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Exile 3 (Warning: spoiler)


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Originally Posted By: Eclipse
Rentar or bain or w/e ihrno (the last boss) is invulnerable...

Rentar-Ihrno is not completely invulnerable. You can inflict two or three hit points of damage with hand-to-hand weapons, and you can even kill her, though you aren't supposed to.
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Killing her is entirely unnecessary to winning and is in fact far more difficult than the intended solution. Along those same lines, Erika won't make her vulnerable and, while helpful, isn't critical to making it past Rentar.

 

—Alorael, who is amused and would like to see Bain-Ihrno get a cameo in A6.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an interesting topic. In many games, it is possible to kill "unbeatable" NPCs, although this often causes the game to act up. For example, in the game Winged Warrior III by Dataware Games, it was not intended for players to be able to kill the Nova Knight. I was able to do so after training my character to a very high level, although this caused the game to act buggy.

 

I've tried to damage Rentar-Ihrno many times but all of my attempts have so far been unsuccessful. I've tried methods like Wound and Martyr's Shield but they have not worked.

 

By the way, I know this question is a bit off-topic, but out of Garzahd, Erika and Rentar-Ihrno, which mage was the most powerful out of the three? Some say Erika was the most powerful, but if that was the case, how come she did not remove the curse Garzahd placed on her?

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If a five-year-old put handcuffs on you, could you get them off? I think the same may apply to curses. It's easier to add them than to remove them, and it's harder to remove them from the inside than from the outside.

 

—Alorael, who thinks Erika was the most powerful purely on the basis of her pulling ahead in her duel with Rentar-Ihrno until the curse was invoked. Garzahd never (visibly) managed the same feats as either of the other two. It's possible that Rentar became the most powerful when she transformed into a crystal soul, though.

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Garzahd was alway below the other mages sent into Exile in Avernum in terms of magical powers, but he was better at playing the all important political game to get rid of his rivals. I'd say Erika was more powerful initially, but definitely was coasting in the last few years allowing for Rentar to pull ahead.

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The most reasonable sounding answer, to me, is that they each had different strengths, so a simple head-to-head comparison would be hard to do (the Erika-Rentar duel is as close as you'll come to that). This makes particular sense, given that there are weaker mages who appear to be more accomplished than any of the three in certain specialties: Aimee in divination and Solberg in minddueling, for example.

 

Rentar is particularly accomplished in the magic of transforming and transmuting: she created the Barriers and mastered Quickfire in 2, made numerous species modifications in 3, and in 4 she created the Black Shades, sea monsters, and she made some powerful liches _and_ turned herself into some kind of demonic Crystal Soul.

 

Garzahd we know less of, but it is clear in 2 that he is a master of wards and enchantments (like Erika's curse, the guardian runes, and the enhancements on Limoncelli and on Garzahd himself). I think we can also consider him a master demonologist, given that he is the _only_ mage in the series who has successfully mastered demonic forces on a large scale.

 

As for Erika, there are references to her involvement and innovation in practically every field of magic. Her success in transformations (cavewood, fast-growing mushrooms, and possibly glowing fungus (in-game evidence is contradictory on that one)) is notable since the only other mages shown meddling in that field are Rentar and X. Based on her success fighting Rentar and her apparent fondness for extensive fire traps, it might be fair to label her a master of the evocation of elemental forces as well.

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It's hard to judge exceptional competencies versus extreme interest, though. Could Erika have created the monster plagues? Maybe, but it takes a very particular goal to make them a good idea. Could Garzahd? Probably not; they're exactly the kind of thing he'd be most likely to do to Exile. Given how Garzahd's and Limoncelli's enhancements worked out, perhaps the other mages would rather not do it. Could Garzahd or Rentar have made the caves habitable the way Erika did? Again, we have no way of knowing, as they had no need to do so. Rentar probably could make caves perfect for vahnatai quickly, as coming out of Resting requires it, but that seems more construction-oriented than life-altering.

 

—Alorael, who is sure somehow, somewhere, Hrcks can outdo them. He'll show them all!

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It's worth pointing out that, in Exile 2 at least, it is implied that Rentar is _not_ the strongest of the Vahnatai mages. She is stated to be the strongest of the ihrnos "currently awake," which implies there are others, not yet awake, who are stronger.

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Using the five-year-old-and-handcuffs example, it's possible to remove them if you have help from other people and the right tools. I find it strange that no other mages were able to remove the curse as well. In fact, there were no mentions of other mages even attempting to do so. It's possible that this is all PIS (plot-induced stupidity) and Spiderweb Software had planned to kill off Erika some time in the series.

 

Originally Posted By: The Advanced Butt Slide
It's worth pointing out that, in Exile 2 at least, it is implied that Rentar is _not_ the strongest of the Vahnatai mages. She is stated to be the strongest of the ihrnos "currently awake," which implies there are others, not yet awake, who are stronger.

 

Hmm, this is very interesting. Does anyone think any of the supposedly more powerful Vahnatai mages will show up in future SS games?

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Not really, and certainly not by definition. An ihrno is an honored mage, presumably one of great wisdom; I believe someone (Iglit? Bon-Ihrno?) translates it as "speaker". A bok is a greater honor, presumably, but the honor is given to great leaders, who may or may not be great mages. As for crystal souls, there are clearly both strengths and limitations to their magical powers. If mediocre mages can fly and teleport, why are crystal souls unable to do those things?

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Originally Posted By: ixfd64
Hmm, this is very interesting. Does anyone think any of the supposedly more powerful Vahnatai mages will show up in future SS games?

No.

As for the handcuffs example, it isn't that simple. Exile 2 goes into some detail about the (apparently much weaker) curses -- wards -- whatever you want to call them -- that Elderan places on his victims, and they don't seem to come off easily, even with outside help. Presumably, if there was any way to get rid of the curse, Erika would have gotten somebody to do it. She consorted with all the most powerful mages and dragons in Exile, so I think it's fair to say it just wasn't possible.
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I imagine significant curses are tricky business. What if any botched attempt to remove the curse actually triggers its lethal effects? I think Erika would be too proud to let anyone else put her life at risk. Remember, for most of the series it's not just the curse that keeps her underground. Going out into the sun would also presumably bring down the wrath of every mage in the Empire wanting to curry favor with Garzahd or like-minded figures.

 

—Alorael, who wouldn't put it past the crystal souls to be perfectly capable of magical travel and unwilling to do it because it lacks dignity. All other concerns aside, they really could just stick their honored, silicated elders in golems and give them a little bit more ambulatory flexibility.

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Originally Posted By: The Advanced Butt Slide
If mediocre mages can fly and teleport, why are crystal souls unable to do those things?


Attack Epiron-Bok in Thalants (Avernum 5) and you can see that crystal soul jump into melee. I think that was a bug in the way Jeff scripted the character since Alwan can do the same in Geneforge 5.

Crystal souls are considered more powerful since the Vahnatai take them into battle, but that is probably just ones that were spellcasters before the were changed. We only get to see a few in Exiles 2 and 3 and most of them are advisors.
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They do take them into battle, but where does it say they are flat out more powerful? In X2, Rentar and one of the crystal souls (I forget which one... Vyvnas maybe?) work together to pierce Garzahd's barrier. Certainly, in X3 and X4, Rentar is significantly more powerful in terms of game mechanics than any of the crystal souls you meet.

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Originally Posted By: Slarty
Not really, and certainly not by definition. An ihrno is an honored mage, presumably one of great wisdom; I believe someone (Iglit? Bon-Ihrno?) translates it as "speaker". A bok is a greater honor, presumably, but the honor is given to great leaders, who may or may not be great mages.
Good point. But I feel the need to clarify what I said earlier, if only for the sake of clarification; I should've said "mages who were elevated to Bok status," and not Boks in general. My earlier post, therefore, (I think) then makes a bit more sense, although I seem to recall someone in E2/A2 mentioning that Rentar-Ihrno had magical abilities that rival some Boks.
Originally Posted By: Slarty
As for crystal souls, there are clearly both strengths and limitations to their magical powers. If mediocre mages can fly and teleport, why are crystal souls unable to do those things?
Great abilities usually come at a cost. Maybe that's the price they have to pay for obtaining the powers of a Crystal Soul.
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