Part 37: Angel's Rest, Aminro, Softport, the House on the Hill and Adobe HutUpdate 032 Angel's Rest, Aminro, Softport, the House on the Hill and Adobe Hut
Sharimik is huge, and actually well developed. I cut out some stuff, so let me deal with it now...
* * *
Temporary patches, I see.
I see something shiny!
Now, let's deliver this back to her.
And that's our good deed for the day. Now, what's next?
* * *
I also promised a missed conversation, except I seem to have removed the transcription from my files. That's alright, I need to come back to Sharimik at least twice before the quest is completed. I'll catch it then.
Natural response, despite us obviously not being Troglodytes.
So, why are we headed east instead of north to Softport?
Scouting out the two towns this way first.
Makes sense. Besides, don't we have a couple leads on things in those two towns?
The best weapon ever!
And there's that hidden map, in the 'rock face', whatever that means.
Which way first?
Flip a coin!
Heads or Tails?
East it is!
How was that supposed to work?
Another instance where the official spelling uses an 'i'. I must conclude that the 'a' is just an accent.
Wow, that smells just like home!
We got word from Corie that you'd be by sooner or later. Just don't do anything stupid.
We won't. We doing some reconnaissance first.
That I can understand. Just be careful. People are nervous enough as it is.
We'll be polite!
Well, let's be about then!
Let's start going clockwise around the town, shall we?
First stop Troglodytes hidden in this little apartment in the south-west corner. I remove the problem before it becomes one.
You meet a grim, squat halberdier of the Empire army. It's amazing how total his disinterest in speaking with you is.
So, I'm Bronwyn. I was told that there was a man named Makos in town?
Masok. The word sounds like lit was ripped out of him with a hook. I am a soldier.
Right! Yeah, so I was told you knew something about...
Yeah. And that's all. He turns away. What an uninteresting conversation.
Oh come on. I heard you knew about the halberd.
He looks angry that you know, and then confused, and then he thinks it over. His voice is quiet. Look. There's this thing called the Black Halberd. It's sort of a legend. The best ever made. Nobody really believes in it. I sure didn't. Until I found a scroll.
I found it in a stump. No kidding. It's old, and it's supposed to give directions to where the halberd is. Don't believe it's real? No difference to me. I can get it by myself. But if you want to purchase it from me, that'd be good too. Only 2000 gold.
Total intrinsic cost to get the Black Halberd: 12+100+2000 gold. It's a steal for five times that price once we get it.
He says Also, I'm selling this because the thing is far away. Hundreds of miles northwest, far north of the town of Calloc. Good luck finding it.
We're going to be keeping this for a long time to come. Although I may just drop it off in a storage location until I'm ready to make the run for it.
And you must be the innkeeper!
A young, radiantly beautiful woman works behind the bar. She moves like a sylph, almost floating off the ground. Of course, you may only think that because the mead she's serving smells so good.
She graces you with a dimpled smile. I'm Adrianne. May I help you?
I asked if you were the innkeeper.
I am! Our best room is free. Only 8 gold. We still have some of our wonderful, locally made mead. A mere 10 gold for a round.
Free 8 Gold? Uh... Let's try the mead, thank you.
The mead is rich and exquisite. Soon your head is spinning. You hadn't realized how much you were missing out on in Exile. When you're done, Adrianne leans close. Fresh goblets of mead will only be 5 gold! I like your faces!
I like my face too. More mead please.
She fills your goblets with the ambrosia. As she does, she makes conversation. You know, some soldiers were through here recently. That talked about having seen dragons.
Dragons? Pft. Yeah. The Empire drove them all away years ago, and the last known living ones are in Exile.
Yeah. Sounds fishy to me too. If you ask me, which you already have, they said they saw some dragons flying overhead near some mountains somewhere. Look one of them was a captain, and they said they were Lorelei, to the north. If you see them, and are interested, be sure to ask.
I think we will.
Are they sure they didn't see large drakes, or something?
Maybe? I don't know. We'd have to ask.
I wanna meet a dragon!
And if we do, I get to ask them about the evidence we found on Bigail. joy.
You meet a haggard woman with long, dark hair. She wears the robes of a priest over her armor, and her garb shows the wear and tear of recent combat.
I am Matthias, we're doing some work on behalf of Mayor Knight and Commander Corie.
I am Empire War Priestess Shahpur.
Huh, haven't heard that title in a while.
She pats a massive mace hanging at her belt. I help in the constant battle against the troglos. 'Tis a chore, but I have my faith to preserve me.
Anything you can tell us about the Troglodytes that could be a help?
They're vicious and endless foes, but I'm preserved by my prayers.
Your prayers must be very powerful to ward off such foes.
I am one of the Anama. I sustain myself through holy power, without using the dark works of magic.
Yeah, Art casts Manna when she needs to as well.
A useful spell, but it doesn't beat real food.
You know, for all the harping on about how poorly thought out the Anama are as a religion and philosophy, I do like the fact that Vogel made sure that there were people like Shahpur here who are open about their membership, but are unequivocally good guys. It's a level of nuance that you don't find from a lot of other fictional religions.
Oooh! This must be where the sulphur is coming from!
Merry Count posted:
These are both generic shops, with nothing of interest to them.
You don't need to be here.
Lots of those here.
Because of the attacks.
That's it for this town. We'll backtrack along the road, then head north.
* * *
You know, this really does look like a nice place, even though the monsters are everywhere.
I know. Makes you wonder why this place, why now?
One plague, you could chalk up to a rogue mage, or perhaps an accident. Two would be an epic coincidence based on the remoteness of Valorim But Slimes, Roaches, Troglodytes, Giants, Golems and whatever it was that attacked Tinraya? That's enemy action.
Yeah, but which enemy. That's the question. So far we have Erika and the Dragons as possible culprits, and yet I can't see them doing either.
Who else is there?
Exile. The Vahanatai. Internal factors to the Empire seeking to cause chaos. We don't know yet, nor do we have enough information.
Best behaviour people. Those are thick walls.
These walls need repair.
We have been alerted to your existence. Don't cause trouble, and we won't end it.
Oh! Hello there!
This man, wearing the sash and insignia of a mayor of the Empire, sits here drinking ale. Lots of it. I am known as Najib. That's Mayor Najib! He belches.
Uh.. what are you doing?
He laughs. I'm planning strategy! What do you think I'm doing? He takes a long swing of ale.
My elders say you can't do planning after celebrating a victory like you are.
Yeah. Right. Planning how to hold off endless hordes of Troglos with almost no troops and no reinforcements. How to to anything when the Empire has quarantined the area.
I agree! Troglodytes are bad.
They breed like bunnies, and they're smart and ruthless. Like nothing we've ever fought before! He drinks more.
What is quarantine?
Bet you hadn't heard about that! The Keep of Tinraya's been destroyed by monsters! Totally. The Empire has shut is all off to die. To keep the monsters from spreading. He takes a long swig of ale. And that's why I drink.
Where is Tinraya?
Won't do you any good to know. The biggest, strongest city in Valorim is now just a smoking hole. Sobering, eh?
That's sad. I'm gonna talk to the barkeep now.
Unusually, the innkeeper has a battleaxe swinging at his side, and wears a breastplate which shows the scratches and marks of recent combat. He's so tired he can barely remain standing.
Hi! I'm Sass.
Barber, he mumbles. Welcome to my inn.
You look tired. How's the inn?
No booze left. Not much at all. Just a room. Only 5 gold. It's been a nightmare.
But you need to sleep to have those.
Castle Troglo isn't too far from here, and there's not a damned thing anyone can do about it. We eat the worst of the raids, and get hit often too. It's hard to keep hope sometimes. He almost nods off several times while speaking.
But where there's life, there's hope!
I'm afraid this town will fall any day now. I'm so tired. My apologies. This used to be a beautiful town. No more.
Well, if the Mayor is useless, I doubt he'll mind if we rummage through his office.
You know it actually looks quite cosy in here.
Yes, but there's nothing either.
Standard pressure plate designed to keep people from spiriting out ores and such. Easy.
Yeah, but the entire north wall of this town are copies of these warehouses. And I'm not about to search through all of them.
Yeah, it wouldn't be a good use of our time.
Only rocks here.
Let's look at it anyways.
There's no way to trigger this except by looking at that tile while standing next to it. You can't move onto it.
Where is Eagle Rock?
We'll find out eventually. Come on, there's nothing for us here.
Would have been nice to know that sooner, but oh well.
I think Softport is next. Find out more about the Ritual.
Couldn't we go back to Fort Emergence and ask Anaximander?
That would still involve sending a message to Formello, and asking the Mother there to send someone who could cast it up to Fort Emergence to teach it to us.
Are you sure you've forgotten it?
... Are you calling me old?
No. But you do have a matronly air about you.
Look, I don't know the spell any more. It's long, it's complicated, and it takes a lot out of you.
Hrm, now that I think about it...
Staying out of this.
As am I.
Staying out of what?
Nothing you need to think about.
Hey, look! A distraction!
I have no idea how this works, but you can encounter this person randomly between Lorelei and Sharimik. He acts as a Random Store. And after my windfall with the previous one, I am not holding my breath.
Thanks, but no thanks.
It just occurred to me that we don't have anyone here who specializes in blunt weapons.
You and I use blades. Sass has his polearm. Delilah and her crossbow. Ni'aurrl and Matthais have skipped.
Don't look to me. I'm not about to pick up that sort of skill. I don't have the skill for it.
And I'm not about to fill the requisite racial profiling, thank you.
You know, some days, I really regret leaving Emerald.
Then you wouldn't be in the sun!
And that makes it all worth while.
I wonder how close we are to Bigail?
Pretty close, I'd say.
Oh crud. We were told about this.
We're that far north?
I don't see what the problem is. We encountered one back in Krizsan. And there are Giants in Exile. If the Sliths could make it to the surface, why not these guys? Oh well, we'll deal with them as a strategic threat later. For now, they're just a road bump. But that road will get a lot more bumpy in the future.
Right. We'll mark this line of trees. North be Giants! South be Troglodytes. Who dies first? Whoever pisses me off more.
Getting ahead of yourself a little?
Welcome to Softport. Commander Corie sent word you were coming. Didn't say why.
Have to talk to a certain priest.
Oh. She's in the south-west quadrant.
This is, what, the third such church?
Yep, shows what it is too.
You meet a priestess. She's counting several piles of gold on top of the altar. When you approach, she scoops in all into a pouch. I'm Nydia. Welcome.
You do this. You're more experienced.
I'm a priestess of the Church of the Divine Lucre. We sell salvation at reasonable rates.
Art. Follower of the Mother-Of-Us-All. And salvation? Really?
Actually, I am not yet authorized to grant absolution. Haven't saved up enough to buy the ability. But I can do healing, if you wish and have the money.
Actually, we came about something else. You see...
She looks suspicious. Who told you to ask me about that?
Thank you for your time.
Even further north?
This is beginning to sound like a fools errand.
I'll do it!
Wrong kind of fool.
We have to explore anyways, and verifying that this knowledge is on the Surface is a legitimate use of our time.
I agree with Art. We should investigate.
But first, the rest of the town!
There's a very generic armor shop I skip. You miss nothing.
Well, here's hoping.
The constant attacks of monsters in Valorim have caused the mayors and leaders to have a constant and edgy expression. The mayor of Scowcroft is no exception. However, he seems pleased to see you.
HOLD THE PHONE!
Actually, before you think that's an accident, here's the screencap:
It seems like Vogel mixed up this NPC's name with his town. Heh.
I'm Mayor Scowcroft, welcome to you!
I'm Bronwyn. How are you?
Oh, I just try to deal with all the monsters as best I can. I haven't been nearly as effective as your group though.
I had to show that just to prove I'm not putting words in his mouth. This is the best Mayor so far, and every time I look at his dialogue, I just grin.
Officially, we've not Exiles, but thanks for that vote of confidence. It's a nice change of pace.
He leans close. I sure don't want to mess around with you, being as you're famous and brave and all. But I'd love to help you if I could.
And if you could offer help, even though you can't, what would it entail?
Be sure to search my bookshelves, and help yourself to anything you find. He grins conspiratorially.
We'll be sure to do so, thanks.
No idea what this is, but it won't hurt.
Oh, hello there.
A wiry man sits cross-legged by the dock, selling tickets. I'm Terry. He scratches himself.
You sell tickets?
I have tickets to Fenris Port, only 10 gold.
This makes more sense why Levin couldn't get people to make that delivery. If they have to come up here, and couldn't charter a boat to make the run.
Well, it's not like we took the job. And why bother running back to take it?
She has a point. Let us simply move on.
Well, we now have two routes to go.
Let's follow the river! Rivers come from higher places, right?
Nice to know for later.
And convenient mountains. We should check them out.
They're not too the north!
Mistakes can happen.
And she was emotional.
Well, that was easy.
No one's home?
Welcome to the House on the Hill! This is central Valorim's 'storage point'. Much like Fort Emergence, we can rest here for free, and store our items indefinitely without them going missing. There's one more such location in the game, but it's much further north.
I can feel power coming from that book.
I can't understand this. Yet.
I want this bad. It's where you can get Magic Map, but Matthias' 15 Magic Lore isn't enough. Well, he does have 22 Skill points, so I suppose I can spare a few more points for that.
Or I can cheat the spell in, and cheat all the town maps in. But where's the fun in that? Let's at least pretend to be legitimate here!
We can leave our stuff here, once Bronwyn changes the locks.
Working on it!
Just give me some time to air out the beds.
Nice place. Have to keep it.
But not what we're looking for.
Who is there?
No idea, but we should stick to the road for now.
Let's cross this bridge!
* * *
You know, I think that the middle of this continent is ... under developed.
Historically speaking, development first occurs along rivers or other sources of fresh water, then coastlines for the trade. A rough interior like that would be 'filled in' as time goes by, and people search for resources to exploit, or expand due to population pressure.
Another set of mountains, though I don't think this is a range.
And someone lives up here.
Yes, that's the place!
It says enter, right?
That's usually how it works.
You meet a pale, thin priest with worn clothes and a worn face. He looks very upset that you've intruded on his solitude.
Pardon me, sir?
I don't want you here.
But we'll only be a moment!
And with that, we are teleported out of the map, and back onto the overworld. Let's try that again, shall we?
We're here about a Troglodyte Altar! We were told you could help!
You forgot this?
Shut up, and count your blessings that he was so willing to help. We should go.
And that's far easier than getting it in Exile 2, let me tell you.
* * *
Didn't see any. Maybe next time.
At least we have an idea of where that town is, given how many times its cropped up in discussion.
This is an amazing Bridge!
* * *
Onward! But first, making sure both Matthias and I have the strength to cast our new spell.
Which translates to 'I forgot I needed training until I wrote this update, so I'll do that at the start of the next. A lot of levels have been acquired, so there's plenty of skill to go around. See you next time, when we start to deal with the Troglodyte Quest!