Part 25: Zzakander SpiresUpdate 25: Zzakander Spires
Welcome back! Last time we fought some monsters in a gorge and found a special locket clutched in the hand of a zombie. This time were going to ignore that entirely and go to the next town instead.
Ominously, when we reach the town, we automatically go into a cutscene.
The party walks in.
I dont know, but I dont like it. Stay alert. Something is definitely off.
Katja then jumps down from the upper walkway.
I like this meeting better already. You dont have a hostage to hide behind.
Ha! Funny girl. I just knew there was somethin I liked about ye.
What does Sigil want with us this time?
Ye figured it out, eh? Yeah, Im with Sigil. My task is to keep any Marked from completin the Pilgrimage. Thats why Im here to see ye drop out o the quest. I saw ye helpin the folks in Oldebzar and Thespeiros. I can tell yere a good sort. A woman o principles n all that.
Heres me deal: sweat to me yell abandon the Pilgrimage and thatll be that. Easy peasy, wasnt that breezy.
An interesting proposal. Here is my counteroffer.
For the crimes of kidnapping, ransoming, and attempted murder, the law allows your capture, dead or alive. You surrender peacefully and well make that alive.
Hoho! Perhaps yeve got a titch too many principles, at that.
I suppose we do it the hard way then. And dont think yell be surprising me with yer weirdly demon powers this time, little miss!
(whispering) I knew it was too quiet. They were in position before we even got here, and now were surrounded. Do you have a plan?
(whispering) Shes obviously the leader. Take her down quickly and I bet the rest will scatter fast enough.
Righty-ho, yall, this is no bunch o lightweights! No quarter, no how!
And with that its time for another fight. This is another defeat the leader fight, and thank god. Otherwise, this is one of my least favorite maps in the game.
For this fight, Im going for a bit more durability than full out offense. So we have Selina, Sophia, Reiner, Mongo, Hannah, and Kyrie.
The reason I want some more durability than a typical fight is because there are lots of enemies here, most of whom have pretty high movement and/or ranged attacks. Katja also starts out high up and in the back, so its difficult to really rush her.
Reiner starts my part of the fight by immediately breaking that assassins mirage.
I also move Selina up the ramp to poison the other assassin. Not necessarily my best move though.
Mostly because the ranger then roots her.
And the assassin hits her with a rock, and then moves in front to block my party from going up the ramp. Due to elevation changes, only Reiner, Kyrie, and Selina can actually hit people up top now.
The reaver obliges me though, and jumps down to hit most of my group with an AOE.
Meanwhile, Hannah snuck around up top and uses her new leap skill to take out 1 assassin and seriously hurt the other one.
But the Bzil just immediately revives them, and then both Katja and the plague doctor heal them up with potions.
The injured assassin at least decides to also waste their turn healing themselves instead of hitting Hannah in the back.
Down low, the enemies keep congregating as Kyrie puts the reaver to sleep.
The smarter move wouldve probably been to leave him asleep, but I have Mongo take out a big chunk of his health instead.
Kyries been getting barraged by enemies throughout this, so I have Sophia heal her up before things go south.
And then Hannah comes running in to finish off the reaver after another hit from Selina.
All of the enemies from Katjas initial area have made it down, so Im starting to get a bit crushed for space.
But then Katja makes my job easier by moving in close to smack Sophia into Kyrie.
Not to say that things are going super well otherwise, considering that the enemies take Sophia out and make her unrevivable.
Id previously had Hannah buff Reiner and her attack, and it just barely hangs around long enough to make a difference as Reiner takes off about half of her health at once.
Mongo does the vast majority of what remains with another defensive hit.
And then Selina chucks a rock at her to finish things off.
Ill be seein ye!
Katja goes down to one knee.
And then throws out another smoke bomb.
She does a nice job of getting away.
Tsk. Well be ready for her tricks next time.
And the fight is over! Good thing too, because I think people were about to start falling left and right if the enemies had gotten to take another round of turns. In fact, part of the reason that I hate this map is that, on patrols, theres no easy win condition for it. There are just as many (or maybe 1 or 2 fewer) enemies on patrols here as there are in the fight, and its incredibly easy to get overwhelmed and taken out. This time I got lucky with Katja being aggressive and my guys being buffed, but things couldve gone much worse.
After the fight, we see a bunch of Bzil and people milling around as Yates checks on some of them.
While our party talks with the elder Bzil up top.
Unnecessary. Arbiters are meant to protect citizens, not the other way around.
I did notice some locals taking part in that ambush.
Hmm Yes. If the had assistance from Bzils, it would explain how a band of outsiders could set up an ambush without anyone noticing. After all, most of us live in caves under the city.
But why would Bzils help Sigil with their dirty work?!
Hmm Members of Sigil have been very active in Zzakander Spires for some years now. Discontent with the rule of the Immortals has been growing, especially among our younger generations.
But what specifically is their complaint?
Hmm Many things. But the biggest issue is the prohibition on arming our own guards, forcing us to rely on Arbiters for our safety.
I understand your concerns, elder. I promise you, if I can at all influence Council policies, I will make it a priority to improve relations with your people.
Which brings me to the reason for our visit: we require access to the Sealed Temple.
Hmm The Sealed Temple. Yes, of course Hmm Im afraid this is going to be difficult.
sigh Whats difficult about it?
Hmm.. When news reached us of the Marked coming here for the Pilgrimage, a few Sigil sympathizers flooded the Sealed Temple.
They flooded it? How is that even possible?
Hmm Living underground, we Bzils are quite knowledgeable about tunnel networks and reservoirs and such things. We believe Sigil members diverted the flow of an underground river, raising the water level until the entire Temple was submerged.
The whole thing underwater. Thats unfortunate.
Hmm Agreed, and theres worse news: the water level is so high, it is putting our entire harvest at risk.
Hmm Quite. Hmm We have, however, come up with a solution which would restore the water to its previous level, save our harvest, and grant you access to the Sealed Temple.
I get the feeling this solution requires us to do the heavy lifting.
Hmm Quite. An explosive device must be placed under the lake, by the blockage crated by the members of Sigil. The resulting breach will release the floodwaters and, hmm water levels should quickly return to normal.
Hmm But. Hmm The tunnels are infested with monsters, and as you well know, my people are not warriors.
We understand the situation, elder. As Arbiters, it is our duty to assist, even if we didnt need access to the Sealed Temple.
Hmm Would that all Arbiters were as dutiful as you, young one. There was another group of Arbiters here recently. Their leader, a Captain Dolman, advised us to petition the Council for assistance. Hmm I do believe wed lose our harvest before receiving a response.
Hmph! How lazy!
That particular group of Arbiters has already been reprimanded.
Hmm That is good to hear. Perhaps I have grown too cynical in my elderhood. Do be careful in the tunnels. I have heard tell that some of the beasts down there may be larger than normal.
Thank you for the warning, elder.
All right, lets get this done.
The group heads out of town, and Occul Cavern opens up. However, next time well be entirely ignoring it and instead will head to Centina and check out some strange rumours.