The Let's Play Archive

Exile 2: Crystal Souls

by berryjon

Part 29: Coven Cove and the Secret Sliths

Update 025 – The Coven Cove and the Secret Sliths

As per the will of the thread, Art will avoid finishing off her commitments yet again. It's a roaming we will go, though this update will not leave the Western Gallery.

But before we start off, I wanted to show something of the map here. Yes, I know I haven't shown them lately, but I keep wanting to put together a 'Map Extravaganza' update to show off everything all at once. The purple dot with the black interior near the centre of the map is (the ruins of) Cotra, while the island we are on (the grey blob with the purple dot) is where the Secret Empire Fort is. However, even though it is a dungeon, it doesn't show up on the map here.

It's interesting how that works. Normally a 'world map' to town/dungeon transition is done through the normal 'enter/exit' programming command. You walk onto the tile, and the game moves you from one to the other.

Not so with this place, and another dungeon we're going to encounter this update. Instead, the game checks for a conversation flag – in the case of this fort, it requires talking to the woman in the locked shop back up in Fort Dranlon. And once that flag is tripped, if you walk onto the tile where the 'dungeon' is, it will flash a small message, then teleport you to the dungeon, rather than the more traditional method.

Why the workaround? To avoid having a dungeon marked on your map. That's all.

“Well, it's good to know we've taken care of that fort.”

“None ssshall return there.”

Ooooh! Look at the log in the lower right. See where it stays “Dungeon has been abandoned.”? That's something you get when you go into a dungeon and you've killed so many people in it that the game has 'emptied' it out. There will be no more foes generated there. Ever.

“It does feel... nice to have deal the Empire a retributive blow.”

“But why are we going back to Silvar?”

“Selling off our loot.”

“This is not Silvar.”

“Well, I didn't want to land on the north shore just yet. Look at our fans!”

I saw this up in Act 1, but for some reason, there's a whole lot of random encounters that generated outside Silvar, and now they're chasing me. Don't worry, I have a plan to deal with them all without running out of resources.

“Thissss place....”

“Why are we here, exactly?”

“Dunno. Just a feeling.”

“There are... sssuble energiez here. That you could sssense them from afar ssspeaks well of your sskill.”

“Yeah, let's go with that.”

“Light's out people. Let's do this quietly. If it's nothing, we can leave without disturbing anything or anyone.”

“And if it's something, they'll never hear us coming.”

“I like that.”

“And there goes any thought that these were nice people.”

“Thisss iz no warning signsss.”

“Prepare for the undead.”

“Oh my.”

“This is now official business.”

“Yes Sir, Ma'am.”

“Thissss hurtz, but is more to keep sssomething in, than out.”

“And you didn't use your Dispel Crystal, why?”

“What if we come upon one that cannot be traversssed?”

“... Fine.”

“Watch your step. I don't want to have to go down there to get you all.”

“Are you ssure we cannot have a light?”

“We can see this far, let's not push our luck.”

“A natural creature? Odd.”

Ogre Zombies? Meet the next level of 'grunt/tank' undead. Not a threat, really. Just a bundle of HP.

And Ruby Skeletons! Oh, how I've missed you!

“That wasn't too bad.”


“Let me see.”

“I do not need your help, farmboy!”

“Fine, I'll heal people.”

Spot the item!

“Really? They were so lazy that they couldn't even put this shield into a crate like normal?”

“Let me, dahlings.”


“At least this wasn't enough to affect myself or Kai-Lyss.”

“Not. One. Word.”

“You failed.”

“I said...!”

“That wassz two wordsszz. Pay attention.”

“We've got one more!”


“One for three isn't the best result.”

“Be silent before I disarm the next trap by throwing you into it.”

“I don't think you're ssstrong enough for that.”


“Hold on, we're at that back room.”

“Many foesss! Fall back!”

“How about I clear a path?”


“Really? Undead?”

“You would never understand, mortal!”

“You will make a fine addition to our children!”


“Come on!”

“Thissss is foul. Destroy it.”

“With pleasure.”

“Thisss book...”

“Not trapped.”

HELL YES! Now the party is effectively self-sufficient for the rest of the game, save for training. I have infinite food, and I no longer need to go back to town to sort out the vendor trash from the good stuff.

“We have all we can from thisss place. Let us be gone.”

Let's see what we've been carrying around:

This would be awesome, except no one is really specced for it. Marianna is better off with one blade and a shield.


Chester's new weapon.

Carrunos cures the enemy. Vorb can do anything. I tried the Vorb once, and it dealt 250 damage to Kai-Lyss and majorly poisoned him. Both tossed.

Summons a Chitrach. Useless.

Is it just me, or has our 'fan club' grown larger?”

“And why aren't they attacking each other?”

“I have a plan.”

So, this is what I do. First, I get ride the boat to Silvar. Then, I get out adjacent to it, and get into a fight.

I win, then move right back into Silvar, and go to the inn.

Whereupon I ask for a room for the night to rest up.

Then I go back outside, and fight the next group.

Wash, rinse, repeat until they are all gone.

“That was... interesting.”

“At least they didn't come to attack the city directly.”

Another 'fan club' by Cotra. This time, I abuse the pathfinding a bit to thin out the crowd.

“One of those soldiers had this Vahnatai weapon on them. Damn, not a good sign.”

“More proof that they raided the Olgai?”

“Pressumably ssso.”

Actually, Wave Blades are simply random loot from certain enemy spawns. I'll even get one off a Slith later in the update.

“That's odd. This sign is away from the road. You can't see it.”

“Oh no.”

“Sir, Ma'am?”

“It iz the name of the Human Sss-Thsss. Vile and Evil.”

“Let's go.”

“There used to be a bandit fort up here. It got cleaned out, then demolished.”

“Then why are we up here?”

“It's a good observatory?”

“I can see that.”


“I would be interesssted.”

Conflagration and Dispel Field bought. Oh, I need up up my opinion of the latter spell. It actually works in a 3x3 grid, rather than a 1x1, with 100% success.

“Thank you.”

“We need to stop by here.”

“Another place of power?”

“What are you two talking about?”

“You'll see.”

“Signs that a lot of people have passed through here, Sir Ma'am.”


These are the Healing Caves from Exile 1. Now the Empire has set up camp. Let's go clear them out, shall we?

“Come on boys! We out number them two to one!”

“Should I stay out of this? Make the fight more fair?”


“Careful! These ones are tough!”

“Thanksss for the compliment.”

“Die you scaly freak!”

Heh, the enemy spawned on the same tile as us. So I take a moment to move onto the trigger again...

“It's the Assassin! Kill her! The General will reward us all!”

Make no mistake, this is a difficult fight. I've been holding back for a while now to avoid Art pulling ahead even more levels from everyone else, but this fight requires pulling out all the stops.

Like so. Firestorm is amazing, and Art is fully into her own as the walking apocalypse. As a note though, she has reached Level 21, and now only earns 4 Skill Points per level up instead of 5. And I haven't trained anyone in a while. I'm just saving up for now.

“Your power is amazing!”

“No, it's not.”

“It isssz impreszzive yet.”

“Is this the result of your new training?”

“Oh, stop bothering her! Just because she can destroy any opponent in melee or range doesn't mean you have to pester her about it.”

Art's build is kinda powerful. At least she doesn't have Mage 3 to make her unstoppable.

“Didn't that man say that the Sliths had a place to the West of these poles?”

“There is no way we could find it without that person's directions.”

And here is another flagged event-teleportation. Only this one has a twist. You can only trigger it if you enter the relevant tile from the right direction – that is, from the right/east. If you don't, it doesn't fire.

“Are we there yet?”


“Thisss doezn't look like much. Worth our time?”

“Maybe. He could have been over reacting.”

“Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?”

“I don't like this, Sir Ma'am.”

Everytime you attempt to climb down, you spawn in a Spectre and a Wight. It's inefficient, but you can grind it a bit. I don't. Twice is enough.

“The chill! It burnsss!”


“A bit.”

“<Hrm, Kai-Lyss, can you identify this for me?>”

“<Not now. Once we are safe, yes.>”

“I undersstand.”

“These stores are improperly kept.”

“Down? No, not yet, I sssugesst.”

“Agreed. We survey this level first, then descend.”

“This is being excavated, slowly.”

“Sssuch is the way of Slithzerikai consstruction.”

“And that's that. Down we go.”

“Oh great.”

“This iz not good.”


“Oh no.”

And this is why Curse All and Slow Group have such supreme utility beyond the statuses they throw out. They list everything in their range, and when I see those two Archmages? I know I'm in for a fight.

I also shouldn't be down here until the average party level is over 20. Instead, it's closer to 15. This entire dungeon is horrible on the attrition. Kai-Lyss and Dmurr die a few times, and I have to cheat them back to health. Ugh. The things I do for this LP.

“Thisss Disspel Field magic iz uszeful.”

“Yes, because standing in a field of standing electricity is so fun!”

“Sarcasm like that doesn't suit you.”

And my ill-timed attempt to see if the Wand of Vorb did something useful Kai-Lyss died shortly thereafter. And remember, the most HP you can have is 201. That he took 250 is designed to kill you dead, dead, dead!

And this Demon caused me to re-load anyways. The frakker killed Dmurr and Aarth-Tss.

“That waz far too close for my comfort.”

“What, did we kill everyone already?”

“We can only hope.”

“Sure seems like it.”

“What iz this place anyways? Isz it a home?”


“There ssshould be some form of sssancramental pools nearby to utilize.”

Somethine worth guarding it worth getting into.”

“Or work keeping out.”

I do so love running around without lights. I can't show you guys the full scope of the stuff I'm dealing with because it's a necessary survival strategy to avoid being killed at range by angry spear throwing Warriors and angry spell throwing Priests and Mages.

“I need this light to check the altar.”

“No, it's not sanctifiable. Just... evil.”

“Can none of you cure this dissease?”

“None of us have the manna to spare.”

“I apologize. But we have found what we need.”

“From experience, drinking this would be bad.”

“Agreed. Bathing would be better.”

“Um, why?”

“Theze szorts of sspellcrafts that require a form of protection to bypassz them. Thiz is one. We complete the ritual to pass.”

“Like the ritual to teach us the Vahnatai language?”

“Correct. There iz much more to ssay, but it is complicated and technical.”

“And if something goes wrong, it is easier to wash it off, rather than try to un-ingest it.”

“I feel like the two of you are deliberately obfuscating your knowledge and experience, but I will trust you, as you've obviously taken the lead already.”

“This stuff sticks to the fur.”

“The ritual is nearly complete.”

“Allow me.”

I still have the feeling I made a mess of something, but everything worked out in the end. This isn't Exile 3!

And the reward for this isn't worth it, which makes my trepidation even more manifest.

“Why would they hide a boat here?”

“I don't know.”

“More ritual, I think.”


“<Calm yourself, hatchling!>”

“He wasn't that tall.”

“Didn't we deal with another village like this a couple weeks back?”

“Yessss, but thisz iz more... permanent. Thisz cannot sstand.”


“How do we destroy this place?”

“At this point? Probably lead the Empire here.”

As I was running low on SP at this point, I Long-waited to restore it, and then knowing how the game likes to spawn in random enemies, I cast 'Detect Life'.

Every red dot is an enemy.

“Damn. We'll have to sneak out through the dock again, then swing to the north, using a bottle neck to defend us.”

“Like this?”

This is not an easy thing to do. I have to carefully kite in enemies from that huge blob with Art (who can defend/heal herself on the way back, and into the killbox of the rest of the team. It takes a while, and a reload or two, but eventually it works out.

“The worst it over, I hope.”

“Not quite.”


“And that's that. Let us never come back here, unless it's with an army!”

Actually, I think I missed something north of the Statue Island. I'll check it out, and if I did, I'll put it in the next update.