After spending time with the walking stereotype that was O’Seamus the Leprechaun, the next thing I discovered was an awful stink. Balthus Dire’s minions need the same facilities we all do and so the citadel was equipped with a sewer system, a sewer system that I had just found after walking down a slope into the actual bowels of the place.
It seemed the only way to cross the sewer was an over-hanging rope. Considering I was currently staggering along with 4 Stamina, I should have known better than to try the rope. On trying to swing across, the rope shifted and attacked me, it was of course not a rope at all, but a sewer snake. I got through the combat without taking a hit though and in victory, waded through the flowing faeces.
Following the corridor onward, I entered a room which posed a potential problem. A large golem. Be it The Witcher, Baldurs Gate, whatever game it is, these guys generally hit you hard and I couldn’t really afford to be hit at all, let alone hard. It seemed he was guarding a number of chests, but for now didn’t appear to be interested in me. An attempt at conversation with the creature resulted in no response, but as I crossed the room, it moved towards me. Moving quickly, I tried for the chests, but found them all locked, the golem was now breathing down my neck so avoiding any combat, I made a sharp exit out of the other side of the room.
A flight of stairs took me back up into the main levels of the citadel and brought me to a large, well-lit dining hall, lined by paintings and suits of armour. I investigated the paintings and found one of my target, Dire himself. I was to add 1 Luck for discovering what he looked like, but lost 1 Stamina due to the fear his image instilled in me. This I did not need, but it did occur to me that I came fairly close to dieing by looking at a painting.
I climbed the right-hand staircase and up on the balcony found three doors. Choosing the central door, I encountered something very odd indeed. What appeared to be three baby orcs sat playing on the floor of some sort of nursery, complete with unpleasant looking dolls and a three-tiered bunk bed. Unsure what to do with them, I just walked through the room as its inhabitants sat silently, watching. The book insisted to me that ‘something is not quite right here’, well whatever it is, the consequences were yet to make themselves apparent as I continued my progress unhindered.
Ascending a spiral staircase into the citadels tower, I took a left-hand turn at a T-junction through a door into a circular room containing a wooden chest protected by a circular trench. A nearby rope seemed to be the answer as I attempted to get a hold on the chest by looping the rope around, the chest then slid into the trench, pulling me down with it. What I had found was in-fact a trap, a weighted chest designed to catch greedy adventurers like a wasp in a honey trap. Finally, I was forced into using a spell as I Levitated out of the trench so I could continue through the door on the opposite side of the room.
Climbing further up another spiral staircase, I was informed by the text that I was now in the Black Tower.. ooo! All was quiet and dark, my torch had been blown out. But then I heard mocking laughter… ‘foolish adventurer!’ Evil spirit creatures called Ganjees were all around me, I couldn’t see them, but could hear them telling me that this was the last room I would ever see. Things weren’t looking good. Suddenly, one of the beings flew out of the darkness into my face and scared the hell out of me to the extent that I lost 1 Skill, 1 Luck and 2 Stamina.
Those keeping track will realise that this took me down to 1 Stamina. Yikes.
Having no viable option other than to draw my sword, my aggression was instantly rebutted by a blood-curdling scream and another of the things flew at my face. Making a run through the door I forgot that I was currently up a very tall tower and promptly plummeted over the edge of the balcony. I was given the option of using a Levitate spell, so feeling all clever for having a chosen to take a second one along with me, I turned the page… Only to find that these things had robbed me of my magical abilities and all I could do was crash into the floor far below.
I had failed my mission.
So yeah, I really did stuff this one up didn’t I? A little flicking around at my options showed me that I really had hit a dead end, only a selection of items I hadn’t found could have granted me progress and so that is where I will end this one for the moment. Not wanting to re-start completely, I will back-track a little in the next part and follow a different route. ‘Til next time…