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

September 3, 2011

Shadows over Riva - Hunting a vampire

Last time I got the request from the Guildmaster himself to get rid of the Vampiress Mandara who stalks the sewers and not only killed off guildmembers but also entered houses above the sewers to get to her victims. I was tasked to find and kill her. Once and for all.

We already got some information the first time we entered the adventures in Riva while we where searching the graveyard and the crypt. There was some information found about a Feylamia - a vampire - and some sort of potion to brew to get protected from her. I think that might come to handy now.

We got a companion from the guild and began looking for her hideout in the north part of the sewers. Her section was very big. A lot of rooms and interesting items. The problem was that she was observing us but we couldn´t see her. She was invisible. At one point our female companion wore some cloth that seemed to made her become invisible as well and then a silver dagger was thrown through the room and our compaion was never to be heard of again. I still don´t know what really happened and hope she will come back. We continued our investigation and finally found a secret room behind a mirrored wall but while searching it Rennard became unconscious from some evil doing and the whole group collapsed. We woke up at the Guild masters headquarters. This time we would not be trapped by the Feylamia again!



The guildmasters leader
The guildmaster also said Lea - a disguised young womand dressed up like an old beggar - has entered the castle but was forced to flee because of a water dragon that blocked the way. So if we where to enter the castle we have to find a way to defeat or get past the water dragon. We entered the Feylamia domain again and looked for the secret tunnel.

Sewers
A few steps more and we got into a fight with the water dragon. 
Fighting the Water dragon
I must say I was a bit astonished how easy this fight was. I used two magicians to hurl Fulminctus on the dragon and the other two to use ranged weapons. The dragon could only attack twice each turn and always on my strongest warrior Tarbak. After loosing about 100 hit points or so, the dragon died and we could continue. My score right now is 477. I must be halfway through this game.

My current score
We explored the castle by entering from the dungeons. There was a lot of rooms and in a few of them we met guards but took them out fairly easy. I usually play out combat with the help of the A.I. It does a pretty good job and I only control each detail when fighting few or important enemies. Never random encounters.

One thing I don´t like about the game is that when you are eligible to raise a level you have to do it right away. There is no option to delay it so you can plan ahead or compare your characters first. I have had to write down every single skill and spell value in Excel to keep track of whom is best at what. There is absolutely no reason to let two characters be good at the same skills unless they are used in combat. So most of the skill points you get when raising a level feels pretty useless and it is not as fun as one imagine it could have been from the beginning.The same goes for spells as well. In reality among the 60 spells or so you only need 10 at the most. Most of them is not worth the effort using. That is pretty sad when the full system is included the game only exploits a smal part of it. It tries its best to use single spells or skills but only on one or two occasions in the whole game.

The castle
One good thing with this game is that there are not too often you stumble into random combats. It happens less often than fixed ones (and those always have contextual information) and so does not drain you too much of your energy. There are resting places all too few and far between and often you have to return to Riva or your base to be able to sleep and regain the precious magical powers.

This was the loot from the armoury
 In an office we found documents saying that Bosper (the leader in Riva) doesn´t seem to care much for his people.

Examining documents

Often you get choices of how you will approach a situation
Eventually we stumbled into the torture chamer just as a magician was dragged to the table. We attacked and released him and it turned out he was one of the most famous mages there was. Rohezal was his name and he and his three companions are on a quest to investigate rumours of evil things in this castle. He said we had to find some sort of key amulet to release his friends with. Of course he was all too weak to accompany us...but had obviously magical talents that we lacked and just vanished in front of our eyes. Well, when it matters its always up to yourself to clear out the situation.

Cutscenes like this are far and few between

Eventually we found a strange amulet in an officer´s room that led to a closed door I´ve so far been unable to open. Now it turned out this amulet fit the lock and inside where the other mages. They told us Bospar had hidden three urns of evil in the castle and they must be found and destroyed since those was responsible for the current situation with the orcs and all. As always you don´t get much help from the powerful NPC:s. They said we should meet by some stairs later on. They gave us some hints about trying to interrogate the cook who would know more about it. So far I haven´t found a kitchen. There are at least 3 or 4 towers swarming with guards and I am not sure I have to get past them. There is a portcullis I can try to get to open but if it leads inwards or outwards of the castle region is not clear right now.

I have found no clue of the vampire. I don´t know if Mandara is Bospar or if they collaborate or not. I am really interested in finding out what is behind all of this and therefore I push my group forward...




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