Part 48: The River of Gold
Chapter 35 - The River of Gold
Music - "Run, Zandalor, Run!"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
"About the Game" posted:
This music actually starts in the Dark Forest. Despite the title, it has nothing to do with Zandalor. I think it might once have been used for a deleted scene, now it's just general music for the Dark Forest.
19 Sembten 1218
I was still awake when then first rays of the Sun illuminated my room with the pinkish-red rays of the dawn.
Finally. Hopefully the long hike will take my mind off of things.
I had a quick breakfast and left the Blue Boar heading south. The clear skies of dawn were giving way to thick layer of clouds.
I hope it doesn't rain today.
I entered the outskirts of the Dark Forest and encountered a familiar sight outside the Archer's Guild.
Are you going to claim this road as your own, troll?
No. Just gonna eat you.
Good luck with that.
With that momentary distraction dealt with, I continued deeper into the forest, climbing as the path rose higher into the foothills. The sky was completely overcast now.
The woods here were different than on the plains. Scraggly coniferous trees clung to thin layers of dirt just above bedrock
I passed by an old dilapidated dock near a small pond. Perhaps in gentler times it was someone's fishing hole. The wind picked up, rustling branches. It seemed that a storm was coming.
I picked up the pace. I hadn't seen any of the dangerous creatures which supposedly inhabited these woods, and I wanted to avoid the rain.
Ummmm... which way, which way?
Through the trees ahead, I could see a plateau, and on top of it was a fort, which looked to be of human design. There were flags flying in the wind, although I couldn't make out what the design on them was.
The path leading to the left seemed to be much less traveled, the grass was taller and closer to the stones. I picked the right-hand path.
Crud. I have no idea which way to go.
Both paths seemed to be equally well-traveled, and they both apparently led toward the mountains.
I arbitrarily chose the left-hand path. It turned south again, passing beside the plateau with the castle.
I suppose being lost on a road is better than being lost in the wilderness.
It wasn't long before the road split for a third time. The right-hand path was scarcely traveled, but the left-hand one showed much use.
This is getting ridiculous. I'm going to see if I can get up to that castle. Maybe someone there can give me directions. At the very least, I might be able to get a better view.
I followed the cliff beneath the fort and eventually found a narrow staircase carved out of the rock face. I carefully climbed up, senses peeled for signs of an ambush.
At the top I spotted some knights, presumably human, watching me. They hadn't drawn weapons, which was very promising.
Hello? My name is Jeremiah.
Jeremiah? Some of the traders who passed by here mentioned someone by that name? That Jeremiah helped fend off an orc invasion, among other things.
That's me, yes.
Thank you. What is this place?
You don't know?! This is Rial 'Or, the best Warrior's guild of Rivellon!
I'm not from around here. I've only just arrived within the last two weeks.
Only just arrived?! By the Good Gods, that's incredible! If you've only accomplished what I've heard about in a couple of weeks, just give it another month and the people will be clamoring for you to become the next Duke!
Thanks, but I doubt that. May I enter this place?
Sure! Everyone is welcome here.
He took a good careful look at me.
Certainly people who might have a lot to lean about sword fighting. Hah hah!
I glared at him.
Erm... sorry, bad joke. Feel free to walk around!
Hmph. Your name must be high on that list of Rivellon's best comedians. Now can you tell me which one of the paths leads to the Dwarven Halls?
Oh, yes, certainly. At the bottom of the stairs, take a right, and continue on. Take a right at the first fork and a left at the second.
Thank you. Goodbye.
I turned and headed for the stairs. Further to the south I thought I saw houses through the trees, but I couldn't be sure. The road seemed to lead that way. But more importantly, I saw something even more helpful nearby.
Just a little bit farther in the wrong direction, I found a teleporter platform. It wanted the scroll of the humans, which I had.
"About the Game" posted:
This place is named Rial 'Or. There was a school for mages called Raialor, but I think one of the books mentions that was destroyed long ago. But the pronounciation is different enough.
Yes, the knight's lines about people who have a LOT to learn about sword fighting, and Jeremiah's response were real lines from the game.
Jeremiah will actually be joining the Warrior's Guild later, but as part of a side-quest. The Warrior's Guild teleport is very conveniently located, which is why I had Jeremiah get lost. Incidentally, if you go just a few steps farther south of the teleporter, you trigger a cutscene for a side quest, but I'm saving that for later.
I headed back up the path until I reached the point where the second well-traveled path had split off, and followed it.
The road led uphill, climbing a narrow rocky canyon at the base of a mountain.
Unfortunately, the canyon was infested with Forest Trolls. I could sense that they were mean, tough bastards. A couple of hits from them, and that'd be it for me. And there were a lot of them.
However, the walk had been surprisingly trouble-free so far, and I'd already thought of what I'd do if I got into trouble. I cast a spell of invisibility.
Lots and lots of them. I sure hope they can't sniff me out. Better not stick in one place.
I continued climbing the path up, dodging the mess of trolls, until finally I arrived.
The entrance to the Dwarven Halls was a marvelous sight. It had been intricately carved right from the stone. I could see a helmeted, bearded head peering out from one of the barred windows.
It finally started to rain, which was my cue to stop marveling. The moat of lava in front of the rock gave out blistering heat, but oddly enough, I didn't feel any of that when crossing the thick stone drawbridge.
Perhaps it's magically enchanted.
The portcullis rose as I approached. I walked down a short hallway with slots in the walls - likely some kind of hidden weapons in case of invasion. The portcullis closed behind me with a heavy clang.
I emerged from the hallway into a cavernous chamber.
Music - "Dwarven Clockwork"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
The chamber was so huge that I couldn't see the ceiling or far walls. It wasn't just because of the darkness, there was plenty of light - more of the strange glowing blue mineral I'd seen in the Aleroth Catacombs. There were many houses of stone constructed on islands created by a flowing stream.
There was a polite cough and I turned my gaze downward to see a Dwarven soldier standing nearby.
I thank you. My name is Jeremiah.
I am Thorun. You should go and see the king immediately. I am sure he wishes to speak with you. He resides in the southernmost part of the Dwarven Halls.
The king wishes to speak with me? Why?
Relax, human. It is merely a greeting. The king enjoys visitors.
Very well, which is the quickest way to the throne room?
Just follow the wall to the right.
Thank you. ... Ummm...
What's with the lava outside?
It's a security feature. If the Dwarven Halls were ever to be attacked, we just raise the drawbridge to stop them just trying to bash the door open.
I see. ... How do you keep it hot?
Ahhh... that's an ancient dwarven secret, that is.
All right. ... Over there, is that the River of Gold?
That's right. I bet it's not what you imagined, right?
The famous River of Gold was actually a rather shallow river which flowed through the giant cavern. Apparently the name came from the glittering of particles of gold dust on the bottom.
I continued on through the cavern-city, following the wall, and eventually found the Dwarven Halls teleporter.
This will make the return trip MUCH faster.
Not far away was the entrance to the throne room.
I can't? What do I have to do then?
You must hand over all your possessions; we can't have you walking in there carrying weapons and such... When you leave, we will return your possessions.
Hmmm, can I trust you will give it back?
The soldier looked indignantly at me.
Of course you can, Human! Bah! We dwarves aren't like your kind, we are honest!!!
Wait, I have to take off everything? Even my boots?
Don't worry, human, the floor is quite clean - and warm. We can't let you in wearing boots, you could have a blade mechanism hidden in the toe.
Yes, yes, alright. Here, take my stuff.
Several minutes later, I had finally divested myself of everything I was carrying.
It's a wonder you can walk carrying all this, with such a spindly frame of yours, human.
Huh, I hadn't really thought much about that.
You may enter the throne room!
My name is Ugdalf.
My name is Jeremiah. I am honoured to meet a real king.
Hmpfff! Just go in, human.
So much for smal- informal chat.
Greetings, human. I am Kelp Dunatrim, the king of these glorious halls. We do not receive many visitors from the Dukedom of Ferol. While you are here, may I suggest you visit the River of Gold? It is one of the wonders of the dwarven realm.
It is an honor to meet you, sire. I am Jeremiah Liro. I've seen some impressive underground halls before, under Aleroth, but these put those crumbling ruins to shame.
The mighty halls of Karanamix were build a thousand years ago by our ancestors. During the age of Deception, we built new passageways in the lower regions of the mountain.
What can you tell me about the River of Gold?
In the past, our River of Gold brought many visitors, and thieves, to our realm. It is a mighty underground river with a lot of gold and jewels beneath its surface. Some coins and items washed down in it date back to the Age of Deception.
Thank you for your hospitality, King Dunatrim, it was a pleasure talking with you. But now I must take my leave.
Farewell. Feel free to return.
I left the throne room and retrieved all my equipment. I asked the guard where I could find the jeweler.
Do you know where I can find Elmer Vignus, the jeweler?
Ahhh... I see you have good taste, human.
He gave me directions, which were admittedly a little confusing because it involved finding the teleport stones to take me across various parts of the river, but I eventually found my way.
"About the Game" posted:
Everytime you walk in or out, you have to hand over all your stuff. It is easy to bypass, toss a teleporter stone or your stuff into the room and no one will care. The pain is when you put it back on again, you don't get back all the Health and Magic that you had before and only have what you had naked, so you have to rest or burn a potion.
I was sent here by Randell, Sir Dante's secretary. Apparently Sir Dante has commissioned a brooch to be made by you. I am here to pick it up and deliver it to him.
May I see your paperwork?
Here you go.
This looks to be in order. Here is the brooch! Thank you for coming and picking it up. I am so busy at the moment that I don't have the time to do it myself!
I'm interested in learning more about your job.
My industrious brethren work very hard in the mines to bring me the rarest and most beautiful gems in the whole of Rivellon. I craft the finest brooches, rings and necklaces. If you ever need a commissioned piece, give me an illustration of your desired jewellery and I make a perfect copy.
It was a pleasure doing business with you. Goodbye.
"About the Game" posted:
There is in fact a quest where we can give him a drawing to make a piece of Jewelry. I'll show it off in a Fake update (much, much later on) because I hate that quest line and there's no way I'd ever make it canon. I hate it, hate it, hate it, and when I get there, you'll see why.
Next Time: Rumors, Bargains and Lies
Behind the Scenes
Dark Forest Map
Dwarven Halls Map
The road in the dark forest is actually pretty darn safe. I really did not have any close encounters with the dangerous creatures until I got close to the Dwarven Halls.
What's fake in this update?
- The Warrior's Guild conversation was mostly fake, especially.
- I added some lines for the Dwarven guards.