The Let's Play Archive


by Seorin

Part 45

Chapter the Forty Fourth: Betrayal, Part 1

Even situated in the absolute worst possible place it could be, the Bentley still had a certain charm to it. It was clean, which honestly shocked me, and even well-decorated. It looked like Maug spent much of his ill-gotten gains on surrounding himself with luxury, which I supposed was probably the point. I wound my way around several hallways and blocked off doors. The route I took was the only one available to me, but it strayed so far out of the way I could only assume it was intentionally left that way in case of an attack by Pollock's gang.

After wandering past over a dozen orcs and even dogs, not that there was a strong difference between the two, I finally was ushered into a rather expansive room with a dapper gentleman standing at the far end of it. He had a particularly menacing-looking orc in the room with him and it growled at me menacingly as I entered.

I'd better be careful with how I play this one. If I move too suddenly that orc will be on me for sure, and I don't need the extra trouble. "His 'type'? What exactly was he?" I entertained idle conversation whilst plotting out the details of the coming murder.

Maug grinned smugly, only too happy to flaunt the ways in which he felt he was better than me, "He was a descendant of those of the Black Legion. Zalakar the bold created the Black Legion long ago, during the Age of Legend. He was a brilliant mage, really. To take a worthless group of Orcs and give them the ability to transform themselves into such fearsome creatures! Brilliant!" He shook his head sadly, staring down at the clean wooden floor, "The world is lacking such ingenuity these days."

Not exactly what I expected from a crime lord, but I still have to kill you. "I agree. Too many imitators, not nearly enough innovation."

"Bravo! Excellent! I like your style, madam. It is so rare that I meet someone with a taste for the flair, as it were." He had no idea that I had just insulted him.

I didn't like the present situation I found myself in. It seemed too risky to make my move so soon. "I had heard you might have a job for me." Just one more job... I'll gain his trust, get even closer...

You know... I think, of any job you could've offered me, I like this one the best. It was like killing two birds with one stone. I couldn't refuse. "Of course. You would like him 'removed'."

He stared at me with a satisfactory nod. "Exactly. The job pays 1500 coins. Are you interested?"

"A job this dangerous will cost you 1600, at the very least." It simply wouldn't have been like me if I accepted his offer straight off.

He frowned. "I do not think so. My offer is firm." It also wouldn't have been like me if I'd actually succeeded at changing his offer.

"I'll give it a go. What are the specifics?" Get ready, Pollock... and Maug, you're next. The Boil will never be the same when I'm finished.

I didn't like the way the details were sounding. A half-ogre, and one smart enough to escape watch. I began thinking about taking extra precautions. "How do I get inside his house, then?"

He shrugged, waving me away dismissively. "Perhaps you can use the same entrance he himself uses to slip in and out of his hovel. As to the nature of this entrance, I can't begin to guess."

I'm sure you can, Damian Maug, and so can I. "I will return when our friend Mr. Pollock is no more."

I left the Bentley the same way I came in, already planning exactly how I was going to go about this particular misdeed. Virgil questioned me as I started to cross back over the Garrillon Bridge. "What is it you're planning, Samantha? It's not like you to just dive in headfirst."

"Very astute observation, Virgil," I winked at him. "I think I'd like to take a detour to Dernholm."

He seemed rather surprised, "Dernholm?! I don't think Pollock's secret passage is of a magickal nature..."

Of course it isn't, dear boy. "No, likely he's taking trips through the sewers... that's the best way to escape notice. I'm not going after Pollock straight away... rather, I think I would be best served if I partook in a little bit of training first."

He gasped. Yes, you heard that right. "You mean you're to visit Garrick Stout? I thought you didn't like him... you agreed to kill him!"

I nodded and grinned at him smugly, "Yes, yes I did... and what better way to test my skills after he's trained me?"

Vollinger let out a sudden, hearty chuckle, "Nicely done! It looks like you're finally getting around to realizing killing can sometimes do more good than bad."

Yes... I suppose that's true. I won't feel any shame in killing Garrick Stout... he deserves it after what he's done. "Uh... thanks." I managed to squeak out. I was just arriving at the train station as our conversation reached its conclusion, so I plunked down the 225 coins for passage to Black Root and we were off. I silently cursed at the lack of a train route into Cumbria, although no doubt Praetor was to blame.

Praetor? Didn't he have a job for me? Since I doubted I would be sticking around Dernholm for particularly long after killing the captain of their guard, I elected to take care of any other potential business first.

"Any other tasks for a humble outsider?" I despised the man, but I was still polite. You... it's your fault that Maximillian is rotting on that island, and you're responsible for the state this kingdom is in... If it hadn't been for greed, I'd never have bothered to return to the man at all.

He frowned sadly, "Yes... there's something of a... personal nature. My daughter has chosen to take up with Auguste Farad, prince of Arland, against my wishes. I fear my harshness has driven her away. She refuses to communicate with me. I would like you to get word to her... I believe she's living in Caladon with the prince. Will you help?"

Caladon was the capital of the kingdom of Arland, but nobody referred to it as such. It was simply 'Caladon'. "How much coin is it worth?" As badly as I wanted to speak with Praetor's daughter if only to give him the return message, which was bound to be impolite, I didn't want to do the man any favors either.

Ugh. He expects me to work on the cheap yet again... cheaper, in fact! If it hadn't been for my desire to tell him off using his daughter's words I would have refused outright. "Your gratitude is enough." I felt almost dirty saying it.

"Thank you, outsider. I will eagerly await your return." I left the king, thoughts of my hatred of him boiling beneath the surface of my mind. Along with those thoughts came thoughts of poor Maximillian and the promise I'd made to him. My next stop was Lianna Pel Dar's house.

Her door was open, likely not by her own choice. Such was the state of things in Dernholm. She looked up at me menacingly as I entered, suspicious. "Lianna Pel Dar?"

She nodded, her hand still on a bladed chakram at her waist, "Yes. Who's asking?"

I don't know if you'll believe this, but I bloody have to try... "I bring news of Maximillian."

Thank goodness... I was beginning to worry that I could only lie convincingly, nobody ever believes me when I tell the truth. "He is on the Isle of Despair. He was spirited away there one night, never to be heard from again. He lives in a shack at the center of the island, isolated even from the others there. The only contact he has with anybody else is to get a delivery of potato moonshine from the brewer on the island. He yearns to come home, Lianna..."

She nodded firmly, her eyes showing a strong sense of determination. "I see... thank you, my friend. My father would have been so happy... he used to talk of Maximillian endlessly, saying how Cumbria would have been even greater had he taken his rightful place on the throne." She looked out of a boarded up window towards the East, thinking heavily, "Perhaps that might still come to pass. I will go, and return with the true King."

I knew it had been a good idea to deliver word of Maximillian. "I certainly hope so. Farewell, Lianna... I wish you luck."

She bowed to me ever so slightly, "Thank you, friend. I've a long journey ahead of me, but I swear I will succeed." I stepped out of her house and she left immediately. I hoped with every fiber of my being that she would bring Maximillian back Jayna... I may not have brought you a technical manual like I said I was going to, but if Maximillian returns you may yet see your hometown prosper.

The weaker part of me wanted to pay Jayna a visit, to see how she was doing. I wanted to introduce her to Terry, and I knew she would fawn over him. I couldn't, however. I needed to be strong if I was going to go through with my promise of killing Garrick Stout. Visiting Jayna again and getting all weepy wouldn't do at all. Instead, I finally set about the business I had come for in the first place. Garrick Stout was not a difficult man to find, he was parading about in front of the barracks smugly.

"Your prowess in Melee is recognized by all, Sir Garrick." I said it through gritted teeth, but he didn't seem to notice my insincerity.

He took the opportunity to trumpet his own significance even more. "Yes, I am the Master of Melee! I have no equal, for I have never been beaten in battle! Why do you seek me out?"

If I could possibly enjoy killing, I would enjoy killing you. I'll show you 'never been beaten'. "Will you train me to be a Master such as yourself?"

He looked at me carefully, eyeing up the axe on my belt. "You do appear to have some training, although I doubt you will ever be anywhere near my equal. If you truly desire training, I have a task for you to complete as a test of your skill."

Why do I suspect this has nothing to do with my actual skill? "I am ready. What is your task?"

As I suspected. Hmph, you can't really believe things actually happened that way, can you? Forced into a duel my arse. "What happened?"

I almost cringed, thinking about what one-sided half-truths would come spilling out of his mouth next. "She fled the scene, obviously distraught. I tracked her to try and calm her, but when I discovered her location, it was too late. She had been surrounded by a pack of Gyr-Dolour. I dared not show myself, for fear of increasing her distress and provoking the beasts."

I very nearly rolled my eyes, "Why have you not rescued her from the creatures?"

"I fear that my presence would further agonize the Lady Druella, perhaps sending her further into the traumatized realms of her haunted mind." It was true that Gyr-Dolour fed on negative emotions, although I didn't think trauma was the emotion she'd be feeling if Stout got near. Disgust or hatred, perhaps even fear, but not trauma. "If this happens, the Gyr-Dolour would most certainly go into a frenzy. I fear they might do her harm in this state. My task for you is twofold. First, you must destroy the beasts. Then I need you to speak to Lady Druella. Tell her of my desire to wed her. Let her know that I am sorry she was distressed over witnessing the carnage, tell her I have a proposal for her..."

You have to know the real reason she's distressed... even you can't be that much of a pompous fool. "A proposal?"

'Knew' him. If you've gone to the trouble of finding a cure for blindness, you know damn well what really happened, you just think to lie to me and blackmail Lady Druella. I will feel no shame at all in killing you. "You found a way to cure blindness?" Certainly I had never heard of anything capable of the feat.

He showed off the smallest of vials before quickly stuffing it back in his pocket. "Yes. I have acquired a magickal potion, that once ingested will restore the sight of the blind. As you can imagine, it was not easy to come by. To appease her sensibilities, I am offering to gift Adkin with the potion. If she agrees, that is."

You are every bit as disgusting as anybody has ever said you are, and then some. "What do you mean, if she agrees?"

He sighed as though explaining it to me was a troublesome affair. "All I ask is her willing hand in marriage. She need only return to me in an agreeable state, and I will make sure that Adkin is healed to his former self. What say you? Do you accept my task?"

Hmph. I disagree with your definition of 'willing'. "I accept. Where is she?"

"I will return with the Lady Druella shortly." ...and then kill you.

Stout truly disgusted me, moreso than even the filthy Mr. Franklin that I'd had to deal with in Tarant when I was particularly down on my luck. Death seemed almost too good for him, but it would have to do. I traveled to the location he'd marked on my map, wondering just how difficult it would be to convince Lady Druella to go along with my plan.

Just as Stout had described, there were Gyr-Dolours feeding on Lady Druella's emotions of despair, rendering her unconscious for who knows how long. At least the past several months. The various food and drink they'd been feeding her to keep her alive were strewn about the ground carelessly, many of them beginning to rot. It was a horrible sight.

The creatures took note of me immediately and they could sense the malice presently in my heart. They turned towards me, attacking in a great big mass. I chopped down the first wave of them nearly instantly and the remaining creatures balked at advancing further. I ran towards them and their group split apart, each of them running as quickly as they could in any direction that was away from me. Their tiny legs didn't stand even the slightest chance at outrunning me, as fast as I was. I quickly caught up to each of them and brought them down easily.

Once they had fallen, I turned my attention to the half-elven woman on the ground who was just starting to sit up, awfully confused.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news... perhaps that part can wait. "Lady Druella, you are free! I am here to rescue you!"

She frowned at me and shook her head violently, "No one can rescue me from the depths of my despair. My lover is dead. He was a kind, noble, and handsome man, named Adkin Chambers, but he is gone forever! Would that I could join him!"

At least there was some good news in the word I brought, and hopefully more if she'd agree to my plan. "Do you think Adkin Chambers is dead? He is not, I can assure you."

She very nearly shrieked, "Not dead? Not dead! Adkin is alive! But how is that possible? I saw him struck... he fell to the ground. There was blood everywhere..."

I put my hand on her shoulder comfortingly, "He was wounded, but survived the battle."

She suddenly grew very worried, "What then? What happened to him. Tell me!"

I frowned. Well, you did ask... "After Adkin yielded, Sir Garrick blinded him in a jealous rage."

I'm so glad we agree on Sir Garrick. Now if only we can agree on what is to be done about him. "I have... er... been told that he is bitter and crazed, living as a recluse."

"Oh my!" She started sobbing onto my shoulder, for some reason taking comfort in me just because I was nearby. I didn't really mind, but it did make me a touch uncomfortable. "Adkin must certainly blame me as well! What have I done... what have I done?!"

Now why would you go and think a silly thing like that? Everybody knows who's to blame... even old Mr. Ogg. "Adkin bears you no ill will, madam. His hatred is for Stout alone."

Her eyes lit up excitedly, "You have seen him?! You actually spoke with Adkin?"

I nodded. "I have. Revenge is his constant companion. It is a bitter existence. He sent me here to kill Sir Garrick. He wishes you no harm." I bit my lip, hoping her response would be a favorable one.

Glad we agree on that part, at least. Now for the next part. "There is something I want from Sir Garrick, before I kill him."

She seemed upset at my words. "What could you possibly want of a man like him?"

Truly, I felt nearly ashamed, but training would go a long way to helping me on my quest... even if it was from one Garrick Stout. "I wish to be a Master at melee, as is he. I require your help."

She began to look terribly apprehensive, and for that I didn't blame her in the slightest. "How could becoming a Melee Master involve me?"

I removed my hand from her shoulder, looking at the ground in shame. "His price to train me is your willing hand in marriage."

I didn't want it to come to this. I don't want to blackmail you, Lady Druella... please, I never said I wouldn't kill him. "He has a potion to restore Adkin's sight."

Her words caught in her throat and she stayed silent for a moment. "Completely? Restore sight that was removed with a blade? That is a powerful magick!" Her expression shifted from one of shock to one of disgust, "Blackmail! He has actually devised a plan to blackmail me into marriage! Is there no end to the offenses of which the beast is capable?"

Oh, there is an end all right... and it's closer than he thinks. I grinned, for once. "Hold your ire a moment lady. I have an alternative offer.... Now hear me out. If you agree to wed Sir Garrick..."

She stamped her foot. "I do not like the direction of your plan. However, you may continue..."

Patience, dear Lady... "I will get the potion to heal Adkin, and then I will be trained as Sir Garrick's equal. Then... I shall kill Sir Garrick!"

You're acting as though I get nothing out of all this. I get training from Stout, training from Chambers, I remove a foul beast from the world, and I right a wrong of the past. Is that so wrong? "Let's just say I have my own reasons."

She snorted. "So your reasons are selfish."

Partially... yes. "I would also like to see justice served. Are we agreed?"

She didn't think about it for particularly long before finally agreeing. "It is agreed then. Let us be off, I wish to end Adkin's suffering quickly!" I nodded and the four of us, plus Terry, departed for Dernholm. I felt guilty for blackmailing Lady Druella, but I truly did have her best interests in mind. I wanted to help her, not solely because I was benefitting from it too. I couldn't deny that was a part of it, however.

Stout's eyes widened as he saw me approaching with Lady Druella behind me.

I smiled sweetly, lying through my teeth. "Yes. She does." Lady Druella didn't dare speak, for her voice would've given it away in an instant. She merely nodded, holding back her disgust.

He stared and stared at her almost endlessly, "Ah, Lady, you are a sight to behold..." She cast a glare in my direction and Stout suddenly seemed to remember they weren't alone. "Ah, yes, let us proceed. Here is the potion..." he handed me the vial, "See that it is delivered to Adkin Chambers in Stillwater."

I tapped my foot impatiently. "...and my training?"

Ugh, you've got to be kidding me. Do you really think I could allow you to do that to the poor Lady? "Well... now I guess it's time for you to pay for your crimes!"

"Betrayer!" he shouted, drawing his blade. True to his title, he wielded it excellently and I was not able to dodge out of the way fast enough. His blade sliced open my shoulder and would've sliced all the way to the bone had it not been for my armor. I could feel a burning sensation from the wound and slowly the burning spread throughout my arm and into my chest. This feeling is... poison! You bastard!

Virgil could see the effect the poison had on my body and he mumbled a quick spell to get rid of it. As luck would have it, his spell took effect on the first try. It was as though even the Gods were with me in my decision to rid the world of the foul Garrick Stout. Once I started feeling better I set my sights upon the task before me. His skill with a blade was good, but in other ways he was far too slow. I easily danced around to his backside where I had an ample opportunity to strike him where it would hurt the most.

Lady Druella turned her back, unable to stomach the violence that followed. My axe cut straight through Stout's armor, into his shoulder, and straight through the bone. The force of my strike was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. He cried out in pain as his weapon arm was violently severed from the rest of his body. His cry summoned one of his mindless subordinates to his aid.

Damnation! I didn't want to kill any innocents! Still, a man that comes to the defense of Stout can hardly be considered completely innocent. There was little choice in the matter, as Vollinger's gun rang out, the bullet pinging harmlessly off of the guard's shield. While the guard was distracted, however, Terry gripped him by the leg and tore through his armor mercilessly. That dog was an unholy terror when he got riled up, and he really, really hated seeing me in combat.

Virgil was kind enough to put what remained of the guard out of his misery after Terry had finished with him. I was not so kind to Garrick Stout. I let him lie there, slowly bleeding to death, as a punishment for all of the sins I now released him from. One hit, Sir Garrick, all it took was a single hit from the student that 'could never be your equal' and now the life drains from your body. Think on that, as you lay dying.

What remained of the armor left behind by Garrick and the guard that came to his defense seemed like it would be useful, so I removed the undamaged pieces and handed them off to Virgil for carrying. I could always make something potent out of them, or simply sell them off to the junk vendor at a profit. They certainly weren't being used by their former owners any longer. The last thing I needed to take was the eyes from Garrick's head. It was a gruesome task, but I certainly wasn't going to ask anybody else to do it. After it was done, I addressed the Lady Druella once more.

Hey, now... don't let it go to my head... "You are most kind, lady. Shall we go to Adkin now?"

She frowned and shook her head. What? Now what? You wanted this...! "Please, take the healing potion to Adkin. I will remain here."

"You do not wish to come with me? Why? I can keep you safe..." When I put more thought into it, I realized that I probably wouldn't have wanted to travel with anybody after watching them viscerally cut the eyes from a corpse, either.

She actually didn't seem bothered by that, though. I'd always known that Stout's claims regarding her aversion to violence were nothing but hogwash. "I love him so much. Yet I am uncertain as to his feelings towards me, after what has passed. Please tell him I am here. Once he is healed, he may join me if he desires to do so."

I suppose that makes sense... he will be able to make the journey here once he is healed... "I will do as you wish. Goodbye, Lady Druella." I turned around and made my way out of Dernholm, fighting the urge to stop once again when I passed the sweet herbal scents that lingered on the outskirts of the town. I'm not barging into Jayna's house with a fistful of bloody eyes. I can't. I cared for her too much to inflict such horror upon her for my own selfish needs, so I merely left.

There were no trains headed to Stillwater and, given how much faster travel by rail was, it made the most sense for me to make a quick stop in Tarant. I found a stream along the way to Black Root that I used to clean the blood off of my hands and I tore off a bit of my dress to wrap the eyes in before stuffing them in my purse. Ugh. Having at least made myself look presentable, I was able to hop on the train to Tarant.

While there, I decided to make a quick detour to take care of the little problem I had in the Boil. I didn't want Maug or Sebastian to grow impatient and take matters into their own hands, and the following trip to Stillwater seemed like a good way to test out Sebastian's loyalties when he inevitably joined up with me, assuming he made good on his promise. I needed all the friends I could get, both for chasing after the Dark Elves and for emotional support when I confronted my old home.

You've got to be kidding me. This again? I've just become the master of melee for heaven's sake! You really want to pick a fight with me? "Perhaps I will simply leave, instead." ...and you will, too, if you know what's good for you.

The idiot orc didn't seem to get the hint. "No, no, that's not the way this works at all. You see, you give us money, or we cut your throat. Simple, eh?"

I stamped my foot, drawing my axe out. "It doesn't work like that, either. I was trying to spare your useless life, and you failed to get the hint." Of course, he didn't take kindly to my threat and he attacked me, and I had no choice but to defend myself. His two companions tried to come running to his aid and they met grisly ends as well. Idiots. Why couldn't you just run away?

I stepped over their bodies and continued onwards, towards the sewers. They didn't smell any more pleasant this time than they did the last time, but I was relatively sure this would lead me to Pollock's hideout in no time. This section of the sewers was different, however, not at all like the section I'd tromped through looking for a ring months back. There weren't merely rats, there were full-blown zombies and snakes!

I didn't really have a problem disposing of zombies, but it was a horrible surprise. Zombies! In the Tarant sewers! I'd always heard rumors of the undead in Caladon's sewers, but Caladon had a massive graveyard and the city itself was said to have been built on an ancient burial ground. That, plus all the magick, well... it made enough sense to keep me the hell out of there, that's for sure. To find them in the Tarant sewers, however, was just weird. As far as I knew, there was only one technical schematic for creating zombies and I certainly hadn't shared it.

Although individually the zombies were nearly harmless, as a group they posed a moderate threat. I sustained quite a few bumps and bruises, and I even suffered the occasional bite. Things certainly could have gone a lot more smoothly than they did. I was beginning to doubt that Pollock took this path into the city at all, however they were undead so the chances of them just getting back up again in a few hours were high. It wasn't entirely impossible, so I pressed on. After cleaving through at least a hundred zombies, a small ladder leading upward confirmed my suspicion at last.

I climbed up the ladder and found myself in a hidden room of a run-down shack. There was no mistaking the condition of the building or the architecture - I was in the Boil. I wasn't in particularly good condition, either. The zombies had swarmed me and done a number on me, and I was only now starting to realize just how much blood was leaking out onto the floor. It had been rather difficult to tell from inside the sewers, where the color of my blood hardly did anything to change the color of the horrible liquid I had to force myself to walk through.

From the next room I could hear the unmistakably heavy breath of a man of ogreish descent. I peeked through a crack in the door to see him, large and very heavily-muscled. Far stronger than myself, for certain, and not nearly so wounded. On top of that I was sure to have to fight his lackeys if I couldn't end the fight quickly. There was no way they wouldn't hear the noise through the paper-thin walls. Bloody hell, I was a fool to think this would be so simple...

Bonus Content

Having some troubles concentrating today, so I figured maybe putting together a fun little bonus would help. If it does, great. If not, hey, here's some bonus stuff! When Willoughsby barges out of his house after you find out you need to head to Caladon, there's one other guy with him. If you want, you can chat him up and he's a somewhat interesting fellow. Kind of boring compared to other characters, but I'm amused that he's as detailed as he is.

What brings you to Tarant, Perriman?
Oh, nothing in particular, really. Just traveling and what not. I hadn't really seen anything beyond the walls of Tulla before a few weeks ago. [The young mage smiles, a little sheepishly.] You might say I've lived quite a sheltered life...
Interesting. Tell me of Tulla... what is it like?

(encircled by the of the stone mansions of? )
In the middle of the Great Courtyard is Pelojian's Pool, where it's said that the spirit of the great Conjurer still comes to watch over the apprentices. And in the early evening, as the sun sets over the Vendigroth Wastes, you can hear the haunting harmony of the soul-singers, as they weave melodies with their otherworldly counterparts...
Thank you, Perriman. Why did you leave there?
(you can also ask him where Tulla is located, but he tells you it's a secret and he can't say)
Oh... I was sent to Tarant on a... how would one phrase it?... a 'mission', I suppose you could call it. Master Simeon felt I was best qualified for the job, and so to Tarant I went. And I've just spent two weeks with Mr. Willoughsby recovering from my 'mission'. Quite an adventure, I must say.
What happened?

Master Simeon Tor? He's the greatest mage in all of Arcanum! As leader of the Tullan Assembly, it is his responsibility to oversee all that happens within the walls of Tulla, and much of what happens without. He's a hard man, but fair, and extremely powerful. He's a master in the College of Summoning, and learned in many others as well...
Perhaps we could travel together?
Hmmm. An interesting proposition. You do seem well-traveled, my friend... but what are YOU doing out in the world? What brings you all the way to Tarant?
It's a very long story, Perriman... [Tell him everything.]

Well, I must say that I've never heard a more interesting story in all my life! And I thought I had been through quite a harrowing experience...
Will you join me, then?
Yes, of course! I'd be honored to travel with you and see what becomes of us. I think Master Simeon would want a representative of Tulla among those destined to save the world... [He smiles, broadly.]
Let's be off, then...

I think this guy is one of the most utterly random party members you can get. There are a few, but really he's pretty random. "Say, I noticed you walking out of that there building, want to tell me your life story?" "Sure!" "Neat. What say you join my motley band of adventurers, we're off to save the world from ancient evil!" "That sounds grand."

He's also reached up to the third rank in both the fire and necromantic white colleges. As far as mage companions go, he's one of the better ones. Too bad he isn't voice acted

Here's the newspaper he gave me.

Amusing sidenote: his character portrait was originally meant for Virgil! I guess it was either temporary, or they decided that most players would probably give Virgil armor. I'd be amused if it were the latter, since I always keep Virgil in his robes until I invariably ask him to hold some armor and he puts it on. It doesn't even matter what you give him, he always puts it on. It typically winds up being Dread Armor (a.k.a. plate thong )

Here's a picture from the manual showing Virgil with Smythe's portrait:

Sorry for the crappy picture, I can't find a better PDF. I'd take a picture of my manual, but my PC Manuals box is in storage right now (long story). You can pretty much tell from the bottom, though, that it says 'Virgil' and it's using Smythe's portrait.

There's also a loading screen about the book Smythe mentioned:

It's in rotation with the 2 other loading screens. These loading screens only show up while you're loading up the game, actual loading of a save or a new area is minimal (for those that haven't played). Just for completeness' sake, here's the two other loading screens:

For some reason I just like showing off random portions of this game