|The exterior, undergoing restoration|
(also see pre-restoration)
The White March - Part I
|This article is about the location. For the quest, see Durgan's Battery (quest).|
One of the most stunning sights in the White March, the Battery was founded by Pargrun dwarves hailing from the Grand Empire of Vailia (though not imperial colonists). Abydon's call led the settlers north, deep into the Reach, after generations spent living along the Pearl Coast and Eir Glanfath. In the course of their journeys, the Pargrunen located Clîaban Rilag and investigated the Engwithan animat forges within the lower levels, studying the process of their manufacture and soul-infusion in detail and salvaging animats for further research. The mastery of soul manipulation and transference left a lasting mark on the expedition, which pushed on further north, inspired by what they found. Eventually, they entered the White March and found the future site of the Battery, a place where the confluence of magma and adra created an uniquely powerful site, one where they speculated that Abydon forged his bronze body.
They were somewhat correct. The White Forge was indeed a site of immense power, never meant for mortal use. It was where Abydon, when he still had a body of flesh and bone, forged his hammer and created the army of the Eyeless. The dwarves harnessed the forge, building the fortress around it a manufactory and shrine to Abydon. The Forge proved immensely powerful, its fires fed by streams of magma from an active volcano buried beneath the March and veined with adra that runs to the center of the world. The ancient dragon carved out of stone continued its silent vigil, though the dwarves modified it extensively. The maw was filled with a network of steel dividers, tubes and vents, with a pair of golden rings set into the sockets to accept adra spheres. The resulting facility leveraged the unique power of the fires, using adra veins to siphon essence into steel as the dwarves shaped it. Durgan steel became known as the finest in the world thanks to the combination of essence siphoning, excellent and consistent heat of the forge, and dwarven skill. The refineries also produced extremely high quality copper that was used in coinage, art, and jewelry.
The Battery was torn apart by a conflict between its komendants: Chief Curate Exandru, Armswarden Marunn, and Coinmaster Zoltun. The dwarves divided themselves along ideological lines, disagreeing over the use of Durgan's steel. The three komendants represented faith, ambition, and greed respectively. Exandru would have them turn the Battery into a monastery, defended by Forge Guardians, while Marunn would have them continue the Pargrunen tradition of expansion and exploration, bolstered by the steel from the White Forge. Zoltun, on the other hand, was interested only in money and beautifying the fortress, turning it into a palace and monument to commerce. All three refused to work together and couldn't even agree on work orders, giving Master Smith Vasel no small amount of headaches.
However, although the Battery degenerated into political factions and the komandants couldn't agree on virtually anything, their disagreements weren't a direct cause of the collapse. The Eyeless led an invasion of the Battery circa 2623 AI, smashing through dwarven defenses. Weakened by limited production and inefficient leadership, the dwarves nonetheless attempted to defend themselves against the threat. All they did was delay the invaders as they smashed through walls, doors, and barricades, pulverizing any dwarves that stood in their way. In desperation, the komandants ordered the remaining dwarves to retreat to the Forge, using its unique powers to transfer their souls out of their bodies and into the Battery itself: Its doors, walls, machines, everything, and sealing the Battery. The great piles of corpses eventually rotted away, leaving behind a legion of souls bound to the very fabric of the fortress, with no sense of the passage of time.
Together with the Battery, the secrets of the armory and steel were lost. Not long after, the other Pargrun settlements across the March, like Bonepicker or the Hawk, were evacuated by the Pargrunen, who decided to return to more pleasant climates south, along the Pearl Coast. Countless adventurers tried to crack the Battery since, including parties funded by the Aedyr Empire and the Vailian Republics, to no avail. Even the Leaden Key attempted to breach it in 2823 AI, only ending up as fodder for the local ogres.
After the Watcher succeeds in penetrating the Battery, Stalwart denizens move in and begin work on restoring the great fortifications to working order, especially in the wake of the Readceran threat arriving right on their doorstep.
Points of interest
- Lower terrace
- The center of the first part of White March has plenty of points of interest. You begin the exploration in the south-eastern corner, and Zahua will initiate conversation after a few moments, asking you for your opinion on the fate of the dwarves. Just a short walk to the north is a large herd of deer, which will attack if you come too close. There's a buried corpse here you can uncover in scout mode.
- The ore-locating device will activate once you approach the center of the map and guide you towards the Battery cave to the southwest. The crag ogres at the entrance will leave you alone if you made peace with the ogres during The Ogre Matron.
- At the southern tip of a nearby chasm you can interact with part of a rock sticking out of the snow (see Chasm interaction below).
- To the northeast is Taragaer with his pet wolf, Ingot. North of him is a a hidden snowbank, near a clump of trees, containing Ninagauth's Black Pages. You only discover this if you have the tattered map from the hidden container in the camp in the South-West of Russetwood.
- Further north lies Galvino's cabin, near the Battery watchtower. Urthal stands on the road to the northeast, waiting in ambush.
- Middle terrace
- The middle terrace runs outside the defenses of the Battery. The chasm in the center is covered by a stone bridge called Durgan's Crossing. The eastern half contains a frozen lake and Meztla (if the bounty is active).
- Beyond that point is a small plateau with the Watchtower and a dead end by the Battery's side. The Talisman of the Unconquerable is in the urn. Ascend the watchtower to find the unstrung bow, the other part of the Stormcaller.
- In the south-western part there's the entrance (or exit if you're coming in from the lower terrace) to a cave filled with lagufaeths. Outside the upper entrance is a destroyed caravan for the side quest A Good Haul. Be sure to grab the battered shipment and loot the locked box for Spelltongue and Bracers of Deflection.
- Battery outskirts
- Finally, you can enter the courtyard outside of the Battery proper. The doors are collapsed and the outer walls chipped, but the fortress remains as strong as ever. Approach and you'll witness a scene between two dwarves, discussing a caravan with half a ton of steel and Coinmaster Zoltun... The first signals of the fact that something went very, very wrong at the Battery. To enter the Battery, you must complete the main quest Durgan's Battery
- [WM2] After completing the first part of the expansion, the Battery will be open. You'll come across Wengra, Culmar, and Lödgar arguing right outside its gates.
Due to the size of the location, it has been broken up into the following articles:
- Great Hall: The upper level and the representative portion of the fortress.
- Mines: The source of raw materials for the forge. Inaccessible in The White March - Part II.
- Foundry: The heart of the fortress and its industrial center. Contains the White Forge, treasury, and workshops. Most of the level is blocked off in The White March - Part II.
- West Tower: Inaccessible in The White March - Part I, houses the battery's primary weapon system.
- Galvino's Cabin, an empty cabin in front of the fortress.
- Ice Cave, an ice cave inhabited by lagufaeth's nearby.
- Taragaer: At his camp in the East.
- Urthal: In the North-East corner.
- Meztla: Found North-East of the bridge during Bounty: Meztla.
- Chief Curate Exandru, Armswarden Marunn, Coinmaster Zoltun: The ghastly apparitions of the komendants of the Battery.
- The White March - Part I - Exterior loot only
- Ring of Protection: Buried corpse near the deer herd.
- Spelltongue, Battered Shipment: In the caravan wreckage.
- Ninagauth's Black Pages: Hidden in the snow bank near Taragaer (you need the Tattered Map from Russetwood in order to find it)
- St. Ydwen's Redeemer: Carried by Urthal.
- Forgotten Tear of the Beloved: Carried by Meztla.
- Talisman of the Unconquerable: In the urn by the Battery's side.
- Unstrung bow: At the top of the watchtower, one part of Stormcaller.
- Crag Ogres
Sisterhood of the Slaked Skull (during the Task Bounty: Meztla):
At the southern point of the chasm in the center of the area, northeast of the ogres, interact with a bolder at the edge to see a villager standing on a narrow outcropping far below the edge of the chasm, pleading for help. Assuming you have a Rope and Grappling Hook, you can choose to descend to help the man. Alternatively you can have a companion descend instead (all the checks below are the same regardless, but with the companion's stats instead of the player character's stats).
- With Survival 7 or greater, you tie the line and feel confident that the knot will hold. If a companion has Survival 7 or greater, they step forward to offer their assistance and secure the line for you.
- Otherwise you don't have much confidence that the knot will hold.
Note that this interaction is "timed", in that certain actions will take time to do. These points are marked with an asterisk below, and must be taken to to make up for the inability to pass a skill check. At points that take time, if it has taken you 3 or more "turns" at that point, the ledge that the villager is standing on gives way, and they will fall to their death before you're able to reach them. If you get to the villager in two or more turns, they fall just as you reach them (requiring checks to dive after them successfully). If you get to the villager in 1 turn or less, you won't need to dive after them.
- With the rope tied off, you spot another, smaller ledge further up the side of the chasm. You can either
- Once down on the ledge, you quickly examine your surroundings (automatic).
- With Perception 15, you can see that several sections of the cliffside below are comprise of thin ice pocked through with air bubbles. Moving too quickly could cause it to shatter.
- Otherwise you only look below to see the villager's frightened face watching your progress.
- You can then choose to:
- Examine your surroundings* - assuming you haven't already passed the check above, allowing you to see the thin ice (increment rescue time counter). Then continue with any of the options below.
- Rappel from the ledge
- With Dexterity 18 (if you have not percieved the thin ice) OR with Dexterity 15 (if you have percieved the thin ice), you successfully leap away from the edge, adjusting your grip to avoid the thin sheet of ice to land on the surface below.
- Otherwise your feet smash through the thin ice wall, showering the villager below in a cluster of icy shards, injuring him (this affects a later check).
- Continue climbing down* (increment rescue time counter)
- Climb back up
- As you continue to climb past the fragile section of ice, the wind begins to pick up. You see a narrow hollow in the wall of the cavern that could provide some shelter until the winds die down.
- Press on
- With Constitution 18, the chill numbs your fingers, but you press on with confidence.
- Otherwise, a gust of powerful wind rips you from the cliffside. If your rope was tied securely, it holds as you regain your footing (increment rope damage by 1). If the rope was not tied securely, you get a Wrenched Shoulder (-2 Might, -25% Attack Speed).
- Cast Bulwark Against The Elements (assuming the character is a Wizard, and can currently use that ability). The spell shields you from the elements as you continue your descent.
- Hide in the gap* (increment rescue time counter).
- Press on
- At last you reach the trapped villager, and he reaches out towards you. If you have taken two or more turns to reach the villager (rescue time counter is >= 2), the outcropping beneath his feet gives way and he starts to fall.
- Dive after him
- If you injured your shoulder as you pressed on in the wind (failed the Constitution check above), a jolt of pain prevents you from reaching him, and he falls into the abyss below (end interaction).
- Otherwise if you originally secured your rope with Survival 7, you're able to loosen the rope just enough to reach him.
- Otherwise with Resolve 14, you manage to reach him in time - but get a Wrenched Shoulder (as above) in the process.
- Otherwise you reach him in time, but the knot in the rope comes undone. You manage to grab the rope above it, but the villager isn't so lucky, and falls into the abyss below (end interaction).
- Look on, as he falls into the abyss (end interaction).
- Dive after him
- You grab hold of the man and hoist him up, beginning your ascent.
- If you didn't wrench your shoulder, and the man wasn't injured by falling ice, you manage to reach the top unabated. (end interaction)
- If you wrenched your shoulder (and the man wasn't hurt by falling ice)
- If your climb is slowed (by failing the Might check above, or if the villager is injured by falling ice)
- Climb faster - Athletics 6 (or 8 if you have a Wrenched Shoulder) ensures you make it to the top.
- Call out for help from your comrades (requires 4 or more party members in total) - If at least 2 party members have Athletics 3, they pull you and the villager up to safety, otherwise the man slips and falls to his death.
- Keep hold of him with one hand (assuming he was injured) - With Might 14, you manage to make it to the top, otherwise the man slips and falls to his death, and you gain +1 Fatigue.
- Keep climbing - No check, the man slips and falls to his death (end interaction).
At last, if you managed to reach the top with the man on your back, he thanks you greatly and rewards you with 300 before heading back to town. Unfortunately there are no further interactions with the villager (needs verification).
The following solution requires the least amount of checks, simply a Survival 7 check on anyone in the party to be able to tie the rope securely. After that, make the following actions:
- Jump down onto the ledge - this is needed to prevent avoid taking 3 or more turns to get to the villager, after which the ledge will collapse and he will fall.
- Continue climbing down - avoid rappeling since it will injure the villager if you don't have the required Perception and/or Dexterity.
- Hide in the gap - avoid pressing on since it will cause a wrenched shoulder, causing a cascading effect of checks later.
- Dive after him - if tied the rope securely, no checks are required to catch him.
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