Part 39: Level Two: Citadel of Osmet Khan, WithinLevel Two: Citadel of Osmet Khan, Within
We've discussed our options, but there's only one that works. ManxomeBromide called it a long time ago.
At last, you make it to the far side of the rocks, winded but unharmed. A soft voice speaks, seemingly from the air. "He who wields the Sword Valterre my trust to his valor," it says.
We were told that only the brave can cross the Field of Serpents, and the Guru Mattu told us that anyone who possesses the Sword Valterre can trust in their valor. In other words, we don't actually have any personal qualities that would allow us to pass, but we have a magic sword and can cheat. Suck it, Osmet.
You stride up the colonnade of the Palace of Osmet Khan. You are met by a Janissary, a huge and well-muscled man. He wears a sword and a turban and bows low before you.
I sure hope he's wearing more than just a sword and a turban, but that's what the text says.
"Oh joyous day!" he says. "That one so unworthy should be permitted to feast his eyes on so fine a Frankish wanderer. Welcome, oh welcome, infidel, to the palace of Osmet Khan! May one be so forward as to inquire your purpose in visiting the Great Khan's palace of delights?"
In a move that may perhaps surprise you, we're... apparently perfectly welcome within the palace. Seems they figure if we got past the security we must be here for a good reason. In fact, the janissary here will see us to whatever we desire! So then... what do we desire?
Alternate Solutions & Deaths
Of course, that's not what you're reading this update for. We're here to die horribly to the other security measures, and so we shall. Let's go in order, starting with the Wall of Flames:
As most everyone surmised, the Wall of Flames will incinerate us for our impurity. Not much to say about that, fire does what fire does.
Next is the Forest of Blades.
Should we choose not to extract ourselves...
The Sword Valterre can match almost any living foe, but against these mindless enemies it is no aid. You do not venture far into the metal forest before you die.
Probably a good thing that we don't find out just how messy that one turned out. Next, the River of Brass!
And we just straight die on the spot. I have to admit, the game's got a point about our lack of wisdom on this one.
Now for the ones that don't seem so obviously deadly. First, the cliff!
Guess we just keep going.
You continue climbing. Some moments later, you halt and look downward. You have come far. It is at least thirty feet to the bottom... thirty feet to the bottom of a cliff that was only twelve feet tall? Looking up, you see that the distance to the top of the cliff has seemingly changed not at all. But you are now three-quarters of the way up this taller cliff.
That's most of the way! We'll surely hit the top soon.
You climb again. You pause. Looking upward, you do not seem to have made any progress. Looking downward, you see that you have climbed considerably higher. You are now seven-eighths of the way up this cliff.
One more try...
And now we're climbing forever, for this screen will just loop and loop until the end of time. Zandar called it exactly and TooMuchAbstraction had the way of it: Our lack of knowledge of the philosophies has led us to be unable to understand that we can climb halfway to the top every go of it and still never reach it. Oddly, this is the only one that doesn't actually kill you, but I suppose that makes sense.
Let's see, now we've got a nice meadow.
Both feet are sinking into the mud now. The green surface of the meadow masks a great morass beneath; waves of mud arise around you, a great swamp bubble rises from the muck. The rabbit screams in terror as it is consumed, dragged down into the earth, as you are, as you are...
Well, that's horrifying, though I think I preferred the guess that we'd just find the place too distractingly pleasant to ever leave.
Finally, the crack in the ground.
We're given a chance to stop ourselves, but that's not what we're here to do, so screw it.
You walk from the crack, then turn and run toward it. You make a flying leap over the crack, toward the ground beyond... You are flying over a vast chasm, hundreds of feet across. Below, a stream runs down the center of this vast gash in the earth. The stream is tiny, so far below.
"Only the pious may cross this chasm," says a voice in your head. Then, there is mad laughter. It is certainly not piety that you feel for the Mad One... You plummet to your doom.
Good to see that the Mad One appreciates Wile E. Coyote-level demises.
For all these deaths, we will be confronted by this final screen:
And last but not least, there's a special message for fleeing from the palace altogether:
Wisely, you realize that you are not yet ready to face the perils of the palace of Osmet Khan. You turn and depart, to ready yourself further.
Granted, you can't really backtrack at this point, so there's nothing more you can do to make yourself ready if you're missing the clues. Ah well.