The Plague Lords of Ruel

The Plague Lords of Ruel – Attempt 4, Part 2

[IMPORTANT ASIDE : As I was editing the final draft of this post, I learned of the horrific deaths in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I apologise if any of the references to death or violence in the material below are disturbing to anyone in the circumstances.  My thoughts are with all those affected by these despicable murders]

 

When we left Lone Wolf (or this incarnation of him, anyway) he was finally exploring uncharted territory in the final phases of the book!

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Aside : Darn right Gump wasn’t a smart man – I LOATHED that movie.  The fact that it won Best Picture over the four other nominated movies that I thought were FAR better (The Shawshank Redemption, Quiz Show, Pulp Fiction and Four Weddings and a Funeral) busts my chops to this day.

Anyway.

As stated in the preceding entry, I smash open the door to this chamber, and discover something fresh out of either H.P. Lovecraft or Tobe Hooper.

Twelve corpses lie on tables, while their brains (!!) are floating in glass tanks near the head (ha!) of each table.

From a survival point of view, I note 2 Cenerese ‘Initiates’ tending to the corpses, while supervised by someone (something?) wearing the purple attire of a Cenerese High Priest.

I have to restrain myself from questioning the deplorable Health and Safety conditions of this workplace, what with the deplorable hygiene protocols concerning the 12 brainless corpses.

Or maybe the workers just figured that the corpses were people who voted for Donald Trump.

Image result for boom gif

Yeah, I went there.  And considering the heart-breaking plight of those in Puerto Rico, I consider that I’m being damned restrained.

Anyway, the High Priest sends his Initiates to kill me (good luck with that) and I dispatch them without further editorial comment.

The High Priest, presumably growing slightly more pale, wields his golden rod (another one??) and sends a burst of energy my way.

And no, when I say ‘burst of energy’, I’m not talking about the rubbish rip-off ‘naturopath approved’ snake-oil ‘medications’.

Aside : Lone Wolf climbs gingerly off his soap-box.

Whether I like it or not, the Sommerswerd comes into play, deflecting part of the energy bolt and actually using the remainder (!) to restore 3 Endurance points.

Even better, the remaining blast of fire is thrown back in the face (!) of the High Priest, changing his status from ‘alive’ to ‘dead’.

tenor

I can search the Priest’s body, or quickly vacate this horrid laboratory.

Did someone say LOOT??

lootlogo

My greedy search discovers, among the detritus, a Potion of Alether, which adds +2 Combat Skill for one fight only.

Aside : I promptly hop in my time machine and drink the potion right before I fight Zakhan Kimah in Book 9….

Back in the land of reality, where there’s no chance that Donald Trump would be elected Presid….

giphy

*Sigh*

Back to the (unfortunate) current world, I dash down a narrow passageway to the north.  I pause reluctantly at another disgusting laboratory where the Druids are ‘spawning’ their Vazhag minions.

Project Aon link – Spawning vats

While I pause, I hear a Vazhag patrol approaching my current location.

The question – hide or fight?

 

tenor1

I bravely (?!) confront eight Vazhag warriors at the same time.

Vazhag Patrol – CS : 40, E : 40

Lone Wolf (using Kai-surge) – CS : 44, E : 23

Round 1!

R10 of 2!

VP – 40-6=34, LW – 23-3-1=19

Round 2!

R10 of 0 (!!)

VP – 34-16=18, LW – 19-0-1=18

R10 of 6!

Round 3!

VP – 18-10=8, LW – 18-2-1=15

Round 4!

Another 6!

VP – Dead – LW – 15-2-1=12!

I sheathe my ‘gore-soaked’ weapon, briefly survey the tableau of the dead, and dash up the nearby stairs.

I grab a hunted (!) meal on my way, as you do.

200

As I emerge at a platform, I simultaneously see a patrol searching for me, along with staircases to the left and right.

As a left-hander, my choice is clear.

I speed up the left staircase, and find an abandoned dining hall, with some trinkets and weapons.  Nothing there particularly interests me, although I ensure that my quiver is back up to capacity.

I speed through a maze of corridors, doors, portals and so forth before sighting the keep and, more importantly, lowered drawbridge, which indicates a possible escape from this hell-hole.

Given the choices between trying this route and searching for another, I go for the escape route presented!

As I speed towards my possible salvation I observe that (of course) the portcullis is closing.

I throw myself at the gap, heartened to note that my possession of Grand Huntmastery gives me a +2 on my roll (although my Endurance isn’t high enough to get another bonus).

Needing a (modified) score of 4 or more, I get a……

0 (+2) = 2.

The portcullis crushes Lone Wolf, and he dies.

 

tenor2

I’m just…..

 

tenor3

 

Base Stats : CS : 22, E : 31, GC 42 (Kika 28)

Current Stats : CS : 40/40, E : 0/32

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Dagger of Vashna

Backpack : Rope, Lantern, Meals (2), Copper Key, Potion of Alether

Special Items :

1. Sommerswerd (+8 CS) (with Korlinium scabbard) 2. Crystal Star Pendant , 3. Dagger of Vashna 4. Quiver (6 arrows),  5. Golden Key 6. EMPTY 7. EMPTY 8. EMPTY 9. Jewelled Mace, 10. Silver Bracers (+2 CS, +1 E) (6), 11. EMPTY 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

Extra-Special Item : Map of Mogaruith

Kai Monastery storage :

  • Backpack Items : Sack of Silver (3), Black Key.
  • Special Items :

Grand Master Rank : Kai Grand Defender

Grand Master Disciplines : Kai-surge, Kai-screen, Grand Huntmastery, Grand Pathsmanship.

Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+4 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff, Broadsword, Warhammer, Axe, Short Sword), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Nexus, Psi-Screen, Psi-Surge, Curing, Animal Control

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 : 321

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7 thoughts on “The Plague Lords of Ruel – Attempt 4, Part 2

  1. C’mon man is your birthday! Give yourself a good gift, go back to the previous paragraph and take the chance to find another Way to escape from this Hell Hole!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, it might be a blessing in disguise, as he’s already missed the cache of goodies. Without it, the odds of surviving book 17 drop into the single-digit percentage range (given the general lack of Alether, healing potions and CS boosting kit), but maybe on the next attempt, Lone Wolf will go east instead of west on the way out of the plague production room and finally get the chance to use his Gold Key or Map of Mogaruith.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Darn right Gump wasn’t a smart man – I LOATHED that movie.”

    I don’t think anyone claims that Gump was a smart man (his wealth comes from a mix of dumb luck and the captain’s business acumen), but I thought it was an enjoyable movie. It was definitely dafter though than the other movies you listed there. Was it the lack of believability, the unlikely list of coincidences, Tom Hank’s acting, something else or a combination that turned you off the movie? (I’ve only seen it twice myself, probably once more than yourself).

    “I have to restrain myself from questioning the deplorable Health and Safety conditions of this workplace”

    Ahem, the description is as follows: “a chamber constructed entirely of black marble and illuminated by artificial light. …Two Cenerese … hands are sheathed in transparent gloves and they are clad in close-fitting papery suits.”

    Sounds pretty good H&S standards there. Sterile, no pollution, gloves and disposable gowns for the workers. Fatal to Slovians or course, but they were dead already.

    “The High Priest … sends a burst of energy my way… I’m not talking about the rubbish rip-off ‘naturopath approved’ snake-oil ‘medications’”

    So what you’re saying is that the Cenerese may be Sociopathic Psychopaths with delusions of Grandeur but at least their magic is genuinely bad for you???

    And I think that’s my favourite use of the Sommerswerd in the entire series … but it still doesn’t make up for this book.

    “Back in the land of reality, where there’s no chance that Donald Trump would be elected Presid….”

    As you’re having a bad time have you seen this one from before that election?

    “I pause reluctantly at another disgusting laboratory where the Druids are ‘spawning’ their Vazhag minions”

    I just think its cool that the Cenerese are able to breed a species this way, (predating Peter Jackson’s Sauruman) especially as said species can then start reproducing on their own. But all they get for this amazing accomplishment is disgust and revulsion.

    “Given the choices between trying this route and searching for another, I go for the escape route presented! … he dies.”

    Well, I suppose the fact that an easy way out was presented in THIS book was a clue of a sort. Otherwise I go with Gloccus and Matteo’s advise for your next run through.

    At least unlike the Horned Cyclops you’re getting to die in LOTS of different interesting ways … um, nope that’s no good either 😦

    Fourth Manly Macho Sympathetic Clap on the Back of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh boy, Forrest Gump.

      Briefly :

      1. Gump isn’t a character, he’s a plot device. He has no character arc, his personality and goals never change in any way, he simply bumbles through success after success until the supposed love of his life ‘realises’ what a great guy he is.

      2. Jenny is arguably the character in fiction whose treatment by the filmmakers makes me most angry. She is punished and / or ridiculed by the script time and time again for actually trying to be independent and make her own way. From the initial child abuse, to being forced into poverty, forced to work as a stripper, the almost suicide, the mocking of her idealism and protesting….grrr.

      3. The whole movie really mocks every character who doesn’t think Gump is awesome. Lt Dan is repeatedly injured, humiliated and degraded until he eventually agrees to be Gump’s sidekick. Jenny suffers torture after torture until she finally gives (!) Gump’s son back to him and heads to Gump’s house to die (!!!)

      4. Bubba’s dream of owning a shrimp boat is completely co-opted by Gump, and Bubba relegated to a quasi-Magic Negro status. The only way Bubba’s family get any money is because of Gump’s supposed munificence in essentially giving them some.

      5. Gump himself is basically a love letter to the ‘greatest generation’. Essentially, as long as you do everything that you are told and follow authority at all stages, you will gain fame and fortune without much effort, and that nasty girl who didn’t like you in high school will eventually ‘come to her senses’ and realise how awesome you were.

      6. The whole subplot with Gump’s mother was simply disgusting. Taking an initially interesting idea of a mother devoted to giving her son every chance of success was reduced to a pathetic joke about her literally prostituting herself to the school principal. I mean, what the???

      7. Tom Hanks can act, but the idea of him essentially, without significant make-up or hair changes, playing the same person over a space of 20-25 years shattered the suspension of disbelief.

      8. The condescension to the audience to make sure we ‘get’ all the historical references is cringe-worthy. From the massive close-up on the ‘Watergate’ stationery paper to the mocked-up magazine cover of Gump and Lt Dan, I kept wanting to scream at the screen : I GET IT, I GET IT THIS ISN’T PRIMARY SCHOOL HISTORY!!!

      [Takes breath]

      That’ll do for now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aside 1: I thought I was getting attacked by the plague before last week but since you posted the plague really hit

        Actually I want a mask like that. (Realizing there’s no way I’d stand up to cross examining by a Lawyer compels me to admit there were other delays such as:)

        Aside 2: I WAS going to reply yesterday, but then I paused to look at the Henry V clip you posted, then my son had to leave his homework to look at the same clip, then we looked at Kenneth Branagh’s “Once more unto the Breach”, clip (YouTube suggested it), then we … and then time ran out. So its your fault I’m time wasting, or not.

        Anyway, prior to your post I thought people generally loved Forrest Gump

        Yeah, except for the tiny part. Its the Marmite movie, most people either love it or loath it. Just to comment on some of what you said though:

        “1. Gump isn’t a character, he’s a plot device. ”

        Partly true. His role is too be a contrast to the way the world is changing (not always for the better around him). However he is devoted to the one’s around him and will go outside his boundaries for them.

        “2. Jenny” Gets a raw deal. So do a lot of people. She’s given no support as a child which makes it harder for her to make good decisions as an adult (but no adult makes all good decisions). That is why we as parents are constantly reminded of the need to give our children a good grounding. Yes, she tries lots of things and gets lots of abuse along the way, so does everyone. She might change her field of battle, move to other places etc, but she keeps on going. In the end she is raising a son with her own job in an clean and neat apartment (probably rented but she still has to pay the rent). Yes, a nicer story for her would have involved caring social service intervening at an earlier age and her receiving the needed couselling and therapy, it would be nice to see that happening in the real world too.

        “the mocking of her idealism and protesting” The film isn’t exactly pro-establishment either. Why were Bubba and Forrest sent to be shot and killed in Vietnam? “I don’t know” cries Forrest. It shows idealists and lowlife’s on both sides, which is uncomfortably accurate.

        “3. Mocking everyone who doesn’t think Forrest is great”

        Can’t really argue with that.

        “Lt. Dan” Was on a suicide course. Same as any radicals today. He would die in battle like all his ancestors and he DID treat Forrest with respect (superior officer to common trooper type) until Forrest got in the way of his plans, then he didn’t know what to do with his life. There is the sub-point that Lt Dan (who’d have to be intelligent to reach that rank) did do much better in his life when he started applying his intelligence to himself rather than to supporting a system set up to kill him.

        “4. Bubba”

        Can’t argue with your criticism there.

        “5. Gump himself is basically a love letter to the ‘greatest generation’. ”

        Interesting viewpoint. In that respect I suppose the movie is as deep as Herbie goes banana’s. A more realistic result for Forrest would have been his living just above the poverty line or lower middle class, but that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable a movie.

        “that nasty girl who didn’t like you in high school”

        Jenny liked him from the start. Also the mean people in his childhood are simply out of the picture when he’s grown up.

        “6. The whole subplot with Gump’s mother was simply disgusting. ”

        In Shawshank Andy Dufresne gets raped repeatedly, its just one of those things. He has no power and had to use what he had to influence those with power, in his case enabling the warden to carry out a money laundering racket. He’s only protected when a psychopatic guard decides his rapists had been too violent and interfered with his own money making scheme, they didn’t bother intervening when their money wasn’t being troubled. Is it nice when people have no power and are forced to use what they have? Absolutely not. But then neither movie presents itself as being set in some well run paradise. Also the whole sub-plot of him actually being innocent is just thrown in to make the movie more palatable.

        As for Pulp Fiction, we have a gangster’s wife who nearly kills herself trying out drugs, a bimbo who can’t remember to bring a watch, a wannabe robber who needs to be reassured and calmed down by a hired killer.

        Would we consider those valid criticisms of either of those movies? No. They just highlight the darkside of the society the characters are in. Same with Forrest Gump.

        Frankly I agree with you on those two movies being excellent (I didn’t watch Quiz Show) and if either of them had won instead and someone I respected was criticising them for winning over the other four I’d be writing as vigorous a defense for them now.

        “7. Tom Hanks can act, but the idea of him essentially, without significant make-up or hair changes, playing the same person over a space of 20-25 years shattered the suspension of disbelief.”

        Can’t argue with that.

        “8. The condescension to the audience”

        First watched the movie in a house. Some of the others I was with needed these things made clear. Sad but true.

        Have I made you hate Forrest Gump even a little bit less?

        But at least I don’t feel so bad about not replying for so long. Tonight I’ll go on to your final victory over The Instadeaths of Joe Dever.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “The fact that it won Best Picture over the four other nominated movies that I thought were FAR better (The Shawshank Redemption, Quiz Show, Pulp Fiction and Four Weddings and a Funeral) busts my chops to this day.” I know, right? Worst Oscar injustice of my lifetime.

    And reading through your blog is reminding me why Ruel killed my interest in the Lone Wolf books. TBH even the Magnakai ones lacked the magic of 1-5, but they managed some fun bits (in between the ridiculously unbalanced boss combats) and at least built to a nice crescendo destroying the villains of the whole 12 book sequence.

    I died a few times in Ruel, cheat-read through to the end, and decided my version of Magnamund would remain one in which Lone Wolf enjoyed a quiet tenure restoring the Kai after Helgedad fell…

    Liked by 1 person

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