I guess you taught me pretty well.
With the Fire Elemental in my lamp, the Air Elemental in my bellows, and the Earth Elemental in my sack, I set out on the morning of day 12 with a plan. I’d pondered long and hard during my play sessions, not to mention while I’d been writing up posts, just what the Gift of Magic might be that I needed to save the woman trapped within the tree in the desert. I’d come to the conclusion that the Earth Elemental might be the answer, since Aziza had told me it would be “gained through hardship and from aiding others” and that it would be “something from which a plant can gain strength”. There’s no doubt that a plant can gain strength from soil, and I had gained the Elemental through hardship, so I set out into the desert to find out whether my theory was correct. To my delight, typing “give earth elemental to tree” caused Tricky to get down on his haunches and spread the big guy around the tree’s base. (7 points) I’d figured out the first two gifts, meaning all I needed to do now was give the tree a Gift of Love. I’d always assumed that this final gift would be a kiss, so I typed “kiss tree”. Tricky embraced the tree and I gained some points, but to my dismay I was told that “the act of hugging the tree is fruitless”. (5 points) Clearly it was the right thing to do, but I figured I must need to do something else first!
Lets hope I didn't just unleash that thing back onto the planet!
Oh but it feels soooo gooood!!!!
When Aziza had told me about the gifts required to save the woman, she’d refrained from detailing the third one since I didn’t have what was needed to fulfil the second. I decided to restore my game back to the city and pay her visit while the Earth Elemental was in my inventory. This time she elaborated: “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. Tell her then how you got the gift and why. You will be reminding her of why she became a healer.” Aha! This was the missing step! Aziza then confirmed my belief that a kiss would be a suitable Gift of Love, but finished with something I never could have come up with by myself: “The last gift again is simple, a mere gesture of affection. Remind her that there are still people in the world who care about others. There is only one thing you need to say to her now, to remind her who she is. Her name is Julanar, Flower of the Pomegranate. When you have done this, your part in her tale will be complete. Julanar will not be able to walk this land as a human woman until another frees her with the power of True Love, but you can at least free her spirit by giving her these gifts.”
Flower of the Pomegranate? No wonder she's forgotten.
I was saddened to hear that Julanar would not be completely free through my gifts, but further questioning convinced me there was nothing I could do to change that. I made my way back to the tree, and this time after spreading the Earth Elemental around, told the woman all about it. As I did so, leaves sprouted from the branches, forming a quite beautiful sight. (5 points) I then kissed the tree, and typed “tell woman her name” to complete the gifts. (5 points) The Fruit of Compassion rapidly grew out of one of the branches, dropping safely into my hands, a gift for restoring Julanar’s spirit! (7 points) Finally I had what I needed to complete the dispel potion, which I hoped would in turn allow me to find and transform the caged beast that the Dervish had told me about. I hightailed backed to Shapeir and straight for the Apothecary, handing him the Fruit of Compassion without delay. Moments later he handed me back no less than three dispel potions! “There. I do for you what I would not for another. This is a gift for all you have done for the city.” (5 points) Harik reminded me that I would need to add a freshly collected sample of the victim’s hair before they drink the potion for it to be effective.
I really like what you've done with your leaves!
What a catch! Marvelous effort that!
Thank you Captain Obvious!
There was still no sign of the expected Water Elemental, so I hopped on my saurus and strolled out to the location the Dervish had told me the caged beast would be. I was very thankful to find that it was there, since I hadn’t been able to understand why it wasn’t during my first two visits. (5 points) The beast sure was ugly too, seeming to be a combination of three of four other animals. Looking at it revealed that it was very weak due to a lack of food and water, and it seemed to have some sort of hypnotic ability. “You seem to hear in your mind the words, ‘Come closer, much closer. Come closer and release me, free me. Come closer and trust me. Look into my eyes and trust me.'” The thing seemed very dangerous to me, but I needed to get some of its hair if I had any chance of helping it. I tried, but was told that I didn’t “dare get any hair as long as the beast is staring at you”. I tried walking around behind it, but didn’t appear to be able to get away from its stare! I decided to take a punt, and gave the creature some water. It began lapping it up eagerly, but was still watching me with a “hungry expression”. (5 points) I added some food into the mix, and as it chowed down I took the opportunity to attempt a daring hair removal operation. It worked, and I then mixed the hair into one of my dispel potions. All that was left to do was to give it to the hideous thing, and it gobbled it downed without delay.
You are one ugly motherf#$%er!
Oh no! That ration wasn't the dried meat was it? I was saving that!!!!
The dispel potion worked perfectly, and the caged beast transformed into a man before my eyes. (15 points) Unfortunately, he wasn’t a very nice man, and didn’t appear all that grateful for my involvement in his rescue: “I know not who you are, or why you saved me, buy you are a fool if you expect to be rewarded for it. I am Al Scurva, an apprentice Sorcerer. My former master, Ad Avis, transformed me into that monster and left me to die. He will be most displeased that I am still alive. Do not think he will be unaware of your interference. He will be watching you from now on. I will give you this warning: Do not go near Ad Avis unless you have some spell of protection or are very quick. If he manages to throw a spell at you, you will either be his willing servant or else be transformed into a creature most resembling your soul. There is some major ritual magic he has planned for when the moon arises between the Scorpion’s claws and the Dragon’s teeth. If he succeeds in this it would be best not to be in this land. I certainly will not be. Just remember, Ad Avis awaits you in Raseir.” With that, Al Scurva literally disappeared! His head briefly reappeared to thank me for the food and water, but it seemed more an afterthought than a genuine expression of gratitude.
Define "very quick"!
I paid the Dervish a visit to ask him about Al Scurva and Ad Avis, but he seemed to be quite ignorant on the subjects. I therefore returned to the city with the intention of training before nightfall. On my arrival at the Fighter’s Guild, I was surprised to find that someone had left me a note. “If you know what’s good for you, you will obey orders. We will leave them here. If you don’t follow them, you’ll be sorry. We are watching you.” Could this note be from Ad Avis? It didn’t seem likely as he was apparently waiting for me in Raseir. I was intrigued, and committed to returning the next day to see if there were any more notes. After increasing my stats a bit more through training with Uhura, I slept the night away in the Inn, uncertain about what might happen the next day. This uncertainty was shortlived, as I was quickly informed in the morning that the Water Elemental was in town!
You probably should know that I don't have high stats in the Obeying Orders attribute!
Did you say peril?! Oh please tell me you just said peril! That's the best way for a Hero to start any day!
I knew exactly where the Water Elemental would be found, since Aziza had given me the following advice on the matter: “The essence of Water is attraction. The Elemental will draw all water into itself. It can draw water from the very body of a human that approaches it. In the fountain, the Water Elemental will draw upon the boundless magical stream which is the lifeblood of the city. People will be dying of thirst as it grows in power enough to engulf the entire city in a flood. As long as the Water Elemental is in the fountain, the Elemental cannot be harmed or contained. It is only vulnerable to Air. Once away from the fountain, it will be drawn to the nearest source of water. You might then contain it.” Clearly I would find it in the Fountain Plaza, and I had a fair idea what Air might be utilized to get it away from the fountain. As soon as saw the feminine-looking body of water, I typed “use bellows”. Tricky was able to push the Water Elemental away from the fountain with the Air Elemental, thankfully without losing control of the latter. It wasn’t enough though, and before I could even consider what I might capture the thing in, it moved back into the fountain. Looking through my inventory, I had a Eureka moment! I dropped a waterskin next to the fountain, and then used the bellows again. The Water Elemental would be attracted to the closest body of water, and was therefore sucked into the waterskin as it passed over it. Victory! (20 points)
Yes! Now my 1990 Sierra Ultra Elemental set is finally complete!
It was the morning of day 14, and I’d finally captured all four Elementals! I still had a couple more days until the caravan would be ready to go to Raseir though. The only outstanding thing to do was to see what the note had been all about in the Fighter’s Guild, so that’s where I headed. Uhura was not at all impressed, since someone had left another note, with this one stuck to the door with a knife. It read: “Tomorrow night is your last night. You’ll get your final orders then. Be seeing you.” Tomorrow night? What would I do for the next two days? I’d trained myself to a level where I doubted anything could touch me. Even Uhura gave up quickly and often without getting a single hit on me in the process. I went back to the inn to sleep some time away, but while I was there Shema gave me something to do: “The Katta wish to thank you for your bravery and kindness. Please go visit Sashanan the Jeweler in the Plaza of the Palace today.” I’d been wondering about the sapphire pin she’d tried to sell me for 500 dinars earlier in the game, since I’d never got close to owning that sort of cash. Perhaps I wouldn’t need to purchase it at all!
Wow! How to get a guy excited! Count me in!
Me? Pick locks?! Never!
I decided to sleep the rest of the day and night away, and on waking up received a message from Shameen: “The Enchantress Aziza sends you this message of gratitude and requests that you visit her home tomorrow. It is said that Uhura at the Guild Hall has a message for you as well.” Excellent! Stuff to do! There was yet another note left for me at the Guild Hall, and it contained some actual instructions for once: “At nightfall tonight, go to the door at the end of Saif Darb off Askeri Darb. Obey, or you’ll regret it.” I certainly didn’t like the tone, but was too curious to ignore the demand. Once again I had to fill some time, so I decided to try something a little bit different. During one of my training sessions with Uhura, she’d given me instructions on how to defeat a Griffin. It made me wonder whether it was possible to fight the Griffin, and despite knowing this act would probably affect my ability to become a Paladin, I set off into the desert to try. When I reached the screen where the creature was asleep, I tried waking it up. That didn’t work, so I tried throwing a rock at it. Nope. I tried shouting, but that didn’t work either. Hmmm.... could I climb up the rocks to its ledge? It was worth a shot!
A visit to Aziza? This calls for my finest aftershave!
I thought last night was supposed to be my last! You don't appear to be a person of your word.
And you call yourself a Hero! Shame, Tricky, shame!
The door at the end of the street was now opened, where it had been locked the previous time I’d been there. On entering I found myself in pitch darkness. Someone spoke to me: “Stand where you are. You now face the most important decision of your life. Are you a man, or just a craven coward? Stand and obey, or now run away!” I chose to obey, and shortly afterwards someone came and took my equipment away. When the torches were finally lit, I found I was standing alone in a large room with my hands chained to the wall! I could see my equipment at the other end of the room, but how the hell was I going to get to it?! The voice returned: “You have 10 seconds to retrieve your weapon.” WTF!? I typed the only thing I could think of, given my character class, being “break chains”. Tricky began wildly swinging his arms, attempting to break the chains away from the wall. Meanwhile the voice counted the seconds away. 1...2...3...4...5...6...7... A man entered the room and approached me, his curved sword threatening! 8...9...YES, the chains were broken and I was free to move! Now all I had to do was figure out how to get past the guy with the sword. This turned out to be difficult, and he even made a couple of successful hits on me before I managed to scamper around him and get my stuff. Time to fight!
Something's different here. I just can't put my finger on it!
The Astrologer didn't tell me anything about this dammit!
Feeling much more comfortable now that I had my sword and shield, I got into my combat position. Surely this guy would cause me little trouble! He didn’t! Just about every thrust and swing I made crashed into him until he fell to the floor. I was informed that many voices were calling for me to “finish him off”, but this didn’t feel like the right thing to do, particularly if I ever wanted to be a Paladin. I checked my Honor stat to find that it was currently 99, and then typed “no” as a refusal to the hidden audience’s demand. Suddenly Issur the Weapon Shop owner walked into the room! So he was behind this strange event! He wasn’t at all impressed with my inability to finish the defeated man off: “What a turkey! Even when you win, you don’t have the guts to finish the task. Never show mercy to an enemy. Isn’t that right, Walid?” The man I’d just beaten stood up, apparently not all that harmed. Issur continued: “Your real sword is in the other room. You have been tested to prove your worthiness to join the Eternal Order of Fighters. You can fight, and you’ve got some guts, but you just can’t obey a simple order. We figured we’d let you join EOF despite the fact that you failed. You are admitted to the beginning rank of our order. You are now a Brother Saurus. Welcome to EOF.” I was told that the secret password was “Might is Right!”, and given a secret membership token with my name, rank and serial number engraved upon it. (7 points)
I guess these swords weren't real after all!
Did you ever stop to think that I might not want to be in your stupid little club?
After all the excitement, Tricky and the other EOF members celebrated into the night. Somehow I made it back to the inn, and awoke shockingly hung-over. I noticed that my stamina points had not recovered during sleep, but more importantly, my Honor stat had improved to 101. I’m not certain that I chose all the right options during this recent event, but I role-played my character as well as I could. I’m awfully close to joining the caravan to Raseir now, but first I need to pay Aziza a visit. Let’s hope she has some good advice for me, and some of that lovely tea wouldn’t go astray either.
I have no idea how much Honor I need to become a Paladin, but 100 seems like a solid milestone.
Total Time: 12 hours 30 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!