Part 79: Meet Penumbra
Chapter 59 - Meet Penumbra
Music - "War and Peace"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
Previously on Divine Divinity:
I took a deep, nervous breath, and then let it out. I spoke the words to the spell, and a bright flash of green light filled the room. The demon I had summoned appeared in the middle of the stone slab, glaring at me
I spoke the words to command it, but it just stood there, unresponsive. I spoke them again, more forcefully. Nothing happened, but the demon let out a low, ominous growl from deep in its throat.
"Obey! I command it!" I shouted.
Slowly, deliberately, the demon took one careful step after another, leaving the slab. It shouldn't have been able to do that. It's grinned, it was not a happy sight seeing those rows of razor-sharp teeth.
Tom rushed in and pushed me out of the way. I'm sure he meant to get himself to saftely as well, but he was a fraction of a second too late. The demon's claw slashed through the air in a blur. Tom went flying across the room, spinning helplessly. He bounced off the wall and crashed into the ground.
I saw Shaluthion shake his head sadly. "His neck's broken. He's gone."
What?! What's the problem here?
That last blast weakened the beast, but not for long... Finish it! Quickly!
Phew! That was close. Thank you for your assistance, my friend. I am Corinna Al'Meara the Summoner
What happened here? Where did that foul beast come from?
I summoned this creature to learn its secrets. Unfortunately it... err... broke free.
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."
Chapter 59 - Meet Penumbra
I stepped off the teleporter platform.
It's hot in this helmet.
I took the helmet off for a minute to rub the sweat from my brow, and then I headed somewhere which should be cooler. The house of Corinna Al'Meara, Summoner.
Either she still hadn't cleaned up the mess from the demon attack, or she was a terrible housekeeper.
Hello! Good to see you again, Jeremiah! I never properly thanked you for saving my life.
You're a summoner? Could you help me to increase my skill at summoning?
Hmmm. Yes I might be able to increase your summoning skill as due thanks for your help.
Great! When can we begin the lessons?
We might as well start immediately! First, you will have to bring me some ingredients we need to perform the lesson.
What do you need?
Right. You'll need a piece of wood from the Talking Tree found only in the Dark Forest...
You mean I have to slog all the way to the Dark Forest and back?
Yes, you might, but it shouldn't be necessary. Find somebody here in Verdistis who was in the Dark Forest recently. Lots of travelers carry Talking Tree bark for good luck. The Talking Trees whine on about it endlessly. Privation of their aboreal rights, they say.
Very well... What else do you need?
How much summoning do you know?
I can summon rats, and a group of skeletons at once, but they're not very powerful.
Hmmm. Alright, that's a bit better than I had expected. But with your present level of summoning skill, you'll need a certain book on summoning. Unfortunately I don't have a copy. The only one I know of was in the possession of Sir Patrick and I sent Penumbra, a good friend of mine to... err... borrow it from him. Unfortunately she's not a member of the Thieves' Guild, and the nosey sods caught her in the act. The thieves are very sensitive when it comes to stealing without a guild license. Poor Penumbra will be lucky to get away with all her fingers still attached.
I guess they didn't make a big deal about MY theft at Sir Patrick's place because of the display of magic I put on at the Ducal Inn.
So? What are you suggesting?
If you really want to get the book, you'll have to free Penumbra from the thieves. In order to do so, it might be necessary for you to become a member of the Guild, I'm afraid.
I, uh, I'm sure I can find a way. Is there more?
The third thing you'll need is a certain wine of the correct vintage. You'll have to ask Pierce, the wine merchant. Just mention my name, Corinna the Summoner. He'll know what you need.
A piece of wood, a book, and a bottle of wine? Very well. I'll return with the items as soon as may be.
I headed to where M'Penzak had his cart.
I am in need of a piece of wood from the Talking Tree in the Dark Forest. Could you possibly help me in this matter?
Hah! Yes, yes, ask M'Penzak. He can fulfill all your wishes, even the exotic and extraordinary ones.
So you have one? That means I don't have to travel to the Dark Forest. How much do you want for it?
Of course, I brought some wood from the trees of the Dark Forest. A lot of people are asking for them - magicians to create their wands, archers to make special bows, and common people to use it as an aphrodisiac. I'm not entirely sure it's form this certain tree you're talking about, but it's highly magical, I can assure you. This branch is yours, for 200 gold coins only...
Hmm...You say that you're not sure that your wood is from the Talking Tree?
That's right. But it is most definitely very high quality wood.
I don't know... Using even slightly wrong ingredients in magical incantations and summonings can be extremely dangerous.
Do you know where exactly in the Dark Forest the Talking Tree is?
I'm afraid not. I've never seen it with my own eyes.
I'll think about buying the wood. But in the meantime, Since you claim to have traveled all the regions of Rivellon, maybe you have heard talk of the three Holy Weapons?
I know not exactly. But I hear many strange things can be found in the Dark Forest, maybe you should look there?
Yes. I've heard the amulet - one of the so-called Holy Weapons - was buried with the body of an Elven Lord called Cirian. However, his grave can't be found on the elven burial grounds, because he lived long, long ago. So maybe the elves have another place where they used to bury their dead.
I heard it was buried with an elf from the book I found. But I didn't know that he wasn't laid to rest in the elven burial ground.
It could be anywhere then.
Yes it could, I'm afraid. However, I have heard rumors...
Go on, I'm listening.
There is talk of ancient ruins somewhere in the northeastern part of the forest. Rumor has it that it may be also an old burial ground, but none can be sure.
And why do you think it is still there?
Well the place is said to be cursed with all manner of undead creatures roaming about the place ready to strip the soul from any who would dare enter the place. The rumors are sound enough to keep even the most hardened grave robber from going near.
Well, thank you for that information, M'Penzak.
Come back anytime! I'll hold onto that wood for a few days in case you decide!
I went to see Pierce the wine merchant. He smiled brightly to see me.
I am looking for a special bottle of wine. It's for Corinna the Summoner.
Welcome, Jeremiah! I haven't forgotten how you saved me from that horrible vampire. What can I do for you?
I'm looking for an exquisite wine.
Ah yes. I know exactly which bottle you want. Alas, I sold my last one to a fellow called Anthrabert. Maybe you have heard of him? He stays at the Ducal Inn.
When are you getting another shipment of that wine in?
In about a month or so, I think.
A month? I see. Well, thanks anyway.
So far I was 0 for 2 at getting items for Corinna's summoning ritual, not a promising start. I headed for the Ducal Inn to see if Anthrabert would part with the wine for a reasonable price.
Anyone here called Anthrabert?
Anthrabert? He's not here, but I know him.
I moved closer to the man's table.
And why does Anthrabert want to do this to M'Penzak?
I don't know, he didn't tell me... I suppose it has something to do with getting rid of competition or something... ask Anthrabert yourself, if you want to know more. Usually you can find him, in his room here in the Inn.
Thanks, that's very interesting.
Why do I get the feeling that getting the wine just got a lot more complicated?
I entered the inn section of the building and talked to Iliana, who managed the guest part of the Ducal Inn.
Do you have a man named Anthrabert here? I need to see him on business.
Yes, He's in Room 3 - the one you stayed in when you were here.
Pierce, the wine merchant, told me he sold you the last bottle of a certain wine...
That wine merchant shouldn't talk so much, I think I'll have a word with him, but yes, I have bought the bottle of his special wine.
I'm interested in buying that bottle.
Are you? Hmmm, maybe I'm willing to give it to you, if you will do me a favour first.
I bet I know what it is.
And what is it you wish me to do?
The task is very easy. You know the merchant M'Penzak, who came here with his cart recently? For reasons that are not your concern, I want him out of the way...
"You are suggesting I should kill M'Penzak?" I asked incredulously.
"Oh no, I don't want him dead, only ruined," Anthrabert said with a tone of shock in his voice. He seemed to be offended by the idea that he meant murder. But he said the last part of the sentence dismissively, as if it should be obvious to everyone that ruining the man was perfectly reasonable.
He continued: "Why? It's none of your concern. I won't tell you. While M'Penzak is eating at the Ducal Inn this evening, you should set his cart on fire, that's all. Maybe you can break the lamp on his cart or something. He should be at the Inn soon so you should have plenty of time if you hurry.
"Oh, is that all?" I said sarcastically. I spat on the floor in disgust. "drat you! You're crazy if you think I will do such a wicked thing!"
Then you do not get the wine. Goodbye.
drat... I'll think of something else. I'll go see what I can do about Penumbra.
I headed back to the tavern part of the inn.
I entered the hatch to the Thieves' Guild base beneath the Ducal Inn.
As I was walking towards the entrance to the Thieves' Guild, Finnegan called out.
Just a minute, who are you?
I took off my helmet.
It's me, Finnegan.
Oh, sorry, Jeremiah. New helmet?
Go on in, but be careful, Rob's in a bad mood today.
Uh-oh, I sure hope it's not about the dagger I stole from him.
Some idiot left the entrance to the sewers open again.
The sewer entrance? Where's that?
Go through that doorway and keep heading straight. Until you find the stairs. But be careful. The Lizards who live underneath consider that their territory, and they don't like intruders, and certainly not us. That's why we keep that door sealed shut unless we're using it. The thought of them just wandering up from beneath...
He shuddered, but gears in my head were turning. I formulated a plan on the spot.
Let's just say that I won't be sleeping well tonight.
Me neither. Do you have any small weapons I could keep under my pillow, but which won't slice it to ribbons?
I've got a fine selection of blackjacks for sale.
I'll take one.
I continued on.
Hey, Jeremiah. Some of the boys are thinking of playing a game of cards later. You in?
Save me a seat. I'll be with you in a minute.
What is so important behind that door you guard so diligently, my friend?
An important prisoner. Important and very dangerous, if you must know.
You're not very friendly, are you?
Forgive me, friend. My name is Leondric.
It's just that I've been standing here for hours on end with no break.
Now that he mentioned it, he did look distinctly uncomfortable.
I know what you mean. Hey! I could relieve you for a while. Take a break.
That's mighty good of you friend, but I dare not leave my post. I have strict orders.
He suddenly spun around, then relaxed and turned back to me. He didn't look well at all.
You seem nervous, friend. Why do you keep looking over your shoulder?
What... oh. It must be these drat rats... I HATE rats.
Rats, I can arrange.
Actually, I think I heard some scurrying about nearby?
Gah! I hope you're wrong. Hey, maybe you could get rid of them for me? But not in the prison cell!
Rat-killing isn't my thing. Worry not Leondric. I am not here to cause you any trouble.
All the better for your continuing good health then.
It wouldn't hurt to try and be a little nicer, would it?
Leondric looked more and more uncomfortable by the minute. I could tell he desperately wanted me to leave.
Yes I know. It's just that I also lost a lot of gold to Harry yesterday playing dice. I could not believe his luck.
I had absolutely no idea who Harry was. But anything to make him more distracted and prolong the conversation could only help. The man was almost dancing.
Harry? Er... you aren't aware that Harry uses trick dice then?
WHAAAT! When my watch is over I must pay that cheat a visit.
I don't think he's going to move. But I think I know a way to strike some fear into his bladder.
See you later, Leondric.
I walked out the door and pretended to keep walking. I prepared to summon a rat to scare him off, but it wasn't necessary.
He walked into a nearby room. I used invisibility to sneak behind Leondric while his thoughts were on the task at hand, and knocked him out with the blackjack I'd bought. Now that I was at a lesser risk of being disturbed, I moved to the cell door. The key was on the table, but I ignored it. Like everyone else here, I was an expert locksmith. The list of suspects would be long.
I unlocked the cell, but I didn't step inside. I knew better. I opened the door cautiously, keeping my hands clearly visible. I didn't see anyone.
I am not going to hurt you. Please do not hurt ME.
There was movement, and something which I had taken to be a harmless shadow on the wall detached itself and stepped into the open. What she was wearing left little to the imagination. I tried to maintain eye contact, although I wasn't entirely successful.
Are you Penumbra?
Yes, my first name is Penumbra... my second name is Wants-to-be-freed. So we understand one another, Silver?
I chuckled at that.
Your friend Corinna sent me to free you and retrieve a book.
Aahhh yes... the book of my little summoner friend. She wants it, does she? Well, as you can see, I went through a lot of trouble to get it...
Actually, I need it. Will you give it to me?
Enough talk for now. Where's the guard?
He's out cold. The entrance to the sewers should be through that door over there. Leave the door wide open, it'll get blamed on negligence. I trust you can find your own way back to the surface from there?
I certainly can. You're quite resourceful, Silver.
My name's Jeremiah.
"Oh. That's rather ordinary, don't you think?" she said with mock disappointment.
She gave another smile. "No, Silver suits you much better. You can often find me in the house of Corinna the Summoner. We might run into each other there again!" She laughed merrily, then leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
She headed toward the sewer entrance, and then turned her head.
I have a feeling that I'll be seeing you around, Silver.
I decided to cover my tracks, and un-picked the lock. Then I put the other part of my plan into action. I wasn't good enough with illusions to fool someone who was awake, not yet at least, but it might work on someone who was semi-conscious.
Leondric was just coming to. I created the illusion of a Lizard warrior.
Who are you?
Sstay out of our territory, sssmoothsskin. You have been warned.
Leondric groaned and closed his eyes again.
The illusory lizardman walked out of the room. I slipped back to Rodgar and played cards for a while. The smart thing to do - something a guilty person would do - would be to leave. They'd be less likely to suspect someone who stayed around playing games.
Shortly thereafter, there was a commotion, and there was much shouting and arguing about who left the door open. No one had noticed Penumbra's absence. Pushing my luck, I spent the night in one of the Thieves Guild beds.
30 Sembten 1218
I decided that I would buy the branch from M'Penzak after all. I took it to Corinna, the summoner, and gave it to her, along with the wine and the book of summoning, although, I couldn't remember how I obtained them. Corinna told me to get a plant from her garden, and then meet her in the cellar.
Video - Corinna's Demon
I'll do it!
Corinna took the plant from me and placed it in the circle with the others. I stood in the other empty pentagram.
JACANTE ERIUS PETITUR FORSAMEN!
There was a swirl of energy as the demon materialized.
Something was wrong. It shrieked in rage.
No.... not again... This is like last time! NOT AGAIN!!!
I was frozen in abject terror. I couldn't move and watched helplessly as it charged Corinna.
One swipe made her literally disintegrate into a splatter of blood. Then it turned to me.
No! No! Please!
One casual flick sent me sprawling, and helpless.
It LAUGHED at me!
Jeremiah, you pathetic fool. Did you really think you could control me? I killed your friend Tom, but don't worry. You'll soon see him again, in Hell!
It raised its claw for the final blow, and plunged it into my chest. There was a distant bang and a rumble.
I awoke, sweaty and panting, in my bed in the Thieves' Guild.
... Sheloi! ... Okay, I'm NOT going to use M'Penzak's wood of dubious provenance.
I went back to sleep, which thankfully was dreamless.
30 Sembten 1218
I had breakfast upstairs in the bar, then left. There was some commotion, many people were moving in the same direction.
Oh, my cart!! My beautiful... expensive cart! Who could have done such a thing? It must be that hateful Anthrabert, only he would do this to me!
I have an idea... maybe I should talk to the guard...
Did you hear the explosion? What a noise...
Maybe it was an accident... The lantern of the cart fell on the bottles of brandy...
Yes, alcohol can be very dangerous...
Hah, these traders are always so expensive. Maybe it was a frustrated customer.
This is the work of Anthrabert, I'm sure. I've heard him and M'Penzak arguing about something yesterday...
If you think so...
I'm sure they will execute the man who did this... If they ever find him...
This seems to be a little harsh...
I hope the guards find the man who did this very soon... but I have my doubts.
This poor trader... Who did this to him?
You should look to one name Anthrabert, Captain. He is a guest at the Ducal Inn. He tried to hire me to do the deed. I rejected his offer, of course, but it appears he found someone else.
"Anthrabert you say!" the guard said, stroking his beard thoughtfully. "Yes, yes, M'Penzak himself mentioned that very man. And Elkwine saw him skulking around the area yesterday. Well, that's more than enough evidence for me! Thank you for your help, citizen. Anthrabert will pay for his crime with his gold or his life!
"About the Game" posted:
After you talk with Anthrabert, the cart always gets destroyed, you can't prevent it, but you can be the one to destroy it. After this, M'Penzak moves to stand outside the Ducal Inn. You can still trade with him, but I think his stock isn't as good anymore. Even if you turn in Anthrabert, he still asks "who burned my cart down?".
The guard's name is Captain Perrewis.
I returned to Corinna's house and found Penumbra.
So, Silver, we meet again.
Greetings Penumbra. I trust you are well.
"Well enough, thanks to you," Penumbra said. She cocked her head to the side. "May I ask another favour of you?" she asked sweetly.
This could be trouble... but surprisingly, I like her.
What do you want now?
Commander Kratus from the town guard took something from me, something personal and important to me - a dagger. It is somewhere within the Town Watch's offices. Could you get it for me?
Can you not find it for yourself?
If I could, I would, Silver. I'm a good assassin, but a poor thief. Which is why I was caught by the Thieves' Guild in the first place. Unfortunately, they took my actions personally and locked me up. And I cannot exactly approach Kratus and sk him for it can I, Silver?
I try not to just roll over and be anyone's sucker. I try, it doesn't always work.
I crossed my arms. "And what is my reward for such a task?" I asked expectantly.
Penumbra came closer and spoke softly into my ear. "Do not worry, I can be very grateful," she said, rather suggestively.
I turned invisible as I approached the Watch house.
The things I do for a little magic and a pretty smile.
I'd had a lot of practice with using Fade from Sight, and all my travels had strengthened me and I was able to channel my magical energies with extreme efficiency, so I could stay invisible for a very long time. It was easy slipping past Kratus.
I picked the lock and entered the door. As I closed it, a clump of dust fell on my face, and I felt a familiar sensation in my nose.
The urge faded and I relaxed. That was a mistake, for I immediately sneezed. Not just once, mind you. Once would have been bad enough, I was a notoriously loud sneezer. At home, my sneezes had been known to knock books from shelves several rooms away.
No, I didn't sneeze once. I sneezed EIGHT TIMES, rattling the torches in their sconces. One of the swords standing in the rack fell to the ground with a loud clang. I doubt anyone heard that though, being half-deafened by the sneezes as they were.
Who's in there? GUARDS!
I head footsteps coming.
This was not good. I lock-picked the door shut again and started searching quickly.
Here it is.
I grabbed the dagger and shut the chest.
The footsteps were almost at the door. I heard the jingle of keys. With no time to lose, I grabbed my teleporter stone from my belt and twisted the top to the right.
I was whisked safely back to the council chambers. I sighed in relief. That had been too close.
I took the council teleporter back to Verdistis.
Yes, I was able to get it and I can assure you it wasn't easy!
I can believe that. Here, take the book Corinna wanted. It's yours. But I'm afraid only she can read it. Bye, Silver!
See you, Penumbra. Until we meet again...
She started to leave, then turned back and grabbed my head with both hands and gave me a deep kiss.
You can call me Pen...
It seems that you've got yourself an admirer, Jeremiah. It's almost enough to make a supernatural being jealous...
I decided to hang onto the book until I had everything. I headed back to the Ducal Inn. Anthrabert should be arrested now, so now was my chance to get into his room.
Anthrabert's room was locked of course, no one answered my knock. But it was quiet, and the lock wasn't that hard.
You'd think with the Thieves Guild being right beneath our feet, they'd have better locks... or is this intentional?
I opened the door and went in.
Aha, good. Here's that wine. I only need the branch now.
I left the room and was surprised by two men.
Without warning, the one with the club cracked me over the head, ringing my helmet like a bell and disorienting me. The blow also sapped my magical energy.
I tried to speak a spell, but was cracked on the head again, and again, until I collapsed.
Who... are you?
I heard one of them speak to me.
"Sir Patrick would like a word with you, Mister Liro..."
Then there was one final blow and darkness followed.
Next Time: A Quest I Couldn't Refuse
Behind the Scenes
On that suspenseful note, I think it's the perfect time to do some more "Behind the Scenes" updates!
When I was getting some screenshots for things which are different for a female main character (practically nothing, actually), I found some dialogue for Corinna if you've found one part of the Holy Weapons, but not the dagger.
Maybe you can help me find the Holy Weapons?
I'm looking for special weapons... Holy Weapons with the inscription Three must come together before two must be sacrificed. At the loss you will retain one and win the Holy Power.
Aahhh yes, I've heard tales of the weapons you seek. Nobody has yet been able to find all three of them. If you have only one or two, they remain worthless as far as magical power goes. Nonetheless they would still possess a certain status value for the owner.
Do you know where I can find any of them?
Maybe... The dagger you are looking for is, or rather, was in Verdistis. I don't know it's whereabouts for certain, but I've heard snippets of information.
And what do these snippets suggest?
(Alternate option: "Out with it woman! Stop being evasive!")
Ahem.... The dagger was in the possession of Sir Dante, but I believe it isn't anymore. Somebody stole it from him...
Stole it? Who?
Who? You're in Verdistis, my friend. If you think of stealing in this city, which name, or rather, which organization comes to mind?
Thieves' Guild? Ahh, I understand your reticence to talk.
If you say so.
I think that there may also be someone you can ask if you've found the dagger or amulet, but not the sword, but I'm not sure who, and I don't feel like looking at the moment. Since the sword is in Iona's secret dungeon, there may not be anyone to ask, except possibly Zandalor.
When I do a fake update in the future - what happens if you don't cure Mardaneus or send the healers to Rivertown before trying to recruit him for the Council. I'll do a look around to see if I can find someone with a hint for the sword.
What's fake in this update?
- The conversations with Finnegan and Rodgar were completely fake.
- You don't knock out Leondric the guard. In fact, as soon as you leave, Leondric walks south into an empty room and vanishes forever. There's no way out of that room, you can immediately walk in and he's not there!
- Jeremiah's nightmare was me inserting alternate footage of what happens if you use M'Penzak's wood.
- You don't sneeze while in the evidence lockup, but it's also very hard to sneak out without getting caught (and no, being completely invisible doesn't make any difference at all).
Hello, reader of the LP: Here's a fun question for you: In the above update, how long did it take you to notice that Jeremiah was being followed?
If I LP the next 2.5 games in the series, I definitely will be doing them as much more of a straight playthrough than I've done for this game. Still narrative, but with a lot less effort. (It's just simple mathematics - the other games are not as popular as this game is. And also, the only reason this one is so elaborate is because I had a story in mind, and I don't have a story in mind for the other games.)