Hey. What’s wrong with you people? You’re not doing your bit in the war effort. I thought I’d load up the game this Thursday and we’d be finished with the war. I expected flowers, fireworks, a massive booze up. Rewards, gold, an end to war rations.
But what do I find? We’re still fighting. We’re still trying to close down Earth and Fire Rifts. I mean, come on! Get those Rifts closed down people. On the double!
Having said that, I’m much to busy this week to close down any Rifts. (WHAT? Don’t judge me. I’m not avoiding them. I’ll close them down if I see any, OK? Sheesh.)
The goblins are still a serious problem in Gloamwood, and I think they will be until I finally get around to descending into Darkening Deep. But until that time, it’s my job to pick them off one by stinking one. And on that note, Laenaya Niro wants me to indulge in a bit of chemical warfare. A bit of light napalm dusting. (Or the equivalent thereof.) Laenaya wants me to test the Goblin Venom I found earlier on any goblins in Gloamwood. Seriously, I am instructed to poison Goblin villages with some sort of chemical concoction. But she tries to make it sound all noble like. “I've warred against goblins, treated venomous wounds, and choked on poison gas. This is worse. The toxic mixture of treant sap and Standing Stones dust is very unstable. Discover its true use by testing the Goblin Venom on the goblins of Gloamwood.” Actually, that doesn't sound too noble. Basically, the goblins made this stuff, so we have stolen it and are going to use it on them instead. Karma.
But still. I don’t know about this. Consider the ethical questions it raises. I’m not really comfortable- oh, you want to pay me? Why didn’t you say so? I’ll get right on that.
So I do as I’m told, and guess what? It turns out it was never meant to be used on us. It was for the goblins all the time. Because it Hulks them out. Seriously. It makes them stronger. Not enough to stop me, of course. I still kill them DEAD, but when I return to Laenaya and tell her what happens she is not happy about this. “If this poison spreads among their armies, our regiments will fall, and Gloamwood will burn. Good thing we are here to stop them before that happens.”
We? You mean, me, of course.
Next up I’m heading deeper into Gloamwood to seek out another Forest Altar to summon that ghost chick Laria and speak to her again. I find it next to a small Guardian encampment, and without so much as a “Hi, how are you, Caedryn?”, she launches into her sales pitch. “Since you reawakened my memories, I began to explore this wood again, so changed by the rifts. In my wanderings, I found a memento of my past, a keepsake of my mother's. Someone hid it in Millrush Pond, and I am still too weak to recover it.”
She wants me to find some hidden cave in Millrush Pond and find some artifact. Not too good a swimmer, but sure, I’ll give it a go.
This… is hard. Really hard. The cave is at the end of a long, underwater tunnel. Now, ignoring the fact that I still haven't got the hang of underwater movement, (yes, yes, space bar to rise, right mouse button to sink. Still it's difficult to master.), I have to fight off evil fish creatures at the same time. Needles to say, I die. And I die again. And it's some time before I suddenly remember I have a potion in my backpack that enables me to breathe underwater for up to eight minutes. Score!
After I've swallowed the potion, it's a matter of a few minutes to slaughter the evil fishy-wishies and retrieve Athana's Shard from the treasure chest. I take it back to her, and I can't get a feeling she's just using me to gather up her lost possessions. "Athana's Shard..." she says, "So many times I watched my mother use this in rituals to commune with the forest. Holding this again fills me with a strength I feared was gone forever." Yeah, OK. But what does that do for me? For Telara? Sigh.
I take a wander around the Guardian encampment and pick up a whole load of new quests, and guess what? These don’t even involve goblins! No, this time we’re onto zombies! Cool, yes? Arthur Roames tells me that there is evidence that members of the Endless Court are operating in Gloamwood. He wants me to take these zombies down to Chinatown. This is more like it. It’s zombie killin’ time! Pity I don’t have a shotgun on me. Blowing away zombie heads in a mist of decaying brain matter and congealed blood. What's more fun than that? Nothing, that's what.
I head over to the mill and take the zombies out, then move on to my next task. To destroy a Blacksap Ancient. A Blacksap Ancient Treat has been driven insane by the rift magic and is stomping around killing everyone who lives in the area. I’m to stop it before it reaches the Guardian camp or Gloamwood Pines and crushes everyone underfoot. I spot the Treant after I kill the zombies. It's rather… large. But in for a penny in for a pound. I attack, and… Well, you know scene in Return of the Jedi when the Ewoks swing two huge tree trunk into an Imperial Walker, crushing it between them? That's what this was like. Except instead of an Imperial Walker it was my head.
Might need a bit of help with this one.