I’m typing this a bit later than usual today today.
Do you need to ask why? Am I going to tell you anyway?
Hell to the yes.
Well done, boys!
Back to Lone Wolf, who had just successfully snuck past a Drakkarim guard on his way down the stairs leading beneath the central tower of Torgar.
The staircase ends in a circular parapet, which overlooks a scene of human misery, as thousands of slaves are brutally driven by Drakkarim overlords to seemingly extend the underground cavern at the base of Torgar.
Slavery – SO not a fan.
Hopelessly outnumbered for the time being, I resolve to make sure the Talestrian army addresses this atrocity as soon as possible.
Sneaking down the corridor, I reach a locked door of ‘black steel’. I don’t have a Skeleton Key or Black Key, but my skill of Nexus comes to the rescue!
Concentrating, I will the lock to open, and after it does, I slip quietly into the corridor beyond.
Halfway along said corridor is a solid door with only a small barred window. I peer through the window with a growing sense of dread….
Just as I had started to entertain hopes of making it through this adventure without dying once, I realise that the cell contains…..
That walking mash-up of incompetence and clumsiness known as the ‘warrior magician’ Paido.
I gloomily accept that he has, in fact, seen me, and my option of quietly continuing to skulk down the corridor is removed. I reluctantly open the cell with a nearby key, and sulkily allow Paido to sulkily embrace me, hoping that he doesn’t inadvertently spike me with something in the attempt.
I fill him in on the invading army above-ground, and he happily says he can help me with my quest (!!)
Apparently Paido knows (!) the location of the missing three Lorestones, and intends to take me there.
I warily agree, and we skulk through the corridors, narrowly avoiding chain-gangs of slaves and their Drakkarim supervisors.
We eventually reach a circular chamber, where stairs lead up to a pair of ‘triangular iron doors’ guarded by the elite Drakkarim Death Knights.
As a former D & D / Dragonlance fan, whenever I think of the term ‘Death Knight’ I immediately think of this guy.
You know the one – basically the Dragonlance version of Darth Vader :
While I ponder the merits of comparative literature, we hear an alarm bell and see the guards descend the stairs at a rapid pace, moving towards us.
Before Paido can make any silly sudden moves, my Divination skill confirms that the alarm bell is simply confirmation that the Talestrian army have reached the tower, and the Death Knights are departing to aid in the defence.
Once the Death Knights have left the room, Paido and I nip up and open the unlocked (!) doors, to find a curious chamber.
The three Lorestones that I seek are suspended high above the ground by green beams of light, seemingly generated by crystal rods. There are ‘ghoulish creatures’ gathered around the structure, but they slink out of the room as we enter.
We now have an interesting logical puzzle – how do we actually collect the Lorestones? The immediate options are to (1) try and access them from below (2) Try and grab them from the gantries which criss-cross the room (and pass within arm’s length of the Lorestones or (3) first examine the crystal rods.
I think before I stick my arm (or any other part of my body) into the energy created by these rods, I should gather more information.
Using my basic Kai skills, I sense that the rods are generating a destructive energy in an attempt to destroy the Lorestones. However, if I simply disrupt this energy, the Lorestones will simply fall into the pit in the centre of the room.
Did I mention there was a seemingly bottomless pit?
There’s a seemingly bottomless pit.
How do I solve this logical conundrum…..
Here’s something to ponder while I’m thinking.
THAT ISN’T HELPING ME CONCENTRATE.
I eventually come up with a (comparatively) simple solution – I’ll climb a gantry to a spot right underneath the Lorestones, and Paido will destroy the crystal rods, allowing the stones to fall into my hands.
Paido destroys the rods one by one, and a single one of the Lorestones falls into my hands.
Before I can start gloating…..
[Ominous musical sting]
Darklord Gnaag enters the room and fires some kind of magical beam not at me, but at the gantry holding me up.
Unsurpringly, Paido provides NO. HELP. WHATSOEVER.
I plummet into the ‘bottomless pit’, which I now realise (to my chagrin) is a Shadow Gate, leading to the parallel world of the Daziarn (Magnamund’s Phantom Zone).
This ends the book on a Shadow Gatehanger….
Next : My thoughts on Book 10!
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 (5 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)
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