(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment. You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
As I wait for my car to finish up at the auto shop, I find myself stranded at McDonald’s. So why not a little Planescape Torment while I dally? Weird thought: Might I be the only person in the world playing Planescape Torment in a McDonald’s at this very moment? I think that the odds are good.
Inside the festhall I listen to a lecture on the Blood War. This is a background conflict that hasn’t been seen in the game so much as its presence has been felt, if you can understand that. Basically, the Blood War is this epic, non-stop conflict between two factions of fiends that’s taking place on many of the planes. The fiends try to recruit people to fight, but it’s a losing prospect to do so. A couple more things: If the Blood War stops, the planes might well collapse; and the Lady of Pain keeps the Blood War from fighting in and for Sigil. It’s sort of neutral ground, but not perfectly so.
I also have a memory of fighting in said Blood War before encountering a certain night hag. Hm, wonder who that could’ve been?
Further into the festhall I encounter Jumble Murdersense, a nasty little fellow responsible for Reekwind’s curse. In trying to save Reekwind, I get cursed by this guy for my troubles — I can’t stop hiccupping. What to do but fight fire with fire? I run outside, talk to the wanna-be-head-mage, and he teaches me an even better curse. I sling it on Jumble, who finds that he can’t speak. So he agrees to remove both curses and I remove his. Quest complete!
The mage training room in the festhall is somewhat chaotic, as it’s lacking a teacher and the students just don’t know what to do. The trainer is apparently addicted to sensory stones and hasn’t emerged from the sensorium in a while. I go there and talk to her about it — she’s really out of it and completely self-centered — then I go tell the head-mage-wannabe guy about her addiction. Then, because it’s fun running back and forth like a hulking scarred errand boy, I return to the lady and tell her that I told the other guy what she told me. Planescape Torment: It’s a scarier version of junior high school! Anyway, she gets mad about it and starts being a teacher again.
On a side note, it feels like it’s been a long, long time since I’ve had to kill anyone or go through a dungeon. That’s fine by me!
Another quest that I need to accomplish here is to retrieve the keys to Dolora’s heart from Merriman. These are literal keys, of course, since Dolora is a construct. Merriman’s a jerk and doesn’t want to give the keys up unless I can find a way to make him forget his troubles. This kicks off a chain of events that has me talking to Unfulfilled-Desire in the dormitories, who is able to take the desire to drink from that drunken mage I met way back when, who in turn gives me his enchanted mug, which I take to the art gallery and retrieve a shard of ice from the River Styx, which I then give to Merriman, who drinks it and gives me the key. Whew. That was a mouthful.
The dorms have my old room still waiting, and not for the first time am I amazed at just what a large footprint I’ve left all over this city (not to mention all of my junk). Some nice items here including a dodecahedron. As a bonus, it’s a good place to rest and heal up!
Next up is a trip to the private sensorium. It’s here that three memory balls are waiting for me. The first is a long encounter with myself through the eyes of a past love (the ghost lady I first met in the mortuary, I think). It’s horribly tragic and shows how cruel I became while manipulating her. The second is a trap that a previous incarnation left for myself, but it’s easy to escape. And the third is a message from Ravel the night hag, who tells me that I need to find three things to reach her: the door, the key, and the knowledge to unlock the key.
Quell, a candy-eating mage, is willing to give me a hint about Ravel’s key in exchange for some chocolate. Fortunately, I’ve got some in my bag (why not?) and he lets slip that the key is a piece of Ravel herself.
I head back to the brothel, give Dolora the key to her heart (yay I made her happy), and fix up the silent prostitute Ecco with a new tongue. It’s not on the up-and-up, since it’s a fiend’s tongue and keeps cursing on her, so some special liquid (which I also have) is needed to tame the potty mouth. Finally able to speak, Ecco tells me that Ravel has children and that one of them is a fellow co-worker, Kessai-Serris.
It takes a bit of convincing to get Kessai-Serris to admit/realize that she’s Ravel’s daughter, but when she does she’s mortified. She also agrees to give me some of her blood, although I’m lacking a handkerchief. Annah to the rescue! She pilfers a few locked drawers and finds one for me. Kessai bleeds on it, and voila, I have my key. Ravel, you’re going down! To Funkytown!