Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Case Study No. 1728: Tarantian Librarian

Let's Play - Arcanum - Part 59 - Evil Library
Walkthrough or Guide to Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

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Tags: Arcanum Let's Play PC game Trokia Trokia Games Min'Gorad molochean hand derian ka renford a. terwilliger curse of t'sen-ang t'sen-ang victor misk
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[the player enters the Tarantian Library ("15 University Court, Library of Tarant") and walks up to the female librarian]
LIBRARIAN: Greetings. Allow me to welcome you to the Library of Tarant. Could I interest you in becoming one of our esteemed members?
[the player selects "Do you have T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves?"]
LIBRARIAN: I suspect that we may very well have a copy. However, without a membership, I am sorry but I can not assist you.
[the player selects "Membership?"]
LIBRARIAN: That is correct. Anyone who wishes to peruse our volumes of knowledge must become a member. The Library of Tarant contains a myriad of books which house many diverse subjects.
[the player selects "How much is it for a membership?"]
LIBRARIAN: A lifetime membership costs a mere 1500 coins.
[the player selects "I would like a membership, here's the fee"]
LIBRARIAN: Thank you, and welcome. All of the books contained in the great Library are free for you to peruse and borrow.
[the player selects "Perhaps you will allow me a few more questions?"]
LIBRARIAN: It is a pleasure.
[the player selects "T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves ... Do you have it?"]
LIBRARIAN: "T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves?" Sounds spooky ...
[the player selects "Does the library have it?"]
LIBRARIAN: Do you know who the author would be?
[the player selects "Renford A. Terwilliger"]
LIBRARIAN: Wait here a moment. I'll go and look.
[the player selects "Wait"]
LIBRARIAN: I am sorry, sir. But I was not able to find "T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves." However, I did find another book that may be of interest to you.
[the player selects "What book would that be?"]
LIBRARIAN: The book is titled "Curse of T'sen-Ang." It appears to be a book about the one you are searching for.
[the player selects "Sounds interesting. May I check it out?"]
LIBRARIAN: Yes, of course, sir.
["She hands you the book" appears on screen, and the player selects "Thank you"]
LIBRARIAN: Is there anything else I can assist you in locating?
[the player selects "I must be going", then selects "The Curse of T'sen-Ang" from his inventory]

The Curse of T'sen-Ang
by Kendrick Wales

In the following pages I, Kendrick Wales, will attempt to explain, in the plainest words possible, the mysteries surrounding Renford A. Terwilliger and his controversial work known as "T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves." Many of the stories I will present to you are both strange and frightening, but I give you my word as an author and a scholar that they are the truth. Decide yourself, after the facts are presented, whether or not you dare to believe them.

Renford A. Terwilliger was born in 1750. His fabled trip to the Glimmering Forest was made in 1768, his eighteenth year. He was indeed, as per his book, accompanied by an elven tracker named Jar'en Ben'al; records housed within the Tarantian Zooligical Society validate this fact. Mr. Ben'al was never heard from nor seen again after the expedition.

As for Mr. Terwilliger's account of his adventures in the elven city of Qintarra, or his supposed discovery of the mythical T'sen-Ang, no one can be sure. Most scholars and collectors of literature assume that Mr. Terwilliger's book is a work of fiction. And as such fantastical literature was all the rage at that time, I might be inclined to agree. Yet one must only look upon the events following the publication of "Horror Among the Dark Elves" to see that he very well may have found something deep within the Glimmering that was never, ever meant to be found.

There were very few copies of the book ever published. Records concerning the initial print run are scarce, but it is believed that no more than 100 were ever released to the public. 4 days after the book was shipped to Tarantian bookstores, the factory that printed it was burned to the ground. The owner, a Mr. Jeremiah Gomes, was found in his home, brutally murdered by an unknown assailant.

The four bookstores that had purchased the volume for sale in Tarant suffered the same fate. Only fifteen copies of the book were sold before the final store was destroyed.

Those fifteen copies became an immediate collector's item. Enormous sums of money were paid for the remaining volumes. After a few months, the books had fallen into various, respected collections across Arcanum.

Each and every one of the owners of the books began to complain of strange happenings once the book was in their possession. All of them told of frightening noises and visions, shadowy figures following them wherever they went, unexplained illnesses and untimely deaths. Many attributed this to paranoia, a trite brand of sensationalism to create an even greater demand for the book. Unfortunately, their fears were all too justified. All of them were dead within 5 years of the initial publication, their volumes either stolen, burned or disfigured beyond recognition.

Indeed, they had suffered what came to be known as the Curse of T'sen-Ang.

Mr. Terwilliger, strangely enough, lived a relatively long life, cursed, in his own way, to witness the evil fruits of his labors. He saw himself as the cause of these horrors, and wrote extensively of it within his memoirs. The following is an excerpt from them, only days before he died in his sleep.

"I will never forgive myself for what I have unleashed upon the world. Had I the courage, I would travel again to the Glimmering and unleash holy vengeance upon those evil creatures that have plagued our fair land and its peoples. Alas, I no longer have the strength nor the power, and now there is only my own end that I pray for every day."

Until just a few short months ago, it was thought that there were no remaining copies of "Horror Among the Dark Elves". After an exhaustive investigation, I have found that this is not at all the case. The last known copy of the book, owned by the famed book collector Mr. Phillip Misk, was thought to have perished with its owner in a fire almost 50 years ago. Now, with new evidence presented by a reliable source, I have discovered that Mr. Misk's son, Victor Misk of Caladon, still has the copy in his possession and is hiding it for fear that the curse will again visit his family.

I pray that the evil let loose in the Glimmering has finally been put to rest. And I pray Mr. Misk and his family avoid the fate that has befallen every other soul who has challenged the Curse of T'sen-Ang.


From wikipedia.org:

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (more commonly known as Arcanum) is a 2001 role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in August 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Debuting at fourth position on NPD Intelect's best-seller list, it was Troika's first game and also their best-selling title with over 234,000 copies sold and with revenues of US$8.8 million.

The story takes place on the continent of Arcanum, which is a fantasy setting that is in the process of an industrial revolution. The story begins with the crash of the zeppelin IFS Zephyr, of which the protagonist is the only survivor, which leads him throughout the land in search of answers. The game employs an isometric perspective and features an open game world where the protagonist can travel unhindered.


From gamefaqs.com:

Now you can return to Raven and finally meet the Silver Lady. Listen to everything she says, and then talk to Raven and listen to everything she says as well. It's ok if you don't understand most of it. All you need to take away is that M'in Gorad might be a Dark Elf, and that in order to find the home of the Dark Elves, you'll have to track down a human named Dr. Renford A. Terwilliger, who was last known to be in Tarant.

"It's an interesting thing about prophecies, traveler. They're no
clearer to one such as myself, living both in and out of the stream,
than they are to you, walking on the shore." -- The Silver Lady

So head on back to Tarant. When you get there, go to the Department of Records and ask the clerk about Terwilliger. She won't find anything, so suggest she check back 50-100 years. She'll find an obituary for Terwilliger, and it will list him as the author of "T'sen-Ang: Horror Among the Dark Elves." You'll then receive a quest to track down the book.

Note: If you discovered Terwilliger's grave marker at the cemetery before going to the Hall of Records, you can immediately ask the clerk to find his obituary. Also, if you killed or otherwise can't deal with the records clerk, the obituary can be found in the rightmost filing cabinet in the locked room nearby.

"Mr. Terwilliger's publicist announced that the troubled author had
recently been undergoing treatment to aid with ongoing delusions that
someone was attempting to murder him for publishing his
work." -- from Terwilliger's obituary in the Tarantian

Your next stop should be the university library. They won't have a copy of "Horror" but they will have a copy of a related book, "Curse of T'sen-Ang" by Kendrick Wales (who you might have met in Ashbury). If you're feeling generous, you can buy a lifetime membership to the library and get Wales' book that way. Otherwise you can rob or kill the librarian to get the book.

When you read "Curse" you'll find that everybody involved in publishing or owning "Horror" has met an untimely end, but that one copy of the book still remains. You'll then receive a quest to find the owner of that last copy, VICTOR MISK of Caladon.


From sierrahelp.com:

Tarant (972 W, 1028 S)

You just cross the bridge to the NE here to enter the city of Tarant. The telegraph office where Joachim said you could collect a telegram from him is at 79 Kensington Broadway (the large street you are now standing on). It seems Joachim could not meet you here in Tarant either, and suggests the town of Stillwater as a meeting place...

If you stumbled upon the Thieves Underground while completing Shrouded Hills Quest 1, when you talk to the man standing in the alley in Lusgsten Road he'll mention a fellow named Thaddeus Mynor, who lives on the corner of Westrel South and Quilton Bend. It seems Mr. Mynor can put you in touch with this Thieves Underground. If you visit Mr. Mynor, who lives in the NE part of town, you'll be able to get Quest 14.

There are tons of shops in Tarant. I didn't bother to document many of them unless the owners were part of a quest. Feel free to peruse them and spend all your hard earned coin!

P. Schuyler & Sons is a bit difficult to find. If you head down the second street off Kensington Broadway (Devonshire Way), you'll see an alley to the right. P. Schuyler & Sons is at the end of that alley.

Magnus the dwarf, standing just outside P. Schuyler & Sons, shares a common interest in that he also has a piece of jewelry made by them. He will join your party if you so wish.

Inside P. Schuyler & Sons, talk to James Kingsford. At first, he won't entertain you. However, with a little Persuasion I was able to get a key off him for the back room. If you press him too far and try to make him tell everything, he succumbs to a mysterious poison attack. However, you can still get the key and then just let him run off. You now have access to a basement via a trap door in the back room. The Zombies down in the basement aren't too tough if you can manage to peel them off one at a time, but if you let them gang up on you, you're probably goners. There are 2 levels worth of them... and then you finally get to meet up with the Schuyler family of wizards! You can talk your way through the whole encounter and make a pact not to let the world in on their terrible little secret. In any event, you find out that the owner of the ring you are carrying is named Gilbert Bates, and you have just completed Crash Site Quest 1, and Shrouded Hills Quest 4. You have also landed Quest 3 below.

I chose to kill all the Schuylers afterwards. You don't lose any Alignment points, and there's a pretty good cache of stuff in their locked Mystic Chest. Winston Schuyler has the key to the filing cabinets on him. One of the cabinets contains the purchase order from Gilbert Bates' father that comissioned the ring.

There is a Panarii temple here on the NW part of Lion's Head Circle (No. 7). You can talk to the priest there to gain a bit more knowledge of your situation. He suggests the Panarii temple in Caladon for further reading.

Vermillion Station is located on Vermillion Road, west side of town. You can reserve seats for either Ashbury or Blackroot at a cost of 75 Gold per person.

At 32 Mulligan Bone Alley, in the NE part of town, there's a load of stuff in a warehouse (most notably some nice helmets) once you get through the locked door. The catch is, it's guarded by 4 Mechanized Arachnids, all Level 20! They damage all weapons too. Good luck.

The Zoological Society is located in University Court, in the NW part of Tarant. You can view the skull of a great dragon there, and viewing the plaque that describes the skull puts the location of his remains on your World Map. See section on Bellerogrim's Lair below. Also, there's an Ancient Iron Chest on exhibit that was unearthed in Bellerogim's lair. Seemingly, no one has ever been able to open it. You COULD expend a Fate Point to open the Chest, but you'd be getting ahead of yourself if you did that. A better solution will present itself in due time...

All the way at the back of University Court there's a building housing a few boffins who will expound their theories to you. Slightly more useful is a bookseller there who will sell you Technical Manuals that increase your skill in the various technological disciplines. However, the person in this building you should really seek out is Aldous T. Buxington III. He gives you a book entitled "The Pagan Gods of Arcanum". This book, coupled with information provided by the chart on his wall sets you off on a very interesting quest that's also a great stats builder! See The 12 Altars of the Pagan Gods section towards the end of this guide for details on solving this intricate puzzle.

Xe'rad's Magick Armoury, located at 23 Desaille Terrace in the NW of town, is a good source of magickal weapons and armour.

The Boil is the seediest part of town. It's the area to the south of the Garillion Bridge, where you first entered Tarant. If you can manage to take out the human and the two orc bandits guarding the entrance to the west side of the Boil, you're in. Watch out, they have fatigue-draining weapons! Once past these bandits, you'll notice a bar right there with no name on its sign. If you talk to the bartender, you can get Quest 19. Then, you have a choice of working for one of the two gangs that control the area. Once you choose a side, you won't be able to take any jobs from the other side. So... if you want to work for Pollock, talk to the halfling bandit standing in the SW part of the bar. He'll send you over to Miranda Tears, who will give you Quest 25 for starters. If instead you want to work for Darian Maug, then talk to one of the two half-orcs standing at the table to the east. He'll send you over to talk to the dwarf Muggs and you'll get Quest 27.

At the docks, right across from Madam Lil's, there's a Junk Dealer who's an Expert in Repair (and he can train you as an Expert in Repair too). He can fix even the most heavily damaged things back to within only a point or two of their original condition, and he's very cheap too.

Just south of Thaddeus Mynor's place at the end of Quilton Bend there's a small unoccupied building. Around the back of this building, through an opening in the wall, is another gypsy woman who can identify items for you.

Poone at Poone's Flophouse on 13 Low Dervish Row will train you as an Expert in Pick Pockets.

If you pay a visit to the Tarantian Water and Power Plant on Lion's Head Circle and speak to the dwarf Charles Dunston, you'll find out that he's sealed off part of the sewers due to the dangerous beasts that are inhabiting them. He won't seem to let you through the locked door to the sewers no matter how good your Persuasion skills are. However, as usual, there IS another way... in the far SE part of town past the docks, there's an entrance to the locked part of the sewers in a small hut at the end of a narrow walkway that leads to the middle of the river. The going is easy down there at first, but then you may run into some really tough Elemental creatures. Anyway, from this part of the sewers you can get to places topside that are otherwise very difficult to get to, like back entrances to thieve's hideouts in the Boil :-)


Obtain a copy of "Horror Among the Dark Elves" by Renford A. Terwilliger - 6400 XP. You get this quest by solving Qintarra Quest 8, whereby you found the obituary of Terwilliger. Well, a good spot to look for books is the Tarantian Library, and it's right around the corner from the Hall of Records, behind the Zoological Society. Here's your excuse to finally fork over the 1500 Gold to become a lifetime member of the Library. The librarian will then try to find a copy of "Horror Among the Dark Elves" for you, but none are available. However, she does manage to find "The Curse of T'sen-Ang", which turns out to be almost as useful. It's written by Kendrick Wales (remember, the secretive author who lives in Ashbury!), and it alleges that the single known remaining copy of "Horror..." is in the possession of one Victor Misk, who lives in Caladon. For the moment you can't complete this quest, but you now have Quest 32 to tackle instead.


From terra-arcanum.com:

The "Wordsmiths Wanted" Contest Has Ended
Aug 2, 2000

From the Desk of Aldus T. Giles
Assistant Correspondence Clerk
Tarantian Library

On behalf of all the learned peoples of Arcanum, we extend our warmest thanks to the authors who submitted texts for consideration. The full-staff of our librarians, antiquarians, and archivists have been fully occupied with weighing the merits of each transcript. If your work gains their approval, you will be contacted within the fortnight.

May your quills never grow dull.

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