The Return of Talking Time

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  #31  
Old 11-16-2018, 04:54 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
So, perhaps I missed this, but what was the intended way for you to gain access to this tunnel? I somehow doubt it was "drop shit in the doorway".
I'm not sure, myself. I think you were supposed to take Thomas' Niacian clothing and use it to access Niac, then access it from the Niacian end, an unguarded three-tile-wide shaft being much easier to notice and access than a ladder in a locked bedroom. Speaking of Thomas, you may recall that he mentioned a bard in Niac. Split Siskin mentions that he usually plays in the southwest corner of town. However, he actually meant "southeast," so let's go there.





I certainly do. Clifford's responses to the standard questions:

name: "My name is Clifford, but friends just call me Cliff."
job: "I play music, that's about it. But people around here seem to like it and they give me a coin here, a jewel there; their money keeps me going."
music: "As you can see I play music... some of the people around here even like it. I get so depressed sometimes, I can't stand the hatred that thrives around here, in Niac. The music is what keeps me going."
Niac: "The people around here are full of hate, but I don't know. They're really good people too. The hatred they have for the Elbans seems so out of place somehow. And they really do hate the Elbans. If it wasn't for the monsters outside, the whole town would probably go and just slaughter Elba. It really bothers me, the hatred around here. I play my music to forget."
Elba: "I've never been to Elba. Everybody around here says it's a horrible place: that they're all degenerates up there, but I don't know. I gues I'm the kind of guy who needs to see for himself. But hey, that's crazy, right? Nobody in their right mind would go to Elba. Do you think that's right?"

Responding in the negative to his question about Elba yields the following.



And if we agree...





Yes, it's another escort quest. However, this one is easier simply because the guards don't stop Clifford from leaving like they did Eric.



And, as I mentioned earlier, the Elban guards only have a problem with Niacian clothing when Katrielle is wearing it.



Near the gate of Elba, a crowd gathers around Clifford, including Thomas. You may recall that he's the one who sent us on this quest. If Katrielle talks to him after this event...





As promised, in his back room, we find another Quartz Key and a book that reads as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Book
A Study of the People of Un by Calder Notingham Assisted by Fred Sparks and Joe Sepia
Abstract: This text is a study on the somewhat unique culture of the island Un in the lower Tasselian Sea. Our party of 3 researchers spent nearly six months on the island, studying the fascinating interaction between the two towns on the island, Niac and Elba. These towns act in a uniquely amicable way, a special mutually beneficial arrangement which is almost bizarre in its perfection. It is the hope of our team that this study will help reveal to us some of the aspects of isolated island life, and how it has contributed to such a utopian way of life, for the most part unobserved in the rest of the world.
Un is a bit of sociological rarity in that, if anything, trade between the peoples of Niac and Elba has brought them closer together. Instead of destroying the two unique cultures, if anything it has strengthened them. It is interesting to note that the arrangement is so successful since the two towns both lack what the other has. Niac is proficient in the military sciences, though hardly useful when the towns get along so well, and in the arts. (As a side note, this indicates an interesting correlation between militant culture and artist ones.) Elba, nearly opposite, lacks these things, but has a terrific medical system as well as superb cuisine. Th>is complementary nature, no doubt, part of the great success of the peaceful trade.
Without the trade, the two towns would remain mostly separate, as they had before the merchants realized the financial profitability of equitable exchange. It is here that trade acts as a sociological force, drawing the two cultures together. Remarkably, the people exist in a dynamic coexistence, interacting with each other in a uniquely friendly manor. Perhaps something can be said for the innocence of this island, for the kind way the people treat each other. Despite the mostly capitalist system, the peoples remain friendly and civil to each other, despite what we have seen in other capitalist systems around the world. They understand each other's deficiencies, and genuinely want to help them out.
[The rest of this book is a fantastically detailed sociological study, all of which seems a little over your head].
This presumably predates the Very old, moldy book, and does confirm that Elba and Niac were once friendly with each other. What could have happened between them? We'll have to ponder that as we go to put these Quartz Keys to use. As you may recall, the Very old, moldy book mentioned a quartz key in conjunction with an unexplained locked door in the tunnel. So let's head back there.



First, though, there's a path in the tunnel that I missed, containing 20 Arrows and an Amethyst. Not really worth it, I know, but that blank spot on the map was just bugging me..



You may remember this door from Katrielle's first sojourn through the tunnel. You may also notice that it looks different from other doors. Doors that look like this automatically shut on the turn after they were opened, unless there's something blocking them. This will be relevant later.



As soon as Katrielle passes through the door, there's a strange buzzing noise, and a note materializes on the ground. It reads as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Note
I never thought it would occur, stranger. When you washed up on Un, your precious staff by your side, I never dreamed that you would survive more than a few minutes. Nor did I foresee that you might possibly find some way through the door which I had carefully placed in the Elba-Niac tunnel, to prevent inquisitive persons, such as yourself, from leaving the western-most island. I suppose that somehow a few of the keys I gave to Red - he claimed to have lost them - must have been found by others. But no matter. You are not one of my subjects, so you cannot spoil the experiment in your journeys. You interest me, as a fly does a scholar of bugs. Go on then. See what you can see. I do not, in all honesty, think you shall live much longer. - N.
So, apparently N. knew that it was Katrielle who would find this, and not one of the island residents. Intriguing. But since he seems to be encouraging her to explore the islands, let's take him up on that, and start with that ladder at the end of this passage.

Music: Labyrinthine Tunnels
This music is used in all the connecting tunnels between islands. If I recall correctly, this one is pretty straightforward, so there shouldn't be too much to screenshot.



I stand corrected. On one of the side paths, I find The Warning, a useless psionic that warns you of the presence of monsters and other NPCs. However, it reacts to friendlies the same as enemies, which isn't very helpful. And yes, it does say "the The Warning" there. The same passages also contains 20 more Arrows, which I didn't bother to screenshot.



Another side path leads to this room containing a Diamond. Guess this tunnel isn't as straightforward as I though.



After fighting past some skeletons, I find a little alcove containing a Pearl and a copy of the psionic Flame Javelin. Now that I have a pretty diverse array of psionics, I think I should start using them soon, say after I gain my next weapon level. It shouldn't be too long now.



And Melee Weapon level up! Now, psionics work like this. They're grouped into disciplines - the ones we currently have are Automancy, Cryomancy, Electromancy, Orgomancy, and Pyromancy, but there are more. Cryomancy, Electromancy, and Pyromancy are theoretically ice, lightning, and fire-elemental, respectively, but I don't think elemental attributes matter in this game. The disciplines just matter for purposes of experience. For every psionic discipline you level up in, you gain 5 max PP, similar to the HP boost for weapon levels Katrielle's currently equipped psionic is Touch of Frost, a close-range cryomancy psionic. When used, it creates a flash of blue energy, which occurs too quickly for me to screenshot. All elemental psionics have their own distinct graphic, but I probably won't be able to screenshot most of them. Sorry.



Another crossroads...I came from the west, and I'm going east, so I'll see what's to the north and south first. All I find to the north are a couple of Gremlins and that it links back to the east, so I head south, psionically pulverizing Gremlins and skeletons until I reach a long winding tunnel leading to...



A dead end. So, I go back and take the other route from the same room, which leads to a pair of tunnels. One has a Thermal Field psionic, which is a defense booster similar to Electric Habergeon, and the other has Infinite Dreams, which increases the efficiency of HP/PP recovery while resting and is named after an Iron Maiden song.



South of the two tunnels is a nondescript side path leading to a ladder.



Music: Parishioner "Living" Quarters

At the top of a ladder is a tunnel, which leads to this sign. Obviously, we've come out of a place where "his Holiest" doen't want us to be. Let's see what the rest of this place is like.





As implied by the fact that it's called "the Home," this cave is rather well-lit and even furnished. Unfortunately, the only inhabitants are numerous peaceful, but non-talkative, workers. Maybe we'll find some friendlier people on the surface... but I'm getting pretty close to the image limit, so that will have to wait for next time, as will further exploration of the Home. By the way, I know this update has been a long time coming, but there is a reason for that. I've created a TV Tropes page for this game! Check it out, and if you have any contributions, feel free to make them - the page could use some love. There are spoilers, though, so be careful.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-06-2018 at 04:30 AM.
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  #32  
Old 11-16-2018, 05:56 PM
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The proofreader was off when they were making this game.

Either that or "his Holliest" is a guy draped in garlands.
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  #33  
Old 11-16-2018, 06:37 PM
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Or maybe he's the most like Buddy Holly.
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  #34  
Old 11-16-2018, 06:40 PM
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'Tis the season. I thought Santa lived somewhere colder, though.
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  #35  
Old 11-17-2018, 09:37 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default You See, There's Opportunity in this Very Community

You know, I had never noticed this typo until you pointed it out. However, there are a lot of typos in this game. Anyway, on with the LP.



Exploring the Home isn't easy because it's composed almost entirely of narrow tunnels, and the workers will often get in your way. To make matters worse, they'll sometimes completely fence you in so you can't move at all. They eventually move, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating when it happens.



Near the entrance to the tunnel to Un is a series of dark passages which don't contain any loot. At least, I don't think they do - I don't really want to waste any of my light sources on an area with no hostile activity.



Part of why I don't think there's any loot in the dark passages is because there isn't much loot in the Home in general - just these little underground dormitories. I remember there being a few crappy melee weapons lying around, but I could be mistaking it with another area. In my defense, though, the two areas are very similar.



These stairs lead to the surface, but I want to finish exploring the Home before going there.



This is the Food Distribution Center. Does't sound very impressive, right? Well, a door that noticeable must lead to something good, right?



Wrong. That door behind the tables looks intriguing, but there's no way to get to it, as far as I know, like the chest in that one church in Niac.



Sheesh. This is what I was talking about earlier - the workers can sometimes just block you in. Hopefully one of them will let me move soon, because if they don't, I may just have to kill one of them, especially since there aren't any guards around.



Like the sign outside the tunnel to Un, this sign states that the area of the Home beyond it is condemned by his "Holliest". Naturally, that means it's probably where the good stuff is. If nothing else, it's certainly well-lit, at least initially.



At the end of the passage is this nice little home. It'll be important later, but we'll get to that when the time comes. Just tuck it away in the back of your minds for now. That's it for the Home, which I was correct in guessing was utterly loot-free, so let's take a look at the island's surface now.



Music: The Community

That's certainly some ominous music. But how bad could a place called the Community be?



I don't know how to extract sounds or the like from games, so you'll have to take my word for it, but when I moved into this space, the game played the sound for a male human dying. Looks like there's something going on here, so let's investigate.



That is one big fire. Like most humans, Katrielle will die if she touches it, so she probably won't be doing that. Also, there are a lot of workers around here.



This appears to be some sort of church. As we probably all know, organized religion in RPGs is never evil, so it probably has nothing to do with the death scream earlier.



See that cloaked figure? We do NOT want to get close to him, because he is hostile and will use psionics to devastate us. In fact, they're among the few enemies to actually use psionics. Nearby are a locked building and another cave. Again, they'll be covered when the time comes.



This kid seems pretty out of place in a town of reticent workers and spooky priests, so let's see what's up with him.

.

His responses are as follows:

name: "My name is Alonzo."
job: "I'm just a kid, I don't have to work or nothin'. My mom does a lot of work."
mom: "My mom doesn't live here any more 'cause she hates it. She lives down away from The Community, near the shore there. It's nice, but there aren't any other people there, so I stay here. Her name's Barbara. Um... should I trust you?"

I don't see why not.



That sounds like a quest hook to me. And, just for completeness' sake, here are his other responses:

community: "I like it here, in The Community. There are lots of people to watch, though I'm extra careful never to talk to anybody. If the priests ever caught me... I don't know what would happen."

I'm not touching that one.

priest: "The priests... they run everything around here. My mom hates 'em. I don't know what to think, but they sure seem evil. I have to keep running so they don't catch me. If they did I don't know what'd happen to me. I'll tell you a secret, though... none of them can see good, and they can't see very far. Just stay out of a small distance of them, and you'll be fine. Otherwise, they'll probably kill you."

This is good advice. The priests' psionics can do about 40 damage a shot, and considering that Katrielle's current max is 50...yeah. anyway, that's all I can think of, so let's get the Metal Key he drops, then leave this creepy place.



Music: Culn, the Second Island

And here we are on the surface of Culn. This seems like a good place to end the update, so join me next time as Katrielle either visits Alonzo's mom or attempts the second Vex Chamber. Which do you pick?

By the way, the YouTube channel I've been using for the music doesn't have anything after this island, and I don't know how to rip the songs myself, so there won't be any more music links for the foreseeable future. Sorry.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-02-2018 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Fixing broken image link.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:48 PM
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Vex Chamber 2 : Vexlectric Boogaloo
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahran042 View Post
community: "I like it here, in The Community. There are lots of people to watch, though I'm extra careful never to talk to anybody. If the priests ever caught me... I don't know what would happen."
He is in the process of talking to a complete stranger.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:46 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default A Vexing Situation II: Vexlectric Boogaloo

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He is in the process of talking to a complete stranger.
I think the logic is that he's been people-watching here for a while and has never seen Katrielle before, so she's probably not a member of the cult and is therefore most likely trustworthy. Anyway, on with the actual update. Today, we set off for Vex Chamber II, which is located on the southwestern corner of Culn. First, though, some new monsters!



The snake is an Evesbane, and the plant is a Botanical Nightmare - they're Culn's equivalents to the Green Flesh-Thresher and Slime Maul, respectively. They might have higher HP, but since the game is pretty non-transparent about monsters, I don't really know. At any rate, it's a good opportunity to gain some experience in Hand To Hand combat and start working on that HP bonus.



And here's the Vex Chamber. Like the first one, it's in a swamp, but AFAIK this is just a coincidence.



Like the first one, there's a note not far from the entrance. Let's see what it has to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex the Second Note
Stranger - Your progress, meager though it may be, impresses me: welcome to my Vex Chamber the Second. This is another triviality of a whatsit, I assure you: to the West, you will notice I left a bit of a mess scattered about the room. If you could push it all neatly and compactly into the western corner-nook, your reward shall not be meager. If, though, the strain is just too much, there is a bit of an escape route to the south: but only take it if you are truly stuck without hope. Once again, there is no second chance. Though, if you are vexed by this... my, my, my that would be a pathetic sight. - N.
Yes, this is going to be a block-pushing puzzle. Let's take a look at it after grabbing those two lanterns.



As you can see, there are a lot of blocks lying around here. Seven, to be exact - one in each color of the rainbow, and in various shapes. What we have to do is...



...arrange them into a 5x6 square in this alcove. It should look something like this:

Code:
VVVVV
RRRRV
OGBRV
OGBRV
OOOOI
YYYYI
It looks like the best move would probably be to get the big orange piece into place, so I'll do that first.



That was pretty easy, but I don't expect it will all be like that. By the way, every time Katrielle pushes a block, she makes a little grunting noise. Just a little tidbit.



I think I see why those lanterns were there - it makes it a lot easier to see all of the blocks. Anyway, moving the violet block to the right frees up the green one, so I can put it in place, followed by moving the blue and indigo ones aside so I can push the yellow one down.



And that being done, I can put the yellow block in the alcove easily.



Blue and indigo are the same shape, so they could probably go in any order, but the trick with is that you have to make a path so you can move them all the way to the left without hitting the wall, because you can't pull them, so they'd be stuck there forever.







And with blue in place, red and violet aren't far behind.



After that, indigo is child's play. Once it's in place, a path through the middle of the alcove opens up, and the door opens. BTW, maybe it's just me, but the path looks really nice.



Stepping on the rune boosts Katrielle's Nimbleness by 3. As you may recall, that's her worst stat, so this was definitely worth it. Now to get out before the flame vanishes.



And that's another Vex Chamber solved. It was a lot easier than I remember, but then this time I knew from the start that the blocks went in the alcove on the left, so that could be part of it. Join me next time as we visit Alonzo's mom and maybe get another quest hook or two.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-02-2018 at 05:53 AM.
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  #39  
Old 11-25-2018, 12:40 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Last time, we solved the second Vex Chamber. Today, we head to the east to visit Alonzo's mom.



This is the town of Shoreland, where she lives. As you can see, though, it's not in the best shape. But maybe it looks better on the inside?



It doesn't. But whatever is inside, Katrielle Latyon can handle.



In this building, I found a Glow psionic and a Rusty Key.



This storehouse contains a Wrought Iron Key and some Moood-Headed Arrows. If you're wondering, Moood is pretty much the Odyssey equivalent to mithril, orichalcum, adamantine, Laconia, Baldr, Escudo, or whatever your mythical metal of choice is. For the most part, Moood armor is the best in its category numbers-wise, but there are exceptions. The arrows, I believe, are the best arrows available numbers-wise, but I'm not entirely certain because I don't really use ranged weapons that much.



This is Barbara's house, but as the signs out front say, she doesn't seem like the trusting type. But considering that her son trusts me, I'm sure I can get her to, too.



I spent a while waiting for her in her house, only for her to show up when I wasn't expecting it, then I had to follow her around town for a while until I caught up with her. So let's see what she has to say.



Her responses to various topics:

name: "Barbara, my name is Barbara. My friends call me Barb, but it's been a long time since I've had any friends."
job: "Work? Well, I guess I do some work down here... I have to provide all my own food: I'm really living off the land. Actually, the fishermen who lived here long ago perfected a method of storing fish so that they would last for years. Indefinitely, maybe even. It's sort of a fish pickle. They taste fairly disgusting, but I need to eat to survive."
alonzo: "Yeah, Alonzo's my kid. Don't ask about his father: he got torn to shreds by one of those monsters. Alonzo spends most of his time running around the Community, dodging the priests and the jailer. I guess he likes the thrill of it. Or maybe he just hates it down here; there certainly isn't much of a social life. I guess he's a good kid, but a little too quiet."
priests: "Before the big change, the priests used to really care about people. Even if my mother never believed any of the religious talk, she still respected them. Now they're all self-serving bastards, as far as I can tell. Their religion is a fascist regime. The exploit the workers just so they can build their gold statues of themselves and they have the parishioners so hypnotized: they'll do anything the priests say, including those vile sacrifices."
community: "The Community: that's what they call that awful place; part of their 'we're all one big family' philosophy. The priests, they just want to exploit, to get the workers to mine gold and build statues for them. They keep the people in thrall with those cultish ceremonies they have, each one culminating with the 'sacrifice' of a few more people. The people know if they don't jump in that big flame - they call it Perpetual - they'll be forced in. I think half of them actually believe they're supposed to die, anyway."
shoreland: "That's where you are right now, and that's where I live. Most of the people up in The Community, save their souls, don't know about this place; they've forgotten I guess. The priests though: they remember and they've come down hunting up new workers for the mines many times. I'm the only one who escaped, and now they can never find me when they come. Shoreland is where the fisherman lived, while there were still fisherman: the monsters have made going outside increasingly difficult, plus those awful priests just want everyone to work in their mines. And most of the people are brainwashed enough to do whatever the priests say. So no more fishermen; I've got the place to myself."

And some topics coming off of those.
statue: "The mines is where the poor paritioners (sic) are forced to mine gold to build the statues that the Priests like so very much. Though most never see them: the Priests keep the statues hidden in their courtyard: I only saw them because I snuck in. It's teribbly the exploitation... it brings back so many bad memories."
sacrifice: "Oh, the suicides- or as the priests call them 'sacrifices' - are so horrible, I don't want to talk about them. Oh, those poor people - those evil priests."
perpetual: "Perpetual is that huge fire in the middle of the church: it's the thing the people throw themselves into when the priests tell them their time has come. It seems to be such a focal point for the religion, I always wondered what would happen if it didn't exist. It seems to have such a mesmerizing power on the people: those who might not believe are awed by the power of a God who can create such a huge flame. I always though, if there was some way we could get rid of it... Do you think that's a good idea?"

Replying in the affirmative gets this:



The items she mentions are a Glass Key and an Extinguish psionic. Obviously, the psionic is used to extinguish flames, but due to a bug in early commercial versions, you could also use it to instantly kill any monster, up to and including the final boss. Unfortunately, that no longer works in this version, but at least it still works for its intended purpose. Anyway, that's all we can do in Shoreland, but there's still one more place to visit on the island's surface.



And here it is.



As you can see, there are a lot of chests in the hut, but I'm not taking them - there is a reason for this. Let's talk to the hut's inhabitant and see what he has to say.



...Brother? Anyway, here are his responses to things.

name: "My name is Octavius, former member of the order of priests which now resides in the Community"
job: "I suppose my job was to ensure that the parishioners still had faith, still believed in my god above. I was and still am a priest, though now I can not in any way associate with those fellow priests who live in the Community. They, I think, have lost sight with just what the purpose of their job is. But it is not for me to judge, merely to educate. Did I do the right thing when I left the Community? I honestly do not know. But I shall always be a priest to my very soul and continue attempting to help my God, as long as my God continues to provide for me."
priests: "I can not clearly condemn the priests for what they have done - I think in their hearts they are noble people. Is it the power that has corrupted them, then? Or the mere circumstance of the monsters' arrival? Or perhaps His Holiest is the one who has destroyed the rest... At the same time, I can almost not forgive their current actions, their brainwashing of the parishioners, their forcing them to labor, the way the parishioners must take their own lives as some sort of holy gesture. Yet, without power of my own, especially with my lost vision, I can in no way stop them or save the people. My life is misery, and there is nothing to do... At least my God still provides for me."
community: "I once lived in the community, some long time ago. But I left: what they were doing was no longer in keeping with what I saw my God wishing of us. It is a strange thing, the way the priests' faith became, so suddenly, misdirected; how His Holiest changed so much with the coming of our power and the coming of the monsters. I have not been back to the Community since, and do not think I wish to return while such horrible acts are being perpetrated there. The sacrifices were truly the final act which drove me away. The Community is really the wrong name for that area - what is happening is terrible, and sadly I'm powerless to stop it."
perpetual: "The story of Perpetual is certainly a curious one which few would believe. With the coming of the monsters, and as we gained our power, His Holiest argued that we needed to unify the parishioners. The monsters had caused them to lose faith in our God and that to give them faith we should expand the fire that burned in the center of our church to mammoth proportions. This would act as a sign of God's grace, and the people would have more faith is a result - I always thought what good is faith if one has some sort of proof? His Holiest used his powers to carve the vast, intricate tunnels which lead to the very base of the flame, and ignited it from there. It was during this period that I used my powers to build this small hut and move myself and most fo my belongings there. Once I had left the Community, my powers strangely faded to naught."
power: "All of us - all eight of the priests - gained strange mental abilities with the coming of the monsters. Some of us could move items with our minds alone, others could read minds, but all could inflict severe pain on those who were not so blessed: the parishioners. But of all of us His Holiest gained the most power, too much power I think. At first I, along with the rest of the priests, believed the power to come direclty from our God above, but it was that power which led to the current situation in the Community. Once I left the Community, my own powers disappeared, why I do not know. And yet I am glad for it."
monsters: "The monsters arrived and all of Culn was changed because of it. They came from nowhere - a scourge sent from demons below perhaps? - and made leaving the Community impossible. With the monsters came our own power, and I still wonder about the connection between the two events. It was the combination of the two, I suppose, that lead to the current conditions, where the workers are tortured by the power-mad priests, especially His Holiest. They have lost touch with any God I would believe in. I left the community around the time of the creation of Perpetual, and can survive here, barely. You see, those beasts outside are not intelligent enough to open the door to my humble hut. There is something to thank God for."
vision: "My vision has always been poor, but it has become steadily worse since I left the Community many, many years ago. For some reason I can not see light properly - my entire world appears very dark. I can see some objects, but only faintly and as if they were in deep shadow. It is my God's way for me to be like this, and I shall not question it. While in the Community I did have a device which helped me see quite a bit more, but sadly I forgot it there when I surreptitiously moved away. Though I would like it back, with my powers now gone and my vision so poor, I dare not go back to fetch it. But my God provides me with food, what more need I to survive? Though I am distressed with the state in the Community, I am happy with my life here."

And there's another quest hook, although not directly related to the main quest on this island. Join me next time as I return to The Community and investigate the priests' home.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-02-2018 at 05:56 AM.
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  #40  
Old 11-25-2018, 08:27 PM
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It's actually pretty awesome that "Extinguish" is also an instant death spell, though
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:47 AM
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Forced mine slavery AND regular human sacrifices doesn't seem to make for a very sustainable model, specially in such a small island, though...
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:15 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Forced mine slavery AND regular human sacrifices doesn't seem to make for a very sustainable model, specially in such a small island, though...
Agreed, especially if, like the people of Un, they think their island is the entire world. Anyway, today we're heading back to The Community. On the way there, I gained a level in Hand To Hand and switched back to the trident and shield.



This is the priests' house. With any luck, they'll all be at the ceremony, so Katrielle can easily sneak in with the key Barbara gave her.



Or not. Looks like I'm here at exactly the wrong time. I died on this attempt, but at least I've learned that it would probably be better to sneak in at night. So, after resting in the Home, where the priests thankfully never go...



...I slip inside.



Yes, that is Alonzo. Kid's got even more guts than I thought.



These doors lead to a ladder (north), the wine storage room (south), and outside (west). I'm not quite finished exploring this area yet, so I'll head back to the main corridor.



These are the statues that Barbara mentioned. They certainly bear a resemblance to the priests, but there's not really much else back here but some Spamalopes and a building containing an empty trunk. In fact, all of the trunks in the priests' house seem to be empty. So it looks like it's time to see what's at the bottom of that ladder.



A well-lit cave, with another ladder that inexplicably turns into stairs at the bottom. Obviously, this passage exists for a reason, so let's find out what that reason is.



Already, we've encountered a flight of stairs, or possibly the bottom of another ladder.



At the top is a small room on the right side of the church. Unfortunately, there's nothing here, so it's back to the tunnel.



Now this, I honestly don't remember. I've been going west so far, so I'll keep going that way for now.



At the west end of the passage is another ladder and three psionics - from left to right, Vicious Air (creates a cloud of gas that can be used as a trap or protection), another copy of Terrify, and another copy of Thermal Field. As for the ladder...



It leads to the jailor's room. The jailor is asleep, and presumably would be hostile if awake, so I'm going to ignore him. Unfortunately, the trunk is empty, so it's time to check out that side path now.



At this end of the passage is a flight of stairs leading to...



...a small locked room. That passage was kind of a letdown, but hopefully the priests will be out of their house now? I honestly can't remember why I was supposed to break in. I know that there is another quest which requires me to do so, but I can't remember any reasons to do so on the main quest.



Oh, cred... Fortunately, I saved before entering, so now I can go raid the PSI cache and head back without all that faffing around in the tunnel.



In addition to wine, the wine storage also contains the only non-empty trunk in the house, which, in turn, contains the IR Helm. You can tell I haven't played this game for a while, right? :P

Anyway, this is the item that Octavius mentioned. It's a fairly weak helm, but when worn, it offers a hands-free light source. Now, this leads to a decision: Should I keep the helm, or return it to Octavius? Anyway, now that we've gotten the one useful item from the house and the new psionics from the tunnel, it's time to head into the mines.



The mines use the same music as the Home, but the tunnels are, thankfully, wider and better-lit.



There are also a lot of tool-weapons lying around, like that Pick Axe. While not great for battle, they do at least provide some flavor. Unfortunately, I'm getting pretty close to the image limit, so we'll have to wait until next time for a more thorough exploration of the mines. See you then!

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Old 11-30-2018, 09:12 AM
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Return the helm, I say, in the hopes of getting something even better!
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:27 PM
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Return the helm, I say, in the hopes of getting something even better!
I agree (but I think you should do it because you shouldn't take things that belong to blind old men).
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:05 AM
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You've managed well with torches so far, let's be charitable and return it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:30 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Looks like we have a unanimous vote for returning the IR Helm, but first, I said we'd explore the mines, so let's do that.



Just north of the entrance tunnel is a crossroads. As per usual, I'm going to check out the routes from it in clockwise order. I came from the south, so I'll be heading west first.



And it's another crossroads. I have a feeling that it's actually looped, but I'll just keep going west for now.



And it's just a dead end with a useless Pick Axe. North is the same, but south leads to...



A somewhat longer dead-end tunnel with another useless Pick Axe. It would be nice if you could use the Pick Axes to break down walls, but you can't, so... yeah. :P



"Don't mind me, just another brainwashed cultist coming through."



North of the original crossroads is a fork in the tunnels. The stream of workers is going east, so to minimize dronejam, I'll go west.



Which is yet another dead end.



East, however, looks more promising, with a free lantern in the southern route. I'll take that, then head north in hopes that that worker will be gone when I'm done.



There's not much there, but there was another lantern just east of that worker, which I was able to take despite not being able to move onto the tile in question. The other worker is still blocking the southern fork, so I'll just rest until night in hopes that he'll be gone by then. The priests never come down here, so it'll be safe.



Aaand it's another dead end. Anyway, back to the original crossroads, and then east.



Now this looks like an interesting area. If nothing else, another lantern will almost certainly come in handy. Unfortunately, all the other tunnels are dead ends, but there is at least another lantern in one of them, so that's good.



Checking the map, I noticed that there was a third path at the fork north of the crossroads, but it was hidden in darkness. To be fair, though, I didn't like the idea of using valuable torch/lantern fuel in an area with no monsters.



It leads to a storeroom containing five lanterns, so this was already worth it. Oh, and there are some pickaxes, too, I guess.



At the end is another fork, this time without a shadowed hidden path. Since I went west at the last fork in the north, I'll go east this time.



What a surprise - more pickaxes. But you might notice that one of the walls is notched, and you know what that means...



...a secret passage! The items on the table are another Glass Key and a bottle of Industrial Strength Poison. This room is part of a subquest that I'll be covering later, so I'll just leave the stuff behind. The eastern path is just a dead end with a Lantern, so that wraps up the mines. Now to return the IR Helm to Octavius in hopes of getting some sort of awesome reward...oh, and I guess because it's the right thing to do.



En route, I decided to try to increase Katrielle's experience with Ranged Weapons, only to remember why I don't like using them - in the words of the great philosopher Theodore Jasper Detweiler, they whomp. Specifically:
  • They're generally weaker and less accurate than close-combat weapons, so that their ranged advantage is neutralized by the fact that monsters will usually get into melee range and shred you before you get in enough hits to kill them.
  • They require ammo, which can't be reused.

That being said, it is at least a way to get some more max HP, so there's that. Anyway, back to Octavius' place.



To give Octavius the helm, drop it on the same tile as him.



Then, chat with him. The trunk in question contains a Sour Blue Potion and a Highly Professional Glow psionic. The Potion fully restores Katrielle's PP, and the Highly Professional Glow is the most powerful light-source psionic. If Katrielle hadn't given the IR Helm to Octavius, it would have contained a Sweet Red Potion and a Glow psionic. Glow is the least powerful light-source psionic, and we already have a copy, anyway. The Sweet Red Potion is worse than useless - it reduces Katrielle's PP to zero. Anyway, we've has done our good deed for the day, so let's take a break here. Next time, extinguishing the eternal flame!

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-02-2018 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:45 AM
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Ok, calling that one a win on the getting something better front. Sometimes it's good to always rely on the kindness of strangers.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:10 PM
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Ok, calling that one a win on the getting something better front. Sometimes it's good to always rely on the kindness of strangers.


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It leads to a storeroom containing five lanterns, so this was already worth it.
So does this game not have inventory limits or anything like carrying capacity?
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:35 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Perpetual Check

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So does this game not have inventory limits or anything like carrying capacity?
There is an inventory limit, but it's extremely generous, to the point where it probably won't matter until near the end of the game, if at all. Anyway, the path to the base of Perpetual is in the Home, so let's head there. In fact, we've seen the door leading there before, but I deliberately didn't call attention to it.



This time the room's inhabitant is awake, so let's see what he has to say.



name: "Wichelstein, not which-stein, but Wichelstein. Word to live by."
job: "Work-hurk, Wichelstein always says. Wouldn't waste my time with the stuff, and neither should you. I scrounge my fud (sic) from here and over there, and I make it without exertin' myself for those flubby priests one second.
priest: "Those priests are flubby-nubbers, aren't they? That's why I'm here in Wichelstein-land o' course... they can't find me, and I don't have to mine no shiny stuff for their blechy statues. I always thought religion was supposed to be good... but I guess old Wichelstein was wronger than a quick turtle."
statue: "Haven 't you seen those gawdy bawdy and tawdry things they have made o' their ugly priest faces? Of their own bloated bodies, some of them. All from the work of the poor parishioners, the poor sods who have to mine away all day just to get something to eat and then be killed in that flippin' fire."
perpetual: "Burn burn go the corpses of the poor souls in that damned fire. That damning fire, perhaps. I hate it hate it hate it hate it. Before, I lost many a friend to that thing. But they - those flubby priests - shan't find me in my hidey-hole up here."

Now, I haven't shown it, but the door in the back of his room is locked. So, let's ask him about it.



My favorite color IRL is indigo, so I'll go with that.



Guess something simpler, then. In that case, I'll try purple.



This is a weird little Easter egg that I found purely by chance, believe it or not. Anyway, might as well go with something else...say, blue.



If you're wondering, other colors that will work are red, orange, yellow, green, black, white, gray (not grey), pink, tan, gold, silver, copper, and gravy. And with that, he hands over the Rhinestone Key, which, as promised...



...unlocks his back door. It's dark, but fortunately I just got a magical light source.



Huh, they do have a down-stairs tile. All this time I figured that the reason so many stairs became ladders at the top was because they didn't have the appropriate tile, but apparently they did. Again, you can really tell it's been a long time since I've played this, right?



And we're in the tunnels that should lead us to the base of Perpetual, which use the same music as the tunnel from Elba to Niac.



It starts out pretty linear, until we reach this rather complex junction. First, I'll check out the eastern paths, because north seems too much like the correct path and if I know anything about RPGs, it's that you always save the correct path for last.



The lower eastern path is a maze, at the southwestern corner of which is this obstacle-filled, but wide and mostly linear, tunnel.



The southern wall of which is lined with doors.



Unfortunately, all of those doors open on a blank wall, except this one. The western path is empty, but the eastern one leads to a very long tunnel.



At the end of the tunnel are a number of alcoves and another down stairway. I'll be back here once I've finished exploring this level.



There don't seem to be many monsters down here. This Gremlin is only the second monster I've encountered.



East of the maze is another fork. North is a dead end, and south is a dead end with some interesting-looking bones, but the center path leads to a door. Behind the door is...



...another maze.



New monster encountered! This is a SpOrc. Actually, they might have appeared in the Un-Culn tunnel, but I forgot to screenshot them. At any rate, he dies to a single arrow after two misses.



Another closed door...what lies beyond?



A long, winding tunnel, it turns out. There isn't even any loot in here, and it leads to a dead end.



Perhaps the southern door will be more rewarding? On the way here, I picked up a Kinetic Barrier psionic, another defensive buff. Nice, I guess, but I'd rather keep Highly Professional Glow readied down here.



It turns out that the southern door leads past a hall of alcoves, to a room filled with a bunch of Evesbanes and Botanical Nightmares, as well as a single Gremlin, Skanky Skeleton, and Skeletant. Experience, here I come!



It seems that bows actually work pretty well in dungeons, because you're usually only being attacked from one side and don't have to worry about standing still as much.



I finally leveled up my Ranged Weapons skill, so now I can switch to a real weapon. I took a pretty good beating doing so, so I also used up my Herb of Imminent Health.



And after slaughtering all those monsters, Katrielle's only reward was a level in Ranged Weapon skill and a pittance in treasure.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-06-2018 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:36 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Continued from previous post.



Returning to the main maze, I find a passage in the northeast corner. Hopefully there's something in this one...





There is - specifically, these signs. As everyone knows, "do NOT proceed" is RPG language for "proceed", so let's do that.



And there's even a door nearby. How convenient!



The door leads to two trunks, with a Gremlin to guard them. The upper trunk contains some Hide Piercing Arrows, and the lower one contains some Bolts, which would be nice if I had a crossbow, and if ranged weapons didn't suck more than Maggie Simpson on crack.



Past the door is a ladder leading to...



...a part of the Home I honestly don't remember. But considering how well-hidden it is, there must be something good here, right?



At the end of the tunnel is a pair of secret walls. On the other side is a tunnel filled with pickaxes, which leads back to the main area of the Home. And so, after yet another anticlimactic side trip, Katrielle Latyon returns to the tunnels below and back to the first maze. After mapping it out to confirm that it is, indeed, lootless, she returns to the first complex junction and heads north.



It turns out to be a somewhat simpler maze.



However, there's another door near the north end.



Behind the door is a rather nice-looking room containing a Sapphire, an Emerald (80 GP), a Pearl, a Stone Plate, a Healing Herb, a Spleen Slicer, and a Long Bow. Now I wish I'd come this way first - if nothing else, the Stone Plate probably would have helped out against the tension room, to borrow a term from ADOM.



Just to the east is another door.



It leads to what appears to be a lecture hall, containing a Jacinth (70 GP), two Opals (50 GP each), a Ruby, a Diamond, and an Emerald.



The next door leads to this small room, with a trunk containing the attack psionics Dehydrate and Ice Blast, as well as a diary, reading as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Diary
And so it is that we come to plant the seed for the great flame which will provide unity among the people, among the sheep who must be guided for their own safety. His Holiest has been particularly intent on this idea: with the coming of the monsters, the people need some reason to believe that all is not lost, a sign which will give them faith. Some of the brothers argued against the idea of the flame, pointing out that by its fictitious nature, all it presents is a lie. But most others, including His Holiest, point to the ends justifying the means. Some say that without faith, their can be no God, and with proof there can be no true faith. His Holiest was quick to put down these speakers. With such forces working against us as the onslaught of monsters, we are forced to near-desperate measures. We cannot help but do what we can to restore religious fervor in the sheep. I only hope that we can save our people.
We have worked for a month now expanding on the natural cave system which exists below the community. None are sure how exactly His Holiest is going to start the great flame - which will be named Perpetual - but He assures us He will simply use the powers God has granted Him. Some were doubtful of these newfound abilities, but were soon in awe of the powers He has gained for tunneling through solid rock using the power of his mind alone. Others have toiled greatly, but the tunnel system, for all its twists and turns, is mostly the creation of His Holiest.
His Holiest says that we must descend another level yet to give the flame the proper depth for it to thrive. But the natural cave system has ended at this depth, and many argue that His Holiest will have to make do. However, His Holiest and myself have discussed the situation, and he has spoken that God has granted him further abilities which will allow him to create an entire new level several body-heights deep. He has also spoken how the Bottom Level shall need caves and tunnels in a certain specific control-pattern which will work as a sort of container for the power which will fuel Perpetual at its base. Without the caves being laid out in this specific way, he says, Perpetual could result in the death of us all. But, he argues, such is the price we must pay for salvation. Wandering around in these tunnels should prove a nightmare for those who do not know where they are going, but this should not be a problem since only His Holiest shall ever need to go below our current layer.
So His Holiest did create the level, a mass of tunnels of odd-shapes the like of which no man has heretofore seen. I fear, sometimes, that His Holiest has gained too much power - I even wonder from whence it came, was it truly divine providence? - and may be driven mad by it. He speaks of the possibility of sacrifices to the fire being necessary in order to affirm its importance. Exactly what shall be given up as offering is as of now unclear.
Interesting... apparently there's some sort of magical significance to the shapes of the tunnels, which would explain why the paths are so mazelike. Incidentally, the thing about the new layer might be a reference to the fact that this cave, including Home, is the only one to go more than two layers below surface level. Anyway, let's continue exploring the maze.



This room, which was guarded by two Gremlins, contains the psionic The Collective, which activates all support psionics in your inventory at once. Currently, the only ones Katrielle knows are Glow, Highly Professional Glow, and The Warning, but there will be others, which are listed on the scroll itself. And with that, we've mapped out all of this level. Now to head back to the stairs down...



And here we are, at what I think is the deepest point of any dungeon in the game. Not far from the stairs, there's already a junction. Since I'm already heading west, I continue that way.



Near the end of another wide corridor with natural pillars is a door, which leads to a tunnel guarded by a SpOrc and a Gremlin, or as I call them, "32 free experience points."



Make that three Gremlins. Oh, well. Three times zero is still zero.



This tunnel leads past a bunch of alcoves, each of which seems to contain a monster - mostly Gremlins, but one of them had a Skeletant.



At the end of the last alcove is a locked door. In fact, that seems to be the case for all of the first ten alcoves. The eleventh and twelfth, however, are connected, as are the thirteen and fourteenth, which contain an added treat - the psionic Gas Annulus, which surrounds the user with poisonous gas that harms anything that passes through it. Unfortunately, that includes the user, making this a not very good psionic.



At the east end of the tunnel is this intriguingly twisty passage, which turns out to be a dead end. The eastern alcoves are equally disappointing, which means that the only way to go from here are the two passages north from the initial door.



The one slightly northeast of the door leads to more alcoves, as well as three very long tunnels. The eastern and middle ones are dead ends, but the western one is guarded by a Morc, which means that it's probably important.



There's a door at the end, which increases the credibility of that theory.



And past the door is a sign, increasing it even further. Does Katrielle have the POWER of the FAITH? No, but she does have skill in a variety of weapons and the power to dehydrate monsters with the power of her mind, which is just as good in my books.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-06-2018 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Fixing missing image.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:36 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Continued from previous post.



See that two-headed monster south of the targeting cursor? That's a Double Noggin, an overworld monster from the next island. As is such, it's a bit harder to kill than most of the other monsters in this cave, but still goes down to two Dehydrate spells.



South of that is a door, leading to a tiny room with another door. How deep will it go?



Pretty darn deep, apparently.



At the end of the path leading south are three doors, one of which is hidden in the shadows currently, and each of those leads to even more doors. Other than two SpOrcs, two Gremlins, a Skeletant, a Skanky Skeleton, and a Double Noggin, there isn't much in the door maze, but at the end...



...is this nasty little trap. You see, there's a copy of Tricks of the Odyssey Gurus, another useless book, in the doorway. However, it's actually holding the door open, and there's no key for it, so taking it will screw you over. You see, passing through the north exit to the room past the door causes an area transition, so it causes any open doors on the previous map to close - unless they're blocked by, say, a book. So, we'll just ignore the book and head into the next area.



It turns out to be another variant on the "alcoved hallway" so common on this level.



At the end is a small hallway with two doors. Both doors lead to hallways made of more doors. The eastern one is a dead end, and the western one leads to...



...a maze filled with monsters, in which Katrielle is almost instantly killed by a combination of overconfidence and a Double Noggin. Fortunately, monsters can't use doors, so I can use that as an opportunity to rest on my next attempt.



With the Double Noggin out of the picture, the rest of the monsters are easily mopped up...



...or so I thought, until I encountered another Double Noggin in this tunnel. I must be getting close to the base of Perpetual now, based on the security levels. The north end of the maze contains another alcove corridor with not much except another Confuse psionic, and the south end is another wall of locked doors. In fact, it's the other side of the locked doors from the first alcove hall.



At the east end of the southern half is this door. Unlike the rest, it's unlocked. Behind it is...



...what can only be the base of Perpetual. It's obvious what to do here - rest to recover at least 80 PP, then Extinguish it.



No wonder Extinguish costs 80 PP, considering how big that flame was! However, there's more to do in this room.



Specifically, take this stuff. The staff is a Rod of Firey Death, which does damage-over-time fire damage to all monsters on screen, and the key is a Charred Key, which opens the locked doors in the previous room. Like in the previous Wall-O-Doors, most of them just open on blank walls, but the second from the left leads back to the first alcove hallway, creating a nice shortcut back to the entrance. However, I haven't finished exploring this level yet, so that will have to wait.



Unfortunately, the only other things left unexplored north of the once-locked door are these two rooms, which contained a Double Noggin and a SpOrc until Katrielle smashed their brains out with a Niacian Life Ender.



South of the door wall, there isn't much more - just a bunch of winding tunnels leading to dead ends. So, it's back to the surface we go!



Hmm, looks like Wichelstein has abandoned his cave. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad sign.



And it's mid-morning, but there are no workers here. Let's head back to Shoreland and see what Barbara has to say.



It seems that the workers have migrated here now that Perpetual has been quenched.



And Barbara confirms this, and also gives an explanation as to why there aren't as many workers here as there were in The Community.



The Community is, indeed, abandoned, with the exception of Alonzo, who also has new dialogue.

So, it looks like we've solved Culn's problem, too, albeit not quite as neatly as the problem on Un. However, there is another way it could have gone, which I will show next time.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:58 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default But What About Poison?

Last time, we freed Culn from the death cult gripping it by extinguishing their sacred flame. However, there is another way to solve Culn's problems...in a certain sense, anyway. Now, you may recall that Katrielle found a Wrought Iron Key in Shoreland, but never actually used it.



It opens the door to the prison in The Community. Most of the prisoners are untalkative...



...except for this one.



name: "My name's George..."
job: "Well, I worked in the mines like everybody else... but I don't have to work anymore."
help: "I've been trapped in here so wretchedly long. I'm starving too... we're all starving. I bet everybody else in here has passed out from malnutrition. I just want to kill kill kill those priests. How can they do this to us, force us into these jails. This is not any kind of good religion - its not a good anything. They've killed so many of us, all the ones who wouldn't take it. They even murdered the ones who went willingly. Now we need to fight back, somehow..."
mine: "That's where everybody has to work... everybody except the priests of course. Their work is making us all miserable. And making themselves look good with all the gold we mine for them..."
jail: "It's just a wretched horrible place, this jail. They never feed us: why should they waste the food, we're not mining their gold anymore. There's a jailer, but he just wanders through and makes sure we haven't escaped. But nobody every does. None of the people around here know about the jail... until they're in it, of course. We're all here for defying the priests... we wouldn't kill ourselves like they wanted. Defiance doesn't happen very often around here... most people know it's futile."
priest: "Those bastards... I've lost so many friends to their cult of stupidity. I mean, they've got us all believing in their God who wants our lives, right? What kind of God is that? I mean, I don't understand how perpetual burns so long and hot or anything, but I don't knof if it's because of their God. I'd kill the lot of those priests if I wasn't in here - they've gotta stop what they're doing. What do ya think of that, eh? Think it's a good idea to kill them?"

Responding in the affirmitive to this last question:



We've actually already seen his stash, so let's go along with it.



There's nothing new in the mines, so I head back to the secret room and take the poison. I don't need the key because I already got one from Barbara.



Then I head into the wine storage in the priests' mansion. I'm not sure if you have to poison all the barrels or just these two, but I poisoned as many as I could without getting caught, just to be safe. After all, the poison has infinite uses AFAIK, and there's no other use for it after this anyway.

BTW, did anyone else notice the typo in the message window?



Then I run and hide in the mines to rest.



After a while, I decide to check out the Home, only to see that it's on fire. Definitely not a good sign.



Most of the flames can be extinguished, so you can still reach Wichelstein's cave. However, like in the other path, he's gone, so you can't get into the tunnels unless you got the Rhinestone Key earlier or know about the secret passage I thought was useless in the previous update.



There's also a note outside the cathedral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Note
It is my hope that whichever fiend deposited the work of He who is Evil in our most Holy wine should get this note. I speak of the poison my fellow priests consumed this evening, all of whom died shortly thereafter. To think that such product of demon spawn was placed in the wine which I personally consecrated. Who would want to be the author of such a disgusting, repellent act, I do not know. In any event, you, slaughterer of my brethren, shall find damnation in the afterlife, I will assure you. I also mourn for the people of our Community: they could never survive without the careful guidance of our (now defunct) priestly order. I myself am certainly not sufficient to lead them to the promised land, as my brethren and I have been leading them one a day at high noon for some time. Hence, I sent forth the power that is within me to send their souls to the ever-after: they all burned away in the most sacred of fires. It was no easy task, let me assure you, but all one needs to do is believe, and He will grant you the power. As for myself, what is there left but for me to will myself into nonexistence? My family of priests is gone, my children who worked so hard on His behalf are no more. Now I must pass to the next existence to be with Him, always. With the last of my energies, I shall place this note where you can find it with the hope that you shall realize the consequences of your actions.
...That's some pretty heavy stuff to digest. Anyway, let's let George know that we carried out his plan.



Looks like George is gone. Did His Holiest sacrifice the prisoners, too?



At least Alonzo is still around. Let's see what he has to say.



Wow. Just...wow. As if the note wasn't already enough of a guilt trip. And that's why this path isn't as good as the other one. Good thing we didn't take it. Next time, we clear up Culn's loose ends, then move on to the next island.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-12-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:27 AM
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George calls him "His Holliest" as well. It's canonical: it's a cult of Santa-worshippers.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:00 AM
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They were all wearing red...
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:05 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Default Cleaning Up Culn

Last time, we took a peek into an alternate timeline. Today, back in the main stream, we'll be finishing up loose ends on Culn, then moving on to the next island. Actually, there's only one loose end I can think of, but whatevs.



This is the in-game map of the abandoned tunnels. As you can see, there's a very large empty area in the middle. But there is a way in.



All you have to do is jump into the big hole where Perpetual used to be. Unfortunately, it does 80 damage, and Katrielle only has 75 HP right now, so I'll have to grind a bit in order to survive the jump. BRB.

ONE GRINDING SESSION LATER...

All right, I've gained levels in Melee Weapons and Long Bladed, and also briefly returned to Un to buy a supply of arrows so I can work on Ranged Weapons some more. Now to jump in the hole and hope that it's safe to sleep off the massive HP damage down there.



It turns out that even that wasn't enough. I'll just have to come back later, since I really want to get on with the plot. So, let's head to the next island.



This cave, located just south of Octavius' hut, leads to the next island, and there's nothing stopping you from entering as soon as you access the Culn overworld. In other words, we could have moved on without saving the people of Culn from the death cult, but that wouldn't have been very lucrative heroic, now, would it?



Not far from the entrance is a crossroad, inhabited by a bunch of Botanical Nightmares and a Gremlin. To the west are a Morc and a Skanky Skeleton, guarding some Arrows and a scroll containing White Heat Red Hot, the most powerful attack psionic in the game in terms of raw numbers. However, it's close-ranged and costs 41 PP, so I won't be using it just yet.



To the east is yet another dead end, so the only way to go is south. The path to the south is pretty straighforward, except for another cache of Arrows, until...



...we come to a small room. Unfortunately, there's nothing inside.



Past the room is a wide area with a large room to the east and a tunnel to the south. South seems to be the One True Direction in this cave, so let's head east first.



Ooh, now that looks interesting. It's a Glass Sphere, which wil be important later. And yes, as the flavor text implies, there will be more spheres later.



A bit further down the tunnel, Katrielle finds yet another Glow psionic, and shortly after that, a cache of Bolts.



Now this looks like a legitimate fork.



South is a maze containing some Bolts and the psionic Zenoheal. This is the only healing psionic in the game, and the way it works is in the name. For those of you who don't know, Zeno's dichotomy paradox basically states that if you keep moving halfway to a given point, you'll never get there, but you'll get pretty damn close. Thus, Zenoheal heals an amount of HP equal to half the difference between Katrielle's maximum and remaining HP, rounded down, so it'll never be a full heal, but it'll come pretty damn close. It also has a unique sound effect.



East and north of Zenoheal is a manual, which reads as follows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manual
Manual for the Placement of the Globes and their Purposes - as conscribed by Abby Fishington
The spots in the Location for the globes shall be numbered, starting from the North-Western corner and proceeding clockwise, a through f. The globes shall be referred to by the material they are made from: W, I, M, G, B, O. Warning: it is uncertain what incantation occurs when globes are placed in a way other than those specified.
Setting - Destroy the Three: This incantation will destroy all living inhabitants in the three towns. Place the globes accordingly: a-M, b-I, c-B, d-W, e-G, f-O. Incant.
Setting - Destroy East: This incantation will destroy all living inhabitants of the Eastern most town. Place the globes accordingly: a-I, b-M, c-B, d-W, e-O, f-G. Incant
Setting - Destroy Center: This incantation will destroy all living inhabitants of the center town. Place the globes accordingly: a-B, b-W, c-I, d-O, e-G, f-M. Incant.
Setting - Destroy West: This incantation will destroy all living inhabitants of the Western town. Place the globes accordingly: a-O, b-W, c-G, d-I, e-M, f-B. Incant.
Setting - Entropy: Still in development: a-B, b-W, c-G, d-M, e-O, f-I. Incant.
Setting - Static East: Still in development: a-I, b-O, c-M, d-G, e-W, f-B. Incant.
Setting - Static Center: Still in development: a-O, b-M, c-G, d-W, e-I, f-B. Incant.
Setting - Static West: Still in development: a-G, b-M, c-W, d-O, e-I, f-B. Incant.
Setting - Clear Undesired Concomitant: Still in development: a-W, b-I, c-M, d-B, e-O, f-G. Incant.
Now this sounds like it might be important later.



A bit further north and west is another fork. South is the psionic Lightning Crashes, a ranged electric attack, and north is just a dead end.



West of the legitimate fork earlier is a far more linear tunnel...



...ending at another fork.



Just west of the fork is almost every cave monster encountered so far, having a party or something.



And just past that is what looks like another fork, but the western path just loops back to south of the room where the monster party was until Katrielle slaughtered all the guests, so south is the only way to go.



It leads to another pseudo-fork, with both paths leading around a vaguely hand-shaped rock formation to a tunnel with paths leading west and south, but which loop together. West contains a Warm Helm, which is weaker than Katrielle's regular Helm, but apparently increases critical hit rate.



A Green Flesh-Thresher? Seriously? To use a console RPG comparison, this is roughly equivalent to encountering a Blue Imp in the Reptite Lair in Chrono Trigger, or a Rabite in the Crystal Forest in Secret of Mana. The Double Noggin does offer some degree of threateningness, though. Specifically, because it require two hits to kill instead of one.



South of the other hand-shaped rock formation are tunnels leading east and south. East contains some Arrows and another wimpy monster from Un, which means that south is the right way yet again.



And this is part of why. The items in this stockpile are a Rusty Ice Pick, some Chain Mail, a pair of Gauntlets, and a Helm. Granted, my current equipment is as good as or better than this, but if nothing else, I can at least sell this stuff.



Just past the armor cache is a tunnel full of Double Noggins. I actually got killed here and had to replay most of the tunnel up to this point, but as I mentioned earlier, Double Noggins are indigenous to the next island, so this should be a sign that we're getting close.



Past that tunnel is yet another fork. East is a dead end, and west is a switchback with two more Double Noggins, followed by stairs leading to the surface.



And we're at the image limit, so join me next time as we explore this island. Incidentally, if there had been an Evesbane in that tunnel, it would have featured at least one of every monster encountered so far. I'm not sure if there's any significance to that, but I figured I'd mention it anyway.

Last edited by Kahran042; 12-12-2018 at 07:00 PM.
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  #56  
Old Yesterday, 08:59 AM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Last time, Katrielle Latyon braved a tunnel with a surprisingly-diverse assortment of monsters and arrived on the third island in this mysterious Archipelago. Today, she begins exploring it.



We've already had met this island's power monster, the Double Noggin, but this is our first encounter with its speed monster, the Tentaclops. At any rate, the monsters on this island are way tougher than the ones on Culn or in the caves, so I don't try to fight every single one I meet like I normally would, just hurry to civilization as fast as I can so I can rest.



This is one of three towns on this island. However, there is a bit of a twist to this.



You see, all of the towns have a strict dress code, which is enforced by these muscleheads.



Thankfully, we can get the required clothes from this machine. However, the correct color changes daily, and I think it varies between towns.



Now that we're properly dressed, we can chat with the people of this town*.

name: "No one worries about names in Billsville- too much individuality in them, you know."
job: "We here in Billsville switch jobs every couple of days - that way no one gets too attached to anything, no single person gets too good at any one job."
billsville: "The town you are in is named Billsville. You may notice that our neighboring towns have the same name and, thankfully, are virtually identical to us. I hope you enjoy your stay, and remember that the nail that sticks up is hammered down."
clothes: "There was once a time when clothing was non-standardized... can you imagine? Thankfully, the great machine has assured that all in Billsville will be as one in appearance."
machine : "You don't know what the machine is? Why, it is the device you got the clothing you now wear from."

* - Technically, we can talk to them if not properly dressed, but the only real difference is their initial greeting and their response to inquiries about Billsville or the machine.

As you may have guessed, everyone in town has the exact same dialogue, responses, and portrait. Well, there are female citizens, but the only difference is their portraits. That being said, let's explore this town.



First stop is this building, located just east of the clothing machine. The signs outside suggest that it's a guard base. It's not locked, but that's probably because the only things inside are an empty prison cell and an empty trunk.



East of that is a caged prisoner.



name: "By any other..."
job: "'Then the prince of stories walked the bounds of the dreaming, beginning with the shores of night, and from there to the borders of the shifting places. He took ship in the Archipelago, and inspected the skerries, tallying each one, no matter how insignificant.' And so is my advice to you, mendicant."
Billsville: "Whether I'm here or not, tither or tether, it's all the same that they won't wrestle my most prized possession from me. Try though they may, they can't snuff it so trivially as a bit of iron wrapped around my mortal coil."
possession: "Pound that nail, I say, pound that nail! Don't let any other end up as me."

His response to "job" includes a quote from The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, which is also included on the title page of the manual for the commercial version. However, other than that, this particular prisoner is of no importance.



South of his cell is the local item shop - the first shop we've encountered since leaving Un.



In addition to the listed wares, he sells Buck and a Quarterstaves, Bastitch Swords, Long Swords, Daggers, Two Handed Swords, Tridents, Scimitars of Smiting, Javelins, Spears, Silken Spears, Throwing Axes, Boomerangs, Bolas, Trowing Daggers, Feathered Javelins, Studded Armor, Ring Mail, Scale Mail, Chain Mail, Bastitch Chain, Stone Plates, Beast Hide Armor, Field Plate, Arrows, Bows, and Long Bows (phew!). I sell off some of my excess items and buy a Scimitar of Smiting (unlocking the Short Bladed weapon category in the process) and a Javelin, and make a mental note to start saving up for some Field Plate before I leave. I also start by selling off my old Spear, since my new Javelin is just as strong and has a higher wield rating. As a side note, I love his dialogue for trying to sell something.



This is what Katrielle looks like with the Scimitar of Smiting, BTW.



South of the shop is this building, which is presumably where Billsvillians are their jobs. Inside, however, is nothing but an empty trunk.



South of the work office and past an untalkative, possibly dead, prisoner is a restaurant or something similar. There's not much in the dining room, and the kitchen is locked. So let's move on.



The prisoner in the southwestern cage seems like an interesting sort.

name: "My name is Castor."
job: "Work... I only wish I could work, normally, with other people, with them accepting me. But I've given up hope, almost..."
Billsville: "This town is Billsville, on the island of Emas. There are two other towns just like it, though I forget where they are, it's been so long. They're all the same, you know, practically identical. None of them would take me, don't think I didn't try. But I suppose that's their right."

So, we've got the name of this island now. Yes, it is another Sdrawkcab Enam. Anyway, let's find out more about this "help" he asked about.



Believe it or not, we can help him quite easily. If you recall, the key was clearly visible in the first screenshot, and there's nothing stopping Katrielle from just taking it... except for the desire to continue exploring Billsville.



North of Castor's cell are a farm (with the usual contingent of Spamalopes to test Katrielle's new scimitar on) and a book depository.



It turns out their selection isn't as great as the sign suggested, but are you really surprised by that? All nine of those books are "Book: The Billsville Citizen, which reads as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Book: The Billsville Citizen
The Billsville Citizen: How to be a good Member of Billsville. By They-Who-are-You.
The very stuff of our existence is to live as one, to imitate each other such that none feel left out, none are dominated by others, none are slighted. Though it is obvious to all why this is crucial to group happiness, it is important to put on paper why, such that those who are perhaps confused or hesitant about living as the rest of us shall be reassured and convinced. Why should any one person be better or act differently than another anyway? Comparisons and competing are out, cooperation and conformity are in. If all are the same, than no one person is happier than any other, hence none are depressed that they are less at ease, hence all are happy. What could be less obvious?
Conformity on Emas, specifically in Billsville, is carried out through several steps. The first is achieved through all people being able to wear the same clothing. The grand machine centrally located in the town has been created so as to make identical sets of clothing for all the inhabitants of Billsville. All go to pick up their day's clothing on waking, and wear it throughout the day. If a set is soiled in work, a citizen is advised to go pick up a fresh pair from the machine. In this way all people of Billsville are the same in dress, and soon the differences in our bodies, something which we can, tragically, not control, seem less pronounced. Soon we are all as one organism.
Another crucial part of conformity in Billsville is that we all follow the same schedule. All rise as soon as the first rays of the morning sun are visible, and all retire to their beds when the sun ceases to shine. In addition, all eat their daily meal exactly when the sun is directly above us.
No person works the same job for more than one day in Billsville - all know their weekly work routine and switch jobs accordingly. Those who are confused may consult the work-schedule office, though that is a rare occurrence. That way all people work all the jobs an equal amount of time, and no person is allowed to feel any different from any other. Similarly no one becomes significantly better than any other at any job, and hence all are, once again, equal. People also all get days off of the same number, though of course not all on the same day.
Despite the obvious advantages to imitation and conforming, some still insist on deeming themselves different. The reason for this remains a mystery. However it is these people who we should all fear. The nonconformist. He is the one will bring us our doom, who will tear us apart at our hearts and literally slay our happiness. For the protection of joy throughout Billsville, certain citizens have given up their own perfect happiness and work as guards so as to stifle the vile forces of individualism. They make sure that these vermin do not wander the streets, and, when they do find nonconformists on the loose, lock them up in the cages about town. These poor, vile, misguided, putrid souls are reminders to us all - look in the cages and see their misery, the sadness that their way of life brings them. Who could want that? If only we all work together to be like our neighbors in every possible way, we will all come closest to true happiness.
Remember: Happiness, we're all in it together.
So...that explains a lot about this town. But let's finish exploring it before moving on.



Actually, the only thing left is the building west of the clothing machine, which doesn't contain much besides two signs and a machine input, which will be somewhat important later. And that's the westernmost Billsville explored. Join me next time as we free Castor, as I honestly don't remember him having any significance and I want to see if there's some sort of reward for doing so. After that, do you want to start on Emas' main questline, do a sidequest, or take on the next Vex Chamber?

Last edited by Kahran042; Yesterday at 09:00 AM. Reason: Fixing broken link and typo.
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  #57  
Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM
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They have guards to keep out anyone who's dressed differently, huh? But how good can those guards be if they're a different person every day?
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Old Yesterday, 03:21 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
They have guards to keep out anyone who's dressed differently, huh? But how good can those guards be if they're a different person every day?
I think that the guards are the only ones who never change jobs. At least, that's what the book seems to imply.
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 PM
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A sidequest sounds nice. (I get the feeling that the main quest of this island is going to be quite long and involved.)
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Old Today, 01:17 PM
Kahran042 Kahran042 is offline
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First of all, a retraction. It turns out that Consistantcrop / Consistacrop doesn't have any Spamalopes. My bad. Anyway, as promised, we'll start today off by freeing Castor.



The first step is to take the key to the cages from the guard post - the guards don't mind, since Katrielle is wearing the right color. By the way, this is one of the differences between the Billsvilles - each town has a different key.



Now to open the door and see what Castor has to say.



Well, how do you like that! At least he leaves the cell, but he doesn't seem to want to talk anymore.



This also brings the guards out of their posts, and they slaughter Castor on sight. Guess that freeing him was as pointless as I thought. :P

Anyway, that's all we can do here for now, so after opening all the other cages out of spite, it's time to go with Torzelbaum's suggestion and take on a subquest!



Outside of town, Katrielle's HP is immediately cut in half by a Double Noggin, so she quickly changes into some real armor. Again, the monsters are tough and aggressive, so it's best to just rush down to...



...this hut, on the southwestern tip of the island.



Inside is a lot of stuff, but let's talk to the inhabitant first.



name: "Hey, I'll tell you my name, unlike those folk up North. I'm Synthia.
job: "Well, I pretty much have to make do for myself down here, doing what needs to be done. Before I left I was the librarian, if you can call it that. We only had one book, perhaps you've seen it? The Billsville Citizen: horrible stuff. But it's funny, I once found a whole bunch of old books in an abandoned building in Billsville. But the weird thing was they were all different, each one unique! Really interesting stuff, they talked about a time when people didn't all try to act the same way. Those books got me thinking about leaving... But the other townspeople, they saw them as some sort of horrible blaspheme against their way of life and had them all burned. That was one of the worst days of my life. Right then, I knew for sure that I had to get out."
Billsville: "You must have been to at least one of those towns up there, right? They're all the same, see one you've seen them all. And the citizens all seem hopeless, they'll never really be able to think for themselves, in any way differnet from everyone else. Maybe you think you can save them? Don't bother, you can never change their kind, no matter what tricks you try."
Emas: "This island, Emas, you've just got to hate it... those three Billsvilles lined up in a row, those people busily trying to be like each other. Horrible horrible horrible... Sometimes I come close to, well, ending it I guess. It's hard to justify life if there's no one to share it with, but I will not, can not, share it with the citizens up North... You don't know how much of a lifesaver you are. But I can make it on my own, I know you will not, can not stay. Too bad, but I can live with it."
library: "It's just a mockery of a library they have up there. Once I found all these old books... It was wonderful. They were tucked away in the corner of an abandoned building in Billsville, and they told great stories where every person was unique and interesting. I thought the library would be much improved by them, but the townspeople burned them, because they were differenct. They never found out that I liked them: they would have caged me up if they had. It makes me wonder: I guess things weren't always like they are now. I don't like talking about it, though. It just makes me sad. There's no hope for those 'good citizens' - no hope that they'll ever really live."
citizen: "The people up there... they all just want to be the same as each other, it's all that's important to them. It's really disgusting, to me at least. But, at the same time, they're happy, and they have the right to do whatever they want. I don't have the answers, I don't think anybody does. But don't get the wrong idea, there's no way you could ever change their minds, believe me I tried. If it's possible leave this island the way you came."

So... that's a lot to digest. However, there is a more tangible reward for coming here. She likes books, so what if we gave her one of those useless books from way back when?



Glad that someone can enjoy it. That being said, the Chameleon Staff is not as useful as Synthia suggests, but it can come in handy. The problem is that like most magical items in this game, it has finite charges, and there's no way to recharge it. Anyway, that's the subquest done. Next time, should I start the main questline or take on Emas' Vex Chamber? Also, there was a pretty big text dump here, so feel free to speculate on the story so far, or bring up any philosophical issues that you think have come up so far.
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