Part 18: Hectar, Northpoint Lighthouse, Fenris PortUpdate 16 Hectar, Northpoint Lighthouse and Fenris Port
After reviewing the map that Matthias acquired for us, I have decided that we are going to swing around the north side of the island to look for more information.
Mostly to follow the roads, right?
Eh, that's a good enough reason for me.
ARGH! See that NPC at the bottom of the screen? Yeah, I missed her on the first pass through the city, and I saw her just as I was about to leave.
This woman wears the ankh of a healer, but has a strangely cold, businesslike demeanour. "I'm Judith, of the Church of the Divine Lucre."
Oh! We met one of your compatriots over by Krizsan. In Delan, I think it was?
Yes, that would been Kilborn. Such an unfortunate name. Anyway, I am a healer of the Church of the Divine Lucre. I have healing available, for very reasonable rates."
A little redundant, her services, but what else is there to say?
So, how do you interpret the choices of the Church?
"What can I say? We believe that the best route to a better life and happier soul is through improvement and the best improvement comes through enlightened self-interest. It is a faith that demands much, but has great rewards."
Alright, I'll bite. What rewards could there be for a faith that encourages personal avarice?
"Focus. Strength. Money. No Guilt. You know. What everyone wants." She grins.
... Have a nice day.
We're going to need to track down Judith much later as she's important for a piece of endgame gear we can't get yet.
Going North! This will be awesome!
Why do you say that?
Never been there!
Curiously enough, the mapped roads only go around the edge of the island there are no internal paths.
Well, at least it's a nice day to go for a long walk.
* * *
I hear Roaches from the North!
You just want to go into the mountains.
Guard roaches? This is familiar.
More stabbing first, then discussions!
What? Like this?
Pretty much. Curious though, this behaviour is similar to the Slimes on the way to their progenitor.
This is quite annoying.
Why? That they're not charging us across the open fields?
I just hope we can find it.
If we had explored more and found the location of the Slime Pit before being told where it was through Jordan's Tower, then we would have had the same problem. The entrance to the dungeon is here, but it won't spawn until we're told about it. But at least we've cleared out the guard roaches on the way first!
* * *
And by process of elimination, that leaves this place as Hectar!
Not much of a town.
No one wants to talk to me!
I'm worried at this point because I could have sworn that I'm well ahead of the time limit before the roaches attack towns openly. But some quick research later indicates that this is normal for this town, and that proper damage won't occur until later.
What do we have here?
Probably nothing then.
Just a generic boot salesperson.
Maybe we can finally get some bolts for that crossbow I've been lugging around.
Uh... crap. Let me recheck my sources here... No, they all say the same thing. That I've still got at least 30 days before irrevocable harm comes to this city. I may be way ahead of the game's internal timeline here.
More places for people to sleep. Need to beat up more Roaches so people can go home!
But then again, there are a lot of refugees here.
Ah! You look like a man with his wits about him!
You meet an Empire soldier. His is clearly quite ill - his skin is pale, he coughs often and he has small sores on his cheeks. He looks at you with instant and extreme dislike. He coughs. "I am Captain Sinbar."
Matthias, Captain. My group and I have been tasked by the Mayor of Shayder to take tactical offensive action against the Roaches. Can you tell me what the situation is like here?
"I'm leading the troops in this area, taking them on patrols." He looks you over closely. "Where are you from?"
We came up through Krizsan Province. We removed the Slime Plague there, and are now focusing on Bigail and the cockroaches. About your patrols?
He coughs again and his lips are now flecked with blood. "Nothing went right since we scoured the forest a month ago."
What happened in the forest?
"We killed a bunch of roaches on that trip. Our mage even fried a mother and a whole brood of little ones with a fireball. We must have bagged a hundred of the little buggers." He coughs again, more savagely than before. "On the way back, we all got sick. Half of us are dead now."
That... that doesn't make sense. How could anyone get sick like that? Did nothing work for healing?
"Like, overnight. We haven't sent a large force out since." He suddenly gets woozy. "I gotta ... I gotta ... I gotta keep patrolling." He wanders off. You don't give him very long.
He runs to catch up. Hey! Are you alright?
He says"Everyone's talking about how there are Exiles up here somehow. We soldiers are awfully interested in this."
What does Exile have to do with this?
"Not all of us are as sick as me, and we all lost friends in the war with Exile. We get our hands on one of those worms, and they'll pay, but good. You hear me?"
* * *
At last! Someone who will talk to me!
You met a priest of the Anama. He looks extremely calm and quiet. He shakes your hand in greeting, and says simply "I am Oriathon."
It's nice to see someone not afraid of the diseases going around, touching a stranger like that. Even if you are a priest, and it comes with the job.
He says tersely, "I follow my Anama beliefs. It is a struggle."
Surely your struggles are not in vain?
He looks very concerned. "Roaches attack constantly. Disease is everywhere. I lead as best I can."
Surely your beliefs are a source of comfort to you and your people?
He says simply "At times I wish magic was allowed. But this is my weakness."
Sounds to me like you think that magic might be of a help. It would certainly make burning out the plague easier.
"We will persevere without the dark arts, I am sure of it."
I may have missed something here, as we'll see in a moment.
You meet a woman with dark skin, long black hair and an infectious grin. She wears an Anama ring and healer's robes. "I am Meena, of the Anama Church. Greetings to you!"
This is the same NPC as in Shayder. And I'm wondering where the real priest went. While writing this update, it seems that it's supposed to be Oriathon above who asks the Anama question for this town, but I didn't trigger it. I'll have to go back and poke at it some more.
Hey! I remember you! From Shayder! You talked to Ahonar!
And I thought you were going to take a break, Meena.
She shakes her head sadly. I can't. To many people to heal. Listen, the father is out right now, and you'll need to talk to him to join the church. I'm covering for him, so if you can come back later?
I will. But right now, I have a duty to perform. Perhaps the good father will forgive me if I miss answering one question if in doing so I am able to faster resolve this crisis we all face.
Perhaps. But that is not my decision to make.
Well, perhaps we'll meet soon, under better circumstances?
I would like that. Good luck!
Just a boring little town with nothing in it. Oh well, they can't all be winners.
* * *
So, there's another lighthouse up this way? Neat!
Probably just as boring as the other one.
No! They're amazing! Being able to make lights like that!
But before that, there's something of interest over around those marshes.
And of course we're checking it out.
Oh you Food-stealing monsters. And your stupid unmappable mazes. Taking you on in the open like this is a bit cathartic. Please note that these guys have 7 AP, which means they can move 6 spaces and attack, or move 2 and attack twice. Thankfully they aren't that dangerous, and any food losses can be replaced by Art.
This sight is so beautiful, it brings a tear to my eye.
This place seems too quiet...
Why would there be undead in storage here?
We could ask and find out?
This is not good at all.
Do the undead carry disease?
I don't think so?
At first, you think this person is just another skeleton wandering the halls, this one wearing mage's robes. Then you realize it's a human who just happens to be disturbingly pallid and thin. "I am Nekaros," he says in a thin, reedy voice.
Ni'aurrl. Um, I can't help but notice all the undead shambling around.
"Yes. I maintain Northpoint Lighthouse," he hisses. It gives me time to study my other pursuits."
I take it by your pseudonym that those pursuits would include..?
"I am immersed in the study of the beauty of death."
He teeth are exposed in a ghastly grin. "I believe that, quite simply, Death Is Just Another Phase Of Life. Thus, creating undead is the most humane thing you can do."
His capitalization. Not mine. I would never do that to you.
And this justifies the creation of undead?
"After all, wouldn't you rather have your existence continued in a rather mundane way that have no existence at all? Creating undead gives people more life, and is a beautiful thing! Plus, they're so useful."
Useful?!? Do you know how many times these things have gotten out of control?
He smiles. "Not only are the dead quiet, patient company, but they're very good at simple household chores."
Chores. The undead are doing chores?
"You know, emptying trash, sweeping, that sort of thing. I'm sure that death can be very beautiful. All you need is a good attitude about housework."
That's it. I'm done. This is too much for me to handle.
I also enjoy defying the expectations people have about necromancy.
Which is why you're experimenting on an island full of priests who hate mage-craft.
An excellent precaution, I assure you. If something catastrophically goes awry, then whom better to resolve the problem?
Thank you for your time.
He coughs. It's nice to talk to someone without getting into a fight first.
Interesting book selection.
It's very weird seeing zombies and not bashing them in.
Hey! I can see land out the windows!
That's probably the mainland.
* * *
On my way to the next town, I encounter my first band of roving random Roaches! Except I didn't bother to make a screencap of it, but did grab the intro blurb to the fight.
It wasn't even a worthwhile fight, I'm so ahead of the power curve for the Roach Quest. Oh well, wait until I get into their dungeons. Then I can have some fun again!
Are you alright? We saw a band of roaches headed north!
No, we're good. Thanks for checking.
Right, more easterly direction going.
At least you can't get lost following a road.
THIS IS NOT A ROAD!
Let's just... go south now.
After Fenris Port here, we've got... two more towns and three dungeons for this quest. There's another bonus dungeon or two hanging around for later optional stuff, but we'll come back later. The Isle of Bigail is actually quite heavy on the 'town' side of things, and is probably the high point of such in the six provinces. Of course, it doesn't help any that a lot of these towns barely qualify.
Alright people, the usual.
I hope the priest is in this time.
An Anama priest stands at the altar. He looks at you skeptically. "Father Galvax." He's clearly not pleased to be talking to you.
My name is Delilah. Just to be certain, because this happened to me in Hector, but you're the actual priest-priest here, right?
"I lead the few Anama in this foul place. And I'm supposed to discuss the faith with the likes of you." He frowns. "I could be happier."
What makes Fenris Port a worse place than the other towns?
"Fenris Port is a place of sailors, illicit activities, and crime. There are few Anama here, and we're the about the only people who do honest work."
This is a port town. Of course someone would get it into their head to try something illicit.
"Well, let's just say that not everything Kurtz buys was obtained legally."
And the Anama here? Surely they can better?
"We are people who have rejected magic. I have been instructed to discuss our faith with you, even though everyone knows adventurers are constant magic users. But I follow orders." He looks at you with distaste.
"I would rather not say. You have been discussed. Leave it at that."
Very well then. What is your question?
That's horrible! How could anyone do that?
* * *
Ew. Smashing time!
* * *
A shifty looking man is grinding up leaves you don't recognize. He puts it under the counter as you approach. "Kurtz," he says, sizing you up carefully.
He wipes some gray powder off his fingers. "Ah. I do alchemy. Safe thing to do on this island."
So I've heard. Can't help but wonder though, when some member of the Anama decides that mages don't end with words.
Reason I live in a port town. Not doing a job?
No. I was told the destination, but I want to check the route first.
A good precaution.
So, how's the alchemy business?
"I have a pair of recipes for sale, one for a speed potion using Wormgrass and Comfrey root, and the other for a good poison using just wormgrass. You can purchase them if you want. I have other services as well."
I think I'll pass on those for now. What other services do you provide?
"Well, you can sell me things. I Identify items. Also, for a mere 100 gold, I'll tell you were you can find fresh ingredients.
Let me guess. You would tell me where to find Wormgrass and Comfrey root here on the island?
100 gold to find out!
Good to see you again.
It has been brought to my attention that Kurtz's rates for identification are the cheapest in the game, at 6 Gold an item. The average price is 10-15 gold.
* * *
Found a weapons shop. Figured it would be the typical Iron gear found this close to the start of the game. What I got was this:
That's some mid- to end- game weapons right there. And if I hadn't blown a thousand gold on Bronwyn's upgrade, I could have bought her a Steel Broadsword, which is simply better.
* * *
A businesslike woman with a predatory gaze works the bar. She looks at your nice armor and weapons and is clearly sizing up ways to relieve you of your money. "I'm Johanna. Welcome to my bar."
Whats on the tap?
She lists the services in a clipped, businesslike manner. "We have fine rooms, only 10 gold for the night, and no sailors in them. Also we have excellent whisky, 5 gold a round."
Pour me a whisky please.
The Whiskey is cheap and burns your throat. They don't have alcohol this strong in Exile. As you choke it down, Johanna leans close. "Want advice?"
I'm a listening kind of person.
"Good information. Reasonably prices. I know a great way to make quick cash, only 25 gold. Also I know a little something about the Anama. Twenty gold."
Let's start with the Anama.
And the cash?
TooMuchAbstraction has been doing the whole 'screencap conversation pieces' for his Avernum LP, so I decided to try it a couple times to see how it fits into the flow up the update.
Yeah, I really need to check those time frames for city attacks. Except that Fenris Port is supposed to be inviolate as it's the port connected to Sharimik. I know I've got plenty of time, but this still worries me.
* * *
Well, that's that. Nothing unusual here. Time to swing south. There's that town that should have a boat that can take us to the wizard who can help us with the Roaches. Or at least have more information.
Still, a long walk to get there.
Would you have preferred to cut straight across the island?
Although the mountains are nice.
Here we are. Kuper. Next stop, Kneece.