The Let's Play Archive

Vampires Dawn

by TheMcD

Part 7: "Should've Just Killed Him", the tell-all book by Asgar Serran, coming soon to a bookstore near you

Last time, we had a history lesson, and then we went through our first dungeon. Character development was had, kind of?

So Abraxas only kills out of greed for money and blood?
Yes, mostly. He's only a servant of a much more powerful vampire. And that vampire wants to destroy all the other vampires in the world.
Well, you'll learn that later. I want to keep things interesting, after all.
Anyway, Abraxas seems to be very powerful. So powerful he can influence the magic of other vampires. And so, Valnar, Asgar and Alaine have learned of a new vampire that has made them their enemy.
And what happened then?
Now, Valnar went and rested, and he very quickly found the sleep of the undead. Alaine, on the other hand, woke Asgar and told him everything. He was angry that Alaine left alone with Valnar, but was downright furious because of Abraxas, who dared to hurt his beloved Alaine. And Asgar also wanted to know why Abraxas made it his task to kill all vampires, and who his financer was. But on the same evening, at an entirely different place, something very important happened.

And we cut to some sort of royal meeting.

... and so I believe that it is inevitable, to once again ramp up the silver production...
Father, get yourself together!
...furthermore, we need to point out to the knights, that using the curtains...
(Yeah, yeah, now the knights are to blame for everything!)
(Sir Esthir has that look on his face again. Looks like he's thinking the king is blaming the knights for everything again. But I think that's only fair, after all, they've never allowed a woman to join their ranks so far. And not to mention...)
...and with that, I'll move on to the taxes, which have been collected rather infrequently recently...
(Oh man, now he's going back to the taxes again... for the thousandth time!)
(Taxes collected infrequently? Go and do it yourself then!)
Yes! You're completely correct, my king! The tax collectors have become very unreliable! I think we should...
(Of course that old cow was going to kiss the king's ass again!)
FATHER! Just pay attention for once!
Grumble... hrmpf... erm... zzzzzzzzzzzzz
...and I believe that the farmers will eventually have to produce more grain...

Some footsteps are heard.


My lord, we've just received a very strange message via carrier pigeon!
Show me!

Hm... it says that the mayor of Melsan hasn't heard anything from the "Aldaines" in a long time, and he's very concerned. He's asking us to send a small squad of knights over to check up on them. I think that's a good idea, then we can collect their taxes at the same time, and that's a not quite minor amount. Sir Esthir, what do you think?
I'll put together a small squad immediately, my king. We'll then need a ship to make it to the castle of the "Aldaines".
That shouldn't be a problem, I'll have a ship set aside for you.
Good, good. Then we should have reached the castle tomorrow.
Good, then we've cleared that up. That brings me to the craggedness of the mountains...

And fade to black.

And so a few knights made their way to the castle. The next day, Asgar, Valnar and Alaine flew back to the mountains where they had met Abraxas. But those mountains are vast...

And so we make our way to the mountains again.

So, where's that entrance?
Hm... I'm not sure...
Asgar, we CRASHED into the mountains! But the entrance has to be somewhere, I'm sure of it!
Well, then let's get searching! Maybe Abraxas is stupid enough to show up himself.
We'll see...

Well, I can tell you right now, we won't be running into Abraxas.

The only thing we'll be running into is these random encounters, and they're quite annoying. The griffons can just attack, and the claw bugs can attack both normally and with a special attack that can paralyze, but it's their general strength that hurts. They can deal about 5~6 HP damage, and we will be spending a fair share of time waffling around this area.

Now, the guide said that there were treasure chests around here, but I couldn't find them. Well, turns out that they were very well hidden. Look at this screenshot, to the left. There's those vine-like things, right? If you look at one that touches the floor, that hides a cave with treasure chests in them. There's three of them scattered around, and I didn't find any of them. Instead, I ran around the area for about 20 minutes, and then...

I'm getting tired of looking for this Abraxas! We're going back to the castle. He'll show up sooner or later. Then we'll get him!
You're probably right. We won't find this entrance anyway!

And we're on our way back again. That takes a lot longer when you're not skipping all the random encounters and the trips to the soul menu to keep our souls from hitting 99. But on our return to the castle...

Something's not right!
You're right... I smell humans!
But don't you have skeletons in the castle to guard it?
Sure, but they're not particularly smart.

Upon entering the castle, we immediately run into Ronak.

Master, master! Finally, you're back!
What happened, Ronak?
Knights, master! Knights have come, and they're storming the castle! They're too many, master! I could only stop a few!
Those disgusting insects! Come on, you two, we'll take care of the problem!
Of course!
But... 1) ...those are all humans! 2) ...we should tear them apart!

Only one way our Valnar answers that. "But those knights attacking the castle and killing everything in sight are humans, we shouldn't fight them! "

If you don't quit your bitching, you're going to die just as brutally as the knights are going to!
Um... alright, let's go!
I'll stay here and keep anybody else from coming in!
No, you're going to keep anybody else from getting OUT! For this crime, they must all die... painfully! Now, let's get to finding the leader of these knights!
Here, have some potions, master!
"Got 3 Healing Vials, 3 Blood Vials, 1 Potion of Eternity and 1 Save Stone!"

Now, the knights having taken over the castle essentially means that there are now random encounters everywhere. Because of that, we stick around Valnar's room and his healing coffin, and once again, it's time for a bit of grinding.

Right now, we're hovering around level 8~9, and the guide suggests being around level 9 for the upcoming boss fight, but I want to get to level 10 to get the next spell.

These are the knights that are now littering the castle with the standard infuriating encounter rate. They can't do anything but standard attacks, which are about as dangerous as the griffons and bugs we fought earlier, but this time, we have a full heal area at our disposal, so it's not that much of a problem. Also, as humans, they are susceptible to bleeding, which is always great.

Eventually, I get Alaine and Valnar to level 10, and Asgar only about three or four fights away from hitting that level as well, so it's time to get going. Now, we could be bopping around the castle quite a bit, looking for Sir Esthir, the leader of the knights, but thankfully, I know that he's in Asgar's spell chamber, and even if I didn't, I'd be going there to pick up new spells anyway!

"What insanity humanity has to believe they are the greatest thing on Earth!"

We get to the spell chamber without major events, and of course save. Now, let's take on Sir Esthir.

OK, now, your little trip through MY castle is over!
Ah, the squatters are back. I wonder if the true owners of the castle were amongst the skeletons we killed.

Can you really kill skeletons? I guess you can, if you just take "kill" to mean "to end life", then you can just as well kill skeletons by ending their un-life.

No, I used their body parts for experiments that were far more disgusting than you could ever imagine with your puny, miserable brain!
Well, I'm surprised that you could stay undiscovered here for so long. But now I'm here to wipe another problem off this world.
Strange. I just thought the exact same thing...
I guess your miserable existence as a necromancer has now found its end...
Necromancer, you say... it's sad how much you underestimate me. But you're in luck. You'll be able to think about your mistake for a long time. As a ghost, you'll have a LOT of time...
Enough of this stupid talk. I'll make an example of you that will shock the world!

Remember the name "Sir Esthir"! Then you can scream it in hell while you endure infinite pains and your blood starts boiling in your veins!
I'll probably just remember that name when I see a fat maggot!

Welcome to our first boss battle! Sir Esthir is no slouch, and with 400 HP, he's a great introduction to the boss system of this game - bosses have a ton of HP. In this case, he has eight times the HP of a regular knight, and we're going to have to wear him down slowly but surely. But we have an ace up our sleeve. We've been finding some attack magic items, and now it's time to use them!

Using the Flame Potion and Ice Dust, we deal great amounts of damage right out of the gate. These items have fixed damage with some variance, so they're most useful early on, when dealing that amount of damage would be very effective, as opposed to later on, when you should be dealing that much damage easily. This is very much a case when saving items will only hurt you.

But of course, Esthir isn't just going to take this, and he uses the strong attack he has to chop off about a third of Asgar's HP in one clean shot. But since he doesn't have any party-attacking skills and we have enough healing items to heal any damage he might dish out, we're not at any risk at this point, it's just a matter of whittling his massive HP down. And to add insult to injury, Valnar uses his light magic to inflict blindness on Esthir, making his arsenal of physical attacks largely useless, since they all miss most of the time. Other bosses will not be this simple.

With the odds stacked massively against him, Esthir goes down without much trouble.

That... can't... be...
Give the damned my regards!

I have to say, these animations are very satisfying.

I guess the other knights are going to flee now...
They better...
Why did they come to the castle anyway?
It seems likely that they were alerted by the guards in Melsan.

No, they were alerted by the carrier pigeon. The one you all saw. The one you all heard the maid tell to fly to the High Council. The High Council that controls the knights.

Then more will be coming soon! I'll have to improve the castle's defenses.
Asgar, stop it... it's pointless. It'd be better if we left.
Leave the castle? NEVER!
Not forever. Just until this affair has calmed down a bit. If you kill more knights, you'll just bring another Holy Crusade on us.
Holy Crusade?

Oh come the fuck on, Valnar. This shit should be grade-school history classes.

I'll explain it to you later.
You're probably right, my love. We should get out of here and only come back every once in a while to get our silver.
And where do we want to go?
Well, how about Klennar?
You still want to search for her, do you?
What do you want in Klennar?
I thought I would find Aysha's corpse and you then revive her.
Your girlfriend? Oh, I remember now...
I miss her so much...
And you want me to revive her? As a vampire?
Well, I don't think that's a very good idea.

Alaine: A Smart Person

Why not? Through this whole thing he became a vampire in the first place. Not to mention, we've got more than enough time now...
Alright, maybe that will make you happy!
Yes, it will.

And even though she thinks it's a bad idea, she cares about Valnar and wants him to be happy. Reiterating: Can't Alaine just be our main character?

Then we should get going.

But before we get going, we have some things to be doing. First of all, new spells.

A: "Light Bolt" - "Chance to blind: 70%; all enemies are hit". Blood cost: 14
B: "Dark Blades" - "Increases attack power; entire party is affected". Blood cost: 14

As is standard, Valnar gets light magic. Remember Dark Blades though, we'll come back to it later once another spell becomes available.

Valnar's third spell: Light Bolt

A: "Ice Shield" - "Increases defense against fire". Blood cost: 11
B: "Dark Blades" - "Increases attack power; entire party is affected". Blood cost: 14
C: "Sneaking Death" - "Base damage: 11; chance to poison: 90%; all enemies are hit". Blood cost: 16

Attack spell, hits all enemies, high chance to inflict a status effect? And the alternatives are a party stat boost (which might be useful, but is only useful in one way) and elemental resistance (which is largely useless throughout most of the game where there aren't fire enemies)? Sign me up!

Asgar's third spell: Sneaking Death

A: "Fire Shield" - "Increases defense against ice; entire party is affected". Blood cost: 12
B: "Eloqence" - "Heals muteness; entire party is affected". Blood cost: 10
C: "Sneaking Death" - "Base damage: 11; chance to poison: 90%; all enemies are hit". Blood cost: 16

Well, we have some repeaters here, both Sneaking Death and *ELEMENT* Shield reappear here, but I'm going to go with the healing spell, because only Alaine gets these spells, and it seems like I remember this game getting nasty with these status effects.

Alaine's third spell: Eloquence

The next thing we do is use the soul converter to change our souls to soul stones and our minor and major soul stones to medium ones - the medium ones will give us new workers in the mines, and that's what we mainly want from our souls right now. Like the tips said, we want to max out our mine output, because that's our only cashflow, and money is going to become very important as the game goes on.

On the way out, we also pick up some silver - we've got 607 bars in total, which is good for 6070 bucks, a good sum, but we need to carry that to the stores 99 bars at a time, which is tedious. I want to start doing that, but once I leave the castle...

Alright... off we go to Klennar!

And we're off!

Now... we'll just follow you, Valnar. You know this place better!
Alright, alright...

Hm... will the people recognize me?
No, not really. As long as you don't tell them that you're Valnar, nobody will recognize you.
I see... that makes it easier, I won't have to answer any stupid questions.

Our first stop, the weapons and armor shops. Since we've leveled up a fair bit, we have new gear available, and new gear is always welcome.

Woman: Hello! Would you like to buy something?
Yes, show me what you've got on offer!
Woman: I've got top quality armors here!

Now, all the items here are new for us, but we only want the better ones. So our targets are:

Armor: "Gold Armor". "A armor made of fake gold (+16 DEFENSE, -8 AGILITY)". The -Agility hurts, but Defense is massive in this game, I've found. Especially when grinding against enemies without magic attacks.
Helmet: "Gold Helmet". "A golden helmet (+10 DEFENSE)".
Shield: "Battle Shield". "A shield with a ramming spike (+12 DEFENSE, +3 ATTACK)". Defensive items that boost Attack are always welcome.

We buy a full set - three armors, three helmets, two shields.

Rac: Hello! Would you like to buy something?
Yes, show me what you've got on offer!
Rac: Only the best weapons!

You'll maybe notice that the longsword I'm currently hovering over is marked as an item that would make Valnar's Attack weaker - that's because it's a two-handed sword, which would remove the Attack bonus from the shield. Two-handed swords are not worth it. The shield is just vital, because every Defense boost you can get is excellent. Now, we're targeting the following weapons:

Sword: "Crystal Sword". "A sword made of sharpened crystal (+18 ATTACK)".
Sabre: "Double-Sided Sabre". "Sabre with two edges (+17 ATTACK)".
Claws: "Eklar Claws". "Heavy claws (+15 ATTACK)".

Attack bonuses are going up, now going into the good double digits. Gear continually gets greater, but it also becomes more expensive. And it only becomes better in a linear way, but more expensive on what approaches a logarithmic scale exponential growth, though that's just an estimate, I have not graphed this. We buy one weapon for everybody.

EDIT: I have graphed this. Here's the one for armors as an example - they all pretty much came out to the same data. The left one graphs the Defense boost and the ratio between price and Defense boost, the right one graphs just the price in Filar.

As you can see, the price seems rather exponential in growth, and both the Defense boost and the ratio graphs seem fairly linear, and I seem to remember that if you divide a exponential function with a linear function, you get another linear function, so that seems to line up. We're going to need quite a bit of money in the late game.

Here's a look at the stats with our new gear. Things are looking up!

Hey, remember that locked warehouse?

Let's take a look what goodies we can find in here!

Asgar walks in and out as a shadow and brings us... a Save Stone, a Steel Sabre (sub-par weapon) and 2 Healing Balms, which are weak healing items, healing 25 HP, I believe. Well, gift horses, mouths and stuff. Let's head back to Valnar's house and see what's up.

Huh, somebody cleaned up the blood. I don't think Valnar has been back here since he left the house to chase after Aysha, so I guess Abraxas cleaned that up to remove any trace that something happened?

This is a book about vampires. How could I have been so naive to believe that vampires no longer existed?

I'm not hungry! At least not for regular food. And especially not if it's that old!

Yes, SephiMike's beer still tastes the best! Maybe the bottle will remind me of the taste, even if I'll probably never have a thirst for any kind of beer...

And we take the bottle with us. When we check it in our inventory, it has the cross marker, meaning that it's important, so it's probably a quest item for something. And speaking of quests, it's time to start picking up side quests! There's some in pretty much every city, and we'll get to all, or at least most of them in time.

Marlene: Hello! Hey, are you maybe interested in making some money?
What's this about?
Marlene: Bring this letter to my uncle in Isthar, and I'll give you some money as a reward.
Hm... 1) ...alright, I'll do it! 2), I'm not a delivery boy!

Delivery is good, honest work!

Marlene: Thank you! Come back when you've delivered it!
"Obtained 1 Letter!"

Marie: Hello! You look like somebody that could help me!
What's this about?
Marie: In Melsan, there is somebody that I've given my most beautiful necklace. It's my aunt Elena. However, I can't get to Melsan. Would you be so kind and get it for me? I'll send her a carrier pigeon telling her that you'll get it!
Hm... 1) ...alright, I'll get it! 2), I'm not a delivery boy!

Side quest excitement!

Marie: Thank you! Come back when you have it!

We then check out Dr. Jarn's place, which has the best assortment of healing items I've seen so far. Something to remember. I miss one sidequest, but it's not like we'd be doing any of them right now anyway - we still need to learn the bat transformation spell to get anywhere in the world.

So for now, we're off to look for Aysha's corpse.

You don't want to climb up there, right?
Um, actually, I do! We might find a clue up there!
No, you didn't understand... I meant "you don't want to CLIMB up there, right?".
Alright, I didn't think of that...
So, let's get going...

Yup, flying up is a lot more comfortable, I'm sure.

Let's check that cave, then.

Forget it, Valnar... there's no corpse in there...
How can you tell?
Can't you smell it?
Smell? No, I don't smell anything...
Exactly... you don't smell anything.
If there was a corpse in there, you would have smelt SOMETHING...
Hm... 1) ...I still want to go in! 2) ...what now?

Yeah, let's check that shit out.

Alright, let's head inside then. Then you can confirm it for yourself!


I wonder where all the blood went!? It doesn't rain in here...
Maybe it was magic?
Abraxas... Aysha...
Is this the place your girlfriend was killed?
Yes... what a terrible event...
I'm so sorry for you...
Don't worry about it...

And this ghost boosts our skeleton summoning time by 10 seconds. Practically worthless, but it's there. But it looks like we're fresh out of leads...

Wait a second... the wind is blowing stronger... now I can smell something.
You're right, it smells kind of like...
...BLOOD. You're right, Valnar. But it's not coming from the cave.
It's coming from higher up...
Then let's see what awaits us further up!
I suspect terrible things...

And when we fly up...

We find something dangling!


Nice... looks like somebody put some real effort in here!
Asgar, you're completely tactless!
So what if I am... death is just a game!
Aysha! My beloved Aysha! Why did all of this happen? I love you so much...


Alright, come on, you're going over your "NOOOOOOOOOOO" allotment for this update.

Oh, Aysha!
Come on, let's get her down from there!

And we fade to black so that we don't need to make an animation for Aysha's body falling down.

Hey, nice sword!
"Obtained 1 Crystal Sword!"

Welp, could've saved some money there. Oh well. Time to go back to our framing device.

So Valnar finally found Aysha's corpse! But why was she hanging from a tree? Did Abraxas bring her up there?
It definitely seems like that.
But why didn't he cut her head off? I thought he killed other vampires for money. Why did he hang her from a tree?
I see that you have many questions. Alright, I'll explain it to you... Abraxas kills for money, that's correct. And yet, he didn't kill Aysha in such a way that he would get paid for it. No, he hung Aysha up there for a very specific purpose.
And that is?
Now don't be so impatient! I'm telling you right now! Anyway, Abraxas enchanted Aysha's corpse with a special spell. A spell that allowed him to see through the dead eyes of Aysha. For Abraxas was usign Aysha's body as bait... since vampires are attracted to blood, especially the blood of other vampires, Abraxas hoped to be able to find more vampires to kill for blood potions and Filar that way.
So it was simply a trap...
But was Aysha really dead anyway? I mean, you said that you have to cut a vampire's head off to really destroy him.
You're a clever kid! Well, the sword was stuck deep in Aysha's heart. If you pierce a vampire's heart, he is completely paralyzed. But indeed, she isn't really dead, just paralyzed and very weak. And that would turn out to be a critical factor just a bit later. Anyway, at the same time, in Abraxas's hideout...

Alright, let's take a look if something's happening up there... hm, what's this?

THIS guy again!
Nice... looks like somebody put some real effort in here!
Asgar, you're completely tactless!
So what if I am... death is just a game!
And there's that little whore of his... BUT, who is THAT? Wait a second, I know this guy... but from where, from where? ...
Aysha! My beloved Aysha! Why did all of this happen? I love you so much...
Oh, whatever. Now I know WHERE those two are, and I'll just kill the other one too. Yes, that will bring me some great riches again!
Oh, Aysha!
Come on, let's get her down from there!
Hey, nice sword!
Hey, that's my nice sword! Oh well, I'll be able to buy THOUSANDS of new swords soon. Hm, what are they doing now?
Asgar, please revive her!
Oh, fine, if that's what you wish...
Yes, please...
But then you'll owe me even more, Valnar!
Oh, come on, quit thinking like that all the time... you owe me this, you owe me that...
Quit arguing and help me!
We should bring her into the cave, it's not as windy in there!
I like that! To revive her where she found her death...
I'm thinking that's rather macabre, but whatever... as long as she's alive again...
So they want to revive her! What idiots...

Alright, here we are!
So far, so good! And now?
Now you give me the blood of a human that has slept with a vampire!
You heard me! The blood of a human that has slept with a vampire! Now don't tell me you DIDN'T get the blood!
Are you incapable of keeping up or something? You were there when I took your blood to revive Alaine! You knew that you need that kind of blood for this!
Of course... how stupid of me...
HARHAR! What weaklings!
And what are we doing now?
We take MY blood again! She shall live through my blood!
That's lunacy! That'll never work!

Alaine: A Very Smart Person

No, we're not going to do that...
Why not? It worked with Alaine!
VALNAR! We need HUMAN blood! YOU are a vampire!
I think those are just lame excuses! You just don't want Aysha to live again!

Valnar, please, PLEASE shut the fuck up.

Valnar! Don't say things like that!
You dare criticize me!?
YES! You just want me to be unhappy! Just so you can control me more easily!
HARHAR! They're going to be tearing each others' throats out soon!
ME? I'M SUPPOSED TO NOT PUSH MY LUCK!? I'm your creator, don't you EVER forget that!
Oh, how I would LOVE to FORGET that!
This is delicious! What a scene!

We now cut back to the cave since we've now got some things we can actually animate happening.

And why should I?

Asgar, what are you planning?


And now fill her mouth with your blood!
Asgar... you don't really want to do this, do you?
I'm going to show him what his stubbornness brings!
Aysha... soon, you'll live again!

That's good...
What's this going to be?
IN NOV EST PUR! SIS TOR ESDAN! Born again from the dead, show your power to the world... born in light, reborn in shadow... your soul now be black as the night and as powerful as chaos... awaken from your slumber!

What... what happened?
Ugh... everything hurts...
Oh, my beloved! I LOVE you!
Oh great, now it's getting corny!
Asgar, just be happy for Valnar!

Where am I? And who are you?
It's me, my dear!? Don't you remember?
I... I feel... kind of weird...
Don't worry, those must be the after effects of the spell...
I don't think so...
Everything... everything is spinning!
What's wrong?

I knew it!
That's what you get for your stubbornness, Valnar! Your girlfriend has turned into an uncontrollable monster!
But... but...
I'll suck out all your blood! There'll only be an empty shell left!
Alright, enough is enough... DIE!


She's... she's gone...
And there you see what your stubbornness brought us!
How could this happen?


Quit your crying... she's turned into a monster... learn to live with it!
... 1) ...NEVER! I LOVE HER! 2) ...seems that you're right!

Alright, come on, Valnar, when I have a choice like this, I can't let you be THAT much of a blithering fucking idiot.

Of course I'm right... good to see that you're realizing it!
Let's go! We're not gaining anything by staying here!
Let's go back to the castle and plan what we do next!

And fade to black.

Hm, so Aysha is now evil... why is that, grandpa?
Well, Asgar's spell simply wasn't the right one for the task. First of all, Aysha wasn't really dead, and the spell was only made to be used on actually dead people. And secondly, Valnar's blood wasn't the right one for the spell. The combination of those two factors turned Aysha into a bloodthirsty monster!
How tragic... and what was Abraxas doing during that?
He watched the scene until Aysha teleported herself. Of course, his spell is still active, and he can still continue seeing through Aysha's eyes.
And why did Aysha not attack the three?
Aysha recognized that she didn't have her full power yet. But sooner or later, the four will meet again.
And what happened next?
After they all realized that they grew up in the same kindergarten, and the evil witch was actually their old kindergarten teacher, they all embraced joyfully and lived happily ever after.
UMMMMMM... GRANDPA! You can't be serious...
What... how... where? Oh, pardon me, that was a completely different story... tsk, tsk, I guess I'm not getting younger... anyway, the three flew back to Asgar's castle and planned their next steps...

So, I think our goals are pretty much clear... one, we look for Aysha, and when we find her, we take her out. Two, we find the employer of that rat that attacked my castle. And when we've found him, we'll rip his head off!
You can always say things like that so precisely and ruthlessly, my dear!
Well, I've been a vampire for long enough now!
But you've forgotten Abraxas, and his mysterious employer.
Oh, right. So, AND THIRD: We look for Abraxas and his employer.
Hm, great. So we've got a lot to do!
I think it's time to teach you two new spells, Valnar. I'll show you the spells "Bat Mantle" and "Refuge". As a bat, we can explore the world. And Refuge can always bring you back to my castle, so you can easily access all things here. Meaning the soul stone production, the soul assimilator, the fate game and of course the spell learning system. You should use them regularly, since it makes you stronger, and that will help us... if you use Refuge again, you'll be brought back to the place where you first used it.
That's good...
So pay attention, the spells work like this...
Aha... yes...
"Learned 'Bat Mantle' and 'Refuge'!"
I'll also give you a map, with which you can orientate yourself better in the world.
"Obtained World Map!"

So that's where we would have gotten the map. Well, we already know what it looks like.

Also, I'll have to explain a little thing to you... as you've already noticed, the world is filled with humans, monsters and dangerous animals. However, nothing hinders you from exploring every cave in the world, so you can be happy that you have your vampire senses. They warn you when you come into an area where the monster are too strong. If you see the following symbol in your mind's eye...

...then you should stay away from that area until you've become stronger. And when you see the following in your mind, then you know that there's a single very strong enemy there.

Well, something went wrong there, because they didn't show the symbol. But you can probably work it out... the banshee-looking symbol we've seen before is the icon that pops up when there's a boss nearby.

Furthermore, you'll run into enemies a lot less if you're transformed into a wolf or bat! And one more thing about transforming into a bat! Make damn sure that you won't transform back over the open sea! That wouldn't be good! Your vampiric aura prevents you from sinking, but you'll still be stuck. If you then don't have any blood, you're in very bad shape. There's one last resort, but you have to pay a high price for it... it's the spell "Blood Concentration"! If you use it, you'll gain some blood, but you'll PERMANENTLY lose life force! So only use it in emergencies! But the spell works like this...
"Learned 'Blood Concentration'!"

Alright, then let's get going!

So this is where the game officially opens up. We've got the bat transformation, and we can now go anywhere we want! And that's kind of what we'll be doing next time. We'll complete some side quests, explore the world a bit, and most importantly... more grinding!