Part 34: Update 030 Dragonslayer, the Tower and the Shattered FortUpdate 030 Dragonslayer, the Tower and the Shattered Fort
"Come, we must reforge this blade immediately."
"Really? I mean, we can't even get some proper rest first? You just want to run over to Fort Draco and do that?"
"And didn't we leave the boat over by Almaria?"
"Side question then did we ever settle on 'al-MARIA' or 'AHL-ma-RIA'?"
"I've heard both. Perhaps its an accent thing?"
"Ohh! Maybe they're deliberately doing it that way to confuse people!"
"That's ridiculous. Why would a town choose to deliberately make the name of their town ambiguous?"
"Name Magic. Really."
"Do not underestimate the power of names, Peregrine. This blade, though broken, shares its name with its most famous wielder."
"Means nothing. Names are identifiers, not some fundamental property. The Demonslayer blade, for example, may have the magical properties that makes it anathema to demons and related creatures, but that does not indicate that its name must be 'Demonslayer'. It could be, say, Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar.
Hey, Art, didn't that one witch-lady over west... you know, in that town where you got your sword? Didn't she say that names have power too?
Don't look at me! But yes, I think she did. So she would agree with Karmas then.
Thank you, Ember, for that recollection.
Opinion does not make fact! To associate identity with property is a logical fallacy that results in misunderstanding and misidentification!
And yet, it is quite logical to identify based on properties.
AAARGH! You miss the point! Names mean nothing. The don't have power inherent to them!
I'm staying out of this one.
I'm not! Names can have associative powers though connotation and linguistic usage. They are representative of what they describe through the Contamination Effect, which is something so basic, I'm sure even you accept it, Peregrine!
You begin to understand, but then again, I would accept you having greater knowledge of what I am talking about than Karmas.
I'm standing right here.
And don't take that tone of voice with me. You cannot build a compelling case, either of you, based on one datum. Save your argument until you have a multitude of examples to support your position!
We should take the boat north, it will be quicker than going overland via Mertis and Silvar.
Fine by me.
Um, why are we stopping?
I just realized something.
If we go further north, in order to get to Fort Draco, we'll need to pass by the Giant Intelligent Friendly Spiders.
Oh. Maybe we can avoid them?
I LOVE YOU!
This is a good walk, we could use the exercise.
A very good idea.
The scenery is nice.
I like it!
Huh, I forgot we left our boat there.
And here we are.
Forgive me, my hesitation. This is a momentous occasion.
Master Smith, can you repair this blade? He reveals the pieces of Demonslayer to Boutell.
He stares at the fragments of the greatsword in awe. "Now THIS is a challenge." He sets to work, with hammer, water, and lava. The sparks fly, and the flames bellow. Then, he brings the repaired sword to you. "Thanks! That was FUN!"
I'm no expert, but that seemed... too easy.
I was given word that you were coming. I had time to prepare.
I ain't naming names, you gotta understand. But let's say that a certain person and I are square now.
Then it is I who am in your debt.
You can repay me by sticking that blade into a hundred demons.
Then that debt shall be repaid many times over. Thank you.
And with that, we get one of the best weapons in the game. Very subdued. Here's the stats to compare with other weapons. And remember that before this, Karmas was using a Bronze Broadsword.
It is tied for second or third most powerful weapon in the game by the numbers, behind Duncan's Flame Halberd, and tied with another sword we'll see later in this update. However, the real boon to Demonslayer is the properly of the same name, which effectively doubles damage dealt to Demon-type enemies; of which there is a lot in the game from here on out.
To the tower. Our only lead at this point is the Haakai trapped there.
Not true. Patrick and Rone pointed us at the demonic fort to the west of the Tower. We may be able to find something there as well.
And we still don't have a clue as to where that bottle Grah-Hoth is supposed to be trapped in is.
Art, Karmas and the rest of the Escape Committee?
I come with an important missive from Motrax. He wishes to speak with you immediately in regards to your current quest.
I DON'T WANNA GET EATEN!
Duncan, keep Ember quiet. Did he what about?
Only that he had to offer material support and well as information.
We will be there. Thank you.
Of course. He salutes. Good luck, and good hunting.
I wonder what he's offering. We already found the key that he mentioned to get into the Crypt, which allowed us to complete Dragonslayer.
Not sure. But when a Dragon says they are offering material support? Gives one shivers.
He's not going to eat us!
He's a DraGON!
Look, you can stay outside if you want. There's nothing to worry about.
Easy for you to say!
Best behaviour, please.
Did you really have to Map the Dragon's lair?
I honestly thought it would be bigger.
There could be other levels.
Come, let us see what Motrax has to say.
Thank you for coming.
We are honoured by the invitation.
Spare the flattery, please. This is too important.
May I see the blade? I could feel the powers of its reforging from here, and it has been a long time since I have beheld that measure of majesty.
Of course. He draws the Demonslayer, and presents it to Motrax.
Simply beautiful. Truly elegant. It is in good hands, Karmas of Valorim. Better you than its previous wielder. He was too arrogant, so sure of himself and his power that he stopped remembering that he too was mortal, and doomed to die.
Your warning will not go unheeded.
But yes, I should heed my own words and skip the flattery. I know what you are doing, who your enemies are. They were my enemies in the past too, though I am long past my prime, I can no longer offer more direct aid. So into my lair. There you will find a sword with power equal to Demonslayer, though of a different aspect. Take it, and it alone, then return to me.
This doesn't happen. Looting a dragon's hoard is a BAD IDEA, and one that I will come back to much, much later. Instead, I'm going to show you guys something here as a taste of what is to come.
There is a secret passage near my bed, by the water. Be careful not to slip.
Follow that passage to the north. There will be an alarm there. Do not bother to try to disarm it, as the magic in it exceed all but a clawfull of humans. You will activate it, and it will activate the guards to my trove. Do not worry about defeating them, I can replace them.
Take the boat.
And find the sword.
Scrioth? I do not know this one.
I remember this one. It was the name of one of the leaders of the First Expedition. Like Dragonslayer, it was a weapon named for its owner And no, we're not starting that conversation again, Peregrine. It can be commanded to disgorge flames from its blade.
Put it back.
Why? It's a relic!
Look at it. The only ones here who have the skill to use it properly are Karmas and I, and he has Demonslayer, which is more important to us. My style won't work with a blade that heavy and large.
She is right. It saddens me that we cannot take it with us, but it is the truth. It would only taunt us with its power, even more than the blade I carry; for it has purpose and meaning beyond the hands that hold it.
You're both crazy.
I know, but it's the way things have to be.
Still, I approve of what I see. While you were gone, I was thinking.
On your way to the Tower to slay Adze-Haakai, talk to Solberg. He can point you to further aid. In the mean time, I must search my memory. There is a certain Orb that will prove vital to your quest, and I dimly recall some information about it. I will send word once I know more, but for now, go with my pride and my encouragement. This nation needs more like you.
YOU LEFT IT!
Better that than carrying it around when no one would use it.
Still! You could have used it for something else. Bartering for something, perhaps.
Even I caught the warning against greed. It is better in the long run that we left it behind.
I wonder what he meant when he said Solberg has something else to say?
I want to reiterate that the above and what comes next are not part of the actual narrative of Exile, but stuff I've made up to help with the flow of the story and to create a better sense of world building.
We'll need to go back west to get the boat to head over to Solberg's tower.
Hello again. And thank you for coming.
Of course. Motrax said you had something for us?
Nothing physical. I've already done my part in keeping the Haakai-Lord contained. No, if you wish to see this through, there is another Mage who fought and contained Grah-Hoth that you have not contacted yet. Her name is Erika Redmark
Impossible! She is dead!
I assure you, that is false. She is as alive as your or I, and she has a tower far, far to the west. If you can find it, and explain the situation, she may be of assistance. Or she may throw you out. Her fury is a terrible thing to behold.
Redmark was Exiled? The only mage capable of going against Garzahd? Surely he would have killed her if he could have.
No, we five chose to leave the Empire for Exile of our own free will. But that is history. No, if you find her and gain an audience with her, she may be of help in dealing with the demons you face.
I don't believe you.
This is far too important to lie about, you insolent whelp! Seek her out or not, but do not doubt me!
Go. My message is delivered. Bother me no more.
GODDAMN IT. This secret passage exists, and I missed it! So much walking on lava could have been avoided!
It is time to go to the Tower, and confront the Haakai they have there. A stepping stone toward Grah-Hoth.
There we go. Any last ideas?
Slay the demon for starters.
You know, Linda may get annoyed that we've killed it.
I would prefer that to dying while facing it, and letting it loose in the Tower.
You know, I don't think we ever got into this corner of the tower before.
This conversation was lost when I forgot to transcribe it, but the gist of it is as follows:
The man is obviously addled. Leave him be.
You must stop it! We thought we could control it, but we were wrong!
Yes! It's going to get free and kill us all! HAHAHAHAHAH!
We're done here.
Weapons at the ready.
Some of these are merely shock barriers, the others are the real deal.
What was going on here?
As much as I tried, I couldn't get into the room just north of us right now. Which annoyed me to no end. I'll have to come back later.
Ah, are you here to surrender? You see a demon, tall and imposing. Fortunately he/she/it is kept from you by protective runes.
Who are you?
"My name? If I gave away my name, I'd be in quite a fix, wouldn't I? Fool."
Then what are you doing here?
"Waiting for the Haakai beyond to break his bond, and blast you all. It will happen soon."
Come, let us deal with our foes first, then come back.
HAH! You cannot hope to overcome that which awaits you, even with that blade of yours.
We shall see.
LOOK at that damage! 24 base, plus Slaying, plus Assassination! 81 on an Imp! This will be glorious.
Come on, let us go through that barrier. Solberg's key should see us through.
Everything goes completely black while you are in this section of the tower. Time to watch your map carefully, and recognize that there are many dead ends ahead.
Who thought it a good idea to protect a demon with more demons?
Internal factions amongst demon-hood, with those wanting to keep the Haakai Lord locked up?
I'm going to push it!
Worst. Button. Ever.
So many secret passages.
Perhaps to confuse the demons with?
Unless there are other factors in play, they would more likely knock down the walls.
And now it has a brother!
This trap drains all your SP. And there's a Haakai Lord close by. But because he can't see you due to the darkness, he won't attack, allowing you to rest to restore your health and energy before picking a fight with him. Like so:
The demon is close. I can feel it.
I can feel you too, human. And the blade you hold. It was sundered, and now you seek to raise it against me?
Seek nought, for I shall indeed.
Still, the blade may be mighty, but are you? I am Adze-Haakai, lord over many domains. But you are not like that pathetic human who though to control me.
Shall we find out?
This image shows Art, with 6 Int, casting Ravage Spirit, the anti-demon spell. She's doing more damage than with her two swords, give or take. If she had more Int, the damage would drastically increase.
SUCH STRENGTH! I DIE PLEASED!
And he drops an Ice Shield, which is useless because I have better ones already equipped. Ah well, there's a Vendor Trash Receptacle here in the Tower.
It is done.
There is something here. Art, can I get a light?
The sceptre Linda was talking about. The one used to bait the demon.
We need to keep this. And keep it away from Linda, before she does something stupid with it again.
Agreed. You hold onto it.
Speak not to me. I will stay here and trouble the humans no more.
Adze-Haakai is head.
I... heard the sounds of battle. Is it true?
I.... There are no words....
No, but there are actions that must be done.
You are right. Farewell.
What have you
What was that for?
Adze-Haakai is dead.
You idiots! Do you have any idea how much work you just wasted?!?!?!?!
HOW DARE YOU STRIKE ME?
We are under orders from the King to deal with your problems, as they happen to be the problems of the crown. You are not without oversight. We are it. You will conduct no further experiments until Solberg or Patrick arrive to examine your efforts.
You don't have the authority to do so!
Really? We've hit you twice, and we are a battle-hardened group who has no problems reforging Demonslayer if that's what it takes to get the job done.
Her experiments were also a threat to the sanctity of the Tower, and as such, by the standard laws governing such things, she is automatically stripped of her rank and powers for the duration.
I know why I and Rook did that. But why you?
Rule of Three, and she deserves it.
You...! You...! You will give me back the sceptre right now! And the Demonslayer! Perhaps I can still salvage this!
I wonder what is down this way? I don't think this is where that fort is.
Let's have a look.
Look around, there may be something useful.
Nothing spectacular. The fight is against Demons and Haakai, and the only real issue is the damage taken by the lava. The wand itself is a Crystal Wand, so really, this is just flavour for a fixed battle against some demons.
How did they get back here, anyways?
I don't know. Let's just get out of here.
We need that Key from the Castle before we go much further.
Where's yer boat, missy?
Up by Fort Dranlon. Here's your damned money.
And back to the Castle. Here's our pass.
Back here. Be careful, there may be traps.
That's my line!
Well, that was odd.
With this, we can enter the former demonic fort.
Before we do that, I think we should look up here. We know this all looked artificial when we came by here the first time.
Score one for the theory about there being factions inside the Demon hierarchy.
This is going to hurt.
Let us never do that again.
Peregrine, if you please.
That's... a lot of lava.
The Crypt of Drath was made of bullshit. This dungeon is made of pain and agony. Lava everywhere, almost constant attacks by demons...
I cheated like hell through this dungeon. I used the 'Heal Party' option of the character editor to keep my HP up, otherwise I would never get more than ten steps past the door.
And I don't feel guilty about that one bit.
Let's hope this place is uninhabited.
So it begins. A long slog. I'm going to save you the worst of it, and just hit up the highlights.
A healing potion.
Amazing! Although I doubt we would survive using it a second time.
This encounter sets your SP to 99 for everyone with SP for 10 turns. It's a measure of relief to heal up before everything goes to hell, again. And if you try to use it again... well... don't.
Exhibit B: Local levels of Demonic activity.
Exhibit C: Karmas, earning his keep with Demonslayer.
Give me a second...
Exhibit D: Haakai behind locked doors.
Base damage of 4, with a bonus of 10, this weapon is actually better than anything Art has equipped right now. In terms of raw power, she should drop the Heartfinder, but I derped and put it on Peregrine for the duration of the update. I'll fix that later.
Wow, this room is completely intact. There's absolutely no way this is going to be a trap.
Your sarcasm is stunning. We had best be on guard.
Wait a minute...!
Ah! Grah-Hoth was right! A reward for the slayer of Adze-Haakai!
Karmas, if you please?
I don't get it. What is a Royal Seal of the Empire doing here, and why did Patrick and Rone let us know about it?
Lair of Motrax with new information: