Part 71: Wandering NorthUpdate 65 Wandering North
Before we report in, let's get some training in.
Art rounds off her Spell Points to an even 65, upgrades her base stats, and pushes up Edged Weapons to 14. These will be her stats until the end of the game as I decline to give her Skill Potions.
Eight more points in Assassination. I know I considered giving her more Defense to deal with her encumbrance, but she has a good balance of gear to give her 5 AP more often than 3 AP.
Sass maxes out his Priest and Mage spells, grabs a few more points of SP, then upps his Intelligence by 1. He's actually well rounded and a good build with five more levels to go.
Ni'aurrl maxes out her Priest Spells, then puts 6 more points into her SP.
Delilah, for her part, invests in 16 more SP, and then 4 more Archery to help make her better with her ranged weapon when casting won't be of use.
Alright, lets see what the next assignment is.
Ah, Art. There you are. How was your ... sabbatical?
Productive. The Empire might be annoyed with the results. Oh, and we helped the Vahnatai secure one of their Resting Cells.
We were aware. They utilized their Recall spell to come here, and we had to debrief them regarding their interactions with Ghirka. It wasn't pleasant.
Were they evil?
No. They were exactly who and what they said they were. They aren't involved in Rentar-Ihrno's actions.
That's good to know. So, anything come up?
Yes. Bronwyn, you will have to take the lead on this.
The Thieves Guild in Lorelei has extended an offer of cooperation to Unspecified Services. They want you, as in, the team, to meet with their representative in Lorelei. However, as proof of our commitment, they would like us to acquire something of theirs and bring it back to them. They said you would know what they were talking about.
I take it you do?
Yes. But it would be a criminal enterprise, sir. Quite Illegal.
You have amnesty should any crime be committed in Exile.
Of course sir.
* * *
So, you're in the lead now.
But Art is still Art, right?
This is just a temporary move.
That is true.
Eh, I don't mind. So, what's the first thing we need to do.
We need to go back to Shayder, and talk to ... Irving, I think? He would have the package.
Alright then! Let's get going.
* * *
Still in the shipping business?
This should be it. Be careful, everyone.
That's raw Skribbane.
I wonder what the potency of that is.
It smells bad.
So, we just need to get this to Lorelei without being detained.
I have a solution to that.
What would that be?
First, let's go to Fenris Port and from there, take the ferry to Softport.
And from here, we go to the mountains to the south of Lorelei.
Ah, I get it now.
And we just fly over, bypassing the inspectors!
Alright, Kendra was in that gloves shop in the nor'west corner of the city.
Hello! I have something for you.
Kendra looks you over. Do you, perhaps, have something I might be interested in? Bronwyn hands her the package. She runs to the wall, opens a cabinet and puts the package in. After a minute, she opens it again. It contains a sack of gold, which she hands to you. Thanks! Care to hear about the Guild?
Of course. We're here at the request of the Guild.
She reaches under her desk, and presses a discrete button. In the far corner of the room, a small door swings open. Through there.
There you are. This man wears leather armor, with a peculiar eye insignia carefully painted on the breast. He has a sword lying across his lap, and black goo covers the blade. He looks like a tough customer. I am Geoffrey. Welcome to the Guild.
It was the Guild who invited us here.
He smiles coolly and rests his hand lightly on the hilt of his sword. I know. I control the Guild of Thieves.
So you say. What does the guild want with us?
I will not say details about the guild. I will not let you join. However, it may be to the guild's advantage to assist you.
How can you assist us?
He grins viciously. Let me count the ways! I have valuable intelligence about access to Blackcrag Fortress. I know useful secrets of certain miscreants. And, most intriguingly, I can sometimes help people pretend to be members of the Anama. And you can even purchase tools from me!
Let's start from the bottom then. A miscreant that that you're willing to sell out like that must have done something wrong.
A certain, normally successful thief was recently slain. He tried to run off with one of my packages, and suffered an accident. An unfortunate accident. Accidental disembowelling. Very sad. At any rate, I know where he concealed his loot. I'll tell you for 500 gold.
Recovering some of your profits? Might as well.
He had this weird thing for hiding loot in stables. Heaven knows why. When you find an animal pen, though, take a peek around. You might find something good.
Yeah, like that narrows things down.
And what about the Anama?
The Anama are freaks. But they're sure to have a massive treasure in their temple. I can sometimes get some rings they used to mark themselves as members. You might be able to sneak into their inner sanctum wearing them. If you ever want a set for yourselves, keyed to your other member, they're only 2500 gold.
Seems like a good idea.
This is how you fake your Anama membership.
Well, this could be useful, or not. So, Blackcrag Fortress? That is why you called us here, wasn't it?
It is well known that the Empire has quarantined off Valorim to prevent the monster plagues from spreading. The gateway from the rest of the Empire to Valorim is Blackcrag Fortress. What is not as well known is that some of us have a tunnel to bring people and goods in and out of Valorim.
You have our attention. What is it about this tunnel?
There is a tunnel through the mountains to the north. A fork in this tunnel is a secret entrance into Blackcrag Fortress. It is our tunnel, not yours. He grins. But I can sell you permission to pass through it. For only a scant 3000 gold. If you want my permission, let me know.
Here is your 3000 gold, we'll have your permission.
He collects the cash. The tunnel is in a secret valley about sixty miles east of Blackcrag Fortress. Enter, and the thieves there will explain where to go. Good luck.
So, I, uh, heard you had those special gloves ready for me?
Of course! Just one moment.
There is nothing here!
* * *
Time to move forward. This is the north side of Lake Timor, the central body of water in Valorim. As you can see, I really only stayed on the road when hitting up the towns, and there are still large sections of the map still blacked out. For the rest of the update, I'm going to be poking around things I missed while wandering northward.
I have to wonder, what is the source of all this water that is coming from the mountains. It cannot be precipitation.
Oh, now this is interesting.
COME ON THEN!
Was that completely necessary?
What she said!
* * *
Random Golems still attacking Greendale.
And we can't find that treasure anywhere!
* * *
Is that a wall over there?
We'll get around to that later.
* * *
South-west of Greendale
Hold on, we can go west from here, and not just south.
Like we were ever going to pay them.
Neat! This is how we get here without flying!
* * *
North-west of Greendale
I think I see someone!
Too bad we couldn't stay and chat.
Hey General. This is for you.
* * *
There's actually not a lot up this way. Mostly tight turns in the trees to allow the Golems to ambush you more easy.
Can't fly there.
But we can fly there!
More life this way.
And the other end of the barrier wall.
NOW I GET IT!
This barrier? It's made from the mountains! It wasn't conjured, it was transformed from the base materials present! That's why everyone kept talking about the mountains up here. If they really blocked the whole thing off, the wall wouldn't be needed!
Leave them. I suspect a trap.
* * *
Now that we're back on the other side of that river, let's check out that wall.
* * *
Time to head north from here.
A whole lot of nothing.
They did a good job.
They did. They all deserve big statues!
* * *
* * *
Guess where we're not going!
You know, I really get the feeling that a lot of the regions in the north of Valorim were underdeveloped.
Didn't someone say something about a square of rocks?
Maybe? A bird or something?
We know that already.
In the mountains along the north edge of the map.
Wait a minute!
This is where the Church of the Divine Lucre is located?
No, but just in case...
... eh ... maybe worth it?
* * *
We are too far east for this to be relevant to Blackcrag.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
No sense in picking a fight.
Not when we can do this, and fly around them!
We really want to leave this alone.
* * *
Now I remember! We go east from here to the stone square, then start in the north and go 15 miles north!
And this is the metal that blacksmith wanted, right?
* * *
Well, at least the Beastslayer gets a workout.
* * *
Might as well see what's keeping these things in.
Well, we've come this far.
Yeah. Let's find somewhere else to be.