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Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Commander Keene posted:

It's always good to know the wasps haven't won the war yet.

With everything that's happened these last three years, this LP has gone beyond cursed.

In other news I'd like to apologize for COVID. I think the LP saved up all its curse and discharged it last year like a limit break.

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Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


DGM_2 posted:

What? Of course I'm excited! I've got...

An angle.

*extremely Cholly voice* WHAT ANGLE

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Chokes McGee posted:

In other news I'd like to apologize for COVID. I think the LP saved up all its curse and discharged it last year like a limit break.

COVID doesn't deserve to be a limit break. It was lovely, like Trance. End-game, already mastered all the blue magic Quina Trance.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


It's actually funny because while the direct LP curse is gone, it's been replaced with a new one. Every time I try to go to a Birthday Massacre concert something absolutely terrible happens that keeps me from going. The first time was my Very Bad Day three years ago, and the second time was the start of COVID in March.

Part of me hopes they're not coming to the New England area any time soon, because I fear what the result may be next time.

dervinosdoom
Jan 23, 2014




Probably the end of the world

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES


of SA-Mart forever

One would think that the name 'Birthday Massacre' would keep anyone from going in the first place... at least on their actual birthday.

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






dervinosdoom posted:

Probably the end of the world

Nah, just the end of New England. Possibly it will be overrun by our new kitten overlords, considering my phone kept wanting to autocorrect it to Mew England.

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES


of SA-Mart forever

Randalor posted:

Nah, just the end of New England. Possibly it will be overrun by our new kitten overlords, considering my phone kept wanting to autocorrect it to Mew England.

Mew England is the best and most adorable England, and I say that as an English man.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Randalor posted:

Nah, just the end of New England. Possibly it will be overrun by our new kitten overlords, considering my phone kept wanting to autocorrect it to Mew England.

oh my gods this is incredible

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Secret of the Silver Blades, Chapter 5: Old Familiar Faces




Today on the Gold Box Adventures: journal entries! Who likes journal entries? Hope it's you!







What the hell have you gotten us into this time?

Look, the map said Visitor's Center. I don't think you can blame me for this one.

I would. Vinyl is, like, totally in this year.

Seriously. If you ever scratch one of my Tay-Tay records, we're gonna have words.

That's not what I—





ghalghdlag

I don't really think you can blame me for that one, either.

Won't stop her.

Nah.




Here, we've bumbled into the old Administration Building, a.k.a. the Black Circle's entire base of operations. So, that's not great. While optional, this section should very much be completed prior to the main quest for reasons we'll discuss later. So, we might as well add a few new faces to our punchlist. See what I did there? God drat I'm funny.








Not much to write home about vis-a-vis the fight. Hold Person on the mages, Hanover runs over and stoppers anyone who resisted, and then we cast all the paralytics until they surrender. Sure, it sounds simple, but sticking all those spells is a headache and a half. I've said it before, but Black Circle opponents are generally pretty high level and carry appreciably good gear. They are a load to fight against, and they'll soon be all over the place.










Which way should we go?

Hmm. If I were in charge, I'd set up an ambush past the left door.

Oh. So we'll want to go r—

Which is exactly why I'd set up an ambush on the right door, because I know I'd pick the left door.

...do you even listen to yourself?

No. Which is why we should take the left door.

HRAAAAAAAAAARGH *crash*








That was going to be my choice, too!

Great minds think alike.






You can pick one of the main doors—and we will, eventually—but the comedy option is to charge headfirst at the far wall. It'll give way to a secret passage, and you definitely don't want to miss this one.







Prepare yourselves. We have no idea what horrors lurk deep inside the bowels of the Black Circle's hideout.

Bring it on!





























...

...

Nope. Nope nope nope nope.

Heeeeeeeeee—

Fuckin' nope.







(nice)




Journal Entry 69 posted:

My dear Sasha,

I'm sorry to hear that you have concerns about the Black Circle. However, their continued good will is essential. Their Control of the Verdigris Mine gives us the gems we need at a reasonable price. As long as these shipments continue, we will not investigate them too closely.

You may tell them that my negotiations with the Red Wizards proceed very well. Some may be on their way even now. Should this turn out as well as I hope, you can count on a position as my personal scribe.

With my strongest felictations,

Grangnak Ulfrim
Councilor Of New Phlan




lmfao owned

Good. Now she knows what it feels like.




Ittttttttttt's Sasha! Didn't expect to see her again, did you? The New Phlan Council, out of gratitude for herding a pack of morons into banishing an ancient evil, shipped her out to the lower south 40 even though she was yelling the entire time about how evil the Black Circle is. Well, with a name like Grangnak Ulfrim, I'm sure he has her best interests at heart.










I'm not real clear on why we're going after her.

Sasha could be in danger. These are unfriendly halls, and she's clearly opposed the Circle's presence.

...

...

...and?

...and we should rescue her?

Nope, still not getting it.




















OH NO

WE'RE GONNA DIE

*poof*





...

OH NO

WE'RE GONNA DIE






Once again, Dispel Magic comes through in the clutch. I have no idea why you have the option to dispel this particular fireball but not, y'know, the regular kind of fireball. Par for the course, I guess. Anyway, the mage that cast it takes off running, and we're free to continue on our merry way.













Well. I'd ask what the odds are, but that would imply I'm surprised by anything anymore.

—EEEEEEEEY SASHA

...




Journal Entry 55 posted:

"I had contacts with the Black Circle because of their access to the gems in the early days of the city, as they were awarded to the heroes for successful completion of their missions.

After Phlan was freed, the council agreed to act as middlemen for the Circle. In return for our help they continued to replenish the city's treasury. I was sent here as a contact while the council works out the alliance between the Black Circle and the Red Wizards.

I have been here long enough to know that these mages are very dangerous. This scroll is a map of the Circle's Inner Sanctum. Take it! I'm getting out before the circle succeeds in its plans. Good day!"

The woman storms out of the room with haughty dignity. She slams the door and her brisk steps recede down the hallway.




Good news: while saving New Phlan, we were accepting literal blood money! Although that is pretty on brand for us. Anyway, Sasha's already thin patience finally wears out, and she beats feet. Although... I'm not sure where she thinks she's going. These halls are crawling with Black Circle. Maybe she thinks she can just apathy them to death? Who knows.




Journal Entry 40 posted:

2nd Tenday of Highsun New Verdigris Mining

1) 250
2) 300
3) 75 (Hill Giant Attack)
4) 350
5) 50 (Medusa Attack)
6) 100 (Wyvern Attack)
7,8,9,10) General Strike—no work.

"Where are all these monsters coming from? We can't get any work done!"




Also available are her notes. She has a knack for attracting massive bureaucratic headaches, doesn't she? Oh well, not our problem. Let's get out of this detour and back into the base proper.










...and if I were me thinking like me, to avoid me, I'd—

For gently caress's sake. Just go left!








whyyyyyyyyyyy




The answer, of course, is that both hallways are guarded! In good news, those are Black Circle Troopers instead of Lords. They're far less impressive: AC 3, HP 46, low level magic gear. That's still a lot of HP to hack through, so our strategy doesn't change much: geek the mages, set up a meat wall, Hold Person until there's nothing left. These fights are not exciting. At all. We ran out of novel stuff a while ago, and it's just going to be more of the same from here on out. I told you this game turns into a slog. You didn't believe me, did you? How foolish.













Bring it on!

STOP STANDING BEHIND ME WHEN YOU SAY THAT








Huh. Honestly didn't see that one coming.




More guards, plus the base commander! We handle them the usual way. Unlike the outpost back in PoR, defeating the Commander doesn't capture the base. That would imply something interesting happening.












Journal Entry 16 posted:

We are prepared. The inner sanctum is well concealed, surrounded by the hatching pool. We hope that the old Red Dragon will not miss the hatchlings; they provide an excellent defense. Soon we must find a way to age them to a more useful size.




Narrator: they didn't find a way to age them to a more useful size.





I have no idea what this key goes to. I keep going back into my video captures and seeing all these quest items and having no idea when and where I used them. Secret of the Silver Blades!

Late Edit: Apparently, this key makes the secret passage glow back in the foyer. No wonder it seemed so useless...










THIS IS THE BIG ONE, I'M COMIN' ELIZABETH

Oh, just get out of here.

oh ok

*bamf*





Ooh! What's he got in there?

"For daddy. With love, your son, Billy."





*toss*

*shatter*

You felt nothing doing that, didn't you?

I still got real bad heartburn from lunch, if that's what you mean.

It isn't.




Lots left to cover here and none of it is very interesting. Let's check the highlights reel.











Okay. We just leave and nothing else happens





What the hell are fighters doing in the Magic Training room? Serving as targets? Who the hell knows.













ARGH

KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT

...





Seriously. Y'all are idiots sometimes.

Yeah, not wrong.




I always loved the illusionary monsters trope. The targets take damage only because they're flailing around and bouncing off walls and each other. Imagine being the mage casting that, especially if you can't see the illusions yourself.













...

This is gonna suck, isn't it?

Yup.








ow ow ow ow

they're everywhere

game over, man, game over




Good news: we've found the boss room. Bad news: they set up a dragon hatchling pool around it. Every step we take in here will trigger a fight with around 4-6 dragon hatchlings. Again, they may seem unthreatening, but those fireballs they spit out add up fast. Plus, we're got an obvious boss fight in front of us. It's a supremely obnoxious and extremely cheap way to soften us up. Secret of the Silver Blades!













WELCOME TO YOUR DOOM





...

Assuming... assuming you come over here. Where your doom is.










*smolder*

Man it's been a while since we could do that.






Fortunately, the boss fight is an absolute yawner. These morons have made the mistake of barricading themselves on the other side of a huge room. One of the major, major problems we've had with this game is tight quarters, which is why we've leaned on Hold Person instead of our usual explosive ordinance. Here? We have plenty of room. We torch them to an incredibly satisfying crisp.

Even better is the loot we get afterwards: Bracers AC 2 and a Girdle of Giant Strength. This is a huge get at this point in the game and makes it worth coming in here all by itself.





And that's that. Beating this fight marks the map as complete and will also turn off the hatchling pool. I don't care. We're never coming back here.





yet

even

more

JOURNAL ENTRIES




Journal Entry 53 posted:

The path to the Castle of the Twins was revealed when Oswulf's Confession was rediscovered. Oswulf gave his final confession to his cleric just before the ice encased the valley. The Dread Legion of Magic persuaded the cleric to reveal the Confession. Their leaders expanded and annotated the document. Their hopes of a quick penetration of the glacier were dashed when the Legion was nearly destroyed at Ashbenford. The Confession has been lost since that time.

We of the Black Circle are the descendants of the Legion. Now that we have the Confession again our plans can proceed. We have broken the glacier and it recedes slowly. The Silver Blades are gone, so no one can stop us from releasing the Dreadlord. It is only a matter of time.

Still, we chafe at unnecessary delay. We have tricked the miners into opening the way into the dungeons. We are now recruiting fire-using creatures to melt a way upward. The monsters we release serve to keep away intruders.

The solving of the Dreadlord's dungeon riddles has cost us many lesser mages. Illusions have sent many scouts to unwitting deaths. We are proceeding, but would do better with control of the Well of Knowledge. Its wisdom and control of the teleportation gates would aid us greatly. We also seek the Amulet of Eldamar to pass the three great doors to the Sanctum.

Divinations show that a third item will be required to reach the Dreadlord. The sign indicate Tyr is involved with the item, but nothing is clear. The temple in the mine seems to hold nothing of value.




Wha—this piece of junk? Why do we need this?

Because mages love amulets. Hell if I know why.

ooh shiny

...that actually does explain a few things.

*shuffles notes* This is... concerning. If the Red Wizards align with the Black Circle, they'll have all the firepower they need to get through that glacier. We cannot let that happen.

Yeeeeah. I dunno who this "Dreadlord" guy is, but I'm guessin' he ain't friendly.

If we need an item of Tyr, and there's a Temple of Tyr in the mines, then that means our next stop is...

The pub!

No! Why would you even think that?!

Yeah. I mean, we already put it out of business.

Oh right!

hnnnnngh







As expected, here's our ride back home. There are actually multiple portals here that you can use to return to the well. I didn't show them off because who cares.

And speaking of not caring, we're done with this chapter! Tune in next time, when we absolutely, positively will be starting the main quest!*




* card subject to change




Next Time: Temple Fugit

Nemo2342
Nov 25, 2007

Have A Day





Nap Ghost

All I want to say is that the inner child in me was thrilled to see the Fireball Island reference.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





Why wouldn't the pub be your first thought after heating up a room several hundred degrees from repeated fireball use?!

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Nemo2342 posted:

All I want to say is that the inner child in me was thrilled to see the Fireball Island reference.

The hell else would a fireball rolling down a hallway remind me of?

DGM_2
Jun 13, 2012


Chokes McGee posted:

*extremely Cholly voice* WHAT ANGLE

Simple, chum: you do all the work of putting out an LP and I get to enjoy it without paying a dime! They say you can only pick two from "good, fast and cheap," but instead of getting good and cheap I'm getting good and FREE! You're beating the system on my behalf, buddy!

...Was that sufficiently Sternn-like? Being this much of a corrupt, thankless rear end in a top hat doesn't come naturally, but I'm working on it.

DGM_2
Jun 13, 2012


FeyerbrandX posted:

COVID doesn't deserve to be a limit break.

The overreaction to COVID has done far more damage than the disease itself ever could have.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

DGM_2
Jun 13, 2012


Chokes McGee posted:

I always loved the illusionary monsters trope. The targets take damage only because they're flailing around and bouncing off walls and each other. Imagine being the mage casting that, especially if you can't see the illusions yourself.

I once had an idea for a series of monster-summoning spells so evil it would have fit right into Tomb of Horrors. They summon monsters that look just very slightly off, hinting at illusion magic. The catch is that the monsters are real and it's only the flaws that are illusory. If you successfully disbelieve them, the monsters turn invisible...

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

The loot and plot info at the Black Circle base is very important. Good to see Sasha again too.

Lots of different types of Black Circle goons in the game. I never really bothered ranking them in order of power. Itís kinda hard to tell anyway. I think the highest ranks are Lords and Wizards- they probably have the best gear.

Tylana
May 5, 2011



Pillbug

The boring answer about dispelling the ball of fire, is it was the spell Flame Sphere, which summons a lasting sphere of fire to roll around and burn up your foes, not Fireball, which is a mortar round.

But that's also a boring answer so feel free to ignore it.

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


After attempting diplomatic relations with Zhentil Keep in the first game, Phlan's council is now negotiating with the Black Circle and Red Wizards of Thay. Even under new leadership, still trying to ally with the absolute worst people in the Realms.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Alpha3KV posted:

After attempting diplomatic relations with Zhentil Keep in the first game, Phlan's council is now negotiating with the Black Circle and Red Wizards of Thay. Even under new leadership, still trying to ally with the absolute worst people in the Realms.

I'm not giving out the full details now but New Phlan's council has been and will continue to be hilariously corrupt. Like, it's not just my writing. New Phlan is just a huge magnet for power hungry weirdos who can't hack it anywhere else.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


DGM_2 posted:

...Was that sufficiently Sternn-like? Being this much of a corrupt, thankless rear end in a top hat doesn't come naturally, but I'm working on it.

DGM_2 posted:

I once had an idea for a series of monster-summoning spells so evil it would have fit right into Tomb of Horrors. They summon monsters that look just very slightly off, hinting at illusion magic. The catch is that the monsters are real and it's only the flaws that are illusory. If you successfully disbelieve them, the monsters turn invisible...

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


How many casts of haste could it take to make dragon hatchlings into dragons anyway? Bonus: none of that pesky intelligent monster stuff.

DGM_2
Jun 13, 2012



Hey, I never said I USED the idea! Only that I thought of it!

Randalor
Sep 4, 2011






habituallyred posted:

How many casts of haste could it take to make dragon hatchlings into dragons anyway? Bonus: none of that pesky intelligent monster stuff.

The problem with that is that you would end up with a large amount of large, fire-breathing lizards who haven't developed self-restraint and only want to hoard gold and shiny gems and... wait, are all dragons just hasted newborns?

JustJeff88
Jan 15, 2008

I AM
CONSISTENTLY
ANNOYING
...
JUST TERRIBLE


THIS BADGE OF SHAME IS WORTH 0.45 DOUBLE DRAGON ADVANCES


of SA-Mart forever

Nemo2342 posted:

All I want to say is that the inner child in me was thrilled to see the Fireball Island reference.

I'm still genuinely agog that I got that one. What a stupid game that was.

Chokes McGee posted:

The hell else would a fireball rolling down a hallway remind me of?

Indiana Jones but with fire?

In all seriousness, though, I think that the fireball in the hall, to be lyrical, was actually a Flaming Sphere not a Fireball. I realise that that must sound a bit like 'That's not a toilet, that's a Waste Expulsion Receptacle', but they were two disparate spells. Fireball is an instant effect where a mage shoots a little pea that goes boom, while Flaming Sphere was a big burning sphere that the caster could move around to do consistent per-round damage and sometimes even knock someone over. The latter being persistent, it can be dispelled. I remember this, coincidentally, because I played an illusionist in early D&D and I used an illusory sphere to kill a bunch of goblins in a tight corridor. It wasn't a real sphere, but the little fuckers were too dumb to know the difference.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


JustJeff88 posted:

It wasn't a real sphere, but the little fuckers were too dumb to know the difference.

On a similar note, thank gods the party had Shanna.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Hi, all!

So, you probably don't know this, but the interior lights on my car stopped working about a year ago. I finally decided yesterday to replace the fuses, but that didn't get it, which is disappointing. So I figured I'd change my turn signals at least since it needed to be done, and that didn't work either. Which is really odd, and while I'm puzzling over whether the connector is properly seated, I look up and SEE THIS BULLSHIT





Perhaps some animal did it, you may say? Of course they did. It was a squirrel. You know how I know it was a squirrel?





Because it left a goddamn calling card

So, to recap: a random rodent has just cost me literal thousands of dollars. lp curse is back baby awoo (wolf howl)

EricFate
Aug 31, 2001

Crumpets. Glorious Crumpets.

That's what you get for using the hickory flavored wiring.

Drakenel
Dec 2, 2008

The glow is a guide, my friend. Though it falls to you to avert catastrophe, you will never fight alone.

Squirrels may be fun to watch, but they're assholes. Don't let em fool you. (That sucks man)

Remind me to tell the 'racist squirrel' story sometime. When the very thought of them doesn't drive you to bloodlust.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


Secret of the Silver Blades, Chapter 6: Temple Fugit










Still at it?

You know it!

Well, at least you're not dead yet. That's something.

Any more stories?

Let's see here...




Journal Entry 12 posted:

'Twas long ago that the old town was a thrivin' place. The mine was there then too. Folks was ruled by a fellow who worshipped Tyr. He thought the miners was deservin' of Tyr's protection. Some of the folks round here say that the temple can still be found. Only those of stout heart should try though. Things buried so long tend to harbor ghosts that don't like disturbin.'




So what you're saying is, "Get to the mines."

You catch on quick.

It comes and goes. All right, let's roll.

See you later, Grandpa Uncle!

Yeeeeeeah don't do that.




Welcome back to the Gold Box Adventures! Today, we'll be *shuffles notes* *checks* going to the mines? That doesn't sound right. Oh well, it's what it says here, so it must be true!

But first! Let's take care of some upkeep we've been neglecting.










ARE YOU READY

I'm ready.

WELL YOU BETTER GET READY

I'M READY

I MEAN, REALLY READY

I'M READY

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME TRAINIIIIIING





A MONDAY NIGHT PARTY







You are all so strange.

Don't lump me in with them.




We're starting to level up! Hanover and Shanna both pick up a level, and with that, we've unlocked Tier Six of Cleric spells! Let's take a look, shall we?


  • Heal. Dispels all permanent effects (except poison) and heals a target except for... 1d4 hitpoints? Why? Symmetry, I guess, because the only other spell is...
  • Harm. Affects any living creature. Strips away all hit points except for 1d4 with no savings throw holy poo poo


Oddly enough, I don't use Harm nearly as much as I should. I mean, it's two turns to kill a single target. We're better off firing three Hold Persons in that time span. Still, it's gonna be real useful after this game, so stay tuned.







(First National Bank of New Verdigris.)

Note to self. Bank is located across from trainer. Relatively low security.

Don't you dare.

Also, don't voice inner monologue around party.

Good thinkin', boss. That's gonna be handy later.




Also here is the vault, where we can unload our excess gear and money and then forget it ever existed. I mean, at a certain point, it's basically a pile of unnecessary junk. Hold Person/Monster all day erry day





That covers that. Let's start us a quest!







Well, this should be it.

Hold up. It was on the map this whole time?

Looks like!

Then why did we go to the Visitor's Center?!

Turns out I had my thumb on it.

Like, I don't blame Sternn for this one. That map is totally huge.

...?

Sternn?

What is this feeling where something isn't my fault?

I wouldn't get too used to it.





They're here! Everybody get ready to fight!





Uh... hello? Guards?

Yeeeeah, about that.





BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD

She's a real self starter, huh?

Yup. Just wind her up and watch her go!




The Black Circle guards around the mine have seen better days. This is the real reason to beat the Administration Building Visitor's Center. If you don't clear that map first, there will be a large number of guards here, and they'll keep showing up every time you come back. More importantly, they keep appearing in increasing numbers. You get some dope gear for beating the Center anyway, so you might as well clean it out before you get started with the quest proper.








And here it is. Get an eyeful and calibrate yourself. We're going to be here a while.













Just coming right out and saying it, huh?

I dunno, I kinda dig it.

You would.

What's that supposed to mean?

I mean... you don't really do subtle.

Yeah. If anyone would know, it's Heather.

Totally!

Stunning moment of self awareness there.

I wouldn't get too used to it.










Whuh oh. That's not good.

Aw, look at the kitties! They're so cute~





Argh!

What's the deal with these things? It's like they're here, but they're also over there.





Now you see 'em, now you don't.




This is our introduction to Displacer Beasts! These things are basically tigers with a permanent Cloak of Displacement and what appear to be tentacles. As far as I know, the tentacles are just for looks. They're not tremendously powerful and their displacement isn't really enough of an AC boost to protect against high level fighters.

Fun lore fact: these things are neutral to humanoid creatures and, in fact, are sometimes trained as guard dogs by various factions. Imagine having one of these things around the house. It'd be able to sleep in its bed and your bed at the same time.










spooooooopy

Huh. Place is deserted.

All the better to loot it with.

For Sune's sake, why? Just... why?

Consistency is an important character trait, Shanna.








Whoever was here, they left in a hurry. And recently.

I'm starting to wonder if we're too late and Sternn put that back immediately

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Yeah. Boss is a saint when it comes to churches.

AAAAAAAAAAAAA




Here, we have the Temple of Tyr. Is it deserted or not? Who can say?





At least our ID badge works. That saves Hanover a (B)ash roll. I guess I could retake that screenshot so it's not so glitched, but











We can wander around a bit and look at various rooms, but there's exactly one thing of interest around here, and it's a Journal Entry of all things. I mean, at least Shanna gets something out of it. Assuming you ignore Sternn throwing some acolyte's money into a sack. I mean, it's not shown in the LP, so clearly it didn't happen.









Journal Entry 65 posted:

We go into batle today to stop the Dreadlord. I am fearful, but Oswulf is confident. When he speaks I find my courage returns. I hope everyone at home is happy. With any luck I will be home soon.




He's toast.

Didn't even have the decency to leave his relics out before he went.

How dare he.

I know, right?







?





Wow! There's a whole hallway!

I wonder if someone's in here?

It would explain why the temple's so well maintained.





...fookin' idjits. A welcome center? Who falls for that?

I see you're well aquainted with our body of work.




"Old?" Why quotes? You're weird, game.





...





LET ME GO, MY BLADE DESIRES TO TASTE DWARVEN BLOOD

...

Yeah, she does this. Just keep talking, we'll handle the rest.





*deep inhale*




Journal Entry 18 posted:

Derf reclines in a chair and begins, 'Three hundred years ago there were two brothers: Oswulf, a paladin, and Eldamar, a mage. Both were powerful and worshipped Tyr, god of justice. As Eldamar grew old he became obsessed with gaining immortality; serving Tyr was no longer enough. He became insane and isolated himself in the upper levels of the Castle of the Twins. There he researched the arcane magic necessary to become a lich. Oswulf discovered this, but was unable to convince his brother to abandon his madness.

'Forseeing the evil that a lich would produce, Oswulf left the Castle and searched for 12 great heroes. These he forged into the band called the Silver Blades. By the time Oswulf could return to this valley, Eldamar had completed his spells and was reborn as the lich called the Dreadlord. The Dreadlord summoned evil forces to protect him. The Silver Blades forced a pitched battle among the buildings of Verdigris. The town was laid waste and many of the heroes fell. Those of us who remained forced the evil horde back to the castle gates.

'Oswulf refused to push on and slay his brother. Instead our mages and clerics cast a spell to freeze the valley permanently within a glacier. The Dreadlord's forces counterattacked while the spell was being cast and Oswulf fell protecting us. His body lies on the level above, but his spirit still guards the castle, preventing the reawakening of the Dreadlord. As the last of the Silver Blades, I chose to remain here to maintain my temple and keep watch as well.

'Now the descendants of the Dreadlord's disciples have returned. The Black Circle is succeeding in unravelling our spell. I am now bound to this temple and cannot take the battle to them. You must take up the Silver Blades' standard and end the Dreadlord's threat forever.'




*scribbles furiously*








Okay, sure, but how are we gonna find all those pieces? These mines are huge!





Now get up outta that, and try not to send the whole thing arseways.

See you later, Hurf Strongbow!

...





We have to become Silver Blades? Um, we're not swords?

You got problems in your brain meats, headband.

I still think you should've let me kill him.

Hmm. I could probably get a good price on this ring.

I can look for a fence next time we're in town.

Can you please do something about them, Justine?

Don't you think I would've already if I could?







Well, here we are. The second most irritating part of blades. Why, you may ask?





That's why. You may follow up that question with, "That's just one map, how hard could it be?" To which I answer:











...and so on and so forth. There are ten floors of this bullshit. Nothing happens in it. Absolutely nothing.





Sure, there are occasional cat scares as you go along, but none of it means anything. You're just wandering around until you find staff pieces, and the whole while...







Freeze. They can't see you if you don't move.








Brilliant.

Well, at least there's only one of them.





I have become death, destroyer of worlds.




Occasionally, you'll bump into monster patrols. You're given the option to (T)alk it out, (B)ribe them, (W)ait, or, of course, (A)ttack. In general, you shouldn't bother with the monsters down here. There are tons and tons and tons of them, and you'll still get your fair share of fights whenever negotiations break down, which is pretty often. General rule of thumb: you can get around wildlife by waiting, and you can try to talk down or outright bribe intelligent creatures. Bribe seems to work better. It's not like we're using those gems anyway.

Here, in the fine tradition of bats being irritating monsters in video games, are mobats. They're easy enough to swat down, and at least this variety isn't laser focused on knocking you into a pit.








You get all sorts of monsters down here, so the variety is nice, at least. Just how many monsters were stuck in that glacier? You wouldn't think flash frozen baddies would be a thing. Magic, I guess!







More rubble. How thrilling.

It will be thrilling... when you find out I have an angle.

I wouldn't say "thrilling," per se.





Check it out: a gem vein.

Rad! How'd you know this was here?

I remembered Priam talking about getting gems from the mine. I figured, they have to come from somewhere, so if we keep looking long enough...

That's... surprisingly brilliant.

For all his faults, Lincoln is razor focused on anything that involves making money.

Not wrong. Hanover?

You got it, boss.








...

Well, the plan was sound.

I prefer to think of it as karmic retribution.

You know we're all included in that, right?

Yes. Yes, I do.




You too can do your own mining! I think you get some extra gems if you send in a dwarf, but this is paltry compared to fight rewards, and we actually get experience for those. Look, I realize the internet wasn't a thing when this game out, but it's loving 2021. If you're desperate enough for a hint, there's easier ways to get it than mashing the mine button for half an hour and then feeding the gems to the Well.








Actual footage of nothing happening. Gird your non-gender specific loins, folks. This is it for a while.







Wish this whole setup wasn't as familiar as it is.

See? I told you I picked you guys for a reason! Dungeon crawling through bland caves is your specialty.

I don't think it counts if it's forced on you.

Well, at least we're done with the first floor. That's one less we have to worry about.

Um, weren't we supposed to do something?

...?

Like, collect a piece of something, or...?

...

SON OF A—




Next Time: Mine All Mine

Chokes McGee fucked around with this message at 20:50 on May 1, 2021

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

Yeah, the mines are a real pain. At least I remember there being some variety in where each piece of the staff was.

Did you miss the Secret Tomb in the Ruins that priest mentioned? Or is it not worth the trip?

Alpha3KV
Mar 30, 2011

Quex Chest


Displacer beasts are in the first two games, though only in easily missable wilderness encounters.
The mines do at least have some good loot to find, which is generally more than can be said about the game's other monotonous corridor sections.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


achtungnight posted:

Yeah, the mines are a real pain. At least I remember there being some variety in where each piece of the staff was.

Did you miss the Secret Tomb in the Ruins that priest mentioned? Or is it not worth the trip?

I swear I thought that mention was about the Ancient Dragon treasure cache. Who knows, because it's never going to be brought up in the LP again!

We're also not going back to the taverns. Sorry I'm not showing off more of those, but PoR trained me to never ever set foot in a tavern ever, and it's stuck with me to this day.

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

No taverns? Oh well, I can understand wanting to avoid that mess. There is a fun Easter Egg in the taverns, though. Since you're never going back there, mind if I spoil it? It concerns fake journal entries and glowing mice.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


achtungnight posted:

No taverns? Oh well, I can understand wanting to avoid that mess. There is a fun Easter Egg in the taverns, though. Since you're never going back there, mind if I spoil it? It concerns fake journal entries and glowing mice.

As long as it doesn't give away anything related to this plot or future plots, knock yourself out.

syzpid
Aug 9, 2014


Listen. Strange dwarves in mines distributing pieces of a staff is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical mining ceremony.

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

Alright. You may remember how fake journal entries are a thing in these games' manuals. There are journal entries in the manuals that never actually take place in the games. Last game one of them included a meeting with Tiamat, Queen of Evil Dragons. In this game, you can hear a tavern tale where a drunk mentions he saw a glowing mouse in the mines.

A certain journal entry has that same mouse making a speech. Basically it comes down to "I am Tyranthraxus, back from defeat! You can't kill me! Muhahahaha!"

Only, I have looked all over the mines and never found that mouse. So we can relax, the guy was just drunk. Big T is not coming back in this game. And maybe never again.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

This is Urotsuki.


achtungnight posted:

Alright. You may remember how fake journal entries are a thing in these games' manuals. There are journal entries in the manuals that never actually take place in the games. Last game one of them included a meeting with Tiamat, Queen of Evil Dragons. In this game, you can hear a tavern tale where a drunk mentions he saw a glowing mouse in the mines.

A certain journal entry has that same mouse making a speech. Basically it comes down to "I am Tyranthraxus, back from defeat! You can't kill me! Muhahahaha!"

Only, I have looked all over the mines and never found that mouse. So we can relax, the guy was just drunk. Big T is not coming back in this game. And maybe never again.

Narrator: Do I really have to do this again? I do?

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

I think I remember these mines, though not all 10 floors of it because holy hell that's a lot of tedious poo poo. Is this the part where you can find a silver shield +4 that reflects gaze attacks and some similarly buff weapons?

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Gilgamesh255
Aug 15, 2015


As far as I can recall, the bar fights only happened in PoR; or at the very least don't exist in SB. Still, not like we're missing much.

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