The Jungle of Horrors

The Jungle of Horrors, Attempt 2, Part 5

As you may remember from the previous (literal) cliffhanger, Paido and I reached the ridge of a series of hills and gasped at what we saw…..

 

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…the town of Syada, in the process of being razed to the ground, as the Darklord troops mass ominously to the north and a great mass of refugees stream along the road towards our position.

Hmmm.

A town is being bombed, the commanders are safe at a distance, and there is a mass of refugees, about whom no-one seems to give the proverbial tinker’s cuss…..

 

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[No further editorial comment needed, hopefully…]

One wounded soldier in particular, showing commendable selflessness, screams at us about how the ‘armies of darkness’……

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…are coming!”

Project Aon link – wounded soldier

On a practical basis, we can no longer continue north due to the flood of refugees.  There is no option available of ‘Give the refugees as much food as you can, you selfish cur.”,  so we simply have to decide whether to turn west or to backtrack.

I am gently reminded to check the map before I make my decision.

Call me stupid, but west seems most likely to lead straight into the heart of our destination, being the evil swamp, so bring it on!

As we start to follow a stream of water, fed by a mountain spring, an ominous rumble informs us that the villainous army is twenty or less miles away….

Project Aon link – Darklord army banner

We enter a forest and Paido, like a veritable teacher’s pet, mentions that this is apparently the ‘Mordril Forest’ (a Lord of the Rings rip-off name if I’ve ever heard one) and that it is gradually being poisoned by the onset of the Danarg.

Thanks, dude.  I’ll let you know if that information has any actual practical benefit whatsoever….

We cross the forest stream…

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and see tracks [ominous music] on the other side.  The tracks are curious, because they at first seem to be those of a bear, but my Pathmanship skill helps me deduce that they are also those of a creature walking upright (!!)

I’m thinking this meeting such an individual would NOT be the best possible blind date and we rather resolve to make our discreet way through the forest, avoiding unwanted attention.

Aside : You realise that Mr Dever would never have inserted such a piece of foreshadowing without intending for it to pay off, right?

Sure enough, as we are crossing a fallen tree over a pool by a waterfall, some kind of lizard / bear / monstrosity hybrid decides to invite us to a dinner where we are the main course.

Project Aon link – Hybrid creature

Looking at this abomination, I can only think that Donald Trump took a break from his taxing golf schedule to have a randy fling with a minotaur…..

Do I have a Bow and intend to use it?

I, sir, have not just a bow, but a MEGABOW…!

I need an 8 or more on the R10 check but, once again, I am greatly assisted by Weaponmastery in Bow (+3) and my MEGABOW (+3).

So : 80% chance. [Tempts fate] You’d think I’m pretty sure to get this, right??

R10 = 7!  I love tempting fate!

giphy4

You know that tempting fate thing?

My arrow pierces the creature’s throat…..

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this….THING grabs my horse’s bridle and pulls my horse and I over the edge!

There is an R10 check failure at which is highly likely to be an insta-death, but my knowledge of Huntmastery thankfully guarantees a successful result.

Unfortunately, both my horse (pulled under by the creature) and Paido’s horse (lost due to panic) are no longer of use to us, and we must continue on foot.

Who could have POSSIBLY predicted a loss of horses?

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Project Aon link – creature’s hand sinking

The next paragraph helpfully (!) lets me know that the creature was a ‘Anapheg’ (!) and that we momentarily mourn our (stolen!) horses.

As we move deeper into the forest, a chill sets in, and a mist rises from around the trees.

A hush falls over the forest, and you just KNOW that things are about to get dangerous.

We press on, and night falls as we make camp.  Paido suggests tossing a coin for the person to take the first watch, and (without a choice) my Magnakai skill of Divination tells me which side of the coin to pick.  Never one to refuse an opportunity for sleep, I correctly nominate ‘heads’ and take the first sleeping shift.

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The night passes without incident and we set off again in the morning.

There is then a lot of atmospheric filler about how the forest gives way to the approach to the Danarg crater, described poetically by Paido as ‘a cancerous wound that poisons all who dwell there … ’.

So, basically Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s……

Project Aon link – Danarg

We eventually end up wading through ankle-deep water and slime before reaching the edge of a ‘huge, murky pool’, and I assume the book isn’t talking about a Vegas spa.

My (higher level) Pathmanship says that heading north around the pool will lead us towards an ambush of ‘hungry swamp creatures’, while the southern path is safer, but leads us away from our goal.

Leave any thoughts you may have in comments about the choice before Lone Wolf, or any other subject!

 

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 34

Current Stats : CS : 34, E : 31

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),

Backpack : Wrist / Fingerguard, Rope, Lantern, Meals (2), Sacks of Silver (3)

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. Vial of Clear Liquid, 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)

Paragraph : 203

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14 thoughts on “The Jungle of Horrors, Attempt 2, Part 5

  1. One of the tactics of war, is for soldiers to hide amongst the “refugees”, to infiltrate unsuspecting, generous countries…sound familiar? Loved the murky spa and joke about Trump offspring.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately that only debunks one of the many rape attacks. It doesn’t change the wave of attacks in Germany on New Years 2015, or the fact that this year required heavy police presence and what can be described as mass racial profiling.

        However:
        1) Considering that Germany took in about 890 THOUSAND refugees in 2015 we’re not even talking about 1% of that population.
        2) Opportunistic sexual assault, while revolting, is not the same as the disguised Soldiers lghr was refering to.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can always count on you Fen.. As a woman, I can tell you, that certain men from particular cultural persuasions, frighten the hell out of me. You have to be a woman, to understand the fear that a woman feels, when she is being leered at by a group of these men.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. @lghr, we both grew up as part of a minority culture surrounded by a majority culture so we know from experience that while its nice and proper to say people are people wherever you go the reality is that cultural differences are real and they do result in people viewing as completely normal what others view as off the wall.

        That said, while cultures may have different advantages and disadvantages the fact is that all cultures are just imperfect human attempts to deal with very real human problems so no individual culture is inherently superior to another. But there are times when a culture IS wrong on a matter, and denying that for cultural sensitivity is not right.

        Two examples:
        1) Woman I know in her mid seventies from rural north England. Good background you might say except her mother was raped by a local drunk who raped and impregnated girls all over the area, and noone did anything about it because it was the done thing to blame the girl and keep quiet. The story gets worse but we get the point that good old rural Englands 1930’s culture was vile.

        2) Not so severe, in our congregation’s in Japan the husbands and wives wouldn’t sit together, not the done thing. When it was pointed out they should one Older man said that this sitting together only applied to the young people, not his generation. He was “gently reasoned”with. At the next meeting they were sitting together and enjoying the experience. Again their culture was wrong on this point, but they were willing to change.

        Another friend of mine married a Turkish man. He’s a cutie and a skilled carpenter, their children have nearly finished school. People are people but culture influences us all.

        Finally, as said before, with my mixed up background I thought I wss open to all cultures, then I went to India and discovered how close minded I actually was. 😒

        Like

      4. Bearing in mind that this started with a town being burned and followed by an attack on fleeing refugees my concern about the comments going NSFW may be misplaced but four points I have to make in reply.

        1) Western world English also has a variety of words describing actions, means, attitudes etc to show there’s also a bad “cultural mindset” in “Western civilization” (actually, on that matter does Australia count itself as part of the Western world?)

        2) As mentioned earlier, Germany took in 890 thousand refugees in 2015 alone. If even one percent of them were up to what migrants keep being blamed for Germany would be a smoking ruin.

        3) Jill Meagher who died in Melbourne went to the University just down the road from where I work and live while I worked and lived here. Sorry but that case seriously shook me up. Whenever I give female coworkers lifts after work I always drop them to their homes because I started learning to drive about the time that happened.

        4)I think Tim will forgive me quoting the Bible this time. Leviticus 19:34 “The foreigner who resides with you should become to you like a native among you and you must love him as yourself for you were foreign residents in the land of Egypt”.

        Obviously we always need to be cautious, but thats with everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Can I start by saying that is one amazing Goat photo. 😮

    In the book 1984 Smith remembers in the cinema watching real life footage from a plane or helicopter shooting up a boatful of refugees in the Mediterranean. I read that, appropriately, in 1984 but didn’t understand what he was talking about. Later…

    Honestly not much point in giving the refugees food, what they really need is to move as fast as they can. Curiously you could have helped them by going the other way … except with your current skill set/level you wouldn’t have anyway (Its Rhygar all over again).

    In fairness to using Paido as an info dump it
    1) Explains why in a strong country the monsters are getting so close to civilization
    2) Makes a change from, “You recall from class an obscure piece of geography to fo with a land hundreds of miles away” (remember wr’re in pre-Wikipedia times now)
    3) Makes sense that Paido would know this due to the alliance between Desdi and Talestria.

    I do wish you hadn’t made that blind date reference to the Anapheg, its sagging breasts have always made me uncomfortable. But it has to be said that the Minotaur was very upset afterwards and would have pressed charges but was taunted thst noone would believe her, even monsters can be vulnerable before other monsters.

    Best route to take? Search me! I’d say both are well worth exploring once. From a practical point of view I’d say creatures powerful enough to threathen you wouldn’t need to ambush you so since you know they’re there and you can beat them take the more direct route to the north.

    Like

  3. Finally all caught up on the adventures of Avenger and Lone Wolf! And inspired to try my own play throughs as well, for that matter.

    So apart from saying I really enjoy the blog, including all the comments… North or South? On the one hand, being prepared for an ambush sounds like it might give you good odds of overturning it, especially with your MEGASWORD, but you’ve tended to follow the safe and discrete path so far to good avail.

    Liked by 2 people

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