8. Chapter 5: Second Opinion
ACT I – Unnatural Selection
With a new chapter, there’s an optional dialogue with Dr. Swansea. While it doesn’t provide any additional experience, it’s worth swinging by Pembroke as Rakesh Chadana now offers sodium hydroxide and white phosphorus in his shop, although at very limited quantities. It may take a few days to earn enough of these materials to upgrade your guns – for Chemical or Incendiary damage – but it’s the earliest opportunity to grab these materials in a Not even once playthrough, and the amounts available are limited even in an Anarchy run-through. To ensure you don’t accidentally cheat yourself out of Lore Keeper and Tools of the trade, keep your embracing to a minimum in the West End!
Report to Lord Redgrave about Doris Fletcher.
When you’ve finished your shopping (and probably restocking your supply of treatments, serums, and ammo!), head back to the Ascalon Club. Lady Ashbury is present in the main hall if you’d like to speak with her. Head up the stairs and follow the walkway around the upper level to reach the room where you first meet Redgrave.
Reach Temple Church entrance.
Your conversation with Lord Redgrave will prompt you into a new area of the West End district. Leave the Ascalon Club via the main entrance and proceed along the road leading north-west to the entrance of Temple Church Park. Rather than enter the park, turn right and continue to follow the road north. (This leads through the outdoor market where we conducted the “A surprise for the London’s lone gourmet” investigation, but if you haven’t done it yet, this is another excellent opportunity to do so.) Continue through the outdoor market until you reach a locked quarantine barrier. Attempt to open the door and earn an easy 200 XP bonus!
Find a way to access Aloysius Dawson’s mansion.
Your map will indicate that the path around the barricade lies somewhere in Temple Church Park. From the barricade, head southwest to enter the park. Once inside, there is a staircase to the right with 3 Skals lurking about. (Two 29 Rogues, and a 29 Ill-formed)
Continue northwest up another set of stairs, and you’ll see a gazebo up ahead on the left. Jonathan will mention there is a passage that will lead you closer to the mansion … even though it’s not really evident. In front of the gazebo is a corpse holding a Thick sturdy blood sample. Just past the gazebo is a 30 Shadow Ekon just waiting to thrash you. (I suggest thrashing him first!) This Ekon is guarding the stairs to the passage Jonathan noted earlier. Before descending, turn to the south and follow the blood spatters until you find a set of stairs leading to the west. Up these stairs is some more blood, and if you look up, you’ll see a balcony you can leap up to. Inside this room is a hideout, but just before the door is a blood spatter you can investigate to begin “Like father, like daughter.”
Inside the hideout, you can analyze the Thick blood to learn Strong regeneration serum. From the main room of the Teasdale house, leave through the south hole in the wall. If you look down, you’ll spot a bridge just to the left of the hole. It is possible to drop onto the bridge from the house, but if you miss it, you can follow the trench around to street level. Either way, make your way to the south-east corner of the house, where you will find a Pinned letter on the door. Reading this note will give you Louise Teasdale’ Hint 2. (It also prompts Jonathan to wonder if there’s a way to break into the house with gaping holes in its walls, even though you were just up there)
Pop back over to where you fought the Ekon and descend the staircase to reach a door.
Follow the passage to reach Aloysius Dawson’s mansion.
Follow the path through the sewers. There are a couple of minor branches with crafting materials as you progress, but there’s really just one main path. Eventually, you will reach a balcony overlooking a large area of sewer below you. As you descend, you’ll drop off the end of a broken staircase and be confronted by a 32 Vulkod. (Similar to the Fergal fight a couple of chapters back!)
The Vulkod, Leon Augustin is a big vampire, resistant to blood and ranged attacks, but he has a massive weakness when it comes to stun damage. With Charlotte’s stake, you can stun him in 4-5 hits! In addition, he takes an absurd amount of damage from your bite attacks. His attacks are mostly in the form of very slow – but very powerful – punches. If you dodge out of the way, he’s quite vulnerable from behind. He can also create shadow versions of himself to attack you.
After defeating Leon, you’ll gain a Thick brisk blood sample and The violence of Vulkods (26/30 Lore-Keeper), which means you can finish “They are among us” the next time you’re topside.
Leave this mini arena through the door in the north-east wall. This leads to a three-way intersection. There is nothing down the left path. The right path requires you to leap up to a ledge and follow a twisting tunnel until you find an opening on the right side. Down this brief passage is a corpse holding a Soiled letter, which can be read for Louise Teasdale’s Hint 4. If you continue along the tunnel, you’ll unlock a door that will allow you to access the balcony above where you tangled with Leon.
Back at the three-way intersection, continue forward. There will be a tunnel that branches to the left, but this another dead end. Instead, continue forward into a large room with a control panel and a bunch of pipes and valves.
To proceed, turn the valve on the far right and then the middle valve to raise the water level and unlock the door ahead of you. Follow the walkway around to the left in order to cross the bridge. As you enter this area, you’ll be ambushed by four 30 Rogue Skals.
Afterward, unlock the door leading back to the control panel and the three valves. This time, turn all three valves to drop the water level to its lowest point. Go through the door on your right and immediately to the left are a set of stairs leading down. Bound across the gaps in front of you and venture deeper into the sewers.
On the other side of the tunnel, ascend the staircase in front of you, then turn right to find another staircase. As you approach it, you’ll hear Louise scream. She’s fine for now, so turn around from the second staircase and see the catwalk that you jump up to it. From up here, turn right and find an Axe (9/20 Melee) tucked in a corner.
Like father, like daughter.
Find Louise Teasdale.
Rather than ascend the second staircase, head past it to find a large tunnel on the far side of the room. At the end of this tunnel is a room with a 30 Rogue Ekon who has taken Louise prisoner. After defeating him, you’ll pick up a Recent diary which clues you in on this psycho’s motives, and also gives you Louise Teasdale’s Hint 3.
Talk and check on the pugnacious young woman. Open the gate leading to Louise’s cell and chat with her. (Pugnacious, indeed!) After the conversation, she’ll relocate to the West End the next time you sleep. You are also rewarded 140 XP.
Retrace your steps and then ascend the second staircase to finally reach the exit of the sewers.
Enter Aloysius Dawson’s mansion.
With this being a new area of West End, there are a number of citizens that can be spoken with, especially if you’re looking to find all of Dawson’s hints before determining his fate. Firstly, though, head left from the top of the stairs and unlock that annoying quarantine barrier so you won’t have to trek through the sewers a second time.
Near where you emerged is the Price shop, where you can meet Carolyn Price. Ask her about Aloysius to learn Aloysius Dawson’s Hint 1. From the Price shop, head north-west up the set of steps (speaking with the puzzling Baker twins, if you so choose) and follow the building around to its western side. Here you'll find a set of steps leading roughly south-east beneath the building (the West End's church), where Usher Talltree has an office of sorts … in a crypt. As you descend these steps, you may notice that there are a set of tiles in the room prior to Usher's office that will click and grind as you walk across them. Ignore them for now; we'll address them during the next chapter.
In front of Usher's desk is The Crime of Lost Knowledge (27/30 Lore-Keeper). While speaking with this enigmatic character, ask “Your life in London?”, “What do you do here?”, then “Some believe you to be a vampire?” to begin the “Pandora’s box” investigation. We will tackle this when we encounter the area later. Also, make sure you ask Usher about Aloysius to learn Aloysius Dawson’s Hint 2. (During my Not even once playthrough, he gave me Old blood when I asked how he knew about the lives I'd taken.)
(If you spend a little time in this area, you can gather all the hints for the Baker brothers and the Prices before venturing on)
With this out of the way, head north along the road to reach Aloysius’ mansion. There is a hideout just before you reach the mansion if you need supplies.
ACT II – Fountain of Life
Follow Lord Regrave orders or Elisabeth’s advice.
Talk with Aloysius Dawson.
Before deciding Dawson’s fate, take a moment to rummage about the mansion for crafting supplies. Frustratingly, the only item of note is a Newspaper article on the upper floor (on a sofa along the south wall) that will give you Charles Jerome Albright’s Hint 3.
Before proceeding, please READ THIS SECTION. Dawson's fate is a bit more tricky than the other Pillars, as his fate is directly linked to the entirety of London. As a result, you could mess your playthrough up quite easily if you don't act correctly. If West End's status is in a Serious state (or would dip that low if you rested), you HAVE to keep Dawson alive, or risk voiding Lore Keeper and Tools of the trade.
If you gained both Dawson's hints prior to this, you’ll have the option to Charm him. Unlike with Dorothy Crane, this is the best option for Dawson … but maybe not for you. Maybe because your powers of hypnotism are better now, he doesn’t become a skal but rather throws all his money into fighting the epidemic, meaning that everyone is healed of their sicknesses for a couple of days. This throws all the districts into as close to sanitary states as possible, and Elisabeth is happy with this decision. Of course, now you have to contend with the Ascalon Club since you’re a traitor to them, and Dawson winds up dying during the following day. (With everyone cured of illness, you also won’t be able to get the XP boosts from healing them yourself) If you are aiming for London is burning on this playthrough, this will not be an impossible adversity to overcome, but it will make the final boss quite a bit more powerful. (More on that next chapter)
Otherwise, there are the standard Turn and Embrace options. Turning him into a vampire will cost 2000 XP, and keeps a Not even once run intact. In addition, almost everyone gets sick, so you can earn some doctoring XP fairly easily. The Ascalon Club is happy, and Dawson becomes a shopkeeper at the Club, selling blood samples for your serum crafting.
Finally, you can embrace him. Obviously, this voids Not even once, but you earn XP rather than lose it (unlike with Charm). You become an enemy of the Ascalon Club. Note that if you kill him, the district will certainly spiral into chaos, and there’s a chance (if the district dips into Hostile status) that Usher Talltree will be among the first to die, voiding Lore Keeper and Tools of the trade.
Note that Embracing Dawson is the only way to keep the Ascalon Club happy. Any other choice will result in you being cast out, and any vampire will kill you on sight. (Not really a big difference as far as things have been unfolding, but it's something to keep in mind.)
Then head forward to converse with Dawson. Regardless of your final decision, you’ll earn Prepare to die for making your decision as well as obtain Mesmerize 5.
Unlocked by 4,863 tracked gamers (17% - TA Ratio = 2.42)
Report to Lord Redgrave.
Well, it seems he doesn’t trust you after all. Rather than have to trek back to the Ascalon Club, Redgrave is waiting for you at the front door of the mansion. You can answer as you like, but if you didn’t turn Aloysius, you’re in for expulsion from the Ascalon Club.
ACT III – And by the sword, you die
And by the sword, you die.
Talk with Old Bridget.
It seems like everyone in London knew where you were heading. As you leave the mansion, Old Bridget will be standing inside the gate, waiting to speak with you and guide you into the next disaster needing your attention.
While the situation seems dire, it won’t hurt to rest and level up. Your opponents have certainly bumped up a bit and are in the 30s now. You can also finish collecting the hints for Charles Jerome Albright and Louise Teasdale before leaving the West End. You can also turn in “They are among us” to Clarence Crossley. It may be helpful to have a weapon that can churn out Chemical damage because your next fight will be against a human.
Reach the Pembroke Hospital.
Follow the familiar route back to the hospital, keeping an eye out for the escalated Priwen presence. As you cross the bridge into Pembroke, you’ll note a truck has blocked the road. You’ll be forced to take the path along the wharf. At first glance, everything seems fine, but once you talk to any of the residents, they’ll tell you that Edgar was confronted in his office. Alternatively, you could just go to the office door and see that it’s been painted on with a white X.
Go the Edgar Swansea’s office.
You’ll spot a trace of blood on the office floor. Examine this to begin following the blood trail.
Follow the blood trail.
The trail leads up to the third floor of the hospital. There’s nothing of note up here other than an elevator which will take you up into the hospital’s uppermost levels. Once here, you’ll face off against Geoffrey McCullum.
Do not play around with McCullum. He can fire 5 times with his crossbow, impale you with his massive sword and in addition activates the room’s defenses, which consist of ultraviolet light. With the amount of aggravated damage he’s throwing around, it’s best to put him down quickly. He is resistant to blood attacks and highly resistant to melee.
After beating him, you earn Bury the hatchet.
Unlocked by 4,717 tracked gamers (16% - TA Ratio = 2.46)
After the fight, you’ll talk to him. Your first choice won’t matter, but the next choice will be to either turn or spare him. He’s not a pillar or even a citizen, so it doesn’t really affect the game one way or the other, other than spending 1000 XP to turn him.
ACT IV – Science without conscience
As you get ready to embark on the chapter’s climax, I remind you again to spend as much XP as possible to ensure you’re prepared for the next battle against Priwens in their 30s. At some point, as you're making your way through the city - if you did anything other than Embrace Dawson - you may get attacked by a 32 Shadow Ekon named Lord Sheffeld, a vampire bounty hunter of sorts who has been dispatched by the Ascalon Club to kill you. Other than a substantial amount of loot he drops after being slain by you, this encounter doesn't seem any different than any other vampire attacking you.
Rescue Edgar Swansea.
Reach the Doris Fletcher’s theatre.
There are numerous ways to get back to the theatre, but this time, you can enter through the front door, rather than clambering up the back.
Gather information about Edgar Swansea’s work.
Head into the door just past the lobby and face off against a 31 Brawler, 32 Rookie, and 32 Chaplain. Afterward, check the table in the middle of the room to find McCullum’s report and a theatre stage key that will open the door of the left side of the stage.
Follow the hallway, and when you hear someone muttering, activate your blood sense to spot Edgar in the next room behind a – naturally – locked door. Take the only other exit (north-east door) and quickly turn right to meet a 32 Exterminator before he spots you.
Once he’s down, backtrack a little to the door on the right side of this short hallway. It leads to a small room with a locked safe. On the shelf to the left of the door is The vampire knight (28/30 Lore-Keeper). Now check the left side of the table to find William Marshal’s memoirs, along with the Theatre basement key. Just above the center of the table is a pinned note, which will update your “Pandora’s Box” investigation.
Find the safe’s key.
Edgar will be fine for a bit longer, so return upstairs, through the lobby, and continue up to the upper level of the theatre. In the hallway outside the auditorium will be a 32 Chaplain and 32 Brawler. Defeat them both quickly, being mindful of the confined space you’re fighting in, and pick up a Brand new key from the brawler.
Open the safe and retrieve Usher Talltree’s notebook.
BE CAREFUL. I’ll mention this now. It may be a common habit when you pick something up to use the MENU button to look at it and read it. IF YOU DO THIS NOW, you will void Lore Keeper and Tools of the trade on this playthrough. Return to the basement and open the safe and pick up the Personal notebook. DO NOT READ IT.
Retrieve Edgar Swansea.
Use the key to open the door and rescue Edgar. However, things look bleak for the good doctor. Ultimately, you’ll be left with three choices: Let him die, Turn him, or Embrace him.
To keep your Not even once, you’ll either want to let him die or turn him (for a cost of 3000 XP). Embracing him gives you a huge amount of XP and will make the end game quite a bit easier, although Pembroke will suffer a devastating loss. (Which isn’t really that big of a deal if you’re going for Anarchy anyway.) Regardless of the choice, you’ll earn The Dying Swansea.
Unlocked by 4,663 tracked gamers (16% - TA Ratio = 2.47)
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