Part 11: The Verdant ValleyUpdate 008 The Verdant Valley
Something on your mind, dahling?
I do.. not have the wordsss. I mussst think.
Surely, you must be able to speak?
Hey, don't push the Lizard! She doesn't want to speak, then let her not speak!
I didn't ask for your input, cat!
Let's cool our heads here. Not everything running around in people's heads needs to come out, you know? Some people like to be alone with their thoughts.
Oh, hey, some bandits!
Kill the assassins!
Really? I've been called that so many times, I should start introducing myself like that. Art the Assassin. Discounts on tyrants, petty kings, demon lords, dragons and rude people!
I think they came from heeereee.
Thissss isss no home...
Seems like after they got kicked out of the castle down south
They stayed here for a while before establishing their new place up north?
It looksss like ressent rocksss moved...
Let's check it out then!
Art, dahling, should we be doing such things?
As I understand, poking our nose into random corners is part of the job description.
And besides, I see a trail here. Someone has been coming in and out of here on a regular basis. Perhaps a friendly visit is in order?
It couldn't... hurt.
Hello? Anyone home?
Welcome to the Verdant Valley. This is supposed to be the next dungeon after the bandit fort under Fort Draco, but as you're about to see, this is not the case. In many ways, the dungeons here in the opening section of the game are very steep on the learning curve. I suppose one thing that's good about this place is that it is very easy to get in and out of, so if you're even in danger, retreat to the outside is always an option.
I thought I saw movement over there, Sir Ma'am.
Those of you who haven't read my Exile 1 LP (and why haven't you?) will not know my spite of the Gremlins. They are evasive little monsters that do the single most horrific thing they can do to the party. THEY CAN STEAL FOOD. Naturally I exterminate with extreme prejudice.
That wassss... unusssualll for you, Art.
Hate them. Hate. Hate. HATE!
Take some deep breaths, Sir Ma'am. Please?
Yes dear. You are scaring the poor children.
<I am no child!>
Care to say that in Standard?
Hey, look! A distraction! There's a spring here!
And it leads over to this place.
A storehouse? Hello?!?!
No answer. Maybe no one is here right now?
We can alsssso leave here.
Part of the accessibility of this place is that there are three distinct ways in and out, depending on which direction you approach the dungeon.
A Slithzerikai died here.
You guys want a moment to do anything?
No, not now.
Then I will.
I don't get it.
Neither do I!
And I do not exxccpect you too.
We just did one full loop around the outside of this place, and we're back to the north end.
Oh! Hello! We're...!
Why are you attacking?!?!?!
Oh, get used to it.
I did not have random people attacking me all the time before I joined the army!
You joined Unsssspecified Ssservicess.
And here's another lesson for you. Where there's a look out, there's always people being looked out for.
How did you find us!?!?
We followed the tracks, and came by to say hello?
Not seen properly, but this is a glorious set up for the use of the Fireball spell.
I'm going to use Fireball. A lot.
And this picture exists to show you can push crates around in combat as well, in addition to allowing them to go through doors. Why? Because it's fun, that's why!
Don't pick those up. They'll only poison you as you wear them.
Please ignore the random poisonings in future screen shots. I though these randomly added poison to the weapon, not the wearer.
I go out and rest up to restore SP/HP on everyone.
Now we go up.
It should be clear.
You'd be surprised at how few times people will go downstairs. Either that, or the sounds of combat are so common they ignore it.
I know you!
You know these people, Sir Ma'am?
It would not be pleassent, I think.
You! Despoiler! You stopped the ascension of our lord those years ago! We shall have our revenge!
You're going to have to be more specific than that.
You and your band of heathens came unto our fortress, interrupted our ceremony, and slew the lesser servants of our lord!
Still not getting you.
It was near here, to the south!
I'm sorry. I don't remember.
YOU DON'T REMEMBER?
Look, the day I came to you, it was obviously the worst day of your existence. Your plans ruined, your patron slain at best. Everything you held dear, destroyed by a random woman and her motley band of friends.
For me? It was Tuesday.
There are many of them!
Give me a moment.
You truly know nothing, Aaart?
What? Oh, no! They were a group of demon worshippers who had a fort on a small lave to the south and east of here. The First EEC stopped by to ask directions to Fort Draco and we interrupted one of their ceremonies. We put them down, and raided their library. Some interesting reading. Nothing major. Came back later to make sure that their altar was properly destroyed.
Then... why lie?
Anger makesss missstakesss.
Still seems cruel.
Nothing of interest here.
This should be easy.
Let me clear that right up.
Looks like they moved their library.
Nothing worth reading.
Or perhaps not...
As mentioned in the Spells update, Wall of Force isn't the best, but it does have some uses in tight quarters later on.
You mentioned demons?
Hordlings are lesser Imps. Not a serious threat by themselves, and only in numbers. A good choke-point will deal with them. Like this one!
Even I can tell these are horrible.
<Killing them would be a benefit to us all.>
Nothing. This place is clear, let's go.
I took the time to go up to Fort Draco, sell off the loot, buy some more arrows and train people up. Dmurr now has 155 arrows going back into the Valley. Have I mentioned lately how much stacking ammo makes me love Archers more?
I get three more intelligence. As the primary Priest caster in the party, I'll need that stat higher.
Just improving my Strength and Dexterity.
More intelligence, more SP. The latter is needed far more at the moment.
More dexterity for me, as well as a point in strength.
Item Lore, Lockpicking and Traps.
I hear something from this way...
Are we not supposed to head back to the Valley?
Yes, but this may be important.
<You will let this hatchling lead?>
This is a decent fight, one where you are seriously outnumbered, but have allies on your side. Like the battle in Fort Ganrick, this will be a theme of Exile 2. You and friends against a foe that could wipe out both of your factions individually. Of course, you can't actually control the AI partners.
That was nice of him.
Yesss, it wasss.
Back to the Valley!
This time, up the spire in the middle, I think.
I think I see something at the top of the mount!
How about focusing on what's in front of us first?
The joys of being able to trigger 'hidden' event flags in combat more. The party is supposed to be teleported two tiles in front of where Marianna is now, with the intervening tile removed. However, due to combat mode, I get the notice, but not the actions triggered.
I promise (again) not to abuse this too much.
Marianna! Don't worry! I'm coming to help!
Az are usss.
You guys do realize that all of us over here has sort of trapped us right?
Guess what? The terrain change happened when I made my first foray over, but didn't actually take effect until I turned off Combat Mode.
There is something here...
Nothing behind. Go forward?
I do hope you know what you're doing.
This sub-dungeon has an interesting gimmick. In that every move, random tiles will flare up like someone cast Conflagration on them, damaging anything on the tile. Including enemies. You'll see a lot of these messages down here, but intelligent movement can save you from the worst of the problems.
No, not leaving yet.
OW! Ow! Ow!
Didn't even try to talk?
Imp. Very... territorial.
Rest in peace.
Let's get out of here.
We see what was so interesting at the top of the spire in the middle.
This makes... five now? Encounters that is.
And now I am very confused.
Still no over-world maps yet. Lots of little places with nothing in them to poke at. In the mean time, have the Verdant Valley!