Part 49: Micah and the Giant LandsUpdate 045 Micah and the Giant Lands
Actually, before I go pester the King, let's freshen up a bit first. Get some rest.
Yes please, you're bleeding.
Ah, just what I needed.
I don't know, I'm not certain beauty sleep does anything for you.
I just want to point out something that I don't think I've covered before. Everyone regenerates HP and SP over time, usually 2 points of HP and SP for every 40-60 moves. However, Art has a Ring of Regeneration, which shaves her HP restoration down to a mere 1 HP for every 10 moves. It's one of the secrets to her durability.
Once, thisss would have been imposssssible.
All thingsss are posssizble.
Well, here we are.
Halt and Identify yourself!
I'm Art. Here's my pass.
That wasn't nice of you, removing my clearance like that. I actually had to work to come here.
And it was the right decision to make.
And I see new faces. Come closer. Micah, wise and revered king of Exile, sits on his throne. He is a large man, but the pressures of events and his responsibilities seems to be slowly pressing him down. He looks up from the scroll he was perusing.
Everyone, King Micah the First, ruler of Exile, pain in my ass, and all round awesome person.
He shakes his head sadly. "There is more to me than that. I work to defend our ravaged land. And I try to figure out how to defeat our nemesis."
Who would that be?
"I speak of Garzahd, archmage and leader of their forces in Exile. I am looking for a way to have him assassinated. Dishonorable, I know, but we may have no choice."
Garzahd. I know thiz name.
A vile sssorccerer.
You are correct. He is down here now, but we know not where he is or how to reach him. Or how to kill him if we could reach him. But perhaps, if we are lucky, someone will figure out how. In the meantime, we do have some knowledge."
What knowledge would be of usze to uss?
"We have some information. Erika and Solberg knew Garzahd once. They may know how to deal with him. We know also that he was skilled in creating guardian runes. Those will need to be dealt with."
"Finally, he is a wizard skilled in summoning, and an attacker would need defenses."
Defenses from what?
"Garzahd has summoned demons for Empire attacks. Lots of them. His fortress, wherever it is, is probably filled with them. To get far, one would probably need Demonslayer. If we could spare it.
You mean the same Demonslayer that got stolen from Motrax?
During your trip down to meet the Vahnatai and remove the Barriers that segmented our lands, a raid by some of our warriors intercepted and retrieved the Demonslayer before it was lost to us.
Yes, General Karmas was most put out by the loss of that weapon, and led the effort to recover it personally. That he didn't tell you when you talked to him last was to keep operational security.
So, what would it take to get a hold of this weapon now?
Micah thinks hard, then shakes his head sadly. "No," he finally says. "It is too precious a prize to risk losing it to the Empire. But ..." He thinks more. "Restore two of the Crystal Souls to their proper places, and I will grant you Demonslayer."
You mean to say that once we take on the job of killing Garzahd, and in securing at least a secure front with the Olgai-Vahnatai, you'll consider loaning us the weapon so that we can kill Demons more effectively.
Your observations of the obvious are as astounding as always, Art.
Where is Karmas anyways?
Performing missions for the crown, much as you should be doing.
Yeah, I'm getting on to that.
No. Actually not. I'm making this a direct Order. Recover at least one Crystal Soul for the Vahnatai before their patience runs out and we face invasion on two fronts!
Hey! I already know that one is in former lair of Pyrog!
Well then, considering you already killed that Dragon, it would be easy to go in there and retrieve it.
<I knew she killed a Dragon!>
Really? Do you remember what happened the last time I went up there?
And I know it won't happen again. Now get moving.
I'm embellishing this conversation a lot. Micah is basically your Quest-giver for the final quest in the game Kill Garzahd. And as such, he's quite terse in his dialogue tree. Ah well, can't win them all with amazing conversations!
So, off to secure a Crystal Soul, right?
Hell no. I wanna get paid.
A thin Moor wearing fine robes sits perched on a stool behind the counter. He wears a long, wicked blade at his side, and is counting an impressive pile of gold coins. "I am called Garrett. Greetings."
Hey Garret! How's things?
"I'm the treasurer of the Kingdom." He pats his blade. "It's a job that keeps me active."
Oooh... Being treasurer must be a very demanding job!
"It's a tough job, keeping track of all the crown's wealth. It's spread all over Exile now, in the form of blades and armor and enchanted items, all valuable metal or magic. But I keep track."
Hey, the Alien Blade is mine.
Yes, it is. But in the event of your death, and the weapon's recovery under the Resource Reclamation Act, we are allowed to confiscate it for the good of Exile while we are at war.
You have a lot to keep track of, do you not?
"Everyone wants some cash for this or metal for that. Metal is too rare to give out lightly! But, everyone with royal clearance is entitled to an occasional stipend for expenses."
Stipend! It's been a while since I actually got paid!
He makes some notes in a thick ledger, and hands you a small pouch of gold. "Here's your allowance. Spend it carefully, now, and do us all proud!"
Yes. You've been deemed to be a self-sufficient party, and as such our stipend for you is merely a formality.
Let's find somewhere else to go!
Like, right now?
A Scrying Pool.
I am not in tune with it yet.
Sometimes this pool will show off a battle between Empire and Exile Soldiers. If the RNG is cooperating.
No need to go in here.
There we go!
Did you just pop the lock on King Micah's personal room?
Don't be absurd.
Because that's exactly what it looked like you just did.
No, I tested the lock for points of failure and found some. Besides, there's nothing of value in here.
So, with orders in hand, what's the plan?
We go to Almaria, train up, then head north to the Giant Lands, then west into the Empire Controlled lands, then figure out the details from there.
So, what will it be?
I botched getting pictures for everyone, but here's the summary Art gets Level 7 Priest Spells, then puts the rest into Strength to improve her combat skills. Chester and Aarth-Tss both max out their Strength and Dex, with further points being saved for Assassination and Luck.
Kai-Lyss got nothing as while he has the most XP of anyone in the party, he also has the slowest level growth. I'll have to feed him a few more Skill Potions. Maybe more than a few.
Marianna and Dmurr both improve general combat skills. All in all a very boring skills session.
And North we go!
Ehh, too far?
So, for those who haven't been this way before, this is the eastern edge of what could be called 'the Giant Lands' before the Empire came along. This river acted as a barrier to contain them, while the Abyss on the other side also helped bottle them up. Our destination is closer to there than here, so it'll be a bit of a walk.
What about the Giants? What happened to them when the Empire came?
Dead or fled.
And may we never go back there!
Silence, from that despicable place.
Huh. There used to be a passage here that led to the home of a God-Spider. Killed it a few years ago, now it's blocked off.
Why would you go looking for it?'
To see if I need to kill it again.
No god here. Please leave?
What iz that, to the North?
Looks like a Giant encampment.
We come in peace!
I mean, I come in peace!
Why are you making me kill you?
Why did we not leave them alone?
They struck first! This is self-defense!
No females or children here either.
Let's see what was so important they would attack first, and not give us a chance to leave.
There is no trap here.
This is for a quest I can't remember where to start. I'll find it eventually.
The less I know about Giant dietary habits, the better.
At least this hidey-hole has something useful in it. I think.
GET THEM OFF! My Fur!
Ssscalez are ssso much eazier to clean.
Eh, might be worth something.
No Slithzerikai haz ever been north of these shoals and returned.
Eh, there's probably something up there. But now is not the time to explore.
Um, this looks like another Giant location.
Maybe we can try diplomacy this time.
Azuming the lightsss are on.
It's a small space.
Oh, they're raising Hydras now?!?!?
Nothing back here!
I could uze sssome help here!
Yesss, mozst trusstworthy.
No idea what this is.
Hey, Kai-Lyss? How did you get in there?
Don't bother, the chest is probably more expensive than the reward in it.
She's right. It's only 68 gold.
Another one of those statues.
And just as un-trapped.
But what are they used for?
And here's the secret way out. Good riddance.
Uh oh, Empire Patrol behind us.
Dammit! Quick, let's see if we can take shelter in the ruins!
So much for that idea!
Maybe the Empire and Giants will attack each other first?
Alas, there is no Blue-on-Blue combat at this level of the game.
And during the combat against the Giants, I remembered that Art now has Tier 7 Priest Spells. Which means....
Oh, how I missed that spell!
So, I know that there's another random encounter coming. However I don't know what it is, and I want to be as full as possible for this. So, without ending the encounter with the Giants, I start to use the Long Wait command. Now, while in Combat from the overworld, you don't eat, so food isn't a problem. And this way I can restore my HP and SP. However, if I over-use it, the game will start spawning enemies into the combat zone invisible ones and other higher-end enemies to get me to move on. That doesn't happen this time because I don't over use the technique.
Are we ready?
Kill the Exile criminals!
Wow, no personal accusations this time.
I knew these monks, you know. They were nice.
Maybe survivors fled?
Probably. They weren't stupid. I'll see what this is later.
This one doesn't look like a Giant encampment.
Oooh! Ember Flowers!
You're right! Wow, this place is full of them! Too bad we don't have anything else to do Alchemy with, as this place might actually be useful.
Once again, Alchemy == Useless, except for the Greymold Salve.
I'm glad we have the Orb, oh yes mommy is proud of you, as there's a magor river up ahead.
Enough to require taking a boat through hostile Sith waters to get here.
It also helps keep our boat safe.
... Actually, let's swing north first. There's something I want to check out.
Dammit! It's not here!
Actually, I think someone transplanted them. The soil's not looking like someone destroyed crops, but carefully extracted them.
But where would they go?
There's boat marks on the nor'west side of the island, maybe that way?
And they lead here...
Tracks going north.
There's something here...
A zmall location.
Be on the look-out.
phew. That's Exile. They've secured the Greymold source.
Take a piece, we may need it in the future.
You mean that Nephil tribe south of Mertisss?
... I think so?
I just have to get better to brew this. And get the recipe.
Nah, I'll probably just cheat it into my inventory again when the time comes.
Sssomeone went thiz way...
The only way to reach here is with the Orb, or the Flight spell. I don't have a clue what's back here though...
Kai-Lyss, Marianna, you're going to have to figure all this stuff out you know.
Alright, one more flight, then we're good to go.
Halt and Identify yourself!
You may pass.
There's no way to tell if an encounter in Empire Lands will be hostile or not. Assume Hostile.
Sssouth of here are Slithzerikai lands.
And the Waterfall Warrens. Nasty place, that.
There used to be something here.
Actually, I think I can see them up north.
Yeah, let's not pick a fight with them.
I think I may have to come back here for another one of those statues, but I'm not about to pick a fight here and now to see what's up.
Well, there's only one thing left to do then.
What would that be?