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Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 22:49 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert


I had been planning on a review of Total War: Three Kingdoms, but got my evenings caught up in other unfinished business instead. Having last played Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) in my secondary school days some twenty years back, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the ASCII-based roguelike had been revitalized with sprite graphics on Steam.

Before continuing, what's a roguelike? Well, from Wikipedia, it's "a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character". The other elements aren't particularly remarkable, and have persisted in popular RPGs of various stripes such as Final Fantasy, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Witcher, etc. However, in all these games, character death is rectifiable by simply loading the last save - yes, the final boss might be ridiculous, but victory is nigh-guaranteed with some additional grinding of items and experience levels, or sheer dumb luck in combat. Diablo for one markets their Hardcore permadeath mode as a special challenge. To old-school roguelike players, however, it's just Tuesday.

Okay, there's always the option to savescum - i.e. simulate the normal savegame paradigm of other RPGs - by manually maintaining savefiles in ADOM, but it's against the spirit of the game. The modern paid Steam version of ADOM has introduced a "Story Mode" that allows reloading after death for the newer generation of strawberries, but that takes all the thrill out of it. No, I'm going to play it the classic way - when men were real men, and were reduced to blubbering wrecks after their pimped-out character representing hundreds of hours of hard work perishes due to a cat running over their keyboard.

Fair warning: the following narration unavoidably involves some spoilers for ADOM, but in fairness, it's unknown whether anyone has legitimately won the game without external help. Could be a fine challenge for a retiree, but I'm not sure if they'll have much of their hair left, before long.

To dip my feet back in, I began with probably the easiest-to-sustain combination: Candle-born Trollish Healer. Surviving wasn't any trouble, but as with all good trolls, gaining experience points was a drag. Also tried out a Dwarven Paladin, before my first serious attempt with a Gray Elven Archer. She got as far as the top level of the Pyramid, before discovering that being surrounded by mummies and jackal demons was no fun. Whoops.

Nonetheless, playing an archer allowed an appreciation of ranged classes in general, following the logic that if hostile mobs can't reach you, then pesky details such as hitpoints and armour becomes mostly irrelevant (until they do, as I realized). Next up was an attempt at combining the best of all worlds, with a Hurthling (i.e. repackaged hobbit/halfling) Wizard. With a racial predisposition towards slinging stones, the plan was to develop this cheap talent together with spellcasting ability. It all went very well indeed, and Baggins reached level 36 (out of a maximum 50) without much trouble. His ignominious end arrived when he tried to shave it too close in learning a new spell whilst Strength of Atlas was expiring, and got crushed beneath his overloaded backpack. That really sucked.

After hammering my face into the keyboard for awhile, I took stock of what I had learnt, and concluded that extending play for more than a couple of hours at a stretch was a major factor - the longer one plays, the more corners get cut, and unnecessary risks start to creep in. Not much of a problem with conventional RPGs, but ADOM's an entirely different beast.

Well, I went for the Small Cave start with a bunch of new Hurthling Wizards after that, but none survived to the High Mountain Village; I washed my hands of the short bastards after running out of LOTR-related names, and rolled up Gimli, the Dwarven Weaponsmith. This is his story.

Gimli's Tinder profile
(Source: gatherer.wizards.com)

With takings not being too swell at the forges thanks to the internecine Gold Wars, I figured I'd have a go at this "saving the world" gig, and packed a couple of my best warhammers for the trip to the Drakalor Chain. It's 2d3 damage in either hand - very respectable. Not to forget the anvil, of course. What would a smith be, without one?

Made my first stop at the sleepy little hamlet of Terinyo, as all the guidebooks advise, and stocked up on a couple of large rations. Briefly pondered heading northwest upon observing all the hurthling footprints on that path, before realizing that none of them came back. Resolved to play it safe in the Infinite Dungeon for early levelling - when in doubt, simply escape upstairs or downstairs. This got me some remarkably sweet gear, including a ring of speed [+0, +4] {+5 speed}, a worn pair of seven league boots, and the quicksilver bracers. Cool, that's the bracers slot sorted, then.

It was all going quite productively, I daresay, and I was building quite the stash of useful knick-knacks in Terinyo... only to find it all gone on my third trip there. My anvil!

"Alrighty, 'fess up, you lads." I told the villagers. "Who nicked all my gear? I'll look the other way if it just turns up - I'm not even here to turn a profit, guys."

Well, there were a lot of shifty looks and denials, but no confessions, though I did note that the resident village fool Yggaz was happily quaffing some primo Black Label whisky. No civic consciousness at all, these peasants. Here I am, trying to save reality as they know it, and they pilfer my stores!

Fine, no point getting worked up over it - got the village elder's quest to learn Bridge Building and Healing, and discovered an altar on the sixth level of the Village Dungeon. Time to farm some piety through live sacrifices! The whole business of luring monsters over the altar to sac them got old quickly, but I kept it up, and eventually successfully got precrowned at character level 11. Basically, suck up to a patron deity enough, and he'll reward you with an artifact. Now, artifacts are typically high-quality items with rare attributes and all, but one of their best properties is that of being indestructible. Unlike many other RPGs, gear in ADOM can be destroyed in normal use, and sometimes at an astonishing rate.

Now the proud owner of the rune-covered halberd "Wyrmlance", I made sure to wield it once in a while to train up some weapons proficiency in polearms. I somehow scrounged up another anvil from somewhere soon enough, together with assorted rings of resistance, and was thus willing to let bygones be bygones. Couldn't learn any spells from the several spellbooks found due to low Literacy skill, very unfortunately, and attempts to procure a blink dog corpse to obtain teleport control failed miserably too, likely due to the lack of the Food Preservation skill. This dropped my alignment down to Neutral from Lawful, luckily repairable through some quick sacrifices.

It was time to venture further, and I sought out the moldy dungeon for the very useful tome of donors, from which I got the very useful death ray and confusion resistances in the first two readings. Unwilling to play pool roulette, I continued farming up better gear, and found a very nice suit of white adamantium full plate armour. Thus encased, I popped over to the Ice Queen Domain - another new area - and couldn't resist clearing the ice statue rooms. Managed to complete the frost jarl quest with some difficulty, which included running like mad from the titans in the greater vault on the fourth level.

One piece of advice here: due to the permanent nature of death in ADOM, it is understandably wise to have a means of reliably avoiding danger, because even the strongest characters can easily get trapped in unwinnable fights. In practice, this tends to be access to either teleportation or invisibility. I had the latter effect available from a ring, which saved my bacon against those twenty-five feet tall freaks out for my ass. Oh, and the cats. Those wild cats and cave lions are allowed to attack you, but slay one of them in self-defence, and the cat lord will eventually seek to claw you to shreds. Completely unfair, I tell ya. Fortunately, being a dwarf with nice armour, I could afford to allow them to wail on me for a few turns.

Next plan of action was to descend the main Caverns of Chaos, to gain the dwarven portal quest, such that I could complete it about when the experience level limit for the Pyramid came around. Managed to stock up on enough stomafilla herbs to last the remainder of the visit in the Big Room, despite not knowing the Herbalism skill. Note to future adventurers, for whom starvation is a looming menace: buy out the stocks of cooked lizards from the ratling traders on the Arena level. They might be an acquired taste, but each one is as nutritious as a standard iron ration, while weighing like thirty times less.

There are almost too many ways to handle the food situation nowadays really, with the Fungal Caves also yielding a guaranteed renewable source through an artifact. I snagged the cornucopia, which additionally granted the Fate smiles and luck intrinsics, and a massive +13 to the Mana attribute. Not that I had managed to learn any spells yet, thanks to poor Literacy scores; worse, since I had raised it above 50, I was unable to get the potion of literacy from the elder as a quest reward, despite protestations that we were all dwarves here.

But fine, what did book-mugging ever do for me anyway? Swinging hammers is where it's at! I had by then upgraded to an adamantium warhammer and shield, and picked up a large eternium hammer with 2d10+10 damage in Darkforge. This, as it turned out, would be my primary weapon for the remainder of this adventure. Darkforge itself was tolerably comfortable, and the one-on-one steel golem duels gave pretty good experience. Completed the Pyramid and dwarven portal quests next, and also the old barbarian's Courage quest; never quite figured out how he keeps track of my kills, when I can't even recall the number myself.

This, as it happened, was also a trying period. Some of my best equipment had gotten destroyed in quick succession, including the seven league boots, my cloak of protection, and even the white adamantium full plate (that last didn't even make much sense - surely there should have been something left to salvage?). I was actually seriously considering quitting the adventuring business due to the indignity of it all, but resolved to at least give the greater vault another go - they're rumoured to usually contain several useful artifacts. Now shielded with Rolf's Saviour, the assorted giants and titans nonetheless remained very tough going... up until I found an unprepossessing gilded amulet. It changed everything.

Recall, hit point (HP) recovery is a major limiting factor to advancement in ADOM. In more forgiving realms, HP either regenerates reasonably quickly, or sources of restoration such as potions are abundant and/or readily purchasable. None of these are true in ADOM. There is no reliable method of getting more healing potions - well, other than maybe some very tedious work with Jharod, and even that has prerequisites - herbs are situational, and natural healing is extremely slow. To put it into perspective, healing a single HP can take many dozens of turns, while a single successful attack from a powerful mob such as a giant can easily take dozens of HP in a turn. One solution, as mentioned, is simply not to get into a position to be hurt, by relying upon ranged attacks and spells. Unfortunately, I had no real recourse to either, and my main body armour at this point - the ancient mummy wrapping - was not particularly impressive in terms of raw protection, despite its many useful intrinsics.

Enter the amulet of indomitable life. In addition to a very good +4 to both DV and PV, and incredible +10 to Toughness (which grants plenty of additional HP at maximum), it regenerates a HP every turn. The quality of life that this single ability grants can hardly be understated. Now, while other gear such as bracers of regeneration grant the same effect, they remain vulnerable to the ever-looming threat of item destruction.

With the amulet, even titans could be taken down in a reasonable amount of time, and clearing the greater vault produced two more artifacts: the circlet of the pure mind and the vibrating rapier, "Hornet's Sting". Now, neither were that impressive as equipment statistically, but +8 Willpower and the (albeit random) ability to teleport remained welcome.

Given this haul, it was time to descend further down the main dungeon, but other that that, I was itching to do some smithing - that's the whole point about being a Weaponsmith, after all. Quite unfortunately, I hadn't managed to locate any forges (other than in Darkforge, which remains a decidedly subpar place to smith, due to the heavy background corruption and annoying mobs). Glod, the resident smith in the Dwarven Village, owned one, but the stingy git would charge 2500 gold a pop for its use. As such, I thought to try the ol' insurance scam of sorts. It goes as follows: the dwarven elder's last quest involves slaying a greater daemon that's been terrorizing the village; it would be sad, therefore, if the daemon slaughtered a certain rent-seeking dwarf in its rampage, no?

And thus the epic duel began - I lured the greater daemon to the forge building, where it somehow ignored Glod - who frankly was an easier target - to flail at me. While it didn't hurt too much, the accumulated damage remained annoying. I had given up on Plan Free Forge and made to end the daemon, when a critically-wounded dwarven guardian staggered out from my blind spot, and expired after impaling himself on my hammer. On cue, the village alarm rang.

Oh, come on.

The penalty for killing a village inhabitant, intentionally or not, was self-proclaimed shopkeeper-turned-lawbringer Waldenbrook summoning muscular dwarves to exact vengeance. The minions weren't much trouble by this point, but shopkeepers can be nasty business, and I wasn't about to stick about to find out. On went the ring of invisibility, and I snuck to visit the dwarven elder to get his opinion on my accidental manslaughter. Turns out, he understood.

"Oh, accidents happen. Here's your reward, Big Punch, and good luck with saving the world."

"Great, how about calling Waldenbrook off my ass?"

"No can do, he's on a power trip."

"Fine, how about that potion of literacy then? I'll tank the GRE or ACT or whatever test you have, if you need justification."


Well, it was worth a try, I suppose. Now, careful readers might have surmised that I'm of Lawful alignment, i.e. a goody-two-shoes, save for a very brief dip into neutrality. Then, how does the failed Glod manoeuvre - which sounds shady at best - come into this? It turns out that the definition of law is... not always intuitive, in these parts. For example, sneak up and bisect a cutpurse or similar low-life with a sword, and the Lawful deity Morodwyn will be all a-ok with it. In fact, sacrifice the cutpurse on an altar, and you'll get piety brownie points. However, pickpocket the guy? That's naughty.

The loss of Waldenbrook's shop as a buyer of strange items was regrettable, but then he was a bit of a gouger. Given that I had gotten my skill trainings from Bart for the golden gladius, there wasn't much left for me in Dwarftown anyway. I stashed Big Punch and Judge & Jury - as well as my potions of cure corruption - in the cleared Ogre Cave, before searching about the chain a bit more... and found a forge on the second level of a random dungeon near the Gremlin Cave. I pacified the level somewhat and dropped my anvil there, but held off smithing for lack of good-enough (i.e. eternium) items.

My main concern, at this stage, was whether to try and save Khelavaster. Without an amulet of life saving to hand to him, descending below the 16th level of the main caverns would cause the sage to die, and forfeit his very nice rewards. However, since there's no guarantee that such an amulet - or even a source of a wish - would appear, there was no way to advance the big quest without bypassing Khelly, dead or alive. I decided to go about my crowning earlier than the originally-planned character level 32 (which would have eliminated fire immunity as a possible outcome), and received Perion's mithril plate mail, which gave +19 to PV, and +9 Charisma besides. To be entirely honest, smithed-up eternium plate mail or full plate would likely be superior eventually, but needs must.

Then, great good luck! I had ducked into the crumbling dungeon for one last go at finding a way to preserve Khelly, and found an ordinary ring almost immediately, from a ghost lord. Yep, ring of djinni summoning! Not about to take any chances, I kept the ring under my artifact elemental gauntlets - having freed Griff Bloodaxe for the portal quest already - until I was face to face with Khelly, and wished for the requisite amulet right in his mug. Stashed his reward of scrolls of corruption removal in the Ogre Cave too.

Next on my bucket list was the Tomb of the High Kings for the Eternal Guardian's ring, and not wanting to haul logs down six levels to fail to build a bridge with my crappy skill in that respect, I went looking for a wand of cold. There was one guaranteed in the dungeon of the Ice Queen Domain, but I noped out real quick once an ultimate doppelganger turned up. They're probably the only monster that even the strongest melee fighter really, really doesn't want to fight mano-a-mano, due to their faithful copying of attributes and entirely-unfair percentage-based damage. Thankfully, I found a couple of wands not too long after, built the ice bridge across the piranha lake, and took care of the skeletal king easily enough (yay, circlet and intrinsics)

Given that I was on the surface already, I figured to try the Tower of Eternal Flames next, it being the only elemental temple not sited in the caverns. I had dropped most of my gear in the top level of the caverns, but would quickly lose my cloak of protection and best longbow to the flames. The fighting itself was routine - nothing had been truly challenging since my first attempt at the greater vault in the Ice Queen Domain - though I was surprised by a tension room of, get this, frost giants. How does that even make sense?

Digging across to the temple proper on the top floor was easy enough with high Mining skill (a dwarven specialty), and I was soon face to face with the big nasty - the Ancient Chaos Wyrm. I had quite sensibly been fighting around a corner to avoid the wyrm's energy blasts, but there was no chickening out now, and I first smashed a potion of blindness on its face, to hopefully buy a few free attacks. Time for Wyrmlance to show its power, I figured, and gingerly stabbed with the pointy end...

One hit kill.

Huh, that was a bit of a downer. Now, to get what I came for. I stepped around the corner, and was immediately met by a deluge of fire blasts from the wyrm's underlings, which happened to cook its corpse; by the time I took another step to the corpse itself, it had been destroyed by the blasts. Kind of humiliating, to be honest. Not like it'll have to live it down, though. Grabbed the Chaos Orb of Elemental Fire and immediately equipped it for a +10 Strength boost, and scooted back to the caverns at character level 30 to prepare for the big dive. Drank a potion of insight to track my intrinsic status, and confirmed that I had all the important resistances, as well as shock immunity from the crowning. Looking forward to the Blue Dragon Caves already given that and Wyrmlance, then.

My cat-avoiding patience would finally run out in the dwarven graveyard while searching for the Water Temple, after getting teleported into a mass of mobs. Couldn't be helped. Smashed the Snake from Beyond, and ate its corpse for +4 Dexterity and Mana, and two corruptions: mouth tentacles and shrouded eyes. Technically, neither were particularly bad, but I didn't want to run around with Appearance at 1, given how it affects further corruption nowadays. Popped back to my Ogre Cave stash to consume a couple of mushrooms of purity to remove these afflictions.

Spotted a non-hostile ki-rin in the Eternal Guardian level, with the Guardian allowing passage upon verifying the ring. Had faced down a diamond golem, which turned out not to be that scary after all, and also a tension room of shadow wyrms, where a dropped potion of gain attributes got fried before I could react. Reminded myself once again to fight around corners wherever possible.

Checked out the Integrated Resort shop below the Eternal Guardian level, but unfortunately didn't spot any item of particular interest, even after identifying a number of promising prospects. I didn't want to bother with amassing cash at this point either, and soon descended further, to discover an altar on the next level, and a forge after that. Extremely convenient, given the shortcut to the surface via Darkforge about here.

Popped up to retrieve the crown of science - not that I had much use for it - and attained character level 32 and intrinsic fire immunity after killing an ancient black dragon on D:33. An ancient blue dragon would drop a wand of destruction too, and some chaos knight dropped an ultra-heavy eternium plate armour weighing 1920 stones, along with other sweet loot like eternium boots and green truesilver plate. Polished off the bunny master quickly with teleportation, and found the cat lord generated neutral, which was something of a relief.

Finally, it was time to do some smithing! Being too lazy to retrieve my anvil from the other dungeon, I bought one for about 30k gold pieces from the Integrated Resort, and melted my collected spare eternium gear into a few dozen ingots, with the ultra-heavy plate yielding fifteen by itself. This allowed me to smith up my eternium boots from [+0, +5] to [+6, +10], which was probably enough to have me favour it over the seven league boots, had that survived.

This done, I decided to finish up the remaining useful surface quests, while farming wilderness chaos knight encounters for more eternium in passing. Completed the Blup quest - though I neglected to receive the trident anyway - and gave up on Barnabas ever restocking. Said hi to Khelavaster and some guilty villagers in Terinyo, with Yggaz swapping my three potions of booze for healing this time - but given he's supplied me with at least one potion of gain attributes, I guess I can't be too disappointed. Received the Unicorn quest and completed it easily save for a 110 damage critical hit, and unexpectedly found a map fragment from a random lizardman encounter.

Time for the final descent, then. I smithed up a recently-found eternium girdle from [+0, +4] to [+6, +8], and after replacing my girdle of strength, I was walking about with a PV of 83. Gave up replacing the doors to the forge after awhile, but took some pleasure in slaying an intruding cave tiger, without the cat lord to worry about. Found a cavernous level below the cat lord level, and hammered a titan down without resorting to backing up. There was a lesser golem vault on D:38, where I made character level 34 after disposing of more titans, eternium golems, and a karmic dragon.

The Air Temple was on D:40, which was uneventful but for the loss of another very good cloak. I was running out of skills to raise by this time, and was reduced to raising Literacy, point by painful point. D:38 would have another ultimate doppelganger, which was turned into an ettin and dealt with by potion of exchange. Figured that I might as well learn some spells given my improved Literacy status, and revisited my spellbook stashes around the map, though only a couple of bolt spells, Lightning Ball, Light and Teleport would ever be really used. Grabbed my remaining corruption mitigation scrolls and potions from the Ogre Cave. Had a tad of bother with quickling kings, where I was thankful for having learnt Lightning Ball.

Only about ten dungeon levels remaining. Found and converted another altar on D:41, and sacced some gold to bring piety back up. D:43 had a lesser vault of red dragons, where Wyrmlance happily feasted. Got a spellbook of Cure Light Wounds, which might have been better received had I not gotten the amulet, and also a tract of order from the great red wyrm, Thrunderuxur. Also found a large eternium shield [+11, +7] that was strictly better than Rolf's Saviour, and an eternium warhammer of slaughtering that somehow managed to produce less damage on average than my large eternium hammer. I didn't have too many ingots left for smithing them up, sadly, and so pressed on.

Regained the mists of chaos corruption about this time, and got constantly surrounded by earth elementals and grues in the Earth Temple - but it wasn't as if they could get through my armour's PV rating anyway. Ate the Ancient Stone Beast corpse for +2 Strength, +4 Toughness, and four corruptions that took all my remaining potions to remove. Not sure whether it was a good tradeoff. Reached character level 40 in a greater air elemental room on D:45 for a further +8 Toughness, which had me at some 800 HP, and +156 to-hit, 2d10+81 damage on berserk tactics with my favourite hammer.

More experience delivered itself, with a greater giant/titan vault turned up on the next dungeon level, and level 41 was reached before even really stepping within. Learned Magic Missile and Magic Map from dropped spellbooks, and found a couple of great blue wyrms - Okla & Oondarabadekes - on D:47. Encountered a greater moloch on D:48, but really, they're a cinch as long as there's room to retreat. Get a hit in, immediately retreat, and they'll never get an attack in. Otherwise, they can do hundreds of damage in a single strike.

The end was nearing, with only the Mana Temple remaining at the bottom of the Unreal Cave system, where I gained the bronze skin corruption - one of the better ones, I guess. Got ambushed by greater earth elementals, which turned out much the same as the Earth Temple, and quickling kings - once a real irritation - were zapped with Lightning Balls. Got rid of my first balor for 92k experience, along with another greater moloch. Discovered that I had picked up the mana battery corruption too, which drained all wands when I dropped them in preparation for the Blue Dragon Caves. Having 499 max PP as a consolation wasn't that bad, and I really only needed the wand of destruction by this late stage.

The caves were more varied than expected, what with a ghost king room - their ageing attacks wouldn't trigger against 91 PV, though. A third greater moloch gave me perhaps the biggest scare of the entire adventure here, with a 500 damage critical hit, that had me immediately praying for HP restoration. Surprisingly, giant rust monsters would be just about the only other monsters that could reliably damage me, though at least there wouldn't be any vulnerable worn equipment that could be corroded. Dealt with an ancient karmic dragon with missiles, found, blessed and drank several potions of gain attributes, and read a scroll to get rid of poison hands/bronze bones, before completing Sharad-Waador's quest.

All that Wyrmlance-poking of blue dragons had maxed out my character at level 50, and I moreover found the glowing green cloak "Venom Mantle", which settled my remaining cloak and acid troubles. I had also found a long bow of accuracy (+10, +5), and gathered over 880k gold without even trying, which was really starting to weigh me down. With 23 potions of holy water, I blessed and ate the remaining mushrooms of energy, and blessed all my gear, because why not. Realized that I had forgotten the potions of uselessness, and surfaced to the borderland settlement shop to grab them. Drank three potions and read two scrolls to remove all corruptions but tough scales, which left me with my last two scrolls of corruption removal. Well, no more dallying about - time to complete the Mana Temple, and close the Chaos Gate.

Incongruously, there would be a pet shop selling figurines of wondrous power right before the Mana Temple, and I figured, why not have some fun? Spent about half of the 100k gold that I had kept on a couple of great karmic wyrm figurines, and a greater titan figurine. Summoned the wyrms and greater titan on the Mana Temple level, and predictably got all my PP drained, before managing to get to the entrance proper - but then again, I wasn't a Wizard, so no big deal. Sadly, the greater titan got killed early on due to a misunderstanding over a fireball trap, but the two great karmic wyrms managed to accidentally slay the chaos archmage Nuurag-Vaarn, before I managed to close in myself. Well done, boys!

Sadly, the wyrms were unable to follow me down to D:49, and as such I left them to mop up the Mana Temple. Didn't consume the chaos archmage corpse due to corruption concerns either - simply using all five Chaos Orbs on D:48 gave me the sulphur corrpution once more - and also because extra Mana wouldn't be of much use anyway. Dug around for some rocks to propel myself on D:49, but ended up resorting to arrows, which turned out to be much more effective. The potion of uselessness gift was the bracers of pure might, which conveniently mitigated the corruption issue, and compensated for the loss of the Strength boost from the Chaos Orb of Elemental Fire to boot. Final showdown time!

So, just for the record, I had 1007 HP, 755 PP and 96 PV entering D:50, with 53 DV in berserk mode, and 132 DV in coward mode - not that I had to resort to that. The chaos mutants were mostly a yawn, though they yielded a nice potion of cure corruption, and potion of gain attributes. I wasn't about to take any unnecessary risks, not now, and carefully cleared first the bottom corridor, and then the top, without disturbing the central chamber. It was really kind of anti-climactic, as I was never down by more than about 30 HP at a go.

With both corridors cleared, it was time for the cheese victory. I pulled the bottom lever, and immediately zapped it with my recharged wand of destruction, destroying both the activated lever and a huge chunk of the chamber wall at once. I then teleported to the top lever and repeated the same, before teleporting to the exit. Yeah, I just wanted to record my first win - playing with Fistanarius will have to wait.

World saved, thanks to Gimli! Visited the unicorn glade to clear all remaining corruptions, visited Terinyo one last time, and exited the Drakalor Chain. Memorial file follows, for completeness (realized that I had failed to pick up a bunch of artifacts, such as the lead great axe and Nature's Companion; probably wouldn't have made much of a difference regardless):

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