The Masters of Darkness

The Masters of Darkness – Attempt 1, Part 7

The man with the Latin tags is back!

And when I say ‘the man is back’, I mean that the man is riding a deus ex machina on a route hopefully leading to Aarnak!


After a burst of descriptive text, the book confirms that I steer my (stolen) Zlanbeast in a hard right away from Helgedad and towards Aarnak.  As I approach the city, I begin to ponder the (completely predictable) problem of where to land.

Does Huntmastery give me telescopic vision, enabling me to check out possible landing spots in the city??


In a mind-boggling ‘deduction’, Lone Wolf concludes that, because a particular tower is free from any ‘sign of decay’, this is obviously where the slavemaster resides (!!!)

That deduction is up there, in terms of logical incoherence, with those who assume that, because a particular Tuesday is cold, that means that they have disproved global warming (?!)

Political?? Me?

Aside : I am unashamedly political and biased in my posts.  I welcome healthy disagreement, as long as some does not stoop to derailing or ad hominem attacks.

I land my Zlanbeast, and make my way quickly (!) to a more central chamber where, using the password, I confirm to an unknown interlocutor that ‘Sommerlund is burning’.

As the mysterious figure emerges from the darkness, my basic Kai skills confirm that he is, in fact the slavemaster (as if that is a title which anyone would falsely want to claim…) and that he wishes to speak with me.

Project Aon link – Slavemaster of Aarnak

After I remove my Drakkarim mask, he notes my (Aryan) features and instantly assumes that I am from Sommerlund and states that he will help me all he can…

Apparently, his motivation for assisting my cause stems from the fact that the quotas demanded by the Darklords (of ore and steel from the local mines) exceed his capacity to meet, and that it is therefore economic (and not moral) motivations which lead him to assist me.


We all know how these things work…

The slavemaster then offers me an outfit which will, apparently, help me to penetrate Helgedad.  The apparel apparently belonged to an apprentice of the Nadziranim, who ‘voluntarily’ offered to give up his clothing after a meeting with the Slavemaster.


I now get a secret agent-esque briefing.

Did someone say bullet points?!

  • The Transfusor (which is a gamebook-esque name, no doubt) that I need to destroy is apparently now located in the upper chambers of the Tower of the Damned.
  • Aside : That final thing is a very, VERY Iron Maiden-esque name.
  • The Tower, naturally, is within the most ‘heavily guarded’ area of the city.
  • I love how Lone Wolf now acts all surprised that the more valuable stuff is in the more heavily guarded area… what are the odds?
  • I get given a Green Mask, which will conceal my identity from ‘casual inspection’.
  • So I guess my pick-up range for the foreseeable future has been SEVERELY limited.


I get some further important hints :

  • My (stolen) robe now marks me as a minion of Darklord ‘Ghanesh’, who is currently far from Helgedad, leading his troops as part of the invasion of my homeland.
  • Those wearing green and scarlet robes are Ghanesh’s closest rivals, and should be avoided.
  • Most of all, I show should avoid those wearing identical (silver-grey) robes as myself, as they will be able to penetrate my cover, recognising me as an imposter.

I then get escorted in the slavemaster’s ‘personal chariot’ to the outskirts of the city, where a gigantic wheeled leviathan awaits us.

Project Aon link – Lajakeka

This ‘lajakeka’ is some form of transport for ore drawn from the local mines, while also serving as a transport for passengers (and the crew, naturally).

The slavemaster gets me on board, while strongly recommending that I stick to my cabin, given that interactions with the others on board can be dangerous.


Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a-gley….

After we have been travelling for less than an hour, there is a knock on my cabin door.

I suppose it could be someone that I really want to see….













My Discipline of Divination (actually being semi-helpful) confirms that the knocker has magical abilities but, at this stage, is not giving off an aura of hostility.

In a wish to avoid acting suspiciously, and trusting in my disguise, I open the door.

The sycophantic figure oozes smarm, inviting me to an ‘entertainment’ in the main area, being put on for me and my fellow passengers.

I’m torn.

To decline the invitation would clearly arouse suspicion, while to go risks blowing my cover with those around me.

Since there’s a chance of a quiz-master falling prey to my high school maths skills, I throw caution to the wind, and go to the party!

Aside : I also note that he called me ‘Cagath’, which is seemingly the name of the creature whose outfit I have obtained.  This could be important later.

As I walk toward the larger gallery, I ponder what sort of depraved ‘entertainment’ denizens of the Darklands will prefer….





Base Stats : CS : 22, E : 28, GC 22 (Kika 28)

Final Stats : CS : 44/44, E : 22/32

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 / Gold Amulet, 3. Dagger of Vashna 4. Shield (+2 CS),  5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Bronin Vest (+3 CS, +1 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. Psychic Ring 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10. Silver Bracers (+2 CS, +1 E) (6), 11. Crystal Explosive 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

‘Extra-Special item’ – Green Mask

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)

Current paragraph : 85


6 thoughts on “The Masters of Darkness – Attempt 1, Part 7

  1. “the ‘Latin Spouting’ man is riding a deus ex machina ”

    Ok, I messed up the last time with the Darklord wearing the Jacet of a Hic (in my defense the text DOES say that he vanishes “leaving only a tattered grey robe” which I presumed was the Hic’s Jacet that he didn’t want to take to the next life).

    So Ricky Martin fans (and those claiming that it was their relatives who were fans of him) will remember Maria

    Where Un means One and Dos means Two but I got lost on Tres. So “Deus” must refer to the Zlanbeast as a creature with two wings and the “ex machina” that you’re doing it without any mechanical backup (Stuart Lloyld would point out that that’s why the Cabin service is appaling and you nearly freeze to death).

    /Fenrir rests smugly knowing that THIS time he didn’t mess up/

    “After a burst of descriptive text”

    Beautiful summary.

    “because a particular tower is free from any ‘sign of decay’,”

    In fairness its the ONLY building free from decay. While it could technically be the local headquarters of Greenpeace its more likely to be the home of the head honcho of Aarnak.

    “they have disproved global warming”

    As I’m old I remember when we were being informed (by serious scientists) that the next Ice Age was coming, it was coming and we were all going to be destroyed and it would serve us right. The shudder over to Global Warming is coming, its coming and we are all going to be destroyed and it will serve us right was … quite swift when it came (and rather hilarious).

    My relatives in India fully believe in Global warming because they say they’re seeing it for themselves. I could point out that in the last twelve years they’ve moved from lower lying more forested areas to the top of a barren mountain. However they do travel around their state (roughly 15 k sq miles) and they say its true. On the other side of the world a Spanish girl I know went to Mexico and came back with a husband. She said that as a treat he took her to a once popular tourist spot and she was most unimpressed with the weather there, he replied that it used to have very predictable weather patterns but with global warming its become a mess. That the Climate is changing is, in my opinion, indisputable.

    “I am unashamedly political and biased in my posts.”

    Now that you mention it I have noticed that before, for instance the way your character keep supporting monarchies and religious orders in your gamebooks shows you’re a reactionary conservative if ever there was one. Your criticism of the democratically elected choices in America and, to a lesser extent, Australia also show your dissatisfaction with the results that come from letting the people decide anything, yet another reason why you support the monarchy system. After all, under a monarchy we’re all equal in being subjects, none of this silly dividing people by colour, economic status or caste as is rampant in the great democracies like the UK, The USA and India.

    “it is therefore economic (and not moral) motivations which lead ‘the Slavemaster’ to assist me”.

    In fairness it’s not so much economic as self-preservation. The Darklords are not as understanding as The Emperor, never mind Darth Vader. At least Darth will just kill you, you heard Darklord Kraagenskul’s threats. In any case, even in a world with magic, gods and women’s rights it would be ludicrous to believe that someone could climb the Darklords power ladder and then have moral qualms, the self-preservation option is the most believable one.

    “I love how Lone Wolf now acts all surprised that the more valuable stuff is in the more heavily guarded area… what are the odds?”

    In Chasm the Silver Helmet (+2 CS) and the statue to control the Akraa’Neonor were both in abandoned rooms. While you didn’t get either of those you DID find the beloved Blue Stone Pendant in a narrow stream in the midst of miles of empty arctic tunnels while Loi-Kymar was in an unguarded room.
    In Shadow the Oude herb was in a room protected by a poor little kitty kat (who you killed).
    In Kingdoms the Lorestone was in a Sewer while in Tahou it had being thrown down a hole in the ground.
    So, there could have been grounds to believe The Transfuser might be easy to get at.

    “Darklord ‘Ghanesh’, who is currently far from Helgedad, leading his troops as part of the invasion of my homeland.”

    He’s in LENCIA. In The Dungeon’s of Torgar you travelled to Eru which was in alliance with King Sarnac of LENCIA. Its to the extreme South West of The Darklands while Sommerlund is to the far east of The Darklands. Its like your saying you’re going to visit Perth and someone saying that you’re sure to enjoy your trip to New Zealand. Doesn’t anyone else care about the geography of a made up world?

    At least you won’t have to walk 500 miles to find out what sort of depraved entertainment the Darklords minion’s enjoy. On the plus side since this book was written largely for children you know that its NOT going to be Pretty Woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am unsure as to whether you are actually familiar with the meaning of ‘deus ex machina’ or you are mocking me. Feel free to advise.

      Firstly, Trump wasn’t ‘democratically elected’. He was elected according to the archaic electoral college method, where having 3 million more votes is, apparently, not relevant. Secondly, merely being elected does not make one immune from criticism, pressure or lobbying.

      And re global warming, I’m one of those weird people that have confidence in the opinions of experts who have spent their professional life studying the issue, rather than blowhard politicians indifferent to the problems of 20 years from now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was a blow-up. I’m glad I stayed up for your reply.

        1) Deus etc (and most of the above post) was just me being silly, no mockery of you (or any other commentators on this site, ESPECIALLY not STuart LLOYD who’s comments on technology in fantasy I treasure) intended. Yes I knew what it and previously Hic Jacet meant. In most of your posts there’s at least one thing I have to go to Google to to work out what they are, Hic Jacet was one but Deus was not. (
        That said, when Steve Dillon died and you quoted “Here’s hoping god has a sense of humour” I completely misinterpreted it).

        2) A) Whether US presidents ever count as “democratically elected” is a question due to the Electoral college system. But this is also a criticism of most democracies (in Ireland the Leader is decided by the votes of the TD’s who make up the parliament so again you can easily have a government which the majority of voters didn’t vote for, and currently do).
        B) As all humans make mistakes and need correction it follows that all national leaders need correction/criticism too, all governmental forms have grappled with this problem. Your own legitimate views have always been clearly expressed and my comments were meant as silliness EXCEPT for the bit about all being treated equal regardless of colour etc. That was something so important to us both I couldn’t go against it even in jest.

        3) The long running line of an Ice Age will destroy civilization and it suddenly turning to Global Warming is a historical fact. However while I remain deeply suspicious of bandwagons I believe my referring to specific locations on opposite sides of the world that I have first hand accounts from made clear I can see that Climate change is real.

        Again, no mockery of you was intended. As a general rule I prefer to come across as clueless and misinterprinting to mocking (sadly the first two are too often true).

        I trust/hope we are and remain at peace. Now I do have to go to bed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Slavemaster was proud of his title. He earned this rank by managing slaves for the Banedon Shipping Company, who got him the opportunity to work for the Dessi “recruiting” people to their death in the Castle of the same name. Given his resume, he was deemed totally fit for the job when he applied to become Slavemaster of Aarnak. But in order to make a little extra, he’s ready to jump ship AGAIN before his poor performance can be noticed by the higher ups.

    I am pretty sure it took a lot of time given the Darklord piss poor abilitiy at management. Earlier, during your meeting with Kraagenskûl, you told him you had important information regarding a traitor, and he zapped you and fed you to a crypt spawn… before letting you enough time to speak and (potentially) telling him everything. Even if you had really been an employee of Xog’s HR department, you would have died before being able to tell anything. Then if you give him enough time to tellnaag about your return, and subsequently flee on DK’s personal Zlanbeast, you’re killed by a squadron of Zlan sent from Kaag. Because Gnaag obviously sent people to off DK because he was bearing bad news? There is no way the Zlan could recognize LW given he has sheathed his megasword, from the distance… (and LW has the advantage in sight with his trademark telescopic vision… I am nonplussed by the Dark Lord’s management.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love the Slavemaster story.

      If Darklord Kraagenskul was still alive he’d have contacted Gnaag to say so. Since he hadn’t and his Zlanbeast was in use there was someone else on the Zlanbeast and whoever it is is powerful enough to kill a Darklord.

      But love the Slavemaster story. And yeah, Darklord management style does seem to suck.

      Liked by 1 person

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