Part 40: Crystal of Chaos
Music - "Force Within"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
Chapter 35 - Crystal of Chaos
VIDEO: Raan, Anlokam, and the Necromancer
You did well. Not many mortals have shown they are worthy of my presence… And you are the first of your kind that I have not doomed, human… I know you have great desires… but who hasn't in these troubled times?
I need you to lift a curse.
I know what you've brought with you, mortal… my child, she's suffered for so long, so long… But she is in the right place now, for here, in the inner sanctuary of my temple, I have the power to remove her curse.
The doll of Anlokam floated away from Mort into the room. There was a surge of magic, and she was restored to her former self.
Where am I? Who… oh… good mother. I praise you!
You've suffered long enough, this has come to an end now…
Welcome back to the world of the living, my "sister"…
She noticed Mort and D.K.
What's this? Enemies in your holy sanctuary… I will slay them!
WAIT! These creatures brought you all the way from Asmodheus to this place… They saved you…
Asmodheus? Yes, I remember now… Forgive my ignorance, mother…
She should have asked for *our* forgiveness!
I bow to your will, mother Raan.
However, as long as the crystal is absent from this sanctuary, the future will still look grim. Farewell my children…
Anlokam suddenly raced past Mort and D.K. and opened the southern door. Mort and D.K. followed her in.
The crystal… removed, shattered… I see it now for the first time with my own eyes. It saddens me…
What do you know about the crystal?
The crystal is a device that created a barrier between Nemesis and the demonic planes. When the crystal was stolen from this room, the barrier fell and the demons were able to come through. And even worse… it made the demons invincible… every time they were hurt, they restored their life-force by sucking energy from their own realm…
I wonder if she's talking about the chaos crystal fragments the Necromancer is after?
Do you know of some other powerful crystal which has been shattered here recently?
How did the crystal turn into chaos magic?
When the crystal was shattered, its power got corrupted. The effects created pockets of chaotic energy all over Nemesis. I have no idea how these fragments could become whole again.
How does she know all this? The crystal was stolen at the start of the demon war, and it shattered while she was a captive of Asmodheus… Perhaps he told her.
Tell her about the Necromancer!
There is a necromancer on Rivellon who wants to collect all the crystal fragments and reassemble it… he summons us from time to time to help him.
You need to bring the reassembled crystal back to this world… I don't know how… but you have to find a way!
I see another piece over there. If I pick it up, the Necromancer will likely take us. I'm not sure how close he is to completing the crystal though.
Can I ask you some questions first?
Go ahead, human.
Who are you?
I am Elder Anlokam. My father was the High Elder Anlokar, leader of the Raanaar, and head of the Academy…
Who is Raan?
Raan is our Goddess, the Goddess of War, Honour, and Wisdom. She is the protector of our Academy…
So, the crystal is the only hope?
Yes… if you can bring the crystal back to this room, the barrier between this world and the demonic plane will be rebuilt. The demons will become vulnerable and we can reclaim our world…
An unfortunate side-effect… but necessary.
If you will not do it for this world, I beseech you, do it for your own… The crystal will bring chaos and destruction to Rivellon, especially if it falls into the wrong hands…
What is Riftrunning?
Riftrunning is an art we Raanaar learn at the Academy… Elders are able to open gateways between places. Sometimes we're even able to open permanent links to other worlds and dimensions…
What should I know about the demons?
The demons are all-powerful, as long as the crystal is not in this room… Demons can heal their wounds in seconds by drawing energy directly from their own demonic plane…
What about Asmodheus?
Not all demons are working together, but I know from experience that they are always evil in nature. When Warlord Samuel stood at the gates of the Academy, ready to destroy it, Asmodheus offered me a deal. … He promised to prevent Samuel from destroying the Academy if I vowed to become his slave for as long as he wished… When I returned to the Academy, I found he'd kept his word… though Samuel's army had already stormed the Academy and killed all inhabitants, the slain Raanaar had been resurrected as ghosts and had driven the aggressors out… Although it was a cruel way for Asmodheus to keep his word, the Academy still stands, so I was honour-bound to keep mine…
It was stupid of you to make a deal with a demon in the first place. But perhaps, it will turn out to be advantageous to me.
Mort touched the crystal fragment, then he and D.K. were once again whisked to the Necromancer's lair.
Music: "Dark Wizard"
(Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
The Necromancer was almost salivating with excitement.
Good news… I think I've found the location of the last crystal fragment…
No time for small talk, *hero* … I mist have that last crystal fragment in my hands!
Then you'll return us both to Rivellon?
Yes… I'll keep my word and bring you back to Rivellon… permanently… It's inside a swampy area… So be careful, that's lizard territory… I'll send you to the border of the swamp.
I'm ready to go…
Ian: Huh?! Where did you come from? You shouldn't sneak up on people like that… Why have you come to this cursed place anyway?
This place is really cursed?
Ian: Sure! You can see it outside, the swamp is growing everyday. It's already swallowed most of my fields. … In a few days it will reach my farmhouse. It's very strange!
Why is it strange?
Ian: The swamp borders are shifting towards my farm at an alarming speed, human. I fear I'll be forced to abandon this place.
What is your name?
Ian: My name is Ian, traveler.
What can you tell me about the swamp?
Ian: If the swamp continues to grow, I'll have to leave my farm. My lands will become worthless, and the lizards will threaten my life… It all started with this bright light…
What are the lizards like?
Ian: The lizards live in the swamps and claim that this is their territory. They don't like settlers!
Tell me about the bright light.
Ian: One night I woke up and went outside to… well, you can guess… I saw this strange bright light from inside the swamp. At this time, the borders were still several miles away.
I'll go investigate.
There's no mystery here, human.
Let's get that crystal back.
Lizard: Whatss you doings in our territoryss, ssquashy creature? Turn aroundss, you not welcomess…
Lizard: Then, DIESSS!
The Lizard fell easily.
"About the Game" posted:
For some reason, all the lizards only have 20 HP and 0 resistance to everything. They also give no XP. Mort could punch them to death in one shot.
Sstop! Why do you enters our territory and killss all our guardss?
I'm looking for a crystal fragment.
You came heress and kills, only because of crystals? … Maybess we can sstop killss… if wess give you crystalss?
I'm not sure we can trust this lizard… they'd lie to their own mother!
Whatss iss it? Peacess or warss?
I want peace.
I likess to hearss this, humanss… you lookss for a crystalss with sstrange powerss?
Yes, that's right.
I don't have crystalss…
I knew it!
Why did you lie to me?
I not liess to you, humanss… I knowss who hass crystalss… My former high priestessss hass crystalss. She dreamss of a worldss that iss all swampss where lizardss ruless. The crystalss givess her powerss. The swampss is growingss. I cannot sstop herss. … I'm not interested in fightingss even whenss the workd iss all swampss… but priestessss lost her mindss…
Where's this crazy priestess then?
Where's the priestessss… I mean priestess?
Sshe iss downss in dungeonss with her followerss. If you goess downss, and takess crystalss, I will not fightss you.
Lizard Priestess: We have visitorss, my crystalss… You willss not sstop uss… no, we willss be victoriouss… Ssoon we willss conquerss the worldss, my crystalss… yess, we willss…
This scaly bitch is totally out of her mind!
The priestess went down quickly. Mort scooped up the crystal fragment and it vanished. The Lizard King entered the cave.
You were sucessfulss? Yess… I feelss the sswamp iss no longer growing… We thankss you, humanss, for sstopping priestessss…
And now he's going to attack us… you can't trust these scaly bastards!
The familiar seal appeared under Mort and D.K.'s feet.
Whatss thiss? You goess already?
Hmmm, for once I'm glad about the necromancer's timing, there were far too many of those giant newts in that swamp.
VIDEO: The Necromancer's Plans…
When Mort and materialized, they saw that the Necromancer had already arranged all the fragments into a circle.
Welcome, human… thank you for finding all the crystal fragments. Stay a while… watch me combine the pieces and unleash terror upon this world!
No, I think I'll pass!
Oh, got better things to do, have you? Well you two aren't going anywhere, I've put you under a spell so you can't attack me, all you can do is stand there and watch!
Mort glanced at D.K., then he tried to grab an arrow from his quiver… but his hand wouldn't move.
Hahahaha, don't you listen, human? Now let's begin!
I can't move! Can you?
Not at all!
Do you have any ideas?
Damn… This could ruin everything!
1) Anlokam had a distinct appearance when she was with Asmodheus, but somehow, her outfit changes.
2) Because the door leading to the room with the crystal is not actually locked, getting the symbol of honour for Raan (all the symbols, in fact) is actually completely optional! And that is something that was NOT intended.
If you head directly into the crystal room - which is REALLY easy to do by accident, All the last dialogue with Raan never happens, and Anlokam's appearance starts with her running into the crystal room out of nowhere. Well, sort-of, because you don't actually see her running in - because Raan never takes the summoning doll from you, she is invisible, and you can have a talk about what to do with thin air.
The upside to that bug is that you can keep the Anlokam summoning doll.
The baffling thing is that the designers knew perfectly well how to do a "locked door until NPC opens it up" trigger - the Imp Sage used it at the end of Act 2 to open a door to a crystal fragment there. How they could have possibly missed a bug as big and obvious as this is completely baffling.
It's certainly 'nice' to see that even if you work hard to do the right thing in the tests, it barely matters. I mean at least the greed one punishes you but the unarmed one just sounds obnoxious.
This nicely illustrates the differences between a good game, a bad game, and a mediocre game.
- In a good game, saving the unarmed people would be challenging, but reasonable, maybe even optional. It would likely be that the Shadow Creatures would not be on that level or at least that they would not target the unarmed people.
- In a bad game, saving the unarmed people would be frustrating, and difficult. It would play out like this game, but it would be mandatory.
- In a mediocre game, saving the unarmed people would be frustrating, and difficult, but ultimately, optional.
It actually only took me about two attempts to save the unarmed people until all the armed ones were killed by Shadow creatures, it was harder doing the teleport maze.
Reader Feedback Requested:
Similar to Raan's tests (but easier), Act 4 has a series of test things. My inclination is to ask the readers for their solutions, but solve the tests correctly anyway (and get the reward), regardless of whether you get the answers right or not. In this case, it is possible to fail and still proceed.
1) When I ask for reader answers, should I Do the tests correctly regardless of the reader's answers or Follow the answers even if they are wrong? (The default is to do the tests correctly, so it has an initial 2 vote advantage.)
2) Should I give all the questions at once to make one or two updates, or one question at the end of each smaller update, meaning more updates which are very short?