Aside : Long entry today with bonus social commentary, where I arguably read WAY too much into a single sentence of a gamebook! In other words, a day ending in ‘y’.
Back to it.
Anyone who has watched either an episode of Lost or the classic 1966 Batman television show will know all about faux cliffhangers. That is, the ones where the episode ends with the hero in mortal danger or a secret about to be revealed, together with the dreaded ‘to be continued’, only to find out next week that the danger wasn’t so imminent or the secret not so awesome after all.
Joe Dever certainly knew all about this, as demonstrated by the ending of paragraph 399.
Aside : The best ever deconstruction of the ‘to be continued’ trope was at the end of an issue of the seminal comic ‘Y The Last Man‘. Check this out :
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late) the ominous ‘kaboom’ at the end of our previous entry was actually just the dwarfs firing primitive rifles at the Kraan / Drakkarim combos, killing one and driving the rest away.
Safe for the moment, Banedon turns the ship south, and I am asked to make an R10 check.
My score of 6 means that, as the dwarfs are clearing the deck from the debris of battle, a Drakkar that appeared to be dead leaps to his feet, and makes ready to hurl his axe AT MY HEAD.
Its a scene reminiscent of the end of many a classic movie.
Best Christmas movie of all time, amirite?
Before I can get too worried, my Kai skills (in either Sixth Sense or Hunting, take your pick) enable me to easily dodge the thrown axe. The Drakkar is blown away by one of the Bor guns, and Banedon helps me to his feet. It is now that I can clearly see that his bandage is soaked with blood and he is pale, and weak on his feet. The dwarfs show no indication as to why they considered clearing the deck of debris was more important than tending the wound of THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN KEEP THE SHIP IN THE AIR.
I guess their discovery of the seemingly dead Drakkar is an argument in favour of their chosen course of action.
My healing skill manages to give Banedon some relief and now a couple of dwarven healers step up to the metaphorical plate to steal my glory. While his wounds are tended, its an information-dump!
Bullet points, you never let me down!
- I fill Banedon in on my adventures, including the knowledge of the Book of the Magnakai.
- Banedon, interestingly, makes no mention whatsoever of the reasons for him and his magical ship being present in Vassagonia, but rather agrees with me that the rescue of the Book of the Magnakai should take precedence over merely escaping from this hell-hole.
- Although Banedon had not heard previously of the Book of the Magnakai, he has heard rumours of the Tomb of the Majhan, which is apparently a ‘terrible place’ of ‘horror and death’.
- Resisting my urge to sit back and allow this ‘terrible’ place to systemically take out of its own accord as many of the searching Darklords and their minions as possible, I prepare myself to retrieve the Book.
- Apparently there is only one man who has entered the Tomb of Horrors *ahem* Tomb of the Majhan and lived to tell the tale – Tipasa the Wanderer. Banedon will now abandon whatever quest he was on to take me to this person (who is hopefully not ‘wandering’ as we speak.
As Banedon guides us with his psychic captain’s wheel through the mountains, the crew notice my discomfort at the narrow gaps and tell me to relax, because ‘the captain will see us through’.
I seem to recall Han Solo saying “I know what I’m doing.” moments before disaster struck an awful lot of times.
Anyway, I’m invited below deck to join the crew for their meal and, presumably, a game of poker.
The meal ensures that I’m back to peak Endurance, and I deny a kind offer to partake in the strong drink known as ‘Bor-brew’, what with it being banned in half the countries in Magnamund and all.
Because drinking heavily before secret stealth missions is, what was that Zooey?
The dwarfs are not offended by my refusal, and I take the opportunity to ask the group how they wound up with Banedon (which I totally don’t ask in the manner of a best friend asking “How did you wind up with her??”
The dwarfs’ story is meant to be lighthearted, but is actually deeply disturbing.
- Although the term isn’t used, the dwarfs are basically slave s.
- Banedon ‘won’ a ‘normal’ seafaring ship, along with their crew (ie. the dwarfs) in a card game (!!!).
- It is also heavily implied that Banedon won the card game through use of his magic.
- Banedon then obtained the flying ship (knows as the Skyrider) from the Magicians of Dessi in return for helping themdefeat some monstrosity called a Gagadoth.
- The Skyrider was returning from Dessi when they came across me.
- The dwarfs are ‘excited’ about the prospect of further adventure.
So, to sum up, Banedon (a ‘hero’, mind you) thinks nothing of treating the crew as property to be won in a game of chance and, to add insult to injury, doesn’t even win said game fairly!
There is no given option in the text for “After you find the Book of the Magnakai, will you lead the dwarfs in a revolution to gain their freedom”.
But there should be.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 24, GC 50
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26
Weapons : Sword, Sommerswerd (+8 CS)
Backpack : 2 Meals, 2 Laumspur potions (+4E), Prism, Hourglass, Silver Comb, Canteen of Water
Special Items : Gaoler’s Keys, Jewelled Mace, Copper Key, Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Sommerswerd, Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle
Kai Rank : Savant
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield
Paragraph : 291