So Melchanion turned out to be a dragon. Not hostile, though not exactly friendly, either. He had a job board, too.

He lets anyone (or anything) stay in his domain, provided they pay tribute. All the jobs, no surprise, were to collect said tribute. Collect from, variously, gremlins, a demon, a lich, and a beholder. Not your everyday deadbeats.

I only took two: the gremlins and the demon. The gremlins were quite annoying, as we had to go through their “ordeal”, a time-dependent task. Didn’t make it the first run, but I learned enough to restore and complete it the second time.

The demon was mainly a “batter him down until he agrees” matter. Just time-consuming. After those two, I didn’t feel like going on with the rest. Let Mel get his own tribute.

Anyway, there was a teleporter by Mel’s keep. That was handy, as I had that unfinished giant business back in Muck. Being clever, I managed to get rewards from the Vahnatai, Highground, and Muck. It pays to be greedy and devious.

I also managed to clear a couple of other jobs; turned out all I had to do was talk to the right people. There’s so much busywork in this game, sometimes it’s hard to keep track.

With those out of the way, and nothing more to do at Mel’s keep, we pushed on into the Darkside Lands. Yes, we have arrived near the end game. And yes, as I suspected, they have a stronghold here.

Fortunately, also a teleporter. Not that it will do much good, as naturally everyone in the area is hostile. And the fortress is a fair distance from it.

Right now, my crew (not feeling very merry at the moment) is slogging its way along the road to the finale. And I do mean slog. There were a couple of big fights so far.

Then as we go along the road, slowly, other enemies come about 2-3 at a time. That’s not so bad. Easier to whittle them down that way. But it’s time-consuming. Regulars are in the 400-500 range, some are 600+, and specials are usually 900-1000 or so.

Who knows what will be waiting for us at the keep (besides Dorikas)? Perhaps we’ll find out tomorrow, when, I hope, this thrilling saga concludes. Hopefully on a good note. Stay tuned, sports fans.