Having now arrived on the Isle of Beyond, it did not take long to reach the city of Moonshade.
Aaaah, Moonshade. City of magic, mysteries… and greedy corrupt bastards.
Like Fawn and Monitor, Moonshade represents some form of twisted corrupt version of a Britannian principle – in this case Truth.
To be fair, Moonshade is probably more open about this – as its name was voluntarily chosen to represent the shade hiding the city of Moon from the blinding light of truth (in obvious contrast the Moonglow).
The people do feel Truth has its import – but only to a certain degree, as the whole truth can be blinding and destructive. As such one could very much say that the Moonshade mages are deceitful bastards and proud of it. This also applies to the Rangers (which serves as the city guard) which are basically a corrupt guard that does the Mage’s bidding and far from the honorable Britannian Rangers (altough this aspect is somewhat reduced in the main game compared to what it was supposed to be before the cuts).
The important aspect of Moonshadian society however is that it is a Magocracy – Mages rules the city, and Mundanes (aka people with no magic) are in inferior caste seen with little more than open disdain by most, or by poor children that are to be pitied since they will never have the chance to feel the power of magic. There is some respect toward Mundames with crafting or artist skills… but stills – for the people of Moonshades, mundanes are inferor – this is a fact of life.
As you now longer have a spellbook (due to having lost it at the beginning of the game), you are seen as lowly Mundane, and indeed some of the mages even refuses to talk to you! Thankfully you get the opportunity to obtain a new one… but for that you need to reach Monk Isle to get fresh Mandrake roots.
With no boats.
Hard life, heh?
But in any case to thank you for getting him to Moonshade, Flindo one of the merchants gets you an audience with the ruling Magelord of the city… which through you a big banquet.
Guess what happen?
Aye: it all goes to hell.
You see, Rotoluncia the Red Witch is convinced the Avatar is an accomplice of Batlin and knows the secret of summoning deamons (because… Batlin had a gargoyle companion. Prejudice, you know?). So she feels the information should be pried from the Avatar and attacks during the Banquest… which of course ends up prematurely again.
I guess I can forget about having a nice real banquet then?
Alas the witch is not with us yet. And she magically captures Shamino. With some help from the Magelord (which was her former lover) I ended up tracking her down and killing her though. I mean I know it’s violent and such, but it’s not like these people give me much choice, do they?
So now I really needed to get to Monk Isle. As it turns out the key to this was getting to Erstam the Mad Mage.
Erstam has basically left Moonshade aeons ago, despising what the city has become and intending to pursue his quest for immortality on a small secluded island. But he actually has a son in the city as Pothos the Apothecary – which providing a small service (getting Blood Moss from a swamp: god that was hard :P) told me how to reach his father.
With a GIANT SEA TURTLE!
I mean how cool is that?
This would have been awesome to actually be able to drive the turtle where you want!
But again… I digress.
Erstam is actually not as crazy as the Moonshadian makes him out to be. I mean okay, there is something crazy about cutting up one’s assistants in pieces to try to rebuild new life from it. But he actually sounds quite sensible all things considered.
Now Erstam possesses the power of Teleportation. Which is basically a Serpent Jawbone which allows one to use the Serpent’s Gate. Now the Serpent’s Gate are more or less the Serpent Isle equivalent of the Moongates in that they allow you to go everywhere. Except you can only open a gate access if you have the appropriate Serpent Tooth to put on your Jawbone (which allows this way to have some areas closed until the developpers want you to go there).
But of course Erstam would only give me the Jawbone in exchange for doing something for him: which is getting him a pheonix egg on a nearby island where he’ll teleport you.
And helping him create life from the remains of his last assistant.
Now Boydon looks kind of a like the creature of Frankenstein: with odd bogy poarts sewed together. But most importantly Boydon is your fifth party member! In a game which actually offers very little of them, this is actually welcome.
I’ve actually seen people saying that you should not get Boydon because he “smells bad” and that drive people away… but I’ve always wondered where that came from since I never saw any character reacting to this except the companions when you ask him to join.
Also he has a lot of strength which makes him one of the stronger character of the game!
So with my newfound party member, and my new jawbone, I set out for the Void!
Now of course since I have like 3 teeth… all I could do was getting back to Moonshade, Erstam… or go to Monk Isle! Conveniant, heh?
So I obviously went to Monk Isle which is a nice place to go and gets you a lot of information about the Xenkan Order and the mysterious Xenka. Altough the Monk really do appear as being tight-assed, and especially that Karnax bloke!
But well, since they do ressurect you upon death, I suppose one can’t be too picky!
The two important things here is that I go the mysterious Amulet of Balance (which allows you to play Silver Seed) and the three fresh Mandrake roots needed for my Spellbook.
So I decided to return to Moonshade and got my new Spellbook from Fedabiblio. (Which reminds me: it that me or his policy to still children atuned to magic from their parents kind of SUCK?!).
So now it’s time to get some spells.
And see a bit to that Amulet of Balance thing…