Part 17: It's Aliiive
hey guess what
Update 16: It's Aliiive
"Escher, what's keeping you? The rest of us are ready to go and explore the cavern under Atlantium!"
"Hang on, I'm trying to build a new kind of trap. This is the one that will make me famous! Just you wait and-- ow. Ow! Okay, I've got a little problem here... Big Sally, could you come over here for a second and help? Just pull up on that latch there."
"I can help! Hooray! And all I gotta do is pull this-- owie! My finger's stuck! You tricked me! You're mean!"
"Oh, whoops, I forgot I'd already installed the extra security features. This could take a while to get out of."
"Damn it all. I guess I'd better take care of these two. The rest of you go on out and adventure, I'll be fine."
"If you say so, but we're going to need a thief and some fighters to fill up our party..."
"Ooh, did someone say something about a party? If you want me to bring presents, I can take a barbarian and a paladin along."
"Hey, it's you again. Sure, you'll do. Let's move on out."
"Well, I see the paladin, but where's the barbarian?"
"I'm doon here, ye daft bint!"
"... ah. So you are. Perhaps we should get going, then."
"We didn't get this far by following orders!"
"Are you sure? Somebody seems quite serious about keeping us out."
"Just pick the lock and let us in, shorty."
"Oi! Lae me oot o' thes, ye ken?"
"I barely 'ken' a word you say."
"Oh dear. I thought this might be a bad idea."
"No problem! I'll just erase their brains. Preacher, you can paralyse some of them if you feel like helping out."
"Is she always so... casual?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
Okay, so those Mad Peasants can frenzy and ruin our day if we let them, and the Assassin can render any character unconscious in one hit. Fortunately, only 10 enemies can attack at once: the rest are waiting in the wings. What we want to do is kill the assassin first, then disable almost all the active peasants with Feeble Mind and Paralyse spells. If only one or two peasants are capable of attacking every round, they hopefully won't do damage faster than the party can heal it.
"Well, that's our first problem taken care of."
"Gertrude crush peasants to bloody pulp!"
"I've learned a lot about myself today."
"What, that you're prepared to invade the homes of peasants and slaughter them en masse for personal gain?"
"Oh, no, I already knew that. But I didn't know how easy it would be."
"Och! Fer peasants, they do hae some guid armour."
"Well, what's done is done, isn't it? Time to move on to the next room."
Uh-oh. Seductresses are some of the most annoying medium-level monsters in the game: they can cast a paralysis spell on the whole party, and they're completely immune to physical attacks from male characters. Good thing we have Gertrude and neongrey!
"There's only room for one man-eating vixen in this cave!"
"Hey, what about me?"
"Aren't you forgetting someone?"
"Fine, fine, three."
"Oh, come on."
The Dwarven Knights are powerful warriors, but once the Seductresses are gone they're mopped up quite readily. On to the next room!
"Perhaps is time to find easier targets to pick on, yes?"
"Well, this fight is shaping up to be a whole barrel of laughs."
"Whew. That was close. But at least we survived!"
"That is good, yes. But how in fuck do we get all these bodies back to town, little round man?"
"Very carefully, I'd suggest."
Several hours later...
"Seriously, why do we keep coming back here? I've already died once today, I don't want to repeat the experience."
"It's the adventurer's code! We do things that ordinary people won't."
"That's because they have common sense."
"That's enough. I won't let you all throw your lives away. Retreat!"
Those mutants are still a bit much for the party right now. Let's see what's in the next room, then.
"Hey, cool, we get to beat up on some cripples again! Piece of cake!"
Lepers are surprisingly durable and can cause disease if they hit a character, but with a few buffs and some healing from Preacher the battle goes smoothly.
"I'm going to have a lot of sins to confess on my next visit to the temple."
This battle isn't a bad source of experience, considering how relatively easy it is. Most of the encounters in this cave are fixed, so you can leave and come back to fight the same monsters again.
"Didn't we rescue those guys a while ago?"
"For some reason I've got a strange feeling that messing with this statue will teleport us outside of Atlantium and we'll have to walk all the way back here. Let's leave it alone."
"Tee hee! I've got your nose!"
"Ow! Okay, you can have your nose back!"
Luckily, these are weak monsters and even after taking serious damage from the explosion, the party has no problem with them.
"Why not? The last one went okay."
"Man, I feel really tired all of a sudden..."
Yup, this statue lowers everyone's stats to 3. The monsters are still weak, though, and the party's stats are restored to normal after resting.
"Flailer and Fumbler? Those sound like friendly people. We should pay them a visit next time we're in the area!"
"Considering what the previous two did, perhaps we should leave this one be."
"Third time lucky, right?"
"Okay, that sounded bad."
"Well, random teleportation is still better than the other two, I suppose."
"Hmm. Sounds ominous."
"If we haven't learned to leave well enough alone by now, we never will. We may as well get this over and done with."
As it turns out, there's really not much death behind this sign: it's just a maze. There are still a few interesting things in it, though...
"I would be honoured to have the opportunity to meet a bishop. Perhaps we ought to visit one of this world's castles when we have a chance... although I am not sure what participating in blood sports could possibly have to do with meeting a bishop."
"Hooray! I'm learning!"
As you can see, the cavern under Atlantium is the location of a permanent Intelligence booster.
"Hooray! I'm finally as smart as I was back on Varn!"
"Well, we've finally seen all that's worth seeing in this cave. I think it's high time we returned to the inn before we get ourselves killed."
"Aye, that be a guid idea, lassie. It's bin tae lang since I put me feet up."
"If I'd hae kenned they had sich guid armour, I'd hae roughed up peasants more often!"
"Perhaps next time I can find better shield for me, to go with good armour for you."
"Gertrude smart now, but Gertrude still talk like this because Gertrude think it sound intimidating!"
"Now I can cast powerful level-2 spells, like... uh, Eagle Eye, and Electric Arrow. Man, being an archer is lame sometimes."
"Perhaps, if you were to repent in your ways, I could initiate you as a priestess of Radaso (may his light--"
"Nah, I'll stay an archer. No need to go into the whole spiel again. Thanks anyway."
"Maybe I should try and find some magic picks or something so I don't set off any more traps."
"I've got a new character portrait now! Groovy!"
"Was there a reason why I was carrying this dog whistle around? I forget. Oh well."
I told you I wasn't abandoning this LP. Sorry about how long this has taken, but I didn't want to take this LP off hiatus until I was sure I could keep it off hiatus. Things have settled down a bit now, and barring some new disaster I'll be able to maintain a weekly update schedule at the very least.
Anyway, it's time to vote! I won't make you go back and remember who was in what party, and voting on party members seemed to be a worse idea in practice than in theory anyway, so I'll give readers a simple choice to vote on for this update: do you want to see me explore a castle, or outdoors? Vote now!
"So, uh, can someone help me out of this trap?"