Part 69: A Sharp Stick, and a Long WalkUpdate 63 A Sharp Stick, and a Long Walk
"This will be the last mountains, I promise!
Yeah, mostly because we've been everywhere else!
Right here! Please!
This looks important.
No, this looks relevant. Where did I put that map...?
Here we go!
It says White mushrooms first.
Why here, I wonder?
Because these stalagmites aren't really here? Though I sense some poor results had we tried to go around.
The next note is that the crate should go on the rune.
Well, there's the rune. Now, where's the crate?
Probably at the far end. Hey, I could carry it back here!
Ooof! This is heavy!
I'll just have to push it.
As a note, please remember that you can move boxes and barrels on a diagonal, and when you press up against the wall, you switch places with the object. It's vital to get through here.
I wonder what would happen if we tried now?
Done! Let's go through the door!
Let's check the box again.
Where did that come from?
It only appears while the box is on the rune. Move it off, and it vanishes from the box.
Really? Thank you!
And through we go!
Now, what was the next part again?
Uh, hold on, the person who wrote this, did so in the wrong direction. Or turned it on its side. Let's see. Two tiles south, two west. Two south, One West.
I can't help but notice we are standing in the middle of a pillar.
Two south, four west, two North.
That brings us here.
Ugh! A teleporter? In the middle of a pillar?
So, there are seven here. Notes say we need six.
Hrm, this could be interesting.
Try each in order, to see what they do. Then we can determine logically which runes to activate and in which order.
Or, you could just step on the rune that is second from the right, and the puzzle is solved.
That was easy!
WHO MAKES A PUZZLE THAT IS SOLVED WITH ONE SWITCH?
Next, we check the rocks, then go down the middle path.
What guards are there, I wonder?
Probably further down, past the end of the map.
Let's see here...
Just a click!
Where does this leave us?
And one last note East First. I think that means we need to go in that direction.
But which way after that?
It doesn't matter. One just leads to more fights than the other, and both paths meet up.
Argh! Eyebeasts! Kill them!
Caution is needed. These hairs are ... familiar.
You're right. Someone seems to be living here.
OH COME ON!
Even the cats are hostile!
Anti-magic, coming down!
Much better. And thank goodness for the Burning on Bronwyn's weapon the damage is based on the base of the weapon, and isn't reduced by the target's armor value.
More to the south!
Ugh! So many!
And this door leads back to the way we came from.
Let's at least check out their library before we go.
Except I already know all these!
And naturally, we are accosted by more feral felines.
Being a cat person does not make you a good person!
This is the only way forward.
Once we deal with those behind us.
This is too easy! Where are the guards?
Sometimes, the lack of guards is a guard itself. Who would think something valuable would be unprotected? No, better to seek the path of most resistance to find the greater reward at the end.
Well, there are no traps.
Oh. There they are.
Everyone knows what to do.
Hey, does this count?
No. This does not count as a Random Basilisk.
Normally, that would be my line, but I'll let you have it.
Especially as I'm the one who is going to have to open all this.
So, I triggered the chest, and only Bronwyn and Sass survived. Reload!
Phew! I thought that was going to blow up in my face for a moment there.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the thread, may I present to you, the fourth of the five Great Artifacts in the game. Weighing in at 100 pounds, or 45 kilos, I present to you the single most damaging weapon in the Exile Trilogy.
The Black Halberd is a 20/+5 weapon, compared to Sass' previous 18/+3 that he has been carrying around since the exploration of southern Valorim and got augmented. It also boasts 3/+5 Defence, making an excellent substitute for small shields. I don't know about the 'inspire fear' descriptor, but in terms of raw damage, only now has Sass overcome Arth-Tsss.
I LOVE THIS! Listen to how it swings! How it moves! It shimmers!
At least we took out the home of the Rakshasa that destroyed Erox.
That we did.
* * *
At this point, I went back to Lorelei. There, I sold off excess equipment and stuff, and headed back into Hawke's Manse to see if the final event had triggered yet. Over thirty days since I started it. And guess what?
You know what, it's about time we really, properly, dealt with this guy.
Alright, what is it this time?
You see a translucent middle-aged man. He's standing next to a statue, staring at you.
He says nothing.
He just points to the statue.
Fine. Let's see what's so special about this statue.
And here is the final reward for buying Hawke's Manse. He somehow has come into possession of the most powerful single-handed weapon in the game. I cheated the two Art has been using this whole game into her inventory at the start, to reflect the ones she has collected in the previous games. Now, she has a third, the one from this game.
Never going to equip it though. Everyone is already well-equipped for weapons.
* * *
And now it's time to begin the last Artifact Quest. This one is the hardest by far, as the next hardest the Black Halberd can be resolved by being massively overleveled. This next one though? It requires prep work.
To start it off, we have to go all the way back to Krizsan. In a small side-room by the Mayor's offices, there is sometimes a man who moves between here and Delan to the west. He is here today.
Your coming was known to me. I will speak with you. A wizard in dark robes sits crosslegged in front of you. He looks intently at you from under bushy eyebrows and clearly could not be less impressed. I will not speak my name, for names have power, child.
Then what are you doing here?
He shakes his head in amusement. I am merely observing. In this age of Fury and Blades, knowledge is a true weapon.
I have to agree with you there. But what knowledge do you have?
Yeah, he's a bit behind the times. This conversation would make more sense if you get him at the start of the game.
The Vahnatai Rentar-Ihrno. We know. We're looking for her. But if you're the man I think you are, you also have knowledge of a certain Artifact we were told about months ago. I would wish to buy it from you.
He thinks. Well, I think 2500 gold is the going rate for true dedication these days. Perhaps you would like to purchase the location of the ring?
He gladly accepts your 'dedication'. The Ring of Endless Magery is in the Tower of Zkal. That legendary tower, I have found, is at the southern end of the island south of the the city of Gale.
* * *
I am glad we got that out of the way. But why does it have to be Gale? I would much rather never have to go back there.
We'll be fine!
We'll just sneak in, grab that boat, and get across to the island. I think it's too far away for the orb.
And anything to thumb my nose at the Mayor there is a win in my book.
And just through town again...
Oh right, I hate boats.
And here we are. The town of Execa, and a whole island filled with the undead.
There's not much here, but it looks like a hidden passage in the south-east corner of town.
Zombies. They're not much of a threat.
To us? No. But to civilians? A large one.
And we can't forget about the less corporeal versions, that can summon.
Let's see here...
Well, that's it for the first town. Let's see what's next.
Take a look at the damage Sass did with the Kill spell there and realize that his Int is half that of Ni'aurrl's
Yeah, we're pretty far from the shore. This island is thankfully isolated enough to keep the undead contained.
And for that, we are thankful.
I suppose that's our next stop.
This place has been savaged. It's like the undead attacked the land itself.
Not just that, but this place has barely been touched from a development perspective.
But why? We're far to the North Gale is right there. Why ignore it?
A marshland this size doesn't get removed fast or easy. It may be simply better to let it lay fallow.
This must be Vila.
This place attacked by a horde. It had to be.
Yeah, I'm going to count this. This island is supposed to be Undead Territory, not Basilisk territory.
Random Basilisk Count posted:
You know, if this island was being developed as a recluse for the rich and powerful, a home away from home, that might explain things.
Oh, that's not a good sign.
Oh, frak me! There's over a dozen Ruby Skeletons here, and their ranged attack ignores Anti-magic fields!
Like so. Reload!
Now, this is also a problem. Vampires!
Thankfully, we are all familiar with the Dispel Undead spell.
And I'm not practised enough to cast it!
I don't like the burning skeletons.
And this must be Torria.
The last time we saw this, it was to protect its occupant from the lizards outside.
But this one looks like it has a temple inside.
Another destroyed holy place. Intelligent actions guide these undead.
Argh! This place just intersected the previous buildings, making getting in or out a chore. We'll have to navigate through carefully.
And honestly, this is an excellent maze. It's not glaring or grating, but rather a simple question of 'how do I get through these buildings to get to where I want to go?'.
And Bronwyn hits level 50 as well, off of some random enemy here. Man, 32 Skill points to spend!
Evidence in favor of my resort-slash-private island theory.
Like the other one, a secret passage in the south-east corner.
Except the inner ring is full of undead.
Easy enough to take care of.
Now, which way?
Right, the usual everyone. LIGHT THEM UP!
I am really beginning to like the Kill spell.
I also do the dumb thing, and not bothered to cast the Ritual of Sanctification on the altar here. Because I'm an idiot.
I feel like we forgot something. But it couldn't have been that important.
Massively overgrown. This can't be natural growth.
Shall we oblige?
This will be easy!
Excellent! A better spell than Fire Barrier!
I don't like marshes.
Better than sailing over the open water, that's for sure.
And I think we're here.
And I will do this dungeon next time.