Part 19: BonebreakerUpdate 19: Bonebreaker
Last time, Freude cleared out a "Sphere" vault, finding lots of useful loot in the process. Aside from the straight equipment upgrades (our new Multi-Hued Dragon Scale Mail, Cloak of Aman, and upgraded rings), we keep the Crown of the Magi, the endgame consumables (*Destruction* and Mass Banishment scrolls, *Healing* and Life potions), and the Rod of Detection, which replaces our old Rods of Treasure Location. It can't be used anywhere near as often, but most of our loot from here on out will come from vaults, which can be detected by other means anyway.
We stop by the town to drop off our loot, and then it's back into the dungeon.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3850')
I use a Potion of Enlightenment, since we have a stack of 3 of them; nothing particularly interesting shows up except a possible pit/nest. We'll check it out, if only to see if it's a particularly nasty variety. We don't get far before running into an old friend though:
Feagwath is back! Again. At least his Dread escorts drops two more Potions of Augmentation -- which max out our WIS score and get us pretty close on INT.
Screw it, Feagwath, you're going down. I hope.
It's about this time that I notice that I forgot to drop off the Mass Banishment and *Destruction* scrolls Well, he's unlikely to burn them -- dude's got no fire attacks. Just mana and nether
Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer invokes a storm of raw magic. The Bolts are destroyed! *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! ***
Manastorm is the strongest monster spell in the game; in Feagwath's hands it can deal 485 damage, on average. This is why we have Healing potions! Also why we're playing it very conservatively with our hitpoints.
Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer casts a ball of nether. You resist the effect!
Oh yeah, our new cloak gives nether resistance. Go new cloak!
We get him down to 50% health, but we have to chew through a few Healing potions to do it. He stonewalls us for a bit with repeated successful drain-charges attacks (draining all the charges from our Staff of *Destruction* ), but finally we get him down to 10% health...
You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (69). You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (68). You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (66). You miss Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer. You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (69). You miss Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer. You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (75). Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer flees in terror!
But there's nowhere to go!
You hit Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer (71). You have destroyed Feagwath, the Undead Sorcerer.
And stay down! Alas, his drop is terrible, but at least we'll never see him again. Or at least, Freude will never see him again. He'll be back next game.
Chasing some Crows down a corridor (they're wisely trying to stay the hell out of our way), we find out what's in that pit:
This is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, clearing this pit could net us some useful items. Might as well.
When all this is over, Freude has a promising career ahead of him as a miner
Once the more powerful Istari and Blue Wizards are dead, the rest of the pit falls quickly. Our loot:
- A new cloak! Again!
The same resists as our current cloak, but with more stealth and a tiny speed bonus? Sold!
- A Potion of *Healing*, a Scroll of Mass Banishment, another Rod of Identify, a Potion of Speed, another Potion of Augmentation, and a Potion of Experience.
- The Shield of Celegorm:
It's pretty decent, but Thorin is better, as is Anarion which we have back home as a backup.
All in all, a profitable little trip. The only other thing of interest on the level is a Scroll of *Destruction*, which turns out to be a mimic We return to town, drop off our consumables properly this time, and then head back down.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3900')
You sense the presence of traps! You sense the presence of doors and stairs! You sense the presence of buried treasure! You sense the presence of objects! You sense the presence of invisible creatures! You sense the presence of monsters!
I love Rods of Detection. It's a shame it took us so long to find any.
Looks like we have a small vault to our west; shouldn't be a problem. First I head over to take out the Great Storm Wyrm to our southeast...and one of his lightning breaths blows up a Rod of Teleport Other
Yep, our old friend the Lesser Vault "Camouflaged". And there's Medusa! When we first encountered her, her ability to summon hydras made her scary. Now hydras are old hat, so she should be no trouble.
Medusa, the Gorgon summons hydras.
Yep, just a 5- and 9-headed hydra; no problem at all. Medusa doesn't manage to hurt us at all before dying. Then again, we did have nearly a 2:1 speed advantage on her.
Checking out the other two sections of the vault, we get teleported to this guy:
Greater Demonic Quylthulgs can summon Greater Demons, natch. This is worse than the Greater Draconic Quylthulg (there's lots of harmless ancient dragons) but not as scary as the Greater Rotting Quylthulg (there's a lot of nasty greater undead). Fortunately, quylthulgs of all stripes have an AC of 0, so you should never miss them in melee; unfortunately, this one is durable enough that we can't kill it before it casts a Phase Door.
Our loot from the vault: a Scroll of *Destruction*, another Rod of Detection (we have 3 now!), a Rod of Healing (might as well keep it until we need it), and yet another interesting cloak:
Between protection from confusion, and resistance to nether, I'd rather have protection from confusion. Being unable to aim our melee attacks is a serious pain in the ass. Plus, maybe now we can fight Atlas and Kronos. We can keep the Cloak of Aman around for nether resistance, as a swap item.
Exploring further nets us another Rod of Teleport Other, and then we run into Ariel again:
Ariel, Queen of Air! We avoided her last time because her melee kept confusing us. However, now we are protected from confusion Her melee is also nowhere near as threatening as it used to be; she dies after having only inflicted 50 damage on us, most of that from a frost ball spell. Of course, being an elemental, she has no drop.
A chest generates this almost-fantastic weapon:
Check out that damage! Unfortunately ineffective against Sauron and Morgoth, but this could be worth carrying for the numerous remaining demonic and undead uniques. That does put something of a crimp on our inventory space, though.
In any event, we've seen everything worthwhile on this level.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 3950')
I down a Potion of Enlightenment, but it reveals nothing interesting. Ironically, immediately next to us is a Potion of *Enlightenment*:
I don't know why it says these things can be thrown for damage, because they only deal 1d1 or something piddly like that. Back in the old days, there were potions that were worth throwing at enemies. However, they were never worth drinking (because they were nitroglycerin), so they got removed in the interests of not blowing up players who didn't ID their potions before drinking them. Nowadays, if you're throwing a potion at an enemy, it's because you want to get rid of the potion with style, not because you want to hurt them.
Radagast is back! Again! And he's brought his big brother, Osse, Herald of Ulmo. Flavor text:
Encrusted with barnacles, slimy and dripping, the Maia of the untamed sea has dragged himself down into Angband to send you to a watery grave. Osse is the most powerful and heartless of Ulmo's servants and embodies the untamed power of the ocean. Terror grows in your heart with each squelching step of his approach.
Y'know, we might just be able to take these guys now. Not at the same time, though. And Radagast hits to disenchant, so he gets teleported away first. Also we have to kill that Death Drake, who can walk through walls and is thus irritatingly difficult to teleport. Finally, we're alone with Osse:
You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (74). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (71). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (72). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (77). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (73). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (76). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (78). Osse, Herald of Ulmo casts a bolt of raw magic.
That's not exactly a favorable exchange (his manabolts hurt!) but that's his second-biggest attack, and we can handle it.
Osse, Herald of Ulmo breathes nether. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** You feel your life force draining away!
...that would be his biggest attack. And unfortunately, we only have one option that will save us if he decides to do it twice in a row: our potion of *Healing*. The Rod of Healing would heal enough, but our activation success rate is a pathetic 69%. Potions of Healing only heal 376 HP for us (35% of our 1075 max HP), which leaves us below the nether damage cap of 550. We could also read the Scroll of *Destruction* we have, but given the choice between that or *Healing*, I'd rather the *Healing*; it's easier to replace.
You feel very good. You have no more Potions of *Healing*.
And then it turns out that our speed advantage meant Osse didn't get a turn, so we could have just drunk two Potions of Healing and been safe. Oh well.
Osse gets a few more good whacks in, and I use the Rod of Healing to play it safe, but he doesn't drop anything huge on us. Eventually he turns to flee; the battle is won. I let him go so we can rest up; he eventually regains his courage and comes back, despite still being inches from death.
You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (66). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (67). You hit Osse, Herald of ULmo (76). You hit Osse, Herald of Ulmo (75). You have slain Osse, Herald of Ulmo.
In his drop...oh ho ho ho ho:
Haradrim is notable for two things: first, it gives combat bonuses, which are always welcome. An extra 35 damage per round isn't much, but against big enemies it means the fight ends a few rounds earlier, which is that many fewer turns for the enemy to hit us for big damage. Second, it gives resistance to poison, which is what we were using our body armor for. With that covered on the shield slot, we have a lot more freedom.
Over in this room:
we find another item of interest!
Hammerhand is one of the best helms in the game for most characters, as it provides a hefty +3 to all three physical stats. Mages especially love Hammerhand because they're always short on hitpoints and have to carry a lot of heavy books around with them all the time. Of course, we have all three physical stats maxed already, and would rather have the sustains given by our crown.
Rather than hunt down Radagast and get all of our gear disenchanted by him, let's just move on.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4000')
4000'! 80% of the way there! We're well and truly in the endgame, now. Practically no new non-unique monsters get introduced in the last 20 levels of the dungeon; instead, they just amp up the density of the nastier non-uniques and add a bunch of really unpleasant uniques.
Anyway, we have a Potion of *Enlightenment*; let's use it!
You begin to feel more enlightened... You feel very smart! You sense the presence of traps! You sense the presence of doors! You sense the presence of buried treasure! You sense the presence of objects! AN image of all nearby life-forms appears in your mind. You have no more Dark Red Potions of *Enlightenment*.
And like that, we know everything about this level. The only thing *Enlightenment* doesn't do for us is identify all the items on the level -- which is good, because if you identify an artifact, then you've "seen" it and it can never be generated again.
You are aware of 59 monsters:
Maeglin and Qlzqqlzuup (I told you that was his real name!) deserve respect. Adunaphel is a Ringwraith, and is mostly notable for being able to walk through walls; however, she's so far out of her depth now that she'll barely register as a speedbump. Everything else, we've seen before.
You can see 16 items:
The only obvious target here is the Rod of Teleport Other, and conveniently, it's in the room we started in, completely unguarded The big weapons and the Ring of Damage could also be worth checking out.
Qlzqqlzuup, the Emperor Quylthulg summons ringwraiths.
Whoops, I forgot about Big Q Oh well, this gives us a chance to get revenge on Khamul for kicking us off the level that one time! We can also get some mileage out of that Mace of Disruption of Gondolin we got earlier
Of course, first we have to deal with the Witch-King of Angmar.
You smite The Witch-King of Angmar (123). You smite The Witch-King of Angmar (388). It was a superb hit! You smite The Witch-King of Angmar (126). You have destroyed The Witch-King of Angmar.
...I was expecting that to be harder. Hunh. Angmar has a number of powerful spells, but he wasted most of his turns on melee attacks and status ailment spells, which we are protected against. We had to heal, once, after he hit us with a mana bolt -- not because our HP was low, but because I was worried that he might follow up with a powerful spell. He never did.
For posterity's sake, here's his monster memory:
After that, Khamul is downright anticlimatic. Being able to deal 670 damage/round makes enemies fall down rather quickly.
I think we'll just let Qlzqqlzuup live. He's mostly just a pain in the ass to fight, since he'll keep summoning monsters over and over again. Literally his only possible action is to cast a summoning spell, which could be: Ainu, animals, greater demons, ancient dragons, powerful undead, hounds, hydras, other quylthulgs, generic monsters, spiders, uniques, or ringwraiths. We just about have all the ringwraiths sewn up, at which point "summon ringwraiths" turns into "summon greater undead", if I'm not mistaken. If we were feeling really motivated, we could scum Qlzqqlzuup to clear up the remaining unique monsters, but
Looks like Adunaphel heard about her brothers getting destroyed and has come to investigate. Literally five rounds of combat later, she's gone too
There's one downside to all this undead-fighting, though:
I don't think we're going to be regaining that experience by killing things. Better start looking out for Potions of Restore Life Levels!
Up here, we find a new scroll!
On the ground: a Scroll titled "laudo sem" of Acquirement.
These things are neat: when you read them, they generate a random powerful treasure appropriate to your depth. Some players like to hoard them until they're deep in the dungeon, where more powerful items can be generated; personally I just say read 'em where you are. Fortunately we're already deep in the dungeon
Unfortunately it just gives us some Arrows of Slay Dragon
Uh oh, Maeglin is on our trail. And he's boring through the walls to get to us! We don't really want to fight Maeglin here, for two reasons: first, he's a summoner, and this terrain is lousy. Second, our Staves of Speed are completely discharged, so we can't get a good speed advantage on him. Of course, with the way he bores through walls, we may end up teleporting him several times...but we're nearly done with this level anyway.
Maeglin, the Traitor of Gondolin disappears!
Yep, here he comes again. The Blade of Chaos and the Mace of Disruption were both junk, incidentally.
Up here, where Maeglin started, is the Ring of Damage, the last item we wanted to check out; it, too is junk. We're done here; time to head back to town, drop off consumables, and see about recharging our Staves of Speed.
While we're there, I do some swaps:
- Rohirrim in for our Multihued Dragon Scale Mail.
- Haradrim in for Thorin.
- Cloak of Aman in for Cloak of the Magi
This gets us an extra 37 damage/round thanks to Haradrim, and trades chaos resistance and immunity to acid for nether resistance.
Here's what Freude looks like, ready to head back into the dungeon:
We're keeping a Potion of *Healing* around for dire emergencies like happened against Osse. No sense saving everything for the final fights if we die before we get there!
Annoyingly, there were no Scrolls of Recharging for sale.
We found a slightly-better Crown of Might; it just puts our STR and CON scores slightly further past maximum than the old one did.
We now have enough healing and speed potions for the final fights. And honestly, our offense and base speed are good too. If we wanted to, we could skip the last ~18 dungeon levels and get right into the endgame. But I see no real need to rush things...as long as the dungeon stays interesting, anyway!
I'm calling the update here. Next time: we start the final march.