Part 43: Moral Imperative
Chapter 32 - Moral Imperative
Video - Traffic Accident (Voice Acting)
Are you blind, dwarf? Didn't you see me coming?
Me eyes is just fine, human! It's your ears which need healin'! I was callin' for you to make way, but did you pay me a jot of heed? Not a bit!
I was goin' slow enough! You had plenty of room to pass, but you drive like a drunken pig! What's the matter with you damn humans? Why can't you drive more careful?
I had the right of way! It was your job to avoid me!
I'm thinking' ye got no more right to the road than me or anyone else!
Great Galloping Gods! Every time I run into trouble on the road, there's a dwarf at the bottom of it! Don't you people know how to drive above ground?
The man looked around for more traffic on the road, but there was only me, and I didn't have a cart in my back pocket.
We should call for help. My wares are needed and I've wasted too much time listening to your petty complaints already!
Go screw your wares, human! My ale needs to be in a cool cellar as soon as may be! If it warms up any more it'll spoil! I get the first aid that comes along!
Don't be ridiculous! Your ale tastes like cat piss, warm or cold. Boiling it couldn't make it any worse than it is! I get the first help that comes along!
You piggy humans got the taste buds of trolls! Ye wouldn't know a fine brew if you were swimmin' in it!
The dwarf looked over the wreckage of his cart and scowled.
Yer goin' t' pay me for them broken wheels human!
Ha! Never! It was your fault, so I'm not going to pay you a penny!
I think ye should be happy ye only have to pay them broken wheels! If this ale spoils, I'll have the coat off yer miserable back!
That's rich! Your ale is only worth as much as the stinking swamp water you make it from. I'll pay you nothing, but YOU'LL pay me a pretty penny if my wares get to market too late!
He stopped and wiped his brow.
Gods! It's hot out here...
Human, on that point I agree with ye! Let's go to the Dwarven Bread Inn to talk about this over a cool mug o' ale.
Your first decent suggestion, my dwarven friend. But let's go to the Blue Boar Inn; they sell ale so good it'll make you weep out of happiness.
Nothin' against the Blue Boar, but I'm much preferrin' the good ol' Dwarven Bread... Come on, I'm up for the first round!
Amazingly, that was the end of the argument.
The human and dwarf walked past me, heading in the direction of the Dwarven Bread Inn.
"About the Game" posted:
This scene takes place on the road between the Poor quarter and the Barracks. The human's name was Gunther and the dwarf was called Broxor. Again, this doesn't matter in the slightest. You can't interfere in the argument. You can however steal the dwarf's ale bottles (and some potions) from the unbroken barrels once they leave.
I continued further down the road, when I heard a distant scream, coming from the direction of the graveyard.
Music - "At the Edge of Death"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
It's probably nothing. I should keep movi-
"Help! Somebody, please help!" came a woman's voice.
I sighed and headed for the graveyard at a run. I heard the voices before I reached the entrance.
Video - The Return of Zombie Jake (Voice Acting)
Aaaahhh! Get away! Please! Somebody help me!
Please don't hurt me! Please!
Elora come with Jake...
That voice... Ugh... it's not... HIM again, is it?
Yes, yes - whatever you say! Just please don't hurt me!
Elora come with Jake... to the Graves!
I arrived just in time to see a woman disappear underground. There was no mistaking the name and the voice of the zombie who was forcing her to accompany him...
"It IS him! Again!" I moaned to myself.
Why won't you just STAY DEAD?
There were a lot of zombies, slowly marching in a wave towards me.
Luckily, I happened to know that they were flammable.
They just won't stop!
Finally all the dead were once again immobile.
This wasn't an empty grave, there were stairs going down. I emerged in a rough cavern, apparently used as a crypt. I could hear Elora and Jake talking, their voices bounced off the walls.
Video - Zombie Jake and Elora (Voice Acting)
You stay here with Jake... nice and cozy in the ground!
But why? What did I ever do to you? Nooo! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME! HELP ME!
You stay here with Jake... we'll never be parted!
I wasn't sure which way to go to find Elora, the echoes were confusing me. There was also the problem with the undead - they were just as lively down here as up there.
Hello, what's this?
The vile zombie threw something which sprayed a choking cloud of poison when it splattered at my feet. It was irritating, but it wasn't bad enough to kill me.
It proved to be surprisingly tenacious, but eventually I defeated it.
Finally, I found Zombie Jake.
Looks like I already killed all your brothers, Jake. Your turn now.
Jake was just as tough as he was when I had first encountered him in the Aleroth graveyard. The difference was that now I was far more powerful.
Jake seemed to be down for the count, but I kept an eye on him to make sure he wasn't going to attempt another getaway.
I'm Jeremiah, and it was my pleasure. Always glad to help a lady in distress.
My name is Elora. Oh, I only wish I had something to give to you as a reward for saving me. I am so very poor you know!
That is quite all right, my lady! I am not doing this for a reward! Besides, I had some unfinished business with Jake.
You are truly one of a kind! ... Wait, his name was Jake?
Yes, I met him in Aleroth. He was a troublemaker there as well, refusing to stay dead. I thought I killed him - again - TWICE, but he kept escaping.
Ahh, he's a newcomer here? That explains why I had such trouble. I kept hitting him with my shovel, but he grabbed it and broke it in half! That was my favorite shovel, too! I think I have an idea to make sure he doesn't call any more trouble. Keep an eye on him while I go get some supplies...
Alright, I certainly don't want to have to keep dealing with him.
"About the Game" posted:
Twenty-two minutes later, Elora returned with a bag full of supplies. Ten minutes later, we walked out of the crypt together. Elona was looking warmly at me and smiling. I was looking at her with a mixture of emotions - mostly admiration, with a bit of confusion and a pinch of fear.
Uhh, not to step on your toes, but was it really necessary to do all that to the creature's body.
"Yes," she said firmly.
You stabbed him with a silver knife, and left it stuck in the body.
...and you stabbed a wooden stake into his heart
...and shoved a lemon in his mouth
And you poured lamp oil on him, then set it alight.
I did indeed.
... and you cut off his head.
That was me, wasn't it.
I work in a graveyard. We know our undead.
In all the hassle with Zombie Jake, the sun had set. I continued down the road. I passed a sign indicating that the Archers Guild lay in this direction.
A shortcut path led to the Archer's Guild teleporter, but I didn't have the Elven scroll to activate it. I returned to the road and continued on south, entering the edges of the Dark Forest. There was a building up ahead, presumably the Archer's Guild. A little boy ran up with a frantic expression on his face.
What's the matter, little one?
My name is Timmy. Bad men broke into our house. They beat Mum and Dad and locked them up in the sleeping chamber. I only just escaped!
This building here - isn't that the Archer's Guild? Maybe we should ask the elven rangers for help...
I've already asked them, but only the old friendly guild master and a few young elves are at the guild house right now... and they say that they are needed to defend the house against the wolves, trolls and spiders... they can do nothing to help my parents...
Ahh yes... "Such matters do not concern the elven people". I've heard that before... The pointy-ears can be just as nasty as men, in their own way. ... If I don't help him, then who will?
Tell me more about the situation. Is there a way to enter the house unnoticed? Maybe I can get your parents out safely.
Yes there is. There's a back door to the sleeping chamber which goes outside. I escaped through the kitchen door, at the back of the house, and locked the door after me. I have the key here.
Timmy reached into his pocket. Then got a worried look on his face. He checked all his pockets and came up empty.
Oh no! I must have dropped the key on my way here - maybe you could find it and sneak in the way I escaped!
It'll be tricky... scratch that, damn near impossible to find a key on the ground, in the woods at night... but I should try.
All right. This might be a way...
You'll also need a key to the sleeping chamber. The leader of these bad men took one of them, I think. I don't know where the key to the back door of the sleeping chamber is.
Very well. Listen Timmy, go to the Archer's Guild House and wait for me there. I'll see what I can do to help your kin.
Timmy pointed me in the direction he'd come from, and I entered the woods.
I met someone who was not at all friendly.
What's your purpose in these woods? Are you one of the robbers?
The man didn't say anything and attacked me.
I stopped his heart with lightning.
I guess that answers that.
I searched his body and found a small sack of gold, but nothing else of value. I moved on and came in sight of the house. There were two doors on the north side of the house.
Finding that key will be -
Just then I caught a glint of moonlight reflecting off of something in the grass.
Well, that was lucky.
I tried the key on the right door, but it didn't fit.
It did unlock the left door, however. I didn't hear anything inside, so I opened it carefully and looked inside.
I was in the kitchen. The sounds of smashing furniture and rough laughter came from beyond the door on the opposite side. I looked around the room, and found a key on a table.
I hope this opens the door to the sleeping chamber.
Sheloi! That hurt!
I hadn't expected the robbers to be sophisticated enough to magically trap that door. Still, once the stinging died down, I discovered that the key did fit and the door was now unlocked. I opened it and went inside.
My name is Jeremiah. I'm here to save you. You must leave at once.
They smiled at me gratefully and hurried out. Once I thought they were far enough away, I circled around and burst in the front door.
Funny... I was just about to tell you the same thing.
"Kill him!" The leader shouted angrily.
When they tried to follow me outside, they blundered into my Burning Wall. That dispatched most of them, except for their leader. I had something special in mind for him.
I froze him solid in magical ice and pelted him with fireballs while he was helpless to do anything but watch.
On his body, I found some keys, likely for the house. I returned to the road and the Archer's Guild building, where the family had been reunited.
I'm glad to see you all safe and sound. The thieves have all been dispatched, and as a bonus, I did it outside, so that their blood didn't stain your floor.
Thank you, thank you very much for saving us! You are always welcome at our house!
Don't mention it...
Yes, but first we will visit my mother for a few weeks. I don't think I could find any sleep in our house right now.
Thank you for saving us! You're a real hero!
Thank you. I'm glad you are alright...
As a reward, you can take anything you want from the locked chest in the sleeping chamber. Unfortunately, its key is locked in a cupboard, and the cupboard's key is probably in the possession of the leader of the thieves. Sorry.
Nay, sir, you are very kind, but taking from you would make me feel a bit too much like one of the thieves. The things I took from their bodies is reward enough for me. Except for these keys, which I believe are yours. Thank you, sir. Good luck in the future!
Thank you, Jeremiah! You are most generous and pure of spirit!
Thank you for helping my Mum and Dad!
Yes, I did lad! Evil never wins in the end, you know...
What a load that is.
It never hurts to give a little hope, especially to those with little else.
"About the Game" posted:
I noticed I was being watched. The grey-haired and bearded(!) elf looked at me with recognition in his eyes, although I had never seen him before.
Sanyasala, telor. I welcome you to the Archer's Guild. It is a pleasure to meet you, Jeremiah Liro.
I was quite startled that he knew my name, although I shouldn't have been. Word of my deeds was spreading fast... but somehow, I didn't think it was rumor which had told him of me.
I'm sorry, but do we know each other, sir?
Yes. Well, I know you at least. Zandalor spoke to me in my dreams and told me of your situation. Forgive my manners, Jeremiah Liro. My name is Elredor.
You can just call me Jeremiah. You are the Elven Lord? The one Zandalor told me to ask about the activation scrolls for the elven teleporter?
Yes. Your memory serves you well, telor.
Can you tell me where I can find this scroll?
Elredor reached into a drawer and picked up a scroll.
I would not normally trust anyone apart from a fellow elf with this scroll. ... But the word of Zandalor carries much weight and demands great respect among my people. So I will trust you and give you the scroll, telor Jeremiah.
He handed it to me.
I am honoured by your trust and I will not break it. ... Why do you call me a telor? What does it mean?
Forgive me. Telor is the elven word for human.
I see. I really should learn more of the elvish tongue. Well, farewell Elredor. I must be off, I wish to reach the Dwarven Halls as soon as possible!
You aren't going to attempt to pass through the woods at this hour, are you?
It is far too dangerous. The road is narrow and winding, and the beasts are many and fierce - especially of late. I myself have lived here for all my life and even I would not attempt such a passage at this time. Even in the daytime, it is dangerous, and it seems to be getting worse by the day.
I sighed. Perhaps it was too dangerous. I was tired from all the day's excitement and travel.
Very well, Elredor. I'll wait until daylight.
A wise decision, Jeremiah.
Um... one question before I go?
I'm surprised, Elredor. I never saw an elf with a beard before...
Well, some of us seem to have some human blood in our veins after all...
I see... do you consider that a blessing or a curse?
Neither. It is what it is.
That's a very... elven answer. Goodnight.
For once, I wasn't lying. After the day I'd had, I was ready for a hot meal and a warm bed. I headed back up the road, and tried out my new scroll on the Archer's Guild Teleporter.
As I continued heading for the Blue Boar, something caught my eye, sparkling in the moonlight.
As I approached the gem, it vanished, only to appear a bit farther away.
This is Malachias' disappearing gem. I'd better be prepared for trouble.
I followed the gem along the south wall of the plague-ridden quarantine section. My instincts were right.
That's the second time Elrath's name has come up in connection to suspicious characters.
Several thugs sprang out from hiding and attacked!
Foolish snakes! You thought to ensnare a mouse, but instead have found a mongoose!
I charged at the man who had spoken, the leader, but he teleported himself away before I reached him.
The thugs were quickly dispatched.
The hell with getting caught. Now it's personal. One way or another, I'm stopping "Doctor" Elrath, consequences or no. Now... what was that I heard...
Everything is under control. You should know better than to listen to rumors.
You're lying. 'Twas no rumor we saw the guards carrying out the back entrance of the quarantine area. It was a body covered by a sheet.
I crept up along the wall of the quarantine area to where it became a house. It wasn't guarded, but it was locked. But it was a simple house lock, the same one the poverty-stricken homeowner had installed. It was not an obstacle.
I sure hope I know what I'm doing...
I opened the door and entered the area quarantined by the plague.
Next Time: Demon in the Dark, Demon in Disguise
Behind the Scenes
Here's the map:
I'm too tired to get it up today, but this week, look for a fake update about some of the other stuff around here, including the alternate ending to the "Hostage" quest. The next couple of story updates, get us back to the main quest. In fact, most of the next several updates - and almost all of Act 2.75 will be main quest updates.
What's fake in this update?
- There are actually 5 separate short conversations between Gunther and Broxor, which occur each time you approach them. I didn't see any reason to have five videos, so I stitched them all together into one, and it came out seamlessly.
- The Zombie Jake/Elora dialogue was real, but I altered some screenshots because the main character suffers from Cutscene Paralysis and just stands by and watches Jake enter Elora's house and drag her out without interfering.
- This is Zombie Jake's final appearance as far as I know, so I had to make sure that he would DEFINITELY be dead this time.