“What did you do yesterday, Lone Wolf?”
“Just the usual really, walked through an ominous ray of light, battled to the death with a sentient hand and tried to navigate a dungeon filled with deathtraps.”
Welcome to gamebooks.
Moments after the evil hand (!) disintegrates, Zahda (I’m not calling him ‘Lord’ – why on earth would I? Unless his first hame is ‘Lord’…) makes a holographic appearance, with the usual supervillain monologuing about me being a ‘worthy foe’ and related rubbish.
Dude – I’m a Kai Primate, and the ruler of a hefty chunk of Sommerlund – I don’t need your faint praise to have a healthy self-esteem…
Getting back to harsh reality, the next ‘test’ is contained in a large chamber with a statue of a Zakhan (ie. a ruler of Vassagonia, for those who don’t remember Shadow on the Sand). More worryingly, the door on the far side of the chamber is locked, and my (presumed) attempts to knock it down get me nowhere.
Riddle time, I think!
The skull, or Dungeon Master (TM), appears and gives the following clue :
‘Listen to the Zakhan,
Ponder what you hear;
Give the correct answer,
For fear he sheds a tear.’
Before I can make any further comment, the statue speaks!
Here’s the riddle :
‘My daughter has many sisters, as many sisters as she has brothers, but each of her brothers has twice as many sisters as brothers. So answer me this, wise warrior, how many sons and daughters do I have?’
Let’s do this!
For a daughter to have as many sisters as brothers, the Zakhan must have one more daughter than sons.
For a son to then have twice as many sisters as brothers, there must be 4 girls and 3 boys.
I shouldn’t pat myself on the back too much for solving a riddle from a gamebook with a primary audience of children.
But heck, I’m going to anyway.
In response to my correct answer, the door at the rear of the room swings open and I stroll confidently into a corridor covered with ominous cocoons. Before you can say “This reminds me of The Fly….” a huge worm-like creature with great black eyes and horny mandibles” slithers towards me, with the (literally) colourful detail of ‘purple froth’ circling its mouth.
Worryingly, in response to the book’s question, I don’t have the Disciplines of Animal Control, Invisibility and I also don’t have a Silver Whistle.
When you have to admit that you don’t have one of three options, I can feel an insta-death coming on…..
In a pleasantly surprising development, I don’t immediately die, but merely (!) have to fight this creature (which is called a Oudagorg).
It is apparently particularly susceptible to Mindblast, so I can double any Endurance losses it may suffer.
Lone Wolf – CS : 18, E : 19
Oudagorg – CS : 17, E : 17
I luckily manage to get a 0 on my first R10 check of the combat and, with the doubling of damage, this means the Oudagorg drops dead from my first bare-handed blow!
As the creature dies, I can see that the mist across the top of the corridor has faded, showing instead an elevated deserted walkway and a metal ‘observation platform’.
I climb onto the platform, and see the maze spread out before me, with numerous traps and monsters.
I manage to take the elevated iron walkway over and past the boundaries of the maze, although an alarm bell does serve to signal my escape to some nasty supervisor somewhere.
I reach a junction of passageways, and my Pathmanship lets me know that one path leads to a network of cells, and the other leads to a ‘guard room’ and torture chamber.
I’m a bit torn here, since I really feel that my top priority is getting my loot back, particularly my MEGASWORD and MEGABOW. I guess you would think that the best chance of that would be in the guard room, so I go that way.
As I move forward, I hear the delightful sounds that indicate some kind of horrific torture is taking place. With a clear motive to rescue the victim of same, I keep going.
As I pass a spiral staircase, I can hear enough footsteps that give me reason to fear that ‘a dozen’ people (presumably guards) are descending to this level.
Aside : The below choice was made at the end of the night, without giving due consideration to my lack of MEGASWORD….
In the hope that the approaching troops can only progress single file, I decide to take a stand here.
Behind the guards that rush down the stairs lurk two ‘black-skinned, dog-faced’ creatures who have some staff-shaped weapons that shoot what are basically laser blasts into my chest, killing me!
I guess Lone Wolf was tired and fatigued (just like me) and made a foolish choice under pressure.
Base Stats : CS : 18, E : 22 [28 with armour], GC 31
Final Stats : CS : 18, E : 0
Weapons : None [Confiscated : Spear, Broadsword]
Weapon-like Special Items : None [Confiscated : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Dagger of Vashna, Silver Bow of Duadon (+3)]
Backpack : Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Meal, Red Robe, Alether Berries (3) (+2 CS), Lantern
Special Items : Brass Whistle, Copper Key, Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Quiver (6 arrows), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Fireseeds (2)
Kai Monastery storage : Map of Tekaro, Potion of Laumspur (+4E)
Magnakai Rank : Primate
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination
Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E)
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)
Paragraph : DEATH