Part 9: Delan and SilvarChapter 08 Delan and Silvar
Lots of talking this update as I hit up two towns. Not much in the way of plot though the next two dungeons are going to deal with that a bit more.
I... also seem to have screwed up the clipping of the images in this update. I apologize for that I as I am used to my workflow, and assumed that everything was working properly. Fortunately, nothing of value was lost, unless you wanted to see the place names in their full glory.
Hey, Bronwyn, a moment please.
Been here before?
Long time ago. So much could have changed.
Alright. Let me know if we run into anything that's... relevant to you. I will help deal with it as appropriate.
Another 'null' townsperson. We're actually going to get an explanation for that this update!
Alright, everyone split up and look around. Talk to people, and if you find the person in charge mayor or captain of the guard, let me know so I can report on Jordan and his tower.
Understood. Is there anything else we should know?
Don't start a fight!
Hey! That was my line.
Don't worry about it, I'm sure you'll steal some of her lines in the future.
Hey! What are you?
You approach the sheep. It looks at you. You look at it. The air is thick with tension. "Baaaa," it says.
Um... I don't speak that language. Just Human Imperial and Slithzerikai.
"Baaaa?" you say. "Baaaaa!" it retorts. This goes on for some time.
Once again, random animal gets a conversation tree but townsfolk don't? Well, at least every Sheep does the same thing.
What? You think I'm kidding?
No one should know me, but checking out what people wear is never a bad idea.
The town tailor sits at a wide table, pins in her mouth, hemming a long dress.[/i]
I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name.
She says something, but the pins in her mouth keep you from understanding. She starts saying something about what she does and what she has for sale, but the pin in her mouth make it very hard to understand. You do make out the word "sale".
Allow me to introduce you to the first generic Shopkeeper. In a few towns, you'll just get an NPC whose name is Tailor or Fletcher or whatever their job is. They are generic NPCs who sell things, and I have no desire to transcribe their vague answers.
Pants and Shirts. How... generic.
And why do shirts block damage, but pants don't?
This guy is the Fletcher. He sells arrows and bows, but no Bolts for the crossbow.
I stock up for Delilah, but run into the weight limit. I should do something about that short sword, but for now 70 arrows should hold Delilah for the next couple dungeons.
What are you?
I will talk about horses when we get one. They are awesome, and utterly vital for a few side quests and delivery jobs.
No stealing Horses either.
This guys sells food, including one of the most cost-efficient sources of it I've seen.
Travelling Rations 28 Food for 16 Gold? Not as good as Mertis back in Exile 1/2, but still very good.
You meet a quiet, young woman in loose, flowing black clothes. She moves silently through the town, looking for someone.
Greetings, traveller. I am Mattias. Who might you be?
She turns to you. "I do not say my name, except to those who fully have my trust. That is a teaching of the wise man I seek."
Curious. Is that what you're doing?
Yes. I seek the teacher.
Interesting. Who is he then, this teacher of yours?
"I know not his name. Nobody does. He is said to have great wisdom, and great knowledge." She sighs sadly. "He is also difficult to find."
hah! Surely he isn't that difficult to locate?
"I have heard he travels between Krizsan and Delan, and sometimes goes to to oher towns around here as well. I do so wish I could locate him. Alas, I am lacking in wisdom."
Surely your wisdom is not at fault here? Why would you believe that?
"He is a wizard, but his magical arts are second to his mind. He says things that at first make no sense, but then provide learning later on."
And what do you expect to learn from him?
Why, the act of learning itself! Is that not wondrous?" Her eyes flash with excitement. "If only I could locate him."
The real thing to take from this conversation is that there are NPCs that travel from town to town depending on what day it is, and other considerations. I haven't the patience to hunt down this particular NPC at the moment as I'm running against the clock for the Slimes quest.
I also wanted to show you the worst 'fixer-upper' in terms of dialogue I've had so far. The vast majority of the time, I'm tweaking the conversation to have a better flow, or to add LP-relevant discussions in (I'm going to be doing that at the end of this update actually!). However, in this case, I had to also fix spelling, and insert a quotation mark. And honestly, given how much dialogue is in this game, and how few people worked for Vogel when this game was in development, I'm very glad that this is the worst of it.
I wonder how long it takes before she thinks that I'm the one she was looking for?
I feel no need to enter these private rooms.
Why are you looking at me like that?
I was totally looking at the docks, and the lack of boats or ships at them.
It's not like anyone would find this missing.
Alright, time to address Not Yours. Sometimes, when you try to pick something up, you'll be told that it's Not yours. If you grab them when in sight of an NPC, they will turn the town hostile, and the guards will pound you into the dirt.
That reminds me Scry Monster on all the NPCs in a town in a future update.
At the sight of your well-traveled band, the innkeeper starts getting bottles of mead ready. Nobody else in the bar gives you much notice. "I'm Churdan. You look thirsty."
Am I that obvious? Well, before I get down to important things, what's the business here going to cost?
"Well, our main business here is thirst management - we make the finest mead in Krizsan. You can also get a room if you want - only 5 gold."
And if I wanted to quench my thirst?
"A round of mead for your and your band is only 2 gold, and believe me, it'll get ya' where you're goin'. Just as for a drink when you're ready. Of course, you should be careful. Some folks have been sorta' affected by the stuff."
Um... 'too much' affected or 'too strong'?
"Some of my more, um, frequent customers said they saw a sprite north of town. What a bunch of goofs!"
Curious. If my boss' reputation is anything like reality, she'll want to look into that later. Anyway, hit me with a drink!
Mead is a wine-like drink made from honey. Their mead is, indeed, excellent. When you're through, the inkeeper says "By the way, want some advice?"
Sure! Always glad to lend an ear!
"People in the small towns keep to themselves. Most of them won't wanna' talk to you. Always be sure to talk to the innkeepers though. They'll know what's goin' on!"
That Sprite I'll deal with after the Slimes, and that's the promised explanation as to why town NPCs won't talk to us. Because we're strangers.
Wow! That hit the spot. Say, handsome, got room for me here?
You meet a seedy looking archer from the Empire Army. He's low on arrows, has dirty armor, and is clearly on one of his later glasses of mead. He scoots over to make room for you as you approach. "My pals call me Feral." You aren't surprised.
I'm Delight! Or Delilah, depending on how official you want me to be. Whatcha doin'?
"Well, I'm waiting here for my unit to get me, so we can go hunting slimes. I'm really looking forward to it." He rolls his eyes. "I got a lot out of my last patrol, but don't want to try to repeat the experience."
Wait. A repeat? Something bad happened?
"Yeah, the last time I was on patrol, we found a bunch of escaped horses. We split'em up among us and then I won a few playin' cards. It was great! Horses are really rare now. The slimes love to eat them."
Uh... horses? Really?
He grins. "Horses are really valuable these days. If you're interested, though, you might be able to obtain some."
Obtain? How much?
He grins. "Well, I need those 'ol chargers a lot, but not so much that I couldn't spare them for a band of adventurers. They're only 1000 gold. A bit steep, but there's a shortage at the moment. Let me know when you'd like to make the purchase."
He's not kidding. I think there's free horses much later, but for now I'm seriously considering getting them off him in the future, after dealing with the Slimes.
IS THERE NO ONE IN CHARGE AROUND HERE?
Fine. Collect everyone, head west. Town called Silvar. Maybe there will be someone there I can report to that isn't the Mayor of Krizsan. I don't want to go back to him until this whole thing is finished.
Art, we should stop my Krizsan, and sell off a few of the things we aren't using, and don't need.
Good idea. You and Bronwyn handle that.
I'm paying a lot more attention to the flavor text in this game, there seem to be some real gems in there. Here are the two weapons that Bronwn can choose I go with the Steel Short Sword for weighing less, and having a better average damage (d6+3 vs d9+1) than the Broadsword.
I was also poking around, and found I couldn't get into the nor'east corner of Krizsan from the outside due to trees in the way. So I went around from the inside.
I'm gonna squish them first!
Didn't you say you were from Silvar?
Not this one.
Ah! The one in Exile then!
There are multiple Silvar's you know. The town here, the city down there. It's a play on the word 'Silver', and I think the first was the major Silver mining town up near the Imperial Capital.
Didn't those mines go bust decades ago?
I think so. It's become something of a 'High Class' town now, a home near the capital for those rich enough to afford it.
A curious case of gentrification.
I repeat. What?
Rich and powerful people doing rich and powerful things.
Look, just giving you guys a heads up. We got official word from Krizsan that you're not to be bothered unless you start anything, but there's a Dervish in town. Be careful. They don't respect local laws.
... I'll deal with the Dervish.
Ma'am? Are you sure?
Look, we took out the tower of a Mage named Jordan. He was artificially growing Slimes to the west of Krizsan, but information we found there, she produces the map that Jordan drew and showed it to the guards, indicates that there is a source pool to the south-east. We're on our way there to take care of it Dervish or not.
He's in the inn, Ma'am.
I won't say that until these Slimes are gone.
You let me worry about that. Until then, keep doing good job - you're doing good at it.
Can we leave now?
We just got here!
Yeah! So many new people to meet!
There's a DERVISH in town!
And I'll handle him. You don't have to worry.
Ma'am, not to be disparaging of you, but the Empire Dervishes are the best of the best.
I know that.
And you think you can just... handle one of them?
That's a secret.
Oh great. Where's Sass?
I am not going to break into people's homes! That's rude!
The toolsmith looks up from a rather intricate repair job. You can't help but feel the smith's face is familiar somehow. "I am known as Merry. Welcome to my shop."
Hey Merry! I'm Sass.
So I hear. Welcome to Valorim. I and my siblings run shops such as this all over Valorim. I have a host of fine tools you can purchase. Also, I deal in used goods. Any supplies you no longer want, you can sell to me."
I think we dealt with all that back in Krizsan. But I'm certain we'll have more in the future. You said you have siblings? I got lots myself!
"Yes! My parents were well blessed with children, and taught us well the toolsmithing trade. We have since then left hom and spread all over Valorim, opening shops and plying our trade. You may have visited one of my brother's or sister's shops. You will be able to tell because of our unfortunate naming situation."
What's it like to have parents? Sliths are more communal than that.
I'm cot certain I can describe that to one such as yourself. They brought many of us into the world, and taught us well. However, when it came to naming us, it was an unfortunate situation."
And what would that be?
"My parents were somewhat uncreative, and gave us all the same name. King people, our parents. Talented with their hands. But dumb as posts."
Many towns will have a Merry in them, who offers the same services. And this time, the repeating NPC has a reason, and it's kinda funny.
I could have sworn Merry sold lockpocks in this location. Guess not.
SASS! Where are you?
How do you misplace a seven-foot tall lizard?
Um, hello? Have you seen a Slithzerikai around here?
You meet a priest, wandering the streets of the city. He wears rough, woolen clothes, which look like they've been worn through muddy swamps from one end of the continet to the other. Only a small wooden Ankh marks him as a holy man. He extends a calloused hand to you. "I am Gardner, and no, I have not."
Well, thanks. If you don't mind me asking, what sect are you from?
I don't really have one. He fingers his ankh. "I've been wandering the lands, trying to help people deal with the monsters that plague us."
If it's about the Slimes...
"In my wanderings, I have heard the slimes attacking Krizsan are actually rather benign. Some cities have been attacked by giants, other by troglodytes. I have heard rumors of golems and bizare furred beasts."
"Most unnerving of all, Shayder has encountered a truly bizarre horror."
What's happening in Shayder?
The Isle of Bigail... Shayder has been attacked by waves of gigantic cockroaches." He shudders. "Hard to believe."
Thank you for your time. May you bring Joy wherever you go.
And to you.
Art needs to know about this. She'll need to know what to do.
And there you have it. The Six Plagues of Valorim, one of which is currently without a name. Rest assured, they're all getting crushed.
There's that Dervish. Where's Art?
Except Delilah is already full up. No need for more now.
That is a queer name for a temple.
This man is fastidiously cleaning, counting, stacking and restacking large piles of coins on the top of the altar. The coins are all shapes and sizes, and from all over. The man turns and flashes an unctuous smile. "I'm Kilborn. Welcome to the temple of the Divine Lucre."
Unctuous. Second time in this trilogy I had to look up a word. Go back to Exile 1 for the first.
A curious thing, this place. What is it that you offer here as a place of worship?
"Information is power. Power costs. I will tell you our philosophy for a single gold, and the services we offer for only 5."
I can afford the costs.
Philosophy: We believe that the making of money helps all of us. Ambition lifts the poor from the gutter, and profit is the surest path to a happy life. And in the endeavours of money-making, we lead by example."
What example do you set for your flock?
"It is fitting that a priest of the faith of monetary gain would be the richest among it's flock, is it not?"
I see the logic in that. And your services?
"Well, we no longer offer healing, I'm afraid. Not cost effective. I do, however, have several spells I can teach very efficiently."
YES! I was thinking that I would need to go to Peregles before my Food problems went away, but it seems like I lucked out! With three casters at L3 Priest, they can spend 10SP each to make food, and then I can sleep them back to full for a net gain! Well, aside from the time factor, that is - I'll have to ration myself regarding that.
I also grab Light Heal All and Smite for Art. I still have to train her, but I think I can balance her development out.
The innkeeper is a rotound woman with long dark hair. She is reading a book when you approach the bar. You have to clear your throat to get her attention. I'm Kelda. Welcome to my inn."
"Not too much. Not much business, what with all the slimes. I'll give you a good room for only three gold, and wine for 1."
Ugh, the Slimes are just making everything worse.
"Ever since the slimes started appearing, it's been nothing but constant attacks. Oh well. At least we didn't end up like Colchis."
I'm from the west. Isn't Colchis further east?
"The poor village was only twenty miles to the east. I say 'was'. They were hit by even more slime attacks than us. The humans abandoned the place, and the slimes took over. Nothing but ruins there now."
The village is in ruins? What happened?
"Not sure why they got attacked more than us. One thing I've heard though ... the farther west from here you go, the less slimes there are."
Yeah, apparently some mage named Jordan was making more of them, but some individuals banded together and put a stop to that.
That's good, but what about the east?
You leave that to me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll try not to destroy your inn in the next few minutes.
What are you..!
What are you doing here, boy?
This man's plate armor, vicious greatsword, and epic muscles mark him as one not ot be trifled with. Markings on his breastplate mmark him as an Empire Dervish, a member of the Empire's elite shock troops.
Don't call me boy, Grandma. I am Vorgar," he looks at you with suspicion.
That's cute. What are you doing here?
"I have been placed here to fend off the slimes. It is one of my easier assignments."
Oh? I suppose that's why you're here, drinking swill?
You certainly got a tongue on you, grandma. They wanted to send two dervishes. I told them that would be overreacting. At any rate, there are a few of us in Krizsan."
Even Dervishes operate with support staff. They're the tip of the spear, not the whole of it.
He grunts. "The Empire has placed little of its strength in Krizsan. I know not why, but it is not my place to question the wisdom of my benevolent masters."
How typical. So, if this is an easy assignment, what's your definition of a hard one?
He frowns. "I served in Exile. I was part of a patrol that was ambushed by a Vahnatai and worm patrol." (Worms were what the Empire Troops called the Exiles.)
The 'Worms' comment was in the original text. I debated moving it to here, but then though this was a better option.
You got your ass handed to you by the Vahnatai. You and a lot of other people.
"Only I and one other survived. The Vahnatai even slew the wounded. I made an oath."
War is war, and for adults. Not children.
Shut it, grandma. When all this business with the slimes is done, I will go back down there, alone or with others, and all you worms will pay. Count on it." He clearly recognizes you as exiles. Considering the paleness of your skin, it's not too surprising.
No. You won't. Stay here. Drink down your stipend. You're an embarrassment. She turns to walk away. And I'm not your grandmother, thank the Mother-of-us-all. I'm Art.
Hah! You don't know what you're talking about!
A sword to serve.
What was that, Grandma?
Nothing. Just.. go back to your drink. I have a job to go to.
* * *
That was fun! A slime tried to sneak in, but the guards destroyed it in two blows!
Where were you?
Talking to Merry about family!
Enough about that. Art, the problem is bigger than we thought. The Slime's aren't the only monsters running around Valorim. Giant Insects. Golems. Giants. Troglodytes, and something even worse are out there.
... Alright. We deal with the Slimes, report back to the Mayor and Anaximander, then we'll see what comes next. We may have to help them, we may not. Until then, focus on the job in front of us, alright?
I know what you mean, but what's happening? Why is there so many monsters? Enough to call them plagues?
I don't know. But Art is right. We can't worry about everything all at once. One problem at a time.
Next stop, the town of Colchis. Let's see what's so important here that the Slimes had to destroy this place before anything else?
Aside from proximity, you mean?
* * *
Found a book in Silvar I haven't screencapped before. Here it is.
Stupid grandmothers. Should go take up knitting and all that. What did she say her name was again? I'll pay her a nice visit when I go back there.
A sword that serves? Hrm, how did she know about that? Hrm... Art, I think?
oh no. I have to tell Blackcrag.