Currently playing: The incredible adventures of Van Helsing, Ravenloft: Strahd´s Possession

August 21, 2011

Shadows over Riva - a time consuming game

I helped the student Stipen with two rhymes but then got tired and couldn´t solve the third one. He refused to go into the town or mine and there was nothing else for me to do so I went back to the mine and entered. The mines were lit fortunately and I immediately came to a dead end where I managed to squeeze throuh a collapsed tunnel to emerge on the other side. Two orcs guarded the passage but that was quite an easy fight. I moved on...




There was some sort of fall which the orcs fell down to. I continued my exploration and came to a dining hall and rooms filled with tools of different sorts. At one place the whole group could train with throwing axes against a wooden door. I noticed that my magician Danelli was best at it and actually gained a skill point. Cool!

There were some doors that had to be picked open by Tarbak but other than that we went downstairs. Somewhere there we had the opportunity to sneak up on an orc guard and question him out. He was already hurt and dying and talked about traps and that we would not reveal what was deep down in the mine. There must be some sort of monster there. We continued to a talking mouth and a cutscene. The mouth asked some questions I answered them the best I could and was allowed to pass. I have no idea what effect my answers has. At some place I found dwarved having been hit by a collapsed cave and was dead under the rocks. I cast the spell Banish Spirits on them and it seemed to rest their souls better.

However, after that my group was becoming weak or fully loaded with items so we had to return. But not before checking out the slope where the orc fell into.

We slided down and below there was a lot of dead bodies and we found both jewelery and other stuff. I think at least one item was magical. A pentagram of some sort that decreased my superstition. The only other interesting place was some sort of water pool wherin lied a magical two handed sword - a third of the weight of a normal one. I hade to let a blood sucking worm take its bite on me though.

I returned to town to sell, identify (that´s a bad part of the game. In no way you get to know in what way something is magical) and heal myselves before turning back again. This time I mapped out the entire first floor which I missed the first time around by going straight for the only way that led down.
There where some orc battles and a few items hidden in the dwarven beds but nothing extraordinary. Except for a chest with double bottom. That was both hard to find and to remove the trap.

I found a dwarf with only his legs sticking out from a barrel full of water. He had obviously been drowned by the orcs. I drew him out and found out he actually hide a key in his mouth. Must be useful somewhere.



I´m back down at level three of the mines. It is full of traps and my group has lost about 1/3 of our total wounds. There are strange runes on the wall which I translate to Remission. When the traps finally ends I come before some doors. I pick one and it ends in a mouth asking what I want.



I entered the word REMISSION and the door opened. But I found another door behind it and the though I reentered the word and the door opened it was an infinite procedure since I was actually not moving forward according to my automap. I went back to the other two doors and answered until I was moving no more. Then I was stuck. I didn´t know where to go or what to do. I have to admit I was now cheating by checking up what to do. It was told I was supposed to have seen some lich-covered wall somewhere before (but I had not), so I looked for it and found it in the corridors of traps. I could move inside it and finally entered the end battle with a huge Minotaur Demon. Unfortunately I forgot to take a screenshot. I was weak and thought the battle would be doomed.

To my surprise it was not that hard. My magicians cast Fulminctus against him (lightning didn´t work) and my elves used their bows although they never hit as far as I could see. The rest was done in melee combat with my fighters. After the battle I searched the room (there were no items from the Demon) and was surprised by an Orc leader with two orcs attacking me from behind a pillar. At this stage I was quite weak but managed to survive this encounter as well. I got some jewellery which I must check for magical aura. Apart from that the room held a book of Demonology which I cannot read despite one of my magicians have that school specialised.


You have good use of the automap


When I was about to leave the room a statue talked to me and said my words didn´t correspond to my deeds. Argh!! I am trapped and I have saved the game after the Demon fight.

This wall of stone won´t let me out from the Demon´s den


Ah, by luck I got the opportunity to throw away the book on demonology and so I did, the sealed passage way was revealed and open again. Puh! Now I just wan´t to go home...

This is my current score after the Dwarven Mine
I never found out where to use the tool I found at level 1 and avoided to orc places since I was out of magic and weak now. I returned to town and healed up and sold items. I found a girdle of might +5 strength and a dexterity + 4 ring. Very good items. The best so far. I also recruited Thorgrim once again. I am ready for the next challenge but I have no clue where to go eller whom to speak to.



I spoke to Tarik which I found at the Harbour Maid. He seems to have a lot of information. There are two leads. The sewers or the corrupt Tradesmaster. I checket out the Rat-Catcher but didn´t find any information of how to get down to the sewers. I checked the closest manhole to his dwelling and by using numkey 1 and look down I actually got to choose to enter. I´ve missed that when tried them out before. So now I climb down....



I soon met the rat catcher down below. Driving hordes of rats in front of him using what looked like a flamethrower of some sort.



I followed in the direction whence he came and got some glimpse some horrible ratman beast



After having mapped out every single manhole down to the sewers I was stuck. I didn´t know where to go or do anymore. Even the trademaster was impossible to find. But then suddenly an encounter in the city showed a murder had occurred in a house and I was quickly to investigate before the watch arrived. We found a murdered corpse of a woman biten in the neck with two perfect punctuation marks and we know what that means, don´t we ?

Nalandra found a secret door just as the watch arrived and interrogated us. She didn´t reveal anything though and as soon as the watch had left the crime scene we broke in and investigated the door. It led down to the sewers to a new place and this time I found a small corridor leading up to the sarcophagus from the graveyard crypt. A creature had evidently broken the bottom of the sarcophagus from within and found itself down the sewers. Still I didn´t find anything new and so returned to the city. There I called home at the Ratcatcher which where out and so we decided to break in. We found a strange tool and suddenly the Rat catcher arrived. We managed to hide it and talk normally with him. I had no idea what to use with it but I was hoping it was some sort of hidden key so we returned to the sewers once again.

You have your diary filled in automatically and you can even search in it
We returned to the sewers where we first saw the monsters - as suggested by one of the teammembers. We actually met a silent elf-ghoul that didn´t talk much but was very wary and cautious about us and so was Nalandra in our group who offered her food. The ghoul actually joined the group under the name Malandra. This must be important so we revisited the places I´ve notet for interest earlier. Like bridges spanning the walkways to empty walls. And just as we passed such a place Malandra was able to open up a secret entrance. It was however not unoccuppied. Several men was there and we had to run, but not before Malandra managed to kill one with a huge bite in one of the guards neck. Then she dissappeared in the darkness. It turned out the ghoul was a vampiress and probably resonsible for the murder I wrote earlier. However, we fled to the city again.

We returned later to the same spot just to discover that it was now deserted. The hiding place of what ? The Guild ? had been moved. We rechecked a Portcullis in the cave system which we had not been able to pass before but which might have changed now or with the strange device from the Rat Catcher. We did not open it but was actually trapped because just behind us 12 guards jumped at us. It was probably from the same group we fled from earlier. This battle was very, very hard. We had no room to maneuover and I actually let the computer do the fighting. 3 of us died but amongst the loot was found another Girdle of Might (+5 strength). We automatically fled after the battle and as soon as we reached the surface the game recognised 3 member had earned a new level.

I don´t like the game surprising me with the increase level dialogue. Not only did I not have the possibility to save after the battle and before reaching this stage, but the levelling process is taking much time and must be cautiously thought over. Neither my two warriors Rennard or Tarbak got more than 4 or 5 additional lifepoints.

I have to complain about two things. First about the positive attributes. I have no good idea of what attribute corresponds to the ability to hit in combat. Most of the time I think my warriors miss. Is it Dexterity or Agility. The manual doesn´t state that in any way. I increased Agility for both since that at least affect their dodge ability as well as contributes to the attack/parry base values which I think are shared among other attributes.

The second thing is the skills. There are a lot of skills but most are - if not useless - so redundant or used very, very seldom. Some times the skills of only the first characters that leads the group, seem to be in use. For example when interacting with people. But other times it seems it doesn´t matter and that any skill in the group come to use when it needs. At least not when interacting with people. If the latter, then it pays off to specialise your characters.

I run for the temple and prayed and prayed for my dead fellows to get ressurrected but to no avail. Only the hurt survivors got healed up occasionally.  I even put 100 silver as a sacrifice without effect. Ok, so what about 500 silvers ? Yes, now suddenly one of my teammembers got raised from the dead. I sacrificed some more and prayed and eventually all was raised from the dead again. Great!

Now I revisited the sewers but found nothing new and so I was running around in town when suddenly the Beggar Lea showed up and said the Trademaster want a meeting with us at midnight in a warehouse at the docks. We went there and could not protect ourselves from beeing captured with the help of poisonous fumes and dragged to a place underground. There things was started to develop. The Trademaster didn´t like us sneaking around town asking things about him and we had to tell him our whole story to which he listened. He shared our view of times of change and actually returned our weapons and gave us the signia of a guild member as seen below.