Part 36: The Castle
"Alright, drink up, boys!"
Some time later...
"So...so so so so so hey, hey guys, gimme a fork alright, see this fork? Watch it closely now! Aaaaand shazam!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha nothing happened! That's amazing! Hee hee hee."
"Uh. It was supposed to turn into a pigeon. Thaaaat's weird."
"Like, are we talking a live pigeon, or a dead metal one made out of forks? 'Cause that'd be badass."
"Oh man! Do it with Demonslayer!"
"Hang on, I can do this! Shazam! Dang. Shazam! Dang. SHAZAM!"
"Ahem. I'm sure you can explain why my pantry is suddenly full of literal rats with wings."
"Ha-HA! High five, Byff!"
"I'm cutting you off. All of you, out. Don't have to go home but you can't stay here, yadda yadda yadda."
"Okay okay okay, c'mon guys, we'll find some other place to go have fun."
"Hey, sign! That's awesome! Hee hee hee. What do you say, sign?"
"The Castle - 30 miles northwest. Almaria - east."
"The CASTLE! Yeah let's go to the Castle! Meet up with King Whatshisface and get paid for all that shit we've been doing! C'mon, let's go!"
"Heyyyy, farms! Wonder if they need any pigeons?"
"Yeppers, sure could use some pigeons here. Good fertilizer in pigeon poop!"
One of the farms has a stall:
But it's nothing we need, really.
"Duuuuude. Check that out!"
"Hee hee hee it's a CASTLE! Look at you, little castle!"
"Yeah, we got your valid business right here! S'called a Royal Token, losers!"
"Aww, how sweet. Some of 'em were cute, too. Mm."
"Royal favor, here we come, baby!"
"Whoooo baby, they could just drop this entire room out from under us! Ha ha ha man, that'd be awesome. Wheeeee splat."
"Hey guys, we got a fuckin' Royal Token here! Let us in!"
"S'right! Hey, where can a guy get some food around here? I bet y'all get the best grub in the caves, am I right?"
"Bahfine, we'll find the kitchens on our own."
"Hey, this looks important!"
"Don't mind if I do!"
The chest has a Lovely Crystal (vendor trash) and Piercing Crystal (more valuable vendor trash).
"Hee hee heeyyyyyy buddy! How're you doing?"
"Well, how do you do, Your Majesty! What's up, princey?"
"A lizard? What kind of lizard? The giant kind, with the teeth? Oh, or maybe you had the teeth filed down. That makes me sad."
"Man, you're not all there, are ya? Are you really the prince?"
"Elly! Rude. Ruuuuuuuuude. Hee hee hee."
"Whoah, they're gonna let you take over? Man, someone sure fucked up."
"Or fucked the wrong person!"
Avernum is in for some hard times if it does bloodline succession. Note that in previous versions, Chevyn is merely a simpleton, not driven to madness.
"Heyyy, maybe we can help you out a bit, y'know, a little this-for-that? Help you find your lizard, you get us some cushy government jobs, y'know! Whaddaya need, ol' Wangster'll help you out!"
"Yeah, that's right! Own your name! Be proud of who you are, Wang!"
I thought he was looking for his lizard. There's a lizard wandering around with a bow and a nametag, but I forgot to look for it and it's easy to miss. And Chevyn doesn't care if you find it.
"Shiny, impossibly valuable ring, got it!"
"Heyyyy, someone put a button onna wall! Ha ha ha, wallbutton. You crack me up, little wallbutton."
"Aww, it's just a little booboo station."
"Hooray! More gateways for the bad stuff in other dimensions!"
"Heyyy it's wallbutton's brother!"
"Aww, nothing happened."
"Whoah, there's a hole in the wall! Wonder why that happened?"
The table has a Terror Wand, Curing Elixir, and some Magical Notes -- all marked Not Yours, but who's gonna see us steal them?
"You look important!"
"Wotcher, chief! What's Avernum's commander in chief up to?"
"Ha, I don't have that kind of pull. If I did..."
"Man, you in charge of the guards? Bunch'a sourpusses like I've never seen before."
"Oh man, I'd love to see this place get attacked. That'd be amazing, hee hee hee...uh, because the attackers would get completely, wossname, allihinated."
"Ooh! Spill! I bet you got all kinds of deathtraps, with, like, drawbridges and lava and sawblades and opening and closing doors so the enemy pathfinding gets confused and..."
"Waitwaitwait, what was that last one?"
"That sounds amazing."
"Heyyyy, hey hey hey man, what's on the maps? Lemme see!"
"Man, if you're gonna be a jerk about it then I don't care any more. I just like maps, okay?"
"Oh, is that all? Peace of cake! Hoo hooooo that demon's gonna fry, like, sizzle."
"Oh man, I bet there's all kinda cool stuff in here!"
"Man, I never get to steal from anywhere cool."
"You wanna steal from the Castle? You're crazier than I thought!"
"Aww, my little Wangster's growing up!"
"Anyway, check this out! I found a ring in this barrel!"
This is an ordinary Platinum Ring, which can be sold for a decent chunk of cash. Or we can go give it to Chevyn:
Fuck off, Chevyn. Let's go back to the cells.
"I found some stairs!"
"Hey guys! I'm gonna kill ya! Hee hee hee!"
The slith in the back is a Mindless Cultist. He can cast various attack spells, but doesn't last long. Neither does the demon, for that matter.
"Wow, lookit all the body parts!"
"Dude! That bow is rank!"
A straight downgrade of the Bow of Storms, though. Oh well!
Back in the Castle...
"Hey, something smells good. Through here!"
"Oh, momma. I am gonna --"
We steal her wine while she's not looking
"Wotcher, cap! We sent that demon back where he came from!"
For the record, that little sidequest to kill a demon is titled "Yet Another Demon".
"That is without a doubt the worst salute I've ever seen. If you were one of my soldiers I'd have you cleaning the toilets for a week. That said, you're not! So..."
"Maybe you just need to give everyone some magnifying glasses?"
"Pshshhhhhh. How bad could he be?"
"Haha, his name sounds like ass! Kyass. Ass! Woo!"
"Cripes, you're all drunk?"
"Like fish, boss!"
"Look, just go here --"
" -- and find out what the fuck he's doing."
"You got it! We'll be all diplomatic and shit. You can count on us!"
"Hey, let's pray to powers beyond our reckoning!"
"Sounds like a plan!"
This gives everyone a level-1 Ward of Elements, reducing all elemental damage taken. This is probably the best Ward in the game, though at level 1 it doesn't have a huge impact.
"The cafeteria! C'mon, let's get some food!"
"Aww, the tables're empty."
"Hey, someone's looking at us. Hey kid, ever see real adventurers before?"
"Nice, huh? This's the leeegendary sword Demonslayer! Betcha never seen it before!"
"No, he probably hasn't, Kane. Whaddaya do here, kid?"
"Oh yeah? Where to?"
"Cute kid. Good luck out there, bucko!"
"Mannnn, why's there gotta be so many guards here? Can't you guys go guard your supreme leader, like, from a distance or something?"
"Great, more adventurers. Keep your hands off the goods, please."
"Well I was just looking. No need to be rude about it. You in charge here, boss?"
"Haha, I can imagine! Kind of a dried-up prune, isn't he?"
"Aww, poor guy. He does seem obsessed, doesn't he?"
"Geeze, you're careful with the supplies. Tough job here?"
We can also sell our excess stuff to him, but he has nothing for sale.
"Heyyyy, my man!"
"I need to cook up a drink like you wouldn't believe. Got any labs around here?"
"You mix drinks, Byff?"
"Sure! Little mandrake to go with your vodka and it's mmm, amazing. Whatcha got, buddy?"
"So that's a no then."
"Hey, but hit me up with them spells!"
"...so, that's a no then?"
"Hey, why don't you tell us your life story? We seem to ask people about that a lot."
"Cool. And what weird shit do you believe in? 'Cause brother, I've seen some weird churches."
"This sounds totally fascinating. Go on, tell me more."
"Haha, poor guy. You don't have to lead him on like that, One-Eye!"
"Okay okay, serious time then, we gotta earn our next round of drinks. Got any odd jobs?"
"Hey, I got some of those! You can copy 'em if you like."
This is somewhat underwhelming: 40 gold per set of Magical Notes. There's not very many of those in the game either.
"Man, haven't seen this much paperwork since the Clearmill case!"
"Oh? Complicated, wazzit?"
"Nah, it was pretty clear-cut, but they were manufacturing counterfeit Imperial legal forms."
"Hey guys, look what I found!"
"I'm sure this will never be relevant in the future!"
"Hey, did you write this, sir?"
"Well, look on the bright side. He isn't summoning any demons. Best mage we've met so far, honestly."
"Hey guys --"
"Ha ha ha"
There's a level-3 barrier in there, so we can't get in anyway.
"Will you at least let me dig through the King's personal possessions?"
"Eh, sure, why not?"
"Ow! Bad book! You clearly weren't socialized well when you were a young leaflet!"
King Micah keeps an invulnerability potion in the chest by his bed. Ours now!
"I wonder what's in here? C'mon!"
"Well it's about damn time."
"...suddenly I regret my past decisions. A heh. Heh heh hoooo, boy."
"One-Eye! No! He's the king!"
"Also, please don't shout. Ow, my head."
"Heard all about ya! What's it like being king?"
"My word, this is certainly novel."
"Mm, you can say that again. Thanks for supporting Almaria's wine trade, by the way."
"Oh...it was no problem. Believe me. Is he always like this?"
"Nope! Last time was when we met a dragon!"
"I, uh, assume you weren't just referring to wine when it comes to joys though."
"Well, I guess it's not all bad."
"Yes? You...must be Kane, yes? And that's Demonslayer you're carrying?"
"Right you are. Anyway, why are you king?"
"Er I mean, instead of someone else?"
"I think perhaps I shouldn't rely on your group for any diplomatic work."
"Sir? Care to share your thoughts on the state of the union?"
"Er, just tell us how things are going, like, as a nation."
"And how's that working out?"
"Let me be clear about this: leaders of Avernum are sober. Soldiers, assassins, spies, they can be drunk."
"Point taken. This just was a celebration that got a little out of hand, your majesty. I swear we're normally, uh, normal."
"You're a lawyer, a petty thief, a cultist, and a naked mage. Are you really sure about that?"
"Oh man, I bet you have a really good reason to be down here! No stealing chickens or pantsing guards for you! What'd you do, nuke a duke?"
"Thank you, One-Eye."
"Y'know, One-Eye's been champing at the bit for months now to come here. Wanted to do some jobs for you, I think. So what's threatening Avernum? I mean, besides the nephilim we disbanded, or the sliths that we've been pushing back, or that demon that was threatening to destroy everything before we exorcised it..."
"Oh, politics. Never had much of a head for that. Now if you want me to turn forks into pigeons...no, probably best not to do that either."
"I appreciate your restraint. If not your taste in clothes. Byff, was it? Have you considered wearing a shirt?"
"I'd love to. No time to figure the curse out though."
"Hey, what's this about the Abyss? They're a bunch of assholes!"
"Anyway, Byff does have a point. We've been busy down here. What's left to threaten us?"
"See, that's what I've been saying! We gotta kill that slith dude!"
"They're rare, and mostly in the Abyss, but they don't like us much."
"Hey, Kingy! Want some wine? Nabbed it from the kitchens!"
"Er, thank you. One-Eyed Wang, was it?"
"Now where did you hear that name?"
"Look, maybe we'd better just take our orders and get out of here. No offense, your majesty. You said you had a mission for us?"
"Yes! That's what I'm talking about!"
"Eh, as you can see, we'd been planning on doing that anyways, but hey, more motivation can't hurt, right? But uh, why us instead of the army?"
"Ahh, and I bet it helps if they can fly."
"Oh, you found Thralni's Orb? Fascinating. I'll let you hold onto it for the time being."
"So uh, know anything about our target? Special defenses, secret weak points, that kind of thing?"
"That's all I can tell you at this time. You're dismissed."
"Thanks, your majesty. Guess we'd better be going then!"
"Good luck out there. Do the best you can, for us all."
"Are they gone? Good gravy, what have I been reduced to?"