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

July 25, 2012

Ishar 2 - Challenging puzzles

In my last post I told you about the new island Jon´s Island that I´ve found. My new goal was naturally to check out that island but I had to prepare myself since it was a snowladen mountainious region. I bought five fur coats for 5.000 gold each to all my members, rested, ate and returned to the island. It had three harbours and I choosed to work from the northeastern one first.

I removed my heavy armours and put on the fur cloaks. Immediately the cold stopped inflicting injuries on me. Now, I grabbed my graphpaper and begun to map out this part of the island. For most parts you walk alongside the mountain cliffs but find passages leading into the mountain from time to time. When walking alongside the cliff you run the risk of slipping and falling off, menaing a certain death. I suppose you might prevent that if you buy ropes for the group but I found that it only happens if you try to step out into nothingness so I choosed the careful approach instead.

Dawn is approaching
On this part of the island all my search eventually come down to the Edelweiss flower. I found five of them in total. However, to reach them I had to fight through groups of dwarves guarding the passages. They where not really hard though, but it still took me one return trip to the city to rest before I could finish this part of the island. The flowers are important ingredients in potions you could brew. But at this time I had yet to find the cauldron to use for it. At one point my party refused to go further because they got giddy. This is the only place on the island in which they reacted that way so I´m not surprised if I have to return to this part later on.

After all my challenges you give in for giddiness !?

The second time I returned to the island I choosed the northwestern harbour. This part of the island was inhabited with harpies. They where not many but very hard. I noticed that they could possess a character into attacking the party and that this condition did not end after some time. Since I had no remedy for such a condition, I reloaded prior to the combat to make another try. This time, more successful.

There where three important places found. The most rewarding one was a living sword (+20). It was guarded by some creatures. At another place I came to what seems like a row of pillars and nothing else. I could not do anything with them but started to experimenting with my items. The only item that would be set on such a pillar was my relic I found with the Golem on the first island. But nothing happens so I suppose I need more relics or this was just a red herring.

I met a floating old man at one place. I could not speak to him, nor did he react to spells or any item I tried to use on him. Hmm. I noticed where he was and moved on.

This holy man is allegedly a "turbulent priest"

The last part of the island - with the southern harbour - contained two important things. First I killed some sort of beast and got its horn. I don´t know what to do with the horn though. Perhaps an ingredient. The other thing that did cheer me up was when I found the cauldron to brew potions with. 

The only cauldron in the game, used to brew potions
Now that I had explored the whole island I had found some important items but no clue on how to go on or what to do from here. After resting in town, I decided to return to the tombs because there was one last door there that I could not figure out how to open. I went there and tried two of my keys, one being the key I stole from the monk at the sacrifice. But nothing worked. I returned back to town to think.

My situation right now is:
  • I cannot open the door in the tombs and have no clue of how to do it
  • I don´t know how to use the three scales in the sewers. There must be something they do.
  • I don´t know if I have done all I should when I stole the key from the sacrifice or if there is more to do
  • There is a person in the town I should meet in the night at a special place but I don´t know where that place might be.
So since I couldn´t find a way to move on, I needed a little help. I peeked through a walkthrough to get me only a hint, not to read fully of what to do. And I found one hint. The old man I found floating at Jon´s Island, was described as a priest in the walkthrough. I was to give him a potion called Humbolg which is described as "turbulent priest" in the manual.

Actually I don´t think I could have done that connection. There is no reason why I should give a floating old man - without knowing he is a priest - a potion called "turbulent priest" which in itself does not reveal anything of its use. With challenges such as these I don´t feel too bad of cheating.
 
 
Anyway, I gathered the ingredients needed for the potion. All could be bought in the city. Then I mixed them in the cauldron and wondered. Shouldn´t I be give a new potion out of this ? I wasn´t and then I wondered if I should use the cauldron on a fire or whatever to actually brew the potion but nay, that is not the case. I brought what I had in the cauldron to the floating old man and he thanked me and gave me a map as a reward. I looked on it and saw he had pinpointed a new island for me. Great!

There is room for one more island...

Now I felt I was back in the loop again. I immediately set sail for the new island and went ashore. It turned out to be an island called Thorn´s island that was covered with trees and walkways inbetween. A typical area where you would expect wooden elves to life, except they don´t exist in this game. I started to map this place and found several interesting places.
  • A relic guarded by some sort of beast reminding me of a Chimera.
One should be careful travelling at nighttime
  • Tales told by some old men that indicates that the mayor in the city is an evil person conducting dark rituals. I have already discovered that to be true.
  • I found Zeldy, the daughter of the mayor in the town hall. She was dead but I could take a key from her.
There is certainly nothing wrong with the graphics in the game

  • An old unmoving gray man that just stood there.
After having found Zeldy, I returned to the city to let the mayor know. The key she weared opened up the town hall and in there I found an idol. Perhaps it was the idol stolen from the church ? I took the idol and showed them to the religious center. They where overjoyed and gave me a pendant.


I rested and returned to the island. The last thing of interest was a sleeping Ent. I couldn´t do anything with him but I remembered seeing a potion called Ent alarm in the manual and knowing this games´ subtle hints on things I returned to the city and got the ingredients for it and brewed a potion I offered it to the ent....and voila! He took it and woke up to give me yet another pendant. Hmm. So I have gathered a few relics, a few pendants and a few skulls by now. I wonder what to do with these.



Anyway, I was not the wiser after having completed my mapping of the whole island. I still couldn´t figure out what to do next and had to take a hint again about the old, gray man. It turned out I should use the horn I found from the beast in the snowy mountains to get the man back to flesh again. Yet another brutally bad puzzle. You cannot determine that the man is turned to stone to begin with and much less so that the horn would have anything to do with his stone-to-flesh wish. I know where I will hit this game hard on at my review.

When the man finally could speak again he told me he wanted a shield. Strange wish for a man returning from eternal death, but what the hell. I returned to the city and bought an iron shield for 6.000 gold and gave it to him. He took it and somehow bestow some sort of magic on it and returned it to me. It was said to protect me from a dragon´s fire. Would I guess that is how it all will end eventually ?



I left Thorn´s island with a sense that I had completed all my tasks there and returned back to the city. I could either go back to the mountain to try to solve the puzzle with my group refusing to go on OR I could - once and for all - try to solve the problem with the scales down in the sewers. I choosed the latter one.


After ploughing through my skeleton friends I was again standing in front of the three scales. I just had to look up that solution in a walkthrough. It was said I had to put 3.350 gold pieces in each and everyone of the scales, but it turns out it should be 3.550 gold pieces (I learned that from another  walkthrough on youtube).

That is more than what the scale with the gold originally contained which makes it even more difficult to solve this puzzle. When I put that amount of money in the three scales and returned back to the sewers, the water was now drained and the monsterns infesting it was back behind their bars again.

I explored the now drained sewers once again to find anything hidden and found a small sewerhole below water level which we stepped through. We came into a huge room that contained 10.000 gold and a throwing dagger. In the eastern part we met a group of mummies guarding a lever in the wall. I killed them and pulled the wall and moved north through a corridor. A few steps later we where all roasted by an etherical monster casting spells at us and doing huge amount of damage. My party was wiped out after just a few hits and it was impossible to hurt the creature.
 
 
I reloaded and tried out different magical spells on him but could not harm him so I reloaded again and now put all my pendants on me and voila! One of them protected me from even meeting this elemental foe. Another example of using an item you don´t know what it´s for against a monster you don´t know the name of and of course that should solve your problem.

I continued and soon found two new skulls and some money. One of the skulls was protected behind masses of mummies and the other one behind secret walls. So it was these skulls that where so important all the time! All of my problems with the scales to get two more skulls.
 
 
I returned back to the city to heal and rest. My group was now at level 20 and the new mage and priest at around level 14. They had got a lot of new spells since being recruited to the group. I admit I had to go for a hint again. It seems the skulls where important to open the last locked door in the tombs. I returned there and put every skull into every scale I found and that worked. The only logical explanation of this is that there where five scales (or six, I don´t remember now) and I carried at this time of the game the same amount of skulls. That´s all there is. If there at least could be some parchement or riddles you find with some clues. I wonder if anything could be put in the scales. Hmm...

If you didn´t now, I´ll tell you now. Skulls are for weighing down scales that opens doors, Clear enough ?

The door was now open. I entered to find a room filled with gold and yet another relic. Now I had three. So the relics and my pendants are what I have.

Right now I will try to find a way to continue in the snowy mountains because I have no other place to visit. I will brew potions to get rid of my giddy. I found that in the manual there are a potion called anti-vertigo. If that is not the solution the I don´t know. I´ll return in my next post of what will happen.











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