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Jungle of Horrors – Let’s try again

My last trip into Lone Wolf book 8 was exciting but short-lived. Let’s try it again…

This time, Paido and I decide to ride north along the highway rather than take the barge. That was a fun cruise, but let’s try something different right?

It’s getting dark and the rain is really coming down. We see two places to bed down for the night: an inn, or a mill. Rather than do the reasonable thing and go to the inn, we decide to check out the mill. Our unwelcome visit in the middle of a dark and stormy night, attracts the attention of the owner who wants to know who’s skulking about at this hour. Again abandoning reason, Paido stuns the guy with a power word (hey, Paido is pretty cool!) and we ransack the guy’s house for food and a map of Tharro. Yeah, we’re big damn heroes.

We continue onward and come to a crossroads where the book has a critical misprint (yeah 318), and forces us to turn east. We come across some monks having a funeral, and stop to pay our respects — they’re not monks at all but vordaks! It’s a brief battle, though, and now we’re really concerned that we have more than just a deadly swamp and a brewing war to deal with, but also the locals being replaced and infiltrated by enemy troops.

We stop at the ferry house next, but decide against taking the barge the rest of the way to Tharro. I think we’ll do better keeping our horses and our liberty, knowing that we can’t necessarily trust anyone. And that brings us to the tiny village of Stia.

Stia is populated by a strange little man, kind of a Don Quixote lookin’ mofo. He demands that we give him items as a toll, or that I answer a riddle. Fortunately, it’s a simple math problem and I answer it. The man, strange though he is, is true to his word and by that night we are at the gates of Tharro.

As always, we’re railroaded into the monastery that is a trap, which we knew from the earlier monastery. But first, we stop by a magic shop and I pick up a lovely grey ring that I find irresistible. I have no idea what it does, but I like it. Anyway, back at the monastery… it’s a long and intense battle, and even with alether potion it’s a nearly-hopeless fight. Even with my carefully selected set of skills for this specific fight, I am reduced to 1 endurance point. On the next page, I chug every potion I have. And it’s a good thing, because I got hit in the back a few times as I escape into the basement. Remember, I am carrying my poisoned, dying colleague.

The next scene is pretty tense, as we make a daring escape through a church and down a secret passage. I seem to have lost our pursuers, but I spend the night using my Kai magic to heal him. In  the morning, though, he’s back together and we’re ready to get out of here. And we do: we find our way out of the storage rooms and passages, into a courtyard which the guards were leaving. We hop into the back of a hay wagon, and ride away.

As an added bonus, we even find our horses again and ride out of Tharro in style.


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First published December 14, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.