Part 32: Update XXX - Goondalf the G(houl 'n' Ghost (Super))Part XXX - Goondalf the G(houl 'n' Ghost (Super))
Happy Spooksmas, everyone! To celebrate, I'm releasing this extra scary update, full of ghosts, ghouls, and possessed books!
Here's some chilling music to accompany our journey.
In daytime, a feat not undertaken since Chapter Two.
But even during the day, the vengeful spirits of the murdered dogs from last chapter come to harass us. Or regular wolves, who can tell.
There is only one option to throw them off our trail.
Behold! A quartet of Goondalfs!
These guys spend most of their existence applying any buffs we don't already have. The know all the spells we do, they can both take and receive damage, and if they aren't killed they vanish after a period of time based on our Mysticism. Also note that this spell drains all of our mana, no matter how much we have. Which makes sense because it is great.
Though they will eventually start casting offensive spells, which can be nice and dangerous. They do try not to end up hitting allies - maybe the AI was improved a bit for this chapter?
But as per usual, ShadowWyatt's arrows are still very powerful themselves.
Hey boys! I'm baaaaaack!
There aren't much in the way of foes out here, for the most part. The usual Voreworms, Mercwogs, and solo or pair Sha'ahoul scouts. The village is also back down to four maps instead of sixteen, so Elazar's tower is in Village 4 now. When we get there...
Oof that's a lot of fire.
Have some of ours, jerks!
The fucker heals himself, and also summons skeletons.
Why tf can't we summon skeletons
Some boney bois are no match for us though, and when both Sha'men fall we get a journal entry.
And more importantly, we can loot them.
Two pairs of gloves seems like overkill, but you do you.
This little shrub is what we're looking for. We can't get in by blasting it like the Sha'ahoul were trying, no matter how hard we try.
When we click the branch, the door fades out of existence and reveals stairs. Oh boy, here we go!
"Spectral Guardian", huh? Better blast it, it has its sword out and it's coming right for us!!
Same thing with these motherfuckers. Wraiths, even of the Spectral Guardian variety, are the Worst.
They love to Hold us for a huge amount of time, then blast us with damage spells. Thankfully, Wyatt sniped this one before it could do the second part.
I thought the defenses were supposed to be inactive, Elazar!!
Note the difference in Health between these two screenshots. That's how much damage a single Wraith Fireball can do.
An undisclosed number of reloads later, the first floor is clear.
There are stairs up and stairs down, let's start by going down.
Hmm, some weird apparatus belching out smoke, and a bunch of Wraiths. A secret arcane laboratory!
That's it, fuck you guys.
Go forth and unleash our fury!
Yes, unleash our fury!
Can we talk about this?
Please ignore the remaining Goondalf comically running in circles to escape a homing Frostball.
The point is, we won. Farewell clearly unintelligent copies.
That's a rather large scorch mark, and a dead snakeman in the middle! Plus more goddamn Wraiths.
This flamethrower spell is luckily very short range, or we'd be fucked.
We didn't technically kill this guy, but we did liberate the corpse, so loot rights belong to us! But alas, he has nothing good on him. These chests, however...
The other ring is just a regular ruby.
Gah, this tiny one loves blending into the environment.
Don't miss it though, or you'll miss out on these spooky gloves!
Spooky and powerful.
The basement is explored (except for one thing I didn't remember until later) so now let's head up.
Plants! And ghosts! There's a couple seconds of action we can take before the Guardian's AI kicks in, allowing us to blast it and unlock access to...
Now Elazar's secrets belong to us! Bwahahaha.
Uh... why is this book floating and flapping around?
Lippy little libram, aren't you? Who are you?
It doesn't actually make a difference which one we choose, the dialogue ends up in the same place eventually.
That he wished you to reference entries 491 and 673 from his log.
Good answer. Elazar apparently wishes for you to have a book, one designed to augment the popular "flame" spell by increasing its energy output. It is a useful tool for novices, but it must be carried in order for its magic to function. Experienced sorcerors such as Elazar have little use for such, as they have already created their own spells attuned to their strengths.
Ah, yes. I remember seeing the book in question...
Yes; it was on a bookshelf in this room, last it was noted. In addition, I am to answer your questions to the best of my ability, but my area of expertise is but the magic written on my pages. Before you ask, yes, I have a title; it is Librius, and yes, I am aware that something else entirely is written on my exterior. Would you like to ask any questions at this moment?
Yes, actually, I would.
What may I assist you with?
None of the other books in this tower are as endowed as you, are they?
None of them possess the capacity for communication, outside of the text on their pages. Does that answer your question adequately?
I suppose it does, Librius. Thank you and farewell.
Let's go find that fire book pronto!
It can be quite difficult to find which bookshelves are lootable containers and which are decoration, but at least they're slightly distinct from the background.
Does this book have a goddamn flaming skull on it? Fuckin rad.
It does! When we equip this to an accessory slot, our basic Fireball spell does more damage, and more importantly, the projectiles become bigger.
There are also other shelves.
Not quite as exciting as a metal album cover, but still potentially useful.
This we can't just equip though, we have to go ask Librius about it.
I found a scroll, and I was curious to see if you could help me decode it. None of it is in any language I understand.
Ah, a challenge! Although I'm sure that either Elazar or Elarath could do the same, what have you for me?
A scroll with a sketch of a confused man on it.
Hmm, yes, the "Forget" spell, which causes momentary confusion in your enemies, and is especially effective against spellcasters. If you've the time, you can be taught it by this scroll. I'm afraid the scroll will be consumed in the process, but you can learn the spell instantly.
Of course I'd like to learn the spell, Librius. Please do what you can.
This spell kinda sucks. It does mean spellcasters will use fewer spells, but Hold is just as good for that, lasts longer, and makes them easier targets. A neat idea though.
Goondalf could spend a lifetime here I'm sure, but we must move on.
Oh boy, more Guardians. Also, nice canopied toilet.
A messy blaze of fireballs, truly too epic to be properly conveyed through screenshots, ensues.
And now we can loot the bedroom.
I mean, I guess that's cool, but
The main prize is a blue version of our current mage robe!
It would clash with our red hood though, which is a fate worse than death for any fashion-conscious wizard, so Icharas can have this one.
Tower complete! Not quite as murderous as expected, only took a few reloads. But then, knowing what's coming helps a lot. My first time through caused quite a bit of rage as I recall.
Along the way back down, we locate another scroll.
We can actually, as Librius noted, take these to Elarath or Elazar to learn the spell, but since the book is right here...
This spell is also not great, just because it's competing for hotkey space with such GOATs as Hold, Heal, and Fireball. Better to let our mirror universe clones cast it for us.
Let's go back and report.
Wait, where is Elazar? Did he turn traitor!? Is that why the defenses were active? He tried to kill us!!
I have retrieved a ring from Elazar's tower for use on the portal, but Elazar is gone. Have you any idea where he is?
Uh huh. Likely story.
Ah. I wished to mention to him that the "defenses" that he thought had not been activated accosted me upon my arrival. I doubt wraiths are native to this region.
Is there a region that wraiths ARE native to? :thunk:
Wraiths? No, they aren't native to this area, and yes, those minions were likely the "defenses" he told you about. If you give me the ring, I may begin, and I wish to do so as soon as possible.
Of course, Elarath. I wish you good luck in your endeavor.
Thank you so much, Goondalf the G. Before I forget to mention it, Pell would like to see you. She seems rather troubled. Is there anything else?
No, Elarath. I shall check on Pell presently.
Wow, he actually remembered something.
I have been told by Elarath that you request my presence. How may I assist you?
What is the Astral Plane?
He's just testing her, of course he knows already!
Some planes are other worlds just like our own, some are what theologians would argue are the "ever-after" worlds of happiness and torment, some are inhospitable plains of ice and fire that would respectively freeze or bake a human being. The Sha'men are at the Astral Nexus, which shares some of the properties of each of the worlds it connects to. The property the Nexus shares with ours is what is enabling the Sha'men to gain access to our allies' minds.
How comes it that the Sha'men are traveling this Astral Nexus?
They must be projecting themselves there with their magic, for with the aid of magic, I saw the silver cord that connects all astral travelers to their mortal bodies fading into the distance behind each Sha'man.
Are these Sha'men the "Dreamwalkers" I've heard tell of?
I suppose they are! I imagine they must look just like they're asleep when they're projecting their spirits. A somewhat appropriate name, considering what they do. That, and everyone who has been manipulated by them has complained of bad dreams that they cannot remember.
Please continue, Pell. How can we stop this?
Exactly. If Elarath has managed to activate it, he may be able to send you to the Astral Nexus. Elazar has surmised that the Nexus was the portal's original destination. If that is the case, its destination shouldn't need to be altered at all. Beyond that, I'm afraid I can offer you no further advice on what you must do to stop this Sha'man plot.
Very well. I shall meet with Elarath presently and discover a plan.
Splendid. We shall all sleep better once you have returned, doubly so when you succeed.
I will not fail, milady. Farewell.
And so they finally reveal something that has been foreshadowed since all the way back in Chapter One. Nice.
Let's do this.
Well met, Elarath. I have spoken with Pell, and she has told me that...
That's good news indeed, Elarath, because I have a request to make of you...
Oh, and what might that be?
Pell has informed me that Sha'men are summoning the spirits of some of our fellows to the Astral Plane. She does not know exactly what these Sha'men are doing, but fears the worst.
Now that I think of it, she explained that she was feeling ill some time ago. I'm not surprised that she looked into it the way she did; after all, she's never been a sickly thing. So you need to go to the Astral Plane, do you? I believe the portal was originally intended to transport its users to the Astral Plane, so if I don't try to plot its exit point, hmm, you should arrive close to where you wish to go.
Should? Are you sure of this?
Oh, don't worry. I know that wherever the portal goes is hospitable to life, and the carvings that haven't worn off suggest it is indeed the Astral Plane. The destination was fixed when the portal was created, so I cannot guarantee that it will deposit you close to where you need to be.
Is there anything I should remember during my travels?
I'm afraid I have little in the way of advice for you on your journey because very little is known about astral travel. It is disappointing that the Sha'ahoul have managed to discover it first. Except...
Yes, Elarath? What has occurred to you?
Thank you for the advice, Elarath.
Before I forget, I must also teach you a spell that will aid you tremendously in the Astral Plane. It is a minor protective spell, one that can be taught quite easily to one with your advancing magical skill. It protects against magical effects, which are likely to be the only offense employed against you while you travel the Astral Nexus.
Thank you, Elarath. Is there anything else I should know before I embark?
Not that I can recall. The portal is activated and I shall keep a close watch on it so that it stays open for you... That, and to ensure that nothing else comes through. I'm not sure the Sha'men's projected selves could cross the threshold, but their spells, and anything they decide to summon, could quite conceivably do so. Good luck. Goondalf the G.
Thank you, Elarath. I shall see you soon.
The spell he teaches us is Protection from Magic.
Which, as I've pointed out before, isn't as useful as it sounds, since it only protects against damage that is specifically Magic type. The main damage spells in the game typically do Heat or Cold damage. Thanks for the thought though.
Obviously we don't really need a magic sword, but we might as well get one to bolster our armoire collection.
I need an enchanted sword, and I believe you're the man to ask about such things.
Tempest: Nope, my stock's pretty much dried up, an' I don't keep much in the way of conversation pieces here. Sorry. But hey, I know Lucan has one, and he might even be willing to let you use it if you make a strong enough case.
Thank you, Tempest. I will be off to see him presently.
I have heard that you possess an enchanted blade. I need to borrow it for the good of Avalon.
You certainly know of all that I have done for Avalon so far. I need the enchanted weapon because I am going to a place where normal blades can do no damage.
Lucan: That's nice, but what's in the deal for me? How does old Lucan benefit, eh?
Have you been sleeping well as of late, Lucan?
Lucan: Wh... [blinks, obviously surprised] Why, no, but I fail to see how that...
Very simple, good Lucan. Many of our fellows have been sleeping poorly as of late. I know why. It's the Sha'men, and they... they're attacking us from a protected place. If I go there without a magical weapon, I will be cut to ribbons, and you and everyone else will lose more sleep until...
Lucan: [swallows audibly] Er... And you will defeat these Sha'men with this sword? I... [sighs deeply] Oh, very well, Goondalf the G, you may have it, but treat it well.
Thank you, Lucan, on behalf of all of Avalon.
The sword just uses the normal longsword sprite, no glowing or sparks or anything.
And even worse, Heat and Cold damage are the most common resistances in the game. No matter though, most of our damage is going to be spell-slinging anyway.
Before we go, upgrading Mirror Image in the Fkey list for hilarity.
Here we go!
Hmm. Pretty dingy-looking.
Helpful "road" markers though, that thankfully don't attack us.
Also, the place is slithering with snake people.
For the glory of me!
Good work, me.
Most of the naga are devoid of loot, except each one carries one of these.
Wait a sec, that's not a Naga!
How strange! Do you not remember me, friend Felious?
Could it be? Goondalf the G, is that you? Did that diabolical lich end your mortal existence as thoroughly as he did mine? I felt so certain in my final moments that you had survived, even as I became aware that my struggle with the lich was just beginning.
Fear not, spirit of my friend. I live still, though apparently you have become lost on your journey to join the spirits of the past departed.
Yes, this is a most unnatural condition that I seem to find myself in. The apparition you see before you is but a projection of my true spirit, which is locked in battle with the tattered mass of evil that is the lich's spirit. Though I have held my ground easily against this fiend, I have been unable to free myself from our struggle.
This is terrible news, Felious. How has this happened?
Though I am unsure of the precise nature of what has occurred to me, I have some theories about what happened. You see, after a spirit is separated from the body following death, it normally passes immediately into the realm of the spirits. If this doesn't happen -- for any number of reasons -- the spirit may be bound to the physical world in which it died. Since I am neither bound to the world or to the realm of the spirits, something extraordinarily unusual must have occurred when I died. I have two primary suspicions of what this may have been.
Please continue, spirit. Perhaps we can come up with some way to free you, so that you may find your proper resting place.
That's terrible, my deceased friend. Is there any way in which I might help you?
I doubt it, but thank you for offering. You wouldn't believe how hard it is just for me to focus myself enough to be visible to you. In fact, you are the first person who I have been able to make myself appear before in this place. I must say, Goondalf the G, that your concern means more to this lonely spirit than you can possibly imagine.
Surely there is something I can do to help...
Though there is nothing you can do for me here, you could perform a service in Avalon. Specifically, I would like you to set my skeletal assistant Bones upon a course I have been planning for him to embark upon for some time. You see, I had always wanted to do my part in the war, but the misunderstood nature of my work prevented me from doing anything directly. One of my final projects was to outfit Bones with the necessary spells to raise an army of benevolent undead guardians, which would then stand tireless watch over Avalon's "lower borders". Also, my skeleton may be able to help you find the knowledge needed to solve the mysteries of this plane.
What an amazing plan, Felious. Please tell me how I can set it in motion.
Bones is ready to go -- all he needs to be activated is the utterance of a specific command word in his presence. The word is "Mak-Ahasa." Uttering it will cause him to surrender my grimoire, which he has been guarding, and activate the undead-controlling enchantments I placed upon him for this final mission. You are welcome to keep my grimoire; obviously, I've little use for it now.
How can your skeletal servant aid my quest?
Where can I find the entrance to Frosthelm?
It is located to the east, on the other side of the southern end of the temple. In order to activate the portal, though, you will need a type of key. It just so happens that I had an item, known as Reif Medallion, that I used to achieve the necessary focus for specific and extremely distant astral projection. Since you are physically here, the medallion should open a portal that will allow you to pass into this frigid realm. My skeletal assistant should know where to find it in my former quarters.
Have you seen what the Sha'ahoul are doing here?
As my studies kept me fairly isolated, I paid but little attention to those pesky savages who were besieging Avalon. I was quite amazed to see them traveling freely through this place, since such feats are generally made possible through the complex manipulations of potent arcane forces. I had thought that their Sha'men held nowhere near the power that our mages had mastered; apparently I was quite mistaken.
Please continue, good spirit.
Not long after I arrived here, I saw the Sha'men meeting with a group of snake-men. By their appearance, they can be nothing but Naga, an ancient race with a rather sinister reputation among those scholars who believe in them. From what I could tell, the Naga were all physically on the plane -- just as you appear to be. However, nearly all of the Sha'men seemed to be mere projections of their real bodies. At any rate, I suspect that the Naga may have helped advance the Sha'ahoul mages' mastery of planar traval.
Do go on, friend Felious.
The Sha'ahoul and Naga, after their initial meeting, proceeded to the nearby temple structure. There, after a fierce struggle, they managed to bind in place a powerful being who dwelled within it. This being must have been a hindrance to their plans, since they have been far more active since she has been confined. What those plans might be, I do not know -- save that they would seem to involve the temple in some manner.
Do you remember anything else about the Sha'men and Naga activities?
There are a few other things I'm curious about, my friend.
It would seem that I have nowhere to go, nor anyone else with whom to talk. I will gladly share what I know with you, Goondalf the G.
Geez, really cranking up the moody goth thing here buddy.
Who said that?
Who is the being that the Sha'ahoul and Naga are imprisoning?
I suspect she must be some sort of guardian over this place, one who traditionally prevents misuse of this cosmic crossroads. No doubt she opposed the Sha'men's and Naga's plans, and they somehow have found a way to bind this spectacularly powerful creature.
Thank you, Felious. I must go now. Farewell.
I was originally going to end the update here, but since this is now the SPOOKOWEEN update, I will show one more scene!
Back down to the Inner Keep basement, to visit our friend the skeleton!
Huh? Where is that voice coming from?
I have met up with the spirit of your master on the Astral Plane, skeleton, and he has told me to retrieve an item from you...
Yes, and to access the portal to what I understand is the Ice World, I need something that belongs... belonged... to Felious.
Yes. The item, skeleton?
If you could point me towards this item, I would appreciate it. Strange things are afoot in the Astral Plane.
I should have known. Dreamwalkers, isn't it? No, never mind. The Reif Amulet is in the chest between the double archway. You might notice a few other items in there, which you may use if you find them useful. After all, you are operating under Master's direction.
Thank you, skeleton. Don't cause any trouble.
Please ask my master what it is he wishes I do about... My current state. And as far as causing trouble goes... Whatever gave you the idea that I might?
Because you're grinning, skeleton. I shall return with your answer.
In fact, we shall return right now!
I have met with Felious, and I have your orders now.
Might be kind of a dick move to just say it.
He wishes to entrust a mission to you. In order to explain the mission, I must speak a command word that Felious has given to me. I warn you because... This is going to feel a little weird, Bones.
So the power words will affect me alone? How intriguing... Oh, thank you for the forewarning, Goondalf the G. I am curious to see the power of these words. Master would call me "Bones..."
I must confess that I don't know what to expect myself. The word is Mak-Ahasa...
Perhaps you have misspoken it. Ah! No, here we go... [His bones glow softly as he switches almost imperceptibly.] Wow, that was really quite invigorating, but where's my clap of thunder and fanfare? [The robes swell in the area of his chest, and he reaches into his ribcage to remove something.] Hello, what's this?
That would probably be Felious' grimoire. I always figured that -- like everything else -- it would be in a chest somewhere...
[gesturing with one bony claw to the book] Can you explain this? [He starts flipping through the book.]
Felious said that I could keep his grimoire, as he has little use for it in his present state. he believes he is caught on the Astral Plane as a result of something that happened in the sorcerous battle with the lich... [fills Bones in on the details]
So let me make sure that I've this correct; He's trapped in the Astral Plane, still doing battle with that lich -- in some manner -- and that he wishes me to raise a contingent of the undead to protect Avalon's lower levels?
That would be the condensed version, yes.
What have you found, Bones?
It's an alternate method of defeating the lich by drawing all the remaining bits of its essence into a pseudo-corporeal form -- a body -- on the Astral Plane. From there, it is very vulnerable -- as everyone is on the Astral Plane -- and can be destroyed by more conventional means of sorcery or might, like a mortal.
That's great news; I'm sure I can destroy that lich now!
It is wonderful to hear you say that. You will need to bring Felious' grimoire with you on this task, as this particular kind of magic cannot be taught as a conventional spell might. When this is done, Felious will be able to join the realm of the dead and rest finally at peace.
This is excellent news, Bones. I only want to give one of the Heroes of Avalon his due for making the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.
I appreciate the sentiment, Goondalf the G. I shall be off to use the Sha'ahoul's remains against them... should they attempt to gain entry to Avalon through its nethers, at the least. This will be fun. Farewell on your journey.
And to you, Bones, farewell.
Is there an echo down here?
I'm too spooked for the Avalon Fashion Show, but it will return next week!