- Skill: 8
- Stamina: 13
- Luck: 10
- Gold Pieces: 18
- Provisions: 0
- Spell book page 102
In the last episode our adventurer felt the wrath of many a woodland critter. He was stung by bees whilst procuring beeswax, then a small green squirrel-thing made off with all of his provisions. He got a bit of a fright when confronted with several decaying heads stuck on pikes, then high-tailed it into a nearby cave where he has come face-to-face with a fearsome ogre…
As the monstrous creature stepped past the huge crushing machine and lumbered menacingly toward me, I felt the goat cheese begin to try and squelch itself back up my gullet. Most humans would have to possess elite fighting skills to slay this beast….but I have my magic, and seven long years of back-breaking training at the hands of the Analand mages. This Ogre is going down. I feel my mind coursing with energy, and as the Ogre bears down upon me I cast a spell of confusion…
Stamina: 13 ⇒ 11
Feeling the slight but familiar depletion of strength as I cast the spell, I nonetheless finished the incantation…and watched. The Ogre lunges for me, before suddenly stopping dead its tracks and starts shaking its head, as if trying to clear it. It looks at itself, then at me, with what can only be described as a puzzled expression (or as close to puzzled as an Ogre’s face can portray, it’s extremely hard to tell with the scars and misshapen appendages). It takes a step forwards, grunts, then takes at step backwards. The spell has worked! I could leave the room now if I wished to, but I had no intention of walking away empty-handed. I’ve come this far. I attack the creature with my sword…
Ogre stats (reduced by Confusion):
Skill: 4 Stamina: 7
Skill: 8 Stamina: 11
ROUND 1: Ogre wounded (Ogre Stamina: 7 ⇒ 5)
ROUND 2: Ogre wounded (Ogre Stamina: 5 ⇒ 3)
ROUND 3: Ogre wounded (Ogre Stamina: 3 ⇒ 1)
ROUND 4: Ogre wounded (Ogre Stamina: 1 ⇒ 0)
I dodged and weaved the creature’s slow-moving, clumsy attacks. I felt slightly bad striking and wounding a weakened Ogre in this manner, but consoled myself with the thought that if the Ogre had known how to use magic, it would’ve done the same thing. Or something perhaps a lot worse, probably bone-related. In the end, the lumbering beast fell to my sword without inflicting the tiniest wound to me.
Leaving the Ogre in the middle of the room, I investigate the machine that the beast was operating before I entered the room. The crank that it was turning was massive: as long as my entire body and just as thick. I wrap my arms around it and try to get it to move. Nothing. As I struggled, I noticed something gleaming on the table next to the mechanism. Two somethings. Two beautiful black gemstones; the colour of onyx but with the brilliance of diamonds. I hurriedly did some quick maths in my head: each one of these gemstones must be worth at least ten Gold Pieces! Feeling my luck begin to turn after losing all my food to that dastardly squirrel, I stash them away into my backpack.
Items gained: Black gemstone (10GP) x 2
Not wanting to dither around after all the commotion I just caused I exit the room.
As I emerge from the mouth of the cave, I discover that the Goblins are still hanging around. I’ll have to try to sneak past them and hope I get lucky…
(Test your Luck. Roll two die. If the result is equal to or less than your current Luck value, you are successful. Current Luck: 10…)
Fortunately, it appeared as if a fight broke out over a stepped-on toe, and in the subsequent furore of activity I slipped away unnoticed along a downhill path into the woods.
Luck: 10 ⇒ 9
After continuing along the path for a couple of hours into the late afternoon, I’m relieved to find another sign of civilization: an entire village, set into the hillside! Hoping that I get the chance to purchase some more provisions I make my way towards it.
As I enter the village, the young Hill Dwellers pass by me and stare at my strange clothes. By comparison, their own appearances are rough and bedraggled. Their hair was long but piled up on their heads. Though the glances were long and searching I make it to the centre of the village without incident. I could get a drink in the local ale-house and relax, but something tells me I shouldn’t push my luck with these locals. I decide to turn in for the night at the inn.
The inn charges 3 Gold Pieces for a room and 2 Gold Pieces for a meal. Easily affordable, especially after finding those gemstones. I fork over the two pieces for the meal, and get handed a bowl of Skunkbear stew. The meat was coarse and tough (like Skunkbears themselves) but I was thankful for something other than goat’s cheese. I wolfed it down.
Gold Pieces: 18 ⇒ 16
Stamina: 11 ⇒ 14
I also hand over the three pieces for the bed and I’m shown up to my room by the burly landlord. The bed isn’t particularly clean but it beats sleeping rough.
Gold Pieces: 16 ⇒ 13
Stamina: 14 ⇒ 18
I wake up at dawn, refreshed and eager to get going. There are two paths that lead on from the village of Kristatanti; choosing one, I continue my journey.
I leave the village. As I pass by a wall on my out I notice a figure slouched against the facade. He’s a miserable sight; dressed in rags and thin as a reed. I felt for the old man, he reminded me of one of the friendlier mages back in Analand. As he looked towards me after hearing my footsteps I noticed the dark streaks of dye underneath his eyes: the mark of the blind. Poor guy. Just as I contemplate handing him a Gold Piece an ox cart trundles past. The driver notices my strange clothes and asks if I want a lift further along the road. I can’t deny that it would be great to give my feet a rest, but the blind beggar looks like he needs a break more than I do. I toss the beggar a Gold Piece.
Gold Pieces: 13 ⇒ 12
“You are kind, traveller,” says the beggar. But as he runs his fingers over the piece, his smile widens and his excitement grows.
“Why, this is a Gold Piece!” he exclaims. “You are too generous to a poor, sightless beggar. Generosity of this sort must not go unrewarded!” He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a greening copper key, insisting that I take it. “Years ago I lived in Kharé,” he tells me. “Kharé was my home and in the cityport I watched over prisoners in the gaol. But Kharé is an evil place, inhabited by all manner of creatures. Beware the Red Eyes in Kharé or my fate will befall you and you too will have to turn to begging for a living. Kharé is also wary of strangers, but this key will help you should you be captured by the city guards.” The key has a number, 206, stamped into it.
Item gained: Kharé gaol key (206)
Thanking the beggar profusely, I carry on along the road. ‘Everywhere you go, just making friends’ I told myself. The ox cart has disappeared, but I carry on anyway.
Oh great, another fork in the road. I don’t feel like heading west. I’m not sure why. I head straight on.
As the day drags on I reach a gate. A gate slightly ajar. A familiar feeling of nervousness and foreboding wells up in my stomach. The gate is massive; two or three times the size of any I’ve seen before. But it’s either through the gate, or back the way I came. I continue…but carefully.
To my right, the hill rises sharply upwards and I can see two caves. Though I could continue on the path, I remembered that the last time I went underground I walked away with two sweet gemstones. I decide to go two-for-two. I enter the right-hand cave.
Entering the cave, other than the darkness the first thing I notice is a faint whistling that seems to get louder as I head further in. Heading deeper still, the ground becomes more and more uneven and the whistling even louder. As I start to pick my feet up to avoid tripping, I stumble over a log. Landing face-first onto the cave floor hurt, but it didn’t explain the deep well of fear that exploded into every limb and appendage. I was suddenly terrified. Not because of the fall, but because of the whistling. It stopped.
I hadn’t tripped over a log. It was an enormous foot. As I looked up, the foot became a leg, which became a torso, which became a head, with huge eyes the size of dinner plates looking directly at me!
“H…Hi-hi…HILL G-G-GIANT!!” I half-screamed, half-stuttered. Carefully honed reflexes took over, my body responding as a result of intensive training even as my mind cried out in fear. Before I know it my wand is in hand, with no memory of having reached for it. I cast the first spell that comes to mind…
To be continued!
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