By Ian Livingstone
Crypt of the Sorcerer is another book by Ian Livingstone and is widely regarded as being unfairly difficult so it was with a bit of trepidation that I started on this quest.
As I start the adventure, I am told by my old friend Yaztromo that Razaak, an evil sorcerer is about to rise from the dead in order to wreak havoc on the world. Apparently he was only entombed forever if his body was left dormant for 110 years. Strangely, it wasn’t so here he is again! I set off knowing that I need to find a sword in a lake. Not the first bit of Arthurian lore I have seen in Fighting Fantasy books.
My first decision is whether to wade across a river or head north along the bank. I decide on the latter but the ground becomes very marshy and I am basically asked “am I sure I want to continue on this route”. I take the hint and cross the river East. Suddenly my horse is spooked and reared up but I am able to keep control before I am attacked by some Chamelonites. They are no match for me and I smear their blood over my body, as one does. I don’t have an adverse reaction to it and I guess this will come in handy later!
Next I encounter the keeper of a boneyard. I am pelted by bones but manage to subdue the man and talk to him. He seems to be looking for a knife in return for one of his rings. I don’t have a knife sadly so I have to carry on without this item… Soon I see a group of boulders that has something written on it. It is a poem: “To go beyond the granite door, press the numbers 184”. There is no granite door here but this being an ff book, this is definitely going to be important later on. A bit weird though…
I come to a stream and allow my horse to drink before moving on. As I move away I notice that I am being chased by some Goblin riders. I decide to take the cowards way out and run away from them. Eventually I loose them in a forest that they were too scared to enter… wimps!
Turns out that they might have a point, however, as I am soon attacked by a Wood Demon. It fails to pull me off my horse and I am able to kill it. I then go in search of its lair and find it with loads of treasure. I find some gold pieces and a candle. I also see a scroll that contains some information about the horn of a beast that I am no doubt going to have to obtain. Another item in the lair is a rod that has a number on it – again, this is definitely going to be useful later on. Finally there is a helmet lying here. As every other item has been good, the rules of fighting fantasy say that this is going to be some sort of cursed item so I ignore it and carry on.
Next I see some dubious looking fungi and am given the option of riding through it or going round. Hmmm.. I think I might avoid it! Before long I leave the forest and need to camp for the night. It is then that I am attacked by a werewolf. Ominously I am bitten by it and don’t have Crystal of Sanity that would apparently have saved me. I do, however, have a candle that I use to light my way to find some Belladonna. Unfortunately I don’t find any and spend the rest of my life roaming the hills as a Werewolf!
That was actually fairly entertaining while it lasted! Ah well, on to the next book…