At this point in game, we’re ready to go to fort Spire, and with it start fully exploring the Abyss. but first, we’ve got some bandits to take care of.
The fort is honestly really tiny. There’s only a couple people in here.Talking to Novak here, lets us know what’s happening. Fort Saffron exists to defend Avernum proper form bandits coming out of the abyss. This is not going well as the fort has little supplies, seems to be mostly forgotten by the rest of Avernum, and doesn’t even have a willing leader. Commander Novak here was conscripted into the job.
Even worse, despite the fort filling up a natural choke point in the caves, bandits are still somehow sneaking past. Novak would like it if we could find out how.We also find Dilbert, who does not have a funny striped tie but does maintain the wards set around the fort. He used to be an adventurer, but had a run in with the cave drake that didn’t end well. We actually killed that drake earlier and can tell him we did so.He… doesn’t take it well.We also find Mona, a fellow member of the scimitar. She was out trying to recruit some bandits for the scimitar when she ran into a patrol and got captured, likely being mistaken for another bandit. Oops. She doesn’t want us to help her though. She plants to escape on her own when they take her to a different fort. Plus we can’t talk for too long, Avernum isn’t fully pro-scimitar so we don’t want to blow cover.
She does however, let us know a bit about the bandits, namely that they have spellcasters and priests who might be empire plants. Plus, she’s heard of one in particular.Namely, she’s heard of Lagran, he might be nearby.Finally I start to leave the fort when I notice something.There’s a hidden path, with a small bandit lair that goes right past the fort. That explains how they’re getting through. It’s long long before we’ve worked our way back to the fort of the fort to tell Novak the news.Heading for the first of two bandit lairs we need to clear out. We encounter this group of soldiers setting up an ambush, and decide to help out. I forgot to screenshot the fight, but as you’ll see soon enough, Bandits aren’t all that big a deal anymore.Heading inside, it’s not too long before we run into trouble.So, when I said Bandits aren’t that big a deal? The reason is Cordella knows fireblast it’s a cone shaped area of effect spell, and the most damaging spell I’ve found yet.As you can see here, it hits pretty hard, in fact I spend a god chunk of this dungeon wiping out whole groups of bandits with a single fireblast.Eventually their leader shows up. Apparently she’s an empire soldier… sort of? Maybe that rumor about the mages being plants was true.Unfortunately she has no special triks to her and made the mistake of fighting my party alone, it’s a short battle.In the back we find some rats guarding some books, as for what’s in the books?We get an improved spell and curiously, some bandit instructions.Before I go report though, let’s hit that other lair.Or maybe not. Apparently the local wildlife beat us to it. Still, best to have a look around.The fort is full of fungus and eye beasts. Much nastier than bandits. WE find a book that basically proves this was a bandit lair but given the current state of things, clearly it’s now under new management.A small fight hides another barrier I can’t dispell, where is that third level of dispell barrier anyway?Oh hey, is that a trap door? Wonder what’s down there?Why hello again! Long time no see! It’s Lagran, the guy who tried to kill us way back at the start of the game. He’s not doing so well.
In truth his attempts at a bandit nation have failed. And what he tells us matches with what little we’ve heard form asking around about him. After we’ve chased him out of the arrival cave, he’s been stuck pinballing around the caves. Avernum chased him off. Kyass chased him out of the north, the abyss doesn’t like him and the west is full of monsters. But this road right here? Great place to set up shop and get his empire going! Well… until the eye beasts moved in that is. It’s ok though, necause now that we’re here, he’s got a plan! Yeah, he thinks his rag-tag group of beaten down, poorly equipped miscreants is going to beat my party of heavily armed and armored killing machines. And he’s not budging on it either.He won’t consider just going clean.He’s sure he can win despite how blatantly impossible it is.and they refuse to just leave. Poor lagram, it’s ok though, because he’s got an ace up his sleeve!He has a healing potion. That’s it. No magic trinkets, no horde of allies to summon, just a healing potion. That’s his secret weapon.Here lies Lagran. Driven, ambitious and dumb as a rock.I go back to Dharmon to turn in the quest. Looks like there’s some trouble at Fort Spire. I’ll have to look into that.Fort Spire is a simple place. While Saffron might be a defense between the Abyss and Avernum proper, Spire acts as the main gateway between the two.Bohman runs the place, he helps explain the Abyss though it’s stuff that’s been noted here before: The abyss is basically where the exiles send their own exiles. Bohman does note the irony of this, but notes that it’s unfortunately necessary. While a lot of people have been thrown into Avernum for basically petty crimes, it turns out some of the criminals down here are actual hardened criminals. This is where they end up. While we’ve entered the abyss before, sailing over the water and heading by the Freehold, Fort Spire is the only land entrance to the abyss and anyone being exiled there has to pass through here first.Coincidentally, he’d like us to go clear out the nearby bandit lairs, but we did that already.We also hand in that job board quest while we’re here.
There’s honestly not much in fort spire. Most of the people here will tell you a bit about it, but it’s mostly stuff we already know: It’s a hive of scum and villainy. Though they note Bargha is somewhat better off than the rest of the abyss, despite the fighting with the giants.One person stands out a bit though.Paul here is one of the people due to be exiled… again. It seems he was a political bigwig up above, with all the shady dealings and political backstabbing that implies. He got out maneuvered and was exiled to Avernum, Where immediately went back to his old tricks to try and become mayor of Almaria. some people just don’t learn.With that done, we’ve basically explored all of the kingdom of Avernum. Next time we more properly explore the Abyss, hopefully finding something ot bring us closer to our main goals.