Part 55: DiscworldUpdate 29: Discworld
"Should warn you, is reason why Ellinger stay in tower all day. Many antisocial habit. For example, bite nails."
"That's not such an awful habit."
"Would not be, if limit self to biting own nails. Or to fingernails."
"The guards in Darkside sure are ruder than the ones we're used to."
"In any case, we can enter now. We should make haste to find Ellinger."
"Nooo! Fubar too young to be destroyed!"
"This question too hard! Too many big word! Ask easier one!"
"What an unceremonious start. Well, there is nothing for it but to be trying again!"
Refusing to answer the question causes 100 damage to the lead party member and kicks the party out of the tower.
"We will be doing the honourable thing, of course! Even with a weapon, he could never be hoping to obtain the better of the great Vandesloof!"
Choosing to let the enemy retrieve his weapon opens a passage to the left; choosing to kill him immediately opens a passage to the right. Either option will let us progress, but the former is the better choice.
"Ellinger? Can you hear us through that thing? We're trying to save the world here! Why are you making this so hard for us?"
"Ooh, we could use some new weapons. And I don't see any sign saying 'don't touch'..."
"Aw, it's just boots. I guess we should have expected that. Well, those are okay too, I guess."
There are a couple of cabinets like this with Gold or Platinum boots in them, giving a nice armour class bonus to whoever wears them. If we'd chosen to kill our enemy instead of letting him retrieve his weapon, the path we'd travel would contain boots made of junk materials like Bronze or Brass instead. The two paths rejoin at the end of the first floor, so all you miss out on for giving the wrong answer is a few really nice pairs of boots.
Speaking of the end of the first floor, searching this tapestry reveals a button, which we can press to clear the path ahead.
"Up we go! Make sure to hold on to the handrail!"
"Are you blind? There isn't any handrail."
"Oh, so there isn't. Take extra care not to fall to your deaths, then!"
"Flench think we face worse dangers than staircase not built to occupational health and safety standard."
"See lava here? Good example to prove Flench point."
"Once again, my magic will be pulling you all free from the cold grasp of danger!"
"More of an excessively warm grasp, in this case."
There are more buttons hidden on the walls in this floor of the tower. If we push them all...
"Huh. Where lava go? Well, Fubar not look gift horse in mouth, especially if horse drink lava."
After pressing the buttons to drain away the lava, it's easy enough to explore the level.
"So I am to be holding my right hand with my thumb pointing upwards and my fingers curling around... and this is supposed to be teaching me about electricity? I am having my doubts about this pedagogical technique."
This book is usable once per character, so it's effectively a permanent +20 electrical resistance bonus to the entire party. It's pretty cool that the game just hands us this right at the start: we'll be making good use of it soon enough.
"Hm. Fire need fuel, oxidising agent, heat..."
"Class A fire is organic solid, most common extinguisher types suitable... Class D fire is combustible metal, use only specialised dry powder extinguishing agent... good things to know for next time Flench get set on fire."
Like the Book of Electricity, the Book of Fire can be used once by each party member. There's nothing much else on the second floor, so we'll keep heading up to the third.
We can immediately see a staircase leading up to the fourth floor, but let's go one floor at a time for now.
"I wonder what could possibly be in here. Could it be... more boots?"
"I'm not sure what this is, but it's not a boot. Wait, there's an inscription! FRONT TOWARD ENE--"
"Aaaaaa! Angry metal rocks!"
"Really? 'Cause it seems to me that angry metal sucks. Let's hope we run into less of it next time."
"Perhaps I should be learning and using Clairvoyance magic soon, unless we are wishing to be exploded again."
"While the fact that 'explode' can be used as a transitive verb is one of my favourite things about our language, it's one verb of which I'd rather not be the object."
"Hey, Trish, what kind of trap are you going to set off in all our faces this time?"
"Hey, Anleisa, what has one thumb and wants you to shut up and let her work?"
"Isn't it 'two thumbs'?"
"It was, but that last trap was a doozy. While we're on the subject, how about sending a little healing my way?"
There are some grates on the third floor that can be unlocked either by a robber/ninja or by pressing a button hidden nearby. Provided your thief can handle it, you may as well have them do the unlocking for a little extra experience.
"What's this? It seems that man does not live on boots alone."
"Still mostly boots, though."
By the time I am done with this tower, I will have enough boots to fill four party members' spare inventory space. Ellinger really likes boots.
There's a second staircase leading up to the fourth floor here, but we'll try the first one we found first.
"Ugh, I can't get this open for love nor money. Sorry, everyone. Hope you weren't desperately anticipating even more boots."
"Fubar have no luck either. Kicking just make leg sore."
There are two of these locked grates on the fourth floor, and Trish can't get them open despite many attempts and a very respectable Thievery score of 62. I really want what's behind these grates, so I'll make a note and come back for them later.
"Could this be the way to Ellinger?"
"Not unless he's invisible and lives on the roof. At least there's a great view of Darkside's night sky from up here. Or is it 'down here', since we're on the other side of the world now?"
"Is this Skyroad we hear about? Neato!"
The Skyroads are just what they sound like: roads floating above the Darkside of Xeen, allowing you to walk almost anywhere in the world without having to make your way through difficult terrain and hordes of monsters. We're not done with Ellinger's Tower just yet, though, so a more thorough exploration will have to wait.
To reach Ellinger, we have to head back down to the third floor and take the other staircase up.
"Gee, we'd better answer this one correctly. We wouldn't want to be booted out after coming so far."
"Reaching the top has been no small feat. I'm sure we can toe the line for a little longer."
"Wait, what are you doing? Don't encourage her!"
"If we fail now, our names just be footnote on pages of history."
"Even you, Flench? You're supposed to be the sensible one!"
"And if we succeed, we're shoe-ins to be remembered as heroes!"
"Stop! This is beneath even your dignity!"
"Now, now. Can't we all geta long?"
"Whoops. Guess tower get sick of waiting for answer."
"I hope you're all happy. Let's try that again, shall we? This time without the inanity?"
Don't overthink the question: the correct answer is the obvious one.
"It seems Ellinger has finally deigned to meet us."
"I'm not feeling so great about that skull throne. Are we sure this dude is a good wizard?"
"Aha! A book of wizardly secrets! Whether he is good or evil, with this the truth will come outwards!"
"Any person who has a wondrous book such as this cannot be all bad!"
"What's so special about it? Let me see."
"It seems that this is a book for sorcerers only."
Any character other than a Sorcerer will take 50 physical damage if they try to read Ellinger's book. A Sorcerer, however, gains +25 Intellect as long as their maximum Intellect is below 50. If you haven't already boosted your Sorcerer's Intellect above 25, that means you can use the book twice for a total of 50 extra points in the stat.
"We sure we want open this book? Could be easy to read, hard to unread."
"What the hell is this crap? This is even worse than the other book!"
"... Perhaps we have kept Ellinger waiting long enough. Also, perhaps we should avoid speaking of this when we meet with him. Or at any other time."
"Hi, Elly! We got orb for you!"
"He released the orb into the world to find adventurers willing and capable of helping him, and it is very important that you return it to him."
"So we just have to deliver this orb? What's the catch?"
"The Dragon Pharaoh has sealed the pyramid from invaders, just as I have sealed my tower, so you will be unable to enter the royal pyramid without the key. Fortunately, we know where the key is -- Queen Kalindra's castle. Unfortunately, Alamar moved the castle 'out of phase' when he kidnapped the queen, and it will be impossible to enter it until the castle has been restored to our world."
"And how is this to be done? We have had a castle built once before, but upon the whole we are more destructionists than constructionists."
"The castle can be restored to our world by casting certain complex spells powered by energy discs. Energy discs are rare magical 'batteries' that can be used to power great works of magic, such as restoring the castle. I recently used the last of my energy discs protecting this tower from infiltration, and I haven't a clue where others may be found."
"Hey, good news on that count -- we've got three of 'em already. That enough?"
"Restoring the castle will require 20 energy discs to power the necessary spells. I don't have to restore the entire castle at once, so every 5 energy discs will enable me to restore a fourth part of the castle."
"Simple enough. As we've already found three discs, I'm sure we can find at least two more. Until we do, I suppose we'll see ourselves out."
"Before you set about your new task, I would like to give you a little something to help you on your way. You will be able to find your gifts in the chest that runs away from you in the southwest part of Castleview. I will instruct it to stay still long enough for you to get what is inside."
We're awarded a generous quarter of a million experience points just for meeting with Ellinger.
And since there's nothing more we can do here until we have at least five energy discs, this update is just about done.
"If you ask me, Ellinger shouldn't have wasted all his energy discs on his tower's defences. They can't be that good if we were able to reach him in one piece."
"Forget that. What was he saying about a treasure chest?"
The fleeing chest in Castleview will still run away from us at first...
... but once we chase it for one lap around the room, it'll move to the centre and stay there.
"Treasure! Glorious treasure! Can we forget about saving Darkside and retire now?"
"You manage to spend a million gold on a drinking binge and you think this will be enough to retire on?"
"Hey, that was your fault as much as mine! But it's true, spending sprees are my second favourite kind of spree. Okay, we'll adventure a little longer."
Apart from enough gold to get us well and truly set up with any spells and skills we need, the chest also contains a few random items that can potentially be quite high-level. The best thing we get this time is a Ruby Shield, which will give a nice AC boost to one party member.
After putting 100,000 gold in the bank for safe keeping, this is where we're at. Everybody's level 10 or higher, and we've already started collecting some good permanent stat bonuses and equipment.
We've now been given the main quest of the game: collect energy discs so that we can restore Queen Kalindra's castle, so that we can get the key to the Dragon Pharaoh's pyramid, so that we can secure his aid against the tyrant Alamar. How should we begin: by exploring outdoors near Castleview in hopes that Gettlewaithe hadn't already collected all the energy discs in the area, or by using the Skyroads to go further afield in search of greener pastures? Vote now!