One Golem to Rule Them All
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Forename. I trust you have prepared yourself well. Our foe musters at Anyx Trine. The hour of our final confrontation is nigh.
The Hearer and our beastman friends are en route to the forelands as we speak, and I would join them with all haste. Come as soon as you are able─Shatotto will be awaiting your arrival.
Deep in the mountains, the golems feed on each other with brutal savagery even as we speak, their thirst for power nigh unquenchable.
To fell the feral golems and cast away the baleful star from the sky, whatever strength I can summon from within me is yours.
Squawwwk! N-Not with fear do Dozol's limbs shake, but with passion and exhilaration for the battle to come! G-Great passion. Tremendous passion!
The golem will not grow too large, will it? I prefer foes to be more compact like myself─tiny, puny, compact.
Why, thank you so very much, Lalai. What with my own corporeal form having long since faded to dust, it is an honor and a pleasure to see my legacy carried on by women, men, and beastmen after my own─oops, was I just speaking aloud?
You can stop gawking any time now. Or have you forgotten that we have an army of power-hungry golems bent on destroying our realm to dispose of? Fortunately, I have already formulated the perfect plan of attack. You three will see to the stragglers still attempting to scale the mountain. I trust you can handle that much?
The Hearer, Forename, and myself will scale the summit, where the oversized, augmented agglomeration of golems surely awaits us.
If I may be so bold, Lady Shatotto, I would proffer a small amendment to this plan. Sohm Al, as you surely know, is a holy place to all the dragons who call this land home─I am ill inclined to wage battle without first obtaining their blessing.
The Elder Seedseer has told me that Forename has a friend among their kind. Mayhap it would be best if he sought the counsel of this Vidofnir before we proceed.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but that's hardly the worst idea I've heard today! After all, it could hardly hurt to add another powerful ally to our ranks. What are we waiting for, then? Lead the way!
A master of the dark arts and a confidant of dragons? You never cease to surprise me, friend.
It's a good thing we have you to preemptively clear up any potential misunderstandings. While I'm confident in my ability to eradicate any foe, incinerating an entire dragon would leave an awful mess.
An unholy menace doth gather in our midst, threatening to summon doom from the heavens down upon this realm─such is thy plight?
I, too, did sense the presence of an intruder in our sacred home. At first, I was content to observe, but the danger hath grown too great.
...Warrior of warriors. If thou and thine would take up arms against our common foe, thou dost have my blessing.
Well, that's a ringing endorsement if I've ever heard one! Hearer─send word to our beastman friends: we commence the operation at once!
There's no time to lose, Forename. Let's make for the summit and dispose of the abomination that awaits us before the comet gets too close for comfort!
Warrior of warriors...I leave the removal of the intruder in thy capable hands.
...Understood. Pray leave the rest to us.
Lady Shatotto. My colleague from the Observatorium has confirmed your suspicions. On its current path, the falling star will sail wide of us─if by the slimmest of margins. And yet that path shifts with every second, bringing us slowly but inexorably to the brink of calamity.
Call it a hunch, but I do believe this imposing fellow might be responsible.
Well, I'm glad to see that the obvious hasn't escaped you. At any rate, our task is clear: we need only reduce him to dust before he can summon his dear mother any closer.
Well, Forename? Are you ready to stand alongside the greatest mage to ever live in a battle for the very future of your world? Look sharp─this is our time to shine!
Victory is ours. I only pray it does not come too late.
Perhaps if you had some black magic in your repertoire...but it is no matter. I have the utmost faith that Forename and my efforts were not in vain.
That light! The Twelve have mercy...
Here it comes...and there it goes! And with that, my friends, I do believe we've been spared a most crushing fate.
Stand tall, Forename─you and I just saved the world. And I suppose I should thank you as well, Hearer, for doing a most remarkable job of not mucking everything up.
And with that, I believe my work here is done. While I'd love nothing more than to stay and savor our victory a bit longer, all good things must come to an end...
Don't look all sad, now. With such promising protégés to carry on my legacy, I can go to rest knowing that I did not mother the art of destruction in vain.
You have seen our art wielded for the greatest of good and the worst of evil. Having witnessed firsthand your prowess and the sheer strength of your resolve, I gladly leave the future of our art in your hands. Walk the path well, Forename of the black...
...That millennia from now, when we have long since faded to a dim memory, those who follow in our footsteps may yet wield their prodigious powers against any who would bring harm to our fair realm.
Be proud, Forename. Having shared a mind with Mistress Shatotto all this time, I can assure you that effusive praise does not come easily to her lips. I can still scarcely believe she did me the honor of choosing my body as a vessel...
Before meeting her in the flesh─in a manner of speaking─I had assumed Death's Handmaiden was little more than a witch obsessed with fire and destruction. It would seem my impression may have been in error.
May have been? Does your prudish, pigheaded prejudice know no end!?
Hmph! As charming as ever, I see. I daresay you could learn a thing or two from your esteemed forebear on how to treat a gentleman!
Oh, is that so!? <If(PlayerParameter(4))>Forename! If you happen to see any gentlemen around these parts, do let me know<Else/>I do believe I treat true gentlemen just fine─as Forename here would know</If>.
At any rate, we are done here. Let us leave this uncultured boor here to reflect for a bit on how to treat a lady.
The presence hath lifted─the unholy intruder defiles these sacred grounds no more. Thou hast served us well, child of man.
Our beastman allies await us at Anyx Trine. We must share word of our triumph without delay.
I know not if our beastman friends saw the comet cross the sky, but they are doubtless eager to hear tidings of our final battle. Let us go and set their minds at ease.
Squawwwk! Return from battle, Dozol's friends do! Safe from harm, you are?
I saw the comet sailing through the sky─hurtling, shooting, sailing! You are safe, yes? Yes, yes, you are!
Many golems did come to scale the peak, but they come no more─laid low by our magicks. The heavens, too, are calm─I trust your battle with the great beast ended in victory?
Just so, my friend. Not to boast, but even Lady Shatotto was most impressed with our efforts. Is that not so, Forename?
Three cheers for Shatotto! Three cheers for Forename! Three cheers for the art of destruction! Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah!
Far be it from me to rain on your parade, but let us not forget that the healer in your ranks played at least a small part in your victory.
Squawwwk! A happy day, this is! Fly home to share the joy with his brothers and sisters, Dozol will! You will visit Dozol again to share magical learnings, yes? Till then, friend!
I, too, must take my leave. But know that even when we are apart, we always stand as one. Till next we meet, my friend.
I, too, must return to Gridania to deliver my official report. I suppose this is farewell, at least for now.
Well, don't let us keep you. Though...ah, I was wondering if I might express my gratitude to your colleagues at the Observatorium. On behalf of Mistress Shatotto, that is...
Leave that to me. I fear not all of my friends are so open-minded─if they were to learn that I had allied myself with beastmen and practitioners of the dark arts, there is no telling what sort of twisted rumors might spread...
Fear not, Lalai. You have my word that as Hearer and healer, I will do aught I can to work toward a day when you and your fellows can stand proud and receive credit for all the good you have done.
I could not bear to say this in his presence, but our Hearer friend has come quite far, wouldn't you say? I, too, would do everything in my power to make that day a reality.
And with that, I do believe our job here is done. Shall we return to the Sacrarium?
Welcome back, Forename. Once again, I must express my gratitude for all you have done, as well as my profound respect─you have mastered our art to a degree that few of us ever attain.
While it is not like me to dwell on such matters, I was just reflecting on the Hearer's words. Once again, the truth of the battle we waged will never be known to those we fought to save.
Needless to say, we do not do what we do for accolades or glory. We do it because it must be done─and to sate our own intellectual curiosity. And yet, it does not sit well with me...
No, I cannot just turn a blind eye while the deeds of my friends and mentors are swallowed by history, never again to see the light.
When the day will come that we can emerge from the shadows, I cannot say. But for that day─and for the eyes of all who would follow in our footsteps─I would put all I have seen to paper, just as Master Ququruka once did.
All we have learned of our realm and the arcane, of course─but that is not all. I would write of the bravery of our beastman friends, of a stubborn and self-important Hearer who against all odds proved himself a friend...
Most of all, I would write of the illustrious founder of our glorious art, and the adventurer who she would personally entrust with carrying on her legacy. Why, I daresay the chapter will write itself!
Well, aren't you a big boy...? All right, I'll draw him to us─let's cut him down to size!
Be strong, my friends! My magicks will salve your wounds.
What's this...!? Look out, my friends! Something comes from above!
A fragment of the comet!? Whatever is happening here!?
It's absorbing aether from the fragment! Come back here, you oversized brute!
Brace yourself, my friends! Again, it comes!
Quickly, now! We must destroy it before our foe can reap its powers!
Again!? I swear, if I never see another of these stones for the rest of my days...
Yes, yes, yes... Less talking and more destroying, I say!
Don't just stand there and gape! Destroy the stone before our foe can absorb its power!
The golem's strength grows!
Drat! It would seem our foe has drunk its fill. This doesn't bode well for us...
We can ill afford to allow this monstrosity to sate its hunger any further!
Another fragment!? Let us blast it from our sight with all speed!
Our foe drinks once more! We must not allow it to absorb any more aether!
The body grows weak...and the mind must...rest...
Forgive me, my friends...! I have...failed you...