Part 37: A Talking Cat!?!PART 37: A TALKING CAT!?!
Our heroes search the ruined village of Honnleath for an ancient golem's reactivation code...
Operation Make-Golem-Work... Begin!
I don't think that's going to help.
I'm looking for clues, Alistair.
You think the birds know how to start the golem?
They might. They're... always... watching....
It fits this lock! That I couldn't pick for some reason.
Oh come on!
Let's not be too hasty. A good cheese knife is worth a thousand golems.
Many's the night when I've almost been defeated by a cheese too firm to cut with normal knives.
But then I remember about all the swords and axes and daggers we constantly carry everywhere.
You can't use an axe to cut the cheese at a dinner party. Your host might take offence.
We don't get invited to dinner parties anymore. My social life has been distinctly lacking since the darkspawn invaded.
Hm. That door looks unlocked.
Then let us enter. Before those two start talking about cheese again.
There's a world of adventure at your local library, apparently.
Father taught me three things: never drink anything with a vegetable in it, never drink anything named after a sex act, and never drink anything that glows in the dark.
That's all your father taught you?
There was also some stuff about politics. But the drink rules are what I remember.
...I hope he's okay.
[You might notice Bianca is using Fire Arrows, after I realised I'd looted a bunch recently and hadn't shown them off yet.
You have an infinite supply of normal arrows, but certain special arrows that do bonus elemental damage can be purchased or found across the world. They come in handy for boosting your ranged damage, but you only have a limited supply and can use them up surprisingly quickly.]
Survivors! Golem Quest has been worthwhile after all.
By the Maker! We're saved!
You... weren't sent by the bann, were you? To save us?
No, I am a Grey Warden.
A Grey Warden? Here? Thank the Maker for our luck!
But if you weren't sent by someone, why are you here? If you don't mind my asking.
I'm looking for whoever owned that statue outside.
The statue outside? Why wouldoh, I think I see.
You bought the control rod, didn't you? You came here looking for Shale.
Come on in.
That damnable golem brought us nothing but trouble. My mother sold the rod years ago, after it killed my father, and good riddance.
It killed your father? What do you mean?
He means that his father prematurely ceased to be alive and the large stone gentleman outside is responsible. What did you think he meant?
Go stand in the corner, Alistair.
My father's name was Wilhelm, mage to the arls of Redcliffe and a hero in the war against Orlais. And what did he get?
One day my mother found him outside the tower, with so many broken bones she could barely recognize him, and Shale standing over him just like it is now.
My father deserved better than that. But if you really want to wake Shale up... well, it's yours now.
Except the rod doesn't work. Nothing happens.
My mother might have passed along the wrong command phrase when she sold the rod. She said she never wanted to see Shale active again.
Look, I'll tell you the command phrase... but I need your help, first!
I know you already saved my life, and I'm grateful, but my daughter is inside the laboratory! She was afraid, and ran too far in before I could stop her.
I don't know how she made it past my father's defenses. One of the men tried to go after her. He was killed. But... you could find her, couldn't you?
What killed this man who went after her?
There are defenses my father put down here to keep strangers out.
I knew about the barrier, I had the key for that, but the rest of it? We never came down here. Ever.
How do you even know she's still alive?
I... don't, it's true. I'm terrified that something's happened to her, and she's lying in there injured!
I can't leave here until I know for certain. Surely you understand that?
I'll see if I can find her.
You will? Thank the Maker!
My father's laboratory is just past the next area, I think. She has to be there!
Strange place. I wonder where these 'defences' are?
Oh, there they are.
[You get a sweet magic ring that bolsters strength and dexterity when you defeat the strongest shade, a powerful Ash Wraith. This is a preview of an enemy we won't fight in the main plotline until much later.]
Wilhelm's diary... Interesting.
[I've put the diary in the codex section at the end as it was a little long to paste directly into the update. Needless to say, it gives some more insight into Wilhelm and Shale.]
This place reminds me of home. I even have an assassin behind me, just like the old days.
Happy to help.
I was expecting something more... demony.
Oh, look! Someone's come to play!
You have come to play, haven't you? We're playing a guessing game. It's better with more people.
Good. You're safe. Your father was worried.
Father...? Oh! You can tell him I'm fine. Maybe he'll come and stay with us too.
Anyway, you should go if you're not going to play. Kitty finds you distracting.
The cat... finds me distracting?
Kitty is clever. She says you'll want to take me back to my father, but I'm not going. She would be lonely!
My evil alarm is going off.
I would not suggest leaving in such hostile company anyhow, Amalia. Look how they act.
The cat... talks?
Of course, silly!
Talking is simple enough, once you know how.
Right. What are you, really?
I am a cat. Really.
Nothing you say will convince Amalia to go with you. She loves only me now. I am her friend, while you are just a stranger.
What have you done to her?
I have done nothing. I am all but powerless. The mage made sure of that, didn't he?
I cannot leave this chamber. No, Amalia found me. After decades of isolation, her company is... welcome.
(Happy, contented sigh)
It seems we are at an impasse, so let me propose a... compromise of sorts.
[The DA engine is not good at doing fur.]
Release me, mortal, and let me have the girl. Let us return to her father and leave this place forever.
Let you have the girl? You mean possess her?
That's such a crude way of putting it.
I do not wish to harm Amalia. I merely want to see your world through her eyes. Is that so wrong?
Yes, it's wrong!
But Kitty wants it!
Then you reject my proposal?
(Persuade) (Lie) No. I'll free you.
Thank you. You are very gracious.
The mage's wards hold me within this chamber, and only a mortal may approach them.
There is a trick to disarming the wards, but I do not know it. Perhaps you will succeed where the girl failed.
Oh, this is so exciting! Kitty is going to be free!
Yeah, great. Watch the cat, Barkley.
[So here's an honest-to-goodness Overcomplicated Sliding Tile Puzzle. Wilhelm clearly had too much time on his hands.]
[The objective is to get the fire stream from top left to bottom right. Each tile has an arrow on it that directs the fire. The tiles can be moved into the empty space by clicking on them.
It takes a while to solve, but it's not too hard.]
Ok, last tile and...
Yes... I can feel the magic fading. Oh... I had forgotten how it feels to not be caged!
Kitty? What's happening?
A wonderful thing, my dear, for both of us.
Yeah... I said I'd free you. I didn't say I'd let you live.
Betrayal! You will not take the girl! She is mine!
Kitty, you're scaring me! I won't let you inside me! I won't!
I'd let her inside me.
[Kitty spawns in a bunch of rage demons as backup. I found it made my life a lot easier to kill them first, despite Kitty being a bigger threat. The rage demons have more AoE magics, which can be a real pain in the arse if they all fire them off simultaneously.]
[Anyway, bye Kitty.]
[She drops some sweet loot too. The Helm and the Cord are both top tier items with great bonuses, so we'll be toting them around for a while.
You can also get a superpowerful mage staff, which Kitty gives you if you demand a bribe to let her live. That route involves letting Kitty possess Amalia, which would probably be bad for the world and almost definitely bad for Amalia and her dad.
If we'd tried to bypass the puzzle and kill Kitty from the outset, she would have bodyjacked Amalia and forced us to kill them both. We'd still get the loot and the Golem code from Amalia's dad, but we'd all feel a lot sadder about it.]
[We're done here.]
You did it! You freed her! Thank you so much!
I'm sorry I ran away, Daddy I was so scared!
It's all right, butterﬂy. You're safe, now. All the bad creatures are gone.
The phrase to activate Shale is "dulen harn," if you still want that bloody thing. I wouldn't, if I were you.
Now we should go, and quickly. Thank you again. We owe you our lives.
Be safe, you two. Maybe buy your daughter a pet later.
[There's a shortcut outside in this room, saving us having to travel back through the basement.]
(Sigh) I knew this day would come when someone would find the control rod.
And not even a mage, this time. Probably stumbled across the rod by accident, I suppose. Typical.
Er... hello to you, too.
NEXT TIME: Meet Shale!
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
A Decades-Old Letter
The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm