Except that well… I decided to do a few more stuff before.
You see one good thing about this second half of the game is that at this point it really is totally non linear!
Since I had begun with the Waters…. I figured I might as well continue with this and get the other waters of Order, meaning Logic and Ethicality. I tend to do this differently at every playthrough, sometime doing it right away, sometime after I have killed the Banes. It doesn’t change much.
So I began with the Temple of Logic. By exiting through the Serpent Gate however, I first went and got the treasure of Silverpate which was nearby as well. While it might not seem obvious, it is actually an important plot point since this is where your obtain the Blackrock Serpent of Balance, that is required for the Isle of Crypt and the End game.
This actually reminds be that I forgot to mention that I also got the Blackrock Serpent of Order in Moonshade after saving Stefano from a Death Knight sent by Torrissio and the late Columna. And that this Serpent was actually found in Underworld II (as a “Serpent Statue”) from a tribe of Goblin who got it from a traveller from Pagan (note that this actually suggest that Pagan might be the world where the Ophidians settled after the War).
In any case, having now this new Serpent I went back to the Temple of Logic. This is actually a nice temple, fully based on puzzles that requires… well logic! It’s not too hard (and you can actually cheat a bit with the Dispel Field spell) but it’s pretty nice.
After that I decided to go back to Monk Isle and cure Cantra with a bucket of Water of Logic, thanks to the SI Fixes mod.
Now unfortunately, they got it wrong as Cantra should be cured with the Water of Discipline like Dupre and Gwenno… but even then you can’t even begin to imagine how reward it feels to actually be able to cure Cantra after all these years. As a matter of fact, I personnally always took upon myself to bring a extra bucket of water to her and modify her flag manually each time I play the game.
I love Cantra really. And while I won’t spoil anything about Return to the Serpent Isle I will just that she will have (like most of SI’s survivor) an important role in shaping up the history of Serpent Isle beyond the Age of Doom.
But enough disgression: after having cured Cantra I went to the last temple: the temple of Ethicality.
In this temple you actually need to pray on a rug, and you get teleported to an area where an Automaton answere you question about Ethics whose response should be obvious for any Avatar worthy of the name! So you’re asked if it’s Ethical to risk your life to save someone, to get money laying around not knowing who it belongs to, and to yield to your ennemy. Once you have answered correctly, you then do a practical test of all theses exemples.
It’s not hard – but it’s fun to do!
So I was now free to go and get the water of Ethicality. I now had all the three water of Order in my inventory to cure my companions later!
But before I went back to Monitor and the souther land in order to get the artifacts of the Great Hierophant. I could have waited later but well… since you actually need at least one of those before getting to the Isle of Crypt…
Monitor of course…. was full of dead people. Harnna was the only survivor, and unfortunately her dialogue has not been modified and much like Wilfried there is no details about what happened in the Monitor region. But since the city has been overrun by Goblins, it’s safe to assume that Dupre as the Wantoness Bane lead an invasion of Goblins and killed everyone alas.
I left the city and went back to Furnace through the entrance next to Monitor. In this dungeon I found my old Britannian Spellbook (which exploded, whoops!) and most importantly: the Serpent Staff!
I would actually had gotten it if I’d left the Gargoyle city the normal way razer than lazying through the Serpent Gate but well…
After that I went to Fawn. Much like the other cities… pretty much everyone was dead: a consequence of the rule of “Mad Iolo” which brought sickeness to everyone. Ironically the only survivors were Ruggs, a Britannia sailor with an ugly face (Fawn being the city of beauty… you get it), and Lady Yelinda which had been skinned alive by Iolo but remained alive and ugly in the swamps of Gorlab.
After finding her and giving her the Comb of Beauty which I had found in Moonshade (it had been stolen by Columna to keep her youth) – she regained her former beauty and rewarded me by giving me access to Fawn’s treasury.
Which of course included the Serpent Armor.
The last step was going to the forest to the west and get Hawk’s treasure by following his map. Which included the Serpent Crown.
I now had the three Serpent Artefacts.
So I was ready to go and take on the Banes and headed straight (well okay… through the Serpent Gate and then the Northern Forest gate) to the White Dragon’s Castle.
Which is of course guarding by jesters that comes of repetedly out of explosions.
I figure this is some Mad Iolo stuff…
Regarding the King of the White Dragon’s Castle: one point of history. He was the father of Shamino’s bride-to-be Beatrix. However when his daughter died of a broken, he became batshit crazy and invited all his people in his castle… before murdering everyone after what he took his own life. This is actually the events that lead to the people of the Lands of Danger and Despair being without guidance and to turn to the Serpents.
Upon arrival you are actually greeted by the ghost of the White Dragon’s King. This is actually something odd – because you don’t see him again after that, which makes me think it might be a remnant of some lost plot point back when the Bane’s showdown was not supposed to happen here. You do get some nice information about the madness of the King inside it, which is very gruesome and creepy!
The Castle can be a tad difficult depending on your level, because it is really FILLED with all kind of traps that can take a toll on your HP very quickly : so better cast a lot of Restorations! You need to open some doors, find hidden keys on the passage, but you finally get to the Banes themselves sitting near their thrones.
I remember having a LOT of troubles killing the Banes the first couple of times. Here now however well… a Death Vortex got rid of them pretty fast. Heh.
I didn’t wasted any minute and used my Black Sword (where the Banes had been trapped) on the Soul Prisms. The Banes were now caged for good!
I then took the body and went back to Monk Isle. Same issue as Gwenno: if you ressurect them here, they tend to stay here which can be annoying as hell. So upon Monk Isle I ressurected by Companions.
I began by dismissing my two Automatons and restored the minds of Dupre and Shamino with the Waters of Discipline and Ethicality. I still had Petra in my party when I used the Water of Logic on Iolo and something odd happend: he joined my group!
You see he shouldn’t have: I already had 5 party members so he shoud have stayed there. But he did… which now gives me SIX party members in Serpent Isle.
Crazy. I suspect this is tied to the SI Fixes mod for Exult though.
But as Iolo was sane again the Bells of Monk Isle rang… for indeed Xenka was back into the world of the living!
As it turns out she doesn’t have that much to say, altough she offers some background info and really show some despise toward her fellow Monks who according to her almost ruined everything (somehow I got the feeling she and Karnax won’t get along fine…).
But she gave me instructions to follow: consults the dead on the Isle of Crypts, for which she gave me the last Serpent Tooth I was missing…