Writing my log as a story can sometimes be fun, but most of the time, it’s just difficult. I also suck at it, so it probably isn’t as fun to read as it is to write.
More Wilderness of B-3
So yesterday, I explored the wilderness around Portsmith, which the game marks as area B-3. I managed to die a few times, which I have no idea how to incorporate into a story, but overall, it went well. I explored most of the area, found the entrance to a cave, a sealed temple in a forest labyrinth, and my first castle – White Wolf. There’s also an unreachable area in the northeast, which I can’t get to right now, but it’s big enough for me to be pretty sure there’s something in there. I’m guessing I can either enter it from the north, from the east, or by a teleportation spell of some sort.
I tried to be dramatic yesterday, but honestly, it’s not that bad in Portsmith. I was able to explore most of the town and I can now easily enter to save and buy food, train or heal at the temple. Random encounters are very rare in Portsmith, so most of the time, I can run to the temple (which is pretty much the service building furthest from the town entrance) and get back at zero health without any danger. Since resting heals all of my health, the draining traps aren’t really an issue.
Because of that, I decided not to go to castle White Wolf yet. It feels like it would just complicate things – open up even more areas and choices. I’d rather keep it simple and eliminate one location from my to-do list.
Instead, I tried mapping the strange forest maze to the southeast of the B-3 area. This was basically a series of single tile “rooms” with secret passages on all sides. A lot of these tiles contained encounters, some had walls on some of the sides, but a lot of them were empty. All of them blocked magic, which made this difficult, but not impossible. Slowly but surely, I managed to map each tile and eventually figured out the layout. At the center of it all, there was a temple with no visible entrance. I’m guessing this will be important for later.
The cave it is!
I say cave, because I have no idea how to call these places, but if there’s an official name for it, it probably contains the word labyrinth, or maze, because that’s what it was. There are no tile wide walls in the dungeon of B-3, only long corridors with secret doors, monster encounters and teleporters.
It took me a long time to map what I did, but I’m guessing it was very much worth it. At first, I thought there wasn’t anything I could do, but then I remembered the spoiler I got from a random blog somewhere – you can use the jump spell (Sorceror, Level 2, Spell 4) to get past traps that teleport you or push you back. Well, I’m not too sure about that bronze gate below Portsmith, but it definitely works with traps. I passed the first trap, which pushed me back to the same tile, as well as the second, which dropped me back at the entrance to the dungeon.
After another one that sent me back a single tile, there was another lengthy session of walking, followed by me finding a secret entrance to a secret hallway. The first thing to be found in this hallway is a trap that sends the party all the way back to the dungeon below Portsmith – nasty! Sadly, it took me to a part which I’ve already explored, so it didn’t open up the way to the rest of that dungeon.
Getting past this nasty trap was well worth it, though. It was followed by a bunch of mandatory, though seemingly random encounters. The last encounter was especially nasty, because it involved a group of troglodytes.
On a side note, my first encounter with the fantasy troglodyte creature was in the game Exile 3: Ruined World. In that one, troglodytes were basically nasty, twisted looking cave men, serving and living with giants. Because of that, I keep getting confused, because more popular series such as those based on Dungeons & Dragons or, in this case, Might & Magic, describe them as humanoids related to serpents, reptilians, fish or amphibians, depending on the details. Any of these monster groups usually mean one thing – poison.
This is what almost did me in here. I was at the end of the hallway, stumbling into the troglodytes, mixed with a few harpies. I thought to myself – “easy”, so I just used the Shift+A fighting mode, which makes everyone who’s able do the following:
- Use missile weapon if you can
- Use melee weapon if you can
- Block if you can’t do either
Basically, the harpies did something to me, I can’t remember what, but I think it was paralysis. Then the troglodytes poisoned four of my six characters. In the end, the entire group infiltrated my ranks. I was out of mana on Aleen and besides her, only Robin, my archer as left standing. It was a close one, but thanks to a few more spells, somehow, we managed to win. An extra bit of luck allowed me to rest and recuperate without getting ambushed, so I was able to step on the last tile of this long hallway. It contained a chest, which is a first in this game for me. I wasn’t even aware you could find chests “in the wild”, without Searching for them. The chest contained some gold, some gems and an item called Thundranium.
I have no idea what Thundranium is, but it sounds magical and important, so I’m keeping it with me and consider the whole ideal “worth it”. This wasn’t the biggest thing, though.
I got back to Sorpigal!
I got out of that tunnel and went back to Portsmith to cure the poisoning, since I didn’t have access to the level 4 clerical spell yet. By the way, here’s how poison works in Might and Magic Book One: It doesn’t drain your health. Instead, with every rest, it reduced your maximum health, until you eventually reach 0/0. Of course, this means a monster’s sneeze knocks you unconscious, so it’s highly undesirable. Luckily, the temple of Succubon heals poison for 50 gold pieces a pop, so it isn’t that bad.
But as I said, I got back to Sorpigal. How? Well, I went back to the cave and did some more exploring. I made a few twists and turns, stepped through another secret door, fought an easy encounter and then made one or two more steps forward. Poof! I was in the Arena below Sorpigal. I declined the offer to fight, composed myself and made my way to town, stopping at the Inn to take a screenshot and then saving my game.
I’m back, baby!
On a side note, I was switching from Dropbox to Google Drive and I managed to lose my map for the Portsmith Wilderness and the part of the Cave/Labyrinth I managed to map before hitting the teleporter. Since I’ll be going back there eventually, I’ll have to map it again on my second visit.