Part 23: Adolph Hissler, NaCj - SixLong update incoming
So, continuing on...
Grinding noises are bad, the perpetrators of them are boring beetles, beetles that bore into rock, not the other kind. They're destroying a section of the rock wall each time we get that message and this low into the dungeon that could mean destroying walls that house vaults, vaults which might have bad dudes, letting them free. We proceed with caution.
To the north, a goblin and some kind of vault I don't immediately recognize, to the south, the divine aura of angels and Daevas, most likely guarding a Ziggurat(my suspicion is confirmed, but their smites hurt and I forget to screencap it.).
Another vault has an interesting entrance, the lindwurms are able to breathe fire, but can't fly over the lava. We kill them with freezing cloud, but pass on the vault for now.
Margery with a cadre of hell knights and necromancers. They too are frozen to death, Adolph is determined. Marge always comes with hell knights, if you see them, you can safely bet she's there too. She's often in dungeon branches for me, and so is rarely a big deal.
We do a trick, because conjure flame creates a cloud, we can use it to shape our freezing clouds, so we don't get frozen while we kill Margery.We return to the vault and find that it's full of naga, presumably refugees from out rampage through the snake pit.
In the first image is a greater naga, fierce enemies capable of great feats of destruction. The second image is just us leveling to XL22 of of stuff that we can't see. We get a book with swiftness as one of our rewards, and memorize it, swiftness basically increases your speed, and is normally a must-have spell, but it really only brings us to normal speed or so, so it's only crucial.
Tentacled monstrosities, used to suck, now they're tough. Don't be in melee with one. Also note the line for the OOD hitting the TM, wavering means it hasn't fully formed and so does less damage. This is important, but sometimes you just want to OOD something.
Titans have always looked funny to me, they're like cyclopes' with metal heads instead of one huge-eye-head. They are also no joke, and we kill this one very quickly to prevent him from using lightning or airstrike to kill us.
D:27. I decide it's a good idea to hit the stash before we proceed to the last level of the dungeon and then Zot on from there. We return, having shuffled spells and picked up ice storm, albeit at ~15% failure chance. We don't want to use it unless we have to, but it's a very strong spell. We also hit up some shops for curing potions to remove the two points of rotting we have, returning us to 174 HP.
The entryway to Zot is probably beyond this door, so we leave it be for now. A quick check confirms my beliefs and we head on.
We hit level 23 in a neat little vault, there's some goodies just north of us, but nothing worth mentioning. I decide to return to the zot:vault and do it.
That yellow fellow past the three doors is a draconian and Zot (so, the vault for zot too) has lots of them in packs. We dispatch roughly a half-dozen of them and a few dragons too, and move in to the portal.
Wh...what? The stupid door won't let us in, because we don't have runes. We could search the dungeon high and low, but we'd find no runes, so where are they? There are a total of 15 runes, but you only need to acquire 3 to enter the Realm of Zot, so lets break it down, shall we? The lair has three branches (slime pits and two others, in our case, it's the swamp and snake pit) each of those branches has a rune on the bottom floor guarded by a large number of enemies. That's three. The vaults has a total of two runes, one on the bottom floor, the other is in a branch off of it we haven't seen. Five total. There's one in the Abyss, bringing us to six. The infinite halls of Pandemonium have five runes total, bringing us to eleven. Finally, the Hells are split into four branches, each with its own rune, for fifteen.
Why are there fifteen? Most are there to give a character flexibility, some characters are unsuited to go for some runes, like the snake pit if you don't have rPois or something. While the minimum number of runes to enter zot is 3, you can obtain all 15, but doing so only gives you more points on completion and bragging rights.
We basically already have two runes, swamp and snake pit, we just have to do those, so I'll leave the third (and final for this run) rune up to a vote between the Vaults or Slime Pits, either one is fine.
Back to the game, we enter Swamp:5, meet and kill Wiglaf, then find this fella slithering around:
Aizul is a guardian serpent with extra powerful spells, and GS's aren't a joke. Aizul killed my first guy to get to d:15 way back in .5 and he has a number of tricks like putting you to sleep and such.
You already do, Aizul.
We find an entrance to the vault that contains the rune, but it's got miasma floating around. Crawl denotes those areas as no-travel zones and we use our cTele + Blink combo to get past most of it. Also, the fabled Pandemonium pizza was just lying around. That is some good stuff. apparently there's a pandemonium pizza in New Zealand, and it's really good, I dunno.
We're too low on mana to dispel that bone dragon, so we try our crystal ball for a bit more MP. Oh, and the rune is on this side, but it's obscured by pestilence, I'll get a shot of it next update.
The ball is less than kind. We hasten a retreat, return to the entrance and deal with it there, no issues. That could've been bad had I not known that bone dragons have a LOT of HP, because we had enough for ~6 casts of dispel undead, which might have been enough, but probably wasn't and a few bad rolls would've put us in a bad spot. I didn't want to sublimate my blood because I forgot we were this tough and so could take a few rounds with the dragon. I could have played this better, but we made it through without using any real bad safeguards.
We grab the rune and head on. Miasma is really bad and has rotted us back down two HP, but we'll live.
The Snake pits fifth level is the biggest inversion of the previous levels. The toughest enemies almost never spawn on 1-4, but on P:5, they could come in packs in the vault and so the whole level is much more dangerous than previous ones.
We've got an ending vault that I instantly recognize. This one looks like a snake coiled around a staff and is very neat, but lends itself to backfilling issues where enemies will wander around to behind you and catch you in a naga sandwich, quickly trapping you. I've lost a couple of characters to this ending, so I always take it slow and double back sometimes as a precaution.
This is us using ice storm for no good reason. It is fun.
We hit XL 24 here, we're catching up to where we should be. Our random stat+ is int, so we jump two points.
The rune, and if you look on the minimap, you can see what I mean about the vaults shape.
Vaults: an Eight level deep place full of Yaktaur Packs, Stone Giants and Shapeshifters, the vaults isn't that bad and while the enemy selection is cool, the levels are pretty boring to me and the big reveal (while amazing) isn't as cool as the one for the slime pits, in my opinion.
Slime Pits: Considered by many to be one of the hardest vanilla runes, the slime pits is faster and shorter than the vaults, only six levels deep and really do-able pretty fast. I have no qualms about doing the slime pits, and consider it easier (except for the big reveal it has) than any other rune.
I've decided to do a What if? mode of this character, and so will be showing off a bunch of other stuff including whatever branch you don't choose, so don't fret about it if your side doesn't win. But, this vote will be for the official character, for whatever that's worth.