Part 5: 「Crazy ∞ nighT」
So, last time, we walked around Asgar's castle a whole bunch and then got a whole lot of tutorials about magic and soul stones and shit.
And now, we're off to visit Asgar's silver mine.
We exit the castle, and here we are again on the overworld map, but this time around, we won't get stuck in an infinite forest. You'll also notice that a "mini"map has shown up (taking up like a third of screen real estate). It's helpful for working out where you are and how to get to another place, but not so much for actually working out the places you can go to. The player's position is easily noticeable thanks to the bright yellow cross, but the red dots that show locations are a bit hard to see. Thankfully, this is an RPG Maker game, meaning that I have access to the game files, and that means I can pull out this map that is somewhere to be found in the game, but I wouldn't know where:
So far, our story has been taking place in those three smaller islands to the south - and not even all of that, we haven't seen either Limm or Melsan. This map only shows major cities, there's also minor locations strewn about, like Asgar's mine, for instance. We have a lot of places to explore in this game!
En route to the mine, we get run into our first random encounter of many. Very. Very. Many. The random encounter rate is wacked out in this game. I mean, it's particularly jarring going from Unterwegs in Düsterburg and its fixed encounters you could avoid and see on the map, but even then, this is definitely above average. It's good, because you're going to need to do a good amount of grinding anyway, but still, it will probably make dungeons a massive slog.
I like the animations in this game. They're simple, but they're a big step up from just having the standard RPG Maker animations. However, something that doesn't quite bode well is that we need three rounds of attacking to beat up this one goblin. Random encounters can get rough here, and having health items around is crucial to not die when one goes pear-shaped. Of course, I'm that kind of asshole that repeatedly treks back to the castle to sleep for heals because hey, it's free, and I need that money for other things!
EDIT: The thread once again comes through:
The sprites for the in-battle animations are modified ones from the first two Suikoden games. Agnar's appears to be modified from Camus' sprite from Suikoden II, Valnar's is Miklotov from the second game, whilst Alaine's is Mina from the first.
Because of course, something that looks nice in an RPG Maker game has to be from another game.
As I mentioned, you don't get a lot for beating enemies up. A bit of experience (well, it's about 15% of the way from level 1 to level 2, which isn't too shabby for a single enemy) and a soul for every enemy. No cash, no items.
And here we are at the mine! Just a short walk from the castle, only one random encounter happened getting there.
This here is my personal silver mine!
Silver? You're having silver mined?
Yes. I know it's contradictory. We mine silver, sell it to the humans to get money, and then we spend the money to buy things for us from the humans.
I don't get any of this! You KILL humans! AND then you sell them silver?
Well, amongst the humans, there are traitors. People that trade with vampires in order to acquire riches. We sell our silver to those traitors. And that's how we get our money, which we then spend to get blood potions, for instance.
These traitors sell blood potions? Where did they get those?
Well, these potions are a mixture of animal and human blood. After all, there are humans that love money more than everything!
So then there enough vampires to trade with those traitors...
Now, the number of vampires has been greatly reduced since the Holy Crusade, but they're definitely not extinct. And yet, I have to say that I haven't seen another vampire in a long time...
And I'm assuming you're going to show me those traitors later, too.
Exactly. But now we want to talk with the foreman here. The mine was recently attacked by humans, and there's only one skeleton working here now. By the way, the silver mined here is saved up close to my crypt in the castle.
And that's where you get your silver?
Right. And then I bring it to the traitors.
But Valnar, you should know that selling silver is a double-edged sword. The humans obviously use the silver to create weapons and armor, because they're probably starting to wonder what happened to their scouts checking out this mine. It's probably an inevitability that our existence here is discovered, so by then, we'll have to have become strong enough to stop the humans. But the humans have become deorganized since Vincent Weynard died.
You seem to know what's going on quite well for somebody that's not a lot older than I am.
Don't forget: I'm a vampire of the first generation! I'm a lot more powerful than you! I'm also a lot more adaptive! Asgar only needed a few hours to explain our situation to me!
You know, I very much doubt that being a vampire of higher generation has that great an effect on your mental aptitude. Valnar's just fucking thick, that's all.
Quit arguing! We need to clear up this mine business, and then we'll head east and visit the town.
So here's what's going on at the mine right now. We've got one skeleton working away and the foreman skeleton just standing there.
So, how's my mine doing? Are you mining a lot of silver?
Yes, master. The workers are working hard! Do you want to create more workers?
Well, I think... 1) ...more workers would be great! 2) ...we have enough workers!
Yeah, sure. Didn't we get a tip to get all the mines and fill them up with workers fast?
Alright! I'll use five of your medium soul stones for it!
You now have one worker more, master!
I repeat the process a few more times until I run out of soul stones, leaving us with four workers. We'll have to get more soul stones in the future, but the grinding will leave us with more than enough souls for the job. Now, to explain the silver system, it's really simple so far. We have these workers in the mines. Every so often, the mines give you silver, which is automatically brought to the silver area in Asgar's crypt. We can go there and pick up silver, which is placed into our inventory in the form of silver bars, which we can then sell to these human traitor shops for bucks. As far as I can tell, the "double-edged sword" thing that Alaine pointed out does not come into play in gameplay at all, it's just story stuff. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, time does not matter in this game at all, as far as how long you take to beat the game is concerned. So really, if you wanted to, you could just stand around on the overworld map for a few hours, get some silver, sell it and repeat for lods of emone. I might try that.
Also, if you remember, the tips mentioned something about transforming silver? Well, I just dove back into the code, and it turns out that this is something that happens when you hit level 25 with Asgar. You then get access to a spell that allows you to transform all the silver you have into money in one clean shot, however you only get 80% of what you'd get if you sold it manually. This is a difference of 10 vs. 8 bucks per silver bar. Now, consider that every 30 seconds, you get the same amount of silver bars as you have skeletons working in your mines, and that you can only carry 99 bars at once. That spell is a godsend. So that's the silver system in a nutshell. This is what you get your money with as opposed to random encounters dropping cash.
So now, we're off to the city in the east.
On the way there, we run into some more random encounters. Some get spelled to death...
...and some get drained and then beat to death.
We also run into a new enemy, a brown bear that really looks like something out of Dragon Quest. Because I'm pretty sure it actually is.
And we get to try out our fancy group attacking spells, which turns out to be kind of useless here because the bear is resistant to ice spells. What a shame.
I also dick around for a while to get Valnar and Alaine up to level 2. Might as well get started on this early.
Now, let's check out Melsan.
Upon entering the town, it's once again tutorial time, as there are some more things we need to learn.
So, Valnar! Now I'll show you what kind of power you have over humans! Humans are only food, or a means to an end! Humans are filthy scum! Now, I'll show you how to drain blood from humans, and how you can turn humans into objects with dark vampire magic...
What did you say? Drain humans? Turn humans into objects?
Well, you want to survive, don't you? And as a vampire, you need BLOOD!
I... I can't do that! Drain humans...
You really are a weak vampire, Valnar! And trust me, if you refuse to drink blood, you will suffer unimaginable pain. And if your body's blood reserves are almost empty, your body won't be able to heal itself either!
Maybe I don't want that! Maybe I want to die! Maybe I don't want to be a vampire!
Maybe, maybe, maybe! Valnar, you're going to want it! The pains you go through from lack of blood are immeasurable!
Once again, there's something I need to bitch about, which draws back to something I said earlier. It seems that Marlex was either not quite familiar with the new orthography rules brought in in 1996, or he's got a real problem with the letter "s" and its cousins, "ss" and "ß". Earlier, I bitched about him writing "I know" as "ich weis" as opposed to "ich weiß". Now, during this chapter, the skeleton foreman said that the workers were "fleissig", and now here, Asgar is saying that the pains are "unermeßlich". Both of those are wrong, which is what really confuses me. It's not a consistent error in that he uses "ß" when he should be using "ss" or vice versa, he does both. The basic rule to follow is that "ß" comes after long vowels and diphthongs, "ss" comes otherwise. So we have the German word for "measure, degree, etc.", which is "Maß" with a long "a". We have "fleißig", because "ei" is a diphthong. We have "unermesslich", because there's no diphthong and the "e" in "messen" ("to measure") is short. It's nothing that massive, but it keeps jumping out at me, and it's bugging the shit out of me. Complaining helps sometimes. Anyway, please continue, Asgar.
And death most definitely will not be the salvation you think it will be! Because WHEN vampires die, their souls damn sure don't get to fly up into the oh so wonderful heaven! No, their souls are transformed into Blood Ghosts! Ghosts that are even worse off than normal ghosts on their search for salvation! Blood Ghosts have to suffer pains a mortal would never be able to feel - they would be far, far too great to endure. Trust me, death would only make things worse!
And there's what I referred to earlier when I said that humans have one thing going for them in the battle of "who's more awesome, humans or vampires". Vampires, at least of the early generation variety, get to kick ass all over the place and really only have to suffer minor penalties, as their skillsets allow them to take care of their problems with relative ease. Humans get to eat shit and die, basically. But, when the humans do eat shit and die, they get to go to heaven and have an eternity of not shitty life. Vampires, when they die, get an eternity of pain so great it oversteps human comprehension. And weighting a finite life versus infinity makes this an easy clinch for humanity. Though the life they get is still pretty shitty. Not to spoil things, but you might have been noticing that this world doesn't exactly seem all that great, and that's an observation that isn't really going away.
Well, those are some great ghost stories you're telling me there, and... 1) ...I don't believe a word you're saying! 2) ...you're probably right!
Sometimes, these "humanity plus or humanity minus" questions are kind of weird. I would take this news to be a bit of a damper on the "commit vampire suicide" plan, because an eternity of unimaginable pain isn't the kind of thing I'm looking forward to in life. Sure, Asgar may be lying, but I would at least wait and look into this story to see if it might be true or not. Risk outweighing reward and all. Valnar, however - well, at least our version of Valnar - is idealistic to a fault. A fault so large it might as well be responsible for earthquakes in California. A bit of pragmatism wouldn't go amiss here and god damnit I'm not bringing this back to the Democratic primaries again, especially since I'm arguing for pragmatism and not idealism. Anyway, Valnar responds in the only way he knows to, putting his fingers in his ears and going "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU STILL GOING TO NOT DRINK MYSELF TO DEATH".
Sooner or later you'll come around. However, a vampire doesn't die that quickly. When his life force is spent, he falls into rigor. This is a state comparable to humans fainting. You can't do anything and your senses no longer operate. You can only hope somebody gets you some blood or your body still has enough blood to heal itself. You should make sure that you have a regular blood intake. When your blood levels are too low, you'll go completely berserk! Sadly, it's a problem all vampires have...
Alright then. You said something about "transforming humans into objects"...
Yes, there's a spell that allows you to transform any human into an object that will be useful to you. Through that, humans gain a certain value, don't you think?
... 1) ...that's completely inhumane! 2) ...in a way, you're right!
Yes, Valnar, it is inhumane. You're a vampire you twit, by nature inhumane! You know, you can still reject the more evil parts of vampirism without sounding so whiny - Alaine's got herself together pretty quickly without a problem, it seems. Fucking Valnar. It's like he plays as a contrast to Asgar on one level, and then he plays as a contrast to me on another level.
Well, you don't HAVE to do it, you oh so "human" vampire!
Anyway, you can transform any human as long as they don't have a magic shield.
AKA plot armor.
You can also transform merchants, they will get you some nice things, but of course you won't be able to buy from them anymore...
This is true. I've took a quick scan, and merchants pretty much always give you good shit. However, regular people run the gambit from "actually kind of useful" to "complete garbage".
Alright, now I'll show you how the spell works, so pay attention...
...ah... ...I see... ...so that's how that works...
"You have learned how to transform humans into objects!"
But won't it be suspicious if people suddenly just disappear? Or if I get seen?
Well, if humans see you, they won't immediately know you're a vampire. Your vampiric aura makes you look completely normal to humans! But of course it's not entirely safe to just drain humans. If you're seen, even your aura won't protect you, and they'll know what you really are. That's why I'll give you good advice - if you want to avoid trouble, only drain humans at night. Nights, humans see a lot worse, and they can hardly see you. I should also mention that you can only drain humans twice - if you do it a third time, they die. However, that's not all that bad either, since you'll then get another normal soul! After you've drained a human, you can hear their heartbeat. With that, you can tell how much blood they still have left. The quicker the heartbeat, the less blood they have. If you drain your victim, your blood level increases by an amount depending on the kind of victim you have. Adults have more blood than children, and men more than women, at least in general. So if you need a lot of blood, mainly pick male adults, that way you won't need as many victims at a time. Unless you want to collect more souls...
But what about the humans I've bitten? Won't they scream?
No, as soon as you've bitten them, they become paralyzed. After you leave your victim, they will be dazed for a while, then they won't remember a thing.
And what about the people that just disappear?
Well, of course you need to be smart about that! Don't get caught, and if you do get caught, kill all the witnesses.
So I should also only transform humans at night, right?
Alright, and what are we doing in this town?
Well, explore! You haven't been here before! Talk with people... drain them... transform them... test what I've taught you!
Alrighty then! Time to explore this new town and walk into everybody's houses!
To the southeast, we find the guard station.
So now that we've gotten that particular tutorial from Asgar, whenever we speak to somebody, we get four options: "Talk", "Drain", "Transform" and "Leave". Given our status as a goody-two-shoes, we will only be making use of the first one beyond the one time I use it to show it off.
Guard captain: Don't try anything funny! We're trained warriors and we're on the watch for anybody making trouble! We've already got a prisoner, so you can see that we're not playing around!
A prisoner? What did he do?
Guard captain: He was selling illegal items! All kinds of bloody stuff! Disgusting! But we got him! Nobody escapes us!
Alright, then I don't want to distract you from your work any more...
Bloody stuff, you say? Sounds like somebody we should get in touch with.
On the second floor, we find an upgrade for Asgar, an iron sabre. "A quite heavy sabre (+7 ATTACK)". Any upgrades are always welcome, especially if they're free!
And on the third floor, we find somebody in a cell and a leather shield that goes to Asgar. Alaine can't use shields, by the way - which should be obvious, you can't use shields with claws! Now, to get to this prisoner.
Not a problem!
Prisoner: Please... please... don't kill me!
Well, I didn't plan on that, but who knows, if you don't tell me what I want to know, maybe I will!
Marlex just spelled "weiß" correctly. God damnit, now even it being right jumps out at me. Sorry, let's get back to the action.
Prisoner: What... what do you want to know?
Where is the entrance?
Prisoner: What entrance?
WHERE IS THE ENTRANCE?
Prisoner: In... in... the s... southeast! At... t... the pl... place where the h... house is being built!
You worm! You're lucky you told me that!
What kind of entrance did you ask him about?
The entrance to the store of the human traitors! There's one in almost every city! In these stores, people sell illegal things like blood vials to others. Of course, the stores have to be hidden, since humans don't tolerate that kind of thing.
Humans selling blood vials? Who buys that stuff? Do those humans know that vampires exist?
Kind of. I've already told you that there are humans that love money over everything else. These humans don't have a problem with trading with vampires just to get rich.
Doesn't that mean that there are a lot of other vampires?
Well, I haven't seen any other vampires in a long time. And vampires aren't the main buyers for this stuff, but rather the members of the "Children of the Apocalypse"!
Sounds like a cult!
Exactly, but I'll have to tell you later what kind of a cult it is. Though you should know that this cult does a lot of blood rituals, and that's why they buy a lot from the human traitors.
I see, so it could be that the traitors don't even know that vampires are buying from them. They could just as well think the vampires are members of the cult...
Regardless, vampires, IF there even are any other ones beyond us, are not the main audience for these shops, otherwise they wouldn't be selling a lot at all!
Alright, then let's get looking for this store!
Well, not quite. First we have more town to explore.
Man: Hey, what do you want from me?
Say, is everybody here so intolerant towards strangers?
Man: Since that rumor about the castle started going around, yes!
Alright, then I don't want to bother you any more...
People in this town are dicks.
Woman: Hm, what do you want from me?
Just offer a friendly "hello"?
Woman: Get lost! I don't trust strangers anymore ever since that rumor started making the rounds...
What kind of rumor?
Woman: They say the castle of "Aldaines" was taken over by a powerful monster...
Tsk, I wouldn't believe a word they're saying...
Woman: You might not, but most people do...
Maybe people in here will be more friendly?
Rich Woman: Hm, I don't really like it when strangers are rummaging through my house!
Rich Woman: Don't you dare touch anything or I'll call the guards!
Blonde Man: Hello... um, what are you doing in my house?
I'm looking for information...
Blonde Man: Information? Of what kind?
Um... I'm looking for thieves...
Blonde Man: Oh, I see! Well, then keep searching thoroughly, even though you won't find anything here...
People in this town are dicks, and they're also kind of thick. You know, we could just wipe this town off the map. That's one of the great things about this game, you can just turn cities into ghost towns if you want to. There aren't a lot of people with these magical shields, in fact I'm pretty sure that the only ones are utterly plot-critical characters that stand around in a certain place and that you can interact with outside of the main plotline (to compare, see what we've seen of Abraxas so far for what a plot-critical character we can't interact with looks like), and there aren't a lot of them. I very much remember completely emptying several towns when I first played this game. However, since we're a goody-two-shoes, that won't be happening. You know, I'm considering doing another vote a few updates down the line to reconsider our stance on vampirism. It would be interesting. That's the nice thing about this morality system - there's no problem in going from a goody-two-shoes to a massive dickbag and vice versa, though it's kind of hard to go back from evil to good, since you can't exactly un-kill all those people. Though there might be some way to regain that humanity somewhere in the game, I don't know at this point.
Arrogant Son: Tsk, what are you doing here? Get lost, you stupid farmer!
Watch out what you're saying, pal! Or else there might be something bad happening... to you!
Arrogant Son: I'm not going to be intimidated by some poor sucker like you!
Oh, that's it. You're fucking dead. I needed a subject for our transformation ability test, and you're just right!
...and he turns into a bandage. Fuck you, you snotty rich piece of shit. Can't even turn into a useful item. We also get 300 bucks from the two chests there, which we couldn't have opened without killing that kid, so there's that.
Also, since it's night, I test out the blood sucking mechanic on this villager. This is a female adult, and she gives us 150 BP each, which is massive overkill for this point in the game. Male adults give about 200, it seems, and kids are all under 100, with girls giving a bit less than boys.
Man: Welcome to my humble abode! But I must ask you to leave...
Thanks, and don't worry, we'll be right out...
Man: Um, why did you come in in the first place?
Good question... I just like looking at houses from the inside!
Little Boy: Hey, you, what are you doing in our house?
Don't get so cheeky, boy, or you'll be in trouble!
Little Boy: Pah! My daddy will protect me!
More squishy mortals!
Inn Owner: Hello! You can have a wonderful night of sleep here!
Hm, no, thanks! I don't like sleeping in others' beds!
Inn Owner: As you wish, but we have the softest beds in the whole world!
You know, that's not a selling point. Beds need a certain hardness to them to give you a good rest. It's striking the right balance that's important. Why am I arguing with an innkeeper in a game about people that sleep in coffins? At least she's nice, even if she's just trying to sell us stuff.
Young Warrior: Hello...
Could you tell me where I can buy weapons and armor here?
Young Warrior: Of course! There's a good weapons store in the center of town, and you can get good armor at the east end!
Store Owner: Hello! Take a look around! I have many great weapons!
Alright, so the store system is just the same old basic store system you all know. The way the inventory works is that it's level-based - the higher Valnar's level, the better the gear they sell. Like the tips said, some stores sell better gear earlier than others, but no store becomes truly worthless over time, which is good, because otherwise you'd just transform all the merchants except the ones of the best store. Then again, you could just do that anyway. Hm.
We buy some curved claws - "Curved claws (+5 ATTACK)" - for Alaine. Asgar and Valnar already have the better weapons available here.
Now, let's check out the armors.
Store Owner: Hello! We have the best armors at the lowest prices!
Well, then show me what you're selling...
Now this is a lot better than what we're packing right now. I have one iron armor, no iron helmets - "A pretty heavy helmet (+3 DEFENSE)" - and no thorn shields - "Shield, peppered with thorns (+5 DEFENSE, +2 ATTACK)". We buy two iron armors and one shield, but then I'm out of money.
I consider selling some save stones, but that would be cheating. I will only use those for saving.
But what I can sell are these blood restoring items, and that brings us a cool 5000+ bucks! Now I buy a full set of the best armor available. This should make early grinding a bit easier.
Young Woman: Get lost! Strangers are not welcome here!
Young Woman: If you really want to talk with somebody here, go to the mayor!
I'll do that...
I wonder if some of these people are designed to be assholes so that the player would be more likely to test out their vampire powers on them? Seems like a trick that would work.
More houses to barge into.
Elana: I love cooking for my husband!
Man: And I love that you cook for me, my love!
Elana: Oh, I love you so much!
Man: Hm, don't you think that the food smells delicious?
Hm, I guess...
Man: What do you mean with this "I guess"? My wife is the best cook in the world!
Elana: Oh, thank you my love!
Well, that was nice, let's go upstairs and pilfer their shit. Asgar grabs a healing potion and two healing vials through the locked doors...
...and we grab a broadsword off the wall. Now, let's go check out the mayor's hou-
When Valnar goes into this house, something quite dramatic is going to happen! Should Valnar really go in there now? Or should he continue looking around town and maybe get some better equipment?
Well, I think Valnar... 1) ...is equipped well enough! 2) ...should keep looking around town!
Well, that's surprisingly friendly! I guess we're not going there then, we still need to find that secret store!
As you wish...
To the southeast, we find this place.
"A new house is being built here. Please keep your children away from the construction site!"
There was another one of these to the west, but there was nothing there. Maybe here...
Hm, there seems to be something under this rock!
And here we are, the first secret shop.
Store Owner: Hey, buy something or get lost! I've got other things to be doing!
So here we can buy blood restoring items, and, strangely enough, this is the only place in town where we can buy healing items! +20 BP for 120 bucks, +50 BP for 300 bucks, +50 HP for 70 bucks, +100 HP for 300 bucks, and +10 HP and healing the Bleeding status for 20 bucks. I don't buy anything, believing the items I had already would be enough.
"Might is not given to anybody! You have to take might for yourself!"
So now we're ready to head into the mayor's house and have whatever happens there happen, but of course, not without saving. Now, let's get this going.
Mayor: ...and then the rumors surrounding the castle of Aldaines! We should send a messenger! It's quite strange that the family haven't written us for several weeks now. And none of their servants have shown up to buy food...
Mayor's Wife: That's really strange. Maybe there's some truth to the rumors, and the family really was killed by some unknown assailant...
Mayor: But the family of Aldaines had several servants, amongst them capable warriors. You would need to have a small army to take over the castle and wipe out the family. And it can't be that NOBODY has seen such an army! Very strange. I'll send a messenger right away! Maria!
Maria: Yes? What do you wish, mayor?
Mayor: Send a carrier pigeon to the High Council and tell them about the strange rumors surrounding the castle!
Maria: As you wish!
Maria comes over.
Maria: Mayor, you have visitors!
Mayor: Oh, excuse me, we were just absorbed into an important discussion! Maria, please send that pigeon...
Maria: Right away...
Maria heads upstairs.
Mayor: Now, what brings you to my humble home?
Oh, we just wanted to tell you what happened with the castle of the Aldaines.
Mayor: You know what happened there? Come closer, and tell me!
Asgar, what are you doing?
Wait for it...
I don't like the way he's looking at all!
Oh, but I do.
Mayor: Are there any problems?
Problems? Oh, yes! You wouldn't believe the problems!
Asgar steps in front of the mayor.
Damnit! Stop it, Asgar!
Mayor: Listen, if you have any problems, then you deal with them, and leave me alone!
You don't get it, do you? YOU'RE MY PROBLEM!
Mayor: What, how...
Mayor's Wife: AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!
Are you crazy? You can't just kill the mayor here!
Valnar, I think he just did.
Why not? I HATE mayors! Shannar knows that too!
"Weiß" written wrong again. Now you're just toying with me.
Also, I really enjoy the idea of Asgar just harboring an intense hatred for mayors of all varieties.
Mayor's Wife: AAAAAAAAHHHHHH! HEEEEEEELP!
Shut up, you whore!
Mayor's Wife: Sob... sob...
Have you gone completely insane or something?
Welcome to your baptism by fire, Valnar! Come on up, we need to deal with the maid!
Asgar runs upstairs.
Alaine, what is he doing?
I'm just as surprised as you are, Valnar!
We follow him upstairs...
...and to the balcony.
Maria: So, now fly my little pigeon! Bring that message to the High Council!
And off it goes.
Maria: Hey, what are you doing up here?
Hm, we just wanted to enjoy the view!
Maria: Could it be that the lady just screamed?
Ah, you have good hearing. She did indeed scream! For her man had no more time to do so!
Maria: Sir, you're scaring me!
Evil laugh counter: 10
Hey, double digits already!
Oh, am I?
Maria: Please, sir!
What the hell are you doing?
Valnar, I already told you, this is your baptism by fire as a vampire! Vampires are strong... vampires are POWERFUL! Show me how powerful you are!
Maria: Sir! Show mercy! Have pity! I have two daughters! Please, spare me!
You miserable human scum!
I don't like where this is going... or do I like it?
Maria: MERCY, SIR!
Please scream as loud as you can before you hit the ground and break your neck, would you? After all, we want to get the attention of the guards!
That's a good girl! And now, die!
Great, and now what?
Three... two... one...
Guard: THERE! LOOK!
Well, that looks like it might present a problem.
Guard: And the perpetrators are still standing there! Let's get them!
Come on, Alaine... it's time for us to leave!
The guards file into the house.
So, Alaine, are you coming?
And you're just going to leave me here?
Getting out of here alive is your trial by fire! We'll be waiting for you at the castle!
You dirty bastard!
Trust in your new powers! I know you'll make it!
And he's off.
Well, that's just great! He'll pay for that! But first, I need to get the hell out of here!
But the moment we step inside...
Guard: We got you, pal! We hereby declare the death penalty for murdering the mayor, his wife and young Maria!
Wrong, I'M declaring the death penalty! For YOU!
Guard: Let's get him!
Oh come on, you could have done better than that "nuh-uh".
And now we've got a fight on our hands.
Guard: The less you fight it, the faster your pain will end!
Now, these guards look badass, but they're really just slightly stronger than the bears we found outside of town. The real problem is that they're four, and I'm just Valnar. They also really don't want to start bleeding when I drain blood from them, which isn't helping. However, at least thanks to our good equipment, we're taking either 1 or 2 HP in damage from each attack. Still, that's 4-8 damage each round, nothing I want to take for a longer time, and sadly, taking these four bastards out with one attack per turn is not going to be a quick operation.
So really, my only option is to just cast a lot of spells and hope they die quickly.
It takes a while, but eventually the last one goes down. Good thing too, I was pretty much dry on BP.
You stupid humans...
Now I need to get back to the castle!
Alright, let's get a move on. I top off my HP with the healing items I had and head outside.
However, we can now run into guards outside the house, and the encounter rate shoots up even more than normal, meaning I get a whole two steps before running into a fight.
Uh, Valnar... why are you just attacking? Why can't I control anything?
...oh crap. God fucking damnit.
That dipshit again, like ten seconds ago posted:
Good thing too, I was pretty much dry on BP.
Wise words posted:
You should make sure that you have a regular blood intake. When your blood levels are too low, you'll go completely berserk! Sadly, it's a problem all vampires have...
Because I had critically low BP levels, Valnar went berserk, meaning I can't use the blood sucking skill to get more. I'm stuck this way until I get a blood restoring item, and guess what? I didn't buy any because I thought I could just get blood in battle! Son of a bitch. This guard goes down eventually, but that fight took almost all of Valnar's HP. I have healing items out the ass, but they don't help if I can't use them in battle. If only I could just not get into combat...
Yeah, not fucking happening. That was like ten steps further, and I had like thirty to go.
WELP. This game does not fuck around. It starts playing hardball right from the start.
Alright, let's start over, and let's do it right this time.
I reload and start grinding. Level 5 should do. I picked level 5 because it means we get new spells, and maybe another good spell will really help Valnar.
Also, while bopping around, I get Asgar's explanation for these red chests.
Hm, what kind of chest is this?
This is one of the rare Elras chests. They have been magically sealed. The Elras were a group of wizards that protected their belongings with these chests.
Yes, because these chests can't be opened normally. To be exact, these chests only open when the one wishing to open them has a certain level of intelligence. For the enemies of the Elras were stupid warriors and thieves. That way, the Elras could be sure that their belongings would never be stolen by their enemies, since those could never open the chests! If somebody tries to open it by force, he usually dies in the process. I tried it myself, since I can't "die" per se, but I had infernal pains... these days, there are chests like these strewn about here and there. You can only hope that you're "smart" enough, otherwise you'll never get to see the contents.
These are literally just a comparison of a number with Valnar's Intelligence stat. This one's in the 100s, so we're not getting at that for quite some time.
While I'm in the spell chamber, I also use the soul assimilator to boost Valnar's Strength with the thirty weak souls I had. Kind of wish I hadn't blown another thirty on getting 171 bucks. Kind of a waste in retrospect. Now, spells!
A: "Beam of Light" - "Base damage: 15; one enemy is hit; chance to blind: 70%". Blood cost: 7.
B: "Dark Energy" - "Base damage: 11; all enemies are hit". Blood cost: 7
Normally, I'd totally go with Dark Energy here, but ~roleplaying~.
Valnar's second spell: Beam of Light
A: "Fire Beam" - "Base damage: 18; one enemy is hit". Blood cost: 8.
B: "Clear Sight" - "Heals Blindness; entire party is healed". Blood cost: 6.
C: "Poison Cloud" - "Base damage 10; chance to poison: 90%; one enemy is hit". Blood cost: 6
IIRC, the Blindness status effect is a massive bitch to deal with, so let's get a spell to easily be able to deal with it.
Alaine's second spell: Clear Sight
Alright, now we're ready.
We go through all that shit again, and this time, dealing with the guards is a lot easier. We now take either 1 HP of damage or none at all, and Valnar deals a lot more damage. Also, I now know not to let my blood levels go down this time.
Also, here's Valnar's new spell. It's nice.
So, once we do make it out of town without getting murdered, there's nothing else special going on, we just trek back to the castle, fighting the regular random encounters on the way. And when we get there...
...and you really think he'll make it?
Of course! I see that he has great potential!
But he's so young, and only a vampire of the third generation!
Don't worry so much... and if he dies, what does it matter...
Valnar! How fortunate...
Ah, what did I say, my dear? Valnar, I didn't doubt for a second that you'd make it!
YOU JUST WANTED TO THROW ME OUT TO DIE!
Tsk, tsk... I didn't want you to die... I just wanted to show you how powerful you are! How many humans did you kill?
Hm... at least a few!
HARHAR! Now don't be so modest! I'm sure it was a ton!
But I... 1) ...am not proud of it! 2) ...um, alright, I guess you're right!
FUCK YOU, VAMPIRE DAD.
Oh, you are. You really are. Trust me!
Trust you? I'm supposed to trust the one that made me to what I am now? You can't be serious!
HARHAR! Headstrong, just like me... you should rest now! I'm proud of you...
Bah... I'm not one of your marionettes...
And we fade to black...
...and we're back to storytelling!
So Asgar had Valnar put through a trial by fire?
Yes. Asgar wanted to show Valnar how powerful he is now. And it seems like Valnar is becoming some kind of "good" vampire... his hate towards Asgar grows, and he's becoming more human inside as time goes on...
Is there some kind of way for Valnar to become a human again?
No, he will stay a vampire forever. Well, apart from if he becomes a Blood Ghost. But he can't ever become a human again...
Say, grandpa, how did Asgar become a vampire anyway?
Well, in his young years, he was bitten by a vampire after he had just witnessed his parents being brutally murdered...
And what role does Vincent Weynard play?
...and this is where we'll cut it for today! Next time, the story of Vincent Weynard! Also, next time, I really hope I can do an update that ends at without me having to split it in two!