The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 5

Preliminary Aside : Before I say anything else, I would be remiss if I did not mention that, when I first saw (in the cinema, no less) that cheesy 1993 version of the Three Musketeers (as referenced in my last post), I couldn’t help but notice a certain actress in a supporting role….

 

 

 

the-three-musketeers-julie-delpy-954228_400_300

YES JULIE DELPY WAS IN THE THREE MUSKETEERS LIFE IS GOOD

 

Lone Wolf – focus.

More importantly, this is not a time for idle chatter, as my constant readers will be well aware that Lone Wolf and Banedon, at the end of our last instalment, were being attacked by numerous Giak-bearing Doomwolves.

We initially acquit ourselves well and, in a distinct improvement from certain other travelling companions, I should specifically mention that, and I quote :

“Banedon rears into view, flashes of flame spurting from his fingers with a crack, like a whip, that echoes above the din of combat.”

Just as I’m thinking this seems altogether too easy, a second wave of enemies arrive, and a Doomwolf springs into the air, clinging to my saddle and snapping in my general direction :

you-wanna-fight-bring-it-on-fight-meme

 

Doomwolf : CS – 18, E – 26

Lone Wolf : CS – 34, E – 31

I get the idea that if I don’t finish this glorified puppy in three rounds or less, there will be consequences….

Round 1 : R10 of 0!  The mangy mutt dies in one blow!

This is me right now :

sigourney-weaver-basketball-gif

My horse curb-stomps a number of the remaining enemies, opening a hole in their formation, through which Banedon and I promptly ride, leaving our pursuers behind, and they call the pursuit off after we have covered ‘less than a mile’.

Aside : Really?  Some brief googling tells me that a horse at a gallop travels at 40-48km/h, while a wolf can travel at 60 km/hr.  This leaves aside the question of riders (both for us and the wolves) but you would think that the text shouldn’t assume so easily that we quickly leave them behind

I can only assume that their casualties in the recent battle made them reluctant to face a skilled wizard and a MEGASWORD….

The highway emerges from the hills at the (deserted) village of Varta, which has now been evacuated.  We finally catch our first glimpse of Tahou…

cathedrale_de_laon_sous_coucher_de_soleil-credits_crt_picardie_sam_bellet

The red stone of the city shines magnificently, and, subduing our architectural admiration, we seek entry at the south gate.  When questioned by the guards (while a number of crossbows are trained on us, no less) I flash my Invitation, and the guard hastens to check with his superior.

Luckily, the commander of the post recognises Lortha’s signature, and makes no comment on how two men such as ourselves secured such a document from a respectable married lady.

exaggerated-wink-o

More worryingly, our horses are confiscated (!) by the army, under what is supposedly emergency war legislation.  We are given a Receipt each (yeah……not really confident about that) and are specially told that it is a Special Item which does not count towards my total (due to its small size).

We are also, apparently, expected to report to the Citadel in the morning to be assigned battle positions in the army!

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We enter the city and, without horses, Banedon notes glumly that Chiban’s house is about an hour’s walk away.  Banedon asks to stop at an ‘eating-house’ for refreshment.

As long as they serve scotch, I’ll agree.

The place is crawling with soldiers, who glance up at us briefly before returning to their tasks and conversations.

Project Aon link – Pitcher and mugs

Banedon kindly shouts me the price of the meal (!!)  and we join a table with two soldiers, who are nervously glancing at another group nearer the fire.

Do I want to stick my nose into someone else’s business?

Of course!

They are understandably upset that I have interrupted their conversation, and one rants about how his brother was killed in Ragadorn by a ‘lousy Northlander’.

And I should care about this……why?

The monologue escalates, as he starts raving about how Northlanders are all “cowardly, backstabbing scum!”

I can try to mollify him, prepare to be attacked or leave the establishment.

I don’t think starting a fight in a bar surrounded with soldiers is that great an idea, so I (perhaps slightly insincerely) express sorrow about his brother.

Unfortunately, this poor excuse for a mercenary aggressively brings his hand up from below the table with a throwing knife which he starts to propel….where?

Oh, yes.

AT. MY. HEAD.

However, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to surprise a Kai Master.  My Huntmastery skill enables me to both dodge the knife and to quickly strike, severing his arm.

The twit’s friend, who is probably wishing he hadn’t gotten out of bed this morning, tries to retreat, but is goaded into battle by the (now) bloodthirsty crowd

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Drunken Mercenary : CS – 15, E – 26

Lone Wolf : CS – 34, E – 31

My initial R10 of 9 puts the mercenary quickly out of his misery.

However, I don’t get a lot of time to savour my victory, as a squadron of guards enter the hall and arrest us, describing us as “Northlanders”.

Banedon, ‘because he is a magician’ (Que?  Does he have a special membership card or something?) is taken to a separate location, while all of my Special Items, Backpack Items and Weapons are confiscated.

Sigh.

This regime is not inspiring confidence – they take our horses, arrest us for acting clearly in self-defence, and now take all my possessions?

tenor1

Note : I’m leaving my possessions intact below for convenience sake, but obviously in the event of an encounter, will note that they are out of my keeping.

 

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. EMPTY 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. Receipt 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 : 170

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9 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 5

  1. Not getting your stuff confiscated is tricky in this book. I think Project Aon has sorted out the ‘and on some routes you never get anything back’ bug, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, at least Tim has the correct combination of disciplines to guarantee getting his equipment back before the end of the book. And if you have the invitation there are a number of ways to avoid getting dragged off by the guards, but I don’t want to spoil it in case this incarnation of Lone Wolf doesn’t make it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There are advantages to being arrested and Aussiesmurf seems determined to kill more of Anari’s defenders than a company of Drakkarim. And you should be more positive about his survival chances saying “I don’t want to spoil it FOR WHEN this incarnation of Lone Wolf doesn’t make it”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that the difficulty of avoiding arrest is a good thing, since if you have the Sommerswerd, it is advantageous in the long run to have it confiscated. I take issue with a lot of Joe Dever’s game design, but I give this the thumbs up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In my defence for not watching The Three Musketeers (1993), at the time I didn’t know Ms Julie Delpy existed. Unusual for Hollywood to have a movie set in a foreign land and actually have someone from that country in the movie.

    But I’m upset. In the previous post you gave us a picture of ravishing beauty and then in this post you kill the poor puppy (probably yelling “Bad Doggy” while you did so). At least she died doing what she loved most, namely trying to tear humans into little pieces and swallow them.

    Re the Great Race. More intensive Googling suggests that so far noone has actually tested Wolves and Horses in a race (or at least noone has survived attempting said test, the horse only needs to outrun the researcher after all 😉). So its an open question. In real life the horse is better off channeling Manowar “Stand and Fight” and if its a mother with a foal they know it. Wolves can’t maintain those top speeds dropping down to 8 or 9 kph but horses face the same problem. So realistically your explanation of Megasword combined with a pyromatic magician is just as likely. (Evil bullies go in search of a weaker target, who’d have thought it). Plus they’re scouts so their main role is to scout, harass and report, not die valient futile deaths.

    You query why the Gatehouse Commander doesn’t wonder how two strange men got an invite from a respectable married lady but NOONE queries how he knows her signature. 😉 back atcha.

    And of course the fresh meat I mean horses are confiscated. Just be thankful, if you were in the EU you’d end up eating it in your BEEF burgers. Beautifully posed Stormtrooper photo, he was probably just trying to do one of Joe Dever’s math problems.

    And then you kill two more of Anari’s defenders 😯. Ok, so they were pugnacious thugs. But the more pugnacious thugs on the walls when the Giaks come Shegga Ash Tagging the better. And I always assumed that Banedon was wearing his half moon and stars mages dress so people would know he was a magician, its not explicitly stated though.

    So our Lawyer is now in jail. Looking forward to seeing how your legal training gets you out of this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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