You don't say!
So, the Astrologer had told me to come back the next day to hear my future. The end of day two was rapidly approaching, but I still figured I had time to pay the Enchantress Aziza a visit before heading back to the Katta’s Tail Inn to watch Shema dance before bed. I knew that Aziza’s place was on a street called Shmali Tarik, so opened up my PDF map and followed the most logical path to get there. On arrival, I found a purple door at the end of an alley that had a large eye painted on it. When I knocked, a woman’s voice came from within; asking who it was that was seeking entrance. I answered with “tricky”, after which she asked me who had sent me. I actually couldn’t remember who it was that had first told me to pay Aziza a visit, but looking back over my screenshots revealed that it was the Liontaur Rakeesh in the Fighter’s Guild. I answered “rakeesh”, and was set aback when her next question was “How did the leg of Rakeesh get injured?” I had noticed that his leg had a bandage on it, but had never thought to ask him how the injury had occurred. I typed “sword” as my answer, knowing that it wouldn’t be right. “Perhaps you should learn more about who sent you before you seek me.” Damn!
The Doors Have Eyes 3: Spying Purple People Meeter
Perhaps you should be a little less picky about who visits you!
Thankfully I had a save game in the Fighter’s Guild, so could quickly restore to find out what the correct answer was. When I asked Rakeesh about his leg, I got what I needed: “My leg was damaged a long time ago when I tried to fight a Demon that was destroying my people. The Demon struck me with its poisoned tail. The bone was shattered, and because of the poison, the leg did not heal correctly, even with magic.” My further questioning revealed that the Demon had been sent by a Wizard that had sought to overthrow Rakeesh’s kingdom (which was called Tarna), but that Rakeesh had defeated both the Demon and the Wizard. I restored back to Aziza’s door, and when she asked me what had caused the injury, I typed “demon”. I received another question, with this one being a riddle! “My first is the first, My second is the last, Next comes Myself, Then back to the end, And beginning again. Who am I?” Looking over it, I immediately thought of “me, myself and I”, but wasn’t certain which word would be the answer. I tried “me”, but that was wrong: “If you know not whom you seek, you will surely not find that person here.” Well, Aziza was the person I was seeking, so I restored and tried that answer instead. “You may enter freely into my home, Tricky.” Victory! (7 points)
Yeah, good story Rakeesh! Now what really happened?
I still don't completely get this riddle, but I figured out the answer.
Aziza’s house was predominately blue and green, and the various fish related items on the shelves suggested a water theme. Aziza requested I come and sit down, so I did, accepting her offer of tea in the process. She asked me why I had come, so I began firing questions at her one after another. Most of her answers didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, but they were very clear and thorough, filling in a few little details that I wasn’t aware of. Rakeesh had told me that Aziza was a “very powerful enchantress, wise in the ways of the elements”, so I asked her about “elements”. I was given a closer view of the two of us seated at the table, and Aziza began explaining the purpose of each of the four basic elements that make up the universe: Water, Earth, Air and Fire. She went on to talk about Elementals, and as she did so, the four basic Elementals magically appeared on the table and moved around. “An Elemental is formed when Magic shapes an element into a semblance of a living creature. Elementals can be very powerful and destructive. They can be weakened by the contrary Element, but they cannot be destroyed. Once weakened, the Elemental can be captured. Once captured, the magical nature of the Elemental can be used for helpful rather than harmful purposes.”
Nothing like a civilized cup of tea with a beautiful enchantress. I could get used to this!
Uh-huh, that's interesting...say, have you seen my sword? Cool isn't it!?
This was all pretty interesting, but I wondered how much I was going to be able to play around with Elementals as a Fighter. The next thing I asked Aziza about was the Fruit of Compassion (which was needed to make a dispel potion), since Harik Attar at the Apothecary had told me she would know something about it. Once again I was given a close-up view of the table, and Aziza set off on a lengthy tale that I will relate in full, since it’s both important and nicely written:
Ooooh, a story! I love stories!
“I will tell you of a time long ago when women wore veils and were but wives and chattel to men. There was a woman – a beautiful woman, a loving woman – who wished with her very soul to become a Healer, and thus aid others. Her father tried to dissuade her, saying that this was no task for a woman of her gentleness and sensitivity. She would go about her duties quietly, but each evening she would tell him again that she wished to become a healer. At last her father gave in, and she was trained in the art of healing, despite the jeers and condescension of the male students and teachers. She became a Healer, and removed her veil forever. She soon discovered that life was not easy for a woman Healer. Many men distrusted her skills and refused to call upon her. Some men called upon her only to try to take advantage of her beauty. One day a man came to her and told the tale of his brother dying in the desert. She did not quite trust his manner of looking at her, but she could not refuse aid to one who might need it. She followed him out of the city and into the desert. She was lead to an encampment of ragged tents. She soon learned to her sorrow that the tale of the brother was but a lie. These were brigands, and what they did with her, I shall not say. She tried to escape them the next day, and ran to the mountains to hide. They were swift to follow. They had nearly recaptured her when she called aloud for help. A Djinni heard her cry, and transformed her into a tree. You could be the one to give her back her soul and free her heart from wood. You will try this, Hero, will you not?”
Oh I know this one! Don't tell me! She needs to eat some of the defoil plant to turn back into a human! I'm right aren't I?!
It goes without saying that I agreed to try to rescue the unfortunate woman from her lonely fate, at which point Aziza told me how that might be achieved: “There are three things you must give her to save her soul: a gift of Kindness, a gift of Magic, and a gift of Love. The gift of Kindness is simple. It is only what you would give to someone who has been in the desert far too long.” Clearly the gift of kindness would be water, and I’ll be making sure I stock up on heaps of that prior to going into the desert anyway. “You must then tell her about yourself, remind her what it is to be human. Your words are as important as the gift, for they give meaning to the act.” OK, I wasn’t certain what that would entail, but perhaps simply talking to the tree would be enough. “The gift of Magic is the gift of sacrifice. The gift must be something you gained through hardship and from aiding others. It must also be something from which a plant can gain strength.” Hmmmm...what could that be? I pondered what plants might gain strength from for a while. It wouldn’t be water, since I would have already supplied that. Sunlight? Soil? Roots? I couldn’t say that I’d gained anything through hardship at this point, so perhaps the answer would be obvious once I had. Aziza confirmed my belief that I didn’t yet hold the key, but this sadly meant she didn’t bother to tell me what the gift of Love might be: “I know you can achieve the gift of Kindness, but you do not yet have a suitable gift of Sacrifice. Perhaps you will be able to do this another time.”
Have you been going through my stuff?
I left Aziza at this point, knowing I would return at some point. I’d received a warning during my conversation with her that I was tired, and this had reminded me that I was supposed to get back to the Inn to watch Shema’s dance. It was now midnight. Had I missed it? When I got there, there was no sign of Shema, so I figured I had. Not wanting to miss out, I saved my game and restored an earlier one where the time of day was close to sunset. This time when I reached the inn, Shameen informed me that the dance was about to begin. I sat down, and watched as Shema shimmied and spun, her hips, gyrating in a way not dissimilar to the performance of Fatima in Conquests of Camelot. The main difference here was that Shema was basically a cat, making the whole thing more uncomfortable than sexy. It makes Rafield’s story a couple of posts back even more astounding to be honest! Anyway, I received no points for having viewed it, so I restored back to my post-Aziza game and sent Tricky to bed until dawn with no pre-sleep entertainment.
I began day three by sitting down for breakfast, which Shema brought out to me. As I left the inn, Shameen informed me that there would be another show on that night: “The Poet Omar will thrill all who hear with his words of song after the setting of the sun, in our own Inn!” I told myself not to be late this time, and set out into Shapeir, ready to have my future read to me by Abu al-Njun, the Astrologer. As soon as I arrived at his joint, he told me he had much to tell me. “Alas, never before have I read such troubling signs as those which guide you. Your future is very dark. Darkness will lead you into a tomb. You will walk in fire, earth, water, and air, through temptation, and at last into despair and desolation. Darkness will triumph unless you stop the last light. Maybe you should consider a new line of work and get out of this Hero business. Have you considered accounting?” (5 points) This foretelling certainly made my future seem bleak! I tried getting more information out of the Abu, but he kept responding with “I can only tell you what the stars say. You are the one who has to figure out what they mean.”
Am I the only one that imagined a battle of fertility?
I'm on vacation damn it!
Right, I’d done enough sniffing around in the city. It was time I went out into the wider world! That meant going into the desert, so I refilled my waterskins and stocked up on rations in Fountain Plaza. While there I noticed a beggar that hadn’t been there previously. “Centime for the poor, Effendi? Centime for the poor?” I gave the beggar a centime, but gained nothing but points for the nicety as far as I could tell. (3 points) I walked out of Shapeir through the exit in Gate Plaza, only to be accosted by another tiresome salesman! He quickly went into his well auditioned spiel, hoping to sell me a saurus. “I’m Ali Fakir. Honest Ai Fakir. Welcome to Honest Ali Fakir’s Used Saurus Lot. If we don’t have the saurus you want, then you don’t want one.” I won’t recite his entire pitch, as he banged on for quite some time. Lucky for Ali, I did want to purchase one, but his asking price was a lot more than I was hoping to pay! “I’ll be happy to sell you a saurus for 100 dinars, but I’ll settle for 50.” I typed “bargain”, and was very pleased when doing so got me a green saurus for a much more reasonable 20 dinars. (7 points)
Knowing that Lori was responsible for this beauty makes it even better!
My newly acquired saurus gave me a huge lick on the face, clearly appreciating being removed from captivity. I hopped onto its back, and rode off into the desert. I very quickly found myself in the middle of nowhere, with endless sand dunes in every direction as far as the eye could see. The only two things I knew I needed to do in the desert were to find the Dervish at the Oasis and the woman that had been turned into a tree. I had no idea where I might find the tree, but I did know that the Dervish would be found “somewhere south of Shapeir and in inches a bit east”. Did that mean I should go one screen to the east and then head south? I figured I’d try that approach and see how things went. I hadn’t gone two screens before a huge scorpion appeared! I was thrown from my saurus, which ran away and left me stranded! I could either run for my life or confront the scorpion in combat. I chose the latter, figuring I wasn’t going to be able to avoid combat forever. I managed to get quite a few hits in while avoiding the majority of its swipes. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that Harik in the Apothecary had told me that multiple stings from a scorpion’s tail would be certain death. Just before its hit points were depleted, it skewered me with its tail, and I hung a foot off the ground, dead.
I've got a bad feeling about this!
Man..talk about easing me into things!
I restored, and this time I very quickly ran into a Brigand. He was much easier to defeat, and I gained 2 dinars and 15 centimes, as well as some much needed skill points for the effort. (3 points) I continued to the south, hoping to come across the Oasis, but instead ran into a TerrorSaurus!!!! This bright pink dinosaur-like creature kicked my ass, letting me know in no uncertain terms that I really needed to get some practice in. I should also mention that during my all too brief journeys through the desert, I came across some rather humorous sights. The first one was King Arthur from Conquests of Camelot, lying dead in the sand. When I looked at him I got: “He looks vaguely familiar... maybe you’ve seen him in a camel lot?” I had to smile when I read that, but I actually laughed out loud a couple of screens later when I crossed an unfortunate golfer in the Persian Golf Tournament. The poorguy was trying to get his ball out of the sand trap from hell, shouting “832...Argh! 833...”. I soon defeated another Brigand, collecting 4 dinars and 21 centimes from his body, but still couldn’t find an Oasis. Not having my saurus meant I was surely going to die if I didn’t find my way back to Shapeir in a reasonable time. I decided to head back, so I could at least regain my strength while keeping the coin and skill points I’d earned. To my dismay, following what I thought was the path I’d come from back to the city didn’t get me there! Damn it, I was lost!
When I said "kicked my ass", I meant it!
Comedy gold! Or is that comedy golf???
I began wandering from screen to screen, feeling like all hope was lost. Was I supposed to have some more solid directions? To my utter disbelief, I stumbled upon a screen where a man with an incredibly long beard sat next to a small pool of water. It was the Oasis!!! Thanking the gaming gods, I had a chat with Dervish. He seemed very reluctant to give a straight answer, instead spurting Confucius-like statements all over the place. As soon as I saw his beard, I figured that must be the “whirling part of a dervish” that Keapon Laffin had requested. When I asked him about it, he said “Difference between beard and world is one whirls around tree, the other twirls around me.” I doubted it would work, but I tried simply taking some of the beard. It worked! (5 points) After deciding that I wasn’t going to get anything else useful out of Dervish, I rested and filled up on water in preparation for a likely futile attempt at finding my way back to Shapeir. I knew that I must now be to the south-east of the city, so I set off in what I hoped would be the right direction. Within just a few screens, I was stoked to see Shapeir in the distance. I’d found the Oasis and collected what I needed, winning a couple of battles in the process, and then made my way back to the city. Things were looking good, which I’ve learnt over time is always the best way to end a session.
Yes, you're right. Hang on...what?
I really have no idea how I found my way back here. Perhaps my "luck" attribute came into play?
I hope I get time to do some grinding at some point.
Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 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!