Might and Magic IX
by BES the Black Dragon
Hi, hero, glad to see you back. Are you ready for the big thing?
Okay, let's go.
Fighting Your Way to Frosgard
We move out of Thjorgard not through the main gates; we will use the second gates.
First, set Poison as the quick combat spell. Use only magic in the battles (right mouse button). Point mouse on the target of your spell and right click. Remember you have Poison spell now, therefore change of the routine tactics - shoot at one target, move pointer to the next target at once - shoot - next target - shoot - and so on. This way Poison spell will work continuously.
Walk out of the town, forward and to the right to the raising between the rocks. As soon as you climb the raising and walk forward a little bit, the red alert lamp will switch on. Do not search for the enemy, move immediately to the left to the rock face and stand with your back to the wall. The enemy will come to you - 4 Bandits will walk down from the rocks directly to you. Do your spell casting first to the Bandit in the chain armor, and then to the rest of them and repeat in this order.
Okay, that is all, briefing finished, now move!
Uff. You beat them off.
There are not much hit points left, therefore, save the game and sleep to restore your life strength. You must always do this in order to be at the prime shape before the next battle. You can sleep right here, even if you will be disturbed in the middle of the night, it will be only one Bandit, no more. He could even come one more time, but not more than twice. So, go to sleep right away.
Good morning. Caught your sleep, are you? Now be attentive.
Look ahead and a little bit to the right in the valley, there is the group of trees - we need to go there. Do not forget to switch on Wizard Eye spell.
Ready? Let us go. There are only two of them there; you will deal with them in no time.
Finished already? You are gaining strength. Check for the chest around. Look what is inside - but do not forget that you must open yourself the chest, do not trust Forad with this, as the chest is booby-trapped. Always check whose portrait is glowing before you open the chest - if Forad is active, then switch to yourself by *tab* button.
Hmm... There were not bad things at all in this chest. Put them all to your inventory for now, then when you will have more time you will identify everything and sort them out. Everything you are sure you do not need - put at once in the inventory of the Luggage # 1 for sale. Use only Luggage # 3 for the things you need, like the spare armor, weapon, books you will read and learn later, rings you will enchant later and such stuff.
Now we need to move to the right side, closer to the rocks. Then press button *M* to look at the map of Thronheim vicinity. Do you see the lake on the map? We need to go there. Go forward, then closer to the rocks, to the left and again forward. Do not worry about Bandits and the Magreeb, they will not bother you, just march without stopping. Now to the left in the passage and walk this passage to the end. At last, the window asking you about your intentions to visit Frosgard pops out. Press *ok* and see you in Frosgard.
Yes, it is cold here - what can you do, the eternal winter in Frosgard.
Okay, first, check the map, and listen carefully.
There is the crossing ahead, from it there are paths - to the left; ahead at the angle; and the last sharply turns to the right.
We will go first to the left to the building you can see on the map and pick up one good thing there. What thing? Well, I do not know, whatever the Genie will give you.
So, let us move. To the left and ahead along the road, then the first turn right, see the house - do not stop - the wolves will attack, run forward and upstairs. Uff. That is okay, the wolves will not go up the stairs after you and you can easily deal with them from here.
Did it? Good. Now sleep, but do not go downstairs. When wake up, save the game and enter the building. Yes, it is dark and dusty inside, but it is irrelevant. Now use the spells - Torch Light and Wizard Eye. Now save the game to another slot. Ready? Go to the first opening to the left. Attention - the first enemy right ahead - looks like some kind of skeleton wolf. After finishing with it, do all remaining skeletons. Fight your way to the lower chamber. There is the Genie lamp in the middle of it. I will be waiting for you there.
Come in, do not idle at the entrance - there is your prize - the Genie lamp - just come closer and click on the lamp. The Genie will come out and ask what you want to have. Better choose an artifact, you would not be able to use it, but there will be good money when you sell it later. Therefore, when you get the artifact, put it into the Luggage # 3 inventory, it will be your saving for the black day.
Now we need to get out of here - the same way we came - I will be waiting for you outside.
Welcome to the fresh air and you better dust all the cobwebs from yourself - you look like a scarecrow. And go to sleep, you are not in the best shape.
How are you feeling now? Better? Now switch on Wizard Eye and march to Frosgard. Out from the passage and ahead without any turns (the passage to the right - remember its location, but do not go there and even do not stop near it!). Now you must increase your pace. I suppose you did not forget how to run - see there is the wolf ahead and two more are approaching from the right passage - if you would not hurry, they will rip you apart! Run! Do not pay attention to this elf, just run.
Uff, you are here, and still alive, though only barely. Now I am going to the tavern and you check out the town - find the town portal altar, chat with local people, find the person, who can give you promotion quest to Druid, and take it of course. Oh, do not forget to appoint a Luggage to this promotion. Then speak with the Jarl of the town, take all the quests he would like to give you. And check the well too. Okay, that is all, I suppose, go along with your chores, I will see you in the tavern when you will finish.
So, how did the Jarl meet you? Did he give you any quests? Okay, show me.
Now, clean the docks from ice - piece of cake. What next?
The Frost Giant? Oh, my. Not bad, not bad at all. Such a quest for the mere mortal as you. What? You think it is not that hard? Hah! Then how do you propose to deal with someone who is ten times, at least, bigger than you? And this someone is half-god? Your weapon blows will be like mosquito bites for him. What can you do with him? Perhaps throw him out from his castle, which is floating up in the skies? Brilliant idea, by the way, but let us forget about it for a moment until I will think this all over.
Now, let us return to the easier tasks at hand, the docks. This is really important. You need to clean these blasted docks from the ice.
What do you mean how? Go and start brake it. With what? Oh, how am I supposed to know? With whatever you want - you can start with your bare hands if you like. ... Hey, wait, where are you going? Wait, I told you! It was the joke! Did you loose all sense of humor? No, you really thought that you must go and ... oh, I will die from laughter now with your bare hands... No, with your cudgel? Oh, it is unbelievable! Okay, okay, forget it!
Now what you really need to do. You have run around the town, yes? Then you must remember one man, he is usually standing at the end of the town, there is a barrel near him, remember now? So, he is the person you need. He is sort of inventor, you know, experiments and suchlike. He is crazy about explosives. Go and speak with him. Wouldn't it be nice if he will lend you one barrel for anotherehscientific experiment ofehhow many explosives is necessary to break the ice in the docks? Got it? He puts the barrel on the ice. The only thing left for you to do will be just show your marksmanship and shoot at the barrel. See, it is a piece of cake, as I have promised. The Jarl will be happy with your quick performance of his errand. Now go and good luck.
Why are you so grim? You did everything right? The Jarl did reward you? Then what happened? You nearly explode yourself with this ice? Oh, well... that is explosives for you - you are supposed to be extra careful around them, yes?
Now about what this promotion to Lich? What do you mean you did not find it? That is always troubles with you - adventurers - you like only to swing your swords, you do not have any taste and patience for preparations and all preliminary work, that is the reason why your life expectancy is so low.
Okay, now listen - go out of the tavern, then turn right and at the corner there will be Skulkil the Dark - talk with him and learn how you can become a Lich. While you walk around, drop in training hall and train yourself - you need it. And check again that you didn't forget the promotion quest for your Luggage - to Druid. I already told you? Okay, you know what you are doing. I will see you here.
Did you do everything? Good, the most important is already done, now speak with the innkeeper - he has some beer for sale and if you still remember we have a request from Guberland innkeeper, who is looking for new brew sorts. Just tell him that you can sell his stuff and hurry - we need to sail to Sturmford.
It is good that the docks are working again, but there is still too much ice around for my taste, I am wondering about our drakkar - is it strong enough to stand it. I tell you what they need here - an icebreaker, not drakkar! Let us go into the cabin - it is warmer there.
Okay, you have asked about Green Man and Frost Giant. Actually, they are brothers. One loves where is cold, another loves the warm places. Cannot tell you anything about the Giant now, still do not have enough information, but I learnt something about the Green Man.
Long time ago the people of Frosgard forgot him and stopped worship him. They did not do any more festivals in his name and the Green Man became very offended with them because of this. So, he said, okay, blast with you and secluded himself away from anyone in the mountains. That is why I am thinking that before he would promote to Druid, he will definitely ask for some favor, though I have no idea what it could be. However, what I can tell you is that he is known to reward lavishly, so you can hope that he did not change with time.
We will see later what will happen, as you cannot go to the Green Man now - you will simply not be able to fight all the way to his place - the passage is guarded too well. Now you understand why we are sailing to Sturmford - to do all small errands first and raise you experience and knowledge.
Oh-ho, I am tired, better go to sleep now, it is nearly dawn already.
Again this terrible rain here in Sturmford! I hate this weather!
No, we are not going into the town; we are going straight ahead. What do you mean where? To Anskram Keep of course. That is why you need to press *M* and look at the map now. See this lonely building on the map - that is where you are heading now. There will be Dragonflies on the way, so better switch Quick Spell to Elemental Bolt beforehand. Later when you come closer to Thralls switch the Quick Spell back to Poison.
What else? Oh, yes, there are some skeletons along the path, most probably unlucky late adventurers, do not touch them. The chance to find something worth all the trouble is minimal while the chance to be poisoned is big. Now I wish you the best of luck and you had better be on your way. I will be waiting for you outside the Keep.
Reached the Keep? Scratches? That is nothing; main thing is that you are alive. Now you need to restore your strength, save the game and sleep.
Rested? Now is time for the work of cleaning out the Keep. Save and listen carefully.
Walk around the keep from the right side, behind the corner there will be the basilisk waiting for you, not to worry - you can deal with it, then behind the next corner - one more. Do not forget to check the chest standing somewhere there near the wall. Then find the corner with the glowing wall - attack it and you will make the opening inside. It is low, therefore you need to bend down - use button *C*. Go through it inside. Immediately ahead of you will be the door - go forward. There will be one more basilisk - deal with him, and do not forget to heal yourself with the brown potion if the basilisk will poison you.
With this done, go to the upper level of the Keep. There find the bridges that lead to the structure in the middle, and look carefully around.
You must spot two chains stretched between the walls. Shoot at them. When you destroy the chains, the bridge outside will be lowered. The first part is done.
Next, you need to fix the gates grating. Near the small structure in the middle of the keep (the same upper level), there is hatch in the floor. Open it and climb down inside. On the wall, you will see the big chain, look down along it - you will spot a lever. Click on the lever. The grating will rise. As the result, you will hear this special victory tone meaning that you fulfilled the quest.
However, this is not all. There are two quests in the Keep and the second is still waiting. You need to clean out the Keep. Return to the upper level.
Very important rule for Anskram Keep: ALWAYS enter it ONLY through the UPPER entrance! Under no circumstances, you can enter the Keep from the main entrance. Which is down near the gates of the keep! BUG ALERT!
Before you enter the Keep - save the game. Check that Elemental Bolt is set as the Quick Spell. Switch on Wizard Eye. Ready? Enter the Keep (from the upper entrance!).
Okay, you are inside. There are the doors in front of you. To the left and to the right there are hallways. Switch on turn-based mode (*enter*). Press space bar. And what do you see? Yes, right - creatures on B - Bugs and Bats. And they all love what? Yes, they love something on B letter - blood! Preferably, yours I presume. And what do you do? Right - our favorite B letter again - Battle! And this time, in turn-based mode because these little bloodsucking monsters are really very-very fast and they need your complete attention first of all.
Only after you would deal with them, press *enter* again and fight the usual way - in real time mode. Use your normal weapon - cudgel, not magic and press the left button of your mouse. Just press it once and keep it this way until you will finish all the Bugs around you.
Do not be in so hurry to move forward to the great hall. Check all the hallways first. Press button *M* and look at the map. At the end of each hallway, there is a room. In these rooms, there are levers that you need to pull. Moreover, in each of these hallways there are 3 portals, which must be closed. They are 'undercover' portals, and have been camouflaged like an ordinary fireplace. These portals are the gates for Imps, which will appear from them with the total number of 5 from the each portal. As soon as you will finish with all popped out of the portal Imps, the fireplace flames will die out and the portal is considered as closed. The same procedure you need to do with all portals, i.e. fireplaces.
Be careful - the hallways are trapped, the small trap just walk around, the big ones jump over.
Be methodical and inspect all the rooms one by one, check all the barrels and chests. Should you be wounded and in need of rest, simply go into a room and sleep. When you will finish everything in the right hallway, return to the entrance and begin to do the same in the left hallway.
In the both hallways, there are hidden niches in the walls (one niche per hallway). There are not treasure niches, they hide Bugs in one hallway and Bats in another. They will pop and fly out when you will be passing them.
When you will finish inspection of the both hallways and pull the levers in the last rooms, go to the great chamber, which you can see in the center of the Keep. But! not before you will be absolutely certain that you did everything in the hallways.
In the great chamber, you will deal with Imps, Bugs and all others. When the scenery will be finally clean, you will see the great doors in front of you. The doors block passage to the adjoining chamber. The first pair of doors is opened; the second pair of doors is closed. Save the game, if necessary - sleep. When awake - save again.
Now to the opening of the great doors. Pull the lever on the left wall and run forward to the second pair of the closed doors. The first pair behind you will begin to close. Move to the left corner and stand with your back to the now closed doors. As soon as the first doors will be closed, the second doors to the adjoining chamber will begin to open. And there will be waiting the eager welcome committee of the whole bunch of Imps. Deal with them.
Now what do you see in front of you - the chamber with hallways running away to the right and to the left from it. There is a couple of Imps in each of the hallway. Run to the left hallway and immediately to the right - open the doors. In this room, there is the portal - the same fireplace as before. You know what to do - close the portal by killing all the imps. Are you wounded and tired? Restore your strength by sleeping right in the cleaned room. Save the game.
Return to the chamber and enter the right hallway this time. Kill the pair of Imps and run to the room with the portal - do the routine with the killing of 5 imps and voila! The victory tone says that you have fulfilled the quest.
If you are not deadly tired and there is at least a small spark of curiosity left in you, go to the great chamber and you will behold the Great Imp. He will appear rising from the floor. In this, you are playing the part of a spectator, nothing more. A couple of guards will rush to the Great Imp and deal with him on their own. Enjoyed the show? Okay, now move to the exit - the door should be along the hallway.
Are you out of the Keep? Good. Now press button *B* - you will have the spell menu - choose Town Portal and cast it - you will be transported to Sturmford (easy, yes?). Visit the Jarl and tell him that you successfully and single-handedly cleaned out the Keep! Oh, in all the glory of the great warrior you would better not forget to tell poor lovesick Bjarni about the letter you gave to Kira. I bet he would be more excited about the letter than about the Keep!
When you will receive all the rewards, you have earned, go for some shopping - sell everything you do not need and look for something that you could probably have a need. When you will finish all this - go to our meeting place - the tavern - I will be waiting for you there, as usual.
Did I forget to tell you anything? I think not, just one thing - in the Keep you can fight both with your cudgel and with the magic, try both of them. Consider the Anskram Keep as the great training hall, the checkpoint for the future hard battles. Well, that is all, good luck!
It took you some time as I can see. Why are you making these horrible grimaces and groaning noises? Are you in pain? Well, what have you expected when you chose the path of the warrior and adventurer? Of course, you are supposed to have a couple of scratches and scars here and there along the way. Yes, Imps trashed you a little bit, but look at the bright side - the Jarl was very happy, was he? Yes, why should not he? He broke the pact with them and at the same time he was completely innocent - everything was done by some adventuring hero's hands, not his. That's you I am talking about, by the way. Well, that is the humans for you.
What? I was right and he was more happy because of the Kira's letter - of course I was right, he loves her very much, perhaps even more than his favorite horse. Now eat and go to sleep - you earned your rest and you must be in the top shape tomorrow. What will be tomorrow? You will learn whatever is necessary tomorrow. Good night.
Why am I so thoughtful this morning? Well, did you notice that behind Sturmford walls there is always raining while inside there is not even one drop falling from the skies? Isn't it strange? I would understand that if the magic field will be strong here, but no, there is nothing special in the town. It is peculiar. When I will have more time, I check this out.
Now let us talk about the business. Yesterday the respectable Ludwig dropped in the tavern and inquired about his lost manuscript. I guess you need to settle this problem, and better to do it today.
Ludwig's Manuscript - the Sewers
So, listen carefully what you need to do. I learnt that the manuscript disappeared after Ludwig began the repair work in his house. I talked with people around and found one person who worked in Ludwig's house. He remembered that when they have moved a heavy bookshelf something dropped from the top directly through the sewer grill and it looked like some notebook.
This is your best clue and I guess you need to check first the sewer directly below the composer's house. Yes, I agree that it is not the best place for morning stroll for common people, but who said that you are a common person; you are the adventurer and a hero, so it is the sewer for you this morning. However, it is not that bad as you think, and you can gain experience and extra bonus as some treasures there too.
So, stop complaining and better listen to a couple of advises which could help you down there.
The main thing you need to know is that the sewer dungeon has 3 levels. To move between the levels you need to use the wells. On the 1st and 3rd levels live some distant relatives of those creatures you have met at the very beginning of your journey, remember the ones that look like plants. However, these relatives are much more sophisticated enemies. The second level is infested with the undead creatures. Therefore, what can I advice you to use there.
On the 1st and the 3rd levels, when you will be fighting with these plant things use Elemental Bolt. Your first attack should be directed to the queen, which is usually nested on the ceilings.
The queen will produce and throw smaller creatures out of her with the tremendous speed. Do not pay attention to them until you destroy the mother - producer of the smaller monsters.
You must deal only with one queen per time, therefore I advice caution and move carefully there, do not let other queens along the hallway spot you prematurely. Otherwise, it will be a disaster - they will begin to produce small fighters simultaneously and simply drown you in them. However, I have heard that the pair of these plant queens protects the well on the first level. You will have to fight them, but as they will be very close to each other, I hope you will manage.
What else? Try to inspect everything, all shrines and tombs, all locations on the 2nd level - I know that down there should be the same well as you have seen in Thronheim and Thjorgard.
Manuscript most probably will be at the very bottom of the sewers - you know the usual law of unfairness of the universe. These papers have some magic in them and you will see the green glowing around the place where they are hidden - it will look like a green glowing arch on the sewers tunnel walls around it.
And the most important - save frequently and do not hurry. It is always better waste some time, sleep one night and restore spell strength and health than rest forever in that place.
When you finally find this manuscript and will be ready to go out, do not waste your strength on climbing all the way back up to the entrance, just use Town Portal spell. That is all; you are not a rookie anymore and know the routine by now. I wish you luck.
What is this noise outside the tavern? And where from this terrible stench is coming? Oh, now I got it! This is my friend - the lonely hero. Oh my, what a sight and what a smell! Now, who wants to earn the whole purse with silver coins? What you need to do is to carry my friend to the sea and wash him thoroughly. Oh, do not worry, people, I will cast a spell on him and he will be gentle like a newborn baby. It is the only way, or the whole town will die from these poisonous vapors emanating from this poor adventurer. No, the payment you will receive only after the washing. Be careful with him in the water - he is needed for saving the world, and carry him back to the tavern. I will be waiting for you here.
That is better, much better. Now you are not only alive but also not dangerous for all the others around you. Well, I suppose this ought to be expected if you intend to inspect the whole town sewer. However, you got the manuscript, many skill points and I see your purse is much more bulbous now than before. No eat your meal quickly and we need to catch our ride to Drangheim. You will have plenty of time to sleep on drakkar.