Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Statue Gardens and the Big Room

[Hilde's quest continues...]

Before I hit the treasure zoo, I make my way back to the sink and check my ring inventory. I find two of the same types of rings that I've been unable to identify by wearing, so I toss one into the sink. (as I write this, I realize I forgot to kick a ring out of the sink. I need to add that to my to do list) The sink responds by blending into the floor for a moment. That means it's a ring of stealth. Perfect! I can put on the other one, and use it in the treasure zoo! With stealth, all the monsters remain asleep (hopefully), and you are free to dispatch them one at a time. On my way to the zoo I find another ring, and after determining it to be uncursed, I put it on. My orc shaman takes a swing at Benedict, who responds by clocking him. Awesome! I found a ring of conflict! It makes everyone on the level fight eachother, and can be very useful. I quickly remove the ring before Benedict decides to break my face. I pick the lock on the door to the zoo and open it. I see a sleeping cockatrice two spaces away from me, at the edge of the group of monsters, and get a great idea.

I go back up a level with Benny and my orc shaman, and leave them there, I won't be gone long. I return to the treasure zoo, dig out a section of wall next to the corridor, and pick up a rock. I open the door, and throw the rock at the cockatrice, who promptly wakes up and takes a menacing step toward me. I slam the door, lock it, and snicker as I put on my ring of conflict. Then I wait as I hear sounds coming from the other side of the door. After a while I don't hear anything, and unlock and open the door. There stands a cockatrice among a large group of stone statues of the former monsters, with a gnome and a bugbear cowering in the corner. The cockatrice hisses at me, and I send 6 daggers his way, which drop him quickly. I note the cockatrice left a corpse, and check on the bugbear and gnome in the corner. Might as well make the set complete! I double check that I'm wearing gloves, and that I have a lizard corpse ready in case I fuck up, and pick up the cockatrice corpse. I wield it like a flail, and hit the Gnome with it, who instantly turns to stone. The bugbear falls just as easily, and now I've got a statue garden! I put the cockatrice corpse in the far corner so I don't have to worry about it until it rots away, and get ready to head back to my pets. Then I realize I've been gone longer than I thought I would be, and am not sure if Benedict could have gone feral. It seems unlikely, but I don't want to take the chance, so I bring the cockatrice corpse to the stairs with me, searching every turn to make sure I don't trip into a pit and turn myself to stone. I remove my ring of conflict, and on the previous level I'm relieved to find Benny is still happy to call me master, and we continue downward.

As we pass my new statue garden on our way to the down stairs, I remember that there should be a throne in there. I go back and find the throne under a statue of a floating eye, a few chips with my pick axe later, the throne is visible. I take a seat, and get the message that I feel out of place. I keep sitting, and it saps my strength for two points, but doesn't vanish. I weigh my options and decide to keep trying. I sit on it a few more times, and am rewarded with a free genocide. After realizing mind flayers won't be a problem for a long while, and I can't kill liches quite yet (Benny's my bud!), I choose rust monsters, who destroy my throwing daggers, and rust out my armor to uselessness. Extremely annoying. For a brief moment I remember the "feeling out of place" message and wonder if since I seem to be unaligned with this throne, if it'll teleport in a bunch of rust monsters instead of genociding them. I quiet my fear, and go for it. All Rust Monsters wiped out. Sweet! The throne, having expended its power, vanishes in a puff of logic.

We go down stairs and I see something I haven't seen in a long time. The big room. The big room is basically a large open room with no rooms, doors, or corridors to help you deal with multiple enemies. It's a bitch because you start in the middle and the ~30 monsters descend upon you from all sides, and if you're not careful, surround you completely preventing you from escaping. Every time I got the big room I backtracked and searched in vain for a ring of conflict, but this time I already had one. I brought Benny and my orc shaman upstairs, returned to the big room, and put on my ring of conflict. Then I sat back and enjoyed the show. While most of the monsters are busy beating on eachother, there were still a few gnarly ones pretty close to me, so I start walking a path to avoid most of the monsters while they beat on eachother. They get a little close, and I bash a few with Mjollnir, and make my way to a nice empty part of the big room. As I approach, the largest swarm of bees I've ever seen in nethack appears right where I'm heading. Bees are not too tough if you've got poison resistance, but they can still swarm you, and make your life very difficult. I make a bee line (yeah yeah) away, but some giants deflect me to the wall. I don't want to be pinned against the wall, but it beats being surrounded on all sides, and maybe they'll kill eachother in the extra time. I make my way to the wall, and the bees are upon me quickly, fortunately, most of them are attacking eachother, but they have poison resistance, and the swarm looks even bigger than it was before. The bees have me on one side, and begin to cusp above me like a small wave. “Bees! Bees! Bees in the car! Bees Everywhere! God, they’re huge! Your firearms are useless against them!” I'm reminded of Go strategy for some unknown reason, and move to the cusp instead of away from the large body of bees. The gamble pays off, and I manage to keep from being surrounded. I make it to a breakaway, and look around the dark areas of the room for items unmolested as the remaining monsters duke it out. I find a few more rings, wands, and an amulet, and decide it's time to let Benny take care of the rest of these guys. I remove my ring of conflict, and grab him from upstairs. Without the ring on, the remaining monsters close in on me and Benny, this is apparently exactly what Benny wanted because he goes nuts, and clears the room quickly.

I sift through the dropped items in the big room, and find a few more wands and rings. Knowing Benny is already wearing an amulet of reflection, I put the unidentified amulet on the ground for him to inspect. He picks it up, and puts it down. Well, I didn't get my amulet of reflection, but at least I know this one isn't cursed. I toss it on and see no immediate effect. Oh well. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. I find a whistle, and with high hopes, use it. My pets teleport right next to me. Yes! Finally, a magic whistle! No more waiting for slow pets! Then I remember SlowPoke and feel a bit down. Poor guy. Oh well. We head deeper and I find that I can see a xorn through the wall. Woot! I'm got an amulet of ESP! I name the amulet and dispatch the xorn who drops two food rations. I pick up the rations and realize I'm burdened. I spot a conveniently nearby box, and begin unloading some of my less than necessary equipment into it. I continue through the level and find another leprechaun hall. After Benny has his way with the little buggers, I gather up all the gold and some more items, only to become burdened again. On the way back to the box a peaceful Tengu teleports next to Benny and I. Benny takes umberage to this, and kills him in one hit, leaving a corpse. Hmmmm... Eating a tengu corpse has a chance of conferring the teleport control intrinsic. Also, it has a chance of giving me teleportitis. I've seen a few tengu around, so if I get teleportitis, I'll just keep finding and eating until I get the intrinsic. I eat the tengu and get the message, "You feel jumpy" Bah. Teleportitis it is, oh well. Back at the box, I eye my inventory more carefully. I realize I've got a lot of unidentified rings and scrolls. Probably some good ones among them. I've only got a few scrolls of identify, what I really need is a magic marker. Instantly I remember finding one, and 3 blank scrolls... somewhere... Shit. Why don't I take more complete notes? Well, it's in one of my outposts or closets or boxes, so I'm sure I'll find it. That's what I need to do. Get some of this inventory sorted. Make some holy water, blank some scrolls, and generally futz with my stuff. That'll be a bit of fun. Unfortunately I still haven't found an altar in the regular dungeon. The only one I know of is in the mine town, and that's a long way to lug all that stuff without a bag of holding.

I decide to take a quick look a few levels down, and if there are no altars, I'll just make the long trip to the mine town with the haunted temple.

[to be continued...]

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