The Let's Play Archive

Siege of Avalon

by Klingon w Bowl Cut

Part 35: Update XXXIII - Goondalf the G(uardian)

Part XXXIII - Goondalf the G(uardian)

Welcome back. Now that we have cut off the source of the Dreamwalkers' COSMIC POWER, the time has come to return to the Astral Nexus and put a stop to this madness.

Making sure to put back on our best non-fire-world equipment, of course.

And we arrive not a moment too soon. It looks like the Astral Guardian was able to break free from the Sha'men without their source of power, and the fight has already begun!

but ice instead of fire.

And Goondalf joins with a wolf chomp!

I don't know what's happening but the Dreamwalker's health is lower at least.

Apparently their wolf summon spell creates red doggos.

Because these are astral projections, they just disappear instead of leaving bodies for us to loot. LAME

Oh well, a win is a win, so let's talk to this lady.

I must admit I am curious about you. Would you do me the kindness of telling me a bit about yourself?

I exist to serve the cause of neutrality in this cosmic crossroads. Throughout the ages, I have stood against countless evil races that have sought to conquer this realm. The success of our common foes in confining me was quite a disturbing surprise, but you seem to have thinned their ranks enough so that it will be some time before they can muster the strength to return. Such an incident would have never happened to me a millennium ago; however, I have been out of touch with your world and its magical development for about as long.

What do the Sha'ahoul and Naga expect to gain here?

Though I know little of the savages from your world that attacked me, the Naga are quite familiar. Once, theirs was an empire that spanned worlds. Eventually, though, their pride and greed brought the wrath of greater beings down upon them -- and I was one of those beings. Magic was stripped from them; only their ability to physically enter this plane with ease seems to have remained. They have no doubt been searching for some time for an ally who could power their revenge and return to glory.

They seem to have found a perfect ally in the Sha'ahoul.

Is this what the Sha'men Dreamwalkers have been doing in the inner chamber of your temple?

Your foes appear to be taking advantage of one of the unique properties of this plane. You see, the very nature of this place makes it a natural haven for spirits, since that is the most common form that most travelers take here. These Sha'ahoul are apparently quite skilled at tampering with such spirits, and they can do far more harm from here than they ever could in their efforts made directly from your world. My inner chambers are especially advantageous to them, for this temple has a lingering link with your world. I saw them manipulating a stately spirit there soon after they imprisoned me.

"Stately spirit"?

Could you perhaps answer another question for me, good Aenea?

I am in your debt, friend. If I can help you in any way, just speak the words.

This temple seems similar to some ancient ruins on my world. Is there any connection between the two?

Ages ago, I met and became quite close to an exceptional people. They were wise beyond the scope of many older races I had encountered. Their curiosity was only exceeded by their love of beauty. I nurtured and protected these precious people for a long while, even going so far as to create a permanent conduit for my power and personality -- an artifact that came to be known as the Earthstone. They built a replica of this temple to house the Earthstone in, and they benefited from the guidance I offered through it for untold seasons.

You seem to be referring to the Lurkers, but they are a far cry from the beautiful ancient beings of which you speak.

Sadly, they came to actually worship the Earthstone, forgetting who it was who had supported and protected them. Ultimately, their misunderstanding and personal greed -- enhanced fatally by ancient enemies of mine own -- caused a cataclysmic mystical eruption. This event warped the minds and bodies of my former friends, and sunk their city beneath the land in a single day. Ever since, I have lamented this loss and wishes with all my being that I could undo this tragedy.

Fascinating, Aenea. I must go now.

That is quite the story. (And yes, this structure's layout is exactly the same as the one from below Avalon in Chapter Two, minus some discrepancies from being ruined.) For now, we must proceed deeper into the temple and secure it.

Oh good, more ghostly figures.

These two chumps try to stop us, but they are no ma--

I SAID they are no match for--


[One wolf-biting storm and several reloads later]


The two of them fade away before we can do anything.

So close.

I love how 80s everyone in this game is. Here we have peak 80s with both giant hair AND a headband.

She'll know what to do!

Were have the Sha'men gone with the Queen's spirit?

Give me a moment, good Goondalf the G. [She touches her hands to her temples, closes her eyes, and furrows her brow deeply.] They have gone... to... your world -- yes, definitely your world... Hmm, they seem to be hidden away from their fellows... [opening her eyes] They are quite near the area you came from, but I cannot see exactly where they have fled. I can, however, open a portal using the residual emanations from the Sha'men's pseudo-portal.

Once I get there, what can I expect to encounter?

When a spirit is controlled and held as your Queen is, little can be done until you find a specially crafted artifact, known as a heart jar, which is the actual prison of the captive spirit. One of the Sha'men you will encounter -- likely the most powerful -- will have it on his person. When you have it, return to me, and we shall decide how best to deal with it. First, of course, we must open the portal.

How do we open the portal?

To open and hold stable a new portal, I will need two items: my necklace, and an item from your world known as the Earthstone. The necklace shouldn't be too difficult to find -- the Naga have likely taken it to their world -- but I know the Earthstone has been lost in your land for many centuries. If you can recover it, not only can I help you, but also it may allow me to make amends for an ancient tragedy.

Thank you, Aenea. I must go now, for I know of the Earthstone's present location. Farewell.

Okay, we have what we need to enter the Naga homeworld.

It's a gross yellow swamp.

It has some of our old mercswog pals too. Does that mean the ones in Avalon are aliens? :thunk:

These guys are much stronger than the ones way back in Chapter One, but still chumps.

The main thing to watch out for is Naga sneaking up on us while we're killing them. (Read: one of them aggroing because a party member wandered into range.)

Scouting around the outside of the structure first, it looks like a hatchery or something with all those eggs.

Two Naga chilling around a campfire. Surprise G-fire, fuckers!

Time to claim our reward for our heroic fireball sniping.

Not that useful, but it looks cool, which is a much greater concern.

We don't manage to creep up on all of the Naga parties, resulting in some pitched battles.

Wyatt please don't just stand there, there's a giant snake man behind you.

The Chieftan is apparently deaf, or just doesn't care that we slaughtered all his underlings. (Read: bad AI.)

Too bad, because Goondalf is hungry like the wolf. This wolf, specifically.

We got what we came for, but we are by no means done. We're still missing a very important item. And for once I don't mean important for fashion!

Just casually strolling out of the way of an errant fireball. No big.

Are they pets or livestock? Hmm.

THIS is the thing we need. More on why soon.

This thing is also here, and it's okay.

Shrapnel just causes a bunch of tiny projectiles to fly everywhere. They seem to try to avoid our allies, but other than that it's eh.

Mission complete. It's kind of too bad an entire world is boiled down to one map like this, but also good in that it helps keep the focus on the game's namesake instead of sprawling.

I have recovered your necklace from the Naga in Notsuoh.

Wonderful! I feared I would never see it again, for the Naga have probably coveted it for some time. You see, it has served as a focus and enhancer for the powers I use to ensure that neutrality reigns in the Astral Plane. It will enable me to form a portal this is stable, yet collapsible whenever I wish. Keep it until you have obtained the Earthstone, for my honor prevents me from accepting anything from you until I have the means to help you in your quest -- thus discharging my debt to you. Return to me as soon as you have the Earthstone, and I will gladly open the way to your enemies.

Thank you, Aenea. I must go now. Farewell.

Now back to Avalon!

Oh hey Sherard, how have you been?

What do you know of the world of the Naga?

Sherard: What do I look like, a Tome of Infinite Knowledge? Other than the fact that they are about half snake and half man, I know nothing about the Naga.

Thank you, Sherard. I would enjoy speaking with you further, but I must go now. Farewell.

Man, I want a Tome of Infinite Knowledge now. Does anyone sell those around here? We can also ask Sherard about the other realms, but considering we’ve already been there I don’t think he can tell us much we don’t know. It’s nice the kid is trying though.

Anyway, we need to see someone about this scroll too. Elarath is as good as any.

I have a few scrolls I'd like you to look at, Elarath. I can't make any sense of them, and I was hoping that you could.

Of course! What would you like me to look at?

A scroll with a sketch of a shield on it.

Oh, a "Deflect" spell, which will partially reflect attacks -- it does not say specifically whether they need be magical or physical in nature -- that have been targeted at you. 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, Elarath.

At last, ultimate defense is ours! It will go nicely with our ultimate power. Beating the game without this spell is incredibly difficult, because all the strongest magic users love slinging projectile spells around. Relying on Amori to reliably cast it can be tricky, so it's good to have it personally.

Have we become... truly unstoppable? (Spoiler: we have not.)

Time to go see a guy about a rock.

I have come to reclaim the Earthstone, Phelic.

I would be happy to share my plans with you, good sage.

Phelic: To what use will you put this arcane item?

I have formed an alliance with a being known as the Astral Guardian, whom I've just freed from imprisonment by Sha'ahoul mages and the Naga. Apparently she is no stranger to the Earthstone; in fact, it is her creation. Once, she ruled over a beautiful and wise people, but those people exist today only as the monstrous Lurkers. The Earthstone served as the Guardian's link to our world, allowing her to communicate with and actively aid her people. From its place in their temple -- which was a near-exact duplicate of a shrine in the Astral Plane -- the artifact brought prosperity and enlightenment to the Guardian's chosen people. That is, until the Earthstone was removed from its sacred resting place...

Excellent summary of the story so far.

Thank you.

Phelic: The removal must have caused the curse! Fascinating, simply fascinating -- Oh, please forgive my rudeness, but I am just so excited to hear this. Please, do continue.

As you guessed, the removal triggered the curse. Not only did this curse warp their bodies, but it also cut them off from the guidance and protection of the Guardian. It is now her strongest desire to restore her people, but that can only happen if they can be brought to the Astral Plane.

Indeed. With it, the Astral Guardian can easily bring the Lurkers to the Astral Plane, as well as aiding me in my more immediate concerns.

Phelic: I must say, this is quite amazing. I hope your efforts to save these tormented creatures will be a complete success. I have encountered references to this "Astral Guardian" before, and they always depicted her as a wise, kind, and virtuous figure.

I am glad you agree, Phelic. May I please have the Earthstone now?

Phelic: Here. [He hands over the Earthstone] Good luck in your mission, and may the good spirits protect you.

Thank you, Phelic, for all your assistance. Farewell.

As descriptive as ever. To the Astral!

Oh, she's moved to the northernmost part of the temple.

I have retrieved the items you requested, Guardian Aenea.

[She accepts both items reverently.] Excellent, Goondalf the G. With my necklace, I can strengthen my own powers; with the Earthstone as a potent link to your world, I should have no trouble establishing and maintaining a gate there. Whenever you are ready, I can open the portal.

Will you be able to help the Lurkers soon?

With the Earthstone serving as a link, I can bring the remaining Lurkers here in such a fashion that their curse shall be stripped from them. Their pure and incorruptible essences will take form here, and here they shall remain forevermore. I plan to do all that is in my power to make for the centuries of horrors they have endured.

I am ready for you to open the portal to the Dreamwalker's camp.

This portal I am opening should transport you almost exactly where your enemies have made their secret camp. I wish you total success in your mission, Goondalf the G. These Sha'men are a scourge, and I will be pleased to see them wiped out. While you are attending to then, I will focus my attentions on restoring my lost people through the power of the Earthstone.

Proceed with the opening, Astral Guardian.

It is time.

Man, you guys couldn't have found a cooler place to do your ultimate arcane ritual than some basement?

Oh well. Time to buff ourselves with our shiny new Deflect spell...

And unleash the Goonsquad.

Hyaaaaa- oh god damnit :is Held:

(Those two lying on the floor were already dead when we got here.)

Come, me's. We must not fail here. You know what fate awaits us if we do.

(I half forgot to show the death journal for this chapter, and half didn't want to post it before the full Nanesi reveal. Don't spoil yourself, game!)

Yeah, bad news.

Summon a skeleton behind my friends, eh? See how YOU like being Held!

:is Held: :dies:

Whew. Thanks for the help.

Too bad only one of us survived.

We'll have to do better next time.

Now for the best part: looting!

Works like the Shrapnel ring, only gives us a significantly cooler spell (and the book has a significantly more metal sprite).

Each of them has random rings of resistance to various elements, but one of them has something special.

Flat Recharge Rate bonuses (for Mana) are pretty rare, and the Restriction is good even for Fighters.

Finally, a third Dreamwalker has our goal.

Before we leave, we obviously need to test this out.

Hell yeah.

What's this, new people!

I'm very interested in this Animorphs installment.

What must I do now that I have recovered the Queen's heart jar?

The mages of your world can best deal with this despicable item, since magic varies from plane to plane. Though your enemies created the item, I have little doubt that your own people will have much difficulty in separating the Queen's spirit from the vessel that now contains it.

Thank you. Aenea. I must go now. Farewell.

Lots of journal entries to celebrate our victory. The chapter must be nearly complete! But we still have important things to do, such as receiving accolades from the people we saved.

Oh man, we get to SLAP some fools now. The spell is indirect and requires an actual target, so I can't show it off until we find some enemies again.

The first restored lurker we talk to will always teach it to us, no matter which one it is, so it's only possible to miss this spell if you're a jerk who never talks to anyone.

Do not despair, and love will find you.

I am glad that I have been able to assist, friend. Be well.

Ah, Lurkerdom, the gift that keeps on giving. Pardon me, milady.

Most of these are just a single text box, sometimes a few, but it's nice to get some appreciation for a change! Still, there are actually a lot of these guys, almost makes me wish we could use Mirror Image to talk to many at once. Or did we...?

I'll just let you guys read the text in the box itself now unless it's a multi-parter.

I hope that you shall have the chance. Farewell.

Restored Lurker: Spoken like a true hero would! May your paths be well-lit and your portals clear, Goondalf the G!

Thank you. Fare you well, also.

That's something I've been meaning to ask. Are you people immortal?

Restored Lurker: To an extent. You see, there are rules. Even the Guardian has rules to follow.

Of course. Thank you for your time.

Definitely need to teach this song to the guy writing Goondalf's tale.

Too bad this LP blew its remaining special effects budget on the climactic showdown. Now there's not much left except talking before moving on to Chapter Six.

I have freed the Lurkers on the Astral Plane. With the Astral Guardian freed, the Sha'ahoul influence in the Astral Nexus has been permanently removed.

Excellent! At last, I can stop guarding this portal for fear that something will come through! Thank you, Goondalf the G. Certainly everyone can get back to their regular sleep patterns soon.


I have received an interesting magical item. It appears to be linked to the Queen...

If you've questions about that item, I suggest you see Pell. She has a bit of an affinity for divinitive spells, and I have been so busy lately that I wouldn't be able to concentrate on such things.

I understand, Elarath. Thank you, and goodbye.

But first let's rub it in Lahren's face that we got to talk to Treebeard.

My journey across the planes has recently afford me the chance to meet a most wondrous being -- a spirit, known as the Muir, that is the guardian of near-inexhaustible volumes of knowledge.

Lahren: Such a being is a scholar's dream! Oh, the things I could learn from it! If I were not so worried for Pell, I would love to travel with you to meet this marvel.

Truly it is a wonder -- as well as an invaluable aid to me on my journey. Farewell, friend Lahren.

Good afternoon, Pell. I need your assistance with an enchanted -- or cursed -- item I have found.

You have my full attention. Please continue.

I freed the Astral Guardian, who ordinarily governs actions on the Astral Plane but was imprisoned by the Sha'men and the Naga so that they could do as they wishes. From her description, the Sha'men were attempting to imprison... Queen Nanesi's soul in this item so that they could continue their brainwashing on the Prime Material Plane. They were appearing to her as protectors... I do not know how this may have addled her mind. She likely does not even realize it.

To put it in perspective, then, this is almost like a lich stone, only in this case we certainly don't want to destroy it. If you wish to give the item in questions to me, I will perform some divining magics, as they are a specialty of mine... [voice trails momentarily, and she clears her throat] Then I shall take the item to Elarath, as enchantments are a favorite puzzle of his.

Do you think you'll be able to save the Queen?

I cannot say what will happen should we succeed or fail. Also, if you have not spoken to Her Highness yet, I would not recommend it. After all... [she pauses, and smirks wryly]... ironically enough, you have just destroyed her protectors... Well, what she knew as her protectors. Even if it was in her "dreams." We shall see what Elarath and I can do.

Thank you, Pell. I shall talk with him later to see how you two have progressed.

As it should be. Farewell, Goondalf the G, may your journey be swift and the road well-paved.

Thank you, Pell. Farewell.


There isn't actually anything to do before talking to Elarath again, the game is just giving us a chance to wrap up quests and buy/sell stuff. So assume Goondalf wheels and deals with merchants for a few hours here.

Has Pell seen you recently? I dropped off a strange enchanted item with her...

Yes, and I must admit that this is an interesting enchantment, indeed. Again, most of what the Sha'men do is somewhat of a mystery to us. They seem to have come across some of the same magics, but by different means, so that understanding their enchantments is almost like working on an ancient portal!

What fate will befall Queen Nanesi if this object is merely destroyed?

It's possible that her spirit could get trapped, or... Perhaps destroyed, but we will not attempt anything until some more divination can be performed. It may just be decided that nothing is to be done to it for fear of risking her life. Pell tells me that this type of magic is closely linked to that of the lich stone, although definitely different, as I have mentioned. If only good Felious were still with us...

Elarath you literally just made us a wizard for saving him

Actually, Elarath, he might still be able to help.

What say you? How?

I encountered his spirit on the Astral Plane. He is trapped there for the present, and it was only with his help that I was able to do what was necessary to clean the Sha'man taint from the Astral Nexus.

May I ask a few questions before I depart to confer with Felious?

Pell had said that divination was more or less her "specialty." What do you think?

I believe divination is one of her major studies... [laughing softly] ...and as you can imagine, one with divinitive skills knows very much indeed! Perhaps more than she should; the details of why the Council of Fornax requests her presence, or why she refuses to acknowledge the Council's authority, are unknown.


What will happen to Queen Nanesi if we do nothing?

I'd imagine she'll stay in the same state she's currently in, which is probably a pretty unsettled one, despite the appearance she may project. Having one's spirit influenced in such a condition... [He shakes his head slowly.] I doubt her ethereal self really needs to be on one of the material planes, so we shall of course do what we can. Be sure to speak with me again.

Very well, Elarath. I shall return once Felious has advised me.

Felious has friends to chill with now!

I have need of your knowledge and wisdom once more, wise one.

Elarath asked me to seek your wisdom on heart jars.

Heart jars are terrible artifacts, used to trap and manipulate the souls of unknowing victims. Their soul-trapping abilities are not unlike that of the lich stone which first brought us in contact with one another. Most of my knowledge on such artifacts comes from the work known as the Morbidicon Confinimus". Elarath probably has a copy of it, for it is not an extremely rare text. Likely, though, he hasn't looked at it in years -- the necromantic arts never held great interest to him.

Thank you, Felious. I will see if he has it. Farewell.

Stop shuffling us around you crazy wizards!

Felious has told me that you can find the information you need in a book entitled "Morbidicon Confinimus." It contains details about the "heart jar" that will enable you to release Nanesi's spirit.

Hmm, yes, indeed... I've not had much use for that particular volume. [He moves to the bookcase with surprising grace, and returns with an undamaged, dark grey book, which opens with a protracted crackling sound.] I believe I see the entry in question... Yes, I see it now. It shall take me some time to devise a plan, even with this new information.

Then I shall leave you to your studying, wise one.

Hmm... What? Oh! Yes, of course, Goondalf the G. Pardon me, for I have much studying to do. I knew I should have paid more attention to this book, but I have so many... [His gaze drifts over the book. Surprised, he flips through many pages before looking back at you.] Please come back soon, Goondalf the G, this book is better ordered than I had originally thought, and this will not take so long after all.

I understand, Elarath. I shall return to you in a short while to check on your progress.

Still nothing to actually do, so insert a wizarding montage of your choosing here.

Good day, Elarath. I have come to note your progress in the Morbidicon.

Oh! Excellent, as a matter of fact! It turned out being a great deal simpler than a lich stone. It didn't take me long to find the entry I sought, and I quickly discovered a rather simple solution. Simple, compared to the work I did on the portal. Quiet, too, with no spectacular displays. I'll spare you the specifics, but the heart jar is open and the Queen's soul has been released.

No spectacular displays? Aww...

What happens to a soul after it is released from a heart jar?

It is an unnatural state, as I'm sure you can imagine, to have one's soul outside of one's own body. The soul, as it is, always stays within the body that holds the spark of life. If it is removed, it seeks a way back, hence the invisible silver cords that tie an astrally projected person back to his or her physical body.

Are you saying that the soul has returned to her body of its own volition? How will the Queen be affected?

Indeed, it has, and she's likely to be completely bewildered. The King will probably think her ill, or perhaps that the moon is affecting her. I would suggest, as always, discretion -- the Queen will need time to recover from this experience, especially because she is probably clueless about what has been done.

Thank you for your suggestion, Elarath. Farewell for now.

We did it! The time draws near for the sixth and final Chapter of Siege of Avalon, in which shit gets even realer. Prepare yourselves! (Or don't since I may or may not still be stuck. We'll see!)