"There must be a way out..."
The numbers refer to the map below.
Bottom of the MazeEdit
- 1. Two Gallants
- 2. Stealth and Stealthier
- 3. Separation Anxiety
- 4. The Orc King's Gratitude
- 5. Training Hall (Boss Node- Marcus)
Left of the MazeEdit
Top of the MazeEdit
- 11. The Plundered Dungeon (Boss Node- Roland)
- 12. Amateur Assassins
- 13. Five Kings
- 14. Immovable Object, Irresistible Force
- 15. A Slight Misunderstanding
- 16. A Tale of Two Tullians
- 17. Hell's Harem (Boss Node- Gazrashesha)
Right of the MazeEdit
Center of the MazeEdit
- 23. Men of Kruna
- 24. The Audition
- 25. The Recital
- 26. Magical Barrier
- 27. Maestro of the Maze (Boss Node-Medea)
- Fight Node 1 to defeat Bartleby and unlock the Bartleby Brawl.
- Pass Node 23 without fighting,
- Fight Nodes 3 and 4 to defeat Node 5 boss Marcus to obtain the Portrait of Marcus.
- Fight or Skip Node 22, Fight Nodes 19, and 18 to defeat Node 17 boss Gazrashesha to obtain the Portrait of Gazrashesha.
- Fight Node 16 to defeat Node 11 boss Roland to obtain the Portrait of Roland.
- Fight Nodes 25 and 26 to defeat the Node 27 final boss Medea.
Some enemies have Banner of Dread:
- Node 27's Medea on all difficulties.
- Node 18 on Hard and Nightmare.
- Node 11 on all difficulties.
- Node 5's Marcus on all difficulties
Boss Card RewardsEdit
- Guilbert's Curse (Marcus)
- Liquid Rage (Roland)
- Encroaching Darkness (Gazrashesha)
- Harl's Spellstealer (Medea)
It's the music that penetrates the darkness first.
The enchanting call of a harp dances at the edge of your perception, a faint yet insistent tune that beckons as though from a great distance. It's so soft, so utterly alone in an infinity of quietness, that you expect it to be devoured by silence at any moment -- to slip away forever like a lost love.
The song carries an inscrutable yet somehow unquestionable importance. Meaning is encaged within its chords, drawn along by legions of notes that encircle it like body guards around a nobleman's carriage. And so your eyes strain to grasp the elusive song, to capture and comprehend it before it vanishes. But it twists away from you, the tune shifting and changing to thwart your examinations -- beauty giving way to beauty, glory to glory, whisper to whisper. The music defies any attempt to fathom its mysteries. Yet it remains there at the periphery of existence in spite of its coyness, until it seems unspeakably eternal.
The knowledge of the song's permanence brings comfort, and your hearing relaxes -- relinquishes portions of perception to your other senses. That's when your mind begins to focus, to rise from the morass of semi-consciousness. That's when you realize that something's very wrong.
A cold and firm grasp encircles your wrist -- pinning your arms down by your sides, pressing them against the hard wood you now perceive under your back as well. You pull against the mysterious grip, and are rewarded by a jangle of metal. A second, almost identical sound greets you when you try to move your legs.
Your eyes open, battering away first the enveloping darkness and then the searing light in their frantic desire to see and understand.
The grim grey stone of a vaulted ceiling looms above you, its surface marred by scuttling cracks and trails of green dampness where inexorable nature has penetrated. More greyness revolves into your gaze when you turn your head -- a wall of worn stone blocks. Chains dangle from brackets set in the blocks, ending in open manacles.
A glance at your body confirms the predicament formed in your desperate mind. You're lying on a wooden slab, your wrists and ankles shackled to it. Only your undergarment covers your nakedness.
Your eyes sweep across the chamber in search of answers, but find none. There's another wooden table in one corner -- that one a rock by the look of it -- and several more brutal devices elsewhere in the chamber. But the torturous contraptions are untenanted. You're alone, imprisoned within the grey walls and the barred metal gate embedded between the stone blocks at the far end of the chamber -- sealing it from the sinister yet taunting gloom that you can see beyond.
Memories flash across your mind as you struggle for some semblance or recollection, alternate existences warring for supremacy in the ocean of your thoughts. You see a dragon. Its black... no, gold... no, blue... Its blue face gazing down at you. But you cast that remembrance aside. There was never a dragon. You're sure of that. Next comes a more powerful sensation. You're drowning in a hot sea, sticky water splashing across your face, in your eyes, your nose, your mouth. Yet that too passes in turn as your brain rejects it -- hurls it onto the heap of unreality.
A third image emerges from the amorphous mass, comes to dominate your consciousness. You were fighting an orc warlord. Yes! Every fiber of your being cries out in triumph as the memory locks into the middle of your mind, and everything else slots into place around it like the pieces of a child's puzzle.
You were in Bluselle, battling against Crenus' royal troops and orc allies. The warlord's savage face looms before your eyes. Memories of his crushing grip press against your throat.
Despair seeps through you. And the music, which had lain unheeded in the midst of your dark epiphany -- shunted to the periphery of your senses -- drifts into a mournful, melancholy tune.
You've been defeated, vanquished by the enemy you sought to slay. The people of Bluselle, the men and the women who relied upon you for protection and salvation, are left to endure whatever merciless penalty the king's agents choose to inflict upon them.
Another thought smashes into your head, usurping even that bleak contemplation. Your companions... Tessa, and Hugh, and all the others... You imagine their corpses lying in the town square, torn and broken my mortal wounds. You see them dropping from the gallows with nooses around their necks -- their faces marked with the bitterness of your betrayal. They trusted you, put their faith in you. And it's come to this...
No! You hurl the images aside, casting them into the deepest reaches of your mind. At the same moment the music changes once more, rising from the depths and twisting into a sonorous echo of the determination welling in your breast.
You still live. If you're a prisoner, so might they be. Now's no time to be wallowing in melancholy. You need to find what's happened to them. But first you have to get free.
Spells flick across your mind, a series of weapons drawn from the arcane arsenal that's been implanted within your brain by countless hours of training. Some you thrust aside. With your arms held immobile, those sorceries which require sweeping or complex movements from those limbs are beyond your command. Many cantrips remain accessible, however... You wriggle the fingers of each hand, exploring their ranges of motion. They seem undamaged, as dexterous as always. Good.
Arcane words are on the tip of your tongue, your fingers twitching in preparation for the shaping of eldritch gestures. But caution manages to retrain your impatience and assert its authority. If your captors know what they're doing they will have instilled your bonds with enchantments designed to counteract magic. It won't do any good to unleash a spell only to have the manacles turn or shock you in retaliation. You have to test them first, and gauge the potency of any wards placed upon them.
A sharp, powerful yank may uncover something -- cause protective magics to reveal themselves as they strive to guard the shackles. So you brace yourself, ready to throw all your strength into one mighty exertion...
The distant music soars into a crescendo as the manacles break apart.
For a long moment you gaze at your newly freed wrists as though they're priceless and unfathomable relics. They stare your turn to the broken shackles is no less amazed. Pathetic bits of ruined metal, their impotent carcasses still tethered to the wood... Unbelievable.
Either fate really is on your side or else King Crenus' forces hire the shoddiest craftsmen in the kingdom.
The fetters around your ankles fare no better against your muscles and tendons. In a moment you're free, standing on the floor of the chamber. It occurs to you that there's no soreness in your limbs. No niggling aches and pains. You can't have been bound to the wooden bench for long.
You're moving towards the gate when you spot a bundle wedged into a corner of the cell -- which had eluded your ling of sight while you were restrained on the table.
The faraway harpist's song trills in delight.
Your clothes... Even your weapons!
You dress and arm yourself, only just managed to suppress your laughter as you do so. The ineptitude of your jailors rival that of the dark lords' henchmen in the farcical plays you watched as a child. Such carelessness, such utter stupidity, seems to tread the line between comedy and tragedy.
Then a though occurs to you. Perhaps it wasn't carelessness at all. You may have allies in this place -- conscripts or others who've grown disgusted by the atrocities they've witnessed.
If so, then perhaps...
Sure enough, the gate to your cell yields when you yank at its bars. The lock breaks with a soft noise reminiscent of a sigh, opening the way into the corridor beyond.
Again the music seems to revel in your triumph. A long, sweet note rings out in the distance. That can't be a coincidence. Whoever the harpist is, they can somehow see what you're doing -- perhaps via a scrying spell -- and are playing in accompaniment like a theatric orchestra. And as no guards have come running since you broke your shackles, it's likely that they're a friend rather than a foe -- possibly the one who orchestrated this escape from your cell.
If so, you need to find them. They may know where you are, and what's become of the others.