Currently playing: Nox Archaist

September 12, 2015

Serpent in the Staglands - Finally drawn into the plot

The last hours I have tried hard to find any clue, a red thread or anything that will take me to some sort of progress through this game. All reviews of this game has said you have to keep track of everything yourself and it is truly so. I take screenshots of the most important conversations but even I am to lazy to systematically do that or even remember what I read when I have only a few hours a week to spend on this game. 

I have travelled around the left and right side of the map and back to the leftside again to revisit most places to clear them out of bandits, outlaws or burglars that was too tough the first visit. In the city of Rumin I found the first good weapons in the game and could afford to buy one item. I also found a merchant creating supreme armour from harvesters. I met those creatures in Emerald Metalis and they where almost impossible to even scratch so I left them there at first. Before leaving Rumin I also bought a magical armour for over 1.000 emeralds. I now have at least AC 7 on my front melee fighters which means pettier foes cannot puncture my armour.

My supreme Bearded Axe. 20 % chance of making an enemy flee!
From a merchant in Rumin I agreed to take a special shipment to the besieged town of Lev up in the far north. I was heading there and explored the northwestern parts of the map. That quickly turned out to be a fast retreat back to the southwest. The forests where filled with ice spiders, ice imps and other creatures almost impossible to kill. The only foes I could kill was the ice spiders one at a time. Random encounters in this game is extremely hard. You cannot save and often meet half a dozen foes of the toughest sort.

However, with my party upgraded I returned to take out the wanted wheelwrighter in Lebez. I had tried to take him and his two followers on the road to death before without any success but this time I used my old tactics of retreating back to the city guards to help take him out. He didn´t have any unique items but I got 500 emeralds from the constable. 

I also returned to the western port of Ista Cale but I found nothing to do there. I have found a few very strange places in the game where I know I must do something I just don´t know what. For example in a woodland area filled with witches I found a cave with some cauldrons in the end with runic symbols. I have no clue what to do there.

I searched around the southwest part of the map again without much success so I returned with my stronger team to Emerald Metalis to try to take on the harvesters. Now was the time to develop my magician. I spent an hour increasing and trying out different spells against the harvester. The problem is that they often go for your weakest partymember and that is usually the mage. And I found out that the mage is the only one in my party that could hurt the harvesters. They move underground and during that time it is impossible to target them with attacks or spells. I have to wait for them to make their attack and become visible. This made everything harder but in the end I choose to spend 6 skillpoints in the spell heat metal. It will both burn the target and make it drop their weapons after awhile. I also had very good use of my magical axe because when an enemy flees it will eventually stop when the map ends and do nothing. My mage can then take the enemy out with his spells.

This way I killed a few harvesters and got their scale. I also found a cave behind them that led me underground to a royal daughter called Ruxandra. I replaced one of my team members with her. She was a mage and specialised into morphing into a wold. As such she does adequate damage and is part of my melee force since then.

Ruxandra, my latest companion

With the scales I could get back to Rumin to forge myself two very good armours that I gave to my melee fighters. Now we returned to explore the eastern part around Emerald Metalis. It was about here I begun to feel that I was actually making some progress. First off, I found a new place filled with spirits. Those are very hard to kill but now I begun to spend my saved attribute points for my fighters into strength to deal more damage. One single spirit gave a tremendous amount of experience points at over 900xp.

Killing spirits raised my levels in no time

Since there was a lot on the map and I had to releoad several time (spawning new spirits) I could use this as a grinding map which eventually helped me to raise three levels. I was now at level 9. The map (which name I have forgot) had two interesting places. First a statue to the god Necholai where I expect to do something, unclear what. The other place is a fairy glade. I found out using woodwise that a trapped fairy was inside. I tried out several spells without success but eventually found the answer in a forum to use the grade 2 orb spell. With that I rescued the fairy althtough it was already dead. Now I got three strange alternatives. I could leave the faery, bury it or eat it. I tried all of them (yes I reloaded) and the first two didn´t do anything but by eating it I was able to choose a party member for a gift. I have yet to see what that gift is since no statistics has been change as far as I know.

I now begun to search every single tile in the northeastern parts and found some sort of tower. But you start the map in the middle of a bog with leeches sucking the life out of you and with an attack of three monsters. Even though I reloaded a few times some of my party members always got killed (there is not resurrection in the game). I left the place to return to the city of Rumin and there I found boots that would protect me from the leeches. The only problem is that there were only four boots and I needed five. I returned to the tower but the guy missing his boots got killed so I paused this place and saved it for another day.

I travelled westward past the city of Rumin. My goal was to try to reach the besieged town of Lev. If I could avoid the difficult random encounters everything would be good. After several attempts I managed to get to the city without being attacked. The city was filled with soldiers but no merchants or other person of interests except for the captain. I was to deliver the spice I got in Rumin before. That was my ticket to talk to the captain Mya and now the main story finally started.

It turned out she recognised me as the god I was and that her brother Octavian would like to see me. It seemed they where my enemies but also said Octavian was the only one holding my key to return home again. I have no choice but to seek him out. Mya hinted that Octavian might be found in Fuldea Mare at the lumber yards or at Isla Cale where he is the counselor. At least I now knew who to seek. I left the city and searched the northwestern parts until I found the Lumber yard. 

This turned out to be a map full of combats. First I had to fight roaming creatures and then I got to a bridge with a locked door on the other side which I could not pass. I had missed a cave in the wilderness. By transforming the whole team to bats we could enter it and finally emerged inside the lumber yard. It was a place full of slaves, slavers and soldiers. I had to kill everyone there in tough battles but which eventually made me raise to level 10. In the end even a portal with crawlers pouring out threatened to run over the lumber yard. But I managed to kill the crawlers. They are extremely dangerous. They have low hitpoints but inflicts 40-50 points of damage when they hit. 

At this map I upgraded my fighters to a grade 3 skill that gives me part of the damage dealt back as healing. I found that skill very useful and it kept me alive longer. I only had to invest one point in it and it is used automatically (every fighting skill is used automatically as long as it is shown on your quickbar which holds three skills at a time). 

The interesting part of this map was to reach the captain. When he was killed he left a key with which I could open one of the locked doors in the small community. Behind it I found some very interesting papers and a manor key. I am not sure where it leads to but I suspect to Isla Cale.

Three mages in lumber yard protected the locked door
 I left the lumber yard and my goal was to go south to Isla Cale or Corem but on the way I stopped by Isla Cale camp that I had left unexplored the last time I was there. It was full of ice imps and ice spiders. Both types takes time to kill and I had to take them out one at a time as always. But eventually I cleared them and reached a camp of blood hunters. They where hunting the bloodless ones. Some sort of demigods. I got much valuable information from them. One mortal who have know how to reach the bloodless ones live in Corem. He is a merchant at the merchants guild. I was told to check him out and extract information in any way possible and then return up here with that.
At the same map I found a strange pillar with runes I translated to Tonrek when checking the manual. I have no clue where to use that information yet though.

So I left them and travelled down to Corem, confronted the man who confessed when I revealed what I knew about him. He told me that the entrance to his chambers is in Lumen Forten. I was told to use the blood book on the second floor. The correct runes will force a black blood to drip. Two vials are required to open the portal. He did not know what runes should be used. I had the possibility to kill him but I kept my word of keeping him alive. 

Before I leave for Isla Cale - for it is there I think I should go now I would like to take on another fight which I remember I left because of its difficulty. It is a bounty on a man that hides in an inn with his companions. You have to fight everyone at once which maked it hard at first (then I was at level 5). 

I feel things are going in the right direction now. I have made great progress storywise and developed my characters pretty well since last time. 

Time to get back to the game!

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