Part 36: Give me back my soul you bastard!
Chapter 26 - Give me back my soul you bastard!
Everything faded to black, and I awoke outside... Candlekeep? But it was twisted, obviously a dream. What was Irenicus doing, I wondered. I heard Imoen's voice.
Imoen? Where are you?
Within... find me within. You cannot fight alone... you cannot. Find me within...
Outside the entrance to the great library, there stood a mighty demon, barring my passage.
Do you give of yourself that you will know yourself? Do you let go of what you are, that you might see from a distance? Choose what you will sacrifice to know yourself, to walk within. Give of your skill, your health, your mind, your wits, or your youth.
I give of my wits and the wisdom I have learned. Which is actually nothing, come to think of it. Haha, I win!
Then you shall come to know yourself through your mistakes, when you undoubtedly falter with foolishness. A fool can learn much that a scholar does not see. You shall know more of yourself through what you have lost. A gesture of your intent within. Pass as you should, and do not fear what comes.
Within, I found Imoen.
Imoen? Are you all right?
Shhhh... before the shadows return to me. I have seen what is to come. One alone cannot fight... Together, we must battle your instinct. Alone you would fall, whether you win or lose, but here, in my sight... we can defeat it... Lead the creature here... lead it to me, and we shall fight it together. Together... he does not expect us together... but he has shown me how... Go, and lead the beast here... it is your only chance... and my last...
Outside again, there stood an immense figure who looked like Sarevok. I knew, however... This was not Sarevok; this was the Bhaal essence. It wanted to devour me, to turn me to its will.
What do you want here?
What do I want? Your life, your soul, your body! I am the instinct that will fuel the father! I am the blood!
Remembering Imoen's words, I led it inside the library, to where she stood.
Following a long and difficult battle...
I sense... your soul... it has taken form to guide from within! You are strange among your kin! But it... it is weak and will not help again! You are empty inside! There is nothing within... but the instinct!
You cannot turn me against myself. I have strengths you cannot see.
I don't know what you faced while mired in the spell, but here in the world of the living my plans have gone just as I wished. I have drained you, drained you of the very thing that made you special. It is the worst of curses, and I should know.
I will not let you harm Imoen further. I fill free us both. Oh, and I suppose those those other people that you seem to have locked up somewhere here.
I have no doubt you would, but you are no longer a living threat. I have taken your very divinity, and drained you of your soul. The curse that was wrought against Bodhi and I has now ceased and yours has begun. You will wither, you will wane, and you will die. Bodhi! Remove this nothing... and Imoen as well. We are restored at their expense and need them no longer. Our revenge to come is now all the sweeter.
As you would have it, my brother.
Of course. See to it quickly as possible. I will tell our friends in the dark of our coming. We will plan our assault from there. I bid you farewell, child of Bhaal. We shall not meet again.
You waste my time. I am not here for your amusement.
Oh, but you are. My amusement is all that is keeping you alive. Irenicus wishes you dead, and he is very rarely denied his wishes. Your abilities have piqued my interest, and since you are to die, I would have you do it in an entertaining fashion. Irenicus can be so dour when he wishes. He is set upon revenge for his banishment, and can think of nothing else. A failing of his mind remaining flesh, I suspect. Undeath has given me focus, and an interest in the abilities of powerful creatures. An interest in you. I will make your death glorious, as well as entertaining.
Do your worst, Bodhi. I do not fear you.
You should. You must run my gauntlet to prolong your life. You must do so knowing you have but the slimmest chance to make a difference. Do you see the passage before you? It is the darkest part of the asylum and its history: a test of clarity for its prisoners, by a director that delighted in dissecting the mind. Now he is under my... influence, and this place is mine to control. It is a masterpiece of madness, one that you will come to know intimately. It has been some time since I have given chase to a worthy foe. Enter the maze of this place and seek an exit. I give you time to run, after which I will come to feed. But you are not running solely for my benefit. I give you a reason as well, to make the hunt more desperate. You may yet foil Irenicus, though the chance is small. His plans will take time, just about as long as my hunt. Run my gauntlet and your life ends... or is freed. The hunt begins.
I'm sorry, Asim, I was just so worried...
We survived, but not unscathed. I must know what he did to me... and you.
I... I don't know, really. Same thing he did to you, I guess... since we're... the same? Asim, he showed me what you are and... what I am. And then he took it away. I don't know who I am now, Asim. You may not feel it yet, but the spell for me made me feel hollow. He took something vital... he says it was my divine soul? I find out I'm a child of a god and now I'm empty and dying. You are too...
Imoen, we'll survive just fine. You'll learn to cope just as I have. It's not so bad.
The things he showed me were so black and ugly... but a part of me loved it. I never let such things bother me until now. Now life is just death to come... I am bleak, I know, but I was all alone here for so long. I have not dealt with this for as long as you. It's like a bad dream.
And yet you seemed so sure of yourself when you helped in my dream.
The dream? Asim, I had no dream during my ritual. Just blackness, and my will draining away. Has this affected you different than me? You have been dealing with the Bhaal essence longer... perhaps you are more focused... Or perhaps it is more focused upon you.
I don't know. Regardless, we have to get back what Irenicus took from us.
I agree. Divine soul or not, there is a deadly threat to our mortal lives. I do not look forward to what is coming. I have been getting weaker, Asim, and it has only been a few days since they performed the ritual on me. If we don't reverse what was done... if we don't restore our souls... we will probably both die.
Then let's get going. Join with me and we will escape this place immediately.
Good. I have missed traveling with you, Asim, even when times were bad.
Oh I will so get you back for this you jerk.
Yeah, I intend to kill her still, I just decided to opt towards doing it in a slightly more story-related manner than just putting the cursor over her and pressing ctrl+y.
And so, we set off!
Surrender... You cannot hope to attain victory. Surrender, and together we will slay him... Yeeeesss...
The feeling passes, but far too slowly for your liking.
My beloved, lean on me. Thy face is pale and thy breath doth come too quickly.
Saerileth, what is this present dread I feel? What is this darkness that has been thrown like a veil over the world? Why the FUCK did I just talk like that?!
Ah, my love. Tyr protect thee! Take my hand, and I will lead thee till the darkness hath passed.
...Yeah. Even THAT gets stuffed full of flowery stupid speech.
In a nearby room with a clay golem, we found only the most awesome item ever.
Somewhere else was a weird Opal Stone. Another room held a chest full of weird items and a note.
From the note, I gathered that the items were supposed to be placed on the statues around the room. Each one had a clue that made it all quite obvious, and when the last one was placed...
When the last one was placed, we found a strange Sapphire Stone and a nice Ioun Stone. There was also somewhere in there a ruby stone similar to the rest.
Trying the stones at an odd magical portal, the ruby (opal? I'm not sure.) stone yielded the following result.
Having defeated the Greater Wolfwere, we moved onto the next stone.
After a (very, very difficult) battle, we defeated the pit fiend that had stepped through.
Yes, I did actually fight it. No, I don't know how the fuck I actually won at these levels. Goddamn Tactics.
The final stone, the sapphire one, summoned a djinn:
Who gave us the Doomplate.
Elsewhere was a room full of stone heads on the wall.
I don't see how this can possibly go wrong!
Your answer is satisfactory. The wit is matched for this round. You are freed. Return and face another if you dare.
Well, I did, and I'm not going to relate the riddles because it's really rather pointless, but after I answered the last one:
I recieved a Ring of Regeneration from it.
Sorry about lateness. The drive dying on me screwed up a lot, and then I've been entertaining company. Also inexplicably sleeping for about 30 of the last 36 hours