Part 14: The Aranea Web and the Nephil CastleUpadate 11 The Arenea Web and the Nephil Castle
Yep, just making sure this is the right place.
Why would you doubt?
Perhapsss the Aranea moved sssince lassst sshe waz here?
Very quiet. Think they know we're here?
If they don't, they're deaf.
The Aranea Web makes use of these 'fortifications' for lack of a better word to divide their home into discrete parts. The web blocks Line of Sight, and walking into them stickies up the party members, reducing their AP by one per stacked effect. In theory, if you had your lights on, walking into the first layer of web would slow you up, and bring you into sight of the defenders beyond. But I'm too smart for that, and keep my lights off for the most part, and use the Use command to clear a set of web before walking into the tile. It's slow going, but it's much safer than the alternative.
Here's an example of the log doing exactly that. Not shown an Aranea and two Giant Spiders that are the typical defenders of this sort of wall.
We've seen that they prefer their prey live, but thankfully most of these are Lizards. No offence Kai, Artist.
There's one still moving!
What if it's one of the Vahnatai? A fellow to the one we found earlier?
This will be your first encounter with the Cryolizard, the Cold elemental equal to the Salamander we encountered back in the Homestead. It dies very quickly, and the most damage I take is from the Cold damage field it radiates. And naturally, it takes extra damage from Fire.
Come on, I have no interest in cold cuts.
Oh, I was wondering when this would happen!
And this is what I mean by Wall Defenders. This is actually the third such group I encounter, but for some reason, didn't take pictures of the previous encounters. Oh well.
And this is the usual result. A couple people get out of the pile, yet everyone winds up webbed one way or the other. Chester's Assassination is already paying dividends, so if you want to know, yes, it really is a good skill to pick up.
A sssource of water. Can we poison it?
And why would you?
You do not like thesse Aranea. They must be punissshed.
You know, the last time I was here, I was sure that they had a lab in this back corner here.
You think this is where they took the eggs?
As good a place as any to check out. And even if they aren't there, I suppose I could just destroy everything again.
Your rememberansse iss right.
Oh, they think they are Magessss.
Leave some for the rest of us!
I for one have no problem with Kai-Lyss burning everything in front of us.
You'd be surprised how many problems can be resolved by fire.
What do we have here? Let's get some light in here.
Have to be careful with this. They're Spider's eggs.
Hand them over, Sir Ma'am. I have experience with egg handling.
Animal husbandry skill?
Arrth-Tss, if you please.
Damage done. Come on.
Will we be returning these right away? We should, I think.
Why? Think they will hatch, and call you papa?
We'll sweep through the cave first, see if there are other egg sacs.
A good place to hide thingsss?
Dumbfounding on anyone not Art or Kai-Lyss is useless.
Why no organzzzed resssistance?
Don't know, but I am thankful for it.
Sssshhh! A spider is hiding in the corner. Strangely, it doesn't seem interested in attacking you. You look closer, and see that it is, in fact, one of the friendly spiders! "Shhhhh! I'm Spider!" It says this in the loud, chirpy voice you've come to know so well.
What are you doing here, Spider?
"I'm spying on the aranea! I'm a stealth spider!" It skitters quietly back and forth on the floor.
On the Aranea? You must be very brave.
"Yeah, the big old meanies! I gotta' be real careful. Fortunately, they don't see too good, so they think I look like a dumb spider! I'm sneaky!"
You mentioned stealth. Is that how you avoid detection?
"You gotta' be sneaky to be a stealth spider!"
Where did you sneak?
"Yeah - I've been here for ... uhhh ... some days! I know all about this place! What do you want to know?" It looks you over. "You're cute!"
We were sent by... Spider... to locate the eggs in their sac.
It's not here anymore! Yay!" It jumps up and down happily.
If you haven't already gotten them, Spider here will tell you where to find the Egg Sac. But I got them already, so Spider gives me the alternate dialogue.
Oh! There's a really mean Aranea in the middle, Spider. Could you kill it? If it dies, then the Aranea won't be able to attack us again!
You want me to do more for you guys?
You really can't say 'No' to them, can you, Sir Ma'am?
All we need to do is be stealthy here....
Cue one very short fight as the Aranea Lord is caught out of the open area he normally stays in, and I can pile onto it for the win.
Obsolete by the end of the update.
And with this, our Food issues are at an end. With care, I won't have to buy any, ever again. Every casting gives me four food, and if I can cast it three times, I can Camp outside to restore all Art and Kai-Lyss' SP, enough to cast it more than three times again, ad infinitum.
And nothing special.
NOW it's time to leave. Chester, those eggs still alright?
Yes, Sir Ma'am.
We could have come here without the Spider'sss oil.
We'll keep that in mind for next time.
SPIDER! We bring back your eggs!
It bounces up and down and shouts for joy, a shout that is soon picked up by the all the spiders in the tunnel. "You brought our eggs to us!" It has some spiders clear out the barrier in the nearby tunnel. "Thank you, cute people! Thank you, Spider!"
The knowledge that we helped friends is reward enough.
More is better, dahling.
Huh, better than the undead last time. These guys are dead-dead.
Let's see what we have here...
The Arrows are Magic Arrows, though not enough for Dmurr to start using them. The Greatsword is a Bronze Braodsword +1, but that is completely outclassed by what I already have for melee swords. But the real treasure is the Red Scroll.
Leave the bones here. The Spiders can use them.
Sir, Ma'am? You need to see this.
What is... oh my.
What is this?
This paper is a clearance paper for the Empire Checkpoints. Red access is their front-line pass, given to people who are infiltrators or other behind-the-scenes operatives.
We are keeping this.
You planning on infiltrating Empire Lines in the future, or handing it over to the Army?
More the former than the latter.
So, what next?
I was thinking of another go through the Nephil Castle. See if we missed anything.
You want to GO BACK?!?!?
Sounds fun then!
Ummmmm..... Those are all random encounters. I have no idea why they all spawned in here, but even now, they could attrition me to unpleasent levels. Time to run away!
During my runnings, I came across this. It's a one-shot summoning tool, but I think I'll save it for now, as the critter it summons isn't one found in this section of the Caves.
This should be an easy stroll now.
After seeing Demons, Dragons and the like, this is oddly...
This dungeon is no longer a threat. I'm just here for completeness' sake.
Ah, so that bolt-hole we found way-back when comes out here, in the storage caves.
I seem to have misplaced my lockpicks. Kai-Lyss, if you please?
I Long-Wait to restore Kai-Lyss' SP, and when I come out, this is what I see. SO I set things up to grind Marianna and Dmurr, as they are falling behind in levels. Alas, they are already higher level than a lot of enemies here, so it doesn't help too much.
Interlopers! I have replaced the weak one you killed!
This is the room in which you will find the Nephar Chieftain if he doesn't come our for you.
Why do you say that, dahling?
The Traitor, had matesss exclusively for hisss use. Abhorrent.
Sss-Thss, to clarify, thought line progenitation was an exclussive right of hisss. It went againsst the culture of all Slithzerikai.
Sounds like a good thing he was killed then.
I don't think sexual deviancy even came close to the reasons why we killed him.
And this is why we pay attention in corridors that obviously lead to treasure troves people.
Poissson Fungusss. Carefull.
More traps, I assume?
Nothing serious back here for the most part, as this is still an 'early' dungeon. The Fields are impassable, and the spaces between them and the walls are more of those 'no warning' zaps of electricity that return from Exile 1. But what's really good in here is this:
Meet the best weapon in Chapter 1! And once I slap an upgrade on it, it will be a powerhouse weapon all the way into Chapter 4.
I think her greed is getting to her.
Your first response would be to destroy it, right? But here's the thing. It's not an Altar. Here's what happens when you do so...
But if you take a gamble...
Wow. Think a raiding party came back?
Another group of spawns finally path-find their way to me.
Interesting. One of them carried thisss.
Stinking Cloud on a stick.
A tired, bruised man, wearing the tatters of a uniform of a soldier of Exile, slumps against the wall. He struggles to stand when you enter.
Hello! Art, Unspecified Services. You look like you could use a rescue.
He nods. "I am Arum. Gods, am I glad to see you."
What brought you here, soldier?
"Graham and I were cut off from a patrol and captured. We've been prisoners for a while."
I'm sorry, but it looks like Graham is dead. Where were you patrolling out of?
"Out of Fort Ganrick. That's where we were stationed."
You said you were a Prisoner. What did they want with you?
"Those damned Nephilim wanted information about Ganrick. But now I might escape. Before I go, let me tell you about the password."
I think we already know about the password, but do tell.
"The kitties brought me in through a back entrance. They didn't blindfold me too well, and I saw they went through this gate that opened when they said 'Ghath.' That's the way I'm going to try to escape through."
You need help with the escape? We've pretty much wiped out everyone here.
Why does your casual slaughter of fortresses no longer disturb me?
Becausse that iss the way it iz ssuppossed to be.
"Yeah. Help me with the door?" You help him open the door. He passes through, and turns. "Good luck to you. You'll be a hell of a distraction. I'll slip away while they chase you. Thanks..." He moves to leave.
In Exile, this never happened. NPCs just vanishing like that once they say they are leaving? Hrm, note to self check in Fort Ganrick to see if he shows back up there or not.
To the sssouth...
Wow, really? That's just pathetic.
And that concludes our grand tour. What next?
Hopefully not the trash pit.
We should prepare ourselvesss.
I also buy select Level 4 spells
So, what else is there to do?
- Punch the Empire
- Find and Kill the Ogres for reward. (not in region?)
- Find and clear Alchemical Dungeon
- Kill Demon in Blasted Fort
- Punch Micah
- Punch Erika (just because)
- Find the door with the Password
- Kill Empire Patrol
- Investigate the Vahnatai
- Punch the Vahnatai
After checking with the thread regarding any little bits left over in Chapter 1 to complete, that Art will now maintain a 'To Do' list to keep her current quests and requests in order. It will be a mix of an in-character reminder, and a list of things for me to check off, especially when I start getting more things to do, or have done and need to keep track of what is relevant or not. To that end, the To Do list will include things that the PCs have no knowledge of, but I do. I will also take suggestions from the thread, if there is something humorous to add, such as mcclay's request to add Punch the Empire to the list.
The next update will be me trying to polish off the rest of that checklist (except for the ones that can't be done in this chapter, as well as using Magic Map to map every dungeon properly and presenting the complete map of Chapter 1 to everyone.