So last time we entered a cave and… stuff. We did stuff.
At this point we’re more or less done with the northeast portion of the map. The only remaining location of note that we’re aware of is the aranea cave, full of fangs we can sell for a profit, assuming we can survive taking them away from the the aranea.
The aranea are talking magically gifted spiders. Naturally, as you might expect from a race of magical spiders, they’re nasty, evil sorts that want us dead.
Aranea are basically the masters of disabling spells and abilities. They know the same area of effect daze spell Cordelia does, and they can ensnare people with their webs. Being ensnared limits a character to moving only one space per turn.
The good news is aranea aren’t especially tough. We can usual kill them off before things start to get ugly.Theses stone circles are scattered around the dungeon. stepping into one gets the whole party ensnared. It’s something to be weary of during a fight, but if you stumble into one during combat, you can simply pass time until the ensnare wears off.
For the most part the fighting here isn’t too horrible. There’s some imps hiding to the east, but the real problem is elsewhere in the dungeon.
This group right here, is a nightmare. Normal aranea can be a pain, this group is downright murder.
This group has a brutally effective strategy, they hit the party with a barrage of daze, and ensnare spells, summon a bunch of random creatures that they then haste. then tear your party apart while it’s locked down and can’t cat for several turns. to make it worse. They resist the daze spell, so you can’ simply daze them first. It must of taken me several dozen tries before I gave up and went back to Formello with a plan.In Avernum, there are two kinds of spells that are a bit special. Those spells are Cloaks and Wards, which are mage and priest spells respectively. They work roughly the same way: casting a cloak or ward gives you a semi-permanent bonus. Only wearing off when a character is knocked unconscious or returns to town to heal. The catch is you can only have one spell of each type active at a time. We started the game with Cloak of Curses, which randomly gives debuffs like poison or curse of weakness to enemies we hit in combat.
By selling a lot of random junk, wands and scrolls we’ll never use. I’m able to buy Mycroft 2 levels of Ward of Thoughts, it grants everyone some resistance to mental spells, including the daze spell the aranea love throwing around so much.
New spell in hand, I go back to near where the fight is, cast every single helpful spell I’ve got and…
…get the crap beat out of me several more times. Even with the cloak, There’s so many daze spells I’m getting stunned anyway.and these guys are tough enough, that there’s no way I can bring them down fast enough. to say nothing of the fact that one of them has a group heal spell, which I don’t have yet.
I’m about ready to give up, Come back when I have say… unshackle mind to cure the daze effects with, maybe mas curing to better handle all the ensnare and immobilize and other nasty stuff getting thrown at me. but eventually I catch a lucky break.
One fight goes unusually well. The ward blocks a lot of the daze spells, and aranea for some reason have trouble getting away from me. My front line is often stunned and can’t act much. But between Cordelia dropping icy rain everywhere and Mycroft keeping everyone healed as best he can. We slowly begin to wear then down. Until only the Hivemaster remains he’s tough, but without his buddies to help keep Everyone locked down, he’s eventually backed into a corner and killed. Good riddance.Interestingly, the stone circle he died near isn’t another web trap, it’s a switch. So what’s to the south?
…oh. I guess I’ll have to go to the other cave it see if that gets me anything.
To the north west is a library.
It contains a few of the nastier types of aranea, though it’s not as bad as the previous fight. Still, I have to reload several times. The reason? you see that stone circle?Step anywhere near it and several imps along with a very tough cave demon join the fray. To make it worse, the aranea like to hide near it. most of my reloading is due to calling the imps in at inopportune moments.
Sadly, you might think the library would be a good place to find another spell. But despite some searching I never see a pop up telling me I can try to read the runes. Oh well.
Turns out in my run through the GIFTS (Tha’ts Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders) cave, I forgot to talk to the guy with the quest to rescue that spider. Fortunately once I’m told about the quest. I can speak to them again to hand it in.
In the area of cave unlocked is some undead. Cue another reload as I forget to get myself patched up at Fort Draco before going back here.The fight leads us to another Brooch, just like last time, it’s a key item. Interesting. There’s likely a quests tied to gathering these things, but we haven’t found it yet.
With that done We stop by Draco to sell our fangs, then stop by the Formello and Silvar boards to make absolutely sure they’re empty now.As things stand now, you see that north east chunk of land on the map, sectioned off by lakes and rivers? We’ve explored almost all of it. There’s still a chunk of the Eastern Gallery left to explore. but with no quests pointing us there and Castle Avernum calling it’s about time we get a move on. We’ll be heading for Mertis and the Tower of Magi next, making our way towards Castle Avernum, and maybe finally getting the main plot on track.