By Luke Sharp
Daggers of Darkness is a book that I do not really remember that well and I did not remember much as I started to read. Here are my stats:
I picked the potion of fortune and off I went. This book is written by the same author as Chasms of Malice and it really shows. All the names are a weird mix of letters and quite hard to remember. I am one of the select who could inherit the crown but someone is trying to assassinate me and others like me. My would be assassin did not manage to finish the job but did scratch me with a dagger imbibed with a death spell so I am on a race against time to return the dagger to the person who ordered my death in order to break the spell.
My first encounter is with a dying man who tells me that his killers went down the path to the left. He then dies and disintegrates so I decide to head down the path to the right. I soon come to anther splitting of the paths and head right again. The snow is falling hard and I hear some approaching hooves. I wait out in the open to find out who is coming and find out that it is a group of warriors. I tell them that I am one of the select and he says that I must undergo a test to confirm this. I chose a grey mare and ride off with them. The journey is very relaxing!
When they reach their destination we set up camp for the night but are set upon by a group of Orcs. I stay and help fight but in the dark I loose the rest of the men. I hear a noise to the left and go an investigate. Something causes my horse to bolt and I end up fighting a Warrior in the dark. After killing him, I walk through the night to find the path and by daybreak the wind is whipping the snow up into blizzard conditions. I ignore the soothing voice telling me to rest and press on. Soon I see a Snow Leech that I have to fight (no, I’ve not heard of one of those before either) before I can carry on.
I then come across an adventurer called Alkis Fearslicer. He is being attacked by Goblins so I wade in to help him. After beating the Goblins back, I tell him all about my journey. After this he teaches me the Ability to sense fight when it is dark (I could have used that skill earlier!) and we then head to a pub where I order the Dragon brew (Alkis approves of my choice). Alkis and I drink and chat for a while longer when I am knocked unconscious by a blow to the head and when I wake up it seems I have been captured by slavers.
As an aside, this book does this a lot. I am happily doing one thing, and then suddenly, without warning, something entirely different happens. This is a bit offputting and several times I have had to double check that I have turned to the correct paragraph. Anyway, onwards with the story…
I am told that I can fight for my freedom if I battle something or someone called Urgenj. I go for it and manage to beat him and spare his life. At this point, a stranger arrives and says he is the leader of the group. He tells me that I can enter the maze and try and capture the medallion – aha, this seems like progress! Apparently these people are the Korkut and they are big believers of chance. I am rested and then enter the “Chamber of Chance”.
This involves a chamber of raised blocks that I must traverse, whilst trying to avoid the poisonous snakes. I am near death but I make it through this trial into the next bit. The next chamber leads to a number of rooms and is basically a big game of snakes and ladders. I traverse this with the dice and manage to make it to the end of this too. I successfully pass through the maze and make it to the other side but very annoyingly I am told that fortune has not favoured me with a medallion! How irritating!
My mind goes blank and I find myself in the town of Korkut. I decide to check out the local tavern. I have a bit of food and play a bit of snake eyes and afterwards leave through the back door. Out here I am attacked by some Orcs who I dispatch fairly easily before hitching a ride with an old man and a cart. We are going for some way and then come across a beggar who the old man doesn’t seem to like so we avoid him. We carry on for a while longer until a Gryphawk swoops down and picks me up! Bizarre! I decide it probably isn’t a good idea to stab the bird but the old man shoots him with a few arrows and I am dropped into some stagnant water.
In the water I see a huge lanky creature called a Kalamite. I also see a woman who mouths me to stay quiet. The Kalamite picks me up and I play dead. The woman then cuts its hand off and we both escape from the creature. When we are a certain distance away, she tells me that she knows I am one of the select and that she has a message from Astragal, the wizard. All the medallions are now taken and I need to make my way to the throne. Oh, I have no medallions. Not good! I decide to travel with the woman to her camp.
When I get there, the people are a bit suspicious of my prowess so they arrange a battle for me with some of their number. I manage to beat them and do not kill them so they accept me and take me with them. The group then engage in a battle with some Trolls and I am compelled to join them. This battle really takes it out of me but I manage to kill one of the trolls. At this point I decide it might be a better idea to try and make it on my own…
I pass some fishing rods but ignore these. I then see a scene of carnage, where there are some dead orcs, trolls and adventurers. I read a note about Wolfsbane so I memorise it and carry on. The path then splits and I go right. I soon come across someone with a spare horse and “Wolfsbane” etched into his saddle. I pay him a couple of gold pieces to travel with him on the spare horse. After paying him I am set upon by a group of Orcs with an assassin, who then stabs me in the back. I am now dead! Huh, that came from no-where, just like everything else in this book!
So, what did I think? Well, to be honest I am not that impressed! I found the names of everyone involved a bit difficult to remember but I was more annoyed by the fact that things just happened to me without any warning. The best examples are when I was drinking in the pub and then suddenly captured by slavers or when I accepted a horse into town only to be killed by an assassin. Bizarre.