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FAQ/Walkthrough by Relle

Version: 1.01 | Updated: 10/30/06

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FAQ/Walkthrough

by Relle

getrelle@yahoo.com

Winner of the June 2006 FOTM contest!


Table of Contents

1.  Introduction
2.  Latest Updates
3.  Basics
4.  Party Building
  4a. Races
  4b. Classes
  4c. Skills
  4d. Useful Skills
  4e. Special Skills
  4f. Character Traits
5.  Walkthrough
  5a. The Mercenary Days
     5a-1. Fort Monestary
     5a-2. Beginning Heroics
     5a-3. Journey Through Nephil Lands
     5a-4. Ills and Adventures at Fort Draco
     5a-5. Formello, City of Fear
     5a-6. The Face of the Enemy
  5b. Journey to the Castle, Part 1 - Bandits, Bugs and Beaurocrats, Oh My!
     5b-1. Through the Eastern Gallery
     5b-2. Silvar Stranglehold
     5b-3. Cotra Recreation
     5b-4. Dranlon Dangers
  5c. Journey to the Castle, Part 2 - Map?  What Map?
     5c-1. Mertis and the Lost
     5c-2. Maki Maki, Maki Maki...
     5c-3. The Tower Colony and the Insanity Therein
  5d. Journey to the Castle, Part 3 - Are We There Yet?
     5d-1. The Not So Great Cave
     5d-2. Spend Your Summer at Camp Samuels
     5d-3. The Castle...FINALLY!!!
  5e. Counterattack!
     5e-1. Exploring the Great Cave
     5e-2. The Red Shade of Rage
     5e-3. Into Enemy Territory
     5e-4. Fighting the Shades
     5e-5. The Final Rest Stop - Fort Saffron
  5f. Through the Lands Unsettled
     5f-1. Bargha and Spire to the Death
     5f-2. Through the Land of Giants
     5f-3. End of the Darkside Loyalists
  5g. The Final Battle
6.  Magic
  6a. Spell List
     6a-1. Mage Spells
     6a-2. Priest Spells
  6b. Spellbooks
     6b-1. Mage Spells
     6b-2. Priest Spells
7.  Special Skill Combinations
8.  Cheats
9.  Revision History
10.  Acknowledgements
11.  Copyright Info


===============================================================================
 1.  Introduction
===============================================================================

Holy hell, it's a new Avernum game!  And I thought Jeff said he never wanted to
remake the Tower of the Magi again!  Well, let's not look a gift horse in the
mouth.  This new version combines the best of Geneforge and Avernum alike into
one great, epic package.  Quite frankly, without the character editor, you can
expect none of the grueling, terrifying listwork I put into the Avernum 3 FAQ,
but the walkthrough shall perservere!  Well...okay, I may do some listwork, but
not till I finish the game at least once and have time to fool around a bit.


===============================================================================
 2.  Latest Updates
===============================================================================

1.01 - Congratulate me, for this FAQ has been awarded the June 2006 FOTM!
If Spiderweb ever does Avernum 5, I'm going to have my work cut out for me...

1.00 - Finished!  Didn't get the best ending, so I am sadface.  I'm gonna try
a singleton game next (cheating all the way!) while I uncover any loose ends I
left in the first playthrough.

0.70 - More progress, past Bargha.

0.50 - Major progress.  Lots done, lots still left to do, I hope.

0.20 - Finished up the Eastern Gallery...I think.  I hope.  Working on Mertis
and the Honeycomb next.

0.10 - More little additions overall.

0.06 - I'm a ditz.  I started the Formello section by doing the main quest
first and didn't even notice the job board.  Fixed that, went through the
job quests in record time.

0.05 - End of the demo.  Ordering full version soon.  Put up a couple level 3
spells.  That is all.

0.01 - Back to the basics!  In case anyone's curious, I took my Avernum 3 FAQ,
gutted it of pretty much everything but the format (and a lot of the listwork)
and started anew.  There's a long way to go, and I haven't even found the end
of the demo yet.  I'm still going through the old stuff and finding stuff to
edit or outright replace, so bear with me till I get my bearings.


===============================================================================
 3.  Basics
===============================================================================

 * Just in case anyone finds my directions confusing, 'north' means the top
   part of the automap, 'south' is the bottom part, and 'east' and 'west' are
   right and left respectively.

 * In the beginning, pick up everything that has a decent value.  Money is hard
   to come by, so you've got to make do with whatever you can.

 * Confused about the controls?  Press the Tab key to see what each button does.

 * You can click the map to move automatically, and even cross great distances!

 * If you want to steal items, just make sure you aren't seen.  Close doors
   behind you, or make sure no one is around to spot you.

 * First Aid is a very powerful skill.  Make sure to put a few points into it
   over the course of the game, and remember it's shared for the entire party.

 * Before you train anyone in the tool use skill, remember that the unlock doors
   spell is improved through tool use and the various mage skills (magery, etc.)
   The spell will open more doors than someone operating on just tool use, so
   let your mage double as a locksmith.

 * When creating a mage or priest, the Natural Mage and Pure Spirit traits
   respectively give a great boost to their abilities.

 * Arrows are automatically provided, so no need to worry about running out!
   Give all your spellcasters a little bit of bow skill and equip them properly
   so they can still fight when they're out of MP.

 * Give magic scrolls and wands to your fighters and thieves to have a big
   fireball-tossing party.

 * Save before training your party, just in case you change your mind after.

 * Explore everywhere.  This should be a no-brainer.  There is much more to
   the game than what I will explore in this guide, simply because showing you
   every last mundane event would take forever and a day.

 * Save often.  This should also be a no-brainer.

 * If you find the game is too hard or too easy, you can adjust the difficulty
   on-the-fly in the options menu.


===============================================================================
 4.  Party Building
===============================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4a. Races
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 *** Human ***

Humans have no special advantages, but also no XP penalty.  Something to
consider is the surface world has long been paranoid around otherwise outlandish
races such as the Nephilim and Slithzerikai.  Having a party of all humans will
help you out in certain situations with the more 'specist' people of Valorim,
but it will also bar you from some events in the game.  Some surface Nephilim,
for example, will only help you if you have a Nephilim in your party.  While
the lack of a XP penalty is tempting, I would recommend you take a human for a
designated healing character or any other class that won't see a lot of direct
combat.

 *** Nephilim ***

These folk are a race of cat-people (unfortunately, there are no anime-style
catgirls...a shame).  They get a bonus when using ranged weapons, so if you're
making up a long-distance fighter, you'll want yourself a Nephilim.  They also
get a bonus to their dexterity and action points (AP) which allow them to move
more during combat.  They do carry with them a 10% XP penalty, so bear that in
mind.

 *** Slithzerikai ***

Wow, that's a mouthful.  The Slith are a race of lizard-people, and not only
are they resistant to fire damage, they also get a bonus on their to-hit stat
when using a pole weapon (halberds, spears, etc.)  That bonus starts at +15%
to-hit at level 1, and increases by 5% every eight levels, except for the first
bonus, which is gained after seven levels.  Here's the general chart:

Level 1:  +15%
Level 8:  +20%
Level 16:  +25%
Level 24:  +30%
Level 32:  +35%
Level 40:  +40%

And so on.  However, the use of pole weapons prevents you from using some
shields, so it's something of a trade-off.  Another thing to consider is the
paranoia surrounding the Slith.  You'll be thrust into combat more often if
a Slith is in your party, but more enemies means more XP, which a Slith
character will need.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4b. Classes
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 *** Soldier ***

Soldiers received excellent military training on the surface, the best the
Empire or Avernum had to offer.  They're very good with all sorts of weapons.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          4
Dexterity:         4
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         4

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     4
Pole Weapons:      3
Bows:              1
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      2

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       0
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         2
Defense:           1
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       2
First Aid:         2
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Berserker ***

Berserkers are wild swordsmen from the remote areas of the Empire.  Their
wildness tends to get them into trouble.  They're extremely hardy and their
sword skill is unmatched.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          4
Dexterity:         4
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         5

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     5
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              1
Thrown Missiles:   1
Quick Action:      0

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       0
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         2
Defense:           2
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       2
First Aid:         1
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Priest ***

A Priest is a follower of one of the faiths disapproved by the Empire.  They
have excellent healing and protective skills.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          2
Dexterity:         2
Intelligence:      5
Endurance:         5

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     3
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              0
Thrown Missiles:   1
Quick Action:      0

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     4
Arcane Lore:       1
Spellcraft:        1

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         0
Defense:           2
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       0
First Aid:         2
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Sorcerer ***

Sorcerers are practitioners of the wizardly arts.  Their spells are powerful,
both in offensive and defensive.  Alas, because of their dangerous research
and eccentricities, they tend to get into trouble.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          2
Dexterity:         2
Intelligence:      6
Endurance:         4

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     1
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              0
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      0

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       5
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       2
Spellcraft:        1

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         0
Defense:           0
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       1
First Aid:         0
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Rogue ***

Rogues are nimble, good with swords, and able to handle locks and traps.  They
also tend to walk off with things they don't own.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          3
Dexterity:         5
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         4

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     3
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              3
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      2

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       0
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         2
Defense:           2
Tool Use:          4
Nature Lore:       2
First Aid:         0
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Archer ***

Archers were either hunters or trained members of the Empire or Avernite
armies, highly skilled with missile weapons.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          2
Dexterity:         5
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         5

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     2
Pole Weapons:      1
Bows:              6
Thrown Missiles:   1
Quick Action:      1

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       0
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         2
Defense:           1
Tool Use:          2
Nature Lore:       1
First Aid:         0
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Rebel ***

Some people dare to rebel against the Empire.  They have to be good at
everything if they want to survive, though they don't have the freedom to excel
at one thing.  A rebel tends to have some skill with weapons, traps, and lore.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          4
Dexterity:         4
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         4

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     2
Pole Weapons:      2
Bows:              2
Thrown Missiles:   2
Quick Action:      1

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       0
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         2
Defense:           2
Tool Use:          2
Nature Lore:       1
First Aid:         3
Luck:              1

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Hedge Wizard ***

Hedge wizards tend to live in remote villages of the Empire, where they help
the locals with their magical skills.  This sort of character is good at magic
and has a little bit of training in priestly healing spells.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          2
Dexterity:         2
Intelligence:      5
Endurance:         5

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     1
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              0
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      1

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       3
Priest Spells:     3
Arcane Lore:       2
Spellcraft:        1

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         1
Defense:           0
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       1
First Aid:         1
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Shaman ***

Shamans are the priests of the back hills.  A shaman isn't quite as good at
spells as a priest, but makes up for it by being good with a sword.  Shamans
are hardy folk.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          3
Dexterity:         3
Intelligence:      4
Endurance:         4

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     3
Pole Weapons:      1
Bows:              0
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      0

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       2
Priest Spells:     3
Arcane Lore:       2
Spellcraft:        1

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         1
Defense:           0
Tool Use:          1
Nature Lore:       2
First Aid:         0
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  8
Default Character Traits:  None


 *** Custom ***

Skilled Avernum 4 players can make their own custom characters.  Custom
characters start with 75 skill points you can allocate to make your ideal
adventurers.

--------------------------------
 Base Skills       Default Stat
--------------------------------
Strength:          2
Dexterity:         2
Intelligence:      2
Endurance:         2

--------------------------------
 Combat Skills     Default Stat
--------------------------------

Melee Weapons:     0
Pole Weapons:      0
Bows:              0
Thrown Missiles:   0
Quick Action:      0

--------------------------------
 Magic Skills      Default Stat
--------------------------------

Mage Spells:       0
Priest Spells:     0
Arcane Lore:       1
Spellcraft:        0

--------------------------------
 General Skills    Default Stat
--------------------------------

Hardiness:         0
Defense:           0
Tool Use:          0
Nature Lore:       0
First Aid:         0
Luck:              0

Unused Skill Points:  75
Default Character Traits:  None


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4c. Skills
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 *** Base Skills ***

Strength - This enhances your maximum carrying capacity and provides damage
bonuses to melee attacks depending on how much of this stat you have.  Fighters
should have at least 4-5 to start, while magic-users can get away with 2-3.

Dexterity - The more of this you have, the faster your turn will come up in
combat.  Think of it as your 'speed' or 'agility' stat.  It can also give a
to-hit bonus for your weapons.  Plus, a high dexterity means it'll be harder
for enemies to land an attack on you.  Every class benefits from a little of
this skill.

Intelligence - Magic-users should focus on this skill.  More intelligence means
more spell points, resistance to various negative magical effects, and can
improve the effectiveness of your spells.  Magic-users should get as much of
this as possible.  Fighters should start with the default 2 to save on skill
points, and improve it gradually over the course of the game so they're not
charmed as often.

Endurance - This controls your health points as well as some useful skills like
poison resistance.  Every class should get at least some endurance.  Make sure
each party member has at least 4 to start out, and put as many skill points
into this as you can.

 *** Combat Skills ***

Melee/Pole/Bow/Thrown Weapons - These are all the same thing, but for different
classes of weaponry.  Each level of a skill with a particular weapon improves
your chance to-hit by 5%.  Therefore, six points of melee weapons would give
you a +30% to-hit for swords, daggers, etc.

Quick Action - Very useful, this lets you act quicker in combat, and with enough
skill points, you'll get an extra swing.  Definitely pump this up for your melee
fighters, but anyone who uses a bow primarily won't benefit as much.

 *** Magic Skills ***

Mage/Priest Spells - Obviously these should only be given to designated magic
users.  You can create a warrior/mage hybrid, but it will seriously tax your
skill points.  The greater your mage/priest spell level, the more and better
spells you can cast.  The higher this skill at creation, the more spells you
can cast at the beginning of the game.  Eventually you should get one (mage or
priest) up to level 18+ so you can cast the best spells of the game.

Arcane Lore - Cheap and useful.  You can get a few free levels with a high
intelligence stat.  This skill is actually pooled amongst your party members
when called into use, meaning if your party members have 2, 4, 5 and 8 lore
separately, the game will check against a total lore skill of 19.  With that in
mind, spread this skill around your whole party rather than have one member hog
it all.

Spellcraft - A new skill for the Avernum series, this will give a general
improvement upon your magic spells.  Effective for both mages and priests, it's
the equivalent of an extra level of mage/priest spells or magery, so putting
points into it will help boost your spell power dramatically.

 *** General Skills ***

Hardiness - A decent skill, each level of hardiness has a chance of reducing
enemy weapon damage and magic effects by 1.  This also works on poison, acid
and other adverse effects, so a few points here and there helps.

Defense - This skill is a must.  Each level of it reduces the enemy's chance
of hitting you with weapons by 5%.  Every class type benefits from this skill,
so pick up a couple levels to start, then put points into it as you go.

Tool Use - For thieves only.  It does no good to spread this skill around, so
choose your lockpicker/trap disarmer and pump up this skill for him/her over
the course of the game.  Get it up to 8 as soon as you can, most of the
beginning traps and locked doors require at least 8 skill.

Nature Lore - A high nature lore will let you avoid encounters with monsters
outdoors, which can be useful.  It also lets you loot the various item caches
scattered around Avernum.  Between free items and less fighting, it's quite a
handy skill.  Spread it around your party for the best benefits.

First Aid - They've made this skill useful!  First aid not only restores both
HP and SP, it's applied automatically when combat ends.  The more of this skill
you have, the more you regain.  You can spread it around your party and get
the same effect as one person with a high level of skill.  Definitely keep this
up as you progress through the game, it'll help for long dungeon treks.

Luck - I cannot stress how useful this skill is.  While it may not seem like
much at first, a high luck can prevent you from dying after a mortal blow
numerous times.  It can also influence many events in the game, so make sure
to get a few points in this for each character.  The only downside is the
high cost.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4e. Special Skills
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special skills are only available from particular teachers and a certain
combination of skills.  When you've raised your base skills to the required
level, the special skills become trainable.  They're also available from various
NPC trainers around Avernum, but at a high price.  Bear in mind the skill
requirements are the base numbers, any skill points you get from equipment
doesn't count.

Anatomy - Improves your damage against humans and humanoids like giants.
Requires 6 Intelligence and 8 Melee or Pole skill.  

Blademaster - Every level of this improves your chance to-hit with melee
weapons, along with the damage you do.  Requires 6 Strength, 6 Melee and 6 Pole
skill.

Gymnastics - Gymnastics acts as a combination of Defense and Dexterity.  More
of this skill makes you harder to hit and lets you act faster in combat.
Requires 6 Strength and 8 Dexterity.

Lethal Blow - Equivalent to the now-defunct assassination skill, though
difficult to get.  Requires 8 Anatomy and 8 Blademaster.

Magery - This skill quite simply improves the effectiveness of every spell you
have, both priest and mage alike.  X and other trainers will teach you this.
Requires 8 Intelligence and 6 Mage or Priest skill.

Magical Efficiency - As the skill says, this occasionally lets you cast a spell
without using up any SP.  The Divine Spirit trait starts you with 2 points, and
the Natural Mage trait gives you 1.  Requires 8 Magery and 8 Endurance.

Parry - A nice skill, this will sometimes let you avoid a melee blow entirely.
Very powerful end-game.  Requires 6 Dexterity and 6 Defense.

Quick Strike - Ups your chance of acting before the enemy, and raises your
chance of attacking twice in one swing.  Requires 6 Dexterity and 6 Melee or
Pole skill.

Resistance - An all-in-one magic repellant.  Improves all resistances.  Requires
8 Dexterity, 8 Endurance and 8 Hardiness

Riposte - Lets you occasionally counterattack an enemy's strike.  Requires 8
Parry and 8 Blademaster.

Sharpshooter - This is the ranged weapon equivalent to Blademaster.  You'll do
more damage with ranged weapons and have an increased chance to hit.  Shrum in
Camp Samuels will train you in this after you complete his quest.  Requires
6 Dexterity and 8 Bow or Thrown skill.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4f. Character Traits
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here you'll find the game's traits, which can give your characters a certain
advantage in exchange for a XP penalty, and in some cases, a bonus.  You can 
have, at maximum, two traits, but you can also opt to have none in order to
save on the XP penalties.

Good Constitution (-8% XP) - You receive less damage from physical attacks,
poison and acid.  A decent trait, for a mere -8% XP loss.

Nimble Fingers (-8% XP) - For thieves only.  If you have a specially-designated
thief character, he/she should have this trait.

Thick Skin (-8% XP) - Reduces melee damage taken.  Good for your front-liners,
obviously.  Combined with Good Constitution, they can take a lot of punishment.

Strong Will (-10% XP) - Helps you resist charming and the like.  Useful if
you have a fighter-type character with low intelligence.

Deadeye (-10% XP) - Increases your effectiveness with ranged weapons, and gives
you two points in the Sharpshooter special skill.

Fast on Feat (-12% XP) - Very handy for melee classes, this gives you an
increased evade chance and sometimes provides extra action points.

Pure Spirit (-15% XP) - Increases the effectiveness of priest spells, and gives
you two points of the Magic Efficiency special skill.  If you've got a
designated healer, they should have this.

Natural Mage (-15% XP) - The mage equivalent to Pure Spirit, though this only
gives them one point of Magic Efficiency.  The trait does improve mage spells
specifically, so that does make up for it...somewhat.

Elite Warrior (-15% XP) - Like natural mage, this is for your fighters.  It
gives them bonuses for their to-hit and damage and increases with your level.
Whether or not there is a similar damage cap (and whether it's as easy to reach
it) in Avernum 4, I can't say yet.  I'll get back to you.

Divinely Touched (-30% XP) - This skill is a little bit of everything.  While
the XP penalty is prohibitive, you gain small versions of the benefits from
all the above-mentioned traits.  You'll also get one point each in Blademaster,
Magery and Sharpshooter.

Weak Minded (+5% XP) - This will let you be mind-controlled easier.  Possibly
a good way to offset the beneficial traits if you have a character that'll be
mostly away from the action (and thus less likely to be mind-controlled).
However, bear in mind your characters typically hit harder than the enemy, so
if they're mind-controlled...well, just know what you're getting into.

Delicate Skin (+8% XP) - You'll receive increased magic, fire and cold damage
with this trait, and considering the amount of those in Avernum games, probably
not a good idea unless you like a challenge.

Sluggish (+10% XP) - This is something horrible.  You receive a penalty to your
AP and your dexterity.  Not something you want in this game.

Brittle Bones (+15% XP) - This isn't so bad for magic-users, since they should
avoid physical combat altogether.  Combined with Natural Mage, you'll negate
any XP penalties.  You just shouldn't go anywhere near the enemy.

Frail (+20% XP) - Never take this.  It will render a character essentially
useless.  They take more damage, do less, and overall end up a burden on your
party.


===============================================================================
 5.  Walkthrough
===============================================================================

A word on party creation before we begin.  There are many options for your
party, and none are 'wrong.'  There is no party you cannot beat the game with,
fortunately.  If you're feeling particularly daring, you can even leave behind
one or two members, or even go through the game as a singleton for a real
challenge.  For the purposes of this guide, however, I will assume you're
taking the standard four-member party.  With that said, let's begin.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a. The Mercenary Days
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-1. Fort Monestary
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Find Captain Matos            Metal for Dawdy           Message to Grindstone
 Get Equipment                 Philip's Ring             Bat Bits Required
 Find Goblin Passage           Inspect Scrolls           Undead Infestation
 Kill Goblin Leader            Translate Scrolls         Message to Fort Draco
 Go to Fort Draco              Find Missing Shipment


As you begin, you'll be treated to a tutorial of sorts that'll give you a run-
through of the basics, from items to combat.  Work your way through and search
around for items, then go upstairs.  Talk to Captain Matos to be given a quick
quest to get yourself further geared.  Now explore the fort.  Speak to Philip
at the inn to get a quest regarding his ring.  The job board outside has more
things to do, but we'll get to those later.  As Matos says, the items you want
are along the west side of the fort.  Pick those up, then return to him to be
given your next assignment.

Now, the tunnel you want is in the very southwest corner of the minimap.  Go
down the partially hidden trap door and explore a bit.  You'll find a few
goblins and a porticullus.  If you reach the Goblin Lands, head back and talk
to Matos to get the official quest to kill the goblin leader.  If you have the
money, upgrade some of your spells.  Which ones, I leave up to you.  Now head
back to the Goblin Lands.

Right off the bat you'll have to fight four bats.  These are some strong
buggers, and if they land more than one hit on you, odds are you'll die.  Use
your best spells and beat them to death.  If someone does die, leave the tunnel
and go through the Fort Monestary gate to bring them back.  Makes you wonder
why the priests are there, huh?

Further along, you'll find a staircase leading up to the goblin hideout on the
west side of the minimap.  A tunnel to the goblin fen will be in the southeast.
There are some spiders in the mid-east part of the map, if you care to fight
them.  They're pretty strong, and have a lot of HP, but their treasure is good.
You'll find a spear and some armor.  If you've got a Slith in your party, give
them the spear and watch things die.

If you decide to go to the goblin fen first, read on.  You'll face some cave
slimes, but they're pretty easy to kill.  Go west, and you'll come across a
locked door.  If you can open it, prepare for a fight.  If not, ignore it and
go to the southwest corner of the map.  See the pile of dirt?  If your nature
lore is high enough, you'll get a lovely crystal.  To the southeast, you'll
find a bunch of goblins, but save before you get to them.  One casts bolt of
fire, which can pretty much kill someone if it's followed up by a regular
attack (or just one-shot them).  Past them you'll find a staircase leading
to the world map.  Rather than random battles like past Avernum games, monsters
will just be sitting around like in dungeons.  However, this isn't the way to
completing your quest.

If you took the stairs up to the goblin hideout, be prepared for a lot of
fighting.  If your first aid skill isn't high enough to keep your magic-users
combat-worthy, you may want to retreat for a bit, or go through the fen.
Otherwise, continue.  To the southwest there will be an altar guarded by a
few goblins.  It'll also have a shielding knife, but if you take it, it spawns
a guardian imp.  He's not too strong, so go ahead and rob their religion.  The
goblin leader is one room east and two north of the stairs.

As you approach, he'll bring up a conversation dialogue.  You can choose to
either let him go, or kill him.  I'd kill him (and did) since he drops great
items, including a chainmail vest and a gold ring.  Past the leader's area,
you'll find an altar (has nothing) and a giant lizard guarding even more
treasure.  Gather up what you can carry, then head on out of there.

There are two ways back.  You can either leave the goblin fort by going east,
then north to Fort Monestary, or back downstairs and through the already clear
tunnels.  Either way, head back.

Once back in town, sell off all your loot and see if you can't buy some new
spells and gear.  Then talk to Matos and get your new marching orders.  Train
up your skills if you want, and check out the job board if you haven't.  At
this point you can either complete these quests, or go off to Fort Draco.
Personally, I'd go sidequesting.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-2. Beginning Heroics
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Kill Ogre                 None
                               Clear Barriers


Make sure you have the three quests from the job board, and the quest to find
Philip's ring before setting out.  Fortunately, they all take place to the
south, so head down that way.

Grindstone is a pretty small town, but it has some nice things.  If you can get
into the storage room, close the door behind you and go to town on the items in
there.  Check downstairs for even more goodies, but you might not be able to
get through all the traps without some pain.  If not, come back later.

You'll find Stanos in the mines to the south, and you can get Philip's ring off
him without a fight.  Jenn's office is marked, so deliver the message when you
can.  You'll also find a quest to deal with an ogre from the guy in the
barracks.  Like the man says, it's east of town.  Go and deal with it real
quick.  It can hit hard, but a couple good spells will kill it off.  Return and
collect your reward money while you're at it.

One screen east and one north of Grindstone, you'll find a house with a patrol
guard.  She'll sell an apprentice's belt for 300 gold, one which gives +1 to
the Magical Efficiency skill.  If you have the spare cash, it's a pretty decent
item for this early in the game.  If you want, go back to Fort Monestary and
unload all your spoils, and hand in the bat wings to Lark.  What?  You didn't
collect any bat wings?  Actually, you did.  All you had to do was kill the bats.
Their wings aren't actual items you pick up.  He'll give you a quest to check
the scrolls in his house.  Go and do so, then return to him and he'll give you
another quest, this time to go to Formello.

Now we go after ghosts.  One screen west of Grindstone, you'll find a trap door
in the middle of some stone columns.  Go down and explore.  You'll find a ghost
who will ask if you want to be tested.  The test is fairly simple.  All you do
is beat on the shade until it says stop.  I don't know precisely how much damage
is necessary to pass, but if you've upgraded the Repel Spirit spell, you'll have
a much easier time of it.  Just buff up your party in the first couple rounds,
haste your melee fighters, and keep pounding him.  If it says you pass, you can
open the cabinet nearby and get a nice necklace.

Leave, return to Grindstone to recover, and if your tool use is up to 8, you can
defeat Harko.  He's the one behind that locked door in the goblin fen.  He's
also got a bunch of his zombie buddies around, but as long as you buff up first
and take them down one at a time, Harko won't prove much more difficult.
Collect your reward from Matos, and that's about all you can do right now.  The
barrier in the Grindstone mine can't come down right now, but remember it for
later.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-3. Journey Through Nephil Lands
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Kill Khrosh               None


Head east out of Fort Monestary to find the bridge leading to parts unknown.
Some hostile nephil guard it, and even if you have a nephil in your party, they
won't listen to reason.  You'll have to fight.  Unfortunately, unless you can
nail all three on the bridge, one will run and alert a few more nephil.  Fight
them all anyway, as their camp has some good stuff.  When you're done, head
east.

At this point you'll be entering hostile nephil lands, so be prepared to fight
quite a few.  Keep moving east till you spot a friendly nephil encampment.  Talk
to the leader, who will provide you with a key that'll let you enter a tunnel
to the southeast.  Now, you can fight your way through the Longtail clan's
base, or you can use the tunnel to go straight to their leader and kill him.
If you want to do the former, just go east till you hit the river, then south
till you find a door.  Use the key and head on in.  Take the first set of
stairs you see, as further down the tunnel you'll find static bats, and those
are some tough customers.

You'll appear right by the Longtail leader's room.  He's got a couple nephil
guards, but if you still have the SP to buff your party, just take him down
first and his buddies will follow.  Make sure to enter his chamber after he's
dead, as he's got a couple nice things waiting.  Leave the same way you went
in, and go back to the nephil camp to get your rewards.  Now return to the
hidden tunnel and go past the stairs leading to the Longtails.

The static bats are tougher than your usual mottled variety, and they can curse
a person when struck.  Be cautious here, they can also hit pretty hard.  You'll
have to kill quite a few of them, then the path will branch off.  To the left
you'll find three fire lizards, who won't attack if your nature lore is high
enough.  If not, well...beyond them are a wisdom crystal, along with a few
others you can just sell, so it may be worth it to fight.

To the right you'll come out by an evil altar and a bunch of nephil.  Rather
than rush in, stick your strongest melee fighter in the tunnel and let them
come to you one by one.  It's far easier than running in and giving them the
initiative, as they can bless themselves and hit very hard.

Once they're dead, sneak your way down south through the Longtail camp (or just
carve a bloody swath, your choice).  You'll have to fight through a couple more
camps on your way, but after going south from the main Longtail area, go one
screen east and you'll find a bridge along the road.  Go north from there to
find Fort Draco.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-4. Ills and Adventures at Fort Draco
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Fort Draco Mines              Hunting Tolliver          Message to Formello
 Go to Formello                Annoying Hellhound        Find the Seeds
                               Vahnatai Crystal          Wanted: Graymold
                                                         Hunting the Gazer Beast


It's good to be back in civilization, isn't it?  Take a look around, there's
lots to see.  Check the job board.  There's a full plate for you, but check the
inn first.  Talk to Bagli to get the quest to kill Tolliver, then talk to
Commander Anford in the barracks.  He'll give you another quest, and access to
the hidden tunnel in the southeast corner of Fort Draco.  Take it to find and
kill Tolliver.

Just follow the tunnel.  It'll split a few times, but ignore the first two
splits and go north at the third for some spiders (easy kills, good loot) and
south to find Tolliver.  He's not that hard to kill, but his dog can hurt you,
bad.  Take him out quick and focus fire on his puppy, then just go back to
Bagli and collect your reward.

In the northeast corner of Draco you'll find Tannik, who is the end point of a
delivery quest from Monestary.  Next door you'll get a quest to eliminate an
annoying hellhound for a snooty alchemist.  Wandering around will be Mabile the
sage, who gives you a quest to find a Vahnatai crystal.  At this point you can
complete the various quests available to you (make sure to check the job board).
One such option is to head back to Fort Monestary (be prepared to fight some
nephil) and hand in the two quests you've completed along the way.  However,
don't go there quite yet.

First go one screen east of Fort Draco.  Along the middle of the map in the
extreme north and south are a healer and hedge wizard respectively, who will
train you in some spells.  The hedge wizard only has a new rank of slow, but
the healer will teach you unshackle mind if you have at least six ranks of
priest spell skill.  Now then, on to the quests!

Since the main quest of this section takes place to the north, head south of
Draco first.  East of the bridge to/from the nephil lands is a farmhouse.
Behind it will be a trap door.  Head down and inspect the pot to find the seeds
for one quest.  Now return to the world map and go two screens west.  Around
the bend near the river you'll find a small treasure trove guarded by three
giant lizards.  Kill them off and collect your spoils, including a piercing
crystal.  Remember that barrier in Grindstone?  Now you can remove it.  Go back
to Monestary, hand in the two quests there, then go to Grindstone and prepare
for a fight.

There are a few shades down here, of increasing strength as you fight deeper
into the cave.  Spam repel spirit as much as you can, and keep yourself healthy.
Afterwards, check the crystal formations for items, and pick up the crystals on
the ground.  Turn in the quest to Jenn and go back to the Longtail camp.  Go one
screen east of the main camp to find the lizard shore.  Explore around, there's
some loot and battles to be had.  The gazer beast wanders around on the world
map in these tunnels, and looks like the regular giant lizards.  It's got more
HP and hits harder, but otherwise doesn't seem to do anything special.

With that done, return to Draco to rest up and hand in the gazer quest, then go
one screen south, one west and one more south to find the slime tunnels.  There
are half a dozen entrances into the dungeon, and two screens.  Various crawlers
litter the tunnels, and underneath the western end of the underground is the
worm queen.  It'll spawn a crawler regularly and has a few hundred HP, but if
your party is blessed, you'll take it down...eventually.  It's got some good
XP and treasure to be sure.

Once you're finished cleaning up, return to Draco and head one screen south and
one east.  The hellhound the alchemist was complaining about is in the very
southeastern corner of the map.  There are a few giant lizards to take out, and
the hellhound itself can hurt you badly if it lands a hit, but otherwise it's a
simple clean-up job.  Return to Draco and hand in any outstanding quests.
Incidentally, after you hand in the gazer beast quest, you can get a quest off
the job board to kill the worm queen...the one that's already dead.  Good stuff.

Head up north, it's time to hit the mines.  Hand in the seeds to Damien, then
go east to find yourselves amidst...UNDEAD!  EEK!  Err...yes.  Use repel spirit
to its utmost, especially against the ghouls and other stronger undead.  The
Vahnatai crystal is in the northwest corner of the map, but you'll have to
fight your way all the way around to get there.  It's in the left of two
cabinets near a very well locked door.  Make sure to open the nearby gate and
speak to the shade beyond.  It'll follow you around and provide buffs...no idea
why.

Anyway, all around the mine are staircases leading to the lower level.  Two of
them have traps preventing further exploration.  One will lead you into a fight
against several undead, but the treasures are quite good.  The last (going
counter-clockwise) will set you against the 'boss' of this place.  Like the
worm queen before it, the silent specter will summon undead periodically, and
has a lot of HP to back it up.

Hopefully you have sufficient SP left, and if not, take a potion.  Buff your
party, and especially put haste on your melee fighters.  Spare at least one
attack to kill off a skeleton, or they'll quickly swarm you.  Don't waste repel
spirit on the specter, melee attacks are sufficient, and you need SP for heals.

Assuming you survive (optimism!) there are two things left here.  The first is
the very large crystal pillar in the back room.  Wait and see what it does, and
you will be...marked.  What this means for you will be revealed, in time.  The
other thing is behind a barrier.  If you still have the piercing crystals from
Grindstone, this is the time to use one.  Behind the barrier is a necklace and
a knowledge brew (same thing as a wisdom crystal).  Very good loot.  Take your
fill and return to Fort Draco.

Hand in your two quests: a crystal to Mabile and your report to Anford.  He'll
instruct you to go to Formello (we're making progress!) so head out!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-5. Formello, City of Fear
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 See the Mayor                 The Testing Circle        Rat Hunt
 See Genevieve                                           Message to Farm
 Explore Motrax Caves                                    Inn Clearing
 Go to the Castle                                        Hunt Spliceworms
                                                         Message to Silvar
                                                         Hunt Hrickis


Things look pretty bad here.  Go see the mayer first off, then check with
Genevieve (she's in the library).  The sage in the same library will teach you
the spells Icy Rain and unlock doors, both very handy, but very expensive.
Edge around the outskirts of the park and visit the church in the north end.
The priest there will give you a quest to be 'tested' before he'll teach you.
In the very northeast corner of Formello there are some stairs leading to the
oft-talked-about Sage Townsend.  He'll tell you what's going on, and train you
in Arcane Lore and Spellcraft...for a very high price.

Return to the mayor and get your next request: head to Motrax's caves and
find out about that mark.  There's very few other quests to be had here, seeing
as everyone is paralyzed by fear and all...but that's no matter, you're an
adventurer!  You have baggy pants, you'll know what to do!  Err...

Well, if you want new priest spells, go east of Formello.  Unfortunately, to do
that, you have to leave by the south gate and go around.  The stone circle is
rather prominent once you reach the east side of the walls.  The crystal will
spawn a series of shades, so as always, repel spirit saves your butt.  Kill
them all and return to be trained in enduring shield and summon shade.  The
latter I'd skip, just because I'm not a fan of summoning spells.

Now for sidequests!  The inn you can clear right away.  Just go upstairs and
you'll find an oozing zombie that causes poison on whoever hits it.  Kill it,
cure your party and get your reward.  The rats, as the quest log says, can be
found in storerooms all around the area.  Just explore and kill all you find.
Likewise, the spliceworms will be dead as a consequence.  The letter to the
farm can be completed northwest of Formello, at the farm in the northeast
corner of the map, second floor.

There are a few other things to explore before you head off to the caves.
Southeast of Formello is a lizard warren, with a rather large underground cave
with lots of crystals for you to loot.  Unfortunately, when you get close to
the island in the center, lots of lizards spawn and attack.  If you buff up
your party, they're only so much fodder.  A staircase in the southwest corner
of the map will lead you back to the overworld, and another critter guarding
more treasure.  Near the lizard tunnels is a lizard hunter (who'da thunk it?)
who will sell graymold for that pesky quest you've had.  Turn it in to Fort
Draco when you have the time.

Once you complete a couple job quests, you can pick up the quest to kill
Hrickis.  He's northeast of Formello, and as the locals say, follow the undead.
You'll find his base in the very northeast corner of the map, though the
undead around it are friendly...until you try to enter the evil lair itself,
and they attack.  Upstairs you'll be thrown into a veritable gauntlet of undead,
then you'll face Hrickis himself.

First off, you need to kill his crystal.  Unfortunately, three ghouls spawn
behind you, and when the crystal dies, it poisons anyone nearby.  Send in one
melee fighter to take out the crystal while one more stays behind to hold off
the ghouls.  The crystal has to go fast, because it'll inflict terror on one
nearby party member per round, and it doesn't take much magic damage.  Once the
crystal is down, cure and heal as best you can, and take out Hrickis.  If he
summons a spitting wyrmkin, focus fire on it before it can attack, as its breath
weapon does a decent amount of damage and inflicts high damage over time.  Once
Hrickis is dead, examine his spellbook and head back to Formello for your
reward: coinage and a nice shield.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5a-6. The Face of the Enemy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          None                      None


When you're ready, head out the west gate and go north.  The Formello mines
will be infected by split worms who spawn an extra little wriggly thing when
they die.  Fortunately, you need to kill these for the job quest in Formello.
There's a trap door leading to the second level of the mine in the extreme
northwest corner, but be prepared to fight a lot of worms for the treasure
they protect.

One screen east of the mine in the barren tunnels, you'll find some hostile
nephil.  Among them are ones who can cause fear on your party, which can be
cured by unshackle mind (if you bought it).  There's a trap door leading to
another "tester" shade along the middle-north edge of the map, but don't go
there yet.  He's behind a barrier (there goes your other piercing crystal) and
currently, you can't beat him.  He'll put out a frost area of effect spell that
does 40 or so damage each round, so...yeah, not a good idea at this point in
the game.

Instead, go one more screen east to find the Motrax caves.  First make your way
up to the northeast corner.  The mark on your hands will reveal a secret
passage, and the crystal beyond.  It will instruct you to go below...well, no
one ever said there wouldn't be spelunking (except...isn't all of Avernum one
big spelunk?)

Anyway, the stairs down are in the center of the map, guarded by half a dozen
goblins and a couple slith who will all attack at once.  Hopefully you got the
Icy Rain spell, otherwise you'll have to focus-fire one target at a time.
Also, one of the slith will charm one of your party, and if it's one of your
heavy melee hitters, you'll be lucky if you don't lose at least one person.

If you haven't yet, return to Formello once the battle's done to get yourselves
back up to full health.  You'll need it.  When you're charged and ready, head
down the stairs.  You'll need to fight your way down a long hall filled with
dazed nephil, slith and slimes.  The path brances off to the left and right at
the end.  Go left first, and open the door you see.  Examine the leftmost golem
and it will follow and help you in battle.  Now go south if you're not afraid
to die.

Yes, die.  South will be a real, live drake.  It starts the battle by hasting
itself, then spends the rest of it summoning aid twice each round.  Keep casting
slow on it, and it will spend its turns re-hasting.  If it manages to summon
a spitting wyrmkin, KILL IT FAST!  It spits acid that deals a good amount of
damage, then will deal even more damage over time.  It's actually more dangerous
than the drake itself, since that thing will mainly only summon.

Assuming you win, you'll get to loot the rather pitiful treasure trove...though
there is a quest item in the pot.  Go back to Formello now and rest up, you'll
need to be at the top of your game for the upcoming battle.  When you're ready,
return to the path split and go right.  First you'll have to take out some
thorny spitters, then you'll fight the real threat.

This battle requires a little more strategy and positioning than most.  Don't
attack Kravvit-bok right off the bat, he'll just use the crystals to heal
himself.  Instead, take down the crystals first...but there's a catch.  When a
crystal breaks, it'll release poison, and each time a crystal dies, the damage
from that poison gets worse.  Haste your priest right off, then your melee-ers.
Send in the melee and keep your casters well away.  You can still throw cures
at your party members even if they're not in direct line of sight, so just spam
them once a crystal breaks.  Take down all four crystals, and you'll just be
left with that summon-spamming Kravvit-bok.  Fortunately, the poison affects
him too, so you'll have an edge.  After the crystals are gone, the only thing
left is to beat him and his summons down.

When Kravvit-bok dies, you'll get a special crystal, and you'll get to gather
up loot.  There's a lot of crystals down here, but the real treasure is in a
small room to the south.  The book there will teach you Icy Rain at level 3!

Now leave the lower level, but before returning to Formello, go to the crystal
in the northeast corner of the caves.  Show it the shard you picked up, THEN
return to Formello.  On your way in you'll notice the shade they were talking
about has returned.  Talk to the mayor first to be given your next marching
orders.

The Castle...the big time!  Avoid the center of town now, the shade will most
definitely kill you if you get too close.  Head south out of Formello to find
the quarantine barrier, or what's left of it.  What lies beyond...you'll soon
find out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5b. Journey to the Castle, Part 1 - Bandits, Bugs and Beaurocrats, Oh My!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5b-1. Through the Eastern Gallery
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Kill Bandit Havnar        Message to Fort Avernum
                               Kill Bandit Kelda         Clean the Farm
                               Kill Bandit Bragg         Dranlon Delivery
                               Bottles of Wine           Bandit Caches
                               Sacks of Meal
                               Mysterious Fort
                               Hunting Graytusk


It's a big cave, and the bandits in residence want your head.  The farmhouse to
the southwest has nothing of value, but bandits will ambush you if you enter.
If you do, stay out of sight so the archers have to come in close and use Icy
Rain to kill them fast.  Either way, follow the road south and east till you
reach Fort Duvno.

This place is merely a stopping point, though it has several job and sidequests.
Be sure to visit Walner the Sage, he'll train you in spellcraft and arcane
lore, and you can learn Enduring Shield rank 3 upstairs from his shop.  Talk to
Commander Johnson to receive the quests for killing the bandit leaders (fun
stuff) and be sure to check the job board before you go out.

Now follow the road south again till you find Fort Avernum.  Talk to Ayrie to
be let in, then speak with Captain Nathan.  He'll train you in a few mid-level
spells, as well as tell you what's going on.  Head downstairs to find every
adventurer's favorite tool: the teleporter.  You can use this device to visit
every city in which you've activated that pylon outside the respective walls
(funny, I thought they were more sinister than that).  Just touch the pylons
to be warped back to Fort Avernum.

For now, use it to return to Duvno.  Leave the fort to the northeast, and take
the opportunity to clear out the farm there of slimes.  They emit a poison cloud
that infects anyone in melee range, but they're very weak against magic (not so
much against physical attacks).  When they're all dead, explore the tunnels to
the north to find one of the bandit caches.  A second cache is one screen south,
among the tunnels on the eastern side of the map.  William on the farm in the
same screen will give you a quest to tell him what's inside Fort Avernum, and
if you've already been there, it's an easy one.  The final cache is yet another
screen south, in the southern of two tunnels in the northeast part of the map.
The northern one holds a number of giant lizards and a lizard matriarch, who
protects a rather nice treasure horde.

Return to Fort Duvno and hand in the cache quest for an iron breastplate (sorta
sucks unless your weapon skills are high).  Now head one screen west to find a
ruined bandit fort.  There's a ladder in the northeast corner leading to a book
behind a barrier, so hopefully you have a piercing crystal.  The bandit you want
is in the southwest corner of the fort, and rest assured you'll have to fight
through a lot of bandits to kill Havnar.  His sword poisons you when you're hit,
but he doesn't summon, so he's not as tough as other bosses.  The book nearby
teaches Unlock Doors at level 3, so make sure to read it before you go.  Also
get the bronze key from the box in that same room, then return to Duvno and
report your kill.

Now take that key and go one screen northwest.  You'll find a locked door (which
the key opens) and a whole lot of goblins.  Go straight past the door and take
out the goblins and ogres, then go up the stairs on the right side.  Past even
more goblins, ogres and worgs (along with a burning fungus, which should be
killed off fast) is Kelda.  She has three hellhounds with her, which need to
die first.  Their flame breath and double attacks hurt, a lot.  Once they're
dead, Kelda is nothing.  Kill her and go back to Duvno for your reward.

The final bandit is a little trickier.  Go one screen west of Kelda's fort, and
talk to the soldier-looking guy in the mideast part of the map for a quest to
kill an ogre.  Now go north to enter the bandit castle, home of Bragg.  Before
you go storming the castle, however, head one screen west and take out some
worms.  There's a girdle of insight in a pile of dirt nearby, a very nice belt
for casters.

Now then, head east till you reach a gate.  You'll have to take out a few
archers via arrows and magic, which can be a pain.  As you work your way through
the castle, go through the first door you see (more archers) and follow the path
to Graytusk.  The ogre himself isn't that hard, but he has about a dozen hench-
things to make it difficult for you.  Back in the bandit castle, Emberstone is
nearby, one of those "summon something once a round" wizards.  Take him out and
move on.

Past Emberstone are a few more various denizens, and an altar room.  Touch it
to have a whole bunch of skeletons summoned.  Just spam repel spirit and claim
the blessed spear one of them drops.  Now take the stairs on the western side of
the castle down to the sub-level.  Follow the path, and it will split in three
general directions.  East is a piercing crystal in a box, west is a room with
a barrier (hint, hint) past which is a Daze spellbook.

North-ish will be Bragg.  He starts the encounter by casting slow on your whole
party (no way to avoid it, it's scripted) and has a few buddies come at you
from behind.  Start hasting and otherwise buffing yourselves, and prepare for
a long fight.  Bragg will drink a healing potion when he's low on health,
making this whole process much longer.  What you really need to watch out for
is the nephil, as he will buff everyone and summon critters.  Kill him off
first and deal with the rest at your discretion.  Also note that it's possible
to kill off Bragg before he uses a potion, but you pretty much have to take him
from half health to dead in one round.  It's possible, but requires a little
luck.

Once more assuming you live, take Bragg's stuff (he has some really nice things)
and head back to Duvno for your final reward.  The steel breastplate is pretty
much the highest-grade non-magical armor you can get, though you need a great
deal of weapon skill to offset the negative chance to hit.  Return to Fort
Avernum, then head one screen west.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5b-2. Silvar Stranglehold
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Hunting Hosharr           Chitrach Claws
                               Bugs in the Cellar        Message: Fort Avernum
                                                         Cotra Bandit Bounty
                                                         Kill the Goo


Silvar isn't in very good shape.  There's a shade here as well, and when it's
active, you won't be able to use certain merchants and train with Captain Call.
The latter is in the northeast corner of the city and is the best trainer ever,
seriously.  He'll give you extra skill points for all your combat abilities,
though it's pretty dang expensive.

If the shade's not up, make sure to take advantage of the merchants, and check
the job board.  The message to Fort Avernum is quick and painless, though the
other quests can take a while.  Near the inn is a room with a few "thugs," and
this room leads to a tunnel with burning fungi and some people who are
apparently keeping tabs on Silvar's farmers.  Report it back to the mayor, who
will have nothing more to do with you, shade or no shade.

Now head down into the sewers.  There are a couple of entrances, but take the
one in the slums (southeast part of the city) so you can learn about Pea Eye
from Lorena.  Pea Eye is in a small alcove on the east-north side, though not
way in the corner.  The goo for the job quest is lurking nearby, so take out
both and learn about the shades.

Now then, for the other quests, go west outside the city and pick up a hammer,
pincers, tongs and fine steel from the smithy there to take to Fort Dranlon
(you may have to steal the steel...and I apologize for that).  Go one screen
north and enter the house in the southwest corner for a chitrach-killing quest.
The entrance to the cellar is a small trapdoor a little north of the house,
hidden amongst some trees.  If you stomp on the ground, the chitrach will appear
in several waves.  In the third wave you'll encounter a chitrach who can charm
your party, so make sure to kill it first and fast.  Your rewards for this are
substantial, and include a pair of blessed boots.

When you're done squishing bugs, go two screens west and one screen north of
Silvar to reach Cotra.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5b-3. Cotra Recreation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          The Island Route          Swamp Nodules
                               Question the Prisoner     Message: Fort Dranlon
                               Eyestalks Required        The Boneborer
                                                         Grob's Tools


Cotra is...how shall I put this...sort of in half.  There's the main city, which
they're currently rebuilding, and a number of the usual city accutriments one
screen west.  Make sure to visit the mage in the main city, though, because
he'll teach you the spell lightning spray!  Whee, zappy!  But don't buy any
spells yet, wait a little bit.

You'll find Quickshank in a small brigand hideout down a tunnel in the northwest
corner of Cotra, outside the walls.  He's no more deadly than any other brigand
leader, with the same poisoned sword and multiple henchmen.  I actually used a
scroll of control foe on him and he took out his henchmen for me...very amusing.

The two quests Question the Prisoner and Eyestalks Required are, in fact,
related.  The prisoner you must question is the same one you need the eyestalk
from.  If you interrogate and kill the prisoner, you get no reward from the
first quest.  So, ask the eyestalk about the monsters and shades, return to the
mayor to get your coinage, then return and kill the thing.

Before you engage it in combat, make sure your melee fighters have augmentation
on them.  The gazer will hit one person every couple of rounds for 70+ damage,
so unless you have really high endurance, that'll be a one-hit kill.  Besides
that, it doesn't do anything, so as long as you keep your melee healthy, it's
an easy fight.  Just don't tell the mayor you killed the thing after you're
done.  Hand in the eyestalks to the mage, and he'll teach his spells for a much
cheaper price.  Hurray!

The island route is actually found through the chitrach tunnels.  Two screens
west of Cotra (the main city) will be a broken down house with stairs leading
into the tunnels.  The island route is south (don't go west, that has to do
with a later quest, and it's a tough fight).  Once you reach the island itself,
you'll have to fight a whole bunch of fire lizards, unless your nature lore is
high enough, in which case you can just walk through them.  For the second half
of the tunnels, make sure to turn around once you see the messages saying you
hear a scratching sound, because they'll quickly pile up on you if you don't.

At the end, you'll find a drake who, while he won't attack you, won't let you
steal his treasures and knowledge.  So, kill him.  He won't start out hostile,
so take the time to haste everyone (don't use blessing and protection, it'll
affect the drake).  He's not that tough alone, but when he's at about half
health, he'll summon four spitting wyrmkin, which will probably kill someone
if you don't take out a couple fast.

Your reward for this?  Well, the spellbook the drake was guarding teaches
Enduring Shield, and you can report the island route to Marshall.  Oh, and
there's even more proof You-Know-Who is behind all this (no, not Voldemort...)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5b-4. Dranlon Dangers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Chitrach Hunt!            Goblin Trophies
                               Fetching Tools            Hunting Swamplouse
                                                         Reach the Spires
                                                         Hunt Skunky Joe


While there are many options available to you right now, head west from Duvno
till you find Fort Dranlon.  You'll have to fight your way through a lot of
chitraches, but it's worth it, if only for the spell training and jobs to do.

Dranlon is along the river, but since the waters are infested by monsters, you
still can't borrow a boat.  Instead, talk to the commander and empty the job
board.  The blacksmith has a steel breastplate for sale, if you can afford it
(and you can stand the to-hit penalty).  The priest, on the other hand, teaches
two new spells: heal and mass healing.  The former is a more powerful form of
minor heal, and the latter is an area of effect spell.  Very handy.

The first sidequest is relatively simple.  You just have to kill a whole lot of
bugs.  The second one isn't as weird as it sounds.  The tools you need are
scattered almost everywhere, though the steel's a bit of a pain to get.  Skunky
Joe can be found along the road leading northeast, though he's a tough guy to
fight.  He does an AoE frost-type spell that hits for 35-40 damage, and he does
it almost every round.  Since Joe doesn't go hostile until you get close and
refuse to pay him, buff up before the battle, then send in one of your melee
fighters right next to Joe if you can.  Joe's a coward, and stupid.  He'll
either move away to use his spells (and he won't be able to from the AP loss)
or try to melee and fail miserably.  As long as someone's next to him during
the fight, it'll be that much easier.

When Joe's dead, go into the little tunnel north of the camp to find your
spoils.  Besides 250 gold, you'll get a blessed longsword and a book which gives
+1 to the spell Lightning Spray.  If you haven't learned the spell at level 2
yet, don't read it!  Just remember where it is and come back later.

Swamplouse the ogre is two screens east of Dranlon, but getting to him is a
pain.  He's on a small island with only one entrance, and the moat around it is
surrounded by submission fungus.  You can't just take out the ones along the
entrance, since the others can reach to Swamplouse's part of the island.
Instead, haste/protect your party, take out the front two and work your way
around the edge.  You can't tag Swamplouse from the edge either, since he
doesn't become hostile till you go near him (and the fungus will make short
work of you before then).  And even then, when you talk to Swamplouse, he'll
summon up four MORE fungi to beat on you.  After you're done killing the fungi
around the edge, return to Dranlon and get up to full health, then go for the
ogre.  Fully buff yourself before the fight (though make sure to do it away
from Swamplouse, since he's technically friendly).

Swamplouse does an acid AoE attack, but the submission fungi are your biggest
worries simply because there's so many, they're ranged, and they can keep you
from acting.  Spam mass healing as long as your healer has the AP for it and
keep your party as close to Swamplouse as possible so you don't have to deal
with all four fungi at once.  If you hasted your whole party before starting
the encounter, it won't be as bad.  Assuming you survive, it's a nice bit of
coin in your purse, and you can take his mercurial leather.

Next up, the crystal spires.  Head north from Dranlon and explore the tunnels
along the northern wall.  One will lead you through an underground passage into
Slith lands.  Don't explore too far, the crystal spires are just to the east
from where you emerge.  You can also get fine steel from a chest in one of the
camps.  Return to the fort to hand in your report to get a slight boost to your
nature lore.

Now, the chitrach problem is a little more difficult, since the tunnels stretch
out over what seems like the entire Eastern Gallery, and there's a couple dozen
entrances.  The one you want is one screen east of Dranlon, in the southeast
corner of the map (there's always a swamp goblin hanging around it).  From where
you enter the tunnels, go one screen south (the way is west of where you start)
and prepare for a tough fight.  There's more submission fungi here, along with
a half dozen or so chitrach.  Fight your way west and you'll find an even bigger
mess of chitrach.  The hive queen is on the west side of the map, and no matter
which way you go, you'll have to hack your way through a whole lot of bugs.

The hive queen will spawn new chitrach periodically like all bosses, but don't
go after it right away.  There's a few plated chitrach on the sides that need
to die first.  Once those are down, it's rather easy.  Anyone who strikes the
hive queen in melee will be afflicted by acid.  So, use spells and ranged to
hit the queen, and use melee to kill the chitrach it spawns.  Alternatively,
you can have one person hit the queen, cure him/her, and have your other
melee(s) take care of the bugs.

While it seems easy, I spent quite a while wandering around those tunnels.
Aside from the multitude of bugs, there are a few spellbooks to be found,
specifically Call Beasts, Minor Summon and Mass Healing.  Check the level 3
spell section for directions.

One screen south of Dranlon will be where you'll find the Boneborer, but be
warned: he's surrounded by a bunch of frozen worms who will fire bolts of frost
at you for 30 damage a pop, and there's a lot of them.  Boneborer himself isn't
very tough, he can easily be killed in a couple rounds.

Hand in all the quests you've completed thus far, the next section will drive
you bonkers, or close to it.  Oh, if you haven't already, you can go back to
Formello and attempt the second test.  If you don't remember where, it's a
small cave in the tunnels north of Formello with a shade who will test your
"resilience."  In other words, he'll do an AoE damage spell that hurts everyone
for about 30-40 damage.  He won't do any other attacks, but the nature of his
AoE means you need the mass healing spell before attempting the fight.
Augmentation also helps.  If you have the latter, cast it on your whole party
before the fight, then start the test.  Mass heal each round and just beat on
the shade with whatever else you have.  After what will seem like many, many
rounds, the shade proclaims you the victor and leaves you some spoils.

You can try the third test, which is in the chitrach tunnels near Fort Dranlon.
Just enter the tunnels one screen east of Dranlon, then go one screen north.
The door to the shade will be in the northwest corner of the map.  This test is
actually far, far easier than the previous one.  Just buff up your spellcaster
(or casters) and let your melee sit this one out.  The automaton can only be
damaged by one type of magic at a time, either fire, frost or lightning, and it
changes this vulnerability every few rounds.  As it will only hurt your casters
(since they're the only ones doing damage to it) all you need to do is keep
them hasted and full of spell energy.  Your reward is a bonding knife, which,
while it reduces 1 of strength, dexterity and intelligence, bumps up endurance
by 4 and raises armor.  Pretty nice if you can stand the stat losses.

When you're ready, go back to Silvar and go one screen west.  There's a bridge
leading south, to new adventures and new dangers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5c. Journey to the Castle, Part 2 - Map?  What Map?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5c-1. Mertis and the Lost
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Clearing the Spiral           The Mayor's Sash          Icy Geodes
                               Honeycomb Bandits         Delivery: Tower of Magi
                                                         Cauldron-Spawn!
                                                         Hunting the Wyrm


If you've played the past Avernum games, you'll know the situation with Mertis
before you set foot in the town.  If you haven't, Mertis has always had an
undead problem from years past.  Follow the signs and hug the west road to find
the place, though along the way you'll be assaulted by a new kind of undead.
This one barely takes any damage from any attack...except the spray acid spell.
Use it to take down the creature, and heal through its attacks, then move on to
Mertis.

The teleport point and the job board are along the south edge of the town.
Speak to the mayor's wife to get her quest, then Corin in the inn to be charged
with killing some bandits in the Honeycomb.  That can wait, though.  First go
speak to the town priest to get a new spell (mass curing) and some more info,
along with a quest to clear out the Spiral of the undead.  Now head west of
Mertis, into the Honeycomb.

This place is not much fun.  It's big, it's confusing, it's got a lot of twisty
tunnels that would cause anyone without an automap to break out the pencil and
paper.  To top it off, there's an underlayer to it, which means double the fun.
There are undead here as well, but they can be killed normally.  Thanks to all
those nice quests, you've got to do a bit of running around in here rather than
just in one end and out the other.

First off, the Cerebrous Wyrm.  From the entrance, take the westmost tunnel
north to the next screen, and the Wyrm will be at the end of the path.  It's
a particularly nasty sucker, but it starts neutral, so you can take out the
various crawlers first.  If you want to buff yourself, do it several steps
away, then walk in and talk to it.  It doesn't provide much information,
so slay the silly thing.  It falls prey to the same sort of AI difficulty as
other bosses: it'll haste itself, and if you cast slow on it, it'll just keep
hasting.  Lucky for you, that is.  It'll start off the battle with an AoE spell
that'll do a ton of damage to your entire party, so if it gets the opportunity,
it'll wipe you out.  Keep it slowed, group heal, and whack away at it.  Return
to Mertis and restore your party before setting out again.

From the entrance, head north one screen.  There will be three stairs leading
down.  Take the eastmost one, then go left and take the stairs leading up.
From there, follow the tunnel north and take the stairs going down, then just
follow the pathway till you encounter three spraying shrubs.  These things
will spray acid on any nearby party members, so be sure to have a priest with
mass healing and curing nearby, otherwise you'll have a swift death.  Hasting
your priest will help a lot.

Past the sprayers, take the tunnel west and turn north at the first opportunity.
Here you'll find Sleater, who will empower you to defeat the undead around
Mertis (that is, if you apologize for his "hardships" in Mertis).  With that
done, you can visit Athron's old lair to the northeast, though it's protected
by a drake, and a rather strong locked door.  If you care to fight the drake,
be sure to buff beforehand.  Any melee hits on him will result in the attacker
being poisoned, and at one point he'll summon four fire lizards.  At least two
or three of these need to be killed quickly, or their combined fire breaths
will kill off party members in no time flat.

Either way, once you're done getting buffed by Sleater, go west.  You'll have
to wade through more sprayers, but if you want to take care of the bandits,
you'll have to fight your way through them.  Take the stairs past the sprayers
and go right.  When the path splits again, take the middle tunnel to find a
camp of adventurers.  While it's hardly polite to kill off fellow spelunkers,
they give good EXP and loot, so have at 'em if you want.  Kill the one-eyed
fellow first, his blade poisons whoever it hits.  Eliminate the others as you
see fit, then backtrack till the path splits and take the right tunnel, and the
following stairs.

Soon enough, you'll discover a bandit fort.  Now how did that get there?  Set
everyone for ranged combat if they have it, since nephar archers will be trying
to pick you off every step of the way if you don't take care of them.  Try to
conserve your spell energy if possible.  There's a few slith warriors inside,
but without archer support, they're cake.  Take the stairs in the southwest
corner to reach the lower half of the bandit base.

Move forward, and when you see a text box pop up, stop and buff yourself.
You're in for another battle to the death.  Kill the assassin right off, his
blade poisons.  Eliminate the slith mage when he appears, otherwise he'll haste
himself and fling lightning spray spells at your party twice a round.  Rebuff
yourself before facing off against the bandit leader: Hosharr.  Coincidentally,
this is the guy you need to kill for another quest.  Lucky!

Hosharr has quite an entourage, including another slith mage that needs to be
kept slowed at all times (and killed fast).  Hosharr himself really isn't all
that strong, he just has a lot of buddies who like to help him out.  Once they
die, it's like killing a nephar with more HP.  His only trick is an AoE terror
he'll bust out, but by the time he got around to it for me, he had 5 HP left.
One quick fireball and *fwoosh* no more bandit lord.

Now for the spoils!  You'll find some blessed vambraces, a steel halberd (which
surprisingly has more top-end damage than a blessed spear...) and a spellbook
which teaches terror!  With that done, it's time to return to Mertis and take
out those damned undead!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5c-2. Maki Maki, Maki Maki...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Hunt Down Crain           None


If you don't know where the section title comes from, don't ask.  Go east one
screen from Mertis and talk to Thorious to deliver a letter and get a quest in
return.  Now head north, into the Spiral.

Even with your enchant from Sleater, you have to actually hit the things at
least once before they'll become susceptible to regular attacks.  However, they
only take regular damage after they move prior to being hit, so tag them with
an arrow from ranged, then smack them good when they come in close.

This is a fairly straightforward slagfest.  Go right and just follow the Spiral,
slaying everything that moves.  Search the coffins for a number of items,
including a ruby breastplate guarded by a cauldron controller.  Near that
controller is a barrier, and past that is a cauldron corrupt with a wisdom
crystal.  At the end of the Spiral will be a hole leading into the heart of
the corruption.

You'll have to take care of a few cauldron wretches off the bat, then you can
explore.  The path splits north and south.  Go south first.  You'll find a few
normal ghasts and crystal pylons...and the mayor of Mertis, slightly altered.
The pylons will curse and stun you, so take them out quickly.  The mayor will
freeze party members, but he seems to focus only on one person, and he doesn't
do that much damage.  This is mostly just a slow battle due to the debuffs.
The crystals will do an AoE poison upon their demise, but a quick mass curing
will fix things.  Once the pylons are gone, take out the mayor.

Feel free to go back to Mertis and regain spell energy, you'll need it.  The
north route ends in two sets of barriers, so hopefully you've saved a couple
piercing crystals.  Past those are a lot of undead in their own little alcoves.
They won't aggro until you pass some green runes in the floor, at which point
they'll all come after you.  Seeing as you can fight them one at a time before
you walk over the runes, I'd recommend that.

Past the runes will be another set of undead, who will also wait till you pass
the next set of runes to attack, so kill them first.  The blazebones do about
70 fire damage and can attack right after, which may lead to instant-kills if
your endurance is low.  The rest are pretty easy, though the mindtakers will
charm a party member.  You'll get a nice fire-touched spear in the one coffin,
and past the next set of runes will be the lord of this place, the cauldron
keeper.

The various pools of water around the room will either poison or cover you with
acid, so just leave them alone.  The cauldron keeper also has a pair of pylons
with him, so kill those first and cure the resulting poison.  The keeper will
also summon cauldron spawn, so let one of your melee fighters take out the
pylons and have the other deal with the extras.  He can only have two extra
cauldron spawn out at once, so even if you're a little slow in killing them
off, you won't get swarmed.

The keeper also does an AoE cold attack, so be prepared to really chug the
energy potions if you have enough people in range (and it's a long range) to
warrant a group heal.  I just left one person to take the hits off the pylons
and the keeper and had everyone else out of range to handle the cauldron spawn.
You can crowd the keeper, but it'll take a lot of group heals.  Once the pylons
are gone, just keep the cauldron spawn under control and beat down the keeper.
He doesn't actually do much damage besides the AoE cold wave, so once the
pylons are gone, it's just a matter of taking out his massive HP count.

Your reward for this is the amazing ghostly blade, which gives protection from
both weapons and hostile effects.  There's also a warmth ring, but it's pretty
pitiful compared to the blade.  Explore a little further to find the real
perpetrators behind the undead...as if you didn't know.  Return to Mertis for
a well-deserved rest, and to relate tales of your exploits to the townsfolk.
For defeating the undead, your melee fighters will receive a boost to their
blademaster skill, while your magic users will get a bonus to their magery.
With that done, head out.  It's time to move on.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5c-3. The Tower Colony and the Insanity Therein
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Purge the Tower           Glowing Basalts
                               Lizard Testing            Research Notes
                                                         Message: Camp Samuels
                                                         Ogre Discipline


Move one screen east and two south from Mertis to find the Tower Colony.  Here
you'll end a good number of quests, and begin several more.  Explore around,
there's much to see and even more to learn.  

You'll be told to meet Kelner as you enter, and fortunately he's just to the
east.  He'll give out a quest to kill a demonic presence still in the tower,
and the reward is the dispel barriers spell.  No more piercing crystals!

Look for Mariah among the ruins of the old tower and show her the scrolls from
way, way long ago.  She'll fob you off in the direction of Patrick's Tower.
You'll find X's tower south of Kelner, though as soon as you enter you'll have
to help fight off a failed experiment.  Even after that, X will only teach you
the really kickass magic after you help in his experiments.  Fortunately, it's
not too difficult.  Just set the egg down in the magical circle and fight off
two waves of six chitratches and one wave of plated chitraches.  At this point
you have the magical ability to wipe out several of them in one go, so have at
it and return to X when it's done to receive training.  Not only will he offer
up some new spells, but he'll train you in arcane lore and spellcraft!

With that out of the way, head up the western stairs to the second floor of the
tower colony.  To the west are the old experiments of other wizards.  They have
low HP, but hit very hard, and twice in one round.  Spam lightning spray when
they group up and take them out fast.  The door north of the lost automoton has
a lot of drain slimes that you'll need to kill.  Stick someone in the doorway
and just keep casting icy rain till they die.  Past the slimes is a barrier,
and past that is a spellbook you'll need to get later.

Now head east through a couple rooms till you find a control panel with a pair
of levers.  The first does nothing.  The second summons a super draining slime
with over 700 HP.  It also breaks off pieces of itself periodically, but those
pieces have 39 HP and die from one lightning spray.  You don't have to fight
it, but it is decent experience.  Through the next door is the source of all
the troubles: a full-fledged demon.

He starts out neutral, so talk to him if you want, then leave the room to buff.
Make absolutely sure you know at least one rank of prismatic shield, and that
you put it on your entire party.  Kolokh will freeze people, and the shield
should protect them from that (among other magical forces).  Kolokh's other
abilities include inducing terror on hit and summoning a few additional
critters to his aid, though these can be eliminated with a lightning spray.
Make sure your priest is hasted to cast both unshackle minds and to heal
whoever gets hit.  When he summons the plated servants, don't waste melee
attacks on them, only magic works.

He drops a flaming sword upon death, likely the best weapon you've seen thus
far.  On your way out, explore the tiny room near the second automoton for a
belt of genius.  Return to Kelner to get the tower onyx key, which will not
only let you learn dispel barriers from his spellbook, but give you access to
a pair of rooms in the tower ruins you couldn't reach before.  The first is
near the stairs, and has a few brain rats guarding a barrier (DISPEL!) and a
spellbook that'll teach steel skin.  The other door contains a spellbook
teaching the almighty fireblast!  Oh, and the barrier from before that couldn't
be dispelled by a piercing crystal will fall to the actual spell.  Behind it
will be a spellbook teaching both mass curing and mass healing.  Oh, and make
sure to explore the tower for four research notes before you go.  They're just
lying on the ground in plain sight, so grab four and return to Mariah to get
your reward: more magic scrolls.  Hey, what did you expect, free magic training?

Now for the other quests.  The ogres you need to kill can be found in a cave
north of the tower colony.  It's not quite a slagfest, but it is indeed a royal
rumble.  The ogre mage Hiroki is close to where you come in, so you don't have
to do much searching.  Unfortunately, you do have to deal with a dozen or so
other ogres, and Hiroki will summon aid.  Fortunately, he has 162 HP, which
won't last long.  He drops a pair of thrusting gauntlets, very nice gloves for
any melee fighter.

The next ogre on the list is northwest of the tower colony.  Go one screen west
and one north, and the entrance will be in the northern half of the map, with a
whole bunch of ogres blocking your way.  The spikeshield ogres deal damage to
whoever hits them in melee, so use bows or spells to kill them safely.  This
place will be slightly bigger and more difficult to traverse than the last, but
it's mostly the same: lots of ogres, lots to kill.

As you enter, there will be an ogre mage behind a wall.  You can either: use
ranged attacks to kill him slowly (very slowly) or go up and beat on him.  The
downside to the latter is that you'll be assaulted by many other ogres if you
close in on the mage.  Once you deal with them, Chieftain Uggluk will be nearby.
His friends include three hulking ogres and an ogre mage, who needs to be killed
fast.  Uggluk has an aura that causes anyone who hits him in melee to be
charmed, but ranged attacks and magic cause no ill effects.  If you want to hit
him and your character is hasted, use a ranged attack first, then switch to
melee and cast unshackle mind later.  Uggluk also uses invulnerability potions
on occasion, so just wait out the rounds till he takes full damage again and
wipe him out.

He drops a spear of the fen, an amazing pole weapon.  It isn't as strong as a
steel halberd, but the stat bonuses make it more than worth it.  Head back to
the tower colony for your reward: a blessed helmet, and a decent amount of XP.
Now, on to the Castle!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5d. Journey to the Castle, Part 3 - Are We There Yet?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5d-1. The Not So Great Cave
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Digmaster Grugg           None
                               Portmaster Pirro


Head one screen west of the tower colony and speak to Komlos.  He has an ogre
problem, much like the tower colony.  Return to the ogre camp one screen north,
and enter the lair itself.  There are two small tunnels leading south.  Take
the eastern one, and follow the path to find Grugg.  His only real claim to
fame is he has quite a few speed potions on him, and over 300 HP.  Other than
that, he's weaker than other ogres.  He drops a girdle of might, very helpful
considering the ease of the kill.  When you report the death to Komlos, he will
craft a blessed broadsword or blessed bracers if you have the materials.

One screen north and west of there will be the merchant caravan, where you can
sell and buy various goods.  South of that is the portal to the surface, but
it's not operational.  Talk to Portmaster Pirro to be given a quest to find the
mages that were supposed to fix it.  On the same screen as the caravan is a
lost prospector, who will direct you to the southwest.  The sulfurous flats
has a lot of giant fire lizards and bats, who will do a lot of damage with
their breaths if your nature lore isn't high enough to make them docile.

In the southwest corner of the screen will be, of all things, a small Vahnatai
home.  Make absolutely sure you're at full health and energy before going in
here.  With that done, head in, talk to the named Vahnatai, and explore around
downstairs.  Eventually you'll reach a big orange crystal, and the voice of
none other than...well, if you haven't figured it out yet, you probably haven't
played Avernum 3.

In any case, all those crystal pylons and vats are now hostile, and before going
anywhere, cast augmentation and steelskin on every member of your party.  The
pylons aren't like the ones before.  They'll deal 80-90 damage per attack
without buffs, hence the need for augmentation and steel skin.  With buffs,
you'll only take 35-45 or so.  The other pylons will cast debuffs, but they're
not as bad, with the exception of the one that casts terror.  That one sucks.

If that weren't enough, searing wyrmkin and all manner of nasty critters will
pop out of those vats.  Try to keep them slowed and they won't be as much of a
problem.  The squealing burrowers hit very hard, and three times per round.
Soften them up with spells before they close in, or they'll deal a lot of
damage in a very short time.  In case you didn't find them already, there are
basins of water in a small alcove in the northwest corner of the first "room"
after everything goes hostile.  The right basin restores health and the left
one restores energy.  The middle just poisons you.

You can leave any way you want, though try to inch your way to the next "room"
so the closer vats open and the wyrmkin follow you to the first area.  This way
you can reduce their numbers and focus on the crystal pylons later.  Of course,
even after you reach the house again, you still have to deal with the Vahnatai
still there, who will naturally go hostile and attempt to kill you.  If you
put on steelskin and protection, their attacks will be fairly pitiful.  The
only wrench in the gears is Toitek, who will cast terror.  Aside from that, one
of the warriors will use invulnerability potions, but their damage is pitiful
when you're buffed up, so just wait it out and wear them down.  Once they're
dead, loot whatever you wish and return to the road, then follow it west to...
the Great Cave!  The final leg of your long and arduous journey!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5d-2. Spend Your Summer at Camp Samuels
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Hunt Aruebis              Message: Almaria
                               The Lost Mages            Hunt Orchard Fungus
                                                         Message: The Castle


Unfortunately, the Great Cave is suffering from the same troubles as the rest
of Avernum.  Almaria is completely closed off to you at the moment due to its
own shade.  So instead, head north to Camp Samuels, where a number of quests
end, and begin.  Cairn is outside along the west wall, though you have to fight
him no matter what if you want to finish the quest.  Stupid idiot won't
apologize.  Despite his HP, he takes a lot of damage and will likely die in one
or two rounds.

Inside Camp Samuels itself, speak to the commander and check the job board
afterward.  One of the merchants in the center area will give you a quest to
kill a guy to the south.  The lost mages quest is the same as the one for
Portmaster Pirro back at the surface portal.  You just have to report in to two
people when you're done.

Aruebis is two screens south of Camp Samuels, and while he's not too tough by
himself, he'll summon five mutant lizards right off the bat.  Just spam
lightning spray and you'll take them down fairly easily.  Return to Camp Samuels
and hand in the quest.  Shrum will now train you in two ranks of the
sharpshooter special skill!  Pretty nice, and relatively cheap for this late in
the game.  When you're done with that, go west of Camp Samuels and kill off
orchard fungus till you get eight polyps, then turn them in at the winery.
After that, all that's left is getting past Almaria.

You'll find the smuggler's tunnel two screens south and one west of Camp
Samuels.  It's patrolled by an Almaria guard who, unfortunately, considers you
a threat and will attack on sight.  Not a tough battle.  Take the north route
after you beat her, and wade through the submission fungus.  When they're dead,
take the north tunnel and open the west cell door to find those three mages
that were supposed to be working on the surface portal.  Now take the west
tunnel and climb the stairs up to Almaria.

Unfortunately, you're in a bad position here.  The job board is just a little
north, and does, in fact, have something for you.  Pick it up and inch your way
around the north wall to avoid the shade and reach the next set of stairs going
down.  More submission fungi await, and past them you'll encounter a whole lot
of assassins.  Buff your party as soon as you see trash on the ground.
Steelskin helps a lot, since they usually hit twice in one round, and poison
to boot.

Assuming you live, past those jerks will be the way out.  Fortunately, you're
past Almaria, and almost to the Castle!  Yay!  Unfortunately, Almaria is still
kill on sight with regards to you, so don't go near the city.  Seriously, the
archers will take potshots at you.

Anyway, as soon as you walk out of the tunnel, go around the cave wall to the
east to find a pylon.  After you're set in terms of return trips, start walking
west.  You're almost there!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5d-3. The Castle...FINALLY!!!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Vahnatai Sighting             The Fissure Post          Great Cave Bandits
 Vahnatai Rescue               Shade Essence             Correlea's Needs
 The Crystal Box               Accounts Ledger           Abyss Report


Thought you'd never get here, huh?  Just follow the signs and the road to find
the Castle gates.  There's lots to do here, besides getting a real clue as to
how to deal with Avernum's problems.  Rone, the court wizard, will train you in
nearly every mage spell you've encountered so far.  The Castle pylon is nearby,
so be sure to snag it.  Check along the east end of the Castle and go up the
stairs, then talk to the spymaster in the southeast corner of the ramparts to
get a quest to deal with the upside-down crown bandits once and for all.

Houghton is in the southern half of the Castle.  Just keep going south from the
gate and head west through the hall to find him.  He'll give a quest to locate
the Vahnatai in the sulfurous flats...remember that bit of fun?  If you didn't
go there earlier, skip back a couple sections to get details.  Come back when
you're done to get another piece of bad news: the envoy was "captured" by the
crazy nuts in Almaria, and it's your job to rescue him.

Go back to Almaria, either by foot or the pylons.  Enter by the southwest and
see Starcap first.  He'll train you in a ton of useful skills, but for a high
price.  He's one of the few people who will talk to you for now.  Also pick up
a new rank of war blessing and protection from the spellbook just east of
Starcap's place, under the church.  When you're ready for some action, talk to
the mayor and head downstairs to free the envoy.

There's a giant rat in your way.  Ohh, scary!  Before talking to the Vahnatai,
dispel the nearby barriers and take the key from the box.  Now speak to him,
and prepare to play escort.  He'll follow far enough behind you to be safe,
thankfully.  You'll have to take out a few elite warriors and sharpshooters on
the way out, though.  After that will be five Almaria vigilantes, and Grosk
One-eye.  When they're dead, bring the envoy to the barred gate.  Even if you
can't open it, he'll still get away.  Now just return to the Castle by whatever
means to complete your mission.  Speak to Houghton and the envoy after you
return and you'll be given a quest to go to Fort Emerald.  Well, an adventurer's
job is never done...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e. Counterattack!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e-1. Exploring the Great Cave
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Fort Saffron                  Graverobbers!             Ghall-Ihrno's Comfort
 Purge Patrick's Tower         Library Thieves
 Find Demonslayer!


Now it's time to run around this big ol' cave a bit.  There's a few notable
places to visit before rushing off to save Avernum.  Head west from the Castle
and speak to Elder Caridad to get a quest to kill some graverobbers.  Now, even
though the sign says "tomb robbing punishable by death" and such, you can still
engage in a little creative shopping.  You can find, among other things, a
blessed breastplate, blessed shortsword, some spells, and the graverobbers
themselves in a tomb in the southwest end.  The two henchmen aren't an issue,
though they have a high parry rate.  Nikka has a poisoned blade and often hits
twice per attack, and twice per round.  He'll also pop numerous potions, and
when he's just about dead, he'll just plain vanish.  He'll return in a different
grave later on, and you can kill him the second time around.  You'll get a +1
bonus to your luck for the kill.

One screen south of the Castle will be a refugee camp, which is being beset by
thugs demanding "protection money."  You can scare them off without a fight by
picking the right dialogue options, but they're not too tough to beat if you
want to rumble.

Explore around one screen south of the camp.  You'll have to fight a few terror
wolves, but there's a knowledge brew in one of their nests.  Take the stairs
down to find the bandit lair you were told about.  Randolph Halfbreed is right
by the entrance, with a whole bunch of buddies.  He'll charm someone every
round, so keep a priest hasted and casting unshackle mind.  Once his buddies
are dead, he's not as much trouble as he is a pain in the butt.  Leave once
he's dead and head east till you hit the river.

The way underground is by the river, and past a couple of traps, you'll find
Abisynthe.  She's not nearly as tough, mainly because she has less friends,
and because they'll all fall very quickly to a lightning spray barrage.
However, once Abisynthe is at low health, she'll split into four identical
copies, each at full health.  Just use a quick AoE damage spell to figure out
which is the real one.  The fakes will take minimal damage from all forms of
attack, while the real one will take...slightly more.  After you've done
enough damage, the copies will vanish and Abisynthe will be at full health...
AGAIN.  Kill her a third time to finish her off for good.

Now go west from the Castle to find the Fissure Inn.  Talk to Yardley and
follow his directions to find Stout.  Despite the spy lingo he spouts, you have
to kill him.  Explore his bedroom afterward and take the map from the pot, then
return to the Castle and hand in your quests.  Next up, Patrick's Tower!

To get there, go back to the Fissure Post and follow the road south.  There's
actually two ways to get there: the easy way (west, along the road) or the
hard way (east, through a few slimes and basilisks).  Talk to Rita the librarian
to once again be fobbed off to another location, this time Khoth's lair.  You
just know those scrolls are going to have a joke of the day on them or
something.  Rita will also give you a quest to recover stolen books, many of
which are underground.  Talk to Solberg to get the quest here, then head east
of the tower, kill a few basilisks and take the stairs into the tunnels below
the tower.

When you first enter, go one screen west and explore around.  The demon is in
the center, but you have to go in from either the east or west side due to the
barriers at the other entrances.  At first Lord Bhoralon will be neutral, so
buff outside the room, then talk to him.  Before he'll fight you, you have to
first kill four hellhounds, then a firerune golem.  The former is the most
dangerous, since the hellhounds will all breathe fire, whereas the golem just
hits you.  Make sure before the golem dies that someone with good armor is next
to Bhoralon, because he'll immediately attack when it falls.  He does a fire
AoE attack, but if you have prismatic shield up, it won't be an issue.  Just
mass heal whenever he does it and spam repel spirit when he doesn't.  He's an
easy kill, really.

Bhoralon will drop an armor ring and a pair of radiant gloves, which are
amazing for any melee fighter.  Just as much armor as blessed bracers, and they
actually increase your chance to hit.  Return to the tower and you'll receive a
new quest to recover the sword Demonslayer, as well as access to one of the
books in the library.  Now it's time to take the fight to the shades plaguing
the cities of Avernum.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e-2. The Red Shade of Rage
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Dharmon Pests             Having Worms
                               Blosk Reinforcements      Brigand Grint
                               Mariotti                  Message: Spire Fort
                               Help Gnass                Message: Dharmon
                                                         Mine Infestation
                                                         Shaynee's Delivery
                                                         Blosk Maps
                                                         Hunt Szorizass
                                                         Wyrmkin Tails


This is going to be a bit rough.  Head northwest in the direction of Dharmon
and Blosk.  The shade you want travels between them, but visit Dharmon first.
Even if the shade isn't there, visit the church.  You can not only learn a
whole damn bunch of priest spells here, you can be blessed so that your party's
endurance is permanently increased by 1.  Quite a find, huh?  Go upstairs to
find a book that'll increase your skill with divine fire as well.

Anyway, if the shade is here, it'll be on an island in the north part of the
city.  As you enter the town center, you'll be attacked by some thugs who are,
for lack of a better word, pushovers.  Take them out and continue on.  However,
if you attempt to approach the shade, the Dharmon Guard will attack you.  This
is unavoidable if the shade is in the city, but if you wait till it's in Blosk,
you won't have that problem (mostly because the city's abandoned.)  If you're
impatient, go ahead, Dharmon will be hostile to you for a time.  If you'd rather
not have the whole city pissed, visit Blosk, do some quests and pass the time
till the shade leaves Dharmon.

As it's been said, Blosk is abandoned.  Talk to the folks in city hall and check
the job board, then go one screen east to Gnass.  Talk to the chieftain and the
statue builder to get their quests, then go to work.  If the shade is in Blosk,
all you need to do is buff the hell out of your party, run up, attack it enough
to get a piece of it, then run like hell.  If it isn't in Blosk yet, or if you
want to complete some of those quests, read on.

Brigand Grint is directly west of Blosk.  He's another one of those poisoned
weapon potion poppers, but he has no friends to speak of, so it's an easy kill.
Or so you would think.  When he's low on life, he'll vanish.  Explore around
the farms, and Grint will be in the last basement you visit.  Kill him then.
Mariotti is in the northeast corner of Blosk, and has several friends to make
things difficult.  It'll be a tough battle, especially after one of them summons
five additional shades to sweeten the pot.  If you've learned divine fire, it
really helps here.  The wyrm described on the job board is in the second floor
of city hall, behind a barrier.  It's not a difficult fight in the least.

And there's still more to do!  Enter Dharmon by the north entrance and go west
to take out the pests for Rippel, then east to find Tyrol and his thugs.  It's
actually a very easy fight, since you start in close quarters, which means
spells like lightning spray and divine shield make short work of the guards,
and your melee will take out Tyrol quickly.  You get no reward for this, but it
solves part of the city's problems.

If the shade still isn't around Blosk (or if you need more to do) head north
from Gnass to Fort Emerald.  Talk to the captain to be let into the north caves.
The box you want is straight north (again) in a small campsite.  The energy orbs
around the box will, in fact, explode and cause a chain reaction killing
everyone nearby if one dies.  So, either cast spells from a distance or send in
a sacrificial sucker to get blown up, then cast return life or just take the
box and go back through Fort Emerald.

The quests regarding the drake and wyrmkin tails are pretty straightforward.
The drake isn't any different from the others you've fought, except with higher
HP and a greater perchance for destruction.  The wyrmkin are a little stranger.
Each one inflicts a different status effect on you when you hit it in melee,
but they're all easily curable.  It just gets a little hectic when you fight
more than a couple and they're all inflicting different effects.

You'll find the drake northwest of Fort Emerald, in the midst of a whole bunch
of mutant and ember lizards.  Use AoE spells to take out the ones behind the
wall and work your way toward the drake.  You'll kill him before reaching the
center of the lair, so keep fighting till everything's dead.  There's a helm of
kiln in one of the nests, very useful for melee.

One screen north and one west of Fort Emerald, explore along the eastern wall
to find the opening to the holding area for Demonslayer.  Head down and
immediately head for the southeast and northwest corners of the area.  Check
all the machines and flip the switches to stop the golems from spawning, then
enter the central area from the southeast gate.  You'll find a demon and a
golem, both of which will attack regardless of the answer you give them.  The
twist to this fight is they have a magical shield that switches between them
each round.  This shield makes them ridiculously resistant to all forms of magic
and melee, so you have to keep switching back and forth between the two until
they die.  The golem will also summon, but a few AoEs will take them out.

Head back to Dharmon and go one screen west, then take the south mine entrance.
Clear out the slimes, but be sure to backtrack a little to nail the unstable
oozes (bear in mind they explode when they die).  The spawners at the end will
also summon up unstable slimes occasionally, and they're only vulnerable to
melee.  If you have steelskin and prismatic shield up, you should be able to
stand right in melee range, blow the little critters up and survive with plenty
of HP left.  Note that if you enter the north mine entrance, then leave via
the west exit there, you'll make the claimant hostile and have to fight him on
the way back.  But, you get a wisdom crystal for your troubles, so feel free to
claim-jump.

When you return to the Castle with the box, head up to the observation room.
I don't mean to be pessimistic, but...well, buff up before you talk to Houghton.
The myrmidons that attack are very tough to beat in melee, so continue spamming
lightning spray and divine fire, group healing as necessary.  The guards will
likely survive without your help, but a group heal or cure will affect them for
no extra mana cost.  When it's over, go see the king.  He'll send you to attack
the source of the troubles.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e-3. Into Enemy Territory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Rentar-Ihrno's Keep           More Chitrachs            Lost Raiders
 Shade Artifact                                          Graymold Needed
 Interrogate Vahnatai                                    Mandrake Needed
                                                         Eyestalks Needed


Before heading out, talk to Corellea for the next step in defeating the shades.
You can also learn the spell arcane summon in the reading room she unlocks.
Now it's time to assault Rentar-Ihrno's keep.  Go to Dharmon and head south.
You can go around the ruined city and the hellhounds, but they're easy to
kill...just plentiful.  You'll find a small force of Avernum soldiers along the
way, attempting to flush out a chitrach nest.  Help them out, it's one of the
few times you'll have NPC assistance in killing things.

Fort Remote is further southwest.  This place is wonderful if you have money.
Thompson, for example, will teach a multitude of skills, including resistance,
magery, spellcraft, etc.  If you happen to have the money, buy resistance for
everyone, as it's one skill that's universally beneficial.

When you're ready, go up to the holding cell to interrogate the Vahnatai.  As
you might expect, you're not going to get out of it with just a few words.
You'll have to fight through a whole bunch of crystal wyrmkin on your way out.
These critters will spray anyone nearby with acid upon their death, along with
the standard acid breath.  A quick mass curing works wonders.  At the end
you'll fight a drake who causes terror when you hit him in melee.  Return to the
general when you're done to have the barriers lowered.

As you set out toward the keep, you'll immediately be assaulted by a team of
Vahnatai.  Meleeing them is tough, so focus more on spells and take a quick
trip back to Fort Remote when the battle's done.  There are three paths north,
all guarded by golems of no concern.  However, take the westernmost path.  The
pylons beyond are tougher than the ones you've fought before, and the west path
will afford you the least trouble.  These pylons actually have a shorter range
of hostility, so it's possible to sneak through them undetected.

Assuming you take the west path, kill the terror wolf and go up and right
(slowly) till you see an opal pylon above and a jade one below.  Walk between
them and kill whatever tries to fight you.  If the vahnatai warrior attacks,
just use ranged weapons.  He will inevitably run toward the pylons, and it's
far easier to just slow him and heal whoever he hits with a razordisk.

Continue sneaking east (above the bottomless pit) and hug the red wall on the
other side.  Once you're safely across, head north and check along the west
wall for a trap door.  Go down and take the middle ladder up (buff up first).
You'll fight a bunch of stone sentinels, who have spines.  Just use ranged and
magic, melee typically doesn't do enough damage to justify the return.  Spray
acid works wonders here.  Assuming you survive, rebuff and head north.  These
"adventurers" are actually the ones you were sent to kill for the Lost Raiders
quest.  It's an easy fight if you ignore the big guy and kill them in this
order: priest, mage, archer, leader.  He'll drop a falchion of evasion when
dead.  Return to the previous screen and head north by the easternmost passage.

When you reach the next screen, there will be five tunnels.  Take the
westernmost one down.  Hug the wall and head west, though you'll have to kill a
Vahnatai warrior along the way (more pylons, no melee).  Jump in the first
tunnel you come to in order to find the way out.  Hug the wall again, and when
the cave opens up, switch to the left side and follow that.  After the Vahnatai
there will be another couple of stairs down.  Take the north one and hug that
wall like it's a loved one.  Eventually you'll reach the stairs up.

If your spell energy is low, head left and fight a few Vahnatai in exchange for
a basin that restores about 90 SP.  Go up to the next screen via the eastern
tunnel and hug the wall.  Head north till you find another pair of stairs and
go down the southern.  Take the small tunnel north till you find...Vahnatai!
But these are friendly, so yay!  Talk to them, then take the northwest exit.

Now it's a maze of stairs.  Take the western one down and follow the path till
you hit a Vahnatai warrior.  Kill him from range and edge along the west wall
so you don't get hit by the pylons in the alcove.  For now, you're pretty much
safe till the next stairs down.  When you're underground again, go through the
tiny passage north and up the stairs.  Walk along till you hear howling and
deal with the resulting terror wolves and their keeper.  Continue north.

Ahh, at long last, the keep itself!  Take out the Vahnatai warriors ahead and
open the gate, then talk to Kabraxaz and ask for their help.  If you have spare
energy potions, hit them with buffs like augmentation and enduring armor.  When
fighting, use mass heals and cures to keep them in the battle.  Ignore the
pylons, the Vahnatai on your side will deal with them quite easily.  When
they're all dead, go back south to get your buddies to continue on.  Kill off
the next batch of hostile Vahnatai, then you'll have to go it alone to take out
the machine causing them problems.  Before you do that, open the locked doors
nearby to find a crystal that teaches the divine host spell.  The machine you
want is in a small alcove just off the main path after a terror wolf and
radiant pylon.  However, on the way back, you'll have to fight a whole mess of
terror wolves.  Not really an issue.  Check their pens for item caches.

Get your friends back in the fight and continue on.  Your next opponent: a drake
for hire.  Not even a challenge with the numbers you have.  Continue south, and
when the Vahnatai go down the stairs, don't follow.  Instead, go around further
south and deactivate the device on the right, then move on.  Take the control
rod from the cabinet, then follow the Vahnatai down the stairs.  Kill the two
myrmidons, then head back south through a whole mess of hostile Vahnatai and
terror wolves to find the switch that opens the door.  Walk along the rooms in
the south half of the screen to find a barrier, behind which is a crystal that
will teach arcane blow.  Head north to find the switch (brown switch against a
brown surface, genius) and go back to the gate.

Ahead, you'll find you-know-who.  Buff up after you enter the room, but before
you approach her...it.  You'll have to fight her no matter what, but keep her
talking with the peaceful options.  However, the battle must go on.

If you still have your Vahnatai friends, this'll go a lot faster.  In the first
part of the fight, wail away on her, and used ranged attacks (not magic) to
destroy the energy orbs.  When she's low on health, she'll transform, heal to
full and start to build up power.  When she's at about half health, she'll
start doing a fire AoE every round.  This also shields her from melee and most
magic, so cast repel spirit (yes, it works on a crystal, it's technically
undead) and spray acid to wear her down.  This time, when her health gets low,
she'll escape.

Fortunately, you now have the run of the place!  All those crystal pylons will
be deactivated, so you can explore!  Start out with the immediate area.  You
can loot Rentar-Ihrno's tomb for some nice items, and grab the crystal key from
a box behind the south door.  Now leave the fortress and head south.  Bear in
mind that while the pylons are deactivated, the actual monsters are not.  You
will probably have to fight a little to get all the nice items.  And in case
you're wondering, among these items are wisdom crystals, spell books, and some
nice gear.  When you get two screens south of the fortress, make sure to take
the trap doors down to open the previously locked door and get the wisdom
crystal behind it.

Now...finally...return to Fort Remote.  Take the pylon express back to the
Castle.  Time to report in.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e-4. Fighting the Shades
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Hunt Down Rentar              None                      None
 Kill a Shade
 Kill the Shades!


First stop should be Corellea, who will unlock yet another reading room and
give you a control rod that can be used to fight the shades.  Next stop is the
king.  Your new mission is to brave the wilds of northwestern Avernum, past the
Abyss itself.  However, first we kill a shade.

It really doesn't matter which shade you kill, with the exception of Dharmon and
Blosk (if it's in Dharmon, don't try it).  Try Formello or Silvar first.  No
matter which shade you fight, make absolutely sure you have full buffs and
enough energy potions to last the fight.  All shades are very weak against
repel spirit, but usually your priest will be busy healing.  Once you kill one
shade, return to the Castle and speak to Corellea to get the quest to kill them
all, and access to a book that'll teach arcane shield (a very handy spell).

Black Shade of Ice - He will do an ice AoE attack each round, and when at half
health, will break off several vengeful shades.  If you have the magical power
(and you got the spells from the Basalt Fortress) slam them with arcane blow
and divine retribution.  The second time it summons shades (at low health) it'll
become resistant to all melee and spells, including spray acid.  At this point
it's just an endurance match to take down its last 300 or so HP.  Repel spirit
works better than most, so spam that after group healing.  After Silvar is free,
speak to Captain Call to receive some of the best training in the game.  His
prices are also a little cheaper.

Dark Shade of Venom - As expected, this one will spray acid on your party every
round.  Keep your priest hasted and group cure and heal.  Like the rest, this
shade will spawn a whole bunch of slimes when it starts to take damage.  Arcane
blow and divine retribution works wonders.  At one point it'll cast terror on
one party member, but that's about the last hurrah for this shade.  It's
actually easier than the one of ice, since it won't become resistant to attacks
when low on life.

Red Shade of Hatred - If this shade is in Dharmon, just leave and go do other
things while you wait for it to hit Blosk.  It's far too much of a hassle to
kill it in Dharmon.  Anyway, this shade will break off a skeleton each round,
but a couple lightning sprays and divine fire or divine retribution will kill
it.  Don't bother with arcane blow, lightning spray does about the same amount
of damage.  The shade will also do a fire AoE which is easily healed.  Aside
from the single skeleton, it doesn't summon or become resistant to anything, so
have at it.  With the shade dead, speak to the mayor of Dharmon to have troops
sent to Gnass to help out.  Go to Gnass and speak with the chieftain, then
Pathass to have your party's resistance skill boosted by 1.

Once all three shades are dead, return to the Castle and speak to Corellea to
receive some putrified gloves.  With the shades dead, there's only one thing
left to do: find Rentar-Ihrno and take her out!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5e-5. The Final Rest Stop - Fort Saffron
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Darkside Loyalists            Saffron Brigands          Liberate the Spire
                                                         Bandit Lair
                                                         Elixir Needed
                                                         Message: Bargha


Head northwest from Blosk to reach Saffron.  Explore around, check the spellbook
behind the barrier, and speak to the commander about the Darkside Loyalists.
Go to the cells and follow the path past the fungi, but be ready for a fight.
Pylons will be in the hall, and various thugs will assault you from the nearby
rooms.  Ignore the pylons, you can't kill them.  Run straight for one of the
rooms and out of line of sight, then explore for a bit.  You'll find, among
other things, a very large crystal with a connection to whoever's running the
show.

Khester will be further along in the hallway, but he's got a lot of friends
plus pylons, so don't go out there without full buffs.  Your best bet against
him is spamming spells.  Use your melee to beat on the pylons and take them
(temporarily) out of commission.  Once he's dead, follow the row of pylons to
the source of their power.  When the machine's deactivated, they explode just
like any other pylon.  Take them all out and go up any one of the stairs around
the base.

There's a few more brigands to take out, but none too tough.  Grab the odd
bandit map from the chest on the west end and go.  Report in to the captain at
Saffron, then return to the Castle with your findings.  When you're ready to
traverse the Abyss, return to Fort Avernum and speak with Vidrain to gain
access to the Spire Fortress.

You'll be dumped nowhere near a pylon, so if you want to get back to the rest
of Avernum, you'll have to clear out the Spire of its current unsavory tenants.
None are very tough, and the goblins in the northwest corner are killed by a
couple powerful AoEs (think arcane blow and divine retribution).  The pylon
will be on a little cliff by the goblins, but you're not done yet.  Take the
stairs up for some more bloodshed.

Head to the southeast corner to find Miers, an Avernite archer.  He wants to
kill Dervish Hecht and will help you out, but don't tell him to join yet.
Hecht is in a room in the northwest corner, so roam the rest of the floor and
eliminate everything else first.  When you're ready, go back and get Miers to
follow you to Hecht.

Hecht is one of those fights that's not so much difficult as it is annoying.
Case in point, Hecht doesn't hit that hard.  However, when he's low on life, he
will split into four copies of himself.  The fakes take almost no damage, so
immediately toss out an AoE on them and pound on the real one.  Except when that
fake gets low, Hecht reveals it was just a doppelganger.  Yeah, right.  You now
have to take them out, one by one, all 679 HP till the last one dies.  Miers is
only helpful for taking out one doppelganger, since he'll focus-fire on one,
completely ignoring the fact that it's not the real Hecht.  Stupid archer.

Anyway, when Hecht's dead, return to Fort Saffron and speak to the commander,
then go to the Castle and talk to Levitt for another payoff.  With that done,
return to the Spire Fort and go north.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5f. Through the Lands Unsettled
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5f-1. Bargha and Spire to the Death
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 Slay Imiriel                  Find Spiders              None
                               Battlemaster Crewl
                               Feeding Time
                               Queen Annatolia


Go along the west wall from Spire Fortress to find some goblins.  They're an
easy kill, and one drops radiant boots (very nice for casters).  Now go one
screen east and two north to find the city of Spire.  It's not what you would
call a clean city.  Explore around, talk to folks, and take a shot at the arena.
You'll be sent in to fight a series of critters, none too difficult.  Mostly
they're just really long.  The gladiator does give a slight challenge, but
mostly because he can parry melee attacks.  Otherwise he's another "terror-on-
hit" wonder.  Arcane shield will help with that.  There's two more foes after
the gladiator, a basilisk queen (pushover) and a spiny terrordrake.  He doesn't
hit very hard, but his spines make melee a pain.  Use as much ranged and magic
as possible, and heal after his fire AoEs.  Lightning spray and smite work very
well against it.  Your final reward is a radiant breastplate, with the highest
damage reduction in the game.

You can speak to "queen" Annatolia after your third arena win.  She'll help you
reach the remote caves, but first you have to kill Crewl in Bargha.  Agree to
do it...for now.  Now head north for Bargha.  The farmhouse along the east wall
will have a helm of khar, and a house west of Bargha has a lever outside that'll
open a secret tunnel.  After going down the stairs, DON'T pull the tempting
lever in the middle of the room.  Go on through and kill everything, then check
the blue box for brief evidence that Annatolia is with the Darkside Loyalists.
Now head into Bargha.

This place is much nicer than Spire.  For one thing, it has a better class of
people.  Gladwell in the southwest corner will train you in many high-level
spells, both priest and mage.  Talk to him to get a quest to feed his pet
slimes, as silly as that sounds.  Haste and buff your party before going
downstairs.  You have to get to the feeding device without attacking any of
the slimes in any way, which means you have to wait at least one round so the
slimes surrounding the feeder get out of the way.  Once the meat is in there,
they become neutral and you can leave.  You'll get to read a book that'll teach
arcane summon as a reward.

Battlemaster Crewl is near the east gate of the city.  He'll give you a quest
to kill Imiriel, who you've already killed (if not, go back a couple paragraphs)
and will reward you with a silver key that'll let you through to the giant's
lands.  Now, you can either complete Annatolia's quest and try to assassinate
Crewl (bad) or you can say you won't and he'll give you a quest to kill her
instead (good!)  Seeing as Annatolia is with the Darkside Loyalists and she's
the Abyss's equivalent of a mob boss, you shouldn't feel too bad about offing
her.

Head back to Spire and visit Annatolia (buff first).  Make sure to let her know
you've killed Imiriel, just to rub it in before you drop the bomb.  When the
fight starts, she'll be highly resistant to physical attacks, so spam magic
until those "statues" of hers turn into giants.  After that she's slightly less
resiliant against melee, so use divine retribution and any mage AoE against the
giants and take down Annatolia.

At this point all of Spire will be hostile to you, but no one liked you anyway,
so have fun killing everyone!  It's especially funny one-shotting townsfolk with
their pitiful HP count.  Return to Bargha when you're done with the slaughter
to receive a radiant shortblade.  Now leave Bargha and walk along the west wall
to find a secret passage.  Go downstairs and use your new key to bypass all the
nasty traps and come out the other end without a scratch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5f-2. Through the Land of Giants
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          Free the Bugs             None


Go one screen east and one south of Bargha first off.  Head southwest till you
find Slavemaster Kragg.  Kill him and his altered giants (he'll go back to full
health after freeing the fifth) then go down the nearby stairs and kill two
more altered giants at the end of the path.  Check the body for Eliavri's Bow,
one hell of a weapon.  On your way back, check the alcove in the underground
tunnel for a couple of bodies and a giant key.

One screen west is the ruins of Harston, with many giants.  Make sure to clear
it out, one group protects a trap door leading to a book teaching dispel
barrier (also contains a cryodemon who drops a wisdom crystal).  North of that
you'll find the hidden lair of the fabled GIFTS: giant, intelligent, friendly,
talking spiders!  Note how their lair is in the shape of a heart.  Frightening.
Now head southeast to find the giant's fortress...or the entrance, anyway.
Fight your way through till you reach three sets of stairs leading into the
fortress itself.  Doesn't really matter which one you take.

The giant leader is in the southeast corner, but there are two other packs of
giants north and west of his position (bottom middle, right middle), and if you
don't clear them out, he calls them in to assist.  As long as you clear out the
other giants first, it's not a tough fight.  The only twist is the altered
giants will stomp the ground and periodically daze anyone nearby, but this is
fixed with unshackle mind.  Past the leader will be a lever that opens the way
to the giants' treasure trove, and it's a rather nice trove.  Before you leave,
clear out the southwest corner and free the chitraches for the spiders.  Return
to the GIFTS to be rewarded with a silk-woven belt (very nice caster gear).

Now head one screen west of the spider's home.  There's some stairs leading
underground along the north wall.  Follow it along and take any of the three
stairs going back up, it doesn't matter which.  Either way, you'll encounter
some more Vahnatai who won't take too kindly to you.  Deal with them and cross
the bridge, then head west.  Hug the north wall and go up one screen to find
Khoth's Lair.

Buff before you do anything, chitrach swarmers will appear before you go too
far and attack.  They're highly resistant to damaging magic, so hit strong daze
a few times and take them out individually with melee and ranged attacks.
There will be another swarm past the eggs, and one last pack of chitrach
eggkeepers.  The eggkeepers are no different from the rest, except they inflict
poison and acid in the same attack.  Kill them off and head into Khoth's Lair.

On the west end you'll find, from north to south, a spider lair (kill the queen
first, she just spawns more broodmothers) a bunch of flaming shrubs (keep your
casters out of line of sight) which guard a lever that'll open a book that
teaches arcane blow.  Southwest will be a few null goos and a book that'll
finally translate those scrolls no one knows about.

On the east end, you'll find Vampire Horton (repel spirit doesn't work) a few
gangrenous shamblers (use magic) guarding a switch that opens a book teaching
divine restoration, and the boss of this place in the southeast end.

This is another tricky boss.  See the shades around the room?  Each one
corresponds to one of Lich Anastasia's weaknesses.  Kill the steel ward and you
can hit her with weapons.  Kill the disruption ward and toss out arcane blow,
etc.  A hasted priest with repel spirit will take out one ward per round, so
start with steel and let your melee go to work while you remove the other
obstacles.  All you really need to remove is steel and disruption, then start
spamming repel spirit on Anastasia.  At this level, it should do 130-140 damage
per casting for minimal energy.  Just bear in mind Anastasia will occasionally
restore her wards, and you'll need to kill them again.

Once the lich is dead, take the crystalline aegis (best caster shield in the
game) and drink from the left basin for some experience points.  At this point
it's recommended you go all the way back to Fort Monestary and translate those
scrolls, but don't go back to Bargha yet.

Anyway, south of Khoth's Lair will be Eye Krotus, who needs to die.  Take him
out, as well as his slaves and the spraying shrubs and go down the nearby
stairs.  There's a lot of traps in this tunnel, but try to get through (don't
take anything from the chests), because past them is Craftmaster Strine.
What's so special about this guy, you ask?  Well, give him one of each of the
basic herbs and he will make you knowledge brew.  If, like me, you saved every
herb you had simply because there was nothing better to do with them, then
you'll be in for one hell of a reward.

Either way, head south once you're done exploring.  There will be a few minor
obstacles, but nothing serious.  Once you reach the dark lands, you'll know
you're almost there.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5f-3. End of the Darkside Loyalists
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          None                      None


As you enter the dark lands, you'll run into a friendly Vahnatai.  The objective
here is to follow him through the area, and you won't run into the two packs of
the more horrible monsters in the game (sentinel pyroworms, very bad).

Along the way you'll pick up a couple myrmidons to help you out.  The upcoming
battles include a gazer who charms alongside his skeleton minions, a lot of
zombies and a foursome of demons right nearby a few submission fungi.  None of
these are very difficult, especially with the Vahnatai helping you.  Once you
take out the demons and fungi, your protectors will go on ahead.  Go straight
south of the bridge to the next screen to find yourself back in the remote
lands.

Stop off at the ruined fort on the way.  There's a few squatters you'll have to
clear out, but once they're gone, you'll have access to a pylon.  Use it and
return to Fort Monestary to translate those scrolls and get points in arcane
shield and divine retribution.  Now head south from the fort to find Erika's
Ruins.  Make your way past the muckwalkers and the barriers inside the tower,
but before you go past the second barrier, buff up.

This next fight has its own little twist.  The baddie: a lich.  The baddie's
buddies: two restoration pylons, two scourging pylons, and four energy orbs
that spawn whenever you cross the green runes.  All these combined make for a
quick death, except in the room to the right will be a basin that grants your
party invulnerability for several rounds.  Send one person in to drink and have
the rest crowd the lich.  When the energy orbs spawn, they'll make their way
over to you, at which point you blow them up, damaging everything (except you).
Take out the restoration pylons with your hardest-hitting melee and have magic
focused on the lich and whatever critters he summons.

Assuming the lich dies, drink from the left basin for some XP and check the
room past the barrier for a divine restoration spellbook.  Now, in the north
end of the tower will be a green rune.  Walk towards it to open a door leading
down into the heart of the Darkside Loyalists.

Make your way through the base, killing all who stand before you.  You'll
actually find Dorikas straight to the left of where you enter the main base,
but don't go after him yet.  Explore around and kill everyone else first.
In the northeast corner will be a major combat situation: lots of brigands,
a loyalist and a wizard to make things interesting.  As long as you take out
the wizard in the right corner first, it's not as tough, since the small space
make it perfect for AoE spam.  In the northwest will be a slith incantor and a
few creepy crawlies.  They guard another of Erika's spellbooks which teaches
arcane summon.  North of that will be a couple of cryodemons, but they don't
really have anything special.

When you finally confront Dorikas himself, be prepared.  He's an absolute pain
to fight because of his high parry and HP, not to mention he does a fire AoE
that delivers 75-120 damage to everyone in his line of sight every round!  Make
sure to have a hasted priest and group heal as much as needed to keep everyone
at full health.  When he's low on health, he'll instantly spawn four cryodrakes
and run away.  Slam the drakes with your best AoE and keep your melee after
Dorikas to slow him down.  As he gets close to the slith incantor's room, he'll
bust out a terror spell on your whole party, then summon four demons once it
wears off.  The demons aren't that strong, but Dorikas may cast terror again,
and will charm one person per round.  Either use a mindshield scroll or cast
arcane shield (assuming it's at level 3).  Beat him down enough and he'll
force his way to the portal and escape.  Ah, well.

Explore around, pick up the nice things.  The slith incantor drops a slith
blood spear, and there's a radiant shortblade in the chest behind the portal.
It's not as strong as other weapons like demonslayer, but the stat bonuses make
it tempting.  Leave, take the pylon back to the Castle and report in to Levitt.
That's one more long-term quest off the list.  Now for the final showdown!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5g. The Final Battle
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Main Quests                   Side Quests               Job Quests
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 None                          None                      None


Head north two screens from the pylon at the ruined fort.  Head to the southeast
corner to find a friendly Vahnatai camp squaring off with a camp of giants.
Wait for them to charge, then slay them all.  Explore around for several nice
item caches.  Go north.

There's another friendly Vahnatai camp along the south edge, but don't go there
yet.  There's a ton of pylons in the area, but they're not hostile...yet.  Go
through and take them all out before Rentar-Ihrno activates them.  Eventually
they'll become hostile, but only about half.  Take out whatever's left, then go
north to find a Haakai.  It's basically another caster type with a lot more HP.
Keep slowing him and you'll wear him down.  Check the northwest corner of the
map to find an item cache with a heartstriker bow, but it requires a really
high nature lore to get.  It's absurdly strong, so if you have a dedicated
archer in your party, it's definitely worth the skill points to get.

Talk to Monoaha-Tel when the Haakai's gone.  They'll charge into the fort...and
vanish.  They're trapped in the northeast corner, and the machine that holds
them is powered by a device downstairs.  That device is in a room at the south
end of the fort, guarded by a demon.  Be careful going that way, though.
There's a rather large Vahnatai force in the main hall, and while it's possible
to take them on, it's easier if you free your guys first and have them help.

Two more altered giants guard the machine.  Not that great of a defense force.
Take them out and simply turn the machine off to free the Vahnatai upstairs.
Talk to them, then follow them into the main hall and battle it out with the
hostiles.  Your friends will go down the stairs afterward, and you're now free
to explore.

In the north corner will be a couple rooms where spiders spawn every few rounds,
but they protect a crystal teaching divine restoration in one room and some
stairs leading down in another.  Take the stairs and shut off the machine down
there, then head to the southwest corner of the first floor.  You'll find a
tormented wretch, the reanimated corpse of...well, let's just say he's an old
enemy.  His only tricks are to summon a skeletal warrior and cause terror on
one party member each round.  Nothing terribly dangerous.  Check the coffin
when he's dead to get another robe of the magi, then examine the crystal to
learn another rank of arcane blow.  Head north from that room to find another
blast from the past.

This time, you'll have to fight another crystal soul.  See the golems around
the room, and how they're all neutral?  They won't stay that way.  Vyvnas-Bok
charms one person per round, and brings the golems to life during the fight.
This is mostly a fight against the golems, as Vyvnas-Bok doesn't cause much
threat beyond charming someone.  Kill the crystal soul first, then deal with
the big piles of rock.  When finished, pull the lever and return to the wretch's
room and go down the stairs to find another control panel.  Shut it off and
head for the northwest corner of the first floor.

Seno-Ihrno waits for you.  It's an annoying fight.  Melee's fairly pointless,
he has a high parry and riposte rate, and he takes very little damage anyway.
Slam him with spells and he'll summon four demon-types at about half health.
Use your melee to kill off the demons and finish Seno-Ihrno.  He drops a
venomous blade, which would've been nice before all the other end-game weapons.
There are stairs nearby leading to another machine you need to shut off.
Behind a nearby barrier is a crystal that teaches arcane summon.  Once all four
machines are shut down, follow your Vahnatai allies downstairs.

Talk to Monoaha-Tel and follow their charge through the halls.  Eventually
you'll run into a Vahnatai lord and a few pals.  The lord does an AoE terror
effect every couple rounds or so, so get an arcane shield up as soon as you can
to protect against it.  This is probably the most annoying fight in the game,
because the Vahnatai lord will occasionally get lucky and cause terror in
EVERYONE, and you're stuck watching your people run around like idiots for
several turns.  Not to mention the lord takes almost no damage from anything
and has 832 HP.  The fight beyond that is even more annoying.  The undead in
the final stretch aren't as strong, but the mindreaver lich will do an AoE
charm.  Fortunately, it seems to have less of a success rate than the terror.

Beyond that final bit of opposition will be Rentar-Ihrno.  This battle changes
depending on what you've done in the game.  If you've defeated all three shades,
you'll be protected against the massive AoE fire, ice and poison attacks Rentar
unleashes if you hold the appropriate crystal up.  A Hraithe and a Vahnavoi
will assist Rentar, but you can easily ignore them.  This is actually an easy
battle, the only wrench is Rentar will do an AoE terror once in a while, but
it's fairly uncommon.  Beat her down, and be diplomatic if possible.  There are
two ways to end the fight: peaceably, or to the death.  Depending on which you
do, the ending changes.  When Rentar is defeated (or submits) run for the pylon
in the back to end the game.

Depending on whether or not you completed certain quests (the shades, the
Darkside Loyalists, whoever you assassinated for Spire or Bargha) the ending
will change appropriately.  Spire Fort will fall, the cities will sink into
darkness, and Avernum will be menaced by Dorikas' legions.  Or, assuming you
killed them all, everything will turn out fine.  Mostly.  There's still the
little matter of Dorikas, which should be settled in Avernum 5.  Watch for it!


===============================================================================
 6.  Magic
===============================================================================

Magic is somewhat essential in Avernum.  You can only go so far before you have
to rely on the arcane energies available to you.  Whether it's to bust up an
ambush or light up your path, magic can be a great help to you.  The spells
are listed by name and the required level of mage spells you'll need to cast it.
The level 2 version of spells are available from various teachers around the
game.  Just ask the local wizard in each town to see if he can instruct you.
The level 3 versions, however, are all hidden away in dungeons, locked behind
doors, or otherwise not in plain sight.  You'll have to hunt high and low for
those...or read my lists.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6a. Spell List
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6a-1. Mage Spells
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bolt of Fire - You start with this spell if you have one level of mage spells
or the Natural Mage trait.  It casts a fireball at a single target.

Call Beast - You start with this spell if you have one level of mage spells or
the Natural Mage trait.  It summons a single monster to your aid.

Spray Acid - You start with this spell if you have two levels of mage spells or
the Natural Mage trait.  This will drench an enemy in acid, causing damage over
time.  It's useful against enemy wizards and other monsters who are resistant
or immune to direct-damage spells.

Daze - You start with this spell if you have one level of mage spells or the
Natural Mage trait.  Sorta useful if you're outnumbered, this will have a
chance of stunning a target, taking it out of action for a round.  Otherwise
it's easier to just flame their behinds.

Haste - You start with this spell if you have at least three levels of mage
spell skill or the Natural Mage trait.  This will speed up a single character,
letting them act faster and move farther in battle.

Slow - You start with this spell if you have at least four levels of mage spell
skill or the Natural Mage trait.  The anti-haste.  Slow down your enemies.
More often than not, though, it'll be cast on you.

Icy Rain - You start with this spell if you have at least five levels of mage
spell skill.  A much better combat spell than Bolt of Fire, it will hit multiple
enemies in a given area.

Unlock Doors - If you run up against a lock you can't pick, cast this spell to
open stubborn or otherwise magically locked doors.  Its power is determined by
a combination of tool use and the various mage skills (magery, etc.)

Augmentation - This increases your HP, but it's only temporary, and it goes
away if you enter a town.  Good to use if your party is low on HP and your
priest can't handle it all in time.

Minor Summon - Another summoning spell.  If you need a meat shield, this spell
can provide.

Lightning Spray - A further improvement on direct damage spells, this spell
lets you select multiple targets.  Toasty!

Terror - Sends a target fleeing from battle.  One of the few crowd control
spells, if you need it.  It actually works on more monsters than you might
think.  Try it out once in a while.

Prismatic Shield - The mage version of the priest spell Protection, this guards
against magic spells and from being frozen.

Dispel Barrier - Ah, the ever-useful Dispel Barrier!  All those pesky magical
barriers around Avernum will fall before you now.

Summon Aid - Yet another summoning spell.   Meat shields abound!

Strong Daze - A more powerful version of Daze, it works on every nearby monster.

Fireblast - The way this spell works is similar to Icy Rain now.  It'll damage
all monsters in a small area.

Arcane Summon - Now we get into the most powerful trio of magic.  This
summoning spell brings out a single ultra-powerful creature.  Since you don't
get soul crystals in this game, you'll want this if you need an extra ally.

Arcane Shield - A much better version than in Avernum 3, this will affect all
nearby allies and protect against quite a bit of harmful effects.  If you're
fighting a monster that causes terror, throw up arcane shield and be safe.

Arcane Blow - Yet another spell that now targets an area of effect rather than
selectable targets.  However, the damage you deal will put all the other damage
spells to shame.  There's just the question of SP cost...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6a-2. Priest Spells
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Minor Heal - You start with this spell if you have at least one level of priest
spell skill or the Pure Spirit trait.  Your basic healing magic, it will
restore some HP to one person.

Curing - You start with this spell if you have at least one level of priest
spell skill or the Pure Spirit trait.  This will remove such negative status
effects as poison at the first level, then acid and disease at higher levels.

War Blessing - You start with this spell if you have at least one level of
priest spell skill or the Pure Spirit trait.  This will increase the chance
to-hit for a person, and increases their damage  Affects all nearby allies.

Protection - You start with this spell if you have at least two levels of
priest spell skill or the Pure Spirit trait.  It will lower the enemy's chance
of hitting you and will do less damage.  Affects all nearby allies.

Repel Spirit - You start with this spell if you have at least three levels
of priest spell skill.  This will do a lot of damage to undead.  Very useful
early on.

Smite - You start with this spell if you have at least four levels of priest
spell skill.  While it says it fires ice bolts, it will damage enemies who are
otherwise immune to ice (but do less damage).

Summon Shade - You start with this spell if you have at least five levels of
priest spell skill.  It will summon a ghost monster to fight for you.

Enduring Shield - Improved version of Protection, this spell lasts longer and
is more effective, but is removed when you enter a town.  It's a single-target
spell rather than a group buff like Protection.

Unshackle Mind - On occasion your party will be assaulted by various negative
mental buffs like confusion or fear.  This spell will cure them.

Heal - More effective than Minor Heal.  Always useful.

Mass Healing - Exactly the same as the above spell, but affects all nearby
allies.

Mass Curing - Same, but cures all nearby allies instead.

Steel Skin - A very powerful single-target version of Enduring Shield, but it
works against magic as well.

Divine Fire - Now affects an area rather than several targetable foes, but still
a priest's best damage spell.

Control Foes - Occasionally enemies will confuse or charm you.  This spell lets
you charm them.  Fun.

Enduring Armor - This version of protection will not only help with physical
attacks, but give a boost to the target's HP.  Combined with augmentation, you
have quite a fighting force.

Return Life - Party member got slaughtered?  No problem!  This spell will save
you a trip back to town, and at higher levels, they'll be restored with more HP.

Divine Retribution - A very powerful area of effect spell, with an insanely
large range on it.  As long as you can see it, it's going to get toasted.

Divine Restoration - Think Mass Healing on steroids.  This spell will pretty
much save every nearby ally from the brink and cure all status afflictions.

Divine Host - The requisite summoning spell.  This will call forth a single
shade, albeit a very powerful one.  The higher the skill, the longer he stays.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6b. Spellbooks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hidden around the world of Avernum are spellbooks which grant additional points
in a particular spell.  There's often more than one book for each spell, letting
you train beyond the old three-point limit.  However, they're difficult to find
and often well-guarded, and some are only rewarded for completing challenging
quests.  If you'd like to know where to find them, read on!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6b-1. Mage Spells
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Call Beasts - Enter the chitrach caves one screen east of Fort Dranlon, then go
one screen north and one west.  Kill the named spider on the western side of the
map and enter the nearby webbed area to learn this spell and Minor Summon.

Daze - Underneath the bandit castle, in a room blocked off by a barrier.

Haste - After defeating the necromancer Hrickis, examine his spellbook to learn
this spell.  Also in a Vahnatai spellbook in the sulfurous flats.

Slow - In a Vahnatai spellbook in the sulfurous flats.

Icy Rain - After defeating Kravvit-bok, you'll find the book for this in a room
to the south, past a few traps and locked doors.  Also one screen south of the
Basalt Fortress, past three crystal pylons in a row.

Unlock Doors - In the ruined bandit fort one screen west of Fort Duvno.  The
stairs to the second floor and the book are in the southwest corner of the fort.

Augmentation - In Fort Saffron, behind a barrier.

Minor Summon - With the Call Beasts level 3 spell in the spider area of the
chitrach caves.  Also in a tomb in the Memorial Lands.

Lightning Spray - After killing Skunky Joe, open the locked door to his "bandit
lair" and read the book there.  Also near the Basalt Fortress with Icy Rain.

Terror - In the bandit fort inside the Honeycomb.  Protected by Hosharr.

Prismatic Shield - Fort Avernum, in the teleporter room.  Also in Fort Saffron.

Dispel Barrier - Given as a reward for exorcising the Tower Colony.  Also found
in the ruins of Harston.

Summon Aid - With the Minor Summon spell in the Memorial Lands tomb.

Strong Daze - In the Darkside Loyalist base in Fort Saffron.  Check along the
southern half of the base.  It's behind a portal, with a fiery demon as a guard.

Fireblast - Patrick's Tower.  Given as a reward for defeating Bhoralon.

Arcane Summon - The Castle, as a reward for obtaining the shade essence.  Also
as a reward for feeding Gladwell's slimes in Bargha.  Also found behind a
barrier north of Dorikas.

Arcane Shield - The Castle, as a reward for defeating a shade.  Also a reward
for completing Lark's quest, and in Rentar's Keep.

Arcane Blow - In the Basalt Fortress's second floor, behind a barrier.  Also
in Khoth's Lair, and in Rentar's Keep.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6b-2. Priest Spells
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Curing - This one can be found in Formello, in the upstairs of the church.
You'll need to open the locked door by whatever means first, though.  Also in a
building in Blosk.

War Blessing - In a spellbook beneath the Almaria church.

Protection - In the same spellbook as War Blessing.

Smite - In Elder Arron's basement.  No monsters, no traps, easy reading.  Also
one screen south of the Basalt Fortress, past a few crystal pylons.

Enduring Shield - Sage Walner in Fort Duvno will have this spellbook on the
second floor of his shop.  Easy grab.  Also available from the tunnels of
Reptile Island after you kill the drake.

Unshackle Mind - In the Basalt Fortress, guarded by sentry lizards and a null
golem, along with a locked door and two barriers.

Heal - West of Cotra, in the back room of the potion shop.  Another easy one.
Also in one of the bandit caves south of the Castle.

Mass Healing - Two screens east and one north of Fort Dranlon, enter the
chitrach tunnels along the northern cave wall.  In the northwest corner of the
map will be an ambush by spiders, then a lot of undead.  Once those are dead,
dispel the nearby barrier to get access to this spell book.  Also in the Tower
of Magi ruins.

Mass Curing - In the same spellbook in the Tower of Magi ruins that teaches mass
healing.  Also in a building in Blosk.

Control Foes - In a tomb in the Memorial Lands, past a pair of traps.  Also as
a quest reward in Patrick's Tower.  Also in the Basalt Fortress.

Divine Fire - Second floor of the Dharmon church, behind a locked door.  Also
near the Basalt Fortress with the Smite book.

Divine Retribution - A reward from Corellea for finding the control rod.  Also a
reward for Lark's quest.

Divine Restoration - In Khoth's Lair, and Rentar's Keep.

Divine Host - In the Basalt Fortress.  Requires either the crystal key or a high
tool use/unlock doors ability.  Also in Rentar's Keep.


===============================================================================
 7.  Special Skill Combinations
===============================================================================

As it turns out, if you level up certain skills, you'll gain the ability to
train the special skills whenever you want!  Naturally this will require a
good number of skill points, but the rewards are well worth it.


===============================================================================
 8.  Cheats
===============================================================================

Since there is no (official) character editor for this version of Avernum, the
Geneforge-style cheats have been implemented.  To use them, press Alt+Shift+D
to open the prompt, then just type in the code.

leetbuffz         - Fully buffs your entire party.
iwanttobestronger - Gives you XP.
ouchouchouch      - Restores your party's health.
imdrained         - Restores your party's spell energy.
backtostart       - Returns you to Fort Monestary.
showmeall         - Reveals hidden NPCs on your minimap.
dontshowmeall     - Disables the showmeall cheat.
giveasnack        - Spawns a cake in the selected character's inventory.


===============================================================================
 9.  Revision History
===============================================================================

Check back when there are enough revisions to warrant moving most to the bottom
of the guide.  If you even like reading revision history, that is...


===============================================================================
 10.  Acknowledgements
===============================================================================

Thanks to you, the reader and gamer, for taking the time to read my faq.

Thanks so much to Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software (http://www.spidweb.com)
for preserving old-school gameplay in this and other fantastic titles.

And finally, thanks to CJayC and Gamefaqs for hosting this guide.


===============================================================================
 11.  Copyright Info
===============================================================================

This file is Copyright (c)2002-2006 to its respective author, namely myself.
All rights reserved.

This file may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission.  Use of this guide on any web site
other than those listed below, or as a part of any public display is strictly
prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

Sites allowed to use this FAQ:

www.gamefaqs.com
www.ign.com

If you find this FAQ on www.cheatcc.com, it has been stolen by the webmaster
there and is being used in violation of intellectual copyright laws and more
importantly, against my wishes.  Simply, www.cheatcc.com and its respective
webmaster does not have my permission to use this FAQ on his website.

To contact me for permission to use my FAQ on your website, e-mail me here:
getrelle@yahoo.com.

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