Part 16: PatricideUpdate 16: Patricide
Last time, Freude searched desperately for a challenge that didn't involve killing 55 hydras and came up empty, although he did pick up a few new artifacts. We're making a brief pit stop before heading back down.
- Drop off our *Healing*, Speed, and Mass Banishment at home.
- Drop off the Necklace of the Dwarves and Celebrimbor. For reference, this is what Freude's home looks like now:
We have enough Potions of Speed for the endgame, but we need more *Healing* and *Destruction*.
- Restock, recharge, yadda yadda.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3300')
Not looking very interesting, is it? What happened to the vaults and uniques? We explore about 2/3rds of the level, find nothing interesting, and move on.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3350')
This is more promising. That p in the moated room is Saruman, and now that he's basically alone (the Ancient Gold/Multihued Dragons with him don't count), we should be able to get some revenge on him for siccing Wormtongue on us way back when.
Set up a little anti-summoning corridor, haste up, and dig through the wall...
Saruman of Many Colours tries to teleport away.
Coward! Come back here and die like a man!
After taking a break to dispatch the dragons, we detect Saruman again just to our northeast:
The rubble (the : ) in the corridor leading to us prevents him from reaching us, so we can just tunnel to him at our leisure.
Like so. And again, haste up and break down the last wall...
You smite Saruman of Many Colours (78). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (82). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (72). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (76). You miss Saruman of Many Colours. Saruman of Many Colours summons ancient dragons.
I don't see them, so they must be behind him.
Saruman of Many Colours commands you to go away.
Stop that! If nothing else, this is awfully hard on our Staves of Speed; we're down to 3 charges remaining. Fortunately, we're able to get back to the fight quickly:
Saruman of Many Colours hits you. Your Elven Cloak was disenchanted! Saruman of Many Colours hits you. Your Small Metal Shield of Thorin was disenchanted! Saruman of Many Colours misses you. Saruman of Many Colours misses you.
Oh right, he disenchants, and we'd been wearing Celebrimbor earlier for the disenchantment resistance. Oops.
Our Cloak was at +9, and Thorin was +25. We're never going to get those pluses back. Oh well. Every turn Saruman spends attacking us is a turn he doesn't spend on teleportation spells
You smite Saruman of Many Colours (80). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (68). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (116). It was a good hit! You smite Saruman of Many Colours (76). You smite Saruman of Many Colours (112). It was a good hit! Saruman of Many Colours tries to cast a spell, but fails.
You just keep doing that, Saruman. Our cloak, crown, and boots all eat some disenchantment (remember that disenchantment can only drain AC, to-hit, and to-dam bonuses, so our speed bonuses for example are safe), but we're doing a good job of beating Saruman down, when his reinforcements arrive:
That Great Swamp Wyrm must be the "ancient dragon" he summoned. We still have 792 HP and resist poison, so I'm not going to quit the fight on its account. Especially when Saruman is almost dead.
Saruman of Many Colours misses you. Saruman of Many Colours hits you. Your Small Metal Shield of Thorin resists disenchantment!
One nice thing about artifacts is that they get a saving throw against being disenchanted. It's obviously not foolproof, but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.
You smite Saruman of Many Colours (74). You have slain Saruman of Many Colours. Welcome to level 42.
and 963 max HP! We've nearly cracked 1000! One of his drops is a Bloodstone Ring. Remember waaaaay back when we found our first Ring Mimic and it was mimicking a Bloodstone Ring?
In your pack: a Bloodstone Ring of Speed <+6>.
Awesome. Losing our Ring of Dexterity <+6> costs us .5 blows/round, but the speed boost is worth it, and Fingolfin still sustains our DEX.
Also dropped by Saruman: Boots of Speed <+6> (these things are coming out of the woodwork now that we have better ones ), a Dagger of Westernesse, a Book of Magic Spells [Tenser's Transformations], and the Metal Cap of Thengel:
No match for our current headgear, that's for sure.
Looks like a pit or nest to our west, but we can't detect any evil monsters. There's one really nasty possibility for a non-evil nest that I can think of -- it could be full of Maiar, up to and including Istari. That in mind, LOS mitigation techniques are in order; fortunately we have this rubble to work with.
Nope, just another hydra nest Well, at least this time we aren't going to eat a bunch of fireballs and fire breaths before we can duck around a corner. Quick check: we have about 375k AU.
A bunch of indiscriminate slaughter later and we have 466k AU and oh crap that's the Phoenix. Phase away...
And teleport the Phoenix away. Seriously guys, fuck the Phoenix. ...uh, not literally. Let's just run down his stats real quick: 2x 12d6 fire bite, 2x 9d12 fire hit, 3600 HP, cast spells 1 time in 3 which can be fireball, firebolt, plasma bolt, summon birds, or breathe fire, light, or plasma. Unlike Vargo, he doesn't crush items, so I'm perfectly happy to just keep teleporting him away until we get some more offense, or, if we're really lucky, immunity to fire. It's not worth eating the consumables loss to kill him now.
Speaking of consumables, we've picked up a Mushroom of Vigor, a Potion of *Healing*, a Potion of Speed, and a Rod of Recall, filling out our spare inventory space. Might as well drop them off at home and then recall, rather than take the stairs. While we're there, the Black Market has a Scroll of Banishment, which gets added to the spare we have at home.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (from the town, to 3400')
Yeep. That's a Bone Golem. They aren't worth fighting either -- disenchanting and STR-draining melee, and a stacked deck of nasty attack spells, plus far too many HP. Fortunately they're rare, so we can usually avoid them. This one's getting teleported away. I love having a Rod of Teleport Other
Oh. Goody. Another cavern level. Fortunately there's a staircase nearby.
We don't quite make it. A Ranger Chieftan to our north, an Osyluth to our south, and a Nalfeshnee further south of that. The Nalfeshnee and Ranger Chieftan are harmless, but the Osyluth is mean -- its melee attacks drain WIS, CON, and STR. Fortunately we have all of those sustained They're also at +20 speed, and our base is only +18 (+17 with all the crap we're carrying weighing us down). Still, we can tank the melee and eventually wear it down. When it dies, it drops a few worthless ego weapons, and this:
Finally! A source of telepathy! I hate having to resort to Amulets of ESP to get it, but it is so worth it, especially for Freude.
You were wearing the Jewel 'Evenstar' <+2>. You are wearing a Silver Amulet of ESP <+7>.
And this is why telepathy is so important. It shows you, every turn, where every brain-possessing monster in your vicinity is. Warriors, unlike every other class in the game, have no means of detecting monsters beyond Staves of Detect Evil, so telepathy is a crucial ability for them. Even the other classes don't want to have to spam detection spells every turn, so they still want telepathy.
We had to sacrifice resistance to darkness and nether to get it, but it's worth it. We are now far less likely to get blindsided by enemies we didn't know were present.
As lucrative as this level has been, there's no reason to stay. Next level!
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3450')
Immediately, telepathy starts paying dividends. We haven't taken a single turn on this level and we know there's a Nightwing nearby. Nightwings are high-level wraiths; along with Nightcrawlers and Nightwalkers they make the top-tier of intelligent undead (the Bone Golem is the top-tier unintelligent undead). They have disenchanting melee, so best to avoid this guy.
Looks like we have a few options for exploration, anyway. First, that item just west of the soon-to-be-teleported Nightwing is a Potion of Experience, putting us that much closer to level 43.
Detect Evil wouldn't have even warned us about that Istar, or the hounds! telepathy
We off the Istar without too much trouble, after hasting up first (they have +20 speed). It doesn't do much besides hit us and cast Cause Serious Wounds; no big deal.
Hey, that's Gorlim to our south! He nearly killed us awhile back; let's show him how it's done.
...oh, Arien, Maia of the Sun is also there (she's the red A). Flavor text:
The Maia who sails the Sun across the sky has descended into Angband to kill you. She wears no mortal shell; her body is made of fiery golden light, painfully bright even when you close your eyes, and hot enough to melt armor and flesh alike.
For all that I ranted about the Phoenix, Arien is even worse. We're not fighting her today. No way, no how. All of the maiar uniques are badasses; Arien may be the weakest of the lot but she's still a worthy adversary...for someone else.
Fortunately, Gorlim is awake and active, while Arien is sitting in her chamber. If we're lucky she won't come after us.
In our fight with Gorlim, he first hits us and disenchants our crown, then casts a manabolt, then Cause Critical Wounds, then another manabolt, and then fortunately dies. In his four turns he took off over 300 HP, and that was with us outspeeding him by something like 75%. This is why I didn't want to face him back at 2000' when we had half the HP and no speed bonuses!
His only drop: a Blessed Ball and Chain. Oh well.
Further exploration, avoiding Arien's little corner, finally turns up another vault!
This one is named "Octagon", which I guess I can kind of see. Getting closer, our ESP reveals the monsters therein:
Nothing too serious, except that the U is the Balrog of Moria, Durin's Bane:
A huge Balrog surrounded by raging pillars of fire, this is indeed a terrible opponent. Wielding a great whip of fire and a blazing sword, his fury blisters your skin and melts your flesh!
Ehh, he's a softy, really; basically just an up-statted Lesser Balrog. Not even a Greater Balrog! He's native to 2500' and Greater Balrogs are native to 3950'.
In a cute touch, he usually appears with Cave Orcs and Cave Trolls. His melee can drain charges, and of course he has fire-based attacks, so I ditch our staves and dig an anti-summoning corridor:
And pull him into it.
This ended up being overpreparation; he did nothing but attack, and didn't even burn any of our ammo up. The Great Bile Wyrm behind him does more damage with its melee, and we're immune to its element of choice!
Among his drops:
Amulets of Trickery are really amazingly good amulets. Ridiculously good, even. But we need telepathy more than we need redundant stat boosts.
Nain makes a surprisingly decent weapon; Totila is only hitting 460 vs. fire-susceptible monsters and less vs. everything else. However, Nain's slays are borderline-irrelevant, and Totila does more damage vs. evil monsters.
Alas, the only other thing of interest in the vault is a staircase.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3500')
How odd, I didn't realize that Disenchanter Worm Masses were intelligent.
Oh, and that's Radagast the Brown and his escort of maiar and ainu. Hahaha fuck fighting that guy. He's more durable than Arien and his spells are almost exclusively either powerful attack spells or summons.
Let's just separate him from his escorts.
Radagast the Brown disappears!
A couple rounds of combat each do for the Maia escorts.
The Istar summons an ainu.
That being the Istar's only non-melee action, it takes only slightly longer. And then, as I inspect the drops,
Something breathes. You are hit by something strange! You sink through the floor.
A stray nexus breath hits us, and now we're on 3550'. We lost our nexus resist when we swapped out the Boots of Stability, so this kind of thing will happen from time to time.
The W is Ji Indur Dawndeath, another Ringwraith. He's not much more powerful than Uvatha was, although he does manage to get us into critical HP (less than 50%) before dying, and he drained a good 50k experience from us. He drops nothing interesting, but a nearby chest gets us another Rod of Magic Mapping, which is great since we're often stuck waiting for our other one to recharge.
Looks like another ammo dump and/or potion room to our west. Also, the game is making up for lost time:
Hoarmurath of Dir is yet another Ringwraith, and he could actually be a legitimate threat. I unload all of our Seeker Arrows of Slay Evil at him -- between our fast shooting speed and base speed advantage, this takes away about 50% of his health with him getting only a few turns in-between. Then phase away and heal up:
and burn him down with Totila's flamebrand. His drop: Tenser's Transformations (again!) and Thunderfist:
Interesting. Dual fire/electric brands do some nice damage to appropriate targets, and it only deals slightly less damage than Totila against evil flame-resistant enemies. We'd lose Totila's +2 speed and protection from confusion, but I think the extra damage is worth it.
I was going to take on this Dracolisk (a dragon/basilisk hybrid) in the corridor, but something breathed disenchantment at us and disenchanted Thunderfist (It's down from (+5,+18) to (+4,+16) ) Considering it wasn't detected by telepathy, it's almost certainly a Storm of Unmagic, a.k.a. the disenchantment vortex.
Dracolisks are a mixed bag -- fire melee, fire and nexus breaths, and an utterly pointless paralysis gaze. If you don't have free action by the time you're facing dracolisks, then you're suicidally overconfident.
Yep, Storm of Unmagic. Asshole.
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons wakes up.
Wait what? He's here?
Oh yeah, he's here. Okay.
He is also, apparently, too dumb to path to us
Glaurung is a major step up from Smaug; he has three times as much health, his attacks are significantly stronger, and he can summon more ancient dragons. He's also worth over 80000 experience to us and could drop some nice stuff. Let's take him on!
Haste up, and break down that last wall...
I've really got to stop screwing up anti-summoning corridors. Should've dug the last wall northwest, not north. Anyway, Glaurung fortunately doesn't resist electricity, so Thunderfist is putting out big damage numbers against him. We're not quite winning the melee damage race, but we can heal and he can't.
Glaurung, Father of the Dragons summons ancient dragons.
That could have been a lot worse. Great Wyrm of Thunder (a.k.a. sound element) summoned behind him instead of next to me.
You shock Glaurung, Father of the Dragons (97). You miss Glaurung, Father of the Dragons. You shock Glaurung, Father of the Dragons (94). You shock Glaurung, Father of the Dragons (97). Glaurung, Father of the Dragons conjures up weird things. You are confused!
Hey, any turn in which he casts Confuse is a turn in which we get to chug Cure Critical Wounds for a free 60 HP heal.
You shock Glaurung, Father of the Dragons (263). It was a *GREAT* hit!
Critical hits depend on a number of factors, but the most important one seems to be your weapon weight. Thunderfist weighs a whopping 30 pounds, which means it can get super-criticals like this one. I think there's even one step higher than this (*SUPERB* or something). That might be exclusive to a certain artifact, though, since I don't think any other weapons weigh more than 30 pounds.
After a few rounds of putting out big numbers, Glaurung turns to flee, pushing past his summonling. At that point we have to heal, because a stray sound breath could have killed us otherwise, and wouldn't that have been ignominous?
Annoyingly, the Great Wyrm of Thunder is a lot more accurate in melee than Glaurung was, and chews through our 900 HP like it's nothing; we have to chug more Healing potions to deal with it. But the outcome was never really in doubt. It dies, and shortly afterwards, Glaurung returns and takes a taser flail to the face.
You shock Glaurung, Father of the Dragons (85). You have slain Glaurung, Father of the Dragons.
In the loot: a Metal Cap of Telepathy! Figures this would show up now that we have an Amulet of ESP. So we get to decide between Evenstar or our Crown of Might, and get telepathy either way. Handy. Otherwise his drop is pretty anemic, alas.
The item room was indeed another ammo dump, holding Arrows of Flame and Arrows of Frost.
Exploring east of the site of the Fall of Glaurung, we kill an Istar and hit level 44; we now have 1020 max HP! It drops a Staff of Summoning, which acts just like the Scroll of Summon Monster. Y'know, just in case you wanted to summon hostile monsters multiple times. Otherwise, that does it for this level, and since our pack is full again, we should return to town.
This looks like a good place to take a break. Next time: more diving! More unique killing! More cool items! I hope. Nothing is guaranteed in Angband.