Highwayman, Highwaywoman, Vagrant
North from Myrad Tower at the Western Cliff
Fort Valstaag is a complex and multi-leveled castle, whose fame and glory is long-forgotten as the years had passed on, and the inexorable time has wreaked havoc on this once magnificent and vibrant place. Abandoned by the kings and knights alike, the code of chivalry is of no value to its present inhabitants, mostly bandits and vagrants.
The castle itself has four entrances, but only two of them can be freely accessed. The door to the Castle Keep is locked with a key, and the door to the Cabinet can be reached through the Castle Keep. That leaves only Atrium and Vault to explore on the first encounter.
In order to open the locked door that leads to the closed Vault area do not need the key, but 3 Valstaag Coins. Collect them! Only when you have finally collected the coins and opened the gate to the Vault will it be possible to obtain the key.
Dal' Valstaag Ruins, Vault
Dal’Valstaag Ruins, Vault is a somber and dangerous two-leveled dungeon, fraught with evil creatures taking their shape in the form of an assorted company of bandits. Here, the evil that lies within the castle is tangible, not otherworldly, and a number of clues lead to a conclusion that the bandits’ absolute rule over the castle had been hard and merciless.
The evidence of their ruthlessness emerges with your every step in the castle, as it becomes more and more transparent that the rightful occupants of the castle –as the trail of corpses suggests - had been most probably either mercilessly murdered or oppressed by vagrant robbers and cut-throats. The first corpse, the one that is on the first (lower) level of the Vault, is of a young girl, Jasmin. Jasmin is a daughter of the Valstaag family. Next to her body is a satchel, loot one Valstaag coin from the satchel!)The second corpse, of a young woman, Artusia Dal’Valstaag, is on the upper level of the Vault, in one of the prison cells. Do not forget to take the Valstaag Coin from her satchel, too.
Upon entering the Vault from the castle’s courtyard, a huge chandelier casting ominous dancing shadows on the ceiling will come into view. Proceeding, two bandits will strive at hindering your progress towards further exploration of the castle’s vault. Descending deeper into the dungeon’s lowest levels you will notice that the dungeon gets even more darker and damper. From this level you can either choose to climb up the ladder or a stony staircase. Either way, you will find yourself considerably outnumbered by a group of bandits.
- If you choose the ladder up, three bandits, guarding a Massive Chest, will launch their attack on you. These must be jailers, as the room to which the ladder directly leads is a small, prison-like dungeon, with the cells locked with lattice doors. The road will ultimately lead to another section of the castle, Atrium. In order to reach Atrium, either avoiding or disarming the traps in the trap room is prerequisite to reaching another level. To disarm the trap simply stand close to the ropes and press [E].
- If you choose to climb up the staircase, here an encounter with four bandits seems inevitable. The first chamber on your way will be a spacious banqueting hall with an adjacent storage room. In the centre of the hall is a huge door with a gate. Opening the gate does not require much effort, but the door needs a key. The key to the door are three Valstaag coins that you need to collect in order to open the door! Once you have found the coins, put them in the Coin Vault (left to the locked doors, on the table). The two Valstaag Coins are next to the dead bodies, whereas the third Valstaag Coin is still in a Satchel, but on a table in one of the rooms upstairs, next to the Vault door. As soon as the doors are open, a Key to Valstaag Keep should come into view, as it is right behind the gate. Pick up the Key and open the door to the Castle and the boss who dwells inside the castle’s bedchambers.
- Satchel 3x (with Valstaag Coins)
- Massive Chest
- Adept Book Light Magic
- The Prudent Boy and the Righteous Path
- Adept Book One-Handed
- Key to Valstaag Keep
Ruins of Dal Valstaag, Atrium
Ruins of Dal Valstaag, Atrium is an optional section of the castle which can be accessible either from the castle’s yard or from the Castle’s Vault. If entered from the castle’s unkempt garden, one can clearly see one facet of the toll the bandit’s brutal assault had taken on the castle’s rightful inhabitants, as a chained and mutilated corpse of the fallen noble comes as the first view upon entering the atrium. Beside him, a note reveals the lot that had fallen upon Dal' Valstaag's lady and the note does not leave any doubts as to the bandits’ destructive and dishonorable deeds. Inside the atrium one can encounter piles of books neatly placed one on another or already burning with bright fire. One of the notes left by the bandits mentions that their boss, Grupub the Bone Breaker, greatly disapproves of the fact that some of the bandits developed- according to the bandit superior- a nasty and condemnable habit of reading those books. To some of the bandits the books proved to be of an invaluable benefit, as the heat emanating from a burning pile of books radiated a desirable warmth, so scarce in this place, within those cold, stony walls.
- Blueprint: Steel Boots (Handicraft 20)
- Spell Tome:Fire Cloak (Rank I)
- About Whispertrees
- Blueprint: Steel Cuirass (Handicraft 20)
- Staff of Frostbite
Ruins of Dal Valstaag, Castle Keep
Castle’s Keep is accessible through two doors, depending on your choice and skills. The main chamber can be reached either by picking an expert lock or, in a more time-consuming way, by opening the gate in the castle’s vault with 3 Valstaag Coins and obtaining the key to the Castle’s Keep and thus opening the locked doors to the final room with the bandit boss. The Keep covers a small area of the castle, with a huge richly-adorned bed chamber, presently occupied by a bandit leader Grupub the Bone Breaker, and a corridor leading to Grupub’s sleeping quarters. On his bedsite table lies a small diary written by the Grupub himself, where he discloses his apprehension towards the paintings present in this unrightfully self-proclaimed room.
- Thief Boots
- Fine Steel Helmet
- Small Diary
Dal' Valstaag Ruins, Cabinet
Dal' Valstaag Ruins, Cabinet is an optional sub-location of the Valstaag’s castle. It comprises a small storage -that would undoubtedly suit any meat-eater’s needs- as well as a few rooms. The hidden passage in the storage can be revealed by means of pressing a lever that is just beside a stabbed skeleton, as shown in the gallery below. There is a note lying next to the skeleton, which sheds some light on the deceased’ s life and his premature death. Another note is scattered also around the cabinet, yet it was most probably written by the bandit leader himself, Grupub the Bone Breaker, who expressed his outrage at the bandit’s newly-formed habit of educating themselves. The cabinet is pretty straightforward, as it will ultimately lead to an exit to the Heartlands, and walking over a small parapet will result in your facing an expert door to the castle’s main area, the Keep.
- Scroll of Boon (Cheap)
- The Disciplines of Magic - Entropy
- The Godzilla Painting in the Vault is one of the Easter Eggs.
- All the Valstaag Coins can be found in the Vault section of the fort.The Key to the Castle is also to be found in the Vault, but after opening the doors with 3 Valstaag Coins.