|Sure, Homer. Sure. Whatever you say.|
|...among other things.|
I headed back to the castle and we plunged into the sewers, wandering our way through their dank and murky depths until a poison trap down a passageway signaled a few traps, which were easily avoided with judicious spellcasting. It did not, however, manage to keep us from blundering straight into a rigged doorway, which proceeded to explode on us as we sought out the guild member we suspected lived in the abode. She turned out to be sleeping - how she managed to do so while her front door was busy exploding in our faces, I'll never know - and a simple Pickpocket spell made swiping her belt a trifling matter. Figuring it would be better to split before she awoke, we hurried off and continued exploring the sewers - which, after a good deal of wandering around, turned out to connect to Buccaneer's Den, right behind Budo's shop. He welcomed me into the guild after I showed him the belt, and also offered me a discount on his wares, which I swiftly took advantage of, picking up a shovel and some gems while I was there. Chasing down a pirates' stash - I would likely have need of both.
|This spell seems like it could wreak havoc by its very existence.|
During our adventures in the sewers, Blaine had gained enough experience for another level - that magic bow I'd bought him was doing the trick - and after considering for a moment I decided to take him to the Shrine of Valor, as he could use a bit more strength. Since we were close by, we paid Heftimus a visit in Jhelom. He did, after all, have only one hand, and sure enough, he was willing to tell us about his piece of the map for twenty pieces of eight - er, gold. Apparently he'd intended to use it for tinder during an expedition in Wrong, but got chased off before he set it aflame, and there it presumably still lies. Making a note of this, I headed for Trinsic next, since not one but two of Hawkins' former crew called it home. Sandy was the only one Homer had called by name, though, so I started with him. He was reluctant to speak on the matter, though he intimated he might be more willing if I would do him a favor - of obtaining him a dragon's egg, for a pastry of all things! Well, Shubin of Serpent's Hold had asked much the same thing of me, and Destard was a stone's throw to the west, so I gritted my teeth, shared a few resolute nods with my companions, and off we went.
|I do not want to be here when all those eggs hatch.|
Our adventures thus far, however, had turned up no less than four invisibility rings, and remembering this I quickly distributed them amongst the group, slipping them on and off as appropriate whenever Shamino made mention of the fact that he heard motion not far from us. Between them and the occasional Mass Protect spell, just for the sake of safety, we managed to plunge our way to the very bottom of the dungeon without much harassment from the dragons and their ilk at all. From there, I left the group in a small, secluded alcove near the ladder leading back toward the surface, leaving a few of my possessions with them in exchange for the rings they carried - if the one I was wearing wore out, I didn't want to be caught without any backup means. I made my way, invisible and alone, to the dragon's nest, taking two of their eggs for myself - one for Sandy, one for Shubin - and as much of their stash I was able to carry, which mostly consisted of gold nuggets and a weapon and shield or two.
|Rest in peace, you poor shipwrecked souls.|
Having been told the Empire had wrecked on the Cape of Heroes, I set sail once again to make for Serpent Isle, taking the time to explore the nearby islands and poke through the wreckage of any ships I came across. It took some doing, and many fights with ghosts and skeletons, the remnants of crewmembers too stubborn to let well enough alone when their ships went down, but I did eventually find the Empire itself, and the piece of the map wedged beneath the wreckage, clutched in the skeletal hands of a man who perished with his ship. From there it was back to Serpent's Hold, where sure enough, Morchella exchanged a piece of the map for a magic shield, which she'd intended to give to another but upon seeing it decided to keep for herself. I supposed it was a good thing I had little use for shields as it was - I'd picked up a replacement in the dragon hoard - and that I'd made one of my own during my last trip here for the Order of the Silver Serpent. I dropped off the second egg with Shubin, who thanked me profusely, and then I was off again.
|...who would go this far out of their way to steal somebody's shoes?|
So satisfied with a job well done for now, I called it there.
|Well, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I've got the better INT score.|
|Magic was extremely useful this update.|
Or maybe it's just because they bring about some interesting effects and look cool. I mean, the awesome factor is part of the draw of messing with magic in a game.
But whatever it is, I'm liking the fact I'm taking advantage of it whenever I can. It's a mark of a good game that leads a player to want to find opportunities for all the tools at their disposal, rather than simply thinking, "I've already got a method that works for doing this, so I'm just not going to worry about it." It was a blast stealthing my way through Destard with the invisibility resources at my disposal, and I found myself poring through my spellbook to see what else might help mitigate whatever might come my way in the dungeon, it made for a very different perspective on the crawl. I'm hoping for more moments like this as I wander through the rest of the game.
|I... I guess...?|