So, last time we entered the Crypt of Drath and at the end of a long, hard slog through several difficult fights, were met with a boss we couldn’t beat. Owies.
I actually gave the fight against Drath a couple more attempts after the last update, it got close at one point, but eventually he either nukes somebody with his spells, or my spell casters run out of MP and then it’s pretty much over.
As it stands, Demonslayer is out of our reach for now. The good news is the way to him is clear, and his body guards are dead. When we’re ready for round 2, he’ll be alone and getting to him should be easy.
Even better, We finally have access to the dispell barrier spell. As you’ve likely noticed in previous updates, magic barriers are becoming more and more of a common sight and we’ve been blocked off by them several times already, so before we go running off to explore anywhere new, let’s take some time to hit a few places that have been out of reach for awhile.
Remember the slith fort from last update? We couldn’t et in due to barriers and In my eagerness to get hold of Demonslayer I’d been ignoring it despite getting Dispell barrier. since it’s nearby we might as well take it down now.The fort is pretty tiny. There’s nothing too interesting here save a boss fight hiding in the center room. Though it’s worth noting that since the area is small and fairly open, once the fighting starts you’ll have almost the entire fort on alert and closing in on you.The chieftain is a big brute of a slith, hard hitting but not much in the way of fancy tricks. of note is that is name is Gunkass. Which I’m sure is meant to be pronounced as Gun-kass, but because I’m a mature adult I keep seeing it as Gunk-ass.He does get somewhat tougher once you’ve beaten him up enough. But by this point he was alone and thus pretty manageable.With that done mopping up the few stragglers who somehow didn’t get pulled into the initial fight is pretty easy. A hidden area in the north nets me a lot of coins for my trouble, as well as a shield that increase melee damage.
Sadly, that’s really it. This area doesn’t seem to be part of any quests so outside for some extra gold and xp there’s nothing to be had here. I return to Fort Emerald and mange to find the commander, but offering to help just gets me told there’s nothing for me here.
Interestingly though, while there’s no reward for it, Captian Scarlet does recognize that I’ve done a number on the slith, including clearing out that fort. also while she’s fairly dismissive of it. She also makes mention of a town named Gnass to the west. Apparently it’s where those friendly slith we heard of earlier live. might be worth checking out later.
In going back to double check the barriers I don’t find a lot at first Many places just five some extra treasure, or are level 3 and thus can’t be dispelled jut yet. I’ll go over some highlights.I can’t dispel the barrier at the slith temple, but a hidden alcove reveals two slith warriors, though neither one is the assassin I’m looking for.The slith island barriers reveal some demons, one group of which is guarding a book that gives me my third level in mass curing.Exploring immediately north of the the slith temple, I find a cave with a drake inside of it.Talking to and feeding him grants that final crystal I’m looking for.Running back to fix the cave results in everyone getting a free point of endurance, nice!
Next, We had a side quest that involved meeting someone beneath Formello. Unfortunately there was a barrier in the way. We’ve now fixed that. The pen to the north holds a single fire breathing lizard. Easy enough, it’s what’s past that where things get… interesting.Well this is unexpected. We’ve got what’s basically a building from the empire down here. With a sorceress proudly displaying the crown. how could something like this get down here?Meet Thantria, she claims to be an envoy of the empire.A claim that the mayor or Formello backs.Anyway, as I just said she works for the Empire. The same one that’s exiled countless numbers of people for everything from murder to staring in a play Emperor Hawthorne didn’t like. You’d have to wonder why they’d bother to have an envoy down here.
It turns out the reason is simple: It’s to keep an eye on Avernum. While you might think the Empire’s relation with Avernum is a simple matter of exile and forget, occasionally throwing down some cows or other supplies when they need the PR or to clear their conscious. In truth they’re keeping an eye on the place, watching for potential threats to the surface.
That my party’s not being attacked means they’re not looking nearly hard enough.
More importantly, she’s also keeping an eye out for adventures. The Empire does a little trading with Avernum, Avernum helps the Empire with various things, very likely things that ensure the exiled stay exiled and In return, they send down stuff form the surface, food, medicine, etc. This includes getting the attention of adventures like my party, who are basically bribed into helping the empire.
She also reminds us that despite being exiled, we’re still subjects of the Empire to which I say: That’s not how exile works you idiot.
With that in mind, to start she wants us to find an assassin hiding in a cave of bats near Duvno I’m not sure we’ll be doing that, I plan in meeting the sabers at some point and doing empire quests might mess with that. Plus I don’t like her.
Finally, and perhaps this is the most interesting. While she won’t tell us how she can communicate or reach the surface – us filthy Avernites aren’t meant to know after all! She does make a big deal about not entering her private chambers. It’s likely too early for me to do anything about it yet, but I have a feeling we’ve got a ticket to the surface, or at least something really interesting hiding back there.
We might have an unfortunate diplomatic incident in our future. Heh.For now though, this surprise meeting seems a good place to stop for now. Next time, there’s that ruined fort near the castle I could go back and try to explore, then I’d be more or less caught up on back tracking for the moment.