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Let's play Drakensang: the River of Time


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#21
HoonDing

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In the next area, the party is made aware of Forgrimm's "exploits".
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HEAD TOLLKEEPER TASHMAN: Hey, archers! Stop stuffing your faces! There's a crazy Dwarf out there smashing everything up. Stop him!
GRUMBOLD THE COOK: Hehe, did you hear the Head Tollkeeper, people? We're under attack... by a Dwarf! Sounds like we're really in for it, hahaha!
HEAD TOLLKEEPER TASHMAN: Silence! If we're found out, we're all in for it! Cook! You stay here and bolt the door behind us! Come on boys, let's get that snooper!

CANO: That stubborn Dwarf really did storm the fortress! It looks like he's taking on the whole garrison by himself... by Phex, I'd laught if it weren't so horrifying.
URDIRIEL: Then let's take the opportunity while the guards are distracted. What do you think?
CANO: I completely agree. It looks like we'll have to cross the room behind this door. Unfortunately, one of those fellows is still in there.

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To pass this area the "Phex" way, Cano is supposed to sneak up on the cook, pickpocket the key off the cook, disarm the trapped chest and open it with the key. At this point, however, a succesful pickpocket is pretty much out of the question.

Cano gets caught, however, there is still the option to use some smooth talking.

GRUMBOLD THE COOK: Huh, who... by Phex, who's that?! You must be with those snoopers, aren't you? Wait! The guards...
URDIRIEL: Take it easy, my friend. I'm sure we can come to some agreement.
GRUMBOLD THE COOK: Bah, I've already seen your good intentions! Your Dwarf friend is smashing everything up out there!

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CANO: [Fast Talk] Wouldn't you rather avoid any trouble and let us pass? We wouldn't want you to get hurt.
GRUMBOLD THE COOK: It's not that simple! You don't know what the Commandant is capable of when he thinks he's been betrayed. What can you give me in return?
CANO: The chance of a new life, my friend! When we're finished here, the Commandant won't be able to do anything to you. Then nobody will bother you... we promise.
GRUMBOLD THE COOK: [Success] V...very well, if you promise... alright, I'll keep quiet. Ah, erm, you probably want the key for the door, don't you? Here, now go!

Once outside, the party finds itself on the battlements... meanwhilst Forgrimm is pacing the courtyard while several archers are shooting him (and continually missing because he won't stand still). Head Tollkeeper Tashman has a ballista deployed under the gate to shoot Forgrimm.
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Our task is to sneak upon each archer and knock them out from behind. This task needs careful timing since after a while the archers will run out of ammunition and go fetch some new arrows, during which the party can be detected (spawning a lot of guards out of nowhere).
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After elimination all archers, Cano reaches the lever that brings down the gate and destroys the ballista, saving Forgrimm's butt.
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CANO: Excellent, you've done really well so far! I'm glad you decided to come with me. But with your good judgement, you'd hardly want to run after that clumzy Dwarf.
URDIRIEL: Well, if he hadn't distracted the guards, things would've been a lot more difficult for us... why do you have such a problem with him?
CANO: Sure, he's hard as nails... but he is also just as stubborn. He doesn't have too much respect for the ways of the Fox. Also, our first acquaintance was... rather unfortunate.
CANO: He and Ardo surprised me as I was performing a Phex-pleasing task. To smoothe things out, I promised to help them look for a thief named Mora.
CANO: Thanks to the Cunning One, in Ferdok I managed to discover that she's with the pirates. That's why we're looking for them... but enough of that. We need to keep moving.

After this mild revelation of Cano, the party catches up with Forgrimm and now faces Head Tollkeeper Tashman.
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TASHMAN: by all the Lower Hells, where did you spring from? Are you with that Dwarf? How could you just walk into our fotress like this?
FORGRIMM: You better worry about me, lackey! I want some answers from you, and quickly! My ax is impatient.
CANO: I strongly suggest you cooperate, Head Tollkeeper... things rarely end well when he starts talking about his ax.
TASHMAN: Alright, alright, stay calm! Maybe we can cut you in. The pirates can be very generous, if...
CANO: The pirates? You're working with the pirates?
JAAKON: Things are starting to make sense... so the smuggler goods come from the pirate attacks. By Hesine, this conspiracy is on a much bigger scale than we thought.
TASHMAN: You... you didn't know? By all the Gods and Demons! You come here, kill nearly all my men... and you didn't even know about the pirates?
URDIRIEL: We had a vague suspicion... but we were obviously on the right track.
TASHMAN: Now I understand... you're not in another gang... you don't even want to make a deal, this is about something else.
TOLLKEEPER: What.. what should we do, Head Tollkeeper? If they know about our deal with the pirates, then...
TASHMAN: What do you think? There's no going back now! It's us or them... attack!
FORGRIMM: You seem a little slow on the uptake, human! All of you drop your weapons, or I'll crush you flatter than that little toy beneath the gate!
CANO: Much as it pains me, I must agree with the Dwarf... you should listen to him, Tollkeeper.
TASHMAN: Never! Men, finish them!

However, Cano can get rid of all Tashman's goons with his silver tongue.
CANO: [Fast Talk] Lay down your arms and go home, men! Leave this madman to his fate.
TASHMAN: Do you really want to anger the Commandant? I said: Attack!
TOLLKEEPER: [Success] Why should I worry about the Commandant when I'm dead? I'm done with this madness.
TOLLKEEPER: Yes, to Boron with Bloomfold and his darned scheming! Come on lads, let's get out of here!
TASHMAN: Now... now everything's ruined! Why did you have to poke your noses in? Arrghh!

The lone Tashman now attacks the party and gets flattened pretty easily.
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CANO: What a pointless death! He must have feared somebody more than us.
FORGRIMM: Ah, finally you skulkers turn up? I thought I'd have to do everything myself here.
CANO: Sounds like you were enjoying all that ducking and diving, Shorty! So sorry if we're interrupting.
FORGRIMM: Pah! I could have dealt with that ridiculous plaything myself. You just made things a bit quicker.
URDIRIEL: We're bound to have better chances if we work together, don't you think?
FORGRIMM: I must admit it can sometimes be quite useful to have a skulker watching your back... as long as you don't get in my way, I think we can work together.
CANO: That was almost praise, wasn't it, Forgrimm? And don't worry: if you still want to get your head caved in, I won't stop you.
URDIRIEL: Alright, let's go.

Thus, Forgrimm joins the party.
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Forgrimm is a powerful fighter who comes with a nice set of melee abilities, like Mighty Blow and Knockdown. His Dwarfnose skill allows to find secret chambers in dungeons, he also will craft all armour & weapons for the party with his Blacksmith skill.

#22
HoonDing

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The party now enters the main hall, and is again faced with the choice of either (literally) knocking down the main door and fight about twenty guards, or take the more quiet route through the dungeons.

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FORGRIMM: This must be the great hall. Without his lackeys outside, it should be easy to arrest that wretched Tollgate commandant. Come on, let's kick the door in and grab him!
CANO: Wait! I'm sure this place has a few more surprises in store for us. It would be smarter to find a way through the dungeon. That way we can avoid any more trouble.
FORGRIMM: You can sneak around on your own, thief! I told you not to get in my way.
CANO: There's no point in arguing with you, Forgrimm. What about you, Urdiriel? Which way will you choose?
URDIRIEL: Let's take the more cautious route through the dungeons.
CANO: Excellent decision! See, Forgrimm? You're outvoted.
FORGRIMM: Bah! I'll follow along just to keep an eye on you. Let's go.

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Inside the dungeons, the party must deal with an elusive jail keeper who first sets his hounds on us, then locks himself into a jail. Some creative use of levers, however, and he is forced to hand over the key that gives access to the higher levels of the fortress.

Upstairs in the fortress, the party finally confronts the Commandant, Stitus Bloomfold, after disposing of his bodyguards.
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BLOOMFOLD: Ah, we meet at last! Allow me to introduce myself. I am Stitus Bloomfold, commandant of the fortress you just assaulted so loutishly.
FORGRIMM: Spare us the pleasantries, villain! We know what you're up to! You're in league with the pirates!
BLOOMFOLD: Oh, so you discovered that already. Truly impressive. Did Tashman talk before you did away with him?
URDIRIEL: You seem to find the death of your underlings amusing. Are you really that unscrupulous?
BLOOMFOLD: Pah! I'm a practical man, I don't cry over spilt milk. But if you care so much, perhaps you shouldn't have killed them, hmm?
URDIRIEL: Tashman said you had been warned about us. Who told you about us?
BLOOMFOLD: Oh, wouldn't you like to know? Did you really think your snooping would go unnoticed? How simple-minded of you! It's incredible, how you got this far...
URDIRIEL: Let's get to the point! What kind of deal do you have with the pirates?
BLOOMFOLD: A lucrative arrangement. We give them information, and they always drop off a little package here and there... they'll be raiding an Elf village soon. I wonder what they'll bring me?
BLOOMFOLD: They say the most peculiar things about female Elves... maybe I'll find out the truth for myself soon, hehehe.
JAAKON: We'll make you eat your words, scoundrel! I just can't think of anything more repellent than you.
BLOOMFOLD: We'll, I think our little discussion is drawing to a close. I'm a very busy man, you see, and you're beginning to bore me...
URDIRIEL: Very well, since you're so impatient to be clapped in irons. Just tell us where the pirates are.
FORGRIMM: Yes, where are those scoundrels hiding? I'm getting sick of trawling up and down this river looking for them!
CANO: And what about Mora? Is she also with the pirates?
BLOOMFOLD: Mora? Hmm, interesting you ask ... my river pirate friends have mentioned that name a few times. They sounded quite agitated... if she's so important, then maybe she's still alive. That would be important to you, wouldn't it? Such a pity that you'll never find out.
URDIRIEL: You are defeated, fool. Surrender and we will be merciful.
BLOOMFOLD: Hahaha! You don't seem to understand your position. Right now Coldstone's man is dealing with your friends on the ship... and I have a very special surprise for you.
BLOOMFOLD: Time for you to meet my little pet...
FORGRIMM: Bah! We're not scared of your little lapdog.

Bloomfold presses a button and something awesome happens.
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BLOOMFOLD, Oh, not this one! Hahaha.

The floor disappears under our party's feet and they drop down to a humid cave floor.
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BLOOMFOLD: Come on boy, come on. Feeding time...

Bloomfold's pet turns out to be a Kraken Newt. Urdiriel has seemingly found the tentacles that Emmeran has warned her about...
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The Kraken's tentacles cause knockdown and poison effects. It can also spit ink that causes temporary attribute damage and it will periodically duck under water and summon some morfus (huge snail-like creatures that spit poison).

Key to defeating the Kraken is summoning a creature and sending it to keep the tentacles busy together with Forgrimm. The rest of the party then concentrates on shooting the head with ranged attacks. Cano's star throwing is particularly effective.

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It doesn't take too long for our party to defeat the Kraken... and in its final throes, it breaks down the rest of the floor...

... and sends the blimp to an ironic death.
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Among other shinies, the Kraken drops a cube-like artifact with a dolphin engraving that Brother Emmeran might be interested in.
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Next up: wrapping up the Tollgate & sidequests

#23
sorophx

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ok, I'm gonna stop following this LP and try the game for myself. it really looks like a good game and I don't want to spoil it any more :thumbsup:

#24
HoonDing

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With Bloomfold's threatening words fresh in mind, Uldiriel and her companions leave the Tollgate and hasten back to the Thalaria, but come too late.

Something terrible has happened to Ardo.
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FORGRIMM: Ardo, no! What happened? Is he...
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Ardo had been talking to the two tollkeepers for a long time.
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Suddenly a stranger snuck up behind him with a dagger in his hand. Then everything happened very quickly...
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CAPTAIN DELBRACK: I called out... he tried to dodge.. but the dagger grazed him...
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Ardo slew them all, but the attacker's blade must have been poisoned. Ardo fell to the ground soon afterwards and now he's in this strange condition.

Cano now offers another revelation.
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CANO: Oh no! That's the man who talked us into the robbery.
FORGRIMM: What! You know this man? And you and that Mora worked with him... by the Forge of Angrosh, what does this mean, thief?
CANO: Well... Mora and I are... old rivals. We've been in competition for a long time for the title of "King of Thieves". This man spoke to us in a tavern in Havena.
URDIRIEL: "King of Thieves"? What are you talking about?
CANO: It may not mean much to you. But we children of the Fox know what it means. Mora is my only serious rival. There are no better thieves than us in all Havena... this man knew that.
CANO: We were arguing about how we were going to outdo each other... he joined us and did what he could to stir things up even more. Finally, he made a proposition... by the Lord of the Night, a truly foolhardy idea.
CANO: Mora must have taken him at his word, because she went to ground soon after. I decided I had to beat her to it. By Phex, it was a real masterpiece, I don't mind telling you!
URDIRIEL: And then Ardo and Forgrimm caught you, right?
FORGRIMM: Haha, now I understand! Caught by your own tricks, Cano! And all because of a woman...
CANO: I... I was careless for just a moment. To my horror, I realized that Mora had already...
FORGRIMM: Silence, rogue! Must I remind you of your oath!
URDIRIEL: Oath? What oath?
CANO: I can't talk about it. We swore an oath of silence.
FORGRIMM: Exactly! And only Ardo can release us from it! Ardo!! By Angrosh, we must get him quickly to a healer!

Captain Delbrack now orders to bring Ardo on board and made comfortable. The party now has a discussion on how to proceed.

FORGRIMM: What are we waiting for? Raise the sails! Oh Ardo, shame on my beard! Why did I leave you alone!
CANO: And where should we go, Forgrimm? That blade must have had an evil poison... I've never seen anything like it. I don't know if a normal healer can help us.
URDIRIEL: The assassin was Coldstone's man, so I'm sure magic is at work here. Maybe Master Laurelin in Nadoret can help us.
JAAKON: Hmm, I certainly respect Laurelin's skills, but this is extremely complex magic. It's probably from some magician's laboratory. No, what we need is a real master of the healing arts.
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: It sounds like we can spare ourselves the journey to Nadoret... by Efferd's Trident! We must find help somewhere... can't you think of anything else?
URDIRIEL: What about Brother Emmeran? He seems to know about all kinds of mysteries... at least some of his prediction seem to already have come true.
JAAKON: Hmm, I don't usually trust people who claim to hear voices. But he really seems to know a lot. I must admit, I can't quite figure him out.
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Yes, the Voice of the Riverfather! Ehm, I know the deonts of the city don't think much of him, but his advice never did me any harm. Or maybe you have some other ideas?
URDIRIEL: Brother Emmeran seems to be the best place to start looking for a cure for Ardo. What do you think?
FORGRIMM: Let's be on our way! To Brother Emmeran's island!
CANO: We need to carefully consider our next steps, for Ardo's life depends on it... he doesn't seem in immediate danger, he just won't wake up. Let's equip ourselves in Nadoret first.
FORGRIMM: Equip ourselves? You want to go shopping and plan your next dishonest deeds while Ardo lies here close to death?! To Emmeran's island, I say!
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: This is pointless! Somebody must lead our group until Master Ardo has been healed. Would you do it? After all, you did make it through the Tollgate with these two squabblers.
URDIRIEL: I am deeply indebted to Ardo. For his sake, I am willing to lead the group.
CANO: Let's have no false modesty here! You've already proven that you've got a good head on your shoulders. And if Shorty won't take my advice, maybe he'll listen to you.
FORGRIMM: At least I'll know I'm not taking a lousy thief's advice! I don't mind if you take command for now... as long as we can finally help Ardo.
URDIRIEL: Very well, then. I am ready to lead.
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Then we are agreed. Men: this expedition now has a new leader!
FOUR-FINGER SALM: Yes, Captain!
FORGRIMM: Kangrosha! Then let's sail, with Angrosh's blessing! We must help Ardo!
CANO: Yes, the wisdom and blessing of Phex be with you. You are taking on a heavy responsibility.
JAAKON: I know only too well what it means to lose a comrade. I will be happy to help you... and as soon as Ardo is healed, we'll have Coldstone pay for his misdeeds!
CAPTAIN DELBRACK: Hmm, I think I've worked out that you're no ordinary merchants. Don't worry, I'll keep quiet if that's what you want... let me know when you have orders.

Thus, the party first goes to visit Brother Emmeran again on the Isle of Forgetting.
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Unfortunately, even Brother Emmeran's considerable abilities prove too much to heal Ardo.
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BROTHER EMMERAN: I am sorry. The power of the Great Mother is truly strong, but this poison is based on Dragon Magic, the sorcery of Humans and Elves. You must seek healing from them.
URDIRIEL: The Tollgate Commandant mentioned that the pirates were planning to attack an Elf village. Maybe the Elves can help Ardo?
BROTHER EMMERAN: Hmm, the Elves are indeed truly powerful healers. I know where to find their village... they asked me to keep it a secret, but in this case I hope they will forgive me. I shall show you on your map.

Urdiriel also informs Emmeran about the Kraken and the artifact it dropped.
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URDIRIEL: We killed a Kraken Newt in the Tollgate, and found this fragment in its lair... I thought it might be important.
BROTHER EMMERAN: Let me see... oh Holy Great Mother, so that's it! Oh, great Riverfather, why draw me into your dispute with the Fathomless One? How can we mortals withstand his fury?
URDIRIEL: I don't understand... what do you mean, Brother Emmeran?
BROTHER EMMERAN: I... forgive me, my feelings overcame me... Only now do I understand the consequences of your actions. This artifact opens the doors to the Temple.
BROTHER EMMERAN: Since this place was destroyed in a feud between the two gods, Efferd's fury has seethed in its depths. The Old God has never forgotten the humiliation visited upon him by the Riverfather.
BROTHER EMMERAN: The anger of the Ocean God is like a relentless maelstrom. It swallows everything, even the brightest light and spits it out again as darkness. This darkness climbs from the depths of the temple and poisons the river... it rules foul monsters that mock the power of the Riverfather in his own realm
URDIRIEL: Creatures like the Kraken Newt?
BROTHER EMMERAN: Yes, like the Kraken Newt. I know that Humans had started to use it for their own dark purposes, but in the end they were also just tools of Efferd's vengeful fury.
URDIRIEL: I don't know if I understand all this... do you think there's a reason I found this thing?
BROTHER EMMERAN: The first time I saw you in Nadoret, I knew your actions were linked to the will of the Gods. I just did not know what role you would play.
BROTHER EMMERAN: I will use the fragment to open the temple... but you must go on alone. As the Voice of the Riverfather, I am forbidden from intervening directly.
URDIRIEL: If you think it is important that I enter the temple, then I will gladly do so... but what exactly do you want me to do in there?
BROTHER EMMERAN: You must find your way into the deep and confront what awaits you there... I can tell you no more, I'm sorry. I can only thank you for your valor. Now, follow me.

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Brother Emmeran opens the temple. However, at this point the party has no business in there and will actually enter much later.

Thus, the party returns to Nadoret to equip and get some new training. Arriving in Nadoret, Old Greyhair delivers a new message from Gerlin: he could not find any information on Coldstone. Apparently he covered all his tracks.
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Urdiriel notices a purple glow above the Mage Tower north of Nadoret - the party decides to investigate.

#25
HoonDing

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Heading towards the Mage Tower, the party encounters some commotion. Guards appear to have sealed off the area.
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After convincing the guards to let them pass, the party enters the tower. In the basement they find the apprentice of the mage who inhabits the tower... the mage himself, Master Brookbeard, is frozen in the air next to her.
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HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: Oh, you gave me a start!
URDIRIEL: What's happened here?
JAAKON: Whatever kind of spell that is... I've never come across it before.
URDIRIEL: The question is - how do we get him out of there?
JAAKON: It appears he wanted to protect himself from something. Apparently the spell has other effects, as well.
URDIRIEL: Yes, that's the way it looks, Jaakon. I wonder how long he's been hanging there.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: I... I found him like that. He must have jumped out of the room with a powerful leap... whatever shall we do... he is... but... if he had only allowed... I...
URDIRIEL: Calm down. What was your master working on? Please tell me.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: Master Brookbeard was working in his lab... on a conjuring formula.
URDIRIEL: Hmm... A conjuring formula, that's quite vague. Do you have any idea what happened?
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: I was collecting herbs outside when a bright flash of light, accompanied by a tremendous thunderclap, came down on the tower. The ground shook and I was knocked down.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: And then... only then I saw it - a rift in the fabric of the spheres... directly above the tower! When I had collected myself again, I hurried to the laboratory immediately and... discovered all this.
URDIRIEL: We have to help your Master somehow and I don't know how much time the bailiffs can give us. If a pack of superstitious farmers come bumbling in here, things could get much worse.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: I don't know, the Master, without him... I...
URDIRIEL: Think! There must be a way of undoing this.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: I, yes... we... we could try to open the door to the laboratory. The cause of the rift in the sphere must be in there. We can open it with the object the master is holding in his hand.
URDIRIEL: Good! I'll take care of whatever is in the laboratory, and you try to free your master.
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: Agreed... but caution is imperative. A spell on the door seals the laboratory when there is impending danger. Only Fuldigor knows what is behind it.
JAAKON: If there's an unknown danger from Limbo lurking behind this door, we should be well-armed and proceed with caution.

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Master Brookbeard literally holds a piece of the puzzle.

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A rotating lock puzzle needs to be solved to enter the laboratory.

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Inside the laboratory, the party encounters a summoning circle, sealed off by some kind of protectice bubble. According to Jaakon, time flows much faster inside the bubble.

As soon as the party enters the bubble, five fire spirits appear and attack.
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Similar to Jaakon's fire elemental, fire spirits set the party on fire as soon as they're in the vicinity... very annoying. This can be countered with a burn salve, but at this point the party only has five of those and the fire immunity it grants only lasts for 30 seconds. Therefore, it is imperative that the spirits are defeated as fast as possible.

After killing the spirits a Greater Fire Spirit appears. This enemy is a lot tougher and uses a variety of melee abilities, but with five on one it is defeated quickly.
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Defeating the Greater Fire Spirit dissolves the time bubble and Master Brookbeard, apparently freed from his statis, appears.
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MASTER BROOKBEARD: It's you... you're alive! What a great relief! It would have been very difficult for me to explain your disappearance. I hardly dared to hope... I had already expected the worst after all this time.
URDIRIEL: Why were you worried? I was gone for no longer than a tenth of an hour...
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: By the chains of Satinav! You... uhhh... I... No, several hours have elapsed during your absence.
URDIRIEL: What?! You're pulling my leg!
JAAKON: But of course! The Limbus shield! It must have come into contact with the sphere of time... when we found Master Brookbeard, he seemed to be frozen in ice, similar to the Fire Spirit.
JAAKON: While we banished the Fire Spirit inside the sphere, time still continued its accustomed course outside the shield... that's the only explanation that makes sense.
URDIRIEL: Perhaps. The fire creature has been dispatched, at any rate. Has the commotion in front of the tower died down as well?
HESINDIANA ZOLTAN: I was able to clear the matter calmly and quietly... and thats not all.
MASTER BROOKBEARD: After Hesindiana freed me from my stasis, I tried to seal the rift in the spheres... Yet I also had to maintain the second shield, after all, you were still in there.
MASTER BROOKBEARD: The elemental could have escaped, but having observed many hours of your masterly combat techniques - although it all seemed to be in slow motion to us - we were sure that you would be victorious.

Master Brookbeard rewards the party with a funky looking mage hat.

Next, our party heeds a call of the local town guard to deal with a dangerous creature. They come upon a heated discussion between Guard Captain Nimralph and the Praios Deont.
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CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: Yes? How can I help you?
URDIRIEL: I wanted to join the militia.
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: Ah, the militia, eh? Well, you've come to the right place.
PRAIOS DEONT: Don't involve any more innocent people in this, Nimralph. Leave it to the Inquisition. I already sent for them!
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: Yes, you already said that, Deont Irian. But how many must die before the Grand Inquisitor gets here? Until he does, I will deal with this matter!
PRAIOS DEONT: I tried to warn you... but if you don't listen... I can't help you! The Grand Inquisitor will not be pleased to hear of your actions. I'm leaving...
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: And now as for you... the town guard needs as much help as it can get right now... especially people with combat experience.
URDIRIEL: Tell me more.
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: Last night the Night Watch heard someone screaming horribly near the harbor... when they went to investigate, they found the corpse of a man who had been terribly mutilated.
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: Witnesses said they saw a huge animal with a silver mane... walking upright! If that news gets around, the whole town will soon be in uproar.
URDIRIEL: An animal walking upright?
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: I fear we have a werewolf in town. That's what Laurelin the Elf said when I told him about the creature.
URDIRIEL: Do you have a plan?
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: We'll organize a hunt for it with as many armed men as we can find. If the Gods smile on us, we'll corner the beast and kill it. I want this problem solved by the time the sun comes up tomorrow... I am a man of action, not words!
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: You can rest in our quarters at the barracks until the hunt starts tonight. What do you say? Can I count on you?
URDIRIEL: Alright. I'm in.
CAPTAIN NIMRALPH: By Rondra! I won't forget this! Come, I'll show you your quarters.

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After nightfall, the party meets up with Captain Nimralph, who brought a goat as bait for the werewolf. Barricades were also set up in the meantime, and the town gates closed, to prevent the beast from fleeing. It is time to slay the beast.

#26
HoonDing

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Under the light of the moon, Nimralph leads the volunteers to the ambush place.
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The bait works and gets mangled by the werewolf, who then quickly goes over to the attack.

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The werewolf packs quite a punch, has very high armor rating and has an annoying penchant of focusing on Urdiriel. But it didn't count on the Lightning spell that both Urdiriel and Jaakon can now cast...

After defeating the werewolf, it flees and breaks through the barricades, forcing Urdiriel and the rest to chase it to the marketplace. However, the beast set a trap.
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Urdiriel and her companions find themselves surrounded by the werewolf's buddies and a big fights breaks out on the steps of the Praios Temple.

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The werewolf will first attack alone, but after taking some damage all other wolves will also go over to the attack... Cano's area buff/debuff and Precision Strike, combined with Urdiriel's incendiary arrows are critical for victory in this fight.

The werewolf flees into the Temple of Praios after it is mortally wounded, and after killing the rest of the wolves Nimralph orders the party to enter the Temple and finish the beast off.
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Inside, the party is just in time to witness the werewolf breathe its last breath.
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(Un)surprisingly, the werewolf turns out to be none other than the Praios Deont himself.

After the werewolf's death, the sun comes up and Nimralph takes the party back to the town guard. The party is rewarded for this quest with the Andergaster, a fantastic two-hander. However, all our party's fighters will be fighting with shields, hence the blade is sold for a lot of profit.
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Next: even more sidequests

#27
HoonDing

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With Cano in the party, the opportunity arises to enter the Thieves Guild of Nadoret.

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WOLTERS CLAAS: What do you want? Hey, aren't you Cano? I've already heard a lot about you. Come on in.
CANO: How about a little detour in Nadoret's Thieves Guild?
URDIRIEL: That sounds exciting. Why not?
WOLTERS CLAAS: Can your companion be trusted?
CANO: On my honor, I only bring my best friends to this place!
WOLTERS CLAAS: Then you can come in. Don't let the men upstairs distract you, the Silver Vixen is downstairs.

In the kitchen inside, some clowns are preparing for their "ultimate heist".
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Cano seems to be well known around the place.
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GUILDENSTERNBAG: Well, well, if it isn't the King of Thieves from Havena!
CANO: Uh, no, unfortunately that's not him.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Aah, not yet? Is it maybe because of that redhead?
FORGRIMM: Heh heh heh.
CANO: Everything has its price. Do you know what, Saul, I'll tell you about it some time over a nice, relaxing glass of wine.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Very well. Then, what can I do for you?
URDIRIEL: What exactly are you doing here?
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Ah well, it's actually very hush-hush, but now that you're here, it probably won't hurt if you are in on it.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: We're "Danio Efferdian's Eleven Accomplices" and getting ready for our biggest Phexcapade yet.
URDIRIEL: Who are Efferdian's Eleven Accomplices?
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Well, for one there's Efferdian, of course, the leader of our gang. Then there's Linus and Reuben here, who are practicing their sneaking skills.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Rosenbeck is very important to this enterprise, too. I assume he's working on the numbers again, after all he's responsible for the planning. The two sleepers upstairs are the night foxes, our burglars.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Then there are two Hill Dwarf twins Ligriwosh and Crutwush for all kinds of diversionary tactics and we have Herman for disarming underhanded traps. He's sitting in front and wants to be left alone.
GUILDENSTERNBAG: And finally there's me, Saul Guildensternbag, the man with the big plan!
JAAKON: [Cleverness] But that's just ten people. Aren't you Efferdian's "Eleven" Accomplices?
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Err.... oh, really, only ten? I mean... of course! That's part of the plan! What would a Phexcapade be without a surprise?
URDIRIEL: And just what is your grand Phexcapade?
GUILDENSTERNBAG: Ha, well we would we prety stupid to reveal our big plan to another thief... Let me just say that we're planning everything to the last detail here.

Downstairs in the basement, we meet the leader of the Thieves Guild, Dilga Panek, aka the Silver Vixen. She gives us a little quest.
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DILGA PANEK: Cano, what a surprise! And you are not alone... who do I have the pleasure of meeting?
URDIRIEL: ... Errr, I am...
CANO: Dilga, the cat from Festum, dream of my sleepless nights. Don't worry about the company I keep, I'm vouching for her.
DILGA PANEK: Ah Cano, you helpless rabbit, you never were good at lying. Nevertheless... welcome. You may call me Dilga, the Silver Vixen.
FORGRIMM: Helpless rabbit... Muah ha ha hoo!
URDIRIEL: It is a pleasure. I'm Urdiriel Teardream.
DILGA PANEK: Would you like to do something for me?
URDIRIEL: Well, what is it?
DILGA PANEK: I would like to know what that newly-arrived ship is unloading in the harbor... an unobtrusive glance should suffice... But remember, no blood spilling, stay inconspicuous. If the chests are guarded, use your head.

The party heads to the harbor and find the chest guarded by an Overseer.
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To get rid of the Overseer the Phex way, use is made of the "floozy" nearby.
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FLOOZY: How can I help you, sweetie?
URDIRIEL: I'd like to do some business with you.
FLOOZY: Well, well, isn't this interesting. Let's see what you want, lassie.
URDIRIEL: It's about a friend of mine...
FLOOZY: I've heard this line before...
URDIRIEL: He works at the harbor...
FLOOZY: Hmm... I don't care what kind of crooked scheme you have p your sleeve... but that drives the price up, of course.
CANO: [Secude] Honey bunny, you would be doing me a big favor if you let him show you around the warehouse.
FLOOZY: [Succes] He he "honey bunny", not bad. You know a thing or two about sweet-talking. I'll do it for you, my pumpkin.

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The floozy will disappear with the harbor worker in the warehouse, and now the party can get rid of the Overseer by snitching the harbor worker. They take a glance into the chest and report back to Dilga (however, the actual content of the chest is never revealed).

On the way to the ship, at this point a nobleman, Protector Enno of Vardock, will spawn who will mark a new location on the map, the "Hunting Preserve". The nobleman will ask to be taken there for a lot of money.
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The hunting preserve as an area is a treasure trove to harvest a lot of rare plants that are necessary to craft some of the more advanced potions. Enno of Vardock will periodically offer some small hunting quests that give good money rewards.

There is more to do in this area, but for now we simply drop off the Protector and move on to the Tollgate.

#28
HoonDing

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The Tollgate is our last stop before to the Elf village.

Upon arriving, this time our party receives a warm welcome and will not only be exempt from the toll, but also be asked to meet with the new commandant, van Haring, sent from Ferdok by Count Growin.
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We also meet some old friends. It's Captain Albass and the Star of Ferdok.
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Janah is back on her feet as well.
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JANAH: Urdiriel Teardream, is it really you? You look like someone out of Piet's travelers' tales! It's so good to see you again!
JANAH: Did you hear the news? A horde of insane Dwarves have placed all the tollkeepers under a magical slumber. Then they summoned a water elemental who ate the corrupt commandant!
JANAH: But I'm sure you've seen even more exciting things! Oh, I really should stop talking, otherwise Piet will get mad again.

Meeting up with van Haring, he will commend the party and give a bounty hunting quest. From now on, our party receives 5 thalers for each silver emblem (looted from pirates' bodies), while the pirate leaders' gold emblem gives a special reward.

However, van Haring also offers a more interesting quest. We must deal with his errant nephew.
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VAN HARING: My nephew Hubert, the useless brat, is shirking his duties as a soldier! He thinks the rules don't apply to him, he just spends the whole time reading a book!
VAN HARING: Unfortunately his parents are from a noble family, so I can't discipline him like any normal soldier. I need you to bring me the book to put an end to this nonsense. He's usually somewhere near the river, dreaming his days away.

The party finds the brat on the riverside. Hubert is a very annoying teenager that is just begging for a renegade interrupt.
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HUBERT VAN HARING: Who... who are you? Leave me alone! I don't feel like talking to you!
URDIRIEL: Why? Are you going to read your book?
HUBERT VAN HARING: You know about it? I bet my uncle sent you to take it away from me! Tell him I'm not interested in his miserable guard duty!
HUBERT VAN HARING: That boring beadle! All he talks about is duty and order, but he's just trying to suck up to my parents! He knows nothing about the things that are really important.
URDIRIEL: Let's just forget your uncle for a moment. What's so interesting about your book?
HUBERT VAN HARING: It's about real feelings. Here, everybody just does what they're told! Nobody really does anything just because they want to... or because they like someone... errr... you know...
URDIRIEL: And you? Would you do something if you liked someone? Someone n particular, maybe?
HUBERT VAN HARING: Oh, that's not what I... erm, well there is this girl... Jasmine, she's Captain Honorald's daughter... she's just so much more... mature than the other girls... more sensitive, and so...
URDIRIEL: Do you like this Jasmine? Maybe I can help to make sure that she likes you too...
HUBERT VAN HARING: Really? You could do th at? Err... I mean, how would you do that?

There are various ways to persuade the brat.
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CANO: [Seduce] Listen, I'll tell you exactly what to say to her. That will win her heart!
HUBERT VAN HARING: Oh... I don't even know those words! Do you really think I should... yes, I'm sure that'll work. A thousand thanks. Here, take the book.
CANO: Don't worry, it's always worked for me. Well, nearly always...

Bringing the book to Commandant von Haring nets us one lousy ducat, but he also lets us keep it. The book itself contains some clues on how to pass a certain Troll Bridge in Nadoret.
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Now, our party is ready to move on to the Elf village.
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NEXT UP: the Elf village.

Edited by virumor, 19 February 2011 - 07:57 AM.


#29
HoonDing

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Our party arrives just as the pirates are preparing to attack the Elf village.
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CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Not so fast, Bravethorn! We should approach these Elves with caution.
MATT BRAVETHORN: Captain, if we attack quickly, we can catch them unprepared! Let's take their Elven treasures!

A single Elf appears and tries to dissuade the pirates.
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ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Turn back, if you cannot forget your greed. Only those who seek harmony are welcome in these woods.
MATT BRAVETHORN: Too bad for you, we're looking for something else. Seize her!

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However, the Elf casts some flashy spell and sends the pirates running with their tails between their legs. The Elf then addresses the party.

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ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Sanya bha, fey, I greet you. My name is Isaliel Wingstroke. What a strange destiny... I sense that a Dwarf's worry for a Human brings you back to your own people.
URDIRIEL: Greetings! I am Urdiriel Teardream. This is Cano, Forgrimm and Jaakon. We seek healing for our friend Ardo.
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: We will help, if we can. But like your friend, we also struggle with a dark threat that is draining our strength.
URDIRIEL: It seems our warning about the pirates came too late.
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: They were not unexpected... but we could not lessen their fury without the song of peace. Every note led to discord with all the horror.
URDIRIEL: This horror disrupts the iamanda of this place... I feel it too.
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Form replaces light and shadows grow. What must be, must be.
URDIRIEL: I understand. But as for the pirates - we could at least help you there.
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Act prudently! I shall send a fey to care for your friend. We shall meet again at the say'dhaba, the Great Tree.
URDIRIEL: I thank you in Ardo's name. See you soon!

The Elf leaves and now Urdiriel's party members will propose three ways of dealing with the pirates. Forgrimm wants to kill them all, Cano wants to play them against each other, while Jaakon prefers peaceful reconciliation.

JAAKON: What an extraordinary encounter. The Elves have more important things to do, so we must deal with the pirates instead.
FORGRIMM: Yes, the pirates... I'm telling you, they're in league with that Coldstone. They're to blame for everything! Well, now it's time to repay them... with my ax!
CANO: Take it easy, Shorty! We don't know the whole story yet. We don't even know what they want here.
FORGRIMM: Take it easy? While Ardo is dying? I'll get the whole story out of them with my fists!
CANO: With your methods, we'll never find out what the pirates did with Mora. You ought to stay here with Ardo while I deal with this.
FORGRIMM: How dare you tell me what to do, rogue! It wasn't my idea to call on the tree huggers. Why don't you stay, while I...
URDIRIEL: Stop your arguing! We agreed that I would lead us on our mission.
FORGRIMM: Enough talking now! Let actions speak... where's the whetstone?
JAAKON: I see no need to solve the problem with brute force. If we use our intelligence, it should be easy to mediate successfully between the two parties.
CANO: Why help the pirates for nothing, when we can use their goals to achieve our own? Phex is bound to look kindly on a profitable deception!

After all said and done, the party goes to look for the pirates in the swamp, which is crawling with ugly mutated creatures called "mire beasts".
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In the swamp there are also two huge stone heads, under which are buried the bones of a woman and an amulet of Rondra. These objects will be important for a side quest later on.

Soon, our party also comes upon the source of the mire beasts: the morning thorn plant. The prick of its thorns mutates anything into a mire beast.
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A mage, or rather a druid, then appears and addresses us. It is Archon Megalon, a legendary figure in TDE lore. With Urdiriel being a ranger, we can talk up to the druid.
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ARCHON MEGALON: Feel free to ask your questions... or are you afraid of me?
URDIRIEL: I am not afraid... more interested...
ARCHON MEGALON: A most remarkable scientific phenomenon: those pricked by the morning thorn bush undergo an immediate transformation into a mire beast.
URDIRIEL: The transformation usually takes seven days... this must be a very unusual specimen.
ARCHON MEGALON: You also seem to be an unusual specimen. More learned than most... but don't think that you can teach me anything.
ARCHON MEGALON: The already magical properties of the plant have clearly been manipulated to accelerate the magic. This is the result of careful magical research.
URDIRIEL: I find the plant's properties more alarming than interesting.
ARCHON MEGALON: You are afraid although you know the danger? Interesting... tell me more.
URDIRIEL: This plant has created a lot of very aggressive mire beasts... who knows what they once were...
ARCHON MEGALON: I do. And you might, sooner or later. But I must deal with more important matters.

Archon Megalon then teleports away and leaves our party to look for the pirates.

#30
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The pirates made their camp in the ruins of a theater.
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Entering the pirate camp, a pirate named Flea attempts to rob our party, but their leader, Captain Hookensang, stops him. Hookensang turns out to be quite an agreeable fellow. Now, Urdiriel must decide which path to follow to deal with the pirates... being an Elf herself, she opts for peaceful reconciliation.
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CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Silence, Flea! You do not have the authority to decide how we treat strangers.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: What a surprising visit. Praise the Twelf... Wait a minute, you're an Elf?
URDIRIEL: Well spotted. But I am not from the tribe that lives here.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Allow me to ask why you are here.
JAAKON: [whispers] He seems very sensible for a pirate captain... I'm sure he wouldn't be averse to a peaceful negotiation.
CANO: [whispers] Make it clear that you want to negotiate so we can act freely here... then we'll have something up our sleeve if we can't carry out my plan.
URDIRIEL: I saw your encounter with the Elves and I wanted to make a suggestion.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Interesting. I'm listening.
URDIRIEL: I could act as a negotiator.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Hmm... it could work. But tell me, what are your motives?
URDIRIEL: I want to avoid bloodshed for the sake of my people.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Really? Well, if you wish to risk a parley with these wild Elves, then I won't stop you.
URDIRIEL: So we are agreed? But your people need to stay peaceful... I'll tell them myself, if necessary.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Hold your horses, there! Theoretically speaking... what's to stop you from telling the authorities our current location?
URDIRIEL: Well, you, of course... my ship is right here, unprotected. I wouldn't have the chance to get away.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: I see we understand one another. Speak with the crew, then, if you like. I can do without more trouble than these Elves are already giving me.
URDIRIEL: I'm confident that I can act as a negotiator between our peoples.

The party then travels to the Great Tree, an oversized baobab. Through a hole in the bark the branches of the tree, where the Elves live, can be reached.
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Urdiriel now meets with Isaliel again.
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ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Sanyasala. You spoke with the greedy humans?
URDIRIEL: Their captain has accepted me as negotiator. I can speak for you in the negotiations.
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: You wish to speak for us, even though you have left your own tribe? Let Linwen Owlwing teach you about us so we know whether you can really share feysala with us.

Linwen Owlwing instructs Urdiriel to learn about the soul creatures of three Elves of Isaliel's tribe.
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LINWEN OWLWING: Sanyasala! How pleasant to have another Elf guest here. Gwendala Sunbreeze has also come to us from afar.
URDIRIEL: Nurd'dhao! My name is Urdiriel Teardream and I thank you for your friendly welcome. I wish to follow Isaliel's advice and learn more about this tribe.
LINWEN OWLWING: Then look around you. From this tree we see far and guard the forest. From here, we throw ourselves into the storm when we spread out wings.
URDIRIEL: You mean, in the form of your soul creatures?
LINWEN OWLWING: That is correct. If you wish to follow Isaliel's suggestion, you should spend time with my tribe. You will not learn the transformation, but you will come to understand our ways and possibly discover much about yourself.
URDIRIEL: When will I know that I understand enough?
LINWEN OWLWING: Initially, it should be enough for you to recognize the soul creatures of Elbrenell Mistcaller, Calenleya Arrowsong and Lellindor Boughwalker.

Various Elves around the place can help with our task, including Gwendala (who is a joinable NPC in Drakensang 1).
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GWENDALA: Sanyasala! Feydha Gwendala. I see that you do not belong to this tribe.
URDIRIEL: Sanyasala iama! Your senses do not deceive you. But I feel that your song is from far away. You are not from here?
GWENDALA: That is true. My tribe sent me on an uncertain path. I am just spending some time here before continuing my search.
URDIRIEL: What do you seek? Maybe I can help.
GWENDALA: I am sorry, but I am not allowed to speak of it. I can only say that it involves a High Elven artifact.
CANO: [Fast Talk] But if I happen to find it, I won't recognize it and I won't be able to give it to you...
GWENDALA: [Success] In which case my quest would be fruitless! Very well... I am searching for a High Elven weapon. My tribe wants to keep it safe in order to protect other Elves from its harmful effects.
URDIRIEL: I am trying to get to know the tribe here better.
GWENDALA: Why are you asking me? I am not from here.
URDIRIEL: But surely you can tell me something about the other Elves here, can't you? I am trying to discover their soul creatures.
GWENDALA: An interesting concern... Not everybody here will reveal their inner selves to you willingly. Tell me, whose soul creatures do you seek?
URDIRIEL: I seek the soul creature of Calenleya Arrowsong.
GWENDALA: She is proud and does not even try to understand Humans. When I was hunting in the forest, I saw an eagle watching me... it could have been her.
URDIRIEL: What do you think of Elbrenell Mistcaller?
GWENDALA: Well, he's probably a very noisy bird of some kind... but not a duck. Something else... something lighter, more mysterious.
URDIRIEL: What about Lellindor Boughwalker?
GWENDALA: He is very careful... but as long as you don't bother him when he's talking to the tree or his soul creature, he will speak with you.

Armed with this knowledge, Urdiriel should be able to find out about the soul creatures of the three Elves.
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ELBRENELL MISTCALLER: Sanyasala! Isaliel has told me about you. Why do you travel with Humans and a Dwarf?
URDIRIEL: My friend's nurdra is under threat. It is stopping him from fulfilling a very important task.
ELBRENELL MISTCALLER: I shall search for signs of what the future bears for your friend. But tell me if I can help you in any other way.
URDIRIEL: I am looking for clues to help me guess your soul creature. It is one of Linwen's little games.
ELBRENELL MISTCALLER: One learns well from playing games... well, I could give you a couple of clues.
URDIRIEL: Will you tell me something about your soul creature?
ELBRENELL MISTCALLER: Hmm... some find the song of this beautiful bird unharmonious... it sounds like a loud rattle...
CANO: [Human Nature: Elbrenell seems to be a curious Elf who likes talking a lot.] Your behaviour reminds me of a magpie. Am I right?
ELBRENELL MISTCALLER: Ona, the magpie it is! And you should hear its song if you wish to avoid harm.

Next: Lellindor Boughwalker.
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LELLINDOR BOUGHWALKER: Oh, you are not of my family... I don't know if it is a good idea to speak with you...
URDIRIEL: Your brethren speak with me.
LELLINDOR BOUGHWALKER: Really? Well... do we have something to talk about?
URDIRIEL: I am trying to better understand you and your kin by asking questions.
LELLINDOR BOUGHWALKER: This type of "understanding by asking" is strange to me. How does it work?
URDIRIEL: Do you have a characteristic that distinguishes you from your brethren?
LELLINDOR BOUGHWALKER: Well, I cannot fly... if that is what you mean.
URDIRIEL: [Animal Lore] You cannot fly, but you feel at home in a tree? Is your soul creature a squirrel?
LELLINDOR BOUGHWALKER: How do you know that? Your questions are strange and insistant to the point that they seem badoc to me. Please, do not pester me further.

And finally: Calenleya Arrowsong.
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CALENLEYA ARROWSONG: I have seen who you are here with. What do Human and Dwarf seek in these woods? Treasure?
URDIRIEL: I would like to speak with you. Can you tell me something of yourself?
CALENLEYA ARROWSONG: Knowledge of a person comes from spending time with them, not asking questions. What is it that you so urgently need to know?
URDIRIEL: I would say that the eagle is your soul creature. Am I right?
CALENLEYA ARROWSONG: Ah, that's what you want... well, since you have your prey in your talons now, I will not take it from you. Your assumption is correct, the aar it is!

Thus, Linwen's task is completed.

#31
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Having learnt the soul creatures of the three Elves, Isaliel agrees to have Urdiriel speak for her tribe. It is time to return to Hookensang and ask what the pirates want from the Elves.
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URDIRIEL: The Elf tribe is prepared to negotiate with you. What are your demands?
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Demands? You make it sound like this ridiculous trip was my idea. Damned magician...
FORGRIMM: Magician? I was right! Where is the fellow? I'll smash him!
CANO: How interesting... Tell us more, Captain!
JAAKON: Are you referring to a specific mage?
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: I am sorry, you must have misheard me. I said "dumb ambition".
URDIRIEL: Oh. Ambition... of course. So, what do you want of the Elves?
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Elven puff.
URDIRIEL: We Elves call it bianbalve, the grass of the clouds.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: We need a whole bale of it.
URDIRIEL: Very well, I will tell the tribe of your request. What do you offer in return?
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: We have no intention of buying the Elven puff at market price.
URDIRIEL: We Elves have no interest in your little metal disks.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Hmm... in your opinion, what do the Elves want?
URDIRIEL: Stop felling trees and rattling your sabres. Just leave.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Are you serious? You think the Elves will just give us what we want if we leave?
URDIRIEL: Yes, harmony is important to them. They are not interested in collecting possessions.
CAPTAIN HOOKENSANG: Of course. I look forward to the succesful completion of these negotiations. Farewell.

Returning to Isaliel, she agrees to Hookensang's conditions after some convincing and finally the party can bring Hookensang the Elven puff. He receives the Elven puff in exchange for his word never to return.
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The pirates then pack up and leave.
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Now Isaliel is willing to reveal what is going on with Ardo. She also grants us the location of the river pirates' hideout.
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ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Your friend is under the influence of what we call zertaubra. Destructive magic, impelled by the power of the mind. We too, are suffering from such magic, although the source is different.
URDIRIEL: Have you been able to combat it?
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: Our fates are intertwined. Two streams converge to become a mighty river... If you bring Ardo to us, you will learn everything else from Alari.
URDIRIEL: To help Ardo, I must ask you something else: do you know where the pirates came from?
ISALIEL WINGSTROKE: My eyes see far. Open your mind and I will show you the way.
URDIRIEL: Ohh... a thousand times thank you! I will take Ardo to Alari.

Now the healer, Alari Springborn, will reveal everything about what is troubling the Elves.
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ALARI SPRINGBORN: Sanyasala! Place Ardo on my bed, I cannot sleep in any case... I will not manage to heal him now, but I can keep him alive.
ALARI SPRINGBORN: His spirit is trapped by a powerful magic that prevents him from waking and constantly saps his vitality... like us, he is unable to recover his strength through sleep.
URDIRIEL: Isaliel spoke of evil magic that is weakening you. Is there nothing more you can do about it?
ALARI SPRINGBORN: Disturbing dreams are draining our mandra. We can no longer sing our magic songs to soothe the pain... where songs and laughter once filled the air, desolation and torpor now reign.
URDIRIEL: Do you know where these nightmares come from?
ALARI SPRINGBORN: They come from the fallen stone northwest of here. The thing that resides there is not of this world... we have guarded this place for centuries.
ALARI SPRINGBORN: But now the guards are torn from life and the magical barrier that protects us from fear and weakness is breached. But this also means that you can now go there to help Ardo.
URDIRIEL: How can I help him by going to some ruins?
ALARI SPRINGBORN: The zertaubra is strong in that place and even older than Isaliel. But I also hear other music there... next to fury that can never be tamed, I sense a powerful source of healing.
URDIRIEL: I will find the remedy and try to end your agony.

Thus, the party sets off to the ruins that Alari spoke of.

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Near the ruins, they come upon the bodies of the slain Elven guards. Being practically immortal, the Elves do not bury the bodies of their slain brethren.

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Near the ruins, the party also comes upon another stone head, and find more bones buried underneath.

At the entrance to the ruins, Archon Megalon pops up again.
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ARCHON MEGALON: Ah! A new participant for my experiments. What took you so long?
URDIRIEL: I am not here for some experiment. I am here to find a remedy for my friend.
ARCHON MEGALON: Two things that are not necessarily mutually exclusive if you consider the horrors you must face in order to achieve your goal.
URDIRIEL: What horror do you speak of?
ARCHON MEGALON: A demon. Summoned by the ancient Bosparanians, bound by their power, animated by their knowledge... and controlled by their logic.
JAAKON: [Arcane Lore] A demon summoned and bound so long ago? I very much doubt the magical wards are still in place.
ARCHON MEGALON: You clearly already have some superficial knowledge on the subject. In that case, you will soon learn that many years ago, great minds dared to carry out experiments beyond your imagination. Does that thought alarm you?
JAAKON: [Arcane Lore] "Fear is the armor of the brave man. It guards him from the fate of the foolhardy".
ARCHON MEGALON: Since you are already quoting me, you probably want to take part in my experiment. You will descend to the depths and face your fear. Look for the seal stones that manipulate the manifestation of the demon in the Third Sphere.
CANO: [Human Nature] You are trying to manipulate me... what do you want?
ARCHON MEGALON: The intelligent test subject recognizes that it is not the focus of the experiment and that value is placed only on the result... let's proceed to the intended objective of the experiment.
URDIRIEL: Alright. Why do you want the seal stones?
ARCHON MEGALON: I am conducting a series of experiments. I am currently dealing with the competing relationship between fear and greed, taking into account mental deconstruction due to irrational influences.
ARCHON MEGALON: For each seal stone you bring me, I will reward you with an appropriate number of ducats or other items that may be of value to you. But remember, your life may depend on how you expend the seals.
ARCHON MEGALON: You can use the seals to reduce the demon's powers, but once you have used a seal, you cannot recover it. It is your decision.
URDIRIEL: One shouldn't count one's chickens before they hatch...

Thus, our party enters the Bosparanians Ruins.
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NEXT UP: dungeon crawling

#32
HoonDing

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Inside the ruins, it soon appears that the party is not alone. Archon Megalon suckered more fools into the ruins for his 'experiment', in this case Amazons. It was they who killed the Elven guards.

After killing the Amazons and entering a dark corridor of the ruins, the party finds the place is swarming undead.
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Our task is to acquire the three turnkeys to open the big door that leads to the lower levels. Each of these turnkeys is obtained by solving a puzzle in a specific puzzle room.

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However, a group of Amazons has reached the first puzzleroom and solved the puzzle before the party. After killing them, the party obtains the first turnstone.

Inside another part of the ruins, there is a non-hostile Amazon who addresses the party.
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LARYS: You there... Halt! Not a step further! Don't you know that our Dark Goddess waits down there to be awakened by her true servants?
URDIRIEL: Your sisters didn't talk, they just attacked straight away.
LARYS: They do not speak with Elves. Give me a reason not to call my sisters to slay you!
URDIRIEL: How can you serve a Goddess with a skull for a face?
LARYS: Skull?
URDIRIEL: One of your sisters has already seen the face of your 'Goddess' in her nightmares.
LARYS: Nightmares? I... I don't know what you're talking about. The Goddess is both mother and savior to us.
CANO: [Human Nature] You have nightmares, don't you?
LARYS: I... yes. Her face was dreadful...
URDIRIEL: Why did you betray your true goddess?
LARYS: The Sword Goddess had never stood with me. Why shouldn't I betray her?
URDIRIEL: You betrayed your goddess because she never helped you?
LARYS: I merely followed my sisters into the cult... they said it was the right thing to do.
CANO: [Human Nature] You are lying.
LARYS: You trust your intuition enough to damn my soul?
URDIRIEL: You are lying... but I will help you so that you have a choice.
LARYS: Then... then maybe there is a way. A Priestess of Rondra met her death within these walls... her soul still wanders here. My sisters have tried to banish it, but they cannot approach the holy aura of her soul.
LARYS: If you help her to find Rondra, maybe she would absolve my soul... would you do that?
URDIRIEL: Of course... anything for the Gods.

Not far from Larys we find the room with the soul of the slain Rondra priestess.
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LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Ah! Righteous warriors, here in this terrible place.
URDIRIEL: Who are you?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: In life, I was Leondril Liontongue of Thunderbrook... I served Lady Rondra. And who are you?
URDIRIEL: My name is Urdiriel Teardream.
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Be warned then, Urdiriel Teardream! A servant of Boron's adversary is at work here.
URDIRIEL: A Dark Covenanter? What is his name?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: He calls himself Thargazz. He's a short man with hair like white straw... you must have encountered him, as he has made his lair here in these ruins. Although, I haven't seen him for some time.
URDIRIEL: Hmm, I have never met him.
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Thargazz is a follower of the dark Borbarad, whom he served faithfully during the Mage Wars... he is extremely powerful and unscrupulous.
URDIRIEL: Borbarad? Is that not the enemy of Rohal the Wise? And weren't the Mage Wars over five hundred years ago?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Five hundred years? Can it really be so long? By Rondra! Is the Dark Covenanter really still alive? If he is dead, nobody will be able to free my soul!
URDIRIEL: He bound your soul to here?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: My soul is trapped here, damned to an eternity wandering this unholy place.
URDIRIEL: How terrible! Can your soul be freed?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: He took my bones, my holy sword and my Rondra amulet and buried them so they would never be found again.
URDIRIEL: Did he saw where he buried them?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: No, he wasn't that stupid, unfortunately. He just laughed scornfully and said they were buried in four different places.
URDIRIEL: So I must find your bones. Will that release you?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Almost. If you find my bones, the sword and the amulet and place them in this sarcophagus next to me in Rondra's name, then my soul will be free to find Boron's Halls. Dare you help me?
URDIRIEL: I will help you, Human.
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: I thank you in the name of the Goddess! But you should not delay any further... something has been pulling at my soul ever since I have been here. I cannot fight it much longer.
URDIRIEL: Something wishes to consume your soul?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: The call of the Dark Goddess is strong... I feel it in every fiber of my immortal soul. She wants to drag me down to the Lower Hells... but I still resist.
URDIRIEL: Call? What call?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: Something dwells within these walls... it must be a manifestation of an arch-demoness. It calls for my soul... I fight it, but I don't have much more strength. Soon it will consume me.
URDIRIEL: How soon?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: I will hold out for as long as I can... but my strength will eventually fail me.
URDIRIEL: What can we do about it?
LEONDRIL LIONTONGUE: The manifestation must dwell somewhere within these vaults, that is the center of her power. Destroy it and the unholy call will fall silent. But be careful... she will guard it well.
URDIRIEL: I think I know what to do.

At this point, we already dug up the Priestess' bones and amulet and only need to find one more stone head.

Past the room with the priestess, we find another puzzle room.
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After solving an equilibrium puzzle, the second turnkey is ours.

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In another part of the ruins we find the final puzzle room. This puzzle consists of safely guiding a skeleton past some traps by mirroring its movements.

This room also contains the last stone head and the sword. Now, the Priestess' soul can be freed.
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The party returns to the Priestess, at which point Larys will show up and reveal what was already obvious.
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LARYS: You return! Did you find the bones of the Priestess?
URDIRIEL: I did. They lay beneath the stone heads.
LARYS: Then the time has come to tell you the truth... I tricked you! I was just using you to get to the priestesses' bones. Thanks to you we can now sacrifice her soul to the Dark Goddess!
URDIRIEL: I suspected as much... but it was worth the risk to save your soul song.
LARYS: Sisters! Kill her!

Needless to say, the party smacks them and can now save the Priestess.
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As a reward, we get to keep the Priestess' sword and amulet.

#33
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With all turnkeys in hand, the party heads back to the big door. Now, however, the leader of the Dark Amazons will show.
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DARK AMAZON LEADER: Halt! You there! What are you doing here? The Dark Goddess calls only woman warriors!
URDIRIEL: Dark Goddess? I am here for another reason.
DARK AMAZON LEADER: Do not waste our time! Or do you wish to feel my anger? Explain yourself!
URDIRIEL: A man I met at the ruins made me take part in his experiment.
DARK AMAZON LEADER: You can trust a man no more than you can trust a snake. And I trust you even less. Sisters, attack!

There is just no reasoning with these misandrists and they need to be slain. This ends the threat of the Dark Amazons.

Urdiriel now uses the turnkeys to open the door to the lower levels. The party can finally move on.
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The party quickly comes upon the source of evil that is burdening the Elves: two giant statues of the arch-demoness Thargunitoth. The party's task is to destroy them both while skeletons spawn endlessly.
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After destroying the statues, Archon Megalon shows his face again.
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ARCHON MEGALON: Very impressive, how these demonic manifestations stimulate fear reception, don't you think? They affected nearly every sentient being in the region.
URDIRIEL: Did you tell the Dark Amazons they would find their Dark Goddess here?
ARCHON MEGALON: These supposedly fearless ladies were merely victims of their own greed and delusions. My contribution was meager.
URDIRIEL: These deceived woman warriors murdered the Elf guards in cold blood... now they are dead as well.
ARCHON MEGALON: After the failure of test group one, I shall follow your own confrontation with the demon with interest. And of course, the decision you make with the seal stones.
URDIRIEL: You can follow me all you want, so long as you don't keep me from the remedy my friend needs.
ARCHON MEGALON: I'll even help you in the right direction: the remedy you seek was hidden by its previous owner in a rather inaccessible location. It is in the Hall of Invocation under the summoning circle... but you must activate the pentagram to get to the theriac. This in turn, will summon the demon.
URDIRIEL: I will vanquish the beast. Now keep me here no longer.

The next area consists of two large halls with various siderooms, all crawling with gargoyles, giant spiders, crypt lice and other vermin. Our task is to find the five McGuffins for Archon Megalon: the Seal of Power, Magic, Presence, Curses and Defense. They are hidden in the siderooms.
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After obtaining the five seals, the party heads to the Hall of Invocation. It is time to face the demon.
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#34
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In the Hall of Invocation, our party must now decide which of the seal stones to use, if any. The more seal stones used, the easier the demon will be defeated but the lesser the reward will be.

Without any seal stones used, the demon has following powers:
- health regeneration
- aura that drains magic
- aura that damages the party's attack values
- aura that damages the party's endurance and HP values
- high armour rating

Using no seal stones at all requires a lot of resources that the party at this point does not have: Urdiriel only has 20 incendiary arrows and 60 poison arrows at this point, not to mention the party lacks any magic potions.

Thus, Urdiriel decides to apply the Seal of Power, removing the demon's regeneration, and the Seal of Presence, so that the party's attack values will remain intact.

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Aligning the pentagram correctly and the demon appears.
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With two seals used, the fight is still rather long. Biggest contributors to doing damage here are Cano with his star throwing and Urdiriel with her Marksman skill, as both ignore armour. Forgrimm is merely there to keep the demon distracted, while Jaakon is completely useless due to the demon's mana drain.

Eventually, the demon goes down and the party obtains the theriac.
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Heading down, Archon Megalon is of course back for another condescending lecture.
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ARCHON MEGALON: *claps* Observation object "test group two" completes the experiment alive.
URDIRIEL: I suppose there is no need to tell you that I defeated the demon.
ARCHON MEGALON: A correct inference. But indulge me with the details: how many seal stones have you brought me?
URDIRIEL: Three.
ARCHON MEGALON: You kept more than you used... your greed obviously triumphed over your fear. Interesting...
URDIRIEL: It was the only sensible decision.
ARCHON MEGALON: I'll give you a piece of old druid wisdom in gratitude for participating in my experiment: "Stay one step ahead of time, or it will catch up to you".

Archon Megalon's reward for three seals is a recipe for "demonic armour" and a fair amount of ducats.

The party then leaves the ruins and delivers the theriac medicine to Alari Springborn. Finally, Ardo can be healed.
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NEXT UPDATE: Ardo reveals all.

#35
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At long last, by the prowess of our party and Alari's healing skills, Ardo is revived.
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ARDO: Where am I? What happened? Why...?
FORGRIMM: Kangrosha, finally. You're awake! You've been healed by Elven sorcery.
ARDO: Aah, I feel strong enough to tear down a tree!
CANO: You'd better not. Shorty here has tested the Elves' patience enough as it is. If it weren't for me...
FORGRIMM: Dosh rogelo! Blabbermouth!

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FORGRIMM: You'd be far worse off, if it weren't for the heroics of this brave soul, my friend.
ARDO: If that's the case, then I owe you my gratitude and recognition. It is time to speak openly.
FORGRIMM: Well, his real name is Ardo of Boarstock and his family guards the Imperial Insignia. Hmm, yes...
CANO: And then along came Mora and stole it, the most important of all...

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ARDO: The Crown of Raul!
ARDO: Now you know our true quest... the thousand-year-old crown of the Middenrealm was stolen from me. And we need your help to find it.
URDIRIEL: I don't see the problem. There it is. Everything's alright!
FORGRIMM: Nothing is alright, woman!
CANO: Appearances are deceptive... it was to me that Phex whispered the truth. This crown is... a glorious fake.
URDIRIEL: A fake! That's how you knew Mora beat you to it!
ARDO: It seems I have missed rather a lot.
FORGRIMM: Ardo, you need to know something... that scoundrel with the magic dagger... it was he who got Mora and Cano to steal the crown.
ARDO: She didn't act alone? If she was working for somebody else, that means...
JAAKON: Mora is part of a bigger plan... probably aimed at destroying the authority of His Magnificence, Emperor Hal. The consequences of such an undertaking would be...
URDIRIEL: ... catastrophic! All of the Middenrealm could descend into chaos!
ARDO: Now you know what's at stake... will you join us in our quest?
URDIRIEL: You can count on my help, my friends.
ARDO: Your answer does you honor. I was right about you.
CANO: Excellent, then let us find Mora! ... and the crown, of course. Now that we know where the pirates are hiding...

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From now on, Ardo becomes a party member. However, before moving on we'll talk to him some more.

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URDIRIEL: How do you assess the situation?
ARDO: The situation is extremely critical. If the crown falls into the wrong hands, then the Emperor can be discredited. That's why it's so important that we find out where Mora disappeared to with the crown.
URDIRIEL: Tell me something about the crown.
ARDO: It is said that after Bosparan fell, a griffin crowned Raul the Great with twelve golden feathers, which were transformed into a crown overnight. He had large gemstones set into it, to symbolize the Empire's provinces.
ARDO: The genuine Raul's Crown has the power to sow courage, recognize duplicity and to give the ruler insight into the concerns of the people. But that only happens if it is worn by the rightful Emperor... otherwise it will call down the wrath of the gods!
ARDO: About sixty divine cycles ago, Emperor Bardo had a copy of the crown made for his twin sister Cella, in order to rule jointly with her. After Reto of Gareth seized power, the object ended up in the secret chambers... or so we thought.
URDIRIEL: Tell me something about yourself, Ardo.
ARDO: I was born 34 divine cycles ago as the son of Hlthar of Boarstock. Our family is one of the most established, storied ones in the Middenrealm. And my estate, Imperial Oxblood, lies in the Imperial Marches of Garethia.
ARDO: That's also where our family seat, Castle Rudo's Shield, is located. The Middenrealm Emperor's imperial insignias are kept there for safekeeping. No fortification in Gareth's vicinity is as strong as Rudo's Shield. However... oh, but I digress, you wanted to hear some personal information...
ARDO: ... I take the duty of protecting the imperial insignias very seriously, but I don't think much of any of the trappings of court life: eating with knife and fork, bathing three times a day or spraying myself with every type of Horasian perfume... better a proper hunt or a couple of tankards of pale ale with Forgrimm in our beer... uh, guard room next to the insignia chamber.
URDIRIEL: Tell me about Rudo's Shield.
ARDO: Castle Rudo's Shield is one of the oldest castles in the realm. It was expanded after Raul the Great's triumph over Bosparan, so that the Empire's insignias could be stored their safely. But the stronghold wasn't finished until Emperor Rudo's regency. That's also why its name is Rudo's Shield.
URDIRIEL: How was it even possible for the theft to take place?
ARDO: Hmm, that evening we received an unexpected delivery of Ferdok Pale Ale... Forgrimm and I were extremely busy with telling stories. Cano must have managed to sneak past us then.
ARDO: But we caught him red-handed in the end. He was sitting in front of the crown, crying his eyes out and with chattering teeth, struggling with himself and his god. Ha ha... that was a sight to behold! Forgrimm was ready to take off his head on the spot... but I first wanted to hear why he wanted to commit such a brazen burglary. Cano explained the forgery to us and that only a woman called Mora could be behind the scheme.
ARDO: It was clear to me that I could only regain the crown with the help of this rascal. Forgrimm didn't want to hear of it, but the three of us set off together the next morning to find the woman and the crown.
URDIRIEL: Who would stand to gain anything if Mora stole the crown?
ARDO: The crown is the most important precious object, symbolizing the Emperor's rule. If it became public that it is no longer in safekeeping at Rudo's Shield, then surely voices would be raised to challenge the Emperor's legitimacy. And then if the crown turns up in the wrong hands, these people could attempt to lay claim to the throne... altogether a rather tricky situation. At worst it could even lead to civil war.
URDIRIEL: How did you know how to begin the search for Mora?
ARDO: We were able to meet a friend of Mora's in Elvenhus through one of Cano's contacts, a certain Gideon. He was able to tell us that Mora had gone missing following a pirate attack on the Great River. Since then we've been going up and down the river. Hmm... I admit that we were pretty unimaginative at the beginning of our search.
URDIRIEL: What do you know about Mora?
ARDO: What can I say? That woman stole from me... but if I pay attention to Scallywag's words, I gather she must be something special. I'm pretty interested in seeing what will happen when this "Mister and Mistress Scallywag" meet one another.

And that's that for all the talking.

Since we finished another part of the main quest, at this point new sidequests will trigger. Alari Springborn offers one.
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ALARI SPRINGBORN: I sense that you will soon leave us and help Ardo on his quest. Will you travel along the river? And will you visit us again before you return home?
URDIRIEL: What are you getting it, Alari?
ALARI SPRINGBORN: One of my little sisters recently left the tribe and no longer sends me thought pictures. When I sing the song of disquiet, I get only confusing answers to my questions.
URDIRIEL: Would I know her if I met her?
ALARI SPRINGBORN: Oh, Sanraya is beautiful-dangerous and soft-wild! She feels healthy and safe, but is surrounded by stench and disharmony. What can it mean?
URDIRIEL: I will keep my eyes open, I promise.

Linwen Owlwing from his part, will now offer to teach Urdiriel how to make the ultimate weapon.
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LINWEN OWLWING: You fought bravely for your friend in the ruins and freed us of our dark burden. The weapons you bear should be worthy of your noble spirit.
URDIRIEL: Although I already wield an excellent weapon, I do not wish to decline such an honor.
LINWEN OWLWING: Before we start work on the weapons, you must first attune yourself to the task. Only when you are more familiar with the location of the weapon forming, can you complete your work properly.
URDIRIEL: Makes sense. How can I do this?
LINWEN OWLWING: Join me while I work on arrows. Even though our methods may differ, we can learn from another.

Urdiriel first needs to craft some Elven arrows for Linwen before being able to continue. Considering this requires some expensive materials, the party returns to Nadoret again to restock.

NEXT: sidequests.

#36
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Returning to Nadoret, Urdiriel decides to fight in the Arena for some (relatively) easy money and experience.
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Each round, a certain investment of ducats is needed to enter the ring, but winning the fight earns back double the investment.

First opponent: a peasant called Stonenoggin Barakor. Very easy.
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Second opponent: Connar Babek, an unarmored fighter with a trident. Easy.
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Third opponent: Ifirnia the Amazon. Moderately easy.
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Fourth opponent: Tragash, a Dwarf with a big hammer. First difficult opponent since he can perform Hammer Strike, a combat skill that inflicts three times the base weapon damage and knocks the enemy down.
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However, being an Elf Urdiriel has access to the spell Ice-Cold Warrior, which allows her to ignore all damage for 60 seconds (only to suffer all damage afterwards in one go). This is makes it very easy to get through the final three opponents.
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Fifth opponent: Thurazz the Ork. Pretty tough fight since he has access to a variety of combat skills.
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After beating the five regular opponents, Arena Master Wulfgrim himself will enter the Ring. Normally a very difficult opponent, the Ice-Cold Warrior spell combined with Lightning makes it a walk-over.
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Mission accomplished. Becoming Arena champion nets Urdiriel about 50 ducats.

After leaving the Arena and walking around the city, a citizen calls out to the party. Urdiriel decides to check it out.
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TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: Thanks be to the Twelfgods! Finally someone who looks strong and able! I... we, oh, what am I saying: All of Nadoret is in danger! I need someone to take care of these filthy creatures right away!
CANO: [Human Nature] You're hiding something, otherwise you would have called the Town Guard to help you.
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: What? I... but you've got it all wrong! I was trying to convince the guards of the looming danger, but they only mocked me. If something isn't done soon, then it will be too late!
CANO: [Fast Talk] Perhaps we shouldn't get involved here. That all sounds quite suspicious...
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: [Success] No, wait! I'll admit it: these Wolf Rats... didn't show up by chance. They... I... well I... bred them.
URDIRIEL: What? Breeding them? You can't be serious!
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: I beg you, no one must find out about this! The disgrace would be unbearable! I'm just a poor wretch and got the idea because rat tails are worth decent gold due to their value as a cooking ingredient.
URDIRIEL: Giant Wolf Rats... Hmm. I'll see what I can do.
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: I'll never forget this favor! But you should know that these specimens are unbelievably large and strong, because they've... well... eaten something magical... A young breeding female rat has already escaped. It's unthinkable what would happen if the dominant male rat got out as well. He is incredibly wild and strong, a terrible beast!
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: I had already hired some mercenaries, but they were unsuccesful! I gave them the last money I had. They still have it on them, along with their armor, so that will be your reward.
TOWNSMAN KOSTAN: But be warned. I can't take any risks, that's why I'm going to lock the door behind you and only open it when the dominant male rat has been killed!

Note: the female rat that Kostan speaks of appears in Drakensang 1. Anyway, it is time for some rat slaying.

#37
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That's a big rat...

The boss rat isn't as hard as the one in Drakensang 1, but the fight can become tricky since it will call forth an infinite number of increasingly tougher smaller rats, and after a number of these are killed the big rat will go berserk, increasing its damage and making it much more dangerous. Once the rat reaches 10 levels of berserk, it can even one-shot party members. Therefore, it needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

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It doesn't take too long for the big rat to be defeated.
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Now, remembering what was written in Hubert van Haring's book, the party heads to the marketplace. Behind the Praios Temple is Crooked Otto, a vendor that sells all kinds of weird junk (including amoeba spores, which will be important later in the game).

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With a high enough level in Animal Lore, Crooked Otto will open his special inventory and the party can buy Candied Kosh Bunting Tongues, which according to Van Haring's book is very effective in persuading Trolls...

The party heads to the Troll Bridge outside Nadoret and meets up with the three Trolls Krolwum, Brulbu and Mombo.
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KROLWUM: You there... stop!
MOMBO: Correct. Road end here.
URDIRIEL: But the road continues behind your tree...
KROLWUM: Yeah. Uhh... hmm... Road go on, yes... but... uhh...
BRULBU: ... road only for Troll! Is Troll road!
MOMBO: Right! And you midget man, and midget man not Troll. So go you elsewhere.
URDIRIEL: I may not be a Troll, but a magician is expecting me. I'm sure you know who I mean.
KROLWUM: 'Course we know! Glitterman good friend. And he sure not say we let other midget man through. So you no go through!
URDIRIEL: Your loyalty is very commendable. He must be a really nice magician if he's your friend.
KROLWUM: Yes, he be. He give us always reward. Ku... emm... Ka... uh... Tongues! Sweet tongues! Maybe you bring sweet tongues, show us your friend of Little Spellcaster.
URDIRIEL: "Sweet tongues"? You don't mean candied Kosh bunting tongues, do you?
KROLWUM: Yaa, right name. Sweet, good!
FORGRIMM: Kosh bunting tongues? Are a few screws perhaps loose in your head? They don't only taste fantastic, they're also darn expensive! I'd rather eat them myself than give them to Trolls!
KROLWUM: Hairy midget man complain all he want, it no matter... want to past us go, bring you sweet tongues. Mmmm, tastem sooo much goood!

After handing over the tongues, the Trolls clear the road.
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Past the Trolls, the party eventually reaches the small island that was mentioned in Van Haring's book. There's still a boat around to travel there.
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Edited by virumor, 24 February 2011 - 12:31 PM.


#38
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On the island, the party comes upon a strange magical structure.
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A disembodied voice greets the party...

VOICE: Please... don't hurt me... no more anguish! I implore you!
URDIRIEL: What... is someone talking to me? Where are you?

The voice belongs to the blue creature that Van Haring's book spoke of. How long has it been trapped on the island?
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WATER NYMPH: Forgive me, but I can't communicate with you in any other way...
URDIRIEL: I cannot hear you, but I can sense your voice inside my head... don't be afraid of me.
WATER NYMPH: I understand your thoughts. But the language of you landfolk is foreign to me. I was afraid that he had come back at first... he lived on land like you. He made me suffer a great deal. But he suffered, too. He hasn't come to this place for a long time.
WATER NYMPH: The one who lives on land, who I told you about... he shackled me to this place. Do you see these rocks here? He placed a mighty spell on them, so that I'm unable to leave this island...
URDIRIEL: I've never seen a creature like yourself before. Do you really live under the water?

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WATER NYMPH: Yes, the rivers and depths of the ocean are home to us. Yet at times we go on land, where we meet some of your kind. That frequently brings us children of the water a great deal of pain...
WATER NYMPH: One of your kind saw me on the shore one night and came over to me. He said that I belonged to him now and bound me to this spot... but I can't survive here. I long to return to my people.
URDIRIEL: How can I set you free?
WATER NYMPH: Perhaps there is a way... but to help me you must understand the herbs of the forest. The one who lives on land used them to work the spell. My senses were numb when he brought me here, I couldn't see everything he did exactly. But he placed herbs in the bowl on these stones. A different one in each.
URDIRIEL: Please continue.
WATER NYMPH: Then he turned the stones in a certain way and then suddenly there was light in this place that began flashing in a myriad of colors. It was like looking at the sun through a waterfall. Shortly after that it seemed as if my legs were turning into frozen water. Then I lost consciousness. Ever since then every time I distance myself more than a few steps from the island, my body stiffens, as if it is turning to ice and I lose my senses.
WATER NYMPH: I've been trying to escape from this spell for many moon cycles. But it's hopeless. The herbs that grow on this island aren't the right ones to help me escape.
URDIRIEL: Do you know anything else about these strange stones?
WATER NYMPH: They can be turned, but I can't interpret the symbols on them. However, I do know that the right herbs are needed to work the magic. I beg you, help me! If you find the right herbs and turn the stones in the right away, then I'll surely be set free.
URDIRIEL: Fear not. I will do what I can to help you.
WATER NYMPH: You would be guaranteed my gratitude for all time. I can't bear this place any longer... I've been separated from my people for such a long time.

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Our first task in order to free the nymph is to align the symbols on the obelisks with the ones on the rotating disk.

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The hints that the nymph gave, combined with Urdiriel's Survival skill, reveal that the only plants that do not grow on the island are: Festering toadstool, Firemoss, Whirlweed and Oneberry. Putting these plants in the correct bowl will free the nymph.

Some knowledge of TDE lore is helpful here, since the symbols correspond to 4 of the 6 elements used in TDE, namely Water, Fire, Humus and Air... meaning that Whirlweed corresponds to Fire, Oneberry to Water, Toadstool to Air and Firemoss to Humus.

However, since putting the right plant in the right bowl will cause one of the central colors in the rotating disk to disappear, trial-and-error works just as well.

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Solving the puzzle causes a spray of colors, and the water nymph is finally free.

As a reward, Urdiriel receives a mind-melt.
WATER NYMPH: The chill in my limbs... it has disappeared... did it! I'm free!
WATER NYMPH: I'm so happy! I can finally go back to the waters of my homeland! Back home to my own people! Thank you!
WATER NYMPH: I don't have anything precious that I can give you for it... but perhaps I can give you a gift that you will think is much more valuable. Open your mind to me...
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URDIRIEL: That... that's quite overwhelming! Thank you. Good luck on your homeward journey.

The party is now ready to travel again. At this point, the defeated adversaries from the Arena will appear on the docks.
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Now we get a nice reference to Blade of Destiny (River of Time takes place in 1009 BF, 1 year before the events of Realms of Arkania).
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IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: Good to see you!
URDIRIEL: What are you doing here at the harbor?
IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: We have decided to follow the call of Tronde Torbenson the Hetman and move to Thorwal.
IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: Rumor has it that he is looking for heroes to search for a lost sword in the wilderness of Orkland.
URDIRIEL: And now you're waiting for a boat?
IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: We even had a boat which would have taken us to Havena at the end of the Great River... but Tragash is mulish when it comes to travel by water.
TRAGASH: The boat was old, and its wood was rotten. That wreck's probably already sunk, believe you me!
CONNAR BABEK: Coward!
TRAGASH: Shut your mouth!
THURAZZ: Tragash-Scared-of-the-Water! Ha ha! Your new name! Heh heh....
TRAGASH: You'll land in the water yourself if you don't...
IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: Quiet! All three of you! You're behaving like children!
TRAGASH: But I'm not scared! And I'll prove it too... I'll board the next boat that's going to Havena... so there!
IFIRNIA THE AMAZON: Hmm, this will certainly be an unforgettable adventure... I hope we meet again some day!
URDIRIEL: I hope so, too. Have a good journey!

NEXT: return to Hunting Preserve/Tollgate

#39
HoonDing

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Back at the Hunting Preserve, Enno of Vardock will now offer a quest to do some Spring cleaning and rid the place of marauding Orks.
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The Orks are located in the western part of the preserve and are not too difficult to deal with. However, there are also Ogres among them. Ogres hit very hard and have a large amount of HP. They can however be efficiently beaten by using melee debuffs followed by applying wounding attacks.
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On the stone bridge, there are two Ogres to fight.
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The party finds the way beyond the bridge blocked by a tree. Enno of Vardock's servants will remove it, but this will take a while... the party will return later to finish the job.

Back at the Elven woods, Urdiriel hands over the Elven arrow she crafted to Linwen Owlwing. He now has two more tasks before he will help making the ultimate weapon.
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LINWEN OWLWING: You have now discovered that there is more to weaponforming than the right grip techniques. It is important to start with a clear idea of what you want to create.
URDIRIEL: Yes... it is as if the arrow was already in the branch from which you formed it.
LINWEN OWLWING: Three Elves must combine their magic to form the weapon with you. Speak with Calenleya Arrowsong and Ilcoron Sparkweaver and ask them if they wish to help.

Calenleya Arrowsong tasks the party with some typical Elven hippie stuff, i.e. walking around the woods and listening to the melody of it. Upon returning to her, she will ask how many deer live in the forest.
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Ilcoron Sparkweaver asks to craft a pommel for him.
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After performing these two minor tasks, Linwen Owlwing, Calenleya Arrowsong and Ilcoron Sparkweaver will gather with Urdiriel and sing the perfect weapon into existence.
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LINWEN OWLWING: Magic and song will help to define the form. To work in harmony with us, you must open your senses by singing with us.
LINWEN OWLWING: I call on you all! Unite and channel your powers into this weapon. Diun i'dao sala mandra!
CALENLEYA ARROWSONG: The bond is complete... Fey'y sanya sala ia'dhamandra-mha aya tharmandra!
URDIRIEL: Fey'y sanya sala ia'dhamandra-mha aya tharmandra!
ILCORON SPARKWEAVER: Ia sala biuanda sany'ray! Erla risca'agra! Akaiya'mandra! Iama bian aya yara!
URDIRIEL: Ia sala biuanda sany'ray! Erla risca'agra! Akaiya'mandra! Iama bian aya yara!
LINWEN OWLWING: Mha dhao aigya! Nurdra dhao eona tharaa'ka! Thar feyiama feyra!
URDIRIEL: Mha dhao aigya! Nurdra dhao eona tharaa'ka! Thar feyiama feyra!
ILCORON SPARKWEAVER: Erla, it is done! This weapon now lives and will grow with you.
CALENLEYA ARROWSONG: It will therefore serve to remind you that where you bring zerza, you must balance it with nurdra.
URDIRIEL: I thank you for this masterpiece.
LINWEN OWLWING: Only you can be the one to complete it... although I can tell you what you must do.

What the Elven ritual does, is adding the Improved Iama soul bow to Urdiriel's inventory. We are almost ready to turn it into the Perfect soul bow.
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#40
HoonDing

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Back at the Tollgate, a mage will now appear near the docks. It is Rakorium Muntagonis, the brilliant (but absent-minded) Dean of the Quicksilver Hall in Festum. Another legendary figure in the Dark Eye setting who is also a fairly important NPC in Drakensang 1.
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ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Oh, err... Nottel, finally! Oh, forgive me... I thought you were my apprentice... oh dear, oh dear...
URDIRIEL: Is there a problem? Can I help?
RIVER GUARDSMAN: This man just appeared on the dock with a pile of crates. He says he's the Dean of a magic academy, so we're trying to be as respectful as possible...
RIVER GUARDSMAN: ...but whenever we ask him something he just starts talking about someone called Nottel! I don't think he even exists!
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Oh, that's an interesting theory, my young friend! Are you also familiar with Galotta's commentary on Philosophica Magica, according to which we are all just imaginary figments dreamt up by alien beings?
JAAKON: [Arcane Lore] You are clearly alluding to the fact that some scholars doubt the actual existence of our Third Sphere.
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Quite right. In his treatise, Galotta also says that Ethra and the Cosmos actually only exist as ideas and can therefore be changed at any time. Worrying, don't you think? At that time, the colleague believed it was the Gods who dreamed our world. But really, there's no reason why it couldn't be me, for example. An interesting concept, I think.
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Do you mind if I ask your name, incidentally? One wants to know... one whom has imagined... eh? Haha...
URDIRIEL: My name is Urdiriel Teardream. Can I help you in some way?
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Hmm, maybe you could look for Nottel for me, yes? Please tell him that I need him here urgently. He's probably forgotten the time again, absent-minded boy that he is.
URDIRIEL: Where could Nottel be?
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Well, I did tell him about those old witch stones up there... Very powerful... Good for sphere travel and blood magic... hmm...
RIVER GUARDSMAN: You mean that stone circle to the northeast? I've been there... it's an eerie place...
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Yes, haha... it's the kind of thing that interests young people... no wonder Nottel has been away so long...

The party heads to the stone circle and finds Nottel rooted in the middle of it.
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NOVICE NOTTEL: Praise be to the Mother of Wisdom! I wasn't even sure he would notice I was gone. Could you help me? Otherwise I'll be standing here all night.
URDIRIEL: Are you Nottel?
NOVICE NOTTEL: Oh, you've already spoken with Master Rakorium? Yes, I'm his apprentice. I'm actually called Ungfred, not Nottel... the Master just seems to find it easier to call me that, I guess.
URDIRIEL: What? Your master can't even get your name right?
NOVICE NOTTEL: Well... Nottel was the name of Master Rakorium's first apprentice. And to make things easier, that's just what he calls all his apprentices now... he's a little... ahem... His duties as Dean mean he's a very busy man.
URDIRIEL: What happened?
NOVICE NOTTEL: I wanted to take a look at this stone circle. The Compendium of Miraculous Stones describes it as an unusual specimen. It resembles the work of Dwarven Geodes, but it's much older. I noticed some strange magical traps on the way here... obviously some type of contained Transversalis. The stone circle itself seems to have a powerful magical aura. Very strange.
NOVICE NOTTEL: I cast an Analytica spell on the stones and it must have caused some kind of feedback. Now the arcane currents have me trapped here. Err, are you still listening?
URDIRIEL: How can I help you?
NOVICE NOTTEL: There's some kind of magical matrix between these stones that won't let me leave. You have to find a way to interrupt the flow of magical energy. I think the source of the energy is somewhere below the stone circle... I saw a cave on the way here. Maybe you'll find something there.
NOVICE NOTTEL: Unfortunately the entrance looked like it was blocked... but I'm sure Master Rakorium can help you with that. He's an expert in Transformation magic. Please, go and ask him to help you... then go to the cave and look for the source of the magic and try to cut it off.

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Rakorium grants the party with a magical pick-axe that is used to clear the entrance to the cave that Nottel spoke of.

Inside the cave, soon an unknown magician appears out of nowhere and addresses the party.
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MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: What? Who are you? What are you doing down here? Did he send you?
URDIRIEL: I'm looking for the source of some magical energies.
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: Magical energies? Do you mean our ritual? It was interrupted! Weeks of preparation and then somebody up there fools with the stones! I'm sure he had a hand in this!
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: He's been trying to thwart me ever since the ritual was interrupted! He's using every means possible to stop me from completing it! He's constantly hiding the components! Don't believe his lies! It's obvious he is not to be trusted! You should help me find the ingredients!
URDIRIEL: Who is he?
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: He was once my companion, but now he shows his true face. He is evil and unscrupulous to the core... he wants nothing more than destroy me. He must not achieve his goal!
URDIRIEL: Who are you?
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: I am Marawamir ay Elburum, mage and researcher of arcane secrets. The ritual I began must be ended! He must not succeed!
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: No time! I must continue! Bring the ingredients to me when you have them! I shall wait for you in the cave beneath the stone circle! And be careful... I'm sure he's laid traps.

Soon after Marawamir teleports away, "he" appears... and is apparently Marawamir's undead version.
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MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: Halt! I know that you're helping that weakling by looking for the components for the ritual! Forget that pathetic worm! From now on, you shall obey my will!
URDIRIEL: Why should I obey you? You don't look particularly trustworthy.
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: If you serve me, I shall richly reward you. I have the power to grant you any wishes... oppose me and I shall destroy you! Collect the components from the surrounding rooms and bring them to the center of the place of ritual. I shall wait for you there.

After going through the entire cave complex, the party gathers the five ingredients, which turn out to be five rare plant components. Taking the ingredients to the ritual place, the two mages will start battling and Urdiriel must make a decision which of the two mages to help... by either completing or reversing the ritual.
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To complete the ritual, the ingredients must be placed in the correct order in each of the bowls. The correct order is revealed by solving a small puzzle.

The only way to release Nottel is to reverse the ritual. When the skeleton mage then attempts to complete the ritual, he disappears.
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MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: Thanks be to Hesinde, he is gone! Some things shouldn't be shared. As old Rohal said: "When you stare deep into your soul, eventually it stares back."
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: Very clever of you to arrange the components in the opposite sequence... that reversed the ritual. The stones above ground are no longer charged with magical energy, if you're interested.
MARAWAMIR AY ELBURUM: Well, err... I think I'll dedicate my time to different research in the future... Maybe I'll go back to dissecting small animals, or big ones... err, farewell! Transversalis Teleport!

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Heading back to the docks, Nottel and Master Rakorium are reunited.

NOVICE NOTTEL: Hello! Thank you for saving me. When I felt the magical powers abating, I went straight back to Master Rakorium. Now I need to deal with the tollkeepers... the two guards look shaken up. Speak to my master again, he's sure to reward you... if he recognizes you.
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Aha, you're back again! And there's.. err... ah, Nottel...
URDIRIEL: Yes, I managed to free him.
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Oh, thank Hesinde! I thought I'd have to get another one... hmm, yes.
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Well, shall we be on our way? This time we should make it to Havena... I hope Prince Bennain won't be too annoyed by the delay... Get ready then, and...
NOVICE NOTTEL: But Master, what about our research material? Surely we can't just leave it here?
ARCHMAGE RAKORIUM: Oh, ah yes... We should take that with us, shouldn't we? Come along then, Nottel. Transversalis...

Master Rakorium teleports away and now the party can finally move on to the pirate hideout, Hammerberg.
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