In theory I could use the Orb of Thralni to hop the river and go say hi, but said river is part of the last major body of water in Avernum, and we know there’s a boat I can take up north to go explore it. It’d probably be best to get that done before we hit the tower.Like I mentioned at the waterfall maze, water itself is perfectly safe in Avernum, You can’t be attacked while on a ship, There’s no hazards you have to worry about, the worst thing that can happen is you go down a waterfall, and that just means having to sail around to get back to where you were since waterfalls are one way. That said the there’s certainly some items of interested on the various islands up north, for starters this island nearby.This island, and another one nearby have Empire troops on them. We don’t know why they’re here either, but we’re away from Avernum proper and outside the abyss, and we know the empire keeps some presence down here, this might just be their territory.This pool gives a free cast of Ward of Steel. Nice, but again I can cast it at a higher level if I need to.Nearby, this campfire gives a free necklace that gives some fire resistance. Oh hey, a tower.Inside is a mage name Aimee, who’s apparently been doing a little magical dimension hopping. more importantly, she knows part of the password we need to get out of here. Hanging out on a seemingly random shore is a lone drake that attacks us. At this point one drake is nothing.That fang on the other hand, might come in handy.You might of also noticed the tower nearby. I tried to approach it but…Well, that’s creepy. It’s also an instant game over.A pool nearby can give you enlightenment. it makes you immune to death curses. Sadly, I tried, but it doesn’t work on that energy field. We’ll have to come back to this.Moving on we’re heading into a river that winds back down to Erika’s tower. I try to avoid crossing the river, as that leads towards Grah-Hoth’s fort and I want to visit the tower first. but there is one small area that’s cut off from everything else.It’s a cave full of drakes, with some sort of tower at the end.Getting to the tower isn’t too bad, drakes are pretty nasty but we’re tough enough to handle it. Inside is a temple, with a statue we can loot some nice items off of. Stuff like wisdom and purging crystals.It also results in a horrible mess of a fight with way too many lizards, Everyone is hard hitting and cryodrakes can charm party members. Haste is a live saver here, As you’ll need to keep everyone’s health up while also throwing unshackle mind around. Area of effect spells are also a big help.moving on we find… this thing.It’s called the black spire and it’s weirdly quiet.There’s the crown of the empire, but nobody’s home.There is however, this lovely little piece of revisionist history. That image is likely about the first expedition, which form everything we’ve heard, when very much the opposite of what we’re seeing here.Meanwhile, the wheel to open the gate and let us through is trapped and won’t let us past, so we have to turn back for now.Moving on, I find some ogres hiding in a ruined settlement. I decide to leave them be for now.Now this is interesting.It’s a tower with a trapped demon. Obviously, helping a demon is a bad idea, but I do have demon slayer, and a dead demon is certainly less of a problem than a trapped one…There, that’s better.The sword he drops is cool, but I think I have better right now.Interestingly, next to that tower is another tower with another demon, however in stead of fighting us, he offers advice: Don’t touch anything in Grah-Hoth’s fort. Then a trap conveniently kills him so I don’t have to worry about a demon running free.With all of that out of the way, we’re here.Welcome to Erika’s Tower, sadly we can’t just go in and say hi. Erika seems to have set up a few hoops visitors need to jump through first. For starters, we need to dispel the barriers in the way, which is easy enough.Past that is a room with two goblins, and two hallways. both hallways are traps. The correct answer is to talk to the goblins, make them angry, then kill them both so you can take the hidden third passage behind themThat leads to a dark area…That leads to a garden you can fight through…Mind the wheel when you turn it, there’s a trap the arcane lore spell lets you get past…That finally leads to Erika.She’s about as scary and off putting as I expected.
The good news is she’s feeling VERY helpful since we jumped through all those hoops to get to her. Helped by the fact that she knows we’re with the Scimitar and thinks we’ll be very useful tools in getting her revenge. Said revenge namely being Killing Emperor Hawthorne, the guy who’s basically responsible for almost everyone being down here.
To that end, she has some information.she knows where the exit is, namely it’s by the lair of Sulfras, probably the very thing Sulfras is guarding actually. She also knows part of the password we need to let us through. Where’s the rest of it?We’ve been to all these places but I don’t think we’ve got all the parts of the password.It’ll be easy enough to revisit them though.
Finally, she’s also a mage and priest trainer, and a good one at that. She has a lot of spells we can learn, including the last three mage and priest spells we needed to get our spell casters fully kitted out.
Finally, she does us a favor: She let’s us know there’s a mage tower pillar accessible outside, and lets us into the library, where there’s a key for the delivery door we can take.so we can skip all the death traps next time we come here.So what’s in the library?A book that tells us a bit about dealing with Grah-Hoth that we dealt with already…And this thing… I’m pretty sure the first item is the amulet we got form Motrax’s lair,and we’ve probably got one or two of the others, but I’m otherwise at a bit of a less. We might need to revisit a few places.finally, all of these books just make me dizzy.With that I activate the pillar so I can get back easily, and we’re pretty much done here. We know the exit is south of us now, to say nothing of other places we’ll likely need to go back too, but we’ll likely want to go north first to death with Grah-Hoth.