The Rings of Kether – Part 2

Hot on the tail of presumed drugs traffickers, Gross and Babbet, we find ourselves overlooking a space port on an island in the middle of nowhere. Somehow I was able to land my craft there without any opposition or interest and decided to take a change of tactic. Up until now I’d tried to be subtle as possible, but this time I decided against sneaking in through one of the freight entrances, got into a nearby anti-grav vehicle and crashed it straight through the doors. Seemed to do the job too as when the dust settled I was inside a freight area looking at the four heavily armed guards I’d just crushed against a load of packing crates full os Satophil-D, presumably intended for shipping to the mainland. There was a fifth person I found there though, and this person was curled upon the floor in quite a state, looking like he’d been chewed up by an animal or a skilled torturer. No identifying marks were found on him, but I did however find four Pep Pills to add to my collection.

Leaving the area through a corridor, I found myself in an octagonal room being examined by a large, multi-sensored robot who proceeded to ask me what was presumably a security question.

‘Red I am,
the heart of a scorpion,
yet not of Arachnia at all!
Pincers I have,
but I grasp with the unseen,
In one word, what am I?’

Well, I didn’t have a bloody clue what he was, but the options I had were to pick an answer beginning with A, S or X. Guessing ‘A’, I provided the answer Antares, which as we all know is a star in the Scorpius constellation… ahem. The machine was quite happy with my answer and let me pass through to a T-junction. Taking a right I didn’t get very far as the corridor ended at a digital console saying the next shuttle was due in around 75 hours. Heading back, I took the left turn instead.

On a large door was a brass plate which read ‘Zera Gross’. Opening the door, I headed into what was presumably the office of our favourite card-playing fat lady. And you know what? There she was, sitting and dictating notes to her robot secretary, but she saw me, stopped and then lunged for her blaster. A gun fight ensued, which despite her half decent stats of 8/11, she didn’t make her way out of alive. Only two hits were needed with my pilfered super auto blaster thing to immobilise her, but unfortunately our battle left the room in pieces and also a little bit on fire so there was nothing else to be taken from here.

In the next room I found a series of vidi-screens which detailed Satophil-d production and transport, the location of a nearby asteroid seemingly the place where this stuff was actually being made. And of course, we don’t get an illustration of key bad guy, Zera Gross, but we do get an illustration of some computer monitors. Get ready, it’s a corker…

ROK 008

My next step was to take out this asteroid and so I set off in my ship, but found my progress hindered by a minefield.

ROK 007

Using a Skill test I was able to carefully navigate my way through these explosives without triggering a single one, but what I failed to evade were the batteries of phasers which had detected my presence and I now had to have a taste of space combat with. Not a massive struggle though, their Weapon Strength of 9 and Shields of 6 wasn’t enough to stop me and I made my way to one of the emergency airlocks into the facility on the asteroid.

It wouldn’t be an Andrew Chapman sci-fi book without a long corridor, and that’s what a faced, leading down into the bowels of the asteroid. I took a detour though to check out a room to the side, but it contained nothing but pressure suits which were of no use to me. At the end of the tunnel was a cylindrical chamber which had a security sentinel which looked like some sort of 80’s puzzle spinning through the air towards me, blue electricity arcing through its core.

ROK 013

Not wanting to mess about I leapt into the air and kicked the thing. A successful Skill test later and it was laid in a heap, sparking on the floor. What a wonderful technological marvel. Moving on I arrived at a cross-roads and took a right, went through an air-lock and found myself in a waste-disposal system being sucked out into space!

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A test of Luck saw me manage to grab an emergency lever though and the system was shut down, air rushed back into the chamber and I was able to continue onwards along the original tunnel. This came out into a cavernous area which was populated by large bulbous creatures with searching tentacles, a series of spheres with handles hung above them. Seems like a slightly inconvenient way to make your drugs trafficking gang members get around, but then I’m not an intergalactic drug lord.

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A series of Skill tests saw me manage to swing from handle to handle and cross the room to the laboratory. Now believe it or not, this illustration is supposed to be a laboratory.

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I could never have imagined a space drugs laboratory could look so utterly boring. According to the text I ‘busy myself destroying some of the equipment’. Must keep ones self busy. Two exits to the room were available, a continuation of the corridor or a side door.

Moving through the door a tripedal alien holding electronic bracers was stood before me on a narrow bridge, he shouted ‘Halt!’ and fired a few bolts of electrons at me. At last! Something actually exciting is happening!

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This Arcturian Vanque had some easy enough stats to deal with (7/10) and he was gunned down pretty quickly. Along this path I came to a T-junction and took a right, the control panel of the asteroid facilities nuclear reactor stood before me, but any ideas of fleeing from a timed explosion were soon dismissed when I found I didn’t possess the key to operate the system. Boo. So I headed back and took the left turn instead.

I found myself in a small cubic room, each surface seemed to be a door with a button in the middle. I set about hitting these buttons. I had to hit them in the right sequence, each failed attempt lost me 1 Stamina point. Perhaps the sequence was revealed at some point, but if it had, I missed it and so blind luck was required. A little trial and error saw me through until one of the doors opened up to reveal what seemed to be a living area, and a sumptuous one at that. A folded screen was beside the door and in the middle of the room were two identical figures, which the text informs me ‘must‘ be Blaster Babbet… odd as I have no evidence as to what he looks like. Regardless, he was about to attack, so rather than shoot one of them I took the option to try an alternative course of action and dived behind the folded screen. Behind it was the real Blaster Babbet, the figures I had seen were merely reflections, and so with his 10/8 stats in my way, I took on the kingpin of the operation.

Like his few henchmen, he didn’t last long and I was told to turn to 400 for the epic, well-earned ending…

ROK 021

…sigh.

My adventure was thankfully over.

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The Rings of Kether – Part 1

ROK 002

 

#15

The Rings of Kether

Corruption is rife in the Aleph Cygni system and the flow of the illicit narcotic Satophil-d from the spaceports of the planet Kether has grown to enormous proportions. Several attempts have been made to crack the notorious drug rings of Kether, with no success. Now the Galactic Federation has entrusted YOU with this dangerous undercover mission in this wild and lawless place. But will YOU succeed?

 Hello there, just an inter-galactic salesman here, ship’s full of exotic spices and fruits, nothing else. Smart missiles? No, just a load of cumin and bananas, mate. That’s my story anyway, as I drop out of hyper-space into the Aleph Cygni system, my task is to sniff out a drugs ring and take it down. Kether is the main planet in what is apparently a very small system, a small moon named Rispin’s End was also nearby as well as an asteroid field. I figured the best place to start to find some leads would be Kether, so I set a course for the planet with my rather odd, square looking command console.

ROK 003

Kether has only one starport and their checks are so thorough they didn’t bother to look at my ship, but they did hold me up at Customs and took my spy ray off me, technology such as that isn’t allowed here. Firstly, I never knew I was equipped with a spy ray, there’s no mention of it previously. Second, what the hell is a spy ray? Regardless, I don’t have one any more, so we’ll just have to complete this mission sans spy ray, it’s a tough ask, but I think I’m up to it.

Wanting to maintain a low profile, I kept well away from anywhere conspicuous and started to chase down drugs suppliers in some seedy little bars. I came across one such place called Crash, an animated neon sign above the door along with a sign saying ‘No Aliens’, so inside I went for a mingle. Once inside, I had to roll a dice to see who I would talk to, for no obvious reason I wasn’t allowed to make the choice myself. Very odd. So I threw my D6 and came up with a 2, which meant I had to approach a fat, middle-aged woman playing cards.

She is horrible; gap-toothed, burping and coarse. She is however commanding a game of cards with ease and instead of joining them I chose to watch from a distance and then follow her when she left some two hours later. It only occurs to me now that while on an high-risk undercover mission I sat in a bar watching a fat woman play cards for two whole hours and followed her home for absolutely no reason. Unfortunately, whilst sneaking through the streets my Skill of 10 couldn’t prevent me failing a test and I knocked over a hover-moped, or something, and alerted my prey to my presence. Impressively for a heft of a lady, she managed to move at a fair old pace, but I kept up as she fled and managed to see her entering a block of apartments. Allowing things to calm for a few minutes, I went over to check the names on the resident list, the one that seemed to be for gap-tooth read ‘ Zera Gross – Import/Export’. I’d better go to the City Central Library and see if I can find out any more information about this person with no perceivable links to a drugs cartel.

Almost entirely devoid of other humans, staff or otherwise, I had the pick of the terminals at the library the next day. Checking old records I tried to home in on anything to do with narcotics legal cases in the news, I came up blank except for one which read ‘Central Criminal Court 3: State vs Z.Gross and B. “Blaster” Babbet. Before Justice Zark. Charge: trafficking in illicit organic materials (Satophil-d)’. So there we have it, the randomly selected woman in the bar seems to be a key player after all. Odd though that I went to the library specifically to look her up and wasn’t actually given the option to do so directly. Inconsistencies aside, my next port of call was the State Computer File Centre to see if I could dig up any more information on these two individuals.

The File Centre appeared rather unwelcoming, a squat concrete building surrounded by razor wire, but still with a public entrance, a sign informed me though that only records of over 100 years old would be available to the public. Trying to keep things as discrete as possible I decided that breaking in would be a good way to get my hands on some more recent materials.

Returning after dark I scaled a nearby drain-pipe, crossed some cables and managed to ascend safely to the roof, and with a good Luck test I dropped through a sky-light into a room with the necessary computer terminals from which I started to extract some data. Unfortunately though, no personal or criminal data was available, all I had access to was transport data, and that transport data had vast sections missing, seemingly deleted? Someone is trying to hide something…

Someone who might be able to help me one way or another was the Air Traffic Chief, so I went over to the helipad to try and make some sense of what I’d seen. His office would be an interesting place to start, even better if he wasn’t in it, so I knocked quietly on his door and then went inside, in the process rolling a D6. This came up even and resulted in me finding his office unoccupied, so I was free to investigate. Checking his desk drawers brought up some solid evidence that shady deals were taking place, a letter from the Head Customs Officer to the Air-Traffic Chief.

Dear Aestho,

Here’s your cheque. Note that today’s flight from the east coast – No. 212 – was ‘unusual’ and should be written off as per the others. Contents will be cleared tomorrow, so tomorrows’ shuttle to Tau Ceti – No. 005 – should also be written off.

Zac Calensus

The cheque was for 3,000 kopecs! Wow! I suppose. That could be a fiver for all I know. Regardless, this is all building up nicely. Deciding to find as much information on this planet as I could before moving on, my next stop was at Customs.

Deciding against bribery and threats, my strategy for dealing with the customs officers was to continue my covert stance and so I hid myself away in the lockers of the freight depot in the hope of spotting something illegal. Not the most pro-active method I agree, and it almost got me caught as a security guard came along and started to open up and check all the lockers! As he reached mine I held my breath and hid behind a big coat, but just as he opened the door, a distant call came out – ‘Hey Harry! Time for a beer ol’ buddy!’ – and that was enough for Harry to instantly down tools and begin drinking. Classic Harry!

Eventually though, I struck gold, a heli-jet arrived and started to unload its cargo of small one-tonne boxes. Overhearing the conversation of the customs officers unloading and checking it, this was it, a big shipment of Satophil-d! The swines were stamping it as ‘PASSED’, my time had come. Jumping out of the locker, aiming my gun at them, I demanded information on who was running this racket. Two clues were stuttered out to me by the shocked officers before I arrested them and locked them up in my ship. The top floor of the Iscosceles Tower and the L16 satellite were presented to me as my options and I opted for the satellite, heading up to it entirely unhindered in my ship.

ROK 019

On arriving at the satellite, the first option I was presented was to blow it up. Not being endorsed by the Bush administration I decided to actually have a look at what I was blowing up first and went on a little space walk. What followed was a sequence of Skill tests, I had to pass enough to get me to the satellite before I ran out of propulsion fuel, of which I had enough for four tests, having a Skill of 10 meant this wasn’t so bad and I managed to get a magnetic clamp onto the thing. Identifying a communications panel I opened it up and managed to access a diagnostic inlet which I was able to track data transmissions. The Iscosceles Tower I had been tipped off about was receiving a lot of communications regarding Satophil-d from a nearby unknown asteroid. I returned to Kether…

At the 15th floor of the Isosceles Tower was a door marked ‘Z.Gross & Associates. Import/Export‘. I drew my blaster and entered, finding a corridor that led off left and right. Following to the left I came out into a large open office, the place had been trashed, stripped and deserted. Perhaps they knew I was coming… Hoping I might find someone still in the act I pressed on and found an office where two thugs were shredding documents and throwing ‘magnetic memory’ into an incinerator. This was 1985 remember, where average hard drive capacity was less than 100mb!

They didn’t last long in an exchange of blaster fire with me though and I was able to take the automatic blaster one of them carried, which would allow me to do 6 Stamina damage rather than 4, not bad progress after only one fight. As the smoke cleared a small, gangly officer worker tried to jump me with a paperweight, a Luck test thwarted him though and I had him a full-nelson asking him just what the hell was going on. Gurgling and spluttering, he motioned towards a vidi-link.

Flashing on the screen was a message that read –

***ATTENTION ALL STAFF***

THE FEDS ARE ON TO US SO DESTROY ALL FILES INCLUDING THIS MESSAGE, RENDEZVOUS – PARADISE, 34 16′ 42″ WEST, 16 00′ 00″ NORTH AT 21:30. BE EFFICIENT.

ZERA GROSS + BLASTER BABBET

These co-ordinated were for a small island off the coast, and when I got there I found a small, but predictably busy heli-jet pad…

ROK 017

…I can only hope something happens there in part two!

Hidden artifacts stashed within an Oxfam shop

Just a small morsel for you to nibble on before the next book comes up, something I found a long time ago in an Oxfam book shop. A small crop of titles I already owned were on the shelves, but I do love to see if there is anything written on the adventure sheets so I had a look inside. What I found was that the owner of these books had left in a hand drawn map for City of Thieves as well as his own inventory sheets for City of Thieves, Forest of Doom and Space Assassin!

COT_MAP

Much better than the kind of crap I churn out! Seems he had some great luck on rolling his main stats too 😉

COT_INVENTORY

FOD_INVENTORY

SA_INVENTORY

 

Temple of Terror – Conclusions

As I mentioned in my introduction, Temple of Terror is coming on heels of some non-fantasy books, so I was very happy to be back in more familiar territory. What you get in this book is the standard adventure that we are all sucked in by, a trek across the wilds followed by a dungeon crawl with a few traders to spend some gold with along the way. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have tweaked a few things though. Perhaps we were spoiled by the rich desert survival in The Seven Serpents, but I’d have liked a little more time on the desert section. Finding the ‘lost city’ seemed like a fairly trivial accomplishment, I’d have taken a slightly shorter portion of the book in Vamos and a longer exploration of the desert being required. My coffee-stained map shows how the adventure is heavily weighted towards the dungeon section.

tot 002         I had clearly missed some parts though as this interesting illustration depicts some kind of raid going on that I never encountered, a great action piece.tot 026 Another gripe I had, which I suppose is a little picky, is the bad guy, Malbordus. Obviously I never ultimately got to face off with him, but his presence in the story is basically non-existent. At least in other books where you are trying to stop a bad-guy, you’re in their domain, their dungeon, their Firetop Mountain. Here we’re in Leesha’s den and we never really learn that much about her other than the fact that she likes art. It is a minor complaint, but I would have felt more compelled to find the dragon artefacts if he’d been built a little more, in-fact at times I actually forgot I was supposed to be looking for them. Having said that, the book still had a great atmosphere, the sandy ruins felt dangerous and I was enjoying picking my way through. Malbordus might have had a diminished presence, but he was filled in for by the messenger of death rather well. This fellow was one of the most memorable parts of the adventure and was a good alternative to insta-death decisions, you could sometimes gain clues as to what he was doing. While it was certainly a penalty to find one of his letters, it wasn’t just a case of flipping back to the previous page after your death, it just turned up the tension a notch, which is a good thing. A tough dude I managed to avoid was the guy depicted below, a mutant orc assassin I narrowly avoided just before your dragon artefacts are totted up, who is seemingly armed with some sort of lightsabres. Skill 11 and Stamina 11 was not something I wanted to fight at that point, especially given my wildly fluctuating Skill score, I was trying to stay out of fights for portions of the book.

tot 021   My adventure was a failure, but had I found that 5th dragon artefact I believe I was in a position to get through the final encounter with Malbordus successfully. He is pictured here, played by the legend that is Nick Cave.

tot 024 I should hasten to add, I did not draw the horns and neither did Bill Houston. Some cheeky Shetland scamp must have done that at some point… It should also be said that my copy of the book did not survive the reading and scanning process, the water damage was too much to take and… he fell.

fallen_prince   Godspeed, Temple of Terror. You were a solidly enjoyable, if unspectacular, adventure.

Temple of Terror – Part 3

Doubling back from the tapestry corridor, I went down the mural corridor. Quite impressive it sounded too, twenty metres long, depicting a great battle between undead, orcs, men and dwarves. My study of its detail was suddenly broken by a voice behind me, ‘Do you like my work?‘. Spinning around, I was facing a man with paint pots in his hand and a brush behind his ear, the astute reader may determine that he is the artist. Flattery was the obvious course of action and he seemed pleased to get complimented on his painting skills, this loosened his tongue and so I learned of High Priestess Leesha. Leesha is the boss of this place, despite her terrible nature, she has a taste for finery and art. Every year she invites talented people to come and carry out their works with the lost city. The best entry is rewarded with 300g and the rest are sacrificed to the Dark One – whoever that may be. Our friend here was pretty confident of his victory and also let on that the artists were protected here by wearing magic rings and that Leesha’s inner temple can only be reached by walking through the curtain of golden rain. Despite all this juicy information, he had never seen or heard of Malbordus…

Leaving him to his paint pots I followed the corridor around to the right, off the corridor was a solid-looking door, from behind which I could hear agonized cries and sadistic laughter. I turned the handle and walked in to find Michael Jackson being tortured by a bare-chested man.

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Killing the torturer, I took a bunch of brass keys from his belt and set about freeing the prisoner and found his name was actually Thitta, an ex-servant of Leesha who was caught trying to escape. I explained my quest to him and the mention of the Messenger of Death perked his interest, a figure he’d seen was stashing something in a golden casket before disappearing into thin air… We went our separate ways from here.

A little further down the corridor was another door that popped open thanks to my Open Door spell, inside was a marble-floored room, bare except for a bronze head of a woman mounted on the wall which surprisingly started to talk to me. I was asked how many gold pieces Leesha gave to the winner of the art contest, the text telling me to turn to that page number. On giving the correct answer I was congratulated by the head and it started to pour a red smoke into the room which left me feeling invigorated, restoring 2 Skill and 2 Luck! For once I actually needed that Skill boost! Back in the corridor it led to a small room with doors leading off to the left and right, a nice disguise, but essentially another T-junction! Opting for the right door I discovered a room packed full of caskets, chests, urns and the like, oh and one of the urns also a fire-spitting fiend climbing out of it.

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Not that tough and opponent at 6/8, but it did force me to roll 1D6 per attack round to see if its firey breath did any damage to me, a roll of 1-2 would cause 1 Stamina damage, but fortunately I emerged un-scathed and un-toasted. My reward on exploring the room was a gold medallion with a heart carved into it, unknown to me though this was actually a medallion given to sacrificial victims and so I lost 1 Luck point. Beyond this room was another with a mosaic floor and a large Medusa head with a coin-slot. I didn’t fancy a Medusa vending machine, I was fine for Medusas that day, so I moved on into what was another darkened corridor my lantern plainly wasn’t good enough for. As a consequence I walked straight into a blade in the wall, costing me 2 Stamina and 1 Luck. Emerging into a candle-lit room with a floor strewn with rotting food, animal droppings and matted hair, the door behind me alarmingly slammed shut while the door ahead of me burst open.

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This fellow was a Night Horror and he was shooting bolts of white light from a silver rod at me, which I was none too happy about. A quick Luck roll meant I was able to have a rummage in my bag and not get a blast from the rod. I triumphantly pulled out the brass bell I’d found in the desert sands, ringing it forced the night horror to collapse on the floor screaming, clutching its ears. But Ii wasn’t out of the woods yet as a grinding noise signaled me to look up and see the ceiling was beginning to descend. Grabbing up the silver rod I was all set to brace the ceiling, but as soon as I picked it up, the ceiling stopped moving. A door led out of the room which I could open up with the crystal key I bought from Yaz. Before moving on though, being the nice chap that I am, I threw the rod back into the room, the ceiling grinding returned as it continued its descent, presumably crushing the cowering Night Horror to death.

The room I’d walked into was a workshop, carving materials littered the room and the job in progress was a carving of what was presumably Vatos being attacked by giant sandworms.

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Closer inspection resulted in me gaining 1 Luck point as tucked within a hollowed out building was a small ebony dragon carving! That’s three of five artifacts now found.

Leaving the workshop for the next room I found myself in a large hall, weapons and armour adorned the walls and at the opposite end was an altar being attended to three sallow-skinned men in black robes who on seeing me all picked up a sickle and started to ‘advance’ towards me. Although the illustration suggests they did this in a somewhat more confrontational manner than implied.

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Trying to avoid a fight with three maniacs I told them I had a gift for priestess Leesha, and on seeing the medallion I picked up earlier they seemed to buy it too, ‘The gift of your life will certainly please Leesha‘. Curiously I felt compelled to walk down the hall towards the altar, but I fought the chanting voices in my head and passed a Skill test to ensure I was able to keep my head on my body for a bit longer. The Dark Disciples weren’t too keen on this though and set about that task of removing my head once again, but while they had a decent level of skill, they weren’t that tough at 9/5, 9/5 and 8/6. The only thing worth taking from them though was a long sacrificial dagger.

Leading out of the hall was an archway that led into an ornate corridor with a familiar sounding gold curtain, but before I could pass through I had to deal with the small matter of a wall of stone arms brandishing swords at me.

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A formality to pass by the four of them though as all the stats were so low at 6/4 each. I stepped through the curtain of golden rain and felt wetness, yet remained dry. I was in a luxurious chamber, decorated with paintings and the like, even scatter cushions. I wasn’t alone though, a Slave Guard was waiting at the end of the room with a very fine mustache.

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Having taken him out I was knackered, the scatter cushions were just far too inviting to this dusty adventurer and so I decided to have a drink of water and a sleep, a risky choice maybe but I was able to rest long enough to restore 2 Stamina before I was awoken by a deep humming noise, I dived behind some drapes to hide from whoever or whatever was making the sound. A white-robed man carrying a golden chalice entered the chamber, he saw the body of the slave guard and checked for a heart-beat before running out of the room, completely oblivious to my presence. Taking the opportunity to get out of there before he brought back more men with mustaches I set about getting the door out of the room open, I was given the opportunity to hack the door open with my sword as opposed to using my Open Door spell and was able to do so without any penalty or check… really glad I took that spell!

My next challenge was to pick a door, the corridor led me up to two doors, each bearing a different set of runes and, one with a moon, one with a sun. I tried to use my Read Symbols spell but apparently the golden rain had sapped away my magic abilities. I suppose that explains the door situation then.

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I went for the moon door and didn’t die, so I guess it was the right guess! A long, sloping corridor took me down into a chamber covered in hieroglyphics. Three clay pots, white, red and black sat on a stone table. The black pot had a shrivelled monkey paw inside, which I decided could only be bad news. In the white pot was a ring with a lightning bolt on it, I put it on to no obvious effect – could this be the ring the painter had mentioned? Usually I assume that Fighting Fantasy books that take you through a choice of three give you a good option, an indifferent one and a punishment. I’d had the in-different one, I was assuming the monkey paw was the bad one so there must be something awesome in the red pot! Of course there was nothing in the pot, but underneath was a letter ‘E’. Damn you, Messenger of Death! I lost 4 Stamina and 1 Luck for my inquisitiveness, maybe I was right about the rings value after all. On my way out of the chamber I found a small trapdoor, but finding it too dark to properly explore I moved on into what can only be described as a treasure room! There was a golden skeleton statue I quite liked the look of, so I had that. From what I was told earlier by Thitta clearly the Messenger of Death had left me a note in the golden casket, so I left that alone.

Leaving the room took me on to another T-junction where I took a right. Strangely there was a large bowl of grapes in the middle of this corridor, I took a gamble and ate the lot, 4 Stamina points were my reward. Ending the corridor was an archway blocked by a black curtain with a skull carved above it. I threw back the curtain and found myself in a small chamber with two guards standing at the end; ‘Give good reason to intrude on the domain of Leesha or die’.

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I didn’t have what they would consider a good reason to intrude the domain of Leesha, so I drew my sword and fought them off, which wasn’t easy as they both has a Skill of 9. Marble steps led onwards, up into a high ceiling room supported by parallel lines of white pillars. Screaming luxury, this was indeed the domain of Leesha as she was draped over some satin cushions, being fanned by a large, muscular servant. With a smile and a snap of her fingers he attacked me.

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After killing this milky-eyed freak I turned my attention to Leesha and found she was already coming at me with a shiny, black, crescent-shaped object. I was given the option to fight her using a giant sandworm tooth, which did the trick as it was, for some reason, her weakness and she turned and fled at the mere sight of it. Knowing I was still looking out for dragon artifacts I checked a large chest in her chamber. I remembered I was reading an Ian Livingstone book too late though because of course, inside was the final letter from the Messenger of Death, a letter ‘D’ written in gold-dust costing me 4 Stamina points. The silver lining was that I only had a D, E and H, so I had ultimately survived this particular threat!

Turning my attention back to Leesha I pursued her through the door she left the chamber by into another hallway, in the middle of which was a bronze idol in the shape of a dog. Taking a closer look I could see that the dogs mouth was hinged, inside was a small Golden Dragon, that’s four artifacts… is it enough?

Running down the hall I found myself in a cross-passage, also known as a T-junction, to my left I could see Leesha hurriedly opening an iron door, to my right was a dwarf! He was crawling on his knees, seemingly badly sunburned and carrying a hammer. He also seemed to recognize me, so I thought I’d best see what he wanted.

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This dwarf was an envoy sent by Yaztromo to bring me the legendary war-hammer of Stonebridge as only something so mighty was able to destroy the Dragon Artifacts. I’m sure this crispy, delirious dwarf was delighted that Yaz hadn’t sent me off with it in the first place! Continuing after Leesha I pushed through the iron door she had just gone through to find myself in a features room, save for a circular pit in the middle and a very high ceiling. Sadly, I had only four of the five dragon artifacts, Malbordus had won. A window was open at the top of the room and sunlight was streaming through, only to be blocked out by the shadow of a huge dragon with an evil-looking man on its back who could faintly be heard laughing, presumably in an evil-manner. All of Allansia would soon be in shadow as Malbordus would now lead his hoards across the land accompanied by dragons. I had failed in my mission.

My adventure was over.