Eschalon: Book One – 4. The Grand Finale

After waking up, I searched the town again. I’ve found an abandoned house by the south gate and easily broke in. In there, I’ve found a body and on it a note explaining how to enter the Repository. I need to register at the inn under a fake name. The innkeeper took me to a special room from where a secret passage led to the repository. I got in, showed my amulet to the Vault Keeper and opened my chest. It contained the legendary Crux of Ages and another note.

The note said that it was in fact me writing the notes to myself. I somehow came into possession of the Crux of Ages together with my brother and was hunted by a powerful goblin shaman. He uses a technique based on memories in order to track people, so the only way to hide was to erase my identity. The problem is, my brother didn’t manage to do that and is now being held captive and tortured by the goblins at Vela. I am to go there and set him free.

Since I already have the waypoint, I quicktraveled to Vela and started scouting the place. The place was filled with traps, so I had to go back to Blackwater a few times to rest and restock on recovery items. I decided to explore to the north first and found another goblin warlord. Thanks to some nicely placed explosive barrels, he was disposed of easily. He dropped a golden key, so I took it and went south.

Eschalon: Book One, Nice Misty Scene

With good styling, any game could look good, no matter how low the tech.

After defeating a minotaur-like monster and a bunch of goblin archers, I have finally found my brother in a building in the south. He was chained to a cross in a way that it would be impossible to free him without killing him. He told me that the goblin shaman is somehow controlling the chancellor and this is why there is no one defending Thearmore. In addition to that, the Crux of Ages might somehow prevent the mind control and that is why it’s so important. In the end, he asked me to end his suffering and I complied. It was either that, or leave him die in agony.

Eschalon: Book One, Nice Lighting

Even lighting effects can look good in low tech.

I now have to go to Shadowmirk and warn the wizards there of an impending goblin attack. According to my map, Shadowmirk is actually the strange tower I passed by on my quest to clear the slimes from the Marshes of Boradan. Since I have already found the back entrance and opened the front gate, it was easy to enter this time. I’ve killed the floating eye and then continued to explore a tower. I’ve encountered an empty candlestick with some jeweled eggs engraved on its surface and soon encountered a puzzle room which would send me back to start if I stepped on the wrong tile. Past the room were two chests, each with a sign above it that contained a riddle. One was “give me strength”, and the other was “ease my pain”. My guess is, I need to put an item in each chest, but at this point, I have no idea which item to put where. I assumed I will get the items in the tower, so I continued to explore. In another room, I’ve found an apprentice mage named Walter, who told me that the mage I’m looking for resides on the top floor of the tower. The only way to get there is to solve the tower riddles and this is what he is attempting to do as well. The problem is, he dropped the key to the necromancy lab in the arachnid chamber and is now too drained to get it.

I got the key to the necromancy lab and opened it. All the rooms were filled with bones but there were no enemies. I went to the last room where I got a bunch of items and potions in a chest. Sure enough, as I looted this chest, a bunch of skeletons spawned from the bones, so I had to fit my way out. Since I explored everything I could, it was time to go back to the puzzle room. I tried putting a healing potion in one chest, and one of the two unidentified potions that I got in the lab in the other chest, and it worked. I stepped on the teleporter and appeared in another room. I got the key from a nearby barrel and opened the door to level two.

The second level was much easier. It started off with a short and simple teleporter labyrinth which led me to the main residential area. After doing some looting and stealing, I’ve soon found the proving room where a leaver released a raptor and two giant lizards to attack me. I killed one of the lizards while the other one attacked the raptor, and then I finished both of them. I continued up the stairs to the third level. This was the top level so I’ve found Erubor here. He was already aware of the impending attack and of the fact that the chancellor is being controlled. According to him, the Crux of Ages needs to be found (the last note I wrote to myself said I should not tell anyone I have it) and brought back to its rightful place, the Bastion Spire. The problem is that every conceivable entry to the Spire is blocked now, since the chancellor isn’t allowing anyone there. The only way to access it is the way the goblins took when they stole the Crux in the first place – the portal at the goblin citadel.

Eschalon: Book One, A Nice View

This view was a nice reward for climbing the lighthouse.

In order for me to get to the citadel, I need four keys, one in the wizard’s chamber, and three in possession of various goblin warlords. I already have two, so I just need the last one. Lucky for me, the giants managed to acquire that one and the wizard has already sent word of me coming for it. The giants live in the deserts to the southwest, which, as I’ve been told, is pretty much the toughest place in the region, so I decided to go there, since I’m brave, and a hero and all. On the way there, I got the last waypoint which is also in the middle of some ruins. I also had to fight 2 taurax to get to it. After passing through the southern gate, I decided to do some exploring and arrived at an abandoned lighthouse. I’ve cleared it of enemies, found a boat at the docks in the back and managed to turn the beacon back on. As I was getting out I got ambushed by a heap of goblins and I have to say, demon oil turned out to be extremely useful.

Eschalon: Book One, Mountains.

The mountains seem a bit out of place on a static screen, but in motion, it looks fine.

After this, I decided to try and get to the giants, but not before finding a wrecked caravan and a letter addressed to a woman in Blackwater. I decided to deliver it, but first, I wanted to get to the giants on the western shore of the area. On the way there, I’ve found a strange building with three teleporter pads. Only one of them was working and it transported me a bit to the west of Blackwater in a tiny area completely walled off by mountains. There was nothing there as far as I could see, so I went back and finally got the giants’ village. I talked to the chief and, after explaining to him what my goals are, he agreed to give me his key, but only after I do a task for him. I need to recover their last chieftains’ skull from a hunting camp in Baron’s Thicket. At first, I thought I will have to fight the hunters, but it seems they had a sort of Jurassic Park thing going on and kept live raptors to hunt for sport. Off course, the raptors broke loose and killed everyone. I got the skull and I came back. Oh, by the way, as it turns out, that teleporter in the strange building near the village actually was a shortcut to Blackwater. It was dark when I got there so I didn’t see a lever that opens a passage. This will definitely be useful, no matter how you look at it.

I quicktraveled to Loneloft by the south gate to try and find that oasis from which the talking tree asked me to get water. It wasn’t too hard to find, but it was protected by traps and taurax so I had to do some tedious kiting. Since I can’t quicktravel in the desert, I had to use the teleporter. On the way there, I brought the skull to the giants. The chieftain gave me the key and even promised the giants’ aid in the assault on the citadel. I used the teleporter and then quicktraveled to Bordertown to get to the tree. After giving the water to it, it told me about a bow, made from its branches, buried with a hero in the Tanglewood Ossuary to the south. Before going there, I went to Blackwater to heal and rest up. I went there, fought a bunch of ghosts, zombies and skeletons and got the bow. The problem is, while it does do more damage than my current bow, it also weighs a lot, so the only way I can cast spells while wielding it is if I remove my gloves completely. I guess I have to put a few points into strength finally. I went on through the tunnels, pulling levers and killing zombies, and finally realized that the tunnel leads to Crakamir (the desert). I got out in northern Crakamir and decided to go assault the citadel now. I have a few side quests left, but at this point, I really don’t think it’s worth it to waste my time on those.

The giants kept their promise and the assault on the courtyard was easy. Once we killed everyone there, I had to go in alone as the giants are too big for the goblin structures. I was running a bit low on arrows, but I decided to risk it and go in anyway. The main entrance was blocked, so I had to find another way to the next floor. I was exploring the side passages, clearing goblins and other monsters on the way and eventually got into the main chamber from the back. After clearing the area, I pulled the levers to open a way out and used the keys to open the gates to the next floor. I was extremely low on arrows by now, but luckily, I’ve found a teleporter that takes me back to the strange building I mentioned before. I used it to get there, and then used the other teleporter to get to Blackwater. I bought a bunch of arrows and other supplies and went back.

Eschalon: Book One, View of the Throne Room

The Throne Room.

The second level was pretty straightforward. I had to fight some spiders first, then I went through a labyrinth inhabited by three taurax (minotaur) and finally I have reached the shaman. He tried to offer me money to leave, but I decided to use the opportunity to attack him by surprise. I kept a stack of 9 assassination arrows just for this battle and I used all of them to kill him. After this, I plundered his riches and then used the teleport to get to Bastion Spire. I put the Crux on the pedestal and went to see the chancellor. The effect of the Crux was instantly noticeable and the chancellor thanked me and summoned a council to question me. My quest was completed.

Eschalon: Book One, Ending Screen

The game ends with text, which was to be expected from a low budget title.

This was a great old school game which I recommend to all fans of the genre. If you loved games like Baldur’s Gate or even the older D&D style games I cannot recommend this one more. It has all the elements that make these types of games great.