The Forgotten Tower
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A Moldy Tome tells of The Forgotten Tower which holds dangers and treasure alike.
Act I: The Forgotten Tower
- Quest Name: The Forgotten Tower
- Triggered By: Reading the Moldy Tome, found in the Stony Field
- Location: Find the Forgotten Tower ruins in the Black Marsh
- Reward: Killing the Countess on the fifth level of the tower releases dozens of stacks of gold and numerous items from the magical chest.
- Quest Priority: This is not a mandatory quest, and most characters skip it. It became more popular with v1.08, as the Countess began to drop a Rune nearly every time.
The Moldy Tome recounts a story of a Countess who was buried alive. The castle in which so many cruel deeds took place fell rapidly to ruin. Rising over the buried dungeons, a solitary tower is all that remains. The Countess's fortune was said to be divided among the clergy, although some say that more remains unfound, still buried in the tower.
The trigger, reading the Moldy Tome, is not required for this quest. You can just find the ruins of the tower in the Black Marsh, and descend into it. It's a very nasty area, one of the hardest in Act I, with small rooms and numerous boss and champion monster packs. The levels are very small though, and on the fifth and lowest level there are two rooms with dozens of stacks of gold in each, and several chests. The end of the fifth level has a room with a glowing golden chest guarded by The Countess, a melee-fighting Corrupt Rogue.
You must kill her to finish the quest. When she dies she expires in a cloud of smoke, and then the golden chest opens and erupts showers of gold, potions, and items, literally dozens of them spouting out one at a time. It's fun to try and pick up the goodies as quickly as they fall. There are seldom any valuable items, just magical stuff and a Rune of varying value, but it's nice gold for a new character.
Beware the tower, the tiny rooms and small levels leave you no room to retreat, other than up the stairs, and there are tons of boss packs, mostly of Goatmen and Specters. Often when you come down to the next level you'll find monsters very near the stairs, so be ready.
Prior to v1.08, the Countess would stay in the last room until you entered it, but her minions would wander around and come outside the room, and you could pick them off one by one. She no longer stays inside, but rushes out as soon as you are in the area, making this quest harder.
Since v1.09 the Countess has begun dropping a rune almost every time she is killed. Her rune drops were improved further in v1.10, and as a result she's now one of the most popular "item run" monsters in the game, especially for players who are Rune Hunting.
The quest is not explicitly unconnected to the other events in the The Sightless Eye chapter. However, Akara has hinted that some of her Rogues explored the tower but never returned, so it may be presumed that the Countess (a Corrupt Rogue) may have counted many Sisters of the Sightless Eye among her numerous victims.
The Quest is likely inspired by the real-life Elizabeth Báthory, who was also known as "Blood Countess" and as "Bloody Lady of Čachtice". She was accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and young women, and supposedly bathed in the blood of virgins in order to retain her youth.
- ...And so it came to pass that the Countess, who once bathed in the rejuvenating blood of a hundred virgins, was buried alive... And her castle in which so many cruel deeds took place fell rapidly into ruin. Rising over the buried dungeons in that god-forsaken wilderness, a solitary tower, like some monument to Evil, is all that remains.
- The Countess' fortune was believed to be divided among the clergy, although some say that more remains unfound, still buried alongside the rotting skulls that bear mute witness to the inhumanity of the human creature.
- The dangers there are not solely architectural. Once inside that wretched place, many succumb to a vile miasma.
- That old tower is as rotten on the inside as it appears on the outside. I heard that several Sisters came to a gruesome end when a stairwell collapsed on them.
- That tower marks a place of danger. There is an epic poem about it... How much sorrow one can stand was tested there.
- The only wealth you're likely to find there is a wealth of vermin.
- The tome speaks of treasure. Yet, all we have found are death, delirium, and disappointment.
- Rumors of treasure are no different from rumors of any other kind. They hold false promise to those who should know better.
- There is no more I can tell you about that ancient tower.
- You're not ready to give up, are you?
- Quickly in and quickly out is all the advice I can give you.
- Guess what! I've named a boil on my ass after you. It, too, bothers me every time I sit down.
- Have you suddenly lost your taste for wealth?
- Better an empty pocket than a full grave.
- I thought the stories of treasure in the tower were nothing but lies. I am glad you found something of value in that death-trap. Would that our Sisters had been so fortunate.
- Those riches will serve you well on the long road ahead.
- Well done, my friend. Courage and opportunity together have created in you a kind of alchemy.
- Warriv's advice is like corpse gas; it befouls the air for a moment and then it disappears.
- Your rewards are well-earned. To us, the tower was nothing more than a headstone looming over a long forgotten grave.
- Remember. Wealth is as insubstantial as a cloud and passes as quickly. Ignore Gheed. All that twitters is not bold.
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