Part 48: The Tower of Sixus and the Trapped HallsUpdate 044 The Tower of Sixus and the Trapped Halls
Even with the Orb, I hope never to cross another field of Lava in the future. My clothes are starting to smell of sulfur!
And my hair!
It isn't that bad, Marianna.
Keep it to yourself, Farm boy.
~Must not remind them about the boat that floats on Lava~
Yesss, where to next? Ssshall we make a move on the requessst of the Olgai Vahnatai?
I was thinking about finding Sixus, actually.
The misssion from the Mayor of Almaria? He looks at some parchment on which he's been taking notes. Bevan, waz it? Do you have any idea where to start?
Well, I know some of the caves north of Almaria.
This is going to be another instance where we just wander around until we find what we're looking for, right?
Of course it is. Would you expect anything else by this point?
At least the journey here wasn't bad.
How is the boat still here, when we're docked so close to the city?
You would be surprised at how often that happens. I like to think of it as people knowing they're mine. And not stealing from me.
<Do you? Really?>
<Of course. As a Living Legend, her resources are inviolate until she is done with them.>
Chester, take that oar. Dmurr, grab the thingy on the back that helps us steer. We're going north.
What thingy on this dinghy?
NO! Stopping this before it gets out of hand. She's talking about the rudder, you furball!
Let's just start rowing...
Here we are.
We're quite a ways south and west of the hidden Empire Fort. There could be patrols here.
After we destroyed the place?
More walking, please!
There iz sssomething on the other sssizde.
Shall we use the Orb to fly over this chasm?
NO! We can walk around. No need to use my precious for such a short jaunt.
Really, we should use it.
We're going in the wrong direction!
<Sometimes, I wonder...>
<How much you are right. And how much you are wrong.>
<What do you mean?>
<The records in Gnass show it was her Fire Mage that received the vision that led to Sss-Thss' death.>
<But the tales I was told was that it was her!>
<Yet, I wonder now, how much do the Gods act directly on their chosen champion, and how much do they act upon their companions, so as to guide them in the right direction. Rather than controlling them directly.>
Well, Sixus isn't here, that's for sure.
This is weird. That Ice Slime to the lower right? It's friendly.
As in, on my side. That's pretty unusual for this encounter. Too bad Slime there won't survive the fight. This is a whole bunch of Ice Lizards and Drakes that will deal more damage from their AOE fields than through direct combat.
And the Magical Damage formula continues to confuse me. This is Kai-Lyss Fireballing the same two Ice Drakes three times. (The first drake took some damage earlier, that's why it died on the third strike.) That Randomly take half-damage thing is the worst offender, and I wish I knew how that worked. I've puzzled out most of the rest of the combat system, but this still eludes me.
And we're done. Kai-Lyss, are you feeling alright?
There waz ssomething about them that rezisssted my affects. I will improve.
This place is going to be a Monster Nest in the future. I just know it. And there aren't enough of us to deal with it fully.
We can let the authorities know. They can delegate some trainees to take care of this at some point, I hope.
Hrm... Something this way...
I feel it too.
Imprezzive Magics. But damaged. Thisss iz why we can pierce the veil.
And the ruined fortification appearing out of know where doesn't surprise me, why?
Have you been sneaking into my stash?
Enough! It seems we're in the right place.
Thiss place is... odd.
How about we go with attacked.
Whoever it was could still be here.
Or if there is someone here, they could be loyal Exiles, trying to help?
No, I'm right.
Oh come ON! Can't I go anywhere without running into you guys?
Interlopers! Kill all but one of the humans, so that I may interrogate them!
One, two, three..., twelve. Eh, they only out-number us two to one. This'll be easy!
Your definitions need work.
And we're already done. You were saying?
Let's just look around for any clues.
Ugh. I've seen cows fall before. This couldn't have been pretty.
Whatever did it, it seems to have killed a few Empire-ites. Let's not risk it any more.
This is either the largest trash pit I've ever seen, or Sixus arranged for the floor of a whole room to vanish.
He mussst have taken hiz perssonal security sseriously.
I think we missszed sssomething in the front room...
So we did. Thanks.
At least we know why they were here, and that they hadn't succeeded yet.
Well, there's no one in the dining hall.
You were sssaying?
Six Imps and a Bat? I'm way over-powered for this.
Well, the throne isn't trapped, the food isn't poisoined.
You almost sat on the wand, dahling.
And that is merely a trash pile. Nothing unusual about it. Which really makes me worried.
I can tell the altar isn't trapped. I think.
Not for uz, at leasst.
That wasn't serious?
A Black Shade and two Golems? That is nasty.
Except the only hard part about the fight is finding the damned Shade. Once again, my 'SUPER FAST' settings means that the camera never centers on the Shade when it casts a spell, meaning I have to find it the hard way.
I would rather go through this secret passage than deal with what's hidden behind those barriers.
An empty hallway.
And an empty storeroom.
There's no lock to pick here.
And my magicsss do not work.
A sssecret elsse where?
Probably. Let's go the other way.
There's a lever back here. Pull it?
Sure. It'll probably just trap us in these rooms.
And it did. Now what?
Now, we look around.
This 3x3 set of rooms has all unlocked doors. You can wander to your heart's content, free from harm.
All the doors just closed!
So, here's the gimmick. Pulling this second lever opens up Sixus' inner chambers. But it also turns this section of the dungeon into a gauntlet. Ogres, Spirits, Giants, Giant Chiefs and Demons all await you as you fight your way through all nine rooms back to the exit.
I HATE GUNTLETS!
Well, it's over with.
And the door is now opened.
No, this is a Summoning Circle. That was a containment room.
The statue before you is of a mage, dressed nondescriptly and of average height and build. The only exceptional thing about the statue is that it is alive - it's watching you carefully.
Who or what are you?
It shakes its head. "I have no name, just a purpose."
And what would that be?
"I speak with those who wish to meet with Sixus."
"He is my master. He and his followers have fled to a truly secret place. I may tell you where, if it would be best. To do so, I need information."
What sort of information do you need?
"To show you are not hostile. I can tell your truth and falseness. Beware. And tell me - Who sent you here to find Sixus?"
Mayor Bevan of Almaria.
You can also answer Abby, the name of the woman who gave you the rough idea where this tower is. Sixus trusts both of them.
The statue nods, and you hear a soft chiming noise. "That is a name I know. If you must speak with Sixus, search to the north to find how. Beware. He will not want to see you."
Let us worry about that.
You trusst it?
What other choice do we have? Marianna? Find something interesting?
SX? Wait.. that's that pillar at the far end of that fetid swamp.
Weren't we there already? I mean we showed up, but then left.
I remember. Now we have to go back there.
I hate this place.
And here it is. Let's go.
Could thisss perxon be the ssame one who left that mezzsage at the Tower? The Greeting only visible through magical mapping?
Good question. We can ask Sixus when we get to him.
According to this map, the third and sixth levers are pointing right.
Did that. Not dead.
And here's hoping none of these three paths ahead of us are traps.
A three segmented room, where the enemies that throw physical attacks at us across the chasms, and we either have to go around, shoot arrows back, or waste spell points. I go around, if only because my party is much, much more efficient at melee.
After wax Giants, the next thing is a slime?!?!
Meet the Viscous Goo. When struck with a physical attack, it has a 50% chance of splitting off another Viscous Goo into an adjacent tile with full health. They're not a good source of experience though, so they're a bad choice to farm.
Or maybe it could just slow people down.
Where did Sixus find NULL BUGS?!?!?
I have no idea where they are all coming from. I didn't Long Wait in this dungeon at all!
That's enough of that. Let's just keep moving forward.
I see a passage! Quickly!
You heard her! Move!
Wait! Thoze Ssstatues on the other ssside!
Hey! You're designed based on that old Lizard who was injured and hungy I met a few years ago! Here, have our food!
Oh, calm down. It's not like I can't make more.
Hrm, there's a side passage behind here...
THIS IS IMPORTANT! There are two ways the rest of this dungeon can go down. I'm about to show off the 'better' way, but we will be coming back here afterward to show off the bad path.
Nothing has ever gone wrong with blowing down walls before!
Except for the random Basilisks that occasionally pop up.
What did I tell you?
Random Basilisk Count posted:
Keep on the lookout, there has to be more nearby.
There are, but I don't record them. Nothing interesting to see.
This looks like a nest if I ever saw one.
Blowing up walls never gets old!
Hello. Mayor Bevan sent us.
Once again, answering Abby nets the same response. It's nice that he has multiple people who care for him.
If Necessary. If you've defected, then, yes, this is an assassination mission. If not, then we're to see to your safety. Which will it be, Sixus?
And that is the best way to resolve this mission. You blow up a couple walls, fight your way through Cryo-hydras and an Ur-Basilisk, and sneak into his room. However, if you go the other way, or if you answer any of the questions above wrong, you are on the losing path.
For the purposes of this LP, we keep Sixus alive, but I will now show you how to screw it up.
Nah, that's a silly idea. Probably full of Basilisks or something like that.
Good call, Sir Ma'am.
Dammit! And here I thought we had finally broken you of that habit.
Wait! I smell food!
Food not manna.
Dammit! Cure All Poison!
Damn. I was hoping the Poison would work better than that. Kill them!
And this screenshot is where I lose. Allowing any of the four defenders in this area flags Sixus to die. Now, to off the rest of them, then show the end-game.
Ah, this rune opens the way out of here.
Sixus, we're coming in!
But that never happened! Here's what really happens after Sixus leaves:
He mentioned a reward to the south?
There iz that egg-hole....
Hrm, we'll have to identify this later.
One of his apprentices must have been saving this for a mid-night snack. Doesn't taste too bad either.
Don't eat everything you come across! What if it's poisoned?
This is Sixus' Library. I'll raid it for things.
Thisss iz a permeable barrier. It may have sssome uze.
There iz zuppossedly that Vahnatai with the secret to that spell. We should get it.
Am I hearing a request for another diversion?
Still need Royal Clearance to talk to him.
One down, two to go.
That was a good and successful mission. I would hate to have to report our failure.
But we didn't. You know, this does feel good, a very successful mission.
Back to Almaria then?
Well, what news have you?
We located Sixus in his fallback safe-home. The Empire impersonated Exile soldiers when they first attacked him, and once we verified it was a false-flag, he withdrew to another safe-location as the one we found him in was obviously compromised. He will return, with no loss in loyalty.
Bevan looks profoundly relieved when you say what you did. "Wonderful! His services will aid us greatly! I'll let the Castle know right away, and..." He has an aide fetch you a large bag. "Here's silver. A lot of it. Fair reward for what you've done!"
We should check in at the Castle, see if we can get promoted now.
If you fail in this mission, you get a smaller cash reward, and it doesn't count for your promotion count. Given that you can miss two of them and still get Royal Clearance, it's a good thing.
I also seem to have hit the Gold Cap. Better spend some of that on Skill Potions for people. What's so special about 22762 anyway?
Hello again! We've received word from Mayor Bevan. Let me just check some things.... Gilda looks at her records. Then she looks at them again, checking and rechecking her figures. Finally, highly surprised, she says "Amazing! You've reached Royal clearance." Then, with a brief burst of paperwork, you get a scroll stating the fact.
Excellent! I know what we're going to do now!
Teach me the secrets of Quickfire?
Go on a suicide mission into Empire Lands?
Heck no! I'm going to annoy Micah!