Part 31: Update XXIX - Goondalf the G(allant)Part XXIX - Goondalf the G(allant)
We are well on our way to beginning the main quest for Chapter 5, but there are many more people to talk to first! Working our way deeper into the castle, we arrive at the Inner Bailey.
Chad: They've found a way into our heads! But I outsmarted 'em!
What are you talking about?
I love "Ok bye", but
Don't listen to them, Chad. You've a sturdy sword arm, and Avalon needs you.
Chad: Savages don't have a chance against brains like mine, they don't!
Is... is he always like this?
Such madness seems to be running rampant.
Madelaine: He just needs his rest. Such an ongoing ordeal is not good for him, or any of us for that matter.
It will be over soon. We will be victorious!
Not much, Tristan. I was just wondering how you were doing... Started on the epics yet?
Tristan: Not yet, sir. I'm waiting for more material, if you catch my drift.
I certainly do, soldier. Farewell.
Hmph! Well, I never.
Shut thy mouth! is tempting, but there are other ways to own this guy.
I know what you mean, I've been doing everything around here.
Davin: The guards to nothing but wander about, and likely spend precious time in idle chat. I have a proposition for you, if you have time.
And what is it?
Davin: My lady friend and I wish to escape this horrible cage of a place.
A sure thing? I'll open the front gates for you, I'm sure the Sha'ahoul will welcome more traitors.
Davin: Well, I never...
Take a walk on the battlements, friend, and witness the horrors that Avalon's faithful keep from your bed of luxury.
Better speak to this "lady friend" too, to set them straight.
Where have you been? The Sha'ahoul have had us surrounded for months.
Jora: Oh, dear me.
These people are too stupid to be traitors, I think.
Is this other lady insane too?
Actually, I was hoping to catch a rumor.
Callie: Well, I've heard that the Sha'ahoul have poisoned our water supply. I'm afraid to drink anything but wine!
Such would have reached my attention by now. I assure you the water is fine.
Callie: Well, if it's all the same, I'll stick with my wine.
Nah, this one's alright.
Good day to you, madame.
A drink of course! ...and to gaze upon ageless beauty.
Adaela: [She sighs.] How is it that I find the strength to tolerate such boyish antics? If I were a score younger I'd teach you a lesson. Now, go talk to Gentza.
Boyish? I'll have you know I--
Adaela: [She ignores you.]
I wouldn't tease you if I didn't like you, Adaela. Take care.
Adaela: I know, Goondalf the G. Now, off with you!
Goondalf once again shows how he earned his name. Moving on...
Got any brew today?
Gentza: Oh... [peering at the tap beside him] we seem to be running a little low. Er, guess I need to make a bit more... Come back tomorrow, lad.
I wonder what could have depleted your resources so? Farewell, friend Gentza.
Alright, that's all the old people who have new stuff to say in the Inner Bailey.
In the southern group of tents, we find these rather magely looking mofos.
How is it that you know my name, newcomer?
Amori: The Council knows a great many things. Please. [He gestures towards his comate.]
Certainly. I shall speak to you later.
Indeed? What "assistance" might I provide for you, Magistrate?
Khaele: I wish you to deliver a message to a person whom the Council bids me speak. This wayward member of its flock has strayed outside the pen -- rules all initiates swear to follow before they join us. Rules that exist for the benefit of all involved. I imagine that Avalon's brightest rising star would be just that -- bright so if you've any questions, please ask them now.
Before you continue, Magistrate, I would like to ask you a few questions.
Are you saying that you are here on a disciplinary action?
Khaele: One could say that without lying outright, but the unvarnished truth of the matter is that I am neither judge, jury, nor executioner. I will not decide this case; I will, in fact, have as little to do with it as possible. My task is to persuade the accused to come to trial, nothing else.
Do you mean to use force to accomplish this end?
Khaele: I do not know, nor do I wish to, what stereotypes about Fornaxans are currently the rage among the commonfolk. The truth is that we are a civilized people who revere life and dislike resorting to violence, as anyone with more than a shred of objectivity and evidence could see. I apologize for my divagation; if the matter can be resolved peacefully, it shall. This is why I, specifically, have been chosen for this assignment.
Why? Are you a pacifist?
Khaele: That is... close to the truth. I am quite cognizant of others' pain and others' concerns; indeed, it is for this reason that I have retained my position for as long as I have. I am well-versed -- as are all of Magistrate rank and above -- in offensive magic, but unlike most, it is to my chagrin that offensive spells are what I am best at.
How has the person you seek broken your rules?
Begging your pardon, Magistrate, but if this individual has ignored the summons of the Council before, what makes you believe that it will work this time?
Khaele: Because I am here now, and in my experience, a summons is not nearly as effective as a mediator. A piece of parchment can do little to quell fears, to reassure, or to answer questions. I am here to demonstrate the respect and even-handedness of the Council. That alone has been enough for me to succeed in the past, and I strongly doubt that I will face my first failure here.
Please continue, Magistrate. Who is this person you seek?
Khaele: Her name is Pellandrian, and she is consorting with an outsider named Lahren, both of whom I believe you are well-acquainted with. I merely wish to let her know that I have arrived. In fact, it may be easier to simply tell Lahren. She may come to me of her own volition. If she does not, I will eventually seek her out.
I happen to be a close associate of the two. Have you something personal against them, Magistrate?
Khaele: Not at all. Children will do childish things; it is to be expected. I care not whether the pair live or die, prosper or suffer; they can live their lives in either agony or bliss, for all I care. What I care about is the completion of my assignment without spilling any blood.
Your ways are worthy of respect, Magistrate. The next time I've the chance to speak to Lahren, I will give him your message. He will decide when to let Pellandrian know.
Agreed, an experienced mage in my party would come in very handy. I shall consider it, Magistrate.
Khaele: [He bows slightly.] Again, my thanks. May Fate shine upon your footsteps.
Thank you, Magistrate. Farewell.
I mean, we're an experienced mage, but okay.
Why are you accompanying Khaele? Certainly he does not need protection.
Amori: No, he does not, but it is customary to allow one of such high rank a full guard. Khaele declined, as he has done so many times in the past. He prefers to be alone, ever since... In fact, I'm the first assistant he's taken. The Council does not see this as an affront; he is more than capable of defending himself.
Alone ever since what?
Amori: That is none of your business, Goondalf the G. That is his tale to tell, and I doubt he will. I have said far too much already. We all have skeletons in our closet... what's so funny? Pay it no mind. It is his to release. Do you wish for me to join you?
Yes, Amori, I do.
Now, Amori is indeed a powerful mage, with a couple spells we don't have access to yet.
Deflect is an insanely good but somehow missable spell that sends projectile spells, such as the omnipresent Frost and Fireball, sailing back at their casters for the duration.
He also has a way around Deflect, as this spell is an indirect physical attack that literally summons a giant hand to squeeze someone.
Finally, he can send little bolts of lightning everywhere.
But the real reason we have recruited him is his equipment.
They either forgot, or didn't want, to prevent any of it from being removed. So we can appropriate all of his stuff.
So first thing we do is strip our new companion, then ditch him. The spells he has are good, but not as good as a sniper like Wyatt, and we want Phelic's Apprentice around for at least a little while longer.
I left the Heart's Guardian cuirass on for now because of its Charm bonus, since we're talking to people and selling stuff offscreen. But this is a major improvement to our wizard couture.
It flaps way more than standard robes as we move. Yes, they made extra flappy robes for the Mage Chapter, as is good and proper.
Let's show it off to our friends!
I've just met the Fornaxan Magistrate.
Lahren: As a matter of fact, I was just about to ask you about him. He arrived just recently; I've long suspected that agents from Fornax would eventually track us down. Honestly, though, if he hasn't confronted us yet, he may not be planning to at all. I've made efforts to conceal us from him, just in case. It worries me, but I have done all I can for now.
Are you concerned that the Fornaxan Magistrate may be looking for Pell?
Lahren: Obviously, I am concerned about this, but there is little to do yet. The Fornaxan Magistrate has made no move against us yet, so there seems to be no immediate threat. I've not told Pell about him yet; though she has every right to know, I do not think she should have to endure any additional stress right now. Please, Goondalf the G, do not speak to her of this.
I will honor your wishes, Lahren. Farewell, and may the good spirits protect you.
It is a major ball drop that there's no option not to agree to this. In fact, even if we try talking to Pell, there are no new dialogue options. But... we technically did what we said we would do, so we can return to the Magistrate.
I have spoken to Lahren, Magistrate. Your caution has ensured that you are not seen as a threat.
Khaele: Then it has begun. I will know if she means to try to escape, so now the waiting game begins. I have little doubt that this matter will be resolved painlessly. I thank you again for your assistance, Goondalf the G. I wish you luck in killing things. [He smiles without parting his lips.]
You're welcome, Magistrate. Good luck to you as well.
Khaele: As a gesture of my gratitude for the courtesy you have extended to me, I am willing to take time to teach you a spell that you will find useful, if not extremely so. This spell is called "Mirror Image," and [smiling] I'm sure you can figure out what it does on your own.
More Goondalfs!? Can the world even sustain them without collapsing from the smug awkwardness? We will find out... after we talk to some more folks in the Inner Keep and its basement.
Such as all these kind bookdwellers.
For a short while, I suppose.
Sage Opias: I've stumbled upon only bits of knowledge regarding the Sha'ahoul. State your query, Goondalf the G. I am willing to impart what I can,
What can you tell me of the Sha'men?
Sage Opias: The Sha'men you encounter are to be feared above all. Despite popular belief, the Sha'ahoul are not stupid. I'm quite sure their magical abilities match, if not outweigh, ours.
My adventures so far have proven that you are correct, wise one. Farewell.
What else does it say?
Sage Fenton: Supposedly, these thieves hid their possessions in several areas throughout the region. Rogue spirits, it says, guard the treasures, to this day.
Tell me more of the fortress.
Sage Fenton: It says here that the fortress will unmake itself to confuse intruders. The keep is alive, it says.
Hmm... That seems familiar.
Tell me about the thieves.
Sage Fenton: The builder of the fortress, the master of thieves, walked unseen through markets in the light of day. The book says his armor had properties which rendered him invisible.
What good can this bring? Why study such primitive ideas?
Sage Percy: I've been ordered by King Ryence to research forgotten medical knowledge, in hopes of discovering better ways of healing the wounded.
I'm sure the soldiers will all appreciate your efforts.
Where is this tome you speak of?
Sage Iolar: Given it is an odd book, and seems to reveal new pages the more it is read... I've had trouble as of late deciphering the thing, as each page seems to be its own language. What I've read so far speaks of mystical creatures and portals to other lands somehow connected to Avalon.
What lands does it speak of?
Sage Iolar: The work speaks of lands where the tormented earth wrenches with fire and ash. I've read of worlds where old winter ambles about, waiting to entomb the unwary.
Sage Iolar: Well, now this is strange. It says something about a den of serpents, but I can't translate the rest. The symbols seem to twist on the very page of the book!
Where did you find this book?
Sage Iolar: I've questioned the other scribes but found nothing, and I've combed through endless pages in these halls and never once seen it. Strangely enough, it isn't dusty at all. I put it to rest as a donation from some denizen of the castle.
Let me inspect this odd tome...
Sage Iolar: The book is bound in grey leather, and these large scales are sewn in to the cover. The pages contain peculiar words and symbols. It's almost as if the author meant for the volume to be perused, rather than read from front to back.
Very odd, indeed. I shall think upon this. Farewell.
Remove my head and I'll keep swinging, Neese. perhaps you should learn how to better handle unpredictability. It's a lesson many young warriors do not learn until it's too late.
Neese: You flatter yourself, but always you speak with intelligence. Perhaps my taunting has brought out the best in you.
Focus is crucial to combat, but the angered sword arm swings with purpose. An angered foe is dangerous. Ponder these words until next time we meet, young Neese. Farewell for now.
I hate to say it Goondalf but I think Neese got one up on us this time.
If you'll remember, this is the guy who was part of that ring gambling quest.
I thought I was helping Esmond.
A friendship is gained with honesty and respect. You shouldn't belittle people.
Tracy: I guess so. Times is changing. You gotta give respect to everybody these days. Goondalf the G, you're still my friend, huh?
Of course, Tracy. Take care of yourself.
It worked magnificently, Fester. Your knowledge has once again proven invaluable to Avalon's defense.
Fester: I am thrilled to hear that, lad. Since you had so much success with the oil, please feel free to keep it. You never know when it might come in handy.
Thank you for the gift, Fester. I will put it to good use, my wise friend.
I mean, it will probably end up stuffed in an armoire somewhere because there is a lot of better competition for accessory slots, but it's a nice thought.
What other types of golems have you read about?
Pawlin: Well, t'would depend on the terrain, I suppose. Spirits forbid you should encounter one in the privy! The means to flush out such a creature would call for guards of the throne!
[sigh] You've had your nose in the tomes for quite some time, Pawlin. You should visit the chapel and have a cup of Mo's cappuccino. I hear he has perfected the recipe.
Pawlin: I'd be sifting through these tomes all night, I would. That stuff makes me jumpy.
Take care, friend.
Please don't be foreshadowing shit golems.
That's not good. Hopefully it's not poison like with the last royal!
Good day, Highness. I came by to let you know how, and what, I was doing.
Queen Nanesi: I see. So, are you answering to Sir Roth again, or Mudam?
Neither, Your Highness. At present I am doing something for Elazar that will ensure that Avalon has another back door to run through should the need arise.
Queen Nanesi: Good. Listen, I've got matters to attend to, Goondalf the G... [She looks at you sternly.]
Er, pardon me, Your Highness.
Or worse, another rude traitor!
I'm sure it will be fine.
You have always been most helpful to me, Phelic, so I cannot refuse your request. You have my utmost attention.
Phelic: My apprentice has been with you for some time now, and he has more than earned the honors awarded to a full sage. Though normally it would be time for him to pursue his calling among a collection of books and scrolls, I can easily see that he can no longer be satisfied in the typical scholarly life of a sage.
Are you saying he cannot become a sage?
After all he's been through, I would think it nearly impossible for him to go back to quiet pursuits of scholarship.
Think of how many times he's died to Goondalf's stray fireballs alone.
Phelic: Though the lives of sages are generally rather lacking in excitement, there was once a rather powerful sub-order of sages who specialized in gathering information and conducting investigations under the most hazardous conditions. They were known as the Knights of the Word, and tales of their exploits enthralled me as a child. As a young man, however, I discovered that adventure and danger were a far cry from the descriptions in those grandiose romances. My apprentice, it seems, is far more suited to pursue my childhood dreams than I ever was.
From the service he has given me, he is certainly worthy of such an appointment.
Phelic: Indeed. [To Apprentice] You look pleased, Apprentice -- I have long suspected that this course would best suit you. As the first of the new Knights of the Word, you should be properly prepared to face the foes you will no doubt encounter. To that effect, I will grant you the knowledge of several new, more powerful spells. Also, please accept this new robe -- May it protect you wherever you go. Finally, in recognition of your advancement, I give you back your name. Stand tall, Icharas, and honor the legacy of this most honorable branch of our calling.
Congratulations to you, Icharas, and many thanks to you, Phelic.
Phelic: Take good care of him, Goondalf the G. He has been like a son to me, and I shall forever treasure the time I spent teaching him. [To Icharas] Return and share what you have learned whenever you can, my former pupil. I look forward to hearing personally of your exploits.
We will keep you informed of any interesting discoveries we make, wise Phelic.
Kind of a shame the devs seem not to have figured out how to do companion conversations, or at least decided not to. But the important thing is...
The new robe isn't restricted to him.
Probably best on him though, since the AI loves to waste Mana and doesn't have nearly as good a recharge rate as we do.
Also got an update to his stat sheet.
Last but definitely not least, the skeleton in our closet.
Wearing robes now?
How comes it, skeleton, that you are dressed in your former master's garb? Certainly there is nothing for you to hide!
That's kind of bigoted, G.
A skeleton walking down the hallway is likely to frighten some of Avalon's less-than-military personnel to death. I've no desire to be lynched, but master's chambers are so moribund.
How considerate of you. As uninteresting as your master's chambers must be, especially since his departure, be careful. You've doubtless been seen, but as much as a recluse as Felious was, I doubt anyone recognized his clothing.
I'm sure no one did. I've been careful, Goondalf the G. I shall not be discovered. If anyone questions you about it, merely mention that I was Felious' assistance. It is, after all, the truth, and it will satisfy their curiosity and put their minds at ease.
Very well, skeleton, you may continue your shenanigans, but you do so at your own risk.
Not that the thought of throwing back the cowl of my hood, cackling ominously, and throwing spells about hasn't occurred to me... In fact, it has occurred to me, and it took me nearly five minutes to stop laughing the first time I thought of it...
So long as it does not occur in any other manner... Would you be willing to teach me any spells or techniques?
A straight upgrade of Aura of Iron. They can both be cast, but it would be 50 then 75% of the numerical value, not 125% total damage reduction.
And our first summoning spell!
The cloak billows massively when we cast spells.
There. Now that should make up for all the Sha'ahoul doggos we killed last chapter. Unless... we're summoning their ghosts? Spooky.
In any case, with our hood on, we are ready for our expedition to Elazar's tower. What secrets await us in one of this world's insane wizard's towers? Find out next time!
AVALON FASHION SHOW
We kind of ditched the Ahoul fashion after the Scout Chapter.
But I think it's worth revisiting. Check out this handsome lad.
Rocking a sweet articulated steel kilt and a human leather vest.
I mean a vest made by humans out of animal leather... I hope.