Part 21: Adolph Hissler, NaCj - Four
So, we return to this lovely vault which we were dropped next to so long ago. We intend to mop up and get a bit of XP in the process.
We encounter Vapours, I've never seen them before but they weren't tough and we hit 17 on this one.
Air elementals are cool dudes who apparently inhabit the inner area of this vault. Also in the middle was Joseph. We kill him with no issue and grab our loot.
A shield-shaped amulet. Back in my day, every adventurer had one of these, and a pony. The unrandart (non-random artifact) brooch of shielding grants +4 AC and EV over its base warding attribute. Warding is an amulet-slot bonus that makes summoned monsters less able to attack us in melee and gives us a pip of rN.
We nab that lovely artifact from the orcish mines and feel ourselves slow down as we don it. This thing is clearly laden down with powerful magics. The Hat of Pondering is a +3 wizard hat (so, 3 AC total) that grants us Magic Resistance, +5 intelligence, +10 MP and is ponderous. Ponderous items slow down their wearer a bit when worn and are appreciated by Cheibriados, god of time. This, compounded with our slow speed from being a Naga means that we can't really run away from things anymore, but this hat is amazing. A note: our speed only really affects the movespeed of our naga, not our casting speed.
We return to Mara with blood on our minds. She wrentches us, our very soul is called into question as a replicant is produced. Adolph Hissler sees perfection for a moment before he regains his composure and coolly eliminates Mara, breaking the spell that bound that portion of Adolph away from him. Seriously, Mara is no joke. Don't mess around with her in your LOS.
D:20 holds better promise as we find a randart animal skin that gives us rElec. It's donned over our +2 robes. Shortly thereafter, we hit XL 18 and grab +1 int and +1 AC.
This is what happens when I cast Orb of Destruction. Destruction happens.
Gateways to the Abyss and Hells, respectively. The abyss isn't brutally hard, but we probably can't reliably deal with it right now. The Hells are probably the hardest areas in the game, some would argue that Pan is meaner but recent experiences I've had said otherwise. We also get another scroll of acquirement on D:22. Yeah, I give up, I've never seen this many on once character. We stash it and head to the Swamp.
The Swamp is full of water and trees and such. It's five levels deep, but we'll only be seeing swamp1-4 today. The first few levels are comparatively easy as long as you understand how to do the branch. We're here for some XP before we try to tackle the last few levels of the dungeon.
Pictured: the big annoyance of swamp. Goldfish and similar enemies won't (can't) leave the water so they sit there waiting for you to come up and then the attack. They're usually easy enough to get away from, but they can catch squishy casters off guard. Also, an un-id'd potion, I think it was gain int (gives a +1 int mutation when you drink it.)
We pick up a book off the ground. You may have heard of a little thing called the BOOK OF ANNIHILATIONS. Now we've got two of those too. Again, I have no clue, we could start a bookstore that only sold books that backlash when you read them poorly at this point. I'm just waiting for our parity copy of the Grand Grimoire.
No comment. Well, this one I do pop and ask for a wand, we get a lovely wand of Teleportation (6 charges.)
Swamp drakes are pretty nasty if you don't have rPois. Like, don't do swamp if you don't have rPois because the breath they have can confuse you and you might just decided to take a swim in too deep water. Off to the left is a 3x3 area that's surrounded by water. There's a hidden door and inside of that is some items or gold, we get gold. Its' sister squares (this is the NE one, there are 4 total) yield more gold and some stones. That naga barding of levitation is what we use to get to the goods without drowning.
Skill level 9 with shields as a Naga means no penalty to spellcasting from them, we'll move up to a large shield once we've got a few more levels.
We hit 19 off of a swamp worm. Those things are everywhere in the swamp, so be able to take them with no worries or you'll end up dead fast. Also note all the damn curses from Bog Mummies. What're bog mummies? They're mummies who decided to move out, live on their own, get in touch with nature, cast some ice spells, w/e. They still curse your items and so I hate them. I think I killed ~10 on swamps 1-4, which made me think we might have an end-vault themed around them on swamp-5, but then...
These Swamp drakes are part of a vault, but I've seen nearly as many of those as I have Bog mummies, and I hate the Swamp Dragon ending. Let's just hope whatever one we get is forgiving.
So this Ice Statue was obscured by the clouds around it til I was this far in. I use the wand at the end of the second row, fire, to kill it quickly before it does anything drastic like kill us. Note the minimap, this is how I usually do the swamp, do all the outside then clear the inner area. That way I don't blunder into ~5 hydras at once or something dumb.
We nab a staff of channeling. It does the same thing as our crystal ball, but whatever. Later, we meet and kill Sonja, a Kobold assassin with the ability to abyss you. It always comes back to the Abyss with crawl. That and packs of things. Even later, we pick up a book of Frost and Memorize Ozocubu's Armour, a nifty spell that increases our armour based on our ice magic skill. It boosts us to 33 AC when active, but the duration is somewhat short so we don't have it on all the time.
A completed swamp level, for reference. I always do swamp without autoexplore, so it's not perfect but it's safer and less boring overall, if more time-consuming. Oh, and fuck Bog mummies.