The Cauldron of Fear

The Cauldron of Fear – Attempt 4, Part 1

Aside : Without giving anything away – get ready for an extra-length entry!

Well, faithful readers, I can hear you all thinking – what ingenious stratagem will your humble author use to defeat the powered-up final adversary?

I must admit, I am guided somewhat by my memories of this adventure.  Specifically, the knowledge that, absent the Sommerswerd, the Dagger of Vashna can be used to hopefully defeat Zakhan Kimah without a fight.

Therefore, I will be leaving the Sommerswerd in safe storage, while attempting to reach the final encounter using only my ‘normal’ weapons, along with the said Dagger.

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Now, with a Combat Skill of ‘only’ 26, I need to tread carefully and avoid fights as much as possible.

That…..sort of fits my personality.

Let’s go with bullet points until I get to a stage where I am genuinely tested :

  • I question the crowd and get the invitation from the wife of Banedon’s mentor.
  • I avoid other distractions on the road, and we stay at Guyuk’s Inn.
  • I answer the Anarian riddle correctly, and take a Vial of Gold Dust.
  • We meet the Tahou soldiers, show our Invitation, and are allowed to continue on our way.
  • Anticipating an ambush, we gallop through the seemingly abandoned watchtower/huts zone.
  • My R10 of 7 means that we don’t manage to completely evade the ambush, with one Doomwolf managing to latch onto my horse and attack.

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Doomwolf – CS : 18, E : 26

Lone Wolf – CS : 26, E : 31

Round 1 – My R10 of 8 causes the Doomwolf to lose 18 Endurance, while I remain unscathed.

Round 2 – R10 of 0?! – Instakill city!

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  • Once the battle is over, we continue riding, and reach the Tahou gates.
  • I show my Invitation, our horses are impounded and we are allowed entry to the city.

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  • We ignore distractions of other bars and similiar dens of iniquity, and make our way to the house of Chiban, Banedon’s mentor.
  • He arranges for us to make our presentation to the Senate
  • Aside : Did I say ‘our’?  Once more, I must make this plea alone.
  • On this incarnation of Lone Wolf, the President decides against me, and I must channel Robin Hood and evade capture.
  • I resist the temptation of diving through a nearby window, and escape out the front gate.
  • I duck into a tavern, and am again helped by Sogh, although at the cost of all my Gold.
  • I lose 5 Endurance to the psychic attack of the prince of thieves, but once more am granted access to the underground network (aka the ‘Cauldron’) at the price of agreeing to return a certain ring.
  •  I don’t take any equipment other than replenishing my quiver.
  • I descend the ladder into the darkness of the underground, with my R10 check of 7 meaning that I don’t suffer any damage when buffeted by the wind.
  • I reach the bottom (at the cost of using and losing my Rope) and use my skill of Nexus to avoid suffering any damage from the cloud of dirt and grit.
  • After trying to sleep, I am attack by the Zaaryx Ghoul.

Zaaryx Ghoul – CS : 19, E : 27

Lone Wolf – CS : 26, E : 26

Round 1 : R10 of 7 -means 14 Endurance lost by the Ghoul, while Lone Wolf is unscathed.

Round 2 : A further 18 Endurance loss to my enemy – Game over.

  • I spy the remaining ghouls, fire an arrow at one of them, prevent the ambush from above and secure the token / plot coupon.
  • Moving on to the underground city, I see the Psi-Ghoul (still think that is a stupid, stupid name) to my left, but trusting in my Dagger of Vashna, ignore the opportunity to get the Psychic Ring, choosing instead to push on.
  • Unfortunately, the Psi-Ghoul channels Alex from Fatal Attraction :

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I lose 3 Endurance from a sudden psychic attack, and take this opportunity to gulp my Laumspur potion.

Psi-Ghoul – CS : 20, E : 30

Lone Wolf – CS : 26, E : 27

Round 1 : R10 of 6, meaning Endurance losses of 11 (Ghoul) and 1 (Lone Wolf).

Round 2 : Another 6, with the same result.

Round 3 : R10 of 7, leaving the Ghoul in the dust.

  • I continue on, spying the lizard-esque creatures crouched around their leathery egg.
  • I try to creep up on them (in a non-hostile way, I swear!)
  • Lacking the skill of Invisibility, they detect me and make their escape.  Luckily, they leave their plot coupon / numbered token which I take and note the relevant number.
  • Using my advance knowledge, I evade the subsequent ambush, and, using the skill of surprise, take out the Crocaryx without losing any Endurance.
  • I make it to the locked doors, and use my knowledge of the code numbers to enter.
  • I charm the (metaphorical) socks off the female lizardess, and she takes me to the Lorestone, which restores my Endurance to maximum.
  • I’m once more teleported to the centre of the besieged city, and this time I yield to the angels of my better nature, rescuing the endangered soldiers from the flaming tower.
  • I take advantage of the captain’s offer to take me to the Gate.
  • However, my skill of Divination let’s me know that I need to leap off the wagon (upon which I am hitching a ride) or else I will face….

certain-death

  • I jump from the wagon and, due to my skill of Huntmastery, only lose 1 Endurance point from the fall.
  • I climb the tower, give Banedon a brief, chaste hug and once more face Zakhan Kimah.

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Let’s do this in sequence :

Do I have the Sommerswerd?

No.

I cop a blast of energy, removing 5 Endurance (down to 26, since the Lorestone restored me to maximum).

I get asked if I have either the Dagger of Vashna or a Psychic Ring.

Absent any indication as to what to do if I have both, I acknowledge that I have the Dagger of Vashna.

Kimah shows fear, as he realises that this Dagger has the power of piercing his magical shield.

Going for broke, I throw the dagger at him.

I need to make a single R10 check, requiring a score of 5 or above.  Luckily, I can add 3 for Weaponmastery in Dagger, and a further 1 for having completed the Lore-Circle of Fire.

The result……………..

5!!!!!!!

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The Zakhan is reduced to a smear on the ground, along with the Orb of Death.

The enemy forces are driven back, and Anarian reinforcements arrive to ensure the day is won.

Just as all looks good, we get a sequel hook!

A vision of Gnaag appears, gloating over the fact that the has now taken possession of the three remaining Lorestones, challenging me to retrieve them.

Sorry, Lone Wolf what did you say?

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Next – A conclusion and review of this book!

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 0

Final Stats : CS : 26/26, E : 26/31

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Dagger of Vashna

Backpack : Vial of Gold Dust, Rope, Lantern, Meals (2), Potion of Laumspur, Sacks of Silver (2)

Special Items : 1. Dagger of Vashna 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. Receipt 9. Quiver (6 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, Sommerswerd, 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 : 350 (!)

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

  1. I know you don’t get to use it often, but you do have Invisibility, so you should have used it to slip past the Crocaryx. It actually takes you down a totally different path where you don’t need to launch the surprise attack or use the plot tokens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that was a mistake. It didn’t end up making a difference, so my head canon says that Lone Wolf was so tired and distracted he got detected despite having the Invisibility skill.

      Like

  2. ….and now a simple question: Are you going to bring with you Sommerswerd in the next books??? And watch out! You have to renew your backpack items (you don’t have the rope, Laumspur and meals anymore). Justsomeguy is right: you have invisibility!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t try any fancy leave-the-Sommerswerd-behind tricks until I at least assess the chances of success while using it. I do remember a horrific fight in Book 11, which is why I’m trying to make sure I get Lore-Circle of the Spirit before I get that far.

      Like

  3. Now, with a Combat Skill of ‘only’ 26, I need to tread carefully and avoid fights as much as possible.
    That…..sort of fits my personality.

    Not sure you are using the Lore-Circle of Self-Knowledge here. I think you are pretty keen to confront things, maybe intellectually more than physically. Kind of a conceptual streetfighter.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “get ready for an extra-length entry”

    He says this at 12:42 at night??? Better break out the chocolate.

    “I will be leaving the Sommerswerd in safe storage”
    So you’re planning on bringing a knife to a gunfight?

    “I need to tread carefully and avoid fights …We ignore distractions of other bars and similiar dens of iniquity”
    No drinking no fighting? What more is left in fantasy life??? Well, apart from Xploration, Xpansion and dictatorial control over the lives of millions that is, but that’s in different games.

    “this time I yield to the angels of my better nature, rescuing the endangered soldiers from the flaming tower.”

    http://wifflegif.com/gifs/505854-despicable-me-celebration-gif

    All missed fights forgiven. Who’s the Hero? You’re the Hero 😀

    Very clever using the Captain to avoid the Engineer and the Gourgaz, So clever it even overrides my usual antipathy to missed slaughter.

    Then comes the Zakhan and you … bring a knife to a gun fight!!!

    https://tenor.com/view/gunfight-knife-kevin-james-funny-gif-6096728

    Hoo HAH!!! Now THAT was a rollercoaster!!! But you did it 😀 😀 😀

    https://tenor.com/view/seinfeld-happy-dancing-celebration-welcome-gif-3411621

    Well done Aussismurf. 😀 Roll on the conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

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