Well, the “puzzle palace” turned out to be not very large or puzzling after all. Didn’t take long for me to get through and see the head mage.

And what was it all for? Some more info and a key. One of the keys to the goblin stronghold. Just the place I don’t want to visit ;) There’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to be a very nasty place.

So with that done, and another side job taken care of, it was time to get to the southwest area. There’s a way to open a special portal to the goblin lands. Unfortunately, I didn’t have all the information to create it. Or what I tried didn’t work, even after reading Ag’s post on the ingredients.

Thus I took the hard route through a delightful area called the Tanglewood Ossuary. Yep, full of undead. I hate undead.

Actually, they weren’t too bad. At least the critters didn’t seem to have magic resistance, except for the poltergeists. I got hit once and failed my disease save, but luckily I had some cure potions, so that wasn’t a problem.

There was a small optional area with a puzzle, one of those “put the right item in each chest” things. I’m pretty sure I know what all the items are, but I haven’t bothered to collect them all yet. It’s on my to-do list, though.

The Ossuary led into the Gloomy Oubliette, with even more undead. However, by moving carefully around the perimeter, I kept the encounters to one or two at a time. Exiting the Oubliette brought me into Northern Crakamir, and a bunch of acid slugs.

They resist magic often, and it took awhile to dispose of them all. Continuing on, I came to the place where I had to get some pure water. Of course, the well was guarded by a pair of Taurax. They look a lot like minotaurs.

They’re even more irritating than the slugs. Like them, the Taurax have a fairly high magic resistance, and more hitpoints. It took a long time to put them down.

And there were three or four waiting for me when I went farther south into Southern Crakamir. Do not ask how long it took to get rid of them. I have a Poison Spray spell, and decided to try it out.

I hit one Taurax with a Level 4 poison shot, and whoopy-do, he was taking all of one point of damage per round. Not very helpful. Have to try it on something else one of these days and see if that’s consistent. Right now, though, I’m not exactly thrilled with this magic, either.

So I finally make it to the Giants (not the fotball team ;) village. Do them a quick favor, and now I have the the third goblin key. One more, and I can hit the goblin citadel. Oh joy!

Maybe I’m closer to the end than I think. Then again, Zarkon isn’t that high in level, only 12. That seems a bit low for an endgame. But we shall see. In the meantime, I’m looking for that last key.