About Time I Finished This: Go West (Avernum: Escape From the Pit pt 23)

So, last time we smashed the empire orb and joined the Scimitars. We even got pointed towards a potential escape to the surface. This whole “get out, get even.” plan of mine is finally starting to go somewhere!

That said, We’ve likely got a lot to do to get past the defenses blocking us form the surface, Also,  the path to the surface is near Fort Remote, and there’s a good chunk of unexplored cave between us and it. For now, we should probably get some exploring done.This part of the Great Cave is fairly spread out. There’s only a couple major locations we’ll be visiting, as well as a few points of interest worth noting.For example, here’s a wishing well. I tried throwing coins in a few times, but nothing seemed to happen. You could take the coins instead, but I didn’t bother.A small hidden alcove leads to an unassuming cave entrance. What could it be?It’s an Empire hideout! One the Scimitar had already raided. Have to admit, they’ve got one hell of a way of getting a message across.You might remember we had a quest to deal with some killer fungus? This is them.There’s a decent number of them, but after all we’ve been through? It’s not that hard a battle.Where as the area around the castle sees a lot o farming and settling going on, the western part of the Great Caves is much more barren and undeveloped.Heading black to Blosh to turn the quest in, I stumble across a room hiding that Serpent ring I was supposed to steal. no one’s around to notice me take it so I go ahead and do so.I eventually find the person I need to talk to. That’s another job board quest handled.I also find Dexter, but decide not to grab another quest from him. I’m not all that interested in playing the thief.Gonig back to exploring, we find some bandits.The merchants they’re attacking actually help us in the fight. and give us a small reward for helping.We find the Tower of Patrick.He’s not one of the triad, but could still be wroth talking to,Here’s Patrick. Interestingly, he’s one of the manged who helped found Avernum. Namely, he he imprisoned a demon named Grath-hoth. He doesn’t give details on how, assuring us that he’s sealed forever so it doesn’t matter.

I’m pretty sure we have a quest to kill Grath-hoth, if not, I’m pretty sure we’re going ot be dealing with him sooner or later, because you don’t have an imprisoned demon in an RPG without being forced to deal with it somehow.

He will tell us where the prison is though.His prison, called Akhronath is in some place called Skarragath, west of Fort Spire. We’d need to pass through a lovely sounding placed called the abyss to get there.

At this point it’s likely worth noting that Avernum had demon troubles before Avernum proper was founded. It was a literal hell before it became a figurative one.This  is probably the most important thing to  note in the conversation. There’s a royal seal of the empire in Akhronath and I’d bet we’ll need a royal seal to get back to the surface. This might end up where we go after Fort Remote.

We want to explore that prison, and he’s willing to help, but first he’s got a problem. his wife is sick, and only graymold salve can cure him. He’s not sure where we’d get hold of some, but suggests we talk to his alchimest Kai.The tower has a library,  Sadly there’s no magic books for us to learn from, though I do find something interesting.Because we haven’t had a “hawthorne is evil” reminder in awhileAlso in the library, we have Anji here, who’s studying the first expedition. She mentioned a few interesting items they had. The sword Demon slayer, a giant-slaying spear called Smite, and perhaps more interestingly, an orb that lets you fly.There’s also Adam, he’s been researching crystals. Namely, the usable crystals we’ve been coming across that grant exp or various buffs. He also mentions the Orb of Thralni. It’s the same flying orb Anji mentioned. more importantly, it’s in the Waterfall maze. We might need to search that place soon.

He also mentions a mage once taking one of these crystals, and trying to use it to reverse the portal that leads into Avernum. you know, the one we were tossed in at the very start of the game? It didn’t work, and the mage barely survived trying. He did however, hide the crystal at the crystal at the base of a statue in fort Avernum. We should probably go get that.We find Kai. He’s researching Graymold, but isn’t have much progress. If we could find the recipe somewhere in the caves maybe he can make use of it, and points us towards the tower of Magi. Fortunately, we’ve already got the recipe.That done, we also need Graymold, which as luck would have it, I’ve found already too.He can also make potions form other herbs we’ve found, just like any other alchemist.We tell Patrick the good news. now we just need to heal his wife. Now we just need to let him know. Just a bit more…Bingo.With that done, we get back to exploring. Here’s Fort Remote.As  well as what looks like ruins right next to it. Hmm…I head back for now, as there’s still a couple places to check out. First, welcome to Dharmon.It’s a very small town with a couple shops. Most importantly, They have someone to train priest spells.He has a lot of spells available too. Mostly stuff we know already, but there’s a couple new ones in there.Malk here seems to know us Though we’ve never met them before.Oh.A secret entrance? We can look into that.Mayor DeBry runs the town, they’ve been having bandit problems they want us to look into. Northest of Fort Saffron.That’s leading us away form Fort Remote though, so it’ll need to wait a bit.

Bandits… hmm… come to think of it…Oh hey, Lagram was here. Remember him? Gave us hell in the Arrival caverns at the start of the game? We chased him for a bit before he kind of fell off the radar. Seems we’ve found his trail again! Maybe he’s with those bandits?There’s a prison here, but we’re not allowed in. Hmm…Here’s that area to the north, where a hidden entrance is supposed to be.It leads to a dock with a boat. Going west leads to a storehouse with some demons in it.The storehouse has a couple chests with some nice treasure in it. Lots of crystals and other stuff we can sell for a lot.Going the other way gives us a way into the prison, which currently has one prisoner. He’s apparently been framed for stealing  brooch. The one who did steal it Bertrand Fled east towards Mertis. We should probably look into that.Finally, south of Dharmon is a place called Gremlin’s Gold. It’s where Lord Chuckles hangs out. might as well get him dealt with before we go off to Fort Remote.Gremlin’s Gold is an odd place. It’s large and full of various gremlins, speedy gremlins, spiky gremlins, some just called GREMLIN in all caps. They’re very spread out though. no giant swarms of enemies like we’ve been seeing lately. Instead this place is one giant, confusing maze. Here’s Chuckles. Sadly he’s not a jester that works for Lord British.For the most part Lord chuckles is not a major threat.  He can summon Gremlins, but is otherwise a melee fighter. Being in an alcove makes it easy to trap him.For a time at least He doesn’t have a lot of health, but right when he’s almost dead this happens.We eventually find him again.Oh come on!We find him again hiding by the entrance.Finally. We’ve got what we came for. but while we’re here, let’s see if we can get at that treasure in the middle of the maze.It’s hard to show exactly where I went in screenshots.There’s a small series of caves below the maze, areas only accessible by teleporter. I stumble across a scroll that looks important. Huh.Eventually I reach he area with the chest, as a bonus, a book nearby gives a level of Return Life.You’d likely expect some nasty trick, or maybe even an empty chest, but the treasure is legit. That’s the end of this place. Let’s get out of here.With that done we’re more or less done with the great cave for now. We should probably check Mertis and get that key from the castle real quick. but otherwise we’re all set to go to Fort Remote next time. for now, This update’s long enough.

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