- Get another vision from Ria Silmane in your sleep.
- Travel to the Conclave of Baal in Black Marsh and speak to its leader.
- Retrieve a stone tablet from the Vaults of Gemin.
- Give the tablet to the leader in exchange for the exact location of Murkwood.
- Go to Murkwood and recover the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos.
- Repel an attack by Jagar Tharn's minions.
Sleep, yet Again
As usual, go to sleep and Ria Silmane will visit you. This time, she says:
"Tharn is livid, scattering about the Imperial Palace like a rabid dog. You have caused him no end of worry. I am sure the Wizard's minions are tracking you. I will say no more, lest I tempt Fate. You seek now the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos. I have found that this piece lies in a place called Murkwood, the dark forest that ever moves. There can only be one of two provinces left that can hold this forest, Black Marsh or Morrowind. I would start my search in one of these..."
Stormhold, Part 1
Asking around about Murkwood leads you eventually to the Conclave of Baal in Stormhold, Black Marsh. Its leader, Idolan Lancaster, tells you that one of their junior members cast a spell that destroyed the Vaults of Gemin, where there also happened to be a tablet that would reveal the location of Murkwood. When you agree to fetch the tablet, you get the location of the Vaults of Gemin on your map.
Vaults of Gemin
The Vaults of Gemin is a large, two-level dungeon located just southwest of Stormhold. You will find the usual assortment of monsters (hell hounds, homonculi, wraiths, and zombies on the first floor and homonculus, zombies, wraiths, and stone golems on the second floor). Bring lots of potions: heal true, resist fire and resist shock-potions, Levitation potions for second floor (or you'll be assaulted by stone golems). If you're a warrior you might have some use for Invisibility potions (they let you get close to most enemies without being noticed, so they can't damage you from a distance). Unfortunately, this dungeon is also quite empty, with very few treasures and few monsters who give loot.
On the first level, the way down (42,62) is more or less in the center of the dungeon. There are about eighty little rooms, though, and while it's not exactly a maze, the rooms don't have any obvious logic to how they connect. The fastest way down is to head east in the first east-west corridor, then take the first corridor south. Take the second door on the west, take two doors south and one door west, then loop back north around the west wall and go down.
The second level is flooded and contains islands of dryness, with bridges between them and rooms on them. The tablet (52,90) is in a room in the south center behind a riddle door:
- Answer this, and pass
- I come out of the earth,
- I am sold in the market.
- He who buys me cuts off my tail,
- Takes off my suit of silk,
- And weeps beside me when I am dead...
"Onion" or "An Onion" is the right answer to unlock the door, as usual, nothing will happen otherwise and you won't receive a punishment for answering incorrectly. Beware of stone golems on the small islands and various distance fighters. When you take the tablet, a message appears:
- You have found the Tablet Idolan Lancaster sent you to recover. Once it is in his hands, he can direct you toward Murkwood...
Stormhold, Part 2
Return to the Conclave of Baal with the tablet so you can get the location of Murkwood on your map.
"The mists of Murkwood, the Black Forest, swirl about. Inside the dark forest can be heard faint cries of despair, souls who have lost their way within its cunning web. Though the smell of decay flows from every tree and stone, within this forest lies the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos..."
Like the Elden Grove, Murkwood is a hazy place with impenetrable hedgerows. There are some large open spaces, but not as many as in the Grove. This is the quickest dungeon to complete, though the monsters are harder to defeat. As you travel around this area, you will likely constantly receive text on your screen:
- The mists of Murkwood curl up around you, blinding you
- from danger and confusing your sense of direction...
- You can hear what sounds like heavy
- breathing through
- the mists, but the direction from which it came is
- impossible to determine...
- From out of the mists comes the sound of drums...
- The hairs on the back of your neck rise as figures
- materialize out of the mists...
The monsters you can expect to meet on the surface include homonculi and a few wolves, with a fire daemon and medusa near the entrance to the second floor. The biggest problem are the medusa, because they come in couples and often apply the tactics where one beats you and the other paralyzes you. If you're a warrior, you want to try to hit them both. Be sure to bring some Potions of Free Action to cure the paralysis. As is typical of a harder dungeon, there is basically no treasure here.
The way down from the ground level is almost in the exact center of the map. However, it is inside a maze of vegetation that has awful monsters hiding around seemingly every corner. Your best bet to threading the maze is to refer to your map frequently to see if you are near the blue dot that signifies the way down. Also, some of the walls in the center maze are earthen, and it can be of some help to destroy them. Wind your way to the center and go down. The fire daemon is at the southwestern entrance to the maze in the center, and the medusa are in the northern part of the maze. If you want to avoid the medusa, you can use Passwall on the earth walls to access the entrance from the south, but avoiding them is not guaranteed.
You'll be faced with a riddle at the gate:
- To pass this portal, answer my riddle:
- I tie and hold, capture and bind,
- yet both knights and knaves doth crave me.
- I faithfully enslave all within my grasp,
- whether or not they seek me.
- Yet those who have never felt my unmerciful hand,
- are pitied by their fellow Man...
There's a single right answer: "love." A correct answer congratulates you and urges you to enter the second level:
- Thou hast found the answer.
- Proceed into the heart of Murkwood...
An incorrect answer will instead result in some chastisement but nothing more:
- Answer again mortal, for thou wert too hasty...
The second level is the smallest dungeon in terms of exploration area. As you enter, you will be warned:
- You can see what looks to be a piece of the Staff directly ahead. From around you come strange screeching sounds, like iron being twisted and bent, again and again...
The Staff piece is down here behind a riddle door, as always. Answer incorrectly and you'll have to deal with a mess of iron golems trapped in cages that will be opened if you fail to answer correctly, although if you are feeling confident you may want to deliberately get the riddle wrong in order to farm the iron golems for experience points. The riddle is:
- simple riddle for some,
- a trap of eternity for others,
- I run smoother than any rhyme,
- I love to fall but cannot climb.
- I tremble at each breath of air,
- And yet can heaviest burdens bear...
- What is thy answer?
The correct answer is "water" or "the water", in case your answer is right, the golems will remain caged and a message appears:
- Truly thou art worthy of the prize.
- Proceed mortal, and leave in peace...
If your answer is wrong, the Golems will be unleashed and a different message will appear:
- Thou art wrong, mortal. Fight thy opponents.
- If victorious, thou may try again...
Answer correctly to receive the Staff piece (61,80).
- The seventh piece attaches itself to the rest of the Staff, infusing it with a fiery glow that only dims slightly in time...
Jagar Tharn will send you yet another vision and a minion. This time he is so confident that he just outright tells you where the last staff piece is:
"You amaze me with your tenacity. This game however, is at an end. As you may already know, the final piece of the Staff is in Dagoth-Ur, in the province of Morrowind. The information is useless to you, for none know the entrance to the volcano, and even if you survive the creatures I have sent against you now, you will not survive its depths. I bid you farewell, (PC name). You have been a most worthy opponent..."
- The bridges in the Vaults are raised areas, so you can sleep on them without attracting random monsters.
- Sometimes when you return to the Conclave of Baal, the quest giver doesn't recognize that you have the tablet.
- When this happens, exit the temple and save your game. Close and restart Arena. Re-enter the temple and he should then see that you have it.
- Sometimes when asking NPCs in Stormhold about Murkwood, they will mention Cinth instead of the Conclave of Baal. Talking to the priest in the Conclave of Baal will initiate the regular priest menu rather than the quest dialogue.
- When this happens, save the game, close and restart Arena, then load the game. NPCs should now mention the Conclave of Baal, and talking to the priest will work as it should.
|Finishes Quest||Journal Entry|
|0||(Date): According to the markings the Conclave of Baal made on your map, the Vaults of Gemin lie in Black Marsh...|
|1||(Date): According to your continental map, the dark forest of Murkwood lies in Black Marsh...|
|Prev: Crypt of Hearts||Up: Main Quest||Next: Dagoth-Ur|