Part 13: The Ritual
Update 12: The Ritual
I arrived at the Sect Camp some hours after the sun had fully set.
The excitement among the novices and gurus was palpable. Cor Angar, Cor Kalom, and Y'Berion stood on the ledge above all the others.
Y'Berion raised his arms to silence the crowd and then began to speak.
"The long time of waiting is now over!"
Update 12.5: The Orc Cemetery
I approached Cor Angar immediately after the incident.
"What happens now?"
"The vision was very vague, it brought us more riddles than answers. But one thing was perfectly clear: I saw an Orc in a cave. There is an old abandoned Orcish place of worship nearby. The Orcs used to bury their dead there, that's why we call this system of caves the Orc cemetery."
"The Guru Baal Lukor has gone there with some templars. Maybe we'll find something there to help us understand the vision. I need somebody to have a look around that place and to report to me about the situation."
"Why don't you go yourself? You are the leader of the templars!"
"My task is to protect the Enlightened One. I must stay here with Y'Berion and guard him. You have done good service for the Camp. I trust you more than anybody else here. I am asking you to go to the Orc Cemetary and report to me what the templars have found."
"I'll get on my way right now!"
"Before you go, take this ring. May it protect you in battle!" Cor Angar then handed me a magical ring. When I wore it, I felt slightly more resilient.
"Where is the Orc cemetery?"
"Not far from here. The novice Talas knows the way. You'll find him in the temple courtyard. He'll guide you there."
It was past midnight now and I was exhausted. It would have done me no good to go there in this state. I went to a nearby hut and slept until daybreak. After that, I returned to to the courtyard to find Talas.
I found him in his usual spot. "Cor Angar sent me. He said you should take me to the Orc cemetery so I can find Baal Lukor and his templars."
"So I'm the gofer again. Damn! I just should never have lost that almanac... Well then. Come with me."
On our way out of the camp, we came across Gor Na Drak returning from the Old Mines with more minecrawler secretion from some of the remaining crawlers.
Talas led me up the path and near the forest. Once there we turned east and headed toward yet another wooden bridge.
Talas stopped at the bridge, refusing to go any further. "I'm not taking you across this bridge. I don't want to commit suicide."
So I crossed the bridge alone and I soon saw what Talas had meant. It was teaming with hostile creatures. A pack of strange beasts wandered the path up ahead.
The biters, as I would come to call them, charged me. They were frail creatures and went down with but two strikes each. A figure approached from behind the biters.
It was an Orc. It slashed at me with its long, jagged blade. My shoulder piece absorbed most of the impact. I quickly countered with three blows in quick succession.
Another Orc made its presence known as I ran toward the orc cemetery's entrance.
I charged at the first orc, quickly killing it. Another Orc, who had been out of sight at the bottom of the hill, bolted toward me as soon as I had finished off his friend.
At the bottom of the hill lay a dead templar. Cor Angar was right to send me it seemed.
The entrance to the cave was barred by a large door. I noticed a winch off to the side and used it.
The entrance led to a series of dimly lit caverns. The first corridor was overgrown with mushrooms and other plant life. I could hear the sounds of battle echoing throughout the caves. I hoped I wasn't too late.
The next room appeared to be a burial chamber of sorts. An orc spotted me and attacked. I responded in kind and struck the foul creature down.
I approached one of the barred niches along the wall of the area. Inside were mummified bodies. Who knew how long they'd been in there.
In the same room, I came across another body of a templar. This was not turning out well.
I arrived in the next room just as three Orc Scouts finished off yet another of the Sect Camp's men. I quickly eliminated the orcs and searched the dead man for supplies. I heard fighting from the next room.
It was Baal Lukor and a templar! They were under attack by some more orcs. I rushed to their aid.
It turned out that Baal Lukor wasn't bad with a sword. He took out an orc of his own, while I cleaned up the remaining few.
"Thanks for your help. You really arrived in the last moment."
"I came across some dead templars on the way here! What happened?"
"Master Cor Angar sent us here to investigate the caves. We expected to find nothing but stuffy graves and half decomposed mummies."
"Suddenly the darkness shifted and there were Orcs everywhere. I don't know what they're looking for here, but their appearing here is more than unusual!"
"Where are the other templars?"
"Dead! I unwittingly led them to their destruction. I hope the Sleeper will pardon me." Baal Lukor confirmed what I had suspected. The Orcs ambushed the templars.
"Cor Angar sent me! Have you found any sign of the Sleeper?"
"Not so far. But what about Y'Berion? Has he come to yet?"
"No, he's still unconscious."
"We need to solve the riddle of these caves. After all these dreadful losses, I can't go back to the community empty-handed. But my fighting skills are limited and the orcs don't react to my magic spells like the gullible people in the Old Camp do. If our brotherhood sent you, maybe you can help me with the further investigation of this tomb."
"I'll help you."
"Good. Excellent. There are three tunnels leading out of this hall. We should search 'em all. Go ahead. I'll follow you."
I went down the right tunnel first. A ramp led down to a room with two orcs on patrol.
The left entrance of the main room led to an even larger room. In the corner was a small cave. Another small cave was blocked off by a locked gate.
"We can't go on!" Baal Lukor said "Maybe these niches bear hints. We'll need to search the three tunnels."
I couldn't find anything so I returned to the upper level and ventured down the middle tunnel.
The middle tunnel led to a small, circular room. Strewn about the middle were various skeletons and weapons, both orcish and human. This appeared to be the site of a past battle.
Lying next to one of the skeletons was a ripped sheet of parchment. I took it and examined it further.
The upper half appeared to be torn off, though I recognized the symbols adorned on it as the same ones visible on the cemetery's walls. I did not think much of it at the time. I tucked it away and not paying much attention to it.
I told Baal Lukor to stay put while I traveled down the left tunnel, the only one I had not yet explored.
The tunnel opened up into a very large room supported by big, stone pillars. In the center waited an orc. This orc, however, was much better equipped and armored than the friends of his that I had encountered earlier. Upon seeing me, he unsheathed his large, crude orcish sword and bolted toward me.
After a fierce battle, I finished the orc off. It slumped to the ground, lifeless. The only thing of note in this room was the lit area in the middle and a strong, metal door on the right wall.
I returned to Baal Lukor, suddenly realizing that the scroll may have some importance. I handed the torn parchment to him.
"It looks like an Orc spell scroll, but it's been torn in two. There must be another half somewhere."
I was reminded of our dead end in the first tunnel. I returned back to the empty room with the locked gate. I lit a torch and walked into the small, dark cave. Baal Lukor said that there must be something nearby, and there was. I had just missed it. A small switch jutted out from the rock.
I pressed the switch and the gate opened.
Inside was yet another human skeleton. This one, however, grasped onto the upper half of the parchment. I showed it to Baal Lukor.
"The two halves match. But I can't translate these Orcish signs."
He pored over the document as we returned to the main room.
Baal Lukor stopped walking. "Hang on! This is interesting..."
"Well, I can't find anything interesting in this place." I said.
"Be silent and take a look at the ornamental runes in this cave." I did. They didn't look to me to be anything special. "Yeah, these should suffice to translate the two halves of the parchment."
The guru examined the walls closely and then returned to the scroll. "I have it! It's a teleportation spell. It seems that it can only unfold its powers in a certain place."
I went to the room where I had fought the orc warrior. Upon reaching the middle of the room Baal Lukor sensed something.
"This place has a special aura... the aura of the hidden."
"This hall reminds me of the image in the vision." I added.
"The vision... We're very close to our target."
We walked the perimeter of the room. When we came to the large door in the right side of the room, the Guru felt that this was the place to use the spell.
"Behind this wall... that must be it! Use the Orcish teleportation spell here, in front of this wall."
I unfurled the scroll and silently read from it. A blue aura enveloped me.
Moments later, I found myself on the other side of the wall.
The path to the left led a corridor which had long since collapsed. Cave plant life now grew between the rubble. I turned around and went the other way.
The far end of this tunnel had also collapsed. The only remaining room seemed to be a burial chamber. A skeleton sat on a slab of granite.
I entered the room and examined it closer. An expensive looking sword was stuck between some of the bones. He must have been killed by it. I took the sword.
I returned to the door. A winch was nearby that I assume would open the door. I was correct and the metal slab of a door slid down. Baal Lukor walked inside and congratulated me.
"You've found the hidden place. My instincts have not deceived me."
"And does the answer to the strange invocation of the Sleeper really lie here??? It looks more like another burial chamber to me."
Baal Lukor shrugged off my concerns. "We need to proceed. Go ahead, I'll follow you." I showed Lukor that much of the passage had collapsed and that only one room remained. I took him to it.
Lukor fell to his knees at the entrance to the room. "NO! This can't be true! There's nothing here but... but dust and... and bones. NO! MASTER. SPEAK TO ME!!! SLEEPER. REVEAL YOURSELF!!! NOOOOOO!!!"
"That was it." I muttered. "Now he's gone completely crazy!"
Baal Lukor rose and turned to me, convulsing with rage. "This is all your fault. Your unholy presence has enraged the almighty Sleeper! Now I shall have to suffer for your sacrilegious behavior! I need to make a sacrifice for the master. A HUMAN SACRIFICE!!! Then he'll be sure to enlighten me and make me his servant."
The guru withdrew his sword and held it toward me. His hands, which both grasped the sword's hilt, were trembling. Baal Lukor had not the skill to defeat me, and he knew that, but his madness had prevented him from realizing it.
I defended myself, blocking his strikes and responding with my own. In the end, I was forced to kill him.
I left that place immediately. There was nothing there and it had driven the Baal to madness. I had to inform Cor Angar what had happened.
Update 12 supplements: Video explaining Gothic 1 controls Viddler | Original