Another incarnation of Lone Wolf arises!
As much fun as the mathematical puzzles of the barge were, this Lone Wolf doesn’t feel confident on the water (since one ship sunk in Book 2, while another was attacked upon landing in Book 5) and elects to take the Great North Road.
Half of the trip (30 miles) is covered in one sentence, so you just KNOW that the second half is where the fireworks are going to happen.
Sure enough, a heavy rain starts to fall, and as things start to get particularly wet, we see both an inn by the side of the road and a mill further along (and over a bridge).
Never one to turn down an opportunity to visit a hotel bar, especially when it is raining, Paido and I waste no further time before stopping for refreshments.
A friend dwarf (with one of the most AWESOME eye patches I’ve ever seen) hails us from behind the bar and offers us cakes and ale).
Aside : That reminds me of one of my favourite stories. Briefly, a student at Oxford demanded ‘cakes and ale’ during an examination, because under a centuries-old rule of the university, this was an entitlement of students. After much nagging, doughnuts and beer were brought out for the lucky student. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks later he received in the mail notice of a fine…….because he had failed to wear his sword to the examination.
Back in the inn, we can buy food / drink, warm ourselves by the fire, or engage the dwarf in conversation. The trouble with these sorts of choices is that you don’t know which ones you may get a ‘second’ chance at after selecting another option.
Wary of missing out on important information, we question *ahem* ‘converse with’ the innkeeper first.
After the dwarf talks about himself for an hour (!) he mentions that, in his opinion, the invading forces of Zegron stand no chance against the forces of Lord Adamas.
Aside : Whenever this early in a fantasy book (or gamebook) a character talks about how victory will be easy / inevitable, you can tell that there’s going to be serious problems.
At any rate, a farmer seated by the fire butts into our conversation, and the subsequent back-and-forth reveals that :
- The farmer’s sister purports to be some kind of clairvoyant / seer,
- She believes that the invading army are a real threat.
Since in Magnamund (contrary to earth) this kind of prophecy / astrology / clairvoyance nonsense actually works, I casually ask the farmer where his sister lives.
Unfortunately he immediately breaks out a guitar and starts singing…
Nah, not really. Great 90s song, though.
The farmer mentions that :
- His sister lives with their mother at ‘Ferry House’
- To get there, we turn five miles north of here along a track with a sign saying ‘To Topham’.
- A mile along that track will be Ferry House.
- It is best to introduce ourselves by mentioning that Jako sent us.
- Like most fortune-tellers and other hucksters, she will, in all likelihood, charge gold for any advice.
We journey north, reach the junction as advised, and turn off to the track.
After a short while we journey past a number of houses, together with an abbey. Interestingly, in the grounds of the abbey, a number of ‘monks’ in hooded brown robes are lowering a coffin into a grave.
Being a veteran of fantasy literature, my first thought is that these ‘monks’ comprise a group of draconians in disguise, but my ‘Divination / Spider-Sense’ tells me that :
- The ‘monks’ are communicating telepathically, and are uneasy in my presence.
- Monks of this area are generally of the ‘Friar Tuck’ school of body image, but by contrast these individuals appear emaciated.
Realising trouble when we see it, Paido and I keep riding.
The rain gradually eases, and Paido and I reach the foretold (heh) Ferry House, which is alongisde a barge service to cross the river en route to Tharro.
I knock on the door, and an elderly lady (who is extremely unkindly described by Mr Dever, I might add) answers.
Not above a little flattery, I ask if she is, indeed, Tadia, the ‘fair lady’ whom I seek.
She blushes, but before this repartee can get any more witty, a voice calls from upstairs that she has been ‘expecting us’ (sigh, the standard trope) and we are shown upstairs to a ‘beautiful woman’. with ‘hair of gold’ yada, yada, yada.
She goes into the standard fortune-teller ‘trance’ and gives us some (admittedly, free) advice – the safest path to the Danarg is through the Mordril Forest, and that the road to Syada is ‘fraught with danger’.
She recommends that we leave through the gift shop, where, presumably, there are numerous overpriced goodies to be had.
Scratch that – I can actually take as much as I want for free (!!), apparently because the fate of both our kingdoms is reliant upon my mission!
If only this kind of motivation existed at the Equipment section at the commencement of each adventure!
Never one to turn down an opportunity, I fill my backpack with a Potion of Alether (+2 CS), Rendalim’s Elixir (+6E) and another Potion of Laumspur (+4E).
And then, before the generous seer can change her mind, we take our leave.
SCHEDULING NOTE : Due to family commitments, the next update may not be for 3-4 days.
Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 46
Current Stats : CS : 34, E : 31
Weapons : Sword, Dagger
Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),
Backpack :Potion of Laumspur (+4E) (3), Meal, Rope, Lantern, Potion of Alether (+2 CS), Rendalim’s Elixir (+6E)
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. Diamond, 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10 Fireseeds (5), 11. Pass, 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.
Kai Monastery storage :
- Backpack Items :
- Special Items : Mao 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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