I spent most of my weekend in Zangarmarsh helping the Sporepods. The Sporepods are sad little things, with glowing bumps sticking out all over their football-shaped heads. And it seems like everyone and their brother is out to eat their kids or enslave them.
At one point I found myself in a rather curious cave where the Sporepods were trying to fight back against their oppressors. Two or three would gang up on a Bog whats-it, only to get pounded into tiny glowing heaps of goo. Frodie and I spent about an hour clearing out the giants and saving the Sporepods from certain death. This cave was unlike others I recall being in. It was extremely twisty and narrow with low ceilings in a number of places. There also seemed to be three levels to the place. I had long finished my quota for population control but still couldn't find the way to the head evil guy.
We rounded a corner and found ourselves standing on the edge of a tall cliff. In the distance I could see the leader of the giants, plus his posse of thugs. They appeared to be gleefully beating down some Sporepods. Frodie isn't what I'd call a master of heights. When given the option, he'll run clear around the place looking for a ramp down. This tends to get the attention of everyone in said cave. Visions of +20 Bog things bearing down on me in one enormous wave started filling my head. This wouldn't do. So I pushed Frodie over the edge and jumped down after him.
Unfortunately for us, we plopped down right next to 2 slime-covered giants. I'd also misjudged the distance. About half our life was gone when we hit the cave bottom. We tried to fend off our attackers but they became too much. Frodie collapsed and they made short work of me.
On attempt number two I had the benefit of already being on the lower level, but the space I could rez from was tight. I tried backing into a tiny crack in the stone wall. I popped up first and managed to get Frodie to come around. I sat down to drink but almost immediately began getting hit by the closest giant. Why he couldn't wait a few more seconds is beyond me. Frodie, still mad about pushing him over the edge, refused to move. At all. I tried to get out of the patch of mushrooms I found myself in but my legs were too tangled up. Croakage ensued again.
On the way back for attempt number three, I developed a new strategy. I was 75% sure that some Sporepods would make their way to the two hulking beasts I was having problems with. I think I saw some dead when I first peered over the cliff edge. If their day-glo bodies would hold out long enough I might just have the time I needed to get prepared and in position for a fight.
So I waited in ghostly form. And waited. Suddenly about 4 of them sprang up and started gnawing on the giants' kneecaps. I grabbed my body, whistled for Frodie, and started furiously drinking. When I felt I had enough mana to get by, we jumped into action by going after the left giant. I was very careful where I stood and managed not to aggro his buddy a mere 20yds away. Frodie had no problems grabbing aggro from the football-heads, so once that giant was down, they ran over to the second one. We joined in and had it down in no time.
Now I faced the leader of the Bog Snots plus 3 of his cronies. There could have been 4 of them, I dunno. At this point it didn't matter much. We could barely handle one at a time. I decided since I wasn't exactly performing in front of a live audience, I could get away with using the same Sporepod-as-bait strat without loosing much fame or fortune. So when the Sporepods decided to attack, I peeled one thug off and we got to work on him. Boss giant didn't seem to care. It is hard to see over 3 podpeeps sticking out of you mouth, though. I'll give him that.
I went to grab a second lesser bogthing but managed to mis-shoot. By a lot. I hit the big bad guy. Frodie gave me that look like "I could do better, even without opposable thumbs." before he took off into the fray. I healed him every chance I could get while trapping what I could and pew pew'ing the rest. Podpeople were running amuck, beating on things with their tiny fists. Pieces of Sporelings, slime, and random guck were flying around the place. When the dust settled, we and maybe 3 Sporepods were victorious. They cheered. We cheered. They slapped us on our backs and said to call them friends.
We headed back to their town to see what friendship would buy us. Apparently it is Sporeling Snacks, the pet food of choice until Kibbler's Bits. Suddenly Frodie was no longer mad at me about the whole cliff pushing incident. Instead he was mad at me because I was about 160 cooking skill short on being able to make them. So guess what I did for the next day or so? Only about 85 bear steaks and Silithid parts to go!