Before getting to today’s update, I want to take a moment (or three) to detail why playing a mainly magic-using character has its difficulties.

A mage starts with the Fire Dart spell, doing 2-4 points of damage per level, at a base cost of 2 mana. Each spell level multiplies the both the damage and the cost. So, for example, a level 3 spell would do 6-12 damage and take 6 mana to cast.

At Blackwater, I bought the Deep Freeze spell, which does 5-8 base damage, but at a cost of 6 mana. That’s a lot. If I throw that at level 3, it will do 15-24 and eat up 18 mana.

But I could throw Fire Dart at level 6, get 12-24 and use only 12 mana. The difference in damage isn’t that much, but the mana saving is considerable. As it is, I’m not able yet to cast Freeze 4, either.

So the more potent spells don’t do much good right now, and I still rely on the Dart. And the critters I come up against take a fair amount of fire power before going down. Throw in magic resistance, and it can be awhile before I kill something…and, of course, I have to keep moving to stay away from enemies. Yeah, being a mage has its drawbacks as the game goes on.

Anyway, I was in the town of Vela (where I met the suicide bombers) on a rescue mission that didn’t quite pan out. Though I did get the next step along the main line.

However, there were some odd jobs on the books, and I decided to clear some of them up first. One was to find an acorn “in the southermost part of the Tanglewood Forest”. Ha.

I spent a lot of time in that forest. Then it turned out that the “southernmost part” was actually in the extreme NE of the Western Salted Coast. I found it by accident when I noticed a small empty area on the map and went to fill it in.

There was the blacksmith who had some ore stolen and wanted it back. I finally found the thieves’ hideout. Nasty place with traps. Set one off by accident; first time in the game that Zarkon bit the dust (I’m hoping that will be the only one).

And I finally went back to a place called Grimmhold and cleaned out the goblins there. Not quite so difficult as I expected, but no doubt it would have been harder if I’d done it a few levels earlier.

So now I’m in a place called Shadowmirk and have to make my way up to the guy in charge. It’s a mage tower, full of puzzles and who knows what else. Just like the old Might & Magic days, with those tricky dungeons.

At a guess, I’m maybe about half-way through. There’s a big chunk of land to the southwest I haven’t been able to reach yet. Then again, that’s goblin territory, so I’m in no hurry. No hurry at all ;)