Part 37: Back on the Woad Again
Update 36: Back on the Woad Again
"Ye can run along now, lassie. This's a job fer barbarians, not some slip o' a girl."
"Suits me fine. See you--"
"Wee Jock, what are you thinking? We'll need Escher along to disarm any traps on Brutal Bruno's treasure."
"Bruno's barbarians have been coming down from these mountains to raid the farmland around Middlegate for years now. He can't be far away."
"Gertrude show you true meaning of brute force!"
Meet Brutal Bruno. He has the best monster graphic, except for all of the other graphics that are also the best monster graphic.
Bruno has 300 HP and his barbarian lackeys have 200. All of them can hit fairly hard.
"Save some for the rest of us! This is supposed to be our quest, after all."
"I was just trying to help."
"Crivens! There's an axe in me head!"
"You'll trouble Cron no more, Bruno! Victory is ours!"
"I call first dibs on any treasure he's got!"
"Well, you can either take the armour that you can't wear, or the weapon that's no use to anybody."
"Why does this always happen to me?"
Since Bruno is right up in the corner of an outdoor area, and encounters respawn when you leave the area and return, it's very easy for an appropriate party to farm him for magical items just by stepping back and forth across the border. He usually drops some good stuff, and isn't too hard to kill.
"Since it's such a nice night, why don't we take a walk and see the sights before we return to town?"
"Look, there's a squirrel up in that tree! And in that clearing over there, see that army of killer robots-- wait, what?"
"I dinnae ken wha' these things are, but I wish they'd behave themselves an' die when I hit them."
"Ow! Careful where you point that laser!"
"Gertrude smash puny metal men!"
"Whew. I don't know what all those robots were doing in the middle of a forest, but they certainly put up quite a fight. But I'm sure we'll find plenty of treasure to reward our efforts..."
"One more treasure like that and I'm going home. I mean it this time."
"Well, um, at least those gems are all nice and shiny."
Yeah, this forest in the middle of nowhere has a fixed encounter with a bunch of killer robots that leave lousy treasure. Don't ask me.
"These ponds always seem to do something good. Anyone else feel like a dip?"
"Well, that sure would have been useful if we'd found it about 15 levels ago."
A pool that temporarily gives everyone 150 HP isn't so great if you already have much more than that. Whoops!
"Maybe we'll have better luck in the swamp to the south."
"Okay, who's the wise guy who thought exploring a swamp was a good idea?"
"Igh. By dose id fuw ob mud."
The swamps are full of sinkholes that suck you up and deposit you in the mountains near Sandsobar. Levitation doesn't protect you from them, for some reason.
"Well, so much for that idea. How about we try the forest again?"
"Sure, let's open it! I don't see how this idea could possibly backfire on us!"
"Wait, I was -- you took me seriously?"
"Wait, why is Hell filled entirely with cats?"
"Because all dogs go to Heaven, of course."
"It's just a wee moggie! How'd it survive tha'?"
"Och! I'm done fer!"
I'm pretty sure the "invokes power" attack does damage equal to the user's current HP: Cats from Hell start with 2000, so basically the party has just been thrown out of a murder tree and hit every branch on the way down.
"So I'm the only one who lived long enough to run away, huh? I've earned my pay this time. Well, time to drag these bodies back to town."
"Suddenly the swamp doesn't seem so bad any more. This toad isn't going to kill us, is it?"
The toad is another mini-puzzle that's solved by eating. After chowing down on some tongue of toad and returning...
... we get told something we already know. Hooray, I guess.
"Help! I'm stuck! I cannaebblbllbllblbllb"
Oh, yeah, the swamp is also full of quicksand. It randomly kills one party member. Just like the sinkholes, levitation doesn't help at all.
"Well, we've finished mapping out another area. Now let's never come back here ever again."
"As long as this inn doesn't allow cats, we'll be happy to stay here."
Oh, by the way, since day 140 was coming up I took the opportunity to boost everyone's stats a little at the Circus. Everyone whose stats were ruined by stealing from Murray has been fixed, and everyone else has just been made awesome, as you're about to see.
"I can lift a thoosand times me ain weight!"
"Of course, that's only about half the weight of any of the rest of us."
"Finally! I'm done with the last plus quest, and now I can kick back and relax. I got some great new weapons out of that one, too."
"Now that all of us have earned our Plus, we're almost ready for an audience with Queen Lamanda."
"Gertrude bigger, badder and more barbaric than ever before!"
"I have the power! Wait, wrong barbarian."
"I've got a whole bunch of new gear! Awesome!"
"Hey, so how about spreadin' some of that gear around, huh? I could use a new crossbow."
Well, that's it for today-- wait, what's that? You want to watch me actually win that battle with the Cat from Hell? Well, okay, since you asked so nicely.
A party of barbarians isn't going to cut it, though. We need a whole lot of healing: since the cat can knock out most of the party with a single spell, several characters need to be able to cast Moon Ray to bring the whole party back into fighting shape. A cleric and six paladins should be sufficient.
The Cat Corpses are low-level undead monsters with a weak melee attack, and can safely be ignored for now.
On the other hand, why not kick off the battle with a good old-fashioned Holy Word?
I got incredibly lucky in the first round for some reason: most of the party resist the Cat from Hell's magic, and take little or no damage.
And the two characters who were knocked out can be revived by Preacher on her turn. The cat has very high magic resistance, so Moon Ray will rarely damage it, but that's what we have weapons for.
Even 2000 HP drops pretty fast when the party is doing that kind of damage.
And the party says hello to another level's worth of experience.
But what we really came here for is this little black box. It's aptly named: even at our current levels, if Escher screws up while disarming the trap on the box it could easily wipe out the whole party.
Of course, the rewards make it all worthwhile. Don't ask what a cat is doing with a dagger, a sword and a ray gun: just smile and equip them immediately. This is a great place to get powerful items if you can actually survive the battle.
And now we really are done with today's update. Where to next, readers? Now that everyone has their Plus, should the party go and talk to Queen Lamanda right away, or should they do some more exploring first? Druid's Point Cavern still beckons, as do the various castle dungeons. Or we could just tool around outside some more; it's all up to you. Vote now!