The Dungeons of Torgar

The Dungeons of Torgar, Attempt 1, Part 3

When we left Lone Wolf at his last cavehanger (!)….

(invented word, FTW!)

…Sebb Jarel, the mysterious leader of a bunch of bandits / rangers, had agreed to help in my mission, despite no guarantee of his survival or my success.

Aside : Although I previously mentioned Sebb Jarel as a riff on Barak (from David Edding’s Belgariad), the contemporaneous publication of both works probably doesn’t hold water there.  More likely, Jarel is reminiscent of Fafhrd, a co-protagonist from the famous series of books by Fritz Leiber.

What do you think?


Anyway, enough of this genealogy of fantasy characters!

SJ (because I’m not going to type ‘Sebb Jarel’ 200 times) advises his merry men of his intent to guide me through the Hellswamp (I nearly typed ‘Hellspawn’ here, before I remember that’s the name of Donald Trump’s children).

A few bullet points!

  • We ride along a ‘hidden trail’ to Pirsi.
  • There, we abandon our horses.
  • Aside : As I’ve said before, Lone Wolf’s horses fare even less well than his travelling companions….
  • We journey through Forest Taintor (suspiciously close to ‘Traitor’) and set up camp for the night.
  • Our rest is disturbed by the ‘savage and desolate howl’ of a ‘Taintor wolf’.
  • So, since the wolf is obviously by itself….would you therefore say it was a …………………………. ‘Lone Wolf’???


Project Aon link – literal Lone Wolf

We ready ourselves for a sortie, and a ‘wolf-like creature’ springs into view, displaying its ‘long, yellow fangs.

Sounds like a description of certain 19-year-olds at around 3.00 am., while on the dance floor at their favourite nightclub…


Yes, by the way, I do have a Bow (in fact, a MEGABOW) and I do wish to use it….

That previously-referenced +8 adjustment on R10 checks for bows may come in handy around this time..

Notwithstanding the fact that the creatures flashes fangs ‘six inches long’ (and it may, like so many, have exaggerated the length for ego-related reasons) I am comforted to learn that I only need an 8 on an (adjusted) R10 check for the best possible result, so I therefore don’t even need to do the check…

My arrow pierces the wolf through its throat (no comment on why the book previously described a wolf as a ‘wolf-like creature’) and, as I am savouring my accurate shot, SJ manages to slice the heart out of its companion.

So the wolf wasn’t so ‘Lone’ after all…..


Hurrying away from the carnage, we find a trail which, according to SJ, will lead us to ‘Smuggler’s Nook’.

How Enid Blyton-esque.

Apparently this town was a haven for smugglers of ores and similiar resources until the Prince levied the death penalty for such smuggling, whereupon the trade dried up.

Aside : What was that, Kristen?


….apart from my personal views, it is a matter of scientific record that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent of crime.  For a look at what I’m talking about, click here.

Anyway. Magnamund is a world where gods exist, so I suppose anything goes.

Independently of the above, JS finds a small boat in this deserted town which he had previously hidden, and we jointly launch it into the river.

Project Aon link – Boat trip!

Correction : By ‘into the river’, I mean ‘towards the ‘sinister channels’ of the Hellswamp’!

Aside : I should mention that when I think ‘sinister channels’, I think Fox News…..


We coast down the river, exchanging stories, anecdotes, and theories as to how Smurfette coped with being the only girl….



In any event, in a difficult area where the river is met by a tributary from the east, JS manages to bring us safely to the west bank, near a small stone hut.

A scary creature that is called a ‘Gorodon’….



My lack of the Animal Control Discipline means that battle is joined…..

Project Aon link – Gorodon

Gorodon – CS : 29 (!), E : 36 30

Lone Wolf – CS : 34, E : 31

In a pleasing moment, the book acknowledges that I can halve all Endurance losses due to SJ’s assistance….

Round 1 – R10 of 1, Gorodon loses 6 (to 30), I lose 4/2 = 2 (to 29)

Round 2 – R10 of 2, Gorodon loses 7 (to 23), I lose 3/2 = 1.5 (to 27.5)

Round 3 – R10 of 7 (that’s more like it!), Gorodon loses 12 (to 11), I lose nothing

Round 4 – R10 of 9, Gorodon is no longer, you know, alive.

I make an executive decision to ’round’ my Endurance score down to 27.

SJ tells me that the horns of the Gorodon will fetch a ‘good price’ from the potion-makers of Humbold, and offers one to me, as I gratefully accept.




We shelter in a hut overnight, and then row our boat past numerous atmomspheric and descriptive clauses before catching sight of a mid-river island where we may be able to spend the (following) night.

An R10 check gives me a 9, which seemingly means the night passes uneventfully, with my Huntmastery meaning a Meal is unnecessary.

The next day we continue, as SJ expositionally (its a word, don’t make me come over there) informs me that we are nearing the ‘Torg estuary).

As we are reaching the river mouth, the ‘upstream’ current is much stronger, but we contine progressing until our boat rams against, and begins stuck on, an underwater obstruction.

My Pathmanship Discipline gives me the disturbing news that our boat is being held by underwater creatures who are about to launch an attack….

Confirming details of the JUNE FUNDRAISER :

As many of you may (or may not) have noticed, this humble blog has a ‘buy now’ button on the lower right-hand side.  This is for those who wish to make a financial acknowledgement of the work that goes into preparing 15,000+ words of gamebook goodness every month.

Any funds received will be used for the simple purpose of buying books, and particularly gamebooks.

There is the capacity to make both one-off and recurring donations, and, to make things a little more interesting, for this month of June I’m going to proclaim the following rewards :

Make any donation – Get namechecked in the blog, with thanks.

$5.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked and have me plug, on this blog, a web-page (including your own) of your choice (On the basis that same is not obscene or NSFW)

$20.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked, get the web-page plug, and have the responsibility for making a choice at some point during the playthrough of the current book.

$50.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked, get the web-page plug, have a choice in the book, and pick one of the Grand Master Disciplines at the start of Book 13 (if I get that far).

The above message will be placed at the bottom of each post for this delightfully freezing (in Melbourne) month of June…

Base Stats : CS : 19, E : 25, GC 10

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, Potion of Alether (+2 CS), Potion of Laumspur (2), Meal

Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd (+8 CS) 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Gorodon Horn 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 : 191

9 thoughts on “The Dungeons of Torgar, Attempt 1, Part 3

  1. Re: Sebb Jarel’s cultural proginators. Fafrd has no dagger in his belt, he’s wearing a regular cloak rather than a wolf’s skin, and his hair is more brushed back. Meanwhile there’s no indication that Sebb Jarel has a miserable family life or that he suffers from lycanthrophy. (While Lycanthrophy properly mean Wolf Human its applied medically to all cases where a human believes he becomes any type of animal. It’s said that we learn something new everyday and if this is the new thing that anyone has learned today then I sincerely apologise).

    To me Sebb Jarel was just a well fed hard working forester/outlaw/resistance fighter (those three words are probably interchangable). As usual I’m likely wrong.

    “since the wolf is obviously by itself”
    Actually wolves are rarely by themselves, they’re highly social animals who psychologically need to belong to a pack. Sometimes a wolf will leave his/her pack resulting in the Lone Wolf myth but they basically go searching until they find another pack to join. Yeah, that came as a great surprise to me as well (friend gave me a book on a guy who helped set up a wolf pack using wolf pup orphans, was fascinating to have all my beliefs on wolf’s blown apart but not for just now).

    The Taintor Wolf is “wolf-like” because they’re not like average wolf’s (like DoomWolves) but they are still wolf’s.

    And yes, being a Wolf Lover (get your mind out of the gutter) it does strike me as slightly sad when Wolves, and even Wolf like creatures, have to be killed, but if they’re stupid enough to attack lone humans then the Death Penalty is required. After all, having seen their comrades killed so easily the rest of the pack will be deterred from attacking humans again. (Yes, I read the link you referred to, and between 8 and 12 percent of criminologists agree with me).

    “Anyway. Magnamund is a world where gods exist, so I suppose anything goes.”

    Not quite anything. The King had the elite Pathfinders to enforce his law. Real world … nah, no way it would dry up completely. If the money was there the smuggling would have continued even with weekly executions (read the experiences of a man from the Spanish army who in the 60’s was involved in illegal executing Central American drug smugglers. The current mess shows just how effective that was).

    “when I think ‘sinister channels’, I think Fox News…..”

    Careful what you say about the Fox station, remember

    Hopefully not..

    It’s noteworthy that Joe Dever puts A LOT of effort into making Sebb Jarel feel like a useful companion, I guess he did get some of the criticism of Paido.

    And that creature, reptilian, cold blooded, evil eye’d … yup, Gordon would be with the Darklords in Helgedad, not stuck in a swamp like the Goroden.

    And we end up stuck in a river. Hope the boat comes with lifebelts.

    And I know its only a couple of hours since I said this the first time but I’ll just repeat. Fundraisers include Girls in T-shirts (sfw one’s).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thats the trouble with typing late at night! To clarify my overly flippant comments earlier, if the only arguement for the Death Penalty was “deterrent”, then I’d be 100 per cent on your side. While the fear of punishment must deter some from crime I can’t believe anyone ever thinks “Well if it carried the Death Penalty I wouldn’t do it but if its only 15 year’s confined in a crowded, occasionally violent prison then sure I’ll do it.”

      End of the day, if the thought of Death was an effective crime deterrent in itself then noone would ever go to war. (I’m not sure if I came up with that line, it just occurred to me, but I’ll definitely use it again).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While the males swear their fangs are easily 6+ inches long, the females gather behind their backs and say it’s more like three inches.

    “Smuggler’s Nook”? What, do they gather every morning to eat a tasteful breakfast around a vase of freshly-cut flowers?

    Gorodon horn fetches a good price from “potion-makers”? Does Lrrr, ruler of .. excuse me, let me start again. Does 𝐋𝐑𝐑𝐑! 𝐑𝐔𝐋𝐄𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐄𝐓 𝐎𝐌𝐈𝐂𝐑𝐎𝐍 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐄𝐈 𝟖!, know about this?

    Thank you, I’m here all week.

    On a more serious note, my friend’s ex is trying to get full custody of their 11-year old daughter (who is wonderful and beautiful and makes me wish I had a daughter like her). She asked me if I knew a lawyer who can help, and you’re the only one I could think of. Though unless you happen to be licensed to practice law in Wisconsin, USA, or possibly know a colleague in family law here in Milwaukee, there’s not much you could do. My brother gave me a name, and we’ll look online too. Wish us luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just realized we haven’t had any pronunciation discussions yet this book!

    So, just to be a troublemaker… does Jarel rhyme with “barrel” or with “quarrel”? Or is the accent on the second syllable?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That is true, you know that there will be a “but” now and there is, but:

        The Prince’s name is Graygor, we know this is a play on Gray Gore so see the last syllable being consonant vowel consonant.

        The allied king is Sarnac. While technically that could be Sarn Ac a google on how to pronounce it came as Sar Nac.

        His brother is Halgar which ANOTHER google search reveal is pronounced Hal Gar.

        In each case the last syllable follows the Consonant Vowel Consonant rule therefore its Sebb Jah Rel.

        /Mangy wolf sits back look ridiculously smug/.


  4. I agree that death penalty isn’t a crime deterrant. But it’s because we usually compare death penalty with an equally harsh penalty, for acts commited either by one-time criminals or already hardened criminals, like drug cartels. Those “smugglers” were miners who took their own ore out of the country to avoid VAT when selling it. While not a totally effective deterrent, the Prince’s decision to change the penalty for tax evasion from “10 gp fine” to “death” and sending a squad of homicidal police officers to kill everyone in Smuggler’s Nook probably had a chilling effect on the miners.

    Especially considering the situation: evading tax by navigating the hellswamp required obviously some skills: if it was easy, noone would need smugglers, and if it was difficult even for experienced people, the risk of losing the cargo would be too much to make the business sensible for the smugglers.

    Perhaps the Prince disrupted the trade by sending a horde of Pathfinder to rain death upon Smuggler’s Nook and killing all the people who actually had knowledge on how to navigate the swamp to safety. Especially since the danger level may have increased tremendously with the Pathfinder killers at large.

    To conclude, while I agree that the death penalty, on principles, can’t stop crime, in this case, it’s more akin to noticing that very few North Korean citizen try to evade taxes by selling the vegetable they grow in their garden to the South by crossing the DMZ.

    Eru judicial system is harsh, but it seems fair so far, and effective. MJS updated ranking is :

    Eru > Anari > Kazan-Oud > Vassagonia > Sommerlund > Dessi > Giak

    Liked by 2 people

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