D&D General Demetrios1453 Plays the Gold Box Games

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Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 1): Introduction.

Welcome back! After a bit more prolonged of a delay than expected (I was just too busy having fun on my vacation to actually play and post is much of the reason it's been so long), we're back, and starting up the second game in the Pools series: Curse of the Azure Bonds.

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Shown here, and on the cover art, are Alias and Dragonbait, two of the main characters of the novel Azure Bonds, which was released as a sister product to this game. As a result, unlike Pool of Radiance, there will be a lot of novel tie-ins (including Alias and Dragonbait themselves) and Easter eggs appearing in the game. Dragonbait has since appeared in 5e, in Tomb of Annihilation, but Alias has not, even though
she's a construct
and is likely effectively immortal.

(Amusingly, we just had a conversation about Alias' completely ridiculous armor - you can't see it here, due to the name and logo blocking it, but she has a huge cleavage-revealing window in the middle of her chainmail totally in line with '80s cheesecake fantasy art - in one of the 2024 rule book discussion threads).

Well, we have the game loaded up, time to get our characters and... whoops, we forgot to follow the correct procedure so we can move everyone over. And to that, well, time to fire up the final save of PoR...

To do this, we head up to the training hall, which we had completely ignored for the entirety of the game.

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We choose "Remove Character From Party", which will remove them from the screen but store them in the game's file. We do not choose "Drop Character", which will wipe them completely.

That done, we return to CotAB.

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We choose "Add Character To Party", and then choose that we want to import them from PoR...

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Everyone appears who I created in PoR, including extra and example characters. We choose our faithful six, and, with that, they are moved to CotAB!

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Although certainly not in the condition they were in when they left PoR! They still have their hit points, but all of their items are now gone. This will be explained in game, although any DM who did what the game does would have a player rebellion on their hands! Conversely, PoR hands out ridiculously powerful items for the party's level by the end of the game, so in the name of balance and not making this game a walk-over, a lot if it did admittedly need to go.

Beyond that, we've lost any stat adjustments made, either legally or illegally. The big one is that Baroness Bella loses her point of CON from reading the manual, which is completely unfair. Beyond that, all the other adjustments I made to counteract unbalanced 1e rules are also gone.

But before any of that, we have to fix Baroness Bella and Brother Baltor's classes. If you remember, PoR didn't have paladins or rangers, so we had to do a fix from the makers of GBC to allow them to have those classes in that game. CotAB (and all the remaining games) do have those classes, so in order for my characters to work correctly, I need to do a second fix here or they won't have their correct powers. Note in the following screenshot that they are missing them (and that I have a lot of characters in need of leveling up!)

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So I use the same fix from GBC I used at the start of the first game:

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(I failed to get a screenshot the first time, so this shows they already have the powers when I did it to get the screenshot. The last three characters are pre-generated characters for CotAB)

Now that that's done, I'll get everyone back to their old stats. To do that, I'll use the editor tool you can get from the GBC website (more details back in the early PoR posts).

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(Note the "Editor" button, which does not exist in the vanilla GBC in the Steam versions of the games)

Let's get Baroness Bella's correct CON back:

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And back to 19 it is!

I did this for any of the characters that reverted back to their original stats from the start of PoR. I did, however, miss a stat for a character, which I'll get back to at the time I noticed (and then re-edited) it!

Now that everyone has been (mostly) edited correctly, here's Bant's character sheet for this game as an example. Note that there is no longer a character portrait in the upper right.

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As I said before, there's a lot of leveling up to do! CotAB's level limits are notably higher than in PoR, with most classes being able to reach level 11 or 12 (clerics are stuck at 10 for some reason), so now that the previous limits have been lifted, there are a lot of characters itching to become more powerful!

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I choose ice storm for Bragir's first level 4 spell.

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And fire shield for the second. Brin will choose them as well.

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And with that, everyone is ready to go! Let's take a quick look at the party as they start the new game:

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We'll start with the beginning of the game itself in the next post!

Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 2): Tilverton (Part 1)

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The eponymous "azure bonds". And yeah, the game pulled off the well-worn "You wake up mysteriously in a room with all of your gear gone" twist. As I said in the last post, this is probably not a good idea to attempt in a real-life game, not unless you want a player rebellion on your hands.

Journal Entry 1 (which is separate from the other entries in the journal book at its start and is obviously meant to be read immediately at the start of the game) covers a bit of the backstory and has an illustration of the strange sigils:

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(Nacacia is actually her second name - she's better known by her first name, Alusair, in most FR products)

Well, as the journal entry says, at least we can memorize spells. All of my spellcasters are significantly more powerful now, so they have quite a long list of spells they can memorize, and more slots to cast them with!

Here are Brother Baltor's new 4th level spells available for him to memorize:

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And which spells he'll actually memorize.

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Bragir's list of memorized spells:

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And Brin's:

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Time to rest up. This many spells take quite a bit of time to memorize! (But just wait until the rest lengths towards the end of Pools of Darkness!)

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And adjust the speed. This game goes significantly faster than PoR!

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And, having done everything we can, we leave the room we found ourselves in.

Immediately upon exiting, we meet a pleasant woman with much to tell us:

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Definitely scowls!

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Well, not much help, but it's hardly her fault. She could have just taken the money and dumped us in an alley, after all. So, there's nothing left to do other than to go to the weapons shop and then see this sage.

Now that I've actually had to attempt to screenshot text, the speed is still too quick!

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And out of the inn we go.

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We head west to the weapons shop.

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Yes we certainly are! Let's see how much money we've been left with after being knocked out and left at an inn.

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Hmm, well that was unexpected! Again, to her credit, the innkeep could have robbed us of that and we would have been none the wiser. Then again, she might have skimmed off the top of that amount for all we know. But even then, it's still a pretty substantial sum and will cover our re-equipping quite nicely.

Again, we're confronted with the full Gygaxian 1e equipment list, dozens of polearm types and all...

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I'll take 8 glaive-guisarmes, 14 fauchard-forks, 27 Lucern hammers, and, just for fun, a military fork.

Nah, let's go to the actual useful stuff.

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Remember from the first game, non-magical plate is a trap, unless you want to be slow as molasses on the battlefield. So its banded mail for everyone who can use it.

(By the way, all the prices are in gold pieces, so that 1800 platinum will go far, even with the 1e 5 gp = 1 pp exchange rate)

Baroness Bella quickly purchases her equipment and equips it:

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(I am getting bows for everyone this time since we can easily afford it)

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That looks quite a bit better!

So how much did that cost us?

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Barely anything at all!

I switch things up a bit for Bant for flavor reasons:

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(There's actually a point in this game where crossbows are very useful, and I'll probably purchase some just before that point for the others, although I don't want to get them now since they'll just be taking up precious equipment slots in the meantime).

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Looking good fully equipped!

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As are Brother Baltor and Buffy. Granted, Buffy can't wear anything beyond leather if she wants to use her thief skills, so she's stuck with it, and its poor AC, for the moment.

My two elf magic-users, since they are multi-classed, can still wear banded mail, and they get a different melee weapons for ease of switching out if they need to.

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And soon they are all equipped nicely as well:

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And with plenty of money to spare!

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With that, we leave the weapons shop.

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We head north from the shop.

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Hmm, maybe the priests here can help with the strange tattoos?

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Let's go visit this high priest

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We tell him the story and show him the tattoos.

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Well, it was worth a try.

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The story here is that Tilverton was, until shortly before the time the game is set in, a free, strategically placed city-state between the kingdom of Cormyr to the west and the small independent towns of Dalelands to the east. But recently Cormyr moved in, put Tilverton under its "protection", and shortly afterwards outright annexed it. As you can tell, a lot of the population of the town aren't particularly happy about it.

(The Dalelands, Tilverton, and Cormyr are all to the southwest of Phlan, but not terribly far. In fact, Phlan will appear on the overland map once we get a point where we can see it).

With not much more to do in the temple, we head out and continue exploring to the north.

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We take a peek in here.

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Meh, nothing exciting. Certainly nothing like our beloved fine composite longbows! Which we won't be seeing again for a long time, sadly.

We head out and continue to explore the town.

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We have GBC for that, thank you very much!

Periodically, we'll overhear things like this from people passing by.

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A bit further south, and we have found our sage!

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I assume the innkeeper told her to expect us? Or she's just that good of a diviner.

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Half of our funds?!?! Well, we do have a lot to spare, and we do need as much info on these tattoos as we can get, so we, begrudgingly, hand it over.

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(She's worried about that last marking because it resembles the personal sigil of Elminster. She shouldn't have been worried - Elminster is unhappy about the attempted plagiarism himself, as we shall see much later).

This sets us up with the basic plot - we need to find the five people/groups whose symbols now grace our arms and find out what exactly their nefarious plots are that involve us and the tattoos.

She has nothing more to tell us, so we head out and continue exploring south back towards the inn.

But I've reached the upload limit, so we'll pick back up as we reach the town's tavern next time.
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Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 3): Tilverton (Part 2) - Tilverton Completed!

As we leave the sage and head south towards the (as yet unvisited) tavern and (previously visited) inn, we overhear yet more rumors from the crowd.

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We'll be meeting some of these fanatics in green robes eventually...

We reach the tavern...

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What an intriguing name! In any case, we enter.

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"Punch barkeep" as a choice immediately is pretty funny. That will start a brawl which would allow party members to gain XP if they were just a few points below gaining a level, since, if you don't have GBC, it's a long time before you'll be able to train again. Fortunately for the barkeep, we have GBC and none of the party are near gaining a level, so his face remains intact today. Instead we choose "Have a drink"

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Choosing Lemonade makes the barkeep unhappy - he'll serve you and then demand you leave. We choose something more exotic - Dragon's Breath.

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After we drink this down, the barkeep speaks up again.

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He's not asking for a tip, but asking if we want to hear some tavern rumors. Rumors in these games aren't particularly useful, being incorrect like half of the time, so we decline.

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We decide to stay and see who this "special customer" is. The game, however, basically forces us out of the tavern as the customer arrives...

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Could this be our mysterious princess?

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Yes indeed we do!

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The symbol of the Fire Knives! Not very subtle, are they? But it seems the mysterious woman, possibly the princess, may have been kidnapped! But there aren't any further clues for us here, so we head back to the inn.

We investigate the other rooms of the inn, but all are nondescript, barring the one immediately next to the one we awoke in.

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I'm sure none of his incoherent rambling holds any meaning for our future. (Narrator: "The man's incoherent rambling did indeed hold a lot of meaning for the party's future.")

Exploration and everything else done, it's time to get the actual plot of the game going! Basically, just head towards the open areas in the northwestern or southwestern portions of the map, and the action starts. Since it's closer, we head to the southwestern corner, just below the weapons shop.

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Yet another overheard tidbit. The Realms had indeed had a Flight of Dragons just a year or two before the time the game is set in.

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Still further rumors, complaining about the occupation.

We move to the southwestern corner of the map, and are met by some Cormyrian guards, who don't seem to happy for us to be there...

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(I do have to commend them for having a person of color in the game - with more to come. In 1989, this was not common at all!)

We move away, and then move right back. Can't miss seeing the royal carriage!

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Now we get a "you have no choice to attack" plot. Tabletop players would probably not be amused.

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If you're confused by the "Oh no! Not again!" comment (and, if you're a Douglas Adams fan, wondering why he's not a bowl of petunias), since this is the first time this has happened in the game, it's because the game assumes you've read the novel Azure Bonds and know who this is and why he's saying that. The person in the carriage is Geogi Wyvernspur, a Cormyrian noble who is notorious for his excellent impersonation of King Azoun's voice. In the novel, this resulted in the exact same situation, where Alias, who had similar bonds on her arm, attacks him after hearing him do the impersonation. Apparently now the King is using him as bait to draw out anyone who might want to attack him!

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Well, the bait definitely worked, and now we're in trouble for it.

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Luckily, even with our now mundane gear, there are only 5 guards, and they don't have much in the way of hit points. And, since once we run a gauntlet of a few attacks there's a place to rest, we can go all out on spells. Granted, as we will see, this will not endear us to either the city of Tilverton or the royal family. But that's in the future - we have angry guards in front of us right now and we have to deal with them however we can. Brother Baltor starts our magical salvo with a tried-and-true method...

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Got all three we were aiming for, meaning this fight will go quickly.

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And done.

Brother Baltor casts detect magic, but they don't have anything exciting at all. Since we already have a good amount of money left even after giving half of it to the sage, and we won't have anywhere to sell things for a long while, we just leave it behind.

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Of course the guards focus on the wrong people. But it's likely that being a distraction was our purpose in this scenario.

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Dudes, they're dragging the person from the carriage away! Look, over there! But, sadly, they are focused on just us, so another battle starts.

With Bragir going early in this battle, time to bring out the artillery...

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The fireball does 22 points of damage (I messed up on getting a screenshot), and only one guard makes his save.

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And he's quickly dispatched.

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With that done, time to make a run for it!

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Hint, hint. They aren't subtle about this at all!

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Do you suppose the game wants us to go to an alley?

We move to the alley between the inn and the tavern, where the mysterious woman was kidnapped by the Fire Knives.

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I mean, it's really sketchy, but at this point, we don't have much of a choice.

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And, with that, we're finished with Tilverton - well, the above-ground portion of it anyway. We won't be allowed back in, so this is the last we'll see of it. Unlike PoR, which gave us a central hub as a base to keep going back to, CotAB will have us moving around a lot more from place to place.

Here's the map of Tilverton:

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Next time, we'll visit the Tilverton Thieves' Guild, and start our trek through Tilverton's sewers!
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Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 4): Tilverton Thieves' Guild (Part 1)

After being led underground, we quickly find ourselves at the center of the Tilverton Thieves' Guild, where we are introduced to the Guildmaster.

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Since there's no reason not to, we take him up on his offer, even though we haven't taken any damage and only used up a couple of spells. Always best to be topped off on available spells!

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Rested up, the Guildmaster speaks to us. I appreciate his respect in letting us get our shut-eye by not making small talk as we rest!

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Aha! So the mysterious lady we saw in the tavern is the missing princess!

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Welp, so much for getting that info!

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Great. We're caught in the middle of a good old-fashioned guild civil war.

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Well, that was poor timing. It would have been nice to have a presumably powerful ally on our side!

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However, several of the regular thieves do join our side. Annoyingly, though, they look exactly the same as the enemy thieves. Thank goodness for GBC, or it would be more difficult to tell them apart (you would need to move the cursor over them to see if they were friendly or not). No allies accidentally getting caught up in fireballs!

Speaking of which, time to start launching spells.

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But before Brin can get off her spell, one of the foes hits her with a dagger shot, which, very annoyingly, causes the spell to be lost.

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Brother Baltor has better luck.

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And now Bragir makes his attempt at getting a fireball off.

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Which goes much better...

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The fellows in red are Fire Knives, a group of assassins (originally based in the city of Westgate to the south, but who have recently been driven from there) who are behind one of the Azure Bonds imprinted on our arms. Apparently the Thieves' Guild didn't like their plans and have broken with them in deciding to help us, and presumably the Fire Knives are none to pleased about this.

After the fireball, the battle goes quickly against the invaders.

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Annoyingly, some of them start to run.

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It's at this point that I find out that I forgot to fully edit one of my characters back at the start, as mentioned a couple of posts ago. I'm trying to get my ranged weapon users into position to be able to fire on the fleeing foes, but why is Brin moving so slowly?

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Oh. That Strength 16 would be a good guess why. I can't fix it during the battle, though.

In any case, the two remaining enemy thieves are caught in a corner and can't flee any further.

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Some of the friendly thieves run up and attack them (usually unsuccessfully), but finally a shot by Brin, who eventually got to a position where she could fire upon the foes, takes the last one down.

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A decent amount of XP. We'll have Brother Baltor detect magic to see if there was anything good in the loot.

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Just normal stuff. As I won't be able to sell anything for awhile, and as I have fairly decent funds, there's no need to go cluttering up my inventory by taking any of this.

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A lot of use you were. And why would you want to be in Yulash? As we'll see soon, it's about as far from a holiday destination as you could imagine (unless you're into urban battlefields, crazy cultists, and/or plants that are sentient, angry, and mobile.) Maybe he's obliquely saying anything is better than being dead?

Anyway, let's hope the info we find on him is of some use.

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OK, a map of the sewers, likely just outside of the Guild if the top is anything to go by. As it seems we'll need to leave here in a hurry, it's probably at least of some use.

(And what's a D&D campaign without a prolonged sojourn in some city's sewers?)

We leave the main room of the Thieves Guild, looking for a way to these sewers, and, hopefully, a way out of this mess.

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This is another Easter egg from the novel - the signature is that of Olive Ruskettle, who proclaimed herself to be a halfling bard. This back when halflings technically couldn't be bards (and this is actually brought up in the novels!), so her stats had her as a rogue. It's a pity that we don't have 3e stats for her (as she would presumably have survived into the 3e era of the Realms, barring some unfortunate fate), as it would have been neat (and vindicating for her), to have her be an actual game-legal halfling bard.

In any case, before I go any further, let's get Brin's stats corrected.

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There! Back to her original 18/00 STR.

We move down the hallway, but before we can even take a couple of steps, we're under attack again!

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Fire Knives, and some decidedly not good bois. Quite a few attack dogs, actually.

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We clear the Fire Knives quickly, and start working on their pets. The dogs actually hit pretty often and hard! I thought about using a fireball, but they start to go down quickly, and only one or two can reach my party at a time.

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And soon the battle is over.

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That's Olive, obviously. But we won't be meeting her quite yet.

We head through the door, but instead of a friendly halfling, we're greeted by a decidely unfriendly Fire Knife, who, Mr Burns-like releases the hounds!

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OK, this time I am going to use a fireball.

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Most of my fireballs are now in the 30-point range, which is so much better than the low 20s I was normally getting in PoR!

That helps clear out the pack, and shortly thereafter, the battle is over.

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I mean, we just fought a bunch of angry dogs here, so this comes as no surprise. Usually, they give you this sort of description before the battle...

We head through the door on left, and then go through another door to the right...

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It's always nice to find the Treasure Room!

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And Lots of XP Room as well!

Brother Baltor casts detect magic, so we can dig out the important stuff!

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Very nice!

(Also note that we don't have anything lower than gold pieces in this game, unlike all the various low-value currency in PoR. This makes inventory management and encumbrance soooo much easier!)

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That's some decent gear!

But, we've reached the image upload limit, so we'll pick up here next time to not only see what those items are, but to complete the Theives' Guild and move on into the Sewers!

Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 5): Tilverton Thieves' Guild (Part 2) - Tilveton Thieves' Guild Completed!

Let's check out this treasure we've found! It's not like the thieves will be needing it, and if any survivors notice that it's gone missing, well, they'll think the Fire Knives took it.

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Baroness Bella takes the longsword and the banded mail, both +1, and happily equips them.

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We'll give the potions to Bant. We received quite a variety of them!

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The dust is good ol' dust of disappearance, which will be put aside for when we need it for a particularly tough fight later. The ioun stone is the DEX one, but since it can only improve a character to 18, we don't have a need for it and will put it aside to be sold later.

Bragir will take a quick look at the scrolls...

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Some nice 4th level spells! Since each of my magic users only have the 4th-level spells they got from leveling up at the start of the game, this will make for some nice additions for them! Completely arbitrarily, we'll give the first one to Bragir and the second to Brin.

Since we were told this would be a safe place to rest, we'll set up camp to heal up, memorize spells, and scribe some spells from the scrolls.

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Ah! But we have a new choice here: "Fix". In PoR, we had to use the GBC version, but from here out, it's now integrated into the game itself. One click, and Brother Baltor will cast his healing spells appropriately. This obviously saves a lot of time compared to casting them one by one...

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And all healed up!

Now to memorize spells...

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And scribe some from the scrolls we just got...

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Honestly not terribly exciting spells, but 4th level is something of a sparse zone when it comes to wide variety of useful spells.

Now that we've picked our spells, time to rest...

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With everyone back up to 100%, we continue our journey to get out of the thieves' guild and into the sewers to try to escape the madness going on down here...

We head out the door, make a couple of right turns, and enter this room.

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Yes, you can get random encounters with Red Knives with some of these escaped monkeys instead of dogs.

But as the monkeys have all made like their bananas and slipped away, we continue southward.

A few rooms beyond, we suddenly have company.

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As they don't seem like Fire Knives, we remain calm to see if they have anything to say.

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Great. The sewers are our only way out. Looks like we'll have to fight a gauntlet of Fire Knives to get out of here.

And, not surprisingly, just as we are about to leave the guild and enter the sewers...

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Far fewer dogs this time, although they will be able to flank Bragir once they start moving forward.

Which they immediately do, so he's forced to change weapons.

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He actually hits them pretty hard with the sword, and between that and the other characters, we've soon whittled them down significantly.

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And soon enough the battle is done.

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Again, they have nothing but regular items on them, so we don't bother to pick up anything.

As we reach the entrance to the sewers (which is a secret door to the left, visible on the map), we can still hear the fighting going on behind us.

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But for now, we are leaving the Thieves' Guild, and the fighting going on there, behind. Onward to the sewers!

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And we'll leave it here, as we've completed everything of note in this zone. We'll start up with our travels through the Tilverton Sewers in the next post!

Map of the Tilverton Thieves' Guild:

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Note that this map and that of Tilverton each take up half of a typical 16 x 16 map. The sewers maps will be similar, except they will be thirds.
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Curse of the Azure Bonds (Part 6): Tilverton Sewers (Part 1)

And into the sewers we go!

There's not much in the first section, just periodic messages about various sounds we're hearing coming from elsewhere:

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After a few twists and turns, we spot something interesting:

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They really should let us attempt to allow someone else to try, just for the damage and the lolz.

Anyway, Buffy climbs up.

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We're obviously just below the tavern in Tilverton, but the game isn't going to let us back up there that easily (or at all, as it turns out in the end). The mysterious woman was indeed abducted, and pulled into the sewers here.

A bit further along, we find yet another bit of info.

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Hmm, it seems one of our foes has some pretty poor opinions of their allies. We know who the "Knives" are, and we've heard people talking about green-robed cultists (presumably of Moander, as the sage in town told us). The wizard and this "T" are a bit more difficult to identify. As a reasoned guess, it seems this note was written by one of the Zhenterim, as they weren't mentioned by the author, and are a group and not individuals like this wizard and "T" are...

We head a bit further down, and peer around a corner.

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A "checkpoint" would seem to indicate only a few foes, so let's investigate further.

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Yeah, that'll be a "no"!

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Only five. This shouldn't be difficult at all. Especially with Brin going first.

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That cleared out two of them who failed their saves, leaving three wounded foes left.

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And soon, they're bleeding out on the floor.

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No exciting treasure as usual, so we continue our way through the sewers. Before we go, the game has us perform a pretty sensible action.

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As we go a bit further, we find yet another clue.

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Looks like one of our mysterious green-robed cultists came to a bad end here. Or just decided to wander through the sewers robe-less.

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"Large" feet are a bit worrisome...

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...as is the fact that these two bodies are wedged in so tightly. I'm beginning to worry that there's more down in these sewers than thieves, assassins, and cultists.

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Hmm, so we weren't the first ones our foes attempted this with.

A bit further along, we finally meet some of those other denizens of the sewer that we've seen periodic hints of...

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Otyughs! Hardly surprising in our current location. Although otyughs aren't particularly big and powerful - so there are probably even worse things down here...

In any case, the otyughs aren't exactly friendly, and battle is joined!

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Nicely grouped up, so time for some fire!

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Not bad! As one was already hit by my melee, only four remain, all with significant damage.

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We take out the survivors pretty quickly...

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But one thing to note - Bant went from 134 HP (one off his max) to 103 HP in just this battle alone! Otyughs have multiple attacks, and they do a fair amount of damage!

Unfortunately there's no treasure hidden in this filth, but it does seem to be secure enough to set up camp

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With no reason not to, we rest, heal up, and rememorize spells...

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Ready to move on, we continue south through the sewers. Immediately after we go through the southern doorway of the otyugh room, we find something interesting.

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Another hint that our mysterious abductee was taken this way.

We continue onward, and travel quite some way before encountering anything of interest. But then we go through another doorway, and...

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(The map is split into thirds, so we've traveled down through the left third, and then popped back up at the top of the middle third of the map immediately after finding that last scrap of cloth).

More otyughs! Only this time they don't immediately attack. In fact, bizarrely, we seem to have stumbled across a group of otyugh artists! So, we decide to parlay.

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Hauling around piles of excrement at the behest of otyughs...

Well, it's not the worst thing we've done. So why not?

We head out and start to look for this other group of otyughs.

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That statement draws a pleasant picture. It's actually surprising we didn't get a giant rat combat here...

A few steps beyond that point, I realize I took the wrong door out of the otyugh lair, and head back to cut back through it to the other door. However, they're pretty single-minded about the "treasure", and won't let us back in until we've acquired it.

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We back out. We'll have to take a bit of a roundabout way to get to the other otyughs...

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I'm sure "Watch the pieces" results in hilarity and a troll battle, so it's burn, baby, burn!

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Soon we've circled back around to our previous path.

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And we make our way back south, past the original door into the artistic otyughs' lair, and into the room where their rivals live...

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This group, obviously, isn't particularly chatty...

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Oh, and they have a neo-oytugh! Those are basically a larger, more powerful version of otyughs that appeared in previous editions. The only semi-canonical version in 5e is in the Infernal Machine Rebuild on D&D Beyond and DM's Guild. In fact, if we had fought instead of talking in the previous otyugh room, we would have had to fight multiple neo-otyughs (a good reason to choose to parlay!)

In any case, it has 72 HP, which is pretty substantial at this point in this game series, so we need to take it down before it can cause too much damage using its multiple attacks! Sounds like fire might help solve this issue...

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Not bad, but it won't fully take down any of them, even if they fail their saves.

So, the solution to that is more fireball!

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That's helping out quite a bit!

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We take them down...

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But as you can see, they've been beating up my melee again!

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I mean, we've committed to it all the way to this point, so might as well finish the job, as gross and disgusting as it may be...

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Nice, but we'll head back to the otyughs in the other room to get our reward first.

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The image of otyughs dancing around in glee, waving their tentacles and splattering filth and excrement everywhere, is both hilarious and disgusting at the same time.

(If you compare this to previous otyugh pictures, you can see how much more animated the monster portraits are in this game compared to PoR. Most notably, the tentacle to the right can be seen in several different positions. In PoR, the animation was limited to just two frames that periodically moved back and forth. The movement isn't anything spectacular, but it's still a significant improvement, and pretty cutting-edge for a game from 1989).

As we've reached the image limit, we'll see what reward we've gotten in the next post, as well as continuing our journey through the sewers...
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Once again, really enjoying the trip down memory lane with these. Curse is one of my favorite Gold Box games, but I always hated how rail-roaded the first section is, especially compared to how open ended its predecessor was.

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