Aside : For those who are wondering about the lovely Rose Byrne :
- My wife and I loved the name Rose, and the only reason it isn’t our daughter’s first name is because we didn’t want her sharing the name Rose Byrne with a celebrity (it is now my daughter’s middle name).
- If you are interested in her work, I’d recommend the Australian crime movie (a film reminiscent of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels) called Two Hands, with a star-making turn by Heath Ledger.
Or the criminally underrated series Damages, with Glenn Close :
Back to our show :
You know how I promised you REAMS of exposition? Here we go –
- Before I embark on my mission, we decide to use Banedon as a decoy (!) in that he will journey back to Sommerlund on his skyship, while wearing my precious, precious Kai green outfit.
- I, meanwhile, disguised as ‘just another’ messenger, ride out of Tahou on horse.
- I arrive at the city of Farina, before discarding yet another (!) horse, as I catch a barge to Talon, followed by passage on a ‘merchantman’ to Garthen, capital of Talestria.
- Garthen has previously fallen to the Darklords, but was re-taken with the assistance of a dwarven army from Bor. No word as to whether they used their guns or Bor-brew as weapons or tactical aids.
- Oh, you thought I’d finished. Settle down, we’re not even halfway through paragraph 1!
- The good guys have also captured the major enemy stronghold of Xanar, and continue to take ground to the west, along the Blackshroud trail.
- To maintain secrecy, I avoid the castle of Queen Evaine, and leave the next day for Eru aboard a ‘brigantine’.
Aside : For those, like me, who hadn’t heard that word before, a brigantine is a two masted sailing ship :
I reach Eru and a clandestine meeting with Prince Graygor is arranged in a suitably private cellar of an ‘anonymous warehouse’.
And, seriously, by now all the descriptions of fantasy town and locations start to blur together.
Aside : I must be honest. I literally fell asleep at the desk during this portion. Joe Dever seemed to prioritise the display of his world-building over getting his eager young readers INTO THE ACTION.
In summary, the Prince of Eru and Lone Wolf travel north and, five days, later, reach the town of Luomi.
I finally get a choice :
- I can ride to the town of Pirsi and seek out Sebb Jarel, one of the only survivors of those who have attempted to travel within the Isle of Ghosts.
- I can accopmany the Prince to a forthcoming battle at Cetza, in the hope that a victory will clear my way to move forward through the war-torn terrain.
With no memory at all of this adventure, I decide to seek out the fabled Sebb Jarel, simply because in (most of) these types of adventures, seeking the legendary hero in a secret location usually works out…
Before I leave, the Prince gives me a Signet Ring, which is a bonus special item which is not counted against my overall total.
I bid the Prince farewell, and ride peacefully (and, hopefully, unobserved) down the freeway.
I eventually reach a flowing river, with an accompanying ‘fire-blackened’ watchtower. A wisp of smoke curling upwards from the chimney, along with a tied-up horse, makes me consider that, despite the damage to the tower, someone is at home.
With the whole ‘not liking being attacked by behind by people you didn’t investigate’ thing, I resolve to check out the watchtower before I cross the bridge.
Looking through the burned-out doorway, I see a man cooking a bird that he’s nailed with his dagger. Interestingly, he is dressed in crimson (!!!) and carries a bullwhip, which is loaded by way of attached metal studs.
He invites me to join him for his meal. I can either accept or ride on, with , surprisingly, no option of ‘stab stranger with MEGASWORD and steal his whip’.
Since I’ve bothered to come to the doorway, I resolve to accept the offer of friendship, notwithstanding the unnerving crimson colour of his attire.
He notes my messenger outfit, introducing himself as Halgar of Pirsi. My Sixth Sense (in a pleading display of its rare operation in these latter books) lets me know that he is an honest man, and I let him know that I seek…..Sebb Jarel.
He notes the Prince’s ring on my finger, and asks whether I am running an errand on the Prince’s behalf.
Using my skill of Invisibility, I mimic the local accent to perfection, and agree that I am on urgent business for the Prince.
In a stroke of luck, Halgar is Sebb’s brother (!!) and gives me the following advice :
- Sebb Jarel is encamped at the foot of Hawkridge Mountain.
- I should stay on the trail to Pirsi until I reach the mining settlement of Kaig.
- I then take the track which ‘follows the stream’.
- Finally, when I enter the forest, I should be wary of the roaming ‘pack of Akataz’.
And I ride on….
Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 10
Final 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, Potion of Alether (+2 CS), Potion of Laumspur (2), Meal
Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd (+8 CS) 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. Psychic Ring 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. EMPTY 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.
Extra Special Item : Signet Ring
Kai Monastery storage :
- Backpack Items : Sack of Silver (3)
- 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, Receipt, Invitation
Magnakai Rank : Mentora
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff, Broadsword), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Nexus, 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 : 331