It is time once again to wipe the slate clean, start anew, and head out into the great unknown in search of fortune, glory and hats! For the start of Release 23 we have the Plague Doctor mask and a Tour Guide that looks like he might need to eat a sandwich or three to put some meat on his bones. As with other Grand Tours, this one starts in Soltown, so once you pick your destiny, you can swing on by and get the tour started.

I have to say, this Grand Tour has some serious teeth. Teeth that bite into your backside and rip out big, meaty chunks! I’ve been working out, bulking up, doling out justice to the undead and I wasn’t able to make a dent to the Thugs, Mages and Skeletons that were lying in wait for me in the Catacombs. Seriously, who designs these things?! The Grand Tour is supposed to be a bit of a fun, a bit of folly, a chance to get out a see the world, and of course to be seen, not get ambushed with no chance of survival. Spiteful I say. Truly spiteful.

But it is possible to do if you are willing to come to terms your mortality and invite death over for dinner. We dined often on this run.

There are four destinations for this tour – Soltown Catacombs, Solania Catacombs, Tower of the Shuttered Eye and Desolate Hills. At least you don’t have go far to get the ball rolling.

Soltown Catacombs
The Soltown Catacombs can be reached from the graveyard in Soltown!

Head out of town, away from the Tour Guide and take a right to get to the cemetery.

At the bottom of the ramp, on the left, is a hidden door you need to go through. Follow the twists and turns, through the toxic haze of purple gas. You will go up another ramp and will find the Tour Guide dead ahead – dead being the operative word. It looks all calm and peaceful in there with the Guide just standing off in the corner, on his lonesome, just waiting for someone to come by and say hello. Don’t believe it for a second! As soon as you get close you will be ambushed by at least half a dozen skeletons!

You should, if quick and lucky, be able to register the visit and make a getaway. But keep your bearings! As you run screaming for your life, immediately head to the west tunnel in that same room and keep following it around. You will pop out another hidden doorway. To your left is the entrance to the Solania Catacombs.

Solania Catacombs
The Solania Catacombs can be reached from a passage under a bridge in Solania. Solania is north and west of the Perennial Trail, near Lake Celestis. You can also reach it directly via the Soltown Catacombs … if you find the secret door!

Getting to this Tour Guide is worse than in Soltown. Take a deep breath and prepare to die. That’s just the way it is.

You can only go one way so follow the twists and take the first left you come to. Up ahead is a room full of Elf Mages, Fighters and Archers that you have no chance of defeating. If you can make it work, play the role of bait (which isn’t hard) and lure as many toward you as possible. Keep backing up to draw them away from the room and down the tunnel. Have your Heal spell at the ready because you’re gonna need it.

Get them as far away from the room as possible, then run as fast as you can through the mob and through the Elf camp itself. It’s amazing how accurate and slowing their Disabling Shot arrows are!

Run straight through and down the ramp on the opposite side. Yes, there is a dead end. Start swinging! Quick now, death is coming! If you time it right you can break through the wall before all the naughty Elves come and surround you.

Bash through the wall like it’s a prison break and go to the right. Keep running and head for the Tour Guide in the next room. Hopefully the bandits aren’t still chasing you because, as you would expect, the Tour Guide is surrounded.

Fully heal yourself if you can then make another run for it. If timing is on your side you should be able to register with the Guide before dying.

Tower of the Shuttered Eye
The Tower of the Shuttered Eye is in the southeast of Novia, in the swamps. You can see it from quite far away!

We should all know where the Tower is, but if not, from Soltown, head out toward Ardoris. You will see it off to the left, out in the swamp, where the wild things are.

This Guide is actually quite easy compared to the others. Run through the main area and make a bee line right for the Tower itself. You should be able to sprint through without running into too much trouble or picking up the plague. Ah, the plague, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Enter the tower and before you go anywhere, turn to the right. There is a door directly in front of you. Go through there and then off to the left into the second room. The most you should face is a Slime. You may be ready and jumpy for an ambush, but one isn’t coming.

Desolate Hills
The Desolate Hills is west of the Perennial Trail, near the Necropolis. It is fairly dangerous, and the tour guide may be hiding out of sight!

Head down to Ardoris and keep going. Follow the path until you get to the West Perennial Trail. Turn Left or South and climb up the hill. It’s rather concealed, so look around a bit. You will see some headstone as though you’re in a cemetery. You’re in the right place!

If you have quick feet you can make this happen and get out without death paying a visit.

There is a crypt just to the right as soon as you enter. It’s mere feet in front of you. Run straight for it and open the crypt door. Surprise! The Tour Guide is inside. However, Wolves and Skeletons have turned this cemetery into their own little fun park and they’re just waiting to tear you to shreds.

And there you have it, you’ve risked certain death in order to gain a festive mask that was used to keep away certain death.

Since you now have the mask, and perhaps need a bit of break from all the death and dying, have a read about the Plague Doctor mask, it’s some interesting, albeit dark, reading.

 

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A hidden entrance, sneaky indeed!

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Hmm, all seems quiet in there, but I bet as soon as I step inside, DEATH!

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Rather gloomy out here in the Desolate Hills

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That’s just completely uncalled for!

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Quick stop to show off my new Plague Doctor mask with the Tower of the Shuttered Eye Tour Guide just hanging out in the shadows.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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