Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Veil of Darkness - Unspoken Curses (Request for Assistance)

 By Zenic Reverie

Discussing the current events with Deirdre
Last we left, Engatz had returned a bloody hammer to Kirill, completing the first task in a prophecy. He responded to the name Kairn with disdain, informing me that was the name of the ancient vampire that lords over the valley. Deirdre offered a token, her scarf, to Engatz in hopes that he would continue to fulfil the prophecy, freeing the land of Kairn's shadowy influence. They exchnaged further pleasantries, hoping for a continued relationship far away once these events were far behind them both (potential foreshadowing detected). On the topic of celebrating, she mentioned how we could break open a rare vintage wine locked away in her father's cellar. Before I headed out, I asked Kirill about wine, but he made no mention of his stock, only pointing me to the local tavern.

"Oh no, this probably doesn't end well for Boris", I thought aloud

At The Severed Head tavern some locals were discussing how Boris hadn't been seen in some time. They mused the harvest must have kept him busy. Then they mentioned his wife Sylvia's beef stew. Engatz asked for directions without prompting. A map appeared on the menu with the farm marked to the southwest. A newly arrived character was also in the tavern, a clear sign that I should revisit locations after key events take place. Jascha introduced himself as a talented minstral, speaking at length about his violin's former owner, Khristian.

The locations fill in automatically as Engatz learns of them

To my surprise Boris is alive and well sitting on his couch, though a touch miffed that I entered unannounced. In my defense there was no door in the doorway. As my luck would have it he pointed out that the crashed plane fell into his fields to the northeast; wolves in the area prevented him from investigating... I'm not sure how I missed it on the way over. Satisfying my curiosity before I explored the crash, I went to the kitchen to find Sylvia. Though my hope for a good beef stew were dashed when I saw the rats she was chopping up, she did tell me of a barn out back where I picked up a pitchfork.

Good thing too as it proved a solid weapon against the wolves stalking the crashsite

Combat is a bit clunky, at least for the mode I selected. It required me to manuever within range to hit without any clear indication the enemy was within reach, but it also rolled numbers to see if a hit was scored. Different weapons have varying cooldowns when activated yet unlike damage range it's something experienced rather than a listed stat of the weapon. I mostly succeeded with hit and run tactics as Engatz was, in this case, slightly faster than the wolves. They also didn't track intelligently, getting stuck on the plane shaped hole in the ground. I was struck by the decided lack of wreckage at the site. After dispatching the three wolves, I managed to find some sneezewort, which Boris had mentioned was planted here. He had havested most of it before the crash occurred. On the far side of the field I found a tree that spoke about once being human.

Engatz checks prophecy, "How curious would you say you were at the time of your curse?"

There are some questions I wish I could ask this tree face, but the interface only allows single keywords and none I entered beyond the underlined in the conversation gave a response. I wondered how I was supposed to reverse the curse. I didn't even have a name. I'm also unsure how to ask others about reversing a curse such as this. Throughout the dialogue here there's no indication of that. While checking out the crash site this poor unfortunate soul was found spying when Kairn's dead ones were prowling around. Kairn dragged the plane away after cursing the curious onlooker. Until the curse is broken, I won't learn which way the plane was dragged. I guess it's too much to hope Engatz would just follow the track in the mud the plane left.

Back in town, searching for clues, I learned from the tavern patrons about a Monastery to the northwest

With nothing else new in town, I sought out the Monastery. I met a monk in the main hall, allegedly the only one still alive by the town's account. He was quite accommodating, offering his services and allowing me to explore as I pleased amongst him and his brothers. Though not another soul was in sight he turned to his side to confer his Brother Leon. Not to upset him, I left that matter alone and inquired about his services. He sells holy water for a single silver piece (I bought one), blesses items of proper import (I didn't have any he could bless), or raises the dead if I could bring him the Cup of Life. With the cup (I'd guess the chalice in Seth's possession) and the ashes of the deceased, a donation of three silver pieces are all that is required to complete the service.

I found a book in one of the quarters below describing a healing crystal

Searching the rest of the Monastery proved fruitful. I found a book describing The Crystal Innate, a gothic mace that should outdo the pitchfork, and a monk toiling away with some writing. I was startled to find another monk. He referred to the first monk as the Nameless One as he would never answer when asked his name (not just me then). This monk, called Pius by the other monks (when there were others), had some kind of affliction where he couldn't stop writing. He also couldn't remember anything before arriving at the Monastery, including his real name. When he arrived he was covered in scratches and claw marks. Thanks to the Nameless One he survived the blood loss, barely.

When asked why he can't stop writing he screamed in pain

He had been warned by the Nameless One that the quill he now holds was cursed, but his curiosity got the better of him. Now his hand writes day and night whether he's asleep or awake. If he doesn't keep the point on paper it will write on the nearest surface, including his own skin. A quill rumored to have belonged to Kairn's brother Michael, it's believed corrupted by the evil taint of the dark lord's power. Lacking the ability to ask for help, I assumed the task for myself and continued my search of the land. I wondered at this point if the curious one cursed was Pius or the one turned into a tree. Both could possibly fit that description.

Lacking a direction, I started the tried and true method of rubbing all the items in my inventory against each other

It's at this point I am stuck. It wasn't clear how I should reverse or remove any of the curses. There wasn't any new dialogue in the tavern to point me towards yet another location. I ended up doing the rounds of all the NPCs a couple of times before I spoke the word quill to Pius. This caused him to cry out in exaltation. Apparently saying quill was the same as asking for the quill, which breaks the curse. It's funny the Nameless One never thought to do that. The quill was added to my inventory. Engatz appears to be immune to this curse, or the curse is permanently broken as I found I can put in the quill in hand and remove it just as easily.

Dumb luck, and I don't know what I need it for either

Once again I made the rounds, rubbing the quill against everyone this time, but no one changed their tune. Even the Nameless One made no mention when I spoke of it or Pius. I did learn though that keywords are more than the underlined text, and it's necessary to find ones of importance. I believe I need to restart, keeping track of any words that might prove important throughout. I wasn't keeping a full list of what to ask about. I feel I've either missed someone to talk to, a keyword to mention to someone, or an item that would help me understand either what to do with the quill or the talking tree.

The prophecy didn't update when I took the quill from Pius, so maybe it meant the transformed tree or I have to accomplish the second part

It's this setback that deflated my enthusiasm. Sorry it has taken so long to get through this post and request assistance. If anyone has suggestions for what to do next, I'd prefer clues in that order with an affirmation followed by details. I'll restart soon, and if I get similarly stuck, I'll check the comments.

Session Time: 1h 45m
Game Time: 2h 45m

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. yes, the game has a specific mechanic that you already sort of find out to advance, here's 2 hints and the solution. There's probably more stuff to do parallelly

    uvag 1: lbh arrq gb zrrg arj crbcyr, xrrc erfrnepuvat guvf inyyrl

    uvag 2: jub pna uryc lbh jvgu guvf ?

    fbyhgvba: gnyx ntnva jvgu gur 3 thlf ng gur one, gurl ner gurl jnl gb haybpx arj cynprf

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  3. I vaguely remember how to deal with one of these things, but I could be mistaken on some part of the proper solution...

    Uvag:
    Lbh arrq gb svaq jvar sbe gur Crgre Ybeer punenpgre, pbeerpg? Jurer jbhyq gurer or n avpr obggyr bs jvar? Va n jvar pryyne.

    Fbyhgvba:
    Ybeer unf gur punyvpr gur zbax arrqf, vgf gur snapl phc ur unf.

    Uvag:
    Jung vs gurer'f na nygreangvir jnl bs qrnyvat jvgu gur gerr phefr fb gung gur crefba pna or erghearq gb abezny?

    Fbyhgvba:
    Frg gur gerr ba sver, gnxr gur nfurf naq erfheerpg uvz jvgu gur punyvpr. V npghnyyl gubhtug guvf chmmyr jnf pyrire, fb V ubcr lbh qba'g pbhag guvf bar ntnvafg vg.


    General note, steal everything you can.
    I think I'll be playing along now. Technically I haven't played this before, but I have seen an internet video on it, and its more interesting than anything else I've got on my plate for the near future. (I'm holding off on the alleged "greatest game you've never heard of" until after Halloween)

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  4. Happy 2nd anniversary! This playthrough-review started 2 years and 21 days ago.

    I hope you're still enjoying the ride and we can see your fourth yearly entry, hopefully before Christmas 2023.

    (Or perhaps somebody else should take the torch...).

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