Day in the Life

For stories about your characters

Out of the frying pan . . . (slight spoilers)

I'm finally back to the East with version 13 of my berserker, and he's balanced a little better. I've done Spiders and Dark Crypt, but have no water breathing for Underwater Cave (well, there's one armor in Gates of Morning that has water breathing - I may have to go that route), and I decide to tackle the Vor Armory.

The maze levels are trivial, and I mod my worn equipment as best possible to deal with fire and ice before heading into the Armory itself. Those damn blinking pyromancers and cryomancers are particularly hard for me, it seems. So I clear out the several lower rooms, and am carefully hunting down the last few elementally-enhanced orcs, when I get crit-hit by a cryomancer - damn, down to 14% health ... is that a shade of purple in the doorway?

Gnarg, that lobster, has come out to find me. I thought he would stay sealed in that last room until I came for him - alas, he has taken the offensive today, and here I am with my pants down.

Taking stock of my situation, it's worse than it appears. I'm at 149 health, Gnarg and the cryo are both two steps away, in and next to the doors. Most of my talents are on cooldown, and I'm not currently wearing my teleport amulet. I'm not even using my primary weapon - I have my alternate loaded, because I was using Wave of Power in my hunt. Engaging in melee is suicidal - even doing something like preemptively tripping my other Wild to get the damage reduction isn't enough. I can't get out of the room.

Desperate now, I look through my items for something - a few wands, no good there, lantern has repulsion glyph, not enough ... crap.

I start to look again at Unstoppable. I had initially discarded it - Gnarg would undoubtedly take me to 1hp, and killing that cryo during my 5 Unstoppable turns would put me right back at 12% health - that only buys me a few turns, with stamina tapped, in much the same situation. My regen would come online one turn after that (no big heals found, I'm still using a regen that does ~100/turn), but taking a turn to use that just gets me dead again. The only way out I can see is Unstoppable, wear the teleport amulet, and use it. I look at the mini-map, but I already know what I'm going to see - can't wind up in the vault, and a really good chance of landing in the big boss room.

I ponder this for a while. Porting into the middle of a crowd would get me just as dead, but I gave it even odds that I would end up in another room, giving me a chance to heal a bit, and bring the controlled phase door back online. With enough turns, I could even use two turns to use that heal amulet for a quick 200hp. The teleport amulet also happens to have +12 Luck ...

In the end I go that route. I click Unstoppable, and wear the teleport amulet. Unsurprisingly, I'm at 1hp. Click Use ... and my worst fears are realized. I'm in the big room, in the middle of the lava floor, nearly surrounded. Another cryomancer (damn those things) fires up the snowstorm.

I'm sweating now. 3 turns left on the Unstoppable. Stamina nearly depleted. No usable talents except Stunning Blow. Regen comes online on turn 4. Nearest cover is North, fives steps away, around the cryomancer, plus one more step to clear the distance attackers. I happen to have a clear path ... right now. Several weaker creatures have been hit hard by the cryo's AOE - I mouse over everybody, checking stats and hp.

The best strategy is clear, so I do it.

Turn one - Stunning Blow the adjacent ghast. He's already weakend by the cryo, and this kills him. Zillions of monsters attack. 1hp.

Turn two - step North. Zillions of monsters attack. 1hp. 1 move left on Unstoppable.

Turn three - step North-East. Unstoppable goes off. I'm back to 12% due to the kill on turn one, and taking damage fast. Regen comes online.

Turn four - Hit Regen, back to around 200hp. I really don't remember, and my heart is pounding just like that little Unstoppable icon.

Turn five - successfully around the corner, gaining health. I might live . . .

Turn six - two steps around, no attacks. Now at close to 300hp. I've survived the immediate crisis, but things are far from safe . . . and Gnarg is undoubtedly coming . . .

By carefully running around the blocks, watching hp, managing stamina, and using controlled phase door, I'm able to pick off the melee monsters and the few mancers left.

Back on my feet, with most of the level's other monsters gone, I'm able to take on and defeat Gnarg.

New achievement - That was close.

Zerker - Order of Battle (slight spoilers)

Been playing a week, mostly berzerkers. Here's the order of dungeons that appears to be the "normal" way to go, at least for my zerkers:

Trollmire, KorPul, Norgos, Gloom, Maze, Old Forest, Rhaloren Camp, Crystal Cave, Sandqueen, Daikara, Golem Graveyard, Ruined, Hidden, Halfling, Elven, (Spellblaze?), Dreadfell

For the freeing of Derth, any time after Daikara when you have significant Lightning resist. A good strategy for me seems to be to fire the RoR as soon as I enter, burn off about 20 rounds, then head in, circling the perimeter, and Rush the first elemental seen, and fight just one or a few before getting yanked out. That way I can whittle them down without getting swarmed and burned to a crisp.

Lake Nur is odd - obviously better to get early, say, after Daikara, but sometimes it's just too hard, what with Luminous/Radiant Horrors and Headless Horrors. Then I usually die, confused and alone, and put if off for later.

The Graveyard East of Last Hope I've learned is even harder than Dreadfell. Eternal Bone Giants hose me no matter how well I prepare. I've only killed one, I think.

I'm told Spellblaze is much easier than Dreadfell - I always assumed it was the "last" dungeon. Need to find where in the order it should go.

The value of a proper escape route, or "OH GOD IT'S EATING MY FACE"

My archmage halfling is my most successful character so far, in that he actually managed to beat the master. In playing this character, I find it interesting that despite having enormous damage output and excellent defenses, with a wide assortment of spells ranging from making stone walls to outright healing and shielding, ultimately my playstyle boils down to two techniques.

Thusly :

1. Overwhelming (literal)fire power
2. Flee

Technique 1 is my favorite, and one I use liberally against most enemies. Technique 2, so far, has only been used twice. Once against the Minotaur of the Maze, and again against The Master. The Minotaur seems to be my "that one boss". The close confines of the maze, coupled with his variety of debuffs(most dangerously, confusion) and dangerous damage output means that most of my characters have a hard time with him. Though occasionally the Sandworm Queen and Wrathroot give me a run for my money, normally I can adapt enough to defeat them without becoming too horribly close to death.

When facing the Minotaur, my archmage ended up mapping a good 1/3 of the final level of the Maze, simply because he would regularly flee with blind teleports, and then have to frantically prepare the area for when the Minotaur would inevitably chase me down, clearing enemies and lighting passages so I wouldn't be caught off guard when he made his way over.

The Master was this, a dozen times over. I literally started the level 5 spaces from him, with several undead in the room. I expected that I was going to die there, but somehow managed to survive several turns, attempting to clear the undead to try and face down The Master alone. When he started summoning more, I ran down my list of options and decided to escape, blind phase dooring past a wall, landing in a narrow, dark passage. Ideal, I thought. I had my back to the wall, the Master was "trapped"(ha! hahaha!) in the room on the other side, and I could recuperate and then attempt to clear the level before facing down The Master again.

A Duamumbleshadowthingy interrupted my nap shortly, which was less than ideal because he shrouded the area in darkness. Quite the hassle when one is concerned about line of sight. I killed it, and some other forgettable undead that tried to pester me. When TM showed up again, I was in reasonable shape, but I was surprised to see him. I had stepped away from my safe cubby hole to try and see what was nearby, so when he summoned undead I was promptly surrounded. Another phase door landed me in another passage, two tiles south of my former safe haven. I used the Dig spell to bust my way south a couple tiles, trying to minimize line of sight. This worked...technically. I was still being curb stomped by undead, and eventually fled again, this time using a charge off my teleport wand.

I landed somewhere in the far southeast corner of the map, near a room with a regular skeleton archer and an orc. Since I was horribly wounded, this was actually kind of a crisis. I managed to survive with most of my magic on cooldown, my mana all but exhausted, and my health below 100. So I sat there, manually resting with Q, watching my cooldowns in the hope that my heal would come online before something came rumbling out of the dark passage to my north. The room that had been occupied with and orc and archer was, luckily, well lit, so I knew it was safe at least. Once I had a manasurge running and my health was back up a little, I chanced heading south, praying TM wouldn't pop in with a nasty summon spell in my nice, clear room.

He didn't...yet. I didn't want to teleport away, but fighting in this wide open room was a no-go, and the north area appeared to be another room. I couldn't risk going up there just yet. Instead, I used my dig spell and cut a zig-zagging corridor into the side of the room I was in. And there, I waited, letting myself fully recuperate. I was still being careless, though. For one, I hadn't switched out my Vision rune with a wild infusion, which I needed to fix his long duration freeze. Second, I should have been using Arcane eye to watch the corridor.

As it was, when he eventually came around the corner for another round, I had to spend my first round throwing up a shield so that I could survive his inevitable freeze. It was still nearly the end of me, resulting in another charge off my teleport wand. This time, I ended in the far northwest of the map, in a narrow corridor. As before, I used some of my recovery powers and began hunting around to see what the terrain was like in this area. Instead of, you know, using the Vision rune I still stubbornly had equipped.

After a close encounter with some horrible elite wraith thing whose name I forget, and another one which had nightmare in its name(I was a bit frazzled at this point, so my tactical thoughts on being interrupted mid-cowering amounted to AUGH BURN IT) I decided to repeat my earlier strategy, cutting my way into the wall, creating a safe haven in which to cower. I still forgot about my arcane eye, but at this point I decided to equip a Wild Infusion so I could spend more time fighting than dieing against TM. This round went surprisingly well, though it still nearly resulted in my death when I stubbornly stood my ground instead of fleeing as soon as I had dealt some damage.

I landed in the dark room north of the lit room I carved the first passage into. There were a few forgettable undead in here, but nothing horrible. Or maybe by this point I was getting so used to being near-death that I no longer registered it on my OH-CRAP-O-METER. I made my way back south, recovering as I went. This time, The Master was the first to flee. With only a few hundred hitpoints left, he phase doored away. Surprised, I considered my situation and then decided to pursue. I want it to be on record that, if I had been thinking, I would have realized how foolish this was. I already knew what would happen when he died, I'd read the lore he'd left laying about and could see the predictable result. But I wasn't thinking, and I forgot about the lore. I just knew that he was near death, and I was in no mood for more cat-and-mouse.

I caught up to him in the dark room to the north. I hit him with a fireball, but was surprised when he survived it. With maybe 200 hitpoints, but alive is alive. Then he summoned some undead. Fine, I thought. Nothing I can't handle, as long as he's dead. So I blasted a flame spell through his ranks, and him...only to see his hitpoint total restore to maximum. At this point I was in a panick, and had no idea how I was going to handle this. I did the only thing I could think of, and used what I thought was the last charge of my teleport wand. And then I died. I'm not entirely sure why it failed, since it didn't appear to be exhausted. Does teleportation happen "later" in the game turn? I don't know.

Luckily for me, The Master wasn't the only one with a backup plan.

It cost me my Ring of the Dead, but I revived immediately. Still surrounded, but this time I wasn't going to trust to a wand. I had full mana and no status ailments, so I just used my own teleportation spell. If I'd been more careful, sooner, I would have been using it from the start, but I kept running myself out of mana before I would try and flee TM.

I popped over to the north-west cubby-hole, and began carefully eyeing my sustains, putting them back online as quickly as they came off cooldown. Coming back from the dead is a neat trick, but it sure makes one feel vulnerable.

At this point, I finally stop fighting like an idiot. I keep arcane eye monitoring the entrance to my cubby-hole, and the moment TM pops around the corner I greet him with a fireball. As he approaches I go ahead and start my manaflow ability, and throw up a shield. I've equipped a conveyance staff over my staff of destruction, just in case he manages to stun my personal teleport. I toss out a couple spells at close range, and then teleport away as soon as I've done some damage. The fight drags out, me teleporting back and forth between the northwest and southeast corners of the map, carefully maintaining my vigil. Eventually, I dig a complex network of tunnels in the southwest corner of the map, making sure to stay near maximum mana at all times.

It is in this network that I kill The Master, his phase door much less effective when his most likely landing point is just another place in the tunnels. The last moments of the battle were not a narrow, by-the-wire victory. He went down to the simplest of my spells, Flame. I was safe and secure behind hundreds of points of shields, his freeze was on cooldown, and I still had firepower to spare. But he was still a terrifying foe, and even as I threw out the last spell I expected him to have one last trick, one last act of retribution.

As it turns out, he did not.

And that is how I beat The Master primarily through the use of escape routes. I could have used nothing but flame for the entire battle, I might even have been able to best him using nothing but the ridiculously high damage staff I'd found a level ago, but it would not have been winnable without a means of teleportation.

The Nameless One, a Cursed Ghoul of Zigur

I do not know who I am.
I do not know who I was in life.
All I know is the from the notes left behind.
And I know about Magic.

Magic...Magic has been nothing but a problem. By these notes I found laying in this dungeon, Magic what caused this "Spellblaze." Magic is what cursed me in life and twisted my soul and my body. Magic is also what killed me.

And Magic is what brought me back from my eternal rest.

My first memory is awakening in some ruins, surrounded by candles. Strange Runes were carved all over my skin, they appear to have some sort of magical property to them, though I do not fully understand them yet. A necromancer stood outside the candles. Apparently he assumed I was just another mindless servant of his. He was wrong. Refusing to be a slave I quickly felled this necromancer, but not before getting a little bit of information from him, apparently this cloak he possessed will conceal the nature of what I truly am. I could not allow him to live though, he has caused too much suffering to other tortured souls. It will not continue.

"...You are alone! You will be destroyed!"

His words echoed in my ears. Will I be destroyed? What am I to do? Not only does this curse still sit strongly upon my very essence, I am now an undead monster tainted by magic.

This will not do. Something must change.

I quickly headed for the surface, slaughtering all in my way. These undead are all empty husks, I can see there is no real life in their eyes. They will not be missed.

Upon emerging I headed east. I came across a city known as 'Last Hope'. Fitting. This place may be my last hope at Redemption. After speaking with several townsfolk who all seemed to be apprehensive towards magic as well, I received a clue. There is a small village nearby of Warriors of Zigur who dedicate their lives to the eradication of magic.

This may be the chance! Maybe they can remove this curse upon me!

Unfortunatly they felt I was not strong enough to join their order. I headed north and cleared the corruption I found in Norgos lair and the Heart of the gloom. To the west the foul undead in the Ruins of Kor'Pul and the troll Proxx who has been devouring travelers. To the south, crystals with remnant energy of the spellblaze, and a camp of rogue elven magic users.

I felt ready for anything. I went back to zigur and dedicated myself to their order. I passed their tests. Unfortunatly, I did not realize the Runes fused to my body would be destroyed in the process. The very Runes that have been sustaining my unlife.

...and my cloak...

The powers of this antimagic aura flowed through me and completely negated this Cloak of Deception. Before the members of Zigur had a chance to notice the magic fading away, I fled the village. I am no longer concealed. I am truly Cursed now. No more hiding what I am. No more runes to help my survival. The patrols in the area quickly attempted to hunt me down. I was far swifter than they.

I am alone in my search to save myself. I went the only other place I heard of that may have some kind of magic to aid me. Citizens of Last Hope mumbled about the possibility of an abandoned fortress hidden somewhere under lake nur. I quickly made my way through the old forest, only to be stopped dead in my tracks.

An Ancient treant known as WrathRoot would not allow me to pass. With no magic to aid me, even when fully embracing the unholy powers this undead form and this curse gave me, I was no match for him. Struck down by the very Nature I vowed to serve.

Is this how it was supposed to happen? To be destroyed?..I feared death again just as much as I assume anyone that has never died before, because for me with no memories, this was my first death. I did not want to die...I simply wanted this curse removed.

"...You will be destroyed!"...

Maybe I should have listened a bit more to my re-animator

DitL of Cerenas, Shaloren Anorithil

This is my newest more-or-less successful character who made it to the East and hasn't perma-died yet, an Anorithil this time around.

1st Wintertide, Year 875 of the Isolation
It's been a while since I've had much to write about here, but given my most recent conversation with Lady Aeryn, I feel it would be prudent to pen my thoughts, for those that might come after me. Having conceded this, Lady Aeryn has deemed that I be Zemekkys' latest mountain rat... err, volunteer to secure aid from the peoples of "Maj'Eyal," a supposed land of "free people" far to the West. As the youngest and least senior member of the Anorithil left here in Sunwall, I have little say in the matter. If this "Maj'Eyal" exists, why would they have forgotten us centuries ago? I was not yet borne into this world, being one of the first of the children birthed in the East, but having lived through centuries of orc attacks, you would think these "free people" would wonder where the orcs attacking them were coming from. Alas, I must stop now; the dotard's knocking on my door.

2nd Wintertide, Year 122 of the Age of Ascendancy
Well, how rude! I've never been so insulted in the entirety of my life, and I've encountered some downright vulgar orcs, too! I was deposited within sight of the Allied Kingdom's capitol, (A fortress of such a scale even a blind orc could see. It is a wonder it still stands with all the orc attacks that go on. But I digress.) and I ask for an audience with the leader of the fortress from the city gatehouse garrison. The brutes took one look at the sun-and-moon tattoo upon my brow, and immediately started tittering amongst themselves, as though privy to some joke. One even rolled his eyes and said, "By Telos' bedevilled spirit, another one." The commander took me aside and instructed me to make haste for the capitol of "my people," Elvala. He even drew a crude map and pointed out important landmarks, in a voice one uses to instruct children! Does he take me for a fool?! As a side note, he also pointed out the "proper" calendar year name, so to better relate to any who find this diary should I perish.

7th Allure, Year 122 of the Age of Ascendancy
Well, I made it to Elvala, but apparently none of the other elves the dotard sent through his farportal made it this far, as I was the first Anorithil any had seen. Most of the guards were old when I was born, so the stories of Maj'Eyal of old (which I had assumed until now were bedtime stories or stories told to ensure children behaved properly) were enough to grant me an audience with the ruling council. One of the more senior members was delighted to hear his brother still lived (my father, of all people), but in private he told me a dreadful truth of the Shaloren: the people of Maj'Eyal have never fully forgiven my people for causing the Spellblaze, to the point of rather evil people called "the Ziguranth" who are said to wear necklaces of elven ears making raids on Elvala. He pointed out that a single person, no matter how lowly, can always be destined for great things, and to test my mettle, he shared with me two secrets the council has been trying to keep from the rest of Elvala and Maj'Eyal in general: One, there are a group of "Rhaloren" elves who practice necromancy and blood magic -forbidden in the East, supposedly the orcs were once elves who dabbled too deeply in these schools- hiding in an abandoned fortress to the northwest; and two, there is a cave to the northeast where a farportal was rumoured to have been, in the days before the Spellblaze. In the hopes of returning with the bad news, I have opted to go to the farportal cavern.

23d Regrowth, Year 122 of the Age of Ascendancy
"Where a farportal was rumored to have been", indeed! Upon entry to the cavern, I find a note left by some other elf. The Spellblaze originated in that cavern, and the farportal (if it still exists) is likely buried under tonnes of rock. Imagine my great surprise when I get back to Elvala that my uncle does not have time to see me. Pah. Politics. I did however encounter the strangest things I had ever seen, though: crystals, moving about as though with a mage's "Phase Door" spell, hurling spells about with eerie precision. There were many colours, even one that seemed to be coloured as light through a prism, and from it a piece fell. As near as I can ascertain it appears to focus arcane energies upon anything it is fastened to, though I have nothing suitable to test this upon. That last red crystal I encountered sent me running, with the sore realisation that my skills might be lacking. I overheard one of the guards saying an "arena" challenge was going on near Derth, so I have elected to find my way to Derth and apply myself to that challenge.

54th Pyre, Year 122 of the Age of Ascendancy
Earlier in my writings I had penned a belief that these people should have sent help centuries ago - I know now that this belief was in error, that they had their own problems to deal with. Their Age of Pyre came at quite a price, and were in no condition to help us. There have been no orc attacks here in a century or more, no need to be as eternally vigilant as we have. But again, I digress. That furry being need not have perished at my hands, yet he did. All because he foolishly wandered straight into a Searing Light spell directed at his attacker, "Z." Both are dead now, but only one needed to have died. Why? I will never know. He even thanked me, in a sense, for besting that "Z" fellow, before attempting to skewer me with his floating greatsword. I will never understand the foolishness of some of these people.

7th Decay, Year 122 of the Age of Ascendancy
I am beginning to see why this tower is known as "Dreadfell" - it is a truly evil place, beset upon by many undead. I think I died, not even an hour ago - I felt a pain I wish to never feel again, but before it ended I was placed in the Void of all places, near a being that called itself "Eidolon." I've no idea why, but he saw fit to continue my adventures among the living. The most ridiculous thing, though - I had not a single foe left moving in sight, all had perished. It was their diseases that ended me - diseases! My healing light had not yet had time to begin again, nor my infusions of regeneration or disease-curing. If only I had listened to Lady Fillarel on her lectures of Totality, and how it may aid in such situations.

8th Allure, Year 123 of the Age of Ascendancy
Is this the price we Shaloren paid for our immortality? That the pioneers who had the vision to grant us this gift were cursed with insanity and decay of their form? Is this truly the legacy we have for future generations?

70th Regrowth, Year 123 of the Age of Ascendancy
Have I changed so much, so rapidly? I finally made it back to the East, and Lady Fillarel did not even recognize me. She was facing off against some orc filth as usual, and after dispatching the beast, she suggested I go to Sunwall. This cavern was the training cavern in my youth, and I knew full well where I was, and where Sunwall was. Still she needed to point out where it was.

73d Regrowth, Year 123 of the Age of Ascendancy
I suppose as I am back in the East I should revert to the nomenclature for the years that we had devised to remind us to stand strong, but I feel it unnecessary. I have made too many memories in Maj'Eyal, and not being recognized in Sunwall by anybody further reinforces this feeling. I suppose the dotard - Zemekkys can be excused, but literally nobody recognizes me. Lady Aeryn seemed a bit disappointed when I told her I was the only of our kind to make it to Elvala or even be treated with any sort of seriousness, but as leader I expect her true feelings were more profound, but buried for the sake of appearances.

(My) First winner - summoner (roguelike)

Hello everyone, I must say I rather enjoyed my first full playthrough. It was reasonably easy in the beginning and only got easier as the game progressed.

A few words for anyone trying to run a summoner, based on my own experiences with "Wrage the Higher Summoner".

In general gameplay as a summoner is - as mentioned - simple (if a bit dull) when you get the hang of it. My own character focused on defensive aspects by getting antimagic and wearing heavy armor along with a shield (talent requirements met early with help of stat boosting items).

High points: great staying power against theoretically stronger enemies. Orc ambush was easy. So was nearly every other fight.

Low points: very long last fight and fight against your corrupted twin (I nearly gave up both times). Dealing with strong regenerative abilities is hard and requires some masterful summon placement and abuse of time-prison from warper.

What to do: boos hydra fast as it is your main fighting power, jelly is essential for keeping equilibrium down (and antimagic shield up). Make sure you get at least one level of control summon so that you can modify ai settings for your summons (esp. talent usage). There's little point in boosting warhound, it's just too weak. Getting more meditation is equally pointless, same for detonation past one point. I can't say I found rage any good either. Beware of archers.

What I'd do differently: I wouldn't bother with the 4th infusion - boosting Summoning / Melee is a better choice. Evasion (from Cunning) was useless - there was always a better action to take. Antimagic is barely worth it due to loss of arcane items.

And now for the dirty tricks you can (but really won't have to) use:
- summoning through walls makes short work of every room, works on vaults too,
- summoning before switching locations keeps your creatures, it also works with entering and leaving the worldmap (I'm sure that one is a bug).

DitL of Garkun, Dwarven Berserker Extraordinaire

Garkun was the second-born son of a relatively minor Warrior Caste family in Iron Throne. As the warrior caste always has clients willing to pay very nicely for mercenaries, Garkun was allowed education in fighting styles, penmanship, and the basics of equipment use (whereas the mage caste has not produced anything beyond managing to break even since the Great Smith-Mage Dakhtun. Poor Greedy, may he rest in peace.)
With the recent orc attacks threatening important stralite veins (and more importantly, profitability), the Council decided to send a cadre the strongest warriors they had to investigate Reknor. Tradition dictated the eldest was strongest, but amongst the minor families, it was common practise to fabricate documents indicating the second-born (or even third) son was eldest, as the eldest by the most inviolate of laws and traditions was always heir to the family holdings. As the threat was greatly underestimated, the smith caste was allowed to bring its tradesmen to repair any minor damages the equipment might suffer on the trip, and charge their usual fees. Garkun's family gave him 10 gold for these services, but now only he and his childhood friend, Norgan have survived... below are excerpts from his diary:

Diary entry, day two of expedition
Just woke Norgan up after crawling into a hole some rats made in an abandoned tunnel. Still somewhat surprised to be alive, considering how quickly Valrun and the others from the other families were dispatched. Norgan seems a little frightened, but capable.

A few hours later, found a bloody phial on the ground, dropped by some right-idiotic orc no doubt. Asked Elisa about it through the use of her scrying orb, she said it was "Very nice!" Apparently it gave me an "extra life" by drinking it. Not sure what that means. Norgan's shield-slamming seems to be making quick work of any foes we encounter.

Diary entry, day five of expedition
Well, that was certainly a workout. Found the ugliest orc (yes, I know, they're all ugly. But this one looks like he got hit by the ugly stick more than what the rest of these scum have.) I'd ever seen, flinging ... something unspeakably nasty at Norgan and I. Nearly killed Norgan, but the handy Regeneration infusions the caste war apothecaries made for us were able to keep death at bay. By the time we'd made it to Iron Throne, Norgan decided fighting wasn't for him anymore. Poor man. Not sure what he'd be able to do as a warrior like me, but the council now wants volunteers to go clean out Tentacle-ville... err, The Deep Bellow. Shouldn't make light of our fallen comrades like that. After the fight with Captain Ugly down there, I need some fresh air for the first time in my life.

Diary entry - Last Hope
Followed a trade caravan to the Allied Kingdom's mountaintop fortress. Nice place, found a dwarf living there from the alchemist's caste, he wanted into "The Brotherhood of Alchemists," which is apparently some grandiose organization from the way his eyes started gleaming like he was looking at a nice set of voratun gear. Better muscles is always nice, so I told him I'd like that. 'Course, I didn't like what he told me to go kill. An elder vampire, and a greater multi-hued wyrm. Well. Maybe I'll find one just lying freshly-killed by a mountain accidentally dropping on it repeatedly.

Diary entry - Derth
Followed yet another trade caravan here, to this small farming village. If I never have to smell live cow again, it'll be too soon. Don't think my diary will ever stop reeking of their leavings. Did find a shady cornac hiding behind one of the buildings, took me to their equivalent of combat trials in Iron Throne - what a complete and total pushover, these louts wouldn't have survived the first minute in the true trials. Did learn some new tricks to protect myself with my armour, though.

Diary entry - ow
My grandfather always said death was just the ultimate adventure. If by that he meant "Say hi to the Eidolon for me," then I'd agree. Strange fellow. Uh, note to self - don't try to bite off more than you can chew again. Stupid assassins. At least the human merchant was thankful. His shop had better have the best gear money can buy.

Diary entry - miserable sand pit
Well, this has been a long, strange trip. All this fighting has got me in peak physical condition, though I'm sure my old masters in the Throne would chide at how clumsily I fight. I produce results, don't I? Dumb worm queen died, and the chatty "Very nice!" halfling told me to eat the heart. I feel... more at peace with nature. Not sure how else to describe it.

Diary entry - surrounded by orc bits
Huh. Rod of Recall didn't take me back to my underwater palace that time. It took me to a field of orcs, all of which are ugly, pulpy bits now. The smell is hideous, but still my diary's marginally less pleasant smell of cow leavings persists. Got a very nice hammer from the Master in addition to this staff the orcs were after, and the leader orc had a nice little helmet on his head that I took for my own use.

... not even a single day after leaving Dreadfell behind me (which somehow managed to cram at least two greater multi-hued wyrms inside) and losing two "lives" to those miserable little ingrates, I find some adventurers that seem to think "dwarf beard" is part of some alchemical potion they need. What does the first dead adventurer have in his backpack? A (quill bits and ink splots) scale from a multi-hued wyrm. Lousy...

Diary entry - this place, again?!
So, the elder of Last Hope told me to go search in Reknor for what the orcs were doing out in Maj'Eyal. Surprised the old coot even knew about Reknor. Found some babbling, lost alchemist, the fourth thus far. Was thinking to myself, "Just maybe this one will live." But noooooo, some idiot necromancer found a troll graveyard. Three patchwork trolls stepped out of the shadows, and deprived of my most damaging ability that hits more than one foe (since these useless lackwits don't understand the meaning of "stay out of my way when I do this!") he died rather spectacularly. I can still hear his panicky screams... or that might just be some other lost idjit. Sod it all. Only the basics in imbuing armours with gems learned, when I could have worked with the finest of gems. Worthless, stupid imbeciles. At least this fine suit of prismatic dwarven-steel platemail of the dragon is keeping ME alive. Knew that merchant wouldn't let me down.

(several pages seem to be torn out messily)

Diary entry - worthless cave full of spiders
I hate spiders. Creepy, nasty, evil little things. I will admit I was a little scared of them, but my fear of them has been replaced with something far more useful to a Berserker like me - apoplectic fury, because of some (quill bits and ink splots) "LOREMASTER" DARED INSULT THE BRAVE HEROES THAT tried to save these useless, moronic, idiotic, impotent "escort" imbeciles. HE DARES CALL US COWARDS?!!!! If I ever find this "Loremaster Verutir," I will make sure he painfully understands just how angry I am at his writings. As a side note, I should look into finding sturdier quills, these ones don't seem to hold up to my mighty penmanship.

Diary entry - there and back again
Never thought I'd see Maj'Eyal again. Decided to see what that hidden treasure was that the library in my palace kept blathering on about... found a bunch of troll whelplings and a ... lost thief... who was as powerful as me. In some place that was as challenging to him as stealing candy from a baby. Oi, their incompetence never ends. Found some nice gems by the biggest of the nasties.. hah, sod it, they're all tiny but that one was the only one that took more than two hits. Guess this Warmaster Fnord knew what kind of blade worked well. Smart orc. Orc, but smart. Dead, too, haha.

Diary entry - maze again
Paid a visit to my old stomping grounds in the Throne, overheard how a patrol went missing here. Haven't seen or heard anything since I set foot in this place again. Wait....(a very large inkstain occupies the rest of the page)

I hate spiders. I really do. That one... that one I did not need to see. Dead now though, sliced into a million tiny little bits. Did get some amulet that REALLY AMPLIFIED THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE. HAR! Bet I'll have fun with this one in the Motherlode. Hm. Should ask and see if I'm still welcome there after that gas attack the roast orc haunch gave me.

Diary entry - forest again
Just put ol' Wrathie's bigger brother to the campfire I made. Pity all he had going for him was his size. Didn't need to do anything beyond pop a single regen infusion. Got some nice teeth all strung into a necklace off its "corpse"... hold on, Elisa got back to me.... oh by the Elder's curled toes, my Da gave me a name so ridiculously close to some long-dead orc. He must be laughing now. Sometimes I wonder about Elisa, she's always saying how every last trinket I find is "Very nice!"

Diary entry - Last Hope, yet again
Think my diary is starting to stop smelling like cow leavings at last, but then again I might just be getting used to it. Chap I gave my orb of many ways to said I needed some weird book from Telos' tower. Should be a fun jaunt. He seems like such a nice fellow. I'll be sure to mention him in my will, when this is all over.

Always extinguish your golems in public places!

Alchemist golems have a fairly buggy move called molten skin. It is the final ability of its "magic" skill tree. Here is my advice: skip it.

1. The golem will not use this ability if you are within its aura radius because it believes this will damage you. (It is the same reason a hydra will not use it's breath attack if a friendly is in the way)

2. 10ish damage/round at level 12 is pitiful damage.

3. The golem will use the skin in town, like say, a town where the locals are quick to anger like the Gates of Mourning. It will nick one of the guards and you'll find that your game is now over because the entire town hates your guts.

Until next time, please observe the no flaming golems sign.

Died... in town!

So I thought after accepting the alchemist's quest that I'd check out the river encircling the town... well, I made it toward the northeastern side, and found that I was drowning, and didn't have enough air to make it back to dry land! So much for my character's questing...

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