Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Hordes of the Underdark Walkthrough - Part IV


CHAPTER TWO - THE VALSHARESS CONT.

PRE-ZORVAK'MUR

Before leaving Lith My'athar for the Illithid city, Zorvak'Mur, I give the Epic Gloves of Concentration to Nathyrra (+30 Concentration) and Deekin dons the Lichskull (+12 Concentration, +12 Spellcraft, 18 SR), both of which were enthusiastically looted from the Maker's Sanctum.

I also give the Seer the Mirror of All-Seeing for +1,000 Exp, then immediately ask for it back for use in Zorvak'Mur.

My most important utility item against Illithid is the Cowl of Warding, which was looted almost at the very beginning and is used consistently until end-game for Freedom status and immunity to Mind-Affecting. What this means is I don't have to worry about psionic charm (confusion), psionic mind blast (stun), dominate or slow negative status effects from mind flayers, Ulitharid, Darkerners or Venerators (there are no Alhoons in HotU, that I know of, except for Pale Master's SGU). The only things I have to look out for are other spell-like abilities and psionic mass concussion, which does high AoE bludgeoning damage with potential Knockdown.

On the way to the Illithid city the trio are ambushed by Umber Hulks. Low polygon-count aside, these look great reskinned by Project Q.


Closer to the city the trio are waylaid by boorish Duergar raiders who are killed on sight for the Helm of Shielding. This is really just a quest item to wear when talking with Illithid, so as to stop them probing your mind and causing the whole place to go instantly hostile. There is a waterfall here seemingly blocking the path, but its just an illusion. (Later on, BioWare love to troll the player by making chests and other receptacles illusions, too. This trick was also used before in UM1: I clicked on a chest and it turned into a colony of bats, which then flitted away...)


ZORVAK'MUR 

 

Upon entry to Zorvak'Mur, the first thing the trio does is raid an Illithid Chamber, murdering a Ulitharid, a Darkener, a Venerator and two trashmob mind flayers for excellent kill EXP and a Ring of Protection +6.


Lusting for more blood, the trio enter the Thrall Pens and kill off the uncouth Duergar Warden and his minions consisting of Umber Hulks and Intellect Ravagers. There are some unusual creatures imprisoned here ripe for the killin,' including a Manticore (from Undrentide) and a Berserk Krenshar. The trio then rescue a group of Drow, led by Argosus, but Persuade them to delay their revolt until the Elder Brain is bargained with.



Back outside and to the trio's surprise, a mind flayer named Artuur offers to trade, but he has nothing of note. The trio then attend a slave auction and outbid the mind flayers for a human thrall, who is freed for +10 Good and +1000 Exp. 

At this point I'm asked to remove my Helm of Shielding in order to speak with the Elder Brain. Agreeing to do so, we're teleported into the Grand Hall of the Overmind...



The Elder Brain is gifted the Mirror of All-Seeing (assembled in Shaori's Fell) in exchange for withdrawing support from the Valsharess, for a whopping 7,500 EXP.



The trio are then teleported peacefully back to the surface, at which point the Slave Revolt begins (5,000 EXP) and the whole of Zorvak'Mur turns hostile.
 

After slaughtering the entire city, including the Adamantine Bartender, Pit Boss (Ring of Clear Thought +6) and Minotaur Thrall, the party re-enters the Grand Hall, this time as intruders, buffing up and firing their way through a large dungeon filled with multiple mobs of Umber Hulks, Intellect Ravagers, Ulitharid and Darkeners, on their way to the now-hostile Elder Brain.

After surviving an Overmind-induced dreamscape, the trio lay the smackdown on the Elder Brain (+2,000 EXP) and a few wretched Darkeners make their last stand. This fight actually isn't all that easy with all the psionic concussion spam, but the trio pull through.

One thing to look out for while fighting through the Grand Hall is innocent thralls wrongly flagged as hostile who when killed can stuff up your Good alignment.


With the betrayal of the Overmind complete and the quest failed (the "consequence" is minimal) but EXP maximized, the trio use the Relic of the Reaper to teleport straight back to a binded point west of the Environs, from where access to Drearing's Deep and the Chasm of the Eye Tyrants is granted. 

Here is also found various trashmobs including Umber Hulks, Harpies and Driders. The trio also found the Prismatic Dragon Boots (+4 DEX, immunity to Fear/Knockdown and SR 24), which are a perfect fit for Nathyrra. This means all three of us are now immune to the annoying Knockdown effect of the grease pumps in the Beholder Caves coming up...


CHASM OF THE EYE TYRANTS 


On the way to the Beholder Caves the trio are ambushed by the Drow, Eldath Ra'sin. Encircled by several crossbowmen and two wizards, this can be a difficult fight. Eldath himself wields a wicked two-bladed sword and looting his corpse yields armor with a kickass once-per-day Battle Tide ability.


The Beholder Caves are just a big, boring maze jam-packed with Beholders and Beholder Mages, the floor thickly coated in grease traps. Deekin seems proactive in casting Greater Dispelling on them. There is a decent Drow encounter in one of the side rooms with several grunts and three Wizards, one of whom is an Emissary of the Valsharess. Otherwise, this dungeon is a faceroll until the central chamber.


In the central chamber dwells the Eye Tyrant and his support crew of several Beholders and Mage-types. With immunity to fear, confusion and domination gaze, the only problem here (other than basic magic damage) is the Eye Tyrant's (DC 15) petrification gaze, because there is no immunity for petrification in NWN, and petrification means game over. But then, unless you have appalling Fortitude (or roll a 1, which is entirely possible), you should be fine. I'm not sure if being able to kill the ET without the obelisk found in the Lower Tunnels is a bug or not, but I was going down there, anyway.


There is an easily missable room behind the central chamber with three Drow chests, containing good loot.

After downing the Eye Tyrant and looting the place you're best off binding a position in the central chamber and then teleporting back to Rizolvir to sell off any heavy gear. The is because the Lower Tunnels are a dead magic zone, meaning spells and magical items simply fail to work, fullstop. Without a Belt of X Giant Strength and still stupidly carrying loads of loot, you can easily find yourself heavily encumbered down there, moving at a snail's pace.

An odd thing happened when I teleported back, though: the game took control of my character momentarily and tried to run me towards Sergeant Osyyr, who was already running for me to trigger the invasion. But since I was Hasted, I just led him on a wild goose chase around Lyth My'athar and then returned to Rizolvir to sell off my gear, after which I teleported back to the Beholder Cave.

OK, so. The Lower Tunnels is quite a cruel place for new players. Magic of any kind does not work down here. Even my +10 longbow has been nerfed to a +0 noob-bow and my infinite +5 arrows have been replaced with an empty slot. Luckily Nathyrra's inventory was stacked with arrow quivers. The Relic of the Reaper does not work down here, but thankfully Bard Song and healing kits function as normal.


The place is infested with Sword and Dire spiders that easily entangle you without the Cowl of Warding and then inflict STR-draining poison which can encumber you. On top of that, Ettercaps cast web. The good thing is that you can still attack while in these immobile states, and with ranged weapons the spiders can be killed before they close in with their venomous attacks. The bad thing is that, unless you roll with stealth, you're bound to get entangled a few times and then have to wait several seconds staring at your screen for the effect to wear off.

There is an ancient mechanism found about two-thirds through the tunnels, which, with high Spellcraft, I was able to decipher in order to open a trapped door. This is a short-cut that bypasses the last third of the dungeon and the fearsome Bebilith, a very difficult foe to beat with no magical gear or spells. 


So, through the door and into the next room stands the obelisk with a simple match-the-symbols puzzle that "dispels" the dead magic, after which your gear re-activates, your spells can be cast, and the Bebilith becomes a cakewalk. Note that while the Bebilith is possible to kill under dead magic (my Weapon Master did it), it just isn't recommended. I could easily fire arrows from outside the entrance, knowing that it can't reach me (cheese), or I could just take my chances and try outrunning it to the obelisk. But the elegant solution is the short-cut, and also gives +EXP. 

The obelisk here is then looted for the obelisk core, an item that harms the Eye Tyrant when activated (which I didn't need, and its all but useless, anyway).


The trio found many +4 weapons in the caves, an Ironskin ring and an Amulet of Radiance which should look divine on Aribeth (+6 CHA for Paladins).

With the Chasm defeated and only Drearing's Deep remaining until the invasion and confrontation with the Valsharess, the trio teleport back to the west-of-Environs binding.

I notice that Nathyrra is pulling her wait in combat with ranged sneak attacks. They seem easy for her to consistently land since the enemy is almost always focused on me and she only has to be within 30 feet of the target. Sweet.




DREARING'S DEEP, THE DRACOLICH AND THE VALSHARESS



2 comments:

  1. corrected url:
    https://lilura1.blogspot.com/2014/11/hordes-of-underdark-walkthrough-part-v.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Missed the beholder area, they took me away when i finished Drearing's Deep. Oh what the hell...

    ReplyDelete

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