The first place I see on my way into Minoc is a small shop just outside town (the shrine is right next door so I won’t have any trouble finding this later). The owner tells me how there were riots in the town until the new first citizen brought order. The prices in this shop are a bit poor, no doubt due to the anti-sacrifice column nearby.
I head into town to see the leader. I don’t know if I have to bribe the guard or not but its only 10 gold so I pay my way in.
I think Raxos has stopped by the anti-humility column on his way here.
H e sees himself as the saviour of Britannia and his grand plan is to sacrifice people until the shrine is restored. I could easily provoke him into a fight but I back off for now. He tells me I’m actually in Cove now which is a bit confusing. It turns out that Minoc is just a gypsy camp next door to Cove.
Raxos has my long sought after reagent seller locked up in the jail. He talks to me through the window and tells me how he came here to help his brother and has been locked up without cause. Raxos has the key though so I can’t get him out for now.
When I get to the real Minoc gypsy camp Blackthorn is here and making a speech.
He wants the blue lens and when he can’t get it takes out half the spectators with fireballs to try to persuade the gypsies to help.
I wade in and try to stop him. Before he goes he pronounces a curse on the village that anyone who helps me will be consumed in flames. This sounds like an empty threat at the time.
The gypsy leader isn’t going to help me anyway. He does have the lens but he quotes straight out of the godfather about me showing him respect then asks me to fetch him a blackrock crystal ball out of Covetous. This crystal ball has been stolen by a liche.
Julia has been here before me and appears to have been camping out in a cave behind the waterfall.
Her journal is in here and in the course of the 3 days shows her own sacrifice declining as the column takes effect. A doll she stole from a child is in here and I pick it up.
No two dungeons are ever the same and Covetous is a mine for blackrock. The entrance is quite near to Minoc and I don’t have a huge trek over the mountains this time.
Magic doesn’t appear to work in this dungeon – presumably something to do with all the blackrock. This isn’t going to make life easier but there are healing pools down here which I’ll need to make liberal use of.
Yet again, the dungeon looks great. There are tracks for mining carts everywhere and the rock looks as though it has been cut out.
I remember this dungeon better than some of the earlier ones for some reason which is just as well. I know I’m supposed to take this cog with me for example but that really wasn’t obvious at the time. I mean its twice as big as I am and really shouldn’t slip into my backpack.
I find the machine where I need to use the cog. I need to shut off the water before attaching the cog, then starting the water up again. This will fix a lift I’ll be using to travel down into the mine.
The lift is guarded by a sword wraith. He tells me he can only be defeated by the avatar wielding a ghost-killing sword called Gringolet. He gives me a vague hint about searching the SW of the island for this sword.
This is another bit I remember from before which is just as well as finding this sword is impossible. The river around Minoc runs through a cave for a while and the sword is in here. I know this for certain and I still spend about half an hour trying to find the thing. I’m expecting it to be underwater but its on this ledge and barely visible.
I take out my sword hunting frustrations on Raxos and get the key to the jail from his corpse.
Nico assures me that my actions were justified but he would say that since I just let him out of the jail. He also gives me a moonstone and a new spell which I’ll be able to use to quickly travel between shrines. This could be useful as walking around the world can take a long time.
There is a haunted house in Cove/Minoc with a young ghost who wants her doll. I’ve already picked this up and hand it over for a karma boost.
I also find a gypsy caravan. Morgana is in here and much more helpful than the rest of the gypsies have been. She tells me that the Isle of the Avatar has sunk into the ocean.
She also gives me the mantra for the shrine.
She pays a heavy price for this and it turns out Blackthorn wasn’t kidding about that curse.
It’s back to Covetous now with my new sword. I make light work of the skeleton and get a key from his body.
This key allows me to open up a giant trapdoor under the lift and descent to level 2. There will be 4 levels and each time I’ll have to open a further trap door before I can descend.
The mine theme continues throughout these levels. Here I have to push this cart so that it breaks through the wooden barrier at the end of the tunnel.
There is a upper-class talking skull down here who wants me to take him to his grave. Its an unusual request but I can’t see why not so I pick him up.
I also find a piece of blackrock. I remember that somewhere in the game I get the chance to have blackrock armour or a sword made so I’ll be picking up any of this that I see on my way around. The key to the next level is around here also and I backtrack and use the lift to go to level 3.
I discover a highly useful helm of radiance down here by jumping over some rocks while looking for an exit. This is a lot better than my light spell.
I find some powder kegs next. I just have to click on these to explode the rocks they are next to creating a new passage.
Skully’s grave is in here and I drop him off to be rewarded by the key to the next level.
Level four is mostly flooded.
Finding the column is a simple task, I just have to follow the tracks. Swimming the whole way takes a while and I have to watch my air supply though.
Julia is here and reveals that she fell in love with me during our previous adventures. I manage to talk her into not attacking me for now and head off to find the glyph.
I have to dive into a pool of water behind the column and swim up to get the glyph.
There is still the matter of the liche and the blackrock crystal ball. In order to get to the liche I have to sacrifice Gringolet on the way in. I’m not that impressed with the sword anyway so its no big deal. I’m sure there was a way of getting around this using powder kegs to blow up a grate on an earlier level.
The liche is looking ominous right from the start. I’m a bit short on health and end up having to backtrack to the last healing pool before I take him on.
He summons zombies as well as casting lightning and turning invisible. For all this, he isn’t as tough as I might have expected and he goes down in a storm of lightning.
A new door opens up, and I get the crystal ball, I’ve been looking for.
There is a shortcut to the exit from here. I can drag a powder keg onto this grate, then blow it up and swim straight out of the dungeon.
I take the crystal ball back and we bargain about what my reward should be. I expect Rom Baro to just hand over the lens and sigil despite the fact that it will mean his death. I get him to look into the crystal ball to see what will happen to the gypsies if he doesn’t help me.
I think my game has crashed for a moment but this triggers a rerun of the cutscene I saw earlier in LB’s mirror.
He agonises about the decision for a minute.
But decides to hand over the key to his wagon.
In here I get both the codex lens and the tear of sacrifice.
I cleanse the shrine. Both my strength and dexterity and maxed out now so I have to increase my intelligence this time around.
There doesn’t appear to be any new music for Minoc after the shrine is cleansed. Julia is here now and apologises for her earlier behaviour.
There doesn’t seem to be anything else to do here so I go back to Raven. She thinks I’m ready to sail the ship myself but wants to go back to Bucaneers Den first to get some charts.
Something takes over our ship on the way though and we end up landing at a mysterious island.
This doesn’t look good…..
And the view doesn’t get any better when I step through the giant doors.
This is clearly the guardians home in Terfin. I’m allowed to walk straight through it into his chamber.
The guardian is here waiting for me and has Samhayne held.
Samhayne just has time to tell me that Raven was his daughter before the guardian finishes him off with a giant fireball.
The guardian sends off Blackthorn in order to have a private conversation.
He gives me chance to take a swipe at him but any damage I do just hurts me.
As if not being able to hurt him wasn’t bad enough, he then takes out Skara Brae and I get to see it through his magic mirror.
He then teleports me straight back outside.
I give Raven the news and she manages to talk me into carrying on the quest. Next stop Bucanneers Den again.
Minoc/Cove has been the weakest of the towns so far and definitely felt a bit rushed and thrown together. The dungeon itself was great though and the most challenging so far. The little detour to Terfin was a nice touch at this stage and gives me something to think about and another reason (if I needed it) to beat the guardian. As soon as I get control of the ship I’ll be looking to head to Trinsic. I’m guessing that this would be the place to get some blackrock weaponry made (although Jhelom must be a possibility also).