I make my way through the Irsmuncast cemetery into the tomb of Lord Kalmon, find the secret passage to the underground and walk down some ominous steps into a dark, spooky corridor.
Aside : If this was a horror movie, this is when the quiet yet creepy piano music would rise on the soundtrack to add atmosphere.
The book asks if I have the lotus flower from Golspiel. The fact that I do is surely an indicator that he’s reconsidered, and has left something to help me…
Yeah, probably not.
Some dude is waiting for me, wearing only a loincloth. Everything about him screams danger, and the fact that I have to admit to the book that I don’t have the Shin Ren skill makes me even more nervous.
Before my eyes he transforms into a man / wolf hybrid, like the werewolf he so clearly is. Just so that I know who to take revenge on later, he / it confirms that “Golspiel” asked him to do a favour for him. I’m guessing the favour wasn’t “Search all second-hand book stores for a 1st edition of David Copperfield”.
Glaivas knew what he was doing when he gave me that silver Shuriken! I throw it immediately, hit the werewolf in the chest, and do 7 damage before the fight has even started.
I go for the Forked Lightning Strike kick, noting that my last actual fight in this book was against those Halvorc fighters back in the Valley of the Lich-Kings…
I need a 5 or more on two dice to hit. I get a…7. Because of my awesome silver Shuriken, the werewolf has only 7 Endurance left, and I do…7 damage!!! In your face Golspiel!! First against the wall in my new regime, baby!
I confirm that I lost no Endurance in the fight, removing any risk of lycanthropy, and meaning that the next full moon will be an opportunity for dating and snuggling, and not wolfen torture and mayhem.
I quickly move along the tunnel, detecting sounds of eating and the stench of unbathed bodies. Either I’m approaching a sporting dressing room, or there’s trouble ahead.
A group of three ‘hulking beasts’, also known as Cave Trolls, are drinking heavily and arguing amongst themselves, probably about the latest Fox News manufactured conspiracy theory (oh yes – I went there). There is a another archway beyond them where the corridor continues. Since I don’t have the skill of Climbing, I throw my flash powder on the fire and sprint for the exit. An unsubtle method, but I’m hoping it works.
I make to to the far end of the cavern, and confront these beasts in the doorway, where they have to face me one at a time. I have the choice of a Tiger’s Paw chop, a Leaping Tiger kick or……[drumroll please] I can finally (!!) use my skill of Yubi-Jutsu!
Well, what do you think I’m going to do??
I attack the first Troll and my foot smashes INTO ITS THROAT and it collapses, wracked in pain. As the others realise that their drinking buddy has been put out of action by a single blow they back away. I smile at their ‘snivelling, cowardly nature’ and move forward.
The tunnel eventually opens into a well-crafted square stone room, and I assume I have now made it to the area beneath the palace. On the right wall is a smooth outline in the shape of a door, with an indentation in the form of a ring. In answer to the book’s query, I do not have a brass signet ring, and I guess my Opal Ring just isn’t classy enough to qualify.
As I examine the wall to try and open what is obviously a secret door, I press a small depression in the middle of the wall, causing the ‘wall’ to open before me. My Finding and Detecting Traps skill comes in handy, as I dodge a crossbow bolt that shatters the stone right about where my back would have been but for my evasion.
In the secret chamber I spy the tomb of a long-dead Lord of Irsmuncast, with the middle of the room containing a marble plinth with a thin gold circlet, sporting a ruby.
Independently of the possible value on Ebay, this is obviously the item which I was advised would help me in the final battle. The flames between me and the circlet are clearly supernatural in nature and, in answer to the book’s demand, I confess that I do not possess a bottle labelled ‘Waters of Protection Against Ethereal Flame’.
Using the famous ninja ‘No guts, no glory’ philosophy, I dash as quickly as possible through the ghostly fire. The agony is unbearable, akin to that involved with sitting through an entire Billy Ray Cyrus concert. After expending a point of Inner Force, I am able to make it through, and I return to safety, bearing my prize.
I put the circlet on my head, under my ninja hood, and lament the lack of mirrors in which to inspect my doubtlessly improved appearance.
Feeling strengthened by passing three (!) major tests, I enter the oak door at the rear of the room.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 4
Awesome names : Even thought I didn’t possess it, ‘Water of Protection Against Ethereal Flame’ is a surprisingly specific and detailed description. How it fit on a small label is intriguing…