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Midnight Castle Dialog   Tips, Tricks, Guides and Advice

Started 4/22/18 by whitebutterfly54 (redbutter54); 124406 views.
In reply toRe: msg 299

Level 113 cont.

The Fire Elemental, still at Lava Cave, is very happy to help.  “Helma sent you to me?  For a human, she’s quite charming.  I don’t mind lending a bit of advice.  Helma understands me like no one else because she’s so close to nature.  She knows that I can help you find things hidden deep underground.  Those who live below the Earth have uncommonly deep memories.”

Fire Elemental further says, “Elementals are uniquely suited to learn from the past – to see deeper.  That’s why you’ve come, yes?  To find something a human’s eye can’t see?”

First, Fire Elemental wants to know what the final goal is.  “So an unknown victim suffers…alright, I’ll help you.  I know that pain, the feeling like you’re going to explode.  I wanted to make sure our task was noble.”  He explains that he is “one with the depths – literally!  Nothing that happens down here escapes me.  Every footstep on the rocks above, every magma bubble below…I feel it all – I’m part of the mountain.”

Since the All-crushing Hammer is ancient, knowledge of it must be buried within the depths.  “The Earth’s natural elements hold memories better than humans do.  There must be something here about the Hammer.”

In reply toRe: msg 300

Level 114

The age of the artifact means it’s buried deep, and the deeper it’s buried, the greater the danger.  “The reason is simple – we must not wake the elemental giants deep within the rock.  Doing so would unleash a devastating earthquake.”

Assured that your interests do not lie in the unlimited treasures held by the mountain depths, the Fire Elemental says “Your heart burns only with a fire to help others – this is a gift most will never possess.”

Suddenly, the Fire Elemental realizes something…”Great flame!  I’ve never noticed…the underground elements combine to form a colossal timeline!  It looks like…yes!  A record of everything that has happened over the ages.  It’s a record that mirrors the path of every human who has walked above – every action!  And much has happened on the grounds of Midnight Castle!”

With so much rock and dirt to navigate though, it won’t be easy to find the needed memory.  “Ah, I see…this path takes us along the very creation of the Castle.  Would you like to know how it was built?”  Before answering that question, the Fire Elemental decides it’s not wise to disturb the soil unless it’s absolutely necessary.  So he moves on to a memory of a grave battle.  “Long ago a great enemy laid siege to the Castle.  There was a terrible battle.  The Castle was saved by the All-crushing Hammer.  The soil says that while the Castle was saved, the great weapon was destroyed.”

Finally, the stones show where one of the Hammer parts might be.  “It’s somewhere sacred, that much is clear.  I’ll need a bit more time to narrow down the location.”  Finally, the Fire Elemental says “Ah, no wonder the Omniscient Eye couldn’t see it – the part is in the Garden of Ancient Shamans.  It’s a sacred place – heavily protected.”

In reply toRe: msg 301

Level 114 cont.

Hope springs eternal for Helma after learning the Fire Elemental narrowed down the search greatly.  “The Omniscient Eye isn’t the only tool at our disposal – I can summon the spirits of nature to help us.  Spirits can search more independently but may not answer right away.  Sometimes in life all you can do is wait.  I’ll keep the Spirits active.”

Belief and persistence finally resulted in a gleam of hope.  “Are we looking for something sharp?”  The nature spirits found the exact location of the item but they require a reward for their help.  “Be careful, it’s razor-sharp.  May the spirits guide you on your way.”  (You are rewarded with the Peerless Blade.)

Bound Ronan at the Cliff of Lament wonders “What interest have you in a place of punishment, in a man bound in chains?  It is I who suffers endlessly – and undeservedly I must add.”

Not the simple story of a villain punished for his crimes, Ronan’s tale is much more complex.  “The tale is long, but perhaps telling it will ease my pain.  Since childhood, I’ve been a faithful friend and servant to the Crown Prince Stronghold.  Through our many travels, I’ve walked beside him and kept his many secrets.  The Prince had one secret greater than the rest – something that many would call a gift, and others…a curse.”

Ronan continues, “I followed my master as he embarked upon a great journey – to escape his father, who envied his gift.  If you haven’t guessed yet – my master was immortal.  He fought with his father constantly, who longed to gain immortality as well.”

In reply toRe: msg 302

Level 114 cont.

Prince Stronghold wept at the thought of outliving his loved ones and he and Ronan set out in search of a cure for his immortality.  “We’d traveled far and wide, but no one could help ease my master’s troubles.  I couldn’t stand to see his pain, and swore I’d find a way to end his torment.  By sheer luck I discovered the reason for the Prince’s immortality – the Totem of Life.  This artifact gives eternal life to one randomly chosen ruler, so they may lead their people to endless prosperity.”

Ronan felt he was being courageous and decisive by not asking permission from the Prince before destroying the Totem.  Unfortunately in his haste, he missed something.  “The Prince had learned of the Totem as well…a bit more than me actually.  What he learned made him consider my action treachery.  What I hadn’t learned is that the one who destroys the Totem becomes immortal themselves!”  So naturally, the Prince “was sure my aim was to gain immortality for myself, not to set him free.  In a heartsick rage, the Prince bound both of us with an unbreakable chain – his remains still lie beside me.”

Perhaps a nearby descendant of the one who forged the chain can be of help.  (Dolores the Blacksmith)

In reply toRe: msg 302

Level 114

Dolores the Blacksmith at the Mountain Workshop introduces herself.  “My name is Dolores.  I work the forge like few alive and am ever eager to help those of stout heart.”  She’s told Ronan many times no one can help him and right now she’s preoccupied with her own problems.  “I’m sure he told you that my grandfather made the chains that hold him.  The people of the town shun me, as if I’m responsible – is that a fair legacy?”  While her life is admittedly a bit grim right now, she’s “capable of great things, but can only find work making kitchen knives and other such drudgery.  I know I can forge great weapons and armor like my grandfather.” 

Dolores wants nothing more than to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps.  Recently asked to forge a sword, Dolores hopes her future holds promise. 

While her grandfather was a blacksmith, Dolores doesn’t know if her father was.  “I’ve never met my parents, and grandfather never spoke of them.  So his example is all I have.”  Dolores has asked herself many times if she wants to surpass the skill of her grandfather one day.  “Of course, I would have to surpass him to have any hope of breaking his greatest masterpiece.  From what I can tell, the chain is truly unbreakable – Ronan’s imprisonment may last forever.”

Despite studying all of her grandfather’s records, Dolores isn’t even close to a solution.  “Not even grandfather knew the origin of the metal used in the chain.  We’ve both spent years searching, to no avail.”  Dolores isn’t sure, but maybe a weapon made of the same metal would be able to break the chain.

In reply toRe: msg 304

Level 114 cont.

She remembers her grandfather spoke of the All-crushing Hammer once, “it’s supposed to be extremely powerful.  He said that during an attack on the Castle, our Champion struck the ground just once, and the might of the blow caused the enemy to flee in terror.  Though, the force of the strike destroyed the Hammer.”

Dolores theorizes the parts could be anywhere and maybe some of them have been found already.  “Each of the individual parts would still be priceless and indestructible – quite a gift to stumble across!”  It’s possible those lucky souls possessing a piece might not even know the power of that piece.  “Imagine a piece of the Hammer used as a paperweight!”

Dolores’ skills apparently go beyond mere blacksmithing.  “My hammer can do more than just form metal – it can detect the presence of legendary artifacts.  If I focus deeply enough, I can sense artifacts nearby – watch out, my hammer’s been known to fly from my hand!”  Surprised for a second it actually worked, Dolores says her “hammer feels the artifact’s energy, but the answer is…odd.”  Apparently, the artifact piece isn’t far at all.  “But this can’t be right.  If my intuition is correct, you and Ronan will have a puzzle to solve.  Go to Ronan – tell him the location of the Hammer part is closer than he thinks, and he can find it without anyone’s help.”

In reply toRe: msg 305

Level 114 cont.

Ronan wonders if the All-crushing Hammer will break the chain and swears he “never sought immortality, only to help my dearest friend.”  Confused that Dolores insists he must find the Hammer on his own, Ronan says “With what at my disposal?  Let’s see…the only things I possess now are my memories.  Can those save me?”  Riddles rarely bring Ronan any comfort, but Dolores insisting that he’s missing something hiding in plain sight is one riddle he’d like to solve.  “What treasures could a prisoner like me possibly have?  Do I have any prized possessions, you ask?  Well, yes, but they are mostly useless.  I doubt the answer lies there.  I do have the remains of my axe…it’s been in my family for ages.  But how will that help me?”

There may be some unexpected value in that axe.  “The Prince broke my axe before binding us, so all I have is the pommel.  My grandfather found it long ago after some great battle.  I guess we can take a closer look.”

Bound Ronan exclaims, “You’re saying I’ve had a piece of the Hammer all long?  What luck!  My pain feels suddenly bearable, if only for now.  May good fortune lead you – I’ll be here waiting, as if I have a choice…”  (You are rewarded with the Spiked Pommel.)

In reply toRe: msg 306

Han, the Sage at Mountain Foot knows about Ronan and the unsuccessful attempts of many who have tried to help him.  Nevertheless, he wants to help.  “First, we must understand what lies at the heart of Ronan’s plight – broken trust.  No, Ronan did not betray his master.  Prince Stronghold falsely believed that Ronan stripped him of immortality not to save him, but for personal gain.” 

Han understands there are many kinds of suffering, including spiritual suffering.  “Do you know the level of grief that Prince Stronghold endured?  The damage to his soul was immense.  He thought his only friend had betrayed him, and it fractured his spirit – it was beyond any physical pain.”

Level 115

Han feels Prince Stronghold’s spirit is nearby on the mountain and calming it will restore balance to the world.  Luckily, Han knows a simple pacifying ritual and begins verifying the rites and steps that must be taken.  “First, I must cleanse the Prince’s spirit of all negative energy.”  Once all the negativity has been dispersed, “positive energy must replace it.”

With Prince Stronghold’s spirit brimming with positivity, the waiting begins.  Finally, Han exclaims “Great fortune!  Stronghold’s spirit now understands the truth – Ronan was trying to save him.  He says he knows of a lost item that may interest us.” 

Han says “Do you know the tale of the Blessed Champion?  Long ago he defended the Castle from a great enemy.  In the battle, he used the All-crushing Hammer and all fled before its might.  The Hammer was destroyed, but he retained a piece for himself.  The Champion realized that the only way to keep the Hammer part safe was to go into hiding.  Of course, the Champion knew the part would survive longer than he would – before he died, he must have hidden it.”

In reply toRe: msg 307

Level 115 cont.

Han believes the Champion was a master of magic as well as a great warrior.  “He cast a powerful concealing enchantment.  Great magic inevitably leaves a trace.  The Champion’s spirit has in some way marked the artifact.  Most likely, what was left behind was a trace of his greatness.  If so, I should be able to locate it with little trouble.”

The part, while easily found, was magically sealed.  To open it, Han must be found trustworthy.  “Spirits be blessed!  I focused on the object, and the seal simply vanished.  The magic must have deemed me worthy.  Well done, friend.  Here you are, and may this help bring balance to all.  (You are rewarded with the Unifying Grip.)

To learn about protection – who better than a people who have been living in secrecy for ages?  Olympe, the Harpy, in Mountain Ledge, poses a question.  “I know you’re one for perilous adventures, so I must ask…are we in trouble again?  It’s not that I don’t like adventures, but safety is my priority.”

Olympe knows of Ronan and isn’t so sure it’s wise to free him.  “The length of his captivity…who knows how it has warped his mind.  What if he’s dangerous?  It’s imperative we discover why Ronan’s chains can’t be broken by any other tool.”

In reply toRe: msg 308

Level 115 cont.

Aware of Dolores’ belief the chain is composed of a rare metal, Olympe nonetheless feels that can’t be the only reason for its strength.  “Yes, there’s something else…a mysterious seal on the chain.  Where did it come from?  It’s a unique alloy of metal and magic.  What mind came up with this?  Only the coven of mages could have conceived of such a thing.”

While Olympe understands why the mages used spectral protection, the technique has its flaws.  “Mainly, spectral protection cannot be undone – only broken by a powerful artifact.”  Probing further, Olympe says “we’re lost in the mist of the known.  The magic we speak of is ancient – far too old for any human hand.”

As luck would have it, harpies live far longer than humans; the lives of some harpies span millennia.  Olympe discusses this type of protective magic with the elder and shares, “The elder spoke about the ancient battle in which the All-crushing Hammer was used, and revealed a surprising secret.  The Hammer’s power lies not in its strength, but in its effect on others – the hearts of foes turn cold with fear, and magic from any other source is silenced.  With the flick of the wrist, you can make enemies flee and render powerful magic meaningless – it seems best that you can only do this once.”

The elder revealed the last item needed is a leather strap.  But not even the finest leather can endure the ruin of time.  “On that note, I have some good news…harpies excel at leather craft, among other things.  As long as we can find suitable materials, creating a new strap should be a snap.”

*** THE ADVENTURE WILL CONTINUE IN A FUTURE UPDATE

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