Part 22: Update XX - Goondalf the G(rim)Part XX - Goondalf the G(rim)
Music - Fairy Woods
From Forest 6 to Forest 9 (nice).
The main point of interest in Forest 9 doesn't appear until later. For now, the trouble is these guys.
Merscwogs hiding in overgrown crop fields waiting to ambush us.
And we don't get any TP until all of them in an area are dead.
We are OUT of here.
The best thing about Forest 8 is these nice little flowers.
The worst thing is these Bowbois hiding amongst the trees. At least we have enough HP now that we probably won't die in one hit.
Trees, trees everywhere.
Arrows, arrows everywhere.
Wait, what's this? Warriors?
It's one of the camps!
This one also has a Caster, but he spends most of the battle taking ice and fire potshots from the sidelines, sometimes hitting his own men.
The sneaky bastard loves casting Hold then unleashing ice-burning hell on people. Try not to let this happen to Phelic's Apprentice like I did.
With the Training Points gained from finally winning (after a couple reloads of course), we finally get Stealth up to base 30, so we're gonna start increasing other stuff. Con is a good place to begin.
That's really all there is to Forest 8, so let's bounce.
Forest 7 has new foes.
Like most grunts, they're mainly dangerous in large numbers. They do more damage than most Sha'ahoul except scouts and casters, but they're still melee dudes in a magic world.
Most of them have literally nothing on their bodies. We can't even loot their spears.
Except this one random one, who has the Shadow Cuffs.
Gonna file these away for later.
Across another very sturdy-looking bridge...
A cave with red lizard mans standing guard outside. This must be important! (The red ones aren't any more dangerous, they're just red.)
Very sturdy defenses in here.
Hey, they can make fires, so they must not be that primitive.
Now things start getting hard, with half a dozen of these motherfuckers swarming us.
Running around and shooting wave after wave of fire is pretty much the only way to survive.
The same tactic works equally well against blue lizard mans. Also, we now cast spells fast enough that we can unleash three at once if the target is far enough away. Badass.
Thinking about thos HPs.
An empty wooden cage...? Okay.
Throwing iceballs, one in each fist.
Can the lizardmen work stone, or was this already here...?
All these skeletons are not a good sign.
Man, who chooses to live in a cave that's full of golems?
And spiders? These lizardmen must be really hardcore or really dumb. Or both I guess.
Don't think too hard about what's in these webs.
This place is big, and windy. We started a quarter of the screen to the bottom right.
As we all know, spiders are very protective of their treasure hoards.
It's a shame Electric damage is so rare. This would be a killer Restriction-to-damage-reduction ratio for it.
They were like that when we got here. Well, that's not ominous or anything.
Ah, another Shadow Warrior, this time wearing a spooky hood.
And we can take the hood when we beat him!
It actually has slightly better stats than the leather hood. I'm going to be switching back and forth between it and the Great Helm for this chapter, but after that we will almost exclusively be using the hood, because...
It shrouds the face of whoever wears it in darkness. Inscrutable wizard status: confirmed.
We can also take the warrior's black-tinted plate armor, but that is more useful as a fashion statement.
The chest, sadly, only has another Shadow Amulet that is useless to us.
Except for one short branch I missed, that's the end, so let's head back.
The lizards around the fire are obviously way too freaked out by Goondalf's abyssal countenance to come to their comrade's aid.
There are people in this cage! We must release them (and hope they don't run away screaming from our endless void of a face)!
I'm sure I can find something in my pack to take the edge off your journey...
These lizards are jerks.
We don't have to escort the former slaves. I'm sure they'll be fine!
Back to Forest 7.
Then down to Forest 4, the last map for us!
Aside from wolves, it has one major point of interest.
This cave looks... redder than the other one. It's right next to a lake so it could be intended to be clay or something, or it could be BLOOD.
When we get halfway through, this guy comes walking at us from the right. A brave soul indeed, to approach Goondalf.
What's wrong? What are you doing down here?
Dale: Lizards that walk like men took us as slaves! There are only a few left! Please! They're eating us one by one! Please set them free!
Ah, so they don't just enslave people, but also eat them. Yikes.
I've already encountered the camp of the lizard-men. I found your fellows, and they have been freed.
I really like that the designers considered players who did the maps "out of order".
Dale: So I can stop hiding? They're... Wait, you're here, it must be safe to... Oh, I'm so hungry, and so tired of hiding...
I'm sure I have something here...
And then he also disappears. I'll show what lies at the other end of the cave next time. First I want to show where the slaves went, concluding this part with everyone's favorite: CONVERSATION.
Along the way back to the outpost, I remember that I don't think we talked to this guy before.
By what right do you ask my business, stranger? Who are you, and who are these "Glen Guards" you speak of? In fact, just what are you?
Goondalf the Grim has no time for elvish nonsense.
I am Taavi, commander of the Glen Guards in this forest. We are a group of elves who are entrusted with the protection of sacred creatures. You should know that we have made a bond of peace with your Captain Holden. We have agreed to leave you humans in peace, so long as you do not interfere with our mission here.
We are charged with protecting Mikki, a unicorn. Long has this sacred creature dwelled peacefully here, but now Sha'ahoul hunters threaten her safety. They have already slain her mate, and this has caused the sickness that is warping this once-vibrant forest. We must save Mikki, or these woods could be forever lost to the darkness.
Ah, so that's the elves' deal. Even better, some of them have new stuff to say the second time around! I wonder how they will attempt to dunk on humans next.
What would you like to know?
I suppose it is part of our way of organizing ourselves.
Interesting. We elves arrange ourselves by what we see in the ever-growing web of life around us.
Is there a but with pointy ears? If not, there should be.
Speaking of the life around us, do you know anything of the creatures inhabiting this forest?
Many creatures reside in this forest. Some are not of this world. I believe some malevolent force occupies the graveyard to the east, and something may be disturbing the rest of those who make their final homes there.
We already took care of that.
Do you know of any other unusual places in this area?
The abandoned tower across the river from the Sha'ahoul camp is supposed to be filled with monsters, but our master warrior, Oskari, has sealed it for his own purposes.
Thank you, Eikki; that sounds most intriguing.
There is something about this place, Severi. It's just so...
Beyond any adequate description? Yes, it is truly a powerful place -- yet it is covered in a veil of sorrow. Mikki, the unicorn we are here to defend, has certainly chosen a magical place in which to dwell.
Does the unicorn's presence make this place magical, or was it like this before her coming?
That's deep, man.
No one is really sure about that. Certainly, the unicorn's presence makes the place more magical. However, this forest is quite old, and it seems to have a life of its own sometimes.
It has been a pleasure to speak with you, Severi. You are a most unusual ally.
Even with our hood, he still throws shade at us.
It's the slaves we rescued! Looks like the wolves and/or rabbits didn't get them after all.
Accepted. We're all in this together, friend. Why don't you get some rest?
Dale: I think it shall be a little while before I can think of sleep again. [shudders]
I understand. I will leave you alone to recover.
Dale: Thank you for your understanding. I will include you in my prayers, good sir.
You're welcome. Farewell.
The other two don't even get names, poor guys.
Our heroism increases!
AVALON FASHION SHOW
Sometimes you need to just roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
This rustic ensemble lets you do just that!
Whether it's backbreaking labor building ramparts, or farming rocks to squeeze the last bit of nutrition left in Avalon out of them, this Blue Vest/Blue Pants combo gives the lightweight strength you need.
Plus, with a Fancy Hat to keep the sun off your head, you can work on your perfect summer farmers' tan!
Available now in an abandoned closet near you.