The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 51: The Rescue of Jekknol-Bok

Update 047 – The Rescue of Jekknol-Bok

“That information wazz uzeful, but not what we needed.”


“But I enjoyed not being wet!”

“The lava was a nice touch.”

“Resscue now?”

“I guess so. Everyone, back in the boat.”

“Except that blocking rock is back in place. Let me run over to that button we found previously first.”

“And we're clear. Where to, Sir Ma'am?”

“Not over there.”

I thought I was too far east to be getting Demons as random encounters....

“Hold on, I thought I saw something.”

“I see it too....”

“I've lost track of how far East or West we are in relation to that fortification. We may need to go through here.”

“I agree.”

“I almost feel sorry for these guys.”

“I don't.”


“I think she's right.”

“We're only a few miles west of the boat launch. We could have used the Orb to get here!”

“No comment.”

“This looks more like an emergency escape than anything else.”

“Yes, I see that. Plenty of space for people to reorganize here, plus ease of access to the boats.”

I actually want to point something out about where this dungeon is, as well as how to get to it. I've mentioned before how the Overworld Map is divided into squares, right? Well, in this case, the line between the map square containing the eastern section of the lake, and the map containing Pyrog's former lair is right along the middle of the two tile 'secret passage' that is to my south east. Thus, from the south, it looks like the dungeon is snug up against the top of the map, and unless you know what to look for (or wander in by accident), there is no indication on the map for the lake that this place exists.

It's actually kind of neat how that worked out.

“Intriguing, thesse defencesss. How the Olgai-Vahnatai found thisss iz...”

“<Beyond you?>”

“Play nice, both of you.”

“Let's try to be sneaky about this, this time.”



“Why do I work with you guys again?”

“Because you can't work without us?”

“Here iz our entrance.”

“Well, good news and bad news.”

“Isn't it like that all the time?”

“Good news is that it's easy to tell where the Crystal Soul is – over to the west in that reinforced building. No where else makes sense. Other good news, there is no longer a dragon's lair here. It appears to have been removed in the expansion.”

“Bad news is this means that this place has a lot more people in it than I was expecting, and the layout has expanded a lot.”

“How many were you expecting?”


“Ssstop joking. We can ssslide along the north ssside of thiz area, and reach that door.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“Things go wrong in three...”

“No alarm. No nothing? What?”

“Actually, let me check something here...”

“Not a lot of guards in our way, I think we can make it.”

pay attention to the number of enemies shown, because I can assure you that there were a lot more than that. Also, see the life signs that appear with this second image – where I was face to face with giants that didn't show up on the map.

This spell is supposed to be more reliable than that!

“I need to check my spell technique. Only about a fifth of those giants showed up.”

“Doesn't look like any one on the other side heard – or cared – about the commotion.”

“Give me a moment with the lock... wait. This can't be unlocked from this side. Kai-Lyss, your turn.”

“Rezisstant, ssshould there be a Giant Ssshaman, I think.”

Storage. How... quaint.”

“A moment...”

“Not trusting the life-signs spell again. Just assume this place is wall to wall with enemy soldiers.”

“How cute, naming the labs after the dead dragon.”

“Would the Empire name this place after the dragon they killed?”

“Art did the ssslaying, not the Empire.”

“Still don't believe that.”

“Hey, you're not supposed to be...”

“Well, that was quiet. Quiet-ish.”

“Nothing on thesse zhelvesss.”

“Dancing Boots? I'm going to keep a hold of these until I figure out what they actually do.”

“Where are all the enemies?”

“Lunch break?”

“As good an excuse as any.”



You know, in case you didn't have the Orb. And technically, this is easier to get to than the Orb, so it's a viable alternative. But I have the Orb, so this spell is useless.

“Just warning sigils. Easy to break.”

“I thought we were done with this back at that other place...”

“Come on, at the very least, freeing you means you can wreck stuff for us.”


“Waz still a good choice.”

“I suddenly have no desire to go into there.”

“I doubt the Crystal Soul would be in 'holding' in the first place.”

“Let's keep going then.”

My Basilisk senses were tingling, and I had decided by this point that I would be coming back here to clean out the front half of the dungeon later. This is just one of the things I'll have to hit on round two.

“Good thing too, because it looks like lunch break is over!”

“You! Traitor!”

“Oh, you have no idea.”

“Personal, much?”

“Don't ask.”

“And I don't have the energy to blow this thing away with a Ritual. Maybe next time.”

“Already planning another trip here?”

“Of course she would.”

“No questions this time, I'm sorry.”

“Thisss... makezz no sssense. What ix the purpose behind thesse creaturze?”


“I would love to start smashing things, but I think the collateral damage would kill me.”

“Us. Because we're in the same building as you.”

“Kai-lyss? We'll need to look this thing over later.”

I don't know what this is, and it's unidentified description is “Red Orb”, which tells me it's a unique item. Have to keep an eye on that, and identify it for the next update.

“It should be back here.”

“A large, open room? Can we cast our good spells ahead of time this time?”


Meet the DoomGuard. This insidious little enemy is the final tier of physical foes. It is immune to all magic, and status effects, so no Slowing, no Cursing, and no Poison from repeated applications of the Alien Blade.

Although it only has about 150HP, and marginal damage reduction, it's offense isn't much to worry about either. No, what makes it horrific is one simple little gimmick that we've already seen, just on an extremely low tier enemy.

They split. Every time they get struck by physical damage – and remember, magic doesn't work on them – a DoomGuard will spawn a new DoomGuard with the post-damage HP. That picture above was after Art took two swings at one, creating one with 146HP and one with 130HP.

Proof that magic doesn't work. Just Bless/Haste up and beat them down as best as you can.

Right about here, I was stating to properly kill the enemies, for they don't split with death. Or even if they do, they would do so with 0HP and promptly die.

You can't really bottle them up because the split-created DoomGuard can appear up to two tiles away.

“Exile has to know about this.”

“{Who is there?}”



“Pass me your kit, Sir. We can arrange things to put this one in your bag and cover it up, like it's a large tent.”


“Help me move it, Marianna. Check for flaws.”

“I'm not seeing anything. You ready with the bag?”


Wait, only 4 caches? Will have to tidy that up.

“{Careful, we have you. What is your name?}”

“{You cannot deceive Jekknol!}”

“Right, we are getting out of here. RUN.”

“oh my.”

Four random Encounters of 2-4 Basilisks, and two Empire Patrols. I savescum my way through, and use the boathouse as a resting point, as its now classed as an 'abandoned dungeon'.

Make that three patrols

And here's where I realize that this is actually the most gold you can carry – 25,000. I will have to spend that on Skill potions next update.


This? This I can handle without abusing the Save/Load button.

Or not? What was that “Excess Gold Dropped” message I got?

“Who cares about our finances? KEEP RUNNING.”

“Alright, hold up. Play calm. Cool. We are not re-kidnapping an alien crystal being and returning it home.”

“Pass, pleae.”

“Here you go.”

“Out of breath?”

“Job to do, on a time crunch.”

“You came through her recently, didn't you?”

“Yes, that was us.”

“Hmph. Well, your pass is in order. Go.”

“Still running!”


“Now row harder!”


“I think we can walk now.”

“Oh good, because my feet are killing me.”

“Almost there....”

“Art, I need to...”

“Later! Royal Business!”

“Agh! Right, where do we go now?”

“West and south, across the river. Now go!”

“Forgotten how different.”

“Yeah, no war down here.”

“Yet our war came to them anyways.”

“Now, we just follow the road....”


“Thisss place... waz grown for them.”

“{Hello there.}”

A Vahnatai child sits by the fire, looking rather forlorn and alone. Strangely, she doesn't seem threatened by your presence. She stands and bows. "I'm Ruis."

“Hello, Ruis. I am Art. What are you doing here?”

"I'm a pilgrim to see the crystals."

“Oh? And what to the Crystal Souls have to say that your elders cannot?”

"They give us advice. I'm trying to find out what I should be. Some think I should be a mage, and some a Ponder."

“Oh really? Well, Kai-Lyss here is a Mage, and he is very smart.”

“{Thank you.}”

She smiles broadly. "They say I'm smart! Some want me to be a mage, and some think I could be wise and think stuff! I don't know, though. That's why I'm here, so the elders can help me."
"I've been here a week, and still no luck. But I have high hopes!"

“Good luck, child.”

“That's nice. Aren't we going to return Jekknol-Bok?”

“After I make sure there's no Empire people hiding nearby.”

“Like that.”

“Old. Very old.”

“Still, it's proof that it was the Empire, not Exile that did this.”

This Vahnatai warrior whips out his wave blade the moment he sees you approach. He doesn't attack, though. "Crysa-Te, Vahnatai blademaster, and I'm sure to take a few of you with me!"

“Uh, we're not here to fight. We're here to return one of the stolen Crystal Souls.”

"I'm here to see the Crystals! They say we're protected from humans, but I'm not ready to try it out!"

“Really, we're not! You don't need to be protected from us.”

"They say there are spells for if humans attack someone here again. I believe them, but I don't trust it."

“I... Sir, Ma'am, how do you make it so easy to talk to people?”

“By not talking to the crazy ones.”

“Let's get this over with, then back to whatever we need to jump on.”

“I can feel the power.”

“But not here. On the south side...”

“Here you go, Jekknol-Bok.”


As you approach Jekknol-Bok, disembodied flickers of words pass through your head like ghosts.


"I will not listen."

"I saw them die. I saw all my people die. Die slow. The humans could not keep me from seeing. Or maybe they helped. I don't know. You are humans."

"Humans help me. Humans hurt me. None of this is real. My people are dead."

"This is all a lie, all this is simply a lie, a human trick. I have my dignity. I will not let myself believe this is real. I have beat you. Now leave me. I have no more to say."

“He needs time to heal, and skills only from the other Crystal Souls here.”

“That is correct.”

“Speak with us.”

“We have much to learn.”

“Alright, even I found that many disembodied voices creepy.”

“But we can't exactly refuse, can we?”

“What are they going to do? Get up and chase us down?”


“Alright, we'll go clockwise around the building then.”

There is a Crystal Soul here. You hear in your mind "Approach, and kneel." You do so.

"I am called Aichael-Bok." (Like Michael, without the 'm' sound.) "Welcome."

Once again pronunciation is in the original text, not added by me.

“Greetings, honoured elder.”

“You learn our words through spellcraft, politeness will come in time. But you have done us a great service, so I will answer some of your questions in return.”

“What is it that you do for your people, the Olgai-Vahanatai?”

"I continue to ponder what I pondered for two centuries before the Resting: the nature of our beings."

“I am just a farmer turned soldier, but I thought that your physical nature was obvious.”

"No. We are not crystals with souls inside them. Our spirits, when they return from the beyond, create crystal around us from nothingness. It is strange, though - it would seem possible to create a flawed crystal."

“We were worried about damage to Jekknol-Bok's crystal, but found none. What sort of flaws could such materialization create?”

"Our spirits return from the beyond with the help of the living Vahnatai, who call us with long, elaborate rituals. However, two of the Crystal Souls brought back were flawed."

"Poor Dahris-Bok, and poor Delrin-Bok. If only they could be healed."

“We know of Dahris-Bok.”

“So I have heard. He could not stand our presence and demanded being moved to a crypt in the lake region. He would give advice to the living in return for tribute, but if he did not get tribute, he would become angry and hostile."

“We gave him his due. When last I left his presence, he seemed... relaxing.”

"Sad and ungraceful. But at least he helped his people, unlike Delrin."

“What of Delrin-Bok?”

"Delrin-Bok formed with a flaw. He blamed the living for it, claiming it scattered his thinking. It was nobody's fault though. It just happened. Still, it DID scatter his thinking - he went mad, and had to be removed for all our sakes."

"The poor soul lives to the west, in the spore caverns. Avoid him - he is very deranged and very dangerous."

“Thank you for your time, honoured elder.”

“Go, and know that you are not without redeeming qualities, all of you.”

“So, damaged Crystals, huh? Seems like that could be a bigger problem than before.”

“We do not have enough information yet.”

“Hey, have you guys noticed that since we're all speaking Vahnatai, the Sliths aren't slurring their soft syllables anymore?”

“We were trying to bring it to their attention like that, you mangy furball!”

You approach the Crystal Soul. It scries you - you feel a magical inspection of your bodies and minds. You can only guess it finds nothing harmful - you're still living. "Greetings, humans. I mean you no harm if you mean me no harm. I am Eos-Bok.'

“No, no harm meant here. We just finished returning Jekknol-Bok to his resting place, so we're doing good things, right?”

“That is good for both our peoples. Still, I must protect myself, as I have great importance to my people. I dispense justice.”

“What measure of protection?”

"All of us Crystal Souls had great powers in life, and those powers have increased since. Humans took us by surprise once. It will not happen again."

“Good! So, what is this about justice?”

"When a problem is too thorny for living Boks to deal with, they turn to me for impartial judgement. This only happens rarely, though. What happens more often is that a criminal comes to me to confess and receive my punishment."

“You dispense punishment in place of the living Elders?”

"When one wants to confess privately, they may be punished by me. If the living then find of the crime, the criminal has atoned. I have thieves return goods, slanderers return the good, and murderers spend their lives trying to undo their harm."

"When one truly wants to atone, I help them do it in the best possible way. It has only failed once."

“What happened?”

"Just before the last resting, centuries past, a thief told me he stole a ring, felt guilty, hid it behind a stalagmite outside, and came in for atonement. I told him to return it to the owner and confess to her. He couldn't face the shame of doing so."

"He left the shrine, the caves, and the tribe. He never returned. Sad. He was young. He didn't deserve that."

“Right, knowing Art, we're going to find that ring.”

“I didn't say anything!”

“You didn't have to.”


You approach the crystal. You hear in your mind "Come closer, humans. You are welcome here. I am Wilvron-Bok, a teacher of the Vahnatai people."

“Hello, honored elder.”

"In life I was exceptionally skilled in magic, even for a Bok. In this form, I choose to teach the magic I learned in life."

“I too am a mage. Perhaps we can exchange knowledge?”

“Now hold on! What is it that you teach?”

"My people pilgrimage to see me. It is a great honor to them, and to me. In return, if they are worthy, I show them spells."

“And what makes one worthy?”

"After working so hard to help us, you deserve a reward. Come here and kneel." You do. It speaks to you of magical incantations to fill oneself with holy power. It is fascinating and helpful. (You now know the spell Avatar.)

“Oh my.”

So yes, I'm going to have to show off Avatar at some point with Art. It will be glorious!

“Perhaps I should learn the spells of the Priest soon?”

You approach the Crystal Soul. You sense it is paying attention to you. "I am Lorta-Bok. I am a historian."

“That's a good job to have, historian.”

"We Vahnatai are a long-lived people. Because of our great spans of life, we tend to forget."

“Yes, I understand. To forget is to die.”

"Think of things you did ten, fifteen years ago, things you did when you were five. Things we did when we were a hundred seem that way to us when we are four hundred. We have much more to remember, but our memories are no better than yours. But my memory us strong. I record what my people have done and been. Tedious to you, priceless to us."

“On another day, I would ask for your tales. But today is not that day.”

“No, but there may come a time when you need my knowledge to aid us all. On that day, come here, and you will receive it.”

“Thank you.”

“Now what?”

“Find that ring?”

“Worthless after all this time.”

“Quickfire, speak to Rentar-ihrno now.”

“I'm good. I mean, we don't have a lead on another Crystal Soul really, and we've just got pieces of the puzzle where the Empire Teleporter is concerned.”

“Well, let me think.”