I’m going to set this one out a little differently.
Briefly, the ‘Story So Far’ section simply describes the events of the previous books, specifically the chain of events from books 9-11.
Therefore, before describing Magnakai Disciplines / Equipment etc., I’m first going to summarise the first few paragraphs of the book proper, which give the ‘real’ background to this climactic adventure….
In section 1, I again suffer an R10 of psychic wounds as I travel through the Shadow Gate.
Aside : Although I don’t think either Book 11 or 12 specifically say so, I’m going to proceed on the basis that snaffling the Lorestone at the very end of Book 11 restores my Endurance to maximum since, you know, EVERY SINGLE OTHER Lorestone has had this effect.
So my Endurance is restored to 34 before being reduced, by the journey, in the amount of (R10=) 5.
I emerge from the Shadow Gate into the basement of the Wizards’ Guild of Toran.
Keeping watch for my return, not unlike the Italian dog Fido are Banedon and Lord Rimoah.
I get concerned for a second that Rimoah is going to take Banedon gently by the hand and regretfully inform me that ‘the children have a new daddy now…”
Luckily (or not, as the case may be…) that scenario does not eventuate, but the actual news is far from good.
I am shot (metaphorically) with the following bullet points :
- In a breathtakingly original storytelling device, I am advised that more than eight years have passed on Magnamund since my fall of several days’ ago into the Shadow Gate (for my favourite employment of this trope, read Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always).
- Gnaag was quick to proclaim my death and, since my frantic e-mails were getting lost among various pieces of spam relating to diabetes cures and Nigerian fortunes, this propaganda was generally accepted by the friendly nations.
- Lord Adams was killed, and Torgar was reclaimed by the Darklords.
- The evil wizards, or Nadziranim, have invented devices which allow the Darklords to survive outside of their home countries for extended periods of time, a task which was previously impossible.
- The Darklords are, to be blunt, winning the war. Although Sommerlund has not been conquered, the land is cut off from allies by a naval blockade.
- Three months ago Rimoah saw in a dream that I was still alive and that I was due to return through the shadow gate.
- Aside : Three months ago I had a dream that I would be starring in a movie with Julie Delpy and Rose Byrne but, alas, this has not yet come to pass.
- If I can somehow sneak my way into the enemy capital of Helgedad and defeat Gnaag, I can then destroy the Transfusor, the remote device which gives power and protection to the other Darklords.
- Because all the Darklords are wreaking havoc around the world, only two of them remain in Helgedad – Gnaag and his second in command, Fluffy Cuddles…..*ahem* I mean Darklord Taktaal.
- I get a ‘Crystal Explosive’ (or, for those despising excess verbiage, a bomb) to destroy the Tranfusor.
- Although, to be fair, if you despised excess verbiage, there is no way you would have read this far…..
- I am to board a caravel, run the blockade, and make my way to Aarnak. The slavemaster there is an ally, and upon making my identity known to him through the code-phrase ‘Sommerlund is burning’ (!!) he will be able to get me into the correct location in Helgedad.
- Finally, Rimoah notes the Sommerswerd, and warns me in the strongest terms against using it once in the Darklands until I actually reach Darklord Gnaag. He gives me a korlinium scabbard, which will keep the Sommerswerd concealed until the time is right.
Now, back to gameplay considerations!
I have to pick a 9th Magnakai Discipline.
The choice between Animal Control and Curing is not difficult. Curing will enable me to recover all damage, and not merely combat-inflicted wounds. Further, the advanced one-off healing (as described below) could come in extremely handy.
The weapons and equipment available aren’t that interesting.
To start, for all the good they’ll do, I snaffle a further 12 Gold Crowns.
I also get special cold-weather clothing and boots, although these aren’t considered Backpack or Special Items.
I restore arrows to my Quiver, taking it up to 6 arrows.
Given the warning about using the Sommerswerd, I also take the Dagger of Vashna, leaving the Obsidian Seal behind.
Finally, I take a Potion of Laumspur and 3 Meals.
There are some VERY interesting advanced Magnakai Disciplines, what with my ascension to Archmaster :
In an advance which would have come in VERY handy in the last book, when Psi-Surge is used, I can add 6 points to Combat Skill instead of 4, and need only deduct 1 Endurance per round when I do so. Further, the lesser skill of Mindblast now adds 3 Combat Skill points instead of 2. Finally, the cut-off for when Mindblast cannot be used is now 4 or less, rather than 6.
Once per 100 days (which is effectively ‘once per adventure’) I can, upon my Endurance being reduced (in combat) to 6 or less, restore 20 Endurance points.
I basically become Wolverine, with increased hearing, smell and night vision.
- I can now withstand extreme heat and cold, while possessing some immunity to harmful elements such as flames, toxic gases and acid.
- There’s a little more exposition (of course) but that can wait for the next entry – I’m off to see Spider-Man : Homecoming!
Base Stats : CS : 22, E : 28, GC 22
Final Stats : CS : 39/39, E : 31/34
Weapons : Sword, Dagger
Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Dagger of Vashna
Backpack : Rope, Lantern, Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Meals (3)
Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd (+8 CS) (with Korlinium scabbard) 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Dagger of Vashna 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. Crystal Explosive 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.
Kai Monastery storage :
- Backpack Items : Sack of Silver (3)
- Special Items : Map of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Obsidian Seal, Brass Whistle. Quiver (4 arrows), Pass, Vial of Clear Liquid, Crystal Star Pendant, Receipt, Invitation, Signet Ring
Magnakai Rank : Archmaster
Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+4 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff, Broadsword, Warhammer, Axe), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Nexus, Psi-Screen, Psi-Surge, Curing
Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E), Solaris (+1 CS, +3 E), Spirit (+3 CS, +3 E)
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+3CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)
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