Part 57: GaleUpdate 51 Gale
Well, at least it's not that far.
Looking across the water, I see the coast turns east.
You know, it's odd. I would have expected more cities and towns to be on rivers or other bodies of water, but the more I think of it, that's not the case.
But you have to accept that towns also grow up around resources, or trade and transit routes.
But how do those routes get set up in the first place?
You would find such paths are formed by nature first, either through geography or by the animals who migrate.
Oh hey, a distraction!
Wow, every last member of the army in Valorim is going to be under suspicion for years after all is said and done, what with the breakdown in order.
Thank you! Thank you!
No problem. Head south to Lorelei. It's safe there now.
Still miles to go. And a nice place to ambush people at.
Ugh, this section looks like it's blown up.
And more. The damage to the logistics is immense.
Please don't let this be another hostile encounter.
More than any other city so far, this one looks like a fortress.
Can you blame them? It's like everything for miles is a battlefield.
I wonder if those two towns still exist.
Well, that's all an academic exercise as we're here now.
Hey! Open the gates! We're friendly!
Why is everyone so quiet?
Perhaps there is a smaller entrance to one side? A ... what is the word...?
I don't know.
It's called a 'sally port'.
What. The. Heck?
How can we get in?
You find a small, wiry man standing and waiting outside the city walls. You only notice him when you get close to him it's like he has some sort of weak concealment spell. I am Pasi. There is no need to introduce yourselves.
And what do you do here, perchance?
Well, these days, it's difficult to enter Gale. I give assistance in doing so to those in need.
Why is it that Gale is locked up?
It is a most difficult place to live these days, to say the least.
You haven't answered my question.
You're right. I didn't. My apologies. You see, the leadership in Gale is currently, shall we say, less than inspiring. He looks you over carefully. That is why I will give you, entirely free of charge, a warning.
Word of the arrival of the Exiles has spread far, and many in Valorim welcome the news in the absence of help from the Empire. Mayor Ralia and Garrison Commander Leona do not. Not at all. Watch your step around city hall. If they notice you, your fate will be grim.
Then how do we enter Gale?
Pasi thinks. I hear a lot of what goes on. I heard about what you've accomplished in the south. I'll take the risk of letting you in, though if the Mayor finds out I helped Exiles, I'll be in mortal danger. He points to the nearby trees, The passage in is through there. Be wary around City Hall. Good luck to you.
If we haven't resolved any previous Monster plagues by the time we got here (which is still quite possible), Pasi wouldn't let us in, blocking us out.
Aww, we have to leave our horsies outside.
They won't fit. Don't worry. You're not the only ones whose steed I have protected.
I will go first.
A store room. Where?
Just under the walls. Very short. Recently dug too.
A woman with a blank face is sitting at the table. She isn't drinking or eating or talking with anyone. She just sits at an empty table. Waiting.
I am Alba.
And what are you doing here? This is a tavern, am I right?
You don't know what for? Then I have nothing to speak to you about.
I know what she's here for, and we can't trigger it as I've avoided that particular quest for a while now. I'll address it after we deal with the Golems as part of the general cleanup leading into the end-game.
The innkeeper gives you a knowing wink when you approach the bar. She seems to know how you entered Gale, and how illegal your presence here is. I'm Langley. How may I help you?
Hello there! I'm Delilah. So nice to have nice conversations. What do you offer?
Well, I would be honoured if you would stay in one of our luxury rooms. Only 20 gold for such, well, intriguing guests. In addition, for such as yourselves, we have a variety of unusual services.
What possible services could you offer that would be considered unusual?
She points at a woman sitting in the corner. If you're here for medicine, she will help you out. Very reasonable prices. If you're selling goods you have have obtained somehow, I pay excellent rates.
Have a nice day!
This is... not good.
Everyone, stick together.
Frak! Don't talk to random townspeople, they'll demand a bribe to stop the guards from going hostile on you.
Double gates. No way out.
Hello! A beggar runs up to you, drops nimbly to his knees and raises his bowl. His fingers have light green stains and his eyes are glazed over.
Ah.. Hello? You are?
Thank you for being so kind as to ask. I am Gelahd, kind adventurers.
I've heard of you. You are great and bold. It is an incredible honour to meet you. And, if you would be so kind as to give me some gold, maybe I can aid you.
Why not. We're still above Matthias' registration fees.
He takes 10 of your gold. Thank you so much. And for 100 gold more, I can tell you something very interesting about the golems.
This had better be worth it.
He take the money gratefully. In the herb house, there's a mage. She's always there, always not quite away. She mumbles. And sometimes she mumbles about golems! Prod her about it, and you might find something good!
Huh. Another inn.
The innkeeper here wears a hefty greatsword at his belt, and seems prepared to leap over the bar and break up a fight or fight a Golem at any moment. He has a variety of scars. I'm Cole, the innkeeper here.
So, what's on the tap?
Bourbon is 8 gold for a round. A room for the night is five. And don't bug the customers. We keep to ourselves here. Remember that.
Hit me the drink.
The drink is neither strong nor good. As you choke it down, Cole says By the way, you should be careful in Gale.
Careful about what?
Mayor Rali is losing it. Sealed off the city. Talking about the golems is asking for trouble. He's jealous of anyone who can fight them and resents anyone talking about them because it points out how little good hes done against them. You're lucky. Wouldn't tell this to just anyone.
Lovely. So, who is anyone?
Everyone who comes through that door has another story about what the Exiles are doing to fight the monsters. Now, if you ask me, if I did happen to see some Exiles, just speaking hypothetically here, then I would hypothetically tell them that the person they need to talk to is the General.
Hypothetically speaking, of course, who is the General?
Go up to Tevrono. You'll see who I mean. Hypothetically.
Hello there, cousin.
You meet a Nephilim male. He wears an earring and has a sword hanging from his belt. He watches you nervously as you approach. I am Mrrurr. He looks around, alert and on edge.
Ni'aurrl. What do you do in Gale?
I am a sailor, stranded in this town.
Stranded? That is not a good fate for any sailor.
This is a bad, bad place for one of our kind to be.
He looks around again. The leaders here are filled with hate. Our kind are suspected of being in alliance with the Exiles, and it spills over. I wish to leave on the next ship, for my skiff is no good to get away.
You have a boat? A skiff?
He shakes his head and makes a hissing noise. It was good for nothing. The leaking thing could only get to the island to the south.
You could still get to Merina if you stuck to the coast.
No, the shoals are too much for that piece of junk.
What about the island then?
That place is useless to me! The island is overrun by the undead, and may well always be. I wish to get rid of the worthless boat, if possible.
What would you want for the worthless boat? As one Nephilim to another?
For you? His ears perk up. I would let you purchase the skiff for only 100 gold. If you were odd enough to want to see the undead island, that is.
Done and done.
He takes your gold gratefully. The skiff is at the end of the central dock. Thank you very much.
There's nothing much we can do with the boat right now, as I haven't triggered the optional sidequest dealing with the island to the south. This is just me getting it out of the way now, rather than coming back for it later. Well, I will be coming back later. After I've triggered the quest.
You find the most pathetic, bedraggled Nephilim you've ever seen. Her hair is scraggly and missing in patches. One of her fangs is broken off. She holds a begging bowl. It's a horrible sight.
What happened, sister?
She walks over to you on her knees. I am Hssr, sister.
She emits a raspy purr. Oh please, great ones. Give me a few coins.
We are still over the budget.
Nothing done here, save perhaps for feeling good.
These people probably have a good business running.
The Shopkeeper has unique dialogue, but says nothing. And his inventory is hilariously out of date, even without accounting for the three Magic Plate's I've bought or found.
One guess here.
You find a vacant, bleary-eyed man, holding sway over a dusty and disused forge. When you enter, he makes a clumsy effort to look professional. I am weaponmaster Asp, he mumbles. You can purchase from my stock, and I do improvements, he mumbles. A tiny bit of drool forms at the corner of his mouth.
What sort of improvements?
He grabs a hammer and gives it a few practice swings. You can see that not all of the skill has drained out of him. I've lost a bit lately, but I can still make a blade sharp enough to cut steel. If you want something augmented, let me know.
No clue what he does. But 7500 to improve a Steel Waveblade tells me it's not all that powerful.
You meet a middle aged priest. He's a massive man, moving comfortably in his armor with a great mace hanging from his belt. However, it's plain to see weariness is eating away at him, bit by bit. Greetings. I am simply called Zachariah. Welcome to my sanctuary.
I am Delilah, and these are my companions. Hello, father.
It is good to see fresh, bold faces in this battered town. I will give you assistance however I am able. However, I am growing rather tired.
His assistance is healing or spells.
Nothing here catches my eye, save for the spells I already have.
Father, you look tired.
This town fights two wars, one from without, one from within. Golems attack our bodies, and Skribbane herb attacks our souls.
What can you tell us about the Golems?
They do to us what the giants do to Lorelei. They rush in, throw spells at us, and run back. Every day, we grow weaker. Only one town has had luck fighting them.
Surely someone who can fight them can help?
There is a force up in Tevrono, a town to the north, that has had much success against the golems. However, they stand alone. Our mayor refuses to support them. If you wish to battle the golems, you should go up there and see what they're doing right.
And this vile herb, Skribbane?
Oh, my poor flock. They are subjected to constant danger and fear. Then these men and women come, and offer them strange new way to completely escape the horror of their lives, and they leap at it. It is only then that they find out the true price.
Once you ingest Skribbane Herb, it starts to seize control of your soul. The more you take, the less good it does you, but the more you need it. I tell you, it is as implacable and lethal a foe as the golems ever were.
Thank you for your time.
And for yours. Go in Light, and may you always find your way.
I suppose it's my turn to talk.
You meet Gale's alchemist. He looks at you skeptically.
Greetings. I am Matthias.
I an Nantier.
If you don't mind, what is it that you do here?
He says tiredly I don't make herb. I don't have herb. I am a simple alchemist.
I don't know anything about that Skribane stuff beyond that everyone asks for it! And I don't have it! If that's what you want, I'll have to bid you good day.
No, we aren't interested in that. In your other services, perhaps?
Alchemy, you mean? Yes. I teach alchemical recipes. If you would like to purchase one, that's something I can do for you. Be sure to ask about the needed ingredients. I could do a lot better though, if I could enter the library. Still, we all do what we can.
What is this about the library?
Gale has a small, but very high quality library in city hall. Unfortunately, the librarian died and our esteemed mayor closed it for good. He thinks. I heard one woman say she knows how to enter it, but I will have no dealings with her.
She has a shop, where she sells that accursed herb. I'm not sure where it is. She told me she knows something of the library. I want to get into it, but I wouldn't go near her place for all the business in the world.
Beware those who would limit your access to information, for in their hearts, they dream themselves your master.
That sounds about right.
I was just quoting someone from long ago.
Still true. Get me into the library, and I'll see about rewarding you somehow.
This woman is clearly a mage. However, you aren't sure how much you should trust her. She seems constantly distracted, and her eyes look glazed over. I am ... I ... I am Velnas.
She thinks. Excuse my distraction. I am a bit tired. I am Gale's mage. I teach spells, and do other services.
What do you teach?
She pulls out a spell book and looks it over. Some of the spells seem to confuse her, but after a bit, she finds a few she is comfortable with. You can purchase spells from me. Would you like that?
This means we no longer need to worry about the mission assigned to us by the mayor of Golddale.
Except I don't buy it at this time. I'll get back to it. Eventually.
And what other services do you offer?
She concentrates. Well, I can. I can identify items. And you can sell them to me too. I get items to sell to others. Yes. That is right.
Fletcher's here, on the other side of the two previous shops. Nothing interesting.
This man quickly stuffs a package in his pocket when you approach. He bows to you. I am Master Kalen. Greetings to you.
Hey there! I'm Sass!
His face twitches suddenly. He looks pained. He still manages to talk. I am the trainer for Gale. Would you like knowledge?
Are you alright?
I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in learning from a man who is addicted to Skribbane.
Yeah, let's not risk this.
We've pretty much covered all of town. But I see something behind the temple we haven't been to yet.
I think the entrance is on the outside.
I was right!
This herb ... the stench is thick. I think I'll wait outside.
I'll go with you.
You meet the woman who runs this grim place. She moves smoothly up to you and bows. Ah! The Exiles. You will forgive me if I do not say my name. I'm sure you of all people would understand.
We do. We're not here for the ... herb. We want to know what you know about the library.
She does sell Skribbane. I'm not going to buy any.
Oh, yes! The Librarian of Gale came here often. She traded a key to the library for some herbs. You can have ownership of it for only 1000 gold. It does me no good.
She takes your gold and hands you a key made of electrum. Poor soul. She was slain by a golem's fireball not long after she sold this to me. Oh well.
Huh. The key to Erika's back room was supposed to be Electrum, was it not? I might have to check that out, but I'm not holding out hope.
Huh. I can't find the graphic for someone in bed. I'll just have to improvise. I'm talking to the person in the corner for this next conversation.
uhhh... You see a mage of the Empire, decayed to a horrifying extent. She lies back on the filthy bed, the corners of her mouth crusted with herbal potion. She mumbles incoherently.
I think this is her. The one we needed to talk to.
Somehow, she manages to hear you. I am Roselei.
She mumbles. Oh Edward. Oh, oh Edward.
Who is Edward? Your husband?
Her eyes open wide. Edward? I thought they had you! Have you come back to me? Have you returned?
She suddenly starts to cry. She stares in your direction, but cannot see you. You cannot fool me. My Edward was slain. He is gone. Go away, and leave me to what poor peace I can find.
I wish I could. But we need to know what you know about the Golems.
Flying? Well, we can do that.
I wish there was something we can do for these people.
There is nothing. They chose this, as all hope has fled them. You would only harm them now.
Let's get out of here.
Here are your horses.
We'll be back.
I don't doubt that. Go. As much as I enjoy profit, this city cannot live while the Golems are free to ruin everything.