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Stealer of Souls, screw this I’m cheating (part 2)

Continuing Stealer of Souls from yesterday, this time with 12/24/12 because I rolled 7s and 8s five times in a row, and am killed by that damn bird every time.

Having finally survived as far as the beach, I hiked for two days and I am at a crossroads.

I leave the path, and start bushwhacking through dense foliage toward the south. I have absolutely no idea where these Iron Crypts are, nor why they would be on a path or in a forest, so let’s just go for it.

After several exhausting hours of dulling my sword against vines and branches, I come into a clearing area, where two guys with spears are staring at me expectantly. They don’t attack, so I put my sword away and I point and grunt for a bit trying to ask for directions. They point and grunt too, and though I don’t understand their words, they make it clear that there’s a path parallel to the one I was bushwhacking, presumably the one they came in on. I could have taken a few steps over and just walked the rest of the way. Oh I feel like a dummy right now.

They motion me along, so I humbly follow my newfound guides back to town. It’s a pleasant little place, though being the only white guy there and also several inches shorter than even the women, I feel a little self-conscious. But then I meet their shaman. Oh my, is he a treat — nearly seven feet tall, built like the men on the covers of romance novels, and the color of 97% cacao chocolate. Oh dear. He speaks English as well as I do, and fortunately he’s not swooning like I am (from heat and exhaustion and twidderpation) so at least his end of the conversation is coherent and sensible. Like that big green man back on the beach, they’re bothered by a growing evil aura throughout the island and are glad that I’m here to fight it. But that’s weird for two reasons: a) I’m not really here to fight it, but here to rescue someone; and b) I’m expecting to find just the prisoner (Alesander) and not a whole evil-wizard-aura thing going on.

I have an enjoyable dinner with everyone, though only the shaman speaks English so it’s somewhat awkward, but those folks really know how to party. Great place to visit. Five stars.

To wrap up the evening, I meet up with a local rag and bone man, selling an Ian Livingstone-esque variety of kipple. If I know these books at all, one of them is a required quest item to fight Mordraneth who is “unexpectedly” here, a few are to get out of very specific scrapes, and a few are just junk to waste money. I have no clue, so I shrug and buy a few random things before I head off to bed. In the morning, I pack my bags and get back onto the main trail.

This time I bypass the hut where in a previous life I fought a wizard and had nightmares, and I keep on the path. Good move – it goes directly to the Iron Crypts entrance, right into a room with two goblins. Being a brave, heroic adventurer I slaughter them on the spot, then start to rummage through their storage closet. I find some skulls, which start bleeding and shrieking, so I freak out and lose two stamina from the stress. (seriously, do I have a heart condition? strenuous rowing, bad sleep, and a scary skull are life threatening?) I take off at random down some hallways, and more hallways, and more hallways, …


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First published December 29, 2022. Last updated December 26, 2022.