Since my victory (with skill 5!) in The Shamutanti Hills, I’ve been keeping busy. For a start, there’s no way I was going to play the whole four-book arc with a skill of 5. So I rolled up a new one: Skill 9, Stamina 18, Luck 12. Nice and mediocre, except for that lovely luck.
After this new victory over The Shamutanti Hills, my reward was 10 money (bringing me up to 10) and +1 luck (bringing me to 13). I have also picked up a +1 sword and that +2 armband of swordsmanship, for an effective combat strength of 12. Oh my yes.
I turn my eyes and feet toward Khare.
Fortunately, I have a key to get through the gate, so I don’t have to mess with any guards, risk bribing them, etc. But as soon as I get through the gate, I’m whisked off the street by the cops and hustled into a cell. This isn’t a bad turn, though, as it gets me in the company of a man who gladly provides exposition and a mission profile. The local chamber of commerce, it seems, has a new Resident Retention Effort in place to help shore up their census numbers. The North Gate to leave town is locked with a four-line poem, so I must undertake a scavenger hunt for the four clues. I thank the man for his information, then DOP the door open and take off into the night.
I randomly follow a path to an avenue of huts, and smell something tasty coming from one of them. I go in and holy crap there’s Cthulhu, right at home in the kitchen, and ready to share his food. My eyes are on his loot, though: a golden mirror (for casting KIN), and some scroll I can’t read, and some gold. So I launch myself at the harmless cook, and unilaterally beats it down and take its loot. Our brave hero, ladies and gentlemen. I am not proud.
I take off back into the street, and wander some more until I find a street fair. I’m attracted by a fighting arena, and the prospect of winning 15 gold if I can defeat whoever wins the fight. A barbarian and an ogre duke it out, and due to some really bad dice rolls the barbarian goes down in 5 turns, barely getting a scratch against the ogre. Hm; that is not a good sign for me. Still, the book doesn’t say that we’re fighting bare-handed so it’s my 12 to his 9, and I prevail. I collect my 15 gold, and also rub elbows with Vik, whose name I know via Glandragor. He’s glad to meet any friend of Glandragor, and he gives me directions to a sage and teacher… who will have the first line of the poem that I need.
Lortag the Elder presents me with a really goofy puzzle, but I figure it out, and he gives me the first line of the poem! He also gives me a green wig, which is used for RAP and YAP. Nice. Thanks, guy.
I head back out into the sunlit day…