Part 27: We Put The C+ In C++
Update 26: We Put The C+ In C++
"Who wants to join me on an expedition to the Quagmire of Doom?"
"Eh, sure. I wasn't doin' anything here anyway."
"It says somethin' about bein' wiser, I think. If we were wiser we probably wouldn't waste time readin' it."
"Hey, I heard Tarquinn say he was looking for this sword! We should take it so he can't find it. How tough can this Guardian guy be, anyway?"
"I think you've made it angry."
Each Guardian has 150 HP and can breathe gas for a bunch of damage. The party got lucky and they decided to only breathe a couple of times.
"Ow, my lungs. Why does this always happen to me? Well, at least I've got this sword."
"What in hell? All these strange messages written on trees, and none make any sense. Is Welsh or something? I do not know."
"A farm! Maybe there's food!"
"But we already have--"
"Well, nothing for it now but to fight. I'm sure they can't be too dangerous..."
Yyyeah, winning this battle is not going to happen.
I love this monster graphic, though. It's so goofy-lookin'. Well, time to run away now.
"Oh dear. It's going to be a long walk back to town to revive everyone."
"Another of those strange messages. Who's going around defacing all of these perfectly good trees, anyway?"
"Heh, look at all those lepers, sittin' there, slowly fallin' apart. Let's go kick their heads in."
LeperCon is, of course, run by a leprechaun.
"Brad, you just picked a fight with a pack of lepers. You're a profoundly morally defective human being."
"It's not my fault they're worth so many experience points."
"So this is the Quagmire of Doom, huh?"
"It certainly is. Used to be the Savannah of Plenty before King Kalohn flooded it with water to kill the Mega Dragon. It was too late to save his own life, of course -- his charred remains are probably still in that swamp somewhere, along with the orb that gave him his magical powers."
"Hey, look! There's little sparkly bugs everywhere!"
"I suppose I probably should have warned you that the Quagmire of Doom is filled with dangerous monsters."
"Yeah, I think maybe you should have."
"Well, er, the Quagmire of Doom is filled with dangerous monsters. Consider yourself warned."
"Maybe we just stay out of mountains next time, yes?"
"No, I'm afraid that won't work either."
The Quagmire of Doom is inhabited by various kinds of acidic slime monster. The Ooze Warrior packs a nasty punch with its acid spray attack, and has a whopping 350 HP.
"How do you backstab something that's got no back to stab? It's basically a big blob of slime."
"I guess I'm just that good."
Ninjas seem to do truly ridiculous amounts of damage on a successful backstab, even more so than robbers. Not that I'm complaining, of course.
"There's a cave here. Should we, uh, explore it or something?"
"It's a pity nobody had the presence of mind to keep count of how many warning signs have been completely ignored by the various adventuring parties. We must be in double figures by now."
"Someone needs to clean this place up."
"I don't think the residents are too fussed about cleanliness."
"Yeah. After all, this is--"
"Hey, thanks for stealing my line there, wall inscription. Jerk."
"Murray? Dawn used to be his apprentice or something, didn't she?"
"That's right. Just as Dawn's Mist Bog is a resort for monsters, Murray's Isle is a resort for humans. I know I'd much rather be there than here right now, but we've still got some exploration to do."
"Well, I am an archer. I could do with some practice..."
"Oh, hey there. I see you're busy. We'll just be leaving, then."
"Not so fast! It's our duty to rescue these poor souls!"
Hey, I guess this means we get to find out if I was correct when I said that Horned Fiends can petrify the party!
They can, by the way.
The one Horned Fiend I left alive managed to petrify 6 party members in a single attack? Seriously? Do you hate me that much, Might and Magic II?
Okay, none of that happened. Let's reload and try that battle again from the top.
"I managed to get some target practice after all!"
"What the hell? We got five times that much from beating up lepers!"
"At least we've found two new hirelings for our trouble."
"Aw, dammit. Don't tell me you're thinking of replacing me."
"Are we employees?"
"I'm an employee."
"You're our employee, numbnuts."
"It doesn't say 'Employees of Dawn's Mist Bog Only', does it? And I'm sure they won't mind if I let the rest of you in with me."
"Huh. This place sure maintains a big staff."
While Greedy Snitches aren't actually a threat to the party, they have the annoying ability to steal food.
"It's every ninja's dream to assassinate Dawn and break up this meeting place for monsters once and for all. Perhaps if I'm the one to succeed, I can rebuild my reputation and my fortune!"
"Of course, there's a reason why nobody's ever succeeded before."
Enchantresses only have 100 HP, but, well, their spells pack a punch.
"Geez, you might wanna do something about that breath. I mean, I know the only people you talk to all day are monsters, but that's just rank. Wait, I should probably be running for my life now. See ya!"
"Okay, so maybe we're not ready to take on Dawn yet. Guess I'd better go revive everyone and explore some more. Man, this place has some nice facilities! There's a spa, and a cafeteria, and..."
"Hmm. I wonder how they make steam down here."
"Well, that answers that question, then."
Compared to Dawn, this dragon's a pushover.
"Nobody's top dog here but me! We're going in there to kick some ass!"
"Are you sure this is a good idea? We're outnumbered and we don't know how strong they are."
"Oh, stop being such a wimp. What's the worst that can--"
"I need to learn to stop asking that question."
"I think we've pushed our luck quite enough for today. It's time to turn in."
"It's been too long since my last appearance. Just because I'm a faceless grunt doesn't mean I don't have feelings, y'know!"
"Hey, when did I get this ring?"
"Ray Gun or Hero Medal? Accuracy or Personality? Which to wear? Is quite a dilemma."
"I actually got some lines this update!"
"And so did I! Maybe being a hireling isn't so bad."
"Mark my words, Dawn: one day I'll be coming back for you."
"Man, remember when I stole this emerald ring off some dead chick? That was a good day."
We've picked up two hirelings today, Holy Moley and Slick Pick:
Holy moly, that's a lot of experience points. Holy Moley's stats are okay, but his main selling point is his level: he's experienced enough to cast every single cleric spell in the game. Of course, he costs enough money to feed half the population of Middlegate.
Slick Pick has an even higher level, even better stats and an even more ridiculous asking price. Unfortunately, he's just a robber, so he doesn't get any free spells.
Well, that about wraps it up for--
"What is the meaning of this? I was promised the chance to finish a quest, and I'm not letting anyone leave here today until I've damn well finished one! I can only take so much mistreatment before I draw the line!"
"I can give you an Admit 8 Pass for Corak's Cavern if you need it. All I ask in return is that you make no attempt to attack me or interfere with my plans in future. I trust that I can rely on your word of honour as a cleric."
"You have yourself a deal! I'm headed for Corak's Cavern. Who's with me?"
"Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!"
"You can stay behind and take care of yourself for once."
"Preacher, are you sure you're okay?"
"I've never felt better in my life."
"You made a bargain with that odious sorcerer Gothmog. Had you no thought of the dire consequences that could result?"
"I'll deal with the consequences if and when they happen. Right now, I have a soul to deliver."
"Well, it's about time. Corak, here I--"
"-- oh dear."
"Looks like Corak wasn't the only dead guy in this crypt. Well, Holy Moley, it's time for a Holy Word!"
"I'm trying to cast it, but for some reason it isn't working!"
(It really isn't; I tried it and it failed. It seems to be disabled in this specific battle.)
"Well, one of you do something! I can't hold the line against them forever!"
"Don't worry, I have a plan!"
"Your plan was to use magic to turn us all into berserk warriors so we'd fight until we collapsed from exhaustion?"
"Nice. I gotta remember that one... when I wake up..."
I ended up relying on Frenzy spells to win this battle, because Holy Word didn't work and an all-cleric party doesn't have too many damage-dealing options. Crypt Fiends only have 150 HP, so it didn't take too many castings to bring them down.
That looks like a pretty solid chunk of experience right now, but what's going to happen next will make it seem insignificant.
"Perhaps somebody ought to start healing the rest of the party so that they may be awake to see this."
"My reward... at last..."
"It's time to go to Mt. Farview!"
"Five million? Did I read that correctly? That's quite a big number."
"I've earned it. Oh, how I've earned it."
"Preacher! You're back!"
"I certainly am, and I finally understand the purpose of all that I've endured. All my suffering has only served to make me stronger!"
"Okay, Preacher, you can lay off the power trip now. It's starting to freak me out a little."
"I, too, have gained a veritable wellspring of new power with which to fight against the forces of evil!"
"I only gained three levels. Ah, the tyranny of exponential growth."
"All of these hit points are certainly going to come in handy next time I'm kicked by a horse or breathed on by a dragon or something."
"You know, if you'd waited for the next circus to level me up, I could have boosted my endurance and had slightly more hit points."
"What are you complaining about? We're all better off than those poor non-clerical saps who never gained absurd amounts of experience in the first place."
"Woo! I get two character status reports in the space of one update! I'm better than any of you jerks!"
The party's jumped all the way from cleric spell level 7 to 9 with this update, which means it's time for...
Level 8 Cleric Spells
1. NAME: Fire Encasement
COST: 8 SP + 8 Gems
TARGET: 1 monster
DESCRIPTION: Encases the target in a field of fire, inflicting 80 points of damage per combat round and separating it from the battle until the spell is overcome or the monster is attacked.
"Oh boy! More fire! This is the best spell since Fiery Flail!"
2. NAME: Fire Transmutation
COST: 8 SP + 8 Gems
TYPE: Non-combat, outdoors
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Transforms the Party into fire, allowing the exploration of the elemental plane of fire.
"I just can't get enough fire! Wait, what do you mean this isn't an attack spell? How is a spell that turns us into pure elemental fire not usable as an attack spell?"
3. NAME: Mass Distortion
COST: 8 SP + 8 Gems
TARGET: 2 monsters
DESCRIPTION: Increases the weight of monsters causing them to be crushed by gravity and subsequently lose half their hit points.
"A reliable spell for weakening strong enemies. Whether your foes have 64 hit points or 64000, their number shall be reduced by half -- or by some lesser fraction if they should manage to partially resist the effects."
4. NAME: Town Portal
COST: 8 SP + 8 Gems
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Opens a temporary portal to any town and moves the Party through the portal to that town.
"This works exactly as it did back on Varn: the only difference is in which towns it can take us to. The same effect can be accomplished almost as easily with a combination of Surface and Fly spells, but if I ever find myself travelling without a sorcerer again, I suppose I might find a use for this."
Level 9 Cleric Spells
1. NAME: Divine Intervention
COST: 10 SP + 20 Gems
TARGET: Entire Party
DESCRIPTION: Intercedes with supernatural forces to restore all characters' Hit Points and remove all undesirable conditions, except Eradicated. (Note: Spell-caster ages 5 years every time this spell is cast.)
"Ah, now this is the spell I've been waiting for all my life! It can only be used once per battle, but restoring the entire party to full health even once is often enough to turn the tide of combat. There is a price to pay for its power, but I've never been afraid of making sacrifices."
2. NAME: Holy Word
COST: 10 SP + 10 Gems
DESCRIPTION: Utters a single word of devastating power that destroys all undead monsters. (Note: Ages caster 1 year.)
"You have, of course, seen this spell in action already. For the most part, it is a foolproof method of destroying any and all undead."
3. NAME: Resurrection
COST: 10 SP + 10 Gems
TARGET: 1 character
DESCRIPTION: Removes the eradicated condition from the character, adding 5 years to his/her age and subtracting 1 endurance point from his/her vital statistics. There is a chance that the spell will fail. (Note: Ages caster 1 year.)
"I'd still rather bring my allies back to life at a temple whenever I can. All those added years of age and lost points of endurance will start to add up after a while, you know."
4. NAME: Uncurse Item
COST: 10 SP + 50 Gems
TARGET: Spell caster
DESCRIPTION: Attempts to remove the curse from an item in caster's backpack.
"I'm not sure when the need for this spell will ever come up. The truth is, I've never seen a cursed item."
Okay, now we really are done with the update, and we have a bunch of overpowered Clerics (and one overpowered Robber) to help keep the party alive in dangerous situations. The question is, what kind of dangerous situation would you like to see the party in? Should they finish another quest (we're still hunting monsters, swords and Sherman), raid a castle dungeon, or explore some more of the outdoors? Vote now!