Like I said last time, I don’t plan on helping her as I’m not sure what kind of consequences that’d mean for me later on. more importantly, I’m playing pro-Avernum and want to join the anti-Empire group Scimitar so working with her would be counterproductive anyway.
killing her is an option, as she seems to be guarding something interesting, but it’s likely too soon for a diplomatic incident, so let’s just leave for now.
Instead, let’s go back to that shattered fort, now that we have Dispel Barrier, we should be able to explore it.Near the entrance is this creepy altar that was blocked to us due to a barrier. Deciphering it gives a free casting of ward of elements and cloak of arcane at level 1. nice, but I prefer casing my own cloaks and wards.Breaking it gives us some free exp and a small reputation hit, which I could probably live with, but decided to reload anyway, What’s Reputation? Hold on to that though. I’ll get to that when it crops up a bit later.Dispelling some barriers gets us to a wheel, which opens up a bridge for us. See the demons on the wall in front of us? That’s this dungeon’s gimmick We’re mostly traveling a long a winding path with plenty of overlooks like this. fortunately, Cordelia’s spells can readily handle them in short order, and when they can, the demons tend to teleport down form their perch to fight us, bringing them in range of Aldous and Marion’s swords.This fight is a pretty nasty one. The demons aren’t a big deal, but as you approach them you’ll find a horde of undead were hiding in that alcove. This too isn’t that bad, but there’s a flaming banshee in the crowd who can take a decent beating and hits like a truck. I end up losing Marion and Mycroft and have to rush back to town after the fight to get everyone healed. Just past that, a bridge sees us ambushed by magma imps. While we end up surrounded, I managed to get through the fight with minimal trouble.Sadly after that, we fight a couple more demons before getting hit by a roadblock. There’s a gate we can’t open that’s blocking the way, and the wheel nearby requires a key I don’t have. There was a sign near the entrance telling us the fort was sealed by order of the king, and to ask at the castle for full access. I tried talking to the king but there was no option to bring up the fort. either I have to talk to someone else, or this is a storyline thing that comes up later. oh well, we’ll let it sit for now.Finally, we not too far form the fort we have the Honeycomb. You might remember it getting mentioned a few updates ago. It’s a maze of caverns that’s home to one very angry dragon. As it stands we’ve explored all the areas around the Honeycomb, but have never been inside of it. We might as well take a look before we get back to exploring further west.In truth the inside of the honeycomb isn’t so bad. It is a bit of a maze, but we have an auto-map and can move by clicking so getting lost isn’t a major concern. There’s some interesting things inside of it though. right here is a pool that casts ward of thoughts if you drink form it.There’s also this group of slimes. fortunately they’re very weak slimes, so the party makes short work of them. Here’s another pool, drinking form this gives gives some from exp. I couldn’t really tell how much it gave but hey, free exp!A hermit lives in a house in the honeycomb, he offers an amulet for 300 coins. The text describes it as a simple necklace and makes it seem like a letdown……but in truth it’s gives you a small chance to counter melee attacks!There’s also a slith camp here, We’ve fought enough slith that it’s not that big a deal.The sword you get for it however, is a great defensive weapon and goes nicely with the amulet.There’s also another would be escape form underground, sealed off by the Empire.
Finally, a hidden path lets us walk up to the Dragon’s Lair.Welcome to Athron’s lair. Sadly Unlike Motrax, Athron is… not so much when it comes to people. first though, we’d need to reach her.The major problem we have ere are drakes. They can move twice a round, can summon help and worst of all they breath fire for a lot of damage. if you’re really unlucky they’ll breathe fire twice in one round. fortunately, They’re surprisingly not that tough defensively. We can bring them down quickly enough that as long as we’re a bit careful, this is survivable.Past all the drakes is a large group of golems.They’re tough, and their hits can immobilize people, but they’re not too tough otherwise.Past the golems is Athron, she’s not happy we’re here but fortunately we don’t actually have a boss fight on our hands.
For what it’s worth Athron is basically a hermit, preferring to stay in her cave away form all of us lesser creatures. That said while she’d rather we leave and is ready with threats if we don’t – including a warning to stay out of the area to her west, It’s probably the treasure chamber – there’s still some use we can get out of this that doesn’t involve fighting a big angry dragon. for one she tells us where Erika is: She’s hiding in a tower far to the west.
She can also tell us about the other dragons.
Motrax, who we’ve met alreadyPyrogKhothAnd sulfrasShe also verifies that there’s no dragons on the surface, The Empire saw to that. This also means that unless there’s other, undisturbed caves somewhere housing more of them? The dragon’s she tells us about are very likely the only ones in existence.
She also mentions that there’s another race down here, An ancient, powerful race that’s been sleeping down here for centuries and will likely wake up soon. As you might recall we’ve seen signs of Pre-Empire/Avernum civilization in a few places down here. I’m pretty sure I know what she’s talking about but that’s spoilers so I’ll just say: go play Avernum 2.
Finally our reputation gives us access to level 3 slow and a barrier we can’t dispel yet. What’s reputation? It’s a stat tucked away on the character information screen, and some quests and the like in game check against it. Generally, simply completing quests will raise it, and some acts like stealing, or destroying the altar I mentioned earlier lower it. for the most part however it’s not something you really need to think about much. Just keep doing quests and as long as you don’t go overboard with stealing stuff you’ll be fine.
Coincidentally, you might recall that Carlos at Fort Draco might of had something for us once we had more reputation. I tried talking to him again but couldn’t even bring the topic up. I had to look it up online, and it turns out he just points you towards the scimitars if you hadn’t heard of them already. oh well.
Anyway, with us done talking to Athron I decide to head back to the tower of Magi. At this point in the game asdie form maybe a couple small areas I missed? there’s nothing left for us but to head west, either staying south to find the friendly slith and check on Fort Ruin, or going north to visit Kyass’ Freehold to see what they want. I’m leaning towards the freehold myself, but we’ll see.