06 - Return of Greatness
I am happy to return to this blog with progress and improvement in the game, returned Internet service, and improved spirits. I've also been getting lots of reading done. I'm currently reading The Ruins by Scott Smith which isn't my normal cup of tea, but it's pretty good. Got it under recommendation of the Library Police Podcast which is also very good. Check it out.
What have you been up to?
Other than being dreadfully sick with a flu I can't get rid of, I've been playing some Planescape. Luckily, the combat portion has ended and we've moved back into the bread and butter of central hubs, people to talk to, and awesome awesome story reveals and twists. The end of the second act is taking off like a rocket and I'm enjoying the ride. I will find kidnapped craniums, find out who the big baddie is, and interface with said baddie through a virtual reality system only this world can have. Join me.
Where o' where has my little skull gone....
After popping out into the Lower Ward, the Nameless One was distracted by some peddler selling shiny objects while some wererats kidnapped Morte! I thought this would be the major plot point of the act, but I was completely wrong. This section has several venues to check out including a market, a print shop, a pawn shop, a mysterious siege tower in the middle of town, an abandoned house, and The Great Foundry (Home of the Godsmen). The Godsmen are a sect that believe in a higher power and order beyond the chaos of the planes. I checked out their HQ in the Great Foundry and it turns out I had commissioned a project there eons ago called the Dreammaker. It was prophecy and was said I would come back, and here I am! Stuff like this is really cool and I want to get into the machine, but the builder said he needs some skin and some blood. Shouldn't be too tough.
I spend the rest of the time panicked and looking for Morte. Who would want to steal a skull?! Apparently, everybody around town knows of a guy who collects bones named Lothar. I investigated the abandoned building and found Morte stuck in a whole library of skulls that you may have seen in the intro video in the first post. I talked to Lothar who was willing to accept a skull of higher value in trade... luckily I was still holding Suego's skull from my foray into the Dead Nation. He took it, gave me back my skull, AND tipped me off with a huge lead.
[Ravel Puzzlewall, the woman who stole my soul.]
When asking my companions and others about who this Ravel is, I get one definite answer: Somebody never to be messed with. She's a witch who plays games with people and ran afoul of the leader of the city, The Lady of Pain, who mazed the hag for attempting to unlock the largest puzzle box of them all... the city of Sigil. She basically tried to open all the portals at once to allow in an infernal army to cause trouble. The Lady obviously doesn't like this. So, how can I infiltrate a pocket universe to find Ravel? We'll have to see. Somebody tipped me off about a great place called the Sense Stones in the Clerk's Ward...
VR for the Planes
The clerk's ward is a shopping area with two large landmarks. One is a Brothel that I will visit next post, and the other is a Festhall featuring the Sense Stones. These are stones that, when touched, allow the user to experience others' sensations of pain, joy, loneliness, and anything else. This is my next destination.
I found out quickly that this place is pretty exclusive and you have to be a Sensate to use the stones. This was easy enough to become, I just donated a new vivid experience to them. Waking up from death in the mortuary!
[How do you like that? Boom!]
After being allowed in, I found three sense stones that I proceeded to use. Somehow... they all related to me. One stone was labeled 'Longing' and forced me to relive an argument I had with a former lover that appeared as a ghost in the mortuary named Deionnara. It was pretty terrible showing an evil former self manipulating her into following me to death, even though she knew it would end this way. Another stone was set as a trap by a crazed version of myself that I escaped by staring at the construct's tattoos until it got pissed and let me out. The last stone was pay dirt.
Accessing this stone placed me into a painful memory of someone with all limbs and both eyes removed. Because you BECOME the person in the memory, you react as they did... but this one was a little different. A woman asked who I was, and when I spoke her name she responded to me directly. "Ravel." She had placed herself into the sensate stone waiting for me! Now, I can't figure out if I was connected to a real vessel through magic or if this were a manipulated memory, but she told me exactly how to find her so I can get my soul back. Maybe this isn't a good idea since everybody is telling me she'll blast me to kingdom come...
[Things are coming together.]
I need to find a key and the portal to open it to find Ms. Puzzlewall. She straight up told me the portal is in the Great Foundry. To get the key, I have to ask another sensate to divine it. Unfortunately, he has no interest in me. He just keeps eating candy and walking around... until I said something to make him spit out his candy. I ate it and owe him now. He demands chocolate or candy that is very special... and I have just the right idea.
I am obviously leaving out a lot of small side quests because there are too many to mention and I don't want to necessarily spoil everything... although I am already, I guess. Anyway, next time I need to pick up some special chocolate, rebuild the dream machine, and find Ravel to sort this whole thing out.
I'm going to post another entry after this one about some of the failings of the game and its pluses that I think make it what it is. My memory of the game was something that was pretty much flawless, but this was not the case. It turns out most of my favorite games follow this kind of "genius with a major drawback" problem. I hope to explore some of those and get some more critical aspects I wanted to add to the blog out of my head in a separate entry. Check it out.