Part 42: Update XXXIII - Do You Believe In Magic?Update XXXIII - Do You Believe In Magic?
♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid ♫
So, last time, we checked out a castle. This time, we'll get some minor plot progression and some tutorials. Let's see what happens.
1 Serum(s) obtained! 74 Filar obtained!
First, we grab some loot from the treasure chest that the thief is filling. Not a lot, but I didn't wait a long time, so I guess it makes sense.
Next, let's have a chat with our new old friend.
Of course! They're excellent!
That's good. I'm happy to do business with vampires again...
So, here's Mandrake's wares. Not a lot, but it's enough for now - well, not that we need to be buying medicine or blood potions right now anyway. We're going to be primarily working with the castle capturing mechanic and exploring castles and towns for now. Now, to progress the plot a bit.
Excellent. There should have been a rune tablet with them, as well.
We have that one, too.
With this, you can learn the spell "Bat Cloak". You already know that one. As vampires, you normally learn such a spell automatically on your own. But since the majority of your vampiric power have been taken away...
I get it. What now?
Now follow me downstairs. Next to the device that helps you learn new skills, I have placed another wonderful artefact. But I'll explain it downstairs. In addition, there is a pretty distressed lady who wants to speak with you. Try to break to her gently what you have done with her...
Sense of tact was never one of Asgar's strengths...
Hehehe... you did grow up, too, after all.
I will be waiting downstairs.
And Jinnai teleports away, as is his wont. Let's go and check out what he's brought in for us.
I needed to put in. It is a rune synthesizer.
A rune synthesizer. With this, you can use the runes, of which you were able to obtain a few from the thieves, and mix them together to create rune tablets. With the help of these rune tablets, you can learn new spells. The more runes you use, the more powerful the spell will become. However, you can't just combine runes as you wish. There are certain formulas for creating rune tablets. And the more runes you want to use for a rune tablet, the stronger you need to be. In order to create rune tablets, you will also need the souls of your victims. Combine them with the runes to create a rune tablet. But you will learn it eventually. I have already written down everything relevant into that book. But you don't have to worry about whether a combination is correct or not. Because if you try to put in the wrong combination, the rune synthesizer will not react. That means you'll lose neither your runes nor souls. So you're free to experiment. With some luck and wits, you can create very powerful spells. If you get your hands on a recipe, however, you can optimize the rune synthesizer. If you create a rune tablet with a combination you have the recipe of, you will create that rune tablet twice! That way, you can vastly reduce your rune consumption. And one more thing... as you probably still know, every vampire possesses an affinity towards a specific kind of magic.
For me, it's Light and Shadow.
Hehe, well, you are only a vampire of the third generation, after all. And as you already know, I am a vampire of the second generation. Therefore, I have three affinities: Ice, Shadow, and Blood.
Pfff, I am a vampire of the first generation, but I still have only three affinities. They are Fire, Blood and Status.
Well, that only shows my superiority...
More like your arrogance.
Oooh, the jealousy...
Good, since you already know your affinities, the rune combination won't be much trouble for you. It depends on what kind of runes you used to create the rune tablet which of you guys will be able to learn a spell. For example, for Valnar to be able to learn a spell, the combination of the rune tablet must contain at least one rune of his affinity. So that means Valnar can only use rune tablets that used at least one light rune or one shadow rune for its combination. Incidentally, there are no other restrictions, since affinities don't rule each other out. So Valnar can use any rune tablet with a combination of a light rune and a fire rune. That way, it's possible for Valnar to learn fire spells, as well, even though he doesn't have the affinity for fire.
All right, so much is clear. And other than that, the short version is written in the book.
Good. Then you should try it out right now. Oh, but the rune "Bat Cloak" is a relic.
And that means...?
It is not possible to create one via the rune synthesizer. Only the Elras know how to create such relics.
What do the Elras have to do with this?
That's pretty obvious, Valnar. This device uses souls... I'm very certain this device is an invention of the Elras...
Good thinking, Alaine. I was able to steal it from the Elras. However, I don't know how they use the rune synthesizer to create relics, or if they even do it completely differently. No idea...
All right, let's give it a try.
By the way, vampires of the fourth generation are too weak to use the power of the rune tablets. They have no choice but to trust in their vampiric magic powers. Even if those are a little tame...
That's why I should create new vampires!
Forget it, buddy!
I leave it to Valnar whether he wants to create vampires. I'll trust his wits. Although I have to say, I'm completely against that! In that case, better weak than strong vampires. That will reduce the potential danger by quite a bit, and in worst case, we can just kill them. That even vampires of the third generation can be strong is something you should already know, Asgar.
That damned ether plane! Never would you have defeated me, Valnar!
And if you don't behave, it won't have been the last time...
Always this aggressiveness! Strength lies in calmness, Valnar.
Very well, I will now attend to different issues...
And he teleports away again. Now, let's take this synthesizer for a spin.
It is at this point that I completely forget that I was supposed to be saving up souls.
Anyway, this is the synthesizer. We currently have some runes to play around with - one fire rune, one ice rune, one light rune and three status runes.
We could, for instance, put in three status runes, and the resulting spell would require level 20 and cost 18 souls to make. Note that one rule with spell synthetization is that a combination consisting of only one type of rune will always be a valid combination. I think this gets brought up at some point, but I'll just tell you now. However, we can't use that yet, so let's not do it. Instead...
...let's do this. A single fire rune.
And there we go! We have ourselves a new spell for Alaine. While we're at it, we also use a single status rune to get the spell Poison, but leave the rest for later.
learn new spells.
Where do we go next? Thanks to the bat transformation, the entire world is open to us.
I'm curious whether some of the towns we know still exist after the world shifting. Shannar, Lombar, or Asdion, for example.
Ah, another point where the canon playthrough digressed from my playthrough, where we wiped the entire town of Lombar out because fuck those guys.
Hm, now that you mention it, I'm recalling the dream I had recently.
A dream? Vampires don't dream.
But I did have a dream!
And what are you trying to say, Valnar?
We should try to find out if Asran still exists. And try looking around some more in the catacombs down there. Maybe we will find something useful. For example, where did Vincent get the Elras book from? And how was he able to create the vampires despite not having any souls. After all, Elras magic normally require souls, doesn't it!?
Well, the spell that brought me back from the Crimson Realm didn't require any souls either. So apparently, not every spell of the Elras needs souls.
But I think it is a good idea. Let's find out whether Asran still exists or not.
Man, Jinnai is really abusing this whole teleporting thing.
destroyed. There is nothing else left. A visit would be pointless.
So you're eavesdropping on us...
Um, no, I was simply not quite gone yet.
Where is Asran? We really would like to take a look for ourselves.
If you fly northwest of Mesdor over the sea, you can find Asran. At the southern end of the continent. But it's really not worth the trouble.
We're going to decide that for ourselves.
We have a more important issue at hand. The cursed Clan and their healers have activated the magical barriers of the dungeons under the castles.
And that means...?
You won't be able to reach the stone fragments. You have to find the keys that will deactivate the barriers.
Where can we find the keys?
The fools of the Clan don't know. There is one exception, though.
And that would be...?
The leader of the Clan, someone called Sir Aaron, let some of his most loyal mages hide the keys. They reside on Castle Ardos. So you have to take one of them prisoner. They should know the hiding place of the keys.
All right, I guess there's no way around finding the keys then.
And what do we do after we imprisoned them?
The prison cells can be found inside the basement of this tower. It also contains a very effective torture chamber. You understand...
You are and always will be a wretched sadist, Asgar!
Forget about Asran, you should concern yourselves with the keys! Oh, and another piece of advice: Use the bat transformation on the rooftop of this castle in order to leave the castle immediately.
And off he goes again.
And for exactly that reason, we should check the place out.
Well, I'm in favor of finding us someone we can torture instead!
Anyway, this was the conversation I was talking about when I said "something tells us to check out Asran at some point, but I can't remember when it was" in the last update. So, let's recap, what did we learn?
- The mages of the Clan put up the barriers and we can't enter the dungeons now. We already knew this because we already explored two castles.
- We need to capture Castle Ardos and take a mage prisoner. We've already done this.
- We need to torture the mage to learn the locations of the keys. We've already done this.
- We need to head to Asran and check the place out. We've already done this, though we didn't check out the grave that hid Weynard's grave. Either way, we're not doing that for a while.
Anyway, we give the Fireball spell to Alaine (55 base damage, fire element) and the Poison spell to Alaine as well (60% base success rate, inflicts Poison). I guess that makes sense, since Alaine is the only one that can get even use both of those.
We buy some more mercenaries, because it'll be time for another attack on a castle next.
Ongoing Costs: 26500 + 4000 = 30500 Filar
We also pick up our tax revenue...
...which we immediately blow on MORE mercenaries!
Well, just add a few less then.
Ongoing Costs: 30500 + 3000 = 33500 Filar
Now, we'll take 62 mercenaries and start an assault on Castle Horan to wipe the Clan's castles off the map.
...is that 72 knights? Well, shit, this'll get ugly.
Yup, it got ugly.
Mercenaries Lost To Global Domination: 143 + 62 = 205
At least we got them down to 23 knights, and the soldiers stationed in castles don't really replenish, from what I can tell (the reinforcements primarily get used to attack our castles, not reinforce the castles they own), so we should be able to take them the next time around.
I guess this is a decent spot to stop. Next time, we solve our soul problem, and maybe explore a new town.
Actually, while I'm at it, let me ask a question: Is the length of these updates good? Should they maybe be a bit longer? So far, I've approached this LP with the mindset of "write update until you hit 10K characters without placeholders being replaced by image links, then start looking for a good spot to end the update" (of course, sometimes, the good spot takes a while to come), since I don't want to end up having to break up updates into two posts again because they break 50K, and 10K+ is a decent size I can make relatively quickly. Is that fine, or should I tend towards longer but less frequent updates?