The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 92: Bronthion

Chapter 68 - Bronthion

Music - "Sighs of the Elvenkind"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Previously on Divine Divinity:

Don't attack me! I'm not a real orc!
What did you say? You're NOT an orc?

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

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.

Chapter 68 - Bronthion

I was tired and running on little sleep, but if I waited much longer, Bronthion would likely get involved with the looming elf-dwarf war - if he wasn't already.

The gate was unlocked, so I entered. I saw an important-looking elf in front of a house. He glared at me as I approached.

Greetings, my friend. I am Jeremiah. Please tell me your name.
I am Anorion Gandalazzar, a close friend to Bronthion, and that is all you need to know.
Is there anything I should know about Bronthion?
He is the elven ambassador who represents us at Stormfist Castle. I have told him on countless occasions that it is useless to negotiate with humans, but he does not listen to me.
Do not judge all humans by Duke Janus. The people of Ferol did not choose him as their representative. In fact, most hate him.
Hmph. They follow his commands, do they not? That's as good as giving their approval.
Well, no one ever said all elves were reasonable - and for good reason.
Tell me more about your problems.
We prepare for war against those damned dwarves. The bearded fools have defiled our sacred burial grounds and now they shall pay!
It is time I was leaving. Goodbye.
Go back to the foul place from whence you came!

Nearby, I heard some elves talking.

"About the Game" posted:

I spliced together a bunch of conversations into one long one. Watch the video for some conversations which I didn't bother to transcribe, because they were unrelated to the main plot.

VIDEO: Elven Talk (Voice Acting)

Great Gods! What happened?
Apparently Duke Janus - that precocious child monarch of the humans that Lea so admires - has declared that he will support the DWARVES in the coming war! I've always said all stinking humans are rotten to the core!
Supporting the Dwarves?! How can the humans betray us like this? And you say the good Bronthion was expelled from Stormfist Castle? Unbelievable!
A twelve-year-old human brat insulting our noble elf ambassador! If we weren't facing the dwarven threat at the moment, we'd declare war on those pig-like humans for such an insult!
We already face an alliance of the humans and the dwarves from the sound of things, Faenwyn. These are indeed dark times.
If I ever see a dwarf set his dirty boot in this village, I'll put an arrow through his black heart!
I don't understand how these damn dwarves dare to desecrate our burial grounds. They must know it will mean war.
Dwarves don't know a thing about the value of tradition and ceremony. All they care about is mining and jewels - it was only a matter of time before the little ghouls turned to grave robbing.
Exactly right Jaric! Those filthy little tunnelers will do anything to steal from us! And what can our revered ancestors be thinking as they look up ti see their very graves being desecrated?
I still don't see why the dwarves would chance a war over a few ceremonial treasures. Alright, we elves and the dwarves have never seen eye-to-eye - they're too short - but we've managed peaceful coexistence with them for centuries.
Peaceful coexistence? Don't be a fool! Those dwarves have been insulting us behind our backs for generations! They call us 'tree-huggers', did you know that? This recent spate of grave robbing is just their latest insult to elven honour.
Look, I'm just saying we should wait for solid evidence against the dwarves to be presented in a court of law before we go declaring a war.
You're a bloody coward, Lea. If we put you in charge, the bearded bastards would be snatching the bread from our children's mouths and stealing our women before you did anything!
I say the humans are too stupid to handle the problem with the orcs on the border.
A scout told Bronthion that all the orc tribes have united under one totem. The humans won't have a chance against them.
Ha! That scout must have been drunk or mad. The orcs fight among themselves too much to form a single army.
And if it is the truth? We'd have to join our forces with the humans and the dwarves to be able to hold back such a huge invasion.
Never! I'd rather die than fight side-by-side with the accursed dwarves!
Maybe - but would you condemn your kin to death or slavery to save your valuable honour?

I approached and cleared my throat.

Sanysala, my elven friends. I am Jeremiah.

Hello friend elf. What's the news among your people?
It is said that your human overlord, Duke Janus, has claimed to be the Divine One, spoken of in the prophecy of Ruben Ferol. We elves find that hard to believe. Not only is he but a child, even by human standards, but he seems both depraved and ruthless. That is not the character of the Protector-of-All.
A while ago, I was Duke Janus's personal lackey, and I got to see the boy up close and personal, and as for your opinion of him - I agree completely - and many humans also share this view. Janus is not a popular leader, not even in his own castle - especially not in his own castle.
I hear that you humans are at war with the orcs. How strange. To us elves, there seems to be little difference between you two races. Orcs may be green of skin, while you humans are either pink or brown, but both your species revel in war and spend most of your time fighting with your own kind. I'd have thought the orcs and humans would consider each other long-lost kin, not enemies.
You are that mighty human hero everyone is talking about! The elders think of declaring you an Elf-Friend. That title hasn't been officially bestowed on a human in over a thousand years!
That's high-praise indeed, considering I haven't yet done much to aid your people. But I suspect that may change soon. What's the news today, noble elf?
They tell me that a plague has recently ravaged the poor section of Rivertown. I do not find that surprising. You humans live in such filth and degradation in your towns. You have no contact with nature there, and you wallow in refuse and corruption.
The plague was no such thing, but in fact, the despicable act of a corrupt doctor who poisoned a well. He was caught and will pay dearly for his evil act.
That's astonishing!

"About the Game" posted:

Over to the right, by the well, is Elanessa, a female elf and the subject of the quote unquote romance quest. I'm not going to talk to her. Anorian, the human-hating elf we spoke to first is her father. But neither are important, because right beside me, is Bronthion himself.

Ambassador Bronthion, it's me, Jeremiah Liro, from Stormfist Castle.
Ah yes, now I recognize you. What can I do for you?
I'd like to learn more about your village and its people.
This village is called Fiu Nimble: the cradle of light. Thirion Celendil, the first elven king, founded it before he left us to venture into the far reaches of the Dark Forest. We live in a small community and trade with your fellow humans. But surely you did not come here just to ask about the village. What did your master Janus send you here for?
Janus? I no longer serve that wretched worm, because... it's a long story. You have been chosen to represent the Elves in the Council of Seven. You must go to the meeting place immediately.
The Council of Seven!... I was still a young boy when I last heard about it. So, it is not a myth?
No, it is not a Myth. Zandalor brought me there. I have seen its ancient splendor! It is our plan to establish the Council of Seven again to battle the evil that is in the world.
It...It would be a great honour for me to join this council... But I can't...
Why not?
I already know the answer to this, don't I.
My people are preparing for war against the dwarves, I cannot leave now. I would like to keep them from war as long as possible - to give a last chance to diplomacy.
Why are the elves planning a war against the dwarves?
They defiled our burial grounds and stole three sacred ceremonial relics. We must get them back! Even as we speak they are robbing our ancestors' graves, but there are too many of them for us to chase away. Many of my people here in Fiu Nimble think we must attack their settlements! With their men-folk dead and their women and children homeless, the dwarves might regret stealing from us! So, we have sent messengers to our homelands to ask for reinforcements. I fear a great war will break out!
What if I drove the dwarves from your burial grounds and returned the sacred relics? Would you halt the war and join the council then?
Sheloi! Of course I would! Unlike orcs and you humans, we elves do not savour bloodshed. Redress our wrongs and we will forget our revenge.
Then it's a deal. I will take care of this little problem and you will join the council.
Very well. But be careful. The dwarves are strong and cunning adversaries. Let me show you where you can find our Burial Grounds, but please... Don't hurt anything there!

Before leaving though, I spotted an elf wielding a very fine bow.

Is he a bowyer? Anthea's father, perhaps?

The elven forest appears to be a very dangerous place.
Yes, some parts are especially dangerous. The northeastern parts are especially worth avoiding. It is haunted by much evil. It's called the Home of the Ancients...
Home of the Ancients?
The Home of the Ancients are the ruins of our ancestors. You would be well advised not to visit there. Many who have do not return.
Yes. Also to the east lives the evil mage Boratus. Well, lived, I should say.
You know of Boratus? Are you the telor that helped my beloved Anthea?
Yes I am. I hope she's well.

"About the Game" posted:

For saving Anthea, we get the Bow of Hilfin, the best (the only ?) unique bow in the game. It has unique artwork. It's a rank 4 magical item, and it's not a super-unique, but if bows are your thing, then you may want to save-reload a few times before talking to Gavanariel. It only has an agility requirement of 30.

It is a very fine bow; I am honoured by your gift. Thank you.

I left Fiu Nimble through the south gate and followed the road. But things are never that easy in the Dark Forest.

A Mountain Troll? Tough. I hope they don't come in packs.

"About the Game" posted:

There are a lot of Level 45 trolls along the road. They serve as an advance warning system of sorts. If you're having trouble staying alive or if you're a melee warrior having problems hitting them, this is your warning that maybe you should turn back.

*sigh* Yes, they do come in packs. Thankfully they aren't that bright.

I continued south along the road. I could see smoke rising further ahead, and I could smell it on the air. However, the smoke didn't just carry the odor of burning wood, but also flesh. I hurried on and soon reached the burial grounds.

There were orderly funeral pyres everywhere, but nearby smoke was rising from some smouldering remnants of pyres. I was startled to see that the arsonists hadn't even left yet.

Video - Desecration of the Elven Burial Grounds (Voice Acting)

It really IS dwarves? I wouldn't have thought that-

Oloi! Vriol prak kumor! We go.
Broa vlorg! Mistress be happy, we do good job!

That also didn't sound anything like dwarfish, it almost sounded like...
Ahh... I see the smoke of the campfire that they seem to be heading for. I don't think this will lead me to the dwarven king's halls.

But I spotted a teleporter platform, so before following the dwarves, I stopped to activate it.

I stopped to examine the ashes.

These tools have been left on these burned pyres, but they aren't even scorched. It looks like the dwarves left these behind deliberately.

The campfire smoke was rising from above the nearby plateaus. The dwarves had moved along the base of a cliff, but as I followed, I saw someone which was neither lizard, troll, dwarf, elf, imp, or man.

Orcs? This far into the woods?

I suspect that those 'dwarves' are no such thing.

"About the Game" posted:

The Orc Warlords look intimidating, being 8 feet tall, in heavy armor with a skull helmet and dual-wielding flaming swords... but they're fairly harmless, not much more dangerous than any other orc.

Music - "Stronghold of the Orcs"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

I followed the trail to the entrance of a narrow canyon.

These barricades, this is the same as in the larger orc war camp I was in yester- early today.

I followed the canyon into a small, but heavily defended orc war-camp.

I bet this is what the Black Ring is using the orcs they persuaded the chiefs to lend them. They must have teleported here to get all this stuff in without the elves noticing.

I cleared out the entire camp, but I saw no sign of the 'dwarves', or their mistress, or any documents - that is, until I searched behind one of the tents.

I began to distantly sense a magical presence, a powerful one.


I cleared out the orc infestation in the cave.

But the hallway ended at a dead-end.

Wait... that's a magic circle. What if I step into-


I continued on, the hall opened up into a moderate-sized room.

This is the same architecture as the Aleroth catacombs. Ancient and long forgotten dwarven workings, perhaps?

There were still more damned orcs there, which I dispatched quickly. But this room was ALSO a dead-end, yet the powerful presence was still somewhere nearby - closer than before.

My eyes fell on the floor tiles in the center of the room. I still remembered those from Aleroth.

I approached the tile warily.

There is much power here. Be very careful, Jeremiah.

"About the Game" posted:

For those of you playing along, once you get here, SAVE YOUR GAME!!!

Music - "Demona's Run"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Video - BOSS: Josephina

I pried the tile up and climbed down the ladder.

There were at least a half-dozen 'dwarves', but more importantly was their mistress. I recognized the red-haired woman from the tent camp.

I'm here to stop you from starting a war between the dwarves and the elves!
Whahahaha! Do you really think you can stop us! Hahaha... ATTAAACK!

"About the Game" posted:

BOSS: Josephina

This right here is the generally considered to be the hardest fight in the entire game, although some other ones give it a run for its money. This is the longest fight I've done so far.

Josephina is level 49, which makes her hard to hit in melee, and her resistances are very high, so elemental damage is going to be less than effective as well. But that's not why she's the hardest boss in the game.

There are at least a half-dozen "dwarves" down here which are all very tough with 700-1000 HP, and they do a bunch of damage. But more importantly, they block you in.

Kill them first so you have room to maneuver. But the minions are not why she's the toughest boss in the game.

For a while now, I've been using magic to slaughter enemies freely. Have you ever stopped to wonder what would happen if I fought an enemy who also used magic? Meet Josephina.

Josephina summons a Death Knight, and re-summons it as soon as it dies (so don't waste time switching to "Banish" - besides, Death Knights have 100 Spiritual Resistance anyway - read my new 300-page book "Why Banish is a shitty spell.").

Worse, she also casts Blind on us, which makes it impossible for us to target her or the death knight with certain spells until we get close up to them. We can still see the geography of the tiny room - which is smaller than the one you fight Duriel in Diablo 2, incidentally.

Even worse than that is that she casts Rank 3 Hell Spikes on us, and not only do they hurt like hell (3 * 12-42 damage = 36-126 if we get hit all three times), but they also stagger us when we get hit, making it hard to move around. Hell Spikes can't be resisted by us any more than the enemies can resist ours.

Healing with the Restoration spell is somewhat helpful, but drinking potions is even better because they heal more, and you can keep attacking without pause.

There is one bright spot for fighting her, though - she casts a shield spell of some kind on herself. While ordinarily this would make things even more difficult, it actually helps, because while we are blinded to HER, we can see her shield spell just fine. We can't target her with spells which need to be aimed, but Hell Spikes doesn't require targeting.

This fight is seriously hard, it only looks as easy as it does because I have a lot of twinked gear from saving and reloading - I have 10 pieces of gear which all have at least 60 HP on them. If I'd been using only random stuff, my odds of survival would be a lot lower. Do not hesitate to chug restoration potions or you will get dead fast. You may need to come back later.

Finally after a mind-exhausting battle, Josephina decided to retreat.

I flung one last fireball at her, and she dropped a staff as the raised her arms to protect herself. She didn't wait to pick it up before teleporting herself away.

Thank the Gods she's gone. I couldn't have kept that up for much longer.

I reached in my pack for a Restoration potion, and when my fingers failed to find one, I set the pack down and looked closely. They were all gone.

Wow. I used them all up. I really COULDN'T have kept that up much longer.

"About the Game" posted:

Yes, she's still alive, so yes, you will need to fight her, AGAIN. The upside is that  the next battle is in a bigger room, there are fewer mini-boss enemies around, and she's still the same level (although her HP is even higher), while by then you've gone up a few levels. 

I picked up the quarterstaff. It looked very old, and it was distinctly magical.

By the table I saw some other items which looked old.

I hope these are the stolen items Bronthion wants.

I returned to the elven village.

"About the Game" posted:

These two ceremonial items are just lying here, so you think that a cunning sneaky survivor type might be able to snatch them up and finish the quest without fighting Josephina.

You'd be wrong, of course, because the third ceremonial item is on Josephina herself, so you MUST defeat her to get it to drop. No, she can't be pickpocketed (she's waaaay too high level).

Yeah, Larian can be real dicks at times.

Here are the three ceremonial relics that were stolen. I have discovered that the dwarves were guiltless in this mater. The grave robbers you saw were actually orcs, magically transformed to resemble dwarves.
What!? But we almost started a war with the dwarves! Gods know how many innocents would have died... and all over a misunderstanding? Sheloi! The elves owe you much, my friend. I noticed that you have two pieces of the famous Dragon Armor set. As a token of the gratitude of all elvenkind, I would like to present you with another piece - the gloves!

Thank you, Bronthion! Thank you very much!
No, thank you, Jeremiah. I will now join the Council of Seven with the greatest of pleasure.
All you have to do is say the following word: 'XXBZPTRL'.

Video - Bronthion joins the council (Voice Acting)

News had spread fast.

Video - Gossiping Elves 2 (Voice Acting)

Huh! I say it's a pity the truth came out when it did. Thrashing those bearded, short-arsed troublemakers would have been well worth any embarrassment we might have felt later.
You're just a bigot, Faenwyn my friend. For all your dislike of humans, you sometimes sound just like one. We elves have never fought in an unjust war, and Gods allow we never do!
You're right, Lea. I'm sorry. I've been letting myself get too worked up of late.
What I don't understand is why this Black Ring, or whatever they call themselves, took such pains to start a conflict between the dwarves and we elves. I mean, what kind of advantage could they have gained from such a dreadful situation?
Who can understand the ways of demon-allied wizards? Remember the terrible slaughters by the Damned in the Age of Chaos? They were black magicians too - and most of them were human, I might add.
Well, at least the matter has been settled before there was bloodshed. We must be grateful for that.
Aye, Bronthion should call a grand festival to celebrate!
Hmph! A waste of good food and wine, I say!
Ha! You're just bitter because, as the village vitner, you'll have to donate most of the wine, you old skinflint!
I'm afraid that Bronthion won't be joining your celebration, he has gone to serve in the Council of Seven.
Why, it's that human who restored our sacred items to us! Well met, sir! It seems we were too hasty in blaming the dwarves for ransacking our sacred burial grounds. I am shamed for some of the intemperate things I have said about the Dwarven people. I even forgot that I have Dwarven friends who I trust and love. I will remember this inner failing of mine in the future.

I left the elven village. Things seemed to be going well. I had rescued two council members, prevented one war, and delayed, if not completely stopped another.

Tomorrow, assuming there's no news on the Dwarf and Imp council members I'll go get Goemoe and Mardaneus. They're my friends, it should be easy to convince them.

At the time, I had no idea how bad things were about to get.

Next Time: Death of a Friend

Behind the Scenes

The Map:

As you can see, the southern half of the Dark Forest is really empty. The only place we haven't visited is the strange castle near the Holy Grail cave. (Yes, we will get to it  as part of the very last side-quest we'll do in the LP's canon. ) Other than that, there's nothing else to the southern half except the burial grounds and orc cave. The road is hemmed in on either side by terrain, so no wandering.

Some of the next several main story updates will be much shorter than usual, because it's more appropriate to end those updates there.


What's fake in this update?

I got the gloves on my second reload, actually, and they were so awesome, that I didn't bother reloading anymore. All of my minimum requirements, plus a bonus to magic, and the Repair and Wisdom skills? Yes, please!