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Black-Barbed Maze

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Processing. Plant life is not indigenous to structure.


A tangled mat of roots covers the ground of Ravel's Black-Barbed Maze.

Map Edit

To view X, Y coordinates in-game, press L.

Click the map to enlarge it.

Ravels maze map

Walkthrough Edit

If The Nameless One built the Dreambuilder in the Great Foundry (but who built The Nameless One (TNO), and so on), then the player can have seen this place already, in a cutscene.

This is the first area after leaving Sigil, and there will not be an opportunity to return until after coming to Curst Prison, in which the potential Companion Vhailor can be found. If the party is full with six companions, then he can be recruited for the XP, but either he or another Companion will be lost forever in Curst Prison, as there is no coming back. Players should leave Sigil for Ravel's Maze with five or fewer companions

The lurking Trigits can be compared perfectly with the Constructs in the Modron Maze; they are weaker than Medium Threat Constructs and stronger than Low Threat Constructs, and their 750 XP falls in the middle, also.

A cutscene of sorts triggers after the player has advanced 6 yards or so, after which, portals appear in the northwest, northeast, and southwest, which will teleport to the next portal, in clockwise fashion.[1]

Ravel patrols around 2400, 1900. Whenever enemies are killed in the Maze, they will later respawn, with the obvious exception of Ravel. The game cannot be saved with hostile Trigits nearby, but Trigits can be cleared away temporarily to make room for a save. The game is best saved next to Ravel, as she begins friendly, and should be kept that way as long as possible. Do not say you will attack her, always say nice things to her

There are quite a few alignment shift possibilities here, including one shift to Chaos that cannot be avoided if all nine of the Nice answers are to be given. There are a limited amount of Law and Chaos alignment shifts in the game, so if the player is pursuing the +3 Str bonus from Vhailor, then as always, Truth whenever possible.

XP given and Alignment changes can be seen -during conversation- in the infinitesimally short breaks between dialogue; the computer of course is fast enough to show them no problem. When the XP displays, the alignment changes can be seen as well. So the player can know what Int gains they have already received, ingame, to further the Int based requirements. During the conversation up to this point, 1 point of Int can have been gained. And it is also possible to see an alignment change from Neutral to Lawful and back again, due to the two Truths before "What can change the nature of a man" and a lie afterwards.

There are also a lot of potential but avoidable Morale losses for the party, and one avoidable Morale shift, if you like, a possible Morale gain for one of the female PCs with an accompanying Morale loss for the other.

"Ooh... from bad to worse we go!" - Annah

Penultimate bonus Edit

There are two things other than simple error that can stop the player getting the maximum bonuses in Ravel's Maze. One will restrict gameplay to a single class for 12 levels, and the other merely requires prior preparation and choosing one line of dialogue rather than one of the other two. So this guide presumes that players read the Ragpicker's Square or Mebbeth articles and chose "power".

  • Requirements for Penultimate bonus: Nine out of nine "Nice" answers, which means seeking out all questions. That includes both Annah and Fall-from-Grace to be in the party (if you allow Annah to leave during the dialogue with Grace, one of the "Nice" answers will become unavailable). Attribute: Intelligence 16, or 15 if TNO told Mebbeth, way back in Ragpicker's Square, "Because I want power" or "Because I just want to know", as +1 is granted before it is needed. Attribute: Charisma 16 (Friends is your friend; TNO can only use it on himself, but he can change classes before it wears off and it will last the entire conversation, without having to hurry through the options)

Total penultimate Attribute bonuses: +1 Int, +3 Wis.  Total penultimate XP bonuses:

"Plenty to burn here." - Ignus
  • Penultimate Bonuses, in order they are received, with requirements:
  • 90,000 XP for speaking with Ravel
  • Nice: Requirement: Chr 13: "How could I forget you, Ravel?"
  • Memory: Requirement: Int or Wisdom 16: TNO lets Ravel touch his face, and touches hers

Required: Allow her to ask questions, or she goes hostile

  • Alignment shift: ? point(s) toward Lawful: "Your rules are fair."
  • Nice: Requirement: Chr 16: "Of course...beautiful Ravel?"
  • Alignment shift: ? point(s) toward Lawful: "Truth: ...the companions chose to walk this path..." / Alignment shift, ? point(s) toward Chaos: "Lie: ...the companions chose to walk this path..."
  • Morale loss: According to the guides, the following few questions will not affect Ravel, and supposedly to Lie or retract your statements does not affect alignment here. The statements here can affect the companions negatively, through being less happy, otherwise known as loss of Morale.
  • Nice: Requirement: Fall-from-Grace must be in the party: Charisma 16: Lie or Truth: "What is she to you, beautiful Ravel?" No Alignment shifts, supposedly.
  • Nice: Requirement: Annah must be in the party: Charisma 16: Lie or Truth: "Nothing, beautiful Ravel..." No Alignment shifts, supposedly.
    • Potential Morale loss: There is much less evidence available for how the happiness of Companions is affected, but it would seem as though, if the game is testing what TNO's feelings for Grace and Annah are, then their Morale could be affected by the answers to these questions. Telling Ravel to go ahead and hack Grace and/or Annah to pieces does not actually make her do that, of course, but it must make Grace or Annah even less happy, so Not Recommended.
  • Nice: Requirement: Chr 16: "...the way was difficult..."
  • Nice: Requirement: Chr 16: " is *your* charms that persist..."
"What can change the nature of a man?" Here is your chance to tell Ravel, and by extension, the universe, exactly what you think. All answers lead to the same response...Shame TNO cannot say "all of the above", but he would be essentially talking to himself
If outraged at her slaughter of the many who answered 'wrongly', say so, she does not care
How was TNO made immortal?
Is the Mortality still intact?
  • Bonus XP: 180,000 XP: Where is the Mortality? A few exchanges later, Ravel mentions that Trias the Angel may know where
TNO wants to know about RAVEL
Who is she, a Night Hag?
  • Nice: No requirement?: "Lie:" that she is "beautiful". No other way to get the Nice, this shift towards Chaos is unavoidable if going for the maximum Wis bonus, and Ravel gives you the Ravel's Hair portal key for it, too
    • Alignment shift: ? point(s) toward Chaos: "Lie"
If Grace or Annah are in the party, Ravel will change herself to look like one of them
Grace is chosen to appear first by default, unless only Annah is in the party
  • Morale gain AND morale loss: Whomever you choose to kiss (Grace or Annah) will become more happy, while the other's Morale is lowered
  • Bonus Item (indirect): The player will lose no benefits from Ravel directly by choosing not to kiss Ravel/Grace or Ravel/Annah. In fact, not kissing her seems expected by the script; it fits her comment to him that he is 'hard to please', better than if he does. However, kissing her adds the Tattoo of Ravel's Kiss to Fell's Tattoo Parlor when the party gets back to the Hive much later, which adds +2 Str and Con and a save bonus, but also -1 to Int and Wis
Ask about what other forms Ravel has taken, and she goes into a sort of trance, speaking as Mebbeth, Ei-Vene and Marta
Mebbeth was kind to you, therefore Ravel was kind to you. Okay, but after all the "you are my moon, my sky" flattery, one might expect a little more elaborate gratitude for the times Ravel actually deserved it. Guides direct the player to address Ei-Vene and Marta politely, but the dialogue is just written with much less politeness than The Nameless One shows elsewhere in dialogue with Ravel. He calls Marta "barmy", and acts as though he is doing Ravel a favor by describing them as helpful


    • +1 Int if TNO said to Mebbeth, "Because I just want to know"


    • +1 Wis AND Int AND additional 30,000 XP if TNO told Mebbeth, "Because I need power"

The player should make TNO stand his ground, and let E-Vene and Marta do the Unnecessary Surgery that Ravel is so fond of. Ei-Vene's reward is not all that big a deal...

  • Derived statistic bonus: Requirement: Kindness to Ei-Vene (not a Nice point): +3 MaxHP

...but the next one is:

  • Bonus Item: Requirement: Kindness to Marta (not a Nice point): Intestinal Phylactery (bracelet, and bracelets are rare), +9 HP, +2 AC

Why was Ravel imprisoned here? Ravel gives her reasons, and Morte and Grace again have some things to say about her. Do not agree with them; back Ravel up in her defense of setting the Lady of Pain free to roam the Multiverse. This is Nice (and cool, of course, Go forth, Lady of Pain!), and supposedly is not an alignment shift, but it would seem as though it were pretty Chaotic. Merely agreeing with this action is not as Chaotic as actually freeing Coaxmetal oneself, but then, alignment shifts are pretty cheap elsewhere; this should be worth at least one point.
Backtracking to ask again why Ravel was imprisoned is necessary to get both 'did the right thing' and 'trying to set me free' dialogue paths

  • Nice: No requirement?: "you did the right thing"
    • Nice: Requirement: Chr 13 "...At least you *tried*..."
  • Bonus Item: Ravel's Hair (portal key), 90,000 XP. Requirement: Int or Wis 16: 'were you trying to set me free, too?"
  • Bonus to XP and bonus item: Requirement: Chr 13 / Mage class. Attribute- / Specialization- dependent reward


    • 60,000 XP, three to six Black Barbed Seeds: Requirement: Int 12



    • 120,000 XP, six Black Barbed Seeds, one Black-Barbed Charm: Requirement: Double Specialization as Mage (this reward is suspect as I have gotten only 90,000 XP despite being a 12th level Mage)
  • Alignment shift: ? point(s) toward Evil: 'just cannot wait for all of the Multiverse to bend to my will, muahaha!'
  • Alignment shift: ? point(s) toward Good: 'Hmm. Nah'

And now a requirement that you cannot lose anything concrete over: Intelligence or Wisdom 14, to figure out that the most important question to leave. As you leave conversation, all the Nice things TNO said to her pay off

  • Attribute bonus and XP bonus:
    • Attribute bonus: Requirement: Nice ? out of nine times


    • Attribute bonus: Requirement: Nice ? out of nine times
      • +1 Wis, 120,000 XP


    • Attribute bonus: Requirement: Nice all nine times
      • +2 Wis, 180,000

Completing this dialogue sequence with all nine Nice answers also triggers the sale of a second +2 Charisma Tattoo, Tattoo of the Silver Tongue at Fell's Tattoo Parlor

Up to this point, Ravel has seemed pretty well in control, both of herself and to a certain extent, The Nameless One. You can pretty much say, she loses it, here. Protesting all the way, that we can all be friends and perhaps we should all just calm down, rather than taking the first opportunity to smush her, may not make any concrete difference, but makes a more dramatic scene. Ravel summons a few Trigits, and with enough Charisma, or high enough totals or something (evidence: with Chr 14, no Trigits, with Friends and 21, three Trigits.

Ravel gives 32,000 XP, and drops:

Shadows and Greater Shadows have spawned, their spawn points near the portals in the corners, and will move to the center of the maze, and continue spawning should those ones die, probably infinitely. They are easy enough to kill, but do not give very much XP, and the party will be unable to rest in the Maze.

The original Trigits will of course continue spawning; they are hostile to the Shadows as well, the enemies will fight where their paths cross, seemingly without being able to kill each other

The portal to exit the Maze entirely is in the northeast, but is triggered by a dialogue box, so the nearby northeast portal that teleports to the southwest is still usable by clicking

Cutscene upon leaving, preferably after the next section

Black Barbed Briar Patch Edit

"The black barbs covering these trees are quite fascinating." - Fall-from-Grace

Ravel's Hair, given for Lying that Ravel is beautiful, is the key to a portal next to one of the arching tree-sized barbs in the center of the Maze, which leads to a special area. Clicking on the purplish depressions in this area will prompt TNO to hum and feed seeds to the hungry twigs.

The player can choose to use up all the seeds creating up to six Black-Barbed Wands, which have multiple charges of the Black-Barbed Curse of the seeds OR Black-Barbed Shield of the necklaces, but do not stack in inventory. Or keep one to three of the seeds to add Black-Barbed Curse to spellbooks. But it is a level 2 spell that does only 4-16 damage, less than 40% of a maxed-out level 2 Ice Knife spell. It does physical damage, but being able to do non-physical damage types is part of the reason for using spells anyway. Or keep a(nother) seed to give to Mebbeth on return to Sigil for 12,000 XP.[2]

The Wands have a number of charges that depend on Int and whether TNO asked to learn Ravel's magic.

  • Nine charges: Requirement: Int 15


  • 33 charges: Requirement: Int 16


  • 66 charges: Requirement: Ravel's magic teachings, Int 15


  • 99 charges: Requirement: Ravel's magic teachings, Int 16

Find the arch and use the teleporter to get back to the main area

The portal to leave the Maze altogether for Curst is in the northeast (upper right), 4250, 850; Shadows are everywhere, and some move towards the center of the maze. A dialogue box appears when near the portal.

"Hey, let's find a way out of here before this place grows on us, okay? Literally?" - Morte


Maximum bonus Edit

  • Requirements for Maximum bonus: Same as Penultimate bonus, but with full Specialization in Mage (achieved level 7 and 12 in Mage before any other class, not recommended)
    • Max bonus total: Same as Penultimate bonuses, but with 30,000 more XP, out of hundreds of thousands total

Story Edit

The vegetation, and presumably the Trigits, are all grown from a single seed that hitched a ride in Ravel's hair, aided by her magics.

Review Edit

Like the previous hour or so of gameplay, an insightful look into flattery and deception. And bribed by the interesting dialogue, and XP and attribute bonuses, we will doubtless overlook these things, but... The encounter with Ravel is ironic when compared to the previous hour's search for evidence of his previous incarnation's manipulation of Deionarra, that could be seen as damning or even shocking. Here he is, the supposedly reformed character, doing it all over again with Ravel. And well, okay, so say he has to protect himself, because of Ravel being the incredibly dangerous witch that everyone says she is, but when she finally attacks, she is...not dangerous.

With all the Morale shifts and the potential kiss with the form of the love interests in the game, and either Grace or Annah being chosen first... There is another game where a female character is chosen to suddenly appear and participate in a romantic gesture, which led me to wonder if the character chosen here was not chosen for exactly the same reason. Are there "Love Points" in PS:T? Hmm, well, sort of. And are they based on the same criteria as in Final Fantasy VII? Well, no. See Morale. Length of time each character has spent in the party is certainly possible. XP gained is possible. Number of times TNO speaks to them? Love point dialogue grinding, anyone? Just for reasons of pure research, you understand.

Alignment: neutral Edit

There were enough alignment shifts from the beginning of dialogue with Ravel to the middle to change TNO's Law-ward from Neutral, and from the middle to the end of dialogue to change TNO's Alignment Chaos-ward back to Neutral. Alignment changes can be seen -during conversation- in the infinitesmally short breaks between dialogue; the computer of course is fast enough to show them no problem. When the XP displays, the alignment changes can be seen as well. The one and only advantage to TNO being right on the edge of Law was that I could observe a lot of alignment changes directly without hacking the game, so I might as well take advantage of it. Does this change the answers you should give? Probably not. TNO lied thrice: Once, the obligatory 'Nice' lie. And then, twice, once each to not set Ravel above Grace or Annah, by lying that they were as nothing compared with Ravel, instead of Truthing that, which would mean that they really did mean nothing to TNO. But those are not supposed to change alignment. . But at least you won't be expecting to get all Lawful out of this encounter when you can't, very much.

Tattoos Edit

Returning from Ravel's Maze adds Tattoos to Fell's Tattoo Parlor, in addition to the 'Tattoo of Ravel's Kiss' noted above. Tattoo of Ravel gives +1 Charisma, and Immunity to Panic. Two others can only be worn by TNO in Mage class, and bought by Mages: Tattoo of the Black-Barbed Call, which invokes Black-Barbed Shield, and Tattoo of the Black-Barbed Maze, which invokes Black-Barbed Curse. But that will not be for some time

Next area: Curst

See also Edit

Citations Edit

External links Edit

The Hive
Mortuary Area (Mortuary | Gathering Dust Bar | Mausoleum) • Northwestern AreaMarketplace AreaSmoldering Corpse Area (Smoldering Corpse Bar | Fell's Tattoo Parlor) • Alley of Dangerous AnglesRagpicker's Square
Under the Hive
Trash WarrensBuried Village (Pharod's Court) • Weeping Stone CatacombsDead NationsWarrens of ThoughtDrowned NationsTomb of the Nameless One
Other Wards
Tenement of ThugsAlley of Lingering SighsLower Ward (Great Foundry | Bones of the Night) • Clerk's Ward (Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts | Civic Festhall) • Undersigil
Player's MazeModron MazeBlack-Barbed Maze
Outlands and Hells
Outer Curst (Traitor's Gate Tavern) • Inner CurstCurst UndergroundCurst PrisonOutlandsBaator (Pillar of Skulls) • Curst GoneCurst in CarceriCurst Administration
Fortress of Regrets
Fortress EntranceFortress Main HallTrial of ImpulseMaze of ReflectionsFortress Roof

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