Expedition: Cave of the Nadir

Considering my current situation I believe it would be wise for me to expedite my expedition to the Cave of the Nadir, or rather my preparations for it. I have been researching in preparation for this expedition for some time now, however I wanted some advise before setting out on it.
Aside from a surplus of expedition supplies, is there anything else I will need before I start it? Likewise, once I complete the expedition for the first time will I need the supplies for a ray-drenched cinder right away? Or can I return to the entrance at any time?

(Note: I have already been checking the wiki guide in advance)
edited by Koenig on 3/14/2015

Once you reach the entrance of the Cave of the Nadir you’re free to do other things. It sticks around as a storylet in the Forgotten Quarter until you get around to stepping inside. I don’t recall anything apart from the Cinder that you’ll need, but there’s some equipment you can upgrade in the Cave of the Nadir if you’d like a chance of doing that on your first trip. Nothing amazing, but it’s there. You can actually get +9 Shadowy shoes if you bring in Hushed Spidersilk Slippers, but 320 echoes is pretty steep for just 1 point over the Kingscale Boots.

On another note, if you want to clear your hand of the skull cards while you’re preparing for the expedition you can take a brief visit into the Pickpocket’s Promenade in Spite. It’ll get rid of the cards, letting you use the deck until your hand is full of those menace cards again. There are other places that clear your hand, but I find the Pickpocket’s Promenade convenient.

Ideally, what is the best way to get the Cinder? The wiki mentions four different methods, however I have no idea which one would be the most efficient given my circumstances.

Personally I would just go with the 400 echo option. It’s generally a lot quicker than waiting to get 5 Eyeless Skulls. The 50 Fate option is pretty nice if you’ve got money to burn. I picked that option on my main, and didn’t regret it at all.

I wouldn’t recommend the Revolutionary connection trade unless you already have 100+, and don’t mind dropping that by 2535 CP. It’s not worth the actions to build it up specifically for that option.

I see, thanks. Now the question is how do I raise enough money quickly? I currently have 175 Watchful (138+37) and and roughly 110 Shadowy. Would I be able to do the university/flit exchange with this level? Or are there better ways to raise money? (in the case of the former how exactly do I that? I don’t know specifically which story-lets I need to take)

Yep, that’s definitely high enough to utilize the University/Flit method (well, 177 makes it 100% straightforward, but that’s close enough). You’ll want to start out with Investigations in the University, and once your Investigating is high enough go into the Flit to play More than just messages.

Thanks again! This should prove very valuable to my efforts.

Five eyeless skulls is cheaper than 400 echoes but you have to spend a lot of time grinding to do that, and you’ll probably get sent to the mirror marches/royal beth more than once, so I’m not sure if it’ll actually be better in practice, especially if you’re making the money via an optimized money making method like the Investigation one.

Also if you want to save a ray drenched cinder for collection purposes that’s the only way to get one after you’ve opened the Nadir. There’s no practical reason for this beyond sticking on on your mantle (they are very pretty :P)

I would start the expedition now (or well, get 100 supplies, then start) even if you’re not going to finish it–or are going to finish it but not immediately go in–just to get the Eyeless Skull cards out of your deck. (Also definitely bring extra supplies, I’ve done the expedition on three characters and none of them managed to get their without needing to thwart their rival.)

In regards to setting out on the expedition itself, how many supplies do you think I will need? I know I will need a minimum of 60, however I want to give myself enough breathing room that I won’t have to worry about failure. Granted it never hurts to have extra supplies afterwards anyways, but I also don’t want to waste time over-preparing.

You’ll very likely need to confront your opponents once, so that pushes the minimum up from 60 to 70. After that your rival’s progress gets set back to 1, and you probably won’t need to worry about it again. Still, if you want to be absolutely certain of victory you’ll want to take 80. Removing the named rival leaves a group of unnamed rivals, and halting those rivals removes the Rival’s Progress quality entirely. Without any competition you can only lose if your supplies are not sufficient to reach your progress goal, and even then you might get lucky if you take it slow.

There’s also the matter of if you pick non-straightforward choices you might waste some supplies, so taking extra would let you risk those supplies safely. (Just become more careful if your margin is used up.)

I’d take at least 80 but I’ve always done it with 100, since you can just spend leftover supplies on thieves caches or whatever afterwards.

Having 80 supplies is safe enough to finish the expedition for someone with Watchful 175. Grinding supplies is too boring imo.