Overview | The Trash Warrens | The Buried Village | Weeping Stone Catacombs | The Dead Nations | The Drowned Nations | The Warrens of Thought
THE DEAD NATIONS
As the name suggests, this place is the realm of the dead, or rather the undead. The first time you enter the Dead Nations, you will be greeted by Hargrimm the Bleak, high priest and spokesperson for the Silent King, the enigmatic leader of The Dead Nations. Hargrimm demands that you submit to the Silent King's will, that those who enter this place may never leave again.
If you refuse to submit, everybody in the place turns hostile and you will have to fight or run your way past a large horde of skeletons, ghouls and zombies, which is likely to be a bit beyond you. The more attractive alternative is to submit, promise you will stay, and then find a way to weasel your way out of this promise.
Upon submitting, you are taken to your quarters where you will be met by Soego, the former gatekeeper from the Mortuary. If Emoric back in the Gathering Dust Bar has asked you to find Soego, you can now report back and tell him where Soego is. That is, once you get out of this place!
There are several ways of escaping the Dead Nations. I recommend the last two, since they are peaceful and you gain the most experience this way.
The unnamed, generic creatures in this area are of little use, though the skeletons can give you some general information.
Once you have gained passage out of the Dead Nations, you can freely pass through any time. Of course, if you have turned the inhabitants hostile they will remain hostile forever, or at least until killed.
The Silent King's Throne Room is described at the bottom of this page.
Entering and Escaping the Dead Nations
1 is the place where you are first confronted when you enter the Dead Nations. As mentioned above, your best option is to submit.
After submitting, you will be taken to 2 where you will meet Soego. Talk to him to learn a bit about the people in this place and that as a good Dustman he is trying to get them to embrace the True Death instead of their "false life", as he calls it. Soego will let you rest here.
The metal slab at 3 contains Soego's diary. You can't open it as long as Soego is nearby so if you want to snoop around in his belongings, you will have to find a way to distract him in order to make him leave the room temporarily. The barrels contain 10 bandages. Reading Soego's journal earns you 2,000 XP.
The containers at 4 contain some junk, 500 copper pieces, two Battle Axes and one Battle Axe of Quality.
5 is the place you will find Hargrimm after leaving Soego's quarters. You should grill him extensively to learn about the most important characters in the Dead Nations: The Silent King (about whom Hargrimm is also very silent!), Hargrimm himself, Soego, the zombie queen Stale Mary, and the ghoul queen Acaste. He can also give you some basic information about Cranium Rats. You will learn that Hargrimm trusts Stale Mary but distrusts Soego and Acaste, and that the rats want to take over the Dead Nations.
Ask Hargrimm if you can speak to the Silent King to get his permission to leave. Hargrimm won't let you until he knows you better, so ask if there is anything you can do to convince him. He will ask you to kill any Cranium Rats you might come across in the Dead Nations. To solve this quest, kill the six rats at 6, then report back to Hargrimm for 3,750 XP.
Hargrimm still doesn't trust you but asks you to find an excuse for him to get rid of Soego, who is a threat to the Dead Nations because he is trying to get the inhabitants to accept the True Death. Solving this quest is somewhat trickier:
After solving Hargrimm's two quests, he will allow you to rest in the Dead Nations, and you can get healing from him.
At 6 you will find six hostile Cranium Rats if you have got the "Kill Cranium Rats" quest from Hargrimm. Kill them, and remember to pick up their tails – you can give them to the Knifed Ghoul at 16 in return for Uhir's Knife.
The Puzzled Skeleton at 7 is pondering a difficult riddle. With an intelligence of 18 or better you will guess the answer immediately (6,250 XP), otherwise you will need to speak to the Riddling Skeleton at 14.
Some of the containers in the general vicinity of 8 contain various goodies:
The Doubtful Skeleton at 9 is considering giving up its life and seeking the True Death. You can advice it to stay alive or to seek the True Death, your choice. You should tell Soego about this, to lure him out of his chamber (see above).
Stale Mary at 10 is the leader of the zombies and has many uses. First of all, if your Intelligence is at least 16 you can get her to teach you the special skill "Stories-Bones-Tell", which allows you to speak with the dead – at least the somewhat recently dead (3,750 XP). This enables you to speak with a great many corpses throughout the game. With a lower intelligence, seek out Hargrimm and ask him how to speak with Stale Mary. He will suggest that you "listen to her", and you can now get her to teach you this skill.
Stale Mary can tell you a lot about the other characters in this area – but she agrees with Hargrimm on most of them. And refuses to speak about the Silent King.
With a Charisma of at least 16 you can ask Mary of a way to speak to the Silent King. She will tell you of a portal into his Throne Room (netting you another 3,750 XP). The portal can be found at 11. Use this portal to enter the Throne Room. If your Charisma is too low and you are playing as a Mage, you can use the 1st level spell "Friends" to boost your Charisma. When you have used the portal once, it no longer works; as Hargrimm will deactivate it.
At 12 you will meet the Nameless Zombie. She has forgotten her name and will ask you to find it for her. You can either suggest that she choose a new name for herself (which will end the quest immediately, with full experience), or you can offer to find it for her. The name can NOT be found on a tombstone in the Drowned Nations but when you report back to tell this sad fact, you can again suggest that she choose a new name for herself. Either way you gain 5,000 XP for not finding her name. :-)
The Skeleton Merchant at 13 buys and sells a variety of items. You can take the opportunity to sell some of the items you have found in the Catacombs and the Dead Nations and stock up on healing charms.
The Riddling Skeleton at 14 has told the Puzzled Skeleton (see 7 above) a difficult riddle and refuses to give the answer. You can guess the answer immediately with an Intelligence of at least 18. With an Intelligence of 16 you can challenge the skeleton to a contest (did I hear someone say "Riddles in the Dark"?) and stump it and get the answer to the riddle. With a lower intelligence YOU will be stumped and will never find out the answer.
If your Intelligence is too low, you can use some Cranium Rat Charms to boost it temporarily before speaking to this skeleton.
After you have gotten the answer to its riddle, the Riddling Skeleton asks you never to tell anyone. You can make a promise if you wish to be Lawful.
At 15 you will find Acaste, leader of the ghouls. Speak to her to learn that she only remains loyal out of fear of the Silent King, but that she really wants to kill and eat all the inhabitants of the Dead Nations. If you tell her that the Silent King is only a dead skeleton, a major civil war will break out in the Dead Nations. Everybody will be hostile and fighting each other – or attacking you if they have no other enemies within sight. And of course, telling is an Evil act! And Chaotic, if you have vowed not to tell anyone.
The Knifed Ghoul at 16 has Uhir's Knife which you promised Uhir up in the Buried Village to find for him. The ghoul will give up the knife in return for six Cranium Rat Tails, which you can find by killing the six Cranium Rats at 6 for Hargrimm. You can also find plenty of rats in the Weeping Stone Catacombs or in the Warrens of Thought. And you can of course kill the ghoul for the knife, at the price of turning the entire area against you, if you haven't managed to do so already.
At 17 you will find the barred entrance to the Silent Kings Throne Room. This door can only be opened if you have taken the key to the Dead Nations from Hargrimm. When you open the door, everybody in the Dead Nations becomes hostile.
The exits to the Weeping Stone Catacombs and the Drowned Nations are at 18 and 19, respectively. The exits are locked until you get permission to leave or steal the key to the Dead Nations from Hargrimm.
Yes, as I said, the Silent King is dead...err, oops!
This is the room where the Silent King is hiding. If you enter here through Stale Mary's portal before you have finished Hargrimm's two quests, you will be confronted by Hargrimm and Stale Mary. The Silent King is so silent because he is long dead, and they want you to not tell anyone – in particular the Ghouls and the Cranium Rats, because if they found out, it would topple the precarious political balance in the Dead Nations and quite probably destroy the entire community.
Your options are:
At 1 you can exit back out to the Dead Nations.
The Silent King's throne is at 2. If you are playing as a thief and you have a generic human skull in your inventory, you can swap the human skull for the Silent King's skull. The Silent King's skull may come in handy in Act 5 but is not necessary – you can use a number of other skulls for this purpose, most notably Soego's, which is freely available if you've followed the recommendations above.
If you don't have a human skull, or if you're not a thief, you can still break off the Silent King's skull – at the price of turning the entire Dead Nations against you!
3 is the point where you arrive if you enter through the portal Stale Mary tells you about.