The Let's Play Archive

Winter Voices

by Klingon w Bowl Cut

Part 17

(Trying to find another path would be suicidal. You must cross. By pure bad luck, you have found yourself, for the past hour, in an area that is slightly undulating and completely exposed. The blizzard coming from the mountain pass hits you head on, with increased strength. You will have to find an angle of approach that is less disastrous than the others.)

[The Blizzards actually push you farther the higher up the mountain you go. It sucks.]

Frida: “The Norns presented measures of good and evil, great toil they created before me...” [From an 11th century rune inscription.]

[I'm not sure if this dialogue is bugged, or if it's supposed to suggest that we can't hear the voice. For the purposes of the story, I'm going with the latter. All we have to do for this part of the quest is step on the golden tiles.]

[This time, our awesome spirit form gives us a different skill. More movement? Yes please.]
Frida: You yet favor me then, my Goddesses? I cannot hear you here, so I can only hope so.

(Frida cries out too and charges straight ahead. The golden light of the Norns gradually fades as she runs.)

(It's the last difficult phase of your route. It's not so much that the conditions are worse than what you encountered during the climb, it's more that you haven't slept more than a couple hours for two days. You are exhausted and half-frozen. The last hours will be difficult.)

(Frida spies someone through the blizzard. It does not look like Ven. It looks like a woman.)

(“Now that I feel courage, why am I so reticent? It seems that something is still slowing me down; it's as if I'm that little slow woman, her mind half-asleep, who only knows how to walk under duress. Why must it be that even in the eye of the storm, my head should be filled with fog?”)

[All your shadow actually does here is pull you one square closer to it every round, but in a fight where movement is everything, that can be a pain. The trick is to wedge yourself against the small rock toward the bottom-right. It's out of range of the Blizzards, and the pull of your shadow is blocked by the rock.]

Your Shadow: Do you understand? You cannot abandon me. You cannot abandon me in the tundra. I'm the one who is weak. I'm the one you must protect. There is nothing before me. There will be nothing after me.

(Frida turns and walks away, as if she had not heard her shadow at all, even knowing the path takes her toward the village carpenter's house. Better there than here.)

(The lone rock in the middle could enable you to cross in two stages. As you turn your gaze on the wall, you realise with terror that the shadow is still there. This is no longer a daydream, however. You must be hallucinating. You must leave, quickly.)

Your Shadow: Do you understand? You cannot abandon me. I'm the one who holds you back, wherever you go. Do you recognise me at last? I follow you, wherever you go. No, I am not wicked. You hate me, but I am not wicked. I don't like danger. I don't like mountains. I don't like funeral pyres. I only like myself. I am human.

(You try several times to reach the middle rock, but at each try the shadow stops you. Tirelessly, she persists. She is harassing you. “Why? Why am I so weak? Why can't I let go of this part of myself? I don't care about still being human—I never felt human—I always felt alone, all alone, so what are you doing here? I don't care about being human! I could easily be fire or ice! I could be a rock, if that is the price to pay! No one will come to help me if I die; if I give up, what will be left of me? A carcass? I can't take it anymore! I hate you! Everything that makes me a woman today, hates you!”)

Burning Voice: Well then, burn her.

[The first three are static. The last one is different depending on whether you are a Deserter, a Stranger, or an Adventurer. This form also quadruples energy regeneration, meaning we now regain about 120 HP per round.]
["Burn", because obviously.]

Burning Voice: Since you can no longer put up with her, since you can no longer chase her away, burn her. Burn her, as you were burned. Hate her, as you were hated. Burn her. Bury her.

(Frida finally sees the effects of her own denial and metamorphosis from the outside. The shadow seems to be in a trance, a trance that enhances the reality around her and denies everything else. Frida reaches out to strike her, and an orange lance of flame pierces through the bubble and leaves both of them scorched.)

[Shadow Frida has the same skills we do, minus the new fire abilities.]

Burning Voice: Why should you disappear? Burn her. You are a storm of fire. You are an uncontrolled fire. You are the princess of the pyre. Burn her. Nothing holds you back. Be inhuman. Become something else. It's not important anymore. Burn her.

(Frida's shadow screams as Frida grasps it by the shoulders, the flames from her hands seeping into into its skin and circulating through its veins. Whenever she feels like the fire is about to run out, she finds more inside her body to fuel it. The shadow scratches and punches at her, but its arms pass through and burn inside the intangible inferno Frida's body has become. Slowly, it slumps to the ground, its screams no longer making any sound, but instead expelling only the ash of its insides.)