DDO: The Wight at the End of the Tunnel

Delera’s Tomb has some sort of unhealthy obsession with dead girls. You have the “Dead Girl’s Notebook” one-off. Then you have the whole Delera questline proper, where you free the spirit of the dead girl and then hunt down the evil necromancer what did it to her.

It’s as if Turbine’s quest scripters had come off a weekend binge that included a half dozen Japanese horror movies, stumbled into work on a Monday with their brain cells still crackling, and wrote what they saw when they closed their eyes.

There’s an undercurrent of despair to most of DDO’s quests. Having children means living your life worrying that something bad will happen to them. In Stormreach, something bad ALWAYS happens to them. But then again, pretty much everyone in the DDO universe is living on borrowed time. No matter who you are or how much good you’ve done, somewhere someone has just given a bunch of wisecracking adventurers the quest to kill you.

Last week, we freed Delera’s shade from its eternal torment, but even released, she could find no peace. There could never be a rest for her while her tormentor still lived his unlife. Sunday, then, we took on the evil power of the graveyard, Dreadlord Giddeon.
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DDO: Getting the Wight Out

Yeah, that was the easiest trap to find EVER! We were running past and someone (I want to say Ulan, but it probably wasn’t) suggested taking a screenshot of us. I’m like, great! Look at all these bridges and ladders! Perfect spot! And then they pointed out the giant goat head behind us.

First on the menu — getting Ulan, our Friend from the North, into the exclusive ranks of the Order of Cannith. You know, I’d like an order of toast, an order of iced tea, and an Order of Cannith. Anyway, not just anyone can be a member of the Order. There’s a long application that will take a few hours to fill out, and hitting the ‘submit’ button at the end gives you a PAGE NOT FOUND error. Then you’ll have to talk to our HR person about doing a personal interview over Skype. Dress nicely!

Actually, I found out I had somehow become an officer. So I invited him in. Everyone was an officer! Spode was an officer! Gleek was an officer! Shy(sp?) was an officer! YOU’RE AN OFFICER! EVERYONE IS AN OFFICER!

And officers can change the guild message of the day.

Bwa. Ha. Ha.

First up: The Living Dead Girl’s Notebook. That timed dungeon had driven Spode and I bonkers last week, but it was no trouble this week. Spode the Unsinkable gallantly offered to watch the locked door open while the rest of us played in the water tunnels, which was kind of him :)

Next: “Free Delera”, the middle quest in the Delera’s Tomb series. You run around the dungeon unlocking five soul locks, all apparently built in order to keep Delera’s shade trapped. Okay, let’s pause here a moment.

Someone spent a LOT of money and a LOT of time building this dungeon and planting Delera within, making all these soul locks and everything. Did they not realize that ghosts and shades can be banished? Wouldn’t that have been a LOT LESS TROUBLE? Like, they could hire a party of adventurers to “Kill Delera’s Ghost so it stays dead this time”, and then it would get done. Wouldn’t that be a lot easier than “Spend ten years and millions of gold pieces to build a huge, sprawling tomb for Delera, install her ghost in it, seal it with five soul locks, then hire a party of adventurers to clear the dungeon, unlock the five soul locks and kill Delera’s Ghost so it stays dead this time?”

In the end, we didn’t kill her, but we did get her to talk to us. Something about a dread lord, undoubtedly fresh out of dread lord school.

Next week, we kill him.

DDO: Taking a Wight at the Ghast Station

Shy, a hireling cleric, and I watch the pretty burning ship while Spode flees the scene

The topic came up last week about maybe picking one of our myriad guilds as the one guild we all would join. Despite all the good times I had at GAMERZ, the nights we just spent describing our adventures over guild chat, banding together to defend Stormreach from its deadliest foes and… ah, forget it. I was a ninja invite, just a warm body to them. The only thing they ever wanted from me, as far as I know, was free guild renown at no cost to them. I left GAMERZ with nary a backward glance, and nobody noticed.

I DID leave on “good terms”, though. Leaving on “good terms” means I left most of the renown I’d earned with them.

We’d decided to all converge on Spode’s guild, “Order of Cannith” (inevitably changed to “Order of Cannabis” in Team Spode). Spode found to his shock and amazement that he was an officer, and so last week he invited Gleek into the guild. While looking around the guild airship, he spied the guild bank, full of low level stuff, from which he selected a wand. Spode also found a bit of armor. The next morning, the guild leader, inspiringly named Colossus, sent a blistering message to the membership about someone cleaning out the guild bank. PROBABLY just a coincidence.

Spode invited me and new Team Spode member Shy(sp?) into the guild Saturday night. I checked out the guild bank — it was filled to the brim with stuff. I felt I had to complain that I would need more clear inventory spaces to grab everything in one trip.

I didn’t say that in guild chat :) “Order of Cannith” has no idea who we are, and it’s probably best they don’t. I hope they enjoy all the guild renown we’ll be earning them, though.
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DDO: Searing(ly expensive) Heights

Team Spode left Three Barrel Cove behind, complete except for one level 7 dungeon we may return to once more of us are level 7. But we’d fought pirate monsters long enough. It was time to strike the barnacles from the scurvy mains’l, star the board and drink the port, drive the wharf rats out from under the saxboard, swab the bo’s’n and harpoon the gunwales, weigh the anchor and turn two sheets to the wind, and in all other ways, leave the pirate life behind us for awhile.

We were off to Searing Heights! Searing Heights, the high country, the land of volcanoes and drow, ancient terrors and … PIRATES?

We walked in and within minutes were battling first mates and so on. We gave them the spodey death they apparently craved. Following us here from Three Barrel Cove! Who could believe it?

I was in tow only to meet up with my fellow surface drow. We all have our own reasons to leave the dark tunnels of our spidery lairs. Someday, I may tell you mine. These drow, the Sulatar, had chosen a drastic form of volcano worship that was really quite exciting. Harness the power of the Earth itself toward destruction? It’s hard not to wonder how they were getting on with that.

I greeted them in our secret tongue. They killed me without a thought. Maybe it was the company I keep — a human, a gnome and an elf? I hovered spectrally around the group as we searched for a shrine; I eventually released and ran back (from Three Barrel Cove…), by which time Team Spode had fought their way through the Sulatar encampment to the Bargain of Blood, our dungeon for the evening.

Or not. It was paid content, part of the Sentinels of Stormreach adventure pack. The end result of those quests is a bit of named gear, but those adventures are generally slightly beyond our level. I think Ulan has access, but couldn’t give the rest of us guest passes, so there was no dungeon crawling for us this night.

We spent the rest of the evening working on slayer and exploration achievements. It’s a beautiful zone, Searing Heights, and I’m sure the dungeon would have been just as amazing.

Next week, we return to the last module I ran with the Massively crew, Delera’s Tomb. This is paid content, and I’ll be picking up the tab for the guest passes for those who do not choose to purchase it (yay me). I remember it being a heck of a lot of fun, and the end reward is a trinket, Voice of the Master, a 20-sided die that confers extra experience. Voice of the Master, indeed — the Delera’s Tomb module is narrated by the original DM himself, Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, to whom this entire module is a tribute.

We’ll also soon be welcoming a fifth member to Team Spode, Shylaren (sp?), a cleric and friend to the others from their LotRO days. Kinda makes me wonder what a good sixth class would be. Cleric was an obvious need. Between her, Ulan’s Favored Soul and Spode’s Paladin, we should have enough healing. Monk? Barbarian? Nah — ranger is what we need. We are drastically short in the ranged damage department. (Our only real ranged class is the drastically short Gleek, a sorcerer).

Me, I leveled to 7 Rogue last night, still on the path of stealth and disabling. I got sneak attack, which might well be class-defining, and since I hadn’t spent enhancement points for awhile, picked up additional +2 saves against all sorts of trap damage. I’ll have to tote up my abilities in the various roguely skills to be sure, but I may be approaching the time when I can branch out to bard (for buffs) or ranger (for ranged attacks) and add some more utility to the group.