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Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Aielund Saga: Act Four - Part XIV



Citadel of the Saqaarin


Citadel: Living Chambers


So here we are - the Saqaarin citadel!

We find ourselves teleported into a storage room located in the central south of the level.


Terinus informs us that we're on a ship of sorts, that we need to find the Bridge, kill the Supreme Commander and destroy the engines in order to save Aielund from utter annihilation. He also warns us of Saqaarin psionics (they're basically illthid/mindflayers, similar to those found in Zorvak'Mur) and their expertise in golemcraft (ie, the Dreadnoughts). 


There is a Saqaarin Panel standing beside the portal..

This panel seems to be barely functional. None of the buttons work, and the display indicates that the controls for this teleporter have been re-routed to the Bridge. - DM.


Across the hall is an armory.

The dust in this room is especially thick. It appears to be an abandoned armory. - DM.

There are several banged up Saqaarin Armors littering the floor, and two still standing (but immobile and inoperable).


Terinus believes one of the standing Ironlord suits can be fixed with minimal effort - we just need to find a few specific spare parts!


One of the spares is right here, on the other standing armor. We loot the golem leg.

We head north to the Sleeping Chambers in which two odious Saqaarin Technicians lurk. I take them out alone, since I can't fail the saving throws with Will: 50 (+1050 EXP ea).


Their "Cone attack" would likely be psionic mind blast (DC-29 Will), which stuns and inflicts tremendous magical damage on already-stunned victims. Only Robert ever got stunned in my few hours of testing and playing on the Citadel.


I presume "Psionic Ability" is basically psionic mass concussion, which inflicts serious AoE bludgeoning with knockdown chance (DC-31 Will, see below pic); other times it's the soak self-buff psionic inertial barrier (above pic, right).

Psionic mass concussion is an AoE; spread your party out

Backing out of the chamber onto the passageway, we bump into a patrolling Saqaarin Sentry Construct which Robert and I violently dismantle for its heart.
  • Saqaarin Sentry Construct: +910 EXP, golem heart, Ancient Longsword of Power +7 (+2d12 electrical, Keen, Mass crits 20), Lesser Force Shield of the Ancients +8 (25% resist bludg/pierce/slash, on-hit 2% Chaos Shield lvl3).
Four carbon copies patrol the main passageway that encircles the level, and are dispatched in like manner. 


The northwesternmost chamber is the slave pens wherein several Mindless Slaves (aka human cattle) are imprisoned.

Finally, a decent meal! - Saqaarin Wizard.

Insidious occupants also dwell here, including a Saqaarin Wizard (+1190 EXP), Saqaarin Biologist (+910 EXP), technician (+1050 EXP) and construct (+910 EXP).

The biologist conjures a Greater Air Elemental and trolls us with AoEs from the other side of the gate, which I angrily bash down in order to get to it and rip its facial tentacles off. The biologist carried an impressive shield, the Force Shield of the Ancients +8 (50% imm to bludg/pierc/slash, Chaos Shield 2% [3]).


We nose around the slave pens..

This man stares vacantly at you, eyes devoid of all thought. His mind has been completely broken, and there is nothing more you can do for him. - DM.

Well, we can put them out of their misery but that shifts us five points towards evil..


Heading east along the northern passageway...

This place is vast. I wonder how many of them dwell here. - Nellise.

... and now south along the western one, we come across an armory. We clear out the two techs and then loot the golem brain from a Damaged Saqaarin Dreadnought. Three Legionnaires stand here, but they're dormant.


Level Up to 36!

(Epic Characters)


Lilura: Champion of Torm (20) / Paladin (12)/ Fighter (4), STR +1, Great Strength V
Robert: Fighter (36)
Nellise: Cleric (34) / Paladin (2)
Terinus: Wizard (36) 

With the three golem parts in hand, we return to the abandoned armory to fix the Ironlord armor (+1000 EXP per part).


Terinus has a new, Ironlordy look!


Nellise gets divine wings, Terinus gets a godly exoskeleton - what do Robert and I get? Nothin'!

(According to Savant's site, initially the player was to wear the suit, but due to limitations on the minogon model, it had to be restricted to Terinus.)

Anyway, heading south, east and then north along the passageway, we come to a dead-end.

This control panel is blank, apparently broken. You are unable to operate this teleporter. - DM.


Further east along the passageway we enter a library containing two more technicians, whom we beat into a pulp.

In the far northeast..

This seems to be sleeping chambers for the Saqaarin. It seems to have been in disuse for some time. - DM.

Nothing to kill in here..

A vacant seven-podded sleeping chamber

Just south of the sleeping chambers is an entrance to the observation dome. The heroes promptly lay waste to three technicians, one construct and a wizard; then take the western exit into the last chamber of the current level.


Two more constructs guard the entrance to the armory level.


We take the stairs up to the armory..

Citadel: Armory


Before us appears an illusionary projection of a Saqaarin leader.

Yes, I thought I sensed intruders... - Saqaarin Supreme Commander.

It fades.


Saqaarin Supreme Commander

The whole Citadel now begins to adjust its position in order to target Aielund with it's apocalyptic weapon. Terinus explains Aielund is gonna be turned to glass unless we shut down their weapons system, pronto.


We smash through two constructs on our way to the south.


The leader projects itself again.

The guards have been informed of your presence. I shall enjoy watching you die. - SSC.

I'd pay real money if he'd shut up. - Robert.

Again it fades.


We enter the Dreadnought manufacturing plant.. 

"Several minutes until (Aielund's) destruction"! - Announcement.

A brief cutscene shows Dreadnoughts being activated by technicians.



There are eight Dreadnoughts in total (910 EXP ea), four on each side of the chamber. Three are initially hostile, and, as we overcome them, Saqaarin Technicians (+630 EXP ea) appear from a central portal to animate reinforcements.

I charge past three Dreadnoughts to reach my priority target, the squishy Saqaarin Scientist (+140 EXP).


The party then focuses on eliminating the eight Dreadnoughts - which is no mean feat! Robert and I sturdily carried the burden for the most part. The first time we fought one of these things was much harder than facing eight now. The reason for that? We're bypassing their DR with our uber-enchanted weapons.


With the Dreadnoughts reduced to mangled scraps of adamantium, we head through the door at the opposite end of the plant and smash through three more constructs en route to the firing chamber.


Electrified doors prevent direct entry to the chamber.

You must find the generator room to disable these doors. - Terinus.


Rounding a bend we encounter the weapon control room. Terinus casts Knock on the door, startling the two techs and one scientist, who then feebly defend themselves against my holy sword, Nightbane. 

The final sequence is beginning, we must destroy the weapon NOW! - Terinus.

Leaving the Saqaarin pasted on the floor, we charge to the power room.


Two techs are splattered against the walls by my companions even as I begin smashing four of the eight power generators.


With the fourth generator smashed...

I believe that is sufficient to disable both forcefields. - Terinus.


An announcement now warns us that one minute remains before Aielund is glass. We charge headlong into the firing chamber, halting before a third projection of the Saqaarin leader!

You have crossed a line. Rest assured you will not leave here alive. - SSC.

It fades.


Four weapon crystals are now smashed to prevent the system firing (+3500 EXP).


It's going to explode! - Nellise.

Excellent work. The weapon should be disabled for some time. Let's get to the Bridge. - Terinus.

We dive through the door before the place turns into an inferno.


With the weapon systems (at least temporarily) disabled, power now runs freely to the nearby teleporter, which we now take to the Bridge.
 

Let's finish this! - The Heroes.
 

Next Up -  The Aielund Saga: Act Four - Part XV - THE FINALE

Citadel: Command Deck, the Supreme Commander!

10 comments:

  1. The funny thing is that Savant never meant for you to fight through all the golems and still beat the timer -- he expected people would run past them to disable the weapon.

    Which has resulted in complaints about the actual real life timer put into place to disable the weapon, since many people try to fight them all without enough DPS to chew through them fast enough AND disable the weapon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude, she's playing with a Champion of Torm. You can't balance any mod against that stupid OP class :P If I made it challenging for CoT, nobody would be able to play almost any of the other classes.

      Delete
    2. On the contrary, the biggest thing is that she's playing a physical damage dealing class that doesn't rely on sneak attacks. A fighter type (which includes pure fighter, weapon masters, red dragon disciples, CoTs, etc), Arcane Archer, or a cleric who can buff themselves up in melee can do it just fine. It's the sneak attackers and spellcasters who can't contribute to plowing through the golems since they're immune to sneaks and immune to magic.

      I mean, I'm 99% sure I managed to power through that section when I was soloing the series as a weapon master without even having Nellise and Robert to help (Terinus is worse than useless, he wastes his spells against enemies who are completely immune -- though I suppose trying to tell him not to cast at all so he melees might work all right).

      Delete
    3. Yeah, no problem beating all the golems with my Ranger/Rogue, which at that time had some (in this case) useless 7d6 of sneak attack, but also 5 favoured enemies, among which constructs, and the mighty bane of enemies. Even with the Bow of the Elder she could deal impressive amount of damage, with some called shots to make things a bit more interesting. Timer was not a problem at all.

      Delete
  2. You're suposed to run past all the golems? I fought them all...as a sorcerer. Took me several tries and when I finally succeeded it was down to the last minute.

    Also wierd bug involving the companion Jezelle. As soon as we teleported into the Citadel she instantly morphed (without casting a spell or anything) into a Balor. Still had the same stats and everything but just took up a huge amount of space in those hallways. Anyway, she stayed in Balor form for the rest of the game.

    At the very end, after she gave her little speech about our deal being fulfilled and it being time for her to get back to Hell, instead of disappearing she just left the party and was willing to rejoin when I talked to her. She stayed with me through the final conversation with Criosa (still in Balor form the whole time)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea you could recruit Jezelle. Good to know if I ever replay the campaign with an evil build.

      Delete
  3. I don't know that I would call it necessarily am evil choice. Insidiae amd Jezelle are evil people to be sure, but I don't see that as a reason to dismiss their help when faced against a common enemy. I hadn't been to Assumption yet, so I didn't realize at the time it was an either-or situation with the angels and devils. I just thought it made little practical sense to reject help from someone because you hate them on principle.

    Another thing to consider: if you side with the angels, in order to gain their trust you have to kill Insidiae and his people. When I sided with Insidiae I didn't have to kill a single angel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "When I sided with Insidiae I didn't have to kill a single angel."

      Really? So what did siding with him involve? (I assume he then supports you against Abaddon after this?)

      Delete
    2. Retrieving the Tempest, and then yes, he supports you. Basically, both sides need the Tempest...the angels can manage to retrieve the Tempest without you but need the amulet to control it, while the devils have the amulet but need help retrieving it.

      Delete
  4. yeah, everyone wants Abaddon dead. Whether you side with angels or devils the fight with him is the same.

    ReplyDelete

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