Part 15: The End of the RoadUpdate 012 The End of the Road
Hello all! This update will be something haphazard as I will be jumping around a lot to catch up on the fiddly little things. No real coherent narrative, though each segement will be properly self-contained. Normal role-playing resumes at the end.
Anyways, the first thing I'd like to do is remove the one major money sink from the game Food. You see this spell?
I was slightly wrong. Minor Manna is completely self-sufficient. Art can cast this spell 10 times and get an average of 4 Food per casting.
Now, going outside and camping only uses up 6 Food (for 6 Party Members), which restores at least 35 SP to Art, allowing for 7 more castings. You can repeat this for ever as long as you have 10 SP to start the process.
And yes, Kai-Lyss can contribute as well. I give myself about.... 9000 food. That should hold me for a while.
"There isss a passsage in the south-eassst corner of town."
"Oh, this can't be good."
"There's something written on the wall down here..."
This sign can only be found by going outside the wall of Formello via this secret passage. It's halfway down the wall, near the waterway out. If you're inside the wall, you can't see it. Interesting piece of programming, though I think it's a hidden flag in the passage. Stepping onto a tile on the Formello side hides the sign, stepping onto a flag outside switches the wall tile with one with the sign. I may see if I can trick this out in Combat Mode.
"What does that even mean?"
Hidden Dungeon time!
"That sweet young thing said it was near here..."
Step onto the empty tile west of the pillars after talking to the lady in the bar in Formello, and you wind up here...
"Oh! Toadstools! If alchemy was a thing, I would find this place useful."
"Sir, Ma'am? There are... slimes coming this way."
Viscious Goos. Their gimmick is that they split up once after being struck physically, creating a second Goo. Magic bypasses that completely. Of note, the new splits have the same HP hafter damage, so you can whittle your way thorugh physically as eventually they will die before they split.
"Alright, here's the plan. Kai-Lyss and I repeated cast "Curse All" and "Slow All" while standing out here. As we do that, everyone else gather around this point so that I can cast "Move Mountains". Once I've done, run in there and start hitting the demon before is has a chance to react."
"You abussse the area of effect of thessse spells to your advantage?"
"Yesss, it izz a good plan."
Interestingly enough, using such spells that don't target a space, but rather radiate out from the caster is an interesting way to determine what enemies are in the area. You can see there are four Skeletons in the area that are complete non-entities in this battle. Also, this is the brilliant advantage of not having ones lights on. I can have this door down, for the Demon is 3 tiles west of Marianna, but it can't see us, attack us, or otherwise register as a threat despite being Triple-Slowed and Triple-Cursed.
The 'fight' lasted two more rounds as Art adds two more Curse-Alls to the battle while Kai-Lyss Hastes and Blesses Dmurr, who scores the killing blow.
"I.... KILLED A DEMON!"
"Don't let it get to your head. There are plenty more where it came from."
"I wonder what this Key it was guarding does."
"Eh, we'll find out later."
I don't think I've EVER seen a Slith Random Encounter in Chapter 1 before. Let alone south of Fort Draco. Weird.
While running around the Nephil Castle to Map it all, I found this little side area in the area by the back door on the map. Let's see what's inside shall we?
100 Food. Completely irrelevant now.
Aranea Cave, just north of the 'Pantry'.
Scrolls of Kill and Light. Kill is massively powerful at this point, but there's really no one left to use it on in this Chapter.
"So, how did we miss this?"
"I kinda figured the Barriers were all in a straight line. That they would block off down here as well."
"So did I."
"North or Wessst?"
"Why is everyone looking at me?"
"Because you seem to have experienced everything before."
"Thisss iz refreshing."
"Anyone home, I wonder?"
"Really? Who would set up a shop down here?"
"Let's go ask them, little man."
"Or we can stay out here where it's safe."
You meet a small, dapper man with carefully tended black hair and an elegant moustache. He watches you with interest.
"Art. Unspecified Services."
He nods. "I am Waldby."
"What are you doing here?"
He grins. "Why, I'm a salesman! What else?"
"Believe it or not. This is my lovely shop, or will be until the Empire comes."
"What about the Empire?"
"Any day now, I expect to hear news of Empire troops coming. When that happens, I'm ready to be out of here within the hour. I'm not interested in suicide."
"<Suicide?> I do not know that word."
"<To die by ones own hand.>"
"Which is what I would be committing if I tried to defend my shop against the Empire."
"But, your shop!"
"Remote, I know, but this is where I can afford to be. From here, I scavenge items as best I can. Then I sell them. Purchase something?"
This is the first 'Random' shop, that being a place where you can buy anything that isn't 'Unique' (such as the Alien Blade, Demonslayer, et al). However, the inventory is completely random, and it takes time to reset the inventory. This place is also out of the way, so I won't be coming back here often like I did the same store in the Tower of the Magi in the last LP.
"That iz a big hole."
"Oh joy. And here I thought we could bypass the Barriers."
"Maybe those Ogres are holed up here?"
"Oh for crying out loud! WE HAVE A RED PASS!"
"I don't belive you! We've lost too many to trust you!"
"Oh come on!"
"They are still Empire Soldiers, Sir Ma'am."
"I know. I wanted to get closer first, but this will do."
This is the third most difficult battle in Chapter 1, behind the Empire forces by Motrax's cave and the Demons guarding Solberg's Tower. Oh, and you also take 8-10 damage on some of your guys as you charge in. Oh well.
I cannot stress this enough: Slow Group and Curse All are gamebreakers when used. I pulverize this fight, badly.
"Good riddance to bad rubbish."
"This place annoys me!"
I'll have the means to get back here in Chapter 4.
"I think we can try that bluff again."
"We know your face, Assassin!"
"They know you!"
Count'em up! 26 Soldiers, 4 Archers, 2 Empire Archers and an Evil Priest. That is a massive set-piece battle, and Curse All and Slow Group slam them all.
"Is that it?"
I keep ahead of the Curse All's as the enemy Priest occasionally branches off into other spells more often than Art, and other than that, it's an XP grind-fest that I love!
I'm still not touching the Demons at Solberg's place.
"Another Red Pass."
"We'll keep one, and hand the other over to someone later."
"Sssomething bothersss me..."
"Can we not ussse thiz sspell to bypasss the defences of Sssolberg'ss Tower?
"Interesting. Lava does make a good deterrent."
"Magma, actually. I've dealt with enough of it in the past."
"Ssso, shall we try?"
"Might as well. I know the password."
"And Peregrine said it was too energy expensive!"
"And yet we can only go a couple meters before you need to re-cast it, Sir Ma'am."
"Oh, let me revel in this."
"What does this say, I wonder?"
"Runesss of Warding."
"Come on. The door is over on the east side."
"You sure about this, Sir Ma'am? I'm not seing a way in."
"Right here. "Hey SOLBERG! OPEN UP! IT'S ME! ART!"
"Yell louder, perhapsss?"
"Oh come on Solberg! DISASTER! You have the easiest Mother-be-damned password ever, so OPEN THE DOOR!"
"Maybe he's not home?"
"Huh? Was someone knocking?"
"Last round of training then?"
Art is Art, although all her levels hav focused on SP gains, Intelligence and Priest Spells. I probably bought that level of Edged Weapons because I had two points to spare.
Marianna picks up a couple Points in Edged Weapons as she has been weilding the Alien Blade off screen, and there are more end-game blades than the other types of weapons. Her skills could use some work, but at this point, I should decide what to focus her on. Melee, or Spells? Knowledge Brews will be available much later, so keep that in mind.
Aarth-Tsss, beating people's face in with the best weapon in the Chapter. I didn't give it a +1 brand as there are other options later on...
Beating face in with a decent weapon. C'mon Smite, show yourself early, please?
Kai-Lyss is focusing on Mage Spells for the future as Art has the other side covered.
Wait, why do you have Poison again? Oh right, because it's Assassination that doesn't work, not Poison Use. Oddly enough, she has the second Broze Broadsword +1, the one that was part of a fixed loot piece somewhere.
No more training until Chapter 3. This is it.
"Any one want to back out?"
"Seriously, we may not be coming back from this."
"And missss out on thiss hisstory? I think not."
"What the lizard said."
"You'll need someone with a better tongue than yours, I dare say."
"It's what I signed on for, Sir Ma'am."
Here is where I end Chapter 1. Now, the annotated map of Chapter 1!