We turn our collective attentions to getting past the ‘gatecastle’ so that we can escape into the sunshine.
Aside : I’ve checked with our lord and master, also known as Google, and still can’t find a definitive answer to the question of what is a ‘gatecastle’. Until further notice, I’m simply going to assume that it is a medieval-style castle with a gate (!)
I get prospective advice from several members of my team :
- Dore suggests waiting until the gate opens (to admit entry to others) before trying to charge / fight our w ay through;
- Glaivas suggests that I (individually) sneak my way in unnoticed, kill the guards and allow entry to my companions (He does the standard ‘I only wish I could accompany you’). Sure you do, mate. Sure you do.
- Taflwr suggests that we use the uniforms of dead Dark Elves to bluff our way through.
Hmmm. It really comes down to choices between combat, subterfuge or individual sneakiness.
Well – I like this series for the ninja skills. Let’s sneak in!
I take Glaivas’ advice.
Now that I’ve said this, Glaivas lays on the soft soap, calling me the ‘greatest ninja on Orb’. Right. Absolutely. *eyeroll*
I take my leave and climb up the wall, observing guards who are described as ‘a handful of green-armoured insect-humanoids with ant-like heads and four arms each’.
Now THAT is a great gamebook sentence.
One of these guards approaches and looks as if he / it will detect me. In a suitably bad-ass moment I creep behind ‘him’ (the book’s word) and crush the throat with my garrotte. I can now either open the gate immediately, or pause to change into the creature’s armour / uniform first.
Since the book has specifically described these creatures as ‘four-armed’ I don’t think this armour will fit me in any meaningful way. I therefore rush straight down to open the gate.
I garrotte another insect warrior on the way down, and then make it to the gates and open them, allowing my companions through. Using the Torch of Lumen homing beacon, we pick the right-hand ‘lava tube’ and move forward, only hearing (after a while) the sounds that indicate the dead bodies have been discovered.
As we move forward, hundreds of white ‘bat-like creatures’ (not bats, ‘bat-like creatures’) swarm past down the passage.
We emerge into a rocky chamber where, and this is on the border of ridiculous and / or awesome, an aperture opens to reveal a ‘mouth’ with fangs and a tongue. After it strikes at Dore, I have to use Cobra Strike to catch (!!) the tongue before it does further damage.
I wrestle the tongue (and they are four words you don’t see together often) to passivity while my companions hurry past on the path to the cave of Fortuna. I then give the giant tongue a final yank (!!) and race past it to chase after my allies.
That’s an encounter with a tongue that I thought never happened outside the imagination of 14-year-olds.
The tunnel ‘slithers on’ (very sleazy description of a tunnel that was probably minding its own business) until it leads out into a cavern described as follows :
- On an open expanse next to a chasm, the only light is ‘enormous petrified worms’. whose bodies protrude from the ground at regular intervals;
- Emerging from this chasm are horse-sized spiders (!!) each ridden by a Dark Elf. (Red-robed, in case the sartorial choices were relevant);
- This is apparently the vanguard (!) of the forces of the Black Widow, attempting to stop me.
- I have to face a Spider Rider (sounds like a member of a biker gang).
In good news, my Kick modifier means I automatically hit. In bad news, both the spider and its rider get to try and perform an emergency tracheotomy/
They collectively have Endurance of 12. I hit and do 4 damage. Luckily, they both miss.
Endurance : Me 20, Spider Rider 8
I again hit (automatic, remember?) and do 7 (!) damage. The spider hits, but I block the blow. The warrior misses.
Endurance : Me 20, Spider Rider 1
I land a final blow. Game over, sunshine.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3