When we left our intrepid hero, he was valiantly…..walking across the room to check out the room prices for the inn. Remembering, of course, that this is the sort of inn which thinks nothing of sponsoring and promoting bizarre and deadly games for gambling purposes.
So, basically this kind of place :
Given my newly (and partially) replenished funds, I go for the priciest option, being that of a single room with a bath (5 Gold Crowns).
Apparently Lone Wolf really was expecting the finer things in life, because the book makes due and extensive comment on my disappointment at the shabby room and definite lack of value for my 5 Crowns, with the heavily advertised ‘bath’ being merely a barrel (!) full of water.
A shooting star (!)disrupts my rest during the night, which I assume is an omen of….something, but even the broken rest in the decrepit room means that I manage recover 3 Endurance, bringing me back to full fighting capacity.
In the morning, I collect my things (including, naturally, my horse) and head off for Brass Street. My directions as obtained in my last instalment, are useful, and I find my destination without too much trouble. Moral : Always trust the bartender!
Brass Street is obviously the academic quarter, and I enter the ‘hall of knowledge’ with three subsequent choices : the library, the observatory or the temple. Obviously ‘academic’ area doesn’t include ‘lawyers’, because if it did there’d certainly also be a number of drinking establishments to choose from.
I figure that if I’m after learning and information, visiting the library is a good first bet.
The library is temporarily deserted, and it is just me and the company of thousands of books. Performing a quick search, it is readily apparent that the books on both the Lorestone of Varetta and the history of Sun Eagle’s Kai quest have been removed less than a day ago.
Without much to guide my choice between the other two areas, I pick the observatory.
This is apparently the source of the real party, with numerous academics huddled in discussion, reviewing research and so forth. They are so immersed that they do not notice me until I’m almost upon them, and they are shocked to a ridiculous degree, with one of them literally fainting (!) upon sighting me.
Only one….man..remains cool, calm and collected. I guess he’ll be played by Steve McQueen when they make a movie of this series.
After a moment’s consideration, I actually recognize him as the mysterious stranger that I met in a hut near the start of Book 4..
He calms his brethren and then introduces himself as Gwynian (second cousin to Gwyneth?!).
He then, interestingly, mentions that they have been expecting my arrival (!) which I suppose is why they were so shocked and surprised that one of their number literally fainted.
Apparently there is dissension in the academic ranks of Varetta, as a number of Gwynian’s colleagues are apparently pledged to keep the Lorestone hidden, to the extent of killing (!) all who seek it.
Aside : While I’m obviously not a fan the whole ‘killing everyone who looks for it’ philosophy, the idea of it being a good idea to prevent historical items of power from being reintroduced to a more modern age certainly has its precedents in fiction. Think of all four Indiana Jones movies, Lord of the Rings, the Evil Dead movies etc. etc. Here, the book seems to automatically assume that the first side of this debate that I happen upon is the right one, and gives no consideration to the idea that people might validly believe that some ancient items of power are best left undisturbed.
In any event, my horse has apparently been discovered outside, and the opposing astronomers start pounding at the door, demanding my head and, presumably, the remainder of my anatomy as well.
Gwynian quickly leads me to another room and into a secret passage. This may or may not lead to the Conservatory, where I can murder Colonel Mustard with a wrench.
Aside : I think I may have made that joke before. What’s the statute of limitation on blog jokes?
Gwynian, once we are secure in a secret chamber, gives me the best kind of exposition – short, sharp and to the point.
- The Lorestone is hidden in a crypt below the cathedral of Tekaro.
- I get another horse, to replace the one apparently being ripped to pieces by the angry mob above.
- I get my pick of loot including, of all things a Silver Key (to the crypt), a Brass Whistle (!) and 2 Meals.
We wait until midnight before we sneak out, I snaffle my new horse, being a ‘fine chestnut mare’.
Aside : My horses seem to have the same life expectancy as my companions, but no matter.
I set off at a gallop, with the wind presumably blowing through my hair.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 26, 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), Meals (2)
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), Small Silver Key, Brass Whistle
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 : 175