Book 1, Attempt 1, Part 1!
Since I’m apparently working my way through quirky, yet brilliant, British authors, I assume Neil Gaiman will be next…
In any event, I need to pick my skills! (known as ‘Kai Disciplines’ or KDs).
From my own personal attempts at these book in my youth, I’m pretty confident that Healing and Sixth Sense are necessities. From the remainder, I’ll pick Tracking, Hunting and Mind Over Matter.
For my initial scores, my R10 scores aren’t great, with a Combat Skill score of
2 + 10 = 12, and an Endurance total of 0 + 20 = 20.
Hmm, maybe there’s the reason why Lone Wolf was behind on his lessons and kept running into tree branches.
I have 3 Gold Crowns (GCs), the universal currency of these parts, and am toting an Axe and 1 Meal on my person. Scrounging through the ruins of the Monastery, I find nothing but a Map of the local lands and a Spear, which I also snaffle until something better comes along.
I decide that the first order of business is to journey (craftily, of course) to Holmgard (the capital) and inform the King that an invasion is underway, and also that the order of Kai Lords have now gone the way of the dinosaurs.
I swallow my tears, and vow vengeance for my comrades. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with the moniker Lone Wolf, as Avenger has apparently been taken.
I hurry down the hill upon which the monastery stood, and confront a classic gamebook decision – left or right? Interestingly, my Sixth Sense informs me that neither path is preferable, as various evil minions are sweeping the paths for survivors. I can leave the path and travel via the woods to the south or north-east. Its counter-intuitive, but I think circling around to the north-east may be preferable to heading directly south.
As I make my way through the woods, I see several Kraan (the quasi-pterodactyl creatures who attacked the monastery) ridden by Mountain Giaks. Giaks are the goblin-esque servants of the Darklords who will, presumably, be cannon fodder for our hero moving forward.
In an exposition-heavy moment, the omniscient narrator mentions that the Giaks constructed the Darklord city of Mount Doom…(ahem) I mean, Helgedad, and that many of them perished and ‘only the strong survived’.
Darwin in action.
Back in woodcraft-central, I hide beneath the trees before moving on.
I move another quarter-mile or so, before hearing sounds of fighting and thunder. Hoping I haven’t stumbled into a scene from the Avengers, I see a clearing with a ruined temple, and about 25 Giaks surrounding some enemy that is sending bolts of blue lightning at them.
Coming even closer, I see that the ruins are being defended by a young magician wearing the robes of the Magicians’ Guild of Toran, who I gather are the wizarding equivalent of the Kai Lords.
As he holds off five of the attackers on his own, I notice that one has crept in from behind, and is perched on a pillar behind him, with the melodramatic dagger clenched in his (its?) teeth. I can :
- Shout a warning to the wizard;
- Run forward and attack the creature as it attacks;
- Throw a chunk of marble at its head;
- Leave and run away.
I’m thinking that option 4 is a particularly inauspicious option for our aspiring hero. The chunk of marble choice seems random (no Weaponskill in marble blocks), and running forward may well mean I’m too late. It seems that, for once, calling out “Look out behind you!” may actually work!
The wizard whips around and sends a bolt of deadly energy at the Giak who dies on the spot. They run screaming into the woods, while the wizard walks over, extending his hand in friendship.
Given that I’m yet to kill or even wound a single enemy, I’m hoping the friendship isn’t entirely one way…
CS : 12, E : 20, GC 3,
Weapons : Axe, Spear
Backpack : Meal
Special Items : Map
Final paragraph : 241