Well, hopefully I’m now in the final straight of this adventure. Of course, anyone with even a basic knowledge of gamebooks will be aware that this is when the final teeth-crunching challenge comes along.
Aside : And for those who read gamebooks by the legendary Ian Livingstone, around this point in the adventure is when you realise that, because you didn’t obtain a particular, seemingly minor, item near the start of the adventure, you are now DOOMED. Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about.
Back to this adventure.
Gorobei and I spot ‘our’ ship the Catechism, which has now arrived from Lemne.
The Grandmaster of the Dawn is waiting for us, and we inform him of the added dimension to the contest this year, what with the evil people trying to kill us and all.
I confirm that i will avenge (!) (Well played, book.) the deaths of my fellow contestants, and then mention the plot to assasinate Singing Wind.
The Grandmaster confirms that aid will be dispatched to assist Singing wind, and then asks me to confirm that I hold two flags.
I do, and I will now, upon our return, face Gorobei in a challenge to become a Grandmaster of the Five Winds, with this mention of a future combat, being a clear reference to the duel which takes place at the start of Avenger!
You thought all this buddy-buddy stuff meant the adventure was over?
The Grandmaster not-so-subtly sends Gorobei beneath-decks and then says that he has another mission for me.
But of course he does.
This had better not involve card-counting at the local casino.
Jikkyu (Remember him?) has set up his warship just outside the harbour with the obvious intention of slaughtering me, the Grandmaster, Gorobei, our friends and presumably our pets as we leave the harbour.
There is an interval where I get various refreshments and provisions, which can be summarised as follows:
- My Endurance gets restored to 20.
- My Inner Force gets taken up to a new level of 5 (!)
- I get two more shuriken, from the ‘spares’ held on board the ship.
- For whatever reason, I lose the Hainu skin, so if I run into snowfall again, I won’t be happy.
Of course, this kind of ‘top-up’ is a pretty clear hint that this final part of this adventure won’t be a walk in the park.
The Grandmaster confirms that this evening it will be a dark, moonlit night, perfect for ninja badassery.
I am given a lantern of oil, and my mission is essentially to set the other ship on fire (!) and then to jump overboard and swim by my ship as it is leaving, reliant on the assurance of my allies that they will pick me up as they go!
I seem to remember another encounter where I literally had to grab onto an oar in order to hitch a ride after ‘my’ ship nearly rowed off without me.
I am essentially told that this mission is dangerous, but that it must be attempted, lest the wizard who has plagued us makes another attempt at killing us all.
In other words, the Grandmaster is basically saying
I’m not writing any more tonight – I’m too upset by this.
Stats : All modifiers : 0 Endurance : 20, Inner Force 5, Shuriken 6