The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 76: Answers

Chapter 56 - Answers

Music - "Whispers from a Council Past"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Previously on Divine Divinity:

Hold there, lizard! What are you doing in a civilized village?
I am an outcasst, human. My peopless are a hard racce and have little time for thosse with gentle naturess. Sssss. Only in Aleroth could I find ssuccour and teaching in the healing artss.

Hmmm... You do look a lot better, so it must have worked.

Who the hell are you?
I am Zixzax the Almost-Wise. Flix Triktrik. Zixzax gathers knowledge of past, present and future, so he does.

Pyramid? You mean this teleportation device?

Zixzax suddenly snatched it from my hand.

HEY! Give that back!
Don't worry! Zixzax the Almost-Wise find other stone now! Bring them back soon!

My name is Bronthion D'Anthalis and I'm the elven ambassador from Teneb Tiriel - also called the Dark Forest in the Common tongue.
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.

Video - The Holy Sword

Video - The Holy Dagger

Chapter 56 - Answers

It's only sort of a temporary death.
What, you're going to turn me into a ZOMBIE?
No, don't be silly! You've been Marked, and it is your destiny to become the Divine One. To do this, you must meet the gods, and for this to happen, your mortal form must be destroyed. But we'll bring you back - perfectly alive and healthy.
Oh, my "mortal form will be destroyed," is that all? Well, NO PROBLEM! Why didn't you just say so in the first place!

Zandalor sighed. He looked very tired.

I will explain everything to you soon. Rest assured, I mean you no harm. Do you believe me?
He is telling you the truth Jeremiah. This is the only way, and when it is over, you will return stronger than before. Everything will be all right.

I nodded my head.

...Yes, Zandalor. I trust you.
Good, glad that's settled. You should check around and make sure there aren't any more nasty creatures lurking. I'll reinstate the protections around this holy ground, and after that, I'll have a much-needed sleep. I didn't have much chance for a rest in the bowels of Stormfist Castle, while being hunted by orcs day and night.
I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on him. The old man looks like he's pushing 70 years old.
SEVENTY? Heh ha ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
HA ha ha... heh... nothing. Nothing at all.

On the east side of the gong room was a small chamber containing a chest with some ancient magical weapons in it. Valuable to a collector, perhaps, but not useful for me to wield.

I went to the room on the other side, and...

You! You're that imp thief who stole my teleporter stones!
Zix ne zax. Sorry I am to have grabbed your property. It was needed to get me to this place. Here are the stones again. All yours!
How do you know I'm the Marked One?
Jox hottie. Your aura. Hasn't any other told you that you have the well-endowed aura of a Marked One? Can see it half a mile off, I can.
You still haven't told me what you're doing here in the meeting place of the Council of Seven.
Hrrrooot! Came I to search for historical knowledge. Zixzax is a historian. So he look for history all the time, yes? But when I came to this place, trapped I was by sneaky succubus. You kill her, Zixzax free! Snickersnax!
If you're a historian, can you tell me more about this place and what exactly is happening to me? I was struck down by a bolt out of the blue, and now everyone, including you, is calling me Marked One. I just don't understand.
Clorex zibrib. Listen now. I start from beginning. All this world made by the Gods in the time before there was death. They make trees, flowers, animals, rocks and all sorts...
That I could have guessed. What good are the Gods if they didn't make everything to start with?
Ziggurunt meggrax! Shut up and listen! One of the Gods, called himself Lord of Chaos. He broke the rules and made intelligent creatures to be his slaves. He called them demons, and that succubus you killed is being an excellent example. Zix zzix!
So demons were the first intelligent race?
Soodix. Yes, indeed. They the oldest and be hating the newcomers as they call all the rest like you and me. Other Gods got angry at Lord of Chaos and tried to kill the demons. But that not work so Gods made their own intelligent races to fight by them - elves, humans, orcs, imps, dwarves, trolls, lizards... all of us who not demons, in fact. Understand?
I remember my mother telling me stories about the Gods, but I never heard this...
Zickoid! This long-buried history. Soon it became clear that even with little mortal helpers to fight Lord of Chaos and his demons, good Gods still going to lose. So good Gods decide to play dirty. They left this physical world forever and this sucked old Chaos Lord along with them. But he got stuck between the spirit and physical plane. There he trapped and place called Hell grew around him. Understand?
Not exactly...
Hrootix! Good, at least you paying attention. Nobody really understands what happened to old Chaos. Now listen to more. Mortal races eventually kill all the demons. All demons go down to hell to play with big bad Lord of Chaos, ha ha. But sometimes demons find ways to come back to Land of the Living. Possess minds and tear-up innocent people. So good Gods, who now live only in spirit-world, choose certain mortals to become champions against evil...
Look, when are you going to get around to what has happened to me? Religion is all very well, but...
Tweetle notting! Story get to you right now, fool! The sign of Gods' chosen one is marked upon their skin, see?
That's what Zandalor said. That I'm something called the Divine One...
Rix Tix. You met Zandalor already? Didn't he explain all?
Not in so many words... He's a bit shaken up after his run-in with the succubus. I guess he's not as young as he used to be.
Trroot! Then go back now and bother him for histories for a bit. Come back later! Zizzax is needing a bit of a rest too. Zixzax will hang around here. Vickavix!
Very well. I'd like to talk more to you, but it will have to be later...

I examined my newly re-acquired Pyramid stones happily. I'd missed them. Zandalor was busy meditating or sleeping. I decided not to disturb him. I had some food and water in my pack. I left some for the sleeping wizard.

I found some stairs down to the lower rooms - living quarters and offices, long abandoned. Those areas were clear of undead, but I carefully checked every room as I went, just to make sure. After that, I lay down on a stone slab. Not the most comfortable beds, but I'd slept on worse.

27 Sembten 1218

I still had some food and water left, so after a cold meal I returned to the gong room. Zandalor wasn't there when I arrived, so I went to talk with Zixzax again.

Prixgrand! Marked One wish to talk further?
Why are you called Zixzax the Almost-Wise?
Nix nix! Human, we imps are a literal minded people. I seek knowledge, but have not yet attained all the knowledge I wish. So I am not yet wise. I am almost-wise. Since I seek all the knowledge of past history, but I will never know all, I will always only be named Almost-Wise.

Why do all imps talk in that funny way?
Yes and no. Zedox! Zedox! The words mean nothing in themselves. We imps speak common tongue or by sign language to each other, we do not have a spoken tongue of out own. We imps were made by the old crone Goddess being called Xantezza. She be having sick sense of humor. Nox nox! Them words a kind of speech impediment she make us all have, but they still express the emotion we be having at the time - so not complete waste of breath.

Tell me some more about the Gods.
Himm-yahoo. Gods can not come down to physical world no more. They sacrificed their physical bodies to banish Lord of Chaos to Hell. Now they live on spiritual plane with all dead creatures who had good clean souls.
Only the good souls go to spiritual plane? How can you know?
Zixzax not know. Zixzax just tell what is in very old writings. And as people tend to forget, old writings are usually best source to find truth.
Hmph. What more do they tell?
Old writings tell also it possible you go to Lord Chaos in Hell when you die. With demons. Bad fate! Now Gods not answer prayers anymore. Very rarely, they create God-like guardian of living world called the Divine One. This very interesting. Zixzax very happy!

Tell me more about this demon God called the Lord of Chaos.
Xix jix. Some say Lord of Chaos was here before other Gods were born from the Sun. He child of Primal Chaos and want to take whole world back to his mother, some think. All be gone then!
But this didn't happen, no?
Blix! No no! Long ago he banished to Hell, but once was re-risen with help of evil wizards called the Damned. They made war on Rivellon with old Lord Chaos as their general, but they beaten and Chaos went back to Hell with all his little demon helpers.

What is the Sword of Lies? Why is it so powerful?
Hirixixix. That toy of death most dangerous thing in world, Marked One, or so I am guess. All know it the sword that Archmage Ulthring wield at Battle of the Damned - when Lord of Chaos banished to Hell and army of evil wizards called the Damned all slaughtered.
Yes, Zandalor told me that story too.
But I know old imp fable. Lord of Chaos made that sword for Ulthring. Put a little bit of his soul into the making of it. Ulthring dead at Battle of Damned, but great hero Ralph, who kill Ulthring, took sword. It never heard of again. But I thinking that if sword still exists, it is link to big bad God: Lord of Chaos. Bad folk may use it to call him back from Hell. Then we all die screaming.

Who are the Black Ring? Why are they after me?
Rirririck! Black Ring a mystery wrapped up inside an enigma inside a mystery! My people have many dark contacts. Some even call imps evil's folk, but even we know almost nothing about the Black Ring. I think they like the Damned - evil wizards who seek to rule all Rivellon - but I do not know. All I know for sure is that they are very active. Fingers in every pie in Rivellon.
Why are they so much after me?
Why do they want you? Ha! They kill any who cross them or try to find out what they do. If you become a Divine One, you have power to smash all their little plans like sandcastles!

What do you know about this mark of mine? And how does it make me a Divine One?
Brrrootix hatun! Mark not make you Divine One. It just show that the Gods like you. If you prove worthy then, maybe, you become Divine One. Long ago, back before the Damned called up Lord of Chaos from Hell, there lots of Divine Ones. They have God powers, but still being mortal.
What are you saying now? Is a Divine One a god or a mortal?
No, not god. They Gods' agents in living world. Some call them Guardian Angels, because they fight invasions from Hell and end injustice and unhappiness.
So why are there no guardian angels anymore?
Zixzax not know. Perhaps there still are. But after Lord of Chaos escape from Hell, no more new Divine Ones chosen by Gods. Maybe Gods sick of mortal troubles. If you prove worthy of mark, you being first Divine One in over thousand years! Great power. Great responsibility. Don't know myself if you look up to it.

I left the side chamber. Zandalor walked into the room.

Good, you're still here.

I motioned helplessly with my arms.

Where exactly would I go?
I don't know, but last night you seemed worried that I was going to murder you. Do you still fear that?
I don't fully understand, but there's an imp historian in the other room. He calls himself Zixzax the Almost-Wise. I was talking with him. I am, I guess, supposed to become the Divine One?
Yes, you are the only hope we have to stop the Black Ring's nefarious plans.
Yes, yes, become the Divine One, stop the Black ring. But to become the Divine One, I need to be directly blessed by the Seven Gods?
Yes, precisely! The problem is that when the Seven Gods tried to banish the Lord of Chaos the first time, they had to leave the mortal plane behind.
And since the Seven Gods are now on the spirit plane, I have to be killed to meet them?
Yes, but once you become the Divine One, you will be returned back just the way you left.
Once? Zizxax said that I had to prove myself worthy first.
And I'm sure that they will find you worthy to be their chosen.
Me? As the bloody chosen of the gods? They must have a sick sense of humor. I'm no saint, Zandalor, I've done bad things in my life. People have died because of my mistakes, and my folly.
The gods like to make sure the most interesting characters find themselves in the most inappropriate positions.
I accidentally killed my best friend through my own arrogance, and ended up walking away from magic for a long while... until after I was Marked.
But you had the strength of character to walk away.
... I don't know... for now, let's just focus on what your plans are.

"About the Game" posted:

Credit where it is due: Zandalor's line, "The gods like to make sure the most interesting characters find themselves in the most inappropriate positions." Came from (HUGE SPOILERS) Rhianna Pratchett's prequel novella for Beyond Divinity I also got the idea that Jeremiah was "born with magic in the blood" from there, although it doesn't really matter much. If you want to avoid some HUGE spoilers, do not Google the thing in the tag. I can't even say the title of it. Please do not mention it in the thread.

THE Ruben Ferol told Zandalor personally? No, it must have been someone else with that name.
And how do we find them?
This place, home of the Council of Seven will find them for us. There are seven balls and seven statues, one for each race. When properly placed, the correct crystal ball with the correct statue will show you that race's chosen council member, no matter where they are or what they are doing.
That's probably lead to a few awkward or embarrassing moments in the past.
Where are these statues?
They are in the north room of the council. I have never been there. We only used to go there in times of sorrow... when a council member had died. But now, the two of us entering is a sign of hope!
And what is the big gong in the center of the room? Can we use it to order food?
The gong is called the Gathering Bell. It is used to call a meeting of the Council of Seven. Whenever someone strikes the gong, the seven council members telepathically know that they must come here.
Why don't we just bash this gong then?
Listen, child of ignorance, the last meeting was held over six-hundred years ago. Most of those council members are long dead and must have been replaced by new council members - whether they guess it or not. They must be informed of their great honour!
MOST of them are dead? Gods! You mean there might still be some alive after six hundred years? How do the new members get chosen?
Actually, there is only one surviving member of the old council, young whippersnapper, and he is standing before you right now.
Ye gods! You don't look six-hundred-years-old!
This is why you were laughing, isn't it, mystery voice.
This place - the Council of Seven - chooses its own members. By correctly placing the crystal balls on the statues, a new member will be chosen by the enchantment. It then simply remains to tell them and for them to accept the honour.
Well, anyway, I suppose we'd better get to work with the statues and the balls.
Yes indeed! Oh, and one more thing... Once you convince a member to come to the Council of Seven, all he has to do is say the following magical word XXBZPTRL, he will teleport immediately to this place! Now then, it is time we start finding those council members!
Um... what? say that magic word again?

"Xxbzaakk!!! Theven Gudth! Ahh thik ahh thprayed by tung!"

You would not believe how much a sprained tongue hurts.

Youth got to be kihdink me. I cant thay that. I cant ethen thpell it.
It's easy, my friend. Ex Ex Bee Zed Pee Tee Ahr Ell.
Eth Eth Bee Thed Pee Tee Ahhr Ehl.

I sighed. This was not a promising start. I cast a healing spell on myself to repair my tongue as I followed Zandalor into the north room. Xx...bzptrl. Xxbzptrl.

I decided to start in the middle.

Aye. So it's true that you are the council member for the wizards.
Heh?! You didn't believe be when I told you so before?
Nay, I did not disbelieve you, good Zandalor, for it's very hard to believe that you are six-hundred-years-old.
Hmmm... Very well then, I suppose...

Video - Let's Go Scrying (Voice acting)

"About the Game" posted:

I believe that despite the voice acting, the main character is thinking these things, not saying them out loud. Otherwise Zandalor is just being pointlessly redundant for no reason.

I recognized the figure and the surroundings immediately.

That's Mardaneus, the chief healer of Aleroth!
Hai! That's Mardaneus, an old friend of mine. You can most likely find him in Aleroth...
Yes, I know him. It was only a few weeks ago that I saved him - well, his mind anyway - from the clutches of a long-dead necromancer.
Ha! You'll have to tell me that story sometime. In the meantime, you should continue scrying.

Hmm... I have a feeling that I know this lizard. It's so hard to tell from this angle. His name... argh... it's on the tip of my tongue, damn it!
I recognize this lizard! That's the good Goemoe. He is a healer settled in Aleroth, but currently he is living at the Blue Boar Inn. I heard he is there to help cure the plague that has struck the Poor Section of Rivertown. You must go there immediately and ask him to come join the council!
Goemoe! Of course. I know him as well. The "plague" wasn't a plague at all - Dr. Elrath, a member of the Black Ring poisoned a well in the poor quarter. I exposed him and he was arrested, although...

I looked down.

...not before another victim succumbed to the poison.
I should have done more. I wish I had been faster, done things differently. Maybe Tibus wouldn't have died.
Or maybe Elrath wouldn't have finished making a second antidote and a second person would have died. You can't change the past, no matter how much you might wish to. So do not worry yourself with "what-if's" you can't do anything about.
What? Why would the Black Ring poison the poor quarter?
They wouldn't. Elrath did it on his own. The poison was intended for the well in the barracks.
You're full of surprises, Jeremiah! The dukedom is lucky to have you!

"About the Game" posted:

This line has always struck me as rather stupid. It's NOT like there's been dozens of friendly lizards we've met and talked with in the game. Goemoe is the ONLY ONE who doesn't attack on sight.

Hmm... I have the feeling that I've seen this elf somewhere before. ... I remember now! I met that elf when I was serving as the Duke's Lord Protector in Stormfist Castle. ... What was that elf's name again? Hmmm... Oh yes, I remember - he's called Bronthion!
I don't recognize this elf, but he appears to be in the Dark Forest. The elves regularly make camp there when they are on their way to, or are coming back from trading in Rivertown.
I know who that is! His name is Bronthion. I met him when I was Janus' protector in Stormfist Castle.
Bronthion? Yes, I recall that name. I believe he's an elven ambassador. I am also sure that you will find him in the Dark Forest.
It's a big place. Let's hope his camp is on the road.

Hmm... I don't think I recognize this dwarf.
I don't believe I recognize this dwarf. Nor am I familiar with his surroundings. Perhaps we ought to wait a while and scry again at a later time. We may see more clues then.
That's it? "Scry Hazy, Check Again Later"? In case you didn't know, the planet is pretty damn big. What if we can't see any clues later?
We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. Have faith, Jeremiah.

Orcs. It's hard to believe that I'll need the help of an orc to save my sister. After what they did to my mother... no... not all of them. It wasn't really the fault of all orcs everywhere. But still, asking an orc for aid... it can't be helped, I guess.
You're maturing, Jeremiah. I'm glad.

What is that?! It looks like some sort of... prison!
That's an orc prison! I know, because I've spent time in one. The new orcish member of the council appears to have been taken prisoner by his own kind.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing, though?
Where is this orc prison?
Let me show you on your map. You can find it near Rivertown. The orcs are waging a horrible war there against the town.
Wow... I'd almost forgotten about that. I blew up one of the Orc's supply bases, and stopped a sneak attack on the human positions.
You have been extraordinarily busy, Jeremiah! I see that at least you were doing something while I was trapped under the castle.

Last up was the scrying ball of the Imps. I placed it in the receptacle and waved my hand over it. Instead of a vision of a strange place though, I saw nothing but blackness, interrupted by strange bands of interference.

What's this? Why am I not getting a picture?
I um... I don't know!
You don't know?
As I said, I've never been here. It might be that there is a strong source of magical interference where that Imp is, or perhaps the device is broken.
This is wonderful, just bloody wonderful. Now what?
Well, I'll try and see if I can find a book somewhere in this place detailing how it works. Until then, all we can do is try again periodically and see if anything changes. In the meantime, you should go gather up the council members.
Two of them are easy, I know who they are, and where they are. The others will be harder. I can't just walk into the middle of an orc war-camp. It's suicide!
Hmmm... yes, it would be very risky. But there isn't much of a choice.
Zandalor, once I become the Divine One, I'll have to go back to Stormfist, won't I.
Yes. You're thinking about the Anti-magic field, aren't you? But don't worry, once you become the Divine One, that field won't work on you. Well, I think so, at least.
You 'think so'? It's a castle, meant to withstand sieges by armies. In fact, it did that against an army of the Damned in ancient times!
Yes, attacking it head-on might not be the best tactic.
Zixzax told me that I won't be a god. Does that mean I can still be injured or killed by mortal weapons?
Yes. You'll have some of the powers of a god, but you'll still mostly be human. You'll still need to eat, breathe and sleep, and weapons will still be able to hurt you.

There was a thoughtful silence.

I need to be prepared for anything. I need stronger armor, better weapons, more powerful magic.
That's probably a good idea, yes.
Tell him about the Holy Weapons you've found.
Oh, yes!
I found these weapons - one in Iona's dungeon, the other in the Thieves' Guild.

I showed Zandalor the Sword and Dagger that I couldn't use.

Oh my! This is an extraordinary find! The legendary Holy Weapons! There is a third piece, an amulet. As the inscription suggests, if you bring all three together in a special place, you'll be able to choose one to keep and use, and it will be infused with incredible power.
Great! Do you know where the amulet is?
How about the place of power?
I'm afraid not, but I understand that the Church has extensive historical records of such things. They might know more about it than I.
Where should I start?
There's a large church in north Ferol, very old west of the Graveyard.
Thanks, I'll start there. Does the teleporter in the council chambers need a special scroll?
No, any of the seven scrolls will work on it.
Alright, thanks.

With the Succubus gone, the teleporter came to life. I took it to the Graveyard and followed the road west.

There was a path heading southwest, towards the river, rather than the abbey south of here.

As I approached the door, I got a strange sensation, the spiritual balance was upset. Inside the church, someone screamed in terror. I sighed.

Nothing's ever easy, is it?
Nothing worth doing ever is.

Next Time: The Cursed Church

Behind the Scenes

Map of the Council Chambers.

Even if you do something stupid like deliberately drop all your teleporter scrolls and the map before Zandalor whisks you off to the council chamber, you can still activate the teleporter there after the Succubus is dead.

Most of the Jeremiah/Zixzax and Jeremiah/Zandalor exchanges were transcribed verbatim.

Anyone else think it's kinda funny that humans, elves, dwarves and the others only exist as part of an arms race between deities?

Now that the Council of Seven has been cleared, I've set up a convenient little base in there.

It's got Mana/Health shrines in it (although I never stay away long enough for them to recharge, if they do recarge after you clear the place), it's near the plot advancement, and it's right beside both my Teleporter Stone, and a teleporter to specific points.

Many people camp out at the Rivellon market, or in the house you can buy, but setting up a bed and chest outside just breaks my immersion too much for some reason, and the house is a jog away from the teleporter.

What's fake in this update?