Part 41: The Unfinished Fort and Fort DoltharUpdate 037 The Unfinished Fort and Fort Dolthar
Hey everyone! Guess what?
DUNGEON TIME! I finally get away from towns and into some dungeons this update! Woo-hoo!
Of course, this being Exile 2, it's not that simple. On with the show!
Wow, this place is the dumps.
Weaknesssss to be exxsploited.
Sure, but where, and how? I mean, I don't look forward to attacking a fortification head on.
Oh, don't be so cowardly.
I can smell the alcohol on your breath, cat. Where did you get the wineskin?
I mean, look! They left their supplies just lying about!
Wouldn't you like to know.
In the bottom of her quivver.
You were not hiding it.
ENOUGH. There are more important things to deal with.
Hold on, I want to see what we're looking at.
That's odd. This spell shouldn't be detecting undead....
Hrm, looks like a small fort for now, expanding into the natural caverns.
Maybe we can use our pass to bluff our way in?
It's worth a try.
Of course. Why wouldn't there be any undead?
Nothing we haven't dealt with before.
I agree. That dark cavern north-east of Mertis was more foul than this.
And the Empire hazz been loosssing forces ssstill.
More over here...
And we have our first contestant!
That should be all of them in the immediate area. Why are we killing the undead again?
The twicse-dead cannot rise.
It's also good sense.
Even I can tell this is a secret back door into the base carved by the undead.
Which implies intelligence. Never a good thing.
Maybe it's complete?
Who are you?
Nice try, Assassin. KILL THEM!
You have too high a profile to do stealth.
Eh, it's not like we were here for the baked goods anyways.
It looks like they were guards.
Too bad we flanked them.
Let's sweep the area, see if we can secure our rear long enough to take care of the Fort.
Not seen: Two Vampires, and a Lich spawning in.
Well, that should slow them down for a while.
Why couldn't the Empire deal with this?
Empire tactical doctrine isn't flexible enough for this sort of low-overhead group.
No Unspecified Services. Sure, they have spies, but they are a security feature, or for recon. They can't deal with this level of threat without overwhelming force.
A what now?
The idea that the Empire fields and fights armies. Not people like us. A dagger in the back, not a sword in the hand.
It's not working.
It is. Trust me. The Empire hasn't advanced as far as they have wanted.
Thisss iz a disscusssion for another time. Let us be done with thisss plaze.
With the undead driven back, this well should clear up over time.
Let uz move on.
You hear something?
Hey, remember those mutant giants we were warned about? Guess what! They're not that special. Just huge bricks of HP, and decent damage output. Not even a proper ranged attack.
And Empire forces from the North!
We can handle this! You handle that!
Oh sure, handle this.
That ssshould be all of them.
Time to loot the place?
No need to be so crude about that. A thorough search is more in line with our goals. She pulls some white gloves from a pocket. Shall we be about it?
Where did you even get those?
A girl has to have secrets, does she not?
It would have filled thisss seriesz of cavernss.
They'll think the Undead got them?
He was really worried about the undead sneaking in. Those runes should keep them out.
Hilariously, those tiles in the corner have a 'No NPC/Monster' flag on them, actually preventing enemies from getting to the bed, and the party should you stand on it.
Definitely won't now.
Another one, to match the one we found in the Hidden Fort.
We still don't have the Grey Pass yet. Oh well, I'm sure one will fall into our laps eventually.
We blow the place up?
Nah, we leave it to the remaining undead. Now we go deal with the Vahnatai over in the Slith waters.
This dungeon exists to give you a non-hidden Blue Pass. Finding the last pass won't be easy.
My legs are killing me.
Now your armz will. We will have to row back.
Rather than buy a new boat in Almaria, I walked all the way back to Silvar to retrieve the boat. Then I'm going to have to row back to the Slith waters. I essentially travel 12 map sections to move one section east. Ain't this game grand?
My arms are tired!
I haven't been down here in a long time.
When was the last time?
For me? A bit after we killed Sss-Thsss. Had to pass through while getting the Orb of Thralni. Never really stuck around.
There's not a lot to see here, is there?
There iz much to zsee. But it iz under the wavesss.
This is very weird.
But very magical.
And never abuse ones hospitality.
A single Rakshasa, but four Guardians. And I've been de-equipped of everything. Now would be a good time to note that equipping or unequipping an item takes 1 AP in combat, and you can't put on body armour while in fight mode.
This fight is a bitch and a half. If you had chosen to loot the place, you would have started the fight damaged instead. Naturally, I chose the hard path.
This was my best attempt, as I didn't want to have to come back here later on with a stronger party.
That's enough for now. We sssshould go forth.
At least I still know the way.
Not approaching from the water?
I think that's a bad idea.
It would be.
Just like last time.
Thisss place would not be changed much.
And this is the hardest part about attacking this fort.
What would that be?
I miss Major Blessing. I really do.
Oh joy, more.
Not pictured a good 10 minutes slogging through this first room, plus withdrawing from the dungeon to rest up and come back for rounds two and three.
<Odd. They still live>?
Those two Basilisks and the Ur-Basilisk do not get added to the 'Random Basilisk Count' as they were there last game.
My arms are starting to get tired.
As are mine.
I believe we are done here.
Alright, exploration from the top. The entrance to the upper floors should be near the south side, by the docks, so we go there last.
The Basilisks are on the other ssside of thisz wall.
MORE OF THEM?
They're used to dispose of interlopers from above. Nothing serious.
Your definition of serious needs work, dahling.
I can see the exit from there. I take it we can't come in this way?
Nor the other side, if I don't miss my mark.
Thiss casstle was built to be defencccible.
But we can leave that way.
Thesse sstatuesss mock.
Yesss, they do. We sshould dezecrate them.
Not the last one. She's innocent. Just Hawthorne and Garzahd.
Empress Prazac? How do you know?
Are we interrupting something?
Just the way these enemies are set up, I can't shake the idea that I've just gotten in the way of a marriage ceremony. There's the priest, the two to be wed, and a witness. Naturally, I just kill them all.
Hey! Free boat.
Here's what happens if you try to enter Fort Dolthar by boat.
A neat thing about maps in this game is that you can set where on the map you appear when you transition from another map, be it the overworld map, or another level of the dugeon/town, or even through a teleporter. In this case, trying to row in gets you into this alcove, and backing out gets you back onto the world map.
Eh, pens. Nothing unusual here. Should I let them go?
Why bother? They would just be recaptured.
Why won't this open?
No clue either. This is one tough lock.
Hey! Guess what? You get to live?
Oh wait, never mind. It's my lucky day!
That was morbid, even for you.
That's because you took my wineskin away, female!
Hey. You really want to do this?
I'll be off now.
I wish. No, I had to kill a demon in tight quarters.
What are we looking for?
Signsss of our bretheren?
A back door, I think. The other end of this passage leads into the docks.
But then we would have missed the fun of going in the front door.
That was fun?
Let's rest up, and come back refreshed.
Basilisks as encounters in Slith territory? I'm going to count this.
Random Basilisk Count posted:
And up we go!
This is going to be a slog.
Do you want to go left or right firsst?
I can't remember which side Sss-Thss was, so.... right.
The doors closed behind us!
Eh, there are other ways out.
Is is weird that it doesn't feel like we've killed a few dozen people so far today?
That's war for you.
I am more concerned with thisss notation. Why would the Vahnatai work with the Empire?
Perhaps they are not of the Olgai-Vahnatai?
That's the one. So they're not here right now.
This is actually a pretty view. One could almost paint it.
And the other door just shut. How do we get down?
There are wayz.
Hey guys! I don't suppose you'll believe we're the janitors?
Didn't think so. Would you believe we'll kick your asses all over the place?
Thiss iz a trap. Find another way around.
I don't know about down.
But I hope they're not coming up.
No additional enemies spawn, oddly enough.
Actually, this leads to the left section. Weren't we supposed to go right?
I feel so much better knowing there's a safe way down.
What? Don't want to jump down out of a window in the main hall, or into the waters below?
I sssee no problem with the latter.
Well, let's go north. The magical mapping says there's Vahnatai construction on this side.
Get to killing!
Thisss is most disstressing.
There has to be proof we can bring before the Olgai Vahnatai about this.
Thoze barriers we cannot pass through. They mussst be dizpelled.
Guess what is high on my list of places to come back to after getting that spell?
To the left then!
Here we go. Thessse passsagez will let uz bypassz the magical trapsz.
Ah, Patrick's Tower must have gotten shipments meant for here.
And the other way out. Good, good.
Ah! Assassin! I was wondering when you would arrive. Ready to face your doom?
I haven't seen it yet.
Limoncelli is a Dervish with 12 AP, and about 50% more HP. He's fast, hits hard, and gets completely pulverized when you can gang up on him like this. Which, naturally, I do.
<In another time, perhaps I would have the body for reagents and investigation.>
That's it. Let's sweep the place, and report back to Emerald about this.
I can take care of these traps.
I don't need identification to know these are Boots of Speed.
But the grade of enhancement still needs to be assured.
Boots of Speed grant a permanent Haste on their wearer. For now, they're going on Chester.
I can heal a little Quickfire hurt. But the reward isn't worth it.
Agreed! Back to Fort Emerald!
Um... who were we supposed to talk to again?
Turns out... I kinda missed the quest giver on my first pass through Emerald. My notes in that regard were incomplete, and I thought I had triggered the quest. Thankfully, Exile is very nice about letting you complete quests you haven't been assigned, and still get rewarded for them.
Who are you?
You mean another mage of Exile. His robes have been charred recently, probably by a stray spell. He's looking at a magical barrier, trying to figure out what to do to it. He turns and nods to you. "I am Beadle. Greetings."
You have no idea how hard it was to find you.
Yes, I had heard that you came through here a while ago. I apologize, for I was wrapped up in my work.
Which would be?
"I am currently dispelling some barriers. It needs doing, sometimes, when we want to build a wall somewhere and the fields we put up to repair things are in the ways." He sighs. "It's tedious, but it's my responsibility."
Never should magic be... tedious. A responsibility, of course. But never tediousss.
"That is true. Before I joined up to fight the war, I was doing research at the Tower of Magi. That seems a long time ago."
"I was trying to create a spell to scry large areas of the outdoor, much as Magic Map maps small areas, such as towns. I was working under an utter asshole named Peregrine. Alas, a spell to see a large area is a terribly difficult thing to create, and even harder to summon up the energy to cast."
I hear you. The power requirements grows exponentially.
Correct. I was hoping that I could tap into the output of the Emerald, but no one wants to risk it right now. But we still have hopes that such a thing may be available in the future."
Listen, we were scrying on General Limoncelli when you killed him. Landren told me what you did you us. Such skill and strength should be rewarded." He teaches you the Dispel Barrier spell. Thanks. That's one less major pain.
I have Dispell Barrier! WOO-HOO!