The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 20: Session 14.75: The Mage Tower Endurance Run: Floor #4

Session 14.75: The Mage Tower Endurance Run: Floor #4

“Ugh. I’m fine, really. Just had to get it all back out, I think.”

“I didn’t know drinking Red Bull made you throw up like that.”

“Probably not, but maybe drinking Red Bull, five beers, half a pizza, then jumping around while staying up all night—”

“Yeah, I get it.”

Do you always go this crazy on your days off?

“For special events like this, yeah. I gotta say, though, throwing up isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be.”

I have to ask why you ever thought it was fun.

“Ever see Dane Cook?”

I repeat my earlier question.

“Hey, he’s funny to some of us.”

“Could we please get back to the game before sunrise?”

Fine by me.

So where were we?

“Onwards and upw*bleeaaghh*

Don’t make him toss chunks again. Anyway, you find yourselves in a narrow corridor—

How inventive.

–with a right turn ahead. Beyond the turn, you see a door with a peculiar lock.

Good catch.
So what do they keep in the floor above where the wizard himself lives?

You see a large, circular room with a limited walking space. At all four cardinal points, you can see a door. You have currently come in from the south door. Also,

Wait, isn’t this, like the third wizard we’ve killed now?

You haven’t killed him yet.

Yeah, but still, this is getting ridiculous.

Two things to note here: first, the enemy magician always targeted vVhorpax when he had the chance, justifying my pumping his MR to ridiculous levels. The second is that Paralyze absolutely refused to work on the guy an implausible amount of the time.

Why did you keep trying to Paralyze the mage? I thought you knew what you were up against.

Well, I didn’t…oh. Oh. I see.
What? Do you know why we had to kill three mages in a single tower yet?
Let’s see…there was the “steward,” the first magician at the door, the warrior from earlier, now this mage…let me put it this way: every person we’ve fought who turned into a bat? They’re all really the same creature. And, like in D&D, shapeshifters are basically immune to Transformation spells.
Well that sucks. And we’re pretty low on mana potions after all the book grabbing, too.

Well, he’s gone for now. Will you guys be trying any of the other doors now?

Yeah. I wonder what’s behind all of them?

Go for the west one first!
He said we came out of the south door, right? So west is left.
We go east, then.
I’m beginning to suspect that you’re doing this on purpose.
You ever notice how some people get a little crazy when they’re tired?

…So, heading east, you see that the door is locked using a similar octagonal lock shape.

Keys it!


Since the game forces you to stand still as the door makes the usual shutting noise behind you, what they really mean is that the door polygon is painted with the brick texture on the backside.

Shit, you mean we only got to choose once? But I wanted to go left, damn it!

You might want to see what’s down the hall before you start shouting.

For instance, there’s a mysterious green glowing sigil in an alcove.

Hey Lewis, what’s it do?
I don’t think I took the spell that could identify it. And regardless, I don’t want to waste the AP.
You’d rather we jump onto it and find out the hard way?
Or we could cartwheel onto it.
Cartwheels. Man, that takes me back.

…Or you could see what’s in that door down the hall.

What, really? Let’s go in, then.


Five letters.

Five? Hmm… “Flame?”

That did it. You find yourselves in a small room with a single chest in the corner its only furnishings.

We open it.

Right, so here’s the bad news: fire elementals are immune to non-magic weapons, will almost always do damage, and don’t go down easy. Here’s the good news: three members of my party have magic weapons and I still have about twenty whirlweeds (200 hit points’ worth of restoratives) to blow through. Even Kurzmann and Lord Boxter with their mundane weapons can at least attack and draw fire away from everyone else.

Wait, did Kurzmann just deal damage to that elemental? Nah, must’ve been my imagination.

What’s in the chest?

A flail and an amulet that looks oddly identical to the one Paul’s character has. You know, the one that reduces fire damage, the one you didn’t take with you?

Eh, just write it down on the margin. We’ll deal with it later.
So how do we get out? Have William search for secret doors?
I jump on the green panel.

You find yourselves in the circular room once again.

Great, so now we have to search all three rooms?
Ha! That means we’ll have to turn left eventually! Suck it down!
After what I saw in the toilet? No thanks.

Ew. Moving on, the next hallway is exactly like the first—

You didn’t let us pick.

The next hallway is exactly like the first. It won’t matter, trust me.

It can’t be “flame” again. That’d be too easy.

Oh, but it is. And what do you know, there’s a chest behind this next one, too. Except that this time, three elementals pop out.

Earth elementals?

You wish.

By the end of this battle, I start wondering to myself, “Wait, that is Kurzmann dealing damage! What the heck?”

I thought you said only magic weapons could hit elementals.

That’s right. You remember when you switched out your orc hook in that one chest? You know, the one hidden behind the magician’s sleeping chamber?

Oooohhh. Wait, what are the numbers supposed to be?
-1/-3, but the damage range is only 6-11. Looks like +5 damage in exchange for a -1/-5 penalty to attack values.
Oh, so you’ve been adding 10 instead of 5? Damn. Hell yeah, that damage is so worth not being able to block!
So what was in this chest?

One of those dire flail things I can’t pronounce and three bundles of dried whirlweed.

Yeah, one of those. I think we’ll be using that dried stuff straight off.
I should get some oregano.
You said you wanted oregano.
Did I?

So, how about that second portal? You guys entering it?


Great, you’re back in the center room again. You unlock the fourth door, discover the corridor, blah blah blah,

Can’t we do anything else? This is getting really annoying.
Seriously. Who thought three repetitive fights in a row was a good thing?

You know what? Fine. Get ambushed by a pack of ghouls, you whiners.

And now for something completely different.

There, you happy?

Not really.

Well suck it up, because there’s one more passage to go.

“Flame,” why not?

Yep. Oh, and there’s a chest. And four fire elementals.

I’m not sure if fighting the elementals is actually necessary to pass to the second region, but I do like me some loots, so…

Belle got pretty beat up there. You think we should try the miracle cure now?
Might as well. Might cure her disease, too.

Fuck! Fuck fuckery fuckington fuckerson *incoherent mumbling*

In other news, this is the map for the first part of the fourth floor. While the first and third floor made sense in terms of a lived-in tower, and even the second could be understood in an “experimental necromancy” sort of way, I really have to wonder at why a wizard would hide random equipment behind an equally random series of fire elementals and teleport pads.

Huh. Hey, Bob?


Please tell me this teleport pad doesn’t go to the center room.

You’re in luck!

After a quick right turn, the path branches to the left and right.

Go. Fucking. Left.
You know what? Fine. If it’ll shut you up about randomly wandering to the left, fine. We’ll do this one your way.
That’s all I wanted.

Actually, this works out kind of well for me. You see a wide, sky blue canopy above a gigantic bed. There is no one around.

Ah, I see. So the one downstairs must just be his working bedroom.

Wide, expensive tapestries line the walls. Mystic and slightly disturbing patterns cover their surface.

Where’s it from?

What? Um…oh, it actually does say here. The carpet is from Fasar. It says the…Tulamides are known for their excellent carpet knottings.

I wonder what it’d be like to knot carpets?

Branching out from the bedroom are two hallways. At the end of one is another teleport pad, although you’ll probably want to stay away from that one for now. The other leads to what appears to be an all-purpose private room; there’s a table with two stools by it, as well as two cabinets.

We check them.

The first is full of various drinks, some licorice, and three buff potions. The second has some assorted clothing, including a set of leather and quilted armor.

Quilted? I could use that.

Yes, but it’s nothing special. You could have bought some at the armorer’s.

True, but I wasn’t thinking about it before. I think I’ll use it now.

Well, that’s it for the one direction. When you go right from the earlier split, you enter a comfortably furnished room. The walls are hung with tapestries, as in the other room, and the ceiling rests on two pillars. Oh, and a troll appears from behind one of them.

You’ll probably want to watch this one, as it’s got some plot wedged into the middle.

Again, the corpse turns into a bat. It flaps towards the same alcove as before.

After him!

The bat has disappeared inside a shrine standing in the alcove. Its doors have closed behind it. On the wall, there is a blasphemous mosaic picture of Boron and Tsa. Oh, and William notices that the pieces can be moved.

So here’s the deal: in order to finally beat this creature, I need to move the randomly rearranged pieces back into this image. Doing so will somehow kill it.

However, this is about as far as I can get before he poofs back out and attacks again. So I kill him again and get to return to the image and complete a little more before he pops back in as what are gradually more and more pathetic incarnations. I’ve decided to spare you from this particular “boss rush,” as each combat is basically a variation on “melee characters rush the monster and administer beatdown.” The only thing of significance that happens is that, in the very last combat, Belle Fleur finally breaks her sword.

Finally, I thought that’d never end.

Oh, and here’s the full map for the fourth floor.

That was fun. So what the hell was it?
Well, [According to the real vVhorpax, Dark Eye vampires are able to shapeshift into animals as a regular skill, but it takes a particularly depraved individual to eat enough of its victims to turn into them. As for the mosiac, Boron is the god of permanent rest and Tsa the goddess of life, so both together would be particularly bad to an undead. Doesn't really explain why he had a shrine to them sitting above his bed, but whatever.]

So is that the last of them?

Yes. You’ve cleared out the mage’s tower completely now.

About damn time. So what’s on the other side of the pad?

You guys remember the first side door, the one with the bolts that you couldn’t get past? You appear on the other side of the hedges, next to the door.

Yes! Home free!

…Alright, so maybe you're thinking you only have to pass the mud patch once, maybe three times to clear out the tower. But I still have to go back for Kara! Bet you didn't think of that!

It happens! It totally happens!

I’m just…really, really lucky this time. It used to happen all the time, trust me!

Ha! Aha! Vindication! You all saw how far Boxter’s health went down! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! I was right, I tell you, I was right!

Er, anyway…

One of Tsa’s lesser miracles causes everyone’s hit points to max out. I wasn’t crazy. Why would you say such a thing?

So now that we’re back in town, what was infecting Suzie?

Battlefield Fever.

Oh, that’s right. Silly me.
What did you do?
That would explain things. See, I was holding on to our joruga root supply since I figured I’d be more likely to need it for alchemy than for curing rabies. But I forgot that you needed it to cure Battlefield Fever, too.
So we could have cured me at any time?
We’d have needed to backtrack to Kara to get the other ingredient, but yes, pretty much.
I sure wish I weren’t too tired to hate you right now.
That’s nice. So can we sell all of this junk now that we’re back in town?

Damn, Lewis, you were right, all that money is much better than carrying around buff and poison potions we’d never use.
Exactly. And 400 gold is quite a lot.

Which really puts those three books into perspective.

…And with Alex’s roll, that brings it to…979 gold and one copper.

Well. I believe I’ve beaten your record for total financial contributions, haven’t I, William?
Holy shit.
It really makes you wish the shops around here carried magic weapons just so we could spend it on something.

And on that note, I think it’s time we finally called this a night.

And a day. Look out the window.

Wow. Well, see you guys later. Hey Suzie, did you want to watch the sunrise with me?