Plot: The Marble Nest
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|Birdies, birdies... gather ye here, round the marble nest...
This entry contains potential spoilers for Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest. Read at your own risk.
This entry contains potential spoilers for Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest. Read at your own risk.
The following synopsis details the events which take place during Pathologic: The Marble Nest. This page is not spoiler free! This only covers the relevant plot details and should not be considered a direct walkthrough. This may serve as an overview of the story's events through a narrative lens.
Some events may occur in individual games in an order that differs from this synopsis due to the structure of The Marble Nest.
The events of The Marble Nest take place on the tenth day of the Second Outbreak as experienced by the Bachelor. The Bachelor awakes from what seems to be a prophetic dream and works to prevent it from coming true. In order to do that, he must keep the Stone Yard - the only remaining area of Town that remains untouched by the Plague - safe from infection. While attempting to maintain the Stone Yard quarantine and looking for the Plague carriers, he will also constantly be confronted by manifestations of Death and forced to question his understanding of it.
The Marble Nest Plot
|“||You are Daniil Dankovsky, a Bachelor of Medicine and fighter of death. You have one last chance to uncover the truth.||„|
The Bachelor awakens in a coffin within a small room, disoriented and unsure of when and where he is. He is soon confronted by Aspity, who chides him for failing to discover the source of the Sand Plague in the Stone Yard the previous day. Passing by the corpse of Dora Feugel, Bachelor learns from an orderly that the quarantined refugees from across the river have all perished. Bachelor stumbles away from the grisly scene to discover that Dora is alive. Dora tells Bachelor that she and Marat Ranin had been certain that he was dead, and that Marat was furious with him for his failure. Upstairs, Bachelor finds Marat, who accuses him of having been apathetic to the plight of those endangered by the Plague. Following the argument, Marat assaults Bachelor, who overpowers him and beats him to death. Attempting to leave, Bachelor finds an Executor, who repeatedly asks him to accept his death. The Bachelor may refuse and step out onto the heady plague-ridden street, where he promptly blacks out. Should he accept his fate he will simply die, having learned nothing.
Bachelor is awoken by Sticky, who informs him both that The Judge Georgiy Kain had come looking for him and that his friend Blacky's stepfather is sick. Concluding that he had witnessed a prophetic nightmare, Bachelor sets out to find the carrier of the Plague. He soon learns from a collection of orderlies celebrating in The Cape that he had been presumed dead. With his death The Judge had assumed his position of authority and ordered an end to the quarantine. The Judge later tells him that he had met with the carrier but decided to let them go in order to test the resilience of the Town.
Setting to tracking down the carrier, Bachelor determines that Blacky's stepfather has died of a stroke rather than Sand Plague. After he has determined the cause of Blacky's stepfather's death, an Executor, who seems to be the disease - and, by association - death itself, appears to taunt him for failing thus far to find the carrier as not all who die will die of Plague. The Executor's character soon breaks and they return to speaking not as the disease, but as an orderly simply reporting to the home of a deceased individual. The orderly then provides the Bachelor with the Master Key to the house. With the key the Bachelor is able to explore and loot the home, though the key will eventually break.
While searching for the carrier the Bachelor also finds Dora and Marat self-quarantined in the guarded Cathedral (currently functioning as an isolation ward); however, he is unable to determine if they are suffering from the Plague. The Bachelor can then choose to send them to his lodgings in order to reexamine them later, or, in his doubt, leave them in the Cathedral to prevent the risk they may cause should they be infected. Should the Bachelor allow the pair to remain the Cathedral they will later be killed, and then burned.
The Bachelor also investigates rumours of a funeral in the Steppe encampment outside of town. While approaching he is stopped by a Herb Bride who asks him to treat her husband, a Worm who is wounded and dying. In order to do so he requires bandages, something he finds himself without, but with a thought of where to acquire them. The chemist, once home to Var, now lays abandoned and locked, protected by soldiers. A soldier outside of the chemist informs the Bachelor that he is to guard the place in order to prevent thefts that would potentially spread the disease throughout the Stone Yard. Nearby the Bachelor can find Cookaroo, a young boy.
Cookaroo convinces the Bachelor to enter the chemist and then throw the items he has collected out of the window for Cookaroo to catch. The Bachelor reluctantly agrees and then heads inside the house. Inside he finds all that he needs to treat the Odongh, as well a vial of Panacea; a bottle that currently may be - and, since its creator the Haruspex is dead, may continue to be - the only of its kind. The Bachelor throws the items down to Cookaroo and exits the chemist's. Though the Bachelor is searched by the soldier, the soldier finds nothing in his possession and lets him leave. Cookaroo waits at the back of the building and gives the Bachelor half of the items, taking half for himself as payment. Cookaroo also informs the Bachelor that upon being thrown the bottle of Panacea shattered, destroying it.
While making his way back to the Steppe, a townswomen informs the Bachelor that Eva Yan's voice emanating from the Stillwater even though she is dead. Should the Bachelor approach the Stillwater house, he will also hear voices coming from the building, though to him they are jumbled and unintelligible.
Nearby the Stillwater, there is a guarded house. While speaking to the soldier stationed outside, the Bachelor learns that the man had to confiscate a collection of lockpicks from some children who tried to break into the house. The Bachelor may ask the soldier for lockpicks and, using one, can enter the house. Inside of the house is a picture of carnage, with several bodies left in several of the house's room. It is unclear what those inside the house succumbed to, but from the prevalence of bloody trails left along the floorboards it seems that their end was likely violent.
The Bachelor enters the Steppe camp to a group of Kin who do not want him there. They inform him that there is to be a wedding soon, and that he is forbidden from seeing it. The Bachelor then finds the injured Odongh in a tent and offers to help them. The Odongh forbids the Bachelor from treating him as he is not a Menkhu and therefore does not know the lines as is forbidden from cutting bodies. The Bachelor, irritated by the Odongh's plea, informs the Odongh that he is not cutting open but rather stitching closed. The Odongh begs him to leave as the wound was self-inflicted and he intended to die as in his death he will prevent the wedding from taking place. The Bachelor is confused by the fervour in which the Odongh wishes to prevent the wedding - what should be a joyous occasion - and dresses the Odongh's wound. In doing so he saves the Odongh's life and unwittingly enables a Herb Bride sacrificial marriage to take place. The crowd gathered provide him with the Bride's heart for his help.
A crowd has gathered by the Store, angered by its seemingly indefinite closure. The crowd demands that the Bachelor reopen it, as it is preventing those in the Stone Yard from accessing medicine. To do this, he may speak to the Committee by the Crucible and order the store unlocked or, should he choose, order that the store remain closed. Should the store be opened, it will then sell food and medicine. At the end of the day, several Army personnel will execute the protesters, regardless of the Bachelor's decision.
At midday, an usual event is occurring outside of the Cathedral. A small group of Tragedians are performing, flanked by cages as they mime a scene to each other. As the Bachelor approaches them they claim that they know how to deal with a dreaded evening appointment that the Bachelor is to encounter. They dismiss it, as, for the Bachelor, there will be no tomorrow and as such their advice would be useless anyway. The Bachelor presses the Tragedians, and they refuse again, informing him that they could only give the advice to a man with an open heart and lament what a shame it is that the Bachelor has no heart at all. They promise that if the Bachelor is to discover his heart they will be able to provide information. The Bachelor is then able to provide the Tragedian's with the heart he received from the Herb Bride in the Steppe camp. The Tragedians are shocked by the Bachelor's literal interpretation of their words. Nevertheless, they do provide their promised information in vagaries, explaining to the Bachelor that in order to win he must first understand the rules of the game in which he is playing, then he must understand how to break them.
Similarly, at midday, a strange house by Aspity's residence begins to be guarded by soldiers. When approached, the soldier stationed outside asks the Bachelor if he is here to inspect the home. The Bachelor inquires as to why the tenants of the house no longer live there the soldier responds that he doesn't know, only that there appears to be something scary inside. As the Bachelor enters, the door locks behind him and he will find a Tragedian standing by the doorway. The Tragedian tells him that in order to leave, the Bachelor must find himself and, in the process, face death. Though he cannot defeat death, he is able to move forward beyond it. In order to escape the house, the Bachelor must search through the house to find a dead patrolman who holds the Key to a downstairs door, subtly replaying the events of his earlier dream. Once the door is opened the Bachelor will find only a coffin with a Pocket Watch inside. While searching through the house the Bachelor is chased by the face of Death who moves along the walls accompanied by the sound of scratching wood. Once the Bachelor finds the coffin and takes the pocket watch, the house will transform, returning to normality and allowing the Bachelor to leave.
Sometime during the day, Bachelor also finds a crowd of people waiting for Aspity to interpret their dreams. While speaking to a Kinsman, the Bachelor offers an item of his choosing in exchange for his dream. The Kinsman agrees, and informs the Bachelor that he dreamed that he would die today, and that he wouldn't be the only one to do so. The Bachelor naively assumes that the man saw his death by plague but the Kinsman corrects him, saying that he saw his own death by fire, not disease, which Aspity has taught the Kin not to fear. Inside, Aspity once again rebukes Bachelor for refusing to accept or understand death and demonstrates how to "die properly"—crumpling to the ground before him, lifeless, only to reappear outside.
In the yard outside, Sleepy Head, Shrew, and Sticky wait by a tree. They are standing vigil over a suspicious house, playing a strange game with nuts; one where they trap the souls of the dying within them in order to preserve them. Shrew offers lockpicks in exchange for nuts, while Sticky begs the Bachelor not to give nuts to Shrew, and instead give them to him. Should the Bachelor decide to trade with Sticky, Shrew will be angered and disappear to the back of the suspicious house. The Bachelor will then find her standing by the doorway as he goes to investigate. Shrew will inform him that in reality he is dying, riddled with illness and deliriously dreaming. Shrew wished for nuts in order to preserve his dying soul.
With the help of the children Bachelor is able to find the location of the carriers, discovering them behind a locked door at the top of the strange building. The two carriers - named Siskin and Lotman - believe that the disease will allow them to become immortal. Having found the carries the Bachelor successfully orders their quarantine. The victory is short though, as an orderly informs Bachelor that a mob of sick refugees from across the river have made it through the barricades and dispersed throughout the Stone Yard.
Come nightfall, the Plague takes hold and spreads throughout the streets of the Stone Yard; the air grows thick, and the tenement walls develop oozing, mottled sores. Townspeople take to the streets, killing an Odongh out of suspicion that it is the carrier. At the evening bell, the townspeople begin travelling North for a funeral. Following the crowd, Bachelor is informed that a learned doctor from the Capital has become the first victim of the Sand Plague in the Stone Yard. Pushing through the crowd, Bachelor enters his lodgings to find Sleepy Head, Shrew, Sticky, Dora, and Marat—all of whom speak to him as if they are watching over him while he feverishly sleeps.
After being boarded up in the house by the crowd outside, Bachelor returns to the room that he had woken up in in his nightmare to find an Executor looming over a cradle where his coffin had been. Once again, the Executor urges Bachelor to accept his death, rather than playing out the events of the day once more, vainly trying to prevent the spread of the Plague. Upon the Bachelor's—or perhaps the Player's—refusal, the Executor leaves off, and bids him return to another fruitless loop. "Now close your eyes," says the Executor, "When you open them, a boy called Sticky will wake you up, and the Stone Yard will once again be free of infection. Perhaps this time you'll manage to prepare yourself for the inevitable. See you soon."