Part 35: Porter's Rest, Gorst and GidrikUpdate 030 Porter's Rest, Gorst and Gidrik
Today's update is going to be a bit on the short side. I've gotten into the habit of recording several updates worth of material at a time, then processing them into more rational chunks. As a result, this particular update has us going through the central Karnold Provice before leading up to the provincial capital of Sharimik. But the three places we will visit today are all towns, and not well populated ones. I've tried to pad it out where I can, but in the end, this is it.
"Where are we?"
"Can't you tell?"
"No, it's too bright."
"He does have a point, though we've been up here for nearly two months now. I'm surprised we haven't had to spend a week with our skin and fur burning from the intense light."
"But it's actually been pretty cloudy. I mean, we've been near the ocean for the most part, so you'd expect less in the way of sweltering heat and more in the way of rain."
"Which we haven't gotten. Is it winter or fall? I can't really tell."
"But, to answer your question, Sass. We're headed west from Golddale, toward Porter's Retreat."
I live in Alberta, and one of the things we were taught when I was younger that the highway between the two major cities in the province Edmonton and Calgary has towns/villages/cities on it at regular intervals. They were spaced that way because it was the distance people could travel in a day along the road at the time. As we're about to see, Porter's Retreat has the same theory behind it.
Well, nice to see this place.
Uh.. Hey there.
This woman's skin is dark enough she could pass for a surface dweller, but you immediately recognize her for what she is: an Exile. She looks nervous.
I'm Bronwyn. You are?
I'm Jen. We shouldn't talk.
Your job can't be that important, that you can't spare some time to chat, can it?
I'm Unspecified Services, formerly selling food in Formello. Look, we shouldn't talk.
We have a Slith in our party. No one is going to notice you..
She looks more nervous with every moment you spend talking to you. Look, I'm Unspecified Services, like you. And again, we really, really shouldn't be seen talking.
Honey, we're talking to everyone.
Right. Look. There's a woman on our side. She's collecting info in Sharamik and Lorelei. You'll recognize her as an Exile. Look for her. She can help. Now go away.
Fine. Just trying to be friendly.
* * *
Travellers, huh? Welcome. You meet a small man, hunched over the table, making intricate notes on a map with a feather pen.
Very much so. You?
He looks up. I'm Kendrick. Greetings!
Matthias. So, you look like the cartography type.
Yes, I'm a mapmaker. It's a very useful trade in these parts.
I would say so. You selling?
I take great pride in my trade! You can purchase a beautiful map of this area for only 50 gold.
While I count out the money, what do you think of your trade?
This is one of the few known areas that hasn't been totally explored.
The entirety of the world hasn't been explored yet. You're not out of a job. Besides, there's always Exile.
You're kidding, right? Of course you are. Everything the Empire owns is so settled and covered and recovered. Valorim is the only place a decent mapmaker can go to do interesting work. There's plenty of monsters here, of course, but I just avoid them.
You avoid the monsters?
I run! All in a day's work.
Well, here's your 50 Gold. I'll buy that map now.
Uh... there's a problem here.
The town there is named Gebra, not Caebra.
What? You have to be joking.
Wish I was. We were just there, recently.
Excuse me. I need to go somewhere private and yell at the walls for a few minutes.
You go do that.
This map sent me into a frenzy for a few minutes. I had no idea where or what Caebra was until I looked at the master map from the walkthrough and realized that the names were different. Similar, but different. Also, the island with the town of Gorst really confused me until I went poking around later in the update and found how to get there. Libras leads to the Lost Isle, where we found the Basilisks, and Storm Port to G/Ca-ebra.
I think Vogel designed the content of the islands first, then placed them later.
A tall, thin woman tends the bar. She looks you over nervously as you approach.
Morning! Or is it afternoon yet? I'm Delilah.
I'm Elise, she says. She's clearly on edge.
You don't need to worry about us. We're just normal passers-by.
I run the Porter's Retreat. That's where you are, you know. We have a round of beer for 3 gold, and a decent room for 5. She looks around nervously as she speaks. Sorry, I've been a bit on edge.
What's got you set worried?
There's a bunch of troglodytes living to the north. Yeah, troglodytes! There are still some around, and they're raiding us non-stop! The Porter's Retreat is the only place near here where merchants can be safe.
We saw the guards outside. Your merchants can't be that put out, can they?
And because of them, we're the only safe place for many miles around. We get a lot of nervous people.
Well, being the first major stop headed out from Golddale, you'd think that people would work hard to secure the route.
She shakes her head. We're well armed, but we hope Sharimik or the Empire or someone does something soon. The things are really too tough for us to fight on our own.
Well, we're headed that way. We'll see what we can do.
I would just like to point out that it's been spelled Sharamik and Sharimik at various times. And this is a constant inconsistency. Although digging into the raw text file indicates that the 'a' variant is used only 8 times, while the 'i' version is used 57. I'm just going to write that off as people's accents, and move on.
I'm no thief. Besides, how would I carry all that?
You know, I'm beginning to think picking up some horses might be a good idea. Assuming we can find one for Sass.
* * *
So, in my mad quest to reconcile the map I just bought with what I knew, I went running back down to the south coast to figure it out. Not that I could have left it for another round of Things Missed, mind you.
We never rode on this boat!
Where is everyone?
This place is a wreck.
And has been for some time.
Whatever happened here moved the anvil. Or more like moved the ground the Anvil was on.
Written invitation? Why not?
Oh dear. FIRE!
You know, the more I look at this, the more this damage doesn't look artificial.
It's like it was washed out.
Flooding? Then those spirits we found were people trying to take shelter?
That sounds... harsh.
This building looks intact actually.
Interlopers! I think. This man might have once been rather imposing and sinister looking. His robes are faded, however, and his hair is graying. He seems very pleases to have a visitor.
I am ANZOVIN! Welcome to my shrine.
Art, and the rest. So, this is your shrine?
I rule this temple, the Temple of Surging Darkness! He emits a laugh that was intended to sound sinister, but sounds rather asthmatic instead. You notice the temple is looking rather run down and the walls are cracked.
sounds like he's worshipping whatever storm came through here
i think you're right
He grins evilly. Yes, puny mortals! We believe the darker powers are waiting for cruel forces to rise among the humans!
Species centrism at work.
Oh, and the Nephilim as well. And whatever you are. You lizard thing.
So, about these cruel forces?
Yes! These cruel forces will be imbued by mighty energy by those unholy powers, and from there we, umm ... that is to say, they will rise up, and RULE the WORLD!
I love this guy. Seriously. He's such a ham.
You know, ruling the world isn't easy.
Yes! He laughs sinisterly, turns to the altar and notices that it's looking very cracked and shabby indeed. He turns back to you, looking embarrassed. Sorry about that. This was all a lot more impressive before the storms.
We were figuring something like that happened. Was the storm serious?
Yeah. We got hit by serious storms about a year back. Buildings fell over. Some people dies. Most left. I had this shrine, and that's better than nothing, so I stayed. I gather herbs. And make a few undead to relieve the tedium.
Well, wouldn't you?
So, what about these herbs you've been collecting?
There are some good alchemical herbs on this island. He thinks Care to purchase some?
Another ingredient seller.
Thanks for stopping by! I promise, next time I'll have something a bit more ominous!
I feel sad for him. It's obvious he needs help.
Like we can? We're not exactly the right kind of people to fix these sorts of problems.
This entire island looks like its taken a beating from the storms. It's sad, really.
Let's go back.
And that's the entire purpose of Gorst. Abandoned town due to (probable) hurricanes, and a slightly unhinged man selling Ember Flowers.
* * *
I wanna get my weapon better!
You mean that Augmentation service in ... Libras, was it?
I can't complain. I got mine done.
And we can afford the service.
Went from effectively a Bronze Halberd to a Steel one. I really didn't buy an upgrade from that hidden store by Pergies! Then this could have been an 18/+5 weapon! That would be glorious to behold in combat, that's for sure.
* * *
So, according to this map, the next town north is ... Gidrik? Gidirk? I can't trust the names on this map at this point.
At least we're in the right place.
Gidrik it is.
Oh. You. We were warned about you. But we've got too many problems as it is to deal with you properly.
But we're nice!
Be careful everyone, but be polite.
As usual then.
A dark and mysterious woman sits behind the counter, mixing up a potion. The smells are alternately wonderful and nauseating.
Note to self air out before getting close to Matthias.
I am Zamora, she says in a soft voice.
Bronwyn. So, is this your thing? I didn't see a sign outside, but you're obviously open.
I make potions of all sorts. Wondrous things, they are. She smiles and tastes the brown concoction she's working on. Also, I work with other alchemists.
Neat. Is there an Alchemists' Guild or something?
Not as such. Rather we're a loose alliance at this point. It's hard to create a Guild with all the other problems out there.
She smiles. In fact, one of us was through recently. Told me of some unusual metal he'd found. He concealed a scroll with a map to it, which he told me about. Then he had the misfortune of being spitted by a Troglodyte. In fact, for only 500 gold, I may be persuaded to say where the scroll is.
If it's the same metal we encountered earlier, then I wonder if we'll meet those same people again...? Sure. Here's your money.
I'll look into it. Thanks. Let's see what you have in stock.
Nothing really interesting.
Huh. I'm early.
This is a heavily whiskered man with a lot of hair growing out of his nose. He smells very strongly of horses.
I'm Bryk. That's what they call me!
Do they now.
He snorts, and takes a pull of whiskey. I look after horses. They're my babies!
Yeah. Look. I...
Half the price of the guy down by Krizsan, and I really need to pick some up. I think I will after dealing with Sharimik.
Lots of them. Huh.
This isn't a port down! It's barely a beach!
I wonder if there are any non speciests here.
Get out you furball!
* * *
Next stop, Sharamik.
That's what I said.
There's a strange feeling in the air...
This is reminding me uncomfortably of the Slith War.
But we're friends now!
Now, yes. But not then. Not with all of you.
Still aren't. Too many factions involved.
Incoming from the south.
We've seen Troglodytes before. But there were two new ones in the battle:
You know, I could have sworn that the Empire drove them to extinction. How were these ones missed?
I don't know.
But that's enough of that. We're here at Sharimik.
Once again, sorry for the short update, but there's no real way to include the whole of Shari(a)mik in this update. See you next time!