Part 26: I Want The Zone To Disappear
Update 25: I Want The Zone To Disappear
"How, exactly, is walking all the way to Vulcania supposed to help me?"
"Well, you'll get plenty of exercise."
"That's not what I meant and you know it!"
"What are you two talking about now?"
"Oh, nothing. I suppose a little fresh air can't hurt."
"Unless we're ambushed by monsters, in which case it can hurt."
"... unless they're goblins, in which case I guess it'll probably only hurt them."
"So this is where King Kalohn defeated the elemental lords. They say this area is still full of all kinds of ancient magic, you know. Sure, nobody's ever entered it and come out alive, but we're strong enough to handle it now, right?"
"I'm not so sure this is a good idea."
"Wait, how'd we end up in the middle of the Quagmire of Doom?"
"Don't ask me. When that whole flesh-melting thing happened, I just started running. Is everyone okay?"
"Oh. We should probably do something about that, then."
"What, you can restore me to life from a skeleton but you can't return me to normal? What kind of a cleric are you?"
"Preacher, what's wrong? You're not acting like normal and your voice sounds all different. I'm scared."
"I'm fine. I've just had a bit of a shock, that's all. Perhaps we ought to avoid the Dead Zone next time."
As you can see, it's not possible to travel safely through the Dead Zone on foot. If you're particularly stubborn and not daunted by the horrible death you just witnessed, it's possible to use Teleport to go straight into the middle of the Dead Zone.
Doing so, however, is a bad idea.
Yeah, let's not do that again. Those deaths gave me a serious case of the creeps as a kid, and they still kind of do now.
Anyway, time to reload and explore some more and hopefully never, ever go into the Dead Zone ever again.
"Well, fighting wyverns sure beats dying of acute radiation sickness."
"There's nothing cute about radiation sickness."
Wyverns can hit for quite a lot of damage and poison whoever they hit, but they only have 100 HP...
... and they tend to carry loads of treasure. Something tells me the party's going to have some nice new equipment after this update.
"But I've already--"
"Hey, wasn't that one of the swords Lord Hoardall was looking for? Sure, we'll take it off your hands for you."
"Oh, you're going to fight us for it? Well, it's your funeral, I guess."
Priests can paralyse the party; fortunately, their HP and armour are nothing special, so the battle is over in two rounds.
"Yay! I'm noble! Wait, how come I can't wield this as a weapon?"
"Well, it's a ceremonial sword. The blade is made entirely of gold. It wouldn't be much good for hitting things."
"So how come armour made of gold is actually stronger than other kinds?"
"That's magic gold."
In the southern mountains of this area are the goblin villages that GuavaMoment has been bugging me to exterminate for half this LP. There are a few of them down there, but they're all the same.
"Huh. No wonder so many of them came out to ambush us."
Thanks to the party's armour, the goblins can't really hit anyone, so after several minutes of autocombat...
... the party is rewarded with a fairly underwhelming amount of experience.
It's possible to kill them at very low levels by messing around with stat-boosting fountains and so on, but there are lots of other ways to earn experience and treasure that are just as efficient.
"Well, that was easy. Maybe this Bozorc guy will put up more of a fight."
"So I hear it took ten orcs to put up this sign: one to cut the wood, one to mix the paint, and eight to look up how to spell 'orc'."
"Ah, there you are. We're kinda sick of dealing with goblin and orc raids around here, so we're going to kill you now. No hard feelings."
Bozorc has 200 HP and can steal gold when he hits. No big deal. Also, Deadly Swarm proves unreasonably useful once again.
"At least I still have my magic."
It's surprising how fast 100 orcs can die when they're facing a competent party.
"Hey, who are those two guys tied up over there? They don't look like orcs."
"Oh, it's more hirelings. That's cool, I guess."
"Now you just watch what you say to me, young lady. I'm not just any hireling! I'm Red Duke, and this is Dead Eye."
"Pleased ta make yer acquaintance. We'll be goin' home to Vulcania now, we will."
"Well, that's gratitude for you, I guess. What else is worth looking at around here?"
"What, more lesser dragon-kin? Is that all?"
Earth Wyrms can breathe fire for a bunch of damage (up to 75 points), but as has been established by now, the party is pretty awesome at killing things.
"Watch out, everyone. There must be a rusty elephant nearby!"
Earth Wyrms are more dangerous than wyverns and give out less treasure, so they should probably just be left alone if possible.
"At least I didn't set off a trap!"
"I've got a bad feeling about this cave. We might wanna stay out of it for now; I think it's a dragon's lair."
"Why, Jostiband, what was your first clue? Was it all the half-eaten bodies covered in dragon-sized teethmarks, or perhaps the overwhelming stench of dragon excrement?"
"Actually, it was that dragon circling above us."
"Hey, wasn't this that dragon that Lord Slayer wanted Julius to kill? I mean, I'm sure we could handle it on our own and all, but maybe we should run away for now so that he can--"
"Just run, dammit!"
"Hey, a wishing well! Neat!"
"I suppose anything is worth a try at this point."
"I wished to be the prettiest paladin in all of Cron!"
The wishing well temporarily raises everyone's Personality to 65. The catch is that it wears off when the party rests... and maximum spell points don't readjust to take Personality into account until the party rests. In other words, it's useless.
"Well, we've explored all of this area except for the Dead Zone. I think I'm okay with leaving that unexplored for now. But I'll be back some day!"
"Okay, but don't expect the rest of us to come with you when you go."
"Hey, weren't we supposed to be going to Vulcania today?"
"I'm not pretty any more. "
"Why were wyverns carrying around a new shield and suit of armour, anyway? It's not like they can use them."
"My armour's still lagging behind the rest of the party. Maybe I should replace one of these picks with a Defense Ring or something."
"I really do need to get around to returning Corak's soul to Corak at some point. Well, he can wait a little longer. I have my own problems to deal with first."
"Ring mail? The best armour you can find for me is ring mail? I was treated better than this in prison!"
"Aw, quit your whining. My armour's no better than yours. Anyway, archers aren't supposed to get attacked in the first place, right?"
"I've got a magic charm! It's, like, magical and stuff!"
"Mine's even more magical! So there!"
Time to look at the party's newest hirelings.
Red Duke has decent stats, but I was expecting more from a hireling who starts at a fairly high level and cost. Hirelings who start at high levels will always be more expensive than ones who start at low levels, even after you've levelled up the low-level ones.
Dead Eye is more of the same, with slightly better stats and a slightly higher cost. We have enough characters of every class now that new hirelings are mostly redundant, although they'll be handy as extra muscle for class-specific quests.
At any rate, that's all for today, and that means it's time again for you to vote on what's next. Would you like Preacher, Tarquinn or Julius to finally get around to finishing their respective quests? Or perhaps you'd like to see some of the lesser-used characters explore a castle dungeon, or the outdoors? Or maybe you'd rather see some of them brave that dragon's lair the party uncovered in the latest update? Vote now!