Lone Wolf and Paido have presumably been checking their watches for some time (ie. a fortnight), wondering if I’m going to resurface and guide them to death or glory!
Aside : Sorry, I had a Manowar song in my head….
We get thrust straight into the nastier side of the jungle, as, while innocently crossing a mass of tangled vines, a ‘Silver Swamp Python’ decides to rise from a nearby pool and make its presence felt, in what appears to be a decidedly unfriendly fashion.
As I don’t have the Animal Control skill, there’s really only one thing to say…
Lone Wolf : CS : 34, E : 26
Silver Swamp Python, CS : 20, E : 60 (!!!)
Also, just to make things interesting, all my Endurance losses are doubled due to the venom of the Python.
This, meanwhile, is Paido :
Round 1 :
My R10 check of 7 removes 18 Endurance from the Python (E=42), while I remain unscathed.
Round 2 :
Another 7! Python Endurance : 24
Round 3 :
R10 of 8! Killing wound city!
Aside : And yes, the British version of The Office was better. Everyone knows that, because that statement is true of pretty much every show that crossed the Atlantic.
In the post-mortem, Paido isn’t even mentioned. Apparently he couldn’t even be bothered to give some kind of plausible excuse for his inaction.
Various smaller swamp denizens become somewhat keener to investigate us, when you would have thought my flawless despatch of the massive snake would have rather made them more cautious.
Then again, maybe they are just looking to pick of the weaker, more cowardly member of my travelling posse.
Paido and I manage to, without further incident, reach the rock wall which encircles the raised plateau of our immediate destination. We climb without Paido managing to fall on his own head, and reach the plateau as night falls across the jungle.
There are two trails leading northward. One is wide and well-used. On it, tracks of various man-sized creatures are readily apparent. My skill of Pathmanship allows me to also detect a secondary trail that someone has clearly attempted to conceal.
Secret trail, you say??
As we move quietly along the path, passing numerous creepy descriptions of jungle life, the book remembers that Paido exists, as he is mentioned as pointing out a group of crude huts, with inhabitants moving among them.
Paido says that these (the inhabitants, not the huts) are the ‘Ghagrim’, also known as the ‘man-beasts’ of the Danarg.
And here was me thinking that ‘man-beast’ was just a word invented to describe Donald Trump while he is in the company of his daughter.
Back to the adventure, we can approach the huts, or continue on our way.
I’d rather take the element of surprise, rather than have these friendly guys creeping up behind us, so we stealthily approach the huts.
My plan was perfect, but I forgot about the clumsy dolt (aka Paido) alongside me, who naturally manages to find, with his heavy tread, what is probably the only dry clump of twigs in the whole blasted jungle.
Seriously, this is me right about now :
We sprint away, but the Ghagrim are gaining rapidly. Resisting the temptation to simply stick out my foot, tripping Paido and leaving him behind, I rather throw a Fireseed (calculating that my Bow won’t be quick enough to stop all our pursuers). The Fireseed explodes briefly, giving both of us (sigh) a chance to dive into the undergrowth on the side of the trail.
We scramble through the foliage and find a (seemingly) deserted track which skirts the encampment before heading north. Given the fact that I can hardly rely on Paido to continue crawling through the undergrowth without, you know, accidentally cutting his foot off or something, we follow the (open) trail.
The pursuit by the Ghagrim falls behind and eventually drops away, and we manage to catch a few hours’ rest at the north-western tip of the plateau.
Using the elevation of the plateau, we can see the Temple’s korlinium spire rising above the jungle to the west. Since nothing in this life is easy, it is readily apparent that a ‘sea of sickly green-black vegetation’ lies between us and our goal.
Paido’s mechanical contraption finally comes in handy as, after we descend once more to the jungle floor, it keeps us on course for our destination even when it is obscured by the humid mist.
As we circle a giant pool, what appears to be the web of a giant spider draws our wary attention. Sure enough, a ‘hairy abomination’……..
No, not him.
….appears from the mist, scuttling towards us.
I decide to stand and fight, since Paido will probably fall over and stab me if we try to evade.
I wait until the last possible moment before firing an arrow right into (one of) the spider’s eyes, and don’t pause to watch it shrivel up and die, as I instead follow the (once again) unhelpful Paido closer to our destination.
I’m assuming the ‘bravery and skill on the field of battle’ description of Paido in paragraph 1 was more of a family motto rather than a summary of his helpful chracteristics.
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 (4 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (3), 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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