The Gloomhaven Diaries – The Journeys of Larimar, Part 2

In my previous articles on Gloomhaven I delved into the practical sides of the game mainly organisation and the teaching of the system. From here on in I’ll be taking a more narrative tone and I’ll also be spoiling elements of Personal Goals, City events, Road events and the scenarios themselves. At the top of each article I’ll post which scenarios, along with their number, I will be covering so if you wish to avoid spoilers you can. You can find part 1 of this story here

Spoilers for: Diamond Mine (9), Square (11a), Frozen Hollow (14), Mountain Pass (16), Abandoned Sewers (18), Drake Nest (43)

The diamond mine that Jekserah had sent us to was a wonderous place, and I felt very much at home amongst the hard rock and glistening strata of my surroundings. This was not a homecoming however and my friends and I set about our task with our usual diligence. The decision to side with Jekserah had given us a renewed vigor and an absolute belief that we had finally found our way in the world.

Entering the mine we were immediately confronted by wild dogs who barked, snarled and tore into us. Making short work of these adversaries we entered the mine itself only to find it crawling with Vermlings overseen by a Foreman with a cruel eye and a large whip. My Inox friend had made no secret of their hatred of these ‘rats’ and we set about them in short order eventually bringing the Overseer to his knees, a task I relished. We liberated the diamond and brought it to the feet of our grateful patron.


One of the most compact maps we had played on

On our return Jekserah let us in on more of her plan. She wanted to takeover Gloomhaven and whats more use the undead to help her do it! We did not flinch at this news. Our commitment to her cause was absolute and we set about assaulting the guards of the city, our undead friends aiding our fight.

Although we were wreaking destruction on the ‘law’ in town I enjoyed this job immensely using new found skills to bring rock to my aid and smash apart obstacles that protected those who would oppose us. It was a hard fought battle and although some of us fell, we succeeded in bringing the Captain of the Guard down and ushering in a new era for the city we now called home.


Making our presence known our Undead allies by our side!


The central square of the battle

Jekserah’s position now secure we held council with her as to the matters that needed attended to. Although the water supply of the city was a matter of some concern the rumour that Dragon prowled the mountains to the North spoke to the tragedy of my upbringing and I persuaded my fellows to head for the hills.

Making our way to the Icecrag Mountains we made our way through the Mountain Pass. These magnificent peaks were old, I could feel it in every step and the cold did not bother me as much as my friends. So lost was I in my reverie that I failed to notice the trap set for us as demons of Earth and Wind blocked our passage.


The demons were aided in their battle by the Inox!

This battle took almost everything we had, but we were victorious at the last strike. As we lay bloodied but breathing, a voice called to us and it spoke to me the strongest of us. I was compelled to move forward, to follow the voice in my head but my compatriots would have none of it and we returned to Gloomhaven before anything else befell us.

Returning to the city we licked our wounds and settled into more local issues. Although the water systems of the city held no great attraction for me, the fetid liquid that was flowing through the city needed dealt with or Jekserah would have a revolution on her hands. Heading down into the sewers we encountered more than I had ever though lived in the subterranean levels below the city. My Inox compatriot laid into the Vermlings we discovered whilst the rest of us dealt with the deadly snakes and mysterious, multiplying oozes that inhabited the area.

Opening up a way into the deeper caves below Gloomhaven we pondered heading further underground. My tinkerer friend thought that it might be better going straight into the main cistern where he reckoned the infection was located, but we were ill equipped to traverse the water logged passages. Checking back in with our patron she mentioned that there was an Aesther in the Boiler District who could give us the ability to breathe underwater. The reality was not so straightforward.

The woman called Hail proved to be a difficult customer: wanting us to do her a favour before even contemplating listening to our request. Our first task for her was to head back into the Copperneck Mountains and retrieve an orb from a frozen cave.  I once more felt at home amongst the rocks but the denizens of the area did not greet me as a brother, more as dinner. Hounds attacked us on all sides followed by strange creatures made of pure Ice, the likes of which I had never seen before.


Vicious attack hound

Despite the difficulty of the cold and monsters we encountered we succeeded in our task bringing the orb back to Hail. She offered her services in return, allowing us to enchant ourselves and our weapons with her craft, for some exchange of coin of course. However this was not why we had sought her out. Explaining that we really need to be able to breathe underwater she sent us out once more to gather ingredients for her work: the scales of drakes in this case.

Stopping off to defeat some challengers in a pie eating competition, and helping out a caravan group along the way, we made our way into a Drake Nest on the edge of a forest. I prefer the cold hard mountains to the leafy green of the forests, but my Spellweaver friend delighted in being back amongst the trees.


I fell before the onslaught of the drakes

We found our way to the entrance of the cave, and were immediately confronted by demons of fire. Our powers had grown considerably since that first encounter with the undead but here we were sorely tested by creatures as powerful as us. I fought harder than ever before but fell before our task was complete. Thankfully my friends finished the task and dragged me from the cave as the remaining horde of Drakes pursued us from their home.

I feel my time in Gloomhaven is coming to an end. I have grown stronger than I ever thought possible, seen things I have never imagined and found my place in the world once more. I will stay a while longer, see our current task to an end, but then I think my home will call to me once more and I will return with a glow in my chest, and a purpose in my heart.

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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