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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 1

- Intro

The Bears are gone down. Since we were going to rest back in Gilded Vale anyway, we went 'all in' vs them. Grim Face placed Repulsing Seal in advance for the emergency sake (if Bears went past Eder), Eder opened with bow shot to start combat, Grim Face fired Inspiring Radiance>Armor of Faith buffs, Aloth hit with Chill Fog>Arcane Blast>Curse of Blackened Sight for mature Bear (Chill Fog target Fortitude - the Bear's highest defense, while Curse target Will - the lowest one). Young Bears went down really quick but mature Bear hit Eder hard so Grim Face fired Iconic Projection and hit Bear with Halt spell to lower their Dex (by 2), Accuracy (by 5) and most importantly Deflection (by 20). Aloth fired some MMM and Bear gone down.

Spoiler

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Back in Gilded Vale we let Nonton and Ingroed go in peace to build their new (hopefully happier) life, got new recipe from Tenfrith, rest (for Dyrwood's Pride Resting bonus) and enchanted The Disappointer Pistol with Accurate enchantment making it the best and most damaging weapon available for us at the moment. I didn't particularly favor firearms in PoE before but with some Deadfire experience I've changed my mind and not that strict at them anymore. They are partucularly convenient for casters in Deadfire (still need to test how this work in PoE) since they are great for Hit-n-Cast approach, allowing to cast a spell immediately after shooting bypassing recovery stage unlike all other weapons:

Spoiler

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With all that done now the true Adventure begins!

to be continued...

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8 hours ago, Concrete Monster said:

So excited to have a few active runs going again! Good luck to you both, and hopefully (work allowing) I'll be joining you with a new run soon!

Agreed! With three people active, the challenge has a pulse again. We'll soon have it up on its feet, dancing the jitterbug!

Best,

A.

Btw, thanks for the compliment on Astrid. In BG play I had a favorite character, Alesia, a bounty hunter- which as you've surely guessed is where my forum name comes from. Playing Alesia solo no reload style is what really made me learn the game. I'm hoping Astrid will be the same for me in PoE.

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I enjoyed your last post, Serg. It looks like Astrid and Grim Face are in the same place. First round at the Hound is on Astrid!

Astrid has no intention of going anywhere near that cave, but I appreciated your bear fight battle report. It was like a refresher course on early game party play.

The Disappointer idea was cool, too

Good hunting!

A.

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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo) - Entry 2

Let's continue, shall we?

Astrid is currently at the Goose and Fox- resting and relaxing after a fetch questing binge in Defiance Bay. This post will cover the Temple of Eothas and Caed Nua. Both quests were uneventful- uneventful by design, that is. Astrid fought Maerwald, his blights and no one else. The rest was handled with stealth. 

To the action (or lack there of...)

For a stealth maxed drifter wearing boots of stealth, stealthing through  the Temple of Eothas is a breeze. There are, however, a few tricky moves, which I'll cover here.

The spider group encountered en route to the bells can be passed to the north. Click carefully, keep moving, and its all good.

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The shades downstairs are no problem at all. They're slow, their detection radii aren't great, and the hallways they inhabit are large.

The ooze room is harder. It's difficult to see an opening at first, but you can pass the top ooze to the north. 

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Then you can go in between the final two. 

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The tricky part appears when, like Missy Elliot, you flip it and reverse it. If you carefully compare the screenshot below to the screenshot above, you'll see that the eastern ooze has moved slightly: it's closer to the western one now. So, on the way back we go over the top.

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Upstairs, on the return, we went straight through the middle. That worked fine. 

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Completing Buried Secrets brought Astrid to L4. We took Shadowing Beyond, on rank in lore and another in stealth. We forged some Fan of Flame scrolls, some Bulwarks and then headed to Caed Nua. 

The main hall can be stealthed even without Shadowing Beyond. Just hug the north wall and make your way to the door. In my head I'm singing Walk On By by Dionne Warwick because I'm still a dork but my musical taste is getting better.

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The fight with Maerwald went smoothly. We gulped our Bulwark and evaded some spells. Nexted, we duped Maerwald into killing his wind blights and injuring his flame blight, later finished in melee.

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Maerwald was killed with Fan of Flames->Melee finish. Melee alone would have worked but staying ranged facilitates spell evasion, just like in BG. The melee finish was for style points.

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And that's that: We're off to Defiance Bay!

Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Now that's the pace - Astrid is really Quick&Nimble. We'll name her Astrid The Swift from now on - she earned it!  😃 One small downside of such approach is that she left too many foes in her wake for us to deal with... Dangerous enemies, and their very presence threatens the peaceful existence of local folks. Oh well, that's life, I suppose. Let's get to work - if not us, then who else? And we still cope, leisurely but methodically!

Quick note of Grim Face & Co: Raedric's Hold is infiltrated and it's Dungeons sanitized already. More details coming soon.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 2

The first objective of our adventure was Raedric's Hold. Esternwood inhabitants - undead and Wichts - are Vessels so Holy Radiance burned them in few seconds. Spiders are a little bit sturdier but fell nonetheless. We met Kolsc there and proceed to the Hold. There we took a sewers entrance (buffed with Duc's Own Beefloaf Eder was able to bend the grates). Large group of Guls, Revenants and Skellies at the entrance was taken down with some more food buffs (Darkest Rauatai Cookies, Rauatai Sweet Pie and Ale) and Eder holding grounds at the side door (those Guls have quite nasty ability - Vomit Blood - which might wipe the whole low level party if applied en-masse). The same approach was taken vs another crowd of undead in nearby room and Eder got Fine Brigandine we found there:

Spoiler

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Loose Brick in one of the Prison's cells stored Minor Cloak of Protection and we also set free Giacco, an unfortunate member of Kolsc's expedition to the Hold. For now Osrya was left alone (we'll come back later anyway), just like the large group of Oozes at the west. To get to Nedmar we had to wear some Berathian priest robes and pass two checks with guards- one of Resolve 12 (courtesy of Hound resting bonus) and then another of Intelligence 12. Got the master key from Nedmar and loot some Hold's chests for Gloves of Manipulation, Blunting Belt and Boots of Stealth. Not bad, not bad at all!

Spoiler

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We also hit level 4 there: Grim Face (Mechanics>6, Survival>1, Interdiction), Eder (Lore>6, Survival>3, Two Weapon Style), Aloth (Lore>8, Survival>1, Combusting Wounds, Penetrating Blast). Since (if I remember correct) level 4 is max for party pre Caed Nua we next hired Durance (Athletics>3, Survival>3, Lore>7, Stealth>1, Inspiring Radiance, Aspirant's Mark) at Magran's Fork and proceed east to Caed Nua to meet Kana. In Black Meadow fire priest was invaluable vs Forest Trolls and they drop like flies. The wildlife is quite intelligent and knew their main threat trying to focus Durance first and foremost, but with two Priests in the Crew we endure without losses.

Spoiler

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Kana joined the Crew (Athletics>3, Lore>7, Survival>3, 'But Reny Darel's Ghost, He Would not Rest',  'Come, Come Soft Winds of Death', Ancient Memory, Gallant's Focus) and we sneaked through the courtyard figthing single Will-O'-Wisp to get Whispers of Yenwood (applying Burning Lash to it immediately):

Spoiler

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Back in Black Meadow Bandits are not a threat for us anymore (The Disappointer being fixed and in Kana's skilled hands is quite deadly). The whole area is clear now except two Forest Lurkers near Galavain's Shrine (I remember them being a pain in our rears back in Gloomy Face run and we'll come back to that shrine later in the game anyway).

Spoiler

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Happy with his shipment back Tuatanu sold us Azureith's Stiletto with great discount and we headed to Madhmr Bridge to get Hermit's Hat. Local Xaurips come in small groups so went down easy and pair of Trolls even being sturdier than Forest ones fell nonetheless. Next we are going to visit Anslog's Compass and then sanitize Temple of Eothas back in Guilded Vales.

to be continued...

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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 3

Anslog's Compass, Xaurip's Camp. We took a position in a bottle neck north-west of camp and applied food buffs, Eder lured Xaurips and we noticed that Xaurip Priest prepared Divine Terror so Grim Face cast Prayer Against Fear followed with Inspiring Radiance+Interdiction, Aloth cast Chill Fog+Combusting Wounds, Durance applied Consecrated Ground+Aspirant's Mark and Eder set Xaurip Skirmisher prone. Our 'Rangers' focused Xaurip Priest and after some Arcane Assault by Aloth only two Xaurip Champions remained, who fell in due course. Only Eder got some negligible damage and that's it. Ippon!

Spoiler

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Dank Spore Cave. Again Eder lured Sporelings to the Cave entrance. Those are charging Grim Face so after applying Inspiring Radiance+Interdiction me hide under Withdraw, Durance fired Consecrated Ground+Bless and we focused them one by one.

Spoiler

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Then Eder tanked Dank Spores wearing Hermit's Hat while others shoot from afar.

Spoiler

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The rest of foes pose no threat and it's safe from now on for Ranga and Ponamu Bird-Scorned to carry their business.

On the way back to Gilded Vale we finished sanitizing Magran's Fork of Ludrana's party (again two Goldpack Palladins charged Grim Face so I had to Withdraw), three Wolf packs and some Boars. For the Crew of five level 4 characters it's quite a trivial work. Aloth learned some new spells from Ludrana's Grimoire (Ghost Blades, Fetid Caress, Necrotic Lance).

Spoiler

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Back in Gilded Vale we where honest with Aufra about Ranga'a mixture and now, after some rest at the Hound (and the Ale Astrid has left for us), we are ready to sanitize the local Temple of Eothas.

to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 3: Defiance Bay- Part 1

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Defiance Bay is great. It's a super easy place to accumulate experience. It's fetch quests and cakewalks galore.

First we did all the fetch quests then we did the rest, starting with Helig.

We began with beetles and a salvo from Forgiveness.

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And that was all it took. After that we just had to stab some dead people in the kidneys.

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(Oh. I almost forgot: we got to Helig by steathing and we reached the Temple of Woedica through stealth, too. But you probably guessed that, right? We got our hood from the practice guy. Scored a rugged wilderness cap from the catacombs altar and something useless from the other.)

By now we had enough coppers to buy a very important item: the Rotfinger Gloves. These things are stupid- seriously overpowered when you find them. They let you cast Touch of Rot three times per rest and Touch of Rot three times per rest basically wins all the kith fights in Defiance Bay. Here's an example: Supply and Demand.

First, we dropped our beetles.

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Next, Combusting Wounds via Ring of Searing Flames followed by Touch of Rot, via the Rotfinger Gloves.

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Not much left to do other than accelerate the thugs' demise with a Jolting Touch. Astrid uses melee mostly for the procs. In my head I'm singing "I Wanna Proc" because I'm team dork for life and the 80's were hilarious.

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All Hands on Deck was basically the same.

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If you're wondering what Astrid's been doing with her coin these days, the answer is not much, although somehow she's broke most the time anyways (Sound familiar anybody? I mean in real life...). She buys lots of crafting bits because she likes to keep a spread of single use items available at all times. She prefers Fan of Flames scrolls, Jolting Touch scrolls, potions of Infuse With Vital Essence, potions of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion and potions of Merciless Gaze ( mostly because the animation looks cool). She's been upgrading her items, too. I'll give you a rundown in the next post.

It was time for some new armor, so we got the Crucible Knights their stolen-soul, mechanical-monster death squadron.

Standard start here: Beatles->Combusting Wounds->Touch of Rot

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We took some early damage from Barbs of Condemnation. That was quickly healed with Second Wind, acquired via resting bonus.

We finished up the fight by shooting this guy in the face.

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The Parable of Wael was a familiar tale. We started over on the right side so the casters and ranged fighters would see the beetles first, targeting them instead of Astrid.

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And done.

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Astrid's physical weapon strikes are almost always Azureith Jolting Touch crits or Forgiveness Finish Blows. The logic being that if it's just a regular strike, she can get more done with a scroll or an item charge. Why poke someone with a needle when you can burn them to a crisp?

By now Astrid was at level 6. And that means new friends. I'm talking shades. We put a pip in mechanics to bring us to 4 and selected Deep Pockets as our talent. We then took a snoozy-woozy in the Fletcher's Stay room of the Goose and Fox for the mechanics bonus. Base 4 + Fletcher's Stay + Gloves of Manipulation yields 7, which means we can open that chest over at the Valian Embassy, granting us the Obsidian Lamp. Here's the new inventory. It's shaping up. We need Shod in Faith and the Ring of Wonder, but we're pretty much where we intend to be from here to Twin Elms.

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The shades made their first showing at Purnisc's place. We had fun here.

Forced to trigger the encounter in a disadvantageous position, Astrid opened with Shadowing Beyond.

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She headed south, and the shades joined the party.

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With the shades in place, we had no trouble dropping the rot.

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Nyrid was ended with an 80hp shot from Forgiveness and we moved on.

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We had to kill a couple of straggler mercenaries before heading upstairs. These were fun and roguey. The first guy took two swings. We opened with a crit our of stealth from Azureith's, triggering Jolting Touch. We followed with a Finishing Blow.

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Same start for mercenary 2. These Jolting Touch strikes out of stealth almost feel like backstabs.

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With Jolting Touch spent, we switched to scrolls. All it took was a nudge after that.

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On the second floor we used stealth- which will work, even with the locked door, sans Shadowing Beyond.

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Ok. Let's stop there for now. In our next post we'll cover the Doemenel questline. After that, it's time to face Irenicus in Spellhold Thaos in the Sanitarium.

Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 3: Defiance Bay- Part 2

By now Astrid had completed all the Defiance Bay side quests she intends to- with the exception of the Final Act. It was time to secure her place at the Duchal Palace. The easiest and best route for her is the Doemenel path.

We entered the quest by killing the goons. This was a standard summons/Touch of Rot based kill. The only real drama here was the size of the Finishing Blow. She got a pretty good one.

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The Wenfeld assassination went well. Wenfeld uses Shinning Beacon so it's a good idea to maintain distance. We started off with a Forgiveness Crippling Strike.

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We followed with shades. Wenfeld went with Barbs of Condemnation, which triggered our new item, Shod in Faith.

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All we had to do then was dump our spells on him while he dumped his spells on the shades.

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Solid Finishing Blow

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Best,

A.

 

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Looking good, Alesia! Touch of Rot spell is one of Gloomy Face's favorites too. It's devastating even at Deadfire early stages.

One note on Astrid's food buffs - you might want to optimise it a little bit by consuming just one Darkest Rauatai Cookies (+2Con, +1Per, +5Max Health) instead of two - Pearlwood Chicken (+2Con, +10Max Endurance) + Savory Pie (+1Mig, +1Per, +10Max Endurance).

Something like this:

  • Darkest Rauatai Cookies (+2Con, +1Per, +5Max Health)
  • Rauatai Sweet Pie (+2Dex, +10Max Endurance)
  • Casita Casserole (+2Int, +10Max Endurance)
  • Farmer's Spread (+2Mig, +1Move Speed)

You'll gain most attributes buffed and also +5Max Health/+1Move Speed with minimum suppression this way. It will also allow to preserve her slim figure and agility which is crucial for Rogue cutie!

Since " She buys lots of crafting bits because she likes to keep a spread of single use items available at all times. " just keep an eye for Rice, Beer, Fish, Eggs, Sugar, Cocoa, Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Oil, Milk.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Thanks, Serg! I had actually noticed the Rauatai Cookies and had planned to use them. We have six of them in our stash already. The Pearlwood and Sweet Pie just end up getting picked up out of force of habit or at places where they don't make cookies.

But your note helped, nonetheless. It was a helpful reminder!

Best,

A. 

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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 4

The Temple of Eothas is finally consecrated. We crafted some potions of Bulwark Against The Elements and Scrolls of Fan of Flames before entering the Temple. First we dealt with some Will-O'-Wisps. Those mass hit Eder with lightning and Confusion but focusing them one at a time quickly sealed their fate. The rest of level 1 inhabitants weren't much of trouble.

Spoiler

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Level 2 is more dangerous but food buffs, careful positioning at the choke points and some luring is all we need. Not the most elegant approach but effective.

Spoiler

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As it turned out in the end, we had to fight the restless souls of my fellow Eothasians... If only Xoti were with us now - she could at least harvest the poor souls of the dead by shepherding them into the light of her lantern. But Xoti is out of reach, somewhere in Deadfire. I hope to meet her someday, to easy the burden on my soul...

What Wirtan did is horrible, but The Bright God had much to say on the matter of redemption. He could start with burying the Dead Priest's Bones and pray for forgiveness. Eothas is not dead, no matter what others might think for themselves.

The most notable loot from the Temple are Minor Cloak of Protection, Minor Ring of Deflection, Cloak of an Eothasian Priest, Gaun's Share Flail and The Pilgrim's Lasting Vigil.

Not much left for us to do in the Gilded Vale aside from two Forest Lurkers in Black Meadow and Raedric himself but after some pondering we decided to postpone this tasks and head straight to meeting with Maerwald.

to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Defiance Bay Part 3 and Cliaban Rilag

Is there Instagram in Eora? If so, Astrid's feed would be all:

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#estramore #elmlife #glanfabulous

So: How did she get there? Through stealth, mostly.

This post will cover The Man Who Waits, Undying Heritage and Through Death's Gate. And it will cover, I don't know one battle? No two, actually. There were two. We slinked by everything else. Let's start with The Man Who Waits.

This one is super easy- no risk at all. If you activate Shadowing Beyond immediately, all the baddies will walk away.

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They go far enough away to end combat and far enough away to let you activate stealth here: in the corner of Uscgrim's cell

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So that was easy. And there are no difficult moves on the way out. It's clear sailing. This is the closest anyone gets, and that's not near close enough, if you've invested heavily in stealth.

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Undying Heritage is easy, too. Unlike Undying Gate, there are no challenging moves. There are a couple of patrolling critters that can cause difficulty, but they're easy enough to avoid. Here's Astrid entering the tower.

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And here she is fighting her one fight of the quest. Shocky-Shocky.

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Hardest move of the quest was this one. And that one was easy-peasy:

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Astrid completed Through Death's Gate just like Undying Heritage: with stealth and a single minor fight. There were, however, two tough moves, one of which was dangerous.

Astrid prepped by taking Hedge Maze and Iquali bonuses, bringing her stealth score to fourteen. The quest can be completed with a smaller number, but it's good to have extra.

The early moves are simple. You walk around some trolls and oozes and then you go straight down the middle.

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Things don't get tricky till the shroom room. The top half of the room is fine. It's the exit that's a problem. Do you see those sporelings at the bottom of the screenie? They move back and forth really, really quick, east to west. The best practice is to pass them to the east just as they start running west. What happened here, though, is that Astrid pulled a sporeling from the top of the room.

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That forced her to pass to the west of the sporeling while they were to the east. Not good. Fortunately, Astrid made it. Shadowing Beyond is a great fail-safe, but it's less dependable when disablers are in play. You don't want to be seen in this room at all although, yes, the Hermit Hat helps and Astrid was wearing it.

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Onto level two. Astrid walked into the central chamber, went through the western door, and picked up the exit key. The only tricky part was the room with the key. There are a lot of spirits there and some are in awkward positions. A use of Shadowing Beyond is required here, in my experience.

You go up the middle, through the will o' wisps.

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Then you pick up the key. Believe it or not, this guy won't notice you if your stealth score is high enough.

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He will, however, soft detect and follow. And when the wisps soft detect, you're pinned: enemies approaching from both sides. Eventually you get seen. Just use Shadowing Beyond, though and you're good. Note that there is a risk of pulling an animat.

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And that brings us to the battle. Astrid chose to fight the blights at the upper end of the central chamber- mostly because she wanted some primal wind for DoAM potions. With shades at her side and Fan of Flames scrolls in hand, it was a breeze (pun intended).

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I'll cover the Dyrford sidequests next, then we're off to Twin Elms.

Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 5

Now we have our own Keep, but to claim it we first had to endure the swarms of more Ghosts, a bit of Xaurips, Spiders alone with their Queen, various Bugs and some unfortunate Looters. Nothing special:

Spoiler

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Hit level 5: Grim Face (Mechanics>7, level 3 spells), Eder (Lore>7, Vigorous Defense), Aloth (Lore>9, Survival>2, Expose Vulnerabilities, Llengrath's Displaced Image), Durance (Lore>8, Survival>4, level 3 spells), Kana (Lore>8, Sure-Handed Ila Nocked Her Arrows with Speed).

We enter Maerwald's room through the secret side door and when the fight began Aloth cast Chill Fog, Kana applied Scroll of Insect Swarm affecting Maerwald and all three Blights while Grim Face and Durance fired buffs/debuffs (Inspiring Radiance/Interdiction/Consecrated Ground/Bless). Kana followed with Scroll of Defense while Aloth tried Necrotic Lance but missed. Maerwald hit with Fireball but we endured with slight damage received. Small Flame and Wind Blights fell and Maerwald, buffed with Spirit Shield, moved into position to cast Fan of Flames but Eder knocked him down with crit activating Jolting Touch while Grim Face hit with Barbs of Condemnation. Kana is ready to call for Phantom and Flame Blight explode. Phantom hit Maerwald for 22 Freeze damage and that's it.

Spoiler

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We let Maerwald's soul to pass from the world and claimed the Keep. Now the road to the Defiance Bay is open but first "we must gather our party before venturing forth". For now we are going to join Sagani/Itumaak and Grieving Mother (Durance will stay at the Keep even tho for the moment he has the highest single target damage - 83, most hits - 793, 29 crits, 28 enemies defeated out of total 354 and times knocked out - 0). Eventually Pallegina will replace Kana but I'll not rush for her till we finish Kana's quest. I just want a bit more experience with Chanter since I'm going to make Pallegina Palladin/Chanter in Deadfire. So let's do it, shall we?

to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Thanks, Alesia! Actually, we were fighting the Queen with all at level 5 already. If you'll look through the pics you'll notice that Grim Face and Durance hit level 5 just after defeating Xaurips and all others after some Bugs nearby. It usually happen a bit earlier but this time I didn't mess with all the Blights/Spirits in the Courtyard (only single Will-O'-Wisp earlier to get Whispers of Yenwood) intending to deal with them after claiming the Keep but they are all gone when it happened (didn't knew that since in all my previous runs I cleared the Courtyard before entering the Keep). And  I always take on Maerwald the last, with all level 1 cleared. Just to feel safe in case I need to move out.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 6: Dyrwood Sidequests

And we're back!

This post is out of chronological order. Please forgive. Astrid completed the Dyrwood side quests prior to entering Cliaban Rilag. I included Cliaban Rilag in the last post to maintain thematic consistency. Right call? Wrong call? I doubt anyone cares. Anyhoo. Here we are. And from here we shall proceed. 

We'll be covering Cat and Mouse, A Farmer's Plight, Nest Egg and Blood Legacy. Across all quests, Astrid completed a total of three fights.

As a proud member of House Doemenel, Astrid sided with Medrith in Cat and Mouse. Instead of luring out Nyre, Astrid killed her. Because why not? Astrid used her standard battle method here, which by now has changed slightly. Before leaving Defiance Bay, Astrid purchased the Munacra Arret. That item, and it's three Whispers of Treason per rest, leaves Astrid well position to handle mid game fights with a minimum of adjustment to her battle plan. Her summons are dropped. Her Touch of Rots are deployed. After that, she uses the Arret to create additional chaos in the battle zone. Randos are picked off with Forgiveness at her leisure. It works very well. Too well really. Some of these items will be targets for restriction in the future.

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To Farmer's Plight. We completed this quest with stealth alone. Entering the cave is a cinch. Walking through it isn't too challenging either- especially with Hedge Maze and Iqali bonuses. Astrid took the short cut, rather than walking near the spider queen. There are two types of spiders here, for our purposes: runny-runnies and lazy-lazies. The runny-runnies go back and forth through the short cut corridor on the top side, the north. The lazy-lazies just chill to the south. We stayed as far south as possible through the entrance and then walked straight across, exiting like we started. That kept the runny-runnies north of us and the lazy-lazies south of us. Yay!

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Same thing on the way back. Done and done.

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We did nest egg next. We used Int 16 to nudge the wizard into leaving and then we took on the remaining crew. An immediate Shadowing Beyond allowed us to evade the opening salvo and, for the time being, steer clear of the monk. Here we see Astrid re-engaging by dropping her spirits, letting them pull aggro instead of her.

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Eventually, the monk did attack Astrid. A second use of Shadowing Beyond took care of that.

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Repositioning, we started sowing disorder in the ranks with Whispers of Treason.

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And done. We used two grappling hooks to get the egg down crack free.

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Onto Blood Legacy. Little fighty-fight here. Hardly worth mentioning, but Astrid fights are kind of rare. So here you go: look at that.

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So, we entered the ruins with the skeleton key proffered from the spider cave. Mechanics 8 gets you through this door. We took the Aritifcer Hall rest bonus to get us to 8. That led to a problem later on.

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To get to Wymund, the only other thing Astrid had to do was get the crypt master key and open the door. It's easy enough to stealth to the door, but I'm not exactly sure what score is required. Without her Hedge Maze bonus, Astrid couldn't quite pull it off. We had to use Shadowing Beyond and leave.

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We returned a few days later, this time with Hedge Maze and Iqali bonuses. No worries now.

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We told Wymund we'd help him and then we betrayed him, warning Lord Harrod. Hooray for deceit!

And that's that for the Dyrford side quests. But you know what? So long as I'm here, I might as well knock off that Leaden Key ambush. 

We opened with Shadowing Beyond and then re-engaged with our shades on point. Then we went to work with the Rotfinger Gloves. Do you know the Lenny Kravitz song Let Love Rule. In my head I'm singing Let Rot Rule because I'm a dork from knife to fork and I just remembered how hot Lenny Kravitz is.

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The battle is winding down. People are dying and that dude in the middle is on our side now.

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And done!

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We'll continue soon. For now, Astrid is going to chill and have a few drinks over at Studio 54.

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Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 7: Twin Elms to Thaos

We're almost home, kids! This is the penultimate post of Astrid's run. Exciting, huh? I bet you're wondering what happened, right? Maybe you're also wondering how Astrid got through all the nasty-nasty on the Burial Isle? Well, in this post you'll find out about the nasty-nasty. You'll have to wait till the next to find out about Thaos.

But first: We have some item business to attend to. When Astrid arrived at Twin Elms, she was single mindedly focused on catching Thaos. She found time to poison Simoc -and to kill Raedric- but aside from that she was all about collecting her items and catching her prey. So, what was the packing list? To make things easier, let me show you Astrid's load out just before the Thaos fight:

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Now, in addition to that stuff, we needed Aru-Brekr, Blaidh Golan, Boots of Stealth, Rymrgand's Mantle and the Gloves of Manipulation. I think -think- that's it. Hold on....Ok. One more thing: Godansthunyr with a shocking lash and vessel slaying. (And while I'm on the subject of upgrades, We Toki has corrosive and kith slaying. Forgiveness has long had corrosive and kith slaying. Our armors have Dex two.)

It took us a little while to gather all that. But once we did -and once we had returned from our gratuitous gold and  XP mission to Raedric Hold- we had the experience we'd need to reach L10 before Thaos, along with all the goodies we'd need to take him down. 

For the record, we went Hylea, peaceful. Not hard to guess, huh? 

K. Let's go to the Burial Isle. 

If you go north and then west, there's basically one group of spirits that you need to get by. That's what we did. There are a couple of runny-runny spirits that you have to watch out for, but they aren't a serious risk. The only one that posed a threat to Astrid was the one seen below, and that's just because I screwed up. Astrid should have been on the south side of the staircase, not the north. We ducked out just in time, saving us a Shadowing Beyond cast.

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(Btw, we're running Hedge Maze + Iqali here, with Boots of Stealth. IIRC, we were at Stealth 15)

Now for the tough part: that large group of spirits just before The Pit. 

The best practice here is to max out your movement rate and intelligence. I got at little lazy on that, skipping Casita's and Farmer's. We want Blaidh Golan and Rymrgand in case we're revealed and Boots of Stealth +  Hermit Hat in the hope that we won't be. We do not -I repeat DO NOT- want Footpad + Shod in Faith. For that matter, we don't want any combination with Shod in Faith. Shod in Faith is bad -very, very bad! Why? Because if you get crit with a fear effect, Shod in Faith will trigger and that will cause you to break from invisibility. Which sucks, right? So we don't want that.

Ok. So we reveal ourselves to someone who doesn't have a disabling range weapon -like that shade over there. That triggers combat and we can activate Shadowing Beyond. 

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Now you'll see why we should really max speed and intelligence. We've got to go through a lot of stuff. The faster we go, and the more time we have, the safer we are. Do you know the Velvet Underground song Run Run Run? Well, yeah: that....

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And...Voila!

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Same plan here. This time we took a Movement Rate resting bonus and ate our Farmer's Spread. We should have eaten Casita's too. 

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Making it! 

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We refresh Shadowing Beyond in the corridor. There's a trap on the dark bricks- watch out for that.

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Got it!

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Ok. We rest now. And then it's time for some drakes! Well, not really...

I remembered the Casita's this time... 

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We want to be out of stealth -out of stealth- when we trigger the encounter. That will start combat sooner, letting us activate Shadowing Beyond quicker. And again: No Shod in Faith! We hit the shadows and then broke east, as fast as we could.

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We do it again. 

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We want to head south this time -south and east. There's not a whole lot of room down there, but there's enough for us to end combat and hit stealth. And while the drake and shadows are distracted, killing Wael, we break for the door.

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And that is how we do that: No combat at all.

 I'll post the Thaos fight soon.

Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Astrid, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 8: Thaos!

Yuppers indeedy! It's time for the Thaos fight! The big show!

But first: Let's talk about Astrid. 

Character Record

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Inventory

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Build

Skills: Stealth: 10, Athletics: 3, Lore: 2, Mechanics: 6, Survival: 2
Abilities: Crippling Strike, Dirty Fighting, Finishing Blow, Reckless Assault, Blinding Strike
Talents: One Handed Style, Shadowing Beyond, Deep Pockets, Weapon Focus: Knight, Unstoppable
Boons: Hylea’s Boon, Gift from the Machine

Does anyone have any questions?

Our resting bonus? Great question! We took Accuracy Bonus v Vessel- attained by donning the Rugged Wilderness Cap before our nappy-poo.

Any more questions? Ok then! 

Our plan, as you've likely surmised, is to knock people on their butts. More precisely, we want to knock the Headsman and the Judge on their butts- maybe even Thaos once or twice. We intend to do so with We Toki, leveraging our One Handed Style accuracy, our high Dex and our high Per. Our offensive potions, Deleterious Alacrity of Motion and War Paint will facility that, with speed and added accuracy. Our defensives are trash, but our enemies won't be hitting much because they'll be spending almost all of their time on their tuckuses. Or at least we hope so. How did it go?

Great, actually! Just great! Now the question is: Am I being sarcastic or not? You'll just have to see.

Here's Thaos. He's a jerk. We don't like him.

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But he's not that jerk we want to kill right now. We want to kill the big jerk, the guy with the hammer. Casting Shadowing Beyond will let us do that. Why? Because he'll chase. And Thaos won't. And without Thaos's spells, he's toast. 

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Astrid runs west. She drinks a DAoM potion and gets to work. We Toki says, "Down boy!"

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And that's basically all it took. Astrid's axe is accurate. And with her Dex it's fast enough to hit again before her enemies can get up. DAoM and War Paint take it all over the top. The Judge got exactly one swing in. His animation is on it's feet here, but as you can see, he's prone, according to the engine.

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One down. 

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Let's do it again, shall we?

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The Headsman faired a little better, landing two strikes and eliciting an endurance potion quaff. He didn't have much of a chance, though. 

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I've done this two-handed with We Toki and Godansthunyr and at levels 9 or 10 One Handed does seem to work better.

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Just Thaos now. Our main concern is Cleansing Flame. In my experience, if you can get him to cast it on a summon, you'll never see it again. We give him some beetles. As soon as we put them down, we have one break north.

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That insures that that'll be at least one beetles under our control when it's time for Thaos to cast Cleansing Flame. Got him!

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The rest is easy. We shoot him in the face.

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Dump some rot on him when goes Shields for the Faithful.

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And when he gets to badly injured, unleash the Finishing Blows.

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It should go without saying that we were evading his spells, disengaging whenever he started to cast. And as you might imagine, we found time to quaff every now and then, too, to increase our efficiency. The only spells that hit us were Thaos's Dominations, which appear to be targeted directly on the foe, rather than having an AoE, like most spells. Those weren't very danger though: the durations were short and Thaos never really took advantage. 

Thaos is at near death. He's on his keist. This is looking good.

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And yes! Astrid has done it! She has become my first PoE solo no reloader. Hooray! 

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That was fun! The question is what next? Should I give her a chance on PotD? Try a new class? Move her over to Deadfire? Share your thoughts. And feel free to share your comments as well. Thanks for following, everyone!

Cheers,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Congratulations, Alesia! Impressive stuff! Grim Face is already preparing a banquet at Caed Nua. It's still in a rather neglected condition, but what does it matter for a fun celebrating party with friends? I don't promise refined treats but Farmer's Spread and Casita Casserole are in plenty. And Darkest Rauatai Cookies for sure!

PoTD on itself will not change too much for Astrid if she'll proceed with similar approach in my opinion. Moving over to Deadfire is viable option as it should happen sooner or later anyway and I have pretty dim hopes for a successful blind Deadfire no-reload run. Game mechanics is quite different there so it will take time to adjust. But I'll be definitely happy to be wrong with that and Astrid will claim a title of the first full saga no-reload queen.

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