Part 23: Update XXI - Goondalf the G(len-Warden)Part XXI - Goondalf the G(len-Warden)
We're just about done with side stuff in the forest! First we have that tower in the middle of the lake to investigate.
On the other side of the cave where we met Dale.
It's defended by Giant Spiders, so it must have good stuff inside!
We've seen this tapestry before in Avalon. Did the artists just not have any other assets to use, or does it mean something else?
Okay, some doors.
Empty. There's a hallway over there though!
This tower is attempting to bamboozle us!
Not this time, formless enchantment. Goondalf is far too wise to fall for such paltry stage magic.
It only took him two attempts to realize that the door above teleports him back to the beginning, after all.
Likewise with the door to the right. You'll have to do better than that, tower!
Oh shit, when I said better, I didn't mean an obelisk shooting fireballs at us!
Ow. Despite it's high rate of fire, it's one vs. three, so a spell and/or arrow or two makes it go silent again, and we can claim our prize!
It's not particularly amazing, aside from how it looks. It will definitely be in a future Fashion Show.
Better luck next time, Bamboozle Tower.
On this part of the map, we can just barely glimpse that the cave system is technically part of the same map. I assume the tower is too, since it doesn't actually load a transition screen when we enter it. It's all connected, man!
Let's go back to the outpost to celebrate our glorious victory over bamboozlement!
Not with elves though.
Since we're in the neighborhood and the sidequests are about wrapped up, we might as well roll the main quest along a little too.
Yes, I guess you could say that. I suppose you'd like me to deliver the letter to Byron now, correct?
Right you are. Here y'are.
Thank you. Byron shall embark shortly.
I've cleared the way and brought you the message.
Byron: Well, it's 'bout time!
How rude! Considering that I've done half of your job already, you should be thanking me.
Byron: Oh, it's half m'job y think ye've done, now, is it? Do y' know how many lonely nights I get t' spend on th' road, with one ear to th' ground and one eye open, layin' false trails and avoidin' Ahoul? Half m'job, indeed!
You must think you're pretty tough...
Byron: Nooo, I think I'm pretty sneaky. Ye're the tough, that's why 'Olden 'ad y' clear m' way.
I see. Well, for everyone's sake, I hope you're as sneaky as you think. You seem pretty self-assured.
Byron: Ye're right 'bout that, man. Sorry t' be so abrupt, but I gotta make tracks. Fake ones. HA! HA!
Then he disappears behind some trees. Mission... accomplished?
Yes, as a matter of fact. I have spoken with Sir Mabon, who has recently ascended to fill General Ovoron's position. He has found his new office to be in disarray, and has sent me to fetch your status report.
Hmm, General Ovoron has stepped down? It must have been the stress... Yes, I have the document you requested.
Uh... something like that.
You mentioned "lizard-men" earlier... I was wondering if you had any more information on them?
You'd probably do best to be asking the elves on that one... I know two things about the lizard-men. One: They're carnivores. Two: They take prisoners. Use your imagination. [He smiles sickeningly.]
Has anything of note happened since my excursion to the Sha'ahoul camp?
As a matter of fact, a group of riders was seen approaching from the north. You must have just missed them. They're apparently not Ahoul, so we'll let them get a little closer. Some friends of yours?
Perhaps. Excuse me while I find out.
Now we can check out Forest 8 again. But first, a brief detour to Forest 9.
We can cast Heal on Mikki, and good thing too, because she can absolutely die if we take too long to kill the Sha'ahoul. Or if we misfire with our Fireballs... Again, not that I have ever done something like that.
But as long as we don't fuck up, it's a fairly easy encounter.
Yay. Now let's see who these interlopers are up north.
Regular horses with no horns just aren't the same anymore.
For one, that a messenger has just been sent to your sovereign to bring him some extremely important news.
Baron Hartley: Indeed? And what, pray thee tell, is this news?
Former Field Marshall Ovoron has sold out to the enemy. He has brought Mithras numerous items of information, one of which concerns the incipient arrival of King Vortigerm's forces. The messenger--
Baron Hartley: The messenger is headed where? He could use the protection of an armed escort, certainly!
I'm afraid that would be a bad idea. The Sha'ahoul are searching the area he is to traverse, and he's trying to stay low. He is, from what I've heard, unparalleled in his ability to avoid detection, and that is what is needed if the letter is to be delivered.
I will do what is in my ability to best help Avalon. What need have you?
Baron Hartley: It is but a simple request, and it shall only take as much time out of thy day as thou will it to. I am looking for King Tortain's signet ring; indeed, King Vortigerm himself hath sent me with this secondary quest. If thou find'st the time to retrieve it, and the fallen king's armor, I would appreciate it, indeed.
I have met a man by the name of Lord Harold who has a similar quest, although his was inspired by concern of his kingdom rather than direct orders. I have found the ring, and have returned it to him. I'm sure he will hold it safe until Vortigerm's arrival.
Baron Hartley: Splendid! Now I can finally indulge in a full night's sleep, and perhaps a decent meal! I thank thee for thy assistance, lad. You've taken a weight off my shoulders.
Again, no mention of giving the armor back. Nice.
You're welcome, Baron Hartley. If you'll excuse me...
Now, who are the rest of these assholes?
Was the trip really that exhausting?
Morton: We've been scouring the hills ahead of our King's forces. That's a lot of ground to cover. Yes, it's exhausting work, but that's a soldier's life!
Are you glad to be serving the military in a scout's capacity?
Morton: Definitely. A full meal, a healthy body, a sense of purpose... There's no better life than the military!
I'm glad you've found your calling, Morton. Farewell.
He does tend towards the flowery speech of some of the nobility, does he not?
Rayburn: He most certainly does, and let me tell you something. It's difficult to keep it from wriggling its way into your speech. After a while, it's like he's trying to hypnotize you. Wait, maybe that's why those nobles speak that way... because they ARE trying to hypnotize us!!
Holy shit, it all makes sense now.
Then again, maybe not. Would you accuse the Catheans, with their sometimes-annoying, sometimes-endearing drawl, of trying to hypnotize anyone?
Rayburn: No, I don't guess that I would. You have a good point. It's just annoying, you know?
I'm just glad I didn't have to travel with him.
Rayburn: Here's some salt, why don't you make another wound to rub that into...
I was just kidding, Rayburn. Take it calmly, and farewell.
Not this again!
I guess this assumes you tried to talk to him first.
Newman: Oh, I'll speak now. I was merely holding my peace because of the baron, over there. As the man in charge, and a particularly snobby member of Taberlander nobility to boot, he expects to be approached. It must be some sort of validation with him. He never approaches anyone, he just expects them to notice his high birth and want to speak to him.
What if you had spoken with me?
Newman: I'd have heard about it later... And I'd rather not. he just has to be the emissary. You have no idea... we're so glad, the three of us... Well, maybe not Morton, over there... but me and Rayburn were going nuts! At last, a brew, a cot, and some clean clothes... Say, where does one go for drink around here, anyway?
I've heard somewhere that one may be able to find some, ah, "home-brewed potency" if one asks the right people.
Newman: Ah. And where may one go to find these "right people," eh?
I'd say Avalon is a good place to start.
Newman: Ah. Well, all the same, I appreciate it.
Until the next, Newman.
Ah, lots to tell Holden. And the elves!
I have been back to the northern entrance and have discovered that the soldiers you just mentioned to me are an advanced scouting group for the Taberlander reinforcements.
Ah, then don't y' think this is something Sir Roth would want to know of?
Indeed. I plan to tell him about it upon my return.
But first, elves.
Nice. Too bad we can't rub in their smug faces how much better at being a Glen Guard we are. Where were they when Mikki was being attacked!
I understand how well the deaths of friends and allies can tear at a person's heart, Kalevi. Ask what you will of me.
I would be glad to have you with me, Kalevi. Your skills will be welcome, but not nearly as welcome as your friendship.
The main reward for saving Mikki is that Kalevi becomes a recruitable party member (officially, that is; there's a bug that makes him join automatically every time you talk to him, but I do things legit in this LP! Mostly).
He is basically Wyatt but with higher base stats. One problem though...
None of his equipment can be removed, and he won't accept any equipment for his empty slots either. Not this awesome Lighting Quiver I just picked up, or any accessories.
Fuckin elves, man. We're sticking with Wyatt, at least for now.
AVALON FASHION SHOW
The invasion of the Sha'ahoul hasn't only had an effect on the military and peasantry... it has also had an effect on high fashion!
Despite their brutality, the invaders have an undeniable sense of style, particularly amongst the upper-caste Sha'men. Here Avalon's very own Wyatt works an ensemble inspired by one of these deadly mages!
With an Open Red Cloak, a Black Studded Leather Vest, White Pants, and Black Leather Boots, Wyatt exudes an undeniable aura of power and danger!
You know, it is kind of dark in here though. We should find a runway somewhere.
Ah, the bridge just outside the gates will do nicely. Now as I was saying, you--wait, what's that growling sound?
Whew. Thanks, Goondalf the G! Avalon would be lost without you and your ineffable sense of style.