The Forbidden City

YOU become Grey Star the Wizard and and at the end of book 1 you were torn up, exhausted of magic, and doomed to be eaten by giant mantis creatures… immediately before you were rescued by the Kundi people you had hoped to find.

The Kundi shaman says that the Shadow Gate will appear for one night only, in the Desolation Valley past the Forbidden City. It is there that you’ll find the portal to the Daziarn Plane dimension (where Lone Wolf was trapped in The Prisoners of Time) to find a magic stone and defeat the wytch-king Shasarak.

But it’s a long walk from the forests to the marshes to the forbidden city of Gyanima. Shasarak knows you’re coming, and has an empire standing against you, as well as some darker magics.

 

Review and Opinion

Not bad.

Somehow it’s not as engaging as the first one, perhaps because there are fewer different settings. Still, it’s a good time. Some parts of it are amusing, some scary. You’ll make your way through swamp and battle and ruins, meet new friends and rejoin old friends, and face another kleasa at the Shadow Gate.

I thought that the difficulty of book 1 was unfair, but here it’s doubly so. There are a few required combats even on the optimal route which you likely won’t survive with a low combat skill, but worst of all is the The Dead Lands, where you are by a gauntlet of deathgaunts and nightmares which sap both your willpower and endurance. If you have under 18 willpower you instantly die. Your only hope of survival is to have evocation and also alchemy, so you can ward them off; otherwise, you’ll die when you get to the bridge in the next scene. But that said, it’s still a good book after you give up and give yourself the stats & skills, and this section does at least lay on the atmosphere nice & thick.

 

Errors

On page 1, it’s not explicit how much you’ve healed. The book describes that you have healed every scratch, but doesn’t explicitly say to restore your endurance. It also doesn’t mention how many willpower points you recovered, though at the end of book 1 you spent your very last willpower point. So I gave myself a full heal, because that sounds right. It’s also barely enough…

On 64, if you use Prophecy to look at the intersection, you don’t get the option to go west to 37.

Page 248 is missing the option to search the banquet hall on 94.

 

Maps

 

 

Publication

Written by Ian Page and Joe Dever

Illustrated by Paul Bonner

1986

Book 2 in the series

 

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