In words that I’m sure, after that cliffhanger, will pull the audience in, the book tells me that ‘the stairs stop in a great dimly lit hallway of dressed stone’.
Feeling like a cosplayer at a Renaissance fair, I (with my stout companions) keep moving forward, noting the statues to my (our) left that depict former Rulers of the Rift. I assume these include caricatures of various spiders, Tories, lizards, rugby players, demons and other figures who may have been prominent in the religion of astrology.
There is now a choice between the wide passage through the ‘Way of Thrones’ and another narrow passageway. The mere fact that these four stooges seem to wish to travel along the ‘Way of Thrones’ makes this decision clear.
Aside : Interesting that the ‘Way of Thrones’ is prominent on a night where I just watched the finale of Game of Thrones season 6. Holy FSM that was awesome!!!
Game of Thrones SPOILERS
R+L=J, if you know what I mean!
Game of Thrones SPOILERS OFF
We carry down the narrow way in a straight line for hundreds of meters, until the floor tilts suddenly, we all have flashes of Luna Park funhouses, and we are pitched forward into a well-lift room, seemingly hung with lush tapestries.
Aside : The fact that, in the middle of the Rift and surrounded by enemies, Avenger notices the quality of the tapestries, goes towards both his taste and also his self-possession in a crisis.
We now confront Tyutchev, Cassandra and Thaum, who have clearly been waiting for us. The reason that they knew we would be in this room at this time can be chalked up to that thoroughly corrupt villain known as ‘Plot Device’. Or as the book puts it “they must have guessed that you would come this way”.
Apparently, they [meaning Tyutchev and company] have ‘done well’ to penetrate so deeply into the Bowels of Orb.
Aside : Alright, just hang on one cotton-picking minute. Firstly, there is no way my hanger-ons (incompetents) would have made it to this point if it was in any way difficult. Secondly, if Tyutchev and company are penetrating deeply (implying that they are hardly allies of the Rift residents) then why on earth would my ‘companions’ think it was a good idea to seek them here in the Rift??
The baddies (and seriously, let’s just call them that) indulge in some trash-talking, stating essentially that they are (collectively) better fighters and wizards than my mates. (Yes, for the purpose of this interaction, they are my mates. Don’t judge me.)
In any event, it is clear that the battle royal is about to begin.
Given that I previously (Book 2) fought these noobs to a draw single-handed, my four allies make me…..actually quite worried, given their track record.
Thaum (the wizard) starts making patterns with his fingers in the air, while Tyutchev and Cassandra stare at the wall. Even if I hadn’t guessed correctly on my first play of this book in the 80s, it would be completely obvious that I should also look away, so I do so.
And there is a burst of blinding light….
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