starting up
if youve just wandered upon grendels cave from somewhere else on the internet, dont too much worry about all the players with different pictures that turn you to stone if you inspect them.. they are 'morphs' and its a compleatly different game once you start playing like that. for now just be happyin the beginer kingdoms or intermediate with your highest stat under 50.. these may well be the happiest days of yoru carea, dont get power hungery too soon :) stop by grendelscave chat and say hello to the regluars but there are alot of kiddie fools with rich uncles who think theys is da shit so dont pay too much attention.

starting species
well there are a few different schools of thought on this. elf or troll are probably the best choices for a beginer

the elf/elf is my personal favriot choice for starting out.. you get quickbow and invisibility (and a nice picture) invisibility is possibly the most important spell in the game.. it lets you chose yoru targets, strike most of your targets first and theres a dirty trick/exploit you can use early on to make it so that some enmies cant fight back. scrape together a few rings and buy a bow (you'll want to upgrade to a whip as soon as you can so look out for them lyeing around the duengeon floor) learn the wonders of attacking from a distance; push your speed up to 20 then yoru strength up to 5 then yoru portage up to 4 then your speed to 30 then your magic to 40 (yes ignore endurance) the trick is to attack things that cant attack back thus avoiding taking any dammage. check what weapon your opponent has and dont attack anything with a bow or crossbow or with 2 weapons (becaurse it might throw one of them) notice how many spaces they move towards you each time.. if your fast enough then you'll be able to keep most things out of their weapon range. stalk the duengeon and chose yoru targets wisely. only attack stuff you'll gain off, the game moves slowly enough without you spending 3 or 4 screen loads to whack a stray goblin then pick up your arrows and its loot

with the fairy/troll your going to have to take alot of dammage and its possible to die in one hit to even the weakest of monsters when your endurance is thru the roof. ofcouse the resaon you chose troll as your mothers species is for regeneration; this means you wont have to trundel on back to the witch after every battle, if your injured just click yoruself a few times and heypresto everyhtings back to normal. fix yourself up with 2 solid impaling weapons (or a flail and a javlin) and map your course through the cave (you'll need to come back to get your stuff time and again) you'll die more but you'll kill quicker. push your portage to 4, endurance to 25, speed to 20, strength to 8 then your magic to 30

starting kingdom
i never got much out of the beginer kingdoms, there are some people who never sail and more power to 'em but there are only 5 levels to the cave and 18 is the highest stat you can get* but if you get your thane to the highest you can in beginer then sail him to advanced or intemediate then their stats will be unbalanced and you'll have a hard time improving any further. stay away from the advanced kingdoms too.. if you want the big monney prize then the quickest way is to learn the game in intermediate kingdoms first. as for which intermediate kingdom to play in, ask around in gc chat perhaps for whats flavor of the month, watch out for big daddy tribes who promise you the world.. you might well be handed a big thane but you'll soon be playing janitor. probabaly best to avoid tribes all together untill youve been around for a while and know how things work. whereever you play you'll probabaly end up getting attacked once you get past 60-70's unless you know whoever is in charge ofthat kingdom so it might be worth your while finding out who it is and whispering a friendly hello.

whatever route you chose, keep a look out for a whip. failing that a pike will do nicely the reason being that they can be enchanted by the witch (unlike arrows) but you can still attack from a distance (range 14 and 12) ya'll want to make another thane with high portage and over 100 value (so he dosest get automatically deleted) to hold your spare magic weapons, books, rings ectra. monsters to avoid are snakes (they poison ya) basilsiks (they turn ya to stone) medusas** (they do both!) wraiths and weigts (which paryize you) and balrogs which you cant hurt without a magic weapon (and incinerate you if you get too close). make good use of flying and invisibility if the witch gives them to you of have them as a natural ability and always have imolate (flame up) on if your fighting close up.. you have a chance of 'pulling them into yoru flaming body' and getting a 1 hit kill on anything without protection from fire

once your hovering around the 30's 40's mark in stats you'll find that you stop improving off monsters above level 15 (accept the occasional many segmented giant worm) and if you go below level 15 they start using all kinds of nasty spells on you.. oh well no problem, you no longer a beginer and if you want to get bigger stasts your going to have to either get the spells or do the quests

the spells
you need all the protections and flying to travel 'safely' around below level 15.. if your flooded in magic weapons and teleporting boots then perhaps you can afford to risk the big gains but i figure you probably dont and cant if your reading the startup guide. all the protections includes protection from magic misile, resist magic misile protection from gas, fire, web, paralisis, stone touch, sapping, poison (theres protection from weapons and magic dammage only but dont worry abuot them for now). flying and invisibility become sooooo unbelivably important around now if your father's secies was elf or fairy then your size is small and you can fly in the caves flying means that some creatures cant move towards you.. which in turn makes it impossible for some monsters even on the bottom level (level 255) of the cave to hurt you. wander around and pick yoru targets, look out for cockatrices and hobgoblins as these are prime targets. to kill monsters below level 15, a stoning whip is nice but remember that the stoning effect wont always take effect and if your fighting a sirens with 65 magic and your whip has only 4 magic, you might hit it all day but not turn it to stone once.. having the stoning touch spell is more effective as i belive it uses your magic to determin weather the stoning takes effect (and your magic will almost always be higher than your weapons) other favriot spells to kill monsters are fireball and gas breathing, you can get fireball with around 25 magic from the witch and gas with around 31*** you can select to 'swing sword' 'belch gas' and 'kick' all in the same round then click the monster to get 3 attacks all these attacks are one hit kills, ie gas will kill your target if you hit but will do absloutly nothing if you miss or it has protection from gas

the quests
while going deeper into the cave and killing bigger and bigger monsters for your improvements is the quickest and most consistant way to gain your stats beyond the 40's area, it takes a bit of experience and you can find yourself dieing to a monster you that is far too tough for you and stand no chance of geting your equipment beck from. finding a quest item and giving it to the queen will earn you an amulet peice, giving that to the witch will earn you around 100 improvments. nice eh? iron bulls will sometimes have a songbird with them (seen as a monster sized white bird in the room next to the bull) and sirens sometimes have cymballs with them (again shown as a monster sized white tile on the floor) the deeper you go the more likley it is that the sirenes/bulls will have cymballs/birds with them, its very rare that they spawn without them under lvl 100 or so, but theres a small chance (perhaps 1 in 20) of finding them on level 15. on level 15 bulls and sirenes are very easy to kill. if your flying and have a ranged weapon (billhook pike heavy lance whip bow crossbow or just throwing stuff) then its impossible for them to touch you as they cant move towards a flying thane and their only magic attack is belch gas which it needs to be pretty close (around 8) to reach with. sirens can be a pain...if you find one on level 15 then it cant kill you as they dont have a physical attack and their only magic is sirene song (will reduce your stats unless your magic is high enough to resist) so use hourglasses if your comfortable with the mechanics of them. watch what level your on thou as if you run into one on 16 or below they can throw all kinds of horrible magic atcha. the other quests in the game are the cyclops (baltazars wall), the spicebox (the spices) and the basilisk corpse(the ember) but you'd do better leaving these alone

*with sizing you canget to around 60 speed (17 everyhting else) but with only little critters to kill is it worth it?
**medusas are either one of the most difficult or one of the easiest monsters to kill the trick to them is to fly and have a shiney shield equiped, medusa's cant move towards you if your flying and occasionally they'll catch their glance in your sheild and turn themselves to stone. dont attack the medusa or else you'll probabaly be pertified. paitently click yourself and wait for them to die. this is somewhat dependant on your magic in that if you have under 10 then it could take all day
***the number of pages in the book is the miminum magic at which the witch might give you the spell at, 11 being the lowest. ie. clicking the witch with 11 magic and atleast 11 rings will give you a chance of getting flight, invisibility or aly trees.. the number of you can cast that spell is indicated in brackets next to it if you inspect yourself and is again dependent on you magic, ie if you have 11 magic then you will get only 20 or so flight spells but if you have 3000 magic you can expect to get thousands of flight spells froma single click but the witch will only take 11 rings each time. having 255 magic and 255 rings will give you a chance of getting any spell in the game (superhero wizard and protection from weapons being the most demanding spells) for each flower or bug you give to the witch the requirement lvevl of each spell comes down by one ie if you have 45 magic and take 210 flowers (and 255 rings) then you have a chance at any spell in the game
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