House of Scales & Lower Zigazag
The House of Scales and Lower Zigazag dungeons are a continuation of the Briskbreeze Tower storyline. Two keys lie inside the package Alzahred asks you to bring to him. Keys you recovered from the malevolent wraith Orrick Nightglider. The Balance teacher says that the attack on Briskbreeze was but a preamble, and Alzahred’s assistant Aleema may have stumbled onto the next chapter of this tale.
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Your first mission: take the Hieroglyph Key to Aleema in the Village of Upper Zigazag while Alhazred keeps the Bone Key safe.
Upon reaching Upper Zigazag, Aleema takes the key and asks you to clear out the Ravenous Teeth thugs in Lower Zigazag who have been kidnapping Manders. You agree to help them, on the pretense that there will be sweet, sweet loot.Lower Zigazag Dungeon
Fight 1 – Mob: Ravenous Tooth
Ravenous Tooth enemies are your first battle in the Lower Zigazag dungeon. These thugs are pretty straightforward–no cheats or special tricks. Myth and Death hitters, beware of surprise Ether Shields if you’re going second. Clean these guys up and release the first batch of Manders from their cages.
Optional Boss: In’Zhizor
Inside the door, you will encounter In’Zhizor, who is an Ice Boss with 7,320 health. He is joined by three Death Condemned Soldiers, 1,970 health. In’Zhizor does not have any cheats, so just clear out any Tower Shields as you prepare and unleash your kill shot.
Fight 2 – Boss: Kus’Bhid
Kus’Bhid is the first boss of the instance, and he’s no slouch. The purple Krok isn’t too threatening, but he is packing some cheats.
Power Link – While there is a life minion alive, it will on occasion cast a Brilliant light which triggers Kus’Bhid to cast a Link cheat, added to whatever other cheat he does that round.
Brimstone Revenant – Each 2nd round, Kus’Bhid will cheat with a no-pip Brimstone Revenant. (So every 4th round, you’ll get a Brimstone and an Efreet from the cheat below).
Efreet – Each 4th round of the fight, Kus’Bhid cheat casts Efreet instead of the Revenant. The 90% weakness stacks with a trained Efreet weakness.
Despite the number of cheats, Kus’Bhid still isn’t anything special in the way of tactics. Focus on blading up, feinting the boss, and smacking the enemy side with an AoE, and you’ll be done long before his cheats become important.
Fight 3 – Mob: Ravenous Tooth
Another Ravenous Tooth mob fight. These guys are pretty much the same as the first. Blade up and take them down to free the next set of Manders.
No boss or mob fights in this one. This door is just a regular Treasure Chest, so feel free to grab the loot. I’m sure the captive Manders will be alright while you spend time indulging in material possessions.
Fight 4 – Boss: Moh’Lharz
Moh’Lharz is the final and most difficult fight in Lower Zigazag. His cheats are a little similar to Kus’Bhid, but more frequent.
Stormzilla/Leviathan – At the end of the round, Moh’Lharz will cheat cast a Leviathan, a Stormzilla, or both.We are still testing for a pattern. In our most recent test, we couldn’t see a definite one.The attacks are not triggered by anything you do as a player.During our runs, whenever the boss cast the Stormzilla/Leviathan combo, both spells never hit the same player (Still needs testing).
No matter your group, save most of your blades until the turn you are going to hit. Moh’s Leviathans can target anyone on your team, and each one removes two blades. Otherwise, spend your turns feinting/trapping the boss.
If you’re afraid of the Levy and Zilla damage, one player can carry Dissipate TC (Storm Dispels). One Storm Dispel will cancel out the entire cheat, even on turns where he does the Stormzilla + Leviathan combo.
House of Scales
Once you return from Lower Zigazag, you meet back up with Aleema, who has finished her research. She’s learned that the key you obtained from Briskbreeze is the key needed to unlock the House of Scales, your second and final dungeon of this questline. She beckons you to head in.
Fight 1 – Mob: Condemed Soldiers
A standard mob fight to start things off. Nothing major here, clean them up as you normally would.
Fight 2 – Mob: Condemned Manders
Same as above. As with all Myth mobs though, beware Earthquakes on 6 pips (3 Power Pips) knocking down your blades, especially if you are going second.
The next room after the Condemned Manders has a few interesting things. Firstly, you’ll have access to mana and health wisps before the next boss fight. These wisps do not replenish once used.
Optional Boss: ?????
There is also a Skeleton Door on the opposite wall of the door you entered through. If you’ve received a Stone Skeleton Key at some point during your run, or runs before this one, you will be able to unlock the door.
What Lies behind the Door
Inside, you meet a seemingly familiar Elephant. Bellosh turns out to be the cousin of everyone’s favorite Belloq, who we met in Zafaria and later Azteca. And Bellosh is very much like his cousin, in more than just style.
Ra – If on any turn you are unable to damage Bellosh, he will cheat cast a Ra on the following round. (This cheat is the exact same cheat that Belloq uses in Zafaria. Told you they were very much alike.)
If Bellosh and Belloq want to dress the same and cheat the same, then you’re free to fight them the same as well. Ensure that Bellosh does not go undamaged every round. For this fight, you’ll want to have at least more than one person, if not three or more.
The easiest way is to assign one person to “hitting” duty. They make sure that he takes damage every round, from spells/wands/etc. Casting a DoT is the easiest way to block the cheat, since that one spell will buy you 3 rounds.
Otherwise, mop them up like a normal boss.
Fight 3 – Boss: Izft
Whether or not you choose to open the Stone Skeleton Door, your next fight puts you up against the first non-optional boss of the dungeon. Izft is a pretty simple fight.
Fight 4 – Mob: Pit Vipers
Pit Vipers are your standard Balance mobs. Follow your normal mob strategy, just beware of those elemental and spirit tri-shields when your hitter lets loose.
Fight 5 – Boss: Apep
Apep is an unusual boss for the fact that even though he has a very detailed cheat with multiple factors, there’s a big chance you’ll never encounter it. In fact, if you just kill him the same way you kill regular bosses, you won’t even run into it.
Balance Global – Towards the beginning of the battle, Apep will cast Balance Bubble, similar to the extra effect of the new Gaze of Fate spell.
The Echoes – If any of the Pit Vipers minions are killed before Apep, he will summon minions to replace them in a cycle of Myth, Storm, Fire then Ice. Once the Ice minions are killed, the cycle starts over. The battle image above is an example of a run where we killed two of the starting Pit Vipers. These False Echoes of Apep joined the battle 3 turns later.If you do not kill any of these echoes in the time limit, Apep will cast a “Sacrifice Minion” spell appropriate to the current echo’s school (Siphon Health, Sap Power, Take Power and Draw Health).The echoes take a turn to join the battle after they first appear.False Echoes and Frosty Echos are taken for health, Charged Echoes and Fiery Echoes are taken for pips.
Again, if you’re playing the big AoE game, there’s a big chance you’ll never even run into this cheat. (On all of our runs, we had to actually hold back the kill shot and put effort into activating the cheat). We recommend the regular boss setup. Blade your hitter, throw some Feints/Traps on the boss, and kill with a big AoE hit.
If for some reason you can’t/don’t want to do that, you can still work around the cheat. So long as you kill Apep before the minions, the cheat will not activate.
Fight 6 – Boss: Ammit
The final boss, finally. Take her down, finish Aleema’s research, and get some sweet loot. Oh, and save enslaved Manders or something. But mostly that loot.
The Judge– Every other round, starting on round 2, Ammit will cast a Judgment spell on one player.
SERVE YOUR ARCHMAGUS…oh wait, wrong dungeon – Ammit uses some form of Steal Health cheat on herself or his minions every round. The cheat heals Ammit according to how much damage it does, so minions can live through the cheat.Ammit can and does use this on herself. You’ll often see her take 200 damage, then heal for 200 damage. Hilarity ensues.
Sacrifice – Ammit does have a Sacrifice cheat, so be wary of putting on your Feints too early.
None of Ammit’s cheats are really disruptive, so you’re free to follow the normal Blade > Feints > AoE plan. For the weak of heart, bring a couple Balance Dispels and throw them on Ammit. She’s a Death school boss, so your Unbalances will usually catch a cheat Judge. (Note: Ammit does have Balance and Fire Masteries, but I didn’t see too many Balance Spells during test runs).
Make sure to hold off on your Feints until your hitter gives you the green light. As said, Ammit’s Sacrifice will waste Feints. You’ll want your hitter in the last spot, so the people before him or her can stack the Feints all on the hit turn.
Return to Aleema, then to Alhazred with news of your triumphant victory over the House of Scales and Lower Zigazag. Though you conquered the House of Scales, Ammit’s parting words hint at something more to come. Most likely something sinister, that will one day challenge the safety of the Spiral.
But more importantly, go sell some drops at the Bazaar.
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Thanks to Morgrim Shadowfist and Patrick Icehammer as always. Big thanks to Poppy of the Mercenaries for Hire for all her help testing.