Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen Walkthrough Part 3 (PS3)

Walkthrough Credit: Haeravon

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| Chapter 6: Bitterblack Isle |
o======================================================================o
| |
| Outside on the Isle |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK044}
1) Olra’s Request
2) Purification
3) Bitterblack Notice Board
4) Mining New Materials
5) Macabre Sculpture #1
6) Macabre Sculpture #2
7) The Monument of Remembrance
8) Abundant Purple

Cassardis
o======================================================================o
1) Return to Cassardis and if it’s not night time, rest until it is,
then run down to the pier. You’ll get a cutscene showing some black-clad
lady standing on the docks, waiting… Don’t be rude-go talk to her.
Olra will be surprised that you can see her (if you remember, the
Dragonforged noted that certain beings could only be seen by Arisen),
then she speculates that you are, in fact, Arisen. It just so turns
out she needs the Arisen’s strength. It was enough to kill the Dragon,
so it has to be more than enough for whatever Olra desires, right?
Agree to help her and she’ll reveal that what you’re talking to isn’t
her real form-just a projection. Her real self is on Bitterblack Isle,
where you’ll be taken in short order. Watch a cutscene showing the
spooky, unwelcoming island, while Olra babbles about fate, choice,
and those other tired Dragon’s Dogma staples.

Bitterblack Isle: First Floor
o======================================================================o
2) Once the cutscene ends you’ll find yourself on Bitterblack Isle, all
you know is that Olra brought you here and wants you to explore it. Not
really much to go on, but for video games did we ever need more than
a mere invitation… with the promise of loot… to risk life, limb,
and perhaps a few thrown controllers? No, of course not. To the north
you’ll find the entrance to Bitterblack Isle. South lies the dock upon
which your useless boat lies, but direct your attention to the west,
where Olra stands on a shoddy wooden platform. When you approach she’ll
apologize for the lack of information-she doesn’t know more than she
told you… she’s stuck here, and knows you have the power to grant
the desires of ‘one who dwells below’, and it’s her job to aid you
here. Talk to her and she’ll explain (briefly) that she can purify
cursed items you find on Bitterblack Isle (for a few Rift Crystals,
of course.)

This gives us a perfect excuse to explain this little mechanic now so
we don’t need to worry about it later. To prevent shameless gear
grinding (like what we did in the Everfall) and probably to make life
just a bit more complicated, most everything of value you’ll find in
the depths of Bitterblack Isle is ‘cursed’. Cursed items are
unidentified and unusable until they are purified, a service only
provided by Olra. Bitterblack Isle items come in four types, each
ranging three levels of quality-Bitterblack Armor, Bitterblack Gear,
Bitterblack Novelties and Bitterblack Weapons. The higher the level,
the more Rift Currency purification costs. Armor and weapons should be
self-explanatory, while ‘Gear’ typically means random jewelry with
bonuses to various skills, resistances and attributes. Novelties are…
everything else. Materials, superior tools, and scrolls from which you
can learn new Augements. The Rift Currency costs of each type are noted
below:

o=======================o=======o===============o
| Type | Level | Rift Currency |
o=======================o=======o===============o
|Bitterblack Armor | 1 | 4,200 RC |
|Bitterblack Armor | 2 | 9,800 RC |
|Bitterblack Armor | 3 | 25,000 RC |
|———————–|——-|—————|
|Bitterblack Gear | 1 | 500 RC |
|Bitterblack Gear | 2 | 1,000 RC |
|Bitterblack Gear | 3 | 3,000 RC |
|———————–|——-|—————|
|Bitterblack Novelty | 1 | 300 RC |
|Bitterblack Novelty | 2 | 800 RC |
|Bitterblack Novelty | 3 | 2,600 RC |
|———————–|——-|—————|
|Bitterblack Weapon | 1 | 5,200 RC |
|Bitterblack Weapon | 2 | 11,200 RC |
|Bitterblack Weapon | 3 | 28,800 RC |
o=======================o=======o===============o

Olra also kindly offers a few other services-she provides inventory
management options (deposit/withdraw/combine/change equipment), she
allows you to change skills/vocations, and access the online store…
which is just another one of Capcom’s shameful ways of fleecing you
for extra money, and won’t be mentioned further. Finally, she’ll take
you back to Cassardis, but you can always just use a Ferrystone.
<———————————————————————->
3) Behind Olra lurks a Notice Board. Like the ones on the mainland,
these give you random fetch/kill quests and many reward you with
Bitterblack Isle gear. You’ll find a few more of them as you explore,
which have different quests on them. As you complete the initial quests,
more will pop up, so… yeah, you get the drill-check them regularly.
South of the Notice Board is a bed, if you need to catch some z’s, while
behind the Notice Board is a junk-bearing rounded chest. For the last
of the services in the area, head north-east of the Notice Board to
find a Rift Stone and static Portcrystal, which will allow us to use
Ferrystones to teleport back here from Gransys, should we care to.
<———————————————————————->
4) If you follow a pair of southern paths-one leading east and one
leading west-you’ll reach some gates we can’t open yet. They’re
shortcuts that’ll allow us to return to the surface from the depths…
once we reach the other side. Funny how we can blast apart a Dragon,
but some metal gates-unmovable. If you search along the cliffs along
the way you’ll find some mining spots which can contain new materials,
including Hunks of Platinum, Lava Rocks, Moonstones, as well as a
variety of more familiar materials. New stuff, it has to be good,
right? At the very least, expect to see these new materials appear in
item upgrade requirements soon enough.
<———————————————————————->
5) Short-cuts pointed out, new materials… it’s all good stuff, but if
you want to score some loot with a bit more rarity, explore the path
east of the dock where your boat is moored. As you head uphill
counter-clockwise, notice some pillars lining the seaside cliffs to the
south. The eastern-most one is unusually short… short enough to be
scaled. If you have Double Vault you can easily reach the top of this
pillar-if you have Levitate you’ll need to head uphill a bit to get the
height required. A good running leap can do the trick, too… but in
this case only Levitate matters. Once on top of the pillar turn south to
spot a ledge-part of a natural stone pillar jutting out from the sea.
Only with Levitate (and a properly aired-out one, at that) can you make
it from the pillar to the ledge to the south. Once on the ledge,
continue south to find a ramp that rises to the east to reach the top
of this pillar, which continues to elevate to the north, until it
terminates at a ledge practically pointing you another platform across
a gap. Ignore it for now, instead search the ground around the
south-western part of this pillar to find a strange statue lying on the
rocky ground. Pick up this ‘Macabre Sculpture’, which is the whole point
of this diversion.

Note: Macabre Sculptures are collectibles strewn throughout Bitterblack
Isle. They’ll be pointed out as we come across them. It’s also worth
noting that on subsequent playthroughs, you keep all obtained Macabre
Sculptures, but they respawn throughout Bitterblack Isle… so, if you
fail to collect them all in one playthrough, no worries-you can just
keep stacking them up on subsequent playthroughs. Seems like an
oversight, to me. Whatever the case, this makes it quite easy to
eventually obtain all these collectibles, which are the object of
several Notice Board quests. I suggest getting as many as you can, of
course… but to preserve your sanity, you might want to ignore some of
the more difficult sculptures. Obtaining them ranges in difficulty,
from ‘pick up the sculpture lying in the bushes’ to ‘grab a harpy in
mid-flight and try to direct it to an elevated ledge’. Since such feats
of dexterity aren’t required, why bother?

***MACABRE SCUPLTURE #1***
<———————————————————————->
6) After you score the Macabre Sculpture… might as well grab another
one. Head to the elevated northern edge of this pillar and-with your
trusty Levitation skill-make an epic leap from this pillar to another
natural stone ledge to the north. Actually, you don’t even need
Levitate for this part-a good running jump will get you across… but
why not embellish? Continue north and leap across small breaches in the
walkway. When the path terminates look north-west to spot the top of a
stone column just below you. You should see the Macabre Sculpture
sitting on top, just waiting for you. Jump down and grab it. You can now
make your way back the way you came, or descend by jumping onto a
number of ledges to the north-east.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #2***
<———————————————————————->
7) Return to Olra’s clearing and head north to reach some large
double-doors. They’ll open ominously as you approach. Continue north
to spot a gravestone-the ‘Monument of Remembrance’. It’s currently
useless to us, but in the depths of Bitterblack Isle we’ll be able to
find “Recollections of another Arisen” tablets. Pretty much glowing
lights near tablets, upon which stories-the stories of other, less
successful Arisen-are inscribed. One of several scavenger hunts in
Bitterblack Isle, these tablets will fill out the first ten spots on
the Monument of Remembrance. The last two, #11 and #12, will be updated
as we progress through Bitterblack Isle. These stories will explore how
Arisen, Pawns, the Dragon, and the great cycle are inter-connected.
<———————————————————————->
8) From just behind (north of) the Monument of Remembrance turn west
to find a spiked fence with a brazier behind it. The fence is not
complete, and where it opens you can find some rocks leading to the
canal below. Drop down carefully and at the western end of the canal you
will find a junk-filled square chest. Turn east and head under an arch
to find another junky square chest at the end of the eastern canal.

You might have obtained some Rift Currency from these chests, which is
all the excuse I need to point something else out about Dark Arisen.
Rift Currency drops much more frequently on Bitterblack Isle than
anywhere on Gransys, and in different quantities. You’ll still get
them rather frequently from monsters, but also from chests and smashed
objects. This is a good thing, as purifying Bitterblack Isle items
costs Rift Currency-you’ll be needing, obtaining, and spending much
more Rift Currency on Bitterblack Isle.

The preliminaries are now done. Head back west, climb up the rocks,
and head north from the Monument of Remembrance to reach a door, a door
that leads to the depths of Bitterblack Isle…

o======================================================================o
| |
| Upper Stratum |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK045}
1) Warg Welcome
2) Hobgoblins Below
3) Balcony Jumping
4) Death Comes
5) Searching the Courtyard
6) Scavanger Garm
7) Hogoblins in the Watery Rooms
8) Macabre Sculpture #3
9) Down to Duskmoon Tower
10) Barroch on the Balcony
11) Garden in the Depths
12) Moonbeam Doors and Gems
13) Macabre Sculpture #4
14) Jumping Joy
15) The Northern Balcony
16) Macabre Sculpture #5
17) Macabre Sculpture #6
18) Into the Ward
19) Broken Riftstones
20) Undead and Cages
21) Maneater
22) Skeleton Brutes and Elder Ogres
23) Macabre Sculpture #7
24) Suspended Corpse Rodeo
25) The Prisoner in the Deep
26) Looting the Ground Floor
27) Bridge Over Bloody Water
28) Macabre Sculpture #8
29) Back to the Prisoner Gorecyclops Chamber
30) Climbing the Durnace
31) Macabre Sculpture #9
32) Using the Void Key
33) Cockatrice in the Courtyard
34) Watery Chambers
35) Macabre Sculpture #10
36) Sirines in the Sky
37) Boulder-Pushing Hobgoblins
38) Into and Through the Courtyard
39) To The Warrior’s Respite
40) Macabre Sculpture #11
41) Scoring a Moonbeam Gem
42) Down to the Sewers
43) Goodies, Goodies Everywhere!
44) Giant Saurians
45) Macabre Sculpture #12
46) Grate-Crawling, Corpse-Looting
47) The Gazer
48) Macabre Sculpture #13
49) Macabre Sculpture #14

Garden of Ignominy
o======================================================================o
1) Head down some stairs to the east and score a square chest. Continue
east to hear a disembodied voice babble uselessly, then turn north when
you can to encounter the first new foe of Dark Arisen: Wargs. Kill the
Wargs and continue north. The voice will continue to talk nonesense
as you go. Search along the eastern wall to find a square chest and
continue north until you reach a lion statue flanked by two robed
figures. West of the statues, in some water, you’ll find a rounded
chest, while another sits to the east of the statues, near some cut
stones.

Note: Be wary when opening chests in Bitterblack Isle, as some of them
contain that most heinous of dungeon monsters-the Maneater. It’s a
variant of an RPG staple-the proverbial horror-in-the-box. In this
case it’s a tentacle beast that’ll bite (and attempt to devour) whomever
opens the chest in which it lurks. Be prepared to use consumables and
put blisters on your thumbs trying to escape from one. On the plus side,
they can drop quite a bit of Rift Currency, if you’re lucky. Try to get
a Pawn to open chests for you, if you’ve got the patience for it… or
if you’re a strong Magick Archer, use the Immolate skill before opening
chests. Also note that I will not be recording what loot comes from
chests in Bitterblack Isle. This might seem an intentionial oversight
compared to the rest of the guide, but I have my reasons. First, the
best gear we want from Bitterblack Isle can’t be identified at the
moment of its discovery-it is, in fact, random. Second, the gear found
in chests will change as we advance through Bitterblack Isle-without
giving too much away, our first journey through the place will probably
not be very rewarding. At first we’ll be finding… well, a good bit
of low-quality loot, but we’ll start to score Everfall-quality loot
as we go along. Third, we can do runs for the best gear in the game,
which makes knowing the contents of every chest throughout Bitterblack
Isle rather useless. Simply put, it’s not worth either of our time
for me to record it-but I will point out every chest, because they
can contain Bitterblack items, as well as Rift Currency.

***MONSTER INFO: WARG***
Another doggie-type creature, Wargs are physically weaker than
Hellhounds (as their experience value shows), but they are quite quick.
They’re prone to leaping attacks and… well, they do all the
wolf-attacks we’re familiar with. Oh, they’re also poisonous. All in
all, if they are any threat to you, you’re too weak to be in
Bitterblack.
<———————————————————————->
2) Now along the eastern end of the statue room you’ll see two doorways,
one to the east, which leads down some stairs, and one to the north. Go
north first, up a small flight of stairs, and onto a balcony. If you
look over the western edge of the balcony you should see some Hobgoblins
lurking around. Ignore them and continue north to find a rounded chest
near some rubble.
<———————————————————————->
3) Time for a bit of tricky jumping. Jump onto the western ledge of
the balcony and run along it north, jumping north-east as you near the
stone at the end of the balcony. With Double Vault or Levitate, you
should be able to reach a semi-circular balcony to the north. Explore
this balcony to the west to find a rounded chest, then jump onto the
stonework surrounding the balcony to the south-west of the chest to
spot another semi-circular balcony. This jump should be much easier
than the last one. Once achieved, search around for an ornate chest.
On more jump awaits us-climb onto the stonework surrounding this
balcony and look west to spot another rectangular balcony to the
south-west. Jump there (another easy jump) and head south to find an
ornate chest.
<———————————————————————->
4) Return to the east, jumping from balcony to balcony until you’re
on the stonework surrounding the eastern semi-circular balcony. You can
jump onto the edge of the diagonal stone at the northern end of the
eastern rectangular balcony to get back-what hindered us one way helps
us the other. Run back south to reach the statue room, then head down
the stairs to the east. Turn south and head down a long, covered
balcony, killing some Snakes as you go. Head down some stairs and turn
west to reach the large, Hobgoblin-infested room the balconies
over-looked. Here you will encounter Death. At this point in the game,
you’re probably not going to be able to put up much of a fight
against Death, so either flee or try to fight him off-you won’t be
killing him in one go.

***ENEMY STRATEGY: DEATH***
Death. The proverbial grim reaper. Black robes, lantern, scythe, the
whole deal. How does one fight death? Rather conventionally, as it
turns out. Death has tons of Hit Points and will flee if you damage
him enough, making this, by necessity, a multi-encounter fight. Death
randomly appears throughout Bitterblack Isle as you explore.

Touch of Death
————–
Death is death. His scythe is oblivion, and swinging it is his only
damage-dealing attack. He’s rather slow about it, but he has great
range, and again, any hit he scores will be fatal. If he hits Pawns
(and they’re far too stupid to avoid him) you’ll need to pull them
back out of the rift. If he hits you… well, there’s just no
surviving it. The strategy is simple; stay away from death.

Death’s Brother
—————
In Greek mythology, Death (Thanatos) was the brother of Sleep (Hypnos),
and in Dark Arisen, Death and Sleep go hand-in-hand. One of Death’s
few ‘attacks’ is to shake his lantern about, the effects of which are
to cause everything (friend or foe) nearby to fall asleep. If Death
puts you to sleep, you’re as good as… well, dead.

Death, Unbound
————–
Death is immaterial-he’ll often just fly through scenery. He also is
fond of teleporting. Keep your eye on him, stay dry, be prepared to
keep moving. Keep your distance, and if at all possible, engage him on
open ground. Manueverability is your friend in this fight, unlike so
many fights in Bitterblack Isle. Trying to wedge yourself somewhere
safe is just asking for a scythe to the face.
<———————————————————————->
5) After Death is gone, search this chamber proper-like, dealing with
whatever Hobgoblins linger about. Just north of the tunnel we came out
of, under the balcony we were on earlier, is a square chest. From this
chest continue south, following the perimeter of the room. Along the
eastern end of the southern wall you’ll find a rounded chest, and along
the western end you’ll find a tunnel leading south. Ignore it for now
and follow the western wall to the north to find a square chest. Smash
crates and pick plants around the interior of the chamber, ignoring the
northern route for now. You can score some Kingwarish, which is an
even more potent form of Greenwarish-a massively potent healing item,
and one that should be harvested.
<———————————————————————->
6) You should also notice that Hobgoblins leave behind piles of gore
when they die-all fleshy Bitterblack inhabitants do. This rotting meat
may, if enough accumulates, draw the attention of other predators-in
this area it’s a Garm that will come hungering for flesh. The foe(s)
lured by such fare tend to be static on each level-you should always
encounter a Garm here, for example (although exceptions do exist).
Also, their locations should be static as well. Not only will you
always encounter a Garm here, but you’ll always encounter one in this
chamber. After clearing Bitterblack Isle once, however, monster
populations will change, including scavengers. You can use Rancid Bait
Meat to attempt to lure such creatures without having to go through all
the bother of making other monsters dead, so knowing what spawns where
can help with material harvesting.

Note: The new creatures in Bitterblack Isle-especially the big ones
with multiple health bars-drop components that are often quite valuable.
This is a good thing, since some Bitterblack arms and armor can cost up
to 1,000,000 gold to upgrade to three stars, so scoring thousands-or
sometimes tens of thousands-of gold per component can provide a welcome
source of revenue. Of course, these resources aren’t just monetarily
valuable-most of them are required components for said upgrades. Still,
be aware of their value and, if you should find yourself in possession
of an abundance of a certain material, and in need of coin… well, be
sure to use the Suasion Augment and, if you get ahold of one, keep a
Ring of Thrift in your inventory to maximize profit.

***MONSTER INFO: GARM***
Garms are the fifth and final wolf-foe in Dragon’s Dogma, a massive
mastiff indeed. They’re absolutely brutal in melee combat, with a
lunge-and-fling move that can nearly one-hit-kill a 200th level
Assassin on normal difficulty. Ouch. They also have poisonous breath
which can inflict blindness and poison, and they will shake fiercly if
mounted, making it a less than optimal strategy. They have two
important weaknesses, however-their size impedes them, as with many
Bitterblack foes. If you scramble up on a ledge, they likely won’t be
able to follow. They can jump just fine, but again, on a small object
they tend to not be able to do much except fall off. They’re also pretty
vulnerable to lightning.
<———————————————————————->
7) Head over to the southern tunnel we ignored earlier and descend into
the watery passage. As it turns east, search the southern wall for an
ore vein… we’ve been over the new materials stuff already, and it
won’t be mentioned again. Be sure to mine for new Bitterblack goodies.
Continue east, then turn south to reach a chamber occupied by
Hobgoblins. Search the north-eastern corner to spot a square chest,
then go through a narrow tunnel to the east (ignoring a larger tunnel
south) to reach a small, Hobgoblin-occupied chamber. Kill the
Goblinoids, then jump onto a ledge to the east and explore a small
passage to score an ornate chest.
<———————————————————————->
8) Return to the less cramped rooms to the west and head south. Turn
west when you can and search the north-western corner of this smaller,
southern room to spot a square chest. Now head south into a tunnel,
turning west and entering a Spider-infested room to the west. Kill the
bugs and note the wooden platforms. Hidden behind some crates in
the south-eastern corner of the room you’ll find a rounded chest. Climb
a ladder along the northern lip of the southern wooden platform to
reach the top, then search the south-western corner of the platform
to find a rounded chest. Also, atop some cut stones along the southern
end of this wooden platform you’ll find a Macabre Sculpture. The
northern platform has two levels-you can jump onto the lower platform
by using the cut stones to the west, and you can reach the upper
platform by climbing a convenient ladder. The lower platform holds a
rounded chest, while on the upper platform you can find a door to the
north that leads back to near where we entered this level.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #3***
<———————————————————————->
9) Return to the room where we encountered Death and head north, where
we have yet to explore. Go down some stairs, turn west, and when you
get a chance go through a doorway to the north on a landing between two
flights of stairs. Climb up a series of cut stones until you reach
a small L-shaped chamber. Search the south-western corner to find an
ornate chest. You’ll find a few coin pouches along the way, but I can’t
be bothered to record every gold coin and potion lying around. Return
to the staircase below and continue down until you reach a door leading
to the next level.

Duskmoon Tower
o======================================================================o
10) Watch a cutscene as you enter, where you’ll encounter a roguish,
sideburn-heavy fellow Arisen. This man-named Barroch-will wager on your
longevity, and when the cutscene ends, go talk to him. He’s the merchant
of Bitterblack Isle, capable of ‘rarefying’ loot-upgrading it up to the
new maximum of Gold Dragon-Forged. Sadly, at this point, we likely lack
both items worth upgrading so high, and the materials to do it. It’s
worth noting that, unlike normal upgrades, the Silver/Gold Dragon-Forged
upgrades require Rift Currency… and they must reach the rank of
Dragon-Forged before you can advance them further. He will also allow
you to learn and set skills, manage your inventory, and buy/sell items.
His stock includes a good variety of potions, as well as a great
selection of arms and armor, although he doesn’t sell any Everfall
quality loot. Do yourself a favor and stash whatever extra junk you’ve
picked up thus far, and grab yourself a pair of Skeleton Keys-you’ll
be needing them soon.

By talking to Barroch you’ll complete the Notice Board quest
‘A Guiding Light’ if you had the good sense to pick it up earlier.
The reward? A Liftstone. Liftstone? It’s like a Ferrystone, save it
takes you from anywhere in the depths of Bitterblack Isle to the
surface. Yeah, that’s right, your Ferrystones are useless down here.
Always keep a Liftstone handy if you can.

Note: Barroch will remain in this area for a while, but after you
progress further into the dungeon, he’ll move one. Use him while you
have access to him-he’ll be more reliable later on, but don’t always
expect to find him here.
<———————————————————————->
11) Now to explore this area-it’s quite the idyllic little niche in
the midst of what’s supposed to be a dark, scary dungeon. Bunnies hop
around, deer graze on grass, it’s a veritable secluded garden paradise.
We’re not here for tranquility, however. From the balcony turn west and
jump on some rocks to reach some stone ledges. If you have Double
Vault you can reach a higher ledge which holds two Warrior Remains and
a Wakestone Shard. On the lower ledge you’ll find a broken gate that
leads into a tower. Head inside, descend to the bottom, and loot two
chests-one ornate, one square. Return to the balcony from which you
entered.
<———————————————————————->
12) Head across the balcony to the east, go down some steps, and jump
off them when they collapse. On the stone remains to the east you’ll
find a rounded chest. Turn around to the west and drop down to the
grassy floor below and walk west along the stone steps we descended
until you pass a strange stone door. This place is crowded with such
doors, but alas, we cannot open them yet, as we need a ‘Moonbeam Gem’.
One gem, one door opens, and beyond lies Bitterblack-quality loot.
Static drops, no need of identification. We’ll find Moonbeam Gems as
we explore, but I’ll list the contents of the chests beyond the doors
here, so you can choose what items you want when you get the gems.
There are three doors along the southern wall, for the chart below
we’ll consider the eastern-most one door #1, with #2 in the middle,
and #3 at the western end. The others (#4-#8) are in order clock-wise
around the area, and will be pointed out as we pass them.

o===============o=======================o=======================o
| Moonbeam Door | Treasure | Description |
o===============o=======================o=======================o
| #1 | Trophy Jacket |Magick-boosting Strider|
| | | armor |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #2 | Dragon’s Glaze |Cold-enchanted Longbow |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #3 | Adept’s Robe | Magick-user armor |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #4 | Ring of Desiccation | Ring that prevents |
| | | Drenching |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #5 | Adept’s Mantle | Cloak wearable by all |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #6 | Dragon’s Roost | Lightning-enchanted |
| | | Shield |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #7 | Dragon’s Ire | Fire-enchanted Bow |
|—————|———————–|———————–|
| #8 | Ring of Perseverance | Ring that increases |
| | | Discipline earned |
o===============o=======================o=======================o
<———————————————————————->
13) Continue west past Moonshadow Door #2, and along the southern wall
between Moonshadow Doors #2 and #3 you’ll find some large, cut stone
blocks which can be scaled. Climb until you reach a diagonal stone and
climb to its top-most point to find a Macabre Sculpture lying in plain
sight. Score. Drop back down to the ground and continue past Moonshadow
Door #3 to the west, then turn north when you run out of west. You’ll
pass a rounded chest and an ore vein, and as you go north you’ll find
another ore vein in the north-western corner of the area. Follow the
northern wall east to find a square chest near a waterfall, then
continue east and follow the watery rocks to the north to rind an ore
vein. Turn east and walk along some worked stone to find a rounded
chest.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #4***
<———————————————————————->
14) Turn south from the rounded chest, pass a square pillar, and find
a large sloped stone that serves as a ramp to the north. Ascend and
jump from the northern end of the rock to the top of the square pillar,
then turn north-east to spot a stone ledge. Jump onto it and turn
north to find another square pillar you can reach with a good jump.
If you continue north you’ll find another, higher pillar you can
jump onto. Below you to the north-west you’ll find an arched ledge,
upon which lurks Moonbeam Door #4.
<———————————————————————->
15) Note it and ignore it, as you don’t have any Moonshadow Gems to
use. Instead jump onto the higher square pillar, then turn east and
jump onto a higher ledge to reach a large stone balcony opposite the
one we entered onto earlier. Here you’ll find Snakes and Spiders…
and a few chests. A rounded chest lurks in the north-western corner,
another in the south-center of the balcony, and a third in the
north-eastern corner. From the north-western chest, follow the wall
south, then west to find a stone ledge surrounding the balcony. Jump
on it, and from it, onto a stone ledge to the west, whereupon lies
Moonbeam Door #5. Note and ignore again, then return to the balcony,
explore up some stairs in the north-center to reach a door leading
to another, entirely optional, area. Grab the coin pouches near the
door (worth 14,500 gold) and head on inside.

Rotunda of Dread
o======================================================================o
16) Behold, an arena! We’ll find a few of these places scattered around.
Before you worry about loot, deal with the monsters below. The encounter
is random:

1: A Lich (who will summon Hellhounds) and Phantoms.
2: A Drake and a pack of Saurians and Sulfur Saurians.
3: Three Cyclopes and a Golem.
4: A pair of Cyclopes and several Grim GOblins.
5: A Wight and a Wyrm.
6: A pair of Chimeras and a pack of Wargs and Direwolves.
7: A Cockatrice and a mixed flock of Harpies and Snow Harpies.
8: An Evil Eye and several Vile Eyes.
9. Three Skeleton Lords, Phantasms, and Skeleton Sorcerers.

It’s worth noting that the enemies within will respawn every time you
enter this area, allowing you to fight as much as you wish-just leave,
return, and massacre. Once your foes are vanquished, let the looting
begin. Return to the beginning of the area and jump on the stonework
surrounding the balcony opposite the stairs that lead to the entrance
of this area. Turn west and grab two Giant Coin Pouches, worth (20,000
gold), then turn east and follow the stonework counter-clockwise,
jumping gaps as they appear to score two ornate chests. A rounded chest
hides behind (south of) the stairs that lead from the balcony to the
arena floor, while a square chest sits along a ledge on the eastern end
of the area, beyond the stone pillars we jumped around on earlier. On
the arena floor, search an alcove to the north to find no fewer than
four rounded chests, while another sits in an alcove to the west. At
about 11:00, just counter-clockwise from the quad-chested northern
alcove, you’ll find another Macabre Sculpture on a rock. There’s also
Kingwarish plants, Cragshadow Morels, Warrior Remains, and ore veins
scattered around, which you can find on your own-there’s hand-holding,
and there’s just being obnoxious. When you’re done looting, return back
to the previous area.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #5***
<———————————————————————->
17) Once back in Duskmoon Tower, head to the north-eastern corner of
the balcony and jump onto a ledge to the south-east. Follow the ledge
to the east, stopping only to loot a rounded chest in an alcove to the
north. At the eastern edge of the ledge, jump onto a stone roof to the
south-east. If you drop off the northern end of this roof you’ll reach
a ledge running east-west, upon which lies Moonbeam Door #6. Interesting
at a later date, perhaps, but for now ignore it. Return to the roof
and head… south-east. Go up a natural ramp to the north-east to find
some lootable corpses, a Wakestone Shard, and an ornate chest. Once done
head to the southern end of the roof. There is a small ledge below the
roof you can drop down onto if you’re careful. From this ledge drop
onto another stone ledge to the south, then turn west to find a Macabre
Sculpture.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #6***
<———————————————————————->
18) Drop down to the ground level to find yourself in front of a door
that leads to another area. Ignore it for now and head north along the
eastern edge of the area. A short distance north you’ll find another
building, larger than the one we ignored. Beyond this building’s door
you’ll find two more Moonbeam Doors (#7 and #8, #7 being the northern,
and #8 being the southern of the two). Exit and continue north to find
a square chest. From here turn west to find a discover a door leading
to a tower. Inside, go downstairs to reach a rounded chest at the
bottom, while an ornate chest lies upstairs at the top. Exit the tower
and follow the walls outside east, scoring another square chest along
the way. In the center of the area you’ll find a locked door under the
northern balcony. It’s where we need to go, but alas, we’ve no key.
From here turn south to find some Warrior Remains near some rocks, then
turn west to find a square chest near some more rocks. Backtrack due
east and pass a tree to return to the door we ignored at the beginning
of this Step. It’s the only place left for us to explore, so explore it
we shall.

Ward of Regret
o======================================================================o
19) From the entrance head west, hear a spooky voice, and head through
a doorway. In front of you looms a watery chasm, while to the north
lies a room beyond some ruined gates. Inside this chamber is a broken
Riftstone, which can be repair… with Rift Currency, of course. In
this case, 3500 Rift Currency. It’ll only get more expensive as we
travel. Repair it if you care to, personally I have my doubts as to the
value of having a Riftstone here. Loot a square chest in the northern
corner of the room, then go through a doorway.
<———————————————————————->
20) In the hallway beyond you’ll encounter a few Giant Undead, which
should be easy-peasy to kill. Redeadify them and open the first of two
doors to the north, beyond which lies a small room with three rounded
chests inside. The second, northern-most room is decidly less friendly,
as it contains only two rounded chests. Also, a Skeleton Lord and
some Skeleton Sorcerers will spawn and attack. Put them down, loot,
and return to the hallway. Continue north-west through a doorway, then
turn north-east. When you reach an east-west fork turn west to reach
the far end of the chasm we encountered earlier. Two Giant Undead think
they’re clever and are playing dead. End their game and loot a rounded
chest, then return to the east.

Note: It should be noted that unlike the more generous doors in the
Pastona Cavern, these doors will relock as time passes. Simply put,
every time the treasure beyond the doors respawns, you’ll need more
keys.
<———————————————————————->
21) Head through another doorway and onto a wooden bridge that leads to
a stone walkway looping around this watery room. Continue north and head
into a room to the west. Kill some Spiders and loot a rounded chest.
There are some pots lurking around, as well as a door we can’t open yet.
Return to the walkway and follow it around to the east. Ignore a hole
in the wall to the north and instead head onto a wooden bridge to the
south, whereupon an innocent square chest lurks. Or perhaps not so
innocent, as it turns out-this is likely the first place you’ll
encounter a Maneater. Let your Pawns open the chest, if they’re not
disobedient (mine were), or if you must, open it yourself and hope they
will break you free. If you’re lucky, you might score a motherload of
Rift Currency from a Maneater (I’ve obtained around 30,000 RC from one
before), or at least some low-quality Bitterblack items. If you’re not,
it’ll drop some minerals… some can be decent, but enduring a Maneater
and getting some rocks is kind of a bummer.

***MONSTER INFO: MANEATER***
The cliche chest-monster, this tentacle terror is that most obnoxious
of foe. It will automatically grapple any fool who opens the chest
within it resides. If your Pawns aren’t being assholes, they may just
strike it for you and free you (or you them), after which it’s a pretty
standard fight. It can still attack, even though it’s stationary, either
by whirling around and trying to strike foes with its own body, or
by spitting (which can caues petrification). Its most dangerous attack,
however, is the death-spell it’ll certainly cast if its prey breaks
free. Don’t stand in any glowing red circles and you’ll be fine. Note
that Maneaters will not lurk around forever waiting for you to kill
them-they prey on the unwary by virtue of the element of surprise. Take
too long to kill one, and it’ll retreat back into its chesty lair and
vanish… presumably to move on to another chest from which to attack.
<———————————————————————->
22) Now go through the hole in the wall to the north, through a
Bat-infested tunnel, and into a chamber beyond. Loot a rounded chest to
the south, then continue north, following the tunnel as it turns. At a
junction to the north you’ll encounter a small horde of Skeletons, led
by a new fiend-a Skeleton Brute. This intersection is also the location
of this area’s scavenger spawn, should you be so unfortunate as to
draw the attention of one. The beast that appears here is an Elder
Ogre.

***MONSTER INFO: ELDER OGRE***
Apparently when Ogres get older, they don’t get bigger-they just get
badass. Elder Ogres fight just like Ogres, save they have much higher
defense, more health, and deal alot more damage… and that’s really
enough to be a massive pain in the ass. Like with a normal Ogre, shoot
for the head. A high-powered Ranger can effectively keep one
stun-locked, but other than that… they’re a rough fight. Best I can
suggest-learn their moves, try to stay away from them, and dodge. Oh,
another important note-Elder Ogres tend to focus their attacks on
males, if there are any, instead of females. They also have a bit of
an AI flaw. If you climb onto a ledge they-unlike most foes-will
be able to effectively pursue you. Once they focus on you, however
(and like most foes in Bitterblack Isle, they favor going after the
Arisen, regardless of gender) and begin to move towards the ledge
you’re on, they’re pretty much commited to jumping on said ledge. You
can use this fact to play ledge-run chicken with them, striking them
when they approach, and using their jumping animations and subsequent
reorientation to vacate the premises and find other high ground.
Repeat until victorious. It’s lame, sure, and cheap, but until you’ve
got the best weapons Bitterblack Isle has to offer, take victory
however you can get it.

***MONSTER INFO: SKELETON BRUTE***
This beastie fights just like a normal Skeleton-it’s just much bigger
and stronger. Skeletons can be annoying enough, but even moreso one
that’s twice that size which can actually deal decent damage. All the
same tricks work against it, though-fire, holy, and smashing it with
blunt things.
<———————————————————————->
23) Loot a rounded chest in an alcove to the west, then jump up on a
ledge to the south to find a Macabre Sculpture along the eastern edge
of the ledge. Finally head north past wehre the Skeletons were to reach
another east-west fork. Again, start out by going west. When you get the
chance to turn south, jump onto a ledge to the north to find a square
chest-then go south. Head through a doorway and continue south. Some
Skeleton Sorcerers will appear on a ledge, and Giant Undead lurk in a
pile of debris before them. Once they are obliterated, turn west and
loot a rounded chest. To the east you’ll find a doorway to the south,
wherein a square chest lurks. Once done looting, jump up onto the ledge
where the Skeleton Sorcerers lurked. Turn north-east to spot a wooden
platform above you. A very precise running Double Vault will get you
there… or a decent Levitate. Do what you must to reach the platform,
then go through a doorway to the east to reach a small room with an
ornate chest to the east, a lever to the north, and the door it opens
to the south. Behold, a short-cut opened!

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #7***
<———————————————————————->
24) Ignore it, we don’t need to back-track right now. From the chest
return west, drop off the platform and return to the east-west fork
just beyond the Skeletons we vanquished earlier. Now it’s time to
explore to the east. Head down some stairs and loot a rounded chest
before turning north and heading down some more stairs to the north.
A few things to do here-ignore the doorway to the west and instead jump
upon a ledge to the east. From there, turn north-west and jump to an
elevated wooden platform, upon which you can score a square chest. Drop
back down and go through the western doorn way to reach a room full of
debris. Undead will rise from the debris-Skeleton Sorcerers and Giant
Undead, and two rounded chests lurk around-one in the south-western
corner of the room, and one to the west. Kill, loot, and play on the
corpses suspended from the ceiling for some crazy stupid phsyics fun.
Seriously, jump on one and give it a stab or twenty. Wee! When you’re
done goofing off, head through the door to the north to reach a new
area.

Midnight Helix
o======================================================================o
25) Head north down some stairs, then turn west when you can. North of
here is quite the gory display of rotten meat, some of which can be
scavanged-yum! To the west, however, is a huge cylindrical chamber where
a Cyclops of massive proportions stands tied up-a Prisoner Gorecyclops,
to be precise. A coiled stone staircase cork-screws up the chamber,
supplemented by wooden planks and rope bridges where necessary. The
heights are crawling with Skeleton Sorcerers. Try to dispatch them,
whilest avoiding the Prisoner Gorecyclops for now. If it is struck, it
will anger, and eventually break free. Gargoyles also lurk in the
heights, and they exist just to complicate things-perhaps by knocking
you off ledges, or with the dire threat of petrification. Ignore the
loot now and focus on the murder of monsters. If the Prisoner
Gorecyclops wakes up, I advise you to do one of two things-attain the
heights and shoot down magic and arrows, or flee back into the eastern
tunnels from whence we came… and attack it with magic and arrows. You
may even consider running away from it when it’s nearly dead, as it’s
got a chance to drop Lv.2 Bitterblack weapons and/or armor. A single
fortuitious weapon drop can make life much easier for you. A random
scavenger can appear in the chamber with the Prisoner Gorecyclops if too
many tasty treats are left around for it-in this case a Cursed Dragon.

Note: Since this is likely the earliest point you’ll acquire Lv.2
Bitterblack weapons and armor, so now is the time to point out
that-while you can’t the type or level of the Bitterblack loot you
find, you CAN influence the types of weapons and armor you are
rewarded with when you purify Bitterblack arms and armor. This is
mentioned earlier in the ‘Hints & Tips’ section, and will be mentioned
again below, as a reminder when we start scoring Lv.3 arms and armor…
it’s kind of important. Save the game before you purify anything,
because the Vocations of your Arisen and your Main Pawn determine the
types of gear you’ll get when you purify. If, say, you’re playing an
Assassin and you really want some Helmbarte Daggers, Sapfire Daggers,
or a Dragon’s Ire bow, make sure both your Arisen and your Main Pawn
are either Striders or Rangers before purifying items. This will
greatly improve the odds of getting a weapon related to that Vocation.
Hybrid Vocations (Assassin, Magick Archer, and Mystic Knight) are not
ideal for this, since both their base Vocation types influence the
gear you’ll get after you purify. An Assassin will often obtain both
Fighter gear and Strider gear. So, if your Arisen is an Assassin and
your Main Pawn is a Sorcerer, don’t be surprised if you don’t get many
Daggers or Bows when you purify items… at least, not compared to how
many you’d get if both were Striders. Use this trick to manipulate
your purification results and you’ll be dancing around with superior
Lv.2 weapons in no time. If you should find yourself with an abundance
of Lv.2 weapons and armor, note that said arms and armor can be sold
for hundreds of thousands (sometimes around a million) gold each.

***MONSTER INFO: CURSED DRAGON***
We’ve fought little dragonlings before-the Cursed Dragon is of a size
and shape similar to the Drake, Wyrm, and Wyvern, all old foes. In
appearance, however, it’s much more similar to the Ur-Dragon. All
rotten and dead-might as well have called it a Dracolich. As a dead
dragon, you can expect Holy damage to harm it more, and like all little
dragon creatures, it’s got a weak spot-in this case a cluster of
cyrstals on its chest. You’ll also see many attacks return, it’ll do
flying body presses, grab-and-slam attacks, tail lashes, and spins.
There are differences, however-its normal bite attack is now a three
stage swinging bite attack during which the Cursed Dragon can direction
rather considerably. It’s quite damaging and is probably the Cursed
Dragon’s favorite-and most annoying-attack. The Cursed Dragon also has
a breath weapon-a gout of vile Putrescence that damages and debilitates.
Like the Ur-Dragon, Cursed Dragons will rear up from time to time and
gather energy for a massive breath attack, which should be avoided. They
typically start exhibiting this behavior after they’ve lost more than
half their health, and follow a simple routine at this point-three
normal attacks (usually bite combos, but variable depending on where
its target-usually the Arisen-is) followed by a rear-back breath attack.
It’s also worth noting that Cursed Dragon’s have a much greater chance
to Dragon Forge gear than other Dragon types. In my experience, you’re
almost guaranteed to Dragon Forge any item upgraded to three stars when
you kill a Cursed Dragon. Heck, I’ve even managed to Dragon Forge items
that were completely unupgraded by killing a Cursed Dragon… which I
didn’t think was possible, so take it with a grain of salt.

***MONSTER INFO: PRISONER GORECYCLOPS***
The Prisoner Gorecyclops is a Cyclops on a massive scale-the attacks are
all the same, as are the vulnerabilities. All Gorecyclops are armored
and helmeted, but the method for getting them to shed their armor is
different. You must still climb them (and avoid or endure passive damage
from their spiked armor) and reach their head. Their helmet is connected
to a unbreakable metal collar by a breakable leather strap. Destroy it
and the helmet will fall off. Their eye, of course, is the weak spot.
As I said, the Prisoner Gorecyclops doesn’t have any new attacks, but it
is always angry and rampages indiscriminately. Climbing it while it’s
raging just isn’t viable, and trying to stand up to it in melee is
foolishness. Directed, aimed attacks with a Bow will do the most damage
if you can hit the eye, or perhaps even stagger it, if you’re using a
Longbow. Their biggest disadvantage? Their size. Massive power is
a boon, but the size that grants it is a liability. Every single
Prisoner Gorecyclops you encounter can be evaded by running somewhere it
cannot reach, and from there, you can kill it with ranged weapons and
magic. It’s a crappy tactic, to be sure, but it works.

Note: There are technically two types of Gorecyclops-the ‘Prisoner’
Gorecyclops are massive, chained beasts (hence ‘prisoner’) like the
one encountered here, while others are merely Cyclops palette-swaps.
Both are called Gorecyclops in the Pawn Bestiary, although a distinction
for them is made in the ‘Adventure Log’. Non-prisoner Gorecyclops are
much weaker (and smaller) than prisoner Gorecyclops, and hence worth
less experience. Both drop the same Gorecyclops materials, however,
save Blue Iron Buckles which belong to prisoner Gorecyclops alone, for
obvious reasons.
<———————————————————————->
26) Once you’re done slaying, it’s time for looting. On the ground
level, where the Prisoner Gorecyclops was chained up, you’ll find two
square chests-one at 10:00 and one at 3:00. At 7:00 you’ll find a
massive grate with a hole in it-ignore it, it’s an egress, not an
ingress for us. At around 9:00 you’ll find the start of stone stairs.
Take them up until they terminate and you’re forced onto some broken
ledges to the west. You can either head clockwise or counter-clockwise-
the latter is less broken and continue up and around the area, while
the former leads across broken stone, through a doorway, and into a
small room. Take the clockwise route first.
<———————————————————————->
27) Cross the ledge from the stairs clockwise and head into the small
chamber at the end of the walkway. A larger doorway to the north-west
leads to a bridge, which spans bloody, miasmic waters below. Like most
things in Bitterblack Isle, it’s in disrepair, and is patched by wood
halfway along. Cross wood and stone to reach a natural stone chamber
stacked with piles of bone. There are also two enticing chests-one
ornate, one rounded, to serve as lures. Once you near the piles of
bone a new foe will emerge to attack you-Leapworms.

***MONSTER INFO: LEAPWORM***
Simplistic foes, Leapworms… well, they just leap at you and try to
land a good bite. When you kill them, their acidic blood will injure
you, and worse still, potentially lower your defense, making you more
likely to fall prey to Bitterblack critters of greater stature. On
their own, though, Leapworms are more of a nuisance than a legitmate
threat, really.
<———————————————————————->
28) Kill, loot, and return to the bridge. Along the northern end of the
bridge you can spot some dry areas around the miasmic blood water
below. Drop down onto them to find more piles of bones and more
Leapworms. Along the north-western ‘shore’ lurk two rounded chests,
one at the edge of the chasm, where the water runs off, and one to the
south-west, past the bridge. Oh, it should go without saying, but avoid
the blood-water, as it inflicts poison. Now that I’ve told you to avoid
the water… you can find some goodies hiding in the water. A few Rift
Crystals can be scored, but more importantly, there’s a Macabre
Sculpture hidden next to (along the south-western side of) the wooden
bridge supports. You’ll just have to endure the poison to score these
treats… but that’s what High Halidom is for, right? After looting the
chests and fishing in poisonous waters, approach the northern-most edge
of the chasm into which the blood-water flows. Look down and you’ll see
a ledge below. Drop down onto it to find a lootable-and likely
lucrative-corpse to violate.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #8***
<———————————————————————->
29) Climb back up and jump to the south-eastern shore. Turn south-west
and continue past the bridge to the south-west, where you’ll find
another rounded chest. Climb onto the narrow ledge around a stone
pillar and walk to the south-west, dropping down on the shore on the
other side, where you’ll find a square chest. Continue south and jump
up on another, more substantial ledge, which wraps around to the east.
Loot a rounded chest near a collapsed pillar, then turn north-east and
go through a grate to reach the Prisoner Gorecyclops chamber. As I
said-egress, not ingress.
<———————————————————————->
30) Back at the bottom of the cylindrical chamber, return to the
stairs running around the perimeter and head up them again. When the
stairs degrade, take the counter-clockwise ledge this time, jumping and
climbing as necessary to continue going counter-clockwise, and higher.
You will find a square chest where the stone ramp falls into ruin,
and blow that, a wooden bridge that runs to the north-west and connects
to an intact section of the stone ramp above. On the far side, continue
clockwise until you find another square chest where the ramp terminates,
and before it, another bridge. You get the idea. Cross the bridge to
the south-west to reach another, higher ramp. Beyond a half-intact gate
hides a square chest in a small cell. Loot and continue counter-
clockwise and cross yet another bridge. At the end of the bridge jump
onto a stone platform, loot an ornate chest that tends to be fairly
generous, and pick up the ‘Void Key’ that lies near a corpse.
<———————————————————————->
31) Now, for some stupid acrobatics. If you go past the ornate chest you
just looted and look off the ledge to the north-east you’ll see another
ledge along the while, quite a ways off. If you make a running jump and
perform a Double Vault or Levitate you can hop from ledge to ledge.
This just is much easier with Levitate-but doable with Double Vault.
On this ledge you’ll find an ornate chest that tends to divulge a good
bit of Rift Currency. Now turn south-east to see a hanging cage in
the distance. You can Levitate or Double Vault from this ledge to this
cage, but for Double Vault, it’s at the very limit of your reach and
will take a bit of skill to manage. Another way to reach the cage is
by standing on the ledge where the Void Key was and looking to the
south-east. You’ll see a corpse hanging from the ceiling-this corpse
can be jumped to and grappled, and from there you can leap again to
the cage-it sounds trickier than it is. However you reach this cage,
your reward is another Macabre Sculpture and a Rift Bicrystal sitting
on the lap of a corpse. As for getting back-you can use Levitate from
the cage to reach the bridge to the south-west, but if you’re restricted
to Double Vault, you’ll just have to suffer some damage.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #9***

Vault of Defiled Truth
o======================================================================o
32) With the Void Key in hand, return to the Duskmoon Tower and unlock
the door along the northern wall, beyond which lies the Vault of
Defiled Truth. Lovely name. Head down stairs to the north, then west
to reach a chamber with a square chest along the western end. Ignore
the voices that speak to you and continue north into a larger room
with nothing of interest in it, and then through a small doorwar to
the north to reach a water-filled chamber. Rocks line the walls, bones
litter the floor. Leapworms inhabit the latter, ore veins the former.
<———————————————————————->
33) Continue west until you find a passage north. Peer into the room to
the north to spot a chamber identical to the fountain chamber from the
Garden of Ignominy. You remember, we encountered Death there for the
first time? Yeah, we’re several levels in and we’re already seeing
recycled areas. This time it’s occupied by a Cockatrice and Hobgoblins,
although a scavenger Warg could appear if enough food is lying around.
We’re not going to explore this room yet, however, as it’s the way to
the next level and there’s lot of this level yet to explore.
<———————————————————————->
34) Sadly, there’s no clean way to explore this place-there will be
back-tracking and overlap involved. From the watery tunnel south of
the fountainless fountain room continue west. You’ll find some rocks
you can climb and a tunnel to the north that begs to be explored.
Continue north, turn west, and drop off a ledge into more water.
Continue west and turn south through a hole in the wall to reach a
watery chamber with a rounded chest in it. To the west is a larger
chamber with three side-chambers (including the one we already went
through) and two tunnels coming off of it-one to the north and one to
the south-east. In the room to the west you’ll find an ornate chest and
a rounded chest, while in the room to the south sits a rounded chest.
Loot, then head down the tunnel to the south-east.
<———————————————————————->
35) You’ll finally reach a room to the east with a wooden deck to the
south. This chamber is occupied by new foes-Greater Goblins and Goblin
Shaman. Smite them and continue through a less inhabited room to the
south. Here you’ll find some beds you can search and some books lying
on tables you can grab. Continue south to reach a room with elevated
wooden platforms-another room you should remember from the Gardens of
Ignominy. On the ground floor in the south-eastern corner you’ll find
a square chest behind some crates and barrels, while in a side-room to
the north-east you’ll find another square chest. Once you’re done
playing around on the ground floor climb the ladder to the southern
platform to find two square chests in the south-western corner of the
room. On a large wooden beam running east-west under the ceiling of the
room you’ll find another Macabre Sculpture. This beam is intersected
by five vertical beams, forming four partitions of the same size. This
sculpture is on the second one from the east, near the vertical beam.
Once obtained, make your way to the smaller, multi-level, northern
wooden platform. On the lower platform you’ll find a rounded chest,
while on the upper platform you’ll find a door to the north.

***MONSTER INFO: GOBLIN SHAMAN***
It’s as close to a new foe as you’re likely to see in Bitterblack
Isle-Goblin Shaman are small Goblinoids that follow the rule of
Skeleton Sorcerers-they’re fond of sitting around and acting like
stationary magick turrets, blasting foes with elemental magick until
somebody finally smites them. They’re also incredibly resistant to
magick, so use physical attacks-bows or melee weapons-if you can.

***MONSTER INFO: GREATER GOBLIN***
New Goblins, and why not? We’ve already encountered two new types of
wolves, a new Ogre, a new Skeleton, and a new Cyclops, so… yeah, why
not Goblins? Is Bitterblack Isle only reskins and recycled monsters,
you ask? Yeah… pretty much. Anywho, you won’t see any new attacks
with Greater Goblins-they fight just like Grimgoblins, but stronger.
Like with Grimgoblins, they recycle all the old Goblin types-small like
Goblins and large like Hobgoblins.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #10***
<———————————————————————->
36) Go through the door to reach a wide hallway identical (again) to the
one in the Garden of Ignominy. It’s the first chamber we entered in
Bitterblack Isle, occupied by Wargs. Anywho, continue north to find a
clone of the statue room-a lion flanked by two robed guys? Along the way
smite an Ogre (a normal Ogre this time, not an Elder Ogre), encounter a
new foe-the Sirine-and loot a rounded chest along the eastern wall of
the hall. In the statue room you’ll find a square chest to the west, as
well as some ore veins to the south-west. Turn east to find two
passages-one upstairs to the north-east and another downstairs to the
east. Ignore the north-east passage (which experience tells us will lead
to the balcony over the fountain room) and head east, turning north when
you must. Kill a Hobgoblin and loot a rounded chest along the western
wall. Your way north will eventually be blocked by a large boulder,
which that butthole Hobgoblin would have loved to push on us-if only we
came from the other direction. Shame.

***MONSTER INFO: SIRINE***
Another shameless palette-swap, the Sirine functions just like the
Harpy. It flies, it sings, and it’s physically aggressive, like the
Succubus. They’re also highly resistant to holy damage, so use something
else if you want to actually hurt one. A Sirine’s song can heal its
allies-and it can heal quite alot of health very quickly, so in a fight
including Sirines, seek them out and kill them first, so you can make
good your damage on other foes.
<———————————————————————->
37) Backtrack south and return to the statue room. Now take the
north-eastern passage to the balcony over the fountain room we ignored
earlier. At the end of this balcony is rounded chest. You should know
the drill now-run along the ledge of the balcony and jump to reach a
semi-circular balcony to the north. Search this northern balcony for an
ornate chest, then notice yet another Hobgoblin to the west, near yet
another boulder said Hobgoblin oh-so desperately wanted to drop on you.
Smash the boulder and note the stairs down beyond. Ignore them for now
and climb up on the railing along the eastern side of this balcony and
jump from the stonework onto another balcony to the south-west. Score
another rounded chest here, then jump from the stonework of this
semi-circular balcony onto a rectangular balcony to the south-west. On
this balcony head to the southern end to find an ornate chest.
<———————————————————————->
38) Return to the balcony to the north (the one upon which the
boulder-pushing Hobgoblin lurked) and head down the stairs to the west,
the ones previously blocked by a boulder. Follow the tunnel as it goes
until you reach a chamber with a wooden bridge spanning it north-south.
The room below the bridge is watery and uninteresting, save for a
rounded chest that lurks along the western edge of the room. Loot it,
hop back on the bridge, and continue south. Go through a doorway, drop
down a ledge to reach an east-west running tunnel beyond. Turn east and
finally enter the fountain room, kill its inhabitants, and score two
square chests-one under the northern end of the western balcony and one
under the southern end of the eastern balcony. Finally, continue to the
north to find a door leading to the next level.

Gutter of Misery
o======================================================================o
39) Hooray! Stairwell! Head west and you’ll find stairs leading up and
down. Go up first to reach a platform-a door to another area lurks
along the western wall, and to the east, behind some boxes, sits a
square chest. Loot and go through the door.

The Warrior’s Respite
o======================================================================o
40) Surprise! Safe-zone. Seriously, the name should have given it away.
Head east to find a broken Riftstone (this one costs 5000 RC to repair),
and opposite it (to the south) you’ll find two square chests hiding in
rubble. Return to the Riftstone and continue east to find a Healing
Spring. Jump on in, splash around, and enjoy healing fun. Once you’re
done, turn north to find a small ledge you can jump on. Jump on it, then
turn east to spot another ledge above the Healing Spring that can be
reached with Double Vault. Reach it and look south to see a Macabre
Sculpture on a small ledge amidst some hanging ivy.

Note: Barroch will always be in The Warrior’s Respite when you come
calling. Hurray for static merchants!

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #11***
<———————————————————————->
41) Backtrack to the Riftstone again and continue west to find a hole
in the wall leading north to find Barroch hanging out. Stash excess
loot, buy stuff, do whatever you need to do, then back to searching. Go
up some stairs to the east to find a ‘Resting Bench’, where you can
sleep… if you didn’t already splash around in a Healing Spring. South
of the Resting Bench is another Notice Board, with brand new quests for
your perusal. From the Notice Board turn west to spot an elevated
wooden platform you can jump on. Do so and west to find a Moonbeam Gem
sitting on a desk, near a slumped-over skeleton. Return east, drop down
to the previous Notice Board-bearing room, continue east and go down
some stairs to find some rooms full of goodies. You’ll find a crate of
Throwblasts, and nearby an Airtight Flask. Tuen east and head into
another room to score an Ornate Chest and another Airtight Flask.
<———————————————————————->
42) With that we’re done in the Warrior’s Respite. Return to the Gutter
of Misery and head downstairs until you reach a large room at the
bottom. Here you’ll find no fewer than three chests-a square chest
hidden behind some crates to the south-east, another square chest near
a puddle to the north, and a rounded chest behind some crate to the
north-west. Once you’re done looting head through a hole in the wall to
the south to reach a twisting natural tunnel. Follow it, drop down a few
ledges, and you’ll eventually find yourself in a sewer system.
<———————————————————————->
43) You now have two ways to go-north or east. Go north first and keep
an eye on the eastern wall to spot some stairs leading up to a doorway.
Go east through the doorway to reach a watery room beyond. Drop down a
ledge and turn north to score a rounded chest, then head south, drop
down a waterfall ledge to find a small watery platform infested by
Leapworms, with a rounded chest to loot. Return to the larger hallway
to the west and continue following it north. You’ll find an elevated
broken gate behind a waterfall, beyond which you should explore… if
you want to score two square chests. From them turn west to find a
rounded chest. Goodies, goodies everywhere!
<———————————————————————->
44) Return south and when you reach the tunnel from which you entered
the sewers continue east. You’ll have to dispatch some Saurians and
Vile Eyes. The tunnel slopes downward and forks north-south, but the
two forks meet further east, so… go nuts. Along either fork you’ll
find a Giant Saurian lurking-one on a wall and one on a pile of bones.
A square chest lies at the end of the northern fork, right before it
meets the southern fork. Note that the Saurians here-including the
Giant versions-might randomly be replaced by Sulfur Saurians. The
scavanger beast in this area is an Elder Ogre, which will appear in
the northern tunnel here.

***MONSTER INFO: GIANT SAURIAN***
Fights just like a normal Saurian, but bigger. Didn’t we fight one of
these in Dripstone Cave, during the quest ‘Deeper Trouble’? Whatever,
they drop new stuff, so, uh, yeah. Cool.

***MONSTER INFO: GIANT SULFUR SAURIAN***
Same as the Giant Saurian, above, just more sneaky… like Sulfur
Saurians tend to be.
<———————————————————————->
45) When the forks combine head south-east. You can score another square
chest behind a collapsed pillar near a waterfall. Continue south and the
fork will split again. For now ignore the eastern fork and continue
south. Score another square chest near a broken grate, then head through
the broken gate to find yourself on a small ledge. Turn south-west and
jump on some roots, and from there continue south-west, jumping tenderly
into an open pipe. Search the grate in the pipe to score a Macabre
Sculpture. You can also gather some goodies from a skeleton near the
grate.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #12***
<———————————————————————->
46) Return back to the north-east and crawl back into the sewers,
searching the unexplored east. North, up some stairs, you’ll find a
door leading to another area. First, head south and loot a square chest
beyond some crates. You can also find some Warrior Remains in the
water, and you can search the grate to the north for more goodies.
Once you’re done looting, head through the door to the next level.

Shrine of Futile Truths
o======================================================================o
47) Hear another disembodied voice, babbling about some great cycle,
and continue north-east to reach a spiraling ramp. Follow it down
clockwise and shortly a massive foe will descend from outside the
ramp-the Gazer.

***ENEMY STRATEGY: GAZER***
The Gazer is an Evil Eye on a massive scale, the grand-daddy of all
floating orb monsters. Or mother. It could really go either way. Maybe
they’re asexual? I prefer to remain ignorant about Gazer gender.
Consider it the ‘boss’ of the upper stratum, which of course, it is.

Eye in the Sky
————–
The Gazer, of course, has many similarities to the Evil Eye-it’ll send
its tentacles to harass you, wherever you are. The tentacles cast
spells, bite, grab, spit, all that we’re used to. The Gazer also has a
few huge tentacles which will erupt out of the floor from time to time.
You can spot them coming by the orange mess on the floor. In addition
to the tentacles and their attacks, the Gazer also has its own magic
gaze attack, which damages and debilitates. Last and not least, it can
thump you with its body if you get below it. Why go beneath it at all,
then? Well, when it’s sending its large tentacles to spike out of the
ground under you, if you run under it (and it’s focusing on you), it
will end up clocking itself in the eye, stunning it and leaving its
eye distended and vulnerable. Just be careful on the ground floor, as
it can spew a noxious cloud of poisonous gas onto you down there,
leaving you only two options-retreating to the ramp or just taking the
damage.

Putting Out the Eye
——————-
No magical barrier this time-the Gazer is just outright immune to
damage anywhere save its eye. Size equals thick skin, which is fine
defense, it turns out. You can try to remove its tenctacles, but its
vulnerability state while it regrows tentacles leaves much to be
desired. Fighting it requires either ranged attacks, or some guts.
Jumping off the ramp and grappling its eye-hole and attacking it
directly is amazingly effective. It might bite down with its…
mouth-eye teeth, but the damage it deals is pretty tame compared to
the damage you’ll be able to do to it.

Ritual Interruption
——————-
One of the odd mannerisms of the Gazer involves the Gazer sending
several of its tentacles to the southern end of the arena and starting
some odd ritual. The tentacles will shoot out beams and create a
Sauron-like eye effect in the air. If you kill the tentacles
participating in this little ritual, the eye will float down and you’ll
be able to release multiple bolts of energy by striking it-it functions
just like the Magick Cannon skill. In addition, this ritual interruption
staggers the Gazer-put together, interrupting the ritual you’ll be able
to deal massive damage to the Gazer.

Note: Unlike most foes, the Gazer will not respawn-at least, not during
your first run-through of Bitterblack Isle. After completing the
dungeon once, the Gazer will respawn like any other foe.
<———————————————————————->
48) Once you’re done smacking around the Gazer, a gate will open,
allowing you to continue deeper into Bitterblack Isle. First, however,
it’s time for some looting. On the ramp you can score three rounded
chests-one at about 1:00, just before a large tree root, one east of the
stairs to the arena floor, and another at the end of the ramp. The ramp
and ground floor is a treasure-trove of various herbs and mushrooms,
which you can loot at your discretion. Amidst the rubble south of the
stairs you’ll find two chests-one round and one square. Further south,
at about 5:30, sits another square chest. Continue around the edge of
the level clockwise until you can head between some pillars, where
you’ll find two rounded chests (at about 8:00). Continue clockwise to
find yet another square chest (10:00). Finally, note that a shape has
been made on the ground using stones (it appears on the map and minimap,
in case you’re wondering). The shape is a circle with three lines
coming off of it. Search the perimeter of the circle just north of the
western-most ‘ray’ to find a Macabre Sculpture hidden in the grass.
Once this area is looted, head down some stairs to the north to find
a door, which continues deeper into Bitterblack Isle. Didn’t I just
say that? Whatever. Carry on.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #13***

Corridor of Emptiness
o======================================================================o
49) From the entrance head north-east until you find a gated door to
the east. From there turn west and scale some rocks to find a corpse
just hanging out on the stone. Near it, fittingly enough, are some
Corpse Nettles and a Macabre Sculpture. Climb back down to the east
and ignore the gate for now and continue north, where you will randomly
find Barroch waiting around to make your life easier. If you continue
down some stairs to the east you’ll reach a dock, near which sits a
square chest. North-west of where Barroch stood you’ll find stairs
heading down, deeper into Bitterblack Isle. Soon enough, but for now
head back to the gate we ignored earlier. If you go through said gate
to the east you’ll find a “Recollection of another Arisen” tablet and
a Riftstone (5000 RC). Continue up the stairs to the east and you’ll
find a door leading back to the surface. Once outside you can flip a
lever to open the gate and consequently, the first shortcut to the
depths of Bitterblack Isle. Yep, that’s right, first statum is done.
Hooray…

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #14***

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***

o======================================================================o
| |
| Central Stratum |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK046}
1) Preparing for the Central Stratum
2) Banshees on the Bridge
3) Skeleton Brutes in the Hallway
4) Pyre Saurians in the Pilgrim’s Gauntlet
5) Capcom’s Lazy Repetition
6) Corrupted Pawns in the Quenched Courtyard
7) Butthole Spiders
8) Macabre Sculpture #15
9) Macabre Sculpture #16
10) Macabre Sculpture #17
11) Descending the Tower
12) Macabre Sculpture #18
13) Eliminating the Eliminator
14) Charity on the Ledges
15) Macabre Sculpture #19
16) The Final Void Key
17) Succubi and Shaman Vertigo
18) Looting Down the Tower
19) Macabre Sculpture #20
20) Spiders in the Bone-Strewn Cave
21) Another Bloody Water Room
22) To the Bottom
23) Macabre Sculpture #21
24) One is Silver and the Other is Gold…
25) To the Large Stairwell
26) Undead, Stairs, and a Broken Riftstone
27) The Dark Bishop
28) Climbing in the Cathedral
29) Macabre Sculpture #22
30) To the Lower Stratum

1) Return to the surface and speak to Olra, who remembers more about
her past. Or rather, she remembers that she used to be ‘bound to the
Dragon’ before coming here, where something took control of her, and
used her to summon you here. Fun. Stash stuff, rest, and in general
make yourself ready to take on the central statrum. There are a few
things worth mentioning first, though-by now you should have ten Macabre
Sculptures. Just make sure they’re all in your inventory (not your
stash) at one time to collect the quest. You should also have
“Recollections of another Arisen” #1, which you can check out at the
Monument of Remembrance now, if you care to. Last and not least, we
found a Moonbeam Gem, which means we can claim one of the treasures
from Duskmoon Tower. Obviously, if you haven’t obtained a Level 2 weapon
yet, you might want to do that. Dragon’s Glaze is an upgrade for a
Ranger, while the Dragon’s Ire is a superior Bow for Strider and
Assassins. Otherwise, the Trophy Jacket and Adept’s Robe are both
decent, especially considering the Prisoner Gorecyclops in the Midnight
Helix can be farmed for Bitterblack Weapons Lv.2 (so can armor, but
personally, I have an easier time getting weapons, it seems). On the
other hand, the Ring of Desiccation might look crappy, but it’s really
not. At least, if you’re a Strider-class with the ‘Dodge’ ability.
Rolling around in water (read: dodging) means getting drenched, and
getting drenched means no lantern. No lantern, no light, no light during
fights in the lower reaches of Bitterblack Isle = tears. But that’s just
my opinion-I’ve found the ring to be damn near necessary in some areas.
Your call, though.

Fortress of Remembrance
o======================================================================o
2) Once you’re done messing around, return to the Corridor of Emptiness
and head north-west from where Barroch was/is to reach the door leading
to the Fortress of Remembrance, first area of the Center Stratum. From
the door head west onto a stone platform and look down-note the bridge
running east-west below you, then turn south and head down some stairs.
A voice murmmers, and some Undead will pester you as the stairs turn
north to connect to the bridge. As you descend, Death will show up for
his second scripted encounter. This is a rather poor spot to fight
Death, as your room to manuever is limited. If you must engage it,
however, do so on the bridge-in all such encounters, horizontal
movement is superior to vertical. You know, because Death can fly, and
you can’t? Or you could just run away. Either way, once Death is gone
(don’t worry if you’re under-performing against Death-I’ve only taken
off a third of a lifebar at this point) continue west across the bridge
(ignoring some stairs leading north) to score two rounded chests. Note
that on subsequent playthroughs you’ll find a Banshee on this bridge,
in addition to the typical Undead, so we might as well cover them.
Also note that the scavenger for this level-an Elder Ogre-appears in
the cubby west of this bridge.

***MONSTER INFO: BANSHEE***
Banshees are… puzzling foes. Puzzling because it’s hard to see why
they are even in the game at all. They’re just palette-swaps of the
standard female Undead, wearing soiled white clothes instead of mottled
brown. As for their attacks, they’ll try to grapple once in a while, or
they can flail about awkwardly, but most of all they seem to just
fall down alot. Then, of course, they have their scream, which knocks
nearby characters prone, but otherwise does minimal damage.
<———————————————————————->
3) Now head up the previously-neglected stairs, perhaps scoring some
ore veins as you go. The stairs will terminate at a ladder, which you
should climb to reach a small room with a square chest inside. From
this room head through a doorway to the north and follow a hallway that
curves to the west. In this hallway you’ll need to dispatch a pair of
Skeleton Brutes and loot a square chest. At the end of the hallway lies
another small square room-the rest of the level awaits you through a
doorway to the north, but to the south is a door that leads to another
level. We’ll take a break from the Fortress of Remembrance to clear out
this side-area.

The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet
o======================================================================o
4) Start out by heading down some stairs to the east (as if you have
any other options) until you reach a hallway running north. Look around
and note that you’re back in a Garden of Ignominy clone again, but with
fire! Lurking amongst the flames here is one of two new foes-either a
Pyre Saurian, or a Giant Geo Saurian. Kill it and continue north, where
two more of its buddies lurk, as well as a pair of rounded chests.

***MONSTER INFO: GIANT GEO SAURIAN***
Geo Saurians are already pretty strong, but make them enormous and…
well, they’ve got quite a bit of health, even if they’re not
offensively dynamic.

***MONSTER INFO: PYRE SAURIAN***
Unlike their less elementally-inclined kin, Pyre Saurians bear no
spears into battle. They do like to leap and bite, however, and these
attacks are made all the more fierce due to their fiery disposition.
As for new attacks, they have few-the most prominent offense they’ll
display is their fire breath. They prefer to keep a bit of distance
between themselves and their foes so they can use said breath, and
anyone attacking a Pyre Saurian in melee will suffer due to the
exposure-melee attackers, be prepared to be immolated. All in all,
though, they’re just not that strong. If you pop off their tail, their
fires will go out, making them much more vulnerable.
<———————————————————————->
5) Continue heading north until you reach the statue room-again, two
robed dweebs and a lion. Couldn’t change it up a little, Capcom?
Whatever, at the entrance to this room (where the hall and room meet)
is another rounded chest to the east. West of the statues lurks another
rounded chest, while a third sits in its customary spot to the east,
by some cut stones, near the stairs leading down to the hall-stairs
that experience tells us will lead to this area’s version of the
fountain room. We also have some balcony jumping to do, but we’d be
better served by going down into the fountain room first.
<———————————————————————->
6) Head east from the statue room, down some stairs, then north up a
Spider-infested hallway. Go down some stairs and turn west to reach the
fountain room, which may have another new foe waiting for us-Corrupted
Pawns. These ones are comparatively tame-you’ll find a Magick Archer, a
few Strider Types, Mages, and Fighters. Granted, they can still do some
pretty nasty damage, but compared to the Rangers and Sorcerers we’ll
meet later… well, suffice to say it gets worse. The encounter in this
room is fairly variable, you might encounter a pair of Cyclopes and an
Ogre instead of Corrupted Pawns, or a trio of Cyclopes AND Corrupted
Pawns. Kill them-whatever they are-and loot this room-there’s a rounded
chest in the south-eastern corner of the chamber, a square chest in the
southern-end of the central depression, and a final square chest in the
north-western corner of this room, lying against a curved wall. Note
that the scavanger beast for this area is a Cursed Dragon, and it will,
as usual show up in the fountain room.

***MONSTER INFO: CORRUPTED PAWN***
Having lost their Arisen, these Pawns have been corrupted by the forces
polluting Bitterblack Isle, and are among the most dangerous foes you
will face. Bearing what appears to be Everfall-quality weaponry,
high-leveled, and possessing many of the same deadly skills we have
access to, Corrupted Pawns are capable of dealing damage far exceeding
their stature. Mages can heal their allies, Strider-types will use
multi-arrow attacks, and Fighters and Warriors are capable of outright
brutal melee damage. Next to multi-shot using Striders, however,
Sorcerers are the worst. In the Lower Stratum you’ll encounter Corrupted
Pawn Sorcerers capable of casting Seism and Maelstrom, the latter of
which is capable of destroying an entire party wearing top-tier
Bitterblack Isle gear. Fortunately, Corrupted Pawns are relatively
fragile, so be sure to kill them fast.
<———————————————————————->
7) Now for the rooms that branch off from the fountainless ‘fountain’
room. In the south-western corner you’ll find a small dead-end hallway
running west, terminating at a lootable pair of corpses guarded by some
butthole Spiders. Also in the south-western corner of this chamber is
a tunnel running south. Follow it a short ways, go down some stairs and
turn east to find a Void Key lying near a corpse. There’s also an ore
vein nearby, for what that’s worth. Leave this watery tunnel and
explore to the north, where you’ll find a small chamber of scant
interest save an ornate chest to the east, near some burning stakes.
<———————————————————————->
8) Continue north through this room and head down some stairs. When they
end, turn west and go down some more stairs (stopping only to loot a
rounded chest). At the bottom of these stairs you’ll find another
“Recollection of another Arisen” tablet. From this tablet turn north to
see a doorway behind some burning stakes. Head inside, climb some cuts
stones, and when you reach a landing continue climbing to the north to
find a Macabre Sculpture sitting on a titled slab of collapsed
stonework. Drop back down to the south to reach the platform, but before
you drop down through the hole you climbed up, continue south past it
to find a rounded chest.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #15***
<———————————————————————->
9) Finally, to finish up this level, it’s time to pay attention to the
balconies we skipped. Return to the statue room and head up onto the
balcony by going through the doorway in the north-eastern corner of the
statue room. You know the drill-grab the rounded chest at the end of
this balcony, then run, jump, Levitate/Double Vault onto the northern
balcony, search it for another rounded chest, then jump onto a balcony
to the south-west and head down a small dead-end tunnel to the
north-west to score a second Macabre Sculpture. Jump from this
semi-cicular balcony to a larger, rectangular balcony to the south-west
and search it for this level’s final prize-an ornate chest.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #16***
<———————————————————————->
10) Return to the Fortress of Remembrance and head through the doorway
to the north. ‘Lo and behold-another bridge. The air here is polluted
by a handful of Succubi, so be wary as you cross the bridge to the
north. Once you reach the tower north of the bridge search the stone
enclosure to find two ornate chests and another ‘Recollection of
another Arisen’ tablet. There’s a rather annoying Macabre Sculpture
that can be obtained here, but in order to get it you’ll have to
commandeer a Succubus and get her to fly you up to the first ledge of
the tower. By commandeer, I mean jump at stupidly and try to grab one
until you get ahold of it. Once done, you can ‘steer’ it up and to the
ledge of the tower. Once above the ledge, just hit ‘jump’ to let go
and drop unceremoniously onto the tower’s ledge. Once here, there are
four empty windows. The Macabre Sculpture lies near the window on the
western side of the tower. I also found some Bitterblack Gear Lv.2 just
sitting out in the open here, for what that’s worth. I was able to score
this statue on my second try (you should save before attempting this
feat), but there are a number of things that can go wrong-your Pawns
killing the Succubi, or you or your Pawns being knocked off the bridge
come to mind. If you have to skip any statues, this is probably the
one to miss. Once you’re done collecting head down the stairs to the
west.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #17***

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
11) Continue down two flights of stairs to reach a level uninteresting
save for a broken Riftstone you can repair (15,000 RC). Do what you
will, then continue past it to the south, down some more stairs. On
the next level you can score a square chest to the north-east, more
stairs down lie south of this chest, down which lurks a fearsome new
foe… but one we need not encounter just yet. Instead go through the
doorway to the north in the north-western corner of this tower. Just
outside the doorway, to the east, you’ll find a rounded chest, while
a square chest can be found to the east. Beyond this chest spans a
bridge, which will leads us to a new area worth exploring. Kill a
quartet of Wargs standing in the way and head through the door at the
end of the bridge.

The Black Abbey
o======================================================================o
12) This is simply another arena area, identical in layout to the
Rotunda of Dread. The foes here are a bit different, however:

1: A Lich (who summons Wargs instead of Hellhounds) joined by Banshees.
2. A Lich joined by a flock of Gargoyles.
3: A trio of Chimerae and Sirines.
4: A pack of Greater Goblins and a Gorecyclops (joined by Goblin Shaman
on strategic high-ground).
5: A circle composed of Pyre Saurians and Geo Saurians.
6: A variety of huge undead including Skeleton Brutes, Giant Undead,
and Poisoned Undead.
7: A Cockatrice joined by Vile Eyes and Gargoyles.
8: A Wight and a Gorecyclops.
9: A Wyrm and a Wyvern.
10: A pack of Greater Goblins and Grim Goblins, joined by a few Sirines.

Just like in the Rotunda of Dread monsters here will respawn every
time you leave and return to the area. Unlike the Rotunda, however,
the Black Abbey features more Bitterblack Isle foes, so it’s more
worth visiting. Especially consider trying to score some materials
from Pyre Saurians, Sirines, and Banshees, as they’re not terribly
common throughout Bitterblack Isle. And then there’s the looting. Most
of the goodies here are in the same places as in the Rotunda-jump onto
the stonework ledge surrounding the balcony and stairs and follow it
counter-clockwise, leaping over gaps as you go to find a rounded chest
and an ornate chest. On the other hand, if you head in the opposite
direction you can find a Macabre Sculpture at about 6:00. Behind
(south-east) of the stairs sits a rounded chest, and beyond some
pillars to the east you’ll find two square chests. Two ornate chests
await you in an alcove to the north, and two rounded chests sit in one
to the west. A final rounded chest lurks just west of the root system
just south of the western alcove. There of course are ore veins along
the walls, warrior remains in the middle of the area, and various
materials to be gathered. Loot and leave.

***MONSTER INFO: GORECYCLOPS***
The Gorecyclops is much smaller than its prisoner cousins-in fact, it’s
a direct palette swap of a normal Cyclops. Still, it’s much stronger
than a normal Cyclops, and more aggressive. It has three main attacks-
flailing about with its fists (similar to a Cyclops that has been
angered) chucking boulders (more dangerous for knocking you back than
by directly damaging you) and grabbing man-sized treats. After being
grabbed you’ll need to break away to mitigate damage, but you’ll
still take two parting punches and a slam as a parting gift before
you’re free-quite painful. Otherwise, they’re like a normal Cyclops,
and are never armored, so… go for the eye, Boo!

***MONSTER INFO: POISONED UNDEAD***
Double-sized Stout Undead, Poisoned Undead are massive, bloated beasts.
They’ve got plenty of health, but they’re quite ponderous, capable only
of lazy arm flails and awkward charge attacks. As their name implies,
they can also spit poison-albeit at short range. These poison clouds
makes up for its limited range by lingering for a while-several of
these undead can litter the battlefield in poison. They can absorb
quite a bit of punishment, but will go down faster if struck with fire
or holy-a few High Comestions will put one down.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #18***
<———————————————————————->
13) Back in the Fortress of Remembrance, return east to the tower we
were previously descending and head down another level (using the stairs
in the south-eastern corner), noting a west-facing window on the
platform between the stairs going down to the west and north that link
the second and third levels underground. Here you’ll encounter another
new foe-the Eliminator. This beastie wanders around the lower levels of
this tower, and is liable to come up or down several levels, but since
it’s likely he’ll sneak up on you here, go out of your way to encounter
him. Once the Eliminator is dead, put on your exploration goggles again.

***MONSTER INFO: ELIMINATOR***
Eliminators are brutes that embody pure physical carnage. Scantily
clad in fare that would make any barbarian-be it Wulfgar or Conan-proud,
their height and bulk are only over-shadowed by their massive hammers.
They’re not terribly subtle foes-they’re fond of performing headlong
charges (terminated by sweeping with their hammers), or if their prey
is foolish enough to be within reach, they’ll smash and swing in
devastating combos. Their blows not only deal great physical damage,
they tend to stagger and knock down their foes. Facing a prone opponent,
they’re fond of performing a massive-if slow-execution strike. Every
sentence above should have convinced you of one thing-you’re better
of keeping your distance. Their heads are vulnerable, so shoot them
with spells and missiles from a distance. Most attacks work well, but
they seem particularly prone to freezing attacks-a Magick Archer’s
Sixfold Bolt can keep a lone Eliminator at bay. A Ranger armed with
a Dragon’s Glaze is also well-equipped to deal with an Eliminator.
Sorcerers can just rely on High Miasma, if they have a way to keep an
Eliminator in place for any length of time. If you shoot an Eliminator
in the head when it charges (it’ll lower its head like a good bull)
it’ll stagger. It’s worth noting that Eliminators can drop Lv.2 Weapons,
as well as a few new pieces of armor. The latter do not need to be
purified before using the way most Bitterblack loot does, and include
a Cursed King’s Belt, a Persecutor’s Mask and a Tormentor’s Mask. while
of dubious utility, they do sell rather well-the first and last are
worth nearly a million gold each, so… killing an Eliminator can be
very lucrative, monetarily.
<———————————————————————->
14) Behind some crates in the north-western corner to find a rounded
chest hiding. Loot it and head east, then south into another room.
Through a hole in the wall to west you’ll find a rounded chest to loot,
and opposite it a window, outside of which is a ledge that extends
north-south. At the end of the southern part of the ledge you’ll find
two ‘Coin Purses of Charity’, while at the northern end you’ll be able
to defile some Warrior Remains. Head back into the tower. If you head
south you’ll find stairs leading to the fourth level underground… but
our path down lies back upstairs.
<———————————————————————->
15) Head back up the stairs and find the window we noted on our way
down. If you jump into the window opening and look down to the west
you’ll see a ledge below you. Drop down and head around the ledge to
the east to find a rounded chest. Return to under the window you dropped
down from and look off the ledge to the west to see a another, further
ledge below this one. Drop down again and continue west to find yet
another ledge below this one. Drop down to this final ledge and explore
to the north. To the west you’ll find some rocks upon which a stone
bridge in anchored overhead. This bridge connects to the tower, which is
to the east… but that’s not what we’re interested in now. Search the
western rocks until you find a minable spot to the north. If you have
Double Vault you can leap to a ledge over the mining spot-it doesn’t
look like there’s anything up there, but give it a jump and your Arisen
should grab onto the ledge. At the top of the rocks on this ledge, near
the base of the bridge support, you’ll find a Macabre Scuplture. Drop
down to the ground and continue north. At the northern-most part of this
level you’ll see a rock formation, north of which, near the edge of the
area sits a square chest. Turn west to find an entrance to the tower and
go through a doorway to find an ornate chest and a rounded chest, then
turn east, break the wooden bar keeping a door locked, and go through
it.

***MACABRE SCUPLTURE #19***
<———————————————————————->
16) Move around the tower to the east, then south to find a doorway
leading back into the tower. Head inside just long enough to grab a
rounded chest, then return outside. If you search rock formations north
and south of the tower you can score some coin pouches, but the goal
lies across a bridge to the east. At the far side of the bridge loot a
rounded chest, then continue through the door there-using the Void Key
we found in ‘The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet’ in the process.

Tower of Treasons Repaid
o======================================================================o
17) Oh, how I hate this level. It’s a duplicate of the Midnight Helix,
save you start out at the top of the area (on the ledge where the Void
Key in the Upper Stratum rested). Below you lies the broken spiral
stone ramp leading to the bottom, and treacherous wooden bridges
conveniently making up for the deficiencies of the stonework. Of course,
behing high up means it’s a long way down, a fact that is anticipated
by the creatures occupying this area-Succubi to harrass you on the way
down, and Goblin Shaman to keep you moving. A Gorecyclops occupies the
bottom of the pit, and the scavenger beast here-as in the Midnight
Helix-is a Cursed Dragon. Defeat whatever foes present themselves
before you concern yourself with looting-ignoring enemies on such
sensitive ground could be more dangerous than the creatures, themselves.
<———————————————————————->
18) Now for the looting. As you should expect by now, much of the
looting in this area mirrors that in the Midnight Helix. North-east of
the ledge you start out on you can Double Vault/Levitate onto another
distant ledge to score an ornate chest, although there’s no reason to
leap into the cage to the south this time around, as no goodies wait
inside.
<———————————————————————->
19) Cross the wooden bridge from the entrance platform to the south-east
and follow the stone ramp beyond clockwise. At about 6:00 you’ll find
a small cell with only half the bars remaining. Beyond you’ll find a
square chest and, hidden in the hay pile nearby, a Macabre Sculpture.
Continue down the ramp, then head across another wooden bridge to reach
another section of the ramp. A square chest rests on either end of
this ramp-loot them both and head up the ramp (counter-clockwise) to
find a final bridge down, which leads to the lowest of the stonework.
Follow it down clockwise and ignore the ground floor for now, instead
continuing clockwise, over rubble and into a doorway.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #20***
<———————————————————————->
20) Loot a rounded chest behind some crates, then head out onto a bridge
to the north-west. As in the Midnight Helix, this bridge is half stone
and half wood. Cross it to reach a Spider-infested, bone-strewn cave
beyond. Here you’ll find two rounded chests and an ornate chest (the
latter of which can be quite profitable, in terms of its willingness
to drop Bitterblack gear) and another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’.

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
21) Head back to the bridge and drop down to the shore below. You know
this room-bones lying everywhere, bloody water running off a cliff to
the north, stay out of the water because it’s bad for you, blah, blah
blah. A host of Skeletons will rise from the bones to meet you here,
so avoid the ledge to the north until they’re gone. Afterwards, loot
a square chest at the end of the northern shore, then drop down a to
a lower ledge to find a small cubby, within which lies a molestable
skeleton and a Moonbeam Gem. Once done jump back up to the boney,
bloody ledge and make your way to the southern shore, where a rounded
chest sits. Follow the wall to the south-west until you find another
ledge to climb to the south, near which, half-submerged in the bloody
water, you’ll find another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’.

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
22) Climb up the ledge and loot a rounded chest, then head through a
broken grate to the north-east to reach the floor of the main chamber.
Here you’ll find a rounded chest at 12:00, and another at 2:00, behind
some stakes. Warrior remains lie nearer the center, and finally, when
all is looted, the door to the next level is at 3:00.

Forsaken Cathedral
o======================================================================o
23) From the entrance head west, go down some stairs, and deal with a
Poisoned Undead in a curving tunnel that wraps around to the north.
Continue north out of this tunnel into a small room occupied by more
undead-both normal and poisoned-and two rounded chests to the east.
South of the chests, on the floor near a stock, sits a Macabre
Sculpture, cleverly hiding in plain sight. This level’s scavanger-an
Elder Ogre-may appear in this room, or it may also appear in the
western tunnels on the next level. When you’re ready to move on, go
through the doorway to the north-west and down some narrow, spiral
stairs.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #21***
<———————————————————————->
24) Once you reach the bottom go north through a narrow tunnel, then go
through a small room continuing north until you are in a larger,
T-shaped chamber. At the western end you’ll score two rounded chests,
while to the north lurk two new foes-Golden and Silver Knights.

***MONSTER INFO: GOLDEN KNIGHT/SILVER KNIGHT***
Golden and Silver Knights are listed together in this monster info
text because they tend to be found together. They work as a pair-the
Silver Knight is more defensive, casting shield-enchantments and
debilitation spells, while the Golden Knight heads the offense, being
more physically aggressive. They’re also bound in another way-if one
dies, it’ll go dormant for a while. Unless the other one is killed
shortly thereafter, the downed knight will rise, good as new. They
otherwise resemble Skeleton Lords in their attacks. On the plus side,
the Golden Knight tends to drop a good bit of raw cash when slain, and
the Silver Knight forfeits Rift Currency. In a few locations you’ll
find groups larger than the typical silver/gold pair. In this case, all
of the knights must be downed at the same time before any of them will
be destroyed.
<———————————————————————->
25) After your foes are vanquished, continue north and leap onto a
northern ledge to find another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’, then
hop down and continue east. When you run out of east turn north and
scale another ledge to find a rounded chest. Hop down again, this
time continuing south. Once you are again directionally impeded, turn
west to score a square chest, then turn east again and follow a curving
tunnel down. When this tunnel ends, go through a doorway to the east
to reach a large stairwell.

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
26) Grab two rounded chests to the east, then head down a flight of
stairs to the south. Your opposition? A few Giant Undead and a Banshee.
Continue east, loot an ornate chest, then backtrack west and head down
another flight of stairs to the north. Another pair of Giant Undead and
a Banshee await you. Kill them and continue east, search a square chest,
and go down a final flight of stairs to the south. At the bottom of the
stairs you’ll find a chamber full of goodies-in the south-eastern corner
sits a rounded chest. To the west of this chest, in the south-center of
the room is another broken Riftstone (15,000 RC) while another square
chest awaits your probing in the south-western corner.
<———————————————————————->
27) Complete your looting, then head under a raised portcullis to the
east and go down the stairs beyond. The stairs loop north and lead to
a candle-and-corpse-lined tunnel extending to the north. At the end of
the tunnel awaits another staircase going down and bending to the
east. At the bottom of these stairs awaits the boss of the central
stratum-the Dark Bishop.

***ENEMY STRATEGY: DARK BISHOP***
The Dark Bishop is just a palette-swap of the Lich, albeit looking
more ‘holy’ and priestly. Still, expect it to fight much like a
Lich-it’ll float around and blast you with spells… and oh, what
spells it’ll cast. The dark Bishop is, perhaps, the most powerful
spell-caster in the game.

A Cursed Companion
——————
The Dark Bishop might have been a simpler foe to defeat if not for his
pet Cursed Dragon. This thing’s only purpose could have been to sit
around and harass you as a normal Cursed Dragon might, but it does
bear a few differences. First, it’s much less resilient than a normal
Cursed Dragon; it has less health, and you need to worry less about
hitting in its ‘heart’. Unfortunately, as long as the Dark Bishop is
around, the Cursed Dragon is immortal. It can be put out of action,
but eventually the Dark Bishop will revive it, removing itself from
the battlefield until the Cursed Dragon is defeated again. The second
time the Cursed Dragon is bested, the Dark Bishop will be rendered
prone and vulnerable for a while, making it well worth your while to
attack its pet… and also because letting this creature bite at you
while the most powerful spell-caster in the game works magick is just
a bad idea.

Master of the Dark Arts
———————–
I’ve called the Dark Bishop the mightiest spell-caster in the game, and
now I’ll elaborate. One creature later on in Bitterblack Isle might
challenge this declaration, but given the potency and variety of the
Dark Bishop’s spells… I give the Dark Bishop the title. first off, it
can afflict you with a number of debilitations-Possession and
Petrification being the worse of them. It can also cast a death spell,
like the Lich. As far as direct damage dealing spells go, it’ll cast
Miasma, a holy aura, a ‘magic missile’ type spell that’ll send several
red homing spikes that can outright kill characters with low Magick
Defense and, worst of all, Maelstrom, which can wipe out your entire
party in a shot.

Besting the Bishop
——————
Aside from exploiting his Cursed Dragon to render the Dark Bishop
vulnerable, he’s got very few obvious weaknesses. First thing, ranged
attacks, as usual, are nearly necessary against this foe, as it’ll
rarely condescend to float down into the reach of melee weapons.
Surprisingly it’s not quite as resistant to Magick damage as some other
foes have been, nor is it very fast. A High Miasma can deal respectable
damage to it, but you might want to resort to faster, safer spells.
<———————————————————————->
28) Once it’s dead, set yourself to looting the cathedral in which you
fought. Several Warrior Remains lurk in the center of the cathedral, and
a rounded chest lurks along the center of the northern wall. For more
loot, however, you’ll need to climb. Beside the door by which you
entered, along the western wall, are ledges you can climb. Climb onto
one and turn towards the door to see a small, jutting ledge you can
reach. From there, turn west again and jump onto a ledge above the
door to find a ‘Recollection of another Arisen’. From this ledge, head
south and jump onto a broken pillar, then turn west again to reach
a higher ledge. Turn south, go up some stairs, through a doorway, and
follow the tunnel beyond west, then north, up some stairs, west again,
up some more stairs to the south, and finally into a small room occupied
by two ornate chests. Once you’re done return to the cathedral and cross
to the east, where a door leads deeper into the dungeon.

**RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***

Corridor of the Hallowed
o======================================================================o
29) This level is nearly identical to the Corridor of Emptiness, above.
This time, however, Barroch might be standing near a campsite just west
of the gate that leads to the surface, which is in the customary place,
east of where the stairs end. Beyond said gate you’ll find another
broken Riftstone to repair (10,000 RC), and if you follow the stairs
up to the surface you can unlock the second shortcut. Dont bother
climbing the rocks west of this gate, however-there’s nothing up there
this time. On the other hand, search near the docks, as you can find
a ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ at the end of the pier. Finally
head north-west down the stairs leading to the Lower Stratum. Along
the stairs turn south to spot a ledge you can climb on. Do so, and
near a water-spewing statue you’ll find a Macabre Sculpture. Before
actually heading deeper into the depths of Bitterblack Isle, however,
head back to the surface, as there are a few things we can do.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #22***

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
30) When you return to the surface again, Olra will continue her story,
only pointing out that she used to fight along some great she-warrior.
Yay. Search the ‘Monument of Remembrance’, where you should have
entries #1-8, #11, and #12. It’s worth some experience to check these
things out, and the Center Stratum sure had alot of them. We also
found another Moonbeam Gem, which means we can claim another treasure
from Duskmoon Tower. I highly suggest you grab the Ring of Desiccation
if you haven’t already, as a latern will be a mandatory tool throughout
much of the Lower Stratum. Finally, I think it’s only fair to point
out that the Lower Stratum is a massive leap in difficult from the
Central Stratum. If there was any change in difficulty from the Upper
Stratum to the Center Stratum, it was mild-but you’ll notice it here.

o======================================================================o
| |
| Lower Stratum |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK047}
1) Wraiths in the Watery Depths
2) The Northern Route
3) Giant Saurian Sages
4) Macabre Sculpture #23
5) Better Part of Valor…
6) Butt-Stain Snakes
7) Bridges, Gold, and Chests
8) Lich Before the Lion Sculpture
9) Macabre Sculpture #24
10) Balcony Jumping… Again
11) Returning the Fountain Room
12) Looting the Courtyard
13) The Arisen’s Refuge
14) Macabre Sculpture #25
15) Level Babies
16) Wandering Pawns and Stationary Eliminator
17) Beacons and Locked Doors
18) Corrupted Pawn Combat
19) The Pit
20) Macabre Sculpture #26
21) Death in the Darkness
22) The Waterfall Room
23) Elder Ogre Tag
24) Searching the Sewers
25) Forks, Grates, and Waterfalls
26) Dragonoids in the Sparyard
27) Macabre Sculpture #27
28) The Temporarily Abandoned City
29) Macabre Sculpture #28
30) Rooftops Near the Market
31) Macabre Sculpture #29
32) More Ghost Teasing
33) Ornate Chests Aplenty
34) Climbing the Rubble-Filled Arch
35) Corpse Rift Currency
36) The Daimon, and Macabre Sculpture #30
37) Bitterblack Treasure
38) Ghost Drama

Rootwood Depository
o======================================================================o
1) From the entrance head north down some stairs, then turn west and
go down another, shorter flight of stairs to reach a watery series of
connected rooms occupied by a new foe-the Wraith. Once they’re smote,
(or, if you’re a more physical damage type of character, after you
decide to ignore them) note a beacon on a pedestal east of the tunnel
from when you came. It promises to weaken enemies in the area for a mere
300 Rift Currency. There are several of these strewn throughout the
level, but I just ignore them. I can fight well enough without
hemorrhaging Rift Currency. Head north from the tunnel from whence we
came to find a room to the east. Jump on a ledge to the east, break some
boxes, and head into a small chamber beyond, where you can find an
ornate chest, which often contains a Maneater.

***MONSTER INFO: WRAITH***
Like Phantasms-but red! Wraiths are really nothing spectacular-they
are immune to physical damage, they perform an incorporeal charge
attack (which actually does a bit of damage this time!) and will
possess nearby characters, dealing damage over time. The only difference
is that they do more damage and have more health.
<———————————————————————->
2) Backtrack to the larger, bone-strewn rooms to the west and note that
there are two ways to proceed-north and south. The northern route is,
in my opinion, the more difficult and less interesting way to move
through the level, although undeniably quicker. If you go north you’ll
have to pass west down a watery tunnel swarming with Leapworms. At the
western end of the hallway you’ll find some rubble you can leap upon,
an a small, elevated tunnel to the north, wherein lurks an ornate
chest. Beyond this chest you can drop down a ledge to the west, and
from there enter a square chamber to the south, from whence we can
reach the next level… but again, I prefer to go the southern route.
<———————————————————————->
3) On the other hand, head south from the Wraith-occuped room and go
down a drier tunnel. When you run out of south, turn west to find yet
another new adversary-the Giant Saurian Sage. Smack it around, then
search the room-it’s another elevated wooden platform chamber. On the
first level of the northern-most platform you’ll find a rounded chest
behind some crates. In the south-eastern corner of the room sits a
square chest, and another sits at the north-western edge of the
southern-most platform. Some snakes also lurks around, ready to pester
you.

***MONSTER INFO: GIANT SAURIAN SAGE***
Giant Saurian Sages are amongst the Giant Saurians what their lesser kin
are amongst the smaller Saurians-the strongest of the Saurians. They’re
incredibly aggressive physically, and seem far less inclined to bother
with magick than their smaller kin. They’ve got a good deal of health
and a robust Magick Defense, but are worth killing for their Moonshimmer
Pelts, which are required in quite a few upgrades. As with any other
Saurian, chopping off the tail weakens them significantly. They also
seem fairly vexed by opponents who dare to grapple them.
<———————————————————————->
4) When you’re done looting, go through the door to the north, in the
north-western corner of the room. Here you’ll find a watery barracks
occupied by several Wraiths (who’ll stream in from the north) and a
pair of Giant Saurian Sages. A Macabre Sculpture sits on a shelf in
the center of the chamber, along the eastern wall. Continue north into
another room dominated by a wooden porch along its southern end. There
is little of interest here, so head north off the porch and into a
watery tunnel running west along the north-western corner of this room.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #23***
<———————————————————————->
5) This tunnel will end in a chamber occupied by an Eliminator and
Skeleton Sorcerers. There’s awful little room to manuever here, making
this fight something of a nightmare-even worse still if you don’t have
a Ring of Desiccation. If it’s not bad enough yet, this area’s
scavanger-an Elder Ogre-can also appear in this room. If that
happens… well, you’d be best served by retreating to the east and
fighting on more favorable ground. The Elder Ogre may also appear in
the multi-level wooden platform room, or in the Wraith-occupied watery
room on the far-eastern end of the level. Suffice to say, this room
could well test your understanding of the ‘better part of valor’. You
can always just attempt to run past these foes to the west and make
your way deeper into Bitterblack Isle.
<———————————————————————->
6) If you stay and fight (and win), you can find an ore vein and a
rounded chest in both the southern and eastern side-chambers here. The
eastern chamber also connects (via a narrow tunnel to the north) to
the northern route we could have taken at the beginning of this level.
Explore up some stairs to the north, then turn east and massacre some
butt-stain snakes. Continue east to find an ornate chest waiting to
be violated.
<———————————————————————->
7) Midway along this hallway you’ll find an elevated passage to the
north, obscured by vines. Climb up in and continue north to reach a
wooden bridge. Once one the bridge, drop down to the west onto the
watery ground below and score a rounded chest. To the north, under the
bridge, you’ll find a cache of coin pouches worth 23,500 G. Climb back
onto the bridge and follow it north, into a tunnel, then east, then
north again to find an ornate chest. Now all that’s left to do is
backtrack to the large watery room where we encounter the Eliminator
and head west, where we’ll find doors leading down to the next level.

The Forgotten Hall
o======================================================================o
8) In the distance to the north you’ll see a Lich floating around. This
Lich will, when it spots you, summon some Undead Warriors to help it,
but it’s the least of your worries. Further north, as you approach the
statue room, you’ll encounter Death for a third time. Engage or evade
Death, then get to looting. There’s a rounded chest on some cut stone
midway along the eastern wall. In the statue room you’ll find a rounded
chest to the west, and one to the east, between some cut stone and
stairs leading down to the east, while a square chest lies behind
(north of) the lion statue.
<———————————————————————->
9) You should know the rough layout of this level from past experience,
it’s just like the Garden of Ignominy (among others). From the statue
room if you go down some stairs to the east, then follow the tunnel
beyond to the north, down another flight of stairs to the north
(a rounded chest awaits you just south of these stairs, and on a stone
ledge north-east of this chest you’ll find a Macabre Sculpture), then
turn east you’ll reach the fountain room. Or, from the statue room head
through a doorway to the north-east to reach the eastern balcony
over-looking the fountain room. In the fountain room lurks a rather
frustrating collection of foes, including a few Sirines, a pair of
prisoner Gorecyclopes, and a trio of Corrupted Pawn Sorcerers. These are
the dangerous rat-bastard Sorcerers I warned you about the first time we
encountered these baddies. They delight in little more than casting
Malision, Seism, and Maelstrom, the latter of which can annhiliate your
entire party. You are, however, safe up on the balconies from such
attacks (provided you stay off the ledge). If you’ve got ranged attacks,
don’t feel bad about picking the Corrupted Pawns off from here-it’s
much easier than going down into the fountain room. If you must,
however, play hit-and-run with them, using the hallway you came out of
to provide cover if they get a spell off. Try your best not to rouse
the Gorecyclopes until the Corrupted Pawn Sorcerers are defeated. These
massive beasts, like the one in the Midnight Helix are most easily
disposed of by removing their helmets and retreating out of reach, to
destroy them at a safe distance-either the room north of the fountain
room (which contains a pair of powerful Corrupted Pawn Warriors) or
from the eastern hallway. For ranged attacks, the northern room provides
a much better vantage point. The Sirines are tertiary concerns, at
best. Deal with the foes here however you can, then we’ll concern
ourselves with looting this level unhindered. Hopefully, anyways. The
scavenger for this level is… well, a trio of Garm. Yeah. They sure
ramped the difficulty up here, didn’t they? They’ll appear in a
number of areas around the level, mostly in the fountain room and
statue room.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #24***
<———————————————————————->
10) Return to the statue room and head through the doorway to the
north-east to reach the eastern balcony overlooking the fountain room.
At the far northern end of this balcony you can score a Wakestone lying
amidst some rubble. Jump to the northern balcony and loot an ornate
chest in the middle and ignore a doorway at the western end of the
balcony for now, instead jumping to the semi-circular balcony to the
south-west, wherein you’ll find an ornate chest. Make another jump to
the south-west to reach the western rectangular balcony, where a square
chest lurks at the northern and southern ends. There are also some
Warrior Remains worth sifting through.
<———————————————————————->
11) Jump back to the northern balcony and head down some stairs to the
west, drop off a ledge and turn south, then west, then south again.
When you reach a wooden bridge, drop off it to the west (doesn’t this
seem familiar?) and read a ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ tablet
against the western wall. A square chest lies below the bridge. Loot
and climb back onto the bridge, then continue south until you reach a
ledge leading down. In the tunnel below, loot a rounded chest to the
west, then turn east to reach the fountain room.

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***
<———————————————————————->
12) Now that this room has (hopefully) been cleared, loot it. There is
a rounded chest just west of the central depression, near some stakes.
Against the southern wall sits another rounded chest, and a third can
be found under the eastern balcony, near the northern end. Once done,
head into the room to the north, then continue north down some stairs.
Turn west and go down a flight of stairs and at the landing before
another flight of stairs turn north and go through a hole in the wall.
Scale the fallen stone until you reach the top, where a number of
coin pouches can be obtained. Backtrack down a bit, but before you
return down the hole from whence you came, continue south to find two
rounded chests. Return back to the stairwell and continue downstairs,
first west, then north, then east, to finally reach a door leading to
the next level.

The Arisen’s Refuge
o======================================================================o
13) Now, you’re technically in ‘The Bloodless Stockade’ level, but our
stay will presently be very short. Head west to find a doorway leading
west, and a door to the north. Pursue the latter to reach the area that
is of current interest to us-the Arisen’s Refuge. This area is similar
to the Warrior’s Respite. Head east past a hole in the wall to the
north which we know leads to one of Barroch’s hideouts. Past it sits
a ruined Riftstone (25,000 RC). Opposite this, lying amidst some
rubble, lies two coin pouches (13,500 G).
<———————————————————————->
14) Now go through a hole in the wall to the north to reach Barroch’s
hideout. Here, of course, is Barroch, who does the typical Barrochy
things, should you need his services. Below a smithy in the room
Barroch occupies you’ll find a third Moonbeam Gem. Continue up some
stairs to the east to find another rest spot and a Notice Board, with
brand-spanking new quests. Turn west of the Notice Board and jump onto
an elevated wooden ledge. On this level you’ll find a Jewel of Health
and a Jewel of Antilight in a drawer, as well as some books on a
bookshelf and on a table. Return east and drop back down to the room
with the Notice Board and head down some stairs to the east. In the
small room at the bottom of the stairs, break some crates in the
south-western corner to get behind a bookshelf, where you’ll find a
Macabre Sculpture sitting on the floor, then loot a square chest in
the north-eastern corner. When you’re done here, return to ‘The
Bloodless Stockade’… you might want to grab a pair of Skeleton Keys
before you go, though. You know, just a random tip for no reason.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #25***

The Bloodless Stockade
o======================================================================o
15) Once back in the Bloodless Stockade… a few notes. First, this
level is.. well, if the ‘Ward of Regret’ had a baby with the ‘Gutter of
Misery’, this is what you’d get. It starts out as the former, and ends
as the latter. So, catacomb-like hallways that descend into sewers. Yay.
Second, if the last few levels have been insanely rough for you, just be
aware that you’re past the worst of what Bitterblack Isle has to offer,
at least for now. You’re almost to the end! Head through a doorway to
the west, then jump through a broken cage to the north… or walk along
the crumbling floor outside of the caged-off rooms to the north, which
terminates at a rounded chest.
<———————————————————————->
16) Once in the room beyond the broken cage, dispatch some wandering
Corrupted Pawns. They’re as rough as usual, but fortunately there are
no asswipes casting Maelstrom like there were back in ‘The Forgotten
Hall’. The Corrupted Pawns aren’t native to this room, so it’s likely
they won’t be here in force, nor will they be likely to stand and fight,
but you might encounter them here regardless… so, they need to be
mentioned. Score a rounded chest and continue north through a doorway.
In this hallway you’ll find an Eliminator, which WILL stand and fight,
and considering the close quarters, it can be a bit of a fight. If
you’re getting pressured too much, you can always just back through the
broken cage to escape-the Eliminator shouldn’t be able to follow you
back here.
<———————————————————————->
17) Once the hallway is pacified, notice the beacon you can light
(300 RC) and the two locked doors to the west, which can be opened with
Skeleon Keys. If only you had been told ahead of time about needing
these keys… Anyways, in the southern room you’ll find a rounded
chest. Looting it will provoke a pair of Poisoned Undead to rise from
the floor and attack. In the northern room you’ll find anothe rounded
chest-this one is unguarded, however. Once done looting continue north,
through a doorway and into a small hall running north-west/south-east.
At the northern end of the hallway you’ll find another Rift Currency
sucking beacon of uselessness. Ignore the doorway to the east and head
west, instead. Go through a short tunnel to reach the northen part of
the room with the crumbling floor. Here you’ll find some Spiders and a
rounded chest.
<———————————————————————->
18) Backtrack to the north, then pass through the neglected doorway to
the east. This room is identical to the water-filled chamber in the
‘Ward of Regret’ that contained a Maneater-filled chest…. sans the
water. This is where the Corrupted Pawns originate, and they will put
up heavy resistance here. There are plenty of Mages, two Strider-types,
and some Warriors, making them pretty balanced. I prefer to stay on
the wooden platforms/stone walkway that surrounds the room and pick
them off, but different Vocations, different tactics.
<———————————————————————->
19) Once the Corrupted Pawns are dead-let the looting begin. There’s a
small room located to the west off the stone walkway which contains a
rounded chest (hidden in a smaller room to the north, behind some
crates). There’s also a Skeleton Key sitting on the table. Score. Drop
down to the lower level and note a doorway to the north. Ignore it for
now and turn south. Along the western wall you’ll find a ladder leading
back up to the stone walkway, along the western wall sits another
beacon, and in a small alcove to the south you’ll find a square chest.
Opposite the wooden platform (to the east) the room continues. Head
east until the chamber terminates, where you’ll find two square chests
and one ornate chest. To the south of these chests you’ll find a
water-filled canal, but note that there’s a series of gated windows
beyond the canal along the southern wall. The eastern-most window’s
gate is broken, however, and a good running jump will take you into it.
Beyond you’ll find a tunnel you can drop down to reach the sewers
below-it’s a safe enough drop, and you’ll land on a pile of bones, but
I suggest you ignore this route for two reasons: 1) You can’t get back
up via the tunnel you drop down (damned gravity!) and 2) Death appears
once you’re down in the sewers. Together, that’s just a bad deal. So…
backtrack to the west, then turn north and go through the doorway we
ignored earlier.
<———————————————————————->
20) Once through the doorway turn west and go down a ladder. Once you
reach the floor beyond a shade will appear. Follow it and it’ll vanish
on the first landing. Your Arisen’s scar will glow and you’ll hear it
talk about some ‘Grette’, apparently some dead Arisen with ‘hair of
gold’. Hmm… Once it’s done talking, jump up on the narrow ledges that
wrap around this stairwell. Follow the ledge around to the western side
of the chamber to find a Macabre Sculpture just sitting there, waiting
to be collected.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #26***
<———————————————————————->
21) Head down to the bottom of the stairwell to reach the watery ground
floor. Here you’ll find Leapworms and, along the northern end of the
room, a beacon and a rounded chest. Also be sure to search the grate in
the south-western corner of the room, as you can score some easy Rift
Currency there. Turn east and go through a doorway, then follow a
hallway to the south-east and go through another doorway to reach the
sewer proper. Before doing anything else, we might as well get a monkey
off our backs-Death almost certainly is lurking around down here, so we
might as well get rid of him. Either provoke him and run back to ‘The
Arisen’s Refuge’, or fight it out with him until he leaves. If you need
to go back to ‘The Arisen’s Refuge’ because, say, all your Pawns get
one-shotted by Death… well, then you’re in good company. Take the
‘opportunity’ to grab some items from your stash… typical big fight
items like Potent Greenwarish, Large Mushrooms, a few Wakestones, and
maybe-if you’re a Vocation prone to running out of Stamina-a few doses
of Liquid Vim.
<———————————————————————->
22) Now, once you’ve regrouped and are ready to go again, let’s pretend
we’re where we left off before our latest encounter with Death. From
where you entered the sewers, head east across the canal and head into
a room across from the tunnel leading to the stairwell. Here you’ll
find a small watery room infested with Leapworms, which guard a rounded
chest. Once done slaying and looting, head north until you find a
waterfall cascading in front of a broken grate, beyond which is an
elevated chamber. Loot some warrior remains west of the waterfall,
then jump through the water. Isn’t having a Ring of Desiccation nice?
Continue north until you… run out of north, then turn west and head
into a smaller chamber, which contains an ornate chest (which in turn
often contains a Maneater).
<———————————————————————->
23) Return back south through the waterfall (again, isn’t having a
Ring of Desiccation nice?) and continue south past where you entered
the sewers, to where the canal turns east. Inspect the western elbow
of the tunnel to find a square stone you can climb on, which allows you
to reach an alcove-the remnants of a collapsed tunnel. Grab a rounded
chest and return to the sewer, continuing east until the path splits
north/south. Indulge the northern path only long enough to loot some
corpses in the north-western corner, then turn south. Where the path
bends to the east search some bone piles (again, located snug against
the wall at the ‘elbow’ of the tunnel) to score your fourth Moonbeam
Gem. After obtaining this little gem, continue following the tunnel as
it turns north, then east again to find some stairs leading to an
elevated section of the sewer. There’s a good chance you’ll find an
Elder Ogre around these parts-this creature frequently appears as a
scavanger monster around these parts of the sewers. There are plenty
of ledges around to play ‘tag’ with the Elder Ogre, so dispose of it
however you must.
<———————————————————————->
24) Ascend to the elevated part of the sewer to find yourself at
another fork-ignore the path to the south and head north instead. Near
where the tunnel bends from north to west you’ll find some warrior
remains-again, at the elbow. Continue west a short ways to find an
ornate chest near a beacon-again, there could be a Maneater in here,
so be wary. If you keep heading west you’ll find some warrior remains
near some stairs leading to an elevated part of the sewer. Since this
path just leads back to where we were, continue back to the east to
reach the last fork, where we ignored the path south.
<———————————————————————->
25) Head south and… behold! Another fork! Keep heading south past a
beacon and through a broken grate. Drop down onto the ledge beyond the
grate and turn west and jump onto some roots. From the edge of the
roots, jump down into a sewer pipe to find a square chest. Return back
onto the roots and climb through the grate. Backtrack past the beacon
to the north a bit, then turn east into the unexplored. You’ll shortly
reach a relatively large chamber crawling with Leapworms. To the south
the area ends abruptly, with a waterfall cascading into oblivion. Near
the edge you’ll find a square chest along the walkway to the east and
some warrior remains in the water. Head north to find some stairs
leading to the next area-search near the grate before you go to find
some goodies.

Sparyard of Scant Mercy
o======================================================================o
26) Wow… that’s an… interesting area name. Whatever. Head down some
stairs to find another broken Riftstone (25,000 RC), and beyond that,
our story-ghost. Our heartscar will glow again and we’ll get to hear
more chatter. After the babbling ceases, continue north to find another
arena. Like all arenas, the encounter here is random-and you’ll need
to clear one to open the way to the next area:

1) Dire Drake
2) Dire Wyrm
3) Dire Wyvern
4) Living Armor

All in all, you might want to consider just leaving if you end up
staring down a Dire Drake. The other three encounters can be defeated
without too much fuss, but the Dire Drake is… just a real pain in
the ass. At least there’s only one though, right? If that’s not
enough draconic combat for you, the scavanger in this area is a Cursed
Dragon. I suggest fighting it the same way I detail fighting a Dire
Drake (read the Monster Info below).

***MONSTER INFO: DIRE DRAKE/WYRM/WYVERN***
Rolling up three monster descriptions into one-because I’m cool like
that. And because there’s not much to say. They fight like the original
versions of these lesser dragons-the Drake, Wyrm and Wyvern, save their
defense, health, and offensive powers are all significantly boosted.
They are all suitably more aggressive. The Dire Drake is probably the
worst of the bunch, as the Drake was already the strongest of the three.
Now… it’s a pain in the ass to fight, requiring alot of punishment
to put down. If you’re a Strider-type character, consider jumping on
the ledge of the staircase and shooting at it to gain its attention.
With any luck, your elevated position will provoke it to fly, where it
can be easily shot down by shooting its head or heart. Once it’s on
the ground, its heart is pretty vulnerable. If you can manage your
Stamina well, or are willing to chew some restoratives, you should be
able to kill it without much fuss. Granted, it’ll take half of
forever… but, well, you obviously have some free time if you’re
playing a video game, right? Ignore this approach if you have Dragon’s
Ire equipped, as a fire-enchanted bow will do between nothing and
negligible damage. The Dire Wyrm will utilize its spells
mercilessly-Levin, Frigor, Bolide, a death spell… the usual. The Dire
Wyvern is, predictably, the flyer of the bunch. Shoot it in the face
to bring it down, then shoot it in the back to harm it. Repeat until
dragon death occurs.

***MONSTER INFO: LIVING ARMOR***
Living Armor is a pretty straight-forward foe, it looks-and largely
fights-like a Skeleton Lord of massive proportions. Plus it’s blue!
Expect sweeping strikes from it’s man-sized bastard sword, running
lunges, and of course, that big bad shield will foil frontal attacks,
so you’ll need to either attack while it’s attacking, or attack from
the rear. It can also conjure a burst of fire around itself, but it’ll
give you a good bit of warning while it’s casting. While its armor is
intact, it’s highly resistant to magick damage, but after losing over
half its health its armor will be rent, exposing a nebulous ‘core’.
In this form, it’s highly resistant to phsyical damage, so it’ll take
a multi-faceted offense to take Living Armor down. Against these foes
Magick Archers are ideal, as they can simply attack it with Daggers
while at first, then switch to their Magick Bow after it’s been
sufficiently weakened. Enchanted weapons and good, old-fashioned
teamwork will suffice, too.
<———————————————————————->
27) Once the slaying is over, let the looting begin. Search behind
(south-east of) the staircase to find a rounded chest. On a ledge beyond
(east of) the pillars surrounding the arena you’ll find some warrior
remains, and several more warrior remains rest on the arena grounds
itself. At the northern end of the arena is a small alcove containing
two rounded chests, and along the western end of the arena, between the
roots and the wall are two more rounded chests. Finally, scale the ledge
around the stairs and follow the ledge counter-clockwise, jumping over
gaps as necessary to reach the end, where an ornate chest sits. Also,
before the first gap you have to leap search behind a broken square
pillar to find a Macabre Scuplture. once all the looting is done, head
to the western edge of the arena to find an alcove containing the door
to the next level. Just outside this alcove sits the final ‘Recollection
of Another Arisen’ tablet.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #27***

***RECOLLECTION OF ANOTHER ARISEN***

The Fallen City
o======================================================================o
28) Ah, The Fallen City. It just looks like one of those ‘near the end’
kinds of levels, doesn’t it? It’s unoccupied right now, so exploring
is the name of the game. Head down some stairs to the north-east and
search behind some boxes to find a square chest. Continue north to reach
a second, lower landing where you’ll find a mining spot, then turn west
to encounter another ghost-chatter session. Ignore the obvious path
forward-the stairs to the north-and instead scale some rocks to the
south, past a torch, wedged against a building. A good Double Vault from
the most elevated bit of stone will allow you to clamber onto the roof
of the building to the west. Explore to the north to find a rounded
chest behind some crates, then drop down to a lower roof to the north.
Another rounded chest awaits you to the south-west. Jump onto a sloped,
tiled roof to the south, then head east onto the first roof before
finall dropping off the eastern edge of this roof, and thus back onto
the path from which we deviated.

Note: The Fallen City is abandoned when you first enter it, thus this
is the ideal time to explore it. It will not, however, remain abandoned
forever. If you should leave and return you’ll find the city occupied
by corrupted Pawns-often strategically placed along rooftops. They lack
for neither numbers or variety-they include groups of Warriors, Rangers
capable of devastating characters with various multishot Longbow skills,
and yes, even Sorcerers capable of casting Seism and Maelstrom. All
factors considered, this is easily the strongest group of Corrupted
Pawns in the game, and one of the more annoying fights in Bitterblack
Isle. There are also several Strigoi-a palette swap of the Gargoyle-that
fly around, but compared to the Corrupted Pawns swarming about, they’re
a secondary threat, at best. If that’s not enough, Death can also make
an appearance on this level, so… yeah, best to get through this while
everything is calm.

***MONSTER INFO: STRIGOI***
If you thought the Gargoyle was aggressive… well, the Strigoi are
like rabid Gargoyles. Fun note-I wanted to look smart here, so I went
and looked for the Latin word for rabies. You know, so then I could
put down some weird word and act like I knew what it meant all along?
Turns out the Latin word for rabies is… rabies. I know, how lame,
right? It means “madness”. So much for trying to look smart. Anywho,
they enjoy flying around their target (that’s usually the Arisen) in
tight circles, constantly attacking much as Gargoyles do. They also have
a grapple attack-similar to the Gargoyle’s petrification attack, save
they hang on and continuously savage their victim until you break free.
<———————————————————————->
29) Turn north and head down some more stairs, then continue through
the city (and down more stairs) to the west until you spot more ghosts.
No chatter this time-they just vanish when you approach. Turn north and
you’ll see another ghost in the distance-this one also vanishes when you
approach. On your way north score a square chest along the western
buildings, and after the ghost vanishes, you should find yourself in the
remains of a deserted market of sorts. Continue north until you reach a
ledge. Peer to the north-west to spot a building in the distance,
connected to the city by a natural stone bridge. That’s our
destination… but there’s still plenty of city to loot before we get
there. Case in point, score a rounded chest near the cliff edge, then
search a seated, slumped-over corpse to find a Moonbeam Gem. Turn west
and follow the cliff until you find some buildings that form the western
barrier of the market. Find a deserted stall and continue south into an
alley, which terminates with an ornate chest. Leave the alley and head
east along the buildings that make up the southern border of the market
until you reach some buildings to the east. At the junction between two
buildings you’ll find a shallow, semi-circular well, inside of which is
a Macabre Sculpture.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #28***
<———————————————————————->
30) Now to backtrack a bit and score some elevated treasure. Leave the
market via the road running north-south and when you reach a fork,
return back up the stairs to the east until you reach some smaller
stairs to the north. Ascend them and scale a short wall to the west to
reach the roof of a building, where you’ll find an rounded chest near a
chimney. Drop down to a lower, flat, stone roof to the north to score
an ornate chest, then climb onto another roof to the north-east. At
the north-eastern end of this roof you’ll find a corpse holding onto a
Wakestone for you. Drop off the roof to the west to reach the market
again, and backtrack south to reach the fork.
<———————————————————————->
31) At the fork continue south until you reach some buildings. A wider
road continues to the west, and if you look down that way you’ll see
another ghost waiting in the distance. They’ve waited this long, they
can wait a little longer. Instead, turn west and head up some stairs
until you reach a flat stone roof with a table on it. In the south-
eastern corner of the roof you’ll find a rounded chest to loot. Turn
west and climb onto a tiled, sloping roof beyond a chimney. Continue
across the roofs to the west until you find a building to with a flat
stone roof to the south-west. On this roof score an ornate chest and
search some hay in the southern corner to score another Macabre
Sculpture.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #29***
<———————————————————————->
32) Backtrack across the tiled roofs to the east and descend the stairs
to reach the roads through the city again. Take the unexplored path to
the west and disturb another vanishing ghost, grabbing a square chest
along the way. Continue to the end of the path westward and grab a
square chest before back-tracking to the previous square chest. Opposite
this chest is a tunnel leading north. Head through the tunnel to reach
a clearing surrounding by building-and scaring off another ghost in the
process. Score an ornate chest to the north, then continue up some
stairs to the west where another ghost teases you.
<———————————————————————->
33) Here the path forks-a wide path leads north across a natural stone
bridge to our final destination, so naturally we should turn south,
first. Grab a square chest near a building to the west, then continue
south until you spot an ornate chest near a rubble-obstructed arch.
Ignore the rubble-blocked arch for now, and instead head on another,
more accessible arch to the south, then turn west to find another ornate
chest near a pile of hay. Note the building to the north of the ornate
chest-to the west of this building is a ledge containing another ornate
chest. You can reach this ledge by circling around to the northern side
of this building and climbing a crumbling, low wall past two wooden
wagons.
<———————————————————————->
34) Return to the ornate chest in front of the rubble-filled arch.
You can scale this rubble to reach some wooden planks connecting two
buildings. Climb onto the flat stone roof of the building to the north
and loot a rounded chest behind some crates. Drop down onto a lower,
tiled roof to the east and continue across it until you drop down onto
another flat, stone roof, where a square chest resides. Backtrack to the
elevated flat roof to the west and explore to the north, where the
rounded chest was. Jump on the ledge surrounding the roof, and from
there, jump onto the roof of another, higher building to the north.
Here you’ll find another pair of rounded chests, some Sour Ambrosial
Meat in a basket, and a Pumpkin. Normally these curatives would be…
well, worthwhile, but since we’re heading into a big fight, they might
come in handy sooner, rather than later.
<———————————————————————->
35) Backtrack across the roofs to the south, dropping down near the
ornate chest near the obstructed arch. Now it’s time to head north
across the natural stone bridge. Along the way you’ll be treated with
a cutscene with some chatter, showing you the big doors in the distance.
Head up the stairs to the door, but turn east before the entrance to
find a final Riftstone (35,000 RC). Continue following the cliffs to
the east to find some mining spots, plants, and some corpses. Be sure
to search the latter, as they can be rather generous with Rift
Currency. West of the stairs you’ll find more plants and, at the end of
a narrow ledge, more corpses. Again, these corpses are quite lootworthy,
since they tend to only drop Skulls, Rift Clusters (800 RC) or Rift
Bicrystals (2000 RC). You can loot each one three times-that’s a
possible 12,000 RC… but even half that is a pretty good haul,
considering you have to do absolutely nothing to earn it. Once you’re
ready to go, head through the large doors at the end of the stairs.

Bitterblack Sanctum
o======================================================================o
36) Upon entering the sanctum, a deep echo-y voice will start boasting.
Righty-o. Head upstairs to the north to reach a landing, but ignore
the doorway to the north just long enough to search the south-eastern
corner of this landing where, behind a pot, you’ll find the 30th and
final Macabre Sculpture. Hurray. Once you’re ready continue through the
gate to the north to encounter the master of Bitterblack Isle-the
Daimon.

***ENEMY STRATEGY: DAIMON***
One of the few truly ‘new’ foes in Dark Arisen-most critters we’ve
fought have been palette swaps, some of immense proportions. The
Daimon… well, looks infernal enough. He’s got the physical power
and magick to back up his appearance, too.

Fist of the Daimon
——————
Given the Daimon’s size, it should be no surprise that it’s quite
capable of pummeling Pawn and Arisen sized foes. Anything from
inelegant punch-lunges, flying slams, flying body rolls, and the
casual grab and crush (the latter is indicated when the Daimon’s
right hand starts to glow-to dodge, just roll towards the Daimon as
it charges, but under the opposite-non-glowing-hand).

The Daimon’s Magick
——————-
The Daimon, in addition to his great physical strength, also has an
unmatched arsenal of spells. At first you’ll only see a casually-cast
ice spell (either taking the form of a spread-out fan of ice, a rapid
fire burst of ice spikes, or as the more traditional ice pillars that
erupt from the earth). A single projectile shouldn’t hurt too much,
even to a character with suspect Magick Defense, but getting struck by
all five (or, later in the fight when he starts double-casting, up to
ten) can be fatal. He’ll also cast Levin, which is easily dodged (just
keep moving) Miasma, and-when he turns up the tempo later in the fight-
multiple Seisms and Bolide. His worst attack, however, is when he
casts multiple bolts of white energy-a Magick Missile type spell. It’s
very hard to dodge, the bolts tend to strike in rapid succession (even
simultaneously) and they do massive damage. He’ll multi-cast this, too,
later in the fight. Most of his spells are easily identified (his hands
glow blue for Frigor, red for Bolide, and green for Seism) and give
the usual warning indicators (glowing circles on the ground). For the
most part they’re also easily dodged. If you see him hunkering down to
cast a spell, he’s either casting the Magic Missile mentioned above
(he’ll fly up into the air to unleash it, if this is the case) or he’s
opening a rift that tries to suck you-and your Pawns-into oblivion.
This is an insta-kill move, and your Pawns are usually too dumb to
avoid it. You, however, should take cover behind a pillar when you see
this spell being cast, or otherwise put distance between the two of you,
as both negate the danger this spell poses. Or, if you see him casting
something big and dangerous, you can alawys try and interrupt it-Blast
Arrows work well for this purpose.

Defeating the Daimon
——————–
Like most foes, the Daimon’s head is vulnerable, but it really has no
outstanding strong-points, either. Shoot its head with powerful enough
attacks and you may even stagger the beast, and once it’s staggering,
it’s much easier to stagger again. A high-powered Ranger can easily
stun-lock the Daimon and shoot it to death, providing they’re willing
to use some curatives to replenish spent Stamina. Otherwise, aim for
the head and dodge its attacks. I know, easier said than done, but
learning its attack routines is the name of the game. You can attempt
to grapple it and score some shots on its face, but try not to stay
overly long, or you’ll get caught up in one of his attacks. When the
Daimon uses its suck-foes-into-oblivion attack it’ll be vulnerable
to attacks. If you knock the Daimon out of the attack, or simply
survive it, the Daimon will go into a dormant/meditation phase. Its
passivity doesn’t serve it well, as this gives you an opportunity to
freely pummel it. Harm the Daimon enough during this phase and it’ll
fall to the ground, ready for more punishment. As you can tell from
the description, the Daimon’s oblivion attack is a huge opportunity to
deal greivous damage to your foe… provided you can survive it and are
capable of taking advantage of your opening.

***MACABRE SCULPTURE #30***
<———————————————————————->
37) Once the Daimon is dead, loot around the Sanctum. Pillars-at least
those that haven’t been destroyed-split the area into thirds,
lengthwise. At the far northern end of the chapel sits a throne,
attended by decorative piles of bone. You’ll find a Wakestone on one
such pile east of the throne. There are also plenty of curatives-Harspud
Sauces and Salubrious Brews, mostly-strewn around the area. When you’re
done looting head through a doorway in the north-western corner of the
area to find a small treasure room, where four ornate chests await
you-Three to the south, one to the north. The central of the three to
the south always contains a Moonbeam Gem, but the others typically
contains random-usually high-level-Bitterblack items or Rift
Polycrystals/Perfect Rift Crystals. You can save/load these chests to
get better results. The best I was able to get here, however, was
Armor Lv.3, a Weapon Lv.2, and a Novelty Lv.3. Lucky players may have
obtained a Weapon Lv.3 from the Daimon himself-Bitterblack Weapons Lv.3
are far superior to anything else in the game, and will make a second
run through Bitterblack Isle much easier… but I’m getting a bit ahead
of myself…
<———————————————————————->
38) When you’re done scavenging the ornate chests, head through another
doorway to the west and up some stairs. Once you reach the door at the
top you’ll be warned that after leaving you will not be able to
immediately return. Simply put, if you want to get back to the Sanctum,
you’ll have to run through the rest of Bitterblack dungeon again… so
make sure you have your post-Daimon loot. Once you head through the
door, you’ll find yourself in a small gated room. The way back is
barred (as promised) so head south-east and lip a lever to open the
way outside. You’ll witness some ghosts chatting over a collapsed Olra.
The ghosts play out their drama, Olra awakens, and the credits roll.
Hooray! We’re done now, right? Right?

o======================================================================o
| |
| The Second Run |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK048}
1) Second Run Notes
2) Garden of Ignominy
3) Duskmoon Tower
4) Rotunda of Dread
5) Ward of Regret
6) Midnight Helix
7) Vault of Defiled Truth
8) Gutter of Misery
9) Shrine of Futile Truths/Corridor of Emptiness
10) Fortress of Remembrance
11) The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet
12) The Black Abbey
13) Tower of Treasons Repaid
14) Forsaken Cathedral/Corridor of the Hallowed
15) Rotwood Depository
16) The Forgotten Hall
17) The Bloodless Stockade
18) Sparyard of Scant Mercy
19) The Fallen City
20) Bitterblack Sanctum
21) Grinding for Goodness

Bitterblack Isle
o======================================================================o
1) You’ll appear near Olra. Walk up to her and she’ll explain a bit
about what passes for story in this game. Note that Barroch is now
standing nearby-he’ll always be here from now on. As far as the story
is concerned, we’re done with Bitterblack Isle. As far as looting is
concerned, we’ve only just begun. The differences between your first
run through Bitterblack Isle and your second are listed below:

–> The level layouts and order are the same, as are the placement
of chests, plants, mining spots, etc.

–> The contents of chests are different, usually better. By
‘better’, in this case you can expect to score more Rift
Currency in earlier levels, but don’t necessarily expect to
find Lv.3 weapons and armor in every other chest (although a
few chests can contain them).

–> Monsters populating each level are different. By ‘different’
here I usually mean ‘more powerful’. However, scavenger monsters
remain the same in each level. Mostly.

–> The ‘boss’ monsters at the end of each stratum have respawned,
and will now continue to regularly respawn, allowing you to
farm their unique drops.

–> The Daimon has not only just respawned, but he even has a
little surprise for us…

All in all, it’s well worth your time to make another run through
Bitterblack Isle. The goal, of course, is to reach the Daimon again,
where the real farming of Lv.3 weapons and armor can begin. Before
that, though, because we may have already found a handful of these
wonderful items, I should probably mention a few things about them.

First, their purification costs are pretty crazy. You’ll need tens
of thousands of Rift Currency to purify them. Renting (and having your
Pawn rented) online can score you vast amounts of Rift Currency, but
failing that, snooping about chests in the latter part of Bitterblack
Isle will earn you a good bit, too.

Second, as we all know, they are random. Considering how game-changing
they are, it can be a bit of a bummer to get a spiffy Lv.3 weapon only
to find out it’s for another Vocation. Save/loading by itself won’t
change what gear you found, but changing the Vocations of your Arisen
and your Main Pawn might. Save before talking to Olra, and if you don’t
get what you want, load the game, change your Vocation, and try again.
You just might get something different, since the purification results
are based on the Vocations of you and your Main Pawn. If you want
Strider gear (Shadow/Oblivion armor) change to a Strider or Ranger.
Avoid Hybrid Vocations, however, as they are… well, hybrid. An
Assassin, for example, has a chance to get Strider and Fighter gear.

Note: While you can ‘reroll’ the results by changing Vocation, some
things seem set in stone-the modifiers, armor type, and quality of the
armor will not change when you alter you Vocation. For example, if you
roll up Armor of Shadow with the modifier “Reduces damage from bow
attacks”, if you change Vocations you’ll either get Traitor’s Armor or
Grave Mantle with the same modifier-you cannot get a higher ‘grade’ of
armor (Oblivion, Hellfire, Carrion), nor can you get a different armor
modifier, and if you roll up torso armor for one Vocation, changing
Vocation will not turn it into a helmet. On the plus side, this allows
you to plan around what you need. If your Sorcerer Pawn still needs
leg armor, and you roll some Boots of Oblivion, you’ll know that you
can get the leg armor you need by rerolling it. Also, should you need
one specific piece of the 13 Bitterblack armaments, this knowledge gives
you the ability to try and roll for what you need.

Third… There’s one Lv.3 weapon for each weapon type, and two pieces of
armor per equipment category (head, torso, arms and legs) for each of
the three main Vocation types (Fighter, Strider, Mage), plus two Cloaks
for a total of 26 pieces of Lv.3 Bitterblack Armor. These armors
actually come in two tiers of potency-Traitor’s/Hellfire (Fighter),
Shadow/Oblivion (Strider) and Grave/Carrion (Mage)-the latter of the two
being the stronger in each case, with the former being one of the
’13 fabled Bitterblack armaments’ required to complete the quest
‘Trappings of Evil’. Don’t waste resources upgrading the former
(unless you really prefer the look of one-they’re just palette swaps),
as the latter are a bit more powerful. Note that the ‘Traitor’s’ armor
set is the only set in the game that breaks the rules of having
similarly-named items (for example, all ‘Hellfire’ armor has the word
‘Hellfire’ in each item name). The Traitor’s set consists of the
Nether Helm, Traitor’s Armor, Sinner’s Gauntlets and Betrayer’s Greaves.
Finishing up the list are the two cloaks, which like the rest of the
armor comes in two varieties of differing potency, the Blasphemer’s
Cloak and the Hellfire Cloak. The cloaks are not Vocation-specific.

Lastly each piece of armor can have one of the following random
properties attached to them, as follows:

Head
—-
–> “Extends duration of equipped skills”

–> “Boosts Strength when you’ve been noticed by a large number of
enemies”

–> “Slightly reduces damage from bow attacks”

–> “Reduces damage from bow attacks”

Torso
—–
–> “Gradually restores small amounts of health

–> “Gradually restores health”

–> “Your debilitations naturally heal themselves more quickly than
normal”

–> “Has slight restorative effect on pawns near you”

Arms
—-
–> “Extends duration of attribute boosts applied to you”

–> “Slightly restores Stamina when you deliver the killing blow to
the enemy”

–> “Restores Stamina when you deliver the killing blow to the
enemy”

–> “Boosts the power of normal and magick shields”

Legs
—-
–> “Slightly increases maximum item-carrying capacity”

–> “Increases maximum item carrying capacity”

–> “Boosts movement speed while casting spells”

–> “Prevents wind from affecting mobility”

So not only can you roll for specific types of weapons and Vocation
based armors, but you have to mind the modifiers on the armor. While
some of the modifiers can be nice to have, the armor itself is more
important than the modifiers, so if your free time is limited… get
the armor, and don’t worry too much about the modifiers.

And… that should be all the information you need to begin your
second run! Which, of course, I’ll guide you through. Since we’ve
already explored these levels, the walkthrough for the second part run
will be much more concise than the rambling bits above. For the most
part I’ll just detail what monsters are where… with added flavor
and tips as I feel are necessary. One level, one step.

Garden of Ignominy
o======================================================================o
2) Greater Goblins and Goblin Shaman or three Giant Suarians and a
Siren have replaced the Wargs near the entrance. Down in the courtyard
with the fountain you’ll find a Gorechimera, accompanied either by
more Greater Goblins and Goblin Shaman (if you encountered Greater
Goblins near the entrance), or by Sulfur Saurians and Giant Sulfur
Saurians (if you encountered Giant Saurians previously). Whatever
replaced the Wargs will also replace the Hobgoblins in the smaller
rooms south of the courtyard. The scavengers for this level are still
Garm, but now you’ll encounter more than one of them.

Duskmoon Tower
o======================================================================o
3) No pacific garden with frolics bunnies and deer this time-now you’ll
face either a Dire Wyvern and a flock of Gargoyles or a Dire Drake and
a pack of Hellhounds. In the latter case, nobody will blame you if you
just run past. The loot-to-enemy ratio in this room is pretty good,
though, considering that all those juicy chests can now contain a good
bit of Rift Currency. The balcony at the southern end of this area is
ideal for luring the dragonoids into flight so as to shoot them down and
leave them vulnerable for a bit. Now that there are creatures here to
kill, scavengers will now show up to feast-in this case, a Cursed
Dragon. Other than that… be wary of the chests, as at least one of
them always seems bound to harbor a Maneater. Also note that the door
to the ‘Vault of Defiled Truth’ is not barred-you do not need a Void Key
to progress. Still, I try to be thorough, if nothing else, so the second
run through Bitterblack Isle will go in the same order as the first run,
as far as this walkthrough is concerned. Skip around as you wish.

Rotunda of Dread
o======================================================================o
4) Same area, different encounters:

1: Archydra and several Sirines
2: A pair of Golems and a pack of Gargoyles
3: A Lich, three Skeleton Brutes and all the Skeleton Lords you can eat
4: Two Wights and three Gorechimeras
5: Three Liches and a Metal Golem
6: A Pair of Wyrms accompanied by a haunt of Phantasms and Specters
7: Three Ogres, five Goblin shaman and a Cockatrice
8: Four Gorecyclops and five Goblin Shaman
9: A Lich, an Evil Eye and Hellhounds
10: A Wyvern and a flock of Succubi and Sirines

Just a few notes about these fights-The Lich in the encounter with the
Skeleton Lords can be killed before it summons the Skeleton Lords. The
Brutes will always be there, though. The fight with three Gorechimeras
is an epic pain in the ass-use high ground if you can, as the Chimeras
will paw and leap at you until you’re ready to throw your controller
through the wall. They also like to heal each other and spam death
spells. Possibly more obnoxious than the Chamber of Lament, but a very
well equiped character can simply muscle them to death… and unlike
the Chamber of Lament, there’s high ground you can take advantage of
to avoid all but their magic. The Cockatrice in this encounter is high
in the air-it might stay airborn long enough for you to deal with the
rest of the foes. The Goblin Shaman in the encounter with the Ogres tend
to be found on high ground, from whence they can pelt you with magic.
The Goblin Shaman in the Gorecyclops encounter are less inclined towards
high ground. They still manage to annoy by being small, dark, and spread
out.

Ward of Regret
o======================================================================o
5) Either Wraiths and Specters or Skeleton Brutes now lurk near the
cages at the beginning of the level… you know, the ones that require
a Skeleton Key to unlock? Anyways, what you encounter here indicates
what else you’ll find throughout the level.

If you encountered Wraiths near the cages, you’ll find Living Armor
where there used to be a Skeleton Brute leading a mass of lesser
Skeletons, and near the entrance to the ‘Midnight Helix’ you’ll
encounter a pair of Banshees and a Poisoned Undead. Not too bad.

On the other hand, if you encountered Skeleton Brutes near the cages
you’ll fight a Gold/Silver Knight duo where the Skeleton Brute and the
smaller Skeletons used to be. In the hallways west of these Knights
lurk some poisoned Undead, and near the entrance to the ‘Midnight
Helix’ lurk two Skeleton Brutes and two Poisoned Undead.

Midnight Helix
o======================================================================o
6) There might still be a Prisoner Gorecyclops here, but it’s no longer
chained. It’s now joined by Corrupted Pawns, who lurk on the bridges
above. Alternatively the Prisoner Gorecyclops might be replaced by a
Dire Wyrm, in which case there will be Strigoi flying around the
bridges. With their tenacity and durability they excel at knocking
Arisens and Pawns from great heights, and in general being a pain in
the ass. In either case, the bone-filled cave over the blood river
is guarded by three Skeleton Brutes.

Note: Two chests in this level can contain Lv.3 Armor: First, the
topmost chest in this area (the ornate chest on the ledge where we found
the Void Key on our first run) and second, the ornate chest in the
bone-filled cave above the bloody water.

Vault of Defiled Truth
o======================================================================o
7) Greater Goblins and Goblin Shaman await you at the southern end of
the level (near the door to Duskmoon Tower), while Hobgoblins lurk in
the water-filled chambers south-east of the courtyard. Speaking of
which, in the fountain courtyard you can still find your old friend, the
Cockatrice, this time joined by Corrupted Pawns (some of which occupy
the balconies above the courtyard, and are content to shoot down at
you). Alternatively you might encounter two Gorecyclops, Greater
Goblins, and Sirines in the courtyard. In either case, Goblin Shaman
occupy the southern-most room (with multi-leveled wooden platforms).
Finally, on the second floor of this area, in the ‘T’-shaped room south
of the courtyard (the room with three statues at the northern end)
you’ll find two Eliminators (if you encountered a Cockatrice in the
courtyard) or a Golem (if you encountered Gorecyclops).

Gutter of Misery
o======================================================================o
8) Like many areas of Bitterblack Isle during the second run, this
area has variable encounters. On the stairwell you’ll either get the
pleasure of killing Sulfur Saurians and Giant Sulfur Saurians, or you’ll
face a mixed group of undead, including Giant Undead, Undead Warriors,
and Poisoned Undead. Down in the sewers you’ll find Greater Goblins and
a pair of Eliminators (if you encountered Sulfur Saurians earlier) or
a group of Corrupted Pawns (if you encountered Undead). Surprisingly,
the Greater Goblins really can complicate things, since they like to
knock you down, and Eliminators like to… Eliminate foes who are
prone.

Shrine of Futile Truths/Corridor of Emptiness
o======================================================================o
9) Enter the Shrine of Futile Truths and fight the Gazer-same as before,
nothing real special to note. After it’s dead loot and progress through
the Corridor of Emptiness, open up the shortcut back to the surface and
continue on into the Fortress of Remembrance. Huzzah! One third of the
way through Bitterblack Isle.

Fortress of Remembrance
o======================================================================o
10) There are two monster populations for this level: On the bridge at
the beginning of the level you’ll encounter either Wargs and Poisoned
Undead, or Wraiths and Strigoi, which will identify what you’ll
encounter throughout the rest of the level.

If you encountered Wraiths, you’ll also have to fight some Corrupted
Pawns along the semi-circular hallway that connects the bridge at the
beginning of the area to the entrance to ‘The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet’. On
the bridge connecting the tower to ‘The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet’ you’ll
have to dispatch two Liches and an Eliminator. While the tower itself
is abandoned, more foes await guarding two more bridges leading to
other areas-the bridge leading to ‘The Black Abbey’ will host some
Wraiths, while the bridge leading to the ‘Tower of Treasons Repaid’
houses two Eliminators, a group of Giant Undead, and yet more Wraiths.

On the other hand if you encounter Poisoned Undead on the bridge near
the beggining of the level the path to ‘The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet’ will
be clear. The bridge connecting the entrance to ‘The Pilgrim’s
Guantlet’ and the tower will be guarded by a Lich and som Poisoned
Undead, and near the bottom of the tower itself you’ll find some
Banshees and Giant Undead lurking. The bridge connecting the tower to
‘The Black Abbey’ is occupied by more Poisoned Undead, while on the one
leading to the ‘Tower of Treasons Repaid’ you’ll encounter a Lich, a
trio of Skeleton Lords, and three Poisoned Undead.

The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet
o======================================================================o
11) This area has kept up its fire theme-in the large hallway
perpendicular to the one you enter into you’ll encounter either
Hellhounds and Pyre Saurians, or Banshees and Pyre Saurians. In the
courtyard awaits a Dire Drake and its host of Wraiths (if you
encountered Hellhounds earlier) or a pair of Golems and several Sirines
(if you encountered Banshees). The former is definately a fight that’s
more trouble than it’s worth.

The Black Abbey
o======================================================================o
12) This arena’s encounters are as follows:

1: Three Silver Knights, three Poisoned Undead and three Banshees
2: Strigoi, Sirines and Gargoyles galore
3: A trio of Gorecyclops and several Corrupted Pawns
4: A Cyclops, a Gorecyclops, a Prisoner Gorecyclops and three Sirines
5: Two Gold Knights, two Silver Knights, and several Skeleton Sorcerers
6: Three Wraiths, a Lich and Corrupted Pawns
7: A Dire Drake joined by a quartet of Pyre Saurians
8: Four Living Armor and four Specters
9: Four Eliminators and their Banshee girlfriends
10: A Dire Wyrm and several Giant Saurian Sages

In the first encounter, it should be noted that you must defeat all
three Silver Knights in succession before they’ll actually die. Killing
one or two then focusing on other foes will only give them time to
respawn. Poisoned Undead and Banshees are both merely distractions to
prevent you from focusing on the Silver Knights, who are the more
dynamic foes. It’s actually a pretty nice encounter-the Banshees and
Poisoned Undead are both slow enough that they can’t really hinder your
slaying too well, and three Silver Knights will cough up quite a bit of
Rift Currency. In the second encounter, I suggest staying on the
balcony near the entrance and shooting at the critters to draw their
attention. Fighting them in an inclosed space (and only a few at a
time) is easier than heading into the arena floor and letting them
take advantage of their mobility by assaling you from all sides. It’s
nice to see all three Cyclops types together in encounter #4, lets you
really see just how weak Cyclops are compared to their Bitterblack
kin… from the ledges around the arena you are nearly at eye level
with the Prisoner Gorecyclops (who starts out unchained). This makes
shooting knocking off its helmet and shooting its eye quite easy. Focus
on the Sirines first, however, as they’re the only critters who can
knock you off your ledge (excepting the odd boulder thrown by a
Gorecyclops) and their song can heal their allies. In the fifth
encounter, like in the first, you must defeat all the knights-both
gold and silver, before any of them are destroyed. Encounters #8 and
#9 can be tricky, unless you have a good ranged option, in which case
both Living Armor and Eliminators are incapable of scaling the tree
roots, which can be used as safe platforms. In #9 it’s hard to tell
what purpose the Banshees serve, unless it’s to knock you down with
their shrieks so the Eliminators can perform coup-de-graces.

Tower of Treasons Repaid
o======================================================================o
13) As usual, there are two possible critter populations for this
level-as soon as you enter you’ll either be assaulted by hordes flying
critters (Succubi and Strigoi) or you’ll see a Banshee lying casually
on the bridge.

If you’ve got Succubi… well, this place is going to suck. They were
here on the first playthrough, and their numbers here are prodigious.
They’re also joined by Strigoi, which is a little slice of awful. On
the plus side, instead of Goblin Shaman hiding around, you’ve now got a
Metal Golem at the bottom to worry about… so, one kind of scavenger
hunt is replaced by another. Just look for the Metal Golem’s medallions
as you descend, instead of mischeivous Goblin Shaman. In the bone-filled
cave over the bloody water you’ll be accosted by a trio of Skeleton
Brutes. More Skeleton Brutes await along the bone-strewn shores of the
bloody stream, below.

If you encountered a Banshee, Skeleton Sorcerers will be hiding in
various locations, anonymously pelting you with magick. Annoying… but
you’re much less likely to get knocked off the bridges by Banshees and
magick than you are by Succubi and Strigoi. On the ground floor, this
level breaks with tradition by not having a big monster for you to
fight-a few Skeleton Brutes and Skeleton Sorcerers are all that await
you. In the bone-filled cave over the bloody water you’ll be accosted
by several Skeleton Sorcerers and a Banshee or two.

Forsaken Cathedral/Corridor of the Hallowed
o======================================================================o
14) In the small tunnel east of the entrance to this level you’ll
encounter either a pair of Pyre Saurians (which are annoying enough
given how little room you have to maneuver) or Vile Eyes. Again, what
you encounter here will indicate what you’ll be playing with for the
rest of the level. In either case they’re aided by Goblin Shaman (more
in the case of the Vile Eyes).

Continue north past where the Pyre Saurians were and head down a
spiral staircase to find some hallways, which will be be occupied by
an Eliminator and some more Pyre Saurians. Venture through the hallways
to find a grander set of stairs to the east, where you’ll be bothered
by some Wraiths and Giant Geo Saurians.

North of where the Vile Eyes and Goblin Shaman lurked you’ll find a
spiral staircase which leads to some hallways. In these hallways you’ll
encounter a Silver Knight and a quartet of Goblin Shaman. Head through
the halls to the east to find some more stairs, crawling with Goblin
Shaman and Corrupted Pawns.

After that it’s just the Dark Bishop and its pet Cursed Dragon. The only
special thing to note about this fight is the fact that you won’t be
locked in the chapel this time. After you’re victorious, continue on
into the ‘Corridor of the Hallowed’ and open up the shortcut back to the
surface. Huzzah.

Rotwood Depository
o======================================================================o
15) In the watery chambers near the entrance you’ll find either Saurain
Sages, or Wraiths and two Silver Knights. What you encounter here will,
of course, indicate what you’ll find elsewhere in the level.

If you encountered Saurian Sages in the watery rooms at the beginning
of the level, you’ll find Goblin Shaman lurking in the chamber with the
multi-leveled wooden platforms. North of there, past the watery
barracks, you’ll find more Goblin Shaman, Skeleton Sorcerers, and
Saurian Sages. Where the Eliminator once lurked you’ll now find more
Goblin Shaman and Saurian Sages.

If you encountered Wraiths, the multi-platform room to the south will
be vacant, but Vile Eyes float about in the watery barracks to the
north, and in the room beyond them awaits a Silver Knight. Living
Armor is the last obstacle you’ll face, in the chamber that used to
house an Eliminator.

The Forgotten Hall
o======================================================================o
16) At the end of the ‘T’-shaped chamber you enter into (the one with
the three statues at the northern end) you’ll find either a pack of
Hellhounds prowling around, or two Golden Knights and a Silver Knight.

If you encountered Hellhounds near the beginning of the level, the
courtyard will still contain two chained Prisoner Gorecyclops
accompanied by Corrupt Pawns (yes, still butthole Sorcerers), but the
situation is now further complicated by the addition of more Hellhounds
and a Strigoi.

If you played catch-the-death with some Knights at the beginning of
the level, the courtyward will contain-in addition to its customary
compliment of two chained Prisoner Gorecyclops-two Eliminators and
two Sirines.

Note that on the western balcony over-looking the courtyard there are
two square chests. The southern one can contain Lv.3 Armor, which is
a pretty nice treat.

The Bloodless Stockade
o======================================================================o
17) The two versions of this level are as follows: In the chamber past
the locked cells (where Corrupted Pawns lurked in the first playthrough)
you’ll now either encounter a Wight and Specters or Corrupted Pawns and
Cyclops. Not Gorecyclops… just Cyclops. If you encountered Specters
earlier in the level, you’ll encounter a pair of Living Armor and
several Vile Eyes in the sewers. If you found Cyclops, instead, you’ll
face two Gorecyclops and their pet Vile Eyes, instead. Either way, it
should be noted that you can find a Lv.3 Weapon in the ornate chest
beyond the waterfall, if you want to save/load until you score one of
these great weapons.

Sparyard of Scant Mercy
o======================================================================o
18) The third and final arena area-this one is fond of forcing you to
fight two Dire dragonoids at the same time. Two Dire Drakes are probably
the most tedious of the encounters here, as they both have tons of
defense and can dish out alot of damage. The only way I’ve found to
deal with them easily is to sit up on the ledge around the stairs,
which provokes them to fly. Shoot them down one at a time, take whatever
pot-shots you can at their hearts when neither of them are airborne.
After a long time, one will die, and it’ll be a more straight-forward
fight. Two Dire Wyrms will see you dancing through a storm of magic.
Getting down on the arena floor and taking one out quickly is the way
to go.

1: Two Dire Drakes
2: Two Dire Wyrms
3: A Dire Drake and a Dire Wyrm

The Fallen City
o======================================================================o
19) There’s no grace visit free of foes in the Fallen City this time
around, this area will be crawling with tough monsters when you arrive.
You’ll encounter a mix of Living Armor and Eliminators-one or the other
will be occupying the city, and the opposite will be standing guard
outside the entrance to the Bitterblack Sanctum. If there is Living
Armor outside the Sanctum you’ll also encounter two Wyverns (not Dire
Wyverns). On the other hand, if you’ve got Eliminators near the
Sanctum you’ll have to deal with a Dire Wyvern. Either way, it’ll take
a bit of time and bother to kill all the foes lurking around the city,
although the abundance of high ground makes this place cake for
archers. You can score a good bit of Rift Currency around the city, as
we well know, but whether it’s worth the time it’ll take to kill (or
avoid) the foes here is up to you.

The ornate chest on the western-most ledge of the city (beyond the
western-most building, this building is west of the obstructed arch
with an ornate chest in front of it) can contain Lv.3 Armor. The
ornate chest on the roof of the short building with the flat, stone
roof along the eastern side of the market can contain a Lv.3 Weapon.

Bitterblack Sanctum
o======================================================================o
20) The Daimon is waiting for you here, as he was before. Fight him
just like the last time and when he’s defeated he’ll adopt his second or
‘awakened’ form. A draconic face will emerge from his torso, and round
two begins…

The Awakened Daimon
——————-
Not really a different foe, in my opinion, so we’ll count this as a
delayed section added on to the original Daimon’s ***ENEMY STRATEGY***
entry. Everybody only gets one. The Awakened Daimon uses many of the
same attacks as the original… at least, spell-wise. Essentially the
dragon controlling the lifeless husk of the Daimon just… isn’t too
coordinated, prefering to float about and use magick to fight, rather
than the supa ninja kung-fu the original Daimon used. Expect to see
Bolides, Ingles, Miasmas, Levins, multi-Seisms, and multi-Comestions.
The Awakened Daimon does have a few new attacks, however. He can conjure
up two disembodied dragon arms, which it’ll use to swat at you-you’ll
know this is coming when the Daimon moves his arms as if to swat.
These swings have pretty good reach, but can usually be avoided. If the
Daimon starts to swing with just one arm, try rolling under the
disembodied dragon arm to avoid punishment. If the Daimon swings both,
it’ll be more difficult-rolling away from the Daimon is your best bet
here. If you climb on the Daimon, don’t be surprised if he counters with
an immolate sooner or later. The Awakened Daimon will also try to use
his draconic chest/mouth to bite (looking similar to the Evil Eye when
he does this) or to breathe whitish dragonfire. Avoid this last attack
at all costs, as it can do pretty horrendous damage. He tracks pretty
quickly while preparing this breath, but once he’s actually breathing
he can only turn slowly. He’s also got that suck-everything-into-
oblivion attack the Daimon had, which can be countered the same ways-
keeping your distance, securing yourself behind a pillar/the throne,
or by hitting him with a heavy attack to knock him out of it. Like the
Daimon, the Awakened Daimon will also go ‘dormant’ after the attack.
If you punish him enough during this phase he’ll fall to the ground
helpless, allowing you to spend some quality time with his vulnerable
spot-the draconic face in his chest.

Once the Awakened Daimon is defeated, loot around. The treasure room
will open, fully-stocked and waiting to gift you. The four chests are
less variable this time than the first time-and this is a good thing.
The lone chest to the north randomly drops a Lv.3 Novelty or Rift
Currency, while the middle chest in the south still drops a Moonbeam
Gem. The other two, however, have improved drops-the one to the east
almost always drops a Lv.3 Weapon, and the one to the west almost always
drops a Lv.3 Armor. You can save/load until you get what you want.
Every time you make your way back to the Bitterblack Sanctum from here
on out you’ll encounter the Daimon, and after defeating both forms,
you’ll get to loot these chests. Let the grinding begin…

Bitterblack Isle
o======================================================================o
21) Make your way up the stairs to the west and exit the Bitterblack
Sanctum. You know the drill, pull the lever, open the the gate, and…
well, no cutscene this time, so you actually get to make your own way
down to the bottom this time. Drop down onto a lower ledge to the
south-east, score a rounded chest, and make your way along the ledge
to the north. When the ledge terminates you can either drop down to
the wooden platform below to safely reach Olra and Barroch, or climb
onto an elevated ledge to the north, where you’ll find another rounded
chest. Kind of a no-brainer, eh? Once you’re back on the ground level,
change Vocations, stash loot, purify new-found goodies… all that
good stuff.

You can now do Daimon runs to your heart’s content. The shortcuts are
still open, all bosses, levels, and chests will keep respawning. Only
thing left to do when you’re done with Bitterblack Isle is to… get
back to the Everfall, where, as the cliche goes, your destiny awaits.

o======================================================================o
| Chapter 7: The Ever-Turning Wheel |
o======================================================================o
| |
| Ascension |
| |
o======================================================================o
Sequence of Events: {WLK049}
1) A Score of Wakestones
2) Into the Rift
3) Peace
4) Friends and Foes
5) Servitude
6) Deicide
7) Mercy
8) Closure

1) Enter the Everfall via the entrance in the Pawn Guild and find
Quince, who stands near the metal bowl on the ‘Exit’ platform of the
Everfall. Talk to her and give her the 20 Wakestones she desires. She’ll
warn you that there’s no turning back after this-which means you can’t
explore the Everfall any more (but can still return to the rest of
Gransys, should you chicken out after handing over the Wakestones).
Hand them over and you’ll get to see a cutscene where they float about
for a bit before eventually opening the rift Quince promised. Once done,
the only thing left to do is jump on into the rift-once you do this,
however, there is no turning back. The trials beyond shouldn’t be too
rough, but if you want some security, it can’t hurt to bring some
Potent Greenwarish, Large Mushrooms, and maybe a spare Wakestone or
two.

***REWARD***
(For giving Quince twenty Wakestones)
EXP 75,000
Rift Currency 100
<———————————————————————->
2) Jump into the Rift and you’ll find yourself… well, in the Rift.
Dark, cloudy… looks like where you recruit Pawns. You’ll score the
Achievement/Trophy ‘Freedom’ for this little leap. In the distance
(to the north) you’ll see a golden figure seated on a throne. Approach
and you’ll be greeted by this being-the Seneschal. He’ll keep up the
same theme as the Dragon-encouraging you to fight and claim what is
yours. The stakes are a little higher this time around, however-if you
lose, you die. If you win, you become a god, lord of all creation.
Once the cutscene ends, a fight ensues-he’ll pelt you with philosophical
musings (and beams of light which are easily dodged by simply strafing)
and you… well, hurt him however you hurt things best. It’s really not
much of a fight at this point-you have to be trying to lose. You can’t
kill the Seneschal until it’s done talking… or rather, even if you
kill it, the fight will continue until it’s done babbling. Once you
defeat it… you’ll get another cutscene. The Seneschal shows off its
power, and another round of conflict begins, much the same as the last.

***QUESTS***
Final Judgement

o—–o——————————————————-o——–o
|VIDEO|Final Judgement |{VID074}|
o—–o——————————————————-o——–o
|LINK |https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jsf3VOW5Sc |
o—–o—————————————————————-o

Chamber of Choice
o======================================================================o
3) The second time the Seneschal falls, you’ll check out the corpse.
The Seneschal plays some more mind-games on you before appearing at the
end of a rift-funnel. It’s got another offer for you-come forward and
claim your prize as an Arisen, or turn back and be granted a merciful
death. If you do the latter, you’ll appear back in Cassardis, free to
run around as you please. Go up to the gate to find Quina and Adaro,
and the Seneschal will speak-you’ll get the Achievement/Trophy ‘Peace’,
and a game-over.
<———————————————————————->
4) Well, so much for that. Quit being a wuss and head towards the
Seneschal. Along the way you’ll meet every important NPC in the game-
who will attack you with varying degrees of competence, ranging from
harmless to weak. Your romantic partner is always at the end. Reach the
Seneschal to continue with the next phase of the encounter.

The Seneschal’s Chamber
o======================================================================o
5) The Seneschal will throw off its golden robes and reveal itself to
be none other than Savan-he’ll summon his own Pawn, and you’ll get
yours-time for the final battle. Savan and his buddy are both Fighters,
so you should have some idea of what to expect. In addition to typical
Fighter attacks Savan will throw out beams of force at you from time
to time-they’re capable of doing damage, but it’s a hard fight to
lose… not that there isn’t merit in losing. If you fall here, you’ll
see a part of the cycle play out-a portal will open under your body,
and you’ll fall from the rift and into the real world, turning into
a Dragon as you do-tasked with seeking out the next Arisen. At least
we know where the Dragon comes from, then. This gets you the
Achievement/Trophy ‘Servitude’.
<———————————————————————->
6) We didn’t come all this way to lose, however. Focus on Savan’s Pawn
and, when he falls, direct your attention to Savan. When Savan’s health
is depleted, he’ll start spamming one attack over and over-a charge up
area-of-effect burst. Stay away from him for now-whether you like it
or not, your Pawn has to do some work here-this fight only ends when
they run up to Savan and grab him. At this point, run your Arisen up
there to land the finishing blow. Sometimes your Pawn will insist on
being an imbecile, so just be patient until they do this.
<———————————————————————->
7) After Savan falls-he’ll reappear enthroned again. He’ll apologize-
everything that has happened up until now was merely a test of our will,
the only purpose of the Dragon was to search for new candidates, for
those who prove themselves worthy of replacing the reigning Seneschal.
Why would an immortal being with immense will need a replacement?
Maybe it’s a continuous search for a superior being? Whatever the case,
you’ve won the honor of replacing Savan as the Seneschal. He’ll give
you the Godsbane Blade-the only weapon that can kill the Seneschal-and
ask you to grant him release. Walk up to him, where you’ll get the
option to kill or question him, as you please. When you’re ready to
get on with the whole god business, pick the option ‘Wield the Godsbane
Blade’. You’ll give Savan his release, and take his position of
Seneschal. You’ll get the Achievement/Trophy ‘Mercy’ for this act of
kindness.

***REWARD***
(For freeing Savan from the cruel, unending ring)
EXP 90,000
Rift Currency 100
<———————————————————————->
8) So what’s a bored deity to do? Well… you can go oversee creation,
if you wish. Sit on your Throne and you’ll be teleported to Cassardis
where you can run around, invisible yet not intangible. Leave via the
city gate and you’ll find yourself back in the rift. Sit back down and
you’ll be in Gran Soren-a restored Gran Soren. All you can really do is
run around and harass mortals. It gets boring quickly. You have two
options-call it a game and go play something else, or… well, do what
Savan was obviously too scared to do. Go into your inventory and select
the Godsbane Blade, picking the option ‘Hold’. When you do, you’ll hold
the sword up in front of you, blade at your breast. Hit the ‘X’ button
[XBOX] or ‘Square’ button [PS3] to commit suicide… or you can hit
‘A’ [XBOX] or ‘X’ [PS3] to put the blade away. If you kill yourself,
you’ll fall through the rift, into the real world. Your Pawn follows,
obviously distraught by your demise. You both plummet into the sea,
but only your Pawn surfaces-in your body. Just as Selene became like
her master, and ‘The Fool’ took the shape of the Dragonforged, so, too,
did you Pawn assume your identity. Is it you, reincarnated? Is it your
Pawn made mortal? Either way, it’s another link in the grand chain,
the wheel continues to turn.

o======================================================================o
| |
| New Game+ |
| |
o======================================================================o
{WLK050}

After beating the game you’ll, what’s our next move? Well, beat it
again, of course! After the credits you’ll find yourself back at the
main menu-select the ‘Load Game’ option (not ‘New Game’, this will
delete your old character and start over!) What’s the point of playing
through the game again? Well…

–> Your old character keeps all their experience, Vocation Ranks,
Skills, and attributes. Beat the hell out of those monsters who
gave you trouble the first time around!

–> So does your Main Pawn.

–> You keep all your equipment, Materials, gold, and Rift
Currency.

–> New Notice Board quests will be available throughout the game,
many of them quite lucrative.

–> All quest progress will be reset-if you missed anything the
first time around, you can try to complete it again. Or if
you’d rather see how an alternate quest option plays out, you
can do that, too.

–> NPCs will have retained their former affinity for you-for
better or worse.

–> Merchants will retain their advanced stock options.

–> You can earn a second Gold Idol and give it to either Caxton or
Madeline-whoever you neglected the first playthrough.

–> There is now a new Riftstone on the south-western beach of
Cassardis’ ‘Starfall Bay’ which will teleport you to the
Chamber of Lament, if you wish to fight the Ur-Dragon.

–> Mountebank at the Black Cat now sells Portcrystals-for a hefty
200,000 gold apiece. You can now buy enough of them to place
them regularly across Gransys, to make walking everywhere a
thing of the past.

–> When you make it to the Dragon, play another Vocation (or just
bring a different set of weapons with you) to score some more
unique Dragon weaponry… and freely Dragon-Forge another set
of equipment (you might want to make sure you’re level 200
before this, to avoid any unwanted level-ups.)

–> Your progress on Bitterblack Isle will be reset. Run through
the early parts of Bitterblack Isle again, and show those
critters what gave you trouble the first time who’s boss!

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