About Time I Finished This: Slith on the Water (Avernum: Escape From the Pit pt 11)

20160909164947_1So, last time we found the one sane man in the Tower of Magi. Or he was the one sane man, if not for recent events causing him to flee to his secret underground volcano lair.

Still, we have a big job ahead of us. That demon isn’t going to slay itself. That said it’s too soon to go fight it, so we’re leaving for now.

20160912100436_1Solberg has a lizard pen, complete with a drake. Sadly it’s a bit too much for us right now. All that fire-breathing tends to rapidly kill my squishier party members, which is basically anyone anyone not named Aldous. This will have to wait for now.

20160912100712_1Since it’s mostly done already, I decide to finish up exploring the little river that sections off the northeast part of the world map. When I find this pool here.20160912100659_120160912100712_1Drinking from the pool casts cloak of the Arcane on the party for free.20160912100737_120160912100743_1At the end of the river is a second poll that casts cloak of curses. It’s kind of nice, but remember that cloaks don’t stack, more importantly, I have a spell caster who can cast cloak spells if needed, and since cloaks don’t cost mush energy to cast and last until replaced or you return to town, it’s easier to just cast my own rather than relying on the freebies.

20160912100938_1Checking the world map, I noticed there’s a piece of demon slayer in the Eastern Gallery. Which I keep saying we need to get to the castle, and we do, we might as well get the gallery fully explored before we go running off there.20160912101413_1On the way over I decide to stop at Fort Dunvo to talk to Jason, turns out I did beat those bandits earlier. It’s a little late for those rewards to be useful, but hey, it’s finally off my quest list.20160912101539_1We start by heading to Cotra.20160912101707_1The inside is nothing much of major interest, there’s a couple shops, but no trainers and my money is still going all towards spells.There’s a few things of not though, Konig notes the existence of a legendary crystal cave. But doesn’t say where it is. Something to keep an eye out for.

Interestingly, you can ask him to train you. Usually when not at a trainer this just points you to a trainer, but he can actually help us.20160912102306_1This unlocks the door in a small area beneath the city…20160912102326_1 20160912102331_120160912102346_1…and nets Cordelia level 3 cloak of curses!20160912101816_120160912101831_1Paul is the mayor’s secretary. normally the mayor would be happy to see us, except he’s busy due to a little problem: The nephil are holding some of his men prisoner to the north. We’ll need to deal with that first.20160912102124_120160912102130_1A small, tucked away part of town reveals tow dead bodies. We’ll probably want ot tell the mayor after we’ve handled his little cat problem.

With that done it’s time to leave town.20160912102641_120160912102644_1A hidden cave near Cotra leads to a new quest, we need to find some crystals to repair this place.20160912102745_120160912102800_1Going west leads us close to the front lines of the war between the nephil and avernites we find a surprisingly large nephil camp.20160912102831_120160912102842_120160912102936_1Fortunately we’re long past the point where nephil are a major threat.20160912102954_1Near the camp we see signs of something else. I’d need to buy another boat, as the last one can’t leave it’s little river, so we’ll deal with it later.20160912103456_1It’s not long before we find Fort Dranlon.20160912125814_120160912125817_1Dranlon doesn’t have a gate, instead it has magic barriers like the ones we’ve seen a few times before.20160912130030_120160912130032_1Marion here is responsible for the barriers. The reason for this is the Fort is under constant attack by the slith, and the barriers are to help plug holes in the wall until they’re able to be repaired.  Apparently we’re near the front lines to the war against the slith, which is rather worrying given the nephil are also nearby.20160912130203_1She’s busy, what with all the barriers to make. But She can still teach some mage spells. She has the same spells available as the Formello trainer.20160912130532_1This quiet guy here is interesting. He doesn’t say much but if you keep talking to him…20160912130539_1He prods you a bit about your loyalty to Avernum, We say we’re willing to fight, even against the Empire and..20160912130556_1That’s all hell tell us on the matter. Still, if we’re looking to escape, this sounds like it just might be the way to do it. We needed to go to Bargha for the library anyway, so there’s one more reason to go there.20160912130622_1 20160912130645_1Commander Rosie runs this place, and needs our help. Namely, she has two jobs: The first is to scout an island to the south to see what the slith there are planing. The second is to take out a slith fort across the river near the town itself. for either one we’ll need to grab a boat.20160912131055_1East of the fort and Cotra is Nepharim fort. The Nephar are the nephil’s bigger, angrier, sterile cousins. Two groups of them stand outside the fort, they fall easily enough.20160912131435_120160912131440_1The front gate is locked, and guarded, a head on charge would be pretty nasty.20160912131503_120160912131507_1Fortunately, there’s a tunnel nearby.20160912131643_1This leads to a side entrance, but I decide to continue down the tunnel first.20160912131653_1Renn here escaped when the others were captured, and has been trying to figure out how to rescue them since. He lets us know there’s a gate that’s rusted open at the back of the fort, along with a crypt. Hmm…20160912131930_120160912131949_1Crypt demons are nasty, plenty of health, hard hitting, and can cast acid spray. which does decent damage as well as damage over time, though fortunately the cure spell can handle that.20160912132515_1Kill them and we claim our prize: A piece of Demonslayer.20160912133315_120160912134341_1Once you deal with the demons and find a way in. the resto f hte dungeon is fairly straight forward. Nephar are basically nephil with better stats, and with the damage we’re doing, we might be a bit higher level than this place expected, at least for the main dungeon. The crypt is quite nasty and actually took a couple attempts.20160912134020_120160912134047_1We find the prisoners, and let them go.20160912134817_1As well as tell Renn the good news.20160912133517_1Finally, there’s a temple in the fort, it contains more nephar, including a pair of priests20160912133623_1The real fun is this thing though.20160912133632_120160912134652_1One cave demon isn’t so bad but 3? That’s a bit more difficult. I take them out with some effort, then head back to Cotra to deliver the good news.20160912135209_120160912135313_1That takes care of that, so now what?20160912135602_1Looking at the map, I see there’s another part of Demonslayer nearby, as well as those two areas Dranlon want dealt with.We could deal with those real quick, explore the dark lake, then make our way down to Almeria to see what that town has for us.20160913132526_1But first. Let’s head back to Cotra and deal with the job board. it’s been so long I forgot those were a thing.20160913132528_120160913132620_120160913132635_120160913132646_1One of the nice things about Avernum is that in many cases you can do a quest before receiving it without any problems. I already dealt with the Nephil attacks teo of the nobs mention, so I can just hand them in now.20160913133153_120160913133203_120160913133250_1Another quest wants us to find a secrete room in Corta’s pillar room, then go see mike in Formello, we can fast travel between the cities, so it’s a quick trip. The last two require a bit more work, but are also fairly simple: One involves a dungeon we have to go to anyway, and the other involves taking a message to Dranlon, who we’d need to see after clearing said dungeon anyway.20160913133657_1We need a boat, Again, we can’t just carry the boat we brought earlier out of the water, so we buy a new one at Silvar. Fortunately going by the world map, most of Avernum’s waterways are connected, that river to the northeast being the main exception. hopefully this is the last boat we need to buy.20160913133726_1A small area off ot the side, reachable only by boat, reveals some goblin spies! Sadly we’re well past the point where goblins are a concern. The fight’s over before I can think to screenshot it.20160913134142_1Now that we’re out on open water, we can head towards that slith camp, exploring as we go. This island here houses something important.20160913134152_1There’s one of the crystals we need.20160913134233_120160913134245_1Here’s another one!20160913134339_1A tiny island with a lot of those burning fungus we saw much earlier on it. It’d be dangers if we cam earlier, but now? Not so much.20160913134514_1Here’s that slith encampment.20160913134536_120160913134627_120160913140108_1The camp is pretty simple, some rocky land forming a half-circle around a lake. Slith like to slow and ensnare the party, making it hard to chase down any fleeing lizards.20160913140810_120160913140903_1There’s a shaman that grant’s a very nice item for mages.20160913141758_120160913141800_120160913141802_120160913141826_1The real trouble is upstairs. We find the plans Rosie wants near the stairs, along iwth a lot of slime vats. Hmm…20160913141842_120160913141853_120160913141931_1This boss was a massive pain to deal with, on his own he’s not so bad, he’s a simple melee fighter with a lot of HP, and his body guards, aside fro ma spell caster that likes to throw debuffs around, aren’t that big a threat given we have a mage with multiple area damage spells at her disposal. The problem si what happens when you actually hit him.20160913141952_1once he takes enough damage, and it’s not much, he summons slims from the pools behind you, and he keeps doing it throughout the fight. slims aren’t hideously tough, but there’s a lot of them, and they have access to an area damage acid attack that can destory squishier targets like say… your back or spell casters, in an instant.20160913144415_120160913144457_1The way I beat Tassik was to move around him, carefully moving my spell casters past him and focusing on taking out his body guards while ignoring him as much as possible.one that was done. I could fight him, knowing the slimes will be heading towards my stronger front line.20160913144748_120160913144938_1The strategy mostly works, I win, and managed to mop up the remaining slims afterwards, but not without Mario getting knocked out.20160913145218_120160913145534_1Still, we’re done here. We stop by Cotra, then head up to Dranlon to spread the news.20160913145658_1With that down, we start heading north, a shrine hidden near Dranlon gives us another crystal.20160913162358_120160913162507_120160913162449_1Near Darlon is the cave where that shaman is hiding out. Sadly compared tp most dungeons this place is better prepared for us and we’re immediately under attack.20160913162642_120160913163218_120160913163446_1It’s mostly more slith like we had before, along with some frozen worms, the fighting is also a bit more spread out once you get past the bridge.20160913163825_120160913163957_1This place is is actually a full city, there’s a fish farm and nursery. The good news is The game keeps the kids out of the conflict. The bad news is we are basically making the little guys orphans.20160913164036_1We’ve found another key. 20160913164043_120160913164104_1Nearby, we find their eggs. Fortunately the quest just wants he shaman dead, so we skip on the child murder.20160913164319_120160913164324_1We find two books, one to improve a spell and another that shows the slith have been brushing up on their human history.20160913164350_120160913164420_1Finally, we find a third book and take it with us. I don’t recall anyone wanting this book, hopefully we find an interested party later.20160913164452_120160913164652_1This dungeon doesn’t really have a boss. There is the shaman, but the game doesn’t do anything special to point them out so I don’t even notice them outside all the other lizards running around. Instead we get ambushed on the way out.20160913164834_120160913165010_120160913165023_1We go back to Darlon to tell Rosie we did the revenge thing. Then make our way north for a little exploring.20160913165059_120160913165113_120160913165116_1 20160913165139_1The interesting thing is this cave that will sell us crystals. Most of them are useless, but the three at the bottom can do some interesting things, like grant regeneration or destroy magic barriers.20160913170154_120160913170239_120160913170221_1with that done, we had south, past the outpost we scouted/cleared out earlier. There should be a piece of demonslayer in here.20160913170446_120160913170943_120160913171143_1The dungeon itself isn’t much to write about at first. It’s another dungeon full of slith, nothing too special.20160913171213_120160913171420_120160913171602_1One thing of interest here is the temple, where we arrive just in time for a cave demon to be summoned, why they’re summoning demons I have no idea, but either way it’s not good news we already have the haakai lord and that’s more than enough demon trouble on it’s own.20160913172141_120160913172144_1The bottom floor of the dungeon has one last surprise for us near the entrance: A snake in a box. I don’t know why it’s there but there you go. The snake is somewhat tough, but with the rest of the floor cleared already, it’s not that big a deal.20160913172243_120160913172251_120160913172253_1The upper floor is a slith temple, That the slith are religious raises more questions about the demon summoning downstairs. Are they all demon worshippers? If they are it kind of makes sense I guess. When you’re this far underground, hell’s a lot closer than heaven.20160913173312_1The upper floor is a linear path of yet more slith, nothing too interesting.20160913173634_1There’s some magic barriers we still don’t have the spell for. I could go buy some gems to handle it, but I’d rather hold out until I can just cast the spell myself.20160913173719_120160913173742_120160913174046_1We find the main temple, clear out the slith around it and head inside.20160913174313_120160913174321_120160913174331_120160913174333_120160913174356_120160913174422_1puruass is a pain in the ass. A spellcaster with a fairly damaging fire and lightening spells, the slith and worms inside the temple with her aren’t a major concern, but her main gimmick is a bit of a pain. Throughout the fight she’ll take a random character and suddenly kick hem out of the temple as well as summon two smiles right next ot them. The slimes aren’t too bad, mostly they exist to keep your displaced party member from simply running back inside. still, having a fighter ready to rush outside of one of the squishies gets kicked out isn’t a bad idea, as well as using some summons to act as possible decoys.

Finally, throw in a lot of knockback and a charm spell to worry about, and you’ve got a rather tricky fight to deal with.20160913174502_120160913174506_1Beating Puruass isn’t the end of things though, once she’s dealt with we have to take the piece of Demonslayer, which results in more guards coming after us.

Also, I should note that you can grab the piece at any time during the battle, simply by moving someone near the altar. This is a small problem, because you don’t want to take it until your done fighting, Yeah the text asking if you want to take it pops up every time you move near the altar until you do so. not too bad on it’s own, but Puruass sticks near it, and her knockback spells means having to approach the altar a lot. I had to do the fight a few times. This got REALLY annyoing.20160913174744_120160913180746_120160913181013_120160913181139_120160913181141_1It’s a fight to get back to the ground floor, but we manage to escape. We’ve just got one part of Demonslayer left to find.20160913181937_1With that done, I take the boat back to near Silvar, fast travel to the Tower of Magi to sell junk and train some spells, and prepare to continue exploring the south, There’s another town to the west. But after doing so much I think I’ll save it for the next update.

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