I have been aware almost since my arrival that, up to this point, I have been using what I could scavenge, what the land has provided from beast and grove. I remember the feel of cold steel in my hand, the ringing of forges as men worked metal into something stronger than bone or antler. It’s been so long, I almost feel I shall forget what the sound of a bellows is like. I need better weapons and armor if I’m to face my next foe and survive.
Moving deeper into the woods, I find fell creatures waiting for me. The runestones I’ve come across describe them as “Greydwarves,” corpses of men who committed terrible crimes which have come back from their unhallowed graves to plague those who walk the world. There are skeletal remains which have been animated by ruinous powers, warriors perhaps, criminals just as likely, all hungering to slay the living. And then there are the trolls, far smaller than what jotuns were reputed to be, but still a tower of flesh and rage.
May the Allfather find my battles worthy of notice, and may he guide my steps towards my true fate.
Once you’ve beaten Eikthyr, things are going to start getting serious. The Greylings and Greydwarves are going to be a more persistent problem. You’re going to find newer and more interesting enemies who want to kill you, and will do so without breaking a sweat. And you’ve got a new Forsaken target to take down, The Elder. It’s going to take some serious preparations to make it happen. You’re going to need new gear, and more tools, to get ready for the next big fight.
New Enemies Great and Small
The antler pickaxe can do more radical changes than the hoe, but it can only destroy, not rebuild. But that’s almost a secondary concern. Its primary function is to break through items which you couldn’t before with your bare hands: rocks and metal deposits. Rocks, when taking enough damage from a pickaxe, turn to Stones. And you’re going to need Stones for your next major building projects.
But before those, you’re going to have to deal with some new threats. The first of these are Skeletons. They can be armed with swords, sword-and-shield, or bows. You’ll often find them milling around the entrance of Burial Chambers, but occasionally you’ll find them roaming around or guarding a ruined stone tower. Burial Chambers are small dungeons which are filled with Skeletons, so if you’re needing Bone Fragments to improve armor, you’re likely going to be finding plenty by the time you finish clearing it out. You may also occasionally run into Ghosts, but Skeletons are the more likely inhabitant. There are treasure chests in some Burial Chambers, so keep a close eye out, or have a torch handy to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Yellow Mushrooms are a new edible food item, much like regular Mushrooms, but they glow in the dark. We recommend picking these mushrooms after you’ve cleared a wing of a Burial Chamber as a reminder that you’ve been there already. Finally, Burial Chambers will have a distinct item, Surtling Cores. Picking these items up will unlock recipes for the smelter and charcoal kiln. Each one requires five Surtling Cores, so you’re probably going to be looking for more than one Burial Chamber before you’ve got everything you need.
If you’ve been sneaking around and exploring, you may have seen two variants of Greydwarves in the Black Forests. The first is the Greydwarf Shaman, a nasty piece of work who employs poison attacks, both in ranged bolts and a “breath” weapon, doing damage over time. The other is the Greydwarf Brute, a bigger and harder hitting version of the Greydwarf. Usually, there’s only one of them around in a mob, but they’re sufficiently durable to make killing them a chore. We recommend fire arrows for both of these guys. Be on the lookout for Graydwarf Nests, a rickety looking pile of sticks with a glowing purple cloud around it. They will spawn all three variants of Greydwarf until they’re destroyed, which can lead to a serious infestation to deal with. On the other hand, you can milk those spawns for resources, skill building, and the necessary sacrificial item for summoning the Elder, Ancient Seeds.
If you thought Eikthyr was big, you’re in for a surprise when you see a Troll. They’re the biggest, toughest, and hardest hitting “regular” enemy you’ll run across at this point. Somebody might be suicidal enough to try going toe-to-toe with them, but the smart Viking is going to hit them from range with a bow. Much like the Greydwarf Brutes and Shamans, fire arrows work wonders on these guys. Expect a running battle if you come across one. Trolls are useful for a number of reasons, both alive or dead. Alive, they can knock down and smash any tree they come across. If you’ve been frustrated by the fact you can’t seem to chop down birch or oak trees at this point, a well managed “troll stroll” can take care of those for you. When you do manage to kill a troll, they drop a lot of loot. This includes a new crafting material, Troll Hide, and sometimes a Troll Trophy. Troll Hide is tougher than Deer Hide, and is the first armor set which gives you a bonus. With four Troll Hide armor pieces equipped, your stealth effectiveness improves by 25%, especially useful if you’re going to be doing a lot of hunting or recon into new biomes. It will, however, require a lot of Troll Hide to make the set, much less upgrade it. Trolls are generally found above ground, but you may chance into a Troll Cave dungeon. Needless to say, explorations in these lairs should be undertaken very carefully.
One final point with regards to your way stations and outposts: you’ll want to work towards making sure the workbench in the outposts has the chopping block and tanning rack upgrades in order to make repairs on your armor and more advanced tools. Especially if you do successfully kit yourself out in Troll Hide armor.
- Smelter – 20 Stone, 5 Surtling Cores
- Charcoal Kiln – 20 Stone, 5 Surtling Cores
- Troll Leather Cape – 10 Troll Hide, 10 Bone Fragments
- Troll Leather Helmet – 5 Troll Hide, 3 Bone Fragments
- Troll Leather Tunic – 5 Troll Hide
- Troll Leather Pants – 5 Troll Hide
Hammer and Tongs
Once you’ve set up your smelter and charcoal kiln, you’re going to need to find metal deposits. The Black Forests will have Copper Deposits (which look almost like large squashed mounds) and Tin Deposits (which are significantly smaller, looking like silvery rocks). It’s probably a good idea to recon the area, mark Copper Deposits on your map, and then use the hoe to run paths to them. Why? It comes down to logistics. Using the antler pickaxe, you’ll find that one piece of Copper Ore crafting material is heavy. Half a stack equates to half your carrying capacity. Needless to say, hauling Copper Ore by foot is going to be a pain in the ass. Tin Ore is lighter on a piece by piece basis, but there’s only one item you’ll be able to craft once you smelt it into Tin, the cauldron. We’ll talk about the cauldron in a later guide.
You will want to smelt a good amount of Copper and Tin, as well as using the charcoal kiln to create Coal to feed the smelter among other things. With some Copper, Coal, and Stone, you will be able to create a forge, a specialized workbench for tools, weapons, and armor using metal components. With the forge built, you can create Bronze, the next major crafting material you’ll be using in your quest. Bronze is made with two Copper and one Tin, so you’ll need to be hauling back a lot of Copper Ore. With Bronze, you’ll be able to make a new crafting material, Bronze Nails. These will become vitally important to your mining operations, though not how you might think. With Bronze Nails, and twenty Wood, you can make a Cart.
The Cart will let you haul a considerably greater load than you could by foot. So, if you have a Cart loaded up with Copper Ore, you’ll be in a better position to smelt Copper more efficiently. Bear in mind, you’ll move slower with a fully loaded Cart, and you may have difficulty with steep slopes, so try to move over level terrain as much as possible and use Eikthyr’s Forsaken power to help cut down on stamina loss when you run. Also, you’ll want to make sure rocks and saplings are removed from the path, as they will damage the Cart. You can repair the Cart, but you have to be in range of a workbench to do so. Greydwarves and Greylings will try to attack the Cart at any opportunity, whether on the road, at your home base, or one of your outposts. The good news, though, is that you can still wield your weapons and shield while “hooked up.”
Two final notes regarding Copper Deposits. First, what you see is not always the end of the vein. Think of Copper Deposits like icebergs; there’s usually more down where you can’t see. In point of fact, you may need to build an open pit mine to fully extract all the Copper Ore. If you’re going to go this route, we recommend building a simple shack to house a workbench, then throw up a palisade (listed as a “stakewall”) around the area. You can then dig out around the node with the antler pickaxe, using wooden stairs to spiral down towards the bottom of the pit. Second, you may want to consider putting a spare antler pickaxe in the Cart, for the time being, to help speed up your mining efforts. You’ll lose a stack’s worth of Copper Ore per trip, but you’ll be filling the cart faster.
In the Black Forests, rather than beech and birch trees, you’ll find fir and pine trees. Both can be chopped down with the flint axe, and we recommend chopping down a few pines specifically because they provide a new crafting material, Core Wood. You’ll need Core Wood for a variety of purposes, but the most important will be for crafting the bronze pickaxe. This tool is what will really help speed up your mining efforts, particularly if you can get it upgraded.
- Copper – 1 Copper Ore (requires smelter)
- Tin – 1 Tin Ore (requires smelter)
- Bronze – 2 Copper, 1 Tin (requires forge)
- Sconce – 2 Copper, 2 Resin
- Forge – 4 Stone, 4 Coal, 10 Wood, 6 Copper
- Anvils – 5 Wood, 2 Bronze
- Bronze Atgeir – 10 Wood, 8 Bronze, 2 Leather Scraps
- Bronze Axe – 4 Wood, 8 Bronze, 2 Leather Scraps
- Bronze Buckler – 10 Bronze, 4 Wood
- Bronze Helmet – 5 Bronze, 2 Deer Hide
- Bronze Mace – 4 Wood, 8 Bronze, 3 Leather Scraps
- Bronze Nails (20) – 1 Bronze
- Bronze Pickaxe – 3 Core Wood, 10 Bronze
- Bronze Plate Cuirass – 5 Bronze, 2 Deer Hide
- Bronze Plate Leggings – 5 Bronze, 2 Deer Hide
- Bronze Spear – 5 Wood, 6 Bronze, 2 Deer Hide
- Bronze Sword – 2 Wood, 8 Bronze, 2 Leather Scraps
- Bronzehead Arrow – 8 Wood, 1 Bronze, 2 Feathers
- Cart – 20 Wood, 10 Bronze Nails
- Cultivator – 5 Core Wood, 5 Bronze
Realistically, you’re not going to be carrying absolutely everything that you can craft. You can certainly work on upgrading your particular favorite weapon type, explore the effectiveness of new weapons, and work on improving your toolkit for when you’re out in the field. When you’ve got the bronze version of your current tools and weapons, put the old ones in a chest in case the worst befalls you. The Elder’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so you’ve got plenty of room to prepare yourself for the next challenge.