Part 51: Minsc says it better than everyone else combined.
Chapter 38 - Minsc says it better than everyone else combined.
Ugh. Dying sucks, let me tell you. Dying because some guy tried to steal your soul when you have too much soul and so just kind of tied you together sucks more. And MORE crazy person monologuing that I hope was internal.
Yes, this IS the real explanation for what happened. The PC just has too much soul for Irenicus. I'm tempted to make a shitty MSPaint of Asim with an afro but I will not do it.
I slowly realize that I am not alone, that others were apparently so wounded in the battle with Irenicus that their souls were dragged to a similar fate as mine. I doubt they will be pleased with their present circumstance, when I don't even know why I am here myself.
I have followed thee, my love, even into hell, and still farther would I go if thou shouldst call.
This... this place is terrible! I... I felt something pulling at me when I died, and I just knew it was you. I... I had to come. You may need my help, here...
Oh, such a glorious death in battle for Minsc and Boo! We were well on our way to the great fields and halls of Rashemen, but we felt you needing us, so we came!
Whoa! This place looks just like... it reminds me of... this is just like that time I... hm. I don't think anything like this has ever happened to me before...
Ahhh, back in the planes, I see. And the hard way, too, it seems. Adventuring with you does seem to have its odd turns, my raven.
I took a good look at the weird giant door behind me.
It seemed pretty obvious I needed to find SOME way to shut the eyes, so I set to looking. Pretty soon...
It JUST occurred to me that I never, EVER, collect the Tears in any other order than I do here. Hhhhuh.
I am not dead! Irenicus is dead and somehow I have followed him here.
And hence the fact that your essence has not disintegrated to rejoin the former Lord of Murder. This is Bhaal's realm, here... and your blood holds sway in this piece of Hell.
Holds sway? What are you speaking of?
You hold power here, or rather, the piece of you that is Bhaal's. And that part of you rests now in both you and the other one, the wizard, yes? He stole much of your divine soul, but not all, so you are tethered together. Neither truly dead, and neither truly alive. Ah, most interesting, indeed.
So how do I end this, fiend? Will you tell me that?
But you already know! You must seek your soul by gathering the Tears of Bhaal... only then shall the way be open to you.
The Tears of Bhaal?
Death causes many tears to fall, Child, and Bhaal collected many while he lived. The Tears will open the eyes... and show you the path to your soul. It is a good thing you have come to me, Child of Bhaal. Only you hold the power to vanquish the terrible creature that holds one of your dead father's Tears here. I have heard of your prowess, Child... most impressive, for a mortal life. Creatures of great power thrown aside as if they were nothing! Beings any other mortal would quake before you have fought against valiantly! You are a wonder of destruction, Child of Bhaal! Go, then, and defeat the creature that lies in the cavern! Crush it beneath your heel and claim another victory!
What manner of creature do you speak of?
It is a powerful creature, Child of Bhaal. One that only you can destroy! I am confident in your ability to deal death to such a creature as this and take the Tear that is yours!
It's powerful... but what manner of creature *is* it?
It is a creature that deserves death, Child of Bhaal. You are such a wondrous fighter, I simply thought that you could defeat it where others failed.
Why does it deserve death?
Because... because it exists. It stands in your way.
Are you saying that it will not give me the Tear?
Well... no. It *might* give it to you if you ask it nicely enough, I suppose. I see that despite your great deeds you have no pride in you, Child of Bhaal. So be it. Humility serves well those who wield it well.
It was a dragon, incidentally. It gave us the first of the Tears of Bhaal and left in a GREAT GOUT OF FLAME.
Nice leaving animation there, guys. At least it makes sense here, unlike the other places they use it on big things.
Down another staircase, talk to another demon, face another trial. This one pathetically easy.
You have encountered many times in your existence where you have been forced to swallow your fear, no? You have fought off terror that would overwhelm a lesser being and shown courage, instead. Pass through either of these rooms and your vaunted courage shall be challenged, Child of Bhaal. I have something I will offer, however, which will make it so much easier for you, Child. You know, like so many with power, that items of magic can do much that the ordinary man cannot... ... such as this cloak, for instance. Stitched together from the flayed skins of lovely nymphs. Wear it and be soothed by its powerful magic... panic will never overcome you again. With this cloak you could easily gather the Tear of Bhaal and worry not of your courage. I bow to the power of your divine soul, Child, and offer this cloak up to you... if you wish it.
I do not need a cloak to give me courage, fiend. Take it and begone.
Then you choose to rely on your own power and bravery. It shall be as you wish, Child of Bhaal.
Yeah, that cloak was completely useless. Why? Beholders. Shield of Balduran. You do the damn math.
Made it to the crystal growth at the other end of the cavern and took another Tear.
Another path, another demon tempting me with weird crap.
Know you, Child, that there is a Tear of Bhaal in this place before us... yet there are two paths that lead to it. Two doors, two paths, yet both lead to your goal, yes? You have made many choices on the journey that was your life. Many paths have you taken, and always they have had an effect on those around you... even when that was not your intention. Such is the fate of those born with Destiny... the consequences of the actions they take ripple about them throughout all that is reality. Perhaps the fate of others concerns you little. Perhaps it consumes your soul. That, too, is a choice... an action taken... a ripple set into the pond of reality.
What does all this have to do with the Tear, then?
The path that you take to the Tear will affect another this day. Another who is innocent of the action you take, and yet affected by it just the same. One of those who travels with you, who orbits your destiny and yet is innocent of your taint... will do nicely. Remember, Child of Bhaal... a choice must be made, and you must live with the consequences of that choice. Go to my left and sacrifice for the innocent. Go to my right and save yourself.
Bastard took Minsc, so I sacrificed of myself because Minsc is awesome.
It costs 2 max HP, 1 point of Dexterity, and some amount of experience it didn't tell me and I didn't take note of the before/after totals so I don't know how much. Also, if you are soloing (you crazy person, you!) he pulls in some random NPC.
What IS it with demons and tempting?
But all thingss, even the most powerful, can be overcome, yess? You have defeated many whossse claims of power were ssso hollow. You tore them down from their thronesss...
What does that have to do with the Tear?
Ahhh, alwaysss you have used the right toolsss to defeat your foesss, yesss? And I am giving you, now, the right tool to defeat thisss one. Here it iss... gaze upon the sssword that iss named 'Blackrazor'. Mosst powerful, it iss. And it iss the tool you need to defeat the one who holdss the Tear. It isss for you to decide, Child of Bhaal, how to usssse the tool you have. I leave you to your choice, then, young Lord of thisss place...
Oh hey genie, sup man?
Eternal torment? What do you mean by that?
(sigh) It is a punishment. I have been brought to this plane to hold the Tear of Bhaal, and I shall remain for eternity until certain... conditions... are met.
And what conditions might those be?
I... cannot tell you directly, my Lord. It is a condition of my punishment that I can only tell you of its nature in a riddle. Listen carefully: "Ye who hold the razor's blade / Forged of darkest iron / Quenched by blood and fear, / Know that ye hold the key / To the one who guards / Bhaal's sacred murdered tear."
So... let me get this straight. The sword Blackrazor is the key to getting the Tear of Bhaal from you?
I cannot answer that, my Lord.
So if I were to give you Blackrazor, would you give me the Tear? And that would release you from your punishment?
It would, my Lord.
Take the sword, then. I have no need of it.
I am most grateful to you, then, for my release. May the Heavens sing your praises for this charity you have shown me, my Lord.
Ehh, I didn't want it, really. It's KIND of nice, but then again.
One last tear for one final trial. I was expecting a demon, not... Not this.
It is I. Or an echo, perhaps. My essence joined that of our dead father after you murdered me, after all... but in the end, all the Children of Bhaal end up here. I have one of the Tears of Bhaal you will need. I will not hand it over to you, however. You do not deserve it.
Don't make me laugh! I will take it from your corpse, if need be!
Ahhhh, yes. Stoke that infernal wrath of yours. I can feel the anger within you, boiling like a pit of sulphur in the crevices of your heart. You feel it, do you not? The taint that surrounds your soul like a serpent, squeezing it, spreading its venom. That taint, that wrath, exists in all the Children of Bhaal... but few know how to use it. You have become the Slayer, have you not? The avatar of our dead father. The blackest expression of murder... I see it behind your eyes. Summon your wrath for me... if you can.
Why?! What do you get out of this?!
You are the one who brought me here. Your power over this place has summoned forth my essence once again. And why do you think you have done that? I can teach you how to use your wrath. You can control the taint, direct it, summon it at will! You can become the Slayer at will and become the weapon of murder that you were meant to be! So think of me! Think of how I destroyed your precious Gorion! How I plundered the lives of your Candlekeep! Summon your rage, stir the depths of your black heart! Summon wrath! Summon wrath and *become* it! Because if you cannot, then you are not worth your destiny! It should have been I! It should have been I! ATTACK ME, WORM, IF YOU DARE!!
I don't feel the wrath you claim, Sarevok. I pity you and what you have become, but that is all.
THEN YOU WERE NEVER WORTHY OF BHAAL'S BLOOD AND I SHALL CRUSH YOU WHERE YOU STAND!!
Now in possession of the five required Tears of Bhaal, we returned to the door.
I will enjoy destroying you, Asim. To die in this place is to cease to exist!
I am ready to face you. I have seen the depths of my soul and I am not afraid.
Yes, perhaps you are focused within yourself, despite the loss of your soul. But I know as much of myself as well, and I, too, have no fear! As horrific as this place is, it merely mirrors the soul we now share. Shrink from it if you will, but I have grown to appreciate what it can offer! Now defend yourself! One of us is not truly dead, and may be restored if the other is left here to rot! I will be free with what I have taken!
Do what you must, and I will do the same.
You will not be so calm when I doom you to non-existence!
Irenicus! For my love's sake I strike at thee! For Tyr's justice I stab at thee from the heart of hell! Now shalt thou fall and trouble my beloved no more!
I came to Hell to help my friend! Who helps you, Irenicus? Demons? You are going to die alone in Hell and you know it!
Ahhh, this is a fine battle that shall ring throughout the planes! Live or die, this has been a wondrous adventure! Now we face off with Oblivion!
Hmph. Some villains just refuse to die. Kill them once, kill them twice... it's like some bad play. Well, here's hoping for a decent ending...
I grow tired of shouting battle cries when fighting this mage. Boo will finish his eyeballs once and for all, so he does not rise again! Evil, meet my sword! SWORD, MEET EVIL!!
AUGH FUCK YOU
Witness the true breadth of my power, Asim. Did you think I sat alone behind these doors, unmoving and unthinking while you struggled through your pathetic self-created tests for the Tears of Bhaal? Don't be naive. While you were jumping through those little hoops in your mind, I was using your soul ... soon to be MY soul ... to find some Tears of my own. It is time I lived up to my chosen name: The Shattered One. I have rent my own spirit asunder to take better advantage of the power in this place. This section of the Nine Hells is devoted to the Vices of Fear, Greed, Wrath, Pride and Selfishness. Rather than trying to incorporate them all (or their opposites) into one being, as you have done ...
Abyss. Bhaal's plane was in the Abyss, not the Nine Hells.
It DOES NOT MATTER.
*AHEM* I have split myself into fragments, each one the very essence of evil, the very essence of malice, the very essence of vice. Their forms should be familiar to you from the tests you just underwent. Their powers are the antitheses of the rewards you should have formed for yourself.
With bodies and minds better suited to this environment I am free from the petty limitations that bind you. I can channel magical energy with but a thought: no delays or limits. Wrath can only be bested by brawn, Greed can only be bested by brain. You get the idea ... or perhaps you don't. Really, Asim, you disappoint me. You squandered your chance here in Hell. Stronger muscles? A slightly faster brain? Worthless in the end. I have seized the true power of the tests while you wasted your time on petty moralizing. And now it is time to die. Oh, don't be surprised if you find some of your equipment missing. While you were asleep I took the liberty of appropriating some of your choicer belongings. For some reason I was unable to kill you while you were unconscious ... and believe me, I tried. You'll have to kill us if you want it back. Of course, you were going to try that anyway. But if this is the way it must be, then I am ready. Face me, Asim. Fight for your soul!
The Orb of Fear steals either the Cloak of Mirroring or Shield of Balduran. The Dragon of Pride steals the Amulet of Power. The Wraith of Wrath steals Crom Faeyr. The Sword of Greed steals, uhhh, according to Infinity Explorer something called "solak1" which doesn't seem to exist. It also doesn't give anything back when it dies, unlike the rest. And no screenshots of things dying except the dragon because everything else mobs you all at once and I was too busy, uhh, not dying, to take screenshots. vv
Anyway, it basically worked out with things being pummelled after Time Stop went all area effect.
Pretty boring, eventually came down to beating up on Irenicus.
Down he went and... OH FUCK YOU WHAT THE FUCK
Jon-bon, why won't you just die!?
As you can see, I shattered myself into a few more fragments than the five I told you about earlier. It seems that the coordinated assault on you didn't work. Pity. So this time I think we'll just fight tooth and nail. It is down to you and it is down to me. Your lackies cannot help you: this fight is between the two of us and the stakes are your soul. Before we begin, however, I find it a bit unfair that I stand before you naked as the day Bhaal was born... and you are carrying enough magical equipment to make Elminster jealous. Let's see what we can do about that. And now, Asim, it's time to dance. I hope you die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces!
Bastard strips you naked and puts you way far away and immobilizes your party. Now, as we all know, "You cannot change armor while in combat." Yeah. I had to do this shit with solo Asim and no Robe of Vecna. Ugh.
And when THAT finally went down - OH JESUS FUCK JUST FUCKING DIE AND STAY THAT WAY HOLY SHIT
What was your first clue?
At any rate, it is time for me to put my last shard forward. No more tricks, Asim, this is truly my final incarnation in Hell. I lack even the power over your soul to keep your companions out of the fight. One way or another, this will be our last little chat. Goodbye, Asim.
DO NOT FUCK WITH ME, LITTLE MAN!
Well, at least the only annoying thing about this part is him spamming Dimension Door. I happened to be lucky enough to get Haer'Dalis to get a Timestop off right after Asim hit Irenicus with Spellstrike, so he went down pretty nicely.
After that, things faded to black and I awoke.
We resurrected who we could, but it seemed nothing would draw your spirit back. We were about to give up when you began to stir this morning.
H-how... how long was I...?
Dead? A couple of days, no more. However you managed to find your way back, it is good that you have done so. You have done a great service for Suldanessellar. You saved the Tree of Life and myself, ending Irenicus' threat. To lose you would have been tragic. I have planned a ceremony to reward you and to show our gratitude for your actions. You are a hero to the elves... perhaps even a legend in the making. But enough of that, for the moment. You will need to rest and regain your strength. I will send a priestess to awaken you when it is time.
Such selfless acts almost resulted in the loss of your life, and perhaps much more than that. These deeds were not performed alone... Suldanessellar also extends its gratitude to those who have traveled with you and fought by your side to help save our city. There is no reward adequate enough for one who has done so much. Let us offer, then, the eternal thanks of our people... and an Amulet of the Seldarine to remind you forever that you are welcome here amongst us. As for the man whom we once knew as Joneleth, I can only say... that he died, long ago. He lives in my memory still. To the man he became... the Exile, Irenicus... he who performed atrocities on you, the Tree and his former people... to him I can only send my prayer that he finds the peace in death he never found in life. I feel I must... apologize... on his behalf. For what he put you and your friends through. For his madness, we stripped Joneleth of his elven immortality and exiled him... only to create Irenicus, instead. I cannot help but feel we are partly responsible. It is something I shall have to ponder on.
THE END and some ominous plotting figures
Oh, yeah, and at some point in here Saerileth is all MARRIAGE TIME and then when you pop up in the beginning of Throne of Bhaal you have this. (I didn't bother transcribing it because it didn't show up in Ellesime's dialogue file for this so it would have been extra work that wasn't really worth it.)
Not shown - the fact that it needs 20 or more Charisma to equip and the fact that her Charisma is boosted to that to make it so she can use it. Because it was apparently easier to do that than just make it "only usable by Saerileth". The hell?
Also, that is officially the end of Shadows of Amn! I start Throne of Bhaal once I have a new page to do so.