The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 7

When we last saw our intrepid hero, he had just (by the skin of his metaphorical teeth) succeeded in his submission to the Tahou Senate to allow him access to the Cauldron of…

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Senator Chil, who, five minutes ago was arguing that Lone Wolf should be handed over to the Darklords for a presumed fate of certain death, suddenly transforms into my best friend, offering me all kinds of goodies from his personal warehouse.

hmmmm

While internally resolving to have all food offered to me from Senator Chil tasted before I even look at it, I decide to make the most of this opportunity, taking the following :

  • I replenish my Quiver, to the maximum of 6 arrows.
  • And….that’s about it.  To be honest, there’s no objective way to decide whether a ‘Flask of Water’ and ‘Blanket’ are more valuable than the items I already hold in my Backpack, so I just stand pat with what I have (plus, you know, what self-respecting Kai Lord would voluntarily give up alcohol for water??)

There is then a whole lengthy paragraph about the necessary steps that are taken before I can be lowered into the cauldron, but I am a little (and by ‘a little’, I mean ‘EXTREMELY’) nervous about the fact that it is specifically mentioned that Senator Chil both provides the winch / rope / pulley combo necessary to lower me into the underground, and also personally supervises the assembly of these ‘vital components’.

This guy is about as suspicious as OJ Simpson walking out of a glove convention.

AP OJ SIMPSON 20 YEARS LATER A FILE USA CA

Oh yeah, he totally did it.  Read The Run of His Life.

Anyway, Senator Zilaris says that, after I am lowered into the underground network, giving three sharp tugs to my rope will signal that I am to be brought back up to the ‘under siege’ city of Tahou.

Not sure which location is safer, to be honest.

I’m slowly lowered into the darkness below, and the foreshadowing couldn’t be more obvious if it was stapled to the top of Donald Trump’s grotesque hairstyle.

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Sure enough, my skill of Divination lets me know (!) that Senator Chil has joined the crew helping (!) at the top of the Cauldron, but also while concealing a blade in his hand which, sure enough, cuts the rope holding up the cradle in which I currently crouch.

Yeah, for all those naive readers….

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Gee, I’ve overloaded on gifs and pictures so far, haven’t I?

Aside : I’m probably trying to distract myself from tomorrow, when I will be personally running a high stakes ex parte application, wherein I will try and convince the Court to make an injunction preventing my client’s former wife from dealing with a $225,000.00 bank account which she has kept secret from my client for the last six years.

Anyway.

As expected, I fall a distance of goodness-knows-how-far before smashing into an icy lake.  I suppose that it better than flaming lava, but not by much.

I have to make an R10 check, and my lack of the Magnakia Nexus Discipline doesn’t bode well for my chances.

My score of 1…….

means that the icy water and the weight of my equipment cause me to gradually sink beneath the surface of the icy water and drown, deep below ground and without friends or hope.

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So, before I start again, I’ll just note that, if you don’t have the skill of Nexus (and I’ll confirm that my Amulet, which is meant to assist with these things, wasn’t mentioned), you have a 40% (!!) chance of dying!?

Yikes.  I think the next incarnation of Lone Wolf might take Nexus as a skill instead of Psi-Screen…..

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

Current Stats : CS : 34/34, E : 0/31

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 (6 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)

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6 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 1, Part 7

  1. You gotta be kidding me.

    Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!

    For the record I’m late reading this because at lunch time I found out a workmate who was to pass her driving test today, and will then go on a working holiday in America ending with a roadtrip from coast to coast with her friend, … wasn’t allowed to do the test because the insurance company was slow in sending an official insurance disk and the driving test centre’s are the only place in this ENTIRE COUNTRY who don’t accept self printed one’s.😑

    This is a day for NSFW language. 😡

    Ok. She’s still going to Sunny California. You’re NOT going to go Al Pacino in the court room and Lone Wolf will rise from the frozen depths to ride to Tahou with Banedon again. (Banedon, the only man so Hard-Ass he’s survived Lone Wolf’s presence three times so far).

    Hope you get a reasonable approximation of Justice at court tomorrow. Manly Macho Sympathetic Clap on the Shoulder, ironically you’d have survived the descent IF the President had gone against you.

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  2. I would certainly recommend Nexus, not only for its benefit against the cold, but also to let you escape prison and avoid having the Sommerswerd returned to you.

    The Cauldron of Fear is one of the most unintuitive gamebooks I know. Getting captured is advantageous, fine. If you DON’T escape, you get freed and all your kit returned; unusual, but not the strangest thing to happen in a gamebook. However, you are statistically better off escaping, precisely because you then don’t get your weapons back! Then, to top it off, losing the vote to go to the Cauldron (depending upon your Disciplines) gives you a better chance of survival than winning.

    I can imagine a player completing the book by the optimal route, purely by chance, and then replaying it because they were sure they’d made a mess of it and there must be a better way. I like it, but I’m glad not every Lone Wolf works this way.

    Good luck with the replay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Nexus thing bugs me, because I was specifically told that the Amulet would protect me against ‘extremes of hot and cold’, and it isn’t like it is an obscure object from Book 1 or something….

      Actual Q – If you escape without getting your possessions, does that mean that the remaining books you play without your Sommerswerd / Silver Bow? Is this what people have referenced as a ‘bug’?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Project Aon fixes the bug by having the possessions returned to you in Section 350 of this book.

        As for Gloccus’ comment, the real optimal route involves a certain other item but I don’t want to spoil it. Maybe I’ll drop hints if, like, half a dozen incarnations go the way of Lone Wolf’s horses and traveling companions. Regardless of inventory though, Nexus is a must to protect you in the event that you win the vote.

        Liked by 1 person

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