Part 23: The Walled MartUpdate 2: The Walled Mart
The map for this game is pretty much northwest of the map from the previous game, although just a bit different in scale. The yellow castle to our west northwest is Throtl, for instance. Our destination is the port city at the very northern portion of the map.
The world has gotten a bit more dangerous, and the trip is long. Roving packs of undead aren't at all uncommon, and there's no way a trip this long isn't going to result in a couple of fights.
Luckily, in this case it's only a couple of undead beasts. They're big meatwalls that can do some fairly hideous damage if left to themselves. 66 HP and an AC of 6 isn't exactly subtle either.
Two steps further down the road yeah, I wasn't kidding about the random encounter frequency.
This is only a fraction of the encounter, since there are a couple of more identical groups out there. It's impossible to turn everything, so you have to do some fighting to clear it out. It's more dangerous than it looks due to the paralysis ability of the ghouls and the level draining effect of the wights.
"I know we should go and report, but "
"He'll wait. Inn first."
"I shall third the motion."
One short rest later...
"Why yes, we are! Know any good Ergothian restaurants?"
"Er maybe? We gotta map for sale. Only 25 steel."
"Out of the question. Maybe if it was some kind of treasure map."
"Okay, okay what about 20 steel?"
"I don't think so."
"You buncha jerks! Gett'em, boys!"
"You've got to be kidding me. Really?"
"Think of it as a public service."
"Hey! Free map!"
"Hmm could be some treasure or something at that x. We'll have to look later."
"Well you see, what had happened was "
"Perhaps the most helpful thing you could do would be to direct us to the Dream Merchant."
"He has a pavilion in our bazaar but beware of a gaunt-faced man. He is Soth's agent."
"Thanks for the warning. Lucky for us that we've got a map of the bazaar."
"Maybe it's just my faulty memory, but I don't recall any markings on the map suggesting where the Dream Merchant's pavilion was."
"We'll just have to wander around until we find it can't be that hard to find."
Ten minutes later...
"See, what did I tell you?"
"Is it me, or did it get pretty dark all of a sudden?"
"Unfortunately, it seems as though we are not the only ones who found him."
Sivaks aren't particularly dangerous, but this group is smart enough to have positioned themselves in small groups surrounding the party. It makes a few relatively weak enemies into a credible threat, especially since they have access to our squishy wizards.
"For crying out are we the only ones who can accomplish anything?"
"Seems like it and even we don't get it right all the time."
"A ransom note? Already?"
"Our enemies are suspiciously well organized and the meeting time is less than two hours from now."
"They seem to be in quite the hurry we might as well just go back and wait for them."
I possibly should have seen what would happen if you missed the meet-up, but this is a plot critical section and probably can't be screwed up.
We have a choice of running away, listening to the enemy's requests, or attacking. Listening results in extra experience.
"It'd be kind of meaningless to go this far and not trust you, so "
"You weren't kidding about following us everywhere, were you?"
"It's not like I have all that much to do, being a dread wolf and all "
"Crook! Vin !"
"Where did he ?"
"We've got other priorities at the moment!"
I hadn't realized how much of a habit this game makes of putting spell casters in the front row. Someday they'll learn the error of their ways, but in the meantime
Also, enemy fighters have gotten to a point where they're more likely than not to resist Hold Person. It's still useful, but not as much as it was earlier.
"At this point, there's not much else we can do."
With that, we're about done with this town for the moment although there's a bit more trouble on the streets these days. Some things, however, don't really change...
"Bizarrely enough, this actually cheers me up."
"It can only improve the overall quality of ruffians in the city through attrition."
Not many changes, other than Boo picking up a level. It appears I was wrong about why Sam and Gable had even experience totals, but they're still likely to hit a new level before anybody else does. In the meantime, though, we're going to do some side-questing before continuing on to the main objective. Should we
Visit the gnome village, search a nearby shipwreck for treasure, or investigate that quiet little town we walked past on our way north?