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Franklin Payne about The Lethe Wyvern

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by on1ondevelopment, Jun 7, 2016.

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  1. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    I haven't played Arcanum for quite a while, but on my computer I have a folder in which I store a plethora of files from the Arcanum millieu (wallpapers, modules, etcetera), one of which being the sound file called "The Honorable Franklin Payne". Browsing this folder one day, I found this file and decided to listen to it again for the nostalgia. Well, what do you know? Mr. Payne tells us about his safari on Thanatos, during which he encounters the Lethe Wyvern.

    If I recall correctly from the game itself, the Lethe Wyvern was found a bit north of Roseborough. So, why is it so that Franklin tells us about the monster being confronted on Thanatos, far south?

    The file is available somewhere here on Terra-Arcanum as far as I'm concerned, although, I downloaded it from here years ago, before the XenForo migration. Not sure if it's still round to be found, so I've written the dialogue here.

    - *Clears his throat* Greetings, esteemed ladies and gentlemen! We of the Tarantian Zoological Society have gathered here this evening, to bestow the Tarantian Coat of Arms upon the honorable Mister Franklin Payne. In recognition of his brave and otherwise noble acheivements in the fields of zoology, archæology, and other various disciplines of science and endeavours of the mind. Mister Payne, we congratulate you. And perhaps you might regail us with a tale from your undoubtedly endless collection of adventures? If you would, sir?
    - Yes, well, I suppose I do have one or two stories tucked away my brain-case. Not that I want to go around tooting my own horn, mind you. Well, let's see... No, no, that was no good for the children... Uh - Ah! Now, wait! I will tell you about my first safari on Thanatos - the dreaded monster island. Now, you see, just getting to Thanatos was an adventure in itself! I don't think there's a sailor in Arcanum that I didn't beg to take me to that seething cauldron of death! Spent more than a few shillings getting old sea-dogs stuttering drunk! But in the end, it was only my old friend Captain Edward Teach who had the backbone to take me there. Although, I do seem to remember that even he emptied a bottle or two before pulling anchor. Said it was for medicinal purposes.
    So! We're off to Thanatos! Now, usually, when I go off adventuring, I have an agenda in mind. Some ancient artifact that someone's grandmother can't live without... or that bloody sword that killed old so-so's crazy uncle, that's one thing. But! When I went to Thanatos, all I wanted was to find the most diabolical creature to test my metal against! Oh, I was young; full of spit and vinegar! Thought I was bloody invincible! But, if you don't mind me saying so, I was in fairly good fighting shape. I mean, I suppose I wasn't in a better time in my life to... erm, bear my back-sided death, so to speak.
    Ah, hahaha! well, be that as it may, we set anchor on the Northern end of the island. And I set out towards the heart of the island, with a few brave souls. They were... well, I must admit, most of them were illiterate orcish labourers who didn't have the slightest idea where we were. I mean, seriously, what reasonable civilised gentleman is going to throw himself to a certain and, undoubtedly excruciatingly painful death? Gah! well, in any case, they were unaware of their plight. Right up until the end. It didn't take long for the beast to find us.
    We'd come upon a clearing and had stopped to rest. Suddenly, I heard the most hair-raising howl from behind us! I must admit, friend, the very sound of this beast was enough to soak one's short-pants! More than a few of the orcs found themselves in need of some fresh laundry. Somehow, I managed to control my bodily functions, and turn to face the monstrosity. I couldn't believe it! There, in plain sight, was the most feared creature in all of Arcanum - the Lethe Wyvern.
    Oh, I was beside myself! Oh, what a spot of luck, absolutely brilliant! Now, if you know anything about the Lethe Wyvern, you know that the slightest touch of its teeth or claws can drive a man stark raving mad! And, there's no known cure for its venom! One wrong move, you end up a brainless blithering buckethead! Of course, that's only for as long as it takes for the creature to eat you alive. So, there it was. All spines and scales and nastiness! I pulled old Mary, my trusted blunderbuss, from out of my pack, hoping to fill the beast before it made a sputtering simpleton of me! Unfortunately, it had already done so to most of my orcish party. Those not drooling on themselves were already making a nice meal for the creature.
    Uh, bloody shame, really. I levelled old Mary at the beast, just as it was coming for me! Of course, of all the bad luck, Mary's firing mechanism had got all mucked up along the way. I had nothing but my wits with which to defend myself, against this horrendous, raging abomination! You wouldn't believe what I had to do in order to dispatch the beast! I crouched down, and then... Uh? Wha...?

    - (interrupting) *clears his throat* Uh, Mister Payne.

    - Oh, dear. Oh, well it seems we've run out of time here. So sorry! Perhaps we'll finish this story another day. Ah! well, jolly good! Good day to you!
    - Again, we thank Mister Payne for his time. And for those of you interested in finding out more about the world in which he lives, visit www(dot)arcanum1(dot)com. Good evening.

    Essentially, I wonder if there is anything in the game that I've missed regarding this creature. I spoke to the journalist in the Roseborough
    Inn regarding it and learned about its uncureable poison (and read on DBT's Easter Eggs list about the reference to the Lethe in Greek mythology) but that's all I've ever found out. One thing of note is that I've never had Franklin Payne as a follower in the game; is there anything he says about the beast that I've missed?
     
    Jojobobo likes this.
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    First and foremost, thanks for sharing, the read was great. Personally I'll always prefer Brian Mitsoda as Stanley Gimble in Bloodlines, and before anyone tells me he's not Franklin in Arcanum - well, open your ears.

    As far as I know, the Lethe Wyvern isn't mentioned elsewhere other than what you described - I would guess it can inhabit a variety of different of habitats. Still I guess given Franklin's encounter with it, it would explain why he only reached level one in all his technological disciplines.

    Sharing this on GoG's specific Arcanum forums wouldn't go a miss, so long as you told them you got the info from us supremely cool guys (or something less self-promotional, but classy, you know).
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  3. Ruda

    Ruda Active Member

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  4. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    Yes, I might want to share it over there. Perhaps there is someone over at the Codex possessing knowledge regarding the creature as well? I shall look round on the major forums - but of course, Terra-Arcanum will always be the best one. This inquiry I have about the beast is enough for me to start a new playthrough with the only purpose to find out as much as possible. Basically, I will scour both the game AND the forums for more information...

    ...Indeed, this is a good theory. I don't know a lot about the development process of Arcanum, but I'm sure at some point this audio file was released, and quite frankly before the game itself. The voice acting is extremely good, nonetheless!
     
  5. Wasted_Savior

    Wasted_Savior Member

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    I didn't like to keep Payne in my company because I felt like he was a fraud who over-sold his adventures. This inconsistency would support my theory of his delusions of grandeur. I will hence for engage in confirmation bias and not accept any other explanations. :cool:
     
  6. Ruda

    Ruda Active Member

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    He isn't even strong enough to wield old Mary, the hack.
     
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