Part 41: The Second Righteous SiegeEpisode 39: The Second Righteous Siege
Last time, we restored Dirge and returned to life, ending our brief excursion to the spirit world. Now we are at the real Dirge, which we can also see in the current version of the main menu screen, and our party is on the way here. Unfortunately, so are Sun Li and Death's Hand, so that'll be fun.
We still have some time to explore the temple, though, so let's get to it.
We passed by these meditation wheels in the spirit world version of Dirge, but couldn't do anything with them. Now we can.
[At some point, possibly after the Emperor's men took Dirge, the mechanism was dismantled. Several parts are missing.]
[Most of the wheels are undamaged, but many parts of the mechanism that connected them have been removed or damaged. The gearing doesn't look that complex, though. You may be able to scavenge enough parts to repair some of the gearing]
[Scavenge parts to repair what you can.]
[You can't see any easy way to make repairs without replacement parts. You might still succeed, but there's a good chance that you'll damage the gearing permanently.]
Right. We can try to attempt repairs without the parts, but the wheels will in fact break and we won't get the most out of them if that happens. We'll just have to look for the parts.
This spot looks familiar. It should, because this is where Sun Li crashed through the wall twenty years ago and set off in pursuit of the monk, who was fleeing down the stairs and through the gate to the left.
This gate. Let's find out what's behind it.
We can't do anything with the well cover or open up the secret escape route, but there's something down here we can use.
Here's a replacement part for the meditation wheels. We still need a couple more, though, and we've combed through the temple pretty thoroughly so we should go see if we can find something outside.
Oh, hey there. I thought we freed all the spirits already, but apparently that wasn't the case and there are still some stragglers left.
Imperial Soldier Ghost: You did this, Spirit Monk! We will not rest until your kind are wiped out!
Sorry, not going to happen.
After getting rid of the ghosts, we hear a sound in the distance.
Looks like our friends made it. That didn't take very long, considering that the Land of the Howling Spirits is supposed to be quite far away from the rest of the Empire.
Welcome to Chapter 6. These later chapters really aren't very long at all.
We saw the Dragonfly land where we fought the Red Ministers in the spirit Dirge, but we've got more exploring to do before we head that way.
These ghosts pop up when we get close enough to the pile of bones containing another part for the wheels and more pages from the Tome of Release.
We can't get to the outer courtyard right now, so the rest of these items have to be somewhere around here.
When we return back to the main temple courtyard, another batch of ghosts shows up. They're guarding another pile of bones, although I swear neither the bones or the ghosts were here before we picked up the previous page from the Tome.
The fourth set of pages is found next to where we fought the first ghosts. Maybe we should actually look at these pages and find out what they actually do before we hunt down the last section.
The Tome of Release describes a ritual to free the spirits of the remaining Imperial Army soldiers. Apparently, it's performed at Mah Tsung's shrine, but of course we still have to find the rest of the text before we're able to do anything.
We managed to scrounge together enough parts to get the meditation wheels up and running as well as they can without a more extensive repair job, so now we can actually use the wheels properly.
[You feel a sense of calm as you meditate, listening to the water of the dragon font and the quiet revolutions of the wheel. You feel centered and relaxed. You are certain you have gained all you can from meditating with these wheels. After a few moments, something in the mechanism gives way. The wheels abruptly stop spinning and you doubt you will be able to repair them again.]
Communion of the Dragon (Health +5, Chi +15) is the best technique we can earn from the meditation wheels. If we only make partial repairs, we get one of two weaker techniques. We also picked up Replenishment of the Mind (Focus and Chi +7) earlier.
Now that we're mostly done in and around the temple, we can actually go reunite with our friends. They've been busy, setting up camp remarkably quickly.
Well, I mean, we kind of were dead. Extremely so.
Oooh, you walk in the parks of many gods. I will build something extra large to explode with my surprise.
You must be of great standing in the eyes of the heavens. Mortals are not returned from beyond in their own form.
Being the only one who can stop Sun Li's madness probably helped with that.
As annoyances go, I think ours is more pressing. Or have you all forgotten the entire army of the Emperor!
That might complicate our exit a little bit. We knew Sun Li and Death's Hand were on their way, so I suppose we should've expected they'd show up with the entire Imperial army.
Your former master, my uncle. has taken the Jade Empire as his own. Emperor Sun Li has set the whole of his forces against us, and we are trapped here In Dirge.
The Lotus Assassins were his almost immediately. Your amulet must have allowed him to quickly do what it took my father years to accomplish.
Also, what happened to our original body?
He didn't consider us a threat. We had no way of fighting him. Just as with Sun Hai, only a Spirit Monk can face him with hope of success.
That's why we came here. Dawn Star's vision seemed impossible, but any hope was better than none.
Unfortunately, Emperor Sun Li sensed your stirrings in the spirit realm as well, and now we are trapped.
Hm. We'd really rather not fight the entire Imperial Army, as that might prove to be a tall order even for us. Maybe there's some way we can evade them?
My Marvelous Dragonfly will not survive the passage, either. The winds force a certain path, and the Army's flyers are guarding it well. But that is our luck, as well as our sorrow. Their inferior flyers can barely stay aloft in such currents. They will not overrun us from the air. At least, not in numbers.
Well, at least we're not getting firebombed to death. Probably. That's reassuring.
I suppose fighting is the only option, then. Hopefully we'll fare better than the Spirit Monks did twenty years ago.
We will start securing the Temple. The great gates of this place will grant us some valuable time. At least they will not take us by surprise.
Fortifications... hmmm... perhaps I will remove some of the ordnance from the Marvelous Dragonfly. Properly applied, it may prove useful tomorrow. Come Whirlwind! I need your muscle!
If Kang has a plan which has something to do with the Dragonfly's ordnance, it probably involves extremely large explosions. We'll probably be needing those.
That is... that is all we can do to save ourselves today, but... there was more that you learned in the spirit realm, wasn't there? I can tell.
Yes... err... how shall we put this? "Good news, you're actually not an orphan!"
Silk Fox seems rather skeptical about this latest revelation. Now, she's been skeptical about pretty much every revelation thus far and has been wrong every single time, so by now you'd think she would just roll with it.
Lots of children are born every day. I was born at that time. If you don't count this latest rebirth, so was our friend here.
But I was named for the fires of Dirge. Hui said as much, and it seems obvious now. The red glow opposite the morning sun was the temple burning.
So what if it was? It could have been visible across the Empire.
No, that's not how that works and you know that perfectly well. Come on.
At this point, Silk Fox is just trying to convince herself that this isn't true, despite all evidence pointing in the other direction. She's been acting rather unfriendly towards Dawn Star throughout the game, calling her a peasant and such, and now... well...
...yeah, that. How does the line of succession work at this point anyway? Obviously, Silk Fox was (or at least thought she was) next in line when her father Sun Hai was Emperor, but then Sun Hai had a combat-related accident and Sun Li took over. Technically, wouldn't that make Dawn Star the current heir to the throne? Of course, Sun Li won't be giving up his power if he can help it, so all this is kind of moot.
That's doubtful, but it probably won't hurt to try.
Does anyone care how I feel about this?
You are both crazy. I'll go along with it if it helps us in the end, but I'll need more proof to believe it, and I expect Sun Li will, too.
I guess the Water Dragon's word isn't enough unless Silk Fox actually hears her say it. Whatever, she'll come around.
Certainly, once we finish our other business.
We find the last pages from the Tome of Release next to the focus shrine, so now we just need to read them and then go perform the ritual.
Don't perform the ritual at the Heavenly Gate Guardian shrine unless you want a lot of Closed Fist points. Got it.
On the way back to the temple, we run into the strongest Imperial ghost yet. Come on now, we're trying to help you!
Okay. Let's see how this goes.
[Complete the ritual]
[Feeling slightly drained, you release the chi you were channeling, conﬁdent that the soldiers have found peace.]
Not that remarkable of a quest reward there, but at least those spirits are free now. That's all we had to do in the temple today, so let's return to the camp and have a nice chat with Silk Fox.
WARNING: BIOWARE ROMANCE INCOMING
I have been afraid to talk to you. I worry that you might have changed... that you might have forgotten me.
Well, we did come back from the dead and all that, so I can see why Silk Fox might have some reservations at the moment.
I haven't slept since you fell. For all the influence my position is supposed to carry, I was as helpless as a lamb. But now, to have you back here, with me. It's almost too much to bear.
I... I am truly frightened about tomorrow. But I know I am safe... here... in your arms. Whatever comes, thank you for showing me how to care for people. I have never been closer to anyone. Whatever comes tomorrow, thank you for what we have *right now.* This moment... is beautiful. You should kiss me before I remember who I am supposed to be.
In the unmodded game, only the heterosexual romance scene shows the kiss -- in the same-sex version, the scene just fades to black for whatever reason. Wu suddenly growing a full head taller than Silk Fox is not a byproduct of the mod, that seems to happen even in the cut version.
Later that night, Wu dreams of Two Rivers.
Our fallen friends from Sun Li's school also make an appearance -- Wen, Jing Woo, and Lin.
They, and everyone else in Two Rivers, were always just chess pieces in the Glorious Strategist's plan.
This is nothing more than a dream, my pupil. I can *do* nothing here, but I can inﬂuence things. Do you remember your fellow students?
At this point, it's kind of difficult to tell if all of this is simply a nightmare or if Sun Li's power actually extends to invading our mind with visions. It could go either way, but I think this is just Wu being haunted by what happened to her friends.
We did not leave them to die. That was all Li's doing. We all know that, but Wu's clearly blaming herself for her friends' deaths on some level.
All according to Li's plan, of course. Everyone in Two Rivers had to die so we would have a reason to go on a quest to avenge them.
In any case, the three students aren't happy about what happened, and they seem to believe Wu is responsible for their deaths even though there was nothing she could've done. It was all over as soon as they joined the school.
When we defeat the students, they tell us they now see it wasn't our fault they died. This whole scene has been about Wu fighting the demons of her (recent) past, and finally finding some amount of peace by vanquishing them.
In the morning, Wu is woken up by sounds that can only mean one thing. The Imperial Army is getting close. Maybe they're here earlier than expected, that would explain why she was still sleeping and has to scramble to get her clothes on.
That's... a lot of golems.
That's a lot of very large golems. Normal jade golems are nowhere near that size, even though they tower over the clay ones.
It seems we've really got our work cut out for us if we're going to make it out of Dirge alive.
You're awake! It sounds like the army is on the move. They're on their way up the mountain!
You guys could've woken us up, you know.
What? Why would he... oh hell.
Well, that's convenient for my nerves.
He's limping and looks a bit worse for wear in general, but at least he isn't dead. That's good.
I went down the mountain to scout them out. I figured I could get a good estimate of how many were coming and get back here. It didn't work out like I planned. There are Lotus Assassins by the score, and golems, too. You didn't bury them all. They have a lot more. Imperial Army flyers in the distance, too. They'll be here soon.
Bad. Bad. Very bad. What are we going to do? They'll be across the main bridge in no time.
We would rather avoid that, yes.
Ah, so that's what those massive golems are called.
It would be bad if they reached us. The casks I took off the Dragonfly would make short work of the bridge, though. A little fire and *whoosh,* earth meets sky.
No. It's too dangerous for just one person. I'll go, as well.
Kang isn't a fighter, so obviously he's going to need some protection while he works his magic. Silk Fox and Dawn Star should do a good job, but who's going to be in charge?
Y... yes, Princess.
If you choose Dawn Star as the leader, Silk Fox gets quite annoyed because she can't believe you'd choose a "peasant" over her.
Wh... who? The Lotus Assassins? But they'd have to fly to get past the wall, and the winds are too strong.
Hundreds may die in crashes, but a few will get through. Do you really think Death's Hand minds such losses?
Er, Kang, old friend. I'd like to borrow a few of your marvelously explosive casks. I have something special in mind for any Assassins who breach our lines.
What? Yes, yes, whatever you want. I have enough on my mind. During the night I made some, ah, reinforcements to the Marvelous Dragonfly. I don't sleep much, you see. Ever. Anyway, I doubt we could escape, but we can make a dent.
A short run in the flyer to take the brunt of their advance? It might be a worthwhile mission. Or it might be suicide.
Well, what isn't these days? It's not necessary. I leave the decision to our illustrious leader.
Wonderful. Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to thin them out a bit. Also, it seems Kang never sleeps. Either he never has to because he's a minor deity, or he just doesn't bother with it.
Yes, that's the way. I knew you'd be up for it. Off we go. Everyone be ready for our return.
Make every shot count. We'll need the help.
That looks like a decent enough loadout. I don't know if we'll be able to use Dragon's Wrath at any point because it takes so much chi, but we might as well bring it along since the rest of the upgrades aren't that useful.
Nice to see a flyer mission with an actual background, for a change.
This mission is also quite tough, as we get lots of enemies thrown at us and they still like flying right into the Marvelous Dragonfly.
At the end, we encounter the mother of all Imperial flyers and things get a bit bullet hell-ish for some time. We used all our chi on Shrieking Fury during the mission, so all we can do here is just dodge stuff as best we can and keep firing at the boss with our spread shot.
That is quite a wimpy explosion for such a huge vessel.
Great, more flyer upgrades we will never use. That was (spoiler alert) the last flyer mission in the game, so I'm not sure where you'd even get the chance to use this. New Game Plus?
You better have enough explosives left. Dawn Star and I can't hold them off forever.
Are you sure I shouldn't just charge the main gate? They would not be expecting that.
"Unexpected" acts are not always "successful" acts.
You have a narrow understanding of success in battle, bun-man. Must be your small head.
It looks like we won't have long to wait. Kang better keep his mind on his task at the bridge, or this will be a short last stand.
One thing's for sure: they've got their synchronized running perfected.
Time is better spent doing than talking.
You didn't see? He was... One of the spirit monks was right there. He stayed behind to tell me that there were hidden treasures still left in Dirge.
Huh. Well, that's something we might want to keep an eye out for.
Make light of it if you want, but he said that we should search Dirge. The magic that restored the temple also destroyed spells that cloaked chests hidden in the ruins. The monks used these chests to hide treasures, including powerful weapons. They didn't want them to fall into the Emperor's hands. He said that one was nearby. Maybe we can find it before we reach the bridge. Lead on.
After the cutscenes, we find ourselves in control of Silk Fox (or Dawn Star, if you picked her as the leader). That's where we'll stop for today, next time we will give 'em hell. We are well and truly in the endgame now, not many updates to go after this one.