Part 41: ARC IV: Part 3: The Necromancer.ARC IV: Part 3: The Necromancer.
Very well, thank you.
JILLIAN: His Majesty wishes you to join him for breakfast. The chefs are preparing a meal now. Come to the Throne room whenever you are ready.
We're allowed to wander but there's not much to do, so...
Rub it in, Shroud.
You said there was something you would like us to help you with, Your Highness.
Yes. It's something I have been conflicted about for some time... but now that you have arrived I think it can be taken care of with ease.
But what is it?
A necromancer has taken up residence in the old section of town.
Is there an echo in the room?
The sound of your neck snapping will echo all over town if you make another comment like that, ingrate!
Wow simmer down, Stoic. There's a bit of a pause after this too.
I have been unsure about how to address this matter because he has done nothing to suggest he is a threat.
But why would a necromancer even want to settle here? Even if your people aren't as spiritual these days, they still must harbor a distrust of that practice.
Yes. Indeed they do. That is why I have kept this a secret. I did not want to risk some kind of violent skirmish.
However... There are thousands of elves buried in this area. I can't help but think that is what has attracted him.
I see where this is going. You're worried he will resurrect those who died in the wars as undead servants.
Yes. I couldn't bear it if any of them were defiled in that way.
He doesn't mean--
It's okay, Bud.
Why do you keep calling her "Bud?" She's a girl!
Must everything be fully explained to you?!
She's named after a flower. She's young. A bud is a young flower.
Oh... I get it.
No need for that. This is a hard life... and those who died bravely in battle against Gallia do not deserve it.
So you want us to investigate this necromancer and make sure he's not up to anything shady.
Great! Let's go!
Not so fast. I would prefer you waited until nightfall. The quieter we keep this whole excursion, the better it is for everyone.
What will you do if we find that he really is harmless?
Somehow I doubt that... But I will deal with it when the time comes.
Personally, I hope he does give us trouble. Beating up a necromancer is a rare privilege.
*chuckle* I can understand your point of view, given what I know of your history.
Then he gives us a key to the room downstairs, saying it has useful items and a key to a passage beneath a fountain in the city the elves built during the war. The necromancer's probably down there.
I go and loot Bane's room and get the key and then headout.
There's no one on the streets at all, and half the buildings are locked. The Inn and the stores are still open though.
Using this key on the back of this fountain makes it move over, revealing a stairway.
A hallway of cells... Rats sometimes skitter scross our path out of those holes in the wall.
The one open cell door leads to this room we can't do anything in yet.
The hallway leads to this intersection with a save/heal well. My faint memory of this dungeons layout indicates we should go east first. You can also see the south east cell door is open.
Again, we can't do anything here just yet, so let's continue east.
That cell there leads to yet another room we can't do anything in yet, similar to the first two.
... Oh. I guess my memories lied to me. Let's backtrack.
Now, you might have noticed this dungeon does not have the random encounter meter. That's because this dungeon works differently. Instead, everytime you step in front of a closed cell door, it has a chance of opening and discharging a fight at you. The odds of this happening actually seem to be a bit on the low side.
Anyway the tentacled thing is 'Experiment #3' and neither of these enemies are really anything worth writing about. Our party is pretty powerful now that we have Laurel.
Back to the intersection to take the north path!
They must have gotten... a head of themselves!
Can we please leave him in one of these jail cells?
They may not have their heads... but they are concious. I can sense the dark magic sustaining them.
Well, they won't bother us just sitting there like that. Let's keep moving.
Hmm... Let's fight the slime.
Absolutely everything you try does 0 damage to it. You might guess that this is very problematic for us, and you're right if you did, so I escape from the fight.
All the other rooms are locked, including the one with the huge golem, so let's keep heading north.
Someone obviously doesn't want to see us progressing any further.
What are we supposed to do now? There's no way we're getting over there unless we want big holes in our feet!
This from the guy who scaled that ice wall by himself? We've gotten past worse than this. There's always some way to get around.
Yeah, I guess... But right now, I'm drawing a blank.
What about the skeletons in that other room?
I don't know how much help they can be without their heads... they can't even talk.
I'd love to ask how this works with skeletons.
Maybe that's what we should be looking for.
They might also attack us if we put them back together. Don't forget we're dealing with a necromancer here.
We may have to take that risk. We're not going anywhere like this.
So I backtrack back past the skeleton room (nothing new there, even using the skeletons).
What was that?
Sounds like it came from the west corridor.
Who said that?
VOICE: Look up here!
Who are you and how the hell did you end up over there?
????: The name's Locke, and you can blame those pack rats for that! They ran off with my head while I was sleeping! They'll grab anything that isn't tied down!
You guys gotta help me get back to my shoulders!
Hey man, we got necromancers to deal with! Why should we mess around in here?
LOCKE: I dunno... Hero's code or something? Isn't that why you guys are wearing those goofy masks?
We'll help. But after we put you back on straight, we could use some help ourselves.
LOCKE: Anything! Just get me out of here!
I'll grab the skull with my wind magic and try to steer it out of there.
This is basically just a timing puzzle. If a rat hits the skull, you start from the beginning.
"I don't suppose I could ask for another favor?"
This is the part where you are supposed to help us.
LOCKE: I will... but I don't make any decisions without the rest of my group... and as you can see, they're all in the same situation I was.
So you won't help us until we track down their heads too?
LOCKE: Hope it's not too much trouble.
You owe us big for this.
Man, I didn't sign up for this hero business to be some errand boy for these headless wackos!
I don't like it anymore than you do, Baron, but we don't really have any other options. Back to head hunting.
Let's hop to it then!
As a matter of fact we are. Your friend Locke sent us to look for you.
STOCK: Good to hear he has his head screwed on right. I am Stock by the way.
Wait... Locke... Stock...
Just sit tight while I magic you over here.
Stocks course is much longer and has rats patrolling in circles.
Your friends Locke and Stock sent us to find you. And you must be?
????: TSB. I forgot what each letter stands for though. So are you going to help me get out of here or not?
It is. Locke, Stock and TSB. Apparently TSBs lost his accent. Also they died some time between Clean Slate and MOTW I guess. Volrath says there's probably an interesting story worth writing in how they wound up as skeletons.
Anyway, TSB's got the trickiest one yet, with rats patrolling in circleswhile at timed intervals rats run across the passage, in the same spaces even.
"Sorry for the rudeness earlier. This has been an out of body experience."
Can evertone just stop with the puns?! That's all I ask!
STOCK: What you need is in the next room!
LOCKE: But you'll need a key!
Let's have it, then.
TSB: We could give it to you... but first you have to play our new favorite game!
Is it X-Piratez? I've been thinking of LPing that at the same time as the Laxius series...
What?! We don't have time for that!
LOCKE: Oh, sure you do! Won't take long at all.
You all are really bored, aren't you?
STOCK: Lady, you have no idea.
TSB: But we like you! Come on, it will be fun.
Fine. Tell us about the game.
LOCKE: It's simple! We're gonna switch heads a bunch of times really fast, and you just have to keep track of where each one of us is! Guess right and you get the key!
Okay, everyone look carefully.
And Stock's in the middle, and TSB is on the right.
Anyway, so then they switch heads slowly, and then rapidly. At the end you get asked to pick a random head out. If you focus on one skeletons head you have at least a 50% chance of guessing it right. I fail on the first try.
I get it on the second try though. They give us the key. We can play more if we wish too. I don't know if you get anything out of it, so I don't.
Only door the key opens...
Oh my goodness! It's a real golem! Oh wow, it's so neat!
What does it do beside take up a lot of space? So far, I'm not as impressed.
Are you kidding?! It does so much more! I've always wanted one!
Laurel pauses before continuing...
Okay... Anyway, golems are creatures created with magic that will do the bidding of its creator! I actually tried to make one once... but I wound up just blowing up a bookshelf.
I bet Dasani loved that.
She took away my spellbooks for a while.
But how come it's not doing anything?
It will just sit idly until it gets a command. The command usually comes from the one who created it, but sometimes it can be controlled by a remote device.
You mean this thing?
We get a 'Golem Controller.'
It even comes with instructions.
Now that we have a controller, we should be able to move it by issuing it orders.
Oh man, this is going to be fun!
As you can see, RPGMAKER XP isn't the greatest for huge moving objects. The golem also keeps moving until you tell it to stop or it hits something. And if you noticed that bomb command on the control list, well, we don't have that. Yet. The whistle command makes it follow you into a room if you leave it behind, but you can also just walk it into the room.
Good golem. Before long I can access all those chests and the next room. The red chest has 'Golem Recipe #1'. When I use it, I get...
There's a pink button right at the start that makes the pink forcefield that was here disappear. The buttons cause the forcefields of the same colour to go down. With that, you pretty much have the gist of the whole puzzle.
Gah! The hallway to the right is blocked by a slime. To the other side of this puzzle room then.
No silly, this is a classic mixing pot. If we use the right ingredients, it could help us create some enchantments! Maybe even upgrade our golem!
I hate to use another tool of that necromancer, but it may be the only way to get through his playhouse.
So you press the directional keys that coincide with the colour you need. You can only make each recipe once too, apparently there's a limited number of mixing pots.
We meet two more enemy types I can't really tell you much about since I'm wiping them so effortlessly now.
I think this might be the first upgrade to Shrouds basic attack skill. If so, it's a long time coming, he's gotten lots of spells and their upgrades instead.
Stoic gets an instant K.O. attack.
See, this part of the room here is our chokepoint. There's no way to progress... unless...
Using the golem potion causes the golem to grow spikes!
Backtracking, the spikes now cause the golems spin move to actually have an effect on something. Namely slashing the slime into non-existence.
This slime was just guarding a decent weapon for Stoic though. A Phantom Sword.
Also Finley learns his own heal.
This must be a place for major spells.
quote:Once the hair is in place, all that's needed is the spell itself. It would exhaust me to cast just for those practice sessions, so I have taken to substituting obsidian charms in the meantime.
It is imperative that the existing seal on the altar be dissolved before I proceed any futher (SIC). If I were to skip that and pour the toxins in place instead, they would be rendered useless by the lingering holy magic.
The toxins will do nothing without something to focus their dark energies on. Once they are on the ground and active, I must apply the sample of hair.
Wow... this is scary and powerful dark magic he's looking into.
Don't we know it.
Time to backtrack to the mixing pot.
Laurel gets a powerful status inflicting spell.
The second potion lets the golem shoot bombs out of its head.
Which lets it bomb the grate we need to progress. But before we use that... we'll backtrack to an earlier grate.
Then I leave the dungeon entirely and head to the only building in the eastern side of town besides the armoursmith.
Pretty decent weapon for Finley. Now he's dual-wielding a flamethrower and a frostthrower.
On the way back to the main part of the dungeon I see this guy I must have missed earlier.
You on patrol?
GUARD: Yeah. I'm actually a Gallian soldier, but I'm serving here as part of an outreach program Chairman Alleni came up with. Hopefully, it will help the elves trust us.
That's very brave.
GUARD: Oh, it ain't nothing too special, miss. I'm just trying to make a living and hopefully help people out, you know?
It may take a while, but I'm sure the elves will warm to you.
GUARD: But what are you guys doing in town? And in the dead of the night?
We're investigating a necromancer in town. We've got a pretty good idea of where he is now.
Hey, that was meant to be secret!
GUARD: Necromancer, huh? I hadn't heard of that.
He's kept it pretty quiet. Try not to spread it around.
He says he wont but then mentions he hears weird noises out of the house we just left behind. Apparently he told King Bane too. Lastly he asks if we want a hand.
Thank you, but no. We don't want to put you in danger.
GUARD: I hear so many amazing stories about you two... You probably don't need me at all. But don't be afraid to ask for backup if you need some.
We will keep that in mind. Keep up the good work.
GUARD: Good luck out there.
Back at the dungeon...
I manage to get both ourselves and golem to the north entrance. Where we're confront with a devious puzzle.
The golem cannot climb ladders. But what it can do is jump. Which causes the big metal ball to roll off the ledge.
And we transport it across!
This door wont budge either.
Uh... Excuse me?
It looks like not even the fairy was safe from his grotesque trickery. The poor thing.
Oh, forget it!
Ah, so you can talk!
Yeah, but I was staging a silent protest of the fairy legislature. I swore to only communicate with grunts until I recieved the appropriations I asked for!
This happens a lot, doesn't it?
All the time, judging from the last few we've talked to. What the hell is going on back there?
We've become the "Do Nothing Congress." We ask for help, and we don't get jack... jack... poopie!
Don't hold back! Let out your anger! Sometimes you gotta.
Nah... I can't bring myself to break all of our traditions... even though I feel like cussing sometimes!
But what happened?
I was having a hard time down here, with all these undead creatures. I sent a request to the captitol for additional vials of holy water.
They just ignored me. I don't even get a letter back saying my request was denied. They just pretend I don't exist!
Why the... heck... am I out here risking my neck when nobody back there even cares?! Now that icky necromancer screwed up my colors!!
If we ever get a chance to meet these fairy leaders, I'm gonna give them a piece of my mind.
Yeah... but no sense taking it out on you folks. What can I do for you?
Now let's move on...
To seeing Solik turn corpses into skeletons.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkYcjNTL0Ms 'Solik's Theme' I think besides maybe Stoic, Solik gets the best theme out of any character. It's 'Cohkka' by Apocalyptica.
Man, I would like nothing more than to kick this guy's butt after going through his little fun house.
At least introduce yourselves before you try something like that. There is such a thing as common courtesy, after all.
I'm The Baron! These are my sidekicks: Shroud, Stoic and Laurel!
The mighty Stoic... face to face. I truly must have earned Perditia's favor.
Does that bother you, priestess? Why don't you ask your god to do something about it?
Easy, Baron. Let's not rush into anything just yet.
You've heard of me. That means you have some idea of what I will do if you don't back away right now.
But how can I? There has been such... skill put into your creation. All these years... and here you stand... perfectly sturdy.
Stoic swipes at Solik but he leaps back before the blow lands.
You know nothing about me.
Oh, that's where you're wrong.
Despite your best efforts, your long and eventful life has not gone unnoticed. There was much written about you in your early days as a skeleton, and I have read it all.
Nonsense. Any historian who thinks he can simply reduce my experiences to a book is deluding himself.
Well... yes and no.
Is there a point to all this?
There certainly is. A point beyond the capacity of your feeble mind.
Okay, I take back what I said. Let's pound this guy.
Not just yet.
I want to see what he thinks he knows.
You think you're calling my bluff, do you? Hardly.
"terrible nasty business with Enkur."
There's a longer pause here...
What did you just say?
*chuckle* I thought that might grab your attention. It doesn't stop there, my friend.
"and you liked it that way."
"much history unfold before your very eyes. It is more than most people... and indeed most skeletons... will ever get to see.
What I wouldn't give for a chance like that... and yet, despite this, you consistently side with the enemies of your creator."
Only a punk like you would see a life full of war and death as a gift. You read about it in your books and you think you are so wise.
But you weren't there. You weren't forced to watch friends and loved ones see their dreams broken by a world that so often rewards good intentions with heartbreak. You haven't had to see every friend you have ever had grow old and die while you had no choice but to face the future.
Quite moving... Also quite irrelevant. You made no attempt to answer my question. With your skill in battle and... unique longevity, you could have been a legend among all undead. Yet you sided against Perditia, even after the Gallians killed so many in the name of Arcadius and he did nothing to rebuke them.
The necromancers of that era suffered. They had no leaders... Nobody to look to.
But you. You who fought alongside Volrath Blacksteele himself. You could have united them. You could have led the way to restoring Perditia's place as the true ruler of Solest as Arcadius's children fought and killed one another. Instead you hid yourself. You shirked the gifts she gave you!
Ingrate! I should kill you right now for that mindless arrogance!
Solik calls the dead guards to his side and raises them as he speaks now.
This is a disappointingly easy boss fight. The skeletons don't do much and Solik only heavily damages Laurel (and she can give him as good as she gets).
Even while focusing on Solik with everyone else, Stoics hit-all attack downs the skeletons one turn before Solik goes down. Only takes like 5 turns total too.
"I thought they were merely novices you had recruited in your travels. Now I see... that they will all carve themselves a place into history."
You may be right. But you won't be seeing any of those history books from your prison cell.
I may have miscalculated... But I can still win this fight.
I have not used this contraption for some time. I must thank you for releasing it.
We still have the controls, don't we?
Fiddling with those controls will do you no good. The golem will now only obey its true master.
Don't do it golem... I'm exhausted... I don't know if I can fight any longer.
All of you toughen up. We can beat this thing.
Stoic... you may defeat me... but you will not defeat your fate. It is foolish for a skeleton of your caliber to ignore your duties to Perditia.
It will catch up to you. And when it does--
When it does, I will deal with it the same way I dealt with you.
You can not... overcome all obstacles with... with just your brute strength. Until... until you find your true purpose... you will always be...
Oh, I can't look!
Aagh... I was hoping... it would not be quite... quite so painful.
I don't know if anyone deserves that.
Maybe not... But I'm not sorry he's dead.
Some of those names... the people he mentioned... were you really there for all that?
It doesn't matter. We're done here. Let's return to King Bane.
Well, I'd love to see The Hand cast the Forbidden Spell of Rebirth without their necromancer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flt6JLIglSc 'Outcast' - 'Yureai' from the Elfen Lied OST.
How can this be?
I've been... I've been bitten by a vampire, father.
But only recently! There may still be time for the clerics to save me!
You... you lie. You lie!
My daughter is a pure young girl! She would never be tainted by one of your kind! You seek to confuse me and attack the monastery in the name of your dark goddess!
No! Father, it's really me! You have to listen!
I will listen to no more! Guards, seek this dark charlatan!
As the two guards rush her, she blasts them with dark magic and runs out.
The third student casts holy magic.
STUDENT: Finish her off!!
Gabby makes a break for it, the two students behind her backing off very quickly.
Selene! Oh, if anyone can understand, it's you! It's me, Gabriella!
Gabriella? But what... happened to you?
Selene jumps in shock.
V... V... Vampire?
Yes, but you have to listen! I'm still me! I look different... and I can do weird things now... but I'm still Gabriella! You have to believe me!
*sob* It's not fair...
You were so smart... so dedicated... you could have gone so far.
No! I'm still here! Don't you see?!
Forgive me, my friend... But I have to do what I can to save your soul.
You want to know what this really puts me in mind of? The not-quite worst case scenario for coming out as gay/trans to family and friends. Andau's words about people hating and judging you even though you're exactly the same person you've always been are what especially remind me of it. I don't know if it's intentional or not on Volraths part. I -do- know modern vampire stories like Dracula started with what was basically a fear of feminine sexuality.
... Anyway, Selene nails Gabby with holy magic too.
FOURTH STUDENT: Yeah!! Hit her again!
Ugh... how could you...
FOURTH STUDENT: Fine! I'll do it!
Gabby teleports out.
How could Arcadius let this happen?
Gabriella... It's so unfair.