Part 12: Exploration and Tiny FortUpdate 009 Exploration and the Tiny Slith Fort
I want to apologize in advance for the shortness of this update. I've had a pretty bad week, and this was what I had the energy to do.
The first section will be things I came across while filling in the map of the region. After that, I'll pick back up over by Fort Draco to return to the proper story.
"What isss thiss?"
"Looks like they haven't finished the road yet."
"Lack of workers, most likely. I heard that General Karmas' projects were sidelined by the lack of available bodies with the Invasion.
I know. He was griping about it, last we talked.
And here's the other end. You know, it's only a couple dozen miles. It shouldn't take that much effort to finish the road.
How much do you know of sssuch thingsss?
What do you mean?
Have you the knowledge or sskilsss to consstruct sssuch artificse? To lead othersss in it?
And you do?
No. I do not. Sssso I do not commit to actsss I cannot forsssee.
Oh, leave the boy alone, Kai-Lyss. He was speaking in terms of desire, not actuality.
There is no differencce.
To the east of Motrax's cavern.
The Cleansing Powder gets rid of certain statuses like Disease and Dumbfounding. The Sapphire is a spell reagent. I buy nothing.
This spot is one of those annoying ones where going two tiles north would mean going 3/4 the way around the map.
It also leads into this battle:
I loose. Badly. Even went at it a couple times to see if luck was on my side. It wasn't. If I want to try and win, I'll need Curse All and Slow All on Art and Kai-Lyss first. Interestingly enough, these people are close enough to Motrax's cavern to be the remnants of the force that attacked him, but that's just my personal theory.
At least they can't be used to make poisons. They have to be live to be toxic.
Huh, at least we weren't ambushed this time.
We aren't making that mistake twice!
I really don't want to do this.
A curiousss courssse of action.
Come on Sir, Ma'am! It's only Giant Spiders!
Well, at least I can put them off for a while. I know where they live. We'll just go south!
I don't know. They've obviously taken great care to make sure the bridge is in working condition. No need to be rude.
And I want to see them.
<Aren't spiders for eating?>
<I've heard of these ones. They are not.>
Just keep going south!
I find nothing to ccelebrate here.
And Ogres? How would we find them?
And what happens when we do?
We kill them of course!
<Retribution?> Art-Tsss, you knew thisss waz to happen?
Interesting Geology, but no Ogre-sign.
How far south can we go?
Until we find a Barrier?
I know where we are!
No, the man who lives here is an Alchemist named Duncan. Well, he's supposed to be in the Abyss right now, so I'll just pop in and leave a note.
<DEATH TO TRAITORS!>
Oh come on!
Has your friend's home been overrun by Sliths?
And look at the damage they have wrought!
There are a lot of Sliths in this little fort. Including Mages and Priests. No idea why they are here though.
And yes, this is the same location as the place you find the recipe for the Greymold Salve in the first game. I like to think of this place as a trap for returning players who wander in, only to get surprised by the presence of the hostile Sliths.
Fill your sackssss. Thesse sssupliesss will be mossst usseful.
Oh hey, unavoidable 5-8 damage! It's a nice warning that not all places are safe, in case the Verdant Valley or the Lizard Lair were any indication.
Sir, Ma'am! Spellcaster in here!
And it was guarding a locked door? Give me a moment to pop the lock.
I have a better idea.
There is an unarmed slith sitting in this narrow cell. Its scales are pale, and lack the glossy sheen of normal slith scales. It looks at you nervously. It realizes you aren't about to attack it. "I am Ahkas-Ahss, humansss." You strain to hear its soft, sibilant voice.
Sibilant (adj): (of a speech sound) sounded with a hissing effect.
"<I am Kai-Lyss. What happened here?>"
"<They have imprisoned me! Please, do not kill me, for all I wish is to escape!>"
"<What tribe of Slithzerikai have you run afoul of, worker?>"
<These are the Renegades, Mighty Mage! Part of the army of the Traitor, Sss-Thsss! I am one of those who sued for peace after he was slain! I do not hate Humans! These ones fled to hide, killing and fighting still.>
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought they went into the Eastern Gallery, not North.
Translations for those who don't speak Slith?
Thisss one isss... civilian. Captive of thossse loyal to the Traitor, Sss-Thsss.
The one Art claims to have killed?
<You are the Assassin? The Human who delivered us from evil?>
... <You are tiny.>
<Why were you held captive?>
<They caught me, and were going to sacrifice me.>
<Yes! To be sacrificed to the spirit of Sss-Thsss, the Traitor! They hoped to honour him with my blood! But we are a people of justice. He has received his, as will we all.>
It stands, slowly, and bows to you. "Now that my guards are dead, I will get away, back to my family and brood. Were it not for you, I would be sacrificed. Again, I thank you."
I can tell you this. The real Sss-Thss was not that tall. Or well muscled.
Is it not the Human tradition to exaggerate the physical aspects of their heroes as well?
Not just the heroes, but objects or people of desire.
And the worst part is, they tore down the house to put this thing up! Duncan is going to go....
What if they came here looking for him? And this was their way to have a victory over me?
I do not think sssso.
She's right, Sir, Ma'am. There's not reason to think they were targeting you or your friends. You don't need to make up more enemies.
Sss-Thsss' death was inevitable. He did not understand the forces at work against him.
Come on then. Who wants to destroy a statue?
Shoddy. Just shoddy.
The Slithzerikai have not experience in buildingsss.
He's right. They're horrible at it, unless they get help. A bunch of fighters couldn't put up walls if their lives depended on it.
A new <spear!>
Iron Slith Spear, a far cry better than the Stone spear she had previously.
There's nothing left here, Sir Ma'am. You still want to see a note?
Nah, Duncan will come back and see the devastation. He'll know it's me.
Still no sign of those Ogres.
What is that?
Slimes are nothing to write home about. However, in Exile 2, they now radiate Cold, much like Salamanders radiate Fire around them. The Puddings have that as well, but worst still is that they can also split when they take physical damage! Kai-Lyss and his Fireballs to the rescue!
Well, we can't win them all.
Might as well get this over with.
You're cute! And you! And you! And you!