Part 44: The Caves of the Giants (2) and the Shaman's CavesUpdate 038 The Caverns of the Giants (2) and the Caverns of the Shamans
"Another passage down."
Art, you need to slow down.
I agree. You are acting in haste.
I am not.
You are. Truly. You're driven, yes. But you're also not paying attention.
What are you talking about?
They're saying you're not yourself.
And who, but me, knows who I am?
Great Serpents? Dragons? Drakes?
It's obvious you knew that Dervish from before your Exile. Did she say something to threaten you, or someone still in the Empire?
No. Why would you think that?
It's just ... we keep saying this, but I don't think you're listening.
No, she's listening. She's just not hearing.
Can we focus on the Giants?
Well, perhaps we can shelve this discussion for later?
That seems like a good idea.
Eyebeasts are back, and while they're not a threat in the long run, their ability to drain Spell Points could be a concern. Except everyone except Bronwyn has some, so they won't focus their ability while in groups.
I also wanted to show off the difference between Assassination and not. Here is Bronwyn hitting the Eyebeast, first with the bonus Assassination damage, and then again without (as it didn't proc). As mentioned in the thread, the Flaming quality is probably the best augmentation you can get for sheer damage potential.
Well, that was a nice stretch.
Weird. No traps.
Perhaps they are offerings, not treasures?
Still, I cannot help but suspect that there is still a trap here.
If there is, it's purely magical, and nothing physical.
How did the Giants get their hands on a Pheonix Egg?
WHO CARES? RUN!
What happened to the doors?!?!?
There's one over here! It's a secret!
So, you grab the loot, and the obvious doors go away and the secret exit opens up. My first try (always save before touching stuff!) had me search in the wrong direction, and everyone died except Sass. So I reloaded, and here we are.
Thought I smelled cooked meat!
You really like that sword, don't you?
It's on Fire!
Hold on, more enemies are coming to investigate.
I love how the blood splatter grows as more and more enemies die on the tile. Also, chokepoints FTW.
So, while you were busy holding off the random hordes, I figured out what that knife was.
I'll take that. I'll be a nice compliment to my bow.
Welcome to the 'my weapon is venomous' club!
As long as they don't start calling it a 'Venomous Blade', I think we'll be fine.
Hah! I actually had people try calling my swords that years ago. I corrected them. This was, mind you, before we officially met the Vahnatai.
After this segment, I think the only place left to check will be the south-east corner.
How about we deal with the Giants in front of us first?
Hello! I'm here to make you an offer. Let us pass, and we'll work to let you fight the Troglodytes instead. How about it?
It was a boring conversation anyway.
Scrying indicates more cells to the west.
At ease soldier. We're working on the escape.
And another way down. This must be a very comprehensive set of caverns.
And Barriers to overcome. Allow me.
Couple chests back here. Let's have a look....
You don't get a chance to disarm these traps. They happen automatically. Which is annoying. Also, I got a screencap of the damage happening.
THAT'S NOT FAIR!
What kind of potion weighs 70 stone?
It doesn't appear to be Giant's draught.
Hold on, I see something here.
That's another thing for the Commander.
By my reckoning, that's everything in the nor'west corner. Shall we finish our tour?
I'm for that.
And we can add Nagas to the list of things out here. Great.
Why would the Giants worship the Nagas?
Magical ability, perhaps?
This message is better triggered when you first enter the central cavern from the entrance. I was headed out of that cavern instead, and thus the message didn't make immediate sense. Share in my confusion!
Let's see here....
Pocket change for Giants, a shield, and lots of gabage.
Empty... empty... Useless... Found something!
I smell clean air!
As do I. But it's not really from the entrance, is it?
Here we go. And we've wiped out the immediate garrison. Let's go round up the captives.
I wonder how they'll react to knowing that Exiles saved them.
We'll see when we get back to Lorelei.
On your feet, soldier! Time to escape!
Second one rescued.
And that's all of them, I think.
We haven't found the missing map yet. It's probably further in.
Seems like a plan to me. Now, where was the nearest stairs down?
Across the hall.
Lots of ways around. We could be flanked easily.
Definitely not for the horticulture.
And there's the welcoming party. Hello! We're here to solve all your problems. Care to help?
What about you?
Art, are you alright? You're being more sarcastic than normal.
I'm just frustrated, that's all.
You know, there's options for that. Potions even.
Say another word, and you'll regret it.
Argh! So many giants! I'm glad I have all these bolts.
And that you invested how much time into practise the last time we got training?
Ni'aurrl, tell me what you think of these graves.
Graves. Nothing more to it.
Hey! We're so lucky to find that key earlier! Imagine if we had to go looking for it.
That would be a nuisance.
The expected grasp of Imperial Common.
Small for a giant, that is.
What does this mean?
No idea. But I bet if we look around, we'll be able to find some note somewhere explaining it. So don't touch it for now, and we'll come back later.
But I wanted to play with it!
Don't worry. Maybe next time.
Don't know if I scried or even encountered this monster before. So here it is anyway! Also dead.
You know, there's something funny about Giants casting Smite.
I feel like I should be dead right now.
What's so funny?
Well, about ten years ago, a person I knew had a hammer named 'Smite' that was enchanted to be a Giant Bane weapon.
What happened to it?
Guy turned out to be an Empire double agent, took it back to the surface as a trophy, seems to have lost it, and then I killed him before blowing up his fortress and everything in a couple mile radius.
And these are interesting. The stones are piled higher.
They're piles of stones
They're called cairns!
Anyway, I think that's all we can do on this side of the magma flow. Let's see what's on the other side, shall we?
* * *
SMOOSH PUNI LIZHARD!
Interesting setup here. Too bad this stuff is iron gear at most.
Yeah, not worth taking back to town to sell.
You know, we can head down the lava flow here. There's places we can stand while we Firewalk across.
I'm an idiot, by the way. It takes until the next dungeon before I remember that Firewalk works in combat, meaning I can cover four times the distance per casting of the spell. Even more if the party is hasted first.
About the only path.
What could be back here anyway?
Let me check my scry...
Well, there's something back here.
We should check it out!
Alright, give me a moment to rest up and cast that spell again.
I swear to everything I hold dear, if there are talking spiders back here, I will burn everything to the gound.
Or other signs of spiders.
I see worms!
Worms are a part of natural ecosystems. They're everywhere.
No, not those ones. Those ones!
RED ALERT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! These guys are a serious threat, and not only because there's two of them. They can paralyze meaning no actions with their attack, in addition to dishing out major poison. Oh, and their damage is 10d13. That averages out to about 70HP per hit, minus armor's damage reduction.
And this sort of thing can happen. So maximize the Buffs, and keep your fighters on the front line where they can take the damage, and you'll persevere after beating down their health.
What are those things?!?
Shai-Hulud. Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the worm.
A curious connection. But these are far too small for that.
There's a tiny passage back here. Art, can you Firewalk us?
Let's see here...
Matthias or Ni'aurrl?
One of you guys needs to keep this. That's a Ring of Will.
Anyone who's finished my E2 LP knows exactly where this is going.
Alright, let's rest up and get back across the lava.
* * *
No. Bad Doggy.
Looks like our temporary camp allowed some Giants to return.
Eh, we can take'm.
Not human though. Ogre.
They don't get funeral rites, it seems.
And you're alright with that?
We can ask this one! He looks smart!
The real magical power behind the giants. Still not leadership though. And they don't show up enough to be a major threat. Just a secondary one.
What horrible trap awaits us this time?
Nothing, it seems.
Another way up.
So, if the Worms weren't the Great Serpents, what are they then?
I really hope it's not a dragon.
Best be on our guard then.
Oh. Only Nagas.
Nagas have received a massive buff in power over their Exile 2 counterparts. Don't assume this fight is easy. Because it's not. Nagas love to spam summoning spells:
And they're scaled to summon Fire Lizards as their primary response.
Yeah, we really need to be careful. Enough that I think we should circle around first, then come back once we know we won't get distracted.
You were expecting midgets?
Still not as interesting as this.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love some of the incidental things you find in this game?
These are not carving tools!
You have unbreakable magical lockpicks. Why do you want more?
So they can be respected properly, of course.
Not only is this deep, it's also the exit point for the magma flow.
And here it is.
I wonder how far it goes?
All the way to Castle Troglo.
There's nothing we can do here. Come on.
No, not yet. Besides, we have giants here to take care of.
I suppose all that's left is to take care of those 'Great Serpents'.
And let me play with buttons!
Ah. Trapped in here with them.
You have it backwards.
They're trapped in here with Art!
Let's try this again.
Nope. Although Niarl's 2 points of luck did come in handy.
Not this time though.
This is attempt... six? Eventually, I decide to take a page out of the Naga's books, and spam my own summoning spells. With three people who can cast Sticks to Snakes, I flooded the room with targets, and waited on the Naga's to expend themselves on the chaff.
Uh.. this is the second time I've advocated the use of summon spells. After I've said multiple times they were useless.
Could I be... wrong?
There's a pressure plate here.
And another Click tells me we can leave now.
* * *
So, puzzle time. There are seven buttons on the pedestal in the treasure room. Starting from the top, each button is pressed over this series of pictures. Note that this is cumulative, because I was silly enough to not reset it between each button press.
And about 10 minutes playing around later....
I DID IT!
Whose idea was it again to let him press buttons randomly?
So, let's see what we have here.
All the cultural artifacts!
Don't forget the defenders.
How could I?
Loot time! Starting from the south-west corner, going counter clockwise.
Who are you announcing that too?
The rest is junk. Or Gold. Seriously, check out how much I have now!
And here it is!
Now we know where to go. It's only a matter of reaching it.
But, before we do that, there's something I want to check out first.
Ah, there's the Art we know. Always looking for something else to do.
I want to know what's down this way.