Part 19: Smuggler's CoveUpdate 19: Smuggler's Cove
We're already here, so let's check it out!
Paragraph 39 posted:You find a hidden cove. There's a dock house by the water, and beside it you can see several small ships tied up to the dock. You must pass through the dock house to get to the boats. To your right is a small wayside shrine to some divinity or another. The cove is very quiet, aside from the lapping of the waves and the rhythmic creaking of the boats tugging at their ropes. It's hard to tell if this place is inhabited or not.
Well, clearly there are boats here. Some kind of a vessel would allow us to get to some of the other islands, so clearly this place is worth investigating. But first, let's note the shrine to the right.
We've actually read this paragraph already, back in Purgatory. As a refresher:
Paragraph 3 posted:This is a shrine to the dark lady Irkalla, queen of Magan, the underworld of Oceana. Of all the structures in this area, this is the best preserved. Simple offerings of weeds and rocks lay before Irkalla, indicating some residents of this world worship the dark queen. Irkalla's image is blasted from bronze. She seems serene and confident, with a terrible sort of beauty lurking in her fierce countenance. The black pits of her eyes stare at you without emotion. Here is a deity to be feared - perhaps also to be loved.
(The actual text of the paragraph is better suited for Purgatory, but it works well enough here.)
Just like the other Irkalla statue, we can pray to this one and sacrifice an item. We already did this in Purgatory, so we don't have to worry with this one. Once we've made Irkalla smile once, we don't need to make any more offerings.
Ignoring Irkalla for the time being, we approach the dock house.
To get any further, we have to use the Bureaucracy (speak their language) or Pickpocket (prove we're thieves) skill. This is one of the few areas where Pickpocket can be used (the only place?) and it doesn't even matter because we can just use Bureaucracy instead!
Anyway, their "language" is, of course, money. 50 gold will get us in the door.
Paragraph 41 posted:The pirates are friendly enough when you pay them their gold. They offer you a seat and serve you a brutal meal of calamari and grog. "My name's Long John Ugly," the leader identifies himself. "And this here is my gal, Peg." Ugly's girl has two peg legs and no teeth, but she's by far the most presentable member of this motley crew.
You converse with Ugly and his band for several hours. Ugly used to be a sailor in the Tarsian navy. He explains Tars was a minor city on the isle of Forlorn, and that it was reduced to ruins in the early days of the war with Kingshome. "These ain't good times to be a sailor, me bucko," Ugly growls, becoming increasingly maudlin as the grog does its work. "Namtar don't want folks sailing about from one island to the other. Too hard to keep people in their place that way!".
You learn Ugly's band has scratched out a living raiding along the coast, but pickings are slim. You also guess they do a bit of smuggling. Ugly is hesitant to take you out in his boat, saying the weather is wrong and the seas are too dangerous lately. When you remind him of the gold you paid, Ugly smiles and Peg shrieks with laughter.
"I didn't figure that gold covered the cost of a passage, mate!" Ugly laughs. "That was just a fee for this fine repast and fornot gettin' yer throats slit." Peg whispers something in Ugly's ear. "But Peg likes ya, and I'm in a charitable mood, so I'll do ya a favor. Seein' as how ya should be dead anyway, I'm willin' to ferry ya over to the Necropolis. There's plenty of loot to be had in that place, which should suit you folks just fine." Ugly gestures over his shoulder and points toward the south wall. "The dock's on the other side of the south door. I'll meet ya out there in a minute." Ugly looks you straight in the eye as he concludes, "And I do mean the south door. You'll do as yer told if you've got any sense."
Welp. Necropolis? Let's not be stupid here. The name "Necropolis" literally means "City of the Dead." Probably not somewhere we want to visit. Let's get outta here. Now what are we going to do?
Well, we did just walk by a statue of Irkalla. That reminds me...
A previous update posted:
...that island must be important. How can we get to it? It's not like we can find a boat down here.
With our newly-acquired Golden Boots, we can jump onto the new island. So let's pay a visit to Irkalla's realm and there! (Besides, we really need to recharge our MP, and the energy pool is on the way there.)
Paragraph 137 posted:Bound in chains upon this lonely Isle of Woe you find the dark queen Irkalla, Mistress of Magan. The chains are made of enchanted silver, and she is unable to move. "Topsiders!" she snarls when she sees you. "It's always the same. The water level rises, your toilets back up and everyone rushes to the Underworld for help! Well, I have problems of my own, as you can see. That filthy half-breed Namtar chained me here, and gave the key to the one creature who owes me no favors."
Irkalla regards you. "Perhaps you could be of some use," she says, her tone suddenly becoming incredibly seductive. "Find the Silver Key and set me free...you will be richly rewarded. Namtar is our mutual enemy.
Serve me, and I shall serve you to defeat him!"
So, we have to find this key to free Irkalla. The key is held by "the one creature who owes me no favors." That's a bit cryptic, but she's talking about her consort Nergal, the King of the Underworld. Now, where might the Underworld king be if he's not down here? Oh... hmm.
Well then, I guess Necropolis is where we want to go! Back to Smuggler's Cove then!
Paragraph 43 posted:You sail through most of a day and night through thick fog. There is no moon, and the going is slow and treacherous. Several times you think you glimpse phantoms in the fog, or hear strange beasts bumping against the hull of your vessel. Just when you think you may never reach your destination, an island looms out of the murk.
The island is an irregular mass of black stone, covered in moss and green slime. Ruins of impossibly ancient design are just visible in the center of the island. Luminous eyes peer at you from dark hollows and forbidding bogs nestled along the coastline.
That bastard! And here I thought pirates were 100% trustworthy...
(It doesn't matter how much we paid Ugly. We could pay him a million gold and it would still be "not enough" for a return trip.)
So, now we're in Necropolis. Next update: Necropolis!