Having defeated The Elder previously and obtained some swamp dungeon keys and then found a few swamps in our explorations, it was time to head into there at last. Though first we had to slay The Elder again.
Only four of us had been there for the last kill, giving each one of us a key. However Boogerfart had not been along for that fight and we were not clear as to whether or not everybody had to have a key, so we went back to summon The Elder again.
This time around we checked the area thoroughly to make sure we wouldn’t end up with two trolls and a host of skeletons joining the party this time. That done, we tossed the ancient seeds in the fire and along came The Elder.
This fight went much more smoothly. There were a couple of deaths, but several of us made it through the encounter without suffering any reduction in skills. Boogerfart though, he paid the initiation fee into the club.
Having many swamp keys available now, we all made sure we had one then traveled back to the main base to repair and resupply. I had cooked up a couple stacks of sausages and minor healing potions, so everybody had a few to hand.
We had portals setup to two different swamp biomes, but the one Fergorin had setup had a swamp dungeon in sight, so we went with the sure thing and went through the portal to get to the main adventure. There was a bit of tidying up to do and beds to make, but we were soon on our way.
The swamp is… well… largely swamp, which means there is some land and lots of water. And in the water are leeches, which are sizable mobs. Rather than wading straight to our first objective, we decided to skirt around the end of the swamp until we got to the closest point we could. The swamp was adjacent to a black forest biome, so we came up through that, along the boarder of the two areas.
That didn’t stop the skeletons and Dragur from pouring out of the swamp to come get us. That combo, and some blobs, managed to cause a full group wipe about a hundred meters from our start point. I actually made it away from the fight, but had been poisoned by a blob and died from that.
Not an auspicious start.
We got ourselves collected and finished off the remaining bads, then moved a bit more cautiously forward. We crept along until we reached the point of closest approach from the black forest. It was time to cross into the swamp proper.
There were only a couple mobs between us at the dungeon and we were able to get to the crypt gate without further losses. I went up and opened the gate.
As it turns out, the gate is just a gate and when one person opens it, the gate is then open for everybody. Only one person in the party needs a key. My suggestion that somebody could just speed run through the swamp and unlock all the gates in advance was given the reception that such a patently suicidal idea deserved.
Inside the crypt it was dark… with some green illumination.
It was also wet. There were sections where we had to swim for a bit to get to the next room even. And there were some mobs in there. We ran into a couple of Dragur, but more dangerous to us were the blobs. Their poison persists and we had several near run situations where people were down to their last few hit points before the poison expired. I had to drink a minor healing mead (health potion) to survive one such event. We tried to take the blobs at range when possible, which avoids the whole poison thing, but that is always situationally viable. Some times you have to get in and beat the blob to death up close. I’ve since brewed up some poison resist meads to help with that.
More important though were the muddy scrap piles.
You dig into those with your pick and they yield scrap iron, which is the raw resource required for the next stage of gear and tools and what not.
We moved through the crypt digging out scrap iron and fighting the occasional mob, some of which are hiding behind those piles. There are also the occasional crafting item in there, like iron chain.
We ended up digging out about sixty units of scrap iron, which seemed like a lot until we later found out it takes about 20 refined iron bits to make anything. We’ll be visiting a lot of crypts before we’re all wearing iron armor and wielding iron weapons.
Once we were done we got back out of the crypt where Fergorin put up a quick workbench with a cover so we could repair some of the basic stuff. My bronze pickaxe needs a forge, but some came with the hardened horn version, which can be repaired at the workbench.
As we were hanging about the crypt some Dragur and skeletons started showing up and we realized that there was a pair of body piles… essentially swamp mob spawners… just up the way. We started laying into that to try and destroy them and got in over our heads and the whole group wiped once more.
Oh what fun.
Somehow I managed to run back ahead of the pack… the joy of dying first… slipping past several Dragur and grabbing all of my gear in the middle of that mess on the first try. I don’t know how I got away with that, aside from making sure my inventory was empty so there was no mucking about with individual items.
I ran off and got myself geared up and fed, then went in to help cover the rest of the recovery operation. The worst was Unna, who died pretty much between the two body piles. We managed to wade in and take them all out on the second run, though not without some comedy. I was at very low health and running around the crypt with a Dragur Elite chasing me while Fergorin shot him with his bow as he kept passing by. That worked after a few laps and soon it was clear enough for Unna to recover her gear.
That complete, we decided to get the hell out of the swamp, retracing our steps back to the black forest border and taking that line back to the outpost.
And then we realized that we had all of those iron scraps… which cannot go through portals… in the middle of nowhere. So we stuck it in some chests and took a portal back to the main base, then over to the camp that is now the farm, where one of our boats was docked. We then sailed that up the coast to the outpost and loaded it up with the iron scraps.
From there our closest forge and furnace was back at the base by The Elder altar, which is where we started the day. So we sailed for that.
We managed to avoid mishap on that journey and were soon hauling scrap iron to the forge. Smelting the first piece and picking it up unlocked a plethora of recipes… as well as shocking us a bit at the amount of iron we would need to get ourselves fully geared up. Then again, we were not yet full geared up with bronze, so we might be getting ahead of ourselves.
The best item though… and the one I was most looking forward to… was the stone cutter, a crafting bench that lets you turn stone into stone blocks so you can build much more durable buildings and fortifications. Given that a troll in the front yard was turning into a daily occurrence at the Elder Base, as we call it, the walls were an immediate project for Fergorin, who is the master architect of the group.
Now we just need to find a couple dozen more crypts to loot to get ourselves geared up. Though I am carrying on with mining copper and tin for bronze so we can at least all get into that level of gear first.