There’s a lot of adventure under that orange-ish wellcap
On Guild Heroic night we avoid the higher-level stuff and muck about in Heroics (thus the name). We generally only finish one or two quests, it is after all a week day and people have work in the AM. Nonetheless, a good time, usually, and we’ve been working on the Wheloon series in order to earn Eveningstar Keys to the City for everyone.
But tonight there are eight of us. Too many for Wheloon unless we split up, and it will be especially awkward to do that tonight; sub-grouping decisions will not be clean with this particular composition of people. More, one of the guildies has been putting in extra time leveling his character to the point where he can play with the main group. I want him to be able to do that!
Fortunately I have a backup plan. Garamol. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Garamol is a giant skeleton that lives in a secret lair deep under the Marketplace in the Subterrane. If you were playing back in 2008-2010, you know Garamol very well: he has unusual loot drops in his hoard that are difficult to find anywhere else, some of which (especially Icy Raiment) were once considered must-haves for several popular character builds.
The game has moved on, the items have lost their luster, and Garamol has faded into obscurity.
But not into completely forgotten. I still remember!
Eight people is just fine for exploring the Subterrane. For that matter, so are 12; it’s a raid area. Some of the group have never been here; I do what I can to explain the living spells and the constant debuffs and so forth, but it has to be experienced to be fully understood.
Garamol is (I believe) always found in here, somewhere, but the portal that leads to his lair moves from one instance to the next. There are clever roadsigns that point the way; finding Garamol is a fun sort of mini-puzzle all by itself.
We run into a different rare encounter on the way and loot drops immediately; a +3 skill tome, and a devotion of healing lore scepter that is better than the one our cleric already possesses. The night is off to a good start.
There are some hiccups, no one has searched for Garamol in years and there is some uncertainty and one false alarm. But at last we arrive.
The Garamol fight is unique, even still. He lives at the bottom of a very deep pit and has filled his airspace with all kinds of traps – force, flames, acid, everything, plus more of the diabolic sigils that debuff you if you touch them. You have to pass through all that to get to him. But worse, he has the Reverse Gravity spell and throws you back up into the trappy mess constantly!
There is an urban legend that if anyone jumps, everyone is thrown up into the air. I am not sure if that is true, or ever has been. Maybe? The party is airborne a lot, and there is no way to be watching everyone all the time. Someone could have jumped. But with all of the voices shouting “stop jumping” I think that is unlikely. I think it is more likely that Garamol just likes to throw us around.
It may be old-school, but put an anarchic ruby in that red slot and you have something special!
Regardless, enough of us are on the ground often enough to clear Garamol’s companions and soon we are focusing on the giant skeleton itself. It has a lot of hit points, but there are a lot of Halfling Commandos involved and soon enough, we win. Victory! And looting, much looting, Garamol has more loose piles of gold laying around than anyone. Even more than the blue dragon in Gianthold Tor. Many, many piles of gold.
You never get anything worthwhile from loose gold, but still, looting is fun, and fun is why we are here.
After awhile, we eventually get to the chests. There are two. And our loot luck continues; named items drop right away.
Even though these items are no longer top shelf, they are still fun to get, and for Heroics especially, still occasionally useful. Some more than others, but all of them were generating excitement, especially among the players who’d never been in here before. Fun!
So fun that we did it again. Recall, reset, re-run, re-fight, re-loot. And more named stuff drops! Are we just that lucky tonight? Or have the chests been loosened up on purpose? No way to know, but during the course of those two runs we pulled:
A Dwarven Thrower (which, by the way, is supposed to be a warhammer!)
A Luck Blade
A Mace of Smiting – the original one that is ML6
A Tira’s Splendor, which was better than anything our artificer had and was directly equipped
But the best part was the excitement as each item was announced and got traded around to whomever could best use it.
So much fun. Old school? Yes.
Totally worth it anyway? Yes.
🙂 😀 🙂