I'll have to go visit it when it's ready again.
Day 17: I am mortal now.
It started like any other day, with me spawning in the tavern. I hired Korrd for 300 gold, and the two of us headed north of Elspir. Last time I was here, I saw there were two paths to take. One led southwest to the Road to Ekothia, while the other led northwest to the Far Western Region. I decided to try the Road to Ekothia first.
The area was desert like, and kind of eerie. We ran into a thri-keen, and managed to kill it, but I noticed boulders kept falling off a nearby mountain and landing on Korrd. Some kind of trap or something? I get closer and realize no, that's not it. It's an Ettin! It's standing on the top of a slope, throwing boulders. Unfortunately, Korrd's AI isn't smart enough for him to turn the corner and run up the ramp, so he just stands there, trying to walk through the mountain and getting hit by boulders. (In retrospect, I should have changed his weapon over to his bow, but I didn't think about it until afterward.) In order to save him, I start shooting at the ettin. But, this causes it to turn and start throwing rocks at me. And then, Korrd suddenly turns on his heel and runs the other way...to fight another thri-keen!
Long story short, by consuming a lot of healing potions, I manage to kill the ettin and then help Korrd finish off the thri-keen. We made some really good XP, but both of us are near death. I decide continuing on is probably too risky, so we retreat to the entrance of the zone, rest, and then decide to take the other path, up to the Far Western Region.
The Far Western Region is kind of a big valley, and a perfect ambush spot. And it is covered in bandits. Luckily, they weren't hostile. At least, not at first. Their leader approached me and asked for a toll to pass through to the next area. It was only 5 GP, so why not? But I think it bugged out a bit. As I crossed the valley, I started getting glitchy messages...something about dividing by zero? I made it to the other end of the valley, but there was nowhere to go (guess that area isn't done yet). So I started heading back the way I came. The bandit leader creepily followed us the whole way.
I'm not sure what happened. If Korrd somehow provoked them or if they just turned hostile on their own, but before I knew it, the bandits were all red (hostile) and started shooting at us. We took out a few, then made a run for the exit, just barely making it out alive. Once out of the zone, we rested up. I realized I was really close to level 6. Way closer than I thought. So we went back in to pick off a few more.
Strangely, when we returned to the Far Western Region, the bandits were...gone. I explored around and found a small area in a forested section where they had some kind of camp. There were four of them there. We got into a fight, and two of them broke off to fight me. We managed to kill a couple, but ultimately both Korrd and myself died. So that was death #9. Luckily by that point, both of the remaining bandits were almost dead. So I gulped a potion of Bless and another one of Barkskin, respawned, and took them out. I found a short bow +1 in one of their chests, which I already have, but hey, I can sell that for some decent gold. I also found a couple of horses. One was nearly dead, but one was healthy, so I mounted it and decided to ride back to town.
However, on my way back, I ran into the bandit leader again. I started to ride away, and noticed all the missing bandits had suddenly returned, and they all started shooting at me. I had the horse, though, so I was able to escape to the previous area again. But to my surprise, the bandit leader followed me. Well, remember I said I was close to leveling up, right? So since it was just him, I just rode a short distance, took a shot at him, then rode a short distance again, and so on. He couldn't keep up and he couldn't get close enough to hit me. He drank a couple of healing potions, but eventually ran out and I killed him. It took awhile, though. He had a +1 spear on him, so I can sell that, too.
Once he was dead, I killed those three zombies near the church again, and that was enough to get me to level 6. I took the Stealthy feat.
So I leveled up, and got some good loot. But, I am mortal now. My next death--barring literal divine intervention--will be my last. Funny thing is, I'm not sure where to go next. I feel like I'm too strong to fight anything nearby, but too weak to go beyond where I've already been. Well, maybe I can start working on that crafting stuff now.