Part 26: Taunting BearsUpdate 26: Taunting Bears
Last time, we dove down to 1400' and learned Teleport Other and Haste Self. Things are looking up!
I was all set to declare 1400' boring and move on, and then we found this:
This is a possible vault, or maybe just an unusually-densely-populated set of rooms. Grishnakh the Hill Orc is back; he's the yellow o. We should be able to take him now, though the three werebears to his east are highly concerning.
Use of a Magic Mapping scroll reveals what's going on:
Beorn the Shape-Changer is the reason for all the werebears. We do not want to fight Beorn right now; he's fast and has 1400 HP, and we simply can't wear through that kind of health even if he doesn't have any resistances. Our best bet is to try to pull Grishnakh away and kill him in solitude, leaving Beorn alone.
Perfect, he'll be clipped by a Stinking Cloud from this position, waking him up.
Not perfect. Beorn, how are you awake already? Well, only one thing to do, now...fail to cast Haste Self three times in a row, uselessly draining all of our mana
You feel your head clear. You feel very weak. You have no more Slimy Mushrooms of Debility. Beorn, the Shape-Changer misses you.
Beorn, the Shape-Changer claws you. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** Beorn, the Shape-Changer bites you. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** Beorn, the Shape-Changer crushes you. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** Beorn, the Shape-Changer misses you. Beorn, the Shape-Changer claws you. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** Beorn, the Shape-Changer bites you. You die.
What happened here? I failed to realize that Beorn could push past weaker monsters, and ignored the messages the game was printing that told me he could. If I'd been paying attention while trying to cast Haste Self (in the misguided assumption that I could then finesse the crowd, teleport away Beorn, and kill Grishnakh in peace), I'd have noticed and gotten the hell out of there. Instead, I got aggravated at repeated spellcasting failures (at a 50% failure rate! Of course they're going to fail when you need them to work!), frittered away three turns and all of our mana, then ate the Mushroom of Debility -- which drained our STR and knocked us to -1 speed. I don't know if that -1 speed lined up so that Beorn got a triple turn on us, but it sure couldn't have helped.
Also, while it didn't directly contribute to Bryson's death, I ought to have returned to town to restock on consumables well before this point. Running around with only a single Phase Door scroll in our pack is inexcusable, and we really ought to have had a Staff of Teleportation handy in case of blindness/confusion.
We died with -2 health, though Beorn did still have one more melee attack to make.
Sorry, guys! This death was totally my fault; I got sloppy, and paid the consequences. A pity; I had a good feeling about Bryson.