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Mistb0rn

Avernum 6 story/ending?

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I tried A6 when it first came out, but it was so much like A5 that I couldn't stand to play it long enough to even finish the demo.

 

The problem is, I'm now trying to write a short story that involves (briefly, in passing) references to the events in the Avernum series storyline. I've looked over what wiki information I can find, but what I found seems either too vague, too specific, or just not there anymore.

 

What I'm looking for is just a summary of the story of Avernum 6 in overall events (not characters). I'd prefer the canonical ending if there is one, or at least a 'good' ending.

 

Thanks!

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A6 isn't really amenable to having its ending locked down. You get a lot of choices, and it's not really clear which are better. And "better" also always raises the question of who benefits.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't know of any summary, either. Most of A6 hasn't even made it to the Encyclopedia Ermariana.

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Let's see...

 

Background before story: it's about 10 years after A5. A Blight has hit Avernum. It makes the mushroom inedible. Despite great efforts to grow new, Blight resistant mushrooms, Avernum is running out of food. Second, Avernum has been invaded by the Slith Horde. Most of northern Avernum has been lost.

 

Because of these issues, Avernum is depopulating. Many people are fleeing through the Great Portal to the surface to escape the threats of famine and sliths.

 

You start out as lowly soldiers. You succeed at a couple menial jobs, and get transferred to the Castle. You succeed at a few more important jobs around the Great Cave. You get sent to check on the Great Portal, just in time to see it break down. Now everyone is trapped in Avernum. While the authorities try to deal with the problem, you get more, slightly more important, jobs putting out fires and trying to stabilize the situation. Finally you prove your competence to that Levitt, King Starrus' spymaster, personally requests your services. He sends you to deal with some problems in the Eastern Gallery, which is now the front in the war with the sliths. Among other things, you help blow up the city of Cotra to prevent it from falling into slith hands. Finally you've impressed Levitt enough that assigns you to make the long, dangerous journey to infiltrate northern Avernum, to sneak into slith-held Formello, and assassinate the slith general. You succeed, and along the way you also kill the main slith spymaster.

 

Next Levitt sends you to Fort Duvno, where the ancient Solberg has shown up. He wants to go on the offensive against the slith horde. You accompany Solberg as he wipes out a large portion of the slith army and kills the slith archmage who was the last of the horde's three major leaders.

 

That is as far as I've gotten in the main game so far; I know there are a couple more rounds of major quests, but that outlines the plot so far.

 

I know that for the ending, your actions can either help Gladwell become the dominant power in Avernum, help the ambitious dragon Melanchion become the dominant power in Avernum, or keep the kingdom of Avernum, albeit in smaller form, as a strong power. I don't think there is an official canonical ending.

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All endings are more or less bad for Avernum and only party gets somewhat happy ending.

 

There is thread (http://www.spiderwebforums.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=207103&page=1) about A6 endings.

 

Player needs to make few hard choices to get onward on game.

 

I agree with Triumph that there's no canonical ending and prolly won't be unless there'll be A7.

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From the linked thread, I see this:

 

Originally Posted By: Seaweed
Essentially, the nation of Avernum is doomed before you even step out of the Castle Food Depot. Which makes your heroic struggle seem somewhat futile.

...every single thing you did in the game was towards [preventing the end of Avernum]. Only there was nothing you could do. At times A6 felt more like a skillfully crafted slide-show than anything else; you ran from place to place witnessing the end of Avernum but being frustratingly unable to do anything about it.

 

Is that accurate? The end of A6 is basically 'Avernum is doomed,' only with a variety of different sub-outcomes that don't really change anything?

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Click to reveal..
Its only accurate if you consider "doomed" as being "not overpopulated and controlling all of the caves". And those sub-outcomes can really change the ending, such as if you let gladwell take over by helping him with all his quests, or killing melanchion. Besides, the famine and overpopulation was hinted at in A5. I for one was not suprised by the events in A6.
Shouldnt this thread have more spoiler tags, given that its pretty much one giant spoiler?

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Originally Posted By: Mistb0rn
Is that accurate? The end of A6 is basically 'Avernum is doomed,' only with a variety of different sub-outcomes that don't really change anything?


* No matter what you do, the nation of Avernum withdraws into the Great Cave and surrounding areas, because thanks to the Blight it can no longer support its population further north. Mertis pretty much marks the northern boundary of Avernum proper.

* The caves further to the north are controlled by the sliths and vahnatai (even if you killed their leaders).

* Depending on how you handled Melanchion's quests, Avernum is either in an uneasy truce with him, paying tribute to him as ruler of the caves, or doing just fine because he's dead.

* The remnants of the Darkside Loyalists eventually get hunted down and wiped out, no matter what.

* The Abyss can either be taken over by Melanchion, taken over by Lord Farrar, or stabilised by a truce between Spire and Bargha, depending on exactly what you did in both towns and with Melanchion.

Originally Posted By: Tirien
Shouldnt this thread have more spoiler tags, given that its pretty much one giant spoiler?


That's exactly why it doesn't need spoiler tags. If you see the thread title and still click on it, it's pretty much 100% your fault that you got spoiled.

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Originally Posted By: Earth Empires
unless there'll be A7.
There won't be; Jeff said that A6 will be the final game in the series.

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He said the same about E3, once upon a time.

 

—Alorael, who certainly wouldn't expect another Avernum until Avadon has come and gone and a few sequels have rolled around. But if Avadon flops, or if Jeff is struck by inspiration, the old cash cow and flagship property is waiting.

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Quote:
Alorael, who certainly wouldn't expect another Avernum until Avadon has come and gone and a few sequels have rolled around. But if Avadon flops, or if Jeff is struck by inspiration, the old cash cow and flagship property is waiting.


Personally, I think a return to Avernum after, say, fifty or a hundred Avernum-years would be really fun. I got very tired of the totally civilized Avernum (or Empire) of the later games, and enjoyed the exploration of the early games. Going back to see what became of various areas, what moved in when people moved out, what new critters emerged, the local fiefdoms that eke out a living in the wilderness, etc., would be cool. The pattern of running from huge town to huge town (or fort), the endless conversations with everyone there, doing their local quests, solving their problem, then moving on, got very repetitive this time. I want some adventure and exploration.

I really hope that Avadon isn't going to be as political as I fear it will be.

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most canonical ending (my opinion) is that both Gladwell and Melanchion are leaders and in full power ruling their own areas.

 

as for future: occasional not direct battles between those 2 happen and after a while direct battle between them happens and both die and there comes power vacuum which all try fill and on there we players would come on picture and start helping 1 faction to come Avernum's leader.

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I'm reading this as: Avernum is not doomed as such; rather it's growth is limited and its outer extensions are withdrawn - but there are still a lot of people living belowground and the major towns in the original southern areas would not be greatly affected. Is that a correct approximation?

 

And (barring some unforeseen calamity) in another 500 years the nation of Avernum would theoretically still exist, at least to some extent?

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I don't know, EE, there is plenty of editorializing by the author to suggest that both Gladwell and Melanchion are jerks who can not be trusted with power. Gladwell intends all kinds of havoc that would be very hard on the poor, disenfranchised people of Avernum. And Mel's followers are a bunch of mindless zombies who have been brainwashed into serving His Magnificence the Dragon (who, like a coward, sends you out to assassinate his opponents).

 

Given that the PC is a citizen and soldier of Avernum, I think the canonical ending is that you do what is necessary to help the people through the crisis, and for the King to retain power. Or do a bit more and kill Mel, too, so that the people of Avernum don't have to pay tribute to him.

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Yes and yes. The Castle, the Tower Colony, Dharmon, Mertis, Almaria, Fort Emerald, Fort Saffron, Patrick's Tower, Fort Remote - all of these major settlements remain. Avernum the kingdom is reduced in size, but still exists. It may be relatively independent, and ruled by either Starrus or Gladwell (or their successors), or it become a sort of satellite of Melanchion the dragon, remaining only semi-autonomous.

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SMK: True that but there's also possibility that w/o Melanchion and/or Gladwell, Sliths or Vahnatais could expand their territories to include what's left of Avernum (although war between Sliths and Vahnatais would be interesting on our point of view).

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EE: I agree that there are a lot of possibilities, and many of them are not well explored by the various ending texts. I was a bit disappointed with that. By 'canonical' I was mostly thinking of the OP's request for the ending that, if he wrote it into a story, would be the one that most players would agree was the typical ending. Helping Gladwell and/or Mel to become the dominant power(s) are, I think, somewhat aberrational endings, even if they're a bit more interesting. My reading of the clues in the conversations and the ending texts is that Jeff did not favor those endings. But, for all I know, those are more common than the one I am advocating. It may be that a lot of people do all of Glad and Mel's quests and then can't or don't kill them. I find them annoying, so I kill them (along with everyone else who is even mildly annoying and a lot of people who aren't), but others may not be bothered. Maybe we need a survey.

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Given that the only precedent for a multiple-ending Avernum game is A5, maybe there is something instructive there? The canonical ending, as seen from A6, is that the A5 PCs must have been loyal to the Empire and defeated Dorikas.

 

If the PCs of A6 follow a similar line, they will loyally serve Avernum, not helping Melanchion gain ascendancy, nor help Gladwell unseat the king.

 

/2cents

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Killing Melanchion is difficult enough that I'd say it's really more of a semi-hidden option than something you're expected to do. I'd say the closest thing to a basic "default" ending would be to do the bare minimum number of Melanchion's quests (Darkside Loyalists and Slith Scourge) and not complete Gladwell's quest line, so that Starrus remains king of Avernum, Melanchion is alive but has been unable to expand his sphere of influence, and the Abyss is ruled by Lord Farrar. That's no more "canonical" than any other ending, though.

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or do all G's quests and then kill him (not easy task although) but at that point of game that XP what's gotten on killing him doesn't help much.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Killing Melanchion is difficult enough that I'd say it's really more of a semi-hidden option than something you're expected to do. I'd say the closest thing to a basic "default" ending would be to do the bare minimum number of Melanchion's quests (Darkside Loyalists and Slith Scourge) and not complete Gladwell's quest line, so that Starrus remains king of Avernum, Melanchion is alive but has been unable to expand his sphere of influence, and the Abyss is ruled by Lord Farrar. That's no more "canonical" than any other ending, though.


Agreed, though I think a lot of people may kill Lord Farrar, too (which I think is easier than killing the Darkside Loyalists -- and if you don't kill them, you can't do Gladwell's last quest). Killing the Vahnatai is quite hard, and you've helped them earlier in the game, so some people may draw the line there. In that case you don't have to kill Melanchion to get the "balanced" ending. The path of least resistance just leads you there.

On the other hand, many players of fantasy RPGs are compulsive enough to want to do everything. So who knows? That's why I'm thinking of doing a poll. Here are the options I'm thinking of. Let me know if you have any additions, subtractions, edits, etc. I may not have all of the outcomes correct.

Proposed poll of favored endings:

  • Do not complete all quests for Gladwell and Melanchion. Starrus rules Avernum in standoff with Mel.
  • Complete Gladwell's quests, but not Melanchion's. Gladwell rules Avernum in standoff with Mel.
  • Complete Gladwell's quests, kill Melanchion. Gladwell rules Avernum.
  • Complete Melanchion's quests, but not Gladwell's (or kill Gladwell). Starrus remains king but bows down to Mel.
  • Complete both Melanchion's and Gladwell's quests. Gladwell rules Avernum in standoff with Mel.
  • Complete both Melanchion's and Gladwell's quests, but kill both. Starrus rules Avernum.
  • Other ending. Please post an explanation.


I note that Melanchion's outcomes are not symmetric with Gladwell's. Mel still has power if you don't complete his quests, but you get the same net result with Gladwell if you don't finish his quests, or if you do, then kill him.

Are the Lord Farrar outcomes important enough to include as separate variations in the "don't complete Mel's quests" choices? Maybe we could have a separate poll of the Mel quests?

Once we come up with a list, I will post the choices in poll form.

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I haven't done this particular ending variation myself, but I think that if you install Gladwell on the throne, he's a strong enough leader to maintain Avernum's independence even if you do all of Melanchion's quests. Can anybody confirm?

 

Also, I'm really curious to know what happens to the ending if you don't do the Slith Scourge quest.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Also, I'm really curious to know what happens to the ending if you don't do the Slith Scourge quest.

Nothing special, as far as Dikiyoba remembers.

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That's weird, the game makes a point of saying "if you hadn't killed the Scourge leaders, who knows how much longer the war would have gone on". But I guess Jeff never thought anyone would be perverse enough to actually test it.

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*checks*

 

With the Scourge left alive, the savage slith decide the northern lands they already conquered is enough and form a truce with Avernum. Apparently, the death of the three leaders was enough to knock the fight out of them. Is that any different from the Scourge killed ending?

 

Dikiyoba.

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Wow, that's... really not very different at all. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
I haven't done this particular ending variation myself, but I think that if you install Gladwell on the throne, he's a strong enough leader to maintain Avernum's independence even if you do all of Melanchion's quests. Can anybody confirm?


I did all of Melanchion's quests and all of Gladewell's quests and the ending, if I recall correctly, was that King Starrus was unable to stand up to Melanchion and the people were unhappy. That's when Gladwell returned with a lot of power (gotten from Erika Redmark's tower although that isn't mentioned) and takes over as leader of Avernum. As a result both Melanchion and Avernum were equals in power and influence.

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Okay, I've edited the option where you complete both sets of quests to show a standoff resolution. Any other fixes?

 

It's interesting that killing the Scourge doesn't help Avernum, only Melanchion. Mel is always telling you that what you're doing for him will help Avernum, too. Apparently he's a big liar.

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Originally Posted By: So Much Killing

It's interesting that killing the Scourge doesn't help Avernum, only Melanchion. Mel is always telling you that what you're doing for him will help Avernum, too. Apparently he's a big liar.



Mel only thinks his own benefit and if Avernum has weak leader then he gets alot land to rule and eventually alot supporters but I think Empire doesn't provide food so they live off with fruits until mushrooms are cured.

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That's very possible on all endings, if dragon rules he will provide food and ppls will be stucked on him and if Gladwell rules he gets food from Empire via portal so ppls are stucked on him and if both are dead then there's weak leader and food is provided by Empire and mages do what they want.

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Although ther are many endings available, Jeff seemed to make certain ones canonical. The adventurers are meant to be sneaky and avoid fights if they can. Remember in A4 when we fought Rentar-Ihrno? No matter what you ending you got in your game, the one that mattered was that you talked your way out of the fight and Rentar was spared. Now obviously not every boss had an escape clause, but some smaller ones did (Hrikis) I believe that the canonical ending to A6 is that you completed all of Gladwell's and Melanchion's quests and killed neither. They rule over the caves in an uneasy stalemate with a smaller Avernum in the middle. These are just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Post #473 cool

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Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg
Although ther are many endings available, Jeff seemed to make certain ones canonical. The adventurers are meant to be sneaky and avoid fights if they can. Remember in A4 when we fought Rentar-Ihrno? No matter what you ending you got in your game, the one that mattered was that you talked your way out of the fight and Rentar was spared.


what. that is the opposite of the truth. the canonical ending is that you killed her.

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I thought that remembered some thread about it some time ago. I looked here and found that apparently I was wrong. I appologize to you Lilith and everyone else at the Spiderweb Software forums for being wrong on that note, but stand beside my vote for the canonical ending.

 

Post #475 cool

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