Part 58: Unchained
Music: "Beyond Divinity"
(Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
Chapter 52 - Unchained
"About the BOSS" posted:
I might have mentioned that the game uses a limited for of level scaling on enemies. It doesn't usually amount to more than a tiny nudge of a level or three. But here is where it is used. Damian is always 9 levels higher than the paladin, and he has special equipment and stats.
To anticipate the obvious questions, the boss Damian is not actually the controllable character D.K.; the real D.K. is disabled after Damian "transforms", so it doesn't matter what attributes, skills, or equipment you gave D.K. (I know this because of a bug once where Mort died and the remnants of D.K.'s inventory popped onto the ground from nowhere). Because D.K.'s inventory is now inaccessible, you're in deep shit if he was carrying anything you needed, like health potions. I'm not kidding about this - you really will lose anything D.K. had, so you need to move that out of his inventory before entering the rift. How you're supposed to know to do that this the first time playing, I don't know.
Damian is a true final boss, he's extremely hard to land hits on, and he hits very hard in return. Additionally, in case your Paladin was built as the tank character, Damian will summon in allies from somewhere when he gets hit in melee. There are quite a lot of the damn things, too.
However, Damian does not cast healing spells or any other magic, which is a blessing because it would take forever if he could heal himself.
For this boss fight, I'll add some out of character captions as (bracketed italics).
BOSS: Damian (It's the final boss, you might want to watch this.)
I can't shoot a bow with the Damned One hitting me with a hammer. I need to use my sword.
(Because my inventory is heavier since I'm carrying D.K.'s stuff as well as mine, I've summoned the skeleton to hold all my Health, Mana, and Stamina potions. Damian won't target it unless I Feign Death, so it's safe enough in the corner.)
Mort landed a hit on Damian, and in response, he summoned in a Skeletal mage to assist.
How annoying! I guess that's what the Raanaar meant when they said Damian was the best summoner they'd ever seen.
(Damian does this a LOT, it's very annoying. He only summons in response to melee attacks, though. You can't ignore the summons either, because he will summon more while the first ones are still alive.)
The skeleton tried to run away, but Mort hunted it down and killed it. Unfortunately that let Damian get in many free shots at his back.
Mort swiped at Damian again, and Damian summoned a huge black spider.
(This warlock is dangerous because those green clouds are Disease spells, which reduce your stats. This could make you unable to use your weapons or equipment until it wears off. The only reason why I still have my stuff is because the Strength buff potion I took is still in effect.)
Mort killed the Warlock, but the disease had already infected him. He felt weak.
Can't fight… like this… Need to keep up my strength…
Mort drank a Strength-enhancing potion and felt some of the tiredness leave his body.
Is this the best you can conjure, Damian?
(The Black Bishop's display is impressive, but he's just spent all his mana and will spend the rest of his life trying to punch me. I know all this summoning business seems all the same, and it is, but it's all Damian really does in this fight - summon things and try to hit you - that's it.)
(The Necromancer is one of the more dangerous summons, thanks to his Fireball spell. He also likes to run away from you, the prick. But the good news is that Damian is almost out of summons.)
(Picking up gear with a lot of +Constitution and +Vitality was a smart move - my 1090 base HP is really saving my butt in this fight.)
Damian was starting to show signs of fatigue, but he was able to summon in one more wizard.
(The Necromancer's Fireball helps whittle down some of his master's health for me.)
Enough of this!
(557 damage? I can walk that off, easy. … Well, okay, only because I'm drinking health potions constantly.)
Mort gave a savage chop, and the Necromancer's head separated neatly from his neck and landed on the ground with a wet splat.
Show me the respect I deserve! Fight me one on one, without your minions!
Very well… Mort.
Ha ha ha… such futile bravery you show. You've already lost. I have the soul of a god inside me! I cannot be defeated… not by the likes of you.
How does it feel, Paladin, to know that you've brought doom to this world? How does it feel knowing that you will be responsible for the death of all you hold dear?
I said SHUT UP!!
If you think what my army did to Nemesis was bad, wait until you see what Rivellon will look like in a few years!
"About Berserk" posted:
Berserk is a spell I picked up from the time-rift Raanaar on the Experience level. It boosts your stats by a huge amount… for 19 seconds.
It's the same spell the Ancient Stone Biters use. The downside, is that once that 19 seconds expires, there's a 45-second period where you are basically crippled. It's essentially an all-or-nothing spell - either this works or I die, and the entire 13 minute fight has to be done all over again.
( For fuck's sake, I have 210 Agility and 97 Survival, giving me 136 Accuracy. How much do I fucking need to hit him, seriously?! This. Is. Crazy!)
Under Mort's ferocious onslaught, Damian collapsed.
It's over Damian. Now you shall die!
Mort… Mort… please…
No mercy for the Damned!
Mort charged the fallen Damian, sword aimed at his heart… Suddenly, Damian raised a hand, and Mort was flung back. He landed on the ground roughly and dropped his weapons. He continued to slide farther.
What a fool you are! You truly don't understand the power of Chaos!
VIDEO: The End (You may want to listen to this while you read the text.)
I am free. At last I have broken the bonds that have chained me for so long. I am finally released from that accursed world and back where I belong. I am home… But now you, YOU who have been beside me for so long should know the truth about how this came to pass.
My mentor and "father", the so-called "Divine One" threw a terrible curse upon my young self. I was doomed to wander Nemesis for the rest of my days, unless my mentor or one of his followers wished me to leave. A group of Paladins who had been hunting down one of my devoted Black Ring members would provide the key to my escape.
Me… I did this… I brought the Lord of Chaos back to my home! How could I have been so STUPID?!
My follower, a dark necromancer took the risky decision to summon the demon overlord Samuel to his aid. This particular demon was as subtle as a battle-axe, and many times more deadly. He was however, unquestionably stupid, a quality I've always found endearing in him. But this time he proved to be most useful.
He's not even paying attention to me anymore! Maybe I can use this to my advantage… but how, without my weapons?
Samuel was as brutal as his reputation, and he killed all the Paladins with ease. All apart from one, that is… Samuel always liked to take home a battlefield memento. And if that memento was still alive and kicking, so much the better! It was this Paladin - YOU - who would provide the answer to freeing me from my prison.
Mort realized he was lying on something which had fallen from his split backpack.
It's the book of rift coordinates! If I can open another rift and push him inside, maybe he'll become stranded there!
Samuel took you, that luckless character, back to his Citadel fortress on Nemesis, where he thought the Paladin would make an ideal addition to his collection of pets, which he tortured and demoralized on a regular basis. It was then that a demon known as Asmodheus drew my attention to Samuel's new guest.
Careful, careful… I can't be seen paying too much attention to the book. It was just the wind that flipped that page, not me…
Together Asmodheus and I devised a plan to free me from Nemesis. Asmodheus broke the lock on your cell, and when you tried to escape, I was held responsible. All it took was a little convincing that soul-forging would be an appropriate punishment.
That's right, keep talking… I need to find the co-ordinates, hopefully for someplace REALLY nasty…
Weakened by the soul-forging, both of us lapsed into unconsciousness. When I awoke, I freed myself from Samuel's primitive cell and killed the guards. The burning feeling in my head told me that the soul-forging had been successful. All that was left to do was to introduce myself to my new best friend - you.
After I was first imprisoned on Nemesis, I spent much time with the Raanaar, the elders of which had harnessed the ability to open rifts. Despite studying this Riftrunning, my curse meant that I could not just open a rift and travel through it. But if we could locate a Raanaar Elder and travel through a rift together, the curse would be broken.
Poor Samuel. It's not much fun being at the beck and call of a summoner. Especially when you're a demon overlord, and you've been made to leave a very promising torture session. But thankfully, Samuel was summoned away form us just in time. Otherwise I would have been forced to reveal my true self and give him a good thrashing.
Wait, Samuel didn't KNOW? You didn't tell him to arrange for our escape? What a stupid plan! If you'd revealed yourself, I would never have aided you, and where would you have been then, huh?
(Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
I wasn't sure what to make of my new companion. Your relentless cheerfulness was somewhat irritating. But then, it seemed to work on some of the peons we met. I have to admit a grudging respect for you. You aided me greatly in escaping the Citadel.
Having to hold both my tongue AND my form in the presence of the necromancer was even more difficult than it had been with Samuel. But I held firm, as I knew that his magic would help restore the crystal to its former glory, and when I had *that* in my hands again, my power would be complete.
Hmmm… the writing for this one is very faded… but I think it says "Forbidden"… worth a shot.
The Raanaar rebels seemed to be completely fooled by my disguise. The poor, gullible creatures… If only they knew who I really was, I doubt they'd be so accommodating. They're still just as proud and arrogant as I remember. And I've made a mental note to myself to let the demons know where this rebel group is hiding.
Asmodheus was so desperate to get a look at how you and I were getting on that he invited us both to a meeting. I thought he was going to give me away. But instead he presented me with a doll of one of the Raanaar elders - my dear adopted sister. If we could break her curse, then she could open a rift for us.
Slowly now… I've got to get the wand without him noticing.
Ideally, I would have liked to avoid killing one of my most devoted followers. But unfortunately, he got in my way. With him out of the picture, it cleared the path to our goal. Your attempts to bond with me were almost touching. But this was not about making bonds, it was about breaking them! And I longed to be free!
It was most strange being back in the Academy again. Asmodheus had clearly exploited my adopted sister's profound stupidity, and now the place was a tomb filled with familiar faces in spirit form. I was surprised that I felt absolutely no guilt when I saw them. I am not the boy I once was…
Got it… now to concentrate on the rift…
I knew that the secret of Riftrunning would soon be in your hands. Although I already knew how to use it, the power was useless to me in that world. You know, I've almost gotten used to having you around… perhaps I can show you the virtues of Chaos in greater depth, now that we're home. I could use someone with your skills in my army… Well, you don't have to decide now…
The taste of freedom is sweet indeed. So many nights I have spent dreaming of destroying the one who imprisoned me; the one who had extinguished the single candle of light in my life. I have become the darkness itself. Revenge will be mine!
Mort opened the rift.
Damian was caught off guard, and Mort charged him, scooping up his shield to ram Damian. Unfortunately, while Damian was caught off guard, he was still able to hold his ground. He grabbed Mort and lifted him with superhuman strength.
You are strong and powerful, a most worthy opponent. You've earned your life today, but I assure you, it's not the end. I will always be with you in the back of your mind, like an itch you can't scratch. I will be what waits for you in the darkness of your dreams, your unspoken fears… and one day, my friend, there will be a reckoning..
He tossed Mort into the rift.
Mort awoke in a strange place.
Where am I?
He wandered the halls. All around, he could sense the presence of rifts.
What's that? Footprints in the dust? Only going one way…
Mort followed the tracks and to his surprise, met a familiar face.
Who are you? How did you get here?
Zandalor? Is it really you?
Halt! I say again, who are you? I shall not ask again!
I… I'm Mortimer. One of the Paladins of the Divine. I came here through a rift.
A rift? How do you know about those?!
There's no time to explain. Is this Rivellon? You must take me to see the Divine One immediately!
Paladin Mortimer and the rest of the group are dead! We found was left of them a week ago! I'm not taking you anywhere near Lucian!
Damn you! Strip me naked, and clap me in irons if you must - it's no more than I deserve - but you MUST take me to the Divine One immediately! Damian has returned to Rivellon… and… and… it's all my fault…
The Great War was about to begin…