The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 32: Session 21: The Incredibly Annoying Journey

Session 21: The Incredibly Annoying Journey

“…I don’t care how many stop motion videos you show us, it’s still a stupid way to end the campaign.”

“I agree. But do be warned that I will probably shout ‘swallow your soul!’ at random intervals during the session.”

Look, I understand where you guys are coming from, I really do. The nixie king having the wand was pretty bullshit. But the last area has been balanced specifically with unequipped characters in mind. You’d steamroll through the whole area, and then the whole experience would be unsatisfying.

“But fun. Remember fun? I remember fun.”

Seriously, guys! I promise, you can take your characters on an orc killing adventure after we finish the module, but I need you all to accept losing your stuff for now.

“Fine, but there had better be plenty of orcs to kill.”

Oh, there will, don’t worry.

There’s a new option on the screen after the mages get ready for the final push.

So, just to hurry this along, I’m going to sum this part up. The five mages figure out how to use the wand to weaken the queen, but you’ll still have to enter the hive itself to get her. She’s enchanted the hive dirt so that nothing, not even magic, can destroy it. The guild broke into the city hall basement where the hive is the other night, and they’ll be running interference so that none of the queens thralls will interrupt you. You’ll have a magic amulet to signal the mages to end the spell, but if you use it too early you’ll get crushed by the invincible walls. Lea hugs you all goodbye, and then,

You start the section by sliding down a chute. Oh, and I hope you made sure you brought a magician with the light ritual, because there are no other sources of light in the entire hive. (I should mention that his wand is the only other thing that gets shrunk with the party.)


You all take two points of damage from the fall.

What a great way to start the dungeon. I mean really, great.
I hope we find some weapons soon. I didn’t really bother increasing my Unarmed skill.
None of us did.
I did! No, wait, that was with my last character. Lord Boxter just has a bunch of useless points in Two Handed Weapons.
So what does the hive look like?

So which way is northeast?

Um, looks like…left. [This is a damn lie. Not that northeast is left, but that this particular worm went that direction. He actually went right, the exact opposite direction.]

Ha! Left we go!

Emerald what?

Think slug, basically.

This could have gone better. You may also notice that, for some reason, the two space creatures can turn in this dungeon. Not only that, but the person who overlaps with the creature can’t act at all. Son of a bitch.

Please tell me Paul can heal me without herbs.

Against poison, sure. He can also restore lost life points while he’s at it.

Done and done.

Now, as you continue clockwise—

Wait, what about the other exit from this chamber? Don’t we get to choose?

Trust me, you won’t want to go in just yet. So the next thing you encounter is…

Pummeling a regular sized spider to death. We’re in an epic confrontation right here.

In one corner, you can see the spider’s half finished web.

Can we take some with us?
What would we need spider silk for?
Dunno. But we’re sort of low on everything in general, now aren’t we?
Fair enough.

The next chamber has a pile of sticks in one corner, along with some mushrooms growing in a ring along the wall.

What sort of mushrooms? Are they helpful at all?

They’ll restore your health if you eat them.

How many do we get?

10. Fairly good, but make sure you make them stretch. As for the sticks,

Sweet! Suddenly I’m the one dealing all the good damage!
Yeah, but what good are the Y-sticks? Bombing runs?
Hang on a second…

Did you seriously just call that a “catapult?”
Yeah, why?
It’s a slingshot. I’ve never heard of anyone calling a slingshot a “catapult.”
That’s funny. You know, the same word in German can translate into either.

What a coincidence!

We should probably get me some spider silk, too. What do we have to throw, though?
I don’t know. These spines, maybe?

The next chamber holds a single worm, which seems to be holding something in its front limbs.

Overall, there are three types of Borbarad worm in the hive. The weakest are probably the green ones, like the one above, followed by white, and the strongest type are blue. The blue ones also have an annoying number of hit points; the damn things just refuse to die. Then again, that’s what spells like Bambaladam and Paralyze are for.

So what do we even do with the egg?
Swallow its soul!

Just hold onto it for now. It comes up later. So, proceeding down the only tunnel forward, you find yourselves back in the first chamber. Do you want to take the one passage left?

Might as well.

As it turns out, the room is full of various insects!

And so, what would be a piece of cake normally turns into a challenging combat. I really should have started casting spells earlier in the combat. There’s a source of AP restores later in the area, so running out of power wouldn’t have been an issue.

Why are there so many non-worms in the worm hive?

I think it’s because the worms use them as food. They drag them into this upper area of the hive and drop them in piles, but some of the insects aren’t quite dead when they arrive. This pile in front of you is dead, though, and there are several insect husks in the pile.

It seems rather disgusting, but given our present size, we might be able to put them to use.

Exactly. Besides several stingers which can be used as Pointed weapons, there are three beetle carapaces which can act as light armor.

Our three frontliners should probably wear them.
I don’t know. I might just prefer doing without.
Keep in mind you’ve been running around completely nude up to this point.
…Alright, Belle will wear it.

At this point, I finally notice the pile of stones from the first chamber. Considering the colors, I hope you’ll excuse my missing them the first time. If you didn't read the message in the worm combat above, these stones are the ammo for the slingshot. The spines are also ammunition, but we don't have the weapon that fires them just yet.

This map shows most of the first floor of the hive. The northwest chamber with the partial exit is where the party slid in, and each chamber was visited in clockwise order, ending with the room in the center. The northern branch leads to a very tough battle which really ought to be handled last, after everything has been gathered. It also contains the only way down to the main hive area.

Also, it’s about now that I accidentally hit “quit” instead of “save,” which forced me to redo the entire region. I handled most of the combats better the second time, but there was one big difference: aside from poisoning vVhorpax, the slug also infected him with something. And me with no goddamn herbs.

Son of a bitch.

You guys ready? This one is going to be a toughie.

Bring it on.

Here you can see the hit point-happy blue worms in action. At least being two squares long meant I only had to deal with two at a time.

I knew I should have walked without rhythm.
You know, that was old the first time you used it.
It’ll be funny again. Just you wait.
What the fuck?! Even my fucking sticks break!
At least we can still go back and pick up a spare or two.
I think we should try those mushrooms out now.

Wow. These are actually pretty good.
Twice as much as normal healing potions? I should say so.

At the other end of the room, you see a small hole that leads—


Hang on, guys. Yeah, hello? Yeah. Yes, but…yes…I suppose…fine, goodbye. Sorry, everyone, but they need me to come in early tomorrow. We’ll have to break off early tonight.

But we’ve only got the one dungeon left!
We got the first part done with though, right?

Right. With any luck, we can finish up the last floor next week.