Part 7Update 7
Before we head back to the Ice Mine, one update in this chapter is that we can now purchase stat increasing items at the local general store. It's not like we really have the spare cash for this right now, but later on it'll be possible to increase stats significantly.
With Axs along we get to see him tagging along behind Rooks on the way back to the Ice Mine. Unfortunately we can't teleport back and forth between two points, so using the Home spell or a Return Ring is a one way trip and you have to walk all the way back.
"HONEY! But aww, it's all crystalized!"
"Just means it's crunchy. Like a candy."
"Frozen candy, which actually, yeah this is pretty amazing. If we could get this out to people on hot days, we'd really have something here."
"There's something off about this room."
"It's a trick of perspective. This room is only three times as wide as the doorway down there at the end, but the distance makes it look wider than it is."
"I guess you're the expert on mine design."
"That's right, I am and if I'm any judge, we've just stumbled into a treasure room."
"There's cards everywhere in here plus some honey, and a Return Ring. Well, it's not like anybody else is using them."
"That's the spirit, boy. Just like your father."
We've also got a Call Amulet, which functions as a one time random summon of an attack elemental, separate from our normal card spirits. I won't use it for the foreseeable future.
"Aww man I wish Teefa was here to see this. I'd completely rub her face in it."
It. Just. Goes. On.
"Which way do we go?"
"Doesn't matter. We're going to both ways at some point just to make sure we're not missing any loot."
"I hate it when you're "
"Ooh, a treasure chest wait, it's ANOTHER damn return ring."
"How many of those things do you have, anyway?"
"Way too damn many. I think I've got like a half dozen of the things by now."
" don't look now, but I just looked in this next chest and you've got one more."
"Dammit. Well, at least booze is always useful."
"Aye, I can understand stashing a flask away for later but the rings don't make any sense."
"I think hey, this is the same design as that other treasure room."
"Looks like it's mostly honey, as far as the eye can see."
"I've got no problem with tha "
"You've got to be kidding me."
Ice Mine Return Ring Count - 3.
"Want to take a small wager on this being another empty storeroom?"
"I'll just go ahead and give you the money now."
"Ha! Finally got it!"
"That's wow. I can't even mock you for that at this point. Good job."
"I wasn't kidding about being really bad at magic."
Did I mention that this dungeon is freaking huge? That's just one section. And the reward...
Plus one Return Ring.
"I want a magic spell that'll get me the hours of my life that I spent getting this thing back."
"The hours of your life aren't worth using magic to get them back."
"You're just lucky that it's too cold for me to take Efrite out."
Ice Mine Return Ring Count - 4.
Another treasure trove is right around the corner from our objective, containing a decent supply of cash, some honey, and, as expected...
" spare me "
"Ha! Another one, too!"
Ice Mine Return Ring Count - 6.
Continuing on, we get a new recovery item in a chest on the second floor. A tent is pretty much a full party sleeping bag, but it doesn't restore spirits.
"Efrite, if we use this thing you stay outside."
"WILL YOU NOT BE COLD?"
"I'll take being cold over being in a burning tent."
"YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS COLD."
"Okay, okay, back in the card you go."
"Finally decided to let me back out? You might end up regretting it "
"Impressive, but we both know that you're not going to attack me."
"Could you pretend that I'm at least a bit threatening?"
"You're at least an extremely quick learner."
"I think this is the last passage we haven't explored. They've got to be down here.. along with all kinds of treasure."
"I'm just hoping that they didn't walk out behind us while we were exploring all the side corridors."
"As long as they don't have a map of the place, they're probably just as lost as we are. We've got time to rest before we explore this last branch."
One home and return trip later...
"That's a fire hydra. Wow, that's kind of out of place here."
"Looks mean, but I've got just the thing!"
" I don't think that's how that spell is supposed to work."
"Okay, I'm REALLY bad at magic."
"At this point I'm not sure I trust that heal spell of yours."
"Rooks, look out!"
"Just a second late.. nice try, though."
"Sorry. It hurts me worse than it hurts you, if that helps at all."
"Not really. Use your dodging spell and then switch out."
"Done! Now get me out of here!"
"STOMP. STOMP. STOMP."
"Sounds like a plan to me."
"As long as not magic, I'm down with it."
"Is that how it works? Kill a hydra, become a man?"
"I remember fighting alongside Zahan. I've been holding this for you for a moment like this."
"You've had this the entire time, Axs?"
"Aye, just waiting for when I knew you could ha "
"That was a fire elemental. You know what would have been really, really damn useful in that fight we JUST had? A water spirit!"
"Huh when you put it that way "
"Whatever. Let's take a look."
"Why hello there, handsome. Just let me know if you need anything."
"I'm starting to see why you held on to this."
In comparison to the other spirits, Marid is slightly tougher than Efrite, slightly stronger than Sylph, and has more intelligence and alertness than either of them. She comes with a moderately useful buff, a group disabler, and the ability to heal the entire party at once. It's only about 60 HP for everybody, but it's still a good option when your entire party is getting worn down in a dungeon.
"I've got bad memories of another door just like this one."
"Hopefully this'll turn out a bit better. At least you're not starting off by getting stabbed in the back."
"This is where the Enchanted Jewel was hidden."
"Yeah, but it's HOT. In the middle of the Ice Mine. Doesn't that bother you at all?"
"I just chalked it up to magic and speaking of which, what's that over there?"
"Which means you!"
"She put up a fight, so I put her to sleep."
"Somehow I think that's not the first time that's happened."
"I've got the Enchanted Jewel, so I'll just be leaving now."
"Rooks! It looks like Salah is fine, like she wasn't wounded all. She was just put to sleep with a magic spell."
"So anything you do is okay as long as it's according to a plan? How low can you go?"
"It's pretty great, isn't it? If I ask again, do you think I could persuade you to join up?"
"You should abandon a plan like that, and the sooner the better!"
"If you thought about what you just said anyway, the Enchanted Jewel is in my hand and the Crystal Sword as well. It's just a matter of time until the Reforming of the Evil Empress occurs. Too bad for you, Rooks."
"Not if I take the Jewel back by force! And you don't have a traitor rigging the fight from the outset."
"Wait, who the hell are you?"
"All right, Sauza, I'll leave it to you."
"I owe you my life!"
"Another freakin' apprentice? I'm really starting to get annoyed by you guys."
"I've got the princess, Rooks! You can handle him!"
"If the master can't face me, his apprentices are just a bump in the road. Sylph, Efrite, Marid!"
"Is that all he's got?"
"That mask isn't doing him ANY favors. I like a man who's not afraid to show his face."
"I WILL KILL HIM WITH FIRE. AND HEAL YOU WITH FIRE."
"Not sure how that works, but evidently it does."
"Even though Salah wasn't around for the worst of it."
"You've got her back, and that's all that counts. But if she doesn't rest a little "
"We can't go back. Do you have a place?"
" I might. I'm not exactly welcome there, but nobody will expect us to go there."
And with that, we end Chapter 3.
I'm including Axs because he's going to be in the next chapter. We're actually doing pretty well, and are right on track for the next chapter. We could grind a bit more, but after trying to explore just about every square of the Ice Mine there's no reason to take it further.
Our spirits are also coming along, and you can see the differences between them. On reflection Marid is actually a bit less alert than Ifrit, but she'll pass fairly quickly. The differences between the spirits are pretty wide, and I tend to prefer using Marid just to try and help prevent back attacks. Alertness might factor into it, but even if not then having a party heal spell at hand is never a bad thing. Next update: Tower and Spirit. We'll finally be playing with a full deck.