Part 40: Update 036 Aranea Lair and the Strange CaveUpdate 036 Aranea Lair and the Strange Cave
I'm surprised we haven't encountered any Demons on out way out.
They fear me.
Don't let it get to your head. It was a group effort. We were all busy keeping the other demons back.
And for that, you have my thanks. Our duel was one for the ages.
I forgive you.
I think we should make a quick stop by Motrax.
I wonder if these guys will run too?
I have a request.
I would like to stop back by that cave with the barriers in it. I think I can crack open the first layer, and we can get a look at the body there.
Why? That would only delay our Triumph.
We can camp out there.
Might as well.
Have at it.
This may take some time. Please, settle in and rest.
Actually, not. You see, I spent WAY too much time trying to break down this barrier, trying to find the one non-invincible barrier to knock down and get to the event you trigger by looking at the body.
Eventually, I just gave up and cheated the item into my inventory. However, there is supposed to be a triggered message from looking at the body that goes something like this:
You see a dessicated body here, of a species not known to you. Time has not been gentle to it, though the blade is carried is still in perfect condition. Though it is like no place you've seen before.
I've never seen a weapon quite like it.
Is this one of the Vhanatai? I mean, the body is dessicated, but it seems to match the spirit we found, and those bodies.
I think so. But what would it be doing here, between these barriers?
Perhaps it got trapped?
But what would it have been doing outside in the first place?
A noble rear guard, who sacrificed himself
You said 'he'. I said 'she'.
There's no way to tell, you know.
Does that species even have only two genders?
All of which belies the point; that this individual was still trapped here, between these two layers of barriers. Peregrine, can you reveal the path beyond?
Oddly humble of you.
No, he's right. This place is... connected to the surrounds in a way I can't even describe. That there was was a weak point at all in this outer layer just shows how unimaginably old this place really is.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the Alien Blade. A 9/+5 One Handed Edged Weapon that is Always Poisoned. It is the most powerful Blade in the game, tied with the Ravage Knife for direct damage, but has the Poison on top of that.
In the thread, I had mentioned what Art's end-game equipment was planned to be. Namely, the Heartfinder and the Alien Blade. Well, because I forgot about the Ravage Knife, and now Art has both! She's all set for weapons until the end of the game.
And while I was cheating, I decided to ID everything in my inventory. Well, I came across this...
This is an accident, a glitch in the system when using the cheater when Identifying items. What is should be is this...
Hey, everyone? You remember that Iron Mace we found south of Grah-Hoth's fort, the one I thought was just plain normal?
Well, it's badly cursed.
Get rid of it then.
I'll dump it out in the swamp when we leave, where it should sink and no one will ever find it.
Hey! BITCH! GUESS WHAT!
SHUT UP YOU PARAMECIUM BRAIN!
DON'T TAUNT THE ARCHMAGE!
I think she teleported us onto an eroded sand-bar on the river to the east of her tower.
But solid ground seems to be within range of the Orb, so we are not stuck anywhere.
But what's this?
Of limited use, I must admit.
I think Peregrine's right. We just aren't using my Alchemical skills enough to make a difference here.
Let's just use the Orb to get out of here.
Alright, we get in, see if Micah believes us, then we get back to our previous goal. Hopefully without interference this time.
We shall be sung of as heroes the likes of which shall enter into legend for our glorious deeds!
... right. Um, Art, can you show me how to do that curtsy thing?
What? Why now? I think Micah has already forgiven you if you offended him by not doing that.
Well, I mean, in the fairy tales, it just seemed like what was supposed to happen.
You do realize that motion is meant for women in long dresses, right? Not for what we're wearing.
You should do it anyways. It is good culture.
Oh, don't you start.
Let's get this over with.
Why are we going to visit Motrax?
Just a quick visit to ask him something.
I'll be waiting outside!
At least she's not freaking out this time.
Oh, I am. It's just that I'm going to wait until you're gone to run around screaming.
What brings you here, after your victory?
Scrioth for Demonslayer.
And that's why.
I see. Yes, the blade does seem to have that property about it. Agreed.
Why would you do this to me?
A simple switch. Now the blade will not affect his mind.
What? What are you speaking about! Speak! I command you!
YOU COMMAND NOTHING, MORTAL!
It is madness that would drive a man to fight Demons such as you have. You were right to bring it to me as I can isolate the blade from others, and perhaps undo that portion of the enchantment.
And consider yourself lucky, Karmas. I could have just kept Demonslayer to protect you from it. Scrioth is a gift from me to you to show that I am willing to be fair and just when doing these things.
Might Motrax, I do have a question for you.
The Vhanatai. Do you know of them?
Ah. Them. They are long gone from these caves. I do not know if any of them still live, deeper underground. But I doubt it, for I would have sensed the working of their magics by now.
Not a problem. Actually, I recently received a request. And I also have one for you.
Yes, you see, from me. I have come across a map of the region between the two rivers to the west, past the Spiders and before the Giants. However, they contradict what I already have. So I would like to commission you to survey the area your selves in order to determine which information I have is correct.
I don't see why not. We haven't been there yet.
Thank you. You'll forgive me if I don't offer you either of the maps I have, as I don't want to influence you unduly.
And the other thing?
Oh, yes. I received a message from a very irate Erika Redmark. She wants to see you. Immediately.
The bitch can sit and swivel for all I care!
Well said! But this is not something you want to deny. You can do your survey of the region, and take the map to Erika, who will forward it to me. You will have to pass through Giant territory, then through the Abyss to reach her Tower.
Been there, done that.
Now go back.
At least we don't have to deal with the GIFTS.
Really? The Aranea are fleeing us?
That's because we're awesome!
If that's what you believe.
This... this is not good.
Let's go somewhere else.
You know, that rubble to the North looked mighty regular.
Probably because it is.
And that's obviously not a warrior, as they fled from us.
Let's continue that survey then. We should go north along the water first.
Hey, you know I'm the one who has this experience, right?
I am fully capable of learning.
Don't make me come over there!
I will never grow tired of that.
No need to buy that spell in this game. But for someone less discerning than I, I strongly suggest dropping the 2 grand for it.
Let us keep exploring.
How you feeling Karmas?
I am humbled to say that you are right. That I was not acting properly whilst in possession of that blade. I... am sorry.
Forgiven and forgotten.
We can always come back later.
The webs are more intense here.
Oh, this is a bad idea.
Why is this cave back here?
And it is full of spiders. Extermination?
Why would you pronounce it like that?
Because my mom and I used to play with spice shakers that would fall on and crush their enemies while saying that!
You must have had a weird childhood.
This isn't so bad.
WAIT! I see a shiny!
You remember that cave with the restorative crystals?
Yes, and you recovered all the pieces to fix it.
Well, here's another missing piece.
Yes, there are six Quartz Crystals. You only need five to complete that quest.
And no, returning to the cave does nothing. This item will stay in my inventory for the rest of the game, a reminder that Exile did something nice for me, and allows players an extra opportunity to gather all the requirements for this quest.
There's also a large chamber in the middle. We should check it out.
Through a maze of hidden passages, all alike.
Ever notice how all these things are the same length?
This isn't ominous at all.
Meet the Spider Lord, another optional super-boss in the same vein as the Pit Drake. Except this one has more spell casting abilities than the Drake, and a bit less health.
And it can majorly poison a PC on a single hit. But in the end, it dies.
This is a Necklace of Lords! Able to grant great ability to recuperate from injury and fatigue!
And we can sell this for cash.
Well, it's time to go through the Giant's lands.
We should stick to the walls to avoid unnecessary encounters.
Oh, that's not going to bode well for us.
We can go around. Or go over the lake. I would like to try the latter.
Yes, we just bypassed an encounter. Woo!
I wonder what it was we bypassed though?
Let's go. No need to kill everyone.
I think we're too far north.
Maybe the SIGN will lead us in the right direction?
I don't recall that name.
A moment to map the locale.
That's not an ominous layout at all.
Your sarcasm is scathing.
Well, someone named 'Pyrog', like, as in fire, can't be all bad!
The Signs will support me here!
I think we should be going.
Why are we stopping? We're still too close!
I... don't know... anything.
This edifice is beyond even the Empire.
It is.. impressive.
A chasm? I remember reading in the destroyed Empire Fort to the west that they were glad that Giants couldn't cross a chasm. Is this the one?
Wow, we just barely made it.
Why are we back here anyways?
For that cave.
Yes, but from whom?
It makes no difference. There's the portal.
And strangely un-assailed. Perhaps the locals have moved on?
Even I'm not that foolish!
Take the hidden one!
Our first invisible enemy! That's right, the Black Shade has no icon on the map, and you can't see it! So your best bet is to wander around to try and find the damned thing, or spam AOE effects, and see where the damage happens.
This is not the first, nor the last time we will encounter this type of enemy.
By the map, the south is a dead end. We should go west.
Oh, yes, right.
Being attacked by an invisible enemy sure spooked you, didn't it?
The meal is still warm.
Who would sleep back here?
Why give a real bed to someone who doesn't have any power?
For some reason, I just find this lonely bed to be very sad.
I wonder what this does?
A small man sits behind the desk, trembling.
Hello, I'm Art. What's your name?
"Oh, wouldn't you like to know, pitiful exiles!"
Exiles? Really? How rude!
"Yes. Exiles! Running around here like worms with your tiny magicks and your precious Scimitar. Why don't you just kill me! I'm not going to tell you a thing."
And what makes you think we're with Scimitar?
"You tell them that this base will be replaced by two, then four! For every one of you down there, there are a hundred above! You have no chance. You won't even make a dent." He smirks, then backs away. "And I won't tell you where the treasure is."
A treasure? Now that's interesting. Tell me more.
He looks at you slyly. "Yes. There is a treasure. Why don't you go looking for it? Just leave me here. You get the treasure and I live. That's a fair deal." He snivels slightly.
She produces the Royal Seal, then puts it away. I'll let you live, so you can explain your failures in person.
Was the use of the Seal really necessary?
Probably not, but the authority made me feel good about myself.
Let's see what we have here. Bad potions, minimal payroll, what's in the crate here?
oooh! I get it!
Get what? The back has all the Draconian imagery, the front side, based on the way its rolled, is completely empty! I mean, sure, it's reflective, and I appreciate the technical work that went into that, but there's nothing here to get!
I feel very sorry for you.
Maybe you can explain it to him later. For now, we should get out of here. I think we need to go to that pool.
Your aptitude for guessing portal locations is certainly intriguing. Or just plain logical.
I think we've delayed meeting with Erika enough. Let's go.
Map time! I'm sorry, but I glitched out on the over-world maps, and I'll try to get them up for the next update.