The Way of the Water Mage
(submitted by Wolfspirit)
The objective here is to get 85 Ancient Knowledge (AK) before gaining level 3 so we can get Learn Quickly and an extra point from lvl 3 onwards. Getting this amount of AK allows the player to invest in other areas as well to make an all round character earlier.
Starting after the fight in Ardea (make sure you kill the Boss so you can get a World Map for free and then loot everything, you are going to need the cash) - get the teleport stone and read the book above the warehouse for +5 Ancient Knowledge. Speak to your compatriots and then get Gorn to take you to Reddock, but don't talk to any of the Rebels as we want to stay at level 2.
Now run to Cape Dun and SAVE the game in front of Deckard the Quartermaster(QM). An NPC trader's inventory is created when you first open it, not at the start of the game, hence why you can reload for different things to buy. Don't talk to anyone else, speak to the QM and open his trade, if you're lucky you will get 2 +5 stones or only 1 stone, but you can also get none. At this point it's up to you if you want to play the game as it's dealt to you, or reload to get the stones - this could take a few goes. Get the teleport stone for Cape Dun by sneaking Urkrass' warehouse, don't touch the Golden Goblets, just get the stone for now.
Now teleport back to Ardea, then start running to Montera. Only use sprint when you get attacked by boars as they can kill you in a couple of hits if you're unlucky. When you get to Domenik's farm, go right past the bandits as it is a lot quicker, when you start to hear them shouting at you, just hit sprint and out run them all. Run up the south entrance of Montera past the slave camp guards and got the teleporter stone from the chest in the shack with the frightened slave in it.
Now exit via the west gate which is very near to the shack and turn left and run down the path to the group of rebels. A bit further down the path are the remains of Bazir's caravan, get his casket, be very careful of a boar, but don't go back to him with it yet as he will make you lvl 3 in order to trade with him.
Continue down the path to Trelis, enter Trelis via the entrance where Thorus is standing, if you arrive at night is the one nearest the Beliar alter (the teleporter stone is in a chest nect to the Beliar alter - get it). If you go in the other entrance, you get forced into a conversation about potions which could end up making you lvl 3 by Pranck the Orc. After entering at Thorus' gate, stay close to the right hand wall and enter the empty alchemist's room and read the books for another +5 AK. Exit Trelis the way you came in.
After exiting Trelis, turn right and run up the path to Geldern (the teleporter stone is on a stone near a chest - look to the left just as you clear the tree line on the path to Geldern . Go into the slave quarter and find Hamil the audacious artifact trader among the slaves. SAVE the game before speaking to him as he can start with either 2, 1 or no stones, up to you if you want to reload as before. Next speak to Jared the artefact trader, but save the game again if you want to make sure of 2 stones. You can also get +15 AK from the Geldern arena fights, but you will also be lvl 5 at the end of them, so we come back to that.
Go out the other gate and run to Silden, don't even think about getting the Weathered Stone for +10 AK from the northern mine, Even if you manage to pick up the stone with 4 minecrawlers attaking you, the 2 crawlers in the first bit of the mine will block your way out and kill you - trust me, I tried it!! Get the teleporter stone from the standing stones ring just outside Silden. Find Temmy the fisher in Silden, again, save before you talk to him as you can get 2, 1 or no stones.
If you have managed to get +25 AK from the 5 NPC (including Ilya in Mora Sul) then you don't need to go to the Monastery yet. If you do decide you want to go, then this is how:
Go to the first group of rebels where the Tired Rebel is located. Then carry on through the second group and onto the third where you take the right turn up the wooden bridge. Don't go over the bridge, instead carry on straight up the leafy brown hill. Carry on and when you see a metal chest, look to your left for another path through the trees, take this and follow the pillars of stone. Eventually you will come to a path, drop down into it. If you're on the right track, you will soon go past a metal chest, a wooden chest and a broken barrel.
As you come to the top of the path you will see the snow bound mountains of Nordmar - stop there. There will be a healing plant in front of you and two trees to the immediate left of the healing plant. Go through the trees and up the granite path. Now you have to do some jump sliding to get up to the snow covered mountains above you. Keep right as much as you can to the edge of the mountains. After a bit of working your way around, you will see a gap in the mountains with some snow covered trees in it - head for them. When you get to the trees, turn left through some brambles. When you get to the top of the next ridge, you will see the Monastery.
Drop down to the ridge below you where a lot of brambles are, work your way around to the right being careful not to fall directly into the courtyard - you might want to SAVE before you do this just in case. Get to a position so you can drop down using the shrine if Innos in the corner, using each level of the shrine so you take no damage.
Once in the courtyard, again, try not to speak to anyone, but if you get to close to one of the mages, he may auto start a conversation, I'm pretty sure you don't get any XP from it though. Go into the library, equip your torch and make you way down to the bottom via the twisting staircase etc. Use the three lecterns' in the main room, one will give +5 AK and open the chest to get the teleporter stone - you need some lock picks for this chest. I would suggest you don't go through the archway to use the book called 'The Chronicles of Dominance' in the small room as this will advance a quest to near its end that you get much earlier in the game and possibly ruin the storyline for that quest, although I didn't test that. If you do use the book, your only option will then be to teleport out as the summoned demon and skeletons will kill you if you exit the small room.
Whether you use 'The Chronicles of Dominance' or not, you now need to teleport to Cape Dun.
Go down the path to the beach and run past the white lurkers, jump in the water and swim up the coast until you get to the huge waterfall. Now turn left and swim across the channel to Lago.
Get the teleporter stone from the compost heap near Rasula. Do nothing else here.
Now run to ben Erai and get the teleporter stone from in front of the mines.
Now run to Braga and use the Lecturn in Nafalem's quarters on the GROUND floor for +5 AK, don't go upstairs unless you want to get attacked. You cannot get the teleporter stone at Braga yet because to get it you have to win a duel with Bernado, if you take this duel you will get 1000 XP and become lvl 3.
Teleport back to Lago and now run to Ben Sala - just get the teleport stone in the village.
Now run towards Mora Sul, aim for the Orc tents to start with. You will see Lester digging, if he is taking a break at the tents wait for him to start digging again and then talk to him. He will give you two +5 stones, but whatever you do, DO NOT get the key from him that he offers you, that will give you 2000 XP. Drop down into the excavation where the slaves are digging and you will find a stone pillar in one of the rooms that will give you another +5 AK.
Now follow the sunken path which starts where Lester is digging past the temple until you come to a large raised platform. You will see some nomads and a Water Mage called Saturas, bear to the right and you will see another tent and the water mage Myxir. Talk to him and he will give you two +5 stones.
Now run into Mora Sul, get the teleporter stone which is near the bounty hunter Bandaro. Go to Ilya the merchant and save the game. He can give you 2, 1 or no stones. Also, as you will have around 5000 gold, you will need more, so talk to Hector the Innkeeper and borrow 1,000 gold from him. You get 2000 XP when you give him 1,400 gold back within 5 days.
Now run to the field of ruins and the Temple of Mora Sul. Again, find the orc tents and drop down into the excavation and use a stone pillar in one of the rooms for +5 AK.
Go back to the north the way you came so you are between the fields of ruins and Mora Sul. Now run in a north westerly direction. After a bit, you will see the Murat's oasis, stay south of it, you will now see a rocky ledge in the desert, run just south of it and as you go past the end of the outcrop, head almost due north and you will see the cave of Mendarion. He will give you a two +5 stones.
Now you should have at least 85 Ancient Knowledge, with the 20 learning points you already have, thats 100 AK and a spare 5 points for Learn Quickly which will cost you 5,000 gold. You can learn this from Mendarion.
Summary of AK available without gaining enough XP to make you level 3 :
There are 60 points of AK guaranteed at:
Al Shedim Temple Stone Pillar +5
Mora Sul Temple Stone Pillar +5
There are 50 points of non guaranteed AK at:
Cape Dun - Deckard +10
Geldern - Hamil +10, Jared +10
Mora Sul - Ilya +10
Silden - Temmy +10
The important thing to note here is that you have to be incredibly lucky to get all 5 vendors with 2 stones on each, either that of you have to be very patient while you load the game a lot of times. Having said that, it's easier to get one stone from each vendor. It may only take 1 or 2 reloads for them to have one stone in their inventory and when you think about it, that's all you need as it will give you +25 AK. Add the guaranteed 60 and you have your target.
Once you have trained Learn Quickly, you now have to decide whether you want to make the game incredibly easy or a reasonable challenge. If you go for 250 AK and get mana regeneration, with around 250 mana even the huge orc camp on the east side of Nordmar becomes a walk in the park. Alternatively, you can still raise AK to 250 to give your spells some serious punch, but not take mana regeneration which means you have to increase your mana quite a lot and leg it when you want to drink a mana potion or you could even melee of course like a proper Battle Mage. You still need to buy Ice Lance and Highest Water Mage skill for extra damage.
You can now go back to Basir in Montana and he can give three +5 stones when you return his casket. Do the arena fights in Geldern for another 15 AK. Once you at level 15 which can be easily obtained by doing the fetch and carry missions in Montana and Sildern, you can get 250 AK and decide on mana regeneration.
You are now ready to teleport back to Ardea to start the game as a Water Mage.
Have fun with it if you decide to use it.