The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 24: The Tower of the Magi and the Serpent Cult

Update 021 – The Tower of the Magi and the Serpent Cult


“How long are we going to let her nap?”

“I'm surprised, she seemed so awake and on top of things ever since we left Formello.”

“We are ssssafe, sso why ssshould ssshe not rezt?”

“Yes, but at this rate, she could sleep for a month.”

“While I am accepting of good relaxation az required for good dutiesss, thisss iz excessssive. Dmurr, assisssst.”

“In what?”

“Flipping the bed.”

“And none of you thought to stop them?”

“It seemed... I don't know....”

“We were so caught in the moment, dahling, that such a thing seemed reasonable.”

“First good night's sleep in ages, in a properly sized bed, and you throw the bed to wake me?”

“It worked, didn't it?”

“I have no excusse.”

“Fine, fine. The Tower has been renovated since I was last here. Let's just check things out for now, get our bearings, and maybe figure out what to do next.”

“Report to the Cassstle.”

“We should also go back to Formello, let them know we're alright. Even though the Barriers came down, it's polite.”

“And what would you know about politeness, Farm Boy?”

“More than you, it seems.”

“Are they not in the sssame direction?”

“No, Formello is north, the Castle is West.”

“Name isn't ringing a bell. Must be new.”

“Thisss iz not a good idea.”

“Agreed. Even I can feel that.”

“Already gone.”

You have to peer over the counter to find the shop's proprietor. He's back there all right, bent over double, lost among piles of items, both treasures and worthless knick-knacks. He watches you cannily. "I'm Brantford. Let me know if I can help you with anything."

“Hey! I'm Chester. Man, you got a lot of stuff back here. You cleaning up or something?”

"I deal in miscellany! Bric-a-brac of all descriptions. My stock changes every day, every minute even! You can purchase something you like, or sell me something you don't! You have but to ask."

Ah, the 'random' store! How I've missed thee. I grab the Magic Breastplate for Art. I may come back here in an update or two, to see what's new, but like Exile 1, it's not going to be a regular occurrence.

“Hello, Mage.”

You meet one of the tower's mages. She doesn't look pleased to be bothered.

“I am Kai-Lyss., mage.”

She nods. "I am Suzanne. What do you want?"

“I ssseee you deep in thought, and waz offering my sservicesss az a ssosunding board.”

She sighs. "I'm supposed to be teaching people to mindduel, but I'm very busy. You can buy the spell if you want. Or you could leave and let me think about my experiment."

“You engineered the spell already?”

“Yes, we have. Oh, aren't you that soldier that we got most of our information from?”


“I would be interested. Name your price.”

“A bit out of our price range. We shall return later. But you mentioned an experiment?”

"Nothing you could understand. Something involving fire lizard eggs, which nobody seems to be able to find. That's all."

“Art, hand over the eggs.”

“But I wanted a fire breathing lizard of my own!”

“... really?”

“No, it just seemed like a good idea at the time to keep them warm.”

Remember when I grabbed these from that side dungeon back in Act 1? No? That's alright. It's not like I drew much attention to it.

You hand over the egg. She looks it over, and smiles.
"All right then! Whenever you want to learn Mindduel, ask me for a bargain!"

“Jusst what sssort of bargain do you have in mind?”

“How about....?”


I just saved 7000 gold. It's good to have played this game so many times already.


“Front door, but not quite yet.”

“Oh nice, they got rid of the prison.”


“Oh, this corner used to be an emergency prison for a guy who went crazy due to exposure to Demons.”

“Why would they do that?”

“If you ever meet an Archmage by the name of Linda, and I'm not around, punch her in the face and say 'Art says hello'.”

“You want us to punch an Archmage in the face.”

“Only if I'm not around.”

“There is a story there.”

“One that ends in the defeat of Grah-Hoth.”

“I waz not aware of that factor in your tale.”

“Can we just move on?”

“So.... what was this room before the Olgai Council dropped in?”

“Oh, we were experimenting with building a portal network here in Exile.”


“It is good to see you up and about. So few people appreciate my genius.”

“{Not the word I would use.}”

“Kai-Lyss, behave.”

“I've already made some arrangements. You can use this portal as much as you want. Given that the people on the other end have placed theirs in a position of power, we're not going to move this end either. It's all very diplomatic.” He sighs. “But they won't let me go through.”

“What can I say? You're not an official member of the Olgai Tribe like me.”


“A fact which still doesn't surprise me. I am quite interested in their crystal based magics. I especially want to see if it has anything to do with Fort Emerald.”

“Isn't that the fort with the empowering magical crystal?”

“Why of course it is!” His voice drips with sarcasm.

“Have you moved your research to a new location yet?”

“No, the presence of the new portal damaged some of my experiments. And while I cannot yet return to my research into the Orb, this inability to handle all my projects is quite vexing.”

“This is why you focus on one thing at a time.”

“What? And waste my talents?”

“We ssshould be going.”

“You are always welcome, Art. Oh, go see Kelner in the Triad's offices. I've made arrangements with him regarding your clearance.”


“I wouldn't recommend going in there. There's dangerous critters in there.”

Four Basilisks in tight quarters? Not kidding.

“So, our of curiosity, aside from you, why are we interested in getting a higher Security Clearance?”

“To complete our mizzion.”

“But to what end?”

“I would think it obvious.”

“It would sshow we are... trussstworthy of greater ressponsibilities.”

“That too.”

“Hello, you must be the Services people.”

You meet a young man in mage's robes. He walks up and shakes your hands. "I'm Kelner, the tower secretary. Glad to see you're up and about."

“Sorry for intruding. I hope we did not disturb anything important.”

"Right now, I was writing a message to send to Solberg, telling him of your exploits among the Vahnatai. As secretary, I'm go-between between the Tower and the Exile government. I write letters, pacify bureaucrats, and pass on orders."

Solberg? We tried to appraise him of the situation with the Barriers, but could not get through to him. His tower required clearance that Art no longer has.”

“Damn. I had hoped to get it to him. He's currently on the Triad, but has been trapped in his Tower for some time now. Even though I'm his friend, and I know you people are trustworthy, I'm not allowed to tell you more.”

Internal politics, people! For those of you who don't remember, the Triad is the ruling three Archmages in Exile. Linda has been kicked off, due to the events in the first game, and replaced with Mahdavi (who is a specialist in teleportation and portals), which will be revealed later on. X and Solberg are still in their positions, but Solberg seems to have still not left his tower.

“You mentioned orders? Perhaps we can serve as messengers, given we know about the situation?”

“Maybe... Occasionally, the bureacrats have something they need done which either takes a lot of magic or is near here. Then they tell me about it and stick me with finding someone to do the dirty work. Or wet work. I cannot simply give you the mission, you don't have the clearance, but I think we can help each other out. Which means I won't have to owe that arrogant vole Peregrine a thing.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry! I forgot you were on the Committee. Look, I'd rather go through proper channels, have you guys do a mission for me, and let you get your clearance back that way, rather than do a favour for... him.”

“That bad?”

“You have no idea.”

“He's mellowed out quite a bit.”

“How you survived months with him is beyond me. Rather, how he survived.”

“Art iz capable of ssuch thingsss.”

“So, about this mission? Nothing too strenuous, I hope?”

“There is a serpent cult situated to the northeast. If you can slay its high priest, report back to me and I will put in a word to get you a higher clearance. It is the best I can do. Alas, we know little about the cult."


“Yes, but this cult is a bit more than the usual.”

"Some months ago, a patrol travelling the tunnels to the northeast disappeared. Then another, then another. Spies and magical scrying revealed a band of renegade sliths, led by a powerful high priest, running some sort of perverse snake temple up there."

"They're dangerous, and we need them removed. Period."

“Sssuch is not in our faith. I agree.”

“<I thought Snake Worship was banned?>

“<It was. That they have fled this far from our waters is troublesome.>”

“<So why are you so interesting in this?>”



You meet a young, heavily built woman in mage's robes. She carries around a shod cavewood staff, but from the way she holds it you guess that it's more to clobber people than for support.


"I'm Kayannan. You must be Kai-Lyss. <Welcome.>”

“I am welcomed. You are well informed.”

"I'm a teacher here. I should be at the front, but there you go."

“The front?”

"The Empire has no shortage of mages. I'm working day and night to help even the numbers out. But sometimes I do wish I could go fight!"

"I drill the youngsters in spells as fast as I can, so they can go fight. I also teach magery to those with the money to buy the knowledge."

“Are you not concerned with teaching thosse to ssismply fight, and not a proper coursse of ssstudy?”

“Yes, but there is nothing I can do.”

Level 5 Spells! I grab Major Haste to balance Slow Group, Fire Storm for the large AoE, and Shock Storm for the area denial. Then remember that Kai-Lyss still doesn't have Level 5 Mage Spells yet.

Vincent sells potions.

This is... well, I'll let her introduce herself.

"I am Piglet the sage." She gives you an imperious look, silently daring you to comment on her name. You don't.

She can identify your stuff, and sells some Alchemy recipes which aren't all that useful.

Mother Clarisse here sells Level 5 Priest Spells. Which Art can cast!


“Alright, let's go wipe out a cult, and we can be back before lunch.”

“I thought it waz ssupper?”

“Hold on, what threat do these people represent anyways?”

“Ssssnake worsship is ssseen as a prelude to Demons.”

“Time to take out a cult then!”

“I am so glad this road got put in here. A few years ago, you had to wind your way through a forest of stalagmites to get to the Tower.”

I just wanted to show off that the bottom of Exile actually abuts the north end of the Vahnatai lands. If you looked at the whole world map, you would see that Chapter 2 takes place to the 'east' of Exile, while the Vahnatai are to the south, and wrap around this corner of the map. Just a note.

“I don't know...”

“More arrows! Excellent!”

“It's very quiet in these tunnels.”

“You expect ssignsss of life everywhere?”

“Yes, actually.”

“We are here.”

“This doesn't look easy at all.”

“You can say that again. Going North, then west is the best approach, but also has more resistance.”

“We will do az you lead.”

“The guards don't see us yet...”

“Then let usss make sure they don't raize the alarm.”



“Art can heal you, I knew the strike would not be lethal to you.”

“Argue later, there's more from the north!”

“Hrm, just a rest area. Nothing here.”

“There ssshould be a lever nearby to open.”

“Thisss one.”

“So, let's go back then.”

Not pictured – a dozen Snakes and Asps. So much poison going around, it's a theme for this dungeon.

“I can see why Snake Cults aren't seen as a good thing.”

“And the door doesn't open!”

“Perhaps from the other sside?”

“No... perhapsss from under?”

“We can come back to this later.”

“Is this where the other Soldiers were taken?”


“Is there nothing we can do?”

“Kill the High Priessst.”

“ARGH! There must be a switch or level on the inside. We'll have to take Kai-Lyss' suggestion, and go down.”

“Looks like a room on the lower-left.”

“Thissss.. sound! Make it stop!”

“Working on it!”

Please ignore Kai-Lyss' death there. I reloaded, but didn't take a replacement picture.


“Thank you!”

“That waz an annoyance. Your sanctification skills are admirable.”

Snakes and Asps will spawn on this map at an alarming rate until the altar is hit with the Ritual. I just wish the spell wasn't 50 SP!

“I wonder if these have any special properties?”

“Probably not.”

“You'll never take me alive!”

“Hi! Rescue Service, courtesy Unspecified Services! I am your rescuer, Art.”

You find a half-starved man imprisoned in this cell. He's been beaten. His face lights up when he sees you. He stands up confidently. He's surprisingly active considering what he's gone through. "Well met, indeed! I am Captain Brehon of the Exile army."

“Sorry to interrupt, Captain. I hope we weren't getting in the way of anything important?”

"Waiting to die, up 'til now. My patrol was ambushed by the sliths."

"They have this bizarre cult here, as I'm sure you've seen. They feed us to the snakes, and then try to talk to them. I was scheduled to be eaten soon, but I'm still planning to escape."


He shows you a sword he had hidden behind his pallet. "This is my secret."

“Not much of a secret, sir.”

"I found it here. We weren't the last troopers to be caught by those damned lizards. Somehow one of them snuck a blade in here." It's a short sword, pitted and slightly bent, but still deadly. "With you clearing the way, I should be able to escape."

“Are you sure you can escape back to the Tower without us?”

"I'll follow you out. I have a sword. Sword first or feet first, I'm getting out of this place."

“Good enough for me. Let's get to the killing.”

“We're behind the temple area, I think.”

“Yess, they would put it az far back from the front az they could.”



“That was refreshingly easy.”

“I hope so, this trap looks complicated.”

“Be more careful next time.”

“Just some gold...”

“Odd, I would have expected the lever to be in here, not just supper.”

“Let me examine thisss tome.”

“I am wisser now.”

“Really? Let me see!”

“There's nothing here!”

“We're missing something. Let's have a look at one of those portcullis' a bit more.”


“It obviousssly knowsss that you want to leave, and will no longer bar your path.”

“Pressure plate.”

“I think we better leave before Art expressed her anger.”


“We're not the people you're looking for.”

“You're not the people I'm looking for.”

“Move along.”

“Move along.”

I have no idea how I managed to walk right past the enemy before he saw me. That was some pretty amazing blindness there.

“<WAIT! The Prisoners are escaping!>”

“It was a boring conversation anyways.”

“You're back!”

“The deed is done.”

“Did the Captain get back?”

“Yes, yes he did. Your mission was a success.” Kelner nods happily and begins writing a letter. "I am now writing the Castle to tell them of your bold deed. You should go there soon and see if you are now qualified for a higher rank. Thank you for your bold deed."

“Good. Now, for something very important.”