Blood and Madness.
As he proceeded carefully through the ruins, the crusader spotted a note from Tassi, mentioning she was further in, as well as something about “candy corn”.
Further on, an annotated map indicating Tassi’s objective: determining the origin of this reliquary, which she believed to be a Thorn reliquary.
Thorn…the name sounded like he had seen it elsewhere, but nothing came to mind. Were it not for the age of this tomb, he’d have guessed she was talking about some Nightmare courtier.
Finally, he met with Tassi in a large underground room, containing an altar to which the box was chained.
“Well, if it isn’t the intrepid investigator from Dragon Bash.”
“You know…big celebration in Lion’s Arch? Council member assassinated? Aetherblade debut?”
“No. My sister handled that.”
“Oh well, I digress…”
“Oh, thank the Alchemy you’ve come. I don’t know how long the containment field will hold. I’ve been tracking this reliquary here. It’s been something of a curiosity, dating back to the ninth century. If I’m right, it’s a missing relic from when the Mad King ruled and terrified his people. But this relic isn’t like anything I’ve seen from the Mad King’s reign. It just…disintegrated a charr when he interacted with it.”
“Um..about that containment field..”
“I need you to assist me. Something’s coming. Something violent.”
“Shouldn’t you have called for more than just me—”
“Who are you? You’re not the Mad King.”
“Do you hear me making jokes? I am NOT King Oswald Thorn. I am the killer of flesh. The spiller of blood.”
“Prince Edrick Thorn? You’re the Mad King’s son? I’ve never heard of you. And as an expert on the Thorns, I’ve read all the records.”
“That jovial lunatic wrote the Bloody Prince out of history after he left me to starve in that box? Where is he? I’ll chop the pumpkin off his head! I’ll use his fingers for forks!”
“Actually…I thought you were him. Halloween is almost here, and the Mad King visits us with his usual jokes and games.”
“You laugh at his jokes? Play his idiotic games? For fun? He starves me to death, and you adore him?!”
(Some time later, over some roasted marshmallows…)
“…and that is the story of my life as the Bloody Prince, up until my father decided to lock me in that box to starve to death.”
“Wow. That’s rough. Sorry about that.”
“It was mostly his fault anyway. Pretending to care for his subjects, acting like his jokes were actually good. What a waste. At least I’m honest about what I do.”
“Ah, all this new information on the Thorns, and from the Mad King’s previously unknown son, no less!”
“That’s Bloody Prince Edrick to you. And make sure you write all this down. That lunatic father of mine will NOT erase my name from history this time.”
“Do we have to fight?”
“Fight? That implies some level of parity between us.”
“I think we can help each other out. You don’t like the Mad King. Neither do we, really. Why don’t we just team up and defeat him when he returns on Halloween?”
“An interesting idea. But I don’t really trust you. And the Living Story script dictates that we must fight. But you did listen to my story, so I’ll go easy on you…as long as you don’t bore me. Let’s play.”
So we have to distract the Bloody Prince while Magister Tassi reconfigures her containment fields. Unfortunately, the Bloody Prince is immune to damage and conditions, so no hitting him until he dies.
Thankfully, he decides to tag out and sick a skeleton on us.
“If anyone has a better theorem, now’s the time to reveal it.”
“Are you talking to me, or him?”
“Tear them limb from limb!”
“Throw everything at him. Something has to be effective!”
No prizes for guessing which one works. After hitting him enough times with his “weakness”, he gets fed up with us.
“Swarming, tiny, petty worms. Very well! I’ll paint the Mad Realm with my father’s blood, then I’ll be back for all of you!”
“I can’t believe it. The Bloody Prince. And what he lacks in his father’s lunacy, he makes up for with terrifying rage. I’m reading a massive energy surge in the Mad Realm itself. It’s only a matter of time before he regains his strength and reemerges.”
“So what now?”
“This measure won’t hold forever. We’ll need to think offensive instead of defensive and seal that box so he can’t come through. Here, take this relay golem with you. I’ll keep in touch if I learn any new developments. Good luck.
(edited by Nilkemia.8507)
Meanwhile, in the shadow of the Bloody Prince’s return, things have started to change elsewhere..
“The candy corn we used on the Bloody Prince seemed to daze him, but we need more. We’ll need a living candy corn elemental.”
(Specifically, the Mini Candy-Corn Elemental from completing 13 Halloween achievements. Why we can’t just capture one of the many candy-corn elementals in the Labyrinth is not explained.)
“And it won’t be easy. You’ll need to traverse the Mad Realm and face challenges both within and without that chaotic plane. Best the challenges, and you’ll obtain the elemental. Once you get it, bring it back to me. Its essence will allow us to put that bloodthirsty brat back in his box.”
(Nice to see you not doing any heavy lifting here, Tassi. /sarcasm)
“And be careful. There’s no telling what either the Mad King or the Bloody Prince have in store for you.”
(Oh, they’re too busy trading quips. Or rather, the Bloody Prince is whining and the Mad King is trolling him every step of the way.)
Well, this is pretty much the same fight as last time with one difference: thanks to the glaze pools that Tassi shoots out, the Bloody Prince isn’t so invulnerable anymore.
“No. No! Don’t send me back. I swear, when I get out, I’ll come for you. I’ll stalk you, burn your cities, eat your flesh. I’ll tear down your world!”
Uh huh, like we don’t have enough bad guys trying to do that already. You, back in the box.
“He’s the Mad Realm’s problem now. I can’t help but wonder though…he got out of the box once. Could he do it again?”
Well…this patch was…meh. It started off pretty good, but is pretty much “The Bloody Prince gets out, we wander about doing what we need to get the Mini Candy-Corn Elemental, then we seal him back in.”
On a side note: requiring us to complete a meta-achievement just to see the rest of the story doesn’t come off as good design to me. (even if the real reward is actually the Gift of Candy Corn from sealing the Prince) It made no sense why only the Mini Candy-Corn elemental could be used instead of the many larger ones roaming the Labyrinth. Sure, they were hostile, but surely Tassi could come up with a way for us to capture/tame one, or failing that, give us a device to extract their essences for use.
For all his talk of painting the Mad Realm with his father’s blood and doing other horrible things to him, the Bloody Prince becomes a complete pansy when he faces the Mad King once more. Granted, their conversations are amusing, but seeing how bloodthirsty he is during our fights against him, and seeing him just stand there whining at his dad in the Labyrinth feels…like he was written differently for both of those situations. Or he’s got a split personality.
His costume is cool, but he needs to ditch the emo mohawk and some of that face paint before I’ll be truly intimidated by him. He’s like a human Leurent who rolled necromancer instead of warrior. Cool staff though…although, I would think the “Bloody Prince” would also have an axe/dagger combo or dual daggers (with custom skins as well) to go with the staff.
Don’t forget he’s been imprisoned for hundreds of years, and died of starvation inside a coffin. That would warp your mind quite a bit as well I’m sure. He’s clearly mixed between hatred for his father and seeking approval (he actually feels emotionally touched when his dad fakes a ‘I was so proud of you’ statement).
Also, it’s only the first part of this story. More will follow as clearly indicated by Tassi’s statement that the box won’t hold him forever and that the glazing was already beginning to deteriorate.
True. Not sure why he’s seeking his father’s approval by this point though: he was originally thrown in the box for trying to overthrow his father by causing an uprising against him (possibly the same uprising that got the Mad King killed.)
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.