And we have once more solved the riddle posed by the Zakhan statue…
Aside : Joe Dever liked villains starting with the letter ‘Z’, didn’t he? – Zlanbeast, Zakhan, Zagarna, Zahda – did a girl called Zoe break his heart at some point?
…and am once more confronted by the bat-worm-spider hybrid called an Oudagorg.
Lone Wolf – CS : 25, E : 19
Oudagorg – CS : 17, E : 17
[Mindblast doubles my damage]
My first blow finishes the combat, although I do lose two Endurance ( down to 17).
I now have the opportunity of climbing onto the observation platform (over the monster’s corpse, no less) or continuing down the corridor.
With nothing to lose, and wary of the trouble during my last ‘life’, I take the [different to last time] path down the corridor.
I reach a hexagonal (!!) chamber, containing two exits with arches of ruby and jade respectively.
However! Secret option (c) is revealed because my Magnakai skills help me to notice that one wall is thin, and was obviously a doorway in another, presumably better-looking incarnation of the maze.
Never one to pass up an option offered by my warrior monk skills, I break through the wall with several well-placed blows, and the different ambience of the new tunnel (on the other side) makes me feel that I may now have escaped the ‘pre-planned’ portion of the maze.
After numerous twists and turns, I reach a T-junction with choices of left and right. It is the same choice (and, clearly, the same location) as my previous adventure, with choices between prison cells and a guard room / torture chamber.
Since heading for the guard room didn’t work to well before I head for the cells…which is hopefully not where I’ll end up.
Inside one, I mean.
In a deleted scene from a prison movie, I walk among cells filled with the slaves of Kazan-Oud.
And here the book gets a bit uncomfortable.
In a problematic, to say the least, choice of words from Joe Dever, the prisoners are described (and I quote) as “in the main, a pitiful herd of gangling, black-skinned creatures” who are “curious to see the fair-skinned warrior who walks upright among them”.
Honestly – not wild about the depiction of black people as a ‘pitiful herd’ who are in awe of the ‘fair-skinned warrior’ who walks upright. Let’s just chalk it up to a misjudgment by the author, and move on quickly.
As I move down to the end of the corridor, I see one particular man in dire straits in a cell and take a nearby key and release him. He asks if I am from the Elder Magi (AKA ruthless mercenary paymasters) and I take a (small) risk and answer honestly.
- This man (Kasin) is Paido’s brother.
- He is in the final stages of [insert name of made-up disease] which is fatal and, in the final stages, causes blindness.
- There are stairs at the end of the corridor that lead down to the throne-hall of Zahda.
- At the entrance to the hall there is a tapestry behind which there is a secret passage. It leads to Zahda’s throne.
- Above the throne is the Lorestone you seek, but unfortunately Zahda has apparently merged its power to a Doomstone ‘from the realm of Naaros’
- This power source forms Zahda’s magical reserves, and I’ll have to destroy the shield generator *ahem* destroy the gem before eliminating Zahda.
- Maybe most importantly, Kasim has a boat behind the steps under the old stone jetty, which may prove my method of escape following victory.
- What – no handy wizard to teleport me back home? Disappointing!
I promise to tell Paido that his brother has not died in vain, and leave the cell with a heavy heart.
Aside : My wife ignored my advice [because I’d seen it already] on Saturday night and watched La Vita A Bella (Life is Beautiful). There were tears. Many, many, many tears.
At the end of the cell block, a staircase is guarded by a dude that looks suspiciously like the ‘Beast’ in ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
Lone Wolf : CS – 25, E – 26
Beastman Gaoler ; CS – 17, E – 22
For the loss of 1 Endurance, the Beastman will trouble the prisoners no longer.
I take a Dagger and 2 Gold Crowns from the body before quickly moving on.
At the end of the staircase out of the prison section, I find a deserted hallway leading to beautifully appointed doors. There are such decorations as a fountain, tapestries, statuettes and so forth. Without warning a guard steps from behind the fountain and, if you don’t have Huntmastery or Divination, you would right now have a 30% chance of an insta-death.
The guard falls prey to over-confidence and, when his arrow doesn’t do the trick, I manage to disarm him and fight a lopsided combat.
Lone Wolf – CS 25, E : 27
Throne-Room Guard – CS : 14, E : 22
For the loss of 3 Endurance (down to 24) I take out the sassy guard.
After my victory, I pause to gather my breath, while the ‘To Be Continued….’ legend appears on your TV screen….
Base Stats : CS : 18, E : 22, GC 33
Final Stats : CS : 33, E : 25
Weapons : Sword, Dagger
IN CUSTODY :
Weapons : Short Sword, Broadsword
Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Jewelled Mace, Dagger of Vashna
Backpack : Red Robe, Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Rope, Meal (1), 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 (3), 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)
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