By Paul Mason & Steven Williams
Black Vein Prophecy is a slightly different book to those I have done up to now. A bit like in Creature of Havoc you have no idea who you are and it is not necessary to roll any dice for stats as this is explained in the text as and when they are needed. It is an interesting approach and the story jumps straight into you waking up in your own sarcophagus. Looking around I can see another body and it appears that a silvery creature has taken an interest in it. On closer inspection it seems the creature belongs to the dead man. It is still held on a lead. The man seems to have stuffed his pockets with jewels but was hit around the back of his head. I wonder who did that? My attention turns to my sarcophagus again but when I look at it, the chamber starts to crumble and bits of rock are coming down on me. I make like a tree and go.
I stumble through some rooms and as I go, the place seems to be falling in on itself. I make may way through some sort of Terracotta army into another room where there is a colourful light flashing. I roll for my first stat, luck and luckily do not get hit by the flash and make it into the next room. I carry on, roll for my stamina, hear someone tell me its too soon and to remember everything I have been taught (oops!), roll for my skill and finally escape from the tomb. I find myself in the charred remains of a seaside town.
First I decide to investigate the sea wall and notice some catapults ready for firing. I make a mental note of this and search on. I am disturbed by a talking horse with a rainbow rider. It says something about rats and sinking ships so I decide to chase after it. When I catch up, it keeps babbling about rats and meadows. I reach out to try and touch it and I gain the mutation power – hoorah. It runs off and I am left to head towards the sea. I find those catapults I saw earlier and decide to catapult myself into the sea (why not, eh?!). Luckily I manage to survive the fall and float to the surface.
Shortly after I land in the water, I am rescued by a woman called Velkos in a boat. I tell her about the dead man in the tomb and she seems upset for a while but soon gets over her loss. Next we are approached by a man in a sphere. I use my sword to cut him out but he attacks me. He is a criminal who has been sentenced to spend the rest of his time in the sphere – he is mad so I have to kill him. I then decide to get a bit of shut-eye. While I am asleep the treacherous Velkos starts going through my things. I wake up and she mutters something about trying to find out who I am. The thing she is trying to take is a broach. Something weird happened when I open the broach and I end up losing it. Oops. Shortly after this we arrive at the shore.
Next we head towards a forest and there appears to be a group of people tracking me. Velkos suggest trying to hunt them down so I agree. Eventually we find a group of bandits and hide up a tree. It doesn’t fool them, though, and they spot me. I sidle down to meet them face to face. I tell them I have lost my memory, one thing leads to another and I end up joining the outlaws. They put me to the test by asking me to rob a peasant but I refuse and explain that the bandit life probably isn’t for me. The bandit leader seems understanding but he still takes my sword from me and sends me on my way.
I walk down a road and the fields start to look like they have been left to die. I see two peasants stuck in the mud in one of the fields and decide to help them. I think this might be a trap though as I am attacked by a Shael beast. It carries me away and drops me some way away at its lair. I manage to kill it, but not before it does me quite a bit of damage. I find another road leading away from the lair. The road seems to lead to a settlement but on the way I see a pile of clothes at the side of the road. I decide to look for their owner and discover a man tied up with a scroll in this helmet. I take the scroll and untie the man. I wonder if the scroll is of some use…
When I enter the village I sit down with some travellers who share a meal with me. I pass out from exhaustion and when I wake up they are all gone. I do see a large battle wagon, however, so I investigate. The inhabitant seems to recognise me so I bluff him. He gets suspicious though so I end up having to kill him. I grab his battle map and leap from the carriage to make my escape.
Walking down the path I come to a cliff face. I see some bandits scaling the cliff and entering a cave system so I decide to investigate them. I end up going down a tunnel in a tree and end up in the cave system myself. I meet a guy called Creddas who tells me my own name and offers to help me. He gets rid of the bandits, gives me some orange syrup and tells me to go on a treasure hunt for him to the South. I agree and head off.
After a day or so I get to a river and head down stream to the jungle. After a while I cannot travel any further on the bank but spot a boat I think I can use. I swim out to it and set off but am set upon by a mass of eels. I do not have a “Chang Whistle” which would probably drive them off and the eels end up eating me! Ouch!