Risen Journal 05: Wherein Our Hero Goes Cardio-Crazy

There’s something I have to take care of before I head out on my “diplomatic” mission. Remember those thieves I helped out of Harbour Town earlier? Well, I didn’t just do it out of the goodness of my heart. I’ve had this quest for a while now that I haven’t had time to tackle, to find the entrance to some ruined temple on the opposite side of the island and find three treasure seekers to go dig it up.

After I inform one of the Don’s officers in the camp that I’ve found the three treasure seekers, who are triplets, he tells me to tell them to get to work. I should point out now that I have still yet to check out this temple, myself.

Returning to the beach outside Harbour Town, I find the three brothers still waiting, sitting around a fire. I tell them about the temple, about what they need to do, and they assure me they’ll be on their way shortly to get to work. Then they sit right back down and continue poking at the fire.

“That’s fine,” I say to myself. “I’m sure the game will just teleport them there since they’d likely be killed by a gorilla or something if the AI had to make the trek.” I decide to go off to the temple finally and meet them there. Upon arriving at the temple, however, I find myself alone. They aren’t here and the entrance to the temple is collapsed.

I’m going to digress from my digression for a moment (I know this is getting convoluted but please bear with me) to talk about one of my general pet-peeves with games that omit any kind of fast travel. I’m impatient and, personally, I think every open-world game should have some form of fast travel.

I also respect the position of the designer if they want every leg of your journey to feel like a journey in itself. I can appreciate that I have to explore this island on foot and alone. However, while this concept works in theory, it breaks down when you face the fact that games don’t always work as they should.

I’ve played enough of these rough-around-the-edges RPGs to puzzle out my current situation: I have likely skipped a step with this quest, so while I told the brothers to head to the temple, I missed some other trigger that actually sends them there, and now I have to run around trying to figure out where I went wrong.

That run takes me all the way back to the brothers, to make sure I didn’t miss any dialogue options. When I confirm that I didn’t, I have to hike all the way back to the camp, to the questgiver, to tell him that I finally visited the temple myself, then tell him that I sent the treasure seekers there as well. Next, back to the beach to see if they’re still there, sitting at that fire. They are not. Returning to the temple, I find that they’ve now arrived.

It turns out that I was, indeed, supposed to visit the temple myself first. Since I was able to tell the men to go there regardless, I just ignored that step. I have no idea which part of this quest actually triggered the brothers going to the temple. What we have here is a completely linear quest that branches off, pointlessly, into multiple parts that all lead to the same goal. The game allowed me to skip a step and then refused to recognize that I had done so. This is a problem.

Ugh. Are you as exhausted as I am after that?

Back on track, I’m on my way to the monastery to meet with the Inquisitor when I pass a farm that’s occupied by the Inquisition. Novices are lugging crates into the buildings, which are clearly being used as storehouses. Guards are posted all about and an important-looking man is standing like a sentinel at the rear of the farm, supervising the workers. Ah, mid-level management.

In an attempt to be a good and sincere diplomat, despite my shady mission objective, I introduce myself as such to the boss. Naturally, he isn’t thrilled about my presence, but he’s nothing if not professional. After answering some general questions about the area and his group’s operations, he mentions a camp to the west, led by a man named Rudolph, that they haven’t heard from in quite some time.

*Gulp*

That does sound…familiar. Nervously, I tell him that Rudolph has, uh, “passed.” I know I probably shouldn’t, but my guilt over the thrill that I felt killing this man’s brothers in that first battle is overwhelming me. He’s no idiot; he immediately picks up that the Don’s men were likely behind it and that I, as a high-ranking member (now), probably had “something” to do with it. Nevertheless, this man is a professional. He mourns the situation, acknowledges that war is likely coming and steels himself for the inevitable.

He also brings up an issue that he and his men have been having with local gnomes stealing their supplies. Hating gnomes, and he hating them as much as I, I feel that solving this problem of theirs is the least I could do to make some amends. I guess I’m not much of a spy?

The gnomes fall easily and swiftly to my newly upgraded sword skill and I’m promptly off to the monastery (finally). Announcing myself as the Don’s diplomat, I’m immediately allowed entrance. Almost too immediately, I think. My suspicions turn out to be correct.

I’m greeted inside by a presumably high-ranking member of the Inquisition, who points me toward the office of the Inquisitor. When I ask how I can leave the monastery after the meeting, he tells me that first I will meet with the Inquisitor, then he and I will discuss the possibility that I might ever leave this place.

*Gulp*

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