I start on a paragraph that is familiar to the Grail Quest fans among us – the dreaded 14.
And we may well have a shiver down our collective spines. because Roark’s magical incantation literally raises the dead from the frozen soil of the graveyard.
Aside : The makers of the weak-ass coffins that apparently ‘contained’ these newly reanimated corpses have a LOT to answer for.
My (new) horse reacts understandably, rearing up in terror and, somehow, throwing me ‘into the arms’ of the dead.
Aside : When a horse ‘rears’, it lifts up its front legs, and this certainly wouldn’t throw Lone Wolf forward, into the arms of the undead or onto any other place. Mr Dever, I think, was rather contemplating my horse ‘bucking’, which is when a horse thrusts its rear (and rear legs) upwards, usually in an attempt to throw the rider forward off the horse.
Enough of my quibbling
A few special rules for this fight with the undead :
- For the first two rounds of combat, I have to deduct 2 CS points due to the surprise / fear.
- The undead are immune to Psi-Surge / Mindblast.
- Due to the magical cold of the immediate environment, I need to deduct 2 Endurance points for every round of combat.
- On the upside, as the enemy is undead, I can double their Endurance loss in each round of combat.
So, with all those factors taken into account :
Undead Summonation (!) : CS 18, E : 35
Lone Wolf : CS 28 (for 1st 2 rounds, 30 thereafter), E : 26
I manage to do (base) 18 points of damage in the first round which, when doubled, means that I wipe out the undead with one blow!
In a development which could have been easily foretold by anyone who has read / watched any work of zombie fiction, you know, ever, the enchantment moves beyond Roark’s control, with zombies rising from all aspects of the graveyard and attacking all bystanders.
Roark urges his horse to gallop off, leaving his followers (and Cyrilus and I) to near-certain deaths.
Of course, once Roark leaves the area, the magical nimbus fades, and the zombies collapse into dust.
So basically Roark is both evil AND incompetent.
Cyrilus, like all of my travelling companions, suffers his inevitable death, muttering the words “Brass Street”. I bury him and move on, presumably without a backwards look.
I reach the Halfway Inn, a tavern mentioned by Cyrilus. Moving inside, I note a conjurer performing tricks for the customers.
Am I going to watch him? Of course!
After various tricks of sleight of hand, he challenges the audience to a battle of wits!
Hopefully it will be half as entertaining as this scene (which comes complete with insulting reference to my beloved homeland of Australia)
To commence the challenge, two androgynous children step forward, with one saying “I’m a boy” and the other stating “I’m a girl”. The conjurer gives the clues that :
- They are in fact, a boy and a girl;
- At least one of them is lying.
The challenge – can I identify the genders of these youngsters?
Even as a youngster, this problem didn’t faze me for long. If only one was lying, they would be either two boys or two girls. This is impossible given the above clues, and therefore they are both lying and are a boy and a girl respectively.
I bet 10 Gold Crowns and my deductions are confirmed as correct, bringing me back to the maximum of 50 Cold Crowns.
I then go to the innkeeper and buy a meal, stable my horse and arrange a room for the night. Total – 4 Crowns (non-gouging!)
In the morning, I see that if I had any meals (which I, of course, don’t) they were eaten by rats.
Bad luck, rats you get…..
I head off, and on this, suddenly peaceful, road trip run into a small village with a roadside display of second-hand books, knitted booties and some old women near a shrine tending to orange berries in the shade.
They offer to sell me some ‘Alether’ berries and I know enough from my comment section to know that these fruits (if the women are telling the truth) aid you in battle.
I buy three handfuls (@ 3 Gold Crowns each) and each handful (which can only be swallowed at a rate of one per combat) will increase Combat Skill by 2 for that combat.
I leave the village and enter the home stretch before reaching Valetta.
Final Note – No update until at least Friday (Melbourne time) because tomorrow I’m seeing this guy :
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 37
Final Stats : CS : 32, E : 26
Weapons : Silver Bow of Duadon(+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS)
Backpack : Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Rope, Tinderbox, Alether Berries (3) (+2 CS for one combat)
Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon, 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, Quiver (4 arrows)
Magnakai Rank : Kai Master Superior
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace), Pathmanship, Divination
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)
Final Paragraph : 100