Part 13: Citadel Island
Chapter 11 - Citadel Island
Music: "Beyond Divinity"
(Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
Mort, with great relief took off the Citadel guard armor, replacing it with the suit D.K. found in Samuel's lair. He looked out at the surface of Nemesis for the first time. It was a dreary volcanic wasteland. The ground was thick with hard-packed ash. Even as he watched, another distant volcano let loose a fiery belch.
Video: Free at last?
Thank Chaos, we made it! It was touch and go there, human. Escaping from Samuel's Citadel is no easy task! … But before you relax too much, Servant of the Light, remember, we still have to find a way to escape from this world…
What about Samuel?
We haven't seen the last of him, I'll warrant. Demons are relentless bastards…
How do we break the soulforging curse?
I know it's inconvenient for both of us, but we only can get separated if we find a way back to Rivellon and locate my former Mistress…
Alright, that's more of a long-term plan. What shall we do now?
Our primary goal should be to put as much distance between us and here as we can. The next step will be to find a way across the rivers of lava surrounding this island.
Excuse me? This ISLAND? The Citadel is on an island? An island surrounded by LAVA?
Why didn't you tell me this before?
I didn't really think we'd make it out of the Citadel, human.
But… *sigh* South. Let's go south.
"About the game" posted:
Starting now, there are regular neutral creatures - Stone Biters, which look like turtle things with armadillo snouts, and Tibars, which you can see in the shot below.
Attacking them results in the entire species going hostile on us for the entire act and that is REALLY ANNOYING, because there are a lot of them, and it's really tedious trying to deal with them. The experience is not worth it at all. So be extra careful to watch where you click when you're in combat mode, or else you'll need to restore the game. Enemies in this game are fast enough that you're better off pausing and then clicking.
Mort and D.K. made their way south, but were stopped by a lava river. They heard running footsteps.
I thought I was done with you jerks!
A second guard joined in, but Mort and D.K. put them both down. Suddenly, D.K. was hit by a burst of magic.
What the? I can't move!
There's a mage over there!
Mort opened up on the mage before it could follow up. He dropped a huge Shadow Hammer as he fell.
"About the Game" posted:
That damn mage is REALLY fucking lethal. He first hit D.K. with a Paralyze spell, then followed up with the first we see of Shaman Magic, in this case, "Wind of Furies", an AoE air attack. On the first attempt it hit D.K. with 78 damage twice in a second, killing D.K. pretty much instantly.
That Shadow Hammer is going on D.K. as soon as possible. But I can't identify it until I find the Battlefield Key.
There was another person in the small camp. Mort aimed his bow. The man raised his hands.
Woah, woah! Relax!
Mort lowered his bow.
Sorry. But who are you?
Hello there! Glad to see you. I don't usually meet many travelers in these areas, you know. Not that I *need* other people here, I'm a real lone survivor… but it's refreshing to have something other than dead tibar corpses to talk to… because they *hardly* ever speak back! So, what's it that brought you here, huh?
We escaped from Samuel's dungeon!
You escaped from that dungeon? Good on you friend! I heard some terrible noises coming out of there at night and never dared… well, uhm, that is to say I have a wife and children at home, you know? … Of course if I was on my own I would have been down there like a shot!
Relax. After what it took to get out, no one at all would look down on you for not rushing in. What are you called?
I'm called Muro…
What do you do?
I'm a tibar hunter, actually. I sell their shells to the warlocks and witches in the far away ash forests. They need them as components for their spells, you see. I've never been any good at spellcasting myself, and since the Black Ring are always in need of tibar shells for their most complicated spells, I've managed to set up quite a lucrative little business.
Do you know any way off this island?
Um… well, I usually get a ride with the Black Ring, actually. I suppose that wouldn't work for you.
Not really, no. You use traps to catch the tibar, right? Can you show me a few tricks?
"About the Game" posted:
If you can make it past the asshole air mage, you can get traps right away. I picked up all of these skills, they might come in handy. I probably won't be using all the skills. I will definitely use Explosive traps, so for now that's the only one I put a skill point into.
I hope they won't catch up, but if they ever get close, Samuel's men will have more difficulty following us if I set traps for them.
A cunning plan, human.
Mort and D.K. struck off in another direction on the island, but their noses soon suggested that it might not be the best direction.
Urgh! What a smell! I'm not sure I want to know what could cause such a rancid stench.
It smells worse than you!
Worse than me? Death Knights do not smell! It must be that rotting odor coming from your boots that's confusing you!
Look out, guards!
Mort quickly threw down a trap.
The explosion caught the guards by surprise, and they were quickly taken down.
"About the Game" posted:
Actually, don't take these guards lightly, I got killed here several times by underestimating how fast they could hurt me and overestimating how long I could wait before using my healing spell.
The source of the stench was obvious, scattered about haphazardly were dozens of dead bodies and body parts from Raanaar and imps.
I wonder if all these Raanaar made it out of the Citadel, or did they just die down there and were dumped like so much garbage.
I'd be more worried about us ending up on this pile ourselves, human.
What the hell are these things?
Mort and D.K. continued their exploration and came across a pair of soldiers from the Citadel. The smell of alcohol even overpowered the smell of ash.
Hello there! Wanna *hic* join us in partaking of this 'ere fine *hic* vintage?
Aye, an' good wine it isssssh too! Not like the 'orse piss we normally get.
You're lucky, y'know *hic* We'd kill you if there weren't four of you. *Huc* Yes. If there'd been two of you… heh-heh, you would've been dead by now. Yes, yes!
Stop moving around will ya? The odds are clearly *hic* against us… so, no fightin' … only drinkin'! Bwah-ha! *burps*
"About the Game" posted:
These guys can teach one-handed Slashing, Piercing, Crushing, shadow and Bone weapons up to Rank 10. The only new things are the Shadow and Bone masteries.
Mort and D.K. continued… and attracted the attention of a rather larger Stone Biter.
Any chance it's friendly?
Yeah, the same chance the Samuel will give us flowers and warmest greetings if he catches us!
The drunk soldiers thought the fight looked like fun, and they joined in. After attacking it for a while, it suddenly started sporting a column of flame.
"About the Game" posted:
The Ancient Stone Biter is only mildly threatening… until you hurt it enough to make it do that pillar of flame thing. That is it using the Berserk spell, which boosts all its attributes by a lot, making it hit harder and evade better. Once it does that, be prepared to have your ass kicked, and be ready to pop potions because that fire HURTS. If you run away, eventually the buff part of Berserk will wear off and the monster will turn red, which is the downside of Berserk, it will be crippled after that.
Fortunately, the enraged beast focused its attacks onto the soldiers, letting Mort and D.K. finish it off.
Wha… a night *hic*… we don't get a chance to… come out here *hic* very often…
*hic* Woah… you still there? *hic* you b…brought more… *hic* wine?
On the north shore of the lava field, Mort and D.K. ran into another soldier.
Nooo! Don't hurt me! Don't take me back down there!
Oh… you're not from Samuel, are you? Thank the gods! Did you escape from there as well? Not that it matters a bit. Not a bit!
He gave a laugh tinged with hopelessness and insanity.
It's all for nothing… he'll catch me… and you too! We'll wish we'd never been born! I escaped just to end u trapped here by this lava! Yes, we're trapped, I tell you! We'll starve or Samuel will take us back to that… that *place*.
What do you mean we're trapped here?
Are you blind? See that hot bubbling stuff, there? That's called *lava*… it will melt your skin off as soon as you touch it and WE'RE SURROUNDED BY IT! *Sighs* I guess you must be one of the crazy folk.
Why don't you try going back the way you came?
Back into that hell? Are you out of your mind?!? I don't want to imagine what Samuel will do to me. I'll never go back down there. Never!
Why don't you come with us, then?
Where? Ah ha ha! There's nowhere to go! Nowhere! We're doomed!
He's hopeless. Let's go, human.
Mort and D.K. left the panicking guard and continued their circuit of the island.
They discovered another structure on the island, it was guarded by more of Samuel's men.
I still have that Guard uniform. Maybe we can find something in there to help.
I don't think the uniform will work. Any guards Samuel trusts enough to let out probably know each other on sight.
Worth a shot anyway.
HALT! Who goes there? What are you doing down here…? The prisoners are not allowed to have visitors…
I wonder what kind of prisoners they are keeping here… outside the Citadel?
You keep prisoners here?
Oh yes, like this loony imp, who's driving us mad with his constant babbling…
We'll be leaving then…
Wait a moment! I don't believe you should be down here… You're deserters, aren't you?... Lord Samuel will be pleased if I present you to him. Give me all your weapons and come quietly.
Does this idiot really think we'll give up?
Considering you know what Samuel will do to you, I'm guessing you're not going to go quietly, right? But have it your way, it's been a long time since my sword-arm got some exercise!
You're right, this disguise won't work anymore. While we're here, we may as well see if any of the prisoners knows a way out of here.
Assuming that some of the other 'prisoners' are even human. I hear some growling noises, there may be dangerous creatures in these cells.
Mort and D.K. first made a circuit of the building to clear it of guards. It wasn't very big, and there weren't many guards. One of the cells was being used as a makeshift sleeping area for the guards.
"About the Game" posted:
The creatures in this dungeon are in their mid-twenties, level-wise, which is challenging because Mort and D.K. are not. But they're GREAT experience if you can down them. They're all weak to Shadow Damage (-50% Resistance), so Mort's bow is really helping out, and soon D.K.'s shadow Hammer will as well…
Because the creature in the first south-eastern cell has the first Battlefield Key, so we can get that identified. It's a good idea to go there immediately as soon as you get the key, because soon there will be a brief window when trying to access the Battlefields will have… an unexpected consequence…
The second creature, the one I screenshotted is particularly troublesome because it is much harder it hit, there's a higher chance of missing facing it.
In the next cell however, was a familiar face…
Ooh, you found me… Me wait for long time here! Remember Taxlehix, 'uman?
Yes, I remember you, Tax. This island is surrounded by Lava. Do you know a way off of it?
Yes. Yes… Now you need rescue other imp locked in prison here, ok? Me wait outside for you and imp!
Taxlehix hadn't mentioned which cell the other imp was in, perhaps he didn't know. The next two cells had more monsters.
Video: The Rescue / Samuel's Plan / Imp Village
What you want again? More torture? I told you, I not know where gold is buried…
Tell this squeaky maggot that we're here to rescue him… although if you wanted to torture him, I'd be only too happy to oblige!
We're here to rescue you.
A human rescue me? Me find very strange!
Nevertheless, the imp ran out. Mort and D.K. followed.
You did good! Now all freed, we leave. Follow me, secret way over lava! Lava not really there!
Taxlehix led the others a short distance south of the prison to another shore on the lava river, apparently identical to the other shores.
Follow me… Not be afraid, lava only illusion here! Secret way to imp village is close.
Walking over hot lava… this imp is crazier than you are, human!
Nevertheless, when Taxlehix ran out into the lava with no sign of discomfort, Mort and D.K. followed.
You have their descriptions… and you know my wishes…
And drink their souls… We can resurrect them later and torture them… until the end of time…
Music: "Magic Touch"
(Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
We at imp village… me go now!
Wait a minute!
Me see you later, 'uman… me quite sure you'll need little tax again… you no need to thank me…
…remind me who it was that freed that thieving little devil?
He got us off that island, so I'd say that we're even.
Taxlehix ran off, back over the lava onto Citadel Island.
Come! We go to my father, leader of imps! Me say you helped me, father thank you!
Your father is the leader of the imps?
[Proudly] Yes… father important imp. He Chieftain…
I'm *so* impressed…
The Chieftains son led Mort and D.K. to the nearest building… made out of a rather large mushroom.
Son? You back? We thought you lost for good… Who's that with you? A 'uman and a Death-Knight… why you bring those to our village?! They're dangerous!
They saved me father! Evil 'umans capture me, locked me up!
Really? Me thank you then for saving son! But you cannot stay, 'umans not allowed in village!
But… they saved me. I say they my friends… friends of all imps!
Hmmm, son maybe right… Not good to throw them out after saving you. Leave now son… me talk to them myself…
The Chieftains son left.
Me thank humans for saving son… I never thought to see him again… Friendly humans… who thought… a sign? A sign from gods maybe? I have to ask shaman later…
Why you here? Maybe you spies sent by demons… see how many imps to enslave yet…
I escaped from Samuel's citadel…
You were prisoner in citadel… maybe demons pay for your return… I talk later with shaman…
Ungrateful bastard. Does he know we can hear him?
The question is does he even care that we can hear him?
... I not know, human… humans not to trust… everybody knows… shaman said so… Where's shaman? Not here if you need for decision… I decide now: you saved son, you free to walk in village… but be careful… if you ill behave, you be thrown out…
What a weakling… I bet he would even stop eating, if the shaman asked him to.
The interview seemed to be over, so Mort and D.K. left. The Chieftains son was waiting outside for them.
Thank you for saving me… how was talk with father… hope he was not too cold?
Tell him we're still shivering!
It was a bit on the cold side.
I feared it… sorry, you must think we ungrateful… be assured, I am not… It's the shaman… he always whispers mistrust into ears of father… Shaman is only advisor of father… father can't turn his back on Shaman… not when gods are angry…
I wonder what's up with the Shaman. If he's so influential here it might be a good idea to find out what he's like.
…Not that Shaman is help!
Why do you need help?
Strange things in village… imps disappearing… spiders and floogefrogs are dying. More wild spiders have appeared and fewer mushrooms grow… and there is the mysterious illness…
Please don't tell me you're going to bore us both listening to imps whining!
They might know something that can help us escape this world, or point us in a helpful direction, at least.
What illness is that?
Some imps suffer from wild sneezing. Strange spots appear on their skin… and then the fever take hold of them… Talk to imps and find out… I asked Shaman why he can't cure disease… but he get angry…
An imp plague, fantastic… wipe the little buggers out in one go!
How can we escape from this world?
You want leave this world? Hmm… if you help imps, I give information…
So much for gratitude. Let me at him, I can make him talk!
Even if you can make him talk under torture, there's no way to know if he's telling the truth, and he could send us right in the opposite direction of where we need to go. For now, let's play nice.
What are the floogefrogs?
The floogefrogs… they like imp cattle. Many were killed lately… ask our flooge farmer if you wish to know more… his hut is in north-eastern part of village…
What about the spiders?
Spiders are running wild… you can see in spider forest. But also, spiders we know from egg… one broke free and escaped, but out spider breeder can tell you more. His hut is in southeastern part of village…
Have imps been disappearing?
Yes, a couple of imps disappeared lately, nobody knows where they go… one of them was wise imp Sage…
How can we escape from this world?
You want to leave world?... Help imps find cure for illness, and I tell you way… I promise…
With that, Mort and D.K. were left on their own to explore the imp village.
Mouse over all tree stumps. Some of them are actually containers which have goodies.
READER PARTICIPATION REQUESTED:
Many of these questions will be open over multiple updates.
1) The game has ALMOST opened up, not quite yet. The first thing I'll be doing is visiting one of the imp merchants to learn some more trap skills. But after that, what should I do?
1a) Sudden main plot twist and full plot-twist update?
1b) Do a few other things and end the update on a cliff-hanger to introduce the plot twist?
2) IMPORTANT: We'll encounter a situation where some people who are usually good have fallen under the sway of an strange magical object. They have massacred a village of innocent people while influenced. It is possible that they can be returned to normal if we remove the object.
2a) Kill them, they deserve to die for their crime, even if they were not in their right mind.
2b) Don't kill them, their minds were not their own, and dead people can't make amends.
I do have a preference - I would prefer to get the main plot started before investigating some of the imp village in crisis stuff, because it will give context to some dialogue options, and I'm prefer to gather quest hooks in the update after the main plot has started, because many of them can't be pursued until after that point, which fully opens up the game world of Act 2.
3) In the course of a quest it is possible to turn D.K.'s armor pink, forever. And by forever, I mean forever, so if you come back in 10 updates and say "ok, I'm sick of the pink now, please get rid of it," I'll say "Tough shit." Pink armor or Black armor for D.K.?
4) The imps dispose of their garbage in a relatively eco-friendly way. They dump it into a pit with a monster that eats it. As a side effect, there is a bunch of treasure down there for the taking. I will take the treasure, certainly. Kill the monster, or be environmentally conscious and leave the monster alive?
5) I now can create permanent potions. I will primarily use these to bolster health. I can give a Health potion which gives +105 HP, or a Constitution potion, which gives +80 HP and +240 Stamina. If this was Hardcore skill, the Constitution potion would give +100 health and some stamina, making that a better choice, but on Tactical, it's less clear.
I'll give it to either Mort or D.K. (the second potion will go to the other one) Stamina is used when attacking, and it drops when taking hits. Having no stamina means your accuracy when attacking is reduced. This has the unfortunate vicious cycle of taking hits makes you more prone to taking hits, which makes you less likely to hit back, which means you take even more hits until you DIE. D.K. has about 355 HP - about 50 more health than Mort does.
5a) Which potion, Health, Constitution, or Stabbey's choice?
5b) Who to give it to D.K., Mort, or Stabbey's choice?
6) Videos of specific scenes can be made available if at least 3 people request them.