Part 27: Update XXV - Sonlis the S(hadowwalker)Part XXV - Sonlis the S(hadowwalker)
You must clear your mind of such rage before you destroy yourself, warrior! Take peace in knowing we are on a holy mission, the rewards of which are more than worth preventing scores of killing blows!
I fear Goondalf has gone full native.
Sha’ahoul Fighter: Nonsense! Peace has never solved anything! I will crush every dirt-man I see.
Of course. I don’t know what I was thinking.
It cannot be soon enough! Let the enemy come and be destroyed!
Sha’ahoul Fighter: The lady’s spirit fills you, I see! Good! Burn brightly.
Alright, that’s quite enough of that Goondalf! We’re not talking to any more random Sha’ahoul for a while.
The first quest for the Sha'ahoul Scout Master worked out very much in our favor, let's see what else he has to offer.
As cool as slaying lizardmen is, I wanna be a Shadowwalker!
Sha'ahoul Scout Master: Vital tactical maps were stolen by a human scout from Avalon recently. He was seriously wounded while escaping, though, and likely died somewhere between here and the dirtmen's stronghold. I want you to find and recover these maps. This will prepare you for your next lesson.
I will return as soon as I have the maps.
They don't love you like I love you.
Ah... Not freshly, no.
Siilazin: No matter, I can tell you've been in many yourself. I only asked the question because, even though the Lord and Lady chose me to be a hunter, I myself am recently returned from battle.
And how did you come to engage the enemy?
Siilazin: While out hunting with Ha'Zoovris and Ha'Betrig, we came across one of those scouts that the dirtment insist on sending out to try to spy on us. Are they so stupid that they do not realize that all their scouts find outside their walls is death? There must be a hundred of their corpses rotting in the wilds.
Siilazin: Perhaps I exaggerate some, but we have killed many of them.
I see. Go on.
Obviously we want that parchment, but let's play it cool for now.
What did you do when you spotted him?
Siilazin: I put an arrow into the ground a hand's width from his body. You should have seen him jump! He started running like the Lady of Flame herself was but a step or two behind him. It was disappointing how easily we were able to follow him -- almost no sport at all.
So you shot him down?
Siilazin: Oh, not immediately, of course. We'd fly an arrow past his head every now and then to keep him interested in the chase, but then Ha'Betrig missed and it was over.
You mean he missed his mark and actually hit the scout.
Siilazin: Of course. Got him through the small of the back. He was still alive when we walked up to him, though.
So you just left him there?
We may be undercover, but Goondalf's pride cannot let this dishonor stand!
That was no battle, hunter.
Siilazin: No battle? What are you babbling about?
A real battle is when the enemy is a bare pace away and swinging his blade at your neck with all his might while you try to block the swing and gut him. Or, at the very least, when your enemy also has a bow and does his damnedest to put an arrow through your eye while you do the same to him.
Siilazin: We killed one of the enemy. It was a battle.
It was an execution. You shot him in the back and then cut his throat. You were never in danger.
Siilazin: Perhaps it was not up to your standards, warrior, but I believe that we acquitted ourselves well. In the end, the dirtman was struck down as the Lady decrees.
Yes, hunter, he was at that. But next time, the dirtman might just fight back. You'd best be ready, hunter. Good day to you.
You tell 'im, Goondalf. We may have lost our chance to ask where the maps are... but they're actually very close by.
The challenge is hovering the cursor over the right spot.
They gave him a masterwork bow and he still got aced, damn.
The maps! This isn't as useful as it sounds though. Because there are no markings or a legend on the map, the easiest way to tell where we haven't been in a given area is to see what doesn't look filled in. If we equip the maps we lose that ability.
But, this is a good opportunity to talk about the layout of the village!
It's a 4x4 grid this time, similar to the Forest, but one dimension bigger, and starting in the upper left instead of the lower left.
The farther out we get from Avalon, the more Sha'ahoul camps we run into, and the more dangerous those camps get. Most scouts in, say, Village 1, can't see through our mask, and if we were to kill one, not that we would do such a thing, he would be gone and that would be it. But by the time we get to Village 15, for example, there's at least one rando in every group who is hostile to us, plus Sha'men everywhere, and every kill causes another Sha'ahoul to spawn out of a nearby tent. This is why if we're detected, it's usually best to run the fuck away instead of fight. Because there are... limitations to the game though, running the fuck away usually just means transitioning to a different map and trying again. Aggro doesn't carry over between maps.
Village 16 has the tent of Mithras himself, but we'll get to that.
Anyway, let's deliver the goods to our trainer.
I have recovered the maps from the dirtman village.
Sha'ahoul Scout Master: Hang on to them for now; they may be useful to you. Now, shall we begin our lesson? The path of Those Who Walk In Shadows stretches back to our earliest history, when... [the secrets of the Shadowwalker are revealed to you]... and you continue this until you become as one with that which exists between light and darkness. Hold these ideas closely, for they will protect you in the days and years to come.
Yep, he lets us keep the maps too. Not as useful as the tunic though.
This lesson has further stirred my hunger for knowledge. Do you have any other skills you wish to share with me?
Sure, we’ll take any excuse to kill those fuckers.
Sha’ahoul Scout Master: A group of lizardmen are currently in camp, under the guise of negotiating an alliance with our people. I have learned that their true plan is to earn our trust, then betray us in an ambush. For this, you shall kill then. As an exercise of stealth, do this without drawing attention. You fill find them in an abandoned farmhouse south of here and north of Mithras’ tent. Return to me when you have done this. Do you understand?
Yes. I shall return when I have slain them. Until then, burn brightly Scoutmaster.
We can do this whenever. For now, there are more sights to see.
Such as this... human?? in Village 2.
Remember, "true defenders of Avalon" can see through the mask's enchantment, even if they aren't super perceptive like this guy probably is.
Are you sure, sir? Those Sha'ahoul are merciless and, if they find you...
Old Ben: Don't you worry about me, pup -- I been taking care of myself since long before you were born. In fact, I would say that I've been concealing myself from others for so long that I think sometimes I must make an effort to appear to someone. In the weeks that I've been here, you are actually the first person I've revealed myself to -- I must be getting lonely in my old age, I suppose.
If you've been here for weeks, I suppose you can take care of yourself quite well. If you do not mind my asking, why exactly are you here?
You know Mudam?
Old Ben: Know him? Why, I taught him everything he knows! You, I take it, must know him as well. Are you currently on assignment for him? It has been some time since he's risked sending anyone out.
As a matter of fact, I am on a mission for him. When I return to him, would you like me to pass a message along?
Old Ben: If you've a mission to perform, then why are you wasting time chatting with an old fool? Anyway, don't bother carrying any message to him. I've done quite well being this isolated. Frankly, if my suspicions of traitors are true, I would rather not have word of my location become known in Avalon. Good luck with your mission, young one.
May yours be a success as well, Old Ben. Farewell.
If we had the Scout specialization, this guy would have more to say, but it's still nice to see we're not the only elite shadow sniper in these parts.
Village 4 has the second thing we were told to scout: sneks! As if lizardmen weren't bad enough, now there's full on snakemen. None of them will talk to us, but at least they're not hostile. There is one more thing we need to scope out to advance the story, but let’s talk to more dudes for now. I think Goondalf has calmed down enough to not hail Mithras anymore.
That's more like it, G.
Spar with the other warriors. It's the only way to pass the time.
Sha'ahoul Fighter: I know most of their fighting styles already. I have not had much of a chance to cross steel with a dirtman.
You will have your chance soon enough, warrior. Burn brightly.
Back off buddy, Ovoron is ours!
That's what you get for having a caste system!
Do you question our leaders' judgment?
Sha'ahoul Fighter: I question their views of our beliefs. Our lives were better before the dirt-men were discovered.
And theirs as well, warrior.
At least the humans aren’t the only ones with food issues.
Sha’ahoul Scout: I think they hope to please us so they are not beaten or killed--foolish, no? I’d like to find out what these leaves look like, so that I can gather them myself.
Do as you like--just take care not to gather any poisonous ones, hunter. Good day.
Ya, Time for a break.
AVALON FASHION SHOW
Armor Week continues!
But… pointier. Edgier.
Goondalf is a black knight now, and so he must wield an axe!
A truly mighty man, he can wield a massive Sha’ahoul Stone Battle Axe and still carry a Buckler!
It’s not essential to the look though. As long as you find as much black as possible, and either a Horned Helmet or the rarer Helm of Alertness, you can look like a barbarian warlord too!