The next Lorestone is in Tahou (part 2)
Lone Wolf is in the city of Tahou, and awaiting an audience with the local senate to request that they open the Cauldron. Now, I should clarify that in the prologue I was told that the Lorestone is in (or under) Tahou, and I still have no idea what the Cauldron is. Apparently it’s some sort of door? Anyway, I have bigger problems as the senate votes in favor of… taking me prisoner and handing me over to the Darklords when they invade. Talk about democracy being two wolves and a sheep “voting” on dinner!
I escape the building , though, and some manage not to kill anybody at all on my way out. I find my way into a more seedy and lawless part of town, and bump into that same thief I helped out back when I was in jail. Ah that feels like only yesterday. Oh, right – it was yesterday. As the guards burst in, hot on my tail, the thief does me a solid and we escape through a secret passage into the sewers and then into a thieves’ hideout. In a lovely twist of fate, it turns out that the Cauldron isn’t even the only door into the underground city — the thieves have their own entrance, and they just let me use it. (I got this far before I found out that that’s what the Cauldron is, a door to underground ruins) They even load me up with supplies like food and rope. This is a crazy city, and I’m in strange company. But right now they’re preferable to the local government.
Then I climb down a rope for a long time. And survive a cave-in. And the ghouls. And spending the whole day climbing up a staircase made for giants. The staircase part, I kind of liked. It’s like that one chapter in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, where Carter and a retinue of ghouls climb giant-sized stairs for several days. That was a really good story, check it out some time.
And here I am… the underground city of Zaaryx, apparently a city of dragons a zillion years ago. Today, though, it’s inhabited by a really nasty psychic ghoul that starts attacking my mind and ripping at my flesh at the same time! It’s a good thing for me that I have psi-shield and psi-surge, or this guy would have torn me up. But the Sommerswerd and I kill him in two hits. Interestingly, he’s wearing a ring that enhances psychic abilities. Yoink!
And now, alone in the city… I wander in the darkness for two days.
Then I come across some lizard people. They’re not boiling a virgin sacrifice or doing anything untoward; just sitting there talking and petting an egg. I take a chance, and walk over to them to be friendly. And they are friendly, indeed! They know me, they know the Kai, they are guarding the Lorestone and waiting for me. Well that’s peachy! And just like that, I get the Lorestone.
But the adventure isn’t over.
In a flash of healing light, I find myself back in the city. I’ve been underground for three days, and the invading armies of Helgedad and Vassagonia have arrived. The city is surrounded and half of it is on fire. Half of the adults are already dead, the rest exhausted from days of fighting. I help to put out a fire, and head toward the north tower to help out. Halfway there, I see Banedon and stop to see how we’re doing. Sadly, the news isn’t any better than it looks.
And here comes the boss fight. The zakhan of Vassagonia (remember that guy, from book 5? there was gonna be peace treaty, but this guy sold me out to the Darklords; fun times) is armed with a badass magical orb, that wrecks the walls and disintegrates all attackers. It hits me for 5 points of damage, then we go into the boss fight!