(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment. You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Wow, it’s been over a week since I last touched Planescape Torment, so I’m digging around in my head for what I’ve done and where I’m going. I’m like the Nameless One, what with recovering lost memories. I haven’t replaced any body parts lately, however.
I start out by fiddling with the dodecahedron that I picked up from my old room. Due to my awesome intelligence and resurfacing memories, I’m able to unlock it, at which point it transforms into an unreadable journal. Is this THE journal? The one I’ve been seeking? I have no idea.
I bring it to Finam the linguist, who takes a look at the book and says that he can’t read it. That’s bad. He does say that his father can. That’s good. But his father was murdered several years ago. That’s bad. He does keep his father’s ashes in his house. That’s good, in case you were wondering, since I have the disturbing ability to talk to the dead now.
I sit down to have a chat with the ashes of the long-dead Fin. He says that he was murdered by a former student who wanted to be the only other person in the world who could read this language. A repressed memory surfaces of me strangling Fin so that my journal would stay completely private. Dude, I couldn’t put a password on it or something? I feel totally bad about it, even though it was one of my past selves that did it, and I apologize to the guy. I’m spending an awful lot of time in this game apologizing for things that I did before I started playing the game, I’m discovering.
The journal itself is revealing in a lore sense although it doesn’t seem to provide a lot of immediate help. It definitely provides a few more pieces of the story puzzle, including my paranoid fear of my other selves and a partial explanation as to why I can now remember things between deaths:
Iannis the Advocate is a sad sack of a man, lonely and haunted. The grand apology tour continues as I find out that he’s Deionarra’s (the ghost lady from the mortuary and a former lover of mine) father. I not only apologize for whatever happened between me and her, but also for trying to torch his place in order to get rid of my legacy. Long, long story short, I pick up my legacy and Deionarra’s as well, and then head back to the Sensorium to see if I can get permission for him to view the stone that had Deionarra’s memory in it. The least I can do, really.
Ravel’s maze is a dull, ugly affair (what, you expected Planescape to have any place of actual beauty?). It has an organic look to it and is populated by various easy-to-slay beasts. This is the first time I’ve been in combat for quite some time, so I revel in the experience. With all of my new gear, a full party, and Fall-from-Grace’s healing, it’s a cakewalk.
It doesn’t take me long to find Ravel, the night hag. She’s just dallying around in her twisted garden. Initially, at least, she doesn’t come across as an adversary or as evil as everyone made her out to be. She speaks of yanking your mortality away and witnessing the horror that it caused. She also says that a major theme of your life since then has been (wait for it) torment: “As others suffer, they are drawn to you, and their path becomes yours.” Ravel then goes on to hint at my companions’ miseries.
So Ravel is the “how” of my immortality, but I’m still trying to figure out the “why” of it. Conversing with her is strange, full of echoes to past conversations and plays on words. In a twist to the usual RPG dialogue, Ravel refuses to answer my questions until I answer several of hers. Her last one is the expected, “What can change the nature of a man?” My answer? “Love.” I don’t care if it’s simple or cliche, it’s something that I personally believe. She seems satisfied with that.
Finally I’m able to ask my questions. She says that she made me immortal based on my own request, but she does not understand why I wanted it. Ravel admits that the ritual didn’t go as planned; she took shortcuts and it left me broken — a hut without anyone living inside. Every time I die, I end up accidentally creating one of the shadows that have been pursuing me, too.
Ravel admits that she was in love with me, and because of that, she couldn’t keep my stripped-away mortality around. She gave it away or something and has no idea where it is. She does point me in the direction of an angelic deva who does know, however.
In a really cool twist, Ravel tells me that she’s able to assume various forms on the outside of her prison — and that over the course of the game I’ve met her at least three times: in the mortuary, in the buried village, and somewhere else.
It’s an insightful conversation full of XP-gaining opportunities, but eventually it draws to a close. Ravel tells you how to leave and then immediately tries to kill you, because that totally makes sense.
Oh no! Our hero is in peril! What will happen next time on Planescape Torment? Tune in, same Sigil-time, same Sigil-blog to find out!