Curiosity killed the...
My second session of Loom was once again a productive one. I did get stuck a couple of times, but not for very long, and neither “solution” turned out to be anything like what I’d expected. More on that soon enough though, let’s go back to the Guild of Glassmakers, where I’d just discovered the diamond cut chalice that I could fill with wine, yet not drink from. Once I was satisfied that I’d tried everything I could with the chalice, I moved onto the little glass bell hanging from the wall at the end of the path I was standing on. To my surprise, ringing it caused me to disappear entirely, only to reappear some way in the distance, presumably next to another hanging bell. A teleportation system!!! I followed the only path available, which led through a doorway, only to reappear in the same room from out of another. It was reminiscent of the jester’s room in Hero’s Quest, but thankfully not as complicated. The two exits leading left and right from the central part of the room took me to new locations, with the first one I tried (the right one) taking me into a room where two men were having a conversation. The doorway leading outside this room was the one I’d originally seen at the base of the tower, but I had no interest in leaving just yet. I wanted to know what the large blue sphere was sitting next to where the two men were chatting. I listened...
These glassmakers sure are lazy. They've built teleportation systems that move them from one side of a room to another.
It's ok Bobbin. There are subtitles anyway.
The guy dressed in blue was clearly a member of the Guild of Glassmakers, but I wasn’t so sure about the one in green. I soon gathered that the guy in green had requested the guild make him the sphere, and now he was there to ask how it was coming along. His name was Bishop Mandible, and he seemed frustrated that the sphere they were making would only “see” four to six hours. He reminded the guild member that they’d agreed the device would be able to see eight, to which the man in blue responded. “Each of the Spheres is unique, Bishop Mandible. It is impossible to predict how deeply this particular Sphere will look.” Bishop Mandible departed in a huff, making demands as he left: “EIGHT hours. See to it, Master Crucible.” Once both men had left the room, I began looking around to see how I might get over to the sphere. There didn’t appear to be a way, but I did discover another hanging bell. I pulled it, this time being teleported to yet another location in Crystalgard. This room had another bell hanging on the other side of it, but it was the two guild members standing on the platform in front of me that drew my attention. They appeared to be making or polishing a scythe that was hanging by ropes from the ceiling. My sudden appearance didn't please them!
Beam me up Scotty! (I'll give you another CAP Draconius if you can figure out this highly challenging reference!)
Oh...um...sorry guys! I...uh...didn't know...um...what are you doing exactly!?
The builders of Crystalgard were clearly global warming denialists.
It's cool how well the backgrounds of each screen tie the various locations together
All of a sudden the outline of a few men appeared around me, with each of them shimmering into view as a note was heard. I managed to record the threads of a draft, which were C,E,E and G, but before I could look it up in the Book of Patterns, the four men began speaking to me. They demanded to know why I was sneaking into “their realm”. “State your business with the Guild of Shepherds!” When I responded that I was looking for a flock of swans, the shepherds informed me that swans don’t live in woods. Then one of them had an idea. “Say! You don’t suppose this is the wizard Fleece told us about, do you?” The four of them conversed about whether or not I could be a wizard, and then told me I could gain passage into their realm if I could prove that I was. I figured that task would be quite easy, since I had numerous drafts at my disposal by now. However, the only thing I could select on the screen was the shepherds themselves, and very few of my drafts seemed likely to achieve anything. I couldn’t see how Opening, Straw into Gold, Twisting, Night Vision, Emptying or Dyeing could work on the shepherds, so I opened the Book of Patterns to see what this new draft I’d just learnt might be all about. As usual, it didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for!
Over time the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry transformed into the less controversial sounding Guild of Shepherds
No problem! Now, do any of you have something that needs opening? No...what about emptying? Hmmm... dyeing!?"
“Invisibility: When spun upon a person or group, Invisibility frays the focus of their vision, rendering the spellweaver quite difficult to see. The provenance of this draft is uncertain. It seems to have been acquired (under questionable circumstances) from the Guild of Shepherds, whose genius in the art of stealth is probably unrivalled.” So the shepherds had been invisible when I arrived, and must have reversed the draft to reappear. That meant the draft to become invisible would most likely be G,E,E,C rather than C,E,E,G. I tried weaving it, only to be told: “We are the masters of stealth, little wizard. The camouflage trick won’t work on us.” I tried reversing it, but no luck that way either. The shepherds were blocking my path, so there had to be a way out of this situation! I have to admit that I spent about fifteen to twenty minutes weaving every single draft I knew in both directions, and pixel hunting the screen well after I knew there was nothing else there to interact with. I was pretty stumped, yet the knowledge that there are no dead ends in Loom made me persevere. Eventually I figured out that the shepherds were only blocking my path in one direction, and I was simply able to walk away to the right of screen. Facepalm!!!! In hindsight I’m not certain why I immediately assumed I was unable to leave the scene. I guess it was just that the shepherds demanded I convince them that I was a wizard before I could continue, and then appeared to be guarding the way in both directions.
I am?! Why yes, I am!
The shepherds mocked me as I walked away. “Not much of a wizard , eh? Better luck next time!” I was happy to not be stuck, but I wasn’t at all certain what to do next. I believed I’d explored every room I could get to in Crystalgard, but perhaps I’d missed something. When I reached the front entrance I once again discovered that I could select the workers at the top of the tower. Looking at the little image in the bottom right corner of the screen gave me a eureka moment! These were the two workers I’d seen working on the scythe in the room I’d teleported into. I began weaving drafts at them, starting with the invisibility one I’d recently learnt. When I weaved it, the blue sparkles appeared over the tower, meaning I’d achieved something! A message appeared saying “That felt right. I think it worked.” What worked!? I could still see the two workers in the tower, so nothing appeared to be invisible. Would I be invisible if I now entered the tower?! That seemed stupid, but I went back inside and made my way to the bell that would transfer me up there. Just as I’d suspected, I was teleported into the room yet made invisible on arrival. I was happy to be progressing, but I must say I didn’t like this puzzle much. It isn’t very logical, and the developers knew that enough to leave a message basically telling the player that they’d just done the right thing, even though they had no real reason to be doing it in the first place.
Did anyone else find this a bit too contrived?
Anyway, it was time to concentrate on what was going on. The two guys in the room were unaware of my presence, so chatted away as if alone. Man 1: “Did you get a load o’ that Bishop Mandible? Swishin’ ‘round here like he owns the place!” Man 2: “What do the Clerics want with a Sphere of Scrying, anyway? Thought they didn’t believe in the future.” Man 1: “Your guess is good as mine. Crucible thinks they’re up to no good again. He figures if the Clerics are lookin’ for trouble, we’re gonna be ready. That’s why you and me’s up here doin’ major overtime.” Man 2: “Ouch! I see whatcha mean. One look at THIS little baby’ll make them Clerics think twice ‘bout messin’ with US.” So now I knew that this Bishop Mandible was part of the Guild of Clerics, but that wasn’t all I learnt in this room. After their conversation was complete, a message appeared telling me that “They’re REALLY sharpening that thing”, and a draft was heard (A,A,A,G). I didn’t have enough experience to weave an A thread, so I’d have to “level up” before I’d be able to sharpen anything, but I looked it up regardless. "Scissors, pins and knitting needles are the usual benefactors of this simple draft. In ancient times, however, warriors often submitted their blades to our Guildmembers for treatment. A formal protest by the Blacksmiths resulted in the Whetstone Bridge Treaty of 7550, which specifically prohibits the use of the Sharpening draft on weapons of war."
Well it is pretty impressive. Can you actually wield the thing though?!
Still invisible, I was able to walk straight past the two workers and use the bell on the wall behind them. This teleported me back to the room with the blue sphere, but now I was standing right next to it! Clicking on it gave me a close-up of it, and I witnessed a scene within as you might expect from a crystal ball. It showed me walking amongst the shepherds, then weaving a draft that scared them all away (D,F,F,D). I’d previously seen a draft named Terror in the Book of Shadows, so I went to read all about it. “This draft reweaves the spellweaver’s appearance into a form drawn from the deepest anxieties of the being the threads are spun upon. In effect, it turns you into the thing the recipient fears most. Terror works only on sentient beings, but its potency more than makes up for this limitation. It is approved for limited therapeutic use by the Guild of Psychotherapists.” Excitedly, I left Crystalgard and made my way back to the shepherds. As soon as they surrounded me I weaved the Terror draft, thrilled when Bobbin temporarily transformed into a dragon. This of course scared the shepherds out of the minds, and they left even quicker than they’d arrived. The path ahead was now clear, so I walked to the left of screen into a location I’d not previously visited. There I found a shepherd asleep standing up, while four sheep grazed in the grass. I clicked on the sheep, which caused them to jump over the fence one by one. For each sheep that jumped, a thread was played, forming a new draft (A,F,E,D)! I received a big hint as to what that draft might do when the last of the sheep was over. Blue sparkles covered the shepherd, who then woke up.
Visions and dreams you can see in the cryyysssttal baaaaaaaalll!!!!!!!!!
Run away! Run away!!!
The Khaleesi's displays of strength never failed to inflict fear into the hearts of her enemies
Sheep jumping over a fence creates the sleep draft. Clever indeed!
The shepherd wasn’t thrilled with what I’d just done. “Hey! What’s the big idea? You’ve got my sheep all upset! Now I gotta round ‘em up again.” He forced them to jump back over the fence, which once again produced the draft, putting the shepherd back to sleep. “Sleep: It would be difficult to find a pillow, baby bonnet or sleeping bag that has not been imbued with the soothing properties of this popular draft. The Guild of Nannies requires its use in all household fabrics, and the Anesthesiologists have approved an industrial-strength version as an alternative to chloroform.” I still hadn’t gained the required experience to weave drafts including the A thread, so I was going to have to look through my other drafts to figure out what to do next. As soon as I saw the Dyeing draft, I thought it was a strong candidate. I weaved it on the sheep and they turned green, making them all but impossible to see amongst the surrounding grass. This was great and all, but what could I possibly achieve by turning them green? I clicked on them to make them jump over the fence again, which in turn woke up the farmer again. “Hey! Look at my sheep! LOOK at them! What did you do to them? They look ridiculous! How am I supposed to watch sheep I can barely SEE?” The farmer forced the sheep (still green) to jump back over the fence and went back to sleep. What now?
I know! Cool isn't it!
I unsuccessfully weaved a few more drafts on both the farmer and the sheep, then sat back to ponder what I was really trying to achieve here. The only other time I’d really got stuck was with the shepherds, and then I’d incorrectly assumed that my movement was limited. I suddenly wondered whether I was doing the same thing now! I tried walking to the back of the screen, and watched as Bobbin walked around the fence and across the field in the distance. It hadn’t been at all obvious that I could go that way, and I doubt I’m the only one to spend way too much time playing around with the sheep before trying to simply walk past them. At the end of the field was a little home, which I entered. Inside the cosy little house I found a lamb sitting in some straw in front of a fireplace, but that was seemingly all. When I walked towards the lamb though, the outline of a shepherd appeared through the round window. Once they removed their invisibility, it became clear that it was a woman. I asked to know who she was, and she responded with “I am she who sent for you. I am named Fleece, First Chosen of the Guild of Shepherds. And you are obviously the mighty wizard I hired from the Guild of Mages.” Uh...yes...obviously! I was intrigued to find out where this conversation was going to go, but I’ll save that for the next post. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to play and post over the next few of days. I've had a busy work schedule lately.
Not a bad view to wake up to every morning
I am he who didn't receive your message.
Session Time: 0 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!