Who knows what monstrous creatures lie in wait in the Citadel of Chaos? The Citadel holds a dark and dangerous peril for anyone foolhardy enough to venture through its gruesome gates. And yet venture you must, for your mission lies at the heart of the Citadel, with the dread sorceror, Balthus Dire!
Blimey, I’ll say now that this was the most fun I’ve had with the books so far! Before I get carried away though, let’s anchor things with a little background. Our good-guys are the residents of the Vale of Willow a peaceful, lawful folk who spend most of their time drinking mead and herding pigs, I imagine. They live in the shadow of demi-sorcerer, Balthus Dire, who has recently been to have been massing his forces in preparation for an attack on the Vale. As a student of the Grand Wizard of Yore, my character has been welcomed by King Salamon to attempt to assassinate Dire within his citadel (of chaos) before the attack can even take place.
Taking a magical slant on the rules, this second book introduces a spell system, where 2D6+6 gives you a Magic score, the score dictating how many spells you may take with you from the initial twelve; Creature Copy, E.S.P, Fire, Fool’s Gold, Illusion, Levitation, Luck, Shielding, Skill, Stamina, Strength and Weakness. Fortunately, I managed a Magic score of 14. Less fortunately, I managed a Skill of 8 and a Luck of 7. But hey, my Stamina was 22, so I’ll just absorb the hits, right? I took one of every spell, except for Stamina and Skill, the leftover points I used to take second E.S.P, Fire, Illusion and Levitation spells.
My assassination plot took an unexpected initial step in that my entrance to the citadel (of chaos) was going to be straight through the front door. Also unexpected was the nature of the guards waiting for me there, a dog with a gorilla head and a gorilla with a dog head.
My cunning plan was to pretend to be a herbalist, sent to treat an injured guard by the name of Blag, my cleverly detailed bullshit left the dogrilla in a state of ‘I can’t be bothered with this…‘ and I was let in as dogrilla was left to presumably wonder what he was doing with his life.
A populated courtyard opened up in front of me and I had to make a decision on how to get across. Ignoring a crowd of people around a campfire, I approached a pair of men talking under a flaming torch. They were having an argument over the price of a supposedly enchanted dagger that one wanted to sell to the other. Grabbing me, the seller demanded to know what I thought was a fair price, I suggested 10g and the buyer instantly turned his nose up and left. If I had been willing to use up a Fool’s Gold spell, I could have bought it myself, but as will prove to be a theme, I was very stingy with my spell use and declined the offer to buy it myself.
Moving further across the courtyard, a weird thing approached me. A gust of wind and a whispering female voice drifted over in the form of a living whirlwind. I tried to talk to her, but she began to taunt me, saying my appearence offended her and tried to blow me off my feet. Despite my terrible Luck score though, I won a roll and somehow managed to convince her that I’d just seen another creature of my ilk in the shadows. The text informed me that she ‘nips off to investigate’. Incredibly, I had managed to avoid the wrath of a malevolent spirit with the equivalent of saying ‘hey what’s that over there?’ and then running away.
Having finally reached the other side of the courtyard where the entrance proper to the citadel (of chaos) was located, one more barrier lay in wait; Rhino-man.
Sadly, my herbalist story didn’t work a second time, nor did I want to use a spell on the guy. This proved to be a mistake though as in the subsequent fight, a series of awful dice rolls meant that Rhino-man, with his Skill of 8, kicked the living crap out of me. I staggered through the door of the citadel (of chaos) with 4 Stamina remaining. Oh lord.
The opening corridor offered up a door, but instead I opted to go down a small flight of stairs down the side of the corridor. Another doorway presented itself and I smashed it down with my shoulder, ignoring the option of using a Strength spell. Inside was a small round room where a small man in green clothing sat hovering above a table and chair.
Again, I refused the option to use a spell, this time a Shielding spell, as a small catapult fired a missile at me. Given my 4 Stamina, I have no idea why I thought this was a good plan. Fortunately though, the missile turned out to be a big juicy tomato. The little man then woke with a big smile on his face, said ‘Good mornin’ to yer!’ and revealed himself to be called O’Seamus the Leprechaun. O’Seamus shook my hand but the little swine gave me some sort of shock, numbing my sword arm and taking off 1 Skill! As if I wasn’t crippled enough as it was by my dice rolls! He of course found it hilarious and bearing in mind my physical condition, I chose not to attack and asked for information. He gave me a puzzle of a clue as to which of the three doors before me to try, a puzzle which didn’t appear to give the information necessary to solve it, so at random I selected a door. Attacked by an unseen assailant, I felt jaws close around my neck only to be whisked back into the presence of O’Seamus who had been playing another joke on me. Apparently my character managed to find the funny side of O’Seamus’ antics and had a jolly good laugh with him. Personally, I was ready to run him through. But he shortly produced a couple of prizes for me, an enchanted sword that gave me +1 to attack rolls and a silver mirror.
I bid him farewell and descended further into the depths of the citadel (of chaos)…