Part 20: Chapter 5-02
Meanwhile, in Kirkwall...
: Meanwhile, back in Kirkwall, one of the Bard's past errors would come back to haunt him.
Old Man Finn used the storm as cover to conceal the evidence of the dead horse.
Old Man Finn: Bloody idiot Bard... Make me come out here... Middle of the night... Bloody rain...
The earth shook, then settled uneasily. Finn looked around in puzzlement.
The ground shook again, more insistently.
Dark energy started to seep into the ring where the blood had spilled.
Finn tried to escape, but it was like trying to swim out of a whirlpool using only your tongue. Inexorably, Old Man Finn was pulled back into the seething field around the equine corpse.
When warm flesh met cold, the field bubbled and swelled. Something unpleasant was happening.
Finally, something emerged.
The thing had a well-known name, neither Horse nor Finn.
Back in the Forest Tower, the Bard headed back down triumphantly. The once lush tower had quickly withered once Herne had died. It was making alarming creaking noises, and the floor felt brittle and likely to break underfoot at any moment. But none of that concerned the Bard.
He was too occupied dealing with the army of Druids.
Some of them were carrying the Bard's wanted posters. "Oh, that's just plain wonderful," the Bard said disgustedly.
The Druids were vicious foes, armed with many weapons and skilled in melee combat. Worse still, some could cast explosive spells that knocked the Bard off his feet.
Vitality increased to 14
Rhythm increased to 12
The Bard fought his way through an entire army of Druids.
Only to discover a second army waiting outside the tower.
The Bard was by now a seasoned veteran of combat. He knew precisely what to do in a situation such as this.
He ran for his life.
No, really. This area is incredibly hard - practically impossible. You're much better off just running for your life.
The Bard managed to lose the fierce druids in the woods, and headed towards Kirkwall.
Notice that the world map seems a lot more hostile then it did before. New enemies have started to show up on the world map - and some of them know where we are and will head straight for us.
Even though it was now a stormy night, and the Bard was not known for wilderness survival skills, he had no problem finding his way to Kirkwall.
All he had to do was head towards the flames.
Welcome Back, Kirkwall
: Life had changed quite dramatically in the town since his last visit. It was as if the gates of Hell had been opened, leaving the Bard to find the man who might hold the key to shutting them once again.
The Bard headed through the town, fighting off the skeletal quadrupeds that somehow howled like banshees despite not having any lungs.
Eventually, he finally found who he was looking for.
: Bodb, what the hell happened here?
Bodb5 (AKA Homely): Some idiot spilled the blood of an animal in the ring of the Nuckelavee. With the ring desecrated, the Nuckelavee has risen to spread death and destruction.
Bodb paused for breath, but the screams of the villagers and crackling of the burning houses filled the dead air nicely.
: Idiot might be a bit strong.
Bodb5: Not strong enough if you ask me.
: We'll agree to disagree on that one.
Bodb5: I don't think you understand! The Nuckelavee is the harbinger of doom, that lackwit has doomed us all. We must leave town immediately if we hope to survive.
: Exactly what I was thinking. Caleigh said something about a Mountain Pass leading to the tower?
Bodb5: Oh, the Pass. We'll never make it through this time of year... Too cold. We might try going though the old Viking Tombs under the mountains, we'll need something from under the tombs in any case.
: Viking Tombs? I don't mean to sound negative, but that does sound rather unpleasant.
Bodb5: No, trust me... what could go wrong?
: No! Don't say things like that!
Bodb5: Why not?
The Nuckelavee ran poor Bobd through.
: Bodb? Don't die... until you tell me the location of the Tomb, err... I mean 'till I can get you help.
Bodb5: The Mountain Pass is... is... blaaah.
: I knew it. Perfect, the little twerp goes and die on me.
Bodb5: Not a nice thing to say to someone on their deathbed.
Bodb5: Now be respectful, I'm trying to help you. I only have so much life in me to get out so many words so I don't think I'm asking too much. Don't you agree? I'm sure most people would. Glad you understand. Now, the mountain pass is.... Blaaah.
: Ok, that was a little dramatic.
Bodb5: Wait, I'm not done yet. Come closer.
: What had passed between poor deceased Bodb and the Bard was anyone's guess.
: He asked me to get my knee off his chest.
: Then he told me the location of the mountain pass. I'm on my way.
As the Bard walked away, he paused and turned back to Bodb.
: So are you dead?
: OK, good luck with that.
: The Bard headed to the mountain pass, leaving Bodb to die a slow, painful death.
: Who's gonna notice one less Bodb?
World Are Unlocked - Mountain Pass
The Bard immediately headed for the Mountain Pass. He should have stopped to check the weather.
Meanwhile in Kirkwall
Welcome Back, Kirkwall