About Time I Finished This: Demonslayer slays (another) demon (Avernum: Escape From the Pit pt 31)

So, last time we made our way up to Grah-Hoth’s fort, exploring the last major areas of the cave as we did so.

There’s really not much else to say at the moment. Grah-Hoth is a major threat to Avernum we need to take down so let’s get to it!

It’s worth noting that the magic barriers around here are like the ones in the Vahnatai cave: Even with level 3 dispell barrier, we can’t get passed them.Whit the couryard blocked off it’d seem like there’s not much we can do besides fight the demons standing out here. This nets us a backup key, in case we couldn’t get the one outside. But with everything blocked off? How do we get in?Well it turns out there’s a gate off to the side.The key opens it.The area we walk into is full of imps, curiously, they’re non-aggressive.Turns out they’re slaves. one thing the game is really trying to get across, what with the “statues” outside and the imps here is that Grah-Hoth is a real demon among demons. He’s so nasty even the other demons are scared of him.Like we’re told, we find Tyoarik in the trash pit.He’s tells us about a secret passage we can use to get inside the fort proper.This leads to a long passage that wraps around to the other side of the fort. This wall is interesting. You actually can’t tear it down. Not normally anyway.If you search around nearby though, there’s a little room with some hammers in it.With a hammer in your inventory, you can break down the wall. As far as I can tell, this is the only place in the game that requires this. While you can find all sorts of tools across Avernum, outside of turning them in for some quests, there’s no use for them that I’ve found. You can’t even sell them.This leads into a sort of barracks area, with more demons for us to fight off. I don’t really need to clear all the rooms out, but as you’ll see later it’s very helpful to do so.It turns out you can dispell the barriers behind the ones surrounding the courtyard. We’d still have to backtrack around the long way if we wanted ot leave, but at least we can get to the center of the fort from here.

The center of hte fort ends in a dead end, but if you approach it…Meet Grah-Hoth. fitting as a final boss (more on that in a bit) He’s very difficult to fight, and it took me a few attempts to get rid of him.On his own, Grath-Hoth isn’t too terrible, He can take one hell of a beating – no pun intended, but we can easily out heal whatever damage he does.The problem is his buddies. As you beat him up, he summons more enemies to join the fight.not just one or two either, he summons whole groups.To make it worse, he doesn’t even announce all his groups like this. He adds in a lot of enemies during the fight.The secret to fighting him is a lot like how we took down Thantria awhile back: you need to keep switching between attacking him, and dealing with his buddies. The catch is unlike Thantria, who had long delays between activating each of her golems, Garh-Hoth is much quicker on the draw It’s surprisingly easy to have him summon multiple waves at once and if you’re not careful you can quickly get overwhelmed.It’s also worth noting that part way through the fight he does become away of the fact that you have Himslayer with you. It’s also worth noting that my calling it that isn’t just a cheeky joke on my part. While Demonslayer is built to slay any old demon you’d care to swing it at, it also played a big part in sealing Grah-Hoth away. No wonder it makes him so angry. He also eventually picks up an annoying new trick. He can take a random party member, teleporting them to a corner of the room while also stunning and disable them. summons help here, as there’s a chance he’ll grab them rather than one of your more important party members. It’s also possible to resist some or all of the pile of debuffs he hits you with, but depending on where in the room the fighting is at the moment you might need a turn or two to get them back into the fray.The good news is is he does eventually stop calling in allies.At this point it all comes down to how well you’ve weathered the storm, If you’re dealt with all his allies and the art is still in good shape, the final leg of the battle is fairly manageable.Finally, it’s ove, almost. Grah-hoth has one more nasty trick up his sleeve.Getting out of the room is easy enough.The imps also remain harmless. So what’s the problem?That’s the problem. Notice how all the barriers are down? If we didn’t clear out that barracks earlier, they’d storm the courtyard as we tried to leave. fortunately since we cleared that out already, there’s nothing to stop us from leaving.So remember how I said Grah-hoth was a final boss? Yeah we just beat the game.Sort of. What we just saw was an ending,one of three but the game keeps going. Avernum is safe from the demon threat, to say nothing of all the other problems I’ve solved for it, but the game isn’t truly over until we’ve managed to escape Avernum.

We should probably get started on that.

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