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Plains, Forest, Lake, Victory! Day One

It was a grueling struggle, but I have crossed the Baklands, leaving behind six serpents dead and one imprisoned. Here is my story.

I walked out of the north gate of Khare with 14 stamina and 4 food. My skill of 9, a +1 sword, and a +2 armband of swordmanship = 12 effective combat strength. I had a bow and silver arrows, and various spell components. It’s a fine start.

A bird dropped me a note, advising me of our plot for this book: kill seven magical serpents who are heading towards the Archmage to warn them and to prepare defenses. The letter advises me to visit Shadrack, a hermit who lives nearby. I did, and he turns out to be good company. He gave me some advice for killing one of the serpents, and also gave me a galehorn which I can use for HUF.

My second encounter though, was far less pleasant — a baddu beetle. It couldn’t hit me at all with its mandibles and claws, but every time I hit it, I would catch a bunch of corrosive spit. This cost me 8 points of damage and brought me down to 6. I was feeling pretty concerned, because it was really early in the adventure!

Later in the day, feeling a little less confident than earlier, I ran into a really unwelcome sight — a horrifying deathwraith. I know these can only be hit by silver, so I broke out my bow and silver arrows from Khare! I made some very fortunate rolls, and knocked him down to 3 stamina – at which point it offered to surrender! Turns out it was a spellcaster having a little fun. So I had a little fun by robbing him, and I got away with some gold, some yellow powder, and a neat throwing weapon that does damage before combat starts.

But then… as I’m rifling through his loot… he kind of shrieked and convulsed and did this horrible twitching thing like in that movie The Thing, and from his body explodes the Moon Serpent! The book offered me a chance to make a fire, so I tried it. Turns out the Moon Serpent hates fire… and that made my job easy. My first serpent kill of the day!

The day went by, one long hot mile at a time, without a lot else going on. I lay down to sleep, really needing to heal some stamina, but I had a scary dream about being carried away by the Fire Serpent, only to be awakened by a bunch of cavemen wanting to kill me! I was in no mood for their guff, though, and I killed them all — but the disturbed sleep and a light injury during the fight, means I started the morning even closer to death than before I slept.

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First published May 6, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.