Not much of a cliffhanger, but we left off last time with Lone Wolf being escorted to what was claimed to be the tent of a village hamlet’s shaman.
I figured that within I would either find further knowledge or a bloodthirsty ambush.
Aside : It could also be one of those situations where the inhabitant talks to you, helps you, advises you, and THEN tries to kill you. Sounds ridiculous, but it has happened in books like The Shamutanti Hills.
Having said all that, I’m now not sure as to whether the encounter which is now described is completely ridiculous, completely awesome, or both.
The shaman is sitting cross-legged on the floor of his hut while dressed entirely in feathers (!!)
He then throws some scattered chicken bones into the air and purports to predict my future. I guess taking some time out a month ago and predicting the invasion of his country would have just been too easy, right?
Let’s now observe the use of some of the fortune-telling techniques known as ‘shotgunning’ as described here.
This all-seeing shaman tells me the following :
- I have ‘many enemies’.
- They are ‘powerful’
- They intend to ‘prevent me walking my chosen path’
- One enemy will tell me he is my friend, but will have ‘treachery in his heart’.
As I leave the hut to rejoin Banedon, I feel humbled by the scope of his extremely specific prophecy and I straighten, conscious of the awesome power and wisdom granted to me by the advance knowledge provided by the shaman.
Banedon and I ride on, and come to a fork in the road with the following :
- There is a farmhouse, with a line of farmhands waiting to get their share of some foul-smelling soup.
Aside : I remember the time I deeply insulted my mother, as a 13-year-old, when I cheerfully informed her that her home-made soup looked and smelled like toxic waste…..ah, the harsh truthfullness of youth….
- The highway continues on, while there is also a dirt track leading off to the side.
- A sign indicates that it is 95 miles to Tahou, but interestingly, the sign points down the track, rather than the highway.
Luckily, my skill of Pathmanship confirms that, for whatever reason, the sign is wrong, and that the highway is, in fact, the correct route.
I briefly chat with the farmhands, but they provide me with little help, apart from confirming the incorrect information provided by the sign, and offering to share their repugnant soup with me. My skill of Huntmastery renders such a dilemma of etiquette as irrelevant, as I provide food for myself, leaving Banedon to consider the culinary delights of the farm.
After another five miles of travel, we come across another possible diversion – a dirt track leading off to the west, with a stone marker indicating that Sidara is (a further) five miles down said track.
Here’s another look at the (unhelpful, in this instance) map :
Let’s face it – If this was an ‘actual’ mission, I would charge on to my ultimate destination of Tahou without a second thought. In a gamebook, however, these detours usually provide vital pieces of information or items. So I ‘encourage’ Banedon to take a stroll down…..the Sidara way.
Hopefully the bars in this town carry Glenmorangie.
We reach a small river village, with no immediate evidence anywhere on the streets of any villagers of any disposition.
Let’s break out the classic, shall we?
Sure enough, we hear the ‘harsh voices’ of Giak soldiers.
Keeping in the shadows, Banedon and I see a troop of Giak scouts loading their loot (as purloined from the town) onto the back of a Kraan, one of the pterodactyl-esque flying creatures of evil.
One of the Giak officers barks various commands, brandishing his sword for those who are reluctant to obey.
In a comedy of errors, as they attempt to leave with their ill-gotten gains….
Mid-sentence aside : It is simply awesome how Lone Wolf is morally outraged at this looting, while also taking everything on his journey which isn’t nailed down
……two Kraan are overloaded, and they tumble to the ground shortly after take-off. Their Giak passengers fall off right by our hiding-place, and we are spotted.
Aside : I suppose I should be grateful that Paido wasn’t here. If he was, his Iphone probably would have loudly rung (probably with a Billy Ray Cyrus song) a few minutes earlier, guaranteeing our doom.
Back to our encounter.
I whip out my Bow, and take out both Giaks with two well-place shots. (Technically, I need to make an R10 check for the second one, but between my Weaponmastery, MEGABOW and Divination skill, I can’t miss.
While muttering vague words under my breath about “Thanks for nothing, Banedon” and “No better than Paido.”, Banedon and I search the dead bodies.
Nothing really stands out except a Brass Whistle, and I recall that a similiar item is in storage back home. I dump a Meal (since I tend not to need them) and pocket the Whistle.
We head back to the freeway and when we rejoin it, we see a sign advising that Taho is 90 miles away.
As a tribute to my wife, as Banedon and I get metaphorically and literally ‘back on track’ I give my readers this –
Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 42
Current Stats : CS : 34/34, E : 31/31
Weapons : Sword, Dagger
Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS),
Backpack : Wrist / Fingerguard, Rope, Lantern, Meals (1), Potion of Laumspur, Sacks of Silver (1), Flask of Boaza, Brass Whistle.
Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Invitation 4. Shield (+2 CS), 5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. Invitation 9. Quiver (4 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. EMPTY 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.
Kai Monastery storage :
- Backpack Items : Sack of Silver
- Special Items : Mao of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle. Quiver (4 arrows), Pass, Vial of Clear Liquid, Crystal Star Pendant
Magnakai Rank : Principalin
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Psi-Screen
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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