Part 21: Update 019 The Island Fort and the road back to the TowerUpdate 19 The Island Fort and the road back to the Tower
"Whose turn is it to row?"
"Mine, I believe."
"Too bad there's not enough wind for a proper sail. That would do wonders."
"Hey, maybe we could just go with the current?"
"That's actually an interesting question. What are the natural currents for this body of water?"
"From the north for sure. The river by Cotra is a definite south-bound flow. But what about Silvar?"
"It goes west."
"We can't forget the river that goes past Draco and Formello. That one starts on the north side and curves to go east as well."
"Could it be connected? You get past the reefs and such south of Formello and follow the river around, it would come out at Formello and down here?"
"Possibly, but I do not know enough to hazard a guess."
"That's something that you would outfit a proper expedition to uncover. Well beyond our strengths."
"And from all that, I can assume that this lake drains out to the south?"
"Speaking of rocks and shoals, Karmas, can you grab that oar and help me out here?
Hey, didn't we see people on this island way back when? Maybe they could tell us where all the bad parts of the water are.
In case it wasn't obvious, the rocks in the water are unpassable.
A good idea. And it looks like Art and Karmas could use a rest.
I told you buying all that food would be hard to transport.
Shut it or you'll take all the rowing shifts until I say otherwise.
As a distraction, I believe that's a fortification along the south of the island. It would make a good defensive position between Corta and Dranlon. Ember has the right idea. We can get directions there.
I'm all for that, rather than blindly wandering about on the lake.
It's not that bad, really. There's no real mazes out on the water like some of the caverns, (one exception much later not withstanding). I just wanted a narrative excuse to come here now.
What do we do? Sliths!
A moment to let me map the place.
If we decide to clear this place out, we can work along the outside edge to our right. It looks like there are docks over there we can use.
And secret passages too. Those are always useful!
I concur. That section in the middle looks suspiscious.
Are you guys sure you want to do this? We can head over to Corta and report this, you know.
Look, we're in this position now. We can do something about it. And claim a reward for it later.
Careful, you almost sounded heroic there.
Ugh, don't tell me.
I say it was a minor slip of the tongue. Let's just take care of these guards first, shall we?
Before we go much further, I discovered something neat with this dungeon that came from the use of Magic Map. You see, the spell reveals the whole map, not only on the mini-map, but also on the main screen. You can use the 'Look' command to scroll around and have a look more directly as well, but in a 'dark' dungeon like this one, you can still only see what's lit up.
And then I saw the boat. Which appears to be a glitch as technically it is in my line of sight, but isn't 'lit' by any lights. And it only showed up when the screen was centred right on top of it. I think it was fun, this glitch, but nothing I could use or exploit, like say, skipping over event triggers by being in combat mode.
Nice and quick. Like professionals.
I concur. We have been more lucky than good.
Let's have a look here....
Man, I'm glad for my poncho. Otherwise, this would be really uncomfortable.
I was wondering why you wore that. Fashion statement didn't seem to be it.
I found it quite normal. Why would anyone draw attention to ones clothing here in Exile?
Not sure, really. I mean, most of the people we've seen down here are wearing leathers of some stripe or another. I think... oh my, I just had the most amazing idea.
I doubt it, but do go on.
I'm serious! We should find a tailor, and talk to the GIFTS. Make some sort of deal for cloth-grade silk, make clothes, and be rich!
No, the idea has technical merit.
I can see it working from an economic standpoint as well. With Fort Draco already in the area, there is an established logistics line we can use to transport finished goods down into the Eastern Gallery.
Oh, I heard that name being used for the cavern that runs from Fort Exile to Fort Dranlon, including this lake we're on. The 'Eastern Gallery'.
Which implies a 'Western Gallery'.
Guys! Spider Silk? Really? I mean, I've worn real silk before, but that's just expensive! And how do you even know if they can produce that quality and quantity of thread in the first place?
That is why we would need to talk to them first.
You're all mad!
Somehow, a conversation aimed at pointing out how the PC graphics could be a little weird given the resource situation implied down here in Exile segued into a conversation about cloth, and then I had a brain-wave. What about Spider silk? We've met the GIFTS, so it would be fresh in my characters minds. I stopped writing the update and went to do some research. Turns out spider silk isn't used in cloth much due to how hard it is to acquire. It has more industrial uses than commercial. But I had to write this up anyways because its not like the PCs can stop and look up Wikipedia.
And this has been a glimpse into the mental processes I go through when writing things. Back to your regularly scheduled LP.
I mean, seriously? Have you talked to those Spiders? Would they even be able to understand what you're asking of them?
You realize you didn't even look at that Slith when you stabbed him, right?
Another glitch! Somehow, this poor Slith ended up in the rock, and couldn't get out. Where Art is standing is the only place to be able to attack him as because he's in rock, you can't use ranged attacks, and magic won't AoE onto him. Art put him out of his misery.
Well, I'll be. He was stuck in a crag there. Almost didn't see him at all.
I wonder what he was dong back there?
It's not that deep. Maybe he was trying to hide from us?
Can we just keep going? There's a store house back here.
I might be able to use this, but it's made of iron, not steel like my current weapon. Oh well, I'm sure someone will pay nicely for this as a trophy.
Around here I realized that I was over level'd and over-geared for this dungeon. Besides, by the end of the update, Duncan is going to have a much better weapon.
And to be honest, the Slith Spears are actually pretty good weapons, it's just that Steel is so much better than Iron. The graphic for the weapon indicates that it's more like a Partisan or Demi-fune in style than a classic spear, a nice touch I find.
I also left the dungeon for a moment to recharge my SP as I was going through it a little too quickly for my tastes. When I came back in, I saw that the guards had been replaced with normal Sliths, rather than the warriors. Easier to battle.
Now, let's grab that boat and check out that centre section before we get to the left side of the fort.
Map says something's just south of here. Through that crack.
Another of those crystals?
This makes the entire trip worthwhile!
Enough celebrating, if the Sliths were responsible for that damage, I think wiping out this enclave would be a very good idea.
Hold up, we can land here.
Most of the built-up area is to the south. We should hit that first.
ACK! Plan A!
As Redmark pointed out in the thread, Art: Curse All followed by Ember: Slow All, followed by Peregrine's Major Blessing is a combination that gets used so much, it deserves its own macro key command. Except this game doesn't support that, so I have to do it manually each time.
And I dread the coming day when the enemy starts using the same combination on me.
Big Slith coming from the south!
Meet the Slith Chieftan. Much like the Nephar Chief, it's bigger, tougher and stronger than the Warriors. Backed up by spellcasters, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Guess what? So am I.
And for some reason, a pet Fire Lizard is here as well.
I've also discovered that I have a problem. I'm so used to using Ember and Peregrine as my go-to spellcasters, I forget that Art has a pool of SP as well for much of the time, and as such when I do remember she get relegated to after-combat healing. I have to force myself to not send her charging into the thick of things where her build tears enemies to shreds.
Altar is safe.
Let's go get that secret passage now.
Now betting it's trapped.
Actually, those were pretty easy. Let's see what we have here.
These look like strategic plans...
Like the ones the Captain at Dranlon was after?
We JUST left there! Now you're saying we should go back?
What's in the other boxes?
And now we have the Slith Plans. Time to leave.
I hate rowing up-stream.
The Slith Plans you were looking for, from the fort on the island to the south, near Corta.
He takes the plans from you, and looks them over. "Wonderful! This will save many a human life." He then gives you a decent sized bag. "Here's the reward - 500 gold. Be sure to bring me any other information you find."
Before you think the reward is stingy, you need to remember the 'basic supplies' also included 700 golf and 50 food. Add the 500 'reward' and the total is 1200g, plus the experience for killing everything in your path as well as their drops. It's a bit higher.
This island is so close to the Island Fort, they may have had a forward scout here.
Before we head north to Corta, we should check out that last island.
Quite the boon, finding three in such proximity. There's what, two more to find?
Oh, Peregrine! And Ember! How goes your search for the crystals?
Three on islands to the south of us, one to the north, in a small shrine. Do you have any leads on the other two?
Yes. I found plenty of Slith-sign near the cavern, so they must have been responsible. Go east, and check their swamplands. While you're there, could you investigate reports of slave camps? Any humans you rescue may be able to provide you with information.
Thank you. Also, Ambrin said you could teach us Firestorm?
For your work? Gladly. Get the other two pieces and restore that cavern, please.
With that out of the way, sir, there is something a bit more serious to talk about.
Talk to Solberg. His tower is north of here, near Formello. He knows more than I do, and is more capable of helping. I'm just a teacher, and the best thing for me to do, with his advice, was to stay away from the Tower and be prepared to start from scratch.
We already talked to him, thanks. You stay safe.
Actually, before we go, you know Cortath?
The alchemist? Yes?
We found his place north of here, by Fort Draco. It had been raided and ransacked, and we fear the worst has come of him. But his notes were relatively intact, and it appears he succeeded in finishing his recipe.
Amazing! No. This is horrible news. The man is dead? Oh, that will destroy Phyllea. Have you told her yet?
No. We were heading back to the Tower to deliver the information to Zathnia.
Good call. If you'll excuse me, I must think this news over. Leave me be.
This shot was taken east of Silvar, along the river. I just wanted to show off all those random encounters that got over here. Only the Slith one isn't guaranteed to run from me, and now they also include Giant Lizards in the mix.
That was a quiet trip down here. Peregrine, you're up.
Damn, not enough.
What's the matter? Not enough skill to get through the barrier?
That insult fell quite flat, as is common for you in the presence of men.
Fuck! Hostiles! Kill them!
That's the last of them.
Let us look around. There are many bodies here, at the end of this cavern.
Nothing we can do about it.
He's right. Come on, let's see if we can find something to identify these people with.
A Silver Ankh. It should have provided protection against the Undead, but it seems there were too many of them.
He takes the Halberd in hand, and after getting a feel for it, it explodes into flame! HOLY SHIT!
I want to take a moment here to describe how equipment works. All weapons have a base damage for the purposes of calculations, and a 'bonus'. Some weapons also increase defence, which I'll get to in a minute.
Duncan's Steel Spear has a base damage of '10', and a bonus of '+3'. That means, that it will tend to deal 10+3+Strength damage (with variation due to RNG) to any foe before their defence kicks in. It also adds a hidden +3 (or about +15%) to the accuracy of the weapon, once again, before the defence of the foe kicks in.
Armour and Shields have a 'Defence' stat, which reduces incoming damage, as well as reduces the chance of taking damage, and for them, the Bonus applies to that stat as well. Certain rare weapons have both 'Damage' and 'Defence', allowing the Bonus to work on both.
Anyways, Duncan's new Flame Halberd has a base damage of 18, with a bonus of +2, and can cast the Flame spell up to five times. Given that would work off his INT score, I don't think I'm going to use it. He now has the most powerful weapon in the party, and the party's first piece of magical arms and armour.
When I first checked its stats, I thought that it had a Strength of 0, a Bonus of +18, and a Defence of 2 (which was simple transposition, alas. If that was the case, I giggled at the thought of not a 'Flame Halberd', but a Halberd made of Flame, and would have had fun with the descriptions of that.
This is the same style as the other brooches we've recovered.
The ones from the Spider Cave and Motrax's cavern? This was part of the First Expedition?
I want Duncan's new toy.
You can't have it. It's mine. There may be others like it, but this one is mine.
Ok. That's just creepy.
Time to head to the Tower.
Yes? Have you come to finally lay down money on my
I have some bad news.
What is it? She looks very nervous and worried, casting glances in the direction of the south-west corner of the Tower
No, it's not that. He explained the circumstances of finding Cortath's house, and the recipe therein.
Oh. Oh my. This is... I'm sorry. I.. I need some time. Keep it for now. Come back later. Please.
I hit up the Magic Shop to see what the RNG has for me today, and did I ever luck out!
The Magic Helm went on Rook, while the Axe, being an Edged weapon, went onto Art, replacing her Iron Short Sword. The difference is... immense.
And while we're here....
Boutell. He's the man in Fort Draco with the largest Anvil in the whole of Exile.
Joyous! You can purchase spells from me anytime!
But that thing is huge! What possible use for it could you have?
X giggles Oh, you'll see! You'll see!
Well, time to move forward.
We got a long walk ahead of us.
I did some training, but then forgot to screencap it all. I'll do that next update. Sorry!
Eastern Gallery Lake and Silvar River