Part 14: The Isolated Hut and FarportUpdate 013 The Isolated Hut and Farport
I just want to say ahead of time that this particular update will be relatively short. I misread the pacing and didn't want to wander off course too far.
So, we have places to go, people to meet.
Yay! More people!
Except the course charted for us is mostly wilderness, so there probably won't be anyone to meet.
I for one intend to enjoy the feeling of walking through a large forest, as it indicated on the map we have.
Eh, I'm not. Too many leaves.
At least you'll be away from the dust.
So, which way first?
South. To deal with that package that Paulo wanted us to recover.
Hey! I know the place! I can sneak us in!
Wait. You're being subtle? You're seven feet tall, and the only Slith in Valorim! How can you be subtle?
By being so unusual people don't know how to react, so they default to politeness.
I have to agree with Delilah there.
I use the Location spell for giggles. Apparently it counts from the upper-left in terms of tiles, rather than a Cartesean lower left.
Huh. Anyone recognize this stuff?
You know, when I was told it was herbs, I was worried it might have been Skribbane.
What is that?
Something we shouldn't be dealing with.
Now you have my curiosity!
Perhaps we should be leaving?
Can't go back. Have to go forward.
Huh. I think everyone is angry with us.
The town has gone hostile, which means that every last NPC in Delis is now a bloodthirsty berserker out to kill or be killed. This won't change until we reset the town probably after the Isle of Bigail.
There they are! Get them!
And we're leaving. RUN AWAY!
* * *
I hope Paulo appreciates what we're done.
Here you go. I wouldn't recommend going back to Delis for ... a long time.
Summon Spirit is still useless enough that I didn't buy it in the first place. Charm Foe, on the other hand, has some tactical use if I want to make a mess of things. For the enemy, that is.
Now we can head North.
I wanna see what caves are like on the Surface!
Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have other chances later.
Lots of mining on this side of the mountain range. I wonder what they're extracting? Tin? Iron? Precious metals or gems?
Couldn't you tell back in Pergies?
I... wasn't really paying attention.
(stock image provided by Affect the World on deviantArt.)
Everyone, be careful. You don't want to get stuck.
I know how to swim through swamps.
But not the rest of us.
I was wondering where the promised forest on that map went.
Except it's more like a grove than a proper forest.
No. We do not.
I know where the item she wants is, and I'll get it later. But this event won't even trigger until you've rescued the Dryad from the Giant. So yeah, totally a two-stage quest to get the reward. Whatever that is.
* * *
I sense this place is a nexus of magical power.
It's also buried under a lot of rock.
Found the front door!
That's awfully polite.
You meet a tall, heavily built mage with a pot belly. His hair is unkempt ... he clearly wasn't expecting visitors. Oh! Hello! I am Ernest. Welcome to my humble abode."
Art, Sass, Bronwyn, Matthias, Delilah and Ni'aurrl. Pleasure.
I know! It is a pleasure to meet Exiles at last. Welcome to my home."
Does anyone not know that we're from Exile?
He holds his hands open as a peaceful gesture. "Well, the paleness of your skin immediately marks you as an Exile. Don't worry about it. You aren't likely to meet much hostility. Around Krizsan, anyway."
So we've seen. Krizsan is probably the best place we could have arrived in.
Naturally. People are really worrying about the Slimes, and they don't believe your lot is powerful enough to create them. So you're safe around here. The other provinces are a different story."
Well, we've actually dealt with that. The Slimes are dying off now. But what about the other provinces? We've heard they are under attack by the plagues as well.
I can't tell you much about those. What I can say is that up north they think the plagues were caused by Exiles. Be careful if you go up there."
What is with this home of yours? There are some familiar energies running through it.
"This little warren out in the boonies is where I do my teleportation research. No slimes come here so it's perfect."
Teleportation? Portals? Ritual nodal zero-point motions? Tell me MORE!
He smiles wryly. "Seems like everyone's doing teleportation research these days, doesn't it? Well, my devices actually work. I'll even let you test them for a cost."
You'll let me? I mean.. uh... us? We can test them for you?
"I've made teleporters that go to the five biggest cities in Valorim. A week's travel, done in an instant. Generally somewhat safe. And only 250 gold for a chance to try one of them." He chuckles. "Quite a bargain, eh? Let me know if you want to purchase a ticket."
Behold, the single most vital location in the game. We're just on the other side of the mountains from Fort Emergence, and can quickly go east to circle through a pass to get here.
See how close they are? Well, when the late game kicks into high gear, we're going to use this place a lot, plus prodigious use of the Word of Recall spell to get back to Fort Emergence to cut down on travel times. And he's not joking when he says that some of the more distant places will take a week to get to.
Ooh! Dimensional shearing! Phase-overlays!
Delilah, I'll take the right. You take the left.
Huh. Leyline nexus, right here.
Let me see!
Art? Sass? Can we get some help here?
Five cities, right? We know that Krizsan and Shayder are the capitals of the Krizsan Provice and the Isle of Bigail respectively, right?
Except ... there are six provinces in Valorim. Where's the sixth?
... Maybe it doesn't have a formal capital yet?
No. There are also six plagues. Something's gone terribly, terribly wrong here.
NO! My teleporters!
* * *
Let's keep going.
Why don't we take the teleporter?
Easy. Going this way gives us knowledge of the route back. We can use the teleporter later.
How far are we going to have to carry Ni'aurrl?
Let me GO!
This is far enough.
Is that the Island over there?
No, it's nowhere near big enough.
Hey, there are people on that bridge!
The port should be just north of us now.
This looks like a small place. Bronwyn, you take the lead for now.
Because you can.
Wow. First room and there's a Large Cockroach here!
This roach has already taken 19 points of damage, so default health is 30. It also can disease with its melee. Which is annoying. Other than that, we're already overpowered for it.
Alright then. I'm going to tell everyone that we can spread out and talk to people. I will meet you all by the docks in an hour.
Ah, good morning.
There is a woman with robes of a mage and a growing collection of wrinkles sitting at the desk. She was writing when you came in, but stopped in order to speak with you.
I am Matthias.
"Nell. Welcome, Exiles."
Ah, yes. We are totally not from Exile. At all. That would be a silly supposition.
"I understand something of being an Exile. I am a native of the Isle of Bigail. If you want to go there, you can get a boat at the north end of town. Unfortunately, I had to leave, because I kept being harassed by the Anama."
Oh? What do you do?
"Now I do a bit of identification, and am also a scribe."
I have heard some things about this Anama, but not a lot. Is there anything you can educate me on about them?
"The Anama control the Isle of Bigail, my long-time home. They make life difficult for any mages there. I can understand their prejudice about magic in this day and age, but you can't blame me for not wanting to be subjected to it." She is unwilling to speak of it further.
I will talk about the Anama a bit later when we get to Shayder.
And you perform scribing services?
"I write books. One of mine is on that pedestal over there." She points to the southwest corner of the room. "It's a little treatise I threw together." She indicates a scroll on the table in front of her. "Now, to make money, I do scrolls. Interested in a purchase?"
Huh. Very patriotic without being blatant propoganda.
And if you're running a no-mage party for whatever reason, you can pick up scrolls of Fireball here to deal with the Slime Pits.
Oh! You mean this book!
I see. Studying one piece to develop a counterpoint. And Blackcrag?
The Empire Fortress controlling the northern access to Valorim.
... stupid leadership on the spot ...
A tired looking woman greets you with a cup of tea. "I am Orselena. Welcome to my homey, rustic little home."
Oh? A B&B here? You must get a lot of business.
She tries to smile warmly, but it just doesn't work out. "I run a little bed and breakfast here. There's a nice, cozy room available next door for only five gold. It's what I do while my hubby is away."
Your 'hubby'? Is he a sailor?
Her eyes get a far away look, and worry wrinkles appear on her forehead. "He's a soldier. He's off fighting."
I'm sorry to hear that. Being a soldier isn't the easiest task.
He's off fighting the slimes." She looks very sad.
The Slimes? Well, if he's a reservist, then things should be going better for him now. Their source has been destroyed!
"His duty is almost a year more. He's not a young man, and it's terribly dangerous. But I hope, and pray. I'm sure he'll return. I'm sure of it!" An uncomfortable silence follows.
If you wait for a full year, and talk to her again, she makes the same comments. He may actually be dead....
Hello! It's nice to see a fellow Nephil.
A muscled, efficiently built Nephil stands at the anvil, carefully working an axe head. You cannot help but admire the skill and patience he's putting into working the metal. He turns to you. "I am Mrrhrr."
So, what do you do here? I see a forge, but not much else.
"Mrr. I do little now. The shortages are great. I cannot travel far. So I stay here and make improvements. Also, since things are rare, if you want you can do selling."
Shortages? But there's mines not three days travel south-west of here!
He shakes his head, and his tail twitches nervously. "Little shipping happens now, with all the monsters everywhere. I cannot get fresh metal to forge weapons. Thus, I spend my time doing improvements on things."
And you do not travel?
He shakes his head. "Today and for years, much hatred is in the Empire for my kind. It better here, but if I go far, humans be very dark. I prefer not to speak of it."
So, what sort of improvements can you do?
Let me get someone.
To make up for messing with her weapons earlier, I decide to give Bronwyn the first Upgrade in the game. Much like Boutell in Exile 2, Mrrhrr gives a +1 bonus to the chosen weapon.
I got here first, so I might as well get the tickets.
A smelly man stands near the docks. He holds several rolls of grimy tickets in his hands. "My name's Vok, and I ain't after small talk."
Hello. So, tickets?
"I got tickets for Port Townsend and Sharimik. Boat ride. 10 Gold each. And if you want to purchase one. And don't bug me otherwise. Like I said, I ain't got time for small talk."
He really doesn't.
Very well. Six tickets to Townsend, please.
Oh, this is gonna suck.
We're almost there.
And welcome to the Isle of Bigail.