Part 10: The new Ghoul-Friend and my 'xes
Chapter 7 - The new Ghoul-Friend and my 'xes
Music - "Halls Beneath the Ground"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
Writing this now, it's amazing how much you can change in a short time. If someone had traveled back in time to this moment, and told me that one day I would end up considering an Orc to be one of my closest friends, I would never have believed them.
Seeing the orcs brought up a fragmentary memory for just a fraction of a second; a single image of a beautiful white vase. I didn't understand what it meant, but I became filled with anger for a reason I couldn't explain.
The cowards are trying to sneak into Aleroth. They don't have the stomach for a fair fight, as usual. ... As usual? Why'd I thi- nevermind, I've got to say something NOW, or else they'll gut me on the spot.
I closed my eyes and hurriedly blurted out, "You should know that I am a mage of amazing power."
Real smooth there, Jeremiah. I think the tremor in your voice really helped sell it!
Is good! Smiruk have need of one such as you!
I opened my eyes. I was still alive.
An orc to my right spoke angrily in an orcish tongue.
All orcish sounds angry to me. It's possible he's only asking if I know any good recipes.
But I doubted it. The way the orc on my right was gesturing toward me with his crossbow as he spoke suggested that he was unhappy with the current situation re: letting me continue breathing. The huge orc - Smiruk(?) replied in orcish. If anything, he sounded more angry than the first one.
Are they arguing? Go on, turn on each other you bastards, the fewer orcs in the world, the better.
The huge orc turned to me again, switching to Common. "Oloi human. You come. Smiruk want talk with you. No need to draw weapons."
The memory fragment came unbidden from somewhere in my subconscious... Jenna's voice.
You can't trust orcs, Jeremiah! They're animals. Animals!
Ha! No need to draw weapons. Tell me another one, greenskin. Fine, if you want to pretend to be civilized, I'll play along for now.
"What's your name, orc?" I asked warily.
"You deaf or dumb? Me Smiruk. Me powerful leader of this clan," said Smiruk.
My heart was beating faster. This wasn't just fear, it was also anger. My fists clenched involuntarily.
Who's calling who dumb, greenskin? ... Gods, why am I getting so angry? The dwarf was twice as mean, and I still liked him. Sort-of.
I was losing touch with my very vital sense of self-preservation. I honestly didn't know why I was so angry, but If I wasn't careful, I would end up dead even sooner than the orcs were planning on killing me. I let out a breath, trying to calm my thoughts and I unclenched my fists.
"What do you want... orc?" I said, pointedly not using his name.
Me and friends seek magic axe. Understand? It called Slasher! We not find Slasher! We want Slasher! You help?
Sure, pal. I'll help you and the rest of your butchers get another shiny weapon so you can go out and slaughter travelers even more efficiently.
"And why should I trust an orc? Even for an orc you don't look trustworthy," I said coldly.
When will I learn when it's sometimes better to just SHUT UP?!
Smiruk growled. "Then you go away, back to human village." He grinned. The sight of those dark-stained and sharp canines was not pleasant. He said, "Smiruk not dumb, Smiruk know there is secret way up to village back that way."
Then he changed to what sounded more like a bargaining tone: "You help Smiruk, maybe Smiruk forget about secret way. Smiruk get very forgetful sometime. Smiruk maybe even forget that bag of gold over there in corner." He gestured to a large sack in the corner.
If these orcs think they can trick me with false offers of gold, they're even dumber than they look. But blast it all! This is a sticky situation. Even if Lord Seth is as powerful as he thinks he is, he can't cover both the gate and the catacombs at the same time.
I put on a big grin to show that we were all friends.
"Very well, I'll try and get it for you. What is so special about this axe you seek?" I said.
"No, not *axe*... Slasher! You remember?" Smiruk said with exasperation.
My grin faded into a false smile.
OK, they're not quite as dumb as they look.
With few options left that didn't involve a quick and painful death; I said with reluctance, "I will see if I can retrieve this axe for you."
And if I'm reasonably sure that I can kill you before you kill me, I might just hand it over, too.
Good. Golg will go with you, to help you search.
Sheloi! I don't want one of these treasonous snakes following me. I don't care that they could make short work of the skeletons. I'll never trust an orc.
An orc, apparrently named Golg, went down a hallway. I had little choice, so I followed, and behind me I heard one of the other orcs talking in Common.
"Eh, you sure this one retrieve Slasher? Not seem too bright to me."
"About the Game" posted:
In the conversation with Smiruk, you get the suicidal option to say "Help an Orc? I prefer to split the orc's skull!" This initiates combat, but you won't have time to worry about that. The lowest level orcs are level 9, and they're NPC's, which means they get a speed bonus if they turn hostile. That's a lethal combination. Unlike normal Orcs, these orcs are resistant to fire - which happens to be our only non-melee attack. On top of all that is Smiruk, who has 1500+ HP and does 24-56 damage per hit. Jeremiah has a max health of just 80 right now.
Golg went down a hallway littered with shattered skeletons. At an intersection he headed north into a chamber. Three magic pentagrams were in a pattern on the floor. A note covered in dust sat on a rock. There didn't seem to be a way out other than the door we entered from.
I turned to Golg and said, "Yes, yes, I think I know how to proceed, but uh... I need to prepare a spell. It will take some time and a lot of concentration, so I am not to be disturbed, understood?"
The orc grunted. I didn't know if it understood me or not, but it stayed put and didn't make any objection when I left the room.
These greenskins have me by the balls. I could use the teleport stone, and sneak back in under the statue and lock up the gates I opened. I could do that... but the gates aren't sturdy enough to hold back a determined group of orcs. I don't have much choice but to play this one out and hope I find something to kill the orcs when they inevitably try to stab me in the back.
"About the Game" posted:
Despite what the update implies, there are still a bunch of skeletons left in the rooms past the orcs, but that implied that either the orcs just got there a second ago, or they're really lazy and are just waiting around for someone to solve all their problems for them. (That last case sounds like Hero Deficiency Disorder, there's a lot of that going around these parts ).
The eastern hallway was a cobweb-filled dead-end, leaving only the southern passage.
It was another dead-end. There were no doors in this room, but there was another magic circle, and a statue of a woman with an unlit candle in front. The statue seemed quite out of place. I discovered a book secreted between the statue and the wall. It was badly damaged from moisture and rot.
It seemed to be a diary of a mercenary called Gregar Brock. Much of it was too damaged to read, but some parts remained.
Excerpts from The Diary of Gregar Brock:
Sylvena lies mortally wounded because of my cowardice. The bandits took her money and just ran her through with a sword and left her to die. I returned to her seemingly lifeless body. She still clung to life, but only by a mere thread.
She sensed my approach and held out her hand to me. I rushed forward in an attempt to comfort her, but as I came close she grabbed me by the hair with her last strength and uttered that terrible curse.
"You left me at the mercy of those thieves Gregar. You failed in your duty to protect me. For that I curse you. I bind you with my dying breath to my statue. You shall stand vigilance over it even after your death. Your only release shall come when you find another to protect and show them the courage and sacrifice that failed you this day."
Something in those words chilled me to the core. I felt goosebumps creep up and down my arm. I flipped through the pages. The rest was illegible - no wait, there was one last thing Gregar had written...
Since her death I have been drawn to her statue every day. Now my life draws to a close and I write this knowing it will be my last entry. I fear that even death will not release me from my obligation. I pray that another arrives so that I may redeem myself and embrace peace in oblivion.
Forgive me Sylvena...
I closed the book and replaced it. The candle in front of Sylvena's statue caught my eye.
She cursed Gregar to be the protector of the next one who lit the candle? I don't know if this will work, but the way things are going so far, I could use a bodyguard, even if he is undead.
I lit the candle.
An echoing voice came from nowhere; maybe I was just hearing it inside my own head.
Video - Meet Gregar Brock (Voice Acting)
There was a swirl of magical light and a zombie appeared from the ground in the magic circle.
I wasn't really a big fan of the undead, especially after the business with Jake. I raised my weapon and mentally prepared a spell, just in case. The zombie lumbered a few paces toward the statue, and stopped. It made no hostile moves at all, not counting the stench of decay, which nearly knocked me off my feet all on its lonesome.
Sylvena Statue: My guardian, my untrustworthy protector. Will you fail me again? Will you run away and take cover, when your lady is in danger? Do you want to prolong your well deserved curse of never coming to your final rest?
The pathetic creature struggled to speak. Finally, a tormented dry voice emerged from his rotting lips.
Sylvena Statue: Swear you will do everything in your power to protect your protégée this time! Never to run away in the sight of danger and give your life at last! Only then you finally will find your rest!
Sylvena Statue: Now you have a protector, hero... My former servant will fight by your side as long as you are not leaving these catacombs...
"Nice to know..." I said uncertainly. "So, uh... do you mind if I use your first name, Gregar?"
The zombie said nothing.
"Uh...okay... I'll take that as a yes, then."
I sure hope I know what I'm getting into.
It was time to figure out what to do with the three magic pentagrams. I only hoped I wasn't lying when I said I knew the answer.
I headed into the pentagram room, Gregar following behind.
I confidently said, "Alright, I know what to do he-"
The sound of fighting left the sentence unfinished.
"About the Game" posted:
Gregor Brock may actually be the NPC who sticks with us for the longest amount of time. Golg won't leave the pentagram room. This game isn't one where you gather a large party. A party wouldn't work with the game's story anyway. If I were to go insane and not be so damn lazy, I could theoretically photoshop a party member to travel with us.
On the bright side, the game has no escort missions. If you take Gregar Brock above ground, he dies, but Joram's cellar is perfectly safe if you use the teleport stone. In a real game, you probably don't want to recruit Gregar Brock, because unlike with your summons, you don't get any XP for enemies he kills.
When my unorthodox bodyguard Gregar entered the room, the orc Golg simply saw a zombie chasing me and attacked it in my defense. The fighting was short and decisive. Gregar mechanically pounded the orcs face with his fists, ignoring the damage he was sustaining from the orc-blades. Golg fell quickly and didn't move. I felt a measure of satisfaction for seeing one of the murdering bastards get what was coming to him.
"Oh no, Gregar, don't do that," I said in a disinterested monotone, "he was sort-of on my side, maybe."
"guuurggh.... ssssorrryyyy...." Gregar gurgled.
I shrugged. "Eh, don't worry about it. He was just an orc. And hey! It seems he was carrying something valuable!"
I detected something magic on the body, and I retrieved a star-shaped amulet from around Golg's neck. I tried not to look at the ruins of the orc's face. I wasn't known for having a strong stomach.
"I'll have to find out what this does. Thanks, Gregar!"
Why did you take pleasure in that orcs death? He did no wrong to you.
For the second time that day, I turned around looking for a voice, and for the second time I couldn't see the source.
Who said that? There's no one here but the zombie, and that wasn't his voice. Maybe it's my conscience. ... Or maybe whatever Mardaneus got is catching. If I keep going deeper and deeper in this place, will I end up just as crazy as he is?
"Oh, well thank you for that reassurance, 'voice in my head'! I'm glad to know that the voice in my head doesn't think I'm going NUTTIER THAN A SQUIRREL NEST!!" I shouted.
As my shout finished echoing, some dust and dirt tricked down from the ceiling into my eye, and then all was silent again.
I cleaned out the dirt and got a grip on myself. I looked at Gregar Brock, to see how he reacted to someone who shouted at invisible voices. But he didn't give any sign he noticed.
That's probably why insane wizards and necromancers liked the undead so much; they don't really care what the master does.
But... that damn voice's words still bother me. Why did I take pleasure in the death of that orc? There must be a reason... There has to be. I just... can't remem ...
18 Fengali 1214 - 12'30 O'clock
"Hey Jer, isn't that Jenna?" Tom asked as we strolled through one of "The Mole's" courtyards.
I looked where he was pointing. "Yeah, you're right. What's she talking to Chancellor Eritor for?"
"How should I know, she's YOUR sister," Tom said.
We approached and overheard part of the discussion.
"...rstand why Magicum Omnus Liberum has put out a call for volunteer alumni to deal with a handful of bandits? I'm far more concerned about the drought. It is damaging the crops and hurting the farmers, and if the harvest goes poorly, food prices will rise, which will cost everyone - especially those who are already living hand-to-mouth," Jenna was saying.
"I understand your concerns, Councilor. However, weather control magic has long been attempted with little success," Chancellor Eritor explained.
"The need is urgent, so all the more reason to try harder, than. You agreed to assist the Ducal Army for a few bandits readily enough."
Eritor sighed in exasperation. My sister tended to have that sort of effect on people. "That was a special request from the duke. And assisting the army in dealing with bandits is an entirely different sort of problem from stopping the drought."
"If it's entirely different, why not do both, than?" Jenna said.
"This is a university. We only have so many resources. Believe me, I wish I could help. I really do. I'm sorry, Councilor. Good day."
Eritor nodded in acknowledgement, and then walked off.
"Stubborn old goat," Jenna muttered under her breath.
"Careful," I said. "He's got excellent hearing for a man his age."
Jenna turned around and saw us. "Jeremiah!" she exclaimed, and ran up and gave me a hug, which I returned.
"It's good to see you too, I don't often have time to get back home," I said.
"I don't spend a lot of time there myself. The town council keeps me pretty busy," Jenna said. "I barely found the time to come here."
"Mother is meeting me at the western gate. Come on," I said.
At the gate I spotted my mother Elizabeth. She was standing outside a carriage at the gate. There were a few other armed men with her who I didn't recognize. Her face lit up as we approached.
"Jenna! This is a surprise!" my mother said. "I've barely seen you in the past two months. Will you be coming home with us? There's room in the carriage."
"This is my friend Tom," I said.
Tom gave a bow. "I'm very pleased to meet you," he said. "Jeremiah has told me... not a lot about you, actually."
I jabbed Tom in the stomach with my elbow. "That was Tom, he's not important," I said dryly. "And who are these fine, armed, gentlemen?"
"Oh, of course," said Elizabeth. "This is Samuel and his mercenaries. Jacob was concerned with the reports of bandit activity, so he hired them for the trip. Personally, I think he's just being his usual overprotective self. It's sweet, really."
"Dame Liro, your husband was right," Samuel said. "The roads are the most dangerous they've been in years, and the drought isn't helping. Food is getting scarce and people are getting desperate. I wish I'd been able to convince Sir Jacob to hire a second carriage of guards."
Jenna looked skeptical. "I think that father was right. It was safe enough on my trip up, and I'll be returning in a day or two. I think hiring so many guards is money better spent elsewhere."
"You're not coming with us Jenna? It's a long trip, we would be glad for the company," I said.
"Uh..." Jenna hesitated. "Thanks, but no, I'm going to try the Chancellor again. I'll be home soon enough. We can catch up then."
I wasn't sure why my thoughts had stirred up that memory, but I didn't wish to waste time trying to puzzle it out. I needed to keep focused on the dangers of the catacombs.
I took out a magic orb and placed it on a circle. It floated up a meter off the ground, and the orb's pattern of tones became stronger in my mind's ear. That seemed promising. I placed the other two orbs.
There was a surge of magic as the pattern was completed, and a portal opened.
I took a breath and stepped through. My vision was temporarily blinded by the magical light of teleportation.
When my vision came back, I was struck with the realization that I was in the locked room with the stairs I'd seen through the window earlier.
Then I was struck by a very large bat.
The stairway going up ended at a trapdoor. I pulled at it briefly, but it was stuck fast. I decided to leave that one alone for now.
Instead I took the stairs going down, and ended up in a new room. It was different. The walls were made of smooth stone - not the natural rough-hewn stuff above. The floor was stone bricks, not dirt. Someone had constructed this passage long ago, although its age was showing. There were several holes in the floor which I steered well away from.
One of the holes was in the center and was much larger - perfectly square in shape. I realized it was the only hole that should have been in the floor. There was a metal ladder leading down.
Music - "Horror of the Walking Bones"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)
The room was full of debris. Columns had toppled, bricks and dirt had fallen from the ceiling, creating the holes above.
Woah... this must be the Dwarven-made section Lanilor mentioned. It's not in great shape, but it's still in better shape than I imagined it would be. ... I get the feeling that this place is big.
There were doors on all sides of the room. I chose the north door at random and met a mob of skeletons.
"About the Game" posted:
We'll be seeing this style of ruins in a couple of other places. It's never made explicitly clear who the architect of the ruins below Aleroth is. But Lanilor mentions that "most of it" is natural and part is an "ancient dwarf-working". I think he got that backwards. It makes sense if it was dwarven-made, since the dwarves are mentioned to be the first species to settle this area of Rivellon.
I was getting used to being outnumbered. But now I was not as outnumbered as before.
Between Gregar, my summoned skeletons and my quarterstaff, the skeletons were cleaned up without too much difficulty. Amongst the remains I found two different potions, one orange and the other purple.
If I remembered Lanilor's quick lesson in Alchemy, the orange one bolstered muscle strength and the purple one resistance to the elements. That was assuming that these potions hadn't gone bad. I decided not to chance it and stuffed them in my pack.
The place looked a lot like the area which contained the teleporter pyramid, as far as I could tell. I could have been wrong; I was a bit too busy to be focused on the details of the architecture at the time.
Dusty stone hallways lay to my west, but I ignored them and instead Gregar Brock followed me east into a new room. I lacked the fine control to compel my skeleton to follow, so it stayed put.
"About the Game" posted:
Summons work differently in this game than in most ones, they last until you rest, not for a fixed amount of time, but they don't follow you by default. You need to learn the Aura of Command skill (level 16) to get a summon to follow you. It's considered a "Survivor" skill, so there's no cheating with spellbooks. Despite the name, it isn't an aura, it's a targeted skill that uses your magic reserve.
It was a large room; a raised walkway was in the center. Eight-pointed stars made from some odd blue mineral gave the room a sickly blue glow. There was a stalactite in the center of the ceiling. I saw a single drop fell from the end. Not even dwarf masonry endures against nature forever.
While I was taking in the sights, Gregar efficiently converted a group of skeletons into bone chips and calcium dust.
"Thanks, Gregar. You're uh... doing great work," I said awkwardly.
I could get used to having a zombie bodyguard. They're not half bad. Quiet, efficient, you don't even notice the smell after a while.
In the center of the room, I found an interesting axe beside the pool of mineral water. It was still shiny and untarnished beneath the layer of dust. I focused on it, and I could feel various strands of magic swirling through it.
It seemed like my luck had finally turned for the better, I had found the magic axe Slasher with little trouble. Of course, finding the axe wasn't good enough. The greenskins were still going to kill me the second I handed it over; I needed to find that would let me turn the situation in my favour. I continued exploring, and one very populated room later...
...I found another axe, also magical.
"Well, this isn't as simple as I thought, but the more stuff to trade, the better," I said optimistically.
I stuffed the second magic axe into my pack.
I headed down another corridor, open on either side with other parts of the ruin. Angelic statues sat on ledges lining the corridor. Were they merely decorative, or more meaningful? Ancient dwarf architecture wasn't one of my areas of expertise.
A massive stone door blocked my way, and wouldn't budge. I doubted even Gregar's strength would be of any use. I could order him to pound it, but I given all the debris I've seen, I suspected the pounding would bring the ceiling down before the door.
Luckily, there were plenty of other things I could use Gregar's massive strength on. All the skeletons swarmed around him, fireballs and staff hits knocked them away again, and soon there was a nice pile of bones with a potion-and-gold-coin filling.
I scooped up the assorted valuables and investigated a pair of nearby rooms.
The nearer one had some empty ancient pots - one of them had been struck by a fallen stone and smashed. There was a small pile of stone and dirt where some more stone blocks had fallen from the ceiling. Large stone tiles decorated the floor in the center of the room. One tile had the 8-pointed star symbol. I wondered if it meant anything in particular.
The room opposite it had...
"Another magi- of course. I can't afford to have even one of these things identified, and now I have three, and that's not even counting the amulet," I grumbled.
There were some old pots and jugs in the room. Maybe some collectors would pay top coin for them, but I wasn't interested enough to bother finding out. Although perhaps they'd look good in Joram's cellar... nah.
I shook my head and snapped out of it. I had better things to do than redecorate. I followed a hallway which looped around in a U shape. Some of the walls were badly crumbling, and more water dripped into small puddles. At the base of a small winged statue was a familiar-looking weapon.
There was no magic in the blade, which I was oddly grateful for. I was starting to think that a cosmic prank was being played on me.
I found a heavy iron maul with a handle split nearly in half. It was wrecked beyond any use as a weapon, but maybe George would give me a few coins for the scrap metal.
"About the Game" posted:
"Destroyed" or "Wrecked" items only have a maximum durability of 1 or 2. The repair skill in the game repairs 60/70/80/90/100 of maximum durability. Repairing 90% of an item with 1 durability takes it to 0.9 durability, which rounds back down to 0. So you would need Repair at level 5 to repair a wrecked item when it breaks, otherwise a shopkeeper has to do it for you, which is expensive. It's not worth it to use items in this bad a shape.
Incidentally, rings and amulets also have a durability rating, but since those aren't included on the places enemies can hit your body, their durability never goes down.
The more interesting thing at the moment was a switch in the shape of a horned skull. I pulled the tongue-lever and heard a nearby sound of grinding stone.
Sure enough, the stone door that was sealed earlier was now out of my way. My intuition told me there must be something valuable in there, and the first thing I spotted was the crimson glitter of a ruby. Right out in the open.
I'm not quite that stupid.
I headed in cautiously, ignoring the ruby; instead I was looking around for the inevitable ambush. Sure enough it came, but with a new wrinkle.
Among the familiar cast of skeletons was an odd one with bony wings. I sensed magic radiating off of it
While Gregar engaged the bulk of the skeletons, I eyed the winged one warily. It made the first move and conjured up a skeleton formed from pure magic. Just like the skeletons I could create, it would only last for an hour or so, but usually that was all the time which was needed.
"Two can play at that game," I retorted, summoning my own skeletons. More hostile skeletons moved in form the wings and the fight degenerated into a brawl.
"About the Game" posted:
In a nice touch, it seems that occasionally, the first time you encounter an enemy, they're a lot more powerful than the standard variant, and give out a lot more XP. The first Skeleton Conjurer you find has over 500 HP, the normal version has only about 100. It's appropriate, because you don't have any experience fighting them, so they seem hard, but after the first one, the rest are easier. The "first time encounters" and minibosses also always drop a magical item.
Close quarters fighting was definitely not my forte, so I quietly slipped out of the way and started pelting the growing crowd with fireballs.
Zombies may move slowly, but they've got lots of endurance. Gregar Brock was doing an excellent job occupying all of the attention.
The Skeletal Conjurer was the toughest foe I'd faced so far. My fireballs barely seemed to irritate it. The only reason I survived was that it was occupying itself with Gregar and my summoned skeletons. If it had decided to focus on me... that would have simply been it.
After many minutes and many fireballs, I had determined which areas of the abomination seemed to be the most vulnerable. I aimed more precisely, and finally the skeleton fell, dropping a magical dagger. I grabbed it and anything else that looked valuable. The other part of the room looked suitably impressive.
There was a pair of statues of some beast I couldn't identify. They flanked an altar of some sort, upon which was...
I rubbed my forehead in irritation and said, "What else could I possibly have been expecting, but yet ANOTHER enchanted axe. Given how well guarded this one is, it must be Slasher."
I found a black potion inside one of the pots. There was nothing left here to investigate on this floor, save one last door I hadn't been through yet. Gregar fell behind as I hurried through the now-silent halls littered with the remains of the undead.
Black potion for... invisibility? Not a lot of liquid in a bottle this size. The effect won't last long at all. Not enough to for a fight, not enough to run very far.
There was another exit from the room, but I noticed an odd shape under a layer of dirt. I brushed the dirt aside and found another journal, written in the scratchy style that matched the one found in the summoning laboratory. It must have been another one of Thelyron Hashnitor's journals.
He seems a bit absent minded to start a new diary and only put one entry in it, maybe it was old age. Maybe he just puts things down and forgets where he left them.
The next room was lit by more of the blue mineral, and in its dim glow I clearly saw a staircase leading deeper down into the dungeon.
I heard a sudden bony scraping sound beside me. Stupidly, I wasted time turning to look.
I should have jumped out of the way the instant I heard the noise. The blow slammed me onto the floor. If the edge on the huge skeleton's axe hadn't been so dull, it could have cut me in half. As it was, it was a struggle to block out enough of the pain so I could keep myself moving.
I scrambled to my feet and limped off as fast as I could manage. I heard the welcome dragging fleshy scrape of Gregar's feet.
The Skeleton Guardian sized up Gregar.
"Gregar, you can take him out, I believe in you!" I said desperately.
Gregar attacked the new menace, not caring one iota if I had confidence in him. The huge skeleton staggered under his pummeling blows, but managed to raise the massive axe over its head.
The axe blow solidly connected and Gregar was broken.
Finally... I can... diieeeee ....
Unfortunately, it looks like I'm next.
The huge skeleton stalked toward me menacingly.
Next Time: Slasher
Behind the Scenes
Here's the map for the Catacombs floor 1:
Here's the map for the Catacombs floor 2:
The main character might actually speak some Orcish. Or he's just making up funny words, it's hard to tell. If you try talking to an orc other than Smiruk, they usually just tell you (in Common) to talk to Smiruk. Except for Golg, try talking to him and you get this exchange:
Hirk barag tushnak?
Eronk grork to honk wyld?
Vriol prak kumor hiol eruu, hogar tusan oleg vroi?
Oloi? Vriol prak kumor??
No, I don't have any idea what it means.
The axes on this floor are all Unique weapons. In Divine Divinity, a "Unique" weapon is a magical item which is ALWAYS found in the same place. Uniques almost always have a Charm capacity of at least 1.
Uniques in Divine Divinity generally have completely random magical bonuses on them. Even the number of Charm slots is random. Unique items can have several different magical bonuses, including one or more "+1 to Specific Skill" on an item, and usually have a charm capacity of 1-5, so they're the most powerful items in the game - if you get a good assortment of random magical bonuses. There are very few unique items in the game, usually only 1-3 itmes per category at most.
In my playthrough, I decided on "5 Charm slots" and "+60 health" and "+60 mana" as my minimum magical bonuses for my final gear.
What's fake in this update?
- The geography of the catacombs is messed up. If you head south, you find the orcs and a ladder going up. That leads to an area southeast of Aleroth. But if you keep going south and east in the catacombs, you find another way up that takes you to Aleroth's graveyard, which should be impossible. So I'm pretending that the magic orb portal takes you to beneath the graveyard, instead of fifteen feet from the portal room. I photoshopped the map in a screenshot to show that the stairs room on the north side of the map. It was probably an unreasonable amount of work to do that just to keep immersion intact.
- Since there are stairs going down from level 1, but a ladder going up to it, I had to make up an intervening passage to explain the difference.
Next update, we get some REAL firepower . That's definitely when the game-breaking starts.