The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 52: Fake Update #11: The Merchant's Guild

Fake Update #11: Fake Chapter 38: The Merchant's Guild

Music - "Ominous Warnings"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Previously on Divine Divinity:

What do you want from me?
Speak softly, I beg you! No need to let every guard in town overhear our business, if you catch my meaning. Heh heh...
Ah, yes. I guess you have something to offer - right?

No, of course I'm not interested in merchandise without a proper pedigree. For all I know, all this stuff was plundered from honest folk by cutthroat bandits! Get out of my sight and be glad I don't tell the duke's guards that you're a black marketer!

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.

Fake Chapter 38: The Merchant's Guild

20 Sembten 1218

Just the mere possibility that I'd hear the Assassins' Guild tell me that Jenna was dead was too much for me to handle. I couldn't do it. Not yet. Instead, I returned to Trevor, hoping he'd have something I could do to take my mind off of it.

Is there anything I can do, now that I am a member of the Merchants' Guild?
There is a store in the merchant's quarter that sells nothing but inferior goods. We suspect that the owner is engaging in under-the-counter dealings with stolen goods, and he does not have a license from our guild.
You wish me to speak with this owner?
Find this merchant in the Rivertown market area and see if you can expose his dubious dealings. His name is Tingalf. I know, Lieutenant Robin from the Rivertown Guards has him under suspicion to deal with stolen goods, but I need proof!

I took the teleporter to the Rivertown market and found Lieutenant Robin right on the other side.

There's an odd fellow called Tingalf who tried to sell me goods of, shall we say, dubious origin. I'd say he's the first person you should visit if you're looking to find those who are running the black market around here.
Yes, we know about Tingalf, citizen. Unfortunately there is never enough evidence to arrest him for long. I guess we have to find the people who deliver the wares to him...
Hmmm... Alright.
It's late, I'll start investigating in the morning.

21 Sembten 1218

I returned to the Rivertown market, and spotted some merchants talking. I figured that they might have some insight about the Black Market activities.

"About the Game" posted:

I spliced this video together from several conversations which happen after you leave the area and return. Completing steps of the quest also may trigger new dialogue changes, even though they don't say anything interesting.

The Meeting of Merchant Moll and Merchant Marcus

Preferably very soon! I'm low on almost everything! ... The times are grim.
Indeed! I can't remember when times were worse. Heard the rumors about the Duke?
Yes. Such things harm customer confidence and further hurt business. Aybe I should move my business to Verdistis.
Nah. You won't have a chance against the local merchants. They're a closed shop up that way.

He sighed.

Damn the black market! I can't keep my prices this low forever, but how else am I to compete?
Yes. Why don't the bloody Watch or the Duke's soldiers do something?

He spotted a group of refuges, carrying what few possessions they had remaining on their backs. They were probably going to trade it all for food, but I doubted they could afford more than a couple of days worth.

The war is coming near...
Tell me about it! More refugees every day, but hardly two gold pieces between the lot of 'em!
I heard that a mercenary helped stop an orc incursion dead in it's tracks.
Say... isn't that him there, watching us?

I stepped up to the merchants.

Hello, my name is Jeremiah, newest member of the Merchants' Guild.
My name is Moll. An honour to meet you, freebooter. What a coincidence! Marcus and I were just speaking of you. We need the services of a brave soul. Maybe you should speak with Marcus. He might have an interesting proposal to make...
Well then...

What do you have to offer me?
Alas! My assortment isn't as good as I would wish. The orc war in the south has caused major problems for the caravans bringing us new goods.
There are problems with the caravans, you say?
Oh yes. Right now, I'm desperately awaiting a new delivery of fresh fruit, but the cart is late in arriving.
I'm sorry to hear that.
You might be able to help me, now that I come to think of it. If you're heading south in the near future, you could maybe keep an eye out for a cart containing fruit? I'd be very grateful if you could bring me word of it.
An easy task, friend. I will do it! Do you know what route they were taking?
They should have passed by the Dwarven Bread inn. But I'm not sure where they are. If they had made it to Glenborous, or nearer, they would have sent word. So I'd start at the Dwarven Bread. Alright.

Have you seen a cartload of fruit pass by here recently?
What's it to you?
5 gold coins.
Alright. It was here around lunchtime. I think the drivers had a bit too much "lunch" if you catch my drift. They took the wrong turning and headed south. You'd better hurry to catch them before they blunder right into an orc war-camp!

I headed down the road. Several minutes of walking later, I was relieved to see the cart at the side of the road, and the drivers alive and well. Their oxen were grazing at the side of the road.

Can I offer you a helping hand?
Listen, friend. Merchant Marcus, up at the market square, will gladly give you a new wheel out of his stock if you tell him his fruit shipment is presently mouldering here. Tell him he can knock the cost off the price he pays for the fruit when we arrive safely.
Marcus already guessed that something was amiss. It was he who sent me to look for you.
Ha! Marcus is the salt of Rivellon! One of the best fellas I've ever had the privilege to do business with! When he hears that we've got a broken wheel he'll be glad to help us.
I'll see what I can do for you. Watch out for yourselves. In case you didn't already know, you took a wrong turn. If it wasn't for that broken wheel, you might have driven right up to the orcs doorstep.
Aye, thanks for the warning.

I took a quick look at the damage. One wheel was destroyed, but they'd somehow managed to get hardest part of the repair done - raising the axle up onto a block. If they got another wheel, replacing it shouldn't take long at all.

I hurried back to the Rivertown Market, using the teleporter to speed my journey.

I found the cart you're waiting for. They're stuck, because the cart needs a new wheel.

Yes, I'll do it. Nobody deserves to be stuck out there with bandits and worse stalking the roads.
Excellent! Wait, I'll bring you the wheel. I have one in my cart over there...

Here it is! Have a safe journey!

Apparently, Marcus had confused me with a bodybuilder of some sort. The bloody thing was tremendously heavy and hard to move. I was just glad for the teleporters, walking the entire way with this thing would be an incredible pain. I started rolling it.

I headed down the road, but something was different.

Was this blood here the last time? I don't remember it...

I tried to hurry as fast as I could, but after I rounded the bend I just let the wheel I was rolling along fall.

I tried not to think about the last time I'd seen a cart burning... the day my mother died.

It didn't work.

I left the wheel Marcus had given me beside the burning cart. There were skulls impaled on stakes. I spat angrily.

Bastard orcs...
You look, but you do not see. Look with your brain, not your heart.

The passenger in my head was right. Something was wrong... there were more impaled skulls than there had been drivers.

There was no trail heading south, so I headed the other way, following the blood.

If the drivers escaped, whose skulls were those? And if they didn't, and this blood is the trail from their bodies, why would the orcs drag them up north towards Dwarven lands, instead of south to their camp?

The trail headed into the woods east of the Dwarven Bread inn. Snapped branches and crushed undergrowth indicated that there had been heavy traffic. Perhaps whoever destroyed the cart had moved the cargo through here.

I cautiously continued, listening intently for any signs of trouble nearby.

The drivers of the cart, butchered...

They were, minus most of their blood, but still with their heads attached. The skulls were faked... but who would go through the trouble of doing that?

Someone who knows that no one will notice if "orcs" destroy another caravan or two, but might be on the lookout if one simply vanishes completely...

I noticed a bit of fabric caught on a sharp twig. There was a gold coin on the ground beneath it.

Someone didn't notice that they tore a hole in their bag when they were hauling off the loot. If I'm lucky, this trail will lead...

...right to their hideout.

I entered the cave ready for a fight.

"About the Game" posted:

These woods are indeed full of orcs, and you can find them on the road to the cart as well. I decided to leave them out because it didn't help the narrative.

It was completely quiet, but I didn't let my guard down. Whoever had been in here had killed two people that I knew about, but probably a whole lot more.

The only thing seeming to guard it at the moment was a scorpion. I proceeded deeper into the depths, and I heard voices echoing down the halls - from behind me.

The Black Market Bandits

Ah, maybe it was one of them stinking orc bandits who've been lurking around this region lately.
I don't know what it was, but I saw something. I don't like this one little bit...
And who left the gold in this cave in the first place, eh?

I decided to meet them head on. Suprisingly, they didn't even bother with a "Who are you?" or "What are you doing here?", and just attacked right away. It was somewhat refreshing, although it also meant that these were professional killers.

They were pretty tough, resisting my lightning attacks surprisingly well, but I could tell that the woman was taking the worst of it.

I don't usually hit women, but when one is actively trying to kill me seems to be a good time to make an exception. Chivalry went completely out the window in favour of pragmatism.

She went down with a painful scream and didn't move.


With the woman dead, I was able to focus on the mysterious man, which was a good thing, for her death seemed to enrage him.

I actually needed a breather in his onslaught, so I cast Energy Cage on him.

He swung his sword angrily at the walls, but it wouldn't go through. When the cage dissipated a few seconds later, he charged with an angry yell and took a fireball to the face.

I patted the body down and searched the pockets, coming up with several keys.

The next room had a table with a note on it.

You weren't careful enough. If you hadn't been so sloppy with the bodies and the gold, I'd never have found you.

The lever on the all opened a small storage room on the north end of the cave. The keys on Victorio's body opened some chests in there. Marcus's wares weren't in them; they only contained a meager selection of weapons. There was nothing else to do except return to the market to deliver the bad news and investigate further.

I'm sorry - I was too late. The caravan had been attacked. The drivers were all dead and the goods were stolen.
The drivers killed? The goods were stolen? Damn those orcs!
The evidence scattered around certainly made it look like it was an orc raiding party that killed them, but I'm not altogether convinced...
Well, you tried to help these poor murdered bastards, so here, take your reward. If you manage to recover my wares, by the way, I'd be willing to pay another 500 gold for their return.
I've found this note in a cave near the spot where that the attack on the caravan took place. It seems to prove the orcs weren't responsible for the killings. The clue points here to Rivertown...
Interesting... There are rumors of black market traders operating here in Rivertown. Tingalf, for example is selling wares, but nobody seems to know where they come from...
Tingalf? Where can I find him?
Just look around the market area. He is usually hiding in some dark corner, looking out for new customers...

I looked around and eventually spotted Tingalf hanging around near Geoff's shop. I doubted that he'd be willing to just blab to anyone, but I could be rather... Charming, when I put my mind to it.

"About the Game" posted:

- Charm lets you charm a hostile enemy, causing them to attack each other instead of you. At Rank 1, it lasts for 5 seconds, and affects enemies with spiritual resistance below 5. At Rank 5, it lasts for 25 seconds and affects enemies with spiritual resistance below 25. Each time you use it on an enemy, they resist it more - their spiritual resistance goes up by 10 each time you cast it on them, so you only can Charm them a certain amount of times before it no longer works. Bosses (like the one we're about to meet) are immune.

This is not Morrowind or Oblivion and you can't actually use Charm the way I'm using it here. It only works on hostiles. All the restrictions make it pretty poor way to spend skill points.

Fruit! Fresh frui- hey what are you... huh... what happened? ... Nevermind.

How are you, friend?
Fine, fine. Business is excellent, lately. In fact, the worse the orc raids are, the better I seem to do, funnily enough.
Excellent for you, of course...
Shhh! Speak soft, I beg you! But you're right; I've got a lot of things you can't get elsewhere nowadays. Are you interested in my collection of wares?
How come you always have wares to sell, when all the other merchants have little or nothing due to the trouble?
Hehehe, yes, yes...
Ha! The troubles touch everyone, merchant. Don't be so smug. You'll run low on merchandise very soon yourself...
No, no, my friend, don't worry your pretty battle-scarred head about my merchandise. My companions and I have a cache nearby and it's filled with choice items I bet you're just drooling to buy.
A goods cache? Where is it?

Charm can only take you so far. It doesn't make you stupid.

Well, I'm sure you'll understand that I can't tell you where. That's the sort of secret men die for. Have died for, if you get my drift.
Very well.

I've spoken to Tingalf and he's admitted that there's a secret cache of stolen goods nearby.
A secret cache of goods? If only you could find it... I bet it's made up of stock stolen on its way to me!

The answer was obvious of course.

Hail my friend! I come from our good friend Victorio. He wanted me to check how everything is going down here.

As I thought, you haven't got a clue. Nice try, but now we're wasting time. Let's get this over with - in five minutes one of us will be dead.
Oh well, it was worth a try...

It didn't even take five minutes, actually. I picked up Pedro's sword. It was a really nice sword.

"About the Game" posted:

We'll be seeing this sword again, but since this update is not "canon" to the LP, it will have a different origin.

Also, I don't think there is any way to give a correct password. The quest can't be completed until the thugs are all dead anyway.

He'd also dropped a letter.

This should be enough evidence.

Heard anything new about my wares?
I've found the secret cache of goods! They're in the sewers - just head left from the bottom of the ladder. This note proves that it's your goods that are stored there.

A pleasure working for you!

"About the Game" posted:

Completing this quest gives you one free rank in Identify. I put in two more skill points manually, and I have two +1 Identify items, so now I can identify items up to Rank 5. This will come in handy immediately in Chapter 46.

I've discovered where the black market members in Rivertown store their ill-gotten goods. It's been directly below your feet all this time, in the sewer system.
Yes. Merchant Marcus has already informed us. Good work, citizen.
Ah, and yes... Tingalf is also involved in this affair. He sold the stolen gods here on the market...
Interesting... another tiny little detail in this dirty affair. Thank you again, citizen...

Behind the Scenes

The pacing and timeline of the Merchant Guild quest feels odd if you do it all at once. As soon as you go get the wheel, the cart is destroyed, the merchandise is moved to the cave, Vittorio contacts Pedro, Pedro writes a letter back, and they move the merchandise again to the Rivertown sewers, the entrance of which smack-dab in the middle of the market with NO ONE NOTICING.

Obviously, turning Tingalf in means that you can't trade with him anymore. He does sell lockpicks, poison and traps, so if you use those, you may want to let him stay free.

The quest is completed, returning to Trevor doesn't give you anything other reward or dialogue as far as I can recall. I should show off purchasing a house, though, but this update was already image-heavy.

What's fake in this update?