After running down numerous flights of stairs I find myself in the torture chamber of the Keep, complete with hooded torturer. I guess the hood is meant to conceal his identity, or maybe he just had a pimple on his forehead that simply wouldn’t go away, no matter how much Clearasil he applied.
There’s a glorious mention of how the torturer must be an ‘insomniac’, presumably because he is still working in the dead of night. Either that or his union has negotiated a sweet triple-overtime deal.
I get the option of surrendering to the torturer, which I reckon has about as the same chance of success as Keanu Reeves trying to do a believable English accent. Alternatively, I can either attack the torturer or dive into the pool of water which stretches to (and hopefully under) the back wall of the chamber.
Much as I’m not a fan of torturers, attacking him won’t do me much good, since I’ll still be stuck in this dungeon with a bunch of guards breathing down my neck. I dive into the water.
After a while underwater, I emerge into an underground cavern, only to be confronted by a massive creature, fifteen feet (!!) tall. Apparently this is an ‘Elder God’, and I’m thinking this won’t be quite as easy a fight as when I threw the guard down the stairs five minutes ago.
I realise with horror that this can’t be good. If it was a Teen-age God, I could distract him or her with comparisons between Kanye and Usher. With an Elder God, I don’t have the background knowledge to discuss at length the lesser works of Bob Dylan.
I get told that it lumbers towards me like a ‘hairless ape’. So, due to the ‘hairless’ adjective, I guess it doesn’t resemble Donald Trump. I can also see that it is chained to the wall of the cavern.
I can’t see how a throw will work, so I go for the old standby, the Winged Horse Kick.
The Elder God has an Endurance of 20, and does damage of 2 dice + 2, so I know I’m in for a real fight.
My first kick penetrates the beast’s defences, doing damage of 5. The God’s attempt to ‘impale me on its great horn’ fails. The bad puns really make themselves after that attack description.
Elder God : 15, Avenger : 20
I again attempt to kick the lights out. I hit, and inflict damage of…4. The Elder God hits me, but I successfully block the blow.
Elder God : 11, Avenger : 20
Sticking with the winning strategy, my next thrust would have hit, but I was weakened from my previous success at blocking the Elder God’s strike. Luckily, his follow-up mauling also fails.
I then break through the defences again, with a damage total of 6. Luckily, I then again avoid the retaliatory strike.
Elder God : 5, Avenger : 20
My final blow drives through the Elder God’s defensive clutches and, surprisingly, I survive unscathed.
Never in doubt.
In a nice bit of colourful dialogue, I am congratulated on conquering a beast who roamed the earth ‘before man came from the stars’. We came from the stars, did we? Nice to know. I’ll bear that in mind for my next comparative theology class.
I rush on down the tunnel, claw my way through an obstructing grille, and see the starlight once more. I’ve escaped the Keep and, for what its worth, getting out was far more nerve-wracking and dangerous than getting in. I have a flash of my relationship with an ex-girlfriend, but refuse to get distracted.
I have to decide which path to take, and elect to retrace my steps back to the delightful town of Druath Glennan. You know, the place where they tried to burn me alive while I slept inside a poorhouse. Ahh, memories.
In a gesture of bravado straight out of a Western, I stroll into the Hydra’s Head Inn and order breakfast. Steak and eggs, in case you were wondering.
As I attempt to pay (unlike certain others, who don’t pay for the quality services of a minstrel) seven devotees of the Scarlet Mantis decide that it is payback time.
Seven to one? Pretty unfair odds, but I decline to give them a chance to surrender.
I rather break out my standard response of a Poison Needle!
Two of them fall by my hand (or, technically, by my needles), while the remainder are stunned to a degree that means I can quickly leave town and flee towards the Goblin Teeth Mountains. In a delightful development, I hear the ‘baying of hounds’.
I move quickly into the foothills of the mountains, but am politely informed that the grounds ‘shifts suddenly’ beneath my feet, and I fall into a tunnel.
Well, this has been a kind of a day, hasn’t it?
Status : Endurance 20, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier : +1, Fate Modifier : +1, Throw Modifier : 0, Inner Force : 5
Awesome Names : Goblin’s Teeth Mountains has a delightful ring to it.