Kingdoms of Terror

The Kingdoms of Terror – Attempt 2, Part 3

I approach the city of Valetta and, seriously, with the flowery language, you’d think I was approaching Minas Tirith or Tol Honeth.

Phrases like ‘massive plateau’, ‘stood since time immemorial’ and ‘complicated splendour’ are all used in an attempt to intimidate the reader as Lone Wolf approaches this city.

With a healthy dose of irony, I calmly state that :

ooooo-im-so-scared-meme-94

More importantly, I reach the gate and pass by the (apparently quite relaxed) guards without challenge (?!)

Project Aon link – Varetta guard

Without pausing to question my good fortune, I casually slouch through the city until I reach a four-way crossing with no real indication of which way I should go.  The options are Helin Way, Couchcourse, Flute Street or the road from which I’ve come, which apparently doesn’t have an identifying sign (!)

With no real clue, I resolve to go south down Flute Street, purely because I learned the flute as a youngster (before I realised that piano and particularly guitar were much more effective at getting the girls).

Of course, at the time, I hadn’t considered this :

But then, who could have?

After my horse strolls past some colorful dialogue, I stop at a taxidermist and, naturally, dismount to investigate.

I enter, and the taxidermist is only too eager to show me various examples of his work, including various victims of hunting.

He then offers to show me into his workshop, where these ‘miracles’ are achieved.

Aside : I honestly have no memory whatsoever of this encounter, but this faux friendliness, without actually trying to sell me anything, and the emphasis by the book on the man’s ‘generosity’ has put my ‘TRAP!’ radar on high alert.

giphy

I state my intention to leave, and the owner offers me some ‘refreshment’ before I leave (being a goblet full of wine).  If I was worried before, now I have the absolute screaming heebie-jeebies, and I leave without further ado.

I stop at another bar (anyone else noticing a pattern, here?) called the Inn of the Crossed Swords.

In the main hall of the inn, a bizarre game is taking place, which is an apparent mix of William Tell stories and Russian Roulette.  In brief, a knight is about to ride with a lance across the hall, where various men (convicted of cowardice) are sitting, blindfolded, with apples on their heads (!)

The knight’s goal is to pierce all the apples without killing any of the men.

Lone Wolf has the option of betting on this obscene spectacle.

Project Aon link – Prisoners with apples (!)

While I appreciate the inventiveness that Mr Dever has shown in coming up with this spectacle, there is no way that I, in good conscience, could wager on whether people die.

 

giphy1

 

I resolve to casually stroll over to the bar, flash a bit of green cloak, and charmingly chat to the bargirl.

On the way to the bar…….

 

 

 

 

 

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NO, THERE IS NO WAY THAT JULIE DELPY IS IN THAT BAR, SO STOP DAYDREAMING, LONE WOLF.

 

Much less romantically than said daydreams, a footpad sticks his knife against my back and demands all of my gold.  Since I don’t have the skill of Huntmastery, I have to decide whether I meekly hand over all my gold or fight back.

Surrender!?

Never!

As I pull away from these ruffians, I suffer a graze (1 Endurance loss) but am otherwise unharmed.

To the death!

Lone Wolf : CS : 32, E : 25

Backstabbers : CS : 18, E : 25

I polish them off, for the mere (!) loss of another 3 Endurance.

I pocket 5 Gold Crowns from the pockets of the would-be thieves, and one of the nearby mercenaries is impressed enough with my ability that he offers to buy me a drink.

It would be poetic if he was one of the leeches who took me for a round of drinks in a previous incarnation of Lone Wolf!

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As I join the troop of drinking soldiers, I feel an info-dump coming on!

  • They are mercenaries, and speak of the ongoing war ‘in the north’.
  • Prince Janveal has bankrupted himself in his war against Baron Maghao of Karkaste (there’ll be a test on all those names next week, promise)
  • Janveal’s mercenaries being, you know, mercenaries, are now deserting and this particular company is drafting soldiers for the war in the south  between Salony and Slovia.
  • In particular, the Salonese Prince Ewevin needs (paid) help for his siege of the city of Tekaro.

Project Aon link – Silhouette of soldiers

I politely decline their offer to join them, while noting that they will be at Soren in two days.

Gee, that completely (apparently) irrelevant piece of information surely won’t come up again, will it?

I realise (in a surprising example of good sense) that it is pointless to simply wander around and try and randomly find Brass Stree, and resolve to try and get directions.

The obvious person to ask is the innkeeper who, without even asking for money, draws a rough map for me showing Brass Street on the west side of the city, near the wall.

I wander over to check out the room prices, as both Lone Wolf and I become overwhelmingly tired.

 

Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 26, GC 42

Final Stats : CS : 32, E : 24

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 : 17

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6 thoughts on “The Kingdoms of Terror – Attempt 2, Part 3

  1. Yep, the taxidermist is a trap. If you’d had Divination, it would have told you…

    Nothing at all, because apparently ‘warn you of an imminent or unseen danger’ doesn’t cover ‘indicate that the friendly taxidermist intends to drug and murder you and stuff your corpse to make a nifty conversation piece’. Which strikes me as a bit of a flaw, to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In fairness if, for example, you hadn’t gone for the Archery contest Divination could have saved your life, and in the first book no lessl Shin-Ren was useless from books three to six (although with the reprint it prevents Gospiel betraying you, which is hell for those of us who’s economics plan actually DEPENDS on Gospiel betraying us).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, the inconsistent ability to use Sixth Sense and Divination is annoying. Curing would’ve saved you from the taxidermist, thankfully, but unless he has some way of magically blocking his evil aura, Divination definitely should’ve helped you out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You paint yourself as unimpressed with the approach to Varetta but think about it, despite being surrounded by warring states, cities, villages and (presumably) chicken coops, Varetta’s gate guards are relaxed and let anyone in. Of course considering what you’ve found it like inside its possible they’ve the same defensive strategy as Ankh Morpork (open gates to invading armies, open doors to pubs and other dens of iniquity to said armies, take invading armies for every dollar they have, eagerly await next army of suckers).

    And on that note all roads lead you to the pub.😕 Someone should remind Lone Wolf that James Bond’s heavy drinking caught up on him, mind you Mr Bond would have met the incomparable Ms Delphy in a more upmarket drinking establishment.

    Its worth noting that not only can you bet three times on the riders horsemanship but you only win if people die. It reminds me of the Arena’s in Might and Magic and also Oblivion, I think its part of letting people play as they choose to (I didn’t bet here either). To your next post.

    Liked by 2 people

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