The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 2, Part 1

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Through the wonders of gamebook resurrection, combined with time travel, a non-dead Lone Wolf once more sets off, with Banedon, on horseback towards the city of Tahou.

For those new to these playthroughs, I tend to summarise paths that have already been travelled, only expanding when I take a different path, or on those occasions when R10 checks give markedly different results.

  • As foreshadowed in the last post, I take Nexus as a Magnakai skill, rather than Psi-Screen.
  • Banedon and I once more question the refugees, chat (!!) with Lortha and obtain the Invitation.
  • We pointedly ignore the comments from the cheap seats at the rear about the whole ‘married woman invitation’ thing.

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  • I purchase a Flask of Boza (dropping a Sack of Silver) because, you know, alcohol, but I pointedly avoid meeting the shaman because of the COMPLETE USELESSNESS of his advice.

Aside : Seriously?  Presuming that the shaman was warning us of the possible future treachery of Senator Chil, there was literally NO opportunity for us to change course or express nervousness about the Senator’s trustworthiness.  The warning, therefore, meant….

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  • We reach the signpost with the hungry farmhands, and my Pathsmanship confirms that we need to continue north.
  • We ignore the signpost to Sidara, and continue, straight and true, on the path to Tahou.
  • We reach Guyuk’s tavern, and I pay 3 Gold Crowns for my room for the night.
  • I again take part in an ‘Anarian gamble’, using my high school algebra skills to win a Vial of Gold Dust and Altar Cloth (dropping my fingerguard and a Meal)
  • We stay the night in the tavern, and once more, after setting off in the morning, spy the soldiers riding along the highway.

No more bullet points, because I’m now going to try something different!

We continue on the road to meet the soldiers head on, in an attempt to save their lives from being quickly ended at the hands of our collective wizardly and martial skill.

The soldiers, in a manoeuvre which isn’t threatening AT ALL, form a circle around the two of us as the sergeant demands that we state our “business” and our reason for “riding to Tahou”.

There’s a small part of me that wants to say smugly that we are not ‘riding to Tahou’ but are rather passing it by in order to spend a weekend at the summer beaches of Carrickalinga.

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Aside : Yes, we stayed there every year when I was growing up, and yes, it was awesome.

Back to the adventure.

My basic Sixth Sense confirms that these men are ‘genuine’ Anarian rangers, but that doesn’t remove the possibility that, in an excess of zeal, they may obstruct our mission.

I ask Banedon for permission to flash our Invitation.

The sergeant studies same, and asks the perfectly reasonable question of :

“how two Northlanders came to possess a personal invitation to one of Tahou’s most respected households”

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I turn to Banedon expectantly.

Aside : I’m strongly reminded of when, on a second date with a very attractive woman (pre-wife), we were at a party and another man, respectfully expressing his obvious interest, asked if we were a couple.  Without missing a beat, she turned to me and said “Yes, Tim, are we?”

Ouch.

My diplomatic skills rescued me when I made the non-committal answer of saying it was “a work in progress….”

Anyway.

Banedon mumbles some guff about how he was a student of Lortha’s husband and NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED AND YOU CAN’T PROVE OTHERWISE.  The sergeant accepts our story and warns us to make sure that we are within the city walls by nightfall…..

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And yes, he literally does the melodramatic throat-slitting gesture….

We press on and reach the watchtower, where once more my advanced Kai skills warn of an impending ambush.

As my current self recoils in shame at the wariness of his predecessor, we resolve to spring the trap, just like James Bond in From Russia With Love

As our horses trot past the watchtower, a mass of Giaks and Doomwolves charge out towards us.

I must make an R10 check, and my score of 0 means that our horses quickly outrun (!!) the Giaks and wolves (and see here for my thoughts on the wolf v horse speed test)

After winning this interspecies race, we reach the village of Varta which is, once more, deserted.

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We pass through the deserted village, and reach the gates of Tahou.  Showing our Invitation, we are admitted to the city (with some raised eyebrows), but at the cost of losing our horse (while pocketing a Receipt).

Making our way through the city, I decide to put my foot down, and refuse Banedon’s request to stop at a bar for dinner.  It is hard to tell Banedon that this is due to my ancestral memory of a bar fight, but I hope he understands and respects my decision….

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We reach Chiban’s house, he welcomes us warmly, ignores any suspicion of the way in which Banedon obtained an invitation, and sits us down for a delicious dinner.

It is at this time, as I leave you on a ‘mealhanger’ that I reflect on the fact that, at this time in the narrative, I have not yet drawn my MEGASWORD in anger…..

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 : Vial of Gold Dust, Rope, Lantern, Meals (1), Altar Cloth, Potion of Laumspur, Sacks of Silver (1), Flask of Boza

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. EMPTY 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. EMPTY 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

Extra Special Item : Receipt

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, Nexus

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 : 146

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3 thoughts on “The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 2, Part 1

  1. Hmm, lets see. I approve of your “Lets not kill allies” policy but I disaprove of your “I’ve better things to do than kill Giaks'” policy. Ok, so maybe its not a challenge when you already know you can beat them but its a matter of principle, namely “Leave nothing behind that’s not nailed down, including enemies”. I guess some of us are more principled players than others.

    Its also ironic that your current self being less wary than the previous has resulted in fewer fights, fortune favors the brave.

    But why did you bring along the bag of silver and finger guard when you already know you’ll have to dump them???😮

    Carrickalinga, I’m turned off by the lack not just of shops but even a shop but I’m interested by the developing wineries. Have you tried taking your own family there? I had a favourite childhood day trip spot called Bray. I’ve tried taking wife and child there but it is nothing to them (I still love it).

    I trust you got to eat heartily after making poor Banedon starve (although he deserved it for channeling the spirit of Paido) and look forward to your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My uncle / aunt still own a house in Carrickalinga, and it is still simply awesome. There are plenty of shops in Normanville, another small two 2 km away, so it isn’t like you are isolated from commerce

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had a stroll through it on Google Earth. Looks so amazing I know if son sees it it’ll be “Daddy can we go there, oh why can’t we go there, we never go anywhere”. 😕And yeah, two km to the nearest shop isn’t bad when you’ve a car. I’m just used to being on foot most of the time on holiday so it distorts my mindset on distances.

        Have put on Facebook a video of a beach some distance down the road from where we stay in India. Look at the video first, then read my comment 😑😁

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