Part 60: The Perfectly Sane Madman
Chapter 45 - The Perfectly Sane Madman
Music - "Old Rivertown"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
Previously on Divine Divinity:
Zandalor sent you? That must mean that you too are a Marked one. My name is Daniel Wouter.
I met Zandalor yesterday, and he said to meet him here. Do you know where he is?
He has gone to Stormfist Castle to find yet another Marked One, I believe.
Why did you come to Stormfist Castle?
Blasphemous dwarves have defiled the burial grounds of my revered ancestors. They've burned down the shrine and stolen the ceremonial relics. I came to Stormfist Castle to ask for council.
Everywhere you turn... the troubles just keep on coming. Is there no end to them?
Dwarves defiled your burial grounds?
Sheloi! Those long-bearded bastards stole the tome of Thirion Celendil, the first Elven King who came to Rivellon. Such a sacrilege cannot be ignored or forgiven!
You need help from Janus?
My people prepare for war, human. We'll not rest until we've either recovered our sacred relics or laid every dwarf who stands in our way in a shallow grave. Now I go to ask Duke Janus to approve the declaration of war.
Why do you need Janus's permission to march against the dwarves?
There's an old treaty between dwarves and you humans. In times of war, both are sworn to aid the other. I seek to ensure that Duke Janus and the human army will look to their own war with the orcs, and will leave the elves and the dwarves to settle their differences between themselves.
Chapter 45 - The Perfectly Sane Madman
One bottle of ale, my friend. Cheers!
Gods love ya! Cheers mate... *burp*
I returned to the castle's audience chamber. I felt it was time to talk more with Lady Elona, as repellant as she was.
"About the Game" posted:
I just want to emphasize that the upcoming exchange dialogue is completely real.
I thought I made it very clear to devote all your time to Janus! So why do you trouble me again?
I would like to know more about you. What is your relationship with Janus?
That's none of your concern. But know this, it was I who convinced Janus to appoint you to Stormfist Castle.
I didn't like Elona in the slightest. If I was going to be stuck here for the foreseeable future, I saw no reason not too spread the misery around by being as annoying as I felt I could get away with.
You ordered me to the castle? Well, I have to admit that older women do hold a certain attraction for me. Are you available?
Elona looked even angrier than usual, which was my goal.
New dimensions of pain, you say? Does that involve licking of boots and calling you mistress?
Elona's face turned many shades of angry red and purple. It almost looked like she was going to slap me before one of the guards tittered. She regained control and shot an icy look at the guards.
Very amusing, young man.
I decided not to press my luck any further, and reluctantly, I went to see Lord Janus.
I'm getting bored. Do you have any tasks for me?
Listen, Duke Janus, we need to discuss my present posting. I'm not happy!
I'm bored with this conversation. You will remain as my Lord Protector for the next forty years. After that, we'll see about granting you a little leave.
Listen, my lord duke, in forty years I'll be too old to fight for you.
Yes, you're probably right. But then, on the other hand, you'll probably be long dead in forty years. If you don't cop-it in the line of duty, I may well have you executed for wasting my time with pointless discussions. Do you catch my drift? Hmmm?
I think I need some fresh air. Please excuse me, my lord duke.
This place is a nightmare.
I found the flowers near the well. I carefully picked up the thorniest flowers of the bunch. I was just a big dumb guard. I just follow orders. I was ordered to fetch flowers. No one told me to remove the thorns, so I wasn't going to do that.
I took the flowers to Lela.
After my training, I hadn't managed to wash off all the sweat.
Why should I take a bath, when all I smell of is honest toil, my lady?
Honest toil is smelly. That's why I, like any person of true breeding, never lower myself to it. Now take your odour of sweat somewhere else, immediately!
I strongly considered giving up baths altogether. Instead, I just handed her the flowers, thorns out.
Duke Janus asked me to give you these flowers.
Ohhh! How ordinary. I was expecting jewelry, but I suppose these will have to do for now. Why are you still standing there, peasant? Go away!
I left the room.
Three... two... one...
Janus wasn't in his room, so I went to the audience chamber.
Well my lord, now that I did some tasks for you, you might be willing to tell me more about Zandalor's whereabouts?
Pfah! I'm so booored with this conversation. Zandalor left two hours after he came here. Said he had to look for someone. Come on, now do my little tasks to cheer me up, will you?
And that's going to be all I get out of him on this.
Pfff.... Is there anything else I can do for you now?
Lela has lost her teddy bear somewhere in the castle. I'm getting tired of her petulant whining, so you will locate this stuffed-toy and take it to her. His name, she tells me, is Unkle Samakayne, but I wouldn't bother calling out for him *ho ho*!
Before I could reply or leave, Theus made an announcement:
Announcing Ambassador Bronthion, of the Elven Kingdoms.
Video - Janus's meeting with Bronthion (Voice Acting)
Greetings, Ambassador. What can I do for you?
Thank you. Please go on, Ambassador.
As you must have heard, sire, a band of vagabond dwarves have defiled the elven Burial Grounds in the Dark Forest. These bearded scum have defiled the graves of our ancestors and have stolen holy relics of inestimable value to the elven people!
Yes... Well, that is certainly one side of the tale...
It is the entire truth, sire! You have my word that wicked dwarves have even stolen the sacred Tome of Thirion Celendil!
My dear ambassador, is the recovery of a simple book - written by a tired, semi-senile old elf - worth the risking of a blood war?
AMBASSADOR BRONTHION! Remember to whom you are speaking!
Listen, elf. We humans have an ancient treaty with the dwarven people. In the Age of the Damned, it was they who saved us from the first onslaught by the Lord of Chaos. Where were you elves then, huh? If the dwarves fight, we humans will stand at their side!
WHAT?! He's insane! I've seen the front lines, and his broken-down army might not last until winter against the orcs, never mind opening a second front against the elves!
SHELOI! You will support grave robbers and murderers!
By the Gods! You're either a fool or a monster, Janus. Your words will have dire consequences for all of Rivellon!
Bronthion started stalking out in a fury. I too was confused and in shock. The only thing I could think to say was:
Not to worry. Things went just as I hoped they would...
Janus suddenly realized who he was talking to.
Oh, it's you. Didn't I order you to find my sweet Lela's teddy-bear? Get on with it, my Protector!
Bronthion left the audience chamber. Theus followed him, trying to talk to Bronthion, but Bronthion waved him off without a word.
Teddy-bear? The whole world is going MAD and I'm supposed to care about some spoiled bitch-brat's stuffed animal? Maybe I can catch Bronthion before he leaves, maybe I can...
Maybe you can what? You're a no-one, a flunky with a fancy title.
I stopped just outside the audience chamber and watched despairingly as Bronthion strode through the front gates. Theus stopped following Bronthion and headed out of sight, probably going back to his house.
This... this is madness.
I understand your feelings. We heard the whole thing.
Jenna's gone... Zandalor is gone, and I'm trapped in this madhouse they call a castle.
Everything... it's all crumbling to dust...
Try not to worry, sir. You just have to accept that some things are bigger than you are, and try not to let things you can't influence bother you.
How can he SAY that?
What? You... you don't know anything. Shut up. Just shut up?
I-I'm sorry sir!
I stalked off without a word. I knew I shouldn't have yelled at the guard. It wasn't his fault. He didn't know anything about my problems. But I just didn't care anymore.
I found the stupid teddy bear. But I decided not to return it. Let the bitch keep whining to Janus about it. If it would make him even an eighth as miserable as I was at the moment, it'd be worth it.
There are times when you just need to get blindingly drunk. I went by the liquor cabinet again and grabbed a bottle. I headed back to Theus's house, and I didn't really care who saw me carrying the fancy booze.
Fine. Whatever. I'm going in here to get blind drunk. Come in or don't.
I entered Theus's house, and carefully set the bottle on the table. A minute later, Theus came in.
Go on, join the damn party. I don't know why I was worried about 40 years. The way Janus the Anus runs things, we'll all be finished by winter solstice.
Jeremiah... you shouldn't talk like that. It won't help anyone.
I just have one question on my mind, and I think it's the same one on yours. Between you and me, in private, Theus: is Janus mad?
Before answering, Theus retrieved a pair of glasses from a shelf. He poured a generous drink for each of us into them, and he downed his in one well-practiced gulp. I followed suit, and Theus re-filled the glasses. We each took a second drink.
How do you mean, Theus?
Theus re-filled the glasses.
Listen, but tell nobody what I tell you. The dukedom is on the verge of collapse. I know, because I have to oversee all the Duke's administrative affairs. The orc tribes are massing to invade from the south - a vast army that only an alliance of humans, dwarves and elves can hold back, but such an alliance is presently, quite impossible.
Theus took a sip from his glass.
Aye, the elves and dwarves hate each other, and neither race trust the humans...
And if that were not enough, the state is rotten inside as well as out. The poor grow in number every day and are ruthlessly exploited by the rich merchants and nobles in Rivertown and Verdistis. Crime is rampant on the streets, the crops are failing and trolls ravaged the farmlands...
Theus took another drink. I took one as well.
I know a little of what you speak of, but what has that to do with Janus claiming to be the Divine One?
Quite simply this, my friend: if he can convince the elves and dwarves that he is the chosen of the Gods, they will rally to the human flag. As the Divine One, he can order the merchants and nobles to trade fairly with the poor and help wipe out crime and pestilence. He could save the dukedom if he would but try!
Theus angrily downed the remainder of his glass, and refilled it. I took another drink as well.
But he isn't trying to save the situation, is he Theus? He just sits on his throne playing God.
You are right of course. But a Divine One is how our only hope in these dark days. I will serve Janus and pray that the Gods send him the wisdom to wield his power for the good of all.
You're a good man, Theus. You deserve a better master. We both do, in fact.
We sat there drinking in silence for a while.
I couldn't get any sleep. Dark thoughts kept running through my head.
I'd better keep training, every day until I'm strong enough to kill the guards outside the cellar. They're just doing their jobs, and they haven't got any other choice, but I don't have a choice either.
I didn't want to think like that, so I wandered up to the ramparts.
There were two guards standing near each other, watching the night sky, instead of the ground.
Hail, Lord Protector!
Lord Protector, Hail!
The guards saluted, and then quickly turned their eyes heavenward once again.
What are you staring at?
We're watchin' for the sky man.
The sky man. Haven't you seen him? He goes flying overhead the dukedom each night.
I think he's a wizard.
Some of the lads are thinking of pitchin' in for a spyglass, so's we can see 'im closer-like.
Shh! 'ere he comes!
I looked up too, and sure enough, there was something moving among the stars. I strained my eyes trying to get a better look as it passed by overhead.
Video - First statue in orbit
It was the statue of Mardaneus, formerly of Aleroth. I watched with the guards as it silently flew out of sight.
Next Time: Things Get Worse
Behind the Scenes
Obviously, threatening Janus isn't going to get you anywhere you'd like to go, but here you are anyway:
My humble servant Theus has told me that you managed to deliver the flowers to my beloved Lela without damaging them. Well done. I hope you're ready for your next task?
Right. I did you quite a few favours. Now tell me where I can find Zandalor, or I'll teach you a little lesson, O Divine One.
My dear protector, if you use that tone to me one more time, I'll have your head on a dinner plate. Understood? Topic closed!
One of the guards said "twoice" up above. That was not a typo, the intention was that the guard actually did pronounce "twice" as "twoice".
What's fake in this update?
- The screenshot of Theus inside his house was fake.
- The screenshot of Jeremiah with two guards on the rampart was mostly real, but the guard on the left was fake.