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 :
- There are two ways to survive the following path through the Tarnalin.
- One of them is to have the skill of Animal Kinship, which I do in fact possess.
- The other is to possess a Magic Spear, which could have been obtained through an (avoidable) fight with a Helghast back in the forest.
- The book here provides you with the option of giving your Magic Spear (if you have one) to Rhygar to aid in his help.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
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