Part 51: Fake Update #10: QUEST: Cosmo the Cat / The Slick Merchant
Fake Update #10: QUEST: Cosmo the Cat / The Slick Merchant
Previously on Divine Divinity:
My name is Jeremiah Liro. I have discovered that Malcolm is stealing money from the Merchants' Guild by fooling around with the financial records. Here is the evidence.
I am relieved that Malcolm has been exposed, and arrested. He could have brought great disrepute upon the Merchants' Guild! For your services, Jeremiah Liro, I hereby grant you life-time membership to our guild and offer our thanks.
He reached into a desk drawer and handed me a key.
Here is your personal key for the archive of the Merchants' Guild. You might find the information in there useful.
"About the Game" posted:
Before getting into the main Merchant's Guild quests, I'll show off a couple of quests related to the skill "Trader's Tongue".
Calm down, little girl. What's your name?
Hi Diana, I'm Jeremiah. Who is Cosmo?
Cosmo is my best friend *snif* He's the sweetest cat in the whole world. *snif snif* I found him in our garden in my last birthday.
Cosmo is your cat? What happened to him?
He must have fallen into that shaft over there. It's leading to a cellar under this great building where all these merchants live. And now, he's trapped... *snif* I can hear him meowing from down there. *snif*
Why don't you talk to the Merchants and ask them to release your cat...
All right. I'll see what I can do for you... I'll try to release your Cosmo...
This would be wonderful... If you can bring my Cosmo back, I will tell you a secret...
"About the Game" posted:
The other options end the conversation without the girl saying anything, but it doesn't lock you out of the quest, so you can still go back and ask about doing the quest.
I entered the Merchant's Guild archive. There were lots and lots of bookshelves. There was a note on a writing desk: "Keys for the Archive basement."
I opened the hatch and climbed down the ladder to the archive basement.
There were four locked doors, matching the four keys, which were labeled "Wine Room", Food Storage", "Storage", and "Archived Docments".
There was nothing of interest in the wine room or food storage, but the archived documents area had lots and lots of books. It was clear that no one had cleaned the area up in a long time, books were scattered haphazardly. Finding anything of interest there would be a lengthy challenge.
I picked up a book at random, and it was a surprisingly interesting read for such a dry subject.
Cosmo the cat wasn't in here though, so I tried the last door.
Cosmo raced past me before I could catch him. I hoped he could find his own way outside.
In the corner where the cat had been crouching, I found the second part of the business book.
After an annoyingly long search, I spotted the final book of the series under a pile atop a bookcase.
I returned to the little girl, and saw that Cosmo was at her side.
No problem. Be a little bit more careful next time.
I will! I'll promise! And now I'll tell you the secret...
I'm all ears...
I saw two dark men outing something into the chicken house at the animal gutter of Verdistis. They don't know I watched them.
In the chicken house? Not a very clever hideout. It will soon be found by the person who collects the eggs, I guess.
Ooh, I don't think so. I know the woman who's collecting the eggs. She isn't doing it very thorough, because she's afraid of the snakes stealing the eggs sometimes... And I'm afraid too. For this reason I haven't looked there myself...
There are sometimes snakes in there? Good to know. I'm curious what else is in the chicken house... Thank you, little one.
I went to the chicken coop.
When I reached inside, I heard a warning hiss, and I withdrew my hand at lightning speed.
A nasty snake leapt out to attack me. A pair of fireballs dispatched it. I looked in again, and retrieved a coin purse. Inside were 500 gold coins.
"About the Game" posted:
Finding all three books gives you a permanent +1 bonus to the Trader's Tongue skill, which gives you a discount on trading with merchants.
- Male Survivors get the first rank in this skill for free. Each rank gives you a 5% discount on prices with merchants.
The skill points are better spent elsewhere. I'm not sure it even works properly, I think it might only work if the merchant's disposition is below a certain value, because I have two items with +1 to Trader's Tongue, and it doesn't seem to lower the prices when I wear them. Your reputation and disposition with the merchant probably has more to do with the price than Trader's Tongue.
There's a second free point available in Trader's Tongue, which I'll show here as well. It isn't a quest, though. First, go to the Blue Boar Inn in the Farmlands, and have at least 3000 gold on you.
The Slick Merchant
Ah, music to my ears: magic artifacts! Quick, show me what you have to offer.
I've got something really special for you... What about... A MAGIC CARPET!?
A carpet? Do I look like a housewife to you? Why would I need a carpet?
I said MAGIC CARPET... If you lay it on the floor and say the magic word (written on the washing instruction label there) It'll fly. It will carry you wherever you want!
Ah, that would be useful! How much do you want for it?
Dead cheap to you, Guvnor... only 500 gold pieces.
When you mouse-over his portrait, he's called "El Gammon," but Mardaneus knows him as Carlo.
Listen you crook, the stupid carpet you sold me for a small fortune DOESN'T fly.
No! Really? I was told it would work perfectly. Maybe the air's too thick today. Never mind, maybe I could interest you in something else?
And what is it this time?
I've got this dagger here. This is something really special. I got it from a Halfling... you know, the tiny little buggers with hairy feet. Now, this dagger is made of purest silver, and it'll glow whenever orcs are near. What do you say?
What are you going to sting me for this time?
Oh, just another 500 gold pieces and it's yours...
I'll take it!
I think you see where this is going. Also, there aren't any trader orcs around, but you can activate the dagger anywhere. "Sting", of course, is a reference to the glowing blade of the same name from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Yes, but not your most content customer, damn you! This bloody dagger doesn't work either...
WHAT!? Oh, I'm so sorry. I was tricked myself, my friend - truth to tell, I paid twice as much for that item than I asked you for it - so we're both in the same boat... if you get my drift. Look, I'll tell you what: I'll make it up to you by giving you an option on some of my prize stock. These are the things I meant to keep back for the great mage Mardaneus in Aleroth, but just to maintain my good reputation for never disappointing a customer, you can have first dibs on these much sought after goods.
I don't know why - I must need my head examining - but I'm listening...
What would you say to this magic mirror, friend? Just hold it in your hand, chant the special rhyme written on the frame, and it'll answer your questions - all the wisdom of the world, just for the asking! Remember friend, people say and do things in front of mirrors they'd never say or do with other folks present...
I'm intrigued, but I'm also sure that this will cost me another duke's ransom.
Only 500 gold pieces chum, and that's cutting my own throat. It's not too much for such a powerful thing, I'm sure, you'll agree...
I'll take it!
"...and that's cutting my own throat." Is the favorite line of Discworld's "Cut-Me-Own-Throat" Dibbler, who is a similar type to this merchant.
Ahem... This 'magic' mirror you sold me is as silent as an embarrassed fish. Any thoughts on that, 'my friend'?
I really can't explain it. It worked for me yesterday... told me that young Lord Janus has a taste for wearing ladies undergarments, so it did. (Naturally, I'm only telling you because I know the tale will go no further.) Never mind... maybe its ethereal batteries are run-down. Anyway, I'm sure this sword is more to your liking...
The sword is unbreakable. You'll never have to repair it and you could cut stone with it like butter. Happy hacking!
Now, why am I having trouble trusting you?
My friend, I can only guess that you must have had a nasty suspicious streak inherited from some miserly ancestor. My heart bleeds for you, it truly does. Why else would I try to beggar myself and my family by offering you this magnificent item for only five hundred gold pieces? Now, mark you, that's the price, I paid for it myself...
I'll take it!
You're too clever by half...
You're one of my best customers, so I think I'll let you have a gander at the most valuable piece of my collection...
You're beginning to bore me...
No, no, no. This one IS real. Guaranteed. It's a special helmet that was once in the possession of the mighty wizard, Ralph. If you wear it, you'll become invisible to all monsters around you. Only used once, at the Battle of the Damned...
Now, I may be as thick as a dragon egg omelette, but I'm beginning to twig that you're not as honest as you claim.
The strength of my honesty is positively adamantine, friend. Drop another 500 gold pieces in my palms and you can see for yourself...
I'll take it!
Sorry, but I have no more magical wares. You've bought up everything I had.
It's pretty clear why I didn't make this canon, because Jeremiah would catch on after the second fake item, and I didn't want to make him really stupid, which you'd have to be to buy 5 or 6 fake items in a row.
And now, a note: When I first started putting this LP together, I roughed out approximately where I thought chapters would start and end, and what they'd cover. I was underestimating how many chapters I'd need. What I thought would be Chapter 38 is actually going to be Chapter 47.
Looking at the entire situation, it turns out that "Act 2.5" is going to have almost as many updates as "Act 1", so I think I'm going to rename "Act 2.5" to "Act 3".
Starting from this point on, the next act is now "Act 3", not "Act 2.5", so any earlier references to "Act 2.5" now mean "Act 3", and any references to "Act 3" now mean "Act 4".