Might and Magic IX
by BES the Black Dragon
Here you are! Where have you been all this time? I have been all worn out with waiting. The whole world could vanish who knows where while you - the main saviour of it - have been travelling. Well, it is good you made it and welcome to this little resort town of Sturmford, though, it is not the high season now and there is definitely no time for rest.
In fact, the town is not that bad as the dirty rumours spread by the neighbours tell. First, let us go to the favourite place of any adventurer - the tavern. It is just to the left from here. There we will check out all your baggage anew.
Sorting out the Inventory
Okay, let us see what you have in your inventory. Pick up the best armor and the best weapons and put on/give it to your hero. The rest you place in the inventory of the Luggage #1. This Luggage #1 from now on is the place for the items for future sale. When it will be filled completely, we will begin to use the Luggage #2.
Wait, wait...why do you put aside this armor? You cannot identify it? So what? Perhaps you will be able to do it in the next ten minutes. Do not rush things and put it in the Luggage #3. This Luggage #3 will be our main place for putting important things, which will be necessary in the game. At the moment, we will put there armor and rings, that you still cannot use but will be making something useful with them later when you'll become the Lich.
Okay, what is left?
The red bottle - this is for restoring your hit points in case of the emergency.
The blue bottle - this is for restoring your mana strength (spell points), though you could only dream for complete restoration with it. It is only for the beginning, but still very helpful.
The brown bottle - this is the good thing. It is the anti disease elixir and could be very useful as the state of the local medical science could be better and the cases of catching spontaneous lethal infections are rather common occurrence. When this happens, and you can count on it that it will happen, then this brown bottle will be your only medicine. Therefore, if you will ever spot in the shops any brown bottles looking the same like this one, buy it immediately.
The violet bottle - this thing is from poisoning - very good remedy. Collect it too, but in sensible numbers.
What? Why do you looking at me like you are seeing me the first time in your life? Think! How could you be possible poisoned if you are destined to become the Lich? Yes, now you got it, but still there is a long way to the Lich transformation and you need to stay alive until then or it is no Lich for you.
Now, look at the spell books. Check what spells you can learn and what you cannot.
What do you mean you do not know what you can learn? Just take out all your notes and look at them. You do not have them with you? Oh-ho, have pity with me! Didn't I tell you that you need all the reference materials to stay alive here? You know, the boat schedule, teachers' names and locations, characters' skill progression chart, learning spells table. I didn't? No way! Okay, okay, go and take everything and then return. Meantime, I will check around and learn the last news at a couple of beers.
Wow! How fast you are.
Okay, we stopped at the spells.
The ones you can learn - learn right away. The same way as before - just click twice on the spell book and voila! Feel yourself mightier already? Wait, you have seen nothing yet.
These spells you can learn too but later in the game, when you will know more. Therefore, put them in the Luggage #3 for future learning.
On the first stage of the game, you need the following spells always in your inventory:
2. Wizard Eye
4. Elemental Blast
5. Town Portal (in the worst case, you need to have at least a couple of scrolls with it)
6. Elemental Protection
Next are the skill books. Check what you already have and what you still lack.
You must know the following skills:
2. Item Identification
4. Body Building
5. Disarm Trap
11. Item Repair
12. Dark Magic
13. Light Magic
Some stuff you already know, some stuff you have in the inventory - pick it up and learn, everything that you are not able to learn anyway - just put in the Luggage #1 for the future sale. Do not make mistake of selling the skills, which you will be able to learn later, after the first promotion, for example. That is why you need the consult the skill progression chart.
Now there are scrolls with spells and magical wands. These stuff you can sale without any hesitation, except Poison Cloud wands and Chain Lightning wands and the Town Portal spell scroll.
Look for the Town Portal and Lloyd's Beacon spell books in every shop in every town and buy it at any opportunity.
Uff. The inventory is sorted out. No, we do not go trading now, and no, we do not go right now to the Jarl of the town, though the Jarl of Sturmford Bjarni Thordvalssen is perhaps the coolest among all the Jarls - do you know that he writes poems?
However, we are here not for the poetry contest, but to do questing and there are many quests around waiting for our attention.
Saboteur in Sturmford
Now, while we are in the Sturmford inn, look around yourself. Do you see this man near the bar? Go to him and speak with the guy. He will tell you that he is very concerned about someone who do sabotage in Sturmford. Calm him down and say that you would be kind enough to find this saboteur. This is your first quest in Sturmford.
All the quests you took from people in the game are listed in the quest list.
Now we will go to the town and look around, speak with the natives, check the local shops and visit the Jarl's place. If you will be attentive, you will find the saboteur without any problems. He will be in one of the buildings on the first floor not far from the stairs. Just walk to him and accuse him of the sabotage. Do not panic when the rascal just runs away - this is not very strange reaction to such an accusation, is it? You have done your job anyway - found the wanted person - and you will get your reward for this as long as you will return to the man in the inn and report about this.
Wandering around the Town
When you leave the Jarl's home, go to the second part of the town and find the well there. Climb down this well using the forward motion button. I have heard there are some good things lying around there.
Oh, nearly forgot, there is the rumour that the local composer Beth-something lost his precious notes or they were stolen, who knows. Anyway, he is stuck without them, and probably will reward anyone who return the papers to him. Go check is it true and if it is so - promise him that you will find his notes.
Okay, go browse the streets, just remember one thing - do no open any hatches and do not explore any dungeons now.
Yes, there are dungeons here; one is just in front of the inn, there among the trees. And you can relax and do not grip your cudgel all the time - nobody will attack you here. Try to find the teachers who live in Sturmford. While you will be running around, I will check the last news; and do not forget to return before the midnight to the inn!
Come in. Are you tired? Yes, you are, but it is only the beginning. :)
First, did you receive your reward from the man at the bar for the fulfilled quest with the saboteur? Yes? That is good. Now check your quest list - just click the button *Q*. If you have spoken with everyone you are supposed to speak, then you must have quite a few quests now there. Let us see.
There should be the following quests:
- Clear out Anskram Keep
- Retrieve Ludwig's Manuscript
- Take Love Letter to Kira
- Rescue the General Ivsar Forktooth
As you can see, there are many things to do and we have no time to drink at the bar. Take your things and we are leaving. We must catch the drakkar going to the neighbouring town of Drangheim. Come on, hurry to the docks, speak with dock master and forward to Drangheim.
You hate the sea travelling? Well, it is not so bad when the weather is good and no storm is coming, but actually, I agree that the flying or use of town portals is much faster, but being you only the beginner we have to exploit those way of transportation that we can.
Now, listen to what I have discovered from one of the inn patrons after half a dozen beers.
This general Jarl Bjarni asked you to rescue - it is a strange deal. He got himself caught because of his own stupid mistake, but the strange part is - what he was doing there at the first place. Some says that he was sent by the Jarl with a secret mission to meet some undercover agent, but the common folks say that he was just visiting his sweetheart there. Anyway, he got himself caught and now he is in the Drangheim prison. The man who told me all this said, for some extra beers it was by the way, how to get inside the prison and where to find a person who could probably help us with this rescue operation.
The second part is even weirder - the rumour is that some kind of a prince or even a king appeared from nowhere in Drangheim and that he has some problems. It seems that he is a real royalty as he does not know a thing how to do and nobody wants to hire him because of this; and if he would not find a job soon, then most probably there will be a royal funeral very soon in the town as the prince will starve to death.
See, what I am talking about is that if he is the real prince and you will find the job for him, then you could probably get a good reward from him. At least, it is worth trying.
Now let's go to sleep. Tomorrow we will be in Drangheim.
Get up sleeping beauty, the drakkar is already in the Drangheim harbour. It is a small but well fortified town as you can see by yourself. Be glad that there is not always raining here as in Sturmford and hurry, I am starving.
So, let us do this way - I will take the baggage and go directly to the tavern. Somebody has to order a supper and check that everything would be prepared and I guess it will be me, while you do the easy work - just run around the town, check where is what, find the teachers, such stuff. It is a small town and you could easily manage all this before supper will be ready.
Errands and Quests in the Town
By the way, why would not you check out about this prince Nicolai or something; they have told me you will recognise him by the pile of papers all around him. He wrote on them who he is, though it does not make much sense. Help the poor chap and tell him that you find a job for him.
Do not forget to drop in the Jarl Sigmund's place. Play the role of the brave adventurer to the end and promise him to help in all his troubles and believe me, he has a lot of them; he is not called Sigmund the Stressed for nothing.
Do not forget the main rule for conversations with the nobles - as soon as you have finished talking with them, speak with them again. The have a lot on their mind, and sometimes become too forgetful.
The Jarl could tell you something about the rumours plaguing the town. Explore this line, but in no circumstances speak about the general Ivsar with him or you will find yourself in a nice Drangheim prison cell with the general as the mate.
Yeah, one more thing - clean the Town Portal altar. Have no idea why they could not do themselves; perhaps the cleaning service is on strike again. However, if you want to skip the tedious sea voyages, you need to clean these altars in all the towns.
I think this is all. No, of course, not - see what happens when you want to eat! Now, when you will check out the Jarl - he lives in the upper part of the town - look for the house of Kluso, it should be not far from the Jarl's place, as far as I remember. Do not even try to enter the house - there are the tough guys inside, but remember the location - it will be useful later.
In addition, there should be different barrels here somewhere. These barrels are with liquids of various colours, some with white, and other with red or colourless at all, and so on, you got the picture. Find them all. They are very important. These are the magical liquids, which increase your attributes - magic, speed, accuracy, might, luck, endurance, etc. Be careful with the yellow-green barrel - there is something floating inside it and you could be poisoned.
Now I gave you all instructions and you can go check out everything by yourself.
Oh, you have shown impressive speed here. Or was it your stomach that led the way? Ha! I told you the best way to do adventuring is with the full belly. Now, come in to the tavern, sit down and tell me everything you have seen and heard. Why do you look so? What? No way! Do you want to tell me that you have never seen a dwarf before? Then you are a new in the profession for sure.
See, now they will fight. Who you think will win - a Dwarf or a Human? Wow! Great punch! One hit and knockdown. Dwarves are the mighty fighters. Do not waste time - go and pick up the sack from the floor, few extra coins are always handy.
Now, tell me what the Jarl Sigmund wants from you. What?! Retrieve Crona Kiga? Is he crazy or what? You have no idea what is it, but this is the mighty artefact lost who knows how many years ago and everyone here knows that it is very well protected by terrible monsters in the dreadful place called the Chasm of the Dead. We will have to think about it very carefully and return later to this subject.
What next? Disable Anskram Keep Defenses? That is okay, we can do this, and we are going there anyway.
Did the Jarl speak with you about the rumours? He did. Okay, now listen what information I got from the barkeeper about this matter. There is a local gossiper here in the town. She is known by everyone and easy to find. Just go out of the tavern, to the left and up the hill. Go talk with her right away and learn where she took her gossip.
Already back? So, what did she tell you? That she gets all her news from Sturmford? Well, one could guess. Okay, we will remember about this and check this out next time we will be there.
Now, what about Prince Nicolai? You did find him, did you? It is good. I checked around too and it seems that we can find a job for him in Guberland - it is another town. There is the Circus in Guberland and they always are short with help. Presently they need either a messenger or a clown, the last one they fired only a couple of days ago or the Scorpicores ate him, but it does not matter now - we will be able to clear this on place. Yes, I know that it is not very noble work for the former royal prince, but I guess he is in the desperate situation that requires desperate measures.
Prison? Yes, this is cleared too. I have checked everything we need to know and about this person who could help us. Psst! It is better not to speak about this here in the tavern - too many ears around. Eat your supper and let's go - we need to reach the prison before nightfall.
Okay, let's go, don't forget to pay for the supper, the meat was delicious.
Now, while we are on our way, let's drop in a local temple. There is a man by the name Keith Bloodaxe who could promote our Luggages who were Fighters (the might heroes) in the previous life. Who they will become after the promotion? Crusaders! Don't you think it sounds funny: Luggage - Crusader? Promote only one Luggage to the Crusader. Just do not forget when you speak with Keith to choose one of the Luggages for this promotion. And of course it must be a Fighter, not an Initiate.
When you speak with a promoter about promotion quest for some of your party member(s) always choose this character by name and indicate to the promoter that you want to promote the specific member of the party. Otherwise, even if the quest will be done, the promotion will not be accomplished, because the promoter did not know whom exactly he/she was supposed to promote.
Now we are in the temple. The promoter Keith is just behind this column. Go talk with him and take the promotion quest *From Fighter to Crusader*. This is the first of many promotion quests we will do in the course of our adventures.
What you have asked to do to become the Crusader? Kill Yobboes? No, we cannot do this now; you are not strong enough for this yet.
Let us hurry to the prison, it is more important now; and please do not speak so loudly about rescuing the general on the crowded streets.
Uff, we are out. Now we need to the left between these two hills and straight ahead without any turns - there should be a small village. And stop whistling, we are not on the Sunday stroll, there are Yobboes living somewhere nearby. Now, look at this mill. This is the mark we are close to the village. From now on, we should be careful. The good people advised to take left from the houses and head to the rocks, then along the rocks and the first left turn and there should be the prison.
It is of course not polite to read letters of other people, but it is okay to do in the game. Check your inventory, find the letter and click twice on it - and you can read the Bjarni's love poem, which is probably not worse than any of the previous ones, and I have heard they were quite funny.
Now in the Jarl's place clean the Town Portal Altar. Just click on it and it will change the colour from grey to white (click space bar). Simple!
Then speak with the Jarl Bjarni Thordvalssen and promise him to do whatever he asks. When you finish speaking with him, do not leave, but engage him again in the conversation. The man is shy and in love. He will ask you to give his letter to another Jarl - female by the name of Kira. Be a nice and understanding person and promise him this.
Do not clink with your weapon, there are Thralls around, yes that ones on the clearing. It's good that they are short-sighted and do not see us. Now, the last left turn and here is the prison. We could not miss it anyway - it is so big.
Now before we go inside listen carefully to the instructions. This is the serious operation and you must be careful.
This prison is well guarded and any outsider can enter only with the special pass. Therefore, first thing after you enter go forward to the keeper and talk with him. Of course, I will not go with you. It is your adventure, not mine. Now, while you will be speaking with the keeper, reply to his every question "no" and you will be okay.
And do not try to experiment, they do not have sense of humour at all. Like *Men in Black*? Here they are probably even worse.
When you got your pass, go to the guard standing to the side and tell him that you have the legitimate pass. You will be admitted inside.
According to my information, the general is on the uppermost floor with the highest security. You are not strong enough to mount the frontal attack; therefore, we will use our wits and our man inside.
The person who will help you is on the second floor. He is the prison cook and naturally, he is located in the kitchen. I guess it will be simple to find - just follow your nose.
Just in case you will get yourself lost in the unfamiliar passages, you should do the following. When you will climb the stairs to the second floor, turn right and go straight ahead through the room to the next passage. You will see guards ahead. There will be the noise and they will run around the corner from you. Follow them. Behind the corner the first door to the left. This is the kitchen. When you will enter the kitchen, do not forget to close the doors behind yourself.
I was told that the cook knows the secret passage to the upper levels of the prison, probably some service halls. Talk to the cook and promise him whatever he would ask for this secret way. You must take the general from this prison and take him alive; I doubt that the Sturmford Jarl would be happy to see the corpse of his favourite general.
When you will be on the level where there is the general's cell, wait until the guards will leave, they are usually watching the quatl's fights downstairs at this time. Then open the cells with the levers on the wall. And do not think which lever opens what cell - just pull all of them, this way it will be faster. Then find the general and speak with him. As soon as he will be out of the cell, you can stop worrying about him - he will manage to find his way out of the prison perfectly by himself.
With this and whatever the cook asked you done, leave the place at once. Just go to the exit and do not even think about any fighting. Just run to the exit. Most dangerous spot will be to slide past the guards at the prison exit gates - you better make a game save before attempting it, and of course do not forget to make the save before entering the prison.
Now, remember that you can always do the following. When you will come close to the guard standing near the exit, press *enter* and after this slip past him and move to the door. When your turn will end, press *enter* again and run to the exit gates. You will be able to do all this without too much troubles at all.
Okay, good luck!
Hah, I am wondering will he think of checking out the kitchen - there could be some interesting stuff in there, like useful barrels for example.