By Keith Martin
A staff of power has been stolen, probably by a man called Shanzikuul. It is up to me to retrieve it and return it to its rightful owner. Unfortunately I have to do this undercover and my cover on this occasion is that I am a slave on a ship. This means I have to endure beatings and that I start with pretty much nothing apart from two gold pieces hidden in my shoes. My stats:
I pick Tracking, Animal Wisdom and Climbing as my skills so off I head. I start off on the slave ship and witness a fellow slave get a bad flogging. I try and intervene but this only focuses the slave master’s attentions on me and he starts attacking me instead. After the beating is finished I fail to overhear a conversation and the next day I am beaten again. I decide to passively take it and suffer more stamina loss.
The next day I am scrubbing the decks when the captain is attacked by a tentacle. I decide to help fight it off with my ball and chain. After killing it, the captain lets me drink some grog! Now I have helped the captain out, the rest of the voyage is fairly easy going until we hit land. One of the other slaves suggests we try and escape now whilst the crew are all drinking but I decline the plan and decide to make my own way to land. During the night I sneak out but, not being able to move silently, I am spotted and when I dive into the water, the crew throw daggers and the like at me. Some hit me but I keep going and end up on the shore. I rest for a while before getting my bearings. I am in the town of Ashkyos, ready for the next part of my adventure.
I decide to head for the warehouses first. When I get there I bump into a young thief who I manage to apprehend. The man who was giving chase is so happy that he gives me some gold and offers me a job on the docks. I accept and get paid some more gold and I get a decent square meal too. I stick around the next morning and meet someone called Vesper. He seems to have a dodgy job going that evening but I decline his offer and go shopping instead.
I look around all the shops but don’t have much money so I buy a backpack, a sword and some provisions before heading off to Entertainer’s square. I wonder around the square and notice that there is some gladiatorial combat taking place. I challenge the half ogre champion to a fight to the death and having defeated him I get a nice haul of 12 gold. I do become a bit more notorious however, as this kind of behavior is not very conducive to being undercover, so I try my luck in the markets.
When I get to the market I see a man selling a mongoose. I decide to buy him and it turns out he can talk and is called Jesper. He turns out to be quite useful and makes me a net 8 gold pieces by hatching out some creatures from an egg we bought. I tell him he does not need to do any tricks and he gets me five more gold by biting a passer by. He leaves to liaise with a lady mongoose (yeah, really!) but will return when I am ready to leave the city. I decide to head to the Old Quarter next.
As soon as I enter the old quarter, a mule nearly knocks me over. It is out of control but I manage to subdue it, much to the delight of its owner who gives me some gold for my troubles. I then decide to enter a Guursh Bar, and manage to bluff my way past the bouncers before sitting down for a drink. I am too cheap to buy one though and instead see some sneaky men up to no good. I follow them round the back of the bar but one of them shoots me with a poisoned dart. When I wake up, they have taken all my gold and my sword. Damnit!
I pick myself up and head for the Docks. I notice some shady dealings but decide not to rob the guy so carry on, only to bump into Captain Shagrot himself! He even has a pirate parrot to scratch me in the eyes whilst I fight him. I do end up defeating him, though, and my spoils are his magic scimitar. Ace! Sadly I am becoming quite well known so will have to tread a bit more carefully in future. I have not much to do now so return to the Warehouse. This was a bad idea. The rozzers recognise me and I am chased down. I manage to escape most of them except one Man Orc, who I kill. I am now so notorious that I have to leave town. On the way out I decide to buy a few more provisions with the gold in my shoe but I doubt it will be enough.
I head South and there are some grueling days walking – I have to eat four of my precious provisions before something eventful happens – I am attacked by a snake. I pick it off without too much trouble and trudge South.
When I am sleeping, Jesper alerts me to something approaching. I am about to be attacked by a Mutant Orc. I manage to get it down to its last stamina and save its life. I give it one of my precious provisions and it tells me that it used to be a normal Orc but was captured and experimented on. There are also a group of people looking for a magical item. Sounds intriguing but not that useful so I carry on.
The next day, all the rest of my provisions spoil in the head (I knew I wouldn’t have enough) and my stamina is rather precarious too… Thankfully I spot a deer and using my animal wisdom skill am able to bring it down. I could now eat my fill but for some reason the raw meat is useless to me and I need a lantern to cook it! Bah! I guess I would rather die than eat uncooked meat…
The next day is very hot and without a ring of endurance, the heat brings me close to death. I am now so near death that the next two meals I have to skip sees me dying of hunger. If only I had some succulent raw meat…