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This page has the game script for MARDEK Chapter 3: Keystones. It includes the main story and sidequest dialogue, but not things like random NPC banter.

Please note that this is by no means a substitute for actually playing the game. Its main purpose is to make editing story sections of other articles easier.

Main Story

Intro

(Narrated, scrolling text)
Three years have passed since Mardek saved Belfan from Moric and became a Royal Knight of Goznor.
Deeply distraught over Deugan's sacrifice, and unable to believe the reality of the situation, he searched the Lake Qur area at length, only to find no signs of his lost friend. He hasn't seen Emela since, either.
However, Mardek is not the type to mope and moan. As with Social Fox's passing, he merely strives harder to replace what is gone, and with Rohoph's encouragement, he's carried out his missions impeccably by himself or with others, and earned himself a reputation as one of the best Knights in the ranks.
Today, Mardek is on a mission with Donovan and Sharla - who were recently promoted from Guards to Knights too - to investigate reports of dark monsters suddenly appearing in a place called the Sun Temple, in the middle of a desert on the southern continent. Seems like work as usual to the gallant Knights, but there is more to this than it seems...

Sun Temple

(Mardek, Donovan and Sharla enter the Sun Temple.)

Mardek
Well, this is the Sun Temple!
Donovan
Yes. Yes it is. We need to find the High Priest of SOLAK; he'll fill us in on the exact details of our mission here.
Mardek
Well, let's go and find him, then!
Donovan
He'll probably be the one with the silliest hat.
Oh, and remember, Mardek, to check the Help section from the menu if you've not done so already. Open the menu with ENTER, and navigate down to it using the arrow keys. If there's anything you need help with, don't hesitate to talk to Sharla and I using the P key... though whether or not we'll be of any help really depends on the situation.

(The party talks to the High Priest, Shamash.)

Solakian High Priest Shamash
You are the Royal Knights sent to aid us with our plight, yes?
Mardek
Well, that's right!
Donovan
We heard you were having trouble with monsters in your temple... if you know what I mean?
Solakian High Priest Shamash
That is correct... Normally there are monsters at the deepest level of the temple, but we generally stay away from those parts anyway, and the monsters are never a bother.
Recently, however, the monsters have been ascending, taking up residence in the higher areas, and therefore endangering us and hindering our passage through our own temple!
There are also some strange monsters amongst them that we have never seen before...
Mardek (dialogue options)
  • When did this start? Do you know what might be responsible?
  • Well, we shall look around and solve your problem!

(choice 1)

Solakian High Priest Shamash
It started a few days ago... We thought it might just be the monsters being particularly wild - breeding season, or something, you know? - but we were unable to control them and they just kept coming more and more!
There was a strange man who entered the temple a day or so before the monsters started becoming wild, however... We suspect he is to blame.
Mardek (dialogue options)
  • Well, what did he look like?
  • Well, we shall look around and solve your problem!

(choice 1)

Solakian High Priest Shamash
I... don't see the relevance of that, but... he was large. Muscled. Looked Dark. Had an eyepatch. He was really bossy and arrogant and just thrust himself into the depths of our temple saying that he 'just wanted to look around'...
We let him, as visitors are welcome here to look around as much as they please, but he did not return, and then the monsters started acting up...

(continued from previous choices, or if this option was chosen at any time)

Mardek
Well, we shall look around and solve your problem!
Donovan
Yes, we'll explore the temple and try to find this man, and do what we can to help. Worry not! We are the Royal Knights of Goznor; we always get our job done!
Solakian High Priest Shamash
I thank you, and wish you luck. But wait. There is a device deep within the temple called the 'Warding Stone', which usually protects us from this sort of thing. I don't know much about it, since it's been untouched and unSEEN since my grandfather's time, but I think it may be significant.
Perhaps the Warding Stone is broken, or stolen? If that is the case, we have spares for such a scenario. I'll give one to you. I wouldn't know what to DO with it, however, but I'm sure you can work it out, O resourceful knights!

(The group proceeds through the temple.)

Donovan
Heh... Royal Knights, that's what we are indeed... It's such a great honour, such a great feeling to know that we're actually helping these people in need... Isn't it so invigorating and exciting, Sharla?
Sharla
Um... It is, but I'm sort of scared...
Donovan
Don't worry! I'll be here to protect you, and I'm sure the monsters won't stand against our amazing magical power!
Sharla
Hee.
Donovan
Oh, and Mardek's with us too, of course. And we all know how good HE is at this sort of thing! You've been doing this for three years, right, Mardek? And every mission has been a quick success!
Mardek
Well, I am that great!
Donovan
Heh... You are indeed. You'd make Social Fox proud, you know.
Mardek
Well, I am trying my best... by myself. Trying to make Deugan proud...
Donovan
Oh, but you're not alone, Mardek! You still have Sharla and I... And we shall try our best too! We're new at this Royal Knight thing, but we'll prove that we're worthy of the title! I can't imagine these Knight missions are TOO much harder than the Guard ones... so come on, let's go!
Mardek
But who will remind me of the menus and controls and I'll get all confused and not know what he's talking about? Who will tell me that A opens the menu and you have to use Rusty Keys on reactions in battle and stuff?
Donovan
You mean you don't already know all that? And here we are, dependent on your experienced leadership...
I thought you were Sir Mardek, the reliable and powerful Royal Knight of Goznor? You're a legend, you know! You inspire everyone in the Guard, and even the Knights, carrying on with vigour and light-heartedness despite your great loss. But to keep inspiring them, you have to keep it up.
Deugan wouldn't want you moping around about the past, would he? Now's your time to shine, and make him proud!
Mardek
...
Donovan
So come on, Sir Mardek! Let's just focus on the task at hand, eh?

(The party proceeds further into the temple and examines a SOLAK idol past a moonstone gate.)

Idol
It's an Idol of SOLAK, God of Suns. These are sculpted by priests and enchanted with levitation magic to show their devotion to their deity, and... is it moving?! Gasp!

(The party defeats the monster and proceeds further into the temple. They encounter a strange man.)

Clavis
Interesting! I didn't really expect to see any other people down here... But it only stands to reason that the priests have hired people to help.
Oh, excuse me! Where are my manners? I am Clavis; pleased to meet you! I am a... 'travelling scholar', you could call me. Maybe even an 'Equilibriumancer' if you want to be particularly pretentious. Anyway, you were sent down here by the priests, yes? Or should I be worried?
Mardek
Well, that's right! The priest sent us! We're on a mission!
Clavis
It is unfortunate, what plagues this place... Dark beasts. I have encountered a few myself, and though at the moment they're not numerous enough to be a total catastrophe, it is only a matter of time before they overwhelm and utterly decimate the place.
As you may have noticed, this temple is a source of Light; it's elementally charged as such. You can feel it in the air... YOU, my good sir, must be quite comfortable here with your aura being as it is!
But it was not built here, out in the barren desert, for no reason. Everything done by sentient minds has a purpose. There is a wellspring of darkness nearby... An eldritch source, which radiates dread. Though buried leagues beneath the sands, its power is strong and it once influenced the minds of men.
Donovan
Darkness? Here? Hmm, I don't feel any dread or anything.
Clavis
In times of old, this was a region of vile bandits and criminals, forever at war with themselves and others. Nobody dared come here. There was no BALANCE. Only disarray.
I know not who built this temple, but I can be fairly certain they knew of this source of darkness and sought to correct the BALANCE. Which is crucially important! I cannot stress that enough!
Do you know what a Keystone is, my friend?
Donovan
You mean one of those things at the top of an arch, in the middle, which holds it together?
Clavis
Indeed, my long-haired friend, indeed. The Keystone of an arch is its most integral component, for if removed, the sides of the arch would have no support. They would quickly topple over; falling to chaos and disarray. I like to use Keystones as a metaphor.
There is a device deep below this temple, which the original designer built to ward off the darkness. It has worked well for a long time, but by the steel-fisted wrath of a bolt-scorched stranger, it has been destroyed. It was a Keystone.
Not... LITERALLY, I mean - it's actually called a Warding Stone - but it serves as a crucial supporting element to keep these twin arches of Light and Darkness from succumbing to ruin.
You should go down and fix it! But I am assuming you will do that anyway; it is why you are here.
Mardek
Well, we will!
Clavis
I find Keystones quite fascinating... I am forever intrigued by how brittle our systems are. How removing one crucial component can be the end of it all. You can hack away at the arches themselves for a long time to get anywhere, but remove the keystone and your job does itself.
An arch, two opposing elemental energy sources... A monarch. A country will follow its government to the abyss, you know. Removing the source of law and order only results in chaos.
Anyway, I'm rambling! Do forgive me; I don't often meet people and I do tend to talk their ears off when I do. I ask that you think about this favoured metaphor of mine; Keystones are present in many aspects of our world. And they must be kept in place.
Now, we've all got our jobs to do, so I shall leave you now. I am here to study the imbalance. Perhaps we will meet again, somewhere?
Mardek
Well, nice to meet you, strange bearded man! I liked your funny forehead tattoo!
Donovan
What an odd man... to be down here all by himself and then to ramble on about all that as if we were old friends and had known eachother forever. It was strange, as if he knew or expected us. But maybe it's just me.
Sharla
I didn't really understand what he was talking about at all...! It really came out of the blue!

(The party proceeds further into the temple and overhears some reptoids talking.)

Reptoid A
Are you sssure we're not going too far up, sssir? Ssshould not we be going down? That isss where we were told the intruder went...
Reptoid B
Yesss, sssir, that isss where we were TOLD it went, but EVERYONE isss going to be looking down there! We will be the only onesss looking up here, and if we find that it isss actually here that it has retreated to, then think of the honour we would have all to ourssselvesss!
Reptoid A
That... doesss not make much sssenssse, you know, sssir. Everyone elssse isss going down because ssso many sssigns point to that being where it went and where it remains!
Reptoid B
Yesss, but... sssir, there is lessssss danger thisss way, then! I don't know about you, but I don't think we would be any match for thisss intruder were we to encounter it... And I do not want to die.
Reptoid A
Hm... I underssstand what you mean... It wasss clearly powerful enough to assssssumedly sssummon all of thessse dark monssstersss... But let usss jussst wander around, at leassst, ssso then it ssseemsss we are doing SSSOMETHING!

(notices the party)

Reptoid A
Sssluh?! Isss it-?!
Mardek
Well, gasp! Lizards! Who are also men! Are they monsters?!
Donovan
Wait, Mardek, hold a minute. Maybe we should-
Reptoid B
Gaaaahhhh!! (runs away)
Reptoid A
Blassst...!
My ally might have fled, but I am a creature of honour! I ssshall vanquisssh you, Dark Intrudersss, for the sssake of my people! En garde!

(The party defeats the reptoid and proceeds further into the temple.)

Reptoid B
There they are, Chieftain! Thessse are the intrudersss who are ssspawning the dark monssstersss and upsssetting the balance!
Sslen'ck
Hm... Then let us end them.

(The party defeats the reptoids.)

Sslen'ck
...
Sslen'ck
You are truly powerful, warriorsss... A grim fate awaitsss the world with you being sssuccessssssful like thisss... But thisss isss the way thingsss have become.
End me now, warrior sssir. Give me an honourable death, at leassst. 'Tisss but a sssimple requessst.
Donovan
Hey, hey! Wait just a minute here! There's some kind of huge misunderstanding here!
You are reptoids, right?
Sslen'ck
...
Donovan
Why did you attack us just then?
Sslen'ck
You are ssstrangersss in thisss temple. You have been filling it with dark beasssts sssomehow. Thessse beassstsss threaten our homesss and kill our prey and kin alike. We came to cleanssse.
Donovan
Ah, now I understand. See, we're not any kind of Dark intruders; we're also here to get rid of some kind of evil presence in this temple, which is probably that! We're on your side!
Sslen'ck
But you have ssslain at leassst three of my warriorsss.
Donovan
We did... but only in self-defence! We didn't really have much of a choice... I'm so deeply sorry. It won't happen again!
Sharla
Um...
Donovan
Yes, Sharla? You have something to add?
Sharla
Yes, um... Why don't we work together, Mister Reptoid? Um, you're trying to stop the evil bad guy, and so are we, so, um, if we work together, we can do that faster and better!
Sslen'ck
Work with humansss? Hm...
Normally I would never consssider it. But thisss sssituation ssseemsss... beyond my control. We have never experienced anything like thessse hordesss of dark monssstersss before.
I am retreating to my village now. If you are truly pure of heart and wisssh to help, then you will find me there. We can then discussssss thingsss further.

Xantusia/Sandflow Caves/Spaceship ????

Sslen'ck
You came, human warriorsss.
I have been consssidering your proposssition. It isss dissshonourable for our tribe to ally directly with humansss, due to conflictsss in the passst, and I, as Chieftain of thisss village, am sssupposssed to ssstrictly uphold thessse ancient lawsss.
However. There are timesss that call for rulesss to be broken for the good of all. If I ssstubbornly insssisssted that we could handle thisss ourssselvesss, then many of my kin could lossse their livesss. If I requessst that you eliminate thisss ssscourge yourssselvesss, sssirsss, then that would be dissshonourable for usss.
Ssso I have decided that the bessst meansss of action isss for me persssonally to join forcesss with you, warriorsss. I will recall my own warriorsss from the depthsss of the cavesss. Our party will handle thisss alone.
You ssseem like Adventurersss, after all. You are more powerful and effective than all of my warriorsss put together.
Mardek
Well, great! We're friends now! Hurrah!
Donovan
We appreciate your cooperation, Chieftain, uh...?
Sslen'ck
...?
Donovan
What shall we refer to you as?
Sslen'ck
My name isss Sslen'ck Ea-Sslenal, Twenty-Sssixth Chieftain of Xantusia.
Donovan
Right, okay. It's an honour to have you working with us, Sslen'ck.
Mardek
Well, it is for all of us! An honour for you to be working with us! So now let's go!
Sslen'ck
Yesss... My warriorsss report that the disssruptive intruder headed deep into the Sssandflow Cavesss. We must travel there. The caves are north of thisss village.
While I am gone, the village will ssstill need to be watched over. As my most trusted advisssor, Blatantly Evil Chancellor, I leave the care of our village in your capable handsss. The power that isss mine, I grant to you.
Blatantly Evil Chancellor
Neeheeheehee! I will be SSSSSURE to do a FINE job of ruling thisssss place while you are away, *sssssssir*. Oh YESSSS....!
Sslen'ck
I am glad to hear that. I will ressst easssy knowing that my village will be sssafe, in the care of one as capable, trussstworthy, and benevolent as yourssself.
Blatantly Evil Chancellor
Sssssss... Yesssss... Before you go, *sssssir*, would you like a nice ssssssparkling glasssssss of thissss nice *bubbling green wine*? I promissse you that it isss not POISSSSSON!! Neeheeheeheeee!
Sslen'ck
No, thank you, Blatantly Evil Chancellor, for I have already imbibed my fill for the moment. But I thank you nonethelessssss for your generosssity, and for caring ssso ssstrongly about my well-being.
Blatantly Evil Chancellor
DRAT IT ALL TO HELL!!!!11!1
That issss, I meant to sssssay, 'It issss my pleassssure to be of aid, *ssssssir*'. Now, 'good luck' on your travelsssssss... I will be 'praying' for your 'good health'! Neeheeheeheeee!
Sslen'ck
It isss now time for usss to depart, then. To the Sssandflow Cavesss.

(Partway through the caves, the party encounters a peculiar cactus with a crown.)

Strange Cactus
There's something strange about this cactus... For one thing, it has a crown on it. For another thing, it looks like it wants to battle you out of disgruntled malcontentedness! Gasp!

(They defeat the cactus and enter a strange ship.)

Mardek
Well, what place is THIS place?
Sslen'ck
It ssseemsss to be sssome sssort of odd, sssteel cassstle or temple; we are unsssure of itsss originsss. It appeared in the Sssandflow Cavesss but a few yearsss ago, around the time of a bright sssky-light that came to meet the earth, causssing an earthquake.
Sssome humansss were found near thisss place after the earth rumbled. Mossst are now in Xantusssia, but one of them - their Chief - left a long time ago and have never returned...
Donovan
Interesting... I wonder what the purpose of this place is?
Mardek
Well, it's weird. It feels sort of... familiar somehow? ...I must just be imagining things.
Rohoph
(Hm... Seems like Ninevehn technology... But what's it doing here? I imagine it's just one of many ships that got unfortunately dragged in by that peculiar gravitational current thing that made MY ship crash here too... There's likely no significance to it.)

Dark Temple

(They make their way through the ship and enter another area.)

Sslen'ck
The Dark Temple?! Thisss place wasss sssupposssed to have been sssealed long ago, to keep the evil within... Thisss would explain the presssence of the monssstersss above. The absssence of the Warding Ssstone mussst have allowed them to travel out of the temple.
The ssstranger may be after the Dark Cryssstal! Though I am afraid... we mussst ssstop him at all cossstsss!
But we must be careful! Thisss place is vile, full of eldritch magicsss... It isss dangerousss here.
Donovan
Well, yes, but the same can be said of any dungeon! Mardek's dealt with things far worse than this before, eh Mardek?
Mardek
Well, I sure have! Like one time where I went into a cave that was all evil and I didn't die even though it was evil!
Sslen'ck
I am not one to retreat or back down from a missssssion, but thisss place... You may not truly underssstand exactly HOW evil it isss. To sssay that 'I have a bad feeling about thisss' would be an underssstatement.
Ssstill, if you are confident, then we will make an effort to track down this intruder and deal with him. Just make peace with your godsss firssst.
(How I hope to YALORT that he hasss not yet found it...)
Donovan
Uh... Let's go then! With great confidence!

(When entering a dark room...)

Rohoph
Hmm... It's pitch black in here; we can't see where we're going at all. I can create a piercing light to show something, but since it's magical darkness, we won't be able to see far. Even the torches don't illuminate anything.

(When encountering a Molestor)

Molestor
Neeeeeeeheeheeheehee... Children... You do not belooooong heeeererererere...!

(They make their way through the temple and encounter an injured dog thing.)

Donovan
Is this some sort of dog...?
Sharla
Um, it's more like a wolf. A shiny, golden wolf!
And it's hurt! Let's cure it!
Sslen'ck
But what if it isss an evil monssster?
Sharla
He doesn't LOOK like a monster! He's far too adorable.

If Sharla knows Healing Wind

Sharla
Healing Wind!

Otherwise

Sharla
Um... Mardek, can you cast Heal on him? I don't know any healing spells...
Mardek
Heal!
Solaar
Whine!
Sharla
There you go, Mr. Wolfy! You're all better now. You can go on your way again.
Solaar
Whine...? Whine! The Crystal! No!!
Mardek
Why can all the monster animal things around here talk?! It blows my mind!!
Solaar
That dark fellow! He went in there, the Crystal Room! I've failn my duty! All these years, waitaparing for this moment and I've FAILN! Now all that was Seen to happen WILL happen!
Mardek
Well, what are you talking about?
Solaar
I am... the Guardian of the Dark Crystal. Yes, that. A Dark fellow came to take the crystal earlier, and I challengerose him, as is the Guardian's duty. But he defote me, so the crystal is his now! He's in there, I think!
But this can't happen, no no! All chaos will break loose if he's allown to keep that! It's evil! Vilious! Not for him! He'll use it to be a Villain and all that!
You're light... Why are YOU here?
Mardek
Well, we're here to stop that guy!
Solaar
Great! Convenientious! A group against one will stand more of a chance than I did alonely! Help me, for YALORT's sake, it's imperative! Please! We need him to be stopped, now now!
Come with me into this room and we'll fight him away. I'm joining you. Or you're joining me. Please please!
Mardek
Well, I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but okay... It sounds urgent.
Rohoph
(An Aruan? Here?)

(They proceed into the crystal room and confront the Mystery Man.)

Mystery Man
Hah... Finally. This li'l baby's what I need... I DO like to brag, and my power now is pretty damned awesome enough, but this crystal here will boost my power even more! Then I'll have it all...
Solaar
Stop, evildoer! Again!
Mystery Man
That sounds like that sissy-ass dog I just killed.
Do you want to die again, dog? No problem. I'd enjoy your pain.
You?! Dammit all to hell!! What the [PROFANITY] are YOU doing here?
Mardek
What, me? Do I know who you are? I don't know anyone with an eyepatch.

(if Donovan is in active party)

Donovan
No, Mardek, he's clearly a complete stranger who we've never seen before. A Mystery Villain, y'know?
Mardek
Oh, Okay.

(end Donovan tangent)

Mardek
Well I don't know you, person, but I know this dog wants us to stop you, and I listen when dogs tell me to kill dark people! So we'll fight you! And we'll win that fight which is against you, which means that you will not win and you'll maybe cry and things!
Mystery Man
THAT's yer taunt? Damn. That's just [PROFANITY]!
Mardek
It was not profanity at all!
Mystery Man
Anyways, I have this awesome-ass Dark Crystal on my side, and what do YOU lamewads have? A shiny dog and some helmets and long hair? Pfft.
Solaar
That Crystal is not yours for the taking!! Please! If that crystal leaves here, then the entire UNIVERSE is doomn to pure chaos! We will all be perish'd, includicating yourself!
Mystery Man
So what? I WANT everything to die, dammit. [PROFANITY] it all, I say. It's not like anything deserves to live in MY universe.
'Cept maybe hot chicks. But I'd take away their talkin'.
I'd survive it all anyways, dog. I'm just that awesome.

(if Donovan and Sharla are in active party)

Donovan
He's just as insufferable as ever... Why did he have to come back?! Agh.
Mystery Man
Hey Sharla, babeh. Take yer top off and come over here and I'll let you live.
Sharla
He's such a charmer! I might be falling for him!
Donovan
Rragh! Can we just KILL this guy now, please?! We need to stop him! Come ON!!
Solaar
Yes, this banter has dragged on in excessitation! We must act hasterously, now now! Let's savify the universe!

(end Donovan tangent)

Solaar (if the above tangent is not met)
No. You won't survive any longer than this, darkly deplorably despicable foe. You absoluterously cannot be allown to leave here, and we'll make it for sure now! I will be a Guardian at you again now!!
Mystery Man
C'mon then, bitches! Bring it on!

(The party defeats the mystery man.)

Mystery Man
[PROFANITY]!
I jus'... I wasn't payin' attention, that's all! You losers just got lucky! Lucky that I don't get how to use this [PROFANITY]in' crystal yet!
But next time... Next time, dammit, I'll make sure you suffer long and hard!
You've done nothing to stop me, anyways. I have the crystal now, and it just so happens I came with one of THESE pretty babies...! (escapes using the Warp Stone)
Solaar
A Warp Stone?! And he took the Dark Crystal too?! No no!! This... this is wrong! Bad bad! Very bad bad!! Rrowl! My duty! I've FAILN!
But... but... I need to chasue him! It can't end here! I shan't wallow in misery! I'll give chase, and try to... to not fail my mission!
Mardek
Well, we were probably going to go after him also maybe...
Solaar
Yes! Brillianterrific! Together, we are known stronger than he, so together we must travel to end him and savify all things! To save Order, yes yes! Let me comompany along with you!
Mardek
You want to come with us? Okay! I like dogs. But who are you called?
Solaar
I'm calln Solaar. I'm... the Dark Crystal Guardian. A Celestial Runare.
Solaar
It's a Celestial Runare, that's all that matters.
Anyway, we must give chase post-haste! Chop-chop! Immediatus!
Sslen'ck (if in party)
I feel that it isss in the bessst interessstsss of the entire world if I help you. I do not delight in the thought of visssiting human landsss and working closssely with and around humansss, but my persssonal feelingsss mussst be put assside for the good of the world.
Mardek
Well, I'll warp us out, but we really need to talk to our king first. We don't know where that eyepatch stranger man went anyway, so we can't rush into things blindly.
Solaar
You make a good point. Very well... I shall accompany you wherever until we find him, but we must look into any SIGNS of his activitains the very nanosecond that they arise!
Mardek
Okay. Now, WARP!

The Elemental Crystals

(The party returns to Castle Goznor.)

Mardek
Majestic King of mine! Of ours! We're back from our mission!
King
Good! That's... that's grand! Oh so grand! I am the King! Yes, the King of you, of... of this filthy human place! It's great to be a King!
Donovan
You don't sound anything like the King at all!
King
I - that is, your human king - have one of your puny human diseases that you get all the time, what with your fragile and stupid bodies which are stupid, and it's affecting my voice.
Sharla
Is it fatal?!
King
It will be for you if you don't zip it, ape!
Now, uh... refresh an old King's memory and tell this King - that is, me, your King - exactly who you people are and what you're on about.
Rohoph
(Something's odd here, Mardek... I sense things again. Not that my magical senses are necessary to see through an act so poor...)
Mardek
I am Mardek, my liege! Your trusted Royal Knight! I just got back from the mission to the Sun Temple that you sent me on.
We found that the monsters were coming from the Dark Temple, which was broken into by a strange eyepatch man who was looking for the Dark Crystal.
King
The Dark Crystal, you say?! Oooh-hoo-hoo! Did you bring it back to me, your King?
Mardek
Well, we didn't, my liege, no. That eyepatch mystery man took it.
King
Dammit!! That could have given me such power too!!
Donovan
Majesty?
King
I mean, uh... That crystal would have been much safer in my Kingly hands! Yes! I could watch over it to make sure no evil villains took it, because I am a noble, good, human King person!
Donovan
(Watch it with your obviously glowing pink eyes, you mean?)
King
Heeey, there's an idea, chum-slaves! Minions, whatever. I have a job that I, your King, want you to do for me! Since I think that's your job - to do the bidding of me, your King - I suppose you'd have to do anything I say, right?
Mardek
We will obey your commands, my liege.
King
Oooh, I like THAT! Heeheehee... it's nice. I could so surely make you fight to your deaths for my amusement, forsooth...
As it is though, I want you to collect the elemental crystals of this planet and bring them to me! Uh, me, your King. Which I certainly am and I'm not an impostor!
(Wait... do Kings refer to themselves as 'we'? I think they do...)
Anyway, yes, we want you to retrieve those magic sparkly crystals so then I - I mean, we - can defend them from evil. They're unsafe being kept in, uh... wherever they are. Do you know where they are? Let's hope!
Mardek
We could find out where they are...
King
Jolly brill! Do that then! We'll be here waiting patiently, sitting in our big fancy throne that belongs to us (or should that be 'we'?), your human King! Which is exactly what I am! We are. Yes.
Now go away! Shoo! Uh... 'Thou art dismissed' and et ceterum!

(The party leaves the throne room.)

Mardek
Well, I'm excited about this new mission!
Donovan
Uh, Mardek, didn't you notice something a bit ODD about the King back there?
Mardek
Well, it looked like he hadn't brushed his hair in the morning at all! I'd expect a monarch to put more care into his appearance!
Donovan
Uh, no. What I meant is that he seemed like a different person... An impostor or something. I mean, his eyes were glowing bright pink, and he had no idea how he should talk and acted like he's never acted before. It was so obvious!
Rohoph
I believe that you are right, Donovan, and I think I know exactly what's going on, too. Something I've been expecting for three years... Bah, and here I was, hoping that they'd given up after Moric failed so badly...
Donovan
Uh, Mardek? Now YOU sound like an impostor...
Rohoph
But I'm clearly not because my eyes aren't glowing white at all, you see.
Donovan
I can't see your eyes...
Mardek
Convenient, I know!
Anyway, the 'King' needs to be stopped. We should go in there and deal with him, now.
Donovan
No, we can't! Even if he IS an impostor, we have to be careful, because people would think that we'd killed the REAL king! The guards would attack us, and if THEY didn't kill us, then the whole world would hate us! We'd be reduced to fugitives.
Rohoph
But what if we could find the real king and prove that we were doing what was right?
Donovan
It's too big of a gamble. He could be dead and disposed of...
Sharla
So, um, what are we going to do?
Mardek
I think we should just do as we're told and get the other crystals.
Solaar
Forgivify me for ambling into this, but are you non-sane? Only someone with megalomaniacal aims would attemptify to gather all of the Elemental Crystals of a world! We should not help that cretin in his schemes!
HOWEVER. It could be wise to gatherise the Crystals and keep them to ourselves, with no intentations of pawing them over to he... We could action under the guise of his minions so then we do not attractify unwanted resistansation from him or his true lackeys...
Rohoph
That sounds like the best idea. We should act fast, too, or else he might send others to procure them for him.
Donovan
Alright, I agree with that. We'll find them and keep them for ourselves until we can find the real King and all this has blown over. So let's go.
Sharla
Um, wait... Where ARE the crystals?
Donovan
I'm not sure, I've only ever heard vague rumours...
Sslen'ck
We reptoidsss of Xantusia once knew their locationsss, but it isss sssaid that they were moved after our ancients' writingsss were written, ssso my knowledge would be unreliable.
Mardek
Well, let's just try asking around!

(When travelling to Fengue, they encounter Clavis again.)

Clavis
Ah, here you are! Glad to see you again, my friends! I thought you might come through here, so I waited.
You remember me from the Sun Temple, yes? I was there investigating the balance.
Mardek
Well, I could never forget your snazzy forehead tattoo!
Clavis
Hmm? Oh, that! Yes. It is good that you remember me, at least.
Anyway, as I spent time reading books in the library of Xantusia, I felt a shift in the energies... First, towards balance, and that was good. But then the balance was tipped to the favour of Light...
Mardek
Well, isn't that a good thing? Doesn't more Light mean more Good?
Clavis
It is not that simple, I'm afraid. Having too much Light is as bad as having too much Dark. There is no BALANCE. People need obstacles in order to improve technologically and spiritually, and a society that is at constant contentment is doomed to fade to oblivion.
Anyway. The Dark Crystal has been removed, hasn't it?
Rohoph
It has, unfortunately. And it won't be the last to go, either. All of the crystals are currently at threat, and we are on a quest to collect them.
Clavis
Ah, that voice... Those brilliant glowing letters...
Ahem... The crystals are Keystones. Do you have any idea what damage you will do by removing SEVERAL of them? It was bad enough when the moral elements were not in equilibrium back in the Sun Temple, but now you seek to unhinge Nature itself?
Mardek
Yes!
Rohoph
Or rather, that is to say, it is necessary. It is for the Greater Good. I believe that balance is less important than the Greater Good, and that it can be restored. Removing these... 'Keystones' will *perhaps* cause some temporary damage, but if we do not act, and leave them as they are, then I see a worse fate befalling them than if we do.
Clavis
That is something on which we deeply disagree, my friend. And I feel that you are wrong. But I will leave this for now; it is neither the time nor the place.
Rohoph
I can't say I much care for that self-righteousness there...
Clavis
Indeed. Isn't it always far worse to be talked down to rather than to be the one talking down? I am sure you know what I am talking about... bright-worded knight.
But anyway. Enough of that... I just wanted to see if you were alive and well; I am glad to hear that you got out of the Temple without a hitch. Well done.
I will take my leave of you now. Until another time.

Recruiting Elwyen

Talking to Gloria results in the following:

Gloria
Oh, hello there, Mardek! Fancy seeing you here! It's been a while.

(if Solaar is in the active party)

Gloria
Eee, and you got a nice pretty doggy! She's so cuuute! What's her name?
Solaar
Mine name is Solaar! And I'm gladderous you like my looks! I do try to look smart, you see.
Gloria
You can TALK? ...Well, I've seen stranger things, so I'm not too shocked.
Anyway, Mardek, you've been gone a while now.

(end Solaar tangent)

Gloria
Elly's been talking about you a lot, you know... You should probably go and talk to her if you haven't already.
But if you do, I'd suggest you go alone; you know how much she gets bothered when she sees you with other people, the silly girl...
You can probably find her at Lake Qur... She's been spending a lot of time there, just sitting near the crystal statues of her dead parents. It's actually really, really creepy, but I suppose she's just mentally disturbed.

Talking to Husbert results in the following:

Husbert
Oh, hello there, Sir Mardek! Are you looking for Elwyen? She's not here, I'm afraid. She went off for a walk...
So she's probably out at Lake Qur again, just looking out over the waters... Sigh... She's been so solemn lately, but it's understandable...
Maybe you should go and see her? That'd cheer her up. But I think she'd appreciate it if you went alone, just you, because that way it would be you seeing her as a friend, rather than you seeing her while on the job, and she might open up more if there's just the two of you.

Talking to Wifetta results in the following:

Wifetta
Elwyen talks about you a lot when you're gone, you know... She really misses you. She often goes to Lake Qur just to be alone, and probably to think of you, her Knight in Shining Armour...
It would be really nice of you to go and speak to her, I'd say. Hopefully it would cheer her up... She's been so downcast lately.
With our Gloria busying herself with her new Shaman duties, Elly doesn't really have anyone to talk to most of the time. She gets so lonely... We keep advising her to perhaps get a job to occupy her, but she insists that she's waiting to go adventuring instead... With you, Sir Mardek.

At Lake Qur

Mardek
Well, hello there!
Elwyen
Hm?
Elwyen
Mardek!!
Elwyen
I'm soooo happy to see yoooou, Mardek!
Elwyen
Euh! Your armour's all cold and hard!
Elwyen
Anyway, Mardek, guess what! Guess what!
Mardek
Well, what is it?
Elwyen
Guess! Go on!
Mardek
Uh... You finally got yourself a boyfriend?
Elwyen
What? No! I'd never! I'm saving myself all for y-
Elwyen
Um, hehe... For years later! For when I'm older, you see!
Elwyen
No, it's not that though! I'm seventeen now! It was my birthday yesterday! How could you forget, Mardek? I told you like a million times! I thought we were friends!
Mardek
Oh, uh... Oh yeh! I remember now!
Elwyen
WELL, since I'm seventeen now... You'd better remember what you said ages ago! Remember that promise? That I could come with you on your adventures when I was seventeen?
Mardek
I don't remember saying that...
Elwyen
Well you diiid, Mardek! So can I pleeeease come with you now? I've been training so hard every day, and I've been waiting for ages... I... I miss you so much when you're gone, so I don't want that anymore... And, and, I could be a great help to you too, don't forget!
Mardek
Well, it's really dangerous...
Elwyen
I know, you keep telling me, but I don't care! I just want to come with you! Even if I came and something terrible happened to me, I'd be so happy knowing I was with you when it happened... I don't have anything to live for at all here in this boring village life though, you know that...
Elwyen
My parents are still frozen there, with those expressions that are already so clearly ingrained in my memory... I feel so lonely all the time. I have Gloria, and her parents look after me really well, but I still can't get rid of this longing...
Elwyen
I want to come with you, Mardek, not just because I lo-... um... because you're my friend, but because I also want to find out if it's possible to cure my parents.
Elwyen
All those years ago, that girl who was with you said it was impossible, and even Gloria, who's the new Shaman, can't cure them... But there must be SOME cure out there somewhere in the world!
Elwyen
I've read books, and they say that any magical effect that can be caused can also be cured... So... so, um... Let me come with you, Mardek! Pleeeease!
Mardek
Well... I did promise you (apparently), and you do seem to have thought about this a lot... So...
Mardek
Okay. You can come!
Elwyen
R-really?! You mean it, for serious?!
Elwyen
Oh YALORT, THANK YOU Mardek soooo much!! I'll be the best party member you've ever had, I'll show you!
Elwyen
Um, I should probably go back to Canonia though and tell Gloria and her parents that I'm going, and I should get some supplies and stuff too... So, um, can you meet me in my house in Canonia in a few minutes?
Elwyen
See ya in a bit, Mardek!

At Elwyen's house...

Elwyen
Yay, Mardek! You're here! I'm ready now, so let's go now without delaying anymore!
Buh-bye, Mr. Gloria's Dad and Mrs. Gloria's Mum! Thanks so much for looking after me so well since my own parents, um... well... I don't know what I would have done without you!
Wifetta
You be good, now, Elly! Don't be a bother to Mardek! And look after yourself properly! Make sure she does, won't you, Sir Mardek, dear?
Mardek
Well, I'll do my best, ma'am!
Elwyen
Yes, now c'mon, Mardek! I'm itching for some adventure at last! (joins party)

Recruiting Gloria

Gloria
Oh, hullo, Elly! Fancy seeing you with Mardek like this!
Elwyen
Yeh! Me and Mardek are adventure buddies now! He's finally let me come tag with him on his adventures!
Gloria
Oh really? That sounds... fun, for you. I'm glad. You've been wanting this for a while.
Sigh... It'll probably get really dull around here without you though, Elly. It's dull enough as it is, since nobody ever needs the help of a Shaman around here...
Elwyen
Hey, um... I've got a great idea! If it's okay with you Mardek, um... maybe Gloria could come with us? She's a powerful Shaman now, after all! She'd be a great ally!
Gloria
Really? You'd want ME to come along with you? Would that be alright with you, Mardek?
Mardek
Well... I don't want you getting hurt... And don't the people here need you as their Shaman?
Gloria
Like I just said, there's not much call for a Shaman around here. Nobody ever comes to me, because nothing ever happens! And last time something *did* happen, you came here to do something about it, Sir Knight, so even if I came with you I'd end up helping them in times of actual need.
Also, I am no mere fragile child that you will need to protect. I am a Shaman, granted extensive magical powers by the planet itself. I can take care of myself...
So what do you say?
Elwyen
Pleeeease, Mardek? Gloria's nice! It'd be ever so much fun if she could come!
Mardek
Well, questing like I do isn't about FUN... But if she really wants to, she can come, yes.
Elwyen
Yippee!
Gloria
Thank you, Mardek! This means a lot to me. It will also be great for my development as a Shaman; I hope to learn a lot in my travels.
But Elly, I'm surprised you'd want me to come along with you and Mardek, since, you know...
Elwyen
Oh, I know the only magic between you and Mardek would be to restore hit points or status. I'm not bothered.
Gloria
I see...
Anyway, now, Mardek... Where exactly are we headed? What are you questing for this week?
Mardek
Well, I'm looking for the Elemental Crystals! We have to find them for the King!
Gloria
What?! That's... I don't know if I can be a part of that! It would disturb the Order of Nature immensely! And what exactly does the King intend to DO with them? I've heard rumours that he's been acting a bit iffy recently...
Rohoph
Worry not! We know the King to be possessed by, uh... an evil entity... which seeks the Crystals. He ordered us to find them, but we don't intend to do as he says. We mean to find the Crystals for ourselves so then he DOESN'T get his hands on them.
Gloria
The King is *possessed*?! Oh my! This is awful! Has nobody tried to exorcise the demon, or, if there's no alternative, to slay the King?!
Rohoph
That would be a bad idea. We'd become wanted criminals if people assumed we'd slain or defied the real King. Besides, we'd rather not fight through any misled guards.
Gloria
Ah... I see your dilemma. And I understand. I'll certainly come with you, and I can see now that it'd be really good to do so! I can keep an eye on the Crystals and see that you don't do anything stupid with them!
Not that I can imagine you doing anything stupid with them, Sir Knight!
Now, let's go... But, do you know where we're headed? Do you know where the Crystals are?
Mardek
Well...
Gloria
I know of one in a place called Lifewood on Fengue, east of Aeropolis. It's the Earth Crystal, and we'll definitely find it there! So we should probably go there! We could also visit Aeropolis; I've heard there are some great shops there!
Oh, and if we're to travel together, there's something else that I want to show you, Mardek. I've already taught Elwyen how to do it, and it's a really useful skill that I'm sure we'll be able to use at some point on our adventures...
Elwyen
Ooh, do you mean the Dream Circle stuff? That's neat! You'll really like it, Mardek!
And we'll like totally be in dreams together! Not that that's a rare thing for me, mind you.
Gloria
Um, yes, anyway... The Dream Circles, yes, that is what I mean. There's a special cave where the old Shaman took me to learn this skill, and it's where I took Elwyen too. We should head there as soon as we can; it's just north of Canonia.
Now, I've marked these places on your world map, so let us be off at long last!

(They go to the cave.)

Gloria
And here it is. The Dreamrealm. You might find it difficult to get used to at first, what with the 'mindsoup' being very distracting, but-... um.
We look like ourselves here because we're actually mental projections of how we think of ourselves as being - most people are so used to their physical body that it's what they look like here - but, um. Mardek. I feel you have been hiding things from us.
Rohoph
Hmm, yes, it would seem that the convenient material cover has been removed... Alas.
Solaar
An Annunaki! A gasp from me, full of astoundment and shockism! Unexpected! Unknown!
Gloria
Um, why are you here, dog-like person thing? I thought only Elly and I and now, uh, Mardek could do this...
Solaar
I am quite at home within the Dreamrealm. I have traversified to here many a time prior. Figwalking is second nature to my ilk.
Gloria
Hmm... okay then. And Elwyen's here because I taught her the techniques to get here... I can see that there's something strange about you though, Mardek; I can see why you were able to travel with us here without training.
Rohoph
Yes, my kind are used to this too; seems humans are rarities for having to learn. And actually, you can call me Rohoph. I am not Mardek. I am... a companion of his. Of a sort. I assure you, I am nothing to worry about, but I merely grant him my powers due to a... childhood incident. It is how he is able to heal.
Gloria
I see... I'd always wondered about that. I... will accept you as you are for now, and since Mardek doesn't openly talk about you, then I'll follow suit and keep your secret if that's what it is.
Elwyen
I don't know what to think of you anymore, Mardek! Or, um, not Mardek, or whatever you are! I don't know if I'll look at you the same way again! And where is Mardek now anyway?!
Rohoph
He is... here... but I am afraid that he lacks the mental ability to manifest in any form in this realm, which is why I shall be taking his place here. Anything I learn will be transferred to his mind when we return to the world of soils and stars.
Gloria
Right. Uh, good then. Now that we're here, I suppose I don't really need to SHOW you anything if you already know how to do this, so let's do the other thing I wanted to bring you here for.
This cave is really sketchy because not enough people have thought about it, and as you surely know, everything in the dreamrealm - which is a lower subset of the Figrealm - is comprised of mindstuff and made whenever sentient minds think thoughts.
Towns and houses are usually really detailed, because people can remember and analyse their details, but places like this are thought about more as general layouts; nobody thinks about things like the individual stones.
I've always found it really fascinating how things linger here... Like if a house was lived in for years and thought about a lot, an image of it would appear, but if it was knocked down in the Material, it'd take a long time for it to fade here because minds remember it being there more than they remember it not being there.
Anyway, I'm probably just nattering on about magic to a magus, so I'll get to my point. This cave's been shaped by me and used by me for storing things since I became the Shaman. There's a special talisman deep inside that I want to get for our journey; it'll allow our whole party to walk in the Dreamrealm at other Dream Circles. I'm sure it'll be very useful.
So come along, then! Let's go and find it!

Recruiting Meraeador

Meraeador
Oh, h-h-hello there, Mardek! Or sh-sh-should I say, SIR Mardek? I've not seen you in a-a-ages! How a-are you doing?
Mardek
Well, I'm fine, Meraeador! How are you?
Meraeador
Oh, I'm, uh... I'm g-g-getting by! Though I'm a bit d-d-despondent.
You see, the M-M-Metal Man... I've finished b-b-building him, but there's a p-problem. The body is built, y-y-yes, but there's no-one IN it. It's just an e-e-empty shell. It has no s-s-soul. It needs a s-s-spark of life...
Mardek
Well, what are you going to do, then?
Meraeador
I thought about this b-b-before I even started building him. Before I b-b-began, I visited a vast library somewhere, somewhere f-f-far away... They had a book, a useful book of arcane m-m-magics long forgotten. Magics of such power...
One of the s-s-spells in that book was capable of s-s-snatching a soul from the Soulplane, and t-t-trapping it inside an object. N-n-normally I assume it was used for m-m-malevolent purposes, but I think I could put it to g-g-good use.
Or I c-c-could, but... I don't have that book! It must still be in the l-l-library... And even if I D-D-DID have it, I couldn't CAST the spell because it n-n-needs a powerful caster, like someone as p-p-powerful as a Sh-sh-shaman...

(plot conversation continues if Gloria is in the active party)

Gloria
Um, I'm a Shaman, if that's any help...
Meraeador
Y-y-you are? Gasp! You are indeed! You're the new young Shaman of Canonia, I see! What brings you here?
Gloria
Oh, I'm travelling with Mardek now.
Meraeador
Isn't that bad for C-C-Canonia, being without a Shaman...?
Gloria
We already went over all this. No. No it's not. Nothing ever happens there. They don't need me. Et cetera.
Meraeador
I s-s-see. Err... May I ask you a question? Do you know of any arcane magics that would be c-c-capable of, say... b-b-binding a s-s-soul to a physical object?
Gloria
I've read about things like that... But they're Dark Magic spells! They're cruel, dragging a soul from the Soulplane to be trapped in an object, unliving, just for the perverse pleasure of some sick wizard!
Meraeador
B-b-but you m-m-misunderstand my m-m-motives! I know the spells are D-D-Dark Magic, but... but, you see, this Metal Man here... This M-M-Metal Man, I made him, I've m-m-made his body but he can't m-m-move, you see, for he is not yet alive! He n-n-needs a soul!
Gloria
What, you'd trap some poor, helpless soul in that metal skeleton just because YOU want that?
Meraeador
I-i-it would be a g-g-great experience for the soul! You see, I-I-I've constructed a very complex m-m-magical 'brain' in which the s-s-soul could dwell... It w-w-would be able to control the shell as one would a b-b-body, but it will be incarnated f-f-fully grown, and as such may even remember m-m-memories from its p-p-previous life!
If s-s-successful, it would be a t-t-tremendous breakthrough in our understanding of the very N-N-Nature of L-L-Life Itself!
Gloria
I... I see! That's... I'm actually astounded, honestly! That, I believe, is something a soul would love to experience, I'm sure, so, um... I highly approve of what you're doing now that I understand it more!
I've always wondered what it's like in the Soulplane, too... We know people get reincarnated here if they want, but they don't really remember things because their minds as children can't handle the memories, and just discard them instead...
So yes, I know of the Dark Magic spells that would be required, but I don't have them or anything. I know there was a spellbook that I read about, it's in some library somewhere... Probably in the big library in Aeropolis, if I remember correctly.
But when we do find it, it'll list a whole bunch of ingredients that we'll need for the spell. That's how these powerful summoning spells work. Since it's such a potent spell, the ingredients will likely be really rare...
Meraeador
I-I-I am prepared to search to the ends of the world to find them! My c-c-creation... It must l-l-live!
I should, err... I-I-I should pack and set off on a journey, th-th-then...
Mardek
You plan on finding the things by yourself?
Meraeador
Well, I-I-I almost asked you, Mardek, but it w-w-would be a long excursion, a l-l-long way out of your way... You are a l-l-loyal friend, but I could never ask that! It is s-s-something that I n-n-need to do myself.
Mardek
Well, how about if you just came with me and we could do it together? I don't mind!
Meraeador
B-b-but that would mean going into the d-d-depths of b-b-b-battle alongside you in s-s-situations for which I m-m-might be inefficient!
B-b-but if it meant finding a soul for my p-p-precious creation... The idea is s-s-sound. I'll come with you, then.
Mardek
Well, great!
Gloria
It's good to have you with us, sir! I'm really interested to get to know you better, actually; you seem really interesting!
Meraeador
Well, err, heh, err... Th-th-th-th-thank you, lass!
M-M-Mardek, I have been i-i-inventing a lot over these last f-f-few years, a-a-and even trying my hand at a b-b-bit of combat, a-a-actually. I've designed several 'weapons', you see, though I-I-I'm afraid they're only usable by m-m-myself.
Many are also merely b-b-blueprints because I lack the parts I would n-n-need. Ch-ch-check my workshop over there to s-s-see. If we ever gather the parts that I need, we could c-c-come back here and I could a-a-assemble them!
Mardek
Well, I'll remember that!
Meraeador
N-n-now, let us set off! To a-a-a-adventure, and such!

Shaman's Brew

...at the Goznor Shaman's hut with Gloria in the active party

Shaman
Why, if it isn't young Gloria, Shaman of Canonia, mmh! What brings you all the way out here?
Gloria
Hail, Shaman of Goznor. I hope Nature's been treating you well? And actually, I'm travelling with Mardek now. It's not exactly 'wise' to travel too far out of my appointed range, I know, I know, but I really think that this is something that I need to do. Canonia's never in danger anyway, and if it was, I'd be going there with Mardek, most likely.
Shaman
That... does seem likely, mmh... But just do not forget that you do have a duty to devote your life to. Trips like this are common in the early years for a shaman - I myself went on a long adventure shortly after being Chosen, a journey of Learning, mmh - but you must always return, mmh, yes... Never forget.
Shaman
Anyway, what can I do for you younglings this day, mmh?
Mardek
Do you know where I can find any of the Crystals?
Shaman
In the hands of a thief, where they do not belong, 'twould seem, mmh! And it is there that you should be looking for and finding crystals, m'boy, for the others are sacred, and not to be disturbed. The balance of nature is offset enough.
However, mmh... I sense that you have a plan, and I sense that you finding the crystals would be better for us all than the thief finding them...
I will not tell you of the whereabouts of them all. Just one, but this should be sufficient for now.
Mmh, I speak of the Water Crystal... which resides at the bottom of Lake Qur in the Water Temple. Mmh. Of course, you cannot get there unless you can breathe underwater...
Mardek
Well, Emela used to be able to cast a spell that did that...
Shaman
Allowed you to breathe underwater? Mmh... That is not a common spell. Quite a rare and potent one, in fact... There are few who can cast it.
Mardek
Well, can you?
Shaman
Mmh... Not... as such... BUT! I do have the means to mimic the effect, with a special shamanic brew. It must be made from rare ingredients, however, which I do not at the moment have...
If you would like me to brew some of this mixture for you, to allow you to breathe beneath the waves of Lake Qur, you must bring me the ingredients that I require, which are...
Four Water Essences,
Six handfuls of Fish Scales,
One bag of Pixie Dust,
One Serpent Crest,
and One Aquamarine.
Mmh, you will be able to find many of these ingredients in the southern city of Aeropolis, I would assume; it is a very large place, full of merchants. I shall add Aeropolis to your map, and the ingredients list to your Quests.
Other ingredients may not be so readily available, mmh. You may need to venture into the wilds to find the rarer ones. It is unfortunate, mmh, that I cannot give you specific locations or directions in this regard.
Go now, and I will begin researching the incantations necessary for enchanting the brew, mmh...

(In order to obtain the Serpent Crest, they go to a cave within the Lifewood and encounter a serpent.)

Sea Serpent
A jolly good hello to you there, stranger who is invading my lair! I say, it's mighty rude of you to go and do that, old chap! I suppose you're here for my magnificent crest, eh? To sell it to poachers or use it in a brew?
Alas, I suppose I'm going to have to brutally slaughter and devour you, old sport, because I don't want to part with the old headpiece. Nothing personal, mind.

(With all of the ingredients, the party returns to the Goznor Shaman.)

Mardek
Well, Shaman, we have the ingredients!
Shaman
Mmh? You do? Wonderful! Wonderful. I'll take thooose, and, mmh, put them in this cauldron behind me...
I'll now need to mix the potion, mmh, so bear with me a moment...
Mmh. I am done. There is enough brew here to last a while, but I'll need to bottle it for you if you wish to take it with you, mmh. How many potions would you like?
Mardek (dialogue options)
  • Four!
Shaman
Taking a risk, eh? Or are you so sure that you will succeed the first time around, young ones, mmh? No matter; you can easily return to me for more when you run out if need be.
  • Eight!
Shaman
Wise, wise... Enough for each of your party members for one trip there and one trip back. Sensible. Mmh.
  • Sixteen!
Shaman
Mmh... Excessive, perhaps? But no matter, it is better to be safe than to be sorry, and there is enough here for far more than what you ask, mmh.
  • Thirty-two!
Shaman
Mmmh... Your greed will be your downfall, young one; mark my words on this.
Shaman
Drink these potions, and you will be able to breathe water as if it were air for a limited time. This will be sufficient to travel across the bottom of Lake Qur and get into the Water Temple, which, I have heard, is not submerged itself, so you'll be able to breathe once you are there.
Return to me if ever you run out of potions, and I shall see what I can do about supplying you with more.
Now, mmh... Best of luck to you, young ones.

Water Crystal

... Fighting the Water Guardian

Water Guardian
Gasp! Ma- um, you! Yes, intruders in this temple and stuff!
Water Guardian
I mean, um...
Water Guardian
What brings you to this Water Temple, home of the Water Crystal? Are you Heroes come to save the world, or Villains, here to take some of the world's power for your own selfish desires? Whichever is the case, you surely wish to see the Crystal...
Water Guardian
I really do wonder WHY, but, um, it's not my place to ask...
Water Guardian
If you wish to pass, then you must defeat me, the Water Guardian, in fair combat. Allow me to summon my steed, and the battle shall commence! Give this your all!

After the fight:

Water Guardian
Ack!
Water Guardian
I mean, uh...
Water Guardian
You have done well, noble warriors. You have proven your worth and shown that you are pure of heart. I grant unto you the permission to borrow the sacred Water Crystal for a time, and I am confident that you will use its power to help rather than hurt the world.
Water Guardian
Wow... You really are going to take it, aren't you? I always dreaded someone coming along to do that, but I never would have thought it would be YOU! I'm flabbergasted. Humbled, too, though I should really have expected that as soon as I saw you.
Water Guardian
Anyway, go on now. The Crystal's in there. You can take it, but PLEASE bring it back shortly, because, y'know, the world sort of depends on those to exist. I won't ask what you want it for, but I trust you, so I won't worry too much.
Water Guardian
I'd come with you again, but I have a duty to stay here even if my Crystal's taken... Sorry.
Mardek
Again? I don't remember ever travelling with any Water Guardians. Did I go on a quest when I was drunk? It would be strange if I did, because I didn't think I drank! My world's falling apart! I don't know what's what anymore!

With Donovan in the active party (Gloria's presence is irrelevant):

Donovan
I wonder how many other times this sort of thing will happen? I mean, are we even SUPPOSED to not know who these people are? They're not fooling anyone. Well, except for Mardek, it seems.

With Gloria, but not Donovan, in the active party:

Gloria
(I'm surprised that Mardek can even recognise HIMSELF with that helmet on...)
Water Guardian
But, um, I thought it was obvious that I was, um...? Oh, nevermind. Good luck on your travels, whoever you are. I'll see you again when I see you. Bye.

Talking to the Water Guardian again before obtaining the crystal:

Water Guardian
I really want to follow you, y'know. I don't even see any REASON to stay here if the Crystal's GONE! I'd be able to watch over it better if I came with you anyway. But sigh.... It's in the Rules. The bloody rules.. So please, get out of here before I go against my duty!
With Solaar in the active party:
Solaar
(...Rules?)

Obtaining the crystal:

Rohoph
This is the WATER CRYSTAL, it would seem... Such glorious power flows from it... Ooohoohoo! Makes me feel all prickly...

With Donovan in the active party:

Donovan
Forgive me for asking this, but... can we USE this in any way? I mean, now that we have this artefact of such immense power, can't we use it for the sake of Good?
With Gloria in the active party:
Gloria
Though I realise that you would only wish to use it for the sake of Good, we really, definitely should not... You know how it goes. With Power comes Temptation and corruption. It's not a risk we should take unless we ABSOLUTELY must, and not even then...
Otherwise:
Rohoph
We had best not. The crystals contain magnificent power, yes, but it is not to be used trivially. Using it to solve our problems would be like exploding a house to silence a fly.
Donovan
I see... I was just wondering. It seems that it won't be necessary after all, then. We'd best just keep it safe instead.

With Sharla in the active party:

Sharla
Should we really be doing this? I mean, it might upset the balance of nature... But if it's necessary, then we should do what's best for everyone...

With Sslen'ck in the active party:

Sslen'ck
I have only ever heard the mythsss concerning thessse sssacred Artefactsss... It isss quite a feeling to be looking at one, asss a reality.

With Solaar in the active party:

Solaar
I may have failn to protectify MY Dark Crystal, failn my duty as a Guardian, but this time, I will redeemerise my name, my honour, and let no misuse come to this one!

With Elwyen in the active party:

Elwyen
Oooooh! It's so shiny!

With Gloria in the active party and if Donovan hasn't already spoken:

Gloria
We must be very careful with this... Thankfully, it's essentially indestructible, so there's no chance of us breaking it or anything, but we must not let anyone else get their hands on it! Nor must we ever USE it!

With Meraeador in the active party:

Meraeador
N-n-never in my wildest of dreams would I have imaged that I would be f-f-face to face with a legend such as th-th-this, here! Oh, your life must be f-f-full of such wonders all the time, Mardek!

With Vehrn in the active party:

Vehrn
These crystals were formed by YALORT Himself, by His own hands! What a humbling experience it is to behold this with my unworthy mortal eyes!

With Zach in the active party:

Zach
Hmph. This won't end well.

With Legion in the active party:

Legion
Mwahahahaha! I remember you, old girl! Yes, you and I laid our faah shaah of towns to waste, didn't we, eh? Oh, how I loved the sound of the children, bleating for mercy! Pathetic, it was! Amusing, amusing... hoho. Let's do it AGAIN.
With Gloria in the active party:
Gloria
NONE of us will be putting this to any use. Especially not you.
Otherwise:
Rohoph
We are not going to let that happen.
Legion
Worry not; we will keep the Baron at bay. We won't use this crystal for harm... We really should bring it back here as soon as possible though; the disruption caused to nature could lead to chaos.
Rohoph
Alright. Let's take this into our possession now, and head for the next crystal. We likely don't have much time to waste.
Clavis
Greetings again, my friends. I am not surprised to see you here.
Mardek
Well, hello!
Rohoph
How on this world did you get in here? This is one of the most sacrosanct, secret, inaccessible places in the world!
Water Guardian
I'm wondering that too! Who ARE you?!
Clavis
Oh, hello. You must be the Water Guardian. Pleased to meet you. I am Clavis, a wandering scholar, of sorts. Your temple intrigues me.
Clavis
I have my ways of getting around. It wasn't difficult to follow you in here... And I just had to see whether you would go through with what I dreaded you might. When we met in the warport, I didn't think you were actually being serious about getting the Crystals. But there you hold one...
Clavis
It is a Keystone of the highest order, and I assure you that it is not wise to remove it from its place. But it's not like this is the first- ...ahem. I am getting ahead of myself...
Clavis
But look at what you've done to this place... It is drained, lifeless. Dead. Its heart is gone, and with it, its soul. The water is filthy and stagnant.
Rohoph
What did you hope to achieve in following us here? If you're hoping to stop us doing this, then you're in for some harsh disappointment.
Clavis
I seek nothing more than to make you think, my friends. It bothers me that anyone might mindlessly cause great disturbance to the world without realising the consequences of their actions. I simply wish for you to realise what happens when you remove a Keystone, no matter whether you think the damage done is revocable. The Keystones maintain order; chaos only follows their loss.
Rohoph
Yes, yes, we get the point. You've said it to us before, and we can see the results for ourselves WITHOUT you lecturing us about them. We KNOW what we're doing. It is for the Greater Good.
Clavis
If you say so. This is all that I came here for. I wish for you to think about what I have told you more than once, and for you to... apply this to other aspects of your life too. Your greater goals, perhaps. Hopefully you realise the importance of Keystones and the sheer devastation caused by their loss.
Rohoph
What are you implying? What do you know?
Clavis
I know a lot, my friends... I am, after all, a scholar, and the things I have experienced in my life are so very numerous and varied. I just do not want to see repeats of events that have caused me, my brethren and my homeland much devastation and loss... More than you realise. So please, just think about the consequences of your actions.
Clavis
I leave you now... We may meet again.
Water Guardian
What a strange man... I wonder how he got in! But oh well... At least he's not done anything bad! Now, um...
Water Guardian
Wow... You really did get it. Wow. That's... that's going to change things around here, that's for sure. Already the temple looks so lifeless, and awful... I REALLY hope nothing terribly bad comes of this.
Water Guardian
I suppose I'll have to retreat upstairs... I hope the Containment spell kept the upper rooms pure, like it usually does when the Crystal is taken... Um, not that this is any of your business or anything. Um.

Fire Crystal

(at the Aeropolis Shaman's residence with Gloria in the active party)

Shaman
OHMIGOD! You're the Shaman of Canonia, aren't you, young girly?! Wow, you're pretty! I'd willingly have intercourse with you, if you know what I mean! Eh? Ehh?! Soz that I didn't like come and throw you a wild congratulatory party when you were Chosen, but you know how things are. Busy busy! Let's party for that now, instead! Woo! Let's dance, people! Let's get naked!
Gloria
Um, hail, Shaman of Aeropolis. I've... heard about you. Yes, you're the one who throws all those Shaman Get Together Parties every month.
Shaman
Man, those things are WILD! Old folks with magic powers sure can dance when they're fulla booze!
Gloria
Gathering all the Shamans together isn't really that wise though, is it? It leaves their respective areas unguarded and vulnerable.
Shaman
It really does! Ripe for grabbing!
Gloria
That's, uh... That's not what I meant.
Shaman
Oh, it's fine. They've only ever caused a FEW disasters to happen, and they got over it, so it's all good!
So, what brings you 'cool dudes' to my 'rad pad' on this fine, fine day, eh? Here to party? Here looking for a juicy watermelon? Because I don't have any of those. I'd sure like to 'look for' YOURS though, Miss Shaman! If you know what I mean! Eh? Ehh? Mrrow!
Mardek
Do you know where I can find any of the Crystals?
Shaman
...What do you want to know that for?
Mardek
Well, our King is possessed by a demon thing, and he wants to collect all the crystals. But we want to get them all first so then he can't!
Shaman
OHMIGOD! Are you SERIOUS, dude?! That's insane! Bogus! And various other exclamations to that effect! He totally must be stopped!
But unfortunately, dude, I don't trust you. Not yet, anyway. You're just some strange northern guy, in funky armour, claiming that you need to acquire the most powerful magical artefacts on the planet just so then your mad demon king won't? That doesn't sound realistic or convicing at all! More like something out of some Bard's tale.
Gloria
Shaman. Though we do not know eachother, by our very positions, you know that I am trustworthy, yes? We all have to be to become Shamans. Keeping that in mind, know that I have known Sir Mardek here for several years now, and I have only ever found him to be a trustworthy and honourable gentleman.
Mardek
Well, thanks, Gloria!
Gloria
He may be a bit dim at times, but I am sure that he is acting in the best interests of the world by searching for the Crystals. I agreed to help him after hearing his story, and I know that the King of Goznor HAS been acting strange lately... So I implore you, sir, to help us too.
Shaman
Weeell... Alright. You've swayed me, yon chick. You're a good girl. This all sounds so bogus, but I guess I'll tell you where at least one of the crystals is.
The Fire Crystal is hidden in the Fire Temple, obviously, which is deep within a volcano called Crimson Peak, to the south of Aeropolis. Here, I'll mark it on your map, dude.
That's all I'm givin' ya, though. You'll have to find the rest yourself.
Gloria
Thank you, Aeropolis Shaman. We are in your debt.
Shaman
Yeah, yeah... I still feel really uncool about this, though. So prove my suspicions wrong, dudes... May Nature Guide You and all that jazz.

Approaching the Fire Temple, the party encounters the World's Saviours.

Bartholio
YOU! I recognise you, even with that silly helmet on! You are one of those pesky gruul-soldiers from Chapter 2! What are you doing here?!
Mardek
Well, hello there, World's Saviours! We're here to get the Fire Crystal!
Bartholio
Ah-HA! So the Fire Crystal is indeed in this large temple here, which seems to be dedicated to the element of Fire! I should have known! And I did, because we came here! We are here to take the crystal too, you see!
Aalia
i hoep we find it soon coz wev been in dis caev 4 ages adn its hot!!! D:
Bartholio
Not as hot as you, my dear. Now stop your complaining.
Vennie
So, ah, are we gonna foight 'em then, boss?
Bartholio
Nein... Not now. We could easily cleanse the terrain with you, petty soldier with his varied assortment of cronies, but we need to save our strength for the Temple ahead if we are to beat them to the crystal! We cannot spend even one milligram of it! NOT ONE! ...Our strength, that is!
So COME, Saviours! Into the Temple we go! We will make this a race, eh? First one to the Crystal. Though it will really be more like a race between a diseased and doddering legless gruul and a speedy wasp high on some kind of illegal drug! And we are the wasp, high on our own amazing splendour! You have no chance! Ha!
Saviours, away! (leaves to the temple)

examing a Soul Cage in the temple

Soul Cage
Power Seekeeeerrrr.... You must prove your POWER and SPEED, that you may be granted the eternal power of the Crystal of Flaaaammmmessss... Let the test commennnce!

talking to Bartholio

Bartholio
Bah! You again! I have no time to deal with you now! I am trying to figure out what in the Hells this thing here is! I am sure that it is tied to the crystal somehow, but it will not respond to anything that I do!
Mardek
Well, maybe I could have a look at it?
Bartholio
Pfah. Go ahead then, puny soldier. It will be amusing to watch you have no more success than I have had, and then to drop to the ground in tears, wishing you were a fraction as great as me!

talking to Bartholio after examining the Soul Cage

Bartholio
What did you do?!?

talking to Vennie

Vennie
Oh, 'ello there. We've spli' ap in ordah t' be more efficien' in our beatin' of you to the crystal, but it don' seem ta be goin' s' well. Oi 'ave no idea what to do wi' this 'ere thing, wha'ever it is. Oi know we're, loik, enemies an' that, but maybe we could 'elp eachother out, eh? Maybe you could take a look at this an' see whether you 'ave any luck figurin' the blighter out?

talking to Vennie after examining the Soul Cage

Vennie
Beauty! Now run, Oi'd say!

talking to Aalia

Aalia
o its u :) we split up an i dont liek bein by maheslf!! D:
i have 2 figer out this fing but i dunno wat it is............ mayb u can help??? :p

talking to Aalia after examining the Soul Cage

Aalia
yay it workd!!!

talking to Bernard

Bernard
Heh. This 'ere's what's called a Soul Cage. It's a wonderf'ly 'orrible bit o' magical gadgetry which can imprison an immortal soul to do the caster's whims. Usually they're just used for a bit o' fun - heh, YALORT knows I've had my fair share o' giggles with 'em - but these ones 'ere seem a bit... iffy. This place is more evil than I thought.
Them whippersnappers won't 'ave a bloody clue what they are, so I suppose we're gunna be 'ere for a while. You can probably operate it though - you look like the type they'd respond to, bein' the eponymous REAL Hero o' this tale an' all - so go ahead. I won't stop yeh. It'll be sort of amusin' to watch the look on that lad's face when you get the crystal first... Heh, it's why I'm here, after all.

talking to Bernard after examining the Soul Cage

Bernard
That's the way to do it! Now run, don't talk to me!

Fighting the Fire Guardian

Fire Guardian
I am the Guardian of the Fire Temple. It is my duty to protect the Fire Crystal from interlopers, but it is also my duty to accept a fair challenge against any who wish to take the Crystal's power as their own. Defeat me in combat, and you shall win your prize.

With Solaar in the active party:

Solaar
Girru! You are Girru, and I know who you are because I am a Guardian too! We come here for noble reasons, not for the regular challenge test, so please, if you will let us pass without a fight, that would be tremendously swellerific and we can savify the whole of Belfan from a heinous horrid threat! You could even joinify with us!
Fire Guardian
Hmm? You...? You're not... Ah. I remember. Yes... But unfortunately, the challenge still stands. Your purposes are irrelevant; you still must prove your worth before you are deemed fit to possess the crystal for any amount of time. So now... we shall begin. Give it your best, Heroes.

With Gloria in the active party:

Gloria
Fire Guardian! I am the Shaman of the Canonia region, and I come here with these people now seeking the powers of the Fire Crystal not for our own wants, but for the good of the world! An evil being is planning to steal it soon, so we would ask that we can borrow it for a short while to prevent that. Can we, please? Like, without a battle?
Fire Guardian
I bend to the will of no Shaman; we Guardians are beyond the forces of primal Nature! It is also never wise to blindly trust when it comes to power of this calibre. We WILL duel, for you must test your worth whatever your motives. Come.

Otherwise:

Mardek
Well, we don't want to fight you, Holy Crystal Guardian, since you are just doing your rightful job... But if we must, we'll win because we're great! Come on!
Fire Guardian
We shall see if your skills live up to your words, human.

After the fight:

Fire Guardian
The battle is won... You fought well. Your skills are admirable, and your heart true. It is not with regret that I now let you pass and take possession of this most holy and potent of artefacts, but with confidence that you will save this world from a horrendous threat...
I will fade now... I must convert to energy to restore my own vitality, for a while. We will not meet again.

Obtaining the crystal:

Rohoph
This one is the FIRE CRYSTAL, the second so far. It is an amazing thing to have come into possession of two of this world's most powerful and important relics.

With Donovan in the active party:

Donovan
I don't suppose we can use this one either... But oh well. At least we are saving them from villainy, and that is all that matters.

With Sharla in the active party:

Sharla
Um, I still feel uncomfortable about getting all these crystals like this... But you know best.

With Sslen'ck in the active party:

Sslen'ck
Two of the world's Artefacts in one place! Surely we are in the realm of the Gods here!

With Solaar in the active party:

Solaar
The more we gather, the more I can make up for my failurisation...

With Elwyen in the active party:

Elwyen
Wow, Mardek! I KNEW that coming with you would lead to all sorts of amazing things, but here we are, taking the world's magical organs like this! It's like the sort of thing that only happens in stories!

With Gloria in the active party:

Gloria
I have always wondered what would happen if two crystals were in the same place at once, but it seems that nothing's happening. They don't interfere with eachothers' energies at all, oddly enough.

With Meraeador in the active party:

Meraeador
K-k-keep it up, Mardek! We're w-w-well on the way to success now!

With Vehrn in the active party:

Vehrn
Yet another of YALORT's magnificent crystals! Truly, we are blessed by Him!

With Zach in the active party:

Zach
. . .

With Legion in the active party:

Legion
We'll never get them all though. The more we collect, the more likely something catastrophic will happen to stop us. Tsk.
Rohoph
We are making good progress, but there are still crystals left to gather. Come along.

Fighting the Saviours:

Bartholio
Dammit all! If we hadn't split up, we wouldn't have had all that messing about with trying to reunite again, and we would have been here first! Whose stupid idea WAS that?! Grrgh!
Aalia
wosnt it ur idea? o_O
Bartholio
Anyway, that's not important now! What's important is that they're weakened from that battle that we just watched them fight, so now is our chance! We must attack, and take the Crystal that is rightfully ours! GIVE IT TO US YOUR HARDEST, PETTY SOLDIER!

After the fight:

Bartholio
WHY CAN'T WE WIN?!?
What is it ABOUT you, little soldier man? Little KNIGHT... We are the HEROES, we always win! The world is made for us to win it; that's the way these things work! At least, I always thought... always thought...
Vennie
There there, boss; they're prob'ly just meant t' be some a' them Recurrin' Antagonists that we always lose to, but thay'll get their comeuppance in the end when we defeat 'em in the foinal battle!
Bartholio
That... that must be it. Yes. There is no other explanation for how or why we could lose to them this many times.
But you. Fellow Heroes. We are all trying to save the world together here! It is true that we will be the ones to ultimately do the greatest good and defeat the Final Boss, yes, but I am sure that you will have your part in the big drama that is life too. So I want to ask of you...
Can I... have a LOOK at that Crystal? Please?
Mardek
Well, only if you look and don't steal it.
Bartholio
I swear by my strong, firm, Lawful Good beating heart that I will use no trickery. That is Vennie's job.
Mardek
Well, here, then! Look!
Bartholio
My word. It truly is magnificent.
Vennie
Phwoah, THAT beauty would be worth a pretty penny! Think a' the people whose loives we could change fer the betta with one o' those!
Aalia
omg it looks so powerful and magical adn amazing.......... O_O
Bernard
Heh. I prefer the Dark one meself, but I was quite the fan o' this'n too, back in the day.
Bartholio
I thank you for showing us this, Knight. I just hope that we will manage to get our hands on one of our own, one of these days.
We will use this as motivation to try even harder! After all, we are bound to find them eventually, for we are the World's Saviours, the protagonists and heroes of this world!
Now, away with us, Saviours! We will get the NEXT crystal before these petty soldiers, for sure!

Recruiting Legion

...in the Aeropolis Library

Librarian
Welcome to our enormous library, foreign knight! Please find within all of the knowledge that you are looking for.
Meraeador
Yes, uh, hello. I-I-I'm looking for a book, a book of magic... It's c-c-called 'The Necromantic Tome'. Just, uh, 'The N-N-Necromantic Tome'.
Librarian
You... want that? Hmm... I see. You don't look like the usual type.
Unless you're one of... THOSE sorts? Even still, you don't look the type!
Either way, unfortunately, that book is not in at the moment. It was borrowed last by someone - who DID look the type - and, unsurprisingly, he has yet to bring it back. It's been quite a while.
Meraeador
Oh... Th-th-that's a shame. Uh... Do you know where we could find another c-c-copy?
Librarian
I could just tell you where the other person is from if you like, and you could go and get it back from him.
Meraeador
Isn't that illegal?
Librarian
With books like this, we make exceptions. He's had it for long enough, and it's likely that unless you go and get it back, we'll never have it returned. He's likely in no state to return it right now anyway.
Meraeador
I-I see...
Librarian
He was a dark, brooding man who wrote his name as 'Saul', though those sorts rarely write their real names. He seems to live deep in the Canonia Woods in the north; here, I shall mark his location on your map.
Meraeador
Um, th-thank you, then...
Rohoph
Why would you even keep a book of such power in this public library, for anyone to borrow?
Librarian
Oh, we have all sorts of books of power here! There was some time in the past where only the Sultan or various Wizards or Shamans were allowed to possess them, but there was some political thing that gave everyone the right to them, blah blah, etc. It's not really relevant to your quest though, is it? All it matters is that you have a way to get your magic book.
Usually, the people who who borrow them can't even USE them, because they require advanced training to make the magic work in the first place. We also keep track of everyone who borrows them, so then we can track them down later if need be.
Meraeador
M-M-Mardek, we must head to this person's house... Knowing the c-contents of the book, it will likely be d-d-dangerous, but... we must. In fact, we must d-d-do so ESPECIALLY if it is in the wrong h-h-hands!
Mardek
Well, okay! Let's go!

(They head over to the person's house.)

Saul
Hm? Who are you?, asked Saul suspiciously...
Mardek
Well, hello. Are you the one who borrowed a book from the Aeropolis library, about Necromancies?
Saul
That would be I, answered Saul affirmatively. What of this?, he went on further to ask, the ivory protuberances of his gaunt visage lit eerily by the dim torchlight; the furry dark caterpillars of his brow dancing in antipode to suggest particular suspicion; wanting for an answer that does not test his patience and his undead...
Mardek
Can we borrow it?
Saul
THAT WOULD BE PREPOSTEROUS!!, exclaimed Saul suddenly, his mouth twisting into a sinister grin which might scare babies and the elderly on a good day. Or bad, if you prefer. The tome is MINE, and mine alone! I need it for every waking moment of every day. It is like my child. My darling. My sweet. He continued to grin his twisted grin. A grimace unlike that of any sane man.
Do you know what this book is for, strangers?, questioned the Necromancer in a playfully sardonic tone, his beady eyes twinkling in the gloom. He laughed a brief laugh; it's for bringing the dead to life! Or rather, a foul perversion thereof! It gives me chills, the power of this grim grimoire!, said Saul ecstatically, his deep, passionate voice a tremolo, his body visibly trembling for effect.
I bet you've never dealt with death walking like this, have you, whoever you are?, he mocked, curious as to the origins of these strange trespassers in his sacred lair of solitude, but not enough to ask for answers. Would you *like* to see this chilling magic at work, my friends?, he asked, ever grinning that mad grin of his...
Mardek
Well, actually, I've fought lots of undead before. It actually got really boring.
Rohoph
It was a veritable army of them, in fact. Including an undead Grand Adventurer and a dragon, of sorts. My... friend... was a Necromancer too, you see. It was his doing. He was very talented, even if what he did WAS rather on the distasteful side of things.
Saul
What? Saul felt quite dejected all of a sudden. But then he realised something...
That was just too unlikely. No, they must be lying, he thought to himself. That must be it. A ruse. You must be lying!, he said, annoyed. Lying is not very nice!
I think I shall let my undead pretties feast on you for your deceptions, whoever you are!, grinned Saul hungrily, eager to see some fresh blood. When they are done with you, your corpses will swell my undead army, which I will one day use to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! Mwahahaha, he laughed. Oh, how he laughed.
Get them now, my pretties! Get them for your master, me! Saul! He said full of wild menace just before he took his exit.

(Saul escapes while the zombies attack the party. They defeat the undead and chase after him through a portal, where they end up in a prison cell.)

Saul
Neeheeheehee!, chortled Saul, as the fools appeared in the cell. I've got you now, my pretties! I knew you would be stupid enough to walk into that portal, thinking that you were following me! YOU HAVE WALKED INTO MY TRAP!
So now you are prisoners in my dungeon, like rats in a pie! Saul sneered sneerily at his victims, licking his full, beautiful lips at the thought of ripping off their flesh and animating their bones. You, Knight, will make an excellent addition to my undead army, oh yes... A Death Knight. Or Blackguard. Or something.
So rot away now, my friends, rot away! Saul gave them one last victorious sneer before leaving them to die at the hands of his marvellous undead servants in his dread dungeon of terror...
Neeheeheehee! (leaves)
Elwyen (if in party)
This sucks, Mardek! It's creepy in here and it smells and I don't want to be in prison! I want to get out! Get us out, Mardek!
Gloria (if in party)
Are there any loose bars or anything? Or obvious exits? Maybe we can use magic or your blade to get out of here?
Vehrn (if in party)
Well doesn't this just 'bite the biscuit' as they say?
Mardek
Well, maybe we could-
Rohoph
Hm? Do you hear something?
Mardek (if the volume is not muted)
Well, the music changed!
Clavis
Hello there, friends.
Rohoph
What are YOU doing here?! Are you here to lecture us about 'balance' and 'Keystones' again?
Clavis
I considered it... But I couldn't really think of anything relevant in the surroundings or situation to tie the metaphor to. You're trapped in a prison by a mad necromancer; it's no deeper than that, and there's nothing to learn here other than 'don't walk into strange portals in the houses of the mentally unstable'.
Though it may sound creepy enough to be suitable for the decor in this place, I've actually been following you for a while. Not a LONG while, mind you; just long enough to see you come to this derelict house in the woods. I wondered what my friends would need with such a place, so just out of unquenchable interest, I watched.
And it is good that I did, for now I will be glad to assist you out of your predicament.
Rohoph
Though it's not like we even NEED help - getting out of something as low-class as this shambles of an operation is a trivial matter for adventurers as competent as us - I'm actually surprised you're going to help us. From the way you've been confronting us, I got the impression you'd be some kind of recurring villain.
Clavis
You trust me so little?! I gave off that impression?! I am so very genuinely sorry! I think I just lack the social skills to make myself more amiable and charismatic. Forgive me.
Mardek
Well, I'M glad that you rescued us, anyway... It was a nice thing to do.
Clavis
Hm? Didn't you just- ...Ah, right. I understand.
Anyway, you are sure you do not need my assistance? Maybe it was unwise for me to do this... Alas.
But even with that being the case, there is some other thing that I would like to mention. This place... It reminds me of things. I had a friend once who was a necromancer...
He was odd, and sort of sinister at times, but deep down I could tell that he was good of heart. He used his undead in place of the living to prevent potential casualties, and felt that it was better to recycle than to lay corpses to rest, unused.
This place reminds me of his workshop, somewhat... I lost him recently, so it is upsetting. I miss him... as does the hole he left in the fabric of ordered society.
Rohoph
I, too, had such a friend, who sounds uncannily similar to yours. I never much cared for him, and I, too, lost him recently... by my hand, no less. It is something that I both regret and don't; his mind was too fractured, and he was a lost cause. A threat, an obstacle, removed.
Clavis
If he was similar to my friend, then I would think that his loss would have had violent repercussions. The loss of my friend was what led me to pondering the Keystones analogy, for he was a Keystone. Much disarray was caused back home by his loss; more than his selfish killer would realise.
Rohoph
What are you trying to say?
Clavis
I merely reiterate. THINK about your actions and the consequences thereof. The removal of Keystones is devastating, and NEVER the only - or best - option. This is all I am trying to say.
Rohoph
Right, well. I *appreciate* your pearls of wisdom, but now we sort of need to get out of this odious jail, so leave us to it, okay?
Clavis
As you wish. Until next time. (leaves)

(The party makes their way through the dungeon and confronts Saul.)

Saul
Saul was outraged at the maddening attitudes of these interlopers. How egotistical of them to SURVIVE and try to thwart my plans for world domination!, he thought, with a scowl on his beautiful yet misunderstood face.
I have one last trick up the sleeves of my pitch black and incredibly stylish and appropriate robes, my friends, you damned and dratted meddlers! BEHOLD! ...This thing!
Saul pointed to the large monstrosity dripping water in the middle of the room. I have no idea what it is. All I know is that I found it trying to crawl out of Lake Qur one day, weak, and I know an opportunity when I see one. Isn't she a beauty? It could be my finest work of art to date, this transformation from the shackles of life to the... shackles of unlife. Neeheeheehee!
Rohoph
That's Moric's Dracelon! It survived?! Then that means-!
Saul
It has yet to taste blood or know battle, but I am confident that it will rip out your skeletons for animation faster than you can say 'I bet it can't really do that, and you are lying, Saul, you handsomely devilish and devilishly handsome man, you!' Let's see, shall we? HMM?

(The party defeats the Bone Dracelon.)

Saul
Argh! Relent! Relent! I give up! I surrender. You have bested me, whoe'er you are. My undead are gone, gone... whimpered Saul.
Here. Take the blasted Necromatic Tome and be gone with you. But my memory is long... You will come to rue this day, I swear it!

The party returns to Meraeador's Lab with the tome.

Meraeador
R-r-right! Here we are, then, and we have the t-t-t-ome! Now, miss Shaman, err, can you conjure us up a soul to take part in my little e-e-experiment?
Gloria
Um, yes, I think... Um... Let's have a look at that tome then... You have it, right?
Meraeador
Yes, err, it's h-h-here...
Gloria
Hmmm... Let's see here...
Meraeador
H-h-h-heh, can you, err... can you read it, because I can't!
(Also, you s-s-smell nice...)
Gloria
Yes, it seems to be written in the Generic Old Magic Rune Language, which the old Canonia Shaman taught to me back when I was little... It's what a lot of spells and recipes are written in.
Elwyen (if in active party)
(Aww, don't they look so cute together, Mardek? Doesn't it just make you feel happy inside?)
(But it makes me feel lonely... I wish you looked at me like that.)
Gloria
The, uh, spell here mentions a list of ingredients that we need to use. We'll need to find them if we want to get the spell to work at all... Hmm. They seem pretty rare, but I suppose that's to be expected.
We need:
1 Crystal Rose,
1 Skull of a Truly Wicked Mortal, and
1 Silver Cord...
Meraeador
Aww... Oh well. L-l-let's continue on our way then, Mardek. I-I-I'm sure we'll find those reagents s-s-somewhere along the way!

While in Crimson Peak, the party examines a strange stone face.

Soul Cage
[It's a strange stone face... or is it a stone skull? Its mouth is wide open, and inside you can see a human skull, surrounded by a writhing immaterial... THING, apparently bound to it by magic. The spirit is stirred by your presence, and you hear whispering...]
Soul Cage
Heeelp meeee.... I... I am a SOUL, bound to this statue... This CAGE. I am bound heeeere... for eternity, TRAPPED by an eeeevil magician! Evil... Trapped here! I WISH TO BE FREE!
Yooouuuu... You must FREE ME! You can free me! Yes! Do what is right and let me ooouuuut... The magician. He has the key. He can unlock this prrriiiisssooonnnn... Find him! Free me! I plead with you!

They inquire the Old Hermit about this.

Mardek
I found a strange thing that wanted to be freed...
Hermit
Eh? What's that? Talk some sense, boy! I may be mad, but that doesn't mean that I can understand other mad rantings!
Mardek
Well, uh, there was this strange stone skull thing, which looked like it had a soul trapped inside it, and that soul asked to be freed because it said it had been trapped in there by a magician... I want to help it.
Hermit
Ah, that sounds to me like a Soul Cage! I used to use those, I think. Before I was mad. Loads of bad folk kept coming into my volcano to try to steal the Fire Crystal, but I would have none of it! I trapped them in statues and left them to think about their villainy for eternity.
If you were a more judgmental man than you most surely are, then you might call me evil myself for that... Could even say I slipped into madness with the sheer realisation of what I'd DONE to the poor souls... Could say that. EHEH.
Anyhoo, I didn't think right when I did it, and I'd like it undone if possible. There's a vile, evil fellow trapped in this very volcano, but vile as he was, he didn't deserve to be trapped forever like that. I haven't the heart to go back to look at my handiwork, so be a dear fruit slice and do it for me, won't you?
You can free the soul just by invoking its True Name and saying that it is free. So go to the one in the volcano and say this:
'DANARIUS VELLAMESSANTINE, YOU ARE FREE!'
That should do the trick.
Rohoph
(Don't worry about having to remember that, Mardek; I have a good memory for names and could probably utter the magic words better than you could anyway.)
Hermit
Now off you go! I want to get back to my madness; it's going cold, you know, without me to tuck it in!

The party returns to the Soul Cage.

Soul Cage
Yoooouuuu.... Am I FREE?
Rohoph
DANARIUS VELLAMESSANTINE, YOU ARE FREE!
Soul Cage
I... I AM FREE!! AAAIIIIIEEEEE!!! SWEET FREEEEEEDOM!
Nyehehehe... I thank you, PAWNS, from the bottom of my pitch black heart. But this means nothing. I am now going to resume what I started before that FOOL trapped me away! I will snatch the Fire Crystal for myself, and use it to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!1
You cannot stop me... I CAN SEE IT IN YOUR EYES. You want to STOP me. You WANT to. You regret this. You can't. YOU CAN'T STOP ME!! YOU WILL DIE FIRST!!!

The party defeats the soul.

...back in Meraeador's Lab with all of the ingredients

Meraeador
We have all of the ingredients now, so l-l-let's get to casting that s-s-spell!
Meraeador
But, uh... H-h-how do we go from here?
Gloria
Hm... Let's have a look at what we have to do with these ingredients...
Gloria
With the ingredients in our possession, the spell seems to be surprisingly easy to do, considering that it's Forbidden Dark Magic and everything... It seems that you might even be able to cast it yourself. In fact, it says that whoever casts the spell will become the, um... the Master of the bound soul, and I think that should be you rather than me.
Meraeador
So, um... w-w-what do I need to do, then?
Gloria
You need to concentrate on the object that you want the soul to be bound to, concentrate with all your willpower, and say these magic words, here...
Gloria
There's also a bit of energy manipulation, but it doesn't seem necessary for the person who says the word to do the energy pushing, so I'll do that bit while you just say the words. Right?
Meraeador
Y-y-yes, but, err... I c-c-can't actually read these words that I'm supposed to s-s-say...
Gloria
Oh! Right! You can't. If I speak them to you now, it might bugger something up or half-cast the spell, or who-knows-what, so, um... do you have some kind of writing implement? Like a pencil or something?
Meraeador
I have my l-l-lucky pencil, right here...
Gloria
...Okay, I've written down a phonetic translation that you should be able to read, so if you just read those out, that should be fine.
Meraeador
O-o-okay! Thank you! Now, err... when do we b-b-begin?
Gloria
First, I'll need to shape the energies appropriately, like it says in that book. It'll take a few seconds, but you won't know when I'm 'done', so, um... just wait a while, and you should be fine; once the energies are set up properly, I can hold them like that for a while, so you can't wait 'too long'.
Gloria
Then, you just have to say the magic words in a loud, confident voice while focusing hard on the object you want to bind to - the Metal Man here. ...Nice handiwork, by the way! That's amazing!
Meraeador
Th-th-thank you... It means a lot coming from you, Miss Shaman...
Gloria
Yes, well, um...
Gloria
You'll know you're speaking the magic words properly because your voice will go all magicky and dramatic. The words will sort of try to force themselves out, form themselves, so it won't be too hard even if you don't have any magical skills.
Meraeador
Y-y-yes, okay...
Gloria
Let's get started now, then, shall we? Are you ready, sir?
Meraeador
I am r-r-ready!
Gloria
Then please give me a few moments while I ready the energies...
Gloria
...
Gloria
...
Meraeador
...
Gloria
...
Meraeador
(Hmm... I h-h-hope it's been long enough, because... err...)
Meraeador
AKH'ANDREL...
Meraeador
BELAMNOTH......
Meraeador
CHELISE...
Meraeador
D-D-D-DEASS!!
Meraeador
D-d-d-did it work?!
Gloria
Um...
Meraeador
M-m-metal Man, can you hear me...?
Metal Man
...
Metal Man
...PROCESSING.
Metal Man
What the devil? Wheah in the Dread Lord's glorious name am I? WHAT am I? A blahsted kettle? I can see, feel, heah, but... You thah! What is the meaning of this?!
Meraeador
Err... h-h-hello there...
Metal Man
What... is this? This isn't the afterlife. Who are you people? What is... is this thing I'm in? Who are YOU?
Metal Man
ME? This is MY space that you aah invading thah, whoevah or whatevah you aah!
Metal Man
Oh, bloody wonderful, this is. Just when I thought I'd got out of this insufferably depressing world, I get wrenched right back in again by some madman. SIGH. Truly, my misery is endless. Utterly, utterly endless. The Gods despise me, I see. What a world.
Metal Man
EEeeeEeEHHHEHEHEEEheeHEEEEEEE!! LIIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFE!!
Meraeador
Err... I-i-is this supposed to happen...?
Gloria
I don't know! Maybe it's because of the thing you're trying to put the soul into, or... or... it seems like TOO MANY souls were summoned...?
Meraeador
I-i-it's all my fault! My s-s-stammer! It affected the magic words!
Metal Man
Yes, yes, very interesting and all that, but whah the HELLS is this and who are YOU, you tiny feeble little mouse?
Metal Man
Please don't antagonise the man... This could all just be some kind of mistake or misunderstanding. I'm sure things will go back to their natural order in a few minutes, so let's savour this new experience while we can...
Metal Man
I bet it's just some evil wizard again, making me suffer for his own amusement. Just like the gods throughout my whole existence. Why can't it just END? SIGH.
Metal Man
OOooooOOooOooOH! I'm made of METAL! METAL!! Shiiiinyyyy... MY LEGS FEEL FUNNY!! AAAAAHH!!! WHERE AM I?!?!? Not... not the PIXIES again?! THE PIXIES!! I THOUGHT I ESCAPED THEM WHEN I DRILLED THEM OUT OF MY HEAD!!! Why?! Why do they continue to TORMENT me?!? I'LL GET THEM!! COME OUT, PIXIES!!!
Meraeador
Err... H-h-hello there, again... I am, err, M-M-Meraeador, an inventor, and I, err, I built this thing, a m-m-metal body, truly a wonderous piece of m-m-machinery... It can be used like a l-l-living human body, but without any of the, err, bodily needs...
Meraeador
I, err, I have s-s-summoned your soul, or, err, souls, to ask you to h-h-help me in an experiment. You see, err... we d-d-don't know what happens after d-d-death, we aren't sure... But by s-s-summoning souls into a f-f-form that allows them to S-S-SPEAK to us and act like a living thing once more, we can l-l-learn, maybe...
Meraeador
I a-a-also wish to, err, create the 'ultimate man'... Your m-m-machine body is equipped with a mechanical b-b-brain that does not lose memories; e-e-every skill you learn, stays fresh in your mind, and what you can learn is n-n-nearly unlimited...
Meraeador
C-c-currently, you are c-c-capable of little, physically, but th-th-there is so much you can learn... to HELP us a-a-all... To assist the w-w-world in so many ways...
Metal Man
The 'ultimate man'? But I'm a woman...
Metal Man
A WOMAN? I'm living in some tin can man with a ruddy WOMAN? Bah! Now I'll surely have to listen to incessant whinging inside my own head...
Metal Man
Depressing, isn't it...?
Metal Man
Anyway, why in the GLORIOUS HELLS - which I was just busy trying to CONQUAH before you trapped me in your cage, you simpering cur - should I help you? What is in this for me?
Meraeador
You, err... w-w-would get to experience life anew with a n-n-nigh invincible body...?
Metal Man
SIGH. Means I can't even kill myself to be rid of the bloody miserable drudgery of it all... How depressing.
Metal Man
This all seems so against Nature...
Metal Man
Invincible body, you say?
Metal Man
I CANNOT DIIIIEEEE!!! Take THAT, pixie SCUM!! SCUUUUMMM!!!! EeeeEEEheHHHHEEEEehehEhEhehhee... Youcan'tgetmenowbecause I'LL GET YOOOOOUUU... I'll GET you... pixies. I HAVE A SECOND CHANCE.
Metal Man
Hmh hmh hmh... So let me be sure of this, little toymakah. You have summoned I, the great Baron von Doomkill, from the throes of death, into a nigh-invincible ultimate death machine, and you expect me to, what, just obey you? It's quite laughable. I think I'll go on a rampage instead and conquah the world again. THE WORLD WILL KNOW FEAH.
Metal Man
Know fear... NO FEEEEAAAAR!!! Aaaaahhh!! Aah...
Metal Man
SIGH. Now look what you've gone and done, inventor person. You should know that things always turn out exactly the way you don't want them to. It makes me so miserable just thinking about it.
Meraeador
E-e-err...
Metal Man
You should never have trust in anything, you know. You'll always end up regretting it. I always have.
Gloria
Actually, the nature of the spell that we cast is that it binds your soul - or in this case, souls - to an object, yes, but it also binds them in service to a Master. You simply have no choice but to obey Mr Meraeador here.
Metal Man
WHAT?! I am a SLAVE!?
Metal Man
How depr-
Metal Man
YOU'RE ONE OF THE PIXIES, AREN'T YOU!?
Metal Man
Slavery is not the way of Nature! This is so unnatural, and I really must insist that you listen to your conscience and set us free into the astral realm once more!
Meraeador
A-a-actually, err... This DOES feel wrong... Maybe we can, err, do the spell a-a-again...?
Gloria
Unfortunately, um... that's not possible. I probably should have warned you about this before you cast it, but the spell is not one that can be reversed. The only way to release the soul is to destroy the object it's bound to, so unless you want to destroy the Metal Man...
Meraeador
I spent y-y-years of my life on making that thing...
Meraeador
This... th-th-this might work though... If I can c-c-control the Metal Man, th-th-then it won't go on any evil rampages, and having MULTIPLE souls to s-s-speak with, to learn, will be better all around?
Metal Man
GROAN. I hate it when people look on the bright side.
Metal Man
I see... This... this is unnatural, I realise, but you people do seem to have noble goals from it all; you don't seem to be an evil wizard, at any rate. I would be glad to help you until my time here is done; it will be a learning experience for us all, and we have an eternity to exist as souls anyway so this isn't robbing us of precious time.
Metal Man
YOU CANNOT CONTROL ME! I REFUSE to be your slave, you damned blasted-
Metal Man
Interesting... It seems that we four souls are each capable of controlling this machine of yours, but only once at a time. We can stifle this 'Baron von Doomkill' if you like?
Metal Man
Not all the time, you can't, you swine-fondling goat-buggering cretins! I'll feed you to the demons!
Metal Man
Goat-buggering!! EEEEHEEEEeheheheeehehehe... Funny.
Metal Man
Oh! So sorry, I've not even introduced myself! I am Deena, the Shaman of a place called Canonia... do you know it? Or at least, I WAS the Shaman... It could have been hundreds of years ago though; I have no idea how long it was since I lived.
Gloria
Ooh, a Shaman, really? Me too! I'm the Shaman of Canonia now! There's so much you can teach me, then!
Metal Man
This is delightfully coincidental, then!
Metal Man
People knew me as Miserable Ol' Martin, though I can't imagine why...
Metal Man
I mean, my name's Eric, not Martin.
Meraeador
I-I-I am Meraeador, the Inventor... P-p-pleased to meet you all...
Metal Man
And I am the thing your nightmahs aah made from... I ruled this world with an iron fist of dahkness once, and I shall do so again, in time. You will see. You WILL regret this, slugs.
Metal Man
Me toooo... I AM NOT A PIXIE!! Eheheheh... HEHEHEEEEEHEEEEEEEE!!
Metal Man
It seems that we'll all have a lot to get used to in this arrangement here... It seems that the body we inhabit isn't able to move much just by our own accord... Perhaps you have to give us an order or something, uh, -Master-?
Meraeador
Err, okay... I o-o-order you, Metal Man, to, err... to follow me, but not k-k-kill anyone! You can m-m-ove of your own accord now, but d-d-don't attack anyone.
Metal Man
I bet it doesn't work and you all die painful deaths while we get trapped in here until the universe ends. SIGH.
Metal Man
Ha! Your first and last mistake, little man! It seems I am able to move now, so I SHALL attack and you shall... shall...! Dammit all to the hells! This isn't working!
Metal Man
Yes, it seems that though we can move now, the body simply halts before it's able to strike anything... Interesting.
Metal Man
But... But... THE PIXIES?! The pixies can GET us now!!!
Metal Man
Also, are you going to keep calling us 'Metal Man'? I don't much care for being referred to as male.
Metal Man
Technically, none of us are male or female at the moment due to being an artificial, sexless automaton possessed by disembodied spirits. Which is depressing, because now what do I ever have to look forward to in the evenings?
Meraeador
Err... What w-w-would be a better way of referring to you collectively?
Metal Man
Just the Invincible and Utterly Grand Baron von Doomkill will suffice. You need not acknowledge the existence of these other nitwits at all.
Gloria
Legion.
Meraeador
Hm? Legion?
Metal Man
Ah, I see the logic in that. It's the demon man, right?
Gloria
Yes, the, um, 'demon man'. There's this tale, you see, of a man who was possessed by a whole group of demons, so it was like he had multiple voices, multiple personalities. 'And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many'. So I thought the name fit... Do you?
Meraeador
Yes, i-i-it's certainly catchy and appropriate!
Legion
I don't much care for essentially being called a demon though, but it will suffice.
Legion
I am WORSE than demons... but being acknowledged as such will do... for now.
Mardek
Well, ooh...
Meraeador
Ah! M-M-Mardek! You are still h-h-here, I see! I-I-I think that now that I have, err... Legion, here, I think my t-t-travels with you are over...
Gloria
What? Really? But...
Gloria
But wait... what are you actually going to DO now that you have your Metal Man up and running? What is it for?
Meraeador
W-w-well, I made it so then it could L-L-LEARN things, which it can; w-w-watching people perform tasks, it can m-m-memorise them and use them itself...
Meraeador
I w-w-want it to learn a multitude of skills so then it could be useful in a-a-any situation to p-p-people everywhere; once th-th-this one has collected enough data, I would use it to make copies with the s-s-same 'memories' built in...
Gloria
How do you intend to teach it?
Meraeador
Well, err... I-I-I was just planning on showing it, err, b-b-books, maybe some m-m-moves of my own...?
Gloria
Hmm... But wouldn't that be rather slow, and its knowledge limited?
Gloria
What about, say... instead, you come with me - um, us, Mardek and all of us - and Legion comes too, and watches our enemies to learn THEIR skills?
Meraeador
B-b-but then it would only learn c-c-combat skills...
Gloria
Not necessarily... It could also learn other skills by watching people in our travels? Like skilled artisans or craftsmen?
Meraeador
W-w-well, that DOES sound like a good idea...
Meraeador
And t-t-to be honest, I doubt that I could s-s-stand to do this by myself anyway...
Legion
If we were left alone with you, you feeble little shrew, I WOULD find a way to end you, that I sweah.
Gloria
Then it's decided! You and Legion here will accompany us in our journeys, right Mardek?
Mardek
What? Well, uh... okay, I think!
Meraeador
Th-th-thank you!
Legion
This will be interesting! It has probably been a long time since I've seen the world, and I am very interested to see how much it has changed since I've been gone.
Legion
I bet it's worse than ever, since it's surely descended into a hive of miserable scum and villainy, where nothing works right and the evil people rule and all that. It makes me depressed just thinking about it.
Legion
Surely it cannot be as wretched as it was when -I- ruled it! But if it is - and even if it's not - I shall soon be in chahge of it once moah to reduce it to grim chaos, a living hell, oh yes...
Legion
There will be PIXIES. PIXIIIIEEESSS!!! Aaahhhh!!!
Gloria
Anyway, let's go, then. We've talked for far too long, eh?

Lost Monastery

...In the Temple of YALORT in Aeropolis

High Priest Vudu
So dat is what you need do for me, Paladin.
Vehrn
But nobody's ever FOUND that place! Isn't it just a legend?
Mardek
Well, hello there, Vehrn!
Vehrn
Who are YOU?!
Mardek
Well, it's me, Mardek! Don't you remember me? From Chapter 2?

(If Vehrn was used in chapter 2)

Vehrn
Oh! Mardek! I do remember you! But I DON'T remember that funky armour. What is with that?

(If Vehrn was unused in Chapter 2)

Vehrn
...No? I don't remember you at all. I don't remember much except blacking out and being saved from the brink of death by some orange-haired girl. Who was surely sent by YALORT. Good to meet you though, Mardek.
Anyway, I've just been given a mission by my High Priest here. As a Paladin, I must help others by offering my skills in this way. It's why I was in the Northern Lands in Chapter 2.
High Priest Vudu
Dis Paladin has been given a mission, but he is reluctant I see. It too hard for him, I would think. Ha. Maybe I send a *better* Paladin than he?
Vehrn
Bah! I can do it! It'll just take time, that's all! I'll show you. I don't care if nobody's ever found it before; I will because I'm better than anyone else who's tried anyway.
Mardek
Well, maybe we can come with you and help?
Vehrn
What? Rubbish! I don't need your help; you're still but a petty soldier, whereas I am a mighty Paladin! I have YALORT on my side; who else do I need?
Mardek
Well, last time you didn't do so well alone...
Vehrn
That... that was because... because...! Agh. Clearly YALORT didn't favour me that day, that's all!
High Priest Vudu
Paladin. You must learn humility. Dese folk offer help; you take help, you succeed with haste. Do dis.
Vehrn
...If you say so, High Priest. It'll probably be better to have the company anyway. Gives me someone to brag at.
Mardek
Yay. So what's the mission anyway?
Vehrn
Well, uh, you see, there's this thing... There used to be a Monastery east of here, in the Lifewood, but about a hundred years ago there was this strange thing that dropped from the sky, and-
High Priest Vudu
I will tell da tale, Paladin. I know it well.
Dere was once a Home of our faction in da belly of da eastward woods, where da bruddahs within honed da magic granted to dem by da Ever-Noble Omnidragon, our Eternal Benefactor, praise be His name. All Hail YALORT.
Da bruddahs within prospered and thrived, and were pious and devoted to our Master and Maker, without equals. Da Almighty saw to reward deir faith, so He sent down to dem a jewel from his Kingdom high up in the sky.
Da bruddahs were grateful of dis most divine of boons, and consecrated it to da highest degree. But over time, dey forgot what it was dat brought it to dem, and rather dan using it for its intended purpose, dey were unworthy. Dey worshipped da stone, and not its godly maker, its sender...
For dis idolatry, dis forsaking of YALORT in favour of His gift, His toy, He saw fit to end dem. Dey have not been heard from in a hundred of our years; the monastery was swallowed by the woods.
Vehrn
Yeah, and that's all supposed to be some legend and everything to teach us to worship YALORT and not idols, even if they're from him, and I get all the morals... But now you're saying it's REAL and I should look for the monastery? Even if it was, wouldn't that anger YALORT?
High Priest Vudu
I have already told you dis, you simple, stunted child. YALORT came to me in a vision, as He often does, Chosen as I am, and explained to me dat we would be mightily blessed if we proved dat we had what it takes to find dis boon of His.
Vehrn
Well, if you say so, your Holiness. You say and I follow. That's what my god wants, and that's all there is to it.
So c'mon then, Mardek! If it's YALORT's will, it must be done. I have no idea how we'll do it, but we've got to find this Lost Monastery.
High Priest Vudu
You try Lifewood. It is where da monastery was swallowed. Search thoroughly, and with YALORT's guidance, you will find your way. All Hail YALORT.

...In the Lifewood Shaman's hut

Lifewood Shaman
Greetings, my children. Is there anything that you need?
Vehrn
Greetings, fair maiden! Or shaman, as the case may be. I am Vehrn, a righteous paladin of justice! And YALORT. That too. I am here in your lovely woods on an errand... You see, there used to be a Monastery of my order around here some time ago...
Lifewood Shaman
Ah yes. I know which place you mean, my child. I remember it... but it's been a while since I have. Nature saw fit to swallow it about a century ago.
Vehrn
Yet you remember it? How OLD are you? You look like a teenager.
Lifewood Shaman
Tactless. I am a Shaman, and I dwell within this Wood of Life. Its magic and Nature's gift of my status gives me my continued youth... I planted many of the largest trees in this forest. I was here when it was but a small patch of saplings.
Vehrn
Yeah, right, okay. Good. Then tell us the way to get to this Monastery.
Lifewood Shaman
Let me see... It was a long time ago. I travelled to it a few times to give the priests within my blessing and Nature's favour, so that the forest would not swallow them up... Which it did eventually, as their behaviour became erratic and dangerous. A fallen star... It drove them to insanity. Unnatural, all of it.
I can't imagine why you'd want to travel there, but I warn you; it is not a safe place.
Vehrn
Yeah, I didn't think it would be. Now where is it?
Lifewood Shaman
There was once a path to it beside this dwelling of mine... A snaking glade to the sacred nest of god worshippers. Hmm... I am imagining it now, clearly. Yes... I remember. But as I said, the forest swallowed it up... You can no longer get there on this mortal plane.
Vehrn
Can't we just cut a path through the trees or something?
Lifewood Shaman
...I will pretend that you didn't say that, *my child*.
Vehrn
Right, well, whatever. We'll find a way. Right, Mardek? There's got to be some way to get there.

With Gloria in the active party

Gloria
Hey, Mardek... If the Shaman remembers the path, then a copy of it should exist in the Dreamrealm, since that place is but a reflection of the material realm, shaped by thoughts. If we use a Dream Circle, we should be able to travel along it.

Otherwise, with Elwyen in the active party

Elwyen
Um, Mardek! Y'know the Dreamrealm thing, right? It's a place where thoughts become THINGS, so if this lady thought about the path, then it should exist in that Dreamrealm! It's worth a look!

Otherwise, with Legion in the active party

Legion
Are you aware of the fact that in the Dreamrealm, thoughts become reality? If this Shaman thought about the path, you will find it there. We Shamans often use thoughts to shape paths through the otherwise impassably thick forests.

Otherwise, with Solaar in the active party

Solaar
The Dreamrealm! That place! I would guesstimate that a snaky path's a-formified there! In that Place! Via this Shaman's thoughts! Memories! You know! Let's investigatorise!

(At the entrance to the Lost Monastery)

Rohoph
Hmm... This door is sealed magically, and it seems to be the only way to get inside. It's a potent sort of divine magic, which usually has specific requirements to bypass, like a password.

With Vehrn in the active party:

Vehrn
Dammit! How are we going to get in then?
Rohoph
I have no idea. I can see no way other than by finding the password, somehow. Though I find it very unlikely, perhaps one of our dear allies knows something about this obscure ruin? Or maybe on our adventures, we'll meet someone who does.

With Legion (and Vehrn) in the active party:

Legion
Aaah! Aaaaaahhhhhhh!! I am HOOOOOME! The pixies! The haven from THOSE BLASTED PIXIES.
Legion
It would seem that our maddest of minds has strong feelings about this place. Perhaps he - she? - DOES know something about this place?
Vehrn
Good! Then speak up!
Legion
I... I KNOW THE PASSWORD. This was once my home! My lovely hoooome! YALORT loved me. I love him! We loved eachother! Aaaahhh! But then... then! O YALORT!!
A STONE, a lovely rock, A STONE, it fell from the sky and it was YALORT's GIFT to us! He loved us! I loved him! We were in a relationship but there was no sex! OH NOOO!! He was a big dragon and invisible anyway! Aaah! But... PIXIES! Guh!
Vehrn
Yeah, as the legend says, the stone fell from the sky and drove them all mad somehow. Or I mean, YALORT made them all go mad because of the idolatry, which is an atrocity. I see that our robot friend here shows just how mad they got.
Rohoph
(A stone that fell from the heavens and meddled with the minds of the mortals? This seems too familiar...)
Vehrn
Anyway, we really need to get in, so what's the password, robot?
Legion
What? WHO ARE YOU?! I won't tell you! My friends... I don't want to go inside! I won't tell you that it's 'BAKED FISH'! I WON'T TELL YOU!! And someone of faith needs to say it. My faith... I cannot have faith in a god who does what he did.
Vehrn
Faith, eh? I've tons of that. Here, let's see if that password that slipped out of your lips there - or... whatever it is that you talk with... you know what I mean - has any effect.
Hey, door! Would you like some BAKED FISH?
Rohoph
Bravo. That seems to have done the trick.
Vehrn
Great! Now let's go and get this stone.
Legion
It is worrying to have this broken mind amongst our own in this metal shell... I had wondered what had driven it to such a state, but if it was that stone, then I cannot recommend going to get it.
Vehrn
Oh, we'll only have it for a short while anyway. I don't want to KEEP it. We'll give it to my High Priest and then we won't have to worry about it anymore.
Legion
Hah! That's what you think! The naivete of do-gooders always makes me laugh.
Vehrn
What? What are you trying to say?
Legion
I think he means that it's likely that something terrible will come of what you're doing. Trust the religious ones to mess up the world more than it already is... SIGH.
Vehrn
My High Priest is a noble man; good enough in the eyes of YALORT to be Chosen for such a lofty position in our order. I won't have you speak ill of him, even implicitly. And anyway, YALORT contacted him in a dream and asked him to get this stone. It's SAFE.
Rohoph
If that is what you want to believe, then so be it. Let's just get this over with.
Vehrn
Grr, yes. Then we'll see that I was right and nothing bad will happen.

Facing the Fallen High Priest

Fallen High Priest
HALT, TRESPASSERS! This is no place for mortal minds. Please leave... for your own good. Please! Lest you fall to this baleful madness too...
Vehrn
We're here to take the Stone that you have! YALORT told my High Priest in a vision that I am to fetch it to him!
Fallen High Priest
What?! No! The Stone brings madness and decay! It BINDS SOULS. We weren't even allowed to pass to the afterlife... such was our sin unto our LORD. Forgive us, O please, YALORT!!
My brothers succumbed to the madness of the Stone to an extreme degree and are beyond reason now... I was the only one who kept my senses, though my body rotted and decayed. I have taken it upon myself to guard the Stone, to prevent its evil from befalling anyone or anywhere else. YOU CANNOT HAVE IT.
Rohoph
This gives us no option, then, but to take it. En garde, spirit!

After the fight:

Fallen High Priest
You have bested me... Your power is phenomenal and your spirit true. You may take the Stone... I feel that in doing so, you will grant us our freedom, and for that, I thank you.
But PLEASE, I implore you: DESTROY the Stone! I believe that YALORT would NEVER ask for it in any form and has forsaken us for even touching it, as it was not he who sent it, I know now. For the good of mortal minds, make dust of it and scatter its particles in the ocean!
Vehrn
I have a duty, and I will do my duty. I trust my High Priest more than you, spirit; after all, YALORT has clearly forsaken YOU, so I can't trust you.
Fallen High Priest
So be it... But remember my warning. I have suffered for a century, as have all my brothers, and all I wish is that nobody else meets this same fate for any duration.

With Legion in the active party

Legion
Aaaahhhh! Am I... WILL I BE FREE NOW?! High Priest! I know yooouuu!
Fallen High Priest
Bostolm? Is that you? When your soul disappeared from the monastery a short while ago, I thought that perhaps YALORT had finally started to intervene, but now you are trapped in this metal shell? That must be a fate worse than this!
Legion
I... LIIIIKE... being in this! METAL MAAAN!! I, my mind... THE MADNESS still overwhelms it! HAHAHA!! But... But! But! I... feel... feel... aaahhh! Maybe! Something is better? HMM!
Fallen High Priest
Away from the Stone's influence, perhaps its effect on you would be fading... I can only hope that this is so, and that soon your mind will be as sound as it once was. You used to be our most wise, learned and venerable of brothers, and it is saddening to know that the madness got to even YOUR honed mind eventually...
But alas, Bostolm. I must be going now. The Afterlife... It beckons. Our brothers will follow too... Goodbye, oldest of friends. I will see you in YALORT's Kingdom when the time comes.
Legion
HIGH PRIIIEEEESST... I... I will see you there one day! My mind... aaahhh... I will have it back soon!

(Returning the stone)

High Priest Vudu
Hm? You have da Stone?
Vehrn
Yes, High Priest; it's right here!
High Priest Vudu
Excellent work, Paladin! YALORT will favour you for dis, I am sure.
Vehrn
Great! But now that you have the Stone, how exactly will YALORT bless us, d'you think? Maybe he'll give us good luck? Or wealth? Or more members? Or just general happiness?
High Priest Vudu
Who knows? YALORT works in mysterious ways. Maybe you will not notice any change at all.
Vehrn
He DOES seem to have a very subtle way of influencing us most of the time, yes... But now what do I do, High Priest? What would be my next mission?
High Priest Vudu
Hmm... It is, uh... Oh! I know! Here, dis... ting... Take it. You must find out what it is! It has been lying around the monastery for a long time since some adventurer brought it in. I am sure dat da quest to find out its purpose will be a long one dat will keep you away from the monastery for quite some time!
Vehrn
It just looks like a lump of rock.
High Priest Vudu
Yes! But appearances are often deceiving! You must spend many long days finding out what it is, as I am sure that YALORT would want dat for some reason!
Now go! And do not return until you have found out its purpose.
Vehrn
Okay... Come on then, Mardek. I'm sure I'll find something about it on my travels with you.

Earth Crystal

...at the Earth Temple entrance in the Lifewood

Muriance
...Who the devil are YOU?
Mardek
Well, hey! You're that bandit chief from the mines who we let go free! I hope you didn't become a bandit again!!
Muriance
Oh! Ohhh! You are one of those soldiers from Chapter 2! I mean, from the Gem Mine incident. I lost a lot of good men to your blades.
But I am no longer a Bandit Chief, no no! I, uh... I changed my ways, just like you told me to, yes! I wouldn't want to die by your hand, after all. Now I am, uh... a Treasure Hunter! Yes!
I hunt for ancient treasures and relics now, you see. Not... not for my own personal gain either! No! I have forgotten about finding the Magical Crystals I have spent my life fantasising about and feeling mysteriously drawn to, and now I merely collect ancient trinkets to display in museums for the bright, hungry eyes of lovely little children! You must believe me.
Mardek
Well, I'm glad you've changed and become Good now!
Muriance
Yes... There's nothing I like more than seeing the smiles on those childrens' faces after getting back from a long selfless trek into dangerous ruins.
Anyway, now that you are here, friend, and now that you know I am no longer evil, perhaps you can be useful to me. I mean, perhaps we can help eachother? I mean, perhaps you can do me a favour? I mean... whatever sounds the least selfish and evil. You know.
In my Treasure Hunting that I for sure do, I stumbled upon this 'Runestone Fragment'... It is a fragment, of a runestone, I imagine, with an Earth element glyph etched into it. I did some research, and found out that it is a key to this temple here, the Earth Temple, where the Earth Crystal sleeps...
The temple has been left undisturbed for decades, since the means to get inside was mysteriously lost, so it is certain that there are all kinds of trinkets and baubles inside that I can retrieve to show to the kiddiwinks. Smiles and all that, you see.
But my predicament is this: a fragment is a fragment, not a whole. You cannot open a lock with half a key. Do you understand this, my mentally-gifted friend?
Mardek
Well, do you mean that you can get in if you have the other fragments?
Muriance
Yes, that is what I mean. Your deductive skills are astounding.
It looks to me that the runestone was sundered in twain in a very bisective manner, if you follow my drift. That is to say, it was broken in half. There is likely only one other fragment needed to complete the stone.
I have been searching for this other fragment for some time, but as of yet to no avail. I was wondering whether it was near the temple, which is why I am here. If you come across it, be a dear and bring it to me. Then we can both get inside and bring those smiles to the faces of those temporally-challenged members of our dear, dear race.

Returning with the Runestone Fragment

Muriance
Oh? You actually HAVE the other fragment now? I can honestly say I am truly astounded! And intensely *aroused* by the passions that are brought to my wonderful mind by thoughts of, uh... of children's smiles... No, ignore that. I mean, treasure. Or something. Give me that.
Excellent... With these two fragments fused, the way will be open into the Earth Temple... Thank you, O *dear friend*, for your help.
But unfortunately for you, simple rubes, you have been baffled by my elaborate ruse! You fools! You have been my PAWNS all along, and have unwittingly helped me out in an EEEEVIL way, instead of in a Good way as it seems you may have hoped!! Isn't that not what you were expecting at all?!? Fools, fools, fools!! Wahahahahaaa!!1
Mardek
Well, gasp! I wasn't expecting that at all!

With Donovan in the active party:

Donovan
Sigh... I mean, really.
Muriance
The life of banditry is just too hard to give up! AS IF I'd stray from my life's calling, the sweet succour of evil, just because you nicely told me to! Lying is who I am; it's my middle name! Or rather, it's not, because that was a lie, since I lie so much! Your naivete literally makes me wet my baggy pants with amusement!
The Crystals have called out to me in my mind all of my life... BECKONED, they have. 'Muriance!', they said... 'Muriance! Come to us! We will give you power! We WANT you to have our power!' For I am the Chosen One of the crystals, I believe! They must be mine!
I will now go and conspicuously nick the fabled Earth Crystal from these elderly, crumbling, overgrown ruins that you RUBES unwittingly opened the door to for me. While I go, I will let my invisible minions here slaughter you, merely because I cannot be bothered to do so myself. Attack, from the shadows, my bandit friends!!

The party beats the bandits, and proceeds through the Earth Temple

Earth Guardian
Hello! I'm a Rock Mole and I am the Guardian of the Earth Crystal because I am a Rock Mole! That is who I am! Moo!
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • Moo?
Earth Guardian
Moo is the sound that moles make! But ordinarily, they are very quiet about it and you can't hear it! Not that you take the time to listen to moles anyway! Why are you such a critic?! Gods! Stop being so critical about everything I do or say! Also, you can't have the crystal!
  • Well, I think I recognise you from somewhere...
Earth Guardian
No you don't! I have a beard made of grass! I am a Rock Mole! Moo-woo-woo! ...Moo.
  • Well, did Muriance try to battle you?
Earth Guardian
No! That human man in the funny clothing - all clothing is funny to a Rock Mole! Ha-Ha-Ha! - just pretended to lie on the ground as if I couldn't see him even though he was in front of my face!
He is a dirty, stinking, filthy, rotten liar! I moo at him with much rancid vigour!
Muriance
Damn you, you abominable lithic talpid! I'll get you one of these days for this!
Earth Guardian
I very much doubt that! Because you are too weak! I doubt you'll ever do anyone any significant harm! And anyway, speaking of weakness, I will likely die now as I foolishly engage in combat with this ragtag bunch of adventurers and such!
Earth Guardian
Come at me, you protagonists, and chisel a statue commemorating your fierce victory from my yielding stony flesh! Then steal the precious, precious Earth Crystal! MOO!
  • Let's battle, Guardian!
Earth Guardian
Yes, okay, let's! You want the crystal? Then you must go through me! Moo!

After defeating the Earth Guardian

Earth Guardian
See! I knew I'd lose! That's what's supposed to happen. Now go and get the Crystal and do with it as you please; I don't care anymore because I'm dead! Moo.

With Solaar in the active party

Solaar
Actually, guardians fade only temporarily when defeated; you'll be back soon.
Earth Guardian
Bugger!

The party walks towards the Earth Crystal, meeting Muriance standing in front of it.

Muriance
Wahahaha! It is a thing of beauty, this crystal... I have longed and yearned for so many years now to get my hands on one of these, not knowing for sure whether or not they were even REAL, and now here I am...
It is mesmerising... I almost feel... deja vu? Most strange. I could stand here all day just ogling it.
Mardek
Well, you can't, because we're here to stop you!!
Muriance
Hmm, yes... THERE it is.
Hello there, my dear friends! How nice it is that you could join me! Thanks a billion for handling that Guardian for me! I love how it weakened you in preparation for our battle!
Since we ARE going to battle. I knew it as soon as I saw you. Damned predictable plot...
Anyway, can we just skip any long rambling dialogue and just get down to brass tacks, as they say? I'm sure you're eager to rob me of the thing I've dreamed about since before my birth, and I'm eager to be rid of you in one way or another. Let's go.

The party defeats Muriance

Muriance
Dammit. That was predictable. I knew THAT would happen as soon as I saw you too! Still... worth a try. Ugh.
Fortunately, I prepared myself for this eventuality. Warp Crystal, I should save YOUR life one of these days to make up for the number of times you've saved mine!
Now, away I go, and THIS time I won't even bother lying about changing my ways! I'll get these crystals one day, you'll see!
Mardek
Well, he escaped!
...He COULD have taken the crystal, like that Mystery Man did after we beat him, but he didn't. Hooray!

Obtaining the crystal:

Rohoph
The EARTH CRYSTAL... With this in our possession, we'll have most of the Natural crystals of this planet. The power this gives us is beyond words... But let's not think about that, lest you think corrupt thoughts.

With Donovan in the active party:

Donovan
Oh, uh, don't worry! I'm not thinking about using this literal power of the gods at all! No! We should just keep them in our pockets and never even look at them! That's the right thing to do! Heheh!

With Sharla in the active party:

Sharla
I just hope this doesn't cause any harm to the planet...

With Sslen'ck in the active party:

Sslen'ck
I cannot believe that we are getting away with this still! Truly we must be doing as the gods *wish* if they do not stop us!

With Solaar in the active party:

Solaar
We're doing it! We really are, we are! I am amazified that we have lasted this long and done what few mortaloids have done afore us! Wowsy-wowsingtons!

With Elwyen in the active party:

Elwyen
I can, like, FEEL their power coming off them and everything... wow. It's really overpowering!

With Gloria in the active party:

Gloria
Let us hope that the intense elemental energies of these crystals do not interfere with eachother with disastrous results...!

With Meraeador in the active party:

Meraeador
A-a-almost there now! ...R-right?

With Vehrn in the active party:

Vehrn
YALORT truly does smile on us, friends! I can feel his Presence emanating from this holy relic, and it fills me with pride and joy to be His servant!

With Zach in the active party:

Zach
Hmph... I must admit I am impressed.

With Legion in the active party:

Legion
...It's not very big, is it?
Rohoph
We have three of the four natural crystals now, so we should complete the set by going for the Air Crystal. That is in... Aeropolis, was it? Yes, the Temple there. It is where we should head now.

Air Crystal

The party heads to the Air Temple

Priestess Gail
Another Royal Knight arrives at the scene? Perhaps you should speak with your colleagues here, not I.
Smalls
THERE you are, Mardek. We've been looking for you. We heard the King sent you out on an errand looking for the crystal, so that's why we're here.
We're actually here by request of the King... But we also know now that he's, well... completely bonkers. That, or an impostor or something.
Chunk
(Them pink eyes were a dead giveaway.)
Smalls
Anyway, he asked us to tell you to go to him at the castle now; he wants to talk to you. We don't know what it is that he wants to say, but be careful. Be on your guard!
Actually, we can all head to the castle together if you like? Y'know, in an instant, like. Or you can make your own way there if you prefer.
Mardek (dialogue)
  • Let's all go right now!
Smalls
Right-o then! Let's be off! We'll use a Fade To Black Transition to get there.
  • I'll make my own way there.
Smalls
Right you are, sir. We'll be here for a while ogling this priestess if you want to come back and ask us for instant transport when you're ready. Or you can make your own way to the castle.

When next talked to:

Smalls
Looking for quick transport to Castle Goznor to see the King, as he requested?

The same dialogue choice is presented.

Showdown

Rohoph
The King - or my old friend Qualna, rather- awaits through this door. There may be no turning back past this point. Make sure we've done everything we need to before confronting him.
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • Well, I'm ready!
  • I have stuff to do first!

(The throne room door unlocks if choice 1 was chosen. The party enters and confronts the possessed king.)

King
There you are! You came! Good! Why haven't you brought me any of the Crystals yet?! And why are there so many of you now?! I swear there were only like five of you before!
Mardek
Well...
Rohoph
Oh, I'm sick of this. It's utterly ridiculous! I should have done this before, because the cost of our journeys so far outweighs whatever might have happened if I had, and I can't put up with it anymore!
Rohoph
Your gig is up, Qualna!
King
Gig?
Rohoph
Your jig is up, Qualna!
King
Jig?
Rohoph
Your game is up, Qualna!
King
Who's Qualna?
Rohoph
Do not play me for a fool! I KNOW it's you. Your voice, your eyes... Your 'acting talents' have really degraded along with your mind, your honour and your morals, all because of that blasted Violet Crystal! I refuse to keep up this pathetic ruse any longer. Let's do this like annunaki.
King
What on whatever this planet is called are you talking about?
Rohoph
Dammit, Qualna! I know you're a coward, but can you at least TRY to have the guts to face me now? It's not like there's any way out for you. And you're kidding yourself if you think denying your identity is at all convincing.
King
Guards! Seize this babbling fool!
Rosencrantz
Uh, though it pains me t' disobey a direct order, m' leige, I'm blummin' well not doin' that! Look at 'em all! I'd be killed before I got down the bleedin' stairs! Get 'em yerself, ya loony.
Rohoph
You should listen to your peon, O 'King'. Come here and face me.
Mardek
Well, this isn't going as well as I-
Rohoph
Shut up, Mardek. The grown-ups are talking.
Donovan
Uh... Mardek? Are you alright?

(The King approaches the party.)

King
I really have no idea what you are talking about, O Knight of mine, but if you are going to be like this, then I suppose I WILL have to take matters into my own, very royal hands.
Rohoph
Let's fight then, Qualna. Maybe some violence will convince you to be more honest with me!

(The possessed king fights the party but is defeated.)

King (normal)
Ggghh... Where... Where am I? The pain... I can't see! I... guh...
Donovan
Father!
Rohoph
Now come out of your shell and face me as yourself, Qualna! I know you're here somewhere!
King
D-Donovan...? Is that you...?
Donovan
I'm here for you, father! Hold on! You'll make it! You'll pull through! Save your strength!
King
Cliches can't save me now, my son... We all know this is where I meet my end. Who ever makes it out of situations like this? I'm bleeding all over this rug, you know... Gghk...
King
Listen, Donovan. I know you never wanted to be called Prince, or to even have your royal status known, because you felt you should be on the same level as the other guards, soldiers and knights, with your renown based on your own merits rather than your royal blood - like the stuff you're standing in right now - but unfortunately, now we have no choice anymore...
King
You must... take up the... the... My strength fades... You know what I'm... trying to... gghhuuuuhhh... (dies)
Donovan
Father!! Nooo!!
Sharla (runs up do Donovan)
Donovan!
Elwyen
*Sob!*
Mardek
The King... He's dead...
Rohoph
DAMN YOU, Qualna! That wasn't necessary! WHERE ARE YOU?!
Clavis (suddenly appears and runs up in front of the throne)
And so the monarch of Goznor falls... A tremendous pity! Do you know what will come of this? He was a Keystone, you know.
Donovan
What are YOU doing here?
Rohoph
Ugh, we have no time to deal with you right now, old man. Begone! We're in the middle of something!
Clavis
Am I so unwanted? I am saddened... I feel rejected.
Clavis
You are the son of the King, correct? Donovan, was it...? I am greatly sorry for your loss... But I wish to ask you how you FEEL about his passing.
Donovan
How do I feel? How do I FEEL!? How do you THINK I feel?! Loss... anger! Sadness... WE are the ones who killed him! He died in my arms! I... I have responsibility dumped on me and I don't know what to do! I fear for the future of Goznor...
Clavis
I ask because I know the feelings...
Clavis
You didn't THINK when you killed Moric, did you, Rohoph? You didn't THINK at all. You killed one of our mutual friends, but worse, you dislodged a Keystone of the very structure of our civilisation. Do you have ANY IDEA how much his death hurt us, his friends, or how much his loss cost Anshar?
Rohoph
Wh-what? Qualna? I...
Clavis (Qualna)
Oh, REALLY, Rohoph. Your mind is worse than I thought... I didn't think you'd go so long without realising who I am. So much for having a shared history. But you can take back that remark about my acting talents.
Rohoph
But... the King...?
Clavis (Qualna)
Do you not even REMEMBER the power we wield, Rohoph? I think you've been on this pissant little rockball for too long. But I think you also fail to realise that you are becoming what you accuse us of.
Clavis (Qualna)
You probably think we've not been watching you bugger around on this slow-paced, comfortable little world, with this alternate little life of yours, but hah. HAH. We've been watching you for years now, tracking you, watching what you do... I honestly was expecting you to have made more progress than this in your childish little rebellion, but it's gone on long enough.
Rohoph
You forget what happened to Moric. HE came here to destroy me, and look what happened. Do you want to join him, hm?
Clavis (Qualna)
Ugh! That's just... gah! I hate what you've become, Rohoph! You hate what WE'VE become, I know that, but you're so... SELF-RIGHTEOUS and can't even look in a mirror and see what's happened to yourself. You think you were magically *immune* to the Violet Crystal? Hah. You think we don't know what it DOES?
Clavis (Qualna)
Anyway, how could I FORGET about Moric? He was one of my oldest friends... and yours, to, though that didn't stop you from *sealing his soul*. And you used to call HIM Evil! I'm sickened by your hypocrisy!
Rohoph
Look, I don't want to stand here while you insult me with these baseless lies. Clearly YOUR mind is too addled to realise you're talking nonsense; you've gone insane. Let's just battle and be done with it; get you out of my way.
Clavis (Qualna)
Rohoph. You are not in the right here. It may surprise you to know that I am not here to kill you. I am here in goodwill, actually; I am here to try to CONVINCE you. To make you see reason. To make you aware of what you are doing... And to make you accept what you have become so then you can channel it appropriately.
Clavis (Qualna)
We - that is, myself and the rest of the council - have realised for a long time now what the Violet Crystal does. We knew it as soon as you did, but we reacted more... maturely about it. We realised that we could USE its power to further our civilisation, but you misinterpreted our goals.
Clavis (Qualna)
Yes, I'll be the first to admit that most of us didn't exactly react in a mature and rational manner to your own irrationality, and we did indeed want you dead. Or the OTHERS did, at least... Moric especially. I know he'd have loved to kill you. It seems the Crystal exaggerates our 'strongest' traits while subduing our 'softer' ones...
Clavis (Qualna)
I was even SENT here to kill you, but I'm not going to do that. Unlike Moric, I'm not going to BETRAY our council for my own personal gain either, but I'm hoping to come to a better solution than mindless bloodshed.
Rohoph
If you wanted to prevent mindless bloodshed, then what was the need in killing this human king?!
Clavis (Qualna)
  • I* did not kill the king. I possessed him, yes, and put on that silly act to run you on that wild goose chase, but I did it all for a reason. I didn't intend for him to die, and I am sorry that happened... But they're only *humans*. It's not like this place *matters* or anything.
Clavis (Qualna)
I've watched you interact with them on this world, these humans... Pretending that you CARE about them, just to save your own skin. You'd never mention how you used to be with them back on Anshar, since you have to rely on them now, but... alas. This is not the time or the place for that, amusingly embarrassing as it'd be for you.
Clavis (Qualna)
Anyway, as I said, we've been watching you for a while. Since you ruthlessly slaughtered our friend, our Necromancer, chaos has broken out on Anshar. As you know, Moric never trained an Apprentice to take over from his position - none of us did, though some of us are working on it now - so with his fall, he left a hole.
Clavis (Qualna)
The Undead Army that used to be our military force could no longer be as large as it once was, so we've been having to swell the ranks with LIVE droma and even a few annunaki, and they've NOT been happy about that. As you can imagine. Rioting ensued, and overall the army is weaker...
Clavis (Qualna)
Things aren't too bad at the moment, all things considered, but it could get a LOT worse if more of us are lost. Your own absence is TERRIBLE for the morale AND the health of our citizens the world over, you know; I don't suppose you considered anything like this when you stormed off in a fit of emotion.
Clavis (Qualna)
So, as I became more and more distressingly aware of how much your mind has gone towards chaos and ruin and senility and such, I decided to try to teach you a lesson. I knew you'd not listen to ME, but hoped with this disguise here - as 'Clavis' - I could teach you about the effects of removing 'Keystones' from their place... Hopefully so you'd stop what you're doing to US.
Clavis (Qualna)
Gods know you've been ACTING like a child, so I might as well talk down to you as one, trying to teach you the basics...
Clavis (Qualna)
I sent you to find the Crystals because they are great, significant Keystones, and I wanted to show you what happened when they were removed. All the repercussions... You saw what happens to the Temples when their Keystones are removed, and the same happens in any system. Anshar will DIE without its government; it already is doing.
Clavis (Qualna)
Now that you've seen for yourself what happens when a Keystone is removed, I summoned you back here; I don't have forever to waste away here like you seem to act as if you do.
Clavis (Qualna)
Violence isn't a sensible option. If you don't agree with our new methods with the Violet Crystal, then by all means COME BACK and we'll debate about it. Weigh the pros and cons, and go with the majority vote. Like old times. Then whatever's chosen, you'll just have to deal with it and hope to use it in whatever lofty 'moral' way you think is right.
Clavis (Qualna)
Running off just caused problems. I want you to return with me, Rohoph. It won't be easy at first, but I think over time, we can get back to what we once were and start using the Violet Crystal to shape a Better Tomorrow for the Annunaki.
Rohoph
What, are you THAT stupid? I won't fall for THAT trick. I am NOT a child. You'd just lure me back and then kill me, to get me out of your way.
Clavis (Qualna)
No, Rohoph... ugh. Have you listened to a word I've said? We don't ALL solve our problems with mindless violence, 'removing obstacles from our path'. We don't all see things as black and white as you do. I am being honest and serious here, and I want to make things right.
Clavis (Qualna)
Though you've been really grinding my gears lately because of how the Violet Crystal's messed with your mind, you are still my friend, Rohoph... And Well, I LOVE you, like I loved Moric. I don't want to lose another friend.
Rohoph
Sorry, Qualna, but your silver tongue won't save you this time. I am not falling for it. I will CONTINUE my resistance against you, and I will destroy you and the rest of my former chums if I have to. You are EVIL; can't you SEE this?
Rohoph
It's easy for you, in your position, to lie and say you're not, and to speak of using the Violet Crystal as if it's not Pure Evil, but... but dammit, you're just evil, and I need to stop you! I'll fight you if I have to; with you joining Moric, I will be so much closer to returning Anshar to Light.
Clavis (Qualna)
Well, I see that this is hopeless. You're further gone than I was hoping, but I tried. I won't argue with you anymore, Rohoph; I'm going. I'll form an Astral Tunnel; if you want to follow me, then follow me. I hope you do.
Clavis (Qualna)
Otherwise, I'll check up on you again in a while, and try some other means to get you to come back. Be glad I'm putting so much effort into this; you DON'T want to get Gaspar after you, believe me.
Clavis (Qualna)
So come, Rohoph, old friend. Follow me.
Rohoph
Grr...
Mardek
Rohoph, what's going on? I don't-
Rohoph
I'm going after him! I won't let him get away and report what he found back to them! They are EVIL!
Elwyen
Um... Am I the only one who has NO IDEA what just happened?
Gloria
I'm as perplexed as you are!
Solaar
I think they're annunaki and they maded an Astral Tunnel to traversify through the Fig Plane to get to their homeworld of Anshar and-... I mean, I don't have a roc's bottom of an idea, no no!
Vehrn
Oh, they're just Demons, like in Chapter 2! Let's just wait a while and they'll sort themselves out. Who's up for a game of Twister?!
Elwyen
Ooh! Me! Me!
Donovan
My father is lying dead on the floor here.
Vehrn
Well I guess he'll have to sit this one out, then.
Sharla
Um, I never knew you were royalty...
Legion
Sigh...

(Screen shifts to Mardek/Rohoph in the Astral Tunnel. Mardek/Rohoph navigate through the area and reach Qualna.)

Qualna
Rohoph! Good, you followed me... Look. This is the Astral Realm. Isn't it magnificent? We're almost at Anshar now. Travelling between there and here is a breeze if we use this realm to bypass space...
Qualna
Though I used it, I didn't volunteer to let Moric travel this way because I rather didn't want him to go off and *kill* you... I didn't want either of you to die. And if I go, this power will go with me...
Qualna
But I am going to die, aren't I, Rohoph? You're not coming home, are you? It doesn't take my Divination abilities to work that out. I can see it in your eye.
Rohoph
It brings me no pleasure to do what I need to do, old friend... but I DO need to do it. The Violet Crystal has tainted your mind, and it makes you lie. You put on this... ACT, but I won't believe it. I would only regret it if I let you go.
Qualna
Are you sure there's no way I can persuade you to return with me? We're almost there; we can be with the council again in mere moments... They'd be glad to see you, surely!
Rohoph
Lies. Stop your lies... It just makes it harder for us both. If I returned, I would be killed... I know this. And then Anshar would fall to darkness. I cannot let that happen! I won't let you let that happen!
Qualna
I swear to you, Rohoph, on all I hold dear, that I mean you no ill. I genuinely wish for things to be solved peacefully, and I feel that... we can USE the darkness, rather than letting it use us, as I think YOU think is the case.
Rohoph
Ah-ha! See! You admit you use the darkness! Darkness cannot BE used for anything other than Evil ends! Power like that corrupts, absolutely so, and I am doing you a FAVOUR by freeing you from this foolish risk!
Qualna
Well, I give up then. At least... if you kill me now, will you at least grant my soul the freedom to flit away to the Afterlife? It is a simple request; a joy you kept from Moric. Don't Seal my Soul... Please.
Qualna
I suppose in a way I'll be... glad to be away from this. I hate conflict, you know. I just want to see it end peacefully, but I see that won't happen, so... I just don't want to see it at all. I don't want to see anything anymore.
Rohoph
Very well then, old friend. I give you my word that I will let your soul free. Now... let us end this.
Qualna
Siiiigh! Deep breaths, Qualna! This is it... Um. Come on, then... If I can, I'll try to batter you into submission so I can drag you home with me, but I know that's unlikely... But I'll at least go down fighting! Haaai-yooozah!

(They fight. Qualna is defeated.)

Qualna
Heh... I knew that'd happen... Free, at last, now... I don't want to endure this anymore. So just... just... do GOOD, will you? I hope you know what you're doing... and I wish you well. Beware of Gaspar, though.
Qualna
But... you are going to... ghhk... to honour your promise, yes? You're Lawful... You need to let my soul go free. I just need to check this. Please.
Rohoph
I am sorry, old friend. But I cannot take risks. I cannot trust you anymore, knowing that the Violet Crystal has warped your mind. I cannot let you return to the others as a spirit.
Qualna
W-WHAT?! You... you promised! You promised me, Rohoph! No...!
Rohoph
Farewell, Qualna.
Qualna
YOU UTTER MONSTER!!

(Rohoph casts the soul sealing spell. Screen shifts back to Castle Goznor.)

Epilogue

Donovan
So you're saying that you're from another WORLD entirely? And you've possessed Mardek since childhood? I suppose that would explain those moments of lucidity amongst his usual carefree nature...
Rohoph
Indeed. But I am no threat to you, so know that. I'm on your side; don't worry about me!
Donovan
Well, if you say so. I've got enough to worry about as it is now anyway. With my father gone, I'll have to take up the crown... Me. A ruler! Who'd've thought?
Sharla
Um, I'm sure you'll make a great leader!
Donovan
Thanks, Sharla. With you here for me, I'm sure I'll be able to cope, difficult though it may be...
Sharla
I, um... I won't leave your side!
Elwyen
Aww...
Elwyen
But Mardek! Or... or 'Rodolph' or whatever you said you were called! I don't know what to feel about you anymore! You never mentioned this split personality thing to me before! What OTHER secrets are you hiding?
Mardek
Well, sorry... Rohoph told me not to tell people about him. I didn't meant to hide things from you.
Elwyen
Well... I just hope that he doesn't get in the way! You know! Um...!
Elwyen
It was nice travelling with you anyway, Mardek. I'll stay with you for any further adventures, okay?
Elwyen
But for now, we and the others have all agreed to help Donovan with his castle stuff! Since the King never really told him what to do. I hope I get to be a princess!
Donovan
Uh, that's not how it works.
Elwyen
Anyway, you should get some rest, Mardek. It's been a long day... I don't know what we'll do about missions, though, since there's no King to hand them out anymore. I suppose we'll have to wait until after the coronation...

(Mardek is about the leave the throne room, but Elwyen stops him.)

Elwyen
Hey, Mardek...
Elwyen
There's a play on in Aeropolis, I heard! It's about YOU! About what you did in Chapter 2, where you saved us all! C'mon, let's go and see it together!
Mardek
Well, I've just done loads of questing and I'm really tired and... upset...
Elwyen
Oh, don't be like that, Mardek!
Elwyen
You look so sullen. You need cheering up! Don't be all moody and stuff in your room by yourself. Let's do something fun like this to take your mind off stuff! That's what I think would make you feel better.
Rohoph
Perhaps this would be a good thing for you, Mardek. It would allow you to calm your mind... To forget about what has just occurred.
Mardek
Well, okay then...
Elwyen
Yay! I guess you are good for something after all, Mr Rudolph!
Elwyen
Now then, Mardek! Shaaall we?

(The two reach the Aeropolis theatre.)

Theatre Guard
Hello. Are you here to see the play? It'll be 1000 gold for a ticket.
Elwyen
Hey there! My name's Elwyen. Mr Wobblescimitare said he'd have two seats for me? FREE seats, y'know?
Theatre Guard
Ah, Miss Elwyen! Yes, he was expecting you. And this must be your 'plus one'? Come right this way; the play will start shortly.
Mardek
How do you have free seats?
Elwyen
Oh, well, um, you know how this play is about your previous adventures? Well, this playwright guy had to find out the story SOMEhow. He heard about the saucer thing, then came to Canonia to ask around, and he met me and I told him all about what you told me all those times! I wanted to keep it a secret so then it'd be a surprise.
Elwyen
Anyway, let's go in, Mardek!

(The play starts. Akhmed Wobblescimitare appears at the centre of the stage.)

Akhmed Wobblescimitare
Greetings, greetings, and greetings again, there, fair chaps and chapettes! Thank you all for coming to see my lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely play, which is magnificent, if I do say so myself. Which I do. I'm sure you'll all enjoy it. My writing is sheerly orgasmic; truly a product of my unrivaled genius.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
I'm sure you're all familiar with the Dark Cloud Incident from a few short years ago? You must be. It was a momentous event, a chage of the highest degree! What's a 'chage', you ask, with much curdled frustration? Why, 'tis a word I just made up to describe the sheer chagery of the event! I do that, you know.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
Anyway, I'm delaying, I notice. Enough of that. I introduce you fair maidens and maidenettes to the scene: the wild, untamed North, the *wild lands*, the vast verdant veldt where barbarians and kings dwell, where knights fight dragons and all is... rarely swell.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
Our story begins in a dank, dark cave, in a cavern of shining stones. A vile villain of a man - a bandit named Maurice - has kidnapped the fair princess Elma from Gonzo, the great northern nation. What does he want her for? Let us see!

(Wobblescimitare walks away. Maurice and Elma walk in.)

Maurice (Mugbert)
Woo-ha-ha-haaa! Fortune is a wondrous thing.
I am a villain, feared throughout the North, a Bandit King!
But soon I am to be the King of the whole WORLD,
for I have kidnapped, at last, a VALUABLE little girl...'d.
Maurice
Heir to the throne of Gonzo; a princess is she!
The King, oh he'll pine, and then he will see
That to win back his child, he'll find out with a frown,
He must trade me his Kingdom, give me his crown!
Maurice
But I may be waiting a while, alone in this lair
With this darling beauty, this lass with pink hair.
Though she's mine for the crown, to my mind just came
An additional use for this sweet, tender dame...
Elma (Aalia)
Eek! No, away from me, thou oaf, thou cur!
Thou wilt not get away with this, on my dainty heart I swear!
There's a white knight for every princess,
Thou wilt see! A Hero will save me from this sorry distress!
Maurice
Woo-ha-ha-haaa! You hope in vain, little one,
For the days of Grand Heroes are over, they're gone.
Forget them, and swoon, and relax; do not fear.
Come to me, and let me sip of your pleasures, my dear.

(Madrak and Dougal appear.)

Madrak (Bartholio)
Hands off her, villain! Let her go or die!
Maurice
Drat! My plans are foiled! A hero is here!
But beware, good sir, for I am more dangerous than I appear.
I have come too far to give up now, I've got too much to lose.
So let her go? Ha! I really must refuse!
Elma
Oh, my hero! I knew that thou wouldst come!
Save me, oh rescue from this abominable scum!
Thy stature is strong, thy white teeth, they shine!
I'm swooning, I'm taken; I would love thee to be mine!
Dougal (Vennie)
My sir, is this wise? He's sure to be armed!
We may be too weak; we may fail and be harmed!
Madrak
Be calm, my squire; we need not fear this cad.
We're here to save you, princess; for that you should be glad!
I am Madrak, a mighty knight, and this is Dougal, my page;
For your crimes, dog, you'll feel my righteous rage!
Madrak
You should have known that your vile dreams could never be,
But since you didn't you're now here, left to deal with me.
I have never lost a battle, a true hero am I.
You have but one move now, and that is to die.
Maurice (draws a gun)
Ah-ha, though, O hero, you think you're so great?
I'll show you you're mistaken, oh just you wait1
For you see this thing here, that I hold in my grip?
It's a GUN, and your death sir, so flee; just a tip!
Madrak (punches Maurice)
Your false metal manhood does not threaten me!
Maurice
O woe, oh my ribs; I fear they are broken!
My end, it does come here! GALARIS has spoken.
O FIE on you, hero! A curse on your head!
I swear for this action, you WILL soon be dead.
Dougal
Amazing, oh master! Your strength, it astounds me!
A victory again, here; the princess is free!
Madrak
All in a day's work.
Elma
Oh, my hero, thou did it! Thou saved me, hooray!
This is the best thing that's happened to me on this day!
Thy strength, it is mighty; thy heart, it is true.
I know that I'm smitten, I'm falling for... thee!
Madrak
We will head to your castle; the King, he awaits.
My orders were clear, from fair Master Smith.
He'll be glad to be with you, and so will the world,
For good for all men is the way this unfurled.
Elma
Oh, my hero, please hear; I am glum at the castle!
I am stifled and hid; no more than a vassal!
I crave for adventure, I want to be free.
Oh please, oh my hero, oh won't YOU take me?
Madrak
If that is your plight, oh beauteous darling,
Then yes, come with us; you'll be free as a starling!
I will cherish your company, the delight of a girl,
For you're lovely, and fair; you are bright like a pearl.
Dougal
Though I don't mean to question your wisdom, my friend,
Does not on her presence, the kingdom depend?
Madrak
Relax there, my squire, I know what I'm doing.
I swear I am thinking; not just idly wooing!
To the king we will send an advisory letter,
He'll be fine, and this girl, she will come, we will let her.
Madrak
And now we must fly, for adventure doth call,
And nothing can stop us, not a cloud nor a squall.
We will ride on the winds, we will ride on the waves,
We will trudge through the forests, we will scour dank caves!

(Actors leave the stage.)

Elwyen
Oooh! What's gonna happen next?! I bet you don't know, Mardek!
Mardek
Well, I probably don't! I don't remember being topless and muscly or any of this, really! And they... I don't like what they did with Deugan...
Elwyen
They had to make some small changes here and there to make it more exciting, y'know. It's still the same old story, deep down!
Elwyen
I bet you're expecting some sexy blue-haired young girl to be in the next scene, who the Hero comes to the rescue of, but, um, I asked Mr Wobblescimitare to remove that scene... He wanted ME to play the part, and I really did want to! But then I wouldn't have been able to sit here with you, Mardek... Holding your hand...
Elwyen
And I'm not letting some skanky tramp play me, you can be sure of that!
Elwyen
Ooh, look, look! The next act's beginning now!

(Wobblescimitare appears on stage.)

Akhmed Wobblescimitare
The three heroes travel across the lands, slaying dragons and saving orphans from forest fires, until one day they happen upon a quest that will come to change the very world as we know it!
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
They find themselves in the quaint little hamlet of Cannon Ear, where the bizarrely-dressed Northern pikemen tell them of a mysterious witch who dwells in the nearby forest and eats children! She is spawn of GALARIS, or his servant, they claim; the heroes cannot help but investigate!
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
They head to the heart of the deep, misty woods; crickets chirp and owls hoot. Everything's really SPOOOOKY. Woooo~! They encounter a swarthy bunch of other, mysterious, and very attractive heroes who best them in combat, and find themselves stumbling tiredly through the undergrowth, seeking a settlement of men, a bed to rest in. Let's see what happens next!

(Wobblescimitare leaves. Madrak, Elma, and Dougal appear.)

Dougal
Oh mercy! Those Saviours... they sure were strong!
If we don't find some healing, we'll be dead afore long.
Elma
Though their hearts were so pure, they'd not hit a lass,
Their strength was so mighty, I fainted! Alas!
Madrak
I've ne'er lost in combat, not until now,
Their powers surpassed ours, by oodles! Ugh, ow!
Madrak
But hark, friends, be silent! Did you hear that cackle?
Though we can't see its source, it was never a jackal.
The witch, she is near; I feel she's close.
You can feel it quite clearly; the air's gone morose.
Dougal
I am fearful, my master; 'tis a spectre, we fight.
I don't much like cackles that arise from the night...
Elma
Be strong, friends, have courage! Do no be afraid.
Our Madrak is splendid, he can light up the shade.
For fear of fear is no fear at all,
With friendship and valour, all evil will pall.

(Witch appears.)

Dougal
A shadow, a shade, there is more here than that!
The witch, she is coming; prepare for combat!
The Witch (Lifewood Shaman)
Double, double, toil and misfortune!
Shadows howl and heroes tremble!
The Witch
You're here too late, you're here in vain!
You cannot stop the rot and bane!
The Witch
The god of death has come from far;
GALARIS calls; his form, a star!
Madrak
You riddles don't scare me, you horrible witch!
We're here to slay you, to atone for your crimes, which
The gods will see fit to abuse you forever for,
But now we'll ensure that you won't hurt anymore.
The Witch
-I- am worthless; Caller, no more;
Reaper; waiting; opened the door!
The Witch
A disc up high, black clouds of doom,
Nowhere is safe, not even the tomb!
Madrak
What speak you, you hag? Do you speak of a threat
That could spell us the end? I am not ready yet!
You'll TELL US of paths, of dates and of plans,
We must face this peril, we must save Belfan!
The Witch
North is where the disc will come, but
Know that one of you will... fall! Gee-heh-heh-heh-heeee!
Dougal
I do not know what just was said,
But I'm already scared; I don't want to be dead!
Madrak
This threat, it sounds grave, but we must not be scared.
We are heroes, we're mighty, for this we're prepared.
GALARIS is loose and the world is in need,
We can't leave the Reaper to kill for his greed!
Elma
Thy words, they ring true, and I know what must be done,
But what of this witch? Should we leave her to run?
We came here to stop her for actions unjust,
So now that we're here, we'll slay her? We must!
Madrak
We are here to end her, I know this is true,
But we must make with haste as we've Death to pursue!
This witch may be evil, but her evil is mere,
Compared to the destruction of all we hold dear.

(The heroes leave.)

The Witch
Gee-heh-heh-heh-heeee...
The Witch
Reaper calls to foolish mice...
Death will die, but at a price...

(Witch leaves.)

Akhmed Wobblescimitare
The disc of GALARIS that the Witch spoke of looms ominously over the city of Gonzo, to the north of the fores; the towering stone peaks of the city's many staggering glorious chapels and cathedrals blackened by a thick, vile fog.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
The dead rise! Zombies! They stalk the streets and scare babies; all seems to have gone to pot. But then hurrah! The three heroes arrive on the scene, and using the powers of love and friendship, they mange to make their way into the huge floating saucer.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
What fate awaits them in its inky bowels? Will they save the world from Death Himself? Let us have a see, shall we?

(Wobblscimitare leaves. GALARIS appears.)

GALARIS (Aeropolis Shaman)
BWAHAHAHA!! I am GALARIS, the god of mortality!!
Finally, my plan to destroy all life is a reality.
Every man, every woman, every child, a fatality.
And then all will be at peace.
GALARIS
Their minds, always ON, always nagging and nattering!
Their words, so INANE, yet they're constantly chattering!
I have dreamed for so long of the concept of shattering
This horrible, maddening noise.
GALARIS
The gods, the creators, they've told me to cease,
They've held me and caged me like brutal police.
They don't understand with their STUPID caprice
What it's like to have to listen.

(The heroes appear.)

Madrak
GALARIS! You'll stop! You're going too far!
Your mind, it seems broken; what a horrible scar...
We are not as you paint us, we are not all inane;
So I implore you to stop now, to see you're insane!
GALARIS
Insane? Ha! I laugh. You're simply pathetic.
I'll truly delight in Existence ascetic.
Mere men 'gainst a god? It's almost poetic.
But there is no chance that you'll win.
Elma
Thou are a being of death, of loss and of void,
It's no shock that our love would leave thou annoyed.
Thou are heartless and empty, thou don't even know
What the meaning of life IS, which is tragic, O woe.
GALARIS
The meaning of life is to meet a chill end
At the end of my scythe; you cannot defend
That it has any purpose, you can't comprehend
What it's worth, which is utterly nothing.
Dougal
My life, it is fearful, and difficult, and such,
But I still rather like it, I like it quite much.
For when you have friends and you're not all alone,
It's worth living; if only a life you had known...
GALARIS
A life? Fie! What rot. I would rather be nothing.
To suggest that I'm lacking is simply insulting.
And now comes the time to STOP your crude grunting,
You simpering, dim-witted apes.
Madrak
I pity you, god, for you try not to see
That there's far more than that you could only be.
Find friendship, and love, and I think that you'll find
You'll feel better, much better, and so will mankind.
GALARIS
Oh gods how I HATE that you're saying such tripe,
And yet do I feel that your words, they do swipe
At my heart, which I have; I am buying your hype...
I think I would like a friend.
GALARIS
But no! What is this that you're making me say?
I won't let you ruin me, you won't have your way!
I'll slice you and dice you, I'll make you decay,
But first, you will fight my zombie.

(Zombie appears.)

GALARIS
Behold! Social Fox, the great Northern Hero!!
GALARIS (turns around)
Uh... wait a minute. That's not the actor dude! I think that's a real zombie, man!
Madrak
Ja, so it is! That's not supposed to happen. We'll have to FIGHT it for real; I see no other way to solve this small problem than with casual yet very brutal violence!
Elwyen
Um, Mardek? I think we should maybe help out, dont[sic] you? Let's get up there!
Mardek (goes up on stage)
Well, that would be wise.
Elma
lets go barty we can do tihs!!! ;p
Madrak
Ah, you? You're here to help? We don't NEED your help, petty soldier, but you're welcome to bask in my excellence as I beat it with my eyes, ears and mouth closed. Now, some music please, Mr Piano Man!

(They fight and defeat the Zombie Actor.)

Akhmed Wobblescimitare
What the DEVIL is going on here?! Where's the man who was supposed to play the zombie?! Where did THAT one come from?! People could have been killed!!
Bernard
Heh.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
What are you doing on the stage, old man?
Dougal
Were you the one 'oo sammoned the zambie, moite?
Bernard
Fun, eh? I said my performance would make the play better, but would you listen? No, you just gave the role of GALARIS to that darkie tosser. thought I'd liven things up a bit.
Bernard
Or, well, not 'liven' as such, but... y'know.
Mardek
Someone could have died...
Bernard
I don't see no corpses. Anymore. So it's fine. Grow a sense of humour, stiffy.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
My play... It's ruined! We can't continue on from here... We didn't even get to the steamy love scene where you get to see Elma's bajungas! Or the climatic battle at the end! O, what terrendous misfortune!
Akhmed Wobblescimitare
Attention, dear viewers! I am sorry to say that you won't see this play this day. Or the rest of it, anyway. We'll have to cancel it for now to clean up, do please leave the building! Your tickets may or may not remain valid. And actors? Ii want a word with you. Good day.
Akhmed Wobblescimitare (while leaving)
(Mumble... grumble... Stupid old people... grumble...)
Elwyen
Aww... I wanted to see how it ended! We should leave though, Mardek. C'mon.

(The two leave.)

Elwyen
Well, um, Mardek, what did you think...?
Mardek
Well... It was nice, but it brought back bad memories more than good ones. I miss Emela and Deugan...
Mardek
At least I didn't have to watch Deugan die again... That would have made me walk out, I think. I miss him so much... Things get so difficult.
Elwyen (hugs Mardek)
You're not alone, Mardek... You have me, and I'll always be here with you... So will the others, too. You speak like Deugan was everything to you...
Elwyen
And sometimes that makes the rest of us feel like we're worthless, like we don't mean anything to you.
Mardek
Well, I don't mean to make you think that. You're all really important to me. I don't know if I could go on without any of you. But I still miss Deugan 'cause we grew up together...
Elwyen
And now we can all grow up together, from now on! Like some big happy family! Yeh!
Mardek
Well... well...

(A man in a green wolf mask walks up to them.)

Mysterious Stranger
Excuse me...?
Elwyen
Ooh! Neato doggy helmet, mister!
Mysterious Stranger
Sorry, I don't mean to intrude, but I couldn't help overhearing your conersation... I think I can relate to it.
Mysterious Stranger
You see, I had a close, dear friend that I too lost recently... A person who I grew up with, who I cared for deeply, who I felt lost without. and I WAS lost for a long while; I didn't know what to do with my life, or if it was even worth living.
Mysterious Stranger
But I comforted myself and learned to move on by thinking about how he might have handled the situation. I thought that he would surely have had teh strength to move on rather than dwelling on the unchangeable past, that he'd surely have learned to live in the present and make do with what he had in the now.
Mysterious Stranger
These thoughts, these imaginary reactions from the version of him in my mind, are what kept me going, what made me want to be strong, like he would surely be. I... would not wish to meet that friend in this life or another, only to find that he dwelt in the past even more than I did... On what would my own strength be based then?
Mysterious Stranger
That's all I wanted to say... Thank you for your time, and goodbye.
Mardek
Wait...!
Elwyen
Ooh. That ws sort of mysterious. I wonder what he felt the need to say that for?
Elwyen
You should listen to him though, and be strong! Deugan would be, and he'd want you to be, too!
Mardek
Well, I suppose...
Elwyen
Anyway, um... I've had a really nice time with you tonight... I'd... I'd like to do this again sometime. Maybe a lot of times. If you want...
Rohoph
I am a busy man, and I have work to do. I can't be spending all my valuable time with some irritating, flightly little *child*. Can't you see that I don't reciprocate those puerile feelings of infatuation that you aren't remotely subtle about? You're wasting your time. Go and... play in the sand or something. Leave me alone.
Elwyen
Wh-wha...?
Elwyen
That's so MEAN of you, Mardek! So MEAN! I... I-I-I... How could you?!
Elwyen
Waah! (runs away)
Mardek
What did you do that for?!
Rohoph
Mardek. You SHOULD listen to the one with the stranger helmet than ours, yes. You should learn that strength doesn't come from relying on others. It doesn't come from friends. Sooner or later, your friends betray you, and become your enemies. The fewer friends you have, the less chance of enemies.
Rohoph
We have a mission on which the fate of the galaxy rests. We cannot waste time with idle socialising. Soon you will have to leave this world and seek out the Governanace de Magi personally, so it is best to sever connections early to avoid any unnecessary distress later on.
Rohoph
I also don't want you messing things up at some crucial moment for reasons related to *emotion*. Your enemies cannot use your friends to hurt you, to persuade you, to damage you psychologically, if you rise ABOVE the feeble need for any at all.
Mardek
J-just because YOUR friends are trying to kill YOU doesn't mean my friends would do anything like that! Y-you just have really bad friends! Or... or even, maybe it's YOU?! Maybe they hated your CONTROL FREAKYNESS and... and... I can easily see how they'd hate you! You're not nice! You think you are, but, but...
Rohoph
SILENCE!!
Rohoph
...
Rohoph
Enough of that. I won't listen to you. This is the exact sort of emotion that I was talking about. We need to be rid of it. It is a hindrance to our goals.
Rohoph
The other governors think that they can lure me in with lies? Kill me off with the living dead? Ha. They're getting really desperate now, and falling one by one, like so many flies. Soon, peace, order and justice will return to Anshar; it will return to light, and I can go home... away from here.
Rohoph
Now YOU, little human mind, will be silent, to think about what you've done. What you must do. We will leave now. We're getting strange looks.

(Screen fades. Scene with the GdM show.)

Balthazar
Oh, Qualna. Your heart was in the right place - below your squandrax and to the side of you pippopos gland - but you should have realised that the white one is beyond reasoning now. He won't listen to anyone, mno.
Gaspar
SEE?! SEE!! WE BEDWETTLINGLY -TOLD- HIM TO KILL THE DOGGLING WHITE PLASTROID, BUT DID HE LISTEN?! THE TENT HE DID! HE TRIED TO USE HIS BRUNNY -WORDS- TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM! HE ALMOST BROUGHT ROHOPH BACK HERE! I DON'T WANT THAT SMOGGLING CRONTON HERE! PFAH! I'M GLAD QUALNA'S DEAD! HE WAS BRINGING US DOWN.
Melchior
I liked Qualna. He had one eye. I liked that about him because I have one eye too. So does everyone in this chamber. We're like one big happy family! He also solved his problems with words. Words which weren't things like 'DIE!!' or 'I have a small peanut and I'm not afraid to use it!!'
Balthazar
You have a small -what-?
Melchior
I'm a hermaphrodite.
Gaspar
WE SOGGIN' WELL ALL ARE, YOU TRUMPET.
Melchior
That's okay. What's for tea?
Anu
We must address the issue at hand here. Gaspar, you said that if Qualna's peaceful approach failed, you would handle the problem. I don't know what you've got planned, but you have permission.
Anu
Rohoph is really becoming a threat. The number of ragtag adventurers he's accumulating, who put aside their differences to work for a common cause, is alarming; he already has enough to defeat us all if they level up enough.
Gaspar
I'LL SEE TO IT THAT THE ONLY CHEVELLING LEVELLING UP THEY'LL BE DOING WILL BE DONE... DEAD!!! DEADLY. WHILE CORPSES. WHICH IS TO SAY, THEY WON'T BARNEY WELL BE ABLE TO AT ALL!! CRUMBLES.
Melchior
But what if they all use their Soul Transfer thingy-majigs?
Balthazar
I keep telling you: humans cannot do that, myes. They are weak and pathetic and they can't even perceive psychic energy waves or electromagnetic radiation.
Melchior
You have to believe, Balthy. You have to believe.
Gaspar
CAN I GO NOW? I LOOK FORWARD TO BORTRILY BURNING SOME FAT FLATTERNED FACES INTO THE COLD, HARD, SHUMBRUSOME GROUND. BWAHA.
Anu
Yes, yes, begone... Just... do a thorough job of it.
Gaspar
'THOROUGH' IS MY MIDDLE NAME'S FAVOURITE COLOUR! I'LL DO IT MORE THOROUGHLY THAN YOU'VE EVER HAD THE MISSILING TO CONOMBRIATE!
Gaspar
WATCH OUT THERE, ROHOPH... YOU WON'T GET AWAY FROM -ME-.

END OF CHAPTER

Sidequests

Save the Priests!

Sidequest Priest
Oh! Hello there! Y-you're the Knights who are meant to be going down to the lower levels, right? Splendid! I have a favour to ask of you... I-I mean, since you'll be going down there anyway...
You see, the monsters in the lower levels only appeared recently. When they did, we had to evacuate the lower levels, but not all of us got out. Some of the priests were either too absorbed in their studies or meditation, reading, or just, you know, milking their snakes, and couldn't get out fast enough.
We were too scared to go down and help them ourselves - we're only like level 1, despite lifetimes of priestitution, and the monsters down there are at least level 10! - but now that you are here, you are our shining ray of hope! I hope you'll go and rescue them, yes?
I won't take 'no, I don't want to do this and I want them to die' as an answer! Here. Just take these Warp Stones to the four priests; one for each. With them, they can escape safely.
Come back if you save them all, and I'll make it worth your while, I promise, Big Boy!

(first priest)

Solakian Priest Djhale
Hello. I'm trapped down here, and- hey, is that a Warp Stone? Yay! You must have been sent by the priest whose name I can never remember up on the top level! Hmm... was it 'Solakian Priest' or 'Priest of SOLAK'? Or did he change it to something like 'Sidequest Priest' to be different?! Please give that Warp Stone to me!
Thanks for this. I'll use it to get back right away! I can't stand another moment in this place with death breathing down my neck like a... y'know! Bye!

(second priest)

Solakian Priest Ellavar
Who are you?! Did that priest finally send someone to help me? It's about time!
Give me that Warp Stone. Grumble...

(third priest)

Solakian Priest Mohmana
Um, hello...? You're... oh! You must be sent to rescue me?
Um, is this Warp Stone for me? Thanks! You're a really kind person. I'll, um... bye! See you at the top!

(fourth priest)

Solakian Priest Akhmell
Finally... I've been waiting for someone to come and find me for ages. Thought they'd just forgotten about me.
How do you plan to get me out of here? Oh, a Warp Stone. That's reasonable. Hand it to me, if you will, and I shall promptly use it to escape this place. Thank you, and farewell.

(after saving the priests...)

Sidequest Priest
Great! You found them all! I said I'd reward you if you did, so here you go! Have this nice pretty amulet with our Generic Stylised Sun Symbol on it. You can show it off to all your friends... and probably be asked 'what on Belfan is THAT gaudy thing?'
Actually, since I feel a mere trinket is not enough and I feel like I should be a better person out of fear of my deity, I have another reward for you, too. It's a... strange orb that I found somewhere. It actually creeps me out, because it sounds like it's whispering sometimes! Take it, please!
Anyway, thanks again for your help!

Sun Temple Rewards

Mardek
Well, we solved the problem!
Solakian High Priest Shamash
You did? The dark monsters seem to be calming down a bit and dissipating, so I take your word for that. Well done, Knights. I knew we could count on you.
As for your reward, there's your payment of 5000 gold, of course, but I'd also like you to take this. It may be of use to you in the future.
You will always be welcome here, Royal Knights of Goznor. May you go with the blessings of SOLAK.

Missing Gizmo

First Officer Lykel
Are you a human, me old sport? Looks like it seems so, if I do say so myself! Amazing, that. We don't often see other humans. Too bad you're not a sexy girl though. We could all do with a shag. How about her, the blonde one?
Donovan
Excuse me, but who the Hell are you?
First Officer Lykel
No? Oh well, worth a shot. But well old boy, I am First Officer Billy G Lykel of the- ...Wait, scrap that, me chipmunk; it's none of your business. Let's just say I'm a priest and be done with it.
As I say, me old withered sausage, we've don't often come across other humans. We care little about talking to you, however, but we could use your help in a trivial little matter if you're heading through here anyway.
You see, my spaghetti dumpling, we have a... a temple, I suppose you could say, deep in the Sandflow Caves. A temple which flies. In space. Uh... I mean, metaphorically. Because of the religious experiences we have in there. Or something. My old gum boot.
But our temple is... broken... and, erm... Oh, forget that. No, wait! Yes, that's it, me old salamander's knucklebone! We lost a Holy Icon of some sort from our temple that only flies in space metaphorically! Or used to, back when the Captain was with us. I mean, High Priest. Hmm.
We HAD this 'Holy Icon' before, but - would you believe it! - a MONSTER came and stole it right out of our very hands! I tell you, me slithering hunchback, we'd have taught it a lesson right there and then if our weapons hadn't all been destroyed when our temple crashed! I mean... Oh, YOU make something up to explain that, me slippery cod's bollocks.
Anyway, I'm getting sick of talking to you now so I'll just get to the bloody point, me rancid apple sundae! We asked the reptoids to find the Warp C- uh, 'Holy Icon' for us while they're looking for this... whatever they're looking for, but they're so... I can't even think of a word for it! Annoying, though! Because they refused. Obviously.
They said it wasn't important enough to divert their time towards. They just don't think like us, you see, me old crumpet case. But you do! Sort of. So... if you do happen to come across it while you're in there, be a dear and bring it back, won't you, love? Hmmmm?
Know that I am a fair man, and shall make it worth your while, my plump little manchild. Come back soon, okay? Kisses for luck! Mwaah!

The party returns with the Gizmometer.

First Officer Lykel
Ah! You return, me old bed-ridden snakeskin, with the thing we'd lost in hand! Bravo! Bravo again for good measure! Now hand that to me, myself, and I shall fulfil my end of the bargain.
We don't really have much to give, I'm afraid, dearie dearington... We sort of need everything we have. MORE than what we have, in fact. But fair is fair, so I'll give you some gems, love. First, this'n...
And this one, too. We've sort of been trying to get rid of it, but those reptoids act like we're trying to sell or give them a bomb if we try! Ho ho ho! Aren't they just such sheer loons, m'chap?!
Now, thanks for all your hard work, my addled cradle carrier! Be off, now, and off you be!

Reptoid Warriors

(first warrior)

Reptoid Warrior Hessark
Hello there, Chief. I've yet to find the sssussspiciousss character we're after, but- ...are thossse *humansss*?!
Sslen'ck
Thessse human knightsss and I ssshall be looking for the intruder alone together. They are adventurersss; they're far more powerful than all of our warriorsss combined. You need to head back home; there isss no good in wasssting your life out here.
Reptoid Warrior Hessark
Yesss, Chief. There are three othersss ssstill in the cavesss; I hope you let them know the order too. Farewell, and good luck!

(second warrior)

Reptoid Warrior Ssossdj
Ch-chief! Aah! I wasssn't dossssssin' around, honest! I'm sssearchin'! I'm sssearchin'!
Sslen'ck
You need sssearch no longer, Warrior. I ssshall handle thisss. Return to the village.
Reptoid Warrior Ssossdj
R-really? Great! Thanksss! You're the bessst chief ever! Be sssure to tell the othersss, too!

(third warrior)

Reptoid Warrior Sserell
Ho there, Chief O' mine. Wh'sssup?
Sslen'ck
I need you to return to the village, Warrior. Thessse humansss and I ssshall handle the ssearch.
Reptoid Warrior Sserell
Gotcha, daddy-o. Peace.

(fourth warrior)

Reptoid Warrior Moppo
Nothing to report yet, Chief. Thisss one'sss a ssslippery one.
Sslen'ck
Your sssearching is over, Warrior. Return to the village.
Reptoid Warrior Moppo
But our work isss not done...! Though... you know bessst. You have a plan. I have faith in you, Chief.
Reptoid Warrior Moppo (if last warrior found)
Oh, but Chief, do you know what THISSS isss? I found it lying around in the sssand, and felt drawn to it. I have no ussse for it, though; take it. And I ssshall sssee you at the village! Yalortspeed!

Ancient Artefacts

Curator
Hello there! Are you enjoying the museum? I hope so, because I'm the curator of it! I own it!
Mardek
Well, it's, uh, nice!
Curator
BUT IT'S NOT!!
The exhibits are too few and too boring... I collected them all myself, you see. This is all I have to show for a life's work... A few baubles of no interest to anyone at all! O misery! O woe!
If only someone else could contribute to the museum! If only some plucky young adventurers could travel into dungeons and collect various Ancient Artefacts for my displays! If they did, I'd be sure to remunerate them adequately! Oh, if only! Then I'd die happy!

(with the Sun Idol)

Curator
Ooh, is that a Sun Idol you have there? I haven't seen one of those in ages! Or ever, in fact. Though I have read about them. They're from an age where people actually used to take SOLAK seriously, where everyone and their dog used to pray to Him for the sun to rise each morning and so on.
It took us quite a number of generations to realise that the sun would rise whether or not we prayed or even sacrificed to SOLAK, but when we eventually did, SOLAK went forgotten. A joke, even. A shame, that.
I will pay 10,000 gold to take that Sun Idol off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Reptoid Spearhead)

Curator
Is that a Reptoid Spearhead you have with you there? Those things are extremely rare, and valuable to a collector such as myself! They may not have much practical use anymore, but they tell tales of a time long past when the reptoids were still mere savages...
Well, I mean, there are people who'd argue that they still ARE savages, but those people are idiots.
I will pay 8,000 gold to take that Reptoid Spearhead off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Talisman of SHUMBRA)

Curator
Is that a Talisman of The Dark God, SHUMBRA? My, my, it is! And it's not even an imitation! A Talisman like that can only be found in a place that SHUMBRA Himself has had influence... Tell me, did you get that from the Dark Temple itself?!? I must have it!
I will pay 15,000 gold to take that Talisman of SHUMBRA off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Talisman of CRYSOOSUNA)

Curator
Is that a Talisman of The Graceful Mermaid, CRYSOOSUNA? It seems so! It is useless to an adventurer such as yourself as it has no practical magical properties, but it would attract so many visitors to my museum if I had it on display!
I will pay 15,000 gold to take that Talisman of CRYSOOSUNA off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Talisman of VOLKOS)

Curator
Is that a Talisman of The Everburning Flame, VOLKOS? The deity personally crafted this with his own magic... It is overwhelming to think that this very object was once in the hands of a god!
I will pay 15,000 gold to take that Talisman of VOLKOS off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Talisman of KROGHMM)

Curator
Is that a Talisman of The Stalwart Titan, KROGHMM? Amazing! It must be ancient, yet this grassy plume that hangs from its core still grows verdant and strong. Truly a sign of a deity's handiwork!
I will pay 15,000 gold to take that Talisman of KROGHMM off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Ancient Pot)

Curator
Is that an Ancient Pot you have there? It looks rather old. I'm sure if I studied it, I could solve the mystery of its maker and year of construction!
I will pay 1,200 gold to take that Ancient Pot off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Tiki Mask)

Curator
What a strange mask you have there! Is it made of stone? A Tiki Mask, is it...? Hmm! I'd be interested in displaying that in my museum, if you'd be so kind as to sell it to me.
I will pay 6,600 gold to take that Tiki Mask off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Droma Arm)

Curator
What... is THAT? An arm, made of metal? Oh my, I have never seen anything like it before! What a curiosity! I'm sure other people would be as interested in its mysterious appeal as I am, so I'm willing to purchase it from you to put on display!
I will pay 3,700 gold to take that Droma Arm off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(with the Ancient Runestone)

Curator
An Ancient Runestone, eh? Its magic has clearly run dry, yet it would still serve as a nice display piece to educate people as to what these things are. It's not very valuable, but I still wish to buy it from you.
I will pay 900 gold to take that Ancient Runestone off your hands. It's no use to you and deeply interesting to me, so we both win! Do we have a deal?

(normally)

Curator
You've brought me X artefact(s) so far. Great! But I'd still like more, if you can find any.
The artefacts you've brought me are as follows: (lists artefacts)

(accepting an offer)

Mardek
Well, here you go!
Curator
Thanks a lot, sir! You've made my life just a bit better, and I'm sure the visitors will love ogling it, too!

(refusing an offer)

Mardek
I don't want to sell it.
Curator
Aww... I'll still be here if you change your mind! Which I hope you do! Soon!

(after bringing 2 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 2 Ancient Artefacts so far! You're very helpful! I want to reward you for your continuing contributions, so here, take this!

(after bringing 4 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 4 Ancient Artefacts so far! You're great! I want to reward you for your continuing contributions, so here, take this!

(after bringing 6 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 6 Ancient Artefacts so far! You're amazing! I want to reward you for your continuing contributions, so here, take this!

(after bringing 8 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 8 Ancient Artefacts so far! You're spectacular! I want to reward you for your continuing contributions, so here, take this!

(after bringing 10 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 10 Ancient Artefacts so far! You're my Hero! I want to reward you for your continuing contributions, so here, take this!

(talking to him again after bringing 10 artefacts)

Curator
You've brought me 10 Ancient Artefacts. My appreciation is too great to express in words! You've saved the museum! Hooray! Thanks forever!

Crime Control

Guard
You look like foreigners. You'd best be careful in here; these are the slums. They're full of thugs who jump out of nowhere and mug you. You should head back.
Mardek
Well, we're hardened adventurers! There's nothing here we can't easily handle.
Guard
Is that so? Hmm, yes, you do LOOK rather combat-ready and able. Good, good... Maybe you can help me out?
See, these slums are nothing but a... crimehole... and the rest of the guards do nothing about it. It's a lawless zone, but as long as we leave this area to the criminals, the others say, they won't spread elsewhere. All the crime in one place, no crime anywhere else in the city. Or so they SAY.
But, to make it look like the Sultan cares about the city a lot, I'm officially appointed here to 'take care of the problem'. They did this - sent JUST me - because they KNEW I'd be able to do nothing alone. Bah.
I feel that these crime-filled slums give the city a bad name, and I'd like to do my duty, even if I can't do it alone... If you can, I'd appreciate it if you'd take out at least 20 thugs. Don't worry, there'll be a reward!

(during the quest)

Guard
You've got X thugs so far. Keep at it!

(after defeating 20 thugs)

Guard
Great job! You got 20 of those thugs. Turns out you really could handle it! The city is a better place thanks to you. Here's your reward... Sorry it's nothing great, but you can sell it if it's no use to you... I think?

Lost Fairies

Fairy Leader
Oh-woe-oh-no!
Help us! Oh help, help!
Bandits most foul, raiding through
Our balmy wood, woe...
Left destruction, ruin...
STOLE five of us from our glade!
Oh, the tragedy!
Towards the Earth Temple,
Is where they headed, I fear.
Who knows what they'll do?!
My priorities
Lie with my fellows, friends...
The ones the men stole.
I wish their return!
If you find them, Oh please, sir,
Bring them back here, safe?
I ask charity,
But I will repay you, fair.
So please, help us, do!

(returning with a Fairy)

Fairy Leader
Oh hmm, hoo-harrum?
What's that there, sparkling, glittling,
You hold in your paw?
That <Colour> Fairy!
'Tis one of my missing friends!
Return him, won't you?
Mardek
Hand over the <Colour> Fairy.
Fairy Leader
Frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!
I chortle with joy, so happy;
I dreaded him lost!
For your heroism,
I would like to gift you this.
Please, cherish it, friend.

(refusing to return a fairy)

Mardek
I want to keep it.
Fairy Leader
You are a monster
If you'd enslave a fairy
For your benefit...

Trade Quest

Shopkeeper
Welcome, sssir, welcome. You are not from around here... but thisss doesss not bother me. I have a requessst, actually. Or I can just sssell you itemsss if that'sss the only reason you're here.
Mardek
Well, what's up?
Shopkeeper
You sssee, I ssspecialissse in making a particular kind of ointment from the Sssand Fruit in the Sssandflow Cavesss, but I have run out of Sssand Fruit with which to make it. The one who usssually acquiress it for me is caught up in thisss palaver with the intruder at the moment, you sssee, sssir.
If you could find and bring me a lovely, juicy Sand Fruit, I will give you sssome of the ointment free of charge!

(...returning with the Sand Fruit)

Shopkeeper
Ooh, isss that a Sand Fruit that you have there, human? Can I have it? I will give you sssomething in return!
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • I don't want to give it to you.
Shopkeeper
You are incredibly ssselfisssh, sssir, but fair. I will weep to myssself now, if you don't mind.
  • Well, okay!
Shopkeeper
Thank you! With thisss, I can make my ssspecial ointment again at lassst!
Here, you can have thisss bottle of Special Ointment, sssir; my lassst one left from the old batch.

(...giving the complaining hairless priest the Special Ointment)

Solakian Priest
That Special Ointment! I neeeed it! That will grow my hair, I just know it! Give it to me, won't you, yes?!
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • I don't want to give it to you.
Solakian Priest
Aww! I'll never be a beautiful supermodel!
  • Well, okay!
Solakian Priest
Hooray! Now I can use it to grow glorious locks and become something other than a priest of bloody ol' miserable SOLAK! I never liked Him anyway! Thanks!
Here, you can have my old Hair Tonic. I have no use for it anymore, but I'm sure YOU have some long, flowing locks under that ridiculous thing you're wearing on your head, Mr Knightington! That is your name, right? I thought so.

(...giving Gallovar the Hair Tonic)

Medium Priest Gallovar
Say, Sir Mardek... Is that a Hair Tonic that you have with you there? I could really use that, you know. You don't need it, right? I mean, you wear that ghastly he- I mean, that... that, uh... yes, that ghastly helmet that you insist on wearing. My lovely flowing locks, on the other hand, are sick, and need that wondrous elixir! Gift it to me, oh please?
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • I don't want to give it to you.
Gallovar
Oh, but you're supposed to be a Knight, Sir Mardek! Do us a favour, won't you? I need it but you don't seem to, after all! YALORT knows I've done enough for you over the years!
  • Well, okay!
Gallovar
Oh, blessed be ye, good knight! I thank you mightily for this. My self-confidence will be restored once more! I'll even be able to go out on the streets again without feeling like the worst type of vagrant!
I have little to give you in return, so, um, er... how about this Romance Novel? It's, uhm... well, it gets very lonely in here at times you see, and, uhm... it's... really saucy? Yes. Ahem. Maybe you'll enjoy it if you give it a try!
Mardek
Well, I didn't know you were into this sort of thing, Gallovar! I am surprised!
Gallovar
Yes, er... you won't TELL anyone, will you? Please don't. Uhm. Yes. Thank you for the Hair Tonic. Good day. May, uh... may YALORT bless you.

(...giving Priestess Gail the Romance Novel)

Priestess Gail
...Is that a Romance Novel? Why would a knight like YOU be into THAT sort of thing? No, no; it's not befitting of you. I really must take it off you. You don't want to be seen reading THAT, after all! So please, hand it over.
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • I don't want to give it to you.
Priestess Gail
A shame... It looked really saucy, too! ...Which is to say, um, you won't look very cool reading that in public, Mr Man!
  • Well, okay!
Priestess Gail
Ooh, and take it I will! It's actually one I've not even read before! I'm quite the collector, you see. It does get awfully lonely, standing around in this poky little building all day, alone. A woman needs SOME pleasure, you know.
Here, have a Scrumptious Cake. I'm sure it will serve as adequate remuneration.
Mardek
A... what? What's this?
Priestess Gail
You've never seen a cake before? It's a sort of food that I thought was more popular in the North than it is here.
Mardek
What's a food?
Priestess Gail
It's something you must get enough of every day, along with drink, rest, and expelling waste, in order to stay healthy and-... You know what, never mind. Please, be on your way; I'm sure you have a lot of knightery to attend to, and I can't see this being relevant to one such as yourself.

(...giving the Old Hermit the Scrumptious Cake)

Old Hermit
Ooh, you've brought me a Scrumptious Cake? Ta very much! I love those! Haven't had one in ages. Or anything to eat, for that matter. Not big on it myself, what with all the munching and crunching and what-have-you. But I make an exception for Scrumptious Cake any day! So, can I have it?
Mardek (dialogue choices)
  • I don't want to give it to you.
Old Hermit
Not big on pitying doddery old hermits who don't have much left in life to live for, eh? Oh well. Your loss. I heard that's a very fulfilling hobby. Not that I'd know myself; I hate old people. Anyway, do you want anything else?
  • Well, okay!
Old Hermit
This is my lucky day! Oh, come to me, Scrumptious Cake, and let me rub your brown, brown flesh all over the internal tunnels of my skin-coloured body! Massage my belly's acid bag, and I will cannibalise you, like any good friend would! We will be as lovers. All your vore fantasies will come true at long last.
Here, Sir Man. Have a key. What's it for? Well, if I told you, it'd take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it?!? Know that it's not for my heart though!!! Oh no!! Oh no.

(...giving the Xantusian Blacksmith the Red Dragon Scales)

Reptoid Blacksmith
Are thossse Red Dragon Scales that you have there?! Assstounding! I would very much like to fassshion a weapon for you out of thossse. I've alwaysss wanted to work with them, you see; it is a blacksssmith'sss dream.
Mardek
Well, okay!
Reptoid Blacksmith
Excellent, excellent... I shall work very, very quickly.
Reptoid Blacksmith
...
Reptoid Blacksmith
Very quickly indeed. Here you go. This is the Drackal Crescent, a weapon traditionally wielded by only the strongest of chieftains of this village. It is a truly mighty weapon. Use it well.

Wretched Soul Rewards

Old Hermit
You freed it, eh? Good, good... That's one loaf off my chest. Of bread!! Bread of the mind. Thoughts, rather. Yes. Whatever foul gods await in the dreadful necropolis that awaits him can do with him as they see fit, now, and his soul can flitter away to other existences, as it should be.
Speaking of which, here, have this lovely smooth stone. Go on, have it! Have it harder! I don't need it anymore. Can't activate it anyway. And you did me a favour, so it's yours. Stop arguing with me and take it, for VOLKOS' sake!

Annihilator:Karnos

Annihilator:Karnos
Gggoooogggrrrttthh!!

Annihilator:Animus

Annihilator:Animus
I am the mind of the Annihilator. In life, I spoke no language, yet here you hear my thoughts, for language is a restriction of the flesh.
This world is weak. Weak worlds are craving to be destroyed. Simply craving. I am merely doing a service to the universe by ridding it of this rubbish. Tidying up.
I wiped out a race, a civilisation, already. What makes you think that YOU stand a chance against me? I shall show you just how foolish you are, daring to challenge me. I will rip you apart atom by atom, then return those atoms to nothingness. You have no chance.

Security Demon

Upon triggering a Warport Security to attack you:

Security 1 (number depends upon which security guard you triggered to attack you)
TERRORIST!!!1!!1!1

Upon defeating the Security Demon

Security 1
Oh. Uh. That's not good. Hmm! Uh, okay then, sir! You can go through and do whatever terrorist activities you like! Go on. Knock yourself out. Please? Since clearly our security can't! Uh... Please proceed to the portal! We won't bother you again!
MARDEK
Chapters
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Playable Characters

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