My new book as of last night, is Flight From The Dark — book #1 of the Lone Wolf series by Joe Dever. I think I played one of these, once, a really long time ago. At least, the word Kai sounds familiar…?
The story opens with a bang! The legions of Mordor are invading, and they’re not messing around. They have enough Kraan (a winged beast for riding) to blot out the sun, and enough Giaks (humanoid foot soldiers) for a serious genocide. And page 1 starts with me sifting through the burning rubble of the monastery, the sole survivor, … the last of the Kai!
Okay, so back up. What’s a Kai? It’s kind of a special-forces ninja training thing for kids. Yeah, summer camps in Magnamund are really interesting. My character was on the ranger-ninja path in his training: 19 combat skill (the highest you can get), trained in tracking and camouflage and talking to animals, trained in sixth sense, and proficient with using a spear.
Fortunately, I have a habit of screwing around in class, so I was out chopping wood when the monastery was destroyed. I collect my things and take off down the path. Right on the first page my sixth sense pay off, telling me that the forest path is a bad move. I decide that cowardice is the better part of discretion, and adopt a strategy of hiding: bushwack through the forest here to avoid the patrols, find a village and get a spear (yes!), hide from a patrol, hide from the king’s men cuz they might be fakes, avoid the highways and paths, stay in the forest where there’s cover because they have archers.
I finally stumble randomly across one of the king’s military patrols, and though the prince was mortally wounded before I got there, I did defend him! He gave me his horse to continue my ride.
I get to the hill overlooking Holmgard, only an hour’s ride away via the straight, open, unprotected highway. Nope. I head for the river. I bravely ditch the horse, bravely steal someone’s canoe, then bravely hunker down in the bottom of the canoe and hope nobody sees me. Eventually I run aground at one of the final barricades of the king’s army.
I’m ushered in as an esteemed guest (they see my famous green cloak of the Kai, but don’t ask if I’ve graduated or if I was even a good student) to see the king forthwith.
The king thanks me for the news of the invasion (which they’ve been fighting off for the last 2 days, so yay for the news flash), and orders me to start a new book… Lone Wolf #2, Fire on the Water.
Yes, I won this book on the first try and with only minimal combat. Believe me, I am just as shocked as you.
The intro did mention that if you find the path, you could get by with minimal stats, and I guess that was accurate. I was at least expecting some scavenger hunt thing near the end, where I fail because I didn’t find the silver hairpin and the cook’s rolling pin. But nope, just stick to the shadows and hide…
It was a fun time, though. I imagine I’ve only seen a small portion of what’s in here, too…