Part 43: Dellston and the Caves of the Giants (1)Update 037 Dellston and the Caves of the Giants
"Dammit. Couldn't find the Captain that we're supposed to talk to regarding the dragons."
"Don't be so down on yourself. He or she may be on patrol, or in one of the towns surrounding the lake to the north. People move around, you know."
"He does have a point. Perhaps we should come back later, or we will find this person elsewhere."
"You guys are back already?"
"How is it going?"
"There are no words."
"Stupid horse! Stupid Lizard!"
"THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER!"
Credit to Rockopolis on the SA Forums for finding this image for me.
"You're right. There are no words to describe this."
"I will treasure this image for the rest of my days."
"Well, that's enough. Everyone onto a horse."
So. Horses. They have one major advantage over walking around. Namely, they get two moves for the one move everyone else takes, allowing you to flee from random encounters. And because they move twice as fast, that means they can cover twice the ground in the same time frame. And in a region as large as Valorim, having horses makes some limits possible.
Also, Horses can't go 'inside', which means they have to stay out of buildings. Not a big problem. It's not like I'm going to ride one up onto a king's table at some point, right?
"Thank you, but we don't need the food. Save it for yourselves."
"Are you alright?"
"What makes you say that?"
"You're... I shall say more ... focused."
"What of it?"
"It's just you've had this look since you and the Dervish talked in private. Is there anything you want to share?"
"SASS! Get back here!"
"You don't have to ask that question. You may not like the answer."
"Is that a warning, or a promise?"
"Which do you want it to be?"
"Neither. I doubt anyone would question your integrity."
"Hey, can we at least keep the mountains to one side? That way I have better chances of corralling Sass."
"Good luck with that."
"Hey look! That's a huge sign!"
"Hah! Does that mean that Sass and I can advance undisturbed?"
"On the other hand, it also doesn't forbid the Troglodytes. Which in a way means they want them to come. To fight, even."
"Don't care. We have a job to do."
"What's that, to the north? Before the town."
"Let's stop at the town, see if anyone can tell us anything."
"This place has seen better days."
"Welcome to Dellston. I don't know what brings you here, but your life is in your hands."
To get on a horse, simply move onto it. To get off, simply click on the party to no-move, and you'll get off Horses stay were you left them.
"Wait, you hear that?"
"It's from the south side of town!"
Dellston is under regulal attack from Giants. It's not part of the failure state for this quest, but it does go to show that things are not happy. I'm also too far away from the fight as I don't figure out where it is until its too late.
Dammit! The Mad Monk is one of those NPC types that outside of a certain area we've already been to, indicates that they are a named NPC. Which means that if I want to talk to them, I'll need to reset the town. Which means visiting at least two or three other places first. I do, however, remember to check back in at the end of the recording session, so you'll see that in the relevant update.
"Who goes there?"
A wizard of the Empire army patrols the town, looking carefully for breaches in the walls. He stops to you can talk to him, but he doesn't stop watching the walls.
"Hello sir. Just passing through. You are?"
"I am Macitar the Wizard. I command the garrison of Dellston. I repair the walls when they get broken." He turns to you and fixes you with a steely gaze. "And I have little love for Exiles."
"This must be a stressful command, Master Wizard."
"I've sworn to defend this city, or die trying. It's a draining task, especially since it keeps me from my first love, teaching."
"What do you teach?"
He thinks, grimly. "I have little love for Exiles, but much love for teaching magic. Also, I know you fight the same foes as us. You may purchase a few of my spells, if you wish."
"Before we get to that, what do you have against Exiles?"
"Exiles slew Garzahd, the greatest Empire mage for a century, perhaps in history. He was a dark man, and little loved, but he was the greatest of our number, and such crimes are seldom forgiven."
A very nuanced response. You don't really expect someone to admit that yet, person 'X' was an asshole, and probably deserved it. But it didn't have to be done like that.
"How do you repair the walls?
"I use force barriers. The fastest and easiest way to repair the breaches the giants' boulders make in our walls.
Let's see what spells you are willing to let us buy, please.
Both level 6 spells. I pick up Kill for Niarl and Matthias, though in retrospect I shouldn't have. Not because of the price, but because I can get them elsewhere later. And it's not like I can cast them yet!
Here's where that fight happened.
And this looks like an inn.
Hello there! The inn is kept by a middle aged, pleasant, matronly looking woman. The battle axe strapped across her back looks out of place, but she seems comfortable with it. She grins warmly. Call me Rita, ducks. Get comfortable.
What's a duck?
Who would want to foul water? And I would never do such a thing! Eeeww!
Fowl, with a W is another word for bird.
You're an innocent one, aren't you? I run the inn. Soldiers and refugees need a safe place to stay.
You get a lot of refugees?
She shakes her head. Poor lambs. What can you give them, besides a kind word and a safe place to rest?
She looks embarrassed. Mercy me, where are my manners? You don't want to jaw, you want to rest! We have a clean room for only five gold. No alcohol left, but we do have good coffee. Only one gold!
Oh, you are in for a treat!
Here you are, lambs. The coffee is black, acrid, bitter and leaves a thick residue on the inside of your mouth. It's perfect.
I think I now know how Jeff Vogel takes his drink.
Nothing to see here.
This is a funny sign!
Generic store though. Nothing out of the ordinary. I only do business with named shopkeepers now!
You know, there's a gap between the fletchers and the supply shop to the east that may hold something.
There's a body here!
I love the story this tells, found in this secret passage.
I can handle this.
That's enough. Let's ride.
Now you're doing it on purpose!
Please don't tell me you're thinking of a frontal assault?
No. Let's look around a bit first.
Can't fix everything overnight.
No, we can't.
Looks like another way in, blocked off.
Hey, there's a crack here.
No. I have a bad feeling about this. Let's keep looking around.
There are a lot of rocks here.
Huh. Who knew they were so concerned with aerodynamics?
But we're just north of the Troglodyte Temple. I think we've gone too far.
But there's a pass up there!
Are you sure?
Huh. So there was.
What's that though?
Don't know. Don't care. CHARGE!
Not to sound the alarm or anything aside from the usual about getting into fights like this, but what are those?
Art has the Helm of Alertness. Bronwyn has the Ring of Resistance. They're both the best choice to beat these guys down in melee while everyone else casts spells. Even Sass can get in the spring of things with Fireball now!
Ugh, are you sure these are Gorgons?
Too busy burning things!
They're not a threat. Just a random encounter in a fixed location.
Alright, that's enough of that. Let's do this.
I don't think there's a third way in.
I didn't see one either.
Forward attack then.
Oh come on! Give me a challenge!
Not as powerful as their Troglodyte contemporaries, but much better physically.
These guys, however, are just as good as the Troglos. Except better ranged work.
How do we keep winning these fights?
Because we're amazing!
I don't think about it too much.
No passage this time.
We should hide the horses before we enter.
Stay safe, horsies!
Well, isn't this a welcome party.
And vastly cheerful.
It's actually a nice set up. There's only one way across the lava, and the Giants can focus their defenses there. How are we going to handle that?
By going around.
Go to one side, cast Firewalk, cross over, and come at them from the side.
Oh, you poor Giants. No wait. Not poor at all. Anyone want to negotiate?
I don't think anyone wants to talk.
We swing north first, then around the caves as best we can. Keep on the lookout for any captives or keepsakes.
And the map to the hidden tunnel.
Sounds like a lot of jobs.
You want to go down?
Just long enough for Matthias to scry and map it.
I think this is an isolated area. We can explore it first, then return to the upper caverns.
And as you need to cross the lava to get here, if the responding giants can't find us, they may leave the caves instead to look for us.
That's nice, but there's no way off this island.
I can step here!
Yeah! There's something just under the water you can walk on here, like a path!
A path to where?
Curious. That platform wasn't there before.
And it leads to here.
Which raises this platform.
And gets us to here.
Time to break out that Dispel Spell again.
Let's see what we have here.
If there's one thing I found about this dungeon, is that there are random large amounts of gold in chests scattered about. Also, the Red Sword is a unique unidentified identifier for a unique weapon the Flaming Sword. Once I get it ID'd properly, it's in serious contention to replace Bronwyn's current weapon. I'll get to that later.
That's enough of that. Let's go up, and see what's left.
If I don't miss my guess, this is a marker for a specific clan's territory.
Another path down. Not taking it?
Ah, here's the welcoming committee.
Throws big rocks? Just bigger numbers. But mine are even bigger.
Fine manual dexterity? Not surprising, really.
Think there's more?
I would count on it.
This is a curious little room.
It's not a room.
It's a cell.
You find a human prisoner, a warrior from the the Empire army. They're only dressed in rags now, but in good shape otherwise. They jump up to greet you.
Ma'am! I'm so relived you're here. I was afraid I was abandoned. Can you help me escape?
That's the plan. But the escape isn't ready yet.
We'll be back.
I'll be ready, sir. But be vigilant. There are a few others like me.
Still, there's something back here!
No, not really.
No, there's something at the end!
Nice. Free boat!
At least it's big enough for all of us.
Or two giants.
I don't feel like dropping in at this point. Let's see where we can go with the boat first.
I see a point to land!
I suppose these locks would be difficult for giant hands.
The Ring is cursed. It'll weigh its wearer down.
I do some identifying at this point, and Brownwyn has a choice:
I go with the Flaming Sword because while the average damage is less, the Flaming effect will double the damage against non-Fire Immune targets. And it stacks with Assassination!
Not yet. Still securing it. We'll be back.
Too late for this one.
Huh. Didn't expect ogres.
What happened to working from the top?
I changed my mind after heading down the water there.
Well, there's enemies, so we're obviously doing something right.
What does this say?
Well, that's just too bad. I have a Flaming Sword, hohoho!
Hold on. There should be something on the other side.
See? It looks like another cell.
We'll get back to that in a moment. I'm more interested in these doors over here.
Different style of walls, that's for sure.
Ow! Invisible enemies!
Guardians aren't really a threat. I also forget to scry them because they're invisible. :sigh
Also, look at that damage from Bronwyn!
Let's go check out that cell now.
No escape yet?
This dungeon is pretty long, so I'm going to cut it short here, and pick up next time.