I’m not going to explain every monster and fight. There are dozens and dozens of them throughout the level.
It feels like weeks have passed since I last descended these steps. However only hours ago I innocently came down not realizing the horrors of the empty chest. And strange beast man.
His remains lay still next to the rubble. Nothing else has been disturbed, I don’t anticipate to run into any townspeople. Alive anyway.
You know this is good story telling because it’s so foreboding!
I once again reach the jail like barred wall and once again see on the other side the short creature with the spear. He reminds me of something I clogged from a pipe up in Lut Gholein. Pukelike. The skeletal figure is there as well. Surprisingly they don’t pass the gap in the wall to attack me. I’m nervous as hell, griping my nail in a board weapon tight. I am ready to start swinging at anything that isn’t Plumber friendly. I start to sweat. The monsters jibber jabber and make strange noises. I sweat some more. They war-cry some more. It’s now or never… Charge!
I run through the doorway and immediately come across the smaller creature. Because he reminds me of my ugly friend who fell and couldn’t get back up I’ll call these monsters Fallen One’s. I run up to him- he runs up to me, aaaaaand smash! I bring down my nail in a board right on his head and he falls down with a shriek his spear clattering to the floor.
Excellent! One hit one kill. Man who needs that scimitar when I have this bad boy?
The skeleton is next. He runs over and pulls his arm back ready to swing with his sword when I hit him first and he shatters into a million pieces. Well, 206 anyway.
No time to celebrate now, another skeleton approaches from around some sort of raised coffin and bam! Down he goes in one hit too. Man I am on fire.
Uh-oh, here comes trouble though. Three Fallen One’s come at me from three different directions and behind them lurches another abomination like the one from earlier. In this light I can tell he’s been stitched together somewhat like a zombie, that’s what I’ll call his type.
I’m cornered now. Will my nail continue to drive straight? Or will it flatten out?
The first one takes two hits to take out but I get him before he can retaliate. And surprisingly when he falls so does a pile of gold. A huge pile that covers several square feet of flooring. But when I go to pick it up (mid battle of course!) I count only five gold pieces. whut
Just as I put them in my backpack another Fallen One approaches. I didn’t realize they had run away when I killed the first of this trio. He turns the corner only to run into a board. With a nail in it!
The last scurries away but from around the corner again approaches a new creature. Something even smaller than it’s spear toting friend. This one is more animal like than humanoid running on all fours, red and- oh who cares! Two smack flips him on his back never to scavenge again. I like that name, it sticks. Unfortunately the scavenger surprised me and jumped at me hitting me with it’s sharp claws. I cry out in pain and lose blood. Damnit!
But before I can inspect my wound the last Fallen One bravely runs up ignoring his dead buddies. And then joins them in the after life. This one drops even more gold and I scoop up 10 pieces.
It takes me a moment to count that high and by the time I’m done the zombie finally made it over. But his journey was only his doom and his carcass falls to what has now become a very blood soaked area. Aaaaand the zombie drops five gold. Why he had gold coins… is… just… whatever I guess I’ll believe anything around here now. I take a breather and check my wound, it doesn’t appear to be that bad.
I do a victory dance on the bodies. Eight in total. Within just a few minutes I killed either terrible creatures from hell. With my nail in a board. All to fix some leaky underground masonry waterway well systems.
If I’m going back down there I need to be better prepared. Unfortunately I only arrived with my backpack, which was empty. Not sure why I did that. I need supplies and clearly the person to go to is Griswold the Blacksmith. I amble over and ask him if he has anything to help me out.
“WO WHAT CAN I DO FER YA?”
I um, stop shouting in my face!
I peruse his inventory. Hmm, everything is so damn expensive. I determine the number one thing I need at this point is a weapon. I can’t just go brawlin through who knows how many monsters, I need a sword! Hm, let’s see what he has.
Cape: 10 gold
Cloak: 40 gold
Robe: 75 gold
Quilted Armor: 200 gold
Small shield: 90 gold
Dagger: 60 gold
Scimitar: 200 gold
Small Axe: 150 gold
Club: 20 gold
Hmm, so many options!
Well I only have 100 gold. My eyes are set on that scimitar, it looks nasty. But it’s too expensive. I should save up for it. Farnham mentioned there’s lots of gold and treasures to be found underneath the Cathedral. Not from what I’ve seen, all I found was an empty chest. But who knows. I ask Griswold if I can get anything for free since I’m going down to the dungeon. He looks at me and thinks.
Finally he reaches behind him and pulls out a piece of wood from his pile and goes over to his smithing table. He takes a nail and hammers it into the plank so the nail is sticking out from the top and hands the makeshift weapon to me.
A board with a nail in it…
Now that I have a weapon I realize I should probably go down wearing something more studier than what I arrived in. Let’s see cape? No. Cloak? Same thing so no. Robe? Sheesh what’s with all the girly “armor”?
Ooh quilted armor! There we go, perfect. Except not because it’s 100 more gold than I have. Damn it. I could get a shield for 90 gold, but is it worth it? Should I just go down with my nail in a board and kick ass until I can afford a real weapon and some real armor? Or buy the stupid cloak now?
I decide to wait. I punched that weird, ugly zombie monster so hard he broke in half. I feel confident I can take that small furry one with the spear and the skeleton, while scary, he’s already dead! I just need to push him down some stairs or something. It’s decided then, I’m all set to go.
I thank Griswold for the free “club” and head over to the Monastery.
Time to kick some ass.
I charge up the steps and into town. I nearly throw up after thinking about what I just saw. I mean who just leaves empty chests lying around!
I decide to quit this job. There’s no amount of money that could persuade me to stay here, no sir.
I walk over to Pepin to deliver the news. He stops me and says: “I’m glad I caught up to you in time! Our wells have become brackish and stagnant and some of the townspeople have become ill from drinking from them. Our reserves of fresh water are quickly running dry. I believe that there is a passage that leads to the springs that serve our town. Please find what caused this calamity, or we will all surely perish.”
Well why didn’t you say so before man!
Well no I’m conflicted. These people need my expertise as an underground waterway mason specialist. Only I can fix this mess. But how do I get to the problem past those monsters? I’m not fighter- just a lover. A lover for clear waterways and piping.
I decide before I leave I’ll talk to everyone in town and hear what they have to say. Maybe they can convince me. So let’s see, let’s start with my number one suspicion in this mess: the town elder next to the “tainted” well.
Interrogate mode go!
I walk up to Cain, my eyes burning for answers. He seems to read my mind: “Hello my friend, stay awhile and listen.”
I um, how does he do that?! I casually ask him about the well. “So Cain, why is this water so suspiciously yellow?”
He doesn’t even flinch. “Hmm, I don’t know what I can really tell you about this that will be of any help. The water that fills our wells comes from an underground spring. I have heard of a tunnel that leads to a great lake – perhaps they are one and the same. Unfortunately, I do not know what would cause our water supply to be tainted.”
I stare at him a moment thinking. He seems to be telling the truth. I want to ask him about that abomination I fought earlier but I can’t find the words. Literally, there’s no option to. So I move on. Let’s see what the bald blacksmith, Griswold, has to say.
WO WHAT CAN I-
“Who peed in the well?!” I demand.
He replies, “Pepin has told you the truth. We will need fresh water badly, and soon. I have tried to clear one of the smaller wells, but it reeks of stagnant filth. It must be getting clogged at the source.”
I flinch at that. Sounds like they really need their water wells fixed and I’m the only one that can do it.
All this talk of water is making me thirsty so I decide to walk over to the only inn in town run by a man named Ogden. He introduces himself and welcomes me to the Tavern of the Rising Sun. He also tells me about dark riders and destroyed some of the village and how the church is being used for dark rituals.
Well yes I saw first hand, now tell me about this water problem.
“I have always tried to keep a large supply of foodstuffs and drink in our storage cellar, but with the entire town having no source of fresh water, even our stores will soon run dry. Please, do what you can or I don’t know what we will do.”
This guy seems a little selfish to me. He just wants to keep his business going. I’m on to you Ogden.
I’m about to go when he mentions a drunk in town named Farnham. Apparently he went down with other villagers to slay ‘the butcher’ and rescue the Kings son some time ago. Only he returned.
Hmmm, the butcher. Ah yes, the dying fellow from this morning. I guess I should talk to this Farnham person.
But first! The woman to the west, she looks beautiful and lonely. I should of course speak to her!
I check my breath and strut over wishing I did some pushups before hand. I try to flirt with her a bit but she gives me the same stone cold look as everyone else in town. Man, maybe there really is something in the water.
We exchange pleasantries, her name is Gillian and she immediately tells me of a witch in town named Adria. She says, “The woman at the edge of town is a witch! She seems nice enough, and her name, Adria, is very pleasing to the ear, but I am very afraid of her. It would take someone quite brave, like you, to see what she is doing out there.”
I give her my best macho man look. Of course I am very brave. A witch wouldn’t scare me, heck once I punched a monster in the face and he fell apart, I can do anything! Finally Gillian smiles at me. Yesssssssss.
I make a mental note to talk to the witch but ask Gillian about the water situation.
“My grandmother is very weak, and Garda says that we cannot drink the water from the wells. Please, can you do something to help us?”
Of course! That’s why I’m here. Suddenly I find myself agreeing to do something I’m not entirely sure I want to do anymore. Gillian is quite appealing, perhaps I should do it for her.
My mind not quite made up yet I walk back over to the center of town to find the crazy drunk man Farnham.
It doesn’t take me long to find him. He’s yelling out crazy talk, clearly hammered.
He see’s me approach. “Can’t a fella drink in peace?”
He sits cross legged on the ground, empty tankards lying all around. He’s currently nursing a rather tall bottle and trying to shy away from me. But I’m curious.
I ask him how he’s doing.
“I wanna tell ya sumthin’, ’cause I know all about this stuff. It’s my specialty. This here is the best… theeeee best! That other ale ain’t no good since those stupid dogs… No one ever lis… listens to me. Somewhere – I ain’t too sure – but somewhere under the church is a whole pile o’ gold. Gleamin’ and shinin’ and just waitin’ for someone to get it. I know you gots your own ideas, and I know you’re not gonna believe this, but that weapon you got there – it just ain’t no good against those big brutes! Oh, I don’t care what Griswold says, they can’t make anything like they used to in the old days… If I was you… and I ain’t… but if I was, I’d sell all that stuff you got and get out of here. That boy out there… He’s always got somethin good, but you gotta give him some gold or he won’t even show you what he’s got.”
I see. Do you know anything about the water supply?
He looks at me deadpan. “You drink water?”
Ha. I like this guy. I’ll catch up with him later. Time to talk to this witch on the edge of town everyone is talking about. It’s a long walk but eventually I see a crappy shack appear and a woman in black standing outside. This seems to be the place. I walk up to her and she hails out a greeting. “I sense a soul in search of answers…”
Why yes. Yes I am. I want to desperately ask about the empty chest in the hallway, she seems to be the person to ask.
She introduces herself as Adria, a witch from- I tune her out at this point and look behind her shoulder at her hut. She has lots of nifty objects. Shiny flasks, potions and elixers and weird artifacts. Maybe she got them from treasure chests. Not my treasure chest I hope.
I turn back to her and she’s giving me a strange look. I guess I’ve been ignoring her for too long. Why am I here again? Oh right, the water situation. I mention it. She thinks deeply and gives me the worst opinion yet.
“The people of Tristram will die if you cannot restore fresh water to their wells. Know this – demons are at the heart of this matter, but they remain ignorant of what they have spawned.”
Well shit. I don’t want to hear that! If I bugger out of town then all these people will die for sure. This witch seems to know the future and I don’t doubt her.
Now I’m deeply troubled. I want to leave. I should leave. I’m not a warrior!
It’s funny, because that’s my class.
I’m Joe… the Plumber!
I need to take a few moments here and think things through. I walk past Adria’s shack and reach a low stone wall I somehow just can’t climb over. Walking west brings me to open fields. I take it in because quite possibly the fate of this town lays solely on me. I look to the heavens and shout to the Gods: “I need a sign!”
Yes, I hear mooing. And sure enough I open my eyes and look over to see three cows milling about. This must be the sign! But what does it mean?
Probably something important.
Okay, I decide this town is worth saving now. Crazy bald arm folding men and empty chests in monster filled cathedrals and mooing cows and all- I have to do it.
I walk down the stone steps my feet echoing loudly. I’m greeted by a sudden chill and it’s not just the temperature. The damp, green floor stones give off a strange glow. All I hear is my own heartbeat. “Hello?” Hm, no holy men in robes to show me around.
To my right is a wall with a closed wooden door, but the room opens up to my left. As I step in that direction I hear some shuffling from around the corner. I decide to investigate.
On my way I nearly trip over some rubble. Goddamn it! Whoops, just swore on holy ground. Pretty sure I’m going to hell for that.
Get it? Bwhaha-
Oh look a chest! Why there is a large closed treasure chest like container on the floor in the middle of some rubble near the steps to the upper Cathedral is beyond me. Maybe there are some tools in here I could use since I left mine apparently back from wherever the hell I came from. My inventory is empty. Literally.
I bend down and open it up. It creaks open revealing… nothing!
As I ponder the mystery of the chest I hear- moaning? It’s just from around the corner. Maybe it’s a priest with that lost child boy prince.
What too soon?
Just as I step forward to call the priests attention he walks around the corner towards me. And by walk I mean lurch. And by priest I mean weird ugly as hell naked guy. And oh what dafuq is that!
It’s a weird abomination of some sorts. He -it- gets right in my face and ugh, I can smell his breath. Looks like he had some of that weird urine water.
I don’t even know what happened next I just lost it. I went to town on the thing and lash out again and again striking the monster in his face several times before he screams and falls to the ground in pieces.
I stand there for a moment shocked. What was that? Where did it come from? And most importantly- what’s the goddamn deal with this empty chest in the middle of this hallway?
In my stunned state I walk in circles a bit until I find myself staring at a half wall with vertical bars almost like a jail cell. And staring right back is a small creature with big ears holding a spear. Behind him casually walks a human with no clothes, no skin- just the bones! Yes he moves and holds a sword and a shield and grins wickedly at me. Ahh!
Well, I aint dealin with no monster problem. This isn’t what I signed up for. I’m outta here.
I run back towards the steps looking behind me the entire way. They don’t seem to follow. Good. I head back up to town for some answers.
The carriage ride ended as uneventfully as it started. I would never have been able to afford the ride on my own, but it was all paid for. This town must really have some bad underground problems. I had no idea.
I step off onto what seems the only path in sight. Tristram is a small spooky looking town and- hey where is everyone?
I walk forward a ways and immediately come to what’s obviously the center of town. I see a few very life like statues: a bald man with his arms crossed off to the right, a tall man in robes standing next to a well in which someone peed in, between the two in a bit in the back is a lanky fellow standing in front of what looks like an inn, behind him further still is a woman and finally to my left is yet another balding man. That’s when I realize they’re not statues- they’re real people!
Why no-one is moving is beyond me. Maybe it’s the new thing. I decide to pretend to be a statue too.
After a while it seems to work. I see slight movement. The first bald man uncrosses his arms. The lanky fellow sways back and forth a bit. The balding man then folds his arms. Maybe it’s a bald thing.
I seemed to have gained the towns trust with my statue work. They’re clearly relaxed enough with me around that I feel I can approach.
I decide to talk to the bald man first. I would have chosen the older one near the well but I’m not sure if he’s the one that peed in it, that would be awkward.
“WO WHAT CAN I DO FER YA?”
Woah is right. This guy isn’t from around here. I back away slowly. He folds his arms unimpressed.
I turn around and practically walk into the mysterious robed man in the center by the yellowed waterwell. I open my mouth to say hi but he launches into a story about books and tomes and identifying magical artifacts? What a strange old man. I deduce he’s probably not important to this world. I chuckle thinking he’ll just stand here forever rambling and peeing into the towns water supply. He probably had too much of his own handiwork.
We chit-chat for a few more minutes, his voice surprisingly soothing. Maybe he isn’t so crazy after all. But we soon run out of things to talk about so I move on to the other balding man to our left. The sign in front of his small hovel reads: “Pepins Healins. No solicitors.”
Ah-ha! This is the man who contracted me down here. I try to tell him not to let people urinate in the well but he ignores me. In fact, he just wants to know what ails me. Ale would certainly be nice right now- especially after looking at what you guys drink over here. First he tries to send me off to some sorceress to buy some magic… then he tries to get me to buy some potions from him- this guy! Look pal, I’m just here to fix your damn pipes. Just point me in the right direction.
I thought I heard him mumble something about the cathedral. That makes sense, sometimes small towns like this only have one underground maintenance entrance. I’ve seen other waterways originate from under churches so I’m not terribly surprised. What I am surprised about is how little he tells me about this job. Oh well, it can’t be that bad.
It’s not hard to find where to go. The cathedral steeple can be seen from anywhere in town- I head in its direction.
As I walk up the front path I see someone sleeping on the ground- no wait, there’s blood! I rush over and he reaches out for me and in his dying breath says: “Please, listen to me. The Archbishop Lazarus, he led us down here to find the lost Prince. The bastard led us into a trap! Now everyone is dead… killed by a demon he called the butcher. Avenge us! Find the Butcher and slay him so that our souls may finally rest…” With that he falls unconscious. Dead.
I look around nervously. Phew, no-one saw. I just kind of step over him. This town sure is strange. I decide to just fix the problem, get paid and get the hell out of here.
I walk into the cathedral and down into the basement. . .
“First!” Hey asshole, thanks for contributing. I hate this. I even made fun of it on my website naming my first article, ‘First!’ as a personal joke.
But seriously, what is the point of doing this? I feel like it’s younger gamers just jumping up to get themselves out there and upping their post count. It’s zero article/post contribution and uselessly clogs the reader comment bar. Not to mention it further instigates things by challenging others to post “second!” and “third!”
Frankly, you’re an idiot if you do this. I have several “you’re an idiot gamer” post ideas and this is the first. It’s gamers like you that give us a bad stigma. Most mature gamers rage on 14 year olds ruining tactics or any real in game team contribution; typing “first!” (or any similair single digit number yawp) generally automatically throws you in the ‘kid’ category (and a quick ignore user feature!). Furthermore, it’s just plain dumb. Does it make you feel proud? Does it make you feel important and involved?
Y’know really, the idea behind coding in a comment box is for contributing thoughts and follow up discussion about the main article. Obviously. Yes, well I guess some kids just don’t understand the idea behind actually having a discussion on one thing at a time.
If you find yourself doing this, whether it’s on a popular youtube channel upload or any well recognized forum or discussion panel: stop. Stop before you further embarress yourself and the gaming community.
Writing this reminds me to someday write a similair post about the importance of not writing in all caps with a dozen exclamation marks in game chat.
Either write something to contribute your own, original thoughts and ideas or shut the hell up.