While allaying the poor fisherman’s concerns about the cult of Nullaq (he has a similiar reaction to that if I admitted to being a proud Spice Girls fan club member) I confirm that he will transport me to the Isle of Thieves.
We arrive as a a massive galley sails (or, more accurately, rows) past our little boat.
This may, or may not, be relevant. I’m sure Avenger will find out as to whether this is a Chekhov’s Gun.
Look that up, if you don’t have a drama background.
No, seriously. I can wait.
I stylishly disembark, while resolving to ‘borrow’ an Amulet of Nullaq from the local temple.
Borrow, that’s right. Irsmuncast will pay a very reasonable rate of interest.
As I check out the surrounds of the port, I am interested to note that the ‘main trade’ of the port is ‘piracy’. That makes a great tourist brochure. Come to the Isle of Thieves! Bring your valuables! Our main trade is piracy!
I guess, given my lack of one eye, I fit the stereotype of a pirate. Zing!
After wandering around, I discover a temple comprised of black stone, with various decorations adorned with the spider symbol of Nullaq. The goddess is described as ‘She who rules in malicious envy.’ How you can suffer from envy when you are a ruler is open to discussion, but I guess that was Saul’s problem, if you remember your Old Testament.
As I ponder the temple, I see a priestess of Nullaq, accompanied by two eunuchs.
Aside : We all know what a eunuch is, right? How Avenger can tell, on a city street, that the two men with the priestess are eunuchs is perhaps best left unsaid.
While this little procession passes by I can see that, in addition to a spider head-dress that would not look out of place at a Satanic race meeting, the priestess is wearing a gold and onyx Amulet of Nullaq. Choice time!
I can either ambush the priestess, sneak into the temple, or break into the temple during a ceremony.
I figure its easier to take a couple of eunuchs on, rather than a whole temple of traps and worshipppers. I go for a theft during their regular wanders throughout the city.
I ‘lurk’ (such a delightful word) behind a chimney until another priestess strolls past with her two eunuch minders. I can use Poison Needles, go for a chop using my Yubi-Jutsu skill or just use the old-school garotte.
Poison Needles haven’t let me down so far.
I drop to the ground, spit a suitably venomous needle at the priestess and watch as she crumbles.
Aside : Am I really the good guy here? Yes, she apparently worships an evil goddess, but she had been walking through the city and minding her own business. I guess Avenger has gone from Overlord to mugger in a few short paragraphs.
Does the end justify the means? I’ll leave that to my philosophically-minded readers.
I take on the two bodyguards. I go for the old stand-by, being the Leaping Tiger kick.
I manage to kick one of the bodyguards (presumably IN THE FACE) and manage to cause 5 damage. Both of the bodyguards connect with their retaliatory strikes, and I only manage to block one blow. Thankfully, only the minimum 3 damage is caused.
Endurance : Me 17, Bodyguard #1 : 9, Bodyguard #2 : 3.
I miss with my kick, while one of the two bodyguards connects, causing 7 damage.
Endurance : Me 10, Bodyguard #1 9, Bodyguard #2 : 3
All three of us miss.
You wouldn’t believe it – All three of us miss again! Call us the three stooges, if that label hadn’t already been given to the mob from book 2 – Assassin!
I miss, while I manage to block the one blow of these two numbskulls which manages to connect.
I miss, while both the bodyguards connect, doing a combined 9 damage.
Endurance : Me 1, Bodyguard #1 : 9, Bodyguard #2 : 3
Let’s just note that I have failed to roll more than 6 five (!) times in a row.
I connect, and kill Bodyguard #2 (such a dignified name!). Bodyguard #1 fails to connect, now that I am better able to defend (against one opponent).
My kick makes deadly contact, doing 7 damage. The responding blow fails.
Endurance : Me 1, Bodyguard #1 2
Finally I land consecutive blows, felling the other bodyguard.
I snaffle the Amulet of Nullaq, only to be told that, due to its inherently evil nature, I have to deduct (permanently) one point of Inner Force. My maximum is now 4 ‘until I find redemption’.
In any event, I manage to sneak out of town and ‘borrow’ a small boat. I leave the harbour, and set off towards the Fangs of Nadir
Stats : Endurance : 1, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier: +2, Throw Modifier : -1, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3