Dark Sun: Shattered Lands A FAQ/Walkthrough by Sethan ::: Contents ::: 1. Information (0100) 2. Character Basics (0200) 3. Spells and Psionic Powers (0300) 4. More Things You Should Know (0400) 5. Bestiary (0500) 6. Walkthrough (0600) 7. Magical Items (0700) 8. Credits (0800) --- 1. Information ------------------------------------------------- (0100) --- Welcome to one of the most complicated games SSI put out under it's turn with the Dungeons and Dragons license. The only games more complex would be the older Gold Box games, to which this is somewhat a successor. The land of the same is Athas, which was once a paradise but magic sapped the life out of the sun and turned it a dark red. This in turn changed the climate and caused most of the world to be a desert wasteland (and deathtrap). Since then, civilization has broken down and most of the world exists in a "kill or be killed" state. Your party are newly procured slaves shipped to the city of Draj and thrown into the gladitorial arena for the amusement of the crowd and the almighty Sorceror King. Your goal is, naturally enough, to make your escape and attempt to forge a more pleasant civilization outside the walls of the city. There are easily a dozen ways to complete your tasks, which makes this game very flexible; some things are worth experience and compel you towards being "tough but fair and helpful" to strangers. Other things are rather deeply hidden and you can go two or three playthroughs without finding them. That's not to say the game is perfect. There are a "nice" suite of bugs and glitches which can occur and some event scripts are broken. There are reports of items disappearing once the limit is reached in an area. A few items seem to have no use other than to be junk, but reason compels to wonder what you can do with them. Some of the spells and abilities you can learn are high on the "useless but sound cool" scale. And most of all, the psionic powers are not exactly the same as spells for those who knew the core rules well. But it's still quite fun to play around with. --- 2. Character Basics -------------------------------------------- (0200) --- There are a lot of things to know about your characters but let's start at the top. There are a number of base statistics which control what you can do and how well you can do it. You can randomly roll these statistics or edit them to whatever you like within the range for each race and class. (I'll note there's no penalty for editing each statistic to the highest you can get, and nobody will ever know except you and whomever you show the statistics to. There is a certain charm to doing it "naturally" by rolling for a good set of statistics and taking it.) Strength: This is a measure of the character's physical power. The characters with high strength are suited for melee combat, and carry more items than weaker characters. It also helps with feats of power you may need to perform to progress the game. Dexterity: The more agile and quick a character is, the higher their Dexterity. This is most important for ranged combat weapons and thieves' skills. It's also able to help with Armor Class a little, to a point. Constitution: A measure of overall health, Constitution is mostly a measure of how many times the character can be risen from the dead. Each time they come back, the Constitution score drops by 1. Also, if their Constitution is high enough the character earns some bonus Hit Points. Intelligence: This measures memory, concentration, and the ability to reason and learn. Preservers benefit from a high score in Intelligence, and Psionicists get bonus Power Points, but otherwise it isn't of immense use. Wisdom: While Intelligence mostly deals with what people would consider raw knowledge, Wisdom concerns common sense and wits. Clerics recieve extra spells for having a Wisdom of 16 or higher, and a character resists spell effects better for having a high Wisdom. Charisma: Charisma is mostly a measure of how personable the character is, and how easy it is to sway other people into seeing their way as right. This really shines when it comes to interacting with NPCs in the game, because it can make a serious difference in how easily it is to win their trust or even get them to deal with your party. Hit Points: Hit Points (HP) measure the amount of punishment a character can take before falling over. Naturally, you want this as high as possible. As a character gains levels in their class(es), more HP is assigned depending on the class. If a character's HP reaches 0 then they're knocked out and left on the ground. If it goes to -10 or below, then you are looking at a dead body and some significant trouble to bring them back. Be warned, unconscious characters on the ground will still take damage from area-effect spells. Power Points: Power Points (PP) are used to cast psionic powers, unlike spell slots for magic. Primarily, Psionicists will always earn more than other classes, and some of the abilities require an upkeep cost in order to remain in effect. Luckily, having your PP reduced to 0 has no ill effects. All characters get psionic powers, which are determined when you create them. Armor Class: This number ranges from 10 to -10 (it's a little odd but bear with it). Each piece of armor has a particular bonus it grants . . . downwards. The better your armor, the lower the number. For the most part the game system is balanced towards an AC of 0. If you want to improve your AC, scavenge as many pieces of armor as you can; chest, arms, legs, and shields all help out. THAC0: This is another statistic you should look at, and like the Armor Class you need to bear with it and understand. The name of it is "To Hit Armor Class 0", which translates simply to the number you need to exceed on a 20-sided die to hit a target with an AC of 0. To figure out what your chances really are to hit that opponent, you subtract their AC from your THAC0; this does mean a negative AC *adds* to the THAC0 number. Yes, I told you this was odd. Don't ask me why it's done this way. Next is the importance of the race chosen for each character. Each race gets their own bonuses and penalities, some of which are better tradeoffs than others. Only nonhuman characters can choose to multi-class themselves, which is itself a double-edged sword. Notably, there are a few instances where the race of a character matters and can affect conversations or events. Humans: Humans are extraordinarily average for use, but they have no restrictions in the classes they can choose. Remarkably, they have the option to dual-class to expand their abilities; dual-classing means they choose a new class and start leveling in the chosen class. The downside is they lose access to their previous class abilities, and may no longer advance in those classes left behind. Once that level rises past their old one, the old class abilities return and allow them to call on both sets of abilities. Humans can dual-class twice, to a maximum of three classes. Half-Giants: Half-Giants represent pure physical power, and as such they are really good at that. Their Strength can go to 24, which means they have a good chance of smearing anything they go after physically. Having a high Constitution limit, they also can get absurdly high HP scores. They can choose to be Fighters, Gladiators, Rangers, Clerics, Psionicists, or a number of combination multi-classes. Half-Elves: Half-Elves are exactly what they sound like, and as such get a part of Elven grace and frailty mixed with Human robustness. Ideally, you can use a Half-Elf for a broad multi-classed character; since their statistics don't have much in the way of bonuses or penalties you can be assured they won't be too hampered at whatever they choose. They may choose to be any class, or some combinations of multiple classes. Dwarves: Next to Half-Giants as exceptional physical specimens, Dwarves are good at soaking up damage and dishing it out. Primarily, you choose a Dwarf because you need a good melee class mixed with something which isn't so good at melee. Dwarves may choose to be Fighters, Gladiators, Clerics, Thieves, Psionicists, or combinations thereof. Muls: Let's make this clear first, Muls are half-dwarves bred for gladitorial combat and hard labor. They're not bright, they're not personable, but they are very good at what they do. Muls may choose to be any of the classes Dwarves can be, with slightly different statistic adjustments. They also only come in male, which may or may not matter to you. Elves: Tall, thin, and wiry, the Elves of Athas are not to be considered weak or sylphlike. They're remarkably quick and agile, which means they're well- suited for being Thieves or Rangers. They can be any class except Druids. Naturally, you can multi-class them too. Halflings: Shorter and lighter than Dwarves, they are essentially miniature Humans. But where Humans are good for just about anything, Halflings lack the strength and poise. They're just as quick as Elves are, but they are better suited for other things than melee combat. Halflings can't be Preservers, otherwise you're free to choose whatever classes you like. Thri-kreen: For those who really dislike humanoids, there's the mantis-like Thri-Kreen females. Let's note the obvious; due to being completely inhuman in shape, they cannot wear armor, cloaks, belts, boots, rings . . . if this surprises you and aggrivates you, I'll note they have some advantages to make up for it. They are quick, get many many more attacks than a humanoid, and they have a chance of paralyzing the enemy. They also get what amounts to a boomerang ranged weapon, superior to the sling and rivaling the bow in power. They can choose to be anything but Preservers and Thieves, and multi-class of course. So, now we get into the third part of creating a character: the class. The class is important, since it not only determines how much HP and PP you will have, but also what sort of weapons and armor you can use. Some of the classes have some pretty serious rules as to equipment they can use, so be aware before you choose. Unless you like finding a lot of equipment you can't use. (Also, be mindful if you choose a Thri-Kreen you WILL be highly limited in what you can use.) One thing to note is the "Prime Requisite"; if you have a 16 or greater in all these statistics then you get an extra 10% experience gained. Fighters: This is a relatively simple class, and the name says it all. Fighters can use any weapons and armor you like, but don't get access to spellcasting. They do get access to psionics, though. They must have a Strength of at least 9, and their Prime Requisite is Strength. Gladiators: Meant for fighting in the arenas on Athas, Gladiators are essentially an upgrade to Fighters. They must have a Strength of at least 13, Dexterity of at least 12, and Constitution of at least 15. They are permitted all equipment, and get a bonus to their armor once they reach fifth level. (Yes, this means it goes one number lower.) Their Prime Requisite is Strength. Rangers: A cross between a Druid and Fighter, Rangers are trained to survive and know their way in the wilderness. In Athas, this means they are a little more desirable to have around than in other worlds. Rangers must have a Strength and Dexterity of at least 13, and a Wisdom and Constitution of at least 14. They are allowed to use any kind of armor and weapons, but heavy armor interferes with their abilities (which translates to "don't give it to them"). They also are allowed to wield two (non-heavy) weapons without a penalty to their chances to hit. After gaining eighth level, they can cast minor Clerical magic, based on which elemental sphere you choose. Their Prime Requisites are Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom. Thieves: This isn't your usual thieving scoundrel, this is your quick-footed and light-fingered assassin. They can pick locks on doors if they're good enough, and if you send them around behind an enemy (across from where you originally attacked them) they can do bonus damage. They can only use light armor, but should have the Dexterity to make up for it. Thieves must have a Dexterity of at least 9, and that is their Prime Requisite. Preservers: Where other worlds have wizards, sorcerors and magicians Athas has Preservers. They get access to plenty of offensive spells as they progress, and you should beware any you see in the wild; they're usually referred to as "Defilers". Being struck means you cannot cast magic; couple this with low HP and being forbidden from using armor, and you're looking at a prime target for enemies to go after. Preservers must have an Intelligence of at least 9, and it is also their Prime Requisite. Clerics: Following one of four elemental spheres of influence, Clerics are your basic healer. Except as a bonus, they are unrestricted in the armor they can wear; their weapon choices are dictated not by the type of weapon but the material it is made out of. For Fire, they're restricted to weapons associated with Fire (such as Obsidian). For Earth, they are permitted to use stone, wood, or metal. For Water, they are permitted to use wood or bone weapons. Air gets the worst blow since they're only permitted ranged weapons. The sphere you choose dictates the types of spells your Cleric will be granted as a Cleric, so be aware of that. Clerics must have a Wisdom of 9 at minimum, and if they meet the Prime Requisite of 16 or higher in Wisdom there will also be bonus spells. Druids: Druids are like Clerics, only slightly backwards; they're unrestricted in use of weapons but they're forbidden from using armor. Like Clerics, you must choose an elemental sphere and it dictates their spells; like Clerics having a Wisdom greater than 16 will grant bonus spells. Druids must have a Wisdom of at least 12 and a Charisma of at least 15; these are also their Prime Requisites. Psionicists: First thing is first: each character will have access to some Psionic powers along one line. Psionicists can reach along all three lines. They are restricted to lighter weapons (anything but long swords, essentially) and light armor only. They must have a Constitution of at least 11, an Intelligence of at least 12, and a Wisdom of at least 15. Their Prime Requisites are Constitution and Wisdom. --- 3. Spells and Psionic Powers ----------------------------------- (0300) --- If you're going to get very far in this game, you're going to need to understand the way these work. Preservers and Clerics get a pool of spells to use depending on their levels across several levels of potency. Every third class level, you reach the next level of spells to use. Clerics can use any spell within their chosen elemental sphere (and up to third-level Cosmos spells). Druids aren't restricted with Cosmos spells in level. Preservers have to learn the spells one at a time, as they level (or learn from scrolls). The best advice to give you is to read each spell carefully and check them out before choosing one. Having at least one wide-area spell in your Preserver's repetoire is good, considering you can blast away some encounters from a range and make it a lot easier on yourself. Not duplicating spells your Cleric or Druid can cast is likewise smart, since you will have a limited arsenal with your Preserver. Psionicists are a different story entirely. Psionic powers have two numbers which are important: The Power Score and the PP Cost; the score is figured differently for each particular power. When a character attempts to use a power, first there is an unseen check agaisnt the Power Score. Each point in the score represents a 5% chance of success. As a Psionicist levels up, they can enhance a power or pick up a new one. There are some powers which must be maintained, and thus constantly drain PP while active. Of special note is "Mind Blank", which any character has access to and actively protects them from psionic attacks. It has no cost to maintain or cast, and while you're told it's "always on" this is incorrect. You must turn it on, and then keep an eye out for it to need refreshing. Cleric Spells by Sphere (Spell Name (level)) Cosmos: Bless (1), Cause Fear (1), Cause Light Wounds (1), Cure Light Wounds (1), Curse (1), Entangle (1), Invisibility to Undead (1), Protection From Evil (1), Remove Fear (1), Shillelagh (1), Aid (2), Barkskin (2), Charm Person or Mammal (2), Find Traps (2), Hold Person (2), Spiritual Hammer (2), Bestow Curse (3), Cause Blindness or Deafness (3), Cure Blindness or Deafness (3), Cure Disease (3), Dispel Magic (3), Magical Vestment (3), Negative Plane Protection (3), Prayer (3), Remove Curse (3), Remove Paralysis (3), Summon Insects (3), Abjure (4), Cause Serious Wounds (4), Cure Serious Wounds (4), Cloak of Bravery (4), Cloak of Fear (4), Free Action (4), Neutralize Poison (4), Poison (4), Protection from Evil 10' Radius (4), Cause Critical Wounds (5), Cure Critical Wounds (5), Dispel Evil (5), Raise Dead (5), Slay Living (5) Earth: Magical Stone (1), Dust Devil (2), Conjure Lesser Elemental (3), Condense (4), Dust Cloud (4), Conjure Elemental (5), Ironskin (5), Quicksand (5) Water: Conjure Lesser Elemental (3), Blood Flow (4), Dehydrate (4), Conjure Elemental (5), Quicksand (5) Fire: Flame Blade (2), Resist Cold (2), Resist Fire (2), Conjure Lesser Elemental (3), Protection from Fire (3), Focus Heat (4), Produce Fire (4), Conjure Elemental (5), Flame Strike (5), Wall of Fire (5) Air: Conjure Lesser Elemental (3), Dust Cloud (4), Protection from Lightning (4), Conjure Elemental (5), Deflection (5), Insect Plague (5) Preserver Spells by Level Level 1: Armor, Burning Hands, Charm Person, Chill Touch, Color Spray, Enlarge, Gaze Reflection, Grease, Magic Missile, Shield, Shocking Grasp, Wall of Fog Level 2: Blur, Detect Invisibility, Flaming Sphere, Fog Cloud, Glitterdust, Invisibility, Acid Arrow, Mirror Image, Protection from Paralysis, Scare, Stinking Cloud, Strength, Web Level 3: Blink, Dispel Magic, Fireball, Flame Arrow, Haste, Hold Person, Hold Undead, Lightning Bolt, Minute Meteors, Minor Malison, Monster Summoning I, Protection from Normal Arrows, Slow, Spirit Armor, Vampiric Touch Level 4: Charm Monster, Confusion, Evard's Black Tentacles, Fear, Fire Shield, Ice Storm, Improved Invisibility, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Minor Spell Turning, Monster Summoning II, Rainbow Pattern, Solid Fog, Stoneskin, Turn Pebble to Boulder, Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice Level 5: Chaos, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Conjure Elemental, Dismissal, Domination, Feeblemind, Hold Monster, Lower Resistance, Monster Summoning III, Summon Shadow, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone --- 4. More Things You Should Know --------------------------------- (0400) --- This is a catch-all for the various bits and pieces you would normally discover on your own frustratingly too late. - Multi-classing is nice, but the experience gain is divided among the classes rather than focused. You also only gain a fraction of the HP you would for a level up. This translates to a slower pace of leveling up, and less HP growth. - Don't kill anyone if you don't have to, because you might need them later. This goes double after your escape from the slave pens, because you're supposed to be the good guys. Nominally. Besides, it is very likely you can make a quest or errand unsolvable. - Non-magical bone and obsidian weapons break, seemingly randomly. You can go the whole game and never break a weapon, or you can break all of them in your first arena match. Likewise, some enemies might corrode or destroy your armor with attacks. Be cautious and save often. - Save in several different slots as you progress. You're given a rather large amount of them, so make use of at least two to store your saves. Alas for the game, there are some glitches which may occur from time to time which can render something unreachable, or you discover that mouthy person you hauled off and slew was necessary. (As noted above.) - Always check magic items' effects before you use them. Fruits are among the most precious commodity you can have (think of them as analogous to potions in other worlds), but there are a few which are more useful to save for later. And there are some which simply aren't useful. - Monitor your area map; monsters and NPCs will always show up on it. Wild spawns will usually head right for your position, so you should be aware of their arrival before you engage another group. - Items are bartered for and sold at the price listed in your inventory; you do not sell at half value, nor buy at twice what you sell for. For this reason you run a fairly zero-sum game of economics; it makes sense if you think about it. What this means is there's no penalty to purchasing armor to fill a gap, then replacing it later on with something better. This will not happen too often, but you won't be penalized for it. - You can start the game with a premade party, which isn't a bad one at all; you're given a half-giant Gladiator, a Thri-Kreen Fighter/Druid/Psionicist, a Human Preserver/Gladiator (dual-classed out of Gladiator), and an Elven Preserver/Druid/Thief. The downside to the multi-classing going on is a markedly slow growth of HP and slow leveling time. Here are some known bugs which may strike, and therefore are a good reason to keep older saves ready. - Items will sometimes disappear from inventory, including chests with things in them. It is possible plot-sensitive items will disappear, or even terrain objects such as doors or field containers. This can make the game unwinnable - When saving in the middle of an area where many things are in motion, some objects to interact with might disappear. As in, objects necessary to continue through the game. Notably, this error has cropped up in the Sewers and made it impossible to collect many items which access areas. You can technically still brute-force your way through if you know what you are doing. - On occasion there may be an inventory bug where a clear inventory square will read as something else. This item will have an odd price, and might even be equippable. Get rid of these as soon as you can by stuffing them into a box and just abandoning it somewhere. This does not seem to do anything bad; equipping it or selling it might make errors happen. - Sometimes the game crashes/locks at seemingly random times; there is no way to predict with any accuracy. Properly patched versions should not experience this as often. - There are a great number of events which do not seem to trigger with any reliability. I have investigated some of them, but I found it difficult to get more information on what messes up triggers. Some events I've seen mentioned but never experienced; I've noted some of these. Sometimes I've had one end of an event but never reliably gotten it to finish. - Fun with charm effects, and enemy conversation triggers! If you charm an enemy who you talk with to begin a battle, they remain alive after. And you can talk to them again to trigger the same script, some of the time. --- 5. Bestiary ---------------------------------------------------- (0500) --- --- Monsters --- Slig: Green-skinned apparent cousins of the tougher slaad, these are pests which continue to appear from time to time in order to harass you. Your front- line melee fighters should be able to kill them quickly once they run up on you. The biggest danger of fighting sligs is how they seem to travel in packs. Screamer Beetle: Think a big blue-and-purple beetle and you're thinking about right for a screamer beetle. With a "scream" ranged attack, these otherwise fragile creatures can be a nice distraction when in the arena and mixed into a group. They are about the same strength as sligs, and again their real danger can come in numbers and the added ability to attack your Preserver or whomever is battered enough to be their focus. Sand Howler: These wolflike creatures have four eyes and a paralyzing gaze, which can leave you in a bind against something stronger in the arena, or just to be picked apart by a pack while in the wilderness. They're not that hardy, but the number of attacks they can rattle off can put a dent in a Preserver rather quickly. Their eyes are an item you will find a need for, so when you find them in the wild try to find room for the leftovers. Strine: These look more sinister than they are, resembling large armored porcupines, but they are a sign things are getting tougher inside the arena. They have an attack to throw their spines, and a fair bit more health than most of the lesser beasts. They can provide a nice challenge in high numbers, and shouldn't be taken too lightly. Daggoran: A large gold toadlike being, they have some rudimentary ability with psionics which can be dangerous. They have Control Body, which means the ability to turn your own party members against you. Mind Blank was made for this sort of defense, if you can get it up and prepared in time. They should never be taken lightly, and you should focus on each one in turn until it is dead rather than leave one standing. This is purely because of the Control Body potential. Silt Runner: In the arena only, these creatures resemble gray-skinned humanoids and have a vast movement range. They like to snipe with slings and will always be mixed in with melee-type enemies. They are remarkably fragile against melee attacks, so you will likely not have too much trouble with a strong fighter. Ssurian: Reptilian residents of Athas, they are a decent rival in power to guards from Draj but sadly dangerous only in large numbers. To that point, you will often find they will attack you in numbers; if this surprises you, you are playing the wrong game. Expect a nice mixture of melee and ranged combat, and decent treasures being guarded or left behind. Dune Reaper: Resembling a praying mantis crossed with a horse and about as large, these should always be treated carefully. They get five attacks, and a rather large potential for damage. Mixed with a decent move rate, they can very quickly destroy your melee fighters or spellcasters. The best option is to use Ego Whip, Grease, or some other spell to prevent them from getting attacks and taking them out one by one. Mountain Stalker: This giant black-skinned monstrosity has tentacled hands which it flails to attack. They're relatively slow but hardy, and can dish out four powerful attacks in a round. In the arena, you'll usually only get two at most; in the wild, you may have to face up to five. To be honest, there is a significant risk of dying when facing these even to higher-level characters. Otyugh: These large yellowish creatures have four tentacled arms and exactly as many attacks. They have a large amount of health and while they don't deal huge chunks of damage they can be dangerous. They start showing up in the arena when you make serious progress getting toughened, and can make things difficult. Xorn: Rock monsters with four arms and a mouth on top, they have a large damage output and high health. Added into this is high armor class, and you have a headache to fight. Two things can keep them from being worse; they are extraordinarily slow movers, and they generally don't come more than three to a group in the wild. Fire Eel: You won't see fire eels above ground, but in the wild you will see them in large groups. They breathe fire when they attack, and this can be quite damaging. Protections from fire will cut down on the risk, so preparations are advised before tackling a pack of fire eels. Their tongues are desired by alchemists, so be sure to pick them up after a battle. Bulette: Again, the most you will see of a bulette on the first look is a mound of sand moving your way. They hunt in pairs, at most, and can be very dangerous. They have very high health and armor, and a vast potential of damage output; these things will kill you very easily if you take them lightly. Keep them away from your spellcasters, and leave your thieves out of combat this time. Mastyrial: A scorpion-like creature with a humanoid torso, mastyrials are dangerous. They have a poison stinger, which can and will deal a chunk of damage on successful hit (15 or 30). They have a lot of health, movement, armor, and are very good at hitting you. Approach with caution and focus damage on one of them at a time. And keep them away from your Preserver! Styr: Picture a four-armed statue which can move, and that's a styr. They breathe fire, and are rather tenacious; take them carefully. You will not face these in the wild, only as set creatures in defense of an area. The good news? You will likely see them only after you have the strength to deal with them. Babau: One of the few demonic entities in the game, babau are a real pain to deal with. Luckily, they're not wild and are set to defend one area of the game. Once destroyed, they do not return. Don't attempt to use any spells other than damaging ones against them, as they will not likely be fazed. Vrock: A tougher, faster demon you will face around the same area as babau. These resemble humanoid vultures, and are impossible to mistake for anything but bad news. Don't take them lightly, because they can and will dish out serious damage to their targets. They also are immune to even lesser magical weaponry, anything less than a +2 is going to just bounce off. As with babau, don't focus on using too much magic against them, though psionics can sometimes fare better. Blue Slaad: You'll see these only rarely, and likely once or twice in the arena. They look just like blue sligs, but don't be decieved; they are much tougher. Nonmagical weapons simply don't have any effect on them, which means you need to be creative with fighting them. They also have a poisonous attack which can kill you easily, and a good chance to hit with it. Attack them all-out and try to keep them from having a chance to attack and deal damage. Red Slaad: Crimson cousins of blue slaad, they lack the deadly poison and instead have an innate regeneration and magic resistance. The good news is, they seem to lack the requirement of magical weapons to be hurt. The bad news is, they're still able to dish out respectable damage. Don't underestimate them, and don't engage them in the wild if you are likely to add in another fight. Wyvern: Flying dragons with a poison stinger on their tails, you will need to be careful dealing with them. They are fast, agile, and have a high chance of hitting you. Good news for you, they're found only in a particular area and not wild. The bad news is you'll have to face quite a number of them. Hit them first, and hard. Tyrian Slime: Puddles of iridescent slime, they live in the sewer systems and are an occupational hazard of trying to travel. Their gelatinous forms make it impossible to hurt one through blunt weapons or ranged attacks; it's time to break out swords and axes to fight them. They also have full immunity to fire and acid, which makes a few area-effect spells you will have early on worthless. They deal additional acid damage when hitting, which can lead easily to a dead Preserver if you allow it. They also can throw down a sticky web to keep you from getting to them for melee purposes. Dagolar Slime: Created through experimentation on Tyrian slimes, Dagolar slimes are gifted with psionic powers and a slight bit more health. They are found only around Dagolar, and while aggressive they are just about as easy to take down as Tyrian slimes. Watch out for their potential to Ego Whip melee- fighting characters in order to fight back. They are worth significantly more experience than their Tyrian cousins, and thus very much worth hunting down. Dark Spider: Large black spiders, you shouldn't have cause to fight them too much. There are three things you should know about them though. First, they're intelligent and can have access to psionic abilities. Secondly, they have a poison bite which is "Save or die" style. Lastly, picking a fight with them is likely to involve a large number of them, and they're fairly mobile. Magera: Brutish, large, and capable of dealing heavy blows, you'll find these creatures quite widely spread. They should be treated just like half- giant opponents, because they are pretty much "close enough". Don't expose yourself to being attacked by a large number at once, if at all possible. Rampager: Huge grey creatures with two-fingered claws, rampagers are showcased early on to you. This is your warning about how dangerous they are, and you will luckily meet them only rarely. Their massive damage output and fear-inducing roar can make your party die without much warning. They also can corrode armor and weapons, which will leave you ill-equipped rather fast. Don't engage unless you're fully prepared to fight, and don't be afraid of running if they haven't engaged combat yet. --- Elementals --- A general rule about elementals, you will discover soon you need magical weapons to be effective against them. The greater the elemental, the higher the magic value; +2 should be enough for you to be able to disassemble them without a problem. Air Elemental: Wispy humanoid forms in mist, air elementals are difficult to hit but generally not much of a threat alone. The downside to this is noticing they are never alone; usually they come in groups of five or six. Luckily, the lesser elementals don't require magical weapons to fight effectively. Earth Elemental: Slow, stocky beings made of rocks, they pack quite a wallop. They're relatively rare to see but can be a pain to deal with due to their nature making them tough to damage. Approach as you would any other melee fighter, and destroy completely with focused efforts. Fire Elemental: Fire elementals are about as dangerous as you would expect; they're fast, and can deal a lot of damage on successful hits. Furthermore, they require magical weapons to be damaged. In a consolation you find them in one area and they don't roam wild. Water Elemental: I have not seen water elementals outside of being summoned, most likely due to Athas not having much water to spare. Approach with caution and expect powerful strikes when you deal with them. --- Undead --- Zombie: These are rather standard risen corpses, and you will see them in all sorts of places waiting to take you out. They're not terribly good at it, however, and just are an annoyance. Later they become minions mixed with more dangerous enemies in the area, and can be bad roadblocks. Shadow: Incorporeal undead which are vaguely man-shaped black spots. They're difficult to deal with since they require magical weapons to be hit. This is really the biggest hurdle to deal with, since they don't have a terribly large amount of health. Greater Shadow: As the name implies, this is a stronger version of the shadow, and reacts much the same way. All you need to do is give them more health, and a cold-damage addition to their attack. Be careful about them, because they can deal a surprising amount of damage and corrode armor. --- Humanoids --- Renegade (Halfling): These annoyances are pretty good at nailing you with sling attacks, and are among the early fighters in the arena. They crumple easily under a focused assault, which is recommended. They will always leave you a bone long sword and a sling, meaning they're not good for loot purposes. Wild Mul: Melee fighters who enjoy using clubs, they're dangerous for being able to deal respectable damage in melee combat. After you graduate to tougher monsters in the arena, they're almost not worth taking out first. With two clubs and leather armor, they're not valuable targets. Defiler: While you have Preservers in your party, Defilers are your enemies more often than not. They have access to some serious potential damage, and if you don't take pains to damage them every turn you will discover just how much they can heap onto you. Ice Storm, Cone of Cold, and the like will all come your way. Priority targets number one if you see them. Guards: These go under various names, but their concept remains the same: leather armor, a bone or obsidian long sword, bows, and a tendency to attack in groups of five or greater. Their tendency to use ranged attacks even with your Fighter or Gladiator in their faces can lead to many interesting uses of swear words. The good news is, they rarely become tougher as you progress, merely being increased in number and spread out over a greater area. Some of them carry a randomized item which can be anything from a piece of junk to a valuable piece of fruit or gemstone. Templar: Priests devoted to the Sorceror-King, they are dangerous combatants and should be killed off swiftly. They aren't always called by "Templar" in the info screen so be aware. More than likely they possess serious psionic abilities which can make you hurt. They have better equipment than mere guards, which means you'll often find interesting loot afterwards. They also have a greater tendency to carry interesting magical fruit or treasures on them. Guards (Half-Giants): These are separated into a segment all on their own. While they are not as commonly found as human guards, they make up for it in being able to land dangerously powerful blows. They use two clubs, and carry one other piece of gear which is random. Take care of these enemies with a Hold Person or other similar spell in order to reduce the chance of them reducing a Preserver to a red paste. Thri-Kreen: Since they're a character type, let me list them here. As a character, you're likely to see them use a weapon to fight, but in the wild you are more likely to see them use natural weapons. This doesn't change the fact they will swing at least five times on you, and they will have a chance at paralyzing you. Approach with a moderate amount of caution, because they can still be defeated easily. Tohr-Kreen: Green-eyed, spear-wielding, hardier cousins to the thri-kreen, they move much faster and hit harder. They will be mixed in with some arena battles once you reach the higher-end of the spectrum. In the wild, you'll see them in small bands hunting you down tenaciously. I recommend Hold Monster or Ego Whip to prevent them from shredding you immediately, and taking out active threats first before focusing on ones prevented from tearing you apart. Don't try to hold them at range, because their immense movement rate wil ensure they catch you anyway. --- 6. Walkthrough ------------------------------------------------- (0600) --- --- First Fight --- The game opens on your first fight in the Arena of Draj. You're treated to watching a defiler being torn apart by a Rampager before you are sent to fight. This first battle is against three Sligs and a Screamer Beetle, and it's pretty simple to perform. If you completed it fast enough the crowd will throw money to you, which is not a lot of money but it can add up. You have the option to yell back at the announcer, which can trigger additional (and tougher) fights. You should only do this if you got through unscathed. --- The Arena --- Now you have the opportunity to look around the arena, and handle the small list of things to get done. There are bodies around the floor which have a few useful items on them, though the Bone Gythka isn't nearly as useful after getting some other weaponry. There are some tied up people here, but you are best off not dealing with them until you have water. There's also a vulture which you can smack the feathers off and take. (As of this edition I have not found a use for it.) In subsequent visits, you will be told to approach the center of the arena for your battle. It's best to try to get most of the fights near the center outside of obstructions. Each fight gets progressively more difficult, but when you reach the fifth trip out into the arena you will be challenged by Scar to either escape with him or fight for dominance in the pens. I have not heard of any upper limit to the battles, but you will continue getting tougher fights until you either force your escape or die in the arena. --- The Slave Pens --- When you enter, you'll meet Kurzak the head guard. He'll talk with you for a while, and you can buy a water flask from him for 40cp. I'd advise against it, since there's a free one around the corner. You can't bribe him enough to do more than escort you from the pens to the arena. Legcrusher will tell you what will be coming early on, but after you're drawing the tough battles he loses track and doesn't know. Once you are shut in the pens, it's time to meet the fellow slaves. There's Scar, the King of the Pens, and his gang. There's Merzol and his thugs plotting an attack on the guards. There's Trustee, who is trusted enough to have the keys. There's Gilal, who is a nice girl hiding in her cell. There's Mirlon, who is amiable but wants something from you. And lastly there's Dinos, who is the cook and very happy with his place. The east hall has an empty water pot in one of the cells, and you will hear Merzol's gang plotting escape when you near the cell. He tells you to buzz off until you've won three separate engagements in the arena, and is quite belligerent. You can't really reason with him and if you annoy him too much Merzol will attack. For all his mouth runs, his gang goes down quite easily when you focus. His escape plan is, creatively enough, beating the blood out of the guards and then just holding the place yourselves. The next cell on the right has a campfire circle there, which signifies the only places you can rest and recover in the game. Keep your eye out for these as you progress, because they're rarer than you might expect. Also, if you walk close to the campfire while it's "on" (it toggles with each rest) you will be asked to cook the vulture. Do so, it doesn't seem to hurt anything. Beyond that cell lies some empty ones, but stop and chat with Gilal; she has a little bit of information about the slave pens but if you try to talk beyond that she suddenly gets a headache and clams up. Talk Trustee into letting you in to see Dinos, and have a talk with the cook. He asks who was screaming, and if you tell the truth he asks to be escorted to Gilal. Do so, and he manages to fix her up; you get a nice experience boost for both getting in to see Dinos and leading him to cure Gilal. Now Gilal can tell you a little more, but she's still not much help. Dinos' suite is nice and spacious, and has a water trough set up; be sure to fill your water pot! You can also rummage in his wardrobe for a bit, and maybe turn up something useful. His conversation is nice and enlightening, but he's not going to be any help in an escape attempt. Scar doesn't feel you're seasoned enough to talk with him about escape, and would like you to make a name for yourself before actually doing anything. After you win a few engagements, he'll mention a plan and ask you to decide on if you're in or out. Mirlon has a proposition, that you can bribe the guards to let you out. To do this, though, he needs a gem which his fellow slave had hidden. Seryon had it on him, and he was staked out in the arena; he's probably dead by now. You probably don't remember seeing the gem no matter how much you searched, but there's the use of water. If you proceed to rehydrate the tied-up prisoner after a match he explains he hid the gem. Mirlon is pleased to get the gem, but as soon as you try to take advantage of the escape plan he sells you out and makes a run for it himself. There's a locked door which Trustee advises you to stay clear of if you try to open it while he's around. Haunted, who does he think he's kidding? Knocking on the door allows it to open into a ruined room, and the door slams shut behind you with no handle on this side! A zombie walks through the west wall to attack, but you should be able to handle it. Once dead, there's the sound of a locking door; this is your hint to search for a button. Once you push it, you can walk through and into a crypt or tomb of some kind. Gather the loot from the chest and coffin, and leave. You have to break down the door to get out, but that's not a problem. Some of the haystacks can be searched for a variety of things, of which this is a partial list: a handful of ceramic coins, a wooden club, a small bug which crawls away, a broken pot, an old soiled loincloth (eww!), a scorpion which stings you for a little damage, and a bone needle (worth 10 experience to whomever finds it). After some time, Kurzak will call you to the door. If you don't answer fast enough he'll send Legcrusher to fetch you. And if you disobey the half-giant then you trigger the escape alarm and have to fight a lot of guards coming in through that door. You probably saw them the first time you arrived. Or, you can knock on the door and demand to fight. I highly recommend going as far as you can with the bouts so you can gain levels. However, the lack of decent equipment and the tendency of your bone swords to break means you will eventually reach a fight you aren't equipped to win. --- The Escape --- This deserves its own section, because the game changes as soon as you decide to take a break for it. There are several scenarios you can follow to get here, presented by some of your fellow slaves. Or you can make your own way out, however you choose. The end result is still the same: you need to get your way to the hidden exit into the sewer system waterways. Each guard here has the same five pieces of equipment, and a random object which can be useless (junk, a pick or shovel) or worth hanging onto (fruit, coins, gems). But most importantly, they have obsidian swords, bows, and arrows. This will give your team a needed offensive boost, along with some material to sell in the slightly-near future. The Templars are slightly tougher, and yet have nicer armor on them to snatch. If you are careful and cautious, you can wind up funneling the guards into a nice ambush in a few areas where you can kill them without their bows coming into play. Please know they will happily sit at range and shoot you to death if you aren't cautious of that. The half-giant guards also pack a wallop with two wooden clubs and can seriously put a crimp in your escape plans. If you want to really get yourself geared for the coming hardships, sweep the guards out and start looting. You'll find no less than three chests, and three bags which expand your inventory space significantly. A quieter escape is possible, if you take apart Dinos' door and exit through the fountain square. The guard posted there calls for help but the fountain drowns him out; he's easily dispatched if alone. A room nearby has some piles of junk you can search (and possibly find some magical arrows or gems). From there you can continue east to meet Pehctul the head templar. He seems amiable enough, offering you some healing fruit in return for doing a job for him. The game is up as soon as you take a peek at his guavas and notice they're deadly poisonous. Kill him and take his stuff, which includes a nice "Obsidian Bloodwrath" +1 sword. Keep the guavas instead of throwing them out; they're worth a nice chunk of coins. A hidden passage out through a monster pen will allow you to avoid the guards, as Gilal told you. Though you will have to fight through a mountain stalker to get to the hidden passage, it's a fair exchange in difficulty. When you reach the northwestern area, you can find another water pot in the main kitchen already full, and a stash of grain. You can choose to raid it for food to carry along or you can just trust your cooked vulture will suffice. Opening the grate requires either a feat of strength or someone to pick the lock. REMEMBER: Once you start the escape, the Arena is sealed off forever and you can't go fight again. But that should go without saying; the more important part is doing everything you need to in the Arena floor and not leaving items behind there. --- The Sewers --- Welcome to the sewer waterways, and you're welcomed immediately by some tari (ratmen) who want to shake you down for coins. They really picked the wrong people to do this to; it's not all that hard to intimidate them into letting you pass. Talking with the thugs will net you some extra information to guide you along, and some signs there is territorial disputes going on. Next, you will note there are drains in the walls and you can search some of them. There are a number of things you can find in here: a rat you disturbed (and earned a bite for your troubles), a skull, an empty bottle reeking of mold, a leather belt, a stone dagger, a cheap necklace, a broken pot, a shell horn (be certain you get one of these!), and a Tyrian Slime. Notably, the slime will crawl out and attack. There are a few items which you will always find in the same place, regardless of the randomness, but I'll note those as we get to them. The skeletons in the sewers seem to have randomized loot, sometimes just having a few pieces of leather gear (which doesn't help your armor class any) and sometimes having gems or weaponry. In the center area of the map there is a cult worshipping the Sorceror-King led by a cast-out templar. You can avoid doing anything to annoy them easily enough if you talk your way through. To the east of that place is the high warrens, where there's a campsite. It's important you talk with the chief here, because he has a special request of you. His daughter was taken by the crazy cult and is slated to be sacrifice. He'll reward you if you can go rescue her. Then there's the low warrens near where you entered. Taking on the cult is easy, you can talk and walk yourself right in to see the leader. Once there you find you can't talk him out of sacrificing somebody and if it's not going to be the rat-girl then it will be your party! We can't have that, so it's fighting time. He has a pair of gloves which will inflict blindness if he touches you, and some spells he will throw out; this makes him definitely your primary target to take out. His worshippers are really not too much of a challenge if you spent a lot of time in the arena. Once he's dead you can pick up a bone crank lever to open the doors with broken wheels and enter his back room. Rescue the girl, but she starts talking about other worshippers who went off to arm themselves. Loot the chest nearby with a scroll of Color Spray in it, and get back quickly. Back at the high warrens, the joyful reunion is interrupted by the attack on the Skull Temple. Assist them in defending the temple, and from losing too many of their people; everyone is going to rush to attack, even the daughter. She can very easily be killed. Meanwhile, the skull guardians inside the temple usually will withstand a rush attack until you can get someone in there to help out. A Hold Person spell or Ego Whip will help tremendously to keep the cult members from causing damages. Once you're done, the chief will be grateful and hand over a metal Helm of Contemplation. This lovely piece of equipment protects you from gaze attacks, and is extra armor to boot. He'll mention he found it in the Flushing Tunnels, north of here, and there are often other useful things found there. The Skull Temple will admit you now, to speak with the Skull Elders. These are enchanted skulls created by someone named Dagolar who possess the memories of the rat-men who came before; they are not too clear about what is ahead for you but if you're respectful and ask nicely they will give you a bowl to talk to them with inside the sewer tunnels, and a staff which can be used to see Dagolar. You're now done here, and it's time to consider what to do next. As a note, you can trade bags of grain to Churr after you defeat the templar for either 5cp or a piece of leather armor. You're getting the raw end of the deal on these offers, but another reason to return is to check out the drain in Churr's room. There's a ring worth 500cp in the drain, though you will get a protest from Churr. He won't try to stop you, being an utter coward. The northern area is crawling with monsters, and it is a huge loop. Stones just under the surface make walkways you can use, or even fight on to be defensive. Tyrian Slimes and Sligs make appearances here, often large packs of Sligs. You'll find more drains to search, but one along the western edge of the area contains a scroll with Enlarge on it (your Preserver can learn it free of charge). The northwestern corner with the Flushing Tunnels seems cut off but someone agile enough can climb the wall. As soon as you do, a Red Slaad is going to move to attack; shoot him before he gets too close and you can spend combat turns picking him apart with ranged hits before he even gets close enough to threaten you. The skeleton here is randomized, like I said earlier, and one of the drains is, but the other two contain a nice gem worth 750cp and a metal +1 axe. As a heavy weapon, it limits your options very slightly, but magical weapons are always nice. To the center is the outflow, but if you try to leave you find guards have beat you here and staked it out. If you're in good shape, this fight isn't a serious danger. But if you're chewed up still and haven't rested there will be problems. There are about a dozen guards who will take up archery practice on you, meaning you will have to consider methods of handling this. Wall of Fog can be rather useful to slow it down, and you can focus on one group at a time. If you're feeling sneakier, you can continue east and find the secondary exit hidden behind a secret wall; the switch is not hard to find. This will net you some more experience and a quieter escape. Further east is the entrance to Dagolar's tower, but you must have the Staff of Parting to open it. A small room nearby holds more skeletons with loot on them, so gather it up and move on. Regardless of the exit you choose, you will be stopped by a mental contact from the Dragon of Tyr! This is your copy protection, and you get three chances before he decides you're too stupid to live and fries your brains. I can't really help you here, but I expect you can blunder through if you save before initiating the inquisition. --- Dagolar's Tower --- Here is a very dangerous place, since there is no resting spot inside and there are plenty of enemies and ways to chew yourself up. The Dagolar Slimes are like larger versions of Tyrian Slimes with some psionic attacks and not a notable amount more HP; the good news is they're worth almost four times as much experience! You can search the drainage grates and holes in this area, but as of this edition I haven't found too many useful objects inside them. Oh, and as a general rule here you should save often and take it slowly. First you meet a crazed rat-man (Mow) who claims to be the watcher of the watergate and he wants to help you kill Dagolar. He'll be your guide and he knows nearly everything about what you encounter. First he explains you need to kill some guards to get necklaces to enter. The guards are to the east, and they're not quite themselves. They're not much harder than the arena guards, so don't be intimidated. A chest in here holds a bone mace in case you want to use it. Be sure you have everyone wearing the Hound Necklaces when you approach the entrance, and save in a different slot before entering. The door slams shut behind you, and now the only way out is to kill Dagolar. But first, you have his crazed templar associate Keldar (what is it with templars who go crazy?) who wants to write down how you wish to die. Why? Everyone needs a hobby, he says. He'll teleport away and sic some shadows and zombies on you; crush them and let's move on. This area is huge and you can find several places to be interested in. I'll list them off below so you can consider them. There is a chamber with torture equipment and Keldar ran away there; you can fight him there or let him escape again and deal with more minor undead. Heading west you find Dagolar is running a water pump and heater along the northern wall, and it is drawn into a cauldron where you can throw in special powder for a random effect. The effects are amusing and Mow will keep screaming how you shouldn't be wasting time. The powder can be used once, and then the pool "needs to rest" before you can coax an effect out of it again. I'm not sure how long it does need to rest, because there's a neat glitch; as long as Mow is with you, the pool "resets" instantly! The pool can summon an allied zombie or Dagolar slime, an enemy zombie or Dagolar slime, drive all your characters to single-digit health, dump someone's inventory on the ground, dump EVERYONE'S inventory on the ground, or no effect whatsoever. You have six vials of powder in the room, which if you read a little earlier means you can potentially fight six Dagolar slimes for experience. A chamber near this room holds some experimental cages which have animals in them; don't move too close or they lash out at you. The room holds a skeleton with some minor loot on it. Near this chamber is another which has many other skeletons and some heavy piles of bone in it. Loot it and let's move on. Another chamber holds a magic circle and some pots of Tyrian Slime, along with a book. Here your Preserver can read the book and create a Dagolar Slime if they can get the spells right. Yes, this means more free experience if you have the opportunity. Go ahead and knock yourself out, because you can use every boost you can get. In the south-center are the dungeons with prisoners being driven slowly mad by Dagolar, and they don't have much to talk with you about. Approaching them with the Hound Necklace on kills them instantly; since you no longer needed them after the Door of Eyes you could ditch them at any time. Several rooms nearby here hold chests and some minor loot to grab. Now, to the heart of the matter. Dagolar's room is protected by an archway which has fire flowing. You can attempt to jump through it and land on the plate which shuts it off (this is guaranteed to hurt, and just softens you up). You can also throw the heavy bones through to land on the plate; four piles will trip it and you can pass. Keldar waits in the antechamber and will lose his witty demeanor as he sees you are simply not going to die easily; he'll summon six Dagolar slimes to attack and you can take him out. I highly recommend making sure he's not casting by hitting him at range or charging him to kill in melee. Once you beat him (and pick up his equipment with the amusing book) you can push to the back room; if Mow is still alive and with you, Dagolar will destroy him and make a grand speech about how you aren't the first to come after him. He's not hard to take out, but if you can't stop him from casting you will be hurt. Once you leave into the antechamber Dagolar pops up and commends you on destroying his decoy, and decides he has to get his hands dirty to do this himself. More Dagolar slimes, and he has some serious spellpower to fight you. This time, you can't use ranged attacks on him so you need to come get him. He has some nice loot, and you will get a massive experience boost for destroying him. He has a Living Cloak which serves as protection from most missile attacks, and a real nice metal +3 dagger. This is an exceptional weapon to hand to anyone, since its damage output is quite insane; it also raises the Charisma of one who uses it. Beyond that, there's a wand of Control Body and a wand of Magic Missile (they has limited uses, so be careful). You can finish the dungeon in the way listed above, or you can become more creative and put some pieces together which you found in the dungeon. Gorbatrix the zombie is locked up as "My Biggest Mistake" and Mow screams at you not to enter when you try to open the door. If you read some of the scrolls left around, it's clear Gorbatrix was once Dagolar's brother, and this is what happened to him. On entering, Gorbatrix approaches and Mow flips out and goes crazy; he reveals he's actually Dagolar and he "didn't mean it". Then he's gone and Gorbatrix wants you to follow him. The zombie walks through the fire arch to click it off, meaning you don't have to do anything . . . once you reach the antechamber, Dagolar is still flipping out and if Keldar is still here there's something quite amusing which happens. This will allow you to kill Dagolar without needing to go through a lot of trouble, though you will need to go through more of his slimes. A lot more of his slimes. After destroying Dagolar, all enemies you haven't killed will be removed from the area, and a campfire circle will spawn in Dagolar's room in the northwest. I recommend using it. --- Fields of Draj --- Fresh air at last, and depending on where you came out there might be some guards. The good news is how lightly defended this place is. There are three major areas of the crop fields, one in the northeast, one in the southwest, one in the southeast. There are only a few things to do here, some more important than others. Any serf not in the fields will have something you need to talk with them about, so do so. One of the serfs wishes to escape, and can bribe you with a huge gemstone he pried out of an obelisk to the southwest. Take him up on the offer when you clear the way, and return the gem to see it glow . . . ominous! But important. Another serf will sell you stolen magic fruit: red pears (400cp), lemons (500cp), green grapes (175cp), corn (250cp), orange grapes (425cp). More importantly, he will buy the junk and gems you've hauled with you through your escape! Take this opportunity to divest yourself of things you don't have a use for but are worthwhile. As a note, NEVER sell gems which look like the one you put in the obelisk. No, don't do that; you will regret it. Old One-Eye in the center of the field will talk with you for a bit, but he can't help you except to point out a weak point in the fence along the eastern side. Yes, the guards are aware of it and there's a token group there. If you're rescuing the serf, better off taking the main exit after you clear it; that isn't hard, considering you can easily rush them and take them out. The exit to the east will take you to a stranded caravan which has been attacked by raiders. The exit to the north will get you closer to the village of Teaquetzl; it's advantageous to head there as early as possible so you can begin the game's real plot. Yes, you can re-enter the sewers and from there to the slave pens in case you left something behind. This is significantly more trouble than it's worth. There is a minor glitch; sometimes the serf will not follow you, and will reset his dialogue. This means you will get a duplicate obelisk gem. I have found a cure for this glitch is to enter Teaquetzl Environs first, then return and collect him. There is no apparent time limit on leading him to safety. --- Teaquetzl Environs --- So you rescued that poor serf from enslavement, only to watch him fall prey to the denizens of the desert wild. Let this also serve as a warning to you: this world does not mess around. You can, and will likely, be ambushed just as easily as this man. The only difference is you have a better chance of survival thanks to your time in the arena. On the body before you is a messenger's scroll which contains a rather chilling warning: an army is being gathered to sweep the wastes and crush the independent villages one by one. The warning needs to be delivered, but most interesting is the mention of heroes and visionaries; who in the world could that possibly be? The man standing there is less than pleased with the prospect and not very helpful but he does have a campfire you can share (and rest up at). From here there are four other exits, though only three are of interest. The northern one leads to Teaquetzl village, the west one into the Salt Flats, and the eastern one into the Red Sands Area. (No, really, the game refers to it as such.) There is a ssurian female traveling around, but she won't hurt you unless you seriously provoke her. You have a chance to help her out later on, if you pay attention to clues. Oh, and the guard to let you into the village would like you very much to have a reason to come in or he'll try to throw you out on your ear. Time to go find a good reason to enter other than the message and "prophecy" mentioned on it. Enemies in this area include fire eels, red slaad, dune reapers, mastyrials, defilers with bodyguards, and bulettes. --- Red Sands Area --- This area is disrupted by the large ridge in the center area, which can be walked up onto and along. Three people call this area home, and there's another interesting obelisk here without a gem. First among these people is a sage who insists on you being part of the "Veiled Alliance" and wants to donate some items to help you. One of which is the gem from that obelisk, and the other is a rod of metal detection. It has limited actual use, but it's a nice gesture. There's a man near some tents who is an alchemist (Notaku), and will have three tasks for you to perform. These tasks coincide with your needs to investigate and complete the main quest so it never hurts to check up on the tasks. First he wants you to deliver some rankite pith to Father Garyn in Teaquetzl and will pay you for the task. Once you have done that, you can come back and discover he wants a "Terror Bloom" which can be found at one of the other villages. Lastly, he wants a stinger from a mastyrial near Gedron. He'll also pay you for recovering specific components which he can refine into usable things; no you don't get to figure out what things are used for but he pays well for fire eel tongues, sand howler eyes, and Tyrian butterfly wings. I mean it, if you want to work for some extra money then this is the way to go about it. Notaku will pay you 50cp for sand howler eyes (75cp if you successfully talk him up), 150cp for fire eel tongues, and 450cp for Tyrian butterfly wings. Only the butterfly wings are exhaustable in supply, but after you sell him a specific component you will not get another option to sell to him; the items will no longer drop. When you return a Terror Bloom to him he will give you Derth's Wand, which fires a Lightning Bolt for a few times. Returning the specially treated mastyrial stinger will earn you the El's Shield, the best shield you can get, as well as a lemon and an orange. A side-note; when you return the Terror Bloom another item is added to the game which you will get much later on and is as good as the shield. I do not know if the mastyrial stinger likewise triggers a changed item; I did not discover one in my play. Lastly, there is a man (Demothi) who claims to have trained a mastyrial (Alita) to fight for and obey him; certainly it seems to be tamed, but he wants a bag of salt to trade for it. This isn't a good deal, and you don't happen to have any salt on you. There are four exits here: to the south there is a stranded and ruined caravan, to the west is the Teaquetzl Environs, to the east is a rocky plain, and to the north is the Druid's Oasis. Enemies in this area include sand howlers, dune reapers, strine, rampagers, otyughs, tohr-kreen, defilers with bodyguards, and rogue earth elementals. --- Teaquetzl Village --- Welcome to Teaquetzl, where the guards are surly and the villagers are helpful. Something wrong there, right? Wrong! This is Athas. The guard will demand to know your business, which is easier to explain if you have the pith in hand. He'll direct you towards Father Garyn and let you go. Take care of business there, and chat him up; he's a pretty good source of information. There are a number of merchants here worth noting. The bowyer will sell you ranged weapons in case you still need some to fill out your party's equipment. The weaponsmith has a couple nice pieces, including a metal long sword. Just about any standard piece of equipment can be bought here, and you can sell off what you don't need. The armorsmith invites you to use his forge if you wish, provided you have what it takes to make anything. He'll also sell you some metal chainmail leggings for 3000cp, of which he has a limited amount. Nevertheless, it's a pleasant addition to your armor. The visionary will greet you and talk in riddles, and if you can puzzle out what he's talking about you can get a good idea of what's in store for you. But you can also get a sense of why the townsfolk think the man is a lunatic. You can go talk to Chahl and Lieutenant Kwerin after your meeting, and you start to get the sense of what's going on with the townsfolk. It's relatively obvious they've had a chance to settle into complacency with the well and the lack of pressing doom. Kwerin is unhappy with the leadership, viewing Chahl as nothing more than a rockheaded mul. Dominy is the well master and explains how he found this supply of water which hasn't run dry yet. It's an interesting conversation, which points to some interesting thoughts. Concerning the well, something the visionary said suggests there's something in the bottom of it. Draw some water for the well, and then look into it to see something below! Climb down it to enter a long-ruined temple complex and listen to the story of the shade. While you're here grab the gem from the floor and take it out to plug it into the obelisk. The visionary handed you a special rod known as Llod's Rod. It's time to play with strange toys; the rod proves to have a key use which will make things a whole lot easier on your feet. The rod can teleport you to any active obelisk (one which has the gem replaced inside it) so long as you are above ground or otherwise unwarded. Most importantly for yourself, there's a house with a campfire circle in it which is now yours. Some gifts have been placed there for you to enjoy. Your initial offerings are a +2 Swiftbite (a bone long sword), white grapes, lemon, a half-dozen +2 arrows, 2 gems (worth 50cp), and two chests to store things. Your home has four static chest objects where your gifts will later be deposited. This is a wonderful place to stash chests of supplies too if you want to clean out your inventory some. Especially once you have the obelisk functional so you can return at nearly any time; this will allow you to store extra pieces of armor or weapons (or arrows) for resupplies. Now it's time for you to get to work recruiting. You have your first lead from your delivery of the pith extract: the village of Gedron. That's the good news. The bad news, you're about to delve into one of the roughest territories in the game. First of all, it would be nice to deal with the local areas and see what you can discover. Let's head to take care of some loose ends to the east. As you recruit villages, your rewards will be given out. For recruiting Gedron, you will be given a wooden +1 Phrain's Bow, 6 wooden arrows +2, a scroll of Turn Pebble to Boulder, and an Orange. For recruiting Cedrilite, the council springs for a leather Helm of Might, a psionic bracelet of Share Strength, a Red Pear, and 6 Wooden Arrows +3. --- Ruined Caravan --- Entering this area from the east, you will undoubtedly notice the caravan early. Or what's left of it; magera bandits hit it hard and carted off nearly everyone. There are a couple rough battles against magera which can be a handful due to having high damage. It's always recommended to use paralysis or suppression spells/powers to make things easier if you can. Once you rescue everyone, the caravan's scouting party returns and they prepare to head off. In thanks they'll give you a +1 Hornblade, which is a bone short sword. If you've started gathering people for your alliance, Kalinin will agree in order to get shelter fast for his people. (As far as I can tell, there is no additional reward for you to add these folks to the alliance.) Near the bandits' holding area is a bridge over a small ravine; when you walk over it you can see something below. But without a rope you can't go down there. Luckily, there's a plant nearby with thick vines which you can use, and climb down into another section of the underground temple. You can't do too much here, until you have learned more about the sad story of the temple. But remember this place, because you will need to come back. After you have cleared the area, sand howlers, rampagers, strine, and other beasts will roam the area. There are two exits here, one back to the Fields of Draj and the other north into the Red Sands area. --- Druid's Oasis --- This area seems empty, but there are a couple things you can do. The southeast corner has an oasis with some seed pods in it, and Tyrian butterflies. You may recall being asked to find wings by the alchemist but there's a trick to getting them. Grab a seed pod and plant it, and the druid of the oasis appears and thanks you. He asks what he can do for you, and you can ask for butterfly wings, or decline a reward. Declining a reward gets you some experience points, but if you are fast you can catch him before he disappears again and request butterfly wings; he'll give you six or so. Harming a butterfly will bring him out, to yell at you and if you act contrite enough he will also give you some. To the north near that exit there's a man in a green robe. When you approach it turns out to be a familiar face who recognizes you just as quickly. "Oh no . . ." He'll beg to be spared and offer the location of a treasure if you leave him be. He'll tell you at the "Dragon's Eye" there is something buried, and direct you westwards. Or you can kill him and his five guardsmen and loot some precious gems off his corpse along with a scroll of Stoneskin and two nonmagical rings. I've never seen spawned monsters on this particular area, so I don't think they will show up. Take it as a breather you walk through and be grateful. Two exits: to the south is the Red Sands Area and to the north is the Slaver Camp. --- Slaver Camp --- The major feature here is a walled encampment to the north, and the fields around the place have some tough groups which can spawn. Approaching the camp will get you ordered to halt and identify yourself. You can bully your way through, but if creatures followed you and start fighting near the camp the guards will raise an alarm. (This is a silly glitch, and can happen just about everywhere.) You can, of course, simply cut your way in and free the slaves in the back easily enough. But if you can bully your way past pretending to have authority to talk to the leader, you can get close to their camp and interrupt some haggling. It turns out the elf here is selling slaves to a templar from Draj, and that templar recognizes you. If you are quick with the suggestion, the elves decide the templar isn't worth fighting for and will ally with you. The slaver guards are armed with metal axes, bows, and leather armor; the ones guarding the slave pen have bone long swords. The templar has a bone mace and some metal chain sleeves on him. And the captain of the slavers has a bone +1 gythka and some +1 arrows on him, along with a metal long sword. Overall, this will be a very nice haul for sale and to flesh out your own equipment. If you can convince the slavers to ally with you, you'll be given the +1 bone gythka as a gift. Three slaves are up for sale, one of which is a warrior of Gedron who was sold into slavery by a man called Wyrmias. If by chance you've already freed the town and secured an alliance, he'll rush home. A second slave captured is from Teaquetzl itself and will return home when you tell him it's safe. Another is from a caravan to the south which got attacked, and they'll leave to try to return. The three exits here lead to the Elven Caravan in the north, the Battlefield to the west, and the Druid's Oasis in the south. Enemies in this area include fire eels, red slaad, blue slaad, dune reapers, sand howlers, bulettes, a defiler and his bodyguards, and various other monsters who want to make your trip less pleasant. --- Battlefield --- This area is a broad expanse of empty waste, except for a lone figure who turns out to be a Drajian messenger. He'll summon a blue slaad to fight you when you try to talk to him, and attack. He carries his message, a scroll of Fire Shield, and some gear. The message is from the head templar of the slave pens saying to cut off the escaped gladiators before they find one of the towns. You'll get some experience bonus for reading it, and you're free to travel. You may also run into Hototo, chief of the White Sand Outlaws. He's transporting a slave through the area, and he is expecting Dagger. Since he catches you, you can pose as Dagger or his associate and listen in. The slave he is escorting is docile and will follow you all around the area. I haven't yet figured out just WHAT to do about this, since the slave doesn't appear to switch zones with you. According to some research, Dagger is supposed to show up to claim his slave, and you can kill him. When he dies, the slave comes to his senses and you can get a campfire circle here. This has not happened to me, as I cannot seem to find just the right place to find Dagger. There will, on occasion, be bulettes present. Three exits: To the east is the Slave Camp, to the north is into the Deep Wilds, the west is into the Hot Springs. --- Elven Caravan --- Entering the caravan, you're greeted by a suspicious guard who wants to ensure you're not there to raid the place and wantonly slaughter. Just be pleasant instead of adversarial and you'll be all right. Then he'll direct you to see the caravan leader and then to Larissa the local seer. The wagon master will greet you and tell you about the caravan rather nicely. She'll invite you to rest at the visitor's circle, and to make sure you talk to everyone. As mentioned a couple times now, there are bandit attacks going on from two separate bands. You'll be offered a chance to do some work taking care of these bands, which you'll have to do anyway. Be sure you accept the missions here before you go and take care of it, or you won't get the option of claiming a reward. Larissa is a seer, and if you talk to her for a bit, she will be openly dismissive of the visionary in Teaquetzl. She claims she hasn't forseen any doom for the villages, and therefore he must be a fraud. She will talk with you, though, and her advice is more direct and as helpful as that of the visionary. Jark sells armor and weapons, for a decent price. He'll sell nearly any piece of normal equipment you have found as of yet, and between him and the merchants in Teaquetzl you can get any nonmagical weapon or armor you can find. Even Chatkchas for thri-kreen. This is a good place to remember if you need to replace broken armor or weapons. Kel in the southwest offers priceless artifacts for sale, or so he claims. And they're from all over Athas, absolutely priceless and irreplacable. He tells a lot of good stories about his items, but there's a hole in what he tells. See, he pried this big yellow gem out of the obelisk, but believes it's utterly nonmagical. Right about now you should reconsider buying any of this things unless you have money to burn. Frankly, I doubt anything "special" he sells has any use beyond merely looking good in your inventory. Kel's goods are as follows: Apple (500cp), Scroll of Web (6000cp), 8 Wooden Arrows +1 (2000cp), Lime (300cp), Corn (250cp), Scroll of Spirit Armor (9000cp) Gem (1000cp), Serpent's Ring (250cp), Degula's Tear (1000cp), Dreaming Eye (1500cp), Metal Soulcrusher Axe (1000cp), Talisman Venom (50cp), Leather Dapartea's Helm (20cp), Leather Koeatl's Cloak (100cp), Wooden Seeker (500cp). None of the "mystical artifacts" show any signs of magic when you check them out (and the Sage knows nothing about any of them) so buy at your own risk. The scrolls and magical food are still quite useful, and Soulcrusher is still a magical axe. And of course, the obelisk gem is very important. Tobrian the wine seller will almost aggressively offer you a sample of his wine, which should put the suspiciousness in you. If you accept, you most likely will wind up falling over asleep and wake up without your goods and being sold to slavers to the south. You can fight your way out through the whole group, or you can boast of your fighting prowess and only have to kill four Daggorans. You still have access to your magic, so you should be capable of handling this. If you resist the poison (this can be neatly accomplished with a Neutralize Poison just before drinking) you can accuse Tobrian of poisoning you, but he professes to nothing. If you return from your escape from the slavers, he'll break down and swear it was never HIS idea, it was THEIR idea and he had no choice! See, he saved your things here for you. You can threaten to take this up with the Driana the caravan master if you like. And once you get there, he spins a tale of how you demanded wine for free and when guards walked by you decided to spin a tale and try to weasel your way out. Tell the truth about what happened, and you will most likely win your judgement. Depending on how this went down, you will be given 500cp in compensation (for resisting the poison) or you will be given 1000cp and his wagon. He winds up fined a hefty sum and dismissed from the caravan ("Be glad this isn't a harsher punishment" implying she contemplated leaving him in your hands). At the visitor's circle you will find Katura, who came here from Teaquetzl for supplies. After a little chatter, she'll depart saying she's due back. The campfire is good to rest up, so you can continue on your way. On later visits you will find a couple people who can tell you about local things of interest, and you should listen to them. They'll tell you some useful things. --- Salt Flats --- Well this is a nice looking area! The designs are interesting, and the company is not aggressive. There's a huge dragon taking up most of the area, a couple other symbols, and four ways out. Start by chatting up the wandering folk. First is a salt merchant, who is collecting fine salt to purify and use as trade in far places. If you ask him about buying salt, he'll quote you a price of 2000cp; you might be able to talk him down and he'll hand you the salt. There's only one use for this salt, and since it's a long road to disappointment you don't necessarily want to spend the money. There's a ssurian following a dust devil around, and he will talk with you for a while describing what he's doing here. It seems he's striking out to form a new tribe and the dust devil is going to lead him in the journey as his totem. If you're respectful and manage to learn all you can, and earn his respect you will be given some experience points as a reward. Now for the second half of this small sidequest: return to the area to the east and tell the other ssurian about him, mentioning he is starting a tribe and his totem is the dust devil. She'll opt to join him and your efforts will mark you a friend of this new tribe (or at least "not prey"). Return to ask her how things turned out, and if you declined to receive a reward before she wil give you a magic ring: "Steadfast Ring". It raises a character's Constitution by 3 points, which can be very nice! If you were told by the announcer about the special treasure, grab a shovel and use it over the eye in the dragon painting. A chest pops out with a few nice pieces of treasure and the A'poss Heart crystal. This is important, because with it you can start handling the sidequest under the desert. You'll also like the treasure, I'm quite sure. Lastly, in the northwestern corner there is a man walking along a symbol. He claims to be too busy to talk, and tells you to walk the path with him if you wish enlightenment. Walk along the symbol carefully and slowly, and you'll start to notice an effect. Once you finish you will be granted some experience, and the man will actually speak to you kindly. If you ask, he will offer some psionic bracelets (the Psionicist equivalent of scrolls) for sale; be prepared to pay a lot for them! He will sell you Lemons (500cp), Stone Daggers (1cp), Ego Whip, Synaptic Static, Psionic Blast, Intellect Fortress (9000cp each). He also has a +2 wooden quarterstaff for sale (4800cp), which you should probably purchase. On occasion you will notice enemies here, which may be any of the following: mountain stalkers, xorn [NOTE:: To be finished] Four exits here lead to various places: to the west is Cedrilite Village, to the south are the Lava Fields, to the north is the Painted Desert, and to the east are the Teaquetzl Environs. --- Lava Fields --- There's very little reason to leave this alone, unless you haven't gotten some magical weapons yet. Fire elementals have overrun the area, and there is a defiler being blamed for it. There's some confusion on just who is to blame, as the old man insists he is being attacked while the younger ranger near the ruins in question tells you roughly to buzz off. When trying to clarify it with the older man, he'll start screaming at you about how the elementals are there to kill him, and then one will come approaching and attack you immediately. The solution isn't apparent but you have to use your head: the old guy is the defiler, and he is the one summoning elementals. Kill him and take his stuff, which includes an Iron Necklace (this casts Fireball a set number of times). Return to speak with the ranger and he'll thank you for settling the matter. You'll receive a bracelet of Energy Containment for your efforts. A strange bug occurs when you approach the ruins, the hermit (dead or alive) will begin screaming at you to leave and summon some lesser fire elementals. If you approach before talking with the ranger, you'll be given his Iron Necklace (which will not be duplicated, naturally). Enemies spawning here include daggorans, thri-kreen, tohr-kreen, and the occasional fire elemental. The only exits here are to the Salt Flats, and to the Meteor Crater. --- Meteor Crater --- There are thri-kreen all over this place, and they will hunt you down for intruding. They're not too dangerous, but more of an annoyance. This area is a nice spot to play around in, as one of the travelers said at the Elven Caravan. There are lava domes all over the place which can be cracked open for gemstones, so long as you have a pickaxe on hand. Be careful, as some of these are traps which are bad to trigger and don't go away. I didn't take an exact count, but between 60 and 70 lava domes are around here, which can yield one gem each (ranging from 100cp to 1000cp value). Do the math; this should be more than enough money to overcome financial problems. To the western edge, there is a large meteor impact crater, which still has a piece embedded in the bottom. What you're looking for is a way to trigger the large geyser and force the meteorite loose. There are seven smaller geysers which flow regularly . . . and seven heavy rocks which can be found in the area. Scouring the area will allow you to find them, and you will need to match each one to the particular geyser it fits. Once you plug all the small geysers, the large one will explode and the meteorite will be flung southwards. Be aware you may take damage from the explosion of the large geyser if you are too close. With the meteorite in hand, you can notice it's got a significant amount of metal in it. Taking that meteorite to the smith's shop in Teaquetzl, you can smelt it down into a metal rod radiating unearthly energies; furthermore you can make it into a +1 metal axe. [Rumors abound about being able to use the "sword blank" item for something similar, but I haven't figured anything out.] This area holds a large number of thri-kreen as enemies. As they're only level 2 enemies, they tend to die after roughly 12 to 14 damage. The trouble is in the sheer number which can come after you. --- Painted Desert --- Here you'll find a large oasis of water with some guards around it. They're not happy to see you and would cheerfully recruit you as slaves if they had the chance. Fighting back leads to a huge battle which will sweep around the edges to take out archery-happy guards and the templar leading them. The druid of the area will thank you for your efforts, and reward you for your kind services. You can come at this area another way, by being recruited in another area and brought here to fight the druid. Having the chance, then, to turn on the group you came with and then clean out the oasis. It makes slightly more sense in this context, but it is almost random in being triggered. Xorn sometimes make an appearance here, along with some other enemies. I have not come through this area to make a near complete listing. There really is not too much in this place. The two exits from this area lead south to the Salt Flats and north to the Hot Spring. --- Hot Spring --- On entering, you're stopped by a man who claims to have escaped from a slave band mining copper. If you have the rod of metal detection on you, you do seem to get a response, but there's already some templar who's been convinced there is a large and profitable vein here. If you spent some time with the Elven Caravan, you probably met the man who told him that. You can let yourself be press-ganged into digging, which takes shifts of swinging the pick at a hole and then bagging the sand with a shovel. There is an uncommon glitch where you can't seem to bag the sand, which means you can't proceed. I have tried a couple times, but never found anything there. Killing these idiots is easy, and you can earn a few nice things from the templar's corpse. Further to the north there are some traveling warriors who expect to join the fight against the villages. They're not that bright, and you can likewise kill them. Three exits exist here, one leading east into the Battlefield, another leads north into Gedron Village, and the south one enters the Painted Desert. --- Gedron Village --- On arriving here, you're likely to notice the townsfolk acting really odd. There's a merchant who hawks his wares as the finest broken pots in Athas, for instance. Further exploration leads you to the healer, Linara, who is keeping people sedated for their own good. You can deliver the pith extract to her at last, and she explains why she needs it. A psionicist called Wyrmias is using the town as his personal toybox and sometimes makes the folk self-destructive for his own amusement. Her sister fled rather than fight, because she wasn't quite strong enough. The able-bodied warriors were sold into slavery, and Wyrmias is expending his energies searching for something. The mayor's house is in the center of town, and he'll talk for a bit before Wyrmias takes over and proposes to you a task: he's looking for two pieces to a broken statue in the town square, and if you retrieve them he promises to leave. Wyrmias can be reached directly by finding a hidden door in the antechamber, but he'll make you the same proposal if you meet him face to face. And if you happen to have one of these pieces already, he'll take it from you. The well here leads down into the underground ruined temple, to the prison of A'Poss. Consult the relevant section if you intend to visit there. The obelisk here is also missing its gem and the location is not readily apparent. Once you return with the statue pieces, Wyrmias is ever so grateful and repairs that statue. Then he'll offer you a free shot at him, taunting you as the last thing he'll ask you to do. Take the shot, and he crumples; then the statue animates, inhabited by Wyrmias now. He'll taunt you about the fantastic power he has received thanks to you, and releases the town. But he insists you will see him again "rather soon". You can make that "right now" and strike at him; the statue is slow to depart the area. It has a lot of health and a nice AC, plus can attack roughly as many times as a thri-kreen since it has four arms. These attacks hurt. Furthermore, you won't find much magic or psionics working. If you've come this far, you are likely able to win against it; there are no guarantees, however. Once freed, Gedron returns to sanity. You can met Linara and tell her about this, and she reveals there's a safe she knew about in Wyrmias' room under the rug. Inside you will find the gem from the obelisk, and a sword called "El's Drinker". This +2 metal longsword is one of the rather nice magical weapons in the game, as it has a Vampiric Touch it will cast on a successful hit. Remember, Vampiric Touch will allow you to exceed your normal hit point limit for a short while. The mayor thanks you, but asks you to retrieve Gedron's warriors; they would not return unless Wyrmias was killed. Once that is done, they will head back and the mayor considers your offer of fighting Draj. Faced with the prospect, he's not happy but he can deny you nothing for having freed the village. Reluctantly he accepts the alliance. When you return to Teaquetzl, the gate guard will acknowledge this, and the council will thank you with gifts stored in your home (you MUST see the council to claim them). These include a +1 Phrain's Bow, a half-dozen +2 arrows, a scroll of Turn Pebble to Boulder, and an orange. Three exits from the village lead to Arant's Camp in the north, the Deep Wild to the east, and the Hot Spring to the south. --- Deep Wild --- On entering, a renegade halfling will run your way warning about the monsters here. He's not kidding, this place is crawling with sincerely difficult encounters. Two mastyrials are on his heels, and they'll catch you as easily as him. In the southwest area there is a clan of ssurians who are expecting to buy slaves with a piece of statue and some coin. They'll deal with you instead, if you make a better offer. And have slaves to trade. You need this statue piece, but it's easier to simply put them to the sword and take it after. The good news is hearing about the slaves to be traded: they're being held to the north through Gedron. You can go free them if you like, but holding off is probably the best idea. You could always haggle the price of the statue piece to 18,000 ceramic pieces. If you're swimming in cash and not willing to spill blood over this (why stop now?) then you can get that piece without breaking a sweat. Also in this area are nests which hang on the sides of rocks. If you can get close enough you can invesitgate them for some nice pieces of treasure. Unlike the sewer drains and skeletons, the items seem to be set instead of random. You will find in here: red pear, a pouch with 10cp in it, a leather belt, an apple, gems (two worth 500cp, one worth 750cp, one worth 1500cp), and a bracelet of Mind Bar. If you were sent here seeking the mastyrial stinger, you will need to go to the north-center of the area. You can climb down onto some sand in order to get to the other bird nests, and in that place is a mastyrial which is resting after feeding. Killing it is simple, since it is alone. Returning the stinger to the alchemist will get you a rather nice reward for the troubles. Monsters found here include air elementals, mastyrials, mountain stalkers, babau, red slaad, daggorans [NOTE:: List to be completed]. And there is a high chance of them appearing on top of you, which makes this a truly dangerous area to fight in. Don't let yourself idle here too long, or you can be piled Three exits here, one leading west into Gedron Village, one leading north into the Magera Camp, and one leading south into the Battlefield. --- Magera Camp --- On entering, you're more than likely to notice some magera gathered in the center-west area. They sternly tell you to begone, the sacrifice is prepared and you're not wanted here. Despite all the warnings, you can wander around and take a look. There isn't much to look at, but there is a broken bridge which separates the eastern area. Finding a grappling hook in the camp, it's likely you can fish it up and fix it. To the north there is a snake skeleton which you can follow down onto the silt, where a woman is bound for sacrifice. She happens to be Jasmine, the sister of Gedron's healer. As you free her, you are attacked by the silt horror. This unique monster is represented by tentacles which home in on you and can seriously hurt you and your new rescuee. After tearing them apart and forcing the silt horror to retreat, a maddened druid proclaims you're ruining everything and also attacks. Kill him, and take a statue piece from his corpse. Jasmine thanks you for helping her, but can't return to Gedron until it's safe for her. She will, however, give you some scrolls and her spellbook to show her sister she's alive and well. There's nothing more to do here, so you may choose to either leave to the south and enter the Deep Wild, or to the west and meet the slave trader Arant. --- Arant's Camp --- Arant's guards are lazy, and complacent from their easy guard duties. Arant is understandably a little peeved at them for this, especially because they don't bother to escort you to their leader. He's selling slaves from Gedron, but he's just about had it with this region. If you make the deals for him, he'll take your money and consider it square. He'll also take around 8000cp for the slaves, or a magic sword if you feel like giving one up. The easiest course is, of course, to avoid dealing with him altogether, but where's the fun in that? The fun is, you can kill him for some Grey's Scale armor; his guards are pushovers, being rather close to what you've been dealing with as far as human opponents go. The slaves to be sold aren't pleased to be going back unless Wyrmias has been dealt with. Once you tell them you're finished taking care of him, they will agree to return to the village. Of course, you can also turn around and try giving them to the ssurians for their statue piece. But you'll still need to make your alliance with Gedron, which is hard without their warriors. --- Cedrilite Village --- Welcome to a village under siege by wyvern riders, and you will be greeted as soon as you enter with them. Three Castle Soldiers and their wyverns will run for you and strike. They'll attack the hapless villagers too, so you might want to do your best to protect them. The poison from wyverns will be dangerous since you will be killed outright by the poison. After killing them a villager will offer to escort you to the leader. Chaya will not be as warm as you would expect, but if you're calm you can talk her down with a promise to deal with the raiders. She'll give you the chest under her bed for the offer, and in the chest is the obelisk gem for Cedrilite's obelisk. She will also put a campfire circle down if you request it, so be sure to do so. The villagers aren't exactly a talkative lot, but you can get a little more information. Krikor the dwarf is charting the mountains, but he is surly and not talkative until he realizes you won't leave him alone unless he answers your questions. He'll tell you about a hidden tunnel system in the cliffs north of town, and where to find the entrance. Lukyan the lore master will be one of your contacts here, to discuss the potential of a Terror Bloom. Only a rampager slain under the shadow of a serpent tree will provide one, and it happens there is a serpent tree in Cedrilite. He also tells you the Terror Bloom is needed for poisons which are among the most potent. He will also warn you of some of the fungi around here being rather dangerous to disturb. Don't take this warning lightly. Uskuye the warrior tells you how he saw the battle with the raiders, and it impressed him. You can enlist his assistance in hunting the rampager, and he is eager for such a fight. He's not too much assistance since the rampager will lay waste to him all too easily. If you approach him at other times, he'll take an offer to hunt some beasts with you. To the northwest corner is the serpent tree. You can do this two ways, by knocking on the trunk or by standing anywhere near the tree and blowing a horn. The rampager rushes out fast and you will be in battle before you can set up. Of course, you can set up before blowing the horn too, and that will work out nicely. Having Ego Whip with a good level will make it easier, if you can get it off. The well to the south of the town leads down into the Underground Temple, in the southern gate. This is a good way to enter, but you will be warned by the guardians about the cursed nature of the ruins. If you have business in the temple you can pass if you're adamant enough. Consult the section on the Underground Temple for further information. Finding the entrance to the tunnels, a character needs to be right next to the special stone or you'll just get messages about how peculiar that stone is. If you were informed about how to find the entrance there won't be too much confusion. That entrance leads into the Spider Tunnels. When you return to Chaya from destroying the bandits, she will hand you a Lime and a Psionic Bracelet of Animal Affinity. If you didn't slay everything in your way in the castle andkept the Druid of Howling Winds happy, he will offer to protect the village and Chaya will agree to an alliance. Don't forget to get your reward from the caravan after this! Sometimes when you come into this area, some wild beasts will be around the northern areas. Notably, otyughs and renegade halflings, xorn, and screamer beetles among other sorts of unpleasant monsters. --- Spider Tunnels --- You enter at the south end of the tunnels, near a Mindhome settlement. There are screamer beetles which will be coming for you, but by this time you should be well able to handle them. The Rebel Mindhome will challenge you when you enter their caves, and if you're nice to them they provide information. It seems the dark spiders on the upper level don't like them coming through for food, and kill intruders. You can volunteer to kill the spiders, or hold off to learn more about the matter. You won't be penalized for holding off, since you can change your mind. The First Mindhome were mentioned during the conversation, and their settlement is to the east. They're pleasant to talk to, and explain the spiders only attack them near the fungus groves. They also talk about a new sort of fungus which is choking out the others, and emits spores when disturbed. This might have something to do with what the lore master of Cedrilite had mentioned. The First Folk don't want a violent answer to this, so tread carefully while talking. Now, they mentioned an Outcast, who lives to the far west in his own cavern. That might be worth going to investigate, too. The Outcast tells some interesting information after you calm him down. He wants to prove he's valuable to the other Mindhome by getting the spiders to stop fighting. He thinks there can be some sort of trade which benefits both sides, but he's having a difficult time. He mentiones an ancient curse he wants taken care of, and in return he'll get you to meet the spiders. Once you agree, he'll lead you to the cliff guard and get you through. Once there, you can go to look at the Cavern of the Ancients and work on destroying the curse. The spider atop the cliff will ask you to not harm spiders, and to see the Queen before you wander about. He'll tell you the spiders in the fungus grove have become evil and cursed. Once handing you a talisman for safe passage, you can go talk to the Queen. She's imperious and assumptive, assuming you are there to help her end the problems in the fungus grove. She will offer you treasure when you can return, and aid against the people in the castle. She doesn't know how to destroy the strange entity in the fungus groves, but she insists you do so. Once agreeing, the Prince will appear and warn you about trusting her. If the rather vaguely threatening wording of "reward" didn't already give you second thoughts. When you agree to help him take care of the Queen, each party member is given 200 experience, and he directs you to look to the chamber with the symbol on the floor for any clues. Stepping on the symbol is bad, as that deals damage to you. The brick wall can be struck, which will summon three Red Slaad to fight you. Hit first, and don't let them hit you. Once they're dead you can pick up the contents of the sealed room. Four Nagi's Talismans, and a chest of items. Writing on the floor declares a curse on Tara, in the name of Nagi. Everlasting life, huh? The chest holds a pendant, a scroll of Melf's Minute Meteors, and a journal. The journal tells you all you may need to know about Tara and Nagi, as well as the entity which you now must exterminate. Put on the talismans, which prevents problems getting close to the fungus groves. If you forget to put them on, spores explode every so often and you get hurt. Of course, the talismans trick the fungus but not the enthralled Dark Spiders. Avoid hurting them and just get the pendant to the hole in the floor. Once you throw in the pendant, the hole seals and the spiders come to their senses. You also get 3000 experience, whether or not you take out the Spiders. A corpse nearby holds some loot, including a scroll of Hold Monster. Freed from the control of the fungus, the spiders will want to be escorted back. Be careful, since they're all so large in the passages you can get trapped behind them easily. But they'll be some help as you leave, and run right into three spiders from the Queen. It seems she wants you dead, and with two mages there, the fight can take a chunk out of you. A bit further, the Prince will approach and tell you it's time to overthrow the Queen now that you've helped Darkhold. A civil war will erupt as the Queen, two Dark Spiders, and four Spider Mages all try to kill you. The Prince will fight for you, as will the ones you rescued from the fungus grove. Make sure you don't kill anyone in the Prince's group, since that will not go over well. When the Queen dies, she will drop a Banana and a Wooden Wildwynd Wand (it casts Confusion). Once you have slain the Queen, the Prince will want to talk to the Rebel Mindhome and draw up peaceful plans. They're not buying it, initially, and it is going to take some work to convince the Rebels about the peaceful intent. If you can manage it, you'll be given 5000 experience per member; the Mindhome now will give one of their people to sneak in and unlock the castle gate. The alternative is alerting the castle guards and having to fight a lot more up front. You can also take the treasure from the spiders here, which contains some metal chain armor, some gems of value, an Apple and an Orange Pear. An extra silk rope is here, in case you needed it. Also, don't forget to pick up the Silk Armor from the Outcast; it gives a rather nice boost to those who wear light armor. --- Wyvern Castle --- Welcome to the castle. There's a lot here you should be aware of, and part of it starts with heading to the lone man in the center of the castle area. Chaero is the stablehand for the raiders, and he's not too bad a guy. He just really likes wyverns and admires them. He'll spill a lot of information if you just play nice. He wants a wyvern for himself, most of all, so if you offer him one you won't need to worry about him raising an alarm. Or will you? His offer is bogus; as soon as you get in the pen he recommends, he locks you in and calls the guards. He is sincere about the wyvern thing, so perhaps you should try to keep one alive. This is easiest done by rushing the staircase in the north and using a spell to stall the guards from getting to the switches. Entangle or Grease both are good choices for this. The side- benefit is not needing to deal with the wyverns, which is good since they have that truly hideous poison. Coming down from the upper levels, the guards are all alerted and will come running. Chaero is with them, and he will attack, so you are going to need to kill him. Once you use the Wind Potion on this floor, all traces of Tara's magic disappear and the Black Maze is freed. The grateful followers will leave, to die in peace; one of them tells you where to find the Serpent Boots. They're worth wearing, as they have a Displacement effect. Scour the halls for all the containers you can here, because they'll be quite useful. In the southeast corner a pair of vrocks protect the door. They can only be hit by +2 or greater weapons, so you'll probably need to shuffle weapons to your main warrior. You'll find a secret door by checking out the wall, and be allowed to plunder the treasure vault. There's 60cp in stacks around the one room, and a small fortune in gems. As well as another giant chest of jewels. And most importantly, the Dark Flame. --- Castle Towers --- You appear in the center of a hall between two towers. The left tower has a prisoner and a campfire circle sitting there, so it may be your first choice. The east tower has a whole bunch of guards in front of it, so you might as well take the path of least resistance first. Well, almost least resistance; an Earth Elemental is guarding the door. Destroy it and peek at the corpse near the door. It holds a Metal Chain Leg armor, and a +2 bow. The door holds a captive druid, who thanks you for his freedom and asks a favor of you. He wants you to take care of the raiders and Tara. Specifically, he wants the Wyvern Hook which is used to capture wyverns and control them. Once you agree to help him, you'll get a 500 experience point reward and the key to see the Wyvern Master. He's directly to the south, and is bright enough to offer you a place in his band for having the skill to reach him. He doesn't attack you outright if you don't force his hand, and explains a little about Tara. He may even offer you a bribe to go away. Eventually, you're going to need to fight him, which isn't too hard. He has some fruit with him (A Banana and Orange Pear) and two magical items. A Metal Wind's Ring and Leather Drake's Armor. Once you take the hook to the Druid, he'll hand you a potion capable of destroying Tara for good. You can also search the Wyvern Master's room thoroughly and turn up a green key hidden behind the bed. It's not exactly easy to spot, but if you run the mouse over it a few times it almost pops out at you. The chest has some good merchant stock in it for you to take advantage of once you return, and is yet another useful container to expand your inventory space. In the treasure room is 160cp scattered around, a few gems, and a chest of gems worth a nice tidy sum. Tara is still under the delusion she is ruler of a great group of wizards, but it's fairly obvious she's only holding out hope. If you enter wearing Nagi's Talismans, she immediately attacks you; without them, she banters for a very short time before losing her composure and attacking you. Once you kill her, make use of the Wind Potion and she will be gone for good. She will leave behind Tynan's Heart and a Silver Necklace of Biofeedback. The Druid will thank you for the deed of destroying Tara, and tell you about the hidden treasure in the castle. You'll need to recover the Serpent Boots from the lower castle to get to it, but that shouldn't be too hard. Right? --- Rocky Area --- This area has lots of rocky teeth dividing areas, and it can be difficult to navigate by the map thanks to this. The first thing to deal with is a tribe of ssurians who want you to clear the old and rebellious spirits in their ruins. They're guarding a treasure, which you will be allowed to keep. About ten shadows are in the area, and they can be difficult to overcome without significant magical weapons in hand. Once you clear them, El's Ring is yours, which increases a character's Dexterity by 3. The ssurians meet you, all gathered up for you. Then you're told something a little disturbing - your spirits will replace the ones you were foretold to destroy! These shaman followers are simple pickings if you can get the first shot at them gathered up. Otherwise you'll need to chew through them slowly. To the north is a fossilized wyrm in the side of a cliff, guarded by magera who don't want you anywhere near here and won't let themselves be intimidated. You'll more than likely need to cut your way into the caverns to see what's beyond. If you've visited the caravan you've heard of these raiders. Farthest to the east is a pair of wanderers who wander around in a circle. They seem friendly enough but they say they're protected by the Great Spire. After showing it to you they'll seem to get orders from it and wander off speaking gibberish and ramblings. As of this time I haven't actually figured out what to do about them. There are two exits here, one leading into the Wyrm Tunnels, and the other leading west into the Red Sands Area. --- Wyrm Tunnels --- Welcome to the magera tribe tunnels, full of speechless slaves who direct you towards their master and leader. This turns out to be the "Blind One", who informs you he was the old leader and now uses telepathy due to having his tongue and eyes made useless to keep him from causing trouble. The new master is Balkazar, who is using the magera as sacrifices and tools to build himself up more powerful. He gives you some advice, and tells you there will be no help from anyone here. And notably, you find there is no resistance as you wander through. You'll find more bags and chests strewn about, a large number empty. Some others have minor pieces of clothing in it, or common supplies. Overall you should easily walk out with a dozen chests and half as many bags to add to your collection. The leaders can be bullied into letting you pass easily enough, if you talked with the Blind One he tells you pretty much exactly what to say. Otherwise you can bluff blatantly, and so long as you act haughty enough they'll let you through. To the southeast is the Fallen Temple and to the east is Balkazar's Sanctuary. Follow the Blind One's advice and check out the temple first. --- Fallen Temple --- Well, this is nice and small, with a room full of vrocks to your south and a tomb with a spirit within. You can fight the vrocks, or you can save them for a little later and travel around to the tomb. Remember that vrocks are going to take some serious magical power to destroy, and they're resistant to magic and psionics. There is a scroll of Monster Summoning III in here, as a prize for fighting them off. The ghost called Tanelyv waits for you in the tomb and will tell you his story if you are respectful. He wants you to help restore the temple, but this will require you performing an act of charity. He wants you to lead the magera to the temple and cure them, but the task is going to require a lot of effort on your part. First, you need to convince the guards to let you do this. This is not hard if you think about it before you speak. Once you bring the Blind One to the chamber, he will enter and be healed. Then he asks you to take him to the great chamber so he can speak to the slaves. As you take care of this and wait, he will direct you to start a slave uprising with him. As soon as you do, Balkazar will drop in and announce his displeasure while leaving four babau to fight. This can be a little tricky, because those babau will be rather close to you when the fight starts. If you held out long enough to start this sidequest though, you should have plenty of +2 or better weapons to beat them with. For healing the magera you'll be given 5000 experience per member, and have a clear track through here to Balkazar's School. Return to Tanelyv and he'll give you a Metal Ring of Insight which boosts your Wisdom. Then he charges you with killing Balkazar, to finish cleansing the evil. The white room to the south is now open, and you can use it to heal up. --- Balkazar's Sanctuary --- Balkazar's stronghold lies ahead, and he's not going to let you just waltz in. There are plenty of guardians who are ready to confront you; babau, vrocks, styr, and other students. The area is rather huge, and two separate areas of focus exist. There is the structure itself, and the islands of stone floating just off the cliff. First, you'll be confronted by a Guardian who has a nice obsidian chatkcha (which has a Produce Flame enchantment). The islands of stone are where you will find a fair amount of treasure here, but they are reached by a maze of teleporters. Styr wait on some of the platforms to fight you, and they're difficult if you came here too early; magical weapons are the only things useful against them. Consider it a sign if you have significant trouble fighting them, a sign to turn back and come later. By solving the teleporter maze, you will find a +1 Bone Draketooth. The quickest path from the northeast corner is to go south, then northeast, then northeast again. That should put you right on the platform with only one Styr to fight. Granted, once you turn back you will have to fight four at once. The main building is full of all sorts of empty rooms and books which suggest what he is trying to do. You won't find much of interest inside the building, so just collect the books and head towards Balkazar's room. He'll mistake you for agents of Dagolar (which should be familiar to those who can think back to what Dagolar said when you were coming for him) and you can tell him you ended Dagolar. He'll offer a truce and talk of his plans to summon a great evil entity forth inside the temple. You can agree to go there, but once you do there's an endless loop of failures which will keep you busy. And you won't be able to stop him directly, since his focus was not destroyed. Balkazar won't take any damage unless you destroy the focus of his defenses and magic first, and he won't give you any hints. When you hit him, he will immediately summon a vrock on the character who hit him. This can quickly make things much more difficult. The mirror in the other room from his study is what you need to really aim at. Hitting it will punish you, but you can endure long enough to shatter it and take out Balkazar. His spells will be dangerous, so try to keep yourself strong. Balkazar has an interesting staff which casts Slow on targets, and if you did the errand for the Terror Bloom before coming here, he will have the extract on him. You can put it into the mixing bowl near the wall (it takes some work to find the exact place to make it work) and then dip in a dagger. You now have a +2 Obsidian Terror Dagger. Move on to the vrocks in the next area to find the treasure chamber. In it you will find a Belt of Might (which raises your strength by 4 points to a maximum of 25), and the Light of Dawn. This device casts Dismissal, which would have been more useful before Balkazar was defeated. A side note, you cannot seem to take the Unnamed Book out of this area. It will simply return to the circle you picked it up from. Once you are finished, you can claim your spoils from the area and go to see about Tanelyv's restful repose. He'll thank you for destroying Balkazar, and then dissipate. His armor is yours, and it's tremendously wonderful armor. The chest and arms have a bonus of 4, while the legs have a bonus of 3. Again, don't forget to get your reward from the elves. --- Underground Temple --- All over the region are holes and wells which have tapped into this place, and you can find quite a lot of fun things to do. If you came down from Teaquetzl, you enter in the northearstern corner; if you came down from Gedron, you enter in the northwestern corner. If you enter from Cedrilite, you enter from the south edge. And if you enter from the Ruined Caravan canyon, you enter inside the southeastern corner. If you enter from Teaquetzl, you will be addressed by the spirit here. Tynan will want your help to release the curse on this temple, which can be done by retrieving the heart crystals belonging to him and his beloved. Tristram is a spirit you can reach by entering by the canyon near the Ruined Caravan, and she has her own crystal. Tynan's was stolen a while ago and he has no idea where it is. You will come across it later, without much trouble finding it. You may also run into the spirit of A'Poss, the one who cursed this temple. He's imprisoned under Gedron, and if you have his heart crystal you can offer to free him unless you pass that option. He'll drop you a scroll of Summon Shadow, before attacking you. Be warned, you need magical weapons to hurt him and he can dish out quite a lot of pain to you. However, if you can get the jump on him you can probably destroy him easily. (I am afraid I don't know the long-term effects of that, but it can be done.) You will be unable to complete this area until you have Tynan's Heart from defeating Tara. Once you have it, you can use it to collect Tynan's spirit and do the same to Tristam. You now need to enter from Cedrilite Village's well and place the two heart crystals into the altar. First Tristam's and then Tynan's. This will allow the two lovers a happy ending. You will earn 1000 experience for Tristam's Heart, and 6000 experience for completing the quest. The earthen blocks will disappear, as will A'Poss if you haven't dealt with him personally. In Tynan's quarters you can find his diary which contains some information concerning what happened here. Nothing here should be new since you talked with Tynan himself, but you can tear out a scroll of Hold Undead. In the southwest corner you can find a Sword Blank and some grain. In the northwest you can find an empty chest and the exit to Gedron. In the north middle section there is a room with lots of ceramic pieces spread on the floor and a weapons rack with a +2 bone mace in it. It's a heavy weapon, but a higher enchantment. A chest near the mace holds a Storm Ring. Be sure not to miss this. Near the secluded chamber you met Tynan at in the northeast, you can find a few items to pilfer, but nothing spectacular. To the south from that are some animal pens which have various monsters in them. One of them has a stash of ceramic pieces in it, so go help yourself to it. After this, the whole mess is cleared out. Feel free to leave. --- The War Approaches --- Once you have allied with Gedron and Cedrilite, the final sequence will begin. The next time you set foot in Teaquetzl, you will not be permitted to leave by Llod's Rod or the well. I hope you are prepared. Collect your final reward for the village(s) you recruited, and get prepared. The Visionary has a sign to share of an ancient city unburied by shifting sands. Here you will find something which will aid you if you can reach it. Of course, you can always turn away. --- Ancient City --- You are greeted at the door by a creature who wants to tell you a story about what happened here. The psurlon is pretty evasive about exactly how things happened, but you are asked to secure a genie bottle for them to fix things. It sounds like you could use that a little more than they could, though, but keep it in mind. This ancient city is populated by shadows who still think they're alive and living the last day they existed. You'll have to fight some minor shadows who think they're guardsmen before you can wander freely. The king is at his throne, bound to the dais. He isn't deluded as firmly as the other shadows, knowing his fate. He will tell you a little about what happened here, but a lot of what he has to say has holes which need filling. He'll suggest finding Llod's laboratory and looking for any clues. If you step onto the dais by accident, the Shadow King will warn you exactly once before attacking you. He's not that hard to deal with, and will leave behind a nice magical mace for you: the +1 Obsidian Black Mace. And some Metal Chain chest armor, for good measure. The trouble is, the hints only muddy the waters of what exactly happened here. And most importantly, who was to blame. From Llod's quarters, it's necessary to travel to the north section through the traps to meet Cragg. He'll yield up the genie if you can convince him you need it and aren't going to give it to the psurlons. To get the genie, you are asked to find Cragg's body to put it to rest. You might see it, in the west hall. As you travel, traps spring to chew at your health and xorn may spawn to make a fight or two. Once you reach it, you are teleported to the sealed eastern hall. You're going to need to go through another short gauntlet for the body, before you are put back at the king's chamber. Deliver it to Cragg and he will hand over the genie bottle to you. Along with a +3 two-handed axe. The genie will give you three wishes, but there are some guidelines. The genie will not kill anyone, nor undo any wishes made by another. You will only get three wishes and no more. There are four possible wishes you can have the genie grant. He can give you "wealth beyond compare", which is one million ceramic pieces. He can heal you fully. He can duplicate a weapon you currently possess. And he can give you help against the armies of Draj. If you choose the assistance he will give you a Quicksilver Glove, and summon the army of shadows out of the city to stop one wave of attackers. You don't need to make all three wishes right away, and you will feel out best which ones to wish for. Regardless of how you choose, you are finished in the ancient ruin and can walk out the main door or have the genie move you out as part of your wish. (Author's Note: Something happened to my game, and it would not begin the final battle sequence, despite all attempts to trigger it. Most of my material which follows is from prior memories and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. However, the underlying advice and strategy is sound.) --- The Final Battle --- You're here, and so is the Drajian army. This is the toughest combat you will face in the game, most simply due to the triple wave you will face. The first wave is nothing spectacular, as it's just to soften you up and weaken you. If you haven't used up the genie's wishes, you can go wild and choose to heal after this wave. I highly recommend saving that for the second wave. For the second wave, you'll receive aid from the leaders of villages you recruited. This wave is a little more difficult due to increased health from all the units. However, you should be quite able to win; the bigger concern is your overall shape afterwards. If you have the genie, use it to heal you up after this. You're going to need your characters at their freshest. The final wave is against the leader of the Drajian army, and his elite cadre of officers. And his black mastyrials, which are quite a bit more dangerous than the normal kind. Anything you got left which can pack a punch is useful here, where before you had a better use for area damages. Your allies will be of some use, but you will likely lose them in the midst of battle. Once you beat the general and his troops, the army retreats before your power, and you are left with his special sword and the ability to take care of any tasks you left unfinished. --- 7. Magical Items ----------------------------------------------- (0700) --- On Athas, good equipment can be scarce and difficult to find. Magical equipment is hoarded and kept close, so it is not commonly something you find sitting in a bush. And there are precious few garden-variety "+1 swords" here. No, the items you find are going to be special and have their own unique twists. I'm not saying simple weapons aren't going to be found; there are more than a few you will find. Shortly after you escape into the wilderness to fend for yourself, you will run across a man who calls himself a sage. He'll tell you about magical items and put some color to the named items you run across. Some items he will simply have no clue what they may do, but those are fewer. Make him your friend, because he's enlightening and entertaining. What I've put into this section is a listing of what he will tell you about the magical items he recognizes. Along with a few comments from me about them. - Weapons - Obsidian Bloodwrath: "This looks like a ritual sacrifice item of the templars of Tectuktitlay. Its blade is magically sharpened to better pierce the hearts of the dragon king's victims." The first magical sword you are likely to encounter, this is a nice piece of equipment for you to hang onto. It will fast become outclassed, however, in terms of a primary weapon. Swift Bite: "The creator of this sword wanted to overcome stronger opponents easily. Unfortunately, it was so powerful, he was hunted by thieves for years until finally the extra damage and hitting ability could not save him." This is a +2 bone longsword, and is one of those weapons you'll get a lot of use out of. The enchantment on it makes it invaluable all the way to the final battle. The only bad thing to say is there doesn't appear to be too much special about it. Dagolar's Dagger: "Dagolar's Dagger! He used it to slay the wizard who created it for him. The extra damage it did ensured the wizard died in one blow." As a +3 metal dagger, this weapon is extraordinarily useful even to the end. The damage range is insanely good, too (1d4+3, which means 4-7 before adding in a Strength bonus). Since it can be found so early, this is a good time to note a thief will be able to backstab with this. "Soulcrusher": "Soulcrusher, eh? Looks like a simple enchanted axe. It should be easier to hit with it and the damage should be greater." Being a +1 metal axe, it is worth the 1000cp you pay for it, since the other +1 metal magical axe (found in the sewers) is supposedly worth 18300cp. It makes a good weapon for a secondary melee combatant, until you get something better. Hornblade: "Swords like these are made by a renegade halfling tribe to the south. Though their power is not great, they do not break and help slightly in combat." This is a rather decent weapon for an off hand, but it gets outclassed fast by the later weapons. It will still serve well for the time you have it. I'll note it's a short sword weapon, in a game where there are no other short swords. Draketooth: "A Draketooth! These must be harvested from live drakes to be effective. Their strengthening properties make them worth the danger... to those who survive." The sword does indeed increase Strength, by three points. This does make the otherwise simple sword powerful. If the bonus was higher, it would be a good weapon to use for overall use. Because it is only a +1 weapon, however, it is hampered against most of the stronger enemies. Balkazar's Staff: "Balkazar used this staff to slow his enemies, so he could toy with them before their deaths." Indeed, when this staff hits it can produce a Slow spell centered on the target. The staff is useful for controlling a large group of enemies, but not so much for simply fighting. You might find a use swapping it from the simpler +2 quarterstaff you can buy. Terror Dagger: "This is an evil weapon, probably an assassin's weapon. I thought you were from the Veiled Alliance. How could you wield such a device?" Well you're not from the Veiled Alliance, for one. This weapon is poisoned, and in Athas, poison means you either resist it or you die. Your thief just had a very happy day. Give them Dagolar's Dagger in the other hand, position well for backstabs, and you might well win most fights. Darkflame: "I know nothing about this sword, other than its style is of a quality equalled only by artifacts constructed centuries ago. This is probably just such an artifact! It is wondrous, isn't it?" The sage is no help with this weapon, but it is a heavy +2 Obsidian sword which will cast Burning Hands on a hit. Believe me, this weapon is incredibly useful. I know you will not be permitted to pair it up with another heavy weapon, but it does fantastic damage anyway. El's Drinker: "A wizard named El used this sword for great evil. The sword was said to drink the blood of his enemies. Even now, the sword absorbs evil into itself each time it is used." In fact, this is a pretty useful effect. The Vampiric Touch effect will keep your main fighter standing in most battles, so long as he can keep hitting. The only drawback is the heavy modifier, which prevents you from wielding it with Darkflame. Black Mace: "Many fear the Black Mace for its poison and strength." This thing does both poison and Shocking Grasp, which is an astounding weapon. It is a +1 weapon, so it's not going to hit anything highly powerful but it is still powerful. You will only get it towards the end of the game. Phrain's Bow: "The wizard Phrain was hideously burned by acid. He created this bow to take revenge in kind." Indeed, the bow will sometimes fire an Acid Arrow after a hit. This can make the bow exceedingly useful for your ranged fighters. Considering how early you can receive this, it can become a nice weapon for what you have to fight. - Armor - Grey Scale: The Grey Scale was enchanted by the Druid of the Grey Isles. He hoped to give it to his newborn son, but the child was stolen away by its mother. The druid wore it in rememberance of the infant." This is pretty good metal armor, granting some seriously powerful Armor Bonus. There's nothing that special about it that I discovered beyond that. Drake Leather: "Drake Leather armor is made from freshly-killed drake. Those who manage to kill a drake well-deserve the prize! The leather is said to be superior in strength, and it resists cold." The additional armor bonus is the best part of this armor, since that puts it on par with all the heavier nonmagical armor you will find. The Resist Cold enchantment is a good bonus. Shimmer Armor: "Shimmer Armor allows you free action at all times, and protects better than any other leather armor." Free Action means you can walk with impunity through webs, entangling roots, grease, and won't be paralyzed. This is an excellent piece of armor, don't disregard it for other armor you might like the look of more. Tanelyv's Armor: "The paladin Tanelyv was a great friend of mine. He must be dead now, if you have his armor. He once boasted his armor was far stronger than any other chain." And this is quite true, it protects close to what most people would consider platemail to be. This being Athas, metal isn't going to be made into huge plates though. The point still remains, though, this is the best armor you can earn for your Fighter or Gladiator. - Shields - El's Shield: "The wizard El was created this shield to protect him from his many foes. It is stronger than almost any other shield in existance." Despite the strange phrasing, the lore is quite correct; El's Shield grants you a whopping AC bonus of 3. This will be indispensible late in the game, as being hit is quite undesirable. - Clothing - Helm of Contemplation: "Wearing a Helm of Contemplation creates a shield of thought around you, protecting you against all psionic attacks." Despite what the Sage says, the power listed is "Gaze Reflection" and it does pretty decent against it. It's still a very useful piece of gear, since gaze attacks can be dangerous. Chameleon Gloves: "Be careful when you wear the Chameleon Gloves. They blind whomever you touch." You equip these like a weapon, and they deal a rather poor amount of damage. The real use is to blind people, however, so they can be useful for some encounters. They are also worth a boatload of ceramic pieces, if you want to sell them off. Quicksilver Gauntlets: "Quicksilver Gauntlets allow you to graft any one-handed melee weapon to your body. The weapon becomes easier to use and does more damage than normal." I don't see this, as the gauntlets actually cast Detonate on your target with each hit. This is probably not too useful when you can get your hands on it, which is at the very end of the game. Serpent Boots: "Serpent Boots cause their wearer to appear displaced to their enemies." What this is good for is avoiding hits, since it puts your Armor Class higher. Put these to use guarding your Preserver, since they likely won't have stellar Armor Class. They have another function, but it's more of a side-effect of the Displacement effect in plot terms. Living Cloak: "A Living Cloak creates a barrier of air around its wearer. The barrier deflects most thrown weapons. However, it is useless against purely magical weapons, pure energy or light, raw heat or cold, and gaze weapons." As the Sage tells you, the effect of Inertial Barrier on the Living Cloak is priceless; putting it on your Preserver will mean drawing fire and having it be mostly ineffectual. Belt of Might: "A Belt of Might gives its wearer great strength." Odd there are other clothes which grant bonuses the sage doesn't know about. This one is hands-down the strongest, no pun intended, so it's believable he would know about it. The belt will raise anyone's Strengthby four points, to a maximum of 25. But Thri-kreen can't use it, since their profile is very nonhuman. An interesting side-effect; if you shuffle it around people's bodies, you can share the boost for as many as can wear it. If it wasn't hard to get your hands on this belt, it would really make the game simpler. - Jewelry - Steadfast Ring: "The Ring of Steadfastness makes you more vigorous and athletic." The +3 to Constitution can truly be useful on characters, because it will make a difference. You will notice the wearer's hitpoints start going up fast as they level, and they will shrug off more spells. Wind Ring: "The Wind Ring blows away all normal missiles directed at you." Put this on your spellcaster, and they will rarely fear being hit and made useless during battle by arrows. This is perhaps the best use of it you can get. Storm Ring: "The Storm Ring rains ice storms on your enemies. It eventually expires, though." I didn't play around much with this, mostly because I don't like using up charged items when I have spellcasters first. However, the fact this can still be used as an item after getting struck by an errant arrow makes it worth keeping around. Light of Dawn: "Ah! The Light of Dawn! This powerful magic ring can banish an otherplaner being forever from this realm. It was thought to be lost forever!" Balkazar had it stashed away, because it could be so useful against him. That's the bad news. The good news is it very much acts as advertised since it casts Dismissal. Ring of Insight: "Wearing the Ring of Insight grants you great wisdom." Indeed, it gives a nice bump to your Wisdom score, which is good for Clerics and Druids. It's not much use to anyone else, however. El's Ring: "The evil wizard El had a clubfoot. He wore this ring to give him greater dexterity in combat." In short, it makes you faster and more agile. Give this ring either to someone who is slower than everyone else so they act sooner, or your fastest person so they can go first consistently. Iron Necklace: "An Iron Necklace throws fireballs. However, few charges can be put into a necklace of this type." Extra Fireballs, as with any nice area of effect spell, are really useful. Be mindful of the limit on how many times you can use this. See my note for the Storm Ring; disrupted casting from being struck will not seemingly affect using this. Silver Necklace: "Wearing a Silver Necklace gives you control over the flow of blood in your body. You may stop bleeding, or cushion blows by flooding key portions of your body with blood." This Biofeedback ability is extraordinarily useful to anyone who has low hitpoints. Extra Armor and a reduction in damage is a tough thing to pass up. - Wands - Dagolar's Wand: "Dagolar controlled his foes with this wand. He made them watch their fellows perish, while they were helpless to intervene. Use it wisely, there are a limited number of charges left." Control Body is a nifty power, and having a wand of it can make things rather simpler. As said, it has a limited number of uses left. This is much more valuable if you do not have a Psionicist who can learn Control Body. Wand of Missiles: "Wands of Missles have put many good bowmen to shame. However, they have limited charges, and many have expired in the course of battle." Magic Missile is also a nifty little ability to be able to throw out, since it never misses (though it may be resisted) and can often deal a good chunk of damage. Derth's Wand: "Derth fancied himself the lord of weather. He used this wand from a high tower to rain lighting on his foes." Yes, there's a typo in the script. The extra shots of Lightning Bolt are nice, the trouble is how limited it is. Wildwynd Wand: "Wildwynd intended this wand to shoot fireballs, but he muddled the spell. Now the wand echoes his confusion to your enemies." Casts Confusion on people, which can be vert fun to watch happen. As random as Confusion can be, it's probably something you would fool around with and then shelf for more stable spells. - Fruit - Banana: "Bananas are in great demand before every battle. Their strengthening powers are well known." This can be very useful to make battles easier to take on early. Later, survivability takes precedence over damage, so you will probably be better off using defensive abilities instead of the Strength. Guava: "Why are you carrying around a guava? They're poisonous." They're also worth 100cp each, so they can make good things to save for selling later. Apple: "The skin of whoever eats an apple becomes iron, repelling attacks that would otherwise hurt them." Ironskin is a beautiful ability, hang onto these apples for the really tough battles. Such as those towards the end of the game. Lemon: "The sour taste of a lemon clears the mind and restores psionic powers." Indeed, they're fairly common around enemy Psionicists, and you should get a fair amount given. For 500cp you can buy some out of the Fields of Draj. You might not need to refresh your Psionicist's power too often, but still hold on to one or two in case of emergencies. Corn: "Corn makes your skin like bark." Barkskin is a nice ability to have at your fingertips, but the 250cp for them can be used for other things more useful. Luckily, there will be no small number of them which come to you during the game. Green Grapes: "Use Green Grapes when you need a blessing." This is a nice ability to boost you in combat, though Bless is such a low-level spell it's less likely you will be unable to spare the spell. Orange Pear: "Use the orange pear when you need a little healing. But, be careful, it will not give you much." These are nice to hang onto for long times between resting points, or for between tough combats in an area. I do not advocate selling these, as they have their uses. Red Pear: "Eating a red, ripe pear cures you of serious wounds." I would definitely hang onto these for when you are out and far from a campfire circle. They aren't exactly easy to come by, so use them when you need them. Lime: "The acidic tang of a lime will dispel any magic." True to cause, if you have a serious negative spell put on you, then this is a good way to do it. Orange: "The orange should only be used in battle. It will give you a little extra strength to get you through combat." The Aid effect is quite useful, but as he said it is quite useless except during battle. Starfruit: "If you ever wish to be unseen by those that are undead, use the starfruit. It will get you past them without a twitch." The trouble with this lovely fruit is the lack of pressing undead to deal with for most of the game. By the time you start finding Starfruits, you should be able to just crush any undead you'll come up against. Orange Grapes: "Like all grapes, the orange grapes are very beneficial to you. These will clear your body of all poisons." The wide amount of poisonous creatures which will come after you make these grapes very useful to hang onto. Remember to take them before you face a poisoning creature, though, or it won't do any good. White Grapes: "White grapes will help you pray for any help you need." This spell is as useful as Bless, but with an added bonus to make it tougher for opponents. Since this doesn't stack, it's not useful to use with a bunch of other abilities; but it IS a 3rd level spell, and thus it is more beneficial to hang onto for your tougher battles. - Other Devices - Llod's Rod: "This was a toy that Llod made while experimenting. He worked for a king that lived long ago. It will allow you to travel between the obelisks that Llod left behind. However, some of these obelisks have lost their gems and these must be replaced before the rod can be used." The rod itself is intelligent and you can talk to it for more information, but this tool of travel is immeasurably helpful to you in swiftly moving about the overworld. --- 8. Closing ----------------------------------------------------- (0800) --- If you want to send me any corrections or additions, please post on the GameFAQs forum for this game and I'll get in contact. You can email me, but I may not reply immediately. If you put "Dark Sun FAQ" in the subject line, I'll know what you're talking about. Thank you for reading, and thank you for playing!