Planescape Torment: In the house of madmen

chitchat(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment.  You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

Before we go any further, I return to Fell, the tattoo expert, so that he can identify the new tatts that are on my old, severed arm.  When I go in there, Annah freaks the heck out.  Like, really bad.  She drops the harsh act and starts begging me to leave, saying that the Lady of Pain has it in for Fell and we’ll face her wrath too.  That ain’t good, but I’m not afraid of no ghosts.  Fell tells me that the new tattoo is one that represents torment — the torment on myself and the fact that I draw tormented souls to me.  He alludes to four past companions, of which I think Morte and the lady ghost from the mortuary were two.  Anyway, a new fighter tattoo is made available for purchase and it severely beefs up my stats.  Take THAT, Lady!

Annah takes us to a door that I’ve seen before.  It’s just a painting of a door, but she explains that it’s a very real door — it only turns into a painting when you look at it.  So I close my eyes and barge into a nest of Chaosmen.  A short cutscene shows some floating spirits assaulting — and possibly killing — Pharod.  These spirits were the same ones that were shown around me at the beginning of the game.  Hm.

I chat with Annah who says that Pharod has established a huge stash of goods taken off corpses, but he’s never left his throne room.  A little inner deduction work, and I suggest that his crutch might be the key to a portal.  I’ll have to go back and check that out later.

Turns out that Annah and Morte don’t get along much, as they start sniping at each other almost instantly.  Hey, whatever amuses me is best for the group, so keep it up!  I’m just psyched that I have a fourth group member now (and someone who can use the fancy punch daggers I found in the catacombs).

The HQ of the Starving Dogs is a mess — that’s what you’d expect from a group of folks who are 100% insane.  They mostly just bark and fight you, so it’s a quick run through the place to get XP and loot while figuring out how to avoid a huge room of inhabitants.  I tried to rush the room, but there are too many to fight — that’s a group wipe within seconds, that is.

Instead, I call on my new Thief (Annah) to unlock the door using a key I got off of a mage upstairs and then stealth her way to the exit.  The way the game works, as long as one party member makes it to an exit, everyone zones.  Sure enough, we pop out in the Alley of Lingering Sighs and get 1000 XP as a reward.

standIn the alley, I find a house with a dead, rotting dabus inside.  I use my stories-bones-tell ability to find out what happened.  From the vision that ensues, I guess the dabus came inside, started repairing the place, and ended up trapped due to his own craftsmenship.  Dumb dabus.

The first part of the alley is otherwise empty, and so we move on to the next screen.  It’s here that Annah found my corpse (see picture), at which point a stone face on the wall appears and starts chatting with me.

The face says that it saw me destroyed by shadows that had no shadow — a similar sentiment to what the scrap of paper Pharod gave back to me said.  Shadows seem to be popping up a lot in the game’s conversations, come to think about it.  This triggers a cutscene memory of the same floating spirits that killed Pharod striking me down.

The stone face/wall then reveals that its pregnant and about to give birth.  Because this place wasn’t weird and freaky enough already.  How do you find a midwife for a pregnant wall?  It says that it wants to “divide” and if it does so, it’ll unlock passages to new areas, but first I have to kill the dabus that keeps repairing the wall.  That might not be a great idea — dabuses come under the protection of the Lady of Pain.  Do I care?  Heck no I do not care.  Time to go tempt fate!

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