Inferno!

Inferno! – Attempt 1, Part 1

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The final book in the series to be published in the 80s, Inferno has a very mixed reputation among fans of the series.  Further, in interviews published in the last couple of years, it is admitted by the authors that the book was not finished in ideal circumstances, as they were in the midst of negotiations on another series and weren’t treated that well by the Way of the Tiger publishers.

See here for further details (and read that site generally, because it is an awesome hub of gamebook and fantasy activity).

The background to book 6 refers to ‘Peace in the Manmarch’ with the streets of Irsmuncast strewn with flowers upon my return at the end of Warbringer.  Glaivas and Dore le Jeune have apparently become BFFs and, ignoring Gwyneth, have decided to go on a ‘punitive expedition’ to the Rift.  There may well be camping, drinking and fireside stories as well.

Riggggght.  Sure nothing will go wrong with that plan.

Houses that have been destroyed during the battles are being rebuilt (through borrowed funds, no less!) but I feel ‘increasingly uneasy’ as time passes.

Aside regarding rules : It is mentioned that I regain my Endurance, my Shuriken and that my ‘Inner Force has been restored’.  I really don’t know whether that means my Inner Force goes back to 5 or 4 (remembering my penalty from collecting the Amulet of Nullaq in Book 4).

I’m going to go with 4 for the moment, and I’ll assume that I’m not going to use more than 4 points of Inner Force in the first part of the book!

(EDITED TO ADD : Straight from the horse’s mouth!  Author extraordinaire, Jamie Thomson, has responded to my querying tweet about this Inner Force issue by saying, and I quote “Technically it [the Inner Force deduction] probably should last forever — but for the ease of the reader, just for that book [Overlord!].”  So there you have it!  Inner Force is a go at 5!)

Paragraph 1!

On the fifth day of Pantheos (second cousin to Athos and Porthos) Gwyneth enters the Throne Room, and she does not look happy.  Either she found out about the secret casino I’ve been running out of the Palace kitchens, or there’s trouble afoot (or both).

Apparently some people have come from the Rift, including Foxglove (!).  In case I could possibly have forgotten, the book reminds me that Foxglove was head of the Order of the Yellow Lotus and she fled the city right about when the forces from the Rift were invading.  Gwyneth has no doubt about Foxglove’s loyalty (or lack thereof).

Gwyneth mentions that, along with 100 Orcs, ‘they’ are camped on the edges of our farmland.  When I query the identity of ‘they’ Gwyneth describes Foxglove’s companion as a warrior woman with a patchwork armour of scale mail.  Even if I couldn’t remember this part of the book, I’d recognise the description of Cassandra (from Book 2) anywhere.

Decision :

  • I can allow the two women amnesty, to hear what they have to say.
  • Ask Gwyneth to try and take them prisoner;
  • Use my Ninja skills to try to capture them unaided.

As awesome as my ninja-fu may be, I’m not keen on trying to capture two people (one of whom is a skilled warrior) in the middle of an armed camp.

The granting of amnesty to hear what people have to say is a time-honoured tradition, and I as a ruler accept it.  I grant amnesty (using my trusty town crier), and the orcs set up temporary camp on ‘Caravan Field’.

Aside : I have a glorious moment picturing 100 orcs in the middle of a caravan / trailer park, fending off various stereotypes such as meth dealers, teenage runaways and singlet-wearing beer-drinkers.

In any event, my two ‘guests’ are brought into my presence and I am met with a ‘double surprise’.

Is Foxglove now calling herself Brad?

Has Cassandra become a wizard?

Has Avenger finally been put on the front cover of this book, as justice demands?

We shall see.

Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5

Awesome names : Caravan Field, just for the chuckles it induced.

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3 thoughts on “Inferno! – Attempt 1, Part 1

  1. A real, and welcome, surprise would be book 8 being commissioned and Avenger getting to go to Upanishad (the book is provisionally entititled HolidayMaker). I can dream.

    Spot on about Inner Force (it comes up later) and thanks for the link, I knew they had trouble with the publisher but not what it was.When my mum asked her first publisher when she’d be paid for the books sold already he rang up, told me to ssy that he was chewing the carpet (neither of us knew what that meant) and then sent all copies of the book back to our house. So my mum just self published and advertised after that.

    One thing I resented was that the Orcs of the Severed Head committed atrocities in OUR city in Warbringer but here we have to let a band of them go, thanks for suggesting the Trailer I mean Caravan Field denizens harrassed them … except Gwyneth wouldn’t allow that sort of crew to muster in her city.Btw, you could have succeeded in a Ninja or military attack on the camp, but it could also have gone very badly for you.

    You no doubt expect me to be hurling unsolicited advise at you again but this time I won’t (well, yes, I did say that before).

    Roll on the audience.

    Liked by 1 person

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