Fire on the Water

Fire on the Water – Attempt 1, Part 16

In an awesome Batman-esque moment, two zombies try to stop me as I approach the tower, but I brush them aside with a single sweep of the Sommerswerd.

Sort of like 0:40 of this clip.

A the top of the tower, I catch sight of a hunchbacked man in crimson robes with a magician’s head-dress bearing the symbol of a serpent.

I remember my conversation with Banedon the wizard from near the start of Book 1, and i realise (from the knowledge of that encounter together with my Sixth Sense skill) that :

  • This is Vonotar the Traitor, second cousin of Judas Iscariot, who has betrayed the Magicians’ Guild of Toran in Sommerlund and joined the Darklords.

Aside : Have you noticed that pretty much every time Judas’ name is mentioned in the Gospels, especially in a list of Apostles, it is with the added epithet ‘the traitor’ or something similiar?  Sounds like some of those biographers still hadn’t accepted that whole ‘Christian forgiveness’ thing.


  • It was Vonotar’s agents that bedevilled (love that word) me on my trip across the continent (the serpent symbol being relevant here).
  • He commands the fleet of death-hulks, and any defeat of him may well stop the magic keeping this nightmare of zombie ships afloat.

Remembering the magic-nullifying juju of my new sword, I climb the tower, prepared to do battle.

Vonotar is waiting for me, and as I vault over the edge of the tower’s wall, he sends a bolt of orange flame from his hand straight AT MY FACE.

Project Aon link – Vonotar casting spell

Did someone say ‘magic-resisting magic sword’?  Well, if they didn’t they should have, because the Sommerswerd sucks that flame right out of my hair (so to speak) and Vonotar is bumsquizzled.

Aside : Didn’t he have some idea of this sword’s powers?  Surely a learned wizard such as this would be across such lore.  Oh well.


Unfortunately, he throws the wizarding equivalent of a smoke bomb / tear gas grenade at my feet and makes his escape as I am blinded.  When the smoke clears, I can see him rowing away frantically in a small boat.

Aside : If I was playing this book for the first time, I’d chase after him in a heartbeat. However, since I know Vonotar is ‘guaranteed’ to survive to plague me another day, I elect to return to fight my way back to friendlier territory.

However, before I can jump off this ship, I have to defeat two Drakkarim who make themselves inconvenient.

Drakkar 1 : Combat Skill 17, Endurance 25

Drakkar 1 : Combat Skill 16, Endurance 26

Lone Wolf : Combat Skill : 27, Endurance 20

I take them both out for the loss of merely 1 (!!) Endurance point, and leap to the deck of a nearby Durenese warship.  Lord Axim, who I had given up for dead, is glad to see me, and the fleet is rallying, as the zombie death hulks are now all sinking beneath the waves.  Admiral Calfen is now, tragically, playing cards beneath the waves.

Sending Vonotar off with his tail between his legs must have helped with whole ‘enemy ships sinking’ thing.

While seventy ships departed Port Bax, only fifty now sail to Holmgard to relieve the defenders.


At dusk on the thirty-seventh day since my departure from Holmgard, the fleet enters the harbour, and word can visibly spread among both sides of our dramatic entrance.

The harbour has not been blockaded by the enemy (as they are primary a land-based force) and we are able to sail right up to the watchtower and enter the city.  In the enemy camp, I see the red tent of the commander of the enemy, Darklord Zagarna.  In a beautifully melodramatic moment, I raise the Sommerswerd high as it catches the sun’s rays.  The power of the sun flows through the sword, and then causes a burst of energy to vaporise Zagarna’s tent without so much as a warning shot.

Project Aon link – Destruction of Zagarna

Take that, final boss!

The enemy army becomes filled with panic (just like all real-life armies immediately after the death of a commander…I think) and flees the scene, demoralised.


There is no massive sequel hook, altough I’m sure that Vonotar guy isn’t going to just retire to Florida any time soon.


Final Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 0

Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Mace

Backpack : Meal (x5), Healing Potion (+3 E), Laumspur Portion (+5 E)

Special Items : Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 to CS), Sommeerswerd

Final paragraph :350

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

  1. If it walks like a duck….a traitor is a traitor. Christ forgave Judas. We don’t need to forgive Judas because he initiated the events that gave us our Saviour (yes He is yours too Tim).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, when last seen our heroic author had valiantly avoided three near painful embroilments in heated political debate this week alone. He responds to this by posting flamebait for his fundamentalist fans …

    Firstly, well done on getting through Fire on your first go, especially as there were a few places you could have gotten yourself killed even with your current CS. And thank you for not splitting the above into two posts, that would have been too much.

    Lone Wolf swept aside TWO Zombies with ONE move, Bruce Wayne took THREE moves to disarm and knock out his opponent. Bearing in mind that Bruce was unarmed against a sentient man armed with a thing what goes pop while Lone Wolf was armed with probably the greatest weapon in all the fantasy multiverse while taking on a brace of badly animated corpses I regretfully say that this round goes to Bruce Wayne.

    Then the flamebait. Firstly, as ighr pointed out he did betray. Secondly, the official group of the 12 apostles in the book of Acts has a man named Matthias take his place, hence the need to clarify that Judas didn’t remain part of the apostles (it appears that none were replaced as they died however). The prophecies Peter quoted for this were (Acts 1:20) : ‘”Let his dwelling become desolate, and let there be no inhabitant in it’ and ‘His office of oversight let someone else take'”. Jesus called him (John 17:13) “the son of destruction”, which was a Hebrew idiom for someone/something being destroyed. And finally (always a good word) Hebrews 10:26 “For if we practice sin wilfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left”, concluding in verse 31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. So, that’s three references implying that he’s not forgiven. Of course, in any civilized society the citizens are expected to treat one another as citizens until a judge declares that one is a criminal to be incarcerated/fined/whatever, vigilante rule (especially based on, “well everyone knows it must be him”) never works for justice or peace and vigilant “justice” is always capricious (which is why we both judges and the right of appeal). So Christians are meant to forgive while God judges. One reason I like being finally allowed to hit the bad guys in gamebooks. Back to more important things.

    I actually like Joe Dever giving the reader the opportunity to forget they were told the Sommerswerd would protect them from magic and run away, its cruel in a fun way to inattentive readers. As for Vonotar not knowing all the properties of the Sommerswerd, all I can say is that its last mentioned being used 1250 years earlier and they didn’t have the internet in those days (both real world and fantasy one).

    Question on the “fight them one at a time”. I interpreted that as like the Fighting Fantasy where you have to roll against each per round, they can both hit you but you can only do damage against one (as I don’t see one sitting around having a smoke while you hack his companion to pieces before stepping in himself). Is that how you interpret that rule or do you do it different? Otherwise I point out that if you’d jumped into the sea you’d have gotten to kill (well, mortally wound) a Krann which otherwise escapes whereas those two Drakkarim would have drowned anyway, why do you ask am I normally this bloodthirsty???

    The other question re the death fleet is, if the harbour wasn’t blockaded why didn’t they just have Vonotar raise the fleet and take Holmgard by sea. The Durenese would have been welcomed by a well ensconced force in the ruins of Holmgard. On the other hand, “Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan” (or my preferred Warhammer one “Victory needs no excuse, Defeat has none”). Also love how in the awesome final picture many Giaks are shown fleeing TOWARDS the city gates.

    Please go through the next book relatively quickly, I’ve noticed it ALWAYS gets colder whenever I play that book but that the weather improves for the next two books. You think i’m joking but i’m not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With regard to the Drakkarim. The book specifically says “fight them one at a time”. Although this may not reflect a ‘real’ combat, I fight each in turn, using ‘normal’ rules.

      Re the fleet attacking Holmgard, in my headcanon the ‘death hulks’ could only stay on water, and the zombies only remainded ‘arisen’ while on the ships, meaning they couldn’t have effectively besieged Holmgard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Re Real Combat, I assume/hope you’re a Jackie Chan fan. If there’s one thing he shows is that “real” fights are quite unreal. Only time multiple foes can come at you simultaneously is in a training gym. I see the logic in how you handle the multi opponent fight. Also interesting reasoning on the death hulks magic being connected with water. Now where’s todays post???


  4. This book has perhaps the most epic ending of any of the Lone Wolf books. After all the troubles encountered in this book, it felt so satisfying to nuke Zagarna in that fashion!

    Liked by 2 people

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