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The Avenger Walkthru PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mithrandir   
Sunday, 07 February 2010 13:53

This is Foucter's detailed walthrough taken from the old darkstone board.

Greetings to all you Silent Ones!  Here, at last, is the beginning of the Walkthrough for the Darkstone Quest, The Avenger.  Like the Hint/Clue Guide before it, this walkthrough is a work is progress.  It takes a fair amount of time to play the game while writing down notes, and then transferring those notes into the computer.  I am currently on Level 5 at the start of this topic.

This walkthrough will also have lots of pictures, and I mean LOTS of pictures; almost one for each numbered entry.  For the most part this is a tell-all walkthrough, though I don't tell you the meanings of all thirty-three 3 Rings Quest riddles, I do point out the locations these riddles refer to, listing the riddle itself.

So, . . . starting a new game, because that’s the best way to fully enjoy The Avenger, I created a Thief named Morgan.  (I’m partial to Thieves because they are distance fighters, can steal from monsters . . . and have a certain “feature” usable by them.)  After selecting Novice, I chose the quest named The Avenger.  Let's get these show on the road!

STARTING IN TOWN:



1) With a Bow, Rags, 2 Healing Potions, an apple, and 1500 gold; Morgan heads over Perry the Publican, and buys a fish (just don’t eat it!).

2) Next she walks over to Master Dalsin, and learns the discipline of “Learning Level 1”.

3) Having everything she needs, Morgan exits Town to the wilds of Ardyl.

TRAVELS IN ARDYL:

1) Since the map areas are random each time, I can’t tell you where a place is on the map, so you’ll have to explore a bit.  Morgan’s first stop was to find the “Wizard Grove”, avoiding the “Forest Maze” for the moment, giving it a wide berth when the “Entering the Forest Maze” message appeared in the SE corner of the map.


2) In her travels, Morgan found the “Village Ruins” in the SW corner.  There she talked to Haldrin, who gives her a quest to defeat the Orc, Gurzik, and return his father’s Golden Chalice.


3) Before raiding the nearby barrel, Morgan discovered a crate with an Advertisement tacked on top; inside it she found a torch.  Humm, might want to hang on to this!


4) In the SW corner of the Village Ruins, my adventurer met T.R. Riddler, who told her about the Quest of the 3 Rings, and gave her the first riddle: “In the Forests of Ardyl, new growth is a real plus.  At its center there is life, and life there, must be.” Then he disappeared with a poof.


5) Continuing her search for the Wizard Grove, Morgan headed north, and discovered Tokoreos’ Mansion in the NW corner of Ardyl.  Skirting the large structure along the western side its entire length, she journeyed east. (Designer’s Note: Because I had no control over the game putting overland monsters in places they shouldn’t be; in this case, inside the mansion . . . I put kill machines inside the building to terminate any unwanted monsters.  That’s why you will hear the sounds of dying creatures as you pass by the outside of the mansion.  Nothing to see . . . move along!!)


6) Morgan finally found the Wizard Grove in the NE Ardyl.  Passing through the narrow shaded path, she found the Wizard Selonn standing outside his cottage.  Expecting you, he tells her about Tokoreos, his missing staff, and gives you the Wizard Key, which will open all but 2 of the doors in his Mansion. 
(3 Rings Area: Because the 3 Rings riddles cover 33 possible locations, I will point out these areas, though you may not get this riddle, this game. Giving you the riddle that applies this location, I leave it to you to figure out what it means.  "Beyond the treed lane, and the lay of grass; is a ring of stones to the depths below.")

7) Returning to the entrance of Tokoreos’ Mansion, while still avoiding the area of the Forest Maze, Morgan shot down 2 pesky Goblins, and finally made Level 2, putting 2 points in Dexterity & Magic, and 1 in Strength and Vitality.

TOKOREOS’ MANSION IN ARDYL:


1) Talking to the Front Door, it asked Morgan to give it an object in answer to its riddle.  Giving it the fish she bought from Perry, it opens.  (3 Rings Area: “Suited in black and gold, at attention I stand; touch me, and your life will I demand.")

2) Stepping inside the Mansion’s large entry area, with its tall columns and armored skeletons, Morgan opens the right-hand door, closing it behind her to keep out unwanted pests. (Designer’s Note: The first iteration of the Mansion used the Thatched Roof Building tiles because the maker of the QuestEditor had made some errors in the original “Land.cbs” file, which left out some key blocks, making the Tiled Roof Building blocks unusable in constructing something this complex.  Later, after buying a Hex Editor, and using Malleus’ O3D File, I was able to correct the mistakes myself with my “LandR.cbs” file, and rebuild using the Tiled Roof Building blocks.)


3) Notice the nice animated candles!  Wait till you see them at night!  Anyway, Morgan broke open the two jars in this side room, getting over 4000 in gold, some food, and a Healing Potion.  Gold’s good!


4) Opening the next door, she entered Tokoreos’ bedroom.  Cracking open the green pot, Morgan found nothing inside, but, in the bedside nightstand, she pulled out a Deathshade flower.  Also found gold in the 2-handed vase next to the chest-of-drawers.  At the moment, I’m ignoring the White Markers, one of which is set in the room’s corner.

5) Through the west door, Morgan entered the North Hallway, following its short span to the North/South Corridor that runs the length of the Mansion.  Heading south, she passed another White Marker, sitting in an alcove on her right.


6) The first door she came to was on her left, and trying the door, found it to be magically locked.  Using the Wizard Key on it, the door opened easily.  (SAVE YOUR GAME!  The bookcases within the Library give all the basic beginning spells; if you don’t like the mix, reload your savegame, and try again.)  Morgan got Berserker, Magic Missile, Reflections, Antidote, Magic Door, and 2 Light.  I got lucky with only 1 Reload!  Very good mix!  (SAVE)  (Designer’s Note: Originally the Library used the standard bookcases used by the game itself, but I found that the mix of scrolls and books it gave was not very helpful; you had to be very lucky!  So, I created my own bookcases that would randomly dispense only the types of books I wanted.  Once you get within 5 paces of the machine, the 8 state randomizing begins, and locks in when you click on it.  This way, I can give the spells you really need, with a little bit of chance still involved.)

7) In the Library, Morgan also discovered a small table with a book entitled, “Zelligar’s Magical Herbs, which had a clue about the use of the Deathshade flower; something about longevity.  There is another White Marker in the room’s center.  As a warning, don’t touch the book called “Death Becomes You” unless you think you can handle this kind of horror.  After saving, Morgan throws caution to the wind, and reads the gruesome tale.  Running immediately out of the Library after closing the book, she got some distance on the nasty Fire Golem that appeared.  After a Healing Potion, and a bit of guile, Morgan felled the beast, and gained 4 levels!  8 points in Dexterity/Magic, and 4 in Strength/Vitality.  (As to Morgan’s guile, she fought back to the side room, casting Berserker, and used the corner of the doorway to block the Golem’s fireball, while shooting it with her bow.)

8) Continuing down the corridor, she came to the Vault Door, on the right.  It promptly told her to go away, because the key to open it is around Tokoreos’ neck.


9) Skipping passed the door with the “Danger” sign, Morgan headed down to the last door on the right, opening it with the Wizard Key.  Time to stock up!  You never know what you’re going to get, except for a fair amount of gold!  Some of it possibly landing outside!  You can’t do anything about the chest or the pedestals now.


10) Crossing the hall, she opened the Lab door.  Dangerous stuff in here!  The first cauldron generates an increasing number of Mystical Wyverns if you click on it; one then three, then six!  Morgan shot down the Single, and the Trio, gaining 3 levels, but the Six was the death of her, so she left the final ones be.  Cautiously checking out the second cauldron, it apparently needed “something”.  Humm, Morgan thinks, and adds the Deathshade flower to the mixture, and gets an Elixir of Youth in return.  No aging for us!  (Designer’s Note: This is the first of many Elixirs of Youth you will find in your adventures, so don’t be afraid to sell this one if you need the money; there’ll be many more down the road.  The aging mechanic in Darkstone is one of those areas I find most unbalanced, so I give you plenty of opportunities to stay young!)

11) Also in the Lab, Morgan found the Birthday Present tempting, but decided to pass on it for the moment.  (3 Rings Area: "First take something from the JOL, and add it to the left SEPARIN.  Add some KON sauce, and NU eggs.  Wait a minute it will be done." All I will say about this riddle is that the capitalized words are Torzian that you will learn in Ormar.)

12) Heading south from the Lab, Morgan saw another alcoved White Marker to her right, as the hallway turned east.  Following it, she came to the Dining Room; nothing here but a White Marker in the corner.  (3 Rings Area:  "The house is empty, and the table is bare; take your place at the head if you dare.") Opening the north door, Morgan entered the southern side room, smashing the 2 jars she found there.  Through the second door, she had come full circle.  Time to pick up any treasure that fell outside, and head back to Town.

13) Time to spend some money training with Master Dalsin; Morgan does have 22,000 in gold, so was able to take almost all her skills to Level 2!  She doesn’t need the Elixir of Youth, so sells it for some extra cash.  After selling and repairing with Gunther, she drops her money off with Larsac, and heads back out of Town.

THE FOREST MAZE IN ARDYL:


1) Now, for the Forest Maze, which was dead-ahead coming out from Town, Morgan decided to skirt the western edge.  First, she encountered the stronger Green Goblins, and tried some Berserker Steal and Kill, until the Orc came sauntering out of a gap in the trees, then it was just Kill.  Down the short trail where the Orc emerged, she found a chest with some gold, a barrel, and a plain stone pillar.


2) Continuing northward to the NW corner of the Forest Maze, Morgan found a cluster of four, small trees in the shape of a “plus”, the location of the first riddle.  Dropping a Healing Potion in the center, she received the next riddle:  "Eyeless I see nothing, bodiless I lie still, here in the second dark." Of course, this was only 1 of 5 possible riddles.

3) Walking east across the northern edge, our adventurer encountered more Green Goblins from a trail leading south.  After dealing with them, she found more treasure in the box, and two barrels at the trail’s end.


4) A little further eastward, she came across another trail, marked by a stone pillar, heading deep into the center of the Forest Maze.  Passed the 2nd pillar, Morgan found the path blocked by a box laden wagon, wedged between two rocks.  Noticing that the boxes have the word “Danger” written on many of them, she uses her TORCH on the wagon, running away before it explodes!  Ah, that’s better, the way is clear.


5) Rounding the bend, Morgan shoots down the approaching Orc, and discovers the entrance to Dungeon Level 1.  Of course, she raids the boxes and barrels before heading down the stairs.  (To show you how random the surface containers are, Morgan had almost 20,000 in gold since leaving Town.)

DUNGEON LEVEL 1:


1) Since Level 1 is random, I will only note the special areas, and Lo! and Behold, there’s one right outside the first small room.  From the outskirts of the “Old Storerooms”, Morgan found 2 small dark empty rooms, and a large chamber with Green Goblins, pouring out to greet her.  Standing inside the doorway of an empty room, she steals a couple things, and kills them all.  Entering the now safe Storerooms, Morgan helps herself to the load of goodies here, throwing the switch hidden in the corner to reach the backroom.  (3 Rings Area: For those Ring Questers there are 2 riddles for this location.  "In the first darkness, eyeless I stare, lying bodiless on the floor."   "A great light shines in beginning darkness, though liquid magic would douse me, still will I light.")

2) Morgan gained 10th Level killing more Goblins and Wasps.  As an added note, try to reach 50 points in your primary statistic before reaching Dungeon Level 4.  So, Morgan is priming her Dexterity.  With a full inventory, she ports back to Town, and sells, repairs, getting rid of excess stuff, but keeps her Torch.  Of course, Gunther rarely has anything worth buying yet.  With her 61,000 in gold, Morgan put up the rest of her skills to Level 2, then back through the portal.


3) Returning to the dark chambers of Dungeon Level 1, Morgan discovered a cluster of small rooms called the “Lost Storeroom”. (Mega Secret)  Inside the lighted room was a table with 3 chairs, and on an impulse, she shot at the right-hand chair, which disappeared into a puff of smoke.

Searching the room further, she found a small blue button on the wall, and pushing it, heard a faint sound nearby. 

Exploring the area, Morgan found a keyhole, but it appears to need a specific key to unlock it.  So, she’ll be back!

4) Clearing Dungeon Level 1, Morgan headed down the stairs to Level 2.

DUNGEON LEVEL 2:


1) Having an abundance of potions, Morgan started her “potion field” on the west side of Town, and after the usual repair and selling, headed back down to Dungeon Level 2.


2) Near the stairs to Level 1, Morgan came upon the Upper Barracks, a large square room filled with bunks and Green Goblins!  Clearing the pests, she helped herself to the many chests and boxes about the room.


3) In the back corner of the Upper Barracks, Morgan found the answer to the 2nd riddle, seeing this skull on the floor.  After getting over being dead, the skull gave her the next riddle, “Beyond the path that glitters, near the arm that opens, pay your alms that your quest may continue.”


4) In her search of Dungeon Level 2, Morgan discovers another “Lost Storeroom”.  (Mega Secret)  Dealing with the Green Goblins pouring out the doors to attack, she cleared her way to the coat-of-arms behind the table.  With a single shot it disappeared, and searching a nearby dark room with a table and chairs, Morgan found the blue button behind some barrels.  Pushing it, she again heard a sound, and found a keyhole in the second dark room, still needing a specific key to open it.

5) With a full load, Morgan returns to Town, and adds to her Potion Field.  Repairing, selling, and depositing, she ports back, taking the stairs to Dungeon Level 3.

DUNGEON LEVEL 3: The Orc Stronghold

(Designer’s Note: Dungeon Level 3 is the first of many levels in The Avenger that are completely custom, and because of this, will never be random.  There are pluses and minuses to these types of dungeon levels.  As you venture through the Orc Stronghold, think of it this way: everything that you see was built, stocked, and placed by hand.  The computer can’t build this kind of complexity, so the level of detail is much higher than all those square-ish groups of empty rooms that Darkstone randomizes in its Standard game.  The down side is that the level will play out the same every time, which isn’t too bad if I keep things interesting!)


1) Morgan exits the stairs into a small room.  Near the eastern door she glances at the sign, which basically tells her to “Go Away!”  (3 Rings Area:   "Though you may read my crude warning, douse me with blue, and I shall read something new.")

2) Ignoring the warning, she opens the door, and kills the rats that greet her.  Morgan heads left out the door, which leads north to a small room where the rats must have come from.  Stepping inside, and closing the door to make the Orcs unaware of her presence, Morgan sacks the room.

3) Time to gain some levels!  With Berserker activated, Morgan exited the “rat” room, and opened the door across the hall into the Stronghold proper.  Immediately the Orcs rushed her, but she cut them down with her bow, gaining 4 levels in the process.


4) Pressing into the Stronghold, more Orcs attacked, but Morgan was unstoppable.  Clearing the remaining rooms, she searched all the boxes, chests, and jars lying about the Stronghold.


5) In the northeast corner room of the Stronghold, Morgan found this lever.  Pulling it, she heard a grinding sound to the south.  (Designer’s Note: Sometimes the smallest things can be the most aggravating.  Take these nice looking wall beds in the picture above; this is my “fixed” graphic for the original unusable wall bed that shipped with the Editor.  The beds you saw in the Upper Barracks were my own creation, before I learned to correct the original bed.  The “original” had an offset collision that had to be set into the wall to work, but wait!  The dungeon blocks in the Editor already have collisions, so how can you put a collision on top of a collision?  You can’t!  Hence, the reason it was unusable!  I had a lot of requests for that bed once I fixed it.)

6) Returning to the Stronghold’s central chamber, Morgan heads out the east hallway towards where the sound was heard.  Opening the far door, she did the Steal/Kill on the chickens that had got loose from the room across the hall, finding only a few barrels and boxes in that small space.


7) Just south of the “Chicken” room, she discovered a new passage inside the wall, and cautiously stepped through.  In the darkness, Morgan was attacked by bats as she progressed slowly, then heard a soft hissing voice say, “Join us . . .” as skeletons appeared out of the blackness.


8) A short distance to the south, Morgan entered the dark and vacant room, finding another lever set into the corner.  Pulling this one, she heard a sound to the northwest, back inside the Stronghold.


9) Heading back to the Stronghold, she located a secret passage in the northernmost wall.  Casting Berserker, Morgan stepped onto the blue pad, which opened all 3 spike doors, releasing a flood of skeletons from both sides.  Staying where she was, Morgan shot them extra-dead before they could reach her.  In the north room, she found the Golden Chalice for Haldrin.
(Major Secret Area: The entrance to the Lair of Bithol is hidden in this room, but don’t worry about it!  It will be a while before you can access it, though you can see bits of it on the automap.)

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: ENTRY AREA

(Designer’s Note: Ah, level 4, the bane of my existence . . . in the beginning!  You think I jest?  On this level I personally learned the limits of the QuestEditor.  Imagine, you’re building your dungeon level, putting in machines, torches, and other dressing; you’re having a good time making it as detailed as you can . . . imagine.  You do a debug test of the level, and suddenly notice that things have disappeared completely from the dungeon you just worked on!  What’s going on?!  You exit Darkstone, and go back into the Editor to see what happened, but everything you built is still there, in the Editor.  There’s no precedent for this behavior, so you start to guess at what’s causing it.  After several hours of testing, trying this, that, and the other thing, I discovered that there’s a limit to the total number of machines, torches, and traps(chairs, chests, etc) allowed on a dungeon level.  By continuing to pair down, and testing the level in Debug, I discovered the total to be 512; anything over that and the game doesn’t load those pieces.  So, for every custom level after 4, I had to keep a strict count of everything, down to the torch, or things would disappear.)


1) To be safe, Morgan activated Berserker before taking the stairs.  A good thing too, as an Orc Guard charged her from across the room as she exited the stairway.  Her bow shortly felled the monster, and with its dying breath, wheezed that only Gurzik had a key to the far door.  Checking the door anyway, she found it locked indeed, with a sign that boldly says, “Gurzik Skullcusher’s Lair”.  Now to find a key.

2) Moving to the eastern door, Morgan inspected the plaque which read, “Royal Crypts”.  Using the nearby pressure plate, the door opened, and she headed inside, not at all surprised when the doors sealed behind her.


3) Stepping passed the skeletons of the unfortunate, Morgan meets the spirit of Glonan the Lost, and hears the mournful tale of the last King of Aeirdun.  After he disappears, my adventurer uses the left or north lever to open the door.  Ahead was a sign which said, Embalming Room .  Let’s check out the ER first!


4) The Embalming Room had many containers to break open, besides having Health and Mana Pools.  She found a “Ragged Bit Of Parchment” in a cabinet along the west wall.  Looks like a clue of some kind, so Morgan tucks it away.


5) Through the opposite doorway, Morgan entered the Crematorium, and sees some bones inside the cremation chamber.  Throwing the left lever to activate the chamber, she used the right lever to open the spike door, and retrieve Glonan’s Ashes.

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: TERELIS FAMILY CRYPT


1) Returning to the main corridor, Morgan used the south lever to open the door into the area outside the Terelis Family Crypt.  After finding and pressing 3 small buttons like the one in the picture above, the entrance opened.


2) Entering, my surefooted Thief avoided the spikes in the center of the first chamber.  Using the lever to her left, the southern door opened; the west door must be opened elsewhere.  (Designer’s Note: By activating the automap, notice how the openings into the connecting tunnels show as a doorway; instead of a blank square?  I know, at least for anyone previously using the “a1_ps1” & “a1_ps2” blocks, they would always appear as blank squares on the automap.  After years of struggling with this problem, and having no success, I finally discovered the answer while making Level 25, which has many secret passages that I was having problems keeping secret.  When I used Low-collisions along the inside of the tunnel, the game would recognize the High-Collisions at either end as doorways, and put in the correct symbol on the automap.  Thus, all the passages in the game were redone, and the automap looks much better for it.)


3) Walking south, Morgan came to a fair-sized room filled with spike traps.  Hearing explosions west, she carefully worked her way to a short passage, discovering a small room protected by four fireball launchers.  Rather than risk death, Morgan checked east across the spikes, finding another passage.


4) This lead to a small room, with its complimentary spike trap, and passages to the north and south.  The south passage was blocked by spikes, the entrance sporting a large keyhole that she obviously didn’t have a key for.  Curiously, Morgan could barely spy what looked like a chest, enveloped in flames, beyond the spikes, but for now, there was nothing she could do about it.


5) Avoiding the center spikes, Morgan headed north, entering a bare room.  Walking between the two sets of columns, she felt slightly uneasy as she approached the lever set into the north wall.  Throwing it, Morgan runs back to the passage as skeletons burst out of the walls!  From the safety of the tunnel, she cuts them down.

6) Backtracking west across the spike field, Morgan notices that the fireball explosions have indeed stopped.  Stepping passed the now silent launchers, she uses the lever to open the south passageway.


7) Passing through the tunnel, and skirting the spike trap, Morgan quickly realizes she’s entered one of the Terelis crypts, but it’s not empty as several skeletons attack.  Taunting them to follow, she retreated to the entrance, watching as just as many are hit by the spikes as were from her bow!  Felling the last of them, Morgan steps out into the large crypt.  Reading the plaques, they bear the names of three Terelis children: Arik, Fyren, and Celvena.  Opening their sarcophagi, she found a sword, an angry red skeleton, and Celvena’s Amulet.  The jewelry seems plain enough, but something tells her its important, so Morgan tucks it safely away.  Rounding the corner from Celvena’s sarcophagus, Morgan sights a pressure plate behind Arik’s casket.  Standing on it, she heard a distant rumble back the way she came.


8) After a quick port back to Town, selling all the stuff she stole from the skeletons, Morgan made her way back through the spike field to the north passage.  There she found the west door no longer closed, the one with all the skeleton warriors and archers pouring out of it!

9) Taking care of the boney threat, Morgan entered the Crypt of Duke Azar & Lady Valun Terelis.  Opening Valun’s sarcophagus, my intrepid Thief found a new bow, and some Leather Armor!  Too bad Azar wasn’t more giving.  (Designer’s Note: So . . . I lean more towards the Thief character.  At least you know why I said to build your primary stat to 50!  Trust me, there’s something for everyone in the next area.)


10) On the back of the west pillar, Morgan found a lever, which opened the central chamber.  Inside, she stepped on the pressure plate, and was startled by a peal of thunder.  In the rising mist, an object appeared, floating in the air.  Before she could touch it, the object fell to the floor, and she picked it up, gaining the Key of the Ancients.

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: THE CRYPT OF FORGOTTEN KINGS


1) Returning to the Main Corridor, Morgan saw Glonan floating near the eastern door.  Congratulating her for recovering the Key of the Ancients, Glonan told her that she can now enter the Crypt of Forgotten Kings.  Before disappearing again, he gave Morgan a Journal Fragment; something about pests in Felan’s crypt.  Turning her attention to the door, she could not see any visible way to open it, though the indentation was that same as the Key of the Ancients.  Pulling it out, she slipped the Key into the door.  (Designer’s Note: As an added visual effect; stand in front of the door, like in the picture above, and take the Key in mouse, and click it onto the indentation, and see what happens!)


2) Passing through the now, ethereal door, Morgan walks down the long passage emerging into a large pillar lined chamber.  In the center, she spots a blue pressure plate surrounded by four stone symbols.  Beyond it, flanked by statues is another sealed door, bearing a different indentation, while she finds that the doors to the north and south are closed.


3) Glonan had warned her about Guardians, and though she was sure the blue plate would open the north & south doors, she was apprehensive as to what else it would do.  So, with Berserker on, and Reflections at the ready, Morgan stepped onto the blue pressure plate.  Immediately a Magic Guardian appeared on each stone symbol, and attacked with Magic Missiles.  Casting Reflections, Morgan retreated to the entrance tunnel, engaging them one at a time; even returning to Embalming to use the Health & Mana Pools.  Shooting down the final Guardian, Morgan gained 18th level.

4) Walking north through the open doorway, Morgan exited the Pillared Hall into a small antechamber.  Her attention was drawn to a group of spiders that appeared out of the northern passage.  Killing the things-with-too-many-legs, she continued north to the Crypt of Queen Felan.  Didn’t the Journal Fragment mention something about Queen Felan and pests?  Anyway, Morgan tried to open the sarcophagus, but it was magically sealed.


5) In the corner of Felan’s Crypt, Morgan found this lever, and using it, heard a grinding sound to the southeast.  Returning to the antechamber, she took the east passage.  It lead to an unassuming crypt with an empty sarcophagus, but behind it was a secret passage.

6) The short passage opened up into a hidden area.  As Morgan entered the wide corridor, she was immediately assaulted by more spiders, and did a little exterminating.  Reaching the corner, she discovered the sarcophagus of King Esren with a Novice’s Cape inside for all you wizard types.  Following the passage north, even more spiders rushed to meet a swift end by Morgan’s bow.  At the next corner, the sarcophagus of King Akuta sat; he wasn’t too happy when she opened it.


7) As Morgan neared the west passage, a large Queen Spider came lumbering down passage toward her.  Stopping in her tracks, Morgan retreated back to the secret passage with the Queen in pursuit.  The large monster couldn’t reach her in that narrow space, so she pelted it with arrows until it died.  Morgan gained a potion component of Spider Poison, and Level 19 in the process.


8) Walking back to King Akuta’s sarcophagus, Morgan headed west from where the Queen Spider had come.  Shortly coming to a dead-end, she found two egg sacs that began to spawn more spiders.  After dispatching all of them, Morgan stepped up to each egg sac, and destroyed it with a single shot.  With the pest problem taken care of, she learned from the plaque that this was King Fyreyes Crypt.  Inside his sarcophagus, Morgan found a red gem, called a Tiger Eye.

9) On a hunch, Morgan returned to Queen Felan’s Crypt, remembering that the plaque said Felan was “of the Tiger Tribes”.  So what if she used the Tiger Eye on Felan’s sealed sarcophagus?  So, that’s how Felan stayed so young!  Morgan finds an Elixir of Youth inside.

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: CRYPTS SOUTH

(3 Rings Area: "Crowned before the last, and laid to rest in twenty-two thirteen in ages past. Offer tribute, and earn your reward.")

1) Journeying south through the Pillared Hall, Morgan entered the passage to the Southern Crypts, and was immediately attacked by a group of blue skeletons.  Clearing the first chamber, she found a magically sealed sarcophagus, the plaque on the side wall being so badly worn that she only make out the words, “of Ayor II.”


2) Taking the west passage, where two skeleton archers had emerged, Morgan entered the Crypt of King Iceken & Queen Oluna of Aeirdun’s 4th Age.  Oluna’s sarcophagus had some Initiate’s Robes of the Priestly persuasion; Iceken being not friendly at all.

3) With the Robe filling the last of her pack, Morgan ported back to Town, getting a fair price for the Cape and Robe she couldn’t use.  She needed the money because Skill Level 4 was available at Master Dalsin’s, and she was able to put up Trading, Learning, Theft, Defusing, and Perception before running out of money.  Putting the Elixir of Youth in cottage #2 for safe keeping, she headed back.


4) Returning to that first chamber, Morgan continued down the south passage into the Crypt of King Ayor II & Queen Ava, 3rd Age of Aeirdun.  Ayor’s sarcophagus contained a Master’s Sword, while Ava’s produced an Elixir of Magic, and a music score entited, “In the Halls of King Odon”.  Reading the inscription, she learns the score was written by Ava, “for her son, Odon.”

5) Once again entering the first chamber with its nameless, sealed sarcophagus, Morgan concludes that this Crypt must be “Odon’s” being “of Ayor II”.  Laying the musical score written by his mother on the sarcophagus, it opens, Morgan finding an Axe inside.

6) Having already killed two blue skeletons, who came wandering out of the east passage, Morgan was not surprised to encounter more as she proceeded that direction.  Entering another antechamber, she noted three more passages to the north, east, and south.

7) Going north, she was attacked by two more skeleton archers, which put Morgan up to 20th Level!  The Crypt belonged to King Velkon, and Queen Valun of Aeirdun’s 6th Age.  Velkon’s sarcophagus contained some very nice Reinforced Leather Armor for those Warrior types, and though Valun’s was empty, Morgan did get a Book of Light from the bookcase.

8) Two more Skeleton Archers inhabited the east passage into the Crypt of King Rastev and Queen Vila, 5th Age of Aeirdun.  After shooting them to bits, Morgan found Vila’s sarcophagus empty, Rastev’s a bit hostile, and a Book of Resurrection on the bookcase.


9) From the antechamber, Morgan lastly headed south, finding the Crypt of King Glonan, and Queen Leata of Aeirdun’s 7th Age.  The bookcase had a Book of Magic Missile, and Leata’s sarcophagus was empty.  Yet, now it was time to put King Glonan to rest.  Taking out his ashes that she found in the Crematorium, Morgan placed them inside Glonan’s open sarcophagus.  Success!  Glonan appears, and gives her the Key to the Royal Crypt, warning her not to touch the sarcophagi there, before disappearing for the last time.

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: THE ROYAL CRYPT


1) Returning to the Pillared Hall, Morgan approaches the eastern door flanked by statues.  By placing the Key into the identical shaped notch on the door, it become ethereal, and Morgan stepped through, entering the Crypt of King Ayor and Queen Itera, 1st Age of Aeirdun.


2) The sarcophagi that Glonan warned not to touch were in alcoves to the north and south of the chamber; Morgan decides to heed it.  In the center was a small room with four closed spike doors, containing a most likely important key, lying undisturbed on a pedestal.  Seeing the 4 levers at each of the room’s corners, she thought of the “Ragged Parchment” she found in Embalming.  Pulling it out, Morgan read it again with better understanding.  So, Lever 1 was in the NW, Felan’s Crypt being to the north, Lever 2 was NE, Lever 3 was SW, and Lever 4 was SE, forming a “Z”, if looking down at it (like the picture above).


3) Following the rest of the instructions – 2up, 3up, 1up, 4up, 2down, and 3down, all the spike doors opened!  Moving inside, Morgan recovered the Lost Key.


4) For curiosity, Morgan opened the north sarcophagus, and a Crypt Guardian appeared at the exit teleport pad, and attacked her.  Morgan being quick on her feet, killed it, but not without almost dying once with a single hit.  Gained 2 levels though!

DUNGEON LEVEL 4: GURZIK’S LAIR

(3 Rings Area: "My kingdom forgotten, in darkness I sit.  Though I rule nothing, at my right-hand wouldst thou sit?"   "In the place of forgotten royalty, I still stand at attention; swords crossed and shield raised.  See, that's me, second on the right!")


1) Taking the teleport pad between the east statues, Morgan appeared back at the entrance to the Crypts, and the door to Gurzik’s Lair.  Using the Lost Key, she opened the door, and stepped inside.  As expected, lots of Orcs greeted her arrival, and she cut them down!


2) Wading through the rest, Morgan found Gurzik safely locked behind a second door; fortunately she had a key.


3) Leading him out into the open, Morgan slew the Orc, gaining “Gurzik’s Necklace” as proof she had done the deed.


4) Entering Gurzik’s Lair, Morgan discovered a Letter to Gurzik from none other but Tokoreos the wizard, who seems so confident.  She wonders what he’d say if he knew she’d wiped out Gurzik and all his Orcs?  Time to sack the place!


5) Porting back to Town, Morgan dropped her extra books in a cottage, sold the Reinforced Leather Armor for a good price at Gunther’s.  With luck, Morgan was able to buy a Book of Reflections from Master Elmeric, which will help with the fireballs at the Forgotten Repository.  Dropped the 2 clue scrolls, and with a clear pack, headed back.

DUNGEON LEVEL 3: THE FORGOTTEN REPOSITORY

(Designer’s Note: The Forgotten Repository is, of course, a Mega Secret.  With plenty of space to play with on Dungeon Level 3, I wanted to make a secret that could only be detected by sound.  Hence, the explosion sound that plays continuously until you enter the secret passage.  In history, this place is the hidden repository of Aeirdun’s magical knowledge, lost for centuries.  There is a chance to find any spell used in the game on the bookstands contained within; once you defeat its defenses that is.  You’ll be glad you waited to enter it now, rather than when we first discovered it!)


1) Again outside the entrance to the Forgotten Repository, Morgan first used the nearby Mana Fountain to top off, and entered the secret passage in (F10) top-down view.


2) Morgan moved right, up, and right again(in top-down), carefully hugging the bottom wall to avoid the fireballs coming down the center of the passage, coming to the edge of the launcher filled room.


3) Casting Reflections, Morgan ran out to the center of the room, finding this particular spot to be safe.


4) Not trusting the doors, and sensing a trap, Morgan decided to cast Reflections, and open all the doors in a single run.  Good thing, as 2 Magic Guardians appeared beyond each door she opened!  Her mana depleted, she ran for the exit, and the Mana Fountain!


5) Slowly creeping back into the secret passage, Morgan activated Berserker & Reflections, approaching just close enough to attract one Magic Guardian, hoping the other five were getting hit by the fireballs.  With a steady stream of arrows she killed the first one, and then back to the Health and Mana Fountains!  She destroyed rest, weakened by fireballs, one dying by itself, giving her Level 23.


6) Refilling again, Morgan walked back to the edge, and Reflected into the center once more.  From there she headed straight up into the north room.  Ignoring the bookcases, she pulled the lever on the back wall, and a voice said, “Two more to go!”


7) Reflecting to the east and south rooms, Morgan pulled the lever in each, and was glad when the voice said, “Fire Launchers have been deactivated.”


8)  Ooops!  Will you look at that!  There’s a torch in the window.  Just goes to show you that sometimes even when you’re careful, things still get moved!


9) Before touching any books, SAVE!  Here in the south room, Morgan started searching the bookcases.  These are advanced machines with a chance that the book will disintegrate upon touching it.  She found Poison Cloud, Slowness, Magic Door, Invocation, Spark, and Haste.  Moving to the east room(and saving again!), she recovered Reflections, Telekinesis, Stone, Wall of Fire, and Detection (one book disintegrated).


10) With too many books to carry, Morgan ported back to Town.  She put a bunch in her Book Cottage for later, and sold the rest for tidy sum of almost 160,000 gold!  Yeah, more money for skills!

11) Back down to the Forgotten Repository, Morgan picked up the rest of the books in the east room, and saved outside the north door.  On the first time, she gained Berserker, Night Vision, Magic Missile, Resurrection, Forgetfulness, and Fear.  With another full load of books, she again drop some in her cottage, and sold the remainder for 124,000 gold.

DUNGEON LEVEL 2: THE LOST STOREROOM

1) Taking the stairs back up to Dungeon Level 2, Morgan headed for the Lost Storeroom, which in this case was right next to the stairs to 3.  Returning to the location of the keyhole, she prepared to hopefully open this secret.


2) Using the Lost Key in the lock, the wall section became ethereal, revealing a plus shaped room, the floor bathed in a flickering light.  (SAVE)  (Designer’s Note: In playing through the Standard Darkstone game, you may have noticed the colored lighting, and various lighting effects used.  Unfortunately, the Editor has no controls for lighting of any kind.  It was later discovered by my fellow QEers that there was a “trap” that could be activated called “Light”, which is what you see being used here.  But it is a strange “light”, because it only lights the floor, and nothing else.  Not like torches, which are a true light source, and illuminate everything around it.)


3) Inside the Lost Storeroom were 3 bookstands, and 3 chests.  Checking the bookstands first, Morgan found Invisibility, Magic Missile, and Magic Door.  (SAVE)  After one reload, she recovered 2 Elixirs of Magic, 2 Elixirs of Dexterity, 3 Elixirs of Strength, 2 Elixirs of Vitality, and some food from inside the chests.  Picking everything up, she ported back to Town.


4) Setting aside 2 of each type in her Potion Cottage, Morgan used the rest of the stat rising Elixirs.  Since she was in Town, she picked up the Golden Chalice.  Also, Morgan visited her Book Cottage, and learned half of the Books in there, having reached a Magic of 55.  Finished, she headed back to Dungeon Level 2.

DUNGEON LEVEL 1: THE LOST STOREROOM


1) Traversing the stairs up to Dungeon Level 1, Morgan walked back to the Lost Storeroom, and once again used the Lost Key to open the secret.  (SAVE)  On the bookstands she received 2 Berserkers, and 1 Reflections.  (SAVE)


2) Opening the chests, she found 2 Elixirs of Dexterity, 2 Elixirs of Magic, 1 Elixir of Youth, gold, food, Antidote Potion, and a Fire Flower.  The Fire Flower, like the Spider Poison is a component for later use.


3) Returning to Town again, she dropped the Fire Flower in her “Component” area, books to the Book Cottage, Elixir of Youth to the Potion Cottage, then walked out the Main Gate to Ardyl, and Haldrin.


4) Heading back to the Village Ruins, Morgan presented Haldrin with the Golden Chalice, and Gurzik’s necklace.  He in turn gave her the Crystal of Wisdom, the first of seven.


5) Of course, Sebastian appears to congratulate you.  He’s a hold-over from the original game; pay him no mind.  You are the Avenger, now . . . not after you’ve found all the crystals!  Move along!!

TOKOREOS MANSION REVISITED


1) Returning to Tokoreos Mansion, Morgan headed to the bedroom, where she saw the first White Marker.  Touching it, the Marker responded with a sound, as a strange green/yellowish orange star appeared above it.

2) Searching for more, she remembered seeing one in the north alcove, one in the Library, and one in the Lab.

3) After activating the White Marker in the Lab, Morgan took on the Six Wyverns in the left cauldron will no problem.  Inspecting the Birthday Present, it was a trap, of course, as 3 unlucky Trolls met a swift end by Morgan’s hand.


4) Turning to the cell, she opened the door, hesitating about the spikes, which turned out to be illusionary.  Inside, Morgan found a scrap of paper on one of the skeletons.  A set of directions?  Something about levers and numbers.  Morgan puts it away for safekeeping.

5) From the Lab, Morgan activated the White Marker in the south alcove, and the one in the corner of the Dining Room.


6) Backtracking to the door with the danger sign, Morgan used the Wizard Key to open the door, and clear the way to the final White Marker.


7) Activating the last White Marker, a resonating sound filled the Mansion, as a well appears with a rope down to Dungeon Level 5.

DUNGEON LEVEL 5: THE ENTRY HALL & AREAS WEST


1) Descending the rope, Morgan entered Dungeon Level 5, dropping through the other end of the brick-lined shaft. (Designer’s Note: Level 5 was originally a random dungeon, but later, after several great ideas, was changed radically into a custom dungeon.  Even up to the final beta, this level had some subtle changes done to it, namely replacing the flooring, and new graphics and machines for the Pool Room.  The story of Erthos the Explorer and his companions was introduced in the custom version, and their skeletons are still present throughout the level.  The new design also came with some tougher monsters, like the Toko Guards, and the more deadly blue skeleton archers.  Additionally some of the advanced stealth monster generators I made for the Ormar dungeons really add some nice surprises here; they create 3 tailored groups of 3, and then pause for 2 minutes before starting again.)


2) Advancing down the Entry Hall, Morgan was warmly welcomed by a Toko Guard’s axe as it lead the attack with a group Orcs.


3) At the end of the Entry Hall, Morgan found two skeletons, and the journal of Erthos the Explorer.  Picking it up, she found that several pages had been ripped out of the otherwise empty book, except for the inside cover, which bore the names of the expedition from over a hundred years ago.


4) Heading into the next room, south, Morgan found Journal Page: Day 1.  Its interesting reading about a place that you’re only just explored yourself.  He called the White Markers, magic stones, though they worked the same today as they did then, opening the shaft down here.  (Designer’s Note: Though you find yourself wondering why the Journal Pages where first, ripped out of the book, and second, scattered about the level; the real reasons are not explained, though someone might guess.  When Tokoreos first found his way down here, he found Erthos journal as you did, but he decided to rip out the written pages, and drop the book.  As he wandered through the level, reading each page, Tokoreos discarded them as he went, which is why you find them everywhere.)


5) Taking the West Passage, Morgan was ambushed when she reached the far end, Toko Guards and Orcs attacking from front and behind.  She found Journal Page: Day 2, discarded in the corner; funny reading about where she was a moment ago.


6) Following the path west again, Morgan entered a large chamber, and was briefly attacked by a group of blue skeletons, which put her up a level.


7) Continuing around the north side of the chamber, Morgan located the locked entrance into the central room.  Inside it, spike traps flitted out of the floor, randomly, surrounding a pedestal holding a decahedron shaped Lock Crystal.


8) In the southeast corner, Morgan picked up Journal Page: Day 3.  She finds Erthos’ entries more and more interesting, so there’s a “town” down here?  With doors that magically open by themselves?


9) Deciding to continue through the south passage, from the Lock Crystal Room, Morgan came to a warning sign placed there by Tokoreos, telling the Orcs to keep out.  Just in case, the Wizard also placed 2 stone blocks in the way.


10) Shooting her way through the rocks, Morgan reached a strange blue basin at the entrance of a large chamber.  An invisible force kept deflecting her hand, if she tried to touch the basin, so she let it be.  Turning her attention to the chamber itself, Morgan noted the skeletal remains of “Darman” nearby.  She watched, and even shot at the Chronofly, hovering in front of the stone pool, but gained neither damage nor a response from it.  Again noting the skeleton, Morgan decided to delay entering the room until another time.

DUNGEON LEVEL 5: THE ANCIENT’S TOWN

1) More Toko Guards attacked Morgan as she walked back through the West Passage.  Cutting them down, she returned to the small room where she found Journal Page: Day 1.


2) Walking south and west along the wide corridor, Morgan passed by some windows looking into a Ratmen infested room.  Unaware of her, she went on to the engraved door ahead, which opened by itself as Erthos had noted in his journal.  Closing behind her, she searched the room.


3) As Morgan exited the first chamber, and prepared to deal with the Ratmen; an Orc (not pictured, dead) alerted the Ratmen, who poured out, unsuccessfully, to get her.  Sacking the now unoccupied room, she cautious headed south.


4) Approaching the corridor’s end, Morgan spied a large group of blue skeletons with archers, coming her way.  Quickly she ducked into the darkness of a nearby room, luring them to their destruction.  This room had more containers to search.


5) Peering out the doorway, Morgan sighted another journal page, but as she reached it, more Toko Guards and Orcs attacked from the nearby room.  After their quick defeat, she retrieved Journal Page: Day 4 & 5.  Morgan found it interesting that Darman and Aldeth found a pedestal with a wooden rod, in the spike room, not a decahedron crystal.  Obviously Tokoreos has messed with things since then.


6) Stepping up to the pyramid-shaped monument, Morgan had to agree with Erthos, that pulsating star does look like the ones that appear above the White Markers.  Inspecting the plaque nearest her, she was surprised when it concerned the 3 Rings Quest; something about colors, potions, and a ward.  On the opposite side, the plaque was inscribed with a quote from a wizard named Emann Zenith.  Morgan doesn’t have a clue what it means, so moves on.


7) Looking through a nearby window, Morgan sees more Orcs, and decides to remove the threat.  Ah, a barracks, she realizes as she moves in for the kill.  After searching the room, Morgan returns to Town, and adds to her Potion Field, finding a safe spot in Cottage #4 for the Crystal of Wisdom.  After repairing and selling, she headed over to Master Dalsin, who can now teach her Level 5 Skills.

DUNGEON LEVEL 5: WESTERN TUNNELS


1) Reappearing at the barracks on Dungeon Level 5, Morgan exits the room, walking along the north side on the monument, when more skeletons attack.  The archer hit her hard, before she remembered to activate Berserker.  Duh!


2) To the west, she found the bones of Leroe, at the entrance of a narrow tunnel that was pitch-black.  Activating Light, she journeyed forward into the darkness.


3) Following it around the adjacent room, the tunnel then turned straight west, ending at a fork.  Before Morgan could choose a direction, spiders scuttled out of the dark to attack her.


4) Making short work of them, she headed right, discovering a small storeroom with lots of barrels to smash, yielding more potions for the pack, gold, and food.


5) Heading back left, Morgan picked off a few more spiders, reaching the next fork.  The south tunnel, straight ahead, lead to another storeroom with more barrels to bust, then she doubled back to the western tunnel.


6) Following this, Morgan came to a second warning sign, and two more stone blockers that she smashed apart with her bow.  Stepping up to the stone basin, she accidentally walked passed the threshold, which caused the Chronoflies to animate, attacking her with blue blasts!


7) In a panic, she fled the room, and was indeed fortunate that the flying terrors stopped at the corner to fire upon her.  Their blasts couldn’t clear the wall, so Morgan shot them dead, gaining an experience level, and sighing with relief.  Inching her way back to the basin, she found that 3 new Chronoflies had appeared, and she swore not to do that again.

DUNGEON LEVEL 5: THE ANCIENT’S TOWN SOUTH


1) Backtracking to the Town Square, Morgan encountered more spiders, and a nasty trio of skeleton archers.  Exiting the tunnel, she turned south to another dark room, adjacent to the Square.  More containers to search!


2) Outside the room, Morgan found Journal Page: Day 6.  So, at least Erthos had sense enough to stay out of the Pool Room.


3) Following the wide passage south, Morgan passes Aldeth’s remains, and catches sight of Journal Page: Day 7, outside a room filled with more Toko Guards and Orcs, while spying more Ratmen through the window west.  Stepping up to the door, she laid down some heavy fire to clear yet another barracks.  Picking up the Journal Page, she learned about their excursion down to the 2nd level.  Interesting, a room with “exploding balls of fire”.


4) As Morgan rounded the corner, a few steps south, unfortunate Ratmen poured out the two doorways, west and south, to be exterminated by her bow.  While searching the recently vacated chambers, covered with sleeping rugs, Morgan found the Royal Diadem (Town Quest) in the south room, inside a chest.


5) Heading west out of the south “Ratman” room, Morgan found Journal Page: Day 8 & 9 in a darkened corner.  Reading about the demise of Erthos’ party at the behest of the Chronoflies, revived the panicked memories of her own near fatal encounter.  Having found the empty journal next to a pair of skeletons, it’s safe to say that Erthos and Pheru didn’t make it out.


6) Puzzled by Erthos’ reference to Pheru saying “Every other word”, and recalling that it was Pheru who studied the plaques on the Town Square Monument; Morgan pulled up her copy of the Zenith Quote.  Pheru was right, as Morgan read only “every other word”!  Humm, it says “Magic Potions”, not “Magic Elixirs”, so it’s obviously a potion she hasn’t seen yet.


7) Just south, Morgan discovered a small room, containing 6 levers ranged along its walls, and an empty pedestal at its center.  Opening the door, and stepping inside, she heard the voice of Tokoreos the Wizard ring in her head.  Knowing who you were, he was pompous, arrogant, and threatening at the same time; assured that only he knew the code to these rooms.


8) After Tokoreos finally did shut up, and went away, Morgan stood there for a moment looking at the levers, and wondering about Tokoreos’ “code”.  Wait!  Levers and numbers!!  Morgan pulled out the “Skeleton Clue” that she found in the Lab, it now making much more sense.  The unknown author had said, “Levers start different each time.  Left, right, left”, so in this first room, lever one is on the left.  OK, and the levers to use were . . . One, Two, Four, and . . . humm, can’t read it, so Morgan flipped Five.  She was surprised as a pinkish glow appeared atop the pedestal, and a voice said, “Level Seven Code Accepted.”  Take that Tokoreos!


9) To the west (left) of the Lever Room, Morgan came across two more small tunnels, heading west and north, and decides to check out the west tunnel first.


10) Following the winding passage, it lead to another warning sign with a pair of stone blockers.  Breaking them apart, Morgan carefully stepped up NEXT to the blue basin.  Here, from the south entrance into the Pool Room, she caught sight of a book lying on a wooden bench against the western wall.


11) Of course, for the suicidal adventurer, you could just run over there, and grab it, right?  Except that what was 3 Chronoflies, became 6, then 9, and then 12 . . . hopefully you saved recently?  Wisdom being the better part of valor, Morgan backed away, leaving the book alone.


12) Backtracking to the north passage, Morgan followed it, coming to the entrance of another storeroom, west.  From the map, she saw that the tunnel returned to the SW corner of Town Square.  Yet, what is that small room to the east?  It’s surrounded by solid rock.  Oh well, she went and cleared out the storeroom, anyway.  Her pack full, she ported to Town, added to her Potion Field, dropping the Lost Key, and the Royal Diadem.  Repairing, selling, and depositing, she returned to Dungeon Level 5, taking the stairs down, south of the Lever Room.

DUNGEON LEVEL 6:


1) Arriving at Dungeon Level 6, Morgan immediately heard the sound of explosions, and discovered the room described in Erthos’ journal right outside the first room.  Like the spike room above, it contained another pedestal with an identical decahedron Lock Crystal, and a locked door.


2) Level 6, being a random dungeon, Morgan spent some time exploring through several rooms, shooting down spiders, rats, Red Lizardmen, and the occasional Orc.  Eventually she found the next Lever Room.


3) Again Morgan endured Tokoreos’ mocking voice as she entered the room.  Yet this time he decided to play rough, summoning Trolls all around the room; they were no match for her bow!


4) Pulling out the Skeleton Clue again, she remembered that Lever One was on the right this time.  OK . . . the number sequence was . . . One, Four, Five, and Six.  Using the proper levers, the pink glow appeared on the pedestal, and the voice said, “Level Five Code Accepted.”


5) Continuing her search through Dungeon Level 6, Morgan came upon an area called “Colony Resources”, and a bunch of Toko Guards and Orcs.  (Mega Secret)


6) After clearing the area of enemies, Morgan came back around to this curious place with the two broken chests.  Suspicious, she shot at the broken jar, the arrow seemingly impacting before reaching the jar itself, but it didn’t disappear.  Shooting two more times, the broken jar vanished in a puff of smoke.

7) Continuing around counter-clockwise, Morgan found the blue button in the dark storeroom, on the opposite side.  Pushing it, she heard a faint sound nearby.

8) Resuming her walkabout, Morgan found the keyhole in a room next to the broken jar area.  Inspecting it, the lock appeared to be magical.  Magical, eh?  Well, the Wizard Key opened all the magically locked doors in the Mansion, she wondered, would it unlock this?  Morgan pulls out the Wizard Key, and uses it on the lock.  Success!  What! . . . one more to go?!


9) Morgan found the second keyhole in the Orc Barracks, again on the far side.  Using the Wizard Key once more, she heard a grinding noise, and a voice say, “Access to Colony Resources Granted.”  The entrance appeared around the corner from where she found the blue button. (SAVE)

10) Entering the Colony Resources, Morgan cleared the bookstands first, finding Books of Magic Missile, Telekinesis, and Absorption.  Oops, too full!  Only having room for one book, she ported back to Town.  Ditching some potions, and food to their respective piles, she headed to Master Elmeric, selling a bunch of scrolls, and the Book of Absorption.  Repair, sell, deposit, and back (SAVE)


11) Inside the chests, she found Gremlin Blood (Potion Component), 3 Elixirs of Magic, 2 Elixirs of Dexterity, a Mana Potion, and gold.  Having now cleared the Dungeon Level, Morgan took the stairs to Level 7.

DUNGEON LEVEL7: COLONY RESOURCES


1) Stepping out from the room containing the Exit Stairs, Morgan was immediately assaulted by Toko Guards and Orcs, rushing out of the room ahead.  Almost surrounded, she retreated to the doorway, and killed them one by one, gaining experience level 26!  Wow, her age is already 37?!  17 years in 7 dungeon levels, be using an Elixir of Youth soon!


2) More Orcs attacked from the next room as entered the well-lit Break Room, Morgan realizing that this area was another Colony Resource.  Humm, more goodies, but first (as a Orc wandered through the door!), she had to clear the area, and figure out how to open it.


3) Another group of Toko Guards and Orcs charged her down this hall, with some Ratmen thrown into the mix.  She noticed the interesting room to the left, and decided to check it out.


4) Drawn to the tapestry, Morgan shot it 3 times, and watched it disappear.  After sacking the room, she went in search of the button.  She found it in the Large Barracks close by.  Pressing it, she heard the familiar sound of the locks appearing.  Continuing around, Morgan discovered a lock in the Break Room, and used the Wizard Key on it, getting the “One more to go!”  Passing through the Small Barracks, she spotted the second lock in the dead-end, beyond the wall.  Unlocking it, she heard the voice say, “Access to Colony Resources, granted.”  (Designer’s Note: In the above picture, besides the labels, which mark the locations of the button and keyholes, I’ve also added white lines to fill in areas that are blank on the automap.  All of these areas are solid wall sections, but for some reason, that I have never been able to discover, they show up blank on the automap.  You may have already noticed this, since this “anomaly” plagues many of the random dungeon rooms that I constructed later.  I tried everything I could think of to fix them, but finally resigned myself that they were unfixable, and to live with it.  Another paradox of the Darkstone Editor, since there’s no logical reason for them not to show up!)


5) Searching for the entrance, Morgan discovered it in the Large Barracks, behind a wall bed.  Shooting it, the bed disappeared, clearing the way.  (SAVE)  That’s strange!  She got the exact same 3 books again.  Oh, well!  Accidentally saved, instead of loaded.


6) Opening the chests, Morgan found a variety of potions, and food, including 1 each of Stat Elixirs.  With a full pack, she portaled back to Town, selling off her extra books, though she did find “Food” for sale.  Repaired, sold, and bought a new helmet from Gunther.  Dropped some food for later; almost dropped the Gremlin Blood in with the potions, but it glows.  Used an Elixir of Youth to drop Morgan’s age a little, and then took the portal back to Dungeon Level 7.

DUNGEON LEVEL 7: LOCK CRYSTAL ROOM


1) Continuing her search of this random dungeon, Morgan located the third Lock Crystal Room, and was surprised to find it open.  Then she remembered, the Lever Room on 5 has said, “Level Seven Code Accepted”, and hence, opened the door.


2) This room was by far the strangest of the three, being completely dark; the floor glittering all around, with the shadowy pedestal at its center.  As she stepped into the doorway, the glitter seemed to build against her, forbidding her entry into the room, subsiding as she moved back.


3) Finally, she noticed the plaque adjacent to the door, reading its cryptic riddle.  “Deprived of Light?”  That gives her an idea, recalling a certain advertisement.


4) I now see why everyone has been having problems with this room!  ARRRAGH!  They, meaning Darkstone’s creators, put this nice pop-up label that says, “Place Shield or Torch Here”!  (As seen in the picture above.)  #$%@*(^)!!!!  I haven’t played the game slowly for years, and have never seen this pop-up before!  But finally seeing it explains a lot.  Oh, I was livid, and seriously ticked!  To explain, for all you non-QEers, the state machines used by the Editor have a variety of Conditions that control how the machines respond within the game.  One of these Conditions is called, PLAYEROBJECT.  PlayerObject, also has two sub-conditions attached to it.  One is the particular object that it is looking for the Player to have, and the second is where on the Player, the object is located.  In the State Machine Manual, it states that a value of “1” put in the 2nd sub-condition, means that the game looks the object to be “In the hand(s)”.  The syntax looks like this: “PLAYEROBJECT { %4, 1 }, or as the game reads it, PLAYEROBJECT { TORCH, IN HAND }.  Are you still with me?  Well, it’s not “hands”, but “hand”!  Only one hand slot on the inventory screen works . . . and it’s NOT the one marked with a nice pop-up that says, “Place Shield or Torch Here”!!!!!!!  Though this is a Darkstone problem, and not a design problem, still . . . my apologies to anyone who didn’t make it passed this room, and thus, was unable to go any further in The Avenger.  Going forward, any torch-like object goes in the left-hand box, or the weapon box, and not the other.)


5) (F10) With the torch in the “correct” hand, Morgan stepped into the doorway again, and watched as silver barrels and light barriers appeared.  The silver barrels exploded shortly after materializing, clearing the path.


6) As Morgan worked her way right and around the inside wall, she avoided moving too fast, because the floor also had square, exploding mines scattered throughout.  At a steady pace, she finally reached the Lock Crystal, and grabbed it.  Clicking outside the room, she quickly exited the room.

DUNGEON LEVEL 7: CODE SWITCH ROOM

1) In her further exploration of Dungeon Level 7, she found the “Storm Flower” (Town Quest) in a chest, occupying one of the usual container filled rooms.  With a full pack, Morgan activated a potal back to Town.  Gave the Storm Flower to Gruber for 10,000 gold, the Royal Diadem to Alex for 10,000 gold, and the Broken Vase to Edward for a final 10,000 gold.  After the normal business, she returned to 7.


2) Near the stairs down to Level 8, Morgan found the 3rd Code Switch Room.  (SAVE)  Stepping inside, again Tokoreos spoke in her mind; this time with venom in his voice, and she was certain he really meant to kill her.


3) As his mental touch departed, Morgan sprinted out of the room, as a rapid succession of explosions began to encircle the room.  She barely escaped with half her life left.


4) Thinking that the explosions might not kill us, Tokoreos sent 3 Fire Golems to finish the job.  Running to the nearby Healing Fountain with 2 Fire Golems in tow, Morgan healed, and destroyed her followers.  Tracking down the last, still guarding the Code Switch Room, she shot it down.


5) Returning to the Code Switch Room, Morgan consulted the Skeleton Clue, remembering that Lever One was on the left this time.  Reading down for the 3rd Room code . . . he wrote 2, but decided that was wrong, and started to write . . . th . . . three?  So, she flipped Three, Four, and Five.  Success!  A voice said, “Level Six Code Accepted”.

THE STAFF OF WIZARDRY:

1) With the Lock Crystal for Level 7 recovered, Morgan headed for the stairs to Level 6.  Taking them up, she continued to the Lock Crystal Room, finding the door wide open.


2) Timing the explosions, Morgan sprinted in and grabbed the Lock Crystal, then out again after packing it away.  Next she was off to the stairs to Dungeon Level 5, but a stone’s throw away. From the south end of the Ancient’s Colony, she activated Berserker, and plowed through the center of Town Square to the West Passage.  From there she hurried to the open door of the Spike Room.


3) Again timing the spikes, Morgan ran in and retrieved the 3rd Lock Crystal, adding it to her pack.  Exiting the room, it was time to head for the surface, as she returned to the Entry Hall, and climbed up the rope to the Mansion above.


4) Coming out of the well, Morgan walked to the nearby Storeroom, and placed the Lock Crystals on each of the pedestals.  With a peal of thunder, the seal on the chest was broken, and Selonn’s Staff of Wizardry fell out to the floor.  Soon after Selonn spoke to her telepathically, telling her that she was now ready to face Tokoreos.  He was hiding in a place called the Wizard Maze, and to use the Staff to open the doors inside.  The Staff of Wizardry casts Fireballs, so use it if you want.  Time to head down to Dungeon Level 8!

DUNGEON LEVEL 8: THE ROOM OF TRUE SIGHT

1) Arriving on Level 8, Morgan first began to explore the random areas of the dungeon.  Outside the beginning set of southern rooms was the entrance to the Wizard Maze, but for the moment she continued passed it.  (Designer’s Note: The Wizard Maze is by far the largest area on this level, made up of several same-shaped rooms connected by teleport pads.  Like Level 5, the Wizard Maze went through several design and massive machine changes, also being the last to receive the new flooring of the Ancient’s motif.  Here you face the same 3 hazards you faced in the Lock Crystal Rooms; spikes, explosions, and the invisible, with a twist.  But we’ll be getting into that!  If you haven’t guessed, though Leroe eluded to it in Erthos’ Journal, the 3 Lock Crystal Rooms, and the Wizard Maze were part of the “Apprentice Wizard Trials” from centuries past.  Recovering the 3 staff pieces from the 3 pedestals, the Apprentice could then open the entrance to the Wizard Maze, after getting another item first that is.)


2) Continuing her search of Dungeon Level 8, Morgan discovered this small room, nestled in amongst the rooms east of the Maze.  The Room of True Sight was obviously part of the Ancient’s original architecture, featuring several oddities, like an unlit torch, a glittering floor, strange pillar holes, a Book of True Sight, and the not so uncommon locked door.


3) By shooting through the 3 windows slits to hit the holes on the pillar, Morgan was able to open the door.


4) Stepping through the open door, Morgan approached the bookstand, and read the Book of True Sight.  It began “Welcome Apprentice”, and she learned about a magical device called the Trusyt Torch of Yureal that has the ability to make the unseen to be seen.  Closing the book, she removed the Torch from the pillar.  (Designer’s Note: When my playtesters reached this area, and started using the Trusyt Torch, they discovered a curious thing.  Though this custom object, made with the Editor, states that it’s indestructible, it actually has the same lifespan of a regular torch, and will burn out!  Unfortunately, it can’t be repaired by Gunther . . . because it’s indestructible!  So later, during the reworking of the Wizard Maze, I made this special room for the Trusyt Torch, writing a short story to explain why it will burn out, and that a new Torch will reappear after a time.  Being a versatile item, it will be needed several times throughout the course of the game.  Always keep one handy, and remember . . . it goes in the “weapon” hand!)

DUNGEON LEVEL 8: THE WIZARD MAZE


1) Morgan, with the Trusyt Torch in her possession, returned to the entrance of the Wizard Maze.  Approaching the familiar door, she touched it, and it responded with a dreary voice.  Using the Staff of Wizardry on the door, it opened after telling her to be sure and read the sign.


2) Moving inside this first small room, Morgan went over to the sign, and read it.  The story was interesting enough, but wait . . . she noticed a list of directions – left, left, right, left, left, right, embedded in the story.


3) With the sign being “north”, and the door “south”, Morgan glanced at the teleport pads to the east and west.  Taking her first “left”, she stepped onto the west pad.


4) She appeared in a room filled with spike traps, and took her 2nd “left”, after the spikes lowered for a moment.


5) Next was a room with explosions, where Morgan quickly ran to the “right” teleport pad between blasts.


6) Arriving at a room with a glittering floor, (F10) Morgan inched her way carefully passed the pad next to her, to reach the sign.  It turned out to be a warning about needing the Trusyt Torch to continue.  Luckily, we have one.  Pulling it out, she replaced her bow with the Torch (the LEFT side of the Armor Box).  With the Trusyt in hand, the mines littering the floor became visible as she worked her way to the “left” teleport pad.  Once there, she swapped the torch out for her bow, to save torch time, and stepped onto the pad.


7) Entering another Explosion Room, Morgan hurried into the next “left” teleport pad, appearing at a second Glitter Room, and the last pad to the Maze’s center.  (F10)  Again swapping out her bow for the Trusyt Torch, she worked toward the “right” pad.


8) Having made it through the Wizard Maze, Morgan stood at a second door.  Using the Staff of Wizardry on it, this door too opened before her.  Now, to deal with Tokoreos!

DUNGEON LEVEL 8: THE WIZARD CONCLAVE


1) Walking through the narrow tunnel, Morgan approached the threshold of a large chamber, seeing no sign of Tokoreos.  This certainly was a strange place, looking at those rising blue stars.  Of course, stepping into the room, she again heard his sneering voice.


2) After his brief rant, Tokoreos appeared in front of the central chair, launching a large ball of searing flame at her.  She took some damage as in retrospect, maybe retreating into the tunnel wasn’t a good idea, for Tokoreos’ attacks came right at her!


3) With a furious battering of arrows, and a health potion, Morgan finally killed the evil wizard, and recovered his Vault Key.


4) Exiting the Conclave, Morgan stepped onto the teleport pad, which deposited her back at the entrance.  In her travels through the Wizard Maze, she remembered seeing some bones in one of the other rooms, so headed back in to find them.  By going Left, then Right, Morgan landed in an Explosion Room, and found them.


5) In the charred remains, Morgan recovered the Mysterious Ring, with the words “Sumon – WS” etched inside the band.  This ring is the key to the Wizard Sanctum, and she was fortunate indeed to find it early.  Though, here’s hoping she’s ready for it!

6) Porting back to Town, Morgan placed the Ring next to Celvena’s Amulet for safe keeping, then did the usual repairing and selling.  Ready, she headed out the Town Gate, being the fastest way back to the Mansion.

FINISHING UP ARDYL:


1) Running to Tokoreos’ Mansion, Morgan entered, and proceeded to the Vault Door.  Using the Key on it, the Door opened, telling her to sack the place.  On the green pedestal, Morgan recovered the 2nd “Tear”, the Crystal of Virtue.  She found the usual random items in the brown chests, but in the red chests was a Book of Magic Missile and a Book of Food.  (Designer’s Note: In the original version of the Mansion, once you took the Crystal, it triggered a spell left behind by Tokoreos.  There was a sequence of text and sound effects before several monster generators activated throughout the Mansion.  I was never completely satisfied with it; the timing was off.  So, as the story developed further that portion of the Mansion’s programming was scrapped, and replaced with something so much better.  Of course, that meant an overhaul with new machines, and new graphics, etc.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves!)


2) Leaving the Mansion, Morgan headed to the Wizard’s Grove, where Selonn was awaiting the return of his Staff.  Giving it to him, he took it solemnly, and after expressing his gratitude, handed Morgan the Crystal of Bravery.


3) Just when you think its safe, Draak’s cronies show up to tell Morgan now annoyed Draak is with her “little crusade”.  Activating Berserker, she offered them a quick death!


4) For our last stop in Ardyl before heading to Marghor, Morgan returns to the Forest Maze.  Have you ever noticed this little spot of ground in the middle of the Maze?  It’s a best kept secret!


5) Stepping into the trees (yes, straight into the trees!), Morgan shot her way through the tree trunks.


6) Finally hacking her way passed the last of the trees, Morgan entered this hidden glade.  Depending on the random aspect of your game, you might find Sumon’s bones, and the Mysterious Ring here.  If not, there are places ahead to still search for him.  (3 Rings Area: "Near the center of the twisting wood, through the path now forest covered; fight the Leader of the Hood, from the grave his words recovered.")


7) Back at Town, Morgan dropped off the 2 Crystals in Cottage #4, and the two spell books with the others.  With her pack organized, she exited Town, and across Ardyl to the path to Marghor.

MARGHOR: AMAZON OUTPOST & THE ANCIENT CLEARING


1) Arriving in the Land of Marghor, Morgan was immediately set upon by Skeleton Archers and Lizardmen.  Near a lake in the southwest corner, she discovered an Amazon Outpost.  Captain Terzah, the commander in charge, apologized for any harassment her patrols had given us; none so far!  She informed Morgan of the war between the Trolls and Lizardmen, and that they were sent to quell the unrest.  Allied with the Lizardmen, the Amazon archers have been attacking anyone not so aligned.  Dismissed, Morgan continued her explorations, nagged with the thought that Captain Terzah wasn’t completely truthful.


2) Adjacent to the east side of the Outpost was a storage pen.  In a wagon, Morgan found a whole chicken (food), and by the time I was trying to write this down, she pulled out another one.


3) Due north from there, Morgan came across the Ancient Clearing, where she noticed that it rains continually.  She surmised that this atmospheric disturbance, whatever the cause, has resulted in these sinkholes appearing around the ruin.


4) In the southeast corner of the Clearing, Morgan found Melan the Sage, standing outside his door.  Greeting her, Melan began to expound to Morgan some of the history of Marghor, telling her of the Tower of Nimduin, and the Lizardmen, or Tikzarn.  How the Tikzarn had destroyed the Tower, and driven the wizards from Marghor.


5) Having heard his peace, Melan refused to say anymore, unless Morgan showed him something of Yureal.  Yureal?  Morgan pulls out the Trusyt Torch, and shows it to him.  So Selonn told him we were coming, huh?  Telling us about the ruin, he finally gave her, as he said, “a piece of the puzzle”, the Filament Crystal of Hope.


6) Noticing that the open gaps of this ruin, have the same glittering effect as the Lock Crystal Room on Level 7, and the Wizard’s Maze on 8, Morgan first cleared the area of monsters, then equipped her Trusyt Torch.  She was not surprised as light barriers appeared in each of those places, and she continued around till this green door appeared on the north end of the ruin.  (Designer’s Note: I have this thing about the Teleport Spell; I don’t like it . . . from a game designer’s point of view.  Player’s can argue that, well, it’s a spell in the game, so why not use it get around things, and beat locks, traps, puzzles by just teleporting passed them?  I’m not ashamed to say that I have refused to dumb down any part of The Avenger; it’s not meant to be . . . easy.  And because of that, from the very beginning I have built, with “teleport” in mind, adding consequences of using it to “cheat”.  You may think that’s harsh, but if you’ve spent as much time as I did building a dungeon to function a certain way, only it have circumvented by “teleport”, you might change your mind.  This is one of those areas.  If you teleport inside the ruin before finding, and opening the door, the falling rain will damage you; until you luckily teleport back out, or you die.  Just like those unfortunate monsters the game placed inside at the start, and you thought that was a simple kill machine, didn’t you?  Another one, which I didn’t mention before, is the Forgotten Repository.  If you try to teleport inside the rooms before opening the doors . . . well . . . it would be bad.)


7) With Trusyt still in hand, Morgan opened the green door, and proceeded inside.  As she approached the center, objects began to appear.  After walking over the whole area, four transparent, bluish bird statues materialized, along with five grey pedestals.


8) From what Melan said, Morgan wondered if the Filament he gave her would fit on these pedestals?  Pulling it out, she set the Filament on the nearest one, watching it glow green.  But then, it started to blink out, quickly turning to fiery red!  Oh, oh . . . she backed up a step or two as suddenly the whole thing exploded, hitting Morgan for 63 points of damage!  It’s gone!  Filament and all!  Using the Trusyt again, the pedestal reappeared, but no Hope.  Not to worry, I programmed for this (I hope!).  (Designer’s Note: I, of course, did this on purpose, to show you that as a game designer you have to be prepared for whatever the Players might decide to do.  If you don’t, their choice, which you didn’t think of, most likely will break your game, causing them to quit in frustration.  I know there are people who will save their game, and try the filament on each pedestal until they find the right one by reloading their game after each wrong try.  That’s OK, nothing wrong with that.  But . . . I want you, as Players, to understand that as a game designer, I would never program something to blow-up, and be destroyed, if there wasn’t a way to get it back.  That would be downright stupid!  So remember, there’s always a “safety net”, even if you think you’re working without one.)

MARGHOR: KUGNOG ROCKS & THE RUINS OF NIMDUIN


1) Traveling east, Morgan came to the Kugnog Rocks.  Moving along its southern border, she found a small house.  On the far side of it, standing next the well, Morgan encountered Jairith the Miner.  He was friendly enough as he told her about Kugnog, chief of the Trolls, of their attack on the mines, and about his Pa, who had disappeared some years ago.  Lastly, Jairith tells her to be careful, because lots of Trolls have been coming topside recently.  (Designer’s Note: Now for the rest of Jairith’s story as a NPC (non-player character).  When Jairith first started out, he was standing at the door of his house, on the edge of Kugnog Rocks.  But, when I went to talk to him, he was completely invisible; though the cursor turned red on that spot, and I could click to activate his text, there was no graphic at all.  The first thing I thought was, “Did I trip another unknown limitation of the Editor?” and then, “What is it?”  I mean, there’s nothing to tell you.  You have to guess.  So, after trying various things with no success, which included taking out the entire southern ridge of rocks (not an easy task, since all the rocks in this area are rotated, and placed by hand.  I made a map first.), I stumbled upon the answer in frustration.  I grabbed the machine, plopping it down in the middle of the field, and guess what?  He showed up!  Apparently you can’t put machines in the outer edge of blocks, or its graphic is not displayed.  Who would have known?  Anyway, Jairith’s been stuck out at the well ever else.)


2) Skirting counter-clockwise around the region of the Kugnog Rocks, Morgan found the entrance to Dungeon Level 13, nestled in amongst the jagged stones.  Finding it locked, and not wishing to get a head of herself, Morgan backed out, and continued south.  (3 Rings Area: "Ashes, smolderless.  I am surrounded by rock, save the sky above, if you wish to succeed, then bring me my love.")


3) Not far to the south, Morgan reached the Ruins of Nimduin.  The place was swarming with Lizardmen, who attacked her relentlessly.  Slaying them easily, she worked her way to the base of the fallen obelisk until none remained. In the silence that followed, Morgan was surprised to hear the colored stones “singing” all around her; a continual “whisper” of ancient magics that still flow through this broken foundation.  Inside the obelisk’s charred base, she found stairs down, and followed them into the depths.  (3 Rings Area: "Where the stones sing, in the place that magic died; water the flower with health and mana that among the stones resides.")
(Designer’s Note: This area is one of my favorites in the game.  In my mind’s eye, I have a picture of what the Tower of Nimduin must have looked like, but seeing only the foundation with its toppled obelisk as being all that’s left, has a certain emotional impact.  The thing that really captures it, for me at least, is the obelisk itself.  This was my first success at using a multi-layer technique I developed in MakeO3D that paved the way for many graphics to come.  To do it takes a tremendous amount of patience, and a clear piece of transparent color.  The obelisk in the picture above is actually 2 graphics merged together.  One had the texture of the obelisk itself, while the other was first made completely transparent (not easy), and retextured with the patches of ivy (actually a tree graphic).  After both are made separately, they are merged together inside MakeO3D into one graphic. It was common, in some of my more complex graphics, to have as many a five or more single graphics merged into the final one.)

DUNGEON LEVEL 9: SENAV LIBRARY & FILAMENT STORAGE


1) Coming down into a room with raw stone walls, beyond the first door was a group of skeleton archers, followed by Amazon archers, who she cut down without apology.  Right outside the first two rooms was the Senav Library, filled with a bunch of green Trolls.  Encroaching on Lizardmen territory, eh?


2) Clearing out the Trolls, Morgan entered the main room of the Library.  The three doors labeled Wisdom, Truth, and Knowledge appeared unmovable.  She did find two plates, one in the main room, and one in the foyer, but they refused to move if she stepped on them.  They must need something particular, so she continued her search of Level 9.  (3 Rings Area:  "If the keepers open Wisdom and Knowledge, then the access to Truth is within your grasp.")


3) In another part of this random dungeon, Morgan discovered an odd shaped chamber called Filament Storage.  Inspecting the broken, ajar door, she surmised that Filaments stored here were taken by force.  Too bad, she blew one up, or did she . . . as on the pedestal beyond the sign, Morgan found Hope again, carefully putting it back in her pack.


4) Returning to the sign, Morgan realized that it explained the placement of the Filaments, so it was plain, why Hope was in the middle.  At least she knew there were four more to find: Light, Dark, Life, and Death.

DUNGEON LEVEL 9: SENAV’S PRIVATE RESERVES


1) Continuing onward, Morgan came upon a large conglomerate of rooms called Senav’s Private Reserves.  (Mega Secret)  Walking around to the right, she found a small dark storeroom.  Beyond it was a multi-room Barracks with several Amazons, who came out to greet her, with bows and swords.  She replied in kind.


2) While searching the many containers in this area, Morgan found the Unicorn’s Horn in one of them.  (Town Quest)


3) Behind several containers in the central room, Morgan discovered a locked door, which held a shimmering object inside.  Clearing her way to the door, she found it magically locked.  Pulling out the Wizard Key (you are still carrying it, aren’t you?), Morgan used it on the door, which opened with the usual sound.  Stepping inside, she picked up the strange metal eye called Senav’s Keeper, off the pedestal.

4) Her bag full, Morgan returned to Town, giving the Unicorn’s Horn to Ridge for the normal 10,000 gold pieces (. . . perhaps these gold pieces will help for your trouble.)  That helped when she bought a ring of 14% All Resist from Master Elmeric.


5) Returning to Level 9, Morgan exited the Amazon Barracks, and continued to the far side of Senav’s Private Reserves.  There she found two storerooms containing many Lizardmen, who attacked immediately.


6) Through the left doorway, Morgan recovered a 2nd Senav’s Keeper, using her Wizard Key to again unlock the door.

DUNGEON LEVEL 9: SENAV’S PRIVATE RESERVES CHAMBER ONE


1) Knowing that this area was a secret, Morgan began her search as to how it was opened.  Revisiting the Amazon’s Barracks, she was drawn to this collapsed table.  Shooting it 3 times, the table disappeared like all other times.


2) Spending some time looking for a blue button, Morgan couldn’t find one.  Yet in her search, she found a pressure plate in the larger of the two storerooms.  Grabbing a nearby halberd, she placed it on the plate, hearing a faint sound.  That’s a good sign!


3) Searching for the location of the sound, Morgan discovered that two slots had appeared on the wall, in the central room of the Amazon Barracks.  Looking at the round indentations, she wondered if the metal eyes (Senav’s Keepers) would fit.  Pulling one out, she slipped it into the right slot . . . it snapped in place with a “One more to go!”  Placing the 2nd Eye, and voice said, “Access to Senav’s Private Reserves granted.”


4) Morgan found the entrance along the wall between the Barracks and the Small Storeroom.  (SAVE)  Wow, six bookstands!  On her first try she got Teleportation, 2 Books of Storm, Wall of Fire, Mutation, and Poison Cloud!  A quick trip to Town, Morgan dropped some in her Book Cottage, and sold the rest for an easy 100,000 gold.


5) (SAVE) Back to the Private Reserves, Morgan cautiously opened the three chests, finding an Elixir of Youth (which she needed at 42 already!), 3 Elixirs of Magic, 2 Elixirs of Dexterity, and good food and potions.

DUNGEON LEVEL 9: SENAV’S PRIVATE RESERVES CHAMBER TWO


1) Returning to the Large Storeroom, Morgan wondered about the purpose of this third, but empty pedestal.  The door opened with the Wizard Key like the others, so she stepped inside, walking around the pedestal, seeing nothing unusual.  But shooting it three times, the pedestal disappeared like the table, in a puff of smoke.


2) Knowing that she was searching for a pressure plate, it didn’t take her long to find it in that tiny, dark storeroom near the Amazon Barracks.  Dropping a potion on it, Morgan heard the sound of the Eye Slots appearing.


3) Assured that the Slots would be on the opposite side, Morgan headed towards the Storerooms, finding the Eye Slots on the inner wall of the small one.  Reaching for the Keepers in her pack . . . oh . . . they’re still in the wall of the Amazon Barracks.  Retrieving them, she returned, and snapped them in place.


4) Morgan found the opening into Senav’s 2nd Private Reserves in the wall outside where she shot the pedestal.  (SAVE)  After only one reload, she walked away with Books of Poison Cloud, Night Vision, Thunder, Berserker, Absorption, and Haste.


5) Her Book Cottage is getting a little full!  Definitely have more spells to learn, if only Master Elmeric would get in some of those All Attribute rings!  (SAVE)


6) Jackpot!  Upon porting back to the Reserves, Morgan found 3 Elixirs of Vitality, 2 Elixirs each of Strength, Dexterity, and Magic!  After downing her stat potions, she departed to the stairs to Dungeon Level 10!

DUNGEON LEVEL 10: ENTRY AREA


1) Immediately, as Morgan exited the stairs, a Grey Lizardman burst through the far door to attack her, followed closely by his friends.  Welcome to the Nimduin Lower Caves!  (Designer’s Note: Though this level is a custom dungeon, its basic layout is a recreation of the original random dungeon.  It’s been, of course, heavily modified as the “story” of the level was developed.  So, it appears random when you first arrive, but rapidly alters into more interesting places as you journey deeper in.)


2) Watch out for these Acid Pools!  They are my own redesign from the original, which on high-end computers was a blur of motion, like that Mana Fountain on the nearby wall.  The new machines have a nice, even animation, and will hurt you!  If you step on them that is.


3) Entering the West Corridor, Morgan threw the wall lever to release the Blue Wasps for some target practice, and gained experience Level 27.  Though . . . she did have a sudden flashback to Chronoflies . . . but these died easy enough.


4) At the end of the corridor, Morgan encountered a large mixed group of Plague Ratmen, who were definitely harder to kill, taking 4-5 shots to down.  (Designer’s Note: Not as subtle as Level 5, here is your first real encounter with my random Monster Generators (MGs) that were perfected in Ormar, and gradually redeployed throughout The Avenger.  In what will seem common place later on, these MGs can create one of two groups of eight different creatures; from eight of one type to one of eight different monster types (i.e.- eight blue flies or one blue Fly, one Skeleton, one Orc, one Ratman, one Lizardman, one Bat, one Rat, and one Chicken!).  In this room alone you have a chance of meeting a mixed group of Amazons, Vermin Ratmen, Plague Ratmen, Lizardmen, or nothing at all!)


5) As she reached the south doorway, a group of stronger Lizardmen called Grey Knights and Warriors rush her from a chamber to the west.  Luckily from the doorway, they could only attack one at a time, because these creatures took several shots to kill.

DUNGEON LEVEL 10: THE QUARTERMASTER’S OFFICE


1) Moving around to the east, Morgan found the entrance to the Quartermaster’s Office, which had several Trolls holed up inside it.  The sign said to “knock first”, so shooting the door once, it opened, and the killing began.


2) As Morgan was sacking the Quartermaster’s Office, she must have been making too much noise, because the door to the south opened, and several Vermin Ratmen came to see what she was doing.  Unfortunate . . . for them.


3) What’s this?  There’s a button underneath the Quartermaster’s desk, but Morgan can’t reach it.  Shoot the bench!  It broke apart after several hits, clearing the way to the button.  Pushing it, Morgan heard a grinding noise back out the doorway.


4) Straight ahead, out the Office door, Morgan found a secret passage into a small room with 3 red chests.  So, the Quartermaster had a secret stash!


5) In the left chest, which took some effort to pry open, Morgan found a variety of preserved food.  In the center chest, there were several pieces of wizard clothing, and because her Magic was 72, she donned the Apprentice’s Cape, which was better armor.  Opening the final chest yielded a plethora of wizard helmets!  Gathering up as much as she could carry, Morgan ported back to sell some things.  On her second port, with the rest of the capes, Morgan added the Mysterious Ring to her pack.


6) Reappearing back in the Lower Caves, Morgan activated Light, and ventured down the secret’s southern passage.  After a short jog, it ended at a pressure plate needing a special object to activate it.  Pulling out the Mysterious Ring, Morgan laid it on the plate, watching as another secret passage opened before her, with the sound of rushing wind.  Spying the teleport pad, she stepped onto it, having an idea where it might take her!

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SANCTUM BEGINNING AREAS

(Designer’s Note: If, by chance, you haven’t found the Mysterious Ring, yet, please skip ahead to rest of Level 10.)


1) Rematerializing inside the Wizard Sanctum, Morgan moved forward into the center of this Waiting Area.  A voice welcomed her, saying that the “Three” were away, and to come back later.  (Designer’s Note: The Wizard Sanctum is by and large an Easter Egg; I have talked about it in various capacities in several places, but maybe not as forthright.  I built it for fun, just because I could, putting in information and items that could not be learned or found elsewhere.  It was incorporated into the mythos of the Nimduin wizards, though that’s not how it ended up on Level 10.  It’s simpler than that; Level 10 had the space.  I mean, after building the recreated level plus the additions, I still had plenty of machine counts, and area free.  So I designed each chamber, drawing where each piece of furniture would go, and then it developed from there.)


2) As Morgan stepped into the western passage (the only available opening, since the north is sealed), the voice again spoke, noting our curiosity, and asking us to state how our remains were to be deposed.  Well, the Three aren’t coming back, so she’ll be careful.


3) Through the passage, Morgan entered a Dining Room, furnished with a dressed table, and four blue felt, high-back chairs.  She found three sealed entrances, and began looking for a switch, to perhaps open one of them.


4) She discovered that this torch was actually a lever.  Pulling it, the torch went out, and the “center” of the three sealed entrances, opened.  (SAVE)

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SANCTUM, FOUCTER’S CHAMBER


1) Walking halfway down the corridor, a Guardian Gremlin appeared out of the room beyond, sauntering toward her.  After hitting it with several arrows in Berserker, without killing it, Morgan ran!  Gaining some distance, she stood against the Dining Room wall shooting, but still the Gremlin came.  Retreating into the Entry Tunnel, she pelted the monster, until at last it succumbed.  (SAVE)  (Designer’s Note: If you haven’t noticed, the creatures in the Sanctum are . . . tough!  Each chamber has a different Guardian, but fortunately, with the narrow entrance, only one will attack you at a time.  I do not suggest going toe to toe with them; it usually only takes one to two hits, and you’re dead.  So, hit and run; you should know how to do that by now, right?  I did have to tone down the Guardian Serpents in Senav’s Chamber, because they are the fastest moving of the three types (the other is spiders, of course!), and I kept dying too easy, myself.  For you warrior types, well . . . watch for the pause between when they stop moving, and they attack; hitting as they stop, and then retreating so they attack empty air.  Good luck!)

2) After about the fourth Guardian Gremlin, Morgan gained experience Level 28.  Only four more to go!  Or was it two?  Saving after killing each one!  Trust me, you don’t want to get cocky, and get hit!


3) With the last Gremlin slain, Morgan could finally enter Foucter’s Chamber.


4) Inside Foucter’s bedside drawer, Morgan found a bottle of Gremlin Blood (Potion Component).


5) Oddly, there was a raging blaze in the fireplace, so she kept her distance.  Look at those wonderful bookcases!  (Designer’s Note: If you’ve become accustom to Darkstone’s graphics, you may not realize what it is you’re looking at.  These bookcases were designed for the Wizard Sanctum, and you won’t see them anywhere else.  You’ll see something similar later on, but not like these.  First, it takes three machines to make the bookcase; the graphics for the top, middle, and bottom shelves are staggered, so that when they’re placed side by side it forms the complete bookcase.  In addition to this, the books and items are different for each shelf, on each of the six bookcases, with a second graphic showing where the book was removed; often causing the other books to shift.  On top of all that, each book, every one that you see, is an individual entity, and was placed by hand; you know, like a real bookcase!  Look real close at the next two pictures, and notice how the books aren’t in a straight line; some are back, some are forward, grouped together, or leaning over, just like the books on your shelf!)


6) On the top shelf of this bookcase, Morgan found a book on the Quest of the 3 Rings; important information concerning the deactivation of the Ward.  The next held “Foucter’s Guide to Mega Secrets”, of course; this is old news because she’s already found most of them.  On the bottom shelf, Morgan pulled out a “Book of Potions”, learning about the Achtuo (H2O) Potion, which made with 2 Hidrujen (Hydrogen) and 1 Aksijen (Oxygen) Potions!


7) On the 2nd bookcase’s top shelf, Morgan found a Hidrujen Potion, setting it aside in her pack.  Examining the middle shelf, she discovered a 6 volume set of “Torzian For Dummies”; she didn’t know who the Torzians were (yet), but she’d be to able to speak their language once she found them (not likely).  Morgan read a personal book entitled “Foucter or Selonn?” on the lower shelf.  (Designer’s Note: I’m not a linguist, but I’ve been tinkering with making languages, and alphabets for that matter, since my teens.  The “Torzian” that is used in the game, is an advanced derivative of my “oldest” of languages.  I put this six volume set here, because the phonetics do work, and some curious person, maybe you, might wonder how you pronounce all those words.  Of course, if you’re wondering, will have to learn this language to beat the game?  Nah, I made it real easy; plus you have this walkthrough!)


8) Morgan found another torch lever near the left bookcase.  Pulling it down, the torch extinguished; hopefully it opened one of the other passageways.  (SAVE)


9) That doesn’t look too healthy!  There’s a row of acid pools down the middle of the south passage.  Must be some way to get passed it, though the lever didn’t open this passage.

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SANCTUM, SENAV’S CHAMBER


1) Ah, the north passage is open.  What is that quickly slithering at her?  Guardian Serpents!  Run and Shoot!  Saving after every kill.  Wow, one dropped 7000 gold!


2) Finishing off the Guardians, Morgan made it into Senav’s Chamber


3) In Senav’s nightstand, Morgan found a bottle of Serpent Venom.  Hey, there’s a picture of Morgan on the wall!


4) Like Foucter’s Chamber, Senav had a cauldron set up, but this one looked ready to be used.  She also noticed that the fireplace had a normal, cheery flame going, compared the Foucter’s blaze.


5) Inspecting Senav’s left bookcase, Morgan pondered the meaning of “Avenger Reflections 1” that she pulled from the upper shelf.  She recovered a 2nd Hidrujen Potion from the center shelf, and read an overview of the Torzian language from the bottom.


6) Removing the red book from the top shelf, Morgan read a short dissertation on “Avenger Beginnings”.  The middle shelf yielded an interesting book entitled “Famous Wizards”, reading a paragraph about Acidus Poisonis.  The bookcase’s bottom row held a book of “Other Editors”, filled with strange archaic words that made no sense to Morgan.


7) Back at the entrance of Senav’s Chamber, Morgan found her 3rd Torch Lever, pulling it to open the next area.  (SAVE)

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SAUCTUM, SUMON’S CHAMBER


1) Returning to the Waiting Area, where she first arrived at the Wizard Sanctum, Morgan saw that the north passage was now open.  Spiders!  Why did it have to be spiders?!  Morgan hates spiders! (Really!)


2) Well, at least the things-with-too-many-legs were good for more than killing, as Morgan reached experience level 29!  The critters had 20,000 in gold to boot!


3) With the extermination complete, Morgan finally made it into Sumon’s Chamber, whose ring she found in the Wizard’s Maze (you might have found it elsewhere).


4) Searching Sumon’s nightstand, Morgan found a Spider Egg (Potion Component).


5) Picking through the left bookcase’s top shelf, Morgan discovered a tome entitled, “Legendary Creatures”, and read about the “Evil of Bithol”.  (Designer’s Note: Originally this was the only mention of Bithol that you would encounter, and the only description to finding and opening it was in Torzian.  But in retrospect, while constructing the Mega Secrets, I decided that was a little harsh, so I added the possibility of finding three parts of a scroll that had the description written in Common.  This way, the player might have some or all the Torzian translated on the scroll pieces.  In this walkthrough, we already know that the entrance to Bithol’s lair is on Level 3, but it isn’t until you read this book, or, if you’re lucky, find all three scroll parts that the Lair can be accessed.  But, before you get all fired up to head back there, we will need two items from Ormar to open it, so stick with Morgan here, and we’ll get there, when we can.) On the next shelf, she discovered “The Avenger Timeline”, a chronicle of events since the End of the War of Darkness, finding it quite strange that her birth is mentioned.  (Designer’s Note: As a storyteller, one of the things I had to nail down was dates.  The original Darkstone history, narrated by Draak, was a bit vague in the overall passage of time.  So, to tell my story correctly, I had to give some numbers to those vague mentionings; like when the War ended, and plotting the events that happened since then, up to the start of the game.  Celvena, whose crypt you found on Level 4, is referenced several times by age.  Her fate is tied to that of the Torzians, and will be your only help in Ormar.  She’s waited a long time for you!) Morgan found a book on the “Wizard Maze” on the bottom shelf, filling in some new information with what she already knew.


6) The upper shelf on the right-hand bookcase held a curious book called “Ancient Ruins of Ardyl”, which had some interesting insights into Level 5’s origins.  Another book of Foucter’s “Avenger Reflections” was on the middle shelf, and Morgan found a Aksijen Potion on the lowest.


7) As Morgan was preparing to leave, she noticed this picture.  Looking closer, she found a inscription read, “Acidus Poisonis”.  Hey!  Wasn’t that the name of this infamous wizard she read about in Senav’s chamber?  Yeah, he was defeated by a simple bottle of antipoison.  Using an antipoison on the picture, it changed to a skeleton!  You’ve just deactivated the acid pools in the passage below Foucter’s Chamber.


8) In the back of Sumon’s Chamber, Morgan found the 4th Torch Lever, opening the aforementioned passage, but let’s not get in a hurry yet!

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SANCTUM, CLEARING THE PATH


1) Returning to Senav’s Chamber, it’s time to make the Achtuo Potion, using Senav’s cauldron.  OK, remembering the simple order in the book, Morgan added a Hidrujen Potion first, then the Aksijen, and finally the 2nd Hidrujen.  Success!  She now had the Achtuo Potion!


2) Heading into Foucter’s Chamber, Morgan used the Achtuo Potion to douse the blaze in the fireplace, which deactivated the fireball launcher at the end of the south passage.  (Trust me, it was there!)


3) Continuing down the now, de-trapped passage, Morgan found a room filled with heavy barrels.  Having learned her lessons well, Morgan pulled out her torch (the Trusyt works too!), and lit the barrels on fire!


4) Stepping back, she watched the flames spread to the other barrels, and soon they began to explode.  After the smoke dissipated, Morgan found her way clear to the far teleport pad.

LEVEL 10: THE WIZARD SANCTUM, THE TREASURE CHAMBERS


1) In the first chamber, Morgan found a modest 72,000 in gold.


2) Cutting to the good stuff, Morgan found this button in the passage to the next chamber.  Pressing it, she heard a grinding noise, and a voice mentioning “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.  She liked the sound of that!  (SAVE)


3) Moving through the room filled with bookstands, and potion pedestals, Morgan entered the first section of the WMD Chamber.  It held three weapons for the Priest, or Wizard types called “The Knock Them Silly”, “Blood Drinker”, and “The Green Death”.  She knew that once she picked one, the others would vanish.  She moved on.


4) The next section held 3 weapons for the warrior types, the “Blade of the Scourge”, “The Searing Edge”, and the Sword of Force”.  Nothing for her here, so Morgan moved on.


5) In the last section, Morgan found her “Weapon of Mass Destruction”, the “Bend of the Wind”!  The other offerings were the “Arc of Scorch”, and a “BlueFire Bow”, but nothing compared to the “Bend”.  Oh, yeah!  She was a force to be reckoned with now!


6) Before tackling the previous chamber, Morgan ported to Town, and deposited her gold, selling her old bow.  Finally, she added the Gremlin Blood, Spider Egg, and Serpent Venom to her growing collection of potion components.


7) (SAVE) Back in the Wizard Sanctum, Morgan searched the bookstands, gaining Books of Death Dome, Haste, Magic Bomb, Forgetfulness, Stone, Invocation, and Poison Cloud.  Full again, she dropped them in her Book Cottage.


8) (SAVE) Inspecting the Potion Pedestals, Morgan noticed the potion changed colors in the same repeating pattern.  So, when she grabbed it at particular color, the potion became the type she wanted.  She went for 3 Elixirs of Youth, and 1 each of Strength, Dexterity, and Magic.  The Wizard Sanctum complete, Morgan headed back to the teleport pad in the Waiting Area, itching to try out her new bow!  (Designer’s Note: Where have you seen these blue pedestal shapes before?  If you remember, they were used as the stone basins outside the entrances into the Pool Room on Dungeon Level 5.  This is not a coincidence.  These types of textural similarities tie the two areas together in a common history and culture.)

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2010 14:02