Part 54: TEMPLES OF THE NORTH - Can't A Robot Catch A Break?
Can't A Robot Catch A Break?
We've got a few more prisms to treat, so we're headin' out for the remaining temples of Chaos. Although we don't need to go to the Temple of Tolerance for water, we do need to go there for something - or rather someone - else.
The first stop is the Temple of Enthusiasm, on the shores of the far northern sea.
"Remind me again why we got struck by lightning and were forced to run through a maze in a temple dedicated to Enthusiasm?"
"I don't know, maybe some tedious bullshit about needing enthusiasm to get through it?"
"At this point I'm mostly just pissed off and ready for this whole affair to be over."
"Something tells me that we still have a ways to go."
"I do not know, master, it is not entirely unpleasant. Perhaps these Chaos people weren't so bad after all."
"Yes, it almost makes me regret probably being involved in their genocide at some point in the past."
A few skeletons and some cool hallways later, and we're at last in the "temple" part of the temple.
Where, as always, there are books.
AT EASE: Handbook for the Commissioned Soldier
This handbook will help the Commissioned Soldier to realize how important it is to know how to handle the masses of lower rank soldiers. Only a well trained army is capable of winning a war. The only way to have a well trained army is through the Commissioned Soldier. He is responsible for the training, dedication and devotion of his troops. This is not a training manual. This handbook merely emphasizes the importance of authority. Only the strong and strict leader will receive the respect from his troops that a good leader deserves. Only troops which are willing to take orders are good troops. Therefore troops will follow only orders that are given by a strong leader whom they respect. Conclusion: there is only one rule on how to train masses of soldiers: Showing strength and authority to the lower rank soldiers, the noncommissioned troops. Only the Commissioned Soldier that interacts on a strong and strict basis with his troops will lead them to victory in combat...
In counterpoint to the Order doctrine of disciplining soldiers, we have a Chaos-penned guide.
~~THE DOCTRINE OF CHAOS~~
I believe in the Forces and Powers of Chaos.
I believe in the ways of Tolerance, Enthusiasm and Emotion.
I believe that those ways will show me how to better myself and therefore how to better my life.
I believe that believing in Tolerance will teach me the acceptance of all things.
I believe that believing in Enthusiasm will teach me the source of the energy which will allow me to accomplish great tasks.
I believe that believing in Emotion will give me the ability to perceive feelings which come from the heart and not the mind.
We also have a doctrinal difference (this may be a repeat, but it's worth reading again after the Order stuff in Spinebreaker).
The Forces of Order must be stopped. We cannot go on like this much longer. We hope that our beliefs in the Forces of Chaos will help us to survive. If we are able to survive, then our devotion to Enthusiasm will be rewarded in the world beyond our lives. We can hear the Void calling our names. We know we need to follow, but we are not ready yet. We must stop Order first. That must be the purpose of our being here. If we are successful then we can leave this world without feeling guilty. If we stop Order then our lives have not been wasted here. We need to accomplish our task to be able to prove our worthiness. Only in that do we see a way to truly show our gratitude.
This is in a book, although it seems more like what you'd see on a scroll or something. Judging from the bodies around, they probably didn't succeed.
~~AND LIGHT THERE WILL BE~~
by Sasoshi, the Mage
The Ophidians have been living too long in the darkness. I have been experimenting with different compounds and different ingredients to find a way to create light, light that lasts much longer than the artificial light that we have. It hath taken me years and years of my life. There have been many accidents with all the devices and the lighting of the Magic Candles. The candles will announce this celebration throughout the sky.
He who follows the Ways of Balance will shine.
He who shines will pass the Trials of Fire and Ice.
He who passes the Trials will enter the Antechamber of the Grand Shrine.
The Grand Shrine of Balance is mentioned yet again, in "a place near the sun" as an earlier work puts it. It would probably be pretty handy to take a trip there at some point, no doubt, but it seems we aren't "ready" yet, whatever that means.
~~MY LIFE AND MY BELIEFS~~
I do not have much time left. I hope it will be enough time to write everything down, before THEY come for me. And THEY will come...
I came here to this Temple full of love and inspiration. All I wanted was to read the writings of artistic truth. The wise men would talk to me and I wanted to listen to them. But then it happened...
I did everything right, I followed the rules, but I still got confused. After fasting for two days in the meditation room and staring at the red and black floor, I was still waiting for a sign. A sign which would show me the right path to follow.
And finally, I could rejoice. I found my calling and I was taken to the Pool of Dedication. But then the soldiers came and destroyed everything. They killed the Great Hierophant of Chaos in the garden. Somehow the people saved the Sceptre of Enlightenment. They were able to hide it beneath the lectern...
I hope for the safety of my brother Sethys, for he doth have the key to the Altar of Tolerance. The Great Hierophant had entrusted him with the key, before the soldiers arrived...
I cannot hope for mine own safety, for I am sitting here now, awaiting my death. The Order fanatics will come soon and with them my death is arriving...
Sethys had the key to the Altar of Tolerance. But of course the altar is now in Gustacio's basement in Moonshade. Which means... well, we'll get to that in a second.
There's also a lot of relics around, although despite their supposed properties they seem to do little, if anything.
The well in the courtyard provides us with the Water of Enthusiasm...
...and that allows us to get a Prism of Enthusiasm, for the Wantonness Bane. Did I already say Tolerance was for that? Because Tolerance is for Anarchy. Maybe I corrected myself. Anyway we're just missing Emotion, for Insanity.
Before we leave, note the Magic Lens in the courtyard. Much like the Eye of the Moon, we can use this. Of course we won't see Batlin this time, but we might get a glance at our new enemies...
The Banes! Well, one of them.
I suppose we'd be lucky to be told outright where they are.
Well there you go, then.
"Now that we are together, my brothers in Chaos, no one in the world may stand before us! We shall crush that insignificant Avatar... as we have killed all the others!"
"Together... together... until the fiery, peaceful end! Now enemies... once friends! Twist and turn and twine about... What was wrong is right, and what was in, is out..."
"Hide! Hide! For the Avatar seeks!"
"Then we strike!"
"Those who followed now lead! Those who were master are now slave! The world shall return to its natural course... once we have rid ourselves of that cursed Avatar! Let us bring this world to its knees! Let these pitiful mortals worship us... even as they die! And I have special plans for the Avatar...!"
"Bleed to death!"
"The world shall die..."
"The Banes are united!"
"Chaos shall reign!"
"It's nice to see they're having fun with this, at least."
"Does it really matter?"
"Trust me, Boydon, when you're up against the Avatar you'd better at least be having fun with what you're doing, because when she shows up and hits you until you stop doing it, you're not going to be having much fun at all."
This place may be familiar. As I mentioned, this is the Moon's Eye temple, and is in fact the Temple of Emotion.
I ignored the green face in the wall last time we were here. I shall not do so again.
"I am trapped! Help me!"
"Oh right, I think we saw this before, there's a green person in the wall."
"And you just ignored them?"
"I try to zone out when people ask me to save them these days. After a while you just kind of stop hearing it."
"Well, we could at least help her now."
"Yeah, yeah. Who are you, face wall person?"
"I am Shriash. Though I am only a little girl, thou must know that I am a faithful follower of Chaos. I belong to the Temple of Emotion. Well, perhaps I am not a little girl anymore. My soul hath been trapped here in this rock for eons! If there is such a thing as a little spirit girl, then that is what I am."
"Don't worry, we've seen stranger."
"Have we, master?"
"I should certainly rank this fairly prominently on the list of things which are strange."
"No, actually this would be pretty standard stuff. You probably wouldn't get it, being new here."
"My father says that Chaos is the True Path, and that the Chaos Serpent will lead us to a better life. Chaos is the strong limb, and it cannot be beaten. It is like a rope made of many strands, many yet unified. But we were defeated, here..."
"Is that how you wound up here?"
"I was caught in a great battle. The powerful magic the soldiers unleashed left my soul caught here in this wall."
"So they were soldiers of Order?"
"They were led by the Master of Ethicality, and his magic wrecked the Temple. My parents were slain, and my brother taken prisoner. No one from the Temple survived to free me from my fate. But Balance was preserved -- from my place here in the wall, I watched as Soldiers of Chaos attacked to retake the Temple. All of the Soldiers of Ethicality were slain, to the last man."
"So this is a temple of Chaos."
"This place is the Temple of Emotion. It is a structure consecrated to the Virtue of Emotion. We would come here yearly to hear the words of the Master of Emotion, and to drink of the Water of the Temple. Emotion is the energy that drives the soul. There is both good and bad energy, combined chaotically. There is love and hatred, despair and joy. Without these, Men would cease to be Men. Without love, we could not live in peace. If we did not have joy, life would be pointless. Thus, Emotion is the most important of the Virtues."
"We're especially interested in the Water of Emotion. We have... well things are not exactly going so well. Actually things are pretty much screwed."
"It was such a wonderful ceremony! The old Master would pass from chamber to chamber, collecting the four Lodestones of Emotion... One year I was chosen to sing in the chorus, and we followed behind him, tossing flower petals and singing the Hymns of Chaos. When the Master placed the four lodestones around the pond, however, we were all silent. For thus the ordinary water became the true and rightful Water of Emotion."
"Yeah yeah. So what can we do for you, anyway? I mean you're kinda just... there."
"I am trapped within this wall. My soul hath occupied this place for many, many years. Sometimes, I despair of ever being free to enter the Void."
"Is that a problem?"
"Dost thou know nothing? When we die, our bodies are placed in the ground, but our souls rise to the Void. There, we shall unite with the Chaos Serpent. He too dwells in the Void between the Worlds. This is what my father taught me."
"Yeah Gwenno, get with the program."
"You didn't know that either!"
"There's no way to prove it now, is there?"
"Actually, I vaguely recall-"
"Shut up, Robo-Iolo."
"If thou couldst smash the Pedestal of Love, that would release some of the ancient powers of the Temple. The Pedestal lies in the middle of this room. It looks like unto a broken column now, but that is because it is so old. I am sure that this would free me from the stone... But it might kill thee! Or worse, thou mightest be trapped in this wall in my place!"
"Well, I wouldn't be the Avatar if I didn't do idiotic things for no reason but misguided kindness. Plus, you have an honest, if green, face."
Attacking the pillar does harm us, but it frees Shriash from her imprisonment...
...and reveals the Lodestone of Love. We need to go around collecting all the emotion lodestones, as Shriash directed.
Then we just stick them on the pedestals. They'll disappear (the order doesn't seem to matter, as long as one is on each pillar).
Although there is no outward change to the temple, the water in the pond becomes the Water of Emotion.
And that in turn creates the blue Prism of Emotion. With the three treated Soul Prisms and the repaired Black Sword, we can technically kill off the Banes now. We won't be able to resolve the issue of Chaos's division right away, but with the proper prisons the Banes won't be able to escape. However, we're awfully close to having all the necessary Water of Order to actually cure Shamino/Iolo/Dupre after
And now for the last Chaos temple.
"Not such a bad looking place. This is where Yurel used to live, I guess."
"Some jackass. He gave me an orb."
"Ah yes, the orb-bearing jackass."
"Yes, I figured you knew the general type."
Well hey, look who we found!
"Avatar! I am glad to see thee! I was caught in one of those bizarre storms, and seem to be trapped here on this island. If thou wouldst be so kind as to help me free of this place I would be willing to teach thee a spell or two... Or provide thee with a suitable spell scroll if thou art unable to handle spells of such a level."
"I was wondering where you got to. Why are you still standing around freezing your nuts off? That water is like two feet wide."
"Well, I hesitate to admit that an Adept such as myself could be caught in such a manner... But none of my magics have worked to free me from this island. Although I am not an expert in it, I can do simple teleports and fetches. But nothing I have tried has worked. I think, perhaps, that this is a null magic area."
"Or you could walk..."
"There are such areas where magic cannot be used. I think that this... place... may be one of them. Or, perhaps, common magic -- if thou wilt -- cannot function here. Whatever the case, I cannot escape by magical means."
"Also, jumping, that would also prove effective."
"Shut up, nobody gets to jump except me... and not until next time."
"None of your business. So anyway Mortegro, what do you remember?"
"I am usually commissioned by one of the other mages when they are seeking lost information. I, myself, am not conducting any research at the moment. I was working with Gustacio on an experiment when I suddenly found myself here. More specifically, I allowed Gustacio to convince me to help him with his plan to divert the teleportation storms. Perhaps it was not the wisest of things to have done... As I am trapped here and have no idea how to return to Moonshade. I believe I exchanged places with an altar of some sort. I am sure it rather surprised old Gustacio when I disappeared. He is no doubt wondering about whatever is now in his work area."
"An altar? You don't say."
"Yes, there are marks here on the island that suggest that something was here until recently. Given the architecture, this must be one of the old Serpent temples. So I assume that this may have been where the altar once stood."
"Guess we'll need to find a way to lower that drawbridge so baby doesn't need to get his shoes wet."
In Mortegro's defense, I probably wouldn't want to go slogging through a puddle in the middle of a frozen wilderness either. I get pissy if my socks get slightly wet and I don't even live someplace that cold.
There's the crank for the drawbridge. See Cheater's Corner to short-circuit this entire sequence. Otherwise, we'll need a key.
That's not the key over there in the room on the left, although that key is necessary to get the other key.
Never let it be said Order lacks a sense of irony. Burning people at the stake in the Temple of Tolerance? Nice move, dicks.
Down in the dungeons, we find a person who is still alive. No, I don't know how that works either.
"I knew that thou wouldst come for me, Order dog! Thou canst take my life, but the key is gone! Gone! Sethys shall not fail the Chaos Hierophant! Thou canst not be satisfied with winning the war! No, thou must slaughter all who dared to believe in something other than what thou dost hold dear! Fine warriors who kill cripples and children!"
"At this point, I'd just smile and nod at any leftover Ophidians and their delightful assumptions."
"Thy kind hath destroyed the Balance... All power now rests with the Order villains! The Temples have been desecrated, and the altars have been thrown down... See how thou wilt use it... To slay an unarmed man!"
"We really have no idea what you are speaking of, sir."
"Do not deny it, fiend! I know how thy mind works. Even now, thou doth lust to topple the altar of this temple. But I shall not tell thee where it lies! I shall not aid thee in stopping the glorious waters which flow from it, nor shall I aid thee in placing the sacred containers upon it..."
"Hold on a moment. He's crazy! And I won't even get into how he's still alive!"
"I'm certain it was thy pack of jackals that killed the Great Hierophant! Without Ssithnos' guidance, we are lost... Even thee, dog! I was at the Temple of Enthusiasm as thy forces marched on it! I saw the children fall to thy soldiers' blades!" *"And now that thou art here -- where all are misfits and crippled... I'm certain thou wilt slay us with as little regard!"
"Calm down, dude, we're just gonna let you out of here. If you even want to leave, whatever, doesn't matter to us."
"Our Master gave me the key as the Order soldiers came. He bade me guard the key with my life, and hide it from their filthy grasp. I have not seen our Master since... And thus far I have eluded the Order scum."
"Apparently the soldiers of Order never thought to use stairs."
"Now my soul will never enter the Void! Long ago, or so it seems to me, a vicious rat came and gnashed its long teeth at me. I dropped the key as I tried to fend the beast off. The rat, seeing a shiny treasure, took the key and fled! The Void is the goal of the devout to live pure lives, so that we can ascend to the Void and merge with the Greater One. But I stand condemned, for the key is lost!"
"A rat jacked the key? Where'd it go?"
"Down that small tunnel in the wall... I have tried to enlarge the hole so that I might retrieve the key... But I have nothing as strong and sharp as a rat's teeth. Oh, I am doomed! Doomed!"
"Well, let's check out this rat hole in here..."
"You know... the Chaos Hierophant charged me with an important task... Who would have ever thought that I would be found worthy?"
"We don't care."
"Oh well, of course not... I must confess that in mine humility, it never occurred to me that the Hierophant even knew my name!"
"And then, in the hour of need, he selected me! Such an honor!"
"I shall not tell thee... At last, I, Sethys, have something important, something of value. I have a secret!"
"Nobody really wants to know."
"Ah, but I can tell that thou dost want mine hidden knowledge. It will do thee no good! I shall keep my secret."
"Could you keep it down? We're trying to ignore you."
Why would we want to do this? I'll give you two reasons. The key, and gold. Mostly gold.
The Dreamcatcher there works identically to the Magic Lens and Eye of the Moon, allowing you to see visions of Batlin or the Banes. Each Chaos Temple has its own strange device for viewing things through the Void, or somesuch.
Anyway, we can't open that secret wall the normal way, so there must be a switch inside the room.
Are you guys ready for this?
Seriously, are you ready? Here it is. This is the one legitimate use of Serpent Bond in the entire game. We turn into a snake and we go through the rat tunnel. Yep, that's it.
"Goddamnit, it's the rat. If only snakes had some means of defense against small mammals!"
"Oh is that what the fangs and poison are for?"
"Damn, I'm a pretty versatile little snake. I'm the snake other snakes wish they could be."
"Alright robo-you guys, load it up."
"Master, need it be reminded that everyone of consequence in the Serpent Isle is dead?"
"Indeed, master, there is nothing on which to spend this gold."
"Did I ask you to question why I wanted it? Load it up."
Anyway, the key to the drawbridge crank's in the treasure room (which you might want to visit later in the game, but before the Banes show up). That allows us to spring Mortegro.
"I shall give thee a scroll, which contains the spell of Shade Summoning. Thou wouldst be wise to copy it to thy spellbook at the first opportunity. Here it is."
"I don't particularly care since this is the one spell I don't have and I'd want it anyway, but what's it for?"
"It is quite a handy spell, actually. It allows thee to question the shade of a dead person... As long as thou dost possess some item that the person had valued in life. Of course, it doth have its drawbacks..."
"If thou dost summon a shade from its resting place without the appropriate item, the shade may well attack thee. And the spell doth use an inordinate amount of reagents... But thou dost learn such interesting things!"
"How many reagents? I just want to know so I can laugh about not having to pay them."
"It doth require Sulphurous Ash, Blood Moss, Mandrake Root, Nightshade and Spider's Silk. Quite costly, so thou shouldst use this spell sparingly. And remember that thou must have an item belonging to that person to call them forth."
"Sure, sure. So uh, whatcha wanna do?"
"Wouldst thou allow me to accompany thee back to Moonshade? I am afraid that I do not know where I am."
"Alright, sure. Get in line, sparky."
Mortegro even has his own little sprite, although half his face appears to be missing. Sadly, his stats suck; all that Intelligence is pointless since non-Avatar PCs can't be mages in Ultima VII. He also has no warm gear at all, so he'll die fairly quickly if you stay around here.
Of course that doesn't matter because as soon as you walk out of the Temple of Tolerance, Mortegro is struck by another bolt of lightning and is instantly destroyed, or perhaps, is vanished again forever!
"Excuse me... I don't believe that's what happened."
Oh shut up, I'm getting to that.
"I'm fairly certain I wasn't annihilated. I mean, I am here now, in your... is this supposed to be an office?"
"I'm glad someone can tell."
"It could really use a rug."
"I am not aware of any rug being here."
"No, really, we had a rug! I'm not sure where it went. Who would steal a rug and not all the junk we have on the tables? It's baffling."
"Quite so. Now then, what was it I did to ensure we escaped with the gold and Mortegro?"
Telekinesis is a good start. Yes, Telekinesis seems to work on the winch. Yes, even when the door is locked. Yes, even with Hack Mover disabled. Not the sharpest move on Origin's part.
Getting Mortegro out is slightly trickier. Remember the Gorlab Swamp trick with Serpent Bond? Same deal here: If Mortegro steps outside the Temple of Tolerance, he dies.
So we'll just make sure he doesn't do that, by Serpent Bonding ourselves to the serpent gate.
As with Gorlab, warping to the Dark Path turns the Avatar back from a snake, but the spell is still running. Once it wears off, our allies will return to our side, including Mortegro.
Note that Mortegro isn't supposed to leave. He's supposed to die, so telling him to leave the party won't work very well. If you actually take him back to Moonshade, he doesn't seem to notice or care that he's gotten back safely. Then again, after seeing Moonshade's current state, I wouldn't be so happy either.
Mortegro has a Death Bolt spell in his backpack, which helps make up for his lousy stats.
"By the way, what happened to the other Automatons?"
"Well, the group was getting a little crowded."
"Oh, those guys?"
"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll see them again for a hilariously brief time soon."