So I was back in Britain and had to head to the Dungeon Destard.
Now there are two ways to do it: the easy way it just go back to Yew and go southward until you reach the dungeon (actually you can reach the dungeon right when you get access to Yew, and even play it through at that time… but this might be a tad too difficult at that point in game!). The proper way though, is to begin with talking with a Sir Robin who has just appeared in the tavern of Britain.
Robin was actually part of Sir Drake’s expedition. A while back a group of Valorian Knight lead by Drake headed to Destard to close the Dungeon with the Word of Power in order to keep the Red Dragon Talornia trapped inside. The expedition was a success and the dungeon was sealed… but Drake perished along with most of the other knights, and Robin only escaped because he ran away like a coward. He does however reveal the existence of a secret entrance to Destard that can be opened through.
Going through Cove, you hear that a Valorian Knight was found by the healer there and died recently, revealing much of the same informations.
You’re then supposed to get a valley close to a village of Giants and use the levitate spell to float above the mountains, and come directly on the hidden entrance of Destard.
Except that well, for some reason the Levitate spell refused to work this time. Meh. So I just used the fly cheat to get over the mountains, as if well… it had worked as it used too!
One point of note: next to the dungeon lies the ruins of the small village of Dawn (which might or might not be the same Dawn as Ultima III), which has been devastated by Talornia. There is supposed to have a NPC in there to which you can talk to and learn more about the area. Alas… for some reason this NPC on modern computers tends to just “shot up” in the air whenever you get close to her… Meaning you can’t talk to her. Nasty bug.
So I returned to the hidden entrance and casted a few fireball to make the ice entrance melt. So here I come Destard!
Now Destard… well. It’s another pretty damn good dungeon with some really epic stuff! For those who did not like the puzzle approach of Shame, this one has a more traditional approach – and a more detailed background too! You see: the inhabitants of Dawn always lived in fear of the great Dragon… which lead a group of them to form a cult to honor the Dragon and serves her wishes. In the end those who resisted ended being killed or serving as slave for the cult: mining previous gems for Talornia. In addition, this cult has also made a recent alliance with the Wyrmguard, with Talornia furnishing her eggs to the Guardian’s army – altough only as a means to further her own goals: dominate Briannia herself.
Talornia however is protected by a force field established by her followers, and you need to find five pieces of an eggshell to deactivate it.
Of course this lead to exploring the dungeons – it has little in term of puzzle, though much in term of combat, making it perhaps one of the most combat heavy dungeon of the game. It has some nasty fights: many wyrmguards, undeads, and you can also face the cult leaders if you wish it.
Once you have all five eggshells, you can then go and face Talornia herself… unfortunately she is not as strong as she appears and can be vanquished easily. Oh well…
At least you get a nice Dragon head for your trouble – and you can loot its treasure room!
But of course what is a dungeon without its Column? The base of the Column is actually very near from where you enter the dungeon… and in most likelihood, you’ll head there before getting to Talornia (in any case: I did!)
One thing to note is that the Wyrmguard guarding the Column is actually your old companion Geoffrey. Like Mariah in Deceit however, there is nothing even hinting at this in dialogue and you might ended up killing it without wanting it! What is odd, is that the usecode has more dialogue for him as a Wyrmguard, notably him apologize once you have removed the Glyph. Oh well, more triggers issues…
But in any case, with the Glyph in hand and Talornia dead – I could now return to Valoria. Well actually I travelled around a bit first in order to get mastery in a couple of skills, but I’ll spare you the details!
So I returned to Raven’s ship and was back to Valoria!
From a design standpoint, Valoria is pretty nice – notably I’ve really got to stress how much I love the look of the lava in this game. However it also really small and feels more like a big single building with a few rooms than a city. No doubt the place was originally planned to be bigger than that but well… you know.
Upon entering Valoria you do get to learn more about the problem the city faces: it is being threatened by a group of Daemons called the Daemon Triumvirate who were awakened following the Great Cataclysm and want to get their hand on the Sigil of Valor. The daemons are seemingly invisible, and all attempt made to kill them ended in blood and with the death of many Knights. To make things worse: one of the Knight eventually betrays the city out of fear and give the Dagger of Valor to the daemons… who rewards him by killing him!
You learn the key to defeating the daemons by a book found elsewhere on the isle called the Tome of Demonology. It stats that the Triumvirate is actually a single evil spread over three bodies, and as such all the daemons have to be killed simultaneously in order to be destroyed.
So here comes the cool part: you go and convince the remaining Knights to face their fears and fight by your side against the daemons. As such you each go and tackle one daemon at the same time, the Avatar handling the one at the Shrine of Valor.
And thus by allying their forces, the Avatar and the Valorian Knights manage to kill the Daemon Triumvirate. Now the great part, is that just as Trinsic it is handled brilliantly: upon killing the Daemons you can return to Valoria and see that really: Valor HAS returned to the town! There is another change in dialogue once you cleanse the Shrine but it feels like a detail – cleansing the shrine just restored the Rune, it didn’t had any effect on the town, because Virtue was already back before that! I know I repeat myself but man… if only all the cities had been such perfectly executed, the game would have been perfect. (And if only the music would change too… Meh).
So it was now time to leave Valoria. I only have one Shrine and Column left!
By the way remember how I said the thing about Raven’s boat being far from the shore never happens?
Yep. It happened this time. Ironically though, I noticed this when I was still looking for the Tome of Demonology… and by the time I had cleansed the Shrine, Raven was back at the docks. Oh well.
Now: Spirituality. But that creates an issue since the Shrine can only by accessed by Moongates… which are not working! As such Raven suggests getting to Britain, and speak with Lord British…
Britain, here I am then!