Enclave of the Fairy Host
The Enclave of the Fairy Host is a dungeon that Kickstarter backers explore by completing achievements. Progressing through rooms can unlock additional backer rewards and progresses the story further. Along the way, there may be interactive decisions that will modify where the party goes.
Outside the Dungeon: Lioslaith leads you into a clearing and points her spear at the burial mound in its center. The barrow's towering stone arch stands open, revealing a dark corridor. The door that sealed it lies shattered before it.
"These mounds were old when the Fichti were new," she says. "My ancestors blocked that door ten generations past. It was broken open two days ago."
A cold wind pierces your armor as you enter the barrow. The first room is empty but for cobwebs and mould, but footprints in the dust lead further in.
"Your enemies have got here before you, perhaps," said Lioslaith.
The remains of a campfire blacken the floor in the center of this room. Chicken bones have been tossed in a corner, and crude Einarr runes have been scratched on the north wall. Galli, your dwarf head-knocker, translates them.
"Olf, we could wait no more. We've gone ahead."
There is nothing in the third chamber but a long smear of blood that ends at closed door. Behind the door you hear guttural muttering.
Lioslaith readies her spear. "Prepare yourselves, friends."
As you enter, a pair of trolls look up from dining on a corpse in Einarr armor. Your bard, Fiona, winces at the sight. "Looks like Olf should have stayed with the group."
The trolls stand, roaring, and toss aside tattooed arms and legs, then take up their clubs and charge you. A treasure chest glints in the darkness behind them.
With axe and sword and fire, you finally defeat the trolls, but cannot find the key to the chest. Then Shanko, your Trow thief, pipes up. "The daft bastards probably ate it!"
It's not the most pleasant task, but you gut the trolls and find the key in their intestines, still clenched in the fingers of a severed hand.
Shanko snatches it from you and opens the chest. "Loot!"
But as you survey your glittering prize, a faint melody reaches your ears. It sounds like someone singing in the depths of the barrow.
[Unlocked] - This room unlocks a physical code wheel to *all* physical tiers, including $65. Digital tiers will receive a digital representation of this code wheel.
It takes an hour and many blows from Galli's warhammer to break down the door to this room. It was barricaded from behind, perhaps against the trolls? A few Einarr helms and burnt out torches litter the floor.
You find a rolled up parchment near the door to the next room. Drawn upon it is what looks like a star field with lines between the stars. Your mage, Anders the Old, says they are elven constellations.
One of those constellations is carved into the door to the next room.
The floor of this room continues the star theme. It is patterned with the remaining constellations. It is also patterned with dead Einarr, all seemingly impaled by hidden traps in the floor.
By trial and error and constant checking with the parchment star map, you evade the traps and make it to the far side.
The singing comes again as you dodge the last line of stakes. Lioslaith hears it this time. She shudders. "Fairy song. Hear it three times and you are never seen again."
This room is bare and cold - so cold your breath comes out in freezing clouds. Frost starts to rime Galli's beard and moustache.
"Why is it so cold?" asks Shanko.
"Ghosts," said Siolaith. "It chills the bones to pass through their forms."
"Then there must be scores of them," says Fiona. "I'm chilled to the bloody marrow!" She cuts off as a strange clattering sound comes from the next room.
This room is knee deep in rusted weapons and human bones, and wading though them is a man in Einarr armor, picking up skulls and jeweled finger bones, then casting them aside. "Which of you is Mangar?" he mutters. "Which of you knows..." Suddenly he cries out and digs deep into the bones, then holds high a silver crown. "Is this the Crown of Mangar? Have I–"
He spots you and gasps, then drops the crown and bolts for the far door. "Hugin! Graef! They found us!"
Impossibly, the crown does not fall when the Einarr lets it go. It hangs in the air and an ethereal form coalesces beneath it, while all around it the bones begin to rattle and rise.
Before you can react, the room is full of skeletons, all hefting ancient swords and spears. Behind them, the wraith hisses and points at you, and they all clatter forward.
It is a desperate battle, but eventually, choking on bone dust and bleeding from rust flecked cuts, you defeat the army of the dead while Anders vanquishes the wraith with a spell of banishment.
There is no treasure chest in this room, but the wraith's silver crown and the rings on the fingers of the skeletons are ample reward.
[Unlocked] - This room unlocks a physical old-school premium graph paper to physical box tiers at $95 or above. Digital tiers will receive a digital version of the graph paper
There is nothing in this room but a door on the far wall, and a hole in the floor the size of a gold coin. Thinking the hole might be the catch for a secret door, Shanko probes it with his dagger. There's a click and greenish liquid starts to well from the hole.
"Oops." Shanko pulls his dagger out. The blade dissolves before his eyes. "Uh-oh."
You flee to the door. There appears no way to move it.
"Open it, Trow!" growls Galli. "You started this. Now get us out of it."
As Shanko starts poking and prodding the door, looking for a lever, the rest of you look uneasily at the ever spreading pool of acid.
Just as the acid is lapping at your boot heels, Shanko touches five points on the door one after the other and it slides open. You stumble into the next room and it slams closed behind you. You are in a treasure room beyond the dreams of avarice. Chests full of gold, gems, cups of crystal, and swords with jeweled pommels glitter in every corner of the room.
"Oooh!" says Shanko.
"Stop!" shouts Anders. "All is illusion! Look beyond it."
His words make you look again, and you see through the shimmer to discover that where the chests stand, there is actually no floor. You look down into the traps. They go down forever.
"Don't suppose we're lucky enough that the Einarr fell down those holes," says Fiona.
Lioslaith points to foot prints on the floor the go through the far door. "They are still ahead of us."
This room is half the height of the others, and has an iron grate for a floor. You hurry across it, afraid that at any moment you will be crushed between them.
That fear becomes panic as the ceiling begins to creak.
Panic drives you into this room in a blind rush, which is unfortunate, because you find yourself facing ninety-nine Einarr berserkers. Well, okay, only nine, but that's plenty. They're all well over six feet tall and frothing with rage.
Behind them, the Einarr you saw in the room of bones stands on a wheeled cart loaded with looted treasure. "Get them, brothers!" he shouts. "I'll guard the spoils!"
You turn to run back into the previous room and find that its ceiling is now waist high and dropping rapidly.
"We shouldn't be running anyway," says Shanko. "Running's for elves. Attack!" And with that he charges straight at the berserkers as they thunder forward.
"Scatter!" cries Anders, and casts a spell of darkness and a spell of cat's eyes in quick succession. You dodge the berserkers as they blunder blindly past you, then attack them from behind, your enchanted eyes easily piercing the sudden night. It's totally unfair.
In moments, the treasure is yours. But where did the cowardly Einarr go?
[Unlocked] - This room unlocks the Red Boots DLC, free for all backers $20 or above.
You pile the treasure you already won onto the cart, and push it into the next room, which is blissfully empty of berserkers. The cart barely moves.
"It's too heavy," says Anders. "We'll have to come back for it."
"Never!" cries Shanko. "I'll die before I leave the loot behind!"
"That's a distinct possibility," says Fiona.
"You want to bring it along," says Galli. "You push it."
The rest of you cross to door in the far wall as Shanko struggles to move the cart. He gives up and rejoins you just as you figure out how to open it. "Fine," he says, "But if all our loot is gone when we get back, I'm blaming you."
As the door slides aside, you hear the singing again, far in the distance.
"Twice," says Lioslaith. "Once more and we are doomed."'
You don't tell her you've already heard it three times.
Stepping into the room you see another party of adventurers stepping into it from the far side, and you go on guard. So do they. They're a rough looking bunch - a shady looking trow, a gaunt mage, a dwarf with an oft-broken nose, a female bard in ragged armor, and a Fichti spear daughter.
"It's a mirror!" laughs Fiona.
"Aye," says Galli. "But how do we get through it."
"Easy!" says Shanko, and hurls a dagger at it.
The dagger bounces off, and the mirror remains unscratched. Everybody else gives it a try too. Not one of you can damage it in the slightest.
"Wait a minute," says Fiona. "This reminds me of an old song." She sings it. "'If you see yourself acomin', ago the other way.'"
"But we've been that way," says Shanko.
"Humor me," says Fiona, and leads you back to the door you just came through. There are runes on it, but they’re reversed.
"You may be on to something," say Anders. "These runes are a translation of the line you just sang."
On a hunch, Fiona sings the next line of the song, "For if you let you touch you, you'll not live another day."
The door swings open.
The room is dark and empty, but Fiona’s singing bounces back from the walls in an echo that doesn't fade away.
'If you see yourself acomin', ago the other way. For if you let you touch you, you'll not live another day.'
Over and over and over and over.
You hurry to the far door.
In the center of this room sits a stone sarcophagus surrounded by large funerary urns. Shanko rubs his hands with glee at the sight. "Smash 'em! Smash 'em! There's always loot in urns!"
He runs to the closest and cracks it with the pommel of his dagger. It shatters, but does not spill earth, bones and treasure. Instead an urn-sized chitinous form unfolds and rises to its eight legs.
"Giant spider!" shouts Fiona. "Kill it!"
You move to surround the spider, but strange scraping sounds distract you. The tops of all the other urns are rising up and falling aside, and saber-like spider legs are sprouting from the tops. The spiders rock forward and stand, their abdomens wearing the urns like armor. Venom drips from their fangs.
Anders snarls at Shanko. "From now on, no more smashing urns!"
Galli wades in to the spiders with his warhammer, smashing urns and shattering chitin, as Shanko and Lioslaith follow, guarding his sides and parrying slashing spider legs.
Fiona spurs them on with a ancient walking song while Anders casts a spell of entropy to make the spiders shells brittle and stiff.
Even with this help it's tough fight, and the party is sick with poison and weak from blood loss by the time the last spider falls.
Anders is on the floor, clutching a belly wound. "I... I'm not going to make it."
Fiona clutches her throat. "I don't think any of us is going to make it."
"Let's see what we died for," says Galli, and with a tremendous push, shoves the stone cover from the sarcophagus.
The ghostly form of an elven woman rises above the stone coffin. She looks around at you all. "Your death nears, interlopers, but it is not inevitable. Agree to repent your larceny and rid these halls of the vile Einarr who desecrate them, and you shall be saved. Refuse and this room will be your grave.
"Yes!" cries Anders from the floor. "Save us and we'll save you!"
"Hang on," says Fiona. "Let's talk terms first. Just how much repenting–"
But the ghostly elf is already spreading her hands. "Then live again, but know that your lives are forfeit if you break this compact."
A glow like sunlight and first love spreads through the room and your wounds heal as if they were never there. The fire of the spiders' venom fades from your veins.
"Further in, friends," echoes the elf woman's voice. "Further in."
[Unlocked] - This room unlocks 2 Julie Fowlis songs: the song from the in-engine video, and "Smeòrach Chlann Dòmhnaill (The Mavis of Clan Donald)" from her latest album, Gach Sgeul for all backers $20 or above.
You enter the next room arguing so fiercely you hardly notice your surroundings.
"I was dying!" says Anders. "Of course I took her offer."
"We were all dying," counters Fiona. "We still could have made a better deal."
"What's done is done," say Galli, then turns a hard eye on Shanko. "Just don't steal anything!"
"Okay, okay!" snaps the trow. "I don't know why you're looking at me. We're all thieves here."
With the argument over - for now - you finally take in the crumbling elven mosaics that cover the walls of this room in dusty green and gold hunting scenes. Elves on red stags charge through a forest with white-eyed hounds baying before them. It is slightly disconcerting to see that their quarry is... a man.
Voices reach you from deeper within the catacombs. It isn't the mournful female singing this time. It sounds like chanting.
The elven mosaics in this room depict a feast in an underground banquet hall with tree roots for pillars and witch-lights for lanterns. Elves in beautiful clothes eat and drink and listen to an elven bard. All the servants are humans. An elf maiden has a man for a pet. He curls on a pillow at her feet.
The chanting is louder here. You can distinguish the words now. You recognize them as ancient Einarr.
The party cannot as yet see so far in the darkness...
The party cannot as yet see so far in the darkness...
Unlock the all-new Exclusive Brian Fargo Bard Skin.
- Enclave of the Fairy Host on Tumblr