Part 32: Riddles in the LightPart 32: Riddles in the Light
Last time, we opened a mysterious box and ended up... err... wherever this is. Let's see if our map has any information.
Apparently, we're in a prison. That doesn't really narrow it down very much. However, we can see someone in the distance near the strange obelisks, so let's go have a chat with them.
This guy looks a lot like the Buildogram on Kashyyyk, so we can probably assume he is an actual Builder. Why is he in this box?
Presumably, the other two were the previous guys who were given the job of hauling this box to Motta the Hutt. We should probably be worried about the fact there's no sign of them.
I don't like the sound of this.
My own people put our criminals in little cages like this. Well... our minds, anyway. For really terrible criminals like me our mind gets locked away forever. How long have I been here now? Hmmm... one... four... no, no, longer than that. I've never been very good with numbers.
Me neither, buddy. Anyway, it seems this really is a prison, but instead of imprisoning this guy physically his people opted to lock his mind in this box somehow.
You said "three in a row" earlier. Have there been others besides me?
Oh yes yes indeed. Two others of entirely different species visited me before you. I couldn't speak with them like I can with you, however. They eventually grew angry and ran off into the whiteness. If you go far enough out, you may find them... though I wouldn't recommend it. They're likely quite mad. All this whiteness can do that to you, you know. It'll drive you mad mad mad. If you let it.
Zila can communicate with the prisoner because she understands the language of the Builders, most likely because of some Revan-related shenanigans in the past. The other two had no such luck.
I think we've established as much, but maybe the prisoner can tell us more about how this place works.
Great! Let's hear it. But wait... if there is a way out, why is he still here?
The point is that I know a way out of this clever little prison. Interesting, that, wouldn't you say?
I suppose that might pose something of a problem.
Now before you go off getting all excited and defensive, let me tell you that I can't go jumping into your body without your willing agreement. Conversely, you can't go jumping back into your body without my knowledge. This leaves us at something of an impasse, wouldn't you agree?
It is like this, dear sentient... if you like, we could spend the next thousand years debating. You want out, I want out, it could go on and on. Unless your species is remarkably long-lived, I doubt your body has a thousand years. And, frankly, I doubt either of us is going to convince the other of anything, yes? So why waste the time? A simple competition between the two of us and we settle the matter. You win, you go free. I win, I go free. Yes?
How do I know I could trust you?
You have no reason not to trust me, now. If I were to betray you, then you would never trust me again... and we would be stuck here arguing forever.
It only takes once.
I suppose that's true. But if you won and I did not release you, there would never be another chance for me to escape anyway, would there? You would never agree to it.
What kind of competition do you mean?
I have little clue as to which activities you are superior at. You are at the same disadvantage with me, I suspect. So the best game is one of the mind. An exchange of riddles, perhaps. The first of us to fail at an answer loses. What do you think?
Riddles? Sure, we can do riddles, I think.
That being the case, and seeing as this is technically my home, I'll go first. Now... let's see...
Come on, is that the best you've got?
Well, at least we didn't lose in the first round.
Fair is fair, sentient. Your turn.
Can't go wrong with the classics.
Very clever, sentient... but it is my turn once again! "I never was, yet always will be. I am never seen, yet always come. I can carry nothing, yet hold much for some."
Still not too difficult to figure out.
Fair is fair, sentient. Your turn.
Alright, let's see now...
Let's go with this one.
Very clever, sentient... but it is my turn once again! "Who makes it has no need of it. Who buys it has no use for it. Who uses it has no knowledge of it."
We're actually going to be here for a thousand years, aren't we?
Fair is fair, sentient. Your turn.
That's not really a riddle, is it?
Err... carry the two... ninety-four? No, ninety-six! Is it ninety-six?
Ah, finally. There is no way you can win this any earlier.
I think I knew it a thousand years ago. I guess I've been here so long I've forgotten. My, that is depressing.
It took me as long as I've been here to figure out the only exit... and even then, I'm sure it's only happened because my prison is no longer secure. Hmmm. I do have to wonder how that happened. Are my people still about? If they were, I can't see that they'd let my prison loose so easily. But even if they are gone, I doubt you'd be able to find any way to release me. No, I suppose I shall just have to wait for someone who is not as proficient at riddles as you are to come along.
He'll still be here when The Old Republic rolls around.
There's nothing complicated to it. It's better for me to just show you than teach you. Just close your eyes a moment, sentient...
And with that, we've escaped the box. Lurze wasn't kidding when he said we shouldn't open this thing.
I don't know what Motta plans to do with it, nor do I care as long as we get paid.
Speaking of which, let's deliver it to the man himself.
Yeah, I know what box you're talking about. I thought that was supposed to be here a month ago. You take a detour, huh? Ahh, never mind. You open the box?
It was great! You should try it.
I suppose you're expecting some payment now, huh? I'll give you 2000 credits for the box, and you can run on your way.
You can do better than that.
I'll have some of my spaceport workers unload the box from your ship. You take the credits and go. Say hello to Lurze for me.
That takes care of our business on Tatooine.
We were told last time about Mika Dorin at the Dreshdae cantina on Korriban selling "special items", so we'll head to Korriban and check those out.
But first, more old man conversations.
Multiple times, even!
Everyone thinks that Jedi are perfect, that they can do no wrong. They think the Jedi Council is completely incapable of injustice.
That's the best joke I've heard this week.
Hmph. I guess you aren't as stupid as you sometimes act. No doubt you've been on the receiving end of Jedi justice at least once, eh?
Err... yes? They kinda reprogrammed our mind and that sort of thing.
No, I'm talking about how, more often than not, your average robe-wearing Jedi can try to do the right thing and still be completely *wrong*.
Come to think of it, I don't have to be clear. Someone my age is entitled to ramble, dammit! But for your sake I'll try to explain. I'll tell you a little tale about a Jedi Master I once knew. Hortath, I think. Or was it Hartoth? I could never get it straight...
Where was I, then? Oh. Oh, yes... Master Hortath. He was a kindly old Jedi who meant well, but the most near-sighted thing in the Core, I swear. He would walk into walls, knock over tables, mistake apprentices for rancor beasts... that sort of thing. And he was too proud to submit to proper treatment. Some used to counsel him and urged "Use the Force, Master Hortath. Allow the Force to see for you." But he refused to believe that his eyes were failing. He simply squinted more and more as the years went on, the other Jedi resignedly passing it off as the amusing quirk of a compassionate old man.
Quite sure of himself, Hortath gave the lad directions... which happened to lead back outside and away from the enclave. The Padawan is confused, naturally. He asks if Master Hortath is sure, and of course Master Hortath says that he is. The Padawan suggests that perhaps he should ask someone else... but the proud Hortath now feels insulted. He tells the Padawan to take the route he prescribed and no other. Rather dejectedly, the Padawan did as he was told... and so ended up leaving the Jedi Order forever. It was decided that the boy's fate was to leave the Order anyway... though whether that was out of respect for Hortath or because the boy went on to something else, well, we'll never know.
You said you knew this Master!
The tale is about blindness and I thought the point was clear. At any rate, you think about it. You're the one who asked why the Jedi left me, remember? Now let's get going. My feet are itching for a good run.
I think we get the idea, but we would still like to actually hear what caused Jolee's exit from the Order. Anyway, we'll get back to him later. Right now we should get off the ship and get to the cantina.
One would assume so, yes.
Althir? Canderous mentioned that earlier. Something about a risky move he pulled to ensure victory in the battle, even though it meant disobeying orders.
You sent us to die in a foolish attack while you directed your forces elsewhere! You broke from the battle plan and let us die for it, so that you could have the 'honor' of being the first to the enemy commander!
Clearly, Jagi has different ideas about Canderous's "heroics" in the battle.
He's a Mandalorian. What do you think he's going to do?
In the dune seas of Tatooine, I will be waiting for you. I have spread the news of the challenge since I learned you had landed on this world. All the surviving Mandalorian clans know of what I do here, and that we shall meet on Tatooine to settle this debt of vengeance once and for all.
It will be you and me alone in the dune seas of Tatooine: a final battle that can only end in death. I shall be waiting for you there, Canderous.
You didn't expect anything different, did you? We'll head back to Tatooine in a second, but first let's visit Mika at the cantina and take a look at that special stock of his.
Is there something you are needing now?
That was why Ziagrom did not approach you earlier. We had no idea who you were, or if we wanted to do business with you. Of course that has all changed now, Lord Revan.
The previous owners of the Ebon Hawk would often resell the items they purchased, but in your case I imagine you might find more than a few of them quite useful against your old apprentice.
Yes, of course. I'm sure you'll find my selection to be very interesting.
Mika wasn't kidding. He does have some genuinely excellent items on offer. We buy the Dominator Gauntlets for Zila, because +5 STR is a massive upgrade. It'll get us to 19 STR, but eventually we'll be able to get that up to 20 with another item.
Meanwhile, this'll boost our DEX to 19 as well. Again, we'll be able to reach 20 DEX eventually, but for now this'll do.
Yep, that is a pretty solid boost. Quite expensive too, but that shouldn't be a huge issue as long as we'll have about 50,000 credits by the time we finish Manaan.
We'll head to Tatooine very soon.
Okay, have it your way.
And we're back. No more conversations available at the moment, especially since I failed to unlock the remaining conversations for Carth and Juhani before the Revan reveal, so we won't be hearing any more from them. If I had remembered you lock yourself out of those conversations at that point, I'd have spent more time wandering around with Carth and Juhani before the Leviathan, but even then it might've been a problem because the Leviathan grabs you the moment you leave the planet with the fourth Star Map. In case you couldn't tell, I really don't like the way KotOR handles the party member conversations.
At any rate, we're back in the Dune Sea so Jagi should show up any moment now.
And there he is.
Well, he's not the only one.
"I'm also the protagonist and I have to be in the party at all times."
This is stupid.
This is a matter of honor. I cannot stand by this insult. I must do this.
Will you two give it a rest with the macho bullshit already?
I speak truth! And honor is the question here! The deaths of my comrades, your warriors, is a debt in blood that can only be paid by you. When you saw prospects for glory, you abandoned the plan and left us to die surrounded by enemies!
If I had not attacked when I did, the battle would not have been won so easily!
It would still have been won! You sent your own men to die there Canderous. I cannot forgive you for what you did to us! You will pay!
If that is the case, Jagi does seem to have a legitimate grievance.
Canderous doesn't seem to think that's how it went down, though.
If I had not done what I did, many more warriors would have died and the battle would have taken much longer. I stand by my decision.
As an aside, the bloom makes it look like Canderous has a severe case of sunburn here.
Maybe he'll listen to us. It's worth a try. Nobody needs to die like an idiot.
Oh. Well. Never mind then. We tried, but I guess we'll have to do this the hard way then.
Following the mandatory Force Wave, I assign Canderous to attack Jagi with Naga Sadow's poison blade as Zila and Juhani take care of the thugs.
Jagi is down, so now we just need to finish these guys.
And that'll be the end of that.
Thanks for what you did, whatever your intentions might have been. I just need... time.
It seems this encounter gave Canderous something to think about, but he's not ready to talk about it yet.
How about now?
Okay, we'll get back to him later. Let's go pester Jolee instead.
Accurate, but not exactly the answer we were looking for.
What would you put in a Sith sandwich?
You did. You said you fought them.
Oh... that's right. Damn the ears of the young! I was expecting you to be your usual inattentive self when I mentioned that.
We've heard a few things about Exar Kun, but we don't know a whole lot about him other than that he tried to conquer the Republic.
Exar and Ulic Qel-Droma were possessed by the spirit of Marka Ragnos on Empress Teta, but Exar had already fully embraced the dark side by that point. He had been corrupted by the spirit of Sith Lord Freedon Nadd and enslaved the Massassi of Yavin IV to build Sith temples on the jungle moon.
In Legends continuity, the spirit of Exar Kun was still around in 11 ABY and helped make the Extended Universe novels even worse by turning Luke Skywalker's Jedi apprentice Kyp Durron to the dark side. That was around the time I stopped reading EU novels forever. Thanks, Exar Kun!
What surprised us... what took us completely unprepared... was how utterly successful he was. Many Jedi joined him and became Sith, themselves. Why they did I... I will never truly know. But they did. Battle broke out throughout the order... pupil against master, we fought ourselves...
Oh. Oh dear. That doesn't mean what it sounds like, does it?
Ask me again about the war some other time. Just... not now. I would prefer to be by myself for now.
It probably means exactly what it sounds like, but we'll find out later.
We're heading back to Korriban for no particular reason. This would be where the Let's Break update takes place, by the way.
When we exit the Ebon Hawk, we run into a familiar face and some more Rodian thugs. This is Xor, and he's come back for Juhani.
It'd be nice to finally gut Xor in a proper fight, but of course it's not over yet and he survives because the quest demands it.
Juhani's placement in this scene is a bit awkward, but there's not a lot I could do about it.
Not everyone who fought alongside the Mandalorians did it for their stupid concept of 'honor'. Some of us did it just for the pleasure: the pleasure of seeing your world burn.
You... you animal! You wretch!
*cough* *cough* Heh, but I'm beyond your petty vengeance now, girl. You can never have your revenge!
We could tell Juhani to kill him, but what's the point?
I killed your people on Cathar in the sky, on the ground, in their homes. I hunted them down like the animals they were, just to see them burn. But the treacherous beasts fought back and left me with injuries that meant I could never fight again... or so they thought!
To her credit, Juhani is still keeping calm.
The male was easy enough to best, but the females proved elusive. I didn't know what happened to them after I killed the male, until I saw this cursed woman on the auction block. But then the Jedi came and ruined everything before I could have my revenge... *cough*
You... You killed my father, you killed my people, you treat us like animals... You deserve to die!
He does, but he's dying anyway. This piece of shit isn't worth it.
He's still trying, though.
We're not going to give him his wish.
Just die already! Geez.
Finally. Good riddance.
I do regret, though, that he did not die by my hand...
But... it was for the best. I am glad that you stood by my side during this. We should continue our journeys now. No reason for staying here for this.
She's right. There's nothing else left for us to do here on Korriban.
So, next time we'll head to Manaan and begin our search for the last Star Map.