The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 22: Elgi and the Olgai Council

Update 019 – Egli and the Olgai Council

“Maybe we should take care of that Undead problem sooner, rather than later?”

“That may be a good idea.”

“There's that tower on the lake. We can stop there and see if we can get some resources for that.”

“And delay our meeting with the {Olgai Council}?”


“Perhapssss we sssshould dessstroy thezze firsst?”

“Back again, Humans?”

“Here you go.”

“I have heard you humanssss have Magic to fly.”

“Yea. Mage named Peregrine is reverse engineering the Orb of Thranli at the Tower of the Magi to develop that spell. Why?”

“No reassson.”


“I've never seen the inside of a Mage's Tower before. Does that look normal?”

“What makes us think this is even a Mage Tower?”

“I'm pretty sure someone said as much back in Avit or Olgai, farmboy. Art-dahling, do we really need to be here?”


“Ssshould there not be guardsss?”

“Considering everyone here is a spellcaster of some stripe, except for the four of us, I think they are protected enough.”

“{We bow to your wisdom}.”

You meet a somewhat short Vahnatai male. He is reading a scroll while walking around. Even though he doesn't seem aware of his surroundings, he deftly steps around chairs and away from walls. He looks up at you. "Welcome, humans. I am Seno."

“Slithzerikai, to be correct. You are a student or a teacher here?”

"I am an instructor here. I teach the magical arts to visitors."

“To teach is an honoured profession, worthy of wise elders.”

“I am not so old as to need such flattery. You too are a practitioner of the arts I can teach, are you not?”

“I am. My name is Kai-Lyss.”

"I instruct visitors in the powerful Vahnatai magical arts. In return, we of Egli request a donation to continue our researches. Let me know if you wish to purchase skills. By the way, to use the spells I can teach you, you will need a soul crystal."

“We have one, given as reward for securing a Resting Cell to the south-east.”

“Then if you want to know more, go speak with Lith. He is Egli's crystal-smith."

“I will learn these spells, please.”

These spells can break the game, and are something I want to show off a little.

As stated, these two spells require Soul Crystals to work. In combat, beat down an enemy, but do not kill it, then cast “Capture Soul”. If you're lucky, the monster will 'die' (without loot or XP), and be placed into one of your Soul Crystals (up to 4 total). Later on, you can cast “Simulacrum” to create a copy of said creature to fight by your side.

For what it's worth, this game was published in November 1996. Pokemon was released in Japan in February 1996, and came to North America in September 1998.

“That's so normal, it's disturbing.”

There is a Vahnatai sitting at the table, grinding up some lichen. "I am called Oratem, humans. Welcome to my shop."


She indicates shelves of vials and pouches behind her. "I create potions and other magical substances for my fellow mages. If you have any valuables, you can purchase them as well."

The only things of note in this shop are the Strong Energy Potions, which restore 60 SP to a character, and the Piercing Crystal, which acts as a 'Dispel Barrier' spell in a can. I should have bought a few, but chose otherwise at the time. No need to sequence break too much.

“Many ssslleeeping chambersss.”

An aged Vahnatai sits here, polishing an intricately carved piece of smoky quartz. He wears a silver headband. His skin is very dull and dark gray, with many flecks of black. He looks up at you very slowly, his hands still moving automatically over the crystal. "I am Oth-Ihrno. I welcome you to Egli."

“I am Marianna. We bow to your wisdom.”

“You have some politeness. That bodes well for you. I am the Ihrno here, the ... the speaker of Egli. Bon-Ihrno has spoken to me, saying we are to offer you help and information."

“Any offers of help are appreciated and deserving of thanks.”

"Bon-Ihrno thinks you are beings of honor, and though I am filled with anger at your kind, I am filled more with respect for Bon's judgement. We can offer you knowledge of our magical ways, and help with understanding us."

"However, I cannot guarantee Rentar-Ihrno will help you, I am afraid."

Knowledge? We are without much wisdom, though we are committed to helping you.”

"Seno has agreed to teach you a small amount of our magic, both out of a desire to share and so you can grasp some of our power. Be sure to speak with Lith. He can tell you of the importance of crystals to us."

“Thank you. And what of this Rentar? Your words do not give us much hope.”

He shakes his head. "Rentar is the greatest of the Ihrnos awake. She created the barriers in your land, and she has no love of humans at this point. She has agreed not to harm you, but I don't think she will give you much aid."

“Perhaps I should speak more clearly. The theft of our Boks has angered all Vahnatai. The crime is reprehensible. There will be judgement. There will be vengeance. However, there are two... factions in the Olgai Vahnatai. One led by Bon-Ihrno, the other by Rentar-Ihrno. Those led by the former say we should determine which faction of humans – for it is now plain to see there are many factions – has committed the crime, and to punish them. Those who follow the latter believe we should punish all humans, for the crimes of one are the crimes of all.”

“That sounds extreme.”

“And yet, it is also our way. The two factions are in balance; then cannot act alone. Your presence is strong for Bon-Ihrno, but not enough yet. Actions speak louder than any word ever could.”

I wanted to make something clear here. The Vahanatai are all in agreement that someone is going to get their asses kicked for the crimes committed against them. The only difference between the two is that Bon-Ihrno is saying they should find out whose ass to kick first, and go straight for them, while Rentar-Ihrno is saying that they should kick everyone's ass, and get the guilty that way.

The Barriers of Chapter 1 were a compromise. Divide Exile into sections to isolate the various locations and groups. Then get representatives to plead their case before the Olgai-Vahnatai. If there is a specific guilty party found, then Bon-Ihrno's faction 'wins'. If there isn't, Rentar-Ihrno's will claim the 'correct' course of action.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Empire is the guilty party, so the only question left is in the proof.

This Vahnatai's skin is very smooth, and has a shiny, almost waxy sheen. Possible, that means he is younger. He wears the typical glowing robe and scant clothing underneath, and carries a double armload of scrolls. He nods at your presence. "Welcome, humans! I heard of your arrival. I am Clodeca."

“Hello. You do not appear to be a teacher here.”

"I am still only an apprentice here." He indicates the scrolls.

“We all must start somewhere. Being an Apprentice is nothing to worry over.”

"I am only an apprentice, not a crystal to my name. For now, I spend my time on these herb catalogs." He looks at the scrolls with distaste.

Herbs? For the learning of Alchemy?”

He emits a Vahnatai sigh, a long, painful hiss of air from between clenched teeth. "In the storerooms here, we have samples of every herb, lichen, mold, moss, mushroom, and other plant ever found in these caves, powerful or not, rare or not."

"I keep track of what is where and how fresh. It is both time-consuming and worthless. Looking for anything?"


“That must be a Human name for a plant. Can you describe it?”

“Never mind. I could tell you what is made of it, but I doubt that would help.”

“No, that would be a good learning experience. Tell me!”

“It's used as part of a Panacea salve, a sort of cure-all for infectious diseases. It is a grey lichen that tends to grow in humid places; the only known source in Exile is at the base of a waterfall outside our political boundaries.”

“We may have knowledge of what you seek, but understand these are samples, not proper ingredients.”

“I understand.”

“What was that about?”

“Just laying the groundwork for future co-operation.”

“There are better ways to go about that.”

“You'd be surprised.”

This Vahnatai is carrying a large bowl of pungent gray liquid. Its bright robes are speckled with tiny bits of food.

“Hello! I'm Chester.”

He bows. A little of the fluid in the bowl spills over onto floor. He pushes his robe into the fluid with his foot to mop it up. "I'm Crean," he finally says.

“Nice to meet you. What do you do around here?”

"I am the cook and custodian for Egli at the moment. I also spend my time trying to get the mages to wake someone to help me."

“A cook? Your skills must be in high demand.”

He proffers the bowl. "Here. Taste some of this broth." You do. It's nasty. He notes your reaction. "Trust me, it tastes no better to us than you. The mages woke many warriors and the like, but very few people to simply keep things moving."

He holds up the broth proudly. "But if this doesn't get them to wake help for me, nothing will!"

“I like the way you think! But why would they not wake more fellows like yourself?”

"Many of us are still in the Resting, sleeping in their crystals. Waking them all and rebuilding our cities are enormous jobs. The most important of the people get woken first. But some not so important ones need be woken too, eh'?"

Interesting observation here. What do you need to run a society? Politicians? An Army? Janitors? To be fair, the Olgai Vahnatai awoke into an effective state of war, and it is/was/will be implied that they were awoken prematurely, that their plans are all screwed up from the get-go.

“Ah, to learn more about these crystasss.”

This Vahnatai's robes are covered with quartz dust and bunched in about his waist by a tool belt. He is currently buffing down a sheet of blue glass. "I am Lith. Welcome."

“Greetings. I am Kai-Lyss.”

"I am a crystal-smith, and this is my work." He holds up the blue glass. “I create soul crystals and crystal souls, the core of Vahnatai magic."

“Is there a larger difference than simply the name?”

"There is a big difference. Crystal souls are the physical manifestation of our spirits, they are what was stolen. Soul crystals are what we store energy (and other things) in. To ever perform any of our special magicks, you will need one."

"One called Abra said he would give you one, but he had to leave. Maybe you should find him."

“We already have, and performed a service for him to attain this Crystal. Can you tell me more?”

“No, not now. So many concepts to teach, so little time. For now, think of it as a... storage for certain types of energy in certain patterns. Seno can teach you the necessary rituals.”

“I have already met him, thank you.”

“That looks suspicious.”

“Why? Planning a break-in?”

“Don't be silly!”

“It seems like Rentar is keeping her promise about by simply not interacting with Humans, or Slith or Nephil at this time.”

“{We should come back after reporting to the Council.}”

“Come again!”

“Thissss iz not the way to Oglai.”

“But there is something interesting over here.”

“Let's not touch anything.”

There are several of these around the primary Vahnatai cave. They are all, with the exception of the one a couple updates ago, the same as the above.



“Now I understand why you like to delay things, Sir Ma'am. I'm very nervous.”

“Now is not the time for cowardice.”

“We are expected.”

“We have passed your tests.”

“Do it.”


This is for activating the Resting Chamber back in Chapter 2.

“Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, time to answer some of our questions.”

“Of course.”

“First of all, proper introductions are in order. This is Art, our leader. I am Marianna. On the other side is Kai-Lyss. Then Dmurr, Chester and Aarth-Tss.”

“We greet you.” This stern, aged leader of the Vahnatai sits at the end of the table, lost in thought. "I am Glantris, Bok of the Vahnatai people and their sworn protector."

"I am Prossis-Bok, friend to the Vahnatai people, and to you."

"I am Elohi-Bok, servant of the Vahnatai people."

“Nice to meet you all. Now, can someone please explain just what the heck is going on?”

Glantris speaks. We are contemplating the reasons why you humans may have decided to dishonor us."

“Do go on.”

"My theory is this. Many of the Boks have had magical powers, and these powers were retained by their crystal forms. The thieves may have felt our ancestors to be little more than precious magical items." He seems repulsed by the notion.

“If they did not understand the difference between a Soul Crystal, and a Crystal Soul...”

"You have to understand the importance of the Crystal Souls to us. They are the living history, wisdom and conscience of their people. They are living beings, the most valued of us all. I can't say this of all of you, but some of you humans are lowly creatures indeed."

“No arguing there.”

“And I contemplate the direction our people will take in this time of turmoil. I look for the direction we may travel to find peace. Often, we disagree."

“Peace should be easy. Exile has done nothing to offend or harm you.”

“We know, human. Living in these caves is a hard, hard thing. War makes it near impossible. Glantris and Elohi fear and dislike humans, although they can still be rational when faced with facts. Rentar-Ihrno is much the same way, and is much more powerful."

“We tried to meet with Rentar, but... well....”

"She is the greatest of our mages. She created the barriers in your lands, and she constantly looks for ways to defend our people and assault our enemies. She is difficult to control at times, but she is truly our greatest strength."

“Lastly, I am Elohi-Bok, servant of the Vahnatai people." He holds up a thick sheaf of papers, covered with calculations, notes, and thick blocks of cramped handwriting. "It has fallen to me, I am afraid, to ponder the future."

“The future is always in doubt. And I thought that those with the title of 'Bok' were Crystal Souls.”

I ponder beyond the wars. The caves now are very different from what they were when we began our last Resting. There are humans now, and Nephilim and Nepharim, and the sliths, and the other races you told us of. And only we can hibernate. One day, I fear, we will fall to squabbling."

“You are the first to recognize the other two species currently involved in the conflict. Thank you.”

“Of course. And to answer your other concern, I have begun the process of becoming a true Bok, due to circumstances I will not share with you. Thus, I have taken the title, though I am still of flesh and bone.”

“We have heard much about your hibernation, what does it entail?”

"Something each and every tribe does every millenium or so, for a few centuries, to give the caves a chance to regenerate. Life down here is hard, as you no doubt have found."

“<An evasive answer.>”

“<Naturally. The truth will come in time.>”

He ignores the byplay. "We are only one of many tribes, and there is only so much space in our caves. The future may be ugly. The question is whether you all may one day be happier on your surface."

“We cannot go home.”

"That is where you belong. I suspect we will need to fight the empire one day. When we do, the battle may continue to the surface. Perhaps you will then be able to return there." He looks down at his notes and back up at you.

"I cannot be sure, but in the long run this may be the only way for us all to have peace."

“We need to consult with out leadership. But we will be back.”

“Please, feel free to use the portal. It works both ways.”

“Wouldn't that be a security breach?”

“Perhaps, but think of it as a sign of trust.”

“I choose not to argue that point at this time.”


“Let's come back.”

Once you step through that portal, it's on to Chapter 4, and the last 2/3 of the game. However, I've got a couple last things to do before I throw that particular flag. First is training! I've gone effectively two whole Chapters without it, so it's time for some before and after pictures.

Two points of Intelligence, and the next level of Priest spells. Got to start picking those up soon, there are some in this Chapter. And a couple more levels in Blades, because why not? I think I'll focus on the Spellcasting more for the foreseeable future though.

I really need to do some equipment shuffling to deal with that Encumbrance. It's really killing his ability to fight.

6 Assassination? And her Encumbrance is even worse!

More Intelligence. I'm going to have to dump points into SP for a while, or at least save up for level 5 Mage spells. We get some nice ones there.

Just bumping Strength and Dexterity for now.

Skill Monkey. Thankfully she's still reliable in combat helping clean up mobs, so she isn't falling too far behind in stats. I should improve her Strength and Dex pretty soon though.