Soulbringer

Platform

zScore

70%

Soulbringer

Developer:Infogrames Genre:RPG and MMO Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

Defined as a 3D/RPG Adventure game epic, Soulbringer blends in a gothic world with seamless, real time 3D gameplay in a third-person perspective to boot. Encounter over 450 people, over sixty of which have complete voiceovers plus a bestiary of non-orcish monsters and villains. Cast over sixty different spells at your disposal or create your own combat combos all in full 3D splendor. Watch over two hundred cut-scenes as you stay glued to your monitor for an expected forty hours of gameplay.

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Soulbringer

Soulbringer Review

By Jimmy Goldstein |

You really have to work hard at this one if you want to have any fun. It starts out slow and quickly becomes confusing to the point of senselessness. Soulbringer takes the brilliant concept of starting you out knowing nothing about the game itself and teaching you about the world and the story as you go. Unfortunately it doesn't make things clear soon enough for you to appreciate the good points of the game. The story isn't that great, the graphics aren't anything special, and the strengths of the rest of the game seem to fall by the wayside as a result. But having said that, a small amount of fun is there for anyone with the patience to see it through.

You can see therefore how playing the game is a combination of both frustrating and engaging design decisions. The things that are good are quite goodthe combat system and the feeling of character growth--are big plusses in my book. The story line and overall interface leave much to be desired. In part this is one of the sad things about Soulbringer; it's got so much promise that's wasted on account of the lack of direction in the game.

The first thing you notice is that the game doesn't look so hot. But, like the game as a whole, the visual side of Soulbringer has that irritating "kind of good, kind of bad" appearance that constantly keeps you wondering whether you should be impressed with the game or digging through the trash for the receipt. The game begins with a graphics test so you can set up your system to run the game as beautifully and smoothly as possible. The trouble is, there doesn't seem to be a button that says, "be more pretty." The textures are far too square and blocky to be convincing at all unless they're viewed at a distance. But the character models are nice (if a little disjointed) and the animations are really top notch. The incredible snow effects would go a long way to making the game better if you didn't spend so much time indoors.

The architectural side of the game is commendable. The levels and towns are all very natural looking (at least in terms of layout) and the overall shape of the world is pretty convincing. Things are a tad on the restricted side though with the individual zones being pretty tiny. Your field of view is also regrettably small. The draw depth is shorter than the career of an arthritic gladiator. You can rarely see as far as you character ought and this causes you to become lost if you're not entirely sure where you're going. This makes the absence of an auto-mapping feature just plain rude. The black ring surrounding your character also makes it seem like you're adventuring in the land of eternal night. Coincidentally, all the shops in the town are closed at the beginning of the game because it's supposed to be nighttime. The shops open the next morning and never, ever close again. Suddenly we're supposed to believe that it's daytime all the time now? Even though we still can't see anything more than a few feet away?

But while you're worrying about that, you'll have the chance to notice some of the really positive things about Soulbringer. The combat system is intriguing and somewhat original. You take a much more active role in the real time combats here than you do in most games. The various weapons each have strengths and weaknesses (clubs and maces are good against skeletons, swords are better against opponents in leather armor, etc). Each weapon also has a unique set of moves. You begin the game with only the most basic combat abilitiesin this case this means just swinging your knife. As you allocate more experience to your combat skill, you'll get more sophisticated moves, each of which is selectable in combat by pressing a hotkey. Each move does a different amount of damage, takes a particular amount of time to execute, and attacks your opponent in a certain area. Figuring out that I had to use low attacks against spiders or opponents standing downhill from me was really cool. You can set up combat combos to save your finger some exercise, but I preferred to make up my combos on the fly rather than rely on a few specific formulae.

I guess it's far too late for gamers to begin complaining about how unrealistic it is to stop in the middle of a fight and eat an apple to recover some health. Still, in Soulbringer this device seemed much more artificial than in most other games. Running away from an army of gargoyles and zombies while I shoved ham down my throat to heal myself just seemed dumb to me. But since it is a standard of RPGs, I won't say anything about it...oops, too late.

I had hopes that the magic system would be equally inventive as the combat system. Shows how much I know. While the magic system as outlined in the manual sounded cool, in practice it was anything but. I found that I suddenly had acquired the ability to cast magic spells without any real understanding of how it had happened. I know it had something to do with a book I possessed and a special rune that I found that went with the book. It seemed simple enough and I was eager to reproduce the effect by purchasing other magic books for which I had already obtained the requisite runes. For some reason it just didn't work and I found myself a thousand gold pieces poorer as a result. This just makes the magic system more confusing than it should be.

I usually complain of these games that the path of the story is too apparent and too rigid. Soulbringer takes it too far to the other extreme though. Half the time I was playing I wasn't even sure what I was supposed to be doing. It seemed far too often that I literally stumbled upon the main plot points of the story. Game designers have long since realized the importance of providing an in-game journal to help you keep track of your quests, but the journal in Soulbringer just doesn't provide enough information.

In just one example you'll be asked to destroy the corpse of a woman in order to...well, to be honest, I'm not really sure why you're supposed to destroy her body, but it seemed important at the time. Anyway, you're told at the beginning of the quest where to search for the body but your journal only records that you're supposed to destroy it. It doesn't mention anything about where to find it. This would be all right in a much more linear adventure, but when you've got six different quests you're working on simultaneously it's easy to loose track of the specifics.

It's even worse to stumble upon the solution to a quest totally by accident. Early on you'll have to free farmers from a mine. There's really no clue as to how to do this. All you know is that there are several mine carts resting on various tracks throughout the mine. There's also a giant stone altar somewhere in the mine that plays into the solution, but it seems to me that I only figured out the trick to it by accident. What's even more strange is that the events you have to set in motion to release the farmers are so time delayed that when you do set those events in motion, you're sure to be miles away when the payoff comes. Right in the middle of your exploration of the mines, the game is interrupted by a cutscene informing you that you somehow managed to blunder into success. Hey look, I'm Jar-Jar Binks!

There are lots of other things I could complain about, but why bother? By time it was over, I used a very advanced mathematical equation to determine that for every hour I played, I had had about twenty minutes of fun. There are some good points to this game but they're almost totally obscured or canceled out by the things that the game gets wrong. Like I said, you have to work at this one to make it worthwhile and if I hadn't had to write this review, I'd have given up long before I finally did.

-- Stephen Butts

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Soulbringer Cheats

Hit / to display the console window. Enter one of the following codes:CheatEffectiamgodGod modesmogheadFull healthdebug onEnable debug modedebug offDisable debug modeiamgoddessGod mode in last level onlygiantsKills onscreen enemiesenabled flyToggle flight modeactive dropLand in flight modeall weaponsList weapon names in debug modegimme [item name]Get indicated itemfoghackRemoves fogswitchView to nearest enemyopensezmeUnlock doors

Soulbringer Game Walkthrough

Soulbringer FAQ/Walkthrough

Version 1.1, 11/10/2002
By Matt P

Email: elementalizard@aol.com

SOULBRINGER is copyright Infogrames, and is distributed by Interplay in 
the United States.  Be sure to check that you have the most up-to-date 
version of this game by checking its site.  All characters in this FAQ 
should be treated as the intellectual property of Infogrames.

Please contact me if you desire to post this FAQ somewhere, or if you 
have any additions/comments.

Soulbringer is a decent game that is easily acquirable at most 
Walmarts.  You can get it with Planescape: Torment, for $10 US.  The 
manual is included on the CD.

What's new in v1.1- a few minor updates to the weapon and armor info.  
Minor correction (Deep desert hex stake is east, not west), and a few 
more hints.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1) Tricks of the Trade
2) Stat analysis
3) Walkthrough
4) Spell analysis, book locations
5) Brief weapon discussion, the best armor
6) Herbs and what they do
7) Credits/miscellany


STORY: The world has always had a big evil demon guy and the hero to 
stop him.  Recently, the big evil demon guy returned and is tormenting 
the populace.  Now where's the hero?  Hm...  I wonder.

IMPORTANT GAME MYTHOLOGY: The Big evil demon guy's name is Skorn.  Your 
hero is unnamed.  Skorn corrupted the hearts of several men (the 
hexseekers- who seek you out and try to destroy you), and brought forth 
some of his fellow demons (the revenants).  It is these revenants who 
are often causing major problems- one of them is the cause of the 
horrendous winter, another is attempting to enslave a town, one is 
locked away in another dimension (and you'll use the key to bring him 
back and kill him), and yet another is torturing souls by preventing 
them from going to the Well.  Destroying the body of either a hexseeker 
or a revenant does not destroy the creature, it merely allows them to 
reform elsewhere, unless they are contained.  Minor demons also abound 
(raals and others).

The Well is the afterlife.  Harbinger was the previous hero who tried 
to defeat Skorn and his demon allies, and Harbinger used the Hex to 
travel and, uh, fight evil.  Kinkathra is the "first dragon," whose 
dream is that all life will be peaceful, and whose heart is an object 
of great power, said to be capable of containing the spirits of the 
Revenants.

=============TRICKS OF THE TRADE=====================
Here I will mention a few tricks that may be in hidden in the manual 
somewhere, but which are better stated up front.

ARMOR- pick up the piece of armor and drag it over the doll to the 
left.  This equips it, and you can see the increase in your defense.

BAGS- bags expand your inventory, allowing you to carry much more 
stuff.  You may even put bags into bags, up to four times (i.e., a bag 
in a bag in a bag in a bag in your backpack).

FIGHTING- generally, attacks that are closer to the bottom of the list 
are superior to those you obtain earlier.  Not always, but most of the 
time.  Often, these attacks take more time to execute, so you must find 
a balance between hitting hard and hitting often.

DIRECTIONS- note that, although your compass is quite useful, it can 
get you confused.  If you line up your view behind your character, N 
and S on the compass will point in the correct direction, but E and W 
won't (they'll be reversed).  Think about it and you'll see it makes 
sense.

THE HIGHER GROUND- One of the more interesting things about combat with 
this game is the fact that where you're positioned actually matters.  
Strangely, having the higher ground often hurts you more than it helps, 
as you'll miss more often.  You'll have to attack 'low' to hit with any 
consistency.  Luckily, your enemies suffer from a similar problem.  Be 
sure to exploit this.

COMBOS- In my previous play through, I would have said to ignore 
combos.  However, that has recently changed.  Making an effective combo 
is difficult, but combos are often better than just clicking on 
something till it dies.  The main difference in play style you have 
between these two options (combo and non-combo) is speed.  Manual 
attacks are faster, but combo attacks also allow your character to 
defend and parry blows.  A particularly effective combo I used early on 
was with the mace- endless looping underhand strikes.  Many things fell 
quickly to this attack.  Also, if you don't use combos, you won't get 
the full benefits of the combat skill.

EXPERIENCE (XP)- Generally, you'll get the majority of your xp at the 
beginning of the game from completing quests, and the majority at the 
end of the game from killing nasty creatures.  Killing non-hostile 
creatures (including ones that can be made hostile- like the fey) costs 
you XP equal to what you would gain if you killed them when they are 
hostile.  Sometimes, when you're leading an army, an enemy will kill a 
soldier of yours and you will lose xp.  If you kill the enemy, you will 
gain the normal xp for killing it and the xp lost through the soldier's 
death.   The maximum level is 41 by the manual, but I've only got up to 
39, and that's with killing most everything bad that moves.

THE SECULORUM- As you cast spells of a specific element,  your 
seculorum is modifies.  The seculorum is pictured on the character 
screen after you've gained access to the Hex.  If you cast too many 
spells of a specific element, your seculorum becomes unbalance.  This 
isn't always a bad thing, as you get certain perks with increasing 
focus.  However, the counter side to this is that spells cast of 
opposing elements do significantly more damage.  

MISSILE WEAPONS- Generally, these things are useless.  Few enemies 
stand still and let you pummel them from a distance, with one major 
exception.  Generally, I sold most of my arrows, and sent the 
magic/special ones to the HEX.  Eventually, when you get to the deep 
desert, these things can actually be useful in getting a hefty bit of 
XP, if you're willing to be patient.  

WEAPON QUALITY- Whenever you hit an enemy who has defenses against your  
specific attack, your weapon gets damage.  Trying to hit a character 
wearing plate armor with a knife will generally just get you a broken 
knife.  Some weapons always penetrate armor (like the pickaxe), and 
hence wear out very slowly.  Two game-story critical weapons are 
indestructible- Messenger and Bloodmaster.

CHAPTERS: Although not formal by any means, the main character 
undergoes a few changes as he fights and gets stronger.  Most notable 
is the change in clothes, which is generally coupled with a change from 
subservience to arrogance.


===========================STAT ANALYSIS===============
STRENGTH: Determines how much damage you do and how much you can carry.  
At the beginning, you'll want to increase this regularly, so that you 
can use the heavier armor and kill things with greater ease.

SPEED: Determines the quickness with which you attack in combat, and 
modifies your defense.  Speed is an interesting stat that can be 
modified with large results.  If you're fighting an enemy, the ratio of 
blows you get in compared to the number of blows he gets in is directly 
related to your respective speeds.  If you're a lot faster than your 
enemy, you'll hit a whole lot more.  Don't focus on this skill (never 
put all of your points in it), but always hold it in consideration.  If 
you have a lot of points in this skill, you can get some very high 
armor classes.  The increase of defense due to higher speed appears 
almost exponential.  A speed of ~85 gave me ~1500 defense.

COMBAT: Determines the attacking options available to you and your 
ability to block/parry blows in combat.  If you don't use combos, then 
this skill isn't very useful to you and can be ignored in part.  If you 
do use combos, then this skill is significantly more useful.  You'll be 
able to block a lot of hits from enemies if this skill is high.

HEALTH: Influences your health points (HP).  This skill isn't bad, but 
compared to the benefits you get from other skills, don't focus on this 
one.  You'll still suffer the same damage from blows, you'll just be 
able to last a bit longer in a fight if you've put a bunch of points in 
this skill.

MAGIC: Influences your spell points (or mana points, SP), and your 
ability to cast spells.  This skill is what sets you apart from your 
normal soldier.  Each spell has a specific Magic skill requirement, and 
can't be cast unless you have enough skill.  The bonus to SP is nice, 
but again, it'll just enable you to cast a few more spells before you 
have to drink a potion.  Get this skill up to 50 BEFORE Chapter 5, or 
you'll be sorry.

====================WALKTHROUGH=======================

General Guide
Name of area
Q: Quests available
D: Directions to/from nearby locations
Walkthrough for area

**********CHAPTER 1, prissy boy clothed-hero************
NOTE: There are five "chapters" in this game, during each the hero gets 
a new outfit and a better attitude.

Eastern River
Q: Find Andrus, Drive off brigand.
D: W to Madrigal town square, Madrigal sewers
  You start off with a strange dream, and soon awake at the docks, 
talking with the ferryman, Allis.  You get a quest starting out, to 
find your uncle.  Allis gives you some advice, and if you talk with him 
thoroughly, will give you a second quest, to kill a nearby bandit.  He 
gives you a key so that you can enter his home (while he cowardly 
hides) once you've done the deed.  In the nearby barrel you will find a 
fish, which is decent food.  Another barrel has some worthless stones.
**********************************************************
HINT: Food is good, and it heals you well.  Try to always have some on 
hand, instead of relying on spells or expensive potions.  Food is 
ranked: Apples (20 HP, 1 lb), Bread (35 HP, 2 lbs), Fish (50 HP, 2 
lbs), Chicken (75 HP, 3 lbs), and Ham (100 HP, 4 lbs).  Bread weighs 
the most for its restorative ability, but that doesn't mean you should 
ignore it.  Always pick up food if an enemy drops some, but purchase it 
selectively.
**********************************************************
You'll also find that you have some stat points to distribute if you go 
to your character screen.
**********************************************************
HINT: At this point, you'll probably want to spread your points out 
evenly.  You'll have one point left over, put it wherever you wish.  I 
put it into magic.  You'll be getting a few spells soon, and they 
require a base level of training to cast.  The complete spell list can 
be found at the end of this FAQ.
**********************************************************
Now press the dagger button.  Use your weapon.  This causes the hero to 
draw the weapon and use it.  Nothing is in your way, so this doesn't 
really accomplish much, other than readying your weapon.
**********************************************************
HINT: Whenever entering an area with potentially hostile enemies, 
always have a weapon readied, generally by this method.  If you have a 
weapon preference, make sure you've got the weapon you want highlighted 
and equipped.  This saves valuable time and may save your life.  You 
will generally unequip a weapon after talking with a friendly person, 
so make sure you ready it afterwards.
**********************************************************
Walk along the path.  A bandit will soon grunt at you, and attack.  
Click on him to select him as your target, then attack him in kind.  I 
found that the simple "cut" command works well against him.  He dies 
quickly, and drops a knife, an apple and a scroll.  The scroll has some 
interesting information, but is otherwise useless.  Return to Allis Ham 
for your reward (25 XP, and a magic rune- the Rune of Knives).  Save 
the rune, you'll use it later.  There's not too much else to do around 
here, most of the other areas are closed to you except for Madrigal 
town square and the sewers.  You should avoid the sewers for now, as 
the spider in there is quite strong and is better taken on later.  
Also, you will find several herbs and mushrooms along the riverside, 
take them.  Herbs and mushrooms are quite common and you should gather 
all that you find.  Most are useless, but some are very helpful.  Also, 
be sure to check the barrels and crates for a few more minor goods.  
From henceforth I will not mention whether or not you can find herbs 
and minor items (you almost always can), and will generally only 
mention items of note.  Enter Madrigal when you've picked up everything 
you want.

Madrigal Town Square
Q: Kill Brigands in Madrigal
D: E to Eastern River, S to South Madrigal Square, N to Northern forest
  A cut scene occurs as soon as you enter this area.  A rather nasty 
fellow accuses you of being a beggar and tells you to get lost.  You'll 
want to speak with him again unfortunately (and he'll show up several 
more times later) at the Inn.  Most everything else is closed.  Find 
the guard captain.  He gives you a quest to kill some brigands.  Doing 
so gets you 30xp and 10 gold.  You'll also see the Hex stone here, but 
can't do anything with it for a long while.  Check the boxes in this 
area for a new weapon, the spade.  It's ruined, so it's not really all 
that useful.  Go south to the south square.  If you head north, strange 
things will happen, and it's not a good idea.

South Madrigal Square
D: North to Madrigal Town Square, W to Madrigal Market
  This place has several brigands.  You'll be attacked soon after 
entering.  Walk slowly, and eventually you'll see a brigand dressed in 
red.  He is quite difficult (cutting low works best, I've found), and 
you'll probably need to break off combat mid fight and run away to eat 
some food.  Once dead, you can take his club and his brigand's cloak 
(the cloak provides 10 armor).  The rest of the brigands here are 
pretty easy, and shouldn't give you much trouble.  Once you've killed 
them all, don't bother healing yourself- you'll soon be automatically 
fully healed.  As always, check all crates here.

Madrigal Market
D: E to South Madrigal Square
  Follow Barthelago as he enters the Inn.  He's rude, as before.  Once 
entering the Inn, you'll have another long cut scene as more people yak 
(do follow the story though).  You'll then be given the chance to talk 
with everyone.  Do so (especially with the Traveler, who's name is 
Chant), and leave once you've heard enough.  Head back to the town 
square and go north to the Northern Woods.

Northern Woods
Q: Get 200 coins for Andrus
D: S to Madrigal town square, W to Cavern, N to North Forest Tower
  Follow the path.  You'll see a brigand.  If you give chase, you'll 
find his buddies waiting for you (including a nasty red brigand).  
However, if you don't kill them now, you won't get another chance.  
They don't have much, though.  Continue along the path, and eventually 
you'll find your Uncle's hut.  Enter, and it'll be time for another cut 
scene.  When finished, talk with your uncle about runes, and you'll get 
one.  Use the book and you'll get your first batch of spells (the Book 
of Dreams).  Pick up the book on the table, it's worth a fair bit of 
money (at this point in the game, anyway).  Your uncle will also give 
you an annoying "Get me money" quest.  When ready, go to sleep (the 
door is locked, so you can't go out and try your spells on those 
brigands, sorry).  Go to sleep, and you'll heal completely.  Head out 
the next day, and look around a bit more.  The brigands have left, but 
their camp is still there.  Take their food.  There's a cave to the 
west, unfortunately it's a bit too tough for you just yet.  Head back 
into Madrigal.

Madrigal Town Square (revisited)
Q: Rescue Farmers and Townsfolk, Defeat Brigand Leader, Bring Herbs
D: E to Eastern River, S to South Madrigal Square, to Madrigal Market, 
N to Northern forest, W to Western Moors
  Things have finally opened up.  I would recommend heading over to 
Elric's first, which is just east of the north entrance.  Speak to 
Elric, and ask about work.  You'll want to ask everyone you meet about 
work.  Elric gives you three quests (two are official).  Two have to do 
with the nearby mine.  Both have rewards of 100 gold (how 
convenient...).  The other has to do with the "demon papers."  This is 
not an official quest, but you'll find some of these papers during your 
journeys.  Sell them for a tidy profit.  Sell the book you found in 
your uncle's cabin (on the balance of magic, or something).   Elric 
will also identify your strange items, although that's a bit expensive 
just yet.  Head west to the general store.  You'll find Alfonse Getts, 
the storekeeper.  Trade with him and try to purchase the superb compass 
(the mundane compass is pretty awful) and a bag.  Bags expand your 
inventory greatly, allowing you to carry many more things.  You just 
need one for now, and you may not have been able to carry all the items 
given to you, but now you can.  You'll find more later.  I'd recommend 
keeping at least 3 or 4 bags on you, this way you never get the 
"inventory full" message.  Now head over to the alchemist's shop.  
Barthelago is mean to you as usual, but he will give you a quest to 
bring him some herbs.  He will also identify all the herbs you're 
carrying for a few coins each.  Sell him the useless ones.
**********************************************************
HINT: I would strongly recommend keeping one of each herb in your 
inventory.  This way, when you pick up a new herb or mushroom, it 
automatically gets identified and you're not left wondering what you 
have.  This will also mark new, unidentified herbs for you.
**********************************************************
Selling him an herb gets you 10xp.  Now head south to South Madrigal 
Square.

South Madrigal Square
Q: Find Dove's Eggshells
D: N to Madrigal Town Square, W to Madrigal Market, E to Eastern River
  Two buildings are opened here as well.  Melissa is the seer, and will 
later get you some of the best armor in the game.  Speak with her and 
she'll give you a rather peculiar quest to get some dove's eggshells.  
Doing so gets you 15xp and 25 gold.  She'll also give you the first set 
of Demon Papers.  I've never figured out the significance of her 
"seeing" skill, and as far as I can tell, it's just a waste of money.  
Enter the other open building in this region and you'll find Chant (the 
guy in the wolf hat).  Search his crates to get some ham.  He doesn't 
have much to say to you at the moment, but will shortly.  Now head W to 
the market.

Madrigal Market
Q: Deliver package to Jake
D: E to South Madrigal Square, W to Western Moors, N to Madrigal Town 
Square.
  Reenter the inn.  Talk with the innkeeper.  Ask for work.  He'll give 
you a quest to deliver a package to Jake.  It's a rather peculiar 
package, and you should take it to Elric, Barthelago (who gives you a 
discount on all his goods afterwards), Chant and Melissa in roughly 
that order.  Afterwards, you'll probably want to head out to the 
Eastern River and speak with Hammer.

Eastern River
Q: Recover Diamond Ore for Hammer
D: W to Madrigal town square, Madrigal sewers, Madrigal South Square
  The smith's shop is now open.  Here you can repair all those beaten 
weapons and armor that you have.  Hammer is a good guy.  He gives you a 
quest to get some diamond ore.  Doing so gets you 15xp and 10 gold per 
ingot.  He also has some very nice items.  Right now, you probably 
can't afford many of them, and you'll find some on dead bodies later, 
so don't try to get them all.  Now that you've got a fair number of 
quests, head to the Western Moors.

Western Moors
D: E to Madrigal town Square, Madrigal Market, W to Sacred Grove, High 
Rock Pass, N to Jake's Estate, the Mines
  It is in this area that you are most likely going to give up and say 
hell with this game.  This area is somewhat tedious, and often nasty.  
Two brigands types (easy and red) can be found here in abundance.  The 
easy brigands are best killed with the club and it's third fighting 
option.  The knife just doesn't cut it (pardon the pun).  The red 
brigands are a might bit more difficult.  One red brigand a little ways 
north of the town square entrance has a spear, one of the best weapons 
for you at this point.  I killed him with fire bolt, and took to spear 
to get repaired at Hammer's.  The brigands generally like to travel in 
packs of three, one red and two easy.  The red generally attacks you 
first, so you can lead him away from his buddies and take him down on 
your own.  Other brigands can be found near fires, these will actually 
talk to you (although mainly to threaten you).  If you can, get the 
drop on them.  Some red brigands carry bow and arrows, this is a great 
way to get a decent first hit in on these brigands.  There are also 
many herbs and mushrooms to be found here, so be sure to look 
thoroughly.  Above all, take your time.  This area can be downright 
frustrating.  You shouldn't need to buy any food any time soon, as all 
the brigands drop decent stuff.  After you've cleared out the brigands 
to the best of your ability, you should find the dove.  You've probably 
heard plenty of chirping as you've wandered this region.  Follow it and 
you'll find the dove.  Chase it as it flies away (it's not too hard, as 
it waits for you each time), and eventually it hits a door, opening it.  
This is the door to the Sacred Grove.  When you're ready, head to the 
North.  You'll see two brigands and a little girl.  If you want a few 
cheap kills, approach slowly, and ready a bow and arrow.  Shoot the 
brigands, they don't react until you talk with the little girl.  
Approach the little girl and a cut scene will take place in which the 
girl takes you to the entrance of the mines and tells you that her 
parents are in there.  Before entering the mines, you may want to buy 
the following items: 1 scroll of banishing from Elric, and a pickaxe 
from Alfonse.  Both will serve you well.  Enter the mines when ready.  
Once you've cleared the mines, you can head over to Jake's Estate.

Sacred Grove
D: E to Western Moors.
  Inside you'll find a new Hex stone, and will hear a voice in your 
head.  Continue to search, entering the small cave and you'll find a 
statue with which you can interact.  Do so to get the dove eggshells.  
When you've got access to the Hex, be sure to come back and touch this 
stone.

The Mines
D: Exit to Western Moors.
  This area can be quite tough if you're unprepared.  Most of the 
brigands here are pretty easy, but the rock beasts can be quite 
difficult.  The best weapon to use against rock beasts is the pickaxe, 
if you have one.  There are a few lying around this cave, however, to 
get to most of them, you will have to pass some of the rock beasts.  
This can hurt.  After you enter, you'll see a mine cart and a small 
switch with arrows on it.  Step on the direction you want the cart to 
go to get it to move.  For now, move this cart away from the exit (up 
on the rough map below).  You'll want to hug right.  Several brigands 
attack you, but they're quite easy.  Be on the lookout for diamond iron 
ingots, they're fairly common and a good source of cash.  You'll see 
several farmers and townsfolk, they have been brainwashed by a strange 
pillar.  Continue to Point B on the rough map below.  This is the 
brigand leader.  Either use your spear or pickaxe to bring him down.  
Heal as needed, and cast minor shield if you're getting beat up.  He 
drops a suit of armor, a key, and a short sword.  Pick up all of the 
items.  Very close to here you will find several rock beasts.  Be 
careful not to get swarmed.  If you need a pickaxe, head up (on the 
map) then hug left.  You'll find a couple.  Equip one rapidly, as you 
probably have a few rock beasts on your tail.  Once you have the 
pickaxe, the rest of the level is pretty easy.  Brigands die in one 
overhead strike with the pickaxe.  Now Head to the pillar.  Once you've 
found it, head back towards the exit.  You'll see that the mine cart 
you sent on its way at the beginning is being stopped by another mine 
cart.  Head left (on the map), and you'll find a switch for another 
nearby mine cart.  Send it right, and it'll bash into the obstacle cart 
and allow the first cart to proceed along and smash the pillar.  This 
frees the townsfolk.  Now, if you head back to the entrance, a farmer 
will stop you and give you a key (which you will use much later).  You 
can head to the upper right, and you'll find the brigand leader's money 
and item stash.  You can also head to the upper left and you'll see a 
hooded man.  This hooded man is a Raal, a big badass demon.  Trying to 
take him on in hand to hand combat is a BAD idea.  However, if you did 
like I said you should, and bought a scroll of banishing, use it on the 
Raal.  It dies pretty easily.  Killing it gets you 200xp, a hood, and a 
saber.  The saber is a better official weapon than anything else you'll 
be getting any time soon (the pickaxe still does dang well), so be sure 
to grab it.  You'll see that the hooded man was hanging around a closed 
door.  A cart is nearby- move it right with the switch.  You can't open 
this door with your key, but if you head down from the door, you'll 
find another door.  Use the slaver's key, and you can move a cart up 
with the switch.  This cart smashes open the door.  A rock beast is 
waiting for you.  Kill it, and grab the skull.  This is the skull of 
alchemy, and will serve you well once you get the hex.  That's about it 
for here, be sure to get your 200 gold from Elric.  People will like 
you more as well, now.
Rough Map
?-----+
|S P  |
|   B |
|     |
+--E--+
Enter at E, go right and get to B (the brigand leader).  The pillar 
which you must destroy is at P.  The skull of alchemy and the hooded 
man are at S.

After you've cleared out the mines, return whenever you will and 
brigands will now be mining.  Kill them for some minor items.  

Farmer's Estate
Q: Find the Guild.
D: S to Western Moors, N to the Cavern
  Jake's Estate is very rewarding.  Search the area around the estate 
for several herbs.  If you get close to the entrance, Jake stops you 
and tells you to turn around slowly, and another cut scene results.  
You'll enter the building and continue to talk with him.  Be careful 
what you say, then show and open the casket.  I won't spoil the next 
bit of show.  Jake will give you his key right before  he disappears.  
A shadow is summoned- this guy can be tough.  I cast minor shielding 
and used my pickaxe to take him out.  You get a guild ring for this 
action, with some armor and a short sword.  You'll need the guild ring 
later, but should be able to find a lot of them later with ease, so 
it's your choice if you want to pick it up.  Search the home.  You'll 
find plenty of scrolls and decent magic items (including the demon 
scrolls 2), and a magic tome.  Get all that you can and then head 
north.  This takes you to the Cavern.

The Cavern
D: S to Farmer's Estate, E to North Forest
  You may have already come here from the North Forest.  You are strong 
enough to handle it now, hopefully.  Enemies here include spiders and 
skeletons, and this can make it difficult to fight the enemies 
together.  Spiders can only be hit by low blows (like with the spear or 
knife), whereas the skeletons are pretty fragile vs. the pickaxe.  The 
spear would probably be the best route overall (at least until you kill 
the two spiders), as it also has a bashing attack.  Numerous minor 
items may be found here, including several herbs and a few scrolls.  
There's also a nest of hornets here, they once killed me because I got 
too close.  Stay away from the stalagmite as best you can and you'll be 
safe.  Head to the west and you'll find a room with some shelves.  On 
one shelf you'll find a key, and on another you'll find a cloak, and on 
the third, some gold.  Definitely grab the key.  If you're willing to 
spend some spell points, you can go fight a rather tough enemy right 
now.  The reward is quite decent.  If so, head to the north.  You'll 
have to pass a few more stalagmites, and you'll come to a large room 
with a staircase with a dragon painted on it.  Two skeletons attack 
you.  Use your key from this cave on the door to get into the North 
Tower.

North Tower
D: S to the Cavern, North Forest
  There's one big nasty here.  Continue up the stairs.  If you head to 
the right, you'll have to fight the skeleton noble.  I found that 
casting minor shield and using my pickaxe worked quite well, although I 
had to run off a bit more than halfway through and recast minor shield.  
It'll take a bit, but eventually the skeleton will fall.  Pillage it's 
bones for a ring of health (+5 to health, get Elric to identify it for 
you if you want), a cap, a staff, and a key.  There's also a rune (of 
arrows) in the skeleton's tomb.  Be sure to grab it.  Head to the west, 
and open the door.  You'll see several dead bodies with some minor 
items.  Collect all that you want, then head east to the room with the 
tomb.  You'll see a door to the south.  Use the key you got from the 
skeleton to open the door and leave.  You'll find yourself in North 
Forest.

North Forest
Q: Find Temple of Shadows
D: S to Madrigal town square, W to Cavern, N to North Forest Tower
  You should have plenty of money to pay your uncle with by now.  Do 
so, and you'll get a Hex compass.  The hex compass points to the 
nearest source of power.  It can be used to supplement your other 
compass in case you get lost.  Your uncle also gives you another quest, 
to find the temple of shadows, and will identify the book you got from 
Jake's estate as the book of trinkets.  Head back to Madrigal.  Elric 
gives you the same quest as your uncle did, and will identify some of 
your other items, and purchase some of the scrolls and useless books 
you've acquired.  Hammer will also sell a few more decent items.  I 
would recommend purchasing a mace from him, and the plate helm (lots of 
good defense).  Buy some food from Alfonse if desired, and sell your 
excess herbs to Barthelago.  Now it is time to head to High Rock Pass 
(W of the Western Moors) and Ravenscar.

High Rock Pass
D: W to Ravenscar, E to Western Moors
  This is a fairly straightforward area.  Several brigands can be found 
here, including two red ones (which should no longer be any trouble).  
The brigands kill a townsperson, and then attack you.  Avenge the 
townsfolk.  You'll find several diamond iron ingots if you look.  
Continue west to Ravenscar.

Ravenscar
D: E to High Rock Pass, N to Path of Shadows, E to Cavern, W to Temple 
of Shadows
  This town is deserted of all life.  Undead and gargoyles roam freely.  
I would suggest switching to the mace if you have one, or using the 
pickaxe.  Undead fall easily to the mace, and gargoyles crumble under 
the pickaxe.  The mace also works fairly well on gargoyles, so I would 
recommend using the mace as your weapon of choice for this area.  The 
smash and underarm smash work quite well, and are probably the best way 
to kill these creatures. There are three main subsections to this area, 
two of which are connected.  As you head west, you'll come up to a 
crossroads.  If you head to the north, you'll find an abandoned town 
(abandoned by people, anyway).  Search all of the buildings, and kill 
all undead who get in your way.  You'll find several long swords as you 
go along, take them if you have room.  Hammer will pay you a good bit 
of money for them, so if you don't get them all now, get them when you 
have access to the Hex.  You'll also find two stairs that go to 
basements.  Both lead to dead bodies.  One basement also leads to a set 
of mail leggings (ruined), and a magic cloak (the ghost cloak- defends 
against spirit magic).  Get Hammer to repair the leggings for some 
decent armor.  In the other basement you'll find another set of dead 
bodies.  You'll also find two books (one gives you a bit of information 
as to why there are so many recent dead bodies), including a Golden 
Grimoire (the book of medicines).  You'll also find a mail vest, which 
is again in ruined shape.  If you want to get them repaired now, I 
would suggest taking the "short cut."  Follow your hex compass to the 
Hex stone, then head east.  You'll find a small entrance that leads to 
the Cavern.  There are several shelves here, many of which contain 
potions.  You'll be able to go back to the North Forest through this 
route, and then to Hammer.  To the SW you'll find the manor house.  
It's well guarded.  Take your time and draw the enemies out one at a 
time if possible.  You may be able to handle more, but it's easier this 
way.  Enter the house.  Before attempting the temple, you may want to 
purchase a few fireball scrolls from Elric.  The bishop dies quickly to 
fire magic, and fireballs are the best thing available to you at the 
moment.  When ready, head to the west to the Temple of shadows.  You'll 
find another section of destroyed town, this one has a strange pillar 
in the center.  Grab the rune (of trinkets), and you'll be attacked by 
a few undead.  Continue west to a column area.  You'll be attacked by a 
group of undead, just take your time.  Remember that skeletons can run 
faster than zombies, so use this to your advantage.  Or use your bow to 
fish them out one at a time.  Once you enter the Temple, you'll 
complete the quest that your uncle gave you (50xp).  You can kill all 
the undead in here as you desire, but you may want to hold entering the 
temple for just yet.  Instead, head to the Sewers (to the north).  A 
large batch of undead and gargoyles will impede your progress, just 
take it slow.  Enter the keep.

General map:
     T
  M  X
  |  |  |K
  +--+--+--G
     |   H
     E   C
T = temple, M = manor house, X = rune, K = Keep, G = Shadow gate, H = 
Hex symbol, C = Cavern

Manor House
Q: Free Elsbeth's spirit
  After you enter and take a couple of steps, a cut scene occurs in 
which a spirit asks you to destroy her body.  Talk with her about 
things, and you'll be attacked by a group of gargoyles.  Cast minor 
shield if necessary, and use either the mace or the pickaxe.  Run off 
and heal if needed.  They shouldn't be too tough.  Once destroyed, 
search the house.  You'll find a few potions, and a gemstone that 
fetches a pretty penny from Elric.

Ravenscar keep
  This area is pretty much the sewer.  It may be somewhat confusing, 
and it's quite dark.  There are several spiders around here, so be sure 
to have the mace equipped so you can actually hit them.  There are also 
a few zombies and skeletons down here, so be careful.  You want to get 
to the south, as that is where Elsbeth's body is located.  Open the 
door, and cast firebolt on the body (35xp, completes her quest).  You 
can either go to the SW and enter the temple, or go to the temple the 
preferred way (head back out to Ravenscar and then go west).

Temple of Shadows
D: E to Ravenscar
  You may have already cleaned out all of the undead here, but if not, 
do so.  The temple is pretty straightforward at this point, just 
continue west, killing monsters and getting a few herbs and potions.  
You'll eventually reach a strange fluffy teleporter.  Step on it to get 
transferred to the main portion of the temple.  I have made a quick 
table with a key that describes how you should go about getting to 
Bishop Mortan.
  Temple Map
+-X
|
+-$     B
|       |
+---+---+-A
|   |   |
+-$ |   C
|   |
+---+-G
|   |
J EL+-D
    |
  F-+-  
    |
  G-+-H
    |
    $
You start at A, there's a mace nearby.  At B you'll find another mace 
and a trap, and at C you'll find a scroll.  The $ signs represent areas 
you can go to and get a bit of money.  At X you'll find a few potions 
and the exit to the sewers.  J has a few more potions, and G has a long 
sword stuck on the wall.  Head to D and grab the scroll of Motran and a 
key.  You can use the key on L and get to E.  E has several scrolls, 
Mortan's journal, and an arcane rune (cloak rune) and an arcane 
grimoire (book of arrows).  F has a tomb with a traps- you can get the 
gem but will suffer about 100 damage.  It's your choice.  G and H have 
a mail hood and a scroll respectively.  Once you've got everything you 
want, go up to the top of the level, get in the bubbly field and read 
the scroll of Mortan.  You get transported to the final area.
  You'll find yourself at another crossroads.  All of the rooms but 
west have potions.  Once you've grabbed them, go west.  You can grab 
four more potions by veering off you main path.  Eventually, when you 
get too close, you'll get a cut scene where the Bishop summons 6 
skeletons.  He then fires a spell at you, but you can outrun it by 
going east.  The skeletons will follow you, but they shouldn't be too 
hard for you anymore.  Once you've destroyed them, go after Mortan.  He 
has two spells as attacks, and will melee you if need be.  Shoot him 
with fireballs if you have the scrolls from Elric, then go for 
firebolt.  He should fall easily with some patience.  He drops some 
nice items, including the staff of lore, a bunch of gold, and an arcane 
rune (of corpses).  Cast Death's recollection on the bishop's corpse, 
and you'll get a bit of info and storyline (and some xp).  Then grab 
the book on the stage.  It's time to head back to Madrigal.

Madrigal Town Square
D: E to Eastern River, S to South Madrigal Square, to Madrigal Market, 
N to Northern forest, W to Western Moors
  As soon as you enter, you get to enjoy a cut scene which transfers 
you to the Hex (50xp) and full SP.

Hex
Q: Get the skull of alchemy, get the anvil of Horath, retrieve the 
heart of Kinkathra.
  As soon as you enter, you get accosted by Malkuth, a giant tree.  He 
gives you some quests.  If you have the book of Hades and the skull of 
alchemy, give them to him.  This brings back Jaard the librarian and 
Caldor the alchemist.  First go speak with Caldor.  For this you get a 
potion, and can pick up some other items if desired.  Caldor will give 
you a potion whenever you gain experience.  Now go to Jaard and, if you 
have some books and their runes, you can place the books and get new 
spells.  Whenever you get a new book and/or rune, be sure to come back 
and place it in your library.  You'll get experience and some nice 
spells.  If you want to maximize the bonuses you can get, place a book, 
get the experience, get a potion, then place another book, and again 
get your experience.  There are several items lying about, be sure to 
pick them up.  Go back and talk with Malkuth.  Talk about items, and 
select "take" and grab the two hex stakes (and the potions, if you 
want).  You now have nearly infinite inventory, and should never have 
to return to town to sell your items.  You can use the "hex" symbol in 
your inventory menu to send things instantly to Malkuth from anywhere.  
You can also view your seculorum by going to the character screen.  
There's not too much variation with it just yet, but it's good to know.  
Now it's time to tell your uncle the good news.

North Forest
D: S to Madrigal town square, W to Cavern, N to North Forest Tower
  Prepare a weapon (pickaxe is good).  Go to your uncle.  Uh oh, he 
just got killed by Tamaran.  Fortunately, Tamaran is pretty weak, since 
your uncle beat him up pretty well.  Kill him, you don't really need 
any spells.  Now cast death's recollection on him (make sure you have a 
hex stake!).  Tamaran is actually kind of pitiful.  End his life 
(25xp).  Now cast death's recollection on your uncle.  He tells you a 
bit more information (10xp).  You've also been given a hint to go to 
the Path of Shadows.  Head there after everything is fixed up and 
you've got enough food and healing items to manage.  The next few areas 
can be somewhat tough.  Oh, and Barthelago left, so you can't get any 
more potions or identify any more herbs.

Head west.  On your way, return to the sacred grove and activate the 
hex stone.  You'll get experience and your spell points recharge.  
Continue through Ravenscar, and north to the Path of Shadows.  You can 
activate the hex if you desire, but you may find it more advantageous 
to save it.

Path of Shadows
D: S to Ravenscar, N to Mercenary camp.
  Hm, a deserted path... seems suspicious.  Indeed, as soon as you 
cross, you're attacked by two shadows.  They have short swords, cured 
leather armor, and some rings (basically worthless).  That's it for 
here, continue north.

Mercenary Camp
D: S to Path of Shadows, N to 7 Kings Barrows
  As you enter, your character decides to listen in on a few thugs.  
They talk a bit, and then you regain control of your character.  I 
would suggest equipping your mace.  Next, take very slow steps forward 
(North), and wait after each step.  Mercenaries will decide to attack 
you.  They can be quite tough, but you can be tougher.  They drop some 
very nice items- pick them all up and send them to your hex.  You'll 
get a hefty bit of gold and will be able to afford some of the niceties 
later on.  Many also drop potions (mostly lesser heal, I believe).  If 
you enter the mercenary camp proper, you'll get shot at by the thugs.  
You can respond quite well with fireball.  Two blasts should be all 
that it takes.  When you run out of spell points, go back to Ravenscar 
and touch the hex stone.  I got an instant kill on one fellow by 
attacking him as he was changing weapons (from crossbow to long sword) 
with my pickaxe.  I'm not sure if this can be repeated, or if it's just 
a fluke.  Anyways, continue on, and be cautious.  You don't want to get 
two mercenaries whacking you at the same time.  In the center of the 
camp you'll find a pit full of rockbeasts.  You can shoot at them, but 
it's not that worthwhile, mainly a waste of ammo or SP.  When finished 
with this area, go north to the 7 Kings Barrows.

7 Kings Barrows
D: S to Mercenary Camp
  This is a rewarding area.  You get the best boots in the game here, 
as well as several (3!) runes.  There are seven barrows (tombs) here, 
but I found it difficult to map them out.  I would suggest instead 
entering each tomb, searching it thoroughly (including killing the 
skeleton nobles and grabbing the boots of dashing, and the runes of 
medicines, breaths, and fears).  The nobles generally drop long swords, 
send them to your hex so that you can resell them later.  Once you've 
finished with a tomb, I'd recommend dropping an item in front of the 
entrance to mark the fact that the tomb is cleared.  I prefer dropping 
poisonous or useless herbs and potions.  Continue around, searching all 
the barrows you find.  Eventually you'll find one with orange phoenix 
symbols on it.  This is the barrow of Horath, the great king.

Barrow of Horath
  Fortunately, this place isn't nearly as confusing as the temple of 
shadows.  There's one crossroads here, and head straight for now.  
You'll find a body on a tomb, cast Death's recollection on it for some 
storyline.  Then head up, and you'll see two skeleton mages get 
summoned.  Fiddle with one of the pillars, and no more will be 
summoned.  The skeletons aren't too tough, but do cast a nasty 
firebolt.  Touch all of the pillars so that they turn blue, and avoid 
the center of the circle, or else you'll be badly hurt.  Next, head 
back to the crossroads, and take either left or right path.  Enter the 
room, and you'll find yourself in a rather strange place.  Make it to 
the bubbly teleporter and take it.  You'll see the anvil of Horath 
nearby.  Prepare for a fight (equip either your mace or pickaxe), and 
pick it up.  4 gargoyles attack you, but shouldn't be difficult at this 
point.  Head out and get back to the crossroads.  Now attempt to exit 
(a cut scene ensues).  Galgaros decides to stop you.  He is very 
powerful, and you'll need to do something cheap to beat him.  Walk back 
to the pillars spewing blue fumes, and maneuver yourself behind the 
circle.  Galgaros will follow, but will step in the center of the rune 
and suffer ice damage.  He dies fairly quickly.  If he gets out of the 
center of the circle, position yourself so that he gets back into it.  
When he dies (300xp or so), fiddle with one of the pillars (don't 
bother casting death's recollection on him, Galgaros fled the body), 
and grab his stuff.  You'll get firesword, a decent weapon, and some 
gold.  Head back to the Hex.

Hex
  First, get a potion from Caldor.  Then give Malkuth the anvil, which 
brings back Crucibus.  You can go get another potion if you desire.  
Also, Caldor, now has a ring of the ironman (+5 str) on his cabinet.  
Grab it and equip it.  It will end some of your carrying capacity 
problems.  Crucibus is a friendly fellow who will repair your items for 
free.  He even repairs magic items (get the ghost cloak and the boots 
of dashing fixed, if you can).  He also has a salamander cloak and some 
potent bolts nearby.  Go to Jaard and use your rune of medicines to get 
a fairly nice set of spells.  Then go to Malkuth and grab a bunch of 
items from him (the items you got from the mercenaries).  You'll get a 
nice sum from Hammer as you trade them.  When finished, go to Allis Ham 
and take the Ferry to the Eastern Steppes.

Eastern Steppes
D: E to Church Ruins
  There's not too much to do here, a few herbs can be found, and a few 
bandits will fight you.  Near the center of the region, you'll find a 
shadow guarding a building located on a cliff.  Kill it, and prepare a 
scroll of banishing.  Enter the building and use your scroll on the 
Raal.  Then kill the bandits and shadows.  There's a lot of stuff in 
this room, although nothing really stands out.  When done, head to the 
Church Ruins.

Church Ruins
D: W to Eastern Steppes, S to Eastern Fen, N to Shadowguard
  Once you enter, someone appears and threatens you (50xp).  There are 
several guardian beasts here (and gargoyles, which should be very easy 
by now), I don't think there's an easy way to kill them other than 
magic.  Fortunately, there are two hex stones nearby, so magic 
shouldn't be too much of a problem- spend carefully, but knowing that 
you can regain a lot of SP.  Heading east from steppes, take a north at 
the gate.  You'll know it when you see it.  You'll then see some herbs 
and potions.  Prepare a scroll of banishing; it's a trap.  If you try 
to grab the potions a shadow and a raal attack you.  The raal can 
probably kill you with one casting of gas, so run behind a corner.  
Kill the shadow, then try to cast the banishment spell on the raal.  Go 
back and reclaim the items.  Continue on your merry way, heading east.  
Watch you hex compass, and it will tell you to go south.  Do so if you 
don't care if you can get to Shadowguard.  If you want to head to 
Shadowguard first, continue to follow the road.  You'll be attacked 
several times by piggies and gargoyles.  Eventually the road turns 
north, follow it.  You'll soon see a building to the west, head that 
way.  You'll find a small tomb with some items.  Take the items, 
especially the hex stake.  There are 5 hex stakes in the game, and 
you'll need all 5.  Continue north to Shadowguard.

Eastern Fen
D: N to Church Ruins.
  A zombie attacks you right off.  Kill it, and head to the SE (or 
follow your hex compass).  You'll hear the sounds of battle.  Cross the 
bridge, and a small cut scene occurs with bloodkin warriors fighting 
zombies.  Help out the bloodkin.  Bane will then speak with you, and 
give you a key-like talisman.  Say yes to him, and you'll get 800xp and 
will be transported to the temple of the white moon.  If you come back 
later, search the coastline of the swamp.  You'll find several herbs, 
some of them valuable.  Swamp spiders will also attack you, they can be 
quite annoying.  Remember to attack low or you'll just be swinging at 
the air.  Cross the bridge again, and then head south.  You'll find 
another bridge.  Cross it, then take the left path.  You'll find 
another spider and a few more herbs.  Take the right path.  Two spiders 
attack you this time (albeit at separate occasions), and more herbs.  
When you finally make it all the way across, you'll find a dead 
bloodkin warrior who possessed some nice items.  That's about it.  Head 
back to the area where you helped Bane slay the zombies, and touch the 
hex stone for a new transportation point (and full SP).

Temple of the White Moon
Q: Find Bloodmaster.
D: S to Shadowguard
  If you helped Bane out in the Fens, you'll be transported instantly 
to here.  There's an arcane grimoire to the west (Book of Breaths), and 
Bane can be found in the north.  Speak with him to get the Bloodmaster 
quest.  Head south to Shadowguard.

Shadowguard
Q: Investigate the secret temple, 
D: N to Temple of the White Moon, Shadow Pass, E to Shadowguard Docks, 
S to Church Ruins, W to Lord Crux's Manor
  There's a hex stone in town, but you may want to hit it a bit later 
from now.  This is a great town, since everything is fairly close to 
everything else.  You may want to head east to the blacksmith and 
alchemist shops.  Candice is superior to Barthelago in many ways, the 
least of which being not evil.  Powder is the blacksmith, and will give 
you many hints.  Also, he will give you some Powder Metal, which you 
should soon use.  Now head into the Inn.  You'll cut in on some people 
discussing something, one of them drops a scroll.  Read it.  Curt is a 
nasty innkeeper, but will sell some food to you.  Now head over to the 
Liche's house (a bit west of the smithy).  Talk with Ash, and tell him 
about the bounty on his head.  He panics and gives you a key, at which 
point you get attacked.  This battle can be tough, I'd suggest casting 
stoneskin (prevents damage from non-magical items), and killing the 
shadow and assassins.  Check Ash's bed for the Book of Corpses.  You 
may want to take the hex now, after selling your loot.  Put the books 
you've found down, and then go to Madrigal and speak with Hammer.  
He'll have a lot of info for you, and you can give him the Powder 
Metal.  You'll get the best bracers in the game in return (and 750xp).  
Head back to Shadowguard and go east to the Docks.  If you have the 
quest from Skiff, go to the sherrif and ask about the charts.  He tells 
you he ditched them already.

Shadowguard Docks
Q: Find and return skiff's sea charts
D: W to Shadowguard
  There are two things of note here.  The first is the "grubby 
merchant" who will sell you the rune of stones for 7000 gold (buy it at 
some point, as well as the Sheet Music!), and the second is skiff.  
Skiff is the boatsman on the dock.  He tells you a sad tale of a 
rainbow rock (i.e. Hex stone), and how he lost his sea charts and will 
never be able to get back there.  He tells you the sherrif took them.  
Once you've asked the sherrif about the charts, return, and prepare for 
a fight.  A Thardolin soldier doesn't like you interfering.  Thardolin 
soldiers are well-armored and can be quite tough.  I cast stoneskin to 
assist me in my fight.  When he dies, he typically drops some very 
potent armor.  Equip it and be amazed.  Talk to Skiff and give him back 
his charts (150xp).  You can head off to the island, but I would advise 
against it.  There are many Thardolin soldiers on the island, and they 
can put the hurt on you if you're not prepared.

Secret Temple
  Isn't really so secret.  It's pretty obvious where it is (in 
Shadowguard, located just east of the entrance to the temple of the 
white moon).  Enter and use the key you got from ash on the tomb.  A 
cut scene ensues.  If you leave now, the quest "investigate the secret 
temple" will be completed.  There are three vampires nearby, but they 
aren't outright hostile.  That doesn't mean that you can't be.  I found 
that using the firesword's flaming sword ability coupled with the spell 
Rest in Peace made short work of the vampires.  You'll also find two 
tombs to the west and east.  One is empty and the other has a magic 
cloak.  Continue north, and a vampire witch will turn two bloodkin into 
pig men.  Hide behind a corner, as she casts a powerful poison spell at 
you as her first attack.  Kill the pig men, then take her on.  As long 
as you're fighting her hand to hand, she won't cast her poison bolt 
(but will cast healing every now and then).  Fighting her can be 
extremely annoying- I used the pickaxe and took her out (600xp).  The 
doors behind her can't be opened just yet.  Next, stop up on goods, as 
you will not want to leave the next area after you've entered it.

Crux's Manor
D: E to Shadowguard
  Do this area in one go- do not exit and sell off your items, or 
anything like that, as reentering can be a significant problem.  Be 
prepared, there aren't many enemies here, but you can still get hurt.
  The door to this area should have opened after you've completed the 
secret temple quest.  Proceed west, and open the gate.  Chant will soon 
stop you and tell you that you need some rings to get in.  You should 
have plenty by now.  Enter the building (DON'T attack the pig men at 
the door), and Chant will follow.  He tells you to go see what you can 
find out.  Head up to the door that's guarded by the pig men, and 
you'll overhear some conversations (4, 10xp each or so).  Then head to 
the SE corner.  Kill the assassin, and search the bookshelves.  You'll 
find two arcane grimoires (books of stones and fears), as well as a few 
other books and scrolls.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), all the 
members of the house are hostile towards you now, but this result is 
pretty much inevitable any way you go about it.  Head to the SW and 
search the boxes here.  Be sure to search the vase for a rune (of 
manipulations), and proceed back to the main foyer.  Kill the pig men, 
and head to the NW.  You'll find some food.  Head east, and kill the 
assassin and two pig men.  Then enter the NE area and grab all the 
items you can (some nice potions, and such).  Now it's time to take out 
Crux (I'd recommend saving at this point, in case Chant kills Crux).  
Once you enter, Crux decides to attack you, and Chant appears.  Chant 
kills many of the assassins, while Crux generally concentrates on you.  
Spells work best against Crux (especially leech).  You can let Chant 
wear him down, but try to get the final blow (1250xp).  Once dead, 
Chant congratulates you, and you have just completed the "Find the 
Guild" quest you were given so long ago (150xp).  Cast Death's 
recollection on Crux's corpse to get a bit more information, then grab 
his items (Especially the key).  Leave, and the pig men will be 
hostile.  Kill them, or run away.  Head back to the secret temple.

Secret Temple
  Go and use the key you obtained from Crux to get open the door.  Kill 
the vampire who has been waiting for you, then head up and left.  Two 
hooded men (non-hostile at the moment) await you.  If you have any 
scrolls of banishment left, now is the time to use them.  I had 5 
scrolls total- 3 from Elric, and two from my Hex I believe, so found 
these guys to be quite easy.  Alternatively, you could just blast them 
with purify, if you have it (which you may if you have 50 magic).  Go 
and grab Messenger (1250xp).  Messenger will eventually become the best 
weapon in the game, and is damn good now.  For one, it's 
indestructible.  No more heading off to the blacksmith when your weapon 
gets worn.  It's also quite damaging, although there are better 
weapons.  You may now sell a bunch of your scimitars, sabers, and 
similar swords (the firesword sells for ~800 gold, this may be enough 
to purchase the rune from the merchant at the docks), as messenger is 
better than them all.  After getting messenger, head back out and go 
straight at the "T".  You'll find several arrows and potions waiting 
for you.  Pick them up, then pick up the bow.  This is the elemental 
bow, which allows you to cast magic arrows.  Yay.  Head on out.

Rainbow Rock
  Now it's time to get bloodmaster.  Go and speak with Skiff.  He'll 
take you to an island.  You'll find several Thardolin soldiers on this 
island (with their very nice armor).  I used stoneskin to survive their 
attacks.  You'll find a hex stone near the center of the island; use it 
when you get low on SP.  The two main things of note on this island can 
be found to the NE and SE.  To the NE you'll find a batch of six 
soldiers.  They are well armed, and you'll probably fight three of them 
at a time.  Some of them may shoot at you with crossbows, get in close 
to attack them with ease.  Once you've killed them, continue north and 
explore their boats.  Their boats have a lot of food, enough to last 
you for a long time.  Now head to the SE.  You'll find a cave that 
leads to the Tomb of Alvaris.

Tomb of Alvaris
  Immediately in front of you you'll see a pillar with which you can 
interact.  Do so, and your character will use the amulet that Bane gave 
to you (50xp).  This disarms all of the traps in the cave.  You can 
explore the various offshooting paths to find gemstones and gold, but 
that's about all that there is around here.  Head up and to the right, 
it's not too difficult to get around.  You'll be accosted by a 
Thardolin captain and a regular Thardolin soldier.  The captain has a 
strange weapon, the blade chain, and can fight for a long time.  Magic 
will take him down quickly, though.  The soldier is pretty wimpy.  Head 
to the tomb, and Alvaris rises (albeit a bit skeleton-like) and tells 
you that he's been waiting for you.  He gives you bloodmaster (700xp), 
and teleports you to the beginning of the level.  Bloodstealer is a 
great weapon that is also indestructible (just like Messenger).  
Unfortunately, you won't have it for long.  That's it for here.

Head back to the temple of the white moon (save your game), and give 
the hammer to Bane (750xp).  You'll be moved to Shadow Pass.

******************CHAPTER 2**********************
Armored hero.

Shadow Pass
Q: Miscellaneous fighting quests that are generally completed during 
battle.
D: S to Shadowguard.
  Your clothing has changed.  Bane appears, and tells you and the 
soldiers what must be done.  You can leave and go get items once he's 
through talking (getting out of the pause may take a while), but may 
not need any.  Speak with Bane once ready, and you'll head off to fight 
zombies and vampires.  None of the battles is excessively difficult, 
especially with all of the help you get.  Be sure not to kill any of 
the soldiers fighting with you.  After a few fights (140xp, 100xp), 
Bane will get to the gates, and bring them down (60xp).  Now you and 
the army enters Tortaralan.

Tortaralan
  No one is here.  At least, not yet.  As you get to the front of the 
building, you'll get attacked.  You're told to protect the entrance.  
Go back to the entrance and kill the vampires.  There's other stuff you 
can get here (mainly magic arrows), but I would suggest waiting to do 
so.  Come back once everything else is done.  Go back to Lore Bane, and 
he'll have brought down the gate to the temple.  Once inside the 
temple, you'll get a few bits of dialogue, and suddenly you'll be 
attacked by Lightstealer and some of his lady friends.  The female 
vampires will attack you, take them out, and Lightstealer will attack 
Bane.  Bane may choose to attack the females, the fool.  Alternatively, 
Lightstealer may choose to attack you.  Run away and let Bane punch him 
up.  Eventually Bane dies (I haven't tried to keep him alive, although 
it may be possible- I don't know the result), and you must grab 
bloodmaster and kill Lightstealer.  He's worth 1250xp (?) and drops the 
long sword "blooddrinker."  Check his tomb to get a bag.  Then head 
out.  Chant stops you and tells you that you've succeeded.  You get 
transported back to the temple of the white moon, Chant becomes king, 
you get a magic teleportation book, and a day to sleep (restores HP).  
You may want to head back to Shadow pass and explore the area more 
thoroughly, as there's probably stuff you've missed.  Once ready, use 
the book to get transported to Talendrah.

Talendrah
Q: Defeat Skorn and the Demon Revanants
  Immediately go east, and you'll find Barthelago.  Speak with him.  
Seems as though he wasn't man enough to take the heart.  Now you'll 
have to protect his sorry butt.  This is a relatively straightforward 
region, head S, then E, then N, then W.  Along the way you'll run into 
several mercenaries.  Fortunately they shouldn't be so very difficult 
at this point in the game.  You'll find numerous potions and minor 
goods in some of the houses, and on the bodies of the dead.  Just be 
sure not to let Barthelago get too hurt.  Eventually you'll come across 
a hex stone.  Use it if you need to get back your SP.  Return quickly, 
and continue into the camp.  Don't go up the stairs just yet.  Check 
the big tent for several books including the book of storms.  When 
ready, climb the stairs.  I cast stoneskin at this point, along with 
shield.  The captain attacks you.  Respond in kind.  He's somewhat 
difficult, but just use messenger.  When he dies (750xp), he drops a 
ring of the ironman, some gold, and a greatsword.  Heal yourself, then 
approach the fountain.  Barthelago will follow, collapse, and you'll 
get the heart of Kinkathra.  At this point, Gargos finds you and tries 
to kill you.  Again, I think that shield is the way to go.  Take him 
down with Messenger, (3500xp- in part due to completion of the "recover 
the heart of Kinkathra quest"), and you'll capture his soul, then can 
get his executioner's blade.  Kinkathra then tells you to defeat Skorn 
and his allies.  Touch the hex and you'll notice that you now have some 
new options available to you- the otherworlds.  At this point in the 
game, I would recommend trying only two of the areas- the Palace of the 
souls and the Feylands.  The other two areas can be done later with a 
bit more ease.  You can also head back to Madrigal.  I'd suggest first 
heading off to the Palace of the Souls.

Palace of Souls
Q: Rescue Farangis, Rescue Rafaela, Free Dragor Nightsbane, Defeat 
Malhorraz for Lord Bane
  The otherworlds are essentially strange areas where humans (dead or 
alive) have unwittingly been caught.  The Palace of the souls is the 
main junction in the otherworlds.  As soon as you appear, you'll see 
Lord Bane.  Run to your left- some creature is getting attacked by a 
raal.  Raals are now very easy, with messenger.  3 hits and they're 
dead.  Kill them before they kill the creature.  Run off and do this in 
each of the four corners, but avoid the area with Malhorraz.  Having 
several raals and Malhorraz gang up on you is very bad.  Once you've 
killed all the raals, then you can talk with lord Bane, and the 
creatures.  Each of them give you a quest.  You'll have to do these 
quests at some point, and I find that Lord Bane's is the most easily 
accomplished.  Now go find Malhorraz.  After you exchange a few words, 
you have to fight.  I cast elemental shield beforehand, and Malhorraz's 
magic was fairly weak.  Just whack him till he stops moving (3000xp).  
Then cast Death's recollection on his corpse.  You'll use a hex stake 
on him (1750xp- you should have 1 more left afterwards).  Talk with 
Lord Bane to complete his quest, then talk with the guardian who gave 
you the Lord Bane quest (for a total of ~2000xp).  Now use the hex 
stone to quickly hop to the fey lands.  Then hop back out.  I am unsure 
if this is necessary, but it may be the trigger for Melissa.  Now you 
can head back to Madrigal.

Madrigal Revisited
Q: Recover the Crown of Rule, Defeat Soldiers in Madrigal, Defeat 
dragon soldiers at Tamaran's Gate.
  Well, look at all the soldiers.  They're somewhat hostile as well 
(but only if you are).  You can kill them if you desire, despite what 
Al says.  First, go talk with Elric.  You'll have new conversation 
options available.  Elric gives you the quest to recover the Crown of 
Rule.  Alfonse still sells at discounted prices, but isn't happy about 
the soldiers.  Check Barthelago's old house, and you'll find a guy name 
Al-kadath.  Al is a rather nasty fellow, and threatens that he'll kill 
6 citizens per soldier you  
                    

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