Part 16: You're mad!XVI - You're mad!
Hello everyone and welcome back.
We haven't really used the spellbook since we got it, but we have cause to today!
Our teapot has tears, sacred water, and fountain water. So...
Let us see just how rusty my spellcasting truly is...
Clouds of thunder, shafts of light,
Come and sup with me tonight.
Waters three have I for tea,
Brew a tempest now for me!
Despite the glow there, the teapot doesn't look any different in the inventory. A pity. And the description has barely changed, only now mentioning that it now contains a lot of water. But now that we've got the lamp prepared, we're now ready for the next exam puzzle. In fact, we've already completed it... we just need to see it through!
Off to the Isle of the Mists we go!
Great gods! Did you see that? That man just appeared from nowhere!
Perhaps he was sent by the spirits! I see no boat.
He's an intruder, no matter how he got here. Grab him!
Not again! Look, I'll leave. It's no problem....
I think not. Let's go.
Once you have the scythe and the coal and have broken Beast's curse, returning here will trigger the same game over as before. But Alex is better prepared so let's play this out again...
Alexander is frozen at the spectacle before him; robed figures are gathered around a bonfire. Some mystical ceremony is taking place, but as to its purpose, Alexander has no clue.
We found a trespasser on the beach, Arch Druid!
Uh, oh! Arch Druid? Now what has Alexander wandered into?
This must be the foreigner we were warned about. How appropriate that he should come during our Rain Festival. Place him in the sacrificial cage!
Wait! I must rescue the princess!
There's an ancient Druid saying: 'A man who would save others must first save himself!'
Alexander is pushed into the confining wicker cage. And the cage is swung out over the bonfire!
So far things have been entirely identical. However, things start changing vastly here. This is the first puzzle in the long path, and to prove our commitment, we have to lock ourselves out of the short path.
Alexander starts to feel a little warm. The bottom of the cage is getting uncomfortably hot.
This cage is REALLY hot!
Fire in the cage!
Alexander pulls out Beauty's old slave clothes, desperate to beat out the flames! The flame is extinguished, but the clothes themselves burn to cinders. Alexander won't be able to keep the cage from igniting for long!
A bubbling noise can be heard from this point. And it's getting louder by the second.
The heat and movement must have jarred something....
Something that Alexander's carrying is starting to jiggle around!
Egad! Something's REALLY percolating!
The water in Alexander's lamp is hot! It's just about.... BOILING!!!!
Show of hands, who remembers what happens when the enchanted water in Alexander's teapot starts boiling?
Alexander feels a drop. It starts to rain!
That man is a powerful nature wizard! By the sacred oak, let him DOWN!
After the Festival
I must apologize for our rude welcoming committee. We've been feeling inhospitable ever since the Winged Ones stole our sacred miniature oak tree.
Wait a second... the Winged Ones stole your sacred miniature oak tree?
That is correct.
Beast said that your group stole his coat of arms.
I promise you, we did no such thing.
Beast said something similar. But let me work this out...
The Winged Ones claim their golden fleece was stolen by the Isle of Wonder....
The Queens claim their singing stone stolen by the Beast...
The Beast claims his coat of arms was stolen by your druids...
And your sacred miniature oak was stolen by the Winged Ones...
Every island is upset at every other island for thieving and while I couldn't get a word in edgewise when I met the Queens and Azure and Aeriel, I imagine they would say the same thing you and Beast did... that they're innocent of the charges.
Who would stand to gain by causing all the islands to feud?
The vizier comes to mind.
Vizier Alhazred sent us message that we were to watch out for a highly-dangerous foreign assassin. I assume you ARE the one he meant.
I'm sure I'm precisely who he meant. I assure you, I mean to harm no one--unless that person threatens the princess. I'm sorry to have disrupted your ceremony, but I'm running out of time.
You've certainly earned my attention if nothing else. Perhaps my counsel as well if I can possibly help. What is it that you seek?
The Oracle on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain told me I should speak to you about the Realm of the Dead. She told me of two souls in unrest there that I might be able to free.
The souls might be able to help me on my mission to save the princess. It's imperative that I do everything I can. The risks are not important.
No? And yet getting yourself killed will hardly help the princess. <sigh> But I will tell you what I know. Legend has it that it is the right of any human to challenge the Lord of the Dead in order to save his own life or the life of another already passed. But the knowledge of how to do this was lost centuries ago.
I have only heard of one who tried it--a young knight who came to the Land of the Green Isles from a distant land long ago. According to the story, he was determined to challenge the Lord of the Dead for the soul of his dead lover. It is said that he tamed the Lord of the Dead's horse, a black-winged, demon-hearted beast named Night Mare. Night Mare sometimes flies to the human world to feed on certain noxious plants. Those unfortunate enough to see her are glad to escape with their very souls intact!
Somehow, the knight captured Night Mare and rode off on her back, supposedly to the Realm of the Dead. But neither the knight nor his lover ever returned. If there was a means for challenge, it was lost with the knight.
My realm, Daventry, has a similar story. It's a cautionary tale about a young warrior who set off to the land of the Gods carrying the body of his dead lover. As I recall, he was tasked with slaying sixteen great colossal beasts. I... don't remember how the story ended.
If it's the same tale I'm thinking of, not especially well for anyone involved.
I see. Can you tell me anything about the Lord of the Dead?
Ah, that is a blacker matter still! To the Druids, he is Samhain, Lord of Coldness and Despair. Samhain was once a man like you or I, but he insulted the gods and was sentenced to rule the Underworld. Immortal he is, and mateless; robbed of sleep, robbed of movement, robbed of companionship. It is said that he hates all mortals even more for the mortality that he lost. That is all I know.
Interesting. I shall remember.
Now, look how the oak embers of our bonfire still glow hot, despite the rain. If you're bent on your course, you'll need courage that's just as impervious to the chill. <sigh> May your luck last longer than your storm, brave one.
May it indeed. Thank you, Arch Druid. Before you go, may I borrow some of your embers? I think I might have need of them for a spell soon...
If they can help you in any way, young man, take as many as you need. Now, if you will excuse me...
First things first, we're now committed to the long path. Beauty's slave clothes are needed to sneak into the castle in the short path and those are gone. So if we fuck up here, there is no safety net left. Anything we forget to do will result in a dead man walking scenario. I have, multiple times, fucked up in this fashion. Once I went all the way through the upcoming section, did everything right, and got swamp muck for the teacup instead of swamp ooze.
My last save was right here.
On the upside, if we didn't get Cassima's hair from the ribbon, Beauty's hair will automatically be added to Alexander's inventory after the clothes burn up.
Alexander scoops up some of the red-hot embers in the ancient human skull.
This is technically a timed bit as well. The embers start cooling off once you add them to the skull, but I've never actually seen it happen personally. But the Archdruid was very specific for where Night Mare appears. We know of some nearby noxious plants,
Alexander is carrying a human skull filled with embers.
Alexander puts the strand of hair into the skull.
Let's get going.
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but if we climb up to the top of this screen, the game mercifully does the other four offscreen and just teleports us to the top of the mountain.
There's no way to die here with Night Mare sadly. I tried a few times to get her to kick or kill Alex, but she just flies off and we have to reload. I don't think she even flies off permanently, but I didn't especially want to refresh the screen to find out.
A mighty winged horse the color of midnight is feeding from the nightshade bush. The creature must be Night Mare, the one the Druids spoke about.
The spoiled egg hisses as it makes contact with the hot embers! Zounds, the steam! Phew, the smell of sulfur!
Check... check... and check! And if Night Mare doesn't qualify as a creature of the night, then nothing ever will. So...
Creature of Night, to me succumb!
Fire and Brimstone leave thee numb.
Purity bind thee like a chain.
To do what 'ere I now ordain!
Night Mare flares her nostrils at the scent of the fire and brimstone
That's it! Come on. I need passage to your homeland, fiery one!
Unable to resist the power of the enchanted smell, Night Mare approaches Alexander. Her eyes appear glassy and sightless. In her hypnotized state, she is unaware of the human so close to her flank or of anything at all except that marvelous smell!
List of Points
+3 - Alex makes watery tea
+2 - Alex is a powerful nature wizard!
+1 - The most metal looking item ever
+1 - Burning hair
+1 - An awful, unholy mixture of fire, brimstone, and purity
+5 - Leaving this world!
Total Points: 158/231
Register of Deaths
None this time!