Following the advice of Xenka, I proceeded to the Isle of Crypt to follow the advices of the dead.
The Isle of Crypt in itself is not too hard: it has some spiders and skeletal dragon to face, but nothing you can’t handle at that point. I did however got stuck for a long time the first I went there… on account that I did not have the Blackrock Serpent of Balance which is essential if you want to get to the tomb of the Great Hierophant.
At that point it was just a matter of calling forth his soul with the Summon Shade spell.
Which lead to a simple revelation: in order to restore Balance I first had to restore the Chaos Serpent from the three emprisoned banes.
This lead me to return to the Temple of Tolerance and asked Sethys to guide me to where the Chaos Hierophant was killed as only him would know where he was. Alas the poor Ophidian had only survived due to the protection of the Temple, which lead to him dying upon exiting. But he thankfully revealed me the Hierophant’s body laid outside of the Temple of Enthusiasm.
(Note that this also marked the end of my party of six people, since I had to make room in order for Sethys to join. Meh).
So I proceeded to this other temple, and called forth the spirit of the Chaos Hierophant:
As it turns out he was rather less friendly than the Great Hierophant (damned extremists!), but did tell me what I wanted to hear. He also told me that something else would be needed to bind the Serpent of Chaos, and going back to Xenka revealed that a sacrifice had to be made due to the Imbalance being too strong. And that meant it could only be the Avatar, one of his companions, or Gwenno.
Now you would think that at this point the mighty Avatar would honor the Virtue of Sacrifice, and offer himself to sacrifice. But actually not: you draw straws and ends up with the shortest one!
So it was now back to Monitor and the Crematorium to sacrifice my life. Except that Dupre refuses to let me do it, and took his life instead, too ashamed of all the pain he has caused while he was possessed by the Bane. 😦
I gotta say even know, it still hurts my scene to scene my old friend dying as such… and the music remains heartwrenching.
With everything in hand, I went back to Monk Isle to have Gwenno join me. One point of note about the sacrifice: due the the Ghost/Great Hierophant bug in the original release, this could actually lead to real issues with the sacrifice – either by having the sacrifice keyword never appearing (which would render the game unwinnable) or having it appear as soon as Xenka returns. This is what happened to me the first time… which lead to Dupre being sacrificed before there was any need. Basically: I had Gwenno with me on Crypt Isle.
With this I could now get back to Skullcrusher and blow open the Golden Doors near the Serpent Gate.
This lead to some sorts of catacombs, which have been filled with trolls and some undeads. Note that you can actually explore this the first time you get to Skullcrusher, but it doesn’t have much point at that time. After some exploration you eventually get back down, then back up to the Grand Shrine of Chaos and its wall of Light.
With the Blackrock Serpent, Dupre’s Ashes and the Banes the ritual was ready.
The Chaos Serpent had no been restored, with Dupre’s soul having fused with the Serpent of Chaos. But it came with a request: I need to go fast to Sunrise Isle!
At that point Xenka teleported herself to my side as well and asked me to go to Sunrise Isle as well, offering me a brass Serpent Sword…
The end is near!