Part 30: Matchstick, MuWz - FourUpdate 5, Or: The Many Fights of Mara
Matchstick is now two runes richer. The problem is it's two runes that are widely considered to be the easiest to get unless you are playing a Jiyva character. I still don't feel safe going after the Vault rune or the Slime rune, to say nothing of extended endgame. The solution? Clearing the Dungeon through floor 27.
A bit of prep work first though. I have enough spell levels that if I drop passwall I can learn Iron shot. Iron Shot, if you'll recall, is what Roxanne used to take down half my HP in one hit. Now it's mine to command. It will see much use, mainly against enemies resistant to fire. Earth is great this way, having damage only resisted by AC, and no element attached to it.
This looks familiar. This is where I abandoned the clearing effort last time. We're MUCH stronger than that point, however.
I recognize the area with the flame clouds as I looked for a bottleneck. It's a mini vault, filled with a bit of gold. It's also surrounded by constantly spawning flame clouds on four sides, and the corners are the rock walls. Might be fun.
It is at this point, of course, I realize I didn't need to blink spam to get in to the goodies. I have apportate.
Mister Olympus posted:
You got to the bottom of Orc WITHOUT running into Saint Roka? Lucky bastard.
I hate you right about now. Roka is a High Priest of Beogh, armed with smite and a devout following of orcs. This is a bad spot for me to be in, as I have no idea how many or what kind of orc Roka has in the cult.
The vault will come in handy though. I blink in and proceed to fireball the orcs that followed me around the corner. Roka was not one of them. I guess he's playing it like a real Hill Orc Priest player does, let the followers take the pain.
Good thing I didn't tackle Roka head on. Sorcerers are annoyances. With bolt of fire (3d17), bolt of draining (3d14), summon demon, paralyse, and animate dead, they're a pretty strong force to face in a cluster of orcs.
Alone, though, they're chumps.
Dammit Roka, don't smite me. I'm just a lovable mummy. I could curse that war axe to your hand when I die, you never know! This is a good spot for me, again.
Mainly because Roka has no qualms about charging blindly through the fire to come after me. He takes down a good chunk of my health in the process, but Roka finally falls. That orc warrior is also about to feel pain, because a flame cloud will spawn next turn there. Self immolation is not the answer. Matchstick immolating you IS, however.
Not a bad sword at all. I eventually swap my wizardry staff's letter to b, so I can quick swap through the ' key if I run into an invisible enemy.
A long time ago, this would have been threatening. Now I have rF+, and it's just... not.
Also not threatening, and act much like player spriggans. Dodgy as hell. A quick fireball shows the spriggan what I think of high evasion.
Oh good, Zot traps. I DO feel terrible walking through one. These can do a number of painful things. Rotting, Mutations (which means more rotting for me), stat drain, demon summoning... They just aren't fun. I got off easy here with a terrible feeling.
Hello there, vault guardians. What could you be guarding, since I found the Vault entrance earlier?
Oh. Dammit. I have no idea what these even LOOK like. At least I have no other use for them, so I'll get around to finding all of them.
Progressing down at a steady rate, I reach level 21 off a foolish mermaid.
Then run into a lich, a watered down Boris. I guess Boris is a powered up ancient lich, and this is a watered down version of that? Whatever. It dies rather quickly to dispel undead.
Again, fire crabs may have been threatening back before I got rF+. They spawn a lot of flame clouds. I spawn a lot of iron shots. I win.
Oh boy, here we go. Mara. Mara can summon clones of himself, an illusion of you that can do whatever you can, and mislead your mind into thinking monsters are other monsters.
That last bit can lead to some hilarious results:http://i.imgur.com/uoWWG.png
(Not seen on this character, mind. Clarity prevents the mislead effect)
This battle ends in Mara teleporting away, and me killing off a couple clones.
Round 2! This battle ends in ME teleporting away, as Mara summoned an illusion of me on top of the clones. No thanks.
Round 3! Mara teleports away again. I'm getting annoyed now.
Round 4! KO! Finally. Mara, as seen here, can be a HUGE pain to fight. Between having three sources of Mara damage, AND your own illusion hurting you, Mara can very easily kill a player.
Frost giant. Gets melted by bolt of fire.
Random book has Orb of Destruction. May eventually be learned.
Fire giant. Gets Iron shotted to death. This is more or less the prime reason I even got earth magic this game. Anything with fire resistance would decimate me without it, as Iskenderun's Mystic Blast against enemies like this can't keep up the damage rate.
The artefact falchion turns out to be 0, +12. And I find a replacement whip to the one I've been boosting all game. Oh well.
Level 22 off a storm dragon, and 'm almost to floor 27. I also notice a pattern to the walls here. This is another mini vault of sorts.
Each indent has a statue, and occasionally some loot. Statues are vulnerable to disintegration, so these go down without issue.
Here we go. Floor 27. I sense portals. At least one will be the doorway to Zot. But there's a couple interesting locations. We'll start with the one to the northeast of my location.
A Wizard lab. A themed area based on a spell, a magic school, or a wizard, these areas are a lot of fun to explore. Challenging in most cases, but fun.
I enter, and am now surrounded by mirrors. I know immediately where I am.
Tukima's Dance Hall. Dance party! And the only ones dancing are weapons. See, Tukima's Dance is a spell that turns your wielded weapon into a friendly dancing weapon. There also used to be a book called the Book of Tukima that had Sure Blade, Tukima's Dance, and Tukima's Vorpal Blade (now removed, gave vorpal as a temporary brand). There was also a unique in the trunk builds of 0.8 and 0.9 that had a spell called Tukima's Ball, which turns ALL weapons laying around in her LOS to turn into a dancing weapon. RIP Terpsichore, I always enjoyed those fights.
The reward is alright though. I end up using it shortly, but getting an amulet out of the deal. Maybe it'll be useful, who knows.
Now I go and explore this large area. Looks like it could be a quarter of a vault 8 chamber. Wonderful. It's also crammed with just about every enemy in this area.
Retreating for a bit after luring out a bunch of enemies and not having the reinforcements end, I find the entrance to Zot, just tucked away alone over here. Sure.
While I'm at it, let's clear the rest of the floor. A shapeshifter gives me a chuckle, as it turns from a dragon, which has innate fire resist, to an ice dragon, which has innate fire vulnerability. A sound plan.
Back in the hellish corner, I slowly advance.
A couple thousand turns later, I clear out one corner of the damn place. Good thing I don't need food, eh?
Well fuck. Quicksilver dragons are always a pain for me. 15 EV, 10 AC, can breath a dispelling energy. Also, given the name, moves 50% faster than me. Great.
However, he goes down too, and Dungeon floor 27 is cleared out.
I retreat to the safety of the Lair, to ponder my next move. I know Orc 4 has a potion of heal wounds for sale, so I can ID them that way, then backtrack and collect. Hopefully I'll have enough scattered about to use up for the trove.