Anyway, we’ve got a dead slith chieftain, a demon attack on a nearby fort and a demon slaying sword to fix. Let’s go!
Not too far from the castle is this place, it’s a potion shop selling some fairly useful potions, though I don’t grab anything right now.Fort Emerald is a very small fort, as such there’s not much here for us, there’s no store or trainers to make use of, though we can sell our junk here if we need to.Matthias has a simple quest for us: go talk to Elizabeth, who he thinks is near Silvar. We’ll fast travel over there in a little bit.There’s also a Slith prisoner who’s slowly freezing to death. He’s sure his buddies will come for revenge soon enough, after all, thier leader is unbeatable! Apparently he didn’t get the memo, Let’s break the news of Sss-Thsss’ death to him.Oh well. Can’t say I didn’t warn him.This jumpy fellow has nothing for us, I just find his story amusing. Randall here is a messenger of sorts, traveling between the various forts to see how the war is going, then reporting back to the castle. He’s not too keen on it, what with the war and the killer cat and lizard folk and the occasional fireball getting tossed around. So what landed him here?Oops!Then emerald in the center of the fort can be approached and meditated in front of. Doing so nets you a free casting of cloak of the Arcane at level 1, but like said with the pools that grant free cloaks, I prefer cloak of curses and Cordelia can readily cast cloak spells if needed.Elanor has an interesting story for us, She was an actress on the surface who got tossed down here for a play she was in.What was the play?Oh… apparently on the surface, that first expedition totally didn’t happen. also worth noting is her mentioning of Demonslayer and the Royal Seal. We knew about Demonslayer already, but the seal is a new one. Sadly, she’s an actor, not a sage, so outside of namedropping these things for us and noting they were lost with the first expedition, we don’t have any other information.With the fort handled, I decide to explore a bit on the way back to the castle to fast travel to Silvar.I end up encountering a fight with a massive horde of undead, nothing special aside from the numbers though, and a magic cloak for my troubles.I also find a cache that, thanks to me actually having some points in cave lore, I can actually dig up. Caches generally just give an item or two, which is nice but not super important. I’m likely not to bring them up that often.I feel kind of stupid. I finally found Anastasia, you know, the person I was told to find near the very start of the game? Somehow I didn’t notice she was the owner of the armor shop at Silvar.A quick trip back to fort Avernum lets me deliver the good news.I also check on the depressed Gremlins nearby, to find they wanted the wine I had in my inventory.My reward? Some healing herbs. I can hand thee in elsewhere in for potions if I want.It turns out Matthias was wrong, Elizabeth is in Corta, not Silvar.It turns out her history with him is not a pleasant one. It turns out Matthias was a rebel on the surface working out of Elizabeth’s Inn. The problem is Elizabeth didn’t know this until the Empire found out. The empire, unsurprisingly, exiled her despite her not knowing any better.
Coincidentally, she hopes the rebels don’t get too well established down here. Imagine if they got big enough to make the Empire mad…
Alright, let’s get back on track already!Going a bit north of Fort emerald leads to a fort overrun with Slith. In true video game fashion, effectively ending the war with the slith has not in fact, ended the war with the slith. Areas that you haven’t personally cleared out yet are still full of angry lizard men so you can still clear them out for loot and exp, or do those slith related quests you might not have finished yet.
Sadly, magic barriers bar the way, so we’re not exploring this yet.A hidden path near the fort hides a cache, a fight with some slimes, and more importantly, acts as a shortcut to getting further north.Here we go. This crypt is where the final Piece of Demonslayer is waiting for us.The opening parts of Drath’s crypt are pretty simple, a handful of rooms with some undead, and the southwest corner houses a pair of Gazer, which are definitely not Beholders because we don’t want to get used by Wizards of the coast.Coincidentally, they’re guarding another key.The real important part of this floor however, is to the north, this bridge houses a specter of Drath, who disappears after glaring at us for a few moments.The bridge is also apparently trapped, but we manage to notice it. In not sure if the game makes some sort of check for this or not. What I do now is that after seeing this text box once, it never shows up again and you can safety use the bridge from now onThe key we got earlier lets us move onwards, into this mortuary.The mortuary is where things start to get UGLY. Undead here are tough, and party members can quickly go splat if I’m not careful, also note the barriers, These both become issues later, but we’ll get to that in a bit. A few more fights bring us down to the second floor.The second floor consists mostly of these catacombs, It’s main gimmick is a series of gates that each need to be unlocked by a lever, forcing us to wander the entire floor, to find the leaver that unlcoks a gate, that leads to the next lever and so on.One corner of the map hides this nasty surprise if you try to read the book, resulting in your party being debuffed as several strong undead are thrown your way. I managed to fight them off after a few attempts.
The real problem though is you notice those two barriers? They’re in the way. we need ot get rid of them to move on. It’s about time we learn to cast dispel barrier.Fortunately I find the trainer in fort Dranlon.It turns out we needed to give the slith magic book we found earlier to Mariwn, and in return, she’ll teach us the spell. I quickly purchases both levels of it.Back to the dungeon, I finish exploring the second floor a lever the southeast corner hides a particularity nasty fight, just approaching it opens a wall behind you, resulting in the part getting attacked by undead on both sides.Surviving that fight opens the way to the third and final floor.The third floor has a weird gimmick. The end of this hallway is blocked by 3 magic barriers, The third of which is a level 3 barrier which we can’t dispell as we only have the spell at level 2. fortunately a small hidden bath to the side lets us continue.The side path leads to a portal that makes the area dark, This leads us to a sort of maze of portals, We can use portals to move between a series of four arenas, each with two golems in them. There’s also buttons on the walls. Pressing the right button in the right arena opens a path that lets us out.We’re lead to room with two books, one teaches a level of Ward of Thoughts, The other?I have no idea what that actually did. We take the book however, someone somewhere might have a use for it.Eventually, the lights come back on as we find Death and… things kinda go to hell on me.It’s a little hard to see, but Drath is on a raised platform, blocked off by magic barriers, so you can’t easily reach him directly. However, a hidden path off to the side lets you pop up behind the barriers putting you out of reach of his buddies, at least until they start to run down the path after you. to make it better, the path contains a pair of pools that will gave the part some powerful regeneration and damage resistance buffs, to the entire party, though they’ll only usable once before disappearing.The problem is Death himself is way too strong for me.I an get rid of his buddies with some effort, but Drath has spells that can take a party member form full heath to nearly dead in an instant, and he acts twice a round. Add in a tone of HP and my fighters having trouble hitting him, and we’ve got a real nightmare on our hands.
As it stands, I can’t fight this guy. I need better gear and spells, and a few more levels. So I’ll have to end the update with me fleeing the dungeon.
fortunately, this isn’t the end of the game for me. There’s plenty more stuff I can do elsewhere that will hopefully be easier to handle and while I couldn’t fight Drath himself, I’ve cleared out the crypt and even killed off the undead guarding him before fleeing the place. So when I come back, I’ll be able to simple rush down to where Drath is and get it over with.
For now though, I’ll have to think of what to do next.