The four bumblers (ahem – Adventurers) have apparently journeyed to the Rift to seek revenge against Tyutchev, Thaum and Cassandra for the crime (referenced in Book 2) of killing a high priest of Illustra.
In line with their usual level of expertise, rather than seek out their foes in the numerous civilised cities and country-side of the Manmarch, they have journeyed into the Rift, undisguised, in the vague hope of finding these three Chaos-worshippers in the middle of lunch or similiar activity.
Apparently, to give (a limited amount of) credit where its due, my new partners have discovered that our mutual foes are on the fourth tier or further (wait for it) down. (!!)
I have the option of joining with these adventurers (and hoping they don’t stab me while lighting up a cigarette) or moving forward on my own.
Given that it looks more and more likely that I’m going to be taking on at least three opponents I guess these guys will be useful as cannon fodder, if nothing else. I just hope they don’t blunder around and give me away in the meantime.
I agree to travel with them.
Blah, blah, flavour text which in essence confirms that we make our (long) way down towards the fourth tier. I skillfully (or, in the case of my companions, luckily) evade detection as we move through the various necessary corridors.
The tunnel being followed enters an underground plaza, with growths known as ‘guruka trees’ which apparently flourish underground, while being nourished by bacteria and the guano of bats and ‘other creatures’. Oookay.
We are apparently now walking down the ‘Fire Giants Stair’. the main route between the third and fourth tiers. There is a constant bustle of people. I guess my companions, because notwithstanding the fact that they are advertising themselves as followers of the Rift’s enemies, no-one hassles us as we walk down the stairs (!)
There is an enormous tunnel and staircase at the other end of the plaza we’ve reached, but I (we?) elect not to push our luck and decide to rather attempt to find a back stairway to finish our trip to the fourth tier.
After a day of searching, we find a secret door which we follow down (!) to the fourth tier.
Passing a small alcove, Eris (the magician of our motley band) notices a small samovar (which, and I had to look it up too) is a small device used (mainly in Russia, or the Orb equivalent) to heat and boil water. This specimen is around 60 centimetres tall and made of solid gold. It is passed around, and my entire party admires it. Do I want to have a look?
Well, since, if it was harmful, something would have happened to someone already by now, I take the sucker bet and decide to have a look. Maybe my ninja eyes will notice something missed by my learned (!) companions.
Instead, a small spider, which is obviously repelled by stupidity, picks this precise moment to scurry out of the spout of the samovar, crawl up onto my face, into my mouth, up my gullet and nestle in a space underneath my brain.
Um, what? My reflexes allow me to catch an arrow out of mid-air, but my mouth hangs open long enough to allow a spider entry??
Apparently this might have happened before (!) because the book now asks if this is the second (!) time a spider has crawled into my brain in this fashion. Naturally, this has only happened once to me.
My colleagues, rather than expressing amazement that the spider didn’t target any of them, make snide remarks about losing my soul, and express regret that they can’t perform an exorcism outside a temple.
So absolutely no help then. Colour me (not) surprised.
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5
Number of dice rolls in this entire book so far : 0