Part 24: Joining the Anama, The Inn of Blades, and ReportsUpdate 021 The Anama, The Inn of Blades and The Second Suspect
So, one round of inventory checking and let's see what Bronwyn's new weapon is going to be. She's had the Steel Short Sword +1 for the whole of the Isle of Bigail, but we did pick up that Steel Waveblade from the Filth Factory.
D6+4 damage against D10+3? I'll take the Wave Blade. And it's unenhanced, which means
And while she's cooing over her new steel, time for me to do my thing.
Just me, and nothing to hold me down. Or back.
I wish to join the Anama.
So, joining the Anama involves talking to the five major priests around Bigail, then coming back to Ahonar here to seal the deal. As mentioned earlier, joining the Anama has some advantages and disadvantages and before I get into the perks, let's get into that a little more.
Joining the Anama means giving up on Mage Spells. All of them. From Scry Monster and Light to Shockwave and Quickfire. All gone. If you could have cast them, you no longer can. You can, however, still use Mage Spells from expendables, such as wands.
On the other hand, every member of your party gets their SP raised to 35 if it was lower than that, and has their levels in Priest Spells raised to 5. That's... 5x5 for the Priest Spells, and 35 more for the Spell Points ... so ... 50 free Skill Points, simply for joining. 9 levels worth and change.
Now, this affects everyone in the party. You can't choose to have some people join and others not. Naturally, because I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a cheating cheater who cheats, I'm going to be just tweaking Delilah into an Anama member, and faking the rest of it.
Joining the Church also gives you these nifty little rings. They are fixed to you and are the physical manifestation of your membership in the Church. They can't come off while you're a member. Apparently, they also give random resistance to certain magical effects, but I haven't noticed it. If I do in the future, I'll mention it.
On that note, leaving the Church is actually pretty simple. Purchase a Mage Spell. Break your vows, and you lose all the benefits of membership, including the free SP and ranks in Priest Spells. And you'll piss off Shayder something fierce.
But that's enough talking. Let's go forward.
Pray, and the rightness of your choice will be made clear.
I think this is a free HP heal, but I can't be sure. Delilah was already maxed out.
Communal benefits for all.
And what of the others in my group?
We would have preferred if they had joined as well, but we measure our victories by the smallest of steps. If our reach exceeds our grasp, how can we help anyone?
And how were these made without magic?
Curious and curious.
And these are not statues of Ahonar. I haven't seen these people before.
Oh, let's see what the hypocrisy is, shall we?
A young man with dark hair sits behind the counter. He's polishing a crystal.
Good morning. My name is Delilah.
He speaks in measured, precise tones. "I'm called Danza. Pleased to meet you. I run this shop, where Anama members can buy magic substitutes."
I have to ask... magic substitutes? I mean, it's on the door and all, but I thought the whole point was to avoid using any in the first place.
"We have found that the best way to get people to refrain from using magic is to come up with substitutes for the more useful Mage Spells. For example, I am in charge of distributing piercing crystals."
Piercing Crystals? That's for the ... Dispel Barrier spell, right?
"The ability to create magical barriers is one of the strongest mage abilities. Piercing Crystals can bring those barriers down. Piercing crystals can also unlock magically locked doors. We're started to make them at a respectable rate. Would you like to purchase some?"
This has to be new in E3, but using Piercing Crystals on doors that Unlock or lockpicking won't open? I don't remember that! Ever!
How much will it cost me?
As cheaply as we can make them.
Yeah, that's cheap alright. Not that I'm going to be buying any here and now.
Private resting rooms.
This should be interesting.
Oooh... secret history...?
No. This here is perhaps the single best perk for joining the Anama. These four books contain the first five spells for each of Priest Levels 4 through 7. That's twenty spells available for free for joining the Anama. And remember you get up to Priest 5 for free.
However, you do need sufficient Mage Lore to read the more advanced tomes, as such:
Stairs down and...
Actually pretty relaxing. The book is the same one as everywhere else though.
But before I go, I know there has to be something more. The second floor layout and what I saw outside don't match up.
I'm no Bronwyn, but even I can find this!
... Yeah. Better take this one safely. No need to poke the wrong poodle.
I'm not robbing the Anama right now. I have more important things to do first. And I want my exit to be suitably epic.
And that, as they say, is that.
* * *
Hey man, we got some stuff for you.
This is the real reward from the Mayor for beating up the Roaches. Effectively a Level 2 Bless at all times, this goes on Bronwyn for now, as she needs it more than Art or Sass.
I've been holding onto these for a while, but what is the real difference between throwing knives and daggers?
Daggers are heavier and punch through armor better. You selling?
What's on the job board?
Why would we want to hurt the Giant Spiders?
And the feral ones run away from us. There's no way to do that.
We can take that message south, easy.
GAAHH!!! When did you get back?
I never left.
And we have no idea where Calloc is, so we'll skip that one.
I think it might have been mentioned as on the mainland to the north, but you're right. No sense in rushing into places we have no idea about.
One delivery, coming right up.
I'm just showing off our current job. I don't think there's an upper limit to how many you can take, but I've never gone out of my way to try and max it out. If anyone in the thread knows, chime in!
* * *
That was quick and painless. We could have lapped the Island twice and still gotten here before the seven days were up.
I wonder what's in the package?
Ours is not to ponder.
He's being fancy, and getting the quote wrong. It goes 'Ours not to reason why, ours to do and die.' And that poem is totally wrong for the situation at hand.
You two will have to explain that to me later.
Here you go.
Thanks! Didn't take you for the messenger type.
It's just a way to help meet the people, you know?
Well, thanks for this anyway. Have a good day.
When you talk to a person who is receiving a package, the game checks that first before going to the dialogue tree. You don't need to ask them about your delivery before they'll receive it.
I predict many more like that in our future.
Back to the mainland then, and to make our reports.
* * *
I HATE BOATS!
Well, we could have a dingy of our own to work with up here. That could be fun.
Here, let me help.
I really hate having Matthias get sick, then I cast Cure Disease, only for the RNG to cause him to get sick again the same turn. Watching 6-9 SP go poof like that is a real pain.
Yeah, I can see why that sign is here.
The Inn of Blades? That certainly has an interesting ring to it.
We'll have to pass by it to get to Krizsan and the Fort. Might as well stop in.
Oooh! Ogres! The new enemy du jour of the region running from this road and to the east. Let me get into combat and see if there's anything new...
Joy, I'm over-leveled. Again.
Maybe they came from this way?
I see something!
No response. Maybe the Ogres are from further up the range?
WE COME IN PEACE!
Those aren't ogres.
... Well, that just confirms what we've been told. That means that Giants are somewhere nearby.
I think leaving them alone is a good idea.
Always is. They may have mistook us for Empire scouts.
With a Slith and a Nephil? Really?
You never know!
Oh, hey. Visitors.
You know what, we can afford this. And I'm not about to start a fight for no reason.
I could choose to fight. I'd win, but I'm not feeling totally genocidal at this point.
We keep going south.
Or we follow the ridge and see how close we can get to the fort in this direction.
So begins the single greatest sidequest in the history of RPGs. You may think you've encountered greatness, but there is nothing so sublimely perfect as what we are about to experience. And it starts out so simply. Take a message to the other side of the ridge to the other hut we found, and earn 100 gold (-25 for the crossing fee).
This just gives you an idea of how close the two huts are. Except we have to loop back east to go through the Troglodyte pass each time.
Check out my gold before and after this sidequest...
Come on! We paid!
Not a threat.
You sure that was a good idea?
I have my methods, thank you.
And keep repeating....
And keep repeating....
Until, at long last...
We were the messengers in a chess-by-mail game. And someone just lost!
That was a waste of time.
I don't know. I had a look at the board state, and it seemed like it was actually quite one-sided.
Seriously? Fine. Kings Pawn to Kings Pawn 4.
I'm black? King's Pawn to Kings Pawn 5.
Oh great, there's no way I'm not going to be able to track this game now. At least use grid coordinates you two!
Pft. We're professionals.
Ignoring the Goblins?
* * *
* * *
I see it!
And that's Mate in three.
Hrm. You're right. Good game.
And that is the most fake name I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Plenty of guards.
And here you go, puppy. Time to play with your friends now. Here's a stick! Go fetch!
There was some concern in the thread over the fate of the dogs found in the Filth Factory. After listening to my audience, I have decided that Bronwyn retroactively saved all those puppies, and is now delivering them to the Inn of Blades to be with other dogs, where they can run free, play fetch and all that fun stuff. They most certainly were not killed by Roaches, or burned to death in the immolating factory.
No, stop following me!
Don't worry about the mutt. They come in because they know I'll feed 'em.
There is an old man behind the counter, pulling beers. He doesn't look very strong or agile, but has several large knives sheathed at his belt. They're clearly meant for more than cooking.
Bronwyn. Should I shoo him out?
Nah, leave him. I am known as Claw Hardknife." He looks slightly embarrassed as he says it.
No offence, but, uh ...
It's what people call me. I was born with a different name, I assure you, but after a lifetime of adventure and injury, this is what I am left with.
... I can buy that. So, the Inn?
"I've run this inn here for many years. We have our own brew of beer, only five gold for a round. We also have one room open, only 10 gold for the night."
Sure, I'll try your beer. Can't be the worst thing I've ever tasted.
You drink the beer. After Exile's beer, it tastes fantastic to you. The other people in the bar don't look so impressed.
Hey, can you do me a favor?
What would that be?
Mushroom Beer. Is it really as bad as I've heard from the soldiers?
She leans over the counter. You get used to it after a while. But yeah, it's pretty bad. Why? Want some?
I don't think I could afford the tolls at this point, but it should be something to keep in mind for the future, don't you think?
I'm certain it's something we could do.
While you're here, talk to those two along the wall. You might find what they say interesting.
The man at the table wears very loose black clothes. He eats a spartan meal of bread and fruit. "I am Oralse. I heard Claw direct you to me."
"I am a traveller. Until recently, I lived on the Isle of Bigail." He munches a bit of crust.
Oh, and what caused you to leave? To travel to other places?
"I learned much there, but the monsters became too threatening, so I decided to leave for a while."
About those monsters...
"The isle has been set upon by hordes of cockroaches. They're huge, and carry lethal diseases. Not a place that encourages people to stay."
Not anymore. I heard that the source of the Roaches had been burned down then had the cavern it was in collapse on top of it.
Interesting. And how did the Anama accomplish that?
And what about you? What makes you interesting?
There is a mage sitting here, deep in his cups. He motions you to sit with him. "Arion," he takes a swig of beer. "How are you?"
Not bad actually. Have to leave my puppies behind though. You?
"I've been stuck here for a while. Minor difficulties." He shrugs and drinks more. "I was going south to find a teacher."
You mean the one in Krizsan?
Only now, in post, do I realize I didn't ask him about the teacher for his own dialogue. Oh well.
So what makes you stuck here? It's not like the gates are barred.
He drinks some beer, and seems to approve of the taste. "There are worse places to be stuck, but I would prefer to settle my difficulties and keep moving south."
And Claw directed me to you. What difficulties?
He looks at you blankly. "That's more that I want to go into. Just a minor disagreement regarding some lumps of metal."
Now I have to hear about this. Metal seems like such an innocuous thing.
Sure, I can help a fellow in need.
WHY IS THERE A BEAR HERE?
Oh, dead body as well. That's not a good sign.
Hey, Art, gotta head back north for a moment. A person in the bar left a cache up there when he got attacked, and needed to lose weight. I kinda promised we'd retrieve it for him.
Yay for helping!
I hope it's not too far.
No, not really.
Just north of here.
I think so.
I don't recall seeing its like.
Probably Aluminum or Titanium.
When you said 'attacked', I thought you meant by Troglodytes, or something like that.
Not a whole bunch of spell casters.
Huh. Found something!
Alright, I don't like being used like this.
Just the Key Item description for the metal we picked up.
Here's your cache. Anything you want to talk about?
Eh, I doubt I'll use either of those.
Shall we go south now?
* * *
* * *
Odd, nothing about what is to the south or east.
That's because south-east is Silvar.
I would say we were too far, but I have something to do here.
Here's some unicorn horns.
There's a dungeon I've circled around full of Unicorns. I'll have to hit it up sometime.
* * *
And back to Fort Emergence.
Dmurr! What are you doing here?
Just passing through. Anaximander has a job for me, so I had to check in.
No. Local cult. Something about Holy Relics. I'm supposed to investigate them.
Besides, I heard that Chester and Marianna moved up here. Was planning on visiting them.
I think they're in New Cotra or New Formello. I don't exactly remember. Haven't had a chance to visit them yet.
Yeah, but you know me and commitments.
I know! Listen, I have to go. Talk to you later.
Friend of yours?
Old co-worker. We were in the Services back during the Invasion.
Was that a male or female? I can't tell.
Dmurr is female. And it's easy with her to make that mistake. Oh well, off to Anaxiamander!
ANAXIAMANDER! I'M HOME!
Do you have to be so loud? Well, report.
Yeah, talk to Delilah about the Church of the Anama. She joined.
I can't say I agree with your choice, but it was your choice.
So, aside from other spies, what's up?
They identified the body you found in Colchis. It was Erin, from the first expedition we sent up.
That reminds me there was a Vahnatai body in the Filth Factory. I have to talk with Rentar-Ihrno about that.
Yes. That is troubling. If they have a presence on the Surface, we should know so that we don't step on their toes. But there is something else. It's a bit out of your purview, but I have no one else to assign to it.
Right. We'll look into it. I apparently have a reason to go that way anyways.
Also, head down to the Tower on your way there. You've been cleared for more training from Solberg or X. And I have something that will help.
We've been there. 250 gold for a one-way trip.
This item is actually Word Of Recall on a stick. I no longer need to learn that spell! Huzzuh!
Off you go.
See you later.
Huh. He's not here. Anyway, we should talk to Berra, if only to prove to Sass that those scales he found aren't from Dragons.
Right, back to him then.
And this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm one of the few people they'll talk to, right?
Not at all. Don't forget to collect your reward from Levy.
IS IT MY BABY?
Oh, how pretty!
Onward then! To Mystery!
This is going to be fun. I just know it.