As those of my faithful readers (who have been waiting for several days) will know, I am now approaching the headquarters of the final boss (aka Gnaag), who is no doubt shivering with…..
Aside : Tim Curry is just the absolute best, and not just for his awesome first name. See also Clue, Hunt for Red October, Annie, Gabriel Knight, IT (minisieres) and the Three Musketeers.
In any event, as I approach the tower, the expected guard appears, and points a shard of crystal (?!) at me, while demanding that I state my name.
My basic Kai instincts inform me that he is not overly suspicious, given the number of checkpoints anyone would have to penetrate to reach the tower. I am expected to give the name of the unfortunate whose outfit I have borrowed.
In between my daydreams of Rose Byrne, I remember that I was addressed as Cagath on my journey to Helgedad, and I give that name.
Disguise level – perfect : like this guy…
The guard directs me towards a beam of blue light, which serves as a Star Trek-esque transportation device. After I step out from the light, I find myself before Darklord Taktaal, who is described as ‘smooth ice-white head’ atop a ‘fur-covered snake body’.
I quickly remember that Ghanesh, the Darklord to whom I supposedly owe allegiance, is the sworn enemy of Taktaal. Taktaal demands to know what brings me here.
I can either state that I want to defect to his service, or claim that I have information vital to bringing Ghanesh down.
I think the latter answer will give the impression that I hold some value, since a single soldier wouldn’t make too much difference either way.
So I give the second answer.
Immediately my head is filled with pain. Either someone started playing a Limp Bizkit song, or Taktaal is trying to scour my brain for information.
Unfortunately, although my Psi-Screen Discipline effectively protects me from harm, it is not able to stop Taktaal discovering my true identity, and I must prepare for the worst.
I can use :
- The Sommerswerd;
- Either the Dagger of Vashna or Helshezag;
- a Bow and a Zejar-dulaga Arrow;
- A ‘normal’ weapon.
I think the Sommerswerd will need to be saved for Gnaag. This may be my last chance to use the MEGABOW, and I draw it melodramatically, loading it with my MEGAARROW!
Without even the need for an R10 check, the arrow lodges deep into Taktaal’s throat, and he collapses, dead.
That would be 4 Darklord-shaped notches on my belt, thank you very much.
I barely have time to beat my chest before I hear a voice sneer that “Ghanesh will be proud of you!”
I turn and face my destiny….
Aside : I was going to stick a Julie Delpy picture in here, but this moment of confrontation is so bad-ass, I thought it best to skip it.
As my adrenalin flows before this epic encounter, I can restore my Endurance to its original level.
I politely inform the book that this gesture isn’t necessary.
As Gnaag realises my true identity (possibly from the MEGABOW I just used) he summons some kind of misty phantom winged monster.
My Divination Discipline helpfully (!) informs me that this creature is growing stronger by the second and, like Pennywise, it is feeding on my fear.
I try to erect a psychic barrier to prevent this leeching of my emotions.
I need 7 or higher on my R10 check, and my completion of the Spirit Lore-Circle adds 5 to my raw number…..
Result is – 0!!
Panicking about the possibility of an insta-death, I am relieved when I turn to the next paragraph to rather be told that I must now fight the ‘Mind Reaper’.
Note – Because this is a battle with a spirit creature, I can double any Mindblast or Psi-Surge bonuses.
Mind Reaper – CS : 30, E : 36
Lone Wolf (using Dagger of Vashna & Psi-Surge) – CS : 42, E : 32
With an R10 of 8 in the first round, The Mind Reaper is vanquished, with Lone Wolf only losing the 1 Endurance point.
Gnaag, seeing my victory, attempts to make his way to the Transfusor, in an attempt to summon the other Darklords back to Helgedad. Seeing that he can’t make it in time, he draws his (awesomely-named) sword Nadazgada and turns to face me.
NOW the Sommerswerd comes into play!
After being confined for so long, I draw the sword and………..
a surge of energy bursts from the tip, obliterating Gnaag before I can even say ‘anti-climax’.!
Just to rub it in, the book confirms that Gnaag has been converted to ‘sightless atoms’ (!)
I turn to 350 (!) and summarise this final paragraph in one beautiful series of bullet-points :
- I set the Crystal Explosive to the Transfusor.
- I steal yet another mount, riding Gnagg’s Imperial Zlanbeast into the night air.
- The Explosive…well….explodes, turning Helgedad into ‘a fiery holocaust of shattered granite and twisted steel’
- I certainly hope that every single being that lived in that city was evil, otherwise…..
- The chain reaction destroys the Darklords, along with their armies (?) throughout Magnamund.
- I return to Sommerlund a ‘conquering hero’, and my exploits will inspire future generations of the Kai.
Although I don’t remember my original copy of this book having a sequel hook, the Project Aon version does in fact confirm that the adventure continues in Book 13!
Base Stats : CS : 22, E : 28, GC 22 (Kika 28)
Final Stats : CS : 44/44, E : 32/32
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), Black Key.
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 (5 arrows), 10. Silver Bracers (+2 CS, +1 E) (6), 11. EMPTY 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 : Grand Master
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 : 350