The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – Part 3

In our last session, we ended with my face being clawed at by a corpse. This thing was apparently a ghoul which had the power to paralyse me, but thanks to my incredible Skill, it wasn’t able to even touch me. Routing through the corpse pile further gave me a few gold pieces as well as some holy water, which restored my attributes, and a faded parchment that tipped me off about something called the ‘Maze of Zagor’. I would soon learn what that was.

Northbound, I set off up a flight of stairs only to have a heavy portcullis slam shut behind me, sealing me in the following section, the aforementioned ‘Maze of Zagor’. Now, this thing, I’m not embarrassed to say, drove me utterly mental. What I was presented with was a long series of cross-roads, secret passages, more cross-roads, random monster encounters, dead ends, loops, so many twisty turny routes that the map I was keeping ultimatley became un-usable. However, a few things of note did make an appearance within this section of the dungeon…

The first door I found took me into what initially seemed to be an empty room, but slamming the door behind me and quite intent on destroying me was a minotaur. With a skill of 9, he was actually a decent foe, so much so that he did actually manage to hit me, which I think might have been the first time a monster had landed a blow in combat on me through this whole read-through. Suffice to say, my 23 Stamina was adequate to see me through this terrible beating and the minotaur was dead. Hidden in a clay pot was a red key marked with the number 111, which came along with me.


Mr. Minotaur wasn’t the only encounter in the maze I had, another door led me into a room full of dwarves playing cards, drinking and smoking. They seemed jovial enough, but like the stranger walking into a bar in a Western, the piano stopped playing and they all gawped at me, not that they had a piano, but you understand. Rather than swiping off their tiny bearded heads, I attempted to join their card game and was welcomed into the game. The courteous thing to do seemed to be to cheat them out of their money, a successful Luck test later and I had an extra 11gp in my pocket. Oh yeah. A brief chat afterwards revealed that I was indeed in the Maze of Zagor and the only way out was to follow their vague directions… I did this to the best of my ability, but remained in the maze.


Starting to lose patience and faith in my map, I retraced my steps a little and managed to discover an unexplored route. Encouraged by this I continued and behind a door I discovered a meek looking old man who I subsequently threatened into giving me some information. As luck would have it, he claimed to be the Mazemaster. As the dwarves had done previously, he too gave me some directions, and with him not being drunk and being a mazemaster, I had more hope that his directions would help. Now I don’t know if he was full of it or I’m just and idiot, but his directions didn’t get me anywhere either! I imagine it may be the latter. Regardless, just around the time I was thinking I would be there forever, after a large amount of stumbling, fumbling, page flicking and record keeping, I was able to find my way out.

Through a secret door I leaped and I was shortly in a huge cavern which was partly lit by natural light, the rest of the light was provided by the huge streak of fire that shot through the air towards me. The source of this fire was a massive dragon. Those who remember back to part one may remember me finding a book containing a spell called Dragonfire, well this was the moment you were waiting for as the spell gave me the power I needed to take the dragon down. A rather cruel bastard of a spell it was too as on uttering the magical words, the next fireball the dragon spat did not hit me, nor did it even leave the dragons mouth, it simply stayed there setting the dragon ablaze. I sat there and watched the thing burn to death, screeching in agony. Not bad for an item I nicked off some drunk orcs.


Without a moments rest, I moved on and was thrust into a room where and old man sat playing with some cards at a table. Ignoring the bizarre option to sneak in on all fours, I walked in and greeted him. Apparently, he had been expecting me, this was Zagor!


Experimenting a little, I looked to my collection of items before combat could begin. The bow & silver arrow I found was my first option, but the warlock stopped the arrow dead just in front of his chest; the Y-shaped stick I found lay broken in my pack, I don’t really know what I was thinking it would do anyway. So, with none of the other options available to me, I drew my sword and went into combat. With a Skill of 11 and Stamina 18, he was actually a pretty tough opponent and took me down to about half of my health, but a few good Luck rolls tipped things in my favour and he was slain.

My initial reward was a door, a door with two locks, which the two keys I had found opened up nicely. Unfortunatley though, what was waiting for me was a chest containing all of the warlocks riches, held shut by a lock which required three different keys to open. The numbered keys hidden in the dungeon were to be added together to give me the magic page number for victory… but only having two keys left me with nowhere to go. I had reached the bad ending. All I could do was sit upon the chest and weep. According to the text anyway.

My adventure was over…


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