The Let's Play Archive

Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 93: The Wizard Wars

Chapter 70 – The Wizard Wars

Ursula and Thaddeus
Talking to Vegetation

Video: Ursula and Thaddeus

(Ursula) Look at you. Lovely girl, aren’t you? Now begone before I have to scar your pretty face.
(Yara) That wasn’t very lady-like of you.
Really? I must have lost all charm dwelling among the infantile members of this so-called gentleman’s club! Long have I had to endure that sex’s petty attempts at seduction, yet a street dog in heat his more charm and finesse! Not that it matters anymore. I have what I came for and all these prancing chauvinists can rot for all I care.
I heard you gave some people an amusing shape they are none-too-happy about.
Damn their happiness! May they soon find themselves in some housewife’s cooking pot! They matter not. Only my ascension to sovereignty does. A spell is why I am here. A very rare, very powerful spell that I knew was kept in these archives, untouched and forgotten. It bestows upon the caster untold authority, and with it I will come to rule a land far away from here: a land you have never heard of. So let us leave it at that, go our own ways. My reign will not bother you, and your exploits will not bother me.
(-22500 XP) How clever of me to enchant earrings. Subtle, yet so strengthening.

Despite what the mind-read said, Ursula didn’t make the earrings. They’re part of the Dragon Wizard set, and are lost forever if you don’t mind-read her in this conversation.

Agreed. If you undo your curse upon this house.
Very well, those cads will be vegetables no longer. I have had my fun with them, after all. Thank you for your kindness. Please accept this weapon as a token of my thanks. I shall now retire to my hope and soon-to-be queendom!

I just noticed that Ursula has a unique opening line if your gender is female. This is a rare conversation where your character's gender is noted.

Will setting her loose come back to bite us in the ass later? Possibly. But that’s tomorrow’s problem. There are much bigger things to worry about. For letting her go, she gives us her bow. And we avoided a NASTY boss fight. (When recording that I thought it would be a breeze, so I wasn’t prepared and died the first time.)

I have no idea what distant land she’s referring to. I don’t even know if Rivellon is the name of the planet or the current continent. Hell, I don’t know how many continents are in the game. Until recently, the Black Ring were not really considered a threat, yet they have a huge army. I have nothing to back this up, but I think that they must have conquered a sizeable chunk of territory and conscripted the people. Some dialogue does reference slave camps in Yuthul Gor, the desert homeland of the orcs far to the east, so perhaps east of there is where the Black Ring is strong.

Incidentally, I’m glad the thread voted to let her go, because I'm doing the opposite of the choices in the extras, and it would seem odd to eat the vegetables and then ask Ursula to undo the curse.

For mind-reading her, she throws in the Dragon Wizard Earrings along with the bow. If you opted to fight her, the earrings can be found on her corpse.

(Thaddeus) Good gods, what has happened here? I’m away for a few houses and suddenly there’s a Dragon Knight in the Forbidden Archives!
You had a slight witch infestation, but I took care of it. No need to thank me.
A witch? Surely you do not mean Ursula? Dear me, I never would have suspected… And she made it into the archives! I knew it was a bad idea to give the guard to those three yokels, but they insisted they could handle the responsibility.
Our trespasser simply went after the lowest hanging fruits… and turned them into vegetables.
Is that so? Not that much of a feat, considering they were but a bottle away from a vegetative state. Ah, but let bygones be bygones! Thaddeus’s the name, friend! At your service!
(-7500 XP) Drain the knowledge from him, Dragon! This is what we seek!
I was told Commander Rhode sought you out.
Indeed she did. Zandalor sent her after the incarcerated spirit of a Mage: Behrlihn. She came to me because I know things of the history of Rivellon – history lost in many centuries. Though I swore secrecy, I broke that vow in the light of what is happening to this city and this world. I knew why he is imprisoned: he, Behrlihn, adept of the Damned One and veteran of the Wizard Wars!
What are the Wizard Wars?
They were apocalyptic battles that make the Great War seem to have been a skirmish between a peasant and an ogre over the last bit of sausage. It was there that it all began, the incipience of the grand conflict that keeps tearing Rivellon apart: the struggle between the Damned Demon, his followers and his opposition.
Oh great. “At the dawn of time…” I hope this story doesn’t take too long, or Aleroth won’t see tomorrow’s dawn.

You see, back then – and this was millennia ago – the race of wizards, like Zandalor, ruled the lands. Yet for this is the human soul, some tried to lay claim to even vaster power. They would awake the dark essence of a shadow beast: a demon from untold dimensions, of untold might. It was Chaos itself, and it would destroy and create concurrently. But there were wizards who resisted – those who saw the catastrophe that would follow in the Demon’s wake. And so they banded together with the seven primal races to form the first Council of Seven: a fist against the worshippers of darkness. Over a century the battle lasted and in the end the Council won. Those wizards who had sided with Chaos, like Behrlihn, were executed and their souls locked away in intricate dungeons.
Well, at least this time they actually tried killing them instead of just stuffing them in a box and hoping no one opens it later.
Their undoers swore they would never speak of them, so their bloodstained memory would be forgotten. And so they have: for no one – except you, I, and the few wizards left, know this story. Alas that the Demon followers who came after, the accursed Black Ring, were of such ardent passion. For we all know the beast has roamed our world even as his original champions were rotting in their chains. The Lord of Chaos, the Demon of Lies, the Damned One and now Damian. One day Chaos may reach his full potential. Gods protect all of us if he does.
Wait, there’s a difference between the Damned One and Damian?
So Behrlihn is a follower of Damian, then.
Yes, in so far that the human Damian is now the shell in which the Chaos Demon dwells and evolves. I do not know what you shall do should you find Behrlihn, but for the sake of all who are peace-loving in our land I hope that you shall not act lightly.
If I understand correctly, Damian is a budding Demon – one who has not yet reached full growth.
Oh, yes! The true Lord of Chaos has not yet been freed: the Black Ring was never as strong as the wizards that once supported him. But they did succeed in kindling his spirit within that creature Damian, where as yet it is but a flame waiting for conflagration. I don’t know how that sinister design could be brought to reality, but never doubt he and his believers work tirelessly to bring the Demon about!

If I am to find Behrlihn, how do I go about it?
I’ll tell you what I told Rhode. Behrlihn is trapped in a cavern that lies deep beneath Aleroth, below the place where the Champion Academy now stands. He was guarded by a shield, the one taken by Zandalor to protect the city, and also by a curious lock of sorts that is still in place. To open it, one needs to place five orbs over five runes. The orbs are there, but you will not know where to place them. I have heard that there were five who had knowledge of which rune corresponds to what orb. Each of the five knew about one, not all – a secret entrusted to one alone. Who these five were I have not been able to uncover: but they all had a connection to Aleroth so maybe, if you scour every inch of the town, you can track them down and so reach the one you seek!
That could be a problem, Dragon Knight.
Really? I never would have guessed!
The Aleroth of millennia ago is not the same as Aleroth today. Seventy years ago, when I first visited, Aleroth was a small village of healers atop long-forgotten ruins. The current city is only fifty years old; a great heaving of the earth raised the city up so high. Much has been lost.

Listen, if Behrlihn was locked away millennia ago, how do you expect me to find the five who knew about the runes?
I don’t, not really. But perhaps they may have been of immense power and thus still alive. Perhaps they have descendants. And perhaps – and this I fear, shall be the case – you will have to count on sheer serendipity to lead you to the clues you strive to find.


Have you heard of Rhode since she came here?
No, no I haven’t. She told me she wouldn’t bother looking for the five rune lore carriers, but figure things out for herself. First, I don’t see how that’s possible, and second, she could barely have reached the Academy before the dead arose and caused mayhem throughout the lower city. In truth, I fear the worst for her.
A few undead won’t trouble her. Whether she can find a way around the lock is another matter entirely.
Until later, Thaddeus.
Please do not breathe a word of that I have told you to anyone! This knowledge is secret and should remain so.
I won’t, primarily because with odds this low, if I were to give advice to the citizens of Aleroth, it would be along the lines of: “Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.”
Please, Dragon Knight. Don’t give up so easily.
Then help me, Thaddeus. Somewhere in these stacks of musty tomes, there must be some clue.
But there are so many. I wouldn’t know where to begin!

…So I suppose I should get started, then.

(Behrlihn) So now you truly know who I am. What it is I desire. The Damned One will rule even if I give you the Divine in return. So search for the five. I know what tricks they play. Riddles, all, riddles and runes.
“Ashraf the Pumpkin” / “Thomas the Tomato” / “Gardner the Pumpkin” complete! Quest Reward: 3 * (4873 XP, 600 Gold) = 14619 XP, 1800 Gold. Bonus Chosen: 3 * 2435 XP = 7305 XP.
“Seahorse Salad” complete! Quest Reward: 6211 XP, 1200 Gold, Skill Book. Bonus Chosen: 3105 XP, 1300 Gold.

To Find a Wizard: The Five Clues
This is the main quest that will occupy much of our time. We need to search for five clues that will tell us where to place the orbs. We don’t have the orbs, but never mind that for now.

We have absolutely no leads.

This is all the direction the game provides for solving the main quest, and this is its brilliance. “Somewhere out there are five clues. We don’t know where. So now, go out and play in this world.”

Some seemingly minor side-quests will turn out to be vital, others mere diversions. Which are which is for you to discover…

So… where should we go to play…

That was a heaping load of history, and a lot of it seems different than what I heard in Divine Divinity. It’s not the first time I’ve had the odd feeling that Larian forgot what they said in their own game.

This is the first I’ve heard of the Wizard Wars. It’s not inconsistent with the history from Divine Divinity in most aspects though. The Wizard Wars might be the name for the conflict that happened when the Seven Gods were still on the mortal plane, although ZixZaz the Almost-Wise doesn’t give a name to it. (Divine Divinity – Chapter 56)

Or maybe it was the conflict after that, between Hark Ferol and the Damned. (Divine Divinity – Chapter 41)

However, DKS called Wizards a race, when it was specifically mentioned in Divine Divinity that they were NOT a separate race, they were from one of the other races. (Divine Divinity – Chapter 54) And Thaddeus seems to generalize all wizards as having the “human spirit”. This game is really very human-centric, compared to the first one.

DKS also says that the first Council of Seven was comprised of the seven primal races… but in Divine Divinity, it was six races with a special seat for Wizards. I don’t know what the seventh race is. But there could be a lot of contenders.

Argh, forget it. The continuity’s just a mess, and it’s probably going to get worse when Dragon Commander comes out. Apparently that one will have Dragon Knights going to war with each other. But at least the other races will get a mention.


Oh, yes! The true Lord of Chaos has not yet been freed: the Black Ring was never as strong as the wizards that once supported him. But they did succeed in kindling his spirit within that creature Damian, where as yet it is but a flame waiting for conflagration. I don’t know how that sinister design could be brought to reality, but never doubt he and his believers work tirelessly to bring the Demon about!

This comment sounds like it might be teasing the premise of Divinity 3.

Hmmm… “The Old Elvish language”.
There we go! Read what you have just found, then have a chat with our foliated friend.

Video: Talking to Vegetation

Don’t tell me…

(Thomas) Thank you, Dragon Knight for delivering us from that evil wench!
Your affection for dear Ursula seems to have dimmed somewhat.
Wouldn’t yours? Mind you, I should have known from the beginning! Never left her alone I did: bought her brandy, offered drudanae, slapped her bottom and still she didn’t seem to like me!

Seriously, what more can a man do to win a girl’s endearment.
I’m starting to regret my decision already.
(-7500 XP) You could read a monks diary and it would still be more interesting than this berk’s thoughts.
I’m still expecting payment for my heroics, you know.
And I hadn’t forgotten! I have for you a book. Never read it myself, but I’ve heard a sharp mind can fare very well by what’s written in it. I hope it does, Dragon Knight!
You’ve never asked for rewards before, Dragon Knight.
It’s for preventative medicine.
Preventative… medicine?
It will prevent me from making them require medicine.

(Gardner) What an adventure that was! And what a lucky outcome!
You don’t seem to be very worried about, say, the Black Ring. They’re out there, you know.
Who could touch one with a providence as blessed as mine? I’m safe, Dragon Knight, safe to feast and be merry!
(-7500 XP) Are there greater fools than those who believe in fate? He’ll be into astrology next.
Says the spectre who expects me to somehow find thousand-year-old-plus clues in a city that has been destroyed and rebuilt gods know how many times.

Luck had little to do with your rescue, so maybe I should receive a little recompense.
Of course! Have you seen that chest in the main room? Well here’s the key to it! Enjoy!

(Ashraf) Hahaa! I’m my old good-looking self again! First I’ll get drunk and then I’m off to Madam Eve’s
Maybe Thaddeus knows how to turn them back into vegetables.
So what happens to the Prancing Seahorse now?
Business as usual, as far as I’m concerned. The scholars will scholar and we three boozeketeers will booze! Hurrah!
(-7500 XP) In the name of Chaos, why do you even talk to these fools?
… I have absolutely no idea.

So how about a reward, handsome?
Yes, by Ursula’s bottom, you have deserved one! Here’s the key to the medicine chest. Go and be creative! Haha!

The medicine chest is on the third floor, in Thaddeus’ room. The other chest is visible in the screenshot above. They contain random loot, so the best prize is the Skill Book from Thomas.

If you decided to eat them, you of course miss out on the XP from saving them, and probably also for completing Seahorse Salad. That's only about 21k XP though, or about 7 enemies worth.

Music: Mardaneus Plaza

This heavy tome, written in a beautiful, elongated hand, seems to await with eager anticipation the reader’s gaze. Your Dragon mind quickly absorbs the Elvish alphabet, and from now on, you’ll be able to read and understand everything written or spoken in this ancient tongue.

(???) (Translated from Old Elvish) < Away frail organism! Away! Or lightning will scorch your skinny bark! >
< Is there any reason you are aiming death from above at all who like to stroll along Mardaneus Plaza? >
<An evil has awoken within these nature-shunning walls, an old poison that will consume the human nest called Aleroth whole unless it is cut off at the root. None shall cross the barrier of living wood that I am until I can be certain the sap that nourishes this rot has dried up and its taint has withered away. >
(-22500 XP) < Perhaps you search my thoughts for power, or wealth. How about I grant you the Dragon Wizard’s Armour? >

We’ve gotten three pieces of that set already. It’s not the one we’re using, but at least we’re not using the Shadow Archer set. The last two pieces of that can technically be obtained early, but they feel like late-expansion places, so getting those and returning back to do most of the expansion feels wrong. And there were other spots those pieces could have gone.

< Then, dear fellow, allow me to venture forth from here and I will put a swift-cutting saw to the trunk of the corruption that plagues you. >
< Good! A vivid wind rustles through your steel-clad foliage and produces the war cry I desired to hear! You and only you, I will spare the thunderbolt. May your oaken resolve be the catalyst of undead destruction.>
< Aren’t you going to explain to me who you are? >
(Nericon) < In this great body of branch and bark dwells the soul of I, Nericon, the wizard. In life I was a king who had built a magnificent garden. Now, through forgotten magic, I still dwell within the vessels of nature to choke the undead plagues wherever they arise. >
< What do you know about the enemy that you are trying to weed out? >
< I cannot tell you what is the source of this uprising, but be prepared to meet a mighty foe! One that can wield so many walking dead will be a terrible adversary to crop, indeed. >
< Goodbye, great tree. >
< Fare thee well, little human. >
“Bark up the Right Tree” complete! Quest Reward: 10560 XP, 2400 Gold, 3 Skill Books. Bonus Chosen: 5280 XP, 2400 Gold, Random Amulet.

Yes, that’s three skill books, making five from this update alone. Flames of Vengeance has a simply OBSCENE number of free skill points. All of the game up until now, the entire ¾ of the game had an extra 44 skill points, which was a lot. There are FOURTY-NINE possible skill points in just the expansion alone, not including six skill point boosts to specific spells.

Nineteen points alone are from the main quest and are unavoidable. I already have basically maxed out all the primary skills, I’ll easily fill up my secondary ones, and run out of things to invest in. That’s why I’m not terribly worried about missing  the four or five from the Necromancer quest.  I’ve never done that quest except with my evil character, and I still ran out of places to put all the other points the game showers on you.

One of the reasons why the muddled continuity bothers me is that Flames of Vengeance has a strong supply of references to Divine Divinity. Nericon’s Garden was also from Divine Divinity. See: Chapter 27 and Chapter 39.

There, Nericon was said to be an evil despot who burned down the homes of the poor, who he then used as slaves to build a magnificent garden over where their homes used to be. Maybe becoming a tree REALLY mellowed him out, maybe his bad reputation was exaggerated, but again, the histories in Divine Divinity and Divinity 2 don’t seem to match.

(Casca) Dragon Knight, is it safe to pass?
Go on! Tell him ‘yes’. It’ll be fun!
The tree gave me permission to pass, but it will still kill all others.
Damned plant! How are we supposed to liberate the city?
I don’t know.
How about you try listening to Captain Aquila and General Augustus who seemed to think that the undead threat should be contained – not attacked. You know, until the threat of the Black Ring and their encroaching army is dealt with?
The tree here should keep the undead from escaping Crow’s Nest.
Very well, Dragon Knight.

Ursula and Thaddeus
Talking to Vegetation

The next chapter is the alternate approach for Chapters 69 and 70. I think it’ll be a bunch of fun. But I would like a new page before then, though.

Even with the quest rewards I got wearing all my + Wisdom gear, the mind-reading I’ve done since the Temple of Nimir has pushed my XP debt still higher. I’m 65k in the hole now, and I need a total of 140k to level up. I'll note that that's only 600 XP less than it takes to go from Level 37 to 38, and in the next update I'll clear through that debt almost instantly.


I’m leaving this map in every update until near the end, as an easy reminder.

These will be in a special “Evil” chapter that I’ll post next after this.

Reader Participation

EDIT: You know what, never mind voting for now. I may as well just put the whole thing off until I have quests from the three places I haven't visited yet available. So the quest voting will be three chapters from now.