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Old September 29, 2017, 15:27   #22
PowerWyrm
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The icy land of the Helcaraxe lies straight north from Bree. We leave town and recall to the Orc Cave to save us some time. Soon we reach the mountains of the north, but instead of going west and around, we first go east to the nearby town of Carn Dum. This is where the Angband dungeon, home of Morgoth, is located, and we'll be back there soon to slay its infamous master. We check the shops quickly, and buy a scroll of mass banishment from the Black Market. Since it's late in the evening, we enter the tavern and spend the night there. The next morning, we leave town by recalling west and continue west and around the mountains to the entrance to the Helcaraxe. We recall at 2250ft inside the icy cavernous dungeon were we equip our telepathy staff and detect Moltor, the Dwarven Archer in the distance. We pay a visit to the old friend and claim his treasures. We get the Star of Elendil, and... the seeker arrow he was constantly shooting at us!

Code:
n) the Star of Elendil <+3>
     Dropped by Moltor, the Dwarven Archer at 2250 feet (level 45).

     +3 light.
     Cannot be harmed by fire.
     Grants the ability to see invisible things.
     Radius 3 light.

     When activated, it maps out a portion of the level around you.
     Takes 102 to 200 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 94.8%
Finally a permanent light source with light. We'll have to swap our rods of magic mapping for rods of illumination next time we go back to town.

Code:
c) the Seeker Arrow of Lorion (4d4) (+10,+6)
     Dropped by Moltor, the Dwarven Archer at 2250 feet (level 45).

     Slays orcs, giants.
     Branded with weak lightning.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Returns when thrown.
Lovely. We take the closest stairs down to 2300ft. Gorlim is on the level, and we should be able to kill him. We grab a few corpses on our way and raise them to block him inside a corridor. Unfortunately, the poor wights we raised only last two rounds against Gorlim's melee attacks. We switch to shoot and phase (he doesn't resist fire), heal when the big mana bolt comes out (we should probably have switched to the robe of Incanus for the mana resistance, but we only had to suffer once from the spell), and easily kill him. But we only get a pair of magical boots from his corpse. Nothing interesting on the level, we go deeper. Next level is a cavern level with no dangerous monster around, but we feel something worthwhile on it, so we explore it until we find this awl-pike:

Code:
u) the Awl-Pike of Namir (1d8) (+13,+21) [+1]
     Found lying on the floor of a cavern at 2350 feet (level 47).

     Slays evil creatures, trolls, giants, dragons, undead.
     Branded with cold.
     Provides immunity to fire.
     Provides resistance to cold.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Sustains dexterity.

     When activated, it attempts to put to sleep all monsters within line of
     sight.
     Takes 123 to 136 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 93.7%

     Combat info:
     2.0 blows/round.
     With +7 STR and +0 DEX you would get 2.3 blows/round.
     With +0 STR and +2 DEX you would get 2.3 blows/round.
     Average damage/round: 95 vs. creatures not resistant to cold, 124.4 vs.
     creatures susceptible to cold, 85.2 vs. evil creatures, 95 vs. trolls, 95
     vs. giants, 95 vs. dragons, 95 vs. undead, and 75.4 vs. others.
Nothing else except fire immunity, and we already have that on our hat. We also find a Wrinkled mushroom (of Second Sight), a scroll (of *Remove Curse*), an Iron rod (of Fire Bolts), a Zinc wand (of Fire Bolts), and this amulet:

Code:
o) the Jewel 'Ladon' <+3, +1>
     Taken from a chest found at 2350 feet (level 47).

     You do not know the full extent of this item's powers.
     +3 constitution.
     +1 searching skill.
     Provides immunity to acid.
     Provides resistance to lightning, fire, cold, light.
     Sustains dexterity.

     When activated, it causes a radius-10 earthquake around you.
     Takes 77 to 85 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 93.7%
Immunity to acid and +3 to constitution... probably worth losing 3 speed for it. But our pack is already full, and we recall to make some room and changes in our inventory. We sell some arts, including the now useless lightless phial, restock a bit and go back to the dungeon. We recall to 2350ft next to Mim, which gets promptly stunned and killed. He drops a blessed weapon, and this studded leather armor:

Code:
o) the Studded Leather Armour of Aredh (-1) [12,+21] <+4>
     Dropped by Mīm, Betrayer of Turin at 2350 feet (level 47).

     +4 dexterity.
     Provides resistance to acid, poison, light, dark.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.

     When activated, it heals 35% of max HP (minimum 300HP), cures all
     stunning, heals all cut damage, neutralizes poison, and cures blindness,
     confusion and amnesia.
     Takes 294 to 360 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 93.5%
Meh. The activation is nice, but sound resistance is probably more important at this time. We map the area and find out we're again on a cavern level. Nothing interesting, we go deeper. Next level has Lorgan and Ren on it, as well as a zoo with many winged horrors. We should kill the uniques and maybe clear the zoo. Ren is the first to come to us, so we welcome him with ice storms and mithril bolts. He dies pitifully, only casting a nether bolt once. We loot all kind of goodies from his corpse, including Belegennon, Dethanc, his Ring and this mithril plate:

Code:
o) the Mithril Plate Mail 'Agondur' (-3) [60,+16] <+1>
     Dropped by Ren the Unclean at 2400 feet (level 48).

     +1 intelligence.
     Provides resistance to poison.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Makes you fall like a feather. Sustains your life force.
     Grants telepathic awareness.
Well I guess it's decent, but still no endgame armor. Will get donated.

Code:
n) the Mithril Chain Mail 'Belegennon' (-1) [28,+20] <+4, +2>
     Dropped by Ren the Unclean at 2400 feet (level 48).

     +4 dexterity.
     +2 stealth.
     Provides resistance to acid, lightning, fire, cold, poison.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.

     When activated, it teleports you randomly up to 10 squares away.
     Takes 5 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 91.6%
And this one.

Code:
s) the Dagger 'Dethanc' (2d4) (+9,+12) [+10]
     Dropped by Ren the Unclean at 2400 feet (level 48).

     Branded with lightning.
     Provides resistance to lightning.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.

     When aimed, it shoots a beam of lightning that inflicts 6d6 points of
     damage, which your device skill increases by 89 percent.
     Takes 17 to 30 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 97.2%

     Combat info:
     3.8 blows/round.
     With +1 STR and +0 DEX you would get 4.0 blows/round.
     With +0 STR and +2 DEX you would get 4.0 blows/round.
     Average damage/round: 146.3 vs. creatures not resistant to lightning, and
     106.3 vs. others.
And this one too...

Code:
l) the Black Ring of Power of Aelerad {cursed}
     Dropped by Ren the Unclean at 2400 feet (level 48).

     It randomly makes you teleport.
     It occasionally makes a loud noise.
     It paralyses you every now and then.
     It makes you too scared to fight.
     Provides resistance to lightning.
     Cannot be harmed by lightning.
     Makes you afraid of melee, and worse at shooting and casting spells.
     Prevents teleportation. Aggravates nearby creatures.
Curses on randarts have been towned down... but when something gets cursed now, it gets *CURSED*. Luckily for us, we can also donate this piece of crap... While we're on the level, we also kill Lorgan. He drops the pebble of Moon-Stone, and these boots:

Code:
r) the Pair of Witan Boots of Winas [10,+19] <-2, +7>
     Dropped by Lorgan, Chief of the Easterlings at 2400 feet (level 48).

     -2 stealth.
     +7 speed.
     Provides resistance to light.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
Basically noisy boots of speed. We'll swap Wormtongue for these and Nimloth for our shards/disenchantment randart quarterstaff.

Code:
c) the Rounded Pebble of Moon-Stone (1d2) (+10,+10)
     Dropped by Lorgan, Chief of the Easterlings at 2400 feet (level 48).

     Slays animals.
     Returns when thrown.
Good damage, we'll keep it if we find a great sling. At this point, our pack is overloaded with stuff and we have to drop our basic books to pick up everything. We do so and recall back to Bree to make some room. With a lighter inventory, we recall back into the dungeon at 2400ft. Seems interesting. We get harassed by a Will o' the wisp who manages to make us hallucinate just when a lesser black reaver decides to wake up, so we teleport away. We kill a dreadmaster for a potion of Augmentation. We also kill a great balance drake, and reach...

Lvl: 34, HP: 437, SP: 260

Upon arriving on the level, we spotted an out of depth true believer (along with a death knight) that was not asleep, and we supposed he was trapped in a vault... but this is not the case, and he's now approaching dangerously. These antimagic users must be treated with extreme care: they're very fast, hit very hard, and will make your spells and devices fail miserably. So unless you're able to deal damage fast from a safe distance, the best way to deal with them is to use a scroll: teleportation, banishment, destruction... We retreat in a long corridor, haste ourselves and start shooting, maybe we'll be able to kill him before he gets to us. It's not the case, but he's at 30% health when he catches us, so we continue shooting while taking a good beating and after three turns he flees in terror and we finish him. He drops a Steel-Plated wand (of Dragon's Frost)... go figure. When the Star has recharged, we map the area where the true believer was, but don't see any vault. A lone out of depth encounter then. We obliterate Waldern, Tom and Bert (no idea where Bill went), and for our efforts we are rewarded with Thorin and these boots:

Code:
r) the Pair of Ethereal Slippers of Gonwe [0,+20]
     Dropped by Tom the Stone Troll at 2400 feet (level 48).

     Provides resistance to fire.
     Provides protection from fear.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Sustains dexterity.
     Speeds regeneration.
     Grants the ability to sense evil.
     Grants telepathic awareness.

     When activated, it attempts to magically enhance a weapon's to-hit bonus
     1 time(s).
     Takes 258 to 346 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 95.0%
Completely junk, except maybe for the activation.

Code:
p) the Small Metal Shield of Thorin [5,+25] <+3, +4, -1>
     Dropped by Bert the Stone Troll at 2400 feet (level 48).

     +3 strength.
     +4 constitution.
     -1 stealth.
     Provides immunity to acid.
     Provides resistance to sound, chaos.
     Provides protection from fear.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Prevents paralysis.
Still one of the best items in the game... Our current shield also gives strength/constitution, but only +1, and nexus/nether/dark which are covered elsewhere, so switching shields is a no brainer. And since sound is now covered too, we can replace our gold DSM by Incanus that we have been carrying around for a while. And down to 2450ft we go. We put on our ESP staff... and detect a medium vault with a great wyrm of radiance and Saruman. Should be profitable. But first, we kill a ranger chieftain for another potion of augmentation. Our stats are starting to look good... We also kill a mature white dragon who drops Gorlim.

Code:
r) the Iron Helm of Gorlim (+8,+8) [7,+10] <-3, -5>
     Dropped by a mature white dragon at 2450 feet (level 49).

     -3 intelligence.
     -3 wisdom.
     -5 searching skill.
     Provides protection from fear.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Grants the ability to see invisible things. Prevents paralysis.
     Aggravates nearby creatures.
We're not that desperate for the extra bonuses... A lich drops a potion of enlightenment, and since our pack is full, we quaff it. The vault appears to be a skull vault, so the nasties are trapped. And there's an arkenstone inside. We find a new scroll and a new staff, but instead of risking IDing destruction, we go someplace else to try them. The scroll is simply *Enchant Weapon*. The staff is Speed. A dreadmaster drops this spear:

Code:
v) the Spear 'Echir' (1d6) (+8,+20) <+3>
     Dropped by a dreadmaster at 2450 feet (level 49).

     +3 searching skill.
     Slays demons (powerfully), dragons (powerfully), undead (powerfully).
     Provides resistance to acid, chaos, disenchantment.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Grants the ability to see invisible things.
     Grants the ability to sense undead.
     Grants the ability to sense demons.
     Grants the ability to sense dragons.

     Combat info:
     4.0 blows/round.
     Average damage/round: 218.4 vs. demons, 218.4 vs. dragons, 218.4 vs.
     undead, and 159.2 vs. others.
A powerful slayer... with 1d6. Junk. We open the skull part of the skull vault, get rid of the great wyrm and Saruman, kill the rest and collect our loot, which is basically this arkenstone:

Code:
f) the Arkenstone 'Viendeldi' [+3] <+2, +3>
     Found lying on the floor in a vault at 2450 feet (level 49).

     +2 intelligence.
     +3 light.
     Provides resistance to shards.
     Cannot be harmed by fire.
     Sustains strength, wisdom.
     Slows your metabolism.
     Radius 3 light.
     Grants the ability to sense animals.

     When activated, it completely lights up and magically maps the current
     level, sensing all objects.
     Takes 107 to 210 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 92.8%
This will replace Elendil nicely. We recall again to get rid of some artifacts, and since our home is full, we buy another one next to it. We come back to 2450ft in the Helcaraxe and this time we'll try to kill the boss on the next floor. The level appears worthwhile, and we find this helm:

Code:
o) the Steel Helm of Gwinen [9,+11]
     Found lying on the floor at 2450 feet (level 49).

     Provides immunity to cold.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Sustains your life force.
Well... cold immunity is nice, but not that nice to waste an equipment slot just for it. We also kill some minor stuff and reach...

Lvl: 35, HP: 540, SP: 281

Two new spells to learn this level: Word of Destruction and Nether Ball. Useful. But it's time to go down to the last level and meet the boss: the White Balrog. And... the place is murderous. Ringwraiths, Saruman, dreadlords, osyluths, dracoliches and similar nasties in two vaults, not mentioning the probable mimic pit. The room we start in has a couple Gs that we kill, giving us two potions of enlightenment. We quaff one to see what the unknown treasures really are. Few unknown scrolls, stat potions, lots of blade of chaos and cloaks (so that's indeed a mimic pit), and probably an artifact or two in the bunch of weapons and armor. First, we visit the vault with the White Balrog inside. We start by killing Hoarmurath of Dir, we teleport two undead beholders and Eol away, then process to kill the White Balrog and Ji Indur Dawndeath almost simultaneously. After the smoke clears, we're bathing in loot. We pick up a potion of Augmentation, a potion of Constitution (we're now maxed), and all sorts of artifacts. While sorting the loot, we spot one of the dracoliches that is coming our way and carefully move away more than ten spaces from it to minimize its breath damage. We start shooting and after four turns it breathes nether as all good dracoliches do. We're surprised as we're instantly left with 109 out of our 575 hps... and breaths were supposed to be less dangerous from a safe distance. First, we teleport the dracolich away... and then equip back our quarterstaff with nether resistance instead of our ESP staff. Doesn't take long for the dracolich to come back, but this time we're prepared and we kill it. More loot. At this point, we'll have to get rid of many things in our inventory if we want to pick up all the artifacts. We read a scroll of banishment near a nycadaemon to banish U, which also should get rid of the osyluths on the level. We identify a scroll (of *Enchant Armour*) and find even more artifacts in the vault once it is cleared. Let's take a look at what we found on the level till now:

Code:
k) the Black Ring of Power of Falinnar <+1, +3>
     Dropped by Hoarmurath of Dir at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +1 strength.
     +1 intelligence.
     +3 wisdom.
     +3 dexterity.
     +3 constitution.
     +1 stealth.
     +1 light.
     Provides immunity to cold.
     Provides resistance to light, dark.
     Provides protection from fear, confusion.
     Cannot be harmed by lightning.
     Sustains strength, constitution.
     Speeds regeneration. Grants the ability to see invisible things. Prevents
     paralysis. Aggravates nearby creatures.
     Radius 1 light.
     Grants the ability to sense evil.

     When activated, it grants temporary resistance to acid, lightning, fire,
     cold and poison for 40+1d40 turns.
     Takes 237 to 290 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 97.5%
Very nice. We won't use it because of the aggravation, but it's nice.

Code:
l) the Black Ring of Power of Heldon (+8,+8) <+4, +3, +1>
     Dropped by Ji Indur Dawndeath at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +4 strength.
     +3 searching skill.
     +1 light.
     Provides resistance to acid, shards.
     Provides protection from fear.
     Cannot be harmed by lightning.
     Sustains intelligence, dexterity.
     Slows your metabolism. Prevents paralysis. Sustains your life force.
     Aggravates nearby creatures.
     Radius 1 light.
     Grants the ability to sense undead.
A little Gorlim-like ring, not useful to us.

Code:
m) the Metal Brigandine Armour of the Rohirrim (-3) [48,+15] <+2>
     Dropped by Hoarmurath of Dir at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +2 strength.
     +2 dexterity.
     Provides resistance to acid, lightning, fire, cold, sound.
     Provides protection from fear, confusion.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
More suited for melee classes, and I like the mana resistance better.

Code:
n) the Hard Leather Cap of Thranduil [2,+10] <+2>
     Dropped by Ji Indur Dawndeath at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +2 intelligence.
     +2 wisdom.
     Provides protection from blindness.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Grants telepathy.
Grants ESP instead of fire immunity on our crown. This means we can keep it as swap and get rid of our ESP staff.

Code:
r) the Short Sword of Atantar (1d7) (+14,+18) <+2, +4>
     Dropped by Ji Indur Dawndeath at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +2 strength.
     +4 wisdom.
     Slays undead.
     Branded with cold.
     Provides resistance to acid, cold, poison, disenchantment.
     Cannot be harmed by acid.
     Sustains dexterity.
     Blessed by the gods.

     Combat info:
     4.0 blows/round.
     Average damage/round: 201.2 vs. creatures not resistant to cold, 252.8
     vs. creatures susceptible to cold, 201.2 vs. undead, and 166.8 vs. others.
Meh.

Code:
t) the Lead-Filled Mace 'Amlath' (4d3) (+20,+14) <+1, +4>
     Dropped by Hoarmurath of Dir at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +1 dexterity.
     +4 speed.
     Slays animals, orcs, trolls, giants, dragons, undead (powerfully).
     Branded with poison.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Grants the ability to see invisible things.
     Grants the ability to sense undead.
     Grants the ability to sense trolls.

     Combat info:
     3.8 blows/round.
     With +0 STR and +3 DEX you would get 4.0 blows/round.
     Average damage/round: 221.1 vs. creatures not resistant to poison, 186.6
     vs. animals, 221.1 vs. orcs, 221.1 vs. trolls, 221.1 vs. giants, 221.1
     vs. dragons, 289.9 vs. undead, and 152.4 vs. others.
Still not worth it.

Code:
u) the Shovel of Fast Digging <+2>
     Dropped by Ji Indur Dawndeath at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +2 strength.
     +2 tunneling.
     +2 speed.
Just +2 speed is probably not worth it.

Code:
v) the Light Crossbow 'Miolmar' (x4) (+11,+11) <+2, +1>
     Found lying on the floor in a vault at 2500 feet (level 50).

     +2 speed.
     +1 shooting power.
     Provides resistance to light, dark.
     Provides protection from fear.
     Cannot be harmed by acid, fire.
     Sustains wisdom.
     Makes you fall like a feather.
     Grants telepathic awareness.

     When activated, it inflicts 120 points of damage on all evil monsters in
     sight, heals 50 hit points, cures all temporary negative effects, and
     grants protection from evil for 1d25+3*clvl turns.
     Takes 284 to 348 turns to recharge at your current speed.
     Your chance of success is 92.9%
Unfortunately way worse than our heavy xbow of extra shots +16. I'd like to see what's inside the other vault, especially to ID three new types of scrolls, but first we have to leave Aglarang (dropped by a greater mummy) behind, since there's nothing else we can drop from our inventory at this point. We will be able to find true artifacts again, as long as we don't pick them up and donate them in a shop. Eol is back, but we let him live for now because we don't want to get more drops we wouldn't be able to pick up. We kill a master mystic, and...

Lvl: 36, HP: 595, SP: 289

We learn the spell Ball of Terror, but at this point we probably won't use it, since Ice Storm not only stuns, but also cuts and damages non cold resistant monsters. From the other vault, we see Saruman escape with a dreadlord, a master unbeliever, a dracolich and an undead beholder. Since we're still far away from the vault, we cast Word of Destruction to get rid of them all. The first scroll we identify is Holy Prayer. The second... is *Destruction*, and we say goodbye to our vault. Well... it's time to recall then. As usual, back to Bree, bye crap arts, restocking (there's one scroll of Mass Banishment in the Black Market)... and to the next dungeon we go! This time, it's the Mines of Moria.
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