The Secret World: Take me to church (Besieged Farmlands #7)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

Foul Banquet (action mission)

Outside the village, past the vampire projects, is a little church (I’m going to say Greek Orthodox and feel free to correct me here) that somehow remains untouched by the carnage going on all around it. Inside are two figures, a priest and a vampire, who sit talking and might well be friends or at least fond acquaintances.

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You’re in God’s house, son. Pay some respect.

The priest tells me how the local ghoul population has started to dig up and feast upon the corpses, which (1) yuck and (2) must be stopped because see #1. For some reason, this mission is flagged as “nightmare” level for me, which I haven’t seen at all in this zone so far. Usually that’s linked to how strong your gear is in comparison, so maybe some of my gear is pretty weak. Oh well, I’m doing it anyway.

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The ghouls are pretty tough, I’ll give you that, but I still am able to take them out without dying once. It’s a slog through a combination graveyard and junkyard, interesting for the scenery if not the fights. As I’m killing the ghouls, I stumble upon some old reel-to-reel tapes and start collecting them up.

The more I find, the more excited I get. What could be on them? My curiosity rises to a fever pitch as I start to repair a machine on which to play them. There’s a heart-stopping moment when I’m caught up in the repairs and a boss suddenly attacks me from behind — kudos, TSW — but in the end I’m able to play them and…

…it’s the same disappointing photo of the Soviet supersoldier we saw in that Dr. Varias mission. No new info, nothing. What a letdown!

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In Cold blood (action mission)

The vampire in the church, Hasdatean, is an interesting character, even if he only has one mission. He was a Romanian general from the 1800s that got turned into a vampire yet didn’t join the current marauding horde stampeding all over Transylvania. He considers these vamps savages and brutes without honor, and it’s apparent that he’s come to some sort of truce with the local human populace over this — country before species and all that.

Anyway, he goes on about how hard and painful it is for a vampire to come back from a good old-fashioned staking and suggests that I give it a try. If you’ve ever wanted to play cat-and-mouse with ancient historical vampires, now’s your chance.

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The mission is less an action-packed romp than it is an extended trek all over the map to track down the three vamps in various locations (observatory, siege camp, werewolf camp for some reason) and fight them. Each flies away, leading me to their secret base: a run-down mill.

The final battle with all three had me stumped for a half minute there, because I wasn’t quite paying attention and couldn’t seem to finish them off. Then I remembered, oh yeah, staking. I used the stakes in my bag and poof, down they went. Enjoy the painful reanimation, boys!

The Secret World: Daddy issues (Besieged Farmlands #6)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

Red Handed (investigation mission)

Poor Dr. Varias is tasked with being pretty much the sole medical support staff of this besieged village, and to make matters worse, he’s working in a tent outside of a barn. Why they couldn’t bring the injured into that huge tavern/inn across the road, I do not know. Maybe it’s a bravado thing. Why be comfortable when you can lie exposed to the elements, 10 feet away from rampaging ghouls?

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Turns out that Varias is equally interested in the genetic research that his dad did as he is with his current patients. After doing a bit of field medicine, I go off on a scavenger hunt, decoding clues from a scientific nerdy bent (hey, when you have to use the periodic table to decrypt a code, then yes, you’ve crossed some sort of line). In the end, I find the laptop with Varias Senior’s research — he was part of the Soviet Red Hand project that features strongly in this zone. Supersoldiers, why not?

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Red Hands Aren’t Idle Hands and The Briefcase (side missions)

There’s a sort of mini-story arc in this zone about Dr. Varias, so let’s keep chugging with that, shall we? Varias Sr. has left behind a couple of briefcases of information that can be found in the zone (which is an easy task, since they’re both side mission icons on the map). Inside, brief journal entries about the old supersoldier program and Varias’ involvement with them.

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It’s not exactly the creepiest that I’ve read in this game, but it’s interesting enough to press forward. Geary said that Varias was the “Rasputin” of the old Soviet R&D regime, but he disappeared decades ago.

Bringing both of these documents to Varias Jr. is rewarded with a final mission unlock to get to the heart of these daddy issues.

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Sins of the Father (sabotage mission)

Want to know why Dr. Varias came to this tiny little burg? Now we find out. He spills his entire backstory: how his father collaborated with the Soviets after the occupation on the Red Hand project, how the family name became disgraced, and how Varias Jr. eventually came seeking information on what experiments Varias Sr. did. It all leads to the observatory, where documents and a sealed door await. He needs the answers for redemption, and I need the answers for my curiosity.

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Good news everybody! For today’s field trip, we’re going to be going into a long-abandoned (yet still inexplicably occupied) Red Hand bunker. It’s one of those missions where everything is dark and there are things lurking in the dark that can practically one-shot you if you make a misstep. Lots of dainty tip-toeing around hulked-out siegebreakers, flipping switches to turn on reactors, and — my favorite — leaping over laser grids and avoiding security cameras attached to sentry guns.

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I think this mission (and the whole storyline, to be honest) is one of the weaker ones in The Secret World. For all it nails with atmosphere, it doesn’t deliver much at all narratively. The whole secret? Varias was helping the Reds build a super-soldier. That’s not even a revelation — we already know that this sort of thing was going on. But now we know it MORE.

As an aside, I like the chummy group photo of the scientists and Bane behind them there. It’s the world’s weirdest selfie.

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At least it was a refreshing change to stop sneaking around at the end and take out this guy. He looks imposing but he went down like a sack of bananas. I really do wish we had an epilogue with Varias Jr. about all of this, but I’ll assume that knowing his dad created these monstrosities is not going to give him much peace for his future.

The Secret World: Transylvania noir (Besieged Farmlands #5)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

Death and Axes (investigation mission)

Sophie is one of the truly good people in The Secret World. She’s under a lot of pain, as she somehow feels the death of people in the vicinity, but she remains optimistic and compassionate. She talks about how it was really bad at first, when the vampires came, which makes me think that what happened here was a lot like what happened on Solomon Island when the fog rolled in: Evil was unleashed quickly, rapidly, and widely, penning the survivors in and cutting off their route for escape.

Sophie talks of both the dead and undead that linger around here, and encourages me in so many words to check out the spirits that are also causing her torment. Anything I can do for a fan, really.

So what we have here, really, is a murder investigation case, Secret World-style. It’s one of the more clever missions of the game, even if it makes you Google Translate Romanian way too often.

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Part of Sophie’s distress is standing right behind her, which can only be seen when I dive into the spirit world and see a ghost hovering right over her shoulder. This is the ghost of a detective who was apparently investigating a murder — the murder of Sophie’s boyfriend, Mihail.

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This mission is big on finding clues, both in the living world and in the anima one, and using logical deduction to figure out what to do and where to go next. At the murder site, a hanged body is watched over by a raven. That’s never a good sign in this game.

Mihail left a love letter to Sophie, begging her to run off with him. He was also disturbed at how he could hear the spirits talking through her voice while she slept at night. I would think that’d be disturbing.

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The investigation led me to a local farm, where Sophie’s mom and dad had been killed as well. Their ghosts continued to hang around to give me the info for a license plate, because why tell me a name when a license plate could be so much more ambiguous?

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We’re condensing a lot of backtracking, translating, and investigation via the late detective’s laptop, but in the end I uncover the murderer: Mihail’s brother, who was heavily influenced by a local revenant. I perform my justice and find the body of the detective, hopefully putting all of the spirits to rest and helping to ease Sophie’s pain a bit.

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Dead Reconning (action mission)

Iorgu is one of the (rare) dull mission NPCs in this game, so let’s skip over him and talk about The Secret World’s vampires — or Strigoi, as the locals call them. While TSW’s werewolves are pretty typical stuff, I give the devs credit for making the vampires far from sexy and tropish. If anything, they’re creepy-looking bloodsuckers, kind of like human mosquitoes with claws. The excess clothing and gas masks allow them to be out during the day, while the straws coming out of the mask are presumably for feeding. You genuinely want to kill these guys on first sight, and that’s to the game’s credit.

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This mission serves as an introduction to this big threat that’s descended to the front steps of the village. We learn a lot about vampires here: how they dress, how they fight… and how they feed. Vamps can drink animal blood but vastly prefer human blood for the edge it gives them. To help this, they keep “blood stocks” around. These are people strapped to a frame with tubes sticking out of them all over the place — again, for easy access. As far as I can tell, they’re beyond the point of saving, which is why the game lets you mercy kill any you see. At least, I’m hoping that’s the case, because I’ve often felt bad for them. Even the name, blood stock, is so impersonal and strips the humanity away from this shell.

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Other than learning about vamps, this mission takes me on a tour of the Soviet-era apartment block that grew up right next to the more homey village. Lots of brutal cold war architecture, with ugly concrete structures jutting up all over the place and forlorn playground equipment.

There is a zip line at one point, although this is traversed in first-person cutscene (boo). At the end of the mission, I find a note on a computer ordering the vampire horde to hold back and not overrun the village. Apparently there’s a bigger plan going on, and I intend to find out what.

There’s a short side mission follow-up, A Body of Work, that involves gathering much-needed supplies for the villagers.

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A Drink to Remember (action mission)

After getting a little tipsy with Iorgu, I set out to push deeper into the vampire-held territory to see what’s going on behind their front lines. Turns out, not so good things. Also, it’s an apocalyptic wasteland, a warzone that makes me wonder where the tanks, mortar rounds, and bombs are. Vampires with their prickly claws couldn’t have done all of this.

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The vamps are building strange siege engines — giant, semi-hidden things with mechanical treads and jutting, bird-like appendages, It’s hard to figure out how these would be used in any situation, nevermind a siege one. On the inside, they’re mostly fuel tanks, old computers, and blood stocks.

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I bump shoulders with the vampire general here, who is amusing to watch type with those giant claws on. Also, it’s a little weird that he pretty much ignores me until I attack him. I am not above getting in a free hit at the start.

After stepping over his corpse, I read the general’s email and see that even he was getting orders from higher-up, orders to stay put and work on those siege engines. But what for? They could’ve overrun the village with a small platoon of vampires at this point.

Another short follow-up mission, Blood Drive, puts me in the role of a blood delivery man to the local church. Why? We’ll go into that another time.

The Secret World: Blajini hijinks (Besieged Farmlands #4)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

The Kindly Ones (action mission)

Finally, back on track in the Besieged Farmlands! One thing I’ve noticed in this zone is that it wears its supernatural weirdness pretty out in the open. Right from the get-go there are all sorts of good and bad creatures from the fae wandering around, including the Blajini.

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I guarantee you that you haven’t ever seen NPCs like these in an MMO before. The Blajini, whose name means the “kind-hearted ones,” are part of Romanian folklore and are short people with rat-like faces that come from a parallel earth (why not). In TSW, they are refugees seeking shelter from the encroaching vampires. Their leader, Petru, is a Marxist revolutionary (why not) who wants me to seek out the other Blajini in hiding and encourage them to head to town for safety.

The quest involves scouting around the area for likely Blajini hiding spots (burrows, houses, haystacks, etc.) and then playing a bit of Petru’s revolutionary nonsense on a tape recorder to lure them out. And then I catch them, enslave them, and have a small army to overwhelm my enemies, right? Riiiight.

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I won’t lie, it’s not a particularly interesting mission, but it is the only one featuring the Blajini so I’ll go easy on them. I like how it ends in an atmospheric waterfall cave.

I’m slow on the uptake, but one thing that I’ve been realizing as of late is that the lore that I mindlessly pick up while questing often has to do with the quest I’m on. There’s a Blajini lore in the cave that talks about these kindly ones and how they help people in many ways. Makes me far more willing to escort them back to town.

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Of the Forest (action mission)

The relationship between bartender Sophie and the mysterious Forest God is one of the most fascinating in the game to me. Sophie’s always been more in tune with the supernatural world around her, and for some reason, the mighty Forest God has come to depend on her for advice and support. I’m not exactly sure whether or not this is a romantic relationship (even a simmering one), but there is a bond between the two that’s sweet and caring. It’s nice to see in a game like this.

Anyway, Mr. Stag Head (as Geary calls him) is in pain due to the disrespect that the vampires, werewolves, and other miscreants are showing nature. There’s no great endgame with the vamps; they just want to tear the world down and don’t care what happens after.

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I do what I can to help counteract the anti-environmentalism going on in this zone. I write strongly worded letters to my congressman, I participate in protests, and I guilt people into reposting articles on Facebook by saying that 97% of them will not do it.

Oh wait. No, what I actually do is plant magic acorns, blow away a small army’s worth of bad guys, rescue kidnapped villagers, and shoot corrupted trees to little itty bits.

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I’ve been tinkering with my build more and more as of late. I’m moving to a critical-trigger build, increasing my crit as much as possible while attaching all sorts of passives effects that occur when I crit — heal, DOT, extra hit, etc. It’s a little bit more straight forward, so I’m seeing how it goes.

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The Uncorrupted (side mission)

At the site of the big showdown from the previous mission is this side mission in which I must protect the last unicorn and bring it to safety. OK, replace “unicorn” with “faun” and “last” with “got stuck behind a boulder,” but it’s the same thing.

Escort missions in The Secret World are kind of weird. Sometimes you can just blitz your way right to the end and not worry about all of the mobs popping out of the woodwork. As long as you get to the end, the escortee is fine and the mission completes. Yet other times you really do need to babysit, especially with the escortee won’t match your run speed.

Looking back at the 6 MMOs I played the most in 2016

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Seeing as how this will be my final MMO-related post of this year, I thought it only fitting to look back over 2016 and recall my exploits in MMORPGs. While I did dabble here and there in various titles, such as Firefall, ESO, and Trove, for the most part my year was dominated by six titles — none of them surprising, but all fun and influential in my gaming career.

One of the best things that happened for me in terms of playing MMOs was getting a new computer that could actually run them well. That’s been such a boon.

(1) Final Fantasy XIV

At the beginning of the year, I had made a resolution to find a “home MMO” and settle my butt down to mostly focus on one title. Initially, that became FFXIV, as it was fairly new to me,, had a lot of positive word-of-mouth, and offered a lot of content.

I had a good run in that MMO, I think, although around April I decided that I had run out of steam and was losing the will to play it. That was unfortunate, because I was finally nearing Heavensword content and had found a really great guild, but alas. In retrospect, there was a lot I ended up respecting and liking about the game as well as a lot of irritating issues. I think my biggest gripe is that it never quite clicked with me even though people kept urging me to stick it out because, I quote, “It gets really good later on!” I shouldn’t have to wait more than four months for a game to get really good, and my patience wore out. Maybe I’ll go back some day. I’d like to think so. That Red Mage looks pretty cool…

(2) World of Warcraft

WoW got its hooks back in me early and kept them there, pulling me right back into this old favorite. The first half of the year was spent plowing through Warlords of Draenor, building up my expansion, and prepping my roster of characters for the new expansion. The second half was all Legion, all the time, and it’s been a really good ride so far. Found a terrific guild, got a pair of legendaries, built up my Death Knight to a great place, and still have a good amount of content on which to chew.

(3) RIFT

The announcement of Starfall Prophecy got me back into RIFT, and it’s been a reliably second-tier MMO interest since then. Again, discovering a wonderful guild — perhaps the best I’ve been a part of in MMOs — was a major factor to my stickiness, but having an expansion’s worth of content and a new house to build certainly kept me busy. I have just so much left to do here and no real desire to leave.

(4) The Secret World

Back in February I seriously splurged and bought a Grand Master membership, which I really don’t regret doing. The constant buffs to currency/AP are wonderful, the extra cosmetics and mounts nice, and having a monthly allowance of points is terrific. I did take a long break in the middle of the year due to my disinterest in City of the Sun God, but I finally rallied to complete that and move on to Transylvania. I’m hugely excited to see what might come for this game in 2017!

(5) Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online has been an on-again, off-again journey. I get really excited about it for two or three weeks, then let it go for a month. I did come back for some fun adventures, although getting bogged down in Delta Rising was death to my interest. Recently I’ve jumped past that and gotten excited to go through the more recent episode arcs.

(6) Lord of the Rings Online

Early in the year I spent some time getting through the Battle of Pelennor Fields, after which I took a very long break until just recently. However, over the past month I’ve been logging in every day or two to advance my Captain through Update 19 in anticipation of the Mordor expansion next year. It’s great to be back and I hope I won’t leave any time soon.

Stay tuned next Monday as I post my hopes and aspirations for the new month — and the new year! In the meantime, let me know in the comments what were the most important and influential MMOs to you in 2016!

The Secret World: Christmas conspiracies

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

The Christmas Conspiracy (investigation mission)

I’m going to take a brief detour in my adventures through Transylvania to take advantage of TSW’s single Christmas mission (there are Christmas events, of course, but this series is focused on the missions), the Christmas Conspiracy.

I receive a text message inviting me to a performance of The Magic Flute at the Albion Theatre in London. I ain’t going to dress up for it, but I will wear this new mistletoe circlet and see if anyone wants to dare for a kiss. At the theater, one of the main actors calls me and says that his Council of Venice sister sent him something and that he was to contact me about it. This is as much conversation as we are to have, for almost immediately at the start of the performance, the purple Nazis come in and shoot up the place.

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Even though it’s my second time through this, this cutscene is still pretty shocking. It does nothing to endear me to the Phoenecians, which continually strike me as a bloodthirsty organization playing catch-up and not holding any reservations against murder and massacre.

After putting a stop to the assault (although far too late for the actors and audience, alas), I dig around backstage and find some information about what’s going on.

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Apparently — and this is the Cliff Notes version — all of this concerns the remainders of jolly Saint Nicholas, whose body and leftover juices are supposedly miraculous and all that. I don’t know why past people had such a fascination for keeping body parts and fluids of saints around, but it was gross. A sticker collection would’ve been better and probably just as useful.

So Santa here had his body split in two, and one half has been stolen away. There’s also a conspiracy with this particular play, as Mozart wrote it as some sort of code to accessing the catacombs where part of the body was kept by the Masons. And then Mozart was quickly killed in rather suspicious circumstances. Past people were just weird as all get out.

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Interesting fact: One of the books I found in the Council of Venice library (which is, again, just a horrible place to hold a library of physical books mere inches away from water that’s dripping and pooling) talks about Lilith and Samael, even suggesting that she might be behind Mozart’s death.

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Then I get to the meat of this mission, which is the trip through the Masonic catacombs. It’s best described as a “music dungeon,” as you use a magic flute to perform simple songs that have various effects — opening doors, moving statues, calling fire, calling water, and so on. The trick is to pay attention to the tunes you encounter and figure out how to use them in various situations. Also, sometimes you must reverse the tune to get the reverse effect.

It’s not that hard once you get into it, and there needs to be very little research outside of the game itself to finish it up.

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The catacombs aren’t particularly scary, although the large statues that slide along can be a little unnerving. Especially if you’ve watched Doctor Who recently. But no, they don’t come to life, and even the few times that you “die,” you’re just sent back a little ways and told to try again.

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At the end of the catacombs are another heapload of Phoenecians, including big baddy Lydia. I’m kind of annoyed that I go through all of the work to solve the puzzles and these purple jerks just blow a hole in from the sewers and get here that way. I deserve a raise.

Lydia’s thing is being bothersome to fight while taunting you and leaving riiiiight before you can kill her. Which she does. That’s OK, since I am able to recover the jar of Santa Juice.

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In a touching little epilogue, Saint Nick arrives in ghost form, kneels down over the slain Council woman who started this whole mission, and the two of them disappear in a bright flash of light. She’s at the North Pole now, Timmy. That’s where all murder victims go on December 25th, don’t you know?

The Secret World: Nursery tales (Besieged Farmlands #3)

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(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)

The Sound of Children (action mission)

Welcome to the Nursery. This mission does NOT. Mess. Around. There are a handful of missions in this game that put you through the ringer, and this is definitely one of them. We ready? No? Well, it’s too late now.

“This place has bad memories,” the Council woman says as we step inside the secret Orochi faculty. Let me just say that if you ever had any sympathy for all of the dead Orochi all over the place, the Nursery will harden your heart against them for good.

Initially, the Nursery is a quiet but undeniably creepy place. Little playrooms full of Matron Bots, an unnerving lullaby, and plenty of scribbled “Hello I walk into empty” graffiti. Then we come to this:

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Which has to be one of the most-photographed rooms in all of The Secret World. I’ve seen it plenty of other places to know that it had an impact on players. It’s hokey, sure, but also quite unsettling. A dismembered Orochi employee is surrounded by dolls and scribbles. It’s all clearly staged — but by who? I was never clear on this. The popular theory is that one of the experiments resulted in an incorporeal entity (angry spirit?) who went nuts both here and in Hatchet Falls. Could be the same spirit we actually saw in the Orochi cave prior to Hatchet Falls.

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The lead doctor’s computer delivers some of the backstory of this place. As we’ve seen before, bright guy sells his soul to do unspeakable experiments on children, then starts messing with the Filth, then gets infected and it all goes downhill. What else did you think would happen?

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And just when you thought it was bad enough, these doors open and you step into Hell(o). It’s an Orochi slaughterhouse… and not everything back here is dead. There’s a side mission, Where the Little Ones Go, to go into each of these side rooms that feature a different experiment type. It’s pretty easy and you’re probably going to do it anyway, so easy AP.

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On the plus side of this place, I use an anima infuser to turn my flamethrower into a new auxiliary weapon. Flame on, baby!

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Lots of use of shadow and light here. Also some things moving behind the lights. It’s only marginally less scary because Council girl is there with you.

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I never, ever want to know what is in this room.

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I kill the director and read the suicide note that his assistant left behind. Yes, plenty of kids have been abducted and experimented upon, but the big prize is Emma… and she’s here somewhere. We find a secret room holding her, and Council woman betrays me (curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!). Turns out that she’s a Big Bad, Lilith, and she’s absolutely batpoop crazy.

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This little girl-thing shuffles down into the room, and Lilith snaps its neck. Looks like a Japanese girl.

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For a lovely denouement, Lilith straps me to a table and then uses a laser to cut off my legs (!). Seriously. It’s really surreal how my character doesn’t scream, but TSW is nothing if not committed to keeping my character completely mute. Lilith picks up Emma and leaves with her, humming the lullaby.

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I Walk Into Empty (investigation mission)

Tell me if you’ve ever been here: Legs lasered off by a primeval madwoman and thrust into the dreamscape of a very troubled little girl while gods older then the universe plot your downfall. That’s like, every Tuesday in The Secret World.

As my legs regenerate (I assume), I take a holiday in Emma’s mind. Don’t know how I’m doing that, since Lilith took her away, but here we are. There are lots of flashes of Emma’s past, including scientists (?) in a cabin abusing her, Orochi conducting some sort of large-scale experiment with her blasting holes in reality, and a glimpse of the Virgula Divina project. That means “divining rod,” by the way.

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It’s not a terribly difficult investigation mission, all things considered. There’s some trial-and-error maneuvering through rooms in an Orochi facility and a hippity-hoppity jumping part, but the real tough angle of this quest is if you’re going for the teddy bear, which requires getting extra magnetic letters scattered all over the place.

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A burning house: What I can only assume is Emma’s home, or the birthplace of the creature we know as Emma. There are no survivors except for her. A fireman asks her name:

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He mis-hears, thinks she said “Emma.” But no, this child is actually the living and breathing embodiment of anima itself — the power that flows through all us bee people. Not much else is explained about her backstory here, if she was a real kid at some point, what created the anima form of Emma, what burned down the house (her?), and why half the game’s factions are out to get her and use her.

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The super-long stretchy hallway. An old classic but still effective for dream weirdness. The music gets downright gorgeous here.

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When I jump out of the dream, I’m able (somehow?) to port into Agartha right behind Lilith and Emma. The girl shakes off her captor, who has a mild matronly freakout. Emma knocks her (and me) away, at which point the Filth starts crawling toward her, chanting her name.

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She’s small. She’s powerful. And she knows so very little about what’s going on. Emma blasts the Filth back, but not entirely — the Filth has invaded Agartha for the first time. I can see this from the main hub as I look across the way. Emma appears and talks about needing the lullaby to play all the time, to keep the Dreaming Ones asleep. Otherwise it’s bye-bye for reality as we know it.

Happy ending: I get a 10.1 necklace as a reward for this whole chain, and I’m able to head back to Besieged Farmlands for normal questing!