Part 40: Clean Slate Part 7: The Gathering.Clean Slate Part 7: The Gathering.
Over in the Clean Slate era, Galdar and Turnus return from their diplomatic mission and learn from Sarnath Alleni about the Gallian attack and Mina's abduction. Galdar immediately wants to go save her.
And apparently Turnus and the dwarf king Thurk apparently got along really well so Turnus managed to recruit the dwarves who'd turned away every prior request to form an alliance. This involved lots of drinking.
As for saving Mina, apparently Leanne's arrrived at the rebel camp to tell them Mina's probably been taking to 'the Recon tower'. Everyone warns Galdar and T8urnus against just barging in though since her captors have been known to simply execute prisoners in such situations.
Galdar and Turnus decide to only take Seth with them, since they were all Guardia's own Recon team. Well, along with the now dead Morias 'Spider' Snr. Oh and Arius was the FNG.
And look who's wandering around camp!
Galdar and Turnus ask Felicia for advice since she's the only one that's ever been in the tower, but she says she doesn't know of any secret ways in. She does tell them though that the Recon team has been screaming about all their interrogation room chairs and tables being broken for ages and no ones gotten around to sending carpenters to fix them. So the team'll pretend to be those carpenters.
And as they enter the Recon tower the game cuts to a short scene of someone knocking on the door to the study of the Barca family home. They knock repeatedly even though Lynnia keeps saying it's unlocked. When she goes to open the door...
... she's murdered by SOMEONE.
Mina's being interrogated by the Recon team which is Lock, Stock and TSB. I haven't mentioned these guys before but they've appeared a few times. They were actually the contacts between Guardia's council and the Guardia recon team Galdar headed up. When Seth slaughtered the Guardia Council (with the exception of Ariel), they were no where to be seen... until the two hero parties joined forces to assault the Blurn Fortress (that Seth wound up blowing up) where they were some of the defenders. All three escaped after a battle, but not before revealing they're just hired mercenaries that don't actually care about the Gallian ideaology.
Volraths very fond of reading TSBs dialogue out loud (which he doesn't often do otherwise) while doing a bad Arnie impersonation.
Also Seth sets off alarms by showing up rather noisily via his teleportation. They manage to explain this to the guards after having Seth hide.
The Recon tower has a Master of the Wind style puzzle where you have to answer questions about the backstory and nearby books have some interesting tidbits. Most is what we already know from this game or MOTW but one mentions there was a prior failed insurgency -thought- to be lead by Drake Sherron, Nova's father. But no information ever directly connected him to it, so he was allowed to go free, whereupon he took his family and fled Galla to help found Guardia. And eventually the Guardia Council had him and his wife killed by Ariel because they worried they might recognise them if they ever clapped eyes on them.
There's also another book about a bunch of dragons failed attack on the Gallian shipyard. Gallian sorcerers managed to kill their leader with 'mind magic spells' and the rest of the dragons fled and haven't been seen again. Probably where the dragon zombie came from.
There's also a book about the Treaty of Thanatos being basically Gallians saying 'oh okay, we'll spare any undead who agree to work with the necromancers we'll sign this treaty with despite Arcadius HATING such filth.' Anyway, yeah the necromancers were used both to control the Harrol region and also a few were kept in Gallia to supplement the Gallian military.
Galdar, Turnus and Seth make it to the interrogation room and even though Mina cleverly breaks her chains, they decline her help with taking care of Lock, Stock and TSB, since they were all personally betrayed by them. Even after losing the fight, Lock, Stock and TSB manage to escape by pulling an alarm, though this is their last appearance.
They then escape the tower.
Then the game cuts to Lysander, Tor Lamorak and Evander Till at Lysanders home. Lysander finds it odd Lynnia hasn't greeted them but gets sidetracked as they briefly discuss how to murder rebel scum. Evander actually warns Lysander the rebels are far far far stronger than anyone imagined and that they should take as much troops as possible. Lysander agrees.
Then they have some light-hearted banter about what title Lysander's going to use now that he rules Gallia. These three are becoming buddies.
Lysander's so upset by Lynnia's murder he uses dark magic to blow a hole in his own home, making that mess you see there.
This takes Lysander's war against the insurgents to a darker place, since he thinks them responsible.
"From the very beginning, they declared war on Gallia. Now they have declared war... on me."
Then he makes more holes in his home and goes on a rant on how much blood is going to run through the streets etc etc etc.
When he's done, he tells Tor to get Leonard from Erva's parlour and take him somewhere safe. Then he tells Evander that they're going to hole up in the Great Gallian Fort in North Gallia.
Meanwhile, the rebels get word of the murder and are pretty confused and concerned. Seth suggests it might be friends of the Gallian Council getting revenge. The game's actually trying to put Seth under suspicion at this point. Seth was missing for a while and only showed up at the Recon tower after the scene of Lynnia's death, and he said he took so long because he was out trying to recruit new rebels and had no luck. He's also been the one constantly going on about getting revenge on Lysander.
Anyway, both Galdar and Seth are pretty critical of Lysander being so enraged by his wife's death when he's killed plenty of other peoples loved ones. Mina quickly pokes a hole in that by saying they've killed others loved ones too. Gallian soldiers and the like.
Sarnath adds they'd never survive a full-scale attack, not with Lysander leading it, so the rebels will have to relocate quickly.
And then Sarnath just says there's no other place they could go and gives up. And that's when Arius finally recovers, gets up and goes to tell Sarnath there's always hope.
They tell Arius what went on while he was out and he realises even if they found somewhere to hide, they'd be found eventually anyway, so what they need is a place that could fend off a full-scale assault. He's disappointed Lysander used the Great Gallian Fort for a refuge before he could. So he suggests they take the barracks in West Gallia. Though it's likely to be well guarded until the very last minute as Lysander gathers his forces in North Gallia. That's when Turnus remembers Dasani told him to tell Arius ask the dragons for their help, since Arius would supposedly know how to do that.
Then the gathered forces take the West Gallian barracks together.
Then they tell Arius the one thing they kept from him, Lynnia's murder, which he doesn't take very well. When he asks about Leonard, he's just told Tor is known to have hidden him somewhere but no one knows where. Arius is sort of satisfied with that, saying Lysander would definitely look after him.
Arius then takes the main party to go recruit the dragons who live in some mountains near Gallia.
And they run into the guy who murdered Galdar's grandfather, Arius, who says he's now retired.
Galdar defeats him in battle...
But he decides to spare Theese rather than kill him in front of his children, especially since that's what Theese did to Galdar and his grandfather. Breaking the cycle of revenge etc etc. By showing Theese mercy, he's proved him and Gallia wrong, no matter how Theese looks back on this moment.
After Theese and his children leave (but not before Theese's son Monty, thanks Galdar for his mercy). Galdar tells Arius that his words back in the ruins of Rellenia, where he realised no one should ever have to suffer like that, that instead of destroying Gallia they have to take power from Gallia really helped him come to this conclusion. They have to take not just political power from Gallia, but moral power too.
A hostile dark dragon attacks Arius and co. repeatedly as they climb the mountains, but eventually they subdue him and call Dasani via her holy stone phone thing to have her convince the dark dragon they mean no harm. SO he lets them enter the little sanctuary the drgaons have there. There's actually a fair amount of humans and lodites living here too. People who gave up on changing Gallia long ago and fled to somewhere safe.
Neither Lok-De nor Shen respond very well to the rebellions request for help though... until the dragon zombie comes up, which enrages Lok-De so thoroughly he doesn't pay attention to the rest of the lengthy conversation where the party tries to convince Shen to help. After a time Lok-De just says to say what they need.
And what they need is a bunch of dragons.
Lysander and Ariel can't do SHIT as they watch the dragons fly away from the Gallia region.
Aubrey and Arius go to Boreal to get Dasani and others...
Mina to her hometown of Harrol, once oppressed by necromancers...
Turnus to Rutul...
Seth and Nova to Guardia, to get Britsus Konne, Shurikra and Ivory Aleska and whoever else would come...
Galdar to his own hometown, Karzai, to get his brother...
And then we see, in steps, the recruitment of the rebellion...
When it's all over, Arius says he thinks the insurgency has tripled in size but that's when Dasani confronts him with the idea that they still wont be able to take the barracks like he wants.
Most of the new recruits have little to no training, the rebel camp is on the verge of being wiped out and dragon town can't house and train all these people. Sending untrained fighters against actual soldiers is too much of a risk without a huge numbers advantage... so Seth comes in and suggests that they handle it the same way they handled the Blurn Fortress. Arius' party, Seth's party, Dasani joining Shurikra's team to make four, and Sarnath getting his right hand men and women to help him form a fourth party, all to attack and take the barracks on their own.
Sarnath develops the actual plan of attack himself.
And so, by landing on the rooftops of the barracks, the rebels take the garrison completely offguard. Sarnaths group handles the main force on the roof, while Leanne, Wyre, Aubrey and Felicia handle the towers.
Dasani, Shurikra, Ivory and Britsus are the first playable party and head inside the barracks proper, from the ground.
Arius and co. wait for a while though...
The barracks is a pretty short dungeon and at the end of it awaits First Sorceress Coulter (He straight out says she's named after Ann Coulter). Apparently she and Dasani went to the Gallian Academy together when they were young, and while its only implied a bit here, Volrath says they were even in a relationship at the time. Actually, Volrath relates that during development of Master of the Wind he was frequently asked if Dasani was ever married or had kids and stuff like that. Maybe people were curious about why Stoics feelings for her never went anywhere? But eventually, he felt he had to just unequivocally state Dasani was a lesbian and that was that. Volrath says he sort of felt a need to have a gay character in the game because while things have improved (he did this VLP in 2012 btw, a year or so after finishing MOTW in 2011), things were a bit worse with regards to gay marriage and all that in 2004 when he made this part of the game. He talks about how he's always considered it unfortunate that the objections to gay marriage have always had a strong religious undertone too, since he's married to a pastor and says she loves and accepts everyone. I guess this -might- (he might have felt the same even without said marriage) account for Volraths relatively balanced writing on religion. The central villains in both Clean Slate and Master of the Wind are all religious extremists but he doesn't use that to go 'yeah and this stuff happens in real-life too so it's proof religion is all bad!' or something.
Anyway, so in light of the idea that 'if you're gay, God hates you' kind of rhetoric that was going around at the time (and still does), Volrath decided that the single most spiritual character in the game would be a lesbian.
Anyway, Coulter escapes after the fight.
Meanwhile Seths party confronts First Sorcerer Zain who replaced First Sorcerer Azor after Seth killed him way, way, way back near the start of the game.
And after a boss fight, Zain's barely standing, and about to be finished off when someone blasts Seth's party.
Ariel spills the beans that capturing the barracks wont do crap. Because Lysander's not just gathering the citys troops at the fort, but every Gallian soldier in the world is being recalled.
While Ariel rants, Leanne throws some magic dust at Ariel, who responds by paralyzing her. Then Ariel resumes ranting at everyone about how the rebellions biggest mistake was making this war personal for Lysander by killing his wife. Then Felicia attacks Ariel from behind. Which Leannes dust allowed her to do without being detected by Ariels mind magic.
Ariel strikes down Felicia but not before taking a second nasty blow from Felicia. Hurting badly, she decides she wants to leave now.
... And with that, the West Gallian barracks is taken.
Time for some sidequests says Volrath. But that'll be left for the next update.