Part 14: Update XII - Goondalf the G(ame-player)Part XII - Goondalf the G(ame-player)
We’re almost done with things in the new areas of the keep. One main thing left, those locked areas. Maybe General Roth can help with that.
Of course we put on our Avalon tabard first so we can match our hero.
I wanted to ask you about this locked room I found. I’m sure it’s someone’s room, but…
Hmm, yes, the Catheans have been locked up in there for quite some time. I wonder what they’re up to… There could be a problem. Would you look into it for me?
Certainly, Sir Roth.
Thank you, lad. Take this key; you’ll need it. If it turns out that His Highness Isdernus needs assistance, I’m sure he will want you to report to him for a time.
I’ll start work on it as soon as possible, Sir Roth. Good day.
With that, Roth hands us the master keys to the entire castle! Bwahaha, fools! Now your lives and treasure belong to Goondalf! Let the looting begin.
Though really, the only actual new loot this gives us is that locked chest in that secret room from earlier.
Slapping that bad boy on Wyatt immediately.
I suppose we could also investigate the other locked stuff… I guess.
Tell me of your dilemma, good monk. Perhaps I can do something for you.
Rest assured, sir, that I have earned my good name and don’t care to tarnish it. Please tell me what crisis has befallen you Catheans.
Brother Larry: It is a most dark time for us, my boy. King Isdernus has somehow been poisoned, by whom and with what we do not know. Before he went out of his head, he ordered us to keep his condition a secret. I have tried every antidote I could concoct, but nothing has worked. He is failing fast, and I am powerless to heal him without knowing what poison courses through his noble veins. If someone could locate the poisoner and find out what he used, I could probably brew an antidote in no time.
How much time does he have, Monk Larry?
Brother Larry: Not long. Days, possibly. Without knowing the poison, there’s really no way to be certain. At this point, he could go at any time.
Very well, monk. Since there’s no time to lose, where do you suggest I begin my search?
Brother Larry: You might start with the Alchemist Fester. He would probably have access to the rare herbs and ichors that most poisons are made from. I was going to ask him myself, but I was afraid it might draw the kind of attention the King commanded us to avoid. If you can approach him without revealing a connection to us, you might find out something valuable and still avoid our situation becoming public knowledge.
Fuckin kings, man.
Well, what the monk and knights said was moving and all, but since the lady asked nicely, we’ll do it.
There is one more locked door to check out first though.
This knight has a huge room to himself, for no discernable reason…
“A part of” our group, sure.
I believe this expedition will do him good. He seemed thrilled with the idea.
You’ll get used to it, Sir Knight. Farewell.
I think he might be part of the unique Fighter quest line in Chapter Three… maybe. Or he could be selling us out. Who can say? Let’s move onto that alchemist.
How goes your business, sir?
Fester: Even in wartime, people suffer the aches and imbalances of everyday life. Though I’ve had a hard time getting some of my ingredients, I try to keep reserves for lean times like this. Still, I end up scavenging from one end of the keep to the other from time to time in order to try and replenish my supplies. Say, that reminds me: You haven’t heard of anyone around Avalon with any Moonberry Root or Dogshead Mushrooms, have you? I thought I had plenty, since I don’t use them that often, but I couldn’t find any in my lab today.
Do you think someone might have taken them?
Fester: It is possible, I suppose. With the war on, people are beginning to hoard the strangest things. That’s actually one reason why I’ve been able to find some replacements. I end up trading small tonics to some in exchange for any ingredients people might have that I could use. Honestly, I don’t know why someone would want to take those mushrooms or roots, since there are much more obviously valuable substances in my lab. In fact, if I didn’t take pride in keeping my stock so well inventoried, I wouldn’t even miss them. I almost never use them anymore, for much safer substances have been discovered.
Safer? Are they poisonous, Fester?
Where exactly can I find that book?
Fester: Ask the Librarian Marcus, he is in charge of the library’s scientific lore section. He should be happy to help.
Where might I find Night Faeries’ Breath?
Fester: The merchant Rayous is quite well-travelled and disordered. Somewhere among his chaotic collection of odds and ends one might find just about anything. If I needed it, and was willing to pay or trade for it, he is the person I would go to.
Thank you for your time, Fester. I hope you find replacements for your missing ingredients.
To the library!
I seek knowledge of a book of herbal mixtures, particularly one with a treatment for brain fever.
Marcus: I know exactly the book you seek. Strangely enough, I located it for a page, of all people, only recently. Perhaps he has ambitions to become an alchemist one day, otherwise I cannot imagine why he would want to see it. Let’s see if I can find it again… [He looks for some time.] Odd, I can’t find it anywhere. Where could it be? You’ll have to excuse me, sir, but we lack the staff to keep the library functioning at full efficiency during wartime.
You wouldn’t happen to remember anything about him, would you? You see, I’m a bit of an amateur herbalist myself, and I would like to look him up to discuss our mutual interest.
Smooth Goondalf temporarily resurfaces!
Marcus: I remember his name was Simek, but nothing else comes to mind about the fellow.
With any luck, I’ll be able to track him down. I won’t be needing that book after all, so don’t bother finding it. Thank you, Marcus. I’m off.
To the Inner Bailey!
I’m looking for something special, actually. Night Faeries’ Breath. The alchemist, Fester, said you might have some in your stock.
Merchant Rayous: Odd that you should ask that. I hadn’t sold any of that particular herb, which used to be popular for inducing sleep, in quite some time. Then, just the other day, I sold some to a page. Today, here you are, asking for the same herb. I hope this isn’t the start of a new trend. I don’t know where I can possibly get more, but I hate to disappoint my customers.
You wouldn’t happen to remember that page’s name, would you?
Merchant Rayous: Not off hand, though I remember seeing him in the main hall the few times I’ve been in the keep lately.
This page only spawns once we have a name and location. Let’s do this.
I would speak with you for a moment, page.
Page Simek: What do you need, sir?
Your name wouldn’t be Simek, would it?
Page Simek: Why, yes sir, that is my name. Er, why do you ask?
I understand you have an interest in herbs, page. Would you care to share your latest experiments with me?
Page Simek: I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir. I’m too busy running hither and thither to have any time to play with plants.
You seem to have plenty of time to play with me, so why don’t we play the truth game? If you have any more of that poison, I would advise you to hand it over now. We just might be able to save King Isdernus, and perhaps yourself, if you cooperate right now.
I already have your employer, so you might as well confess and make it easy on yourself.
Page Simek: Impossible! There’s no way you could know! I was too--urp! Now you will die!
Do your worst, assassin!
Seriously? You’re going to fight us wearing that? Honey please.
It goes as expected.
Green=poison, checks out.
We can’t afford to lose an ally, monk. I was glad to do my part.
The knights and everyone are happy, of course, but…
Heck yeah. Worth it. For the spell too, I guess. What the Monk teaches us is Protection from All, which reduces all non-physical damage, i.e. Heat, Cold, etc. by 25% for the duration. Spells like Protection from Cold we can learn from Bones reduce by 50%, but only apply to that one type. They can be stacked, but it takes more time and mana to do so. Which spells are best really depends on what we’re going up against. Getting this definitely makes up for barely getting any TP for the quest!
One more thing before we head into the caves… let’s see if that oracle the drunk guy mentioned has any warnings for us. Not that Goondalf puts stock in fate, of course.
How are you doing, Orvyn? I was wondering if your psychic friend had an answer to my query yet.
Orvyn: She wouldn’t tell me… Said it could change th’ future for the worse, and she wouldn’t risk that with all of humankind at stake. Sorry.
He… he actually asked.
Of course. That’s somewhat different than telling you that you’ll find the woman of your dreams… Or that you’ll be going on a sea voyage. Well, I’ll get out of your hair for now, friend.
Anyway, to actually enter the caves, we need permission from this dude, or those doors won’t open.
No problem, Wacian. This will only take a moment.
Wacian: Thank ye, lad. [He grins.] Let me know when ye’re done and I promise ye won’t get locked down there. Heh.
Guess we have to actually do the main quest now. But first, a quick pitstop with Bones to learn some more magery, including the awesome Wizard Craft.
I don’t think I’ve shown recharge rates before. This is our gain rate now for Mana, though very soon it will start displaying per second instead of per minute.
Here’s our HP regain too while we’re here. It’s close to our Mana gain only because I’ve been prioritizing Healing Rate training packages, and because the Heart Guardian increases it. Mana regain will quickly outpace HP before long, since Mysticism is much cheaper to raise than Constitution.
Now, into the caverns! Where we will... [flips through journal] Ah, yes! Find the party that was sent down here to locate the Earthstone!
No, soldier, what would give you that idea?
Don’t you guards talk amongst yourselves?
Guard Elwick: No, sir, the caves make pretty much everything sound strange, and we’d have to speak pretty loudly to hear ourselves, so we just stay quiet and listen to the noises.
Guard Elwick: Yes, sir. Not human noises. Well, noises a human could make, sure, but they’d talk, wouldn’t they?
I suppose they might, soldier, unless they were trying to stay hidden. Farewell.
A little further inside is another guard.
What do you mean?
Why? What’s so scary down there? A couple of stalactites, some algae…
Kilmer: And weird noises. Lots of weird noises! It’s enough to drive a man batty.
You can hear them from here?
Kilmer: Yeah, those caverns are really strange, they garble a man’s voice so bad you can’t hear what he’s saying. It echoes around there so much that the scraping of a booted foot sounds like… Well, like something else. Something eerie.
Then I’ll bet it’s just that, soldier. A booted foot. Pardon me; I have official business in these caverns.
Oh boy. What did we sign up for?
You know, based on the Fornaxans we’ve met so far… I can’t say I blame her.
-‘Fire Walker’. He acts like Mithras is here to kill him and him alone, as if none of the rest of us are in any danger. Fewer are actually dying. Either the Ahoul are getting worse with their bows or they’re trying to leave us alive. I think they’re trying to leave us alive.
-away. I don’t know what to make of it, but something strange is definitely happening.
-Aratoyans to arrive at Avalon. As of this edition of Illustrious Avalonians, the Captain stated: “It’s like losing a limb (no pun intended), leaving the trees of Aratoy. However, I’d rather give my life defeating the Sha’ahoul than let their torches set fire to Aratoy.”