Shadow on the Sand

Shadow on the Sand, Attempt 2, Part 6

Well!

After my little rant last time, I’m sure there’s no chance of any repetition this time, right?

Right?

After enjoying my down time with the crew, while somehow managing to stay sober, I get cheerfully shown to a bunk (with an amusing apology for it being ‘too short’) and enjoy some much-needed shut-eye.

I wake at dawn and emerge to see Banedon has taken some time from his steering obligations to admire the local scenery.  No comment as to whether rising stars in the magic fraternity need sleep.

I notice a massive sandstone outcrop emerging from a cliff-face, with a couple of my Kraan / Drakkar friends scanning the area with telescopes, searching either for our ship or for X-wings commencing an assault on the Death Star.

thors-hammer

We carefully steer our ship through the various towering rock columns (apparently known as the ‘Koos’ while keeping our distance from the ‘sulphurous water’ and ‘bubbling lava’ (!) far below.

Project Aon link – Koos

By late afternoon we have reached the town of ‘Ikaresh’, also known as ‘The Eagle’s Lair’, which is apparently the residence of Tipasa the Wanderer.

Having said that, if Tipasa lives up to his name, I assume he is only present at his home a small percentage of the time.

We leave the ship in the foothills surrounding Ikaresh, and Banedon and I descend by way of rope ladder, after dying our skin with berry juice (!!) and dressing in the local clothes. No word on whether our hair colour will be sufficiently local.  Is Lone Wolf a blond?

[Checks various images on-line, notes a complete lack of consistency on LW’s hair colour]

Oh well.

 

shrug-house

As we start our walk, there’s some atmospheric dialogue about how we trek through the desert of red sand, with ‘wire-hard’ grass that scratches our lower legs.  In due course, I (ahem, *we*) notice a cave in the hillside, with a plaque (containing indecipherable words) by the entrance.

Do you want to investigate the interesting thing, the book asks?

Heck to the yes!

With my luck, the message on the plaque probably said “Beware!  Rock monster inside! Loves snacking on Kai monks, and enjoys wizards for dessert!”

At any rate, we enter the cave and, after passing various stalactites and other natural phenomena, discover a bent and emaciated man.  As he faces us, my Healing discipline tells me that he suffers from ‘vaxelus, which is apparently the Magnamund equivalent of leprosy.  He’s been obviously driven from his community to die alone.

Choice!

Actually its no choice at all – the book suggests that I may wish to give some Oede to the dying man, and I had (momentarily) forgotten that this incarnation of Lone Wolf had never suffered from ‘Limbdeath’ and had therefore never needed to seek out the Oede from the storeroom.

For some reason, not possessing the Oede means that I therefore cannot (!) question or even talk to the wretch, but must rather leave the cave immediately.

 

hmmmm

 

Apparently, to add injury to insult, my well-trained warrior monk (with the Healing skill, no less) is so terrified of the vaxelus sufferer that I lose two Backpack items while dashing out of the cave.

Goodbye (one) Meal and (one) Laumspur potion, it was nice knowing you.

As we pass through the outskirts of town, we see a small hut with a goat feeding from a manger (!) outside the door.  A man bids us welcome, and invites us in.

Sixth Sense, do you have anything to add to the discussion?

My spidey-sense tells me the offer of hospitality is genuine.

Interestingly, Banedon’s input has not been sought or offered at any point along this little stroll into town.  His non-assistance means that the brownie points he accumulated by offering me a ride on his flying contraption are being whittled away at a decent rate.

Anyway, our host offers us drinks of ‘Kourshah’, which is described as a ‘green wine’.

Yeah, right.  We all know what green alcohol tends to be, don’t we?

absinthebg1-1600x1000

I know what a dreadful insult it would be to refuse to drink after being invited into the man’s home, so I tentatively knock back a slug of the ‘green wine’.

Surprisingly, the ‘wine’ has restorative properties, and I can even buy a bottle for 5 Gold Crowns.

Alcohol that also heals you???

z-shut-up-and-take-my-money-funny-meme1

Pressing my luck, I ask about the location of Tipasa.  The friendly host (whose name is apparently Khamsin) directs us to the area around the Dougga market and (!) asks me to collect 12 Gold Crowns apparently owed to him by Tipasa!

Do Banedon and really I look like  standover men?  I prefer to think of us as a mismatched action-comedy duo.  You know, “He’s the surly last survivor of a caste of warrior monks, while he’s an upstart magician with a gambling problem!  They’re the original odd couple, tonight on ABC!”

Ahem.

And you wonder why I haven’t made millions in syndicated television.

Yet.

 

 

Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20 (EDITED : Thanks, Matteo), GC 45

Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26

Weapons : Sword, Sommerswerd (+8 CS)

Backpack : 1 Meal, 1 Laumspur potion (+4E), Bottle of Kourshah (+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 : 272

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9 thoughts on “Shadow on the Sand, Attempt 2, Part 6

  1. Personally i think staying sober in the company of Dwarfs deserves a Medal of Honour, let me rephrase that, staying sober in the company of Dwarfs and NOT being lynched for it!!!!

    The cover of the UK version of Flight from the Dark had Lone Wolf having blond hair and after that we didn’t see him again until Wolf’s Bane, when technically we say his doppelganger which is the closest thing we get to a mirror in 19 books and he looks similar to the first book so I assumed he was still blond. It was only with this blog that I discovered that some pictures even had him with dark hair (and puffy cheeks despite all other pictures of Sommlending having more gaunt/long faces), which came as one major culture shock. Wouldn’t have viewed the hair colour as a problem for disguise though due to everyone wearing turbans.

    I think healing the Vaxelus sufferer was partly compensation for having to see all the ship crew losing their heads. While you object that you had Healing its inability to help with Limbdeath ties in with its inability to cure Vaxelus. The later Curing was more versatile. Worth remembering that even Avenger was nearly killed by the plague in Assassin (requiring rescue by the four stooges no less, the shame).

    A manger is a feeding trough for animals. Why the (!)? Also I always wondered why we weren’t allowed to pay off Tipasa’s debt since Lone Wolf is basically loaded (45 GC’s and the adventure nearly over) but I suppose realistically Tipasa is Banedon’s friend, not ours, basically my Scottish nature has always bristled at the thought of an unpaid debt, yes, since 1985 I’ve wanted that debt paid off, how do you think I feel about the current world debt crisis??? Onwards to your next post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I placed the (!) by the ‘manger’ simply because the majority of urban westernized people would associate ‘manger’ with the traditional story of Christ’s birth, so I was nothing the reference. Not every satirical blow can land, you know. 😉

      My reference to the Healing skill was simply to state that Lone Wolf, with that Healing knowledge, shouldn’t panic so recklessly at the mere sight of a seriously ill person.

      Any debt is by definition unpaid, otherwise it wouldn’t be a debt. And I don’t consider that there is a world debt crisis. The acceptance of debt is a crucial tool in economic success. Indeed, with world-wide interest rates so low, now is actually a time (at least in Australia and possibly the United States) where the time is right to borrow funds to replace antiquated infrastructuve. Anyway, a topic for another time, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. For what its worth the “manger” reference hit home, I was just being literal straight man.

      If Vaxelus was as contagious as leprosy LW’s panicked flight would be pathetic, but Banedon says its “highly contagious – our lives are in peril” and you have heard “horrific stories” about it. While this may just have been intended as medieval superstition flavor and you’re right to criticise it could also be a reference to the long history of germ warfare on Magnamund. Between Cener Druids and Naar’s medelling (and even Nurgle for all we know), the people have reason to fear predatory germs.

      Re Debt: Australia’s national debt interest is 535 dollars per second, about the same as Ireland. However the debt per person is about one third that of Ireland’s. There were also stupid things done over here during the “Credit Crunch”. This gives me a different view on the matter. However as a Governments role isn’t to make massive profits but to care for its citizens I do see your valid economic viewpoint. (Having an economics degree my mum was very in favour of governments using controlled debt to help regulate the economy and provide services). But I still dislike seeing debt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have a similiar family position. My father has a masters degree in economics and worked for various government treasuries in Australia and other countries for the vast majority of his career. I remember learning about concepts like ‘opportunity cost’ and ‘marginal utility’ at the dinner table while in primary school.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s. .. bizarre. My mum was invited by her economics professor to join her when he was given a job with the UK treasury department back in the sixties. She turned him down to marry and travel the world with my Librarian father … they got as far as Dublin, Ireland 😐. While this did lead to her eventually setting up the Campaign Against Bullying which ighr can confirm reached as far as Australia she did repeatedly express regret that she didn’t go to work for the Treasury as she feels she would then have had the power to prevent most or all the financial problems from the Sixties to the Noughties. My own feeling is she’d just have found new ways in which she was largely powerless.

        That’s my roundabout way of asking did your Father tend to express frustration at not been able to enact sensible policies? Personally I think everyone hears their parents expressing such frustration, I work with the daughter of the No. 2 in our company and she’s heard the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My parents believed very strongly that they did not wish to instill their political beliefs in their children. The first time I knew for whom either of my parents voted was when I was 22! To be honest, my father was most frustrated when dealing with (1) Ill-informed members of the public (including radio demagogues) who displayed arrogance and breathtaking ignorance at the same time (2) His 2-year period in the Solomon Islands, when the short-term selfish thinking of the government gave no thought to the long-term future of the desperately poor population.

        Liked by 1 person

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