Part 16: Jehovah's Witnesses, 5th century AD editionPart XVI: Jehovah's Witnesses, 5th century AD edition
Let's ignore the implications of what we found and keep exploring. First up -- Zamedi.
Soundtrack: Desert (This is a favorite of mine, btw)
Whatever happened here flattened the town. I'm surprised the tower is still intact.
Not at all ominous.
Zamedi has a huge map, but you're confined to a path in front of the tower. It's mostly ruins anyway. Looks like a caravan's here?
Oh great, another zealot.
: So why did they spare it?
Enough of this. Let's get in that tower.
A wall of energy we can't pass. Y'know, I think we should leave.
The Arch is the next stop. It's far to the east, directly north of Ganezzar.
MORE of these guys.
Can I just explore without getting preached at?
: How do you know that?
Totally normal behavior.
Might as well talk to the Oracle.
At my local polling place, there's this ancient woman with a glass eye who counts the ballots and such. Her eyes look in different directions and I'm never sure which one to focus on. I imagine it's like that for Octavia.
: Suffice to say, I have doubts.
We're hard up for info, okay?
Gonna have to try a little harder, dude.
: I could bring myself to envy that on some days. So, what do our "gods" have for me and my search?
Of course I need to pay. You get 5 imperials and nothing more.
FINE. 50 imperials.
This sounds vague. Suspiciously vague.
I paid 55 imperials for nothing, didn't I.
Son of a --
It's hard to make out, but the Arch is covered in strange writing.
Huh, I expected something to happen. We'll come back later. For now, it's back to Maadoran to finish some quests, starting with talking to Basileios.
He's in the tavern near the Arena.
: I've heard you're having problems.
We can take care of a few thugs, right?
: I'll handle it.
: We're closed. Fuck off.
These two aren't very difficult, but the one with the dagger is likely to stick you with poison, so be prepared.
Free meals? Now you're talking!
Money is money...
: Sure, why not?
Hey, someone who pays up front. Nice!
Let's get more info from Basil.
: What can you tell me about Quintus?
Believe me, I know.
: So, who's running this racket?
: I saw thugs collecting protection money. I'm curious where the money is going.
Famous last words.
Better check on Quintus.
Took a lot of damage during this fight, probably because my armor was in poor condition.
I manage to triumph.
Back to the tavern.
: I don't think they'll bother you or Quintus again.
: What kind of information?
We'll talk to Kemnebi much later. Off to the healer.
She gives you a quest after you've been healed a few times. Add it to the list...
How can you say no to an offer like that?
: Sign me up!
: So, whom do you expect me to fight? The villagers?
Good to see Octavia knows proper grammar.
: I'll take a look. Now, fix me up.
While we're farting around here, let's chat up some of the locals.
Well, why not?
: Fair enough.
: So in the good years you man a stall in the market and get rich, I suppose?
: Why not skip the major towns? Travel around and sell to whatever settlements are out there?
: Potatoes, onions, dust radishes, and some very healthy tomatoes. No luck with yellow gourds I'm guessing?
: Do you own your own land or does it belong to Gaelius?
: A farmer philosopher with a heart of gold. You're quite a rarity.
: How much does the Commercium charge you?
There's no gameplay reason to talk to the farmer, but it adds a bit of flavor and it's nice to meet someone who isn't a dick.
The Trade District is certainly... colorful.
There's a shop we can enter here.
As soon as we step inside we're assaulted with a sales pitch. I have a bad feeling about this.
: And if he ends up dead?
Strong arm someone into giving up a jewel? Done.
Back to the arena.
One on three this time. Play it smart, keep them separated, and they go down easy.
Nicander is the first real challenge. His tactics consist of getting in close, jabbing you with his trident, then backing off. While that doesn't sound hard, spear users have the annoying ability to interrupt your attack whenever you try to get close or flank them, meaning they'll whittle down your HP while you attempt to deal damage.
Ranged combat is the way to go, or lacking that, bombs.
I ran out of bombs and had to resort to liquid fire. Whatever gets the job done.
Bendidoros is tough. He hits hard and blocks often.
I got lucky and beat him on my first try.
Sarpedon is another spear user? Fuuuuuuck that.
While wandering through the Arena District, we come upon this angry mob. Being the rubberneckers we are, we're investigating.
: What preachers?
More of Meru's preachers stirring up trouble. Will it never end?
: What do they preach?
Hell, we've handled worse.
We could play peacemaker, but where's the fun in that?
: Alright, the show's over, so get the fuck out of here.
Well, they're unarmored peasants armed with shovels and sticks, but there are seven of them, so this might get messy...
Never mind, these losers can't get past my armor. This is the easiest fight in the game!
At least we get a reputation boost out of this.
Near the entrance to the Slums is a beggar claiming to be a veteran.
Eh, why not? Support veterans!
: Are you really a veteran?
: I'd like to hear it.
Another story of Meru doing a 180, personality-wise. What the heck happened to him?
Antidas bit off more than he could chew, and now he's lord of jack shit. Fortune is a fickle mistress and all that.
Next to the beggar is this out-of-place youth.
: What's in the package?
That... sounds like ingredients for a bomb.
: Why does Neros need these things?
: Can't this Neros buy these things in the Slums?
: Alright, I'll do it.
The adventures of Octavia: loremaster, gladiator, courier.
Let's do the opposite of what the guide recommended and enter the Slums. I'm sure nothing bad will happen.
I get good vibes from this guy.
: Alright. Here is the money.
I'm sure this isn't a red flag.
D'oh! Fooled by my naivete again!
Don't fuck with me, slum rats.
Next Time: Slumming it. For real.