The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 99: The Axe of Stone

Chapter 72 - The Axe of Stone

Music - "Relentless Wandering"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Previously on Divine Divinity:

His speech was badly slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Once again my mouth started to talk before my brain realized what was going on.

Are you sure you're the town mayor and not a drunk with delusions of grandeur?
I'm always saying there's a time for work and a time for relaxing.

He raised his mug. "Cheers, me human friend." *belch*

I was starting to get a buzz just from his breath alone. "Right, but try to keep that smell with you - what's it you're drinking anyway? Alcohol with honey?

It's called mead, friend - the finest a dwarf can get his hands on. *burp*.

You seem to have a lot of potions on sale here. Who are you?
My name is Walker, an independent apothecary hailing from the south. It is well known that if Walker doesn't have it, it's not worth having.
How about a cure for hangovers?
No such thing (apart from another drink). But I do have a potion that can make you instantly sober.
Why would anyone want to become instantly sober?

Heard you've been busy lately. I've got some time on my hands. Do you need some help?

Chapter 72 - The Axe of Stone

Help? Yeah, the way things are going, I'll take whatever I can get. Come on.

We headed to the Verdistis teleporter, but I paused as I finished processing everything she'd said.

Wait, you heard I've been busy lately? What have you heard?
It's not like you blend in, Silver. People travel, rumors spread. This isn't a big country, and you were just about as famous as you could possibly get; and then there's what you did in just the last three days. You invaded an orc war-camp and returned to tell the tale, and some elven traders who showed up said that you prevented a blood-war between elves and dwarves and recruited an elf for some fancy war council, and last night you stormed a house in Verdistis, and slew all the inhabitants because of a kidnapping? And then, without even resting for the night, you barged right into the inn and demanded to see an imp? Something's up, and I have the feeling that it's something big.
Yeah. It's big. You ever hear of The Damned?
The damned? ... What, you mean that group of evil chaos-worshippers which were wiped out 600 or so years ago?
They weren't all wiped out. They're now called the Black Ring, and they're infesting the dukedom from the inside out. I have to stop them. I've been recruiting members for the Council of Seven.
Wow, Sir Patrick, Duke Janus, and now this? You sure have a knack for making powerful enemies, Silver. How'd you get yourself mixed up with this?

I swallowed. It was hard to say.

Because they're holding my sister prisoner, Pen. I have to get her back.

The usual knowing smile on Penumbra's face was replaced by a sadder and more sober expression. "I... I'm sorry, Jeremiah. I didn't know," she said.

Thank you, Pen.
Do you know where she is?
No, but I have an idea. I need to get the entire council assembled first, though.

Who's next?
Actually, I don't know. There's only one left, and we haven't been able to find him yet. Would you mind waiting here for a minute?

I went to the Council of Seven.

Very funny. Just don't tell that joke to our Imp Councilman.

I went into the scrying room.

Well done on rescuing Goemoe and the imp council member, Jeremiah!
Yeah, I hope so...
Is something the matter?
The imp council member, his name is Antx, and not long ago, he was a member of the very Black Ring we are fighting against!
Really? That's quite interesting!
I'm not entirely sure that he can be trusted.
I don't think we have anything more to worry about from him. If he wished to destroy the council, he never would have been selected by the stones.
I hope you're right. Well, now we have six, just the Dwarven council member remaining.

Hmm... I wonder what that big thing in the distance is?
I could swear that I've seen that before...

Very well.

I quickly returned to the Verdistis teleporter.

Hey, Silver. What's the story?
I need to recruit the Dwarven council member. He's in Glenborous.
That sounds easy enough.
Great, now you've jinxed it.
Oh, come on, Silver, you don't believe in that, do you?

When we materialized, the dwarves eyed us suspiciously, with their weapons raised.

Do those Dwarves look unusually tense?
Yes. Something's wrong.

We headed down the main street, just in time to hear the big announcement.

Video: Town Crier declares war

A large crowd gathered, and the crier repeated his words.

HEARYE! HEARYE! To all brave and loyal dwarves! Our good king calls YOU to arms! War is declared on the dastardly elves! Step forward to defend your homeland!

What the hell?
I thought you said you stopped that?
I did! Things were perfectly fine the day before yesterday.
This is NOT my fault.
Suuurre.... you just keep telling yourself that.

She gave me a light punch in the shoulder. I walked up to the towncrier to see what was going on, as the crowd of townsdwarves buzzed with excitement and nervousness.

First the rumors about the orcs in the south, and now the elves? ... damn, this isn't good timing, human. Really, not good timing...
I totally agree with you, dwarf...
If all our man go to help the king against the elves, who will defend Glenborus against the orcs?
The elves again... But this time, they have gone too far.
These are chaotic times indeed...
Our king needs us? Of course he does. Everyone knows, Glenborous is the cradle of heroes...
It will be interesting to see if the mayor will join our forces this time...
Again the elves... can you believe this? Y grandfather told me stories about them... unbelievable...
Never trust anyone taller than a dwarf. My mother always told me... Present company excluded, of course...
Of course...

The soldiers next to the town crier looked bored.

Join the army, they said... Help defend our caves, they said... And now I've ended up as an a escort for this bawler...
Be brave...
I wish my shift would already be over for today... I'm in need of a huge mug of dwarven ale...
Good luck to you...

Is there really war going on between the dwarves and the elves?
By Gods there is! These arrogant creatures attacked us unprovoked. And the imps are angry about something as well, so I've heard. These are hard times for us dwarves!
Trust me, friend, there will be better times soon.

I moved back through the growing crowd to Pen.

The dwarf I scried is probably important and will know more. He was standing near a big stone monument of some kind.
Like that one?
Exactly so.

No doubts who's behind this, either.
I'd like to know more about the Axe of Stone.
The Axe of Stone was used in combat by the god Duna. After Duna left this world, she gave the weapon into our care. It's a catastrophe that the elves have stolen that magnificent weapon!
The elves are responsible for the theft of the Axe of Stone?
Aye, damned tricksy elves must have snuck up to the commemorative plinth, where the Axe of Stone rested, and had away with it in the night.
I am positive that the elves had nothing to do with this matter.
Funny you say that. We caught an elf near the scene of the crime. He hasn't confessed yet, but he will when Gregor sets his torturer on him.
What? They caught an elf?
Gregor... that's the mayor, right? Smells of excessive drink?
Gregor Dunatrim is the king's brother and the mayor of this Dwarven settlement.
Can we investigate the crime ourselves? We wish this terrible matter to be solved as much as any dwarf. I am Jeremiah, and this is Penumbra.
Hrmpfh! There's no need to investigate, human. The bloody elves were responsible for the theft and we'll make them suffer for it! End of saga.
I don't believe that elves stole your artifact. Let me prove that you're wrong.
Why waste your time when matters are so crystal clear? Well, if you have nothing better to do, go talk to the mayor and the elf. Here, I'll mark the mayor's house on your map. The elf is locked in the cellar of the Black Hammer tavern until such time as we take him to our king for final judgement.

He started to walk off.

Wait, Ambassador Thunderstorm - I need you to join the Council of Seven.
Aye, that's no surprise. Zandalor wrote a letter to Kelp Dunatrim, telling that you would come and ask for one of us dwarves for help. But as long as we have not retrieved the Axe of Stone, I cannot join your cause. I must see it recovered ere I can go a-wandering with humans.

With that, the discussion was closed, and he walked off.

"About the Game" posted:

He goes into a house a bit to the southwest, so after this, he can be slightly tricky to find for a first-time player.

Wordlessly, Pen and I moved away to talk out of earshot of the guards.

So you don't think there's any chance it was the elves?
No, this has the footprints of the Black Ring all over it.
It must have happened sometime in the night. Do you think it was done hastily?
I have no idea. The Black Ring is a very patient organization, and while this does reek of hasty planning after the previous attempt to spark and elf-dwarf war failed, that doesn't mean they didn't plan this, "just in case".
So should we talk to the mayor?
I've met the mayor. He's a idiot so soaked in alcohol that you have to extinguish all open flames in any room he's in. The elf prisoner is likely to be more helpful.

We headed to the Black Hammer tavern.

It seems odd that the prison is underneath a tavern.
Clearly you don't visit dwarf bars often. This is considered a time-saver.

Is this the prison?
Can we visit the prison?
Of course ye can. But don't make a mess. I need to keep this place clean and tidy, you know?
We won't, thank you.
Who is this elf you hold prisoner?
That goddamn bastard stole a sacred item from us. Go talk to him or to the mayor if you need to know more.

I want to help you, friend. What's your name?
I am Arandalis, a wood elf of the Larkwing family. I'm just an innocent vitner! I came to the Dukedom to deliver some of my fine elven wine to a merchant in Verdistis.
So why did the dwarves imprison you?
I was traveling back to the Dark Forest when something hit me hard on the head. When I woke up, I was gagged and blindfolded!
You were kidnapped?
Very interesting...
I was abducted by at least two people. You see, I could overhear their conversation because they thought I was still unconscious. I clearly remember the harsh voice of a human, and the grumbling voice of a dwarf. Both were men, I think.
What happened next?
They dumped me near the commemorative plinth in the Dwarven village. I was too befuddled by the blow to do more than lie on the ground and groan a little. Shortly later, a patrol of dwarves found me and accused me of having stolen the Axe of Stone. It's ridiculous! I'm the victim here!

I was about to spit in disgust when I remembered my promise to the guard.

Of course. Typical guard behaviour. They were caught napping, so they need a scapegoat to save face. It doesn't matter if you did it or not.
Tell me more about the couple that abducted you.
I don't remember much. Remember, I was barely conscious and simply can't remember what they actually said. I do remember that the dwarf had a slurred voice and smelled strongly of mead - but don't most of them? I can't give you any details about the human, save that his mere presence sent shivers down my back. That man has the soul of a venomous snake, I'm certain of it.
Heh, you're right about dwarves all smelling of mead.
I think they must sup it instead of mother's milk when they're babies. But that doesn't help find the felon you describe.
No, this dwarf was really stinking of bad mead. He smelled as if he'd been wallowing in a bath of the noxious sticky stuff. He stank of rancid honey and raw alcohol from ten paces off!

My jaw dropped reflexively.

Great Gods! I think -

I lowered my voice so the guard wouldn't hear.

I think Gregor, the mayor of this village, is involved in the theft of the Axe of Stone!
What makes you think so? Why would a dwarf want to steal his own holy relic?
You told me that the dwarf who abducted you stank of rancid mead. That's Gregor all right. I've never met anyone who drank as much mead as the Mayor.
That is interesting. Alas, but I hope you can prove your claims. This endless imprisonment in a dank cellar is driving me insane. I'm an elf! We need to be out in the fresh air! Please, do whatever you can to expose the thief!
Rest as easy as you can, friend. I'll do my best to prove your innocence.
Thank you, human! Please hurry, though! The dwarves are canny and cruel torturers. I'll die of fear and humiliation if they come back again!
Farewell, we must go now.

Unfortunately, we can't prove it yet.
Isn't the mayor the brother of the king?
You think that he's going to make a power-play for the throne with the backing of the Black Ring?
You'd be surprised how many people come to the Assassins' Guild wishing to step up in stature by standing on the still-warm bodies of their former family members.
The exact motives don't matter too much in this case. What we need is proof. Let's pay the mayor a visit.

I knew enough to breathe through my mouth when I entered the mayor's house, but I heard Pen gasp in surprise.

Wohow, Gregor, I nearly get delirious, just by smelling your breath. How much ale did you drink today?
ALE! DID YE SAY ALE!!? Ye damn fool human, true dwarves don't put that slop to their lips *burp*. Mead... we drinks mead ye blasted idyit! Can ye not tell the difference? Mead is good for the muscles. Makes you stout and powerful it does. Why doesn't ye go bring me some and we'll share a few tales of battle and drink... what do ye say? *hic*

I opened my mouth to answer, but Pen had an idea first.

We'll do our best and fetch the mighty mayor of Glenborus some mead.
Yeah, that's right *hic*. Ye can always buy real good mead in taverns. One of the local taverns nearby has a fine batch o barrels. Nearly as good as the stuff me brother the king drinks.

She then grabbed my by the arm and dragged me out. She seemed to have a plan, so I kept quiet.

I recognize that type - get a few more drinks in him, he'll talk easily.
Yeah, but he'll probably insist that I join him, and I'll be down for the count long before he talks.
Come on, you're trying to tell me that you can't hold your own in a drinking contest?
A drinking contest, yes. A brewery-swallowing contest, no. ... But... hold on...
What is it?
I've got an idea. Pen, could you please keep an eye on things here? I have to go get something. I don't think that the mayor will leave or have the prisoner moved, but I don't want to take the chance. It'll only be a minute or two.
Alright Silver, I can do that.

I hurried to the teleporter and went to Rivertown's market, and from there to the apothecary.

Hello, what can I get for you?
I was in here a while ago and you mentioned some potion which instantly makes you sober? Do you still have any of those?
Actually, they're pills. 20 pills, 100 gold a bottle. Be careful though. The pills will temporarily sober you up, but the effects of the alcohol will return after a while, and it won't prevent a hangover.
Yeah yeah.

I returned to Glenborous.

That was fast. Get what you need?
Yes, now I just need the mead for his mayorship.
What was it you were getting?
Pills that make you instantly sober. I might need a distraction to take them, though. When I touch two fingers on my left hand to my forehead, please distract the mayor for a second, Pen.
Sure thing, Silver.

Unsurprisingly, the Black Hammer tavern sold mead.

"About the Game" posted:

Actually, you can't buy "Mead" anywhere, but pretty much any alcohol you have will do - except oddly, for Rimmer's Ale, which is the only stuff you actually CAN buy in Glenborous.

Here you go, my dwarven friend. I've brought you some mead from the local tavern.
Share a few gulps with me human *hic*. *gulp* Arrhhh that be mighty fine stuff you brought *burp*. Share a story with me, would you?
Sure. Um, how about the tale of Aleroth?

We shared many drinks over several hours. Pen was very helpful at distracting Gregor so I could pop a pill sobriety pill when needed, and I was able to fake being drunk well enough to fool him.

...and I said to him, "You lured a monster slayer into your cave, you idiot!"

Gregor laughed.

Aye, that be a good tale. *hic* Ye... ye know something? Those damned elves in their woods will cause plenty of problems for us *hic*.'
What makes you think we'll have troubles with the elves?
Arrogant, high and mighty minded, devious creatures they are *hic*. Now if I were dwarven king I'd *burp* march an army against them. My new friends will help me when it comes to that time, see if they don't *burp*.
Your friends? Who are these good friends of yours?

I thought we were friends, Gregor? I brought you all this mead; only friends share mead, surely? Tell me about these fine friends of yours.
*Hic* Lean in close then and I'll tell ye, but keep your voice down. They live in a secret cave in the Halls of Karanamix *hic*. Place is well guarded by the stone sentry - vicious bugger he is. Need a password to get past him ye do *burp*.
Your friends sound like a fine bunch. I'd really like to pay them a visit and give them your greetings.

Thanks. You really are one heck of a pal, Gregor.
For a human, ye... really can hold your mead well... You sure you're... not part... dwarf?

With that, he gave one final belch and passed out.

It's getting very late. I must go.

Your plan worked, Pen. Thanks for the help.
You were the one who pulled it, Silver.
Hey, I can be sneaky and underhanded with the best of them.

We headed for the teleporter.

So what now.

I could feel the effects of the pill wearing off.

Tomorrow mor... ugh... tomorrow afternoon, we should go to the Dwarven Halls. Now though... I just want to throw up and pass out.
Hopefully in that order.
Come on, Silver, let's get you somewhere to sleep it off.
Thanks... *urp*

She smiled.

Don't thank me yet. It's NOT going to be my place...

Next Time: Dol Pyrden

Behind the Scenes

I get the impression that the player is not supposed to even visit Glenborous at all until you have to go recruit the Dwarven Council member. You can walk into Glenborous as soon as you cross the bridge from Aleroth for the first time and get the town crier scene where they declare war, but I was able to avoid triggering the declaration of war scene until now, though. I don't know why you were able to trigger it early, there was no reason why.

While you can't talk to the mayor, in the back room is the map of where he's stashing the Axe of Stone. I had to edit that map for use in Chapter 22 to cover up the incriminating bits. The strange runes written on the map probably mean something, but the alphabet translation I found has so many wrong letters that it's a huge pain to try and figure out what it's saying.

Additional Topics with Eolus Thunderstorm

There are a few things which I didn't include because Jeremiah already knows them.

Tell me more about your king.
Kelp Dunatrim is our leader and resides in the Halls of Karanamiz, where flows the wondrous River of Gold.
River of Gold? What are you talking about?
Deep within the mountains to the west, my brother dwarves live in a vast underground system of caverns. Now, that's the natural way to live: underground with a stone roof over your head... none of these elvish trees and sky and stuff. A shining river of gold and jewels runs through the Halls of Karanamix from end to end. It's a sight to make you weep for joy!
How can I be granted an audience with your king?
My people live in the great halls beneath the Dwarven Mountains. Our long-term allies, the humans, are always welcome to enter the under ground city and are often granted an audience with Kelp Dunatrim, our king.
It's quite possible to have never visited the Dwarven Halls before now, so Eolus can also offer you directions, although if you ask, the thinks you a bit of a green traveler.

If you've talked to the elf you can get this option.
I've talked to Arandalis the elf, and he claims that he's innocent!
Listen human, this elf knows that he's facing death. What would you do if you were in his situation: sitting in a damp cell and knowing you were going to be tortured? You'd do and say anything to get free, wouldn't you?


What's fake in this update?