Sorcery, Book 4 and my approach to the fortress of the Archmage to steal back The Crown of Kings.
I spent the night in a cave, met up with some female satyrs and got some loot, and met a priest who blessed my spear. No, that’s not a euphemism for anything. And now I’m in sight of the first Thorben Door, of the four such doors I must pass.
My strategy is elegant yet simple: I run for it, just bolt for the gate as fast as I can and hope nobody sees me. This works remarkably well, considering that I do find the guards passed out drunk. Being the brave but very hungry hero that I am, I kill them as they sleep and eat their lunch right there. That’s how “hangry” plays out in Kakhabad!
Getting to the gate, the book offers me a novel option: to play doorbell ditch. I knock on the gate, then hide above the gate and sneak in when the guards come outside to find the joker. Ha, ha, it’s all fun and games here. But then we get inside and there are four guards anyway. A bloodbath ensues, including an additional two guards in the next room before I get my hands on the gate key. Then I’m through and into a fairly large courtyard. I’m in, and that was easy!
I eye the place and head over to a pillory, where some poor creature is imprisoned. However, I remember this guy from my previous life and I’m not falling for it again. I taunt him a little and move on, and meet a blind old lady begging for coins, I’m feeling generous… and so is she! She advises me that some of the birdmen here are against the Archmage, and tells me the code to talk to them should I meet more birdmen. She also gives a pendant of +1 luck (Luck 16 baby!) and some holy water. In return, I offer to go kill some rogue sightmasters I saw earlier, who apparently are not only loyal to the Archmage but also stealing from this old lady. The battle with the sightmasters is a bit odd, though: as I move in to attack, my blessed spear leaps from my hand and kills the lot of them in a rather gruesome cut scene!
Moving on, I see the second Thorben Gate ahead of me. I see someone whisper a password to it, so I walk on by toward some staff entrance to see if I can get the password from someone else.
That works out reasonably well. A few more times, my element of surprise saves my bacon as I’m not recognized as The Analander but just waved on as a stranger. I run into a really gross creature (a mucalytic; what the hell? the name sounds like website statistics made of snot) and dodge it, and run into Valigaya the tax collector. Now, I’ve been advised in the previous book to not give this guy a single coin, and I’m gonna go with that. When he demands money, I get in his face and pull my sword. He caves immediately, giving me the gate password. I thank him by also taking his coin purse on the way out, because I’m a hero. Damn there was 20 gold in here!
Back down the hall, and to the gate… and the password works. I’ve just crossed the second Thorben Gate!