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Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny Low-Spoiler Walkthrough

This is technically a non-linear game, as you can go anywhere you want to and do anything you want. However, like most non-linear games, if you don't attend to the main quest, you're going to have a very boring go of it. Wandering around the backwoods killing random monsters for hours and hours on end isn't very thrilling, and the game designers obviously spent more time designing the quest parts of the game than others. So go ahead and explore wherever you like, but I'm going to tell you where the highlights are. The truth of the matter is you'll get a full helping of the wandering monsters and random travel events just going back and forth between quest points. On the road you may meet Kollberg the merchant who tries to sell you a map piece, and Olvir the bard who sings you long-winded songs with clues about quest people sprinkled in. Neither is necessary to the quest, and where and when you encounter them, if at all, seems to be random.

Thorwal and the Early Game Walkthrough

There are only three useful things to do in Thorwal: get assigned the main Blade of Destiny quest, equip your party appropriately, and clear out the town dungeon. To get the quest, you'll need to hang around a bar drinking until a messenger comes in to announce it. The Four Winds is a good bar to do this in, since you can also hear the story about the ghost ship. (Do take notes on this, as you can use the information later.) After you've heard the announcement, just go to the Hetman's house to accept the quest. To equip yourself, start in the armory (the Hetman will give you coupons for free weapons) and then visit stores around town. The local dungeon can be accessed by speaking with Master Dramosch. It has five levels and is a good place to build experience and your cash reserves. Schlepping loot out of the dungeon is very tedious, and there is no bag-of-holding item to help you with this. There is, however, a second exit from this dungeon on the fourth level, which was a welcome relief from extra loot-trudging; squeeze through the crack to pop up in a Thorwal house, and then simply reenter the house to return to level 4. On level 3 there is a cave-in requiring "heavy equipment" to clear-- I think it's meant to be impassable, since arming my characters with pickaxes was to no avail. There is another way around the impasse, by climbing down through a hole and then back up the stairs. If you plunder Phex' altar on level 1 your chance of getting a miracle in the future will drop.

There are a few unusual features of Thorwal--a big black tower, a closed embassy, and some guarded ottaskins. So far as I know none of these are ever of any use. You can teleport into the tower but it only tells you the historian will not see you and boots you straight back out again.

When you've finished your business in Thorwal, you'll have to choose where to go next. Vaermhag, up the northern coast, has a temple of Rondra. It's worth a slight detour to try and get one of your weapons blessed. Otherwise, the first place you want to go is Felstyn, where the Hetman suggested you begin, so leave Thorwal by the eastern exit, along the river: traveling through Tjoila Ferry Station, Rukian, Angobordirtal Ferry Station, Auplog, Vilnhome, Upper Orcam, to Felsteyn. There are two events along this path. One is a rest area before the Angobordirtal Ferry Station. If you sleep there you'll get a chance to track some pigs (if your lead character has Stealth). It's not the most exciting event in the world. The second is an evil orcish monolith near Felsteyn. If you destroy it, your chances of a miracle will increase.

In Felsteyn, you can find Isleif in a small house to the south of the city. He will give you a map piece and the names of two other leads. These leads are random, so if you save and reload you'll get different ones. It can be a benefit to visit a person you've officially been given as a lead, because then the bartenders can tell you where they live (you may have to pester them a few times in succession). If not, though, you can randomly bump into them and still get their information.

From here, the game can be done in many different orders, so I am going to arrange the highlights by area, not by plot order. I find it highly irritating to have so many extraneous towns with nothing of interest in them whatsoever; don't waste your time in locations I haven't put in boldface, for there is nothing in them other than a few generic stores and empty houses. In the Western Islands, however, bear in mind that otherwise useless coastal towns may run ships to other, useful towns you're trying to reach.

The Bodir River (East from Thorwal and Inland)

If you followed my suggestion and went to Felsteyn first, you've already come this way. You can get to the towns in this area only by walking; the river is not navigable.

TJOILA FERRY STATION: Nothing interesting. You can head south to Breida from here though.
TJOILA: Nothing interesting.
RUKIAN: Nothing interesting.
ANGOBODIRTAL: There's one quest person here, Bjorn. He'll give you a map piece if you pick the right conversation with him.
AUPLOG: Nothing interesting. You can head west to Varnhome on the Central Coast though.
VILNHOME: Nothing interesting.
BODON: Nothing interesting.
UPPER ORCAM: There's a dwarven dungeon in town, on the northwestern side. It has two levels. Annoying pit traps may separate your party; don't worry, just step everyone on the same square and select "unite party" to get everyone back together. On the lower level you will find yourself in an irritating crossroads with a teleport trap in the center. There may be something you can do with the Ingerimm statue upstairs to disarm this trap, however, stepping into the center backwards doesn't trigger it. Behind a secret door down here is a pit trap you can't jump across--use your strongest character and try it two or three times, and if you're still having no luck, go back upstairs and offer the statue of Ingerimm a gold piece, then try again.
ORC MONOLITH: There is the aforementioned Orc Monolith on a hill between Felsteyn and Upper Orcam; destroy it to please the gods.
FELSTEYN: Besides the aforementioned quest person (Isleif), there is a route here running north through the mountains to Orkanger (in the north). It is impassable during winter.
ROAD FROM FELSTEYN TO ORKANGER: There are lots of fights here, including one with robbers that yields a magic item. There's a one-level goblin cave to explore along this road too; nothing of particular interest in it, but it's fun to explore. If a rat bites you, be sure to clean the wound right away or it'll get infected.
SWAMPS: En route to Phexcaer from Vilnhome or Skelellen you will have to pass through a swamp. Your characters may lose items in it (ugh), or they may get sick. Check everyone as soon as you're out of the swamp and use "cure disease" on any ill people ASAP.
PHEXCAER: There's one quest person here, Alrik. You can find him in one of the local bars if you ask about him in the gambling hall first. He doesn't have a map piece and his information is useless. There's also an NPC who you can hire in one of the bars here, the rogue Harika. Her thief skills are useless to you because she can't stand in front; she also charges you to sign on, unlike other NPCs. The rest of this city is disappointing and confusing. There are several unique buildings here--a town hall, a brothel, the gambling hall, and a carriage house--but none of them serve any purpose or have any effect on the game. The temples have interactions with the priests that make little sense and have no bearing on anything. Some characters, such as Alrik and the healer, have apparent plot conversations with you in which you can ask them about "where to find Hyggelik," and the answer is either Riva or Hermit's Lake--this meshes not at all with the rest of the game's plot, and cannot be followed up on. One of the hookers and one of the priests will offer to meet you elsewhere in the city to share information about Hyggelik's whereabouts, but it's impossible to do this, so don't worry about it (you can get a fight with some mercenaries if you try to enter that priest's temple again later, but the fight doesn't reveal anything sensible either). It looks like this city was designed before the final plot was ready, and there are loose ends and confusing conversations scattered all over. I haven't noticed any of them to have any effect on anything else in the game.
GROENVELDEN: Nothing interesting.
ROAD FROM PHEXCAER TO SKELLELEN: The route to Skellelen (in the south) is a good one to save for the end of the game. It has annoying swamps (save before setting off), an orc dungeon that you will need high skills to solve, and the entrance to an area you won't be able to access till the end of the game at all. Also lots of pitfalls and other chances for the lead character to test his nature abilities. You can also meet an elf who will give you a recipe. You can't pass this way in winter, even if you have coats and snowshoes.
The routes to Hermit Lake are frought with perils. Highlights here are an amulet you can win from an orc patrol on the road and some riddling griffins (warning: their riddle is kind of stupid and is related to the mythology of Arkania, not a word puzzle as it may appear. Read the gods section in the manual for a hint.) The unicorn sometimes appears to one of your characters along this road. (It didn't ask if we were virgins, though it would have been funny if it blew off parties who visited the Phexcaer brothel). It may give you a map piece if you're missing one; whatever you do don't get it mad.
You can have a humorous exchange with the game if you pick "settle down at the lake" at the end of your conversation with the hermit. Otherwise, all there really is to do here is circumnavigate the lake (pick "Hermit Lake" again from the list of destination points to take this loop). You will have to go through another irritating item-sucking swamp, but if you do, you can reach a rock spire which, if you climb it, will give you one randomly chosen clue. Most of the clues inform you of the location of one of another of the quest people; there is nothing necessary to the game here, but you can keep trying as often as you like (choosing "turn back" after sleeping will let you go up the spire again without having to go through the swamp again).
The routes to Hermit Lake are frought with perils. There's an encounter with an old lady along this road; I wasn't able to learn anything useful from her. The unicorn sometimes appears to one of your characters along this road. (It didn't ask if we were virgins, though it would have been funny if it blew off parties who visited the Phexcaer brothel). It may give you a map piece if you're missing one; whatever you do don't get it mad.
The routes to Hermit Lake are frought with perils. There's an odd and rather pointless encounter with a giant wyvern along this road, and a fight with some orcs. The unicorn sometimes appears to one of your characters along this road. (It didn't ask if we were virgins, though it would have been funny if it blew off parties who visited the Phexcaer brothel). It may give you a map piece if you're missing one; whatever you do don't get it mad.

South of Thorwal

You can take ships between Thorwal, Serske, Merske, and Efferdun, or you can walk. Nothing special will happen to you on either land or sea routes there; in fact, you needn't bother going south down the coast at all, as there is nothing special in any of those towns. The rest of this area is inland.

SERSKE: Nothing interesting.
MERSKE: Nothing interesting.
EFFERDUN: Nothing interesting.
BREIDA: There's one quest person here, Asgrimm. He tells a long yarn, but I wasn't able to get any map piece out of him no matter how much I flattered or badgered him. You can also head north to Tjoila Ferry Station on the river from Breida.
PEILINEN: Nothing interesting.
SECRET TRAIL: There's a trail leading from the Peilinen-Rovamund road to the Kravik-Skellelen road. On it you must traverse a couple of thickets and get a chance to hunt a stag. It's not worth going out of your way for.
ROVAMUND: Nothing interesting.
AMULET: Between Rovamund and Nordvest you can find a useful amulet on a dead body.
NORDVEST: Nothing interesting.
KRAVIK: Nothing interesting.
SKELLELEN: Nothing interesting.
ROAD FROM SKELLELEN TO PHEXCAER: The route to Phexcaer (on the river) is a good one to save for the end of the game. It has annoying swamps (save before setting off), an orc dungeon that you will need high skills to solve, and the entrance to an area you won't be able to access till the end of the game at all. Also lots of pitfalls and other chances for the lead character to test his nature abilities. You can also meet an elf who will give you a recipe. You can't pass this way in winter, even if you have coats and snowshoes.

Central Coast

You can take a ship along the coast north from Thorwal, or you can walk. Your call.

VAERMHAG: Nothing interesting. (It does have the closest temple of Rondra to Thorwal, if you're looking for magic weapons.)
VARNHOME: There's one quest person here, Eliane. She'll give you the Nameless God quest and, if you complete it, a map piece. You can go east to Auplog on the river from here if you like, as well as on through this central section.
DASPOTA: This town is different from the others; it's more like a dungeon. Most of the houses hold unusually pissy pirates who you can theoretically converse with; however, none of them will do business with you (which sucks, 'cause my fighter totally wanted a tattoo) and there's no way to get anything out of any of them other than a fight. There is one exception: an old man in the northeast corner has a treasure map he will give you if you get a "writ." I never did figure out what he meant by that, unfortunately. It was probably a quest that never made it into the final version of the game. Though it seems like this town might behave differently towards you if you were able to sign on to a ship, as far as I know there is no opportunity in the game to do this. Your only goal in any of these houses is to provoke the occupants into a fight. If some of the text wraps around or if the English translations make little sense, just pick options randomly until the pirates attack. A tactical hint: if the fights in Daspota are a little tough for you, (there are two successive fights in some of the buildings), retreat to Rybon, sell your loot to buy poison, come back and fight till it wears off, and repeat as necessary.
ROAD FROM DASPOTA TO RYBON: You can get information about a nearby dungeon from a dying adventuress on the road here. Without these directions, you can't visit the Pirate Cave north of Rybon.
RYBON: Nothing interesting.
ROAD FROM RYBON TO THOSS: The road north to Thoss goes through the mountain wilderness, so you can't pass during winter. Two dungeons, the Pirate Cave and Ruins, are along this long road. Exiting one will send you automatically on to the town you were headed for, so if you want to see both you'll need to travel this road twice. There are also three wilderness events along this road: a chasm to cross (beware, a character who falls will be killed immediately), a steep cliff that will stress your agoraphobic characters, and a maze to get lost in. These three events lie between the two dungeons, so you'll have to travel the road a third time if you want to see them.
RUINS: This dungeon has three levels. There is nothing on the first but a magic bag that opens the room with the stairs in some nonsensical way. (I hate magic items that have no reason to work but do anyway just by virtue of being the only thing on the level.) The second level has an elven apparition worth encountering somewhere in the maze; also note that unlike in other dungeons, your lead character will not notice secret doors, so you have to actually walk into walls where you think secret doors ought to be. There's also one secret door on the third level that you can only go through backwards. The deathtrap on the other side will be triggered no matter what you do, so either skip the backwards room or look in on it last, because once you've triggered the trap you will lose life points continually until you leave the dungeon for good. The head sorcerer has a magic amulet on him that's doubly valuable for looking different from other amulets, and also the map piece from Yasma's quest.
PIRATE CAVE: There's nothing of great note in this two-level dungeon. Once you've found the head pirate and the treasure, you're done. (Don't neglect the chain mail in the treasure--it looks like every other chain mail in the game, but has a better AC and is lighter.) I found one other item in here, a book of quotations that a pirate had left in the john. I assume this is just an in-joke of some sort.
TUMBLEDOWN INN: Between Daspota and Ottarje is an inn which will yield a two-level dungeon if you sleep there. There are secret doors in here which your main character cannot spot; walk through them backwards to get past. There are a few recipes stashed down here. On the second level there is a particularly nasty trap which can turn some of your characters to stone. You can disarm the trap by destroying an artifact that's around the same area, but this won't bring your characters back to life. Either A) take the lift down so as to arrive east of the trap and disarm it before stepping on it; B) step on the trap, note where it is, then reload and carefully avoid that square, or C) split your party so that only those with excellent magic resistance step on the square (characters with 8 or higher seem to be immune to the trap). One other note: In one fight with mummies you will win four silver necklaces, all of which look identical. Three are junk, but one is magical. It's not that special a magic item, but I'm persnickety and hate leaving magic items behind. (-:
OTTARJE: There's one quest person here, Hjore. You can get a map piece from him if you choose your words carefully, but even if you do, it still won't show up on your map. I'm not sure whether this is intentional or a bug (several other walkthroughs mention Hjore's map piece as being a 'fake,' but it's never mentioned as such in the game itself). You could also show Hjore the debt book with his name in it instead, though he will deny any knowledge of it and the plot cannot go any further. Regardless of what you do, you will only have one chance to speak to Hjore before he dies.
SPIDER CAVE: Between Ottarje and Skjal is this two-level dungeon, the buggiest one in the game. It's easier to find on your way from Skjal to Otterje than vice versa. Don't worry about the riddle; it does have a topical answer, but nothing happens when you answer it correctly. The anagram by the demon statue is useful if you step on a teleport trap and wind up in a locked cell (just rearrange the letters till you get the right answer, there is no other clue). The Praios amulets are useless; you can use the crystals you find on the second level, but you don't need to waste inventory space on more than one of them. Most importantly, whatever you do DON'T burn the spider eggs at the end of the dungeon; the eggs are bugged and burning them can cause your party to randomly die in other dungeons weeks later. Weapons seem to break a lot in this dungeon, and some of the chests have no treasure, only traps. There are huge amounts of loot in here, though hauling 40 bottles of Arax poison back and forth from the store may not be your idea of a good time.
SKJAL: There's one quest person here, Jurge, on the east bank of the river. He'll give you a map piece.
SKJAL-ORVIL AND OTTARJE-ORVIL ROADS: Both of these roads yield the same little encounter with a bull corpse, as well as a few wilderness encounters.
ORVIL: There's one quest person here, Umbrik, in the northeast of town. He will give you the Druids quest and, if you complete it, a quest item you can use to get a map piece. The guy he's looking for can be found on the Ottarje-Orvil road (near the wolf lair).
ROAD BETWEEN ORVIL AND ROVIK: Odd encounter with some wolves and a shepherd.
ROVIK: Nothing interesting.
WOLF LAIR: One-level dungeon between Ottarje and Orvil. There are a couple magic items down here, a helm and an amulet (note that the silver helm can be worn by a sorcerer!)

Overseas (Prem and the Western Islands)

Most of the towns on the western peninsula and islands can be reached only by boat; others might as well be reached only by boat, for the few roads on this peninsula (Prem to Kord, Prem to Skjal, and Ljasdahl to Hjalland Farm) do not have any special events along them. The travel cost and time on routes is random--it can take 12 days to sail to the other side of an island, or 5 hours to cross the ocean. If you get a ludicrously long or pricy journey, just reload and try again. In harbors in this region you are likely to run into Swafnild the sailor, a quest person. She will always give you some leads, but may or may not give you a map piece; if she doesn't, then keep looking for her, because she will always give it to you if she encounters you a second time.

SHIP OF DEATH: You can find the ghost ship on the high seas--the route from Thorwal to Prem is good. This dungeon has six levels (two above the main floor, and three below). Make a note of where the exit is, since it doesn't appear on your automap. Save the two floors above the main level for last--there are a useful NPC and a necessary quest item in the decks below. (The quest item, a gold key, is in the quest that asks a riddle--I don't believe the answer is anywhere on board, but you should have learned it back in Thorwal.) There are a few amulets in here too (one protecting from fire and one providing continual light). Beware of irritating pits which cause your party to be separated. Most importantly, do EVERYTHING you want to do in this dungeon before doing the quest the NPC suggests, for as she says, this quest will sink the ship and you won't be able to come back later. Save before doing this--the 50 xp are irrelevant, and if you aren't quick about exiting the sinking ship you may drown (look out for those party-separating holes!) Actually, the drowning scene is kind of cool, so you may want to save beforehand and watch it intentionally. Going to sleep in the sinking ship is a very good way to ensure that you see the drowning sequence.
PREM: You can get an NPC here, the Thorwalian Garsvik. You can meet him in the Sperm Whale, or possibly another bar. There is also a dungeon in the old mines--step around the grassy squares around the end of the river that divides the city and you'll stumble across it. It's well-camouflaged. There is only one level to this dungeon, and other than creepy remains of starved people and one combat, nothing special to it. The two sturdy doors take quite high strength to break down (combined strength of the two front characters must be higher than 40!) Eating gulmond leaves does the trick if you're less strapping than that. From Prem, you can travel overland to Skjal and the Central Coast area.
HJALSINGOR: There's one quest person here, Algrid, who will give you some information. She lives in the central ring of houses.
BRENDHIL: There's one quest person here, Tiomar, who you will have to seek out at the end of the Druids quest.
PIRATE CAVE: There is a one-level dungeon between Manrin and Brendhel. (You can also encounter a hunter who'll tell you about it.) This is definitely the dungeon to hit if you're hungry--there are about 100 food rations stashed around here, and also an endless supply of stew in the entry foyer. The secret doors around here are stubborn--a perceptive character will notice them, but may still have trouble opening them. Teleportation avoids the problem. The statue of Swafnir is looking for a net, something I don't know how anyone without a cheat guide could possibly guess. If you drop a net in the square with the statue, the fire trap in front of the last treasure chest will disarm. Or you can teleport past it, or just suck up the damage. More puzzling--and more frustrating--are the three apparent loose ends in this dungeon: a scroll of "praises," a sea chart, and a mysterious boat. I've found no use for either of the first two and the boat, if I take it, always sinks and slays the party. If anyone knows more about any of these three objects, please email me and let me know.
MANRIN: There's an NPC in one of the bars here, Erwo the 4th-level rogue. NPC thieves are not very useful, since you can't put them in the front of the party to access their thieving skills. Other than Erwo there is nothing interesting in this town.
RUNIN and RUNIN LIGHTHOUSE: There's nothing worthwile in either hamlet (the lighthouse itself seems to be inaccessible, with nothing inside if you teleport there). There are three separate routes between the two towns. Along the center route lies a pirate hideout. There is a secret door on the first level which your character cannot spot; you must notice where it is from observation of the map, and for some reason you must step through it backwards. There's also an offering bowl which will magically give you ducats as often as you like if you enter the right number when it asks (I didn't find a clue to this anywhere in the game; it's the most obvious possible number, so I hit it by trial and error). On the second level are several magic items (a chainmail shirt, sword, and green ring) and a stairway leading to a dragon to talk to. Save before you go down there. Picking the wrong conversational options at this point will only prove your relatively low level. (-: Though the floor on which the dragon lives CAN be explored, it is pointless as there is nothing there; simply complete the dragon's task for a modest reward (the humans he's looking for are directly up the stairs from him), or else leave him to rot. It's your call.
LJASDAHL: There is nothing worthwhile in this little town, but if you follow the coastal road (the one that seems to lead back to Ljasdahl on the map), you can find the Nameless God Temple,a two-level dungeon you need for Eliane's quest. (You can also encounter two passersby who will tell you about it.) The temple itself is straightforward. I haven't been able to determine whether smashing the idols has any effect; it may improve your standing with the gods (resulting in more miracles). The lever that allows you access to the second half of the second level is very annoying--one of your party members has to stay there in the square with the lever for the rest of the dungeon or else it will reset. Teleportation is your friend. I have not found any use for the praises or membership scrolls or for the black figurine, nor does it seem to matter whether you keep the figurine or smash it. There is a magic item in here as well, a coronet that improves magic resistance and is worn in the helm position.
HJALLAND FARM: Nothing interesting.
KORD: Nothing interesting.
ARYN: Nothing interesting.
TREBAN: Nothing interesting.
GUDDASUNDEN: Nothing interesting.
OVERTHORN: There is an NPC, Curian, in one of the bars here; he is the highest-level available NPC, a 9th-level magician, but unfortunately the game AI doesn't often handle him very usefully in combat, so he's not as effective as he might seem. Otherwise, there is nothing of interest in this town.

The Northern Reaches (Beyond the Mountains)

THOSS: There's one quest person here, Yasma, living just west of the Lusty Boar. She'll give you a small quest to recover a map piece.
ROAD FROM RYBON TO THOSS The road south to Rybon in the central section goes through the mountain wilderness, so you can't pass in winter. Two dungeons, the Pirate Cave and Ruins, are along this long road. Exiting one will send you automatically on to the town you were headed for, so if you want to see both you'll need to travel this road twice. There are also three wilderness events along this road: a chasm to cross (beware, a character who falls will be killed immediately), a steep cliff that will stress your agoraphobic characters, and a maze to get lost in. These three events lie between the two dungeons, so you'll have to travel the road a third time if you want to see them.
LISKOR: Nothing interesting.
VIDSAND: There's one quest person here, Ragna, in the northwest of town. She'll give you a map piece if you pick the right conversation with her.
CLANEGH: There's one quest person here, Kolberg. He'll sell you a map piece, but only after encountering you randomly on the road earlier. The quest person Yasma also used to live here, but has since moved to Thoss. Stupid wild goose chase. There's an NPC in a bar here, a huntress named Nariell.
TYLDON: Nothing interesting.
ORKANGER: Nothing interesting.
ROAD FROM ORKANGER TO FELSTEYN: There are lots of fights here, but the one with the robbers yields a special magic item you won't want to miss. There's a goblin cave to explore along this road too. The way is impassable in winter.
TJANSET: Nothing interesting.
ROAD BETWEEN TJANSET AND ALA: You can find a recipe here if you search.
ALA: Nothing interesting.


ORC CAVE: There's a one-level dungeon between Phexcaer and Skelellen. I recommend saving it until near the end of the game; the monsters aren't tough, but you will need high scores in several skills, such as Ritual, Languages, Reading, and maybe more. Anyway, in this dungeon there's orc brew to sample, which will temporarily lower your charisma. There are two orc weapons to destroy. There's a riddling chest that will give you a "red moon disc," whose use I haven't found (you need to switch your characters with high ritual and language skills in and out of the first position to get the information you need for that), and a bronze key that doesn't appear to open anything. And there's a real pain-in-the-ass locked door. There is, in fact, a lever that opens this door, but you must be *facing* the correct direction in the correct square to notice it. It's in the hallway nearby the door, and you'll have to leave one of your characters holding the lever, just like in the Nameless God Temple. Or you can always teleport through. There is an important quest item in this room.
HYGGELIK'S TOMB: Once you have 7 map pieces you can access this four-level dungeon (between Phexcaer and Skelellen). On the way you'll pass Hasgar's grave, which you can dig up (if you want to offend the gods) or clean up (if you want to please them). Within the tomb building it is very important NOT TO PICK UP ANY OF THE ANCIENT COINS LYING AROUND. There's a bug associated with them which can corrupt your character files (thus screwing your game up even if you reload). You shouldn't take the huge and obviously cursed treasure horde, either, but I don't think that can destroy other savegames. There is nothing of interest anywhere in this dungeon except for the Grimring sword--the chests are all empty. The mirror/lever setup on the second floor CAN be used to successfully open the central door... for me, the sticking point was that I couldn't figure out how to actually pull the levers. You have to face north and then activate the "pull lever" button on the main interface (where "open door" or "open chest" sometimes pops up). It's the only place that "pull lever" button ever appears (you get a text option to pull a lever for every other lever in the game), so don't feel too dumb if, like me, you didn't notice it there! There's another catch to this puzzle too, of course, but that one's clever and I'll leave you to figure it out by yourself (or pester me in email). "Transversalis" also works just fine. There are three stairways down from the second level, one leading to the final level with the sword and the other two to a useless fourth level.
TO BATTLE: Once you have the sword and the quest item from the orc cave, you can encounter the orcish army between Phexcaer and Hermit Lake. Good luck! It can be really tedious clicking 'wait' for all your other characters every combat round before the designated champion gets her turn to attack... it's fine to just have all the other characters flee the combat to speed things up.

Once you've finished Blade of Destiny, you can theoretically export it to the sequel, Star Trail, by copying your final savegame into the Star Trail directory. This works fine, however, it consistently munged my characters' portraits, giving all the female characters the same portrait and all the male characters the same portrait. I can only imagine how annoying this would be to play, given how important it is to switch the party order frequently and check everyone repeatedly for illness and broken weapons. Starting over also works just fine; you'll start with one or two fewer experience levels and worse equipment, but if anything the game is balanced towards a new creation, not the other way around, so an imported party may have a little too easy of a time with the game anyway.

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