The Let's Play Archive

Divine Divinity

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 110: Apocalypse Then

Chapter 81 - Apocalypse Then

he attack came at the breaking of the dawn, the sky was turning from a pitch black shroud into a shimmering canopy of red and orange, the clouds were just hinting at the night's final death knell. The howling, screaming and ravaging hordes of demons broke upon the sheltered farmstead like a black rushing river. Claws and teeth savaging the inhabitants as they tried vainly to defend themselves - blood was let in such ferocity that neither children nor mothers were spared. It was a terrible cull; for they saw them as such vermin, to be butchered as they slept, with none to spare.

hese creatures were not born of nature's soft hand, but of the darker powers and arts known to wizards - these mostly exiled spell casters had waited so long for their revenge it was a palpable taste in their mouths. Like the blood that their demon hordes had spilled uncontrollably earlier - but they did not care, they did not wish to lift a finger, for in the past; around thirty years ago to be exact they saw the death of their grand leader at the hands of the man known as Duke Hark Ferol. They had plotted, planned and waited for such a time that they could unleash their vengeance upon the Kingdom and those who held life dear.

- Account of the first war with the Damned

Music - "Winds of Sand"
Download (Thanks to Grawl)

Video: Friends from beyond the wastes (Voice Acting)

Zandalor?! Arhu?!

I must have heat stroke or something! Does that cause hallucinations?
Praise the Seven! Come, let's get this fight over with Arhu, so that we can go offer our greetings!
Flu-flu-flu-flux! The Divine One?!
Flax! THAT human?
Hiyaa! Imps must tell mistresses! Wizard can wait for 'nother day!
Flux it! Good-eating cat for 'nother day too? I hungry.
Flax Flax! Cat too! Flinx! Is pity, but Divine One too important to dark mistresses. Hiyaa! Imps go!

With that, the Imps did a flip, and then scurried off. I ran up to Zandalor and Arhu.

I... I saw some of what happened in the Council Chamber after the ritual was performed.
You did? Astonishing!
But I didn't see all of it. What happened after I left?
I still don't know how it was possible, but somehow the Black Ring, led by the demon Janus, managed to enter the great Council Room. Everyone but myself - and one other - was butchered...
One other?
How did you escape?
Arhu saved me. Our little friend noticed that the barriers which prevented him from entering the council rooms were suddenly dissipated. Luckily he had the wits to realize that this meant someone was trying to get in. The demon had mage-locked me, but in its arrogance, it didn't bother setting up additional defences. So Arhu was able to teleport me away just as the monster was preparing to devour my body and soul. Tragically, Arhu came too late to save the members of the Council of Seven who had been killed.
Tell me about Janus.
As we suspected, the son of the old duke is no more. The Demon of Lies took possession of the boy's body the moment he touched the cursed sword. It used Janus' position to further its evil aims. Once it deemed chaos was powerful enough, it cast off its human shell and assumed its foul, natural form. That creature is a small par of the soul of the Lord of Chaos, the evil god of the fables. The Demon of Lies is trying to reunite itself with the rest of Chaos' foul spirit. If it succeeds, we are all doomed!
Was that an orc I saw fighting beside you?
Yes, poor Ghalak. A valiant fighter...
What is this place, Zandalor?
This foul wasteland is Yuluth Gor, once homeland of the proud, if misguided orcs. The Black Ring has gained terrible power in the last months.
Months?! How long have I been gone?

Zandalor looked uneasy.

Oh, for quite some time I'm afraid.

I was not going to put up with his evasiveness anymore. I grabbed Zandalor with telekinesis (with my new power it required almost no effort), and I lifted him above my head.


Zandalor sighed.

A little over six months. Today is the 8th of Apirus, 1219. It's hard to understand, I know, but time runs differently in the land of the dead...

Zandalor's mouth kept moving, but I no longer heard. I released him and fell to my knees.

Sixmonthssixmonthssixmonths they've had Jenna for SIX MONTHS!!!
My Divinity? Are you all right? Jeremiah? Jeremiah!
Who? ... Oh yes, your sister. I'm sorry... I forgot. But I think there may be hope yet. It's possible that your sister may yet be alive!

I snapped out of it?

Jenna... she... she's alive?
I do not know for sure. I believe it is a distinct possibility. If Jenna is still alive, she will be in the Black Ring's base of operations, which is nearby. But there are things you should know first... about what has happened since.

From the way he said that, I knew it was going to be hard to hear. But I had to know the facts. I took a deep breath and tried to prepare myself.

Continue please, Zandalor. I need to know what happened between you getting out of the Council Chambers and arriving here. How bad is it back ho- in Ferol?

I was amazed that I had almost called Ferol my "home". It wasn't really. And I'd only spent a month there. But all the people I'd met... the lives I'd changed. I needed to know what had happened to them.

The Black Ring... they decided that they didn't need their orc allies anymore. They opened the gates of chaos letting loose thousands of demons. Weep, you Gods! A noble race is dying!

That was only the first part. It got worse from there.

Many surviving orcs started to flee to the west, to Ferol, with their surviving family members. I went to see General Alix herself. To the credit of General Alix, I was able to convince her to order a cease-fire - over the wishes of her fellow soldiers. Alix had seen the scouting reports of the demons attacking the orcs. The new leader of the orcs, working with me, gathered up the refugees and as many surviving warriors as he could and headed west.
New orc leader? You found one that was reasonable?
Oh yes. Yes, indeed. I give great credit to General Alix. She had a strong, noble character. A more vengeful person would have ignored me instead of having the orcs cut down as they approached. Certainly many of the human soldiers wanted nothing but orc blood. The orcs approached under flag of truce, and the orc leader came forward alone. He wasn't just there to stop the war, but to ask for a joining of forces against the demonic hordes, and praise be to the Seven Gods, he and General Alix actually made it happen.

Alas, the battle was hopeless. For every demon the orcs and humans took down, they lost four warriors of their own, including Captain Mitox. Even General Alix fell. With her last breath, she made the highest remaining officer Lord Seth swear to do his duty to the people of Ferol... and evacuate them from the now defenseless dukedom. Seth was a man of honour, and he did as Alix commanded. Many brave humans and orcs died, pressing the demons back, sacrificing their lives to buy a few extra minutes for the bulk of the soldiers to retreat safely. Lord Seth was helpless to save them, so he did his duty, and left them to die, even though it broke his spirit, possibly forever.
What about the elves? The Dwarves? Why didn't they come to Ferol's aid?
Duke Janus had vanished. There was no organized leadership in Ferol, and when the word of the demon army reached the castle, it devolved into sheer panic and chaos. People were so paralyzed with fear that no one thought to contact the dwarves. It might not have done much good in the first place, though. The Demons made a point of attacking the defending humans and orcs at their strongest point, and even that didn't help the defenders much.
After the retreat of Seth's forces, the whole of Ferol was open, ripe for slaughter. Yet that chance was passed up. Instead the Demon of Lies itself, along with the Black Ring attacked Stormfist Castle directly. The defenders, despite the fortified position had not seen combat in long years, and were killed even more quickly than even the exhausted troops on the front line.
What about the secret escape passages in the castle? Did anyone make it out?
I am not certain. Janus knew of the passages of course, he used them to move orcs into the cellars undetected. I do know that Janus ordered his troops on pain of death to spare Lady Anasatasia and young Lela.
Is that because some part of Janus still remained, some part still held a fragment of kindness?
Good heavens no! Quite the opposite! Arhu took a great risk to listen in on the confrontation.

What do you want, demon? If you expect me to beg for my life, you'll be waiting forever. I might only be the Duchess Mother, but I still have dignity, even here at the end.
Indeed, that is all you have left.
Lady Elona! I should have known. Have you been in consort with these evil vermin all along?
It is the Ferol line who are the true vermin. You bear the name Ferol proudly, ignorant of the bloody murder which gave it the power you savour so much.
Now, finally, your cursed line is broken. This is where the Ferol family becomes extinct.
Shut your face, you bitch! When my beloved Janus returns, he will destroy you. He's the Divine One, you know, and my lover, and when he gets here, then you'll be sorry!
Oh my... this is too much...
What's the matter, my dear sweet Lela? Don't you recognize me? I look much better this way, don't you think?
Th-That voice! No... NOOOOOOOO!!!! It can't be true!
You can't be my son! Janus was a horrible wretch, but... no! I spit on thee, demon.
You don't know how long I've been waiting to say these words. Burn this place to the ground!

Janus killed his mother and former lover with one swipe of his claw each, and had Stormfist Castle, which had stood for hundreds of years - even surviving the first war with the Damned... he reduced it to smoldering rubble in a day. The raging inferno sent smoke billowing straight up into the sky for the entire dukedom to see, from the Warrior's Guild and elven kingdoms in the south to Verdistis in the North. After that, Janus let the demons loose on the people of Ferol.

They attacked in the west, and destroyed poor, peaceful Aleroth.

But it wasn't just Ferol which was attacked. In the east, the demons destroyed Glenborous.

In the south, they blazed a fiery path of destruction through the Dark Forest. The Warrior's Guild and the peaceful elven village of Fiu Nimble were attacked without mercy.
No... everything I did... the people I saved... the wars I averted... it was all for nothing?
No! Absolutely not! Your work did a great deal of good! Because you preserved the peace between elf and dwarf, King Dunatrim opened the Dwarven Halls to the elves as they fled.

Only a few dozen elves made it inside before the gates had to be sealed, and the magnificent entrance to the hall was deliberately buried by the dwarves under tons of rock, to keep the demons from entering.

Yes, the war came to Verdistis as well.

Z-Zandalor? Do you... do you know how many people got out of Verdistis before it was attacked? Do you know if...

My voice broke off. I couldn't say it.


Zandalor shook his head.

I'm sorry, Jeremiah. If there's someone in particular you're thinking of, I can't tell you one way or another. I was too focused on fighting the demon hordes to worry about individual people. But by the time the demons attacked Verdistis, the city was half-empty already - even flooded with refugees from the south.
... All for nothing after all...

Do not lose spirit yet, my deity. Even if it has taken months longer than we believed we could survive, all is not lost. Your return, my deity, rekindles the fire of hope!
Stop calling me deity. I don't feel very god-like right now. And I don't see what this hope you're referring to is.
In the last months, Arhu and I have been trying to reach the Black Lake, but we haven't been able to penetrate any further than this. Together with a few brave orc warriors we've been trying to save this village, but I fear it will soon fall. Then, if we still live, we will doubtless be pushed back even further.
Good God! What has happened here?
I fear the Black Ring is about to achieve their goal. Arhu and I have desperately tried to block them, but they have grown too powerful now that the demon of the sword is free. If they complete the execution of their plans, all will be lost. Hell and Chaos will triumph! But now that you are here, my dei- Jeremiah, there might be a way of countering them. But we must act quickly!

Who the hell told you that you should spend extraordinary amounts of time inspecting your own bellybutton when there are important things to be done? Because it sure as hell wasn't me!
That's right... there is still hope.

I nodded, getting a hold of myself again.

I can't give up now. Not after everything I've went through. Those people back in Ferol... they died for something. They died because they still had hopes for their families! They had hopes that there was a future ahead, somewhere past the darkness! If I roll over and die now, it will mean that they died for nothing! AND I'M NOT GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN!!

Zandalor smiled.

Well spoken, my deity!
I need to know more. What is the Black Ring's ultimate aim?

If this Lord of Chaos was beaten before, we can beat him again!
If they incarnate him into a mortal body, Lord Chaos' powers will be tremendous, unimaginable! He could enslave the world with his magics, or fully open the gates of Hell to allow all the demons and every damned soul loose on the troubled land, or he might simply destroy everything and return the universe to Primal Chaos. I believe that the conditions are now right for his coming, and the Black Ring will waste little time summoning him.
But I am the Divine One - the Good Gods' chosen avatar! You cannot imagine the powers I discovered in the Land of the Dead. I will settle with this Lord of Chaos and set the entire world to rights!
Nay! Surrounded by his minions and assisted by the Demon of Lies, you will be no match for him. Our only hope lies in preventing his summoning.
How can I stop the Black Ring?
You must reach the Dungeon of the Black Lake, their base of power, and you must stop them from completing their foul ritual.
How can I reach this Dungeon of the Black Lake?
I know the exact location, my deity, but there is a problem. There is a lake around the dungeon and the spiritual conditions over it are very much like those in the land of the dead. No mortal form can pass that lake.
I told you, stop calling me a "deity". Don't make me smite you.

That pathetic attempt at cheering up the mood didn't even work on me. No one cracked a smile. It wasn't really funny anyway.

If I cannot pass the lake, all is lost.
Wait a moment, my - uh... *sigh* Jeremiah. There are powerful magics that a being like you can call upon. I doubt not that you have discovered some of them already in your ascension from death. It is written that the Divine One has the power to become a ghost... a spiritual form, without mortal flesh. I believe that if you were to do that, you would be able to pass over the black lake unharmed.
Uh... OK. Let me see.

I concentrated intensely, as hard as I could. All my thoughts were on shedding my mortal body and becoming a ghost. I opened one eye.

Did it work?
I'm afraid not.

I sighed.

I may have returned from death, but I do not know how to change myself into a living ghost, Zandalor.
In ancient times, when the Gods walked the fruitful earth, you would be taught how by another Divine One. Given that you are now the only one however, I fear there is only one other way. You must talk to one who lived in those times and pray he can either give you the secret or a way of finding it for yourself.

Zandalor was nervous.

I sense trouble in your heart, Zandalor. Who is this ancient being that I am to talk to?
Er... his name is Patriarch the Black and he's a... dragon!
A dragon!? I am to ask a dragon how to become a ghost? This is madness! He will render me a ghost all right, and at the same time, he will turn my mortal body into dragon excrement!
Yes, quite? But I fear this perilous path is our only way. I do not know the exact location of Patriarch, but while Arhu and I were in hiding, we overheard an orc patrol talking about a great black dragon with a terrible temper in a valley to the northeast of here. That sound like him to a 'T'. I suggest you start your search in that direction, my de- Jeremiah.
I've heard enough, Zandalor! Action is needed and I must be on my way!
Yes, you are right. But first follow us to the village, so you know where you can find us. And you'll be pleased to see an old friend, I think.
A friend? Who?

The swirl of teleportation took us before Zandalor could answer. And in fact, after we arrived, I noticed that he still hadn't answered.

We emerged in a a small village. There were various tired-looking orcs wandering around, wearing defeated looks on their faces. They had lost so much hope that they didn't even pay attention to me - a stranger in their midst.

Just a moment, Jeremiah. I think I have something you'll be interested in having...

Zandalor entered a house.

Now, where did I put it?

You'll beat those filthy lovers of rats, my Divinity, I just know it. I wish I could be there to see it, but I've already been a human and a cat in my life. I don't much fancy becoming a disembodied spirit as well.
Thank you, Arhu. Do you have any last advice before we part?
Mmmmmiauw... The Black Ring are very powerful now, but they are bound to still have weaknesses. Fight them one-by-one, if you can. Exploit any weak spots you can. I don't know about the demon though - it's part of a God, remember? It may have no weaknesses. Needs to do something about it's haircut, though... Prroaw!

Zandalor emerged, carrying a worn-looking, yet highly magical sword.

While you were absent these past several months, I obtained this sword. It's highly magical. I believe you will have more need of I than I shall. he handed it to me.

The grass around the area was scorched and burned. I picked up the blade. It was my father's old sword. Maybe the heat from... the strange light which hit me had warped it. But why was the sword warped when I didn't have a scratch? Whatever the case, the sword was nothing more than junk now. I left it on the ground.

I'm sorry father. I'll find a replacement for it. I promise.

This is a working sword, built for battle, not for show. And the quality... I think you'd like this one very much, Father.
... Thank you, Zandalor. You don't know how much this means to me.

Zandalor studied my face.

No, perhaps I don't. But it's not the only thing I have for you. Here, take this.

He also handed me a dagger. It looked very interesting. It had an ornate red handle with a gold skull at the end, and a finger-guard shaped like a gold fang. The blade itself was wavy. It looked more ornamental than functional, though.

What's this for? You just gave me a sword to replace the dagger, and then you gave me another dagger?
Oh no, that's not to fight with. It's for... it's for protection. It's inscribed with many powerful runes of protection. In case of dire need, you may have a use for it, although I hope that does not come to pass.

I looked at Zandalor. There was something odd about his words. But I wasn't interested in sending time puzzling over the cryptic words of the old wizard.

This is my house. You can rest here if you wish.
Thank you, Zandalor, but you said that time is of the essence, and I have learned that it is never to be wasted. I will not rest, I will not stop until I have stopped the ritual and defeated the Demon of Lies. But uh...
My helmet was damaged on my return. Do you know anyone here who does blacksmith work?
Yes, I do indeed. And so do you, my friend.

He pointed at a large building.

Go there, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I entered the dim store. There was a large figure in there. As my eyes adjusted I saw that it was a big orc. His face was lit up in surprise and delight.

Jeremiah! You back from dead!
Wha! Kroxy!! I thought you were dead?!
Hmph. Kroxy not killed so easy!
But you fell down. Hit by lightning!
Hur hur! Yes! But Kroxy did war trick. Kroxy play dead. Kroxy wanted to wait for Black Ring people to come closer, but they did not. Cowards they were!
How did you get away, then?
Kroxy waited for enemy, but he not come. Then Kroxy hears good wizard speak to Black Ring. Then White Cat come to rescue wizard and Kroxy jump up and escape from them.

"About the Game" posted:

Kroxy is awesome.

What about the others? Bronthion? Goemoe? Mardaneus?

Kroxy shook his head silently. He was the only survivor of the council massacre.

Kroxy thinking... you be god now?
God? I do not rightly know. But I have spoken to them.
Now this is great!
What is this place?
This once village of orc tribes. Kroxy family once live here. Everyone gone now, but this only place or Kroxy to live.
What are your plans now?
Kroxy first want to fight to revenge people. Then wizard and cat talk to Kroxy. Now Kroxy think it better to make safe place here. Orcs running from imps can come here and make new tribe.
A safe place? What can you get here?
Kroxy now live in old family house. Kroxy find weapons, Kroxy fix them.
Oh! That reminds me. Can you fix this helmet for me?

I handed him the Dragon Armor helmet. Kroxy inspected it. It looked almost small in his huge hand. His face lit up, and he took it over to a bench and started working on it.

This easy. Only take a few minutes. Kroxy find weapons, Kroxy fix them. Then Kroxy hunt imps, kill them, take weapons from bodies and trade them with good people. You good people? Kroxy give good price to Kroxy friend?
Are there any other orcs left in these lands?
Kroxy not know. Kroxy hope so. But you careful. Not all orcs know you Kroxy friend. Not all orcs know Black Ring bad.

He handed me the helmet. That was surprisingly quick. He'd fixed it with amazing skill.
Thank you Kroxy. What do you have to trade? I have a long walk ahead and I think I'll need water and some food.

I purchased some supplies, and then I set off.

"About the Game" posted:

This is why Kroxy is awesome. He evades death by using the Feign Death skill. And how does he make a living? He hunts and kills imps and trades their stuff. Do you know who else does that?

That's right... He acts like a
player character! No wonder he survived!

I made my way through the village toward the crumbling wall that marked what may be the only remaining front line in the war.

Beyond lay vast desert wastes, shimmering in the sun. I headed into the unforgiving desert. That suited me just fine, for I was not in a forgiving mood, not in the least.

Next Time: Patriarch

Behind the Scenes

The actual title of this chapter is an obvious reference to the famous movie "Apocalypse Now", because I could not resist the play on words.

The game doesn't explicitly say that Ferol was massacred by the demons. Zandalor only mentions the demons attacking the orcs, and later games suggest that many people survived. But it's not unreasonable conclusion for me to make. It is quite clear from all the evidence that the Black Ring wanted Ferol to fall.

That's why the Black Ring arranged for the orcs to attack Ferol. That's why Janus was doing a terrible job of managing the war. That's why the Black Ring arranged for an elf-dwarf war which the humans would take the side of the dwarves despite the fact that the army couldn't possibly fight on another front. The note in Elrath's cellar makes it clear that the poison was not meant for the poor quarter, it was meant for the Ducal army barracks. All the evidence suggests that the Black Ring wanted the Ducal army wiped out,

But the human army proved to be surprisingly resistant; the orcs had failed to break them as expected. So now that the Demon of Lies was strong enough, he summoned in demons as punishment for the orcs failure. I see no reason to believe that after decimating the orc armies that the demons all shrugged their shoulders and went to the desert. I think that it's more likely that they did attack Ferol. And with the army weakened, they stood no chance. But if the demons focused on the orcs, it might have given many people enough time to flee, and the army a chance to organize a partial resistance.

Lord Seth - [Divinity 2]  Again, this is speculation, but you can meet Seth in Divinity 2. He is a sad, broken man, fighting with anyone, just because he desires death in battle. 

I can't say for sure what happened with the elves and the dwarves, but [Divinity 2]  My hypothesis does fit, with the Dwarves retreating underground. Some elves did try and hide underground, but by the time of Divinity 2, the entire elvish race is thought to be extinct, and there aren't any dwarves to be seen either. Perhaps they're gone as well, or maybe they're still hiding underground. 

The mother and child in the marketplace image is Caroline and her son Marty, I think that was his name. However, just because I showed the bodies of specific people does not mean that they definitely died. Nor does it mean that they lived.

There were several dead bodies in the image of Homer's burned-down house. One was Homer, the other two were Isolde and Gareth. There's a skeleton inside behind the fire. That is Trisha.

The images without Zandalor or Arhu are ones where Jeremiah is using his imagination to get a picture of what happened. I make no claims about who lived and died save what is revealed in subsequent games:

Leptine's body can be seen outside the remains of his burned-down store.

The canon list of who definitely survived, according to the other games in the series:

Additional information from Zandalor

What do you mean when you say that I returned unaided?
The ritual called for the council members to summon you back. Alas, bloody slaughter prevented us from performing our task. Yet somehow you managed to return from the realms of death without aid. Even if it has taken months longer than we believed we could survive, all is not lost. Your return, my deity, rekindles the fires of hope!

The Map

Note that I marked "Sword of the Gods" on the map. That's where you ACTUALLY find it.

Inside this cupboard in one of these abandoned houses is the best one-handed sword in the game. It's funny that the ACTUAL Holy Sword is called the Nobleman's sword, but this random sword in the desert is called "Sword of the Gods".

Now that I have my final piece of my final equipment, the Sword of the Gods, it's time for:

Equipment Roundup 2

My Goals:
Each piece of my final gear should have at a minimum:

There are eleven equipment slots: Head, Chest, Belt, Legs, Boots, Gloves, Ring 1, Ring 2, Amulet, Weapon, Shield (one-handed weapon only), which means that getting 5 charm slots in each gives you 55 potential charm slots. I am only putting Gold Charms in, because they are the best.

Weapon - "Sword of the Gods"

Located: Cupboard in an abandoned house, Orc village, wastelands.
Notes: This is our final weapon and last piece of equipment. It's the best or second-best one-handed sword in the game, with 10 possible modifiers. The other best sword is the Nobleman's Sword, which is the Holy Weapon. The upside is that it has really low requirements for strength and agility. The downside is that it has low base damage. I got an average-to-low damage roll, but at this point my agility is so low that it's not that useful to try hitting things anyway. If I could hit things often, and if I didn't have hundreds of Restoration potions, the Rank 5 Mana Drain would be nice. The Poison Damage is good against Death Knights, which show up as a regular enemy later.

Ring 1 - "Sapphire Ring"

Located: Verdistis, south of the Watch house. You must have saved Verlat in Aleroth to get this.
Notes: This is one of only two unique magic rings in the game. Too bad I'd already maxed out Aura of Guarding before getting this, but it wasn't like I spent any skill points on it anyway.

Ring 2 - "Ruby Ring"

Located: Jeremiah's House, secret house. Northwest of the Cursed Abbey.
Notes: This is the second of two magical unique rings in the game. It hasn't got many modifiers, which meant a lot more reloads than usual were needed to get the right combination.

Amulet - "Nobleman's Amulet"

Located: Secret shrine, northeast of the Church. Must have all three Holy Weapons, must NOT have desecrated the tombs there.
Notes: Another hard-to-find one. You need all three of the Holy weapons, and you need to find the well-hidden place to use them, which is ONLY hinted at in one book in the cellar of the Cursed Abbey. And even then, it's easy to screw this up if you are over-eager for loot and open up the tombs there. There isn't anything in them, by the way. This one does meet my minimum requirements, 10 Intelligence on a wizard is equal to 60 mana.

Legs - "Lich's Plate Leggings of the Assassin" (Plate Leggings)

Located: Treasure Room, Imps Deserted Castle
Notes: This is the only high-quality pair of magical leggings I could consistently find in the game. They're not easy to come across. It took a hell of a long time to get the right modifiers, too.

Boots - "Boots of the Vampire"

Located: In the Dark Cave northeast of Rivertown market, inside the chest in the Vampire's sanctum. The key is in the coffin, but you can probably pick the lock.
Notes: The boots were the first things I got, and the stats are the weakest - I was unable to meet the +60/+60 and still get 5 charms, and believe me I reloaded a TON trying. I was only level 20 though. The 160 magic is with the +100 from the Gold Charm the Dragon rider dropped.

Shield - "Shield of the Dragon"

Located: Stormfist Castle, Armory. You need to get an invitation to get in. The armory key is in the library, just north of the armory. It's easiest to get it while you are there, before getting kicked out, although you can use teleporter stones after that.
Notes: Getting this is easy. It's visible from the hallway outside the armory, and the sprite is large and unique to catch your eye. Identifying it is not easy, because there is no one in Stormfist who can identify items, so if you want to reload for the best stats, you'll need some way to identify Rank 5 magic items. Hopefully without spending 5 points into Identify, because Rank 4 and 5 items are extremely rare random drops. This one did not quite meet my baseline criteria, but it was only short 4 mana, and while I'm picky I am not THAT picky. +5 defense translates into a 5% chance of avoiding attacks from enemies of your level.

Belt - "Belt of the Dragon"

Located: Chest in the cellar, Northwesternmost house in Verdistis. Key is on a shelf upstairs.
Notes: Hard to find, easy to get. It's the hardest piece of the entire set to find, because it is the ONLY piece which you are not directed to by the main quest or an NPC. It doesn't matter what conversation options you pick with the arguing sisters, they both go away forever so you can loot at your leisure. The chest is blocked by lots of barrels, so getting to it is a few minutes work, but identifying it is easy, at least.

Gloves - "Gloves of the Dragon"

Located: Burial Pyre, Elf Burial Grounds.
Notes: These are in the only Burial Pyre which has something in them. It's simple to get to the gloves, if you don't mind the level 45 Trolls in the way, and simple to identify them, if you have teleporter stones. I got these stats on my first or second reload, and kept them immediately. The +1 Repair is helpful, and the free point in Wisdom is also nice.

Chest - "Breastplate of the Dragonheart"

Located: Sir Patrick + Imp's Deserted Castle = Grisha.
Notes: This one is tricky, because you need to have returned the Axe of Stone just to get the opportunity to go after this, and then you need to do a bunch of sub-quests to get the two component pieces of the armor. Well, actually, you probably don't need to do the fighter's guild ones, you can just run up to the castle. Most of the stats aren't super-impressive, but at +100/+100 and 5 charms, it more than meets my standards. If this isn't as good as the plain Dragon breastplate, you can actually buy that back from Grisha!

Helmet - "Helmet of the Dragon"

Located: Kelp Dunatril, after you get the Dragonheart Breastplate.
Notes: This one is simple to get, sort-of, although you need to have done the Dragonheart Breastplate one before this, and that is long. Not a lot to say about this, it's pretty standard gear for me, although the +10 Defense is excellent.


Charm Slots: 55- (some are occupied)

Strength: 8 + 4 + 4 = +16
Agility: 8 = +8
Constitution: 4 + 8 + 2 = +14 ( +56 Vitality)
Intelligence: 8 + 6 + 4 + 8 + 4 + 10 = +40 ( +240 mana)
Vitality: 60 + 60 + 80 + 100 + 60 + 80 + 80 + 80 + 60 = 660 + 56 = +716
Mana: 100 + 160 + 20 + 100 + 80 + 100 + 60 + 100 + 80 + 60 = 860 + 240 = +1100

Offense: 10 + 2 + 5 = +17
Defense: 2 + 5 + 10 + 5 + 10 = +32
Sight: 3 + 2 + 4 + 5 = +14
Hearing: 1 + 2 + 2 + 4 = +9

Fire: 10 + 20 + 20 + 10 = +60
Lightning: 40 + 15 + 40 + 5 = +100
Poison: 15 + 15 + 10 + 15 + 5 + 10 + 5 + 40 + 15 = +130
Spiritual: 5 + 15 + 5 = +25

Mana Drain (5)
Poison Damage (3)
Aura of Guarding + 1
Freeze + 1
Master Summoner + 1
Hell Spikes + 1
Repair + 1
Wisdom + 1
Alchemy + 1
Skeletal Wall + 1
Curse + 1
Blind + 1
Deadly Gift + 1

I will do one final equipment roundup just before facing the final boss. In the meantime, I'm using any Gold Resistance charms I find to boost all my resistances to 100 or more, and putting in any +100 Vitality or Mana charms I find. All enemies which can drop Charms drop Gold Charms now.

The rest of the gold charms which drop, I save to trade with Kroxy. I still have my reputation and good standing with him, so he sells AND buys Gold Charms at 50,000 gold each, meaning that I can straight-up trade one gold charm for another. Kroxy's stock refreshes very quickly, so I quicksave before talking and reload until he has at least 2 charms I want to buy. At the time I thought that in the long run it might mean less waiting around, although after all the time I spend doing it, I am no longer sure that is true.

What's fake in this update?