So last time, we arrived in Avernum. It’s dark and filthy and our welcoming committee consisted of several people trying to kill us. Not exactly the best start.
Fortunately we’ve survived and made our way out of the Arrival Caves into what looks like some from of civilization. Granted the guards standing around the pit, weapons at the ready doesn’t bode well for us, but before things can get ugly one of the locals steps in.
Looks like we’ve found the Avernites! Maybe they can better explain what’s going on! But first…
“A Thug named Lagran just came out this way. Did you catch him?”
Andrew looks embarrassed. “We tried. When he ran out, his face was covered. By the time we were sure he was the killer and not an innocent arrival, he had already fled.”
“I’m sure he will be found. What happens to me?”
“Well, your new life begins. Now that you have emerged, I have something to say to you.”
As Andrew speaks, the guards nearby watch solemnly. Each of them went through the same ceremony, the beginning of a new life. Andrey says, “On Behalf of Avernum, I Welcome you to your new home, here in the darkness.”
“Our lot is hard, but we are free of the crushing hand of the Empire. We offer you peace and aid, as long as you aid us in return.” He smiles weakly. “That is all. We have some aid for you. Then you can go out and start your new life.”
We likely already know the answer, but let’s ask the obvious question. “Can I return to the surface?”
“A common question, No. I would abandon any hope of ever seeing the sun again. The sooner you give up on that, the sooner you can begin to make a new life out here.”
“I refuse to accept that. There must be a way out.”
Andrew shrugs. “I didn’t not expect you to believe me. That comes in time. One day you will settle in. Life here is hard, but it has it’s own rewards and moments of beauty. Do you need anything else?”
At this point the opening of the game is more or less done. To keep things moving, from this point on I’ll be more likely to summarize conversations than transcribe things like I have been so far, though I’ll still screenshot and transcribe any major conversations. I’ve already been doing that with some of the games descriptive pop-op text as I’m kind of already doing the describing for you anyway.
Andrew does provide a bit more help. He mentioned we can talk to Thairl to get some information on the surrounding area, and a man named Tor nearby can give us some starting supplies. They do this for newcomers so they have a fair chance, and doing otherwise results in desperate, potentially violent citizens.
Also he makes it known that we can’t really stay here. The fort is small and fully manned. So you’ll have to go elsewhere to get your new life started. Best to get our stuff and get going then!
Tor’s hanging out in a nearby building, but right outside we get accosted by this guy. offering an opportunity.He’s been sent out here form Silvar, a settlement to the west, and says we should go talk to the mayor there. He doesn’t give any details but it’s not like anyone else is offering so sure. We’ll probably give that a look later.
It’s not much. He also notes the sorry state of Avernum’s equipment. good mental and the tools to work is are hard to get down here. He mentions the Empire occasionally throws some supplies down here. That would explain the iron bars and grain I found. They occasionally show up in the Arrival Cave along with the exiles.
One quick run back into the cave fixes that. And gets my part a level in the process. I’ll go over that sort of thing in it’s own post a little later.
Grim as he is, he does bring up a few things worth noting. The first thing being the slithzerikai, a race of lizard men that were apparently living down here before we showed up. you might hope this means humanity found some buddies down here, but sadly Avernum’s been at war with them for years.
Also, and perhaps most importantly. There is a sort of civilization down here. Avernum consists of several towns, who’s mayors form a ruling council that works alongside King Micha The great cave that acts as the heart of Avernum is southwest. They even have a castle.
Focusing a bit more locally, he mentions a pair of settlements. Silvar to the west, which we already know about thanks to Varan, and Duvno, which is somewhere to the north. Thairi suggest we had to Silvar first.The fort isn’t much to look at. There’s a small visitors quarters you can rest in if needed. But outside of some locals to talk too there’s not much here. A local grounds keeper helps explain the plant life. They’re magical, Avernum has wizards in a wizard tower no less! they make many of the plants growing down here. There’s also the guard captain, who’s happy to know we can fight and once again mentions the war effort and pushes us towards Silvar. We do find one person of interest though.Warrick has been down here for weeks, looking for information on someone named Anastasia who got exiled a few years ago. She doesn’t give any real detail on why she’s looking, but we’ll keep this in mind for later. We find a spell book belonging to Thairi. mostly uninteresting, but if we had the arcane lore stats for it, we could use it to improve a spell called Call Storm. Something to keep in mind for later.
Anyway, with not much to do down here and various plot/quest hooks calling us elsewhere. It’s about time we get going.It’s a great big, dark, underground world out there after all.Exploring it might take awhile…