Non-Lone Wolf content : For any of you who are comic book fans, check out Chris Sim’s column this week on Comics Alliance, where he answers my question regarding my favourite ever Batman story : “To Kill a Legend”.
Back to gamebook goodness!
For those of you who haven’t read the last post (and, to be serious, that would be kind of weird – start from the beginning!) I have just triumphed over 3 ‘Tunnel Guards’.
I try not to mention the fact that it was my own base incompetence in failing to manipulate a rope lever which brought about the need for this combat.
Always on the lookout for loot, I rummage through the first of the bloody corpses, and come across 8 Gold Crowns and enough food for a Meal. Independently of the questionable hygiene of food which is contained in the clothes of a bloodstained corpse, I have no room in my Backpack for such trifles
Naturally, I pocket the gold, because…..
Never change, Jennifer Lawrence.
Before I can rob the bodies of my other deceased opponents, I am (rudely!) interrupted by the sound of approaching footsteps. Since I doubt they are here to engage in an impromptu bidding war for my MEGASWORD, I recover from my earlier mechanical (ahem!) difficulty, give the errant rope another tug, smugly watch as the portcullis rises and slither through to the adjacent corridor.
Another fifty feet down the corridor, I spy a lever sticking out of the wall. My Kai instincts (along with the knowledge that I’m in a Joe Dever gamebook) lead me to be somewhat suspicious of such a feature. In a display of savvy which is unusual for Lone Wolf, I scan the ceiling, and spy a raised portcullis which is pretty clearly controlled by the lever.
I pull the lever, drop the portcullis and, in a move worthy of Luke Skywalker creeping through the original Death Star, smash the lever to seal off the path behind me.
Aside : This is the sort of passage that makes my head hurt when I think about it. The text makes very clear that there is just ‘a‘ lever (ie. only one). This lever is on ‘my’ side of the portcullis when said portcullis is closed. So why would it need to be smashed? If the lever to open the portcullis is tucked on the ‘other’ side to that from which my the pursuers are approaching, wouldn’t they be unable to reach it anyway?
Anyway, now that pursuit has been (hopefully) stalled, I pause to nosh on my provisions.
Wiping my mouth with the back of my sleeve, I creep through the confusing tunnels and paths before coming to a deserted gallery.
In a Dungeons & Dragons-esque description :
- There is a line of (presumably) empty ore wagons lined along one side;
- A flight of wooden stairs leads to another passage;
- I wait (for half an hour!) before ascertaining whether the room is safe to enter.
I have no idea why this chamber required such caution. I didn’t wait for half an hour outside the mysterious cabin in the woods, or before entering the Graveyard of the Ancients…etc etc.
Maybe I’m just hoping Godot is going to turn up.
After all that build-up, my Kai Tracking skill confirms that this chamber clearly services a major area of the mines, and that the breeze which I detect means that I am (comparatively) near to the surface.
Ye cats, I can’t believe the things which take half-an-hour to figure out.
Moving along the tunnel, I note that several of the wagons bear the initials ‘O.V.’ which apparently stands, not for ‘Overwhelming Victory’ but rather the baron of Ruanon.
I now hear footsteps, along with the intermittent crack of a whip, from the corridor in front of me. Either this is a bunch of slaves and their handlers or mobile horse race, complete with audience.
I think maybe the former.
I quickly flip up the hood of my (green!) cloak and dive into the nearest ore wagon, hoping to remain unseen.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 38
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 22
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Captain D’Val’s Sword
Backpack : 1 Meal, Laumspur potion (+4E), Holy Water, Brass Key, 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 : 161