Again, book 4 of the Sorcery epic, our infiltration of the Archmage’s fortress at Mampang. I got through Book 3 with all of the Seven Serpents neutralized, giving me a permanent +1 Skill (now 11, +1 sword, +2 armband) and Luck (now 15! fifteen!) as well as the element of surprise: at certain perks throughout the book when someone recognizes me as “The Analander!” they instead see a stranger.
However, I’m doing so with 0 provisions left, nor any healing potions or similar. So I have to be careful here, because even with an 11 skill those scratches and scrapes will add up.
So, I enter Mampang and have a choice of three caves to spend the night. The first one I pick has a very loud wild animal in it, but I go in with my sword ready… and scare a harmless jib-jib. Poor little guy. It’s a comfortable night’s sleep, but a hungry morning: -3 stamina.
The next morning, I run into some fauns or satyrs on the mountainside. Female satyrs, of all things. I’m quite intrigued by this, so I’m friendly with them, and they take me back to their village so I can regale them with stories of my awesomeness. And there is so very much to tell!
Turns out that they’re very friendly folk, and I end up trading them a bunch of junk from prior books for some new stuff to help with my journey. I traded away a serpent-bashing stick for some healing fruits, and that serpent-interrogation ring for a spear and for information about a local priest who could bless it for me. Nice.
Continuing on my way, I see a possible way to cross the chasm to the side I need: a rope swing. Nope! I keep on until I find a proper bridge, then I give the special call that the satyrs gave me, and meet the priest who lives here. He hates the evil of Mampang, and he gladly blesses my spear. I’m not sure why I need a blessed spear, but in these books you know you’ll need it!
He points me to a safer bridge across the chasm, and I come into sight of my goal: an open field and the first of the four Thorben Doors through the fortress and to the Archmage,
So far, so good! I’m only down 3 stamina, and up some snazzy loot. I still have Libra behind me, and I’m not in any immediate danger. I’ve made it… this far.