The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 68: Den of Thieves

Chapter 51 - Den of Thieves

Previously on Divine Divinity:

I'd learned from practice and experience that rushing a pick was the surest way to waste time. I chose the right lockpick and inserted it gently into the keyhole. Slowly and carefully I felt out the tumblers; it was almost instinct by now. A wiggle here, a twist there and....

There was a click, and the doorknob turned. I shoved my lockpick set back into my pocket and crept into the dark room, closing the door behind me.

Hey, nimble-fingers! I know your game! Give me back my money or I'll take it back with your blood on it!
OK, take your money back, but let me go now...
Not so fast. You've got quick fingers, Logan. Yes, I know who you are and where you live. Teach me what you know about picking pockets, so I can avoid having mine picked by the likes of you in the future.

Now, you look a likely sort who doesn't mind working outside the law if the pay's good
You're mistaken.
I've got a good eye for people, and I'm never mistaken. I've been sent to find some reliable people to perform certain... er... delicate tasks for my master. Now, I'm sure you've heard of the Ducal Inn.

Chapter 51 - Den of Thieves

Music - "Dancing with Mirth"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

25 Sembten 1218

It was past midnight, but this place showed no signs of getting ready to close.

So, as my friend who just left kindly pointed out, I'm currently unemployed. Anyone know where I can find a job?"

"D'yer mean, honest work?"

"Not much chance of 'im findin' that 'round 'ere."

There was a ripple of laughter throughout the bar. I had consumed several pints of fine ale in full view of the room. While I was starting to feel the effects, I was a lot less drunk than I was pretending to be.

I laughed bitterly. "I tried 'honest' work, and look what it got me! Thrown out of the castle on my arse by an ungrateful brat! After ALL that I did for the pint-sized little puke and his precious dukedom. No, the days of fairy-tale heroism died long ago. Honest work. Hah. Yeah, I'll tell you about 'honest work.' One of those stuffed-shirts in a fancy mansion hired me to break into the vault of another. That's how those 'honest' folk make their money. Plotting and scheming and stealing from everyone."

I turned away and stared into my ale. A few minutes later, a man came up and ordered a beer.

So, that job you mentioned, the one breaking into Sir Patrick's vault. Did you do it?

I took a sip of my drink before replying.

I may be drunk... but I don't remember mentioning any names.
You didn't?

I spotted a bowl of pistachios sitting farther along the bar. I used telekinesis to pull the bowl to within arms reach.

"No, I didn't," I said, popping a pistachio into my mouth.

Well, it wasn't hard to figure out, "Lord Protector." There's a rumor going around that Sir Patrick was robbed. He tried to keep it quiet, of course, but people talk.

I made a sour face. "That stupid title was foisted on me by Janus. You can call me Mr. Liro. And I can call you ...?"

My name is Rob and I am the owner of this fine tavern you find yourself in. Welcome.
Thank you. ... You seem to want to ask me something. Go ahead.
Just between us, that robbery at Sir Patrick's... was it you?
Don't worry. I know how to keep a secret. It's important among my friends.
Your friends... You mean the Thieves' Guild?
Thieves guild? You've been reading too many stories. There's no such organization.

"Oh. My mistake," I popped another pistachio into my mouth. "So you wouldn't mind returning the 315 gold, two emeralds, enchanted dagger, and rat you just stole from me then?"

A look of fear and alarm passed across Rob's face, before he tried to resume a poker face.

"Wha- I've done no such..." he paused as he finished processing all of the words I'd just said. "Wait, Rat? What rat?"

"Then what's that in your pocket squirming around, then?" I asked mildly, popping another pistachio.

My rat emerged from Rob's clothes clutching a small bag between its teeth. It dropped the bag on the bar and gave a cheerful "Squeak!"

Rob chuckled. "Nicely done, Mister Liro." He handed me back my possessions.

I took another sip of ale. "You've got some balls on you, friend, trying to rob me after the display I put on," I said mildly.

Rob shrugged. "Risk is part of business," he said.

Speaking of business, would you have any work for me?
I may have work... although to be honest I was hoping for a strong barbarian type from the northlands. The work is hard.
Look. Do you require my services or not?
We shall see. If you can prove yourself trustworthy... maybe. Have you ever thought of joining a Guild?

Another sip. More pistachios.

I am a already a member of the Merchants' Guild.

It was Rob's turn to make a sour face.

Bah! You can practically buy your way into such a guild. They have no honour.
So what kind of guild should I join?

"No! I haven't. I have it on very good authority that such a guild doesn't exist" I smiled. Rob remained silent. The time for joking was over, now it was time to get down to business. I lowered my voice.

I need to know how to get into Stormfist Castle without being seen. I have heard rumors that the Thieves' Guild can get in anywhere. So, can you help me?
If this would be the case, such information can only be given to members of our guild. I am sorry.
How do I become a member of the Thieves' Guild?
Hah! Firstly, we do not let any novice join until his skills have been tested to their limits. If you fail, then we lighten your pocket drastically if you wish to join.
Very well. Tell me what I must do to join.
Look over yonder. Do you see the drunken guest in the corner of the tavern? His name is Sweeney. In one of his pockets is a necklace. Let us see if you can lift the necklace without being caught and bring it to me.

With that, Rob got up and moved behind the bar.

"About the Game" posted:

This is what I wanted to find a +1 Pickpocket item for. This is the only time I'll use Pickpocket in the game. Sweeney is level 1, so I only need the single point, which lets me pickpocket NPC's of up to Level 6. I found a helmet which had the +1.

I was actually somewhat upset that I still remembered my old thieving instincts. I didn't care for the reminder of my past failings.

A drunken mark is not much of a challenge. See, I have the necklace.
That was not very difficult.

Rob signaled for a waitress, and when she arrived, he gave her the necklace.

Tell Sweeny that he dropped this... again.
Of course.
Shall we proceed to the next test?

"Another test?" I sighed. "Are you serious?"

We can't just let anyone in. We must thouroughly test prospective members to ensure they have the natural talent to become a thief of exceptional skill.
Tell me about this second test then.
Come here behind the counter and use that hatch to enter the cellar. Once below, head to the door on the north wall. The lock on that door is rather... challenging. Take these lockpicks and see if you can get inside. As proof of success, you are to bring be the bottle of ale that I have stored within the room.

Music - "A Sense of Disorientation"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

There was another bar in the cellar, darker and clearly more private. The bartender watched me.

I uh... I'm here for the test?

He smiled and waved me off.

Apparently Rob had very low standards for what it took to get admittance to the guild, because I picked the lock in less time than it takes to say "Hello."

What about that door? Did you open it with the lockpicks?
I was successful. Here's the bottle of ale. Do we share a glass as celebration now?

Excellent! So what do I get, now that I'm a member?
The reward is certainly worth it. I can teach you some extra tricks, if you'd like...

"About the Game" posted:

We really did lose two reputation points for joining the Thieves Guild, but it doesn't matter much. Two reputation points are more than made up for it by a free skill point.

Rob offers to teach us (give us one free skill point) in either Lockpicking, Disabling Traps, or Pickpocketing. There aren't that many traps in the game, nor are there many worthwhile pockets to pick, so go for Lockpicking.

I need to know how to get into Stormfist Castle without being seen. Can you help me, now?
Of course I can. In fact, I know of several entrances, all using Rivertown's sewers. Here... I've got a crude map of the sewers which you can have. It should help a bit. The safest way to get to them is using the entrance in the cellar of one of our houses. Go to Lain, in Rivertown's poor quarter and use this key to unlock the hatch located in the cellar of his house.
Very well. Thank you. I must leave now.
Stormfist Castle is very well protected. You'll need more than a map to get in.
What will I need, then?
The locks on the entrances are of the highest quality. You'll need to be a Master of Lockpicking to even attempt to enter. Rodgar in the guild below can test your skills and train you if you require it.
Also, the locks are special, magical locks. You'll need magical lockpicks.
Damn. This is going to be hard enough without an added complication.
Where would I get those?!
I think Finnegan has a set. You can ask him if you can borrow them, but he's probably not going to just turn them over to a new recruit.
Damn. Where can I find Finnegan?
He should be in the bar below. You may have seen him when you fetched the ale. Also, a word of warning...
I haven't been there myself, but it's extremely likely that Stormfist is protected by the most powerful magical traps around. It could be extremely deadly. You may want to protect yourself with potions or enchantments if you're serious.
Thanks for the tips.
Good luck, and if you get caught, I've never heard of you.
If I get caught, no one will ever hear from me.

Gods, not another meaningless chore which will take forever.
I am an adventurer. It is most rare to have any free time.
So, you want to be an adventurer? But you are surely too ugly for such a profession? I do not mean offense, but I fear any kidnapped maiden rescued by your hand would be most disappointed by your visage.
Actually, I am very proud of my tight waistline.
Alas, if it was only your waistline that was the problem! But I think I should not press that topic any further.

He laughed.

I do hope you will forgive my sense of humour. Many say that I am most strange.
I must say that strange characters are not to my liking either.
Hah! You are as quick and cutting with your tongue as I. Master Rob did well to choose you.
You're a member of the Thieves' Guild? I'm looking for someone named Finnegan.
My name is Finnegan. You are in the Thives' guild, my friend! This is the meeting room for the guild members. You will find yourself surrounded by naught but cutthroats and scoundrels in here.
What can you tell me about Rob?
That's Master Rob, my friend. He is a fine fellow. Under his tutelage, the Thieves' Guild will reach new and greater levels of power!
You were saying something about a job? State your business, then I will judge whether it is interesting.
I may have a task for you, but it is rather tricky and there is a chance that you could be thrown in prison.
I think you missed the word illegal in your description of the task there, my friend.
Oh, it certainly is illegal business my friend, but I would give you something most useful if you would take care of my problem.
I am in enough trouble with the authorities as it is. Forget it. The only thing I want is to borrow your magical lockpicks. Now tell me what you...

A smile of amusement crept across Finnegan's face.

Commander Kratus confiscated my favorite pair of lockpicks. I got those lockpicks from my father, so they are of sentimental value. They are also imbued with very useful magics too. I wish them returned to me as soon as possible. And don't be thinking you can just nick them and use them yourself. These take a special touch to use.
Of course. That's just my bloody luck.
This sounds far too simple. Why don't you go to the office?
Kratus and I do not get along very well. He has put a very large amount of money on my head and wishes to see me dead. If Kratus caught me in his office, he would execute me on the spot, whereas all you have to worry about is being locked up for a while. And in your case, maybe not even that, "Vampire Slayer."
I doubt that will help - Kratus doesn't seem to like me, and I'm sure going over his head and having Ralph arrest the Duke's assassin in Kratus's jurisdiction probably was embarrassing for him as well. I also don't want to think about what will happen if I get locked up and 'Lady Elona' hears about it.
Just how am I supposed to steal something from Commander Kratus?
I hear tell that Commander Kratus is claustrophobic and constantly leaves his office to get some fresh air. When he leaves, sneak into his office and retrieve the lockpicks. They should be the top drawer of his desk.
I will see what I can do for you.
Thank you, my friend, and god fortune to you!

The magic lockpicks were only one part of my half-formed plan, and even if I had them right now, they'd be useless without the skill to properly use them. I thought I was good enough, but I wasn't sure.

Who are you?
My name is Rodgar, and I'm a master in lock-picking here in the guild...
I'm Jeremiah. I'm quite experienced in the art of thievery, I must say...
...although I greatly regret having such experience.
Hm, we'll see... Interested in a little bet? It'll be about 5,000 in gold...
Maybe... it depends on what we're betting on.
A simple test of skill my friend. All right... here's the deal... If you follow the corridor to the south, you will see two doors, one to the left, and one to the right. Please turn left through the door that is not locked. In this room, you'll find four doors... you're still following me?
Of course...
Open as many doors as you can. If you were able to open all four of them, you can try your luck on the last door on the right... but be careful, it's a tricky one... here, I'll give you five lockpicks. I bet you aren't able to open all five doors. Good luck...
Again lockpicking? I had to prove to Rob recently...
Yes, I know about the initial tests of our guild master... But this is the advanced lesson. So, is it a bet? 5000 gold if you can open all 5 locks, you give me 5000 gold if you cannot.
Well, this is what I'm here to find out. If I lose, I've got plenty of gold to spare.
Agreed. I'll try my best. See you later...

The first door was just as easy as the one guarding the ale. There was nothing but an empty room behind it, though. The second lock was harder. The third lock was when I had to start concentrating more, and the fourth one was very tricky.

The lock on the fifth door looked intimidating. I spent several minutes working on it before giving up.

The fourth door was your best? Not bad, really not bad...
So it seems...

Thank you...
You look tired. Why don't you take a rest in one of the side rooms.
Is that all right?
Sure. People here are used to using this place when they need to lay low for a few days.

I found a room which didn't have a lived-in feel and flopped down on the bed. For the first time in days, I felt safe, and soon slipped into sleep.

"About the Game" posted:

The fifth door can only be opened with Lockpick level 5. If you open it before going back to Rodgar, you win 5000 gold, but it's better if you fail to open all five doors, because he'll teach you one rank in Lockpick. One skill point is worth a hell of a lot more than 5000 gold.

There's treasure in there, but also some nameless NPC thieves, and the door is trapped with poison.

I kept seeing the same thing over and over again.

Video - The Holy Sword

Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
What are you talking about?
Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
Hey, can you even hear me, dude?
Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
Hey man, are you alright?

My eyes snapped open. I was standing up in a hallway in the Thieves Guild. I was carrying a sword by the blade, the hilt dragging along the ground behind me.

Huh? What happened?
You were sleepwalking, I guess... dude.
Sleepwalking? That's...

The man was standing in front of a door. For no reason I understood at the time, deep down I had a strong urge to enter.

What's through there?

All right, "dude..."

Sleepwalking? That's never happened to me before... I think. Why now? Why here? ... And why can't I get those words out of my head.
Concentrate, something is nearby... you know what you sense...

I looked at the sword I clutched by the blade. It was the one from my vision, the one from Iona's dungeon. The one with the words inscribed on it: Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.

Three must come together...

I closed my eyes and concentrated on the sword. I felt the magical aura. But nearby, from inside Rob's room, I felt the same aura.

Another one?

I opened the door into Rob's chamber. No one was inside. I closed my eyes and concentrated, following the aura.

My hand settled on a book. I lifted it. It felt heavier than it should. I opened it, it was a false book. Inside was a dagger.

Video - The Holy Dagger

I'd been seen by someone. If it just simply "vanished", they'd suspect me right away. I looked through my backpack, and I found something.

This is the right size and shape. Rob may not notice for a few days. ... Besides, what good is a dagger he can't use?

I swapped my dagger for his and left. I had an appointment with Commander Kratus's desk.

Being a mage certainly had its advantages, when it came to theft.

The lockpicks were right where Finnegan said they'd be. I felt the effects as soon as I picked them up. I felt lighter, more nimble, quicker. I didn't waste time figuring out why.

At least something went smoothly.

I have your magic lockpicks.
Ah, nicely done my friend... nicely done! Now I can go and relieve Sir Dante's treasure room of some of its contents. Here, take my spare lockpicks as a reward. Use them wisely and be aware of traps and watchdogs. Ah yes, and this stamina potion could also be useful when the guards stumble upon you at the wrong moment.
I need to borrow your magic lockpicks. It's urgent. I need to get into Stormfist Castle.

Finnegan frowned.

I told you, these have sentimental value. They're irreplaceable.
Yeah? How irreplaceable?
Pfft... You can't afford it. Finding a mage who can make these, who is willing to make these... no, the cost is just... too much for you, I'm afraid.
Try me.
40,000 gold pieces.
That's right.

I left in a hurry, to the Verdistis teleporter. There was one god thing about the heroing business. It paid well.

Here's your 40,000, plus a 10,000 bonus for teaching me how to use them right..

The expression on his face was priceless.

FI-FIFTY? Where'd you get that?
Is it a deal or not?
All right...

He handed over the magical lockpicks, I left the sacks of gold on the ground. Finnegan gave me a short, but thorough lesson on the proper care and use of magic lockpicks.

Jeremiah, stop. You might have the tools and skills to break into Stormfist, but once inside, your magic will be useless. How will you handle that?
After everything I've been through in the past week, I'm in no shape to go rushing off until I've had at least one full night's sleep.
I suppose it can't be helped, but you shouldn't delay long. Zandalor has been missing for days.
I've got a plan. Step one: I buy the biggest damn sword I can find. Tomorrow, we storm Castle Stormfist.

Next Time: Those Who Roam in the Sewers

Behind the Scenes

The locations Rob marked on our map, in case you're curious, aren't anything new. It's the mansions of Sir Patrick and Sir Dante, the Rivertown market, and the entrance to the Dwarven Halls in the Dark Forest, all places we've been.

The Magic Lockpicks are awesome:
1) You can turn them into Finnegan for the quest completion XP, end the conversation, and then talk to him again to buy them back for just 34 gold. This is strange, because the standard, non-magical ones cost 340 gold.
2) They are unbreakable, so you can throw away and sell all your other lockpicks (which weigh 3 each).
3) Having them in your inventory gives you a whopping 20 points to Agility. That is a LOT of free Agility, which means increased defense and - more importantly for the section coming up very soon - an increased chance to hit with melee attacks.

What's fake in this update?