Our adventures in Fantasy Transylvania continue with Sealed in Amber, a quest that seems to exist to confuse me as to the overarching storyline. I sort of get that everyone is against Strahd, but at this point I’ve rescued several people and ancient artifacts that were supposed to strike a blow against him, and all I’ve gotten for my troubles is more quests to rescue people and find ancient artifacts. Maybe I’m in the gameplay loop from hell.
Anyway, here’s another quest to find some doohickey. And it’s being given to me by a Dusk Elf, which you know is a good sign. Let’s count down the minutes until he messes things up well and good.
Oh hey, it’s Creepy Tarot Lady! She’s here to give me the randomized location of the sacred doohickey. I like how the statue in the background seems to be mimicking her (or vice-versa).
So today’s adventure takes place in the Amber Temple, which is a pretty big diversion from the whole Transylvania/old world feel of the expansion so far. It’s almost Persian in its looks and vastly irritating in execution. Probably one of my bigger video game pet peeves is when you have to go key hunting to open certain doors to find more keys to open more doors to find keys… etc. And that’s really what this quest is all about. There are four passwords hidden around, each opening certain doors. Add to that a few teleporters, several secret doors, and one room that’s filled with nothing but levers, and you get a one hour and fifteen minutes of my life trying to unlock this place fully.
There are also these amber sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?) lying around, and most will talk to you. Reading the flavor text and interacting with them was the only real joy I got from the quest, as there is some neat bits of writing. They all offer an hour-long buff, but that also comes with an enemy spawn, so I gave up doing that after a while.
LEVERS! YOU MUST PULL ALL THE LEEEEVERRRRRSSS
Bored NPCs have put together a to-scale model of Castle Ravenholt. Maybe they’re running their own D&D campaign in it. Ooh! Meta!
The Dusk Elf from the beginning ends up gaining the power to resurrect the dead, which he uses to bring back his long-lost sister. It’s all very sudden and done without thinking things through, which should probably have happened because…
The sister is (le gasp) evil — and the proposed bride that the expansion has been hinting at for a while now. This is my not-shocked-at-all-face at seeing an elf betray us all to the vampire tyrant. Also, I was scratching my head when she said this was all part of her plan — what, to get killed, rot away to bones, and hope your brother would resurrect you so you could make another pass at Strahd?
Strahd seems momentarily intrigued by her offer of ending the curse in exchange for an Elf + Vampire theme wedding, but then he gets paranoid and kills her (again). On a separate note, I do not want to work for Strahd. Dude is high maintenance.
Some developer obviously had a good laugh at putting a chest on the ceiling. I think it’s supposed to be a mimic that drops down on you, but I was fleeing from an immortal, unkillable ditzy lich at the time and couldn’t stick around to see that happen.