Part 3: The Arena
Chapter 3 - The Arena
Music: "Despair of the Soul"
Click here to download (thanks to Grawl)
Mort and D.K. scavenged the dead, turning up some gold and a helmet for Mort.
The key the guard had dropped unlocked the south door of the hub. Inside were two more doors with no keyholes or knobs, but there were two levers.
The left door led to a kitchen of sorts. There was a female imp puttering about.
Yes, yes, I clean kitchen soon, make it all shiny!
She took no further notice of Mort and D.K., even when they ransacked the place for fresh food and water.
"About the game" posted:
Notably, the female imp has no voice-acting, which is almost certainly an oversight.
This book is in the kitchen as well.
Also, watch the videos (below) if you want to see how close some of these fights actually are.
There was still no way out, so Mort pulled the lever to open the other door. It was a break room for guards. Unfortunately, this was obvious because it was occupied.
VIDEO: Guards on Coffee Break
Finally… thanks for releasing us, Gideon… this daft imp locked us…
Wait… you're not Gideon…
You're right… who are you?
They are prisoners… draw your weapons, brothers…
My thoughts exactly.
There was an uncomfortable pause before the inevitable result.
Three guards closing in with swords and a fourth taking potshots with arrows was a far more dangerous situation than anything the pair had faced so far.
Mind lending me a hand, human?
I do have one idea…
At this range? Are you insane?
I don't see your brilliant idea. Brace yourself.
The explosion hurt everyone, but Mort and D.K. were prepared, and took advantage of the sudden confusion to turn the situation around.
Okay… that could have gone better.
No, really? That was the last of the healing potions we had, human, and there are dozens more guards between here and the surface.
We're still standing. Quit your grumbling.
"About the Game" posted:
Explosive arrow doesn't really have friendly fire. That was a nasty fight and I used up all my health potions and D.K. was still almost dead at the end.
However, I did find another potion in the room, and this is the exact point in the game where you can now start using arrows without worrying about ammo, because crossbow-using enemies become a lot more common, and they always drop arrows when they die.
I am seriously hurting for health potions, though. There is no merchant or recourse for mid-fight healing yet. I cannot afford to spend the health potions fighting unnecessary battles, so prudence in battle is necessary. I should probably start putting points into Sneak about now for that reason.
The near-death experiences I had here also convinced me to stop hoarding my stat points, I got both characters Constitution up to 5, or 105 health.
In this room are two books:
This is just flavor text. It refers to a Black Ring member from Divine Divinity. He was killed in a most humiliating way by the Divine (see my Divine Divinity LP for details).
This book, hidden almost out of sight at the edge of the screen, is the ONLY hint about an extra way to end Act 1. That barrel of coal I picked up from Fergus's chamber is the first part.
I'll let people decide on which way to pick when the time comes, although it makes no difference.
VIDEO: To the Arena
The key found on the guards bodies opened the remaining door. A passage wound northeast, past several more cells.
What's that on the walls?
"About the Game" posted:
There's a book in the left-hand cell that I'm not going to get because I can't spare the lone health potion I have fighting a Ghost. It says:
"I will write down my complaints about the poor conditions in the prison: The food is bad, the guards are cruel, and the cells are…
[The rest of the text is obscured by red ink, and the following lines have been added: 'the food is excellent, the guards are fair and the cells are really quite lovely' - obviously the writer had a sudden change of heart!]"
Oh, there's a bottle on the dead man. He is dead for a reason, the bottle is poisoned.
How am I supposed to know? Do I look like a scholar to you?
I can read that. It's not that interesting, though. "Go down, please help us." Typical prisoner talk.
Mort saw the dull shine of an amulet in an open cell and went in to get it. But he had bad timing.
What do we have here? I'm afraid you're in the wrong cell, prisoners…
The foolish guard was quickly dispatched. Mort and D.K. continued moving to their uncertain destination. Coming from one of the cells was the sound of another surviving prisoner.
The door was locked tight, however.
I never saw prisoners so eager to enter the fighting arena before! Do you have a death wish?
No. Do you? Stand aside!
I'm afraid not!
Once more the explosive arrows came in handy. One of the guards dropped a cell key.
Water… please.. some water…
There's no time for this! Samuel and his guards could arrive at any second… his cell is open, the fool could go and look for water himself…
Please… too weak…
"About the Game" posted:
A lot of dialogue in the first act seems to indicate that originally the Death Knight could talk out loud, as lots of people seem to respond to him. Then the other acts happen, and suddenly it's a big deal if someone can actually hear the Death Knight's words.
There's a text in the right-hand cell:
"I saw them installing a trap - the guards are real bastards - first they position a sword to give their victim hope, but if they go for it the cage doors open."
I know the feeling of thirst. Here's some water.
Monsters… arena… the wheel… cages open… block the… ahhh…
At last he has ceased his babbling.
Poor fellow. But look… he left behind a book on… Trap detection?
"About the Game" posted:
Trap detection is actually a pretty handy skill to have coming up pretty soon, so it's worthwhile to give the prisoner some water. This is the ONLY place you can learn Trap Detection in Act 1, and this act has trapped areas you MUST pass through.
With trepidation, Mort and D.K. entered the arena. It was quiet, which made them uneasy.
I don't like this.
What's with that pit in the center?
Samuel and the guards throw prisoners down there for fun.
So, not a good place, then.
Your ability to state the incredibly obvious is most tiring, human.
There's a big sword over there. That could come in handy.
You mean that sword sitting right in front of that big gate? Why don't you take it, then, human?
I'm not a sword guy.
The Death Knight grunted in exasperation. Cautiously, he went up to take the sword, and he stepped on a pressure plate. The big wheel in the wall between the two gates rotated and the gate lifted.
I'm blaming this on you, human!
D.K investigated the spider's cell, but all he found was a book on poisons.
Do you think this could come in handy?
Maybe. Good find.
Hmmm… I could use some armor, but that's probably trapped as well. What was that prisoner saying?
Something about the wheel. Perhaps if we can find a way to stop it from turning, we can prevent the cell door from opening.
I think I saw an iron bar just outside.
Mort jammed the bar into the cogwheel.
Mort stepped up and grabbed the armor. The cogwheel made a nasty grinding sound, but the gate remained closed.
Congratulations, human. But that armor won't do you much good if we stick around here. Any ideas where we go now?
Just one, unfortunately.
I might have dressed Mort in "Rags", but Rags are actually the best armor you can find for a while. That's because they offer the same armor value as Citadel Guard armor, but they have much lower penalties to Speed, Accuracy, and Initiative. … In fact, if I recall right, on other characters I never really stop using Rags, I just switch to increasingly more powerful Rags, Rags with a lot of magic modifiers.
Remember that chest I pointed out in the first update? This haystack contains the key for it. It is a REALLY good idea to get this key and go back to open that chest.
So what's in the chest?
Quite a lot of helpful stuff, surprisingly. Arrows, gold, a magic belt, but most importantly is the first key to the Battlefields.
This is actually a BONUS key, hence the run-around to get it. There is a second key to the first Battlefields, but you find it later on - AFTER the maze , which could be quite inconvenient.
You do NOT need to take the key, you just need to touch it, but I like to pick them up anyway, just to be sure.
The Battlefields are pocket dimensions that you can travel to at pretty much any time at will. They have merchants to sell stuff and trade skills, and they have dungeons packed full of enemies and loot.
I am going to need to visit these places and stock up on supplies really soon. But I want to get something (several somethings, really) on the next level that will make exploring the Battlefields much more efficient.
VOTE (ongoing): Should Mort be a Ranger or a (bow-using) Trapper?
Trapper = 6
Ranger = 3
The trapper will use a bow or crossbow as well, but he will spend most of his skill points on Traps, not bow skills.
Even though Trapper is well in the lead, may as well leave that up for a bit, because Trap skills aren't available until Act 2.
READER PARTICIPATION REQUESTED
1) In the next area, I find an item that grants a permanent +60 HP to one party member. Right now, both party members have 105 HP. DK is the meat shield, which makes a really strong case for him, but he can also afford to spend more points on Constitution than Mort can. Who should get the health boost, Mort or D.K.?
D.K. = 3
Mort = 1
That's fairly close. I'd like a more definite decision SOON, so I can finish recording the current level and move on to the Battlefield. Voting ends at 1400 EST, or if DK leads 4-1, whichever comes first.
2) I'm also going to enter the Battlefields for the first time in Chapter 4 or 5. This was going to be done off-screen, but if there's interest, I could go into more detail.
More Detail = 3