Monday, 16 May 2022

Thea 2: Dark Hearts

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Before leaving Iceland, the team befriend the Shadow Folk who live on the edge of the island (no shortcuts here, just lots of talking over a long time) who then send one of their number, Sylvanas, to help them on their quest. As they sail back to the Slavyan isle they save the syrin Seayanna from a kraken and she too joins their crew and helps them defeat the trolls imprisoning the elder dwarf they found long ago.

Why wear clothes when you can wear shadows?

This dwarf is then taken to the patient researcher who is then able to decypher the tablet in the Red Ridge mine which gives the location of the quake causing threat, but also says to fix it they would need a magical heart assembled by a druid. With no leads on any druids, the team sails to the next island - the isle of darkness, home to striga, undead, vampires and... more followers of the light!?

Sylvanas is handy in convincing the darker beasties to simply let everyone pass while Seayanna uses her charm to convince female bandit captain Yanka to join the team, who then reveals that the Spirit Talker goblin tribe also resides here. Thanks to the goblin children in the party and a little assistance helping them build a catapult, they introduce the group to their leader: an orc necromancer who can construct the magical heart they need to save the world. Not only that, the necromancer and the entire tribe are coming to help too. Things are looking up!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Thea 2: Strength

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Iceland is also home to followers of the light: people, creatures, and tentacles(wtf?) infused by a viral spirit and this faction constantly harasses the team with their "convert or die" methodology to the point that Siegfried tracks down their local base and leads an attack that wipes it out, at the cost of Jaethal who was light tentacled to death. Her daughter, Karina the crazy, also dies giving birth to a son Krisztian - whose father is her half brother Vshesul. The boy really has a thing for incest. Ratslava also gives birth to a daughter Mishka, having slept with King Szuvarek of the Water Demon clan after his rescue.

Anyway, after killing little red riding hood (who in this version is a werewolf), the team find the Ice Demon village and Nyrissa befriends them via an exchange student program: giving them Krisztian to raise as their own while they gain Ice Demon daughter Sniezynki and her pet elemental Icicles.

The Little Red Lie on steam is free to play if you like Little Red Riding Hood.

The team then run into the slaver band that held Romek captive and this time the slavers are killed - with the team gaining a young girl named Anzeka and three young goblins: Jere, Tino and Zosh. As they are overburdened with supplies at this stage, the team trade with the Ice Demons to buy powerful magical weapons and God's Armour? Siegfried decides to test these out at a local arena where the group must face five battles of increasing difficulty in a row and they are victorious! This band of champions are now ready to take on the world.

Thea 2: Iceland

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Since the only elder dwarf on the Slavyan isle is guarded by powerful trolls, the group decides to make a ship and sail to the next island over to continue the search. Ice island, dubbed by Siegfried as "Iceland", is quite inhospitable with the lack of food resources and the constant requirement for faith replenishing rituals. They also save the cursed child Zloslawa from her murderous parents and she too begins learning the way of the witch.

This place is full of witches.

Iceland is also home to the Water Demon clan (russalkas) who are at war with the Water Pirates (orcs). Nyrissa quickly befriend the Water Demons by saving their leader, King Szuvarek, from a Water Pirate base on the lake. Only two of the Water Pirate youths are spared to join the group: Little Pirate and his younger sister Deathlover who is again, witch potential. Valerie quickly gains their trust by having a daughter with Little Pirate they call Zenzimira. Nyrissa then promptly baptizes the girl at the Water Demon lake to turn the child into a Water Demon, deepening the friendship with that group so much that a russalka named Natalia also joins their ranks.

Meanwhile Siegfried encountered the cursed King Kral'Skra, doomed to be forever trapped in his crumbling kingdom by the gods who also stole his face and put it on a lowly demon. Siegfried agrees to find and slay this fiend only to discover it is Kral'Skra's son Romek whose back was infused with his fathers face and is now being towed around by some slavers. After purchasing the child Siegfried makes him face his father and Kral'Skra opts that he instead be killed instead of his son. Siegfried obliges, and Romek joins the group as a zerca.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Thea 2: Red Ridge

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The Red Ridge bandits are an imposing lot, but they agree to let Siegfried's team and the researcher into their territory if the adventurers can first remove from their lands a cave full of demons and a camp full of squatters, who are possibly one and the same. Both are equally easy to massacre, and the child Barbara is taken into the group from the squatter camp as she has the traits of a zerca (a spiritual leader).

Finally granted access, the researcher finds an old tablet in the Red Ridge mines but is unable to read them - now requiring an elder dwarf or elf for the task. Siegfried promises to help and Red Ridge bandit Captain Bear joins them. Also Miloslava has another daughter, Sveibora, this time with her son Vshesul (that motherf*cker) while Valerie helps wandering King "Arathor" to pull a sword from a stone. The thankful King sends Valerie across a bridge (which holds a battle of wisdom) to a nearby lake where the local lady of the lake hands her a less powerful but still magical weapon.

Only movie knowledge can save your characters from certain death...

Meanwhile Nyrissa aids Suri, a little girl found on the road, to get revenge on the rich silk trading merchants that killed her family. Suri turns out to be a spider queen in disguise but Nyrissa keeps her word and slays the merchants which is enough to convince Suri to join the team (and wow, spider queens are strong). Suri then promptly begins teaching Sveibora the ways of witch craft, because spider queens know everything apparently.

Thea 2: Retinue

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After a long and prolific reign, Siegfried Baranor gave up his crown to travel to new rumbling lands with his nymph queen Nyrissa, lover Jaethal, muse Valerie, obese fan girls Miloslava and Ratslava (sisters), and Siegfried's children Karel the fighter (with Nyrissa), Karina the crazy (with Jaethal) and Vshesul the warrior (with Miloslava) after a friendly imp suggested their old enemy, the Lantern King, was hatching a new plot here.

Quarreling with the local scavenger Slavyans wasn't helping matters any so the group instead opted for friendship - clearing some vermin, convincing goblins to move away, and doing odd jobs to gain their friendship while living off the land, harvesting resources as they went, and dodging the multitudes of unliving that clustered around old ruins. 

Including striga.

Miloslava also saves a vodnik prince turned into a frog by kissing him... a lot apparently, as she soon has a daughter Lethiamira. Nyrissa also befriends the local spider folk (who are simply intelligent giant spiders) while Valerie retrieves two half russalka daughters for their dwarf father. Doing all this leads them to a researcher investigating the rumbling (Eren is that you?) but his work has stopped since the location he needs to study is occupied by the territorial Red Ridge bandits.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

XCOM 2: Avatar

[Part of the XCOM 2 story]

It's not long before the UFO finds us and forces us to land with an EMP spike. They then send loads of units to try capture the ship while our forces must push forward and destroy said (literal) spike AND return to the ship before lift off (an excellent mission which I aced)! Pretty we constructed those defensive turrets.

Once we've escaped, our scientists reveal what they learned from all the material we gathered so far. The alien leaders are dying and have found the correct host to be the titular Avatars. Millions of people are being secretly processed for the human component and the coordinates for their main base which sits underwater is located. The only catch is it needs an Avatar to open the gate.

Luckily we have one of those, so I volunteer to neural link up to pilot it and lead a squad into the alien infested base but find the psionic powers of the avatar to be super strong. Null Lance which pierces through everything and void rift which is huge AoE are amazing and let the team slaughter our way through easily. 

Is that a Saiyan under that mask?

That is until we find the three enemy avatars we must defeat (one at a time) who continually summon servants each round. Their worst ability is mind control, and Jane Kelly manages to become the bitch of all three - killing her teammates Rev with a point blank shotgun blast to the face and cutting William down with her plasma blade before I take her out of the equation with a Null Lance. Goose also gets ripped apart by a void rift (bad guys can do it too) before the final enemy avatar is slain and their base destroyed.

With the ADVENT plot exposed, their remaining and now leaderless forces worldwide are overrun by the growing resistance... a total victory for XCOM!

Tactics Tip:
For that last fight I advanced really slowly and held on the right side before the bridge, then sent Jane alone to trigger the enemy avatar sequence.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

XCOM 2: Facilities

[Part of the XCOM 2 story]

Since hitting facilities really damages the Avatar project that's what the soldiers are sent to do, and a few more give their lives to the cause, the most horrifying being IzzBee being impregnated by a chryssalid (who are exactly the same from last time) - eventually dying on the field from its fluids and was turned into a fleshy birth sack that her team mates destroyed before full gestation occurred (which is +3 chryssalids on the field).

Also lost Katz who was obliterated by a pair of sectopods (huge, two legged war machines), Aaron who was beheaded by an archon, Squidman Dan who took cover behind a flaming truck (carrying explosives), Mickey and Rocio exploded by MEC missiles, and Cash who was melted by Andromedon acid.

These things are basically tanks.

During this time Jane Kelly managed to skulljack a codex which spawned what the science team refers to as an avatar, which her squad promptly dealt with as well as a psionic gate guarded by a large floating ball (which hides a psionic tentacle alien) which were all transported back to the Avenger for further study. All this has almost put the Avatar project back at square one, and the aliens are so pissed they finally send a UFO to hunt us down.

Fun Tip: If there is a "fixed" extraction point in a mission and it is not on ground level and somewhere inconvenient / dangerous, blow it up to force it to move.