Not that I'm complaining, all this mass murder is bringing me tons of experience points and money.
We need to go to Cloakwood to try and find the mysterious Tazok, who is supposedly behind the increased bandit attacks, iron shortage and the dramatically increased number of kicked puppies in the region. I should get to it before I get sidetracked by minor quests again, but first I need to check out The Big Chest in The Big Boss Tent we've just cleared. Since Imoen is the only thief in the party, I send her to open The Chest, whereupon she gets annihilated by a bolt of lightning. So there ARE trapped chests in this game! My character carefully steps over the pile of ash that used to be his childhood friend and opens up The Chest, revealing 2000 gold and a bunch of scrolls and correspondence papers. He takes one of the letters and suddenly realizes that it's Chapter Five already:
|RIP Hobgoblin #63, Hobgoblin #91 and the gnoll twins #53 and #70...|
Some noble looking guy called Aldeth Sashenstar tells us about a bunch of "savages" who attacked him and his friends in their hunting lodge, and even killed one of them. I agree to help them out and we wait near the campfire for a while when, big surprise, some druids show up. It turns out that, since in a conflict between druids and nobles druids always have to be in the right, the hunters killed one of the druids and... long story short: we kill our original employer.
The thankful druids tell us that the Iron Throne base is in the northwestern part of Cloakwood and that it's build on an ancient dwarven iron mine. Wait a second, didn't one of those letters talk about "decreased iron shipments"? The puzzle is starting to come together.
We move northwest and find ourselves in a lovely forest. Some guy we meet gives us a sidequest to go find his brother who went dungeoncrawling in a spider cave.
The whole area is crawling with spiders and it's a pain in the ass to clear. First you have the spiders: fast hitting, tough, venomous AND sometimes teleporting. As if that wasn't enough, some bright level designer decided to make the area more "realistic" and set up cobwebs everywhere - in the form of "webbing area" traps. They are everywhere and if your party gets caught in one it's instant paralyze for the entire party for at least 5 turns, all the while being munched on by poisonous spiders, so you might as well load the game. So I have to get caught in one, load, send the main tank (which happens to be my PC) into the trap alone, get webbed and hope that the party will be able to kill the attacking spiders from distance before the poison effect ticks my character's health down to zero, try to heal/antidote him while still in the web trap and than wait for 2 minutes for the trap to disappear, because it stays on even after the fight is over.
|Ironically, the area itself is quite beautiful.|
All of a sudden, I'm really starting to dislike druids.