September 05, 2005
Pitch Cave Update from PAG


Cj Parker sent the following report to TMN:

Pitch Cave Update: news from the front

There haven't been many updates about our progress recently, so I thought I'd tell Puddleby how things are on one of the frontiers of our lands.

There are possible spoilers below, please donít read on if youíre likely to mind.

To quickly summarize, we have found the 2nd pathfinders' book in a cave we called Pitch Cave 9 (as it was the 9th cave we found). You can see reports of these areas from in previous postings on TMN. During one trip we managed to get some members of our group to the book to train with it. This training opened up opportunities with the 3rd pathfinders' book. After a few trainings with these books, we managed to find a few new areas we could open with our pathfinding skills. One area was a deeper section to the Pitch Caves; the other a new area that had Slate Arachnoids.

Thus was born the Slate Caves, an area even more difficult than the Pitch Caves. It contained slate noids, even harder to hit than the pitch, and with more darkus to boot! Your worst nightmare, really.

Since we reported on finding the slate caves, there hasnít really been much to report. We have mapped a few new snells, in both the Slate and Pitch caves, but have found nothing of note yet. Most of the mapping has been via suicidal runs, but we have managed to control and explore four of the Slate caves, and 10 of the Pitch Caves. Maps of these areas can be seen here (we hope one day that others will find them useful):

Slate caves 1-4

Pitch Cave 10

The other maps are works in progress and will be released in time.

On a more somber note, we seem to have hit a bit of a brick wall the past six months (OOC) and have spent our time hunting rather than exploring. This has its benefits, but isnít as much fun as exploring. The main reason for this is the loss of some key members: exiles like Sor, Tater, Natas, Thuja and Nightbird have all escaped the lands. Good luck to them, but they are sorely missed.

Also, the sheer difficulty of the areas, the unforgiving terrain (no safe area!) and the intelligence of the adversary (critters who pull you!) are making life on the cave front hard work. On top of that, we have encountered a new challenge: permanent webs on the floor. These webs make it nearly impossible to fight on, as you canít swing because you move so slowly! It doesnít seem to phase the Noids though, who dance across them like they werenít there!

There is some good news. We have filled the gaps in our ranks with other exiles, the gaps in the leadership have been filled, and every week we get a little tougher, heal a little faster, and, fortunately, the bloodbladers (ever the key) hit a little harder. We also learn a little more, map a little more, and hopefully can progress a little more.

So there is little new to tell since we found the slate caves, nothing new area-wise or creature-wise, but we still persevere every week, and hope one day soon we will make a breakthrough. When we do, weíll be sure to tell you about it.

Lastly, we are coming up on our 100th trip within a week or so. I canít believe itís been that long. Thanks to all the current and former members of PAG for sticking with it, plus all the guests weíve had along for the ride (see depart!). Also thanks to many other exiles for all the help we have received, from helping on FMOCR so we could get the much-needed stone, to supplying kudzu, to forging armor, healing our PNDís, etc., etc. We wouldnít be still doing this without the help of the community.

-Cj parker for PAG

Posted by Para at September 05, 2005 08:01 AM
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