit in talking Kerghan into his own death. The resulting outcome is the same as if you told him to go fuck himself. There's no commentary on this video, but I use the same tricks I did in the Pete video to end things without any bloodshed. Here you go: Video
I also went through all of the ending slideshow sound files and transcribed the text, placing them with their relevant pictures. If you ever wanted to know everything that could happen at the end of Arcanum, this section is for you! I'll try and comment on several of the endings below, especially where it's not obvious how to acquire them.
After your death, Kerghan returned to Arcanum, making good on his vow to destroy all life there. Arcanum is now a burned out shell of a world, existing only in memory.
(I'm pretty sure this is just what you get if you die in the final fight)
Upon returning to Arcanum, you assume the role of Death's champion, laying waste to cities and villages all across the land. Your lust for death and destruction was insatiable, and millions died before you decided to stop. Scattered groups still survived in the existing wastelands, but Arcanum never recovered from the cataclysm caused by your hand.
(I really don't know how to get this. My best guess is to take the super evil path, and maybe you get dialogue options allowing you to kill Kerghan so you can become a power-mad zealot instead?)
Upon returning, you assume the role of a dark god, with arcane forms of worship and sacrifice. Arcanum became a place of pain and shadow where men were afraid to speak their minds or follow their dreams. The world you made was a hard place where the only laws were those of survival. You were worshipped, but you were also hated and feared.
(There are a lot of these 'become a god' endings, and I think you have to own up to being the Living One to get them. Since Samantha denied that possibility at every opportunity, she ended up not being the Living One. I don't think I've ever seen one of these when I've actually played through the game, oddly enough. Obviously, this one is for an evil aligned god.)
The Bane of Kree returned to Arcanum wielding Kryggird's Falchion, the weapon that you provided to him. Before long he had amassed an army of barbarians and laid siege to both Caladon and Tarant, and burning hundreds of villages along the way. Only through the combined might of all the peoples of Arcanum is he stopped. Unfortunately, you are held responsible.
(When recruiting the Bane of Kree you get the option to tell him you'll free him, but you can also choose that option with [Lie] next to it. I believe you only get this if you both have Kryggird's Falchion and don't lie to him when telling him you'll let him out of the Void.)
Because of your mindless destruction of the bridge materials in Shrouded Hills, Lukan and his henchmen continued to control the only route in or out of town. Without the means to trade, Shrouded Hills withered away. The old Panarii temple is still there, standing over the ruins of the town like a headstone.
(There is an evil quest to side with Lukan. If my persuasion had been higher at the time, I would've followed through with it. I swear I wasn't trying for the amazingly good ending sequence I got.)
Even though you were able to free Shrouded Hills from the grip of Lukan and his henchmen, the presence of the ghost of Bessie Toone kept the mine from ever producing any quality ore again. Eventually, the town withered and died.
I only included this picture because it does have a second sound file... one that makes no mention of Doc Roberts. I'll let you guess how to get this instead of the one I got.
After the death of Gilbert Bates, the Bates Steam Engine Company closed its doors and its line of products was discontinued. In the ensuing mayhem, Cedric Appleby attempted to meet demand for steam engines with his own inferior machines. Tarant was thrown into a state of utter chaos.
After the deaths of Gilbert Bates and Cedric Appleby, both of their companies shut down and Tarant was without a steady supply of steam engines. Soon after, the sewer systems broke down, and eventually the city found itself without electricity. In a few short months, Tarant was in utter chaos.
Because of the death of Darian Maug, Clan Maug soon found itself overrun by Pollock and his gang and quickly vanished. Without an opponent to challenge him, Pollock set his sights beyond The Boil, and it wasn't long before all of Tarant was shadowy and crime-ridden.
Because of the death of its leader, Pollock's Gang soon found itself overrun by Clan Maug and quickly vanished. Without an opponent to challenge him, Darian Maug set his sights beyond The Boil, and it wasn't long before all of Tarant was shadowy and crime-ridden.
Similar to the second ShroudedHappy sound file, there is an alternate sound file for this picture if Caleb is dead, omitting the line that references him.
Alright, this one is hilarious. There's an alternate sound file, but I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to be there. It's one of Joachim's dialogue lines, I think from the evil path. I'd love to know how to trigger it just to see if it'll actually play the obviously wrong file during the ending slideshow
Cumbria, under the continued leadership of King Praetor, fell even further into decay. After his death, Dernholm crumbled into obscurity, and Cumbria was eventually swallowed by the Unified Kingdom.
After the death of King Praetor, Dernholm crumbled into obscurity, and the rest of Cumbria was eventually swallowed by the Unified Kingdom.
(I just want to say, I love that they take into account whether or not you killed Praetor... they do that for a lot of NPCs, really, it's great.)
Because of your mediocre performance in negotiating the terms for Caladon's membership into the Unified Kingdom, tensions between Caladon and Tarant run high. In a few short years, there is war between the two kingdoms. As in many wars, there was no clear winner.
Because of your mediocre performance in negotiating the terms for Caladon's membership into the Unified Kingdom, tensions between Caladon and Tarant run high. In a few short years, there is war between the two kingdoms. Heironymous Maxim, with the new funding he received, built an armada of airships. Caladon, with this new technology, eventually won the war.
Because of your outstanding efforts in the negotiating of the terms for Caladon's membership into the Unified Kingdom, Tarant continued to prosper while Caladon's influence waned in the following years. Caladon never reached its fullest potential, mainly due to the watchful eye of the Tarantian Industrial Council.
(I'm really shocked I didn't get this, considering that I still got persuasion master. If I hadn't been trying to role-play Samantha properly, I definitely would've gotten this ending for Caladon. It's also possible that it's only triggered by properly completing the Donn Throgg quest, hence the Tarantian Industrial Council wouldn't be as controlling.)
The longstanding deception of the Panarii by the dark elves was finally brought to light. Alexander became the new high priest of the Panarii, and he wrote a new chapter for the Archaeon based on his experiences with the Living One.
(My best guess as to why I didn't get this is only that I didn't own up to being the Living One. If anybody's gotten this, can you say if you also got one of the god endings?)
By convincing the mayor of Black Root to rejoin Cumbria, you sealed the fate of the town. As with the rest of Cumbria, Black Root suffered under the inept leadership of King Praetor, and eventually it disappeared altogether.
By convincing the mayor of Black Root to rejoin Cumbria, you sealed the fate of the town. As with the rest of Cumbria, Black Root decayed until it was swallowed by the Unified Kingdom.
(More Praetor death )
By failing to convince the mayor of Black Root to rejoin Cumbria, there was an eventual dispute over its ownership between King Maximillian and the Tarantian Industrial Council. War was declared by Cumbria not long after. History did not repeat itself. Cumbria defeated Tarant decisively, due not in small part to the courage of the Dragon Knights.
(This one's kind of cool. I like how such a minor quest has so many different endings.)
The death of King Loghaire Thunder Stone was felt by all the dwarves of Arcanum, and songs were sung of his bravery and courage, of how he came to the defense of his people and of his world. His son, Randver, following the example set by his father, became a great king in his own time, and was revered as a wise and benevolent leader.
(I believe you only get this if you take Loghaire into your party and he dies somewhere.)
Loghaire Thunder Stone never returned to his people, and a distraught and confused Randver assumed leadership over the Wheel Clan. Without a strong king, the dwarven clans splintered, and a bloody war followed. In time, Randver gathered enough followers to put an end to the conflict, but the dwarves were never the same again, secluding themselves forever from the outside world.
Without a strong king, the dwarven clans splintered and a bloody war followed. In time, the conflict was resolved, but the dwarves were never the same again, secluding themselves forever from the outside world.
(I guess a confused Randver can't very well assume leadership if he's a dead Randver )
Loghaire Thunder Stone never returned to his people, and a distraught and confused Randver assumed leadership over the Wheel Clan. Without a strong king, the dwarven clans splintered, and a bloody war followed. Magnus Shale Fist, chieftain of the new Iron Clan, rallied an army behind him and quickly put an end to the conflict. Eventually, he was known as king of the dwarves, and lead them to a new and golden age.
Loghaire Thunder Stone never returned to his people, and the death of his son, Randver, started a bloody war among the clans of the dwarves. Magnus Shale Fist, chieftain of the new Iron Clan, rallied an army behind him and quickly put an end to the conflict. Eventually, he was known as king of the dwarves, and lead them to a new and golden age.
The Bedokaan continued to live in the Dark Fens, fighting here and there with loggers and poachers, but mainly keeping to themselves. They continued to live the primitive lives of nomad hunters, and they never spoke with the elves of Qintarra again.
Upon returning to Arcanum, you are revered as a hero, and many legends were told about your adventures and your final battle with Kerghan the Terrible. As years went by, your name became almost mythical, spoken in the same breath as the heroes of old.
(I guess perhaps I was too neutral to get this? Even though my alignment was maxed good towards the end, which is no surprise, I did solve a number of quests in rather cruel or selfish ways. I'd love to know how you're supposed to get this. Maybe the dialogue options with Maximillian and/or Raven saying "I'm no hero, I just want people to stop trying to kill me," had something to do with it, too.)
Upon returning, you assumed the role of a just god, and all of Arcanum revered your benevolence and wisdom. Old grudges between the races were forgotten, and a new code of honor and morality was adopted by all. Your reign ushered in a Golden Age, where both magick and technology were accepted and used to build a better world.
(Yeah, another god one. Obviously the good-aligned variant, possibly only neutral-aptitude though I'm not sure.)
Upon returning, you assumed the role of a quiet god and slowly faded into memory. Arcanum continued to prosper, and many legends were told about your battle with Kerghan in defense of the world. Using your life and your virtues as an example, the races of Arcanum entered into a new and enlightened age, devoid of fear or darkness.
(I'll be honest, I have no idea what could trigger this.)
Upon returning, you wandered Arcanum for many years, indecisive as to exactly the kind of god that you wished to be. You lived among many peoples, speaking with them and learning their hearts and minds. The world waited expectantly for your words and your wisdom. They waited a long, long time.
(This is by far my favorite ending bit. I'm tempted to play through the game as many times as it takes just to get this. Seriously, this is the most awesome ending ever )
Yet, after all of this, Arcanum is still what it always was: a place of possibility, a place of change. One thing is certain, and that is that nothing at all is ever certain in this place. Who's to say what the future holds for the land we call Arcanum?
(Okay, I actually did get this, but I didn't follow it in my epilogue because it would've superceded what I put in its place. I like what I wrote better, but here's the default. You should always get this unless you destroy the world in some fashion.)
That's about all I have left to share (for real this time). Wait, I forgot one thing...
There, now I'm out of things to show you. I'm still happy to fulfill requests, though, so if there's something you're curious about just ask away! Thanks for reading, everybody. It's been a very, very busy few months, but I'm proud of how it all turned out and I do hope you all enjoyed it as well. I'll probably post a bit later today a couple of my dirty secrets regarding the creation of this thread, for anybody who's curious