Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Walkthrough

What lies in the distant land of Rashemen? GameSpot's Walkthrough to Mask of the Betrayer will reveal all.

By: Matthew Rorie

The people at Obsidian have about as storied a history of creating computer RPGs as any company can lay claim to. Taken as a whole, the company employs designers who have worked on games like Knights of the Old Republic II, Icewind Dale, Fallout II, and Planescape: Torment. The game that Obsidian itself is most well known for, however, is Neverwinter Nights 2, the sequel to BioWare's original Neverwinter Nights. The game was a critical success when it was released in 2006, featuring an epic and lengthy adventure, with mechanics that hearkened back to the good old days of Baldur's Gate. A full party could be created and directly controlled by the player (as opposed to Neverwinter Nights, where only one character could be directly controlled at a time).

Although the game had its rough spots, many of them were polished after patching, allowing Obsidian to focus on loads of new content for the expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer. After the events at the end of Neverwinter Nights 2, your character finds him or herself transported thousands of miles from where you finished that game, with a dark and terrible curse brewing within you. It's up to you to find new friends, explore the new portion of the world that has been opened to you, and attempt to find the reason you've been cursed, and hopefully eliminate it before it overwhelms you.

GameSpot's Game Guide to Mask of the Betrayer offers up the following exclusive features:

Follower Details

Curious about how best to use your followers, or where to find them? Check out this section of the guide.

Spirit-Eating Tips

The new spirit-eating mechanic is tough to control, but this section will help you out.

Walkthrough

A detailed walkthrough for proceeding through the game's three-act campaign.

Enjoy!

Followers

Most of the followers from the NWN2 core campaign are lost to you, either killed in the collapse of the cave at the end of that game, or simply removed from you by the fact that you've been spirited away for thousands of miles. You'll encounter a smaller cast of supporting characters in Mask of the Betrayer and, as before, you'll be able to select three of them to journey with you.

Note that this section has SPOILERS in it, so don't read unless you really want to know!

Safiya

Safiya is the first follower you get, as she’s with you from the beginning of the game. If your character isn’t an arcane spellcaster (and perhaps even if you are), you’ll probably want to keep Safiya by your side from the beginning until the end; she brings a lot to the table, and her neutrality makes it relatively easy to increase your influence with her, unless you wind up being downright cruel to her.

Combat

In combat, Safiya is your basic wizard. Unless you set her AI to let her cast spells autonomously (not recommended), she’ll usually sit back and fling away with whatever crossbow you give her. She won’t deal a huge amount of damage with it, but it keeps her busy when you’re not casting spells with her, and she’ll stay away from the enemies that would likely pound her to death.

Safiya's combat spells will be a big help in tackling distant enemies.

If you do want her to cast spells in combat, then keep in mind your difficulty level. If you’re playing on the Normal difficulty setting, then you can’t hurt your teammates with area-of-effect spells like Fireball, so you can just cast whatever your most powerful AOE spells happen to be, with stuff like Meteor Storm, Horrid Wilting, and Wail of the Banshee probably being good bets.

If you’re playing on Hardcore or higher, though, then your AOE spells will damage your teammates, so you’ll probably want to stick to summoning spells or single-target damaging spells. One thing to note is that Conjuration is one of Safiya’s opposition schools, so she won’t be able to actually cast Summon Creature IX, which is something of a weakness for her. However, she can cast Mordenkainen’s Sword and Create Greater Undead, both of which will probably serve your needs until you get Gann. When you reach the epic levels, Epic Gate winds up being a good choice, although it takes a while to cast. So far as single-target spells go, Polar Ray will be a biggie early on, and you can also Empower Disintegrate as a level seven spell, or use Avasculate.

Utility

Safiya is one of the best utility characters in the game, as she can buff every party member quite thoroughly, create magical arms and armor, create wondrous items, and use her familiar to pick locks and detect traps.

We’ll start with buffing. You’ll want to memorize a lot of buffing spells for Safiya here. The ones to look out for are Stoneskin, Premonition for Safiya herself, the Mass Buff spells at level 6 (with Mass Bear’s Endurance arguably being the most important), and, perhaps most importantly, a Persistant Haste spell. Although Persistant Haste will take up a ninth-level spell slot, it’ll be well worth it for all members of your party, as everyone will get an extra attack per round and move 50% faster, and the spell will last until dispelled or until you rest. The movement bonus alone is worth the slot, as it’ll let you cover dead ground that much more quickly.

Sure, you may look funny, but you'll be all but untouchable in combat.

Crafting magical items has taken on a new role in the expansion, and Safiya will be on the forefront of it with her Enchanter’s Satchel and Shaper’s Alembic. We won’t go into the details too much, but one thing you’ll want to do is examine the essences that you find and note the types of spells that you need to cast on them in order to craft the items, as Safiya won’t necessarily have them available at the beginning of the game. Here’s a short list of what you’ll want to have her learn. We’re only going to list the spells needed for crafting arms and armor; we never bothered much with wondrous items, although in retrospect it probably would’ve been handy. You can always right-click on an essence itself to find out what spells you need to cast on it in the Enchanter’s Satchel to enchant an object.

Note that most of the essences will require Protection from Energy in order to enchant armor; make sure Safiya picks that up.

  • Air Essences: Chain Lightning
  • Earth: Acid Fog (note that this is apparently unlearnable by Safiya)
  • Fire: Delayed Blast FireballFireball
  • Water: Ice Storm
  • Power: Greater Magic Weapon/Stone Skin

In addition to crafting, Safiya’s familiar Kaji will perform most of your lockpicking and trap disarming throughout the game, unless your main character is capable of doing so. He’ll do it automatically when you click on a locked door or spot a trap, or you can control him manually. Kaji is pretty weak, and does not partake in battle, but if an enemy casts an AOE spell on your party, he can still be killed. Even if he is, though, you can simply resummon him after you rest.

Leveling

Safiya can only be leveled as a wizard, so there’s little flexibility there. As a wizard, she won’t get feats very rapidly, but that doesn’t matter much, since she already has the most valuable metamagic and crafting feats. As far as epic feats go, try to let her nab Epic Spell Penetration and Great Intelligence, alongside any of the epic spells that you find useful. (We got Vampiric Feast and Epic Gate and were pretty happy with those.)

Gann

Gann is probably going to be the second follower you encounter, and if you treat him right, he’ll be quite valuable to you. Like Safiya, his neutrality makes it relatively easy to gain influence with him regardless of your own alignment. Try to be flattering whenever possible; he’s a bit of a peacock.

Combat

Gann is immediately useful to you in combat if your character isn’t a cleric or a druid. He acts as something of a Sorcerer for divine spells, meaning that he has fewer spells available to him, but he can cast them more times per day. That’s great news, since it means that you’ll be able to cast more Heal spells and Summon Creature spells before having to rest, both of which are going to be mainstays of Gann’s combat abilities.

Beyond his spellcasting, though, Gann’s combat feats mostly revolve around the shortbow. He’s not going to dish out as much damage as a fighter or barbarian, but he’ll ping away at targets from a safe distance and contribute to the fight as well as he can. One thing to note is that Gann seems to chew through ammo pretty quickly. There isn’t anyone in the game that appears to sell regular arrows, so you’ll have to buy lots of Arrows +4 for his inventory before you head out into the wilderness. If you poke around, you may be able to find an infinite ammo shortbow for him to use. Alternately, you can make a habit of casting Shapechange and transforming Gann into a powerful frontlines fighter.

Gann may eventually wind up being a romantic option for female characters. Or mephit characters.

Gann also has a number of spirit-related abilities, but we’ll be honest and say that we never used them and still got through the game just fine. Recall Spirit is a resurrection spell that will work well if any of your members accidentally dies. Warding of the Spirits is a good buff to cast on your party members after you rest. Chastise and Weaken Spirits can both be handy when taking on a large group of spirit enemies, but again, it’s probably not necessary to use too many of these abilities if you don’t want to learn all of their ins and outs.

Since resting in Mask of the Betrayer will sap your spirit energy, you’ll probably want to use Gann to heal up your party members instead of healing every five minutes of gameplay. Even with his extra casts per day, you can still run through your Heal spells pretty quickly, so you may want to use healing kits and increase his Heal skill after Spellcraft and Concentration. Another good healing spell is Rejuvenation Cocoon at the fifth level, if you’re healing after combat. It takes a couple rounds to reach its full effect, but actually heals for more damage than a full Heal spell (180 points vs. 150). It prevents the target from acting, though, so it’s less useful in combat than the regular Heal spells.

Utility

Gann isn’t much of a buffer. His Barkskin spell is probably going to be the most useful buffing spell that he has to offer, as it’ll offer a +5 bonus to natural armor when cast. Safiya’s Spiderskin spell will offer the same bonus as well as bonuses to poison resistance and Hide checks, but in most cases Barkskin will effectively be the same spell, so just have Gann cast it on all the party members and save yourself some buffing time after each rest. Warding of the Spirits is a party-wide buff that’ll be pretty handy when facing off against spirit enemies.

Gann doesn’t come stocked with any kind of crafting abilities, but if you give him Craft Magic Arms and Armor, he’ll be able to do most of the same functions as Safiya. So…you probably don’t need to.

Leveling

Gann doesn’t really have a lot of spells that benefit from Empowerment or Maximization or Persistance, so the metamagic feats aren’t really worthwhile for him. By the time you unlock him, he’ll probably be ready to start learning the epic feats, so stick with the epic spells and Great Charisma/Wisdom. If you wind up summoning with him consistently, then the Augment Summoning feat will be worthwhile, but you can probably find that as a bonus feat on an item along the way.

Kaelyn The Dove

You’ll encounter Kaelyn before the end of the first act of the game. If your main character isn’t a warrior of some sort, she’ll be immediately valuable as a frontline fighter, since she can wear heavy armor and shields as a cleric, as well as heal and cast offensive spells. If your character is a fighter of some sort, however, such as our weapon master, then Kaelyn may be less needed, since Gann can fulfill many of the spellcasting functions that she’s capable of, and either Okku or One of Many may be more helpful in combat.

Combat

Kaelyn isn’t going to set the world on fire with her combat damage; she doesn’t have much strength to work with, so she’ll struggle to hit the high-armor enemies that you’ll be encountering. She also has no combat-oriented feats save for Power Attack. Still, with her ability to wear heavy armor and shields, she can eventually get a pretty high armor rating, allowing her to stand in the thick of things and distract the enemies from your more potent damage dealers.

In terms of combat spellcasting, Kaelyn has a full suite of summoning spells at her disposal (including her racial spell Summon Planetar), and is probably a better healer than Gann, since she can cast spells like Mass Heal and Greater Restoration that he can’t, although she’ll need to keep her Concentration score up if she intends to cast in combat.

Utility

Kaelyn doesn’t offer much in the way of out-of-combat utility. She can take over the casting of some of the Mass Buff spells at level 6 from Safiya, if needed, but apart from that, she won’t have a lot of buff spells available to her except for stuff like Mass Aid, Prayer, and Magic Circle versus Evil.

Leveling

Giving Kaelyn a Tower Shield proficiency will help her wield the heavy armor needed to stack her AC up to unhittable levels. Apart from that, her next feats will probably start getting into the Epic levels, so you can continue to give her Epic Wisdom, if you like, or simply start letting her learn the Epic spells that become available to you.

Okku

Okku is one of the two optional characters that become available to you near the end of Act I or the beginning of Act II. To gain him as an ally, you need to resist the urge to devour his soul when you fight him outside of Mulsantir, which will spare his life and force him to honor an ancient pledge to help your kind fight your curse.

One thing to note about Okku is that you cannot control what he selects when he levels up, and you also won’t be able to equip him with anything other than a single amulet and a pair of rings. As Okku will be a frontline fighter for you, take these equipment slots and try to use them to get him increased AC (preferably through deflection or dodge bonuses; natural armor bonuses from equipment will not stack with Barkskin or Spiderskin spells), increased saving throws, or regeneration.

Okku is the most wubbable follower to ever appear in a D&D computer game.

Okku is probably only going to be joining your party if you’re playing as a somewhat good character, but keep in mind that influence with him can be difficult to get unless you attempt to rein in your spirit-eating desires.

Combat

Outside of a high-level weapon master or fighter, Okku is going to be the primary damage-dealer in your group. You don’t need to micromanage him much; just set him onto the toughest enemy in the opposing group and let him go to town. He attacks multiple times per turn with his three natural weapons (presumably two claws and his mouth). He rarely manages to land critical hits, but he’ll output a remarkable amount of steady damage in combat. (Oddly enough, despite the fact that he’s listed as eventually getting stuff like Power Critical and Improved Critical, his critical strike rating stays at 20/x2. This may be a bug.) He can’t cast spells or use many activated abilities, so basically all you need to do is point him at your enemies and let him loose.

Utility

Basically nil. Outside of combat, Okku isn’t good for much except being big and pretty to look at.

Leveling

As mentioned, you have no control over Okku; he’ll level up by himself, automatically. Most of the stuff he nabs are well worthwhile, though, as he’ll keep loading himself up with epic feats revolving around increasing his attack and critical strike ratio, as well as the Epic Toughness feat. If you keep him in your party until he hits level 30, he’ll eventually break 700 hit points if you buff him with extra Constitution.

One of Many

If you choose to consume Okku's spirit, you can bring his desiccated husk to the Furnace in the Death God's Temple in Shadow Mulsantir and offer it to the spirits inside the furnace. If you do, they'll occupy it and join your party as One of Many.

One of Many is a creepy character that's really only suitable for evil parties.

Like Okku, One of Many cannot be levelled and cannot wear equipment, although it will take your orders. Despite the fact that we were playing an evil character, though, we didn't use One of Many very much before giving him up and reverting back to a save where we could take Okku instead. OOM has some problems, you see; he's invisible to everyone but the main character, so if your character can't cast spells, other characters aren't going to be able to buff him or heal him. (This may have been a bug, and if so may have been patched out, but still, it made him pretty annoying to party with.)

Another interesting aspect of One of Many is that his form will change based on which personality within him is dominant. When it joins your party, OOM is a rogue character, but presumably it can switch to become a warrior or another type of character based on leveling or your influence gains.

Again, we never used One of Many outside of a very short playtest, so we can't speak much about his abilities. Feel free to give him a whirl if you're a particularly evil character.

Notes on Spirit Eating

Tip: Note that this section contains SPOILERS. If you want to explore the storyline yourself, then you might want to leave this section well enough alone for now.

At the beginning of Act II, your character becomes a spirit-eater. You’re now forced to fight the bizarre entitiy within you; it hungers for souls, and grants you some new abilities related to them. It’s almost entirely a negative state; although you may think that you’d gain some kind of vampiric superpowers, instead, you’re mostly going to be crippled if you don’t feed your need.

Like any other sort of addiction, being a spirit eater will let you experience normality (when you’re satiated) and the throes of addiction, when the need for spirits causes you physical pain and suffering, and even death. This is shown for you with two meters: Spirit Energy and Craving.

Spirit Energy

Eating spirits will slowly - or quickly - corrupt yourself.

Spirit energy shows you how much energy you have; you can gain more energy either by attempting to suppress your appetite for spirits, or by devouring enemies that are near death. Devouring Spirits can be done with a new feat that you’ve obtained; you'll want to place it on your action bar so that it's convenient. If you attack a fey spirit, an elemental, or an incorporeal undead creature (such as a shade or wraith), wait until it gets to the Near Death stage and quickly use Devour Soul on it (you may want to command your teammates to switch targets away from it to avoid accidentally killing it in the meantime). That’ll give you a big bonus to your spirit energy, but note that devouring more than one spirit per day will greatly increase your craving. Suppress is another new feat for you; using it will reduce your craving a bit and increase your spirit energy, but not as much as devouring souls will. (See the Feats section of this chapter for more details.)

Tip: As your proceed in the game, your character and party can get to the point where enemy spirits rapidly go from healthy to dead. If you wish to get the most points per use of Devour Spirit, engage an enemy with your bare hands if you're a fighter or barbarian. You'll still damage it, but you'll damage it less, making it more likely that you can knock it just into the Near Death range and get your bonus points for devouring its soul. Also note that you don't have to wait until an enemy is Near Death to use Devour Spirit; you'll just get bonus energy if you do so.

If you’re going to use Suppress, use it when there are a lot of spirits around you; that’ll indicate that you have extra willpower and will let you gain bonus spirit energy. Unfortunately using Suppress is bizarrely classified as a Lawful Good action (surely the self-interest involved in not becoming addicted to spirits would be a relatively neutral act, alignment-wise?), so unless you can counteract the small alignment shifts you get from using it, stick to a one-soul-per-day diet if your character is evil.

Other new feats include Satiate, which can let you avoid death by feeding upon your experience points (which you should never have to use if you manage your spirit energy correctly), and Provoke Spirits, which will let you cause all nearby spirits to become hostile to you, thus making it easier for you to Suppress for big spirit energy gains. Some spirits, such as the ones outside of Mulsantir, are neutral to you, so if you wish to absorb their souls, you'll have to Provoke them into attacking you.

Spirit energy will drop anytime your character isn’t engaged in conversation. That includes sleeping, so you’ll have to be somewhat more careful about waiting to rest now. Also make sure that your game is paused whenever you need to perform inventory or spellbook management, level up, etc.

Craving

Your craving for spirits indicates how quickly your spirit energy will decline. If you feed your addiction by consuming multiple spirits per day, your addiction will grow and you’ll need to consume more and more spirits just to keep your spirit energy at a manageable level. If you manage to suppress your addiction, however, your craving will reduce and you won’t drop in spirit energy by as much as you would otherwise.

Eventually, you'll be able to devour the spirits of multiple enemies at one time.

Generally speaking, there’s no bonus to devouring multiple spirits per day; all that will do is increase your craving and force you to spend more time seeking out spirits and devouring them. Devour one spirit per day, at most, and use Suppress when you’re near a lot of spirits, and you should be ok for the most part.

If your appetites get the better of you, or you simply prefer to devour all the spirits that you see, you can maximize your craving meter. Doing so will cause your spirit energy to reduce at a rate of six points per five minutes of gameplay or so, which may not sound bad, but can definitely add up. If you choose to go wholly evil and spirit-eaterly, though, you will be able to add enough new feats to your repertoire to usually top your spirit energy off, no matter how bad your craving gets.

Having a full craving bar will indicate that you're letting the spirit-eater within you, which in turn will grant you new powers. Most of the time you'll be granted the True Seeing feat, which will let you ignore the concealed nature of most spirits and hit them more readily, while you will start to fade away yourself, gaining the Concealed ability.

Spirit-Eating Feats

Along the way through the game, you'll be able to earn new feats related to your spirit-eating abilities that will make you more flexible in how you approach your addiction. Here's a list, with some tips on how to obtain them. Note that these tips are, again, going to be SPOILERS in a lot of cases.

Devour Spirit

Be sure to right-click on an enemy to keep an eye on its health bar while you attack.

One of the baseline abilities. When you use this on a fey spirit, an elemental, or an incorporeal undead enemy, you'll gain a bit of craving and a bit of spirit energy, and reduce their health by 25%. If you use this on an enemy with 25% or less health, you'll gain bonus spirit energy, as well as a Spirit Essence. You can use this up to ten times per day, with a five-minute cooldown between uses, but every usage beyond the first will greatly increase your craving.

Suppress

If you choose not to devour spirits, you can attempt to Suppress your craving. You can only do this once per day, and you can't use it on the same day as a Devour Spirit attempt (or any other devouring ability). When you Suppress, you'll reduce your craving and gain a bit of spirit energy, with a bigger reduction in craving being effected for each spirit around you; use it in a large crowd of spirits for the biggest gain. Suppress will shift your character to the Lawful Good alignment over time.

Satiate

Once per day, you can spend XP to top off your spirit energy meter. Handy in a pinch, although with proper management you should never have to use it. The only place that you may be required to pull it out is the Thayvian Academy, which is pretty light on spirits.

Mold Spirit/Malleate Spirit

The crafting feats. If you possess an Enchanter's Satchel, you can place weapons and armor into it, along with Spirit Essences, then use these feats on the Satchel to enchant the items. Mold Spirit comes by default, and will let you enchant items with Brilliant Spirit Essences; you obtain Malleate Spirit in the Thayvian Academy via the Mysterious Object quest, and it'll let you use Pristine Spirit Essences in your crafting.

Devour Soul

Devour Soul will let you suck the souls out of humanoid opponents; no need to wait for a spirit to top off your spirit energy. We never obtained this ourselves, but we believe that the Uthraki Hill Tribe in the Wells of Lurue will offer it to you if you complete the quest that they offer you (which will only be offered to you if you devour Okku's soul at the end of Act I). Presumably this is an evil act.

Eternal Rest

Another feat we never obtained, Eternal Rest will let you devour the evil energy inside undead creatures to recharge your spirit energy, but it does not increase your craving at all. This is considered a good action.

Spirit Gorge

If you choose to gorge yourself on the spirit of the Wood Man, you'll earn this ability. Spirit Gorge will basically act as Devour Spirit, but with an area-of-effect spread. If you're surrounded by enemies, such as the swarms of spirit rats outside the Sunken City, you can use this on them and grab energy from all of them at once, with a proportionally larger boost to your spirit energy meter, as well as to your craving. This is considered to be a Chaotic Evil action, though.

Bestow Life Force

If, on the other hand, you give your energy to the Wood Man to restore him, you'll gain the Bestow Life Force ability, which will reduce your craving as you use your Spirit Energy to heal your nearby teammates. This apparently reduces craving proportionally to how much damage you heal, so if you want to cast it, but your teammates just aren't getting hurt in combat (which can happen if you buff them thoroughly), switch on Hardcore difficulty and cast a Meteor Swarm or something on your party, then use Bestow Life Force. This is considered a Lawful Good action.

Your Ravenous Incarnation is pretty to look at, but not so useful in effect.

Ravenous Incarnation

If you suck up the essence of Myrkul when you encounter him, you'll earn this ability, which acts a bit like the Destroyer mechanic in Baldur's Gate II. Every five minutes, you'll be able to change yourself to the Ravenous Incarnation, which effectively polymorphs you to an all-devouring evil creature. You gain damage resistance to all forms of damage while you're morphed (save for divine damage), gain a significant amount of health and strength, but lose all abilities, feats, and spellcasting abilities. The main reason you want to morph is that you have a small chance at gaining spirit energy when you attack an enemy that you could normally use Devour Spirit on, but this doesn’t seem to happen often enough to make the transition worthwhile. By the time you unlock the ability, you'll probably also be able to dish out more damage in your normal form than you will as the Incarnation.

There is one extra ability that you can unlock at the very end of the game, but we'll let you discover it for yourself.

Walkthrough

Character Creation

Before you begin your quest, you can take the time to import one of your old characters to the game, if you wish. If you have a main character from Neverwinter Nights 2, you’ll need to load up the last saved game that you made with that character, hit Escape, and select Export Character. Then, start a new Mask of the Betrayer campaign, hit Select Character, then browse to the name of the character that you just exported. If the character you selected was level 18 or more, then you’re good to go; otherwise you’ll be moved into a holding area where you’ll have to level yourself up to level 18. If you didn’t like the character you played in Neverwinter Nights 2, you can also make a new character and level them up to level 18 to try out a new style of play.

(Note that if you import a character from a save game that they’ll lose all the cash you previously had. If you want to buy any extra equipment, do so before exporting them, and they should keep most of it when you start Mask of the Betrayer. You will lose any weapons that you’re holding or in your inventory, however.)

For the purposes of this walkthrough, we decided to import our lawful evil scythe weaponmaster. She’s good for pretty much nothing but hitting targets hard, so keep in mind that your tactics may need some adjusting depending on what kind of character you have. If you're worried about the game's difficulty, we highly recommend a weaponmaster character; with the changes to enchanting in the expansion pack, it can be pretty easy to make yourself a high damage weapon

The Cave

The Lower Barrow

You find yourself in a cave at the beginning of the game, and you’re soon woken up by Safiya, a red mage of Thay. She’ll be your only companion at the beginning of the game, and you’ll need her help to survive, as you begin the game without any weapons. Begin speaking to her, but note that you now can see the exact influence shifts that your conversations will have on your followers. Don’t insult her initially and she’ll warm to you eventually. You can gain some points with her by telling her that she seems to care for her familiar as you walk up the ramp in front of you.

The beginning of the game is a confusing one for your character.

Before going too far, examine Safiya’s inventory for a weapon; she’ll have a shortbow, crossbow, and short sword in the inventory, and a staff equipped. Take whatever you like, but you should probably flip Safiya herself over to the crossbow and keep her back. Also take this time to adjust her AI settings; you may not want her casting on her own. Lastly, look through her spellbook and adjust it to your liking. You’ll definitely want to have her memorize the Stoneskin and Spiderskin spells, which can both be cast on all party members for a good amount of damage protection. Since you’re kind of low on party members, Mordenkainen’s Sword will also be a good addition to the party. Go ahead and rest after you do so, cast her buffs, and get going.

One last note: the enchanting system has been overhauled in the expansion pack, and you can now enchant weapons right in your very own backpack! Or, well, in Safiya’s backpack, at any rate. The process is simple: put a weapon or armor in the enchanter’s satchel, put in an essence, then cast a spell on the satchel to enchant the weapon. For instance, if you want to enchant one of your weapons to deal extra ice damage, put it in the satchel alongside the Brilliant Water Essence and cast Ice Storm on it. That’ll make it deal an extra 1d6 ice damage per hit. You’ll be finding a pretty nice spear on the next level, so if you can use that kind of weapon, you may just want to wait for that; otherwise, you can enchant something right now, if you like.

Important: Finding A Quest!

Move up the passage here and head to the northeastern corern of the map, where you’ll find a barrow guardian. Kill it, then search the scrolls nearby to find a quest: The Betrayer’s Crusade. This is a side quest that will tie into the main storyline. It’s easy to miss the stack of scrolls, so hit the Z button to search the room!

With that in tow, head to the northwest and find the passage leading onward.

The Middle Barrow

There’s a conversation with a wolf spirit at the beginning of this level. Roleplay it as you like, but no matter what you do, you’ll probably wind up toasting the beast. This will remove the weakness effect from you.

The Frost Harpoon

Now that you’re free of the weakness, you can begin to explore a bit. If you want to pick up the spear we were telling you about before, you can head to the northwest a bit. There’s a large open area there with an Ancient Wooden Chest in it. If you open it, you’ll find the Frost Harpoon, which has a +4 enchantment, is Keen, and does an extra 2d6 ice damage on every hit. If you’re a warrior or cleric, then you’ll want to put this baby to use.

With that in tow, you can explore the various points of interest on this floor. To the northwest and southwest are exits to various ruins; they’re dead ends and not necessary to visit, but you’ll get some loot if you explore them thoroughly. Begin with the southeastern corner, which leads to…

The Forges

You can find a temporary ally in the forges. Begin by exploring the northern room here. Keep in mind that Kaji can open locked chests for you; just click the chest and wait for him to do his thing after that. You can find Hellfire Powder in one of the locked chests here, as well as a bunch of magical weapons and armor on the racks nearby. Check the blacksmith’s desk as well before heading to the southeast. Speak to the Imaskari Golem there.

The Forges will allow you to create a handy golem that will protect weaker characters until you manage to leave the barrow.

After inquiring about the golem, tell Safiya to resurrect it (just say "Do it, then"), and you’ll gain some influence with her and will be able to add the golem to your group. Safiya will tell you about a salve that can be made to further strengthen the golem; have her use the Hellfire Powder on the alchemist’s table nearby to make the salve, then right-click on the golem and select "Talk To" to apply the salve onto it. That’ll buff it quite a bit.

Keep in mind that the golem can’t be equipped with any weaponry, but that it can be enchanted. Give it Spiderskin and Stoneskin for a nigh-unkillable helper.

The Library

Return to the Middle Barrow and head to the northwest this time. You’ll find another path leading down to the Library. The Helmed Horrors here are tough to kill physically, since they have a lot of health and are immune to critical hits, so use Safiya to cast Polar Ray or Disintegrate on them to weaken them up. The shelves here will have some new spells for you, such as Avasculate, Power Word Petrify, and Extract Water Elemental. Give the scrolls to Safiya to let her scribe them if you can’t use them yourself.

Back To the Barrow

Now, return to the Middle Barrow. You may see a large room in the middle of the map here; explore it if you like. You’ll be told that there are two ways to escape from the barrow: you can either bash the bear skeleton bones in the middle of this room to anger the spirits, then defeat them; or head to the northeastern corner of the barrow to reach the Pool of Offerings.

If you want to kill the spirits, do so and move on. If you want to gain some items, head to the Pool and speak to Orglash there. You have two options: attempt to destroy him, or claim to be his master and gain his services. Claiming to be his master will let you summon Orglash once a day to fight for you, but may also have unintended consequences down the road. Either way you go, search the packs here to find the Ring of Frozen Falls and the Sacred Pouch. You can use the Sacred Pouch back in the middle room of this level as an offering to the spirits, who will then let you pass upwards.

The Upper Barrow

As you may be able to discern from the map here, the important room will be in the upper middle side of the map. Avoid it for the moment and search the rest of the level for items and enemies to kill.

Your first encounter with Okku won't be your last….

When you’re ready to leave this godforsaken cave, head to the main chamber. Ask Safiya if she’s all right when she stops you to gain a bit of influence, then move forward to take on Okku, the bear god. You can’t avoid a fight here, it would appear, but you shouldn’t have too many problems defeating Okku. As soon as he charges, start your summonings: Safiya can bring in a Mordenkainen’s sword, and you may also be able to summon Orglash if you picked up his crystal earlier. Okku is corporeal, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for Safiya to hit him with touch attacks like Polar Ray, allowing you to damage him down pretty quickly. Finish off the rest of the spirits and loot them. Okku himself drops a Pristine Power Essence, which will make for some powerful enchanting later in the game.

Before you leave the cave, pick up the Axe of the Bear-God from the chest nearby. Then, head up and click on Mulsantir to leave.

Mulsantir

Mulsantir is the first major city you’re going to see. When you arrive, Safiya will give you a bit of a rundown on why you’re tagging along with her in the first place. Don’t insinuate that her mother gave her special priveleges unless you want to lose some influence with her.

Check around for these dirt mounds by holding down the Z button.

When you get free of the conversation, hold Z and look around to find a dirt mound nearby with a little gold in it. There are a few of these in this area; if you find them, you should net around 6,000 gold and a few items. You can speak to Shelvedar Nuum outside the gates if you wish to trade. Some of the items you picked up in the cave will be worth the maximum of 25,000 gold, so if you’re not using them, go ahead and get some cash for them. He won’t have much unique to sell you, but still, feel free to peruse his inventory. Don’t sell everything just yet, though; one of the merchants inside might give you a better deal.

Into The City

Head into Mulsantir. Just in front of you is the Bazaar. We found that Azim paid slightly more money for our items than either Nuum or Mother Feodora, another nearby merchant, did. When you offload your unusable stuff, it’s time to start poking around.

Your first goal will be to head into the Veil Theater, which is located nearby. However, be sure to be fully buffed before you head inside. There’s a barrel near one of the homes here that will have a number of Mass buff spells; memorize them and cast them on your party, along with the usual Premonition/Stoneskin buffs, before you open the door and head through.

Red Wizard Fight

This will be a difficult challenge for you, as the Red Wizard here is a powerful spellcaster, and he’ll have four Gnolls along for the ride. If you have good saves against immobilizing effects, then you should be able to act fairly autonomously, but if you’re a fighter or another character with less than great spell saves, you’re going to find yourself dazed or paralyzed for most of the fight. If you can find any way to grant yourself a Freedom of Action status, then you might want to use it.

This fight can be tough to manage, but manage it you must.

Anyway, if you have Stoneskin or Premonition on your characters, then the Gnolls are really just a distraction. At the beginning of the fight, summon a Mordenkainen’s Sword and/or Orglash to help you out and to distract your opponents. Your choice after that will be to either immediately go after the Red Wizard or take down the Gnolls first. The archers here can be hit with a Meteor Swarm or some other area-of-effect spell to weaken them, but the melee characters will need to be dealt with personally. If you can summon creatures, they may be distracted enough to let you attack the Wizard. He’ll have plenty of protections, so if possible, cast something like Mordenkainen’s Disjunction on him to strip them away, or simply unload on him with attacks and spells until he falls.

This isn’t an easy fight, but with a little luck and preparation, you’ll defeat your foes. When you do, Magda will give you a Shadow Stone, which you can use to reach the Shadow Plane in Lienna's bedroom. Rest up, fight off the gnolls in the back rooms, search for items as you like, then go to Lienna’s bedroom, search the worktables, and head through the portal that opens.

Shadow Theater

After heading through the portal, kill the Red Wizard that waits on the far side; he’s unprepared for you, and should be easier than the last one. Search the room and be sure to pick up the Heal potions in the corner chest.

Move through to the operating theater. There are a couple of locked chests here, but be sure to have Kaji examine them and disable the traps before you open them. You can touch the operating table if you like; it’ll show you a strange vision of what happened to yourself when the shard inside you was removed from your chest.

Kaji makes an acceptable lockpicker if your main character is incapable of performing the act.

Before heading through the door beyond the operating table, return to the Material Realm, rest, save your game, and rebuff. When you do go through, you’ll have to fight Khai, a red wizard, along with another red wizard, a couple of erinyes, and whatever creatures the fools manage to summon. Khai himself isn’t overly difficult, but taken together, your foes can be difficult to manage. Again, use your summoning spells to cause some havoc, take down the wizards first, and deal with the Erinyes last. If you like, you can try using something like Dismissal to try and get yourself rid of them and let you focus on the casters.

When Khai is dead, a lengthy dialog with Safiya will ensue. You can get loads of influence here by expressing your concern for her mother, and compliment her on her battle acumen. None of this influences your alignment, so feel free to butter her up. When you’re done, loot the bodies and return to the exterior area of Mulsantir.

A Warning From the Wychlaren

As you exit the Veil, a group of witches will accost you and accuse you of being the cause of an army of spirits on the gates of Mulsantir. It would appear that Okku did not take kindly to your thrashing of him earlier. The witches will require you to face him and bring a resolution to the conflict, and will offer you a reward in exchange for dealing with the Red Wizards: if you head to the prison to the north, you’ll be able to choose any companions that will have you.

The witches of Mulsantir are decidedly unfriendly to you.

Before you manage to go anywhere, Efrem the Stag and Susah the Crow will speak to you, offering to lend their aid, but only if you find their sister. Accept their quest, if only for the experience. You’ll gain the Shadow Mulsantir and Prodigal Daughter journal entries.

Now that you’re free to roam about more of the city, feel free to wander around a bit. You can find the Prison to the north. Across the way are some shallow graves; loot them, then kill the Telthors that pop out of them to pick up a fair amount of essences, including some Brilliants. There are also a bunch of dirt mounds in the city, so feel free to loot those as well.

At this point, you should have a few quests in your journal, and can begin to start examining them as you like. Before you do so, though, head to the Prison to find another character that will join you on your quest.

The Prison

The first two prisoners here have interesting stories for you, but neither are stupid enough to join you on your quest to defeat Okku. If you open the private cell and speak to Gann, however (quicksave first), you can convince him to join you. It’s not difficult to do so, but getting through the conversation with some influence gains can be a little trickier. Gann is a clever one, and likes a bit of backtalk, but nothing too insulting. If you insinuate that his charm and wit were what imprisoned him, he’ll like that. If you tell him that coming with you is better than staying in prison, then refuse to promise him anything, he’ll come along.

Gann will be a great companion for you, so be sure to nab him here.

Gann is a chaotic neutral Hagspawn Spirit Shaman, so he’ll take some getting used to. His abilities will be very useful when you fight the spirit army, though, so you definitely want to bring him along. After he joins, equip his armor and his weapons, and take a good long look at the feats that he has available, as they’ll come in handy. Gann can also cast druidic spells, including Summon Creature, Heal, and Restoration. Nice!

Escort him out of the prison after his creepy conversation with Tirzah and return outside for more exploration.

Ice Lodge

The Ice Lodge is where the berserkers of the town congregate. If you head here now, you’re unlikely to be able to proceed very far in their ranks, as you have to pass three challenges before you’re allowed to do so, and statistically you probably won’t be able to pass two of them. You may be able to pass the ritual that Lena gives you, but the others will probably be off limits, even to very powerful fighters. Come back and try them later if you wish to join the lodge.

If you wish, you can simply kill all of the berserkers here in the hut.

When you think you’re ready to join, head into the lodge and speak to Jurak. He’ll tell you that there are three trials that you have to pass, administered by Lena, Forovan, and Yulia.

Lena: Lena puts you in the ring with a few of her berserkers. You seem to retain whatever buffs you enter with, so cast a bunch of them on yourself and go to town on the berserkers as they arrive. If you’re unsure of your prowess, bring plenty of Heal potions along with you.

Forovan: Forovan tests your strength by challenging you to an arm-wrestling contest. We’re not sure what the breakoff point here is, but if you’re having trouble winning the contest, you may want to finish off Act II and use the Construct Girdle that you find in the Academy. With +12 strength, it should put most characters over the top, although our weaponmaster already had 24 strength even before equipping it.

Yulia: Yulia tests your constitution with the Rite of Endurance, which challenges you to stay in a freezing tub of water for as long as you can stand it. The tub will damage you for 25 points of cold damage each round, and you’ll have to take off all your equipment and remove all of your enchantments before entering, so there’s little chance for you to cheat. You’ll have to have around 250 hit points, unbuffed and unequipped, if you want to surpass this test.

If you complete all of the tests, speak to Jurak again, and you’ll become an Ice Troll Berserker. The benefit is for berserkers only: you gain an extra +2 AC bonus when you rage, with larger bonuses if you have Greater or Mighty Rage.

However, completing the challenges and becoming an Ice Troll allows you to try your hand at all of the challenges one more time, for extra rewards.

The second round of challenges is a bit tougher than the first.

Lena: Your challenges here include one of Nak’kai’s cats, Lena herself, and the sleeping Sergei. Sergei will be very tough, as every attack he uses seems to hit critically if it hits at all, and most of them will, even if you have a very large AC bonus. If you manage to defeat him (which is possible, with a very good enchanted weapon and a large number of attacks per round), you’ll earn the Transcendent Edge, a large falchion that appears to mostly be normal, save for the bonus feat "Spirit’s Ruin". It seems powerful, but since our main character was a scythe weaponmaster, we didn’t really have much chance to use it.

Forovan: Defeating Forovan again (we had 36 strength when we tried, but are again unsure of where the cutoff lies) will net you a Belt of Storm Giant Strength, granting +10 Strength with no downsides.

Yulia: A full 350 hit points are required to defeat the ice this time around. Keep in mind that after you’re automatically disrobed, you may wind up losing hit points due to the lack of Constitution-enhancing items. Even if you fail the first time around, in other words, if you heal yourself and try again, you may win the second time. Your reward is the Ring of Major Cold Resistance, which nets you resistance of 30/- to cold damage.

Temple of Kelemvor

There is one quest that can be completed here, and one that can be advanced.

Quest: A Question of Faith

Speak to Yusev the Acolyte here, who complains about the fact that his necromantic studies have fallen into disfavor with his god. He wishes to know more about necromantic lore, should you find anything that can help him. With a little talking here ("If you claim to follow Kelemvor…"), you can convince him that he should abandon his studies in the Temple, because if he continues them, he’ll wind up in the Wall of the Faithless in the afterlife. That’ll earn you a quick 1500 XP.

Later on, when you manage to reach the Lower Levels of the Death God’s Vault, you’ll come across a book called the Tome of Profane Rebirth. You can trade this to Yusev to allow him to escape his studies, if you wish. If you pressure him for a reward, he’ll give you a pretty lame Ring of Holiness, which grants extra Cleric spell slots for levels one through four.

Quest: The Betrayer’s Crusade

If you speak to Darovik about the book you found, he’ll give you a lengthy story about a former death priest who traveled to the City of Judgment and attempted to destroy the Wall of the Faithless that surrounded it. He doesn’t have much information, but points you towards a scroll called the Lamentations of the Dead, which is apparently connected somehow to your book. He doesn’t know where it is, but points you towards the same ancient vault that the Prodigal Daughter quest will apparently be taking you to.

Note that if you have Gann in your party here, he’ll engage Darovik in a long conversation about the fate of his soul. If you continue to question Darovik about the Wall, then select "There’s worse hells to imagine" when the choice pops up, you’ll gain influence with Gann.

The Sloop

If you head to the docks here, you can head into the sloop. Plenty of people to talk to, but before you do, check the rooms at the back of the inn to find some loot. Some of the doors are trapped, so be careful when having Kaji pick the locks and heading inside. One of the chests here will require a roll of over 40 to pick the lock, which Kaji probably can’t get anywhere near, so if you don’t want to bash it, come back with a Knock spell later on. You can find a Crossbow of Murder inside, along with some bolts and cash. The crossbow has 2d6 Massive Criticals in addition to a +5 enhancement.

Pirate Fight

These pirates are no-good rapscallions.

If you want a bit of combat and loot, then quicksave your game and speak to the pirates in the corner of the bar here. If you select the first option (about not laying a hand on Safiya), they’ll attack you. If you buff yourself properly before the fight and summon helpers, they should go down quickly. Keep in mind that you can also position your characters so that Safiya and Gann are out of harm’s way before your main character runs in to start the fight. You’ll get a lot of cash and a decent set of heavy armor for your troubles.

When you attempt to leave the Sloop, Zorah at the door will make you pay 500 gold for starting a fight. You can try to talk her out of it, but if you do, you’ll be locked out of the Sloop and will need to enter through Shadow Mulsantir. 500 gold is a pittance; go ahead and pay up.

Shadow Mulsantir

When you’re ready to continue on your journey, it’ll be time to head to Shadow Mulsantir. If you want a quest relating to the trip, talk to Sheva Whitefeather at the Temple of the Three here in town. She’ll give you the Shadow Mulsantir quest, but if you’ve already discovered or passed through a shadow portal, you’ve probably already completed it.

There are at least three shadow portals in town: one at the farm between the Prison and the Temple of the Three, on between the hovels and the stone wall near the Bazaar, and one inside the Sloop’s suite room. The former two can only be found at night, while the one in the Sloop is open all day long. Don’t forget that you can always sleep a couple of times to shift yourself back to nighttime if you don’t want to walk to the Sloop.

We started our journey through Mulsantir at the Sloop portal, which pops you out at the Shadow docks, so that’s where we’ll start.

Side Quest: A Nest of Thieves And Spies

The shadow docks are locked from access to the main part of Shadow Mulsantir, but if you poke around a bit you’ll find an interesting group of characters. Ivin Borsk is holed up here along with a group of rowdies. If you approach him, he’ll attack you.

This fight is tough and lengthy, so go in prepared! Buff all of your characters thoroughly before approaching Ivin, and keep Safiya and Gann well behind your main character by issuing a Hold order. Gann should cast Summon Creature VIII before the fight begins, and Safiya should nab a Mordenkainen’s Sword.

With these preparations in place, move your main character forward and speak to Ivin. When he turns hostile, immediately run backwards towards the summoned creatures; summon Orglash, if possible, to give your foes something else to fight. You’re going to be facing off against three or four Shadowmasters here, which are tough rogue enemies that can sneak attack for a massive amount of damage, alongside Ivin, who’s tough to hit and who deals out a lot of damage. In the rear, a spellcaster will pelt you with spells and summon creatures to fight you.

This fight can be quite difficult for you at this point.

Anyway, draw back the enemies towards your summoned creatures, and hope that they split their targets a bit. If your main character doesn’t have a lot of armor and health, then it’ll be difficult to survive this fight, but if you can split your enemy’s attention, you can have Safiya and Gann pelt the spellcaster with their bows and spells until it dies, then focus on the rest of the enemies until they go down too. They’re all pretty tough to hit due to high armor, and they can all deal a lot of damage, so you’ll need to resummon your creatures a few times before everything dies.

If you have a lot of trouble with this fight, save it and come back later when you have another party member.

Return to Nuum

Loot the Letter from Ivin Borsk off of Ivin’s body when he dies, then head back to the Sloop and rest up. When you tell Nuum about the letter, you’ll have four options to choose from. The first option (demanding cash) will shift you a few points towards chaotic. The third option will shift you towards lawful evil, while the fourth will just shift you towards evil.

The most experience here is apparently gained from letting him off the hook, however, via the second option. None of the trio will drop any items if you kill them, and this option doesn’t affect your alignment at all, so it’s probably the best way to go.

Heilari’s Home

Head back to the shadow portal near the bazaar and head through. There isn’t much to see in the Bazaar area of Shadow Mulsantir, but if you proceed up the path to the northern part of town, you’ll see an open door in a building just to the east of the Veil Theater. Head inside to find Heilari’s house.

Heilari is - was - a magician that was trying to make himself into a lich. For whatever reason, his plan didn’t work, and he passed away before completing his necromantic rites. Read everything here before interacting with the body; there are two books and a revenge list.

You have three options when interacting with the body. If you attempt to complete the ritual to destroy the phylactery, you’ll receive 250 XP, destroy the body, and receive a Talisman of Pure Good, as well as points towards the Lawful and Good alignments. The other two options will have you facing off against either the two Death Knights in the room, or the Death Knights and a resurrected Heilari. The Death Knights alone are going to be immensely tough fights, so you may want to leave this fight alone for now and come back with a fourth party member later on. If you’re looking for a lot of Evil points, complete the ritual and fight the whole gang.

You can complete Heilari's ritual to create a lich, then quickly destroy him, if you wish.

Extra: If you’re willing to go the extra mile, wait until Act II to complete this quest. When you unlock the lower levels of the Death God’s Vault, you can find a book called the Tome of Profane Rebirth in the Archives there. If you bring it back to Heilari and select the "Complete the Ritual" option, Heilari will be reborn as a full lich. If you demand payment, he’ll attack, and you can kill him for the Ring of Seething Hatred (Spell Resistance 20, Haste and Rage 3 Uses/Day). He’ll also just give you the ring if you simply tell him "You are complete", but you’ll lose a bit of experience from not killing him and his Knights.

To The North

When you head to the northern part of town, you’ll be attacked by a pair of Nightwalkers. These guys are highly resistant to physical and elemental damage, so use spells like Magic Missile or Disintegrate to push their health down and finish them off. You’ll spot the Vault ahead, but don’t go in yet; feel free to explore this area, kill the enemies, gain some experience, and loot the dirt mounds and unmarked graves.

There’s a portal here, guarded by Shadow Umber Hulks, that will lead to an inaccessible portion of Mulsantir. If you bash the stones here, you’ll find the Periapt of the Lost Witch, which grants the wearer Immunity to Critical Hits, Spell Resistance 30, and a couple of spell uses per days for Avasculate and Bestow Curse. The stats are impressive, especially if you’re playing on Hardcore difficulty (lower difficulties make you immune to critical hits anyway).

When you’re ready to enter the vault, return to Heilari’s home and rest there in safety. Rebuff yourself, then head into the Vault itself. Be wary; the door is trapped.

Death God’s Vault

The first thing you’ll see in Myrkul’s vault is Kaelyn the Dove. With a little prompting, she’ll tell you all about her experiences in the Vault, and will join your party if you wish her to do so. An extra body if always handy, so bring her along.

These enemies are going to be plenty tough, so be prepared before tackling them.

Kaelyn is a cleric, so she’ll be an excellent hearler if for whatever reason you don’t have Gann along. She and Gann share many of the same spells, so they can double up their tasks if you need them to; they can both cast Summon Creature IX, which is pretty handy in the tougher fights. Kaelyn can also wear heavy armor and wield some nice weapons, such as the Frost Harpoon you found earlier, but she doesn’t have much strength and thus probably won’t be a hardcore fighter. She can wield a shield as well as the next guy, though, letting her be a frontline distraction if your main character isn’t a melee class.

When you take her into your party, she’ll have a bunch of mostly nonuseful spells memorized. Reorganize her spellbook, rest, and rebuff.

Scriptorium

When you’re ready to move on, head west into the scriptorium. Mummies will attack you here. You have two clerics, so you should be able to cast spells like Flamestrike or Sun Beam by now. Dispatch the mummies, then move down the ramp into the scriptorium. There are a few scrolls on the floor, but nothing else.

Until, that is, you strike the gong here. That will cause ghosts to appear. Find the one labelled "Chief Scribe" and talk to him. You can ask him a great many things. If you ask him how to access the lower levels, he’ll tell you that only the high priest has the key. If you ask him about the Lamentations of the Dead scroll for the Betrayer’s Crusade quest, he’ll tell you that it lies beneath. You can’t kill the Scribe; he’ll simply disappear if you attack him. You can earn some Chaotic points if you attempt to do so, though.

The High Priest

To the south you can find three death knights. Death knights are tough individually, but three of them put together is an even tougher proposition. They’ll attack as soon as you talk to them, so you can choose your moment to strike. If you need to, rest and rebuff.

Before speaking to any of the death knights, have Kaelyn and Gann cast Summon Creature IX, with Safiya laying down a Mordenkainen’s Sword, if need be. With helpers in tow, talk to one of the death knights to start the fight. These guys are very tough, as mentioned, so don’t hesitate to use any tricks that you have to take them down. Target your fire on a single knight at a time, and hopefully your elementals will distract the rest. Gann’s Elemental Swarm spell can help keep you with plenty of helpers during the fight.

The Crypts

When the knights are down, search the bodies for a key. That’ll open the door to the east, near the door to the lower level. Head through and start looking around, killing the mummified priests that appear. You can loot all of the bodies here if you like.

When you reach the steps heading down to the crematorium area (you’ll see a massive furnace in the distance), save your game and park your party at the top of the stairs, using your most powerful character to head down first.

Quest: The Haunted Furnace

You’ll spawn a group of skeletons and dread wraiths here. Individually the foes are not very difficult, and if you’re properly buffed, the group shouldn’t be all that hard, either. Use Turn Undead and summoning spells to defeat the foes.

Kill all of the enemies outside the furnace to speak to the enemies within.

After that’s done, speak to the High Priest. Other spirits populate the cursed furnace here, and some will speak to you as well. Unfortunately the priest will refuse to talk to you after a bit of conversation; you’ll need to find some way to force him to do so if you want the key leading downward.

Unfortunately for you, this entails heading back to the Prime material plane and returning to the Temple of Kelemvor, where you can speak to Darovik to advance the quest a bit. Head back to a portal and do so. However, speaking to Darovik will still not allow you to talk to the High Priest. Don’t bother wandering around the Shadow Plane looking for more people to talk to; the quest will be a dead end until Act II.

Kaelyn’s Siblings

On your way back to the Temple of Kelemvor, you can speak to Susah or Efrem to wrap up the quest that led you to Kaelyn. You have one choice to make here: accept the sibling’s offer to help you fight against the army of spirits (which nets you 2,000 XP and a loss of influence with Kaelyn) or letting them free of their promise, which gets you a 6 point influence gain, 2,000 experience, and no helpers during the fight against the spirits; Efrem will also give you his stag helmet, which has some very nice stats on it: +4 AC (Deflection), +4 Constitution, Freedom of Movement, and Divine Resistance 10/-. It’s a mighty helmet for any character, so it’s worth getting.

Quest: Wrath of the Bear God

Now that you’ve added Kaelyn and Gann to your party, it’s time to take down Okku, the bear god, who waits for you outside of town. This will end Act I, for the record. Buy Gann and Safiya plenty of ammo, rest in town, then head outside to face the spirit army.

Gann will counsel you here: apparently Okku is completely invincible at the moment. He’s brought along a spirit army, which fuels his power. In order to defeat Okku, you’ll have to defeat a certain number of his spirit army. When you’ve killed enough of the spirits, you’ll be able to defeat Okku himself.

The Setup

Needless to say, buff yourself extremely thoroughly before starting this fight. Every character should have Spiderskin, Stoneskin/Premonition, and all of the Mass Bull’s Strength, etc., buffs that you can cast. Kaelyn can cast Mass Aid, as well. Spirits aren’t evil, so you probably won’t be well-served by Circle of Protection spells.

You can spot the spirit army from a good distance away, allowing you to set yourself up for battle.

Luckily for you, it’s possible to avoid taking on all of the enemies here at once, at least from what we can tell. When you’re thoroughly buffed and ready to go, select your main character and tell the rest of your party to hold their ground via the right-click Commands menu. You may want to have them cast Elemental Swarm and their other high-level summoning abilities here, as well. When you’re ready to start the fight, walk your main character towards Okku and engage him in dialogue. No matter what you do, you will have to fight him, so roleplay your character as you like.

The Fight

Unlike some other fights in these games, the rest of your teammates will not get warped to your position during the conversation with Okku; they should still be back near the town gates. Run your main character quickly back to them at this point. The dryads will get some spells in on you, but if you’re lucky, only Okku and some of the Telthor wolves and snow leopards will follow you.

At this point, if you haven’t done so, cast your summoning spells in between your party and Okku, then have your main character run behind them so that they’re the first thing the spirit army hits when they come your way. With that done, you can start going to town.

Be sure to buff yourself thoroughly before taking on Okku and his clan.

You’ll need to babysit your characters to make sure that they attack the spirit animals and not Okku here; you can damage him, but not finish him off. Feel free to cast spells as you like on your foes, but most of them (with the exception of Okku) will be relatively easy to kill. If the dryads are casting on you from the background, you may want to have Gann and Safiya use their ranged attacks on them in return. Don’t forget that Gann has his Chastise Spirits and Weaken Spirits powers; he can harm large groups of foes with them. Also don’t forget to issue an Attack Nearest order; if you leave your party on Hold Ground, they won’t attack anything!

If your party manages to chew through the wolves and other spirits around Okku, feel free to attack him a bit. He’ll take damage, but won’t die. If you can keep him distracted by an elemental, then you should be able to attack the enemies that constantly respawn. Eventually you’ll see the yellow notice on your screen that he’s vulnerable; concentrate your firepower on him at this point and he’ll go down.

The Choice

Whether Okku lives or dies is up to you.

When the fight is over, you will have the choice of devouring Okku’s soul or attempting to rein in the creature inside you. If you eat the soul, then Okku will die and you’ll move on. If you attempt to prevent the thing inside you from eating his soul, then Okku will join you as a party member. He’s the equivalent of a level 20 fighter at the outset, with huge armor and attack bonuses, as well as some huge stats (37 strength and 27 constitution, for instance). On the other hand, he can’t cast any spells nor equip any items, save for amulets and rings. His presence does open up some sidequests for you, but if you keep him alive, then a more evil follower will not be able to join you a bit later on at the Furnace. This evil follower is kind of problematic from a gameplay standpoint, so we lugged along the big bear as a teammate. He’s a bear! It’s cool!

Act II

Quest: Ancient Knowledge

Return to Sheva Whitefeather at the temple on the hill in Mulsantir. She recommends that you travel to the north, on a boat, to find the Wood Man, a spirit who has battled spirit-eaters in the past, to seek out a cure for your affliction. If you like, you can speak to Vaszil at the docks and get going immediately, but there are some new side quests for you to perform.

Quest: The Haunted Furnace

Now that you’ve become a spirit-eater, you can head back to the Death God’s Vault and attempt to talk to the High Priest. The conversation tree may allow you to avoid eating its soul, but we found it easiest to simply devour the spirit and move on to the next part of the encounter.

After the Child and the Brute speak to you, you will have a few options. You can attempt to Provoke the spirits of the vault, allowing them to roam free. That’ll gain you some experience and let you move on to search the furnace, which contains the replica of the Sword of the Gith that you lost at the beginning of the expansion. You can also attempt to fight all of the spirits within the vault, if you wish.

If you killed Okku at the end of his fight and managed to steal his soul, you should have his husk on you. If you do, the Boy will ask you to let him and his friends incorporate themselves into the husk. Doing so will net you a new follower, named One of Many. This…thing is pretty interesting, in that it will change classes based on who the dominant personality is. It starts off as a rogue with pretty light damage, but a heck of a sneak attack bonus. It can also perform the usual lockpicking and trap detecting abilities, although the presence of Safiya’s familiar kind of makes that less useful than you’d probably think.

One of Many is an interesting follower, but also a problematic one.

Unfortunately it’s a bit problematic, as well, since your teammates can’t see it. We had a lot of trouble healing it with Gann, since he can’t target it for Heal spells. It also seems to have some kind of magic dispelling effect that will cause it to lose all the buffs that you cast on it after a short while, which again makes it difficult to use. We preferred to use Okku over One of Many, ourselves.

Despite the fact that you can reach the Vault now, you might not actually want to head down that way. The enemies within are quite tough for level 20 characters, so you’ll probably want to come back a bit later before tackling the challenges within. If you want to wrap up some of the quests that you have, though, such as The Betrayer’s Crusade and A Question of Faith, you can head down to the lower level, head through the unlocked door to the north, then head to the east to find the Vault’s archives; that’ll contain the books you need to move on in those quests.

Quest: Wisdom of the Hill Tribe

If you head back to the town gates of Mulsantir, you’ll be spoken to by a girl named Ku’arra, who tells you that her tribe can help you with your condition. If you ask her where her tribe is located, she can point the location out to you on your map. You should continue your questing in Mulsantir until you’re certain that you’re done with all of the side quests here, then seek out the Hill Tribe.

Quest: Shaman’s Boon

If you head to the Ice Troll Lodge and speak to Nak’kai, a shaman there, he’ll have many interesting things to say about your condition. He can’t do much to help you with your curse, but he will be able to strengthen Okku, should you wish him to do so.

If you have Okku in your party and three Brilliant Spirit Essences, return to Nak’kai and have him begin the ritual. You’ll gain a small amount of XP for doing so. We waited until Act III to complete this quest, but didn’t notice any actual difference in Okku’s stats, so if you’re attached to the Spirit Essences, you may simply want to hold onto them.

Quest: An Ally At The Veil

After speaking to Sheva, return to the Veil theater and begin speaking to the actors there. Magda will tell you all about Lienn and her pecadilloes. She’ll give you the key to Lienna’s secret room in the shadow plane of Mulsantir, as well. You can also buy various magical items from her, including Chimes of Opening, which may come in handy for doors and chests that Kaji can’t open.

Take Lienna’s key and head through the shadow portal at the rear of the Veil. The door in the room you wind up in will lead to a room full of portals, which also features the Keeper of Doors, a large golem. Open up the chests here after Kaji detraps and unlocks them, and grab the Immith Yabog book off the shelf if you wish to learn a bit about a cult that apparently worships you.

Head into Lienna's secret room to speak to the Keeper of Doors.

Safiya can offer you some insight on the Keeper of Doors, and you’ll gain some influence with her, to boot. If you examine the Keeper, you’ll find that it’s powered by spirits. You have two options here: you can either attempt to infuse the Keeper with your own Spirit Energy (which will drain your meter), or you can reach into it and extract its spirit core. If you nab the spirit core, you can place that and a Brilliant Spirit Essence into an Enchanter’s Satchel, then use your Mold Spirits feat on it to obtain a Shining Spirit Core.

When the Keeper has been restored, it will let you open the doors in the room. In no particular order:

First Door: You’ll encounter three gargoylish creatures behind this door, couriers that were apparently coming to see Lienna. These guys will give you a lot of backstory about the ending of NWN2 and how you came to be in Mulsantir, if you ask. They’ll also tell you of a Slumbering Coven, nine hags that dwell in the Sunken City to the east of Mulsantir; apparently they’re involved in your plight, somehow. Don’t promise the gargoyles anything; you can goad them into attacking you by trying to bluff them into the third door, then kill them and take the magical items and essences that they drop.

Second Door: A defective Imaskari golem will attack you when you open this door. Kill it to find a pair of Shocking Golem Arms; it would appear that you’re going to be making a new golem in the expansion.

Third Door: A Lesser Primal Fire Elemental will pop out of the door here. Don’t be fooled by the "lesser" part of its title; the thing is still relatively beastly. It requires pretty huge attack rolls to actually hit; if you have Safiya, then your best bet might be to get her to cast numerous Polar Rays on it and hope that that takes it down. If you can do so, though, you’ll earn a couple thousand experience points.

Fourth Door: The fourth door is the one that you’ll be returning to this area for in the future. It acts as a hub, and can travel to other dimensional doors, but only ones that you’ve already visited. You know from the gargoyles that it’s been to Okku’s barrow, but that doorway has been shut; you’ll need to find more doorways that connect to this one before you can use it.

Event: The Witch-Child

Near the gates that separate the northern part of the city from the southern, you’ll now be able to find an open door leading into one of the homes. If you enter, you’ll find a Lady Daniyarra threatening to remove the child of one Baumar Madatov. Speak to him when he leaves, and offer to help him out.

If you speak to Yelina, you can question her about her imaginary friend. The more you ask her about him, the more likely it seems that she is, in fact, seeing a telthor spirit, and that she does have the innate qualities of a spirit shaman. The only way we were able to advance this plot was to Intimidate her and threaten to eat her spirit friend, which bizarrely caused no evil alignment shift. Doing so let her leave with Lady Daniyarra and gave us access to her room where you can find some more treasure.

Event: The Hidden Spellcasters

On the very southern side of the city you can find another newly-opened home. Head inside and speak to the inhabitants after quicksaving. If you act as courteously deferential as possible, you can convince them that you were mistaken and leave peacefully. Most of the dialogue options here will lead to fights, though, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re evil you can try to extort a little cash from them before goading them into a fight.

These spellcasters will drop some nice loot for you.

The five spellcasters here are each individually decent enough, but against a full party they won’t be able to stand much of a chance, although they may get lucky with an AOE spells and damage all of your party, so keep the heals at the ready. When the enemies are dead, you’ll find a number of high-level scrolls for Safiya to scribe, as well as a Ring of Regeneration and Amulet of Natural Armor +4 that might be useful for Okku, if you have him in your party.

Event: Shou Family Wagon

This isn’t a quest, but if you speak to the Shou family outside of Mulsantir, they’ll explain that Okku and his army crushed their cart while they were passing into town. He’ll offer you money if you head into town and buy him a new one. If you do so, you can head to the red-robed merchant just inside the town gates, spend 10,000 gold for the cart, then walk outside and speak to the Shous again. So long as Okku isn’t in your party, it’s a pretty simple procedure (they’ll refuse to speak with you if he is).

Leaving Mulsantir

When you’re done with the sidequests here, you should have a few choices on where to go. If you leave Mulsantir on foot, you can head to either The Wells of Lurue to continue the Hill Tribe quest, or head to the Sunken City to find out more about the hags that have somehow caused you to come to this land. Lastly, you can pay the boatman in Mulsantir’s docks 10,000 gold to allow you to head north of Mulsantir to the outpost there.

In no particular order, we headed for the Wells of Lurue first.

Wells of Lurue

Quest: The Wells of Lurue

If Okku is in your party, he’ll hear his name on the wind; it would appear that his relatives are in the area, calling out for him. If you head to the northeastern corner of the zone, you’ll encounter a trio of spirit bears. If you don’t have Okku with you, they’ll be hostile to you, but if you do, then you’ll be able to get a bit of backstory related to your affliction. It would appear that Okku’s oath to the previous spirit-eater involved taking him to the chamber where you began the game: the runes there were intended to trap the curse inside of you. Obviously someone wanted to free it.

These bears guard the Wells of Lurue. You'll be coming back later to drink deep of the water here.

The spirits here are none too pleased with Okku, and demand to kill him. If you get the "That your idea of justice, not mine" choice, you can take it to earn some influence with Gann. You’ll have to take out the bear spirits. Feel free to devour one of them if need be. One of them will drop Nentyarch’s Band, a very nice ring for Gann.

Quest: Love’s Sweet Torment

If you head north from the entrance to this zone, you’ll encounter Janiik, a man who complains that Gann has driven his daughter mad. Gann may need to be in your party to obtain this quest.

Head into Janiik’s house and interrogate Anya. It would appear that she really has gone crazy, and has created an image of Gann in her head, or otherwise some spirit is acting upon her. You can’t do much about this now, but if you return here after you get done with the Sunken City, you’ll be able to enter Anya’s dreams.

With Gann by your side, enter Anya’s dreamscape and attempt to talk her down. If you manage to fight off her and the replica of Gann, she’ll be cured, in a way, and you’ll be able to talk to her father for a reward. Alternately, you can try to intimidate her and make the dreamscape an even more unpleasant place to be. Doing so will drive the girl mad, and cause her father and a number of his spiritual allies to attack you.

Quest: Wisdom of the Hill Tribe

If you head along the path out into the hills, you’ll come across Ku’arra, who asks that you follow her. If you follow her to U’juk, he’ll reveal his true form, and that of his tribe: they’re Uthraki, worshipers of the spirit-eater. What happens now depends on whether or not you have Okku in your party.

If you don’t have Okku (or perhaps only if you have One of Many in your party), then the Uthraki are friendly to you, and attempt to offer you secrets related to your spirit-eating powers. You’ll need to bring them some fresh humans for them to eat. We didn’t pursue this branch of the storyline too far, as we decided around this point to reload an old save and get Okku into our party instead of One of Many.

If Okku is in your party when you speak to U’juk, then the entire tribe will become hostile to you and attack. Wipe them out, then choose how you wish to deal with the younglings to end the quest.

Event: Encountering Zinoviy

Zinoviy and his gang will set upon you if you happen to set upon them.

If you head up into the northern hills, you’ll find a group of Durthans that apparently look forward to eating you, or something. We’re betting that these are the humans you have to lure to the Uthraki, if you accept their quest involving finding new meat for them to eat.

Otherwise, you’ll have little choice but to attack them, since they’ll quickly become hostile to you when they find you. You can try to Intimidate some of the Durthans away, which will make for an easier fight, but less loot (you’ll get more experience if you manage it, however). Regardless, you need to take out the whole group. They’ll use powerful magics, including Meteor Swarm and Summon Creature IX, on you, so be prepared for anything.

Ashenwood/Immil Vale

In order to head to Ashenwood, you need to speak to Vaszil, a boatman at the harbor. If Okku is in your party, he’ll lend you his boat for free; otherwise he’ll charge you 10,000 gold for the priveledge.

Quest: Ancient Knowledge

When you arrive in Ashenwood, help the two barbarians here to destroy the elementals that are attacking them, then speak to Nadaj. She’ll refer you to Dalenka, the witch in charge of the outpost. You have no choice but to head inside and speak to her, but Dalenka will rudely dismiss you. Speaking to Nadaj again will reveal a number of problems that you can help with. There’s a blight spreading in the forest that appears to be killing a good amount of the vegetation, as well as a large fire to the south. Lastly, a telthor sanctuary has been overrun by intruders. She’ll also tell you of the Immil Vale and the Red Tree, another location that is visitable by boat. Phew!

Quest: Re-Exile

Head out into the woods and fight your way to the large tree in the middle of the forest. There’s a telthor berserker nearby who’ll give you this quest. Apparently, the spirit of a druid once protected his dwelling place, but it was removed by your spirit-eating predecessor. If you want to help the berserker out, you’ll need to find a way to get the frost giants across the river to leave the grove, then find a new spirit to put into the lake there.

Indeed.

You have some options when dealing with the frost giants. You can kill them, sure, but you can also challenge the jarl and attempt to take his crown. Doing so will cause you to partake in a sequence of battles with the frost giants; the crown will be placed on the ground, and they’ll come at you in groups of one or two giants in an attempt to pick it up and place it on their heads. Striking at the giants as they grab the crown will let you repel their challenges until the real jarl comes. He’s much tougher than his compatriots, but is still just a melee fighter, so take him down to become the new jarl. That will let you instantly kick all of the frost giants out of your own clan and thus clear the grove. Be sure to demand tribute first; you’ll get the Thicketfavors gauntlet which will be perfect for Gann.

With that done, examine the nearby Sacred Pool. There’s a bottle of Pure Sanctuary Water inside that will come in handy in a bit. Take it, then place a single volatile Spirit Essence into the pool.

Quest: Hunting Party

You’ll find the remains of a hunting party a bit to the south of the green tree here. You can find the Ceremonies of the Hunt book on one of the men, which will describe a ritual that you can partake in to gain the favor of the forest.

Your goal here is to find surviving members of the party, though. To the southeast, in the Blighted Trees portion of the forest, you’ll find a hunting dog. Click on him to advance the quest a bit. With that done, return to the corpses that you found earlier and tear off a piece of cloth from one of them, then return to the dog and show it to him. Okku will be able to question him and finish off the quest.

Quest: Left To Rot

If you head to the southeast, you’ll find the Blighted Trees. Kill all of the treants here, then speak to Gnarlthorn. He’ll tell you that the blight is the result of a curse laid upon him by the previous spirit-eater. In order to lift the curse, you’ll need the Pure Sanctuary Water that you obtained via the Re-Exile quest, as well as two more ingredients, including some leaves that Gnarlthorn gives to you.

Head to the south to the Burning Grove, which you’ll need to reach through a map transition. You’ll find two items there: a Large Charred Branch, and a set of Bark Cinders. The Cinders are the other item that you need to invoke the gods in support of Gnarlthorn.

There are plenty of enemies in the woods, so be mindful of their presence.

Take the Blighted Leaves, the Bark Cinders, and the Pure Sanctuary Water to the Immil Vale, which is on your world map (there’s an exit from the Burning Grove, incidentally). (If you have the Legendary Blood from the Predator Cave, nab that as well.) You’ll encounter Imsha and Tamlith before you’re able to proceed to the Red Tree; their attitude towards you will likely depend on your level of spirit craving. They won’t attack you, though; instead, they’ll give you plenty of information, should you request it.

Now, when you manage to make it to the Red Tree, you have two options: you can use the Bark Cinders and the Blighted Leaves on the Pure Sanctuary Water or on the Legendary Blood (simply right-click on the former in your inventory and apply them to the latter). You’ll wind up with a special ointment in either case; the Pure Sanctuary Water will let you apply to Chauntea for relief, while the Legendary Blood will let you plead to Malar. Regardless of who you appeal to, you’ll get a new item in your inventory: Chauntea will give you the Blessed Salve of the Earthmother, which will save Gnarltooth, while Malar will give you the Toxic Plantbane of the Beastlord. Performing the former ritual will shift you towards Good, while performing the latter will shift you towards Evil.

Quest: Burning Hatred

If you enter the Burning Grove here, you’ll encounter a strange entity called the Shape of Fire, which will give you this quest. This guy was apparently rebuked by the Wood Man at some point in the past and has been cursed to remain in the grove here, but has since found the means to begin burning it down.

Ah, fire. What can't it do?

When you speak to the Shape, you have the choice of helping him burn down the grove, which will presumably draw out the Wood Man and force him to face you, or attempt to extinguish the fire. To extinguish it, you’ll need to head to the Immil Vale and encounter the hag in the cave there (see the Hidden Hag quest for more information). Doing so will net you the Jar of Condensed Orglash Essences, which can be applied to weapons in order to make anything they touch freeze.

We personally chose to burn the grove down, which entailed casting fire spells on all of the tree roots nearby. If you do so, then the Wood Man still won’t appear, but you’ll be able to put the Shape of Fire out of his misery by devouring his spirit. That’ll leave you with the Shape of Fire Essence, which you can throw into your Enchanter’s Satchel and use with the Mold Spirits feat to enhance a weapon or piece of armor. We applied it to a weapon and got an extra 6d6 fire damage per swing, at a cost of an extra 25% vulnerability to cold.

Event: Yurkov and Ferala

To the south, near the exit to the Burning Grove, you’ll come across Yurkov and Ferala, two individuals who are about to fight. Siding with Yurkov is a good action; allying yourself with Ferala is bad. If you do side with Yurkov, you may have a reward waiting for you back in camp, but siding with Ferala at first will allow you to kill both of these guys. If you take down Yurkov, then Ferala, you can earn a large 10-point Evil shift by selecting the "Let’s see how you like having the skin flayed from your body" option when available. Ferala will drop the Grasp of Earth heavy armor when killed.

Event: Predator Den

To the southwest, near the exit to the Burning Grove, you can find the entrance to the Predator Den. There isn’t much of note in here, save for many, many animals. Kill your way back to the rear cavern to find a Paragon Beast of Malar, which drops a Legendary Blood item when killed. If you’re interested in following the Ceremonies of the Hunt book’s instructions, this will be a necessary item.

Quest: The Hidden Hag

Ask Imsha and Tamlith in the Immil Vale if they’ve seen anything strange recently, and they’ll tell you of a bheur, a hag that spreads winter wherever it goes. It’s around somewhere, and they want you to take care of it for them.

Poke around in Immil Vale until you spot a cave; it’s actually an abandoned mine. Head inside, being careful of traps, and fight off the Orglash that comes your way. We managed to finagle a Brilliant Spirit Essence by devouring its soul, so you may want to perform that action on it. There are a few other Orglashes in the cave, including some nonaggressive ones near the bheur; you can use your Provoke Spirits feat on them to make them hostile.

Eventually you’ll reach the bheur herself, who seems to mean you no harm. It’s up to you whether or not you wish to attack her immediately, or attempt to aid her. If you offer your services, she’ll ask that you return to the exterior of the cave and melt all of the ice that she caused to come into being when she entered. If you get rid of all the ice, then tell Imsha and Tamlith that you found no sign of the hag, then she believes that they’ll stop looking for her. This is a Chaotic action, however.

You'll need to melt this ice to help out the hag.

Head outside the cave and cast fire spells on the ice, or use a fire-imbued weapon. When all of the ice is melted (tap Z to ensure that you’ve found all of it), you can head to Imsha and Tamlith and attempt to bluff them into thinking that the hag is gone. They probably won’t believe you. If you return to the bheur, though, and tell her that the spirits now believe her to be gone, she probably also won’t believe you! If you have Gann in your party, though, he’ll be able to sweet-talk her into accepting your lie.

One way or another, this quest will end up with your obtaining the Jar of Condensed Orglash Essences, which is key to putting out the fire in the Burning Grove.

Quest: Dreamscape

Ask Imsha and Tamlith about the gigantic rock in the Immil Vale, and they’ll tell you that it’s called the Mosstone, and apparently has the ability to cause wondrous dreams to those that sleep under its shadow.

Move near the Mosstone with Gann in your party and hit the R button to enter your dream. In it, you’ll find the spirits of a few of your ancestral spirit-eaters, who guard a woman dressed in red. After a bit of bantering, the spirits will attack you. Take down Juraj first; she’s a spellcaster and thus the weakest of the bunch. Have Gann cast Summon Creature IX if possible.

When the spirits are dead, accept the mask fragment from the woman who looks like Safiya. That will start the Fragments of a Mask quest, which will last for quite a while.

Quest: Uprising

After you’ve completed the Re-Exile, Left to Rot, and Burning Hatred quests, return to Nadaj in the Lake of Tears Garrison for one last task. Nadaj believes that Dalenka is a spy, and is somehow tied to the disappearance of the Wood Man and the deaths of the berserkers. She wants you to foment an insurrection by speaking to the five remaining berserkers at the post and turning them all against Dalenka.

Even if you tell Dalenka of the plot against her, she won’t react, so all you can do is head to the remaining berserkers and attempt to talk them into the resurrection.

Volomer will only join if three of the other berserkers have already joined the rebellion. If you can’t manage that, then you can attempt to influence him with a conversation skill.

Odesya is already mostly leaning towards Nadaj’s side. With a little talking to, he can likely be brought over to the side of the insurrection. If you don’t have any good conversation skills, you can bribe him to your side.

No matter what you do here, you'll wind up having to take down all of the outpost's inhabitants.

Soresko is much less credulous than Odesya, but can still be threatened or wooed to your side with a good conversation skill.

Kozlov cannot be convinced of anything; he refuses to join the uprising.

Goryen will likewise require a high conversation skill to bring him over to your side. Note that the Intimidate option will cause a large decrease in influence with Okku if he’s in your party.

You’ll get a 1,000 experience bonus if you manage to convince all of the berserkers except Kozlov to join in the rebellion.

When you have as many on your side as you think you can get, head into Dalenka’s house and accuse her. She’ll come outside and attack you with whomever remained loyal to her, so it will at least be Dalenka and Kozlov versus you and your gang. Dalenka can be quickly taken down if you focus on her, while Kozlov is a bit tougher.

Unfortunately, after you eliminate Dalenka, Nadaj will return and set the remaining berserkers onto you. Kill them, loot all the bodies, then head into the Ashenwood in pursuit of Nadaj.

The Wood Man

Nadaj has…changed.

Nadaj waits at the foot of the great ash tree. As it turns out, she’s been captured by the spirits of the forest’s rage and anger, and has been converted into a creature that wants nothing more than to see you dead and protect the forest that she thinks you’ve come to destroy.

Tip: If you have Okku in your party but are interested in playing as an evil character, you may wish to part ways with him before talking to Nadaj. It’s possible that he’ll attack you based on your choices in an upcoming dialogue.

Nadaj will attack, and be quickly cut down by your party. Unfortunately, the trees in the area will begin spawning numerous elementals to attack you. Press Z to check out the Genius Loci at their bases; you need to attack each of these loci in order to prevent them from issuing elementals. You’ll know you’ve shut down a loci when it explodes into a circle of white light.

Attack the four small loci and the big one on the ash tree itself. The ash tree loci will take a lot of damage, so hit it with all you’ve got until it explodes. That will cause the Wood Man to appear. The conversation is pretty lengthy, but boils down to two choices: you can try to channel your own energy into the Wood Man to restore his health, or attempt to just eat the old bat. Doing the former is a Good action, and will net you the Bestow Life Force ability, which should make it a lot easier to reduce your Craving level in the future. Using that ability is also a Good action.

Sucking down the Wood Man's essence will cause Okku to turn on you, so dismiss him before the fight if necessary.

If, on the other hand, you decide to eat the Wood Man, you’ll get the Spirit Gorge ability, which is basically an area-of-effect version of Devour Spirit that can affect multiple spirits and elementals around you. You'll also gain the Wood Man's essence, which says that it can be bound with another token of tainted nature to make a staff. (We tried to enchant it with the Large Charred Branch that was found in the Burning Grove, but nothing happened.) If Okku is in your party and you attempt to devour the Wood Man, he’ll automatically turn on you and you’ll be forced to kill him.

Return to Sheva Whitefeather with news of your victory. One way or another, this quest will end when you speak to her.

The Sunken City

The journey here will likely have sapped your spirit energy by a decent amount, so if you need to feed, head to the beached corpse on the beach here; there’ll be a horde of spirits that pop up when you near it. Check the corpse and the beetle mound for items, then speak to Fentomy on the shore. With a little jawing, you’ll discover that he’s actually a genie, although he seems to wish you no harm. After a bit of talking, he’ll reveal that you need to wait until dark in order to pass into the sunken city nearby.

Tip: It’s best to have Gann in your party when you attempt to enter the Sunken City. He’ll be helpful in a number of spots.

If you do wait until dusk, a Shadowy Portal will appear. Head through it and explore a bit. Fentomy is here, as well, and offers you a deal. If you destroy an earth elemental for him, he’ll give you your weight in gold.

Quest: An Audience With The Hags

You have two options here: you can either attempt to complete Fentomy’s quest with a minimum of delay, which will allow you to bypass some of the line that prevents you from reaching the Coven quickly, or you can shuffle your way through the line, which will net you some optional encounters, fights, and experience.

These guards are the least of your problems here.

Even if you do attempt to gain an audience with the Coven the regular way, you’ll probably wind up inside the Skein and wind up having to fight your way out, so if you just want to get started on the dungeon, head around to the side of the building near the Uthraki and head in there.

Since you get a bit more experience for taking the long way around, we’ll assume that that’s what you do. First you need to actually get inside the building: that will entail clearing out some of the other petitioners in the area.

Count Crowroost: On the Shadow plane side of the beach here, a small imp stands guard over a coffin. Inside lies Count Crowroost, a vampire. Depending on your choices in the conversation, you can either have Kaji pick the lock on the chest, or attempt to pick it up and throw it back through the portal to the Material Plane if you’re strong enough, or if Okku is in your party. If you throw it through, and it’s daylight back in the real world, the Count will run off, but otherwise you’ll probably have to fight him. You get more experience for running the Count off (by about 400 points), but if you kill him, he’ll drop a nice kukri that you can sell for 25,000 gold.

Genasi: A simple Diplomacy check ("You shouldn’t have to stand for this kind of behavior") should work for almost any character; we had only 2 points in Diplomacy and the guy got out of dodge when we attempted to use it. Barring that, you can try to Intimidate him to leave.

Telthor: If you have Okku in your party, he will want to drive these Telthor off from the area; they apparently have been corrupted by dwelling in the shadow plane. If that doesn’t work, you can probably clear them out by using Provoke Spirits and killing the lot of them.

Illithid: The Illithid on the docks is patient, and doesn’t mind waiting, but he won’t necessarily like talking to you. Getting rid of him is a speechcraft check; you’ll need to tell him, and convince him, that you evaded Githyanki forces on your way here. If he believes you, he’ll leave, but he likely won’t.

Uthraki: The Uthraki here are somewhat hostile to your presence, or at least they were to us, since we killed the Hill Tribe in the Wells of Lurue. They want to fight, but they’re easy enough to kill.

Into the Coveya Kurg’annis

When you’ve dealt with the bulk of the petitioners, speak to Guard Turlok at the gates. If you managed to clear out a couple of the petitioners, he’ll let you through after you bribe him for 50,000 gold. If you eliminated at least four of them, he’ll let you through for free.

There are three groups of petitioners inside the Coveya that you need to deal with if you want to reach the Coven.

Gawatha: Gawatha is an orc shaman that has come to ask the Coven about a boy in his possession, named Kepob. You have some options here: you can simply attack Gawatha, if you wish, which will net you some experience, gold, and a peculiar piece of medium armor. Alternately, you can attempt to buy the boy off of him; he claims that bringing Kepob to the Coven will tell you why he’s so valuable. If Gann is along, tell Gawatha that Kepob is an insult, and he’ll knock the price down to 20,000 gold.

In our case, we traded for Kepob, who was added as a temporary party member. He’s mute, and doesn’t talk, but no matter. The main problem with him is that he’ll attempt to fight in combat, which he’s terrible at. You can’t control him at all, to make matters worse, although he does respond to orders telling him to wait in a certain spot, and so on. If you want to keep him alive, simply park him a good deal to the rear of any fights that you get in, and order your other party members around manually.

Uthraki: The Uthraki group in the next room refused to bargain with us, and in fact attacked us as soon as they saw us coming, so we were forced to take them down.

These undead are not in the mood for chitchat.

Undead: Ankhriva the lich and his minions are first in line. Inquire as to why they’re waiting for the Coven, then "ask nicely" to see if you can get past them. You likely can’t, unless you have a high Diplomacy skill. So, you’ll have to fight them.

Luckily, you can prepare yourself for this fight and choose when to become hostile. Keep your ranged attackers back, summon a couple of creatures to help you out, and go to town. The Elite Vampires are probably going to be what you want to take down first, as they’re spellcasters. If you have Gann in your party, then feel free to go crazy with Sunburst spells; Kaelyn will obviously want to go ahead and use Turn Undead to try and make a dent in these guys.

Ankhriva will drop a very nice wand when he dies, and you’ll net a couple thousand experience for the kills.

Mistress: When you defeat the undead, speak to the guard and head through to talk to the Mistress. Kepob will run away at this point. No matter what you say, the Mistress will teleport you to the Skein when your conversation is done.

The Skein

You find yourself in the Skein at this point; an underground dungeon filled with flooded passages and discarded hagspawn. You’ll need to explore a bit to find a way to reach the Coven from here. You can also complete Fentomy’s quest, and meet a rather insane Hagspawn.

Must people always be trying to kill you?

You’ll start in different areas of the dungeon depending on whether or not you entered from the docks or were teleported here by the Mistress. Teleportation will send you down to meet a few thugs that will attempt to kill you; they’ll be easily dispatched. Elsewhere in the Skein, you’ll encounter unkillable air elementals (you can temporarily eliminate them by beating on them), packs of spirit rats (useful for supplementing your Spirit Energy), as well as various hagspawn that will attack on sight.

Luckily for you, your map is marked with some notable areas. In no particular order, here’s what to expect.

Quest: The Sleeper

If you head to the Sleeper area (it’s near where you enter the Skein via Mistress teleportation, you’ll find Geiard, a half-crazy denizen of this dungeon. He’ll be your main source of information while you’re here, so talk to him. The Sleeper is a woman who appears to be lost in dreams, standing nearby. You won’t be able to do much with her at the moment.

When you defeat Gulk’aush, you’ll earn the Dream Haunting ability. If you can return to the Sleeper at this point (the path may be inaccessible if you killed the earth elemental), then you can talk to her to enter her dreams. She’ll tell you that she’s been trapped in a nightmare by the Coven in punishment for being a dreamwalker herself, and asks that you kill her and put her out of her misery. Since it’s not an evil action, you can feel free to do so; you’ll net a Ring of Divine Power (5) and some more magical items off of her crazy followers when they come after you.

Quest: Fentomy’s Wish

If you make your way to the southwestern corner of the map here, you’ll come to the area where the earth elemental that Fentomy wishes to destroy is located. Nab the Swift Golem Legs off of the golem on the ground here before examining the elemental itself. If you want to fight it, take the lever off of the panel here, then destroy the panel; don’t use the lever, as it’s needed for the Lost in the Skein quest.

This elemental isn't too difficult to take down. Be sure to use Devour Spirit on it to gain a Pristine essence.

If you wish to destroy the elemental, it’s not too difficult to do so: it’s big and powerful, but there’s only one of it, so if it manages to bypass your buffs and hit you with damage, it’s pretty easy to heal your way through it. Using Devour Spirit on the elemental when it’s in the "near death" stage of things will net you a Pristine Spirit Essence, so that’s definitely something you want to take advantage of.

The death of the elemental will cause the Skein to begin to collapse. Good! You’ll also net yourself the Ring of the Untherite Generals, which is another one of those rings that has a few spells that you can cast once per day in it. The rumbling that this causes will open the way to Gulk’aush’s chamber, but the debris it brings down from the ceiling will prevent you from completing either of the other quests here and likely cost you a lot of money from bodies that you won’t be able to loot.

Quest: Lost In The Skein

In order to escape from the Skein, you’ll probably need to find some way to lower the water levels in here. In order to do so, head to the northwestern corner of the map and proceed through the door here. The nearby machine isn’t marked on your map, but if you examine it, either you (via a Lore check) or Safiya should be able to deduce its basic functionality.

In order to power up the machine, grab the Imaskari Globe from it. Touch it to a corpse nearby (it needs to be a "fresh corpse"), then find the air elemental in the area, kill it, and use the Globe to absorb the essence it leaves behind. With that done, return to the Imaskari device and pop the globe back in.

These devices are scattered around the level. When they're all activated, they'll open up a load of loot for you.

The device won’t activate - not yet. You need to find the lever for it before you can turn it on. That’s located in the southwestern corner of the map, near the giant earth elemental there. Remove the lever from the device that controls the elemental, then return with it to the northwest and insert it into the device here. Using it will turn the machine on, net you some essences, and reduce the water levels throughout the area.

There are two other Imaskari devices of the same nature in the area, with one of them already containing a lever in its control device. The last lever will be found near the Sleeper; ask Geiard about it, and he’ll point you out to a gnoll nearby. The gnoll has the last lever, and is using it as a club. In order to get the club from him, you’ll need to trade him a Duergar axe. We found one somewhere on this level, so it’s definitely around, although we didn’t note the location - it’s probably in the little group of enemies that you’ll find in the southeastern portion of the level.

When all three machines have been activated, the water will drain out of the level, allowing you access to many areas you couldn’t reach before. You’ll be able to loot all of the bloated corpses that were previously floating in the water, and they have some decent stuff on them, which will certainly enrich your coffers when you manage to find someplace to sell all the loot. Unfortunately completing this quest prevents you from completing Fentomy’s Wish, but will allow you to complete the Seeker when you defeat Gulk’aush. You’ll also be able to get another golem piece after defeating her, as well.

Encounter: Gulk’aush

Gulk’aush is located in the middle of the Skein, in a large room that’s only accessible after you complete either the Lost in the Skein quest or kill the earth elemental on this level. Killing the elemental will unlock the door leading to her chamber; completing the water-draining quest will open a shortcut around the door. When you’re ready to face her, save your game and try to get as many of your characters as possible protected from Fear effects. If you have Safiya in your party, try to have her cast Mind Blank on the party before heading inside.

When you enter her lair, Gulk’aush will attack. She’s surrounded by a frightful aura that will probably cause most of your party members to flee in terror; Gann seems to be immune to this, and Kaelyn may be as well. If you managed to cast Mind Blank, though, everyone should be able to safely ignore the aura and attack away.

Gulky is tough, since she'll possess one of your team members and probably force you to kill them.

If only Gann is capable of fighting here, however, then have him summon an elemental and Shapechange into something a bit more damaging to Gulk’aush. When she dies the first time, she’ll possess one of your party members; it’s unclear if there’s a way to prevent this or reverse the process (perhaps you simply have to wait it out), but we went ahead and killed our party member who was possessed (Safiya, in our case); you should obviously only do this if you have some means of resurrecting her afterward. Gann can cast Recall Spirit, so that’s taken care of. After she died, Gulk’aush reappeared at full health, but it was a simple matter to bring her back down to zero. She doesn’t attack for much damage and if you’re properly buffed she’ll have a hard time hitting you.

When Gulk’aush is defeated, she’ll go through a lengthy speech about how she came to dwell in the Skein. If Gann is in your party, then she’ll be revealed as his mother, and offer up extra information. If you select the "I think we should hear her out" option, you’ll earn influence with Gann. Regardless, Gulk’aush will offer you her eye, which will allow you the Dream Haunting ability.

The Coven

After Gulk’aush runs off, take her eye upstairs (or head back to the Sleeper and complete that quest, if possible). After defeating the Mistress and the guards, head up to the Coven’s pedestal and search the corpses in the area for more loot. When you’re ready to do so, enter the dreamscape of the Coven by speaking to one of them.

Quest: An Audience With The Coven

Before you have a chance to adjust here, you’ll be thrown on stage at the Veil theater, being forced to take part in a play where you have a role as the Betrayer. Play along with the fiction here to earn some influence with Gann. No matter what you do, Magda, Jasper, and the audience will attack you. Kill them and speak to the actors again to open a portal moving onward.

The Prison

The next place you’ll visit is a prison, where three souls are trapped. You can choose to visit the prisons of any of them. Freeing any single one of the prisoners will let you move on.

Bard: Durler in here wishes to play a game called Hells with you. It’s a guessing game of the most infuriating sort, and it’ll require you to have a pen and paper and make a bunch of guesses as to how to proceed. With a lot of work, you can cash out Durler, but the difference between winning multiple rounds to cash him out and letting him win is a scant 2,500 XP. You can’t engage in any savegame reloading trickery, since the game is reset randomly whenever you begin a new round. This makes a walkthrough relatively difficult to write, but luckily all you really need to do is just lose and watch Durler walk out of the tavern to move on. If you’re particularly good at logic games, you can perservere here, but doing so will take a while, and the rewards, as mentioned, are fairly spartan.

Mindflayer: The illithid here has been trapped in a mine prison, and needs to escape from the clutches of the githyanki that patrols. We managed to do this by simply heading directly to the west from the start, and then head directly to the north, but we may have just gotten lucky.

Windelhelm: If you like listening to people talk, then you can step into the fray between Windelhelm and Enzibur in his dreamscape. Windelhelm made a deal with a devil to achieve greater power, but now wishes to reclaim his soul. Unfortunately, Enzibur has him under contract. If you want to complete this encounter, read the contract carefully, ask Enzibur and Windelhelm all the questions that you can, then inquire with Windelhelm about the tasks that he was supposed to perform. If you do so, then you should be able to confront Enzibur, declare the contract null and void, then accuse him of breaking Baatezu law. Apparently Windy wished his master to disappear, but Enzibur instead killed him, thus causing one of the conditions to be met. That’s not legal!

The Betrayer’s Gate

One way or another, you're going to be fighting your way out of here.
If you head through the portal in front of you, you’ll come out to the Betrayer’s Gate, where a mysterious red woman and Ariman will converse. They’ll talk a lot, and eventually you’ll have to choose between them, or simply choose neither of them. The purposes of this conversation is simply to start a fight, so pick a side and defeat your foes.

With that done, return to the Prison and head through the portal again.

The Wall of the Faithless

Bishop will never dump a load of cargo again.

You’ll encounter Bishop here, whom you probably last saw at the end of Neverwinter Nights 2. No matter how you react to his presence, he’ll be his same old caustic self. Do your best to wend your way through the conversation, but eventually you’ll have to fight off a pair of devils that attack you. Kill them both, then grab the Mask Fragment (The Wall) from Bishop’s hand.

The Chamber of Dreamers

At last, you’ll be able to confront the Coven. Before you talk to any of them, though, you can enter the dreamscapes of the remaining thralls here and attempt to rescue them; that will eliminate them from the upcoming fight (if indeed there is a fight).

The conversation that ensues will be significantly lengthy; you can expect to spend a goodly amount of minutes in dialogue. If Gann is with you, you can get a big influence bonus by agreeing that his search for justice is necessary. ("Go on, Gann. They should be held to account for what they’ve done.")

The hags won't take kindly to your eating of their dream.

After you get the information about Lienna and Nefris from the hags, you can inquire more about different subjects of import to you, such as what happened to your companions at the end of NWN2, the location of the Sword of Gith, and so on. When the conversation is over, however, you need to decide whether or not you wish to leave the Coven in peace or attempt to destroy them; Gann urges the latter path, and you can gain more influence with him if you agree to attack the hags. It isn’t necessarily an evil choice, however.

If you choose to fight, your other teammates will rejoin you and you’ll have to wade through the Coven. The hags individually aren’t powerful, but they can shapechange and will cast spells, so you’ll need to cut them down to size quickly. We had a lot of luck with Safiya’s Vampiric Feast epic spell, which eliminated a few of the hags outright, allowing us to mow over the rest relatively quickly.

Return To Mulsantir

Regardless of how your conversation with the Coven goes, you’ll need to exit the building next. If you fought them, then all of the petitioners and guards will be hostile to you. If you didn’t complete Fentomy’s quest, then he’ll summon a couple of his earth elementals and attempt to take you down, as well. Everyone’s out to get you!

When you’re ready to move on, return to Mulsantir and sell the huge number of magical clubs you have at the merchants, and stock up on new ammo for Gann and Safiya, if necessary. When you’re ready to move on to the next part of the game, head into the Veil, go through Lienna’s shadow door, and talk to the Keeper of Gates. Ask him to open the fourth gate so that you can reach the Thayvian Academy, then head through the portal to do so.

Thay

When you land in Thay, you’ll be on the Thaymount, the mountain outside the Academy of Shapers and Binders. Unfortunately, there’s been a bit of tumult in Safiya’s absence, and the entire place is crawling with enemies. Buff yourself thoroughly before proceeding up the mountain here.

The archers here hit pretty hard, so try to take them down with spells and your own ranged attacks before moving too far down. The wyverns here will cast a debuff on you, but it will fade away after a turn or two, so no need to use Restoration on it. There are a couple of maverick fire elementals here that you can use Provoke Spirits on if you happen to need to eat some souls. Make your way to the front gates of the Academy, bashing the doors down if need be.

The Academy

There are a number of quests here on the first floor, so start getting them. Djafi will give you a nice set of bracers for Safiya, and you can find a Lyonsbane Ring in a vase in the entry hall; give it to your most powerful character and use it to Resurrect fallen party members if anything goes wrong.

Main Quest: Legacy of the Headmistress

Nefris is dead, but her tower here in the school may hold some clues as to what she was up to. Head there and attempt to find out how she communed with Myrkul.

If you come across enemies in closed classrooms, try to lure them out into the hallways to kill them one by one.

Quest: Mysterious Device

If you enter the southeastern room and kill the three students there, you can loot a Mysterious Device from a table inside. Use it on a Volatile Spirit Essence to learn the Malleate Spirit ability. It essentially replaces Mold Spirit, and lets you use Pristine Spirit Essences in crafting. You can also find a few shades in the closet off of this room, should you need to devour a spirit.

Quest: Skeleton Keys

Master Inarus, on the eastern side of the classroom floor, asks you to devour a soul or a spirit in front of his class. Devouring a soul is, obviously, an evil act, while devouring a spirit will negatively impact your influence on Okku. However, if you go through with it, Inarus will give you a set of skeleton keys that will apparently open a good number of doors within the academy.

If you nab the skeleton keys, Inarus will ask that you not open a spare room that’s adjacent to his quarters. Which, of course, means that you should head downstairs and open it. If you find his quarters (to the north of the stairs leading to the Headmistress’s Tower), loot the bookcase within, then Bash it to reveal a hidden door. If you head inside, Inarus will appear behind you, blocking your exit, and start to buff himself up. Having something like Mordenkainen’s Disjunction will be helpful here, as Inarus will be untargetable while he casts Epic Gate and other high-level spells. Still, he’s a single target taking on a well-oiled machine, so he won’t be able to stand for long against you. Kill him to end the quest.

Event: Golem Construction

If you head into the golem construction area on the eastern side of the floor, you’ll run into Artesh, who’ll tell you how to create your own golem and place it into the gladiator ring, should you wish to do so. Before you make your golem, search the area for more advanced golem parts; you can find at least three specialized parts in the Instructor’s quarters, for instance.

When you’re ready to make your golem, bring all of the parts to the Golem Crafting Station here. Remove the hammer from the table, first off, then place a golem head, arms, legs, and torso onto the table, along with a Volatile Spirit Essence. (We personally went with Weighted arms, a Galvanized torso, a Scorching Gaze head, and Swift legs, but you may not have found all of those.) When everything is in the table, right-click on the hammer in your inventory and use it on the table to create your golem.

The golem fights can be an entertaining and profitable diversion.

Before starting the fights, be sure to try and talk to the golem. It won’t say anything, obviously, but you will have the option to let Safiya take a look at it; if you have a good influence with her, she’ll be able to upgrade the golem and make it a bit more battleworthy. You can also cast buff spells on the golem, so be sure to load it up with Stoneskin, Barkskin, Spiderskin, and so on.

When you’re ready to have the golem fight, speak to Artesh again. There’ll be five rounds that you have to fight through to reach the end, with each getting progressively more difficult. You can repair your golem in between each round by speaking to it, but our souped-up model actually managed to win all five rounds without ever taking damage, so hopefully the model that you construct will be as hardy.

Note that you can make side bets for the final round of the match. You have the option of betting either for 100,000 dollars or for Artesh’s soul, itself. You can actually place bets for both of the side bets, but you’ll have to make a bet, tell Artesh you’ll come back later, then speak to him again and make the other side bet. Taking Artesh’s soul is an evil act, and it’s not good for much other than trading it to the pit fiends in the lower level, although you can place it in the soul viewer in the repository to learn about the ironic circle that Artesh’s life has taken.

Quest: Order From Chaos

On the western side of the area, you’ll find Selkhit. Ask him about the experiment that he’s researching, and you’ll discover that Nefris was working with chaos theory, of a sort; she was trying to separate two rooms full of Mephits into their respective races. It wouldn’t happen naturally, is the theory. Or something. There’s also a soul involved, somehow.

Whatever! Just get to solving the damn puzzle, already. If you head into the room with all of the mephits, you’ll see that it’s split in two by a gate with a door in it. If you pull on the lever in the door, it’ll open, theoretically causing the two mephits closest to the door to switch places.

Anyway, the solution to the puzzle is pretty simple: attack all of the obelisks in both of the rooms to cause them to start arcing lightning out. When you do that, opening the door will cause lightning to kill a random mephit. Keep clicking on the door lever until all the mephits are dead, then pick up and drop the bodies so that all of the red mephits are in one room, and all the white mephits are in the other. Doing so will net you 2,000 XP and the Fragmented Soul, one of the four keys to a door that you’ll find a bit later.

Event: Soul Repository

The Soul Repository is at the center of this area. It’s kind of like a library for souls. It’ll come in handy during a quest you’ll pick up downstairs, but for now, if you want to look around, feel free to do so. If you find any souls during your travels, you can bring them to the cauldron-like device here, place them inside, then flip the switch to the side to get a text readout of the soul’s last memories. This will be important in some of the upcoming quests.

The consequences of taking more than your alloted souls out of the repository can be…drastic.

As a note, there are a ton of soul housings in the repository itself, but you can only check out one at a time. If you attempt to leave the room with more than one housing in your inventory, the defense system will activate (which is worth checking out at least once) and return you to the repository. You can drop the housings that you’ve found onto the floor to get around this, but there’s an easier way to avoid the defenses: simply load up one of your characters with all of the housings in the repository, then switch to another character, tell the first character to stay put, then walk the second character over to the stairs leading to another level. That’ll automatically warp the first character to the other area with all of the casings in their pockets. Pretty handy. Unfortunately, if you attempt to come back to the upper level, you'll wind up getting warped into the defense mechanisms, so try not to do this unless you need to.

Headmistress’ Tower

Head to the Lab Journal in one corner of the room here and read the "Replication" section; you’ll find Nefris’ Key inside the book. That will unlock some previously inaccessible rooms in the Instructor’s Quarters.

Quest: Four Failed Souls

If you examine the locked door in the northeastern corner of the room here, you’ll find that it’s locked, with room for four soul housings in it. You’ll need to find the four soul housings that fit into here if you want to proceed past the door.

The four housings you need are earned as the result of the quests Order from Chaos, A Fitting Replacement, Conflicted, and Uncanny Reflections. Find these quests and complete them to find all four of the souls that you need, then come back and unlock the door. (We’ll describe what happens when you do so after we describe all of the quests.)

Instructor’s Quarters

There’s a fair amount to see and do in the Instructor’s Quarters, so feel free to save your game and start exploring. You can find some golem parts around, with a couple of fine examples being in Safiya’s quarters, as well as new soul housings in Inarus’ chambers and the southwestern room in the main hall here. In addition, you’ll find a room with a coupld of NPCs lying on the bed, as well as a pair of pit fiends. Both of these latter locations will give you quests. There’s also a set of mirrors lying around; you can begin a quest with them on the northern side of the area, in a room near the stairs. You’ll need Nefris’ key to access the room, though.

Quest: A Fitting Replacement

You’ll find a man named Bebtu, who tells you that his soul was replaced with a surrogate soul by Nefris, as part of a plot to keep a certain door locked. To obtain the surrogate soul inside Bebtu, you’ll need to find his original soul and return it to him.

Poor Bebtu, he's gone and lost his soul.

The soul you need is soul 346 in the Soul Repository upstairs; it’s located on a shelf on the northern side of the room. Grab it and return it to Bebtu to trade him that soul for the Surrogate Soul, which you need to unlock Nefris’s room in the Headmistress’ Tower.

Event: Ammon Jerro’s Soul

Ammon Jerro lies, soulless, in the corner of the same room as Bebtu. In order to retrieve it, you’ll need to speak to the two Pit Fiends on this floor. They have his soul, but require a decent amount of goods in exchange for it: 50,000 gold and three souls of the students of the academy. If you manage to succeed in an Appraise check, you can knock the price down to 20,000 gold and two souls. (Gann can also make this deal if you fail the Appraise check and you have a high enough influence with him.)

You should be able to find two soul housings on this floor, each of which will contain the soul of a student. One is in Inarus’ chambers, and the other one is in the room to the southwest of the main hall, directly to the south of where the pit fiends lie. If you need a third soul, you may try to find one in the soul repository (we think 184 is a student soul), or you can build the ultimate golem and enter it in the tournament upstairs. A side bet on the last match will let you earn another student’s soul.

Ammon's just as surly as ever, but he'll be handy to have around.

Ammon Jerro, when revived, acts as an information source for the end of the NWN2 campaign. Pump him for info, then ask him to rejoin you. He’ll tag along on your party as a fifth member (i.e. you don’t have to replace anyone), which is pretty handy.

Quest: Conflicted

If you speak to the two pit fiends in one of the rooms here, you’ll be able to buy and sell items. They have some pristine and brilliant essences for sale, so nab those if you like. In addition to mundane gold-selling, though, they’ll offer you one of the four keys to Nefris’s door…if you can find them a special soul. They want a soul of a rich, poor, self-centered, and selfless individual.

Head up to the Classrooms level and speak to Master Poruset, the golem-esque teacher who experiments with souls. He can take two souls and attempt to fuse them together, and will do so for you if you pressure him enough. With the note that he gives you, head to the Repository caretaker, then nab souls 127 and 91 from the stacks and bring them back to Poruset. He’ll be able to fuse them together, creating the kind of awkward soul that the pit fiends want. Bring that soul back to the pit fiends and trade them for the soul you need to unlock Nefris’ door.

Quest: Uncanny Reflections

Only by refracting the light through Safiya will you be able to complete this puzzle.

After obtaining Nefris’s key, head to the northern side of the area and unlock the door in the hallway to the west of the stairs. That’ll lead you to to a room that starts this quest. Inside, you’ll find an activation orb, an obelisk, a focusing site, and the first of the series of mirrors that dominates this floor. What you need to do is take the activation orb, place it on the hotbar of one of your characters, then place Safiya into the focusing site between the obelisk and the first mirror.

Use the Hold command to ensure that Safiya stays put, then head through the level and ensure that the beams can reach their final destination by rotating the mirrors. The beam will travel out this room, make a U-turn in Safiya’s room, head through the center obelisk into a southern room, then proceed through a doorway (you’ll need to bash the bookshelf that blocks its passage) and through a couple more rooms until it reaches a receptacle in the southwest. Bring Safiya to the receptacle and have her speak to the image to receive the Incomplete Soul.

Opening The Door

When you have the four souls required to open Nefris’s door, return there and pop them in. Unfortunately for you, Araman will appear, with the rest of the Academy’s instructors in tow. You can speak to him for as long as you like to learn a bit more about your curse, and how it came about, but no matter what you do, Araman will leave, with seven instructors remaining behind to take you down. You can talk Djafi out of his role in the upcoming battle if you choose correctly in the options, however, which will leave you with six spellcasters.

Casting Mordenkainen's Disjunction will let you drop most of the protections of these spellcasters.

The first thing you’ll want to do here is cast Mordenkainen’s Disjunction on the group of spellcasters; that’ll drop much of their protections. Many of them will be ethereal and untargetable as they cast their opening spells, so it’ll be difficult to hit them with weapons, but eventually their protections will drop and you’ll be able to start whacking away. Djafi will probably be the first one to die, assuming you managed to convince him to join you; most of the enemies will attack him first, leaving you relatively unmolested as you cut a swath through the casters.

When the enemies are dead, loot the bodies and head through the portal beyond.

It’s A Myr-a-kul

In the Boneyard, you’ll be granted an audience with Myrkul, the dead god. If you can survive a rest and need to rebuff, you may want to do that now.

Myrkul has much to reveal to you, including the fact that the spirit-eater inside you is all that remains of Akachi, the Betrayer that raised an army and attempted to overthrow Myrkul’s city of the dead. He speaks of many things, including the fact that you have to find the true Sword of the Gith, which will unlock a door in the dead god’s vault, which will let you recreate the original fight to destroy the Wall of the Faithless, where your soul apparently now dwells - as does Araman.

Myrkul has seen better days.

When your conversation is complete, you’ll have the choice of whether or not to consume Myrkul’s spirit. It’s heady stuff - eating a dead god’s soul? It’s not an evil or a good act, so feel free to partake as you see fit. Doing so will net you Myrkul’s Essence, which will presumably be used in crafting a powerful weapon, although we confess we never found the tainted weapon that the essence refers to. It will also, however, aggravate Sarduris and the Knights of the Undying Dragon at the base of Myrkul’s spine, so you’ll have to fight your way through them to move on. Killing them will yield the usual essences, while Sarduris will also drop the Deea pouch, which will hurt your Wisdom and Diplomacy scores and match them with equal contributions to your Strength and Intimidate scores.

Slaying Myrkul will also net you the Ravenous Incarnation ability, which lets you turn yourself into a fearsome creature of the night. Using it raises your craving, but allows you to attack with a pair of claws that have a chance to steal spirit energy from spirits and creatures with souls. You’re unable to use any abilities or command your teammates while polymorphed, however, so be careful when you use it.

Head through the new portal, either way, to move on to Act III.

Act III

Founder’s Sanctum

The Founder’s Sanctum is somehow connected to the Academy, but it’s not nearly as pleasant. The dank hallways are barren, except for the presence of the Myrkulites; worshipers of Myrkul that are looking for the same person you are. They’re nasty enemies, and many of them are warlocks, to boot.

Head to the north from the entrance, and eventually you’ll find a room that branches. To the west is a teleporter; step on it to fight some elementals, if you happen to need more spirit energy. To the northeast, you’ll find another large room with many a Myrkulite in it. The teleporter here will lead to a room with Spiritwalkers in it, and an awesome shield for clerics in a chest, but the teleporter that leads onward is to the south of the obvious one.

Taking Down Araman

As the auto-save before the last teleporter indicates, there’s a tough fight coming. Araman, along with his Mykrulite cronies, are waiting for you before the door that leads to the Founder.

Araman and his cronies are tough, so be sure to call in some backup before approaching.

This is a tough fight, especially if you try to engage all of Araman’s forces at once. Araman, in particular, has a nasty spell that he’ll cast that will stun most of your party for a lengthy amount of time if they fail their saves. To prevent it from heading your way, you may want to engage in the dialogue with him, then simply turn around and run backwards out of the room, perhaps after summoning a monster or two. Ammon Jerro will be uncontrollable here, as well, but he’s powerful enough to take out a few of the Myrkulites by himself.

When the situation stabilizes a bit, head back into the room and get to work. Araman is just another spellcaster, so any sufficiently powerful melee character will be able to take him on. Kill him and his men, then loot the bodies.

Conversations With The Founder

Head through the door here to speak with the Founder. Safiya and she will converse first, and Safiya confirms something you probably long suspected. This is another ultra-lengthy conversation, so take the time to soak up all the information that the Founder provides you. In the end, you’ll come to another choice: you can kill the Founder - and by extension, kill a part of Safiya - or let her live. Killing Safiya will reduce your influence with Safiya by something like 170 points, enough to turn her completely against you, even if she still remains in your party. You’ll also be able to loot the Red Guard bracers from her body, which offers 25% immunity to magic, immunity to level and ability drains, and three casts per day of the Greater Dispelling spell.

Even though we were evil, keeping Safiya on our good side was well worth the thought of having the Founder running around in a tomb. Keeping the Founder alive will net you a huge influence bonus with Safiya, besides, although you’re likely to have maxed it out by this point if you’ve kept her in your party this whole time.

A thousand years of living has taken its toll on the Founder.

Either way you go, the Founder will give you the true Silver Sword of Gith, which will be a pretty powerful weapon to put in the hands of anyone who can use it. You can also find the secret room behind the exit portal here to find the Mourningring and the Thayan Knight Halfplate, both very good magical items.

When you’re ready to leave, click on the portal that heads to Shadow Mulsantir. Ammon Jerro will leave your party at this point, but he’ll promise to rejoin you later on.

Wells of Lurue

After heading through to the Veil, feel free to return to Shadow Mulsantir, or, if you need spirits or to resolve any unfinished quests or stock up on new items, return to Mulsantir itself and continue on from there. If you haven’t finished the Love’s Sweet Torment quest in the Wells of Lurue, now would be a good time to get that done.

Speaking of the Wells of Lurue, there’s one last task for you to complete before you head into the Death God’s Vault. You should have obtained two Mask Fragments in the game thus far: once from encountering Bishop in the Wall of the Faithless, and once from sleeping by the rock in the Immil Vale. (If you didn’t obtain the latter, feel free to head there now and do so.)

However, there’s one more mask fragment that you can obtain. Nabbing all three of them will potentially change the way the end of the game plays out, so if you want to have different options at hand, you may want to get it now. To do so, head to the northeastern corner of the Wells and drink from the pools there after buffing yourself and Gann. If you do so, you’ll enter…

Dreamscape: Wells of Lurue

This last dreamscape will hold the key to saving Akachi permanently.

Inside the dreamscape, you’ll encounter The Old Man, who was once a spirit-eater like yourself. He was the one who sought to trap the spirit-eating curse inside Okku’s barrow, to prevent anyone else from finding it and taking it into themselves. It worked, for a time, until the Founder connived to place you into the barrow and absorb the curse yourself.

When you defeat the creatures here, speak to the boy to learn that he is Araman as a young man. He’ll give you the Mask Fragment (Boy) before the dream breaks up.

Death God's Vault

When you think you’re ready to move on, head to Shadow Mulsantir and enter the Death God’s Vault. Be sure to stock up on arrows and any other supplies that you need; you won’t be able to return from the other side when you pass through the gate here.

To The Lower Levels

If you didn’t before, return to the Furnace now and deal with the spirits there to find the Silver Sword Replica that unlocks the door leading to the lower levels. You’ll come to a room with a number of Offering Urns. Do not click on them here, though. If you do, and loot the urn, a spirit will appear. They shouldn’t be difficult for you to kill at this point in the game, but they’re a good, reliable source of spirit energy, so save them until you need them.

The first room you enter here has locked doors to the west and south and an unlocked door to the north. You can pick the locks on the doors here; they don’t require a special key or anything. You cannot Bash them, however, so you’ll have to either pick them, use Knock on them, or find some other way of disengaging the locks.

Southern Door

This should be the first one you head through. Kaji can pretty easily pick the locks leading on through here, but be careful. When you reach the room with the Cell Doors on either side, park your party members in the previous hallway and move a single character in to bait all of the Hoary Mummified Priests there into smashing their doors and coming after you; it’ll be easier to goad them into coming backwards into the last hallway and taking them down as they come.

Western Door

Damn vampire monks! They always show up when you least expect them to.

Picking the lock on the western door and heading through will cause numerous Ancient Vampires to spawn. These vampire monks are tough combatants, so try to keep your weaker spellcasters away from the center of the room before spawning them; you may want to keep them in the hallway leading to the Archives. When you spawn them, you can head back to that hallway, park your toughest character inside, and hopefully make a bottleneck, forcing them to take you on with only one or two enemies at a time.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to enter either of the rooms at the end of the hallway. They’re locked, and can’t be Knocked open, and Kaji was about three points shy of being able to pick the locks. We also never found a key to open them; it’s possible that they may only be openable if your main character is a thief, or if you have One of Many along for the ride.

Northern Area

If you head out to the north and bear to the east from the door, you’ll find the Archives, where you can pick up a number of scrolls and a couple of quest-related books. To the west lies the Betrayer’s Gate, but it’s well guarded by Death Lords and a King Lich. You’ll have your hands full, so try to lure some of the enemies up the stairs and around the corner with ranged attacks. Splitting the crowd up will make it easier to take down all of the enemies.

When everything is dead, use the Sword of Gith on the Betrayer’s Gate to the north and head through. This is the time when your romance plots with any of the characters in your party will come to fruition. If your Influence with your teammates is high enough, you may be able to declare your love for one another and gain a special Romance feat. Our character managed to get romantical with Gann, and wound up with the Dreamer’s Heart feat, which lent us Spell Resistance 30 and Immunity to Mind-Affecting Spells. That’s the p-p-power of love!

The City of Judgment

Quest: Beyond the Black Gate

You arrive just outside the City of Judgment, where Zoab, a fallen angel, stands in waiting. In the distance, you can see more of your friends, including the great dragon Sey’ryu and the ultralichious Rammaq.

You'll probably see some fireworks before you even get inside the city.

Move forward toward the gates and attempt a parlay. You have multiple options here, including attempting to Intimidate or otherwise speechcraft the defenders and convince them to run off without a fight. Beyond that, though, your major choice is to stay on the side of Zoab, Rammaq, and Sey’ryu as they assault the city, or switch alliegiences and fight alongside the city’s defenders in exchange for the promise of finding your soul. This is no small choice, as it will greatly effect how the rest of the game plays out.

In the immediate sense, siding with Zoab will make you fight against the defenders of the gate (assuming you can’t speechcraft them away). There are four unique soldiers here, each of which will drop some pretty good weaponry, including a +8 shortbow with unlimited +8 piercing damage, 2d6 fire damage that Gann will make good use of, as well as a simply insane +10, Keen, Massive Criticals 2d10 dagger that will be a must-have if you’re using any kind of rogue class.

On the flipside, siding with the defenders will force you to fight against Sey’ryu the dragon right away. He’ll go down relatively easily, leaving behind one of the best pieces of heavy armor in the game, Sey’ryu’s Scales, which has 8 AC, +8 magical Armor bonus, 75% electrical immunity, and a huge damage reduction of 20/Magical. If you side with the defenders, Araman will join you as a fifth party member, fully controllable and outfittable. His abilities are fairly redundant with Safiya’s, but he’ll still be a pretty handy addition to the party if you choose this path.

If dropping a dragon without any problems doesn't convince you that you're powerful, we're not sure what will.

Regardless of which side you fight for, you’ll have three subquests to pursue: attacking/defending the archives at Eternity’s End; help defend/secure the gate to ensure that more troops can or can’t get in; or head to the Basilica of Lost Hope and kill/defend the Voice of Kelemvor.

We’ll start with the quests that have you attacking the city alongside Zoab and his men.

Assault Quests

Raid On Eternity’s End

Rammaq has designs on the tomes in Eternity’s End: he plans to become a god, somehow. Whether or not that’s a good idea is up to you to decide. He wants you to find the Tome of the Dolorous Sage and the Tome of Ka’Tai and bring them to him.

The Tome of the Dolorous Sage is located in the northwestern vault. You have the option of destroying it or retrieving it. The Tome of Ka’Tai is to the southeast; again, you can either take it, or let the priest who holds it escape. The southwestern vault contains no Tomes, but it does contain a solder named Kelthanos who drops a Belt of Storm Giant Strength and a Talisman of Pure Good.

You'll be able to see a lot of the groups of enemies before they see you here, so take advantage of it.

Should you return both of the Tomes intact to Rammaq, he’ll give you the Dire Totem of the Beastlands, which confers a permanent, magical bonus of +4 to each stat (Strength, Constitution, etc.) to whomever holds it in their inventory. Useful, but you probably already have Safiya casting Mass Bull’s Strength, Mass Eagle’s Splendor, and the other mass buff spells after you rest, and the bonuses won’t stack. Rammaq also promises to send a useful ally to you when you locate your soul.

If you lose both of the tomes, then Rammaq simply doesn’t reward you with the item, promises no help at the final fight, and you get less XP. Presumably finding one tome but not the other has a somewhat intermediate reward. Since there aren’t really any benefits or alignment shifts involved when you don’t retrieve the tomes, you may as well give them both over and reap the rewards that he offers.

Basilica of Lost Hope

Yep, another big fight.

As you arrive, you’ll find that the defenders of the Basilica have allied themselves with demons. Zoab is surrounded by foes, and injured, so you’ll need to fight your way to him and hope that he survives the fight. If he doesn’t, he’ll drop some trinkets, including a set of Bracers of the Inner Planes, which instill 20% resistance to all elemental damage and damage from positive and negative energy. If he does survive, though (which he will, if you run Gann or Kaelyn over and immediately Heal him), he’ll survive for the final fight and you’ll net some experience.

The Supplicant’s Gate

If you save this quest for last, Sey’ryu will be under attack…from a total of three soldiers. Kill them quickly, keep Sey’ryu healed, and you shouldn’t have any problems with this errand. Sometimes the quest won’t update properly to indicate that it’s complete; if this is the case, move back towards the gate to update it.

Defense Quests

If, on the other hand, you decide to side with the defenders against Zoab, you’ll have to immediately kill Sey’ryu. He should go down quickly against your epic might. Accept Araman as a helper, then speak to him and accept his quests. It’s easiest to go ahead and start with Demons at the Gates, so offer to stay at the gate and defeat the enemies that arive.

The Supplicant’s Gate

A number of waves of Hezrou will appear here, insistent on entering the city. With the numerous helpers you have here (Ammon Jerro will probably cast Epic Gate if you rescued him earlier), they should be easy to defeat.

Basilica of Lost Hope

Hit these enemies with as much firepower as you can at the same time.

Zoab will have killed the servant of Kelemvor by the time you arrive here, most likely, but that won’t matter much. Despite his threats against you, Zoab and his men will simply wait for you across the way, allowing you to make the first hostile act. Buff yourselves, then move up fairly close to them and cast a few Hellballs their way. Araman can cast it, and either Gann or Safiya may have learned it as well, depending on your level-up actions; if not, cast something like Meteor Storm on them. When they’re hot and bothered, move up and finish the group off.

Eternity’s End

Last up is Rammaq. Start moving from vault to vault here, killing his minions. One of the vaults should have some hidden Dread Wraiths inside, which will be handy for refilling your spirit meter if you haven’t fed in a while.

When you encounter Rammaq (he’ll likely be in the third vault you explore, regardless of the order, but we found him in the southeastern vault, ourselves), he’ll attack you with a few deathless guards and powerful magics. As you might expect from a demilich, he wields some pretty impressive spells, including Hellball, but after his guards are down this should devolve into a spanking. Have your attackers move forward, use Gann to heal any damage that comes down, and let Safiya start breaking Rammaq’s spell barriers with stuff like Mordenkainen’s Disjunction.

Moving On

Codex of the Doomed

This quest sounds like it should be the name of some cheesy 70’s paperback fantasy novel. Still, in order to find your soul, you’ll need to meet up with the Scrivener. Head to Eternity’s End and enter the Temple of Kelemvor there.

The Scrivener is inside. You can choose to attack him or not; this appears to be a simple good guy/bad guy decision. If you do, he’ll fall easily; he casts some buffing spells, but he won’t be able to do much against the damage you’re probably outputting at this point. Further into the Temple, you’ll find a sarcophagus with the very nice Steadfast Chain, an excellent set of armor for Gann or a rogue in your party. You’ll also find the aforementioned Codex. Read it, and you’ll find the location of your soul in the Wall of the Faithless.

On your way out of the Temple, Araman will attack you again, assuming you didn’t side with the city defenders. He’ll be an easy kill.

Wall of the Faithless

You can find the Wall on the southern side of the map when you enter the map screen. Kelemvor himself will appear before you here. He appears not unsympathetic to your cause, and though he disagrees with your methods, will allow you to approach the wall.

Kelemvor is unable to intervene in your quest.

Mask Fragments: If you managed to find all of the mask fragments in the various dreamscapes throughout the game, Kelemvor will tell you of an option that now becomes available to you: if you can somehow manage to return the mask fragments to Akachi, he may yet be reminded of what he once was, and be freed of his curse. If, on the other hand, you didn’t manage to retrieve all three fragments, this conversation simply won’t occur.

If you sided with Rammaq before and gave over the two Tomes to him, his minion, Blademistress Sorona, will be waiting for you here. Stand next to her while you buff; you can cast Stoneskin on her, if you like. When you head towards the wall, you’ll need to attack your spirit which lays embedded within. The wall will counterattack with golems and laser beams, of all things. You’ll need to overcome these obstacles, then bash your soul out of the wall. When you’ve succeeded…well, you’ve succeeded! Take your soul, absorb it into your body, and you’ll have eliminated the curse of the spirit-eater.

Dreamscape - Crossroads Keep

Uh, not so fast! It would appear that freeing your soul has simply allowed the beast that Akachi has become to devour your soul from within. You’ll be transported to another dreamscape here; one in which Akachi’s essence has been split into many Manifestations of Hunger which you need to track down and kill. If you’ve managed to form an especially strong link with one of your followers, they’ll also appear on the battlefield and help you out.

Quickly make your way through the Manifestations here.

Your goal here is pretty simple - find and kill all of the Manifestations of Hunger before they manage to kill all the fragments of your soul that are wandering around, in the personifications of the followers that you had back to NWN2. This can be easy or difficult, depending on your class; fighter characters will find it pretty easy to kill a Manifestation with just a round or so of wailing on them, while casters may find it more difficult to take them down quickly. Summon helper creatures if you can to help in the battle. It’s pretty important to keep as many of your soul creatures alive as possible; each one that dies will impact your remaining spirit energy, which you’ll need to keep as high as possible to survive this gauntlet.

When all of the Manifestations have been defeated, head up the hill to face the Faceless Man. He shouldn’t be very difficult to defeat, at this point; he mirrors your own abilities. Kill him and move on.

Into The Keep

When you enter the keep, you’ll warp to West Harbor, where more Manifestations are killing your childhood friends. Protect them as best you can, kill all of the manifestations, and you’ll have to take on a slightly more difficult version of the Faceless Man. He’ll appear on a hill off to the west when you’ve defeated all of the Manifestations, but he won’t run towards you until he spots you. Take advantage of this and pelt him from a distance with a powerful spell before engaging him.

West Harbor has been the scene of battles before, but nothing quite like this.

When you defeat the Faceless Man a second time, the Founder will appear to you, and lay down the law on how things are going to go after your final encounter with the Faceless Dude. If you choose to slay him in this dreamscape, your soul will be freed, and you’ll be able to continue about your life, but the curse of the spirit-eater will pass on to another. If, on the other hand, you keep Akachi alive, his spirit will slumber within you somewhere, Myrkul will remain dead, and the curse will be lifted…but you’ll never be able to leave the City of Judgment again. If you happened to reunite the Mask of the Betrayer, then you may attempt to remind Akachi of what he once was, reform his essence, and restore him to life.

But first…you must fight.

The Soul

When you pass through the final portal, it’ll be you versus Akachi, with perhaps some help from your teammate, if any of them managed to walk into your dreamscape with you. Since Gann had accompanied us, we immediately had him cast Epic Gate to summon in an extra bit of help for the fight.

Ah, the loving embrace of a demon's wings. This guy will be a big help against Akachi if you can cast Epic Gate.

Akachi is a tough enemy indeed, and even incredibly well-geared characters may have a tough time with him. He deals negative energy damage, so if you have any equipment or spells that protect you from it, you may want to use them now. Something like the Bracers of the Inner Planes or the Deathless Diadem, if you happened to kill Rammaq, might be useful. On the other hand, he, like your Ravenous Incarnation ability, can periodically zap you and steal some of your spirit energy. If that drops to zero, then you’ll be dead, so you’ll need to periodically use your own Devour Spirit ability on him. You can use it as often as you like here, with no cooldown, but using it will prevent you from doing anything else for a turn, including attacking, but you will wind up doing a good deal of damage with each blast.

Tip: If you did manage to restore the Mask of the Betrayer, equip it here: it will prevent Akachi from draining your energy, although it’ll look pretty goofy.

As the fight progresses, Akachi will shed parts of himself and create minions of himself. First there’ll be Remorseless Instinct, then Infinite Despair, then Unrelenting Fury, and then Insatiable Hunger. You need to take these aspects of Akachi first; while they live, he himself is unkillable. Kill them while whatever summoned creature you have keeps Akachi busy, then return to attacking him. Repeat the process until Hunger is dead, then focus all your fire on Akachi to finish him off.

Aftermath

Awesome.

With Akachi lying at your feet, all that remains to be determined is what action you take. There’s a relatively good result, one somewhat neutral option, and one particularly evil act. If you choose the evil choice, be sure to bind the feat that you earn onto your action bar and use it in the next fight. If you can’t manage to identify the scythe that Akachi drops, it’s appropriately called Akachi’s Scythe. It’s pretty amazing, too, with a damage bonus of 4d6 negative energy, Damage Reduction 10/-, and a +10 Enhancement Bonus. If you happen to have a weapon master, feel free to place it in your inventory and export your character to another module.

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