Part 4: The Boney Monster
Chapter 4 - The Boney Monster
Music: "Something is Amiss"
Click here to download (thanks to Grawl)
"Previously on Beyond Divinity" posted:
Congratulations, human. But that armor won't do you much good if we stick around here. Any ideas where we go now?
Just one, unfortunately.
A short time later, Mort groaned as he regained consciousness.
Clumsy human! You hit your head! How could you miss a haystack that big?
Your concern is touching. I'm fine, by the way.
Stop whining, human! You'd better be fine - for both our sakes. We're still at the bottom of Samuel's dungeon, and I don't have time to play nursemaid.
Mort looked around the room. Aside from the haystack, there was a pile of skulls stacked in a corner, a broken table, and three chests, which yielded a bit of gold.
Why are you weighing yourself down with that stuff? Do you really think we'll find a merchant down here?
If we do find one, but don't have any gold to pay him with, then you'll certainly look like a right arse, won't you?
Some skeletons were waiting in the hall for them. They were dispatched of, but with difficulty.
That was the last of the healing potions.
We shouldn't wait around. We need to search these rooms.
The clattering of skeletal feet on stone could be heard in the distance.
That may not be a good idea, human.
You're still wounded. I'll take point.
Mort led D.K. west into a room which seemed free of the clattering of skeletal bones.
Who are you? What you want 'uman? G…go away!
… No, wait! Can you… can you help? My brother needs medicine or the Black Imp is going to take him!
There was an imp on a table, it looked really ill. Mort went over and examined the wound.
What happened to him?
We clean monster cages, when nasty little teeth sneaked up from behind! The teeth, they took my brother's leg for lunch and now he's gonna surely die!
That's barely a scratch!
Aaaahhhh…make the pain stop uuuuhhhhh…
He fading fast! Can't you help us? Please?
Yes, I'll help.
You can? Hurray!
The wounds were mere punctures, yet Odox had turned an unhealthy shade and was shivering uncontrollably, despite the sweltering heat of the Citadel.
I think it's venom… hold on, that book I found… it was on poisons.
Mort took the book out and flipped through it. There were many illustrations of various creatures. He handed the book to Horex. Can you find a picture of the creature that bit your brother?
Here! This one! I need tooth of boney monster to stop the bleeding! I can't leave Odox otherwise the Black Imp might sneak him away!
We don't have much time. The guards may already know that we're missing!
Please find tooth… I can give you great secret, oh yes!
See, DK? I figured as much. It might be a way out.
What is your name?
I… I'm Horex.
What do you do around here?
I clean monster cages for the m…medicine man.
Who is the Medicine man?
Don't tell him we are here!
Do you know a way out of here?
No escape from here 'cept chained to the back of the Black Imp's eight-legged steed!
What do you know about this place?
Don't know… no one here…
Oh yes… he will be a REAL help.
Maybe. You never know.
Horex, we need supplies if we are to help your brother. Shall we trade?
Always fun exchanging stuff!
Told you so…
Wipe that smirk off your face, human!
Mort bought the only two healing potions Horex had, but he sold some of the extra weapons they had acquired. Meanwhile, the Death Knight busied himself wandering the room and going through Horex's things. The imp noticed this, but one glare form the Death Knight was enough to stifle Horex's protests before they started.
There was a note on a table in the same strange runic alphabet as the prison cell above.
"Raanaarese Writings" posted:
"Raan be with you Marossar,
I know you have enough on your plate at the moment, but you really should talk again with these humans. They must give us more Raanaar food, especially Zhatotri Wine. None of my customers buy much of this 'Dwarven Ale.' And I have to admit it tastes like horse piss. The elven wine last centec was a little better, but far too sour for my taste and it also gives me heart burn.
Signed Beronar, merchant of the Ninth house"
Mord and D.K. headed back out to explore the underbelly of the Citadel.In a room north of where they came in was a locked chest and a bed.
Something is strange here.
It's a bed. You've seen them before, I'm sure.
Not the bed - the pillow. What is that doing in a filthy room like this?
Mort tossed the pillow aside. There was a sapphire key underneath it. It opened up the chest, which contained a bedroll.
That'll be more comfortable than the ground. Too bad there's just the one.
Are all humans as slothful and stupid as you are? We aren't going to have time for you to get your beauty sleep, human. We'll have to sleep in shifts, unless you want to wake up with a blade in your back.
"About the Game" posted:
Bedrolls are somewhat helpful, but I don't use them too much. If a character is low on both health and mana, it's easy to eat some food and get a full restore for both, so the portable bed is really nice, but non-critical. You can't use it with enemies around, obviously.
We're still in the tutorial-ish section of the game, there's more new stuff to find.
Even with the bedroll, right now I am in a fairly precarious position, because I don't have many health potions, which is the only mid-combat restoration I have, and I need mid-combat healing. If I can just make it past the next few skeletons, I should be good.
Mort and D.K. continued through the halls. D.K. had something on his mind, though.
The question that keeps gnawing at my brain is, how the Raanaar who live down here will greet us?
Who are the Raanaar?
The creatures who once lived in this dimension were called the Raanaar. Samuel captured many of these people, and he usually threw them into this hole.
So he killed them?
Samuel is not the type to kill anything quickly, he takes pleasure in the slow suffering of others. Maybe he kept them alive… down here…
Why would he do that?
Because it would be the perfect place to delight in their cries of pain. … But the question remains: what will they think of us?
A skeleton wandered out of a doorway, and Mort reacted.
Mort fired an arrow which made a loud crack as it exploded.
Whoops, wrong arrow.
Despite having no ears or eardrums, the skeletons were not deaf. A large number poured from a several directions.
How many healing potions do we have left again?
Not enough! RUN!
Mort and D.K. ran past a startled Horex. The skeletons seemed to recognize Horex as native to the dungeon, and didn't engage him.
There's nowhere to run to!
Then hide, human. Do I have to do all your thinking for you?
"About the Game" posted:
Sneaking was in Divine Divinity as well, and this is an area where Beyond Divinity notably improved on the previous game.
Before, only Survivors could sneak, but not in the presence of light (like daylight), and it was hard to figure out how close an enemy had to be to see you. In Beyond Divinity, both characters can sneak by default.
This is what it looks like when you're sneaking, with no points into the Sneak skill. The enemy sight radius is helpfully shown in red. This is too large of a sight radius to actually be helpful, though. Let's put a single point into Sneak.
That's a really dramatic difference, the enemy sight radius has been cut in half.
With a second point into Sneak, the difference is less dramatic, but I might end up putting a third point in anyway.
Enemies can't see you if you're outside their sight radius, but they will move around randomly and head in your direction if you shoot at them with arrows, and the sound of fighting will draw in other enemies even if they're outside sight radius of you.
You can sneak outside now, but the lighting remains the same - you don't have the helpful sight radius that you get indoors.
Sneaking is mandatory at pretty much all times in Hardcore mode, because the enemy numbers are doubled. I should note that sneaking is NOT needed for pick-pocketing.
Mort and D.K. hid in a corner, breathing heavily.
Looks like it can't see us. Perfect. I'll take them out before they realize where I'm shooting from.
The nearby skeletons fell, the area was clear for the moment. Cautiously, Mort and D.K crept along.
Video: Abandoned Area
Mort entered a room, which appeared to be an abandoned alchemist's study. Mort quickly grabbed the book.
A healing spell! This should be very helpful.
"About the game" posted:
Actually (as I said before), when you learn new skills from books or a teacher, you don't get skill points in the skill, you only gain the ability to put skill points you already have in a skill. New skills are learned by both party members.
Healing is a must-have skill for both characters. It is - like all magic - expensive. Rank 1 costs 58 mana per cast, but it heals up to 200 hit points, so that one point will last a very long time. Healing also works well under fire. The downside is that early on, you will have so little magic that you can only cast it once before you'll need to take a mana potion or wait. The upside is that mana potions can now be used like health potions.
The status-effect removal skills aren't worth bothering with, because the status effects are rare. In addition, they will wear off quickly after the fighting stops, or be re-inflicted if the fighting is still going on.
Mort and D.K. headed up the north hall, which had two doors.
One cell contained only ankle-biting rats and another indecipherable message.
"Raanaar writings" posted:
"We will all go down into the dungeons. Surely it is better to seek our fate there than to cower and wait for our cruel tormentors. When I came to the Academy to become an Elder, I never thought I would end like this… torn apart by some evil monster. But maybe we can do it… maybe find the key to escape from this cell. I would rather die in a fight against Samuel's army, than starve to death in this hole."
The cell across the way had nothing in it but a foul odor.
Ugghhhh! There's a smell like a demon's armpit here… let us get out at once!
On the east side, they still hadn't explored the room where most of the skeletons had been. It still wasn't empty yet, more skeletons came out and began pounding on D.K..
But the healing magic so recently learned came in handy, healing wounds faster than the skeletons could make them.
The room beyond was free of skeletons, but a large statue drew the Death Knight's immediate attention.
Hmmm… that's strange.
I'm just contemplating.
What are you contemplating?
Why didn't the Raanaar remove this statue?
Why is that of interest?
It's a statue of the Damned One, and believe me, he's no friend of the Raanaar.[/b]
Committing genocide on a species does tend to upset them a bit.
So why does this statue still stand?
Mort found an old, worn book on a small table. It was full of Raanaar writing, which he still couldn't understand, and most of the pages were missing. But…
Hmm… this is almost comprehensible. Well, not exactly, but I think that if I find the rest of the pages, I might be able to understand their language.
"About the Game" posted:
You need to find three books. Each one decodes a few more Raanaarese lettering. This book is the first, there are two more, at the end of the second and third acts. Those ones can be missed, and if you do miss any of the books, it might possibly make the fourth act be a real pain.
It's annoying that you have to wait until the end of the third act to get all the translations, although the Raanaarese runes are close enough to English lettering that you can read them without translations.
I'll be translating all the Raanaar writing as we find it, because it's not really spoilerish, and it will be irrelevant if I wait.
Mort looked up to see the Death Knight still staring at the statue.
I thought you said we should keep moving. What are you…? … You think there might be a hidden passage beneath the statue?
It's possible, but I can't find any levers or buttons on the statue. This might be our way out of here!
Mort looked around and his eyes fell on a group of dusty packages piled against the wall.
The statue slid to one side, revealing a hole hidden underneath.
Well, it looks like you may not be as worthless as I thought.
I an overwhelmed by the depth of your confidence in me.
This looks like a magic book that will strengthen a person's vitality. This is the kind that can only be used once, so you should read it.
Your generosity surprises me, human.
"About the Game" posted:
This book gives a permanent +60 health to one party member. As you voted, it is going to D.K. so he can be a better meat shield, taking his HP up to 165.
There was no sign of any escape tunnel to be found, sadly, so Mort and D.K. returned to follow the only other hall remaining.
Once the skeletons were dead, Mort noticed something.
There's a trail of blood on the floor there. It goes into that small room.
There's blood on most of the floor here. I'm just glad it isn't mine!
It looks much fresher than the rest. It might be Odox's blood, which means the monster that bit him is that way.
Do you really want to waste time helping that worthless imp?
Is there an exit that way?
I don't know!
Then that's as good a direction as any to look for one.
There was a second door in the small room. It was sealed. Neither door had a knob or keyhole.
Look on the ceiling! There are wires leading to the doors. Pull that lever out there. I think I know what to do.
D.K. pulled the lever in the hallway. One door closed, another opened. Mort walked through the other door. There was another lever there. He pulled it. D.K. entered the small room and Mort pulled the lever a second time.
That must have been quite a hassle for Horex to get Odox through that way. I wonder how he managed.
Mort and D.K. snuck into the room ahead, which had a bunch of skeletons in it.
An explosive arrow or two helped. This room had two doors from it. Mort opened the northern one. It led to a filthy, rat-infested kitchen… or to be exact, a filthy kitchen infested with ANGRY rats.
Did I tell you that I hate rats?
Yes, it's come up before…
Everywhere you humans go, the rats follow… feeding off your garbage. The filthy creatures should be wiped out. … And something should be done about the rats too! Ha ha ha ha!
Oh yes, very clever. Ha. Ha.
There was little of interest in the kitchen, leaving the other door.
But it had no handle on it.
There, wires leading to the torch.
D.K. pulled the torch, and the door slid open and licked in place with a click.
Oh… um… that looks nasty. You go kill it.
Me? Why not you?
You're a big tough Death Knight, you got that fancy spell from the magic book… I'm just a scrawny weak human, remember?
"About the Game" posted:
I had the presence of mind to save before fighting the Boney Monster, and a good thing too, since I died on my first two attempts. Then I realized I was sitting on a pile of unspent attribute points. I boosted the Death Knight's strength and Agility to 10 each, and Mort's Strength was boosted to 5 and his agility to 10. This was to increase my accuracy and chance to hit.
Mini-boss: Boney Monster
D.K. started slashing away at the spider while Mort sent arrows sailing through the air to pierce its leathery hide.
After a bit of running away, eventually the huge spider fell. Mort took one of its fangs back to Horex.
Video: Saving Odox
Here is the tooth.
Is it right tooth?
Yes, it is.
Oh, thank you! Hold on Odox, you soon feel better.
Horex had already prepared the rest of what the anti-venom required, and he eagerly snatched the fang and extracted some venom from it.
"About the Game" posted:
The game's quality control was a bit lacking in places. You get the option to say "Here is the tooth" before you even get the tooth. It doesn't solve the quest though.
There also isn't any wrong tooth you can find, so I don't know why there's a second check ("Is it right tooth?/Yes it is"). Perhaps there was some cut content where you had multiple possible wrong teeth.
Odox can teach us Rank 3 in the Summoning Dolls upgrades now that he's cured. Not worth it, they'll need a lot more than 3 points worth to be useful.
Odox is also the ONLY NPC in the entire game (until late Act 4) who can teach us Feign Death. That's not really very useful either.
Horex treated Odox's wound, and he started looking better almost immediately. The greenish pallour faded from his face.
Come, I show you secret. You see secret hatch? Nice treasure there… good secret, right?
Horex unlocked a hatch in a corner of the room.
Inside were a small doll and a sack containing 100 gold coins.
That's not a toy, it's a summoning doll!
Mort squeezed it and a skeleton materialized.
"About the Game" posted:
Summoning dolls are a new mechanic for this game. There is one in each act of the game.
They're sort-of like expendable party members, except worse. At their default level they are too weak to be more than a momentary distraction in combat, and they die within seconds of an enemy attacking them. They are heavily restricted in what equipment they can use - most can't use any, in fact, and the ones which can use equipment usually can't because their attributes are too low.
Oh, and they can't stray very far from the location they're first summoned or else they disappear. You can re-summon as soon as you like, but there's a heavy penalty if you summon them too soon after they're dismissed.
You CAN give them skill points and levels, and extend the radius in which they can operate, but to do that you need to spend your OWN skill points, and you don't get that many for yourself, much less summons. I can only think of one circumstance where this would be a good investment.
The skeleton starts off with 4 free skill points of its own, which is excellent. As soon as I am able, I will purchase 4 ranks in "Alchemy - Extract", and transform the skeleton into the designated potion-maker, instead of using the precious skill points of a main character. (Alchemy only has 4 ranks total.)
However, there is an even better use for summons. In this game you can fill your inventory well past the point where you can even move. If you get overburdened, you can fill a summons' inventory with all your stuff so you can keep going in the dungeon. It doesn't matter that it can't move, all inventory is shared, so I just have to have it summoned when I go talk to a merchant (although the dolls themselves can't interact with NPC's.)
This is especially handy for clearing Battlefield dungeons, which are full of enemies and chests.
Odox had returned to his healthy shade of red, and he was even walking around now.
How are you feeling, Odox?
Ooh… it's a little better now.
We have to get going now. Good luck to you.
Video: Abandoned Library
Mort and D.K. returned to the remaining passage and battled past more skeletons.
The other door was locked, so they headed into the next room which seemed to be a small library.
They found two doors and a desk with more Raanarrese papers scattered around.
"Raanaarese writing" posted:
Four notes, translations follow:
#1 - "I've given up on the hope that our people will come and free us. Most of them have left by now. All we can do is sit here and wait for the demons to come and rip us to pieces, or go downwards. Curse Samuel and his sadism!
His motives are so obvious. Even if he did really leave the rune key to the upper level down there, he'll make sure that we never find it. So we will die for his amusement, but we will die with honour, with the smell of enemy blood in our nostrils!"
#2 - "Marossar,
That's it! I'm finally joining you in your stupid plan to go downwards. The skeleton in my waste disposal was the last straw! First this dwarven food, then the rats, and now this… this thing!
The demons in the upper levels are saturating this place with their evil magic. If we don't leave soon, I'm going to quit, and who'll make your damn dinner then!
#3 - "Raan be with you Marossasr,
If you ask me, our people are as ready as possible. Because we don't have enough weapons for everyone, we've been training more in unarmed combat recently. Our young warriors are not beginning to refuse to use any weapon at all. They claim that they don't want to honour our enemies by fighting them armed…
Signed Xegodar, Hero of the Battle of Harun"
#4 - "Raan be with you Marossar,
If you want to carry out your plan to lead us all downwards, this would be the ideal time, as I have no wounded Raanaar who need treatment. May Raan guide you with all your decisions.
Please, tell me in advance when we can go, so I can remove all secret relics from our sanctuary…
Signed Rashasam, Priestess of Raan"
I think that beyond that door there are some stairs back up.
Mort tried the door.
This is worse than I thought. Now we have only one option left to us.
Pull the lever, and go through the other door.
Mort pulled the lever and the other door opened. There were stairs in that room, but they were going down - the opposite of what they wanted.
What's down there?
It's Samuel's maze. No one has ever made it through there alive.
The flag without a tag is where the Bedroll can be found.
Royal Blue has won the outfit vote. I will wear it until the end of the maze, unless I find something with magical modifiers sooner.
Detail on the Battlefields has been requested, so that's what the next update will be about. I've got close to 30 minutes of footage to sort through to find entertaining sections, though. It might take a while to get that right.
There's going to be a maze section coming up. It is actually more interesting than it sounds, there are a LOT of setpieces and traps to keep things varied, and later there will be a puzzle for you to solve. I will NOT be including much video of the maze section, there are many dull corridors that only take you from place to place.
But still, the Maze is going to be the low point of the act. The game will get better after, and continue getting better, but the maze is going to be a bit of a drag, there's no denying it. After the maze is a refreshing, relaxing break from combat.
READER PARTICIPATION REQUESTED
1) Should I show off all the Maze's setpieces in the update, or only the ones directly on the way to the exit? I can do a special bonus update on the additional set pieces. Either way, the maze is almost certainly long enough that I'll have to split it into two updates.