The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 4

Lone Wolf and Banedon have decided that their plan is to discreetly chat about strategy for their next bridge night, as they beside some rocks, while a troop of cavalry from Tahou ride blissfully by…

ma5hn

You just knew that life wasn’t going to be that simple, didn’t you?

In a coincidence worth of a, you know, gamebook, juuuust as the troop of soldiers are passing by, my horse rears up, spooked by a snake which has curled around its foreleg.

Aside : At least Joe Dever has now correctly differentiated between a horse rearing and a horse bucking.  Previously, he wasn’t so sure.

Since I don’t have the Magnakai discipline of Animal Control, the jig is, as they say, up.

A sergeant in the patrol rounds the rocks, sees us, points his sword at me, and states that we are under arrest on ‘suspicion of spying’ (!)

I don’t know if he understands that pointing his sword at me, while we are both on horseback, isn’t that terrifying a threat.

giphy

My interesting options are to drop our weapons (weapons?  How can Banedon ‘drop’ his magic?) or to resist arrest.

Yeah….I’m thinking that going to the dungeons of Tahou won’t help me so much.

As I select the alternative, this (very, very 90s) movie snippet springs to mind….

Aside : I’ve tried to rig this to play from 1:30, but if it doesn’t work, watch from around 1:30 to 2:20.

 

As we make out intentions clear, I manage to parry the blow of the sergeant, but he, without missing a beat, then orders six (!!) of his men to take me (us?!) down.

Lone Wolf – CS : 34, E : 31

Anarian Rangers – CS : 32, E : 38

lets-do-this

Round 1 : R10 of 0! (E – LW : 31, AR : 24)

Round 2 : R10 of 5 (E – LW : 29, AR : 16)

Round 3 : R10 of 8! (E – LW : 29, AR : 5)

Round 4 : R10 of 5 (E – LW : 27, AR : Not a lot….)

Having triumphed, and juuuust as I’m about to start muttering imprecations about Banedon’s contribution (or lack thereof), I see that he has cast the Magnamund equivalent of a web spell, ensnaring about a dozen of our foes.  Shouting “Follow me!” in a suitably adventure movie fashion, he then spurs his horse over the half-dozen corpses before him and gallops down the road.

I follow.  The sergeant and his few remaining comrades start to pursue, but we quickly leave them behind, and they return to assist their ‘ensnared’ comrades.

faster_horse

We approach the Tahou Hills and, ‘without stopping for food or rest’ hurry across the grasslands.

Aside : I love how they make this ‘not stopping for food / rest’ sound like a real trial for Lone Wolf and Banedon when, in real life, we should all spare a thought for their poor horses…

In any event, at the base of the hills, we see a stone watchtower with a group of huts clustered around the base.

My advanced skill of Pathmanship detects that the tower conceals a hostile ambush and I discuss my options with Banedon (presumably because, unlike other allies whose names rhyme with ‘Fido’, Banedon will have something useful to add).  Banedon mentions that he is concerned about the ambush, but add that if we don’t travel through this pass, we shall have to make a wide detour before rejoining the highway, meaning we won’t reach Tahou by nightfall.

Hmmmm.

tenor

I think springing an ambush, even deliberately,  is too dangerous.  I’d rather risk camping out beneath the stars with my bro and take the safer route.

We skirt the slopes of the entrance to the Tahou Hills, and, after some time, end up riding down a dried-up watercourse.  Interestingly, we approach a small stone hut with candlelight at the window, and smoke rising from the chimney.

Do I want to stop and investigate the road-side hut?

Why, Mr Dever, when has that sort of choice ever led to trouble before?

I carefully enter, and notice that the hut is seemingly empty.  There is just a saucepan of ‘foul-smelling’ broth simmering on the stove.

I quickly check for footprints to check if the three bears are chilling in the back yard.

goldilocks6

Before I can get too existential, my skill of Divination (which operates WILDLY inconsistently) lets me know that someone is hiding in the cellar, access to which is controlled by a trapdoor in the corner of the room.

Simply leaving or sealing off the trapdoor seem silly, when the most likely probability is that the innocent inhabitant is hiding from us.  I therefore open the trapdoor and ask (demand!) the inhabitant show himself (naturally, ‘with your hands up’).

.

5xedi

Briefly, a hunchbacked old man quickly emerges, pleading for mercy.  Naturally, we do not harm him.  He offers us some of his gruel, but we politely decline.  Unfortunately, I do not have a Meal in my backpack to offer him (as a supplement to his meal), so we take our leave.

Aside : You would think that the skill of Huntmastery would allow me to obtain some food (particularly as we are in the wild) to offer to the old man, but I guess that’s just not an option for…..I don’t know, time reasons?

We keep travelling and reach a junction, and my basic Kai skills quickly confirm that the north path is the correct one.

However, before we have travelled too far, we hear the distinctive sounds of Giaks riding Doomwolves, and we are under attack…..

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I guess you’d call that a wolfhanger…….

 

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 39

Current Stats : CS : 34/34, E : 31/31

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

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

Backpack : Vial of Gold Dust, Rope, Lantern, Altar Cloth, 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)

Paragraph : 123

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3 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 4

  1. So, deciding that Anari is hopeless outnumbered by three enemy armies to one you decide to adjust the odds by … slaughtering 6 Anari Rangers???😯 In someone else I might think you just want to ensure there’s more Giaks for you to kill but then, just when I think that this and your side journey off the beaten track mean you’ve decided to do some “Hail and Kill” you run away … /Fenrir remembers Aussiesmurf has lots more Spider Gifs/ … you show tactical discretion by avoiding a fight you’d be able to win (Joe Dever isn’t going to have a party of Gnaag HelGhasts holed up in an abandoned village).

    But your kind regard for the poor old man is touching, The video worked perfectly for me and that wolf is a dreamboat 😘. /Mangy 9 foot wolf with death dealing halitosis settles down to purr contentedly at being referenced at the end/.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I’m thinking that going to the dungeons of Tahou won’t help me so much.”

    I think you’re forgetting that this is a gamebook, and in gamebooks it is a general rule that if it is possible to be captured and then escape then it is either advantageous or essential to do so rather than avoid imprisonment in the first place.

    cf. FF53 Spellbreaker for an extreme example of this.

    Liked by 1 person

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