Monday, December 4, 2006

The Morg Saga Part 1 - The Conjurer

Jump to details about Ragnarok.

Text in red is game mechanics.
Text in green is fiction from outside of the game.
Text in quotation marks is in-game text.

Intro (summary from the manual)

“For thousands of years, the gods have lived in their home, Asgard. Most of the gods champion the human race, protecting them from greater evils that would destroy their realm, Midgard, and all that lies within it.”

“The gods have lost much of their might through various arcane evils and misadventures. According to prophecy these handicaps will be their undoing.” “Although many hold the prophecies of the Norns to be all-knowing, it is whispered that the future is not set in stone. Many believe that the prophecies can be foiled through human intervention, but it will take a true hero and exceptional warrior to meddle in the realm of gods and giants.”

“It is 999 AD, and as a young Viking, you fear there is little time left before the coming of Surtr and his hordes of fire demons. The nights have been increasingly colder, the days shorter, and the sun and moon have been growing steadily darker, indicating that the power of the gods is faltering. You have decided to brave the unknown rather than wait to perish in flames. You have chosen to leave your village to pursue the following quests:

News of Mimming (Freyr's sword), Mjollnir (Thor's hammer), or Gungnir (Odin's spear).

Mimer's Well and the skill and magic needed to defeat Aspenth, releasing the curse that forms him into a serpent.

Some manner of weapon or magic that can assist Tyr in battling with but one arm.

Thokk's tears, or news of her death to bring to Hela in exchange for the release of Balder's soul.”

The Village

Morg starts his apprenticeship as a Conjurer in a mysterious way. The adventurer he is masquerading as is dead and was named Hifdrok. Why Morg is masquerading as another is yet unknown and is part of the mystery that is Valhalla. As an apprentice Conjurer Morg starts with low constitution and strength. The only spell he knows is Set Recall, which sets the place to return to when reading a scroll of Recall.

He’s armed with a Sai and protected by a blessed Grey Cloak +1 and equipped with a Food Ration and a blessed potion of Curing. The potion will restore all hit points and cure most known ailments. The ring of Soul Trapping has passed through many generations to Morg. Legend holds that this ring can possess the soul of Thokk if removed immediately after killing the giantess in combat (one of the quests).

Morg starts in a deserted house in a deserted village overrun by wild creatures. He looks around in the debris for anything useful and finds a scroll of Blessing, an Elm Wand and some money.

Just as Morg is going to exit the house two Gnomes attack from two directions. They are small nocturnal humanoids that hate mankind. Morg zaps the newly found Elm wand at one of the Gnomes, and a magenta ray hits the gnome with a crackling sound (Valhalla 1.0 has sound, Ragnarok 2.5 has no sound) but without any noticeable effect.

Morg tries to by step one of them to fight them one at a time in a door opening, but he gets severely wounded in so doing. He tries the wand at himself without any effect and decides to fight it out with his Sai. Morg exchanges blows with one of the Gnomes while the other is blocked from attacking. The first one falls and the second one is about to engage Morg.

Morg trades a couple of blows and the last Gnome dies (9/28 Hp), only to observe two more coming in for the kill. Morg notices that he is better with the Sai than he thought and kills both Gnomes without getting more wounds. On the dead bodies he finds a Jasper Ring and a Scroll of Identify.

Morg rests (by tapping the rest key one turn at a time) in the house to recover some health and reads the scroll of Blessing on the Sai. It glows and becomes a blessed Sai +1. He reads the scroll of Identification on the Ring and it turns out to be a Ring of Famine. That doesn't sound too good, better not put it on.

Morg hears a sound (described with a text message) a while later (14/28 Hp), but nothing disturbs his rest. When he is fully recovered a Bear comes through the doorway and hits Morg (takes away 20 HP) with a couple of blows. Morg is forced to drink his blessed Potion of Curing and then kills the Bear with two lucky blows. Now he has become hungry and could eat a whole Bear so he does. The raw Bear tasted terrible and didn’t do much good to satisfy his hunger. Morg hears a sound and forgets about his hunger. He ventures outside to have a look.

A short distance away he can see another house. On his way to the house he finds a Decayed scroll and some money on the ground. Inside he finds “Bafion Fute the trader”. He's got some magical things for sale. Morg is starting to get really hungry so he eats his only Food Ration while looking through the items in the shop.

Suddenly a Wild Boar comes charging into the shop and wounds Morg badly. Morg retreats behind Bafion Fute who kills the Boar with one single blow. Morg picks up a scroll of Identification (ID), a Potion of Curing and a Grappling Hook to buy them. Bafion is a suspicious shopkeeper and locks the doors to make sure Morg will pay. Morg uses this “hospitality” to fully recover (by using Far Move command with no direction to avoid constant tapping of rest key) in the safety of the shop. Then Morg pay him almost all of his money and exits.

A Wild Dog attacks Morg outside the shop and he tries to scare it away by throwing an arrow he found earlier, but to no avail. There's a short battle and Morg finally gets a killing thrust with his Sai +1. The creatures really are on a rampage.

A Raven comes flying and speaks to Morg: "An orange cube will propel its owner to the Wasteland." The Raven then disappears. Morg has heard about the Wasteland. It’s an area that has slipped outside the normal flow of time, an area that is as unstable as Midgard was in the early stages of its existence. To get there Morg apparently needs an orange cube, but does he really dare to venture to such a dangerous place?

Morg finds some food rations and eats them greedily. An Anssk comes hovering; it's a non-aggressive creature whose main defence is hypnosis. Morg stays away and heads toward the third house. The Anssk is pretty annoying and follows Morg around. If Morg gets trapped he may have to attack the Anssk and maybe get hypnotised. This incapacitated state lasts a long time and wild animals might eat Morg alive long before he comes to his senses again.

A Wild Boar and a Rat attack Morg and he positions himself in the doorway of the shop and takes care of the Rat first and then the Boar. He attains Level 2 (31 Hp).

He finds a woven Scroll and an Urn. He hopes that the Urn contains something edible but it is empty. He notices a pit and avoids it. The Anssk still follows him around. Morg tries to lure the Anssk into the pit but naturally the Anssk just hovers over it.

In a glade he finds Scale Mail Armor. Morg thinks about identifying it before putting it on, you never know, things might be hexed. But then Morg decides that nothing can be worse than his Armor Class (AC) of 8 and puts it on. It takes five turns to equip and it seems to be an ordinary Scale Mail (AC: 5). The Anssk is watching with interest.

Morg finds a potion of Speed, some Food Rations and some money. He kills a Wild Dog and finds two scrolls of Identification. The section is finally explored and Morg decides to move east.

The Forest

In the next forest section three Wild Dogs ambush Morg.

The image on the left is from the zoomed in view in lower screen. The image on the right is from the overview map in upper screen.

Morg thinks as a fighter would and tries to position himself in an advantageous position but fails miserably and gets surrounded and attacked by all three dogs at once. After missing a couple of blows while getting bitten by the dogs he decides to drink a potion of Speed. He's now so fast he gets an extra strike each turn. He wins the battle with only minor wounds.

Continuing into the forest Morg encounters a few lone Wild Dogs but have no trouble killing them. Then he runs into a blue jelly sitting on the forest floor. It’s a Stun Jelly and can stun it’s opponents so Morg retreats. The Stun Jelly is slow and Morg slips away easily. He stumbles upon an urn that contains a green powder that makes Morg stronger, from Strength 10 to 13. He finds one more and gets even stronger (Str:15). He dispatches a few Wild Dogs and now another Anssk follows him around. He notices something glimmering on the forest floor. It’s a Silver Sword, a magical weapon and a Werewolves' bane. He takes it and wields it.

Suddenly a Wild Boar comes charging out of the woods. Morg waits for the Boar to come close so he can get the first strike, and what a strike, he fells the Boar with one mighty blow.

Morg feels lucky as he later finds a scroll of Blessing. He’s heard a trick (read the strategy guide included with Ragnarok 2.5 package) where one should drink Mead to become intoxicated and then read the scroll of Blessing to bless multiple items in his backpack. He just has to find some Mead. He has a hard time to hit a rat with the Silver Sword, maybe the Rat is too small? Later he encounters a Dreg, a slow, nasty creature that spews acid when struck. Morg keeps away. He wishes he had some kind of missile weapon.

Morg sets of a teleportation trap and ends up in an already explored section of the forest. He heads for an unexplored section again and an arrow hits him, taking away 10 Hp. He sees neither trap nor foe.

Morg notices a pile of gold and approaches it smiling with glimmering eyes, but falls into a pit before he reaches the gold. He throws his Grappling Hook and climbs out of the pit and gets the 26 gold. Lucky to have a Grappling Hook he continues on his journey.

The forest section is now fully explored and Morg uses Far Move to get back to the shop in the west section of the forest. (The Far Move command is an automatic movement in one direction and halts when Morg notices a creature or runs into a tree.) He notices a Raven. The Raven flies in the opposite direction and Morg tries to catch up, cautiously avoiding a Dreg. He finally catches up with the Raven who speaks:

Back in the shop he buys a Potion of Curing. He doesn’t have to drink it right now because he has regained all hit points while walking around. He heads for the easternmost section of the forest with Fast Move. He avoids some Stun Jellies and Dregs, and kills a few Wild Dogs on his way.

In the new forest section Morg finds Chain Mail armor. When he picks it up he hears a sound out in the woods. Something is close by. Chain is better than Scale so he decides to put it on. It will take 9 turns to make the change. There's a thought in his head saying that it might be unwise to change armor in an unexplored section of woods, especially when there’s something close by, and in the middle of the change a Knilb, a teleporting doglike creature, teleports in and attacks.

Morg defends dressed only in his Grey Cloak +1. The Knilb misses and Morg gets a couple of hits killing the Knilb. Morg continues to dress the Chain Mail, but now a couple of Orcs come charging.

When Morg has finished dressing (AC: 4), the first Orc is just about to strike at him. Morg strikes first and kills the Orc with a well-placed cut. The second Orc charges and hits Morg again and again without Morg getting any hits at the Orc. Finally (24/31 Hp) Morg gets a hit at the orc, with a clanging sound. The second slash also hits killing the Orc and Morg raises to Level 3 ( 41 Hp). The Orcs dropped a Sai, a Banded Mail and a Leather Scroll. The Banded Mail is better than Chain Mail, but this time Morg will explore the forest some more before changing armor. He can’t carry it all so he leaves the Banded Mail where it is.

Morg notices an Orc and throws one of his two Sais at him and it hits (the Sai is not a throwing weapon so damage may be small). The Orc engages but Morg fells him with the Silver Sword. A Homunculus approaches. This aggressive and nasty small animal's bite can cause unconsciousness, very dangerous in Orc infested woods. Morg retreats and by cutting a few corners manages to throw off the Homunculu's chase though it is equally fast. Morg moves to the western section of the forest to recover some health and think of a battle tactic, but he is disturbed by a Stun Jelly slithering slowly towards him. He returns to the east forest section and immediately gets attacked by an Orc. He throws his Sai +1 and hits and then kills the Orc with a thrust from the Silver Sword. The Homunculus and a second Orc comes running and Morg is forced to retreat to the western section, only to be bumped by the Stun Jelly again. He makes a wide stroll around the Stun Jelly and decides to head for the shop to rest some.

Back in the deserted village four Gnomes are resting in one of the houses. They attack on sight and a short but bloody battle leaves Morg standing with some Gauntlets, a White Mushroom and a Trident.

Back at the shop he sells a Scale Mail for 275 gold. Morg fully recovers in the safety of the shop. He looks at his newly found Trident and decides to try and wield it. When he closes his hand around the handle it grafts onto the hand, making hand and weapon as one. It is hexed and the shop has a Scroll of Dispel Hex that makes it possible to let go of the Trident, but it costs 420 gold. He decides to hold on the Trident for now, it’s a better weapon than the Silver Sword, but not magical. Morg reads a Scroll of ID on the Trident to make sure that he isn't holding a cursed weapon, and it shows to be a blessed Trident +1. He identifies the Gauntlets as normal and puts them on (AC: 2). (How is that possible when the Trident is grafted to his hands?) He buys a couple of Scrolls of ID for 100 gold a piece and heads back to the east.

Morg's Fast Move is interrupted by a Kobold hitting him with a thrown Flint Knife. Morg replies with a well-thrown Sai and fells the Kobold in close combat with the Trident. The Kobold drops 6 Flint Knives and a Wand of Light.

As soon as Morg enters the easternmost forest section he hears a sound. Could it be the Homunculus again? No, it's four Orcs attacking! As the battle starts Morg spots the Homunculus some distance behind the Orcs. After the battle (32/41 Hp) Morg can’t spot the Homunculus.

He takes a few steps forward and hears a noise. He arrives at the place where he first met the Homunculus, and his Sai +1 still lies there on the ground. Two Orcs attack from different directions. Morg throws his other Sai and then kills both Orcs and a couple of Imps with his Trident +1.

He gains Level 4 (53 HP) and the ability to cast the Illusory Self spell and the skill of Fenneling (move charges between similar Wands). He finds an Ivory Staff, good for killing the undead, and some armor. He drops a lot of stuff and gathers up all armor with the plan to read a scroll of Blessing on a scroll of ID to be able to identify everything in the backpack. A Berserker and an Orc attack leaving even more weapons and armor to identify, and a second scroll of Blessing.

To be able to identify as much as possible Morg takes off his Chain Mail armor and have to fight both a Bear and an Orc in his Grey Cloak +1 and Gauntlets. But he survives and identifies everything. Nothing much of interest, apart from a blessed potion of Curing and a scroll of Travelling (teleport away from bad situations). He wears the Banded Mail (AC: 1) and drops some arrows and other useless stuff.

After exploring for a while the Homunculus shows up and Morg panics off to the east forest section. The Homunculus doesn’t seem to be able to follow him between the map sections. He rests for a while and remembers that he now can cast the spell Illusory Self. He returns and spots the Homunculus and casts the spell Illusory Self and looks at amazement when a copy of himself kills the Homunculus.

Morg and his copy explore the forest together, hacking Orcs and Gnomes to pieces. Now it's time to move south with all three of the north forest sections and 1/3 of the total forest explored.

Morg reaches the new section and steps on a teleportation trap and gets teleported into the middle of the forest. A Knilb attacks him, and he throws his Sai +1 and hits, but his other Sai misses and the Knilb dies in close combat. A little later a Berserk attacks, taking away half of Morgs HP with two hits, but Morg kills the Berserk with three hits. Now it's time to be more cautious, the enemy is getting stronger.

Morg finds a ring, identifies it as a Ring of Relocation (teleport). In the middle of the forest he finds a shop. There's a battle going on between the shopkeeper and some Orcs. Morg joins in the fray and finds some items lying around after the battle.

He reads an unidentified scroll of ID and it was blessed because he hears a buzzing sound and everything in his backpack is identified. There’s a ring of Agility (good for AC), a cursed ID scroll and the Wand he found in the deserted house is a Wand of Hastening. Sadly a hastening ray speed lesser creatures but is ineffective on users themselves. He puts on the Ring of Agility and Bracers +0 (AC: -1), and sells some other stuff. Not counting on meeting the undead in the forest he sold the Ivory Staff for 500 gold.

Morg rests to full HP and the game now reaches 4000 turns. In expert mode it is now possible to make a permanent save.

To be continued…

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