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Fan Mission: Marsh of Rahena by ERH+ (2019/4/5)

  

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Horror themed fan mission - exploration of seemingly deserted keep in the middle of swamps.
Spiders, undead, darkness.


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This is the story about the fate of my family. My uncle, Ralph Mac Roberts, is the baron of a keep nestled deep within the Rahenaen marshes.

It was once an important outpost tasked with guarding one of the few Builder roads that cross the marsh, but after the Inventor`s Guild built a system of nearby dams that flooded the whole land, the road closed and there was no longer anything to watch over anymore.

The keep itself needed reinforcement against the raising water level and the trade routes become almost impassable, not only for the carriages but for lone couriers as well.

There hadn`t been any messages coming from the keep for over a year and my father was about to assemble a caravan so he could go on an expedition to the keep himself.

However, in the middle of the night before he was set to leave, a carrier pigeon landed on his windowsill.

My father received the letter and read the apologies from my uncle and his family, excusing their long absence.

As a way to make reparations for their extended silence, my uncle invited me to the keep to stay there for a fortnight or so.

My uncle had instructed me to leave my horse three leagues away from the keep by the nearest charcoal burning hut and hike the remainder of the road on foot, as the trek through the marsh is treacherous for horses.

The weather will be awful this time of year, but my father insists that I should go anyways to ensure that our relatives are okay.

These plains become dreadfully deserted - to the point where you more expect to meet the dead than the living.

And by the way - I think I`m lost.


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Download link:

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aj1DVS465udZgVkXteBbr6cUxdPH


Thanks:

to the TDM team for great tools, and all the contributors for their assets,

to betatesters: Amadeus, Bienie, Boiler's_hiss, Dragofer, Filizitas, Judith, nbohr1more, s.urfer,

again to Amadeus for proofreading and text tweaks,

and to all the players for their time!


Few screenshots:

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/10003-so-what-are-you-working-on-right-now/?p=434716

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/10003-so-what-are-you-working-on-right-now/?p=429558

http://forums.thedarkmod.com/topic/19886-fm-marsh-of-rahena-beta-testing/?p=434507



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Enjoy!


Walk-through !major spoilers!

Finding a way across the marsh area:

You start at the west-north corner of swamp plains. Boundaries of accessible area are restricted by visibly lowered bottom and lack of trees. Use your compass and turn south-east, there should be barely visible point of orange light - it is a jack-o'-lantern on the tree, from with you will already see the keep.

You can cross the outer water dam by the main entrance (east), or by climbing one of four fallen trees (n-e, n-w, s-e, s-w) and jump between outer and inner dam. If you fall between, there a few logs to help you climb out.

There are few landmarks around, but you should mainly use compass.
Guillotine - north from the keep. There is a pile of coins in the basket.
Small tree next to the pit - in the middle of forrest - it will be important in the later objectives. There is a jack-o'-lantern on the nearby tree, also there is a horse skull hanging, and a key. Located in the north-east corner.
A standing rock and a road sign, near the keep's main ramp - east side.
One legged (sort of) hut, south-east corner. There is a restricted area around, patrolled by an undead sentry. There is also a jack-o'-lantern between the hut and the keep.
Flooded well - straight to the south from the keep. Contains two water arrows.
Small cementary (west-south corner). You will come here eventually...
Half-buried cart, with a holy water vial. Straight to the west from the keep.


Getting inside:

You can access the building only by climbing at the very top, and there are four ways to do that: getting on top of the elevator, then climbing on its ropes; climbing wines growing over southern tower; climbing perturbing stones on the wall in the middle of west wall, or on the west corner of northern wall.

Then go over the roof, and enter the cargo balcony. There is a note next to a lantern - read it.
Both the northern and southern chimney are accessible but have grates on every floor, so first you will need to find a crowbar.


Bed objective:

Next objective tells you to find a bed and rest - you can choose almost any of beds located on the attic level, as the lower floors have locked doors and you don't have means to pick a lock, yet. Still you can wander around the house a lot. There is some loot on sight but you wont rob your family, do you? There will come time for that.

EDIT: in version 1.22 you can rob everything from the beginning - on all saying difficulty level "cleptomaniac"

 

 

 

Light sources:

You will find numerous lanterns along journey across the keep, but none of them will go into your inventory - you are supposed to keep them always in your hand in front of you. If a lantern fall into water it goes off, but you can turn it on and off at any time by pressing 'enter' key.

 

Alternative type of light source you can take with yourself are glowing red crystals - they can't be extinguished whether you want it or not.

 

EDIT: in version 1.22 you will have a pocket lantern on easy and medium difficulty level.

 



Maps:

There are three maps of the keep: one (the least detailed) in the cargo shaft room, where you find first note next to a lantern; the map is in one of the arched alcoves. More detailed map is in the south-west room of attic, on a round table next to an armchair. The third one is in the far left corner from the entrance in the library, next to a red light crystal (accessed from the first floor, southern west corner of the keep).



Enemies:

On ground level and first floor you will encounter two types of threats: big and medium sized spiders on level 0 and 1, and invisible ghosts wandering around the main corridor of the first floor. The ghosts casts shadows and make distinguishable sounds, and while don't try to actively hunt you, will cause damage just by walking near you. They can't be affected by normal weapons, but will disappear if you splash their feet with holy water using water arrows. You may want to save holy water for later though.


Room objective:

After picking a bed you will see a cutscene, then you will wake in the remote room on the ground floor - all doors leading from the stairways to that level are open. Now you can encounter one of many spiders lurking around inner parts of the castle, but only big and medium sized are hostile - small ones will mind their own business.
When you stumble across bloody footprints, follow where they coming from - you will enter your uncle's room as your objective requiring. Now enter a secret compartment and read the diary. Now you will be able to pick a crowbar from the desk, also holy water and water arrows will come handy.
You may see in few places vials looking like e.g. health potions, but if they are covered in webs, they can't be picked up.
There are also thrash shafts: level 0 and 1, north and south outer passage - if you grab the hatch you will land outside the building, but can't get back in the same way.


Hut objective:

The witch's hut is in the south-east corner of the swamp. You will need a crowbar to open the chest, but before that you have to pass by the skeleton sentry - he will move in the circle area restricted by eight staffs. You can kill it with common weapons, but also holy water will do the job. There are two rope arrows in the chest, handy but not crucial.


Sealed objective:

You need to find a way to the bricked up level and find the witch, or rather what's left from her. With rope arrows you can climb up through the cargo hatch from the level 1, but you already had a way to get there - crawling into chimney (north or south) and using a crowbar on grates. There are also two rooms with accessible windows (under extended roof from the courtyard side) for rope arrows, and weakened floor in one spot of attic - for crowbar.
You will encounter here two types of threat: a green light speeding across the main ring corridor (it will hurt you on contact), and two invisible monsters patrolling all rooms. You can't get rid of any of them, so the best way is to stay quiet when you hear loud heavy steps and try to get out of their way, and be ready to doge the incoming light while moving across the main corridor.
Hag's remains are in the north-west corner of the sealed level, and nearby there is a note under a broken crate. It will lead you to the remaining objectives.



Gold:

Now when you fully understand how bad everything went, you need to gather any goods you encounter to fund an expedition from the abbey, so the priests can conduct proper burials and cleanse whole place from the evil spirits. The amount of gold you need depends on the difficulty level and is equivalent of 1000/1500/2000. Overall loot pool equals 4000.

 

EDIT: in version 1.22 you can collect lot from the start without waiting for the story to progress - if you chose easy difficulty level.

Here's the list of most precious objects:

Book behind a sliding bookshelf, on the top floor of the library, in the south-west corner. The library is in the south-west corner of the building, accessed from the first floor.(150)
Amulet on a desk in the uncle's secret closet. (130)
Purse of jewels, in the false book on the shelf; north-east corner of the top floor of the library.(125)
Purse of silver in a chest (need a driller to open). Servants room, west and south of the ground floor.(110)
Pile of coins in a basket under a guillotine, on the swamp to the north from the keep. You can pick it at any time, not only after the reveal of your's family fate.(110)

Pile of coins, in the basket next to a guillotine - straight to the north from the keep. You can pick it at any point of the game, as it is not considered as a theft.(110)
Book on the shelf, in the south-east corner of the top floor of the library.(105)
Fancy spyglass in a stone chalice, in the middle of the hedge maze on the courtyard.(100)
Purse of silver coins in a convex chest, guards room, west and south of the ground floor.(100)
Purse of gold coins, on the bottom of the sewer shaft in the north-west side of the building. Cesspool is accessible from the west staircase.(100)
Thick tome on a windowsill, big room to the south and west on sealed level 2.(100)
Holy symbol in the chapel (stone ledge above the statues),south-east corner on first floor. (95)
Bracelet in a jewellery box, on top of the bed in the bricked up wealthy room, south and west of the ground floor. The room is accessed from the room above and to the east.(85)
Golden plate on a stand, in the wealthy room to the north and west of the ground floor.(75)
Bar of gold, on a clock, in the wealthy room to the north and east of the ground floor.(70)



Key:

There are two trees in the northern-east corner of the swamp area, in the middle of a group of bigger trees. One is grounded in a deep pit and have a jack-o'-lantern on the top; the smaller have a horse's skull, an apple, a shed skin of a snakeman - and the key to the cargo hatch, the only entrance to undergrounds. You will be able to use the key on the hatch only when the proper objective is revealed. Once you open it, you will be able to enter a web of cellars, covered in dense roots and other vegetations.
If you go pass the double metal doors, just to the right there will be bricked up cesspool entrance, with a stuck driller in it. If you deal with it with the help of your crowbar, you will have a second "lockpick", a driller, and a cleared way in a sewer shaft - you can enter any of toilets or saunas in the northern east section of the keep.

Main objective here is the southern west end of the level, with a bunch of coffins scattered across one of the alcoves. There is a shovel sticking from the ground - take it and cut with it heads of all five corpses laying in coffins.
To get there you have to pass by two groups of hostile creatures - apparitions ans fire elementals. If you see a horned skull on a stick, you are entering or leaving an area established by the witch, where fire elementals are allowed to wander.
After crossing that area you will encounter five apparitions, varying in appearance. You will get hurt in their proximity and can't fight them with normal weapons, but now is the best moment to use water arrows and holy water you probably took (arrows+holy water from the uncle's secret compartment, holy water from the sunken cart to the west from the keep,water arrows from the flooded well to the south from the keep).



Bodies:

When you finally decapitate five corpses, head to the southern west corner of the swamp and use the skulls at the candles on the altar in the middle of the flooded cementary. If both loot and heads objectives are fulfilled, you should see a brief cutscene and end the mission. Now your family's souls will finally be safe.

 

Edited by ERH+

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Yeah!! Congrats on releasing this. It's come a long way, looking forward to playing the final version :D

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Wow, freakin love that title picutre.

Edited by RPGista

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The mission is now available in the downloader and is listed on the wiki.

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In this map you can clearly see how bad can be the TDM color banding/striping :D (it's an engine limitation, not a map issue)

 

The-Dark-Modx64-2019-04-06-00-21-56-021.

Edited by lowenz

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Still I think exchanging an ambient light with a fog light (plus small ambient light bound to the player so you can see any textures) makes a nice spooky setting.

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Thanks (for the solution)! Lets see if there are some more bugs that will come out soon, so I can make a fast fix for more than one. I've already forgot there was a custom music in the menu. :rolleyes:

Edited by ERH+

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OK, I have a bug.

 

 

 

I made it to the house and to the floor with beds, kitchen, etc. I explored most of the floor, finding the map, then returned to the bed by the staircase you come down. I click frob and the dream starts.

 

I see a tunnel, the disembodied lantern and the pick axe go a short ways down the tunnel and then I see the shadows of whatever creature is right in front of my point of view go back and forth, back and forth, forever. I cannot click on anything to end the dream; eventually, I must CTRL-ALT-DEL and kill Dark Mod.

 

UPDATE: I tried again. This problem appears to only happen when I choose the bed just north then west of the stairs. If you choose a different bed (the one at the other end of that room, or go south to a big empty room then east to a bed in a room with other purposes), the dream runs normally and ends properly. I am no longer stuck.

 

 

 

 

I am running Dark Mod 2.07 and have had no other problems other than the missing music at the main menu mentioned earlier.

 

- prjames

Edited by prjames

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I see a tunnel, the disembodied lantern and the pick axe go a short ways down the tunnel and then I see the shadows of whatever creature is right in front of my point of view go back and forth, back and forth, forever. I cannot click on anything to end the dream; eventually, I must CTRL-ALT-DEL and kill Dark Mod.

 

 

It happens from time to time, I thought I've got rid of it. I will try to give "cinematic" "1" to few more entities - maybe the apparitions got in the way of the cutscene and something is going off the rails.

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Oh man, this looks really creepy!

 

Congratulations and thank you for the hard work!

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OK, now I'm stuck because I need a hint.

 

 

 

I've reached the point in the plot where it tells me to find a key to the cellars and that the horseman went northwest. I found the horseman's trailer (with it's holy water potion) but no sign of a horse, a dead horseman, or a key. I've searched the immediate area, but haven't found anything else of interest. (I did find the graveyard farther away, and the guillotine farther north.)

 

 

 

Help!

 

- prjames

Edited by prjames

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Wow, wow, wow.

 

I just entered the castle, but now I've stopped. I have to transfer this mission to my notebook, connect it to the big screen...and then start again with 5.1...after sunset! :)

 

Again, thank you for this mission!

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OK, now I'm stuck because I need a hint.

 

 

 

I've reached the point in the plot where it tells me to find a key to the cellars and that the horseman went northwest. I found the horseman's trailer (with it's holy water potion) but no sign of a horse, a dead horseman, or a key. I've searched the immediate area, but haven't found anything else of interest. (I did find the graveyard farther away, and the guillotine farther north.)

 

 

 

Help!

 

- prjames

Oh dear, it supposed to be north EAST, just in the corner of accessible area. I'm sorry for this misleading mistake :excl: .

I make it harder that it should be, shame on me.

Edited by ERH+

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A small question:

 

[spoiler]

I've got the the witch's hut, but the objective does not complete and I cant open the chest. Was I meant to find a key in the keep or am I missing something else? Cheers.

[/spoiler]

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Lockpicks are exchanged by two tools you can find during exploration. You probably missed a crowbar:

 

It is in your uncle's room (the one with bloody footprints coming from it), in the secret closet, next to the book you had to pickup and read to fulfil previous objective.

 

Edited by ERH+

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bugs:


*compass texture is missing, just silver (hard to tell directions for objectives)


*during the first night of sleep the lantern and pick float through the hallway

*the text is blocky and hard to read (no anti-aliasing), many lights are tilted and aligned with player body (my weapon casts shadows across the environment) - I've seen this before, so it may be a DM issue I can't solve. someone please point me to any remedies!

*trash chute dumped me outside of the keep before I got the objective to search hag's hut, had to reload

*several sound files are missing and DM just plays a 'boop' noise (heard near hut, and when exiting)




stuck:

found a red crystal in the chapel and one in lab, don't know what to do with them.


Edited by MrMunkeepants

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*Red crystals are just a different light source, like a lantern.

*compass texture wasn't modified, so it may be a problem with stock TDM assets on your side.

*floating objects are as they meant to be.

*I don't know if anyone else had a problem with missing sounds during playing?

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Oh dear, it supposed to be north EAST, just in the corner of accessible area. I'm sorry for this misleading mistake :excl: .

I make it harder that it should be, shame on me.

Thanks for the help, that allowed me to finish at Normal difficulty.

 

 

Clearly I got my stealthiness training in getting those heads with the big baddies marching about and nothing I could really do to fight them.

 

 

- prjames

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Great Mission ERH+ !!!

 

 

In my book, the layout, setting and story were AWESOME :excl: , only detractor I would give it, is the lighting, but I think that's more of a game engine issue, from my understanding.

 

Thank you for all the work put into this mission :o

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