Part 47: The Cult of the Sacred ObjectUpdate 41 The Cult of the Sacred Object
I WILL KILL THEM!
This is most distressing. How did they get in?
Get a hold of yourself, woman!
Yes. Later. First, we need to get rid of the stuff we don't need, train up our skills some more, and then hit these thieves when they think they've gotten away with it.
Catch them by surprise?
That sounds like her plan.
You do realize this won't stop me from punishing them, right?
Not one bit. We just need to be at our best for this. You don't want to be at anything less when you get the Orb back, right?
I think that'll be good enough.
Some items we should store here for now, like that Skill potion. And we should find that mage to identify things.
We got this at the Inn.
You wear it. You're the toughest of us by far, so this will help you even further.
Not as good as my Halberd.
12/+5 vs 18/+3 I'll go with the bigger base damage.
If we ever learn to mind duel, this will be important.
* * *
Priest 6, then more Strength, Dex, Int and 5 more SP. As a note, Art is now at the highest level she's ever been, exceeding the endgames of E1 and E2.
Sass maxes out his strength, and gets Mage 4/Priest 4 in the process.
Bronwyn maxes out her Strength and Dexterity. Next will be her Edged Weapons, her Defense, Assassination and Luck.
More Intelligence, Priest 6, More Spell points and a point in Mage Lore. Why? ~reasons~.
Ni'aurrl gets more Intelligence, and higher Mage and Priest Spells, then tosses a random point into Spell Points.
More Spell Points, more Mage Spells and more Priest Spells. Nothing spectacular here.
with their own guts
Please don't kick down the door!
Can I at least give you your reward for the Troglodytes and Giants?
Sass can have it.
Here you go, Magic necklace.
So! Levy. Friend! What happened?
It was stolen.
Oh, I heard about that. Having something as important as the Orb being stolen under your watch can't be good for you.
There was an explosion in the middle of the night. We went to the Orb's vault, and it was ravaged an empty. There was no way anyone could have snuck in. We think the thieves teleported in.
Teleporting into a sealed chamber, one that has an object as powerful as the Orb of Thralni? The attackers must have been brilliant, or mad.
It's the only way they could have entered. Fortunately, Seles, Exile's best teleportation expert, came here to investigate, and has agreed that is what most likely happened. She said that anyone interested in tracking the thieves should go and see her.
That was remarkable restrained of you.
Yeah, that door was still in one piece.
He'll get a new door while repairing the damages. Besides, I have something far more interesting in mind for him later.
* * *
Ah good, Amaximander sent word you would be coming to me.
So, what, we still need permission to go do this?
So, while this quest is active, you can't go back to the Tower of the Magi. Which meant that I had to run to Krizsan to dump off my extra loot.
Anything you can tell us about the thieves?
I don't know who stole it, or why, but I do know where they went. You see, any teleportation up here affects the portal, and I can cast spells to tell who blipped where and adjust this portal to compensate. Thus, I can help you find the thieves.
What about our Amulet?
Because the arrival point is fixed to Fort Emergence, I can preemptively adjust the portal's event horizon for that.
Curious. I presume you can get a relative direction by observing the ripples in the event horizon of the Einstein-Rosen bridge, you can determine a direction of origin?
Yes. The use of a Rindler co-ordinate set in Minkowski space can give me an aggregate distance based on the distance between stressor waves.
And this means you can teleport us there?
Yes. I can realigned this portal with the destination location of the escape used by the thieves. It appears they used a Word of Recall to leave, and I was able to track that location. However, you'll have to find your own way back. Your amulet won't work underground.
They came here, so we'll just use the same way to get back!
Sounds like this could go horribly, horribly wrong in so many ways.
And everything else we've done can't?
Don't worry! Mommy's coming!
Well, we're alive. But where are we?
Looks like a camp to the east.
] Art's already going over there.
GIVE ME THE ORB, AND I WON'T HURT YOU MORE!
Yes, I heard there was a problem in the old version of the Kill Spell that made it half-as powerful as it should have been.
Or is the new version twice as good?
Does it matter?
Not really, no.
No one here. Bronwyn, check the boxes, see if the Orb's in them.
Nope. Not even dice.
Oh good, you're here.
Who are you?
Huh. So this is the group you were infiltrating?
Yes. I'm sorry, I couldn't do anything about the raid.
Who are these people?
They call themselves the Cult of the Sacred Object. I won't waste your time explaining what they think. You'll find their literature soon enough.
Neat. Where do I find them?
Swing south around the lake until you get to the docks. Then boat back north.
Thanks. What are you going to do?
Hold the location here for returning patrols, and delay them from chasing you as long as I can.
You sure you don't want to come with us and extract?
No, I can do more damage in the long run by staying behind.
So, another member of Unspecified Services. Could have been more helpful.
Or they told us all they knew already.
I trust Dmurr. She's good.
And that's the end of that doubt. So, where to?
Circling around the lake?
And that must be where we need the boat to reach.
I can detect some energy that corresponds to a portal from that fortification. I think that's our way out.
My Orb! NOW!
This makes no sense.
I'm high enough level that the only enemies that are willing to fight me are the fixed encounters.
Well, let's keep walking then.
Stop her! She will ruin everything!
Oh, I love it when my reputation precedes me.
Hrm, Mage 7, and 195 Spell Points. Eh, what's the worst he could do?
Fair enough. It's not like I'm getting massive mileage out of Kill myself.
This looks like the docks.
Just dark thanks to the lack of lichen.
Well, it looks like we caught a patrol here at home. Shall we introduce ourselves?
Hello! My name is Art. Tell me where the Orb of Thalni is, or hand it over, and I'll let you all live.
Intruders! Kill them!
And people wonder why I don't go for Diplomacy all that often.
Finally cast Scry on one of these guys.
That's not fair!
What happened here was that Ni'aurrl cast Firestorm at the lower explosion point, killing the captain, and hoping to harm some of the enemies inside the baracks. However, the explosion didn't go through the window, and the closed door prevented the Archer from taking any damage at all.
Next step up from Champions. Dervishes are the end of this particular combat line.
Cooperate, and you will be rewarded!
That's the last of them.
Let's see if they left anything of use.
Worst. Cult. Ever.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who reads DILUTE! DILUTE! in Dalek?
Nothing else around. Let's see what we have here.
So much for payday.
And now, boats!
I hate you all.
I felt that you stole my line for some reason.
Waterfalls are far less common in Exile 3, if only because navigable bodies of water are far less common. Anyways, going over a waterfall in a boat can cause loss of food. Which doesn't really matter to us.
We don't need to go back, we don't have to go down that!
Can't leave to the south either. It would take a lot of time to pick our way through or over those rocks.
And we can't go north either.
Time to go destroy a cult then. Away!
I am also not dumb enough to go charging straight into a defensive position like this. Let's go around via boat.
Don't worry, sweetie! Mommy's almost here!
Stop them! Stop the intruders!
Wait! It's her! The Possessor!
I haven't heard that one before. I don't like it.
What's all this racket?
We're the heroes!
More in the hall outside.
Looks like all the interesting stuff is on the other side of the complex.
There's interesting stuff right here!
And I love how AoE can affect tiles you can't see. Assuming there's line of sight to the epicentre of the effect!
Hrm, this is almost too easy. I wonder if we just caught them on a bad day?
Oh, this is more like it.
Let's start on the right.
Would it kill them to clean up? I mean seriously, you can tell the serious cults from the idiots by these sorts of standards!
I meant ... no. Never mind. Let's take the last door to the north now.
THIS IS JUNK!
Not the Graymold though.
Did someone start cultivating the damned stuff and not tell me?!?
So, while looting random drawers, I came across this:
Can someone tell me why, in a dungeon full of enemies, that the game would still, seriously, note that some items are Not Yours and that stealing them is bad?
And this is why you need to be prepared to be attacked from multiple sides. Those 'defenders' of the front door never stood a chance.
Also, just generic supplies in case someone does attack, and they need more arrows.
I just wanted to point out that there are two enemies in this screenshot. They're just on the beds, so the game has them drawn as sleeping. Which makes it hilarious where they appear in full arms and armor in a moment.
And a rare double level-up!
Hrm, there's something interesting in this box...
The book on the pedestal is the same as the one in the docks, sadly.
But the books on the shelves are different.
I know that one. The Empire made a weapon called the 'Nethersword' that was made of some strange metal that caused those around it to slowly die from disease. It was meant as a trap of some sort.
What did you do with it?
... uh ... tossed it into an abyssal gorge, I think? Or did we just leave it in the lava the Ifrit were using to make other weapons? I forget. It's gone though.
Let's go to the other side now!
I agree! Leave no survivors!
Well, that makes popping the lock easy.
Long, defensive corridor. Probably full of traps.
If this is anything like the chambers on the other side, I'm going to be sick.
I can cast Cure Disease!
Wrong kind of sick.
Weird. I would have had something here, but there's nothing.
I recognize this.
So do I. It's a very old cleansing ritual.
I feel less clean.
It's one of those things meant to affect the spirit, not the body.
Let's just get this over with.
It worked. Now, we just need to do this twice more for the other two pools.
I'm not certain even Quickfire will cleanse this.
What do we have here?
Where are you?
Huh. I wonder if they even knew it had been lost on the surface?
Where are you?
I see no reason to leave anything behind.
Don't even open that. It's the poison metal.
A fixed bar of Uranium. I wonder if the case is lead lined?
Art said don't open it!
Oh, how mommy missed you. Now, she's never going to let you go. Ever.
Now that we have what we came for, why don't we check out the last two cases?
Never heard of it.
That's bad news.
And why are you rational again?
I'm always rational. Anyway, these people were able to raid Fort Emergence. And they wanted Demonslayer. Except that blade is currently in the possession of Prince Karmas, and this means they were going to try and attack him on his trip into Upper Exile.
Oh. That could have gone rather badly.
But the Cult didn't kill anyone on their way to the Orb.
Irrelevant. The Orb's protections were static, so they could plan for that. But to steal Demonslayer from a living person, and the one set to replace Micah? That would draw a response that would make Art's look positively tame.
I have to agree. But we have what we came for, we can leave now. Assuming we have an idea?
Open area in the last quarter we haven't explored. We still haven't found their teleporter, and that's most likely the best place for it.
Either they're withdrawing to recover, or setting up an ambush.
Regardless, we should help ourselves first.
Assuming there's anything here other than an expired poison?
What's a will?
I don't know what, but I know where there is one, there is usually also a way.
And that's stupid. As in, how is it even active?
We should look around first. It may be in standby mode, and thus not safe to travel through.
Very much so.
Well, that's enough commiserating. Let's leave.
Right behind you!
Yes, this should do nicely. If they haven't messed with anything, we should get back to Fort Emergence.
I'm surprised this hasn't imploded yet.
Don't worry baby, we're almost safe.
Wait. This is supposed to stop us?
He's almost a threat.
Never mind. Let's power this thing back up.
Stabilized. They didn't change anything else, thankfully.