After waking up, I searched the town again. I’ve found an abandoned house by the south gate and easily broke in. In there, I’ve found a body and on it a note explaining how to enter the Repository. I need to register at the inn under a fake name. The innkeeper took me to a special room from where a secret passage led to the repository. I got in, showed my amulet to the Vault Keeper and opened my chest. It contained the legendary Crux of Ages and another note.

The note said that it was in fact me writing the notes to myself. I somehow came into possession of the Crux of Ages together with my brother and was hunted by a powerful goblin shaman. He uses a technique based on memories in order to track people, so the only way to hide was to erase my identity. The problem is, my brother didn’t manage to do that and is now being held captive and tortured by the goblins at Vela. I am to go there and set him free.

Since I already have the waypoint, I quicktraveled to Vela and started scouting the place. The place was filled with traps, so I had to go back to Blackwater a few times to rest and restock on recovery items. I decided to explore to the north first and found another goblin warlord. Thanks to some nicely placed explosive barrels, he was disposed of easily. He dropped a golden key, so I took it and went south.

Eschalon: Book One, Nice Misty Scene

With good styling, any game could look good, no matter how low the tech.

After defeating a minotaur-like monster and a bunch of goblin archers, I have finally found my brother in a building in the south. He was chained to a cross in a way that it would be impossible to free him without killing him. He told me that the goblin shaman is somehow controlling the chancellor and this is why there is no one defending Thearmore. In addition to that, the Crux of Ages might somehow prevent the mind control and that is why it’s so important. In the end, he asked me to end his suffering and I complied. It was either that, or leave him die in agony.

Eschalon: Book One, Nice Lighting

Even lighting effects can look good in low tech.

I now have to go to Shadowmirk and warn the wizards there of an impending goblin attack. According to my map, Shadowmirk is actually the strange tower I passed by on my quest to clear the slimes from the Marshes of Boradan. Since I have already found the back entrance and opened the front gate, it was easy to enter this time. I’ve killed the floating eye and then continued to explore a tower. I’ve encountered an empty candlestick with some jeweled eggs engraved on its surface and soon encountered a puzzle room which would send me back to start if I stepped on the wrong tile. Past the room were two chests, each with a sign above it that contained a riddle. One was “give me strength”, and the other was “ease my pain”. My guess is, I need to put an item in each chest, but at this point, I have no idea which item to put where. I assumed I will get the items in the tower, so I continued to explore. In another room, I’ve found an apprentice mage named Walter, who told me that the mage I’m looking for resides on the top floor of the tower. The only way to get there is to solve the tower riddles and this is what he is attempting to do as well. The problem is, he dropped the key to the necromancy lab in the arachnid chamber and is now too drained to get it.

I got the key to the necromancy lab and opened it. All the rooms were filled with bones but there were no enemies. I went to the last room where I got a bunch of items and potions in a chest. Sure enough, as I looted this chest, a bunch of skeletons spawned from the bones, so I had to fit my way out. Since I explored everything I could, it was time to go back to the puzzle room. I tried putting a healing potion in one chest, and one of the two unidentified potions that I got in the lab in the other chest, and it worked. I stepped on the teleporter and appeared in another room. I got the key from a nearby barrel and opened the door to level two.

The second level was much easier. It started off with a short and simple teleporter labyrinth which led me to the main residential area. After doing some looting and stealing, I’ve soon found the proving room where a leaver released a raptor and two giant lizards to attack me. I killed one of the lizards while the other one attacked the raptor, and then I finished both of them. I continued up the stairs to the third level. This was the top level so I’ve found Erubor here. He was already aware of the impending attack and of the fact that the chancellor is being controlled. According to him, the Crux of Ages needs to be found (the last note I wrote to myself said I should not tell anyone I have it) and brought back to its rightful place, the Bastion Spire. The problem is that every conceivable entry to the Spire is blocked now, since the chancellor isn’t allowing anyone there. The only way to access it is the way the goblins took when they stole the Crux in the first place – the portal at the goblin citadel.

Eschalon: Book One, A Nice View

This view was a nice reward for climbing the lighthouse.

In order for me to get to the citadel, I need four keys, one in the wizard’s chamber, and three in possession of various goblin warlords. I already have two, so I just need the last one. Lucky for me, the giants managed to acquire that one and the wizard has already sent word of me coming for it. The giants live in the deserts to the southwest, which, as I’ve been told, is pretty much the toughest place in the region, so I decided to go there, since I’m brave, and a hero and all. On the way there, I got the last waypoint which is also in the middle of some ruins. I also had to fight 2 taurax to get to it. After passing through the southern gate, I decided to do some exploring and arrived at an abandoned lighthouse. I’ve cleared it of enemies, found a boat at the docks in the back and managed to turn the beacon back on. As I was getting out I got ambushed by a heap of goblins and I have to say, demon oil turned out to be extremely useful.

Eschalon: Book One, Mountains.

The mountains seem a bit out of place on a static screen, but in motion, it looks fine.

After this, I decided to try and get to the giants, but not before finding a wrecked caravan and a letter addressed to a woman in Blackwater. I decided to deliver it, but first, I wanted to get to the giants on the western shore of the area. On the way there, I’ve found a strange building with three teleporter pads. Only one of them was working and it transported me a bit to the west of Blackwater in a tiny area completely walled off by mountains. There was nothing there as far as I could see, so I went back and finally got the giants’ village. I talked to the chief and, after explaining to him what my goals are, he agreed to give me his key, but only after I do a task for him. I need to recover their last chieftains’ skull from a hunting camp in Baron’s Thicket. At first, I thought I will have to fight the hunters, but it seems they had a sort of Jurassic Park thing going on and kept live raptors to hunt for sport. Off course, the raptors broke loose and killed everyone. I got the skull and I came back. Oh, by the way, as it turns out, that teleporter in the strange building near the village actually was a shortcut to Blackwater. It was dark when I got there so I didn’t see a lever that opens a passage. This will definitely be useful, no matter how you look at it.

I quicktraveled to Loneloft by the south gate to try and find that oasis from which the talking tree asked me to get water. It wasn’t too hard to find, but it was protected by traps and taurax so I had to do some tedious kiting. Since I can’t quicktravel in the desert, I had to use the teleporter. On the way there, I brought the skull to the giants. The chieftain gave me the key and even promised the giants’ aid in the assault on the citadel. I used the teleporter and then quicktraveled to Bordertown to get to the tree. After giving the water to it, it told me about a bow, made from its branches, buried with a hero in the Tanglewood Ossuary to the south. Before going there, I went to Blackwater to heal and rest up. I went there, fought a bunch of ghosts, zombies and skeletons and got the bow. The problem is, while it does do more damage than my current bow, it also weighs a lot, so the only way I can cast spells while wielding it is if I remove my gloves completely. I guess I have to put a few points into strength finally. I went on through the tunnels, pulling levers and killing zombies, and finally realized that the tunnel leads to Crakamir (the desert). I got out in northern Crakamir and decided to go assault the citadel now. I have a few side quests left, but at this point, I really don’t think it’s worth it to waste my time on those.

The giants kept their promise and the assault on the courtyard was easy. Once we killed everyone there, I had to go in alone as the giants are too big for the goblin structures. I was running a bit low on arrows, but I decided to risk it and go in anyway. The main entrance was blocked, so I had to find another way to the next floor. I was exploring the side passages, clearing goblins and other monsters on the way and eventually got into the main chamber from the back. After clearing the area, I pulled the levers to open a way out and used the keys to open the gates to the next floor. I was extremely low on arrows by now, but luckily, I’ve found a teleporter that takes me back to the strange building I mentioned before. I used it to get there, and then used the other teleporter to get to Blackwater. I bought a bunch of arrows and other supplies and went back.

Eschalon: Book One, View of the Throne Room

The Throne Room.

The second level was pretty straightforward. I had to fight some spiders first, then I went through a labyrinth inhabited by three taurax (minotaur) and finally I have reached the shaman. He tried to offer me money to leave, but I decided to use the opportunity to attack him by surprise. I kept a stack of 9 assassination arrows just for this battle and I used all of them to kill him. After this, I plundered his riches and then used the teleport to get to Bastion Spire. I put the Crux on the pedestal and went to see the chancellor. The effect of the Crux was instantly noticeable and the chancellor thanked me and summoned a council to question me. My quest was completed.

Eschalon: Book One, Ending Screen

The game ends with text, which was to be expected from a low budget title.

This was a great old school game which I recommend to all fans of the genre. If you loved games like Baldur’s Gate or even the older D&D style games I cannot recommend this one more. It has all the elements that make these types of games great.

I went to the wasp caves and started exploring for a bit, but ran out soon after. While the wasps do die in 2-3 hits, it´s pretty hard to hit them in complete darkness. I decided to quicktravel back to Bordertown to get some Predator Sight potions, but when I got there, I realized I have a level in elemental and divine magic now. Since I already had a scroll in my inventory, I read it and learned the Predator Sight spell. While I was at it, I also learned a few other spells. In any case, the caves will be allot easier now. I went back in and continued to explore. I gathered some larvae for that guy in the crypts and killed a bunch of wasps. I’ve also found a friendly goblin named Gruzz in the caves. He says he keeps the wasps away with smoke and gathers gems, since this used to be a mine. He is hiding from the war and he also mentioned that the goblin leader is a shaman who is looking for some special, magical gem. As I was leaving, he mentioned a lockbox in the goblin citadel and told me the combination for it. A few tunnels later, I have found the hive queen and defeated her with ease. At first I thought I might have to lead her back to a stack of gunpowder barrels, but as it turns out, she moves pretty slowly, so all it took is a few shots from my bow.

Eschalon: Book One, Forest

The forest is a dangerous place when there’s a bunch of giant wasps chasing you.

I took the queen’s stinger and brought it to Lilith as prove of her death. Lilith told me that the amulet is actually a key to a lockbox in the Underground Repository, the most secure bank in the world. I quicktraveled to Blackwater where the Repository should be located, but I couldn´t find it, so I decided to explore for a bit. I went and gave the larvae to the man in the crypt and he gave me some of his incinerating fluid. Then I went and found the sextant for the shipwrecked guy and he decided he could teach me cartography. While doing some more exploring, I stumbled into the last Burley Oak tree completely by accident and took an acorn with me. I have it to the shopkeeper in Blackwater to also complete this quest. I also managed to find the Tangletree Ossuary waypoint. Since I only have two waypoints left, I will try and find those now.

I quicktraveled back to Bordertown and started to explore in the southwest direction, towards where the map says Vera is. On my way through Baron´s Thicket, I had to kill a bunch of raptors, but since they give 110 experience each, I definitely didn´t mind. In the end I managed to find the waypoint, quicktraveled to Blackwater, spent the night at the inn and saved my game.

After some exploring of the crypts, I met a man named Hesham. He does the corpse incinerating in the crypts and is trying to find a way to speed up the process. For that, he needs some larvae so he asked me to get him some and I agreed. After some more exploring, past a room full of bats, I’ve found a secret passage that lead to some sort of study. In a desk, I’ve found the book for that shopkeeper I mentioned earlier. I´m getting low on arrows.

Eschalon: Book One, Cover, Box Art

Even the cover gives that old school feeling.

I kept exploring, killing bats, slimes and even two walking corpses, and in the end, I’ve found the amulet I was looking for. The way out was easy and straightforward, so I quicktraveled back to Aridell and gave the book I’ve found to Abygail. I got 250 gold pieces for it.

Now, according to the note, I need to take the amulet to a woman named Lilith, who lives in the heart of Tangletree forest. Before that, I quicktraveled back to Bordertown and luckily, the blacksmith there had 250 arrows. I also bought a belt and Scout´s Sandals, which increase my cartography by two and now I´m poor again. While there, I also asked the Innkeeper about Lilith and he told me she lives near the lake, which narrows it down by allot. I also learned something revolutionary, most items stack. Until now, all the reagents and flasks I gathered took most of my inventory space, but not anymore.

I went south to find Lilith and encountered a talking tree on the way. It says that it´s a direct descendant of the first tree ever to be planted in this region. It wishes to help me on my quest, but only if I prove myself to be worthy. In northwest Crakamir there is an oasis of completely pure water. I need to bring a flask of it to the tree. Off course, I accepted the quest. A few minutes later, I´ve reached the lake and found Lilith´s home. She examined the amulet. She said that she can identify the amulet for me, but first I have to complete a task for her. As I am already aware, the forest is infested with giant wasps. There must be a hive queen somewhere, probably in the caves to the south, and I am to kill her in order to stop the infestation. Lilith would do it herself, but she is allergic to bee stings. What that has to do with wasps, I do not know.

Eschalon: Book One, Map of Game World

Some day, when I’m rich, I’ll collect a bunch of game maps and start printing them on cloth.

Before I did this, however, I decided to try and get to Blackwater. It was a pretty long voyage, but I managed to reach it. I had to pay 100 gold pieces to gain access to the city, but since it’s for life, I decided it’s a good deal. I went and talked to the councilman who said that some mercenaries are planning to assassinate him and asked for my help on the matter. Since it’s probably good pay, I accepted. Next was the blacksmith who said he ordered some Divine Ore from father Michael to the east. The shipment got ambushed, so now the bandits have it. I off course, promised to return it. Vekkar at the shop of magicks asked me to get the acorn from the last of the Burley Oak trees in order to save the species from destruction. I also bought a level of divination at the temple and some skill increasing books at the tavern. At the house of pain, I’ve learned level one swords and at the magick guild, level one elemental magic. I quicktraveled back to Bordetown and saved the game.

Loading the game later today, i decided to make a detour and try to clear Grimmhold. After disposing some bats at the entrance, I´ve found a wounded soldier who was expecting reinforcements. The goblins broke the gate mechanism and are now infesting the lower levels where a way to open the gate is located. I promised to clear the goblins and open the way west again. Eventually, after fighting my way through a bunch of goblins and even killing a goblin warlord, I’ve found the control mechanism for the secondary flood gates, pushed the lever, and the gate at the ground floor opened. I´ve found the locket for the innkeeper in Bordertown, as well as the waypoint, fought my way through some wasps, which now die in 2-3 hits and quicktraveled back to Bordertown.

After getting the 200 gold pieces for the locked and restocking on arrows, i decided to try and deliver the ceramic crucible to the blacksmith in Blackwater. I couldn’t quicktravel because the thing was too heavy, so I made the long trek on foot. It wasn’t hard at all, since I’ve cleared the way earlier. After this, I quicktraveled back to Bordertown and decided to try and clear the swamp for the boatman. The swamp turned out to be extremely easy. The slimes were of the type that gives 35 experience points so they were dying in 1-2 hits. After killing about ten of them, i continued to explore south. I’ve encountered a sign saying there was a shortcut to Darkford to the west. It sounded suspicious so I explored it with caution. As i expected, I got ambushed by some thugs. After killing them, I inspected their camp and found Mary, the stranded woman´s husband. I went and told her the sad news. She did not take it well, but thanked me anyway and told me that there is a powerful sword to the west of Grimmhold in her father’s old home. She also gave me the combination for the chest containing it. Since it seemed like a quick thing to do, I went and took the sword. The house was overrun by goblins so i had to clear those to. I returned to Bordertown and saved my game. I think i will go kill the hive queen next.

This is an old school RPG similar to some roguelikes and even games like Avernum. As far as I know, the first two books are out for now, so I decided to try the first one. Since the game is really story driven, I decided to try and write a more detailed log of my gameplay this time. I hope it isn’t too detailed.

Eschalon: Book One, A River

The graphics aren’t amazing, but they give that old school feeling.

I started with a ranger named Adam. Not sure if I built him correctly as i have no idea about the mechanics of the game. I started in a house in the woods. I got a dagger and a note from a chest. The note was signed by an initial „E“ and in there, it said that there are some supplies near a well and that i need to meet a man named Maddock in a nearby village of Aridell. I have no idea who Maddock or „E“ are. I got the supplies and started exploring the area.

I tried exploring a series of underground passages under a ruined village nearby, but i almost got myself killed. In hindsight, i should have gotten a melee weapon skill to. Eventually, after running out of arrows and potions, i was forced to run towards Aridell and try to avoid fighting on the way. When i got there, i spoke to Councilwoman Eleanor to try and find out who i really am, but i got nowhere. I did, however, find out that the area is being attacked by strange dwarf like cave dwellers called Orakur and this is the reason strange beasts roam the countryside. I also asked for Maddock and she told me where he is.

Next door was a temple where i was hoping to get healed, but it was way too expensive. Father Michael, the local priest, offered me a job which would get me no payment, but would increase my honor. I am to deliver a restoration potion to a sick man in the south. I decided to accept the quest since i would probably be exploring the area anyway. I took the potion and left the temple.

Next door to the temple was The Owl’s Roost Tavern. I tried to speak to a drunken man there, but he wouldn’t talk to me at first. Then i rented a room for 15 gold pieces, which was way cheaper than healing at the temple. After waking up, i spoke to the bartender about the guest and he told me he was a shipwrecked sailor named Garrett. I spoke to Garrett and he told me he lost everything, including his sextant, which was a priceless family heirloom. I decided to look for it during my travels.

I left the tavern and entered a nearby magick goods store. I spoke to the shopkeeper named Abygail and asked for work. She told me she was looking for a special book called „Secrets of Transference Circuits“. I decided to look for it on my travels. She also told me that goblins took over a nearby fortress.

Next up, I visited „The Wayward Blacksmithe“ and asked Farwick, the blacksmith work as well. He told me he used to live in Elderhollow, the ruined village i woke up in and left some precious metals in the wine cellar under his house. Among other things, there was a bar of Mithril which he would really like to recover. I accepted the quests and then did some bartering. I sold all of my excess gear and bought as many arrows as i could. They are quite expensive, sadly, going for 1 gold piece each, so i didn’t really stock up to much.

Finally, I’ve found Maddock’s home. After speaking to him, i realized he was just a courier. A masked man left a package for him and he simply passed it along to me. He knew nothing about the man or the packed. On the way out, I opened the wrong chest and „accidentally“ stole an armor piece from Maddock, so he attacked me. I didn’t kill him and just decided to outrun him. He is an old man who can barely walk anyway. I don’t feel particularly good about this, but it was really not my intention to steal anything.

Eschalon: Book One, Character Sheet

The character sheet is nicely detailed, as it should be.

The recovered package contained 300 gold pieces and another note. The note explained how Adam is not my real name and also said that I am extremely important for the entire region and my memory was erased for safety reasons. If i am to pursue the truth behind all of this, I need to recover an amulet form the tomb of a man named Adler Keldam at Eversleep cemetery. The key to the crypt is in the possession of the cemetery director, Leurik, who lives a bit north of Aridell. Before all of this, I’m planning to complete some of the assignments I got in the village.

I went and recovered the bar of Mithril and advanced to level 2 in the meantime. The bar netted me a nice sum of 375 gold pieces and i acquired the skill to wear light armor by leveling up. I used the gold to buy the remaining arrows from the blacksmith and also bought some armor to better protect myself. After that i went and delivered the potion to the sick man to the south. When he heard the potion is from father Michael, he instantly destroyed it saying that it was him who made him sick in the first place. As it turns out, the man found out that father Michael was cooperating with the goblins in building a portal that would allow them easier deployment of their troops. The man intercepted a message from one of the goblin leaders, which caused Michael to poison him. Now he tried to use me to finish the job. He kept the original letter and now asked me to bring him to someone who could do something about it. The captain in Darkford might be interested in it.

I quicktraveled back to Aridell and spent the night there. In the morning, i went to the north and visited the cemetery director. He would only give me the key if I gave him 200 gold pieces, so i agreed.

I decided to try and get to Darkford as fast as possible, so i stopped exploring and just followed the road in the right direction. On the way there, i encountered a woman whose husband went on to Darkford to somehow repair their broken wagon. She was robbed by thieves while waiting there so she asked me to go and find her husband. I continued to the northwest and passed by a strange tower built on water. Moving on, I to was ambushed by some bandits. I was too weak to fight them, so i ran to the nearest town with them chasing me. The town is called Bordertown and the people there quickly and easily disposed of the bandits. I tried to find some work from the people here. A boatman asked me to kill some slimes in the marshes to the east, an alchemist asked me to fetch an item from Grimmhold from him, and a blacksmith asked me to deliver a heavy package to a town in the south. The package weighs too much, so i had to postpone this quest, but i do intend to do it later.

Bordertown was right next to Darkford. I had to threaten a guard to let me see the captain, but in the end, I delivered the letter. The captain, read it, and said he would let the chancellor know so he can start an investigation. This is about all I could do. I returned to Bordertown, sold some of my stuff and then quicktraveled back to Aridell. I’ve spent the night at the inn and then went back south to try and find that sextant.

After spending lots of time and arrows fighting thugs in the south, i decided to give up on the sextant for now and go advance the main quest. I already had the key, so all i needed to do is visit the crypt. This is where i saved my game and stopped playing.