Part 76: Thefts, Training and The Tower of Magi (Final)Update 70 Training and the Tower of the Magi (Final)
The contents of this update happen. Except, as you will see at the end, they didn't. At least the training occurs.
You see, I'm waiting for an event to happen, except it doesn't happen until Day 180. As you can see, I'm still on Day 140. And that's after dithering around for the past couple updates.
There has been some discussion in the thread about just how little you can do to complete the game. And for the record, my opinion is to do the Slimes first, rush through the Giants side of that particular quest (as you can skip the Troglodytes), skip over the Golems, talk to Prazac, then rush through the final dungeons in Footracer to the end.
Except my initial plan at 12:30 in the morning was to get more money, spend it all on Skill Potions, Train, wash, rinse and repeat.
And that meant two sources of cash. The first was actually going out and doing Jobs for the dispatchers. Anything that isn't a 'kill monster' quest' is well within my ability to do. The other is to rob everyone blind.
I've skipped over much of the Dispatchers in this game, despite their increasing importance in later games. But now it's time to go
Once you know where things are though, the priority dispatches are the best jobs to take. A short time frame and high reward are good incentives to those with a map and a plan. On the other hand, harvest missions, where you go out a kill something, are not the best of choices as you need to find said monster you can't kill a summoned version either and hope it isn't part of a random encounter or only found in a dungeon that you've already wiped out.
I go with the mission to General Baziron. I've got eight days to get there, and that will be nice and easy. Along the way, I get get a couple more dispatch missions, and pick those that are going my way.
But here's the other thing you can do. ROB THE CITIES. The major cities all have little treasures that are associated with their leadership, and now we're going to rob them in this update.
Except Krizsan. Because they're cool people, and not because I totally forgot.
Hey! Two priority messages to the same person in the same city that we're already heading to! I take both.
Sharimik's city treasury is accessed through the Mayor's room, here. And of the ones we'll be robbing, it's the easiest to deal with. First, three layers of Barriers. Then, after we get through those ...
Each treasury has a fixed encounter that you have no chance to disarm or avoid. In this particular case, it's just a couple fireballs worth of damage. Nothing serious.
Now, let's see what we have here...
Opening the treasury in any city makes them hostile to you, requiring that you fight your way out. Please note that this also includes the NPCs and not just the guards. I skip that part by saving before making the theft, then reloading afterward.
Not a bad haul. Who is next?
Lorelei apparently, as here is the Job Board there.
Another message to Baziron? Taken!
Huh. I don't rob Lorelei at this point. Must be because that's a nice city too. I don't want to do anything bad to them. My next screenshots are in Gale.
And here is me getting paid twice for delivering the two messages!
Now, Gale's treasury is a little harder to get into.
I mean, who leaves such things unguarded?
It's nice to have the warning, but I've already saved.
And the whole town is hostile. Oh well. Let's see what I have here!
The whole town is hostile! What is the point in telling me that this 2000 gold isn't mine in the first place?
Mithril Plate Mail, the only fixed one in the game I believe, and some Skribbane Herb. One of the members of the thread mentioned this existed and suggested that the Mayor of Gale was skimming part of the profits from the smuggling.
The last chest only had 3000 gold. Let's go deliver to Baziron then, and legitimately earn money!
* * *
So, I'm filling in the map, looking for empty spots to check out, and I find this one here, west of Tevrono. I tried seeing if there was a passage through the trees, but no luck, so I flew around.
Not worth looting. So I decide to finally do what many people in the thread have asked of me, and go rob the Anama.
Now, the Anama treasury, if you may recall, is actually on the second floor of their town here.
I, uh, also forgot to check if I have the Real Anama Rings, or the Fake Anama Rings on right now. I think it's the fake ones, but that doesn't matter in the end.
That mini-temple on the right is actually a minor version of the main prayer room on the main floor. You can't get in. Not that I tried for a few minutes or anything like that.
Just a reminder that these books contain the first five spells for Priest 4 through Priest 7. You just need sufficient Mage Lore to read them.
Already saved. Let's rob the place!
I SAID: LET'S ROB THE PLACE!
Nope, traps triggered. I think being legit Anama at this point means you're safe until you actually steal something, but where's the fun in that?
Oh hey, invisible enemies that cast spells!
Dead invisible enemies that cast spells and summon allies. Let's see what is interesting in the loot department...
There is a serious lack of footwear on my PCs.
Which no one uses. The other items are a piece of Mithral Chainmail, and a Platinum bar, worth 500g when I sell it.
.... eh, I'm not going to count this for the Random Basilisk Count. I'm pretty obviously where I shouldn't be, and an Ur-Basilisk is a good choice for defending here.
Second Ring of Will in the game, and why do they have gloves named for King Micah? Or was he named for the guy who made these gloves in the first place?
And that's that for Anama treasures. Let's get out of here, shall we?
OH COME ON!
And because I forgot to show this hidey-hole here. Also, there is 2 food on the table, meaning one meal for each of two people. Snacks?
Oh gee, a major religion that may or may not have shady actions taking place. Are you sure these people aren't there simply to provide background music?
* * *
So, at this point, I got bored. There was no way I could spend all my time training and grinding money to buy more skill potions to train more. So I decided to train with what I have, and cheat the days forward for the next major event. Training montage!
Still Level 50.
Still Level 50.
Sass maxes out his weapons skill, then bumps up his Dex and 2 more SP. This is where he'll stay.
No 'Before' picture for her. I think I gave her more SP, and more HP, but that's about it.
Better Physical stats for the Fury Crossbow, then a couple more SP.
* * *
So, I cheat myself to Day 179 this event was moved up to Day 150 in the first remake, so I checked that out first, but here in Exile 3, it's on Day 180. So to prepare, I move myself here, and rest my way to the next day.
What the hell was that?
I don't know. But it was dangerous!
How about we spend more time investigating and less time wordsmithing?
Well, there's nothing up in Valorim, so let's see what Anaximander has to say about this.
Yes, that's nice. So, uh, about that dread feeling felt by everyone?
That is going to be one very short conversation.
Yeah, I would be scared of Art too if I were in front of her and not behind her.
Anaximander's dialogue has changed to reflect the loss of the Tower. It's not much though. Here is his 'Look' dialogue:
And his response you you asking his name at this point in the game is pretty hilarious:
Other than that, you don't actually need to talk to him at this point to advance the plot. I suspect some of his dialogue was missed or something, but you actually need to go back to the Portal Fortress now.
Oh, that isn't good.
What is good is that you're here. Seles the mage still stands in front of the Portal. However, the portal flickers ominously and has occasional tinges of an angry red shade. She no longer looks unconcerned about its proximity.
I'll cut straight to the point. We need someone to get down there, and fast, to take the Tower back from those evil creatures and stabilize the portal. Otherwise, the portal will be destroyed, along, probably, with most of Exile.
How are you holding onto the Portal?
Terribly. It's taking all my energy to keep what's going on in the Tower now from destroying the portal. Someone can teleport down there now, but they won't be able to for long. Gods help us if nobody can do anything.
Alright. This I can do.
This portal is massively unstable. We should contact Ernst back on the surface for help.
Anaximander already has.
Too bad Peregrine the Fourth is in the Tower, his theories would have been useful.
In general, he would be useful.
Well, this is only one more majorly bad idea on top of everything else.
We'll be fine!
What she said!
And welcome to the final non-optional optional dungeon in the game. The Tower of Magi. Let's see what's up.
This is bad. Very bad.
Alright, everyone, make for the room across the hall, quickly and quietly.
Oh dear, this is even worse than I thought.
Who is here?
Art! Thank the Gods it's you!
You meet Solberg, wearing torn and scorched robes that mark him as a member of the Triad of the Tower of Magi. He is dirty and has been burned. Now he is cowering back here, out of the way. Thank the heavens!
He waves at the cracked and burnt walls. It was Linda! She tried again to summon and control the dark powers, and now we may all be doomed!
What. Did. LINDA. Do?
He seems barely able to contain his anger. Damn her to the pit forever! You cannot imagine the horror that has been wrought here. If you cannot help up us contain the Dark Power, we may all be doomed! He calms down a little. Still, if you could talk to her, she might be able to tell you what she did. She survived the demon's attack.
Where is she? I have a discussion I want to have with her.
I saw her running to the southeast. I hope she survives this ordeal, if only so I can punish her myself!
Yeah... that's right. Other people might want to get their own punches in. So, how doomed are we?
We received no warning. She did something in her lab, and the creatures poured forth. Hardly anyone survived. The Triad is sundered. I hide myself here magically, my work in my private tower useful again. That is the only reason I am still alive.
What happened to the Triad?
I felt Mahdavi's death. He glaces at Art, It looks like Peregrine might be getting his promotion sooner, rather than later, if he survived this. 'X' teleported away. Where, I do not know. I am stuck here. Together, we might have been able to do something, but the demons came without warning.
So, how do we help?
First, there is the garden in the center of the Tower. You need to avoid that, for it is guarded by the bulk of Grah-Hoth's forces. Lest even you be overwhelmed.
I'm sorry, did you say Grah-Hoth?
Yes. Linda was not content with something small, she went for the one you defeated all those years ago. It was only at great luck and cost that he was banished at your hand. This time though, he is prepared. We must find some other way to keep him away. Speak to Linda. They will have not killed her. Not yet.
Well, someone managed to get past Linda on my 'punch to death' list.
If anyone can do it, it would be you, Art. Please, save us all!
Might as well. I feel like I've been sitting on my ass for a month.
Oh right, this place is overrun with Demons. How could we have forgotten?
Demons, Imps and Hordelings actually. But yeah, the major corridors are filled with them when you start this dungeon. And they're the easy part.
Where's Demonslayer when you need it?
I forget to get it from Karmas!
Fun thing Demonslayer is not available naturally in the game. You have to cheat it in.
Where is Linda?
I don't think we need to go in there.
X's Library is still intact, which is a good sign.
It's also farthest from the Demons, from what Solberg told us.
You meet the shredded wreckage of a human being. She has grievous wounds on her arms and chest, but one look in her eyes tell you her worst damage is at a much deeper level.
Sass, Bronwyn, keep Art back. I'll talk to her.
No need. She's not all there. No sense in exacting revenge on only part of Linda.
Um, isn't that the passive past tense? I was taught that wasn't the proper way to speak.
hush! Let Delilah talk.
What are you doing, Linda?
She digs her torn nails into her legs, and speaks. I failed. I brought destruction on us all.
What is this destruction? How did you fail?
She inhales painfully, and speaks. I brought demons here. I thought I could bend Grah-hoth to my will by using my own spirit as the gate.
What are you so worried over?
Even I know how stupid that is!
Her face twists in horror. I wanted to bend Exile's great foe to our will, to use against the Empire. I would channel him here, through me. It is complicated, but I would hold them back with my own spirit.
Your spirit. What has happened to it?
She screams, a long wrenching keen. Her chest heaves, which, considering the extent of the burns on her chest, must be agonizing. They used me as a gate! They ripped my soul away! I am their gate! She quiets down. My spirit has been taken from me, and made into a gate through which demons will pour into Exile.
How do we destroy the gate?
She starts to loose consciousness, but Delilah manages to pull her back from oblivion. It must be torn. It must be destroyed. It is the only way to save us all. It can be severed, if you have the blessed Athame. There is little other help I can give.
A Blessed Athame? Where is it?
I managed to put it in the temple. It will be safe there, but not for long. Then go to the portal. It is in the north-west corner. Don't hesitate to destroy it, or we are all doomed.
I can do that. Won't be the first time.
What help can you provide?
She starts barking out what she knows. Do not go into the Garden at the center! Grah-Hoth's forces are there! If you can find my laboratory, there are things that will help! And some spirits can give information!
The effort of speaking is clearly agonizing for her, but she continues. I have seen some of the spirits of those the demons slew. They're nearby. I don't know why they stayed, but they must have a reason! Speak to them, if you can.
Then, her eyes regain focus, and she turns to Art. You! she hissed through her broken body. He knows you are here now. He waited! He wants you!
Let him come. The feral grin she displays does not reach her eyes. I've done this before, and I'll do it again.
More demons in the halls.
I get the feeling these are taunts directed to slow us down.
Regardless, we must get the Athame, and figure out how to get to the portal.
Someone didn't close this door properly.
The spirit of a young man floats here, over the charred body of an apprentice mage. It stares at you.
Who are you?
I was Bernard.
Hello Bernard, I am Bronwyn. What happened?
Oh! You must help me. Help me if you can! I need to save Carrie!
Who is Carrie?
I saw them get her! They seized her and dragged her off. He moans. I ran! They were too horrifying! They trapped me here. She must have lived! I will still save her!
How will you save her?
I can! I will! Help me?
We will help, to the best of our abilities.
Surely, you can bring her back! I was under the silence oath all the time, and could never tell her how I felt. Bring her to me?
What did the oath prevent?
They made me take an oath to be silent before I could be an apprentice! Never could I say a word to her. I had to tell her I loved her in other ways. Oh, please help me say the words to her.
I want to tell her I love her.
I think we can do that.
Spoilers: I don't find Carrie. There is no happy ending here.
Nothing would make me happier.
Nothing down here. Most of these rooms are empty.
But not all.
You find a very insubstantial ghost, huddled in a corner. I am dead, it says before you have a chance to speak. Before I move on, I have a purpose.
What is your purpose?
The ghost's voice is flat and emotionless. There is something I am being held here to teach you. A spell.
Who is holding you?
It does not reply.
The ghost quickly recites the instructions to cast the spell Move Mountains. There, my work is done. I expect I can move on soon.
Nope. Not that stupid.
We should be able to get to the Temple from here.
Well of course they put lava in front of the doors. Let me take care of that.
The doors are unlocked.
Only because we aren't Demons.
It's, like, the third one I've had? Or has it been the same one over and over again?
We take this, the protections go away.
Yeah, you guys stopped being menacing months ago.
Not as many explosions as I was expecting.
There is still power in the altar.
Now, how to get to where we need to go.
Perhaps the damage to the structure has opened new paths?
Yeah, that's a good thing to check.
Hello. Are you Carrie?
You encounter the insubstantial form of a middle-aged man, still wearing translucent robes and a sash of office. He motions you forward. I am not, he says. I was Conrus. There is not much time.
Hurry! I was useless in life! Don't let me be useless in death too!
How were you useless?
He points at the spectral sash of office. This was a sign of my uselessness! I could be nothing as a bureaucrat. When the demons came, I saw my chance!
What about the Demons?
They have a gate, and they're trying to bring more demons through. I tried to close it.
Brave of you. What happened?
The main way to it was well guarded, but I found a back entrance!
Where is this entrance? We can finish what you started.
There is a well-hidden secret door to the northwest. I snuck through it and then through a storeroom, squeezed through a cracked wall, and was near the portal!
What happened then?
Then a demon surprised me. It sucked away my energy, picked me up and gutted me. Oh, how it hurt! He winces at the memory. I failed to reach the gate. Now, you must try! Otherwise, you are all doomed.
What is this doom?
You can't feel it. You're not spirits. But I can! An evil force of incredible power is coming! I wouldn't want to be you if you don't shut that portal soon.
Understood. You did well, and you were not useless.
That means so much to me. Honesty, even though it could still go wrong. Thank you.
Demons in the shops! And dead shopkeepers.
Very, very dead.
So, Ni'aurrl, question time.
Well, you are the expert here. How is this holy knife going to seal a demonic portal?
First, by disrupting the demonic energies holding it open, then by allowing the universe to naturally close the portal, healing in the process. Normal portals are gentle things. Demonic ones, not so much.
And Linda using her soul?
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I got that part, I was just hoping for more details on how much so.
That's a lot of ruins.
I don't think they'll let us leave either.
No, they will not.
Lots of dead bodies there.
And Quickfire too.
At least we know where the Portal is.
I think that's Mahdavi's body there.
So, uh, has anyone thought about how we're going to get out?
But that can be solved later, after we deal with the demonic portal. It's proximity it disrupting this one.
Let's not get too close, and circle around back to Linda's lab.
We are definitely racing against time here.
This is her laboratory. We must be careful.
Such evil in this place...
It's just the demon in the room.
Potions of Energy and Healing.
HAHA! You can't get in!
Now, to find that door.
I won't be able to sneak through those cracks in the wall.
Well, it was very nice for that ghost to teach us how to blast doors down!
Just a moment. We should restore ourselves, and get ready before we make the run for the portal.
For the occasion, I use the Ring of Endless Magery to top people's SP off.
Yep. Let's do this.
Because of course they have demons covering the back entrance!
GO! Go! GO!
Thanks for the firewalking!
Oh, this isn't good.
It won't help! We must destroy the portal!
Imagine being all the guys in Doom that aren't the Doom Marine. That's what would happen if we stepped in. Instead, we attack.
Oh thank goodness.
And then things went wrong.
So, let me first explain what is supposed to happen in game. The Tower is locked off, permanently. The portal is broken, essentially isolating Upper Exile from Exile proper. This would have no gameplay effects, but a slower player would get the sense that they are now acting without backup and without oversight. They are on their own when dealing with the Empire and the Plagues.
But, in the interest of not not locking the player out of anything, vital NPCs relocate to Upper Exile. Solberg and X in particular get out, and are still available to reward the players for their hard work in destroying plagues.
So, that's it. Linda fucks up one last time, and you get to kill her deader than dead to fix the problem. I've honestly been looking forward to this point for some time, and only now, when I get to it, do I recognize that I built it up in my head to be something larger than it turned out to be.
Oh, and what about Peregrine, you may be wondering?
You'll find out later.
For now though, I'm going to see about salvaging my game, even if I have to revert to an old save or not and dash forward from there to get back to where I ended off last time. But I'm not going to let a little thing like a crashing game get in the way of me finishing this game and this Trilogy!