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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Aielund Saga: Act Four - Part VII


The Battle of Fairloch

With the Scepter of Ages in hand, we return to General Duquesne at the village inn. The trio are to set sail on a small fishing boat to Fairloch harbor, where we'll disembark, stealthily wind our way through the sewer system, and attempt to open the front gates from the inside for our support forces who will be waiting. Meanwhile, the General will be staging an attack to draw attention away from the Castle, that we may face as little resistance as possible en route to King Seamus.


Nellise now warns me of Seamus' fanatical royal guard (hand-picked by her at the behest of the King) who will no doubt have his back. We won't underestimate them.


We take the northern exit out of Stoneguard Village.


North of Stoneguard Village


Oh, Kipper Bob is now married and lives in this sea-side cottage? How wonderful!

Kipper and Alene relax outside their home
Kipper can always be relied upon to sail us somewhere - and we're only going to Fairloch this time (not the Isle of the Dead!). Thanks Bob!


Right then. Let's head out! - Kipper Bob.


The Saltfish heads out to sea and sails northeast, to Fairloch. - DM.



Fairloch - Docklands District


The Saltfish arrives in Fairloch without incident.


We farewell Kipper Bob...


... then step off the pier...

They're coming in through the Docks, run for your lives! - Commoner. 

Lol, peasants! We gonna get you!

Let's try to avoid killing too many of the guards. I'm certain they're just following orders, and not actually evil. - Nellise.

But muh EXP!

Hmm... there's a rather large trap here, actually two set concentrically (DC-45/45). When tripped, they trigger a fireball and the ignition of alchemist fire barrels craftily concealed under broken pieces of wood.

The darker edge signifies two traps

Unfortunately, fully detrapping the area didn't prevent the barrels from inexplicably igniting and then exploding on us, anyway!

We take major magic dmg

Ah well, it was actually quite funny. You know, it would have been cool if Aielund Saga (and official content and other modules) made more use of deadly traps such as this...

Under the effect of Invisibility, I now scout out the Aielund force guarding the gate to the Market District, made up of three dismounted Knights, four City Watchmen, one War Cleric and one Aielund Archmage (who is the focal point in the below pic and becomes my target as soon as he walks around the corner of the District Guardhouse, on the right).


I knockdown-crit and then kill the Aielund Archmage and then immediately go for the War Cleric, whom I also knockdown-crit and kill. With the two annoying weaklings out of the way, the six grunts charge and circle me. Nellise now casts Word of Faith, inflicting severe sonic and stun on the hapless clumped-together Aielunders, making them easy marks.


All units yielded +8 EXP ea. (I won't be recounting small EXP rewards anymore - not at this lvl..)
  • three Aielund Knights: Longsword +4 (3), Knighthood Tower Shield +3 (3)
  • four City Watchmen: Leather Armor +2 (4), City Guard Shield +2 (4), Watchman's Club +3  (on-hit DC-14 Daze) (4).
  • Aielund Archmage: Robes of the Archmagi
  • Aielund War Cleric: Mace +0 lol

This gate has been blocked off with massive rocks. - DM.
  
Our arrival has been anticipated it seems. Let's try another entrance elsewhere. - Nellise.

Looks like the gate has been blocked off. I can't believe I'm saying this, but let's take the sewers! -  Criosa. 

We locate the entrance to the Docklands sewers, and enter...

 


Dockland District Sewers 


Oh yeah, this was a great idea. - Criosa.

Nellise implodes four Assassin Elites in the blink of an eye (+80 EXP ea, Dagger +4 ea).


At the eastern entrance to the Market Sewers, we welcome Ronan back into the party.


Like Maggie, Ronan's been working out since we last adventured together.



Market District Sewers


They didn't have time to block off the entire system, so we have limited freedom of movement. - Ronan. 

Limited all right! The only exit we can use is the southern one which leads to the Residential District; all others are barricaded.

We should head south to open the gates as soon as possible. - Criosa.

Before doing that, we explore in search of more assassins.

The old thieves guild was closed up years ago. Most of the people moved out of the city, but there's a couple of them still around.. - Ronan.


We dispatch three more assassin packs; then head to the Residential District sewers.



Residential District Sewers


Nothing much down here, just a solitary assassin pack roaming around, waiting to be killed. We rest up before climbing out of the sewers into the Residential District.



Residential District - Southern Gate


Sir Gabriel (ie, General Duquesne) has done it, the defenders have taken the field, leaving us free to open the gates! - Criosa.

Not quite.

Insurgents! Stop them before they get to the gates! - Sir Dennis Richmont.

Always kill the mouthy one Priestess first

The High Priestess is the priority target in this battle, since there's nothing worse than working hard to wear down a royal knight to Near Death, only to have him be healed... Oddly, Sir Dennis yields zero EXP in this battle whereas the two Aielund Royal Knights yield +656 EXP ea and everyone else yields at least something. Weird..

Sir Dennis is a badass - he wears no helm
  • Sir Dennis Richmont: Maul of the Titans +4 (STR +6), Amulet of Natural Armor +5, Epic Potion of Healing (2).
  • Aielund High Priestess: Potion of Epic Healing (2).
  • six Rangers: Greatsword +3 (6), Arrow +4 (900).
  • Aielund Archmage: Epic Potion of Healing (2).
  • two Aielund Royal Knights: Potion of Heal (2).

The southern aka front gate is trapped and locked DC-30/40. Criosa beats Ronan to it.


The front gate to Fairloch is OPENED. Our allies enter Fairloch!

One each of allied Barb Berserker, Juggernaut merc, Sand Dragon merc, Tusonite Archer, Tusonite Chevalier and Ancient Treant now charge nine enemy Aielund Royal Knights who have thundered in from the north (ie, the Market District).

You pay, we come. Is good arrangement. Now, we kill! - Juggernaut merc.


Nellise rains down Storm of Vengeance and Fire Storm from which the enemy does not recover.

Dat dmg
Note that if your mercs die in these fights they will be replaced with a new unit and you can loot the old unit's corpse. In the case of Juggernauts, that's a Greatsword +5 and Ring of Resistance +3 (I ended up with eleven each); in the case of Sand Dragons, that's a couple hundred Arcane Arrows. 

The next wave coming out of the Market District is soft n squishy: one Aielund War Wizard (Grey Wizard's Robe), one Aielund War Cleric and four Aielund Halberdiers. The battle is not worth recounting.

We take the north gate into the...


Market District


Standing in the center of the district is King Seamus in Ironlord suit, backed up by a harder hitting crew consisting of three Aielund Royal Knights, two Aielund High Priestesses, two Adamantium Shield Guardians, an Aielund Archmage  and two (initially hidden) Assassin Elites.

Hold them here, or your lives are forfeit! - the motivational Ironlord.

The Ironlord now stomps off to his Castle.


The royal knights are kept down n dazed by Earthquake, Word of Faith and Hammer of the Gods. Three royal knight reinforcements arrive to replenish their losses, but they too meet the same fate.


An even stronger force guards the Castle Gate: eight Aielund Royal Knights, two Adamantium Shield Guardians, five Rangers and one each of Enhanced Iron Legionnaire (+568 EXP), Aielund Archmage and Aielund War Cleric.


It was a bloodbath...


The city forces now defeated, Criosa disables the DC-40 lock on the front gate of Castle Fairloch, which we now enter. 


Castle Fairloch


Here we face off against the Knight-Templar to the crown, Sir Gregory Vance, flanked by two Aielund Royal Knights, an Aielund Archmage and an Adamantium Shield Guardian.


He survives longer in the duel because his Mithril armor bestows crit-immunity (+743 EXP).
 

Sir Gregory's corpse is looted for Stormbringer +4 longsword (Elect resist 20/-, +1d10 electrical, Call Lightning [10] 5/day, Chain Lightning [10] 2/day), Cloak of Fortification +5 (+5Ac def, all-Saves +5) Mithril Tower Shield [DR 10/+5], Mithril Full Plate (+4 AC arm mod, Imm: Critical Hits, 40% weight reduction).


Throne Room


Crazy King Seamus, flanked by Archbishop Anthony Brown and Archmage Auberon, runs up to us and initiates dialogue. 
 

I use the Scepter of the Ages on the Ironlord, stripping the suit of the power which grants King Seamus "immortality".

Terinus has betrayed me! - Ironlord.

Ignoring the Ironlord for the moment, I take out both the archmage and bishop before they can cast anything too annoying (the bishop manages to cast Greater Dispelling on me, and Epic Spell: Mummy Dust while we take out the archmage, but that's it). Aielund's highest paid assassin (the initially hidden Sandoval Kai) enters the fray but fails to make any impact on the fight, also dying not long into it.


Free to focus now on the Big Bad, we don't hold back.


Sir William! Send in the reinforcements NOW! - Ironlord.


You will taste justice at last Seamus. My one regret is it didn't happen sooner! - Sir William Bryce-Clifton.

Bursting through the door in the north comes Sir William along with a few militia noobs; from the south, two royal knights come to the King's aid.


 We continue pummeling the Ironlord as his two royal knights fall by the wayside.


It's going to explode! Get me out of this thing! - Ironlord.

+4830 EXP


He wasn't kidding. A huge ball of light and fire expands outward...


... engulfing the Castle and shaking the city itself...  

The Ironlord has FALLEN! The mad reign of King Seamus is ENDED!


Corpse looting ensues:
  • Ironlord: Blacklight +6 greatsword (on-hit DC-18 Doom, +2d12 electrical, True Seeing).

  • Archmage Auberon: (+7 EXP), Staff of Thunder & Lightning +3 (+4 electrical, on-hit DC-14 Daze, charges: Call Lightning, Great Thunderclap), Robes of Darkness (+5 AC arm mod, Imm: Death Magic, Level/Ability Drain, Saves +2, Conc +4, Spellcraft +2), Ring of Protection +5, Amulet of Natural Armor +5, Dragon Slippers (DEX +2, Imm: Fear/Knockdown, SR 10).
  • Archbishop Anthony Brown: (+35 EXP), Heavy Mace of Order +4 (+2d10 sonic vs chaotic, Lawful only)
  • Sandoval Kai: (+656 EXP), Tuxedo of Infiltration (+8 AC arm mod, DR 10/+5, Darkvision, Freedom, Haste, Improved Invisibility [7] 5/day, Knock [3] 5/day, Hide/Move Silently +8), Belt of Agility +6 (DEX +6, Freedom).

I guess the people should have stood up against this tyrant sooner. - City Watchman.

Sir William is ashamed of his past inaction, but we assure him that we think he acted prudently. 


And what's this, King Osric has just strolled in? Ooo, nice Adamantium Bartender Golem you got thar..

The black cat slinking off to the right is Terinus
Osric now boldly claims the Kingdom of Aielund as his own. (During this conversation Criosa is auto-removed from the party, replaced by Robert Black).

 

Criosa agrees to marry Osric in order to end the war. The satisfied Osric now leaves for his ship. At this point, Terinus now cancels his polymorph.


We farewell Criosa..


I now take some time to speak with my companions. First, Robert Black:


Now Nellise:


And Ronan, who asks me to meet him outside; then leaves the party.


Lastly, I initiate dialogue with Terinus. He tells me of "the Ancients" (whom I read about in the Hall of the Ancients - referred to in a note as "Saqarin"). They destroyed the Eldar as they left this world, are the wardens of all races, have god-like power (the Minogon-like exoskelly is their tech) and are gonna kill us all unless we kill 'em first. Terinus promises to tell us more when we reach the privacy of his tower.

With regard to Aielund's fate, Terinus is positive enough. He believes Criosa will rule Aielund as Queen and the Kingdom rebuilt will be more powerful and prosperous than ever before - if we can stop the Saqarin.

Nellise and Robert Black are now auto-removed from the party, but will follow both Terinus and I to the tower in Blackwood Glade.


We step outside the castle into the city of Fairloch, perhaps for the last time...


Cutscene - Fairloch Market District


Lilura, a moment of your time. - Sir William Bryce-Clifton.


Hello everyone, what are you all doing here? - PC.

We were fighting in the battle of course. I wouldn't have missed it for the world! - Valennia.

But now that it's over, I figured we could use a drink or ten. - Ronan.

And we get to thank you for everything you've done for the country! - Maggie.

You are the one who united us in common cause. Without that, we never would have won this war.
- Sir William.

It means a lot to me to see you all again. More than you can know.
- PC.

We're heading to the Fair Maiden tavern for a drink, come with us! Spartan is going to change into a rat! - Maggie.

I never agreed to that, tiny woman. - Spartan.

I... need to sort a few things out first. - PC.

What things? - Sir William.

*turns to face Black Cat* (ie, Terinus)

Oh, nothing important. I'm just... going for a walk. I may be some time. - PC.

As you wish. After you've cleared your head, come and join us. - Sir William.

Yes, I will. Until then... farewell. - PC.

*PC walks off with black cat; they both teleport out of Fairloch*

 



16 comments:

  1. "Oddly, Sir Dennis yields zero EXP in this battle whereas the two Aielund Royal Knights yield +656 EXP ea and everyone else yields at least something."

    How odd.

    One more segment to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why doesn't Terinus enchant melee weapons to +x when he lets me enchant ranged weapons up to +10? I can add all the other mods to melee weapons, just not +x...

      Delete
    2. Could you also help me out with console codes for the Tuxedo of Infiltration and Zen longbow +7? I lost them due to an inventory bug. I'm sort of a noob to the console, so if you could tell me exactly what to type? Ty.

      Delete
    3. There's a shitton of melee weapons available that are all +7 (and you can even buy them from a vendor at a certain point) while there's only a few ranged weapons available. I think there's a bow that comes with a choice (can get the bow or two other options) and a Heavy Crossbow that's found but that's it.

      Obviously another option is simply to make more ranged weapons appear, but perhaps Savant felt he couldn't cram more in without making it feel too Monty Haul and thus just let people enchant their ranged weapons up to +10. Looking in the toolset, it seems you cannot even possibly get several ranged weapons in Act 4 Part 3, like a sling or light crossbow.

      Seriously, there are too many weapon types in NWN and it's compounded by weapon foci.

      Re items...

      ##DebugMode 1
      ##dm_spawnitem aarcl063
      ##dm_spawnitem zen
      ##DebugMode 0

      That should do it.

      Delete
    4. Gah.. the zen code doesn't work and aarcl063 is the wrong item..

      Delete
    5. Oh, I bet I know the issue. You see, NWN stores the "item codes" if you will in each module. If you entered those codes in Part 2 they'd work, but I bet you're entering them in Part 3 -- except part 3 has no idea what those items are! I assumed you were doing the export character/loading thing using "multiplayer" to fix it but you were just flat out trying to spawn them in Part 3.

      This is by no means a perfect replacement, but try the following:

      ##DebugMode 1
      ##dm_spawnitem wbwmln007
      ##dm_spawnitem zen
      ##DebugMode 0

      That should get you a reasonably good armor and bow that's still not better than what you'll find naturally in Part 3.

      Delete
  2. I wanted players to be able to customize as much as they wanted, using as much equipment as I could cram in but yes, I opted to enchant weapons at this stage in the series for the greatest variety. Still, The next part has some very nice epic level gear better than anything you can enchant :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, technically there is no light crossbow or sling (among other weapons) available in Act 4 Part 3 at all, so you have to enchant your previous weapon. The Heavy Crossbow also has unlimited +5 ammunition which isn't bad per se but if you want to use those 2d10 divine bolts or whatever you cannot (unless you enchant your previous Heavy Crossbow).

      Delete
    2. Speaking of which, I sort of found the loot in the Battle of Fairloch biased against xbow wielders. Arrow +4 quivers drops from the sky like confetti (rangers) and Arcane Arrows likewise if you hired the Sand Dragons - I had over 1000 easy... but almost NO Bolts drop - not even lowest tier. I guess it's my fault for not buying +5 quivers from Hakim or the Quartermaster (10,000-13,000 GP ea!!!) - Nellise only had 77 bolts left when I raided the Myrfell Palace... luckily, I found stored in the armory 2d12 armor piercing bolts (400) which should tide me over until I find a merchant (I hope, you'd be surprised how quickly a quiver drains, which is why I +10'd her Mighty Xbow of Speed ASAP so that her shots are gonna count!) Grr... I guess I just thought some bolts would drop, or I'd have an opportunity to buy some early on in Act 4 Pt.3..

      Oh, and since losing all my items I've not found a single helm worth wearing. The Helm of Maecal is UGLY and has -4 CHA penalty, hardly befitting a paladin. I really missed the radiant paladinly helms like Blessed Helm of Command and Mithral Visored Helm until I FINALLY found the Adamantium Helm as I came out of the Palace...

      Anyway, still having fun. Will post first part of Pt.3 soon!

      Delete
    3. Part of the problem is that basically no one uses crossbows. Bows are effectively just better -- don't need a feat to simply fire more than once per round and can gain an extra attack, in fact. Nellise should be able to use longbows with her martial training, though, worst case. I don't like the way ranged weapons work in general in NWN (hence why, among majorly buffing ammunition) ranged weapons have "unlimited" ammunition (it basically keeps refreshing the stack and there's no benefit from trying to sell it -- in a more traditional module I'd just make them unsellable probably). But Aielund is hardly to blame for following the general ranged mechanics just about every module/world uses, aka the "default." Never thought it made sense that meleers got unlimited swings with their 2d6 acid swords that dispelled on hit or whatever but the ranged person had to shell out tons of money for the equivalent in ammunition.

      Yeah, there is a severe lack of good helms in Act 4 in general. Could consider throwing in a few basic ones or something. I think you'll find one you like especially as a paladin...but then you'll probably wish both Nellise and you could use it and you only get one.

      Gloves are also a big problem for strength meleers.

      Delete
    4. So many RPGs I've played over the years are biased against ranged, and favor bows instead of xbows. They try to make the latter more accurate/dmging to make up for the reduced RoF, but they don't beef them up enough so that when they hit, they REALLY sting. That's what needs to happen.

      Delete
    5. I personally prefer high damage, low ROF ranged weapons these days. Don't be afraid to crank up the damage from crossbows to 2d8 or something to make up for their slow firing speed!

      Delete
    6. Whoops, I realized I kind of mangled the middle part of that first paragraph. That basically should have said something about how I modified ranged weapons in my modules to basically give unlimited ammunition once you find a type of ammunition (and then prevent people from abusing it by selling the ammo to merchants). It's certainly not perfect (can buy arrows once and give them to everyone in the party), but seems much better than the default situation and seems to work well enough for single player (for persistent world you'd need to do something like curse the ammunition so it can't be traded...but then you couldn't give them to companions in single player, which would be bad).

      If Savant doesn't mind, I may do something similar with Aielund (which also means it's easier to crank up crossbow damage by adding better and better bolts to be found -- because 2d8 crossbow damage at level 1ish would be a bit crazy).

      I think people just overestimate the value of being ranged in most cases.

      Delete
    7. The unsellable ammo is a great idea.
      I can't recall the ROF on crossbows from nwn days. With that reloading feat, is it the same as longbows but without the ability to use rapid shot? If so, just take the dice size up one notch :)

      And yeah it's not like the range in nwn was insurmountable. Once hasted, you can be in melee range very quickly.

      Delete
    8. Yes, it's the same as bows but without rapid shot and it does take the dice size up a notch (heavy crossbow is 1d10 and longbow is 1d8, light crossbow is 1d8 and shortbow is 1d6).

      "Problem" is that 1 extra average damage winds up being a lot less important when you're doing 30+ damage a shot instead of 5.

      Delete
  3. Ha. Cheers for Stephen L. Nowland for - so to speak - crowning of the romance between PC and Criosa. She just communicates the player she loves him, but "royalty marries royalty" and that she must marry Osric to prevent the war ("I hope you will forgive me one day"). How believable in terms of courtly intrigues and her royal upbringing as to diplomacy and matters of the state. And how nice to feel dumped in a computer game. But, despite royal upbringing Criosa seems to be a gold digger - she took away my fine equipment along with precious Banshee robes, without a word :) Only cynical Robert remarked she in fact saved me, for otherwise I would have went on rampage to fight the whole army to death. What a nice game :)

    ReplyDelete

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