Part 10: Update VIII - Goondalf the G(lorious)Part VIII - Goondalf the G(lorious)
Before we report the disturbing revelation of Sha'ahoul digging to Mudam, we should make sure we have a full view of the situation. Lahren can probably translate the scrolls the Sha'man Lieutenant was carrying.
I came across these writings in the village--would you be able to tell me what they say?
Lahren: This writing was made by Sha'ahoul. It seems to be some sort of journal or list of things to do. The project would be complete within a day, and then the operation could proceed. Extra supplies need to be ordered. The escaped dirtman has been located--
Located! My brother has been located? Where?
Lahren: Give me a moment... He's not been captured, I don't think, at least not by the Ahoul. Some Ahoul were killed at... the writing place? A book place? Maybe the Library. Anyway, they were killed by this creature--there's a modifier here: large? I'm not certain. The creature retreated into the underground of the book place, and the Ahoul managed to block it in with a rock. A boulder, most like. There's a strange note here. I don't know what it means. However, the Ahoul trackers are pretty certain that the escaped dirtman also was hiding in the book place underground and that maybe the dirtman and the creature would kill each other.
Lahren: The note says the Sha'man should go kill the creature with his magic since the soldiers are afraid to approach it. There's something about the creature likely being able to move the boulder if left alone long enough, so the Sha'man should go soon.
The Sha'man is dead. That will not be happening, at least.
Lahren: I, uh... I see. That's all there is on this scroll, anyway.
Thank you. I think I know where my brother is now. I owe the Sha'men that, I guess.
Lahren: This scroll is parchment, not hide. Did it come from Avalon? No, how could it--there's Sha'ahoul writing on it. On my life, though, this is very strange.
Can you read the writings?
Lahren: The icons are... irregular, as if a child was writing this. It is most difficult to make out... The project... goes well? Conflict internal walls--conflict within the walls? Of Avalon, do you think? I'm not certain. Medicines stolen, death from sickness. A hole in the wall, leading creatures--insects?--to food. Meeting during battle. No, battle is modified. False? False battle? This isn't making any sense at all.
No, it makes a horrible amount of sense. There are traitors about, Lahren--I know it! I must report this to Mudam, and soon.
I've discovered some Ahoul trying to tunnel into the castle, sir.
I hope you dispatched them!
I did, sir. I suspect this was the curious activity that had been reported to you. The tunnel was heading directly towards South Gate and I estimate it was nearly halfway there. I think we should keep a close eye on the Church from now on--we don't want the Ahoul to continue their work there!
That's a prudent suggestion, scout, and one to which I will see immediately. Avalon owes you a debt of gratitude.
It was my duty, sir.
Speaking of South Gate... something is different there now. Those rude bois from earlier are gone.
Goondalf heads downstairs to investigate.
S-Sirs? Why are your weapons drawn? ...Oh dear.
I never thought I would have to fight my fellow soldiers, but you leave me no choice!
Extremely rude. That's what happens when you tell a mighty sword wizard to get lost, though.
This half-naked man hanging out in a nearby room by himself has some very important loot.
These bad boys are insanely good for anyone who isn't a Scout. The only reason I didn't equip them right away is that they would clash with our current outfit. Don't worry, I'll be putting them on soon.
Now, let's find out what's going on down here!
Every good castle needs a dungeon. One of the cells here is different though...
More guys with pickaxes!
Looks like we're not done reporting terrible shit to Mudam.
I've uncovered a plot to betray Avalon, sir!
Betray Avalon? Slow down, lad--that's a serious charge. You'd best explain.
I discovered some soldiers secretly digging a tunnel in the basement of South Gate. They attacked me and, though I was forced to kill them, there are likely more traitors in South Gate. In the village, though, I also discovered some Ahoul digging a tunnel in the basement of the Church. Until I stopped them, the two tunnels were going to meet each other and give the Ahoul a passageway into Avalon. While I can't be sure, I believe that the meeting of the tunnels would not have been very far in the future. Perhaps even less than a day or two.
Spirits preserve us... Men digging out into the village and Ahoul digging into Avalon? I must report this to General Roth at once! You've done Avalon an heroic service this day, lad.
Thank you, sir. I'm glad I could help. But my brother, sir--right now I've got my brother to worry about.
Yes, sir! Until later, sir!
Back out in the village, the stairs we're looking for actually appear to be next to the library, rather than in it.
Going down, this giant boy is waiting for us.
The Ogre packs a huge punch. In fact, one club hit is enough to kill Goondalf if we get unlucky on the damage roll.
Please ignore this Frost spell miss.
The Ogre does move slowly though, and with the Officer's Sword, our Attack Recovery is just low enough that, if we're fast with our clicking, we can move in, get off one swing, and get out of the way before the Ogre finishes its attack animation.
A couple restarts and a lot of running back and forth just out of reach later, the creature finally falls.
Let's see what loot it has!
Don't judge me, game.
This is way too slow to ever use, even as a Fighter, though those are some insane, spell-level damage numbers.
In the adjoining room...
Save your strength, brother. You can tell me once we're safely behind Avalon's walls.
There's no time! You may have to bring this news back on your own!
Don't be ridiculous, we'll take you to see Brother Crosby at once. Spirits, you're burning up!
I'm fine, little brother. I'm just a little dizzy...
Your wounds are infected. Eat this, brother. The monks say it will help.
You have a fever, eat this onion!
Yes, Mother--Spirits, that's disgusting! And I feel not a bit better, either. What is that?
Medicine, and you will feel better, I promise. For now, let's leave this place, all right?
Who else survived, then? Where are they?
General Ovoron has betrayed us, little brother. He has betrayed Avalon and all the people of the Seven Kingdoms. It was Ovoron and his lieutenants that I spotted riding away from the company. They were distancing themselves from the coming ambush. They knew what was coming and didn't want to risk being caught in the slaughter.
No, Corvus! What you're saying...
With the cries of battle echoing over the landscape, I found Ovoron and his lieutenants meeting with Mithras himself. One of Avalon's high council and the leader of the Ahoul were chatting pleasantly before my eyes, for spirit's sake, like they were merely resting after a quiet afternoon's ride. They acted as if hundreds were not spitting out their last breaths but ten minutes away! Sweet spirits, how could they pretend to not hear the screams? The screams of hundreds, little brother, hundreds! All my friends... of all there that day, I alone survived.
Corvus, I'm sorry...
The last thing I saw was Ovoron handing Mithras a satchel. It took no imagination to guess its contents and when I realized what was happening, I immediately turned and headed towards Avalon at full gallop. I was spotted, of course--the Ahoul were all over the area. Somehow I made it back to the village before my horse was cut out from under me. I raced through the buildings trying to get to the gate, but was cut off. I ducked around a corner and found a hole where my feet expected floor. It was a bad fall, but it likely saved my life.
And the Ogre? What of the Ogre?
I dragged myself over here, and stayed as silent as I could. I've been fading in and out of consciousness. I don't know where the Ogre came from, or when, but it's been shouting and bashing at something for hours. Whatever it was doing, I don't believe it ever bothered looking around the corner, or if it did, fancied me its prisoner... Or a future meal.
There was a boulder trapping it in here, put there by the Ahoul. Its confinement drove it into a frenzy, it seems. When I arrived, it had succeeded in moving the boulder enough for me to squeeze past, but not yet enough to escape itself.
That's what it was doing? I could not gather enough strength to peek around the corner.
We must make haste to Avalon, brother. In truth, Sir Roth most surely needs to hear your tale, but he needs to hear it from you. Come now, I'll help you...
Corvus has now been added to our party roster in the lower-left. This is our first taste of the party mechanics about to be introduced in the next chapter. This is a very brief section though, so I'll talk more about that later.
He follows us very slowly, so we have to walk to make sure his pathfinding can get him around the corner here. Mercifully, we don't have to lead him all the way back to Avalon. As soon as we head up the stairs, we are taken immediately to the Outer Keep, where General Roth is waiting.
Sir, we have some disturbing news.
Yes, Mudam has already told me about your discovery under South Gate. We have launched an investigation to search out the traitors and their benefactor. Someone with great authority has been aiding them; to keep a conspiracy of this scale secret is no easy matter. Most troubling is the fact that whoever is behind all this is willing to sell us out to the Sha'ahoul.
I'm afraid it reaches the highest level, sir. Corvus witnessed General Ovoron meeting with Mithras himself. Ovoron delivered to him a satchel of documents moments before the army was ambushed.
Ovoron? This is disastrous! General Ovoron was a council member--he knows everything. I must inform the other members immediately. Take your brother to the monks and see they tend to his wounds. Report back to Mudam, and then get some rest. Tomorrow morning report to my private chambers in the Inner Keep. Let no one else know about Ovoron's actions.
Okay, we do have to lead Corvus a little farther, but at least it's on the same floor.
Since we're in the area, and we're done with combat for the chapter, we might as well finally hand in the Chalice of Life too.
They are indeed, Friar. I have found the Chalice of Life!
Friar Massus: Bless you, son! This is a great victory for the Alliance! The Chalice of Life... Everyone will take heart now!
I live to serve, Friar. I'm glad I could help.
Friar Massus: Remember, my son--you are always welcome here.
Thank you, Friar.
We get 10 (ten!) Training Points for completing this quest, but more importantly... most NPCs' dialogue changes to reflect our heroism! I will highlight a few.
I shall do my best in this war. I can do no less.
Madden: As will I. I never really thought I'd get to see my love again, but with the Chalice here in Avalon, I think that now we really have a chance.
The road ahead is still filled with danger, but I'm sure we'll come through. Farewell.
Heard any good rumors?
Kent: Rumor has it that a new officer with the Elythrians will turn the tide of this war. You have the strength to do it. I know it. Be strong!
As strong as my duty required that I be. Farewell.
Nothing so grand, I think--whatever others say. Have you anything more for me?
About the tunnels, you mean? Come now, don't you think you've done enough for now? If you still wish to deal with me, come see me in the morning.
Perhaps I will. Good night.
I think not, ma'am. I found some chalice and everyone has become excited about it.
Anora: Well, your effect here has been nothing but uplifting! I'm glad you're among us now!
And I am glad to be here, fighting Mithras and the Ahoul.
Anora: Stay safe, my lord.
And you too, madame.
For starters, you can be certain the kitchen cellar's wall is repaired properly.
Guard Davet: Of course, sir! At once, sir!
Good man. Carry on.
Oh, lady... You look fine to me. Fine, indeed.
Bonnie: Perhaps, but I think I could always look better for a hero. Now, if you'll tell me what it is you want, perhaps I can help you before this blush reddens my face further...
Oh, nothing more than to see y-- I mean, hear your latest news.
Bonnie: Some of the quicker will be in luck tonight; there's real beef in tonight's supper. Would you like a portion set aside for you?
No, I should taker my meal with the other soldiers. I do, however, thank you for your offer, and shall remember it with gratitude. Fare thee well, lady.
That's probably enough accolades for now. Let's report to Mudam one last time.
I have returned my brother to Avalon, sir. He is resting now in the infirmary.
That's great news! I must say that my hopes had begun to fade. Make certain the monks give him the best care.
I have, sir. There is more that I should report to you, but Sir Roth told me to pass it on to no one else. It's about Ovoron, sir.
You mean General--
No, sir. Not any more. He has led his men to slaughter, sir, and passed secret documents to the Ahoul.
I understand. Sir Roth will send for me when he requires me. I would thank you for your report, but I think you will forgive me if I do not. But you--you get some rest. This war is far from over, and I have a feeling the next chapter in it will soon be upon us.
I will, sir. And, sir... You have my thanks, for both your training, and your kindness. Good night, sir.
With that, Chapter One is officially complete! We have saved up a healthy pool of TP for the trainers in the next Chapter, though regrettably not quite enough. I forgot that it's more advanced, and thus more expensive. Still, this is a good headstart.
Now it is finally time for the hero to rest... Oh hey, there's a lady in our room.
No, thank you. Your attention to my room has been excellent.
Heather: Thank you, sir! When I heard who you were, I decided to be extra careful with your room.
Nonsense, I'm just doing my duty. Have you heard anything new, lately?
Ah, Goondalf. A goon, to be sure, but at least a gentlegoon.
Heather: Well, I'm not supposed to talk about things like this, but things are changing around here. Everybody up here is gaining confidence in our strength. Even General Roth, sir!
That's good news. Hopefully, these good spirits will help carry us to victory.
And hopefully, no one finds out about the traitors...