This quest will begin shortly after the first An Ancient Curse quest ends, although you’ve got several months of time before you have to really pay attention to it. Go about your business and when there’s 28 days left on the counter for An Ancient Curse, Part 2 you’ll get the event “The Ancient Curse is Upon Us”, which is just a warning that the impactful bits of An Ancient Curse, Part 2 are about to begin.
Event: Rotten Beasts
The ancient curse returns! This time it’s not spiders, but maddened forest beasts, empowered and warped by magical putrescence. If you happen to be in the lands of your kingdom when this second phase of the curse hits, the first thing you should do is attend to the kingdom event, “Rotten Beasts”, which will occur with 14 days left on the An Ancient Curse, Part 2 counter. If you neglect this event it’ll cost you -2 Community, -2 Military and -2 Economy every two days or so after it appears. We strongly suggest that you assign your Regent, General or Treasurer to deal with the problem, and once it’s resolved, then get ready and make your way to the Bald Hilltop area to deal with the threat at its source.
Battle at Bald Hilltop
Now that the quest is active, head to the Bald Hilltop to deal with the beasts in a more direct way. You should be familiar with the location of the Bald Hilltop by now, but just in case… you’ll find it northwest of your capital, with the following directions from Tuskdale:
When you arrive at the Bald Hilltop, head northeast from your starting point in the southwest. Just before you reach the stone pillar to your right, take some time to prepare for the fight ahead. You’ll want to summon any monster companions at your disposal, and buff your party with abilities and spells like “Inspire Competence”, “Inspire Courage”, and Haste. You can also buff specific characters, such as your tanks, with spells like Heroism, Barkskin and other personal buffs, depending on your build.
The first wave of enemies you’ll be matched against includes a Quickboar and a Bear-Like Treant, neither of which are terribly well-protected by their Armor Class nor do they possess a great amount of Hit Points, but the former has 20% concealment and the latter has DR 5/cold iron, which will give them a bit of survivability. Still, they should be pushovers for your party by now.
After you defeat one, two Venomwolves will appear, and you should note that their inclusion into the battle will make initiative act erratically, potentially flat-footing your characters if the wolves get an advantageous role. Once this threat passes, however, they’re fairly weak foes, being somewhere between the Bear-like Treant and Quickboar in terms of staying power, while being closer to the Bear-Like Treant in terms of power. Their trip attack can also be a nuisance, so watch out for that.
Defeat a second enemy and the last two combatants will arrive: a Lost Sister and a Smilodon-Like Treant. The Smilodon-Like Treant is a brute, no need to mince words. Its Armor Class is poor, but it does have a hefty supply of Hit Points and DR 10/Cold Iron, and a high Attack Bonus and five attacks per round. Unless you’ve got a top-tier tank, it’ll chew through any combatant it can reach.
As nasty as the Smilodon-Like Treant is, the Lost Sister is arguably worse. She’s got a high Armor Class, decent Hit Points, and DR 10/cold iron (as well as DR 5/magic, for what that’s worth). Her melee prowess isn’t great, but she’s not a melee combatant, instead preferring to use Sorcerer and Druid spells, likely starting out with Summon Nature’s Ally (to summon some Leopards) followed by Haste. The shoe being on the other foot kind of pinches…Worst of all is her “Blinding Beauty” ability, which forces every humanoid (that includes you - but not your pets!) within 30 feet to make a Fort DC 21 save or be stricken blind.
To counter this, we relied on Animate Dead and Glitterdust. The former to gum up the works and score additional hits on enemies we can’t be bothered to target, and the latter… well, if we’re already blind, we might as well go scorched earth and blind everything on the battlefield. At least then we’re all on even ground. We then let our skeletons pick off the lesser enemies while we focused on the Smilodon-Like Treant, as once it’s down the Lost Sister is far less dangerous, and can be surrounded and cut down.
Once you’ve defeated all your foes, the portal will close and no other mobs will spawn. Loot the Lost Sister for a Masterwork Dagger and an Amulet of Natural Armor +2 and get what skins you can from the rest of the beasts. All that remains now is to return to your capital and wait a few days for the journal to update, confirming a successful defence against the curse.