Druadach Highlands Quest: Head in the Game [Tristior]

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Tristior
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Druadach Highlands Quest: Head in the Game [Tristior]

Post by Tristior » Fri May 24, 2019 4:51 pm

This will be primarily an unmarked quest - this claim is for implementing the dialogue and scripting.

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The situation: Ekil the Severed (formerly Ekil Knot-Tongue) was a Clever-Man in the service of King Gurm the Steadfast (r. 2E480-489), known for his wit and love of riddles. He wagered his neck in the king’s riddle contest, boasting that his head was all he ever needed, but lost when a mysterious stranger was able to solve his impossible conundrum. King Gurm was obliged to honour Ekil’s wager and take his neck, but kept the head and installed it to protect the treasure chamber of his barrow. Ekil’s lot is now to challenge grave robbers and other intruders to a contest of wits, guarding his king’s wealth and awaiting the end of the kalpa. However, he has never forgotten the mysterious stranger who solved his impossible riddle and cost him his life, and may appreciate the player solving that particular mystery as well.

Based on a rumour, note, or their own exploration, the player will encounter Ekil's head in what is currently Barrow_99, located at -111, 20. The head will be an activator that initiates dialogue with a creature (not NPC) hidden in the cell that serves as Ekil's disembodied voice. Ekil will explain his role as guardian of the barrow and challenge the player to a riddle contest, with three consecutive correct answers leading to a wall sliding down and access to King Gurm's treasure. A wrong answer will forfeit the contest, and the player cannot open the wall. However, before Ekil will ask any of the riddles he insists on the player filling his goblet (and has unique dialogue for different alcohol types).

Implementing this riddle contest is the priority. Once it is, there is a plan to introduce a full quest where Ekil charges the player with uncovering the identity of the mysterious stranger who solved his impossible riddle. More to come on this.

Dialogue to implement is in the first comment below. Locked until dialogue is written and interior is merged with section file.

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Tristior
SHotN Jarl of Lore
Posts: 319
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 2:12 pm

Post by Tristior » Fri May 24, 2019 5:01 pm

Dialogue and other text

Rumour - heard from a particular clever-man. Alerts player to Ekil's location.

Ekil's initial dialogue
Ekil's first greeting
Who dares intrude upon the tomb of King Gurm the Steadfast, who is blessed in the eyes of Kyne and Mara alike? In your quest for plunder, unworthy thief, you will find only the punishment our wise ruler has left behind for such as you.
- continue -
Which is to say, can I interest you in a riddle contest? You're under no obligation, of course, but it would break up the tedium and I'd be ever so appreciative. We'd both get something out of it, I suspect.
Ekil's subsequent greeting
Still there, thief? How about that riddle contest?
Ekil's post-contest greeting
Ah, the witty thief again.
Topics
Gurm the Steadfast:
The king I loyally served until he cut my head off and mounted it down where you find me now. But it's not his fault -- I did rather force his hand. A matter of honour, you see.
Riddle contest: (first time)
There was once a time when I was the foremost riddle-smith amongst the royal courts of Skyrim. But then I went and wagered my neck on what I thought was an impossible riddle, only to lose the contest and my head.
- continue -
So now I wait down here, at my king's pleasure, and guard his mighty hoard. Shall we riddle? I'll give you three and if you answer all correctly you'll have earned the respect and admiration of one of Skyrim's greatest minds.
- continue -
And if you fail any of them, well… you fail. No more chances. Usually I would unleash some of Gurm's most eternally-loyal on you, but one sees a lot of grave-robbers in a millennium and I've honestly run out. So instead you just fail.
- continue -
What do you say? Shall we commence?
Riddle contest: (after first time)
How about now? Ready to try your wits against an empty, dried-out skull? Ha!
The player's responses to either "riddle contest" are:
  1. Sure.
  2. Not right now, no.
Ekil will respond to "Sure." with:
Wonderful, simply wonderful. But listen. I've never entered a contest of wits sober and I have no intention of starting now. Would you fill my goblet there? I'm not fussy, and I'm sure Gurm still has alcohol lying around here.
The topic "riddle contest" changes to:
Quickly, fill my goblet and we'll begin!
Ekil will respond to "Not right now, no." with:
No? Well, that's fine. I'll be here if you change your mind.
Riddle contest: (if the player has lost)
Rather fun, aren't they? But that's all you get.
Riddle contest: (if the player has won)
Rather fun, aren't they? Meet me here next century and we'll do it again.
Impossible riddle:
It remains inconceivable that my greatest work could have been deciphered so quickly, and yet I am forced to accept that it happened. Oh, did you want to hear it? Too bad, I'm afraid -- I didn't literally throw my life away on a masterpiece just to offer it up to any %PCRace looter who wanders through.
Ekil's responses to different beverages

Ekil's riddles
First Riddle
Enthroned upon a mighty seat
Proud astride the finest furs
With gimlet eye he does survey
Those who kneel before him

I speak not of some bodily whole
But solely that which rests on high
One chance in two to gaze upon
Whenever good folk cast their gold
Player responses - rather than list all possible responses, the player will be met with three choices of category (creature, object or abstract). Selecting each will bring up its possible answers. The player should have the option to go back and pick another category.
“Let’s see… a creature of some sort…”
  1. Your old king! Gurm the Steadfast, was it?
  2. I’ll say… the humblest farmer.
  3. Shor, of course!
  4. A bear. That ate a tax collector.
“It’s definitely an object. But what?”
  1. A castle, on a hill!
  2. A stalk of corn, freshly planted.
  3. The king’s… head?
  4. Uhh, is it… you know, a man’s…?
“It has to be something abstract. Like…”
  1. Power. Definitely power.
  2. Greed, right?
  3. Ambition.
  4. Fear, of course.
The correct answer is
SpoilerShow
"The king's... head?"
and will let the player proceed to the next riddle with the following dialogue:
SpoilerShow
Very good! Whether on coins or a fat royal body, we do see a lot of kings' heads, don't we?
However, Ekil will gleefully accept
SpoilerShow
"Uhh, is it… you know, a man’s…?"
as correct as well, and let the player proceed with the following dialogue:
SpoilerShow
Ha ha! A man's what? You wouldn't mean his slippery slaughterfish, would you? The mighty bear that quivers beneath his trousers? The part of me I miss least, honestly. But yes, very good. I would also have accepted "king's head", though I'm glad to meet someone who can read a little fun into words.
An incorrect answer and Ekil replies:
Absolutely not! Gods, my first riddle contest in centuries and you manage to lose immediately? Get out!
Although the player can still talk to him, they cannot initiate the riddle contest again.

Second riddle
Arms outstretched I do embrace
The sun throughout the day

Dancing to a whistling tune
I chew on uncooked food

But loved am I by hungry folk
For sharing my unmelting snow
Player responses
“This time it’s a creature.”
  1. A mad hermit.
  2. The Emperor, I’d say.
  3. A wandering bard!
  4. A fish, swimming in a river.
  5. Uncle Sweetshare, who is coming near, to spread his candy and his cheer?*
“It’s an object again.”
  1. The Mage. As in, the constellation.
  2. A mill, for making flour and so on.
  3. The moon, Secunda. The white one.
  4. A bearskin drying on a rack.
“Abstract. Very abstract.”
  1. Like… society?
  2. The weather. Right?
  3. In other words, happiness!
  4. I think… sleep.
The correct answer is
SpoilerShow
"A mill, for making flour and so on."
and will let the player proceed to the final riddle with the following dialogue:
Yes, very good! Even if that was the easy one of the contest.
An incorrect answer and Ekil replies:
Not even remotely correct. Still, at least you lasted one round against Skyrim's greatest wit -- that pride you feel is reward enough, I should think.
As before, the player can still talk to Ekil but not retry the contest.

* This option will only fire if the player has met Uncle Sweetshare/finished "The Moon Sugar Mystery" (BM_MoonSugar). Ekil will respond:
Your uncle who? By Jhunal's mites, what kind of answer is that?
The player can reply one of two ways:
  1. He's this... man who lives in a... workshop in the snow. He spreads happiness with his... special sugar. You know what? Never mind.
  2. Uh... never mind.
Ekil replies:
Of course. Do you realise that you're madder than I am, and I'm a head that's been mounted in a tomb for a thousand years? Also, no, that's obviously the wrong answer and you lose.
Third riddle
To southern lands I sail abroad
Twin swords coiled at my side
Without the gift my clan’s backs bear
The Harbinger will surely die

I am the greatest of my tribe
My wives and children always follow
Never will my rivals father issue
And cities fall before me.
Player responses
“Okay, surely this time it’s a creature.”
  1. One of Ysgramor’s Companions.
  2. A ram… from Atmora?
  3. A ship’s navigator!
  4. A berserker chieftain.
“Well, it was an object the first two times…”
  1. Ysgramor’s flagship, yes?
  2. A book of myths and songs.
  3. A merchant’s chest.
  4. A gnarled old tree, I think.
“Abstract.”
  1. It’s a disease.
  2. A harsh winter.
  3. A trap. In the abstract.
  4. Victory itself!
The correct answer is
SpoilerShow
"A ram… from Atmora?"
and Ekil will gleefully respond:
Yes! Yes yes! You did it -- you lasted three rounds in a riddle contest against the greatest wit that Skyrim has ever witnessed! By Orkey's slough, I haven't felt this invigorated since they cut my head off! You know what? Why don't you take a look at Gurm's little hidden treasury back there? I know I'm supposed to be guarding it for him, but on the other hand he did cut my head off. If we meet again in Sovngarde I'll just tell him that Alduin burned it all before any could be saved.
At this point, the wall will slide open and reveal Gurn's treasury.
An incorrect answer and Ekil replies:
Oh, no! And to think, you were so close. But I suppose that losing is what you have to expect when facing Skyrim's greatest wit in a riddling contest. In fact, I think that's worthy of a song in itself. Run along, now.
As above, the player can talk to Ekil but not retry the contest.

Ekil's impossible riddle
If the player successfully completes the riddle contest, Ekil will greet them with some new dialogue:
Say, friend, it turns out that you're quite the wit. Maybe you'd like to try your mind at the impossible riddle I mentioned earlier?
This changes the topic "impossible riddle" to the following response:
Yes, the one that cost me my head. The king had called all the cleverest in Skyrim to his riddle contest, so that he could demonstrate the supremacy of my wit to all the courts in the land. I spent a year poring over the rune-truths of Jhunal and devising ever more ingenious ways to cast the bones, until I had created a riddle I knew no other could possibly untangle -- for the answer was a truth that none living could yet have seen.
- continue -
I was so confident in my cunning that I wagered my own neck on it. Only, that tall stranger, who kept himself hidden behind a mask and hood, needed think on it only two nights before returning the answer that cost me my head. How could he have possibly known what I had seen? What malign force could have been working against me?
- continue -
Ahem, sorry. Would you like to try your hand at the riddle?
The player has two responses:
  1. Yes.
  2. No.
If "Yes", Ekil states the riddle.
If "No", Ekil replies:
Well, too bad. I've waited an elf's lifetime to try this riddle and you're going to hear it.
and then states the riddle.

Ekil's impossible riddle
What is my deepest nature, tell me true
For if you lie I will cover the world
Men will kneel beneath my thunder
And flee towards the midday sun

Know that I do not exist and never have
And yet in the very moment I leave you
I will have always been above you
And the wise will speak at last of nine
Player responses
“I thought you said this was impossible? It’s clearly…”
  1. Clouds.
  2. A dragon.
  3. Talos.
  4. Red Mountain.
The correct answer is "Talos." and will cause an excited Ekil to exclaim:
Yes, Talos himself! Incredible! I mean, not especially incredible since you're alive after he became the Stormcrown and Dragon of the North and all that, but it's still tremendously exciting to hear my greatest riddle solved by an honest mind. Now, perhaps, you can understand why it should have been so impossible for the wits and thinkers of my own time -- none but I had delved so far into Jhunal's mysteries and seen the future with such poetic clarity.
- continue -
And yet, that bastard worked it out in barely any time at all. I have sat here for centuries and yet I still cannot understand who they were or what sinister knowledge they possessed. You know what? I have a task for you. I want you to unmask the identity of this mysterious stranger.
An incorrect answer will receive Ekil's response:
Ha! I knew it was a most devious riddle, even for one who held the key of hindsight. No, friend, the answer was Talos. But now, perhaps, you can understand why it should have been so impossible for the wits and thinkers of my own time -- none but I had delved so far into Jhunal's mysteries and seen the future with such poetic clarity.
- continue -
And yet, that bastard worked it out in barely any time at all. I have sat here for centuries and yet I still cannot understand who they were or what sinister knowledge they possessed. You know what? I have a task for you. I want you to unmask the identity of this mysterious stranger.
This creates the "mysterious stranger" topic, with the following dialogue:
Will you help me? You know the old expression: when a skull mounted to the wall of a king's tomb asks you to solve a thousand-year-old mystery, you say…
With the player's responses being:
  1. Yes.
  2. No.

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worsas
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Post by worsas » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:03 am

This claim has not been updated for more than three months. Please provide an update within a month or this will get revoked.

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Tristior
SHotN Jarl of Lore
Posts: 319
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 2:12 pm

Post by Tristior » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:09 am

This is done, and is in the process of being integrated with its relevant interior.

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worsas
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Post by worsas » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:31 pm

Moving this to completed then.

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Tristior
SHotN Jarl of Lore
Posts: 319
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 2:12 pm

Post by Tristior » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:34 pm

Okay, this has been altered to match changes to the DH99 int. Found and fixed a bug while I was there. I don't want to merge it until we figure out the OpenMW issue, though.
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Texafornian
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Post by Texafornian » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:10 am

Reviewing

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Texafornian
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Post by Texafornian » Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:50 pm

Merged into DS section file

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