Well, I’ve now obtained access to the dungeon, or, in other words, the lair of the Ninjas who follow the Way of the Scorpion.
Cue the Mission Impossible music!
I am cheerily informed that “death lurks. ready to pounce upon you like a wolf-spider on its prey”.
Thanks, book. You’ve just made me feel like I’m in the middle of a Nightmare on Elm Street movie.
I walk past various sculpted (and scary) faces and figures along the wall. Because I’m not, you know, twelve years old, these don’t have a serious impact.
That’s my story, and no-one can prove differently!
In any event, the corridor bends to the right, and I see a “Ninja guard” twelve feet away, unmoving with a sword strapped to his back.
Because this is a gamebook, there is a very real possibility that this is a dummy or similiar booby-trap.
My options are to throw a Shuriken from my current location, or to creep up and try to garotte this sentry’s neck from behind.
I’ve played too many of these books to think this sentry is real. I hurl my Shuriken from a position of safety. It sends the figure ‘toppling forwards’ as it falls to the floor and ‘shatters’.
Apparently this causes me to ‘start in surprise’ which is amazing because yours truly immediately picked this as a trap. On a more reassuring note, my guess is confirmed as correct as the figure shatters on the floor, revealing itself as a clay dummy.
A Way of the Scorpion (presumably) ninja drops from a trap-door in the ceiling. Luckily for Avenger, I’m not next to the clay figure, but rather lurking in the shadows. I immediately move to the attack, and launch a Cobra Strike chop at this interloper’s throat. I need a 6 or more on two dice. The trusty dice give me a….5. The enemy ninja responds with a glancing blow that causes me to lose 2 Endurance. With an Iron Fist, a Cobra Strike and a Tiger’s Paw chop, I take out the sentry.
I come across another door and turn the handle easily. After turning into another corridor, I am confronted with an incredibly good-looking ninja (my words), whose eyes glitter with ‘determined resolve’.
I’ve played enough gamebooks to understand that this is obviously a mirror, reflecting my own gorgeous self. The mention of the seductive eyes gave it away.
With the options given, I adopt a defensive posture, rather than immediately utilizing a Winged Horse kick.
The mirror (because of course it is) gets knocked forward from the other side, and a ‘pale and gaunt’ man confronts me, holding a ‘chain-mace’.
He attempts some trash-talking, making references to how ‘only a fool’ would seek to enter the den of Scorpions (guilty as charged) and express a wish for Nemesis to ‘devour my soul’.
Now that’s just rude.
I launch a pre-emptive Winged Horse kick to interrupt any spell-casting that he may contemplate, and then have the choice of a Tiger’s Paw Chop, a Whirlpool Throw or a Leaping Tiger Kick.
With my +3 Kick modifier, I go for the Leaping Tiger Kick!
I need a 5 or more to hit, and make it (7, if you were curious). I do 6 damage. His mace initially connects, but I successfully block the blow.
Endurance : Me 15, (elderly) Ninja 5
Given my block in the previous round, I now need a 7 or more to hit. Unfortunately, I roll a 6. The (elderly) Ninja gets a 7, hits and I fail to block the blow. Damage to me of….7.
Endurance : Me 8, (elderly) Ninja 5
We both miss, which, given my Block penalty, should hold me in good stead for the next round.
I hit (woo-hoo!) but do damage of only 4, leaving the bald dude with 1 Endurance left. Luckily, he misses.
I again hit, and do a unnecessarily large amount of damage (8, if you were wondering), meaning the ninja falls before me.
The Priest / Ninja of Nemesis falls dead.
I can say, without spoilers, that the next confrontation involves the Grandmaster of Shadows.
No suspense, though. That would be just mean.
Stats : Endurance : 8, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5