Welcome back! Last time, Viki did some ordinary, boring stuff. But not today! Today we have the matchup of the millennium, kids:

Let's cut straight to the chase. After she sells off everything in town that she can safely get rid of, Viki reads one of her ever-useful recall scrolls to jump back down to level 3 of the dungeon. Everything is going along swimmingly, until something invisible reaches for her money pouch.

Something that's trying to grab her must certainly have a corporeal form and therefore be visible to the slightly-augmented eye. So Viki downs one of her potions of infravision and the culprit is revealed! Some sort of hobbit-ish thing wearing the most hideous clothing Viki has ever seen. The makeup isn't helping things.

Naturally, her first response is to blast it with as much Orb of Draining as possible. This takes away almost a full half of its health, and since the thing is so much faster than she is, she reads a phase scroll to teleport around it and into the hallway, where arrows can safely be launched. This can only last so long before Smeagol catches up with her again, reaching to pull at her robe. "OH GOD I'VE BEEN SO LONELY," he says, realizing that somebody can finally see him. Unfortunately all those years of isolation have - not unlike continuous exposure to the internet - made him completely ignorant of how to deal with women. Disgusted, Viki phases again and drinks a potion of speed to keep pace with the monster, shooting arrows at him all the while.

Backing up whenever Smeagol gets too close to her eventually puts Viki towards the end of a hallway. Normally, this is the sort of scenario where Earthquake would save her ass, but she's already spent all of her mana on melting the hideous beast. "PLEASE, I JUST WANT A HUG," the non-canonical Smeagol demands, getting dangerously close to Viki and making horrible kissy-faces at her.

Just about ready to toss her lunch - or whatever the last meal she ate was - Viki phases into an adjacent room and checks out the passage to the south of it when she hears a door open somewhere. That must mean Smeagol is still hot on her trail, despite ending up on the other side of him - this is good, because it means she'll get to kill him faster. Obviously the best way to acquaint this horrible creature with the word of God is presumably by killing him, sending him to the Pearly Gates, and having St. Peter use much cusses at him.

So Viki makes a dash for the room, getting there just in time to be able to plonk a few arrows into Smeagol's twisted body before he catches up with her again, at which point she has to take down her next to last potion of speed in order to keep up with him. At this point, things aren't going very well at all for her, and she has to at last resort to melee combat without the benefits of any buffing spells. Normally this might not be so bad since he could always just take her money and run, but now more than ever she's ready to crush the bug-eyed hobbit-thing.

The hand-to-hand, or rather inappropriate-grabbing-at-women-to-mace, combat doesn't last very long before Viki lands a good hit on Smeagol, causing him to start crying about how she's just like his last girlfriend and he's going to go cut his wrists and then she'll be totally sorry when he ends up dead and there's a suicide note blaming her and then she'll want to kill herself too. At this point, even more than providing salvation/damnation, Viki wants this thing to shut the fuck up. She can't think 'hell' in a cuss context because that's too blasphemous. Cusses aside, she moves to a convenient location in the room and keeps shooting arrows at Smeagol, although she's so bad with a bow she might as well be throwing gummi bears at him.

"OH GOD I'M SO SORRY BABY, TAKE ME BACK, I LOVE YOU." Like many in an abusive non-relationship, Smeagol is unable to stay away from Viki and is rewarded for his diligence by being hit in the face. He's just about to run crying again when he grabs hold of her wallet and teleports away. In the first time she's had dialog since the montage, Viki screams "DAMNIT" without regard to her filthy, filthy mouth. Surely God will forgive such foul language in light of the fact that this is kind of a messed up situation. Especially since if Smeagol teleported beyond the rubble (:) in the south passage, she might not get to him in time to be able to finish him off easily.

Fortunately, Viki makes the right choice and checks the north passage first, finding Smeagol fast enough that he's still hurt badly from their last encounter. Bleeding to death, he no longer has smarmy dialog, thinking that it must be enough to merely look up at Viki with his huge, hideous, fish-like eyes.

Which are promptly crushed straight out of his skull.

Victorious over her rather nonthreatening - in the violence sense, at least - foe, Viki makes an entry in her notebook. Wait, he might carry an exceptional object? All he left behind that Viki could see was a shovel, so she picks it up and continues on her way through the dungeon, ready to kill some more normal monsters that probably don't wish they had enough hair for an emover. Some spiders, or icky blobs or something. Anything. But only a few steps away from the rapidly cooling corpse, Viki gets an abnormally good feeling about this particular shovel.

Oh daaaaaaammmnnnnn yes.

Gon got a pretty good shovel - +2 to digging is no slouch, as we found - but +5 to digging makes Viki a tunneling machine and in some cases might actually make digging her way out of a room faster and safer than using Earthquake. This is one awesome shovel, and if she ever no longer needs to dig for treasure - which would be silly - selling it will net her much bucks. In fact, this is a way better drop for Viki than a weapon, because there's a huge percentage chance that it would be edged and would be nearly useless for her to wield.

"of Digging," of course, indicates that this is one of those fabulous ego items. The reason why I was confused about the Shield of Deflection is because ego-items are always titled "X of Y" - where Y is the particular ego effect of the item. Digging, of course, gives a massive bonus to.. digging. It only appears on instruments which are usually used for - what else? - digging.

Her feat in the dungeon completed, Viki heads back towards the surface. On the way she stops to dig out some treasure from the walls, and it takes her respectively:

- 1 turn to tunnel through the softest material, a magma wall
- 17 turns to tunnel through the hardest material, granite

Here's an artist's depiction of Viki's new goal in life, except she doesn't have clubfoot.

Safely back in town, Viki is flush with so much cash from her dungeon adventuring and the subsequent digging that she was able to pull off that she's finally able to take an important step in the life of an Angband character: She's able to enchant her weapons.

So far, we've only found enchanted items in the dungeon. But there are scrolls of Enchantment - and later on, even spells of Enchantment - which can be used to buff up armor and weapons, a particular scroll for each type of enchantment (+ to-hit, + damage, + AC). Enchantment scrolls run for around 170 a pop, and it's usually cheaper to buy pre-enchanted equipment - but Viki has enough to snap some up, and the result is what you see above.

For the curious: The '{@w0}' after the weapon name is a magical inscription. Angband has an inscribe command which can be put on wands, staves, etc. so that players can name them, although this is pretty much never used in practice. Instead, most players use the magic inscriptions: any inscription leading with an @, followed by a letter which invokes a command, followed by a digit, means that digit can be used to refer to the item (which might move around in inventory nilly-willy). This is best used in macros; in fact, the game comes with a predefined macro, 'X', which stops wielding the current weapon in favor of weapon 0. So Viki has two weapons with this inscription - her shovel, and her main weapon. Hitting X allows her to swap between the two at any time with no fuss. There are other magical inscriptions, but I've never used them or even heard about anyone else using them.

It's been a big day for Viki, and it's finally time to rest.

Next time: Level-ups! Traps that weaken! More enchantments! Gon's kinsmen try and do a murder on Viki! Cusses! Longer posts!

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