Part 36: Update 032 Skarragath and the Prison of Grath-HothUpdate 032 Skarragath and the Prison of Grath-Hoth
"You know what? As much as I may be doing 'Diplomacy' with these people, I think we should just leave them to their own devices."
"Live and let live, so to say?"
"Exactly. Time to go West."
And what purpose would that serve?
Well, it's not like we have a reason to go north and talk to these people from Scimitar. Although I did meet one of their agents in the inn.
Can we just go already? I don't like the way those cows are looking at me. It's with predation in their eyes, and I'm not quite certain that they are merely herbivores.
You're silly! Those are obviously nice cows!
And here is the end of the Abyss, I presume. At least by the lack of tracks or footprints leading further in this direction.
Well, it would only be natural that you would imprison a Demon Lord someplace no one would go. So why are we headed this way again?
Some damn fool mission, that's why.
That's a question then. I mean, just how much of a chance do we have when the three most powerful mages in the whole of Exile couldn't?
We have Demonslayer.
So did the other man, but he died.
As Motrax said, he got arrogant with his power. I must not.
Anyone else get this sudden feeling of doom and oppression?
There are major magics in this cavern. We must be careful.
How major are we talking about?
Coming from you, that's almost an admission of inferiority.
When you are as great as I am, you learn to pay attention to the signs of those who are goals or obstacles to overcome. You would do well to learn that, unless you want to spend all your time digging in the mud for alchemical ingredients.
I will always be in awe of your ability to do that.
It's all in the voice, and how you project it.
Are you sure it's not magic?
Hah! I wish!
I'm over-leveled for the area, so random encounters like this just run away from me. Poor bats.
Getting back to our previous discussion, have we really lost sight of what we are able to accomplish?
Those words are usually said with a negative connotation.
No, I am a bit more serious. Who are we, to have attained such things in our journeys? Is this fate, or some other force that guides us?
That's a line of reasoning I'd rather not touch.
And yet they are questions that must be asked.
Oh hey look! A distraction!
I could have sword I clicked 'take', but then I couldn't find it in my inventory.
And only once I got to writing this part up and I looked at my notes did I realize that I had stumbled across something from another quest line.
This looks important. I mean, a solitary patch of purple mold like this? This was meant to be found.
But by whom?
I don't know.
Leave it, then.
YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?
Not really, no. On your way.
Even the groups of Wizards, Captains and Assassins are thinking twice before taking on a group 1/3-1/4 their size.
Alright, is it all the glowy magical stuff we have on us? I mean, Demonslayer is pretty obvious.
Perhaps it is our professional bearing?
Or they recognize true greatness?
Or they had orders.
This isn't ominous at all. This fort blocks the entire passage.
This place fills even me with dread. It looks like there are two hidden places on the North and South.
This is a barrier, pure and simple.
But are we the ones being defended, or defended against?
Maybe the signs will tell us?
Or maybe not. How does one pronounce that anyways?
That doesn't sound nice at all.
Let's not walk on the Lava if we can avoid it.
Another warning, I wonder?
Really not cheery at all.
A figure stands here, a waxy golem carved in the shape of a human. It stares straight ahead, seeing nothing. It doesn't move or speak.
Are those men? Or statues? Or Golems?
It says, in a dry, whispery voice, "None must go beyond."
I am officially freaked out now.
This? This of all things unnerves you? At least Ember has a logical reaction to the presence of a Dragon, even if she cannot control it!
It's not the golems, you fool! It's everything about this place. There is a malevolence that lay beyond here that nothing else can contain save mindless devotion to the cause.
And yet, we must be strong. We must succeed where others have failed.
Easy to say, you have the damned Demonslayer.
And Major Blessing.
North or south first?
What are those tomes, I wonder?
Oh, that's so happy.
This other book is the same.
Is this the only place they are remembered?
They are forgotten.
No. Not... forgotten.
The insubstantial form of a man wearing a crown sits on the throne. An eerie heat and power radiates from him. "I am Prince Hrothar."
Micah's first son, who was Exiled with him. Why are you here?
"I died long past, in the war against our prisoner."
"Once, long ago, there was a war against an army of demons and foul spirits. I led our troops, and I fell, a gout of Haakai flame shattering my chest. I am here now, forever trying to keep the unknowing from freeing the demon lord."
Grah-Hoth. We know. We have been tasked by your father to finish the job that you and your guards started.
None may pass. None may break the barrier.
You may not know this, but Grah-Hoth has been working through intermediaries to attack Exile. A Slith Chieftan named Sss-Thss. A Human Mage named Linda. We have to put a stop to him.
None may pass. None may break the barrier.
I don't think we'll get anything else out of this ghost. Come on.
I'll push it!
Sounds like one of the gates to the north was opened. I suspect there's another on the north side.
To arms! The guards are attacking!
I hate being unsubtle like this, but we need all the damage we can get.
Is that all of them?
By my count, yes.
What set them off?
You're an idiot. None may enter. None may break the seal. They thought we were trying to enter.
But we had the permission no, the request of Micah to do this. What's going on?
Maybe there's an explanation to the north?
Or another Lich?
Nothing... Just a throne.
OH, FUCK YOU MICAH!
Maybe it slipped his mind?
Or it was a test.
Stupidest test ever.
Ember, push the button.
Let's get out of here.
This path is a lot narrower than it looks.
There it is.
We must gird ourselves properly for battle. I doubt we will have a reprieve once the seal is broken.
A moment, please.
I love this 'dungeon'. The design of it is so raw, and it really looks like it's out in the middle of no where. The splotches of magma are also a nice touch.
Be on your guard. Who knows what other guardians there are.
Erika, Patrick and Rone?
Take the door?
On second thought, let's scout around a bit first.
There are standard warnings for the imprisonment of Demon Lords?
I think this is one of those 'standard' warnings, like 'Enter and Die', or items like that.
Release at your own peril?
Ah, the host of warnings that come with binding lesser creatures also applies here.
We should look around some more. There's no way it will be that easy to get in through the front door.
See what I mean? That has to do something.
Not a trap...
That sounded... beneficial.
Back to the prison dome.
That looks useful.
Not trapped, either.
Might as well. They haven't killed us yet.
And now we're inside.
No way through. Have to take that portal.
And still no way through.
These walls are impressive!
You realize that these walls are helping to contain the most powerful demon known to Exile, right?
And now there's a second portal in the way.
Where does this one lead? Maybe we're supposed to do a lap, think it's a fake out, then skip coming back here?
I say we investigate the doors, to be on the safe side.
Agreed. We can come back later.
Oh, I was wondering where the guards were.
Peregrine, keep up the Blessings!
This Lich did a number on the team, as they were too busy with the trash and the Vampire at the time.
What is all this?
There's one on each of the pillars. Do we press them?
It can't hurt.
Actually, we should check on that rune set outside as well. Just in case.
Back to that portal then?
AARGH! This infuriates me! Why can we not breach these defences?
Because we're thinking too hard. See?
A moment to examine it, please.
This is a completely optional use of the Magic Lore skill.
Time to crack it open then.
I think we did an evil thing.
And behold! The Master Map of Exile, up until last update!