Inferno!

Inferno! – Attempt 1, Part 9

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I see the light!

Actually, I don’t see the light, and a very good thing too, since Thaum’s spell sets off an eruption of glare so bright that it blinds anyone fool enough to be looking at it.

Do you need to ask? Of course my fellow adventurers are temporarily useless.  Hold that thought!  Vespers, the swordsman, is actually alert enough to shield his eyes, along with Thybault.

Tyutchev and Cassandra are now moving to attack.

Choice!

I can either throw a Shuriken at Thaum, who is obviously readying another spell, or try to put Cassandra and Tyutchev between me and Thaum, effectively using them as a ‘human shield’.

I think disrupting the spell has to take priority, so that my companions as well as myself are protected.

Luckily I don’t need to make a dice roll (surprise, surprise) and my Shuriken wounds Thaum in the shoulder, disrupting his spell.

Meanwhile, Thybault and Cassandra are having a dispute, as adjudicated by weapons, while Tyutchev and I actually trade blows, for the first time in the series.

Wait for it!

It can’t be!!!

The two of us are actually having a fight, which requires some dice-rolls!!  Vespers is apparently also helping, although you’d never be able to tell…

Weirdly, the book doesn’t ask me to choose between kicks, punches or throws, but rather designates my attempts to wound Tyutchev as ‘Way of the Tiger’.

Aside : No indication from the book as to how to measure the damage done by me in this interaction, since it isn’t either a ‘kick’ or ‘punch’. This is unfortunate, because of my positive ‘kick’ and ‘punch’ modifiers.

More worryingly, Tyutchev does 2 dice + 2 damage on each successful blow.

Apparently this is not, for the moment, a fight to the death, as after either wounding him twice or having three rounds of combat, I have to turn to another paragraph.

Round 1

I roll a 9 (needed an 8), and to the extent that it is important, do 1 damage.

Tyutchev hits, my block fails and he does 13 (!!) damage.

Aside : Seriously, those last three rolls were 12 (to hit), 11 (to break through the block) and 11 (damage).  Amazing.

Round 2

I roll a 5 and miss.

Tyutchev also misses, with a 6.

Round 3

I get an 11 (hit!) and do 6 damage.

Since I’ve hit Tyutchev twice, I turn to a new paragraph which states that ‘you are about to finish Tyutchev off…” when, naturally, Thybault crashes into me.

Like I didn’t see that clumsiness happening from a mile away.

Thybault is, shockingly, losing his battle with Cassandra, as the various fighters on either side now regroup.  Tyutchev has apparently lost a pouch from his belt, which I retrieve.

Suddenly the tapestry at one end of the cavern (and presumably, most of the wall) is ripped asunder by a monstrous beast ‘as big as a city’ which emerges to basically throw down with both sides of this little tete-a-tete.

Aside : I’m assuming the ‘big as a city’ stuff is just hyperbole, just as I will overlook how this monstrous creature managed to approach our battle completely undetected.  As anyone who has watched movies like Jurassic Park knows, huge monsters and dinosaurs can be heard from some distance, if only to allow suspense to be built.

Anyway, as pretty much everyone involved in this equation attempts to flee, one of the bodyguards riding atop this monstrosity throws some bolas (!!) at my legs, causing me to stumble.  Cassandra, meanwhile, makes a reference to the ‘Worldworm’ being their only chance for escape.

Tyutchev opens a secret door at the end of the cavern, exposing a ‘bowl-shaped cavern running with fire’.  Oookay, this is getting Mount Doom-esque.

This new cavern is, apparently, in a brief infodump, the lair of the Worldworm, a creature which has a head in the Rift, and a body which stretches all the way through the mountains and down to the very centre of the world.

In other words, the world’s hottest water slide.

Everyone in front of me, led by Tyutchev, dives into the mouth (!!) of this great worm.  Cassandra is the last to dive in, immediately in front of me.  As we approach, the Worldworm is apparently ‘coming to life’ (!!)

This is seriously becoming a drug-addled version of Disney’s Fantasia.

Cassandra thrusts her sword in the Worldworm’s mouth to prevent it closing, and she and I leap up into the gap.

I can attempt a killing blow against her, or dive into the mouth of the beast.

Prizing survival of myself and others over revenge, I dive into the mount of this mythical beast.

I confirm to the book that I did not, at the start of the book, confiscate Cassandra’s original sword, and turn to the final paragraph of the book.

I (along with the others) enjoy my path down this twisted slide for about 5 seconds, before I discover that this ‘creature’ no longer has a stomach or tail.  In practice, what that means is that we all fall out of a ‘jagged hole’ into the void.

We fall into the darkness as Cassandra grabs at me, either to kill or hug me.  Given my dashing looks, and the proximity of death, I’m thinking the latter.

In any event, I try to call upon Kwon, but no dice (both literally and metaphorically).  We all fall into a massive spider-web, as we see an enormouse spider moving towards us, with obvious ill-intent.

We have apparently fallen into the web of the (capitalised) Black Widow spider.

Now.

I want everyone to remember that the following was the last we readers heard of this series for TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS :

“You have fallen into the web of the Black Widow, whose minions have driven you to this pass.  Here on the seventh tier you will make a juicy morsel for the Queen of Evil, unless you can master your despair and somehow rid Orb of its darkest blight.

The end.”

Yep, that was the cliffhanger we were left on.

Further thoughts on that and the book overall, in my concluding post, tomorrow.

Final Stats : Endurance : 9 (Edited : Thanks, Barristan!), Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5

EDITORIAL NOTE  : As pure chance would have it, this post on the end of the original 6 books coincides with my 100th post on this humble little blog.  I never would have imagined the reaction I’ve received from wonderful people around the world, including both authors of the books (!!) along with followers from many countries such as UK, USA , Australia, Singapore, Ireland, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Turkey etc etc.  Thanks to everyone for following, and feel free to leave a comment here about how you felt when you encountered this (Grrr…) cliffhanger.

 

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12 thoughts on “Inferno! – Attempt 1, Part 9

  1. I felt so annoyed by the end of book 6 that I undertook years of ninja author training, wrote half a dozen books over several more years to establish credibility to get agreement to co-write book 7 to fix it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The words were added as Mark and Jamie had just signed with another publisher for a new series and the Way of the Tiger publisher was peeved!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 29 years I’ve been troubled by those words. TWENTY NINE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

        There’s a lot of swearing going on in my head just now. But thank you for revealing that information. I really and truly hate that publisher now. Really and truly. They caused a lot of pain and annoyance out of petty spite … I wonder were they Old One’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This picture sure brings back memories… I think I tried every option in this book, hoping there was a hidden final paragraph that was less disappointing, before accepting that this is how the series is supposed to end.

    I’m quite impressed how you nonchalantly strolled through that one with only one spider gnawing at your brains and a single blow received (albeit a mighty one, you forgot to count it in your final tally). Congratulations and thanks for the blog, looking forward to discover the new stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on beating the original series and a great blog, looking forward to you going through the new ones.

    And no, you don’t assume “big as a city” is hyperbole. You take it absolutely literally, canonically and non-tongue-in-cheek, while still thinking of the whole situation in a “realistic” manner, thinking of the world as actually existing, the characters as presumably being “real people” with three-dimensional psychologies even if it doesn’t really come out in the writing (I… feel this is relevant somehow?) and so on. That’s how you get great images and sense of wonder! Now, exactly how Cassandra jams the mouth of an actually city-sized beast with her sword, I’m not entirely sure, but apparently she manages. I guess that’s where you need to apply just that little extra bit of suspension of disbelief.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @Martin

    I will mention that the ‘beast’ that is as big as a city is a different creature from the Worldworm, into the mouth of whom Cassandra shoves her sword.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, I am also looking forward to Book 7.

    Like

  5. Wrote a reply this morning but it didn’t take, apologies for late.

    I was quite thrown throughout this book, I was quite hypedby Warbringer and got confusedby the gameplay here (I know I usually defend the booksbut your criticisms in Conclusion are all justified).

    Then when I read THE END I was lost. Like Barristan above i searched for another path but all paths led to gloom. I waited in vain for a seventh book but the similarly weird ending to Falcon told me all was not well. Graduslly despair settled upon the world. Under the pressure the Soviet Union fell apart and the world entered an even more severe recession in the early nineties. By 1993 though people came to accept the inevitable and move ahead with things and the economy started to improve. A new generation arose who didn’t know what gamebooks were or share our pain while we accepted the harsh reality that the mass of men do live lives of quiet desperation.

    Then finally a few brave souls stood up to make the world a better place giving us Ninja and Redeemer, only to shatter our dreams again by ssying there probably won’t be a book 8. Still we, and Avenger, are in a better place now.

    Liked by 1 person

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