By Ian Livingstone
City of Thieves is the second book writen by Ian Livingstone on his own. The hero of the day (me) is looking to bring down the evil Zanbar Bone to save the people of Silverton – this seems quite noble and I am looking forward to starting this adventure.
Not too bad, but I am a little disappointed with that skill score. Still, if I find the “true way”, I should be ok.
I am given 30GP to spend in Port Blacksand, the titular City of Thieves and make my way to the gates. I am stopped by a guard who asks me my business. For some reason I decide to lie to him and say that I’m trying to sell some stolen goods. He doesn’t believe me but doesn’t seem to mind and lets me in anyway. I pay him 3 gold for some advice and he tells me I should try and get hold of a pass.
Once in the city I decide to go East down Clock street and the first thing I come across is Mad Man on the side of the street. I try and help him but he leaps at me with a dagger so I dispatch him and take his cloudy glass ball. I resist the urge to smash it on the floor and stash it away in my pack.
Shortly the road turns to the North and I see a house. Of course I am going to investigate and I find an upset Ogre who has had his food stolen. I decide to give him some of my provisions, but the ungrateful wretch tells me to get lost after gobbling them down. This is enough provocation for me to attack him with my sword. The fight is actually a pretty tough one for someone of my skill but I defeat him and find some gold, some gems and a pair of white gloves. I know I shouldn’t but for some reason I can’t resist putting them on. Sadly it tightens around my hand, causing me to loose 2 skill points. My skill is now 7, which with the best will in the world, doesn’t fill me with confidence.
My next encounter is with a small boy who sells me some water for 3 gold pieces. It restores 1 point of stamina but this did not seem like a good deal so I shake my fist at him.
As I turn the corner I am attacked by a group of dwarves looking to rob me. I fight them off and run after them down an alleyway to give them a piece of my mind. Sadly this is a trap, I am caught in a net and they steel all my gold. I think that this adventure is pretty much over now but I carry on anyway.
Next I arrive at a flower shop. I am sold a magic flower for 2 meals. I am pleased that I am able to acquire items without resorting to thievery due to my lack of funds. The next shop is a Jewelers. I am able to sell the Ogre’s gems here and get enough money to buy a ring of ice. Hopefully this will come in handy, I thanks the jeweler and take my leave of the shop.
The road arrives at a junction but I see a crowd of people going North and decide to follow them. The street opens up into a square and I am pickpocketed of 1 gold piece by a woman offering me tomatoes. Shortly I come across a musician who offers to sing me a song for 3 gold pieces. Unfortunately I have no money left so I have to ignore him. I then see a rather homo-erotic man holding a cannonball. He asks if I want to play his game of catch with the ball for 5 gold pieces. Again, with no money I can’t take part in his games so I walk on. I walk straight past the next stall selling lots of useful items (still no money). Then I pass a clairvoyant but knowing that I will probably be asked to part with money and also knowing that my weak skill score means I would be unlikely to fight my way out of trouble, I walk on.
It starts raining so I take refuge in a nearby house. I take a seat but after a while I notice that I am surrounded by a group of snakes. I try and hack at them with my sword but they attack me anyway. Due to their venom, they do 4 damage to my stamina each time they hit me. They are not that strong, but with my terrible skill score the are too much for me and I am killed by the snakes.
Killed by snakes
Sadly I died before I really got into this story. A combination of bad choices really put the writing on the wall. From what I saw, this book did seem like a Forest of Doom in a City but was still rather enjoyable. 6/10.