Fleeing LIKE A (non) BOSS from the village-centric battle, I hear the shouts of ‘bandits’ behind me, and have the choice of heading south or west through the woods.
Aside : How do I know they are the shouts of the bandits? Do bandits have a particularly distinctive lilt or accent with their shouts? Hopefully the shouts weren’t my rangers yelling at me to let me know the battle was won and asking me to come back and play poker with them.
Since there doesn’t appear to be any other hints regarding whether one route is better than another, I might as well head south towards Ruanon.
I ‘claw’ (?) my way through the wooded hillside, and run for four hours (!!!) before I feel confident that I have ‘outrun’ the enemy.
Aside : I understand hyperbole but four hours? Really?? I assume that Lone Wolf didn’t actually, you know, run for four hours. Its not he’s Avenger or something.
In any event, to make a long story short –
– I find, after shaking off my stubborn yet lacking pursuers, a mine entrance. I stroll in, hopeful that if I find a major passage, it might lead through to Ruanon.
Of course, it should also be noted that going into strange and dark caves / tunnels in the belief that it will be some kind of ‘short cut’ hasn’t got the best track record in these books. (Or in much of fantasy literature generally – Moria, anyone?)
In an interesting strategic choice, I find a Tinderbox and as many torches as I can carry (in addition to the one which I light and hold in my hand). Obviously these are necessary to make my way through the mine, and I must choose how many (after lighting the first) torches I want to stash in my Backpack.
After stowing away the Tinderbox, I have another two spots in my trusty pack, so I select another two torches.
To recap, I have both a tinderbox and multiple torches in my backpack. My non-camping self hopes that this isn’t a well-paved road to disaster.
With these pieces of mine equipment I valiantly make my way into the dark…
After casually passing some redundant colour dialogue I reach a classic left / right choice. I lifehack the decision with my Kai Tracking skill, which tells me to take the ‘right’ path (in both senses of the word).
In a slightly ominous tone, I am informed that the tunnel descends for ‘miles’ under the earth.
Aside : There is NO WAY you would get me into one of those deathtraps. Lone Wolf is a braver man than I.
I am then startled by a swarm of bats.
I have either startled them with my fateful footsteps, or a half-crazed billionaire in the immediate vicinity needs backup.
There is some vague mention of the bats being attracted to my body heat but, as a total geek, I should mention that it is actually insects who are attracted to the body heat of humans, with bats then attempting to prey on the insects that are near to the person in question.
So now you know.
After navigating my way through the bats, I see a small wooden hut near the side of the tunnel, and it is strongly hinted that I am tired and need to rest.
In search of rest (and loot!!) I enter the hut. The hut is without any (visible) dangers, and I am able to rest to an extent where, if wounded, I would have been able to restore 2 Endurance points.
More interestingly (loot!!) there is an array of mining equipment such as picks, shovels and wheelbarrows.
While cruelly denied the opportunity of taking along a wheelbarrow, I can take a Pick and / or a Shovel, with the problem that each of them takes up two spaces in my backpack.
Hmmm. I’ll take the risk of discarding one of my Laumspur potions and one of my torches while taking along a Shovel.
Aside : How a Shovel fits into, you know, a Backpack, is perhaps best left unaddressed.
After further travel, I have a choice of heading west or south. Given that my destination (presumably) still lies to the south, I keep moving in that direction. I reach a collapsed section of the mine, although I am still carefully able to make my way across the partially destroyed bridge.
Breathing a sigh of relief on the other side, I must eat one of my meals.
And as Lone Wolf eats, he and I ponder what may come next.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 24
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Captain D’Val’s Sword
Backpack : 1 Meal, Laumspur potion (+4E), Holy Water,Tinderbox, 1 Torch, Shovel (2 slots).
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 : 129