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Spoilers for the mine location in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Well, I still think my theories are correct, but I don’t know, because I got nothing.

The kids had no school at all yesterday cuz conferences, Mrs. McP was at home, nana came over, and the end of the day was for staring into space with booze.

Not games.

And now my house is falling apart again. Sigh.

But Meatball has stay and play. I may look for Marandino.

I need a week off.

Feminina:

We played. Guess what we did.

Go on, guess! You’re going to guess “absolutely anything in the entire world except go to the mine?” and that is a very, very good guess.

However, it is wrong. We went to the mine. Yes. We did.

First we killed the spider queen, and I’ve figured out the secret to making that fight not be as hard as it was for you: be 17th level.

Because it was a piece of cake for us. Did it first try, no one died, two of us didn’t even get a scratch. AND she laid all her eggs, so it’s not like we didn’t give her a fighting chance. We didn’t have XP pop when each individual egg/spiderling died, but we did get 7850 when the queen died, so maybe that was her being worth more with the eggs and spiders included? So yeah, you were cheated. By being too smart, and not high-level enough. Sorry, man.

Then we poked around, didn’t find Maradino, but found the Immaculate who referred to himself in the third person and wanted us to find his imp slave for him and give him a bloodstone to heal himself. Refused the bloodstone (dude, you’re our mortal enemy AND a slave-holding jerk, you’re not getting treasure from us!), gained a point of Vindictive. Which, sure, that’s fair. Call me petty, but I AM a bit vindictive when it comes to people who espouse slavery and the slaughter of innocents while attempting to destroy the universe. That stone you want to heal your wounded leg with was probably crafted with the blood of some random animal or villager. You can stagger home on your own, jerkass. Or get eaten by spiders if we left any alive out here. Whichever.

Wolgraff was pleased by this, but Bairdotr said something philosophical about the virtues of forgiveness or something. Setting aside that principle of obedience NOW, are you? Not that I care–she’s welcome to express her opinion. It’s just funny that she’s disagreeing with us after that whole Jareth debacle.

Then, because we were in the area already, and in defiance of all historical precedent, we actually WENT TO THE MINE. Wolgraff sneaked in past the Death Knights, found Leandra, she teleported us all there to taunt us and disappear, and we fled the room pursued very slowly by Death Knights. Sure is convenient that those ‘unfinished’ ones aren’t nearly as fast as the ones that were chasing us down and murdering us earlier! We even took the time to loot on the way out. Picked up some mining tools and such. Those were worth good money when we sold them to the ghost in the crypt later.

So yeah, we took the Mirror of Astarte around the place, looted like mad, blew ourselves up in the crypt, found Leandra’s Spell, and made it out to the Sun Above. (Naturally, we attempted to visit the Gold Within first, but the way was blocked.) Then we called it a night.

Now we have to check back with Icara so we can NOT get a bunch of cutscenes because the end of time is under attack. Also, report back to Lawrence that the mine has collapsed. Not our fault! Witches, man.

So, a productive evening.

Go look for Maradino.

Butch:

You…..um…twin dungeons?

WOW! I guessed wrong!

God damn it. I have not had a good morning. I am angry at my house and children, and now I am angry at this spider. Dammit! I earned that XP! And instead they give it to people that don’t need it.

Grumble.

Ah…see….I did heal that guy, and told him to leave his imp alone and he attacked. I did that…well..because I was with Madora, and, when you do Madora’s bit, we can dish on whether I metagamed or not. I’m going to argue that I didn’t, but…I’m not sure.

We’ll talk. Later.

Forgiveness. Remember this.

Ok….so you met the guy in the crypt? And there was one other place there that wasn’t the big library with all the plot. What was it?

Because see, this was one of the first times that source was seen as something that wasn’t bad. That ghost dude was truly surprised that we DIDN’T like source. He really did make a good case that source was something very positive, and not at all what the source hunters (that would be us) think it is. I didn’t know what to make of that.

And…here’s an oddity…we know that Icara lied about the night of Jake’s murder. She said that Zandilor (her lover, ex lover, whatever) was there, and that HE called her there, or Leandra did, and Icara was surprised to find him in Leandra’s arms, right? But that letter showed that Icara herself was the one who told Zandilor to come to the inn where he was subsequently assaulted/saved/whatever. Which should cause us to cast some doubt on the overall accuracy of that first cutscene there. Right?

And I WANTED to go back and call Icara out on that, be all “Uh…dude? You…forgot to mention that you sent Zandilor to that whole murder thing yourself? Uh…wanna ‘splain that?” But there was no dialog option.

So am I right about all that?

What else happened in there? IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE I DID IT!

Feminina:

It’s unfair! I agree with you on this! Unfair, yet so true to life, that those who already have plenty of XP find it easier to get more than those who really need it.

Damn it, I picked up that letter, but I forgot to read it. So I don’t know if you’re right or not. I’ll read it next time and get back to you.

We went to the library, the high priest’s office (where we found all the good loot), and the crypt. It was interesting to hear that guy’s horrified denial of the way we perceive Source. “No, no, that’s horribly wrong! What do you do, chase down innocents healed by Source and injure them again?” or whatever.

I didn’t find him that surprising, I guess, because we’ve had some conversation with Icara where she challenged what we think we know about source, so I think we’ve been operating under the assumption that it can have a good side for a while now. But you’re right, this guy was interesting in that he didn’t seem to have any concept of it having a BAD side.

Perhaps it will turn out that we’re supposed to bring balance to the source, or something. It’s neither good nor evil, but is merely turned to good or evil ends by human designs? Hm.

What else happened there…well, I think that kind of sums it up. Talking to Leandra about her plan to bring peace to the universe by returning it to the Void, looting the library, looting the office, talking to that ghost in the crypt, dodging lava and meteors, and we’re done!

Oh, and Bairdotr, who can use tenebrium weapons, shot at one of the death knights with a tenebrium bow, but it did nothing. Possibly because she didn’t have any tenebrium arrows, or possibly because they are invulnerable to literally everything without the spell.

Butch:

Ok, dude? That was the plot point. You knew about the death knights, yadda yadda, but THAT was the damn plot point!

Hit read BEFORE you pick shit up.

How are you ahead of me????

Read the damn letter.

Except you, too, didn’t get to the golden within. And you can’t. Rat told me.

Themes!

What IS the golden within? We assumed it was, like, actual loot, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was Eden, or salvation or something? What if the thing that’s really at the “heart” of the temple isn’t for us? Or anyone, for that matter? The rat said it didn’t exist. I’m not so sure that our assumption that it’s just “gold” was accurate.

Theme 2: The library wasn’t all that interesting. We had essentially a useless library in a temple. That was destroyed. Discuss.

Theme 3: right after learning the golden within isn’t accessible, you go back “to the sun.” That’s how it was phrased. Not “to the surface,” the “sun.” I didn’t know what to make of that.

Especially as this is in stark contrast to to the last house of worship we saw: the “Abandoned [Christian] church.” This thing looked and felt far more “other,” far more like something in a fantasy game, not anything that resembled real life like that last church. I’m still pondering that, too.

None. And Icara sorta does admit that it does, even if we don’t know anything.

What’s interesting about the dude there was he was very old. He, as of long ago (or in the future, really, cuz time, but certainly not NOW) doesn’t think source has a bad side. And maybe it doesn’t! In some other timeline or different plane. But likely timeline.

Yup. Make the spell.

Oh! Helpful hint!

It’ll come as a spell book. You will likely do what I did, which was ponder who best to have it, as skill books can only be used once, right? Well, not this one. Pass it around. Everyone can use it. NPCs and all.

Feminina:

Ooh, that is a helpful hint.

And yeah, the library was surprisingly uninteresting. All those rows of books, and nothing to loot! Suggesting, perhaps, that all the good information had been lost/stolen already? Leandra (or something else) has taken everything of value from this place and made it hers?

Because the high priest’s office (suggesting religion, but also bureaucracy…’office’ sounding more like a place of business) definitely had all the good loot. Maybe she brought all the good stuff from elsewhere in the temple to that office. And then the crypt seemed relatively untouched, since the ghost didn’t even seem to really know who Leandra/the Conduit was, so maybe she didn’t think of it as having any value?

We definitely pondered the phrasing of the final mirror. As you say, “the gold within” could really be a lot of things…as could “the sun above.” We guessed that “the sun above” meant going back to the surface, but if taken literally, it could mean we were deposited into the sun itself (INSTANT DEATH). Or, less literally, it could be some presence of holy power or something, that metaphorically helps us grow and reach our full potential. “Gold within” could be a soul, as you say, or a treasure underground.

Given that the reading of “sun above” proved to be the most obvious, non-poetic one, it kind of makes sense that “gold within” is also a literal, non-poetic location of treasure, but that’s not necessarily true. Or maybe, as the rats say, it doesn’t exist.

Maybe the sequel will be all about hunting for it.

Butch:

Which, again, is interesting about the library and the office. The “bad guy” wants knowledge, which ties into “sin” itself. She doesn’t want faith.

Maybe the gold is literal….but I now know exactly how I can be right about Scarlett and there can be a sequel. I even said “HA!” at the screen.

How? Cuz I grabbed Jahan and Bairdotr and went and chatted with goblin pole. This brought forth an AMAZING amount of knowledge from Jahan, who is even more batshit than Bairdotr (indeed, he, too, spent a…long time…living with the animals and prefers them. YET MORE themeage to consider later. So much themeage…). Now, if I extend my theory (as I have) to say that Bairdotr and Jahan are ALSO nuts then…

I’ll stop here cuz you might travel with Jahan. Cuz he. Said. Stuff.

And I found the hideout!!!!! HA!!!! It’s a good day! I was exactly right about where it was! You had to listen really, really closely to what the immaculate with the broken leg you saved said last night. If you want more, I’ll give.

So I’m there. STUFF! PLOT!

And practically no XP!

Shit.

Feminina:

“You seem to be doing fine with no XP. No XP good for you? Great. Meanwhile, those weirdos haring all over creation over there, taking 6 months to make it to the mine, they clearly need all the help they can get. Pile on the experience!”

We’ll get Jahan. It’s going to be great.

At least your day got better after that inauspicious beginning of hating everything.

Butch:

I do seem to be doing fine! But there was nothing to fight to get there. Just something to find. So a level 1 character could have done it. Of course.

Man, Jahan….Has. Stuff. To. Say.

You were so very close. As per usual.

How is it you magpie and find 32198579847 worth of XP and miss the plot stuff?

Oh, I also freed some dude’s sheep and lovelorn cattle. I told them to chase their dreams. They’ll likely die.

I still hate everything.

Feminina:

I wanted to tell those animals to run for their lives, but I couldn’t find a dialogue option for it! It was just kind of “well…good luck.” They certainly died.

As is only appropriate for my personal narrative of us as the harbingers of doom.

Butch:

The chill rabbit was all “Hey..I’m gonna go my own way, man…”

I liked that rabbit.

Feminina:

Speaking of rabbits, did you talk to the rabbit in the desert who claimed to be a dragon in disguise?

“Begone, WEAKLING!!!”

Oooookay…later, rabbit. Enjoy the sand! We weren’t about to mess with that rabbit, although more because we had no good reason to than because we were filled with terror.

I mean, it might even be true that he or she was a dragon. Stranger things have happened in this game.

Well, equally strange things, anyway.

Butch:

HA! No. But he likely was a dragon.

This game does have its moments….Curious to see what Marandino has in store.

Feminina:

Yeah, it would have been funny if we decided to attack the rabbit, and then it roasted us into instant death with blazing fire breath. I hope it WAS a dragon! But I’m not going back to find out.

Oh, speaking of moments, we enjoyed the way one of the options for trying to open the door of the temple was “mellon.” Nice Tolkien reference, game. We went with the goblin chief’s name instead because…he seemed like he might have been involved? And it worked. Maybe anything we said would have worked, though?

Butch:

Nah, you just guessed right. If you destroy the bone totem, which you forgot about, it frees the undead workers, who reward you by telling you the password before they go to the hall of echoes.

Feminina:

D’oh! We did forget about that. Well, I guess those undead are stuck there for eternity. Sorry, guys.

Or let’s just imagine that the totem was destroyed in the mine collapse, shall we? I’m going to go with that.

Butch:

Let’s. They’ll be fine.

You somehow manage to kill dead people, even. Or damn them. Or something.

Feminina:

You know what, though, I actually remember talking to those dudes and seeing them go off to the hall of echoes, so we MUST have destroyed the totem! And then forgotten both the fact that we destroyed it, and the fact that the dudes told us the password.

Although come to think of it, I do remember seeing on our log “we know the password to the temple” and thinking “we know the what now?” so…we DID save them. And learned the password, which we then forgot by the time we got to the door, forcing us to make a lucky guess at something we should have known.

Well…it’s good that we saved them. Although the level of forgetfulness involved in this story is a little alarming.

We’re probably insane.

Butch:

Either that or you have a very good subconscious memory! That password was just living in there, right next to the password to our blog and your last phone number.

Or you’re insane.

Feminina:

Either one of those things is quite likely to be true.

At least those undead were freed. That and Alfie are pretty much our only actual good deeds so far.

Butch:

You ASSUME they were freed.

HA! I say to the screen.

Cuz this game slips in a lot of subtle dialog without doing anything as overt as putting Rivellon in quotes and pointing it out.

HA!

I just hope there’s a sorceress at some point.

We should talk about blood one of these days.

And sorceresses.

Feminina:

I will await learning about how right you are. Which, if we have to wait until we stop the attack on the end of time to get more plot, will probably be about half an hour before the end of the game…ah well. It’s a bit odd that they left a plot-obstructing option like that just out there in the desert where any wandering magpies could stumble across it.

I mean, the ruin could easily have been empty until you got through the mine, or something. Zixzax didn’t HAVE to be there making that announcement as soon as you see the place.

Ah well.

Butch:

Yeah, it’s pretty fascinating.

I’m so proud of me.

Or I’m crazy.

Or both.

Feminina:

Crazy people can be legitimately proud of themselves. Especially when they produce brilliant blog content on a regular basis.

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