So I need to fill you in on this Ruins business. The githzerai told me I had to undergo this “Rite of Purification” as part of the means for getting rid of the King Of Shadows.

At least it was something to do besides playing “strategy” at the keep, so we took off (the place being conveniently marked on the map).

The ruins were overrun with orcs fighting it out with ogres, and I saw some goblins there, too. Naturally, they were all hostile to us. This was also cheap tricks time.

I watched a bunch fighting each other for several minutes, but none of them died. Nope, not one. Why not? Probably because we weren’t close enough. That’s dirty. There should have been some casualties, at least.

Anyway, they did die when we got going on them, though it was a tough fight. One of the five statues I needed to visit was right there. It gave me a special power, although I don’t recall now which that was.

Then we fought our way to the orc camp and talked to the leader. He’d keep his orcs off us if we killed the ogre mage leader. Naturally we agreed, and fought our way into his fort.

We found a bunch of bugbears in there, who weren’t any too happy with big boy. When they learned we wanted his head, they trooped outside to wait for the happy event.

So we went on through the place, killing everyone, and finding an item called the “master’s shield”. That was one of three items we needed to open the door to another statue.

The ogre chief had the scepter, and it turned out the bugbear leader had the sword. Fortunately, I used diplomacy on him and he handed it over. So I completed the second step of the ritual.

Then we went to this “Temple Of The Seasons” where we fought our way through four rooms, each with a seasonal theme, and did the third statue. That wasn’t too tough.

Next came the gem mines, and that was a royal pain. Skipping the details, we had to kill bunches of undead, and then lead six ghosts to a tree in the center of the place.

It was easier to kill all the undead first, then herd the ghosts one at a time (for that, I had everyone else stay in place). Very annoying, because there were “ghosts lights” to keep the ghosts back, and they had to be turned off, and then turned on again after the ghost had passed. Otherwise, it might go the wrong way, as I discovered.

Finally collected them all and did the fourth statue. That also opened up a portal outside to take us to the fifth statue. Only instead, it dropped us at West Harbor, or what was left of it.

Yep, the place was trashed just like Ember. Most of the inhabitants were dead, though I didn’t see foster daddy there, or Tarmas, for that matter. Anyway, we pressed on to the swamp and the ruins.

Here we had a setback. A very nasty Shadow Reaver and friends were ahead of us, and they destroyed the statue before I could use it. They did, however, mention that someone else had been here first and completed that step. So now there’s me with four parts and someone else with one.

After the fight, which was no easy task, we returned to the keep, and more Hammurabi. Happy happy, joy joy.