Chapter the Sixty Second: A Most Shocking DiscoveryIt seemed like Franklin had found a run-down old shack, which he wandered around excitedly, rapping at the walls and peeking in through cracks. I felt an immense amount of magickal energy emanating from within it and I feared for what exactly that meant.
Franklin wandered around to a side of the shack with a window and peered in more clearly. "I say! There's an old chap here in this shack, and he's staring out at me with quite the expression on his face! Hello, there, old chap! I'm the famous adventurer, FRANKLIN PAYNE! Who might you be? Oh, blast! Where are my manners? Here I am, just staring into the privacy of your home through your little window there, how dreadfully rude of me. I'll come around to the door!"
I cleared my throat as I caught up to Franklin. "Er, Franklin...? Can I have a word with you?" On second thought... perhaps it's for the best you don't realize what you've just done.
"Why, certainly! What's on your mind?" Franklin was always so damned accommodating, though this was one situation where his eccentricity and enthusiasm made him appear a tad daft.
"I think... perhaps you'd best let me do the talking here. Uh... no offense..." I wasn't quite sure how I'd convince him at first, but suddenly I had a spectacular idea, "You see, I am a mediator - a somewhat famous one, actually - and I'd like to put my skills to good use! It's no different than your desire for combat with the nastiest beasties that ever existed, and it is SO difficult for me to find a good challenge these days. I'd bet drawing this chap out and finding out why he's here would be a rather appropriate challenge, don't you think?"
He nodded his head enthusiastically, "Why, that's fantastic! I suppose I had heard about the famous Tarantian mediator, Samantha Colburn, but I never made the connection! That's awful short-sighted of me, isn't it? I'd be happy to let you do the talking!" Well, that's one concern taken care of. I knocked gently on the door to the shack, then waited several moments and knocked even harder. Still, there was no answer, so finally I just opened the door up. I'm not leaving. The old, elven man staring out the window turned and scowled at me as I entered.
I'm still not leaving! All right... all right, I just have to calm down. I can't be jumping to any hasty conclusions, here... boy, wouldn't that ever make me look the fool? "And who might you be?" I tried my best to sound pleasant and cheery.
His scowl did not let up for even an instant, no matter the pleasantness in my tone. Hmph. Famous mediator indeed. "I am no one of any importance, just an old soul who wishes to be left alone. As I have already asked of you, I might point out." It was true that I ought to have acceded to his request if I wanted to make a show of good faith, but I saw leaving as an even greater diplomatic faux pas.
Very well, if you must be like that, I'll get right to the point... however misguided it may very well be. "If you could point me towards Nasrudin's grave, then."
The man's scowl did not lift even for a second. If anything, it grew ever worse. "Ahhh, searching for the 'Great Nasrudin'. Hah! The 'Great Nasrudin'. What was so great about him? Damned fool, if you ask me." I sighed, rubbing my temples. Why do you have to be so damned difficult? Virgil nearly exploded with anger.
I'm so not getting into the middle of this; it's not even funny. I wouldn't even be in the same damned room if I could help it. The old man actually seemed in better spirits, but not because of anything Virgil had said. If anything it seemed he rather enjoyed taunting poor Virgil. "Oh? And you think you know about Nasrudin, young man? Who are you to tell ME about that old, worthless elf?"
Virgil was livid. I'd not seen him get quite that excited ever since he'd been resurrected. "Worthless... why I ought to... no, I'm not going to sink to your level, old man. Nasrudin would have had more patience with men of your kind, and so will I. I don't have to defend him." I am still not getting in the middle of this. I'm not even here... you two can just... ignore me. Please, carry on.
The old man was almost laughing now, and I knew for certain he delighted in teasing Virgil. "Oh, of course you don't have to defend him, young man! The old elf was completely incorrigible! There's no defense whatsoever for individuals of such low character as he. You've chosen well not to waste your words on the likes of Nasrudin." Ugh, could you make it any more obvious?
Virgil, of course, took the bait.
I suppose he could stand to make it a bit more obvious... Gods, Virgil, shut up...! The old man was significantly more pensive, now. "You... remind me of someone I once met, many years ago. I can't remember the young man's name, but he was part of some religion... the Panarii, I think it was called. Are you also of the Panarii, young man...?"
The skin on Virgil's face started paling slightly and he began stuttering his words nervously, growing more and more unsure as he spoke. "Y-yes... I am of the P-panarii. I am Virgil, a new acolyte, but strong in my beliefs. W-ho are you...?" Oh, Virgil, do you really have to ask?
The man smirked and gazed at Virgil fiercely, powerfully, "You call yourself one of the Defenders, and you don't know who I am...?"
Virgil's face flushed fully red and he fell to his knees, bowing all the way to the ground, "Oh, my... master, please, forgive me... I didn't know... I mean, I thought you had been reborn. Greetings, great Nasrudin."
I took the opportunity, at last, to cut into their conversation. "Hello, Nasrudin. I've been looking for you for a long time."
He turned and stared out the window disinterestedly, "I would say 'in all my glory', but I'm afraid I haven't any left."
"Come now," I scolded, "You saved the world from Arronax. Surely there's glory to be had, no matter how far in the distant past."
The man's self-pity could move mountains. "A bit dramatic, don't you think? Arronax's actions were his own."
He shook his head sadly, staring at me with genuine regret in his cold, distant eyes. "You do not understand... he was my son. I taught him. Everything. Only to see him be carried away by his youthful temper. I should have seen it. There must have been a way to stop him before it came to... what it did."
Arronax is your son?! Well, that's not something they mention in the scriptures. Just when I think nothing can surprise me anymore, you have to go and prove me wrong. What next, is Terry the reincarnation of your brother? I calmed myself quickly and easily. Truly, I really was getting used to surprises. "I've heard all of the legends, but you know how reliable those must be. Can you tell me what really happened?"
Hm... well, if there's anybody I can ask about this it's you. "How did the Elven Council come about?" Now that I'd gotten past Nasrudin's initial reaction, I was quite awed that I was actually speaking with such a historic figure. Frederick, why... why can I not come home to you and share the stories of my travels? Why can you not be here with me, bearing witness to such an amazing conversation...?
Nasrudin answered my question, thankfully startling me out of my momentary weakness. "I gathered a group of idealistic mages together, and we created an Elven Council. 'For the good of all.' We really believed that. For a time, I suppose it was even true. I really believe things began to change when we discovered a way to banish things from this plane of existence.
...It was the ultimate weapon. Once something was banished from this plane of existence, it could never return. With ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility, and ultimate corruption. We were quick to use it on new and ever more terrible threats. The Bane of Kree. Kraka-Tur. Gorgoth. Kerghan."
I urged him further, wanting to hear as much of the story as he was willing to share. Although I missed Frederick dearly, my habits were not solely based on sharing stories with him. I was most assuredly curious in my own right. "So how did Arronax fit into all this?"
If I didn't I would've left long ago. "Of course. So what did Arronax actually do that was so terrible?" I'd heard the stories, of course... I'd been interested in them ever since I found out I was 'supposed' to fight him. There were none more qualified to fill in the details, however, than Nasrudin... with the possible exception of Arronax himself, but he didn't seem likely to be up for a friendly chat.
Nasrudin sighed heavily, obviously and sincerely upset. He gave me a long look before beginning his story, looking straight into my eyes. I know not what he saw there, but whatever it was he decided to share his tale with me... and it was a tale every bit as amazing as my own, and probably moreso. I listened quietly to his words, for as long as he cared to continue sharing them.
He had taken it upon himself to "keep the balance", as he termed it. He believed that being a member of the Council validated any course of action he chose to pursue. This meant attacking anything he saw as a threat, such as a city that had begun building advanced technological devices. Vendigroth, it was called.
He warned them to cease their "destructive behavior" and destroyed one of their factories to underscore his point. Justifiably afraid for their very lives, they swiftly constructed a device that could destroy even the most powerful wizard. He responded by calling on forces that few of us had ever seen, and wiping not just the city, but the whole province of Vendigroth from the face of Arcanum with one blow.
He felt himself betrayed when the council condemned his actions. He showed no remorse. In his arrogance, he was sure he would be vindicated. I cast the deciding vote to banish my own son.
"If I must die, I will be the last!" he screamed as he hurled the spell that brought an end to the council, the Age of Legends, and my will to live.
It was a harsh dawn that morning on the plains of Brodgar... and it was there, in the shadow of the Black Spire, that our armies met in the most terrible battle that Arcanum has ever seen.
As the sun set, only four of us were still alive to witness the destruction we had brought to pass.
I found Arronax among the corpses of our decimated armies...
...and it was there that I condemned my own son to the Void.
In the end, it was only through our combined might that Arronax was subdued, and I watched my own son fall into the horror of the Void. But such was the fury and power unleashed by this conflict that the very fabric of reality was torn asunder.
With our remaining energy, we were able to seal the rift with powerful wards... and the Ring of Brodgar still stands today as a monument to my son's destructive pride, and my own unforgivable failure.
When I regained consciousness, I was on the shore of Thanatos. I had regained just enough energy to seal myself in a regenerative shell. I remained that way for a thousand years. No one had ever stayed in a shell for anywhere near that amount of time. Somehow, my "magical hibernation" extended my life much beyond that of even the most powerful Elven mages.
He sighed heavily and turned back towards his window. It seemed like his story was over. Needless to say, I was amazed. I'd never dreamed of hearing such a tale from one who had lived through it... from Nasrudin himself! "...but why... why have you hidden yourself here for a thousand years?"
His answer came with a hard stare directly at me, "The world out there is not mine. It only serves to remind me of my failure. Everyone I knew, everything I held dear, is gone. I myself should have died long ago. Besides, I do not fancy being worshipped as a god."
I chuckled, despite how serious the situation was. "I know the feeling. The Panarii think I am your reincarnation." Boy if that isn't an odd thing for me to say.
Nasrudin looked me up and down, shaking his head, "I pity you, then. I received a taste of their hero worship from Mannox, and I can tell you I didn't like the taste of it one bit."
Ah, so you did have a chat with Mannox, then... it wasn't just a product of his rather inventive imagination. I snorted, "An interesting point of view, all things considered..." Virgil didn't take particularly kindly to my attitude.
I didn't mean... argh, you can be so thick-headed sometimes! "Virgil, I don't think now's the time..." I sighed, feeling a bit guilty at my anger. I supposed that I would be upset, too, if I were in Virgil's situation... and it wasn't terribly kind to brush it off so casually right in front of him.
He continued his rant despite my objections, and I supposed it wasn't really my place to stop him. "I mean... if you're not dead," he pointed to Nasrudin as he said it, then pointed at me, "that means you're not his reincarnation. Where the bloody hell does that leave the rest of us? Are any of the prophecies true? Have all of us Panarii just been running around half-cocked for the last 2000 years?"
Nasrudin sighed and looked at Virgil with genuine sympathy, "Easy, young Virgil. I know how all of this must make you feel, and I apologize for making light of your beliefs. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers you're seeking."
Virgil refused to calm down. He was still somehow strangely calm despite his anger, but he wasn't directing that anger towards anybody in particular... he was just frustrated. "I mean no disrespect, Nasrudin... but if YOU don't have any idea as to what's going on here, then you'll forgive me if I'm having a few doubts concerning the validity of my new found religion."
Virgil smiled up at him, "No, I wouldn't. And I will see this until the end, regardless of the reasons behind it. Thank you, Nasrudin. At the very least, your wisdom warrants a religious movement, even if its followers tend to be a bit soft in the head." Virgil seemed to be cheering up, which was quite a good thing. Despite the sheer depth of Nasrudin's self-pity, he was an all right old elf.
I looked up at him, determining that he and Virgil's little conversation had finally come to an end. "So, Nasrudin... I suppose that means you know of the Panarii, then?"
His expression changed somewhat rapidly from one of mirth to one of dread, and I couldn't really say I blamed him. "I am well aware of the whole Panarii tomfoolery, yes. When I emerged from my regenerative state, I traveled to the mainland. I suppose I thought I could somehow live among the world again... after I spoke with that Mannox fellow, I knew I was deluding myself."
As long as I was sitting through a history lesson, I figured I might as well hear all sides of it. "Did he tell you how the Panarii began?" I had been rather curious about that fact.
So it wasn't even a religion at all... well, that makes sense. "Did you tell Mannox who you were?" It was a stupid question, but for whatever reason I asked it anyway. Even I still sometimes succumbed to just blurting out whatever was on my mind, flustered in the presence of a living legend.
Thankfully, he didn't seem to mind the inanity of the conversation too much. At the very least I was growing on him. "After I listened to his insane beliefs for what seemed like hours, I hinted that I had actually known Nasrudin. He was already too far gone. He would not have believed any of my protests or denials of my godhood. He most likely would have interpreted the whole thing as some sort of test, I suppose."
I smirked at that and almost laughed. How right you are, Nasrudin... I felt guilty, again. Mannox's tale certainly wasn't one to laugh at. "Are you aware that K'an Hua murdered Mannox?"
He merely nodded, trying to brush it off as though it wasn't a big deal. "When Mannox disappeared, I knew that something of that nature must have transpired."
What? How can you be so unaffected by it? The man died because of his love for you... "And you did nothing about it?" Even as I asked the question, I realized I very likely would've done the same thing if I were him. Where did it end? If he avenged Mannox, would he then watch over the thousands of other worshippers protectively?
I really didn't like where the conversation was going. I understood his reasoning, but I couldn't help feeling pity for Mannox. He didn't deserve his fate. If all goes well, he will be avenged now... it might be over a thousand years too late, but at least I can take comfort in that. "I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Nasrudin, but you're going to need to do something now. Arronax, with the help of his own worshippers - a group of elves that call themselves the Dark Elves - has had an entire clan of dwarves banished to the Void with him. He forces them to work tirelessly on building a machine to weaken the wards so that he can return. He has already appeared to me once, threatening the destruction of all..."
Nasrudin sighed, then, and it was almost as if I could see the weight of my words piercing his spirit. I hadn't wanted to say them any more than he'd wanted to hear them, but it was unfortunately necessary. "I feel as if I have been waiting to hear those words since I awoke, those many years ago. I had hoped it would never come to this." He cried out, his voice filling the small shack with his anguished tone, "Why, Arronax?! Why can't you see the folly of the path you've chosen?!" Calming, he stared at me with a level gaze, "What are you going to do about this situation?"
ME? I came here because I was told to... you're supposed to have the answers. "What am I going to do? He's your son. What are you going to do?" It felt somewhat rude to say such a thing to Nasrudin, but at least I wasn't worshipping him.
I could've understood if his reasons were emotional, which in part they were, but if it were a question of power... "How is it that he is still so powerful after all this time?" You're Nasrudin! Do you really think I stand any kind of a chance if you don't?
It seemed that he felt guilty once again, although that was hardly an uncommon emotion for the old chap. "We do not know what life in the Void is like, if it can even be called life. Who knows what sources of power could be found on the other side?"
If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not take this lying down. "There must be some way to stop him." I hadn't traveled across the entire Island of Thanatos just to be told 'tough luck'.
Nasrudin considered my words quite seriously, gazing into my eyes to see just how strong my resolve was. It seemed as though I passed his scrutiny, "I can think of only one possible strategy to defeat him, now. You must retrieve the Vendigroth device that was meant to destroy him."
What? Don't tell me you've gone senile in your old age. You're Nasrudin! Nasrudin can't be senile! "The Vendigroth device? You said Vendigroth was destroyed."
At the very least my technological inclination seemed like it would be a boon when it came to retrieving the damned thing. I didn't have to worry about my arsenal fizzling out right in front of me. "What does the device do?" I can't believe I'm thinking of doing this.
He had some difficulty trying to explain it, but eventually the words came to him. I supposed I would've had the same difficulty in describing to him the technological principles that made my axe work. "Extremely powerful mages have the ability to regenerate themselves whenever they are badly hurt, as I did. If one is powerful enough to hurt a master sorcerer gravely, the mage will retreat into his regenerative shell, and emerge stronger than ever. The device is the only way known to disrupt the regenerating shield."
It sounded like the ultimate confrontation of science versus magick, and truthfully even I was leery of it. I didn't like it any better than I would have liked a magickal amulet that would turn a restorative potion into a poison. It seemed horrible, vile, and quite unfortunately exactly what I needed. "And disrupting the field kills the mage within?"
The more I learned about it, the more I thought that my initial opinion was wrong. It was far more horrible than some twisted magickal amulet... it was a technological method for banishment. It seemed quite a bit more final, however. Hmph... more final than banishment to the void? The ultimate technological weapon... yes, perhaps this is up to me after all... perhaps, with such a device, I might be able to succeed where Nasrudin failed. Well, if that isn't bloody arrogant I don't know what is. "How can I find this device?" I still can't believe I'm really considering doing this.
His voice was stern and unforgiving, which it had to be to properly get the point across. "You must search the ruins of Vendigroth, in the wastes where the city once lay." I really didn't like the way he was staring at me. He wasn't just answering my questions, he was telling me what he expected me to do. Even after a thousand years of isolation he still had a rather commanding presence.
If you want me to run this damned errand for you, then you'd better give me what you can. "Where can I find the ruins? The wastes are vast, as you know."
Of all things, he actually shrugged. "I do not know, exactly. Those days are long past, and with them a better part of my memory, I am afraid." I growled silently and held out my map suggestively. He stared at it for several moments, contemplative, "All I know is that at one point Vendigroth and its settlements spread out over that whole area now known as the Wastes. There was a bridge leading into the Vendigroth province, here." He pointed to a particular spot on my map, in a northwesterly direction from Ashbury.
Well that's just bloody great. I really didn't relish the idea of wandering around that godforsaken wasteland aimlessly until stubbing my toe on just the right piece of junk. "Why don't you retrieve the device?" If I were going to be the one to fight Arronax, Nasrudin could at least meet me halfway....
Stop... full stop. I never agreed to this. You can't be bloody serious. "Hold a moment - you are going to banish me?" I know I've not lived a saintly life, but really I think banishment is a bit extreme...
The look on his face suggested he was not joking in the slightest. "Certainly. If we were to wait for Arronax to breach the wards, I fear the loss of life would be immeasurable."
I was torn between feeling guilty and outraged. Truly, I had been planning to just wait... but Nasrudin was right. I sighed. "It seems everything has fallen to me, once again." I suppose this makes the most sense... who am I? I'm nobody... I've got nothing left. Besides, if anybody can get banished to the Void and succeed, it's going to be me. This makes the most sense for everybody... I was trying desperately to convince myself of what truly needed to be done.
I shook my head sadly, "Judging from my encounter with him, I'd say he had not." I was less saying it to Nasrudin and more to myself, still trying to force a realization that I had no other choice. That realization would take far more time than I was giving it, however. It was not every day one was confronted with banishment to the Void for the good of all.
Nasrudin responded, somewhat annoyed that I continued reminding him of his son's folly. "Yes, yes. It is obvious to me that he has committed himself to a path which can only end in his destruction."
Instead of standing there, shocked, I tried focusing on what I had left to do. It wasn't like I was going to be banished the very next day... I had plenty of time to come to terms with it. "What do I do once I've retrieved the device?"
Help? You want me to damn even more individuals than myself? Even as I thought of it, I knew he was right in some respects. I couldn't afford to fail. I didn't want to take Virgil with me, but I knew he, at least, would insist. So would Franklin, actually... he wouldn't miss the grandest adventure in the world even if it would cost him his life... perhaps especially because it would cost him his life. Vollinger owed me at least that much... not just me, he owed it to the world. The Hand had been helping Arronax to return, it only made sense that one of them would help to reverse that. That only left Sebastian and Terry, and I'd have to ask Sebastian how he felt about the whole thing. I suppose that settles it, though. At least I'll have company. "I'll do it, but can you clarify some things for me before I am off?"
He nodded patiently, understanding the severity of what I was going to undergo. "What is it that is troubling you?"
"Well," I began slowly, unsure of how to approach the subject. "If Arronax is still around, then no doubt some of the others you banished might still be there as well. I might very well come face to face with more than one of them. I'd like to know anything you could tell me so I can best prepare myself."
Although he seemed almost bored in his recollection of them, he grudgingly accepted. "Whose tale of woe would you like to have recounted?"
"Why don't we start with Gorgoth?" I know almost nothing of him. I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to expect if I came across such a legendary beast...
That seemed awful trivial. Couldn't they have just killed him instead of banishing him? I suppose it was the 'in' thing in those days. "I see. Then what about Kerghan? I know a bit about him, but he's something of a frightening character... the more information I have on him the better I'll feel."
Nasrudin nodded painfully, willing to tell me any stories I asked even though he obviously preferred to remember none of it, "Kerghan was a member of the Council, the only human one, in fact. He was a dabbler, he was, always experimenting and searching for new magicks. His discovery of the Necromantic Arts was the beginning of the end for him. The council took a dim view of magicks that had the ability to manipulate the very life force of a being, and we bade him to stop any further inquiries in that area."
"...and he did not." It wasn't a question. I would never forget the contents of the journal I'd read.
The tone in Nasrudin's voice was a dark and regretful one. "He totally disregarded our warnings and continued his ghastly experiments. Arronax was assigned to investigate, and turned up the rather disturbing details. Kerghan had been stealing corpses and experimenting with their life forces. What was infinitely more disturbing to me, though, was the vehemence of Arronax's drive to have Kerghan banished rather than simply exiled."
So even then, Arronax was already beginning his descent into darkness... "Why did Arronax's attitude trouble you?"
I could see why that would be troubling, although at least his head had been in the right place even if his heart hadn't. Arcanum would never forget the scars left by the Derian-Ka and their war with the Molochean Hand... and it would've been so much worse had Kerghan not been banished. "Did you not think Kerghan's crimes warranted his banishment?"
He shook his head, quite sure of himself in at least this one thing, "No, I believe our decision was the correct one. It is just that there is a proper way to conduct oneself, and Arronax was neither unbiased nor objective. I began to have serious misgivings about his membership on the council after that. The whole Vendigroth situation exploded shortly afterwards, before I could come to a decision about Arronax's role on the Council."
The sadness in Nasrudin's eyes made me feel guilty for pressing him so much on things so closely related to his son. I could tell it tore him up inside, even after all of these years. It was best to just change the subject outright. "What can you tell me about the Bane of Kree?"
Thankfully, that seemed to be a significantly more positive subject to discuss, at least for him. "The Bane of Kree. Bringing him to justice was what established my reputation as a warrior. That reputation eventually led to the legends surrounding me, which I had no control over. The Bane was a nomad warrior who was able to gather together nearly all the ancient nomadic tribes and create a vicious army out of them. I became involved when he slaughtered the army of Kree."
I followed along interestedly, "What happened then?"
I can see why that would give rise to a few legends, yes. "Then what about Kraka-Tur?" I already knew much of that story, but hearing it from Nasrudin's point of view instead of by reading Kraka-Tur's journal was bound to be interesting... especially considering the kind of creature Kraka-Tur really was.
Nasrudin almost laughed. "Kraka-Tur was a conniving coward who found a way to turn himself into a twisted monster, half-man and half-dragon. In this form he terrorized cities and villages, killing their inhabitants and burning them to the ground. After a colossal battle and his defeat at the hands of the council, he cried and begged us not to banish him. Pathetic."
Yes, I think 'pathetic' describes him quite nicely. "I thank you for sharing your tales with me, Nasrudin. I will go to Vendigroth and retrieve the device, then when I am ready meet you at the Ring of Brodgar. Wish me luck."
He arched an eyebrow at me as I left his small shack. "Luck? You'll need a lot more than luck." How right you are, old man...
Bonus ContentSo, bonus stuff. Where to start? First, some exploration of Thanatos. If you explore the area where your boat lands you can find a journal.
Nov. 6, 1790
I've made several forays into the interior, with nothing to show for my efforts save my wounds. This island is aptly named, and I thank the gods for Smythers, my faithful guide. He has already saved my life several times over in the short time we've been here. I am certain that the Ashlag tribe still exists on this island, and I mean to prove it, monsters or no.
Nov. 13, 1790
I have found the remains of an old site, but it appears to have been uninhabited for several years now. I was unable to determine why the site was abandoned, though I did recover some important artifacts.
Nov. 21, 1790
I write this as Smythers and I lie terribly wounded somewhere in the jungle. In our searching today, we were set upon by creatures most fierce. Smythers sustained much more serious injuries than I, as he drew the beasts away from me at his own peril. He was victorious, but at a high cost. I managed to drag Smythers into a thicket of trees where we presumably will be safe for the moment.
Nov. 30, 1790
Smythers died today after battling madness brought on by his wounds. I fear my time is soon at hand, as well.
that I was successful in my endeavors to locate the "mythical" Ashlag tribe.
If you investigate the area where the Ashlag Tribe supposedly lives you don't find much. It's deserted but for a couple of treasure chests.
Just what I always wanted, more random potions/jewelry/unidentified equipment.
There's one other point of interest on this island called "The Lair of the Bogaroth", and that's located here.
Oooh, bones. What could it be?! A horrible dragon?! Another wyvern?! No, it's got to be an ancient necromancer and his legion of undead! Wait... demons! Only demons would eat the flesh of the living and spit out the bones!
It's a monkey.
Note the incredible amount of damage I took, and the number of action points I have left.
So, as you can see, Thanatos is not a particularly interesting place unless you have some kind of monkey fetish... and I don't even want to know about that if you do.
Now I can tell there's a burning question on all of your minds. We're all goons here, it was on my mind, too: what happens if you kill Nasrudin?
Where is the device? Have you retrieved it?
I have not had the opportunity to retrieve the device as of yet.
I think he went down in two turns.
That's when things get weird.
What's this place?
Somehow I think 'botched' doesn't quite cover it.
While I'm at it, you can probably tell that Nasrudin had a video to share with me. I'll share it with you, too:
I really didn't feel up to writing today, so instead I used it to fill a couple requests. I'll just have to work extra hard on writing for the next couple days
Requested by bobsmyuncle
First, I believe I promised copious abuse of the polymorph spell:
The funny part about this is that my party members, despite hating my guts, are still on my side for some reason. So when I pissed off the Tarantians by polymorphing them I got to sit back and watch SHEEP WARS! It was great. Also, Samantha actually has armor in that shot but the game glitched about 3-4 sheep from the end and it no longer showed her wearing it.
Bug exploits warm my bitter heart
Requested by MuShRoOmFaCe
Alright, time for a roster update. Not too much has changed, other than the 'level' number increasing and NPCs continuing to be idiots, but I did pick up a new character.
Here we have Samantha. She's up to level 57 now! She's mastered backstab, lockpick, and persuasion now as well as maxed out her strength. No points have been spent since maxing out strength. (For clarity, training doesn't require points, I was just pointing that out separately).
Our best buddy Virgil has not really changed much. In fact, I'd have to look up stats to tell you what's different about him.
Vollinger still loves his melee.
Still a little hellion
Sebastian has grown a bit. Better perception now, and he's mastered pick locks (which would be quite useful if I didn't have it as a character skill). Honestly, he's really good for a tech character.
There's the one you've been waiting for! As you might expect, he's a master of firearms. 19 natural perception isn't bad and charged rings max his dex, too. His strength is quite lacking, unfortunately, which is why I saddle him with pistols. If you leave him with Old Mary (it's just a plain elephant gun) he can't hit for crap (it's got an MSR of 12, so he's a whopping 5 short). In addition to what you see here he's got 3 dodge (not bad), 5 melee ( ), and the first rank in absolutely every technological discipline. Neat! Not, er, useful in the slightest... but neat! Actually, he's my new salve bitch, since I gave Jayna up very early.
He comes with this enchanted chainmail for some reason. It seems odd for an obvious tech character to use magickal equipment, but then again it's better than plain chainmail, so... whatever works. He inspired me to grab some enchanted leather for Samantha. His gun is a High Velocity Pistol, which I chose because it wouldn't waste much ammo (like a Shreck's would've). It does 6-22 damage, 2-8 fatigue damage, and has a range of 25 (longer than Shreck's). The speed is 8. By comparison, Shreck's does roughly equivalent damage, but has a speed of 20 (meaning he can fire it about 6-8 times a round instead of 3 tops).
You might've noticed Virgil glowing in a few screenshots. I bought him a Helm of Light just so when he ran up to things he'd provide some much needed light Alright, so we've covered the party members and now...
Wait, what? How did that get there? (he also has 3 heal)
Requested by LoreOfSerpents
I received a request via PM to more thoroughly investigate the area underneath the Panarii temple, and so I have! This is the grate you use to get down into the sewers nearest the passage that leads under the temple.
You go down there, kill a level 4 rat or two, then go through this passage.
You end up here. It's a pretty straightforward (though twisty) passage for a bit and eventually you come to a fork. Basically there are 2 wrong turns you can make in the whole place. That fork is the first one and the second is actually on the opposite side of the room you want to be in (the one with the 4 braziers). Technically the hidden entrance could be considered a third 'wrong turn', but I'll cover going through it as if it were a 'right turn'.
There are a bunch of Bone Butchers that attack you when you go down the side passages. They're not that tough (level 15), but they do absorb a good bit of damage. Sebastian is doing his part
The side passage continues on for a good bit, with more skeletons attacking you as you progress further. Inside of it are several mini dead ends.
...and finally one big dead end. This is the end of that whole passageway, but there were near a dozen bone butchers to kill down it.
The next passageway is here, off to the southwest of the brazier room.
There are about the same number of skeletons down it, though there are fewer side rooms so they mostly come in small amounts in the hallways. Since I attack first all the time, small amounts means "free exp"
It's hard to see, but right there is about the biggest 'side room' this place has. It's basically like an extra hallway just jutting out the side for no reason. I don't think that one even had any skeletons in it, but it would've been a great place for an ambush.
Finally that dead-ends as well, although this dead end is quite a bit more interesting than the other one.
If you scroll to the northwest you can see a hallway running parallel to the dead end, only not... you know... ending. There's a staircase at the far side of it, so obviously there has to be some way to get there. That way can be found by going back to the sewers and exploring a bit.
Before long you find some really weak undead. A few low level lichs (lesser and greater) and some pathetically weak skeletons that go down in a single hit.
That was one round of combat
Here are the lichs I was talking about
Even the "greater" lichs are only level 15. Not exactly a challenge.
They're really ramping up the difficulty now! I think a level 3 zombie is more than I can handle, guys
Finally, something challenging. I'm not even referring to the 5 zombies in the picture, either. It's hard to see but a gore guard is overlapping on the zombie I'm hovering over (it's blue in color). Those things actually hurt.
See my life drop? They damage armor, too
Virgil tries to heal me twice and fails. Oh, Virgil...
Third time's a charm, I guess
Finally, that path leads to this little oddity. In addition to a couple of pathetic Pestilent Souls you can see our good friends, level 15 bone butchers. That's just another sign that you're close to the temple again, if the gaping hole in the wall poorly concealed by barrels isn't a sign enough.
That's the passage we've been looking for. But first...
The barrels have a heap of useless trash for us! All of them have random magickal loot. Joy.
We made it! Now to see where that extra hallway leads to...
Permission is for pansies.
Here's a map of what the place looks like when you're standing on the tomb side of the door. The winding passage to the left is where I came from, the four brazier room on the other side of the door is to the right and you can see the dead-end hallway winding off of that and eventually reaching its conclusion. In the upper right you can see a bit of the other passage that dead-ends.
While I'm looking at maps, here's a shot of nasrudin's tomb. The red pluses (representing party members) are running down the corridor towards the normal exit, and the sarcophagus is at the upper right. If you exit that way instead of via the secret passage you come up into the temple proper.
Trapped in an ancient tomb, please send help (the door is locked).
Requested by Harry Joe
Finally, I believe a request was made for watching me fight Stringy Pete. I actually recorded a video of it (with commentary) and I think it turned out pretty well, so please check it out:
Warning: in the video I might start playing a little rough with my naked halfling