Part 97: The Garden at the Edge of Nowhere
Chapter 71 - The Garden at the Edge of Nowhere
Music - "The Garden at the Edge of Nowhere"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
Previously on Divine Divinity:
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.
Black Ring! Kroxy know of Black Ring! They seek to trick orc leaders and subvert orc warriors honour! Black Ring very good talkers. They say that humans smart to cover tracks. They convince chiefs that only way for orcs to maintain honour was for them to ensure no more massacres of orcs by humans.
And of course, they then said that the only way to ensure that was -
Kill humans until there are too few to fight. Kroxy said that wrong. Black Ring convinced other leaders that Kroxy was too weak to be leader - would only be trouble. Should be locked up.
What did the Black Ring offer the orc leaders?
The Black Ring came promised to aid us in our honourable fight against the humans. Offer to incapacitate army of Janus to make victory swift. In exchange, they took some of our best warriors from many different tribes to help them.
You were tricked. The Black Ring is led by Duke Janus himself. Do you know how they're using the orc warriors? He used some of the orcs in a staged attempt on his own life to make your people look villainous. The Black Ring are the ones who slaughtered those orc villages.
It all a trick? Black Ring manipulated orcs into fighting for them?
Chapter 71 - The Garden at the Edge of Nowhere
4 Octavianus 1218
I wasn't sure how long I remained frozen in that block. I heard footsteps on the floor above.
Oh no. They're coming for me and I can't even MOVE, much less fight or cast spells!
There was the sound of the hatch lifting up, and I heard someone climbing down the ladder.
Video: You can scry me anytime (Voice Acting)
He cast a spell and released me from the prison.
The first thing I felt was massive relief that I could move.
Brrrrr... My thanks old man.
And then the air from the cellar touched my chilled skin.
Oh Gods! It's so cold!
He chuckled. It wasn't funny to ME!
Well get moving then! Get your circulation pumping! I myself shall return to the council of Seven. Now try to keep out of trouble and find a way to cure poor Goemoe. Even a lizard can't enjoy being polymorphed into a snake!
He teleported out, then I looked around the room and spotted a key on a table. I checked the southern door first.
There was large wand there; I recognized it as the one Cornelius had pointed at Goemoe when I was scrying. I could sense the magic in it.
Yes... this feels familiar. I think... yes, now that I have this in my hand, I know how this works. I think.
The key I'd found opened the second door in the cellar, where there was a snake staring quietly at me.
I hope this will change you back!
I reached out with my mind into the wand I held. I studied the precise and complicated sequence of spells contained within. I pointed the wand and spoke the spells which had been used to transform Goemoe, but in reverse order. There was a surge of magic and a flash of bright green light, and then Goemoe was back to normal.
Why did you leave the Blue Boar Inn?
A couple of dayss ago, a delegation of Lizzards from my tribe came to ssee me. They ssaid my father had died and that I was appointed to become the new high priesst of my tribe. After careful conssideration, I deccided to take the offer and return with them to my homeland. But it was a trick. They delivered me right into the handss of that dark elf mage.
I'm sorry, Goemoe. This is all my fault.
Your fault? Ssss. What do you mean?
I had to enter the sewers to save Zandalor and I ran into some of your kinsmen. I didn't want to fight them, so I told them that I was a friend of the lizard folk. I showed them the teleporter scroll which you'd given me, and mentioned your name.
It iss all right, Jeremiah. I do not hold hard feelingss againsst you. However, I do not undersstand what that elf mage wantss with me.
You have been chosen to represent the lizard folk on the Council of Seven. You must go to the council meeting place immediately.
Well that explainss why all thiss hass happened! I can ssee how ssome evil people might not want the Council of Sseven to gather. Anyway, in light of what you have done for me, I will ccertainly go there immediately!
Just say the following word and you'll find yourself in the Council of Seven... 'XXBZPTRL'.
Video: Goemoe goes to the Council of Seven (Voice Acting)
Goemoe vanished in a swirl of teleportation. I wasted no more time making my escape from the cellar. With Goemoe gone, Zandalor wouldn't know where to look for me if I got caught a second time.
I kept the wand - no point in leaving it for Cornelius to use on someone else - and hurried to the Ducal Inn. It was rather late to be bothering guests, but I didn't care.
Is there an Imp staying here?
Sir, it's late. And we can't just give that information out.
I slammed my hand down on the counter in anger.
This is an emergency! It can't wait. Now answer me!
Alright! There's an imp in room 2.
I hurried to the room and barged right in without knocking.
I am here to persuade you to join the Council of Seven, Zaknadrix. You have been chosen to represent the Imps in the Council. You must come and help us fight the evil of the Black Ring!
Flixer xax? Zaknadrix on Council of Seven? Really?
Finally, something is simple.
Yes. To go to the council, you must say the word 'XXBZPTRL'.
Toot Axum! To the Council I go! 'XXBZPTRL'!
Absolutely nothing happened.
Huh? What's wrong? The magic word should have worked.
Zaknadrix understand now. Hihihi! No, not Zakandrix choose by council magic! Antx chosen one! Trex Rittung!
Who the Hell is Antx?
Yes, yes. Hhrooot! Antx imp you want! He is in here, in magic place!
Antx? Magic place? What are you blathering about imp? We saw you in the scrying stone.
Zaknadrix produced a crystal ball from his pocket.
In here, in magic sphere. Antx is in here, hiding! Flix Flex. Council spell not show me it show me with this sphere, understand? Antx imp you want. He in this sphere of magic. Zootorix!
Most people tend to shun imps, not so much because of fear or hatred, but because talking at length with an imp tends to give one a migrane.
Are you feeling all right? You seem to be behaving quite oddly even for an imp. I don't understand a thing you're saying...
Flix flex Groot! Stupid human must listen! This magic sphere... inside it is magic place... inside magic place is imp called Antx! Antx is imp you want, so you enter magic place! Flix Trax. That clear to you now?
As mud. How do I enter this sphere then?
I must be out of my freaking mind.
I took a deep breath, said "Here goes!" and touched the sphere.
Video: The Garden at the Edge of Nowhere
The world swirled uncomfortably around me, faster and faster, it srteted to glow brightly until everything merged into one big bright blur.
Hold on a second... I didn't ask how I get back home!
When the blur resolved itself, I found myself standing before a gate. There were walls all around, and beyond them was a strange swirling grey mist, completely impenetrable. I glanced up at the sky, and I saw only more mist.
Everywhere I could hear an incessant buzzing. It seemed to be coming from every direction. It was very grating. I was already starting to feel the twinges of a headache.
To my right were some graves, some items - probably belonging to the deceased - had been laid with care on top.
Here lies an Apprentice Mage, slaughtered by DJ Hammer.
Here lies a Young Knight slaughtered by DJ Hammer.
I didn't understand what that meant, so I put it out of my mind.
"About the Game" posted:
This is a reference to Larian's never-published title "The Lady, the Mage and the Knight" aka LMK. It became a collaborate project bwtween Larian Studios and Attic Entertainment Software, but due to financial problems, the project was abandoned.
I headed through the gate. There was a noticeable change in the buzzing - it seemed to be getting louder, but only in one direction. I realized that it meant something was approaching me.
Not another favour! I've done enough favours and errands for a lifetime... and I'm talking to a giant bee. Am I actually getting used to the aura of weirdness which has been following me around this entire month?
The reason why I'm here is I'm looking for an imp named Antx. I've heard he is somewhere in this universe...
Universe? You mean Arakand, I guess. An imp you say? A small two-legger who always talks in a funny way?
I believe we're talking about the same guy. Where can I find him?
This funny talking creature came here some time ago. Asked to live in this stone hive at the other end of our garden. I have the key that opens the magical gates to his new home. I would give it to you, if you're going to help us...
Of course. It's always the same, isn't it? I should try and find out more about this place before I see what this favour is about.
Tell me about Arakand.
It is a small world and we live in this wonderful garden where my beloved subjects can easily collect nectar. You should see the garden in spring, when it is in full bloom with all the flowers blossoming and the air is rich with fragrance!
That was not at all helpful.
Fine. "What can I do for you?"
The garden Arakand has always been our home, but lately we have been plagued by wasps who wish to drive us out so that they may make Arakand their home.
We have managed to deal with the wasps until recently because, though they are brutal and strong, they are somewhat dim-witted. We have always managed to outwit them and defend our home.
And things have changed?
Yes, a new breed of mutated wasps has emerged with greater intellect. We now face a greater threat than ever before. Even as I speak there are mutated wasps within Arakand's borders.
And what is it you wish me to do now?
I ask that you help us defeat this wasp threat. We are not the invaders here. We are merely defending our home.
What other choice do I have? This damn constant buzzing is really getting on my nerves, so the sooner I get what I came for, the better.
Hmmm, yes. You sound honest.
The bee queen flew away, but as her buzzing diminished, more buzzing grew from the opposite direction. I turned and saw a large green wasp approach.
Oh, what now?
And who might you be?
"I am Ragon, the mighty Archmage," said the big green wasp arrogantly.
Forgive me, but you look more like a wasp than a powerful Archmage.
Alas, you are correct. I transformed myself into this form but am unable to reverse the process. It is most annoying.
"How clever of you," I said dryly.
Watch your tongue or you shall feel my sting!
Why should I reconsider my position with the bee queen?
The wasps have as much right to be here as the bees.
The wasps are in great need of a place to breed so to expand their hive.
But the bees have been here a long time.
I'm getting into an argument with a talking wasp who claims to be an Archmage, while I'm standing in a pocket-universe which literally fits in someone's pocket, so I can find a daft imp and convince him to join a council, because I need him to kill me so I can gain divine power. If I suddenly went insane, how would I be able to tell?
Irrelevant! Besides, the wasps are the stronger race so they should rule here.
Why are you helping the wasps?
Cuthanatelle, the queen of the wasps, has promised to restore me back to my natural form if I would help her.
So your help is not freely given?
Oh, I help willingly. After all, the wasps have as much right to this garden as the bees.
Why is it the bees and wasps cannot live together in Arakand in peace?
Cuthanatelle would never agree to that. No, the bees must leave this place or die.
"About the Game" posted:
You do get to choose which you side with. It doesn't really matter too much. There are a LOT more wasps than bees, so it's easier to get rid of the bees, but siding with the bees gets you a reward, so choose them.
You are wrong. The bees have been here for a long time. It is their home. Your waspish interlopers cannot be allowed to force them to leave.
I might help you, Ragon, but Lysandra has a key I'm in need of. My mission would fail if I don't get it.
A key? You mean the key to this house at the other end of the garden? The house where this little imp is hiding? And Lysandra told you she has the key? I assure you, this bitch was lying to you. The truth is I am in possession of it. And I'll give it to you if you'll help me and the wasps.
I detect too much desperation in his voice to believe him.
Maybe you tell me the truth. But even if I'm missing the key in the end, I'll have to support the bees. Their cause is just!
Interesting decision. You jeopardize your mission, because of these unimportant bees. You won't be able to fulfill your task, but at least you saved them... Indeed, an interesting choice...
I could detect a hint of bitterness in his voice before he flew off.
There were a LOT of wasps, but fireballs are pretty good at pest control. I couldn't see any indications of a sun rising, but the fog-filled sky brightened up anyway.
I wonder what this is for? Hmmm... maybe for one of these urns?
There were an incredible number of wasps.
"About the Game" posted:
At this point, it's a pretty long time between level-ups, so gaining one in this strange garden place is especially excellent, for a reason I'll show in the Behind the Scenes section.
There was a lovely shallow pond, which I admired as I finished off the last of the wasps.
Ragon didn't have much of a sting.
It was a just cause. I was glad I could help you.
"About the Game" posted:
Aura of Command
- This spell lets 1 to 5 summoned creatures follow you. Note that I said summoned creatures, not "creatures that YOU have summoned". You can steal enemy summons for yourself, or bring some of your own with you.
The Death Knight is an obvious choice, except that Aura of Command makes it lose its red lightning attack for some reason. It also works well with the Death Scorpion traps from the Deadly Gift skill.
I don't use summons much, so I don't use this much. It's a survivor spell, so no spellbooks. You only learn this if you side with the bees.
If you side with Ragon, you kill all the bees and then Lysandra, who drops the key you need. I might show that off later, although I doubt it's that interesting, and I wanted to get this update done and posted.
I used a golden key on an urn, and a spectre appeared and cast something. Nothing happened to me, but I felt a sudden surge of magic.
Then a strange Lich materialized and attacked me!
Alright... I think I should just get the council member and go.
The key given to be by Queen Lysandra opened the door.
I walked in and saw the imp in the center of the room.
Trex Trix! What are YOU doing here? Trax...
I felt an immediate shot of recognition, which gave way to anger.
Ready? Let our enemy taste the real power of mind control... uah har har!
Hey! You're that Imp I saw in the military camp! You're one of the fools who turned the soldiers on me!
Ah yes... Antx sorry about that... Flix Trix! Antx good imp now! What Marked One want with Antx?
I could have killed those soldiers, or been killed by them, and I'm supposed to just accept "sorry"?!
Nevertheless, he is the chosen member for the council. You have no choice.
Sure I do. I could kill him and the scrying stones would pick another one. That'd work, right?
Is that the kind of person you want to be, Jeremiah? Without compassion or mercy, living only for revenge?
Fine, I'll hear him out. But if he betrays me again, his life is forfeit.
I've come to convince you to join the Council of Seven. According to Zaknadrix, you are the chosen imp, not him.
Trax flix! Antx knew! Antx knew you would come! Antx been hiding here... Waiting... Trex Trax...
Evil... evil peoples. Called Black Ring, they are - Antx was member... Trex Trax... Now they want Antx dead!
Yes, it was clear you were one of them when you ambushed me in the tent camp. You have been in foul company, imp.
Flex... Antx know! Antx know now... Black Ring and Antx are hate-kin now!
Why the sudden change?
Antx blinked in confusion and stared at me like I was dumb.
One who convince ANtx to turn against black Ring was you, Marked One? You forget your own words?
The Lord of Chaos has no need for allies that betray their own kind so readily. It matters not whether you succeed or fail in your mad quest, he will turn on you like the vermin you are. In your hearts, you know this to be true.
The woman and the elf both laughed at this.
You don't believe me? I know that Janus and the Black Ring are the ones BEHIND the orc invasion. He cares nothing for the lives on either side. What makes you think he'll spare you once his plans come to fruition?
Trax flix! Black Ring promised many things to impkind. Many wonderful things. But Antx also see Black Ring make same promises to orcs. Antx knows how Black Ring see orcs - as slaves to be sacrificed. Flex! Antx blinded himself, thought Black Ring would see imps differently. But Marked One's words made Antx unable to hide from truth anymore.
It was you who turned him from the path of evil, Jeremiah. Do you still think he deserves to die?
I don't know what to say.
Flex! No need to say anything, except how Antx go to council?
Just say the following word: 'XXBZPTRL' and you will teleport there immediately. Do you have any idea how I can get out of here?
Trex Flix! Here, take this crystal ball, use it to leave this magical place!
Video: Antx joins the Council (Voice Acting)
Antx teleported to the council. I saw no reason to stay any longer, so I touched the crystal ball, and the world swirled around me again. When I opened my eyes, I was back in the room in the Ducal Inn, and the imp was gone, and thankfully, so was the buzzing sound of all the bees and wasps.
I walked out of the inn. Hopefully the Dwarf council member would finally be somewhere useful by now.
As I left the ill, I heard a familiar voice call out.
"You must really like Verdistis, Silver."
Heard you've been busy lately. I've got some time on my hands. Do you need some help?
Next Time: The Axe of Stone
Behind the Scenes
Here's the map of the Garden. The keys are really easy to find, just use alt.
This jug here is really special. It's why I was so excited to reach level 38 soon after entering this garden. (Or maybe I grinded on purpose so that I was guaranteed to get a level-up, I don't remember at this point). This jug grants you a free level-up, so it's best used soon after you gain a natural level.
One of the vases teleports you to here once you unlock it.
This vase at the start triggers a rainstorm, and then zaps you with lighting if you open it. There are an equal number of keys and vases, I believe, but there was an error and one of the vases and keys don't match, so you can't ever open that vase (it's unpickable).
While looking up more information on LMK, I found something that's really, REALLY from Behind the scenes:
Larian Studio's about Divine Divinity
Most adventures and RPG's always put you in the body of an apprentice. Why can't you ever start as a known hero ? Why always as a dorky student ?
The problem is that if you start as a hero you allready have alot of high skills, so you can't increase those or you would become some superman. The other possibility would be to start as a hero that has lost his powers, but that storyline has been abused so much that it isn't interesting anymore. Also we've altered the story a bit, so that you don't start as an apprentice anymore. You'll start as some adventurer that just happens to be sleeping in a cabin where the magician and his apprentice run into when they're trying to escape from the soldiers that are following them (in the early start of the game).
So the early story was certainly slightly different, and that concept is probably where that "Demona's Run" music came from, which was never used, and it might also explain the title for the "Run, Zandalor, Run!" music.
What's fake in this update?
- Part of the conversation with Goemoe was fake, because it refers to a fake scene from earlier.
- Antx - I embellished the conversation with Antx. In fact, because I never entered the tent camp before going to the Council, I had to get the transcript from a different character. The scene where Jeremiah made the argument that persuaded Antx was fake. I put that in because in the game there is literally no reason given why Antx suddenly changes sides. You see him exactly once, using mind-control on the soldiers, and nothing until you go to recruit him. I lied when I implied that he couldn't be scryed, he can be scryed the same as any other council member as soon as you are able. For the sake of the narrative, Antx couldn't be scryed until he made the decision to turn on the Black Ring and fight them.
- Penumbra showing up again was fake, obviously.