On my way to the swamp, I dropped into Fawn and gave Delin a letter from his stolen son Freli. Delin offered me a discount at his shop, but there was nothing I was keen on. Overall, Filari is the most useless currency in the game and the exchange rate is crappy, too.
I seemed to vaguely remember that there was a way to keep all the juicy magical armour and weapons you find in the land of dreams, and after consulting the internet I cast Serpent Bond and entered the swamp as a snake.
After I woke up in the Dream Realm and regained my normal shape, my companions joined me and I could just dump the magical goodies onto them, which they’d keep back in the real world. Thanks internet!
I talked to Siranush, who asked me to help release her people from Rabindrinath’s evil spell which keeps them trapped in the Dream Realm, and in return she promised to give me the Serpent Necklace. But before storming the castle, I wanted to have a look around this bizarre land of altered reality and snoop on other people’s dreams. The highlights were:
– Lord British inside the ruined Royal Castle, where you find a full suit of magic armour and Infinity Bow. I haven’t noticed before that in the dream, LB’s normal throne changes to an evil-looking demon seat.
I like that the conversation with LB reverts back to the TBG mode of Name – Job – Bye. LB tells you that Britannia is screwed, with the storms and earthquakes ravaging the land, Emps dying out and gargoyles falling into deep sleep.
– Ensorcio’s revenge fantasy where he tortures Filbercio.
– Batlin likewise dreams of killing Avatar in the most painful way possible.
– Cantra’s nightmare as she’s chased by something evil.
– And my favourite dream, in which Stefano plays tag with a bunch of naked women on a tropical island.
Inside Rabindrinath’s castle, I also met Smith, who takes the shape of a nightmare and gives you a typically useless clue. Rabindrinath’s bad poetry recitals prove to be no match against the artifacts of love, truth and courage, so he bites the dust. Siranush then destroys the Dream Crystal before saying goodbye to Edrin, who she was sort of dating in his dreams.
The Great Northern Forest
The swamp is pretty annoying to navigate and I hit a few dead ends before finally making it to the other side. I was prepared for it, but I still jumped when the Great Earth Serpent appeared with his portrait at 100% opacity. He’s basically Serpent Isle’s version of Time Lord, except that Time Lord was a lot more discreet about his appearances.
I found the pitiful remains of the failed expedition on the western shore, including a burnt ship, and the abandoned buildings of the original camp. Further north, inside the miners’ camp, I talked to Beryl who begged me to free her from Draygan, the former leader of the expedition who enslaved her.
For such a big area, there’s not that much to be found in the forest, other than a few hollow trees and the house of Hazard the Trapper. I met Morghrim, the cranky Forest Master and the fugitive of Pagan; safe to say that Guardian is not his favourite person. He told me where to find King’s Saviour, a plant necessary to defeat Draygan, and promised to help me contact the Hound of Doskar if I helped retrieve the stolen magical Orb.
Back at the camp, I shot Draygan with a sleeping arrow. It’s a bit annoying, by the way, that at times Beryl offers you arrows lying around her cabin, and then attacks you if you try to take them. What the hell, lady! Anyway, I returned the Orb to Morghrim and he gave me a special whistle for summoning the Hound. I’m more of a cat person myself, but I have to admit that this dog is adorable. He looks like a familiar breed, but I’m not a dog expert enough to pinpoint which one.
After the Hound sniffs Cantra’s wooden sword and points east, we came across a castle which Shamino recognised as his former home. Inside, we were greeted by the ghost of Beatrix, Shamino’s ex, who is mighty angry after all these centuries and stuffed the castle with booby traps, like the animated suits of armour and a bunch of undead.
A diary on a dead body in the kitchen also sheds light on Batlin’s adventures in the north and the hunt for Daemon’s Souls (Banes of Chaos).
In the central keep, we fought Batlin’s minions, before Batlin himself showed up, jeered for a bit, then disappeared again. Xenkan monk takes away Cantra’s body with a promise of restoring her to life, and note to self, you have to make the Hound sniff Batlin’s Fellowship medallion or the damn game will not progress.
Now it’s time to head north, but first I had to come back to Monitor to buy warm clothes for the expedition, so I went into the kitchen and walked in front of the fire-spewing stove so that I could die and get resurrected in the middle of Harnna’s wheat field.