A round of applause for deathfun, please. I'm very proud how this turned out so far, a big thank you all four members of the original party for committing to this like they did.
So, there is 2 votes for Quest Option D. So that's the road I will send the party later tonight.
(I think something might have broken in the last patch; the Party got suprised 3 times but only once did the usual change in positions occur. Or I'm just super lucky this evening.)
Once more Heroes from the Hamlet venture into the dark areas that surround the HLP Estate. But where previous excursions had focussed on the Ruins and it's undead inhabitants, this Party of both veterans and fresh recruits will patrol the roads through the Weald.
The supplies our Heroes bought from the Caretaker are very basic, appropriate for the length of the journey yet conservative with the limited amount of Gold currently at their disposal.
(The creatures in the Weald are much more capable of inflicting Blight DoT but have less offensive Stress-inducing abilities. I could have brought some antidote but I decided that it was not worth spending gold that is better invested in skill upgrades - which we will hopefully see next week)
While the Weald is an open space the darkness between the trees is oppressive and odour of corruption and rot hangs over everything. But our Heroes are not turned back by this hostile environment.
Stumbling across the grave marked with a name from a famous house, Lorric chooses to investigate. But the earth is rich with poisonous fungi which discourage any examination.
Reaching the first clearing on their path, our Heroes take a Cultist and his entourage of fungi-abominations by surprise.
(Short time-out to explain why I upgraded the Bounty Hunter like I did: The Bounty Hunter is currently the chief hero to mess with enemy positioning. If can control how the enemy party is positioned you can disrupt some of their best attacks. Right here we see that I pulled the rightmost Fungal Artillery, then gave them an AoE attack from the Jester and finally had the Crusade Smite it.)
By themselves the spores from some of fungus creatures are a nuisance.
But this attack especially is infamous because it boosts the damage done by other fungal creatures.
The rest of the fight wraps-up rather quickly, despite the marks from the corrupted mushrooms.
Lorric is able to bring his righteous wrath down first on the Cultist and, after FireSpawn nimbly and with great flourish dispatched one of the fungal parasites, then only the final Fungus Zombie.
The spoils from this encounter are easily obtained - but overconfidence can become a major pitfall.
If you were under the impression that Giant Maggots or Mushroom Parasites were grotesque enemies, you were wrong. One of the deadliest and meanest enemies the Weald has to offer is rather plain and uninteresting at first - the Ectoplasm. The appearance of two such creatures startles the Party.
It may be true that the Ecoplasm has little defence against sharpened blades, but it strengths do not come from resilience or physical power. Because just as one falls another might break into two identical pieces.
After division, the Ectoplasm hungers even more fiercely than before. One of the entities takes on Lepanto and overpowers the Vestal's defences.
Repaying this attack in kind, is where FireSpawn and Lorric excel.
Only a few meters father our victorious Heroes find well-deserved treasure.
Once again it is clear that buying at least one Shovel from the Caretaker’s would have been prudent.
The next clearing is empty:
Crates, which fell of a Carriage that must have been speeding through here at a break-neck speed, litter the path and allow for a little salvage in between fights.
Again, a Cultist and some wretched creatures that bow to her will.
Against the Ectoplasm's ability to divide in the face of adversity makes things just a little bit more complicated.
With some help from Patriot FireSpawn is able to cut down the Ectoplasm with a flick of both wrists.
Trying to intimidate the heretic into submission, Lorric breaks out the accusations.
While it dispels the Ectoplasm's hold on the world, the heretic woman remains unimpressed...
... but the Jester FireSpawn will not be denied the last laugh - one the wounds he inflicted cause the Cultist to bleed out and die.
The next clearing is full of poor souls who have been trapped and consumed by the corrupted fungi of the Weald.
The following fight is a furious exchange of blows....
... but for Patriot the attack becomes too much to endure. Without the care and healing magic of the Vestal he would have perished right here and right now.
Lorric trusts on the Holy Commandments again, on these creatures it appears to have an effect at least.
The most humiliating death is Death by Flashbang:
With no target in range to fight, FireSpawn begins to play a little uplifting tune.
The plant zombie strikes again at Patriot pushing him back into the arms of Death - multiple times in a row.
But thanks to two party members actively healing, he does survive.
But taking so much abuse from enemies is enough to test a soul...
... and Patriot falls victim to despair.
With more strength than courage, Patriot then dispatches the last fungus zombie.
Uppercut to the hat (?).
This battle yielded another trinket.
But like the last one, this one isn't worth the trouble.
Again, the Loot from Crates and Bags keeps coming.
Another encounter: Undead and an Ectoplasm.
This encounter is too much for Lepanto, who reaches her breaking point...
... and from her rapidly darting eye you will see that Paranoia has taken root in her heart (not the worst Affliction she could have gotten).
Despite their impact on the psyche of some party members, theses monsters are quickly dispatched...
... or so you might think (Ectoplasm division AGAIN) ...
... and again the monster's attacks are hard on Patriot as a result.
But there is one in the Party who will not despair in the face of EVIL:
FireSpawn the Jester rises to the situation as an inspiration to the team.
To keep Patriot alive, even Lorric has to interfere as healer:
Divide and Conquer:
But when things look grim and dark, you can count on Jester to turn your frown upside down. Even Lepanto joins in with a rare display of combat magic.
But it is not sufficient, as the next blow from a monster, negates all the good Lorric did the Bounty Hunter.
The last remaining Ecoplams goes for it's Great Finale, hits all Party Memebers and...
... spawns an even bigger Blob!
Patriot is able to Hockshoot the lesser Ectoplams, but the larger mass remains untouched.
The large Blob's attack is devastating, stunning both Lorric and Patriot - opening the freshly healed Bounty Hunter to a killing blow once more.
But after several turns of chipping away at that monster (and hoping it didn't get lucky), FireSpawn is able to deliver the killing blow...
... and for once the spoils are adequate to the situation:
The next clearing has another encounters with a Cultist and Fungi -- boring yet?
... or maybe Zombies can keep it interesting...
... at least for Lorric, who gets to hog all the glory (still Selfish).
Loot in unfamiliar places:
Not again - Not to self, buy shovels.
Please no more Fungi or Ectoplasms... was apparently the thought on everyone’s mind...
... and it's back to Giant Maggots and a Giant Spider.
While the Maggots can open strong...
... the comeback for our Heroes leaves nothing to be desired:
On penultimate clearing of this quest, three Ectoplams await our Heroes...
... but by this time our Heroes really don't want anything from those three and dispatch them in a single round of combat:
And at this point the Quest is over but the Party is still in good shape, so I decided to press on:
... which yielded some extra loot but otherwise nothing.
Time to declare Victory and tally up:
- Lorric will now fight harder if his Health gets low.
- Patriot earned a mania, the effect of which I don't know exactly (unable to pass by holy symbols?)
- FireSpawn got Claustrophobia, increasing his Stress gain in pretty much every Dungeon but the Weald.
- Lepanto get lucky with a healing bonus while Camping.
If you don't mind, I'll pat myself on the back for having brought home another Party without losses. This one was really tense for a moment or two and really would have disliked to loose a new character on this quest.
Hamlet Week 4:
While 4 of our Heroes were in the Dungeon the others tended to themselves in the Hamlet:
- Scourge of Ages looses the Paranoid-Affliction, down to 55 Stress.
- The Hellion looses the Selfish-Affliction, down to 35 Stress.
- StarSlayer looses the Fearful-Afflictions, down to 55 Stress. In turn he gains the Enlightened-Quirk, which limits his stress relief to Mediation.
Upon returing, our Heroes find that the old Hospice is back in use. Doctors and Nurses now frequent it's halls instead the Children of Mercy.
Their speaker explains to our Heroes that by application of the modern sciences he can cure any negative Quirk. Right now such knowledge is of little use to any of our Heroes but the service is very much appriciated.
At the stage coach our Heroes encounter a troupe of Carpenters which are very happy to help fix up some of houses in the Hamlet. With better housing the Hamlet can now accomidate more possible Heroes.
And the recent news of the Warrens opening has lured two new Heroes to the Hamlet. (Both get some Guild Training of course.)
Enter Stage left for:
- a yet unnamed Crusader, but whose heraldy is reckongized, identifying him as a "Bane of the Pigmen". (Does additional Damage when in the Warrens. Does more Crits when wounded. May not Gamble in Town)
- and a yet unnamed Grave Robber, who too claims expertise in the realms of the Pigmen. (Increased Stress Resist in the Warrens. Highter initative when the Torch is bruning bright. Initative penalty when wounded. Stat penatlities in the first round of combat.)
Putting some Heirlooms to use the facilites of the Abbey are upgraded to better suit our Heroes.
Lepanto and Lorric get some time off here to deal with their issues from the last quest.
Patriot and FireSpawn find no comfort in the spiritual persuits of the Abbey. They go to the Tavern instead.
Patriot orders a Round for the House, while FireSpawn slips away into the back rooms.
Updated and tweaked the first post, so you can now go from the first page straight to the last quest ...
And once more there is a choice between 4 possible quests. A word of warning ahead of time, I am not as familiar with the Monsters in the Warrens than I am with those in Ruins or the Weald, so that quest might be more difficult on me. (Note: I made these before Recruitment or Stress Relief - those will be posted first thing in the morning)
Option A - Cleanse the Ruins:
Option B - Scout in the Weald:
Option C - Cleanse the Weald:
Option D - Skirmish in the Warrens:
(And to catch a question proactively - the progress bar and the counter at every dungeon indicate how close we are to get a Boss Quest; once the bar fills the current Boss mission becomes open and as soon as the Boss is beaten the counter goes up. But the Bosses all tend to be hard.)