Part 46: Floors, No MercyUpdate 6: 11 Floors, No Mercy
Climbing up the Tower of Luminari we can just skip the first couple of floors. The first thing of interest is here and well, it's a bit strange.
"Does anybody even know what in the 9 Hells that is?"
"Nah, but I figure if we poke around a bit we'll find it."
"I will never understand how things like this just seem to work out around you all."
"That's 90% of what being an adventurer is."
"And yet, I am still convinced I have not seen everything even after that."
"I have a strange feeling that I've seen this before."
"Maybe there's another set of stairs we could take?"
"Ahem. Cough, cough. Our magelord has ordered us not to let anybody pass. Doesn't pay worth shit, though. Figures since we're dead we don't need paychecks."
"Oh look, I appear to have dropped a gem. How clumsy of me."
"It's good to meet somebody who understand simple Common."
"Don't know what we'd do without you, Gable. You're definitely being put to work in here."
"Yeah, if you weren't here I'd have to kick in a LOT more doors."
"How sure are we that he was a good guy, again?"
"Gotta be, what with this being the Tower of Luminari. Can't argue with that."
Moving up another floor...
"I believe this was represented in Fastillion's study as it's shaped like a storm, there must be an eye we can rest in."
As you might expect, the center of the vortex is a reasonably safe place to rest for the moment. More on that later. Considering that most of the damage we took was walking 3-4 steps to the center, it would pretty thoroughly wipe out most squishy monsters.
There's also treasure scattered around the place in random corners. Nothing special, but worth a couple thousand experience. On to floor six! I think it's six I lose track in here.
"I say he's nuts. Probably cracked years ago. Killing the old wizard will be a snap."
"Don't be so sure, Zantos. It doesn't pay to underestimate a wizard like that. If I catch you slacking off, I'll kill you myself. Got it, Zantos?"
"Don't worry about it, Zantos whichever one of you is Zantos. He's not going to kill you."
"We might not even kill you, for that matter. We might just knock you unconscious and leave you here with the spiders. And the trolls. And the beholders."
This fight has the potential to go very badly, or very well. It's all a matter of whether you can get dispel magic off in time to keep these wizards from using their spells. You might want to put up Resist Fire, Flame Shield, and a couple of other spells in preparation.
"Something tells me that's not just an ugly statue."
"Consider that we have heard of both beholders and gorgons in the tower, you are most likely correct."
New encounters from this floor upward, with this being the first of them. Considering that umber hulks can't exactly tunnel through stone floors, this has to be pretty rough on them.
"That's right, you misbegotten freaks! You've got just enough eyes between you to see how we're going to kick your ass, so you'd better run back home to mommy while you've still got a chance!"
Gotta love little touches like being able to do this in a game.
"Looks awfully complicated for something that's supposed to still be working after a century of neglect."
"Huh, is that the same one we just saw?"
"I'm pretty sure that's mommy with it."
Yes, a "nest" of beholders is just two of them. That's not a complaint, though, considering that they belong to the "stack as many save or die effects into a single round as possible" school of difficulty. This right here? Six saving throws per turn. Plus they're immune to magic since the central eye projects an anti-magic beam and the game engine can't be bothered to figure out if you're casting a spell at them from the side. There would be more on higher difficulties, but that would just make it tedious, not challenging.
"It is flattering to be so highly regarded that mortal enemies would cooperate against you, but I could live without being so well thought of."
"I'm just flummoxed by the existence of beholder racism."
Heh yeah, remember what I said about two beholders? There's four in this battle, plus the addition of the gorgons. They have a theoretical breath weapon that causes petrification, but with that pitiful HP total they usually vanish in a single fireball. That aside, they're actually kind of neat creatures D&D gorgons have metal scales for skin, eat the statues they create, and can see (and breath) into both the Astral and Ethereal planes. They really do make for great guard creatures.
"We've got to have killed nearly all of these things by now, right?"
"Still a few more floors to go. I wouldn't count on it."
"Oooh, a lever "
"Gable, what's the rule about levers?"
"If the lever doesn't have a marking as to whether it's on or off, we don't touch it. Oh, fine."
This lever actually turns off the teleporters, but we have a use for them yet. One more floor up
"I kind of thought it was getting bright in here, but I wasn't sure."
"How did a bunch of living flames manage to sneak up on us?"
It's good to see old friends. There aren't that many at this point, but that'll change soon enough.
"Hey, get away from our treasure!"
"I don't think it counts as ours until we actually open the chest."
"Considering that we know the person who owns this tower, it might not even technically be ours then "
"It's a good thing we don't like him."
Cluster is one way to describe it. There's still more offscreen. Cone of Cold is great if you can get a good lineup on a few of them. The treasure is a set of scrolls and a mirror which may do something against petrification, but I've never really had much luck with it. We get an opportunity to try it a bit later.
If this screen looks a bit familiar, it's because there's a teleport square right next to the chest that takes you back to the eye of the vortex. It's still one of the safest places to rest, but now durable creatures like gorgons and umber hulks start to occasionally interrupt you. I'm not sure if this is trigger based, or if I just got lucky earlier.
"I think that Fastillion's worry about the gorgons not keeping beholders out is even more well-founded than he would have thought."
This is actually a pretty good setup for these enemies, since the Beholder is far enough away that only Boo can reach it, and we still need to clear out some of the gorgons first. We're getting near the top, with the tenth floor being a maze of small rooms until we reach...
"Ahh, finally back to familiar ground."
Of course, there's rather a lot of them but after some of what we've dealt with recently, a bunch of bruisers is a nice relief. This is a bit dangerous for our mage, though.
"Can you get it, Gable?"
"The best thief on Krynn which I very nearly am couldn't unlock this door. Mainly because it's a fake."
" I really don't like that wizard. Well, back down we go."
"Go ahead. What did you want us to tell him?"
"That's an odd final message."
"Perhaps she just realized about the teleported we found earlier?"
"Pretty ironic time to figure it out."
"So do you think she'll be needing that sword and those magic bracers?"
And that completes our trip up the tower. We could trudge all the way down but there's a much faster way to get down, especially since we've cleaned out the basement. Next time, we'll head for the mainland.
Our main prize in this tower was experience, but secondary prizes include a +4 longsword and set of Bracers of AC 2. Samantha gets the longsword, while Ishmael gets the bracers. Average level has crept up to 17.5, and we haven't seen anything yet.