Part 56: Demonslayer and the Lair of SulfrasUpdate 052 Demonslayer and the Lair of Sulfras
So, now we're good to relax for a moment.
I would like to speak with Caffren-Bok.
I do not mind. Caffren-Bok's crystal still glows with a vital energy.
Thank you for your time. Now that you are returned, what is it that you ponder?
"I contemplate Garzahd."
Such an evil creature, Garzahd. I trust you were able to resist his works?
No, I am shamed to say. He may have been able to do the impossible - compel me to use my powers at the front of the Empire army, to fight for them. He must die. I have been working with Rentar-Ihrno towards this aim."
We have met with Rentar-Ihrno in the past. She was most unhelpful.
That will change. She may still not like you humans, but she and I are trying to figure out how one of his power may be slain. We are at a loss."
He fled from us on the plains before his castle. He can be harmed. He can bleed. He can be slain.
"Perhaps you humans may find a way to deal with a human magician. Should you do so, go see Rentar-Ihrno and ask about attacking him. We will give you all the help we can."
Also, I am Slithzerikai, not human.
My apologies. I erred in my assumptions, and not not make certain of such things.
We will need Rentar's help to kill Garzahd, so consider this our official Quest Get for the final quest in the game. It's been unofficial for a while now, but between this and Micah, we're primed to go. Except there are a couple things left to do first.
Something's been bothering me.
And you have to keep it away from Art and the lizards?
Hush now! What is this regarding?
It was kinda lost in all the fighting and what-not, but does it seem like Art actually knew Garzahd? As in, before she came down here?
She did seem a little dedicated to striking him down, though I suppose that is only natural for anyone, regardless.
But what about when we got to Caffren-Bok? He knocked down the wall, and he thought he recognized her.
Indeed. Or that's what he said to try and get under her skin.
You know that there's one person we could ask...
Sure. I've never been drunk enough to think that that would be a good idea.
So, two down. Everyone ready for the next rage inducing moment we get to observe?
I suppose it would be good for medical observations.
That was quite... calm.
Is this one of those things where someone gets so angry they stop being angry?
Those are scary people. Would explain some of Art's actions though.
Our reward for this is another in the Giant's Equipment this time, their Gloves:
Which does nothing to offset the encumbrance penalties of the Club and Shield, but does add three damage to each equipped weapon. For now, it goes on Chester, but will soon migrate to Art after another round of equipment optimization.
Aright. Two Souls down. We don't have much a lead at this point on the third, so I think our next goal at this point is to go back to Micah.
Because he promised me a sword.
You know, being able to teleport from the Tower to the Castle is such a convenience!
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.
Oh, you're back.
Two down, one to go. Demonslayer. You know where it is.
Micah nods. "Your honorable deeds done for the Vahnatai people in the name of Exile show you are a worthy bearer of the blade Demonslayer. Go to Rone and ask him of it. He will tell you where it may be found."
Wow, that's some weird language.
He has to keep up pretenses for the record, you know.
How are you doing?
Oh, this and that.
And the rest of you?
We are doing well, General. Um, if I may make a question?
Ask a question.
Why is Demonslayer hidden? Wouldn't it be better to use it, even if it's just an internal thing here in Exile?
Demonslayer was cursed such that whomever wielded it became more and more enamored with their own combat prowess. I fell into it, and from there it had to be removed from my possession. It was given to Mortrax to undo the curse, and I was gifted Scrioth in exchange. I will not touch that blade again, though the temptation is strong.
That.. doesn't explain anything.
No, it doesn't. Let us say that we are afraid, and that entrusting it to Art is a sign that is not one of victory.
I'm standing right here, you know!
I know. Now, go. Rone is in his quarters.
I don't remember grabbing this last time I think I did, but I'll just get it again.
The ancient wizard puttering about this room has paper thin skin and thin, wispy white hair. He seems to barely acknowledge you're here. His mind is travelling elsewhere. He mutters "Rone" absently.
We sssszeek the Demonslayer, to use it against the many foes of Exile and her alliezz.
Nice to be reminded once in a while that Kai-Lyss isn't actually with the rest of us.
He gains a small amount of alertness. "You seek Demonslayer? Ah, we have hidden and guarded it well. Hmm. Where was it? Hmm. Oh, yes! Patrick possesses it!"
Patrick? The Archmage? Why would he...? No, it matters not.
"In his tower, to the southwest. I hid it there myself. There is a fountain there with two shrubs flanking it. Behind each pot is a button. Press both buttons, and the way will be made clear." He returns to his thinking.
There's only a couple pools here. Should be easy to figure which is which.
Only now do I think that the south-east pool is leaking out through the wall there.
Not here. Actually, while we're here, we have the recipe and the ingredients, how about I make some Greymold Salve for that lady?
Give me a minute...
Right, so Graymold is the only Alchemy we know. Good to know.
You give a dose of graymold salve. "Now I can create my potion! Thank you!" She gets a flask from her desk and gives it to you. "Here's another, quite powerful potion. Also, I will send word to the Castle letting them know how useful you were."
You mean for the clearance?
While Dmurr was doing that, we found it.
That was far too involved.
Well, let's see what's in store for us.
Great. A solo run.
You're going, right?
Sure. Gimme a second.
Chester, those gloves. Kai-Lyss, haste me. I'll bless myself. No way this won't involve killing a lot of things.
Lovely. Let's see what the signs say. Probably the usual warnings regarding death and punishment.
Where is all the demons? Oh, wait, they're probably waiting for me to get as far in as possible.
Save your game.
What you're looking at here is one heck of a gauntlet. And it's a front-loaded problem with four Imps and four Demons in close proximity. With one character, they can and will get quickly beat down. For what it's worth, here's our prize in inventory and ready to rumble:
Here's the thing. Demonslayer still causes colossal amounts of damage to Demons look at the damage Art was doing to that Mung Demon. The first number is her damage after the defense of the target, while the after damage is from the Blade's bonus. Except that Art is designed to dual-wield, and the 14+4 from the Demonslayer is less than what 2x10+5 from the Alienblades can put out. In terms of raw damage, the best person to hold Demonslayer would be... Marianna.
Let's try that again, and see what the RNG has in store for me this time...
Let's try and protect me...
Nope. Not strong enough, and Art needs to attack to get through here.
I hope she's alright...
Hrm, there has to be something I can do. Can't wield the blade itself, it's too heavy for my style.... Unless.... Never thought I would cast this...
I AM INVINCIBLE!
Avatar on Art. Healing to full, Bless, Haste, Invincibility (for a short time), Energy Protection, and Martyr's Shield. THIS is how Art is going to survive this.
Die, human! The Blade will not be yours!
You must be new! You have no idea who I am, do you?
Please don't kill me....
I won't kill you. The swords will!
You will never escape!
You're right! That would imply that you survived encountering me.
I will be rewarded greatly when I bring your corpse, your soul, and that cursed blade to my master!
Oh, shut up! Seriously, you'd think they'd realize that they can't win. Isn't the definition of insanity trying the same thing over and over again while expecting different results?
Well, that could have gone a lot worse. Let's hope this brings me back, and not to another go-around.
I was so worried about you, dahling!
Why would you be? She's pretty much invincible.
Thank you all. No, it wasn't that big of a deal, just a few demons.
So, that's Demonslayer. Even I can feel the energy coming off it.
Looks a bit too unwieldy for you. No offense.
It is, and none taken. Here, you have it for now.
Look, I have the two Vahnatai blades. I fight light and mobile. Marianna is the only other person in this party who has skill with edged weapons, and while her current Vahnatai weapon is nice, she doesn't have a shield to go with it. Hence, the better weapon.
So, what's next on the list of things to do?
I am not certain.
Come talk to me.
That was Patrick, right?
Yes. I have a task for you, now that you have acquired the Graymold Salve.
Your wife is cured...
Yes she is, Art. And for that, you have my eternal thanks.
You said that last time.
Well, the salve is in my possession. What is the trouble?
There are a few groups of Nephil north of the Tower of Magi that require that salve.
THOSE Guys! I totally forgot about them!
As well, there is a unique creature out there, my scrying has revealed, that could also use its ministrations. Then after you're done with those, I suggest you head back to the Tower to advance your work against the Imperial Teleporter. The damage you dealt to Ornotha in your escape wan be compounded by reducing the flow of reinforcements.
Sounds like a plan. Thanks!
Of course. Anything for you. I see you handed Demonslayer to a most unusual bearer.
I.. thank you?
Don't thank me yet. Now go.
Here we are.
I am trying to remember where that injured individual izz that Archmage Patrick mentioned. I recall meeting it, but not where.
You got me.
Part of me thinks that this is the same event, but the FAQ I'm using just mentions a 'monster needing Graymold', and not where.
We do not have much to aid you with, go to our village to the West. They can reward you.
Such is not needed, but thank you.
So, completing this quest allows you to give everyone a free point in Archery. Except for Dmurr, who already has 20 points in it, and thus cannot reach 21. I am sad.
Ah, you are back!
Mage Kai-lyss. I have heard about your work with the Vahnatai. I see Patrick passed along my message.
Very well then. Let's see where we are at. You recovered vital information from Pryn?
Yes, the poor man.
We have people working there to free him from the Demon he summoned. They are running into superpositioning problems, but that is no longer your concern. She stops to think.
"The Empire has a nest of mages in a tower built north of Fort Dranlon. It was a spy we put there who found out that the Empire was building the portal. Then, alas, the spy died. Badly. Still, there should be information there, just waiting for you to find it."
The Tower of Elderan. We accomplisshhed that mizzion to gain accesssss to other rezourzes.
And that led us to the Empire Archives in the Northern Waters where we got information as to the location of and requirements to access the Teleporter.
Also known as Erika knew about it, and did nothing.
Then there are two things for you. She nods. "You need to find the onyx scepter - I can't help you with that. The other is for you to talk with Erika. She may have information.
Hold on, the Onyx Scepter?
Yes, you know of it?
You mean the one used by Linda to bait Adze-Haakai five years ago?
Why yes! How did you... oh. You.
Where is the Scepter?
I traded it to Sulfras for access to the Empire Exit.
Then you know what to do.
Yes. Yes I do.
You don't actually need the Onyx Scepter for this quest, and I will show off what happens when you complete it without it when the time is right. As for the location of the Scepter itself, I can't recall if anyone actually tells you. Linda tells you what it does, but not where it is.
I vaguely recall a person... let me check previous updates....
Ah! Here we go, the mage Starcap, who is hiding in the back of Dharmon tells you that the Sceptre was last seen in the possession of Sulfras. Of course, there's no one telling you about him either... so.... Eh, the information is there, you just have to dig for it.
You remember the way, right?
Just a quick flight over this gap to save time...
I suppose it was the Empire that's been doing the remodeling.
Out of academic interest, do we have authorization?
Yes. Because I said so.
I don't think they care for your authorization, Sir Ma'am.
I don't care for their living conditions either.
There are Empire soldiers approaching from the south!
Fall back, we'll catch them at a choke point.
Doesn't seem like they're taking the bait.
Kai-Lyss? You're up.
Oh, Shockwave, how I adore thee.
And we're clear. We'll sweep the place in a circle.
Just a watering hole. Which means that the barracks on this side.
And Kai-Lyss, you may with to re-evaluate your skills at judging distances.
Pardon me, just sneaking around to stab the demons.
This didn't happen. There was a Haakai here with Martyr's Shield, and Art and Marianna got roasted when their HP dropped too low, and the Haakai double-Firestormed them all.
You focus on that, and not the huge demon-killing sword in your hands?
A girl has to have her priorities, farmboy.
This isn't cursed, thankfully.
Yes, Kai-Lyss has two weapons equipped. It's to stack the Defense bonus instead of attacking.
And we're in the trash pit again, why?
And here's more.
Why is that guy standing on a barrel?
He better hope it doesn't roll on him.
Sounds a lot like what we're doing with Motrax, except we're desperate and they're angry.
Why are there two demons hidden back here?
Because Empire Mages are evil?
You want to leave peacefully?
Promise us that you will release the Dragon as soon as you can, and we will.
Farewell, and kill them all!
Ah, why can't that happen more often?
I don't know, but these chests don't hold much.
Wow, this passage got filled in hard.
The back door.
Before you sits a mighty beast, a green and red lizard fifty feet long, with huge, leathery wings folded in at his sides. He does not rise at you approach - his left foreleg is shackled to the floor by a huge steel chain. His voice is a rumbling from deep within his massive body, and comes from his mouth in a clouds of flames and sulphur. "I am Sulfras."
Once again, Gender confusion. Sulfras has been referred to as Male and Female multiple times over the series, and while this could be a sign of being a hermaphrodite, I'm more willing to roll with a screw up in writing / editing.
Art. In a brief burst of fury, the dragon jerks at the chain that holds him down. The force of the tug makes the ground vibrate, but the chain remains undamaged. "I am ... I am kept a prisoner here."
So I see. What possible force could keep you prisoner?
He breathes a burst of searing flame directly onto his chained claw. The ground beneath it melts, but the chain remains perfectly intact. Sulfras turns back to you, furious. "I dealt with the Empire humans, like a fool, and they betrayed me!"
I would have though that their betrayal was both sudden and inevitable.
"They wanted me to help fight you, But tricked me into chains instead. Then they tore down my beautiful home, and raised this ugly fort in its place. I want to kill them all."
What could they possibly have offered you to help them?
"They offered me treasures, treasures from the leader, for my help. I let them into speak with me. Then they tricked me into this bond. Garzahd tricked me! ME!" He roars in fury, until you think he'll bring the room down on your heads.
Then he settles back down. "But I do not like speaking of it. I think instead of rewarding those who give me freedom."
If it's freedom you want...
The dragon looks down at the chain. "If you can get this thing open, I will give you what little of my treasure remains. I swear it to you."
I don't want your treasure. I want the Onyx Scepter if you still have it.
We're not running fast enough!
Worst spot you could be standing in, there!
It's reached the half-way point!
We camp out first. Give Sulfras time to settle back in.
I can't even tell what they were.
We did not know what was being done up here.
And never will.
Quickfire, or Dragonfire?
You again meet the dragon Sulfras. This time, he stands tall and proud, and looks down at you as if you were insects. He holds his massive wings above him - they almost touch the roof of the dome. The dragon smiles, and his rumbling voice is even deeper and stronger than before. "I am Sulfras, mightiest dragon in these caves."
"I am rebuilding my lair, and reaccumulating treasure."
I see you did a lot of damage to this place. Your lair isn't what it once was.
"It is a massive job. Those humans razed my beautiful palace to the ground to make room for their squalid fort. But I will rebuild it, grander than before!"
I couldn't agree with you more. That wasn't much of a fort by Human standards either. You were right in destroying it. That they took your treasure too...
He grits his mighty teeth in fury. Smoke trails up from one of his nostrils. "They stole my treasure. They took all of it that wasn't hidden away. But I have started building a new trove, starting with the gold and weapons I stripped from their corpses!"
"I must get treasure, if I am to have status in the eyes of my siblings."
Siblingsz? Ssssurly no one iz your equal.
True, broodling. They are Khoth and Athron. And Motrax. I am stronger than all of them, but I will have no status in their eyes if I don't have a trove."
While the affairs of Dragons tend to not be my concern, I do have to call in that promise of yours. The reward of the Onyx Scepter. We know what it is used for now, and that use has arisen in it a purpose.
Sulfras sighs. Enough flames comes out with the sigh to kill any one of you. "Yes. You rescued me, and I give you fair repayment. The scepter is beyond a secret door there." He points at the west wall of the dome. This discharges my debt. Ask more from me, and die."
Thank you, Sulfras.
So much trouble, for such a trifling thing.
Maybe so, but we should be leaving.
Go. Get out of here.
We're just going to take the back door.