Part 7: A Kiss From A RoseUpdate 4: A Kiss From A Rose
Alright, since after a few days it was a tie I decided to use my OP powers and break the tie.
We're going to go to Jelek first. It's nearby, it's slightly less intimidating, and it provides some decent loot that will help when we go tomb-raiding.
"This sounds incredibly inconvenient."
"Hi, I'm extremely pleased to meet you."
"In fact, he lives right around here!"
"Fuck this. I know where I'm going."
"I think I know where you mean, and I'm with you."
This is as good a place as any to talk about Tavern Tales. Going in to bars and getting drinks can enable you to hear some rumors relating to the current area, which may or may not be correct. These will change as you progress through the game. Some of the ones from here include...
So, some time later later
"Bow! Gimme the bow!"
"It seems a bit pricey "
"Don't care. WANT. And get one for Boo, too."
"Wait, me? Uh okay..."
"Did anybody else see that?"
"Hmm.. just keep quiet about it for now."
"More than anything, madam, and I must say that your charm and professionalism are truly outstanding."
"Your flattery appears to have not affected her prices in the slightest."
"My.. chest "
"We'll be back later. With a lot more money."
"Really? Like what, pray tell?"
"The streets of Jelek are regretfully rife with pickpockets and undesirables traveling through the region, my lady. But you are safe traveling with your escort!"
"I'm not the one who should be worrying about their safety right now."
"Can he is he allowed to do that?"
"His absence seems suddenly very convenient."
"That cowardly little weasel! He must have seen them first."
"I think we're almost to Skyla's friend's house perhaps we should just step aside?"
"At times discretion is the better part of valor."
"Nice of you to rejoin us. This place looks like a dump."
" please, do come inside."
"This'd better be good."
"I must leave to tell Myrtani of our success. My friends will deal with you."
"Oh no you don't! Come back here where I can kill you!"
"While I am not quite as irate as my companion, it does seem as though reporting your success without seeing the outcome of the battle might be a bit premature."
"I'm certain it'll work out. Aside from which, my task was to lure you into a trap. If it goes badly I can always point out that my instructions didn't include verification of your demise."
That's an intimidatingly large number of enemies, but they're actually worse than it looks. In addition to the two curates (3rd level clerics) in their fetching fuchsia robes, the four figures in what look like white plate armor are also spell casters, and love using charm person. There are enough people here with disabling spells to essentially shut down our entire party if the dice roll the wrong way.
So, naturally, we respond in kind. Within a couple of rounds they're mostly all retching and/or dead.
A lightning bolt takes out most of the rest of the trash, as they were mostly in a convenient line right in front of our party.
"HA! I didn't learn this in some stuffy old library!"
"You're one hell of an improvement over our last guide."
"Uh my name is Mysellia. You see.."
"And that's the story. There's a safe place to rest to the northeast."
"This can't turn out any worse then the last time that we followed someone into a strange place in this town "
And in fact, it turns out better. The only safe place to rest is here. It's entirely possible to lose Mysellia in a fight on the way here, at which point she will gasp out a password with her dying breath to let you in. We'll be back here a couple of times. In the meantime, let's see what we can find out...
"Thank you sir, you've been very helpful."
"This is hardly a reassuring sign."
"How'n the hell are people walking around town like everything is normal when the dead are just diggin' themselves out of the grave?"
"I think we just need to find that rose and get out of here."
Random encounters are sprinkled throughout the area now that we've dealt with Skyla's plot, with up to five across town as long as you don't leave and reset them. We also could have dealt with these by wandering around with Skyla, and he would have conveniently disappeared for each fight.
The encounters vary in difficulty, but pretty much universally feature large numbers of spell casters. This one isn't very bad, especially as the spell casters have the bad taste to be right out front and once again, are all standing in a row. The ability to damage all the enemy spell casters at once is invaluable.
The graveyard also features small undead encounters which aren't really that interesting and usually end after a couple of uses of turn undead. One thing of note is that there are encounters at a few fixed locations in the graveyard, but those are fairly easy to avoid even seeing given the sheer size of the graveyard. It's literally about 1/3 of Jelek.
"Truly, there is nothing normal about this place."
"Stow it. We've got bigger problems."
"What kind of magical treasure does this rose represent, that such a fierce guard would be placed on it?"
"Somehow, Sir Karl's request seems much less innocent..."
This fight is very much like the white dragons we dealt with in Throtl, just with one additional dragon and each dragon being a bit more dangerous. The black dragons have a much more dangerous breath weapon due to their higher HP, and are quite capable of knocking out several of our weaker characters if they happen to line up right.
Unfortunately, they also fall prey to the same vulnerability: the need for oxygen. It would have been possible, albeit dangerous, to do this conventionally.
"An unfortunate end to such noble, albeit evil, creatures."
Once the dragons are gone, there's a building directly to our right that bears some investigating..
"Let's put an end to this here and now!"
Although it's not good news. I wish I could say this fight was worth a screen cap. Unfortunately, it's just vanilla undead. There are, however, a few useful treasures at the end of the battle...
a few minutes later...
"Is there anywhere we haven't investigated?"
"Their leader's office? I believe it is to the southeast."
"Well, and with that we'll be leaving now."
"Take care of yourself, tits."
"Rip, I believe the expression you meant to use was "take care of yourself, toots."
"I know what I said, dammit!"
"Uh.. while we have you here, about that rose "
"No time for that! Good luck and godspeed. Here is your map."
"This just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Shall we examine the treasure we won more closely?"
"Hmm. Can I see that wand?"
"No. No you cannot. And I'll be sleeping with it from here on out."
And with that, we break to head to Sir Dargaard's tomb.
We've reached the point in the game where levels start to come a bit slowly, but our party is still a bit improved from where they were at the end of the last update. In particular, Rip has picked up an additional level while Elon has gained access to third level mage spells. He's decked out with lightning bolt as well.