Part 8: Jordan's TowerUpdate 07 Jordan's Tower
"It occurs to me to wonder what our leads are in this particular investigation."
"Well, we do have the word of the nice lady in Krizsan who saw a mysterious tower to the west of the city."
"You suspect that it is relevant?"
"It doesn't matter, does it? It's something that needs to be looked into. If it's relevant, good, if it's not, then that's one place we can ignore in the future."
"Have you done that sort of thing before?"
"What? Attacked potentially hazardous towers of mages on half-cocked information and a prayer of good luck? Not this week."
"What happened last week?"
"I joined you guys."
"We can cross here, and head down the river that way, cover new ground."
I really hope you're happy, people who voted for the guy with chronic disease.
"Well, there are less trees on this side of the river, should be a clearer run."
"That's sad. We need to destroy these Slimes!"
"I agree. The economic disruption is going to be catastrophic if this keeps going."
"But how long has this been going on?"
"Delan... Yep, that's on the map."
"It can't have been going on for too long, else things would be even more desperate. There's only so much blame passing, and holding out hope for the Empire to come save you before you take action yourself."
"But people with that sort of independence of action, well, they tended to end up in Exile."
"And no one has been sent down there in ten years! Sending them to the final frontier of Valorim would be the next best thing."
"Why is it a bad thing, being able to act?"
"The Empire has a love-hate relationship with heroes. Those who excel, but dare not fit into the mould the Empire creates for them are broken down in the end, unable to keep doing what made them great in the first place.
That sounds like a story.
I'm old, but not that old.
If she was right, then the tower should be on the other side of these hills... mountain range?
Sounds about right.
Marshland at the mouth of the river. How very normal.
But nothing here. We'll have to circle around to the other side.
Weren't we told this? Some bandits able to travel or direct Slimes?
Doesn't matter, they get blown up all the same by fireballs.
Curious though, the Slimes are fairly easy to dissipate with concussive force. You would expect something... I don't know... stronger?
Maybe they're... what's the word for a first version of something, where you know there's going to be problems?
It's certainly a prospect. If you look at it, the Emerald Slimes are the base form, little more that oversized goo. Then you get the Amber and Ochre with their offensive ability, then finally the Mauve, that can cast spells.
That a Slime has the presence of mind to cast spells still boggles my mind.
Well, a second layer of defences, just as easily beaten by judicious use of fireballs and sharp objects.
Not much of a 'tower'. I can see why people would miss it.
In fact, this dungeon doesn't appear until you talk to Dawn back in Krizsan. No sequence breaking here!
Hrm, what do those signs say?
This is way too easy. Something is off here.
You are worried about good fortune?
It does seem a bit suspicious.
Well, there's no way to go but forward.
Look, you haven't hurt us. We haven't hurt you. Can we just talk this out?
It's like they want me to Fireball them!
Well, it is a good defensive position against more conventional attacks.
Oh come on!
Hah! We don't need Fireballs for this!
No, but it's still helpful.
Hey, don't I know you?
Why do people keep saying that?
Well, that seems like most of them. Spread out, careful. Look around for things of interest.
Found the basement.
We'll come back later.
Found a locked door. Or rather, it was locked.
This is bullshit!
I'm not interested in walking through those unless I have to. We should come back later once Niarl or Matthias can dispel the barrier properly.
Won't be for a while yet. That's advanced magic.
Hey! Look what I found!
And how we're trapped outside! How delightful! An escape route!
This is the only way to get this 100 gold. Now you just have to step to the west to leave the dungeon, then come back in through the front door.
We've done the west side thoroughly. Time to go down the middle.
Aw... You'd think they would have at least released ravenous monsters for us to fight.
No, they would probably send Slimes instead, and that's not as fun.
Everyone, be careful.
Yes, a garbage pit. How dangerous.
Hey, you never know!
There's something on that altar down there...
May I please have a lizard shank for supper?
Uh... that's an Imp? I don't think so! That's an Imp! Dammit Vogel, stop changing things around! I have to mess with graphics files to get things right again!
Also, dangerous. Two attacks, excellent combat skill, and Mage 2, Priest 2 for multiple combat options.
Watch were you're aiming that! Ow!
Sorry! Sorry! The demon dodged!
I swear, I aimed for the demon, but my hand must have slipped as I clicked in the attack Art got hit instead. Thankfully Matthias was able to heal her up a little.
I'm sorry! Really! I am!
WELL WELL WELL.
Hey guys! Extreme Danger! We should do this instead of fighting each other!
That's my line, priestess.
Does anyone hear anything?
He's right, it's pretty quiet. Maybe it's a bluff?
Or we could have just needed to wait to get the smell.
Meet the Spiny Worm! Just LOOK at those stats! Yes, it deals 6-72 damage before armor. Yes it has 100 HP, and is a Level 15 critter where Art is the highest in the party at level 7. But what's really new about it, and new to the Exile series in general is that it is that it takes up multiple tiles on the board. Here, let me show you the monster picture from the files:
Now, while I could try to take this guy out now, I'm not in the best condition. Matthias just got diseased, Ni'aurrl is out of Spells, and I don't want to risk the Worm rolling high on its damage and skipping the whole '0HP Save'. I re-load the save.
Well, I think there's something moving back there, but it ignored us.
I think we're getting closer to the source of these things.
'Where has to be something here, right?
Ugh, these benches make things harder than they should be.
Still, lots of dead slimes.
Seriously? This guy has a 'throne' and I use the word as ironically as possible, surrounded by various Slimes? He's a showman, and failing at the theatrics.
Maybe it's a prototype for when he demands the Empire bow to their knees before him? Showing that he can control the Slimes that are ruining the world?
I think you give this guy too much credit.
This.. is going to hurt.
If I had Move Mountains as a spell, I could get access to the boss fight directly by blowing out the lower-right corner of the throne room. I don't, so I have to do this the hard way. But first, I fall back and see if I can get around him.
Damn, doesn't look like it.
And where did he get these?!?!
We can ask him?
We can beat the answer out of him with this stick I found!
Yes, you can use a stick as a weapon. Bashing type for 1-4 damage.
No. Here's the plan. We rest up, then Bronwyn, Sass and I charge in to him to keep him occupied. Everyone else, stay back and support with spells.
Jordan's stats do not reflect the 12 points of damage he already took. And holy shit, he has Mage 4? He can cast Slow Group! And Curse All! If his AI was as smart as I am, I'd be SCREWED.
And this is what immunity looks like you don't even register the damage, let alone take '0'.
Bronwyn's dead thanks to the Slimes. Reload. No Monster stats for the slimes or Gremlins at this point.
Wow, that poison works better than I was expecting!
Yeah, he died when he took 70% of his max HP as poison damage after Art hit him twice and poisoned Jordan on both hits.
What's in these pots?
Nasty, nasty stuff. But four pots, four types of Slime.
Should we destroy them now?
Wait until we're on our way out first. No sense in leaving a mess we'll just have to cross over again.
Matthias, Delilah, Ni'aurrl, start going through those shelves. I got the desk. Sass and Bronwyn, keep an eye out.
And there is a lot in the desk.
That piece of paper looks interesting. What's on it?
Wait, Silvar? But that's a city in Exile!
Actually, our Silvar is named for a city on the Surface. It's possible this one is the same.
The Slime Pit? Is that where these things came from? He didn't cook them up in a lab?
Actually, I found his biography.
I call bullshit. Stealth is a Tier 5 spell, but Jordan's stats only put him at casting Tier 4 spells.
So, fireballs can destroy Slime Pits, where they form naturally. Good to know.
For you and me both.
Aww, I want to throw Fireballs around.
And with plenty of practice, you can!
Hold on, there's a note here. Apparently he made a Pit here, it's just past the storage rooms.
Careful of those fumes. They can knock you out, and you'll be sleeping away the rest of this.
I got this.
Got it in one!
Hey, no celebrating like that.
The structure must contain a multitude of volatile compounds to detonate like that. I doubt these things were formed naturally.
That just means we need to blow them up more!
Not really. A Flame spell won't trigger a cataclysmic organic molecule delay, while a Priests Firestorm is overkill for the task.
And the way back up. Finally!
Considering this leads directly to his Slime Pit, I think it's just more of Jordan's quarters back in the building above.
Still, we should finish checking things out, and clearing out the last of the bandits. Don't want them to get any ideas.
I bet this is a lever for a trap door!
What did that do?
I have no clue.
Strong enough to hold a Slime, but they were all killed when we took out that Pit.
We'll check, just in case.
Safe water resource.
I smell food!
This boat is in a weird place.
Expecting something back here?
Fresh water! Nice cistern.
I found some Comfrey Root in a store room.
Ugh, Dancing Boots. Why do these show up everywhere? Toss'em.
Lookit me! I got a new Halberd! This'll be so awesome!
Careful where you swing that thing!
Seriously, where did everyone go?
Not a bad operation down here. Not enough to feed everyone, but it will stretch rations in case of a siege, or they have to avoid towns for a while.
That's it, back upstairs.
* * *
And they're all gone. I mean, maybe some will come back after their patrols or raids, but I think we scared them all away.
If you come through here without first pulling the lever in Jordan's 'proper' throne room, you get this message:
And you drop down into the basement.
Oh yes, if you sleep/camp, Matthias' disease can still kick in, and get at least one trigger before the rest auto-cancels.
Alright, next stop is the town of Delan. It's the closest, and if Jordan had contact with civilization, that's a good place to start checking out. If that doesn't pan out, we head back east and go through Silvar and ... Cochis was it? Then the Slime Pit.
Or we could deal with those soldiers first?
There's no way they didn't recognize us as Exiles. Sass kinda gives it away.
I think they're not concerned with us because the Slimes are attacking. And truth be told, we are looking a little worn ourselves from the same thing.
Or perhaps the Mayor of Krizsan informed them of our presence, and as long as we're helping, they'll leave us be?
Don't matter much, we're here.