After checking that my wallet and keys are still secure, I confirm boldly that yes, I do come from the Island of Tranquil Dreams, also known as “Morphine Isle”.
The gentleman confirms that he, also, is a monk following my god (Kwon), and invites me to his monastery in the ‘Gardens of Redemption’ (another great name).
I meditate, rest etc etc. More importantly, I restore my Inner Force (to 5!), restore four points of Endurance (to 13!) and speak with the local Kwon Grandmaster. Apparently Yaemon has come through this city eight days before (a two day gain for me!) and may be heading for ‘Fiendil’.
I’m advised to head north and seek out the ‘wise old hermit who lives in the mountains’. His name is Togawa, and I gather that he is the Grandmaster Emeritus, and has retired to a wintry life of solitude with, no-doubt, a generous tax-payer funded pension. I guess there were no Brighton beach-houses available.
I have to mention that Togawa lives near Fortune Pass on Mount ‘Gwalodrun’ which has got to be a name that the author came up with after he fell asleep at the typewriter and typed out random letters with his nose.
I leave town, and have the option of travelling to Fiendil, Storm Giants’ Causeway or Fortune Pass. After the mysterious Togawa has had such a build-up, the choice is clear. Hopefully he isn’t in the middle of a Breaking Bad marathon or mentoring the Cobra Kai.
I start climbing the mountain and get nervous when I have to admit to the book that I do not possess the Climbing skill. I am then gravely warned that continuing will mean my life is in the ‘hands of Fate’. Trusting in the dice, I roll an….8 and survive the climb.
I make it into a cave, and am promptly attacked by a ten-foot-high ‘Rock Hulk’. I guess there was an active copyright on the name ‘Abominable Snowman’. Without so much as a by-your-leave I get thrown against the wall (losing 4 Endurance – back to 9) before my savior enters stage right, strikes one blow against the Rock Hulk / Yeti and fells it immediately.
He introduces himself as Togowa and invites me to HIS cave.
Making me blush, he compliments me on my martial arts. Of course, its kind of like when Hugh Jackman compliments you on your acting career. Its nice to hear, but the condescension makes you die a little inside.
More importantly, he teaches me a new kick known as ‘Kwon’s Flail’, and his tips and tricks add +1 to my Kick Modifier. Thanks, strange old man in the mountains!
After telling him I’m from the Island of Tranquil Dreams (which is a place a surprising number of people seem to have heard of) he again asks “Where is your home?”
Umm – you were doing so well, old man, but now you’re lapsing into some kind of senile….
That mystical grandmaster litany from way back at the start!
[Frantically leafs through book to be reminded of how it goes]
“My Home is my Body”.
Oh no! Follow up question!
“What are your weapons?”
Ooh! Teacher! I know this one!
“My Weapons are Everything that Exists”.
Aside : While that is a suitably bad-ass declaration, I don’t know how Avenger would go in a fight using, say, a box of tissues and a manila folder as weapons. Anyway.
After nailing the final question, correctly stating that my eyes are the Sun and the Moon (!!), Togawa is pleased to note that I am a Grandmaster of the Five Winds and that he will “do my best to help you”. Presumably, the fact that I’m trying to save both his and my god from eternal damnation wouldn’t have been convincing enough otherwise.
I won’t even try to describe the doubtless drug-inspired sequence that follows, but in summary :
- We both meditate and our spirit selves go to the gates of the Seven Heavens.
- Kwon’s second-in-command, the Spirit Tiger, turns up and says she will help us. For some reason, my character doesn’t then immediately ask the Spirit Tiger to kill Yaemon and Honoric for us.
- I receive the knowledge that Yaemon and Honoric are meeting up with Manse the Deathmage at a city called Druath Glennan. From there the gruesome threesome will travel together to the Pillars of Change to doom the ‘good gods’ to hell (or Inferno, as it is apparently called here).
I also get blessed, with my Fate Modifier increasing to +1. After we wake up, he also gives me some healing herbs (will restore 8 Endurance at a time of my choosing).
Finally, Togowa falls asleep, and I note that there is “no further help to be gained”. Which is a little ungracious since the guy saved my life, taught me a new kick, gave me +1 Kick Modifier, gave me (indirectly) +1 Fate Modifier, presented me with healing herbs and helped me discover where the villains were going! I’m not sure if Avenger was also expecting a foot-rub and a complimentary smoking jacket, but sometimes you just need to say ‘Thanks’ and move on.
Which I shall do, in my next instalment.
Awesome names : Heaps, including Storm Giants Causeway, Manse the Deathmage and Gardens of Redemption.
Status : Punch Modifier +1, Kick Modifier +1, Fate Modifier +1, Endurance 9, Inner Force 5