Part 44: Tuna Taint - FiveSorry for the delay - and the reason why isn't really an interesting story. This update is written quite a while after the screenshots, so there may be a few inaccuracies.
Anways, that was a little bit of a kick in the ass, and I'm going to reserve some time for regular updates to Tuna Taint, the Merfolk Venom Mage. In other news, I'm having a lot of fun with a Hill Orc Fire Elementalist online.
The theme of this update? Walking Fertilizer.
God Penance happens when you piss your diety of choice off, without really pissing him off. With Fedhas, the easiest way this can happen is for you to get confused and attack one of your wandering mushrooms accidentally.
I unfortunately didn't happen to capture a screenshot of me miscasting a poison spell and getting confused by the resultant mephitic vapors. Predictably, I didn't notice this either, until checking the message logs. And that is why you get to see my new title here - one of my favorites.
Fortunately, I don't need to do anything I normally wouldn't in order to resolve this situation. Thanks to the stalking behavior of wandering mushrooms, I'm not really threatened by their presence unless I really lose situational awareness, especially not in the wide open lair.
As a point of reference, I was placed under penance on Lair:2 at turn 23607. My punishment was lifted on Lair:4 at turn 25995. Manageable. FOr this period of time, the only significant effect was the loss of many of my divine abilities and my fungal allies. At the moment, the only things I was really depending on my shrooms for were wargs, spiny frogs, and hydras.
While I'm under penance, the game is kind enough to provide me a portal into a volcano, without any source of fire resistance. I, of course, enter. Vocanos tend to explode into clouds of flame from time to time. This can be bad for your health without any resistance. Taint is undeterred for he has a really big stick with a really big blade on the end. More precisely, he isn't some silly elf or spriggan with less health than a box of tissues.
In a rare gesture of kindness from the developers, you get sulphorous warning messages before everything explodes. As well, the flaming clouds do not flood the entire room, especially when there is this much open area. Whenever the warning comes around, I run as far from the lava as possible and hug the wall. For the first stage of exploration, I therefore avoid any environmental damage.
After a bit of exploration, I come to realise which particular layout I have here. This vault has a castle in the middle of the lava lake which is usually filled with some fairly dangerous orcs, though the orcs never reach the Bailey level of threat. Here, the game returns to its lovably dickish ways. While we don't need to levitate over to it, we are faces with a very narrow and very exposed land bridge. If the volcano explodes while you're on it without good health and fire resistance, you will be very dead, very soon.
Even with fire resistance, crossing it is exceptionally dangerous. The lake is often inhabited with lava snakes, salamanders, and the like. While I'm fortunate enough not to deal with salamanders this time, you can see exactly how dangerous lava snakes are. They're a bit like electric eels, diving when injured, but deal 3-30 damage instead of 3-18, along with possessing a decent melee attack that partially bypasses armor.
Despite fairly powerful poison magic, I quickly realize I'm out of my depth. I pull out my wand of digging and carve out a refuge in the side of the volcano for me to heal in without worrying about ranged attacks or volcanic eruptions.
Instead of the usual orcs, I face some deep elves. Their magic would normally be a concern, as even the lowly Deep Elf Fighter is able to cast Confusion, which is especially dangerous here. This happens to be a game I can play much better with Mephitic Cloud, although any elf that falls into lava takes his loot with him.
While I haven't bothered to circle the building due to the lava snakes and regular explosions, I do spot a clear wall that clues me into the rather obvious presence of some secret rooms, with hidden doors right above the exit portals.
Humanoid monsters in a volcano tend to carry rather thematic equipment, as you might expect, but I'm not particularly interested in Elven swords when I have this big bardiche. The only useful loot I get from here is a wand of invisibility and a +3 leather armor of fire resistance. Useful, but no game changer.
At this point in time, I'm particulary worried about hydras, since I'm not certain how long this penance will last. I return to my stash and pull up the one spellbook (a mostly earth-themed randart one) I've managed to find. I ignored it because most of the spells are ofno use to me, but I decided to go back and memorize Fire Brand.
When you wield an unbranded weapon, cast a temporary brand on it, and read a scroll of vorpalise weapon, the brand will become permanent. It works for most brands, but don't try it on pain or distortion. Be warned, though, that there tends to be a little side effect. I am enveloped in flames and happen to incerate one of my scrolls. It *is* possible to kill yourself this way, although it is extremely unlikely unless you're a Skald trying out uknown scrolls in order to escape from a very early fight.
I happen to find a legendary deck lying around, and I'm lucky enough to get two uses from one of my identification scrolls. I find out that the card on top is the helix card, which is much more favorable to the player than a mutagenic chunk or potion. Sadly, the results are not guaranteed at my level of power and I end up with a rather mild but annoying minus one to strength. It could have gone a lot worse, but instead I have to deal with inventory management. The weapons, wands, armor, and rations I'm carrying all wear a considerable deal though most of it is nonessential.
Fortunately, it isn't long before I wrap up my penance and recover my divine abilities. After some inventory management that cuts to the core of my inner packrat, I'll be much more comfortable finishing lair with my buds and newly improved hydra decapitator and cauterizing device.