Part 31: Second star to the rightPart XXXI: Second star to the right
I'm finishing this LP, come hell or high water.
We need a break from the main quest. Let's investigate the Old Facility.
It's just a hole in the ground with a few Aurelian soldiers. Hopefully the interior is more interesting.
: Relax, we're on the same side.
This looks more promising.
Nothing left, as to be expected. If we descend further...
There's the door the sentry mentioned.
More power tubes are good.
Be aware the door is trapped. One mistake means instant death.
Crafting a key is the safer bet.
We've actually discovered a flying ship!
A very big ship. It's built like a ziggurat.
Imagine the number of people you could fit in this thing.
Can't do anything on this level, so upstairs we go.
A quartet of ballistae sit here, unused. I really wish we could get them working again.
The next level has more ballistae and a box containing a scroll.
The top level of the ship has one of the crystal semi-spheres, presumably used for communication, a console, and the captain's log.
Ugh, I hate the old system of writing. The extra Es, the random capitalization...
Looks like the ship was parked here for repairs and never left.
As for the console, we can finally use the jellyfish artifact!
The scroll we took from Antidas' treasury also plays a part. Let's get this baby flying!
The hatch controls are back at the door we came through. Luckily, we have plenty of power tubes.
Let's try again.
Gaelius is gonna shit a brick when he sees this.
WE COME IN PEACE, EARTHLINGS.
: That's it?
Grateful my ass. I just delivered a a flying ship to your doorstep and you're scolding me? Fuck you, Gaelius.
Hey, Thorgul set up his tent outside the palace gates.
: What do you think of Maadoran?
: It has its moments.
: What does Gaelius want you to do?
Let's see Marcus Valla about the power armor.
: It is. I decided to keep it.
Nuts, I only have around 3400. Looks like this is gonna get bloody.
: 4,000 imperials to keep what's already mine? You must be out of your mind, Marcus.
When combat starts, a nifty animal helmet forms around our head, which is why we can't equip one. In Apis mode, it's a bull...
Horus is a bird...
Anubis is a jackal...
Ra is a bird with awesome head feathers. Each mode gives a bonus.
Apis: +1-3 Strength (by number of power tubes inserted)
Horus: +1-3 Dexterity (by number of power tubes inserted)
Anubis: +1-3 health regeneration (by number of power tubes inserted)
Ra: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 health regeneration
We're going with Ra mode from now on. Naturally, I smash these guys to pieces.
Oh, hi Caius. I totally forgot about you.
: My payment?
It's been a while since we fought in the arena. Our opponent is Al Sahir, the champion.
As you'd expect, he's formidable. He's equipped with blue steel armor and weapons, including a chakram he'll use at range and a shamshir that is guaranteed to hit you with Poison and Bleeding.
He also likes to add to your misery by using nets.
Despite the heavy armor, Al Sahir is quite dexterous and dodged my attacks multiple times. At least he doesn't use a spear.
Somehow, I killed him on my first attempt.
ARENA CHAMPION, FUCK YES
The first thing I wanna say to all the little Octaviamaniacs out there...
Yep, this questline isn't over. Now we have to defend our title. If we talk to him again...
We need to wait until challengers become available. Our journal says to talk to Basil, so off we go.
Surprise, surprise, he's in trouble.
You poor man. Don't you know who you're dealing with?
Thanks for the support, Basil.
Another easy fight.
: Now I'll go check on Quintus. After you pay me for my trouble, of course. One thousand imperials.
: Well, if you don't have any money, then you're on your own. When the forty Thieves' thugs come to murder you, tell them that it wasn't your fault. I'm sure they'll understand.
Off to see Quintus.
Quintus and Basil really are birds of a feather.
: You can pay me for my trouble.
: Are you holding out on me, Quintus?
: I didn't come to you, Quintus, did I? You came to me and now it's too late to back out. So stop whining and pay me.
Back to Basil.
: I've handled it.
The quest is put on hold again. Let's finish this update with a bang. Remember the Arch and how seemingly pointless it was?
Check this out, my man.
We've got a badass cybernetic eye and we're gonna use it!
The only way to use the machines is with the Ghost Hand.
Three power tubes are required to activate the Hand, so save those up.
Oh shit, I think I turned it on.
Fuck yeah, we're going in!
If you remember the lore, Abu Hassan came here with a crystal helmet that allowed him to enter this plane. We don't have the helmet, so...
Let's try a different approach.
: Send in one of your zealots to greet the Gods.
: The Gods have accepted the sacrifice!
Don't be a party pooper.
Okay, I'm having second thoughts about this.
: We need another volunteer, old man.
: You've spent your entire life waiting for the Gods to return, like all those who came before you. Maybe these Gods aren't what you expected, but you can't turn away now just because you have doubts.
It's for a good cause, okay? Trust me.
: What's in Al-Akia?
No matter what you ask, the entity doesn't answer.
: One more.
I AM NOT A MONSTER
: Tell them what they see isn't real. Tell them that the Gods wish to test their faith and devotion. Only those who trust their hearts rather than their eyes will pass the test.
As you'd expect, the steetwise/persuasion requirements go up every time you sacrifice someone.
: Who are you?
: What is this place?
: It is said the First of the Magi traveled to your realm.
: What's in Al-Akia?
: It was a long time ago. The people who made the deal with you are long dead.
: It won't. I won't let it!
I need a drink.
Next Time: Hellgate