Might and Magic Book Two [8] – Castle Pinehurst

After a year, we are certainly getting stronger. That much we can be sure off. We are also certain there is something sinister troubling the world of Cron. What that is, however, we have no idea. It’s time for some diplomacy.

Journal of Alana, the Cleric

Day 50, 901 CE

It has been a year and we know nothing of this world. There must be a reason Corak summoned us here, but he is long dead now and I made wow not to dabble in necromancy. We must get information the conventional way. We must visit the castles. Lord Hoardall is obviously of no use, so we will put our hopes in the other lords.

Day 51, 901 CE

We arrived at castle Pinehurst after a day’s journey. The guards allowed us entry after we have proven to possess the key, which must function like some sort of pass.

Hoardall was a lord, but at least his castle seemed like a castle, although filled with clutter. Pinehurst, however, is built as a cryptic puzzle. Immediately upon entry, I knew this place would be a pain, with the two entry doors uselessly marked as Left Door and Right Door. It took a day to get here, though, so I urged the group to stick with it and pick a door at random.

Rax hoped her thief’s luck would help, so she decided for us to take the right door. We entered a rectangular room filled with even more doors and a sign saying the unmarked ones are dangerous. As the sign said, some of the doors had more cryptic labels, but some remained unmarked. At this point, I wasn’t certain I should trust the sign, but we would find out soon enough.

Before looking behind any of the doors, I wrote down all of the labels, hoping to find some meaning in them. To my surprise, the meaning was clear, as long as the labels were read from the correct point, in the order they appeared on the doors.

Beware the time traps. The world will end in the year 1000.

For the first time since we arrived to Cron, I felt like I had some concrete knowledge of the situation. In Varn, messages like this one were left behind by Corak. Since he was the one who brought us here, I feel it would be prudent to assume he is the author of these messages as well. Because of that, Aleen, Priscilla and myself decided to take them seriously, though Rax and Lorelei remained reserved. As usual, Robin didn’t really care. She just wants to shoot her bow at enemies.

I died a bunch of times in castle Pinehurst, due to some of the monsters paralyzing the entire group, etc.

Day 52, 902 CE

We lost a year. We took a stroll through one of Pinehurst’s hallways, fighting enemies along the way and stumbled into a force field. As soon as we entered, everything around us started to speed up greatly. We got out noticing nothing. Upon our return to Middlegate, though, the Innkeeper asked us where we were for a year.

Might and Magic Book Two - Trap

There’s two of these traps in Pinehurst, that I know of.

The world ending in the year 1000 might not have seemed urgent before, but if these traps are expected to be common in the days ahead, then those days might turn into years very quickly.

Day 54, 902 CE

This is starting to turn into a full on siege. We had to go back to Middlegate to resupply and rest before venturing back into Pinehurst. Not counting the year we lost, we have been exploring the castle for three days now, and we have yet to see any official or anyone willing to even talk to us, for that matter.

I’m beginning to think the lords of Cron aren’t lords at all – just pawns in some strange, incomprehensible game.

Slowly but surely, though, we are learning about the world.

Day 55, 903 CE

And now we’ve lost another year. I knew there was going to be more time traps such as the one we already fell in and I urged the party to remain alert, but there is simply no way of recognizing it until it’s too late. This time, there was no need to go back to Middlegate. Everyone already knows how time dilation feels.

Day 58, 903 CE

We found an item in one of the hallways, which was already described to us as the J-26 Fluxed. We have no idea what it is, but we took it as important and picked it up.

Might and Magic Book Two - Fluxer

I don’t know where it was described to me, but the game says so, so I’m rolling with it.

Day 62, 903 CE

We found the throne room and it only took us three years. Lord Peabody actually seemed like a normal person. His castle wasn’t some elaborate puzzle. It simply served as a laboratory for his experiments with time. The traps we stumbled into were regrettable, but they weren´t actually traps – they were simply consequences of some of his failed research.

Might and Magic Book Two - Lord Peabody

This one actually has an almost normal name.

The lord had a favor to ask of us, though. His son Sherman went missing and he asked us to find him. In return, he would allow us the use of his Way Back machine, which is a time travel device, as best as I can figure out. Having something like that under our control would greatly help us in stopping the eventual cataclysm.

Day 63, 903 CE

There is a dungeon below castle Pinehurst which we fully intend to explore. It seems we would stay here for even longer than expected.

We encountered a Leprechaun. Our hard-earned money is gone again.

We found the Yellow Room and freed the Bishop of Yellow Battle, by using the Yellow Key. This is the second Bishop we freed, the first one being in castle Woodhaven.

Day 64, 903 CE

We entered the dungeon.

Day 67, 903 CE

Rax keeps dying to traps she is supposed to disarm. Aleen was forced to fly us back to Middlegate several times in order to resurrect her. She constantly boasts about her skill in thievery, but I’m starting to wonder.

The dungeon was taken over by demi-humans, helped by some traitorous soldiers. We are slowly navigating through it, but the constant fighting is taking its toll. Luckily, the soldiers have some high-quality equipment, so we are at least getting something out of it.

There was a lever with a cryptic message next to it, advocating accuracy over speed. Aleen figured it needs to be pulled in a precise manner, so she advised Robin to try and do it, but as far as we can tell, nothing happened.

Day 68, 903 CE

Robin seems more sluggish than usual. It’s possible the lever she pulled may have affected her somehow. Her hands do seem steadier.

I have no idea what the leaver did, but Robin is acting after Aleen now, so it’s possible it reduced her speed and increased her accuracy. I should pay more attention in the future.

Day 69, 903 CE

Aleen just realized something is blocking her teleportation spell while in the dungeon. This might end up troublesome.

Day 71, 903 CE

There was a hallways with a sign proclaiming NO KNIGHTS. We chose to ignore it and suddenly, we were someplace else. It was the same dungeon, but a different part of it.

We met a friendly face in the dungeon. An old knight offered to take us to the Luxus Palace to fight bad guys. This dungeon was challenge enough, so I politely declined.

Day 72, 903 CE

An ancient curse was placed at the end of a hallway. It was probably placed by some misguided wizard, as there was no sense of malice behind it, but it did end up draining our magic and preventing us from being fully prepared for the ambush that followed. Aleen and I managed to retreat to safety to return and retrieve our friends´ bodies, but luckily, Robin managed to hold her ground and dispose of the last enemy with the last bits of strength she had remaining. We rested and moved on.

Day 73, 903 CE

All of the recent combat experience has put a strain on the powers provided to me by the Divine, but it also taught me how to tap into them more efficiently. I am now able to take my allies back from the brink of death.

Day75, 903 CE

There was another hallway with a sign, this one banning paladins. Again, ignoring it took as to a different part of the dungeon.

Day 76, 903 CE

Though her skills at disarming traps are questionable, one cannot deny Rax’s loyalty. We were ambushed by a group of wild men and all but here were felled. She hid, waited for them to leave our bodies and then dragged us one by one all the way back to the temple in Middlegate. Without her, we would have long perished by now.

Day 77, 903 CE

Another leprechaun.

Aleen´s power is frightening. She is able to outright destroy several creatures at a time if she chooses to.

I’m talking here about the Disintegrate spell. I’m aware it was extremely useful in some versions of Might and Magic Book One, but that wasn’t the case in the version I played. In the first game, this spell would simply miss the vast majority of times.

In Might and Magic Book Two, though, it’s simply amazing. It targets a group of up to four enemies and it has a decent chance to outright destroy any of them. If it fails at that, it does exactly 50 damage, which is a very decent amount. Finally, it can fail completely, but this happened very rarely and it almost never happens on all the enemies it targets. Usually, at least one if not more are outright destroyed.

What’s even better is that it has a measly cost of six gems and six spell points.     

Day 80, 903 CE

Adventuring is a profession that enables one to see the world. Over and over again, events demonstrated how some things that seem universal are simply cultural.

For instance, the mountain men that sometimes attack us could easily pass for women in some cultures. Their very existence proves the definition of masculinity is certainly not universal.

Might and Magic Book Two - Mountain Men

I thought I’d use the opportunity to make fun of sprite recycling.

We found a pool within the dungeon today. We all stepped into it and felt changed, but we aren’t sure in what way.

The pool said that all who are worthy attained a new level of accuracy, but the attribute didn’t increase for anyone. Either there’s a Clerics of the South type of procedure that needs to be done in Might and Magic Book Two, or the message meant something else.

Day 82, 903 CE

Another hallway and another sign – No humans. This one is strange, since there was another one exactly like it at the dungeon entrance, but there was nothing that happened to us even though we ignored it. This one, however, sends us to the same spot the other two sent us.

Day 83, 903 CE

The dungeon below castle Pinehurst is now fully explored. All that remains are the strange hallways.

Day 88, 903 CE

Priscilla was waiting for us at the Middlegate Inn while we returned to the dungeon and carefully navigated towards the hallways blocking access to humans and paladins. The later was home to a magical grail which used to belong to the hero priest Agate, but we aren’t sure what the former did. We felt a surge of power as we touched upon the back wall and I can personally say that I do feel different, but I’m not sure what exactly happened.

The irony here is that Priscilla is the only one among us able to make use of the Agate’s grail.

Day 90, 903 CE

This time, Lorelei waited for us in Middlegate, so we could access the last blocked hallway of the Pinehurst dungeon. This one was well worth the trouble, though it didn’t seem that way at first.

It contained a completely uninteresting piece of ivory jewelry. We took it anyway and brought it back to Lorelei. Upon touching it, she immediately felt a surge of strength she never felt before. This is something she will treasure for a long time to come.

Might and Magic Book Two - Ivory Cameo

I’m guessing this and Agate Grail are class items and I’m guessing there’s one for each class.

With that, castle Pinehurst was fully explored. There is no reason for us to go back to the dungeon and we know where we can find Lord Peabody if any news off his son comes up.

I got a “surge of power” from a non-human hallway and two pretty awesome items from the class-related hallways, which are only wearable by the classes I had to leave behind to get it. I’m not sure what the surge of power did, but I think it increased some of my attributes.

Might and Magic Book Two - Castle Pinehurst

My final map of Castle Pinehurst and the dungeon below.

As for the two items, Agate’s Grail increases personality by 15, while the Ivory Cameo does the same for Might. Lorelei now has over 50 might.

Personal Notes of Aleen, the Sorceress

A fool remembers. Everyone else uses ink. I will write down any information I find into my personal notes.

The world will end in the year 1000. Beware the time traps.

To win the Queen’s Triple Crown, take a Black Ticket to the Arena, Monster Bowl and Coliseum. After victory has been achieved, return for your reward.

Might and Magic Book Two - Arena Message

This is a helpful tip, but it makes no sense why it would be here.

A man in Pinehurst dungeon can transport us to Luxus Palace.

Side Note: Party Progression

And finally, we have our usual party report. There have been levels and items this time.

Lorelei, Level 13 Dwarf Knight

  • Helm +7
  • Quiet Sling +2
  • Dark Trident
  • Ivory Cameo
  • Mgt Gauntlet +1
  • Plate Mail +4

Lorelei gained another level and found some upgrades. Her Iron Helm +1 was replaced with a Helm +7 and she got rid of her Hero Medal +2 in favor of the Ivory Cameo. Her might is now at 52.

Priscilla, Level 12 Human Paladin

  • Iron Helm +2
  • Shaman Pipe +7
  • Magic Charm +4
  • Plate Armor +2
  • Tri-Sickle +5
  • Agate Grail

Priscilla also gained a level, though she started to fall behind now. She replaced her Hero Medal with the Agate Grail and upgraded her Iron Helm and Magic Charm. She replaced her Ice Sickle with a Tri-Sickle +5, sacrificing some frost resistance for a lot of extra damage.

Rax, Level 12 Half-Orc Robber

  • Crossbow +2
  • Thief’s Pick +2
  • Blazing Axe +4
  • Silent Horn +3
  • Great Shield +2
  • S Chain Mail +4

Rax gained a level and upgraded her Great Shield +2 to a Great Shield +4. That’s about it for her this time.

Alana, Level 13 Gnome Cleric

  • Hero Medal +4
  • Quick Flail +2
  • Great Shield +4
  • Helm +4
  • B Splintmail +4
  • Defense Ring +2

Alana gained a spell level as well as a character level. She didn’t get any new items, though. The important thing is that she can now raise the dead.

Robin, Level 13 Elf Archer

  • Ice Sickle +3
  • Hero Medal +3
  • Ray Gun +1
  • Chain Mail +4
  • Defense Ring +2
  • Great Bow +5

Robin gained two levels, replaced her War Hammer +2 with Priscilla’s ice Sickle +3 and upgraded her Hero Medal.

Aleen, Level 13 Elf Sorcerer

  • Dagger +4
  • Magic Charm +3
  • Silent Horn +1
  • Padded Armor +2
  • Defense Ring +2
  • Hero Medal +2

Aleen gained two levels and a spell level, but she already got my favorite spell (Disintegrate), so that’s not important. She upgraded her Hero Medal with a hand-me-down from someone else.

Next Time

I’m thinking I should go back to Woodhaven and fully explore it, or maybe visit one of the town dungeons. I should also maybe reduce the amount of details in these logs. Seven pages!