Trapped in an unknown city as night speedily approaches….I suppose the choices are whether to go clubbing or hit the local casino.
Less interestingly, however, the book informs me that we arrive at a ‘flagstoned’ quadrangle, with the noticeable landmarks of a massive temple bearing the appellation that it is the ‘Temple of the Sword’ and, elsewhere, the road leads up a hill to a watchtower, which looms over the town.
Aside : That word ‘looms’ is so delightfully ominous. You never hear about water slides ‘looming’ over the surrounding amusement park, do you?
My Pathmanship skill helps me decipher a sign by the door of the temple which indicates that travellers are offered food, a stable for their horses and a room for the night.
With my options limited, I enter the temple.
Paido and I are escorted inside, into a temple replete with the usual trappings, including red candles, and, more importantly, an oaken table with a delicious-smelling stew.
The old man who who has shown us in blesses the food with the words ‘Gaj kog zutag’ and, interestingly, the book makes a point of offering me the choice of whether to eat the food, eat a Meal from my backpack or to go hungry.
This whole set-up screams of suspicion. Look at this :
- That blessing seemed to strangely specific, and contained too many Gs, Ks and Zs for my comfort.
- On a meta-fictional level, the fact that there is a specific point here, rather than a mere ‘you eat and retire for the night’ indicates that something is up.
- I do vaguely remember, from my youth, a set-up where someone tries to poison you when you stay with them for the night, although I have no idea what the context of that memory is.
In summary, this is me right now :
With all that in mind, I risk being rude and eat a Meal from my Backpack (I can’t see how Huntmastery can be helpful in such an enclosed situation).
In an indication that I may have made the correct decision, the monks seem disproportionately upset by my refusal. To be fair, this may be a cultural reaction to my rudeness (In Japan, for example, this sort of thing would be a mortal insult).
A saturnine man who appears to be the superior enters, and immediately asks (!!) if the ‘Vakeros’ [Paido] has eaten. He is summarily given an affirmative, although it is also mentioned that ‘the Kai Lord refused’.
Before I can make any further deductions, my skill of Divination (which might have been helpful FIVE MINUTES AGO) tells me that I am in the presence of a ‘powerful evil’.
As I whip my bow out, the ‘menacing figure’ shouts to ‘Summon the brothers!” I fell one of the two fleeing monks with a well-placed arrow, but the other escapes, slamming the door behind him. My follow-up choice is to (1) Shoot another arrow at the head honcho (2) Attack with a hand weapon or (3) Demand (!) that he allow us to leave.
Yeah, (3) is a bit of a non-starter. I think the chances of a peaceful resolution are gone….like tears in rain.
Hopeful of my MEGABOW coming through once more in the clinch, I fire another arrow. Unfortunately, my adversary uses his staff to parry same, and I scratch another arrow off my chart.
What is Paido doing all this time?
Aside : Shakespeare in Love is a MASTERPIECE, and far, far better than Saving Private Ryan. I WILL NOT argue about this.
At any rate, my question is promptly answered, as Paido collapses, doubtless feeling the effects of the clearly poisoned stew.
The monk then comes up with a mental attack, and, lacking Psi-Screen, I lose EIGHT (!!) Endurance points.
The ‘monk’ now loses his disguise, and is now revealed as a Helghast!
Do I have the Sommerswerd?
Why, yes. yes I do.
Given the enemy’s stats (see below), I quaff both of my Laumspur potions before the combat starts.
Lone Wolf – CS : 32, E : 31
Gnaag Helghast – CS : 38 (!!), E : 48 (!!!)
A small silver lining is that the enemy loses double Endurance due to the Sommerswerd. A less silver lining is that I lose 2 Endurance points at the start of every combat round. Even worse is the Helghast’s immunity to Mindblast.
Round 1 :
R10 of 0!!
Lone Wolf loses 2 Endurance from the psychic attack, but does 9×2 = 18 damage to the Helghast!
LW : 29, H : 30
Round 2 :
Spoke too soon, since my R10 of 1 means Lone Wolf loses 6+2=8 Endurance, while the Helghast loses 0x2=0.
LW : 21, H : 30
Round 3 :
R10 = 2!! Lone Wolf loses 6+2=8, Helghast 1×2=2
LW : 13, H : 28
Round 4 :
R10=4 Lone Wolf loses 5+2=7, Helghast 3×2=6
LW : 6, H : 22
This is getting serious.
Round 5 :
Alas, another R10 of 4 means that Lone Wolf loses another 7 points, which changes his mood from ‘Alive’ to ‘Dead’.
Getting 4 R10 checks of 1 to 4 in a row can reeeeally ruin your day.
For all those that wanted Lone Wolf to take the road rather than the barge, you may well get your wish!
Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 45 Lune : 20
Current Stats : CS : 34, E : 0
Weapons : Sword, Dagger
Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),
Backpack :Potion of Laumspur (+4E) (2), Rope, Lantern, Silver Box
Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Crystal Star, 4. Shield (+2 CS), 5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. Giak Scroll, 9. Quiver (3 arrows), 10 Fireseeds (5), 11. Pass, 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.
Kai Monastery storage :
- Backpack Items :
- Special Items : Map of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle.
Magnakai Rank : Tutelary
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility
Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E), Solaris (+1 CS, +3 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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