Last night my roommate and I took our first venture into the Deadmines. We had a quest to go there but had held off for quite some time as it was ranked quite a bit higher than our level. Last night we decided to at least take a look and see what the place was like. Our first step was to ask our guild's (Poseidon-a spin off guild from EQ's Triton) advice; "Can a level 21 Dwarven Hunter (me) and a level 22 Dwarven Paladin (my roommate) do the Deadmine?"
The response came back quickly.
Followed by several more No's.
And then an explanation; "You'll get through the first part ok, but there's an ogre down there guarding the second area entrance that will wipe the floor with you. Level 20 elite mob and a ton of hit points and armor"
We decided that we'd still go and look-after all, we could always clear the first part and at least have a look at the ogre.
Here follows the tale of the triumph of Wargus the Paladin and Grimmstone the Hunter, as well, of course, as Carrie, Grimmstone's pet condor from Redridge. I wrote this on the fly so it wanders in both tone and tense and probably is chock full o' typos.
The region of Westvale is reminiscent of American Midwest folklore horror. Low rolling hills covered with tall brown grass, fields of corn and pumpkins, sinister scarecrows and grey ramshackle houses and barns. Creaking windmills dot the skyline and the ruins of collapsed or burned farmhouses hide sinister dangers. Deep into the region is a ghostown, the buildings with gaping holes and filled with debris. Some of them are haunted, most are haven to the upper echelons of the Defias Brotherhood, a gang of bandits that plagues all of the human lands. A weathered barn at the edge of town hides their greatest secret-the entrance to the Deadmines.
We entered the ghosttown just as night was falling, the red light of sunset painting the grey buildings in bloody hues and long shadows. A few Defias thieves lurked outside of the barn and we made short work of them, preventing them from warning anyone of our arrival. We moved through the barn quickly, finding the staircase spiralling deep into a pit in the ground. The Deadmine.
It would seem that all of the resources of the Brotherhood are going to the creation of the place. The dim cavernous chambers and winding passages were filled with mining equipment, strange goblin machines and many many Defias. There were diggers, working the ores deposits and mages and warriors patrolling the halls.
We moved easily through the first few areas, leaving a trail of broken bodies in our wake. Again and again the ring of Grimmstone's gun echoed through the caves as Wargus waded in, axe gleaming in the torchlight. Carrie had a gleam in her eye and her beak constantly dripped with Defias blood.
It was not long before we came across the entrance to the deeper chambers of the Deadmine. Eagerly we stepped in to see what awaited us.
We had only thought there were a lot of Defias in the upper areas. The lower area was positively choked with them. We began a methodical grim slaughter, Grimmstone choosing the next to die one by one, tapping them in the head with heavy lead shot, pulling them into the waiting fury of Wargus's axe and the vulture's talons.
The bodycount mounted rapidly until at long last we turned a corner and screeched to a halt. In the chamber ahead of us loomed the ogre, his mountain of naked flesh glistening with sweat.
Wargus scratched at his beard. "He doesn't look so bad."
"Hrmph", Grimmstone grunted. "We've tangled with ogres before in Loch Modan. They're always harder than they look."
Wargus eyed the two Defias that lurked in the shadowy corners of the room.
"As long as we can fight him without his friends I think we can do it."
Grimmstone nodded. "And if we can't we can at least make him remember his meeting with us."
He knelt in the doorway and carefully laid an incendiary trap, then stepped back and swung his blunderbuss off of his shoulder. He loaded and cocked it then took long and careful aim through his scope, centering it between the ogres mean little piggy eyes. The boom of the shot was followed immediately by a roar of rage from the ogre as he charged towards the doorway, blood streaming from his forehead. Grimmstone immediately followed his first shot with a concussive shot, hoping to slow the ogre's charge. He was quite dismayed to see the ogre utterly ignore its effects. Wargus leapt forward to meet the charge and with a quick nod of his head Grimmstone sent Carrie screeching after him.
They met the ogre right as he stepped into the hunter's trap, flame exploding up around him and filling the air with the scent of roasting pork. The ogre screamed in fury, ignoring the paladin and the bird and descended with fury on the hunter. Too close for the gun to be of any use, Grimmstone pulled his pair of axes and spun into the attack. The pain he had inflicted on the ogre had so infuriated it that the paladin and the vulture, try as they might, could not pull its attention away. His glory prolonged by a few frantic healing spells from Wargus, Grimmstone met his end like a true dwarf, axes in hand dripping with the blood of his enemy. Carrie fled as he fell, grief overhwelming her tiny birdbrain.
The ogre was seriously wounded, however. There was still hope. Wargus fought a running battle down the halls of the Deadmine, gaining enough distance to heal himself before the ogre caught up to him to once more and re-engaged. His efforts were for nought. Though the ogre was so deeply wounded he could scarce cling to life, the monster prevailed and dragged it's limping form back to its lair, a trail of blood marking its passage.
It was only a few minutes before the ghosts of two dwarves stood in the doorway, the glint of anger and revenge in their eyes as their bodies animated to live once more. They had come so close. The guild had said it couldn't be done. Determination filled them.
A change in tactics was required. Grimmstone sent a single shot at the ogre to draw its attention once more and bring it closer, then sent Carrie forward to draw its attention with the razor slashings of her beak and talons. The paladin and the hunter waited, alternating healing on the bird as she fought, keeping her strong as she whittled away at the ogre's life. After they were certain that the ogre's rage was fully occupied by the bird Wargus advanced and added his axe to the fight. Grimmstone began taking careful shots, cautiously timing the more wounding strikes to keep from diverting the ogre's attacks from the bird. Poisen steeped bullets to draw slowly from its life. Periodically he stepped to send healing to his pet. As the ogre's life dwindled, the two dwarves let the caution slip slowly away, beginning to lay down damage as massive as they were capable of.
With one brutal blow the ogre crushed Carrie to lifelesness then charged the hunter that had been plagueing him. Grimmstone met him with axes in hand for a few telling blows then backed off carefully to allow the ogre's attention to be drawn by the paladin raining blows against its back. As soon as the ogre turned away Grimmstone took long steady aim with his blunderbuss and blew a hole through the back of the ogre's head. It stood tottering in disbelief for a moment and then Wargus's axe came slicing in for the final blow to send it to its grave.
The mighty ogre had fallen and the guild was mightily impressed.
Grimmstone and Wargus did delve a little deeper into the Deadmines, only to come up against a vicious goblin contraption that was beyond their means, forcing them to retreat in order to return another day. And they know, the ogre will be waiting...