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Completed Stygian : The Reign of the Small Font

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by RK47, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    Pacing is an issue here. It's basically Tarant - Dark Version.
    From the get go, the developers tried to limit access to places within the town. The town looks small at the start but once you turn the tap, the content just kept pouring out at rapid pace, eventually exhausting the player's mental stamina and his character's sanity.

    It's not great, but I can see somewhat interesting designs that comes undone as they ran out of time to fully implement.
    And that combat is way too bland in 2019.
     
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  2. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    40 - The Last Man
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I pushed them into this! Their blood is on my hands now!
    [​IMG] What are you talking about man?

    The man continues to ramble.

    [​IMG] How could I've known?! Seemed to be an old fellow, he did! I said he'd never have time to spend all that gold, but it could change everything for us. For myself and my pals!
    [​IMG] Gold? Are you Keelan?
    [​IMG] Aye, I am and I know you. Saw you wandering around, looking for me. You've to help me!
    [​IMG] Where did you get the gold from, Keelan?
    [​IMG] We took it from his house in Kingsport! You have to believe me, we had no other choice!
    [​IMG] Explain.
    [​IMG] We called ourselves the Boston Rejects. We found each other having some hard times. No work, no money, bellies empty, no chance to return to what we left behind. We were slowly dying!
    [​IMG] We're no thugs! We tried everything and everything failed us! This country's slowly eating us piece by piece.
    [​IMG] The gold is cursed, return it and you may survive.

    He started going hysterical.

    [​IMG] I-it's gone! We sold it all before coming here! To Salvador's cousin, somewhere near Innsmouth. They're not hunting us for the gold, it's our souls they want!

    His eyes start to dart about fearfully.

    [​IMG] Kingsport, I wish I had known.. the legend... the legend is true!

    A chill was in the air as soon as he finished that sentence. A dark form materialized out of thin air brandishing a peculiar bladed weapon.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] He's the last of the four. So what do they want with me?

    I had no choice but to resume our journey to the House of Spectres and hopefully get some answers.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    :lol:
     
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  3. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    41 -The House of Spectres
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    -5 SAN for nothing.

    [​IMG] That house looks somewhat familiar...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] The book from Fredkin. That has gotta be it!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Then that stolen gold must be...

    I flipped a few pages...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] The Stabbers are the pirate crew!
    [​IMG]

    The closer I got to this enigmatic house, the more I am filled with overwhelming dread. A chorus of angry whispers reaches my ears. I can almost make out the sound of cursing. I gingerly knock on the door. At the first touch, the door opens, as if the house is aware of my presence. I sense something beyond the threshold, shrouded in the impenetrable darkness filling every crevice of this dismal house.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] (Investigate) That voice. Have we met before?

    I can't exactly pin it down.

    [​IMG] It is true that folks remember me at times.

    The two dots on the doorway grow smaller, as if the owner is either smiling or angry.

    [​IMG] I know the Stabber of Arkham is inside. Or should I say Stabbers?
    [​IMG] You come to my house with rather grave accusations. I reckon you must have evidence to back them up. Because by the old tradition, I have every right to question yer judgment. You better know the facts that led you here or there will be consequences.

    I can sense a malignant hunger being directed at me. I swallowed and nodded.

    [​IMG] Fair enough. I've done my share of investigation.
    [​IMG] From where hails the slaughterer?
    [​IMG] Kingsport.

    A brief silence before the voice speaks again.

    [​IMG] Not completely clueless, eh? Speak to me this: Whose blood has been spilled?
    [​IMG] Salvador, Abel, Julian and Keelan.
    [​IMG] Belonged to that wretched lot in life but remembered afterwards, eh? Then speak to me this: What instrument of murder was used?
    [​IMG] Pirate cutlasses.
    [​IMG] Aye, with cutlasses they were slain. Now say: Why did the slaughterer kill?
    [​IMG] It was retribution for his stolen gold.
    [​IMG] Once I knew a mate who became lustful upon seein' gold. Got all wet and slobbery, if ye know what I mean. That shiny thing plants upon a dark desire in men's hearts, eh? Speak to me this: What is the true name of the slaughterer?
    [​IMG] I don't have that information.
    [​IMG] Sometimes 'tis wise to hide what ye know and sometimes 'tis wise to admit that ye don't. Speak to me this then: What name does the slaughterer go by?
    [​IMG] According to the folktales, the Terrible Old Man.

    The door creaks open.

    [​IMG] Come in, cabin boy...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] It's you!

    The man is none other than the crazy old man talking at his bag in the Old Eel. I look up at the congregation of the specters, hovering just above the dining table. Slowly, one by one, they vanish. Save for one.

    [​IMG] Go, you bastards!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I always enjoyed some good old manslaughter. It gives a kind of a relief, you know. Taking an adversary out of the game. One less bastard to worry about. Makes the bloody world a nicer place for a seadog like me.
    [​IMG] But, I wasn't behind the slaughter of those wretches. It was Cheatin' Logan Dawkins and the other scums. See, I was their captain once but they stopped listening to me a long while ago.
    [​IMG] Up until this bloody moment, they've been talking my head off! Greedy bastards they are. Asking about their share all the time, the gold that I promised. The gold that I never gave. But they were fools, you know.
    [​IMG] There are things that every bloody seadog keeps in mind. Like, ye better know the ship that you're boarding. Like, yer captain's orders may mean your death. 'Tis a tough trade and we set sail knowin' that.
    [​IMG] So, when things go ugly, we real sailors don't pule like that sissy over there.

    The specter continues to gaze at the old man with a silent, burning hatred.

    [​IMG] What? Oh, shut that bloody trap of yours, Dawkins! Your pals are all gone now. And look how weak you are.
    [​IMG] It seems those grumpy Old Gods have other plans for ye, and who knows? Perhaps for myself too, Nodens might even allow me to enter the Turquoise Palace. After all, I belong to the sea more than anyplace else.
    [​IMG] Why does that one remain?

    The old man glances at the faded shadow that was once Cheating Logan Dawkins and spits at his feet. The thick phlegm passes right through the specter's feet and spatter the floorboards.

    [​IMG] Tis simple: he hates me even more than he loves his gold. He's still hoping to get me but look at the useless scum. A jellyfish is more dangerous than Dawkins now. He should have left with his friends.
    [​IMG] Are you saying that murders are over now? With Keelan dead and all.
    [​IMG] You know what, cabin boy? I never liked it in this rotten city so no one can hold me here. My damned crew are gone except Dawkins, and he's in no state to pick his own teeth, let alone be stabbing a fellow.
    [​IMG] So I reckon we can say that the bloodshed is over. Yet, there is still much blood to be spilled in this damned place. And I can't say I envy you.

    He grins.

    [​IMG] What about the other specters?
    [​IMG] They should've done that a long time ago. Right at the Day of the Whirlpool. But I know those bastards. The grudge they held against thieves was deep.
    [​IMG] So deep, they even stayed after the gold was gone. Constantly bending my ear to find those thieving wretches.
    [​IMG] Now tis all silent... tis finally silent. Like still water on a windless night.
    [​IMG] You mentioned Nodens...
    [​IMG] Then you know he's the Lord of the Deep. The seas of the world belonged to Nodens, until the world was ruined by the Old Gods. Now, those things...

    For the first time, you read fear in the old man's eyes.

    [​IMG] They corrupt and shatter and devour until little animals like us can find no place to belong or simply be. The sleeper is awake now. Cthulhu...and he walks in between all these strange realms.
    [​IMG] The Cult also seems to worship this Cthulhu. Is that what rules over Arkham?
    [​IMG] I can sense Cthulhu's presence here like I can smell gunpowder from a hundred yards away, and I'll tell ye one thing: the former is by far the more dangerous.
    [​IMG] Gunpowder will grant you a clean death, but the Great Old Ones... the things they do to your mind. They rape your will and torture your hopes. Speaking of which, I better take my leave.
    [​IMG] You asked me about the Dismal Man before. Is he a servant of Cthulhu?
    [​IMG] Oh, did I? My mind isn't what it used to be, cabin boy. This fellow you mentioned, he must be a nasty one, eh? Then perhaps you're right. Gods have uses for such messengers and envoys.
    [​IMG] You claim the world was destroyed, then what are we doing here?
    [​IMG] Oh, that is a bloody riddle isn't it? An intriguing but also a terrible, terrible riddle, one for which I am happy to not have an answer. Mayhap I once had one, who knows?
    [​IMG] Hmph. I've read the story. You led your men to their doom.

    The man shows a toothless smile.

    [​IMG] Do you believe every little story that'd told you, boy? Let me tell you one thing about the old wives' tales: those bastards should have stayed dead.
    [​IMG] You sacrificed them for your own personal gain.

    The old man silently stares for a while.

    [​IMG] So?
    [​IMG] You were their Captain! Were you not supposed to take care of your crew?

    The temperature in the house drops rapidly. I felt strangled momentarily before I could breath again.

    -5 HP +5 Sanity

    [​IMG] I don't need children to teach me my bloody manners.
    [​IMG] Someone must pay for these murders.

    A jarring laugh burst from his lips.

    [​IMG] Haha! You reckon things are fair in this world? Even after all this?! That was good, cabin boy!

    Sanity gained: 5

    [​IMG] I can't help but question how you managed for so long. Your kind is like blood to a shark. It may be sooner or it may be later, but they always get you. And the mess they leave behind...
    [​IMG] Hmph. We'll see. You said something about leaving. So you know a way out of Arkham?
    [​IMG] I don't want to be a bad captain, cabin boy, but there is no berth for you in the boat that I'm taking. Even though you gave me some nice entertainment along the way.

    The old man looks at me with his fiery eyes one last time.

    [​IMG] I'd tell you to fare well but I know there is no chance of that. Take whatever you need from this place.

    Then he turns away to face the door without another word.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Greed is indeed a dangerous thing.
    [​IMG] Your kind is also dangerous, whether dead or alive, stranger.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] How unexpected... so the Dismal Man wanted me to hunt for all these...

    It's starting to make sense. This riddle of sort must be solved - but to what end? I know not. I bade farewell to the House on the Crag.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    42 - Back into the Dark
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dealing with sanity loss on your henchman (Eduardo, in this case) is very frustrating, because you have no way of checking his status. Well, you can still pump him with Laudanum shots thru dialog, but I rather use the more economic alcohol or drugs for sanity loss instead of wasting the shots that restores 10-18 HP and only 5-8 SAN.

    [​IMG]

    I wonder who that is...


    [​IMG]

    I'm going to guess that Luck trinket improves critical chance, so it should go to me. The constant loss of sanity also makes the Unnamed Soldier the superior choice compared to Sonia. Unnamed Soldier is practically immune to sanity damage and requires less upkeep with his amazing health regeneration. But Sonia has access to crafting skills, so it's a choice between utility vs combat focus.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A pair of them are gambling as three stood by the hanged corpse. There's nothing for me to do here. And I'm not really looking for a fight, so we move on.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    43 - Vessel to the Stars
    Show Spoiler

    Rest easy, William. We have avenged you and Lucy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hmm, very annoying for the Outsider to not finish researching that Occult Manuscript.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That 1 point in Science paid off handsomely. Cheaper .22 bullet and +2 Ranged attack is a pretty good. Other inventions are not really that much of an impact IMO.

    [​IMG]

    We wish each other luck on our projects. He tells me to visit him on a much later date to see how far he has progressed.

    [​IMG]

    Since most melee fights are taken care of by the Nameless Soldier and we want him isolated to minimize berserk friendly fire, he gets this artifact.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] There is but one more task. I am too weak to stand, let alone work, so I must ask your help assembling the parts. Approach the table, please. Don't worry, I will give you the necessary instructions.
    [​IMG] Uh, if you say so.

    I approach his workbench and eye the components in anticipation.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I'm listening.
    [​IMG] It is impossible for me to take all of you with me.
    [​IMG] What do you mean, all? You mean you can only take one of us?
    [​IMG] That's not the case. It's just that the capsule we've built is simply not large enough to transport your whole body. We need to make a small alteration.

    I am very uncomfortable with the expected answer. But I asked anyway.

    [​IMG] What are you implying, Mr. Fredkin?
    [​IMG] Understand that your body is a vehicle. It cannot store information, it has no say in your decision, and it requires a bit of energy that is frankly wasted.

    I detect an ever-increasing, buzzing undertone to Stanley's voice which I find very disturbing on a primal level.

    [​IMG] And more importantly, you won't need it, miss it, or even remember it, when I am done with you, Kalin Ibrahim. When I remove your BRAIN!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    :hmmm:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] What are you?
    [​IMG] The answer to your question are beyond your mind's comprehension, ape. Your kind have called us by many names.
    [​IMG] Do you prefer Winged Ones from the Great Bear, as the Pennacooks called us? Or Familiars of the Devil as your ancestors saw us? Or perhaps you prefer Mi-go, the swift people of the Himalayas?
    [​IMG] All these signifiers, in their amusing inadequacy, cannot be any further away from the truth, ape. But you'll learn in time. When I take your brain beyond the last curved rim of space, you'll know many things.
    [​IMG] Y-You're not Stanley, mushroom man! Where is Stanley, my friend?!
    [​IMG] Its worthless shell has served its purpose but the hominid's braid is intact and ready for the journey ahead. It is a relief to half his endless communication signals when needed.
    [​IMG] Just like you. Your brain will be extracted and secured inside that canister. You have earned your place among the starfarers, ape. Be proud.
    [​IMG] And if I refuse?
    [​IMG] You misinterpret your role here, vermin. It's due time for your operation.

     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  6. vazha Savant

    vazha
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    800
    Location:
    Tbilisi / Brussels
    More please, excellent read so far.
     
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  7. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    44 - Last Wishes
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The door to Stanley's basement is now ajar. I descend the steps.

    [​IMG]

    I caught the man off guard.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] It had to be done.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] It's alive?
    [​IMG] Help me. The void. It's unbearable. I cannot feel. I can't.

    The mechanical voice makes no emphasis in its delivery.

    [​IMG] Who are you?
    [​IMG] Who is there. Help me. I am Stanley Fredkin. I am a person. I used to teach at Miskatonic. Please help me.
    [​IMG] Oh shit, Stanley.

    He must've been captured after leaving the Old Eel's. Captured and harvested. I look at the corpse on the floor. By this bastard.

    [​IMG] Stanley! How can I help you?
    [​IMG] I am confined to this. This abyss of insensitivity. I am alone here. Vast nothingness. It said I will get used to it. No. I cannot continue this mockery. Free me. I beg you. End my misery.
    [​IMG] I will, but help me answer a few questions.
    [​IMG] Be quick. The hollowness. Never-ending atrophy. Slowly gnawing at my mind. I am losing it. Please.
    [​IMG] Tell me about the alien creature.
    [​IMG] I first encountered its kind in Vermont. I was researching a local legend. The winged people of the hills. It turned out that they actually exist. They were always here. Damn the day I learned the truth.
    [​IMG] They promised many things. Knowledge of the cosmos. Voyages to outer realms where no man has set foot. Oh, my feet. They are gone. I miss how gracefully they carried me around.
    [​IMG] Save me from this torpor. Please, kill me. Destroy the device.
    [​IMG] How did you come to Arkham from Vermont?
    [​IMG] The beings. I call them Mi-go. The Himalayans' name for them. They knew that our end was night. They knew Arkham was the key. So they sent one of their kind to collect samples. My task was to assist.
    [​IMG] There are two other jars next to you. Who are the other brains?
    [​IMG] One belongs to a man from the past. He has been to many worlds. The other. You cannot comprehend. A strange brain from a strange world.
    [​IMG] They don't seem to speak to me like you do. Are they dead?
    [​IMG] The Mi-go had a machine. A small metallic cylinder. To awaken the brains.
    [​IMG] I have it. Thank you, Stanley.
    [​IMG] You will kill me. Set me free from this emptiness. Please.
    [​IMG] No one deserves this. I will end your pain.

    I could find no graceful way to end him. I simply picked the jar and let it fall onto the floor.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Wow, it actually worked.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I'm Kalin Ibrahim.
    [​IMG] Names are meaningless. Even mine. I remember it was. Alistair Fanning. Yet. Those syllables are as good as buried fragments. Deep in the layers of memory. Fading. Eventually. Only the journey remains. Therefore I call myself. The Starfarer.
    [​IMG] Starfarer. Peculiar.
    [​IMG] I have seen things. Bedazzling. Countless suns. Dancing to the celestial symphony. Whirlpools of infinite devouring blackness. Walked through bodies. Became other things. Saw colors never thought to exist.
    [​IMG] Traveled among a billion stars. For how long. Centuries. How old is this organ. Too old. Perhaps fading. Like a dying star. Only the journey remains. The terror and the glory.
    [​IMG] I know this will sound strange, but I read about you in a poem.
    [​IMG] Strange. I have become the very essence of strange. You talk my earth tongue. A communication pattern long unused.
    [​IMG] I have arrived then. The future of my homeland. Origin. Beginning of my journey and perhaps the end. Tell me youngling. Tell me of now.

    I tried to keep myself calm and explain to him gently of how the world has unfolded but I can feel my sanity slipping away, letting another voice take over.

    [​IMG] THERE WAS A BIG BIG CLEANSING! THE WORLD, CITIES, PEOPLE, BILLBOARDS AND LAWYERS THEY ARE ALL WIPED OUT.

    An unhealthy clicking sound comes from the speakers as if the entity is having difficulties absorbing this dire statement.

    [​IMG] It is over then. No meaning. No chance to complete. To complete. The Circle. Circ- HUL-

    I can see a wizened vein pulsating inside the ancient organ. The disturbing click grows louder.

    [​IMG] Wait - there is a line in this poem that asks for your last wish!
    [​IMG] You mean me. A wish. Whi- shhhhh. I wishh to...Kisannt. Kih. Kihs.

    I silently focus on the brain's stumbling speech attempts. After several long moments, the vocalization system kicks in abruptly, a final burst of energy seemingly expended.

    [​IMG] Kiss Anthony! Cousin Anthony. One. More. Time. In the garden. Inside the bushes. His KISS. It's. Warm. One. Mohrr. Th-. Thy-me. Thh. Thh. thh.

    The machine is silent now, the old brain a lump of organic waste.

    [​IMG] It's over. Go find your peace. Alistair. Or whatever you call yourself now, Starfarer.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    45 - The Cult and the Book
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have no leads to the remaining verses of the Dismal Man's Poem. Perhaps a night at the Old Eel and walk around town will hint at my next move.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] We know the Book is nearby. Its presence is undeniable! We beg you grandfather. Accept the blood of this illiterate! Show us the way to the Book...

    The man raise his dagger.

    [​IMG]

    He raise the dagger and plunges it again.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Show us the way!
    [​IMG]

    The ritual concluded and the cult disperses.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] 'The book that should not be read.' They're after the same thing. The Necromicon.

    It's inevitable that my path to the Dismal Man will put me at odds with the Cultists. However my knowledge of the Occult is too limited to offer me any ideas.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Krogh. What do you know about the Necromicon?

    Signs of serious discomfort appears on his face upon hearing the grimoire's name.

    [​IMG] You're curious about the Black Book? You think the answers are there? There is only damnation and madness to be found in that wretched tome!
    [​IMG] Even I, with my unequenchable thirst for knowledge, never sought that book. Believe me, no mortal will profit from that kind of knowledge.
    [​IMG] Thanks for the warning, but I need to locate it.
    [​IMG] Look, I know that neither I nor Barzal Tharg Anu has treated you kindly thus far. Nevertheless I must warn you again: There is a reason that tome is called the Book that Should not be Read.
    [​IMG] I have no other choice.
    [​IMG] You're hopeless, huh? Very well, while I was among the deranged of the Cult, a rumor was circulating that Miskatonic University library had a copy of that book. I also heard they sent a group of zealots to retrieve it.
    [​IMG] And that none returned. With the Mob blowing up the university gates to seal whatever is there inside, it does not seem likely that anyone could reach Necromicon.
    [​IMG] There must be a way.

    Krogh turns and addresses the empty air again.

    [​IMG] Yes, Barzal, it looks as though we're about to lose our trade partner. Such a shame.

    He turns to face me again.

    [​IMG] I know a rear entrance located in Pilgrim's Parish. It lies at the end of a long, narrow alleyway called the Blasted Street. I'm sure you'll find it a delightful place.
    [​IMG] Where is this street? I am unfamiliar with that name.
    [​IMG] To the northwest of here, where the avenue called the High Street used to be. Say hello to my cult brethren, but before you even think about telling them about me and Barzal... Remember the Verba Derelicta and the horrible death it will bestow upon you. Have a nice day.
    [​IMG] What's the catch, Krogh?

    He smiles.

    [​IMG] The catch? Just watch out for what you catch over there on the Blasted Street. I've heard it's not good for your health.
    [​IMG] Then I'm off.

    If what he said is true, then I better prepare well for the journey.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Dear friend, who do you think the Dismal Man is? Any ideas?
    [​IMG] Whoever he is, he will do us no good. Yet here we are, chasing his footsteps, playing his game of riddles.

    He thinks for a while.

    [​IMG] The statuette you found with the cryptic poem. It is the depiction of Cthulhu. One of the Great Old Ones. A devourer of worlds. A cold-blooded deity, fanatically worshiped by the deviant cult your people formed after the Black Day.
    [​IMG] I suspect this Dismal Man is indeed a servant of Cthulhu. Perhaps a high priest, or even one of his star spawn assuming human form. Yet the real question is this: what does he want from us?
    [​IMG] We'll find the answer to that at the end of our road.
    [​IMG] If we make it to the end of the road, stranger.
    [​IMG] Don't jinx it. By the way, why do you cover your face in rags? Are you a leper?
    [​IMG] Even the sick have some idea of what is false within them. Although I've come to accept the painful truth of being a monster, I yet have no clue as to the nature of my extraordinary condition.
    [​IMG] That's fine. I prefer a man in the shape of a monster than a monster in the shape of a man.
    [​IMG] As do I, stranger. As do I.
    [​IMG] I'm curious about your past. What do you remember?
    [​IMG] Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness.
    [​IMG] I know not where I was born, save that the castle was infinitely old and infinitely horrible. Beings must have cared for my needs, yet I cannot recall any person except myself.
    [​IMG] I think whoever nursed me must have been shockingly aged, since my first conception of a living person was that of something like myself. Distorted, shriveled, and decaying like the castle. Nothing more.
    [​IMG] Was that being... your mother?
    [​IMG] I do not recall any kind of matronly tenderness. I suspect she acted more from duty than sentiment. I sometimes imagine her leaving the castle for eternal rest after her duty to me was fulfilled.
    [​IMG] Was she a servant? Did she feel any love for me? The answers were swallowed up long ago by the hungry waves of time, stranger. What remains are either pitiful sketches of a forgotten past, or fabrications of my demented mind.
    [​IMG] (Psychology) I could try hypnotizing you. It may enable you to remember more about your past.
    [​IMG] In all my books, I have never read of such a practice. What kind of discipline is this hypnomancy? Could it really be of some use?
    [​IMG] We'll never know without trying.

    I take out the pendulum from my coat pocket. After a long period of persistent hypnotic suggestion, I was able to dredge something from this outlandish being.
    [​IMG] I am inside the castle again. My house of stone and cobwebs and forgotten passages.
    [​IMG] Tell me about your surroundings.
    [​IMG] I lay inside one of the crypts. Shriveled corpses sleep beside me. I am not afraid. I remember this place. This is before the dark waters came to drown the catacombs. This sordid place strangely gives me peace.
    [​IMG] What of the other being? Is she nearby?
    [​IMG] I can sense her. She is here. Watching me from a distance. As still as a statue...
    [​IMG] What do you do now?
    [​IMG] I wave to her. She remains motionless. Like a rusty suit of armor standing in the main hall. But I know... she is watching. She always does.
    [​IMG] I rise. Walking towards her now. I am careful not to disturb the sleeping dead. I still cannot see her face, as the nearest torch is too distant. I stop. Heard something. Like a howling? I... cannot describe it.

    The creature suddenly grows anxious.

    [​IMG] I am.. afraid. Something... something is approaching.
    [​IMG] What does the silent woman do?

    He lets out an inhuman cry. I somehow managed to retain my concentration.

    Sanity lost: 7

    [​IMG] The childe born of the black guilt! Shapeless demon that rose from the sins of my ancestors! He comes for me! I am the last! He comes for me!

    The creature is terrified.

    [​IMG] What happened?
    [​IMG] She pushed me away from it! She jumps on it! No! They're ripping each other apart! Gods save her! Gods save her!

    He begins to shout in a trance.

    [​IMG] I watch her motionless face as her head is torn from her shriveled body! I run! I run away like a rat to its hole!
    [​IMG] I cannot help but glance back at the scene one last time...

    The shock is too much for him. He will wake soon.

    [​IMG] Describe the scene to me.
    [​IMG] It continues to fight for me! Headless! her dismembered body is still ripping the demon with its claws! She saves me! She saves me!

    His hysterical cries sound almost childish now.

    [​IMG] Awaken now! Awaken!

    The creature starts from the trance with reddish flame in his eyes. He is disoriented and thoroughly shaken. After a few minutes, he speaks very slowly with a trembling voice.

    [​IMG] What... did you learn?

    I told him everything.
     
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  9. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    46 - The Last Show
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Like the recoil reducer it takes up an artifact slot. I have none free, so I just let the Outsider handle it.

    [​IMG]

    This one doesn't need to be equipped to take effect.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I detected a weakened section of the wall, I will investigate that later. Let's finish checking this entire room first.

    [​IMG]

    Yet another occult manuscript. A spell that can communicate with the dead. Well that's useful. Unfortunately I have no occult knowledge to speak of. Time to check out that wall.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I withdraw quickly before they can notice my presence.
    I decide to return to Horatio with this information.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I did.
    [​IMG] Finally! Tell me about it.
    [​IMG] There's a trapdoor leading to an underground tunnel in French Hill... there's a hole on the wall leading to the Clubhouse's Cellar.
    [​IMG] Then into the dragon's den I go. I owe you, sir. Now let me think about the places I passed while following the shadows.
    [​IMG] That won't be necessary, I already found the murderers.
    [​IMG] Then I shall take my leave!
    [​IMG] Horatio, I have to warn you, it's not a good idea to go there alone.

    He's not with me anymore. The adrenaline has taken over completely.

    [​IMG] Goliath, I'm coming for you! David is coming to slay you!

    He moves to the door.

    [​IMG] Horatio, are you even armed?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Good luck on your last show, my friend.
     
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  10. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    47 - Pilgrims' Welcome
    Show Spoiler

    The Outsider finally completed his spell research.

    [​IMG]

    It's not much of a downside for the Outsider, since his default attack is a 3AP melee strike, but I can see why an Occult protagonist would hate to cast this spell.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The once fine cultural establishment has fallen to decrepitude and abuse in the hands of the Cult, who has turned it into their sacred site of pilgrimage. The hooded man standing at the entrance seems like some kind of crier for the Cult who is fanatically promoting whatever mind abusing experience that is being in display behind the closed doors.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Come closer, brethren! I can see that the fruit of renunciation is ripe in some of you! Beyond these doors you'll submit your hearts and purge your souls!
    [​IMG] Beyond these doors you'll witness the perfection that is our beautiful doom! Step inside and purge the last fragments of your former self in the unearthly glow of cellulose!

    I decided to try my luck.

    [​IMG] Excuse me. I've heard that all the notable figures of Arkham came here before the Black Day. Is that true?
    [​IMG] Oh, yes. They are all inside... still enjoying the screening in its full glory.
    [​IMG] Can you tell me about this place?

    The cultist looks over me from head to toe with undeniable contempt.

    [​IMG] You are not welcome here, you of the wretched folk. You are standing on the sacred ground of the Cleansed. Theater of Bones, the last stop of the pilgrims...
    [​IMG] It is the one place we would condemn, kill and burn for, before allowing an uncleansed like you enter.
    [​IMG] What lies beyond those doors?
    [​IMG] You dare ask after the truth inside the Theater of Bones, heathen?
    [​IMG] You think an uncleansed like you is worthy of the miracle within? The mere idea is blasphemy!
    [​IMG] Forgive me. I did not mean to offend you religion.
    [​IMG] Religion? You fool. This is but the inevitable, ever-humbling acceptance of our true role in the reign of the Old Ones! Begone now!

    Not getting in there. The other ruin of interest seems like a museum of sort. It is missing its ceiling and most of its walls, but a few exhibits survived plunder somehow.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] What can you tell me about this place?
    [​IMG] Nowhere that interests you, fool! Begone and cleanse yourself with the pain at once! Your softness makes me nauseous.

    No go either. At least they haven't attacked me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Your thinnest hope of salvation...lies in testing your flesh with the pain...

    The crowd of 'pilgrims' that has yet to be anointed into the cult listened attentively. I too decided to listen in, to see if there was any way I could infiltrate the cult. Suddenly the hooded man pointed at me!

    [​IMG] ...that the stranger can induce!
    [​IMG] What the-
    [​IMG] Seize this chance!

    The crowd of pilgrims turned towards me. Mouths agape, eyes filled with desperation.

    [​IMG] Suffer! And be reborn!
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    48 - The Blasted Streets
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A rather sad tale of a father perishing while trying to provide for his family. The diary mentioned the deadliness of the dust in the alley can be counteracted with some kind of protection, but the owner of the diary could not locate 'Hines' to assist him with the construction. I closed the diary, put on my gas mask and give the Blasted Street one last look.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Why would you need that?
    [​IMG] I was a plague sent to punish an angel and a smelly shit to bedaub the face of mankind. Therefore I, the maggot of this earth, must be washed off from its face.
    [​IMG] Sir, are you alright?
    [​IMG] Benevolence is a fire that should not be fed often, for it must burn steadily. If you galvanize the flames, it'll soon become cinders.
    [​IMG] Sir, please calm down.
    [​IMG] Do you know what hell sounds like? The tortured screams of your beloved greet you as you enter its black gates.
    [​IMG] And you can't do a damn thing! They'll call for help, beg for a sweet touch but you can do nothing!
    [​IMG] Hell happened to them because of you! You ignorant, selfish, piece of shit!
    [​IMG] Please, tell me what's the problem?
    [​IMG] Since death took her, what's left of my fragile sanity has been dripping away like water does from the tap into the sink.
    [​IMG] With her every whimpering breath, I was losing the war to protect my humaneness, bit by bit.
    [​IMG] I can empathize, we all taste loss in this dismal place.
    [​IMG] I just want a damn match! Do you have it or not? Here, you can have my cigars in return, Hawaian imports!
    [​IMG] No, of course not! I will not assist you in your suicide!

    Sanity gained: 2

    Not getting what he wanted, the man walks off to find another source of matches.

    [​IMG] Wait. Sir, hear me out!
    [​IMG] (Psychology) You're frozen in a state of mourning, whose unmitigated pain seems to have enslaved you.

    The cold diagnosis only seems to have brought him closer to the verge of a complete breakdown.

    [​IMG] You mustn't judge a life merely on its past when you still have all of its future to live!
    [​IMG] Please... just a match... Please...

    He's too far gone. I ignored his pleas and make my way towards the Essex's lobby.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Oh, seigneur! That patent of his! Small man, big mouth, if you'll excuse my language. Strolling around with his suitcase all the time, badgering the hotel guests whenever he had the chance.
    [​IMG] Who's this Griffith?
    [​IMG] You've not heard of him, monsieur? He's the owner of the Griffith Cotton Co. He was one of the most influential man in Arkham, a leading industrialist.
    [​IMG] I also heard he could be a pretty demanding person, especially to his workers, if you know what I mean.
    [​IMG] I know these kinds of people. They get rich by exploiting the poor.

    Sanity gained: 2

    [​IMG] Hmm, is it as simple as that, monsieur? Don't they need to have at least some merit to succeed? Just wondering.
    [​IMG] I didn't come to you to debate that, Etienne. You mentioned Mr. Hines carries a patent. Do you have any idea what this patent was for?
    [​IMG] You know, it was rather hard to pay attention to what Monsieur Hines was throwing at you, but I guess it involves some kind of, hmm, let me see... How did he call it? Occupational-hazard-prevention-something?
    [​IMG] Alright. Do you know where can I find this Hines?
    [​IMG] I recall seeing him leave the hotel on the night of the special screening. Ah oui, Monsieur Griffith sent for an automobile to take him to the Arkham Theater.
    [​IMG] With his suitcase that he held so dear, he left for the night. Did he ever reach the theater? Qui sait. That night, monsieur... it was right before everything went downhill. I- I can't remember much about what happened next...

    For a short while, Etienne seems to be struggling with an unseen force shrouding his memories, until it becomes apparent he has lost the battle once again, a battle that no resident of this town could ever win.

    [​IMG] Uh, whatever, monsieur. I've learned that the worst nightmares are the ones you wake up to. We are still in the same nightmare, whether or not we remember when we fell asleep...
    [​IMG] It's alright, Etienne. I understand. You mentioned a special screening. What is that about?
    [​IMG] It was the talk of the town for quite some time, monsieur, a foreign entrepreneur coming to Arkham for a very exclusive event: the screening of a moving picture for a select audience, the creme de la creme of Arkham.
    [​IMG] Mayor Anderson, Chief Constance, Mr. Griffith, even Father Grayson, conservative old gentleman that he was, attended the event.
    [​IMG] Never saw them again.

    He nervously adjusts his bowtie.

    [​IMG] I sometimes can't help but wonder, monsieur: would things have been better if they had still been around after the Black Day?
    [​IMG] We'll never know. By the way, in which room did Mr. Hines stay?
    [​IMG] As you already know, the privacy of our guests is inviolable, monsieur, but... the room that he stayed in, 104, is unfortunately lacking a door at the moment. So it is hard to preserve any kind of privacy in that particular room, I'm afraid.
    [​IMG] I assume this Arkham Theater is the same one I saw in the northwest, on High Street? Or Pilgrim's Parish as it is now called.
    [​IMG] Oui, Monsieur. I've heard awful things about that place. Those cultists... We La Fayettes have in the past had our own share of peculiarities, but those fanatics, they are a different breed. Once in a while, some of them stay at the Essex.

    He continues in a whisper.

    [​IMG] The things they do to each other, monsieur: rituals of mass debauchery, torture worshiping, things you would kill yourself to forget.
    [​IMG] Yeah. I know, Etienne. Thanks again for everything.
    [​IMG] You are very welcome, monsieur. Have a good evening.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I guess it's doubly important that I gain entry to that Theater now. Hopefully the suitcase with the patent inside is still intact.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    49 - Open Mind
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another soul lost to despair. I settled down to camp. It's time for my meeting with the Dreaming Baroness.

    [​IMG]

    She seems to be communicating with a soundless melody that resonates within my psyche.

    [​IMG]
    Once again, these two souls meet
    Beyond the mystifying wall of sleep
    I am grateful that you have come
    To visit me, in this long lost deep

    Vividly, I still do remember
    the things that you have done for me
    As a personage who pays for her deeds
    This time, the Baroness will set you free

    I know you strive to break away
    from the clutches of a prophecy
    And this burning desire forces you
    to find a book of infernal atrocity

    Through a street of peril, you will walk
    Poisoned and maimed by a peregrinous rock
    The Dreaming may indeed help you survive
    If you listen to me before diving into the beehive

    In the timeless language of dreams
    Once again, you will learn how to walk
    halfway through the tangible
    halfway through the dreaming fog

    Thus the ashes of damnation
    won't touch you in the journey
    And you can reach the false salvation
    waiting at the end of that ulcerous alley

    [​IMG] You know a way to get past the Blasted Street?

    The Dreaming Baroness suddenly halts the silent melody and starts transmitting strange ideas, imagery and thoughts deep into my mind. All these seem too much to comprehend at the moment. When the subconscious dance of notions is finally over, I feel as if something has been transplanted into my mind.

    [​IMG] What did you do?
    [​IMG]
    Beware! The blanket of forgetfulness will be strong
    You will have to write down the notes of this song
    If you want to do this delicate walk of revelry
    You will have to find the Tears of a Memory

    I begin to feel that I am being drawn to the surface of my conscious mind and her song is ceasing to make sense. The last understandable words that I could distinguish were: The Arkham Theater.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Both Hines and the Tears of Memory are within the Arkham Theater. Guess I'll try to acquire them both when I get there.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Rest in peace, magician.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I look at my companions and sighs.

    [​IMG]

    I hold out my pack of cigs.

    [​IMG] Would you like one?

    He pulls out a cig.

    [​IMG] Hard to come by in the trenches these days, sir. Thank you, sir.
    [​IMG] Enjoy.

    I light the cigarette. But it burns slowly, and soon I realize why: the soldier is not breathing anymore. Without respiration, the soldier imitates smoking as best as he can.

    [​IMG] Do you have someone waiting for you after the war?
    [​IMG] Yes, sir. I have a fiancee back in Arkham. Clarisse...has a smile like the stars. I write but never get a reply. You know... wartime...
    [​IMG] I'm sure she tried to write back.

    The soldier stays silent. He's staring at a distant battlefield on the horizon which will devour him sooner or later.

    [​IMG] You sad thing. Let's go. We need to get back to the Pilgrim's Parish.
    [​IMG] Sir, yes sir.

    The cigarette on his mouth is still lit throughout the journey.
    Our journey is interrupted by a group of cultists...

    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  13. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    50 - Mark of Entry
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] The Mark of Cleansing?
    [​IMG] Uncover your chest and show me your Mark of Cleansing, brother. What have you chosen to abandon from your past?
    [​IMG] Uh, I'll show it to you upon my return. Goodbye, brother.
    [​IMG] Leave fledgling, and do not return until you have purged every trace of your false life!

    Maybe a trip back to Krogh's is in order. But first, let's try conversing with the rest of the cultists while in disguise.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Don't have enough resource to burn on the +2 Attribute artifacts. It's nice, but I think I should build up some chem reserves instead. As I walk around the streets some more, I notice a cultist that stood out from the rest. His discreet and solitary stance sets him apart from the other cultists. I decide to approach him.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Excuse me, do you mind explaining what these people are doing here?

    He seems to sneer at the cultists around him.

    [​IMG] My so called brethren... in reverence of nothingness. Trying to be cleansed from their consciousness, memories.
    [​IMG] Whatever it is that binds them to the person they once were. But tell me, can they truly be cleansed of their minds so long as they still possess even the tiniest crumb of sanity?
    [​IMG] You say that but it does not seem to stop you from joining their ranks.

    He continues after a moment's hesitation.

    [​IMG] I was always the one caught in between. In the early days, esoterism used to embody my rebellious ideals. How could I have known I'd eventually find myself in all... this.
    [​IMG] What's bothering you?
    [​IMG] I.. I've already given up on everything. The years of my spell in the university. Those naive times when I foolishly championed the merits of the human mind... Now... what does it matter?
    [​IMG] Frankly, I wasn't expecting to find a man of higher education in such a superstitious circle.
    [​IMG] Why the surprise? Isn't the Cleansed comprised of people from all walks of life? I was a freshman physicist at Miskatonic before all this.
    [​IMG] Haven't we all strayed from the beaten path since the Black Day? What's your story?
    [​IMG] I'm no one to be wondered about. I always had a cautious mind and a trade of credulity, so it was no surprise finding myself in an esoteric circle called Intelligentsia at the university. This was before the Black Day.
    [​IMG] I had no better opinion when Asenath Waite, the leader of Intelligentsia, urged me to join the Cult after the Awakening. Of the quicksand of meaningless depravity in which I was to sink, I could never have had a prevision.
    [​IMG] Then why don't you leave?

    He laughs.

    [​IMG] Do you think there's a way out of the Cult? But frankly, this is not what really worries me.
    [​IMG] It's that...in this universe of unknown terrors, I've got nowhere else to seek refuge, apart from this dreadfully fanatical sect of hooded adults.

    A fiery gleam appears in his eyes.

    [​IMG] Don't you see? The fundamental laws of nature have collapsed! Take Arkham! A mere pebble compared to Earth, but still we're grounded by the same force of gravity!

    He points at the sky, his voice grows louder.

    [​IMG] Look where we are! I don't even know in what part of space we're ensnared. Yet we can still breathe the damn atmosphere! With what do you hope to explain all of this, if not with the supernatural.

    I try to explain my purpose, my pursuit of the Dismal Man and his plots. Yet the words become twisted.

    [​IMG] LET ME TELL YOU A SECRET: I SEE THINGS IN EVERYTHING! PATTERNS, CLUES, TRACES! I DEVOUR ALL OF THOSE YET I STILL HAVE NO CONCLUSION TO THIS, BUT I WILL!

    The man observes me in reservation.

    [​IMG] With your current state of mind I find it very unlikely but let's suppose so... Now would you please leave me be? I've much to contemplate.

    I turn to leave the Parish.

    [​IMG]

    Midway, I was subjected to an episode of a supernatural event.

    [​IMG]

    Suddenly a shock jolts my body and I find myself within the crowd. I'm still in Arkham, but it's ... old Arkham! I lift my head up, I can see the leaden skies of Earth. People are in panic, trampling each other to escape.

    One among them is unaware of my presence and is dashing straight at me. On impulse, I lift my arm as a protective measure, but the woman simply passes right through it. A wave of panic starts to heave in me. What is this place? Are they the ghost or am I?

    I gathered my investigative wits to try and unravel at the madness unfolding before me. I gaze at the buildings that encompass the city space. They seem to fall apart, reunite and crumble again, on and on.

    Then the hellish sound of apocalypse comes cracking up the dimension of reality, penetrating into my mind and soul. To preserve my sanity, I once again hear that sound which was erased from my memory and thereby remember...

    25 Angst acquired.
    5 Sanity lost.

    This is the Black Day! As it's getting re-enacted, I once again understand that no human trait or merit of mine can ever rescue me from this Hell. The skies above melt away and the whole world is dyed in repulsive colors. People are ripping each other apart.

    This is ruin, both material and spiritual. The ultimate downfall of humanity.

    Eventually I found myself in the lonely and forsaken wilderness, curling up in a fetal position. My nails have gashed my arms, my jaw won't open from being clenched tight and my bladders emptied.
     
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  14. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    51 - Branding
    Show Spoiler

    I spent a few nights studying the occult manuscript to speak to the dead.

    [​IMG]

    This would've been quite useful when I'm investigating Julian's case. But let's see how useful it will be on the future. Keeping the +1 Occult Book does lower maximum sanity by 5.

    [​IMG]

    The mother resisted the cult's attempt to take her son.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another senseless loss of life.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Barzal Tharg, sometimes I suspect you persuaded me not to kill him as some kind of a cruel joke.
    [​IMG] Listen, the mark is the Cult's way of separating you from your past and everything you once held dear. Initiates usually get one or two scars.
    [​IMG] In rarer cases, if the Sheikhs suspect the initiate is resisting the indoctrination, they may inscribe more. I am sure I hold the record though.
    [​IMG] But tell me first, by the name of all powers, why do you want to bear the Mark of Cleansing? You wouldn't be asking this of me if you had joined those deviants' ranks. What are you after?
    [​IMG] I need it to get inside the Arkham Theater.
    [​IMG] Oh, the Theater of Bones you mean? You won't be the same person after going inside that place, you know that?
    [​IMG] I care not. Can you help me gain the Mark or not?
    [​IMG] Well, well, I've had it myself so many times I'm sure I can perform the ritual, but you ought to prepare yourself both physically and mentally before we begin. It will surely take its toll on you.
    [​IMG] Time's wasting. I'm ready, Krogh.
    [​IMG] You think so? I don't think one can ever be completely prepared for such a violation, but let's suppose you are. Now, if you want this to work, listen and absorb my every word.
    [​IMG] Right before the cleansing ritual, you should choose something from your former life that you are deeply attached to. Something that has turned into a weakness, a liability in this new age.
    [​IMG] Target the emotion that holds you back most. Let's suppose that you miss your late mother. According to the Cult's creed you can't be free of your shackles without purging that feeling.
    [​IMG] If you're attached, you remain a selfish slave to yourself. Look deep inside your persona and find that emotion. Locate that glass room that will shatter with the gentlest touch.
    [​IMG] The mark will shape itself according to what's inside that glass room. Tell me what's inside your glass room, child-liege?

    I knew immediately what to say.

    [​IMG] Compassion. That is my weakness.

    The former cultist takes out a piece of branding iron and holds it in the flame of a ritual candle while he begins a chanting whisper.

    [​IMG] The past is a bed of thorns, child. You'll stay the prisoner of sorrow so long as you cling to the obsolescence of your former self. Cleanse yourself and be reborn as a thrall of the Old Ones.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    52 - Theater of Bones
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Uh. Something's... off.
    [​IMG] You've got the Mark of Cleansing now. You better go show it off to your new friends.
    [​IMG] I better head to the Pilgrim's Parish. Thanks, Krogh.
    [​IMG] I know, Barzal. I'll search out for another supplier soon.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Both the reagent and the patent for the hazard suit is sealed at the same location. How convenient. Time to head out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] That disgusting feeling was crippling us like a bear trap, clasping our souls. There is no compassion in the cold universe. Holding on to it was just making us pathetically weak.

    He steps away from the entrance.

    [​IMG] You should be ready for the revelation within, brother. Go and witness our beautiful doom!
    [​IMG] And if you completely lose it in there, don't forget that the ultimate submission is to depart from the boundaries of your inferior mind. I would envy you, if I was capable of such a feeling.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Rotting corpses on almost every seat. A large pile by the screen. I decide to investigate the cause of death.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Gas attack?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The mindless creature keeps turning the crank in a series of spasmodic jerks, without demonstrating even the faintest of awareness of my presence. He feeds the reel with the film from the bobbins on his neck, dutifully carrying out his perpetual task. I decided to leave him alone.

    [​IMG]

    Frustratingly, I'm not getting closer to what I need.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The theater seat felt comfortable. I began to look up at the ceiling, imagining what it must be like on that day...

    [​IMG]

    I closed my eyes for a moment, I can hear strange background chatters... and the smell of cigars. Surprised, I open my eyes. The colors seem to have drained from the world somewhat. I remained calm, gave the surrounding a look before getting up.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    53 - A Cry for Chad
    Show Spoiler

    I find myself in Arkham Theater of the past. Honored guests are everywhere, making small talks. Non-alcoholic cocktails were served. My senses were at odds with my logic. But eventually a compromise was reached: it doesn't matter. What is important are the Tears of Memory and Hines' patented Hazard Suit that I must somehow retrieve.

    [​IMG]

    I scan the room, attempting to locate Hines first. The lack of color is making it harder to distinguish the guests from one another. Not that I have any idea what Mr. Hines looks like. Eventually my instincts brought me to a woman standing in one corner of the theater. Surely she is no Mr. Hines, but the manner she stood at a distance and detached from the people around her caught my attention.

    Without a word, she watches me peel away from the crowd. The glitter of the pearls on her scintillating necklace is only shadowed by the melancholia in her eyes.

    [​IMG] Good evening, miss.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Is there something wrong, miss?

    She appears surprised by the question.

    [​IMG] Forgive me if I'm putting a damper on your mood, sir, but I neither have the strength nor the remedy to get out from... this.
    [​IMG] I'll have to ask you to leave me to myself, please just enjoy the occasion.
    [​IMG] I'm not a person to leave someone in such distress to herself.

    Sanity gained + 2

    [​IMG] I have to admit you do not behave like most of the guests here... and I don't think I've seen you before. Are you an Arkhamite, sir, if I may ask?

    I smiled.

    [​IMG] Recently, I have turned into one...
    [​IMG] I see. Well, thanks for your kindness, sir. I am Amelia Emsworth.

    She bows gently before looking back at the distant spot she seems to prefer.

    [​IMG] Let's just say that my spirit is somewhat darkened by the loss of a close acquaintance. He was... dear to me and his absence is felt keenly.
    [​IMG] May I ask who that person might be?

    Her eyes search for someone in the crowd first. When she starts talking again, I get the impression the person she was looking for is nowhere nearby.

    [​IMG] I prefer to keep his name to myself, sir.
    [​IMG] You wouldn't know him either, for he is a gentleman of native origin. You never see people like him at events such as this. He was an Abenaki indian whom I met at a, uhm, seance.
    [​IMG] Has he passed away?

    She answers with a hint of hesitation in her eyes.

    [​IMG] You could say that... We'll never see each other again, if truth be told.
    [​IMG] Someone dear, you say...
    [​IMG] Let's just say he was the only one who could see the person inside me.
    [​IMG] Know that I too have endured my share of losses. I am here if you'd like to share.

    She remains silent. Together, we look at the guests laughing, chatting, boasting, flirting amongst themselves, unaware of the inevitable awaiting them on the doorstep. The spectral humming begins to drive me into a trance if not for Amelia's gentle voice bringing me back to my senses.

    [​IMG] I was about to get engaged when I met him.

    Amelia says, partly to me, mostly to herself.

    [​IMG] Benedict was, and still is, good looking, educated, wealthy, everything a girl could ask for, maybe more. And I liked him, that's true but... did I want a life with him? I wasn't really sure of that...
    [​IMG] Father gave his full blessing to my relationship with Benedict, and why wouldn't he? He is the son of Mr. Anderson, the mayor, after all! But I never had the chance to hear mother's opinion, take her advice.
    [​IMG] Why don't you see each other?
    [​IMG] Tuberculosis took her. It's been three years. There hasn't been a single day since when I didn't feel the need for her guidance. So I decided to do something naive, even stupid.
    [​IMG] I decided to arrange a seance so I could finally listen to what mother had to say. From beyond the grave... You think this is nonsense? I've seen much of stranger things in New England high society.
    [​IMG] The term "nonsense" is losing its meaning nowadays.
    [​IMG] To make a long story short, I became friends with the psychic I had hired to conduct this seance, a young Indian called Chad. Since the very beginning, his company made me feel at ease, at peace with myself.
    [​IMG] He was a bit withdrawn, yes, but was also thoughtful and perceptive. He always knew, and most importantly cared, for how I really felt. After a long while, in his presence, I was no longer in a contest.
    [​IMG] I didn't have to prove how beautiful or ideal I was... I was just... just.. me.

    The fragile and gentle smile that appears on her face is quickly darkened by the ailment known as distress.

    [​IMG] What happened then?
    [​IMG] It was Mayor Anderson who learned about us. His driver had seen us strolling through the Willows. Arkham is no Boston after all.
    [​IMG] So my future father-in-law came and told me if I ever burden his family with such disgrace again...

    Crystal tears form slowly in her eyes.

    [​IMG] He swore to God that he would have that river rat sent to an eugenics camp out west, where he would be castrated like a worthless donkey!
    [​IMG] What did you do then?
    [​IMG] Imagining Chad in such a place for even one second froze my blood. I could never be the reason for that! At our...

    Her voice shakes.

    [​IMG] At our next meeting, I told him terrible things. Things I never meant!
    [​IMG] You wanted to drive him away.
    [​IMG] I told him that he was simply a plaything! Told him I found the "mysterious Indian" act interesting for some time but... it grew old fast!

    She desperately clings to my arm.

    [​IMG] I have a bad feeling about all this, sir. My heart has felt heavy throughout the night.

    She squeezes my arm.

    [​IMG] I have to tell you this...or I'll burst! So listen: Amelia Emsworth loved Abenaki Chad like she loved no one else!

    As she collapses in sobs, the crystal beads run down her cheeks. Under the bright light of the hall's majestic chandelier, her tears look just as bright as the milky pearls of her necklace.

    [​IMG] Tears... of Memory... Amelia, you're the one.
     
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  17. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    54 - The Premiere
    Show Spoiler

    I excused myself from Amelia. Now I know who to look for should I return to the present Theater for the Tears of Memory... Just one more thing remains.

    [​IMG]

    Then I realized my folly after scanning the crowd. There was only one man gripping tightly to his suitcase.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] It seems to me that you're new in Arkham. What brings you here?

    He clears his throat.

    [​IMG] It's suffice to say that I'm here for business. I've come all the way from Detroit as Mr. Griffith's guest. You may recognize him as the owner of the cotton factories.
    [​IMG] Your briefcase must be indispensable so as to be brought along with you here.

    His face sours for a moment as he draws his briefcase closer.

    [​IMG] If your chances of striking gold rested on a few sheets of paper, you wouldn't part with it either.
    [​IMG] Oh, I know that feeling only too well. That said, do you have any idea what tonight's event is about?
    [​IMG] Why, it's the world premiere of "What Awaits Us", the pinnacle of motion picture entertainment. I've heard it's a science fiction title about the destiny of mankind.
    [​IMG] Rumor has it the producers spent millions. Better be worth it.
    [​IMG] Fascinating. Are you Mr. Hines by any chance?
    [​IMG] So you know me? News of success travels fast I'm told. May I ask who you-

    Suddenly a spruce gentleman intervenes.

    [​IMG]

    The cozy smirtk on Hines' face immediately melts into shame.

    [​IMG] B-but Mr. Griffith, how could I have known that I would attend a special occasion such as this?
    [​IMG] Your excuse is even lamer than your choice of attire, Hines. If these improprieties persist, I may have to review our agreement concerning my affiliates. For I am entrusted with their reputation.

    Hines wipes droplets of sweat from his forehead.

    [​IMG] Y-yes Mr. Griffith. I will attribute the utmost importance to such delicate matters in the future. Now about the contract, I would...

    The industrialist frowns with disappointment.

    [​IMG] Inappropriate, Hines. Such formalities will be settled another time. Now I must have a word with Mayor Anderson, if you'll excuse me.

    The man leaves Hines behind.

    [​IMG] I see you're off to a good start with Mr. Griffith.
    [​IMG] Now is not the time, excuse me.

    He scampers after the factory owner. I took note of what Mr. Griffith said about Hine's attire. 'Orange checked suit' - that narrows it down a bit. Now how do I go return to the present theater?

    [​IMG]

    It's the Dismal Man. He greets the guests and declares the show is starting, therefore everyone should take their seats.

    [​IMG]

    I quickly returned to my original seat.
    And then the show began.

    [​IMG]

    I relived the Black Day inside Arkham Theater.
     
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  18. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    55 - Night Walk
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That unmistakable orange suit and suitcase.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I carefully removed her necklace.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hitting zero Sanity triggers periodic Angst accumulation. I don't want that.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Viktor agreed to guide me through the manufacturing process and I successfully completed a set of hazard suit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I quietly set aside my lantern and casts the incantation.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    https://i.imgur.com/kwpdQCW.jpg[img]
    [img]https://i.imgur.com/R5XhTNf.jpg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I emerge from the warehouse feeling glad from our recent successes. I turn towards the Nameless Soldier.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] What are you planning to do when, uh, the war is over?
    [​IMG] I'll go to the movies, sir. I'll pick up Clarisse and we'll go to the movies. Ah, the lights of the High Street. I'm driving a Fulton Speedster...
    [​IMG] Everyone turns to look as I race past... I enjoy the waywardness of the machine... And the color of Clarisse's lipstick... It dances with the night lights...
    [​IMG] Nothing like the pitch black darkness of Zeebrugge! Nobody shoots at you when you light a cigarette here... We've arrived at the Arkham Theater now. I'm buying the tickets.
    [​IMG] And we're inside the hall... Everyone is here to witness the magic of the moving pictures. Shortly, we'll be following the adventures of those giant American men and women on the screen. My heart is poundi-

    Suddenly, his smile fades and tension seizes him.

    [​IMG] The enemy! They're inside the theater! The war has come to fatherland! Nooo! Nooooo!

    He seizes me by the waist, immensely strong.

    [​IMG] Come Clarisse! I won't let them take you!

    The abyssal smell of decay, along with some unknown chemical odors assault my nostrils.

    [​IMG] (Psychology) Soldier! There's no enemy! You're battling your own fears!
    [​IMG] What are you saying, Clarisse? They've barricaded the exits!
    [​IMG] Listen: You are inside the automobile again. And Clarisse... She is kissing you! You feel the warmth of her lips...

    The pale man falters briefly, then continues to drag me.

    [​IMG] Everything is warm and safe and familiar... You are at home and home is... Peace.

    His grip weakens.

    [​IMG] S-ssafe?

    Finally, he falls silent.
     
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  19. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    18,465
    Location:
    Khatovar
    :gumpyhead:
     
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  20. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    56 - The Hazards
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    57 - Blasted Family
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The limited reagents for the Night Walk makes it mandatory to push onward. The tax on health and sanity will simply have to be paid in consumables.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It's not hostile. I approach cautiously. The abominable, grotesque entity inside the house seems like the living embodiment of maddening discrepancy, impossibly standing there as a hermaphrrodite amalgamation of a human male and woman who merged into each other.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] As it was told, he is simply one. Eternally separated from his other half...
    [​IMG] What are you, creature?
    [​IMG] I am the one who was broken, now mended. I am the one who was in conflict, now at peace. I am the one who was divided, now whole. I am the one who was two but became one.
    [​IMG] I am Edemavvah of the Lord God, risen from the ashes of the old men, the obsolete. Welcome to the garden, apostle.

    Its many eyes blink in disturbing pattern.

    [​IMG] You have been expected.
    [​IMG] Why do you call me "apostle"?
    [​IMG] The heavenly voice foretold your advent to me. You are the apostle, who is doomed to crumble yet who will serve the purpose of the Lord God one last time, to redeem the sins of the old men and draw the curtain of this age.

    Just crazed rants, I pay no heed to his 'prophecy'.

    [​IMG] How did you end up like this? What's going on in this street?
    [​IMG] Once, I wasn't whole like this. In the shadows of purgatory, I was separated, living as two, as husband and wife. A couple with the fear of the Lord God in their hearts.
    [​IMG] They were clueless, scared, lost. Questioning, crying over why the Lord God had condemned them to this realm of eternal twilight. They read the holy book over and over, and prayed through the endless, lightless days.

    The creature moves an array of its numerous limbs in a hysterical manner.

    [​IMG] Repenting their sins! Repenting all the sins of the mankind! They screamed how men had failed the Lord God! Cried and repented and prayed and repented!
    [​IMG] I see.

    The anomaly must've had consumed these two...and fused them together.

    [​IMG] Until the heavenly light appeared in the sky. Oh, how beautiful it was. The colors, all the colors of Eden. Never saw their likes on earth!
    [​IMG] Right away, the godly light punished the ones who had no hope for salvation, scourged them to ashes and bones! Lonely, barren, self seeking ones they were!

    It hisses in disdain with both its mouths.

    [​IMG] Then the light embraced the others, embraced us! Ah, we felt all the love of creation deep inside. It gave us the chance to be blessed as a whole, become the new favored of the Lord God, to populate this Garden of Eden.
    [​IMG] But the others... As Adam and Eve did in the past, they all failed Him! Forsaking His path, they turned into blasphemers thirsting for the bliss of the light sleeping under the earth. Only I remained faithful.
    [​IMG] Adam and Eve had already been damned when they ate the forbidden fruit. Their separation was their end, but I am whole! Man and woman merged into one, Edemavvah. The serpent can neither separate nor deceive me now.

    Somehow the creature has rationalized everything that has happened to it by drawing a twisted parallel to the Bible. And that preserved its sense of 'reason', if that word can be used to describe its current state of mind. Best to play along.

    [​IMG] So tell me: what does God has in mind for me, His apostle?

    The hermaphroditic creature responds with blissful arachnid motions.

    [​IMG] The apostle sees the truth now! You understand the deed which must be done to protect the new children of God! You will indeed find my firstborn son! Oh, blessed be the holy light! Blessed be the colors divine!
    [​IMG] Uh... tell me more.
    [​IMG] My firstborn son, Kabbal committed what was forbidden. He took the life of his brother Abbel and abandoned me, his wombfather, to join the forsaken ones!
    [​IMG] Oh, Apostle of the Fallen! My son has sinned and I know that he will sin again, unless you bring him to me. Only you can dissuade him from the thorny path of the profane. I know there is salvation for him!
    [​IMG] For the love of the Lord God, I call you to your final duty as the apostle of the old men. Bring me Kabbal, bring my firstborn back into my arms.
    [​IMG] How was Kabbal born, I wonder?

    The creature moves it amorphous body with erratic gestures that I interpret as signs of pleasure.

    [​IMG] Apostle, sometimes when I close my eyes, I see the Eden Beyond and I feel sensations like I have never felt.
    [​IMG] Do not mistake them for the selfish, possessive, corrupt love that is felt for another! That love is poison which eventually leads to lust, ruin and damnation!

    Both faces of the creature grimace with disgust.

    [​IMG] But in those times when the heavenly symphony fondles my soul, my new, beautiful body starts to delight itself gently. And I become one with the Lord God, since loving oneself is loving creation in its purest form.
    [​IMG] In such a moment, I was blessed with the twin seeds of my children: Kabbal and Abbel. At that moment of divine joy, I knew my progeny was destined to walk the earth as the new children of God.
    [​IMG] Where can I find Kabbal?
    [​IMG] You shall find him inside the garden, running alongside the Forsaken. Tell Kabbal that his wombfather forgives him. Tell him that there is still a place for him in the heavens.

    The creature's many eyes shine with hope. The Outsider talks while gazing down at the creature.

    [​IMG] Now I see that the tender love of family may be exhibited even in damned souls such as this, and I ask the gods, what was I lacking?
    [​IMG] Perhaps you had a family, but lost those memories to the long march of time.
    [​IMG] Unfortunately stranger, this makes no difference to me. What is lost in the decayed pages of the past resonates just the same as something that has never happened.

    I shrugged and look at the creatures roaming outside. We can't waste more time. We have to get deeper into the Blasted Streets. And maybe convince this creature's firstborn to return to his parents' fold.
     
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  22. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,519
    RK47 why are you so obsessed with kalin
     
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  23. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    Are you volunteering for the next protagonist LP of Disco Elysium?
     
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  24. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
    Not Here
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    58 - Ironyuri's Butthurt
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    'Attacking 7 hex area connected to the wielder' is kinda vague too.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    This fight took me four attempts - the hardest part is overcoming Kalin's pitiful panic saves.
    But others mention it's possible to just destroy the rock with molotovs or Acid spell without digging it up with shovels.
    Oh well, I did it legit.

    [​IMG]

    :lol:
     
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  25. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    27,492
    Location:
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    59 - Point of No Return
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] What do you Americanos say? This is it... This is simply too much for me. Perdoname but... I wish to live another day.
    [​IMG]

    He will be missed.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Seriously, there's really no reason to rush. I have ample resources to restock and prep for whatever is in that house. No reason to go in badly wounded and low on supplies.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Resting at the Pilgrim's Parish seems to be the best way to grind combat loot if you're up for it. The money is good since the dead cultists drops damaged robes, repair those robes and they can be converted to 70 cigs for every set of robes & hood.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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