Return to the surface and speak to Olra, who remembers more about her past. Or rather, she remembers that she used to be ‘bound to the Dragon’ before coming here, where something took control of her, and used her to summon you here. Fun. Stash stuff, rest, and in general make yourself ready to take on the central stratum.
There are a few things worth mentioning first, though-by now you should easily have ten Macabre Sculptures. Just make sure they’re all in your inventory (not your stash) at one time to collect the quest. You should also have “Recollections of another Arisen” #1, which you can check out at the Monument of Remembrance now, if you care to. Last and not least, you found a Moonbeam Gem, which means you can claim one of the treasures from Duskmoon Tower. Obviously, if you haven’t obtained a Level 2 weapon yet, you might want to do that. Dragon’s Glaze is an upgrade for a Ranger, while the Dragon’s Ire is a superior Bow for Strider and Assassins. Otherwise, the Trophy Jacket and Adept’s Robe are both decent, especially considering the Prisoner Gorecyclops in the Midnight Helix can be farmed for Bitterblack Weapons Lv.2. On the other hand, the Ring of Desiccation might look crappy, but it’s really not. At least, if you’re a Strider-class with the ‘Forward Roll’ ability. Rolling around in water (read: dodging) means getting drenched, and getting drenched means no lantern. No lantern, no light, no light during fights in the lower reaches of Bitterblack Isle = tears.
Fortress of Remembrance
Once you’re done messing around, return to the Corridor of Emptiness and head north-west from where Barroch was/is to reach the door leading to the Fortress of Remembrance, first area of the Center Stratum. From the door head west onto a stone platform and look down-note the bridge running east-west below you, then turn south and head down some stairs. A voice murmurs, and some Undead will pester you as the stairs turn north to connect to the bridge. As you descend, Death will show up for his second scripted encounter. This is a rather poor spot to fight Death, as your room to maneuver is limited. If you must engage it, however, do so on the bridge-in all such encounters, horizontal movement is superior to vertical. You know, because Death can fly, and you can’t? Or you could just run away. Either way, once Death is gone (don’t worry if you’re under-performing against Death, without Bitterblack weapon, you’re likely not doing much damage yet, but every little bit helps) continue west across the bridge (ignoring some stairs leading north) to score two rounded chests. Note that on subsequent playthroughs you’ll find a Banshee on this bridge, in addition to the typical Undead, so you might as well cover them. Also note that the scavenger for this level-an Elder Ogre-appears in the cubby west of this bridge.
Monster Info: Banshee
Banshees are… puzzling foes. Puzzling because it’s hard to see why they are even in the game at all. They’re just palette-swaps of the standard female Undead, wearing soiled white clothes instead of mottled brown. As for their attacks, they’ll try to grapple once in a while, or they can flail about awkwardly, but most of all they seem to just fall down a lot. Then, of course, they have their scream, which knocks nearby characters prone, but otherwise does minimal damage.
Now head up the previously-neglected stairs, perhaps scoring some ore veins as you go. The stairs will terminate at a ladder, which you should climb to reach a small room with a square chest inside. From this room head through a doorway to the north and follow a hallway that curves to the west. In this hallway you’ll need to dispatch a pair of Skeleton Brutes and loot a square chest. At the end of the hallway lies another small square room-the rest of the level awaits you through a doorway to the north, but to the south is a door that leads to another level. Let’s take a break from the Fortress of Remembrance to clear out this side-area.
The Pilgrims Gauntlet
Start out by heading down some stairs to the east (as if you have any other options) until you reach a hallway running north. Look around and note that you’re back in a Garden of Ignominy clone again, but with fire! Lurking amongst the flames here is one of two new foes-either a Pyre Saurian, or a Giant Geo Saurian. Kill it and continue north, where two more of its buddies lurk, as well as a pair of rounded chests.
Monster Info: Giant Geo Saurian
Geo Saurians are already pretty strong, but make them enormous and… well, they’ve got quite a bit of health, even if they’re not offensively dynamic.
Monster Info: Pyre Saurian
Unlike their less elementally-inclined kin, Pyre Saurians bear no spears into battle. They do like to leap and bite, however, and these attacks are made all the more fierce due to their fiery disposition. As for new attacks, they have few-the most prominent offense they’ll display is their fire breath. They prefer to keep a bit of distance between themselves and their foes so they can use said breath, and anyone attacking a Pyre Saurian in melee will suffer due to the exposure-melee attackers, be prepared to be immolated. All in all, though, they’re just not that strong. If you pop off their tail, their fires will go out, making them much more vulnerable.
Continue heading north until you reach the statue room-again, two robed dweebs and a lion. Couldn’t change it up a little, Capcom? Whatever, at the entrance to this room (where the hall and room meet) is another rounded chest to the east. West of the statues lurks another rounded chest, while a third sits in its customary spot to the east, by some cut stones, near the stairs leading down to the hall… stairs that experience should tell you will lead to this area’s version of the fountain room. You also have some balcony jumping to do, but you’d be better served by going down into the fountain room first.
Head east from the statue room, down some stairs, then north up a Spider-infested hallway. Go down some stairs and turn west to reach the fountain room, which may have another new foe waiting for us-Corrupted Pawns. These ones are comparatively tame-you’ll find a Magick Archer, a few Strider Types, Mages, and Fighters. Granted, they can still do some pretty nasty damage, but compared to the Rangers and Sorcerers you’ll meet later… well, suffice to say it gets worse. The encounter in this room is fairly variable, you might encounter a pair of Cyclopes and an Ogre instead of Corrupted Pawns, or a trio of Cyclopes and Corrupted Pawns. Kill them-whatever they are-and loot this room-there’s a rounded chest in the south-eastern corner of the chamber, a square chest in the southern-end of the central depression, and a final square chest in the north-western corner of this room, lying against a curved wall. Note that the scavenger beast for this area is a Cursed Dragon, and it will, as usual show up in the fountain room.
Monster Info: Corrupted Pawn
Having lost their Arisen, these Pawns have been corrupted by the forces polluting Bitterblack Isle, and are among the most dangerous foes you will face. Bearing what appears to be Everfall-quality weaponry, high-leveled, and possessing many of the same deadly skills you have access to, Corrupted Pawns are capable of dealing damage far exceeding their stature. Mages can heal their allies, Strider-types will use multi-arrow attacks, and Fighters and Warriors are capable of outright brutal melee damage. Next to multi-shot using Striders, however, Sorcerers are the worst. In the Lower Stratum you’ll encounter Corrupted Pawn Sorcerers capable of casting Seism and Maelstrom, the latter of which is capable of destroying an entire party wearing top-tier Bitterblack Isle gear. Fortunately, Corrupted Pawns are relatively fragile, so be sure to kill them fast.
Now for the rooms that branch off from the fountainless ‘fountain’ room. In the south-western corner you’ll find a small dead-end hallway running west, terminating at a lootable pair of corpses guarded by some butthole Spiders. Also in the south-western corner of this chamber is a tunnel running south. Follow it a short ways, go down some stairs and turn east to find a Void Key lying near a corpse. There’s also an ore vein nearby, for what that’s worth. Leave this watery tunnel and explore to the north, where you’ll find a small chamber of scant interest save an ornate chest to the east, near some burning stakes.
Continue north through this room and head down some stairs. When they end, turn west and go down some more stairs (stopping only to loot a rounded chest). At the bottom of these stairs you’ll find another “Recollection of another Arisen” tablet. From this tablet turn north to see a doorway behind some burning stakes. Head inside, climb some cuts stones, and when you reach a landing continue climbing to the north to find a Macabre Sculpture (#15) sitting on a titled slab of collapsed stonework. Drop back down to the south to reach the platform, but before you drop down through the hole you climbed up, continue south past it to find a rounded chest.
Finally, to finish up this level, it’s time to pay attention to the balconies you skipped. Return to the statue room and head up onto the balcony by going through the doorway in the north-eastern corner of the statue room. You know the drill-grab the rounded chest at the end of this balcony, then run, jump, Levitate/Double Vault onto the northern balcony, search it for another rounded chest, then jump onto a balcony to the south-west and head down a small dead-end tunnel to the north-west to score a second Macabre Sculpture (#16) . Jump from this semi-circular balcony to a larger, rectangular balcony to the south-west and search it for this level’s final prize-an ornate chest.
Fortress of Remembrance, Continued
Return to the Fortress of Remembrance and head through the doorway to the north. ’Lo and behold-another bridge. The air here is polluted by a handful of Succubi, so be wary as you cross the bridge to the north. Once you reach the tower north of the bridge search the stone enclosure to find two ornate chests and another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ tablet.
There’s a rather annoying Macabre Sculpture that can be obtained here, but in order to get it you’ll have to commandeer a Succubus and get her to fly you up to the first ledge of the tower. By commandeer, that means jump at stupidly and try to grab one until you get ahold of it. Once done, you can ‘steer’ it up and to the ledge of the tower. Once above the ledge, just hit ‘jump’ to let go and drop unceremoniously onto the tower’s ledge. Once here, there are four empty windows. The Macabre Sculpture (#17) lies near the window on the western side of the tower. You also might find some Bitterblack Gear Lv.2 just sitting out in the open here, for what that’s worth. With any luck this won’t take too many tries, but there are a number of things that can go wrong; your Pawns killing the Succubi, or you or your Pawns being knocked off the bridge come to mind. If you have to skip any statues, this is probably the one to miss. Once you’re done collecting head down the stairs to the west.
Continue down two flights of stairs to reach a level uninteresting save for a broken Riftstone you can repair (15,000 RC). Do what you will, then continue past it to the south, down some more stairs. On the next level you can score a square chest to the north-east, more stairs down lie south of this chest, down which lurks a fearsome new foe… but one you need not encounter just yet. Instead go through the doorway to the north in the north-western corner of this tower. Just outside the doorway, to the east, you’ll find a rounded chest, while a square chest can be found to the east. Beyond this chest spans a bridge, which will leads you to a new area worth exploring. Kill a quartet of Wargs standing in the way and head through the door at the end of the bridge.
The Black Abbey
This is simply another arena area, identical in layout to the Rotunda of Dread. The foes here are a bit different, however:
- A Lich (who summons Wargs instead of Hellhounds) joined by Banshees.
- A Lich joined by a flock of Gargoyles.
- A trio of Chimeras and Sirines.
- A pack of Greater Goblins and a Gorecyclops (joined by Goblin Shaman on strategic high-ground).
- A circle composed of Pyre Saurians and Geo Saurians.
- A variety of huge undead including Skeleton Brutes, Giant Undead, and Poisoned Undead.
- A Cockatrice joined by Vile Eyes and Gargoyles.
- A Wight and a Gorecyclops.
- A Wyrm and a Wyvern.
- A pack of Greater Goblins and Grim Goblins, joined by a few Sirines.
Just like in the Rotunda of Dread monsters here will respawn every time you leave and return to the area. Unlike the Rotunda, however, the Black Abbey features more Bitterblack Isle foes, so it's more worth visiting. Especially consider trying to score some materials from Pyre Saurians, Sirines, and Banshees, as they're not terribly common throughout Bitterblack Isle. And then there's the looting. Most of the goodies here are in the same places as in the Rotunda-jump onto the stonework ledge surrounding the balcony and stairs and follow it counter-clockwise, leaping over gaps as you go to find a rounded chest and an ornate chest. On the other hand, if you head in the opposite direction you can find a **Macabre Sculpture (#18)** at about 6:00. Behind (south-east) of the stairs sits a rounded chest, and beyond some pillars to the east you'll find two square chests. Two ornate chests await you in an alcove to the north, and two rounded chests sit in one to the west. A final rounded chest lurks just west of the root system just south of the western alcove. There of course are ore veins along the walls, warrior remains in the middle of the area, and various materials to be gathered. Loot and leave.
Monster Info: Gorecyclops
The Gorecyclops is much smaller than its prisoner cousins-in fact, it’s a direct palette swap of a normal Cyclops. Still, it’s much stronger than a normal Cyclops, and more aggressive. It has three main attacks- flailing about with its fists (similar to a Cyclops that has been angered) chucking boulders (more dangerous for knocking you back than by directly damaging you) and grabbing man-sized treats. After being grabbed you’ll need to break away to mitigate damage, but you’ll still take two parting punches and a slam as a parting gift before you’re free-quite painful. Otherwise, they’re like a normal Cyclops, and are never armored, so… go for the eye, Boo!
Monster Info: Poisoned Undead
Double-sized Stout Undead, Poisoned Undead are massive, bloated beasts. They’ve got plenty of health, but they’re quite ponderous, capable only of lazy arm flails and awkward charge attacks. As their name implies, they can also spit poison-albeit at short range. These poison clouds makes up for its limited range by lingering for a while-several of these undead can litter the battlefield in poison. They can absorb quite a bit of punishment, but will go down faster if struck with fire or holy-a few High Comestions will put one down.
Fortress of Remembrance, Continued (Again)
Back in the Fortress of Remembrance, return east to the tower you were previously descending and head down another level (using the stairs in the south-eastern corner), noting a west-facing window on the platform between the stairs going down to the west and north that link the second and third levels underground. Here you’ll encounter another new foe-the Eliminator. This beastie wanders around the lower levels of this tower, and is liable to come up or down several levels, but since it’s likely he’ll sneak up on you here, go out of your way to encounter him. Once the Eliminator is dead, put on your exploration goggles again.
Monster Info: Eliminator
Eliminators are brutes that embody pure physical carnage. Scantily clad in fare that would make any barbarian - be it Wulfgar or Conan - proud, their height and bulk are only over-shadowed by their massive hammers. They’re not terribly subtle foes-they’re fond of performing headlong charges (terminated by sweeping with their hammers), or if their prey is foolish enough to be within reach, they’ll smash and swing in devastating combos. Their blows not only deal great physical damage, they tend to stagger and knock down their foes. Facing a prone opponent, they’re fond of performing a massive-if slow-execution strike.
Every sentence above should have convinced you of one thing: you’re better of keeping your distance. Their heads are vulnerable, so shoot them with spells and missiles from a distance. Most attacks work well, but they seem particularly prone to freezing attacks-a Magick Archer’s Sixfold Bolt can keep a lone Eliminator at bay. A Ranger armed with a Dragon’s Glaze is also well-equipped to deal with an Eliminator. Sorcerers can just rely on High Miasma, if they have a way to keep an Eliminator in place for any length of time. If you shoot an Eliminator in the head when it charges (it’ll lower its head like a good bull) it’ll stagger.
It’s worth noting that Eliminators can drop Lv.2 Weapons, as well as a few new pieces of armor. The latter do not need to be purified before using the way most Bitterblack loot does, and include a Cursed King’s Belt, a Persecutor’s Mask and a Tormentor’s Mask. while of dubious utility, they do sell rather well; the first and last are worth nearly a million gold each, so… killing an Eliminator can be very lucrative, monetarily.
Behind some crates in the north-western corner to find a rounded chest hiding. Loot it and head east, then south into another room. Through a hole in the wall to west you’ll find a rounded chest to loot, and opposite it a window, outside of which is a ledge that extends north-south. At the end of the southern part of the ledge you’ll find two ‘Coin Purses of Charity’, while at the northern end you’ll be able to defile some Warrior Remains. Head back into the tower. If you head south you’ll find stairs leading to the fourth level underground… but your path down lies back upstairs.
Head back up the stairs and find the window that was pointed out on your way down. If you jump into the window opening and look down to the west you’ll see a ledge below you. Drop down and head around the ledge to the east to find a rounded chest. Return to under the window you dropped down from and look off the ledge to the west to see a another, further ledge below this one. Drop down again and continue west to find yet another ledge below this one. Drop down to this final ledge and explore to the north. To the west you’ll find some rocks upon which a stone bridge in anchored overhead. This bridge connects to the tower, which is to the east… but that’s not what you should be interested in now. Search the western rocks until you find a mine-able spot to the north. If you have Double Vault you can leap to a ledge over the mining spot-it doesn’t look like there’s anything up there, but give it a jump and your Arisen should grab onto the ledge. At the top of the rocks on this ledge, near the base of the bridge support, you’ll find a Macabre Sculpture (#19) . Drop down to the ground and continue north. At the northern-most part of this level you’ll see a rock formation, north of which, near the edge of the area sits a square chest. Turn west to find an entrance to the tower and go through a doorway to find an ornate chest and a rounded chest, then turn east, break the wooden bar keeping a door locked, and go through it.
Move around the tower to the east, then south to find a doorway leading back into the tower. Head inside just long enough to grab a rounded chest, then return outside. If you search rock formations north and south of the tower you can score some coin pouches, but the goal lies across a bridge to the east. At the far side of the bridge loot a rounded chest, then continue through the door there-using the Void Key you found in ‘The Pilgrim’s Gauntlet’ in the process.
Tower of Treasons Repaid
Oh, does this level suck. It’s a duplicate of the Midnight Helix, save you start out at the top of the area (on the ledge where the Void Key in the Upper Stratum rested). Below you lies the broken spiral stone ramp leading to the bottom, and treacherous wooden bridges conveniently making up for the deficiencies of the stonework. Of course, being high up means it’s a long way down, a fact that is anticipated by the creatures occupying this area-Succubi to harass you on the way down, and Goblin Shaman to keep you moving. A Gorecyclops occupies the bottom of the pit, and the scavenger beast here-as in the Midnight Helix-is a Cursed Dragon. Defeat whatever foes present themselves before you concern yourself with looting-ignoring enemies on such sensitive ground could be more dangerous than the creatures, themselves.
Now for the looting. As you should expect by now, much of the looting in this area mirrors that in the Midnight Helix. North-east of the ledge you start out on you can Double Vault/Levitate onto another distant ledge to score an ornate chest, although there’s no reason to leap into the cage to the south this time around, as no goodies wait inside.
Cross the wooden bridge from the entrance platform to the south-east and follow the stone ramp beyond clockwise. At about 6:00 you’ll find a small cell with only half the bars remaining. Beyond you’ll find a square chest and, hidden in the hay pile nearby, a Macabre Sculpture (#20) . Continue down the ramp, then head across another wooden bridge to reach another section of the ramp. A square chest rests on either end of this ramp-loot them both and head up the ramp (counter-clockwise) to find a final bridge down, which leads to the lowest of the stonework. Follow it down clockwise and ignore the ground floor for now, instead continuing clockwise, over rubble and into a doorway.
Loot a rounded chest behind some crates, then head out onto a bridge to the north-west. As in the Midnight Helix, this bridge is half stone and half wood. Cross it to reach a Spider-infested, bone-strewn cave beyond. Here you’ll find two rounded chests and an ornate chest (the latter of which can be quite profitable, in terms of its willingness to drop Bitterblack gear) and another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ .
Head back to the bridge and drop down to the shore below. You know this room-bones lying everywhere, bloody water running off a cliff to the north, stay out of the water because it’s bad for you, blah, blah blah. A host of Skeletons will rise from the bones to meet you here, so avoid the ledge to the north until they’re gone. Afterwards, loot a square chest at the end of the northern shore, then drop down a to a lower ledge to find a small cubby, within which lies a molestable skeleton and a Moonbeam Gem. Once done jump back up to the bony, bloody ledge and make your way to the southern shore, where a rounded chest sits. Follow the wall to the south-west until you find another ledge to climb to the south, near which, half-submerged in the bloody water, you’ll find another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ .
Climb up the ledge and loot a rounded chest, then head through a broken grate to the north-east to reach the floor of the main chamber. Here you’ll find a rounded chest at 12:00, and another at 2:00, behind some stakes. Warrior remains lie nearer the center, and finally, when all is looted, the door to the next level is at 3:00.
From the entrance head west, go down some stairs, and deal with a Poisoned Undead in a curving tunnel that wraps around to the north. Continue north out of this tunnel into a small room occupied by more undead - both normal and poisoned - and two rounded chests to the east. South of the chests, on the floor near a stock, sits a Macabre Sculpture (#21) , cleverly hiding in plain sight. This level’s scavenger - an Elder Ogre - may appear in this room, or it may also appear in the western tunnels on the next level. When you’re ready to move on, go through the doorway to the north-west and down some narrow, spiral stairs.
Once you reach the bottom go north through a narrow tunnel, then go through a small room continuing north until you are in a larger, T-shaped chamber. At the western end you’ll score two rounded chests, while to the north lurk two new foes-Golden and Silver Knights.
Monster Info: Golden Knight/Silver Knight
Golden and Silver Knights are listed together in this monster info text because they tend to be found together. They work as a pair-the Silver Knight is more defensive, casting shield-enchantments and debilitation spells, while the Golden Knight heads the offense, being more physically aggressive. They’re also bound in another way-if one dies, it’ll go dormant for a while. Unless the other one is killed shortly thereafter, the downed knight will rise, good as new. They otherwise resemble Skeleton Lords in their attacks. On the plus side, the Golden Knight tends to drop a good bit of raw cash when slain, and the Silver Knight forfeits Rift Currency. In a few locations you’ll find groups larger than the typical silver/gold pair. In this case, all of the knights must be downed at the same time before any of them will be destroyed.
After your foes are vanquished, continue north and leap onto a northern ledge to find another ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ , then hop down and continue east. When you run out of east turn north and scale another ledge to find a rounded chest. Hop down again, this time continuing south. Once you are again directionally impeded, turn west to score a square chest, then turn east again and follow a curving tunnel down. When this tunnel ends, go through a doorway to the east to reach a large stairwell.
Grab two rounded chests to the east, then head down a flight of stairs to the south. Your opposition? A few Giant Undead and a Banshee. Continue east, loot an ornate chest, then backtrack west and head down another flight of stairs to the north. Another pair of Giant Undead and a Banshee await you. Kill them and continue east, search a square chest, and go down a final flight of stairs to the south. At the bottom of the stairs you’ll find a chamber full of goodies-in the south-eastern corner sits a rounded chest. To the west of this chest, in the south-center of the room is another broken Riftstone (15,000 RC) while another square chest awaits your probing in the south-western corner.
Complete your looting, then head under a raised portcullis to the east and go down the stairs beyond. The stairs loop north and lead to a candle-and-corpse-lined tunnel extending to the north. At the end of the tunnel awaits another staircase going down and bending to the east. At the bottom of these stairs awaits the boss of the central stratum-the Dark Bishop.
Enemy Strategy: Dark Bishop
The Dark Bishop is just a palette-swap of the Lich, albeit looking more ‘holy’ and priestly. Still, expect it to fight much like a Lich; it’ll float around and blast you with spells… and oh, what spells it’ll cast. The dark Bishop is, perhaps, the most powerful spell-caster in the game.
A Cursed Companion
The Dark Bishop might have been a simpler foe to defeat if not for his pet Cursed Dragon. This thing’s only purpose could have been to sit around and harass you as a normal Cursed Dragon might, but it does bear a few differences. First, it’s much less resilient than a normal Cursed Dragon; it has less health, and you need to worry less about hitting in its ‘heart’. Unfortunately, as long as the Dark Bishop is around, the Cursed Dragon is immortal. It can be put out of action, but eventually the Dark Bishop will revive it, removing itself from the battlefield until the Cursed Dragon is defeated again. The second time the Cursed Dragon is bested, the Dark Bishop will be rendered prone and vulnerable for a while, making it well worth your while to attack its pet… and also because letting this creature bite at you while the most powerful spell-caster in the game works magick is just a bad idea.
Master of the Dark Arts
The Dark Bishop is a candidate for the mightiest spell-caster in the game, and this claim is worthy of some elaboration, as it can affect your survival. One creature later on in Bitterblack Isle might challenge this declaration, but given the potency and variety of the Dark Bishop’s spells… the Dark Bishop probably deserves the title. first off, it can afflict you with a number of debilitations, Possession and Petrification being the worse of them. It can also cast a death spell, like the Lich. As far as direct damage dealing spells go, it’ll cast Miasma, a holy aura, a ‘magic missile’ type spell that’ll send several red homing spikes that can outright kill characters with low Magick Defense and, worst of all, Maelstrom, which can wipe out your entire party in a shot.
Besting the Bishop
Aside from exploiting his Cursed Dragon to render the Dark Bishop vulnerable, he’s got very few obvious weaknesses. First thing, ranged attacks, as usual, are nearly necessary against this foe, as it’ll rarely condescend to float down into the reach of melee weapons. Surprisingly it’s not quite as resistant to Magick damage as some other foes have been, nor is it very fast. A High Miasma can deal respectable damage to it, but you might want to resort to faster, safer spells.
Once it’s dead, set yourself to looting the cathedral in which you fought. Several Warrior Remains lurk in the center of the cathedral, and a rounded chest lurks along the center of the northern wall. For more loot, however, you’ll need to climb. Beside the door by which you entered, along the western wall, are ledges you can climb. Climb onto one and turn towards the door to see a small, jutting ledge you can reach. From there, turn west again and jump onto a ledge above the door to find a ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ . From this ledge, head south and jump onto a broken pillar, then turn west again to reach a higher ledge. Turn south, go up some stairs, through a doorway, and follow the tunnel beyond west, then north, up some stairs, west again, up some more stairs to the south, and finally into a small room occupied by two ornate chests. Once you’re done return to the cathedral and cross to the east, where a door leads deeper into the dungeon.
Corridor of the Hallowed
This level is nearly identical to the Corridor of Emptiness, above. This time, however, Barroch might be standing near a campsite just west of the gate that leads to the surface, which is in the customary place, east of where the stairs end. Beyond said gate you’ll find another broken Riftstone to repair (10,000 RC), and if you follow the stairs up to the surface you can unlock the second shortcut. Don’t bother climbing the rocks west of this gate, however-there’s nothing up there this time. On the other hand, search near the docks, as you can find a ‘Recollection of another Arisen’ at the end of the pier. Finally head north-west down the stairs leading to the Lower Stratum. Along the stairs turn south to spot a ledge you can climb on. Do so, and near a water-spewing statue you’ll find a Macabre Sculpture (#22) . Before actually heading deeper into the depths of Bitterblack Isle, however, head back to the surface, as there are a few things you can do.
When you return to the surface again, Olra will continue her story, only pointing out that she used to fight along some great she-warrior. Yay. Search the ‘Monument of Remembrance’, where you should have entries #1-8, #11, and #12. It’s worth some experience to check these things out, and the Center Stratum sure had a lot of them. You also found another Moonbeam Gem, which means you can claim another treasure from Duskmoon Tower. It’s highly suggested that you grab the Ring of Desiccation if you haven’t already, as a lantern will be a mandatory tool throughout much of the Lower Stratum. Finally, it’s only fair to point out that the Lower Stratum is a massive leap in difficult from the Central Stratum. If there was any change in difficulty from the Upper Stratum to the Center Stratum, it was mild, but you’ll certainly notice it here.