Aside : A fairly brief update here, because of work and family commitments. Hopefully Avenger will be understanding of these issues and not, you know, die.
I walk through the door mentioned in the previous update and confront a monstrosity that is almost uglier than [insert name of ugly person in reader’s popular culture].
Yes, that ugly!
The ‘Old One’ has a bald head, tentacles growing from beneath their mouth, evil eyes, wicked countenance. Heck, just look at the illustration, you get the idea.
In any event, this delightful individual greets me by name (yes, I’m that famous) and does that whole faux-praise thing where they compliment you on getting ‘this far’ before declaring that they will destroy / kill you.
For our present purposes, the more urgent concern is the psychic attack launched upon me by this monstrosity. In answer to the query, yes, I do have Inner Force left, although I lose another precious point of same (Update : 3 left)
The struggle continues, and I have the option of continuing the mental battle, hurling a Shuriken at the mental giant or feigning death (skill required).
Since I can normally die without learning to appear so, I don’t have the Feigning Death skill.
Aside : I do know from my youth that throwing the Shuriken does guarantee victory, as long as you roll 8 or more on two dice. Since death is the penalty of failing that roll, I’ll take the alternative.
I continue to resist with my mental strength, and lose another (!) point of Inner Force in the battle. If this keeps up, I’ll end up like Dennis Hopper.
The mental battle ends in a stalemate, and we confront each other with what, in most books of this kind, would be renewed respect.
Aside : In this scenario, I’d actually just say “Look you tentacled freak, just let me avenge myself against my father’s killer and get OUT OF MY WAY!!”
But I digress.
As the ‘Old One’ (trademark Lovecraft) makes various vague remarks about our rivalry (which has lasted, you know, about five minutes), he/it makes magical gestures which create an image of myself (!), ready to do battle.
I’ve played enough of this sort of game to know that a duplicate of yourself is either a 50/50 battle or an illusion.
Choosing to disbelieve the illusion, I decide to simply ‘walk through’ the image of the (surprisingly good-looking) ninja.
This meta-strategy works, and the Old One, while admiring my simple awesomeness, ‘traces a rectangle in the air’ before creating a trans-dimensional gateway and escaping from what is obviously the forthcoming final battle.
I know it is a premature cliffhanger, but I went through the adjacent door into the Throne Room of the Usurper, and what I see is a question for a future instalment.
Aside : Although, it would be beautifully intriguing if the reigning Overlord was a mild-mannered Clark Kent type who was totally unaware of the mayhem happening under his rule. Couldn’t solve that problem with a Leaping Tiger kick, could we?
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 2