Chapter the Fifty Fifth: Loose EndsWith so much focus on the death of those I loved, I remembered uncomfortably the amulet I was carrying in my purse. Although I had never held the prince in a particularly high esteem, he at least deserved to know. The five of us traveled silently after the events in that horrible basement, each lost in our own thoughts. The silence was only broken as I spoke with the castle guards to gain entry.
The prince was still pacing back and forth in the entry hall of the castle proper, for which I couldn't particularly blame him. The castle made me uncomfortable, as did the idiot prince, so I got to the point as quickly as possible... even if it was a touch curt. "I found an amulet you gave to Princess Aria of Cumbria."
I hated his attitude, and I always had. He seemed to think he was so damned entitled to everything. It was as though he failed to realize his troubles weren't the only troubles in the world. "I know, but information is costly these days." It was cruel, but I was in a foul, bitter mood. I am a wicked, wicked woman.
At first he gave me a particularly shocked look, aghast at how a peasant woman could dare to offend him so. Then, when he took a closer look, at my axe and at my companions, it dawned on him that I was not a citizen of Caladon. At least I'm not anymore.... His shoulders slumped, defeated, and he gave me a hard stare. "I see. Well, what are you asking?"
My dislike of the man blinded me far more than any semblance of greed. The higher the amount, the greater the insult. He's the prince... he can afford it... "300 gold coins."
His face flushed red with anger and he very nearly shouted at me, "You must be joking! I'll pay 100 gold pieces, and no more." 100 gold pieces? For knowledge of your missing bride? By the Gods, you're even more spoiled than I thought. Is that really all she's worth to you?
I was utterly disgusted. I didn't even want to think of the kind of money Frederick had to spend to pardon me from prison, and I was just a thieving whore he'd taken a fancy to. The man in front of me wouldn't even pay over 100 coins for the sake of his bride, a princess no less! "Deal." I couldn't withhold the truth from him no matter how angry I was... that was too cruel even for me. You spoiled little brat, news of her death probably won't bother you any longer than a week. Gods, I hate royalty!
He counted out the coins from his own pocket and gave them to me. I was sure he'd just replenish them from the royal coffers later, which would in turn be replenished through the blood and tears of the people. My seething hatred shone through in my speech, "Her ship crashed off Razor's Cape. She's dead."
That was a bit cruel to say it like that... but dammit, he had it coming! I sighed regretfully. "Please accept this, her amulet. I share your grief." Acting upon my feelings of hatred and anger always made me feel so empty. Perhaps I'd simply grown soft in the years that I'd spent with Frederick and Nathaniel, but I didn't really view it as such a bad thing.
Before I could think too much on it he handed me another sack of coins, a significantly larger one. "Madam, please accept my deepest thanks, as well as this insignificant sum. You'll never know what this means to me." How I only wish I didn't. He turned, no longer having anybody to wait anxiously for, and stalked down the hallway in tears. It was my turn to leave as well.
While I still had business to take care of in Caladon, I instead chose to remove myself from it for awhile. My encounter with the prince assured me that I wasn't ready to handle things with an even hand yet. I'd acted out of anger, letting my recent experiences blind me, letting my emotions take control. I was in such a foul mood, desperately wishing that I could follow in Virgil's footsteps and confront my past... and further, so many things in Caladon reminded me of Frederick. It was like a walking nightmare of guilt. I had to get away for awhile and let those memories fade. I still had a bit of business remaining for me in Roseborough and that seemed like as good of a place to get some fresh air as any.
I approached the elegant old inn from the South, already preparing what I was going to say to Trevor when I gave him his camera back. You see, the wyvern... might not actually exist anymore... I caught a name off of a nearby house as I passed, Morgan. It seemed somehow familiar to me, but I was having difficulties placing from where. Morgan, Morgan, Morgan... I heard it some time ago... early in my travels... I had nearly passed the house by completely when it suddenly clicked and I immediately turned around. Morgan! The lock picking expert! An older, halfling woman answered the door when I knocked. "Greetings, Mrs. Morgan. Might I have a moment of your time?"
Dammit, I'm not going away that easy. If there's anything left for me to know about picking locks, then I'm going to bloody learn about it! "Perhaps I could be of assistance?" If I had to run some fool's errand for the privilege of training, then so be it. It wouldn't be the first time.
She ignored my suggestion and started to close the door when she suddenly stopped and looked me over more carefully. The door swung open again, "You do appear quite experienced. Have you heard of my son's predicament?"
Why the bloody hell do you think I'm here? Nobody talks about 'that random fellow' that went off to jail, but it's a whole different story when that fellow is the master of picking locks. "I have. He is being held in Caladon's high security prison. I had been hoping to seek his knowledge as a trainer."
A smug grin spread across her face and she crossed her arms. Her tone shifted to one of suggestive superiority. "That is a bit difficult, considering his predicament, don't you think?"
Good heavens, why can you not just ask me straight out like a normal person? "Yes, but perhaps there is something I could do about that." I hated having to offer, instead of her asking, but I wasn't going to let a silly distinction like that stand in the way of training. Ugh... the walls of a Caladonian prison are just about the LAST thing I want to see right now...
Her dancing around the topic was really beginning to get on my nerves. It felt like she expected me to shout my intent to break her son out of prison from off of a mountaintop before she'd make the arrangement with me. Did she so desperately want me to get caught, and for her son to stay in jail? "Merely that he train me as a master, nothing more."
She sat there, grinning, pretending as though she were considering it. Her body language betrayed her slight deception, I was just wondering if she was enjoying her little game with me or if it was some kind of test. "Hmmm. He is capable of training you..."
Really? Do you think so? Well, that's a load off my mind! OF COURSE HE CAN BLOODY TRAIN ME! "I feel it is a small request, considering the risks I would take." I was thankful for my ability to remain calm even despite her excessively annoying personality.
At last, she finally seemed to relent, and it was about damned time. "Perhaps you can be of assistance. Let me think for a moment..." I could tell she was thinking quite hard about how exactly to best use my offer of assistance now that she'd finally decided I could help her son out after all. I could see the idea suddenly bloom by the way her face lit up with inspiration and the tone of her voice seemed quite excited, "I've got an idea! Now listen carefully..."
Can I? Sure. Do I want to? Gods no. Will I anyway? Absolutely. "I am capable. But can you assure me that he will train me?"
She took out a small, red strip of cloth that had been rolled up tightly and she pressed it into my hand. I could feel the pointy edges of the tools poking out from the sides of the cloth, and their bulk provided the cloth with a substantial weight it would otherwise lack. "Oh thank you! I will go to him on the morrow and inform him of our agreement. I give you my promise as a mother. If you get these tools to him, he will train you."
I let out a rather expressive sigh, stuffing the small pouch of tools into my purse. "I will agree to this. I shall trust your word, madam."
"Some advice," she cautioned before I could leave. "There are several locked passages that you must pass through, in addition to guard patrols. You will have to use every ounce of skill you possess. Also, the night guard appears a lazy lout. Perhaps that will be in your favor, perhaps not. Here are the tools. Please help my son get out of that vile place! Thank you."
Well, I can certainly see where JT gets his propensity for larceny. His mother's not exactly an angel, is she? "Thank you for the advice. I am off. You have my word that he shall be free."
Without a further word, I departed the house and continued on my way to the inn. Trevor was pacing back and forth in the lobby nervously, no doubt upset at the amount of time it had been since I took his camera and walked off to the North. He'd probably assumed me dead, but I really had more pressing matters to take care of than giving him his camera back. I tried to take his mind off of the delay by opening with good news. "I've got it, Trevor! I've got the photograph!"
Hmm, good... that seemed to have worked. When I really think about it, mentioning the wyvern's death is probably... not entirely necessary. Why go to such trouble only to upset him? Yes, I think I'll just be leaving that little tidbit out. "Glad I could be of service. Now about my compensation..."
He pulled out a pouch of coins unhesitantly and handed it to me. "Oh yes. Here you are... 500 coin, as agreed upon. Thank you, Samantha. You don't know how happy you've made me! Goodbye."
The whole ordeal was honestly far easier than I'd expected it would be. After delaying for who knows how many months I'd finally given him his camera back and he paid me in full without a single question. "Thank you, Trevor. Goodbye."
He turned to go back to his room, or perhaps to try and skip out of the inn without paying the bill for his lengthy stay, but then suddenly turned back around again as if he'd forgotten something. "Wait! What of the bridge? Did you see any signs of it?"
Ah, right... I suppose that was fairly useful. "I did, thank you. It definitely saved me a lot of time."
I guessed that he was just too damned happy about my successful return to be overly bothered about how long I'd taken, or how much I'd possibly cost him in lodging expenses. Then again, I was pretty sure he'd be skipping out on the bill. The last I'd spoken with him he was complaining about the expenses for a single week, and the Roseborough Inn certainly didn't look cheap. I'd probably have done the same, so I decided not to rat him out.
Well... there's precious little else for me to do. I only hoped that the week or two I would end up staying away from Caladon would be enough to put my memories at rest, for a little while at least. A very large part of me still yearned for Frederick, and was still wracked with guilt over his and Nathaniel's deaths, but I couldn't waste any more time moping about it. I had to be strong, for Virgil's sake if nobody else's.
I'd survived an ancient order of assassins out for my blood long enough that I could convince them of the error in their ways, certainly I ought to have been able to survive my own guilt. Somehow, the latter bothered me so much more, but there would be time enough to come to terms with it once I'd finished up my rather lengthy quest. If I was lucky Arronax would just kill me quickly, and I could join Frederick in the afterlife... peacefully. No, I can't go on thinking like that... Virgil would scold me so harshly if he knew what I was thinking.
When I arrived back in Caladon my first stop was at the police station. Although I took a small amount of amusement in working both for the police and for a known criminal they held captive, I did the former purely out of sympathy and duty. If the demon had been terrorizing the upper class I probably wouldn't have cared. "Good day, Inspector Henderson. I have retrieved the Blade of Xerxes. You were right, it was a real joy to get." Jyheirad might disagree, but I suspect even he might've enjoyed it.
Although I was certain the inspector took my statement to be sarcastic, sitting out by the dying fire and chatting away while those poor bastards retrieved the blade for me actually was rather enjoyable. Nevertheless, I had a demon to slay. "Alright. Wish me luck!" I departed the police station, noting that the guard in front of the prison was not yet asleep. I was no master of prowling so I decided to put that particular goal of mine on hold until the evening hours.
I continued towards the sewers, though I slowed when I passed by the office for the newspaper. I'd been so busy with other concerns that I had completely forgotten to check up on the newspaper story based on the journal I'd found at Half Ogre Island. I stepped inside of the shop briefly, but the man I'd spoken to didn't seem to be in. "Excuse me, where's Sam Longwell?"
Please tell me you're joking. This had better be a damned joke. "He was working here. I spoke to him... he said he was a reporter?"
The man shrugged helplessly, "I'm the only reporter who works out of this office. Local Caladonian reporter for, what, twenty years now? When did you speak to this fellow?"
I flipped through my journal, knowing that I'd noted it down when it happened. "December 3rd, 1887" Good god, that was almost a year ago already... how much time did I spend wandering through the Glimmering Forest, anyway?
He flipped through a journal of his own, then looked up at me. He smacked his palm with his fist angrily, "What is going on around here?! I was sent on a wild goose chase that day, tracking down a mysterious anonymous tip that was wired here. Someone is playing us for fools, madam!"
It can't be... no... I gave it right to them... I didn't even think... by the gods, that was all the proof I had! "So the guy I told my story to wasn't a reporter?"
I knew even before I opened my mouth that it was hopeless, but I had to try. I sighed heavily and told him, "I know what this sounds like, but you have to believe me that I had proof... until I gave it to that fellow pretending to work here. I helped to uncover a gnomish conspiracy. They've been illegally breeding half ogres for years, for the purpose of using them as bodyguards. I found a journal detailing their use of prostitutes, and... even the Queen of Tarant."
He started smiling a bit before seeing the look on my face and subsequently trying to hold himself back. "Heh. That's... well, I've heard some outlandish tales in my day, but that is just about the wildest."
Damnation! If only I didn't give away the journal! "It's true, I tell you!" I knew I wasn't making my case any stronger, but I was thoroughly angered and upset. I'd tried so hard to expose those damned gnomes, and in the end it amounted to nothing.
"I'm sure it is." He finally smiled in a horribly patronizing manner, barely bothering to try and conceal his contempt for what he thought to be a product of my own lunacy. "I need to get back to work now. If you'll excuse me..."
Don't you dare treat me like an imbecile! Son of a bitch! I stormed out of the office, furious at the reporter, but even moreso at myself for having botched my only opportunity to expose the corruption of the gnomish council. I was livid... if I had been in Tarant at that moment I have no doubt I would have found the nearest council member and struck him down where he stood. I made it a point to keep out of Tarant for the next while. I needed to stay out of prison at least long enough to sneak into one and break a particular master of picking locks out.
I knew just where to vent my anger, and thankfully it was in a place that would please the authorities instead of enrage them. I approached the entrance to the old sewers, eager to get to the grim business at hand.
You know who should be careful? It's that damned demon that should be careful... and the gnomish council members if I ever set my bloody eyes on one of them again. I climbed down into the sewers and drew my axe at the first sight of malevolent creatures. For once, I welcomed the opportunity to wield my axe. I ran straight into the center of a whole mess of flying, bat-like things and I swung away mercilessly. I ripped whole wings off, and shredded others. The strange creatures crowded around me angrily, biting at my armor, but I just kept swinging. Vollinger and Sebastian tried to help out with their guns, but the creatures were clustered so closely around me that they didn't dare risk hitting me.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Terry leap into the air and take a bat creature down with him, savagely tearing it apart once he hit the ground. Just as I kept swinging my axe, he kept repeating the grim process until at last all of the foul creatures were dead.
The next corridor saw even more of them, which I was only too happy to rip apart with Terry's help. The others sat back uncomfortably, never having seen me in a proper rage before. Even I wasn't terribly comfortable with myself, but damn if it didn't feel good to imagine Willoughsby's head on each of those bloody bats before swinging away. That silver-tongued bastard is well aware of the atrocities he's committed, if only I'd have realized it sooner... More and more bat creatures exploded as my axe chopped clear through them.
After rounding several more corners and effortlessly destroying more vicious little bat creatures I came face to face with some rather nauseating sewer mummies. Their bandages were soiled and unraveled, exposing the shriveled and rotten skin beneath. They stalked towards me with a frightening speed, raking my skin with cracked, dirty claws. I hated mummies.
Using my anger like fuel for a combat machine, I felled mummies in single strikes. I split their torsos in two or neatly lopped off their heads, and they groaned, toppling over in the sewer muck beneath my feet. I was careful to stop long enough to treat my wounds with salve, lest they develop a rather nasty infection. I didn't care to suffer from anything I'd catch from a mummy traipsing about in the sewers, that much was certain. Terry started gnawing on one of their corpses, but I rapped him on the snout and scolded him. He whined pathetically and I almost felt bad, but I really didn't want him getting sick off of the damned things. Instead, I tossed him a piece of jerky and he caught it mid-air.
At long last, the sewer widened out into a rather sizeable room. As I entered it I nearly failed to notice the scrawny elf leaning up against a wall in the corner near the entrance.
That's not really new to me... I'm in danger quite a bit, actually. I've gotten kind of used to it. "You are Vincent, are you not? I am here to kill you." It seemed like a rather odd and direct thing to say, but that elf was probably the one person in the world that would welcome such a greeting.
He tried to stand up, bracing himself further against the wall. "I hope you... brought the blade..."
I actually started to feel bad for him, but I quickly realized that killing him was the greatest mercy I could possibly have. I could help him in no other way. "Of course, I have it right here." At the same time, I would be putting a stop to the deaths around Caladon... the deaths of people who had hard lives already.
Very suddenly, he doubled over in pain, growling and coughing as he did so. I quick flipped out the blade, enjoying the familiar feel of a dagger in my hands. The growling slowly ceased and he stood up against the wall again, staring off into the distance. "I will try to keep the beast within until... until the end... but you must hurry... I am weak.."
All right, Vincent. I'll let neither you nor the whores L'anamelach has tortured suffer any longer. I closed my eyes, wrapping my hand tightly around the hilt of the mythical blade. I could feel its weight in my hands, the peculiar balance its odd shape imparted to it. When my eyes opened my hand was like lightning, years of reflex, training, and experience guiding my hands to just the right location. The dagger plunged into Vincent's back before he even had a chance to realize I'd moved. I held the dagger firmly as the expression on his face changed from one of determination and horror to one of pain, and at last a simple, peaceful calm. His face went blank and his body slowly slid off of the end of the blade, landing face first in the muck.
Goodbye, Vincent. I tossed the dagger into the muck next to him and I left the sewers, my rage spent. The others were silent in the wake of my targeted brutality, and I likely would have been as well if I'd just witnessed somebody else doing the same thing. I returned to the police station immediately, addressing the inspector quite bluntly, "Vincent is dead, and L'anamelach along with him. He'll bother this city no longer."
Inspector Henderson wiped the sweat off his brow and grinned at me, "Good work, dispatching that demon. Thank the gods I didn't have to do it this time. Here's the reward for killing that blasted thing." He tossed me a pouch containing the reward money we'd discussed earlier. I didn't particularly care, as that hadn't been my reason for doing it, but I pocketed the money anyway.
I turned to leave, trying to remain polite. "It's been a pleasure," was about the best I could do for a man that sat idly by out of laziness, fear, apathy, or ineptitude while Caladonian citizens were dying as a direct result of his incompetence. You didn't care, just because they were whores... I grimly wondered if the next big killer would make police inspectors his target... perhaps Henderson would care then.
"I mean no disrespect, Samantha," Virgil placed a hand on my shoulder as he spoke, "But I can tell that you're quite upset. I just want you to know that I'm here for you if you ever want to talk." There's that calm voice again... so much more direct and level than he used to be. It's not just that, but his entire attitude... goodness, Virgil, you've really changed.
I sighed, thinking about it. As much as I would've liked to go on a gnomish killing spree, and as badly as I hated the inspector, it didn't do me any good to run around the city mad as all hell. The demon was dead, and if I tried going after the gnomish council they would just have me killed. The power brought by their wealth was more than a lowly 'adventurer' like myself could possibly stand against. I couldn't even have a news story printed about them. I placed my hand on Virgil's and turned to him, "Thanks, Virgil. I appreciate your concern. Let's go have a chat with the gents at the Panarii Temple, shall we? It's about time we settled this Arronax business."
"I agree," he smiled. We walked together down Temple Road and entered the towering structure at its end. It was truly palatial and grand, as one would hope for the first and largest temple to the most popular religion throughout all of Arcanum. The floors were made of wood, but polished clean. Rows of fancy chairs filled the center of the room.
At the front there was a decorative stone altar with large, unlit candles on either side. A man stood behind the altar on an ornate carpet, casting a friendly glance over at all of us as we entered. On either side of him were massive, decorative braziers that filled the entire room with light. My gaze shifted more closely towards myself, to the entryway I found myself in. There I saw a massive, aged tome sitting atop a stone rack. The plate fastened to the rack read, 'The Archaeon'. I walked over to it and paged through it curiously. My fingers itched as I contacted the paper, and I knew the book was being held together by powerful magicks.
Kraka-tur, whose heart was dark and fearful, but whose fury was only quenched in the blackness of the Void.
The Bane of Kree, whose bloodlust was limitless and could only be contained in the endlessness of the Void.
And Kerghan the Terrible, betrayer of the Elven Council, whose dark magicks were an abomination and could only be forgotten in the blankness of the Void.
And the land was peaceful, until the coming of Arronax.
So came Arronax, who wanted the world for himself, and all of its races as his slaves. And he brought war against Nasrudin and the Council.
And they faced Arronax at the Black Spire, and there was a clashing of armies and much life was lost. And there was a great battle between Arronax and Nasrudin, a battle to end all battles.
And great Nasrudin banished Arronax to the Void, and saved the world from darkness and pain.
But so great was this battle, that Nasrudin himself was mortally wounded. And so great Nasrudin traveled to the southernmost tip of the land, and there laid himself to rest.
But he watches over us still, awaiting the time when the evil shall return. And he shall come again, and he shall be strange to us, and some will not know his face. And His spirit shall be reborn on wings of fire in hills shrouded in fog, and there he shall fight the final battle with the evil one.
May your spirit walk always in the peace of Nasrudin.
I looked up from the book and wandered towards the front of the temple. As I neared the man standing there, however, Virgil stopped me.
It would be a touch difficult not to with where he's standing, don't you think? I sighed. "Yes... who is that?"
Virgil sounded incredibly excited, yet subdued... almost reverent. In fact, that's probably exactly what it was. "That's Alexander... First Acolyte of the Panarii Church. I never thought I'd actually lay eyes on him..."
I shrugged, somewhat embarrassed at my overall lack of knowledge regarding the Panarii religion. "What so special about him?"
Thankfully, it looked as though Virgil didn't really mind explaining it to me. That was one thing I really liked about his recent changes... actually, the only thing I really didn't like was that he had to die for it to happen. "The man's a living legend... Joachim used to tell me stories about him. Not a nobler soul in all of Arcanum, it's said. And he's a skilled warrior as well... not the sort you want to tangle with."
Sounds like an interesting sort, certainly. I approached the altar, stepping into the light of the braziers and Alexander gasped.
Bloody hell, who hasn't seen that damned picture by now? Did they place orders for back-issues after Caladon joined the Unified Kingdoms, or did that bastard editor re-run my story in light of the wider audience? "What? What are you talking about?" It worked on other people, perhaps it would work on the great First Acolyte. I could hope.
He didn't calm down in the slightest. "Do you have any idea what that means? It's you! You're the Living One! It's a miracle...!"
I held up my hand defensively. Keep it down, will you?! "Let's not blow this out of proportion..."
Still, it seemed like nothing I said could get him to just let it go, even for a second. "Out of proportion? This is an astronomical event! The return of Nasrudin! The final battle! The end of all we know, and a new beginning! The most amazing...!"
I growled at him loudly, "Fine! I'm the Living One! Do as I say, and shut up!" It was harsh, but I really couldn't stand all of the excited babbling. If he kept it up who knows who would overhear. I really didn't feel comfortable being worshipped, and the fellows I now shared my company with would likely be ten times worse than Virgil ever had been.
I sighed, feeling somewhat guilty for my outburst. I just didn't want all of the added attention. I only wanted answers. "Let's keep this between us..."
"Of course!" Well, I'm glad we're finally seeing eye-to-eye then. "But you must listen to me... we were warned by the high priest to expect your arrival. And he told us to scorn you as an imposter. For some reason, he refuses to believe..."
I scoffed, "I can understand his position... the whole thing is a bit odd..." Really, now... falling all over me just because I survived a blimp crash. The prophecies really don't mention a blimp.
Alexander actually laughed when I said that. "There are times when all of us find it difficult to follow the path chosen for us. In the end... does it really matter if you were or you weren't? You seem intent on discovering what has happened, and already you and Arronax have crossed paths. If you thwart his plan, you will have played the ROLE of the Living One. Is there any difference in the end?"
Hmph... so you know of my encounter with Arronax. Somebody's been speaking with Joachim. Regardless of the separate conclusions we arrived at, Alexander and I did seem to agree on one thing: the prophecy didn't matter one way or another. "I suppose not. I still don't think I'll be able to face any ancient evils, however."
Hmm... well, the more information the better. I ought to get what I can. "What can I expect from people around here?"
He thought about my question quite honestly, doing his best to tell me anything useful. I honestly appreciated the effort. "You should be very careful about who you reveal yourself to. If you speak with Hadrian the archaeologist, you may not want to tell him - he's a great man of faith, but he is old; belief in you will come slowly. Gunther Wilhelm is a brilliant man, and open to new ideas... I believe he will accept you immediately."
Now that was actually quite useful. So I'll get more out of Hadrian if I lie to him, and more out of Gunther if I convince him I'm a god... by which I mean lying to him. Funny how that works. "Thank you, I'll remember that. What else can you tell me about these two gentlemen?"
Naturally, Alexander was all too happy to continue answering my questions. I almost felt like I was abusing his good-natured trust, but it's not as though I tried convincing him I was the Living One. He came to that conclusion on his own. "Well, Hadrian is the church archaeologist, and Gunther Wilhelm is the church historian. Both are well versed in Panarii history, and have detailed information concerning their specific disciplines."
Sounds like they'd be worth chatting up if I want to get more information about all of this business. "Where might I find them?"
I was rather starting to like this Alexander fellow. I decided to try my luck and ask him about the one thing I'd arrived for. If I were truly lucky, he might be able to direct me to just the proper place and I'd be done almost before I began. "Say, while I'm asking questions, could I ask you a bit about Nasrudin?"
He nodded, excited to continue speaking with me for as long as I would tolerate him. That only made me even more uncomfortable. "Sure. What would you like to know?"
Well if this isn't going to sound odd... but I suppose I have to ask somebody. "Where is he now?"
Alexander seemed unsure at first, but when he saw just how directly I meant the question he shifted quite rapidly to a rather sad look. I felt bad again for asking. "Nasrudin has been dead for more than 2,000 years."
Yes, yes, I know that... damned Silver Lady and her cryptic messages. "How did he die?" I was growing desperate for any kind of information I could get. Who knew what would be significant and what wouldn't? Not even the Silver Lady, likely.
Might as well go for the complete package. "Where did he die?" If Alexander was put off by just how forward I was being, he didn't show it in the slightest. Reverence had its uses, I supposed.
"According to the Archaeon," Alexander started quoting the book perfectly from his memory. It was a little bit off-putting, but at least he was telling me what I wanted to know, "...Nasrudin traveled to the southernmost tip of the land, and there laid himself to rest." He looked at me, gauging my response before continuing. "That is why we are here... this temple is bulit over his remains."
Well... that's a bit... dark. Also, helpful. I've got to get ahold of those. Ugh, I can't believe I'm doing this. "Oh, really? And where might I find these remains?" I could hear Virgil sighing discontendedly behind me, already well aware of what I was thinking. Well, I suppose there are still some things that bother him after all.
Hmm... that might prove difficult. Perhaps either that Hadrian or that Gunther fellow will be able to help me out. "Thank you for the information, Alexander. I'll be going now." He smiled, bowing to me lightly, and opened the doors to the hallway behind him.
My only hope was that I could fool one of the other members of the church into allowing me to desecrate the mortal remains of their beloved god. My task was certainly laid out before me.
Bonus ContentI romped around the other section of the Caladon sewers for some quick, easy levels. The screenshots ended up pretty damn boring, but here are a few anyway
There are mostly undead throughout the sewers, and high level undead at that. (these two emoticons will sum up the majority of the sewers and my personal commentary on them)
Mastery of Backstab means lots and lots of criticals, even more than Samantha already got beforehand.
The rare non-zombie. Of course, it has to be a "fleshy mound"
A different kind of
For some reason it seems strange to have a corpse in the middle of a bunch of zombies and have it be... you know... not walking.
That's a lot of fucking rats.
Thus concludes my romp through the sewers.
Now might be a good time to bring up Bates. You can actually return to him after nearly every step of the main quest to keep him updated on the Black Mountain Clan. Since we've found out pretty much all we're going to, his portion of the story is concluded and I can show off all the dialogue. Let's start with the idiot dialogue!
You'll notice some discrepancies in the screenshots (especially this first one) due to how I had to go about getting the appropriate dialogue. It's difficult to go through the trap infested hallway and still be drunk at the end of it. It was easier to load a distant backup and kill the saboteurs (even with Jayna in my party).
When my guards told me you would be coming to speak with my they failed to mention that you were a complete idiot.
This your ring? (alternate choice: "Uhfgnmm.")
Where did you get that ring? Did a dwarf give it to you?
No. Stupid scarface gnome gave. Then died.
Damn them all to hell! What did they do to you, Stennar?
Me not Stennar.
(he tells the story)
What I do now?
You dare?! I suggest you change your mind, simpleton!
No? (for some reason the question mark really makes me laugh)
Chukka! Attack! (yeah, that starts combat. Let's answer "yes!" instead).
So you go to the mines and find Gudmund, then return...
He freaks out and does the whole plot thing, then when it's done he asks you for a favor and you, naturally, act retarded in response.
(How could I have forgotten who I was speaking to?) YOU GO TO ISLAND WHERE BAD PEOPLE ARE.
Okey le dokely. How get there?
HERE'S ASHBURY ON MAP. GO FIND CAPTAIN TEACH. HE TAKE YOU.
So you do THAT and then come back...
IS THAT SO?
I go. Talk to head dorf Log.
You do that.
Can I have money?
You can come back after that and tell him:
I talk to Log guy. Head dwarf.
I have no time for this. You don't really have anything of importance to tell me, do you?
Log don't know neither.
Here's some coins. Get out of here.
Finally, the best part:
Playing Arcanum as an idiot is a nonstop rollercoaster of laughs. Everybody needs to play through with a dumb ogre rape party someday.