RPG by Atari


A Guide by Lu Richardson




The Product:


Though a devoted fan of the Neverwinter series, Storm of Zehir was a huge disappointment to me. The previous extension to NW2, Mask of the Betrayer, was a complete, exciting game: there was a plot, there was a smooth progression to an end, there was interaction with the other members of the party. SoZ has departed from this winning formula and the feeble main quest, if you can call it that, gets buried under a mountain of boring, senseless tasks.


In this series I came to hate the word "*miss*" in combat - where everyone misses time and again a close enemy while getting whacked. Presumably this was to prolong play time; and now, to prolong it further, the enemy runs away from you just as it is about to die.


In SoZ you are going to hate even more the words "Loading area...". The game gets interrupted time and again every time you move into a location. Each takes forever to load and it really becomes dreadfully tedious.


Amongst other annoying things, I got lumbered with recipe books which could not be put away in a magic bag nor dropped - even though I had no intention of crafting anything. They are forced on you without giving you a choice.


What a pity. I do hope this is the last of the "open ended" type of game in the series!



General tips:


First, this is only a guide because you can do things in any way you like; you must take your own decisions. This is only the way I did it, I hope it helps.


Because you cannot survive the boredom of this game without high scores in the skills Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Survival, I replayed Mask of the Betrayer making sure I allocated sufficient points to these skills. I then exported the character and used it when starting SoZ.


Try and get the feat Leadership as soon as you can so that your party can consist of six people.


When talking to NPCs in the game try always Diplomacy (if you are able and your leader is not Evil), trying to say the decent thing at all times. Don't miss any opportunities to ask for work or a task.


When I say "save a game" I mean keep it and don't overwrite it because it is a crucial point and you might need to come back to it if things don't work out.


Finally, I've played this game twice and things don't always happen as I describe them. Apart from the main quest, there will be countless other tasks which you can carry out in any order you like - since most of them consist of finding something or killing somebody there is no need for me to describe them all.



The Guide





As soon as the game begins you have to create a party of four; make sure you have a Cleric who memorizes Darkness and as many healing spells as you can manage. Go down below when you are ready.


At the Beach, talk to Volo, save a game, search the debris, collect the two shiny objects. There will be three attacks, just wait doing nothing in between while Volo fails spectacularly to pacify the Batiri. Finally you get arrested for landing illegally in Samarach. If you have done all you need to do here, talk to the patrol and you will find yourself in...





After the talk, go to your left, listen to the ravings of the Doomsayer and enter Leira's Trick. Talk to the Innkeeper and have a rest. Before you leave, in the room to the right of the exit door there is a Party Armoire where you might like to leave items you aren't sure about.


Once outside, go around to your left and you'll find a Bounty Hunter who will give you a handy bag to collect animal parts [if later you want to sell them to him, indicate so, open the bag and drag the parts to his blank inventory page].

There are a couple of characters you could recruit near here. [A word about this: later on an elf will insist on joining you, so bear this in mind. The best thing to do is to recruit everyone you meet and Talk to them to send them to the nearest Inn, that way you can choose later whoever suits you best.]


There is a Merchant with whom you can trade and behind him you will find SaSani and a group of people. Approach them and listen, then talk to her: you get your fist job. Before you leave, talk to all the people in her group.


If you've finished exploring around here, go out the way you came into town and head S for the...






[An important piece of advice before we go any further: unless you particularly want to, don't fight the creatures you will see roaming around nor get involved in getting animal parts for bounties. This will prolong the game forever and bore you to death. The only exceptions to this is that at times you will be asked to tangle with certain creatures and that you should attack every single Batiri group you meet (mostly at night). Sometimes they carry cargo (particularly near the Shipwreck) and they always carry gold, so it is worth the trouble.]


OK, at the wreck, press Z to see the cargo so that you can pick it up. There are four pieces of evidence you need (let the Cleric examine them): the hull, a corpse, the rigging and, at the end of the ship and round the hills, a broken spear.


If you look at the map you will spot a Batiri Cave which you cannot enter yet.

When you've done, leave, head for town and talk to SaSani at the Bazaar. Talk to Volo. Go once more to the Shipwreck. Outside town you might spot a Charm Peddlar (blue circle around his feet). Talk to him and you will realize he's selling rubbish, but that gets rid of him. You will see other NPCs marked in blue and I'll leave it to you to interact with them or not.


Go past the Shipwreck and you will see the...



Stone Knives Tribe Cave



After a fight you will get into a conversation with the pitiful creatures and you can choose to let them go or kill them. It is up to you. If you kill them, search their belongings for the key to the cage. Talk to Lastri and free her. Follow her to town and talk to SaSani, then go to the Inn to talk to Lastri. Once more, go to the Shipwreck and enter the Batiri Cave to free the poor guy inside after being nice to him.


In town, check with Lastri and talk once more to SaSani, who will give you your orders. You are to go to the Lumber Camp. Save a game.


Leave town and look at your map to see where it is located. First of all, follow the road N and, without entering the town of Tanuir, trade your cargo for Trade Bars (hang on to them, at first they are scarce and you'll need them).


As you advance in the direction of the Camp, don't be afraid to explore around: only don't enter any caves, ruins, etc., since you might be sent to them later and it would spoil things. You will also find lots of cargo; keep trading with Tanuir to make room for more.



Lumber Camp



Once inside, talk to Dall and to the rest of the available people. Talk to Dall again and he will tell you about the dinos and about his problems. His problems can only be resolved at night, so if it is daytime go outside and find yourself some dinos. At night, go to the right of the camp, near where the guys are chopping a tree and talk to the ghost (you fight it first). Find the tomb W of here (press Z to spot it) and get the remains, then go to Dall and explain. Hand him the dino claws and he will send you outside to kill the Sickly dino (you can't miss it!) and get the part he needs. Return to Dall with it.


Leave and proceed to explore the whole map very thoroughly, interacting with everything you find. Click on Taurin and enter the common room in the Inn, talk to Otterlmar: he wants a special bottle of wine, we'll be getting this later.


[In every town, talk to the Innkeeper asking about rumours, see if there is anybody wanting something in the common room and also visit the local shrine to be healed or to trade.]


In Torich, Essien wants you to clear the Salt Mine just SE of town, so do just that (keep the Greataxe of Flame, you'll need it later) and come back to him.


You can visit Nimbre; I couldn't make out quite what this was all about. Talk to the Samarachan Captain and then to the Loremaster. In his house there is a chest and a false wall to a hidden room.


In Rassatan, Redfeyer wants you to fetch him something from the Singing Cave to the E of town; do so, and note the location of the blue Arcane Nexus on a wall to the SE.


When you have explored all the map, return to Samargol and talk to SaSani.


Talk to Vadinya and she will send you to Chokemist Cave. At the cave you will find Luaire. Pump him for info and kill him.


Don't go back to SaSani yet; speak instead to Volo and tell him about your discoveries (always do this, you get some nice Feats) and ask him about work. If you have found a corollax egg in your travels (just S of the Lumber Camp, other side of the lake), Vadinya will give you the parrot in trade - if not, you'll have to go to the Black Market but either way you have to speak to her, ask her about tasks. If you traded the egg for the parrot, give it to Volo and ask for more work.


When you go outside you will see that the Black Market has appeared on the map; if not, find it yourself to the SE of town down a little gully. Talk to Zhiir, get the bottle of wine (take it to Tanuir for your reward) and you will find that if you want to get on his list of special clients you'll have to go to...



Tempest Fury



Inside, talk to the sylph and start exploring. Note the blue Arcane Nexus on the left wall at the entrance. As you come into the first door on your left you will see a locked door which needs three keys, so get searching and fighting. Examine the contents of the three chests you'll find. Save. One option is to wear the Empty Ring for now. When you have the three keys, open the door, empty the chest and rush outside - go into your inventory and use the ring on the Djinn to capture it. You can now summon him if you want to by wearing and using the ring.


Back to the Black Market. Speak to Zhiir and trade with him. If you didn't find the corollax egg to trade for the parrot speak to Xirrol, trade with him, ask about the prisoners and decide to set them free. After the fight, you'll find that Xirrol was carrying a snake you can trade for the parrot. Free the prisoners; the one left behind is a potential recruit.


If you've finished looting, go to Samargol. Find the boar just N of town, slaughter it and take the tusks to Vadinya. Talk to her again and ask about tasks - this is where you give her the Greataxe of Flame. Ask again and she will send you to the...


Shattered Spear Cave



Talk to the leader and you will be sent S to the Ruined Temple. Nothing very difficult here, enter the first room to the left, get what Volo asked for from the shelves, enter the next room and pull the lever, then go around fighting and looting. Once you've got the spear, take it back to the Cave and trade for a gem. Take it to Vadinya. Give the Ruin Fragment to Volo and ask about work - he wants a Megaraptor steak; I found it W of Taruin. Give the steak to Volo and tell him of any new experiences. He has no more work for you.


If you think you've done all you could here, go outside and look at the map. There are still some unexplored sites. Logically, places with generic names such as "Cave", "Ruins", "Crypt" and so on are just there for exploration, experience and loot. Also logically, you'd expect to be sent to named places such as "Ruined Temple". Yet nobody sent me to the Waterfall Cave. Odd. However, go now and explore all the places you haven't been to (you'll find another Arcane Nexus in the Ruins to the SW). Tell Volo all about it.


When you have finished, speak to SaSani and listen to the conversation that ensues. Get yourself to the Lumber Camp. Talk to everyone and do (or not) what they ask then go through the Portal.


You get diverted to a crypt, but after you sort it and exit you will be in the...





Save a game. Follow the road N to...



Crossroads Keep



Move forward and listen to the conversation then follow SaSani into the Merchant Headquarters. Speak to SaSani and to the others here, getting all the info. Note the Portal. Explore all the rooms: Volo will want your help. Although right now the two priorities are to trade with other towns and to go to Neverwinter, first it would be a good idea to explore the Keep.


Step out of HQ, go left and talk to everyone you meet. In the Keep's Interior, move forward to hear a conversation and an elf insists on joining you - might as well let her, you need extra hands. Talk to Khelgar.


Enter the Tavern and talk to everyone. Ulweth will tell you about the worgs and leave: when you get around to it, visit the Worg Cave.


Go to the Adventurer's Guild and talk to Daerred, Maxil, Juan and Candril. If you have the necessary requirements (change the leader if it helps), they will train you and set you tasks. Take them from the top, if you are able, and do them when it is convenient.


When you've done, leave the Keep.


Go to the W to Highcliff and inquire. Trade with the town and buy what you need, then build the trade post. Go back to Merchant HQ and talk to SaSani, go outside and talk to ODell. Set up a caravan to Highcliff and, if you have the cash, upgrade it. Leave. You might see your little caravan being attacked by bandits - you can join the battle and heal whoever is left standing. Or not. Sometimes you can intercept the attackers and bribe them off. Head N for...






You have to pay to get in. Inside, enter the Thayan Enclave and talk to people. Akila will ask you to look out for Arcane Nexus and will also be the first merchant you interview for Volo. Out.


Go into the tavern and speak to Sir Nevalle, getting all the info. Talk to the Innkeeper. There is also a Paladin to recruit here, if you want.


Enter the Temple and talk to Alanna to find out what's what. Talk to the others and also you need to join one of the cartels. Before you commit yourself, talk to all three merchants for Volo and to find out what they offer. Join whichever cartel you like best and ask for work. I joined the middle one (Aster Merris) and got the Port Llast job. Ask about the missing people and you will be sent to Jordan Wright, not that it will do you much good.


Talk to Sir Nevalle again for a job before you leave.


Outside the city, go N to...



Port Llast



Save here because you can play this in various ways. I went to the Inn first and talked to Falgor (bribing him) to find out what was happening. I then found the Garrison, spoke to Rynn and fought him, got his key and freed Haeromos. I think you have to free him anyway to get your tasks done. Speak to him.


Go out and have a battle. The ship cannot be boarded but the buccaneers obligingly come out. Once you've beaten everybody talk to Haeromos. He has two problems. First, the undead.


Go out and straight E into the Gothaladreum. Kill all the undead and find Nya in a round building to the NW. Talk to her and persuade her to go home. Out.


For the next trick you will need six people, so if you don't have six in your party make sure you do. Look at your map and go to...



Priory of the Depths



You'll have to swim, but once you are in look at the shrine. You can leave gold or trade bars, but you'll be needing those. Go through the door and read all the placards. Click on the Statue and answer her questions: these are Everyone, Drowning, A blue-green..., Seas and oceans. You can now go to through the next door. Pull the levers to the left and right (killing the elementals, of course), save your game and move *just* into the next room.




This is very tricky and you can't save half-way through. The first thing you do is tell everyone to stand their ground. Look at the pattern on the floor. There are semicircles with a dot inside (on which you will have to stand). Starting from the left and going clockwise we'll call the outer ones A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6. The inner ones, also starting from the left and going clockwise, we'll call B1, B2, B3.


Right, move your leader near A1. Swap over to the nearest character and have that character immediately issue the order "Stand your ground" to the leader. Move the character very carefully without stepping on any other semicircle and have him/her stand on A1. Switch to the leader and tell this character to "Stand your ground" immediately. I hope you can understand this because you have to do it several times and very quickly so that nobody starts running around all over the wrong semicircles.


If you have managed to get one character immobilized on A1, the next one has to go on A6 and the next one on B2. Then B1, A2 and have the leader stand on B3. At this point all the inner semicircles remain lit and you can use whoever is standing on them to go on the following: A3, A4 and A5. This opens the last door.


Go through and talk to the prioress. She'll ask for money, be diplomatic and cough up 6000 smackers. Leave, not forgetting to tell your party to follow you.


Get back to Port Llast and talk to Haeromos. Before you leave, find Nya at one of the stalls and talk to her for Volo. You can also trade with her.


Outside, you can trade with the town now, so you know the routine - get rid of what you don't want, find out what it takes to set up a trading post, buy it and set it up. While you are buying, click on Resources and buy 1 ivory, you'll find out why soon.


Go to your cartel in Neverwinter. You are told to buy a trading post from Nevalle, so do so. Enter the trading post and talk to the trader. Set up a caravan between here and Port Llast and, if you can afford it, with the other towns. Report back to your cartel and ask for work - you'll be told about Phineas.


Go outside and talk to him, give him the ivory. Right, now we are going to go all over the map to each town and set up trading posts. Let's start in the S with...





You know the routine. Check out the resources and buy 1 adamantine. Enter the common room and talk to Finch to find out what he wants, ask the Innkeeper for rumours. From here on you'll find Finch in every Inn you visit till you solve his problem. Leave and go NW to...


West Harbour



Enter and go to the Gate, talk to Caryl and say you are adventurers, she'll let you in and tell you to talk to the Mayor (Lazlo Buckman). Do so and see what he wants. For you to find Tarmas and deal with two dragons, no less. Talk to everyone else. The Goodwife will give you another job and you can interview Zinn for Volo. Leave, go to the...


Dragon Caves



As you go in you will speak to two fellows escorting Tarmas out of the cave. Take the NW room and examine the suspicious barrel. Go on S and you'll find the shawl. Further S you'll come across Tarmas who tells you to find the Chieftain's key. Carry on exploring. In the SE corner you'll find a room you cannot enter because of a magic field, turn N and at the statue of Tyr ask for a blessing, keep going N. In a room to the NE with a hulk inside there is a magic jar that can be unlocked for some guano (?!). The key (or the Chieftain) is to be found in the large chamber in the S. Go free Tarmas and get to West Harbour.


Talk to Lazlo and agree to take on the dragons, go on S and one of them will offer you a deal - of course, you know better than agree (don't you?) so kill both dragons and you get a Feat. After a bit, talk to Lazlo again (you can now go and collect the treasure from the Dragons Cave) and the gates will be open again. Go in to return the shawl to the Goodwife and talk to Lazlo again. You can now go to your brand-new trading post and organize some caravans; you can also trade with Tarmas. Talk to the Goodwife and then to Quarrel; encourage him and he'll go to the Keep. As you leave, trade with the town to get some mead.


Move on and work your way NE up the map to...




No resources at the moment. Enter the common room and talk to Danley. He wants you to go to a mine to the SE which produces cold iron (another resource). Get over there and talk to the two people you'll meet. Be suspicious and say you'll look around. Cast the dispel magic spell and then it will just be a matter of clearing the mine of nasties. Go back to Danley so that production can start.


You are probably running out of trade bars so finish any non-merchant related tasks you have outstanding and go and collect your earnings at...



Crossroads Keep (again)



Talk to SaSani to get another job. When you are able, go to the Crystal Cave, ask to see the leader, go to the top of the map and speak to Tuka-Azut and use Bluff. Watch what happens. By the way, in this cave I could not find the "specific key" for the room to the NE, but by this time I was past caring. When you get back to SaSani after this caper she doesn't respond but tells you to work with your cartel. Variel will, though.


Collect your earnings so that you can carry on with your task of setting up trading posts. Leave.




Go to the Adventurer's Guild. Next door you'll find Jaris, who wants you to do a very difficult job. Enter his house and issue the command "Stand your ground" to everyone in the party. Get into stealth mode, turn left into the room and negotiate your way along the crates covered in potions and into the bedroom. Take everything from the desk and negotiate your way back. Go along the corridor and into the next room, click on the Alchemy table. Use the notebook, then the green and purple vials, remove the silver vials and then the blue ones. That's it. Go talk to Jaris taking your party with you.


Enter the Keep Interior and talk to Khelgar 3 times using diplomacy to get him to agree to the Orphanage. For his tasks, go into the Inn and use diplomacy on Nall. Go tell Khelgar. Next, go E of the Keep into the Hunting Cabin and join the party. Find Feargus and talk to him. Find Azahr and ask for the gloves back - when you've got them (they are in a chest behind a locked room in the NW), take them to Khelgar.


We need to continue creating the last trading posts (don't forget to collect any resources available).






Do your trading stuff, then enter the common room and talk to Parr. Find Parrum's Rock and search for the correspondence, read the letters. Go back to the Inn and decide whether you will give the deed to Parr or the Tavern Boy. Continue to...



New Leaf



Same again only nobody to talk to in the common room. Go on to...





Same as New Leaf, also no-one to talk to.


If you've sorted all the towns, do whatever tasks are pending (to give you an instance, if you are doing the Improved Camp Routine for Maxil, go to Circle of the Mere and light the campfire), then travel to...



Crossroads Keep (yet again)



Enter HQ, report to SaSani, Variel and Volo (tell him of your discoveries and the merchants you have interviewed; he'll want you to interview bandits next). Ask Variel about an upgrade; you'll have to donate 500 trade bars but you've got plenty. What you need to upgrade is the portal, so find out what you need for that. Before you do, though, use the portal to pop into Samarach and collect the salt resource from Torich. You might also like to pursue the Arcane Nexus thing if you don't mind coming backwards and forwards.


Go outside and check with the Caravan Master that everyone is trading with everyone else. Report to Khelgar and he'll give you another job; it's of the "Get to Shadow Cult and kill everybody" variety, so I'll leave you to it - but note that there is an Arcane Nexus in the N room there, though. Are you still training with the Adventurer's Guild? Go to them.


When you walk out, look for bandit bands, parley and bribe them, as per Volo's instructions. Now that you want them, you won't find them. However, if you bribe around 2 or 3 gangs, you'll eventually meet a bandit marked with a blue circle who will tell you someone is pulling the strings in Neverwinter.



Neverwinter (again)



Make time to nip into Neverwinter to give the resources to Phineas and visit your cartel - Aster Merris will send you to New Leaf.


Before you leave, tell Nevalle about the orphanage and about Finch; he asks you to speak to Lady Janelle, just outside the Inn. Do so and go back to Nevalle; you'll have to speak to Finch next time you see him.



New Leaf (again)



Enter the common room, talk to Finch and then to the New Leaf Quartermaster. Leave. Head S and you will be hassled all the way by bandits. At the very fist fight you'll get a serpent figurine which will guide you to their den. But not without several boring fights. Inside the hideout you'll find New Leaf's stolen goods, so tell the Quartermaster.


Get 5 darksteel from Conyberry, 1 cold iron from Phalandin, 5 adamantine from Leilon and 1 mithril from Highcliff. Nip into Neverwinter, hand the resources to Phineas and go to your cartel; you'll need to go to the tavern in Conyberry.

Go first to the Keep, speak to everyone and upgrade the portal. Now you don't have to walk everywhere - alas, it only works one way. Donate a whole lot of trade bars and ask what you need for the other upgrades; get the materials and do the upgrades any time you like. Go through the portal to...


Conyberry: The Meeting



Enter the common room, take part in the conversation any way you like and watch what happens.


Because if you pursue the main plot Volo will be lost to you as a discovery collector, you might want to save a special game at this point and try to...




Start by going to New Harbor and talking to the Goodwife. She tells you about Jan and sends you to the Swamp Cult. Talk to Jan and then to Sheydann. You will have to kill all the cultists before Jan agrees to go home. Go to West Harbor and report.


I doubt if anybody is going to send us anywhere else, so let's do the locations we haven't been to for Volo. All locations are the usual except, perhaps, the Onyx Cave. For that you need a cleric to cast Darkness and open the door. There is a Burial Burrow with an Arcane Nexus. There is a Benite Enclave with a prisoner to free and an Arcane Nexus. In the Arcane Brotherhood Outpost there is another nexus. For a little extra at the end, you might want to take the trouble of getting six nexi for Akila.



The end of the story



Go to SaSani and she'll send you to meet her associates. When you do, you'll discover more of the plot. When you go back to Sasani you'll find that there has been a murder. Talk to everyone and follow her through the portal. Go to Viper Temple; inside, you catch up and she tells all. Big Fight. Speak to SaSani to fight out what needs to be done and at the end Volo will appear and you can trade with him if you need to. Go outside and explore your new surroundings, entering places as you find them. Of course, you are aiming for the Temple at the NW corner of the map. Inside, talk to the Preacher pretending you are someone else and he'll send you to a Serpent Lord. Go along with this. You can explore the whole temple or you might just go upstairs through a door in the NW.


Go to a room in the NW to find the SeSehen Almanac, read it, you will need the info to go through the door to the upper level to the NE. Finally, once in the throne room you get to kill Zehir's Herald if not Zehir himself.


Go to the SE door and save here. You can do whatever you like: I returned to SaSani in the Viper Temple, extracted from her a promise not to hurt anyone and said Farewell.


I visited Akila and he had finished his research. He tells you to go to a ruin in Chult. Go to the Viper Temple, go out the other side and turn to your right to find the site marked Foreign Temple. Inside I spent three boring minutes trying to kill a Champion of Shade and in the end I got fed up and I sneaked one of my characters past him and into the portal. The whole party appeared outside the Dark Temple N of New Leaf. This gave access to Hotenow cave in which there was a Fire Giant. I didn't know quite to do with him so I left and went to Akila with the info. We are obviously being set up for the next expansion.


That's it. I'm sure you will do a lot better than I.

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