Well, got roped into trying to figure out how this device at the bottom of the Shrine works. The area appears to be free of any Deep Ones or monsters, so at least I can work in peace.
AL1's here too, and she's been pretty helpful, although I can't really tell what she's planning and she doesn't talk enough for me to get a good feel of what she's doing. Well, she's working at her own pace, but as long as we can get this thing running in the end there'll be no complaints either way.
The place is pretty gloomy, but I think I have some images of it stored in my databanks of a time when this place was a lot more brightly lit. And crowded. With lots of people wearing fancy robes and doing funny things with candles.
I'm not sure where that image came from, to be honest. I know all of the military grade Yggdroids get equipped with a standard pack of information to better help them operate in the local environs (although given the trashed Yggdroids we had to walk past to get to this place, that might not be such a big help), but this doesn't seem like the sort of image that should have made its way in.
It's a good thing I'm designed to multitask, too –Clay is already complaining about how long we're taking to set up the teleporter – if I'd had to pause to record this entry as well she'd never let me hear the end of it.
Oh, I think I can do something with this wire.
Well, we solved the mystery of the ghost statue things and we made some progress on the front of deciphering the murals as well.
As it turned out, the statues were guarding some of the murals in a back chamber of the Shrine. (Maybe we should start labelling them on the map, otherwise others might get confused.) They didn't attack us, but simply blocked our way further in. There was some kind of console there that the others didn't know what to do with, but I'd been helping Angie enough with her work to tell a mechanism of the Deep City's design. I fiddled around with it a bit and finally managed to deactivate the statues. Score one for the child prodigy!
So that was the client's request handled, and then I could get down the studying the murals properly. Most of them depicted the Deep Ones, of course, which, when you get down to it, is odd, because the first recorded instances we have of their appearance, even amongst the Deep City's records, are only from a hundred years ago – far later than the date the Shrine was built. I suppose it's possible the Deep Ones initially spawned from a time beyond living memory, but that's just a theory right now.
I also had a single image of something coming down from the skies – it could be the Porcelain Offering that Big Brother spoke off, but somehow it looks wrong. All our known cultures have traditionally associated blessings of the heavens with like – this looks a lot more dark and ominous.
And tentacley, that too.
Based on this, I'm going to need to do more research into the murals. They appear to continue further down – right where all the Deep Ones are gathering, of course. Well, I'll know to limit my search to the important-looking chambers, at least. The rest of the walls just seem to hold random designs.
With the latest news about the Abyssal King venturing into the Porcelain Woods, it's pretty clear now that he's targeting Princess Gutrune directly, and that he also knows she also retreats there frequently to rest.
Damn it, this wasn't supposed to happen!
I had to explain to Adrian that the Porcelain Woods is a sanctuary used only by the royalty of Armoroad, and those they have granted special favour to. I've never been in there, of course, but the very air you breathe in there is supposed to have healing properties.
Jules and some of the others have gone to talk to the Senatus about what to do now. I guess the best case scenario is that we get access to the place as well and we can go put a stop to the Abyssal King's plans before he finds the Princess.
Why would the Abyssal King hunt down the Princess, anyway? What is he really after?
For the first time tonight, I thought Senator Flowdia actually looked her age. When we entered her room, she informed us that the Deep City's Corps had barricaded the main entrance to the Porcelain Forest, and that the Armoroad Guards was unable to advance in order to find and protect the Princess. Save for Kujura and any other troops that made it through the teleporter, the Princess is defenceless right now.
We had to ask the all-important question of why the Abyssal King would be targeting the Princess in the first place, and hunting her down with such fervour. Flowdia merely shook her head and said that us knowing would not help in any way. I have to admit that at this point I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. A king and princess of two sovereign entities are locked in what appears to be open combat, and I'm not sure if we should even interfere or not.
It was at that point that Alexis spoke up and asked that if we could find our own way into the Porcelain Forest, would Armoroad still continue to bar us? Flowdia gave a tired, sort of strained laugh and told us that unless we had a seal of Armoroad's Royal Family, we would not be able to advance within the Porcelain Forest anyway.
I suppose that means that the Abyssal King must still have his Seal from when he was King of Armoroad with him.
Well, we didn't make much progress on that front, in the end. As we left, I honestly contemplated if we should wash our hands of the whole affair. The Yggdrasil Labyrinth itself has been explored – the Porcelain Forest is its own entity, and technically I can return home and claim I've fulfilled my vow (well, except the 'bring back trophies from monsters that don't actually exist' bit).
But now that I've come this far, I want to see it through to the end – somehow. I don't know how, though. None of the people in a position to help us through want to have anything more to do with us.