Masks of Mayhem, Finished

Taking off from Hever’s castle with a backpack full of Lunchables but no evil-banishing horn, I decide to wander northeast. I get a little torn up by a bobcat and take its pelt, then encounter the worst challenge of the whole book: a giant prairie fire!

I dodge this way and that, and pull off a Skill check (13 with this sword, which apparently makes me better at firefighting and not just combat!), and pull off the random roll. Whew! Only slightly cooked.

I get back to the river-canyon, which is now littered with barbecued wildlife and is therefore full of scavengers. A giant blood hawk, though, prefers its prey still living. With my 13 Skill, though, it’s a short fight.

I finally pick my way across the river and tangle with an alligator. I pick him off easily, but I don’t make the random roll to notice the underwater throne where a long-dead king holds the royal Orb. Darn.

I now have a choice to pick my way north into the swamp, where I know The Juja lives, or northeast to stay on mission. I head northeast and also bypass the mysterious ritual trees, which are clearly a gateway to a fae world. (duh! a shimmering zone between two trees, what else would it be?)

Northward into the snow, I try to be friendly with some barbarians who I suspect hate Morgana. They fear her more than they hate her though, and end up having a fight over me. In the confusion, I decide that cowardice is the better part of discretion, and skedaddle.

I plod along and fight a yeti thing, then fight the toughest creature yet: a dragon! Without the natural 12 Skill and the +1 sword, this would have been very tough indeed. But a few expert slices later, and I’m barbecuing a dragon steak in the dragon’s own cave, cuz I’m such the hearty adventurer.

The back of the dragon’s cave, by the way… is the entrance to Morgana’s secret lair.

Masks of Mayhem, Finished

Today I finished Masks of Mayhem. I lost count of the number of playthroughs, even with moderate “bookmarking”, due to the number of instant-death rolls.

But this time I rolled 12 Skill and 12 Luck, and 22 Stamina. Awww yeah!

At the shore of Lake Nekros, the ghost of my first playthrough reminded me to not try sailing these waters. I went east, camped by the lakeside, and fought and killed the kraken. (this is what happened last time I camped at Crater Lake, too)

I killed the two dark elves and stole their rope, got lost in the fog but perservered, and found my way to a cemetery where I fought a wight over a +1 sword. Now I have a 13 Skill, since the book very clearly says that this doesn’t only apply to attack strength.

Wait out the fog, and it clears to show a mine site, where a crazed man gives me a royal sceptre. I know that a watery tart distributing swords is no basis for a government, but lunatics in mines handing out sceptres is completely different!

Having died in the mine several times, I am skittish about going in. But this time I have 13 Skill and 12 Luck, which equals a 25 Bravado! I boldly go in and head west, Test My Luck on that chasm, kill the doragars for their loot, kill the water snake when it annoys me, and expertly kill the nandi bear. A nap and breakfast, and I’ve survived the mine right as rain with full Stamina and Luck. Without a 25 Bravado, I know this would have been flatly impossible…

On the final approach to Hever’s castle I catch tangle with some ruffians on the road, then meet up with this neighbor-king. I stay up all night with him feasting and listening to the bard, then volunteer for the tiger hunt. The dice don’t work out because the tiger and hounds are purely random (WTF?), so I instead kill my possessed blacksmith friend in true Evil Dead style. Hever still won’t give me the horn when he sees this evil, but he does load up my pack with food and kthxbai!

Onward across the plains!

Masks of Mayhem, the mayhem continues

After my very brief stint as an adventurer, cut short at the hands (tentacles?) of a lake kraken, I played through a few more times, and met some exotic and interesting deaths.

  • Sucked into a magic mirror
  • Wandered into the mist never to be seen again
  • Killed by a wight while trying to get a +1 sword
  • Fell into the lake
  • Fell down a mine shaft
  • Fell into a chasm while exploring the pitch-dark mine
  • Killed by a nandibear (what the heck is a nandibear?) in the mine
  • Sucked into a magic mirror again

And at one point I pulled a real Inspector Clouseau. I saw some campers and decided to let discretioon be the better part of valor, by bypassing them. Wrong! I twisted my ankle, tripped on a rock, slid down the side of the hill, and landed in the campsite.

This is really not going well!

 

Masks of Mayhem, Hit the Road

So yeah, time to hit the road and take care of Morgana and her golem collection. I start at page 1 where the local blacksmith informs me that king Hever to the north of us has a magical horn, the sound of which strikes terror into evil beings. Sounds handy! Thanks for the tip, blacksmith, I do appreciate it. Though I do wonder why, as the king of this city, I didn’t know this about the neighboring king…

The next day I find myself at the southern shore of Lake Nekros. Seriously? Lake Nekros? I can skirt it to the east or to the west, or build a raft and cross it. Being the brave hero that I am, I build a raft, get 10 meters into the water, and am dragged under by tentacles.

Shortest offensive of all time.

One page. Insta-death by sea monster.

 

 

Masks of Mayhem, Foreword

Let’s start playing Masks of Mayhem. This is book 23, and by Robin Waterfield. This is the same fella who brought us Rebel Planet which was not bad, but not great.

I’m a ruler of some insignificant region of the world. Not a very well-traveled ruler either, it would seem, having never gone past the lake immediately to the north of my city, and needing the local blacksmith to tell me that the king to the north has a magic horn that frightens evil.

My court wizard calls me up one day, to inform me that the sorcerer Morgana, residing in the mountains to the northeast, has acquired 11 of the 12 masks of elemental power. She is using them to supercharge some golems, and if she collects ’em all then her golems become unstoppable and she’ll terrorize the world.

Why can’t I send an army and the rest of the wizard council to deal with this? Because the resulting mage battle would devastate the land. Why didn’t they raise a fuss back when Morgana had 3 or 4 masks? Uhm yeah…

Anyway, time to do what I always do… Load my backpack, sharpen my sword, and go in solo to hunt a wizard.

 

 

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