Part 8: Gunston Homestead and the Lizard LairUpdate 005 Gunston Farm and the Lizard Cave
Well, I think it's time to take our newfound wealth and get you guys some trianing.
There is a placcce in Fort Drako for that.
We should also do something about all these small things we've been picking up.
That sounds like a really good idea, Sir Ma'am.
I have to agree.
How much can a humman train usss?
Aren't you coming in, Art, dahling?
No, thank you. I'm supposed to avoid this until I get checked out.
I pretty much have a narrative reason to avoid training Art, not to mention the fact that she doesn't really need it either, at least at this point in time.
Here is the training screen. It is very similar to the Character Creation screen, except for two major differences. The first is that we have limited Skill Points to work with, and the second is that we have limited Gold to work with.
And here is Chester after training. For the most part, everyone is continuing to specialize, as we'll be able to seriously start multi-tasking around Chapter 3 or 4.
I'm a little faster now, and I'm much better with my weapon! I'm probably better than Art, except she gets better weapons than I do.
<More skill, and some physical training, like Chester. Save my offensive focus is different with Pole Arms.>
<Mage Circle Three, though one point of Intelligence and one more SP will not help. I need to improve all of those sooner, rather than later.>
I'm a better Archer now!
I picked up a bit more in the way of support skills. With the Alien Blade in hand, I can make up for my lack of skill in combat. I got improved Disarm and Lockpicking over Dmurr as he needs to focus on his archery first.
Oh, and here's where I stand, in comparison.
So, to Formello, Sir Ma'am?
Sure. Why not. Maybe we'll stop by Motrax's cave on the way there.
Welcome to hell. For some reason, I have four random encounters all in a row here, and no real chance to rest up. It was bloody annoying, I'll tell you that much.
But something GLORIOUS can now happen.
I've never figured out why some enemies take only half-damage from magic attacks. There's no consistency to it.
Ahhhh. Nothhhing like the sssmell of Fireball in the morning.
All we have to do is follow the road to get to Formello.
It's a good thing to, as there used to be no path. You used to have to go south into the Eastern Gallery, east, then North again.
Fuck the Aranea.
I begin to understand.
At this point, I realized I had forgotten to identify and sell my stuff back in Fort Draco. One quick trip later and...
I swear by Lowtax, I didn't cheat that in! I swear! A Magic Breastplate is end-game gear, and the second magic item I've found as a random drop? Chester gets it.
If this was Nethack, the RNG would spontaneously kill me right about now. If only I were so lucky.
Also, the bow we found off that Nephil corpse behind the broken wall? Had a Lemonwood Bow, an upgrade over Dmurr's Cavewood bow by a simple bonus of 1. Also I picked up a set of Bronze Arrows, which are 9/+1, and will be saved for important fights. I pick up about a hundred new arrows for her as well, as I plan on hitting a couple dungeons before Formello.
Maybee they'll ignore usss.
No, better us than these people.
They appear to be following ussss though.
This place looks fortified!
Why does that sound familiar?
No time to wassste. Enter!
Huh. These guys look ornery. Could use some taming though.
Like these guys!
Ia! Ia! Algebra Fhtagn!
Oh, don't tell me you don't know your numbers?
To be fair, I think only you, I and Kai-Lyss would understand this.
I love this little thing. And I've been waiting to make that line ever since I knew I was going to do Exile 2.
That needs to be corrected! Immediately!
Sure, you take care of that.
Thesss are numberssss?
Human ones, yes. No better or worsse than oursss.
You meet a tall, striking woman with short, dark hair. She grinds something up with a mortar and pestle as she talks to you. "I'm Carol, of the Hamer clan. Welcome to our humble household."
Hello, Carol Hamer-Clan. I am Marianna. Forgive the intrusion, though. We sought shelter from some the less... savoury elements of the nearby caverns. If you don't mind my asking, what are your duties here?
"I and my husband watch out for our farm, and for the farms around here. I'm a healer, you see. I can help you too, if you like."
Although, two salamanders are holed up in our larder. Talk to Tor about it. He'll tell you how it happened."
A dour, well-worn man sits at the end of the table, pondering. A heavy blade hangs at his side. "My name's Tor. Welcome to the Gunston homestead."
Thank you for the hospitality. I recognize you...
I run this place with my lady. I also help the other farmers, when I can. I used to work at the fort, but haven't done any of that for a long time."
"I used to work at Fort Exile. I gave weapons and stuff to the new arrivals. Everyone who arrived from the surface world went by me. I gave 'em a knife, food, and directions. Without my stuff, nobody woulda' lived long. Course, the Empire stopped sending people down. Fort Exile shut down, and I left the army. Oh well. What can ya' do?"
Take up farming, apparently.
Sir, Ma'am! There is nothing wrong with agriculture! It's an honourable profession!
Anyways, your wife mentioned something about Salamanders?
He shakes his head. "Not long ago, a mated pair of salamanders broke in here. We tried to drive them out, but they hid in our larder, and we can't get them out. They're eatin' our stores. Kill em', and I'll reward you best I can."
Done, and done! We all owe you, so this is the least we can do to repay you.
Sorry lady, I don't recognize you. I saw so many people come through, they all blur together.
Don't worry about it then. Think of this as partial repayment.
I do not undersstand.
Neither do I. Who is this guy?
And I assss well.
Wow, only Marianna and I came in through the Exile Portal, huh?
It appears so. That man, Tor, was the greeter at Fort Exile, where human Exiles first arrived. That is, until they closed off the portal.
No, Andrew was the greeter. Tor was in the building at the bottom of the hill, with the supplies to keep people from starving.
Oh! Hello! I didn't see you there.
A radiant, red-headed woman, maybe in her very early twenties, is running various farm errands. She has many small scars on her hands and arms, which show up well against the translucent white skin.
A relation of yours, Sir Ma'am?
I don't think so.
Oh, were are my manners? We don't get many visitors from far away! Welcome! My name is Jasmine."
Hey there! Name's Chester! How are you doing?
Well, thank you for asking.
You work the farms around here?
"Nicholas and I work for Tor and Carol. It's their farm. I watch the livestock, and he works the mushrooms."
This Nicholas guy sounds pretty swell!
"Nicholas looks after our mushroom patches. There's a bunch of them to the south. Growing mushrooms is a lot of work down here, even though there's no weeds!"
What about the livestock? We saw Lizards and a Cow by the entrance. Lucky the Salamanders didn't get their claws on them!
She looks sadly at the scars on her hands. "It's sad work. The cows are always sickly and sad. And they're better than those lizards! Those nasty cretins will take your hand off if you let them! But where else can we get meat?"
Hey! Don't worry about it! We all do the best we can. I'm a farmer too, so I can understand your difficulties. It is hard work, most definitely, but it is still work worth doing. You are a wonderful person, and I mean it. I appreciate everything that you do, because no matter what other people say, they don't matter. You're better than that.
Oh for... Come on!
You meet a pale young man. He wears a studious, harried expression, and carries a basket of mushrooms. He nods, not setting down the mushrooms. "I'm Nicholas."
Chester, and these are my friends. You're the farmer?
"I look after the mushroom patches. I bet you think it's easy."
Easy? Not at all!
"I know! It's hard work! Bats fly down and munch on them. The fungus light is barely sufficient. Stray lizards eat them. And I have two patches to look after outside the farm. They're each a half mile long!" He sighs and looks embarrassed. "You probably think I'm being whiny."
"Sorry about that. It's just that we're having a problem with some salamanders. Never had problems like that in Cotra.
You should talk to Tor about it. He's looking to hire someone to get rid of them."
Already on it!
Yes, you can take that food. You monster.
Sssalamanderssss are not to be underessstimated.
I have never fought one before.
This is an excellent opportunity to brush up on your ambush tactics.
I'll scout ahead.
Meet the Salamanders. And their gimmick. It's a gimmick that other monsters will have in the future. Namely being able to surround themselves with with fields on their turn. In this case, they surround themselves with Fire, which damages anyone moving through them, or starts their turn in one. Fortunately, they're not that hard to kill, so I don't take too much damage.
phew. That should do it!
Done, sir! Your larder is relatively intact!
"Thanks for your help. I got something for you. We in the Gunston house remembers those that help us." He disappears into the next room, and returns with a delicate necklace for you. "This'll turn many a blow away."
Thank you sir, again.
Such a good deed.
<Why did we not work together like that?>
<What are you concerned about?>
Nothing. Jussst.. thinking.
Oh, is that what I smell buring? Too bad the Salamanders weren't really affected by your fire magic. If you had ice, that would have been a cool thing to take care of!
I am ssstill more than you, Cat!
Hey! Don't make me come over there!
Yes, let us go to Formello now!
Follow the road, or go visit a dragon...
I have yet to meet a dragon. I am interesssted in this.
I will follow Art.
This is more interesting this way.
Don't be so put out, Marianna. She leads, we follow.
Weird, I don't think this is the way.
Lost, Sir, Ma'am?
I do NOT remember this being here last time I was through here.
And I don't think I can get here until Chapter 4.
Where the hell is Motrax?
What isss the matter?
I'm not lost!
Yes you are!
No! See! Motrax is over here!
I could have sworn this was farther north.
Thisss doesss not look like Dragon Sssign.
Hey, Motrax is a friend to all humans! We should be nice to him!
What is this place?
Oh, me and my big mouth.
I shouldn't be here. The Fire Lizards can breathe fire for 25-30 damage, and there's four in close proximity. I had to reload several times over the course of this battle to avoid major party deaths.
This place, isss it a nesst?
I don't know.
We should thin their numbers out a bit, keep them from spreading.
Something is wrong here. We need to figure out what.
This is not good for my fur.
Don't step on the magma. In fact, don't get too close to it.
Yes, Sir Ma'am?
Can we take one? Safely?
Sure. As long as its kept warm, and doesn't congeal, I would think.
Weak Summoning sucks. This Bat was more hindrance than help.
I thought thessse stonesss were reflecting the heat...
Alright! These are useful, if only for selling for cash!
There's always more.
I quickly run out of the dungeon to rest up.
Let's be careful.
Oh god, I really shouldn't be here. But I am. And I'm paying the price for it. You, of course, don't get to see this.
A treasure trove? But that's draconic behavior, not drakish.
I think these boots might be something special though.
Indeed. Time to leave.
Now, do we continue this futile search for a dragon, or do we finally go to Formello for our next assignment?
Marianna has called a vote! Do we keep looking for Motrax, or shall we go to Formello? Those of you in the thread who know what to expect, I've already got a plan to deal with that in a more timely fashion, so you don't have to worry.
In the meanwhile, Maps!