Part 9: Ran-dum, DsCK - FiveReturning to Ran-dum,
We acquire armour and get a +1 buckler of rPois, would be better than our buckler or reflection, but we've got that sweet ring, so it isn't. We also memorize blink, a level 2 spell that randomly blinks you to a place you can see (but not onto deep water.) It's a good spell because it's level 2 and moves you, almost always a useful escape tool. It also takes some time to memorize, we fail to memorize it quite a few times..
Quite a few... Eventually we get it, but it's basically uncastable. 80% failure chance means we won't be using it for anything serious anytime soon. Still, we focus the pertinent skills (spellcasting and trnaslocation) to get to work on it. After a few levels of those skills, blink will be invaluable. As a second level spell, it costs 2 magic, which means we have 7 casts right now, not that we can effectively use it. We also memorize magic dart because... umm... it's a good source of damage against fleeing enemies and it's a stepping stone into conjuration spells at large.
Killing a yak levels us to 14, note that with higher polearms skills, it's easier to hit stuff through another enemy. This is useful namely for killing fleeing stuff, but sometimes the nasties are farther away. We also get icy blue scales mutation from this level, it's AC+1, but grows over time.
Another bailey, this is what the flagged portal looks like. It's a bit strange to get a second bailey, but I'm not complaining.
Those kobolds all have hand axes of returning, so they would continue pelting us from across deep water, but our shield is reflecting, so they die instead. The end just has an orcish warrior and some gold.
Suitably small reward for a trivial challenge.
This is some strnage vault with quite a few nasties including yaktaur captains, centaur warriors, orc knights, ogre magi and a hill giant. We'll just avoid that, but it doesn't mean Xom can't teleport us in there.
Going down to D:12 and we see a wraith, a hill giant and a stone giant. We get the wraith to come with us to 15 and kill it, but don't bother with the other two. I decide to get a bit more XP under our belt before tackling a stone giant, so we head back up and start on Orc:1.
A bazaar is on orc:1, but we'd be wise to pay no attention to the advice of the game, take your time, don't rush and get killed trying to find the portal before it times out.
A rather mild O:1 entrance, we stair dance regardless so we aren't overwhelmed accidentally.
We find the bazaar and enter with haste. Some have pretty cool layouts and you should always ensure you have some open slots because if not the item is dropped on the ground and you might forget. There are never enemies in bazaars and typically some very good stuff. We nab a potion of mutation for 76 gold, pick up +2 troll armour just in case and try our hand at a randart animal skin that turns out to be str+3, Dex+2, pretty good, but we'll use the robes for now. The troll leather armour is made from troll hide and grants increased regeneration. It's light enough that we may one day switch to it, but Strength+4 is too good right now.
Xom, you cheeky devil! We lose the +10% MP mutation, we get the blurry vision mutation (at level 1 it makes scroll reading fail sometimes) and we get back passive mapping, Xom also tormented us, so we have to rest back to full HP. Later, Xom decided to let us breathe flames and slows down our metabolism. I dunno.
We're clearing out as much of orc as possible before going to o:4, so we hit this bunch on o:2. Take note of the Orc sorcerer in the red robes at the SW, and the orc knight to the S of us. Stair dancing saves us a headache from the sorcerers summons.
This is Nessos, centaur unique. Nessos is guaranteed to have a centaur barding, which is hard to find and very useful for centaurs. He is also the only person in the game who can fire flaming poisoned arrows. Anyone else who tries to fire poisoned arrows with a bow of flaming will just end up with flaming arrows.
The final vault is a cakewalk because of our reflection buckler. The last level of each branch has a vault with goodies and a number of mean enemies. Xom mutates us again, loose muscles x2, stable mutations 2, Dex+1.
The vault just has a few stores, typical for orc as you find quite a lot of gold. Also, mimics are a thing and are annoying but not usually deadly for melee characters.
That's a Zot Trap, they do a variety of nasty things and it's a good thing I've been leveling traps and doors because it helps you see them. I never plan on blundering into a zot trap to show it to you, but I'm sure it'll happen at some point. Also, we're in the lair because I remembered we hadn't finished that and almost any character that can do o:4 can do lair:8. We find a ring of wizardry and kill a few hydras, they're chump change to us now, seeing as how death yaks are harder.
A vault with a bunch of bears and a couple honeycombs. Bears can all berserk when they get low, but aren't that hard apart from that. Kill them quickly and you'll have no issue. Also, that large area above the bear vault had ~15 death yaks, no joke. Good thing we held off doing this till now.
Our end-vault for the lair is a buncha dogs.We hit 15 and get the second level of an early mutation: MP from taking damage.
Hellhounds are pretty mean dudes and can do some amount of damage if you're not paying attention, we kill them. Our reward is a wand and a small sum of gold. I bet the wand is heal wounds, but teleport is maybe an option too.
So, if we plan on casting more, we've found staves of enchantment, cold, power earth, air and conjuration. With the ring of wizardry we might actually be able to cast real spells eventually, through our wild magic2. Where do we take our lovely little DSCK from here, folks? We'll never be able to cast the high level spells but we can go for a few utility spells and maybe even work up to fireball/freezing cloud.