Caves of Qud

Caves of Qud

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The Screaming Man's Guide to Qud
By OrdiNeu
A complete walkthrough to the main storyline of Caves of Qud.
   
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The Basics
"Who inhabits the colossal desert freehold of Nanru? The Gathered Men.
The fiefdoms of Odrum? The Kneeling Men.
The jungles of Yyp? The Breathless Men.
And the rust-caves of Qud? The Screaming Men."
-Dromad travelogue

Caves of Qud is a traditional roguelike, meaning that:
1) It is completely turn-based. Animations might make it seem that things run in real time, but enemies and effects will only move when you do.
2) There is permadeath. You can turn this off in the options if you need to.
3) Every turn counts. Half of the game is about proper positioning and managing your turns so that you aren't swarmed.
4) Levels are entirely randomized. Levels will look different in every game.

Controls
Numpad or arrow keys to move. Numpad is preferred since you can move diagonally in this game. You can rebind controls by hitting escape to get to the options menu.
Escape: options menu
'a': abilities
'x': character stats
'q': quests
'e': equipment
'i': inventory
Numpad decimal: wait 20 turns
ctrl+numpad decimal: wait 100 turns
'~': wait until healed
space: interact (speak with, open, etc.) with nearby object.
'g': get
's': search around for invisible enemies.
'f': fire weapon in ranged slot
't': throw weapon in throwing slot

You attack by moving into a hostile enemy, or by holding ctrl and hitting a direction.
Stats
There are six main stats. There's actually two things to each stat: the number that describes their actual value, and their "bonus", listed beside the number. The two are related: increasing strength, for instance, increases your strength bonus. Every two points in any stat increases your bonus by 1.
Strength: Each bonus increases the penetration value of your weapons, until you reach that weapon's "strength bonus cap". Stronger weapons have stronger caps, and some stronger weapons don't confer any benefit over weaker ones until you surpass the weaker weapon's bonus cap.
Agility: Each bonus increases your DV, or dodge value. Enemies must make an accuracy check against your DV to get this. It also increases the accuracy of your attacks, and is especially important for ranged weaponry. It also affects the penetration value of daggers if you have the 'shank' skill.
Toughness: Each point increases your maximum HP, and your HP regeneration. It is also used in several skills to determine your ability to shake off negative status effects.
Intelligence: Each point gives you 4 skill points per level. If you get a point of intelligence via levelups, the skill points you would have gotten are received retroactively. It also affects your ability to examine artefacts without breaking them.
Willpower: Each bonus increases your "mental armor", which is only useful in determining your ability to resist the skills Syphon Vim and Sunder Mind. It also increases your HP regeneration, and, most importantly, reduces the cooldown of your mental mutations.
Ego: Mutants with mental mutations will want to put most of their points in this stat. Each bonus increases the level of your mental mutations by 1, saving you mutation points which you can spend to get even more mutations. It also affects prices when trading.

There is also:
MA: Mental armor, given by willpower. Used to resist Sunder Mind and Siphon Vim
AV: Armor value, given by armor. Each point is used to resist penetration from enemy weapons.
DV: Dodge value, given by agility and armor. Each point is used to dodge attacks.
QN: Quickness. Each time it is your turn to act, you have this many points to spend. Every action you do has an 'energy cost', and when you spend more energy than your quickness, your turn ends.
MS: Movement speed. How much energy moving costs is related to this, but it is unknown by how. Higher is better.
HP: Your hitpoints. If this goes to zero or below, you die.
T: Temperature. If this is less than -100, you are frozen and can only use mental mutations. If this is below 0, your quickness decreases. If this is more than 300, you are on fire and will take damage every turn unless you dunk yourself in water.
The number beside your hitpoints are your current and maximum carry weight.

And, in your status screen (hit 'x' to view):
Elemental resistances: Affect how much damage you take from attacks. Cold/Heat resist also affect how quickly your temperature rises or falls.
Skill points: Used to buy skills.
Attribute points: Obtained once every few levels, can be spent to increase a stat by 1 permanently.
Mutation points: Used to buy new mutations or improve existing ones.
Your mutations/cybernetics are also displayed here along with their level
Creating a Character
How you build your character is up to you, but consider the following builds:


Playing an Esper with high ego is simple: Just pump your ego as high as it will go and your mental mutations will level up with you. For physical mutations, you need to spend mutation points in order to improve them. For the mental mutations that espers rely on, these mutations will scale with your ego (but are capped by your level). This recommended build gives you access to the following skills:

Force Wall: An invaluable skill, as some enemies are helpless before walls. At higher levels, this gives you complete protection from some difficult melee and ranged enemies by providing you with a wall that they cannot break. At lower levels, this is useful as an escape mechanism. Remember that you can shoot through this wall, but Light Manipulation is stopped by it.

Light Manipulation: A bread-and-butter attack skill. Light manipulation gives you a ranged attack that never misses. It's rather weak early on, but improves quickly. It also gives you the ability to emit light without a torch, but I find this to be a poor use for it. If you run out of charges, remember that you can hit '.' on your numpad in order to skip a few turns and allow it to recharge.

Precognition: A very handy skill. It essentially saves the game, and allows you to play a few turns where if you die or if you wish to, you can return to the beginning. It was recently nerfed heavily, so I'm uncertain if it's still worth it. It has a few uses, such as:
1) Figuring out if you actually can kill that enemy
2) Figuring out where to go in Golgotha (see "More Than A Willing Spirit")
3) Killing Mayor Nuntu in Kyakukya, stealing the Corpus Chollys, and reading its contents without dying to Warden Indrix.

Sunder Mind: Your secondary attack skill. Sunder Mind ignores armor, and so is useful against heavily armored opponents.


This is an agility/intelligence-based True Kin build. This build relies on agility more than strength, and so should focus on knives (which benefit from agility to penetrate rather than strength) and the starting revolver when you begin. Buying lead slugs from Tam in Joppa (See "What's Eating the Watervine") is a good investment at the beginning.

Eventually this build tends to take Long Swords (Since Polluxus can be easily gotten from Sven in Kyakukya - see "Raising Indrix") and rifles (For the masterwork carbine from "More Than A Willing Spirit" and the armcannon cybernetic). Nice early game skills to have are ones that grant mobility, like Jump and Charge from the Acrobatics tree, and Juke from Tactics.
Intro Quest: What's Eating the Watervine?
This is likely the first or second quest you will do in Caves of Qud. If you picked a class that begins with grenades (see your inventory with 'i'), it may be a good investment to do the first of Argyve's quests first (See Argyve's Quests below). For this quest, first talk to Mehmet (the red guy at the bottom of Joppa) by going to an adjacent square and hitting 'space'. Follow the dialogue tree until you obtain this quest. From here, you should take the overworld route to Red Rock. Press '<' to enter the world map and head here:
Once you're there, press '>' to enter Red Rock. You'll enter on a screen with some rocky outcroppings and (possibly) some enemies. The enemies here shouldn't be too hard, so feel free to wail on them -- but do not leave the current screen. Once they are taken care of, look around or use the autoexplore (numpad 0) to find the stairway down. Pressing '>' will automatically go to the downstairs once they are found.
Red rock is a four floor dungeon where the enemy you need to kill is at the bottom. There are several things you need to consider at any point:
1) Ranged enemies (Seed-spitting Vines, Snapjaw Hunters) are very dangerous to characters with low AV. You should always try to be fully healed before trying to chase them. If you try to sprint towards them, remember that sprinting decreases your DV unless you have the appropriate skill in Acrobatics.
2) Young Ivories are the #1 cause of death in this place. They are invisible, deal a large amount of damage, and cause more damage over time due to bleeding. 'S'earching before you move every space is time consuming, so just ensure that you are at max HP before moving onto unsearched tiles. You can also search without consuming time by holding ctrl and moving in a direction.
3) Jilted Lovers are incredibly deadly, but cannot move. Ensure that you can take them out at range, or else ensure that you are at maximum HP before trying to attack.
There are also a few creatures that may not be hostile. Snapjaws drop a lot of equipment, but not all of it is profitable to carry. I find the most profitable things are daggers, and, if you have high strength to carry them, maces. For most characters, you will wish to wear armor with as much AV (the number next to the blue circle) as possible. If you have high agility, you may wish to wear armor with as much DV (the number next to the hollow grey circle) as possible.
At the bottom, you will enter an area with a river running through it, and gnawed watervines and ammo lying about. This is the area with the girshlings, and also another monster named the glow-wight cultist. These enemies deal a large amount of damage in melee range, so melee attackers should be at full HP and have decent AV before closing in.
The girshling corpse, which you need to complete this quest, weighs 30 lbs. Feel free to drop stuff before moving onwards, you can always return. Only beetlebums will destroy stuff on the floor, so ensure that there are none nearby before dropping stuff off. After this, there are two methods back to Joppa:
1) Through the overworld map. Probably the safest option.
2) Through the waterlogged tunnel. You could have actually used this path to get here, but I can't recommend it as some monsters here are rather difficult without a full set of armor. In particular, slugsnouts are fully capable of one-shotting most level 2 characters at range. To find this, simply follow the river south six screens, then find the stairways up. You may find a glowing corpse here, which is an unfortunate miner. Loot his body for a light-emitting helmet and a pickaxe, and read the parchment for his story.Once back in Joppa, take the corpse back to Elder Irudad, who will give you a large amount of healing items and some XP for your troubles.
Argyve's Quests
Argyve is the local tinker in Joppa, and is the start of the main storyline in Caves of Qud. His first quest involves getting him any two artifacts. For most characters, this means giving him the two grenades you begin with. This is enough to bring any character to level 2.
Weirdwire Circuit... Eureka!
Argyve's second quest is a lot more invovled. It involves grabbing 200 feet of red wire from the rust caves east of Joppa, highlighted above.

There is actually a second place to grab red wire, but it will not cover all 200 feet... Traverse the watervine swamps, or check out my "Secrets of Qud" guide (not finished yet)

On the way to the Rust Caves, your character may become lost. Simply walk in the general direction you were headed in until you are no longer lost. Finding NPCs and talking to them will also remove the 'lost' status. If you see strange fulcrete structures, move around that screen, as those enemies are unusually tough.

The Rust Caves are generally easy, except for one thing: Qudzu can rust items if you manage to get in melee range. Try to bring some ranged attacks, or simply grab as much wire from the surface of the three rust caves as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing some valuable items. Remember that Fix-It Spray removes rust.

There are a few enemies of note in the Rust Caves. Hide-Sheathed Hermits have an abnormally high AV, making dealing damage to them rather difficult. Spark Ticks give a large amount of XP, and aren't terribly deadly, but Electrofuges deal a lot of damage if you let them get close. Finally, slugsnouts can kill most adventurers this early on in a few hits. Try to force them to move into melee range by hiding behind walls and waiting for them to move closer.

When you have all 200 feet (they must be unrusted!), return to Joppa and talk to Argyve for your reward.
Canticle for Barathrum
You may wish to buy a chem cell from Tam at this point if the recoiler Argyve gave you did not come with one. It is useful in a pinch to return back to Joppa, but remember that you cannot use it if enemies are nearby. The next quest Argyve gives you involves travelling to Grit Gate.

Characters without a Wayfaring skill will almost always get lost on the way there, but remember to continue walking in the same general direction and you will eventually stop being lost. Be careful about getting lost in forest regions, as those regions have unusually difficult enemies. once you arrive at Grit Gate, you should find yourself staring at a fulcrete building.

Somewhere in the area are stairs downwards, which you should take. Enemies here may be too difficult for some characters, especially if they swarm you, but remember that Waydroids will be friendly and can kill enemies for you. 'Stairdancing' by moving up the stairs and hoping to funnel a few enemies at a time is a valid strategy.

At the third floor, you will reach the entrance level. Go north one screen (the opening will always be in the north-center of the screen) and you will find yourself at Grit Gate. Talk to the screen at the right by pressing space while adjacent and you will complete this quest.

At this point, there are two places you can go. Either you can continue the main quest, or you can go to Kyakukya and gain some levels there. I believe the main quest has a level-sensitive reward, so it is worthwhile to attempt it if you were able to easily dispatch all of the enemies on the way down. Either way, starting the quest, then talking to the screen again will let you in to talk to Mafeo, the merchant. He sells Grit Gate recoilers and large amounts of ammo amongst other things. One recoiler is invaluable at this point.
More Than a Willing Spirit
North of Grit Gate is Golgotha, the #1 place where characters die. The first screen you see when you plop down are a building in the north, and four holes in the ground. DO NOT USE AUTOEXPLORE here, AS IT HAS A TENDENCY TO THROW YOU DOWN AN ENTRANCE.

The four entrances lead you to four different types of chutes: the Acid chute (highly dangerous unless you somehow have high acid resistance), the crab chute (dangerous for characters with poor defense or poor ability to handle being swarmed), the electrical chute (safer than the rest, especially if you have a rubbergum injector or are resistant to electricity), and the fire chute (easiest to dodge of them all, and is relatively safe with a blaze injector or some high fire resistance). I highly recommend the following if you have just started doing this from the Canticle quest:

For True Kin:
1) Sphinx Salt Injectors. Some castes have a chance of starting with this item, and it helps in telling you which entrance is which.
2) Some method of quick movement beyond sprinting. Jump and Juke are both good places to start
3) Reeeally high AV or DV. High Toughness helps too.

For Espers:
1) Precognition. Tells you which entrance is which.
2) Force Wall. Not strictly needed, but helps blocks off chutes, and can prevent enemies from chasing you.
3) Teleportation. Not strictly needed, but helpful in a pinch.
4) Pyrokinesis. Not scritcly needed, but helps clear a path in the Cloaca.

For Chimerae:
1) Multiple Legs or Spinnerets. Preventing enemies from chasing you is a big part of going down the chutes
2) High AV somehow. Carapace is nice, but you need to keep on moving, so avoid using the tighten carapace unless absolutely necessary.
3) Flaming Hands. Not strictly needed, but helps clear a path in the Cloaca.

The chutes themselves:
The chutes are levels of conveyor belts, with traps along the walls. These traps will always change colour before they fire, so you can avoid them easily. Electrical and Acid traps tend to spray everywhere, so they are a bit harder to predict. Fire traps will only hit in a straight line, and crab traps will just spawn crabs everywhere.

The conveyor belt will move you forwards every so often, so they help both you and the enemies get to the next area. At the end of each belt is another drop down, until you reach the Cloaca.

Enemies of note are Agolmaggots, which have a nasty ranged attack, Saw-Handers, which can dismember you if you are in melee range, and jels, which can spray slime everywhere when they die. Jels may also spawn sewage eels when they die, so be careful. Sewage Eels or other sources of poison can cause glotrot, of which curing is a difficult process (but it is not a game ending illness, so don't worry too much)

At the bottom of the chutes is the Cloaca. The Cloaca is a dangerous place due to the large numbers of sewage eels. A fire-based attack can clear the slime away, making it safe from sewage eels. The Slug Of The Cloaca is a rather nasty boss that can poison you at range and is extremely deadly in melee, so outrunning it or otherwise freezing it or trapping it is useful. Find a disfunctional waydroid as quickly as possible (it will usually be near trash heaps and looks different) and you can use a grit gate recoiler to return back.

When you return, there will be a new bear named Otho. Talking to him will complete the quest. If you are level 18 or less, he will give you a Masterwork Carbine, which is a strong ranged weapon that shoots three bullets at once and holds 24 at a time. Its increased accuracy make it ideal even for unskilled characters with a minimum of agility.

If you are very underleveled (Looking at the code shows that you have to be level 12 or less) at this point, you may also receive the hologram bracelet. This item creates an invincible hologram of you that walks around doing nothing. Enemies will generally attack the hologram, so ranged users can pick things off from a distance.

If you are level 19 or above, you will only receive three grenades for your trouble. That's the perils of not playing risky.
Raising Indrix
This is an optional quest you can do at any time, but it is recommended to do it after either A Canticle for Barathrum or More Than A Willing Spirit. It involves going to the forest village of Kyakukya, highlighted above.

Once there, talk to the blue goatfolk Warden Indrix. Annoying him about why he is a pariah will cause him to attack you, and he is rather strong, so avoid doing it.

Instead, ask about the work he has to offer. He will tell you to take the river (one screen north of the village, do not use the overworld map) east until you reach his brother. Accept, first look around Kyakukya:

There are six pools of fresh water, easily over 150 drams. You can use this to buy various things, but the #1 thing to buy is Polluxus from Sven, which he usually sells. It is a counterweighted (and so useful to characters without high agility) longsword that will hit the enemy and adjacent enemies for additional damage while powered. This extra damage bypasses armor and is likely the weapon that most characters will use for a large portion of the game. Either way, continue north and then east.

Enemies along the river may be rather dangerous. Dark red goatfolk are Sowers, and will deal a huge amount of damage via their special grenades. Getting into melee range somehow will stop them from throwing more, and they have a rather pitiable melee attack. Bright red goatfolk are yurtwardens, and can deal a large amount of damage at range. Hide behind cover until they come close, and then attack. Yellow goatfolk are Savages, and merely have a large amount of HP. Green goatfolk can repeatedly inflict fear, which is only dangerous if there are other enemies with them. Purple and blue goatfolk can cast random mutations at you, so be careful.
Ice frogs can freeze you if you have no cold resist. If you are on a water tile while they are attacking you, they can freeze you indefinitely, so avoid this.
Leeches can drain life, but are rather pitiful to anyone with mental armor (i.e. that have points in Willpower).

The river is rather long, though I've never counted the number of screens. Halfway along you will find a slaughtered village. Inside the chest in one of the houses is some rather good loot, and a parchment (possibly penned by Marmon?). On the screen before Marmon, the river will be stained with blood and smoke will be in the air. There is a nonhostile human that you can talk to for some story, and that sells body parts and blood.

On the next screen is a freshly ruined village. Some areas will be on fire, so be careful when walking about to not get set aflame. Marmon will always be surrounded by Goatfolk Thralls (nearly identical to Savages), and pygmies. Be careful not to let him get in close range, as he often has several mutations that act in melee range.

His mutations will generally be high level, but he himself does not have much protection. Once he is dead, he will drop the Aramanthine prism, a cursed item that you cannot remove once you equip. It has a story that you can recall when you examine it, and is rather sad. He also will drop his armor and weapon(s), which will generally be of high level. The village may have other chests to loot. Once you are finished, go back to the overworld with '<' and head back to Kyakukya.

You have a choice at this point. You can either keep the Amaranthine Prism (talk to Warden Indrix with it equipped or refuse to give it to him when he asks), or give it to the Warden for a random Carbide-level weapon/armor. The choice is yours. The Prism itself gives +1 Ego and -1 Willpower when you first equip it, but as you level the ego bonus and willpower malus increase.

At this point, you may wish to consider inciting civil war. Bringing in a group of enemies from a neighbouring screen may cause Sven, a hunter in Kyakukya, to try to attack. He isn't 100% accurate, so he will often hit other things. Warden Indrix does not appreciate this, and the two may duel to the death, giving you the items from either one that dies. Try not to draw in enemies from the west, as Yurt will likely try to help, and Yurt's idea of helping is to summon a bunch of angry plants that will forever stick around.
Decoding the Signal Pt1
Ready for the third last quest in Qud? This is a quest that requires some amount of cold resist, so grabbing as much as you can (Sven in Kyakukya sells some, and you may find some on your own. You can also take the 'Weathered' skill in Endurance for some more) is good. Bethesda Susa is easily the last difficult dungeon at the time this guide is written, so hang on tight.

Bethesda Susa is strangely far from everything else. Characters without jungle wilderness lore are likely to get lost. When you do arrive, you will be in a snowy area with some enemies. Mechanists will sling ranged weapons at you, and Cragsmensch all have weirdly high AV and damage attacks (but are slow). Having a non-physical attack (elemental (e.g. via Polluxus) or mental) to deal with Cragsmensch is recommended, as they take quite a few hits to take down.

Once down, the first floor may either be a normal dungeon, or a waterway. Either way, simply head down and you will find yourself with the first of the Three Troll Kings in the healing pools. You will fight one at a time, one per level.




Jotun, Who Parts Limbs is always the first king. Like his name suggests, he is capable of dismembering characters that he can hit. He is capable of charging at you, and has throwing axes which can likewise dismember. Avoid attacking in melee if you can - I find that if he is on the other end of the room and you are a high agility character, the Carbine can kill him before he gets anywhere close to you. Mental mutants may find force wall to be useful, and Hologram bracelets are likewise good. Standing in the covalescence will heal you, which may be useful if you cannot avoid melee.

Fjorn-Kosef, Who Knits the Icy Lattice is always the second king. He is capable of instantly cooling the area around you, while creating icy webs. This will hold you in place or freeze you while he does incredible damage at melee range. Standing in the covalescence will still heal you here, but be wary of it turning into cyrogenic mist due to this guy - it will hurt.

The final Troll King is invisible! Haggabah, Who Plies the Umbral Path can only be seen by his splashing footsteps, or by the troll foals he spawns. Pressing '\' will hide the sidebar, allowing you to see the entire room at once.

There are actually several ways of finding him despite his invisibility:

1) The Jump skill will not allow you to land on the same square as him, and will be greyed out.
2) Firing wildly and seeing where the dodge/hit animation plays tells you where he was last turn.
3) If he spawns a troll foal, he is always in an adjacent square.
4) Hold ctrl and hit a numpad direction. If he is there, you will swing at him. If he is not, you will not waste any time.Either way, he deals an impressive amount of melee damage, so be careful. Once he is dead, you are finally in the Wards of Bethesda Susa.The Wards have a variety of enemies that are all really difficult. You can generally tell what to look out for by looking for specific cues:

1) If you see slime, there is a Snailmother on the level. The ickslugs she spawns can inflict poison and Glotrot, so killing her is a big priority. Note that she is, by default, neutral to you, so you will have to hold ctrl+move to attack her first if you are a melee character.
2) If you see Molting Basilisk Husks, there is a Molting Basilisk on the level. Molting Basilisks look exactly like Husks, except for a few things:
- They suffer from coldness, so they will change colours
- In the version this guide was written in, the tile they have actually looks different. Husks are grey Rs, the Basilisk has an actual tile
- If you move out of sight of the real Basilisk, it will disappear. The Husks do not.
Either way, trapping and killing it is your best option.

3) If you see a Luminous Hoarshroom, STOP. Around it is likely Lurking Beths. There are a stronger version of the Young Ivory from Red Rock, but they also spawn in groups, so moving rapidly is an easy way to run into many and die. For reference, I recommend having over 60 HP at this point.

4) Twinning Lampreys must be killed at the same time. Easiest to do if you have a freezing weapon.
5) Blue Jels are neutral to you, but if you kill them, they drop some Covallesence you can use to heal. Your choice.
6) Booster Bots will inject you with random Injectors. usually beneficial, but getting hit twice or more is usually lethal. Do not let them hit you, either by having high DV, high AV, using Force Wall, using Holograms, etc.

On the first floor, you will notice a control panel somewhere near the center. You can use this to skip the majority of Bethesda Susa if you wish by calling up the platform (look around with 'l' to see if the tile below it is empty space or a platform) and then standing on it and pressing space. You will only miss out on some Sparking Baetyls, some experience, and the Alchemist.
Decoding the Signal Pt 2
On the last floor of Bethesda Susa's wards, there will be a cybernetics ward. Find the cybernetics credit wedge on this level. If you are a True Kin, you can buy a cybernetic enhancement here. Talk to the terminals (inside the spirals) to figure out what does what. Otherwise, the wedge is worth a lot of money.

Below the Wards, you will find the Cyrobarrio. The top floor has a bunch of destroyed containment cells and a large amount of phase webs. If you are a mutant and haved a skulk tonic, use it here to dig around the door at the east. Otherwise, Shade Oil Tonics can get you through, but behind the door lays a rather powerful phase spider.

The spider cannot attack non-phased enemies. I believe you can also use the phase webs to get through, but it is extremely dangerous to do so, as unphasing while in a wall will INSTANTLY kill you. Use Sphynx Salt (True Kin) or Precognition (Espers) before trying.

The second floor of the cyrobarrio is also very dangerous! There are several intact containment cells, one or two assorted enemies, and a juicing cannibal. The juicer is equipped with a rocket launcher that will break open the cells, releasing the contents. The enemies in the cells are extremely dangerous, so take out the juicer as quickly as you can. Of course, the rocket launcher itself is capable of dealing >40 damage in a single hit, so some method of trapping the cannibal or attacking from range is preferred.

As for the optional bosses here, there are two noteworthy ones. The Rhinox can easily deal 300 damage in one hit to even a well-armored character, but masterfully butchering the corpse gives one of the best cudgels in the game. Saad Amus The Sky-Bear holds an axe that can ignore armor, and has a flume-flier that allows him to dash all the way across the screen for extra damage. The flume-flier is also useful for espers, as it gives you additional ego. His sandals are worth a lot of money.

Finally, you will have to take a chrome platform down to where the Baetyl lies. Enemies here have a large amount of AV and HP, and are equipped with Carbide weaponry. Psyberkinetisists from the north are capable of inflicting confusion. You will immediately have to fight a large amount, and the platform back will not work until you finish. The final enemy is Phineas, who is at the east-center room. He can create a force bubble around himself, which you will have to wait out unless you have some method of breaking through high-AV walls. He wields two overloaded laser pistols, which deal a lot of damage and can fire through his force bubble. He is surrounded by various paladins that can reflect the Sunder Mind attack, and have high AV/HP. Once finished, the Baetyl behind Pineas may refuse to speak to you. If this happens, going back to the overworld map and walking around a few tiles will fix this issue. This completes this section of the quest, so grab as much as you can before recoiling back to Grit Gate and talking to Otho.
Ripe For the Conflaguration
Otho mentions a flamethrower in the Tomb of the Eaters east of Kyakukya, which was unfinished in the 2010 alpha and may still be unfinished if you attempt it. There is no reward if it is still unfinished. Without it, this quest is still easy for any character with a flaming ranged attack.

Otherwise, head to the center of Omonporch. This area has fruit flies (high DV and attack, but next to no AV/HP), apes (which throw poison gas grenades called 'Corrupt bananas'), and various plant life. The reason you would want a fire weapon here is that the plant life has very high HP and deals a lot of damage in melee range. Setting them aflame and walking away is the best tactic here.

Inside there may be some turrets, but nothing you can't handle at this point. Green doors can be opened with an Emergency Services Card if you have one, or Psychometry, and behind them lay chests with goodies. Digging to them is also another strategy. Once you are finished, recoil back to Grit Gate, BUT DO NOT HAND IN THE QUEST UNTIL YOU READ THE NEXT SECTION.
A Call To Arms
Once you hand in the previous quest to Otho and then move one step, this next quest immediately begins. If you are an esper with Force Wall whose cooldown is shorter than its duration, it will be invaluable here. Otherwise, prepare for an arduous battle. One turn after you hand in the quest, all of the robots in the area will be hit with EMPs, and you will have to face ~12 mechanist paladins at once. They spawn from the southern entrance. Mafeo and Otho will try to fight, but they will quickly die if you cannot protect them. If they die, they will be replaced with two generic Urshiib Librarian and Urshiib Merchant NPCs (the merchant will not restock inventory). Hand in the quest, and you will have finished the main storyline of the Caves of Qud up to this point.

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29 Comments
Faust Nov 15, 2020 @ 4:21am 
Strange. In my playthrough A Call To Arms quest involved Putus Templar instead of mechanists. Even worse - my highest reputation was exactly with them, so I had to loose a lot of rep during that fight.
Adamas, God of Prominence Poker Sep 30, 2020 @ 1:43am 
@Tebok He has them equipped, so you have to either kill him, use domination on him or trade him 2 higher tiered swords and have him equip them then trade again.
Tebok Jun 28, 2020 @ 1:18am 
Sven had no polluxus item when I traded with him. Is there some way to trigger it?
dirkgently Jan 15, 2020 @ 8:42pm 
Seems like recent changes to the game nerfed the # of starting points after this guide was written. It's not possible to get the high starting stats shown in the example builds.
Percher Aug 29, 2019 @ 5:56am 
I'd like to point out that Red Rock tends to be a lot more brutal than Argyve's first two quests. It's easy enough to acquire a couple of cheap trinkets to hand over to him for a free level, and there are three different rust wells. You might not even need to enter since the wires can spawn on the surface, and unlike with Red Rock, you can just leave and check the other ones without taking harder routes or doing any workarounds if a well is infested with impossible bullshit or mushrooms.

In other words, Argyve's quests until Grit Gate are much more lenient than Red Rock.
HORO Jul 13, 2019 @ 5:17pm 
Nevermind, just slaughtered 'em all, took a bunch of nice implants and sold all their armor. Reputation just dropped for -195 after killing legendary knight with 4-armed 1 shot flurry :)
HORO Jul 13, 2019 @ 4:31pm 
Hmm.. And what if I have good reps with Putus Templar? Can I just watch them to demolish everything around? This will result in a failed quest, I assume..
ravni Sep 16, 2018 @ 8:07am 
Try + and - on the num pad to go up and down stairs.
StinkyButthole69 May 12, 2017 @ 12:24pm 
there is new content, you have to go to the center of the mushroom forest, eat the flesh of the gods, and then follow the brick road to talk to a mushroom. after that there is side quest, but i havent found any more content
OrdiNeu  [author] Jan 22, 2017 @ 3:59pm 
MegaGlub It's >, not <.