Chapter the Fifty Seventh: Mysteries of LegendThe main sewers were just as dank and miserable as the old sewers had been when I'd sought out and destroyed L'anamelach for his savagery. I heard movement in the distance, heavy footsteps in shallow waters. The growls and moans that issued forth along with them only confirmed my suspicions that the sewers were one place I absolutely did not want to be.
Thankfully, Hadrian's directions were quite accurate. I could tell he'd been studying this plan of his for some time, possibly to have a go at it himself when he suspected nobody was looking. Then I just happened along, a willing accomplice... how utterly convenient of me. I slipped into the crack in the wall and stepped onto smooth, dry stone. I was in a narrow hallway that lead down past several passageways and into a wider room. Taking Hadrian's advice yet again, I elected to ignore the side passages.
My footsteps echoed intermittently off of the smoothly carved walls as I stalked down the passageway. I could see several massive, lit braziers in the room up ahead and, past them, a thick, stone door. I walked into the room unhesitantly, keeping a close eye on the side halls that I walked past. As I approached the door I noticed letters carved into it, and I stopped in the center of the four braziers to read the letters carefully before proceeding.
Virgil took that opportunity of my apparent hesitation to voice his disapproval. "Samantha, are you really sure about this? Do you think desecrating Nasrudin's grave is really going to do you any good?"
I shrugged, "I've no clue, all I have to go on is what the Silver Lady told me. Oh, that's right... you weren't with us at the time. The Silver Lady said 'Your answer lies with Nasrudin'. Being who she is, she had to know where her words would lead me... I have to assume this is what she intended."
He shook his head, "Well, I still don't like it... but you do have a point. If that is what the Silver Lady told you, I certainly don't have any better ideas. Please, carry on."
Sebastian clapped him on the shoulder and grinned, "Now that's the spirit! I was beginning to wonder where your good, old fashioned sense of curiosity was."
Virgil laughed half-heartedly. Vollinger tried to make him feel better, "Let me assure you, there were no riddles other than the obvious. There is, unfortunately, little room for doubt. Let us just try our best not to get caught." I looked at Vollinger uncomfortably as he talked, still not quite sure what to do about him. Well... he's loyal NOW at least... it's so hard to ignore what he did... but... it may be even harder to ask him to leave.
"All right, all right..." Virgil relented, "I suppose it really can't be helped. I'll trust in what the Silver Lady had to say, and in Samantha to make the best of a bad situation."
I shook off my thoughts of Vollinger for the time being and responded as cheerily as I could muster, "Right! As for this door... it says, 'Knock no more times than three, if ye have not the key.' Well, the key is 'CRIMSTONE', right? So we should knock?"
Sebastian shrugged, "Sounds like a fine idea to me."
I walked up to the door and gave it a good knocking.
Son of a bitch! As soon as the third knock landed on the door I could hear a loud, spectral moaning. Several shapes shimmered into being in the air around me, forming into ghostly suits of armor carrying massive, two-handed swords. They struck at me as they formed, and I was woefully unprepared for their assault. They tore into me mercilessly, spilling dreadful amounts of my own blood onto the floor.
"Samantha!" Virgil shouted, pulling his axe free and laying into one of the ghosts. Terry snarled and leapt at one, scoring a good blow on the bastard's shoulder and clinging on persistently. He gnawed at it for several moments before finally taking it down. I wasn't particularly surprised that Terry was the first of us to kill one of the blasted things. Vollinger's gun rang out, and I realized that, despite my reservations about having him along, it was a sound I almost welcomed. Well, I suppose he traveled with me as a spy for years, there's no harm in letting him continue along now. I'll just have to keep him at an arm's length. Sebastian's gun issued forth a thick ball of green energy which struck the ghost closest to me squarely in the chest, knocking it backwards and filling the room with the sound of an enormous bang.
I guess it can't be helped. If anybody's paying attention to this old passage they'll surely know we're here now. I regained my composure and lifted my axe menacingly. The ghosts, undaunted, cut into me yet again. I was better prepared and I dodged out of the way, but I was also surrounded. I had no room to maneuver, and for each sword that I spun away from I ran right into another.
I swung my axe feebly, striking one of the ghosts in the abdomen. It wailed, though it seemed more a wail of anger than pain, and it struck out at me again, piercing my shoulder straight through. I cried out in pain, having fallen far from the brave woman I pretended to be. I looked down and I saw so much blood... so much blood... Nathaniel...
Virgil tried to cast a healing spell, but it fizzled almost as soon as he started casting it. "No!" He shouted, growing worried as my grip on my axe weakened. He swung his own axe about in a fury, toppling one of my ghostly assailants. Sebastian's gun shot forth another ball of green energy, sending a second ghost sprawling. Terry leapt upon it, chewing viciously at the armor covering its throat until at last its unearthly wails ceased.
Vollinger aimed his gun carefully and pulled the trigger, but instead of the familiar bang that I was accustomed to I heard only a click. He swore under his breath and ran forward, swinging his rifle around and smashing one of the ghosts in the back of the head. It turned angrily in response, and I took that chance to land a strike of my own. I was most in my element when facing my opponent's back, and even when fighting the undead it was no exception. I swung my axe with the last of my strength, cleaving the damned specter across the back of his neck. I could feel his brittle armor cracking beneath my unexpected assault, and at last he slumped forward, unmoving.
In my haste to take advantage of the situation I'd carelessly forgotten about the fifth warrior that yet remained. I could feel the point of his blade piercing my own back suddenly, twisting, and tearing the flesh out of my side. I fell to the ground, lying in a pool of my own blood, too weak to even hold my axe any longer.
The battle raged on above me even after I fell to the ground. With the ghost distracted I shakily reached a bloody hand into my purse and pulled out a healing salve, applying it to my most serious of wounds. My technological demeanor was so strong at that point that the wound began to close up near immediately. I started to breathe easier as I felt the life flowing back into me, the salve acting almost like magick in its own right. I heard the remaining ghost clatter to the floor as I pulled another salve from my purse, desperately applying it to the other, numerous cuts and slashes on my body.
Virgil knelt down next to me nervously, "Samantha, by the gods, are you all right?"
"I'm going to live, if that's what you mean." I pulled another salve out of my purse and continued applying it to the wounds that hurt the worst. "...but it was fairly close. If it weren't for the lot of you, I'd be dead for sure."
Sebastian grinned down at me, "Hey, that's what we're here for, ain't it? You always charge in and bring everything down before I can hardly get a shot off half the time... it feels good to finally be able to help out for once."
I chuckled weakly, starting to feel better quite rapidly now that I had the aid of many salves, "Well, thanks. I think it's about time we followed Hadrian's instructions instead of making up our own, don't you think? Perhaps I ought to speak the damned key aloud?"
Vollinger started chuckling, too, "That would make quite a bit of sense, wouldn't it?"
I slowly climbed to my feet with Virgil's help and stared at the door hatefully.
A heavy grinding sound started to issue forth from the door and, slowly, it retracted into the wall. I brushed my dress off and reached into my purse for another salve, gently applying it as I walked past another set of four lit braziers. Past even those braziers was an obviously hidden passage in the wall. From the side I was on I could push it open and enter the dimly lit chamber beyond, but once I was on the other side I could scarcely make it out. If I hadn't known it was there I never would've been able to find my way out.
Inside the darkened chamber was a heavy, stone sarcophagus, exactly as it had been described to me. It was covered in runes and carvings on all sides, and looked to be centuries old. I glanced briefly at each of my companions, all of them nodding in turn. Even Terry gave a muffled woof and I patted him on the head lightly. I gripped the edge of the sarcophagus lid tightly and, with Virgil's and Sebastian's help, we quietly shoved the lid off and gently set it on the ground.
The skeleton inside of the sarcophagus was dressed in ragged robes that had somehow managed not to completely rot away over the years. I couldn't bear to chip off a piece of it as Hadrian had asked of me, so I simply reached inside and plucked out the whole damned skull, wincing at what exactly I was doing. I stuffed it into my purse quietly, my heartbeat growing faster as I grew more and more nervous. If I don't hurry the hell up somebody is going to get suspicious and discover me down here.
I took in the grim scene and noted that the skeleton was missing a finger on its right hand. Although I should've become terribly suspicious, I was so nervous I failed to realize the potential significance of that fact. Instead, I became distracted by the blood on the inside of the sarcophagus lid. Blood? What sort of madness is this?!
It looked like a diagram and a message of some sort, written in blood... likely the blood of the sarcophagus' unfortunate occupant. I suddenly grew very sick, trying not to think of what exactly that implied. I was too nervous and too bloody ill to make sense of the broken ring or the message underneath it, but I committed both to my journal as quickly as I could and then I got the hell out of there, sealing up the secret passage once again after I'd passed back through it.
Virgil was quite obviously stunned, "I... what does this mean...? What exactly happened?"
"I don't know, Virgil," I tried to comfort him, although I wasn't doing a terribly good job of it. "Perhaps this is what the Silver Lady wanted us to find. Don't you think that if we get to the bottom of this we'll learn something about Arronax?"
He nodded, "I suppose you're right. There does seem to be something afoot here, and I feel a lot better about trying to find out what than I would about just sitting idly by."
We passed back through the now-empty doorway and the fading ghostly shells that had very nearly killed me on the way in. Still electing to ignore the side passageways, especially given my still quite painful wounds, we progressed back into the sewers and from there out towards the front of the temple. I nervously pushed the temple doors aside, nodding at Alexander nervously as I passed back by him on my way into the back hallway. I first stepped into Hadrian's room, a grave look upon my face.
My nerves had calmed a bit from when I was in the burial chamber and, spying the skeletal finger on the far side of the room, the full significance of what I'd seen finally came crashing down upon me. I couldn't even speak, I had no words for the conclusions that I'd come to. Hadrian beckoned me excitedly, "Come! Tell me what you've found!"
I shook my head sadly, reaching into my purse. I pulled the skull out and handed it to him, looking away as he pored over it excitedly.
Gods, is there yet more to the horrors of this burial? "What's wrong, Hadrian...?" My voice finally crept forth, barely a hoarse whisper. I was on the verge of tears just thinking about the suffering that man went through.
Hadrian looked very upset suddenly, as though he suspected I was playing some kind of sick joke on him. I felt quite the same way, only I knew in my heart it was no joke that lied in the tomb of Nasrudin. "This skull... you say this is the very skull from the sarcophagus in the burial chamber? Are you sure...?"
I nodded sadly, "Yes, I'm positive." I was about to say more, but I was too stunned to speak very coherently.
My interminable pause gave Hadrian the opening he needed to expound further on his discovery. "This skull... it's not elven! It's a human skull! This is impossible..." He shook his head slowly, growing almost as silent as I had been. He, too, was beginning to realize I wasn't joking, and he had a lot of thinking to do.
As Hadrian sat there, lost in thought, my voice finally seemed to make its way back to me. If I continued bumbling about, stunned at the sad truth of what really happened, I would never uncover the mystery. That, even moreso than what had already happened, would be a true travesty. "Hadrian... there's more." He looked up at me with hopeful eyes, eyes that made me feel guilty for what I had to tell him. "Something was drawn on the inside of the sarcophagus... in blood."
I nodded grimly, "Yes... blood. It was a broken ring, with something in the center... I think that was the important part. The message, however, wasn't in a language I'm familiar with." I showed him the copy of the words I'd written down in my journal.
He shook his head uncomfortably. "I... I don't know what that symbolizes, nor why it would be there. The word looks like ancient Panarum, an ancient language used by early church Elders. It hasn't been used for centuries, but Gunther Willhelm is an expert and would know what it means... if it was drawn there by... Oh god... they buried him ALIVE..."
Hadrian was finally starting to understand the full horror of what I'd found, but there was yet one piece remaining he wasn't aware of. I'm sorry, Hadrian, but if anybody can help me it's you... "There's... still more, Hadrian. The skeleton was missing a finger on its right hand."
"His... right hand?" Hadrian's face very suddenly went pale. "Oh, no... it couldn't be... It was never known if the finger was actually that of the great Saint, but it would seem that it might very well be..."
I tried to put a hand comfortingly on Hadrian's shoulder, "The body in that sarcophagus... it's Mannox."
He stared sullenly out of the window in his room, obviously in shock. "Good god... why? Why would they have buried him in the tomb of Nasrudin? I... just..." his words trailed off, and he slowly grew silent.
The guilt that washed over me was intense, but it was important that I follow the path I'd discovered to its end, whatever that end might be. "Hadrian... what are we going to do?"
"I'll get to the bottom of this, Hadrian. I promise..." I didn't want to do it just because the Silver Lady told me to, either. I was curious, angry, and even guilty... anybody else would have felt the same way after seeing the look on Hadrian's face.
He actually laughed, then, a dark and bitter laugh. "Perhaps this was a stone better left unturned, my friend. It's not every day that one is faced with the negation of his belief..." He lowered his head, staring at the floor.
"I'm so very sorry, Hadrian." He didn't respond, he just sat there, deeply in thought. There wasn't really anything I could do for him other than continue on my path. I had to see Gunther.
I walked across the hall and into Gunther's office. He brightened up as he saw me, completely unaware as to the horrors I'd found since we last spoke. "Always an honour," he greeted me.
I pulled out my journal and flipped it open to the page with the picture of the broken ring and the phrase, showing it to him. "Does this mean anything to you? The ring, or the words?"
He stared at it for several moments before looking back up at me, the confidence sparkling in his eyes as usual, "I can tell you this... the two words in that message... the first means 'opposite' and the second means 'truth'. As to the broken ring... I have no idea.... Have you found anything else? ...what is it? What's wrong?"
Gunther was considerably harder to lie to than Hadrian. "I saw inside of Nasrudin's sarcophagus." Gunther's face lit up with excitement, a rare expression for him. "Nasrudin is not in it. The body may be false... it seems to belong to Mannox, and before he died he wrote the message I just showed you on the lid of the sarcophagus with his own blood." His excitement faded and instead he seemed to think very hard on what I'd told him. At the very least he was taking it a lot better than Hadrian.
I shrugged, clueless, "What, Gunther? What did you find?" The man never ceased to impress me. Even in the face of such an astonishing and ghastly truth, he continued onward without even a pause.
"Remember I told you I was working on those older translations?" I nodded emphatically. "I found another passage from that which is inconsistent with the Archaeon we read today. Have you heard the passage where it talks about the final resting place of Nasrudin...?"
"Yes... Alexander told me..." I did not like where this was going.
He was so very proud the way he explained it to me that I couldn't help but grin in the face of everything I'd just discovered. He was the exact opposite of Hadrian. "Well, today's Archaeon reads '...Nasrudin traveled to the southernmost tip of the land, and there laid himself to rest.' The copy I've been translating almost says the same exact thing, except for one slight difference. It reads 'Nasrudin CROSSED THE WATERS, and traveled to the southernmost tip of the land.' Do you know what that means?"
Of course I do... it means he's not here... it means I still haven't found what the Silver Lady wants me to find. "What does it mean, Gunther?"
I nodded along with him, having come to the very same conclusion myself. "So where are his remains?" If nothing else, at least I'd find where I really had to go. It seemed a shame, though, that the path I'd been going down was not the one that would ultimately lead to foiling Arronax's dark plans. It meant I'd been wasting my time. Well... I suppose it's not like the old boy really seems in a hurry to come back. Stennar made it through over 4 years ago and we've still not seen more than that single shade of Arronax. I wonder what's taking him so long?
Gunther broke my train of thought by answering my question, "The southernmost tip of ANY land in Arcanum is the Isle of Thanatos... to the south of here. I think that is where you next should go." Why was I afraid you were going to say that? Bloody Thanatos... how in the nine hells am I supposed to get there? No captain in their right mind will take me to that hellhole. "I might ask you a favor... if you have the time before you leave, perhaps you could uncover the truth behind Saint Mannox? There are men here who would be interested in finding the responsible party..."
If I'm not in such a hurry after all, it certainly seems like a mystery worth pursuing. I nodded, "Yes, I think I will do just that... but who would do such a thing? Why would they go to all the trouble to stage something of such an incredible magnitude?"
Answers... and also several dozen beasts quite intent on clawing my eyes out and gnawing the meat off my bones. "I will, Gunther. Thank you and good day..."
"Thank you, my friend. I look forward to hearing about whatever you might be able to uncover..." Gunther was friendly as always, but it was hard for me to be happy at the news that my journey would take me to Thanatos. I started out towards the front of the church, trying to decide how to go about solving the mystery of Mannox before departing... rather, before finding out how in the hell I could even find a ship captain crazy enough to take me to Thanatos. Hmm... Teach just might do it, actually... if anybody would, it's him...
"Did I not tell you as much, Samantha?" Vollinger gently teased me.
"Tell me what?" I stared at him uncomfortably. I honestly didn't know what he was talking about and I felt like he was being just a touch too familiar for a spy. I've got to stop this... he's not really a spy anymore... he's with me because he wants to be.
"I told you that you're taking me on a rather thorough tour of the world. Your adventures would rival the renowned Franklin Payne himself!" I could tell that Vollinger was just having fun with me, though I did dimly remember him saying something about Thanatos earlier.
My train of thought, and our conversation, was interrupted when I saw Alexander. If anybody would be interested in what I've just discovered about Mannox it will be that man... I walked over to him boldly, steeling myself for the reaction he might have. I didn't know Alexander very well, but I knew he would be very, very angry when he learned the truth. "Hello, Alexander... I'm afraid I have grave news to share with you. I've been uncovering some strange things..."
Start small and work my way up... "Gunther's discovered that the name of the Panrii was actually mistranslated. In the ancient language, the Panarii were known as the Keepers of the Gate." Very small.
For obvious reasons, that didn't really bother him. "That is strange, my friend, but it seems a fairly trivial thing... there are small differences in almost every translation. This was probably just an honest mistake."
I nodded, "Yes, but there's more... I'm sure you're familiar with the name K'an Hua? He's the man who witnessed Mannox's ascension. It seems he is also the one who first discovered the remains of Nasrudin." ...the false remains of Nasrudin... in the face of what I've found, I truly cannot ignore that coincidence...
Alexander seemed slightly more perturbed at that fact, and moreso at just how important I seemed to think it was. "Hmmm. That is an interesting fact. Perhaps there is something amiss here. Was there anything else?"
"Y-yes," I had difficulty putting my thoughts into words. Alexander was a very hard man, and his intent stare put me very off. I didn't want to anger him, even if I knew that anger would never be directed at me. "I saw the inside of Nasrudin's crypt... the skull in the sarcophagus was human, not elven."
...and now for the doozy. "Yes, unfortunately, there is yet more. Whoever was buried in the sarcophagus was obviously buried alive, he wrote a cryptic message on the inside with his own blood. That and... the skeleton was missing a finger on its right hand." I flinched, anticipating what was to come.
Thankfully, it never came. I opened my eyes and I could see Alexander clenching his fists tightly, barely containing his rage but containing it nonetheless. "I see. If you find out what all of this means, return to me. If indeed my fam... I mean... the blood of Mannox was spilled for some darker plot, you can be assured that there will be retribution. I swear it by my life. Was there anything else?"
The hard part was over. "Just one more thing. Gunther did uncover another discrepancy in the Archaeon... a phrase that was left out of the Archaeon as we know it. It would seem that it states Nasrudin crossed the water before traveling to the southernmost tip of the land... his remains cannot be here."
"Thank you, Alexander, I will... and I promise I'll get to the bottom of the message I found." I turned, walking away from Alexander and out towards the front of the church. I breathed in deeply, then exhaled. I'd learned a number of very significant truths in such a short period of time and it was all terribly overwhelming. I could see from the looks in my companions' faces that I wasn't the only one to feel that way. I sat down on the step in front of the church and began petting Terry on the head. He woofed lightly.
The sun was just setting on the horizon and the streets of Caladon grew dark. Well... I suppose if I've got nothing else to do, now would be a fine time to break a fellow thief out of prison. "Say, you all look fairly tired and I could use some fresh air. Why don't you grab us an inn room, and order me a couple shots of whiskey. I'll join you in a short while."
I could see the confusion on their faces, but slowly every one of them complied.
Bonus ContentAs you all saw yesterday (and as I've said previously), persuasion is a really useful skill in this game. While I was running my hacked elven and half orc characters up to Bates to see if his dialogue changed, I went through a few of the quests in a persuasive fashion just to show off how awesome it really is. Here's what I ended up with:
Is that a fact? You don't seem much of a thief to me. I'd peg you for a tourist, or aristocracy. Nothing like the degenerals I usually keep company with... perhaps you'd better just cough up the toll.
This is my disguise. I'm posing as an outlander...
I suppose it's possible... your dress seems fairly non-descrepit. Hmmm. If you are a thief, what are you doing HERE?
The word gets around... you know how it is...
They did? Splendid! Which organization are you from? Tarant's? Caladon's?
Tarant's, of course. We're the best informed of them all.
I knew it! I knew the Underground in Tarant would hear about us if we tantalized Shrouded Hills long enough! Things are looking up, boys! We're going to be famous!
Believe me, your TERRORIZING here hasn't gone unnoticed...
Of course not! I know the Underground sees all... and I made very sure not to step on anyone's toes here in the area. I know the Underground is VERY careful about keeping members out of each other's territories.
Yes. Actually, that's the reason I'm here...
No! Please... you must tell the Underground that we were unaware of any activity in the general vasectomy! We would never DREAM of moving in on someone else's business!
Okay, Lukan. I believe you. But we do have a situation here.
Y-y-e-s-s... b-but I'm sure there's something we can do about this, right? I mean, we could leave right away! No one would be the wiser! And you could tell the Underground that Lukan is a man who respects authority...
Yes, there might be a possibility. There are reparations...
200 it is! [He hands it to you.] Oh, thank you so much! And again, please send my most humiliatory apologies to the Underground in Tarant. We would hate to ruin our chances for membership in the future...
This money will go a long way towards clearing your name...
Thank the gods they sent someone as patient and understanding as yourself. And with that, we're off! We'll cause no more troubles in Shrouded Hills! Here... take the key to the bridge gate with my thanks... [He hands you a key...]
Take your time... but I don't want to see you here if I return.
Ahh, good old Lukan. He's quite possibly my favorite throw-away NPC in the entire game. In case you can't tell, there really is a thieves' underground that Samantha botched the chance to get into. I really wanted to get in and do those quests, but I didn't have the persuasion at this part and later on Samantha just didn't have the right attitude. (She would've had to attack the elves guarding the funerary stone instead of turning in Mrs. Pettibone).
Here's another fun, early-game round of persuasion:
[He seems a bit shaken.] T-t-the authorities... why...? [He regains a little of his lost composure.] I see. Well, if that is the case, I demand to see your credentials, madam...
You're in no position to demand anything. Open these doors...
[The ruse appears to work.] Uh... look, I have NOTHING to do with what's going on down there! I just work up here, watch the front door...
What, exactly, is going on down there, Mr. Kingsford?
Oh god, no... [He draws nearer, whispering.] Okay, perhaps if they don't hear. They're monsters! You've no idea what happens down there! I only work for them because I was down on my luck, and my family needed the money. But if I would have known... I'd rather starve than know what I know!
What? What is it! What is so strange about P. Schuyler & Sons?
This game can be so awesome sometimes.
Speaking of persuasion, maybe some of you are wondering what happens if you let Virgil do the talking in that first encounter on the way out of the crash site? As sure as I am that the answer is 'no', here you are anyway:
I'm just asking a simple question... what are you two doing up here? I'm from Shrouded Hills, a village not far from here, and I witnessed this terrible accident! Is it such a crime to wonder what exactly is going on?
Oh, really? [Virgil takes a step closer.] Listen. I came from Shrouded Hills myself. It's at least a day's journey from here. [His voice gets dangerously soft.] There's no way you could have traveled here that fast. I think you're lying, sir...
[Virgil takes another step towards him.] No, I don't think you understand. I'M asking the questions here... and I don't like your answers. I'm going to ask you one more time... WHY ARE YOU HERE?
[A cold look comes across the man's face.] I don't recommend you speak to me that way, friend. I've just asked a question, and I'm expecting an answer. [He looks at you, then back to Virgil.] We can make this simple, or more difficult...
[Virgil smiles, thinly.] Oh, I think difficult is the best way, sir. I find that there's fewer questions afterwards. [He clenches and unclenches his fists.] I'm ready to begin this discussion whenever you are...
That was close. [Virgil is visibly shaken.]
What do you mean, Virgil? He was obviously scared of you...
That man very well could have killed us both. Believe me... I've, uh, seen his kind before...
So why did you provoke him?
...and just to show you all how much I love you, have some Ristezze too:
Yes. My favorite subject. What exactly would you like to know? There's so much to tell...
What sort of wonders have you beheld? And where?
Oh, the things Ristezze has seen, my friend! The deepest of the old Dwarven caverns, where diamonds hang like great chandeliers, and the gold runs in veins as wide as rivers...
Utterly fascinating... your descriptions are enchanting...
And the cities, my friend! The cities of man! Old Caladon, where the ancient and austere Panarii temple is a marble testament to man's reverence, the old stone docks which have withstood the ocean's fury for a thousand years...
And you, Ristezze! They must know of you in these cities!
They all know of Ristezze! Ristezze, who once rode in the gem-studded carriage of the Garringsburgs, walked in the terraced gardens of old Arland among barons and potentates, threw lillies at the wolf hunts in Huntington Dale...
And among men of commerce, you shone like the sun...
There were so many! The Derringers of Cumbria, the Beaurigards and the Wexels from East O'Banion, the Kiplings of Great Bend...
Tell me... where are men like yourself most powerful? Caladon?
Like royalty! Kings and Princes, their ships laden in goods and resources, tribute from lands both near and far!
Your story is so compelling. Who are these great men?
Oh, you must. If only once, to look upon her rivers and her bridges, her factories, her skies adorned with flying machines and her bosom stitched with the tracks of roaring trains...
I'm not sure where Tarant is... could you mark my map?
Typing out the word 'Ristezze' is even more annoying than the multitude of times I've had to type L'anamelach. Seriously, that word is terribly annoying to type... try it.
Oh yeah, these guys too:
Really? [He leans in close to you, as if to study your reaction to what he is about to say.] I pictured you as someone who would accept her fate bravely, for some reason, not attempt to escape by lying like a coward.
I will fight you, even though I am not the person you seek.
Oops. Let's try that again.
If I was the person you seek, I would accept my fate. But I'm not.
Oh who am I kidding, how can I not kill Molocheans?
While I'm tossing random bonus content at you, have some avatars as well. I made these out of the pictures I took in the basement of the Sobbing Onion, just because I could. I'm fond of my current avatar, but if any of you want either of these for yourself be my guest. I'm happy to make other avatars, too, since I've got easy access to pretty much every part of the game at this point.