Thursday, December 5, 2019

rEverquesting II: Day Two - The Isle of Refuge

rEverquesting II
This is part 2 of our epic journey rerolling a character through Everquest 2. Part 1 can be found here. 

Having apparently blacked out again while the Far Journey docked into the Isle of Refuge, we wake up standing in a field. Immediately, a loud noise followed by a strange voice offers up a quest to talk to someone named Tavil N'Velex. Having been shipwrecked at sea for an unknown number of days, experiencing loss of consciousness, memory loss, and hearing voices in our head, we immediately check ourselves into the closest emergency room.


Just kidding, we see something shiny and immediately pick it up. Then we decided to root around in some shrubs. And then root around in some roots. And animal dens. A bit of ore. And speak of the devil, we meet our woman, Tavil N'Velex. She's going to train me up to be a proper Necromancer (Necromanceress? Neceromancera?).


A couple of notes here. Apparently my character volunteered to sail to an isle in order to pass a citizenship test to gain entry into Freeport. Most citizenship tests involve a lot of paperwork and some test taking. Maybe an oath followed by a lot of picture taking. This one is clearly going to involve a lot of murder.

As evidenced by her now waterlogged scouting party, the penalty for failure on this colony is apparently death. Maybe if they just used a write-up system or some demotions they wouldn't need to train new citizens all the time. Maybe give out some gold stars for good behavior. I don't know. Although, to be fair, the scouts missed what literally hundreds of infinitely respawning Tunarians wandering the Isle. They were really bad at their job.

Anyhow, unimpressed by my victories over the seafaring rodents, we are sent Darg Frostwind, Master of Combat Training, to prove our prowess. We are given a choice between a formidable sparring partner, an average sparring partner, and a weak sparring partner. I have my skelly solo the weak sparring partner because I don't get paid by the hour.

Sucks to suck.

My delegating powers proven, we return to Tayil for our next assignment. She rewards us with a pair of gloves which feels ... reasonable? If I'm going to picking berries and stabbing wood elves you probably do want a pair of gloves. Maybe Freeport is more pragmatic about work-place safety concerns than I thought.

Now we are off to cook lunch. Or at least helping the actual chef to cook lunch. I used to work as a prep chef in college so I'm actually in my element here. Seriously, if you ever need 15 pounds of onions diced I'm your guy. I even have a dagger on me that can double as a decent cooking knife ... and no, apparently we are just murdering bees. Why wouldn't we just ransack their hive for honey? What about a bee is edible? Chef Gorga literally doesn't say what part of the bee we are eating. Do I just bring the whole corpse? I just picked 300 berries, I feel fine skipping lunch.

Nothing says 'delicious tasting stew' like .... bees.
Once our bee slaughter is over, now she wants elk meat. This feels doable. I've had venison before, it's fine. It's a totally normal thing for people to eat. But why does she need this?


She has two giant carcasses right next to her. Why not finish the meat we have here? This stuff goes bad when it's just laying outside. I see no attempts at refrigeration. I don't think this is about cooking at all. I think this is just more bloody murder.

Done with my apparent hazing, we return to Tavil and are sent off to Assassin Vamir. You know what makes a good assassin? Subtlety. You know what's subtle? Telling everyone you're an assassin. Right there in his title. Probably puts it on his business card. Uses it to impress girls at the bar. This is less the Isle of Refuge and more the Island of Misfit Toys. We receive our marching orders and are sent out to assassinate .... bears. This is not assassinating, this is hunting. These people are the worst at their jobs.

Make no mistake, the assassination of Archduke Franz Beardinand began the events we now call World War I.
With the fall of the Wilderbear empire, we move our target to the local hawk population. Again, not an assassination, although we do use bait to bring them into range. So at least we are using something resembling a strategy? It's not necessary, I'm a spellcaster and the hawks are well within range. But this is effort and it's better than we've gotten so far.

As we tidy up from our avian dispatching, we run into another fella, by the name of Charles Arker. This is a high fantasy setting and the dude's name is Charles. Please try to keep up with the aesthetic Charlie. Charley has found an incomplete note containing orders for the Tunarian spies in the area and would like me to kill a few more to piece it altogether. This feels like actual spy stuff. Good work, Chip.

The Tunarian horseriders are formidable, not because of their combat prowess (they die in seconds), but because they apparently have the ability to turn on a dime and ride their horse backwards. Some are able to move quite swiftly despite the horse's legs in no way conforming to the speed they are traveling. One is able to hit me with their weapon despite no movement form their arms whatsoever. Truly magical and fascinating people who all die quickly to a two foot tall skeleton punching them in the horse.

Next we are instructed to kill ... the bears again. The Tunarians are taming the bears and using them to help fight. So we kill the bears? There are almost certainly more bears than Tunarians. Why not kill the Tunarians? My character isn't any smarter than everyone else. I belong here.

Let's get back to Tavil, she'll probably murder us if we don't come running along soon. Now she wants to mess up the Tunarian economy by messing with their mine. Again, if we just kill all the Tunarians or at least drive them off the Isle, we don't need to worry about these things. They weren't turning rock into weapons that fast. This feels like busywork.

Does this even qualify as a mine? This is just shoveling.

We kill some miners and take some ore samples. We're supposed to report to a new guy again, Coercer Zilth. That's a title, but first, let's check in with Charlton. And here it is, the truth comes out. He's got a crush on a local wood elf named Laena. To stop this temptress from seducing him with her feminine wiles, he wants me to kill her. This guy is like the final boss of incels.

So we double back to the bears, to the mine, to the hawks, and she just isn't there. Right when I give up I spot her standing next to some trees. In hindsight this feels exactly where one would fine a wood elf. We murder her, much to the ambivalence of the surrounding elves

We move on to Coercer Zilth who wants us to murder more horseriders. Apparently previous murderings don't count. We need new horses punched in the face. All to create some sort of distraction.


Me in action.

 

Horses punched, and we begin the final assault of the Tunarians. Finally. It's time to actually assassinate the leader! We kill a Captain Tyreth and burn some tents! Fuck yeah! Murder and mild property damage!

But now we have to kill the real leader!

Overseer Adrium in his dreaded ... treehouse. We just have to do the murder this time, although it would make significantly more sense to burn down the permanent structure than some tents. Either way, we finish up the murdering.

But now we have to kill the real leaders!

The Circle of Elders in their dreaded ... cave. We enter the cave and are met with a gauntlet of challengers, including a hawk, a bear, a wolf, and an old man! The old man is level 40, so Tavil comes in and one shots him for me. Literally no reason for me to be involved here. If the training outpost is a bureaucratic waste of time, boy am I sure in a hurry to get to Freeport!

Let's tie up some loose ends. Chucky thanks us for offing his crush, explaining that he is already betrothed, but is new fiance looks like a horse. Killing the elf was clearly the only way to keep these two from just ruining some marital vows.

Charlemagne clearly can't keep the ladies of him.

Yeah this guy must be shooing the women of him. In regards to the Tunarian intelligence, he now wants to meet at a second location to discuss it. Apparently me having routed the Tunarians is unimportant. So this is clearly going to go well.

We meet at "The Nook" which sounds more like a makeout spot than an intelligence drop off point. He explains that he wrote the note to his elf girlfriend, hoping to meet her, but someone else intercepted the note and asked him to investigate it. Except why did the horseriders have copies of the note then? Also it's revealed that I didn't kill Laena, someone else did. Except I did do it. I was there. That literally happened. I pressed the button that lead to her death. I didn't even delegate to my minions. I think we've ran into our first honest-to-goodness bug.

So I guess we're just ignoring that bit? I'm asked to get rid of the evidence by burning it in a very specific firepit. I'm discovered by a field investigator, really more of a private detective, who gives me a quest to question others around the Isle of Refuge about our friend Chuckles's dalliance. Agreeing to go along with this can only potentially implicate me in the fiasco. On the other hand, the investigator is offering a free belt buckle.

I'm a sucker for free swag.

Interviewing a half dozen people leads to the conclusion that no one has heard of the guy. Honestly at this point I'm too tired to care. I collect my Isle of Refuge commemorative belt buckle and call it a day. Tomorrow we'll finish up the side quests on the Isle of Refuge and take our first baby steps into Freeport.

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