Part 60: Crusade - Part 1Update 60: Crusade
Last time, Friar Tuck got more powerful than is strictly speaking reasonable. We now have very little excuse not to powerdive to the endgame, missing last prayer book or no. We have the stats, the speed, the melee power, and the levels to kill Sauron and Morgoth, so let's get to killin'.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4050')
A labyrinth level; haven't seen one of those in awhile. That's Shelob, Spider of Darkness just to our northwest, incidentally. She lasts 14 rounds in melee, but doesn't really accomplish much.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4100')
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4150')
We kill a Great Wyrm of Chaos and hit level 50. If we need more than 916 HP and 385 SP, too bad, because that's all we're getting. He drops a Crossbow of the Haradrim:
Heavy Crossbows of the Haradrim are among the best launchers in the game for non-Ranger archers, with an x5 multiplier and 2 shots/round. This is marginally less impressive but still quite powerful.
Conveniently, the Great Wyrm also dropped a Scroll of Deep Descent.
The air around you starts to swirl...
The floor opens beneath you! (to 4400')
We get into a fight with a Grand Master Mystic:
The Grand master mystic misses you. The Grand master mystic kicks you. The Grand master mystic hits you. You resist the effects! You have been stunned. The Grand master mystic misses you.
Their melee can paralyze, but if you don't have Free Action by this point I don't know what to tell you. We failed to cast Heal twice in a row due to the stunning; fortunately the Mystic wasted the corresponding turns casting Summon Spiders and then Summon Hounds. Also fortunately, he can't do more than 95 damage at the very most so we never got remotely near the danger zone.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4450')
A scroll room on this level generates precisely one non-squelched scroll: a Scroll of Acquirement. That, in turn, generates this bow:
Another nice stat-stick of a bow, but nowhere near the calibre we've come to expect from our gear.
More interestingly, Draugluin, Sire of All Werewolves is on this level (just west of the Giant White Centipede):
Draugluin provides Sauron with a fearsome personal guard. He is an enormous wolf inhabited with a human spirit. He is chief of all his kind.
Draugluin's big problem is that he only has melee and summoning spells (he can summon hounds, of course, and also generic monsters). Moreover, his melee isn't especially damaging considering his native depth of 4150'.
He also doesn't resist acid.
You corrode Draugluin, Sire of All Werewolves (105). You miss Draugluin, Sire of All Werewolves. You corrode Draugluin, Sire of All Werewolves (97). You corrode Draugluin, Sire of All Werewolves (125).
He pulls a Hellhound (totally harmless as we're immune to fire) and an Aether Hound, but ironically they don't want to fight us in this corridor and instead retreat for the room to our south. Of course, that gives him more room to summon (getting an Ethereal Hound this time), but it doesn't matter; we can tank Zephyr Hound breath weapons all day if we have to. Draugluin's 7000 HP are gone in a couple dozen rounds' worth of combat, and we only had to cast Heal twice.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4500')
The last prayer book is now in native depth, so it can be found on the floor without having to pass out-of-depth checks. And there's a vault on the level!
No prayer books in it, but it does have Omarax the Eye Tyrant (purple e, straight to our northeast). Might as well kill him. Nothing else in the vault really merits notice; the next-biggest foes are a Nightcrawler and a Great Wyrm of Thunder, both of which we've killed before. The vault has lots of weird angles that will help block LOS and keep us from getting overwhelmed.
Note: we may be powerful, but we aren't immortal. Monsters working in tandem can take down our health shockingly quickly if we aren't careful. Even with resistances, two breath attacks in the same turn could hit us for over our max HP if we got really unlucky. Hence why I said last update that hubris was our biggest foe now: we're almost unkillable, but what's most likely to kill us is overconfidence because we're so hard to kill.
Anyway, we rip through the vault in a hurry, and find an amusing little toy:
Robes of Permanence have fantastic abilities in exchange for giving crap AC. They're still very nice equipment as long as you aren't relying on your body armor for stat boosts or resists they don't provide; we need the poison resistance our current body armor gives, and would rather have its +3 speed than everything this Robe would give us.
And of course, who could forget everyone's favorite overpowered sling?
This kind of thing is just absurd.
Almost exactly the same damage that our Mace of Disruption does against generic foes. A very nice weapon, but not quite good enough.
In one of the inner sanctums of the vault, we find another randart:
Plenty of abilities, but the damage isn't remotely competitive any more. Even worse is this spear:
Lots of brands, but they're only multiplying that puny 1d6 damage, which just isn't going to make a difference.
Vault done, except for one last detail:
Omarax's flavor text:
A beholder of great size and age, floating in the air. His gaze seems to shred your soul and his spells crush your will. He is ancient, his history steeped in forgotten evils, his atrocities numerous and sickening.
Omarax's melee disenchants, drains charges, drains INT, and drains experience. He can also cast a lot of powerful attack spells including Brain Smash, Nether Storm, and Mana Bolt, and can also cast Summon Kin (i.e. Summon More Beholders). He has +20 speed and 6500 HP, which is basically average for a lategame unique.
We'll want to fight him right here; I'm pretty sure that if we lay a Glyph on our tile, and then manage to walk north immediately after clearing the wall, then we'll get him pinned in his little enclosure and he won't be able to summon more enemies. Glyphs block summoning, y'see.
You have finished the tunnel.
Success! Omarax is totally neutered, now -- he can't deal more damage than we can heal, and he can't summon reinforcements to team up on us. He puts up a credible fight (and drains over 400k EXP from us!), but it's a foregone conclusion.
You hit Omarax, the Eye Tyrant (55). You miss Omarax, the Eye Tyrant. You hit Omarax, the Eye Tyrant (63). You hitt Omarax, the Eye Tyrant (64). You hit Omarax, the Eye Tyrant (155). It was a *GREAT* hit! You have slain Omarax, the Eye Tyrant.
He drops Mithril Bolts of Wounding. Eh.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4550')
Another, bigger labyrinth level. No uniques in sight though. We drink one of our 7 Potions of Enlightenment since there's a bunch of floor items. No prayer books, but there is an unknown amulet type nearby.
Oh, right, these things. We'll pass.
Off in the northwest we find another Master Quylthulg.
The Master quylthulg tries to cast a spell, but fails.
You corrode the Master quylthulg (111). You corrode the Master quylthulg (107). You corrode the Master quylthulg (109). You corrode the Master quylthulg (123). The Master quylthulg summons ancient dragons.
That's why not He got a Great Hell Wyrm, an Ancient Multihued Dragon, and an Ancient Green Dragon. Which...can't hurt us all that much! Awesome. The Ancient Multihued Dragon can do 205 damage to us if it decides to breathe poison; the Ancient Green Dragon is considerably weaker; the Great Hell Wyrm's melee hurts but it can't use its breath weapon effectively.
You corrode the Master quylthulg (87). You corrode the Master quylthulg (109). You corrode the Master quylthulg (103). You corrode the Master quylthulg (121). The Great Hell Wyrm misses you. The Great Hell Wyrm misses you. The Great Hell Wyrm bites you. You are enveloped in flames! The Great Hell Wyrm misses you. The Master quylthulg summons major demons.
This is a problem though -- he got a Horned Reaper. Their 4 11d11 melee attacks will hurt us.
So we cast a Glyph of Warding and let the Reaper trample adjacent monsters instead of attacking us. Win-win-win as they say. Nobody says that. I say that.
You corrode the Master quylthulg (103). You corrode the Master quylthulg (113). You corrode the Master quylthulg (252). It was a superb hit! You have slain the Master quylthulg.
That took a total of 6 turns of melee, and we did actually miss the quylthulg once! And in that timespan, he summoned twice and failed to cast a spell once. You can see why tackling quylthulgs in a "fair fight" is such a pain.
We beat down the summons in short order. Horned Reapers have massive offense, but we deal 830 damage/round against demons; everything else is just so much dross now.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4600')
There's 8 dungeon levels left in the game, and we have 7 Potions of Enlightenment. Clairvoyance is effectively obsolete now.
Oh, wait, we found another Scroll of Deep Descent.
The air around you starts to swirl...
The floor opens beneath you! (to 4850')
3 dungeon levels left And hey-ho, another vault!
With, in the middle,
The last prayer book!
Slowing us down a bit, here's the top of the monster list:
The Tarrasque is one of the few remaining Big Threats in the game, and there's no way to control when we fight him here (he has access to the outdoors, so to speak), short of making a beeline to him as soon as we enter the vault. Fortunately, he can't summon things, so it doesn't matter much where we fight him as long as we don't get interrupted.
Oop, he's awake! Time to fight. We haste up, and fling an Orb at the southern Vibration Hound so he's less likely to approach and possibly stun us at a bad time (the northern one is stuck behind the Tarrasque and thus can't achieve a firing line).
The Vibration hound writhes in agony. It grunts with pain. The Vibration hound flees in terror!
The Tarrasque's flavor text:
The Tarrasque is a massive reptile of legend, rumoured to be unkillable and immune to magic. Fear its anger for its devastation is unmatched!
The Tarrasque is a very straightforward monster: he's very fast (+20 speed), has 8500 HP, has 2 10d10 melee hits and 2 nondamaging charges-drain hits, and 50% of the time he will breathe on you, one of fire, cold, or disenchantment.
...yeah, having immunity to two of those goes a long way to reducing his threat level. He also doesn't resist acid, so our Broad Axe can come out and play.
You miss The Tarrasque. You corrode The Tarrasque (97). You corrode The Tarrasque (119). You miss The Tarrasque. The Tarrasque breathes fire. You resist the effect! 2 Vibration hounds die.
So much for getting stunned by a stray sound breath! If we'd not had fire immunity, we would have taken 533 damage there, or 177 if we'd had temporary fire resistance up. The Tarrasque hits the damage cap on its breaths, no question.
You corrode The Tarrasque (101). You miss The Tarrasque. You corrode The Tarrasque (105). You corrode The Tarrasque (109). The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** You resist the effect! The Xaren dies.
Oof. There goes about 400 HP. We may be immune to two-thirds of his arsenal, but that doesn't mean he can't hurt us hard if he gets lucky.
The Tarrasque breathes frost. You resist the effect! The Great Wyrm of Chaos grunts with pain.
Also, it seems like everything in the vault is waking up and coming to check out the disturbance. We do not want to gett double-teamed by these guys; if the Tarrasque breathed disenchantment and the Wyrm breathed chaos or disenchantment, we could potentially (if we get really unlucky) die right there. So,
The Great Wyrm of Chaos disappears! The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! *** You resist the effect!
Down to 389/916 HP.
You feel very good. The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. You resist the effect!
I see the Tarrasque has found the button that works and is mashing it like mad.
You feel very good. The Tarrasque hits you. The Tarrasque hits you. The Tarrasque misses you. The Tarrasque touches you. Energy drains from your pack!
You miss The Tarrasque. You corrode The Tarrasque (111). You corrode The Tarrasque (101). You miss The Tarrasque.
The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. You resist the effect!
You feel very good. The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. You resist the effect!
Something to note here: we have the "Monsters learn from their mistakes" option turned on. I believe that the Tarrasque has noted that we're immune to fire and cold, and biased its spell selection accordingly. I can't reasonably explain its decision to breathe disenchantment four times in a row otherwise. Imagine trying to fight this guy without being able to cast Heal! We've cast it (or the 2000-HP Healing spell) sixteen times since the start of the fight, and the Tarrasque is only 60% dead.
Finally, however, we get his HP down to the point that each disenchantment breath does not warrant an immediate casting of Heal. At that point the fight is functionally over.
You corrode The Tarrasque (107). You miss The Tarrasque. You corrode The Tarrasque (117). You miss The Tarrasque. The Tarrasque flees in terror! The Tarrasque breathes frost. You resist the effect!
You miss The Tarrasque. <4x> The Tarrasque breathes disenchantment. You resist the effect!
You miss The Tarrasque. <4x>
What a time to get a string of misses Oh well. Three Orbs do him in instead.
So much for arguably the most dangerous single monster in the game! He's not subtle, but boy is he powerful.
You have a Holy Book of Prayers [Wrath of God].
Oh yeah! New spells!
- Dispel Undead: "Inflicts unresistable damage on each undead monster in line of sight." Deals more damage (1d(4 * level) instead of 1d(3 * player level)) and is 50% cheaper than the version in book #4. Still not worth using.
- Dispel Evil: "Inflicts unresistable damage on each evil monster within line of sight." See above.
- Banish Evil: "Teleports away each evil monster within line of sight." The only bulk-teleport-away spell in the game, and thus very handy in the final fight. Got surrounded by greater demons? Can't risk a Phase Door? Cast this spell and just make everyone go away. Of course it doesn't work on non-evil monsters, but we just removed basically the only non-evil monster that Morgoth was likely to summon. Well, I guess he could have summoned Huan, but he's gone too.
- Word of Destruction: "Destroys everything in a 15-square radius circle around you. All monsters, objects, and terrain features in the area of effect are destroyed, except stairs and permanent walls. You will also be blinded for 10+1d10 turns, unless you have resistance to blindness or light. This prayer has no effect when used in the town." We have eleven scrolls of *Destruction*, so we're unlikely to ever need this, but hey, it's still nice to have the option.
- Annihilation: "Inflicts 200 points of damage on a single monster that is not undead, a demon, an elemental, a golem, or a vortex." Hooray! A new attack spell! That does less than 50 more damage than Orb against evil targets and costs 850% more mana. Hilariously horrible. Hell, even Wands of Annihilation do more damage.
Banish Evil and Word of Destruction are normally gamechangers, especially for the final fight. We may not need them much, but I wager we'll still cast Banish Evil a bunch.
Incidentally, you remember Holy Word, which I said would be a cheaper alternative to the 2000 HP Healing spell once it hit 0% failure rate? Yeah, it's at 5% now, and is never gonna get lower. That seems like a bug to me
We don't bother exploring the rest of the vault. Odds are extraordinarily low that anything in there could be useful.
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4900')
I haven't seen this vault before. It's named, uh, "Jigsaw". Very few good loot squares and, obviously, lots of monsters. The only unique in there is Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst, and conveniently he's in the first chamber, right next to the exit.
We bash a quick antisummoning corridor into the walls, more to keep the other monsters off our backs than anything else, and let him loose.
Carcharoth's flavor text:
The first guard of Angband, Carcharoth, also known as 'The Red Maw', is the greatest wolf to ever walk the earth. He is highly intelligent and a deadly opponent in combat.
We've dealt with Carcharoth in previous lives. He can breathe fire, poison, darkness, and nether, which is a bit less dangerous than Huan's cold/light/sound/shards combination since poison resistance is a guaranteed 66% reduction, unlike sound/shards' variable reduction. His melee is reasonably dangerous, but his only other ability is to cast Summon Hounds, which is irrelevant with this setup. He also doesn't resist acid, so we'll simply chop his legs out from under him.
You miss Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst. You corrode Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst (101). You corrode Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst (99). You corrode Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst (101). Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst claws you. You are enveloped in flames! Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst claws you. You are enveloped in flames! Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst bites you. You are enveloped in flames! Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst misses you.
We just took 79 damage there, which is a bit low considering he's rolling 9d12 for each attack. And imagine the inventory damage he'd be doing if we didn't have fire immunity!
He breaks out the breath weapons after a bit, cycling through each of them in turn (except for fire breath; I think he's already learned that won't work). Like with the Tarrasque, we heal after each breath, but he doesn't breathe as ofter as the Tarrasque does. We only have to cast Heal 11 times before he's running away.
You corrode Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst (151). It was a good hit! You have slain Carcharoth, the Jaws of Thirst.
The vault has an amulet and ring that we haven't seen before. We smash our way through, teleporting away annoying and/or durable opponents, to get them:
Not bad, could be better.
Ehh. Always nice to see combat boosts on an amulet, but these aren't very strong.
We also stumble across this totally underwhelming randart:
Right, we're done here. Onwards!
You enter a maze of down staircases. (to 4950')
...what, you thought I was going to save Sauron and Morgoth for their own update?
Continued next post!