The Let's Play Archive


by TooMuchAbstraction

Part 44: Traitor Slaytor

Update 44: Traitor Slaytor

Last time, Friar Tuck made a few lucky finds, but mostly found himself getting increasingly weighed-down by his inventory. Carrying that Two-Handed Great Flail (Defender) we got from Bolg puts us a whopping 47 pounds overweight, for a -3 speed penalty. That's the kind of thing that will catch up to you real quick if you let it.

Still, it's a really nice weapon, so we'll keep it around for the time being. Just not in our backpack all the time. Let's roll up a new level...

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1150')

Nothing much going on here. Let's head into the corner and lighten our pack a bit.

You drop a Two-Handed Great Flail (Defend) (3d6) (+10,+11) [+5] <+4>.
You drop 4 Aspen Staves of Identify (29 charges). You have an Aspen Staff of Identify (8 charges).
You drop a Holy Book of Prayes [Beginners Handbook]. You have 2 Holy Books of Prayers [Beginners Handbook].
You drop a Holy Book of Prayes [Chants and Blessings]. You have 2 Holy Books of Prayers [Chants and Blessings].
You drop 10 White Potions of Cure Critical Wounds. You have 15 White Potions of Cure Critical Wounds.

And like that, we have 11 pounds of spare carrying capacity! We just have to remember to come back for this stuff before leaving the level...and hope we don't hit a trapdoor or a nexus-induced levelport.

We get into a fight with some Dark Elves lead by a Dark Elven Lord:

Profligate use of Orb of Draining against some earlier adventurers ran us out of mana, so we fight them off by whacking them on the head with our War Hammer and slinging Iron Shots of Acid at them. The latter do excellent damage, honestly -- much better than Orb against non-evil targets. The only problem is our abysmal hit rate.

Also, eventually I remember that we have Dragon Scale Mail, and just roast them.

The elves gone, we're able to pick up the assembled loot, and it turns out that one of the aforementioned adventurers had an extremely apropos weapon:

Very nice! Just about exactly three times better than anything else we could hope to find at this point, anyway. We still aren't amazing at melee, but we can now reliably use it to conserve our mana and ammo, which is a welcome improvement.

A ways north of that battle, we find the next unique to test our Orb skills on: Gorbag the Orc Captain.

He has foolishly abandoned his escorts. I think there must be a bug in escort placement because I've been seeing stuff like this an awful lot these days.

Makes it easy to Orb them, anyway.

8 Black orcs are hit hard. 4 Snagas are hit hard. 6 Black orcs flee in terror! 3 Snagas flee in terror! The Black orc dies. 4 Snagas die.

Unfortunately, we don't get a chance to fully recover our mana before Gorbag comes to investigate the screaming.

But it doesn't matter; we have just enough mana.

Gorbag, the Orc Captain is hit hard. The Black orc dies.
Gorbag, the Orc Captain is hit hard.
Gorbag, the Orc Captain is hit hard.
Gorbag, the Orc Captain is hit hard. Gorbag, the Orc Captain flees in terror!
Gorbag, the Orc Captain dies.

His drop is a {magical} Steel Helm, no match for our Cap of Wisdom.

In this oddly patterned room, we Orb a Wyvern to death:

Wyverns are annoying dragons -- no breath attack, but they're fast, reasonably durable, and have poisonous melee attacks. They're still evil though, so Orb drops them quickly. Our reward is a Wand of Frost Bolts and a Wicker Shield of Resist Acid, granting us the last basic resistance. Now we just need a source of See Invisible and we'll have all the abilities that we "should" have at this depth!

We find a couple of new staves, and set ourselves up a little hidey-hole to test them in:

I'm fairly certain that Staves of Summoning are still in the game, so no sense taking chances. But what we really want is a Staff of Teleport, just in case we manage to get ourselves blinded or confused and can't get out by chugging Cure Critical Wounds potions.

You are blind. You have 12 charges remaining.

Oop, first one was a Staff of Darkness And, appropriately,

Light shoots in all directions! You have 8 charges remaining.

The second was a Staff of Starlight. They're pretty (they cast Spear of Light in each of the 8 compass directions), but tactically basically useless. Maybe if you got yourself surrounded by orcs?

That does it for this level, so we head back to our stash, grab everything, and stagger over to the nearest staircase.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1200')

Oh, fantastic. Another cavern level. We'll just have to hope there aren't any zephyr hounds, since they can shoot at us from a long ways off and we have no way of detecting or even really seeing them.

Fortunately, we manage to clear a path to the staircase to our northwest without anything going badly wrong. We get ambushed by a Forest Wight, but all it manages to do is cast Fear before eating an Orb in the face.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1250')

Much better. We get attacked by Energy Hounds just after setting up our stash, but fortunately electricity can only blow up our wands and rods, none of which are vital to our survival. Well, it can blow up our spare jewelry too, I guess.

Shortly afterwards, we find a new amulet time: Amulet of Wisdom! It's only +1, but that's another 6 SP (up to 57 total). Of course, it does mean losing electricity resistance from our old Amulet of Resist Lightning. That's not ideal, but we can cope until we find another source of lightning resistance. In the meantime, we can carry our old amulet; granting electricity resistance means it can't be destroyed by electrical attacks. Handy.

We tangle with some trolls and Hill Giants, none of which are able to stand up to the evil-smiting power of Orb of Draining. Seriously, guys, this spell is awesome. It packs a huge punch, it's a ranged attack, and it's even pretty efficient for mana against evil: for 7 mana we're currently getting 2 * (37 + 3d6)for a damage-to-mana ratio of about 13.

All this evil-slaying gets us to level 26 (160 HP, 59 SP, 12 learnable prayers), which reminds me to check our spellbooks for new spells -- we can now learn Dispel Evil. It and Teleport Other still have a 50% failure rate, but that will drop with time.

Anyway, there's not much of interest here, so let's head on down (after picking up our stash of course).

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1300')

Oh, come on game! Enough with the caverns! At least this one has some reasonably-obstructed lines of sight.

This black C is a Wolf Chieftan. They're aggravatingly durable (422 HP!) and fast, and for some reason they love to spam the cause-darkness spell. It takes 5 Orbs to drop this one, during which time he chops off over half our HP. They're not even worth all that much EXP. Feh.

Given the comparatively favorable layout, I decide we may as well clear the level.

The Tangerine Potion was really a monster! The Potion mimic sets off a blinding flash. You avoid the effects!

Mental note: keep an eye out for Tangerine Potions. Mimics love to imitate valuable potions, so whatever that flavor is is probably valuable. Meanwhile, we're picking up a decent stock of Potions of Restore Mana -- we're up to 5 already! I think we can afford to spend some on uniques if we need to. What's more important is keeping control of our stock of Potions of Speed.

Level explored, grab stash, lurch to next level, yadda yadda.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1350')

Hey, that's Ulfang the Black to our south, along with a pack of Easterling Champions. We already killed Ulfang's son Ulfast, so I'm sure Ulfang will appreciate a helping hand to join him in the afterlife. Conveniently, his escorts count as evil, even though bog-standard Easterling Warriors are not. I guess the test to become a Champion requires you to kick some puppies or something.

2 monsters scream in pain. 3 Easterling champions are hit hard. 3 Easterling champions flee in terror! The Easterling champion dies.

By the time Ulfang wakes up, his escorts are long dead.

Ulfang the Black is hit hard.
Ulfang the Black is hit hard. Ulfang the Black hits you. Ulfang the Black misses you. Ulfang the Black hits you. Ulfang the Black hits you.

Okay, his melee hurts -- 4x 5d5 hits! And he's fast, I'd forgotten that. Let's avoid melee range from now on.

Ulfang the Black summons its kin.

Erk! A Ninja (in yellow, and a Mage in red)! They hit to drain STR, that's no good whatsoever. We need a change of position, and a more liberal use of consumables, I think.

A Scroll of Phase Door takes us away from the Ninja; we then quaff a Potion of Speed. I don't feel especially guilty about this because it turns out that Ulfang is native to 1700'. We should expect to require drastic measures if we want to kill him now.

I check his monster info, and Ulfang doesn't resist fire or cold. How convenient

You breathe fire. Ulfang the Black cries out in pain. It writhes in agony. The Mage dies.

I bet that Ninja's running away now. Good riddance.

You feel resistant to cold! Ulfang the Black grunts with pain. Ulfang the Black summons its kin.

Hey, stop doing that! You're only supposed to summon 1 turn in 10!

Two Paladins and an Acolyte. I guess it could be worse, except that the Paladins can cast Cause Serious Wounds for up to 64 damage, and we only have 160 HP...

Another Phase Door to take us away from his summons, again...

Annoyingly, Paladins can pick up items, and thus loot our stash.

You give that back!

The Paladin screams in agony. It grunts with pain. The Paladin flees in terror!
Ulfang the Black is hit hard. The Paladin cries out feebly.

Ulfang the Black is hit hard. You hear a scream of agony!
Ulfang the Black is hit hard.

We're all out of mana...but I did just say we could have a free hand with those Potions of Restore Mana...

You feel your head clear. You have 4 Cloudy Potions of Restore Mana.
Ulfang the Black is hit hard. Ulfang the Black flees in terror!
Ulfang the Black dies.

Unfortunately he doesn't drop anything interesting. But hey, we got 1600 EXP off of him, not counting what his summons gave. And now he's not around to pester us any more.

Amusingly, a bit later we fail to disarm a teleport trap, and are dumped over here:

Who could it be, but Ulwarth, Ulfang's other son! Wakey wakey, Ulwarth!

Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard.
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard.
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard.
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard.
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard.
You breathe fire. Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang screams in pain. Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang flees in terror!
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang is hit hard. Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang flees in terror!
Ulwarth, Son of Ulfang dies.

Alas, a zero-effort fight yields zero loot But hey, down the corridor is another Amule of Wisdom, and it's +2 this time! 66 SP, baby!

While trying to break into an oddly-shaped room full of chump enemies, we get interrupted by another family:

Khim, Son of Mim. Fortunately his daddy isn't in evidence. While Bryson II had major trouble with Mim and his sons' universal elemental resistance, Friar Tuck shouldn't mind much; nothing resists Orb of Draining.

Although...Khim isn't evil. I guess that counts as resisting, in a way. And Khim is immune to fire and cold, our backup elements. This could take a bit.

We Phase down the corridor:

(Apologies; the correct screenshot seems to have gone missing. Please imagine that the southern of the three doors is still closed.)

and start blind-firing Orbs towards Khim.

It grunts with pain.
It grunts with pain. Something mumbles. You avoid the effects!
It grunts with pain. Something slams against a door.
It grunts with pain. Something slams against a door.
It grunts with pain. Something fiddles with a lock.
It grunts with pain. You hear a door burst open!

Odd. Is Khim trying to open that door? Or is one of the monsters from the triangular room breaking out? The latter: Khim is almost on top of us.

One more Orb (we had to stop to restore our mana right after the door broke, incidentally), and we Phase away again, conveniently away from whoever was breaking doors down.

Continue firing!

It grunts with pain.
It grunts with pain.
It grunts with pain.
It grunts with pain.
It cries out in pain.
It cries out in pain.
It screams in pain.

Just enough mana for one more shot!

Khim, Son of Mim dies.

And without ever laying a finger on us. He drops some {magical} Mithril Gauntlets, but they're barely better than our Leather Gloves and weigh 2.5 times as much, so they're junk. Meanwhile, we find out that the door-breakers are a pack of Half-Orcs, which we mostly melee to death since we're low on mana. Though they, at least, are not immune to dragonfire!

Oh, and here's the contents of that room we were trying to break into:

Lots of juicy targets in there. Loot includes a couple more Staves of Identify (we now have 7 of the things!) and a Potion of Brawn. More STR! Excellent.

You feel very clumsy. You feel very strong!

Also excellent. We don't really need DEX, and our STR is now 18/09!

The rest of the level is either blocked off with a trapdoor that we don't dare try to disarm (and unlike mages, priests don't get a trap destruction spell), or full of asshole golems we don't want to try to kill. So let's just head onwards.

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1400')

A bad start; we haven't even gotten to drop off our stash and we're already under attack. Fortunately our Cloak of Aman is protecting us from the Earth Hounds' shards breath attack, and our Dragon Scale Mail mops them up pretty quickly.

The staff on the floor is a Staff of Teleportation. Excellent; more insurance against disaster!

The level proves singularly dull until we run into yet another evil Easterling, Uldor the Accursed.

Flavor text:

An evil and cunning man from the East. Having once sworn allegiance to the sons of Feanor, it was Uldor's treachery that turned the tide of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in Morgoth's favour.

Like Ulfang, Uldor has 1000 HP and can summon more 'p' monsters; unlike Ulfang, Uldor only moves at normal speed. He should be much easier to deal with. Given his greater plot significance compared to Ulfang (who was just a generic traitor, judging from his flavor text), it seems odd that he's the lesser threat. Oh well.

Also like Ulfang, Uldor summons twice in rapid succession early in the fight The first time he pulls a Ninja and a Cutpurse, who die to a targeted Orb. The second time he grabs a Black Knight and a Gallant (was the Black Knight trying to corrupt the trainee paladin?)...exactly one turn after we used up our dragonfire.

Uldor the Accursed is hit hard. The Black knight is hit hard. The Gallant dies.
The Black knight is hit hard. Uldor the Accursed is hit hard. The Black knight flees in terror!

Great, now where's that knight gone to? If he gets stuck in a corner of the room, then he'll happily cast spells at us while we fight Uldor. How irritating.

Uldor the Accursed is hit hard. You hear a scream of agony!

Oh, good, that should do it. I guess the Black Knight was lurking just outside Uldor's light radius.

Uldor gets close, we Phase away,

Uldor the Accursed summons its kin.

Another Black Knight/Gallant combo? Is this "Bring Your Young Apprentice To Work Day" or something?

We burn out the rest of our mana and use our Ring of Ice, bringing both the Black Knight and Uldor to low enough health that they flee (the Gallant is killed by splash damage). Then we Phase, and step outside, closing the door behind us.

This buys us some time to heal up, since the Black Knight was attacking us in melee; his melee damage is nearly as strong as Ulfang's was. When the Black Knight returns and breaks the door down, we kill him in melee.

Time to say goodnight, Uldor.

Uldor the Accursed dies.

Alas, just a {magical} Scimitar for a drop.

Somewhere in the last dungeon level or so we hit level 27: 163 HP and 68 SP. Our next spells from the books we have are Teleport Level at 30 (but supposedly non-operational according to its description due to the options we have set), and Glyph of Warding at level 33. I don't see how we'll be able to afford the mana to make effective use of Glyph for quite some time though.

Level over, grab stash, crawl to stairs, next level!

You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 1450')

Mim, Betrayer of Turin, is to our southeast. Could be fun to try taking him on, but we'd have to use a Potion of Speed to match him if we want to make a realistic go of it.

We fired our dragonbreath into this room against some Ice Trolls, resulting in the following amusing set of messages:

You hear several screams of agony! You hear several screams of agony! You hear a scream of agony! It screams in agony. It writhes in agony. 2 Ice trolls die.

Man, a lot of agony there. Maybe the Angband devs need some more adjectives.

We find a new ring, and I swap it in for our Ring of Protection. It's a Ring of Light: +1 light radius, +10% search rate, light resistance. Depressingly, we're actually going to use it; I've never had one actually be better than what I was currently using before. The extra light radius will be handy, at least, given our total lack of infravision.

So anyway, about Mim.

A bad start -- he wakes up early and hits us with an acid ball before we can see him. Things get worse when we light up the room he was in:

Of course his other son would be with him, and of course his sons aren't actually evil so we didn't detect them Well, Teleport Other may be a 47% failure rate now, but that doesn't make it useless; on our second try, Ibun, Son of Mim is teleported away.

(We could have teleported Mim, but we've already spent a Potion of Speed and would rather not spend another)

That done, we settle in to Orb Mim to death, though we lead off with the remaining 2 charges in our Wand of Drain Life. I don't expect we'll be able to recharge it anytime soon, so after this it'll get tossed.

Mim, Betrayer of Turin grunts with pain. Mim, Betrayer of Turin magically starts closing wounds. Mim, Betrayer of Turin looks healthier.

Dammit. That's our gimmick! He casts it again shortly thereafter, while we ping-pong about the room, using up our precious Scrolls of Phase Door in the process.Each casting of Heal Self restores about 30% of his max HP; that's a lot of castings of Orb of Draining considering our meagre SP pool.

On the plus side, splash damage from Orb of Draining takes out all the random mooks in the room

On the minus side, he heals again. C'mon, man, you have other spells! Hit us with an acid ball!

Ugh. In the end, it takes us three potions of Restore Mana (we only have 1 left!) to overcome all his self-healing, plus seven Scrolls of Phase Door (nontrivial to replace considering the lack of town!) and one Potion of Speed. But he does, finally, die. Was it worth it?

Yeah, okay, that's pretty impressive. We'll certainly keep the Defender whip in preference to the Two-Handed Great Flail we've been lugging around. We can keep the War Hammer of Extra Attacks, which is strictly better than our old Mace (it even weighs the same amount), in case we need to smash some faces in as well. As for the Crown, it's shiny...but the +2 WIS from our cap seems more important. Still, since we're doing the stash dance anyway, we might as well hold onto it. It's pretty much the best Crown of Might we could hope for anyway; theoretically the DEX bonus could be 2 higher, but STR and CON are more important.

Fighting you was expensive, Mim, but at least your drop wasn't a horrible disappointment.

Let's call this update here. Next time: we hose down a den of thieves with some Drano.