(Spoiler warning! If you don't want to be spoiled about Icewind Dale's plot you might want to skip this post!)
When we last left our heroes they finally got a literal tangible clue. Confident that they were finally in the right track they travelled to the area in the mountains called Dragon's Eyes. This also triggered the start of chapter 2!
As soon as they reached the entrance to the Dragon's Eyes they were attacked by ice trolls!
At first sight I thought they were some sort of crystalline insects but only discovered they were ice trolls when I hovered the mouse over them. Fortunately these ones just stayed dead once the party killed them, no fire required, unlike certain other games (*glares in the direction of Baldur's Gate*).
Once they were dispatched it was time to enter the cave itself. No sooner they stepped inside they were attacked by lizardmen! The game certainly wants to keep me on the edge!
Although these are not the exact type of lizards I was expecting, they are certainly easier than the ones I thought I would have to fight. They were still tough, mind you, but mostly because of the large numbers they came in. If it was just one or two it was fine. But more often than not they came in groups of 3 or more and had a shaman with them that could cast spells to paralyze some party members. So those fights were relatively challenging.
Worse than then were some bombardier beetles. Once they reached any of the party members they would do spit some kind of green liquid that would do a lot of damage anyone close by and had a chance to paralyze them. They were pretty fast and came in big numbers so it was hard to just kill them at a range. Time to be honest here. Usually when tough fights like that happen I just reload until I can pass through them without any of my party members getting killed. This happened a lot on this area. But with these beetles things were so bad and so annoying that I decided to just own my mistakes and admit one party member died. It was Goldilocks.
So the party took her remains and gear then went all the way back to Kuldahar, went to the temple and paid the priest to ressurrect her. Goldilocks cried a little because apparently she was in a better place before the party got her ressurrected. They had to cajole and agree to increase her share of the loot by 50% before she agreed to accompany them again. Once that was solved they travelled all the way back to the Dragon's Eyes cave.
But the annoying monsters didn't end there! The party also found some wraith spiders which seemed immune to normal weapons. Fortunately the party had some magical weapons and special arrows to dispatch those. And like the game was trying to blow up the annoyance-o-meter there were also phase spiders! Basically they are spiders that can teleport.
I had to make Hansel run near them, grab their attention then run back to the party. This way they would try to teleport near Hansel and attack him instead of teleporting in the middle of the party and killing one of the squisher members! Fortunately there were not many of those.
After the spiders were killed they found the body of an elven adventurer.
While examining the corpse they found a journal on him. Turns out he is Erevain, one of the members of Hrothgar's expedition.
Seems like someone, somehow survived! Well, besides the party. Now, a side note. Erevain is an elven adventurer that you can meet back in Easthaven, if you go to the inn. You can trade some words with him too, where you get to know his motivations for travelling and a bit more of the world's lore. I didn't mention him back then because I didn't think he was going to be all that important and would just die in that avalanche. Well, he is still not that important but I thought it would be interesting to mention this finding. There was another flavor NPC back in Easthaven that was also going to join the expedition but if the party finds his body I will give him some words too.
Speaking of things I didn't mention, there was something else I didn't talk about because I didn't know about it. I just found out today that rangers have a track ability which can give you an idea of what kind of things you will encounter in the area.
It is not anything game breaking or even that useful but it is one of those nice little touches that make this game special. 🙂
Rangers also got a charm animal ability but somehow I think that will be even less useful in this particular game. :p
Alright, back to the story. After some more exploration and dispatching of lizardmen, the party found the captive villagers. So at least that is one mystery solved!
Not too far from there they found the... *ominous voice* Lizard Man King!
Apparently they were brought to that cave by someone called Yxunomei who also happens to be the "queen of the ssssnakesss" as the Lizard Man King would say. Since the lizardmen have been starving the Lizard Man King agreed they would do her tasks in exchange for food, in this case, the kidnapped villagers. There is only one problem though. He can't let some pesky adventurers breaking into his caves and saving those villagers. You know how the rest goes. Fight ensues, the party kill all of them and loot the lizard men dead bodies.
In that same room they also found a giant snake statue. They just couldn't shake the feeling that was an ominious hint of what they would soon face.
It also contained some loot which helped them relax a bit.
As they were heading to explore the next section of the caves, a kid thanked the party just before going back home together with the other captives.
Now before the party heads to the next area, I will need to prepare myself mentally. I don't know if the next area will be the one I am scared of or not but better to stay on the safe side!