Geneforge 5 FAQ/Walkthrough

By Matt P

Email: Elementalizard@aol.com

Geneforge 5 and all names are copyright Spiderweb software 2008.  

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Table of Contents
0. Quick Hints
1. Character Creation and Development
  -Classes
  -Statistics discussion
  -Creations
  -Resistances
  -Spell discussion
2. Construction Places
  -Recipes
  -Enhancements
3. Walkthrough
4. Teachers and trainers
5. Notable item list
6. End Note
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0. Quick Hints.

What items should I hold on to?
    Hold onto Swamp Herbs and Research Notes.  Other than that, try to hold 
onto ingredients if you'd like to make a few good items (I'd recommend the 
artifacts).  

  The artifact items:
     Mandrake Tincture
     Demon Bile
     1-2 Shaped belts, gauntlets, greaves, boots, and maybe a fiber cloak
     Perfect fyora/drayk/drakon Scales (and gold rings for the fyora scales, 
       and platinum ones for the drayk/drakon ones)
     Vlish tentacles, roamer fangs, rotghroth fangs, artila eyes, glaahk 
       eyes, eyebeast eyes
     Some Gemstones and herbs, some sticks
     
  Artifact ingredients:
     Crystalline Fibers
     Essence-infused Iron
     Mandrake Tincture
     Pure Quicksilver
     Solidified Flame
     Ur-Drakon Skin
     Unmelting Ice
     
Should I hold off using a canister until I find a trainer?
    No.  Unlike Geneforge 2, using canisters does not affect the extent you 
can train a skill.  You should, however, hold off on using skill points in 
melee skills, magic skills, and shaping skills if you'd like to purchase these 
points from a few sets of trainers.  Note that they are made available in 
towns in this order, so don't hold off too much if you use a certain skill

How many canisters can I use before getting bad effects?
    Because of the way Geneforge 5 is set up, using more canisters won't 
really change too much for you.  Use as many as you need.

Is it OK to steal?
    Stealing- it's not a crime if you don't get caught.  Even when it is a 
crime, it's often worth it (ooh- look at that juicy mandrake tincture).  Take 
anything that isn't bolted down if no one can see you and provided it's worth 
money (at least initially).  Boldly steal very valuable items, up to 5 each 
level.  Try not to get caught very much or the town might go hostile on you.

Shaper or Rebel?
  Do them both.  The game is entertaining enough to merit at least two play-
throughs.  In terms of powergaming, if you try to maximize your return from 
quests, stick to the middle.  I tend to do pro-shaper quests as the rewards 
are a bit better, but give pro-rebel opinions when asked.  Fence-sitting is 
quite possible, especially since various checks are made with leadership taken 
into consideration.  

Which faction?
  There are five total factions which give significant endings- Astoria, 
Alwan, Litalia, Ghaldring, and Taygen.  Of these, three are rebel (Astoria, 
Litalia, Ghaldring), and two are shaper (Alwan and Taygen).  The quests are 
not completely exclusive, so you can do several of these without overlap, 
especially at the beginning.  If you want to maximize your reward, you can do 
several quests for a single faction, then change factions when things start to 
get hairy.  Note that Rawal's "faction" provides an ending, but it's pretty 
weak.

I'm a powergamer.  What's the best route to ALL POWER?
  Unlike Geneforge 4, the game doesn't need too much fence-sitting to be 
highly profitable.  Three of the five factions will give you the time of day 
if you're moderately a rebel.  You can get Alwan to help if you have a nearly 
neutral attitude when in his lands, which opens up an area or two.  Taygen is 
the only stickler, only talking to moderately pro-shapers.  By the time you 
reach his lands, most of the quests are pretty cut and dry.

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1. Character Creation and Development

Classes: You can survive with any class in the game.  Some are easier than 
others, and which you finally go for will depend on your playing style.

Here is a summary of the characters.  Under HP/SP/EP which correspond to hit 
points, spell points, and essence points I give a rating on the growth rates 
of these characters, with 1 being great, and 3 being bad.  There are some 
differences between identical stats at low levels due to different starting 
values, but these are fairly minimal at high levels (with the exception of the 
guardian, who starts with a lot of essence points- enough for an extra clawbug 
or two- but has a slow growth rate)  HP is a function of level and endurance.  
SP and EP are functions of level and intelligence.  
                  HP   SP   EP    Battle      Magic     Shaping
Guardian           1    3    3     Top         Low        Mid
Warrior            1    3    2     Top         Low        Mid 
Infiltrator        2    1    2     Mid         Top        Low
Agent              2    1    2     Mid         Top        Low
Shaper             3    2    1     Low         Mid        Top
Lifecrafter        3    2    1     Low         Mid        Top
Sorceress          3    1    2     Low         Top        Mid
Servile            1    3    3     Top         Mid        Low
Shock Trooper      2    1    1     Mid         Low        Top

What is the most powerful class?
Shaping is quite powerful in GF5.  Magic is also quite powerful, and battle 
skills tend to be a bit weak comparatively.  That said, I feel a balance 
between everything can be taken.  My personal favorite classes are magic-heavy 
with some shaping, so the sorceress goes well with my play style.  

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Statistics: Statistics are the bulk of what makes up your character.  
Statistics affect the strength of your spells, your creations, and melee 
damage, determine how much damage your character can take and give out, and 
your success in dealing with traps and people.  I divide statistics into five 
main sets- Major statistics, combat arts, spell casting, shaping, and "other."

Major Statistics:
  Strength: Affects the amount of armor your character can carry, the damage 
your character does, and your character's stun resistance.  You should only 
invest in it when you need to wield a bigger weapon or use nicer armor without 
suffering an AP penalty.  Each point of strength increases your to hit with 
melee weapons by 5%, and gives one more damage die.  A total of about 13 
points is all you will ever need to use the heaviest, big items.

  Dexterity: Affects your ability to dodge (5% increase per point), your 
attack position, your to hit % with missile weapons, and your acid resistance.  
This one may be more useful if you like using missile weapons, but can be 
safely ignored.

  Intelligence: Affects the mental resistance, energy and essence of your 
character.  For any and all magic-users or creation-makers, this skill is 
essential and greatly affects your strength and longevity.  It's no good to 
run out of spell points in that critical battle, or to not have enough essence 
to make the help necessary to survive.  Nearly every character will want to 
invest in this skill so as to be able to act beyond melee weapons.  I'd 
recommend about by end game 20 for magic/creation heavy characters, and above 
10 for all others, just to be able to cast spells and be supported with a 
decent sized army.
 
  Endurance: Affects HP and poison resistance.  A bit less necessary than 
Geneforge 4, I'd recommend about 8-10 points by end game for those characters 
with a substantial creation force, and maybe a few more for meleers.

Combat Arts
  Melee Weapons: Determines the damage and to hit % for hand-to-hand weapons 
like daggers and swords.  Each point provides one more hit die and a 5% 
increase in your to hit %.  Hit dies for weapons can be calculated by taking 
the higher number from a weapon and dividing it by the lower number.  So a 
weapon that does 5-25 damage has a hit die of 25/5 = 5.  Each point of melee 
weapons increases its damage range by this amount.  So a weapon with 5-25 
would increase in damage by 1-5 per point of melee weapons.  Weapons tend to 
be weaker than spells in this game, but you never need to worry about running 
out of energy with melee weapons.  If you're not playing a melee-focused 
character, you may want to wait off till you can buy some points in this skill 
from Guardian Manola.

  Missile Weapons: Determines the damage and to hit % for missile weapons.  
Most characters will find spells to be superior to missile weapons, but for 
characters with poor spellcasting abilities, you may want to use missile 
weapons to take out dangerous things like turrets and enemies that like to run 
away from you.  Batons are very powerful in the late game, so consider buying 
some points in this skill from Guardian Manola.

  Quick Action: Gives a chance to do two attacks in melee, and also makes you 
act faster in combat.  If you're not engaging in melee attacks, this one isn't 
useful except for the bonus to initiative- buy the two points from Guardian 
Manola and leave it at that.  If you are a melee-focused character (and there 
are some great swords out there) then buy the two points early and increase 
this one to 10 or so.

  Parry: Reduces physical damage, and gives a chance of completely avoiding 
all damage from a single attack (approximately 1% per point, depending on the 
strength of the enemy).  This one is moderately more worthwhile to purchase 
from Guardian Manola for everyone, as the added defense doesn't hurt, any 
money can be plentiful by the end game.  The chance of parrying is pretty 
small, so I wouldn't make this skill a focus of the game.

Spell Casting
  Battle Magic:  The main damaging spell class, battle magic is a potent 
school of magic whose spells include the lowly firebolt to powerful kill 
spells.  As such, in general this spell class is mainly useful for those 
characters who intend to do damage with spells- those who don't want to depend 
on creations/missile weapons/other people to do their dirty work from far 
away.  This school of magic tends not to be very essence-intensive, though 
several of the spells are energy-intensive (like ice spray).  Increase this 
skill to access more spells and increase the damage die of those spells.  
Don't bother if you're going the melee or missile route.  Some of these spells 
are mimicked by wands and crystals.

  Blessing Magic: The buffing spell class, this group includes shielding and 
blessing spells, as well as haste, a few aura spells, and a few multi-casting 
spells.  For characters that use creations this spell group is among the most 
useful, and they will want to invest at least up to accessing speed.  Increase 
this skill to access more spells and to increase their duration (and strength 
of effect for some).  For magic-weak characters, buy the points from Quothe 
then try boosting this group with items.  A certain artifact will be quite 
helpful here.

  Mental Magic: The "other" spell class, this group includes a buffing spell, 
some debuffing spells, charm/stun spells, and the unlock spell.  Solo 
characters will love the spells offered by this group, especially the "daze" 
family of spells.  Getting enough points to use daze and strong daze is 
preferable for many characters, although it's not necessary.  Unlock is 
helpful, but also not critical.  The debuff spells can be good for occasional 
use, and I would recommend boosting up you skill to at least use wrack.  
However, some of these spells are mimicked by crystals and wands, hence you 
can get by without buying much here.

  Spellcraft:  Makes every spell you have more effective- a longer duration, 
greater damage, and stronger blessing.  Very nice.  Expensive for most 
characters, it is easiest to improve this by training with Quothe, and 
snatching the free points as they come.  If you're playing as a shocktrooper, 
guardian, or warrior, this skill is probably too expensive to invest skill 
points in outside of purchasing from Quothe.  Otherwise, invest in this once 
you've maxed out the spells you want.

Shaping
  Fire Shaping:  Allows you to craft fyoras, cryoas, roamers, pyroroamers, 
drayks, cryodrayks, kyshakks, burning kyshakks, drakons, and ur-drakons.  
These creations are a versatile group with potent attacks, and 7 points will 
allow you to make everything.  You can also get several points from items.  
Shaper-friendly characters can train in this skill in the third region of the 
game.

  Battle Shaping: Allows you to craft thahds, corrupted thahds, clawbugs, 
plated clawbugs, battle alphas, battle betas, rotghroths, corrupted rotghroth, 
war tralls, and shock tralls.  These are your meatshields, able to take a lot 
of damage and give it out in kind.  They are a melee-focused class (other than 
the tralls), and have received a boost in GF5.  7 points will allow you to 
make everything.  You can also get several points from items, and friends of 
shapers can add to their skill here in the third area.

  Magic Shaping:  Allows you to craft artilas, plated artilas, vlish, charged 
vlish, glaahks, ur-glaahks, wingbolts, unstable wingbolts, gazers, and 
eyebeasts.  These creations are generally fragile but very powerful.  Many of 
their attacks have ancillary effects.  As before, 7 points will allow you to 
make everything.  You can also get several points from items, and friends of 
shapers can add to their skill here in the third area.

  Healing Craft: Allows you to cast healing spells of all sorts.  Generally a 
necessary group, this spell set is made very interesting by the inclusion of 
regeneration aura, my personal favorite aura spell.  Healing spells like 
banish affliction remove nasty effects like lightning aura.  Cleanse group 
will do it all, too.

Miscellaneous
  Leadership: Leadership addresses your skill at talking to people, getting 
them to do what you want, and controlling creations.  You will want 5-6 early 
in chapter 1, and 8-9 by mid-chapter 2 in order to do most everything.  Beyond 
that, fewer points are required, and you should have enough equipment to 
augment your leadership (+2 in chapter 2) as required.  11 is the most 
leadership I've seen required.

  Mechanics:  Mechanics addresses how skilled you are at unlocking, disarming, 
and breaking things.  Living tools can be rare in the game, but aren't quite 
as critical.  Powergame option:  You will want about 8 points by the first 
area, and probably 10 by the second region.  Augment further with items like 
infiltrator equipment, heading first to Kratoa-Kel to grab the tinker gloves.  
This may make some areas a bit more difficult, but will save you several skill 
points.  Items requiring more than 14 mechanics are few and far between.  Easy 
option: Increase to 12 by the second area. Items will offer bonuses beyond 
that, and that gets you a lot of good loot early in the game.

  Luck: Increases your resistances by a healthy portion (about 3% per point), 
increases your dodging ability by 2%, and your to hit by 2%.  May influence 
the drop rates of enemies, though this effect is much more difficult to 
measure.  I recommend investing two points in the beginning of the game, but 
holding off on further investment till you have enough skill points to cash 
them in elsewhere.

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Creations:  
Fire shaping:
Fyora: The intro creation, the fyora does fire damage.  They have a fair bit 
of fire resistance, making it good against certain foes.  It's great for early 
on, but won't last much in area 2.  

Cryoa: Three points in create fyora gets you this critter, so you can actually 
make one as soon as you get to Isenwood's Spire.  Cryoas hit their foes with 
ice damage, with few things are resistant to.  For those things that are 
resistant, the cryoa's bit can do a healthy amount of damage as well.  I've 
had one survive to the end game with me- if you make one early and keep it 
alive, they can be useful for a long time.  You may find these to be too weak 
after area 2, though, so it depends on how much you keep it healthy.

Roamer:  Roamers are squat little dog-like creatures shoot acid blobs.  They 
are ok as mid-level creations, as they are on par with artilae in missile 
strength but are better at melee.  They cost more essence than artilae, 
though.

Pyroroamer: With three points in create roamer you can make exploding roamers.  
I haven't quite found a use for these things, other than novelty.  
 
Drayk: Drayks are winged lizards with a fire attack, and decent resistances 
against fire.  They aren't too bad at melee, either.  

Cryodrayk: Ice attack, strong against ice

Kyshakk: These stegosaurus imitations are quite powerful.  They shoot a blast 
of essence lances, which does lightning aura damage over time.  Hence these 
creatures can be quite useful against magic-weak foes. They are also strong 
against magic, so they can duke it out with some of the nastier magic shaping 
creations.  

Burning Kyshakk: Unstable, lots of damage

Drakon: Fire attack

Ur-Drakon: Fire attack


Battle Shaping: 
Thahds: A generic meatshield, thahds do physical damage and can take a fair 
bit as well.  They are quite cheap, but are weak against most damage types.

Charged Thahds: Get three point in create thahd and you can make these 
creatures.  Charged thahds are unstable creations, so they will slowly lose HP 
through time, unless you cast regeneration aura which will keep them around 
for a full screen.  They do a fair bit of acid damage, and also have good 
resistances against poison/acid, making them fairly useful in certain 
situations.  If you have to face acid-spraying creations, make some of these 
and let them take out your foes.  These guys can clear out entire levels so 
long as you have regeneration aura up.

Clawbugs: Scorpions that do poison damage.  You can get clawbugs pretty early 
in the game and they can do a lot of damage.  If you want to completely shred 
through the demo, head first to the testing halls, boost your battle shaping 
skill to 4-6, and make three of these guys.  You can even decrease their 
intelligence to give you more essence if need be.  They will kill everything 
without problem in the first area.

Plated bugs:  Three points in clawbugs gets you these guys.  They have 10 AP, 
so they can attack twice in one round, though they do physical damage rather 
than poison.  They are the earliest fast creation you can get (you can get 
them by Haria-Kel), and are quite worthwhile as shock troopers, or are worth 
using as upgrades to clawbugs.

Battle Alpha: A strong fighter, the battle alpha is fairly durable and cheap 
to make.  That said, I've actually found my early-game clawbugs to be better 
fighters, if you can keep and make them as soon as possible.  Still, when 
creations die, these are good to fill in the gaps.

Battle Beta:

Rotghroth: These guys are where battle creations really start to shine (though 
clawbugs are great).  They have acid attacks, and are strong against physical, 
poison, and acid damage.  They act quickly in combat, and have several points 
in quick action, so they will often hit twice during combat.

Rotdhizon: Three points in rotghroth will get you these beasts.  They are 
improvements on rotghroths in nearly every way.  They still have acid attacks, 
and are strong against physical, poison, and acid damage.  They also have 12 
AP, and are great as melee support.

War tralls: Missile
Shock tralls: 12 AP, upgrade, unstable

Magic: 

Artila: Artilae are little worms that shoot magic bolts that also poison their 
foe.  They aren't very strong in melee, and will die pretty quick.

Plated Artila: You can shape these with 3 points in artila.  They are upgrades 
to artilae in terms of strength and health.  I've kept one of these to the end 
of the game, though I wouldn't recommend it- they don't do that much damage, 
though they are a lot more durable than artilae.

Vlish: One of the most unique creations is the vlish.  These squids shoot a 
poisonous, cursing attack.  They are great throughout areas 2 and 3.  Battle 
creations and most fire creations will fall to these guys pretty quickly.  
They are weak against physical damage.

Charged Vlish: These creations are unstable, so they will only last for a 
single area even with regeneration aura active.  They are slightly improved 
vlish, and have a poisonous, slowing attack.  Few things can mimic the slowing 
attack, making them useful in certain encounters, especially boss fights.  
Otherwise there are better creations to have, and slowing wands (which slow 
everyone on screen) aren't all that rare.

Glaahk: One of the few melee creations, glaahks have a very useful magic 
stunning attack, which if an enemy is hit with twice will effectively keep 
them from attacking the second round.  You can unfortunately only get these 
guys starting in area 3, unless you're really really good at being stealthy. 
Glaahks are strong vs magic, and not bad with other resistances.

Ur-Glaahk:  It's very difficult to make these guys as you need to sneak into a 
zone that is hard to beat at low-moderate levels.  By the time you can do 
this, usually these guys aren't useful any more.

Wingbolts: The big guns in magic shaping, wingbolts launch what amounts to a 
kill spell.  The spell is not useful against magic-resistant foes, which are 
more common in the latter half of the game.  You can make these guys pretty 
early, which I'd recommend doing.  They are strong vs. magic, as expected.

Unstable Firebolts: Lightning aura, 12 AP, unstable

Gazer: A beefed-up wingbolt, gazers are a lot of fun.  Make one near the end 
game and watch it kill almost everything.   

Eyebeast: If you can get these guys (only available in the late game), these 
things are terrific.  They have a flaming aura spell which does massive damage 
to everything nearby.  
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Resistances: These determine the amount of damage you receive from a specific 
attack.  In general, higher numbers are better.  However, it's usually better 
having a single item with a massive bonus rather than several items with 
moderate bonuses given the way the game calculates damage.

Resistances are affected by stats and armor/equipment.  Below is a table of 
resistance bonuses given per point of a stat or of armor:

Resistance Str    Dex    Int    End    Luck    Armor (Bonus per point)
FR                                             +1/2
CR                                             +1/2
ER                                             +1/2
SR         +5                          +3
MR                       +5            +3
PR                              +5     +3
AR                +5                   +3

Note that Stun, Mental, Acid and Poison resistances give a chance to 
avoid damage completely, and are not damage-decreasing resistances.

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Spells

Battle:
   Firebolt: The staple of all mages, firebolt does fire damage and costs no 
essence.  It's the ultimate spell to fall back on if you don't have a missile 
attack.  It will serve you well for the full first chapter but once you get 
ice spray you probably won't use it again.
   Burning Spray: An acid attack.  This is a potent spell to use against many 
types of more-resistant foes, especially if they are resistant to cold attacks
   Searer 
   Ice Spray: The staple of mages throughout the rest of the game, ice spray 
does cold damage and costs no essence.  It's much more expensive than 
firebolt, but kills things quickly enough so as to not have to worry about 
that, usually.
   Lightning Aura: An odd new spell.  This spell does energy damage to an 
opponent, and continues to damage them for the next few rounds.  It's kind of 
similar to poison/acid in that respect, but does more damage.  
   Essence Orbs
   Acid Shower: Bathes all of your nearby foes in acid.  Doesn't do too much 
damage at the beginning, but continues to damage everything else thereafter.  
Still, watch out as most enemies will attack you since you hit them with a 
potent spell.
   Kill: Damages a single enemy with a very potent magic attack.  This spell 
is very expensive to cast, but does huge damage.  Mages can cast this one in 
lieu of ice spray and will do a lot of damage.
   Aura of Flames


Blessing:
   War Blessing: You gain a bonus of 20% to your to hit, and probably add four 
levels of damage with this spell.  Its duration is determined by your 
spellcasting strength.  A staple of spellcasters and creation lovers, cast 
this cheap spell before every battle if you can.
   Protection: With this spell, enemies are 10% less likely to hit you and the 
spell recipients.  This spell seems to last significantly longer than war 
blessing, so cast it before every battle as well.
   Essence Shield: Acts as a permanent (for a single map) bonus to armor and 
to HP.  Very useful for solo characters, who don't have anything better to 
spend their essence on anyway.  Those characters should cast this spell (or 
its higher level equivalent) on themselves every time they enter a hostile 
area.  With this spell, the recipient gets a bonus of ~30-50 HP, and enemies 
are 30% less likely to hit you.  Note that you can only have one essence spell 
active at a time.  This suffices at lower levels, but you may want to consider 
essence blade later.
   Speed: Speed is less useful in GF5 than GF4.  This spell gives you a 25%-
33% chance of having an attack only cost 3 AP.  It doesn't have that large of 
a blessing magic requirement, so most characters should be able to cast this 
spell before every battle.  Do so and you'll increase your effectiveness by 
about as much as war blessing.
   Thorny Aura:  Cast this spell and all of your party now does damage when it 
gets hit.  This is an aura spell, and since you can only have one active at a 
time, its use is limited.
   Battle Aura:  An aura spell that increases the damage done by your 
creations.  Worth considering at times, though I still find regeneration aura 
to be more versatile.
   Essence Blade: A spell that significantly increases the damage done by a 
character for an entire level. I've seen increases in damage of about a factor 
of 1.5.  My favorite essence spell.  You can only have one essence spell 
active at a time, so choose wisely.
   Essence Armor: Gives a stronger boost to armor for the target for an entire 
level.  I haven't tried it too much yet, so I can't say for certain.
   Elemental Aura: Decreases damage received by non-physical attacks.  
Consider this one in lieu of regeneration aura, depending on the 
circumstances.  You can only have one aura spell active at a time.
   Battle Roar: Casts a low level war blessing, curing, and protection on the 
recipients.  Though not as effective as some other spells, these bonuses are 
still excellent.  This is a very potent spell in the hands of shocktroopers.

Mental:
   Daze: Stuns low level enemies, preventing them from acting until they are 
attacked or until you 2-3 turns have passed.  The staple of solo characters in 
the early game.
   Mindshield Aura: Helps protect your characters from daze, terror, and charm 
spells and abilities.  Useful for some circumstances.  You can only have one 
aura spell active at a time.  I find the regeneration aura to be more useful, 
since enemies that try to charm or terrorize your creations aren't too common.
   Wrack: Increases the damage done by an opponent.  Acts as a curse spell.  
Use it on bosses in conjunction with essence shackles to significantly weaken 
them.
   Unlock: Unlike previous games, the unlock spell is less critical than 
before.  It still has its uses, but you can get by with lots of mechanics and 
living tools instead.  In fact, that's somewhat preferred, as otherwise you'll 
lose out on a bit of exp.  I've made it through the whole game with a 
shocktrooper, never once casting this spell.  However, once you get to the 
later regions of the game, conserve your living tools and use this spell on 
doors with 1-2 living tool requirements.  Living tools are always in short 
supply, especially if you want to loot Ghaldring's supply cabinets.
   Terror: Does some damage and scares enemies.  Scared enemies will either 
freeze in one spot or will run away.  For mentally weak enemies, this spell is 
quite nice.  
   Dominate: Takes over an enemy's mind, forcing it to fight on your side.  
Use it on strong foes to get a potent ally.
   Essence Shackles: A slowing spell.  Highly useful on tough, one-on-one 
fights.  Cast this a few times on an enemy, and they'll lose half of their 
turns, enabling you an effective doubling of your attacks.  Coupled with 
speed, it's great.
   Strong Daze: A boost to daze, strong daze keeps more foes immobile, 
allowing you to slaughter them in the meantime.  Don't mix this with an acid 
splash spell, or its effectiveness will be wasted.
   Charm: A stronger version of dominate, charm will take over even more foes.  
Use it as you see fit.
   Mass Madness: A bit less powerful than GF4, this spell will charm weak 
enemies, daze stronger enemies, and slow even the strongest enemies.  As such, 
it's great to cast when you're being swarmed (like in a few key shaper forts). 
It's quite expensive to cast, so you'll only get a few uses out of it before 
you have to flee.  

Healing: 
   Minor Heal: Restores a few HP.  Great as a low-level healing spell.  When 
you get heal, switch to it as it has better returns for the essence point.
   Cure Affliction: Removes some level of acid/poison on a character.  You may 
need to cast this spell a few times to get it to remove all the acid, though.
   Essence Infusion: Adds a healthy amount of HP to the target for as long as 
you stay on the map where the spell is cast.  Adds ~60-80 HP.  Only costs 
essence.  You can have only one essence spell active on a given character, so 
choose wisely.
   Heal:  Restores several HP.  Good in the middle game.  Keep using it until 
you get major heal, then switch to that.
   Regeneration Aura: An impressive spell, probably my favorite that's good to 
cast when you need to heal in between combat.  This spell will heal you a ~30 
HP every round, which may be enough to keep you alive during combat.  The 
essence cost for this spell is great for casting outside of combat when things 
are calm.  Use this and be patient in place of group heal out of combat.  You 
can only have one aura active at a time.  This spell will keep unstable 
creations alive for an entire level.
   Group Heal:  Casts a heal spell on everyone in your party.  Good for 
emergencies, but lower level heal spells are less expensive in general.  Also, 
consider using spores in lieu of this spell as they are plentiful and will 
allow you to attack again.
   Banish Affliction:  A useful spell that removes nearly all nasty statuses 
on a character or creation, including lightning aura (which makes this spell 
invaluable), charm, and terror.  You will want to get this spell for every 
shaping-focused character.
   Major Heal:  Gives a substantial boost to HP.  Use it as necessary in 
combat in the higher difficulty levels.
   Cleanse Group: Removes all poison and acid from your creations.  Very 
useful when fighting acid-splashing foes.
   Mass Restore: Casts a nice healing spell on everyone, in addition to 
removing nasty statuses.  Great as a panic-button spell, though it is energy 
and essence intensive.  

Summary: Use regeneration aura outside of combat to heal as you'll become 
fully healed in less than a minute of waiting.  Use the appropriate healing 
spell in combat instead.

=============================================================================
2. Construction places: Enchanted anvils are potent artifacts that allow you 
to modify your weapons and equipement significantly.  You can also make some 
extremely powerful items on them.  There are four anvils- Testing Halls (A4), 
Eastern Shadow Road (S1)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Recipes:

     Blessing Crystals
Perfect Fyora Scale + Gemstone     = Runed Ruby 
Roamer Fang+ Gemstone              = Spray Crystal
Artila Eye + Gemstone              = Runed Amethyst
Gemstone + Vlish Tentacle          = Tiny Orb of Mist
Gemstone + Eyebeast Eye            = Golden Crystal

     Wands (all require a Gemstone and a Stick)

     Rings 
Gold Ring + Perfect Fyora Scale  = Shielding Band 
Platinum Ring + Perfect Drayk Scale
                                 = Armor Band
Platinum Ring + Perfect Drakon Scale
                                 = Impervious Band


Artifacts these items are among the most powerful available, though 
                they are quite difficult to make.
You must first perfect the gauntlet, belt, greaves, or boots using a purifying 
elixir (mix mandrake tincture + demon's bile).  Then you must make a first 
level artifact:
Gauntlets + Solidified Flame = Smoking Gauntlets
           Bonus +3 to all magic skills except spellcraft
Gauntlets + Pure Quicksilver = Lifeforce Gauntlets
           Bonus to all creation stats (str, dex, int, end) +2
 

     Other
Mandrake Tincture + Demon Bile   = Purifying Elixir
Shaped Boots, Belt, Gauntlets, Greaves + Purifying Elixir  = Perfected Armor
*** A perfected cloak is made from a shaped fiber cloak

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enhancements:

Item                  On Armor             On Weapons
Blessing Crystal      Armor bonus          To hit bonus
Runed Amethyst        +5 AR                Acid Damage
Charging Stone        +5 CR                Ice Damage
Runed Ruby            +5 FR                Fire Damage
Ivory Skull           +10 TH (for all)     Curses Opponent
Tiny Orb of Mist      +10 to dodge         Quick action bonus?
Runed Onyx            +5 ER                Slows Opponent
Steel Spine           damage attacker      Bonus Physical Damage
Ethereal Bindings     +5 SR                Vampiric Touch
Golden Crystal        +5 HER               Large damage and to hit bonus

Early and middle game:
Early equipment (stuff found in the demo, and most of Haria-Kel region) should 
be outfitted with whatever gems you happen to find.  I recommend against using 
a blessing crystal on your weapon though, instead using a fire or ice crystal.

I'd use blessing crystals on armor in the first part of the game, as the bonus 
to armor helps everyone.

Of damage types, I find magic damage (blocked by the runed onyx) to be the 
most common through the game, especially in the middle-late part of the game.  
Hence these gems are always useful until you start getting golden crystals.

Steel spines can be useful on armor on normal difficulty.  They will do 10-20 
damage each one equipped, meaning that if you are all decked out in steel 
spines (which is not easy due to their rarity), you could do more damage to 
your foe than your foe does to you.  Naturally they're useless against ranged 
foes.  Given resistance to physical damage is rare, these items can also be 
decent on weapons, though I still prefer runed amethysts.

Ethereal bindings on weapons sounds cool, but really isn't helpful.  Go for 
bonus damage instead.

End game:
Of these, I recommend putting golden crystals on all of your game-end 
equipment (e.g., final artifacts, powerful armor, etc.).  

For your weapons, the ivory skull is very useful, as is the runed amethyst as 
the acid damage bonus is pretty big.  Golden crystals can also be used as 
desired, though the bonus to hit isn't that impressive as by the time you're 
able to use golden crystals, you'll already be hitting almost everything.

The runed onyx can be used on a weapon if desired, but the slow effect isn't 
that powerful.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Walkthrough

Name of Area
Q: Quests available 
I: Items of Note
S: Skills and spells available (If a character's name is provided, then he/she 
is a trainer and will train a skill for gold)
O: Opinions available (talking to these characters will influence your 
rebel/shaper standing), or quests which change the opinion of rebels/shapers 
towards you.
$: Merchants who will buy from you, notable items on sale
  Text description of level.


AREA 1- The Demo
Map:

   A6
  /| \
A7 A0 A5
|  |  |
A2-A1-A3-A4
   |
   A9
   |
   B0

Pacification Fields (A0)
Q: Escape the Fields, Enter Minallah, See Rawal
S: Firebolt, Minor Heal, Create Fyora
O: Mehken
  You wake up, disoriented.  Proceed forward, grabbing everything of value (if 
it says a value greater than 0, grab it!  For instance, grab the crystals and 
tools where you're attacked by bugs).  You'll need a lot of money early on to 
procure training in the various arts.  Get equipped when the demo tells you, 
then proceed south.  You'll find Mehken, a servile who will help you through 
this area.  You're then attacked by some bugs, kill them.  Continue on, and 
you'll gain a point in firebolt.  Hit Thrasher with this spell, and he'll calm 
down.  You'll be rewarded with a point in minor heal, and can heal at the pool 
to the north.  Continue east, and you'll get a point in create fyora.  You can 
make one if you'd like.  Continue east through the door, grab the living tool.  
You can use it to open the door east, or you can just boost your mechanics up 
to the point of going through without any issue.  Your reward is a speed pod.  
Continue south, and go through the doors.  Calm the few creations if you can 
(add to your leadership if you'd like better success), and continue south.  
Fight off the worms, and continue.  You have a choice now to get past the next 
obstacle- the mechanics/stealth route, and the fighting route (such options 
are typical for Geneforge).  The mechanics route entails you turning on the 
crystal in the room near here, which turns on a pacification pylon and makes 
the roamer peaceful.  The other route has you fight a bunch of bugs.  Try to 
do both routes as you'll gain some minor loot and experience.  Continue west, 
and Mehken will talk with you, giving you the option of changing your opinion 
towards rebels and shapers.  Note that the best route to go for opinions is 
moderate, so that most options are available to you.  Continue west, and 
you'll face the boss of the area- a vlish.  Kill all the things you can, and 
Rawal will break in after a bit, killing everything else.  You'll then be able 
to go to Minallah.  First grab whatever loot is around, then head south.

Minallah (A1)
Q: Twixx, Thahds in the Workshop, Workshop Mines, Shrouded rogues, Mad Flaming 
Fyora, Private Kahl
I: Thirsting Gloves, Shielding Band, Polar Fur Cloak
O: Roamer Calming, Twixx, Captain Valenta
$: Barcott, Lazzaria
  You mostly want to head west to Isenwood's Spire prior to attempting much 
here, as most people won't talk with you until you talk with Rawal.  You're 
blocked briefly along the way by a reputation encounter.  Calm the roamer if 
you'd like, then head west to Isenwood's Spire
  On returning from Rawal, talk with everyone here.  Keeper Cooper would like 
you to find a servile for him, Twixx.  Twixx is hiding to the NW.  Go there 
and calm Twixx down (or kill him for shaper rep).  Barcott will trade with 
you, and also gives you a quest to clear out thahds in his workshop.  Lazzaria 
is the town blacksmith and will sell you stuff.  She also gives you a quest to 
clear out her workshop of exploding mines.  With adequate mechanics these 
mines should present no problem for you.  Then go south and touch the sporebox 
to disarm the pylons.  Lazzaria gives you a bronze shortsword and chitin 
shield for your troubles.  Two quests can be found to the SE- to defeat some 
shrouded rogues (look at the sign to get this quest), and from captain 
Valenta, to kill a mad, flaming fyora.  Valenta will also ask you a reputation 
question.  Completion of Valenta's first quest (the mad fyora) gets you 200c.  
He then gives you a quest to find Private Kahl, who is in the west foundry 
core.  Doing so gets you a shielding band and some pods.  The locked rooms to 
the SE hold several nice items.  The room with the clawbugs has a lever you 
can pull which nets you some thirsting gloves, which gives you the ability to 
steal HP from foes (rather, you regenerate when you hit them).  You can also 
head to the east and kill some rogue thahds.
  Once the presence is cleared, Mind Shimp will tell you to attempt the 
training halls.  Do so for a polar fur cloak, and some pods.

Isenwood's Spire (A2)
Q: The Presence, Storeroom Rogues, Crystal for the Forge, The Shadow Road, 
Agent Micheline, The Shadow Road, The Canister Book, Kill Platano
I: Vat Shoes, Shaper Robe
S: Intelligence, War Blessing, Daze, Essence Infusion, Guardian Manola, Shaper 
Bruel, Sage Fefer, Create Battle Alpha, Terror, Create Wingbolt, Major Heal
O: Rawal, Agent Alurha
$: Tinker Thule
  Gevik leads you to Rawal.  Along the way you get attacked by some thahds, 
kill them.  Rawal will talk with you, then puts you in your place.  A central 
objective of the game is to break Rawal's control.  Then Rawal gives you an 
option- to betray Mehken.  Do so for the maximum benefit (gives a bonus to 
intelligence).  If you don't Mehken will accompany you through the demo of the 
game, though her help isn't that useful.  He then unlocks for you the spells 
war blessing and daze.  Rawal then gives you a quest- to defeat the presence.  
Ask for supplies, and you'll get 500c.  Rawal then unlocks two trainers- 
Shaper Bruel and Sage Fefer.
  Continue along, picking up quests here.  Agent Alurha asks you about your 
opinion of the shapers, but won't do anything for you until you finish the 
quest for Rawal.  The locked doors nearby hold minor goods including some vat 
shoes.  Shaper Bruel asks you to clear out the nearby storeroom of rogues.  Do 
so and you'll be able to keep what you find (cheapskate).  You can talk with 
Tinker Thule, who will let you use a canister of essence infusion.  Sage Fefer 
asks you to deliver a crystal to a blacksmith.
  There are a few challenging areas here.  To the NE is a vat that spits out 
fyora.  Kill them, and the last drops a perfect fyora scale.  Combine it with 
a gold ring at the forge to make a decent protection ring.  South of Alurha is 
a wingbolt.  If you can time it right, you can get past it and enter an area 
where you get some info about your origins.  The room to the south holds 
several excellent items, however you'll need a lot of mechanics to grab them 
(12 or so).  Additionally, unless you want to fight some wingbolts, you'll 
have to claim them one at a time, grabbing them and running out.  Come back 
later and claim your shaper robe!
  Once you have beaten the Presence, come back and talk to Guardian Manola.  
She will train you in melee skills, though at significant cost.  Rawal will 
give you training in create roamer, essence shield, and searer in reward.  He 
also opens up the area beyond the demo by giving you some papers, and a quest 
to find the shadow road.  Alurha will also give you a quest to find agent 
Micheline.  Return to Rawal after finding the Shadow Road to get points in 
create battle alpha and terror, as well as 800c.  Rawal then wants you to 
steal a tome about canister creation from Alwan's storeroom.  As a reward he 
teaches you create wingbolt and major heal, and gives you 1000c.  
Additionally, Guardian Manola will charge you less for training.  Your next 
quest from Rawal is to kill Platano.  
  
Foundry Promenade (A3)
Q: Three Pylons
I: Student's Belt, Blessed Bauble
S: Create Fyora
O: Krog
  Talk to Private Savage.  He asks for your help in pacifying the rogues, by 
reactivating the three pylons.  From the soldiers, head into the central rock 
area, then reactivate a pylon.  Kill the rogues around it for added 
experience.  Do this for all three pylons to clear the level.  The soldiers 
give you some minor loot as a reward.  Nearby the thahds you will also find a 
book of create fyora, which helps.
  Other things of note here include a shrouded thahd to the NW.  Kill it and 
grab the student's belt for a bonus to your intelligence.  Pull the nearby 
lever and head to the building slightly east.  Kill the fyorae, including the 
shrouded fyora for a blessed bauble necklace.  The last foe of significance is 
the shrouded worm to the SE.  Kill it, then head to the building to the SE.  
Krog the thahd has taken up residence in Barcott's workshop.  You can either 
chase them out (rebel option) or kill them (shaper option).  Naturally killing 
them gets you more loot.  The final item of note is the path to the forge to 
the NE.  The path is blocked by two fyorae.  

Testing Halls (A4)
Q: Herbs for Phipps
I: Grounded Robe, Shielding knife
S: Finish the testing halls
$: Master Phipps
  Here you will find an anvil.  It is guarded by two roamers who get agitated 
as you get close.  You can kill them for more experience than calming them, so 
go ahead and do so.  Master Phipps is the master of the forge.  Give him the 
crystal for a runed ruby.  He will buy your stuff from you, and will let you 
use the forge if you're suitably convincing.  He will sell you decent stuff 
too when you've beaten the presence and told Rawal about it.  He will also 
give you a quest to get some saltweed and wiremoss for him, telling you about 
a recipe in exchange.  Go ahead and enter the forge for some nice goods.  Use 
all you blessing items, as you'll get better stuff eventually.  You can also 
steal his stuff, you'll find a perfect drayk scale in his room. 
  If you want to (or are told to by Mind Shimp), head into the testing halls.  
Talk with the mind to be allowed entry.  You are presented with two options- 
mechanics path and the battle path.  The mechanics path makes you maneuver 
around some pylons to tap a spore box. The battle path makes you fight a 
spawner.  Try to do both if you can.  Next you choose between battle and 
stealth.  Stealth forces you to get past some roamers.  You can kill them if 
you'd like, you can claim a grounded robe as a reward if you do.  The battle 
path takes you to some worms that poison you.  If you haven't bought cure 
affliction, then you might find this fight to be a bit tough.  You get a 
discipline wand and a shielding knife for your troubles. Your last challenge 
is to upset a thahd.  Talk to the furious thahd and tell him that the other 
thahd wanted to have you laugh at it.  It will charge off and fight the mauler 
thahd.  Kill the winner.  You can now access the control panel for a reward.  
Choose between healing spells (cure affliction, essence infusion, heal), 
battle arts (searer, speed), or shaping arts (create fyora, create clawbug).  
I strongly recommend taking the shaping arts, as clawbugs will wipe the demo 
area clean of foes.  Speed is not nearly as useful as it used to be so there's 
not too much of a reason to go for it.

Foundry Core East (A5)
I: Fyoraskin cloak
S: Wrack
  The presence starts out here.  I'd recommend first hitting everything south, 
then going through the doors.  They close behind you.  Head north, and kill 
the fyorae.  Two of them dropped fyoraskin cloaks, though I don't know if 
those are consistent drops.  Continue to the NE, and you'll find some mines.  
It's actually better to let them explode with their contents than disarm them, 
so go ahead and do so.  Head to the control area, and disarm the pylons.  Head 
to the control panel which allows you to weaken the boss of the area.  You can 
sabotage the power supply (2 tools), getting a lot of experience, and making 
the coming fight a fair bit easier (it's not that tough, so don't fret if you 
can't do it).  Continue west, and again you cace some hostile machines.  
Either turn the machines off by touching their crystals, or kill the monsters 
they summon (the latter is better, as the monsters have a fair bit of loot).  
Grab the canister of wrack and continue to the center, heading a bit north to 
reach a healing pool.  Then head south, and you'll find the presence-fyora.  
It'll attack you, damage it enough and it'll try to grab the controls.  If 
you've sabotaged them, the fyora receives a lot of damage.  Kill it for a 
wand.

Foundry Core (A6)
I: Coated Cloak, Ironwood Shield, Grounded Shoes
S: Create Artila
  The foundry core holds the third appearance of the presence.  Prior to 
engaging it, search the area.  The infirmary to the north holds an ambush by 
some beetles with a coated cloak in their nest.  The lever requires a fair 
number of tools but provides you access to a create artila canister.  In the 
center south you'll also find the evil fyora Captain Valenta wants you to 
kill.  Do so for a perfect fyora scale.  Then head west, through the locked 
doors and kill the artilae for an ironwood shield.
  When you're here to take on the final presence, go north.  Either calm or 
kill the turrets.  You'll reach a locked door.  Go south and either kill or 
pacify the rogues.  Grab the key off the body, and go through the door.  
You'll find a servile there.  Hurriedly head south, and use the geneforge- 
this breaks the fuzziness in your mind, giving you a point of intelligence, 
and lowers the servile's shield.  Now you can kill it (and use the pylons, if 
you'd like help).  For your effort you get some grounded shoes.  Loot the 
area, then head back to Rawal with the good news.
  
Foundry Core West (A7)
I: Nimble Sandals, Carnelian Gloves, Thorny Chitin, Grounded Robe
S: Create Thahd
  This is where the presence appears for the second time.  To the SE you'll 
find some pools.  That's an excellent place to cast some essence spells.  
You'll meet up with Sergeant Lysette here too.  She's not too helpful until 
the presence arrives, then will help you fight the foes.  First I'd recommend 
clearing everything out of here first, then heading to the NE.  You'll find 
Private Kahl there.  Escort him out, making sure he survives (even if the area 
is cleared some enemies will spawn).
  Time to take on the presence.  You can recruit some help if you'd like, then 
head to the NW, and enter the doors.  A power conduit starts to charge up some 
clawbugs.  Kill them (one drops some nimble sandals, excellent footwear for 
this part of the game), and head south.  You'll find some carnelian gloves 
(great for magic-users) and the lever to open the control center.  Head to the 
NE this time, recruiting some more soldiers if you'd like. This time you face 
a servant mind.  It summons several batches of bugs.  Kill them, surviving 
through two swarms, and the mind lowers its shield.  Kill it, and claim your 
thorny chitin as a prize.  Then hit the attached room to find a bunch of 
levers that lead to the locked rooms nearby.  Pillage them for a canister of 
create thahd, a grounded robe, and other minor loot.

Foundry Repository (A8)
Q: 
I: 
S: 
O: 
$: 
  You won't need to come here for quite some time.
  
Whitespires Pass (A9)
Q: Jelinek's Inn
I: Stunning Blade
S: Create Roamer
O: Mehken
$: 
  Head to the west.  You'll find a fellow named Jelinek.  He has a bandit 
problem.  Fix it for him, but don't let him get killed!  Head inside the inn, 
and eventually Antonia will make a bunch of noise and charge on out.  Antonia 
drops a steel broadsword and a stunning blade on death.  Loot the rest of the 
inn for a few items.  Make sure to hit the lever behind the pillar in the room 
Antonia was in- this opens up a new region with a healthy bit of gold.  Tell 
Jelinek of your success for 250c.  There's a nice supply cache to the SW of 
the inn, with a canister of create roamer.
  Head to the pass- you'll meet Mehken again (or if she accompanied you, 
she'll leave now), who will get you opinion one more time prior to 
disappearing.  Sergeant Noblet will talk with you- show him you papers, and 
make him give you some stuff. 

==========================End of Demo!  Buy the game!  $28 for many hours====
==========================Area 2=============================================
         A9 B2
         |  |
   B7-B6-B0-B1
   |\ |  |  |
B9-B8+C0-B4-B3
   |  \     |
   C4 S2-S1-B5
            |
      C3-C2-C1
      |
      C5

North Mera Road (B0)
Q: Koski the Brigand
I: Vat Chitin
S: Ice Spray
  Head west and you'll find Modell, leader of some refugees.  He asks your 
help in taking down a nasty bandit to the south.  You'll find Koski to the 
south.  You can maneuver past him if you'd like for some coins, or you can 
attack him.   He will call for help in the form of brutal thahds, so be wary.  
Kill them all and tell Modell.  The refugees leave and you can grab the stuff.  
To the SW you'll find several clawbugs, raomers, and a vlish or two.  Kill 
them all and disarm the mines for a vat chitin.  Next head east, and Sergeant 
Tasha will be quite unfriendly towards you.  In the fields are a few storage 
chambers, the north one holds some clawbugs and vlish, as well as a canister 
of ice spray.

Mera (B1)
Q: See Astoria, Info for Micheline, Papers for Rawal, Noxious Powders, The 
Lost Anvil, Bounty: Roamers, The Trakovite Lair
I: Demon's Bile, Agent's Shelter
O: Agent Micheline's quests
$: Abderra, Lel, Juergen (swamp pants, polar fur cloak, girdle of strength), 
Dorgum (shaped items)
  Mera is a major city.  Sergeant Schick will stop you and tell you to speak 
with Astoria.  You might as well head north there right now.  Several people 
will trade with you, including Abderra.  Juergen sells some nice items as 
well, including some swamp pants which are good for low-strength characters.  
Lel will trade with you as well, and if you have a rebel reputation will open 
up about the trakovites.  Answer his question, "creations do more harm than 
good" and he'll talk further with you.
  You can get several quests as well.  You can grab a bounty quest to kill 
some roamers from a sign just south of the entrance to Haria-Kel.  Tell 
Sergeant Schick when you've done this quest for 300c.  Agent Micheline is in 
the Hall of Appeals.  Talk with her and fulfill Agent Alurha's quest.  She 
gives you a quest to find the shadow road.  Telling her where it is is a pro-
shaper action, and nets you a wand of terror and 400c.  She also wants to know 
the names of trakovites.  You can betray Lel if you'd like, though I wouldn't 
unless you know for sure you don't want to join the trakovites.  Finally she 
wants you to give up the location of the trakovite lair.  Juergen is a servant 
of Rawal, and asks you to give him some papers you find in Helft.  I wouldn't 
since the papers are better given to others.  Denna is in the inn.  She will 
help you if you steal some noxious powders from Haria-Kel.  Do so for your 
"reward"- you'll be able to exact revenge later if you'd like.  Dorgum is the 
smith here, and asks you to find a magic anvil.  It is located in the east 
shadow road.  Telling him where the anvil is at gets you the ability to buy 
shaped items (utterly expensive prices) and to read his recipe book.
  There are several notable items to steal here.  Juergen has a number of 
minor items in his room.  Enter the storeroom at the south and disarm the 
traps (Need a fair bit of mechanics- up to 12 for the best items) for some 
demon's bile (very cool!), ethereal bindings, a corrupting baton, and an 
agent's shelter shield.  The shield is great for anyone who casts spells.

Haria-Kel (B2)
Q: Baston's Room, Murkwood Assassin, Kratoa-Kel, Aid Penta, Contact Tholosss, 
The Lost Ornk, Find Gorash-Kel, Kill an Unbound, Free the Fen
I: Samaritan sandals, Shaped Shield
S: Quothe, Create Fyora
  Here you'll meet Astoria, one of the faction leaders.  Astoria is best 
described as aligned with the "Awakened".  Head to speak with her first.  She 
is speaking with a chap named Baston.  Baston is an assassin and attacks.  
Talk with Astoria after killing him and she gives you your first quest, to 
investigate Baston's room.  Do so, being sure to check the jar.  Tell Astoria 
what you found, and she'll send you to the Murkwood to find the assassin's 
party.  Astoria also opens up Sage Quothe as a trainer.  Quothe is quite 
valuable, and will train you in magic skills, as well as spells and shaping.  
When you return from Murkwood with the information, Astoria gives you 300c, 
and then gives you the quest to go to Kratoa-Kel.  Upon completion of Kratoa-
Kel, you are given permission by Astoria to continue on, as well as an 
ethereal seal ring (bonus to blessing magic).  If you want to start on the 
Astoria-faction path, ask what she is planning on doing.  She gives you a 
quest to aid Penta (which you've probably already done).  Return for a wand of 
terror and 400c.  Then Astoria asks you to contact a drakon name Tholosss.  
He's near Gazaki-Uss, so you won't see him too soon.
  Captain Herzen will talk to you, giving you a quest to hunt the bandit 
Bennhold.  This quest is the first of a string of quests to find the mythical 
bandit.  Return after killing Crenshaw for some Samaritan sandals.  Masha has 
no quest, but is part of the Sholai (from Geneforge 1).  Sergeant Flesch also 
gives you a quest, to retrieve an ornk for him.  A shaped shield is your 
reward.  Sage Quothe will give you a series of quests dealing with the 
unbound.  The first is to go to Gorash-Kel and sneak inside.  Do so for some 
resistance spores and lowered prices for training (quite nice!).  Next Quothe 
wants you to kill an unbound.  This is quite tough, and you probably won't be 
able to complete it until you can create glaahks or rotghroths.  He gives you 
some restoration spores (the most powerful healing spores) and a wand of the 
inferno as a reward.  His next, and final quest is to free the fen of the 
unbound.  You will have to head to Gorash-Kel for this quest, and clean out 
all the unbound.
  If you're stealing the powders for Denna, head to where Quothe is, and 
inspect the east cabinet.  Grab the powders when Quothe isn't nearby.  Other 
things to loot include a room with a create fyora canister to the east, and 
miscellaneous loot in nearby rooms.

Mera Fields (B3)
I: Reflecting Shield
S: Thorny Aura 
$: Stollen's Junk Shop
  The roamers here are part of a bounty quest.  Kill them, focusing on the 
nesting roamers.  Go around and kill all you see.  To the SE is a building.  
Go in it and you'll be ambushed.  You'll find a reflecting shield for your 
troubles.  The only place of major note here beyond the roamers is Stollen's 
junk shop.  He will sell you items to the north and south.  The south door 
holds a recipe for a wand and a vlish tentacle (neither of which is really 
worth the 400c), the north door holds a canister of thorny aura.  I'd buy the 
north door and leave it at that.  You can steal the items in his boxes if 
you'd like.

Northeast Fen (B4)
I: Vat Shoes, Coated Cloak, Tinker's Bauble
S: Searer
  The fens hold unbound.  Be careful.  Search the area, being sure to disarm 
the mines (the spawning mines summon very nasty foes and hence it's probably 
best just to disarm them), and grab any swamp herbs.  A body near the center 
holds some vat shoes and a coated cloak.  If you want to go to the NW, you can 
do so either stealthily or with a full force.  With a full force you can 
charge in with your creations and kill the patrolling rotghroth (drops a fang) 
and artilae, while hanging out back with your shaper as the creations are 
ignored by pylons.  If you want to go stealthily, avoid the pylons by moving 
through them in a zigzag pattern, and maneuvering through the trees.  Hit the 
pylon and you can proceed.  The building to the NW holds a canister of searer, 
as well as a tinker's bauble.
  The Unbound appears on the west side of the level.  If you want to kill it 
for Quothe, charge up (shield + war blessing + speed, with rotghroth/wingbolt 
level creations or better) and hit it with what you've got.  

Kaz (B5)
Q: Rebels in the Swamp, Papers for Kaz
I: Shaped Belt
S: Create Vlish
$: Labaton
  Kaz is a town of barely friendly serviles.  A few people of note here 
include Celaa, who asks you to help some rebels in the swamps to the east.  
North of Celaa is a storeroom with some nice items, including a hsaped 
beltBryn will talk with you but isn't that helpful at present.  Labaton will 
trade with you as well, and also tells you to get the shaper papers from 
Helft.  He gives you some pants in reward.  To the SE you'll find a small hut 
with some servile cultists.  Kill them then pull the hidden lever to get a 
steel broadsword and a few other items.
  If you want to get into the shadow road, head north of the secretive 
building.  Disarm the traps, then stealthily go into the building, avoiding 
the servile guards.  While you're in there, be sure to grab the canister of 
create vlish.

Murkwood (B6)
I: Coated Chitin, Clawbug Carapace, Empathy Blade
S: Group Heal
  This is the home of the bandits.  Emogene is waiting for you.  She runs away 
to the north.  If you have adequate leadership and have started the assassin 
quest for Astoria, you can threaten her and make her willing to let you see 
who is renting their woods.  Head to the NW, and you'll find an encampment.  
Disarm the mines (or take the battle route), and enter the building.  You'll 
find a coated chitin near the entrance.  Kill those inside and you'll find a 
shaper assassin at the end of the path.  He kills himself.  Search the nearby 
box and you'll find more information and evidence.  You can also claim the 
clawbug carapace shield as a reward.
  I'd then recommend killing the bandits.  Get them to attack you by heading 
into their secret cave.  Kill the guard, then grab the canister of group heal 
and the charging stone.  Be sure to look at the notes about Bennhold.  Then 
wade through the bandits, killing them all.  Emogene drops an empathy blade 
for your time.

Penta (B7)
Q: Shaper Papers, Nodye Pass Tunnel, The Fen Bandits
I: Swamp Boots, Venomous Chainmail
S: Terror
O: Greta, Killing Dominic
$: Arango
  Friendly serviles are here, as is Greta.  Greta asks you a reputation 
question before leaving.  Here you will find Arango, a businessman who has a 
quest for you- bring him research notes.  Bring eight and you'll get a special 
bonus- a canister of terror.  He also trades with you.  Learned Dominic is the 
leader here.  He gives you two quests- to see what has clogged up the Nodye 
Pass Tunnel, and to clear out some bandits to the southeast.  Completion of 
these quests gets you access to the north storeroom, past the difficult traps.  
The first trap gets you access to a venom chainmail which has a nice damage 
shield on it.  Completing both quests gets you some swamp boots and an ivory 
skull. You also get access to the shadow road.
  There are rogues to the east.  Kill them for some minor loot.  When you get 
access to the Shadow Road, head into the building in the south center.  Enter 
it, then go through the locked door to grab a passage stone.  A passage stone 
is not necessary, but makes traveling the shadow road easier.

Below Nodye Pass (B8)
Q: Aranov's Herbs
I: Clover Boots
O: Felik and the rebel serviles
$: Aranov
  A short area with a small quest.  Lots of roamers are here, led by vlish.  
To the SW you'll find Aranov, who will trade with you.  Aranov is also looking 
for swamp herbs, and pays well (50c each) for them.  Save up all you find and 
bring them to him.  You also find Rowena, who can sell you some lost goods.  
Some rebel serviles are hiding to the NW.  Help them get out of here for some 
rebel reputation.  You're ambushed along the way, naturally.  Kill the rogues 
and let the serviles escape.  TO the SE is a locked room with three potent 
vlish inside.  Kill them for a vlish tentacle and some clover boots, which add 
several points to luck.

Nodye Pass (B9)
I: Projection Band
S: Shocking rain
  This is a stealth area.  The goal here is to avoid the patrols and make it 
to the end of the path.  Captain Kellen tells you you're not really welcome 
her, but no matter.  Elrica doesn't do much, but will talk with you.  If you 
want to do some thieving, head to the NE.  Go into stealth mode and pillage 
what you can.  Try not to get caught, of course.  They have some pretty nice 
items, but nothing too major.  
  When you're ready to do Dominic's quest, enter fight mode and head to the 
south.  Time the patrols and go SW.  Open the secret passage, and enter.  
You'll find a lot of rogue fyorae inside.  Kill them, and you will find a 
projection band.  Equip it if you'd like to boost the armor and protection of 
your creations.  Head north, again entering combat mode to get past the 
patrols.  Disarm the mines, then you'll find the cause of the blockage.  A 
drayk, Shresss, is upset.  You can either kill it, bribe it, or intimidate it 
(with leadership) to solve the problem.  Killing it gets you a perfect drayk 
scale, which isn't too bad.  Otherwise try to intimidate it, especially if 
you're here solo.  Claim your canister of shocking rain, and head back to the 
entrance.

East Shadow Road (S1)
I: Demon's Bile, Coated Cloak, Infiltrator's shield, Captain's Boots
S: Unlock
  Enter this area to fulfill half of Rawal's quest.  If any of the turrets in 
the area start bothering you, remember that creations don't set of pylons, so 
chase them down that way.  If you want to explore this area, you'll need some 
healthy mechanics abilities.  You'll find the anvil for Mera's smith in the 
NE, along with a recipe.  An ivory skull is hiding in one of the nearby 
cabinets.  Tap the spore box near to the anvil area entrance, and another 
sporebox is made available to the SW.  Tap it, then head north.  Tap the two 
sporeboxes nearby (try to hug the rock pylons to stay safe, and you'll open up 
a lot of the area, including the canister of unlock and demon's bile.  Head 
north through the nearby building, pull the lever, then go through the door.  
Tap both of the sporeboxes, which allows you access to pretty much everywhere 
else on the board.  You'll find a body with a coated cloak, and to the SW a 
chest with an infiltrator's shield.  Keep this with you as it'll keep you from 
having to spend more points on leadership and mechanics.  Near the center is a 
fairly nasty foe- a rotghroth and four worm buddies.  Kill them all (a slow 
wand can help), and grab the rotghroth fang and captain boots (bonus to 
blessing magic) as your reward.

Middle Shadow Road (S2)
I: 
S: 
  Don't attempt this one too early as you'll probably get killed.  The other 
two shadow roads are manageable for lower level parties, but not this one.

Western Shadow Road (S3) 
I: Girdle of Might, Gauntlets of Succor
S: Create Battle Alpha
  Step in, take a look around, and head back out for now.  Come back when 
you're a bit stronger.  You may be able to explore pretty easily with the 
passage stone.  Otherwise you'll have a bit of a harder time.
  When you want to attempt this one, come back.  I'd actually recommend 
attacking everything around here to get the experience points.  Kill the 
podlings, clawbugs, and worms (quickly with the worms), making your way to the 
east.  Kill the two hunter betas (disarm the crystal right behind them), then 
head north.  Ghesss, the drayk stops you.  Kill it.  It summons shades, but so 
long as you focus on Ghesss, the shades shouldn't do too much (they remain 
insubstantial for a time, eventually becoming something worse).  Ghesss drops 
a girdle of might and a drayk scale on death.  Go through the north door for a 
passage stone, and other nice minor goods, and a canister of create battle 
alpha.  To the SW are some stunning spinecores which also protect a body with 
minor goods.  Probably the most difficult foes are to the center of the map.  
Four patchwork gazers will attack you.  They are guarding some gauntlets of 
succor.

Northwest Fen (C0)
I: Captain's Shiv, Emberrune Chitin 
  Here are the bandits that have been troubling Penta.  Head to the NW, and 
explore the nearby woods.  A secret passage opens up.  Kill the bandits across 
the bridge, and some will let loose some expoding roamers.  Kill them from a 
distance, then kill the bandits.  Make your way to the SE part of the bandit 
camp and you'll find Crenshaw, the bandit leader.  Kill him and his cronies.  
On death he drops a captain's shiv, which is a decent weapon for creation-
focused characters.  Loot the rest of the area.
  To the SE roams an unbound.  Additionally, several plated artilae guard the 
area.  Kill them, then kill the bulging artilae and the creatures they spawn.  
Claim the emberrune chitin as your reward.

Infested Crossroad (C1)
I: Stability Bauble, Shaped Boots
S: Regeneration aura
O: Sergeant Herne
  This is part of the route to Kratoa-kel.  To the NE you'll find an abandoned 
building.  Inside are some pulsating worms which split and spill out other 
worms on death.  Kill them for a stability bauble, then open the nearby door 
to fight a mire worm.  Inside is a canister of regeneration aura.  Clear out 
the area of its clawbugs, including the ambush to the south.  A clawbug queen 
to the SW drops some shaped boots for you.  The SE holds more clawbugs, and a 
second queen.  This one drops a clawbug, an item that increases your poison 
resistance for as long as you have it in your inventory.  Now go NW and talk 
with Sergeant Herne.  Convince him to help you clean out the area south.  You 
can either command the wounded thahds to join you (shaper option) or send them 
to Kaz (rebel option).  Your choice.  Accompany them south, and that will 
clear the level.

Helft Ruins (C2)
I: Spidersilk Robe, Pustulant Greave
S: Battle Aura
  These ruins are home to an unbound and a drayk.  The unbound searches the 
area completely, so hide in a building when it gets close.  Pheleryss the 
drayk has made its home here.  You should threaten it with control, and it'll 
let you inside its lair.  Loot its lair, but avoid the region with nests 
unless you want to fight the drayk.  Inside you'll find some pustulant 
greaves, and a canister of battle aura.  Kill the drayk for a perfect drayk 
scale.  Vlish also patrol, so be careful. An augmented vlish can be found near 
the drayk.  It drops a vlish tentacle and you can grab a spidersilk robe 
nearby as well.  The pylons to the north can be disarmed with a few 
sporeboxes.  I don't think you're meant to pillage the blue-robed body, but if 
you're able to it has a steel spine on it.


Gorash-Kel (C3)
I: Farsight Breastplate, Mandrake Tincture, Blasted Greaves, Ur-Drakon Skin
S: Create Glaahk, Elemental Aura
  This is a challenge area.  Stay out of it until you're in your upper 30s for 
levels.  In the meantime, boost up your stealth and sneak in.  Time the 
unbound just right and you shouldn't have a problem.  Get just within the fort 
entrance, then go back out.  That fulfills Quothe's quest.
  For Quothe's final quest, you'll need to be a bit sneaky here.  Don't charge 
in or you'll be overwhelmed.  Instead, proceed slowing, killing anything that 
gets close to you.  These unbound here are tougher than other unbound you 
fight as they have nasty aura attacks that slow and terrify you.    There are 
two unbound at the entrances of the fort.  Next, you will fight some assault 
patchwork foes.  North of the east entrance are some podlings guarding a 
canister of create glaahk.  This canister is the only means by which you can 
make ur-glaahks.  Head west from here and you'll find some more assault 
patchworks, in addition to another unbound.  Kill the unbound and continue 
north.  Go out of the fort for a farsight breastplate and other goods, and 
grab the very valuable mandrake tincture from the north nest.  That's probably 
the earliest available mandrake tincture for you, and you could get it if 
you're stealthy enough.  To the SW are some cryodrayks.  They drop gems.  You 
can also grab the canister of elemental aura if you'd like.  The nest north 
and a bit east of the cryodrayks holds a valuable blademaster charm (+1 quick 
action, bonus to hit chance).  The boss drakon is to the north.  It is more 
difficult than the others, but not so much that you can't kill them all in one 
fell swoop.  On death it drops a ur-drakon skin, and you can pillage the 
blasted greaves (bonus to strength and endurance, but heavy) and a shaped 
blade from its stuff.  You now have a lot of crafting supplies and some decent 
items.

North Citadel Pass (C4)
I: Guardian Stone, Chilling Band
  Eventually you'll want to come here in the late game.  However, you can do 
some part of this area right now.  Additionally, an unbound is here and will 
be easier to defeat in this area than any other.  Head west, killing the vlish 
and podlings (incidently, podlings are some of the most annoying enemy you 
will encounter.  Daze works well against them), and pillaging all you can.  
Note that the NW building opens up after a bit, releasing a swarm of vlish.  
Kill them, take their stuff, and pull the nearby lever to open up a secret 
area in the vlish nest room just west.  Continue southeast from there, killing 
a few more podlings.  Be ready once you are at the second bridge.  Try to lure 
the few vlish and critters out, because once you get across, an unbound and 
several podlings appear on the board.  Hide in the building, and let them pass 
you by.  Then follow them, and hit them when they attack the gate.  
Unfortunately, landing the killing blow on this Unbound does not count towards 
Quothe's quest.  It drops a guardian stone on death.  When the unbound is 
dead, talk with the captain.  He won't let you in the citadel, no surprise 
there.  Continue exploring the area, heading back to the SE to collect a 
chilling band.

South Mera Road (C5)
I: Shaped Gauntlets, Girdle of Nimbleness
$: Watson, Sasa
  This area is infested with cryoas.  To the north is an area with traps and 
turrets, it leads to Gorash-kel.  The NW holds an alchemy workshop.  Talk with 
Watson to get in, then go speak with Sasa.  Loot the blue chest for some 
demon's bile (again, just steal it- they won't do anything about it unless you 
steal more stuff).  If you try to head south from here you'll be attacked by a 
bunch of clawbugs.  They'll come in waves, with the last few dropping good 
stuff- a pair of shaped gauntlets, and a girdle of nimbleness.

Kratoa-Kel (C6)
Q: Creations Ledger
S: Daze
$: Barragan (Shaped Blade, Shaped Fiber Cloak)
  Kratoa-Kel is a small city that is home to the Guardian Makar.  Explore 
prior to talking to Makar- Barragan will sell you stuff and has some nice 
shaped stuff.  Be sure to go into his room and grab the canister of daze 
(increases spell by 2!).  Go talk with Makar.  Makar is fairly helpful, 
telling you that the assassin likely sat in the stoneworks to the east.  
First, go speak with his aid Somini.  She'll give you a stoneworks key.  Then 
talk with Glenny- she gives a quest to do at the other pass, Lerman's pass.  
She wants you to retrieve a ledger.  Returning it gets you 1000c.  When ready, 
head into the stoneworks.


Kratoa Stoneworks (C7)
I: Jade Band, Tinker Gloves, Shaped Breastplate, Flaming Sword, Demon's Bile
S: Create Clawbug
  Head east, opening the doors if you'd like for minor loot.  Then head north, 
and go through the door.  Head east, avoiding the patrols, and revive the two 
golems here.  Take these golems out to fight the other golems.  The golems are 
pretty strong, and make short work of the enemy.  Use the control panel they 
were guardian, then head back SW.  Use your friendly golems against a few more 
golems that wake up.  The servant golems then start to keel over, 
unfortunately, but not before they earn you a jade band.
  Enter the power core.  Here you need to go back and forth between two 
control panels (in fight mode, helping them to lose energy.  In between, try 
to open the latch to the SE.  At some point, creatures will start to burst in 
through the west gate, try to block them or kill them if you can.  Eventually 
some roamers will break through.  Kill them, and continue your routine of 
turning off the control panels and trying the lever.  Eventually you'll get it 
to work.
  Next you're in a lava zone.  Find the sporeboxes, kill the golems, etc.  In 
this maze you'll find a lever- pull it and claim your tinker gloves (+2 
mechanics!) as your reward.  Kill the SE golems, and you'll find a runed onyx 
for your troubles.  Head west.
  Try going through the door.  Revive the two golems, then go take out the 
dormant golems.  Make your way up north, and you'll find a rune-etched golem 
and two of its golem buddies.  So long as you still have the servant golems, 
this fight should be a cakewalk.  Grab the canister of create clawbug, then 
loot the place, read the recipe if you'd like.  Head north to the boss 
encounter.
  Guardian Makar is standing with an odd golem.  He does the villian's 
denouement, and then has his golem attack.  Hack away at the golem for a 
while, and Makar will eventually join in the attack.  The golem can be 
converted to your side if you don't kill it too fast.  Kill Makar for a shaped 
breastplate and a flaming sword.  Grab the nearby demon's bile and you should 
have everything you need.

Southwest Okavano (C8)
I: Polished Shield
S: Speed 
O: Celaa's Rebels, Rebel Scouts
  There are four warriors to the SE that will fight with you against some 
rogues.  Talk with Parl, and you'll launch an attack against a group of battle 
alphas.  The toughest foes here are the two battle betas- the snarling beta 
and Frak Bonesplitter.  Kill them and take their stuff (polished shield).  
There is a canister of speed in a nearby abandoned building.  Continue north, 
either ignore or attack the rebels (pro-shaper for the latter).

Western Okavano (C9)
I: Shielding Trinket, Crystal Woven Chitin 
  There are several spawners here, killing them is your major goal for this 
level.  There is one near the center, one to the NE (try to avoid the bushes- 
this is a difficult spawner to kill, but the bushes won't attack you if you 
stay to the north side of the spawner), and one to the NW.  To the SW are some 
mines around a body.  Disarm them and claim your prize, a shielding trinket 
(+1 HER).  If you want to kill those rotten bushes to the NE, make some 
corrupted thahds, cast regeneration aura, and let the thahds go in solo 
against the bushes.  The thahds should outlast the bushes, though it may be 
close.  To the NW are several rotghroths.  They are quite difficult, 
especially if you end up fighting all five at once, but at least two of them 
will go on solo patrols.  Kill them all and you can claim a crystal woven 
chitin that gives a point of spellcraft.  Also of importance here are the 
ornks.  Talk to them until you find the intelligent one.  The ornk runs off to 
the east.  Kill the rest.

Okavano Barrier (D0)
I: 
O: Preya, Intelligent Ornk
  This is rebel territory.  Proceed west, and Preya stops you.  Talk with him 
and he gives you the terms- don't go further east than the line.  Of course if 
you attack, that's pro-shaper.  I wouldn't though.  Head north and you'll 
reach the trakovite haven.  To the NE is a nest of glaahks, kill them for an 
ivory skull.  The intelligent ornk is to the SW.  You can either kill it, tell 
it to go home (it will die, of course, or let it free).  The south is full of 
war tralls, and won't be of any importance to you until close to end game.

Trakovite Haven (D1)
Q: Reinart the Trakovite, The Traitor Toroth, The Trakovite Hunter, The 
Canister Cache
I: Symbiotic Cloak, Singing Rapier
S: Sage Mendoa
O: Caretaker Eloise, Parsel, Litalia
$: Rummus 
  The second joinable faction you encounter is located here.  Rebel-reputation 
characters will be able to enter without any problem, but have to take a long 
route to get to some people.  Caretaker Eloise greets you, and lets you in.  
She also gives you a quest to find Reinart, who is in Alwan's lands.  Do so 
for a singing rapier, and reimbursement for Reinart's cost.  Rummus the 
servile smith will trade with you, and intriguingly you can take everything 
here.  Sage Mendoa will train you in spells for a reasonable price.   Aiken is 
no help, but Parsel will ask you a reputation question.  Talk with Jesstres 
for another quest- to take out a drayk name Toroth.
  Make your way to Litalia.  She will fill you in on Geneforge 2-4, and give 
you details about what's going on.  Check out her nearby room for a wand 
recipe, and more importantly, a symbiotic cloak.  If you want to join the 
Trakovites you first have to kill a trakovite hunter named Addison of Fort 
Defiance.  Your next quest is to smash a bunch of canisters located in the 
Foundry Repository.  Note that this quest is fairly difficult if you do it 
early, so I would recommend trying it after completing most of area 3.

Okavano Sea Caves (D2)
I: Spectral Boots, Gruesome Charm
  This is the challenge level of area 2.  It can be reached from Western 
Okavano, via a little trapdoor.  Head north through the door.  Three ghosts 
greet you.  Go north further, kill the searing artilae (I got some artila 
eyes), then go east.  Kill the turrets, and the ghosts will start summoning 
some shades.  After two waves, the ghosts summon an essence specter, followed 
by some corrupting shades, followed up finally with some icetouch shades.  
These shouldn't be too hard- grab whatever they drop and continue on.  You can 
head south to kill some more artilae.  Head east again, then south to kill 
some turrets. Try not to get stuck in a stun-loop though, as there are turrets 
across the way.  Head to the east spit of land and head south.  The three 
ghosts await you again.  This time they summon crumbling thahds (which explode 
on death), oozing artilae (which have spine shields), an essence wight (which 
curses you when hit by melee), crumbling thahds again, and oozing artilae 
again.  Grab the spectral boots, and go east briefly to use some crystals 
which recharge your health and essence.  Continue west, and you'll be blocked 
by some spinecores.  Kill the central plants to finish them off.  You'll then 
see the three ghosts again.  If you have enough leadership (9), you can get 
them to leave without a fight.  Claim the gruesome charm as your reward.  The 
gruesome charm gives bonuses to intelligence and dexterity, but a penalty to 
endurance.  I'd recommend investing two points into endurance, and you'll have 
a significant net gain.
  Head north, and you'll see the master, a shade named Gyllaran.  Gyllaran 
summons two spectral assistants, try to ignore them and focus on Gyllaran.  
Killing Gyllaran gets you a shaper robe, and access to his chest.  In the 
chest you'll find solidified flame, an artifact ingredient.  In the blue jar 
you'll find a steel spine and some gemstones.

Lerman's Pass (D3) 
I: Oozing Sword, Eyebeast Eye, Puresteel Belt, Lodestone Greaves, Unmelting 
Ice
S: Cleanse Group
  This area can be fairly difficult early on.  I'd recommend coming back after 
clearing out a portion of Area 3, or not attempting the most difficult enemies 
(gazer + unbound) here until later.  
  When you're ready to take this area on, enter from the north (area 2).  Kill 
the worms and battle alphas that block your path, then head south.  Talis-Eye, 
the gazer will argue with you.  Eventually it floats off, but not before 
closing the door behind you.  It also sends a few waves of battle alphas after 
you.  Kill them.  The alpha thug is the most difficult of the batch, but isn't 
too challenging.  Go west, then you have a choice.  To the north are some 
nasty spools (that spit out worms), and the unbound.  To the south are more 
rogues, primarily vlish.  Head into the southern entrance and you'll find 
Captain Bhara and some fire-scarred grubs.  With suitable leadership you can 
weaken the captain, and killing him gets you a key.  You can also claim his 
oozing sword as a reward.  Nearby in the locked room is a recipe and some 
shaped boots.  You can also grab the nearby creations ledger.  Frostbitten 
worms are next- these guys are tough and are strong against magic attacks.
  When you're ready, head north.  Note that you don't have to fight him to 
escape to the north, but do if you want to go through the pass.  Talis-Eye 
briefly taunts you then starts summoning a horde to defend himself.  Turrets 
and worms both join in the fight against you.  This is a battle of attrition, 
so try to surround Talis-Eye so that he can't run away, then pound away on him 
with physical attacks.  Talis is strong against magic, so you'll have to 
depend on other damage sources to take him down.  Try to slow him if you can, 
it will make your job easier.  On death he'll drop an eyebeast eye and a 
puresteel belt, both excellent items.  Also head north for some lodestone 
greaves, and unmelting ice, and a canister of cleanse group.  This spell comes 
in handy if you want to take on the foes to the north.
  Further north, past the pools, are some bloated gasworms.  These can cast a 
variety of annoying status effect spells.  If you want, there is a wounded 
unbound to the north. It has a nasty aura attack along with powerful energy 
attacks, so it's not that weak.  On death it drops a perfect drakon scale, in 
addition to allowing you to loot its goods for a quicksilver chain.
==========================End of Area 2======================================
==========================Area 3=============================================
Area 3.  Map:

You can get here going through either Kratoa-Kel (the easier path) or by 
Lerman's Pass.  I'll assume you'll go through Kratoa-Kel.

North Storm Plains
I: Fyoraskin Cloak
$: Giselle, Hartwin (several items)
  Head south and Captain Reigert will talk with you.  Show him your papers and 
he'll back down.  The NW holds a mine.  You can get in after you get the quest 
from Perikalia. Inside are a number of shades.  Kill them and take their 
stuff.  Kill the rats to the NE for some crystals, then kill the guardian 
shade   You can go into the west inn and talk with Giselle- she asks you to 
kill some rogues left in a room.  Do so for a fyoraskin cloak and her 
gratitude.  Hartwin to the south sells several unusual items. Some clawbugs 
are to the east, the SE, and the west; they will show if you stay nearby the 
rubble for a while.  They drop minor goods.

Hatra Ruins
I: Warmth Ring
S: Essence Shield
O: ction with Reinart and Addison
  I'd head straight to Perikalia first, prior to attempting this area.  Nasty 
bugs fill the area, try to kill them.  You'll find Reinart the trakovite 
hiding to the NW.  If you'd like to help the trakovites, give him 200c (you'll 
be reiumbursed).  Otherwise you can attack him.
  If you've lured captain Addison here with the promise of Reinart, you can 
kill him at any time.  He drops a set of steel plate greaves and a decent 
sword on death.
  If you're here to clear out Hatra, I'd recommend clearing the perimenter 
first.  A tiny orb of mist is in a nest to the SE.  Inside the town proper are 
a number of glaahks.  Most important to you is the canister of essence shield 
(+2!) to the north and warmth ring.  Kill everything else and move along.

Perikalia Farmland
I: Piercing Gauntlets
$: Sage Rudelle
  There's a few things to do here.  Talk with Sergeant Roswald to begin the 
quest to kill some bugs spread around the farmlands (you only get this quest 
from Commander Illyra if you're pro-shaper).  The first batch of bugs has 
poisonous bites, the next batch have time-slowing bites, the third batch have 
stunning bites, and the final batch includes a scything bug, which drops some 
piercing gauntlets (which give bonuses to quick action and bonus damage in 
combat- very nice!).  The other person of importance is Sage Rudelle.  She 
gives you an informal quest to take some bug attractant with you around the 
farmlands to kill some bugs.  Do so for a major healing pod.

Perikalia
Q: Help for Serviles, East Field Bugs, The River Bandits, Rawal's Lost Sheep, 
The Haunted Mine, Lost Caravan, Bounty: Kyshakks, 
I: Fyorascale Shield, Lucky Charm, Dhonal's Band, Flamecaster's Shawl
O: Commander Illyara, Preva, Warzana
$: Bartol, Mukesh, Dinara
  Lots to do here.  There's more quest givers here than anywhere else.  First 
you'll want to head to see General Alwan.  Commander Illyara will direct you 
to do so after tracking you down.  She will also give you a quest to kill some 
bugs in Perikalia farmland, but only if you're fairly pro-shaper.  Do so for a 
fyorascale shield and 300c.  She will also expand your Bennhold quest, telling 
you to fight off some bandits to the east.  Completion of this quest gets you 
300c, a wand, and a gem.  You can also betray Preva to her for some shaper rep 
and 300c.   Beyond that, Preva the servile will ask you to find a servile in 
need of help.  Bartol will trade with you, and has some decent items.  To the 
NE you'll find Trahan, a servant of Rawal.  He will give you a quest to find 
and destroy one of Rawal's former servants, named Balme.  Completion of this 
quest gets you 5 gemstones and a flamecaster's shawl (+2 Battle magic) Mukesh 
will sell you several items, including shaped supplies.  Dinara will sell you 
a lot of crystals of varied types, and gives you a quest to clean out her mine 
(at the North Storm Plains).  Do so for a nice batch of crystals.  Bellock 
will ask you to retrieve some crystals from a lost caravan.  Give them back 
for a Dhonal's Band ring, an excellent ring for melee fighters.  To the south 
you'll find a sign with a bounty to kill some Kyshakks.  Tell Illyara when 
you've done so for a lucky charm (+1 luck) and 300c.  Finally to the SW you'll 
find Warzana who asks you to retrieve a battle alpha for him.  I got 100c for 
telling the alpha to go home, and either killing or turning the alpha rogue 
gets you about 475c, though this may depend on your leadership score.
  Perikalia presents some thieving opportunities.  All of the major shops can 
be accessed through a central passageway which allows you several minor items, 
including some shaped boots and an artila eye.  In the inn there is also a 
room from which you can steal some minor goods.  To the SW are some storerooms 
which can be broken in to for a lot of gold bars and other decent items.

Stormhold
Q: Journey to the Drakons, Fort Vengeance Message, Saving Vener, Servile Spy
I: 
S: Shaper Marzan, Sage Pavyl, Dominate
O: Alwan
  This is the effective headquarters of the shaper factions.  Go the NW to 
talk with Alwan.  He tells you your mission for Area 3- to go to Ghaldring.  
He gives you an amulet which will help you get to him.  He also opens up some 
trainers.  Head to the NW, and enter the locked area.  Go past the traps, and 
head to the south.  This part requires a fair bit of timing.  Go into combat 
mode, then go south when the soldier goes south, and grab the book.  On the 
same turn (it's barely possible) head back to the corner.  The soldier 
returns- wait a turn then go back north and you've got the necessary book for 
Rawal.
  Shaper Marzan and Sage Pavyl will train you in shaping and spells, 
respectively.  Sage Pavyl will also give you a quest to send a message to Fort 
Vengeance.  Completion of this quest gets you some spores and crystals.  
There's a canister of dominate to the south.  Agent Gray is in charge of the 
prison, you can convince her to let you see the prisoners if you'd like.  Talk 
with Vener, and he begs you to let him out.  He will provide some info on your 
background if you do (talk with Agent Gray and convince her to let him go, 
however you can).  This gets you some experience.  You can also talk with 
Pepoy, who gives you a quest to kill a servile spy.

Abandoned Farms
S: Sage Olipha, Acid Shower 
O: Sage Olipha 
  Kyshakks roam this area.  They are part of the bounty quest from Perikalia, 
so kill all you meet.  You will want to surround them with creations, or play 
hide and seek to take them on.  You can quickly be overwhelmed.  Loot their 
nests for some decent goods.  The most important building nearby is to the NW.  
It is full of pylons.  You need to find the sporeboxes to disarm them.  The 
first is immediately west of the entrance.  Head back south, go through the 
door, then west, and north through the closed door.  Tap this sporebox then 
head back to the entrance room and go west.  Go south (take what you want 
here- there's a wand of inferno in the trapped cabinet) and you'll find Sage 
Olipha.  If you answer him in a rebellious way, you will be able to learn 
several new shaping abilities, including create rotghroth.  This is the 
earliest location you can learn this creation.  You can also use his canister 
for a point in acid shower.

Western Passes 
I: Thirsting Knife, Spidersilk Robe, Puresteel Necklace
S: Create Rotghroth
  Cryorae guard this region.  Kill the batch to the SW and you'll find a 
thirsting knife and shaped belt as rewards. You can try and disarm the various 
mines around here as well, be sure to loot the body for some minor goods.  You 
can talk with Captain Milburn and Valerie, but they aren't too helpful.  To 
the north are several nastier rogues, including a slew of artilae.  Try to 
lure them south and pick them off one at a time.  The body has a spidersilk 
robe.  The most dangerous foe here is Jalael-Eye, a gazer.  He's accompanied 
by 4-5 assault patchworks.  He has, like all gazers, a nasty gaze attack.  You 
may want to bring up mindshield aura for this fight until the gazer is dead.  
Surround it with melee fighters to keep it from running away.  It drops a 
puresteel necklace (bonus to melee weapons and battle magic, among other 
things) on death.  Finally, search its chambers for a canister of create 
rotghroth.  You may be able to make rotdhizons now!

Fort Defiance
Q: Return Shaper Papers
I: Skein of Wisdom
S: Shaper Alexie, Essence Shackles 
O: Shaper Alexie quests 
  This is one of the three forts guarded by Alwan's forces. People of note 
here include Shaper Alexie, who gives you a research notes quest.  Get her 8 
and she will train you in create drayk, which is surprising for a shaper.  You 
also get access to a canister of essence shackles.  Shaper Alexie will also 
take your Helft research notes, giving you the best reward, a skein of wisdom 
(+1 intelligence charm).  Commander Beloy will give you permission to pass.  
Captain Addison is the target of the Trakovite quest.  Don't kill him here or 
you'll be in deep trouble.  Instead, tell him about Reinhart in Hatra Ruins.  
Kill him there if you plan on pursuing the trakovite path (even if not, just 
to keep open your options).

Thistlewood
I: Ratskin Shawl, Quicksilver Chitin, Solidified Flame
S: Essence Blade
  Bandits are here.  If you want to see the lamest ending in the game, 
surrender to them (be sure to save first!).  Otherwise, kill them all.  This 
is a fairly therapeutic fight as you'll probably slaughter them without much 
difficulty.  The strongest force lies to the NE, with a mage named Glabro.  
Glabro and his band drop a ratskin shawl on death.
  Once the easy bandits are dead, you may notice an odd servile walking 
around.  Follow him from a distance and you'll find a secret area for the rest 
of the level.  Immediately to the south of the area are some turrets and 
bandits.  With suitable leadership you can calm and convert the turrets to 
your side, making the battle quite easy.  As you continue east you'll find 
some neutral serviles, and then a batch of turrets.  Once you make it this 
far, the bandits return.  GO back to the friendly turrets and wait for them.  
Kill them all, including Callaran, who drops a quicksilver chitin on death (+1 
AP armor).  Loot their stuff to the SE for a canister of essence blade, as 
well as some solidified flame.  You'll also find notes regarding Bennhold.  
This completes Captain Illyara's quest in Perikalia.

Remote Woods 
I: Polychromous Shield
  You are attacked right from the start by redshell clawbugs.  They are 
huddled primarily in the center of the map, near the downed caravan.  Their 
lair is to the NE, and is partially guarded by mines.  Kill them and the 
hivemother for lots of minor loot and a polychromous shield.  In one of the 
boxes you'll also find the stones Bellock is looking for.  Head to the SE- 
you'll find more bugs, including a spraying clawbug.  On death it drops an 
ivory skull and some lesser goods.  Head west and you'll find a stone pylon 
region.  There's nothing you can do here unless instructed by Alwan or 
Litalia.  A cache is hidden to the SW- minor items are you loot.

Fort Rockfall
Q: Amulet Recovery
I: Symbiotic Cloak
O: Amulet Recovery Quest
$: Felicia
  This is the southernmost of Alwan's forts.  Talk to Commander Rossi to be 
able to explore this region.  He gives you a quest- to claim an amulet for the 
shapers.  You can also buy/sell with Felicia.  The area's anvil is also 
located here.
  If you head through the west, you'll find a drakon, Tarmagan, waiting for 
you.  You can pass by him peacefully, or you can charge him.  Lure him back to 
the reaper turrets if you want an easy fight.  They drop a symbiotic cloak and 
other minor goods on death.

Mountain Crossroad
I: Infiltrator's Cloak, Glaahk Shield
S: Major Heal
O: Dealing with Alpha 17
  This is a mechanics heavy level.  There are several calming pylons here.  
Restore power to each of them (unlock the center doors and touch their 
crystal), then sweep in with your fighters to take everyone (glaahks- one 
dropped a glaahk shield for me, podlings, artilae) out.  The small building to 
the SW holds a steel spine gem.  The NE holds the most interest- you can claim 
an infiltrator cloak (+1 lead, mech, stealth) here, as well as talk to Alpha 
17, the object of Warzana's quest.  You can either kill it, tell it to go 
home, or tell it to go to the rebel lands.  The most profitable are to kill it 
or tell it to go to the rebels.
  The center of the level holds an area with strongly locked doors.  Go from 
the north to save on living tools.  Inside you'll find some turrets, in 
addition to pure quicksilver and a canister of major heal.

Fort Vengeance
Q: Hatra Glaahks
I: Tiny Orb of the Sun
S: Cyprien
O: Tima 
  Guardian Genzlen is the leader here.  He gives you a quest to kill 15 
glaahks in Hatra.  You get a shapemaster belt and 250c as a reward.  You can 
also talk with Tima the servile, who is the object of Preva's quest, in 
Perikalia.  Cyprien is the final person of interest here, she is the mage who 
is the object of the Fort Vengeance message.  She will also train you in mage 
spells.  If you head east from here you'll find a variety of lesser rogues, 
including fyorae (with a tiny orb of the sun necklace on a boss fyora) to the 
north, and guardian roamers and wingbolts to the south.

Podling Crossroads 
I: Girdle of Genius, Tribal Fetish
S: Create Drayk
  By far the most annoying of the areas this side of Alwan's wall, podlings 
are the foe of the day here.  These guys are quite annoying.  Your best bet is 
to either daze them (if you have the magic skills) or to lure them out one by 
one (if you don't). Creatures of note here include the podling queen in the 
south (guarding the lovely girdle of genius), a building to the SW that will 
result in you being ambushed if you try to enter, and a maze to the SE.  Make 
your way through the mines, past a few turrets, and you'll find Balme.  You 
can either talk your way out of a fight, or can go ahead and engage him.  He 
drops some chaotic spores on death, as well as a wand, but otherwise has 
nothing of note.  The final area of relevance is the north.  Cryoae are here, 
as is a drayk, Essren.  Kill it for a canister of create drayk and a tribal 
fetish.  You may be able to make cryodrayks now.

Northwest Wasteland
I: Girdle of Life
  You are greeted by some kyshakks and wingbolts.  Luckily with leadership and 
the amulet they'll let you pass.  Cenasso the cryodrayk is to the NE.  With 
enough leadership you can get him to bugger off and let you look at the cave.  
Unstable firebolts are to the SE.  Kill them and take their stuff.  Crazy 
serviles are to the SW.  They are led by a servile named Grek.  Kill them all 
for a girdle of life and a recipe.

Outside Gazaki-Uss 
I: Demon's Bile, Armor Band
S: Essence Armor
O: Ukri
$: Ukri
  You're almost there.  Ukri will trade with you, if you tell her you're a 
rebel, and be sure to steal the demon's bile on her table.  Toroth the drayk 
is to the SE.  If you want to kill her for the trakovite drayk Jestress, head 
east and rig the crystal to blow.  Run out and watch her die.  The other 
drayks in the region run out when she dies, allowing you to loot their stuff.  
Toroth drops an armor band and a scale on death.  Finally, the servile 
cultists to the NE won't let you get in their area unless you can talk your 
way in.  Talk with Roga, tell him you have a message from Pepoy.  If you have 
adequate leadership, the serviles will join with you to kill Roga.  Take his 
deadeye cloak, then use the south lever to open a canister of essence armor.  

Bonepeak Ruins
I: Black Pearl Talisman, Sod's Dancing Pants
S: Create Wingbolt
  Here are some of the nastiest bandits in the area.  Note that I'd first set 
out to disarm the mines by coming at this area from the west.  Head to the 
north and you'll find some rogues, they drop a black pearl talisman on death 
(bonus to magic and battle shaping).  
  Head across the bridges when you want to fight some nasty bandits.  They are 
led by Footracer, a servile with a control tool implanted.  She will not die 
too easily.  Clear the bandits around her, then make your way to the SE.  
You'll have to kill some mages and a number of warriors and serviles.  You'll 
have to destroy the machinery to the SE in order to kill Footracer.  Once it's 
down, destroy her.  She drops some Sod's dancing pants on death.  Now explore- 
you'll find a belt recipe, as well as a canister of create wingbolt and the 
nice quest item- the lost amulet.  

Southwest Wasteland
I: Glaahk Shield, Infiltrator's Charm
  Nasty serviles stop you at the entrance.  They will attack you out if you 
explore too much.   Kill Learned Takhar for some minor goods.  Mindstealer and 
spectral vlish are to the NW, NE, and SE.  The SE one also has a gazer, which 
is guarding a submission baton.  To the SW is the servile Mad Gorov who drops 
a glasahk shield on death (excellent stun resistance).  Nearby is also the 
entrance to the secret access route, which either Astoria or Ghaldring direct 
you to.  Finally, there's an extremely trapped room here.  It's nearly 
impossible to get through it, but if you're able (beef up on defenses, and 
endurance, and maybe knock the difficulty down) you might grab the 
infiltrator's charm.  Don't count on it though.

Western Wasteland
I: Forbidden Band 
  Entering this area, you are stopped by a drakon name Ravass.  Convince him 
to help you clear out the east if you'd like.  There are war tralls to the SE.  
Kill them for some minor loot.  To the NE are some battle gammas.  Kill them 
(and their poisonous warded gamma) for some potent loot.  The toughest foe is 
to the SW.  There you will find several flaming shrubs and nasty podlings.  
Try to draw out the podlings to the center map so as not to get swarmed.  The 
leader of these fiends is a nasty eyebeast named Shakkus-Eye.  Kill them all 
(cleanse group spell is necessary here) for a shaped breastplate and the 
impressive forbidden band ring.

Travald's Crypt
I: Infiltrator's Cloak, Specter's Robe, Ring of Eye's Purity, Ur-drakon Skin
  Go north.  There's a set of shaped boots in the pile by the door.  Then head 
east, clearing out the ghosts.  Grab a spidersilk robe as your reward, as well 
as other minor loot.  Your first big foe is the Bride of Travald.  You have 
the option to blow her up using the crystal hidden to the east, or you can 
just fight her.  You get a rod of alacrity for your efforts.  Kill her quickly 
to avoid other hassles.  Next you face Travald's Advisor, you can convince it 
to give up if you'd like.  It drops an infiltrator's cloak and a specter's 
robe on death, so I'd also consider fighting it.  Head west, killing the 
ghosts, then head south.  Now you must face Travald.  You have two options- 
the fighting route, and the mechanics route.  For fighting, kill the shades 
that surround Travald.  For mechanics, hide next to Travald (disarming the 
tough traps) and let him die.  You get a ring of eye's purity (bonus to battle 
magic) for your time.
  Continue along.  You find Tholoss, the drakon who is the object of quests 
from Astoria and from Ghaldring.  Talk with him, and tell him Astoria is 
looking for him.  Also, grab the ur-drakon skin; it is an ingredient for 
crafting.

Gazaki-Uss
Q: Phyllida's Amulet, Lethia Pass
I: Demon's Fang Talisman.
S: Banish Affliction, Purifying Rain, Create War Trall
O: Greta, Ghaldring, Phyllida's quest
$: Elik (Shaped Fiber Cloak)
  The main goal of area 3 is here.  Learned Plo takes you to Ghaldring.  
Ghaldring talks with you and asks you opinion on things.  He then sends you to 
the guest quarters.  There's not much to do here just yet, but head NW and go 
rest.  You are called out by Khressia.  Tell Khressia that you will not 
submit, then get him to dismiss his serviles.  You can talk your way out of 
this fight if you'd like.  Now you must go find Ghaldring.  You have two 
routes- the stealth route, and the damage route.  I'd recommend the stealth 
route.  The damage route takes you through the power core where you have to 
wait out a bunch of heat damage with time.  Eventually the power core stops, 
and you're free to find Ghaldring.  This route lets you take your pets, 
fortunately.  Otherwise, take the stealth route.  Explore the laboratory for a 
recipe for greaves, a repository key, and two heavily locked doors with 
canisters of purifying rain and create war trall inside, as well as a demon's 
fang talisman (both are quest rewards, but I find the war trall one to be nice 
to get early).  Head south, dodging the drakons and find Ghaldring.  Ghaldring 
will have his pets attack you, unless you follow the "I will remember this 
insult" path.  Do this if you've followed the stealth route without your 
creations.  Ghaldring then gives you a message to take to Alwan.
  Quest-givers here include Phyllida, who wants the amulet from the Bonepeak 
ruins (but only gives you this quest if you're pro-rebel).  Return it to her 
for a submission baton and some thorns, and rebel rep.  Greta will shift the 
opinion of everyone here to pro-rebel for you if you'd like.  Mehken will give 
you a quest to explore Lethia Pass, and will also open up her room for a 
canister of banish affliction.
  Be sure to investigate the lab for Alwan, if you'd like.


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Trainers
Shaper Bruel (Expensive) 
Create Fyora
Create Thahd
Create Artila
(Pretty Average):
Minor Heal
Cure Affliction

Sage Fefer (Slightly Expensive)
Firebolt
Burning Spray
Daze
Mindshield Aura
War Blessing
Protection
Essence Shield

Guardian Manola (Very Reasonable after Canister Book Quest)
Melee Weapons
Missile Weapons
Quick Action
Parry

Sage Quothe (Exorbitant, Slightly Expensive after Find Gorash-kel quest)
Firebolt
Burning Spray
Searer
Ice Spray
Lightning Aura 
Daze
Mindshield Aura
Wrack
Unlock
Terror
War Blessing
Protection
Essence Shield
Speed
Thorny Aura
Minor Heal
Cure Affliction
Heal
Regeneration Aura
Group Heal
Create Fyora
Create Roamer
Create Thahd
Create Clawbug
Create Artila
Create Vlish
Battle Magic
Mental Magic
Blessing Magic
Spellcraft

Sage Mendoa (Slightly Expensive)
Ice Spray
Lightning Aura 
Shocking Rain
Wrack
Unlock
Terror
Dominate
Speed
Thorny Aura
Battle Aura
Heal
Regeneration Aura
Group Heal
Banish Affliction

Shaper Marzan (Expensive)
Create Kyshakk
Create Clawbug
Create Battle Alpha
Create Vlish
Create Glaahk

Sage Pavyl (Exorbitant)
Ice Spray
Lightning Aura
Shocking Rain
Acid Shower 
Wrack
Unlock
Terror
Dominate
Essence Shackles
Speed
Thorny Aura
Battle Aura
Essence Blade
Heal
Regeneration Aura
Group Heal
Banish Affliction
Major Heal

Sage Olipha (Exorbitant)
Create Drayk
Create Kyshakk
Create Battle Alpha
Create Glaahk
Create Rotghroth

Cyprien (Expensive)
Shocking Rain
Acid Shower 
Kill
Dominate
Essence Shackles
Strong Daze
Battle Aura
Essence Blade
Banish Affliction
Major Heal

Shaper Alexie (expensive)
Create Drayk