Saturday, 28 March 2020

Enderal: The Petrified

[Part of the Cursed story line]

We find Mael strung up on the theater stage but alive, and in front of him a priceless gem stolen from the Golden Sickle caravan long ago. Dijaam tries to grab it but is immobilized by a dart trap, leaving myself to deal with the puppet master - Pennypouches who is suffering from Red Madness!

One of the hardest fights in Enderal.

He sends his two hired Petrified goons (they really work for anyone) to deal with me in what becomes a really long battle! I end up using a lot of my potions and ammo to defeat the two fools before finally killing Pennypouches and administering the cure to Dijaam. Despite Mael's very vocal protests and threats, we promptly abscond with the gem to a secluded beach where Dijaam can properly reward me.

In the morning, she and the gem are gone having left a note that reads "I'm sorry". Knowing Mael is not one for empty threats I decide hideout in Duneville for awhile, and run into Esme en route - just in time to save her from some bandits, and to rejoin her search for Tara.

Insight: The battle against the two petrified is one of the toughest ones I've come across due to the mechanic. You need to knock both down at the same time and keep attacking while they are down to deplete their psychic shields / do any damage. Easier said than done for an archer.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Enderal: Pulling Our Strings

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Stealing the info from the the spooky manor is pretty straight forward, so Jespar and I return to Ark where a courier kid gives me a letter from Dijaam. Jespar goes ahead to report in while I visit the merchantess at an Undercity tavern and accept her request to assist in finding out who set her up to take the blame for the Golden Sickle ambush.

A speedy investigation has clues that quickly point to Mael, the Golden Sickle grandmaster, so Dijaam heads to the Sickle base in town to confront him but only find a shop full of workers. Things escalate quickly which results in their massacre! For this, Dijaam is quickly apprehended by the city guard and taken to prison.

Hang in there, pussy cat.

Fortunately I am a lot stealthier, and with no witnesses putting me at the scene of the crime I am free to head to the prison and break her out. Unfortunately the guards have had their way with her by then and I find her battered, beaten, and "thoroughly" searched, but she did learn from them that Mael is actually missing too. We conclude that whoever is pulling our strings is trying to put on a show and head to the old theater on a hunch.

Insight: Generic enemies respawn after a few days have passed, so don't assume things are clear if you haven't been there recently.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Enderal: Teammates

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the bandits dead and Calia having disarmed the traps, Lishari's crew is able to descend to do their work. Since everything is under control here we head back to a myrad tower where I run into Esme, who is about to go do something stupid and/or dangerous. I volunteer to assist while Calia myrads back to Ark to report in.

We sneak into the Dark Valley, taking down the numerous Lost Ones and a random huge werewolf wandering within until we reach the haunted ruins of Castle Bleakstar that is inhabited by one stubborn phantom. Once it's dispelled we find proof that Tara may have fallen in with some nefarious cult with clues suggesting they moved to a location near Duneville. I hope it's not that suicide crew I found before.

Esme, you can't sneak with a lit torch...

Esme myrads ahead as I receive word of another urgent mission for the Keepers. This time I'm partnered up with Jespar to try retrieve knowledge from an eccentric artist at his distant, puppet-filled manor with specific instructions NOT to use violence at all. A small detour on the way to the manor rewards me with... a dragon fight!

Insight: Unlike Calia, Esme isn't a great fighter or tank. In fact, all she's good at is giving away your position to the enemy so expect to do some heavy lifting and prep health potions before hand.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Enderal: You're F-Hired!

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Returning from Duneville I manage to wrap up a number of lose ends at Ark - completing a relic collection for the SHOES guild, an egg collection for crazy Kurmai who wants to start an aviary in his floating "Star City", and the ingredients to reproduce the poison Mael was interested in - but not before first warning his rival Dijaam that she's under suspicion. Since she confronts Mael directly about it, I promptly get fired from the Golden Sickle.

Just as well as right after Calia and I get promoted into the Keeper guild, and Grandmaster Tealor puts us to work immediately - sending us to assist a nearby dig crew to retrieve an ancient artifact. Turns out this crew is led by Lishari, and her progress into the site is being held up by trap savvy bandits who have made a home of this place.

I happen to stumble into one - a giant pit but luckily land deep water. From there I can work my way back up, assassinating the entrenched bandits as I go. Only their leader gets the drop on me but Calia, who also fell into the pit but managed to hang onto something to find a different exit, shows up just in time to save me - using her menacing "shadow form"? She later explains that she has some other being in her that comes out to kill people from time to time.

More than just a pretty face.

Insight: Even without her shadow form, Calia is a decent tank and does good damage with her two handed sword so let her take point in combat. Comparatively Tharael does more damage with his twin swords but can't take many hits.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Enderal: A Sandy Vacation

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After the crazy events in the temple I need a change of scenery so I travel East into the Powder Desert, home of big cats, mini rhinos, and gorilla trolls - eventually reaching the little underground village of Duneville.

Here I help where I can - acting as cupid for a couple of villager, helping the watchdogs solve a murder, hunting bounties down including a wild myrad who is luckily a terrible shot, and exploring a distant isle that seems like some suicide cultist resort now over run by rats, bone rippers (death claws), and one scary spider.

Myrads are so cute! This one is a little shy...

I also do some artifact hunting and solve a ruin comprised entirely of puzzles which is easy thanks to the hints at the start. It's a good vacation, but with all the tasks in the area completed it's time to return to Ark. I have a graduation ceremony to attend after all.

Insight: While it's in the air, just strafe to avoid the myrad's breath attack. Once it lands it gets a lot more accurate so take cover!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Enderal: Winning until you Lose

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Before we can start the ambush, the Father reveals he knew about Tharael's plan all along. Furthermore, those children he took from the orphanage were all dying of disease and he tried save them the only way he knew how: transcending them into simulacarums. In fact, his own body guard was once Tharael's best friend and Tharael himself is in a false body.

Unable to process this, Tharael beheads the body guard and begins to fight the Father (who I'm pretty sure is a dragon in a mannequin). I stick to the plan and partake in the epic fight, sniping the Father and his summons while Tharael holds his aggro.

It is a long though simple battle for a well placed sniper, and we take the Father down... until we don't. He literally gets up and defeats us with his voice. The last thing I remember is him leading his chosen Rhalata to the ascension chamber, stating that us merely "existing" is punishment enough.

When I awake properly, there is a gaping hole where the ascension chamber once was. Tharael, standing at the edge says he saw it go in a bright flash of light. He doesn't know if the process worked or if the temple simply killed them all. What he does know is that he doesn't deserve to live and commits suicide by gravity... stepping off the cliff.

It was all for naught.

Insight: When the Father summons illusions one will always be beside Tharael, and the second one beside YOU so look out!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Enderal: Temple of Abomination

[Part of the Cursed story line]

It isn't long before the Father summons me, having heard good things from the First Seer. There in his lab he describes the Rhalata belief that one must transcend their own body. He even has simulacarums (fake bodies) that he had tried for years to ascend to but the process is flawed.

To this end he is assembling an expedition to an ancient temple from a past civilization that already achieved this, and wants me as one of the mercs on the tip of the spear. I accept and we ship out post-haste. I am grouped with Tharael and a female sell sword named Zar'ah to be one of the many squads exploring the temple.

Tharael watches the giant rise.

Horrid abominations are fought within, including one tower sized one, and Tharael executes Zar'ah as a sacrifice to get one door open to reach the ritual ante-chamber. As planned, he then summons the Father and his bodyguard - sealing the gate behind them. The time for murder is now!

Insight: The towering abomination moves FAST. I barely had enough time to shoot him down from the very edge of the room.