HELLBOUND , History, Guide and Discription Part 3 (cont.)
To aid them in their quest, Matras will provide his assitants with six pieces of Rough Ore, namely Rough Ore of Fire, of Water, of Earth, of Wind, of Darkness and of Divinity, which can be applied to equipment like regular Attribute stones. If someone is lucky, those ores will increase an existing Attribute of their weapon by 5 and an Attribute of their armour by 3, but, as with regular Attribute stones, there is a chance to fail. Experienced adventurers say that there might be a greater probability of success if one applies the Rough Ore only after entering the Steel Citadel. This may or may not be true. In any case, Matras is, apart from the blueprints, also intereted in the Red Stones the monsters in the Base Tower are carrying. The Base Tower is a two-storey labyrinth infested with Body Destroyers, Soul Dominators, Labyrinth Watchmen, Labyrinth Mystics, Labyrinth Captains, Labyrinth Seers, Passageway Captains, Passageway Guards and Passageway Mystics. Any of them might carry those Red Stones. Once somebody has collected 744 Stones, he or she can bring them back to Matras and receive a nice reward.
As mentioned above, the Steel Citadel is a complex structure consisting of three towers and Tully's Workshop. First of all, the resistance fighters must force their way through the labyrinth of the Base Tower. This labyrinth can be entered through two doors, the Door of Destruction and the Door of Darkness, on the left and the right side of the entrance hall. The monsters in the entrance hall will upon their death occasionally drop keys for those doors. The labyrinth itself, with shoulder-high walls, is at first a bit confusing, but if one keeps going in a general northerly direction, one will sooner or later arrive at a long, upward-sloping corridor - the exit of the labyrinth. Some people may be in doubt whether they should enter the labyrinth through the Door of Destruction or the Door of Darkness. If one enters through the Door of Destruction, the way is relatively short, while the way from the Door of Darkness through the labyrinth is a bit longer. Strange as it may sound, but adventurers intending to progress through the Steel Citadel might want to take the long way. First, because this gives them more opportunities to collect the Red Stones for Matras, but mainly because the monsters roaming the labyrinth will on occasion drop a key to the Door of Blood that will be needed later on.
The long passageway is also infested with monsters, but there is no more danger of getting lost. It is a simple matter of storming straight upslope and killing anything that dares stepping in the way. A great, vaulted hall, dimly illuminated by little lamps giving off a greenish, phosphorescent glow marks the half-way point. Then, after another length of corridor, there will suddenly be a suspicious-looking Human mystic who calls himself Sailiang. He claims to have waited in this spot for a long time (how could he have survived among all those monsters?), only to tell adventurers that they must disguise themselves as demons if they want to survive the following trials. This disguise is achieved by showering onself with the warm blood of monsters. The Captains, Guards and Mystics living in the passageway the resistance fighters have just come through will sometimes drop whole bottles of blood. After a few seconds the blood will evaporate, therefore everybody has to be quick to pick the bottles up. Once they have stored them in their packs, the blood will keep. Then, when every member of the group has a sufficent supply, they just have to pour the blood over their heads and Sailiang will teleport them into a mysterious room with a tightly closed door at the end. Unfortunately this door is guarded by a "Cosmic Scout", a monster which is very skilled in using paralysing magic.
Only after this guardian is killed - which is very hard - the Tower of Infinitum can be entered, where the Demon Prince and, on the third floor, Ranku reside. It is those two who carry the blueprints of the Steel Citadel the architect Matras is so much interested in. First the Demon Prince has to be defeated. Although in the Underworld he is a noble in his own right, here in the Steel Citadel he is taking orders from Darion, who has made him responsible for all defence measures in the Tower of Infinitum. The Demon Prince is able to plant a Dark Seed in the body of attackers which will gradually eat up their life force and, once it is fully grown, paralyse them. If attackers should escape his Dark Seeds or his scythe-like wings and push him too hard, the Demon Prince can use a spell that will greatly increase his resistance against physical and magical damage. While this Ultimate Defence is in effect, he will not be able to move, but for such cases he has his fiendish minions who can in turn Root attackers, then curse them so that they will easily surrender to their master's next Dark attack, or, as if that would not be enough, pummel them with close-distance physical attacks. But if adventurers should succeed in overcoming the Demon Prince, they will not only be rewarded with a blueprint of the Steel Citadel and other valuables he is carrying on him (like for example pieces to fashion an Arcana Mace), but also with a so-called "Transform Sealbook" that will it make possible for them to assume the outer shape of the Demon Prince for half an hour, while also being able to use his amazing combat skills.
When the Demon Prince has fallen, a magical crystal will appear, which teleports the adventurers up on the third floor of the Tower of Infinitum, where Ranku and his Eidolon minions are living. While the central column below was surrounded by greenish circles of light, the glow here is yellow. Ranku
has signed a contract with Beleth at the same time as Darion, in which they both were hired to help the "Devil" during the planned invasion and conquest of the mainland. But since that might still take some time, Ranku serves at the moment as security officer, with orders to prevent any intruders from penetrating deeper into the Steel Citadel. Ranku is a formidable fighter: with his heavy sword he can stun any attacker, only to destroy them immediately afterwards with a Dark Explosion, while his minions will use an evil spell to raise the attackers' magical energy consumption and then finish them off in close-hand melee fighting.
The next challenge is Tully's Workshop, where not only the crazy Dwarf himself and his Banshee minions are living, but also a large number of his Devotees and Apostles. Tully may not be the greatest fighter, but he and his minions are quite skillful in slowing attackers down, even stunning them into immobility, so that they can finish them off at their leisure. Quite a different kettle of fish is general Darion, who has set up his command post in Tully's Workshop and is personally trying to make a last stand against the rebels. Darion and his officers must be defeated, only then will it be possible to proceed to the Tower of Naia and take on Beleth himself. But everybody should keep in mind that here, deep in the lair of the "Devil", the magic is very strong. They must conquer each room, which is guarded by an Epidos, within a certain time limit, otherwise all their efforts will have been in vain. Originally there had been a large number of elemental spirits on the island, which Beleth, who tolerated no force beside him, had imprisoned soon after his arrival in the basement of the Tower of Naia. In the course of time, these spirits were ever more affected by Beleth's magic permeating the building, until they coalesced und were transformed into four humanoid warriors - the Epidos. They have an unstable shape and mind, but they are still slightly conscious of their previous nature as elemental spirits. Each of the Epidos sees itself as a representation of an element: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. They can be discerned by their slightly different colour and they also use different elemental magic: Surrender to Fire, Surrender to Water etc. Everybody be warned: the Epidos are incredibly strong adversaries.
It is only after all four Epidos have been killed that a teleportation crystal will appear, by means of which the whole group can reach Beleth's throne room. Beleth has had a lot of time to further refine the mirror magic he had already used at the Battle of the Wastelands to kill Summoner Sejarr. Now he is able to create 16 images of himself, not just optical illusions but physical copies which can surround and autonomously attack anybody daring to disturb him. Apart from that, he has of course mastered the control of fire. He and all of his copies can incinerate whole groups of attackers with fearsome balls of flame, even if they are spread out over a wide area. But Beleth is wearing valuable jewelry with magical properties, so it might well be worth it to take him on - apart from the moral obligation everybody has to remove this "Devil" from the face of the earth. The reason why i made 3 posts for it, its due to the fact theres a limit of 20k characters per post.