Part 65: ARC VII Part 3: A Start.ARC VII Part 3: A Start.
The worst thing about the problems that have kept cropping up during this LP is that starting up updates again always feels like so much damn effort even when you were right in the swing of things and updating frequently before that. Sheesh.
So, last we'd left off, we found out Gino had left most everything in his will to Cade and Bones. Cade then discovered the monastery had written about the school fees he... didn't really cheat them out of? Since he told them his real address? Or something? So he decided to go deal with that while they had the time.
I thought so...
But those notices I got about my tuition seemed pretty standard, so maybe something changed.
Anyhow, I don't expect this to take very long.
I'll wait out here.
Cade heads in, closing the door behind him, but we stay outside with Auburn.
OTHER STUDENT: But why?
This is the most dangerous place for her, especially with the three on patrol!
STUDENT: Maybe she wants to be destroyed...
I would if I lost my soul.
"I told them I had to leave after a week and only paid a small portion of the tuition. Nobody asked about the incident in the tower, which was odd."
Cade... I think those two over there were talking about that vampire friend of yours.
Sounded like she had been seen around here.
This is the worst place she could be! She's supposed to be with the Toutens!
What are you, her dad?
Her dad's part of the problem!
This place is crawling with holy mages who would attack her on sight.
After we check on my brother, I think we need to look into this.
After Auburn asks, Cade reminds us where Rayne is being kept safe.
Before we go, we can talk to some people first though.
Cade winds up asking this women if anyone's tried helping Gabriella and gets a 'WTF WHY WOULD YOU HELP A VAMPIRE?!' type response.
This guy... He's a member of The Hand. The Lamorack Mines was where we saved those abducted kids from and where Dican perished, way back in Arc II.
I think this might be the only time in the game where the name of the mines is mentioned besides the filename Volrath gave its theme. At least I forgot if it came up and/or never found any indication of it.
If Lamorack sounds familiar, it's because it should. I've harped on a lot about Lysander's two right-hand men during the Gallian Rebellion and it may seem odd why I always kept mentioning both a lot and by their full-names too, despite them not really being all that important.
This probably isn't the best time to talk about it, but what the hell. The game's slowed down a little bit and it'll save me a bit of time later.
So, let's talk about one of the big reasons the Gallian Rebellion wasn't destroyed in its infancy, during an especially vulnerable period when Arius was out of commission due to being mortally wounded by Lysander.
Evander Till, the original Sparrow, and Auburn's stepfather, was a gloryhound and disobeyed Lysander's orders to wait for him before attacking the rebel camp. While he and Tor Lamorack managed to capture Mina, they failed to destroy the rebellion. Why I've gone on about Evander Till is a lot more obvious nowadays, but what of his counterpart Tor?
Well. A very early scene in Clean Slate was about Lysander being baffled about why the Gallian Council was so intent on having the dragoons wiped out as a top priority, but he gave in and assigned Tor to the task, I believe. I might be wrong, and I have no idea where to find that scene without watching the whole LP again. Please correct me if I'm wrong, Volrath.
While Tor is not actually shown in the scene, Gallian troops do wipe out all of the dragoons but Seth and Villea. So Tor Lamorack may be one of the men most directly responsible for a successful genocide.
Besides an early dungeon being named after him, I think the only other time he was referenced in MOTW was when a ghost in the Gallian graveyard in Arc I referred to him as Squadron Commander Tor or some such.
Sooooo why do I keep making a note of him? The average player would never have a reason to connect the Tor and Lamorack names and he's not going to pop up in this game. But Volrath has worked on not one but two more games set in Solest since finishing MOTW.
The one he was still working on when I asked him early in this LP is a game named Legacy. In the video Volrath released some years back, of the like first 10 minutes of the game, you play as... a young son of the Lamorack family. So that's something to look forward to! Might get some 'sins of the father' type stuff going on, especially since one of his school instructors (or some sort of staff position at his school) is a female member of the Gallius family.
If Volrath ever finishes Legacy or whatever it is ultimately named, you better believe I would immediately LP it completely blind.
Anyway, we get a very direct hint for later from this elderly woman behind the monastery chapel.
The kid with the that...? The one with a crush on Selene? Huh...
... besides Harry Potter.
Anyway, time to move on.
You know, I didn't mention it at the time, but Evrind is the only reason Rayne isn't dead right now. It's kind of... I kind of want to say ironic but that's not right... I'm not sure how to put it, but it's kind of touching considering he'd blamed Shroud for Dican's death for so long. Evrind's a good boy.
I had a few things to do around here... check on my brother, pay some tuition. By the way, this is Auburn.
Wow! She looks like she could kick your butt in a fight!
She -did- kick his butt in a fight. A few times.
That's a given!
Yeah yeah, ha ha, so funny.
It's funny cos it's true.
I bet you're enjoying the chance to walk around without the guards trying to take you into custody. You can thank me anytime.
I figured after you saved the monastery, it was silly for you to still be in trouble with our guards. I told them I had been mistaken that day.
That it wasn't you I saw, but someone who looked similar. I was the only person who actually saw you in the tower, so they couldn't really dispute it.
If you've forgotten, they're referring to how Cade broke into the Tower of the Sun to find any evidence at all of The Hand's existence and link to Equipment King and hit upon a goldmine in the form of Cole Marin's manuscript... Which Auburn stole, but ultimately returned.
I owe you one.
Shroud's been a pretty popular fellow around here since then. Gabriel Robin even wants to meet with him.
Maybe to thank you? If you want, I can introduce you.
Uh... Okay. After I visit Rayne, we can do that.
Downstairs we go!
Uhh... I hate just laying here, but I still can't walk for very long without getting exhausted.
I heard you scared off Cleon.
I don't know if I can take all the credit... Cari ordered him to leave right when I figured out how to hit him.
How to hit him?
It's not the same way you would hit anyone else?
He has some technique that nullifies attacks... I think he increases his speed, but that's odd for an earth mage.
But I did realize after a few fights with him that if I coordinated multiple attacks at once, he could not avoid all of them.
I meant to ask...
How did you resist Cari's powers?
If you remember what happened, I didn't totally resist. But it's true she couldn't alter my mind.
The secert (sic) is distraction. She has to concentrate very hard, and if you break her concentration, she has to start all over again.
I tried to make a game out of it... How angry could I make her? It turns out she's very sensitive about her hair.
It is an interesting color, that's for sure.
I told her that if I ever had children, I wanted her to dress up like a clown and entertain them at their birthday parties. That was the last straw.
Ha ha ha!
I should have thought of that!
She looks at Ketsu and says, "I can't do this anymore." Total tantrum.
But then she took away the control you had over your body.
Can't say I liked that very much. But I guess it's better than the alternative.
Okay, sounds like you should rest some more.
Rest... That's all I do lately... I need to get outta here... fight the...
He's out cold.
Well then. Let's go meet Gabriel.
This is The Sparrow.
Regardless of what you may have heard, she is on my side. Now... I was told you were looking for me?
... Yes. Your name first came to my attention when Evrind told me about the attack on the monastery.
Most of the students still think it was just abnormal weather. I have kept it that way to avoid panic... We have enough anxiety on the grounds lately.
But before I get too carried away, I must thank you for your role in saving this place. It is my pride and joy.
But that's not the only reason we're here.
I need your help.
It's about my daughter... Gabriella. Do you know of her?
I have encountered her a few times now. Last I saw her, she was with a group who would be sympathetic to her needs.
Apparently, for some reason I can't fathom, she has decided to come back here.
When she was defiled...
It was very traumatic to this communityu. The students and staff began to fear that more vampires would take our peers.
A trio of our most promising students founded a group called "The Holy Three." They patrol the grounds nightly along with the guards.
These students are skilled. If they find Gabriella... I fear the worst.
C'mon, The Holy Trinity was RIGHT THERE. Sigh. Well, maybe Volrath didn't use that for religious reasons or something.
What do you need us for? You run this place. Tell them to leave her alone and if they don't, kick them out.
It is... Not quite so simple.
The Robin family has very strict traditions in place for dealing with the undead.
I see where this is going. You don't want to make yourself look bad by helping your daughter.
I must say...
You are quite caustic for someone with such a noble reputation.
Try doing this "noble" stuff for a few years... You'll be the same.
But I'll help... Because I care about Gabriella. If you do, I think some soul-searching is in order.
Shroud and Sparrow turn to go, but...
"Their leader is Forcas.
He's in his last year and he is quite rigid about the Robin traditions.
Then there's Brumalia. Although she is studying holy scripture here, she is actually a skilled ice mage.
The third is Selene... A friend of mine."
I know... You have been nice to escort me this long. If it doesn't work out tonight, we'll go back.
But that Touten group is such a boys club! I thought you might want to have a few girls nights out!
When women say that, it usually means shopping or somethng, not provoking holy mages.
My dad may be impossible, but I refuse to believe everyone here can't be reached. If I can just find the right person to get through to...
... I was just like them, and I found out the hard way that I was wrong. People need to know what it's really like!
I think you overestimate your fellow humans. We elves never did get through to Gallia, after all... and we had four-hundred years to try!
Yeah... Thanks. We'll just try one more night and that will be it.
The two begin to walk off somewhere.
"He's got the power to call off these Holy Three, but he won't do it to save face. If I could have prevented... Well, never mind."
This family has been through a lot... When Gabriella was younger, her cousin was killed by a vampire. Sadly, that plays right into the family narrative.
I used to feel nothing but scorn towards vampires, but when I heard about Gabriella... Something just changed. I mean... She's my friend.
The Headmaster might be experiencing something similar... I'm shocked at what he's asking you to do.
Anyhow, I'll look this way. Let's meet up in a few minutes.
Evrind takes off, and then we're free to wander the grounds. But there's only one thing to do really.
We're literally already on the way, Evrind.
Not a chance!
Gabriella doesn't bite people. Her name is Tyranda, and she probably accompanied Gabriella here.
Let's get her on her feet.
What happened here?
Well, no time to be perplexed. Gabriella and I were just overwhelmed by a group of mages... They must have taken her.
I heard them coming, but I had no idea they would be so skilled. Before I knew it, I got a face full of holy and ice spells.
They say the light of Arcadius is supposed to be warm... Well, not this time.
Where the hell could they have taken her?
Can't be too far. Do you think we should get the others?
Hmm... We may need it, but I don't want to wait too long.
Tyranda, you once told me that Zala lived out in these parts. That's where the others are. Can you find your way there and tell them what's happening?
The old lady?
Yeah, I remember where that is, but I still feel kind of weak.
I'll go with you.
The two leave and then Sparrow comments that now they just have to figure out where to look.
But can they?
How much holy magic does it take to even kill a vampire?
But... I know one thing that will always work.
Last time I was here, Evrind told me about a clearing on top of a hill... where students go to get some sun.
We've got to get to the tower.
HAT KID: ... Yes?
Have you seen a group of students with a vampire?
HAT KID: I just saw them! They were really in a hurry! Didn't even notice me... Not that anyone usually does.
It's not too long until morning. I think they're planning on a sun sacrifice.
That doesn't sound good.
HAT KID: It's one of those old traditions from the family that founded this place. They will pray to Arcadius as the sun destroys the vampire.
Why doesn't anyone ever want to ask Arcadius to help with something nice?
HAT KID: I can lead you there.
Really? What are you even doing up at this hour?
"I prayed to Arcadius that she would find enough confidence to stand up to Forcas and that other girl. Does that count as something nice?"
Tell her that yourself, dude.
Wha... Yeah, sure. Now let's get up there while we still have some night left.
Cleons pillar is still here.
"won't be the only type of magic you come up against. Be ready!"
Yes, and now I'm here to save Gabriella. Step aside.
And you're all humans.
Would you all like to be burned alive by someone who had a distaste for you? I could arrange that.
You dare threaten us?
I don't care who you are, this is now how things are done at the monastery! We are The Holy Three and it is our charge to keep the grounds safe from abominations like her. Even though she is a former student, she is now a danger to all of our peers!
Enough. I'm not in the mood for the typical bigot routine. Get away from her or I will hurt you badly. Understood?
I don't know, Forcas.
He's rumored to be very powerful and he has The Sparrow with him...
He must be the one who brought these two here. I didn't think I could have any less respect for you, but you have proven me wrong.
BILLY: You... remember my name?
Selene... This isn't like you. You are too kind to join up with him.
You are such an embarrassment! Just shut up already!
"I could never let you do that to yourself. Don't listen to Forcas! You don't even have to listen to me, just... listen to what you feel."
Here it is. Hat Kid finally gets his big moment.
That's actually... sweet.
No, it's not!
We must purge all undead and you two will not waver! One more word out of you, Brian, and I'll shove that stupid hat down your throat!
The Sun Sacrifice will continue!
You're nothing but a bully!
We're through talking. You have one more chance to let her go.
We're running out of night.
It's now or never. You had fair warning.
So, we have our first challenging boss fight in a long time. Stoic and Laurel were the two heavy damage dealers and we have neither now. At least Shroud is a good healer and jack of all trades otherwise.
Anyway, since Forcas is a strong monk, I highly recommend using Shroud's dust devil until you sucessfully blind him. Meanwhile, have Sparrow beat the shit out of Selene because she's the healer and she also casts some buffs too.
Even when Selene's down it's still pretty nasty. Brumalia's smart enough to spam ice spells on Sparrow to devastating effect, and she even goes down once.
This fight... I think has a turn limit because I've seen it lighten up at different times based on the two times I did it for this update. But the first time I did this fight all three were still up because I was focusing on Hit-All attacks. Could be a percentage of total boss HP.
It's starting to get very light out...
No! I've got to give this everything I have!
Shroud begins casting and casting and casting and leaves are caught on the wind....
Any more questions?
We're done here. I'm getting her out of here safely, sun or no sun.
The leaf shield is one of those events that have always really stuck in my head.
There's the sound of a blade or a stake being drawn, but...
What?! Out of the way! I must drive this through her heart!
I can't let this go on any longer. There must be some other way.
And to think I once felt you were worthy of joining The Holy Three!
Forcas hits Selene out of the way.
And then she blows Forcas away with a wind spell...?
You're... a copy mage. Like me.
I thought I was the only one.
???: I think not.
So it seems.
You dare set foot on this sacred ground!
Ah, take a nap.
Baron shoots Forcas, presumably with his tranquiliser shot, since Forcas immediately passes out.
This shield of yours is quite creative, chum. I'm impressed.
The sun got... shrouded!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X130NPh92HM 'Defined By A Mask' aka 'Mask of Kemosabe', Bubba Ho-Tep
We'll be ready to go in a minute. I just have to get her down from there.
Believe it or not, you have your father to thank for that.
I can't believe that. I thought... I thought I would never see you again.
No such luck.
I would never let anything happen to you... You know that.
Not too much longer...
It's tiring me out. But between my cape and Sparrow's cloak, we'll figure out a way to get you out of this place.
Fine with me. It's getting hot anyway.
Yeah... and I'm beat.
Can we go catch a snooze already?
Can... Can you take me to my father's office? All of you?
I suppose so. What do you have in mind?
I have to try and get through to him. If he is reaching out to me, perhaps he is finally ready.
Defined By A Mask stops playing here.
"I understand that you still have the potential to do good. If we can find a way to cure you, perhaps we can cure all vampires."
Maybe she doesn't need to be cured. Maybe she's just fine the way she is.
While I appreciate the sentiment Shroud is expressing here, especially if I'm right about the prejudice against vampires in Solest being a stand-in for homophobia, it doesn't quite work when you can burst into flames in sunlight and theres not many other vampires. It's a very huge and dangerous restriction on your lifestyle...
"I'm not sure I can be cured, father. I hope you will still accept me."
Which is why I appreciate this even more so.
I am still patriarch of this family. I will end the efforts to hunt you, and perhaps start a new chapter for us.
Father, it needs to be about more than just me!
What do you mean?
I've learned so much since this happened... but the most important thing I realized was that our whole family philosophy... It doesn't work anymore.
Gabriel starts to cast a spell.
Hey! You hurt Stoic and you're going to have a cap busted in your face, old man!
We have to stop this!
He does not have to answer for being resurrected, the same way I didn't ask to be bitten!
It's not fair to hurt and punish people just because... just because you don't like a certain concept!
But Gabriella, this is our entire family's history you're talking about!
No, I don't.
Glad to see we agree. Let's get out of here and wait for Shroud.
He was on his way to help rescue me! Our family has been trying to destroy him for centuries and he was still ready to fight for me!
There's a long pause here.
Stoic, talk to him!
About how I once defeated him in battle just by throwing stones?
About how your whole family has brought suffering to innocent people for hundreds of years, all in the name of self-righteousness?
How dare you!
This may not have been such a good idea.
No, this is important!
Father, I've seen the enrollment numbers. They are plummeting, aren't they?
The trends are distressing.
This is why!
Our family has to change or else we will be irrelevant!
"Gallia's philosophy was almost an extension of what the Robins began.
They came dangerously close to a world without anyone different from them.
But now Gallia is gone, and it has been gone for a long time.
A whole generation of humans has grown up among other races, including skeletons.
You may keep your family sheltered from Solest at large, but you represent only a tiny precentage of the world's humans.
Your type of bigotry now represents a past humans only hear about in violent stories about what the world was like before they were born.
Because this violence was done in the name of Arcadius, many are finished with Arcadius too."
Even many of the elves are, and they thought of themselves as his favourites.
I have to admit... I relate to what he's talking about. The Church frightens me. I would never sign up for a school like this one.
But... service to Arcadius is about more than just hate!
That is not as obvious as you may think. I have seen faith in Arcadius inspire great things. But... my life is not exactly typical.
Humans are turning away from your god... and your family has not been helping matters. People like you, who have made your beliefs into a vocation, need to take a stand and change the perception of what those beliefs mean.
If you don't, hatred and bigotry will be all that defines you.
I... I don't know what to say.
You don't need to say anything. We just wanted you to hear it.
All this preaching!
I thought I would be done with that once I switched sides!
That's So Sparrow!
Oh, knock it off!
"I just hope I have a home to return to when I'm done."
That I can assure you.
The rest... We will have to talk further.
Good enough for now.
It is certainly a strange new phenomenon... and totally unprecedented, as far as I know.
Uhh... Do you guys have a lot of all-nighters in your line of work?
They come and go... and most of mine have involved vampires.
So... how did you meet that elf girl? We did a lot of talking on the way to that hermit woman's place.
She's... really interesting.
Someone's got a crush!
Wha?! Uh... *Chuckle*
You two could go on a double date with Selene and that kid with the hat. Can't remember his name...
I'm definitely too tired for this.
Good luck, all of you. I'm headed back to the dormitory for some rest.
Don't call him Bones when he's got the cloak and bandana on!
We could say the same. Not many dark mages around here.
Yes... I was counting on that.
I found him but... he's gone mad.
I'm afraid of what he will do next.
Where is he?
He's on a small island near Guardia... On this island is an ancient shrine to Perditia which houses the Altar of the Abyss.
Another rebirth spell?!
For Arcadius's sake, Ariel was bad enough. Who's next? Lysander?
I don't think that's his plan.
Whatever it is has something to do with Enkur. He somehow convinced him to resume their partnership.
Who is Enkur?
No time for that story now.
Rana, I'm guessing you were looking for holy mages to try and subdue Solik?
"It takes ages for them to come to an agreement on anything! So I sought out other help. Now that I've found you... I am a little relieved."
He is just relentless. We've got to take him out of commission or this will never end.
You're right, chum.
But Enkur... I hoped he had changed.
If we have to face him in combat...
In the end, we have no choice.
Rana, our carriage is back in Pearlton. We'll take it to the nearest harbor.
... Thank you.
Rana heads off.
Look on the bright side, man!
This could be your second chance with Rana, if you know what I mean.
This is hardly the time.
It's the perfect time!
All this adventure is romantic! Just ask those two!
Leave us out of this.
You can't spell "necromancer" without "romance!"
He actually said it.
Also including 'spell' in the same sentence about spell casters deserves extra points.
I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that.
One more word about this...
And we may have to use the rebirth spell on you. Is that understood?
And lastly, the scene I've been waiting for, for a long time.
Ariel puts a wreath of flowers on the grave and then steps back and looks around.
Is this really all that's left of North Gallia? Or at least... The North Gallia I remember.
"At least they had the decency to give you a proper burial... even if it is way out here in these ruins. *Chuckle*
Wonder where my grave is...
I don't know, Lysander...
Feels like too much time has passed...
There's nothing left of Gallia except that ragtag bunch of misfits in the cult."
"But then I keep thinking of you.
You died to protect Gallia...
I guess I did too, but now that I'm back, it doesn't seem all that important.
You offered me friendship despite what everyone else said about me. You believed in me... though I'm still annoyed at you for marrying that obnoxious woman.
I just can't stand the idea of your death losing its meaning."
"Even if he had to be...
coerced a little bit.
I don't know what the future holds for me... or this world. All I know is that I will never forget you."