Part 66: Bonus Update 35.5: Temple of BarkBonus Update 35.5: Temple of Bark
The Great Southern Tower took a strong early lead in the votes, and while Sandcaster has clawed back some of that ground, the tower managed to hold on and win in the end.
The Temple of Bark is a pretty good newbie dungeon for introducing the party to Darkside: the spike traps and hazards like the black barrels are more dangerous than the enemies, but are mostly avoidable with careful play and Clairvoyance spells.
The game doesn't really expect you to defeat Barkman on your first visit, although it's pretty doable with a party that's finished Clouds, or just one that's already done a bit of exploration elsewhere in Darkside.
Level 3 and below are free of spike traps: provided you can beat the orcs and solve the relatively simple puzzles, it's smooth sailing from here on. If you're not confident in your ability to fight Barkman, just feed the four skulls on the south end of the fifth floor, get the resistance bonuses and save the leaves for later.
See you next time, when we go climb a tower!