Part 50: Northern Waters (1) and the Empire ArchivesUpdate 046 Northern Waters (1) and the Empire Archives
Well, here's goes.
Wait, who are we betraying again?
Exile, apparently. They think we're turn-coats. Quislings.
Human word for one who would serve any master, no matter who.
That iz odd....
More importantly, there iz a sssaying accept no traitor into onez court. For if they have deceived their ruler before to come to you, then are they not likely to do the sssame to you?
That makes sense.
So, where to, Art, dahling? You've been here before.
Pyrog's lair is to the north, near the lake.
The information we have ssssugesssts a rear approach via the lake.
Great, more boats.
Odd, I would have thought the Empire had removed all the Giants from their lands?
Possible raiding party.
This is.. HUGE!
I mean, this is almost Mertis-level farming.
Used to be a paddock for Giants. Looks like the Empire has repurposed it.
I sssee what you mean.
That's a lot of problems on the other side of the fence.
This location is a fairly secure Camping location for this section of the overworld. At the cost of Random Encounters piling up outside.
Or both monster groups could flee because I'm overpowered, and both Empire Patrols are friendly and let me pass with the Red pass. That was easy.
Too far west. This lake empties south.
And we're back to wandering around, aren't we?
This way, up here is Pyrog's lair.
And that's that.
How much further? I've never been up this way before.
There is the fortress.
I say we avoid that. It just looks foreboding. Let's just keep going and find a boat.
Fixed encounter with Empire soldiers if you try to pass by this location.
While we are ressting, let ux identify sssome things.
WHAT THE HELL?
I'm confused myself. Where did I get this? Was this a Micah-reward or something? This is a unique piece of equipment that I shouldn't have. My FAQ doesn't say where they are gotten, and I could have sworn they were in the Castle Treasury like they were last game. Oh well, onto Kai-Lyss they go.
I swear, I didn't take them!
I believe you.
Sssuch rewardsss are zo commonplasse for you, that you forget them?
Yes! I mean no! It just worries me that I can't remember where it came from!
This was from the bottom of that Giant's chest. If I specialized in these weapons, it would be amazing. But I'm a bow user instead.
This is huge. I mean it. If I ever get a one-handed weapon, I think I'll equip this"
Chester's Defense skill and Boots of Speed will help offset the Encumbrance issue. And 13 Defense is amazing!]
Small guardpost. If we can't sneak by, I think we can handle it.
Since when has stealth ever been in our repertoire?
It counts as stealth as long as no one alive knows you were there?
Stealth? What's that?
There is a 'Stealth' spell, but all that does is reduce detection radius for enemies, essentially making it so they can't see you unless you are right beside them. I've never used it as fighting gives out XP.
The one on the right is in good condition.
So, head west, and try to find the back way in?
No, there were a couple people who lived up here, including one of the original five mages to be Exiled, as well as a couple traitors to the Empire. I want to check on them if we can.
Thesses waterssz... very ssstill. Little life.
It's been that way since I was last up here. It's always been quiet as well.
There should be a shrine down this way. I hope it's still there.
What does it do?
It blesses people with the strength to carry on.
But it's been so long, I can't remember exactly where it is.
Aimee? It's me, Art.
I know, I recognize you, shining in the night, showing your true colors to all who would see. Stay, and listen, please.
Those who don't remember, or haven't read my LP of the first game should know that Aimee was a dream-walker who used her talents to locate a vital piece of the puzzle to access Emperor Hawethorne and kill him. She is also in the same class of mage as Erika, X, Solberg and Patrick too powerful to kill.
And once Kai-Lyss hits Mage 7, he will murder everything.
Is that supposed to be a happy grin?
It promiszes Death to my enemiez.
Right. That doesn't narrow things down much.
Damn, we won't be able to find it now. Let's swing back north.
Huh, there's something down here.
I see it too.
Random Basilisk Count posted:
Ah, this is what they were guarding.
That was a little excessive, don't you think?
Maybe. There's another guard post.
Thisss would raize that blockade again.
Right, no touching it.
I know this building. I've seen it's style before.
What is it?
Archives. Imperial Archive Storage.
How do we get in? And should we?
There waz reference to thiss plaze in the Tower of Eldaran. We sshould.
Well, the map shows what may be a secret passage on the north side. Shall we?
You mean, right here?
There is a place hidden behind a wall inside. Let uz examine it.
Another lava-boat. This will save me from casting Firewalk all the time.
I could bum-rush the door with Firewalk and Mass Haste, but this place will eat away your SP something fierce, especially if you just save it for buffing/debuffing.
Here comes the fire!
Get inside, quick!
One day, I will find a sign that's properly formatted for the size of the pop-up window. Today will not be that day.
There's somethin in here with us!
Yesss, there is.
There are invisible enemies in this dungeon, as well as a rather unhealthy spawn rate. This place will drain your resources like nothing else, and I will do something I haven't done in quite a long time here. I'll tell you when I get to it.
Aright. We have the Red Pass. We have the Key from the Tower. I think we have access to this place now.
IDENTIFICATION FAILED. INDRUDER IDENTIFIED.
Give us a BREAK!
Let's just beat them down.
North, swing around that void in the middle, then figure it out.
Let's not go in there, shall we?
Curator? A.. sssupervisor.
Who puts an access lever behind the gate, with the stairs down on the other side?
Don't hurt me! You find a small wizened man, terrified, huddled in the corner. He wears long silk robes, with the sword and crown symbol of the Empire on the chest. He stutters badly in his terror. "I ... I ... I ... I ... I'm Vik ... Vik ... Vikner. P .. P .. Please don't hurt me!"
What are you doing here?
"I ... I'm the archivalist ... archivist ... I keep the records."
Archivalist? What word is that?
"I ... I .. I'm just a librarian. I didn't want to come to Exile! Please don't hurt me!"
A librarian? Here?
"That's what's here! Archives! All sort of records, most of them b ... b ... boring!"
She smiles, grimly. Oh, I don't know. There always something that isn't so... boring hidden away somewhere.
"I.. it's just Ledgers! Ledgers and forms. We have to s ... save them! But there are prisoners, too!"
"I d ... d .. didn't want prisoners here. I'm just a librarian. But they wouldn't listen. There are two mages downstairs."
"In the cells. They're Exiles. That's all I know. Please don't hurt me."
Well then Vikner. I suggest you stay here. If we find you outside this room, well, we might think that you were trying something behind our back.
I... I.. I understand! I'll stay here! Just don't hurt me!
Honest enough. Poor fellow was probably on his boss' bad side, and wound up down here as a promotion.
Promoted out of the way? I've seen that before.
An interesssting concept. Too uszeful to kill, but not ssso much that they are unassailable.
Not jumping down there.
I don't know, I see the bottom.
Not doing it.
Moving on then!
Great. More Efreets. Good thing I have Firewalk.
Pictured is a typical fight at this point. With Kai-Lyss hiding out of LoS of enemies to preserve his precious HP.
What do we have here?
Guess what time it is? That's right! It's Search all the Bookshelves time! Let's get to it...
This was the fifth one I checked. Could have been much, much worse.
Teleportation Augmenter? What are these reference points?
And here's another. Access Ritual?
The location is easy. This place as magical markers in the corners allowing for precision locations to be determined. In fact, I know the spell.
Which I promptly never use.
Facing each other?
Probably so they can hive polite conversations, or something like that.
Nagas? Haven't seen those since before the Barriers fell.
These cells are empty. But the food?
Not that we need it, but it's good to know that it's here.
There. All better.
This doesn't bode well.
I can break the Barriersss between uz and the West and North segements.
And it looks like we can Firewalk around from the North to the East.
Then that's the plan. Start on the south side, then swing around in a large circle.
There aren't even footprints here.
There is nothing of interest in this room.
There iz no way into that room.
And the Magical Locator tells me that the information regarding the teleporter is in there.
Maybe a secret passage from the first floor?
We looked for those.
Maybe it's accessible from the outside only?
Through the lake of fire? Probably.
But we have the boat, so that's something.
To the Wessst then.
We go left at the end of this hall first. The map showed regular rooms down there, and there's still the prisoners we were told about.
Pattern recognition by this point.
You meet a woman with long, unkempt hair, a torn dress, and a wild, relieved grin. "Welcome! Welcome! I am Josie!" She pauses. Wait. Art?!?
Josie! I thought you evacuated!
Never mind that! Aydin's in the next cell! Get him out!
On it, dahling.
I'm sorry, where were you evacuating from?
"We lived on one of the northern islands, in a well guarded tower. We were a great help to Exile. But when the invasion came, when we fled the tower, they caught us. But it doesn't matter! We can escape now."
Glad we could aid in your escape. But um, what was keeping you?
She grins. "The cell door had a magical lock to keep me and Aydin from breaking free. Now that it's broken, we'll be gone soon. Thank you!"
You meet an unkempt, unshaven man. He wears travelling clothes, and is armed, and yet was still trapped here. He looks very glad to see you. "Greetings, friends! Well met, indeed! I am Aydin!"
Aydin! It's Art! Art came to save us!
Hello. Now, what happened? How were you captured? I thought your tower was protected?
"We were captured through our carelessness. We were hiding on one of the northern islands, but we didn't flee soon enough when the invasion came. They caught us while we were leaving."
"The Empire caught us to get vengeance on us."
For what? You're already in Exile, wasn't that supposed to be punishment enough?
"We are traitors to the Empire, and gave Exile information which helped them assassinate Hawthorne. For that, they had planned a vicious punishment indeed."
"They were going to leave us here for the rest of our lives. But it didn't work - now we can escape!"
Don't worry about that. How are you going to escape?
He smiles. "Now that you've broken the cell, I can take Josie and teleport away. Thank you for freeing us! We'll be gone soon."
Thanks for coming for us, Art.
I didn't even know you were here. I was following leads regarding the Empire Teleporter in the region. I didn't even know you were prisoners!
We told Rook our plans, he was supposed to meet us at the edge of the Giant Lands, but we never made it.
Come on Aydin! We need to be going.
Careful. The Abyss is taken, and the Giant Lands on this side of the river are pretty much in Empire Control. Your best safe recourse at this point would be to head to Fort Draco, not south.
We will. Thank you again Art. We owe you.
Go. Get out of here.
I sssense the outbound Teleportation ritual completed.
Good, that means we don't have to worry about friendlies any more.
I see specimens inside these magical cages.
And stairs up on the other side of them.
While you were busy looking, we killed the guards and found this.
Ooooh! How nice!
The Magic Rapier is a massive improvement over the Knife of Warmth she's been lugging around since forever.
Ssssoon, I sshall know your zecretsss.
Not pressing this.
I've pressed this multiple times, and still am no closer to figuring it out than I was at, well, any point.
And here's where I hit a wall in terms of resources. I'm getting low on HP and SP, and I haven't checked my inventory enough to realize I have three doses of Energy Potions still. So I'm falling back on my Camping Habits which this game loves to punish through spawing of Guardians and Black Shades.
Looks like there's five of them in there, along with the stairs up. I should go around.
And pressing this button did nothing to help us or hinder our enemies.
Maybe it's broken.
Hey! There's a hidden passage here.
But not accessible from the North until you paszz through it first it sssseemzsz.
And this is when I found my Energy Potions.
You would expect something back here.
Hush! Don't curse it!
BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! My favorite combat spell is back! It has limited utility, I know, but it's still my favored.
Not Quickfire, alasss.
A Party-wide blessing that lasts all of one step. What a waste.
Before we try breaking into that room with the Guardians, I want to make sure that exit stairs leads up properly first.
Got my approval!
And it does, good.
Well, no time like the present. CHARGE!
Phew! That was a lot of work!
I'm getting really good at locating invisible enemies now!
They make my hair stand on end.
Locator says important information is here. Let's look.
Found it! Right were the index said it would be!
I know this path... No, it can't be.
Nothing. We should find that other library and find the information regarding this Ritual.
At least the boat is still usable.
Yes, you did. Now let us see what interesting trap awaits us this time.
Like that one?
Oh shut up and start bashing.
I am sick of this place, and I can't wait to leave.
Agreed. Let uz locate that information.
And good riddance! Time to go get a Crystal Soul.
I'll believe it when it's in our hands.
Please don't taunt her.
And with that, I'm done with that dungeon. I hated it, and I cut out about 90% of the worst stuff it has to offer. Next time a proper dungeon crawl, and not a Library-Crawl!