Let’s go through Darkest Dungeon together – 3

It’s that time of the week again, so it’s back to the Darkest Dungeon mines. Will I maintain this momentum??

Last time, we ended things with the announcement that anyone going to the Ruins will get more experience and do more damage. Good timing too, because apparently there’s this raving madman called the Sonorous Prophet walking around the Ruins, so I figured that I take advantage of that damage buff while I could.

For this expedition, a mark team was sent out. Peis the bounty hunter led the front again, followed by Heuze the Grave Robber; while she could deal blight and her throwing daggers does more damage against that and marked targets, I primarily chose to bring her because she had a free shovel. Cely the Arabalest headed the back and Cambrai the Vestal was sandwiched between them.

Also, man, it was a good thing I brought Heuze, because I spent a bunch of money in town. I briefly questioned whether or not I should sell some trinkets to get some extra stuff, but I chose not to because I get really indecisive about these things. At least opening the trinket menu reminded me to equip some of this stuff, though. I have pretty useful stuff, like the Antiquarian’s heal being doubled – oh, her healing move heals for 1? Oh.

As we entered the Ruins, the Ancestor rambled about the Prophet. Apparently, the Prophet was just an ordinary guy that had predicted that the Ancestor was going to bring doom to the world. And he was right. I don’t know the rest of the story yet since this is only the first part, but this Prophet seems like the good guy. If only he didn’t become the Joker.

Anyway, the team set out. I completely forgot about Heuze having Compulsive and Egomania – oh, excuse me, I forgot that she also gained Hylomania last time I brought her out, which gives her an obsession with material objects on top of everything else. So she kept interacting with most of the things the gang came across, even when it seemed like a bad idea. Cool. Besides that problem, the lack of keys I bought really hit me again when I wound up finding another hole in reality and was unable to unlock the cool hidden chest properly. But nevertheless, the crew continued on and –

What are you?? So uh, this Collector guy has a lot of health for a casual encounter, so I’m guessing he’s some kind of bonus boss? Bro why am I dealing with this. Oh actually, this doesn’t seem so bad, let’s –

Oh huh. This seems kinda bad and – oh wait, the Collector is poisoned to shit and is also in Cely’s optimal killing range. So, despite being a big surprise, this wound up not being that bad. You’d think Cambrai would be horrified by a cursed version of her, but she wasn’t that bothered.

The rest of the trip over was uneventful. Heuze kept interacting with stuff, but what can you do? Thankfully she let Cely read a book which gave her Natural Swing, which gives her an accuracy buff that I’m absolutely going to send her to the sanitarium for to make permanent.

The crew continued on until they found the Sonorous Prophet, who’s the only character in the game with visible eyes on account of the fact that he’s holding them in his hands. He spends fights hiding behind pews, but thankfully I got Cely to hit him back there and Heuze to deal blight and throw shit at him.

One of the Prophet’s attacks is to call rocks down on people like some Looney Tunes shit, but since everybody came in healthy and strong, I didn’t mind that too much. Anyway, it didn’t take long to put the guy out of his misery. Peis couldn’t do much besides reinforcing mark, but otherwise, everything worked out a-okay.

The gang went back to town, where there was news that some antiquarians came to town in hopes of discovering cool new things to sell. Apparently they have not heard that their colleague ate shit and died last episode. Cely, as the MVP that got a new good quirk for herself, was immediately sent to the sanitarium to get that reinforced.

In hindsight, it was a foolish decision because I later found out that there were separate accuracy quirks for regular attacks and ranged attacks and it turned out I reinforced normal melee attacks on her. Well, pobody’s nerfect.

Anyway, let’s go on a money making expedition to the Weald.

Despite being renamed last time, Gregory did not get to do anything, so I’m finally sending him back out there. So, to keep Bonvalet, the Antiquarian, alive, I gave her the ability to force a teammate to protect her, which I thought would synergize with Gregory’s riposte and general hardiness. Cairon would fight between them and Mantel was chosen to head the back as the healer.

It… did not go as well as I thought it would. I realized that Mantel did not have any attacks himself and Gregory and Cairon did not have anything to hit the backlines. Furthermore, despite my plan with Gregory and Bonvalet, the enemies kept focusing down on Cairon as if to spite me… and then Cairon had the nerve to spite me back by missing, like, 70% of his attacks,

Nobody died, but the mission was complete dogshit. Everybody got diseases, Gregory is now terrified of going to the Warrens even though we didn’t go there, and Cairon is now obsessed with eating. On top of that, everybody went home to news that people weretoo scared to work because they’re scared of the shadows as if that’s something new, so stress relief was less effective that week. Great.

I was kinda pissed off so I wound up dismissing Bonvalet. Besides, if I needed another Antiquarian, I got her colleague Durandal, who has a quirk that let her resist diseases and… you know what, I probably should have brought Durandal to the Weald instead.

But well, another day, another mission, so we’re heading to the Warrens for a change of pace. Despite how maddening the last mission was, it also gave a trinket that makes Hellions less stressed, so I decided that Tinel should lead an expedition. Fougeres the Jester actually had a quirk that gave better scouting in the Warrens, so he got to come too, and since this seemed like a good bleed crew, Beans the Flagellant got invited. Cambrai, who was rapidly approaching Reynauld’s level, came along as the resident healer. However, the made me aware that both of the healers will soon be outleveled to do the basic missions, so I hoped that some more healers showed up on the stage coach in the future.

Nothing major happened on this expedition and – jesus christ Fougeres that’s a cart of dead bodies you’re not going to find alcohol in there. He wound up finding food instead, which I don’t really like the implications of.

Anyway, he got the only notable quirk upgrade out of everyone, in that he also became a Natural Swing. Honestly? After the nightmare of the previous mission, I want everyone that has a chance at an accuracy upgrade to make it stick. Unfortunately, I did not get a lot from the mission, and I had spent a bunch of money on Reynauld because he had the Warrior of Light quirk that made him stronger when the torch was bright (which it almost always is for me), soooo… time to go make more money. Again.

I chose to go back to the Warrens for a short mission, since it’d give a nice helmet for Peis to wear. Durandal sat in the back with Mantel, who now has Abyssal Artillery to act as an attack from the backlines. Tiniel actually barely got stressed from the mission, so she was to lead again alongside Dismas, since he hadn’t seen any action in a while.

Now, while the crew was fine physically, things went bad mentally. Durandal became Paranoid and started accusing party members of wanting to steal her money and revealing that she thought they were secretly colluding with the enemies; given the Occultist thing of relying on eldritch powers to fight the eldritch, I’d like to think that accusation was directed at Mantel. When the mission was finished, I got Dismas to inspect a mysterious slab in the room the last fight was in and I got upset that he gained like, 50 completely avoidable stress. That one was on me.

Most of the gang got diseases because of the dang pigs spitting on them all the time. I thought things would look up when we returned to town, only to discover that Cairon was not only too obsessed with sex to leave the brothel, but Cambrai lost 1000 gold gambling. Come on guys.

But what’s worse is that a new healer had not shown up on the stage coach yet. Cambrai now thinks herself too good to help everyone below her and Mantel is nearly at that point (and had to check in to the Sanitarium to get rid of a disease), so the hamlet’s running low on healing talent that’s humble.

So, a short mission was in order. Beans and Gueri – fuck it, I keep mispelling it, the Abomination’s name is Gary now. Beans the Flagellant and Gary the Abomination are on the mission since they have forms of self-heal and they’re getting accompanied by Malleville and Fougeres. You know what? The Jester’s name is now shortened to Fou, since I keep putting an extra R that doesn’t need to be there.

And, well, I have nothing to say about the mission because it was really kinda nothing. Fou kept touching corpses and nearly giving himself diseases and it was only be sheer luck that he didn’t get carted to the sanitarium. Generally uneventful, but the quest gave Beans a new hood to wear which is cool for him.

Anyway, Durandal, you motherfucker.

Thankfully, we finally got a new healer in the form of Ros the Occultist, welcome to the crew. Now, as I’ve been clearing these missions, some new threats have been coming in over the horizon. A Swine Prince has been spotted in the Warrens. A Wizened Hag is causing trouble in the Weald. Those are problems that I need to tackle… but I want a little more money. As my guys start moving into the coveted second tier of quests, I need to get them new equipment and skills, while making sure that new additions like Ros keeps up.

It’s a very Tinel filled week, because led another pack consisting of Gary, Durandal and Ros. It’ll be a medium length mission, which would allow Durandal the chance to use her campfire ability to just materialize a new trinket out of nowhere.

While other treasure making expeditions went mediocre at best in the past, this one was a hit. In spite of a lack of real team synergy, everything went a-okay. As if to make up for becoming the Joker and gambling 1000 gold away, Durandal wound up finding a lot of loot.

Most importantly, I finally managed to get in the space between worlds with a key! I got a whole bunch of treasure, as well as… Dismas’ head in a sack. Seems very good, though it understandably gives whoever’s holding it more stress.

And to cap off the good vibes, the fair’s in town, so everyone’s getting free stress management. I immediately took the chance to get Peis to the sanitarium because for the longest time, he’s had Light Sensitive, which reduces damage when the light is bright, which it always is for me. Sorry, I’m not a risky light gamer. But man… think of how much I could do if the health care was free…

But well, we musn’t rest on our laurels. After beating that Cove mission, a Siren finally showed up as a boss. There’s too many bosses around, so the hamlet has to take at least one of them out already. So, I flipped a coin to decide whether I wanted to fight the Swine Prince or the Wizened Hag and the coin declared that the hag’s gotta go.

Before Mantel graduates to the next tier of quests, he helped out on this one. Dismas and Heuze were to head the front with movement skills to switch around; I also gave Dismas the copy of his head that I found because I figured it’d be funny to do. Malleville’s also accompanying, now with a stunning strike if all the movement changes shuffles him toward the front.

According to the Ancestor, he was studying his usual fucked up shit when he attracted some girl’s attention. Is she another innocent person whose life was ruined by the Ancestor like (presumably) the Prophet? Or is she the Joker in her own right? Well, let’s wait and see.

The adventure started out just fine and the team settled into a rhythm. Heuze stands at the front and uses Shadow Fade, Dismas uses Point Blank Shot, Malleville stuns something with Blackjack, and both Heuze and Dismas lunge back toward their original positions while Malleville sicks his dog on someone and Mantel either attacks the backline or heals. Aside from a necromancer pulling somebody at one point, the strategy held steady.

Eventually, the team had to set up camp. I then noticed that Heuze had the campfire skill, Snuff Box, which removes disease on herself and an ally. I assumed that this mean “one” disease, but as it ended up happening, it actually removes all disease. I have no fucking idea what a snuff box is and I kinda don’t want to look it up, but Heuze in that moment singlehandedly helped Mantel as much as multiple weeks of trips to the sanitarium would have done, because my man caught a bunch of diseases during this play sessions. Heuze, I forgive you for touching half of the stuff we come across.

They soon reached the Hag who – oh god she threw Malleville and his dog into a pot. So, the Hag’s a cannibal and her gimmick is that she subjects one party member to get cooked in her pot, and that party member takes damage for every action taken. The cauldron can get knocked over to free them, but the Hag will quickly throw someone else in, so you have to split attention between the Hag and the cauldron (assuming you want to save whoever’s baking in there).

It was a much rougher fight, and is easily the hardest boss I’ve faced so far, having brought Malleville down on Death’s Door at some point. But nevertheless, the heroes defeated the cannibal. Was she always a cannibal or did the Ancestor make her into one? That’s a question that will probably get answered in the future, even though I don’t like thinking about it.

The gang returned as conquering heroes, with Dismas, Mantel and Heuze joining the “too good to help novices” club. Ros lost a bunch of money gambling, but honestly, after the haul Durandal brought in last time, it’s whatever. So, more opportunities have been opening up. Besides the Swine Prince and the Siren to deal with, the Ruins teases the first “long” mission in the game, which will probably be hell. As soon as I upgrade the equipment services, I can also outfit all the veterans with the Good Stuff so that they may finally tackle the harder missions.

No one died this week, the Iscariot Estate’s got a bunch of money in the coffers, the future’s looking bright.

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