Friday, 4 November 2016

SoZ "Holiday" Expansion Project Walkthrough - Part II

    T H E  S W O R D  C O A S T   

This post endeavors to cover the six new locations added by SoZ Holiday Expansion Project to the Sword Coast OLM.

Note: Many of these dungeons are exceedingly dark (as they should be). Make sure you are carrying a Torch or have the Light spell memorized.

Darkstrand Maw (100 XP). It's located southwest of West Harbor, on the western shore.

You walk near the cave. A chill, otherwordly aura radiates from the bowels of the earth. A bloody note hangs eerily on a black root: Chaos Wielder was here.

• Read the Codex of the Dead that stands before the giant skull.

Master's dark blood ties the strands of fate.
We await the time of the King's return, burning back the silver strands of justice.

• Head north and then west to arrive in a candlelit treasury with a second Codex to read.

The halls of the dead whisper for comrades.
Fools covet treasure resting in plain sight.

• Buff your party to the heavens before you loot the chests and lockboxes, because doing so triggers dread wraiths & Darkstrand itself (a nightwalker) to spawn in the dungeon and zero-in on your position. Beware of latter's Dispel Magic and ability to inflict fear and insta-death. It also has the annoying ability to "crush" any weapon you are wielding.

Chest: Mithral Tower Shield, Mithral Scale Mail.
Lockbox: Nymph Cloak +3, scrolls of Weapon of Impact, Protection From Spells, Lesser Orb of Electricity, Greater Spell Breach, Doom, Dehydrate, Death Ward.
Chest: Robes of the Shining Hand +2, Gloves of the Hinfist +2.
Chest: Snow Tiger Helm (AC Bonus +1, Con +2, Immunity: Fear), North Wind Bow (longbow +3, Mighty +3, Resist Cold 20/-), Ice Arrow x99.
Lockbox: Naught Katana (katana +2, vs. Lawful +2d6), Wyvern Hide Scale Mail.
Chest: Gargoyle Boots (Bonus AC +2, Stoneskin [7] 5 charges/use, Fort. saves +1), Bracers of Dexterity +3, Ichthia's Neck-Knife (short sword +2, Vampiric Regeneration +2).

• Loot its corpse for Darkstrand's Maw (cold iron quarterstaff, Ability Score Penalty: Str, Dex & Con -2, SR 20, Finger of Death [13] 1/day, Negative Energy Burst [10] 1/day, sorc/wiz only).

• (OL DC-40 to leave). 

Lair of the Creators (100 XP). The cave lies northeast of the town of Leilon.

You walk near the cave. A low hum of crystals emanates from the far reaches of the cavern. Charred into the earth is a strange note: Chaos Wielder was here. 

Creator Den. No sooner will your party enter, they will be charged on-sight by a lizard-like creator golem as seven disciples of the creators hang back to fire their bows from behind; some in elevated positions.

• Once the disciple sounds the gong, a cultist priest, wizard, warrior and rogue emerge from the chamber at the back, mad as hell.

• These guys are straggling worshipers of Morag, the antagonist from the original Neverwinter Nights. Slay 'em all and loot their corpses.

Golem: Adamantine Ingot.
Cleric: Morag's Eye (medium shield, AC Bonus +1, Negative Energy Burst 1/day), Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, Scale Mail +1, Ring of Fortitude +2, Ring of Divine Power (2), Amulet of Natural Armor +1, scrolls of Aid, Curse of Impending Blades, Poison, Knock, Lesser Spell Mantle.
Wizard: Morag's Presence (helmet, Dominate Person [7] 1/day), Zalantar Quarterstaff, Journal, Antidote, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Cloak of Protection +2, Ring of Invisibility, Ring of Wizardry (2), Periapt of Wisdom +2, Gloves of the Longdeath +2, scrolls of Crushing Despair, False Life, Invisibility Purge, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Scintillating Sphere, Web.
Warrior: Morag's Shield (ring, SR 16), Flail +1, Tower Shield +1, Full Plate +1, Potion of Lesser Restoration, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, Potion of Lesser Vigor, Scarab of Protection +1.
Rogue: Morag's Breath (shortbow +2, Acid +2), Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds, Minor Gas Trap Kit, Average Acid Splash Trap Kit, Alexandrite, Arrow (x99), Leather Armor +1.

• Enter the chamber in the west, the one from which the cultists emerged. Disable the trap (DD DC-22) on the rug before the lockbox. It is holding Shuriken +1, Potion of Mirror Image, Copper Necklace, Wand of Missiles, scroll of Vitriolic Sphere.

• Unlock the door to the side chamber (DC-25) and disable the trap on the floor (DC-22). The two chests in here are holding Healer's Kit +10, Zalantar Club, Zalantar Light Shield, Average Electrical Trap Kit, Bracers of Armor +2 and Boots of Striding +2.

• Return to the entrance chamber and unlock the Stone Door (DC-25).

• Proceed north and slay the last-standing golem guarding the door that leads to the next area: a crystalline cavern.

• Now, buff up like there is no tomorrow because four beefy custom golems will appear through their portals and attack once you have descended the stairs. They are:

Yilod the Destroyer: The Hidden Palm (light armor +2, Invisibility [3] 1/day), Feral Stalker (cold iron kukri +2, Massive Criticals 2d6), False Note (adamantine rapier +3, AC Bonus -3, Parry -3), Boots of Hardiness +1, Bracers of Dexterity +2, Amulet of Will +2, Deadly Spike Trap Kit, Ancient Trap Parts.
Pyramus the Flayer: Heavy Crossbow +2, Adamantine Bolt (x99), Black Robe of the Archmagi, Bone Ring (Immunity: Level/Ability Drain), Ring of Minor Fire Resistance, Wand of Fire.
Agas the Fortunate: Leather Armor +1, Greater Gloves of the Artificer (Skill Bonus: Craft Alchemy, Armor, Trap & Weapon +6), Ring of Minor Sonic Resistance, Ring of Protection +2, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, scrolls of Flame Strike, Barkskin, Enlarge Person, Cone of Cold, Searing Light.
Hexan the Devout: Mithral Full Plate, Adamantine Heavy Shield, Aether Field (cold iron scythe +1, 2d4 Magical), Potion of Cure Critical Wounds (2), Nymph Cloak +2, Belt of Strength +2.

• (OL DC-35 to leave).

The Beholder's Eye (100 XP). Found hugging the foothills north of the Lair of the Creators, south of Phandalin.

A horrid purple fog seeps out from the cracks of this building. Strangely, the building is in good repair. A gilded sign hangs above the frame: Chaos Wielder was here.

• Speak with the non-hostile mindflayer that greets you upon entry. It will mention Xanthon, its eye tyrant leader, and tell you to move along.

• Slay the mindflayer and its pathetic minotaur berserker and troglodyte backup minion. The 'flayer drops a Ring of Protection +2, Gold Ring, Gold Necklace, Wand of Paralyzation, Potion of Shield, Potion of Remove Blindness/Deafness. Mindflayer cone attack requires you to make a DC-17 Will save or be stunned for a period that's more than enough for them to finish you off. 

• Head north to the next chamber, unlock the northern door (DC-23), and slay the phase spider (Phase Spider Leg) and driders (Drider Silk) en route to the area transition (there is nothing in the two side chambers).

Pit of the Eye Tyrant Level 1. Slay the mindflayer, minotaur, minotaur berserker and trio of troglodytes that assail you upon entry.
Lockbox: Saint Soul Legacy (katana +2, +1d10 vs. Evil), Planar Hunter's Cloak (Immunity: Knockdown, Armor Def Bonus +3 vs. Outsider & Magical Beast, Search +3), Boots of the Sun Soul +2.

• Unlock the enormous gate (DC-30) that leads into a dark, burrowed tunnel - littered with bones - in which you will be ambushed by six umber hulks (Umber Hulk Carapace) that break through the walls and attempt to confuse you. In addition, alerted to your presence, a stronger force of driders led by a custom templar and dark weaver will probably bash down the locked gate at the tunnel's far end and scurry towards you. A second minotaur berserker may show his ugly face, too. Crush them and loot their corpses for the Eagle Bow (shortbow +3, Search & Spot +2), Cloak of Arachnida (Immunity: Web, saves vs. Poison +2, Web [3] 1/day) and Minotaur Greataxe (Dex -2, +1d12 slashing).

• In their cobweb-ridden chamber you will find two lockboxes holding the Ashen Phoenix (mace +2, +1d8 fire), Mithral Chain Mail +1, Potion of Displacement and scrolls of Lighning Bolt, Ghostly Visage, Dismissal, Cacophonic Burst, and Wall of Dispel Magic.

• Exit the chamber to the west proceed through the next section, slaying several more 'flayers and looting each of their psionic amplifiers for precious gems, including a Jacinth, Rogue Stone, King's Tear, Beljuril, Blue Diamond and Bloodstone. The loathsome shoggoth drops the Shoggoth Band (AC Nat -2, saves. vs. Mind-affecting +4).

Pit of the Eye Tyrant Level 2. Guarding the portal on the far side of the chamber is a Ulitharid backed up by dark weaver, templar and two minotaur minions. The Ulitharid's corpse holds the Ulitharid Robes (Bonus Feats: Greater Spell Focus - All Schools), Bracers of Armor +3, Scarab of Protection +2, Potion of Antidote, Potion of Strength, Potion of Bull's Strength, Potion of Greater Heroism.

Boss Fight! Step through the portal to be transported into the lair of the beholder. Note that you have to be very close to the portal for it to work. Here you will face off against Xanthon the Eye Tyrant and his support crew of drider templar, mindflayer and two minotaurs. Good luck, and don't forget to loot the eye tyrant's corpse for the Beholder Crown (Disintegrate 1/day, Finger of Death [13] 1/day, Flesh to Stone [5] 1/day).

Halfling Village (100 XP). The village is located just southeast of Highcliff.

A clean, fresh breeze blows in from the small village. A sign marks a path towards the hamlet, a note carefully written on the wood: Jet Truebow was here.

Unfortunately the area crashes during the loading sequence so I am unable to cover it. A pity.

Inn of Hidden Tales (100 XP). The inn is located just north of Port Llast, on the road's edge.

Note: There seem to be tile/texture problems in this module, perhaps as a result of SoZ being updated after it was made.
Another note: The area design is quite complex (placeable density, lighting effects, multiple rooms), perhaps adversely affecting your framerate and making load-times noticeably longer. There is not much you can do about it, except upgrade your PC.

You hear low talking and a faint, otherwordly sound. There is something written on the exterior of the tavern: Kamal was here.

Inn. You will find yourself in the common room of the inn. Kamal the Barkeep will greet you from behind the bar. It seems he has demon problems.

• Pick up the two items from the floor: Instrument o' Death (Dominate Monster [17], Meteor Swarm [17], Power Word Kill [17], Summon Creature IX [17], Time Stop [17], Wail of the Banshee [17], Weird [17], unlimited uses) and The Destructificator (alchemical silver universal sword +20, AC def Bonus +20, Dex +12, Strength +12, Fire +10, Acid +10, Extra Melee Damage: Bludgeoning, perma-Haste).

• Yes, the above two items are obscenely OP: cheat items. I'm not sure why they are there. My first thought was: "accidentally left-over from play-testing or something?" Anyway, it's up to you if you would like to use them or not.

• Ok, head upstairs to the Demon Infested Rooms.

First Door on Your Left. Proceed down a corridor - lined with currently non-hostile undead - to arrive in a chamber in which Amaozt is standing, surrounded by Followers of Orcus. In exchange for leaving the inn Amaozt requests you slay the supporters of Graz'zt. DO NOT speak to Amaozt again unless you feel like a fight.

Amtahis is found in one of the back rooms offering some magical gear for sale, such as: Arcane Archer Chain Shirt, Arcane Trickster Gear, Armor of the Divine Champion, Assassin's Leathers, Blackguard's Plate, Dragon Disciple's Robe, Duelist Garb, Dwarven Defender Plate, Eldritch Knight Chain Shirt, Frenzied Berserker Hide, Harper Agent Leathers, Neverwinter Nine Tunic, Palemaster's Robe, Shadow Thief Leather Armor, Shadow Dancer Outfit, War Priest Half Plate, Weapon Master's Scale, Greater Magic Bag and various +3 items.

First Door on Your Right. The Graz'zt supporters include Losacahs, Ttacat, Othmah, Ranpael, two Succubi and a demon. They will attack you on-sight, regardless of whether you have talked to Amaozt first or not. Slay them, and loot Losazcah's corpse for Graz'zt's Favor (cold iron bastard sword +3, Vampiric Regeneration +2, Acid +1d6, only useable by Evil) and the Salamander Hide Leather Armor (salamander light armor, fire resistance 10/-, Weight Reduction: 60% of Weight).

• Slay the trio of hezrou guarding the bound celestial, Canahsanhael. I don't know how to free her...

• Return to Amaozt for your reward: Orcus' Favor (morningstar +3, negative energy +1d6, resist negative energy 10/-, Evil only).

• Lastly, return to Kamal and inform him of your success. Your reward? Access to a wide range of beverages!

(Downstairs offers a couple of crafting stations, but that's it as far as I can see).

Graveyard (100 XP). East of the Port Llast, and east of the Forgotten Ruin and Malarite's Hermit cave.

After following a loose trail into the hillside, you spot a small graveyard. An ominous aura hangs low in the air. You notice a message written into the fresh, loose soil: Shaughn was here.

• Follow the winding path that leads over a bridge, where an old man by the name of Horgath the Fallen will approach the party and request that you assist him in dealing with a necromancer. Accept, and he joins the party as "a summon" (i.e, he cannot be directly controlled like a cohort).

• The other crypts require a key to enter so enter the prominent crypt in the north.

Note: You may like to buff the hell out of Horgarth before entering because, when the cutscene ends, he is standing in the middle of the aggro where he is likely to be killed - and it seems that he will not rejoin the party after being "raised".

Ancient Crypt. Upon entry Horgarth and the drow necromancer, Kelistra, will have an exchange of dialogue; after which, she will animate a few custom minions before fleeing the scene. Slay them.

Wiltan (vampire warrior): Frigid Cleaver (greatsword +3, Charisma -2, Cold +1d8, Damage Immunity: Cold 15% immunity bonus, Damage Vulnerability: Fire 50% damage weakness).
Zelphorian (gith warrior): Serpent's Tooth (scimitar +5, Bonus Feat: Use Poison, Damage Penalty -4, on-hit DC-28 1d2 Strength Poison).
Henford: (does not seem to drop loot).
Shallatier (mummified-elf): Telgormaum's Revenge (zalantar quarterstaff +1, fire +1d8, Damage Immunity: Fire 50% immunity bonus, Burning Hands [5] 5/day, Fireball [10] 2/day).

• Ok, ascend the staircase to catch up with Kelistra. She will trap Horgarth with magic and cause him to drop his weapon: The Sword of Horgarth (katana +2, +1d6 vs. Evil, SR 16, Bonus Feat: Weapon Focus [katana])

• Kelistra will then summon forth waves of enemies for you to fight: zombie orcs, hill giants, vargouilles, and finally a beholder. You cannot physically reach her during this segment and it doesn't seem like you can damage her from range. Once the waves have been slain Kelistra simply disappears and I have no leads on what to do next. The doors lead nowhere, the coffin and sarcophagi are empty, dialogue with Horgarth does not seem to evolve, and the three crypts outside remain locked. So yeah, I'm left hanging here. Maybe I missed something, I dunno.

Conclusion: The SoZ Holiday Expansion Project is definitely worth a whirl despite its bugs and lack of polish. Chaos Wielder's additions alone make it worth it.

Don't forget to check the previous post for the updated epic encounter. Lilura out.


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