The Heroes now go in through the door to the Keep of the Castle itself. The Luremaster wants me to go through more challenges.
At the west end of the castle are a couple of Water Elemental Kin that are easily shot down with missile weapons.
Note that there are 2 stairways at both the west and east ends of this level. Both are guarded by Spectral Guards. If you get too close, the Guards will attack, and more Guards will appear and converge on the party. They are quite tough, so hold nothing back in terms of buffing yourself up. I made sure that I took out the Guards at both staircases before my Haste spell ran out.
Now I go up the east side stairs, and lo and behold ... there's Hobart Stubbletoes nosing around. I press him persistently over what he's doing, and this provokes him into revealing his true form, a Rakshasa. He'll also have several Invisible Stalkers to help him. Go for the Rakshasa first and foremost, since he's a fairly powerful spellcaster and you want to keep that to a minimum. The Invisible Stalkers will be much easier afterwards.
I then go back west a little, and take out the Guards by the glyph etched door on the north wall.
Then I go up to the stairs on the west side.
Now the party goes up the stairs and to the second level. I kill a Spectral Guard immediately upon arrival.
I then go north up the hallway and then east through the doorway. I am then attacked by 2 pairs of Water Elemental Kin, but they are easily shot down with missile weapons.
Further east, I have to fight a single Beholder. Beholders, for anyone unfamiliar with D&D beholders, have innate powers that they can project from their eyestalks, including Slow, Cure Serious Wounds, Disintegrate, Finger of Death, Fear, Flesh to Stone, and Dispel Magic that can affect the whole party. Beholders in IWD are scripted to use their Dispel Magic whenever the party has put up spell buffs. Unlike in BG2, you won't have anything like a Cloak of Mirroring or a Balduran's Shield to protect you, so the best you can do is to try and chop it down as fast as you can un-Hasted and hope you make your saving throws against anything that involves instant death. Reload if any characters get killed. One more thing, be careful about when saving your game. A Beholder's use of Disintegrate can be noticed through a green spell animation. If a character fails a saving throw, death won't happen right away. There will be a brief sort of 'phasing out' appearance for the character, and then the character will die. If you noticed that the Beholder tried to use Disintegrate on anyone, check to see if any characters have that 'phasing out' look to them, and scroll up to check whether the characters 'saved vs. spells' or instead have a message '(charname) - Disintegrate'. If you don't get any indications of pending Disintegration, wait for about 10 seconds before saving your game. This way, you avoid quick-saving a situation where a character will get disintegrated pretty much as soon as you load.
I then continue east and then south. At some point, I run into 2 Beholders, 1 north of me, and the other south. The logical strategy, and this may still require a few reloads, is to run south and go all out for the first Beholder. This has two advantages. One is that having everybody go all out for the south Beholder first will bring it down more quickly, and thus more quickly cut the danger in half. the other advantage is that it buys the party time as the north Beholder will have to float southwards toward me.
A library in the southeast corner of this level has a few spell scrolls, as well as a Tome of Leadership and Influence which Genevieve uses to permanently raise her Charisma by 1.
Now the party goes a little west and then north, where they encounter the now undead Lord Maluradek. He immediately attacks. He can cast spells, and teleport party members away. As long as a few warriors can stay on top of him, he'll go down. He leaves behind a sword, Dead God's Passing (+4 Longsword, +6 THAC0 vs. good creatures, +5 damage vs. good creatures, Emotion: Fear 3/day, Symbol of Pain 1/day, not useable by Good characters).
In a cabinet behind him will be Lord Maluradek's Journal, which does a lot to explain past events.
Now the party goes east, and through a secret door. They find a Greater Shield of Resistance, a Full Plate +1, and the Dungeon Key.
I go back down the stairs to the first level. There is a door towards the southeast corner, along the south wall. This requires the Dungeon Key to open.
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