Kingdoms of Terror

The Kingdoms of Terror – Attempt 2, Part 4

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).

 

Image result for hey big spender

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.

Project Aon link – Sunrise over Varetta

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!

Project Aon link – Varetta

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.

'Ninety-nine percent of lawyers give the rest of us a bad name.'

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.

 

hmmmm

 

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.

 

97946f1d473ee6812d954f94a681b2ef.gif

 

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.

Project Aon link – startled astronomers

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.

Project Aon link – Meteor

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?

shrug-house

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.

Here’s that map of the Stornlands again.

  • 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.

mt8bvvrp

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

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “The Kingdoms of Terror – Attempt 2, Part 4

  1. 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.

    The mini-adventure accompanying the Mongoose reissue of The Kingdoms of Terror takes this and turns the villainy of the people on the other side of the debate up to 11. Practically the only thing it’s missing is a scene in which they impale kittens on skewers for the fun of it. An absolutely horrid mini-gamebook.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You don’t get to do anything to most of those on the other side, though. You get lectured a lot and see them adopt a position of moustache-twirling ‘neutrality’ (which includes hiring Roark to murder Cyrilus because reasons), and then if you get really lucky you might survive to finish off one of their agents.

        Another major flaw is the fact that the primary function of the Divination-equivalent in the Sage Abilities is not to warn you of imminent peril but to enable the author to show off how he’s foreshadowing most of the set pieces from Kingdoms. ‘Ooh, you sense that something really BAD is going to happen in this graveyard REAL soon. Just in case you didn’t spot how cleverly I made you visit the SAME graveyard where Lone Wolf will have to fight Roark’s undead summonation. Awesome, right?’ I paraphrase, but that’s the gist of it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Point taken. Even in the Kai Grand Master series the Stornlands are still a mess (Rand Al’Thor would sympathise) so not much changes. Interesting that Roark’s first meeting wasn’t a complete coincidence, bearing in mind that he’s in Cahoots with Naar’s servants (Tagazin) that paints the Secret Keepers in a worse light. Has to be said though, given that Gwynian still causes them “brethren” I don’t think he’d be happy at their been slaughtered.

        Getting “lectured a lot” followed by “moustache twirling ‘neutrality'” sounds too much like work just now, but I do have a moustache myself 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Interesting that Roark’s first meeting wasn’t a complete coincidence

        That’s ‘interesting’ in the sense of ‘a completely stupid and unnecessary embellishment to the story’. What was wrong with Roark just being an arrogant, short-tempered and evil *****? Why does everything have to be part of some grand conspiracy?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Couldn’t agree more. The urge to ‘link’ everything together became a major issue with both the Star Wars extended universe and also the prequels. After a while, you get the idea that there are only half-a-dozen planets in the universe, and that C-3PO lives on all of them at the same time…

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Curse real world responsibilities for delaying our replies.

        Yes Ed and Aussiesmurf, you’re both right. It doesn’t make sense Roark, the next in line to rule a city being used as a common hitman. It also avoids the fact that Roark makes it clear that his beef is with Lone Wolf, there’s no “You interfered in what was none of your business..” Plus, the preacher makes it clear they were panicking because of the shooting star the previous evening which had led them to remove all the books from the shelves, that doesn’t tie in with their sending Roark several days ago to kill someone. … ok, I’ll stop now.

        Re Star Wars, I never really read much of the extended universe, but you’re one comment alone Tim justifies the retconning off all of it for the new series. I did read Splinter of The Mind’s Eye but that got retconned before Return of the Jedi came out.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is an interesting one. It is basically a novelization of what the sequel to Star Wars would have been if the original hadn’t been much of a success (Note how Splinter is basically in one location which would be comparatively cheap to make, with minimum of characters). Of course the UST between Luke and Leia is extremely retrospectively icky.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry Tim but I’m actually very offended by that video clip you showed. No I’m not troubled by the violence (it wasn’t mindless after all), but its that alcoholic bottles were smashed with the drink still inside UNPAID!!! As a long term off-license worker thats physically painful (especially the thought of cleaning up afterwards). The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if there was a spider … /shudder/.

    While Lone Wolf is unhappy with his room it should be pointed out that if the Last Landers are based on Scandinavians (Joe Dever said they looked Nordic) then he probably was expecting a Sauna.

    Aside: If you don’t have Divination (so much more useful than Shin-Ren) then if you meet the other side of the arguement first they slice you to pieces. Its fairly clear many of them sincerely believe the Lorestone shojld be kept hidden but, as you have wanted to yell at at least one Judge, ‘In this instance you’re totally wrong’. The Varettan Mercaneries who stiffed you for drinks knew of Lone Wolf and admired him so the secret keepers would have known of you. They probably wouldn’t be impressed with you being a warrior but if they don’t know you and the Kai are the only effective hold on Darklord expansion then they’re rather lousy academics. Sadly this sort of blinkered prejudice is not a stranger to academic circles (Galileo was attacked by the scientific community for contradicting Aristotle, Continental drift was fiercly opposed, even in the sixties and seventies scientists claiming that the human brain grows new neurons had their careers ruined, and there’s too many other examples), in all cases those in the wrong may validly believe what they do, but they’re still wrong and when they resort to censorship, or worse violence, they’re doubly wrong. Rant Over.

    As for reusing Blog Jokes, the closest I ever come to using an original joke is stealing it direct from its author so I can’t comment.

    Thank Kai you’ve finally got a Brass whistle to replace the one you gave to Altan, your item list just didn’t look right with it missing. See, see! The Boss may have given you humour and political commentary along with a mix of rocking songs and a show that felt too short no matter how long it was but did he give you commentary on your backpack and special item list? No! Think on that next time you reflect that you’ll remember his show for ages to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Since you referenced Road House, I have to share Kelly Lynch’s story, in case you haven’t heard it. She’s married to writer/producer Mitch Glazer, who’s worked with Bill Murray, and she revealed in an interview that “every time Road House is on and he or one of his idiot brothers are watching TV—and they’re always watching TV—one of them calls my husband and says [In a reasonable approximation of Carl Spackler], “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks.” [Away from the receiver.] What? Oh, my God. Mitch was just walking out the door to the set, and he said that Bill once called him from Russia.”

    Though when asked about it, top-three Murray brother Joel Murray said Bill is the only idiot Murray brother who calls Kelly’s husband, to taunt him about her Road House love scene.

    Liked by 2 people

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