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Part 2, Barrows, War and Lord Markham's vase.
This week, playing MM7 too much actually broke down my sleep schedule (going to bed at 4 AM is not helpful when you have to be in school at 8), so yesterday, I played the whole night through to bring it back .
I didn't perform the burglar trick, but I did hire a locksmith. That increased my disarming to 27, which was apparently enough to do the job. With that, I finished the Barrows (I thought that a lot more barrows would have a barrow key in a heavily trapped chest, but in fact, only the three that lead outside are made like this). It was more of a "sightseeing trip", because the skeletons, bats and zombies aren't much of a threat to me now. I'm just mowing them down in turn-based melee.
Of course I found the Tomb of Zokarr too, so I have an honorary monk promotion now (I seem to be getting promotions for many of the classes that I don't have ), and in total, I got a lot of treasure into my hands. Sadly the items were... hm, unsatisfying (by the way, I love how the characters comment the item identification: "We should just leave it behind!", "It's useless!", "What a piece of junk!" ), but there was an awful lot of money. The situation in the Haunted House was just the same (I had cleared it before, but I had to leave the chests behind). However, in one of the cabinets, there was a gift from the gods: a belt with Disarm Trap + 12.
So, before, I was counting every coin. But now, I'm leaving Barrow Downs with a nicely rounded sum of 100 000 gold. And a couple of wands of fire (these seem to be everywhere). So I can now actually consider a visit of the Red Dwarf Mines in Bracada. The guy that does the archer promotions said that there are monsters that cannot be hurt by swords, and monsters that cannot be hurt with magic in there... and some civilians in Bracada told me that the medusae are immune to magic. They also told me that there are some slimey things in there, so I knew that the other kind of monster was probably the ooze.
And sure enough, it was. I actually depleted the wands on them and it still wasn't enough. Fortunately, my knight has a huge stockpile of junk scrolls, and there was a Fire Aura scroll in there... so he enchanted his cutlass and bashed the last two oozes into the oblivion. And moreover, I could use the anti-stoning elixir on the dwarf statues and rescue all that had been in the upper level. However, when I took the lift downstairs, it was clear that I had to leave (when my sorcerer found that the most basic medusa has 220 HP). I saved and tried to use an invisibility scroll, but the spell was way too short-lived. so I reloaded and went away.
I thought that I would check with the dwarven king in the Stone City now, just to see if I was so lucky that all the dwarves to be rescued were in the upper level. And sure they were, so the dwarven king made a 180° turn and he even started to behave nicely towards me! His engineers fixed up my castle, so I returned there and had a sight-seeing tour. They even cleaned up all those trash heaps! I also found that they restored the castle dungeon. In one of the cells, there was even a secret escape tunnel (I had a good laugh when I followed it for a while and found some bones and junk items at the end .) The only problem is that this of course started the war.
In my throne room, the both ambassadors told me that the audience with the King/Queen will be absolutely great and worth my time. So I visited the both castles and both of the rulers were bored and treated me with contempt, as if I was just a peasant or something. I thought that I can at least have some fun at their expense, and I delivered the false Loren to Catherine and false plans to the Elfking. That serves them right.
Finally I went to Tatalia to see if I could steal the Lord Markham's vase for Bill Lasker (to get a promotion for a class that I actually have). I had to attempt this like 10-15 times before I figured out a way. Firstly I wanted to try to just walk in and grab it, but the guards get angry when I try to open the door. Then I wanted to see if I could just kill the guards, but there was a sizable amount of the guys "of the Sword", and they seem to be ultra-powerful. They casted Heroism and then they were able to kill my characters with a single blow.
So this was perhaps the time for the invisibility scroll? However the scroll was good for only 48 minutes (not much). Fortunately, the spell didn't wear off when I opened the door (the guards have probably some experience with paranormal? ) Then I quickly found that the spell does wear off if someone bumps into me. With Wizard's Eye, I found that there were 5 guards in a tiny room. I tried various things, like waiting for them to randomly walk out of the room (they never do it, at least not in 48 minutes), or jumping onto the table in there (I invariably bumped into someone on the way). So I started to think that I won't be able to do it even with the invisibility.
However, in that last attempt, when I had only 10 minutes of invisibility left, all 5 guards momentarily ended up in one half of the room. I ran into the door and didn't bump into anyone! From there, I quickly got to the next room, and to the vase, with the spell still working. So I grabbed the vase...
...and KABOOM! Of course it was trapped, and I didn't care to pick it up with my thief, so the trap went off and knocked out my sorcerer. And the loud bang made it obvious that there is an intruder in the residence. But I was somehow lucky again and I managed to slip through the guards before they could block my way completely. And what's better, they didn't even hit me once! (I guess they were casting Heroism instead? ) So I made it out, with the vase and still in a pretty good shape.
I must say that I enjoyed this mission enormously. It's really ten times more exciting for me than the quite mindless combat. I'm already looking forward the other quests of this kind. Not only they help break the chore of fetch quests and kill quests, but the actual stealing is great too! This is definitely a great addition.
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