…not Yaemon (the final boss, if you will) but Honoric and Manse the Deathmage. Just chilling in the Courtyard, no doubt listening to some tunes and checking out the passing hotties.
More relevantly, Honoric starts fencing with several of the soldiers. Manse, in what, let’s face it, is a total dick move, transforms the sword Honoric is using into a tulip.
Check out the picture above. I think the illustrator may just have been trying to imply something about Honoric’s manhood, or I may be reading too much into these things.
In any event, Honoric’s pride has been hurt, and he draws his MEGASWORD Sorcerak which apparently serves to cancel out Manse’s magic. I file that information away for possible future use.
It is then confirmed that my singing and juggling will be the star turn at dinner tonight. Black tie, ninja costume optional.
My performance is met with ‘polite applause’ but I note that so far, there has been no mention of money for my labours. Applause is not a tip, people!
Yaemon and Honoric have been my audience.
In an interesting development, I’m given the option of attempting to take Yaemon out now with one of my patented Poison Needles. I’ve read enough of these gamebooks (including this one) to know that I won’t be able to defeat my arch-enemy until the final fight. Its like when Sandra Bullock gets romanced at the 45 minute mark of the movie – you know that things still have to get worse before they get better.
Not that I’m setting myself up as some kind of Sandra Bullock expert or anything.
Back to the story, I decline the chance to get myself killed by attempting to assassinate Yaemon.
Aside : I knew that option was bad news from previous trips through the book, but it leads to one of the all-time death scenes. Manse holds his hand out, beckons slightly, and my heart FLIES OUT OF MY CHEST, THROUGH THE AIR AND INTO HIS HAND. You then get this final sentence “He squeezes the still pulsing organ and the floor is drenched with your blood as you fall dead”. Yowza.
After being ‘escorted out’ (still without getting paid! Cheapskates!) I draw a map of the keep from memory. I have several options that night but, most importantly, the moon is full and the night is still. Hardly a conducive night for sneaking around, so I take the chance of waiting another day.
While waiting out the day (checking my phone for e-mails, returning some calls, playing Candy Crush) I can see that my foes are preparing for departure on the morrow. Tonight’s the night!
Thankfully, the next night is stormy and moonless, perfect conditions for ninjas and serial killers.
Since I don’t have the Climbing skill I have to take the easy way in through the ruined tower on the north side. Piece of cake. Its almost too easy. Just as I think that, I hear the croaking of bullfrogs (!!) which stops suddenly as I make may way through the moat.
Were you one of those who thought the Essence of Firenewt that I picked up earlier seemed really random and couldn’t possibly come in handy? Well, you haven’t played a gamebook lately! The Essence stimulates (!) the bullfrogs to resume their croaking.
I make my way to the Inner Bailey, and spy two guards sheltering at a fire. Having already used my one dose of Flash Powder, I go old-school and throw a small stone into the fire, distracting the guards while I steal past.
Gee, if that kind of tactic keeps being effective, maybe I’ll defeat Yaemon by telling him that his shoelace is untied.
Confronted by a locked door and a wall, I confess to the book that I have neither the Climbing or Lock-Picking skills, and it looks like my way forward is blocked.
But no! I use a point of Inner Force and snap the lock open with BRUTE FORCE. Hulk Ninja!
In a truly mind-boggling feat, I then wedge myself in the top corner of the room (between the ceiling and walls) for TWENTY MINUTES while the guards walk by. Then, just to show off, I walk on my hands up some stairs while evading the trip-wires planted there.
I’m almost at the three turrets, each of which has the bedroom of one of my foes. I am only foiled by the Captain of the Guard, sheltering at a brazier.
Poison Needles – always there when I need to deliver treacherous death! The Captain collapses and I have my choice of the three turrets :
Sword of Doom?
Status : Endurance 8, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier +1, Fate Modifier +1, Inner Force 3.
Awesome names : Sorcerak is suitably intimidating.