Daggers of Darkness

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:

Skill: 10

Stamina: 21

Luck: 9

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.

 

Stealer of Souls

By Keith Martin

Stealer of Souls is a book I know I have completed before so I hoped I would stand a decent chance here.  I was even more confident when I saw the stats that I managed to roll:

Skill: 12

Stamina: 22

Luck: 12

Wow, I will probably never roll a better hero than this!  In this book I am an adventurer who is asked to rescue a good wizard called Alsander who has been locked up by the evil sorcerer Mordraneth.  Mordraneth has been feeding off the fear of the recently dead, and he apparently prefers those that he has recently killed himself.  I am not sure why he hasn’t killed Alsander but he is an all round bad egg.

Alsander is being held on the Island of Despair (they need to work on their branding I think!) so I hop on a ship to take me there.  Things don’t start off well as we are attacked by a Giant Stormbird.  The hero that I am, I stand and fought it off and for my bravery one of the crew members gave me some insect repellent (I never got to use this).

When we arrive at the island I take a smaller boat as the ship cannot dock there.  On my way to the island I was attacked by a giant crab so I fight and kill it.  Sadly this crab happened to be a pet (called Edwina) of a Sea Giant.  He is so enraged that he attacks me on the spot.  This is a harsh fight that a lesser hero would probably lose but I am able to kill him and, feeling a little bad at this turn of events, head off North to the direction that the Giant came from.

I soon find the Giant’s cave and I eat some of his broth before looting his belongings, finding some gold and taking some provisions.  Poor giant. I go back to the trail and head West.  It is cold and drizzly, much like the English countryside and after a while, the path splits and also heads north.  I decide to investigate. I come to another cave and decide to stay the night.  Before settling down I check the floor for anything nasty and get bitten by a poisonous centipede – ouch!  I get a few hours sleep before carrying on the next day.

The next day I am greeted by a talking lizard…. The lizard has something that it is willing to give me if I help kill a Stormbird that has been raiding its nest.  I agree to this, slay the Stormbird and return to the lizard who is as good as his word and gives me a rose pearl and a silver medallion – these are to prove useful in the adventure to come.  Thanking the lizard (fighting fantasy has me writing this as if it is normal!) I head back South to the junction and continue West.

As the day draws to the end I am thinking about finding somewhere safe to stay for the night.  At this point, a tree sprite jumps down from his tree and offers me a hammock up the tree.  I decide to accept this offer. Unsurprisingly I wake to find him rifling through my backpack. I react angrily but agree to spare his life so the little wretch gives me some magic dust for my act of leniency.  He promises not to disturb me for the rest of the night and he keeps to this promise so I wake up quite refreshed in the morning.

Before long I come to a cross roads and head South.  I eventually meet some of the locals who take me to their village.  The chief introduces himself as Akandi and it appears he has a shop!  I decide to buy a silver feather, cat statuette and a rope.  These were all pretty useless as it turns out, I should have purchased the Ebony Key but I wasn’t to know that!  Before I leave the shaman tells me not to go North at the crossroads.  Bearing this in mind, when I reach the crossroads I head West.

The trail to the West turns Northwest and I see a small shack quite a distance away so I go and investigate. When I enter the house I can see a man tied up in chains and he reaches out to me for help.  I decide to wait and see what happens next.  What happens next is the man transforms into a dark priest and casts a chilling spell on me which does 6 points of stamina damage!  Ouch!  I slay the priest before settling down for the night in this rather spooky, evil house. There is a trapdoor in the floor which bothers me somewhat but all that happens is I have an odd dream which is apparently a good omen (the silver medallion from the lizard helped me here…).  In the morning I open the trapdoor…

I go down a tunnel and eventually come to an iron grill – I have found the entrance to the Iron Crypts, this is where the old wizard should be locked up.  I lurk around the entrance for a while until a Goblin appears on the other side.  I make a noise to get its attention and he comes to investigate with a friend.  They are easy prey and they left the gate open so I stroll through. I come to a dead end which turns into hidden door.  Opening the door, I find a room inhabited by two more Goblins.  I put them to the sword and pick up the bone dice they were playing with when I burst in.  There are several doors leading from this room and I pick the south door.

The room is a small store room with a mound of skulls.  As I stand there blood starts flowing from the eye sockets of the skulls.  Not surprisingly I slam the door shut and take the West door from the Goblin room.  This opens up to a corridor and ends at a T junction.  I head south before walking into a cavern.  There is a large ominous looking statue standing in my way and it demands a gem.  I oblige by giving it the gem that the lizard gave me and it crushes it up before letting me past.  I go up some stairs at the end of the cavern.

Next I find myself in an East West passageway and also a mistake in the book.  I am asked if I want to go west or west!  I assume on of them means East so I head “west” which actually turns out to be East… Anyway, I then take a side passage to the North and come to an open air room with a Razorbeak bird ripping something apart.  It then tries to do the same thing to me so I have to kill it.  I don’t have the grappling hook I need to investigate its nest so I have to leave by the same door to the South.  A strange smoke blocks my way East so I have to go West past the steps and turning South as the passage curves.

I travel past two rooms that need keys to open (Ebony key or a bunch of keys).  At the end of the passage is another door that I can open.  The room beyond has two Orcs who attack me as I enter.  They only have 1 gold piece so I take this and open the door to the East. This room contains nothing of interest so instead I backtrack and go through the South door.  I go past another door where I need that blasted Ebony key and instead head East down another passageway.  This passage ends at a door and on opening it I am attacked by another Orc.  I slay it quickly but ominously the Orc shouts “Master!  Master!” before he died.  His master soon enters the room…

In runs a Dark Priest who thankfully doesn’t have the time to cast a spell on me before I swing at him. The Dark Priest has a gold bracelet so I stupidly put this on my wrist. Apparently the bracelet hates anyone less evil than the dark prince (the book’s words, not mine) and that would be me – it contracts, causing me some skill and stamina damage before I can remove it.  I leave by the East door and find a meal laid out for someone.  I decide to eat it and gain some stamina back.  I enter the next room to the South which contains a trapdoor and a bed.  Making sure all the doors are barred, I settle down for a nap.  Upon waking I open the trapdoor and climb down to the landing below.

In the first room there are a couple of doors and I go East.  In this room there is a man asleep with his sword. I decide to wake him but he doesn’t take too kindly to this and I have to fight him.  He doesn’t last long and I manage to pick up a crowbar and some funky armour before heading back through the only door in the room.   This time I head south into a short corridor and through another door.  In the next room is another meal set out for someone but this time I ignore it and go through a door to the East.  In this room there is a man sitting at a desk.  I tell him that the people upstairs sent me and he takes me for a torturer, here to torture poor Alsander.  He obliges with some directions and I leave the room back West and take another door to the West that opens up into a corridor.

The corridor splits in two and I head West before the tunnel turns South.  I come to a side passage to the East that ends at a door.  There is a sign on the door that says “Danger!  Keep Out!”  Of course I open the door and go into the room. Wouldn’t you know it, I need an Ebony key to open the door!  This time, however,  I am able to break the door down with the loss of some stamina.  In the room there is a chest guarded by a very odd spherical creatures with odd claws.  I kill the Diadrone and turn my attention to the chest.  Luckily I manage to miss the trap that has been built into the chest (this must have something pretty swish in it) but guess what?  The chest will open if I have that damn Ebony Key – that thing is really haunting me!  Thankfully I can break into the chest using the crowbar I picked up earlier and some stamina loss.  Inside the chest is a bronze ring and a platinum amulet.  I put them both on and neither of them hurt me in any horrible way so I guess they will come in handy later.  I leave the room and go through the door to the South.

The next room is large and there is a fountain in the corner.  I toss a gold coin into it and it is dissolved by the acid – good job I didn’t drink any of it, huh? I leave the room by the ajar door to the East.  In this room is the jailer who also decides I must be the torturer.  I wait for him to return with Alsander before attacking and killing him.  I unlock Alsander’s shackles and give him one of my provisions.  He tells me that Mordrandreth is actually in the iron crypts too so I agree to go and slay him to rid the world of him forever.  Alsander then teaches me some spells for the final part of my journey.

I am shown a secret door out of this room that leads to some Dark Elves before I can get to the “Realm of Illusions”.  As Alsander said, the Dark Elves are present and correct so I slay them and take their gold and food before finding the teleport room through another door. I step through and find myself in the Empire of Illusions.

The tunnels leading off this room are all different colours so I pick the Yellow corridor because it sounds less dangerous than the red or black one.  The yellow tunnel contains an Eagle illusion which I must overcome in combat before moving on.  The tunnel is becoming brown and turning green if I turn in a certain direction so I go that way – green sounds the safest colour of all!  The green tunnel turns blue, however, and I am confronted by a massive wave.  I think I am drowning until I am rescued my Mordraneth’s assistant who informs me it is an illusion (yup, got that myself I think!).  He then gives me golden flask which he says will help and I stash it in my backpack.  He then runs off to escape because in his opinion, Mordraneth has become raving mad!  Interesting…

I go through a brown archway and find myself in a sewer and am attacked by a plague of rats.  I decide to make a run for it and suffer a bit of stamina damage from them nibbling my ankles.  I am then greeted by a choice of a yellow-green or a rainbow tunnel – well, the colours are certainly getting more sophisticated!  I decide the rainbow tunnel sounds too good to be true so I take the other one.  This corridor opens up into a cavern that has a floor entirely covered in snakes.  This looks a little dangerous so I decide to cast a dispel illusion spell.  This works wonderfully and the snakes disappear so I head down an azure passageway leading off from the cavern.

The passage turns into a bridge and then leads into a black passage which opens up into a dark cavern with wells of lava.  I am then faced with a Death Skull which is apparently not an illusion and hungry for my soul… It isn’t after I put my sword through it a few times.  As I leave the cavern I can chose between a light and airy passage or a darker frosty one.  Again, I suspect the light airy tunnel could be a red herring so I take the frosty one.  This tunnel leads to a cavern that has many skeletons on the floor.  I say a quick prayer for them which is good for their souls and also good for mine, gaining me some luck and restoring the skill I lost from that dratted bracelet I tried on in the iron caves.  I head down an earthy coloured tunnel next.

This tunnel ends in a door and opens up into a bit of a bog standard room, except that there is a skeleton illusion trying to attack me.  I run for a violet tunnel but it strikes me in the back, causing me a bit of an injury.  Thankfully, as it turns to strike me again, my silver Medallion glows and turns it into smoke – hurrah!  I head down the violet passage unimpeded. This passage ends in a cavern with a spider illusion, which I must fight before entering a splendid looking chamber and up on the balcony I see Mordraneth himself!  Ominously, however, he is muttering and making signs with his hand…

I run for the steps on the right, heading up to his balcony just as he shoots a fireball at me.  My bronze ring helps me withstand the worst of the blast and I only suffer minimal damage.  I am now standing rather close to the evil mage himself.  I fight him in hand to hand combat and he is a tough opponent, but not as tough as me!  After a long battle I manage to slay him and I see those words that I have only seen once before in 34 books… “turn to 400!”

Mordraneth is dead, I have released countless souls from their torment and the colourful illusions are banished and I am left standing in a normal looking cavern.  There is a passageway leading out into the light so I go that way and wait for the ship to take me home to fame and glory!

I have won a second book in this series!  I did kind of bulldoze my way through though due to my titanic stats that I rolled at the start.  There is certainly a better way through this adventure, probably involving the Ebony key so perhaps I will try and find that next time.

I enjoyed Stealer of Souls – it is a very traditional book with an overground romp before a dungeon crawl leading to an otherworldly lair of an evil wizard, so I guess I’d say its not that original but it is good fun.

 

 

 

Sky Lord

By Martin Allen

So… Sky Lord.  The last and possibly strangest sci-fi fighting fantasy book!  My copy of Sky Lord is in almost mint condition – there is a fairly good reason for this as it is widely regarded as being one of the worst in the whole range.  My stats were:

Skill: 10

Stamina: 24

Luck: 11

Pretty good.

In this story I play a gun for hire who has been chosen for a mission to stop L’Bastin who used to work for the king before he started playing around with genetic engineering and got fired.  He is now breeding a race of super warriors to take over a few planets.  He must be stopped!

Off I head in my spaceship and have a choice of travelling in the time dimension or travelling in the light dimension (yes, this is Sky Lord!).  I go for the latter and I am attacked by a Fahbad Redneck – I manage to destroy him but fall out of light warp.  I then spot a black space station and decide to investigate.  Before I can dock I am attacked by a drone but I make short work of that before boarding.

When I arrive on the station I am greeted by a human cleaner.  I shake his hand.  At this point the cleaner turns into a bright orange blob and eats me piece by piece!  I should have known, he did have orange eyes after all!

Madness!

Slaves of the Abyss

By Paul Mason & Steve Williams

Slaves of the Abyss was never a firm favourite of mine when younger.  I now feel that I was mistaken as this was a great adventure with an intricate plot.

My Stats:

Skill: 12

Stamina: 18

Luck: 10

That’s better than most recent rolls and gives me a decent chance of success.

In this book I am a great adventurer summoned to the town of Kallamehr because it is under attack from a mysterious army to the East.  The Kallamehr army is away defending another border so it is up to a handful of adventurers to try and find out what this invading horde is.

I am given a few choices of staying to defend the city or try and get the army back but I decide the best way forward is to ride out to see what this invasion is about.  I am briefed and have a meal with several nobles of the land before leaving that night on my horse.  As I am about to leave, one of the nobles, Sige the Silent appears to give me a pomander of herbs that will stop me needing to sleep.  That should help on this race against time.

The first day passes uneventfully and by nightfall my horse is tired so I stop and rest.  Due to the herbs I, however, don’t need to rest so I just lie down for a while. I spot some Dark Elves edging towards me, thinking me asleep and when they are close enough, I pounce, killing one instantly. The others stop going through my things and I have to fight these two.  On their dead bodies I find a lot of gold and a golden fist statue.

The next morning I set off again and pass through several villages.  The people in the villages don’t seem very friendly, however, and some appear openly hostile.  As night is falling I decide to seek hospitality in a local temple.  The old priests, however, are even less friendly and call me a dog!  They then demand that I open out my backpack and when the golden fist falls out they get very excited – it seems that it was stolen from the temple recently and now they think they have caught me red-handed (or golden fisted?).  The fist does some funky magic and the priests are now young again.  I, however, am slung in a jail cell where I remain until the head priest talks to one of the nobles who is able to vouch for me.  He then grudgingly lets me go.

Moving on, I keep to the roads and come across an overturned cart and a dead Ox that sees to have a hooded figure feeding on it (I wonder if JK Rowling read this book…) The figure runs off into the forest when it sees me but I don’t follow it, instead I look at the ox and cart and find something which makes a bit of sense of the past few days – on the floor there is a wax mask of my face!  Someone is trying to set me up!

I carry on down the road and unsurprisingly everyone is a lot more friendly now – obviously the imposter did not get this far.  At nightfall I come to a village where the hospitality is great so I decide to stay for a while.  In the night, an old woman arrives and states that I am the saviour for the village so I decide to help them out.  During the night, however, I am rescued by the Riddling Reaver (second time I have met this dude in my playthroughs) who berates me for forsaking my mission to help some peasants.  He also gives me what he tells me is a sense of humour that I can give to my enemy when the time comes so I guess this was a good encounter after all.  The villagers seem upset that I am forsaking them, however…

In the light of the morning I see that the Reaver has left me close to my horse, who is tied up with a riddle.  I don’t really get the significance of the riddle so I carry on down the road.  I ride for a long time but eventually come to a deserted village.  There is a spooky knocking sound coming from a house so I decide to investigate.  The knocking is coming from behind a door that has been purposely wedged shut.  I open the door to investigate and am immediately grabbed and hauled to the floor. I have to fight the wretch inside and after killing it I have a look at the body and it comes alive and attacks me again!  I manage to get away and out of the door, remembering to wedge it shut again.  The spooky regular knocking continues shortly afterwards so I go to investigate some other houses.

The other house seems to be a wizard’s house and inside a cupboard I find a small girl covered in green gunk.  I help her out and ask her what is going on.  She doesn’t know much, only that she was told to hide by the wizard who owns this house, Enthymesis.  I decide to keep her with me and help reunite her with her parents in another village.  Before I leave, however, I rummage through the wizard’s things and find three potions.  They are all labelled with strange words I don’t recognise and I am given the option of drinking them or taking them with me.  As my skill and stamina are both very healthy still, I decide I will probably not gain much from drinking the potions and potentially have a lot to loose so I stash them in my backpack.  I also find a note telling me that if I am in the shifting forests, I should follow the brushbearer’s gloves.  Interesting….  I head off with the girl to find her village.

I find her village, which seems to be inhabited but there is a huge army swarming towards it – this must be the army I have come to gather information about.  I decide to race down the girl’s village to warn them.  I get there in time, re-unite the girl with her parents and get them to evacuate before the hoard arrives. I now have a choice.  I could try and gather information about the army, go back to warn my city or try and find Enthymeses to see if he can help.  I decide to do the latter and head off Northwards.

I ride North for some time until suddenly I am engulfed by a sandstorm.  When the storm subsides, I see that there is a forest in front of me.  This must be the shifting forest so I head into it.  After entering the forest, the path forks and there are some foxgloves towards the left hand side path.  Ah, brushbearer…. I take heed of this and go left.  I come to a clearing where I see a man stuck down a hole with ants crawling all over him.  He asks for help so I pull him out of the hole and get bitten by the ants for my troubles.  When he is out of the hole, he turns out not to be very grateful and attacks me.  I manage to kill the ant symbiote but get bitten by some more ants before he dies.  That will teach me a lesson for helping strangers in distress…

An anteater then comes out of a clump of foxgloves to the left to have a feast.  I take the hint and go left down the next path.   In the next clearing I am ambushed by the most incompetent group of Goblins ever.  They hit each other over the head, and shoot each other with crossbow bolts in a comedy of errors and I don’t take them too seriously until I bump into a huge Ogre round a corner.  He provides my strongest test yet in combat but I kill him.  Before this happens, however, one of the Goblins drops the crossbow.  It doesn’t mention in the text that I can pick this up so I am not sure if I can – it becomes more important later on. I have no choice at the next junction and have to carry straight on.

In the next clearing there is an interesting sight.  I see a Troll dragging a sapling behind it.  I am given the option to shoot him with a crossbow but I just let him go.  After a lot of walking I eventually come to a clearing with a hut in it.  I wait but nothing happens so I decide to walk under the hut.  As I do this I look up and see an opening, the hut itself then bends down to pick me up… weird!  In the hut I see a woman in a bare room.  As I enter she shows me a vision of souls trapped in the abyss and suggests this might be my future…

The woman then asks me to say her name – she must be the person old Enthymesis was looking for which would make her Aletheia.  Correct!  She then goes on to tell me something very interesting about the pomander of herbs that will protect me from the baddies crystal breath when in the abyss.  Sweet.  She then introduces me to her snake before telling me that the army is surrounded by hornets that are able to suck a man’s soul into the abyss.  The only thing that can stop the hornets is the smoke from burning Jheera leaves.  As luck would have it there is one such small tree growing in the forest.  But ah no, the tree is missing, she shows me a vision of the hole in the ground where the tree used to be!  I remember the Troll and realise that the sapling he was dragging must be the Jheera tree.  Alethia sends me directly to where the Troll is so I can get it back…

On encountering the troll I see that it is trying to poke the tree into a hole to get at the animal.  I suggest he strips off the leaves to make it easier.  He does this and I grab up all the leaves.  This also enables the troll to get at the creature, which is a bit spiky.  He still eats it and gets it stuck in his throat.  He blames me for this and attacks me so I am forced to kill him.  Still, I now have the Jheera leaves.  I quickly find my way out of the forest and after I leave it disappears!  I head back towards the army with my weapon.

I quickly find the army of hornets and light my Jeera leaves on a torch that I prepared.  I ride down to face them but to my dismay the smoke is dissipating. I remember seeing a cave earlier so I head up to the cave to try and concentrate the smoke.  The cave is occupied, however, so I have to slay the poor caveman occupant – ah well, for the greater good and all that.  After killing the caveman I grab the torch again and wait for the hornets.  Sure enough, here they come and they start dropping like flies when they come into contact with the smoke.  When they are all dead, I head out of the cave again to face what is left of the army.

I come face to face with the commander who tells me that I will pay for killing the hornets.  I don’t think so!  I show him the sense of humour that the Reaver gave me earlier and his eyes widen in horror.  I open the bottle and the commander collapses in hysterical laughter.  I then attack the Slave Master with my sword but he is still a formidable foe.  Thankfully I manage to kill him but as he falls to the ground, a dark cloud emerges from his body and starts talking to me.  He tells me his name is Bythos, Master of the Abyss and that he lives on in the abyss itself and is still able to conquer the land from there!  With that he disappears and leaves the huge army behind who just stand and stare blankly into the distance.  It appears I will have to hunt down Bythos in the Abyss…

Alethia’s snake then appears and tells me that there is a cavern near here that contains a gateway to the Abyss and that I must get there to take on Bythos. By the river I find a cave that leads towards the cavern.  My way is blocked, however, by a wall of flame.  I decide that I must risk it and jump through. It is an illusion and I am unarmed.  In the room behind the fire wall I see a group of adventurers who are having trouble opening an iron door.  I help them out and get the door open – they go on ahead and a few seconds later they come running back in my direction screaming!  An ominous sign.  I decide to go ahead cautiously.

I enter the cavern and encounter Enthymesis – he is not in a good way and is dying but he tells me not to go near the sands as they lead to the Abyss. Pah!  That’s exactly where I want to go so I stand in the middle of the sand. I sink into the sand and end up in another world!  There is a strange mist and there are treasures everywhere.  I gobble down the pomander of herbs, remembering what I was told about them.  I decide to ignore the treasures, thinking them a diversion and head off into the mist.  Strange creatures fly all around me and start eating some treasures.  I then hear three distinct noises…

I head off towards a moaning sound and am given the option of climbing a chain to find the source of the noise.  I am also given another chance to investigate the creaking noise so I take the hint and do this.  The creaking is coming from the floor which starts to crack and spray out a black liquid.  A creature also comes up through the floor and I have to fight the Anemorus.  I rush off as more creatures spew through hole and come to a crater.  I decide to wait around to see what happens next…

The crater contains more treasures and as I wait some Crystal Warriors arrive and start pounding the treasures into dust.  When they have done this, they leave.  I take this opportunity to climb into the crater.  When inside the crater, I am joined by a hooded man who seems rather surprised to see me!  I manage to parry two Javelins that he creates out of the dust and manage to kill him before he can make any more.  The Gatherer was holding a sack so I take this and take his robe and dress in it before I leave the crater and head towards a waiting carriage. The driver doesn’t notice anything strange and the carriage takes me directly to a Crystal palace.  Here I am shown to some broth which is being made for Bythos.  I am  left alone with the broth while the master is summoned.

So, what do I do?  Drink it?  Knock it over?  Add something to it?  I decide that this is probably something that Bythos needs so I hope to poison it by adding all of the potions I got earlier – one of them must be poison, surely?  Once I have done this Bythos strides in – he is huge!  He looks much stronger than before.   He seems to recognise me so I take out my sword and rush at him.  He breathes his crystal breath on me by the pomander of herbs mean it has no effect.  He briefly looks a bit worried before he makes a sword and fights me.  He his too strong, however, and I die here heroically fighting till the death.  Ouch.  So close but yet so far, I guess I should have drunk some of that broth.

I must say, though, that I really enjoyed this adventure.  It has a great epic feel, the otherworldly atmosphere of the Abyss is great and the plot is really quite interesting with some twists and humorous interludes.

Battleblade Warrior

By Marc Gascoigne

Wow, just look at that front cover!  This must be one of the best covers in the whole series and if I recall from my childhood, this is actually a fairly decent chance of a win so, could this be my first win since Talisman of Death??  What do you think?

Skill: 8

Stamina: 15

Luck: 12

Oh dear.

In this adventure I am a prince whose town is being besiged by hordes of Lizard Men.  They will break through the defences any time now and due to a vision I had of a God, I am tasked to search for a mysterious weapon that I can use to defeat the lizard hordes.

My first task, however, is to work out how to get out of the besieged town.  I decide to sneak out at night time.  When I reach the trenches, I go right and hear a screeching noise.  I risk a look and come face to face with a Running Lizard with a rider wielding a javelin.  I kill the lizard and head down a trench to the left.  As I head down this new trench, I see a two headed lizard man looking down at me, about to attack.  I grab his foot, and pull him down into my trench.  Amazingly he falls on his sword and kills himself!  Result!

Moving on, I come to some steps that I use to leave the trenches so I am now sneaking around the Lizard Man camp out in the open. As I walk around the tents, I hear some marching coming towards me.  I panic and dive into the nearest tent. I see a hideous view – it is a female Lizard person reclining and beckoning me in.  I mumble something under my breath and luckily am able to leave the tent without the alarm being raised. I rush on and see a pen with large riding lizards inside.  I decide to take one so that I can escape more quickly but this does raise the alarm…

The chase is on as half a dozen mounted lizard men chase after me.  They start shooting arrows at me and seem to be gaining.  Just then I see a nearby copse so decide to head for that to see if I can shake them off.  Just as I arrive at the copse, an arrows flies out from the undergrowth and kills my steed.  I run for the trees and bump into a man with a horse and a sabre toothed tiger.  He is the one that shot my lizard.  I am furious, understandably but he seems to be able to help me against the lizard men in pursuit of me so I put our “misunderstanding” behind me.

The man helps me prepare a trap for the lizard men and when they return with reinforcements they are blown sky high!  Hoorah! After this success, we head off together for the safe outpost of Capra where I am cleaned up and given some more provisions before heading off again.  Before I leave, however, my companion, Lecarte disguises me by rubbing some nasty green stuff over my skin.  I then bid Lecarte farewell and leave Capra to the North.

To the north, the way is obscured by mist and within the mist I can hear a spooky bell tolling.  It turns out it is an Orc funeral and with my disguise I am able to infiltrate (not sure what I am hoping to gain from this).  It is apparently Orc custom to bite the nose of the newly deceased and so this is what I must do.  I nibble the dead Orc’s nose and he tastes so bad that I lose some stamina!  Things go well until one of the Orc’s ask my name.  Apparently Shagbad isn’t a good Orcish name and gives me away as being human!  I have to fight two of them before I can escape.

I run away and rest for a while before I hear some hooves approaching.  I wait to see who it is and it turns out to be a messenger called Katya.  We have a lot to talk about and sit around a campfire talking long into the night.  In the morning, we find that Katya’s horse has died so we have to carry on by foot.  We set off, chatting and joking but out merriment doesn’t last long as we are soon captured by some Snakemen and tied to the ground in the blistering heat.  After five days Katya dies and I pass out…

When I come to I find that I am in a cluttered caravan belonging to a trader called White Eye.  I tell him my story and he says that he has some very useful information that he would be willing to trade for one of several items.  Sadly I don’t have a single item that he was looking for so he keeps schtum and I leave his caravan without learning what info he had.  Bastard!

I leave the caravan and eventually come to the jungle.  I make good time until I get close to the river and the ground becomes very marshy.  I decide not to set up camp here and carry on.  This, it turns out was to be a bad decision as the sun sets without me being able to find some solid ground.  I go round in circles until a massive Swamp Mutant bursts up and attacks me.  This beast has a skill of 10 and a stamina of 16, compared to my skill of 8 and stamina of 13.  I never really stood a chance.

 

 

Chasms of Malice

By Luke Sharp

Chasms of Malice has a bit of a reputation and if playing by the rules is probably unplayable.  For this blog I shall be playing by the rules so I will not be successfull.

My stats are:

Skill: 11

Stamina: 16

Luck: 11

Not too bad but that stamina score is rather disappointing.

In this book I play a third assistant rabbit skinner working in some kitchen.  Apparently I am a long distant relation Tancred the Magnificent and only I can kill the evil dude who is about to take over the world and repair a broken shield.  Or something…

My underground adventure starts with a choice of various different cracks that I can go down so I decide on the one on the left.  That leads onto a tunnel that soon splits in two so I decide to go left again.  As I walk down this tunnel, my cat (oh yeah, I also have a pet cat on this adventure, she is a goddess apparently) runs off and fetches me a furry worm to eat.  I reluctantly choke it down and am surprised to learn that it is delicious!

Moving on, I come to a dwarf lying on the floor clutching a metal collar.  Nearby I hear some orcs, evidently searching for the Dwarf.  I decide to help him out and fight one of the Orcs.  I kill him, but the other one grabs the metal collar from the Dwarf and runs away.  The Dwarf is dying but with his last words he tells me that the people in the Dragon’s Breath Inn may be able to help.  I set off in search of this pub.   The tunnel eventually splits in two, and one of the new tunnels has a picture of a dragon over it.  This looks like it may be the place I am looking for…

Sure enough, the tunnel opens up into a cavern that contains the inn and as I am about to enter, a large drunk figure stumbles out and falls at my feet. I help the gentleman up but he turns out to be a Troll and calls me scum before lunging at me with a sword (a scene no doubt being replayed in many UK towns every friday night).  I have to kill him before entering the tavern.

On entering the pub I walk into a room that contains only Orcs wearing distinctive tunics of clenched fists.  I decide that this looks like trouble so I leave and enter another room. This looks marginally more friendly and I get taking to the serving girl.  I tell her my story and she invites me upstairs.  Just when I think I am going to get lucky here, she introduces me to her father who tells me that I should seek out and old man in the iron cave.  Hopefully this isn’t going to be a wild goose chase but I head off again after having a bite to eat.

I am given good instructions so head off.  Some time later, some stone darts start raining down on my head from the roof but luckily I am able to avoid most of them.  I then hear another cry of help coming from a crack in the wall so I check it out.  As I step through, I am immediately pounced on by a huge spider but I fight it off and the grateful chap who cried for help tells me which door to go through up ahead.  I take his advice and find myself in the iron cave with the old man.  Once he has satisfied himself that I am legit, he goes on to teach me the ancient language of runes that is used down in these caves and that I will need to temper my sword in the flames of the Heartflame.  I thank the old man before leaving and turning right at the next junction.

Soon I arrive at a cavern with three doors guarded by three statues.  Each statue states a different thing about each of the other doors, blah blah – I’m sure you get the idea.  I guess correctly and step through the door on the right.  This marks the start of a bit of a maze.  I go through various doors, get stuck in numerous traps and fall through some trap doors, losing some skill points each time it happens.  To cut a long story short, I eventually find the correct trapdoor and fall through into an area that contains the heartflame.

The flame itself is surrounded by several figures and when I plunge my sword into it, one of the figures clutches its left knee.  Odd.  Anyway, my sword is now tempered so I head off!  Next I come to a cave containing a well so I decide to do what any sane person does and toss a coin down.  Sadly this only succeeds in summoning an Evil Spirit that I have to fight before using the rope to climb down the well.  When I get to the bottom, I see two holes and head through the one on the left.

I feel along the cave (it is very dark) and bump into a “Dark Monster”.  Due to my reduced skill level, this fight really takes it out of me but I survive and carry on.  Next I encounter some Orc guards with about a dozen Dwarves all wearing the same metal collars I saw before.  Two of them run towards me and fall to the ground clutching their necks.  I try to help them but one of the dwarves stabs me in the back (literally).  I think the collar made him do it but he then walks off with the guards in the other direction.  They don’t seem at all interested in me any more so I head off.

I have a bizarre encounter where a spirit gives me a spell of life and tells me that I am entering the most dangerous part of my journey.  I see a guard post so try and crawl past it but the ground opens up and I end up in a pit.  When I come to, I find out that I am now captured by the Orcs.  It seems they are about to start some sort of hunt, where I am the prey.  I am let go so that they can chase me down and I go down a narrow ledge to the right.

At the next junction, I go down another ledge to the right.  I run into a group of Orcs but manage to fend them off before I am attacked by a Gryphon that I manage to kill.  I am a little worse for wear now and head down a ledge to the left.  I then slip and drop my sword just as two Orcs attack.  The second Orc kills me but I use the spell of life and am resurrected – hurrah!  I grab my sword and carry on.

This is when things get silly.  As I am on a narrow ledge, I have to resolve combats as “one strike combats” where basically I roll a dice for my opponent and then one for me and whoever rolls highest lives and whoever rolls lowest falls to their death.  I have to do this twice here as two Orcs attack but I knock both of them to their deaths and head down a slope to my right.

As I continue this way, I am attacked by a big hairy beast and manage to kill that in one strike combat too.  Moving on I come across another Orc who I knock off.  What are che chances of 4 successfull one strike combats?  I make it about one in 16!  Just when I think this might actually go my way I bump into another Orc who knocks me off the ledge to my death.

I am not sure if there is an easier way through this book but this one strike combat completely ruined the book for me.  It is pretty much unplayable with this rule in place, which is a shame because in spite of the nonsensical plot, I was quite enjoying myself.

 

Midnight Rogue

By Graeme Davis

In Midnight Rogue, I play an apprentice thief who is a member of the thieves guild and is set the task of stealing the Eye of the Basilisk as a test that needs completing to become a fully fledged thief.  In this book I am only able to carry 6 items of equipment, including a potion and the provisions.  My stats are:

Skill: 12

Stamina: 20

Luck: 9

Not bad, but that luck score will come back to haunt me!

I set out and decide that my first port of call should be the “Noose” which is an area around the thieves guild that I know well.  I start by going for a drink in the Rat & Ferret, the local pub.  I decide to start by playing a game of “pin finger”  which is a game whereby I need to stab the space between my fingers with a knife as quickly as possible.  If I lose, I forfeit 5 gold but I gain 10 gold if I win.  I don’t have 5 gold but I will cross that bridge if I come to it.  I skillfully manage to not hit my fingers and am given 10 gold pieces by the slack jawed onlookers.

With my new found wealth I decide to ask the barman for some info.  I bribe him 6 gold pieces and he tells me that the merchant’s symbol is a coin ( I was already told this by someone at the guild) but he then makes a strange sign with his finger that I recognise and he tells me that the merchant has a safe that needs two keys to open it.  One of which he always sleeps with.  This is more useful information but it is all I can get out of the barman so I head off to see the Clairvoyant.

I pay her 2 gold and she gives me some rather useful information about needing to find a place of work and a place of sleep.  I assume it is useful information as the text tells me to make a note of the paragraph number!  I then head off towards a beggar.

The beggar is not very helpful but I tip him a gold piece anyway.  Once he receives this, he hands over a rope and grapnel that he has been hording.  It will enable me to climb anywhere as if I have the climb skill.  I already chose the climb skill so this is not really that much help to me!  I now leave the Noose and head over to the Merchant’s guild.

On my way to the guild I see some movement in some bushes so I go over to investigate.  I do not have the sneak skill so I am ambushed by a Ghoul jumping out at me.  I have disturbed it’s meal!  I manage to kill it and search the body it was feasting on – I find a dagger and some gold, which I keep.  On arrival I see a guard half asleep but, not having the sneak skill, I decide to try and find a less obvious way in.  I soon some to an alleyway that has a climbable drainpipe.

I run up the drainpipe only to see a Gargoyle coming to life at the top.  I hit it with my sword but it is apparent that this will not harm it so I try the rope and grapnel – this works and I am able to get past the Gargoyle and through a skylight.  I find two doors but both doors are locked and without the lockpick skill I cannot do anything here so am forced to leave for the Merchant’s house without any clues from the guild.

When I get to his house, I am spotted by some guards.  I think quickly and step through a random door and am lucky enough to loose them in the house before I leave through another door.  I then see two houses, one of which has a coin symbol on its door.  The door is locked (damn, I need that lock pick skill!) so I have to try and climb up the drainpipe.  Unfortunately a failed luck test means that the drainpipe starts coming away from the wall and I fall the the floor.  The commotion has attracted some attention so I have to abandon this attempt with no further clues and don’t have any other alternative than to start my search for the gem.

I have no idea where to start looking so go down Clock Street.  I am set upon by three Dwarves who I manage to kill but attract more attention so must give up on this area (it was obviously the wrong one) and try Lord Azzure’s palace instead.

On arrival at the palace, I see another drainpipe so decide to climb that to get in.  I am near the top when some guards spot me.  I decide to hurry up a bit further but another failed luck score means that one of the guards shoots an arrow into my arm which causes me to let go of the drainpipe and fall to my death!  Oh dear

I never really felt that I had enough to go on and feel I chose the wrong skills at the start.

Phantoms of Fear

By Robin Waterfield

Phantoms of Fear is a book that I have been looking forward to.  It has a very unique atmosphere and is different from most other Fighting Fantasy books. The stats are mostly the same, but there is a Power stat which determines how succesful your dreams are and also enables you to cast spells.

Skill: 11

Stamina: 17

Luck: 11

Power: 12

Not bad – the power score could be a bit higher.

In this adventure I play a Wood Elf and have been tasked with saving my forest home from an evil prince who is amassing an army below it.  The prince’s lair has an opening in the forest and around this opening the forest is blighted and badly affected by evil.

I head off and am immediately given a choice of heading North, South or West.  I chose South.  The way South is, at first, fairly easy.  The forest looks healthy and everything seems good with the world.  After some time, however, a strange mist descends and it turns out that this mist is a Fog Devil which I have to fight.  It is a really tough fight and I don’t want to be killed at this early stage but I manage to defeat it.  Continuing on, the forest is still looking pretty good and it seems I am not getting any closer to Prince Ishtra’s lair so I change direction and head West.

As I continue West, this time the forest is starting to change.  The animals seem somewhat panicked and are hording food.  I decide that I should probably do the same and hunt for provisions for my journey ahead.  As I am searching, I am attacked by a Moose that I have to kill before finding some food for the journey ahead.

Continuing on, I am attacked by some hornets but a fire spell quickly puts an end to them.  Shortly after this, however, I am caught up in a net and captured by Pixies!  The pixies are working for the Riddling Reaver who seems to want to help me in my quest but also wouldn’t mind killing me… so, I am given a riddle to work out.  I count up the number of words and head to the correct paragraph.  For getting the riddle correct, I am given a choice of rewards and pick a horn made out of dear antlers.

After leaving the pixies, I head North towards the blighted area of the forest.  I am soon set upon by an Artolyce, which is a cross between a bear and a wolf.  It is quite a fearsome creature but I overcome it.  Night is starting to fall and this area of forest is becoming rocky and contains a few caves. I decide it prudent to find a cave to bed down for the night.  I find one that seems empty and go to sleep.  I do not sleep well but do manage to have a very positive dream that increases my power by 2 (I know that feeling!)

In the light of the morning I see that there is a small tunnel at the back of the cave so I decide to investigate.  I crawl along on hands and knees down the tunnel that goes along for a long way.  After a while the tunnel opens up into a cavern.  There is a glow coming from the cavern, and it seems to be coming from some strange lichen that is on everything except for the floor.  There is also a skeleton here that has a large lichen covered boulder on its hand.  I decide that it is probably not a good idea to fiddle around with this skeleton so I continue down the tunnel that continues on the other side of the cavern.

The tunnel ends on the side of the hill and from here I can see the blighted area of the forest very well.  It is close now so I head down the hill towards it. As I am continuing, I am hit by a blast of hot air coming from the diseased part of the woods.  Luckily I am breathing out so all that happens is that is knocks me to the floor.

Before the blighted area starts, there is a last bastion of good forest.  Here the birds are singing and everything seems good – it is obviously enchanted against the evil ahead.  I stop and bathe in a pool which heals some of my wounds.  I then drift off to sleep and dream of fairies who are tending this area of the forest.  They ask me to stay and help them.  This is very tempting to me but thankfully I resist the temptation and wake up to continue on my mission to stop Prince Ishtra.  When I wake up, the beautiful glade has gone and there is only one tree standing here now.

I now enter the diseased part of the forest.  Everything looks sick and I can sense the evil.  The branches of the trees fling acid at me and I am attacked by some tree roots.  I destroy them before moving on.  Next I come to a trail heading away from the path.  My curiosity is piqued and I decide to investigate.  At the end of the path, I see a hut and decide to wait in the bushes for its owner to return.  Return he does and puts his heavy boot on my neck, telling me to throw my sword away.

He marches me to his hut and I decide to talk to him.  He finds my story hilariously funny and I decide that he is a lunatic.  I sit and talk for some more time, missing the opportunity to grab back my sword.  His mood suddenly changes and on a whim he lops off my arm with his axe.  I pass out and never wake up…

 

A shame it had to end that way!  I was really enjoying this book, perhaps the most out of all of them so far.  There is a really palpable feeling that the forest is sick and that my character is very much affected by this.

Star Strider

By Luke Sharp

Back to the sci-fi books now and we come to Star Strider.  Not a book I was that interested in before but on reading further it seems to be written in quite an interesting, tongue in cheek way.  There is the addition of a Fear stat this time so here are my details:

Skill: 10

Stamina: 19

Luck: 8

Fear: 9

Very average stats here.

In this book I play a “Rogue Tracer”, which is basically a bounty hunter and I have been tasked to find the whereabouts of the galactic president who has been kidnapped and is held somewhere on the “small backwater” planet of Earth.  The president has been kidnapped by a race called the Gromulans (no, really!) who have settled on earth and are master of illusion.

I am on a shuttle headed for earth and, after eating some food cubes, we arrive on earth.  There is an android lurking around here who turns out to be a planted spy so I listen to what it says.  Apparently there is a Silverhound shuttle that travels from city to city so I get on board and head off to my first destination, Madrid.

Once on board the Silverhound shuttle I settle down and get some sleep.  After some time I am woken by the sound of some sirens and some Gromulan police are checking id’s.  When they discover that I am a rogue tracer, they decide to ask me some questions…  I keep tight lipped, which appears to be the correct decision as they accept my silence and let me go (not before scaring me with one of their funky illusions!).  Just like every good tour, the shuttle stops off at a diner so we can have some breakfast…

As I am settling down to dinner, however, I see someone who I arrested in the past.  As they notice me, they start running so I give chase.  I catch up with him outside and manage to subdue him and truss him up for collection by the authorities.  When I get back to the diner, the owner strikes up conversation, pleased that I caught the criminal and mentions that he has a son in Madrid who is part of a gang.  He tells me his name before I make my back to the shuttle, hungry.

Finally I get to Madrid and note down the time for the next shuttle to Rome.  As I do this, I am approached by another android but this time ignore it and watch it for a while.  It reports back to a Gromulan so this one must be working for them.  I then notice a group of houl’gans that includes the son of the diner owner.  I decide to introduce myself, informing him of how I know him and it seems that he would like to help with my mission.  I munch on some of his paella before he agrees to get me into the Hacienda.

The entrance to the Hacienda is crisscrossed by some infra red beams.  Sadly I manage to break one of these beams.  As I break the beam, I am transported into a chess game where the pieces are playing the game out around me.  It must be an illusion so I play along and before long am able to escape.  It is now time for my shuttle to Rome, however, so I have to rush to the station without any clues from Madrid.  When I get there, the shuttle is full but the guard throws off an old lady to make way for me!

When we arrive at Rome it is late so I head for somewhere to sleep.  When I get there I see a woman who I think I recognise but think nothing more of it until the morning when I decide to follow her.   When I catch up with her I find that she is another Rogue Tracer.  It seems she is looking for a criminal named Orvium and we decide to help each other out.  We split up and I head over to Gino’s club.  I arrive at the club via a roadblock and a gang of rogue androids.

As I enter the club, I see Orvium beating up another drinker.  I introduce myself and try to talk to him. Before he talks he demands that I take part in a game of Russian Roulette with one of his cronies.  Sadly I then proceed to blow my head off.

I enjoyed this adventure much more than I thought I would.  The story was told in a very entertaining and tongue in cheek way.  I was a bit annoyed at how it ended though!

 

Crypt of the Sorcerer

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…