Part 42: Sibling SquabblesUpdate 2: Sibling Squabbles
"It's probably a lot more than draconians this place is a dump."
"Are you sure you're up to this, after the last couple times in that temple?"
"I am hurt. And done. See, easy!"
"It seems like all the pieces are still there."
"Yeah, I just jammed the pulley. You can do whatever you want to the trip line now and it won't go off."
"They might know something about Crysia!"
"We'll ask any of them who are a bit slower to die."
You've really got to be kidding me.
"Crysia! What are you doing?"
"I don't like where this is going."
"That is a LOT of draconians."
Pictured: more Auraks than we saw in the first two games combined. They take their time dying, and most of these battles end with a bunch of dying Aurak draconians standing in place while our troops walk away from them and wait for them to explode.
A nearby hidden chamber holds a Shield +3 and a useless scroll for us.
"This time it's not my turn. Gable, take a look up there and let us know if the rest of us can come through."
"Fine, fine "
"Pull me back! PULL ME BACK!"
"We're going that way over my dead body. Probably literally."
This is actually a bit of a trick. If you attack, this enemy explodes in your face. It's a Gas Spore, which imitates a Beholder in the hopes of being murdered by passing adventurers. Leaving it alone causes it to float back to the ceiling.
"I know these people they're from Caergoth. I think that's the mayor over there."
"You liar! Crysia would never aid these creatures!"
"Did he miss her helping them pull on their armor?"
"I think perhaps he chooses not to remember."
"Self-rescuing villagers. I could get used to that."
"I hope not. What would we do then?"
"I don't think so. Dispel magic!"
"Aaand she's gone."
"Dammit Crysia, come back here!"
Have I mentioned how much I love the center command? Boo and Amanda are perfectly safe, but most of the draconians are toast. The wizard, though he's sitting there with Fire Shield, Globe of Invulnerability, and Blink up. You're going to need a 4th level or higher spell to touch him, and it can't be fire based. Our only possible options are cone of cold, disintegrate, and maybe death spell. Right now the best course of action is to use dispel magic to strip away a couple of protections and then wade right in with swords. Don't do that with fire shield up, since you take twice the damage you deal in fire damage. Since Sam can easily do 45 or so damage per round, that's an easy way to get yourself severely injured or killed. By the way, these guys have delayed blast fireball and love to use it.
Continuing on, we run into piercers as an environmental hazard. They can do a reasonable amount of damage, but often don't do any at all. The weirdest thing about them is that they all have faces.
"Gah, and I thought the draconians smelled bad!"
"What are those things?"
"Wizard experiments gone wrong, used as guardians. They will eat anything."
Otyugh are big bruisers with nothing special about them, but they can do serious damage. Shambling mounds are actually intelligent collections of plants that are immune to fire and take half damage from cold. Lightning is supposed to make them grow, but that wasn't put into effect here. They're a bit of a pain in the neck to deal with. Several nearly identical battles lead us to a tiny treasure trove. The Flail +4 provides a minuscule amount of experience compared to all the encounters on the way.
Another non-random encounter within the dungeon are boring beetles, which are...
Well, boring. They've got nothing special about them, and they're weak enough that even a low-level fireball can wipe out the entire group. This entire group is worth less than 350 experience per character.
"I usually only see giant purple versions of normal creatures when I've been drinking."
"It's not unusual for natural caves to have complex predator-prey relationships."
Purple worms are big enough to eat adventurers whole (once again, not featured here in this game) and are also venomous. They're supposed to be solitary creatures, but that wouldn't be much of a challenge so we get them en masse. Fireball is a friend.
"Since Crysia appeared to be cooperating, that scream can't have come from her."
"Maybe she recovered her senses? We should check anyway."
"We were already planning it. Even if it's not your sister, someone is in trouble there."
"I think I think I shall be sitting this one out."
"Aww man, I was hoping that one in the other tunnel was the only example."
By filled, they actually mean "there are two of them." Pictured is the reason that Beholders are so dangerous. In addition to the instant death ray they can also turn characters to stone, cause confusion, and use a variety of other effects. Beholders emit an enti-magic ray from their central eye, which is manifested by them being immune to magic. The only realistic option is to cut them apart as soon as possible and hope you don't fail any saves. This battle did give me a chance to test and find that resurrection doesn't lead to affected characters losing a point of constitution.
"Spiders? I hate those guys!"
"And a decoy. You realize this makes these spiders more cunning than the majority of humans we've actually faced in battle?"
Naturally they're all poisonous and also subject to a single lucky fireball.
"Those draconians didn't know what they were getting into.
"I feel like I've done this far too many times. Rest now, our friend."
"It must be a very powerful charm spell to last so long after she's been separated from the casters."
"Come, we must find my sister."
"About that.. were you ever going to tell us that your sister is a powerful sorceress?"
"It must have slipped my mind."
"I was kind of expecting these ever since we saw the purple worms."
"Umber hulks eat purple worms."
Umber Hulks are ambush predators that use their claws to burrow through stone. Although I've never seen it succeed, they can confuse characters with their gaze attack.
"Get back! Get back, I warn you! You won't take me alive!"
"Crysia, is that you?"
"There's something a bit off about that voice "
"Thanks. We've already killed just about everything between here and the entrance, so it shouldn't be that dangerous."
"This necklace might look cheap, but it can be real useful."
"Hmm but no draconians?"
"I think we've killed everything standing between us and her."
"It would seem so, although it seems strange that a charm spell would have such an effect on her. She must have been somehow weakened or caught unaware."
"Boo? You might want to pull out that lance."
"Trust me, I recognize that sound and that smell."
"Go to the fleet, and we will meet you at the rendezvous on Taladas."
"Of course, my master."
There's no overlap in these two pictures. We're actually facing six adult dragons. That said, at this level Ishmael can severely wound or kill multiple dragons with a fireball and Boo gets a couple of attacks with that dragonlance. Blue dragons are the priority, since they can bounce their breath weapon off walls.
"I've lost her. I've lost my beloved sister."
"It'll be okay. We know where they're going and everything."
"Hoist the anchor, we set sail for the continent of Taladas!"
"Yeah, we're really not going to be back to Ansalon for a while."
"My carrier pigeon will deliver this message to the general. She will know what to do."
"You mean 'sit back on another continent while we do all the work?'"
"I'm not even going to ask how you have carrier pigeons that know their way back to Palanthas."
No level ups this time, but a few updates in magic items and other benefits. Daenor hasn't changed at all since we recruited him, so we'll leave his character sheet be. Expect some of this to be changing throughout the next update. If you started with freshly built characters, they'd probably have gained enough to go up 1 or 2 levels at this point.