Aside : For those wanting my thoughts on the recent United State election, go to the comments section of the Chasm of Doom – Background.
For three days I lead my team of (totally doomed) 50 rangers across the peaceful southern farmlands of Sommerlund. We are almost suffocated by the poetic descriptions of wheat that reaches up to our saddled knees, a vast yellow sea of corn etc etc.
After reaching the Pass of Moytura, we enter the foothills of the ominously named ‘Durncrag Mountains’ and start to travel along the Ruanon Pike. This open highway is apparently given the nickname of ‘Raider’s Road’ because of the exposure to bandits along with sorties by Giaks from the Darklands.
Well, my green cloak should at least (in theory) mean I don’t have to face off against this guy :
Aside : And yes, that is the only Robin Hood, and don’t let Russell Crowe or (shudder) Kevin Costner tell you otherwise.
Aside #2 : And THAT, my friend, is how you rock a green cloak. Kai Lords, take note.
Anyway, we continue down the open highway, as groups of rangers scout to the front and sides of our convoy.
One of my scouts return to report a thin column of smoke, which must be coming from the chimney of a hut or similiar structure.
Aside : There is a running joke that many of Joe Dever’s adventures are based around the idea of “Do you want to investigate the interesting thing, or to keep going?”. Investigating the interesting thing is often fatal, but makes the adventure much more gripping.
As I (together with an escort of five rangers) approach the door of the modest hut, a voice comes from within :
“Come in, Lone Wolf, I’ve been expecting you.”
My choices are : I can enter courteously, kick the door down (!) or send one or more of my rangers in to confirm that it is safe (!!)
Interestingly, there is no option to simply get the heck out of dodge.
It sounds cowardly, but it is actually sound strategy to send a ranger in first. After all, this is exactly what the rangers have been doing when they have been scouting around the main company.
In an event my rangers enter the hut (the book is silent on whether they kick some chairs around and raid the fridge) before confirming that it is safe to enter.
In a scene that aches of cliche (sorry Mr Dever) there is an old man sitting in a dark room covered with charts, strange instruments and other ephemera. He promises that the ‘stars’ foretold our meeting long ago, and therefore he was apparently the only person in the world who knew that Lone Wolf would manage to survive both books 2 & 3 without a fatality.
He then, rather than saying a prophecy himself, reaches into his pocket and gives me a scroll with the following vague message :
“When the full moon shines o’er the temple deep,
A sacrifice will stir from sleep
The legions of a long forgotten lord.
When a fair royal maid on the altar dies,
The dead of Maakengorge shall rise
To claim their long-awaited reward.”
I have to bite my lip to avoid saying “Well, yeah, but what about the gold and ore?! You can’t run a kingdom on love and kisses, you know.”
The old men then falls into a trance and gradually vanishes (!!!)
I promptly leave, wiping the cold sweat from my brow.
I do, however, keep the Scroll.
As you do.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 24
Final Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Mace
Backpack : 3 Meals, 2 Laumspur potions (+4E)
Special Items : Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Sommerswerd, Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Scroll with Verse (para 84 of tCoD)
Kai Rank : Journeyman
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS)
Final Paragraph : 84