15 October, 2009

Pathologic - Brand


I calculated the true cost of acquiring ten stems of brown twyre for Andrei, and I don't think I can afford it. The Gatherers need some blood first just to open trading, and from there, different types of organs are given a different value. Hearts are worth 5 points, livers and kidneys are each worth 4 points, and blood is worth 3 points. Each corpse harvested gives you those 4 organs. Each variety of twyre has a different cost, browns costing 12 points. The three Gatherers' supplies also vary, but there appears to be more than enough stock.

The problem is the cost to my reputation. In order to get a total of 10 brown stems, counting what I already have, I'd need to kill at least 6 people. That doesn't count medical costs for any damage I incur. And killing six innocents just like that would do significant damage to my reputation. So I don't think it's worth it. I could try killing muggers, but since they have knives, they're likely to do me even more damage, and the muggers usually don't come out in large numbers till close to midnight, at which time my quest will be voided. And there are no abandoned zones yet (rife with muggers all day long) since the infection has only just begun to spread.

If there's any consolation for missing out on the price Andrei was willing to pay for those ten brown stems, it's that the Gatherers told me they didn't like him, because he doesn't have respect for their beliefs, and he lures their Brides away from them to dance at the Tavern. Supposedly. Well he is from the capital, and he does have a private booth in the Tavern, with a nice view of the stage where the girls dance, so I can believe it.

I'll let you in on a little secret. In the garden across from the Kains' residence (opposite the Cathedral side), there's a black stone monument which appears to be some kind of altar. Occasionally you'll find some food set out there, presumably as an offering. I have yet to incur any penalties for pilfering the food, and it's quite nutritious (lots of bread) - plus, it's free!

And I just realized something. When muggers kill innocent victims, though they loot the body, they (obviously) don't harvest their organs. So I can let the mugger do his thing, then take the victim's organs, without suffering a blow to my reputation! (I know, it's kind of morally/ethically questionable; but those muggers are gonna do their thing regardless, I'm just making the most of it).

Day 3

Among the valuables left in my father's heritage safe box was a brand in the shape of a strange symbol. One of the notes from his journal identifies one of my adherents not by name but by that symbol. In an effort to find out what it means, I discovered that it's part of a language used by the Order, which is connected to or includes the Butchers and the Gatherers and all those guys that have something to do with the Apiary and the Abattoir. Despite her hatred for the Olgimskiys, and my friendly connection with the same, Ospina trusts me, and she told me where to find one of the Butchers who had escaped the Apiary before it was sealed up to (supposedly) protect the inhabitants from infection. Of course, he was hiding in an infected house... Good place to hide, but very dangerous.

Infected districts are conspicuously marked off by these effigies. I particularly like the hanging rats, since those little pests are so pesky. Inside the infected district, bloody rags lay about, and clouds of infection materialize out of nowhere, sometimes stationary, sometimes blowing towards you - they're pretty easy to avoid, provided you see them coming, and you have room to maneuver. Sometimes the stationary clouds block narrow passages though, forcing you to find a detour, or take your chances pinching the walls. Don't let the wandering infecteds touch you either - at least they're slow.

Observe the boils on the house itself. Perhaps the ground theory of infection could explain why the building also seems to become infected - if the disease comes from underground ore deposits, maybe it grows on stone and other building materials. Well, regardless of explanation, it's pretty creepy.

Lots of effective disorienting effects when you get infected. More than enough to get you dizzy and make your head spin. And the effects get worse the more serious your infection becomes.

Anyhow, I found the runaway Butcher, and from what he told me, I discovered that the symbol is used to denote the Elder of the Order, who is revered on the level of a god among those of the Order. It also has something to do with a passage deep in the Abattoir (perhaps where the Elder hangs out), but the Butcher spoke of it with terror in his voice. Big Vlad, being in charge of the Order's operations, is in contact with the Elder, and he told me the Elder was out on a several day trip into the Steppe. So it looks like I'll have to wait to solve the mystery of the brand.

Meanwhile, I gotta track down some dead tissue for the Bachelor, since he's not allowed to cut into bodies. We're pretty much working together to produce a Panacea. There was one outbreak of the Sand Plague once before, and it was stopped in a timely fashion by Isidor, so we're both convinced that following in my father's footsteps will bear fruit. Still much to learn, though.

And speaking of learning, I learned that Notkin and Kahn, the leaders of the rival child gangs, were once friends, but got into an argument. The Dualsouls (led by Notkin) seem to like dogs a lot - Notkin's always telling me not to hurt any dogs. Rarely I've seen a dog prowling around the factories. He hasn't attacked me, so I like him. The Dogheads, which is the rival child gang, led by Kahn, who hides out in the Polyhedron, wear dog masks on their heads. Maybe it's to offend Notkin, I don't know. Well Kahn is one of my adherents too, so I wonder if I'll be able to reconcile the gangs' differences in the course of this adventure.

Gryph doesn't like the Dualsouls' dogs though. Apparently the dogs are causing problems for Gryph's thieves. I managed to convince Gryph to call off the thieves he sent to hassle Notkin, and in return, the boy gave me an old sawn-off shotgun. Sweet. Not good for long distance, though.

Rubin keeps sending me letters. From what I heard elsewhere, we were childhood friends. But now he's convinced that I killed my father, whom he was working closely with. Suffice to say, he's really angry. I hope we'll be able to patch things up eventually as well...

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