Part 14: It's a Maad worldPart XIV: It's a Maad world
Last time, Octavia was "convinced" by Aurelian guards to travel to Maadoran and meet Lord Gaelius.
Well, when in
: Yes, my lord.
Who can say no to that?
: I swear my fealty to you, my Lord.
tl;dr: go to tomb, deal with raiders, bring back helmet.
: Why is it called the Helm of Destiny?
: Maybe he was a good general?
: You mentioned Darius was quite mad when he was killed.
Don't wear the helmet. Got it.
Time to explore.
Maadoran is the largest city in the game, divided into five districts and serving as a noticeable bump in difficulty and complexity. If you had a hard time in Teron, you're going to be miserable in Maadoran. You'll see later.
For now, we'll get a room at the inn.
Whee! More stories!
Ibn Hadad again, showing up to save the day.
: Did the scroll mention the name of that demon?
We'll keep an eye out for that name.
: What were the Magi working on before the attack on the city?
Personally, it sounds like the Magi were lording it over the commoners, but what do I know? I'm an apprentice loremaster.
: The Abyss used to be called the District of Wisdom?
Enlightening stuff. Let's get a room.
: I need a room.
I do the old "steal everything" routine, but it's much less successful. Something tells me you need to be at the Proficient level (around 5-6) in the thieving skills to get anything. It's still a good idea to get a room, because your stash can be transferred from city to city via a chest, something I neglected to mention before.
Back outside, we strike up a chat with a local.
: Asmara and Cippur?
: What can you tell me about Ganezzar?
Flying ships? Pull the other one.
: What can you tell me about Caer-Tor?
: You mentioned villages?
Honestly, I thought the stories of the realm being an empty, blighted wasteland were exaggerated, but things are more dire than I thought.
We need the lay of the land, so let's ask for help.
Of course it's not free.
Maadoran is making a good impression so far.
: How many districts are there in the city?
Especially if it's your masturbating hand!
Deadly fog? I'll keep that in mind.
: Who rules the city?
This question is funny, considering we met Gaelius five minutes ago.
Sounds like Gaelius has his hands full rooting out schemes from the other Noble Houses.
: Why do guards avoid the Slums? Surely, they can restore order?
Spoken like a true member of the bourgeoisie.
: I'm looking for some people.
UGH, I guess we should check if Miltiades made it...
Oh. What a shame.
: Domitius Ulpius.
: Do you know a good loremaster?
Another crazy person. Excellent.
: Where can I find some work?
Arena? Maybe we'll take a look.
There's a tavern, but we can't do anything there at the moment.
A map of Maadoran. Ignore the gigantic crater for now. The Arena District doesn't have much going for it, save the titular building and the Fort.
As we approach the Arena...
Looks like it's time to make an ass of myself!
: Is that what you do for a living? Rob and kill the newcomers?
Fool, I'm giving a righteous speech!
: Get out of here.
We have a body count of 12 at this point. That's probably enough to intimidate this dingleberry.
: Or I'll fucking kill you.
Naturally, I died. I died quite a bit.
Even the almighty power of bombs didn't keep me alive. I was surprised at how tough these dudes were -- they're not in heavy armor, but they do hit hard and inflict a lot of status effects: crippling, bleeding, armor damage, etc. If you don't stay on top of things, you're brown bread.
After some trial and error, I used liquid fire flasks to keep the group separated.
The fire persists for several turns, so you can put on the hurt if you're smart and lucky.
Death Count: 23
We get a family heirloom as reward. Next time, don't rely on the kindness of strangers or heavily-armed women.
Geez, I'd hate to see what the Slums are like.
There's a new option when talking to the merchants of Maadoran: asking to see something "special."
: What happened to him?
Doesn't sound so impressive. I just fought three guys and won (barely)!
The special items are unique arms and armor with exorbitant prices that most players can't afford. We can craft our own stuff anyway.
This is likely a bad idea, but let's talk to the arena master.
Kinda need to work on the opening pitch, pal.
: Why not?
: The guild?
Our first fight is against an unarmored schmuck with a dagger.
: Is there a healer around here?
We're going to become very familiar with the healer.
Next opponent is an old guy with an axe and shield. He's tougher, but not by much.
We'll hold off on Isatis for now. My armor's pretty damaged.
Off to search for a blacksmith.
: Why did you come here then?
: Aren't you with the Commercium?
: Why do you stay out of small towns?
ignore the floating hand carrying the crate
: Who's running the Commercium here?
The Trade District has a lot to offer, but we're sticking to the blacksmith for now.
A map of the Trade District. Abukar's house is near, but again, I'm saving it for later.
Back at the Arena, Isatis is another easy enemy. His crossbow can fuck you up, but his lack of armor is his undoing.
To the healer!
Dammit, I'm spending more than I make for these check-ups. I hope the payouts increase soon.
Papa Yochan has a big hammer, which means denting the shit out of your armor and big damage. Other than that, he's unremarkable.
The raider is our first dangerous combatant. He'll Poison you reliably and will block many attacks. I didn't realize this and died as a result.
Death Count: 24
He goes down on the second attempt.
We're reached the rank of Gladiator, but there aren't any fights available right now. Good thing, because I'm nearly dead.
There's a House of Ill Repute near the entrance to the Trade District. I could go for some company...
No, no, I won't be dissuaded.
You mean I can't pay for a prostitute in this game? LAME
Even the City of All Cities has problems with building codes.
Domitius is in a house next to the fallen minaret.
The first time I played, I was tearing my hair out looking for him. The guide hints he's in the Arena District, but I had searched every nook and cranny with no joy. Then, I stumble onto an unmarked building and he's standing inside. God, I was pissed.
: Lord Antidas sent me to find the temple. You're my first stop.
: You mentioned a buried temple.
Hellgate was mentioned in the merchant playthrough. I don't know why people explore a place with a name like that, but I suppose the call of arcane knowledge is too strong.
Whatever Domitius saw, it scared him badly. Obviously, we need to find this place ASAP.
Another name. Ganezzar is the next stop after we're done..
Hmm. It's something to think about.
What the fuck? Were you following me?
: And if I refuse?
Couldn't he simply extend an invitation? A little card with "Please see me immediately" on it?
: Alright, let's go see him.
None of your business, Shmulius Shmaesar.
: Antidas isn't a fool.
: So, you aren't tempted by the power at all?
Lord Gaelius is definitely cut from a different cloth than Antidas and Meru. Antidas wants the Temple because he'll use whatever's within to fulfill his destiny or some shit. We can infer Meru would want to find the Temple so he can bring back the Gods. Gaelius wants the Temple found so he can seal it forever. He doesn't believe in gods or demons and he's downright contemptuous of the Magi, thinking it's their fault the world is in such a mess. Don't meddle with things you don't understand, and so on.
This is a good place to end the update. We haven't even scratced the surface.
Next Time: The plot thickens