(This is part of my journey playing through Arcanum. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lanes page.)
It’s time for Virgil and me to blow CSI: Zeppelintown and see if we can’t find something interesting to do elsewhere. On the way out of the valley, we find a shrine that one of Virgil’s comrades set up in anticipation of my arrival. How thoughtful and slightly obscene.
A few steps past that and a cloaked man comes running up to see if there’s any survivors. Well, this is a coin toss between someone who’s obviously here to finish the job and someone who’s just trying to be helpf…
Later, when I’m cleaning my +1 bloody sword of get-out-of-my-way off the body, I notice that it’s an Elf because of course it is. Even in this game, they seek me out to torment me. EEEEEEEELVES!
Virgil’s been going on and on and on about getting to Shrouded Hills, but when we reach the world map I notice that there’s a house even closer. Maybe if I’m pokey enough, I can give Virgil some physical tics to go with all the random swearing that he’s doing.
I guess this is the priest that the cave ghost wanted me to find. Because I’m not THAT much of a homicidal maniac, I actually chat with him before going into full-on decapitation mode, and he tells me that the ghost was a bandit who murdered his family and robbed him of some doohickey. Anything I can do to help? Why yes, go get my doohickey. But that won’t bring back your wife and son. No, but I’ll be able to bring it to the doohickey convention next year and that’s the next best thing, now off you go!
His partner is holed up in a shack and is a spineless wimp to boot. I just put the fear of me into him and he gives up the doohickey without a fight. Wow, that was easy. I head back to the priest’s house and find the door locked — it takes me a couple of minutes to figure out that it’ll stay locked until the morning, so I just advance time to get there. Huh.
Anywho, the priest is all sorts of happy — dead family what? — and he bestows a blessing to make people like me more. Wow, priests can do that? Awesome. Sounds a little like mind control to me, but it’s from a half-elf so it must be pure and wonderful.
Off to Shrouded Hills!
I really do like this map interface, although because my fingers are conditioned by a dozen years of MMO playing, I keep hitting “M” to pull it up which then disables the turn-based combat. Keybinding! Where art thou?
Shrouded Hills is a smallish town of about 10 dull-looking structures. We first head up into an overgrown temple, kill a few sewer rats, loot a drawer full of tobacco (there’s a lot of crafting loot in this game, although I just want the money, thank you), and a simple-minded Dwarf in the back room taking care of a steam engine.
Our next stop is the inn, and Virgil is just about peeing the carpet in excitement over finally getting to the elder who will of course clear up all of the confusion. Well, Virge, you’re going to need to cross your legs or something, because this doesn’t look promising.
A nearby note tells us that Joachim (that’s the elder) got attacked by these two, killed them with his super-ninja powers, and then left for no real reason. It also instructed Virgil to keep his lips shut about the crash and me, and to get to Tarant to speak with him. Conspiracy! Mass murder! Ghosts! Well, it’s been an exciting 24 hours for my character. Too bad I can’t just walk away from all of this and go about my normal life.
I also find out a little more about this foul-mouthed wanna-be priest. I guess Virgil was “down on his luck” when he stumbled upon Joachim, who helped him out and gave him a role model. But Virgil ain’t going into specifics, because we’ll need something to talk about later, I suppose.