About Time I Finished This: Ssslaying Sss-Thsss (Avernum: Escape From the Pit pt 13)

20160919103712_1So, last time we finished a snipe hunt at Almaria before finally visiting the castle. There were also an alarming number of demons on the way.

Right now the game is starting to ramp things up. Until now, we’ve mostly been solving local problems, a sewer infestation here, a bandit camp there. There was some prodding at the wars with the nephil and slith, but noting too big yet.

Now, we’ve got some major problems on our hand. There’s a demon in the Tower of Magi that needs slaying, and King Micah just asked us to kill the leader of the slith. We’re not quit geared up for demon slaying, so lets focus on that lizard problem for now.

20160926104935_1Before we go running off however, There’s a couple things in the castle to handle. Here’s a book we can’t read right now.20160926105241_1I also find the prince’s rings near the cells. Surprisingly, his ring is not any sort of  special item but a simple platinum ring, I’ve encountered several of them already, they’re basically vendor trash, their only use is selling them to merchants for a couple hundred coins. Coincidentally, the option to compliment his ring just has him thank you for finding it, and offer to make you a captain when he’s king, Which as I noted last update is… unlikely.20160926105609_1With that done, I fast travel back to Silvar to retrieve my boat. I then panic as it turns out I was mistaken about where I parked my boat and it’s not there. I eventually find it by walking up to Cotra. Sadly, the game doesn’t have any way to recall a boat that I’m aware of, so It’s best when to always park in or near a town when you have the option, so it’s easier to find them again.20160926105800_120160926105958_120160926110011_1 Just across the river from Fort Dranlon is a slith farm with a lot of human slaves. The fight itself is pretty easy, I’ll have to double check Dranlon at some point to see if anything comes of this.20160926110103_1on the way towards the slith fort, I find this place. I don’t have any quests pointing me here, but we might as well explore it while we’re here.20160926110111_120160926110128_120160926110257_120160926110850_1At this point I’m kind of running out of things to say about slith. It’s not that the dungeon is bad, I’m still enjoying myself. But we’ve been facing slith for the past few dungeons. Fortunately, this should be the last one we need to deal with. 20160926110806_1Apparently it’s a good thing we came here, there’s a key for the main fort somewhere in here.20160926111133_1We also encounter more demon summoning.20160926111139_1There’s also more barriers. They’re starting to become more common now, though I haven’t found a trainer for dispel barrier yet.20160926112047_120160926112042_120160926112058_120160926112103_120160926112133_1We find, a workshop for demon summoning. Apparently the slith are planning to raise a demon army to throw at Avernum.though from the look of it recruitment has hit a few snags.20160926114307_1This fight is painful. At the start there is Nuassa, a powerful chieftain and demon, along with a few other slith, all in a cramped room. The demon and slith will fight among each other. but they’re far more likely to attack my party. This is likely because Aldous has a three ranks of the challenge trait, which makes enemies far more likely to attack him than anyone else.

The biggest problems here are the demon and shaman. The demon has an obscene amount of health, is resistant to just about everything I can throw at it and access to a nasty area of effect acid attack. He’s bad enough alone, but then you get Nuassa.20160926112640_120160926114523_1Past a certain point in the fight, Nuassa starts summoning demons not nearly as nasty as the fire demon, but more than strong enough to lay waste to the party if not handled quickly.20160926115338_1It takes several attempts to win this fight, and even the successful attempt seems to take forever.20160926113235_1As a bonus, on some of my attempts I tried just flat out attacking Nuassa, here’s what happens.20160926120239_1We found a key, likely the one we need to get into the fort south of here.20160926120700_1Back outside, we find another of the crystals we’re looking for. There should only be one left now.20160926121302_120160926121314_1I also go back to the temple where the assassin is hiding. I don’t find her as she’s likely hiding behind one of the barrier here. I do happen to have peircing crystal which lets me knock one of the barriers down. It doesn’t net me as assassin but I do find a free priest spell. I’ll take it.20160926122034_1Sadly, as I head south towards the fort I find some rapids blocking the way fortunately the rapids have a portage. Basically the game freely warps you between the top and bottom of the rapids whenever you approach them. Handy!20160926122114_1Suffice it to say we don’t want to stick around here too long. This is lizard country.20160926122134_1You can approach the little buildings set around the island fort. They all result in this. I could likely go on a lizard slaying rampage for some extra coin and exp, but we’ve done plenty of that already, let’s clear the fort out!20160926122352_120160926122428_120160926123240_120160926124735_120160926124929_1The fort is surprisingly small and crowded. The fighting here is surprisingly, hard. hordes of slith warriors keep us pinned down while groups of spell casters summon reinforcements, and toss around powerful area of effect spells. This dungeon involved a lot of saving and reloading. I also have to leave to sail back to Cotra several times not just to heal but to empty my inventory as it keeps filling up. There’s a lot of stuff to sell in here.20160926130745_120160926143801_120160926144613_120160926144725_120160926144856_1Searching upstairs we find some… unusual reading material. apparently the slith’s “know thy enemy” initiative went on a bit of an odd tangent at some point.20160926145217_120160926145952_1We find a room full of cultists that leads to this little  event. I’m not sure if the game runs some sort of check when the part approaches the altar, or if it’s just there to look cool.20160926152133_1We find plans for further attacks outside the throne room. Given what we’re here to do however, that’s all about to become a non-issue.20160926152152_120160926152223_120160926152448_1I like this fight, it’s kind of cool. We don’t face Sss-Thsss right away, first, we have a group of warriors along with a chieftain pour into the room to fight us, once the chieftain is dead…20160926152525_120160926152614_1We face a group of spell casters coming on from the other side. So far this isn’t too bad. our party is reaching the point where slith are getting to be somewhat easy to deal with. We can take down the spell casters and most basic slith pretty quickly now.20160926152706_120160926152757_1Finally, Sss-Thsss himself joins the fray. surprisingly, he’s not too difficult. The real hard part is surviving until this part, as you basically have to fight two large groups will no time to rest in between. Even with the two previous groups cleared out, a steady stream of slith fighters will slowly file into the room as the fight goes on. Sss-Thsss himself is a tough, but fairly straight forward melle fighter, save for one little trick.20160926152852_1Occasionally, Sss-Thsss readies himself for a really nasty area attack. He won’t chance you at this point though. so it’s easy enough to back away for a few turns until the attack goes off. assuming you can move, having mass cure here is useful in case your front line is immobilized or slowed and can’t readily get away.20160926153030_120160926153526_120160926153926_1Eventually, we wear Sss-Thsss down and clear out the stragglers. This doesn’t fully stop the slith, we’ll still likely see slith encounters on the world map, and we could probably still clear any other slith dungeons, if we hadn’t done so already, but with their leader dead the war is pretty much over now.20160926154514_1We return to the castle to deliver the good news. The kind doesn’t have anything else for us, but as we turn to leave…20160926154540_120160926154613_120160926154620_1We’ve been seeing signs of Avernum’s demon troubles for awhile now. The Tower of Magi has a summoned demon. The Slith had been working on raising a demon army, There’s even areas infested with them between the tower and Castle Avernum. now they’ve hit a fort and we need to deal with it.20160926154856_1With one major quest handled, it feels like this would be a good place to stop the update before running off on the next one. The fort isn’t too far from the castle. But with us now facing demons, it’s likely in our best interests to finish repairing Demonslayer before we go running off that way. There’s just one part left, not too far form where the slith fort was, and once that’s done we might even be able to take down the Haakai Lord.We’ll see how things play out.

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