The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 22: Session 16: Not Pirates But an Incredible Simulation

Session 16: Not Pirates But an Incredible Simulation

“Now what?”

“Now we game, that’s what.”

“But you said—”

Lewis is here now, so it doesn’t matter.

“I was wondering when we would finally start the campaign. I can only play Monopoly for so long.”

“Good. So where were we again?”

“We were asking everybody in the goddamn town about the judge in the hopes that something interesting would happen.”

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that. So you talk to several other folks in town and hear all about Judge Jarnug. Apparently, aside from using his power to occasionally force people of either gender to have sex with him, he was known as tough but fair, but all that changed around two to three years ago, when he got sick. After he got better, he stopped forcing himself on people, but now he seems to rule randomly on cases, either due to whim or some hidden agenda no one can figure out. But then, as you’re walking down the street,

Finally. Lazy bastard took 10 days in-game to get to me.

“What sort of information?”
“He didn’t tell me! Plus he couldn’t know we’ve been working together!”
We’ve been wearing these guild armbands around town, haven’t we? Is Tarik wearing his?
He is, although you wouldn’t know how long he’s been wearing it.
Not very secret, then. “So who is this mysterious informant?”
“Malmodir Elin, a Norbadan. He’s been living in town for ten years now, and used to be a close friend of the judge’s—a very close friend!”
How close, exactly?
“His lover, actually.”
But the guy rapes people.
“It was an, ah, open relationship.”
Hang on, is Mallomar a guy or a girl?
“A man. After all, Jarnug is a…an admirer of physical beauty, whichever sex it comes in.”
Hey, you think that’s why they picked Wimpy Merchant as the go-between?
That’s kind of creepy to think about.
Sounds pretty interesting to me.
…Moving on, Tarik gives you a questioning look when you bring up Gorm the merchant. Do you tell him about what you found?
Of course.
Tarik thinks over your information. “What possible interest could the judge have in the orcs conquering the country? They’d massacre him along with everybody else. Something’s not right here! Ah, but I should tell you more about your contact.”

Another plot speech, featuring an oddly-accented Tarik and two PC’s, speaking up for the first time. In case you’re wondering about whether the voices change if you have an entirely female or male group, no, I’m pretty sure they don’t.

About time we got a real lead. Let’s head to the tavern he told us about.

Very well.

That’s right folks, a full-on FMV in all its late-90’s glory! I suppose we should be thankful the audio synchs up properly. Also, the party is now four people instead of six.

I can’t believe I didn’t catch that. I should have figured on drugged drinks when I heard the words “on the house.”
So who sold us out? I will fuck Tarik up SO HARD if I find out…

When you wake up, your heads are throbbing and you have a foul taste in your mouths. It’s pitch dark, and all your limbs are sore. You have lost all sense of time and can only guess it’s early morning. Someone has gagged you and tied your hands behind your backs. All you can really do is sit and wait for whatever the gods have in store for you now.

Thanks, Bob. Really. Thanks a lot. Hey Hal, we should start a tally on how many times we get captured in this campaign.
Twice by the guild and now this, so “III.”
Should we count the guards?
I don't see why not. So, let's make that “IIII.”
Are these pirates really part of the module, or are you just adding them in because we killed all those guards last time?

They’re not pirates, just a civilian vessel with unscrupulous hiring practices. And they were in before, but your performance the other day has inspired me to make a few…modifications to the plotline.

Can you guess what’s missing from this image again?

“Well, at least that one there looks brawny enough.” The boatswain points at you, Suzie.
Twenty strength is nothing to sneeze at.
“Now ye listen to me: I ‘ave an offer to make ye. We’ll be puttin’ to sea soon an’ leavin’ Riva. Our load must reach Havena undamaged. An’ since there’s Thorwal pirates infesting our route, we need some experienced fighters to protect our cargo.”
“I’d rather be killin’ ya all and joinin’ with tha pirates, don’tcha know!”
I thought we talked about this.
About what? Oh yeah, mixing accents! Alright, alright, I’m done.
“Ye don’t look like ye’re all that keen to sign on, but ye don’t get no choice in the matter. I ‘ave a document here what says ye signed on to work ‘ere of yer own free will. Yer gonna sign it within the hour. If ye don’t, ye’ll ‘ave some miles to swim back to shore, ye will—or should I be sayin’, ye’ll be tryin’ to?”
I bet I could do it. I’ve got tons of points in Swim.

So now what?
Well, first we untie our legs.

Fine. No one around to stop you at the moment.

You know, it’s been a while since we had some music. Does the ship have a theme?

Yes, but unfortunately the disc my German friend sent me is scratched where the song would be, so I can’t play it for you [I mean this quite literally, by the way]. It was a pretty good theme, too.

Oh, that’s fine. We can always use mine.

Oh, not this again.

Yes, it’s this again. I got the whole thing with me, too.
At least it’s appropriate this time.

I told you guys, they’re not pirates.

Close enough for me. Now let’s get out of here. Where are we, anyway?

You are currently in a room at one end of the ship. Besides yourselves, the paper, and the lantern, there are piles of ropes everywhere. Your weapons and equipment are missing, and even your clothes seem to have been replaced with standard issue sailor gear.

What? They stripped all of us? Are you blushing?

No, of course not. And they wouldn’t have cared anyway. So, what are you going to do?

The door’s locked, right?

It is. However, you also see a weakened part of the ship wall just to the right.



The body of a ship is called the hull.

Fine. The ship hull is weakened just to the right of the door.

Can we have Suzie bust it down?

It’s rotted enough that no one needs to make a check. So you break a man-sized hole in the wall, and passing through, you see…

Sounds like a lot of spare sails.
They must be going on a long voyage.

Just past the sail room, you see a room with two chests in it.

Time to get a-lootin’.

In the first chest, you find nearly all of your equipment.

Thank goodness.
Yeah. We might have had to take you out back and punch the shit out of you for taking all our stuff away.

Well of course I wasn’t going to get rid of all your equipment, given how hard it is to find decent magic items in this game. And you didn’t really mean you’d hit me for taking it away, right? …Right?

One thorough reorganization later…

Why are some of you keeping the sailor pants?

They’re more interesting than the regular brown pants, right? Plus I bet they’re more weatherproof.
Kara isn’t really interested in being a sailor, since it’s too far away from the forest. I imagine she’s probably getting seasick already.
So how come you didn’t keep your sailor pants?
My pants are sufficiently fancy already.
Would you all please stop saying “pants?” It’s starting to lose its meaning.

The second chest is full of shirts and pants.

How many pants?

Thirty pants.

Thirty pants?! That’s enough pants for a month! Pants for the first, pants for the second, pants for the third, pants for the fourth, pants for the fifth, pants for the pants—
Please stop.

You also find…

650?! That can’t be right!

It’s not? Oh yeah, all that money from the tower, I forgot. Sorry, just keep the numbers you had from earlier.

I don’t know exactly what happened here. It said we only got 650 ducats back, but the full 2k was in my inventory when I checked later. Must be some hard maximum on given wealth or something.

I would say yes, but we apparently can’t, since we’ve got Thorgrim with us.


What, you mean he’s gone again?!

He, er, decided not to drink the free ale, and so he wasn’t out of it when the boatswain came for you.

Then why didn’t he try to help?

Well, I mean, it’s actually more likely that he got bored while the rest of you were waiting for the one guy to come, so he left early. One way or another, he’s not here on the ship with you.

I swear, you’re getting stupider about this every time it comes up. Fine, Thorgrim isn’t here, so we let the kid come with us.

The kid’s name is Yann, and unlike our last first level companion, this one has the sense to stay far, far away from combat when it comes up. As such, he’s much better at living as well.

I’ll take those loneberries off his hands.

This is the map of the lowest deck in the ship, “Bride of the Winds,” and I'm fairly sure grabbing Yann is the reason it's completely revealed like this. As you can see, the layout is rather confusing, but let me explain something: every single blue and red object is a chest. And yes, I looted every single chest on this deck. Most are just full of regular crap like food, clothing, and tableware, but a couple have some very interesting items that really must be discovered. Such as this:

(There were also some nets on the wall that I thought would come in handy but didn’t. Just ignore them.)

Wait. Do you mean that…is that really what I…I must have it. Give it to me, I must have it!
Dude, calm down, it’s just a game stat.

Yes! Yes! I am invincible! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Someone calm Lewis down.

Lewis, you will most likely not face another magic user on this ship.

Oh, I know, but it’s still nice to look at.

In another random chest toward the back, there’s a second item worth grabbing.

Green and glowing? Too bad it doesn’t go with the magic bread bag, then. We should leave it behind.
Are you crazy?
No, only kidding. I grab it while everyone else stuffs their waterskins into the trunk. It’s not like we need them anymore, either.

I think we all know how good my character is at hiding.
One ambush, coming up.

You hide underneath the ladder to prevent the unsuspecting sailor from noticing you, and once he’s come down, you ambush him.

This calls for a song.

Not the most difficult of battles, but it does show that the sailor apparently has the most realistic death animation yet seen. A bit disturbingly so, in fact.

…And all he was carrying was a wooden cudgel and his leather pants. Not particularly valuable, sorry.

Those pants are mine now.
I thought you didn't like the sailor pants.
Not the jeans, no. But I believe a sailor's leather pants are sufficiently fancy to at least keep around. A man must have options, after all!

You do realize there is now a completely naked sailor on the floor?

I'll put the cudgel over his junk. His friends will thank me later.

This is in the room with all the brown rectangles and no chests.

Time for another song!

And now, ten sailors at once with no chokepoints. And yet my characters merrily maul them all. I guess running around without shirts doesn’t do much for your defense ability.

Anything worth taking in here?

Let’s see…pants, shirts, waterskins, tableware, more pants, boots, bedroll, shoes, an oilskin coat (it’s pretty heavy, don’t bother), a sleeping bag, a whip, a seal slayer, pen and ink, and a miscellaneous document.

Hang on, did you just say a “seal slayer?”

Yeah, that’s what they call it.

Is it an edged weapon? Can I use it?

Let’s see. Looks like the stats are exactly like the saber you’ve got, except the seal slayer weighs an extra 10 ounces.

Damn it…

…And you also note that the bed is unusually tidy.

So what’s the room for?
Guests of the ship, most likely. Strange that they’re not in their rooms, though. Sounds like someone’s living down here.

Someone with a magical talent, no less. You find two bottles of Wisdom elixir, three bottles of Hylailian Fire, an alchemy set, and recipes for Hylailian Fire and Expurgicum.

What’s the what now? What do we do with bottles of fire? Is it some kind of coating, or a bomb or—

I’d have to look it up. Let’s just say you collect the bottles for now and test them out later.

Another chest contains various weapons and armor. Hal, your character thinks that the light equipment might be meant for whatever marines are on board.

Why are there marines on a shipping vessel?

It’s a rough neighborhood, remember?

I’m fairly certain that rough neighborhoods usually mean escorts on other ships, not the ones who desperately want to carry as many goods as possible on board. So much for your “realism,” Lewis.
Meh. It’s close enough for me.

Anyway, you see a saber, two cutlasses, cloth armor, boots, and a toadskin jacket.

What, literally?
Man, that’d be a lot of dead toads. Hey wait, is it like the toads in the Amazon with the deadly contact poison? If so, I want it.

No! It’s…well, it’s studded leather, basically. It’s got the same stats as leather armor, but it weighs 30 ounces less. The merchant in town has it for sale, you know.

I’ll take it then. My elf dude sucks at carrying around heavy things.

Is that it for this floor?

Yes, you’ve explored everything there is to see on the lowest deck.

Finally. Let’s get moving and get off this damn ship.