Part 35: The Seasons Must FlowUpdate 19: The Seasons Must Flow
"We never did get around to finding Carlawna's Scarab of Imaging. We should probably get on that before somebody goes and does something else evil with it, I guess."
After mowing down a few gargoyles in the mountains, we come to this chest right near the edge of the world.
"That was simple enough. Shall we return it to its rightful owner?"
Moon Ray is an interesting Cleric spell: it costs 60 SP and 10 Gems, hits all monsters in front of the party for only 30 points of Energy damage, but also heals the entire party for 30 HP. It's kind of weird and situational -- the healing is slightly less cost-efficient than Power Cure, but it has potential uses when in combat against enemies that attack the whole party. I don't use it much.
We also get 75,000 experience for completing the quest, and Carlawna will now teach Moon Ray to any characters we didn't bring along for 2,000 gold.
"Since we're already in the area, I guess we may as well explore the desert. It's the last place anyone sane would want to go, so if any mad wizards ever left treasure there it's probably still lying around undisturbed."
"Didn't we burn this down already? I could swear we did."
"Maybe different one."
The barbarian camp in the mountains south of the desert has no gold or gems, but a few medium-to-high-level random items. Plus, destroying it will make barbarians stop respawning in the area.
In particular, we pick up this maul which does 3 times normal damage to dragons. I give it to Anleisa for now, and pass her emerald flail on to Fubar.
Also in the mountains is this fountain, which grants a +30 temporary bonus to Armour Class.
Exploring the desert poses a number of challenges. Firstly, of course, there are monsters. Secondly, unless you're using the Super Shelter spell, it's only possible to rest in oases, which are few and far between. Thirdly, unless you have a character with the Navigator skill, every step you take will advance the game clock by 4 hours. Don't explore the desert without a Navigator: it takes long enough as it is.
"Aw, crap. Did somebody forget to walk without rhythm?"
"Fubar not able to help it. Fubar got rhythm in Fubar soul."
"Just watch out, would you? If we attract any more worms--"
"-- that could happen."
"A worm has swallowed Trish in her entirety! I am filled with disgust and terror, yet at the same time impressed by its moxie!"
"If you want her back, we should probably kill this thing and cut her body out before it finishes digesting her. It gets harder to fix her if that happens."
Sand Worms are by far the most dangerous enemies in the desert. They've got 250 HP, and a single physical attack that inflicts high damage and has a chance to cause instant death. Fortunately, they have no resistances, so a Sorcerer or Archer can one-shot them with Incinerate before they even get within range to attack. Failing that, the conveniently located +30 AC fountain helps reduce the chance that they'll hit you.
"Aw, lookit that little guy! He's so cute!"
"In case you hadn't noticed, it's trying to strangle us."
"I know, but still!"
Sand Golems aren't too threatening, especially compared to Sand Worms. They're slightly resistant to physical damage, heavily resistant to elemental damage, hit once per round for moderate physical damage, and have a chance to inflict Sleep.
"Is this some kinda mirage, or did someone really sink a well in the middle of nowhere?"
"If your attention span and memory will permit it, think back and ask yourself if this is really the strangest thing we've seen recently."
"Can you give me a break for once? I just died earlier this morning!"
"I might give you a break if you'd stop getting yourself killed."
Before this playthrough, I didn't know this little bit of text existed in the game. "The water is cool and refreshing" is the stock message for drinking from a stat-boosting fountain when the relevant stat is already boosted. I guess the programmers got bored and threw this in.
Like most stat-boosting wells, the Well of Endurance gives a temporary +50 bonus. This will increase your maximum HP but not your current HP, so you'll need to visit a different well in order to top up.
"Strange monument. Not recognise construction. Must be very old. Still good condition."
"Look! Big stone lion lady want to say something?"
"What do you mean, Fubar? It's just a -- oh my."
There are two Sphinxes in the desert, and each one requires a special amulet to enter. We don't have either amulet, so we can't do anything with them right now.
"If one must be building a shrine in the middle of the desert, this is the place to be doing it. I approve with all my heart."
"Oh, you're one of those guys. We'll probably get around to this eventually, sure."
Since we know the locations of the other three druids already, it'll be pretty easy to visit them all and complete this quest. We'll finish up with the desert first, though.
"This, on the other hand, is a strange place in which to be living indeed. Why would one expose oneself in the desert, when a castle is so near? Perhaps it is the home of a creature of the desert, like a demon of fire or a very old sandworm that has learned to build tents! Let us ingress and resolve this mystery."
"... group of wizards guarded by an army of werewolves. I beg you to help me."
"You are not a demon, then? Or a very well-disguised sandworm? You are an innocent in need of our help?"
"I'm quite sure that's the case, Vandesloof."
"Our to-do list is getting pretty long... but we'll see what we can do, I guess."
"That scroll's not going anywhere, and I'm not sure I feel up to fighting an army of werewolves just now. I try not to die more than once a week, see. It's a little habit of mine."
This shrine right near Castle Basenji grants a temporary +50 Energy resistance. There are exactly four types of enemy in World of Xeen that inflict Energy damage: the Guardians we've seen and dealt with already, but the other three are all pretty scary, so we'll want to keep this shrine in mind for later.
"There's an oasis right over there! You'd think whoever lives here would drag his wagon the extra half-mile instead of sitting out in the desert."
Video time again! Saul's voice is... well, it's what you might expect based on the rest of the game's voice acting.
"Flench think if you put money there, not much chance you get money back. Flench think that not count as free."
"But not count as taxable income either. That important thing. Well, important thing for Saul."
Saul teaches the Prayer Master skill, which is like Prestidigitation but for clerical spellcasters, giving +2 SP/level to Clerics and +1 to Paladins. It's not exactly cheap, but we're sitting on a huge pile of money, so why not spend some?
The final point of interest in the desert is this fountain tucked away in the northwest corner of the world, which gives a +250 bonus to HP. Even at our current high levels, a +250 boost above the normal maximum will more than double the HP total of our more fragile party members.
"As we seem to be done here for now, perhaps we ought to help the druids turn the seasons."
"Wait, we're travelling around to deliver all these thingies so the druids can change the seasons in the space of a couple of days. Isn't that going to do some really weird stuff to the climate?"
"You worry too much, fair lady! I am sure that the druids are knowing what they do."
"If the druids know what they're doing, how come they need our help to do their jobs?"
"Just one more to go. We'd better get paid for all this. My feet are getting blisters."
"How? We're teleporting across most of the distance."
"Even so, all these sudden changes in temperature and humidity aren't good for the skin."
"I'll bet they're not. And you've gotta take good care of your skin, especially since you're so old now."
"You were saying, Trish?"
"Aw. At least I squeezed in one last chance to make fun of you."
The Spring Druid rewards the party with 150,000 experience points and cures all unnatural aging. The quest is repeatable, but there's no further experience awarded for doing it a second time, just the rejuvenation effect.
Ms Swallow, Flench and Vandesloof gained a level this update thanks to the quests we finished. Apart from that and a couple of equipment upgrades, the party hasn't changed too much since the last update.
And that's it for today! Next time, should the party finish exploring the outdoors, search for the Scroll of Insight in Castle Basenji or get on with the main plot in Darzog's Tower? Vote now!