Fire on the Water – Attempt 1, Part 12

Rhygar, being my new bestie and all, runs with me for six hours (!) while evading the Helghast in the foothills of Durenor.

I ‘marvel’ at his endurance, as he continues running notwithstanding his heavy armour and (comparatively) advanced age.


Having said that, the idea of removing some or all of Rhygar’s heavy armour (since we are relying on speed and stealth rather than combat) doesn’t seem to occur to him or me.

At nightfall, we reach the ‘Tarnalin’, the western tunnel leading through the Hammerdal mountains, which was excavated during the age of the Black Moon, and which comprise the only path to the capital of Durenor.

Now that was a lot of D & D-esque words for one sentence, wasn’t it?

Rhygar offers me some food (unselfish of him, since I have four Meals in my backpack, and the skill of Hunting) and insists that I carry on without him, while he alone defends the entrance to the Tarnalin as long as he is able.

The book mentions that Rhygar will need a magical weapon of some kind if he is to have any chance. given the natural immunities of the Helghast.



Aside : This is one of the most controversial sections in the history of Lone Wolf.  I won’t tell the whole story, as we’ll be here all night, but in (geeky) summary :

  1. There are two ways to survive the following path through the Tarnalin.
  2. One of them is to have the skill of Animal Kinship, which I do in fact possess.
  3. The other is to possess a Magic Spear, which could have been obtained through an (avoidable) fight with a Helghast back in the forest.
  4. The book here provides you with the option of giving your Magic Spear (if you have one) to Rhygar to aid in his help.
  5. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the Animal Kinship skill, then doing the intuitive and unselfish thing of giving Rhygar your magical weapon actually guarantees Lone Wolf’s death.
  6. This was so mind-boggling when I first tried to complete the book I became convinced that I was doing something ‘wrong’ and that the adventure was ‘broken’.
  7. There was also difficulty with certain options (regarding the Spear) meaning that you mightn’t survive even if you had the Animal Kinship skill.

The Errata section for this book in Project Aon goes into more detail (read the entry under section 299).

After all that, on my current adventure, I don’t have a Magic Spear, so I simply continue on, sniffling away the tears which threaten to come as I consider Rhygar’s sacrifice.



I note with suspicion that the tunnel, which is normally full of merchants, wagons and other travellers, is virtually empty.

There’s a certain picture which gets an encore presentation here :



After I’ve walked for around half an hour, I see a creature fresh out of a Disney movie.  Its a two-foot anthromorphic rat wearing a jacket and carrying a spear.

Project Aon link – Noodnic

My long-hoarded Animal Kinship skill confirms that this creature is a Noodnic, an intelligent scavenger known to these parts.  I realise that he / she may be able to assist with knowledge of whether the Helghast are in this area, and I follow the Noodnic.

I follow this over-sized rat into a massive cavern where I am mildly surprised to see an entire colony of the creatures, all sorting through a massive pile of apparently scavenged (*cough* stolen) goods.

Will I be able to fend off a teeming mass of intelligent rats?  Tune in next time.

Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 50

Weapons : Broadsword, Mace

Backpack : Meal (x4), Healing Potion (+3 E)

Special Items : Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 to CS), Seal of Hammerdal, Red Pass

Final paragraph :144

16 thoughts on “Fire on the Water – Attempt 1, Part 12

  1. Pretty impressive that Joe Dever foresaw the Heavy Armor perk Conditioning (“Heavy armor weighs nothing and doesn’t slow you down”) over 25 years before Skyrim was released.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Forget the Victorian stereotypes. A typical suit of armour was about 40 pounds (about that of an infantryman’s backpack) and knights were generally able to LEAP onto a horse’s back in full armour (what the horse thought of this is another matter). So of course he kept his armour on, it would aid him in defending against the Helghasts later on.

    And it was nice of you that not only have you made a poor Knight in his forest tower go hungry by taking all his food you then also take Rhygar’s food too. I think someone should warn the Noodnic’s before you snag their supplies too. I know an army marches on its stomach but … please!!!!

    Finally, yes, I’ve always hated that moral dilema as well, it was completely unfair. Thanks for the direction to the Project Aon solution, I’m surprised that Joe Dever himself never commented on the matter but I think they took the right decision. If you want to keep the Spear then you’re on the hunt for a Helghast so you don’t even want to see the Noodnic, but if you don’t have the spear OR you want to do the right thing by Rhygar then you can still save your life. BTW, its from this scene that I developed a real hatred for Helghast’s and devoted … well Lone Wolf’s life to killing as many of them as possible. An additional reason I got so annoyed at a Helghast running away from a teenage girl with a lump of metal in her hand in the Novels.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Damn, that’s right! I know the market was believed to be teenage boys but my sister played these books as avidly as I ever did. But women were generally only to be found inside shops or their own homes either selling goods or information (apart from one or two who were to be rescued from the bad guys prison, this includes Alyss who otherwise appears to be the most powerful character in the books after Naar, but in the gamebooks she’s a female who gets one chance at being annoyingly useful and then has to be rescued). In fairness to the Novels, I suppose they did try to balance that but in a way I didn’t like. But Viveka did have a good intelligent role, that part was a real improvement on the gamebooks (I have to admit that after all my other whinging).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG Your Twtter Feed lol!
    1. what is the point of the Benjamin Law tweet?
    2. Hillary Clinton shows so much concern for rabbits yet thinks nothing of legislating the murder of babies by abortion
    3. Good one, insult all children that go to Private Schools- (where mediocrity is not celebrated)
    4. So because I have a small business, I should put up with people stealing from me? When is theft ever ok? I am surprised as a lawyer, you even think this is acceptable, but I suppose that is moral relativity at work.
    5. So only WASPS are upwardly mobile and don’t need public transport.


    1. 1. It is self-explanatory.
      2. Your desire to link everything to abortion is noted. “Hillary Clinton wants to increase the minimum wage.” “Well she wants to DECREASE the number of women who can control their own bodies, so there!”
      3. Trust me – mediocrity is very much accepted at the private school I attended. Particularly among white, straight, male, Catholics.
      4. I never said stealing was accepted. Coles have made a commercial decision to accept a higher level of theft because it is made up for in their reduced costs of employing less staff. Their attempts to dragoon tax-payer funded police officers to protect profits is deplorable.
      5. Um…yeah, I got nothing

      I won’t be responding further on these things because Lone Wolf wasn’t mentioned. I have a public twitter feed if you want to debate me there.


  5. oh wait, there is more. I see that you and your aesthetically/metabolically challenged fellow leftists have made some more stupid insults about Christianity. So brave of you all.


      1. you just said you are not entering into anymore debate here? You post your Twitter feed on here for display and not everyone has Twitter. Just for the record, that article about Clinton and her reverence for the lives of the bunny rabbits is so insulting to any thinking person who can see her hypocrisy.


  6. As Avenger I will boldly sneak into the Valley of Scorpions with the thought that I’m among the most deadly and evil fighters in all of Orb merely causing me occasional terror.

    As Lone Wolf I will enter one enemy stronghold after another so that other nations can continue to fight each other and oppress their peasants … wait? What? Moving on.

    As a shop worker near a mental home I have challenged escapee’s (some towering) and told them they can’t take drink from our shop (and gotten it back).

    As a Jehovah’s Witness (it was going to come out eventually) I will call back on homes where previously I was yelled at because you never know what reception you will get this time.

    As Fenrir Wolfganger there’s NO WAY I’m entering the above firefight. Fenrir races for safety.

    As a side note I’d just like to add that it was the little touches like how the Hammerdal Tunnels were built during the Age of the Black Moon or the Szalls fled the Darklords to the Wildlands during the age of Vashna (when only the strongest Giaks survived the building of Helgedad) that really illustrate how Joe Dever builds a world for you to immerse yourself into. Everything that happens is connected to what’s happened before.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt that part of what Joe was trying to do here was convey a moral message of the greater good (the success of the mission) mattering more than any one individual, hence why you are rewarded for keeping the Spear rather than giving it away. The player is supposed to deduce that Rhygar is as good as dead anyway, and thus that you should keep the Magic Spear to ensure your own survival so as to complete the mission. Logic and rationality over idealism. There are several other instances in the series where trying to help people is the “wrong” choice from a gaming perspective (you pointed out the instance in book 1 where trying to help the children on the roadway just gets you into a fight with no benefit; that’s another example).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Aye, while in Avenger you can kill a torturer and release hid prisoners in Shadow on the Sand if you listen at a door and hear someone screaming while another chuckles evilly you just walk away with a shudder (always bugged me that scene). I guess its good for us all to remember even hero’s can’t save everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. One of the more significant edits to the Mongoose edition of FotW suggests that Joe Dever may have changed his mind on the utilitarian viewpoint as time went on.

    I can’t say more without getting spoilerish for the new edit, but if people are okay with that, just ask.

    Liked by 1 person

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