Part 60: Act Two Chapter Twenty-Five - At Long Last, The Haven
Aldanon's waiting for us by our library. Hopefully he's got a bead on the location of Ammon Jerro's Haven, which we were supposed to find around about this time last Act.
: I am so pleased you let me visit - the last time I was here I wasn't able to examine much of the Keep or the library, quite a shame.
: Oh, that is unfortunate. I occasionally return to that side project when I have time, but to be honest, it's a difficult stone to crack.
: I mean, it's one thing to know about a place, and quite another to find it. The distinction is subtle, but there.
: What do you need to find it?
: What map? What position?
: My question exactly - what is this nonsense? I didn't ask for any "map." Can't you see we're having an important discussion here?
: Master Aldanon... you requested I chart a possible location for you, based on the information you provided.
: I had the Master Cartographer and several assistants cross-checking the records, and you were correct... this location cannot be scryed, and it bears the telltale arcane marks you indicated would be there.
: Master Aldanon... you did not say what this place was, only what to look for. As you have said, it is one thing to find a place, and quite another to know about it at all.
Well that's a relief. I was worried we'd have to jump through hoops to get anywhere.
: But yes, I seem to recall asking for this. Well done, Aldanon, I say - which I do, good for me. Wouldn't you agree?
: But how did you find it?
: Well, there were two things I felt would be essential in a haven - secrecy and its ties to the court of Neverwinter.
: Secrecy means a place that cannot be scryed. So I hired several diviners in my employ to scan a selected area based on shipments of reagents to a few obscure locations indicated in the court records. Quite simple, really.
: Oh, well, I am not certain it's there, but if I were to guess where one would place a labyrinth of deathtraps, well, mountains are always a good source of stone. Labyrinths needs walls, you know, and stone walls seem to be favored.
: Great. Can we go now? My ancestor's death-filled labyrinth awaits, apparently.
: Oh... trust me, demons shouldn't pose any problems, especially for a well-trained, armed, spirited group like that.
: Now, if you had told me that those men at Crossroad Keep had completed that terrible ritual of shadows, then I would be concerned.
* * *
Ammon Jerro's Haven is located up at the top of the map. I think it's actually in Luskan territory.
Not that they'd want it. Doesn't look very hospitable.
These gargoyles and shadow mastiffs don't help much either.
This must be the entrance to the Haven itself.
: Well, that would be me. I'm a Jerro, so open up.
: Know that sharing the Jerro blood is only the first step. You, and any allies, must also walk the three Paths - Determination, Righteousness and Sight.
Oh boy. Looks like those hoops are here after all. Couldn't old Jerro just have put the key under a mat or something?
: We'd like to know more about the Path of Sight.
: It is the ability to seek out dangers you sense, but cannot see. Use the braziers in the area to illuminate the threat and destroy it.
: What's the Path of Determination?
: The ability to disregard pain and loss and suffering and reach your goal - any goal.
: Tell us about the Path of Righteousness.
: It is the will to do what must be done to achieve the greater good. A barbarian shaman often meditates at the highest point of this area, seeking a vision from his god.
: When he receives that vision, he will unite a number of tribes under one banner, and they shall sweep over the land like a plague. Destroying him now will ensure that such a thing will not come to pass.
Well, here's a surprise. We must complete three trials to enter the Jerro Haven.
I can't help but notice all of these ruins seem to be in pretty good condition - enough at least to plague us with tests, rituals and puzzles. Where are the ancient and secret ruins where, for example, all the walls fell down and all the locked doors rotted away?
Heading back to the main area, we spy a few new friends. This is the Path of Sight.
Killing the fire elementals gets us a Fiery Heart object.
Sticking the Fiery Heart in the brazier lights it and spawns half-a-dozen Shadows.
There are three groups of elementals, three braziers, and three fights with shadow creatures. Lighting all three braziers finishes the task.
: Geysers like that sometimes tend to spit... well, an acid into the air, and into the ground. So watch where you walk, and hope you have thick-soled boots.
: After you.
The geysers erupt frequently but erratically. They also do a lot of magic damage, which is a bit of a rip. Spellcasters ought to have the option of warding themselves from the acid using acid-resistance spells, since that's what it is.
This large geyser at the end of the gorge is the one we want.
: All right, that was pretty impressive... why, you might almost be as quick as I am. Almost.
: You love living every day like your last, don't you? That acid could have burned you... pretty badly.
Filling a vial full of acid without getting burned impresses Neeshka enough for an Influence point. We'll be picking more up from her soon.
Unsurprisingly, this was the Path of Determination, though I like to think we completed that already just by getting to this point in the game.
The Path of Righteousness lies atop this mountain overlooking the Haven.
: To my people, I will be a savior. To everyone else, I will be doom and despair. I ask again - what will you do?
A hypothetical ethical conundrum. My favourite!
: I suppose I have no choice but to stop you.
: Sounds good, enough talk - let's end this.
Killing the shaman is the 'correct' (if Evil) response. The squeamish are punished for their hesitation with a horde of really tough barbarian warriors.
Surviving the barbarian horde also completes the Path of Righteousness. We have now proved ourselves worthy of entering the Haven.
I suppose it's a good way of ensuring only your best descendents inherit your deathtrap of a Haven. 'Best' being a relative concept, of course.
At least I assume that's what these Paths were for. If they were actually intended to keep people out then they didn't do too good a job. Though again that's par for the course in Fantasy-land.
Man, Jerro sure had some strange ideas about stuff.
We cash in our Paths with the doorman.
: Well done. Do not rely on sight alone. If you sense a threat, trust your instincts and use other means to root out what which hides from you.
: We have the vial of burning water. What do we do with it?
: It is proof of your accomplishment, nothing more. Your willingness to suffer much for such an insignificant thing speaks well of you.
: The shaman is dead, and the barbarian threat is ended.
: You did well. To be restricted by morality can be a fatal weakness when something greater is at stake.
I've never even met this guy and already I don't like him.
Ah, yes, this is what we brought Shandra along for.
: Oh, gods, my grandfather must have loved his privacy - too much, I think.
: Shed a drop of your blood on the pedestal, and the way shall open.
Of course we're sure. We've been waiting all Act for this.
: All right... I mean, we've come all this way, right? Watch my back in case this summons something bad.