Death by Earth Serpent, a brief tale of crossing the Baklands
Okay, my second try on Sorcery! book three, in which we have left Khare and are trekking the desolate Baklands. Again we open with fighting some birds, and some exposition that seven serpent-gods are racing ahead of me to inform the Archmage that I’m coming, so he can set a trap.
Again, on the next page I run into a talking tree which informs me that I should talk to the hermit who lives nearby. Again, the hermit gives me dinner and a magical horn, as well as some advice and backstory of these serpents.
Back on the trail, I catch a ride with some friendly centaurs. This time they take me to a caravan of elves who are heading back toward Khare. I’m headed the other way, but I figure they may have interesting supplies or advice. However, in trying to make allies and friends, my honesty backfires when the elves basically blame me for attracting the wizard’s attention and getting him into a bad mood. I flee from the camp, with a hail of arrows behind me. I have to Test My Luck six times to dodge six arrows, and though it works out well for me, my Luck is down from 13 to 7. Ouch.
My next encounter is with a weird gnome-like creature. I have a weird feeling about it, but my intuition says to be friendly. Turns out, this person is The Sham whom I was told to talk to in preparation for something called the Sleepless Ram. She has some sleeping gas that may be helpful when I get to that stage of my journey, as well as some useful advice about the Earth Serpent. Or it would be useful, if I could do a levitation spell.
I wander about some more, and some more, and eventually I do run into a place where rocks come to life and start attacking me. I’m worn down one stamina point at a time, by heat and abrasion and being stung by something I can’t see. And then it comes at me: the Earth Serpent. It has a 12 skill and also 14 stamina, and well he just rolls more fortunately than I.
My adventure ends here, crushed and ground under the coils of a stone serpent.