Part 21: The Ritual BeastPart 21: The Ritual Beast
Last time, we landed on Kashyyyk and met Zaalbar's brother Chuundar. Chuundar is now the chieftain of the Wookiees after his and Zaalbar's father Freyyr went missing (yes, Zaalbar is in fact Wookiee royalty, even though he was disgraced and exiled as a madclaw), and works with Czerka to ship Wookiee slaves off-world. Chuundar has sent us on a "menial task" to kill a troublesome Wookiee somewhere in the depths of the Shadowlands, stating that he'll be holding Zaalbar until we complete this task.
The critters on the Great Walkway have respawned during our visit to the Wookiee village of Rwookrrorro, but at least it's only a short walk to the path leading to the Shadowlands.
Mission levels up and learns Sneak Attack VI (6-36 points of bonus sneak attack damage) and Master Sniper Shot (quadruples critical threat range).
Bastila also levels up and learns Stasis. Again, I probably shouldn't be giving everyone Stasis AND Force Whirlwind, but more powers to play with is always a good time.
Here's the guard that wouldn't let us pass before we talked to Chuundar.
Gorwooken climbed to the basket from the upper branches, but you will have to walk, outsider. The path is seldom used. There may be vermin nesting along it. Be ready to fight.
Sure thing, let's do this.
Damn critters. There isn't anything past these mykal, so we'll continue on.
Eventually, we come across a Wookiee hunting party battling some kinrath. Might as well lend a hand.
As tends to be the case with the Wookiees around here, Chorrawl isn't too pleased to see us.
I won't be your trophy, dead or as a slave. Leave me. You have no place here.
We won't bother him right now. We have more important things to do, anyway.
Chorrawl seems like a decent sort. If you persuade him, you can learn that he definitely isn't down with Chuundar's ways and doesn't think much of him as a chieftain, but can't do anything about the situation because the chieftain's word is law. You can also learn the Wookiees can't fight Czerka because if they do, Czerka will take more slaves. Chuundar has apparently bartered with Czerka to reduce the number of slaves taken as long as the Wookiees don't attack Czerka.
That's Gorwooken up ahead. The container next to him contains a combat suit and a bowcaster, so nothing particularly exciting.
Gorwooken is a great Wookiee name.
Let's not waste any more time.
For some reason, the FMVs on the Xbox One stutter occasionally. I'd blame the game disc for being old and shitty, but I'm playing the digital version from Xbox Live. I've seen some folks complain about the same thing, so maybe it's just an emulation issue. What is really odd is the fact the stutters only started a good number of hours into the game, after I'd left Dantooine. Maybe my XboneX just required a hard reset, I'll see if that helped the next time I record.
Of course, on PC the game crashes half the time during one of these FMVs, and minimizes itself pretty much the rest of the time. :v Using higher-resolution versions of the FMVs to prevent the game from switching resolutions might help, but at least the pack I downloaded was in the wrong fucking aspect ratio and the game still minimized itself during one of the FMVs.
Man, I wish there was a modern remaster of this game, or at least something like the Aspyr Media rerelease of the sequel.
*ahem* Anyway, here we are on the forest floor. So far, we haven't been eaten by any horrible creatures, but I doubt that'll last long.
See, there are some katarns now.
Dire katarns are the ones you want to watch out for, as their bites hurt quite a lot. All katarns can also regenerate 2 vitality points every six seconds. What I haven't mentioned so far is the fact the composition of trash mobs actually varies depending on your character level. We're level 12, so we get two bull katarns and a dire katarn here. At lower levels, you get a regular katarn and two bull katarns, and from level 15 upward it'll be two bull katarns and two dire katarns.
There are many corpses of fallen explorers littering the Shadowlands. Most of them don't have anything interesting, but this one has a couple of decent weapons. I don't recall if I ever end up using the Zabrak Tystel or if I sell both of these the next time I see Suvam. The Krath, by the way, were a major part of the Tales of the Jedi comics - young magicians who used ancient Sith magic to take over the Empress Teta system.
Not gonna lie, I don't like the Shadowlands very much, at least in terms of exploring the place. It's all so drab and everything looks the same, and it's easy to get turned around even though the maps themselves are quite compact as usual.
As we round the corner, we run into an old man fighting off a pack of katarn with a lightsaber.
Doing a very good job at it as well.
What is he doing in the Shadowlands, anyway?
Why am I here? Hmph. Well it isn't because I like the stink of dead kinrath. Let's move this talk to my camp where the air is better.
Well, color us intrigued. Let's follow Jolee to his camp, maybe he'll tell us why an old Jedi is living down here in the deepest and darkest corner of Kashyyyk.
While following Jolee, we come across some tach. Mission's brother Griff requires tach glands for his latest get-rich-quick scheme that involves brewing Tarisian ale, but we can find some later on without getting our hands dirty.
That must be Jolee's hut. Cozy.
Such as "who the hell are you and what are you doing down here?"
My days of glory are behind me, but... perhaps there is something I can do for you. You must have questions.
Let's not forget why we came here in the first place. We can learn about crazed Wookiees soon enough.
Jolee, by the way, is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. Baldur's Gate fans will know him as the "You must gather your party before venturing forth" guy.
The Wookiees have their legends that they were not always here, but it is more than that. The trees themselves are strangers.
What's that supposed to mean?
That's not at all what he said!
More errands? Why not.
A group of them set up camp not far from here. Poachers is all they are. I'd like them removed from this place.
Where are they? How many men?
They are not that far northeast of here. There is usually five in the area, as far as I can see. The Captain of the lot is the one that earned my ire. Mishandle my garden, will he? Hmph!
Why do you care if they are here?
They don't respect this place. They are butchering wildlife and threatening entire species. It's getting under my skin. The Wookiees could take care of themselves if they wished, but the animals are truly helpless victims.
Their camp is in the far northeast. Now remember, if I wanted them dead, I'd have done it myself. Find a better way.
Why would you want to join up with me?
You presumably have a ship. I've seen all I wish to here. Isn't that enough? I mean, I'm really sick of the trees. And perhaps your destiny might show me something new. You never know.
Why not just go get rid of them yourself?
Don't talk back to your elders, child. Look, they know me quite well, and are always on alert when I approach. The only way I could get rid of them would be violence, which would eventually lead to trouble for the Wookiees. I want them gone, but with as little fuss as possible. They have already caused enough trouble as it is.
Right, if Czerka found out some of their men got killed in the Shadowlands, they'd probably blame the Wookiees (since the guys stationed in the Shadowlands who knew about the crazy forest hermit would be dead) and that'd mean more Wookiee slaves being taken.
Let's see what we can do about this problem.
We're going, old man.
Jolee said the poachers were somewhere to the northeast, so let's head in that direction.
Naturally, we get attacked by more forest critters along the way.
Past these katarns, we find a dead Wookiee... with a Czerka slaver contract on him.
Slaver Contract posted:
This datapad card contains a contract to trade weapons for slaves, and a manifest of goods already delivered. It would seem that Rorworr had sold a number of Wookiees previously, and intended to do so again.
Rorworr was the Wookiee that had gone missing in the Shadowlands, and was described by Woorwill as "the greatest" due to his bravery. Supposedly, he was fighting the Czerka slavers, but the evidence we just found paints a very different picture. As for who killed Rorworr, perhaps the bowcaster bolt casing near his body can give us some indication...
Bowcaster Bolt Casing posted:
This bolt casing was abandoned next to Rorworr's corpse, likely by whoever killed him. Bowcasters and the accompanying bolt casings are very personal items among the Wookiees, and are adorned with traditional family symbols and other identifying marks. It is possible the owner of this one could be identified by a knowledgeable Wookiee.
We'll bring this evidence to the Holder of the Laws once we get out of the Shadowlands. For now, let's continue on towards the poacher camp.
Actually, before we do, we'll level up. Zila gets Improved Force Focus and Knight Sense, Master Critical Strike, and Force Valor, as well as one point to Repair so she can actually complete some repairs on HK-47.
Looks like we found the camp.
This is Commander Dern, the leader of the Czerka poachers.
That crazy old fool is still alive? I suppose he's still upset that we don't all live in little homemade shacks like he chooses. I've got a job to do here, and there's nothing you or that old coot can do about it.
What if I want you to leave the Shadowlands?
Is that old hermit Jolee trying to talk you into doing his dirty work? We've spent too much on setting up just to walk away. As long the sonic emitters keep the preds away and I've got bodies to guard the perimeter, we're staying right here.
Well, now we know what to do.
Obviously, we could attack Dern and his men, but Jolee specifically requested we don't kill these idiots so we'll do this in another way. If you're a darksider, you can help these guys with their poaching because why not.
Right, let's take a look at one of these sonic emitters.
There's one of them. Let's see if we could persuade this fine fellow to let us take a look at the device.
Why am I here? I'm here because this is where the Commander told me to stand. And that's all there is to it. I'm just a guard for this emitter. Why couldn't they have just equipped this lump of tech with a blaster and left me at home?
I want to ask you some questions.
What do these emitters do?
They generate a sonic barrier that allows us to stay in this wonderful location. It keeps the big predators away. I don't know how it works, really. I just know that if they go down, the camp would be overrun.
Say no more.
You can mind trick him as well. There's also the option to use mind tricks on all of the emitter guards to make them leave, which will lead them to get gunned down by Commander Dern. Eventually, Dern realizes he's alone and has to leave, which will complete the objective. This will give you a pile of dark side points.
Enough of those emitters go down and the camp will have to move out. But I never said anything.
Right, let's take a look at this emitter and see if we could arrange a sudden, unfortunate shutdown.
All of these guys have the exact same dialogue. I know Czerka thugs aren't paid to think, but this is still quite silly. We persuade him the same way as the previous guy, and shut down the emitter.
Shutting down two emitters summons this friendly creature to the camp.
The Czerka men decide it's time for a tactical retreat, as they're not paid enough to become dinner for whatever the hell this thing is.
Well, at least whatever it was didn't bother attacking us. Before we inform Jolee we got rid of the Czerka poachers, we should take a look around the empty camp.
There are those tach glands Griff needs. If we had chosen to assist the poachers, they'd have sent us on a tach hunt and we could've gotten the glands that way.
Okay, Jolee, we got the Czerka goons off your lawn.
You specifically told us you didn't want us to kill those guys, you know. I suppose he was just testing us, because that is what crazy... I mean wise old people in RPGs do.
Time for Jolee to hold up his side of the bargain.
There's also a Czerka repulsor field blocking the way, past the poacher camp in the east. I saw it when it was installed, so I know how to pass it. And on the other side... ancient answers. And perhaps a Wookiee you were seeking. I hope he's in the mood for visitors.
Got it. Let's get going.
And so, we have a full party. We naturally have to take Jolee along for this next section, because otherwise it'd be difficult for him to get rid of those barriers along our way.
Here are Jolee's starting stats. We give him an extra Wisdom point to get that modifier up to +3, and give him the usual complement of Force powers.
Knight Valor is the improved version of Force Valor and increases the attributes and saving throws by 3 points instead of 2. Jolee is a grey Jedi, meaning that he can use both light and dark side powers at equal Force point costs.
There isn't much more of interest in the Upper Shadowlands except for this broken droid. Why is there a broken droid all the way down here? Let's see if we can find out.
Playback: "I don't get it. That merchant said there was salvage down here. We need Matton to work the sensors. When he gets back we'll... wait... I'm getting something. Oh, it's Eli. Good. Maybe he'll point us in the right direction. Eli! What the... ! But you got your money, you doublecrossing snake! We had a deal... (blaster sounds)."
Of course Eli killed Matton's crew. Did anyone expect any different?
We'll take the droid's head with us, to present to Eli and Matton later.
Actually, we should've gone back to Eli and Matton right now. I forgot the sidequest times out if you progress too far in the main quest. Anyway, if you take the droid head to them, Matton discovers the truth and tries to kill Eli. You can either stop him or encourage him for light side and dark side points respectively, and whatever you do you earn 500 credits.
That must be the wall Jolee mentioned. Let's hope the old coot actually knows how to get past it.
I'm not sure I would call a giant purple force field "subtle", Jolee.
It would have been effective if it hadn't relied on the creatures to be walking. Climbers don't have much trouble getting around it.
This is the only one of these force fields we find in-game, however.
Ahh, there we go. Now keep moving. These are the most dangerous depths of Kashyyyk. A few surprises wait for us, I'll wager.
Well then, let's go through and see what we can find.
Welcome to the Lower Shadowlands, which look a lot like the Upper Shadowlands.
As we make our way forward, we encounter what appears to be several Mandalorians attacking a Wookiee.
The Wookiee does well against one of the assailants, but as we saw he wasn't the only Mandalorian attacking the Wookiee.
So, we'll help the Wookiee out by getting rid of the attackers.
Okay, just a sec.
I think you just need to have a medpac in your inventory to help this guy out. Force healing isn't an option.
My hunting party, all of them, killed without honor. I barely survived. I want the murderers to suffer the same.
They followed us for a long while. We found bodies to the southwest, and then again further south after the west branch of the path. Their speed was amazing. They fought like outsiders, waiting until we were unarmed. They would not attack until we had put our weapons away! They strike like cowards!
I'll look into it.
I thank you. I will wait here. I am too weak to fight them again, but I refuse to leave the Shadowlands unless vengeance is sated. Please, if you kill them, I will reward you with whatever I can. They are not worthy of life. Look for them where the bodies of my fellows are. They will only attack you if you are not armed. The cowards.
Right. In order to lure out the Mandalorians, we'll have to unequip our weapons in certain areas of the map. We'll get to that next time, but right now we've got a Wookiee to find.
The Lower Shadowlands are crawling with viper kinrath, which really like to poison you. Fortunately, at this point of the game poison is more of a minor nuisance than anything else, since Heal can immediately remove it and Knight Valor can make us immune to it for 20 seconds. Speaking of which, I should set Jolee to Jedi Support so he'll actually use those buffs.
Another Wookiee. Is this the one we're looking for?
Freyyr? Wait a second.
Well, this may prove difficult.
Freyyr opens the fight by spamming a bunch of grenades, including a CryoBan grenader which'll freeze us in our tracks. Not a good start.
Okay, that's better.
From here, it's not too difficult to beat him. On my first attempt, I was able to Whirlwind him immediately and the fight lasted about four seconds, but the game crashed after the next bit of dialogue so I had to redo it.
Once you knock off enough of his health, Freyyr surrenders.
What? Those are the names of my sons! But they are lost to me now: one exiled, the other a traitor!
Mission just now realized that? I know Zaalbar doesn't make a big deal out of the fact he's Wookiee royalty, but it's been established in no uncertain terms that Zaalbar's father used to be the chieftain and Chuundar is Zaalbar's brother.
If I had seen the lies of Chuundar, he would have been exposed as a slaver. Zaalbar would not have been exiled...
Exiled? Big Z never told me that! Of course he never said he was royalty, either.
He just told us that when we landed! Why isn't anyone paying attention?
Chuundar would blame disappearances on the dangers of the Shadowlands. Zaalbar was crazed when he found out. He attacked Chuundar with his claws. I thought he had gone mad... shed his honor. I was bound by the old ways.
So Zaalbar was exiled. When did you learn the truth?
A year later. By then, Chuundar had spread lies of my own madness. I had no allies when I confronted him. He and his Czerka guards attacked me. I had to retreat to the deepest Shadowlands, but even there they followed.
Well, what happens now?
That would depend on you, Zila Galcyon. You will either kill me or decide that I may yet benefit my people. There is a way I might challenge Chuundar, but it would take a lot to convince people they have been lied to.
There is a legend of a great warrior from the old times. Bacca was his name, and he is greatly revered. Bacca found a crashed starship, our first hint of life elsewhere. He was a cautious old wook, and feared the taint of invaders. He constructed a vibroblade from the wreckage. It has long symbolized our independence. Only destined leaders have held it.
Crashed starship long ago? I wonder if the Builders were involved.
Here in the Shadowlands Rothrrrawr fought the Great Beast. He sought a challenge, but this arrogance got him more than he could handle. He survived, but the blade of the sword stayed in the creature's hide. Our tales say it was taken because we had become undeserving. The hilt is still in the court of our chieftain... with Chuundar. If the blade could be found, Zila Galcyon, tradition could cast doubt on his rule.
I think we can guess what the beast might look like...
Many years ago, when I was far younger than I am now, a Jedi came to hunt the creature... a proud and boastful young man. Like many before him, he did not return.
Since when have Jedi traveled the galaxy to hunt some creat--oh no. I think we know exactly what kind of creature we're dealing with. This might be bad.
Fresh blood will draw it out. Before Chuundar's rule put an end to the ritual, fresh kills were often left as offerings in the south of this area.
There is a place of ritual south of here. If the Great Beast is to be lured out of hiding, it must be done there, using the old ways. The flesh of a fresh kill would be tempting bait if displayed properly. Find an appropriate beast of sufficient mass to attract it. I will stay here and try to think of what I will say to Zaalbar. I have wronged him. I hope he can forgive me.
We'll help Freyyr find the blade, of course. Hopefully, he'll be able to patch things up with Zaalbar after all of this is done.
Well hello there, appropriate beast of sufficient mass.
And this right here would be the place of ritual Freyyr described. Let's check that marker first.
[The beast comes when summoned, if you are generous. It comes to battle, if you are worthy and wise. It grants you glory, if you are fearsome and brave.]
Okay, anything else?
Alright, we know what to do. Let's get this ritual underway.
[The ground beneath is stained by years of blood, suggesting that freshly killed animals have been suspended from the vine many times in the past.]
We'll do exactly what the old hunters did to lure out the beast.
This, in case it wasn't clear yet, is a terentatek. One of the supposedly extinct beasts bred by the Sith to hunt the Jedi. The Jedi who came to Kashyyyk must have been there to hunt the terentatek as part of the Great Hunt, and failed.
Mission can spam Master Sniper Shot to hopefully stun the beast and give us an opportunity for a sneak attack bonus.
Jolee will throw out some buffs and then try to stun the beast with criticals.
Cripes, that hurts. I do wonder why the terentatek didn't attack us at the Czerka camp, considering the fact terentatek prey on Jedi and are attracted to the Force specifically. Speaking of the Force, terentatek are naturally resistant to it, so we're not using Force powers to attack.
There we go, Jolee managed to get the beast's attention. That gives us and Mission the opportunity to attack from behind and deal huge damage.
Terentatek are resistant to the Force, not actually immune except to Force Push and Whirlwind. I actually thought they were completely immune, but clearly they are not because Jolee managed to put the monster in stasis.
That means we've won.
[While certainly painful, it appears the blade caused only surface damage to the creature. Who knows how long it lived with this injury.]
And there we go, Bacca's lost blade is now ours. We'll take this to Freyyr soon enough, but first there are other things we must do.
The journal found in the stomach of the terentatek turns out to have belonged to Guun Han Saresh. That's very interesting. Guun Han wasn't just some Jedi who was hunting terentatek during the Great Hunt, but one of the three Jedi assigned to hunt the remaining beasts after the Hunt had officially ended. However, those three were supposed to have gone to Korriban together and met their final fate there. Why was one of them on Kashyyyk? Perhaps the journal will tell us.
Guun Han's Journal posted:
This data pad was recovered from the remains of a terentatek on Kashyyyk, and must have been devoured by the beast. It appears to be the personal journal of Guun Han Saresh. The last entry explains what he was doing on Kashyyyk:
Duran and Shaela have given in to their passion for each other, and are doomed to fall to the dark side. I tried to warn them against expressing their love, but they called me arrogant and accused me - ME! - of being the one on the dark path. I left the fools on Korriban.
But I am not about to abandon the mandate given me by the Jedi Council. I will destroy the terentatek wherever I find them. I have heard rumors such a beast may exist in the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk.
I shall go there and slay the beast, proving that I do not need either Duran or Shaela with me to defeat these creatures!
Well then. The idea was that the three of them - Guun Han Saresh, Duron Qel-Droma (the journal spells it as Duran, but it's Duron), and Shaela Nur - would work together to avoid falling victim to the dark side on Korriban, but Duran and Shaela ended up falling for each other instead and Guun Han stormed off. Frankly, I think Duron and Shaela might have been right about Han being the one on the dark path, but we can't know for certain what happened. Maybe we'll eventually learn what happened to the other two.
If you're playing on PC, this is also where you'll find the Circlet of Saresh, a head accessory that provides a +5 boost to Wisdom. Sadly, that particular item is not in the Xbox version at all, which would be why we didn't get one here.
In any event, next time we'll look for the Star Map, hunt some invisible Mandalorians and, if we have time, finish the main quest on Kashyyyk.