Forging Ahead is a special dungeon that serves as the Tinker silver challenge. Functionally it is reminiscent of the Shifting Passages dungeon in the sense that walls spawn each time a monster is killed; coincidentally, the boss is also similar, being able to both Blink and switch secondary special abilities between strikes.
The dungeon has regular stores (with a special offering of items, see Special Rules below), however there are no Alchemist stores. There are two altars, dedicated to two deities from: The Earthmother, Mystera Annur or Taurog.
You cannot convert any items or glyphs except for your starting scrolls.
Shops spawn with a generally fixed array of items, many of which are rare or unique to this dungeon. About half of the items come from the basic store list (so you can get things like Pendant of Health, Pendant of Mana, Bloody Sigil or Spoon); the rest come from a special list only available in this dungeon:
- Compression Seal
- Fake Beard
- Cracked Orb
- Draining Blade - 25 (-5=20) gold: +1 lifesteal, 9 layers of curse and 5 corrosion on pickup
- Bound Sword - 14 (-5=9) gold: +15% damage, can't be converted
- Penance - 25 (-5=20) gold: +2 damage and +1 max MP on pickup, -3 damage and -2 max MP on removal
- Ritual Scroll - 13 (-5=8) gold: consume to add +5% resistances, +1 Max MP and +3 layers of curse
The map is divided by a river, with a single stepping stone serving as a bridge between two halves. Walls perpendicular to the river will appear as each enemy is defeated.
The boss is Force, a level 10 Djinn (HP 522/ATK 75/Blink) that changes secondary abilities as it blinks around.
Recommended Race: Any (see below).
You cannot convert any items or glyphs except for your starting scrolls, and you don't want to convert those anyway. If you save your potions and don't want an entire line of inventory taken up by that Spoon, this limits you to 3 small items (conveniently, there are 3 Compression Seals available) and 5 large ones.
Cracked Orb and Ritual Scroll are consumed on use, and so don't take a space.
Half the enemies on this dungeon have lifesteal. This is really annoying.
As you do not actually gain conversion points in this dungeon, race choice is irrelevant. Because you are not allowed to convert - and because the store selection is 'rigged' towards basic items, or special items with limited/constrained features - you will need to be very careful not to pick up something that will just clog your inventory. Better items to pick up are those that give you damage, mana or health; or those that are used up, i.e. don't lock an inventory slot going forward. Same goes for glyphs, pick up BURNDAYRAZ and 1-2 extra ones that look useful.
The more straightforward deity selection is to just to go with Mystera (ideally after killing most of the Wraiths), gaining you a couple of extra Mana points, as well as possibly Mystic Balance to increase the number of fireballs you can cast. The Earthmother is more of a mixed bag for this dungeon, because most of the enemies are bloodless, so her Plantation boon will have very little effect. Therefor she can provide a bit of everything, but to get any meaningful Mana spike out of her will require a lot of IMAWAL use. Taurog can work nicely, as his extra damage and death protections can be super useful against the boss - however, his equipment seriously limits what other stuff can be carried, plus glyph conversions are out of the question.