Monday, January 28, 2008

PoR: entry 24 (fin.)

Here is the completed hedge maze map that we pieced together from the journal entries as well as our own mapping. There was some kind of mistake in the southeast corner in the journal entry, so we just sort of fixed it in red. The "T" represents a teleporter (as well as the "12" (yeah, we're not that organized, it's not like we studied cartography at Phlan University!)) and the "R" is where we guessed the "T" transported us to. The "S" in the inner part of the northwest corner represents the secret stairs behind a farcical wall (confusingly displayed in the same red we used to fix the real walls in the southeast corner) that lead to the castle's inner sanctum.

We had heard rumors of Medusa. Turns out it wasn't Medusa we faced, but "a medusa." There is only one medusa in all of Moonsea, but Medusa isn't actually her name, it's just what she's one of. Even though we all know our Greek mythology quite well, and know that there is only one Medusa and Medusa is a name and she's a gorgon. Maybe her name is Medusa, but then she'd have to go by "Medusa the medusa."

We really shouldn't have bothered her anyway. Tyranthraxus keeps her at the bottom of a trapdoor that didn't need to be fallen into. On our attempt Rex turned immediately to stone. Really should have seen that coming.

Medusa should be the name of a major health insurance company in the United States. Med.- U.S.A. It's patriotic and everything.

So this scribe in the inner sanctum supposedly doesn't like Tyranthraxus and wanted to help us get rid of him. We were very very suspicious of his motives since he lives 20 feet away from our arch-nemesis, but we figured we'd give him a shot. The guy's name is Genheeris. His parents probably used a random naming spell when he was born. He made some pretty intense promises to us if we were successful in bringing the big guy down. What are the odds that he actually delivers? 20-1 maybe?

So back down the stairs we went and there, in all his 16 color EGA majesty, was the bronze dragon Tyranthraxus. Annoyingly his immense size obscured the Pool of Radiance which we've been waiting to see for several months. We weren't able to get a really respectable screenshot of the pool.

The monster sicked two obligatory pre-climactic henchmen on us before he took us on himself. Inexplicably and unfairly the guards multiplied themselves by five and a half times. This obligatory pre-battle turned out to be rather difficult for us. They were too close for too many fireballs and they didn't drop dead from the fire anyway. Pretty much we did it the old-fashioned way -- paralyzation. Chlorine, Pilgrim and Silver pretty much ran every "hold person" spell they had while Disposo charmed a couple of 'em. Some of the spells missed, but after four turns, all of them were held or charmed. After that we watched the charmed guards cap their former buddies execution style! We're the good guys. These were all eighth-level fighters so xp went through the roof (the first time we got through the battle only Silver was left and she wound up with 46,145 points!).

So was Genheeris, the final NPC of the game, helpful during all this with his assortment of spells and his lightning wand? No. When the guards were held he insisted on using his wand rather than his attack. The wand charge didn't take them down immediately when a straightforward attack would've and the lightning had the possibility of ricocheting and hitting us. This was especially evident when we finally fought Tyranthraxus. Wands and spells had no effect on the dragon, so when Rexbasior circled around to catch the beast from behind Genheeris zapped through the dragon, doing no damage whatsoever, and hit Rex right in the face. It almost killed him. At least Genheeris was fodder.

And speaking of help, where in bloody forgotten realms is Diogenes? He totally should have swooped in for the rescue. Wouldn't that have been awesome? A wicked dragon battle!
Before the big battle, we wound up in an interesting position. Tyranthraxus actually asked us if we'd like to fight on his side. It would have been unique if all the evil members of the party immediately went to his side, but that didn't happen. Actually, it would have been 5% unique and 95% super-annoying. We discussed it and decided that we would actually go ahead and fight against him like we've been planning all freaking along.

Tyr was no pushover. As mentioned before wands and spells (and possibly arrows) had no effect on him. We had to rely on the advice of our corner-man Duke: "So, what we'll be calling on is good ol’ fashion blunt force trauma. Horsepower. Heavy-duty, cast-iron, piledriving punches that will have to hurt so much they'll rattle his ancestors." So fortunately when the dragon decided to unceremoniously execute two of us, he chose the two girls. After Chlorine and Silver went down, Rexbasior went two rounds in a row with a triple-hit takedown. The beast keeled over and only the guys were left to witness it.

(btw, the above screenshot was from a previous (unsuccessful) savegame)

After the battle sequence he went off about possession or something. That never works anymore. We thought we heard him plead something to Bane before disappearing completely but we missed the screenshot. Oh well. Could never follow that religious stuff anyway.

The walk back home was a total Oscar moment.

Somehow, after six months we were hoping to get a better congratulatory screen than this:

So... that's it we suppose. Did we even become generals like we were promised? No. Never trust the NPCs.


We may just look around a little more just to see if we missed anything.

I (Jon) still need to find a working copy of Curse of the Azure Bonds. I also would like to make a small adjustment to the blog's entry format that I think will be a lot more fun and interesting.

Sweet! We'll be back on the path soon enough!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PoR: entry 23 (oh, the humanoidy!)

We're almost done, but wtf? Quicklings? What the hell are these things and how come we haven't seen them before? We're guessing these things are series of Robin Goodfellow clones. Obnoxious and hard to kill, but deeply satisfying when we got a throttling in.

Ok, now back to normalcy.

Minotaurs? Wtf? Why haven't we seen these things before? Are they a series of donkey-headed Nick Bottom clones conjured up by the quickling Puck clones? It's not that we're coming onto quicklings and minotaurs at new points in story. These monsters are hitting us in the wilderness we thought we were used to.

(Perhaps a subconscious explanation for all these A Midsummer Night's Dream references is because, at the time of this entry, it is now 8 degrees Fahrenheit (that's -13 for all the Kiwis reading this). Nothing is more fantastic right now than the middle of summer).

In further deep exploring of the east side of the castle we startled a few scribblers and captured a few notes of our own. We are simply so sick of the research. We fight. That's it. No more paperwork. Here are a couple of stupid doozies:

So Cordana's a bad guy then? Hey, thanks paper! We found that out long ago! Also, the one about Tynranthraxus' big goal? His whole goal is to take over everything south of Moonsea? What's the trouble then? We don't even live in what he wants to conquer! Let him have the south! Must be a lot of oil there or something.

Here's something that might be useful if we could read Elvish:

Finished mapping out the entire outskirts of the castle. Here it is, although it's not really too mazey:

So we did some massive cheating and sorta glanced on the GameBanshee wilderness map and sorta noticed where the lost castle of the lizardmen is. We're not sure how we could have possibly found out that info. We even went so far as to sweeping the whole wilderness, but we still somehow kept missing it.

Inside we found an old lizard guy who was simply having trouble holding onto his incumbent seat. His followers were starting to get caught up in this new, hip go-getter lizard named Drythh who promised new hope for lizardkind if elected. Simply put, old lizard guy needed a new campaign team. So we stepped in and did what we do best. We killed Drythh. Problem solved. Call it a diplomatic mission. Now civilization can simply eradicate the lizardman population rather than let them flourish with the help of Tyranthraxus. Problem solved.

We could have just left it at that, but for some reason we just had to explore the lizardman catacombs. Even though we did our job in keeping an unpopular incumbent in office, for some reason the lizardmen in the caves still kept attacking us for some reason. There were pools there. Pools. Again. Lately we've been hitting up lots of pools. Perhaps it's foreshadowing.

Besides the pretty pools, there was nothing else we could find down there. We're not too annoyed with it, but it was a total pain to map, which we give to the world here:

Friday, January 18, 2008

PoR: entry 22.5 ("anyong" for the ride)

So instead of just stormin' up the castle stairs to quite possibly win the game, we're circlin' around just a little just to make sure we give ourselves plenty of opportunities to get horribly killed.
This week it was the southwest hedge maze and the southeast outskirts. The particular hedge maze we traversed was the only one we couldn't find in the Adventurer's Journal, so here's the map for the world (not that it isn't found all over the internet):

Not much to say about our excursion. Lots of dumb giants. They keep asking for passwords and stuff. Nothin' gets by them though. Oh, and yeah, we killed Tyranthraxus. He's dead. Somehow the boss of the game was very mysteriously easy to defeat. Even more intriguing is that he and his goons only gave us 1701 experience points.

The Southeast outskirts had a couple of other notable locales.

One was a very interesting pool. Hmm. The Pool of Radiance perhaps? If so, it's just as underwhelming as "Tyranthraxus." Plus, if "radiance" indeed is the word to describe it, we think it ought to display more than its shade of 6666FF. Yeah, it's probably not the pool we're looking for. Maybe after we get out of the castle we'll have to find it in the wilderness somewhere. Anyway, there's some kind of weird sword at the bottom. Something to do with fire. Lately a lot of stuff has had to do with fire.

So right next door to that is that Cadorna guy that tried to set us up that one time. He's all chained up and everything. I suppose everybody in the land was lookin' to capture him -- the good guys, the bad guys, the guys who don't know whether they're good or bad, etc. Somehow I thought he'd have more hair and be more emaciated. The bad guys really must feed their prisoners well. So we think he must be tagging along now. He asked to come along, but he doesn't appear as a member of our party. He gave us some info about getting out of the hedge that we really don't understand.

And who's Chantua again? We really need to start takin' notes. We were all under the impression that there wouldn't be that much homework in this job.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


This blog has been recently tagged with the instructions to identify seven things about ourselves that nobody else knows. Since there are seven of us, we'll spread the responses out between us.

1. Chlorine:
I'm pretty sure that Rexbasior totally has the hots for me. I'll totally give in if he goes for it. What he doesn't know is that for religious reasons, I'm planning to mace him in the back of the head after we take care of this whole "pool of radiance" thing. I'm not talkin' about the spicy kind of mace. I'm talkin' about the mace that collapses bones. I'm an evil cleric. It's just what we do.

2. Derfindor:
I know I'm a thief, but so far on our quest I haven't stolen one thing. Also, I guess I have some sort of special "from-behind" attack. I have no idea what that is. I think I had the plague that day in stealing school. I'm a level 7 thief. I feel very ashamed about it.

3. Disposo:
I'm hoping that this weekend will be the time I'll finally be able to try out the "anti-gaying" potion I've been working on for the last 20 years.

4. Pilgrim:
I've been carrying around eight "restoration" scrolls for nearly a year now. None of us has any idea what the spell does. I want to use them to start fires, but Silver doesn't want to burn any bridges, so to speak. That's probably the same reason she won't let me make out with her.

5. Silver the Enchantress:
Pilgrim doesn't know this, but his beard totally smells like eggs. I don't want to tell him because 1) it would be really awkward anyway, 2) he'd know that we all know that he has eggs when he doesn't want us to know and 3) he'd know that we all know that not only does he have eggs, but he carries a LIVE CHICKEN with him in the bottom of his pack. How can he possibly think that he's fooling us?

6. Rexbasior:
I forgot which god I'm supposed to be praying to. I know I'm "good," but so far I haven't found any lick of difference between good and evil. I'm pretty sure the clerics have it figured out, but I have no idea and I'm to embarrassed to ask. Also, I think I'm gonna ask Chlorine to go steady after all this is over.

7. Jon:
I really don't know where I'm going to find a copy of Curse of the Azure Bonds after all this is over.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

PoR: entry 21 (happy new year!)

Ok, with the hustle and bustle of pagan holidays turned corporate, we've neglected some very important questing. We'll quickly share what little we have.

Excellent progress in mapping the entire west side of the castle. Normally a scanned picture of our map would be here, but maybe we'll wait until the whole thing is done. We're really only mapping out the outskirts of the wall, since the inner hedge maze has pretty much already been provided with journal entries.

Once again we're shaken up by Forgotten Realm ethics. This particular character is pretty harmless and if we let him go he gives us information. On the other hand, if we collect the information he gives us and then restore the game and take whatever goodies he has, we can have the best of both worlds. It's pretty cheap, though, doncha think? That's where we are now. We have the info. Now it's a debate about whether we should pretend we're in a good-to-be-alive Jimmy Stewart movie or a standard Tarantino criminal movie.

More coming soon.
Hey! Aren't there still some lizard men somewhere that we forgot about?